Monday, October 31, 2011

OOPS!!! It's a good thing global warming will prevent this stuff from happening in the winter. Now it happens before the leaves fall...

'It was like a bomb went off': Central Park left devastated by snow storm with worst damage for 27 years as fears East Coast blackout could last a WEEK

A record 2.9 inches fell in Central Park in only the fourth snowy October day since records began 135 years ago

Massive damage thought to have been caused by leaves still on trees keeping snow weighing down on branches

The number of homes without power has grown to over three million

By John Stevens

As many as 1,000 trees were destroyed by the snow storm in Central Park it was revealed as three million homes without electricity were warned the blackout could last for a week.

Park officials said that the unprecedented damage spread across half of the park's 840 acres was the worst they had seen in 27 years after a record 2.9 inches of snow fell on Saturday.

Even though the storm was relatively mild in compared to those in the midst of winter, the massive damage is thought to have been caused by leaves still on the trees keeping snow weighing down on branches.

'It's like a bomb blew off,' Central Park Conservancy president Douglas Blonsky told the New York Times. 'Boom.'

The milder temperatures, which stayed close to freezing, but not well below, meant that the snow was damper and heavier, meaning that it brought extra pressure on the trees.

In the park trees of all ages and sizes were among the nearly 1,000 felled by the early snow storm.

By comparison only 125 trees were destroyed when Tropical Storm Irene passed through in August.

Saturday was only the fourth snowy October day in New York's Central Park since record-keeping began 135 years ago.

Across the road at one of New York's most luxurious hotels, The Plaza, all the trees were destroyed.

The number of homes and businesses without power on the East Coast has grown to more than 3 million.

From Maryland to Maine, officials said it would take days to restore electricity, even though the snow ended on Sunday.
The storm smashed record snowfall totals for October and worsened as it moved north.

Communities in western Massachusetts were among the hardest hit. Snowfall totals topped 27 inches in Plainfield, and nearby Windsor had gotten 26 inches by early Sunday.

It was blamed for at least 11 deaths, and states of emergency were declared in New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and parts of New York.

More than 800,000 power customers were without electricity in Connecticut alone — shattering the record set just two months ago by Hurricane Irene. Massachusetts had more than 600,000 outages, and so did New Jersey - including Gov. Chris Christie's house.

Parts of Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New York, Maine, Maryland and Vermont also were without power.

'It's going to be a more difficult situation than we experienced in Irene,' Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said. 'We are expecting extensive and long-term power outages.'

Thirty-two shelters were open around the state, and Malloy asked volunteer fire departments to allow people in for warmth and showers. At least four hospitals were relying on generators for power.

Around Newtown in western Connecticut, trees were so laden with snow on some back roads that the branches touched the street. Every few minutes, a snap filled the air as one broke and tumbled down. Roads that were plowed became impassible because the trees were falling so fast.

Many of the areas hit by the storm had also been hit by Irene.
Vaccaro, the weather service spokesman, said the snowstorm 'absolutely crushed previous records that in some cases dated back more than 100 years.'

There usually isn't enough cold air in the region to support a nor'easter this time of year, but an area of high pressure over southeastern Canada funneled cold air south into the U.S., Vaccaro said.

That cold air combined with moisture coming from the North Carolina coast to produce the unseasonable weather.
A few businesses enjoyed the early snow - ski resorts in Vermont and Maine opened early. But it was more commonly an aggravation.

Many residents were urged to avoid travel altogether. Speed limits were reduced on bridges between New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

A few roads closed because of accidents and downed trees and power lines, said Sean Brown, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Five people died in Pennsylvania because of the storm, two each in car accidents in suburban Philadelphia.

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Unbelievable, Must-See Video: Heroic Navy Sailor Stands Tall In the Middle of Oakland Tear Gas Firestorm … Holding Up the Constitution and a Flag...

CNN: "OH MY GOD! Ron Paul Is Making Sense!"

Ron Paul 1-Hour Interview in New Hampshire...

Soon, everyone will realize there is only one choice for 2012...

IT'S OVER: Cain Is Done

Michael Brendan Dougherty and Zeke Miller

The scandals swirling around Herman Cain today — that two women accused him of sexual harassment in the '90s, and his campaign may be in violation of federal campaign and tax laws — will be fatal to his presidential ambitions. It's over folks.

There were reasons to believe that conservatives would stand behind their man — and if he comes up with a good story, they still might.

1) They liked Cain personally, and more than that they liked the idea of Herman Cain. Here was a successful-in-the-market black entrepreneur who was becoming the favorite of Tea Party Republicans. Cain's very person seemed to embody the success of a conservative ideology, and at the same time his popularity flattered conservatives. He was a walking refutation of liberal claims that conservative Republicans are racists.

2) Conservatives, whatever they said about Bill Clinton, are primed to believe that many sexual harassment lawsuits are monetary shakedowns by aggrieved employees. All that Cain's team had to do was say affirmatively that nothing inappropriate happened and imply strongly that these lawsuits were settled for financial and public-relations reasons.

3) It is getting so late in the primary season, it seems like there was no time left to get behind a conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has seen his support base completely erode, and Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Michele Bachmann are in no better position to replace him as the base's standard-bearer.

And conservatives did line up to defend Cain last night when the story broke. Ann Coulter and Washington Examiner lined up to compare this report to attacks on Clarence Thomas.

But this rally isn't going to last. Cain was already a long-shot. Campaign donors will not answer calls for a besieged long-shot.

And conservative groups are now waiting for an answer from Cain and his campaign, and they don't like how long it is taking. By this morning Joseph Lawler of The American Spectator was telling readers that the story is legitimately of public interest. Concerned Women for America, a socially conservative group, was demanding answers as well.

But the whole reaction of the Cain campaign has got to be disconcerting to conservatives hoping to find someone to challenge Barack Obama in a tough 2012 campaign. The Cain campaign has been slow and disorganized in its attempt to quash this scandal, all while it is supposed to have known this story was coming for ten days. This is not the kind of performance GOP voters are going to demand of their 2012 candidate.

The response of Cain's people confirmed everyone's fears that this insurgent candidate has no real organization, and no ability to rapidly respond to the media, much less drive the narrative of a wild campaign.

But the mere fact of this scandal ruins the romantic image voters were developing of Cain, the non-politician. The Herman Cain brand that people loved was utterly plainspoken and direct. The Herman Cain of today is "sighing" at Politico's reporters, and refusing to answer questions about this story at AEI. The old Herman Cain was beating Mitt Romney. This new one can't beat anyone.

It's over.

Read more:

Soon, people will realize only one person deserves their vote in 2012...

Here's a hint...

Libertarian Party Tells Ron Paul to Come On Over

By Jason M. Volack

Rep. Ron Paul may not win the Republican nomination for president, but the prospect of him running as a third party candidate in the general election is not off the table, he says.

Paul, long a favorite of the Libertarian Party, is drawing enthusiastic support from its leaders, who are openly pushing him to consider a third party run for the White House.

“Absolutely, that would be fabulous,” said Jim Lesczynski, media relations director for the Manhattan Libertarian Party.

Lesczynski says his party agrees with Paul on most of the major issues, calling him an “ideal candidate.” He added that Paul will do better than he did four years ago, but ultimately thinks he will fail in his bid to gain the Republican nomination.

The Libertarian party would be a perfect ideological fit for Paul, who advocates limited government intervention and hands-off social policy. More than 30 members from the Manhattan chapter of the party actively campaign for Paul.

If Paul did decide to seek the Libertarian party nomination, it wouldn’t be the first time. In 1988 he gained the party’s nod after publicly criticizing the Reagan administration for large budget deficits.

When asked on FOX News this week if he would pledge to not run on a third party ticket, Paul coyly responded that he has “no intention” of doing so.

And he told CNN today that it would cause a bit of a problem for the Republican Party, but wouldn’t “doom it.”

Paul continues to poll well among likely GOP voters, often placing among the top three in polls in important states such as Iowa and New Hampshire. Since September, however, his support has hovered around 8 percent, according to ABC News polls.

Lesczynski said that if Paul wants to run as a Libertarian, he had better hurry up. The party plans to pick a candidate the first week of May.


Ron Paul: Declare Victory Bring Them Home!

Soon, it will become obvious to everyone that there is only one real choice for President in 2012...

Rick Perry: The Best Little Whore In Texas

The Texas governor has one driving passion: selling off government to the highest bidder

Matt Taibbi
Early morning in a nearly filled corporate ballroom at the Cobb Energy Centre, a second-tier event stadium on the outskirts of Atlanta. It's late September, and a local conservative think tank is hosting a get-together with Rick Perry, whose front-runner comet at the time is still just slightly visible in the bottom of the sky. I've put away five cups of coffee trying to stay awake through a series of monotonous speeches about Georgia highway and port reform, waiting for my chance to lay eyes on the Next Big Thing in person.

By the time Perry shows up, I'm jazzed and ready for history. You always want to remember the first time you see the possible next president in person. But as every young person knows, the first time is not always a pleasant experience. Perry lumbers onstage looking exceedingly well-groomed, but also ashen and exhausted, like a funeral director with a hangover.

