Saturday, October 27, 2007

"Dumbed Down by the Educational System" by George Carlin

I've posted about this before:
Dumbed Down by the Educational System
The Educational system produces mostly people incapable of critical thinking.

Here is George Carlin's take:

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Statism Begins at Home aka "The Land of the Free" Rings Hollow

A California legislator attempted to pass a bill outlawing spanking children below a certain age.
The woman who submitted the bill doesn't even have any children of her own.

Thank goodness the public's overwhelming negative reaction stopped it.

Now a city in California wants to ban smoking in apartments:

In "Testing for the Fascist Factor", Karen de Coster tests a person's "Fascist Factor" by asking them if they agree with banning smoking on private property. If a person says "yes", she asks, well why not ban blondes in certain restaurants?
arbitrary decrees that invade the self-ownership and private property rights of others. Both decrees are based on the view that one group of persons has the means to control another group of persons and their choices via government fiat. Both decrees are fascist in that they subject the individual to the collective and private property to some notion of "public good."

Is America the "Land of the Free"?
How many of you really asked this question?

Wikipedia defines Statism is defined as follows:

Statism (or Etatism) is a term that is used to describe:

  1. Specific instances of state intervention in personal, social or economic matters.
  2. A form of government or economic system that involves significant state intervention in personal, social or economic matters.
(Note the word "state" means "government", not "state" as in California, Maine, etc.)

The Nanny State and the Police State are two forms of Statism.

The Police State is very much alive in the USA. How many times have you been nervous while driving because there was a police car near your car, despite the fact that you're doing nothing wrong? It gets worse than that. The

The Police State Is Closer Than You Think
by Paul Craig Roberts

Police states are easier to acquire than Americans appreciate.

The hysterical aftermath of September 11 has put into place the main components of a police state.

Habeas corpus is the greatest protection Americans have against a police state. Habeas corpus ensures that Americans can only be detained by law. They must be charged with offenses, given access to attorneys, and brought to trial. Habeas corpus prevents the despotic practice of picking up a person and holding him indefinitely.

President Bush claims the power to set aside habeas corpus and to dispense with warrants for arrest and with procedures that guarantee court appearance and trial without undue delay. Today in the US, the executive branch claims the power to arrest a citizen on its own initiative and hold the citizen indefinitely. Thus, Americans are no longer protected from arbitrary arrest and indefinite detention.

These new "seize and hold" powers strip the accused of the protective aspects of law and give reign to selectivity and arbitrariness. No warrant is required for arrest, no charges have to be presented before a judge, and no case has to be put before a jury. As the police are unaccountable, whoever is selected for arrest is at the mercy of arbitrariness.

If you think the Neoconservatives are the only ones who voted for this, well, look at this Senate voting record:
~70% of Democratic Senators voted to extend the Patriot Act, including Hillary and Obama.

Goes to show the Dems and the Republicans are both pushing the country towards an Authoritarian, Socialistic state.

Homeland Security is pushing for the militarization of local police departments.

His blog chronicles many excesses of police departments:

If you think Homeland Security was created as a reaction to 9/11, well, the first draft of the Homeland Security Act was written in 1998, during Bill Clinton's presidency:

The Nanny State is more alive than ever.

It is most apparent every time you drive. The speed limits are set artificially low, in the guise of Safety. In reality, the insurance companies lobby to keep speed limits low, so that they can collect extra premiums whenever you get a "point" on your license. This is a classic example of collusion between corporations and government; government passing laws to either enable cartelization, or in order to increase profits of corporations. This is a form of Fascism. And of course, the courts, the PD's, and the cities just LOVE the revenue stream.

Speed limits have very little correlation with safety. In fact, speed limit signs have little effect on the average speeds that motorists drive. That is, motorists will tend to drive at a speed that they consider to be a reasonable compromise between time savings and safety. Drivers who drive faster than average, those that are faster than 85% of other drivers, have the lowest crash rates.

What is the greatest cause of crashes? In one word, inattention. Researchers in Virginia Tech installed cameras to record crashes and near misses in 100 cars over more than a year. Nowhere is speed mentioned:
  • Nearly 80 percent of all crashes and 65 percent of all near-crashes involved driver inattention, just prior (within 3 seconds) to the onset of the conflict.
  • 93 percent of the rear-end-striking crashes involved driver inattention

And of course, when driving, the police state and the nanny state combine to punish you for behavior that isn't necessarily unsafe. Witness the Kangaroo courts that the traffic courts are.

Since 1969 in California, citizens have been denied jury trials for most alleged traffic offenses.

Beginning on January 1, 1969, the state legislature created a new category of criminal offense called the infraction. The state would preserve all its rights in prosecuting these infraction citations as criminal offenses, but would remove the citizen's most basic rights to justice in these cases. For the first time in California history, citizens would be legally denied their right to a jury trial in criminal cases. The community would no longer be the arbiter of justice in these contested criminal cases.

It's unconstitutional, of course, because it got around the right to a jury trial.

