Friday, October 28, 2011

Police Brutality - Handled the Way It Should Be

It isn't often that I feel the need to comment on a video, but in light of the Oakland situation,  this video needs to be examined by all sides.
  • It appears that the man running from the police is a trespasser. 
  • The man should be criminally prosecuted for trespassing, if the property owner so desires.
  • The police are paid by the property owner's taxes to do a job. That job is to apprehend the alleged offender and bring him to justice, NOT execute their own justice. They don't make the rules, the people do.
  • The police apprehend the individual rather roughly, but some of that roughness is probably necessary.
  • There is no evidence visible that indicates the trespasser initiated force against the officers.
  • It appears the officers initiated force against the trespasser. If this is true, this is assault.
  • It appears the officers initiated force against the trespasser because he made them run. Again, the police don't get to make the rules, they enforce them. Running is sometimes part of the job requirement.
  • An individual initiates force against the officers presumably to protect the trespasser from assault.
  • This individual will probably face charges of assault.
  • Other individuals agree with the first guy and back him up. At this point, this becomes anarchy. This is not desirable for the police as they got their rear ends handed to them. Neither is this acceptable to the crowd because the same could happen to them and they have no recourse.
  • Mob justice is often the only recourse against a corrupt system that will pick people off one by one.
  • When the police abandon the law and engage in vigilante justice, they run the risk of setting off this type of situation. They alone bear the blame for this situation as they have left the populace with NO JUST RECOURSE ALTERNATIVE.
  • The only alternative is to hold ALL violators, including police accountable to the law. Jailing cops who take potshots at people will not embolden criminals, it will hold together the society you claim you want to protect.
Note to Oakland, NY and other police agencies. You keep pursuing this path of brutalizing protestors, you will open yourselves up to riots. When they take hold, you will NOT be able to stop them and it may cost you your life.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

OWS Oakland - A Tale of Two Positions

First we go to NY -
"Deeply concerned" police sergeants are coming out swinging today against obnoxious Wall Street protesters, saying they plan to "pursue legal action" against demonstrators who injure any of its members.

Ed Mullins, president of the NYPD's Sergeant’s Benevolent Association, said his group plans to pursue legal claims against Occupy Wall Street protesters should they cause injury to any of its 5,000 members.

“In light of the growing violence attendant to the 'Occupy' movements across the country, particularly as evidenced by the recent events in Oakland, I am compelled to place these so-called 'occupiers' on notice that physical assaults on police officers will not be tolerated."

"I am deeply concerned that protesters will be emboldened by the recent rash of violent acts against police officers in other cities. New York’s police officers are working around the clock as the already overburdened economy in New York is being drained by 'occupiers' who intentionally and maliciously instigate needless and violent confrontations with the police."
The Real Effect
The questions I have for the police sergeant are two-fold:
  • You believe your officers are citizens and are under the full protection and constraint of the law? (Incidentally, I do)
  • Does this status also apply to the rest of the city? Let's say veteran Scott Olsen or Sgt. Shamar Thomas? Or is this a privileged position that one enjoys being a member of the PD?
I suppose we could go even further on the line of questioning and ask the following:
  • How much of this is your real department policy and how much has been mandated via Homeland Security in light of exercises such as Operation Urban Warrior which was being executed in 1999, a full TWO YEARS before the events of  9/11?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Oakland Police Throw Grenade Into Crowd That Is Trying To Help Injured Protester

Oakland PD Intense Standoff & Brutal Assault on Occupy Oakland

Italy Gets Violent

What can be said about the truth other then it provokes a nasty response -
Italian deputies exchanged blows in parliament on Wednesday as tensions over a tough economic reform program came to a head.

At least two deputies from the Northern League, a member of the ruling center-right coalition, fought with members from the opposition FLI party of speaker Gianfranco Fini. Two deputies grabbed each other by the throat as other parliamentarians rushed to separate them.

