Friday, November 21, 2008


OKAY, I MISSED A COUPLE, but I did answer 31 of 33 questions correctly my first and only shot at the gold in this civics quiz sponsored by Our Fading Heritage. My score of 93% placed this 53-year old above the average American taking this test in November.

Wrong responses: #14 and #30. Damn, I knew what the Pilgrims were all about, and I knew they weren't Catholics. And with number thirty, I must have internalized wrong advice from Senator John McCain during the presidential debates. Oops.

What's really fascinating about this civic literacy quiz is the scorecard showing that US citizens tend to score higher than our own elected officials. Go ahead, pilgrim. Show your grit. Take the test. Embarrass your leadership if that's what it takes to get their attention. Okay, I know that's just fantasy...

But since Adrian Fenty's DC government is still stumbling around trying to sandbag the recent SCOTUS decision outlawing the District's draconian ban on handguns, rifles, and shotguns, in addition to all those other classes of weapons I know little about at this time, I think I'll present HERE the Commonwealth of Virginia's rather relaxed position on firearms among its own citizenry, and HERE is the website for the Open Carry advocacy organization. Strange stuff for a long-time DC city slicker like myself.

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JUST IN CASE you haven't been paying close attention to the news of the day, Detroit City, long on the frail side, is failing and failing fast. The key questions are centered, or at least, should center on the reasons of why the American automobile industry, once the paragon of manly strength echoing the pervasiveness of ingenuity, hard work, and the American Way, is failing.

Even if you are sympathetic to this latest charade of tycoon muskateers looking for a bailout for their own house of cards, and want to believe in your hearts of hearts that everything is on the up and up—guess what—these empty suits are just there to collect a king's ransom, and even admit before Congress they have no clue how to turns things around.

Detroit's woes are not new. The irascible Pat Buchanan, in his latest column, has sounded a litany of reasons why this once proud industrial model has slammed into these hardest of times, placing the blame on the government and the unions. Or as another irascible character named Pogo once remarked, "We have met the enemy, and the enemy is us."

Nothing really new here, but the article is worth a glance, just in case you haven't been paying attention. And here is a poignant if somewhat ideologically unsympathetic comment by one of Buchanan's readers:

Our problems are...

1. In winning WWII, we inadvertently (most of us, not FDR and his cronies) made the world safe for communism, so part of the resistance to commie expansion included opening our markets to foreign imports. We don't need an export-driven economy, but have to reestablish trade balance.
2. As Pat points out, we won WWII in large part because we could build the weapons and vehicles to destroy the enemy. Not only our external enemies and rivals, but also the leftists who are our internal enemies, have been working to destroy that advantage ever since.
3. Our tax system is utterly unprepared for the degree of foreign participation and ownership of our economy, and much of the income arising from what we consume is now no longer taxable by the U.S.
4. The U.S. dollar is currently the world's reserve currency, in part because probably no country makes it easier for foreigners to own real estate and businesses, and the tax system lets them do it on a largely tax-free basis. We need to domesticate our dollar and establish a barter at the border, goods for goods trade system, that no goods can come into the U.S. without being paid for right then and there at the border by goods going out of the U.S. That would enforce trade balance.

I keep reading about this border barter solution. What a logistical nightmare for the boys down on the docks. But then, that's what heads up business communication and moral leadership is supposed to be all about, not a culture weaned on astonishing golf courses where everybody knows your name and overwrought golden parachutes and getaway private jets around every turn for these self-serving song and dance resumè-builders and corporate thieves who do little but handsomely enrich themselves while grappling for the next rung on the ladder, while the very businesses they were hired to run falter, or fail.

But things are never that simple. American cars aren't the problem, the business model is. Robotics in Detroit has greatly reduced the toil of the average line worker who know makes over $70/hr including benefits. The car companies have gone as far as they can in reducing labor costs but have more people on retirement than in production. Toyota and all other foreign companies now producing in the US have 1/2 the labor costs and do not have to contend with the many years of retirement and health cost benefits.

Read it all.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008


Gerald Celente of the Trends Research Institute reacts to the financial crisis on a Coast to Coast radio show. He speaks of tax revolts and even regionalization of America as an affect of Americans wanting no part of a federal government.

So, here's a tip I ran across at the Confluence site:

When I was a DV advocate I received several threats from angy husbands. They decided we could take the class that police officers take without any extra cost. I learned to shoot a shotgun, a rifle, self-defense and use a 357 pistol. The shotgun is a bitch and almost took my arm off, until I was taught to lean forwad to the point of putting all my weight forward. I became a pretty good shot.

