Archive for April, 2010

Obama Sends in the Clowns

Posted: 04/27/2010 by Lynn Dartez in CFP

By Matt Barber  Monday, April 26, 2010

With a potential political bloodbath looming in November, liberals are understandably desperate. They see it all slipping away and it shows. The grassroots groundswell of opposition to Obama’s neo-Marxist, secular-humanist agenda intensifies daily despite the left’s best efforts to silence dissent.


Democrats, media elites and the usual gaggle of left-wing pressure groups have ramped-up the unhinged “right-wing-extremist” twaddle

Commensurate with plummeting poll numbers and evaporating public trust, Democrats, media elites and the usual gaggle of left-wing pressure groups have ramped-up the unhinged “right-wing-extremist” twaddle to historically hysterical levels. For those who delight in watching the self-styled “progressive” movement implode, it’s priceless.
“How can it be?” they ask. “The stars were aligned.” With Barack Obama in the White House and his egalitarian enablers running Congress, liberals found themselves at ship’s helm on the USS Hopey-Changey, sailing unabated toward the perfect storm of Euro-socialist reform. America’s elite class would, at long last – curse these two-plus centuries of “constitutional” government – be as those erudite Europeans our homespun lefties so pitifully parrot.
Oops… something happened on the way to the Communism. Middle America, channeling Dana Carvey’s Bush-one, said: “Nope, not gonna’ do it… wouldn’t be prudent.” According to the latest Pew poll, America’s trust in today’s godless Obama-Pelosi-Reid federal government is at an all time low of 22 percent, little more than a year after Obama took office.

Plan B: Demonize Dissent

Mahatma Gandhi once said: “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” His words are eerily applicable to the elitist acrimony we see in response to the rapid resurgence of America’s traditionalist zeitgeist.

After months of ignoring the burgeoning constitutionalist movement and dismissing it as “Astroturf,” the left hit the panic button. Jig was up. It had become painfully apparent to all that this measured, monotone young president who carried with him such high hopes for so many was, in fact, the radical leftist ideologue those Limbaugh-Hannity-Beck-types had warned of.

And so, the mainstream media hit back, latching like pit-bulls to a poodle on iffy reports that Tea Partiers had shouted racist and “homophobic” slurs at black members of Congress and, well, Barney Frank (claims which, as it turns out, were apparently fabricated whole cloth).

Conservative pundit Andrew Breitbart offered $100,000 reward to anyone able to provide video or audio of the alleged slurs. Despite scores of television cameras in the immediate vicinity, no one has produced a shred of evidence.

Capitalizing on the media’s deliberate mischaracterization of Tea Party conservatives as racist, inbred seditionists, some despondent Obama supporters then devised a strategy to “crash the Tea Parties.” Throngs of constitutionally challenged, Berkeley-esque short-bussers (you shall know them by their patchouli covered bong pong) infiltrated many of the conspicuously peaceful “Tax Day Tea Parties” with racist and misspelled signs, screaming bigoted and inane slogans in an effort to paint Tea Partiers in a bad light.

Again, the strategy backfired with hilarious results as these boorish boobs outed themselves by posting their intentions on the internet in advance of operations. Legitimate Tea Partiers were ready for these “decaf” counterfeits, peacefully surrounding them when they showed up and calling them out in comical fashion.

Conservatives are Domestic Terrorists

Others have taken to the gutter deeper still. Most recently it was Bill Clinton with his lip-bitingly ominous warning that Tea Party conservatives and talk radio will cause another Oklahoma City. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla) issued a scathing statement, calling Clinton’s remarks “unconscionable,” and chided the former president: “This is an over-the-top effort to try to stop a movement of people who aren’t amenable to supporting Obama programs, like cap and trade, government-run health care and closing Gitmo.”

And then there’s the Alabama Alinskys. The Southern Poverty Law Center, a hard-left Montgomery-based outfit that claims to “monitor hate groups and racial extremists,” remains the liberal media’s go-to smear merchant. Perhaps more than any other group, the SPLC has overplayed its hand in vilifying opponents of Uncle Sam’s extreme makeover.