The parliamentary sitting was suspended for several minutes after the fight, which broke out because of sarcastic remarks on television by Fini alleging that the wife of League leader Umberto Bossi had retired at 39.
The Real Effect
What I will not comment on is the accuracy of their comments towards one another. What I will comment on is when you start taking pot shots at one another, the discussion is finally getting real. Much of the nastiness currently plaguing the world is like an infection. It's ugly, pervasive, a risk to the whole system and just plain ole' painful. And where pain is involved, hurt feelings and demonstrative behavior are soon to follow. Creatures don't like real fixes because in all honesty they tend to hurt. And perhaps more concerning is you don't usually hit the source of the infection immediately. Instead you have to scrape and poke and dig until you hit pay dirt. Generally at that point you find that the host has been covering it up and the infection is far, far worse then even you suspected.

Update: We get video...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rome Wants a World Government, Surprise, Surprise

And people wonder why I don't trust the "Catholic" church very much -
The Vatican called on Monday for the establishment of a “global public authority” and a “central world bank” to rule over financial institutions that have become outdated and often ineffective in dealing fairly with crises. The document from the Vatican’s Justice and Peace department should please the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstrators and similar movements around the world who have protested against the economic downturn.

“Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of a Global Public Authority,” was at times very specific, calling, for example, for taxation measures on financial transactions. “The economic and financial crisis which the world is going through calls everyone, individuals and peoples, to examine in depth the principles and the cultural and moral values at the basis of social coexistence,” it said.

It condemned what it called “the idolatry of the market” as well as a “neo-liberal thinking” that it said looked exclusively at technical solutions to economic problems. “In fact, the crisis has revealed behaviours like selfishness, collective greed and hoarding of goods on a great scale,” it said, adding that world economics needed an “ethic of solidarity” among rich and poor nations.
The Real Effect
Perhaps the Vatican should pick up a few history books and see how well "Global Public Authorities" have worked over the last thousands of years. Recall my prediction from June of 2010 on the Religious Wars that I predicted which states (In part) -
For years, there has been clarion calls to "unify" under religion and while the somewhat vague calls of ending violence, war, and persecution are in themselves noble goals, mankind has demonstrated a penchant for doing the exact opposite of what he intends to do. History is replete with well meaning dictators that despite their best efforts, end up causing the very thing that were attempting to avoid in the first place through actions designed to prevent that very thing from happening.

"If only I could fix the world" is the rallying cry for many collegiate bound students and beauty pageant contestants. However, this assumes many erroneous things:

  1. That the "world" is "broken"
  2. That you possess sufficient knowledge to "fix" it
  3. That others will be willing participants in said "fix"
Of particular importance is also the move away from the one solution that has truly worked, free market capitalism, and closer to the insanity that brought us tens of millions of deaths in the last century. The problem is not that there is not enough "authority" to deal with these things, rather the problem is that the duly elected "authority", and I use that term with as much sarcasm as I can potentially muster, isn't doing a damn thing about the abuse. Creating yet another layer of "authority" (I would assume appointed, not elected) would only suck more life out of an already dying system.

Crises should be an opportunity to address the effectiveness of an already existing system and make subtle and accountable changes, NOT an excuse to whip up support for your pet projects and dreams of world domination. Further, given the less then friendly words spoken of the majority of believers and the church in the book of Revelation, I'd like to see the justification for any support moving closer to fulfillment of passages which include a church drunk on the blood of the martyrs whoring around with Satan!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tying It All Together (For Tom And Others On The Right)

A piece by Denninger that is just far too good to pass up -

Ok, I'll be nice.
See, I'm a kinda-charitable guy, especially off-hours.  Besides, there's a whole lot of "Tea Party" and other "Right of Aisle" types that really need to hear this.
I may change minds here and I may not.  I ask only one thing: Read this with an open mind, then verify anything that doesn't sound right.  Do not trust my figures, verify them yourself.  Every source is cited.
It's July 2008.  You are a "TBTF" bank CEO.  You've been running a 30 year ponzi scheme using ever-increasing amounts of debt while GDP has languished in roughly the same place for the last two decades in terms of numerical growth.  In the 3rd Quarter of 2007, when the S&P 500 hits 1576 and the DOW tops, the economy put about six times the amount of debt into the system as there was GDP growth, and at that point GDP had started to roll over.  It had an obvious geometric progression look to it but only a few people in the blogosphere had been hollering about it.  You wondered how much longer it was going to be before the people woke up.
Over the next three quarters from the 3Q 2007 GDP has actually gone negative.  Debt demand has cratered and is down by almost 50%.  The handwriting is on the wall; credit creation is going to go negative too.

