Saturday, July 28, 2012
Santorum made no hesitation in mentioning the interview location straight away: “I’m in the Dallas Cowboy cheerleader locker room!” he announced.
Baker, cheekily surprised, warned the Senator about the precarious situation: “I just think the mainstream media just found its magic moment. I don’t know what they’re going to do with this but you’re going to be in trouble.”
The U-550 was found Monday by a privately funded group organized by New Jersey lawyer Joe Mazraani. It was the second trip in two years to the site by the team, some of whom had been searching for the lost U-boat for two decades.
Using side-scan sonar, the seven-man team located the wreck listing to its side in deep water about 70 miles south of Nantucket.
In Forbes, Tobias writes “You should know how unsafe these gun safes are.” He writes that Security Labs was asked to review the designs of three leading brands of gun safes made by Stack-on, GunVault and Bulldog, after the death of a 3-year-old in Vancouver, Wash., a couple years ago:
The network, which has exclusive U.S. broadcast rights to the London games, cut instead to a taped interview between Ryan Seacrest and gold-medalist swimmer Michael Phelps.
The Daily Mail scoffed that NBC replaced a "tribute to 7/7 victims with bland Michael Phelps interview."
The session which will begin on August 9, and will deal with the issue of expanded gambling.
Lawmakers will consider a bill to add table games, and a sixth casino in Prince George's County, most likely at the National Harbor Resort.
GM owes $27 billion on the nearly $50 billion it received from the auto bailout and Ally Bank, the company’s lending arm, owes $14.7 billion of the $17.2 billion taxpayer-funded bailout it received.
GM’s stock has plummeted in recent months after stagnant development in overseas markets. It hit a new low on Wednesday, falling to $18.80, a 52 percent drop from its January 2011 high of $38.90.
Calling himself "a joker," a Maryland man with an arsenal of guns threatened to shoot up a business he was being fired from, and was wearing a T-shirt that said "Guns don't kill people. I do" when police confronted him, authorities said Friday.
The 28-year-old man, identified in a search warrant as Neil E. Prescott, told a supervisor at software and mailroom supplier Pitney Bowes that he wanted to see his boss' "brain splatter all over the sidewalk," according to a search warrant.
"I'm a joker and I'm gonna load my guns and blow everybody up," Prescott said, according to the warrant.
Espinoza says, the knife wielding man seriously injured two people. "There is blood all over. One got stabbed in the stomach and got stabbed in the head and held his hands and got stabbed all over the arms."
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is considering adding on a 'green fee' on each new MetroCard to encourage riders to recycle their cards.
The proposal for the $1 surcharge was contained in the agency's preliminary budget for next year.
The aim is to reduce the number of cards that are printed and discarded.
Hercules Industries, a Denver-based heating ventilation and air conditioning manufacturer that employs nearly 300 full-time workers, got an injunction in federal court which stops enforcement of the controversial ObamaCare mandate. The company's lawyers said they needed the injunction immediately because if the mandate is enforced, it must begin immediately making changes to its health plan, which renews on Nov. 1.
The case is similar to ones brought by Catholic-based colleges that have refused to provide employee insurance with such coverage, except this time, it is a secular corporation.
According to a statement from the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, “the Conference on the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty has broken down and will not report a draft treaty to the member nations.”
“This is a big victory for American gun owners, and the NRA is being widely credited for killing the U.N. ATT,” the NRA-ILA statement said.
Dogs (and some cats) instinctively chase these bright-red dots simply because the dots move, said Nicholas Dodman, a professor of animal behavior at Tufts University's Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. Movement automatically stimulates their innate prey drive, which explains why lower-on-the-food-chain animals such as rodents and rabbits often freeze in place as a survival strategy. Although dogs aren't so discerning when it comes to color, their eyes contain a high preponderance of light-sensitive cells called rods for top-notch motion detection.
We need to understand that there is a war raging outside. A war between the parasite class and the productive human. The parasites have total control of all levers of power at the moment, and they intend on using the ultimate implosion of the system to further consolidate their gains in order to create a neo-feudalist society where productive humans will become serfs that exist merely to produce for the pleasure of the parasites with no hope of escape for themselves or their children or grandchildren. We cannot allow this to happen, which is why the most important thing is to inform as many people as possible of the game plan ahead of time so that they are unable to manipulate humanity to acquiesce to its own bondage in the middle of a crisis.
