Archive for July, 2009

Well, this is as close to MSM as you are going to get on this subject of the Federal Reserve Bank.  It’s nice to see this Wall Street Journal op-ed discussing it in the open, but I think all efforts to audit, rehabilitate, or abolish the Fed will be circumvented by the feds watchdog, Congress and their corporate sponsors.  While I appreciate Amar Bhide’s Op-ed here, I’d say his background is a bit dubious.  I found a short biography on theglobalist.com:

Amar Bhidé is the Glaubinger Professor of Business at Columbia University, editor of Capitalism and Society, member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the author of The Origin and Evolution of New Businesses.  A former McKinsey & Company consultant, Bhidé was educated at the Indian Institute of Technology and Harvard Business School, where he graduated as a Baker Scholar and later served as an associate professor.

Any news exposed about the movement to abolish the fed is a good thing.  Of course, I wonder why it was written by a member of The Council on Foreign Relations.

It’s amazing how simplistic the fundamental basics of banking can be understood in this 47-min. animated video, Money as Debt, by Paul Grignon.   Most American citizens cannot even define fractional reserve lending.  This video should be a requirement for school graduation at all levels.  In fact, anyone who is concerned for the freedom, liberty, and sovereignty of America should view this and realize the banking scam of America is not that complicated after all.  Enjoy and pass it along.

Would you expect anyone chosen to serve in the Obama administration to not be a raging progressive liberal?  Well, don’t because they are.  Cass Sunstein, chosen by Obama to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), is a progressive “change agent” that prescribes to this outlandish doctrine of “Libertarian Paternalism”.  In other words, while we seem to have the freedom of choice, our choices should be guided by government.  Why?  Because according to Sunstein, humans will generally follow the path of least resistance and, in turn, make bad choices for themselves.  Therefore, the government should make available, as primary choices to its citizens, things they normally wouldn’t choose without some coaxing or nudging.  Sunstein is also an extremist animal activist, who argues animals should have the right to sue humans in a court of law.  To top it off, he also feels that the Internet, as currently designed, leads to extremism, and should be redesigned to incorporate a “fairness doctrine” allowing people to be exposed to a wide cross-section of opposing viewpoints.

In 2008, Sunstein and Richard Thaler wrote the book, Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness.  It discusses how, through the use of  law, behavioral economics, psychology, political science, private institutions and government can “nudge” people toward choices that will make them healthier, wealthier, and happier.  In other words, the majority of people will take the path of least resistance in making important life choices and make bad choices.  His quote from the book sums it up pretty good:

Every day, we make decisions …Unfortunately, we often choose poorly…we often make bad decisions involving education, personal finance, health care, mortgages and credit cards, the family, and even the planet itself.

Sunstein sees this nudging effect being beneficial in the areas of environmental regulation and mortgage regulation.  Since he feels most people do not have the capacity to make healthy decisions, the government should guide their hand.

Regarding the Internet, Sunstein contends that it creates too narrow of a focus on particular subject matter, leading to extremism.  This justifies that people should be exposed to opposing viewpoints they would not have sought, in order to consider the validity of those opposing viewpoints.  How does the Regulatory Czar really feel about the Internet?  Here are several quotes from an article Sunstein wrote in the Boston Review titled, The Daily We – Is the Internet really a blessing for democracy?

Group polarization is occurring every day on the Internet. Indeed, it is clear that the Internet is serving, for many, as a breeding ground for extremism, precisely because like-minded people are deliberating with one another, without hearing contrary views. Hate groups are the most obvious example.

It is also clear that the Internet is playing a crucial role in permitting people who would otherwise feel isolated and move on to something else to band together and spread rumors, many of them paranoid and hateful.

With respect to the Internet, the implication is that groups of people, especially if they are like-minded, will end up thinking the same thing that they thought before—but in more extreme form.

I want to raise a note of caution. I do so by emphasizing one of the most striking powers provided by emerging technologies: the growing power of consumers to “filter” what they see. As a result of the Internet and other technological developments, many people are increasingly engaged in a process of “personalization” that limits their exposure to topics and points of view of their own choosing.

Sunstein also feels that a mechanism should be in place to require a “cool-off period” or “time-out” regarding responding to emails involving contentious subject matter.  You know, instead of firing off that email in haste, with possible regret, just wait a day to see if you have changed your mind about sending that email.

If that’s not enough to raise a red flag on this guy, then this should.  He proposes introducing the 2nd Bill of Rights, as advocated by FDR.  Sunstein’s 2004 book titled: The Second Bill of Rights: FDR’s Unfinished Revolution and Why We Need It More than Ever advocates that Americans have a right to an education, a right to a home, a right to health care, and a right to protection against
monopolies.  I don’t remember those items being listed in our current bill of rights.  Seeing the way Obama’s administration has pushed for government control over our lives, it seems they have already initiated this “2nd bill of rights” without being explicit about it.

Anyone who adopts and promotes an idea of marrying the concepts of libertarianism and paternalism is a kook.  The American Heritage Dictionary defines libertarian as:

One who advocates maximizing individual rights and minimizing the role of the state

and paternalism as:

A policy or practice of treating or governing people in a fatherly manner, especially by providing for their needs without giving them rights or responsibilities.

How and the world you reconcile those two as a single definition is beyond me.  This is what you call Frankensteinian behavioral engineering.  He obviously thinks people have a need and desire to be guided and nudged along to make better decisions that will benefit mankind as a whole.  I don’t know about you, but I call this “socialism-lite”.  Help yourself, but I think I’ll pass.

