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Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Truth Is: Whatever You Say It Is

Wall Street needs and gets a taxpayer bailout ... er ... "rescue" or the American economy will go to Hell.

The truth is there are/were "no guarantees.

The American economy is going there WITH that $800-something-billion Washington D.C. pollys shoveled into it THIS week- also WITH that $600-something-billion package the pollys approved LAST weekend.

Truth: I'm wholly pissed off- and will vote in November STRICTLY for 3rd-party candidates. Then- as America votes in more business as usual Republicrats & Demoblicans- I quit voting altogether.

ITEM: Independence-MO police are involved in yet ANOTHER incident in KC-MO- this time it's a fatal shooting on the city's East Side AROUND 1:35am Saturday morning.

Truman Road & White are nearly 2 miles west of Independence's borders- yet KC-MO police finds IN-MO PD officers already there with Jackson County Sheriff and a shooting victim in the backseat of a car heading to a hospital with the victim.

The victim dies in that backseat but IN-MO PD through 6am won't say how THEY were involved.

Truth is- I guess we- the news media & the public- don't need to know what the truth is.

ITEM: CSW runs with what I thought is a human interest story a couple of weeks ago- about a 3-year-old boy mangled in a mower accident.

I had stumbled upon the child's accident listening to a medical helicopter dispatch- then was emailed additional details on the accident about a week later- plus notification of a help fund set up for the child.

The assistance fund checked out with the local bank number provided. So I run with the human interest side- even sending a few dollars (even though Ms. Rittenhouse needs a medical condition checked out and SHE has no health insurance- thank you Federal government) of our own.

So a few days ago I get an email from a woman who claims to be the child's mother (Michelle?)- telling me that the do-gooder's email had stuff wrong and that Colten Newman was doing just fine thank you and the family DOES have medical insurance.

Now I used a question mark above because there's no way- other than email- to verify that this IS the child's mother who was correcting the information.

Truth is (I guess) is that the child's still in the hospital and there IS/was a help fund for the child.

I'm just a lone wolf in this wilderness- trying to shed a little light and- I hope- a little truth. I only know what I hear and can check out and most of the time it's amazingly dead-on.

Sometimes I don't get it just right. Things sometimes aren't what they appear to be- as a story twists & turns in the light of revelation and investigation.

There's a point here- and if I wear a wool stocking cap it won't show....


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Like Obama- McCain's In The Twilight Zone Too

In this Associated Press article- McCain says this about his joke of a running-mate pick:

""We let Sarah be Sarah. She's smart, she's tough, she's been in debates before," McCain told "Fox & Friends" on Fox News Channel. "The American people ... the more they see of her, the more they love her, and I'm confident of that at the end."

Obviously a slip when McCain said "love"- did he actually mean "loath???" And let's hope that "end" he speaks of comes sooner rather than later.

Geez- PLEASE gimme a break... in Costa Rica or somewhere.


Senate Ignored Most Americans On Bailout - House Is Next

This was so absolutely and totally blatent- to ignore the desires of a large majority of fellow Americans against Millionaire Welfare.

The bastards are even now trying to "dress it up"- as a "rescue" for millionaires.

Most of those who voted against Americans are millionaires.

My votes will go to a Third-Party candidate in November- in a last attempt (by me) to save ourselves from ourselves.

It may be this Americans last vote- ever.

A sad- sad day..


Happy Birthday To An American Hero

Groucho Marx would be 118 years-old today- and his birthday cake would be declared a fire hazard.

"Animal Crackers"

"A Night At The Opera"

Happy Day Groucho !!!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Feds Should Seize Failed Company And Their Executives' Assets

The American justice system has- for some time now- somewhat reverted to a "guilty until you prove your own innocence" mentality with us middle to lower-income people.

There is no "innocence" in the Money (Wall) Street scam going down right now.

So- as the government does the "average" American (whoever THAT is)- I think it is entirely appropriate for the Federal Government to seize all physical and monetary assets of these failed companies- as well as those same assets of their executive officials.

A number of fellow citizens I've spoken with also agree that somebody (a LOT of people) should be going to jail over this mess.

There currently is a FBI investigation of firms and bankers- but heard or read little else since.

Initiative petitions should be started recall/impeach- seize assets of- and jail any political figure who votes for Money Street bailouts over true American needs.


McCain Stoops To Using A Democratic Icon

More specifically- a Democratic icon's LIBRARY- Harry Truman's.

