Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Last week, over a pre-Christmas dinner, the two of us, along with political strategist Alexis McGill, filmmaker/author Eugene Jarecki, and Nick Penniman of the HuffPost Investigative Fund, began talking about the huge, growing chasm between the fortunes of Wall Street banks and Main Street banks, and started discussing what concrete steps individuals could take to help create a better financial system. Before long, the conversation turned practical, and with some help from friends in the world of bank analysis, a video and website were produced devoted to a simple idea: Move Your Money.
The big banks on Wall Street, propped up by taxpayer money and government guarantees, have had a record year, making record profits while returning to the highly leveraged activities that brought our economy to the brink of disaster. In a slap in the face to taxpayers, they have also cut back on the money they are lending, even though the need to get credit flowing again was one of the main points used in selling the public the bank bailout. But since April, the Big Four banks -- JP Morgan/Chase, Citibank, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo -- all of which took billions in taxpayer money, have cut lending to businesses by $100 billion.
Meanwhile, America's Main Street community banks -- the vast majority of which avoided the banquet of greed and corruption that created the toxic economic swamp we are still fighting to get ourselves out of -- are struggling. Many of them have closed down (or been taken over by the FDIC) over the last 12 months. The government policy of protecting the Too Big and Politically Connected to Fail is badly hurting the small banks, which are having a much harder time competing in the financial marketplace. As a result, a system which was already dangerously concentrated at the top has only become more so.
We talked about the outrage of big, bailed-out banks turning around and spending millions of dollars on lobbying to gut or kill financial reform -- including "too big to fail" legislation and regulation of the derivatives that played such a huge part in the meltdown. And as we contrasted that with the efforts of local banks to show that you can both be profitable and have a positive impact on the community, an idea took hold: why don't we take our money out of these big banks and put them into community banks? And what, we asked ourselves, would happen if lots of people around America decided to do the same thing? Our money has been used to make the system worse -- what if we used it to make the system better?
Everyone around the table quickly got excited (granted we are an excitable group), and began tossing out suggestions for how to get this idea circulating.
Eugene, the filmmaker among us, remarked that the contrast between the big banks and the community banks we were talking about was very much like the story in the classic Frank Capra film It's a Wonderful Life, where community banker George Bailey helps the people of Bedford Falls escape the grip of the rapacious and predatory banker Mr. Potter.
It was a lightbulb moment. And, unlike the vast majority of dinner conversations, the excitement over this idea didn't end with dessert. It actually led to something -- thanks in great part to Eugene and his remarkable team, who got to work and, in record time, created a brilliant, powerful, and inspiring video playing off the It's a Wonderful Life concept. Watch it below.
Within a few days, the rest of the pieces fell into place, including an agreement with top financial analysts Chris Whalen and Dennis Santiago, who gave us access to their IRA (Institutional Risk Analytics) database. Using this tool, everyone will be able to plug in their zip code and quickly get a list of the small, solvent Main Street banks operating in their community.
The idea is simple: If enough people who have money in one of the big four banks move it into smaller, more local, more traditional community banks, then collectively we, the people, will have taken a big step toward re-rigging the financial system so it becomes again the productive, stable engine for growth it's meant to be. It's neither Left nor Right -- it's populism at its best. Consider it a withdrawal tax on the big banks for the negative service they provide by consistently ignoring the public interest. It's time for Americans to move their money out of these reckless behemoths. And you don't have to worry, there is zero risk: deposit insurance is just as good at small banks -- and unlike the big banks they don't provide the toxic dividend of derivatives trading in a heads-they-win, tails-we-lose fashion.
Think of the message it will send to Wall Street -- and to the White House. That we have had enough of the high-flying, no-limits-casino banking culture that continues to dominate Wall Street and Capitol Hill. That we won't wait on Washington to act, because we know that Washington has, in fact, been a part of the problem from the start. We simply can't count on Congress to fix things. We have to do it ourselves -- and the big banks are the core of the problem. We need to return to the stable, reliable, people-oriented approach of America's community banks.
So watch Eugene's amazing video, then go to www.moveyourmoney.info to learn more about how easy it is to move your money. And pass the idea on to your friends (help make this video -- and this idea -- go viral!).
JP Morgan/Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America may be "too big to fail" -- but they are not too big to feel the impact of hundreds of thousands of people taking action to change a broken financial and political system. Let them gamble with their own money, not yours. Let's turn big banks into smaller banks. We'll all be better off -- and safer -- as a result.
Make it your New Year's resolution to move your money. We can't think of a better way to start 2010.
Here is the link to the video. Watch it! We have been meaning to move our funds and now is the time.
Friday, December 25, 2009
By Greg Evensen - December 24, 2009
From the top of virtually every flag staff in our country flies the emblem of The United States of America. Our national flag is a moving symbol of what we believe the country has stood for since our victory against the British. It has flown as the rallying cry for men and women in combat. It has been seen by some as the single sacred goal for refugees in hostile lands who were literally crawling for the protection of its embassy or a U.S. Marine detachment protecting the soil on which it flies. And for still others, it has flown border to border and coast to coast as our “guardian angel” spreading its majestic colors for the world to see and know that America stood for something greater than self, a visual picture to all who see it from a distance, that the might and glory of her history was truly something to cherish and die for if necessary.
I believe with all that is within me that we still have an unassailable claim to the unbendable and unshakable rule of law found in the Articles of Confederation and to a lesser degree the Constitution itself, for which “old glory” perpetually stands in silent honor. Before that flag flew for the first time, the Declaration of Independence was written by imperfect, flawed men who sought a Republic in which to chart their own and others—destinies. We may argue vociferously about whether or not our founding generation was Christians, atheists, deists, or cultists. It matters only in that we may VERY soon have the opportunity to do it right again—or perhaps for the first time.
To our ultimate shame and utmost agony, we are now a mere shadow of that symbolized greatness. We have become a pathetic caricature of the strong, independent and “righteous” embodiment of liberty, freedom and justice for every citizen. No longer are there patriotic and moving renditions of our national anthem. Sousa marches are heard once or twice a year at service academy graduations or on Memorial Day. Veterans are shunned. People complain about service honor guards use of “real guns” to volley for the deceased. A flag draped casket is a symbol of foreign intrusion and reckless use of force by our military and that may indeed be true.
What has driven us to such a deep trench of despair and an ongoing sense of detachment from who we are, why we knew our duty and were not afraid to hold others accountable if they strayed from the well worn path of common sense, honest lawmaking, courage and devotion to freedom?
Patriots, real, honest to goodness uncompromising stalwarts of a national treasure held in the hearts of men and women, are now faced with the most vicious pack of rabid beasts to ever walk within the district limits of Washington, D.C. This putrid pack of evil human beings deserve hell fire so hot as to burn the guts out of our own sun. What they have done to this nation’s hopes and aspirations for generations yet unborn (if the child survives the womb) is a war crime against humanity if there ever was one defined. They have legislated for the corrupt. They have labored to provide safe haven for criminals and perverts. They have stolen from the people and created an island of slavery so vast and inescapable that even suicide seems sweet to those entombed in its grip.
We have been constant witnesses to the mutated process that is called government in Washington and in many of our states as well. Layer upon layer of bureaucrats have taught each other the ropes in a game of how much can we do to the citizens before they roll over in their fast food haze of stupidity and pass some gas. Real pretty picture isn’t it?
And up on that flag staff? Fifty stars have fallen onto the dirt and the red and white stripes have entwined themselves into a sickly anemic pink more to the liking of the sodomizers among us than men and women who still believe that the “stars and stripes” have promise and mean something more virtuous than a sold out America battered by lecherous politicians writing demonic law and calling it “change we can live with.”