SPLC director Mark Potok, for instance, compared Tea Partiers to “domestic terrorists,” saying they’re “…shot through with rich veins of radical ideas, conspiracy theories and racism,” and are widely linked to “hate” and “vigilante groups.”

Filed under “absurd acts of transparent desperation” – the SPLC recently lumped-in with the KKK, neo-Nazis and “potentially violent” militia groups, a list of 40 high profile conservatives – to include three sitting U.S. representatives – who are apparently facilitating sedition (a federal offense).

Among the treasonous “enablers” of the “antigovernment patriot movement” (read: Tea Partiers and pro-life/pro-family Americans) are Rep. Michelle Bachman (R-Minn); Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex); Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga); Glenn Beck (Fox News host); Judge Andrew Napolitano (Fox News legal analyst); and Joseph Farah (Editor of

Seriously, guys? The SPLC would save us all time and energy if it simply released a list of conservative pundits, politicos and organizations that are not on its official “right-wing watch list.”

Perhaps the one charge SPLC nailed is that America is currently experiencing a “far-right resurgence” (read: conservative comeback). The good news is that such dishonest smears are causing the SPLC – already hemorrhaging credibility – to just bleed-on-out.

Mainstream media, you’re on official notice: Continue to cite the activist “analysis” of this discredited gang of kneecappers at your own peril. You risk losing completely, your own already vanishing credibility.

I’m sure they’ll get right on that.

In the meantime, what these panicked “progressive” pixies fail to understand, is that the more they malign the ever-growing millions of red-blooded, God-fearing Americans who feel compelled to push back against Obama’s weighty radicalism – the more they humiliate and embarrass themselves.

The more the left attempts to marginalize our nation’s center-right mainstream with disingenuous charges of “racism,” “homophobia” and “potential violence” – the more it marginalizes itself.

Still, I say marginalize away. Political self-neutering may just be these frowny clowns’ one true act of patriotism.


Why legal guns still cause arrests

Posted: 04/25/2010 by Lynn Dartez in WND

‘I am not quite sure what hysteria is about people carrying anything’

Posted: April 24, 2010
10:35 pm Eastern

By Michael Carl
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

James Goldberg of Glastonbury, Conn., recently was arrested for carrying a firearm at his neighborhood Chili’s restaurant, and his release because his actions were legal has sparked a major debate over the Second Amendment.

But the legislative director for the Massachusetts Gun Owners Action League, Jim Wallace, contends the case is evidence of the successful work of gun opponents in demonizing the hardware itself, using fear to crack down on a legal activity.

“I am not quite sure what the hysteria is about people carrying anything,” Wallace said.

“If police officers carry openly, is the general public scared? They shouldn’t be. Nor should they be scared if their fellow citizens are doing the same thing. The problem is the irrational stigma, probably created by the media, about guns themselves,” Wallace said.

“What the gun opponents are fostering is a basic mistrust of their fellow citizens,” Wallace said. “I’ve asked students at forums what they don’t trust about the person next to them. They usually answer, ‘I trust him, he’s my friend.’

“Then I usually say, ‘So what’s the problem?’ If you trust him, there shouldn’t be a problem,” Wallace said.

All you need to know about firearms, ammo and equipment in this ultimate searchable research guide.

Goldberg was released because under the provisions of the Connecticut firearms permit law, he was carrying legally.

Connecticut is one of 13 states that allow open carry with restrictions. According to The Free Library, others are Utah, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

States that offer open carry without licenses or restrictions are Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, South Dakota, Vermont, Kentucky and Virginia.

While all states have their own variations of rules and regulations, Second Amendment advocates say the Goldberg case is a worrisome indicator.

Connecticut Citizens Defense League President Scott Wilson said that while the Chili’s employees may have been well-intentioned, the greater issue was ignorance of the law.

Listen to an interview with Wilson:

“There is a perceived notion that if someone outside the law in Connecticut is carrying a firearm, concealed or otherwise, then someone is probably engaging in some type of illegal act,” Wilson said.

“Never mind what the employees thought. The police themselves are unaware of the law. On many occasions, talking with retired or active duty state police officers in Connecticut, they very simply don’t know the law,” Wilson said.