The most dangerous people on the planet are the lifetime academics and these are the folks in charge of the most powerful institutions in the world today, the Central Banks. These lifetime academics have been coddled their whole lives within the “prestigious” institutions that define the paradigm that we live under. In rising high up in academia, these folks never really experienced failure. Sure, they may have received a B+ on a paper once instead of an A, but they have never experienced that crushing failure that only the real world can deliver. As I mentioned earlier, I would put all of the leaders of TBTF banks/brokers in the same category. They have been bailed out at the taxpayer’s expense so many times that they do not live in reality either. When they fail they get bailed out, when they succeed they take all the gains and then buy everyone else off around them. This is not a novel point, but it is extremely important to fully internalize because these are the people (academics and TBTF executives) that are in total control of all economic, social and political policy in the Western world today. It is because of them that we are in the situation we are in and it will be because of them that we will crash and burn.
ANAHEIM, CA—As protests over a pair of fatal weekend shootings by Anaheim Police entered their fifth day, law enforcement officials continued Thursday to ignore calls for a stricter departmental gun-use policy, claiming such rules would prevent officers from executing their essential task of shooting people. “Our job is to shoot bullets at dangerous individuals posing a threat to life and property, and we’re certainly not going to respond to a request that we stop doing our job,” said Anaheim police chief John Welter, who pointed out that all officers are required to carry guns, and that guns are for shooting people. “A policeman who fails to discharge his service revolver on a regular basis is failing to serve his community, pure and simple.” Welter added that anyone who knows anything about the history of law enforcement in Southern California should be well aware of that fact by now.
No more hugs, no more special moments to celebrate together, no more phone calls just to chat, no more "just one minute."
Sometimes, what we care about the most gets all used up and goes away, never to return before we can say good-bye, say "I love you."
So while we have it, it's best we love it, care for it, fix it when it's broken and heal it when it's sick.
This is true for marriage.....And old cars... And children with bad report cards, and dogs with bad hips, and aging parents and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.
Some things we keep -- like a best friend who moved away or a sister-in-law after divorce. There are just some things that make us happy, no matter what.
Life is important, like people we know who are special.. And so, we keep them close!
Suppose one morning you never wake up, do all your friends know you love them? Important thing is to let every one of your friends know you love them, even if you think they don't love you back.
And just in case I'm gone tomorrow, please vote against Obama!
Can someone please explain why Brendan P. O'Hare is in the newspaper again for his charge of indecent exposure, but the Ocean City Police Department and the Worcester County State's Attorney's Office have not charged the Ocean City Police Mounted Unit Corporal Albert Custer that committed the same criminal act of indecent exposure on July 28, 2011?
They have 2 days left to criminally charge one of their own and the one year and one day statute of limitations will expire on July 29, 2012. Chief DiPino, the Mayor and City Council know this incident occurred and looked the other way.
Apparently other citizens that commit indecent exposure in Ocean City are arrested and criminally charged. This police corporal committed the same criminal act and walks away untouched. How is that? The Dispatch and OC Today won't report it because they favor the Town and OCPD. Will you or someone you work with report it?
This occurred after the FOP Lodge 10 sponsored Buccaneer Bash on July 28, 2011....yes a year ago. Custer was intoxicated and dropped his short and underware in the middle of the 300 Block of Talbot Street and pointed to his privates and said to off duty OCPD officer Joseph Zurla, "Can somebody help me with this?" It was witnessed by several off duty OCPD cops and another off duty cop from another jurisdiction. Several citizens at the Talbot Inn saw it too. He was never charged criminally or administratively by the PD and DiPino knows about it. The whole police department knows about it.
Previous councils and mayors over the years have obviously failed to re-establish the downtown area. The problems with downtown existed prior to this council's term in office; however, it is easier to attack this council. Let's analyze several attempts at revitalization.
Urban Salisbury began as a volunteer organization created to accelerate and assist with the downtown revitalization. When this organization was slated for defunding, Urban Salisbury cited impediments to its success, including funding issues. So the council stepped in and was specific in directing city funding to events. However, Urban Salisbury sent a letter informing the council that it was returning the money and its doors would close. The council continued to provide funding for events through alternate avenues.