It is far too late in the game to cover the reasons why we are where we are. If you don’t know, then find out. If you don’t care, then get out of my way. As Sam Adams said, “……let posterity know that you were never my countryman.” Be gone, be silent and hide. You will not fair well in what is coming. Abortionists deserve what they give out to the innocent. Sodomizers need radical surgery where it counts. Politicians deserve a bunk in a FEMA camp. Bankers need 20 years of living in a dumpster. Corrupt business leaders require 12 hours a day in the heat of the south picking strawberries while the former mistreated workers relax in the Virgin Islands.
To some, what I have described is NBC’s version of a “right wing fanatic and his rantings that are a danger to this socialized bastard democracy.” To millions of freshly educated, formerly dead on their ass liberals and entitlement vampires, truth just went up a notch or two.
Now, let me be very clear. Americans have been brutalized by tyrannical government long enough. Soviet style law making must be ended by any means necessary. The politicians responsible for our economic, military and banking catastrophes must be arrested, tried and sentenced for their crimes—without exception and everywhere they have ruled. Nazi style security, surveillance, cameras and satellite GPS census systems must be located and destroyed. Lawless judges, police officials, and rogue military personnel must themselves be brought to justice for the violations of their oath of office and the corruption left in their wake.
I cannot emphasize enough that this all needs to be done in a quick, peaceful and dignified manner and done so immediately. Forget the damned feel good “tea party” speeches that these scurrilous bastards laugh at and do something real. You, who complain that writers like me outline problems and offer no solutions and you want action paths, then convene Grand Juries in every county of America, WITH OR WITHOUT THE “CONSENT” OF THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM. Failing that, recall elections should be run against every targeted elected official that holds office. Finally failing the previously peaceful two options, hundreds of thousands of people must leave the comfort of their homes and mass around every state capital building in the 50 states. Hundreds of thousands of others must do the same around the capital in Washington, D.C. Voices from these crowds must drown out all other sounds and it must continue for many minutes. Utter silence must then replace the noise with one well spoken citizen in each location rising to read a brief demand. It must be the same in all the states and in D.C. It should read something like this:
“On behalf of the citizens of this republic representing the Constitution of this nation and of the individual states, we hereby claim our right of SUPERIORITY and final AUTHORITY over this place and those who are inside. We have fired you from your office by common consent and demand that you leave this city immediately never to return. You have one hour to vacate.”
Then all who have come to make the final plea must leave the area.
When the expected failure to comply has been duly noted, the military should be notified to arrest, detain and try each former legislator.
At this point you are processing my suggestions and have come to the inescapable conclusion that this is pointless and cannot succeed. First of all do not be so sure that any one of these suggestions may not be possible.
What follows this potential plan of action is all that would be left and that is open, outright, and undeterred rebellion against the wickedness in high places. To continue “business as usual” with the corrupt government entities would be unthinkable and you would be part of the corruption. Working “within” the system would be siding with the enemy and your lot would have been cast with the devil himself.
Make no mistake. Whether it is the smallest most corrupt nation in Africa, Asia, South America, or the United States of America, rebellion is the choice of last resort. Outcomes are tenuous and the path to victory is a tragic admission that government tyranny ALWAYS results in civilian misery. Fighting for one’s country then carries a new and deeper meaning.
We are just moments and one horrible piece of corrupted law from facing that choice. The people who will determine this nation’s fate are neither in uniform nor in plush power soaked suites on Capital Hill. They are you and live in your communities. You will choose the means by which this nation lives out its historic future, or you will preside over its ultimate death. That choice is in your hands and is quickly going to be pushed into your gut. If your gut is soft, you will collapse with your breath taken away and the fight will be over. You WILL be taken away in shame and agony.
However, if your strength of conviction is equal to the task, then you will be able to speak softly these words, while preparing to do battle against these usurpers of freedom with fellow heroes yet to be named.
“ O thus be it ever, when free men shall stand, between their loved
homes and the war’s desolation. Blest with vict’ry and peace, may
the Heaven rescued land, praise the power that hath made, and
preserved us a nation………
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, and this be our
Motto, “In God is Our Trust.” May the Star Spangled Banner, in
triumph forever wave. O’er the land of the FREE and the home of
THE BRAVE.!” *
Our flag may once again fly proudly over us, having witnessed courageous people doing great things in desperate times. For the indicted traitors among us, it is a time to count the cost of your betrayal. For many the ultimate choice for crimes so great will be dishonor and prison or the wall. For the patriotic heroes of the American Revolution of 2010, whatever form our struggle will ultimately take, our posterity will be able say, “Thank God Almighty, the Patriots of 21st Century America were Forever our Countrymen.” …………Steady boys, steady as she goes………….
*Final verse of the Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key.
By Greg Evensen, author of “America: Fall from Grace and Power” copyright 2009.
I was moved to tears. May the coming pain see a renewal of the American spirit. May God Bless Us All!!
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
November 17, 2009
[The following is the full text of an address presented to the National Heritage Center for Constitutional Studies at its 2009 Constitution Day conference.]
The Tenth-Amendment Resolutions from State Legislatures, the Tea Parties, the Town Hall Meetings, and other manifestations of WE THE PEOPLE’S feedupidness with monkey-business as usual in the Disgrace of Columbia—even the massive congregation on the Mall last September—are some of the most enlightening, encouraging, and energizing developments that American patriots have witnessed in a long time. For these events are all premised on the idea: “We don’t want you!”—that WE THE PEOPLE do not want any more, indeed they demand a great deal less, interference in their lives from rogue public officials in the General Government.
These events notwithstanding, the problem remains that too many among WE THE PEOPLE will start but then stop right there, with “We don’t want you!” That is not enough.
The complaint “We don’t want you!” needs to go further, to the resolve, “We won’t have you!” — that WE THE PEOPLE intend to rid themselves of the General Government’s interference.
And to make this resolve effective, WE THE PEOPLE need to design and put into effect remedial action, so that they can say with finality: “We don’t need you!”
The sequence must be—
(i) We don’t NEED you!” which makes it realistic to say:
(ii) We don’t WANT you!” which combined with the ability to make WE THE PEOPLE’S wants effective will lead to the necessary and sufficient action:
(iii) We won’t HAVE you!” and finally will yield the desired result:
(iv) We are RID of you!”
If WE THE PEOPLE have the ability they can give “teeth” to the desire, take the necessary action, and thereby accomplish their goal.
But what will all of this require?
• WE THE PEOPLE need to create actual workable institutions that take advantage of the political and legal position THE PEOPLE hold—i.e., as the ultimate sovereigns.
• WE THE PEOPLE need to create actual workable institutions that take advantage of the economic resources THE PEOPLE command—that THE PEOPLE are the true source of all real wealth in this country, and are in actual physical possession of most of it.
True enough, the Establishment holds bundles of paper claims to wealth, many (if not most) of them generated through the unconstitutional Federal Reserve System. But the insuperable problem for the Establishment will be how to collect on those claims if WE THE PEOPLE simply refuse to honor them. Anyone in the paper-currency racket who doubts that these claims can be declared unenforceable should read the Supreme Court’s decision in Craig v. Missouri, 29 U.S. (4 Peters) 410 (1830).
• WE THE PEOPLE need to create actual workable institutions that are politically, economically, and legally independent of the General Government:
Institutions that can compete with the faulty and fraudulent mechanisms that rogue officials in the General Government have foisted on this country in the key areas of economic and political control, particularly in the areas of (i) money and banking and (ii) what is called “homeland security”.
Institutions that can replace these fraudulent control-mechanisms with proper means to “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”. And
Institutions that will enable WE THE PEOPLE to defend themselves against retaliation from rogue officials in the General Government and from the private centers of multinational economic power.
In sum, WE THE PEOPLE must combine their economic resources and abilities with political and legal authority in large-scale organizations that will reflect the power inherent in numbers.
