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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Debt Crisis Solved

Today, we want to propose the solution to the world's debt crisis. It is so easy that I am ashamed that I never thought of it before. Never before have we seen this in print, but it is an answer that is so outside the box that even the "think tanks" have not even considered it.  Here we go.

Take Greece for example. Their debt is not large so it can easily be solved.  Germany and France own a large portion of the Greek debt, so our proposal would be that in exchange for the debt owed, Greece would transfer equal amounts of land to the countries holding its debt.  Lets say that a German bank is owed a billion euros, they would exchange an island or two worth a billion to the debt holder. Germans go "on holiday" and what could be better to go to a German owned island in the Mediterranean!

Or the United States could transfer California to the Chinese for the debt we owe them. It would solve two problems. First, we would get rid of all the fruits and nuts in the Golden State (including Jerry Brown, Diane Feinstein and Nancy Pilsosi).  Would that be all bad?  Secondly, China has wanted to get a foothold in our country. They tried a couple years ago by trying to buy port operations in California. Hey, give them the state. We give up a little (California) and over a quarter of our debt is gone!

We exchange Oregon for the debt owed to Japan and hocus pocus, half of our debt is gone. Could this be any better?

And Mexico has wanted the southwest back. For the right price, we give them Texas, Arizona and New Mexico and we are debt free!

I am sure there would be many who would be disturbed by this,but you know, we need to do what is in the best interests of the country's children, right?  With the amount of debt we have accumulated, none of these kids will ever be able to enjoy the life we have. So we make a small sacrifice for the betterment of the whole.
Getting rid of the debt would be a great boon to the economy. The banks would start lending again and Congress could fund Social Security and finally make Obama Care a reality.  Could it be any better?

Our nation will look a little different, but in tough times one must make hard decisions.  Please forward this to your Congressman/woman. I think they will agree with us that this is a brilliant idea.

Immigration Laws Obama Style

Immigration control of a country's borders is one of the basic requirements of government. When a nation cannot control those coming into and out, they might as well concede nationhood.  That is what we are facing in the United States.  Do we want to be a nation or do we throw up our collective hands and say "whoever wants to come here can, we welcome all of you!"  

One of the requirements of immigration control is health. Today we don't know what diseases are coming across our border, since we don't control it. Oh, I forgot, ObamaCare will take care of all these sick immigrants coming into the country. 

What about all these "anchor babies", women coming to this country so their baby can be an American? It is a roaring business. Homes around the country are available for any foreign mother who wants their child to be born here. It costs thousands of dollars but it is worth it in the parents eyes. In the case of China, it also is a way to get around the one child requirement. "Hey, this baby is Chinese, but all other seven are Americans!"  What a world we live in!

However, the biggest travesty is the Administration filing suit, first against Arizona and now South Carolina, when these states pass laws to restrict illegal immigration. The Federal government apparently only enforces the laws that fit their goals.  This is a travesty. Not being a lawyer, we wonder what can be done to make the Feds do what they are supposed to do. Is this not malfeasance of office?  Can charges be brought against the Justice Department for not doing what they are supposed to do?  If someone knows the answer, please let all of us know.

Here is more on this absurdly stupid approach to governing.

I guess immigration laws are made to be broken...

