Miscellaneous Ramblings....

by JASON | 8:45 AM in |

While Reichfuehrer SS Heinrich Himmler and Hitler both pursued the cause of National Socialism, Himmler did not pursue a military victory as persistently as did Hitler. In fact, in the second part of Hitler’s “Political Testament,” he expelled Himmler from the Nazi Party because the latter conducted “secret negotiations with the enemy” and for “illegally attempting to seize power in the State.”

Was Himmler’s creation of a Nazi underground that would outlast the Third Reich and spread throughout the world part of the Power Elite’s (PE’s) plan? This certainly seems to be the impression one gets when listening to the final statement in the documentary “Himmler’s Castle,” which is as follows: “In the deepest cellar of the west tower is Himmler’s personal safe. Not even the castle’s SS commandants had known of its existence. Several days after the castle was first entered by the Allies, an American special unit blew open the safe and removed the piles of documents and valuables they found inside. The men and the documents then disappeared from history.” This was at the end of the war at the same time concealed SS assets were being shifted by the “Schroder/Dulles network.”

NOTE: I’ve mentioned before that President Obama’s mentor was Saul Alinsky, who authored Rules For Radicals in 1971 and emphasized “change” as does Obama. Alinsky also urged his followers to emphasize such concepts as liberty, equality and fraternity. These were the watch words of the French Revolution, which was the seedbed for Socialism.

http://gunnyg.wordpress.com/2009/06/01/the-power-elite-and-the-secret-nazi-plan-parts-1-4/

No, not really. Rather, the Obama Administration held a background briefing to explain what will happen as GM enters bankruptcy tomorrow, a big part of which was designed to calm worries that by owning a huge chunk of GM, we will become a socialist country.

The briefing reviewed the terms of the agreement. And, perhaps most interestingly, they announced "principles of government investment"--rules the government will follow when it takes a significant stake in a company. They did note they'd use it with companies in which they already have huge stakes (AIG). But I got the feeling they thought they might be using these principles in the future. So maybe we really will start nationalizing some companies.

The principles of government investment were basically:

* Install the right kind of management
* End the need for government support as quickly as possible
* Protect taxpayer investment
* Do not interfere with day-to-day operations
* No government employees will serve on the board
* Only participate on core board issues, such as selection of board members, major events, and transactions

It's a bunch of pablum designed to calm the fears of those worried about socialism, but it doesn't really add up to protecting the interests of Americans. For example, when asked whether the government would limit executive compensation, they said only that the company had to comply with all laws (they mentioned the Dodd amendment specifically), and otherwise, that the compensation committee would decide executive compensation.

And when asked whether the government would prevent GM from importing cars from China, they said that GM had made a commitment in its renegotiated labor contract for production in North America (note: North America includes Mexico, of course). The press release says,

The new GM will also pursue a commitment to build a new small car in an idled UAW factory, which when in place will increase the share of U.S. production for U.S. sale from its current level of about 66% to over 70%.

Committing one factory to a new small car (which may be the Spark they talked about importing from China) does not rule out also producing them somewhere else--like Mexico.

So the takeaway, I think, is that as of tomorrow we will, indeed, own a big chunk of GM (incidentally, Canada will get a 12% stake). But the only way we'll get to really influence the policy at GM will be to infiltrate the GM board with socialists.

Socialism, the American way.

http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2009/05/31/obama-announces-socialism/

Pepe Escobar writes@ Asia Times Online about the new deal between Pakistan and Iran, the Great Game thickens, excerpt-

The earth has been shaking for a few days now all across Pipelineistan – with massive repercussions for all the big players in the New Great Game in Eurasia. United States President Barack Obama’s AfPak strategists didn’t even see it coming.

A silent, reptilian war had been going on for years between the US-favored Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline and its rival, the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline, also known as the “peace pipeline”. This past weekend, a winner emerged. And it’s none of the above: instead, it’s the 2,100-kilometer, US$7.5 billion IP (the Iran-Pakistan pipeline), with no India attached.