This cannot be done by or through the General Government at the present time, because the General Government is the main locus of this country’s problem, not the source of any solution for them.
It cannot be done through political parties, because parties (along with other factions and special-interest groups) are the control-mechanisms in the “divide and conquer” strategy the Establishment employs to prevent WE THE PEOPLE from asserting their political sovereignty in their own interest.
It cannot be done by individuals or private groups alone, primarily because: (i) private individuals and groups enjoy no independent legal authority; and (ii) there is probably no way to create a sufficiently large and effective private operation in any State, let alone throughout the entire country, in time.
It cannot be done by the State governments alone, because it is not simply a political question of governmental finance and administration, but will require a revamping of the entire private economies in each State, too.
Therefore, it will require both (i) participation by the State governments, because they have the legal authority and the ability to mobilize people in sufficient numbers, and (ii) mass action by WE THE PEOPLE as a whole.
The only establishment or institution that combines all of these elements is “the Militia of the several States”, the “well regulated Militia” that the Second Amendment tells us are “necessary to the security of a free State”.
But a true constitutional “well regulated Militia” exists in not one State in this Union today.
So, WE THE PEOPLE need to revitalize “the Militia of the several States” in order to regain and retain popular control over State governments, and through them to regain and retain control over the two fundamental powers of sovereignty: (i) the Power of the Purse—i.e., currency and credit, and (ii) the Power of the Sword—i.e., community self-defense.
Revitalization of the Militia will enable WE THE PEOPLE to exercise community self-reliance and ultimately true self-government in “a free State” with a sound free-market economy.
Americans need to combine all of the following elements in a single plan for mass action:
1. Revitalization of “the Militia of the several States”.
·The Second Amendment instructs every American that “[a] well regulated Militia” is “necessary to the security of a free State”—not just “useful”, and certainly not “optional”, but “necessary”. And not “necessary” in only some general sense, but specifically with respect to “the security of a free State”—which means that, according to “the supreme Law of the Land” itself, the very survival of constitutional freedom in this country depends upon the Militia.
The Constitution identifies no other establishment, institution, or entity as “necessary” for this vital purpose, or for any other purpose.
So why is not revitalization of the Militia, immediately if not sooner, “job one” on the agenda of every constitutionalist? How can patriots continue to deny in their actions what the Constitution tells them is “necessary” for the maintenance of constitutional government? Americans may say that they have faith in the Constitution—but faith without works is dead; and the Constitution is not self-executing.
·The purpose of revitalizing the Militia is to combine all the elements of each State’s “homeland security”—including police, emergency response, and so on—under the Militia, in order to obviate “top down” control by the police-state apparatus being set up through the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C., and its various satellites, transmission-belts, and fellow travelers around the country. Revitalization of the Militia will return control to whom it belongs, in the hands of WE THE PEOPLE directly, with:
(i) total organizing, arming, disciplining, and training of THE PEOPLE to handle any emergency;
(ii) State production and provision of arms, ammunition, and accoutrements for the Militia—with all individuals to possess their arms and ammunition, whenever obtained from whatever source, as part of their Militia service—thus ending all of the General Government’s oppressive “gun control”; and, perhaps of most immediate importance,
(iii) assignment to the Militia of oversight over all new institutions of “economic homeland security” within the State.
2. Adoption of an alternative currency.
This is an idea which began in New Hampshire, and subsequently spread to other States, including Indiana, Colorado, and Montana. An alternative-currency bill has yet to be reported out of committee in any State legislature. But as the national economy melts down, the pressure for serious consideration and then passage of such a bill will become overwhelming, simply because there is no workable alternative consistent with the maintenance of America’s national economic sovereignty that can be put into operation in time.
The alternative-currency system will require not just the State to participate through its own public financial operations, but also will require every individual member of the Militia—that is, every able-bodied adult man and women—to participate in his or her own private economic transactions, in order to move both the State’s government and the State’s private economy as quickly as possible out from under the control of the Federal Reserve System and the rotten financial power-structure of the New York City-Washington, D.C. axis of fraud.
The actual silver and gold will be held: (i) in a State vault controlled by the Militia, and (ii) in the hands of Militiamen (the private holding of silver and gold will be as important as the private possession of arms). And,
Experts drawn from and subject to supervision by the Militia will be in charge of or will provide oversight for the system.
3. Establishment of a State Credit Exchange.
This Exchange will deal solely in so-called “real bills” financed with actual deposits of the alternative currency (no “fractional reserves”). This will be necessary in order to protect the State’s private economy from retaliation by the multinational financial power-structure, which will doubtlessly attempt to cut off credit to the State’s businessmen, farmers, and others, so as to sabotage the alternative-currency system.
Experts drawn from and subject to supervision by the Militia will be in charge of or will provide oversight for this Exchange, too.
4. Additional areas of concern and action could include:
Food independence and security through the suppression of multinational corporate agribusinesses.
Energy independence and security through mobilization of local resources and radical innovation in the provision of energy.
Assertion of local control over land and water usage, and other natural resources.
All of these arrangements will be statutorily structured as functions of the State government and thereby extensions of direct popular sovereignty, and will be administered through the Militia, thus coming under the Second and Tenth Amendments’ guarantees of reserved powers to the States and the people.
5. Considerations for the selection of an initial State in which to bring this project to fruition.
In the nature of things, the necessary legislation will have to be drafted one State at a time. (No “one size fits all” bill is possible). Inevitably, therefore, this work will require the commitment of a great deal of time, effort, and expertise. Before such a commitment can be expected, let alone requested, of anyone, adequate groundwork must be laid:
There must be an extensive local grass-roots “freedom movement” in existence in that State and prepared specifically to promote the reform legislation.
There must be a solid legislative caucus in existence in that State’s legislature, preferably in each house (where a bicameral legislature exists).
There must be a workable plan, ready to implement and adequately funded, for mobilizing large numbers of activists from across the country to work in the targeted State to promote the reform legislation.
It is too late for parochialism on this subject: Everyone throughout this country has an interest in seeing this project succeed in the first State that undertakes it, because that State will be the exemplar for the others.
No one can deny that a crisis of overwhelming proportions is overtaking this country at an ever-accelerating speed. And each day appears darker than the one before it. But that in itself is a cause for hope—because, as the old saying goes, it is always darkest just before the dawn.
© 2009 Edwin Vieira, Jr. - All Rights Reserved
Edwin Vieira, Jr., holds four degrees from Harvard: A.B. (Harvard College), A.M. and Ph.D. (Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences), and J.D. (Harvard Law School).
For more than thirty years he has practiced law, with emphasis on constitutional issues. In the Supreme Court of the United States he successfully argued or briefed the cases leading to the landmark decisions Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson, and Communications Workers of America v. Beck, which established constitutional and statutory limitations on the uses to which labor unions, in both the private and the public sectors, may apply fees extracted from nonunion workers as a condition of their employment.
He has written numerous monographs and articles in scholarly journals, and lectured throughout the county. His most recent work on money and banking is the two-volume Pieces of Eight: The Monetary Powers and Disabilities of the United States Constitution (2002), the most comprehensive study in existence of American monetary law and history viewed from a constitutional perspective. www.piecesofeight.us
He is also the co-author (under a nom de plume) of the political novel CRA$HMAKER: A Federal Affaire (2000), a not-so-fictional story of an engineered crash of the Federal Reserve System, and the political upheaval it causes. www.crashmaker.com
His latest book is: "How To Dethrone the Imperial Judiciary" ... and Constitutional "Homeland Security," Volume One, The Nation in Arms...