You have tens of trillions of dollars in credit instruments on and off your balance sheet and things are looking pretty bad.  You're getting pestered by people who see the credit contraction and start asking if you're good for those swaps, and the credit default swaps on your bank are blowing out.  They have a point too: If credit demand actually goes negative, you're dead.  You're geared at 30:1 which means you can only lose $3 out of every $100 of alleged "value" of your assets before you're broke.  The collateral calls alone on the more than $30 trillion in swaps are enough to kill your capital several times over should this occur.
See, that's the nature of a pyramid.  It all looks ok right up until demand starts to reverse.  Then it works in reverse, just like it did on the way up.  What made you $30 for every $1 of actual capital you had now loses $30 for every dollar of capital.  Attempting to fire-sale assets to avoid the disaster simply tells everyone in the market you're busted and they'll pile in short, destroying your stock price and further widening the CDS.  Too much of that and what you're trying to prevent will happen anyway.
Your morning includes one less coffee as you don't need any more jitters than you already have, and your evenings have an extra scotch or two before going to bed.
Then the phone rings.  It's one of your Vice-Presidents; he is responsible for, among other things, your repo desk.  One of your traders just came into his office and is as white as a ghost: Lehman has no collateral - they're bankrupt.
You collapse into your chair, dropping your coffee mug on the marble floor, which shatters into a hundred pieces.  If your repo desk knows this so does the NY Fed, headed by Tim Geithner.  That means Bernanke knows.  It also means every other firm on the street knows.  You look at the CDS for Lehman on your Bloomberg and shudder.
The very nightmare that has woken you almost nightly for six months has begun.
Note this well: It's July 31st 2008, or quite some time before anyone else outside of "TBTF" banks will know Lehman is about to fail.  Oh sure, there have been rumors since Bear went down, but that's all they've been.  Lehman's stock is trading at $17, and has been reasonably stable for a couple of weeks.  It was as low as $12 two weeks previous and looked like it was headed to zero, but then stabilized and recovered by almost 50%.  CNBC is chattering on a daily basis of rumors of all sorts but the market has actually been improving for a bit in tone.  The VIX, which was just shy of 31 two weeks ago, is now trading at 23.
You thought maybe - just maybe - it was going to be ok.
Now you know factually that it's not.
You call your equity desk and ask them to start quietly shorting Lehman's stock.  Not in size - you don't want anyone to figure out what's going on "outside" of those who already know.  You figure that everyone else in the TBTF club knows this too; there's no way they couldn't.  But you're cautious - while you know how much trouble you're in if credit demand doesn't turn around fast you also know that Fuld had dinner with Paulson in April - just three months ago and that there were rumors flying around that Paulson "loved" their capital raise.  It didn't make sense that in just three months they had no collateral for a routine overnight repo transaction!
The rest of the world will not know, of course, for a while yet that Lehman has effectively already detonated.  In fact for the entire next month the S&P 500 will actually trade up about ten points, from 1267 to 1277 in a choppy, directionless pattern.
During the next month credit demand doesn't move much.
Then "it" happens.  Lehman files.
Suddenly the collateral calls begin in earnest.  Credit demand takes another leg down and GDP prints negative.  You're now in the hole and there's no way out.  The only good news is that everyone else in the TBTF club is in there with you - hundreds of trillions of dollars of swaps, from interest rate to CDS to god-knows-what-else that was bespoke by this person or that, and they all want collateral as your credit condition is wildly deteriorating and your own CDS quote looks like the peak of Mt. Everest on the upside.  Your stock price is falling like a stone and the bond desk is telling you they're getting bid lists by the dozens from people trying to liquidate to save themselves but there are no bids at any price.
In the middle of all this you get called to Treasury for a meeting.  TARP has just passed and Hank and Ben want to talk with you and the rest of the TBTF CEOs.  You have your assistant call the hanger and get the jet ready.