“And in some cases, even after I’ve pointed it out to them, they throw out, ‘Well, we will charge you with breach of peace.’ So it’s not just the employees of Chili’s. Police officers, Connecticut state troopers, and a lot of NRA instructors who teach the safety course here in Connecticut don’t know the law,” Wilson said.

Listen to an interview with Wallace:

Wallace said he looks at it as a picture of the whole nation.

“The problem is a nationwide perception of people with guns,” he said.

Wilson cited the immediate reaction following the Goldberg case: Lawmakers in the Connecticut Legislature proposed a plan to take away the open carry provisions.

While it wasn’t successful, Wilson said the reaction was alarming.

“The Connecticut Constitution, Article 1, Section 15 says clearly, ‘Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state,'” Wilson said. “Plain and simple, Connecticut is an open carry state provided the person has a Connecticut permit to carry pistols and revolvers.”

Democratic State Rep. Stephen Dargan said bills were introduced to “plug the hole” in the law, but they didn’t go anywhere, and he believes there is a better way to deal with it.

“The best solution is to inform the public about the citizen’s right to carry firearms. That will be a lot better than trying to pass a lot of unnecessary laws. Let’s inform the people about what the Second Amendment means and that Connecticut understands that people have a right to keep and bear arms,” Dargan said.

Goldberg’s incident at the Chili’s is not isolated. Even though most states now allow carry permits, a number of citizens have been arrested and charged for gun law violations.

The San Jose Mercury News reports police arrested Sherman Fontano for carrying an unloaded .357 revolver. Fontano said California law allows for the open carry of an unloaded firearm.

In March, the Starbucks coffee shop chain created a furor by agreeing to allow people with legally issued handgun permits to carry their guns into the shops, following a case in Seattle in which people carried firearms into the store.

States’ rules regarding carrying weapons vary widely, with 16 states having procedures to issue permits. Currently Illinois and Wisconsin are the only two U.S. states that do not issue permits for either concealed or open carry of firearms.

by Tom DeWeese
April 23, 2010

After more than forty years as an activist in the fight to restore the American Republic, I have never been more positive that the goal could now actually be achievable. The Tea Party movement represents the awakening of the great American sleeping giant of freedom. It is the most exciting change to take place in the last 100 years. Politicians are shuttering in its wake. Political strategists are trying to figure how to deal with it. Bad policy has been stopped or slowed. And massive change from the ballot box appears on the horizon of the next election.

However, some very dark clouds are gathering over the movement. The freedom fighters and their precious movement are being stalked by clandestine predators, quietly creating discord and suspicion among their ranks. If not exposed and stopped, the only result can be the destruction of the movement, the end of the burgeoning freedom revolution and the solidifying of the tyranny they seek to end.

The great threat to the Freedom Movement comes from a group of political extremists who have been around the U.S. political scene for decades. These operatives have been perceived at various times to be on the right and/or on the left. They have tried to work through the Democratic and Republican parties. Now they are trying to infiltrate and manipulate the Tea Party movement.

I am talking about the dangerous Lyndon LaRouche cult. It is a cult because of the fanatical devotion of LaRouche’s followers to his peculiar brand of Marxism, which sees the British – not the United States – as being behind economic catastrophes and world conflicts and wars. LaRouche followers can often be seen manning literature tables outside political events, including and especially 9/11 “truth” conferences.

Interestingly, one of LaRouche’s “former” high-level associates, Webster Tarpley, is now openly working with self-described “patriot” Alex Jones, who runs the infowars and prison planet web sites. Tarpley appears in two of Jones’ films, “The Obama Deception” and “Fall of the Republic.” Many conservatives have bought these films, thinking they have critical information about the threats to freedom that face us today. But the films are actually slick propaganda meant to deceive and distort the real situation.

The Tea Party movement must wake up — and wake up fast — before these political extremists carry out a strategy that will divide and discredit the movement.