He can be reached at his new address:
52 Stonegate Court
Front Royal, VA 22630.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
By DINA CAPPIELLO and H. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Writer Dina Cappiello And H. Josef Hebert, Associated Press Writer 1 hr 39 mins ago
WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency has concluded greenhouse gases are endangering people's health and must be regulated, signaling that the Obama administration is prepared to contain global warming without congressional action if necessary.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson scheduled a news conference for later Monday to announce the so-called endangerment finding, officials told The Associated Press, speaking privately because the announcement had not been made.
The finding is timed to boost the administration's arguments at an international climate conference — beginning this week — that the United States is aggressively taking actions to combat global warming, even though Congress has yet to act on climate legislation.
Under a Supreme Court ruling, the so-called endangerment finding is needed before the EPA can regulate carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases released from power plants, factories and automobiles under the federal Clean Air Act.
The EPA signaled last April that it was inclined to view heat-trapping pollution as a threat to public health and welfare and began to take public comments under a formal rulemaking. The action marked a reversal from the Bush administration, which had declined to aggressively pursue the issue.
Business groups have strongly argued against tackling global warming through the regulatory process of the Clean Air Act. Any such regulations are likely to spawn lawsuits and lengthy legal fights.
The EPA and the White House have said regulations on greenhouse gases will not be imminent even after an endangerment finding, saying that the administration would prefer that Congress act to limit such pollution through an economy-wide cap on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
Nevertheless, the EPA has begun the early stages of developing permit requirements on carbon dioxide pollution from large emitters such as power plants. The administration also has said it will require automobile fuel economy to increase to a fleet average of 35 miles per gallon by 2016, another push to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
The EPA's readiness to tackle climate change is expected to give a boost to U.S. arguments at the climate conference opening in Copenhagen this week that the United States is making broad commitments to reduce greenhouse gases.
While the House has approved climate legislation that would cut emissions by 17 percent by 2020 and about 80 percent by mid-century, the Senate has yet to take up the measure amid strong Republican opposition and reluctance by some centrist Democrats.
Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., lead author of the Senate bill, has argued that if Congress doesn't act, the EPA will require greenhouse gas emissions. He has called EPA regulation a "blunt instrument" that would pose a bigger problem for industry than legislation crafted to mitigate some of the costs of shifting away from carbon emitting fossil fuels.
The way was opened for the EPA to use the Clean Air Act to cut climate-changing emissions by the Supreme Court in 2007, when the court declared that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are pollutants under the Act. But the court said the EPA must determine if these pollutants pose a danger to public health and welfare before it can regulate them.
Pickdog comment. It is getting to be time to start obtaining rope.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Before teaching the foal the giving of the foot, you must ensure that the foal is well balanced and that you can handle or stroke every inch of the body without resistance. The foal should be well responsive to the lead and stand quietly while being haltered.
To start the lesson, stand facing the foal at it’s front shoulder, turn to face the rear of the foal, then drape the lead rope over your “near” arm (the one closest to the foal) ensuring a foot or two of slack. Run your hands down the shoulder and leg to the foot and attempt to lift the foot with the barest of touch. The foal may lift the foot and if it does, only hold it lifted for a moment before setting it back on the ground.
The foal may not lift the foot and instead, place weight on the foot to resist lifting. It’s normal, as a horse is unbalanced on three legs and feels vulnerable. It’s up to you to teach it to balance on three legs and stand quietly for farrier work or emergencies. To prepare the foal for lifting the foot, continue to stroke the leg and foot while attempting to lift in steadily increasing pressure. If the foal continues to stand on the foot, run a hand up the leg to the “chestnut” just above the knee and squeeze this area with the fingers. This is a nerve point that makes a reflex action of lifting and bending the leg. Capture the foot as it comes off the ground with the other hand and hold it suspended for a couple of moments, then set it back down. The foal may try to pull the foot from your hand. Retain a hold on the foot and ensure you are the determining factor of setting the foot back on the ground. Stand back up and give the foal a few moments to think about what just happened. Then repeat several times, spacing the lessons apart to allow the foal to understand what is being asked for and the fact that it isn’t painful. Repeat the lesson on the other forefoot.
Giving the foot of the rear leg is a little different as even a foal can cause injury here. The automatic reflex of the horse to kick is constructive of three separate movements. First the horse must shift its weight to the front, and then lift the rear leg toward the belly and then project the leg and foot out behind. These are automatic reflexes that we can take advantage of. First, stand just behind the shoulder of the foal at its ribs, and then face towards the back of the foal at about a 45 degree angle. You want to be sure that you can stroke the foal down its flank and butt without injury. Stroke the foal several times and ensure it is calm and quiet.
Next, stroke the foal’s butt and continue the movement down its leg to its foot. Some foals will raise their leg toward their belly in the first part of the kicking movement and you can capture the foot and just hold it at this point. (It’s called “cocking the hammer”.). Hold the foot slightly elevated toward the belly for just a few moments and then set it back down again. Repeat several times.
If the foal stands on the rear leg/foot, simply lean your weight into the foal at the flank and press on the knee joint while lifting the foot. Hold quietly for a few moments and then set the foot back on the ground. Repeat several times, and then do the same on the other rear leg.
Remember patience is the key. Stay calm and be patient and remember you are teaching a young foal lessons on proper behavior, just like teaching a young child. A horse always learns something from it’s interactions with people, whether it’s the right thing or the wrong thing is up to you. NEVER EVER approach a horse or foal in anger. ALWAYS walk away if you feel yourself getting angry.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
“There is one day that is ours. There is one day when all we Americans who are not self-made go back to the old home to eat saleratus biscuits and marvel how much nearer to the porch the old pump looks than it used to. Thanksgiving Day is the one day that is purely American.”
Have a great Thanksgiving!
Friday, November 20, 2009
The foal at this point is accepting of the halter and is not intimidated by it. You can halter the foal without incident and handle the foal all over.
Attach a lead rope of 8 to 10 foot length to the bottom ring of the halter and allow the foal to walk around with it attached. The foal will step on it several times and may even be agitated or angry a little. Patience will teach the foal to drag the lead rope in such manner that it doesn’t interfere with it’s way of moving and how best to get out of problems.
The handler stands by to ensure that serious problems are rectified immediately without harming the foal. Don’t let the lead rope become entangled in other objects. Detach the lead rope after about 15 minutes and let the foal wander around the corral without it for about another 15 minutes before re-attaching the lead rope. Repeat this several times until you observe the foal has become accustomed to dragging the lead rope.
Attach the lead rope as normal, but retain the free end while remaining in the center of the corral. The foal will wander off at an angle to the handler. Retain a strong hold on the lead rope. Once the foal reaches the end of the lead rope, it will be stopped and will attempt to keep going. Be prepared for some antics from the foal as it resists the lead and halter. The foal may buck, run in a circle or just stand while it attempts to figure out this new problem. Just be patient and wait a bit.
Once the foal has decided to stand quietly, you can proceed to instruct the foal on leading. First give a slight tug on the lead rope and see if the foal will step toward you. If it does, release the pressure and then wait a few moments and repeat. Continue until the foal approaches you with just the slightest of tugs.
Some foals will set back or dig their heels in and resist the tug pressure. To rectify this, simply walk around the foal while holding light pressure until you are 90 degrees to the foal. Then increase the pressure steadily until the foal turns to face you. Continue this until the foal starts walking forward to release the pressure.
Once the foal recognizes that following the pull will release the pressure of the halter on it’s head, walk to beside the foal’s head and gather up the slack in the lead rope. Don’t grasp the lead rope next to the halter, you want about a foot or two of slack hanging. Pet and rub the foal for being so intelligent as to recognize and solve problems. Then face forward and step off slowly until you feel resistance in the lead rope. The foal doesn’t yet know it’s supposed to go with you, so be patient. When you feel resistance, don’t turn around, just look over your shoulder and lean forward to increase pressure. Hold the pressure as the foal leans back against the pressure. Be aware that the foal may jump forward to release the pressure, so be ready to step sideways out of line. If you get a step or two following you, then relax and pet the foal some more. Take a few moments, then repeat until the foal is following you around the corral and keeping slack on the lead rope. Continue this for at least 30 minutes as a leading lesson. Repeat over the next several days until there is no longer any resistance.