When you arrive you figure you're being nationalized.  You're done and you know it.  There's nowhere for you to go; there's no bid at any price for some of your assets and for those where you can get a bid the loss will wipe you out.  You have CDS on some of your exposure but you're pretty sure the counterparties don't have the money -- after all, you know you can't cover everything you wrote if push comes to shove.  The simple fact is that an exponential contraction of credit demand into 30:1 leverage is not survivable.  You can protest all you want, but it doesn't matter; the math is going to win as the collateral calls will eventually chew up all your cash while the ratings agencies ratchet you down.  With only $3 of capital behind every $100 on your book there's just no way to make the math work, the bond market is effectively shuttered with the door bricked over and trying to raise equity capital into a crashing stock market is a fools game.  Even if you could get an offering off, which you can't, the interest rate on bonds would be north of 10% and the dilution on a stock offering would be hideous, never mind that you simply couldn't raise enough money going that route.  The bottom line is this: There's no way to make money when you have to borrow at that price, and all banks borrow in order to lend.
When you get to DC Hank and Ben are in the room and they're smiling.  You figure that the call to the board is going to end with you sending your assistant in to start boxing up your office, but when you all get there the mood is a bit different.  Oh sure, your TBTF buddies all think they're dead too, but once the door closes the real intent is disclosed.
  • The government's going to "give" you money.  It's not exactly a gift, but it's close.  The mechanics of this will look like a preferred stock purchase.  The reality is somewhat different.  Among other things with your CDS spreads in the stratosphere you can't issue bonds without paying 10% or higher interest rates, which instantly collapses the company.  But with an FDIC guarantee, which is being put on the table as part of the package, you will get the risk free rate of Treasuries, which are currently trading in the mid 3% area.  That's a huge savings - 5-6% a year in interest expense!  Suddenly the capital market door is open again!
  • Then Bernanke pipes up.  Provided you do this there won't be questions about your collateral, since you'll have the implicit backstop of the government.  This would go on to be worth over a trillion in direct loans; your "share" of it would wind up being nearly $100 billion, about 10% of your balance sheet, all at effectively zero interest.
You realize that what you feared - a call to announce that the regulators were seizing all of your firms as they all had no mathematical way to survive isn't what was going to happen at all!  Instead, you were going to be given some $250 billion between you and the FDIC was going to take all credit risk on your new bond issues for the next year.  In addition you were briefed on the TLGP which will guarantee your customers won't run your bank as it provides their demand accounts with unlimited FDIC insurance protection.  This is to be "free" for the first 30 days, and after that there'd be a fee, but compared to trying to keep your deposits and issue cheap debt it was for all intents and purposes zero cost.  Finally, Ben was going to let you have basically unlimited Fed credit at near-zero interest rates for the next year, meaning there would be no issue as to whether you could fund routine operations or not.
Your firm was being saved and the taxpayer was going to cover the risk - whether he liked it or not.
You were going to be asked to do a few things, however.  The public would never sit for being looted like this unless it looked like it was going to hurt a lot and there was simply "no alternative."  As it was Treasury and Bernanke were not sure that the public would buy it.  Congress already had bought off on it, effectively; after all, Ben and Hank had corralled them into a room and threatened them with martial law if they didn't pass TARP to begin with.  But it was important to make it look stringent, so there'd be no big bonuses until you paid the TARP money back and dividends would have to be cut to effectively zero.
All in you were getting a screaming deal.  Not only are you getting cheap capital, all things considered (the 5% preferred coupon with that FDIC backstop when your CDS spreads are being quoted in points up front literally saves your firm!) but the FDIC insurance on both senior debt issues and deposits - that is a pure windfall of unbelievable size.
You roll the numbers around in your head.  There is roughly $850 billion in deposits throughout the system that would be covered by the FDIC "unlimited" deposit insurance, and the majority of it was in your bank and that of your TBTF friends.  You figure that you and your buddies in the room could issue some $300 billion in "super insured" debt through the FDIC program and the surcharge from the FDIC is only 50 to 100 basis points; with the credit condition oncoming long rates will be headed southbound fast, so the odds are you'd see a 10 year in the 2.5% or so area soon.  That makes the deal damned attractive; you figure between you in the room this will easily save you $15 billion a year in the first-year financing costs (about 500 basis points on that $300 billion) or more than the coupon on the preferred stock!
It doesn't take long before the light comes on - this is a zero-cost option for you.  The capital costs a coupon on the preferred but the savings on the bond issues more than make up for it and the FDIC deposit insurance makes sure nobody runs your bank.
For all intents and purposes you're being paid to take the taxpayer's money!