In a voice so subdued and halting that I think he must be sick, he launches into his speech, which consists of the following elements: a halfhearted football joke about Texas A&M that would have embarrassed a true fan like George W. Bush, worn bromides about liberals creating a nanny state, a few lines about jobs in Texas, and a promise to repeal "as much of Obamacare as I can" on his first day in the White House.

"I will try," he says, "to make Washington, D.C., as inconsequential in your life as I can."

Then he waves and walks offstage. The whole thing has taken barely 10 minutes.

I can't believe it, and neither can the assembled crowd of Georgia conservatives, who hesitate before breaking into polite applause. I feel like a high school cheerleader who just had her leg jizzed on in the back of a convertible. That's it? It's over? That was Rick Perry's stump speech?

"Low energy, low substance," sighs Justin Ryan, one of the conference attendees. "That's sort of the candidate in general."

But this is America, remember, where one should never underestimate shallow. And Rick Perry brings shallow to a new level. He is very gifted in that regard. He could be the Adolf Hitler of shallow.

Perry's campaign is still struggling to recover from the kind of spectacular, submarine-at-crush-depth collapse seldom seen before in the history of presidential politics. The governor went from presumptive front-runner to stammering talk-show punch line seemingly in the speed of a single tweet, rightly blasted for being too incompetent even to hold his own in televised debates with a half-bright pizza salesman like Herman Cain and a goggle-eyed megachurch Joan of Arc like Michele Bachmann. But such superficial criticisms of his weirdly erratic campaign demeanor don't even begin to get at the root of why we should all be terrified of Perry and what he represents. After all, you have to go pretty far to stand out as a whore and a sellout when you come from a state that has produced such luminaries in the history of political corruption as LBJ, Karl Rove and George W. Bush. But Rick Perry has managed to set a scary new low in the annals of opportunism, turning Texas into a swamp of political incest and backroom dealing on a scale not often seen this side of the Congo or Sierra Leone.

In an era when there's exponentially more money in politics than we've ever seen before, Perry is the candidate who is exponentially more willing than we've ever seen before to whore himself out for that money. On the human level he is a nonpersonality, an almost perfect cipher – a man whose only discernible passion is his extreme willingness to be whatever someone will pay him to be, or vote for him to be. Even scarier, the religious community around which he has chosen to pull his human chameleon act features some of the most extreme end-is-nigh nutcases in America, the last people you want influencing the man with the nuclear football. Perry is a human price tag – Being There meets Left Behind. And sometimes there's nothing more dangerous than nothing at all.

Perry shot into the race for the Republican presidential nomination like a rocket, which is to say, he jumped late into a historically underwhelming contest of bumblers, second-raters, extremists and religious loonies, and became the top dog by default simply by virtue of not looking obviously demented at first blush to the national media. At the time, the GOP's Tea Party base was splitting right down the middle, divided between the intellectual libertarians headed by fellow Texan and original Tea Partier Ron Paul, and the "values"-oriented sect steered by the Bible-thumping likes of Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum. Despite Barack Obama's plummeting approval ratings, Republicans seemed to have little chance of success in 2012 unless someone emerged from the pack with the goods to pull off a seemingly impossible demographic trifecta: capturing enough of these two increasingly insurrectionary camps within the Tea Party to win the primary, while still retaining enough moderate cred to steal the middle from Obama in the general election.

Into this morass stepped Perry, a tall, perma-tanned, Bible-clutching Southerner with front-runner hair and the build of a retired underwear model, boasting 10 years of executive experience and a furious anti-government bestseller (Fed Up!) still sizzling on the nation's bookshelves. This was the magic-bullet candidate, with the End Times connections and born-again beatitude to out-Jesus Michele Bachmann, the CV full of arch-libertarian, anti-Fed ramblings pretentious enough to have been written by Ron Paul, and the eelish good looks to outshine robotic front-runner Mitt Romney. Perry just looked like the inevitable nominee, and it wasn't long before he was sitting atop the polls.

But as a presidential candidate, Perry has mainly distinguished himself with a kind of bipolar wildness in the debates: sullen and reserved one moment, strident and inarticulate the next. He sweats profusely. He can't stand still. When he does manage to get off a zinger, he cracks a smug grin, looking like he's just sewn up the blue ribbon in a frat-house dong-measuring contest. Parts of his record drive the Tea Party nuts, like his decision to pay for the kids of illegal immigrants to attend state colleges just like other students, or his executive order requiring all sixth-grade girls in Texas to be vaccinated against HPV, the human papillomavirus that causes cervical cancer in women...

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Yes, we are the enemy...

DHS-Funded Taser Drone Launched in Texas

UAV used against insurgents in Afghanistan can incapacitate suspects from above

Paul Joseph Watson

A Department of Homeland Security-funded surveillance drone deployed against insurgents in Afghanistan that can also be used to tase suspects from above has been unveiled by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office and will be operational within a month.

“At $500,000 a pop, Montgomery county spent $250,000 to get the UAV. The rest was covered by a Department of Homeland Security grant,” reports

Although its initial role will be limited to surveillance, the ShadowHawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, previously used against suspected terrorists in Afghanistan and East Africa, has the ability to tase suspects from above as well as carrying 12-gauge shotguns and grenade launchers.

“We look forward to utilizing it in a variety of capacities that protect our employees from harm to the extent possible and to enhance the protection to our citizens and their safety,” said Montgomery County Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel.

The ShadowHawk is a 50lb mini drone chopper that can be fitted with an XREP taser with the ability to fire four barbed electrodes that can be shot to a distance of 100 feet, delivering “neuromuscular incapacitation” to the victim. The drone can travel at a top speed of 70MPH and can operate for 3.5 hours over land and sea.

A video clip of the drone shows off its impressive maneuverability as it tails a suspect attempting to evade capture with sophisticated object tracking technology. Another video shows the drone conducting surveillance of two individuals involved in a firearm transaction.

More powerful military Predator drones are already being used to kill American citizens overseas, including 16-year-old Denver-born Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, prompting fears that drones could be used within the United States to meter out extrajudicial punishment, something that surpasses anything George Orwell predicted in 1984.

The fact that the drone was partly funded with DHS grant money further illustrates how the Department of Homeland Security is determined to turn America into a high-tech police state.

While the federal agency openly flouts immigration laws by authorizing illegal aliens to work in the U.S., billions of dollars have been poured into “homeland security needs” for state and local governments to keep tabs on the American people, including the rollout of a surveillance camera network that is now blanketing major cities across the nation.

Even more Orwellian are proposals also being backed by the federal government to turn street lights into sophisticated surveillance tools that can not only record video and conversations, but also have “homeland security” applications including displaying messages that encourage Americans to report on each other as part of DHS’ ‘See Something, Say Something’ snitch campaign.


Song of the day: Alice Cooper - Under My Wheels...

"The myth of 9/11 gives Western warriors dignity and honor. They are being given the title of heroes for defeating the terrorists, defending freedom, and bringing democracy to the Middle East, all of which are imperialist lies."

9/11 And Karbala: The Stories We Tell Ourselves To Give Meaning To Our Deaths

by Saman Mohammadi

Cultures and countries are conquered with language, stories, and significant events that imprint new myths on the collective mind. The most obvious example in modern times is the September 11 event.

Such events give precise meaning to our collective actions, the decisions of our leaders, the deaths of our heroes, and the social changes that we all experience.

The 9/11 myth has motivated Western warriors to pursue phantom terrorists and villains with a deep sense of glory and heroism in their quest. They anticipate a hero's welcome in the heavens for defending their country from terror. And they deserve their place in the Valhalla of heroes because they acted heroically on Earth within their narrow worldview.

Three months before the 9/11 attacks, on June 2nd, 2001, War of Terror architect Paul Wolfowitz alluded to the need for a new spirit of heroism in the American military, telling graduates at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point:

"A century ago, on a peaceful day in 1903, with great foresight, Secretary of War Elihu Root told Douglas MacArthur’s graduating class, "Before you leave the Army…you will be engaged in another war. It is bound to come, and will come. Prepare your country."

One day, you too will be tested in combat. And if you fail that test, the nation will fail, too. We are counting on you, all of you."
Wolfowitz's speech to the 2001 class hit all the right nerves - an appeal to courage and duty, a remembrance of history and American victories in past wars, providing little anecdotes of great American war leaders like Eisenhower, reminding them of the fragility of peace - really emotional stuff.

He ended the speech with a warning that a new surprise laid ahead for them and America comparable to the Pearl Harbor attack, saying:

"Yours will not be a life of personal gain, but it is noble work. You will man the walls behind which democracy and freedom flourish. Your presence will reassure our allies and deter the enemies of freedom around the world. Be prepared to be surprised. Have courage. And remember what General Eisenhower said to those American and Allied troops before they were about to land on the beaches of Normandy. "You are about to embark on a great crusade," he told them. "The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you."