The council continues to support Urban Salisbury's proposed streetscape plan and vision. Do we blame the current council for trying to assist this organization, and for Urban Salisbury's lack of success?
The council was told all downtown space up to code is fully occupied and space that is not in compliance remains an impediment to revitalization. Over the past three years, this administration promised inspections would be conducted and all noncompliant properties would be brought to code; this has not been accomplished. Is this the current council's fault? Is this council responsible for this broken promise?
The revolving loan fund guidelines for downtown were changed to make the loan limit much smaller, at the request of the mayor. Then the diminished loan fund was identified by the mayor and council as an impediment. The council agreed to the concept of increasing the loan size again. Since then, the administration has failed to advance new guidelines. Is this the current council's fault?
The answer to all these questions is no.
This council, along with previous councils, supports downtown revitalization. Its decision to not support the mayor's plan was based purely on not meeting the criteria for success for redevelopment of the downtown area. The mayor is presenting a poor plan for downtown revitalization that is unrealistic. The council -- correctly -- will not support this.
l applaud the council on its courage and diligence, along with its consistent performance and on behalf of the taxpayers and citizens of Salisbury.
Bruce W. Webster
RE: "Laurel hardware store closes its doors," July 15
I am writing in response to an article in the business section of the Sunday edition of The Daily Times. The story contained no less than 12 errors or omissions. If we did not know better, we would think co-owner Chris Johnson wrote this himself.
Two things in the story are completely untrue and are troubling to me as co-owner of the store. One of the statements in the story read: "Shortly after Johnson close the doors for the last time at the original location." If anyone was asked, they would refute that statement, as Johnson left the day-to-day operations of the business in April. He resigned the president's position in January. I continued the day-to-day operations and worked with lawyers and the auctioneer to close the store. Johnson -- or the writer --claimed I was no longer associated with the store. That statement, as well as several more, was especially troubling, as I stayed through the complete closing of the store.
My association with the store goes back before Johnson's, something that also was not mentioned in the story. In fact, the story makes it appear as if I came along later.
Why weren't the 13 former employees, or at least some of them, interviewed for a story like this?
My dad and I have heard from several people who said it was not a story, but an endorsement for Johnson's new business.
There are more troubling statements in the story; however, we choose not to discuss them at this time. We hope a fair and accurate can be written.
Michael P. Murphy
John P. Murphy
Yet the government has more or less made it official policy  not to prosecute fraud, and instead to do everything necessary to cover up for Wall Street . For example, the Obama administration is prosecuting fewer financial crimes  than under Reagan or either Bush.
For example, we pointed out  in 2010:
The government’s entire strategy  now – as during the S&L crisis – is to cover up how bad things are.
But it is not only a matter of covering up fraud that has already happened. The government also created an environment which greatly encouraged fraud.
Here are just a few of many potential examples:
The government-sponsored rating agencies committed massive fraud  (and see this )
The Treasury department allowed banks to “cook their books” 
Regulators knew of and allowed  the use of debt-hiding accounting tricks by the big banks
Tim Geithner was complicit in Lehman’s accounting fraud , (and see this ), and pushed  to pay AIG’s CDS counterparties at full value, and then to keep the deal secret. And as Robert Reich notes , Geithner was “very much in the center of the action” regarding the secret bail out of Bear Stearns without Congressional approval. William Black points out : “Mr. Geithner, as President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York since October 2003, was one of those senior regulators who failed to take any effective regulatory action to prevent the crisis, but instead covered up its depth”
The former chief accountant for the SEC says  that Bernanke and Paulson broke the law and should be prosecuted
Freddie and Fannie helped to create the epidemic of mortgage fraud 
The government knew about mortgage fraud a long time ago. For example, the FBI warned of an “epidemic” of mortgage fraud in 2004. However, the FBI, DOJ and other government agencies then stood down and did nothing. See this  and this . For example, the Federal Reserve turned its cheek and allowed massive fraud , and the SEC has repeatedly ignored accounting fraud . Indeed, Alan Greenspan took the position that fraud could never happen 
Paulson and Bernanke falsely stated  that the big banks receiving Tarp money were healthy, when they were not
Arguably, both the Bush and Obama administrations broke the law by refusing to close insolvent banks 
Congress may have covered up illegal tax breaks  for the big banks
Economist James K. Galbraith wrote  in the introduction to his father, John Kenneth Galbraith’s, definitive study of the Great Depression, The Great Crash, 1929:
The main relevance of The Great Crash, 1929 to the great crisis of 2008 is surely here. In both cases, the government knew what it should do. Both times, it declined to do it. In the summer of 1929 a few stern words from on high, a rise in the discount rate, a tough investigation into the pyramid schemes of the day, and the house of cards on Wall Street would have tumbled before its fall destroyed the whole economy. In 2004, the FBI warned publicly of “an epidemic of mortgage fraud.” But the government did nothing, and less than nothing, delivering instead low interest rates, deregulation and clear signals that laws would not be enforced. The signals were not subtle: on one occasion the director of the Office of Thrift Supervision came to a conference with copies of the Federal Register and a chainsaw. There followed every manner of scheme to fleece the unsuspecting ….