When you walked in the room you were sure you were going to be nationalized - or at least expropriated in some fashion, as you were dead flat broke.  Now, well, let's just say that it's good to have friends in high places.
You wonder how the press is going to spin this one.  This finance stuff is pretty tough for mainstream reporters; so long as nobody noodles on the numbers they probably won't figure it out.  Never mind that the bonds won't all issue at once and most people will simply applaud the unlimited deposit insurance without thinking about the fact that it's essentially a gift - the 10 basis point fee (0.1%) is a bad joke.  $8 billion across the entirety of the system to provide unlimited coverage on $800 billion in deposits?  This much is certain: Nobody's going to be allowed to fail as that's wildly lower than the actual risk premium on that transaction.
What's not to like?
You walk out of Treasury with one of your friends from the TBTF bank down the street, yukking it up as you come down the stairs.  Who would have ever thought that such a heist would be possible?  Even better, the press reaction, especially from the right wing, can be counted on to get this wrong and claim that the government had stolen capitalism. That will give you cover for the fact that your firm was so far underwater when you walked into that room that you needed helium in your dive tanks lest you be narced out of your mind.
You will go on to pay record bonuses a year later, also paying back the TARP money.  Well, that which everyone saw anyway. The Auto industry is a different matter of course, and there were plenty of games played with AIG, which had written a lot of credit protection.  Had they blown you were dead, as they were the guarantor one way or another on far too much of your derivative stack.  But Geithner will claim at every opportunity that "TARP made a profit" and the public is too obsessed with American Idol to figure out that he's lying through his teeth.
But the real problem from a budget perspective, when all is said and done, was and is in Fannie and Freddie.  Although not really "TARP" funds their bailout was instrumental in preventing nearly all the 30:1 levered banks from blowing sky-high, not to mention pension funds and insurance companies, as everyone had a material amount of MBS on their balance sheets and had Fannie and Freddie defaulted it might have been enough to sink the TBTF banks all on its own and spiral the big insurers into the ground.  The discounted cash flow cost of not letting them blow up through 2009 was nearly $300 billion, of which $145 billion had already gone in through direct cash infusions.  This looked like "protecting the public", but it really was protecting the banks and insurers who were holding a crazy amount of MBS on their balance sheets and were able to unload them to The Fed during QE1 at a very nice profit, effectively screwing the taxpayer not only through the direct subsidy but also through the price-supported buyout in the QE program.  The exact amount effectively stolen from the people in this regard is hard to determine, but it is likely close to a half-trillion dollars in total including the direct and indirect costs.
Of course it got better from there too for the banks.  We now know from the Bloomberg lawsuit that there was in fact over a trillion in revolving credit doled out in the next few months to these firms, all at effectively zero interest rates since the overnight rate was for all intents and purposes zilch.  This too was a benefit, as the market price of credit is never zero, and that "benefit" continues to this day.  Tim Geithner, who had to know about the Lehman collateral problem in July of 08, would be rewarded for his part in all of this by being appointed Secretary of the Treasury.  And Paulson?  He got to keep his $500 million in Goldman stock and options when he took the original Treasury job, tax free.  He has not a care in the world.
Capitalism didn't die in 2008.  That's a convenient story, but it isn't true.  You can't expropriate a broke man or a broke business; there's nothing to take, even if you want to.
The truth is much simpler: The taxpayer was just plain robbed by the government and banks acting together.
If you think that $750 billion was a ridiculous subsidy to the TBTFs, or that they really didn't join with the government to steal from the public during 2008, the epilogue over the next three years went from ridiculous to stupefying.  From 2008 - 2010 we ran about $1,100 billion per year in additional deficits over the Bush years, for a total of $3.3 trillion.  This too was sold as "for the people" but that was a lie.  See, financial product credit (Z1 line Z1/Z1/LA794104005.Q) contracted from $17.1 trillion to $13.8 trillion today, or almost exactly the same $3.3 trillion.  Mortgages, during the same period, would contract by about $600 billion while non-financial business credit remained pretty-much flat and State and local borrowing expanded.  Put another way, the entire deficit addition over the previous multi-year baseline was literally given to the financial firms; the total amount of the taxpayer heist is over $3 trillion from 2008-2010, and as of the 2nd Quarter of 2011 we're still literally stealing from the taxpayer and handing it to the TBTF institutions via government deficit spending.