Today, as you, the Class of 2001, go forth on your own crusade, our hopes and prayers go with you. Thank you, God bless the Class of ’01, and God bless America."
Click here to watch a brief excerpt of Wolfowitz's cunning and strategic speech.

Looking back on his speech ten years later, we can clearly see that Wolfowitz was laying the mental groundwork in West Point graduates and getting them ready for a new kind of war in which they would sacrifice themselves to defend democracy and freedom.

If Wolfowitz wasn't one of the guilty conspirators involved in the 9/11 attacks, if the "surprise attack" was really a surprise, then his speech deserves to be called prophetic and wise. But, as it is the case in history, politics is prophecy.

There is no such thing as a surprise attack on the biggest empire in history on the scale of the 9/11 events. 9/11 was engineered and planned many years before 2001 by the shadow governments in America and Israel.

So there was nothing prophetic about Wolfowitz's speech. It was a cold-blooded calculation by him to use the special occasion to brainwash American soldiers and get their spirits fired up for the war that he and his fellow assassins were planning in the Pentagon in the dark of night.


The grand architects of the war on terror view the 9/11 myth as a necessary illusion because it gives meaning to the deaths of warriors on the battlefields of the Middle East.

These same people believe that the war on terror is a necessary war because it contributes to the reduction of the world population and represents a critical step towards building one system on this planet under which all nations will unite.

If overpopulation is truly a huge global problem that threatens all life on this planet then war is one of the solutions, and you can't have war in modern democratic societies without necessary illusions like 9/11.

I'm not saying I agree with this view. I understand the psychopathy of the ruling elite and they make up very clever ideologies to serve their own corrupt interests. But I will remain on the margins of history and be open to all possibilities.

However, I am slowly coming to the unnerving conclusion that the esoteric conspirators behind the 9/11 attacks didn't invent a sacred myth simply to attain power and profit. Maybe it is bigger than that.

Plus, why would so many people be involved in the conspiracy to cover up the truth about 9/11? Are they all afraid of telling the truth? Do they all love their careers and salaries? Or do they truly believe that lying to the global public is justified in the present historical situation when the world is facing numerous crises?

That is for you to decide.

Of course, power and status, oil and profit, are big reasons why the war on terror was manufactured. The war has made a lot of war profiteers and psychopaths successful. But, from my understanding, world war three is not being waged solely for wealth and power.

At the end of the day, the war on terror is primarily about building a world government with one set of authoritarian rules and despotic rulers to govern the people and resources on this planet. A lot of well meaning people regard this as a noble global goal, and it can't be achieved without committing acts of deception, orchestrating global chaos, and starting a world war.

World War III is also being fought to reduce some of the world population in a way that allows both cultures, Islam and the West, to sacrifice their sons in the service of myths and stories so that they die a hero's death. Their life and their death is given meaning by stories and myths that are crafted by the political and religious elites.

The myth of 9/11 gives Western warriors dignity and honor. They are being given the title of heroes for defeating the terrorists, defending freedom, and bringing democracy to the Middle East, all of which are imperialist lies.

Those who consider themselves philosopher kings don't want the truth about 9/11 being exposed in public because the truth not only undermines the cultural fabric and societal cohesion in the West, but it also puts into question the identity of the Western warrior as the hero in this struggle, and the image of Israel as the "defender of civilization against barbarism."

Read more:

Soon it will be obvious to everyone who the only choice for President really is...

Exclusive: 2 women accused Herman Cain of inappropriate behavior


During Herman Cain’s tenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, at least two female employees complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate behavior by Cain, ultimately leaving their jobs at the trade group, multiple sources confirm to POLITICO.

The women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable, the sources said, and they signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. The agreements also included language that bars the women from talking about their departures...

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See, there's nothing to worry about...

Fukushima nuclear plant could take 30 years to clean up

Justin McCurry

Experts in Japan have warned it could take more than 30 years to clean up the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

A panel set up by the country’s nuclear energy commission said the severity of the accident meant it would take decades to remove melted fuel rods and decommission the plant, located 150 miles north of Tokyo.

The commission called on the facility’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), to begin removing the fuel rods within 10 years. The damage to Fukushima is more difficult to repair than that sustained at Three Mile Island, where fuel removal began six years after an accident in 1979.

Work to decommission four of Fukushima’s six reactors could start this year if Tepco brings the plant to a safe state known as cold shutdown.

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Nashville Judge Tells Cops “You Have NO Lawful Basis To Arrest Occupy Protesters!”

Let them eat cake...

Let Them Eat Cake: 10 Examples Of How The Elite Are Savagely Mocking The Poor

The following are 10 examples of how the elite are openly mocking the poor in America today....

#1 According to an article in The New York Times, poor families that lost their homes to foreclosure were openly mocked during a Halloween party thrown by the law firm of Steven J. Baum. This particular law firm represents many of the largest mortgage lenders in the United States....

The firm, which is located near Buffalo, is what is commonly referred to as a “foreclosure mill” firm, meaning it represents banks and mortgage servicers as they attempt to foreclose on homeowners and evict them from their homes. Steven J. Baum is, in fact, the largest such firm in New York; it represents virtually all the giant mortgage lenders, including Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo.
Photos from this Halloween party are posted on The New York Times website. To say that they are appalling would be a huge understatement. The following is how The New York Times described one of the photos....

In one, two Baum employees are dressed like homeless people. One is holding a bottle of liquor. The other has a sign around her neck that reads: “3rd party squatter. I lost my home and I was never served.” My source said that “I was never served” is meant to mock “the typical excuse” of the homeowner trying to evade a foreclosure proceeding.
#2 To many on Wall Street, the OWS protests are one big joke. In fact, Wall Street executives have been spotted sipping champagne while watching the Occupy Wall Street protests from their balconies.

#3 In response to the Occupy Chicago protests, signs were put up in the windows of the building where the Chicago Board of Trade is located that spelled out this sentence: "We Are The 1%".

#4 Many columnists for major financial publications have had no fear of mocking the Occupy Wall Street protesters. For example, Doug Hirschhorn recently wrote the following for Forbes....

As your Occupation of Wall Street continues, you may want to grasp a few things. First, it is not going to change anything in the short term and probably not much in the long-term either.

I hate to be the bearer of that news, but money makes the world go round and “Wall Street” is all about money. Second, the top traders, banks and hedge funds are still going to out earn and generate substantial profits from speculating on the disconnects in the prices of things generated from all the moving parts in the global economy and it has nothing to do with why you lost your house or job or can’t find a job. If anything the successful ones are helping you, your pensions funds, retirement savings and the economy in general. If Wall Street stops. The world stops. Period.
#5 Instead of attempting a balanced report on the Occupy Wall Street protests, Erin Burnett of CNN openly made fun of them during a recent broadcast. After being a stalwart on CNBC for so many years, Burnett has very close ties to Wall Street and apparently she does not like anyone criticizing her friends. You can see video of Burnett mocking the Occupy Wall Street movement right here.

#6 Barack Obama continues to mock the poor by telling them to cut back on vacations and little luxuries like going out to eat while at the same time sending his own family out on incredibly expensive vacations. The following is one example I noted in an article earlier this year....

Barack Obama recently made the following statement to American families that are struggling to survive in this economy: "If you’re a family trying to cut back, you might skip going out to dinner, or you might put off a vacation." A few days after making that statement Obama sent his wife and children off on yet another vacation, this time to a luxury ski hotel in Vail, Colorado.
Later on in that same article I mentioned another outrageously expensive vacation taken by the Obamas that was paid for by our taxes....

Back in August, Michelle Obama took her daughter Sasha and 40 of her friends for a vacation in Spain.

So what was the bill to the taxpayers for that little jaunt across the pond?

It is estimated that vacation alone cost U.S. taxpayers $375,000.
During a time when so many millions of American families are deeply, deeply suffering it is truly appalling that the residents of the White House would be so insensitive.

#7 Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain recently declared that anyone that is unemployed or poor in America should only blame themselves....

"Don't blame the big banks. If you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself."
#8 Sometimes our politicians are so insensitive that it is almost hard to believe. In an interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News while she was still the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi stated that we need poor people to have less children because it costs the government so much money to take care of them....

PELOSI: Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So no apologies for that?

PELOSI: No apologies. No. we have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy.
#9 Warren Buffett has some interesting observations on class warfare. He is one of the few wealthy Americans that is willing to say what everyone else is thinking. Back in 2006, Buffett was quoted as saying the following in an article in The New York Times....

“There’s class warfare, all right,” Mr. Buffett said, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”
Buffett was not taking pride in the fact that the elite have won, but there are many others among the elite that are very proud of what they have done and they are not afraid to look down on the poor.

The level of income inequality that we have in the United States today is absolutely amazing. According to data from a few years ago, the average household income for the top 0.01% of all Americans was $27,342,212. According to that same data, for the bottom 90% of all Americans the average household income was just $31,244.