This was fraud, perpetrated in the first instance by the government on the population, and by the rich on the poor.
The government that permits this to happen is complicit in a vast crime.
In other words, the fraud started at the very top with Greenspan, Bush, Paulson, Negraponte, Bernanke, Geithner, Rubin, Summers and all of the rest of the boys.
As William Black told me today:
In criminology jargon: they created an intensely criminogenic environment.
The government’s special inspector general in charge of oversight of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (the “TARP” bank bailouts) – Neil M. Barofsky – said  today:
It was a “message to the banks ‘if we commit fraud, we break the rules, don’t worry, we’re too big — they’ll never bring the appropriate steps against us,’” Barofsky says in an interview with The Daily Ticker. “And that is why we’ve had scandal after scandal after scandal.”
This was a “global conspiracy to fix one of the most important interest rates in the world,” Barofsky continues. “[Geithner] heard this information and looked the other way. Geithner and other regulators should be held accountable, they should be fired across the board. If they knew about an ongoing fraud, and they didn’t do anything about it, they don’t deserve to have their jobs. I hope we see people in handcuffs.“
The ADA opened doors for thousands of people with disabilities, and technology is helping turn their dreams into accomplishments. Today, computers are “reading” documents and other written sources of information for people who are visually impaired. Video phones and text messaging are assisting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing enabling them to communicate with each other and the hearing world. Smart phones and iPads are taking this technology out on the road and giving a voice to young Marylanders like Sharia, a Columbia resident recently profiled by CNN.
Together, we’re working to bring this technology to Marylanders with disabilities. Through the Maryland Technology Assistance Loan Program, we have approved more than $9 million in loans to help nearly 900 Marylanders find and purchase assistive technology devices. The WorkABILITY Loan Program has approved 73 loans for more than $900,000 to help Marylanders overcome barriers to employment and take advantage of home-based employment opportunities.
Gov. Martin O’Malley seems hell bent on having a special session of the legislature next month to expand gambling, perhaps the week of Aug. 6, but there appear to be lots of good reasons not to bring the General Assembly back to Annapolis. They include interrupted vacations, long delayed jobs and revenues, sticky details yet to be worked out and the continuing lack of votes in the House of Delegates.
These are people who, like Obama, earned little except a greased skid because of the color of their skin. They knew that by any competitive standard of merit, they were undeserving. The faculty and other students knew it. And the affirmative action students knew that everyone knew it.
Obama knows he didn't have what it took to get into Columbia, and he didn't have what it took to get into Harvard Law. Let's face an inescapable reality. If Obama had great grades, his transcripts would be in a full-page ad in the New York Times.
Obama became president of the Harvard Law Review (HLR) without ever having an article published in it, a status that separated him from every other HLR president who preceded him. In fact, while Obama was the HLR's first black president, few people know that 70 years earlier, Charles Houston had become the HLR's first black editor, contradicting the myth that black people cannot succeed without affirmative action. Obama didn't possess the skills to be on the HLR, let alone to be the review's president.