Now, IP reveals Islamabad’s own interests seemed to have prevailed against Washington’s (unlike the virtually US-imposed Pakistan army offensive against the Taliban in the Swat Valley). The Barack Obama administration has been mum about IP so far. But it will be very enlightening to hear what former Bush pet Afghan Zalmay Khalilzad – who’s been infiltrating himself as the next CEO of Afghanistan – has to say about it.



Sanaullah Baloch roundly denounces the “civil-military elites” of Pakistan as implicated in the systematic repression going on in Balochistan; “Without their consent, no political regime can undo their policy of continued suppression.”

And his analysis of why Islamabad has made a deal with the Taliban in Swat but won’t do a deal with Balochis could not be more enlightening: “The establishment in Pakistan has always felt comfortable with religious groups as they do not challenge the centralized authority of the civil-military establishment. The demands of these groups are not political. They don’t demand economic parity. They demand centralized religious rule which is philosophically closer to the establishment’s version of totalitarianism. Islamabad’s elite are stubborn against genuine Baloch demands: governing Balochistan, having ownership of resources, and control over provincial security.”

So Islamabad still has all it takes to royally mess up what it has accomplished by approving IP. For the moment, Iran, Pakistan, China and Russia win. The SCO wins. Washington and NATO lose, not to mention Afghanistan (no transit fees). But will Balochistan also win? If not, all hell will break loose, from desperate Balochis sabotaging IP to “foreign interference” manipulating them into creating an even greater, regional, ball of fire.

http://tenpercent.wordpress.com/2009/06/01/the-iran-pakistan-pipeline/

So what does WWII occupied France have to do with modern America? I would suggest we have labored under a Vichy-style occupation since 1865 when a virulent form of government supremacism extinguished states rights in the original Federal system and then the Progressivist virus metastasized under Theodore Roosevelt and the rest is history as the republican vision of a decentralized, localized and minimal government became as anachronistic as the notion of natural rights.

We are all Vichy French in America today. Your decision is to choose Free American or Vichy French. Your choice is collaboration with a regime that seeks to control your every behavior and rob your children of their inheritance or to stand athwart history and say enough is enough. Collaboration is the willful ability to hold your nose and do what you know is the wrong thing. Collaboration is the desire to look the other way as a large coercive system robs your neighbors’ against their will and you take advantage of the spoils. Pushkin said "[w]hy should cattle have the gifts of freedom? Their heritage from generation to generation is the belled yoke and the lash."

How many folks do you know (especially collectivists) who would voluntarily pay the taxes they do right here and right now if not compelled by the threat of violence? How many folks do full stops instead of rolling stops at stop signs? How many corporations would willingly staff the accountancy and regulatory requirements imposed on them? From the local to the federal level, how many Americans would enforce or comply with the millions of idiotic regulations forced on them?

What if tens of millions of American workers simply followed Gandhi’s teaching and crossed their arms and said no more taxes, jail me instead? Imagine if state governors stood up and said all the Federal Law enforcement elements within their borders had 24 hours to resign or leave the state?

There was no foreign vector that caused this to happen as it did in WWII France yet the amount of discontent, disenfranchisement and disgust on the part of Americans matches much of what inspired the resistance organizations. Depressingly, one of the reasons the French Resistance was such a tough nut to crack throughout the war was that before the Nazi occupation, they had been hunted as Communists by the pre-1940 French regime and had a very robust cellular organization structure. Many Americans today increasingly look at the machinations in DC and view it as occupation behavior. Yet why did so many Frenchmen collaborate with the Nazi and Vichy regimes? They did it because any other behavior demanded a moral stand or courage they did not possess. We all have to take a measure of the degree of moral cowardice we are willing to live with.

Of course, this is the story of humanity. How did the Bolsheviks maintain their stranglehold over tens of millions? How do we maintain the fascinating fiction just celebrated on Memorial Day that American foreign wars since 1898 have secured our freedom? Was Spain that strong a threat? Did WWI stop the Bolshevik victory in Russia? Did WWII guarantee a free and democratic Russia? All of these can be argued into the wee hours but one observation remains unassailable: war abroad robs and strangles freedom and liberty at home. Case in point: the United Kingdom now is the most visible and truest testament to Orwell’s vision in 1984.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/buppert/buppert24.1.html

Most people will not change. Too radical. Not going with the flow. Not betting against the herd.