Leading without resistance is mandatory for horses so it's best to teach it while they're young and impressionable.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Posted By Linda Brady Traynham
On November 17, 2009 @ 10:30 am
In Featured, Morning Whiskey | 4 Comments
One of my friends read “Should We Talk About Secession,” an article just posted on the ‘net. He’s from the wild and wooly Montana-Idaho-Wyoming school of thought and commented, “I’ve been talking about it for two years.”
Woohoo…some of us have been talking about it since 1840.
I haven’t read the piece yet, not wanting to be influenced by another writer before I see what I have to say. Signature chuckle…well, how do I know what that is? I haven’t written it, yet.
That only sounds like an odd thing to say; it isn’t. That is how our minds work, you know: we dump information in the hopper, our brains process the data, and then we have to get the results out either through writing or speaking. “Thinking” is the act of imposing order on facts, of deducing connections, of correlating interlocking facets, of discerning order and patterns. Thinking is similar to using a washing machine: first you put in water, detergent, and dirty clothes. Close the lid and turn the machine on. Go away for a while. Sure enough, in general when you return the device has cleaned your clothing, but it isn’t anywhere near ready to wear. You have to get it out of the cavity and process items further by drying and then folding and putting away. Only then do you have fresh, clean jeans to wear.
What I think about secession basically is that it is a consummation devoutly to be wished, but a dangerous pursuit to advocate publicly. Janet Napolitano and the alphabet soup guys do not take kindly to the notion of freedom in any way, and for the precise reason that Abraham Lincoln did not. When asked why he didn’t just let the South go, Lincoln exploded in a rage, “Let the South go? LET THE SOUTH GO? How, then, should I fill my coffers?”
Documented historical fact. Look it up for yourselves. Winners write history and the North/Leftists have had nearly 160 years to spin their propaganda, but the fact is that the South was the wealthy portion of the country back then. Cotton was, indeed, king, the Feds had gotten themselves into monetary trouble, and bankruptcy was imminent! The back room Congressional brawls were over whether to declare the USA closed at the Mississippi and raise taxes, or to hit tariffs even harder to benefit their factories and shipping businesses, improving their bottom lines and increasing tax revenues. Greed and tariffs won. Hit the South for the enrichment of the North. Hit those who produced cane, corn, and cotton for the benefit of those who consumed and controlled shipping and rail transport and to increase federal control.
We are still disagreeing over the same issues, although the team names have changed. The War for Southern Independence (aka “The War of Northern Aggression” on our side and “The War of the Rebellion” on the other) was about financial matters and the proper role of government. The Southern states had been sold a bill of goods that they were going to get something similar to the original Articles of Confederation before the Constitution and still expected that. Th’ Yankees, for simple terminology, have mocked “States’ Rights” deliberately and consistently as a giant joke since who flung th’ chunk, but it isn’t and they know it quite well. It is a grave issue of utmost importance to those of us who wish to be responsible for our own behavior and neither beholden to any government anywhere nor raped for the benefit of those who outvote us.
The war was and is about freedom and money, what else? Slavery was a distraction, an attempt to pretty up the naked aggression of the North, long after the war was started by firing on Ft. Sumter, and Lincoln never freed a single slave. His famous proclamation applied only to slaves in territory he did not control; it certainly did not free slaves in the North. Yes, the Northerners had slaves, too, and Yankee ship captains were the ones who plied the slave trade. Not one Southern ship was ever a blackbirder.
Lincoln was looking for spin and a highly-emotional issue to cloak his behavior. He was a despicable man, the original Illinois super politician.
The South was in a manpower bind, with every free man already working, and was phasing out slavery as rapidly as possible, should this issue still disturb you. Slave labor is the most expensive, least effective solution to a problem, but until machinery was invented to pick cotton and process cane, the South had no other choice save not remaining in business. Slaves have to be fed, housed, clothed, purchased, and provided with medical care, and then someone has to stand around constantly to get any sort of work at all out of them. Slavery is wildly uneconomical, and sharecropping isn’t much better in terms of Return On Investment. Southerners came from different portions of the British Empire; the North was settled by small shopkeepers and religious zealots, while the richer land and more hospitable climate of the South drew those who live on and in harmony with the land, particularly those from Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.
If you’re still dubious, here are some facts: 70% of all Southerners never owned a single slave. Slaves were very expensive; a prime field hand cost $2,000, making him at least a Maseratti. A trained ladies’ maid or butler was even more. Sure, you could abuse a slave because you owned him, but how many people would? Do you key your car and take a baseball bat to the windshield just because you can (so long as you do not file an insurance claim?) Normal people don’t. Free blacks who owned slaves were more likely to do so, historically. Yankee overseers weren’t always nice, either, abusing the workers occasionally in an attempt to exceed production quotos. Even so, Uncle Tom’s Cabin  was sheer, sentimental, sensationalist hogwash.
27% of those in the South never owned more than two slaves. Slaves were a luxury in a land where it was all but impossible to hire a maid or a farm hand.
Only 3% ever owned three or more slaves, and no, neither Gone with the Wind  nor Mandingo were at all true to life. Yes, there were a very few stereotypical antebellum mansions, just as there are a very few of those who own ski lodges in Vail and summer places on Martha’s Vineyard, and buy ambassadorships and $540 Lanvin tennis shoes.
The BIG question is…why did the Southerners resist so fiercely? Would you go fight and die for Nancy Pelosi’s power when there is nothing in it for you? Would you fight to maintain Al Gore’s lifestyle? Would you go into battle to ensure that Michelle Obama can have ten thousand dollar purses? What stupid questions. Of course not.
The South fought for what it believed, which was that we were free and independent states entitled, in writing, to withdraw from the “union” whenever we wished, and to govern ourselves as we see fit. That we saw no reason to be impoverished for the benefit of shipbuilders, bankers, and politicians. That all we wanted was to be left in peace instead of being robbed and attacked. That Yankees are crazy and our totally different lifestyle is vastly superior…and we haven’t changed our minds.
Once again, the issue was and is redistribution of wealth and unbridled governmental control. I wrote recently about the enormous tariff Obama slapped on tire imports. 5,000 tire workers lost their jobs when several manufacturers of low-end tires could not compete with China, which holds about 15% of the market. Well, Statists can’t have that! 5,000 voters and union favor are clearly more important than affordable tires for most of us. The tariff was raised from 4.7% to nearly 40%, and the cheapest tire (not counting one of those ridiculous donuts) in WalMart went immediately from $49 to $125. Did this reopen the tire plants or create 5,000 jobs to replace those that could not compete in a faintly free market? No, of course not. It did not, and will not, create a single job. It did become another enormous tax on the American driving public. “Oddly” enough, only enormous tires for 18-wheelers are exempt, leading one to suppose that Jimmy Hoffa, Jr., still has a bit of influence.
A tariff IS a tax, a way of transferring wealth. It targets the many for the wealth of a few. It is monopolistic in nature. By hobbling Chinese imports, American manufacturers are not obliged to practice competitive business policies. Their market is protected at the expense of the customer. Mind, I haven’t really any problem with monopolies, which are self-correcting in a free market. Goodyear (or whoever) couldn’t compete at the low end, and China snagged 15% of the market. If US manufacturers want the low-end market back, they need to produce better tires at the same prices or cheaper similar tires than China can.