Asserting that he supports a Second Amendment right to bear arms, Obama took a harder stance on assault weapons and background checks:
Lauren Berns was browsing Talking Points Memo when he saw an ad with President Obama’s face. “Stop the Reckless Spending,” the ad read, and in smaller print, Paid for by Crossroads GPS. Berns was surprised. Why was Crossroads GPS, a group that powerful Republican strategist Karl Rove helped found,advertising on a liberal-leaning political website? Looking closely at the ad, Berns saw a small blue triangle in the upper-left hand corner. He knew what that meant: this ad wasn’t being shown to every person who read that page. It was being targeted to him in particular. Tax-exempt groups like Crossroads GPS have become among the biggest players in this year’s election. They’re often called “dark money” groups, because they can raise accept unlimited amounts of money and never have to disclose their donors.
Libertarian Muir Boda will appear on “Ground Wars” with The Minister of Truth Derrick Grayson, on the Freedom Broadcasting Network, Monday July 30, 2012 at 7:00 PM. This will be an in depth interview focusing on several House Resolutions and other pieces of legislation. If you miss the live broadcast, TMOT will have it on his YOU TUBE page, we will post here and of course send it all over Facebook.
Boda is the Libertarian candidate for Congress in Maryland’s 1st District. He is a Revolution Liberty Candidate that believes in Peace, Commerce and Honest Friendship with all Nations without entangling alliances. His goal is to create a smaller government footprint on the lives of individuals and on businesses.
A Massachusetts college student with diabetes is facing a tough situation: Either she stops going to college full-time to qualify for the insurance she's currently using, or she opts for help from the state that isn't going to give her the quality of life she's used to. So what's a student trying to get ahead in life to do — try to get an education on a part-time basis or get along without the insulin pump that helps her treat her diabets?
Millions Of Americans Will Not Have Access to Health Insurance Under "Obamacare" Thanks To The Supreme Court's Recent Decision
The Ocean City Police Department is partnering with two neighborhood watch associations inOceanCityto bring crime prevention awareness and community policing to the area. “National Night Out has proven to be an effective, inexpensive and enjoyable program to promote neighborhood spirit and the partnership between the OCPD and the community,” said Chief Bernadette DiPino. “It is an event that only lasts a few hours, however the benefits of the evening extend well beyond one day.”
National Night Out, a yearlong community building campaign, is designed to heighten crime prevention awareness, generate support and participation in local anticrime programs and strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships. In addition, the program was developed to send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back against crime.
On behalf of the Ocean City Police Department, Chief DiPino would like to inviteOceanCitycitizens to participate in National Night Out festivities. In addition, the OCPD encourages you to be the “eyes and ears” of your community, by reporting crime or suspicious activity to the Ocean City Police Department. For more information regarding National Night Out, or the Ocean City Police Department’s role in National Night Out, please contact the OCPD Public Affairs Office at 410-723-6665.
While speaking with Martini, the officer detected alcohol emanating from his breath and noticed a plastic bag of marijuana in the center console of the vehicle. Officers asked Martini to exit the vehicle, at which time he turned the vehicle toward the officer and accelerated. The officer, who was struck by the passenger side of the vehicle, was knocked off his bicycle.
Martini, who proceeded to leave the area, accelerated his vehicle at a high rate of speed, traveling northbound in the southbound lane of St. Louis Avenue. As officers followed Martini, witnesses told police he had entered a condominium building in the area of 11th Street. Officers apprehended Martini after a foot pursuit.
Martini was arrested and charged with first and second degree assault, assault on a law enforcement officer, malicious destruction of property, resisting arrest, possession of marijuana and position of paraphernalia. In addition, Martini was charged with 14 traffic violations, including driving under the influence of alcohol, negligent driving, reckless driving, speeding and failure to remain at the scene.
Martini was transported to the Public Safety Building where he was seen by an Ocean City District Court Commissioner. At the time of this release, Martini was being held on a $5,000 bond.
To wit :
While Geithner pushed for broader reforms of LIBOR, he did not explicitly warn of possible rate manipulations and neglected to notify U.S. regulators at the Department of Justice, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission to the wrongdoing, notes Barofsky.
It was a "message to the banks 'if we commit fraud, we break the rules, don't worry, we're too big — they'll never bring the appropriate steps against us,'" Barofsky says in an interview with The Daily Ticker. "And that is why we've had scandal after scandal after scandal."