Even red light cameras are a scam. They don't reduce accident rates, and there are better alternatives.

A 3rd manifestation of Statism is over-regulation. Regulatory compliance cost to the economy is 14%: It adds to our total effective tax rate:

This over-regulation completely takes over common sense:

Most Americans don't realize that having a Statist society is the opposite of what the Founding Fathers intended. And, while the so-called Republicans claim to advocate smaller government, in reality they are anything but. Bush has borrowed more than all previous 42 presidents combined.

And, the neocons that have hijacked the Republican party are statists at home, and imperialists abroad.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Health Care Questions Not Being Asked

I. Where is all the money going?

Why not get a forensic accountant to figure out where all the money is going? How many % end up in laywers' pockets via lawsuits? How many % end up as malpractice insurance company profits due to litigation? How many % go to needless tests because doctors are afraid of possible lawsuits stating that they "didn't do everything"? How many % are profits for the HMOs? For Big Pharma? How can you even talk about socialized health care without reigning in cost? It will just be expensive for everyone, and some special interest groups stand to make even more money.

II. Health Care in the USA is the most expensive in the world, yet one of the lowest quality in the First World, today. What was it in the 60s?

If health care was better in the USA in the 60s vis a vis other first world countries, what changed?

III. Why can't I buy health insurance like car insurance? Would you like to buy car insurance that covers routine maintenance but which doesn't cover being totalled by a drunk driver? "Oh sorry, you're not covered because you didn't disclose the pre-existing condition that your neighbor is a habitual drunk driver". But that's exactly what a lot of HMOs do. They cover piddly little expenses, but if you need a very expensive operation, they may not cover it.

It makes WAY more financial sense to be covered for events that are UNLIKELY but FINANCIALLY CATASTROPHIC. That is exactly what insurance is supposed to be for.

I would like to buy some health care program that covers say, the first 6 family doctor visits a year (for prevention, which saves money) and then only covers anything over a yearly deductible of $5,000 per year. If I needed $5,000 of health care in one year, it would sting, but wouldn't bankrupt me. A $200k operation, on the other hand, would.

I have some partial answers. In 1973 Nixon passed the HMO Act. It gave tax subsidies to companies that provided health care in the model of the HMO, to the detriment of companies with other business models. The result was that HMOs grew and grew into the size they are today, with no competition from other business models (e.g. health savings accounts)

This is exactly the kind of government regulation, meddling in the free market, that creates
distortion and cartelization, that makes the middle class suffer.

Here are 2 articles talking about deregulating health care:

The HMO Act resulted in the illogical coupling of employment with "discounted" (via tax breaks) health care. If you quit working for a corporation, and try to purchase the same kind of health coverage, you will likely have to spend twice as much. (This is yet another example of laws benefitting corporations)

Re: the above, I can hear the argument, "When you buy insurance as part of a group, like if you work for a corporation, you are pooling risk with your co-workers, so insurance should be cheaper". This is FALSE. If an HMO had 100,000 existing customers, then, if you add yourself alone, from a statistical point of view, you ARE POOLING RISK WITH THEIR 100,000 OTHER CUSTOMERS. It makes no difference then if you join their 100,000 as part of a group of 100, or you join them by yourself.

I think that doctors are way too quick to prescribe expensive, dubious prescriptions drugs, instead of lifestyle changes.

For example, a friend was diagnosed with high cholesterol. His doctor prescribed an anti-statin drug. My friend, displaying more wisdom than the doctor, said "No thanks, I'll try losing weight first". He proceeded to lose 80 lbs in one year (and now looks fit). His cholesterol, HDL, triglycerides etc, are all well within the normal range.

Statins have had dubious drug trials and potentially serious side effects with long term use (which have not been tested).

The American Medical Association is a monopoly. They artificially restrict the supply of doctors, ensuring high salaries (and thus cost to you and me). They also espouse expensive "mainstream" procedures instead of better, lower cost remedies. My realization was when 2 people I know were told they needed surgery to remove their gallbladder due to gallstones. They performed a gallbladder flush, which involves apple juice, some fasting, grapefruit juice, olive oil, and epsom salt. Out the stones went, and an ultrasound confirmed, no more gallstones. I know it sounds incredible, and I've posted about this before, that people are trained to reject anything "outside the mainstream".

Another example is a friend who was found to have some plaque buildup in his heart's blood vessels. He reversed it with Chelation Therapy. Predictably, the doctor poo-poo'ed him, despite that fact that he was surprised at the reversal.

The dollar amount spent on prescription drugs has more than doubled since 2000. This came out in the newspapers recently, but in typical shallow mass media fashion, the question "why?" was never even asked.

The FDA famously protects the interests of Big Pharma, while attacking all manner of "natural remedies" (read: non-patentable drugs, nutrition, or preventives). A google search "FDA lies" will give over a million hits.