By Bobby Eberle 
Perhaps I should rephrase my headline. From the actions of our federal government, it's not that immigration laws are made to be broken, it's that they are made to not be enforced in the first place. After years of neglect in keeping American's borders secure and fighting illegal immigration, states have had to step up and do it themselves. The problem is that each time a state passes a law to get tough on illegal immigration, the feds move in to shut it down. That's exactly what's happening now in South Carolina.
Whether overtly or covertly, the federal government is doing everything it can to stop Americans from stopping illegal immigration. First, the overt actions... When states like Arizona and Georgia passed laws that help them do what the federal goverment should be doing regarding illegals, Barack Obama directed his Justice Department to file lawsuits to shut them down. In Arizona, the law that was passed was essentially the same law that's already on the federal books. The reason Obama and company got scared was because they knew Arizona would enforce it.
Then there are the covert actions. This aren't directives from Justice Department officials to the courts, but rather the word get spread to local law enforcement officials that they should stop arresting illegal aliens. As I wrote back in April, "An Arizona sheriff has come forward, saying that he has been told to stop arresting illegal aliens." Isn't it his job to stop people from breaking the law?
Now, Fox News reports, Obama's Justice Department is at it again, but this time, they are focusing on South Carolina. The lawsuit filed by the feds alleges that South Carolina's new illegal immigration law is unconstitutional. The legislation "requires that officers call federal immigration officials if they suspect someone is in the country illegally following a stop for something else."
That's it. That's the law. Local officials stop a bad guy. They suspect he's an illegal alien. They call the feds. This is what OUR federal government wants to stop. They don't want to enforce the law, and they surely don't want South Carolina officals calling them up and asking them to do so.
South Carolina's law, which takes effect Jan. 1, also mandates that all businesses check their new hires' legal status through a federal online system. Businesses that knowingly violate the law could have their operating licenses revoked.
The law says all law enforcement officers are required to call federal immigration officials if they suspect someone is in the country illegally. The question must follow an arrest or traffic stop for something else. The measure bars officers from holding someone solely on that suspicion. Opponents railed against the measure as encouraging racial profiling.
The law also makes it a felony for someone to make fake photo IDs for illegal residents and creates a new law enforcement unit within the Department of Public Safety to enforce state immigration laws. It also makes it a felony for illegal immigrants to allow themselves to be transported.
So there you have it. Whenever a state tries to do what the feds should be doing regarding illegal immigration, they shut it down. They don't shut it down, so they can do it themselves. They shut it down, so enforcement doesn't get done at all. That's what they want. An immigration system that has no enforcement might as well have no laws in the first place. Let them come in... we're paying for all their stuff anyway, right?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Another Example of Corzine Getting Special Media Treatment

 Jon Corzine  has run MF Global into bankruptcy and on the way he (as CEO he is responsible for the actions of the company) steals shareholder money to keep the firm alive which is strictly verboten by security laws.  So how is Corzine treated?  Are there Congressional demands for him to be charged with a crime?  Is the news media stalking him and his family demanding to know where the money went? Are there reports on the several houses, boats, cars etc. that he owns? The answer is no. The press is barely covering it and when they do there is nothing about him other than he was the CEO. The following AP article (published today) is illustrative of my point.

If the CEO had had Republican connections, we would hear the news media investigating the potential crimes, his profiting at shareholder expense and his lifestyle. Having a previous work partner investigate him would have brought howls of condemnation.  When is the news media going to realize they are complicit in these crimes with their selective politically oriented reporting. When any person, regardless of political party, gets a "pass" by the fourth estate, it degrades the freedom of press and our freedoms as citizens. Without the ability to depend on accurate, unbiased reporting, a citizen must act on incomplete information which might result in decisions which would not have been made had they known "the whole story."  It is time for the media to awaken and return to reporting the facts and not what is in the best interests of their political allies.

Here is the article to which I refer:

Corzine and regulator worked together at Goldman

Corzine and lead regulator of MF Global worked together at Goldman and on Capitol Hill


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The lead regulator investigating the collapse of Jon Corzine's securities firm, MF Global, worked alongside him for 18 years at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The two later collaborated to pass a law intended to prevent accounting scandals.
Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, rose to become Goldman's co-head of finance before leaving in 1997. Corzine left Goldman in 1999, after serving as chairman and CEO.
The two later collaborated when Corzine was a senator and Gensler worked on Capitol Hill. As a key staffer for Sen. Paul Sarbanes, a Maryland Democrat, Gensler advised Sarbanes on the accounting law that bears his name. At the time, Corzine was a Democratic senator from New Jersey.
Several experts in corporate governance said Gensler should recuse himself from the investigation to avoid the appearance of a conflict.
"I'm not sure what other options there are," said Naveen Reddy, a research analyst with the firm GMI Inc. "Gensler is a highly qualified guy, but these cozy relationships tend to taint the oversight in these big blowups."
Representatives for Gensler and Corzine declined to comment on their relationship or to say whether Gensler should recuse himself from the investigation.
MF Global admitted early Monday morning that it had diverted client money as its financial woes intensified. Gensler said Thursday that keeping clients' money separate from company assets is the "core foundation" of consumer protection for investors.
"You don't put your hand in the cash register; you just don't," Gensler told a Senate panel.
MF Global filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday after a disastrous bet on European debt spooked its investors and trading partners.
AP Business Writer Marcy Gordon and AP News Researcher Judith Ausuebel in New York contributed to this report.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Will Christian Response To An Attack On Israel Be The Same As Kristallnacht