My preliminary thoughts on secession, then, are that we should understand what we want and how we can get it. Do many really care whether or not Hawaii, for example, becomes a free nation again? Sure, some few Romantics do, but for all practical purposes Hawaii has belonged to Japanese Democrats most of my life. The Hawaiians of the blood royal have a very good point: the US wrested the throne from Queen Liliuokalani. Beats me why they want it back, but it sounds fair to me.
What we had better care about is whether or not the massive Federal government continues to grow unchecked and ever more rapacious and dictatorial. It makes me very nervous when new laws make it impossible for us to leave the country without proper documentation! Shades of the Berlin Wall. Canada and Mexico make no such demands; Washington D.C. does. Do you deal well with something called a “trusted traveler” document? I don’t. How about “no fly” lists that forbid you to get on an aircraft going anyplace? Not healthy, people. Not all Gulags are in northern Russia. A gulag is a state of mind and overwhelming force, not a matter of location.
RFID-chipping animals, machinery, clothing, and humans is to increase government surveillance, identification, and control. One problem in Iraq and Afghanistan, as it was in Viet Nam, is that the “insurgents” blend into the rest of the population. Be very wary of the national “driver’s license” which functions as an identifying document and must be carried on your person. Eye askance the “traffic cameras” which are springing up, for they are meant to track vehicles, read those drivers’ licenses, and allow your every move to be monitored.
Big Brother watches us more every day, controls more of our lives, and is backing us into corners where we can neither flee nor supply our own needs through our own efforts. The Food “Safety” Bill will make it illegal to use any save genetically-modified seeds from Monsanto (dangerous and do not propagate from what you grow), allow the government to know where every head of cattle and chicken is, and make it possible to locate every bite of food so that it can be confiscated at federal whim. It turns possessing raw milk out of your goat and the chicken you killed for dinner into crimes.
Taxing us at rates over fifty percent is unacceptable, but controlling the food supply is intolerable. Gun confiscation became far closer by a proposed “simple” tax of $50/year on each gun, something that need not even be voted on by Congress, since it is presented as “an IRS issue.” In order to take our guns, first they have to know where they are. As the founding father said, “Fear the government that fears your guns.”
Fear the government that has changed from the most basic of “thou shalt nots” to incessant meddling with every aspect of our lives, and holds that we are cows to be stripped for personal gain and to buy votes. King John is back on the throne, and in this version he does not have a brother named Richard, off fighting in the Holy Land. Robin Hood is a crony of the Sheriff of Nottingham. A successful secessionist movement that established a smaller truly independent nation with time to undo the harm of the past would be a start…but would Washington let the people go? I don’t think so.
Linda Brady Traynham
November 17, 2009
Article printed from Whiskey and Gunpowder: http://whiskeyandgunpowder.com
URL to article: http://whiskeyandgunpowder.com/what-can-we-learn-from-1860/
02:35 by Administrator. Filed under: Whatever
by John Galt
November 18, 2009
The following story in italics is a potential fictional time line for the day the dollar died. I hope not to instill fear or loathing but to give everyone some perspective on a POSSIBLE outcome which does not really take much of a reach to come to any conclusion. Despite popular belief and promises from those who wish to rob you of your savings and investments, the collapse of the dollar might just be an event measured in hours, not days as their control is not what it seems…..
Mike was less than an hour from home in Minnesota after dropping his load off in Fargo but knew he needed to top his tank off this Sunday evening to insure his rig would make it home. He pulled into the Petro Truck Stop just outside of Fargo and hopped out of the cab into the bitter twenty below temperatures which he could not believe had already hit at ten o’clock at night. He slid his fuel card into the pump waiting for the next prompt when the “SEE ATTENDANT” message flashed in the screen. He blustered, figured it was another card problem and whipped out his Master Card and slid it in after the pump reset and again the “SEE ATTENDANT” message flashed up. “What the hell is going on?” he thought to himself as he wandered into the long line of drivers boisterously yelling at managers and clerks alike.
Tom finished up his shift on the docks at the Nestle warehouse in Hampton, Georgia at exactly 11 o’clock at night and decided that because of the scuttlebutt he had been reading on the message boards, it may not be a bad idea to pick up a few cans of food and some toilet paper at the local WalMart Super center. Even though it was a Sunday night, they were always stocked and it was just five minutes out of the way to his home. As he walked inside the store, his mouth dropped. It looked like the day after Thanksgiving sale with every register open and ten plus people deep at 11:30 p.m. “Oh my God!” he gasped as he walked in grabbing the last shopping cart with the wheel that was half locked up. As he walked as fast as he could to the aisle with the paper goods, he looked at all the shelves then noticed the clerk who looked stunned himself. “How in the SAM HELL does WalMart sell out of Toilet Paper son?” he screamed at the eighteen year old kid. “Sir, I don’t know what is going on. Is the world ending? I’m a little freaked out!” the clerk stammered. Tom realized that he was not to blame and as he calmed down said to the kid “Son, I don’t know what is going on either. It must be an ice storm on the way. Are you folks getting another truck soon?” The clerk said in a very low voice “Sir, I think there are two coming at 2 a.m. I would wait here if I were you.” With that information Tom slinked outside to his car and called his wife at home just before midnight to tell her he would be staying to wait on the WalMart trucks.
1730 ET…February 21, 2010
It was a typical Sunday night in my household, a tremendous dinner, nice weather in Florida and of course a chance to chat with my friends online about the events of the world. The big news was that on Friday, February 19, 2010 the US Dollar Index closed at 69.07 far below any level in history and of course shattering all known technical support. As I grabbed a glass of Port and settled in front of my computer at 5 p.m. Eastern to watch the Asian fireworks and watch Bloomberg and CNBC-Asia on my computer, I noticed the Middle Eastern markets closed in horrid shape. The Israeli market closed three hours after the open and down 22% for the session. The Saudi markets closed after one hour and down 41%. Other regional markets did not open or were shut down due to national emergency declarations. As I tuned in expecting the usual repeat on Bloomberg, it was live with a somewhat excited news babe reading information from a blog reporting “rumors” that the CEO’s of Citigroup and Bank of America were in meetings since 11 a.m. with the New York Fed. At that point, it was time to put the port up and break out the hard stuff.
Gold had closed at a record high again, up some $37 to finish Friday’s session up at $1289 and change so I figured it would be jumping again with all of this worldly instability on display. I searched the boards and feeds like mad, looking for anything on an Iranian attack or outbreak of war elsewhere in the world but nothing was found at all. As 6 p.m. Eastern flipped up on my watch, CNBC interrupted their programming with a live update from New York instead of Australia or Tokyo about the meeting at the NY Fed. Bloomberg also broke from their Asian coverage with a brief story but no details as to why there was a meeting today or who else was there. As the New Zealand markets opened, the prices went nuts but shockingly to the upside. Their markets shot up 11% on the open to break over the 3900 price level but that was not the story. As the futures opened in Chicago for the evening session, no matter where you were in the world that day or night, you printed that screen at 6:04 p.m. Eastern time as the prints were staggering:
Gold UP $212.15 to $1501.15
Silver UP $39.13 to $81.06
US DOLLAR INDEX DOWN 9.5869 or just over 14% to 59.4830
US S&P FUTURES DOWN 49.13
US DOW FUTURES DOWN 472
NASDAQ FUTURES DOWN 135
Holy Smokes! This was an absurd way to start the night and my phone started ringing along with text messages and emails out my wazoo. The sense of panic was evident on Bernie Lo’s face as he came on to the air discussing what was happening in the futures market and fortunately he announced that Jim Rogers would be joining him after the next break. As the commercial started at 6:09 p.m. Eastern the scroll at the bottom of the screen was bright red with the headline:
ALL U.S. EQUITY FUTURES ARE LOCK LIMIT DOWN…..TRADING SUSPENDED UNTIL 0900 ET MONDAY FEB 22….US DOLLAR BEING SOLD ACROSS THE BOARD
By 6:15 the Euro was trading at $1.92, the Kiwi (New Zealand Dollar) at $1.26, the Aussie Dollar well beyond par at $1.39 and the Canadian Loonie rocketing past par to $1.33. The U.S. Dollar was in a full fledged collapse and the world was putting money anywhere they could to escape the carnage. As the New Zealand equity markets struggled to handle the order flow an announcement emerged at 6:27 p.m. Eastern time that they would no longer accept U.S. dollars within their nation for the next 72 hours until the United States Federal Reserve Bank introduced stability measures. That instantly turned a huge move to the upside to down 17% in less than three minutes and soon thereafter, trading was suspended by 7 p.m. Eastern time. Instead of waiting to see what was next, I left at 6:51 p.m. to run down the street and take $500 from the local grocery store ATM, returning just in time for the top of the hour news.