Some History

Lyndon LaRouche is a former member of the Trotskyite Communist Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and his first political organization, the National Caucus of Labor Committees (NCLC) , began as a faction of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the same group that laid siege to college campuses in the 1960s. This is the same group that spawned terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. The NCLC became the U.S. Labor Party.

In the 1960s, LaRouche built a political intelligence network with about one thousand operatives stationed in North America, Western Europe, and South America. In a series of lectures in 1976, titled “What only Communists Know,” LaRouche described his network as the “world’s Marxist labor movement.”

The network created a series of front organizations and publications that included the National Democratic Policy Committee, the New Solidarity International Press Service (NSIPS), the National Anti-Drug Coalition, the Fusion Energy Federation, and the Executive Intelligence Review – all designed to spread propaganda – all directed by Lyndon LaRouche. He ran for president under the US Labor Party banner; and then again in 1980 as a Democrat.

In 1978, following the presidential election of Jimmy Carter, LaRouche began a new effort to spread his influence by attempting to create ties to the American Right. Through the US Labor Party, LaRouche followers began to fan out across the nation, contacting conservative leaders. One of their themes was that they possessed documentation that Carter had stolen the election and that there was a possibility the election results could be overturned.

At the time, I was serving as State Chairman of Ohio Young Americans for Freedom and was contacted by the LaRouche operatives concerning the Carter story. I invited one of their representatives to attend our board meeting to give us the details. My feeling after the meeting (which provided little concrete evidence about a Carter election scandal) was that LaRouche was attempting to infiltrate the conservative movement.

Beginning with the Carter effort, LaRouche stepped up his activities to reach out to conservatives. In the 1980’s, LaRouche operatives could be found in airports and in front of Post Offices collecting signatures on petitions calling Jane Fonda a traitor. Other petitions called for support of President Reagan’s Space Defense Initiative (SDI).

However, in collecting the petition signatures, LaRouche’s people were strangely aggressive and obnoxious to airport passengers. That was part of the LaRouche strategy – use conservative issues to the extreme and get labeled as pests and radical fringe. Then, when a legitimate advocate for such issues spoke in public, the people who had been accosted by the LaRoucheites in the airports would instantly respond negatively, resulting in the discrediting of the entire movement as “just those kooks I saw in the airport.” The motivation for LaRouche, then and now, is to discredit the Right.


The LaRouche troops continued to press their efforts to take up pseudo-conservative issues through their communications network and publications. They spouted conspiracy theories about “Zionist” plots and that Wall Street controlled the Communist Party USA. And they claimed that the CIA was responsible for most of the world’s terrorism. They twisted issues around to make it look like conservative leaders were really communist spies and agents. They charged that the anti-nuke movement was run by the Council of Foreign Relations. They charged that communist China was the center of the world drug trade – conveniently leaving out drug trade involvement by the Soviet Union – the avowed enemy of communist China. They even charged that the conservative Heritage Foundation was a KGB front. In every charge made by LaRouche followers, they included classic Soviet disinformation tactics designed to make the Soviets appear to be more victim than villain – while successfully helping to discredit the Right or promote Soviet positions.

Back-and-forth went the conspiracy theories woven by the LaRouche propagandists. There were lots of the right catch-words for conservatives: Hate Rockefeller; Anti-Kissinger; expose the CFR; Jane Fonda is a traitor; and charges of hidden KGB spies in the government. Attacks on the Council on Foreign Relations made the LaRouche movement seem like it was on the right path in uncovering the source of a U.S. foreign policy that seems designed to intentionally fail. The pro-nuclear power theme was perhaps the most successful.

Many on the Right fell for it and invited them to their meetings. The Conservative Book Club even took out ads in LaRouche’s Fusion magazine and the Freedom Foundation gave an award to Fusion for a series of pro-nuclear articles. Later, the Freedom Foundation did acknowledge that it had made a mistake in giving the award, but at the time, to them, LaRouche seemed to be a bona fide “conservative.”

However, as investigative journalist Cliff Kincaid wrote in 1981 in Human Events, “The evidence is overwhelming, however, that LaRouche and his followers have not repudiated their Marxist beginnings. They push the Soviet line and, at the same time, smear some of the most effective conservative groups and individuals, who are exposing Soviet operations. Responsible conservatives should not snap at LaRouche’s bait.”