#10 Every single day, our "representatives" in Washington D.C. are living the high life at our expense. It is amazing that out of the entire population of the United States, we continue to overwhelming elect rich people to Congress. As I noted in a recent article, more than half of all the members of Congress are millionaires, and the median wealth of a U.S. Senator in 2009 was 2.38 million dollars.

Without a doubt, the wealthy rule over us all and they intend to maintain control and perpetuate the system which has rewarded them so handsomely.

When necessary, they are not afraid to call in the police to bust some skulls. Sadly, we are already seeing some brutally violent confrontations between law enforcement authorities and Occupy Wall Street protesters in many areas of the country. The other day, I wrote about the horrific violence that took place in Oakland recently....

Unfortunately, the authorities are not just going to sit by and watch these protests happen. In fact, they are already clamping down hard in many areas of the nation. For example, police in Oakland recently used tear gas and rubber bullets to break up the Occupy protest in that city. When police opened fire, the streets of Oakland literally became a war zone for a few minutes. You can see shocking videos of the violence here, here and here.
Power and wealth have become incredibly concentrated in the United States today. As one scientific study demonstrated recently, the elite control almost the entire global economy. In fact, the University of Zurich study discovered that there are just 147 gigantic corporations at the core of it all.

It is not a good thing that such a very small group of people completely dominates all the rest of us.

Once again, there is absolutely nothing wrong with working hard, making great contributions to society and becoming very wealthy.

However, what we have today is a fundamentally broken system that funnels most of the wealth and most of the power into the hands of the ultra-wealthy and the gigantic corporations that they own.

It would be great if the American people could come together and work to make some positive changes to our system.

But right now, it appears that strife, discord and hatred are going to continue to rapidly grow in this country. We have become a very divided nation and we are watching anger and frustration grow to very dangerous levels.

All of this is a recipe for mass chaos. Our country is marching toward a date with disaster and right now we show no signs of changing course.

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There really is only one choice and soon it will become obvious to everyone...

16 Reasons Why Mitt Romney Would Be A Really, Really Bad President

At this point, it appears very likely that Mitt Romney is going to be the Republican nominee for president in 2012. He has raised far more money than any of the other candidates, he is leading or is near the lead in all of the early states, the mainstream media have anointed him as the frontrunner and a number of recent polls show that most Republicans fully expect Romney to win the nomination. So will Mitt Romney be the next president of the United States? Well, he certainly fits the part. He looks like a president and he speaks very well. But when you look at what he really stands for that is where things become very troubling. The truth is that Mitt Romney is either very wrong or very "soft" on every single major issue. It would be a huge understatement to refer to Mitt Romney as a RINO ("Republican in name only"). When you closely examine their positions, there is very, very little difference between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. Sure, Romney and Obama will say the "right things" to the voters during election season, but the reality is that a Romney administration would be so similar to an Obama administration that you would hardly know that a change has taken place. What you are about to read about Mitt Romney should alarm you very much. Mitt Romney would be a an absolute disaster for this country, and America cannot afford another disastrous presidency.

The fact that Barack Obama looked sharp and could give inspiring speeches helped him go a long way back in 2008. Well, it is the same thing with Romney. The guy looks very presidential and he sounds very presidential. When backed into a corner, he is extremely slick. He rarely makes mistakes and he is very polished.

Mitt Romney is a "politician" in the worst sense of the word. As his past has demonstrated, he will do and say just about anything in order to get elected. The positions he has taken during this campaign season have been carefully calculated to help him win both the Republican nomination and the general election.

That is why so many call Mitt Romney a "flip-flopper". Romney will take just about any political position if he thinks that it will help him. Mitt Romney's wife, Ann Romney, once made the following statement about her husband....

“He can argue any side of a question. And sometimes you think he’s really believing his argument, but he’s not.”
So keep that in mind while reading the following information. Mitt Romney is trying to claim that he is a "conservative" and that he is looking out for the American people, but those claims simply are not true.

The following are 16 reasons why Mitt Romney would be a really, really bad president....

#1 Obamacare was one of the worst pieces of legislation ever passed by the U.S. Congress. Mitt Romney says that he would repeal Obamacare, but the reality is that Romneycare was what Obamacare was based on. In fact, a recent MSNBC article brought to light some new information about the relationship between Romneycare and Obamacare....

Newly obtained White House records provide fresh details on how senior Obama administration officials used Mitt Romney’s landmark health-care law in Massachusetts as a model for the new federal law, including recruiting some of Romney’s own health care advisers and experts to help craft the act now derided by Republicans as “Obamacare.”

The records, gleaned from White House visitor logs reviewed by NBC News, show that senior White House officials had a dozen meetings in 2009 with three health-care advisers and experts who helped shape the health care reform law signed by Romney in 2006, when the Republican presidential candidate was governor of Massachusetts.
Mitt Romney continues to defend Romneycare, but the reality is that it really is a total nightmare for Massachusetts. The following is how one blogger summarized some of the key points of Romneycare....

• Punitive To Individuals. Everyone must buy health insurance or face tax penalties equal to 50% of cost of standard policy.
• Hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on free hospital care were converted into subsidies to help the needy buy insurance.
• A health insurance “exchange” was established to help connect the uninsured with private health plans at more affordable rates.
• Health plans can offer consumers higher deductibles and more restrictive physician and hospital networks in order to lower costs.
• Punitive to Businesses with 11 or more workers that do not offer insurance must pay a $295 per employee fee.
• Established payment policy advisory board; one Board member must be from Planned Parenthood. No pro-life organization represented.
• Provides Taxpayer-Funded Abortions for copay of $50.
So what have been the results of Romneycare in Massachusetts? According to the Daily Caller, health care costs and health insurance premiums have gone up dramatically in Massachusetts....

Since the bill became law, the state’s total direct health-care spending has increased by a remarkable 52 percent. Medicaid spending has gone from less than $6 billion a year to more the $9 billion. Many consumers have seen double-digit percentage increases in their premiums.
All of that certainly sounds a whole lot like Obamacare.

Unfortunately, the other Republican candidates have not taken advantage of this weakness. According to one brand new poll, 6 times as many Republicans view Romneycare unfavorably as view it favorably. This is something that the other candidates should be jumping on big time.

#2 During his time as governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney significantly raised taxes. The following is an excerpt from a CBS News article....

Mitt Romney's Harvard MBA and gold-plated resume convinced many business leaders he would follow in the tradition of corporate-friendly Republicans when he was elected governor of Massachusetts in 2002.

Within three years, some had a vastly different opinion, after Romney's efforts raised the tax bill on businesses by $300 million
The same article also notes that Romney jacked up "fees and fines" on Massachusetts taxpayers substantially....

Romney and lawmakers also approved hundreds of millions in higher fees and fines during his four years in office.
Many in the Massachusetts business community were quite disgusted with Romney by the end of his tenure. Peter Nicholas, the chairman of Boston Science Corporation, says that "tax rates on many corporations almost doubled because of legislation supported by Romney."

#3 Government spending in Massachusetts increased significantly under Mitt Romney. An advocate of smaller government he most definitely is not.

This was especially true for the last two budgets passed under Romney. In fiscal year 2006, government spending in Massachusetts increased by 7.6 percent. In fiscal year 2007, government spending in Massachusetts increased by a whopping 10.2 percent.

#4 It turns out that Mitt Romney is a believer in the theory of man-made global warming. In fact, Al Gore recently praised on Mitt Romney on his blog. In a post entitled "Good for Mitt Romney -- though we've long passed the point where weak lip-service is enough on the Climate Crisis", Al Gore lavished the following praise on the former Massachusetts governor....

"While other Republicans are running from the truth, he is sticking to his guns in the face of the anti-science wing of the Republican Party"
Not only that, it is also very important to remember that while Mitt Romney was governor, Massachusetts became the very first state to pass a law to regulate carbon emissions.

#5 If Mitt Romney becomes president, we may actually have "cap and trade" shoved down our throats. While campaigning for president in 2007, Mitt Romney said that he would support a "cap and trade" carbon tax scheme for the entire world....

“I support Cap-and-Trade on a global basis but not the USA going alone. I want to do it with other nations involved and on a global scale.”
#6 Mitt Romney had a horrible record of creating jobs while governor of Massachusetts. According to Boston Herald business reporter Bret Arends, only one state in the entire country was worse at creating jobs while Romney was in office....

“During the four years Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts, it had the second worst jobs record of any state in America…it wasn’t a regional issue. The rest of New England created nearly 200,000 jobs.”
#7 Mitt Romney was a very enthusiastic supporter of the Wall Street bailouts. When the time comes for more Wall Street bailouts it seems almost certain that Mitt Romney will bail them out again.

#8 If Romney becomes president, get ready for a flood of liberal judges. While he was governor of Massachusetts, there were actually significantly more Democrats among his judicial appointments than there were Republicans.

#9 Mitt Romney is incredibly soft on illegal immigration. Back in 2007, Mitt Romney made the following statement....