The best examples in the 20th century were Jews in Germany in 1933. They stayed. This included Jewish bankers, all of whom could have left. They thought they could deal with Hitler. They did not read Mein Kampf. They did not take it seriously.

About 7% did leave early: 38,000 out of 523,000. More left after 1938. By 1941, about 160,000 remained in Germany. Then emigration was closed by the Nazis. Earlier, it was encouraged. The data are here.

At some price, almost all could have left. There were countries that would have let them in. They would have had to learn a new language. They would have arrived in poverty. But Jews had faced those options ever since the Assyrian captivity in the eighth century B.C. So what?

They all would not have escaped the Nazis. Some would have moved to other European countries that were overrun by Germany after 1939. But they could have tried to get away. They stayed. They refused to acknowledge the warning signals. "It can't be that bad." It got worse.

Jews had an answer for worrywarts. "No problem. We can handle it."

The Armenians went through the same thing. The Turkish massacres of 1895 were a foretaste. Most stayed behind. Then came the genocide of 1915.

NO PROBLEM!

Look back at the economy in October 2007. The Dow was at 14,000. The banks were booming. Real estate was down a little, but the experts gave no warning. They were wrong. All of them.

The U.S. government is running a $1.8 trillion deficit this year. Federal tax receipts are down 34%, which means that the deficit will go above $2 trillion. No one cares. No one says, "This is the end. The American economy will never again be what it was."

Think "2007." Would you have believed that Chrysler and GM were both headed for bankruptcy? In October 2007 GM shares were at $43. Now they are at $1. There was an industry called investment banking. Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, and Goldman Sachs were not part of the commercial banking system. To survive, a few made the transition in September 2008. Some did not make the cut.

Merrill Lynch is gone. Bank of America and Citigroup were bailed out by the government. They would have gone under. They sell for a fraction of what they did in 2007.

And what do most people say? "No problem."

There is no problem for which their answer is not "no problem."

Medicare will go bust. Social Security will go bust. "No problem."

The unemployment rate keeps rising. "No problem."

When people refuse to face reality, because reality is going to be more painful than anything they have experienced, they look for signs that the problems they cannot avoid without changing are really not that bad. They look for offsetting good news.

They think the status quo ante will return. The U.S. government is about to spend another $30 billion to buy a dead carcass of a company. It has already spent $20 billion. "No problem."

The government will let the company stiff bondholders for $27 billion in exchange for 10% of the company, 72% owned by the government and 17% by the United Auto Workers medical insurance fund. "No problem."

Bondholders were originally told that it would take a 90% vote to authorize this. The government has changed the rules. It will determine after the May 30 vote by bondholders what percentage must approve. "No problem.

The company will never return to what it was. "No problem." People will not buy as many cars as before from a company run by the government and the United Auto Workers. "No problem."

The Dow rose 100 points on the rumor that the largest bondholders will accept the deal. The deal is a disaster, but investors are in "No problem" mode. Somehow, the wipeout is less of a wipeout.

Who is going to buy a GM car instead of a Japanese car? Here is a company that is about to break its contracts with thousands of its dealers. "No problem." Yet buyers are expected to trust a GM warranty.

Oldsmobile is gone. "No problem." Pontiac is going. "No problem." Cadillac sells its cars with an ad of a flash model putting the pedal to the medal. Hot stuff! The company thinks people with money will not see through this ad. The Cadillac division has lost its way. "No problem."

The price/earnings ratio for the S&P 500 is over 120. Traditionally, 20 was regarded a sell. The investor pays $120 on the hope that the stock will retain a dollar of earnings, and pay investors some minimal percentage of these earnings as dividends. "No problem."

We are watching the investment world adopting a lemming mentality that has always produced losses. "This time it's different. No problem."

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE

The Conference Board announced that consumer confidence is up to 55. The 50 figure is neutral. Yet consumer confidence is a lagging indicator historically. When it rises, the stock market usually falls.