No- that wasn't an earthquake Metro Kansas City felt this morning- but the Trumans spinning in their graves.
Wouldn't this same guy- who VOTED FOR THE DEREGULATION that got us in this bailout mess feel much more comfortable at the Richard M. Nixon Library?

Kill America Forever- Vote McCain/Palin.

If Congress Passes Bailout- Look Out

Finally- an issue that actually has brought many of differing viewpoints together:

The Money (Wall) Street bailout issue.

If I were a Congressperson or a Senator seeking re-election next term- I would NOT be voting to approve any bailout- unless it's for your voters.

People- nearly 9 out of 10 I've spoke with over the past week- are generally angry that the Federal government would even consider bailing out these multi-billion dollar companies that don't make a damn thing- but trouble.

It may well be political suicide to vote for such a bailout.

Call these people- NOW- ask them just who in the Hell they're working FOR and if they want to continue working THEIR present job:

Kit Bond: 202-224-5721

Claire McCaskill: 816-421-1639

Emanuel Cleaver: 816-842-4545


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"...Epicenter of Latino Culture" Wants To Be A City

That is East Los Angeles-CA- an area east of Downtown Los Angeles often thought to be a part of LA itself.

Unincorporated East LA wants to become Los Angeles County's newest city- according to this Associated Press story.


Due Process Denied In Grandview-MO

In 2007- Alice Moore was in the Grandview-MO Municipal Court having been charged with possession of "less than an ounce" of marijuana (POW- Possession Of Weed).

Moore- a single parent with a child a home- requested an attorney.

Like many Americans- this person charged with POW was "too poor to afford a lawyer"- according to the KANSAS CITY STAR article by Dan Margolies.

Alice Moore was denied that attorney by the GMC- pled guilty without legal council- fined- unable to pay the fine ("poor"- remember?) and jailed.

Ms. Moore is now suing the City of Grandview for her denial of what is naively thought of as constitutionally-guaranteed right to legal council when charged with a crime- other facets- and seeking unspecified damages.

Alice Moore sure has Captain Spaulding's support and I'll follow this case to it's conclusion.

Deregulation Legislation Puts Demoblicans And Republicrats On The Carpet For Wall Street Mess

Until citizens here are maimed or killed by gunshot- bad motoring- flame or whatever today- the specter of a multi-hundred-billion dollar bailout of Money (Wall) Street IS the big story- local & otherwise.

In my research of what LED to this situation- I found an article- which also re-enforces my view that the American 2-Party political system is horrible fractured by wealth & power mongers.

That article is found HERE and reprinted here:

Clinton, Republicans agree to deregulation of US financial system

By Martin McLaughlin 1 November 1999

"An agreement between the Clinton administration and congressional Republicans, reached during all-night negotiations which concluded in the early hours of October 22, sets the stage for passage of the most sweeping banking deregulation bill in American history, lifting virtually all restraints on the operation of the giant monopolies which dominate the financial system.

The proposed Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 would do away with restrictions on the integration of banking, insurance and stock trading imposed by the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, one of the central pillars of Roosevelt's New Deal. Under the old law, banks, brokerages and insurance companies were effectively barred from entering each others' industries, and investment banking and commercial banking were separated.

The certain result of repeal of Glass-Steagall will be a wave of mergers surpassing even the colossal combinations of the past several years. The Wall Street Journal wrote, "With the stroke of the president's pen, investment firms like Merrill Lynch & Co. and banks like Bank of America Corp., are expected to be on the prowl for acquisitions." The financial press predicted that the most likely mergers would come from big banks acquiring insurance companies, with John Hancock, Prudential and The Hartford all expected to be targeted.

Kenneth Guenther, executive vice president of Independent Community Bankers of America, an association of small rural banks which opposed the bill, warned, "This is going to begin a wave of major mergers and acquisitions in the financial-services industry. We're moving to an oligopolistic situation."

One such merger was already carried out well before the passage of the legislation, the $72 billion deal which brought together Citibank, the biggest New York bank, and Travelers Group Inc., the huge insurance and financial services conglomerate, which owns Salomon Smith Barney, a major brokerage. That merger was negotiated despite the fact that the merged company, Citigroup, was in violation of the Glass-Steagall Act, because billionaire Travelers boss Sanford Weill and Citibank CEO John Reed were confident of bipartisan support for repeal of the 60-year-old law.