“But my view is that those 12 million who've come here illegally should be given the opportunity to sign up to stay here”
#10 While he was governor, Mitt Romney received advice on global warming and carbon emissions from the man who is now the top science adviser to Barack Obama. His name is John P. Holdren, and he has some very, very disturbing ideas. For example, he once wrote the following....

"A program of sterilizing women after their second or third child, despite the relatively greater difficulty of the operation than vasectomy, might be easier to implement than trying to sterilize men.

The development of a long-term sterilizing capsule that could be implanted under the skin and removed when pregnancy is desired opens additional possibilities for coercive fertility control. The capsule could be implanted at puberty and might be removable, with official permission, for a limited number of births."
Holdren also believes that compulsory abortion would be perfectly legal under the U.S. Constitution....

“Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.”
So if this is the kind of person that Mitt Romney relied on for "scientific advice" while he was governor, what kind of people would Romney bring in to his administration once he is president?

#11 Mitt Romney has been a huge supporter of gun control laws. When he was running for governor in Massachusetts, he made the following statement....

"We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts- I support them...I believe they help protect us, and provide for our safety."
#12 Mitt Romney once claimed that he was more "pro-choice" than Ted Kennedy, but now he claims that he is pro-life. In a recent article for WorldNetDaily, Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt explained why so many voters are still skeptical....

This year he's the only major Republican presidential candidate who has yet to sign the Susan B. Anthony List pledge to defend life and defund Planned Parenthood nationwide. Candidates Bachmann, Perry, Gingrich, Paul, Pawlenty and Santorum all signed the pledge, although it should be noted Herman Cain supports everything in the pledge except the Fetal Pain Act. (Cain is not fully pro-life, either.) And who can forget Mitt's famous 2002 campaign debate bragging repeatedly that he's more pro-choice than Ted Kennedy?
#13 During this campaign season, Mitt Romney has stated that he only supports partnership agreements for gay couples and not gay marriage, but what Romney actually did while governor of Massachusetts suggests otherwise. In the WorldNetDaily article referenced above, Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt detailed how Mitt Romney aggressively implemented gay marriage in the state of Massachusetts....

When the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decided in 2003 to recognize homosexual "marriage," ignoring the voters and the Constitution, the court admitted it did not have power to issue licenses or force participation by justices of the peace to solemnize the weddings. But as governor, Romney didn't wait for the legislature to act, he just ordered the marriage licenses and weddings to go forward, all by himself. Earlier this month, Romney said in New Hampshire, "What I would support [nationwide] is letting people who are of the same gender form – if you will – partnership agreements."
#14 As late as 2007, Mitt Romney was a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership. The following is what says about this organization....

They often work in conjunction with the pro-abortion group, Republicans for Choice, and the Republican homosexual group, the Log Cabin Club. They also opposed the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and set up a 527 campaign committee that received funding from far left funder George Soros.
#15 According to the Huffington Post, Mitt Romney has raised more money from lobbyists than all of the other Republican candidates combined.

So if Mitt Romney becomes president, who do you think he is going to listen to - the American people or the lobbyists?

#16 Mitt Romney is a big time Wall Street insider. It is estimated that Romney has a personal fortune of approximately a quarter of a billion dollars, and Wall Street money is being absolutely showered on his campaign.

In a recent article entitled "The Big Wall Street Banks Are Already Trying To Buy The 2012 Election", I detailed how numbers compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics show that Mitt Romney is getting far more money from the "too big to fail" Wall Street banks than all of the other Republican candidates combined. The following is an excerpt from that article that shows how much money employees of those banks (and their wives) have been giving to Romney so far this year....


Goldman Sachs

Mitt Romney: $352,200
Barack Obama: $49,124
Tim Pawlenty: $25,000
Jon Huntsman: $6,750
Rick Perry: $5,500
Ron Paul: $2,500

Morgan Stanley

Mitt Romney: $184,800
Tim Pawlenty: $41,715
Barack Obama: $28,225
Rick Perry: $20,750
Jon Huntsman: $9,750
Newt Gingrich: $1,000
Ron Paul: $1,000
Herman Cain: $500

Bank of America

Mitt Romney: $112,500
Barack Obama: $46,699
Tim Pawlenty: $12,750
Jon Huntsman: $4,250
Ron Paul: $3,451
Rick Perry: $2,600
Thad McCotter: $2,000
Herman Cain: $750
Michele Bachmann: $500
Newt Gingrich: $250

JPMorgan Chase

Mitt Romney: $107,250
Barack Obama: $38,039
Rick Perry: $27,050
Tim Pawlenty: $16,750
Jon Huntsman: $7,500
Ron Paul: $5,451


Mitt Romney: $56,550
Barack Obama: $36,887
Tim Pawlenty: $5,300
Rick Perry: $3,000
Herman Cain: $1,465
Michele Bachmann: $1,000
Ron Paul: $702

As you can see, no other Republican candidate even comes close to Romney at any of these big Wall Street banks.

In fact, of the candidates that are left in the Republican race, Mitt Romney has raised 13 times as much Wall Street money as anyone else has.

The following are the overall donation numbers from employees of the big Wall Street banks and their wives....

Mitt Romney: $813,300
Barack Obama: $198,874
Tim Pawlenty: $101,515
Rick Perry: $58,900
Jon Huntsman: $28,250
Ron Paul: $13,104
Herman Cain: $2,715
Michelle Bachmann: $1,500
Newt Gingrich: $1,250

These numbers paint a very disturbing picture. Even though Romney's poll numbers are in the mid to low 20s most of the time, employees of the big Wall Street banks gave him $813,300 during the first 9 months of this year and they only gave $105,719 to the rest of the Republican candidates combined.


It is quite obvious that the "establishment" is in love with Mitt Romney.

But if the American people elect Mitt Romney, they will get someone who believes in big spending, big government, bank bailouts, health care mandates, climate change legislation, liberal judges, gun control laws, amnesty for illegal aliens and making things as comfortable for the fatcats on Wall Street as possible.

Yes, Barack Obama has been absolutely horrible, but the answer is most definitely not Mitt Romney.

Look, the truth is that another four years of Barack Obama would be a complete and total nightmare.

But so would four years of Mitt Romney.

America deserves better than the "lesser of two evils".

Unfortunately, the American people have been dead asleep and have been sending incompetents, con men and charlatans to Washington D.C. for decades.

Right now it looks like the Republican Party is going to nominate yet another establishment "politician" in 2012.

Hopefully people will wake up to the truth about Mitt Romney while there is still time.

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"College is not necessary for most people. It never was. In fact, the preoccupation with college has left America bereft of its former ability to create wealth."

Misguided by Higher Education

by Bill Bonner

When the financial crisis of 2008 hit, we saw how state-managed capitalism works. Favored companies are allowed to make as much money as they can. But they are protected from going broke.

Certain firms are deemed “too big to fail,” by virtue of the key role they play in the economy, or at least by the role they play in a politician’s plans for re-election or future employment. But state-managed capitalism is very different from the real thing. It is capitalism in a degenerate form.

Real capitalism progresses in fits and starts, described by Josef Schumpeter as “creative destruction.” It is like a jungle…not like a zoo. It cannot be managed. You cannot take out the predators or feed selected species without upsetting the balance of nature. Take out the destruction, and you block the creative process too.

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, most real wealth has come from real capitalism. Not from “playing the market.” Not from getting a good job. Not by trying to cadge favors from the government.

So, what is real capitalism? It is what we’ve seen in the computer/Internet industry over the last 20 years. This was a new industry. It had not yet been tamed by the government. Regulations were few. There were no large, entrenched companies to block start-ups. There were no lobbyists to curry favor from the politicians. There were no subsidies…and no barriers. It was young, dynamic, chaotic…and very prone to blow-ups.

The whole industry blew up in January 2000. Mistakes were not bailed out. They were corrected. Money moved from weak hands to strong ones. Many companies failed. The companies that survived, and prospered…went on to glory. Amazon. Google. Microsoft. Apple.

And who was behind these new companies? College drop-outs, computer nerds, products of teenage mothers and broken marriages. They did not enter the ranks of existing technology companies, work their way up to senior management and then create new product lines. It is almost as if they succeeded not because of advanced American capitalism, but in spite of it. They created an entirely new industry…with new companies nobody had ever heard of. And then, they destroyed some of the biggest businesses in America.

Typically, in a correction, asset prices fall and unemployment goes up. Misallocated resources – including labor – needs to be re-priced and put back to work. But when markets are not allowed to work the bid and ask spread in the labor market can stay out of whack for years. Joblessness becomes a structural problem, not a cyclical problem. People do not find new jobs. Old businesses are not swept away and new businesses do not start up.

A zoo economy keeps the old animals alive as long as possible.

Let’s look at education. Now, there’s an industry – we can all agree – that adds value. You could look at it as a charitable activity. Or as a profit-making business. Either way, education has to be a plus for the individual and for the society, right?

Wrong on both points. Education is only a benefit when freely floating prices are allowed to determine what it is worth. First, let us look at the whole industry. Since the 1960s spending on education, in raw terms, in per capita terms, in terms adjusted for inflation, has soared. From the 1930s, when the first careful records were compiled, to the 1990s, real spending on education multiplied 5 times per student. It more than doubled from the ’60s.