According to the website LaRouche Planet, written by former LaRouche followers who have left him, he is an anti-Semite, a Holocaust denier, and has spent years campaigning against what he called the “Zionist/Nazi Jewish Lobby.” The site also claims that LaRouche has had direct ties with the Ku Klux Klan and neonazis. LaRouche’s main conspiracy theory is that the British crown is plotting to take control of the world, helped in that endeavor by world bankers. British agents, he claims, are the source of much of the lies and havoc in the world. Somehow, into that conspiracy, he also manages to tie in the United States and Israeli “Zionists.”

Same Tactics, New Target – Tea Parties

Today, LaRouche has entrenched himself in the rising anti-government sentiment that has given birth to the Tea Party movement. He talks of “taking back the Republic” – an interesting statement from an avowed Marxist. He makes strong arguments about saving NASA and the space program, knowing it is one of the most popular government programs; and he has joined the chorus of voices (including mine) against the Global Warming scam, calling the environmental movement “green fascism.” Then, as usual, he goes overboard and calls it “green genocide.”

These are all issues popular with freedom advocates who are joining forces in the Tea Party movement. Speakers at Tea Party rallies who speak of these issues and use similar catch phrases and language are instant crowd pleasers. So LaRouche operatives have become adept at endearing themselves to many in the movement simply by using the popular language. But always, LaRouche’s arguments come with a twist – that the evil comes from the British Empire or Zionist forces. Anyone he opposes, including Barack Obama, is labeled a “British agent.” The effect of rolling legitimate issues around outlandish conspiracy theories is to discredit the entire movement, just as LaRouche has been doing since the 1970s.

According to his own publications, LaRouche is the one who created the poster of Obama with a Hitler mustache. His political action committee (LaRouchepac) takes great joy in describing how LaRouche followers appear at Tea Party rallies and pass out the pictures. The anti-Obama fervor in the crowd makes the images very popular.

In an editorial published on the pages of one of his magazines Executive Intelligence Review, LaRouche relishes how the Obama/Hitler photo creates violence at the Tea Party rallies, reporting, “More than once, in the face of angry Obamophiles seeking to destroy the poster, groups of citizens have intervened to defend the LaRouche Pac organizers.” The poster, which many see as funny or appropriate, is used in two very effective ways if one wants to discredit the movement. First, as LaRouche himself reports, it causes discord and even violence. Second, it is the image national news media cameras immediately focus on to present a negative image of the rally and its organizers. If that image is coupled with violence – so much the better. LaRouche has done his job.

The strength of the LaRouche appeal to some Tea Partiers was dramatically demonstrated in a recent election when LaRouche-Democrat Congressional candidate Kesha Rogers won the nomination in the 22nd District in Texas. She campaigned on one main issue – impeach Obama. That message had great appeal to many in the freedom movement and they came across party lines to nominate her.

She appeared to be the candidate who advocated, not only opposition to Obama’s drive for massive government buildup, but also the dedicated advocate to restore the American Republic. However, the freedom forces weren’t listening carefully. In a radio interview after her victory, she accused Obama of “spitting on the grave of Franklin D. Roosevelt.” The question begs to be asked – how can one who supports the American Republic speak in positive terms about the one President who did more to crush that Republic than almost any other – Franklin Roosevelt? That is a prime example of the LaRouche followers using double-speak mixed in with real issues. Another example of Rogers employing the standard LaRouche propaganda was a statement that her victory was part of the effort “to win a war against the British Empire.”

However, the Rogers victory has caused massive harm to the freedom movement by giving LaRouche the one thing he lacked – his own political foothold on the elective battleground. He has used the Tea Party movement to give him what he never had before – legitimacy.

The 9/11 “Inside Job” Conspiracy

Lyndon LaRouche became the first public figure to challenge the story that the 9/11 attacks were executed by Bin Laden’s, Al Qaeda. The LaRouchePlanet website reports that LaRouche was actually live on the radio during the Twin Tower attacks, being interviewed by Dr. Jack Stockwell. He immediately blamed the Israeli government, telling Stockwell, “I know the Arab governments. I’ve been talking to them directly or indirectly over some time period. At least key ones. And they don’t want this kind of thing. But I know who does want it.” Stockwell suggested he was talking about the Israeli government and LaRouche replied, “Or certain factions within it.”