My grandparents always said that the necessities weren’t meat and veggies, we could grow those. The run was on things like flour, meal and sugar. My grammy always froze our flour and meal for a week, then put it in the cabinet. She learned a long time ago that it kills the eggs inside the flour and meal that I guess occur naturally. I do it now, just because I grew up with it, freezing it increases the shelf life by months.

Sage advice, my friends. And here's a link suggesting that the plastic liners inside tin cans can be dangerous, in fact more dangerous than the toxins inherent in plastic water bottles. According to the FDA, 17% of the American diet comes out of cans, and many of those have an epoxy liner made with Bisphenol A, a chemical which can mimic human estrogen and which is linked to breast cancer and early puberty in women. While the leaching of BPA from Nalgene water bottles and other polycarbonate bottles is a concern, the danger from canned food may be greater.

All this convenience we were sold by science seems to be nothing more than a delivery system for early death. Most of us will never lives as long as our grandparents, or our great-grandparents. This system is screaming out for a hard fix. And we may be getting it, one way or another.

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THE ECONOMIC CRISIS HAS STAGGERED Wall Street and here is a man who says that the worst is still to come. He's been right too many times to dismiss. Try 2012 on for size. He also says President-elect Barack Obama doesn't have a prayer in fixing this mess.

Gerald Celente of the Trends Research Institute is a highly respected prognosticator. Here's another Celente forecast from the December 2007 newsletter called Top Trends 2008:

America’s going broke and the whole world knows it. Betting that its economy will spiral down and that the dollar will fall with it, foreign creditors are dumping dollars on the market … and even Third World street vendors don’t want to take greenbacks any longer. The further it falls, the less it’s worth. The less it’s worth, the less it buys. In the real world they call it "inflation." In America they call it "good for business."

Failing banks, busted brokerages, toppled corporate giants, bankrupt cities, states in default, foreign creditors cashing out of US securities … whatever the spark, the stage is set for panic in the streets. When the giant firms fall, they'll crush the man on the street...

It's all rather frightening. And yes, we believe this is a true outlook. There is nothing to stop this financial collapse. America is changing.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008


Astonishing video of Peter Shiff's prediction in 2006 of current mortgage tsunami

FORMER NEW YORK STATE GOVERNOR Eliot Spitzer has penned an article on the financial crisis.

First, we must confront head-on the pervasive misunderstanding of what constitutes a "free market." For long stretches of the past 30 years, too many Americans fell prey to the ideology that a free market requires nearly complete deregulation of banks and other financial institutions and a government with a hands-off approach to enforcement. "We can regulate ourselves," the mantra went.

Those of us who raised red flags about this were scoffed at for failing to understand or even believe in "the market." During my tenure as New York state attorney general, my colleagues and I sought to require investment banking analysts to provide their clients with unbiased recommendations, devoid of undisclosed and structural conflicts. But powerful voices with heavily vested interests accused us of meddling in the market.

When my office, along with the Department of Justice, warned that some of American International Group's reinsurance transactions were little more than efforts to create the false impression of extra capital on the company's balance sheet, we were jeered at for attacking one of the nation's great insurance companies, which surely knew how to balance risk and reward.

And when the attorneys general of all 50 states sought to investigate subprime lending, believing that some lending practices might be toxic, we were blocked by a coalition of the major banks and the Bush administration, which invoked a rarely used statute to preempt the states' ability to probe. The administration claimed that it had the situation under control and that our inquiry was unnecessary.

Read it all here.

But others posit that the End of Wall Street is nigh upon us. The thieves are at the window!

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Saturday, November 15, 2008


SO THIS UNDULATING G20 meeting is stirring the pot to keep us all from the boiling point. The world has gathered for Bretton Woods II. While my well-meaning but fiscally ignorant friends in the art world tell me I pessimistic in always seeing the glass as half empty, I simply shudder at the bubbling abyss into which I stare. Read this—

But I can't reiterate enough:

1. The original Bretton Woods system was destroyed in '71 because of the need for credit.
2. Our manufacturing was offshored in the need for credit.
3. Our savings were dumped over the need for credit.
4. And now we're at the point where we can't even borrow for credit. There are repercussions for destroying the world's economy, and no one will be offered blame in this but the United States as far as the history books are concerned.

At the root of this is a long, long trend of manipulation by the Fed to avoid biting the bullets of cyclical downturns in the economy. It's been spurred by the creation of more and more paper that has no backing other than the credibility of our US treasury. And now that credibility is all but gone over the bailouts.