Did this increase in spending do any good? Not on the available evidence. Test scores – measuring achievement – have not budged in 40 years. In other words, the additional investment over the last 40 years has been wasted. We might as well have thrown the money down a well.

But while tests of achievement have not moved…the tests of potential achievement have improved. For whatever reason, IQ tests and SAT tests show young people are getting smarter…or better able to take the tests. This may seem like good news. But not when it is set alongside the performance tests. What we see is that the investment in education over the last 4 decades has actually had a negative return. The raw material was better able to learn. But the investment in the teaching industry produced less in the way of actual learning.

Today, the US stands out for its educational spending, as it does for the bombs it makes and the drugs it distributes – it is on the top of the heap, by a wide margin. Spending per school aged child in the US is about $8,000 per year. In Japan, it is half that. France is in-between with about $6,000 spent per child per year.

Which country has the best scores? The one that spends the least – Japan. On math tests, Americans score 474 (out of 600). The French do a little better at 495. And the Japanese get a score of 523.

Science, the same thing. US students get an average score of 489. Japanese students are at 531.

There is nothing very surprising about these figures. Nearly thirty years ago, American researchers found that there was no connection between spending and educational results. They just looked at different school districts in the US. Spending was not correlated with results, they concluded.

And yet, studies continue to show that people with more education do better in life. We doubt these studies have much validity, at least as interpreted. It is surely true that people with a lot of education have lower unemployment levels and higher incomes, statistically, than those with little formal schooling. But we have no way of knowing whether any individual student would have been better staying in school…or dropping out like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates.

But we will take a guess: the typical young person would be better off getting out in to the real world and learning as much as possible from working, than he would by staying in school. After all, that’s how almost all the world’s great geniuses, inventors, scholars, and entrepreneurs learned. It has only been in the last 100 years that public education has been ubiquitous…and only in the last half a century that ordinary people felt they should go to college. But as more people went to college, the less dynamic…less creative…and less productive the US economy became.

Our colleague, Gary Gibson puts it this way:

College is not necessary for most people. It never was. In fact, the preoccupation with college has left America bereft of its former ability to create wealth.

An unhealthy cultural myth has flourished that says everyone must go to college and get an advanced degree, even if it’s something for which there is virtually zero market demand. Meanwhile, below-market interest rates and government-backed loans have lured a couple generations of Americans down the road to higher education.

Further, the kind of education colleges provide – indeed, all of American schooling from kindergarten onward – doesn’t produce innovators, entrepreneurs and job creators.

In a recent article for The New York Times titled “Will Dropouts Save America?” Michael Ellsberg writes:

“American academia is good at producing writers, literary critics and historians. It is also good at producing professionals with degrees. But we don’t have a shortage of lawyers and professors. America has a shortage of job creators. And the people who create jobs aren’t traditional professionals, but startup entrepreneurs.
“No business in America – and therefore, no job creation – happens without someone buying something.”

Wealth is only created when value is added (You didn’t think it was when money was printed, did you?) The Austrian school of thought reminds us that value is subjective. People, ultimately, buy what’s worth buying to them with the money they’ve earned.

We cannot put too fine a point on this. It doesn’t matter what the seller thinks the item is worth. It doesn’t matter how much time, energy and material went into making the product or service. You can waste a lot of time, energy and material producing something no one will want to buy. The buyer determines the ultimate value…and whether he will part with his money for it.

There can be misallocations of resources. And when the central bank and government get involved, these allocations can grow very large and go on for a very long time before violently correcting.

So it is that, increasingly over the past couple of generations, there has been a gross misallocation of time and resources into higher education, aided and abetted by the central bank and the federal government.

Millions have been misled into pouring their young adulthood into endeavors that won’t pay off…and going deeply into debt for it. The federal government has encouraged this higher “education,” much like it did home “ownership.” The central bank made the borrowing easy with low interest rates – which powered the real estate bubble as well as the higher education bubble – while government entities backed the loans.

Now the education bubble is bursting. The bubble’s start can be traced to the GI Bill, whereby the government got into the business of shoving more people into college than the market would bear. Over time, the same easy loans and guarantees got extended to most of the population.

Over time, some bad notions gained traction. College came to be seen as the ticket to the good life as opposed to something that people already destined for greater things might undertake to help get them there. As often happens, causation became confused with correlation.

In the last 30 years, higher education has come to be viewed as a human right, something that governments are obliged to guarantee. Lost is the notion that a higher education is a path for the exceptional, particularly those exceptional people going into the hard sciences.

Of course, this doesn’t do anything to change the essential ability of the people now being shoved through the system. All it’s done is water down the quality of what’s being offered so that everyone can join in.

Exceptional people still become scientists and engineers. Everyone else gets a master’s in some field that was recently invented to meet the artificial demand for advanced degrees, for people who couldn’t be scientists or engineers, but who had a head full of misguided notions and a boatload of borrowed money.

Worse, this “education” came to supplant things like entrepreneurship, initiative, the willingness to take risk, to accept and learn from failure. As Ellsberg says in his article:

“But most students learn nothing about sales in college; they are more likely to take a course on why sales (and capitalism) are evil.”

Indeed. We hate to keep turning to the Occupy movement, but it is full of the poster children for this. They came out on the other side of the system unemployable and in debt. They feel lost and angry, unable to think of life past the burden of their student loans. And many of them (not all) feel that “capitalism” is somehow to blame, that the world of profits is somehow divorced from the well-being of people.

It’s criminal when “profits” are doled out to banks and “too big to fail” businesses by the government, with money taken from the taxpayers. But what about the real profits – not stolen goods – in which entrepreneurs take risks and business people add value, when the profits are the reward for serving people’s needs?

So the bamboozled have taken to the street. They would like their student debts to be wiped out, that “the people” be bailed out like the bankers and crony big businesses were. Or even worse, they get it in their heads that all higher education, henceforth, should be paid for by the government. It doesn’t matter whether there is a market demand for expertise in a course of study or not.

A system has grown up that encouraged enormous debt for nonperforming assets, namely, schooling in things that won’t pay off. People are still falling for it. But markets aren’t mocked forever. There has to be some painful write-down in central bank-distorted asset values before the economy can regain solid footing. This is just as true for higher education as it is for real estate.

It won’t be pretty. We’re not sure how this will play out for those who’ve misallocated their time and energy based on false signals, and with nothing but debt to show for it. But the stories that we told ourselves about what’s valuable were built on distortions that are now coming to an end.

Reality is asserting itself. And the reality is that entrepreneurship is what drives wealth creation, not going into debt to be taught that wealth creation is secondary to cultural studies or worse, that wealth creation is downright evil.

The education industry has been corrupted by too much easy money. It is now zombified. Sclerotic. And parasitic. It now subtracts value. It takes valuable resources…not the least of which are the minds and bodies of people at their most energetic stage in life…and squanders them, making us all poorer.

Still, parents are terrified of the idea that their children may not get the “education that they need” and may be condemned forever to the lower rungs of the socio-economic ladder. The unemployment rate for college graduates, for example, is only half that of the rate for the rest of the population – less than 5%, even in the high-unemployment slump since 2008. Parents are afraid an uneducated child will not only be a failure, but will be forced by joblessness and poverty to move back in with mom and dad.

Yes, they will tell you, a degree from a Podunk University in the Midwest maybe be worthless. But get a degree from Harvard or Yale and you are on the train to status and prosperity. They are prepared to mortgage the house…and take out hundreds of thousands in student loans to buy the kid a ticket.

And they may be right. But only because the whole society has been corrupted by the same zombie virus. It has shifted the economy from one that cares if you can produce…to one that cares if your papers are in order. A small businessman will not particularly care if you have a college degree or not. He only cares if you can do the job. But big government and the big businesses it manages are different. They use education as a qualifier. Anyone who can sit still in class for 16 years – without questioning the nonsense that passes for knowledge – is a good candidate for bureaucracy.

What have been the growth industries of the last 10 years? Government is the main one. Obviously, government doesn’t care if you can produce or not. Who’s measuring? Its output is un-priced. Who’s to know if you handled your paperwork well…or made the right decision? Likewise, in the education industry, who’s to know if you are productive? What does it mean to be productive? Imagine that you have a job at a major university. You are an assistant director of its Local Community Outreach Program…or its Special Gender Enabling Group…or even its Career Placement Office. Who’s to know…or care…if you are doing a good job? All you have to do is to look and act in a presentable professional way. The rest is BS.

In the absence of any market-based test, you can get away with anything. All you need is a bright smile and a good line of talk. And a college degree, of course!

In non-market sectors, mistakes are eventually corrected, but only…like the Soviet Union…after decades of misery, and a final breakdown or revolution. In the meantime, the mistakes compound. The education industry takes more and more of the national resources while producing less and less real output. And if you want a job, you are better off as a well-credentialed zombie than as an energetic (often disruptive) producer.