Ps: The worst part is that we didn't fix anything, especially the derivatives.  In fact, with the consolidation and "swallowing" of failed firms in 08 and 09 the risks now are higher than they were three years ago, and we're further down the road with the pyramid.  We stopped it from falling over temporarily, but only by shifting the debt accreation to the Federal Government and, to a lesser degree, on the backs of students.  If we do not voluntarily stop the nonsense, as I pointed out in the other Ticker, it will come crashing down anyway as we squandered our opportunity to force these jackals to either cover or tear up those contracts that cannot possibly be met in full.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

AVTM and UA YAL stand up to the police

TSA Moves Into Tennessee

Six years later, the plans that we were discussing at the time come to fruition as the VIPR hits Tennessee -
Tuesday Tennessee was first to deploy VIPR simultaneously at five weigh stations and two bus stations across the state. 

Agents are recruiting truck drivers, like Rudy Gonzales, into the First Observer Highway Security Program to say something if they see something.

"Not only truck drivers, but cars, everybody should be aware of what's going on, on the road," said Gonzales.

It's all meant to urge every driver to call authorities if they see something suspicious.

"Somebody sees something somewhere and we want them to be responsible citizens, report that and let us work it through our processes to abet the concern that they had when they saw something suspicious," said Paul Armes, TSA Federal Security Director for Nashville International Airport.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol checked trucks with drug and bomb sniffing dogs during random inspections.

"The bottom line is this: if you see something suspicious say something about it," Gibbons said Tuesday. 
The random inspections really aren't any more thorough normal, according to Tennessee Highway Patrol

Colonel Tracy Trott who says paying attention to details can make a difference.

Trott pointed out it was an Oklahoma state trooper who stopped Timothy McVeigh for not having a license plate after the Oklahoma City bombing in the early 1990s.

Tuesday's statewide "VIPR" operation isn't in response to any particular threat, according to officials. Armes said intelligence indicates law enforcement should focus on the highways as well as the airports.
The Real Effect
 Look at that last sentence again -
...intelligence indicates law enforcement should focus on the highways as well as the airports.
 Let's walk through how a lot of "intelligence" works now a days. We declare war on a country, we capture an individual that is fighting against us. That individual is designated a terrorist by virtue of the fact that he is fighting against us. We torture and threaten these individuals for months at a time until they finally "confess" something. This confession then becomes "intelligence" which is used to justify yet another incursion somewhere. (Coincidentally, a lot of this information is completely bogus.)

So what does this method bring us? Right into the place that the terrorists supposedly wanted us to go. We now have TSA in airports, football stadiums, bus stations, and insanely enough, schools.