This was a "global conspiracy to fix one of the most important interest rates in the world," Barofsky continues. "[Geithner] heard this information and looked the other way. Geithner and other regulators should be held accountable, they should be fired across the board. If they knew about an ongoing fraud, and they didn't do anything about it, they don't deserve to have their jobs. I hope we see people in handcuffs."
Poor little billionaire mayor of NYC, Mike Bloomberg, is at it again! Clearly he couldn’t handle the heat he got for using the tragedy in the state of Colorado (where I happen to actually live) to push his anti-gun agenda. So how does a megalomaniac cry baby respond? By throwing a temper tantrum of course.
While on Piers Morgan show on CNN, this despotic control freak showed his true colors. When asked by Mr. Morgan: “Why do so many Americans not feel angry enough to demand further gun control?” Here’s his answer:
Well, I would take it one step further. I don’t understand why the police officers across this country don’t stand up collectively and say, we’re going to go on strike. We’re not going to protect you. Unless you, the public, through your legislature, do what’s required to keep us safe.
There you go folks. This guy, who is the mayor of the largest city in the United States, doesn’t really care about public safety. He wants to disarm you and he becomes a petulant child about it when he can’t get his way. In this excellent article from the WSJ, the author rightly tears Bloomberg apart. He writes:
And whether Bloomberg meant to suggest a real strike threat or an empty one, it seems obvious that such a move would be counterproductive. The prospect of police shirking their duty to protect the citizenry strengthens, not weakens, the case for private ownership of firearms and other tools of self-defense.
A police strike, as Bloomberg figured out a day late, is illegal in itself. Bloomberg’s strike would be for the purpose of curtailing the citizenry’s constitutional rights. The mayor urged an unlawful rebellion by government employees against their employers, the people. Since ours is a government of the people, established by the Constitution, this was nothing less than a call for insurrection.
Full article here.
Old-age entitlements vs. the safety net
Nick Gillespie & Veronique de Rugy from the August/September 2012 issue
In 1964 a young Bob Dylan released “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” an anthem that defined what would shortly become known as “the generation gap.” With a mix of sympathy and sneer—“Come mothers and fathers / Throughout the land / And don’t criticize / What you can’t understand / Your sons and your daughters / Are beyond your command / Your old road is / Rapidly agin’ ”—Dylan described an unbridgeable gulf in values, styles, and aspirations between the rising baby boomers, born between 1943 and 1960, and their elders, who had managed to survive the depredations of the Great Depression, World War II, and the swiveling hips of Elvis Presley.
Flash forward half a century, and the boomers who once sang along with Dylan have become the reactionary elders, clinging to their power and perks at the literal expense of everyone younger. There’s a new generation gap opening up, one that threatens to tear apart the country every bit as much as past confrontations over war, free love, drugs, and sitar music. This fight is about old-age entitlements and whether the Me Generation will do what’s right for the country and stop sucking up more and more money from their children and grandchildren.
Social Security and Medicare, which provide retirement and health insurance benefits for senior Americans, generally without regard to need, are funded by taxes on the relatively meager wages of younger Americans who will never enjoy anything close to the same benefits. From any serious fiscal or moral viewpoint, and particularly for the sake of helping those truly in need, Social Security and Medicare should be ended.
The demographic math is irrefutable: Entitlements are killing the safety net. They should be replaced with social welfare programs that cover all citizens, regardless of age, but only those who are too poor or incapacitated to take care of themselves. Focusing on those truly in need instead of automatically shoveling out larger and larger amounts to well-off senior citizens is the best way to avert looming fiscal catastrophe and restore some morality to an indefensible system.
My upcoming birthday next week could be the last one I celebrate as President of the United States, but that's not up to me -- it's up to you.
This July deadline is our most urgent yet, coming after two consecutive months of being significantly outraised by Romney and the Republicans.
And if you pitch in $3 or whatever you can before midnight tonight, you and a guest will be automatically entered to join me at my birthday get-together next month:
Thanks. Hope I'll see you soon.