I learned of this first-hand when I started getting a lot of migraines. I traced it to my starting the use of Splenda. (BTW Aspartame also gives me migraines). I've since found a substitute, Stevia, which tastes much better, and has no reported side effects in Japan and South America, where it's popular. Aspartame and Sucralose, on the other hand, have had thousands of complaints filed with the FDA.

Why haven't you heard of it? Turns out that the FDA gave "generally recognized as safe" status to Aspartame and Sucralose, but "has not tested" Stevia, and so it is marketed not as a sweetener, but rather as a food supplement, over which the FDA has little jurisdiction over. The FDA went so far as to seize Stevia cookbooks from a small business.

More details here:
The Aspartame/FDA story involves Donald Rumsfeld:
Incidentally, Rumsfeld made millions on the fake Bird Flu media scare and Tamiflu. Remember all the nonstop fear-mongering coverage of the Bird Flu by the media? Read this:

In the 1960s health care was much better. This is a really good article:
Some people say "modern technology" has made medicine more expensive.
How is it that modern technology has caused the price of each Gigabyte of memory and Hard Disk Space to drop year after year?

Finally, Presidential candidate and Congressman Ron Paul got a standing ovation when he spoke to medical students at Dartmouth on Health Care. H'es the only candidate who's an M.D.:
Paul began his remarks by telling students that, “the medical system is going well except for a few groups: the patients, the doctors, the hospitals, the labs, and the politicians. Everybody else is happy.

(In the 1960s)
The amazing thing was it was the city hospital and there was no government; there [was] very little insurance and nobody was turned away whether they were illegal or legal, and nobody, nobody was quizzed. If you didn’t have the money, you didn’t pay, and people came in, and it wasn’t that bad. People didn’t lay on the sidewalks. You’re more likely to hear stories today of people being neglected in emergency rooms…and dying on stretchers—because we have managed care.” Paul often came back to this point in referencing the health problems of today.

He is certain that the problems with today’s health care stem from too much government involvement, not too little. “This whole idea that we need centralized economic planning in anything is a fallacy, and it’s a temptation to say, ‘Yes, we can’t have central economic planning for electronics, televisions, and cell phones because we want efficiency of delivery service, but medicine is different.’

Paul was also highly critical of current insurance schemes, claiming that the only things that should be insured are surgeries and other high cost possibilities. Instead of insurance for things like a check-up, Paul favored a medical savings account. “We should allow every individual to take a $3,000 tax credit, and they can put that away and use it to go and pay for their doctor visits.

A major problem with today’s society, according to Paul, is the confusion of “needs” and “rights”: “We have rights to our lives and liberty and we have a right to pursue our happiness and we should have the right to keep the fruits of our labor. We have a moral obligation to help our fellow man.” "That doesn’t mean, however, that we have a right to affordable health care."
Perhaps surprisingly for a doctor, Paul encourages more competition in the field of medicine. Noting that many alternative methods of care have sprouted up in recent years, Paul said the competition would be in the best interest of the patients. The only thing he cautioned against was fraud..

“Under the Constitution, government shouldn’t be in medicine.”

Vicente Fox confirms the Amero

Watch this interview on Larry King:

Transcript of portion of interview:

KING: E-mail from Mrs. Gonzalez in Elizabeth, New Jersey. "Mr. Fox, I would like to know how you feel about the possibility of having a Latin America united with one currency?"

FOX: Long term, very long term. What we propose together, President Bush and myself, it's ALCA, which is a trade union for all of the Americas. And everything was running fluently until Hugo Chavez came. He decided to isolate himself. He decided to combat the idea and destroy the idea...

KING: It's going to be like the euro dollar, you mean?

FOX: Well, that would be long, long term. I think the processes to go, first step into is trading agreement. And then further on, a new vision, like we are trying to do with NAFTA.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Media Moguls, the Bankers, and the CFR

While browsing an online forum I came across a very interesting thread where the posters had done some research on the media.

What the posters have found is that in the board of directors of some of the 6 corporations that own most of the media, some names appear over and over again; some of them also appear in the board of directors of some very large banks and other financial institutions; some are on the boards of large oil companies, and have relationships with some of the highest people in government, and some are members of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Below is a copy of the thread. At the bottom is someone's post about oligarchy and plutocracy.


While doing a little research, I happened to open a Pandora's Box so to speak. I was curious about some of the ownership and leadership of the Media Machine.

One of my first searches was for Time Warner.

Time Warner owns, CNN, AOL, HBO, New Line Cinima, WB, etc.

Heavy investors are Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch

When looking at the board of directors, this is what Wiki has to say...

Quote »
* James L. Barksdale - Barksdale Management
* Stephen F. Bollenbach - Hilton Hotels Corporation
* Frank J. Caufield - Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
* Robert C. Clark - Harvard University
* Mathias Döpfner - CEO of Germany's Axel Springer AG
* Jessica P. Einhorn - Johns Hopkins University
* Reuben Mark - Colgate-Palmolive Company
* Michael A. Miles - Altria Group (Parent co. of Philip Morris)
* Ken Novack - former Time Warner - Affiliate Director
* Richard D. Parsons - Chairman of the Board & Chief Executive Officer
* Francis T. Vincent, Jr. - Vincent Enterprises
* Deborah C. Wright - Carver Bancorp
* Edward J. Zander - Chairman and CEO of Motorola Inc.