But what if you were to start up a new business…a private school, with a clear profit-oriented, market priced output? With modern e-learning tools, you could reduce the cost of a real university education, to a fraction of the price people currently pay.

Mr. David Van Zandt of the New School in New York:

“I apologize to anyone here from Nebraska, but there is no reason to teach introductory chemistry in Nebraska in a classroom of 500 students. Not when you can pump in, say, someone from Harvard,” to give the lecture on video.

It is just a matter of time before the cushy, over-rich education industry meets destruction at the hands of new technology and new entrepreneurs. But don’t expect it to go gently into that good night. It has lobbyists by the score. It has money by the billions. It has its men and women in Washington…who will continue rewarding the failed, zombie schools, while regulating, squeezing out and crushing start-up competition.

That’s why, sometimes, it takes a revolution.


Occupy Wall Street Showdown...

What if Ron Paul were President?

What Would Really Happen If Ron Paul Were To Be Elected President?

by Bill Sardi

So what would really happen if Ron Paul were as elected President?

President Paul would immediately push for $1 trillion cut in federal spending (per year, not the $3 trillion that Democrats proposed over 10 years with half of that from increased taxes).

President Paul would have the authority as commander-and-chief towithdraw troops from overseas, within limits of treaty commitments which must be honored (US supplies defense for Saudi Arabia, many other nations). To the extent possible, the US would cease being the world's policeman and plunderer of foreign economies (Iraq, Libya). The US would cease being a war economy. President Paul would also push to eradicate foreign aid which essentially is bribery, often to foreign despots who the US quietly supports because they hold a strong hand over their masses.

President Paul would have some empty chairs in his Cabinet – the Department of Commerce, Department of Education and other Cabinet positions would be eliminated. Civil service employees would be ushered into other government jobs.

President Paul would likely demand, using his bully-pulpit, a regular audit of the Federal Reserve (recall the FED pushed $13 trillion of short-term loans out the door in the world financial crisis without any oversight, which resulted in worldwide inflation and the unrest we now see in foreign countries – Egypt, Libya, etc – as a result of rising food prices.).

You probably don't know that the Federal Reserve bank takes a 6% cut off the top of all interest it collects as middleman between the US Treasury Dept and local banks. (President John F Kennedy realized this, recognized it would result in huge federal debts in the future, which have now materialized, and cut the Federal Reserve entirely out of the equation in 1963 by directly issuing US Notes, not Federal Reserve currency, into the economy. Of course, shots fired in Dallas ceased that practice and all those US Notes were quietly withdrawn from circulation.) That cut for the central bankers would be eliminated in a Ron Paul Presidency.

President Paul would likely demand and personally oversee an audit of the gold at Ft. Knox. Wouldn't you like to be there for that (live cameras please)? If the gold isn't there, who absconded with it and where is it now? (Might not have to look far, it could be stashed in Federal Reserve bank vaults – recall, the Federal Reserve is not federal, it is a bunch of private banks who may have absconded with the nation's gold supply).

With a public groundswell of support, President Paul would oversee theabolishment of the Internal Revenue Service, freeing Americans of the onerous and treacherous task of figuring out the taxes they owe (recall the Secretary of the Treasury couldn't accurately figure out his own taxes). No more debtors prison for not filing tax forms properly (yep, some Americans are in prison for this). That would free-up about 6 billion man-hours and $250-300 billion of money now committed to tax preparation. Real money, not the fractionated loan money, would be returned to the economy.

There would be a re-adjustment period as the nation figures out how to rebuild employment without phony government jobs programs, but anticipate an eventual US renaissance. The US would be spared the fate of Greece which has 40% employment in the government sector, placing those jobs on the back of the remaining tax payers there.

Without an income tax the Federal Reserve would have no conduit to siphon money back out of the economy to limit inflation and it would have to cease its inflationary money printing practices. Mothers of young American children would be told that their struggles to see their kids get ahead in this country will not be futile as the Federal Reserve's planned inflation policy would be put to a halt. If your kids can't earn a better income than the rate of inflation (now 7-11%, government says it is only ~3%) they will surely be impoverished.

For example, if an American child was born in 1990 and her/her mother as sole bread winner was making $35,000 a year on the date of that child's birth, that child would have to earn $60,758 today (2011) to equal his/her mother's salary in 1990. Soccer moms should shout loudly for a Ron Paul Presidency. Your children have no future if one of the other pretenders is elected. Without currency reform, all other reforms become meaningless. The elites will continue to plunder and undermine the wealth that you create.

President Ron Paul would push for the federal government to get out of the real estate lending business. By Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ensuring home loans, lenders generated loans based upon low teaser interest rates (subprime, ALT-A) and unverified incomes and then funneled these bad loans on up to these quasi-government agencies where the public took the losses (these losses are now on the accounting books of the Federal Reserve). In a Ron Paul Presidency, bad lenders would go out of business, not be given bailouts.

The Federal Reserve now holds over $1 trillion in bad loans on it accounting books – let the Federal Reserve get what it deserves – a giant loss as its banks go out of business due to insolvency, just punishment for allowing low interest rates to prevail and create a real estate bubble in the first place. Stop protecting bankers, start protecting your own wealth – vote for Ron Paul!

Without a government backstop to insure home loans, lenders would be more diligent in checking out lender qualifications and incomes. Thefalse demand for housing that the Federal government created would cease and home values would crash, for a short time. But that would be good news – now homes would become affordable.

It is said, if the Federal Government would get out of housing homes prices would tumble by 50%. While that is not good news for the asset-side of lenders accounting books, it is the only way to bring back the housing market in a short time. This is the mark-to-market value accounting that must be practiced. Interest rates on home mortgages would rise, but so would the interest on saved money – Americans would cease losing money on savings accounts (interest on saved money today is less than 1% while inflation is ~7-11%).

While the US economy is said to be the strongest in the world (~$14 trillion), the US is hiding the fact its Gross Domestic Product is actually in decline and that probably half of the GDP is comprised of financial gains from moving money around. An example is the stock market with 70% of its trades now comprised of high-speed millisecond trading. Financial gains are contrived and there is no real value created out of these phony transactions, nor is any employment created. The lending classes will have to face reality. Phony numbers would not likely be a part of a Ron Paul Presidency.

With a groundswell of public support, President Ron Paul would push for a currency that has limited stretchability by backing it with gold. No more rubber money. The fortunes of Americans would cease being eroded by money printing practices at the Federal Reserve. If you missed Ron Paul's object lesson - he recently held up a pre-1964 silver dime (dimes today have no silver in them) and said it is worth ~$3.00 today, about the price of a gallon of gasoline. That means a gold-backed dollar could buy you a full tank of gas. Imagine that?

But inflationary policies have robbed American bank accounts of wealth. The thief of inflation that is robbing your money out the back door of your local bank would be handcuffed.

Ron Paul would also push for competing currencies (if this sounds foreign to you, we already have one – its called a VISA card, and don't forget American Express Checks). Creators of currencies who have the most backing in the form of reserves would have the most desired currencies, those who don't would have currencies of lesser value.

So what would happen worldwide with the announcement of a Ron Paul Presidency? Did you see what happened yesterday when the European Union band-aided its currency and debt problems for the time being. Markets soared with even a hint of sound money. Likewise, a Ron Paul Presidency should cause markets to soar just on the announcement of his Presidency. The International Monetary Fund has been begging the US to cut federal spending or devalue its currency by 30%.

The tax and print-money Keynsians would be ousted from power. Phony money would be a thing of the past. Real jobs, not government-contrived jobs that add a 15% administration burden and place the salaries of government workers on the remaining private sector, would be created. Two bad examples are Solyndra and General Motors, both whom received a government-back loan and then sought government contracts to sell solar panels to the US Navy and Chevy Volt electric cars to the federal government's fleet of automobiles. That is nothing but false demand.

Imagine Ron Paul appoints a new chief at the Food & Drug Administration who turns that institution upside down, who complies with the law (Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act) rather than repudiates or ignores it as the current FDA does, and works to allow health claims for natural medicines that work far more safely and effectively than synthetically made drugs, and at much lower cost. Imagine the National Institutes of Health is forced to generate studies to reveal the true effectiveness of vitamins C and D, as previously documented by this author in the archives at, and the life expectancy of Americans soars and their quality of life in their retirement years greatly improves. Dr. Ron Paul is committed to this kind of real change, not give lip service to it.

Imagine for a moment that President Ron Paul, advocate of free markets, calls for a true revamp of the nation's electrical grid unlike the current administration which only gives rhetoric to the idea. With installation of new US-manufactured power cable technology that is able to transmit twice as much power on a single power line with 9-20% greater efficiency (less line loss), averting the need for 98 new fossil-fueled or atomic power plants by stringing just 3000 miles of the nation's power lines with this US-made technology, and bringing $60 billion greater bottom-line profits to power generating companies, your electricity bill would be measurably trimmed instead of continually rising.