The only voice you hear is Mitt Romney’s — singing, earnestly but not tunefully, “America the Beautiful.” The Republican nominee’s rendition plays as the Obama campaign flashes up charges about Romney’s outsourcing of jobs, Swiss bank accounts, and Caymans corporations against backdrops of shuttered factories and empty conference rooms. It is, in short, a powerful political ad.
This isn’t a matter of opinion. Thanks to a new Vanderbilt University/YouGov Ad Rating Project, we now have access to real-time assessments of the effectiveness of political ads — a project that arrives just as America is about to experience the most expensive presidential campaign ever. Expensive, and tough: “I think it’s very likely to be the most negative race since the advent of television,” John Geer, professor of political science at Vanderbilt and director of the university’s Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, told NPR this week.
Yesterday I discussed the Convergence of Marx, Orwell and Kafka as a means of understanding the global crisis. It's not just financial fraud on a vast scale, or debt or leverage or derivatives or a hundred other arcane mechanisms of parasitic predation; it's the partnership of a mindlessly expansive Central State with Monopoly Capital and the media machine that serves them.
I considered including Aldous Huxley in the convergence, as he too anticipated the essential nature of modern life. But perhaps his insights are more complementary than convergent, for he understood the media and State's capacity to not only present a deranged and destructive Status Quo as "normal" but to persuade the serfs to embrace it.
Aldous Huxley foresaw a Central State that persuaded its people to “love their servitude” via propaganda, drugs, entertainment and information-overload. In his view, the energy required to force compliance exceeded the "cost" of persuasion, and thus the Powers That Be would opt for the power of suggestion.
In city after city, enrollment is declining. This is not a recent development. It has been going on for a half a decade. It has taken place in half of the nation’s largest districts.
The trend looks irreversible.
As the Web offers better programs free of charge, the public schools cannot compete. The inner city schools are catastrophic. They are getting worse. As whites ans Asians flee the cities, the inner-city schools get worse.
The tax base shrinks. The teachers union demands more pay and smaller classes. The city governments are trapped. Solution: cut programs, fire teachers, and enlarge classes back to (horror!) 1959?s 33 students.
Nobody is supposed to talk about this. It is time to talk about it. Public education will not recover. The longer the decline takes place, the more parents will conclude that there is only one solution: pull their kids out.
At some point, voters will not pass any more bond issues. They will not consent to higher property taxes. They will let the public schools sink.
The only established church in the USA will find fewer members. The only kids will be those whose parents do not have the money to pull them out.
The New York Times reports: “Urban districts like Philadelphia and Columbus, Ohio, are facing an exodus even as the school-age population has increased.”
The exodus has begun. “Let my people go!”
Mr. Chairman, I welcome this hearing to receive the report of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC). The creation of FSOC underscores perfectly the complete intellectual bankruptcy underpinning the government's behavior towards financial markets. In the opinion of government leaders, the financial crisis was not caused by misguided regulation, interest rate manipulation, or government-caused distortions to the structure of production, but by a financial sector that was completely deregulated and laissez-faire. The response of legislators, therefore, was to create a new super-regulator with vast new powers to control the financial system.
Those who truly believe that the financial sector is deregulated might want to test their hypothesis by starting their own bank without the government's imprimatur, assuming that they are prepared to spend some time in a federal penitentiary. To say that the financial sector is deregulated could not be further from the truth. No other sector of the economy is as intertwined with the government as the financial industry.
Financial firms, especially smaller firms, suffer from costly and burdensome regulations that create barriers to entry in the market place and diminish competition. Excessive regulation ensures that only government-approved financial firms have a chance to enter the market. Those firms which are able to get through the hurdles are still at a competitive disadvantage vis-a-vis established firms who are better able to navigate the regulatory maze.
But not all of the government involvement is negative to the financial industry. Financial firms, especially larger ones, benefit from government bailouts, the first use of the Federal Reserve's newly created high-powered money, and membership in a government-sanctioned and -supported banking monopoly. Larger, well-established firms are not only better-suited to comply with the requirements of regulators; they are also more likely to receive bailouts from the government due to the entrenched policy of saving firms that are "too big to fail." The moral hazard of these bailouts is obvious, yet the government continues to subsidize large, poorly-run financial firms, to the detriment of investors, the financial system, and the economy as a whole.