The Senior Executives are:

Quote »
* Richard D. Parsons, Chairman/CEO of Time Warner Inc.
* Jeffrey L. Bewkes, President/COO of Time Warner Inc.

If you click on Richard D. Parsons you get some interesting info.

Quote »
Positions held

A liberal African-American Republican, Parsons served an internship at the New York State Legislature, at which time he was invited to work as a lawyer for the staff of the then New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller. When Rockefeller was appointed Vice President of the United States, in 1974, Parsons followed him to Washington D.C., where he worked directly with President Gerald Ford. He also met a deputy attorney general, Harold R. Tyler, and one his aides, a young Rudolph W. Giuliani, with whom he was to be closely associated - supporting him in his campaign for New York mayor and heading his transitional council.[1]

In 1977, Parsons returned to New York and became a partner after only two years at the Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler law firm; Working at the firm was Giuliani. During his eleven years at the firm he took on Happy Rockefeller, the widow of Nelson (who had died in 1979) as a high-profile client.[2] In 1988, he was recruited to serve as chief operating officer of the Dime Bank by Harry W. Albright Jr., who was a former Rockefeller aide. He later became chairman and CEO[1] and oversaw a merger with Anchor Savings Bank; gaining a substantial sum when the Dime Bank was demutualized.

Three years later, in 1991, on the recommendation of Nelson's brother Laurance Rockefeller to the then CEO Steven Ross, Parsons was invited to join Time Warner's board; he subsequently became president of the company in 1995, recruited by Gerald Levin.[1] He helped negotiate the company's merger with America Online in 2000, creating a $165-billion media conglomerate.

In December 2001, it was announced that chief executive Gerald Levin would retire and Parsons was selected as his successor. The announcement surprised many media watchers who expected chief operating officer Robert Pittman to take the helm. In 2003, Parsons made the announcement of the name change from AOL Time Warner to simply Time Warner.[2]

[edit] Prominent connections

From the early 1980s through much of the 1990s, Parsons owned a house at the Rockefeller family estate in Pocantico Hills, (see Kykuit), where his grandfather was once a groundskeeper. For a brief time he had worked for Nelson at the family office, Room 5600, at Rockefeller Center (he currently has a Time Warner office in Rockefeller Plaza at the Center).[1]

Parsons is chairman emeritus of the Partnership for New York City,[3] established by David Rockefeller in 1979,[4] who has known him for many years. He is an advisory trustee of the family's principal philanthropy, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and he sits with David Rockefeller on the board of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation. Parsons is also on the board of the family created Museum of Modern Art.

In 2001, United States President George W. Bush selected Parsons to co-chair a commission on Social Security. Parsons also worked on the transition team for Michael Bloomberg, who was elected Mayor of New York City in 2001. In 2006, Parsons was selected to co-chair the transition team for the incoming Governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer.[5]

In August 2006, an article in New York Magazine reported that Parsons will likely run for Mayor of New York City in the 2009 New York mayoral election, claiming that "insiders say it's all but official".[6]

But wait, it gets better. Richard Parsons is ALSO on the board of directors for Citi Group.

Citi Group Board of Directors:

Quote »
* Michael Armstrong, Retired Chairman, Hughes, AT&T and Comcast
* Alain Belda, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Alcoa
* George David, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, United Technologies Corporation
* Kenneth T. Derr, Chairman, Retired, Chevron Corporation
* John M. Deutch, Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Retired CIA director
* Roberto Hernández Ramírez, Chairman, Banco Nacional de México
* Ann Jordan, Consultant
* Andrew N. Liveris, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Dow Chemical Company
* Dudley Mecum, Managing Director, Capricorn Holdings LLC 1
* Anne Mulcahy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Xerox
* Richard D. Parsons, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Time Warner
* Charles Prince, Chief Executive Officer, Citigroup
* Judith Rodin, President, Rockefeller Foundation
* Robert E. Rubin, Chairman of the Executive Committee and Member of the Office of the Chairman, Citigroup
* Franklin A. Thomas, Consultant, TFF Study Group
* Sanford I. Weill, Retired Chairman, Citigroup

Sorry, didn't mean to post yet, still researching. This is just ONE example of the conflict of interest so to speak. But you guys should get the idea. There is such an influence between Major Money, Politics, and Media. So if your just listening to the Major News networks about the Economy or Elections, consider the source, literally.

More to come.....

Oh, Prescott Bush former member of Directors for CBS.