We are big believers in history and that by studying it, we can not only understand what has occurred in the past but that experience can be applied to current and future events. It might not be a one-for-one predictor but can give us insight into what we should expect in the future.

Currently there is a study of the response by Christians to Kristallnacht which occurred 73 years ago next week. As the attached article illustrates there was a lot of talkin' going around but not much action.

Can Israel expect any difference if it is attacked again?  Will Christian brothers and sisters bemoan the attack but sit on their hands? Or will there be a response different than before?

For the majority of Americans, Israel is a far away country with which they have little contact. Some have gone there on a trip, most (I would guess 80-85%) have not. Some feel a closeness due the Jesus' birth there but could not place a pin on the map of the world showing its location.  Would they want to upset their lives to support Israel,. We doubt it.

We believe the response to an attack on Israel would be very similar to Kristallnacht. A lot of fist pounding from the pulpit or on TV, but no action. No volunteers, no fundraising and no action. To expect the American government to react any different than the Roosevelt Administration acted in 1938 would be foolish. So, Israel should expect no help, they will be on their own.

Obviously this is my opinion, what is yours?

Op-Ed: Christians mostly failed to act in response to Kristallnacht

Rafael Medoff - JTA,  October 31st, 2011

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Most American Christian leaders strongly condemned the Kristallnacht pogrom that the Nazis carried out against Germany's Jews 73 years ago next week, when hundreds of synagogues were torched, the windows of thousands of Jewish businesses were smashed, 100 Jews were murdered and 30,000 more were dragged off to concentration camps.
But the words of condemnation were not always accompanied by calls for action. When it came to advocating steps such as opening America's doors to Jewish refugees or severing U.S. relations with Nazi Germany, Christian voices too often fell silent.
The liberal Catholic publication Commonweal called for suspending America's immigration quotas in order to admit more refugees. The larger Catholic weekly magazine America, however, took a different line. America headlined its post-Kristallnacht issue “NAZI CRISIS.” But the two feature stories did not focus on the plight of Hitler's Jewish victims. The first was a report about the mistreatment of nuns by Nazis in Austria. The second article charged that protests by American Jews against the Nazi pogrom were generating “a fit of national hysteria” intended “to prepare us for war with Germany.”
The issue did include an editorial titled “The Refugees and Ourselves,” but it was about the “grave duty” of American Catholics to help European Catholic refugees. Jewish refugees weren't even mentioned.
An editorial in the leading Protestant magazine Christian Century did address the Jewish refugee problem: It argued that America's own economic problems necessitated “that instead of inviting further complications by relaxing our immigration laws, these laws be maintained or even further tightened.”
A few months later, refugee advocates proposed legislation to help German Jews that could not be construed as undermining America's economy. The Wagner-Rogers bill would have admitted 20,000 children — too young to compete with American citizens for jobs. Yet even then, Christian Century found a reason to oppose helping the Jews.
“[A]dmitting Jewish immigrants would only exacerbate America's Jewish problem,” it wrote.
One notable Christian response to Kristallnacht was an initiative by the U.S. branch of the Young Women's Christian Association.  Less than two weeks after the pogrom, the YWCA established a Committee on Refugees, which undertook information campaigns aimed at persuading the public that refugees were loyal and hardworking. Unfortunately, the YWCA's national board soon lost interest in the project and declined to fund it. According to Professor Haim Genizi, the American Jewish Committee ended up providing much of the committee's budget.
Christian Scientists, although small in number, had the opportunity to exercise influence through their mass-circulation newspaper, the Christian Science Monitor. But true to their church's emphasis on the potential of prayer to heal all ills, the Monitor's editors argued that in response to Kristallnacht, “prayer … will do more than any amount of ordinary protests to heal the hate released in the last few days and to end injustices and excesses practiced in the name of anti-Semitism.”
The Monitor did acknowledge that “finding havens for [the] refugees” was a necessity, but refrained from suggesting that America should serve as one of those havens.
One of the few consistently strong Christian voices in the aftermath of Kristallnacht was that of U.S. Sen. William King of Utah, a former missionary who was arguably the most prominent Mormon in America at the time. While President Roosevelt only recalled the U.S. ambassador from Germany temporarily for “consultations,” Senator King urged the administration to completely break off U.S. diplomatic relations with Hitler. While FDR said that liberalization of America’s immigration quotas was “not in contemplation,” King introduced legislation to open Alaska to Jewish refugees.
Sadly, Senator King's initiatives attracted almost no support from America's churches. The response of most  Christian leaders to Kristallnacht, like the response of the Roosevelt administration and most of the American public, was, in the words of Professor Henry Feingold, “no more than a strong spectator sympathy for the underdog.”