The claim that Israel – or the U.S. government itself – brought down the World Trade Center and attacked the Pentagon soon developed into a full-blown conspiracy designed to make the U.S. not the victim but the perpetrator. Some reasonable questions about how the buildings collapsed were used to further undermine the obvious fact that a foreign attack on America did indeed take place. These accusations of Israeli spy networks in the U.S. were then broadcast over Arab government-funded Al Jazeera television network, taking LaRouche’s unfounded charges onto the world stage and the 9/11 “truth movement” was born.

Indeed, all of this was a gift to Al-Qaeda’s main propaganda outlet, which jumped on the conspiracy theory that Muslim terrorists were not really behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Al Jazeera even covered a 9/11 “truth” conference in the U.S. which suggested that 9/11 was “an orchestrated U.S. attempt to incite world war.”

One of the speakers at that conference was none other than Webster Tarpley, a long-time associate of Lyndon LaRouche who wrote the book, 911 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA. One of the lead propagandists for the 9/11 Truth campaign, Tarpley insists that the Bush Administration orchestrated the attacks, never bothering to explain how the plot was hatched in just several months and how the cover-up was staged without one of the “insiders” blowing the whistle. For part two click below.

Click here for part —–> 2,

© 2010 Tom DeWeese – All Rights Reserved

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Tom DeWeese is president of the American Policy Center and Editor of The DeWeese Report , 70 Main Street, Suite 23, Warrenton Virginia.
(540) 341-8911



(Zero Hedge)

What do you do when you are the prime minister of a bankrupt country and your only recourse is to get the Washington D.C.-based IMF to come in and tell you you have to cut wages by about 120% and fire 75% of the country (especially after the same Germans you recently demanded WWII reparations from, mysteriously have decided in the eleventh hour to have their last laugh at your expense). Why, you send in the national guard, armed with fake six-pack ridged bulletproof vests and gas masks, to repeat the miracle of Thermopylae against the marauding population which has suddenly realized that the past 10 years of chimeric happiness were a one-time miracle thanks to Mr Goldman and fat, and somewhat stupid, uncle Almunia. The next thing you do, once you realize you are about to have a [revolution|uprising|civil war] is to declare a moratorium on your €300 billion of debt, make your people happy and stick it precisely to the same bankers that you complain about every single day for “speculating” against you. Tomorrow Greece will face the trifecta of a much delayed hangover as 1) its bonds hit 9% as the hedge funds who have been buying up in expectations of a snapback capitulate, 2) EuroStat declares its deficit was officially 14%, and 3) a Greek civil servant strike in their fourth national walkout this year.

Bloomberg reports.

The strike will shutter hospital and schools and also affect ministries and government offices, according to an e- mailed statement from Athens-based ADEDY, the umbrella group for more than 500,000 state workers. It will hold a rally in central Athens at 11 a.m. local time.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is under fire from voters who say his austerity measures have gone too far and from investors who argue that further action is needed to cut the EU’s largest budget deficit. As Greece meets EU and International Monetary Fund officials to agree on the conditions tied to any loan, the extra yield investors demand to hold Greek debt over German bonds has surged to a record 522 basis points.

“Papandreou is caught between a rock and a hard place,” said Jacques Cailloux, chief European Economist at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. “The market has zero confidence in what the Greeks are saying, and any further austerity measures pushed for by the IMF could be the ones that break the camel’s back if they are deemed unfair by the population. He doesn’t have any option though.

Today’s strike isn’t expected to affect public transport or air traffic, after air-traffic controllers postponed a planned walkout to clear a backlog of flights caused by the spread of volcanic ash from Iceland across Europe.

PAME Hellas, a union affiliated with the Greek Communist Party, called its own labor action. Members of the group blockaded entry to the port of Piraeus yesterday, preventing ferries from sailing. Others picketed luxury hotels in the city center, including at least one where IMF negotiators are staying.