Campaign of influence-buying

They had good reason, to be sure. The banking, insurance and brokerage industry lobbyists have combined their forces over the last five years to mount the best-financed campaign of influence-buying ever seen in Washington. In 1997 and 1998 alone, the three industries spent over $300 million on the effort: $58 million in campaign contributions to Democratic and Republican candidates, $87 million in "soft money" contributions to the Democratic and Republican parties, and $163 million on lobbying of elected officials.

The chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Texas Republican Phil Gramm, himself collected more than $1.5 million in cash from the three industries during the last five years: $496,610 from the insurance industry, $760,404 from the securities industry and $407,956 from banks.

During the final hours of negotiations between the House-Senate conference committee and White House and Treasury officials, dozens of well-heeled lobbyists crowded the corridors outside the room where the final deal-making was going on. Edward Yingling, chief lobbyist for the American Bankers Association, told the New York Times, "If I had to guess, I would say it's probably the most heavily lobbied, most expensive issue" in a generation.

While Democratic and Republican congressmen and industry lobbyists claimed that deregulation would spark competition and improve services to consumers, the same claims have proven bogus in the case of telecommunications, airlines and other industries freed from federal regulations. Consumer groups noted that since the passage of a 1994 banking deregulation bill which permitted bank holding companies to operate in more than one state, both checking fees and ATM fees have risen sharply.

Differing versions of financial services deregulation passed the House and Senate earlier this year, and the conference committee was called to work out a consensus bill and avert a White House veto. The principal bone of contention in the last few days before the agreement had nothing to do with the central thrust of the bill, on which there was near-unanimous bipartisan support.

The sticking point was the effort by Gramm to gut the Community Reinvestment Act, a 1977 anti-redlining law which requires that banks make a certain proportion of their loans in minority and poor neighborhoods. Gramm blocked passage of a similar deregulation bill last year over demands to cripple the CRA, and bank lobbyists were in a panic, during the week before the deal was made, that the dispute would once again prevent any bill from being adopted.

Gramm and other extreme-right Republicans saw the opportunity to damage their political opponents among minority businessmen and community groups, who generally support the Democratic Party. Gramm succeeded in inserting two provisions to weaken the CRA, one reducing the frequency of examinations for CRA compliance to once every five years for smaller banks, the other compelling public disclosure of loans made under the program.

The latter provision was particularly offensive to black and other minority business and community groups, who have used the CRA provisions as a lever by threatening to challenge mergers and other bank operations which require government approval. In most such cases, the banks have offered loans to businessmen or outright grants to community groups in return for dropping their legal actions. These petty-bourgeois elements have been able to posture as defenders of the black or Hispanic community, while pocketing what are essentially payoffs from finance capital and concealing from the public the details of this relationship.

The banks and other financial institutions did not themselves oppose continuation of the CRA, which they have treated as nothing more than a cost of doing a highly profitable business in minority areas. Loans tied to the CRA average a 20 percent rate of return. Financial industry lobbyists complained that they were being caught in a crossfire between the Republicans and Democrats which was unrelated to the main purpose of the bill.

The Clinton White House threatened to veto the bill if CRA provisions were substantially weakened, in response to heavy pressure from the Congressional Black Caucus and the Reverend Jesse Jackson, whose Operation PUSH has made extensive use of CRA in its campaigns to pressure corporations and banks for more opportunities for black businessmen. But eventually the White House caved in to Gramm, accepting his amendments so long as the program remained formally in place.

The White House similarly retreated on pledges that consumer privacy would be protected in the legislation. Consumer groups pointed to the potential for abuse of financial information once giant conglomerates were created which would handle loans, investments and insurance at the same time. For example: a bank could refuse to give a 30-year mortgage to a customer whose medical records, filed with the bank's insurance subsidiary, revealed a fatal disease.

The final draft of the bill contains a consumer privacy protection clause, but it is extremely weak, applying only to the transfer of information outside of a financial conglomerate, not within it. Thus Citigroup will be able to pass on financial information about its bank depositors to Travelers Insurance, but not to an outside company like Prudential. Even that limitation would be breached if there was a contractual relationship with the outside company, as in the case of a telemarketer which did work for Citigroup and was given private information about Citigroup depositors to aid in its telephone solicitations.

Threat to financial stability

The proposed deregulation will increase the degree of monopolization in finance and worsen the position of consumers in relation to creditors. Even more significant is its impact on the overall stability of US and world capitalism. The bill ties the banking system and the insurance industry even more directly to the volatile US stock market, virtually guaranteeing that any significant plunge on Wall Street will have an immediate and catastrophic impact throughout the US financial system.

The Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, which the deregulation bill would repeal, was not adopted to protect consumers, although one of its most celebrated provisions was the establishment of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which guarantees bank deposits of up to $100,000. The law was enacted during the first 100 days of the Roosevelt administration to rescue a banking system which had collapsed, wiping out the life savings of millions of working people, and threatening to bring the profit system to a complete standstill.

As a recent history of that era notes: "The more than five thousand bank failures between the Crash and the New Deal's rescue operation in March 1933 wiped out some $7 billion in depositors' money. Accelerating foreclosures on defaulted home mortgages—150,000 homeowners lost their property in 1930, 200,000 in 1931, 250,000 in 1932—stripped millions of people of both shelter and life savings at a single stroke and menaced the balance sheets of thousands of surviving banks" (David Kennedy, Freedom from Fear, Oxford University Press, 1999, pp. 162-63).

The separation of banking and the stock exchange was ordered in response to revelations of the gross corruption and manipulation of the market by giant banking houses, above all the House of Morgan, which organized huge corporate mergers for its own profit and awarded preferential access to share issues to favored politicians and businessmen. Such insider trading played a major role in the speculative boom which preceded the 1929 crash.

Over the past 20 years the restrictions imposed by Glass-Steagall have been gradually relaxed under pressure from the banks, which sought more profitable outlets for their capital, especially in the booming stock market, and which complained that foreign competitors suffered no such limitations to their financial operations. In 1990 the Federal Reserve Board first permitted a bank (J.P. Morgan) to sell stock through a subsidiary, although stock market operations were limited to 10 percent of the company's total revenue. In 1996 this ceiling was lifted to 25 percent. Now it will be abolished.

The Wall Street Journal celebrated the agreement to end such restrictions with an editorial declaring that the banks had been unfairly scapegoated for the Great Depression. The headline of one Journal article detailing the impact of the proposed law declared, "Finally, 1929 Begins to Fade."

This comment underscores the greatest irony in the banking deregulation bill. Legislation first adopted to save American capitalism from the consequences of the 1929 Wall Street Crash is being abolished just at the point where the conditions are emerging for an even greater speculative financial collapse. The enormous volatility in the stock exchange in recent months has been accompanied by repeated warnings that stocks are grossly overvalued, with some computer and Internet stocks selling at prices 100 times earnings or even greater.

And there is a much more recent experience than 1929 to serve as a cautionary tale. A financial deregulation bill was passed in the early 1980s under the Reagan administration, lifting many restrictions on the activities of savings and loan associations, which had previously been limited primarily to the home-loan market. The result was an orgy of speculation, profiteering and outright plundering of assets, culminating in collapse and the biggest financial bailout in US history, costing the federal government more than $500 billion. The repetition of such events in the much larger banking and securities markets would be beyond the scope of any federal bailout."


Drinking Your Way To A Secure Investment

This was sent to me by one of my regular news tippers (heh):

"If you purchased $1,000.00 of Delta Air Lines stock one year ago you would have $49.00 left.

With Enron, you would have had $16.00 left of the original $1,000.00.

With WorldCom, you would have had less than $5.00 left.

But, if you had purchased $1,000.00 worth of beer one year ago, drank all of the beer, then turned in the cans for the aluminum recycling REFUND, you would have $214.00 cash.

Based on the above, the best current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle.

It's called the 401-Keg."


City Boo-Hoos Month-Old Murder Rate

Today is the last day of September. Yet- some local citizens are JUST getting their heads around the August record homicide rate of 21 murders.

News flash.

Last weekend- I worked through 2 shooting incidents Downtown and in the Westport area. Local news media accounts of the violence underplays the events.

First- the 2:20am Sunday morning shooting in a 13th Street & Grand parking garage near the city's blessed "Power & Light" entertainment district.

No news accounts anywhere in this town told of the "chaos" of hundreds of people trying to get to their cars to go home- only to find that parking garage and the street around it sealed off with yellow police crime-scene tape.

Channel 41's videographer Al Miller told me of this several times as I spoke with him from the scene. You could even HEAR the people in the background- as Mr. Miller described people "disregarding the crime-scene tape and going under it" to get to their cars and go home.

Maybe a light rail line would have helped- heh.

Then at 3:03am- an "assist-the-officer" call on "numerous shots fired around 40th Street & Mill" in Westport. With all the cops there- it took at least 15 minutes to locate the 2 victims in that area- and figure out what had gone down.