The Australian markets attempted to open but due to order imbalances they were delayed twenty-seven minutes. It was a buying frenzy in Australia also as the Aussie Dollar was skyrocketing higher and gold continued to gain, now up $273.20 per ounce in less than two hours of trading. The Chicago board was going to make a statement at 8 p.m. ET and the world was holding its collective breath because something bad was happening again in the United States and everyone wanted to buy into foreign markets to escape the American disaster on the horizon. After a brief opening, the Australian government followed suit with the New Zealand announcement and suspended acceptance of the U.S. Dollar for commerce until further notice. The Japanese were very quiet in the mean time as they announced at 7 p.m. they would keep their markets closed but the huge move in the Yen caused massive concerns as noted by the central bank. The yen appreciated from a close of 79.8213 on Friday the 19th to an opening of 48.7326 in less than an hour of trading. Nobody wanted dollars and even fewer people it was discovered wanted the British Pound. The Pound for the first time in its history was worth less than 100 yen and it was well on its way to joining the US Dollar in a death spiral.
The internet is crawling. Message boards were lit up with record numbers of participants. Rumors swirled about declarations of martial law, bank holidays, secret wars and other crazy things. Yet my phone messages, conversations, texts and emails told me there was something very very wrong. Two of my friends called me to tell me the consequences of the failed 30 year bond auction last Thursday came home to roost over the weekend. Citi and BoA were rumored to have a huge CDS obligation due to the interest rates being blown outside of the norm and the 6.05% yield from the auction cost the banks an estimated $400 billion each if they were forced to settle open swap contracts and derivative issues by Monday or the end of the month. The swaps and derivatives which were to prevent the collapse may actually have finally started it but nobody could verify anything that was happening as the NY Fed looked like a war zone with hundreds of cameras around the building and reporters speculating endlessly on every cable channel.
I did not know who to believe but when Bloomberg played the excerpt from Jim Rogers’ interview just after the top of the hour where he said “this is what a currency collapse looks like and if you were not prepared, you were wiped out” really resonated with everyone on the Bloomberg set and throughout the news worldwide. The Chicago Futures were closed by order of the CFTC and SEC and that was the big announcement but it was assumed anyways because there was no way the COMEX or anyone else could possibly have kept up with the demand for precious metals as the last print had gold over $1579 per ounce and worse, the base metals closing at obscene prices like $6.79 per lb. for copper! The Shanghai markets were ordered open for domestic participants only and no overseas selling was allowed nor trading in US Dollars thus allowing the communists to manage their banking situation without outside influence. Unfortunately a rumor was confirmed on FNC later in the hour that Chinese troops were deployed to all U.S. and British bank branches inside their nation. That only permeated the panic already felt on the internet and in the air. The news at the top of the hour was even more shocking.
CNN led the hour off with coverage of the “FINANCIAL CRISIS OF 2010″ with breaking news about two hedge fund managers committing suicide in their offices in New York. That did not help the confidence level nor did the statement from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner at 10:09 p.m. Eastern that the “government was in full control of the situation and that the panic world wide was unwarranted.” When he finished the statement assuring that the financial markets would probably open on time in the morning, the snicker from CNBC’s team of Gasparino and Griffith spoke volumes about what was really occurring.
Somehow a picture of Goldman Sachs CEO Blankfein and JP Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon entering the New York Federal Reserve building was leaked out and broadcast on cable news and financial news outlets causing more discussions and a genuine sense of panic to grip everyone. Reports about credit cards not working for the last two hours nationwide were swamping the newsrooms but no comments from VISA, Master Charge or anyone else was forthcoming.
0000 ET February 22, 2010
It was officially a panic. Reports on local news stations about grocery store shelves being cleaned out and ATM machines running out of money hours ago and not being refilled were broadcast nationwide. Even my local station had a story about accessing the reporter’s bank account online and all they got was a very scary message as they attempted to reach his bank’s web page:
WWOR and WCBS started reporting that gas stations in the New York City and northern New Jersey areas were running out of gas even though credit cards did not work. The cable news stations and financial news networks just recycled earlier news with updates at the top of the hour. The world markets were closed and everyone was holding their breath to see what happened the next morning.
As I struggled to stay awake, NY Federal Reserve President Denis Hughes came to the microphones with Dimon, Blankfein and shockingly Ben Bernanke. Hughes immediately deferred to Bernanke who said that the President would address the nation at 7 a.m. Eastern Time and that he felt the crisis was averted for the moment and that everyone should have faith in the United State’s policy of a strong currency and banking system. After that statement was concluded, Bloomberg switched to a banking analyst from Singapore who said that the U.S. was now a hulking smoking black hole in the ground and the only thing it was good for was to return those worthless dollars back to “THAT” nation so “THEY” could burn them to stay warm this winter.
Someone on the message board posted a story from WTOP that military police were seen setting up roadblocks throughout Washington, D.C. There was no video or other confirmation within that hour. I had to make double strength coffee at that point in time but instead set my alarm for 0500 to try to grab a nap. I was not about to miss what was going to be a day to remember in American history.
So sue me! I hit my snooze button then realized I fell asleep with the computer and television on and the news was flying. In big bold red at the top of CNBC’s screen was the announcement COUNTDOWN TO SPEECH and a counter moving towards 0700 Eastern. As I flipped the channels half awake, I noticed a BREAKING NEWS announcement on CNN and there was a feed from WSB in Atlanta, GA with their helicopter video of the Georgia State Patrol closing off all streets within three blocks of the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta and also around the Federal Home Loan Bank. That sent a chill down my spine as I flipped back on to the computer to see over two hundred unread emails and message upon message about shortages, internet outages, credit card problems and worst of all, gas stations running out of fuel. The other shocker was the suspension of international flights in many U.S. cities as the suppliers put every airline on C.O.D. effective immediately at 2:30 a.m. Eastern Time and that suspended a ton of flights inside the United States and worldwide. The cascading effects were stunning, even to those of us who were warning about it.