News Corporation (Believe Fox News) Board:

Quote »
* K. Rupert Murdoch
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
News Corporation
* José María Aznar
FAES - Foundation for Social Studies and Analysis
Former President of Spain

* Peter Barnes
Ansell Limited
* Chase Carey
President and Chief Executive Officer
The DIRECTV Group, Inc.
* Peter Chernin
President and Chief Operating Officer
News Corporation
* Kenneth E. Cowley
R.M. Williams Holdings Pty. Limited

* David F. DeVoe
Chief Financial Officer
News Corporation
* Viet Dinh
Professor of Law
Georgetown University

* Rod Eddington
Non-Executive Chairman for
Australia and New Zealand
* Andrew S.B. Knight
Rothschild Investment Trust C.P

* Lachlan Murdoch
Illyria Pty Ltd
* Rod Paige, Ed.D.
Chartwell Education Group, LLC
* Thomas J. Perkins
Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield & Byers
* Arthur M. Siskind
Senior Advisor to the Chairman
News Corporation
* John L. Thornton
Professor of Global Leadership
Tsinghua University of Beijing


Haha, this is only the tip of the iceburg IMO.

Check out some of the other Citi Group board of directors.

Lets go down the list. Again, I'm using wiki so far for all my references.

Micheal Armstrong is also on the Council on Foreign Relations.

Quote »
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an influential and independent, nonpartisan foreign policy membership organization founded in 1921 and based at 58 East 68th Street (corner Park Avenue) in New York City, with an additional office in Washington, D.C. Through its membership, meetings, and studies, it has been called the most powerful agent of United States foreign policy outside the State Department.

Alain Belda is also a member of The Conference Board, and has a little bit of history behind him.

George David

Quote »
George David is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of United Technologies Corporation. David was elected UTC’s President in 1992 and Chief Executive Officer in 1994. He joined UTC’s Otis Elevator subsidiary in 1975 and became its President in 1986.....

He has served on the boards of the Graduate Business School at the University of Virginia, the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, the Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Fine Arts.

In 1999 the Russian Federation awarded David with the Order of Friendship for his contributions to that nation’s economy, particularly to its aerospace industry. In 2001, he received the Air Force Association's John R. Alison Award for contributions to national defense by an industrial leader. In 2002, France named him to its Legion of Honor.

In 2000, he was named as one of America's Most Powerful People by Forbes magazine; and CEO of the Year by Industry Week' in 2003.

lol, this keeps getting better.

Kenneth Derr

Quote »
Kenneth T. Derr is a member of the board of directors of the Halliburton Company. He is a Retired Chairman of the Board, Chevron Corporation (international oil company). He served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Chevron Corporation, 1989-1999. Derr is also a Director of AT&T Corporation, Calpine Corporation, Citigroup Inc., and Potlatch Corporation. He is also on the Council on Foreign Relations.

John M. Deutch

Quote »
John Mark Deutch (born July 27, 1938) is an American chemist and civil servant. He was the United States Deputy Secretary of Defense from 1994 to 1995 and Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) from May 10, 1995 until December 14, 1996. He is presently an Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and serves on the Board of Directors of Citigroup, Cummins, Raytheon, and Schlumberger Ltd.

Schlumberger =

Quote »
Schlumberger Limited is the world's largest oilfield services corporation operating in approximately 80 countries, with about 70,000 people of 140 nationalities. Schlumberger supplies a wide range of products and services from seismic acquisition and processing; formation evaluation; well testing and directional drilling to well cementing and stimulation; artificial lift and well completions; and consulting, software and information management. Schlumberger also provide similar products and services for the groundwater industry.....

Operating revenue in 2006 was US $19.23 billion with a market capitalization as of January 31, 2007, of US $74.5 billion.

Roberto Hernández Ramírez is also a member of the International Advisory Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York - 2002 to present.

Judith Rodin

Quote »
Rodin became president of the Rockefeller Foundation in March 2005.

She is currently on the the Board of Directors of Citigroup, AMR Corporation (the parent company of American Airlines), and Comcast Corporation where she served as the presiding director until 2006. [6] Rodin has also served on the Board of Directors for corporations such as Aetna, Electronic Data Systems (EDS) and BlackRock. [7] She continues to serve as a trustee of the Brookings Institution.

Quote »
In 2004 Rodin was touted as one of Pennsylvania’s best Democratic candidates for the United States Senate. [11] During the lead up to the 2006 United States Senate election, one which would eventually result in the ousting of incumbent Sen. Rick Santorum, Judith Rodin was again listed among the Democrats' short list favorites. [12]

Robert E. Rubin... just a BIT on this guy.

Quote »
Robert Edward Rubin (born August 29, 1938) is an American banker who served as the 70th United States Secretary of the Treasury during both the first and second Clinton Administrations.

Quote »
Rubin was briefly mentioned as a potential vice-presidential candidate for 2004 Democratic Party presidential nominee John Kerry. He did serve as an economic policy advisor to Kerry's campaign and was expected to be a front-runner for the position of Chairman of the Federal Reserve upon Alan Greenspan's retirement if Kerry had won. Rubin's heft as a Wall Street tycoon added a stamp of approval to Kerry's economic plans.