I can't really think of any point in history where a flee floating monetary fiat system didn't ultimately fail because as aforementioned, when the going gets tough, the bank starts printing more, and more paper. We're at that point now, and this meeting which has been instigated by Gordon Brown and slammed home by Sarkozy in his endless travels will have long-lasting consequences for the United States.

And since we are the world's largest debtor due to this endless expansion of credit, our leaders aren't going to have a lot of room to maneuver or offer discourse towards rejecting any agreements short of war.

We are at the point in our history where sovereignty will be surrendered with a white flag in the name perpetuating credit. The implications are one of economic slavery for We the People who will be left holding the bag when this ponzi system comes collapsing down at the word of the American creditors.

There are men in Brussels, Beijing, Moscow, Dubai, and London right now who are laughing their gray-suited arses off.

But then again, let's go to the Great Commonwealth of Virginia for another take on matters...

I see a lot of folks on the boards concerned about globalization, the new world order, global money, etc., etc. Don't worry, I say. What we are seeing right now is an economic collapse, an economic winter. This proves that we cannot even build a Tower of Babel in our own country, let alone the world. Look at the upsides of a collapse:

1. the new world order is kaput.
2. as unemployment rises illegal aliens will be pressured into leaving
3. has anyone noticed that gasoline prices are way down?
4. the Kuwaiti investors lost their shirts in their market collapse (now ain't that a shame?)
5. my house has dropped in value. That's good you ask? Why yes, my property tax bill went down! If my house goes to $0 then I pay no tax! Plus my kids will be able to afford their own homes, rather than squatting on me. To me a home is not an ATM machine—it's where I live. If I sell it what am I gonna do? Live on a park bench?
6. our government will go broke—that means no more deficit spending—stuff like the F22 Raptor will be canned. Heck, we need men with guns on our borders more than we need the F22. The aliens we want to stop are from Mexico...not outer space.
7. imposters such as Paulson and Bernanke will be shown to have "no clothes"
8. Obama will be revealed as a eunuch (as will all world "leaders")
9. China gets sent back to the middle ages
10. etc., etc.

A collapse means a return to traditional values, conservatism, less spending, less driving, more family, for some a renewed belief in God. It also proves that the development of a new world order is many, many generations away. Winter is cold, but it does kill rats and flies.

Let's face it. Humor and personal niche politics are always the best medicine when the pot starts boiling and the broth freezes over. What's the old ire? A conservative is someone who hates socialism when it benefits poor people but loves socialism when it benefits the wealthy.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008


“My job is to make this Obama administration a success. It should be the job of all journalists to make this administration look good because we are due for a successful Presidency.”

—Chris Matthews

Now, why exactly would that be, Mister Hardball? In the tank, ya think?

Let's go to the tape. It's Alaska. The election is over. Sarah is home. So what happens? A media type asks why Governor Palin didn’t give more interviews in the beginning, and she says: “You know that rumor about me ‘going rogue’? That’s because I was trying to sneak phone calls to some of you in the media…that’s what that was about.”

This woman has spunk and natural grip.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008


THERE WE HAVE IT. The end of an era. A turn of the page. A so-called post-racial but racially-charged election is now in the books. And the winner and 44th President of the United States of America is the junior Senator from the Great State of Illinois—Barack Obama. We, at The Two-fisted Quorum, offer no apologies for owning our votes, and casting them for the opposition, but now that the Democratic ticket has won this historic election, it is time to move on past the ugly tactics this election process on both sides of the aisle could never transcend. It is time to act like grown-up Americans, always on the watch, but never the sore loser...

This will be a tough cycle. Our enemies who will still insist on hurting us as Americans, and our enemies who will still resist this election are surely lurking amongst us and within us. Let us join our neighbors in praying that President Obama be granted the courage to accept the things he cannot change, change the things he can, and be granted the wisdom to know the difference.

And let us all echo the sentiments expressed by John McCain in his concession speech last night in Phoenix.

May we be inspired to find that all of our fears and anxieties of a radical leftist—smug, thug, and snug in the pockets of corporate interests—sitting in the White House were misguided and nothing but ephemeral mists now evaporated with the pulsing warmth of the sun because here is a new kind of national leader who truly does love America and ALL its people...

I even read today that he is bringing back all the manufacturing jobs our corporations so cavalierly sent away. Rebuilding American industry so that we don't depend on steel and other integral products from our enemies has been a major issue for The Two-fisted Quorum.

May we also not be fooled again...