We must dare, otherwise we will be led like lambs to the slaughter,” said Aleka Papariga, head of the Communist Party of Greece, the third-largest parliamentary party. “The working people aren’t about to be used to allow passage of policies that will bring the worst barbarity we’ve seen in the past 35 years.”

That’s funny, cause America recently allowed passage of policies that would make Greek debt-to-GDP ratios seems like a midget in Liliput compared to the monster our own Treasury is about to spawn. Yet, as always, it isn’t until it is far too late to fix something proactively that the people of any country, be it Greece or the US, wake up from their deep slumber. Greece has now officially woken up (we will show you footage of tomorrow’s hopefully non-violent riots to confirm). We wonder how long before America does the same.

New Global ‘FAT’ Tax to Rein in Banks

Posted: 04/22/2010 by Lynn Dartez in un


Gordon Brown claims credit for International Monetary Fund plan to impose tough levy on biggest banks’ profits and pay

Tough proposals to cut the world’s biggest banks down to size by taxing their profits and pay were outlined by the International Monetary Fund tonight in an attempt to spare taxpayers another massive public bailout of the financial sector.

In measures more stringent than Wall Street and the City had expected, the fund called for the introduction of a twin-track approach to the three-year banking crisis that would both force firms to pay for any future support packages and raise new taxes on their profits and remuneration.

The report, prepared by the Washington-based institution for the G20 group of developed and developing nations, was seized upon by Gordon Brown as evidence that his push for an international crackdown on the banking sector was gaining support.

Leaked in advance of the fund’s meeting this weekend, the blueprint emerged as the investment bank Goldman Sachs released better than expected first quarter revenues and admitted its bonus and pay pool had reached $5.5bn (£3.3bn) in the first three months of 2010.

The anticipated study called for a financial stability contribution (FSC), which should be paid by all financial institutions, not just banks, and used to bail out weak and failing firms. It would initially be paid at a flat rate but eventually be tailored to suit institutions’ size and riskiness.

While banks had been braced for the FSC plan, they were caught unawares by the proposal for a financial activities tax (FAT), which would be based on the profits and the pay structure of the firms.

Anti-poverty campaigners had been pinning their hopes on the IMF endorsing a so-called Robin Hood tax under which a small levy would be placed on all financial transactions. However, the fund said such an approach “does not appear to be well suited to the specific purposes” set out by the G20 in its mandate. The fund said the financial sector had become too big as a result of being taxed too lightly, and said this could be addressed by the FAT, which it compared to VAT.

Downing Street said the fund’s preference for a global deal rather than a go-it-alone approach by individual countries was a snub to George Osborne, who has insisted the Conservatives would impose a levy regardless of what other nations do. The IMF said: “International co-operation would be beneficial, particularly in the context of cross-border financial institutions. Countries’ experiences in the recent crisis differ widely and so do their priorities as they emerge from it. But none is immune from the risk of a future – and inevitably global – financial crisis. Unilateral actions by governments risk being undermined by tax and regulatory arbitrage.”

The fund added that co-operation required only broad agreement rather than complete uniformity and did not specify rates for the two new taxes. A Brown aide said the report “is radical and in line” with what they had argued for at the G20 in November – when Brown surprised his Treasury team by promoting the idea of international levies. “It is another big judgment call that Gordon Brown got right and David Cameron got wrong,” the aide said.

Alistair Darling, the chancellor welcomed the report. He said: “The recognition that banks should make a contribution to the society in which they operate is right.”

Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Vince Cable also welcomed the report. “If we are to create a stable banking system, we must ensure that taxpayers are not expected to underwrite the risks of reckless casino banking, and that pay and bonuses within banks do not reward irresponsible behaviour.”

A Conservative spokesman said: “We have led the way in proposing a levy on the banks so we welcome this IMF report. Sweden has already introduced a bank tax. Germany and the Unites States are in the process of introducing one – the UK should do the same.”