Quote »
During his time in the private sector, Rubin has served on the board of directors of the New York Stock Exchange, the Ford Motor Company, the Harvard Corporation, the New York Futures Exchange, the New York City Partnership and the Center for National Policy. He has also served on the board of trustees of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Mt. Sinai Hospital and Medical School, the President's Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Market Oversight and Financial Services Advisory Committee, the Mayor of New York's Council of Economic Advisors and the Governor's Council on Fiscal and Economic Priorities for the State of New York. He is currently the co-chairman of the board of directors of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Franklin A. Thomas .....

Quote »
Other directorships: Citigroup Inc., Cummins, Inc., Lucent Technologies, Inc., Alcoa and PepsiCo, Inc.

Sanford I. Weill

Quote »
In April 1998 Travelers Group announced an agreement to undertake the $76 billion merger between Travelers and Citicorp, and the merger was completed on October 8, 1998. The possibility remained that the merger would run into problems connected with federal law. Ever since the Glass-Steagall Act banking and insurance businesses had been kept separate. Weill and Reed bet that Congress would soon pass legislation overturning those regulations, which Weill and Reed and many other businesspeople considered obsolete. To speed up the process, they recruited ex-President Gerald Ford (Republican) to the Board of Directors and Robert Rubin (Secretary of Treasury during Democratic Clinton Administration) whom Weill was close to. With both Democrats and Republican on their side, the law was taken down in less than 2 years. (Many European countries, for instance, had already torn down the firewall between banking and insurance.) During a two-to-five-year grace period allowed by law, Citigroup could conduct business in its merged form; should that period have elapsed without a change in the law, Citigroup would have had to spin off its insurance businesses.

In November 1998 Jamie Dimon was forced to resign from Citigroup.

In 2001, Sanford A. Weill became a Class A Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Class A Directors are Board Members who are elected by Member Banks (of the Federal Reserve System) to represent the interests of Member Banks. (See article on Federal Reserve Bank Board Membership).

In 2002 the company was hit by the wave of "scandals" that followed the stock market downturn of 2002. Chuck Prince replaced Mr. Weill as the CEO of Citigroup on October 1, 2003.


Some others.

This guy is on the board for HSBC

*The Rt Hon the Lord Butler of Brockwell, KG, GCB, CVO

Quote »

Age 69. Master, University College, Oxford. A non-executive Director since 1998. Chairman of the Corporate Responsibility Committee and the HSBC Global Education Trust. A non-executive Director of Imperial Chemical Industries plc. A member of the International Advisory Board of Marsh McLennan Inc. Chaired the UK Government Review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction in 2004. Secretary of the Cabinet and Head of the Home Civil Service in the United Kingdom from 1988 to 1998.

Some from JPMorgan:

Stephen B. Burke

Quote »
Stephen B. Burke has served as our Chief Operating Officer since July 2004, and as our Executive Vice President and President of Comcast Cable and Comcast Cable Communications Holdings since November 2002. Prior to November 2002, Mr. Burke served as an Executive Vice President of Comcast Holdings and as President of Comcast Cable since January 2000. Mr. Burke is also a director of JPMorgan Chase & Company.

Lee R. Raymond

Quote »
Lee R. Raymond (born August 13, 1938) was the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of ExxonMobil from 1999 to 2005. He had previously been the CEO of Exxon since 1993. He joined the company in 1963 and has been president since 1987 and a director since 1984....

Raymond was appointed to Chair a committee to lead America's Alternative Energy Future by President Bush in fall 2006...

The report of 18 July 2007 by the National Petroleum Council, of which Lee is a member, argues, contrary to Lee’s former position on this matter, for an international framework to tackle emissions of carbon dioxide, suggesting that Lee has taken a greener stand on energy policy after his retirement from Exxon

Ellen V. Futter

Quote »
She formerly served as Chairman of the Board of New York Federal Reserve Bank and Chairman of the Commission on Women's Health of The Commonwealth Fund. She has received numerous honorary degrees, including from Yale, and awards.

She is currently:

Director of American International Group

Director of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co

Director of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

Director of Consolidated Edison, Inc

Director of Viacom

Member of the Council on Foreign Relations

Board of Overseers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center


the deeper I dig, the more apparent that is. MANY of the names above are on the board of other super companies. They are completely tied together, it's really amazing. What I have above is just a HINT of the total picture.

Banks, Media, Oil, Policy are all tied together at the TOP levels. They know exactly what they are doing, and seem to be in total control.


I don't usually quote Wikipedia entires...but here is a good one for our current state of affairs.

Quote, originally posted by wikipedia »
Oligarchy, aristocracy, and plutocracy

Historically, many oligarchies openly gave the political power to a minority group, sometimes arguing that this was an aristocracy ("organization by the 'best' and the 'brightest'"). Such states were often controlled by powerful families whose children were raised and mentored to be heirs of the power of the oligarchy. However, this power may also not be exercised openly, the oligarchs preferring to remain "the power behind the throne", exerting control through economic means. Although Aristotle pioneered the use of the term as a synonym for rule by the rich, for which the exact term is plutocracy, oligarchy is not always a rule by wealth, as oligarchs can simply be a privileged group.