Several European markets attempted to open in coordination with Middle Eastern markets but the declines were so severe that within ten minutes of trading the authorities shut them all down within a half hour:
Saudi Arabia -43%
Germany’s DAX -41%
CAC 40 – 29%
FTSE 100 – 32%
The Euro was up another 10% against the dollar and the Swiss Franc was now worth over $1.40 U.S. As the discussions about the problems with the U.S. dollar accelerated, banks were being shut down in Europe in nation after nation to prevent runs. Sadly for the Brits, the Sterling was now trading so poorly in Europe that it was worth just 1/3 of a Euro at some trading desks. By the top of the hour, video of riots in front of banks in Frankfurt and Glasgow were broadcast nationwide. At 5:55 a.m. Eastern the news took a dark turn with this BREAKING NEWS headline:
OBAMA AND BERNANKE TO SPEAK TO THE NATION AT 6 A.M. EST
The speech was low key, solemn and to the point. Obama announced a one week bank holiday. All credit card transactions and all collection actions of any sort were hereby suspended for seven days. All financial markets were closed until further notice. All mortgage and bill payment due dates were suspended for thirty days and no past due notices nor penalties were to be allowed by Federal Law. All schools were closed for seventy-two hours be they public or private. The city of Washington, D.C. was hereby declared to be under a state of martial law and all citizens were ordered to observe a curfew from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. daily. Just as that sunk in, Ben Bernanke stepped up to the microphone to announce that President Obama, Treasury Secretary Geithner and all of the Federal Reserve Presidents along with himself were going to depart for Geneva for an emergency meeting of the G-20, IMF, World Bank and United Nations Financial Stability Working Group. Bernanke also announced that Citigroup, N.A. and Bank of America were hereby nationalized and placed under control of the United States Treasury under the auspices of the FDIC and that Sheila Barr would have an announcement at 8 a.m. Eastern. As he finished the announcement, an obviously exhausted Federal Reserve Chairman concluded by assuring the citizens of the nation that a stable currency was their only goal from this meeting of world financial leaders. I noted he did not say what currency though he was referring to.
By now, CNBC, Fox Business and Bloomberg were knee deep in wall to wall coverage but so were the broadcast and cable networks. America was on the brink was the preaching and screaming and the “bulls” were being gored by the permabears every time they uttered any statements about “how we’ve been through worse” etc., etc.
The announcement of the seizure by the FDIC of two of the largest banks in the world was pretty standard and short. The follow up statement by Ms. Barr though is what caused every newsroom to take pause when she stated that “further consolidations will be announced in the next seventy-two hours.”
The Bubblemedia was stunned and even shocked when Canada announced that they would attempt to open their financial markets for two hours of trading and that their banks would be open for normal domestic customers and business from 10 a.m. until noon Eastern time. Everyone on television looked at each other and just asked “How?”
I had forgotten to call in sick to work but then again the phone call from the company owner was pretty much a “well now what” as we laughed in a gallows humor discussion. He understood why I was home and he had already told the employees that he was closing at noon and would reopen when we could actually collect real money on what we sold and leased out. I told him I would call him at home later or meet him with a bottle on the golf course in the morning, weather permitting.
The chilling video of the Federal Reserve heads, Geithner and Obama boarding Air Force One to leave for Geneva from Washington, D.C. really had an impact on me.
The Canadian markets opened up 10% in ten minutes then rolled over down 31% by 10:30. The scary part was that the Canadian dollar kept on rising even though commodity trading was suspended and everyone was wondering just what gold would be priced at if the markets were allowed to trade.
As the day wore on, it was a blur of shocking story after shocking story. The President and his entourage arrived in Switzerland along with other world leaders but little was discussed or disclosed. The reports of banks being fire bombed by nuts throughout parts of the U.S. made the international news and caused all of us to feel somewhat uncomfortable as to what was next. The 8 p.m. interruption of normal prime time programming with a FEMA NEWS ALERT which lasted ten minutes and was repeated at the top of every hour with little if any information caused even more panic in the masses. Today I watched our dollar die in a matter of hours even though I knew how it was killed months if not years ago. I just wondered how bad the announcement out of Geneva was going to be as our bankers and politicians sold our souls out to save their rear ends.
I also wondered if I would ever sleep again.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Ecclesiastes 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
The ancient Hebrew king Solomon was a wise man. After years of observation, he wrote for future generations three books Proverbs, Song of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes. These books contain the vital lessons he learned from his generation. Remarkably, his knowledge is still relevant today. In his time he saw that there was a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. The same is true in our day. We must perceive the time and respond to it.
Our life’s trip through time is beyond the control of anyone. We are captive to the events that occur between our birth and death. For some, the circumstances of their day has been peaceful, uneventful, and prosperous, others live lives of oppression, struggle, poverty, and injustice. The events of your life makes no difference to time, time just continues to unfold. It is observable, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year as time marches on.
Of course, we cannot stop its progression, or predict its course. Its events are often mundane and uneventful and at other times shocking. Yet, however time turns it is only our response to those events that matter.
As long as we have stayed alert and prepared, we have been safe. Nevertheless, when politics inserted itself into national security we once again dropped our guard and allowed political correctness to dictate our response to threats. Therefore, we wavered; we failed to respond to perceived threats, and 13 brave and decent soldiers died needless deaths. The recent
As for you and I we see this most recent fanatical belief that virgins and honey await those who will kill the infidel as reason to make preparations. What can we do? After the massacre of 24 people at Luby’s Restaurant in
Therefore, after much debate in 1995 the 74th legislature passed a Concealed Handgun law and the new Governor George W. Bush signed the concealed carry bill. Throughout the long struggle to get a concealed handgun law passed for
One is Texas Senator Jerry Patterson, who sponsored and shepherded a number of the bills, including the successful 1995 effort and the equally important 1997 revision. The other is Suzanna Gratia, who rose from the tragedy in
In a society where a lone gunman, a murderer or rapist, a deceived jihadist, or a sneak thief can rob you of your life or your family’s life, it only makes sense to purchase a concealable handgun and get a license to carry it. Join a gun club. Practice shooting. Teach your children to respect firearms. Learn how to load, clean, and oil your weapons. Stay alert to your surroundings. Learn to avoid imminent dangers when at all possible. In the future, preppers and their families will need to be prepared for many threats. In
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Well folks can contact me at my email, email@example.com. I'm in the air a lot and don't check it real often, but I'll respond. Folks can just call me Monte, and I'm from
Looking forward to learning from you all!
Welcome to the TPN Monte!
Be aware. Be informed. Be prepared.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Our love of freedom and liberty has caused many to give their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor for the good of this nation and our state. We have a history of taking what resources we have and preparing for the worst, and prevailing against what seems to be insurmountable odds. From the
Our day is no different, many Texans today look at the global and federal horizon see stormy weather ahead and are making preparations. Our world is filled with conflict and perplexing questions. The manipulation of our economy has created an environment that breeds uncertainty and fear. Politics are disgusting, shallow, and impotent. Right and wrong have been forgotten. Good is called evil and evil is called good. Seemingly our nation is permanently divided. We have no assurance that the leaders of our nation, businesses, unions, educational institutions, churches, will do what is right. Selfishness, greed, immorality, hatred, and have created a society that is unsustainable. As Abraham
I know I am not alone! You see it too, don't you? Trouble is on the horizon and our families, churches, businesses, institutions, and constitutional government are in the crosshairs. It seems these sorts of times try the souls of every generation. This is our challenge. How we respond will define who and what we are, and determine the future of our children and grandchildren. Our preparation must be carefully planned but not limited to the physical needs of our bodies. Our preps must also include a understanding of what will arise from the ashes of national collapse. We must begin the strengthening and stabilization of our hearts and souls by educating ourselves to what our preparations will accomplish. I do not want to simply survive so that I or my family will be slaves of an all powerful state. I was born free, I will live free, or I will die free.
So from the spirit of historic Texans we should take a lesson in preparation. Probably the first great lesson of preparation in
So at a Catholic mission in the wilderness of central
Today like the patriots of the
- Food (gardens, canning, storage)
- Water (an independent source)
- Security (that protects you and your family)
- Currency that will maintain value
- A community of like minded preppers
- Medical needs
- Energy and fuels (off grid, solar, wind, and thermal)
The greatest preparation in the coming crisis is not physical, although that preparation is important. The greatest preparation occurs in your mind, purposes, and goals. The heart of the prepper should be the same as the heart of the patriots of the
In the months to come, I will offer some simple suggestions that may aid you in your preparations.