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Erica Jong
A FEW DAYS AGO, Erica Jong, the author and self-described feminist, gave an interview to the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, the choicest bits of which were brought to my attention by the reliably sharp-eyed Christian Rocca, the U.S. correspondent of Il Foglio, who published excerpts on his Camillo blog. Basically, Jong says her fear that Obama might lose the election has developed into an "obsession. A paralyzing terror. An anxious fever that keeps you awake at night."

She also says that her friends Jane Fonda and Naomi Wolf are extremely worried that Obama will be sabotaged by Republican dirty tricks, and that if an Obama loss indeed comes to pass, the result will be a second American Civil War.

Read it all.

Now for some positive words, words that make sense, words that reflect what we already have suspected weeks ago. Here is an inside look at political polls and corruption and ignorance behind them.

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AND PUTIN ISN'T EVEN the most serious enemy Obama would have to deal with. That distinction goes to the same opponent The New York Times and other liberal entities routinely fail to acknowledge because they don’t wear uniforms and abide by the rules of engagement that we’re used to seeing in Hollywood movies. No, our most serious enemy, in this fourth-generation war that swaps traditional geopolitical boundaries for ideological ones, is right next door.

It’s hard to speak of terrorism without being accused by the left of seeing jihadists under every rock. But that’s precisely where they are.

This week in Toronto, Canada, a homegrown 29-year-old Muslim was convicted on five charges of financing and plotting thwarted terrorist attacks in the UK. He was a contractor with the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs who spent his downtime hitting the monkey bars at terrorist training camps in Pakistan and writing love letters about Osama bin Laden.

That’s the enemy. But could Barack Obama recognize it? Judging by his close association with a terrorist like William Ayers, apparently not.

Obama has said that he was only a boy when Ayers and his Weather Underground domestic terrorists bombed the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol. As proof that the war on terrorism isn’t yet taken seriously enough, one only has to imagine how the public might react if we found out that John McCain was palling around with a former Nazi war criminal, and justifying it by pointing out that he was just a kid when all that went down and he wouldn’t have supported it had he been around at the time. As though he couldn’t be expected to pick up a history book and do a bit of reading. That’s essentially Obama’s argument vis-à-vis his association with Ayers – and he gets a pass.

He also points to the fact that Ayers is now a distinguished college professor. Yeah, so? How many college campuses would recruit Osama Bin Laden, if we could find him? We already have the Taliban diversity program at Yale for “distinguished” jihadists.

Obama’s numbers in the Middle East are even higher than they are at the United Nations. One thing upon which Palestinians and Jews agree is apparently—and inexplicably—the notion that Barack Obama would be best for their welfare.

As the Associated Press reports, at least one Palestinian is hunkered down at his computer in a refugee camp making random calls over the Internet to Americans, imploring them to vote for Obama. Meanwhile, a Gallup tracking poll has determined that 75-80 percent of Jews will vote for Obama next week.

Read Rachel Marsden's full article...

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A FORMER ILLINOIS REAL ESTATE specialist says FBI agents have questioned him about a Chicago property that had been bought by convicted felon Tony Rezko's wife and later sold to the couple's next-door neighbor, Sen. Barack Obama.

The real estate specialist, Kenneth J. Conner, said bank officials replaced an appraisal review he prepared on the property and FBI agents were investigating in late 2007 whether the Rezko-Obama deal was proper.

“Agents and I talked about payoff, bribe, kickback for a long time, though it took them only a short number of minutes of talking with me while looking at the appraisal to acknowledge what they already seemed to know: The Rezko lot was grossly overvalued,” Mr. Conner told The Washington Times Monday.

“Rezko paid the asking price on the same day Obama paid $300,000 less than the asking price to the same seller for his adjacent mansion,” he said. “This begs the question of payoff, bribe, kickback.”

In a wrongful-termination complaint filed last month in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Mr. Conner said his appraisal of the Rezko property, held in Rita Malki Rezko's name, was replaced with a higher one and he was fired when he questioned the document.

Mr. Conner, a former real estate and commercial credit analyst at Mutual Bank Corp. in Chicago, noted in the complaint that the bank received a grand jury subpoena in October 2006 requiring it to produce information concerning Mrs. Rezko's purchase, including the bank's files on the property.

The complaint also said the grand jury wanted information on Mrs. Rezko's checking account and loan file and whether the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) had audited the Rezko file.

It said Mutual Bank officials could be guilty of making false statements, willfully overvaluing property, bank fraud, witness retaliation, willful violation of a lawful subpoena, FDIC violations, and state banking regulations. The FBI has declined comment on the Rezko investigation, although it is known that Rezko is cooperating with authorities as the probe continues.

Read it all.

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Monday, November 03, 2008


A DEMOCRACY CANNOT EXIST as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.


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