Oligarchy vs. monarchy

Early societies may have become oligarchies as an outgrowth of an alliance between rival tribal chieftains or as the result of a caste system. Oligarchies can often become instruments of transformation, by insisting that monarchs or dictators share power, thereby opening the door to power-sharing by other elements of society (while oligarchy means "the rule of the few," monarchy means "the rule of the one"). One example of power-sharing from one person to a larger group of persons occurred when English nobles banded together in 1215 to force a reluctant King John of England to sign Magna Carta, a tacit recognition both of King John's waning political power and of the existence of an incipient oligarchy (the nobility). As English society continued to grow and develop, Magna Carta was repeatedly revised (1216, 1217, and 1225), guaranteeing greater rights to greater numbers of people, thus setting the stage for English constitutional monarchy.

Oligarchies may also evolve into more autocratic or monarchist forms of government, sometimes as the result of one family gaining ascendancy over the others. Many of the European monarchies established during the late Middle Ages began in this way.

Examples of oligarchies

Examples include Sparta (excluding the Helots, who were the majority of the population, from voting) and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (only the nobility could vote). A modern example of oligarchy could be seen in South Africa during the 20th century. Here, the basic characteristics of oligarchy are particularly easy to observe, since the South African form of oligarchy was based on race. After the Second Boer War, a tacit agreement was reached between English- and Afrikaans-speaking whites. Together, they made up about twenty percent of the population, but this small percentage ruled the vast native population. Whites had access to virtually all the educational and trade opportunities, and they proceeded to deny this to the black majority even further than before. Although this process had been going on since the mid-18th century, after 1948 it became official government policy and became known worldwide as apartheid. This lasted until the arrival of democracy in South Africa in 1994, punctuated by the transition to a democratically-elected government dominated by the black majority.

Russia has been labeled an oligarchy because of the power of certain individuals, the oligarchs, who gained great wealth after the fall of Communism. Critics have argued that this happened in illegitimate ways and was due to corruption.

The Iron law of oligarchy

Some authors such as Vilfredo Pareto, Gaetano Mosca, Thomas R. Dye, and Robert Michels, believe that any political system eventually evolves into an oligarchy. This theory is called the "Iron law of oligarchy". According to this school of thought, modern democracies should be considered as elected oligarchies. In these systems, actual differences between viable political rivals are small, the oligarchic elite impose strict limits on what constitutes an 'acceptable' and 'respectable' political position, and politicians' careers depend heavily on unelected economic and media elites.

The historian Spencer R. Weart in his book Never at War argues that oligarchies rarely make war with one another.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Three Kinds of Establishment People

I think there are 3 types of people who push the Establishment Agenda.

In the 1st group are the SHILLS, those to whom it's like a religion, a belief system. They are drinking the KoolAid so to speak, but do not know or see the big picture. This applies to the people who are polarized on the left/right axis and vehemently and obnoxiously defend their positions. This group would include the Dan Rather types and the Sean Hannity types. They buy into the left vs. right illusion. Most “pundits” are in this category. I base my opinion on this book:

"Bias: by Bernard Goldberg:

He's a former CBS correspondent who got kicked out when he wrote an article about the liberal bias so prevalent in the major networks and the NYT. Too bad that in his book he obviously buys into the left vs. right illusion, simply pointing out that there are two ends on the axis, instead of catching on to the real picture.

The 2nd group of Establishment people, whom I will call the DELUSIONALS, are those who know the big picture, but justify defending what they’re doing, by believing it benefits mankind. Human beings inherently can come up with justifications for what they do, even though most others would consider what they’re doing as evil (for example, suicide bombers, Nazi soldiers, etc). The Clintons and the Bushes fit here, and the media bosses who hand down edicts on what to say, to the Dan Rathers and the Sean Hannitys. This book explains how human beings come up with reasoning to justify evil deeds:

"The Science of Good and Evil" by Michael Shermer:

The 3rd group is the smallest. I will call them the SOCIOPATHS. They are the true megalomaniacs, who don’t care about the welfare of their fellow human beings, and only care about increasing their own power, despite their being extremely wealthy. Note that sociopaths mostly don’t become serial killers. The percentage of psychopaths in positions of power in the business world is higher than in the general population (the Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison types). These types of Establishment people are the wizards behind the curtain. These are the people we don’t see. This book discusses how psychopaths can climb in the business world. Parallels can be drawn in the world of the power elite:

The history of mankind has always been of hegemony. A group will always tend to rise up and dominate the rest. I think the US Constitution was an attempt to prevent it. Alas, it failed.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Everything I Want to Do is Illegal

Here's an interesting article by a farmer, showing how far we've come along, in terms of overbearing government regulations:
Everything I Want to Do is Illegal

I've written about this before, about the growth of bureaucracy and death of common sense:
There Oughtta be a Law

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Are you a Liberal or a Conservative?