There were people in 2 vehicles having a "running gun-battle." One male had been reported by witnesses to police there that a black male was "shooting a rifle out of a sunroof of an S-U-V."

After the 2 victims were taken to hospitals- at least one other gunshot victim showed up on their own later. Police sealed of THAT area too- but no reports of angry patrons trying to get to their cars there.

Cops from other patrol zones were called in- leaving those parts of the city under-protected (sort of like the MAST-EMS issue I've reported on this blog a few times).

Sure- a PART of the problem is citizen apathy. How many times am I going to call in a "shots fired" report from my area before I'm going to tire of that when police finally drive down the street looking 20 minutes later?

The KC-MO Police need to return to total city control and more OF THEM are going to have to be hired to patrol the streets.

As in PATROL THE STREETS- not sitting at sobriety checkpoints.

The news media needs to get MUCH MORE proactive and tell the WHOLE STORY on violent weekends.

Well- if the news media were properly staffed- like the police department. And if they truly cared.

I have been told in the past by people IN the news media- more than once- and I won't name that news organization- that "inner-city shootings are not as big a deal as a murder in suburbia."

I'd wince- thinking- perhaps even out loud- "Oh really????"

The violent crime "cancer" seems to be okay if the cancer is benign to the inner-city. Real solutions will wait till that cancer spreads outward.

Oh really???? Please- spare me and the rest of us your feigned outraged editorial ink.


Wall Street- Stocks- Doing Fine This Morning

Funny- those who would rob you of at least $700-Billion told us that the financial world would collapse if American taxpayers didn't bail them out.

No pre-Christmas gift for millionaires was approved- yet as of this posting- the Dow Jones reading is UP more than 200-points- after falling more than 777 points yesterday.

Both McCain AND Obama approve this dreck- and based on that stance alone shows that neither of those candidates are fit to become America's next president.

Many elected officials in Washington and unelected mouthpieces in the American news media claim gloom and doom unless we simply hand billions over to the SAME idiots who lost other hundreds of billions.

What they DON'T understand is that most of the American populace have had it with lies from these same sources.

Approving this bloated "bailout" is and well should be political suicide.

Like the freedoms we've lost since 2001- it seems the American public gets penalized by the inept job our elected officials have done.

The American people have drawn a line in the sand by refusing to buy into the "fear-factor" of failing to bail out the greedy moneychangers.

We'll not reward those crossing that line on November 4....


Monday, September 29, 2008

Wall Street Bailout- The American People Aren't Stupid

is playing the fear-factor of what's gonna happen to Dave & Sue America...

NBC focuses on the stature loss of John McCain's transparent guesture of suspending the 2008 Presidential campaign...

Faux News? Well...

Anyway- what of course this pertains to is the House of Representative's failure to pass the at-least $700-BILLION bailout due to recklessness and greed on Wall (Money) Street.

Good for you- here's one hero's photo from the AP to show my appreciation:

Funny thing too- there ARE people taking to the streets in protest of this blatent corporate welfare.

Did you read a post here last weekend regarding a $600-billion-plus bill that was ALREADY passed?

Read it... Includes corporate welfare.

The protesters- and many millions of Americans have been slammed at the pump- the store- and at tax time.
I don't have to remind any of you about America's loss of manufacturing base and subsequent better-paying jobs.

We're tired of being lied to- wars we start and can't leave or lose- slashes in social programs and still no remedy for universal American health coverage when we seem to have hundreds of BILLIONS for corporate mis-management.

Et cetera.

Tag Wall Street- you're it.


Were KC-KS Cops Drinking Before Fatal Accident

This will remain to be seen after the investigation by KC-KS internal affairs and the kansas Highway Patrol is completed.

This we DO know: Officer Jamarillo- killed in the rollover accident in KC-KS Saturday morning WAS NOT WEARING A SEAT RESTRAINT.

It's a moot point- since this man is dead- but it makes one wonder just how many OFF-DUTY cops don't wear seatbelts when those same cops when ON-DUTY give tickets to citzens who don't wear seatbelts too.

Also- one wonders too if maybe- just maybe- were these off-duty officers drinking prior to the wreck?

CSW awaits the outcome of the accident investigation.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Governmental Bill Unrelated To Bailout Will Cost Even More Billions

The Bush Administration and Congress is on a spending spree that will break this country.

The Associated press reports on this $625-billion bill- unrelated to the Money (Wall) Street bailout- that approves- among other things- $25-billion to U.S. automakers- as well as other tens of billions for the Defense Dept. and the rathole that is Iraq.