Ron Paul – your President. Your vote for RP will cause all of the above and more to happen. This article is just a sampling of what could happen almost overnight. One man, one moment in time, and everything changes on day-one of a RP Presidency. It would the best $39,000 your government could invest (Ron Paul has publicly stated he would take a $39,000/year salary while in office compared to the $400,000/year salary of the incumbent, to set an example).

Don't be dissuaded by bogus claims "Ron Paul is unelectable" or by the menu of wanna-be candidates served up by the news media. The 4th-Estate, the nation's major news sources are not unbiased parties. The news media is in dire financial straits themselves and wants those campaign advertising dollars, particularly the $750 million the incumbent President is likely to raise like he did last election. Ron Paul is electable – by you. Make the election of RP so magnanimous that even vote fraud can't hide it.

Let's recap – no income tax, the Federal government generates revenues by other means; no IRS forms to deal with; no need to send your kids off to phony wars in foreign theatres; no more cut off the top by the Federal Reserve; assurance there really is gold in Ft. Knox; gold-backed money like this nation once had before the banksters cut their own deal at Jekyll Island, South Carolina decades ago and Nixon took America off the gold standard; rising individual purchasing power as inflation is nixed (no need to ask the boss for a raise, your money will buy more), financial gains on your banked money instead of erosion of your wealth via inflation; your chance to own a home will greatly improve rather than the current situation where home ownership is now only a fading American pipe dream; and true reform of healthcare rather than manipulation by those with vested interests.

These are what a Ron Paul Presidency portends. This is Doctor Ron Paul's prescription for the re-installation of sanity in American politics. Entrenched forces and crony capitalism are destroying America. You can fight back. Let the public's voice be heard loud at the ballot box. Vote for Ron Paul so the 99% can have a real opportunity to become the 1%.

You can save your country, save your family, save your nation's future – vote Ron Paul for President.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ron Paul "What We Have Now Is People With Pseudo Educations & Massive Debt! You've Indentured Them!

"...his proposals to end these wars of aggression, bring our troops home, close our bases abroad, cut defense spending, abolish the FED, restore civil liberties, and end crony capitalism are just too much for the major corporations who control the media to tolerate."

Reason and Rationality in Public Debate: The Case of Ron Paul

Reason and Rationality in Public Debate: The Case of Ron Paul

by Jim Fetzer

During the organizing meeting of The Human Behavior and Evolution Society at the University of Michigan in 1988, I raised my hand after a presentation by Lida Cosmides, then the doyen of the movement, which had made a certain impression on me, and said, “I have only two concerns regarding your presentation”. She said, “Yes?”; and I continued, “One is your conclusion”.

She took a few paces with her hand on her chin and again said, “Yes?”; and, I added on, “The other is your premises.” The audience burst out in laughter, since a scholar’s position, like that of anyone else, only has two parts: their premises and their conclusions! Most of us know that much about arguments, which are conclusions, hypotheses or conjectures supported by premises, which provide grounds, reasons or evidence, where the stronger argument, in rational discourse, tends to prevail. But that assumes an appropriate correspondence between objective standards of rational belief and subjective degrees of conviction. The measure of the difference between them serves as an index of the degree of divergence of a person’s opinion from normative standards and therefore functions as an index of the extent of the irrationality of their degree of belief from what beliefs are rational.

While most Americans know that much about arguments, they do not also understand that there are two broad classes of arguments: deductive and inductive. Deductive arguments are non-ampliative, in the sense that they do not contain any information in their conclusions that was not already in their premises. It is for this reason that their conclusions cannot be false if their premises are true. If “Jack and Jill went up the hill” is true, then “Jack went up the hill” cannot be false. Likewise, when “All ducks are white” and “This is a duck” are both true, then “This is white” must be true, too. That is not the case for inductive arguments, whose conclusions go beyond their premises. If “Jack went up the hill” and “Jill is usually with Jack” are both true, then probably “Jill went up the hill”. But that conclusion could still be false even when those premises are true. Our knowledge of laws of nature and of historical events is inductive, which is why we can never be sure our conclusions are true, but only whether they well-supported or not.

Truth versus Belief

Sentences (or assertions) are true whenever they correspond to reality (or to how things are or to everything that is the case). But absent some kind of privileged access, we have to depend upon our own personal experience and the evidence available to us in determining what we ought to believe by exercising reason or rationality. The coherence of our beliefs based upon the evidence available to us thus functions as a criterion for us to judge the difference between what we take to be true and what we take to be false, where we may be mistaken. This diagram compares levels of strength of personal conviction and objective degrees of evidential support:

Notice that personal degrees of subjective conviction are measured on the basis of psychological considerations from beliefs we cannot imagine are false (“indubitable”) to those we cannot imagine are true (“inconceivable”). With respect to objective measures of evidential support, they range from those that are logically contradictory (that “2 + 2 = 5” or that “This is both a circle and a square”) to those that are logically necessary (“2 + 2 = 4” and “A square has four sides and four equal angles”). But our beliefs about the world around us, including current events, are inductive and uncertain.

Thomas Jefferson was once asked if he would prefer a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, to which he replied that he would prefer the latter. But Jefferson was not contemplating a time in which newspapers would be controlled by governments or by corporations, which is the situation that we confront today. It has become increasingly difficult to sort out information we are given that is true from information we are given that is false. And that is especially true when editors and reporters can slant the news using a variety of techniques familiar to students of logic and critical thinking but not to the average American, including the straw man (by exaggerating a position to make it easier to attack), special pleading (by citing only the evidence that supports your point of view), and the appeal to authority (by citing sources that are authoritative on one subject as experts on another), which can be illustrated relative to news about the candidacy of Ron Paul and, subsequently, the debate about Libya, where differences that have emerged here may be better understood without prejudging who is right and who is wrong.

The Coverage of Ron Paul

Perhaps the most egregious illustration of special pleading of my lifetime—apart from the bias the press has displayed in relation to 9/11 and JFK (on which I am planning to publish a complementary column)—has been the shameless suppression of information about the candidacy of Ron Paul for the GOP presidential nomination. He has won straw poll after straw poll, in California, in Ohio, at the Conservative Political Action Conference held in Louisiana and at the Value Voters Summit held in Virginia; he has raised millions of dollars in funding, second only to Mitt Romney and Rick Perry; and he has won run-away polling victories in relation to the GOP debates. On 11 October 2011, he won the Value Voters Summit poll 37% to 23% for Herman Cain, where Tony Perkins of the Family Research Counsel, which sponsored the event, repudiated his own poll and declared Cain as the one who had attained the real victory. On 24 October 2011, Ron Paul won the Ohio straw poll, 54% to 26% for Herman Cain and just 9% for Romney.

After a GOP presidential debate held on 22 September 2011, FOX NEWS published poll results showing that Ron Paul had won with 30% trailed by Romney with 27%, Perry with 15%, and Cain with 9%. Even Russia Today reported “Fox Freaks after Ron Paul Wins Debate” by taking down the poll results after Ron Paul took the lead. RT even quoted Ralph Nader, whom most of us have long admired, who said that, in his opinion, Paul was the most appealing of the GOP candidates and offered the following reasons:

“He wants to get out of these wars overseas, he wants to bring the soldiers back, he wants to cut the bloated military budget, he wants to change some of the anti-civil liberty provisions in the Patriot Act, he hates corporate welfare and all these bailouts of Wall Street crooks,” said Nader. “He ought to get more attention, instead of ten times more attention being given to Michele Bachmann.”

The Debate Poll

Perhaps the most astounding result of all followed the Republican debate held at the Reagan Library, where msnbc published the following results:

Since this poll occurred following the Republican debate on 7 September, I infer that, by 22 September, when Fox pulled its results, the corporations that control the media had determined that it was better to publish no poll results at all than to publish poll results that massively favored Ron Paul.

Some might contend that Ron Paul was even featured on “Meet the Press” on 23 October 2011 as part of a series that featured the GOP candidates. His exclusion would have been too blatant a form of bias for any American to miss, so they included him. As I watched the program on that Sunday, I was not the least surprised by the direct and pointed fashion in which Ron Paul answered the questions that were posed by David Gregory, even one that was loaded about student loans. I was equally unsurprised when his explanation of why he would phase them out was the only answer that was featured in articles in the Wisconsin State Journal (24 October 2011, A13) which led to a letter (28 October 2011, A13) of complaint about that move, but which was accompanied by another objecting about the near-compete media blackout.

Notice how this technique combines special pleading with the straw man, where his proposals to end these wars of aggression, bring our troops home, close our bases abroad, cut defense spending, abolish the FED, restore civil liberties, and end crony capitalism are just too much for the major corporations who control the media to tolerate. They do not even publish the Constitutional reasons he would end student loans, which may not be a plank we all want to support but deserves a fair explanation. So if there are any lingering doubts about whether we in the United States have a free press, they are decisively refuted by this example, where the media are combining the suppression of information about Ron Paul with special pleading by only publicizing positions of his that they believe will diminish his support, which betrays the principles upon which this country was founded. Thomas Jefferson would not have been pleased.