Max Lawson, policy adviser at Oxfam, said: “The IMF have given the green light to a tax on banks. To be worthy of Robin Hood it must raise hundreds of billions each year and be directly linked to fighting poverty at home and abroad, and tackling climate change.”

Angela Knight, chief executive of the British Bankers’ Association, said: “Clearly what this appears to say is very wide ranging and covers much more of the financial services sector than the industry expected. Taxation is not without consequences and additional taxation is not without additional consequences.”

admiralty law, common law and the sovereign

Posted: 04/22/2010 by Lynn Dartez in 2011

There’s an article in today’s Philadelphia Daily News about the latest political activism by their city’s hockey team owner:

Apr. 20, 2010

Snider funding conservative RightNetwork

Philadelphia Daily News

Flyers’ owner Ed Snider has just picked up another right-winger.
This one won’t help Philadelphia finally win another Stanley Cup, though.
The local sports mogul and longtime backer of conservative causes says he’s a major investor in a new cable TV network that may have an even more difficult task than bringing hockey’s crown back to Philly, and that is toppling the right-wing ratings champ, the Fox News Channel.

The Snider-funded RightNetwork – with a looser approach to conservative topics, including a comedy show and a jocular front man in sitcom star Kelsey Grammer – is hoping to come to your cable box as early as this summer.

Snider – whose investment in RightNetwork is personal and not linked to his role as chairman of Comcast-Spectacor, which already owns the locally popular Comcast Sportsnet on cable as well as the Flyers, 76ers and the Wachovia Center – was not available for an interview. But he had earlier posted a statement about RightNetwork.

“We’re creating a welcome place for millions and millions of Americans who’ve been looking for an entertainment network and media channel that reflects their point of view,” Snider said. “RightNetwork will be the perfect platform to entertain, inform and connect with the American majority about what’s right in the world.”

Snider, 77, a longtime backer of programs related to the iconic libertarian philosopher-novelist Ayn Rand, has been more public in his support of conservative causes in recent years.

He was a major donor to a now-defunct group called Freedom’s Watch that supported the anti-terrorism and Middle East policies of then-President George W. Bush, and his decision to invite then-GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin to drop the puck at the Flyers’ 2008 home opener drew a mix of cheers and boos.
Now, in entering the crowded and competitive world of politics on cable TV, Snider and his partners in the RightNetwork may have taken on a tougher mission than getting the 76ers back to the playoffs.

Ed Arke, who chairs the communications department at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., said it will be difficult to convince conservatives to change the channel away from Fox News and its star lineup of Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity.

“Fox in particular, is a very personality-driven network,” Arke said. “They recruited star power when they initially went on the air and had the benefit of having a stable of recognizable talent as they were building audience – 24/7 cable news can’t survive on the promise something big is going to happen.”

Like any cable start-up, the prospect of success for a venture like RightNetwork depends to some extent on the quality of shows, but also its ability to get the nation’s cable and satellite providers to carry it in a good spot on the dial.

As for programming, the proposed lineup on RightNetwork – as posted for a preview on its Web site, – is slanted more toward what could be called “conservative entertainment” and away from the newsier approach of Fox.

There is, for example, a right-leaning comedy show, “Evan Sayet’s Right 2 Laugh,” with standup comics making jokes about [Alleged] President Obama’s teleprompter and buying an Obama coin “because any collector will tell you a coin is worth a lot more when there’s an obvious mistake on it.”

There’s also a reality show called “Running” about six novice conservative candidates, and “Politics and Poker” with bombastic new-media star Andrew Breitbart.

The previews are introduced by “Cheers” and “Frasier” star Grammer, one of Hollywood’s best-known conservatives, who hails the network as “all that’s right in the world.”

There was considerable discussion yesterday – fueled by some confusion in initial news reports – over whether Snider and the network would receive backing from another Philadelphia institution – Comcast Corp., which is currently seeking approval for its majority stake in NBC-Universal.

Comcast issued a statement late yesterday that it is not an investor in RightNetwork and that it is evaluating the content of the new channel for possible addition to its channel lineup, as it would with any other start-up cable network.

Posted 2010-04-20 8:17 AM (#36266) By: SteveSchulin