(Dr. Rafael Medoff is director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, which focuses on issues related to America’s response to the Holocaust. The material in this article is based on the Wyman Institute's ongoing research project on American Christian responses to the Holocaust.)

Corzine Gets Kid Glove Handling

Followers of this blog know that one of those who constantly comment on these posts is a fellow by the name of David.  We really appreciate his comments and his thoughtful approach, although we might not agree with what he says, that is ok.

In a previous comment, David said that we never post anything negative regarding Wall 

Street or the banks.

Today's posting is somewhat about Wall Street. It is the hands off, good guy approach the 

news media has taken with MF Global and most notably Jon Corozine, its CEO.  The 

following article is just an example from ABC News.  There is no mention of the millions of 

investor dollars that are missing. No accusation blaming the former New Jersey governor. 

The very limited discussion was about what he would do next.

If there were a Republican running a company which had "missing" 

investor dollars, there would be screaming for his/her head.  Occupy Wall Street would be

carrying signs for the executive's immediate firing.  Yet, Corozine gets a free pass.  This

is the press in 2011.

MF Global Faces Investigation, Jon Corzine's Future Uncertain

The story of MF Global's downward spiral, with former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine at the helm, is only starting to unfold, though some may say it was a predictable one.
With news that federal regulators are investigating whether the broker-dealer is missing customer money, the company's failure may have larger repercussions to the financial system.
"I think it will add to the complexity of the situation and will add to more skeletons," Jody Lurie, corporate credit analyst at Janney Capital Markets, said. "This won't be as much of an open-and-shut case as we would expect."
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said on Monday that MF Global "reported possible deficiencies in customer futures segregated accounts held at the firm."
The two agencies determined that a bankruptcy proceeding led by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), as opposed to a bankrutpcy trustee, "would be the safest and most prudent course of action to protect customer accounts and assets."
MF Global's problems are mostly related to its exposure of $6 billion to European sovereign debt, part of $41 billion in total assets, according to Janney Capital Markets. The company's stock price declined more than two thirds last week after Moody's and Fitch downgraded the firm's debt. The company's board had met this weekend in New York to consider its options, including a sale, which ultimately failed.
"It's a bit unusual how the event unfolded," Patrick O'Shaughnessy, equity research analyst with Raymond James & Associates, said.
O'Shaugnessy said he agreed that the bankruptcy unfolded relatively quickly.
How much blame can be placed on Corzine is unclear, though he did have an "aggressive" plan during a volatile period, said Lurie.
The problem was that MF Global, initially a "middle-man" in trading, had too much risk relative to its size, she added.
"MF Global has more narrowed business focus. Their exposure to Europe was a lot bigger than their size," she said. "Their liquidity levels were not robust enough to handle that risk."
Describing MF Global's second quarter results on Oct. 25, Corzine expressed some optimism in the company's future, despite a drop in revenues to $205.9 million for the second quarter, compared with $240.3 million for the same period last year.
"Over the course of the past year, we have seen opportunities in short-dated European sovereign credit markets and built a fully financed, laddered maturity portfolio that we actively manage," Corzine said at the time. "We remain confident that we have the resources and expertise to continue to successfully manage these exposures to what we believe will be a positive conclusion in December 2012."
Brought on to lead MF Global into the next level as a financial institution, Corzine had come from politics after being ousted as CEO of Goldman Sachs. His career as CEO of Goldman Sachs spanned from 1994 until 1999.