But of course, you've known this was coming since at least 2006 -
Watch for increased surveillance cameras, biometrics and the ever-tightening noose of travel restriction. Think of the TSA but on the interstates and highways as the "officials" become more and more suspicious of "the people".

Monday, October 17, 2011

What's Good for the Goose...

More true then it should be and fresh on the heels of our Ugandan invasion -

TRIPOLI (The Borowitz Report) Satire – As arrests mounted in the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City, Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) issued a stern statement today warning the NYPD to exercise restraint.

“The Libyan transitional government regards any attempt to infringe upon the American protesters’ right to express themselves as a violation of international standards of free speech and liberty,” the Libyan statement read. “We will not sit idly by and watch this happen.”

Libyan government officials also hinted that if the arrests continue, it would consider forming a NATO coalition “to ensure the safety and security of the American people.”

While it did not state it as an explicit goal, insiders believe that if the arrests continue Libya may seek the ouster of New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose whereabouts remain unknown. Perhaps in response to the Libyan statement, the U.S. State Department today responded with a statement of its own: “The United States is one hundred percent opposed to the suppression of popular uprisings as long as they aren’t happening here.”

Friday, October 14, 2011

...With Good Intentions

You would think these people would learn, eventually -
It’s a question many of us ask when we go out to a restaurant. “How much should I tip?” Whether your service is good or bad, San Francisco Restaurant workers want to implement a 25% standard tip onto your bill for you. Is this fair?

Many in the food industry say “…yes, it’s about time.” However, many “foodies” are not as happy with the idea. According to an article in the San Jose Mercury News, for the most part, people, on average tip between 15% – 20% and the restaurant worker actually has to claim 15% of that to the IRS.
Oh my, that's precious. But wait, it gets better -
Not everyone is against the idea. Some have felt with the state of the nation’s economy is in, that 25% is not unreasonable.
The Real Effect
Let's think that last line through for just a second. The reasoning goes something like this -

        People have less money in this Depression, so let's force them to spend more so they can have more.
<crickets chirping> Anyone??? Hellloooooo....

Brilliant. And this is what passes as "critical thinking" in today's circles. Sign me up and give me a $500k a year salary! Just think of the stimulative effect that will have!

All of these 'wonderful policies' start somewhere and this is usually where. The process goes like this:
  • Non-productive moron has idea about stealing someones productive money.
  • Moron speaks to city council, in secret
  • Family on city council tries to have "family help family" and passes a law.
  • Patrons stop attending tipping locations.
  • Moron along with non-morons lose jobs.
  • Moron has new, EVEN BETTER idea!!!! You want to hear it?!?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pakistan the next American enemy?

Police "Protecting" You, Despite Your Intentions

The thuggery continues -
BEVERLY (CBS) – Thieves are finding easy targets on the North Shore: Cars that aren’t locked with valuable items inside.

If your car door was unlocked, or an officer spotted your GPS, wallet, or something important in plain view, you might have found a warning on your windshield in Beverly this weekend.

Police were willing to stir-up a little proactive controversy to warn folks they were easy targets for some very busy thieves. Any car doors they found unlocked they opened up and locked themselves for the owner. They admit they did get some angry calls from drivers — who left their keys inside their unlocked cars.
The Real Effect
Of course the real egregious part of the story is the fact that they locked your doors despite you leaving them open!  You can't be trusted to make decisions on your own now lest something bad happen. The absolute arrogance of that move would have me chewing some detectives ear plain off.

Once again, this is all nothing new as The Real Effect covered this back in December in Canada.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ron Paul Frightens the Elite Because He is Right

...because he can't win and all that nonsense -

The principal organizer of the Values Voters Summit derided his own group’s straw poll as irrelevant after Ron Paul won, dismissing the results as not being “truly reflective of where values voters stand.”

Despite Family Research Council President Tony Perkins telling CBS News that the organization prevented campaigns from buying blocks of tickets for the event, Perkins still “dismissed the results as irrelevant, citing 600 people who registered Saturday morning and, he said, “left after Ron Paul spoke.”