For more reading on Cass Sunstein:

2nd Amendment rights:

Though the Constitution has governed the nation for well over two centuries, its meaning is not stable over time. In 1970, the Constitution did not mean what it meant in 1950. In 2008, the Constitution is quite different from what it was in 1988 – and in 2028, we will probably be in for some major surprises.

Animal Rights:

Why we should celebrate paying taxes:

Compilation of Sunstein quotes here:

Quote from his animal rights activist mentor, Peter Singer:

…killing a newborn baby is never equivalent to killing a person, that is, a being who wants to go on living.  That doesn’t mean that it is not almost always a terrible thing to do.  It is, but that is because most infants are loved and cherished by their parents, and to kill an infant is usually to do a great wrong to its parents.

Ohio Senator, Republican Sen. George Voinovich, blames the demise of the (R) party on the Southern faction of the GOP.  He should try looking in the mirror for problems with his party.  Political parties are a tool to keep American citizens divided.  Then the political parties seems hell bent on creating deeper divisions within it’s ranks.

Voinovich throws out this gem, in an interview, bashing the few Senators who actually take the Constitution seriously.  He says,

“We got too many Jim DeMints and Tom Coburns,” Voinovich told the Columbus Dispatch Monday. “It’s the Southerners….

The problem is people like Voinovich, who is a politician and not a statesmen.  They care more for their personal political aspirations than they do for the Constitutional rights of Americans.  Good riddance Mr. Voinovich.

On Friday, Democrats moved one step closer to giving free health insurance to the nation’s estimated 12 million illegal aliens when they successfully defeated a Republican-backed amendment, offered by Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., that would have prevented illegal aliens from receiving government-subsidized health care under the proposed plan backed by House Democrats and President Barack Obama.

The House Ways and Means Committee nixed the Heller amendment by a 26-to-15 vote along straight party lines, and followed this action by passing the 1,018-page bill early Friday morning by a 23-to-18 margin, with three Democrats voting against the plan. link

I’m sure covering illegals is exactly the kind of reform “citizens” are looking for.

It’s not hard to imagine a rationed health care system where elderly United States citizens, who have been forced into a public system, are denied coverage, while non-citizens’ needs are provided for at no charge.  Somehow, I don’t think this is the kind of reform most people expect.

Dick Morris suggested recently that giving illegals free health care will lead to a huge influx of new illegals, eager to take advantage of health care benefits not offered in their home countries. I think he makes an excellent point.

One of the ironies of the proposed legislation is that it would fine American citizens who opt not to purchase insurance coverage, but would exempt illegals from such fines. This is presumably due to the fact that they are not supposed to participate in the program anyway.

I guess if you don’t want to participate in the forced public heath care system, you can simply renounce your citizenship, move to Mexico or Canada and sneak back across the border to avoid the fines.

Most uninsured illegals who need medical attention obtain it from hospital emergency rooms. And several states are already straining under the huge burden of paying for the health costs of illegal aliens.

According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), in 2004 California’s estimated cost of unreimbursed medical care was $1.4 billion. Texas estimated its cost at $850 million annually, and Arizona at $400 million.

Perhaps denying all medical benefits to illegals, except for life and death emergency care, would go a long way to solving many of our heath care woes.

Illegal aliens threaten U.S. medical system

The increasing number of illegal aliens coming into the United States is forcing the closure of hospitals, spreading previously vanquished diseases and threatening to destroy America’s prized health-care system, says a report in the spring issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

In addition, the report says, “many illegal aliens harbor fatal diseases that American medicine fought and vanquished long ago, such as drug-resistant tuberculosis, malaria, leprosy, plague, polio, dengue, and Chagas disease.”

84 California hospitals are closing their doors as a direct result of the rising number of illegal aliens and their non-reimbursed tax on the system.

While politicians often mention there are 43 million without health insurance in this country, the report estimates that at least 25 percent of those are illegal immigrants. The figure could be as high as 50 percent.

The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons report includes a strong prescription for protecting the health of Americans:

* Closing America’s borders with fences, high-tech security devices and troops.
* Rescinding the U.S. citizenship of “anchor babies.”
* Punishing the aiding and abetting of illegal aliens as a crime.
* An end to amnesty programs. link

John Holdren busy life with non-profits, think tanks, speeches, and the like, includes time he spent with a non-profit group Climate Central.  He resigned March 2009 after his Czar post conformation.   Climate Central’s board is staffed by financial experts, policy experts, government relations experts, science experts, and media experts.  Here’s part of their introduction:

Climate Central is an accessible one-stop source for timely, relevant, high-quality climate information through a variety of channels, targeting the media and leaders in business, government, and religion. A nonprofit organization, it operates without partisanship, bias, or lobbying.

This group was formed as a 501c(3), of course.  They formed in 2008 with seed money from The Flora Family Foundation, formed by the Hewlett family, of Hewlett-Packard.   Apparently, they put together this clip for the “Carbon Emissions Counter” grand opening, built and sponsored by Deutsche Bank’s Asset Management Group. LOL.

I don’t watch much TV, so I missed this. This is well produced piece of propaganda.

Carbon Counter L3 from Climate Central on Vimeo.

I thought the counter was actually the deficit counter.  Nope, it’s counting the emissions released into the environment.  What a joke.  Well, it’s not going to be too funny when they are using this to bet on carbon credit-based securities.  Well, your Science Czar was on the board of directors when this was produced.  Enjoy.