An article in New York magazine from July 2005 reported that he was booted out of the company in a coup that took place after he had gotten the bank's gigantic IPO approved and had gone skiing with his family.
"While he was away, three members of Goldman's five-member executive committee, led by Corzine's co–chief executive, Hank Paulson (the man he appointed and who still runs the company), staged a palace coup, stripping him of his CEO title and his power," the magazine reported in 2005. (Paulson is no longer Goldman's CEO; from 2006-08, he served as Secretary of the Treasury under George W. Bush.)
Corzine was devastated and humiliated, so much so that he was determined to stay on for several months but worked from his car, the magazine reported.
He eventually left Goldman a richer man in terms of dollars, but "like an athlete who suddenly finds himself out of sports, Corzine needed to satisfy his continuing hunger to compete," the magazine wrote.
He became New Jersey senator from 2001 to 2006, then governor from 2006, leading the state through a government shutdown and a crisis in municipal funding that many localities and states had to endure. His tenure ended when current Gov. Chris Christie defeated him in 2009.
Lurie said it is anybody's guess what Corzine will do next.
"I don't think he's necessarily crying for money. If he wanted to throw in the towel, he very well could. But I think it leaves it up to what people make of it," she said.
Like Corzine's, the futures of the company's 2,900 employees are unclear, though the Financial Times reported employees in the office in London were told not to work but were not sent home.
Lurie said MF Global's bankruptcy has spooked the financial system, even diminishing the positive effect of the Greek debt deal last week.
"But now with this news from MF global falling apart in two weeks of being in the spotlight reminds us it's easy for financials to get caught up in market skepticism," Lurie said.
The bankruptcy demonstrates that while many financial institutions are in better positions now than they were in 2008, a liquidity scare can still cause a firm to deteriorate very quickly. It took only two weeks since the first discussion about MF Global's inadequate capital for the company to file for bankruptcy, she said, though there were earlier warnings.
In August, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), an independent securities-firms regulator, instructed MF Global to boost its required net capital because of its exposure in Europe. And ahead of the company's second quarter results on Oct. 25, Moody's downgraded the company's debt to "Baa3" from "Baa2."
"Once Moody's downgraded the company and after the company posted a very poor quarter, the rest was a very quick process, somewhat akin to a run on the bank where perception of weakness becomes the reality," Patrick O'Shaughnessy, equity research analyst with Raymond James & Associates, said.
On Tuesday, Moody's downgraded the company further to "Caa1."
MF Global had disclosed its European sovereign debt position as early as its May 2011 10-K filing with the SEC, but it wasn't until Moody's downgraded MF's debt rating in late October that investor and client concern really started to rise, said O'Shaughnessy.
O'Shaughnessy said what was most surprising was the inability of Corzine and MF Global to "be on the same page" with the ratings agencies in terms of what level of risk and leverage was appropriate.
"A downgrade to junk for a firm with MF's profile and funding structure is essentially a death knell, so one would have expected MF to do everything possible to retain its investment grade rating," he said.
The SIPC announced Monday it is initiating the liquidation of MF Global, headquartered in New York City, under the Securities Investor Protection Act of 1970, as opposed to the federal bankruptcy code.
The SIPC can arrange the transfer of MF Global's brokerage accounts to a different securities brokerage firm, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. If the SIPC is unable to arrange the transfer, the failed firm can be liquidated and the SIPC could send investors certificates for the stock that was lost or a check for the market value of the shares.