Congressman Paul won the straw poll after he received 37 per cent of the vote, but Perkins described the result as an “outlier”.

Even in the course of deriding the accuracy of the poll, Perkins still found time to praise former Kansas City Federal Reserve director Herman Cain, saying there was “something to be said about his results” and his “strong” second place finish.
The Real Effect
Let's see, the poll results are thrown out because of which of the following A) The poll was rigged B) There was some sort of discrepancy that required the results be dismissed C) The people disagree with the candidate's positions?

A poll is supposed to reflect the opinions of the individuals that are polled, not that of the organizer. That latter would be more properly classified as propaganda.

At least we're not like those dreaded Soviets, telling the people who to vote for and all that...

Jon Stewart, Wars, Cons, & Freedom

Friday, October 07, 2011

The Fire, She Burns!!!

Consider just a few of the headlines occupying the interwebs at the moment:

Italy and Spain -
Fitch on Friday cut Italy's sovereign credit rating by one notch to A+ from AA-, saying the move reflected the worsening of the euro zone's debt crisis and an erosion of market confidence caused by the government's initially hesitant response to the rise in its bond yields.

The Euro -
Adding fuel to the fire is an errant comment from Merkel who has said that Eurobonds are "absolutely the wrong way to go", and lastly, a last minute notification from Fitch which goes for Trifecta by saying that Portugal remains on outlook negative, and the result is visible on the attached chart.
Dallas -

A protest that began with a few dozen demonstrators in New York City has grown to thousands in cities across the country, including Dallas.

As the group flooded Wall Street in New York for the 19th-straight day, about 200 people rallied at Occupy Dallas on Thursday.
Housing -
The American dream of homeownership has felt its biggest drop since the Great Depression, according to new 2010 census figures released Thursday.
Chicago -
It's sticker shock in the mail. Tax bills went out to Cook County homeowners this week and the big jump in the amount due to many homeowners has some wondering if they can keep their house.

According to the Cook County Clerk's office, tax rates are up for schools, park districts, municipalities and other government bodies. Some of those tax levies have made double-digit increases in tax rates.
The Real Effect

How do we fix this, easy to say, tough to do-
  1. Recognize the created order. (Skip this if you don't believe in it)
  2. Recognize and allow private parties to respect their property rights. (Gun rights. Legal rights)
  3. PROSECUTE AND IMPRISON the banksters. (Ones who have committed fraud)
  4. Repeal ALL property taxes. Repeal the Federal income tax. 
  5. Enact trade barriers that level the playing field with countries like China
  6. Enforce the borders.
  7. Remove ANY barriers at any level that hinder the growth of private prosperity. (Red tape)
Every time this has been done, be it America, Britain or Estonia the result has been a massive increase in living standards.

What happens if we don't do this? Where does this end up? In mass graves -
In a pediatric hospital in North Korea's most productive farming province, children lay two to a bed. All showed signs of severe malnutrition: skin infections, patchy hair, listless apathy.

It's also getting late for North Korea to get the massive amount of food aid it claims to need before the harsh winter sets in. The country's dysfunctional food-distribution system, rising global commodities prices and sanctions imposed over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs had contributed to what appears to be a hunger crisis in the North, even before devastating summer floods and typhoons compounded the emergency.
Government exists primarily to protect the rights of its citizens. If it is not performing these duties, what good is it? At that point, it takes on a role of not a protector but that of a prosecutor and enabler. Through its "rights" it funnels special privileges and "rights" to the class that enables it the most. One does not have to look very hard through the financial sector to discover just how nepotistic this is already.Of course, long time readers know this already -
The long and short is they are bleeding the real assets out of the United States and passing them into foreign control. Make no mistake, they will bleed this country dry. Savings, checking, 401K, gold, assets, they want it all and will not stop until they get it. The only companies that survive will be those that primarily serve the industrial military complex. Overnight this country will be transformed into the new prison state for the Global Order. Get food, get water, get a gun and get ready to defend yourself.