The indicator is a reflection on what the stock market has done recently. To use consumer confidence as a justification for buying stocks is nonsense. This is like saying, "I will buy stocks because the public is confident, which based on the fact that stocks have risen." If that strategy worked, stocks would never stop rising.

Even hard-money newsletter readers are beginning to doubt that the recent good news is in fact "less worse than expected" bad news. This is the stuff of dreams that do not come true.

Readers look at the reports, and the reports look awful: falling home prices, rising unemployment, an astronomical Federal deficit. But the media say we are close to a bottom – the bottom of a crash that none of them forecasted.

Readers think, "by the standards of late 2007, what we are seeing daily was inconceivable." Optimists speak of a slow, weak recovery. Pessimists speak of hyperinflation and depression simultaneously. But as the chorus proclaims "No problem," the public mindlessly picks up this refrain.

"We have nothing to fear but . . . fear itself!" Yet as FDR delivered those words, Hitler was consolidating power in Germany. Stalin was beginning the purges. A quarter of the U.S. work force was unemployed. But Roosevelt began the refrain: "No problem." Four years later, unemployment was still 20%. The Federal deficit had ballooned. Happy days were not here again.

Your friends don't want to hear your pessimism anymore. They don't want to change. They will refuse to change.

In 1934, Ludwig von Mises realized that Hitler, an Austrian, would seek to bring Austria under German hegemony. He warned Jewish economists to leave. They had been his students at his famous seminar in Vienna. Fritz Machlup believed him, and came to the U.S. So did Gottfried Haberler. Mises went to Switzerland as a professor, leaving his great personal library behind. He fled to the U.S. in 1940, after France had fallen. He never got a full-time teaching job again.

A few listened. Most did not. "No problem."

HEARING, THEY WILL NOT HEAR

People count the costs of making a change. This is wise. Jesus taught:

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage [ambassador], and desireth conditions of peace (Luke 14:28–32).

In short, count the costs. This is what people have refused to do. They have counted the cost of doing something radical. It's high. They have counted the immediate cost of doing nothing new. It seems low. They prefer doing nothing.

But what about the long term? What about:

1. Retirement (no Social Security or Medicare)
2. The Federal Deficit ($1.8 trillion this year)
3. Federal Reserve's monetary base (doubled)
4. Falling house prices
5. Rising unemployment
6. The war in Afghanistan (forever, until our defeat)

"No problem!"

How do you reason with these people? Answer: you don't, if you value your time and your privacy. If you turn out to be wrong, you will be ridiculed or at least treated as a child. If you are correct, you will be hated. You will also be hit up for money. If you are a Christian, you will be told you are heartless. You will become a line of credit for those whose mantra was "No problem!"

They don't want to change. They will not change. They will not listen to you.

And when things turn out much worse than even most newsletter writers are forecasting, you will be hated. Are you prepared for this?

Do you have a real plan to deal with what is obviously an unfolding disaster: rising government ownership, massive deficits, rising unemployment, falling house prices, busted retirement pensions, rising interest rates (falling corporate bonds), and Federal Reserve inflation on a scale never seen in American history?

Or do you think you can delay. "No problem!"

We live in today's world. It's bad, but it's not a catastrophe. We must keep our heads above water.

A Tsunami is coming. In such a scenario, you have got to get out of the water and off the beach. But few people ever do, unless they have seen a tsunami. Few have.

Allocate some percent of your wealth to tsunami-avoidance. Do it quietly. Do not discuss this with your big-mouth brother-in-law.

What do you really think is likely to happen? Not what you would prefer will happen.

Think, "General Motors in October 2007"

Think Chrysler, Merrill Lynch, and Lehman Brothers.

No one saw it coming. It came.

Problems. Big, big problems.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north718.html

I love New York. But how much should it cost to call New York home? Decades of out-of-control budgets, spending increases and relentless borrowing have made New York simply too expensive.

Politicians like to talk about incentives -- incentives for businesses to relocate, incentives to buy local and incentives to make smart decisions. After reviewing the 2009 budget, I have identified the most compelling incentive of all: a major tax break immediately available to all New Yorkers. To be eligible, you need only do one thing: move out of New York state.