When asked why the nation is going in a direction they don't like, Conservatives will blame "the Liberals". If a Liberal is asked the same question, he will blame "the Conservatives".

I have met seemingly intelligent people on both sides of this argument.

If you identify with one of these 2 groups, did you ever stop and consider that you are being played against each other?

It's a trick question, an illusion. The same way that an illusionist will distract your attention away from what's really happening:

The Republicans and the Democrats, are together, pushing an authoritarian, socialist agenda.

Why Terrorism is not the Nation's Most Pressing Problem

I posted on what the Nation' s Most Pressing Problem is.
I will now say why I think terrorism is not the most pressing problem.

Colin Powell in his GQ interview:

GQ: Isn’t the new global threat we face even more dangerous?

CP: What is the greatest threat facing us now? People will say it’s terrorism. But are there any terrorists in the world who can change the American way of life or our political system? No. Can they knock down a building? Yes. Can they kill somebody? Yes. But can they change us? No. Only we can change ourselves. So what is the great threat we are facing?

I found this post on an online forum, written by someone who writes better than me:

History and common sense teach that Powell speaks truth.

Since 9-11, 100,000 Americans have been murdered — as many as we lost in Vietnam, Korea and Iraq combined. Yet, not one of these murders was the work of an Islamic terrorist, and all of them, terrible as they are, did not imperil the survival of our republic. (ed: Bankruptcy would.)

Terrorists can blow up our buildings, assassinate our leaders, and bomb our malls and stadiums. They cannot destroy us. Assume the worst. Terrorists smuggle an atom bomb into New York harbor or into Washington, D.C., and detonate it.

Horrible and horrifying as that would be — perhaps 100,000 dead and wounded — it would not mean the end of the United States. It would more likely mean the end of Iran, or whatever nation at which the United States chose to direct its rage and retribution.

Consider. Between 1942 and 1945, Germany and Japan, nations not one-tenth the size of the United States, saw their cities firebombed, and their soldiers and civilians slaughtered in the millions. Japan lost an empire. Germany lost a third of its territory. Both were put under military occupation. Yet, 15 years later, Germany and Japan were the second and third most prosperous nations on Earth, the dynamos of their respective continents, Europe and Asia.

Powell's point is not that terrorism is not a threat. It is that the terror threat must be seen in perspective, that we ought not frighten ourselves to death with our own propaganda, that we cannot allow fear of terror to monopolize our every waking hour or cause us to give up our freedom.

For all the blather of a restored caliphate, the "Islamofascists," as the neocons call them, cannot create or run a modern state, or pose a mortal threat to America. The GNP of the entire Arab world is not even equal to Spain's. Oil aside, its exports are equal to Finland's.

Afghanistan and Sudan, under Islamist regimes, were basket cases. Despite the comparisons with Nazi Germany, Iran is unable to build modern fighters or warships and has an economy one-twentieth that of the United States, at best. While we lack the troops to invade Iran, three times the size of Iraq, the U.S. Air Force and Navy could, in weeks, smash Iran's capacity to make war, blockade it and reduce its population to destitution. Should Iran develop a nuclear weapon and use it on us or on Israel, it would invite annihilation.

As a threat, Iran is not remotely in the same league with the Soviet Union of Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev, or Mao's China, or Nazi Germany, or Imperial Japan, or even Mussolini's Italy.

And why would Tehran, which has not launched a war since the revolution in 1979, start a war with an America with 10,000 nuclear weapons? If the Iranians are so suicidal, why have they not committed suicide in 30 years by attacking us or Israel?

What makes war with Iran folly is that an all-out war could lead to a break-up of that country, with Persians, Azeris, Kurds, Arabs and Baluchis going their separate ways, creating fertile enclaves for al-Qaida recruitment and training."

Now listen very carefully to this interview of Judge Andrew Napolitano

The powers (wiretapping, Patriot Act) that the Federal Government are taking on, are the same as that of the former East Germany, to crush the individual grapes, to make the juice that is the collective. We are being turned into SLAVES, in the name of safety.

The means is FEAR; the goal is POWER; the victim is LIBERTY.

Monday, October 1, 2007

The crashing US Dollar

The US Dollar vs. Canadian $:

The price of crude oil in US$:

The Federal Debt:

The Consumer Price Index:

Now listen to what Ronald Reagan said about mounting debt and inflation:

What would happen if the US Dollar crashed and the nation went bankrupt? Perhaps, the adoption of the "Amero" will be proposed as "the solution". What's the Amero? It's to the North American Union, what the Euro is to the E.U. Here's a segment on CNBC discussing the Amero:

And here's a CNN segment discussing the North American Union. The NAU is to the U.S., Mexico, and Canada is, as the E.U. is to Europe. Pay attention to the mention of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the list of transnational corporations which are pushing for the legislation, dubbed the "SPP" (Security and Prosperity Partnership):