Last week I spent 90 minutes doing a couple simple things: registering to vote, changing my driver's license, filling out a domicile certificate and signing a homestead certificate -- in Florida. Combined with spending 184 days a year outside New York, these simple procedures will save me over $5 million in New York taxes annually.

That savings doesn't include that Florida has a 6 percent sales tax, compared to New York's 8 percent or more. Florida has lower utility taxes and lower gasoline taxes. The Florida homestead certificate guarantees my property taxes will not grow more than 3 percent.

By moving to Florida, I can spend that money on worthy causes, like better hospitals and improving education, and on worthy projects like the Clinton Global Initiative. Or maybe I will continue to invest that money in fighting the status quo in Albany. One thing is certain: That money will not continue to fund Albany's bloated bureaucracy, corrupt politicians or regular handouts to the special interests.

How did we get here in the first place? It all starts with spending, spending and more spending.

BUDGET SPENDING

New York's budget was $72.7 billion in 1999. Ten years later, it has ballooned to $131.8 billion. That growth is astounding, but it continues to get worse. Each year, New York's budget has had 6 percent compounded growth, double the average rate of inflation (2.8 percent). Florida's budget, on the other hand, went down 8 percent this year. HEALTH CARE SPENDING New York spends $2,283 per person on Medicaid. That's the highest per capita spending in the nation and twice the national average. In the last decade, the Medicaid budget has grown by 50 percent ($30 billion in 1999 and $45 billion in 2009). In almost every sector (hospitals, nursing homes, medicine, clinics, and home and community care), spending per recipient regularly exceeds the national average.

Faced with escalating costs and diminishing returns, Albany and their allies, the health care unions (SEIU has over 300,000 politically active members), had only one answer: Increase taxes.

EDUCATION SPENDING

New York spends the most per pupil in America on education, spending 63 percent above the national average. Costs went up about 60 percent in the last decade ($12.7 billion in 1999 and $20.7 billion in 2009). Like health care, education is something worth spending on and worth investing in, but we're spending more and getting less. New York City schools graduated 54 percent of high school students in 2007, Buffalo 47 percent and Rochester 45 percent.

Why? Perhaps it's because the New York state teachers union, with its $114 million budget, is always trying to convince Albany to spend more. Maybe it's because it's mandatory that all teachers pay union dues. Whatever the cause, when faced with potential cuts, the union and their allies have one response: Increase taxes.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT SPENDING

It's not just the state. It's the range and breadth of New York layers of governments and special taxing districts. In New York, the average state and local tax burden is $5,260 for every man, woman and child. That's by far the highest in the country. Like Albany, when faced with a difficult problem, these municipalities have one answer: Increase taxes.

Upstate New York has been particularly hard hit. Add unreasonable real estate taxes to the uncontrolled state spending, and you have whole communities decimated. The assessment process is unfair, unworkable and unreasonable, and the result is that 15 of the 20 highest taxed counties in America are right here in Upstate New York. While homeowners in other areas build equity, we just pay more taxes.

NO ONE'S HOME

This problem did not begin with the current recession. New York faced a $6 billion shortfall before the economic downturn. However, in the face of economic turmoil Gov. Paterson, Speaker Silver and Majority Leader Smith looked to the unions and special interests, who answered with one voice: Raise taxes.

Among other taxes and fees, they raised the marginal tax rate on the most successful (and most mobile) New Yorkers to 8.97 percent, the second highest rate in the nation.

It was irresponsible and it may just prove to be counterproductive, since the top 1 percent of earners account for about 50 percent of state revenue. We're the ones who can -- and will -- leave.

It's not an easy decision, but I'm being forced away from my family and friends, a pain shared by too many parents and grandparents in this state.

I'm leaving. And by domiciling in Florida, I will personally save $13,800 every single day. That's a pretty strong incentive.

Like I said, I love New York, but I'm not going to pay New York more for the waste, corruption and inefficiency that is New York state government.

http://www.niagarafallsreporter.com/golisano5.26.09.html

Of course Florida is subsidized by illegal drug trafficking...but to each his own!

Ironically, most of what has been said about New York is applicable to the nation as a whole, California in particular. Slippery slope we are on.....the descent into oligarchy!

0 comments: