"I would think that if you understood what communism was, you would hope, you would pray on your knees, that we would someday become communist."
-- "Hanoi Jane Fonda, 1969
Saturday, July 16, 2011
I was to have been on QVC today to introduce my book, “Prime Time,” about aging and the life cycle. The network said they got a lot of calls yesterday criticizing me for my opposition to the Vietnam War and threatening to boycott the show if I was allowed to appear.
I am, to say the least, deeply disappointed that QVC caved to this kind of insane pressure by some well funded and organized political extremist groups. And that they did it without talking to me first. I have never shied away from talking about this as I have nothing to hide.
I could have pointed out that threats of boycotts are nothing new for me and have never prevented me from having best selling books and exercise DVDs, films, and a Broadway play. Most people don’t buy into the far right lies. Many people have reached out to express how excited they were about my going onto QVC and hearing about my book.
Bottom line, this has gone on far too long, this spreading of lies about me! None of it is true. NONE OF IT! I love my country. I have never done anything to hurt my country or the men and women who have fought and continue to fight for us. I do not understand what the far right stands to gain by continuing with these myths.In this case, they denied a lot of people the chance to hear about a book that can help make life better, easier and more fulfilling. I am deeply grateful for all of the support I have been getting since this happened, including from my Vietnam Veterans friends.
|JANE FONDA - ON ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUN IN NORTH VIETNAM|
I'm so mad right now that it wouldn't surprise me if my blood pressure is nearing stroke level. The irony of that would be that if I DID have a stroke and got rushed to the emergency room, I'd have to wait behind a bunch of goddamn illegals, medicaid parasites and other welfare cheats who were in for such life-threatening maladies like a sore throat or a sprained ankle.
Think I'm kidding? Head down to your nearest large city indigent care emergency room. Check out the human debris that litters the waiting area. Check out the trash and general mess they leave behind--which we pay for, all on our nickel.
Meanwhile, working citizens with insurance that we paid for out of our own pockets via our JOBS wait in line, unless perhaps you begin barfing or projectile bleeding all over some El Salvadorean immigrant in for a toothache, and thus inconvenience him or his perpetually pregnant girlfriend.
So, I'm drinking some blood pressure medication as I type this, also known as Coors Light, so as not to risk a trip to the local medical zoo. I keep several frosted mugs in the big freezer for just such emergencies.
But what got this rant really going was yet another experience at a pharmacy/drug-store this evening.
Here are the 12 reports of police misconduct tracked in our National Police Misconduct News Feed for this Friday, July 15, 2011:
- Lake View IA police chief & a fellow cop subject of suit alleging they helped cover up racially motivated beating by falsely arresting the victim  http://bit.ly/qHhGKk
- 2 Braidwood IL cops found liable in $60k jury award to female electric meter reader falsely arrested on the job  http://trib.in/qs4M3Z
- Decatur Co IN deputy on paid leave after charged w/misd battery for groping sleeping 17yr-old’s genitals  http://bit.ly/qJdni5
- Rockford IL cop involved in fatal shooting of unarmed man in church is fired after fitness evaluation  http://bit.ly/ozz6UW
- New Roads LA cop arrested on felony theft & malfeasance charges for allegedly stealing $800 while responding to call http://bit.ly/pYAqX0
- 3 Kansas City KS SWAT cops indicted on conspiracy charges over sting that caught them stealing during raid  http://bit.ly/r81j7v
- Chicago IL cop arrested on agg battery of an officer when allegedly caught w/felon during drug raid  http://bit.ly/pi3MVQ
- Peoria IL cop subjected to no-stalking order by judge barring him from contact w/fellow cop & having gun off duty  http://bit.ly/pCrygZ
- Smithfield UT cop resigned after leaving runaway dog to die in heat then trying to cover it up  http://bit.ly/pKmemz
- Oakland CA police accused of giving preferential treatment to Council members  http://bit.ly/qOw7Nw
- Decherd TN police chief never disclosed incident where he fired gun in his apt while drunk  http://bit.ly/oTC1fX
- US ICE officer investigated after leaving his firearm in Bush Airport bathroom were it was found by cleaning crew  http://bit.ly/pGV0IF
LARA MARLOWE in Charleston, South Carolina
150 years after the American Civil War began and half a century after the civil-rights movement, old arguments still simmer between blacks and whites. A new series explores race, identity and history in today’s American South
THE AMERICAN Civil War started here, 150 years ago, when South Carolina’s militias opened fire on the Yankees, in Fort Sumter, on an island in the middle of Charleston Harbor. The cataclysmic war that followed killed 620,000 Americans, more than any other conflict in the nation’s history.
Over the next four years, a quarter of the South’s men would perish. Slavery would be abolished. And Abraham Lincoln would achieve his goal of forcibly reuniting the States.
But time has not healed all wounds. A century and a half later, the descendants of the protagonists still cannot agree who started the conflict and why.For the North, South Carolina precipitated the war by withdrawing from the United States, because it wanted to preserve the institution of slavery. Many Southern whites claim the war was not about slavery but was started by Abraham Lincoln to safeguard income from the South’s cotton and tobacco exports for building northern infrastructure.
Today, horse-drawn carriages rattle through cobble-stone streets, past fine Georgian buildings nestled among magnolia and crepe myrtle trees. Charleston remains a monument to the wealth and charmed life of slave-owning planters and merchants in the antebellum South. For the tourists who flock here, it’s like turning to the opening pages of Gone with the Wind.
by Michael S. Rozeff
A “run” is a mass withdrawal of cash funds from a borrower. We are in the midst of a continuing worldwide credit crisis, punctuated by “runs” of varying prominence and publicity.
These runs are rational, not panics and not due to quirks of psychology. They occur when investors realize that their funds are endangered in an institution. They try to get them out before they lose them.
The danger comes when the institution no longer is getting cash inflows in sufficient amounts to pay off all its obligations. In businesses, this comes about through sour investments. In governments, it comes about through wasteful spending that fails to be recovered in tax revenues.
In the year 2008, we saw runs on major Wall Street investment banks, money market mutual funds, domestic banks and foreign banks. Now we are seeing runs on governments in Europe such as Greece and Portugal. Sovereign debts are being sold down hard as investors flee from them, converting their bonds into currency.
Three years from the 2008 credit crisis, the Federal Reserve is still providing massive credit to U.S. banks. This props them up against bank runs. Every so often, the FED extends credit to foreign central banks to prop them up so that they can prop up their financial institutions. These are stopgaps. All of this propping up depends on faith in one currency: the U.S. dollar.
Runs on various institutions often show up as a flight into short-term U.S. treasuries, i.e, the dollar. This is because the treasury market is deep.
Since the dollar is also a credit instrument, it is subject to credit risk. What happens when trust in the dollar drops sharply? What happens to all these financial institutions being propped up by creating dollars when trust in the dollar fails? That is when the financial system cracks wide open. That is when governments will be tempted to freeze funds in banks and prevent withdrawals the way that Argentina did. That is when the FED will be tempted to guarantee almost any institution against cash withdrawals, but when such a guarantee will be ignored. That is when gold will soar in price against the dollar and all other fiat currencies.
I am describing a run on the United States government. This will be a withdrawal of cash financing from the U.S. government. This is the ultimate credit crisis upheaval. This will be accompanied by mass social unrest and political reorganization. Stock and bond prices will fall sharply. The S & P 500 will lose at least 60 percent. Government bonds will yield at least 10 percent. This event is foreseeable. It is also avoidable, but not without much pain and travail. Hence, although foreseeable and avoidable, it may still occur.
Whether we like it or not, we are all currency speculators now. This is hardly a burden we can relish.
Whether or not a run on the United States government occurs is in the hands of its creditors. It depends on their trust in the dollar. Their trust depends on their understanding of America’s political economy.
Anyone who looks objectively at actions being taken by the U.S. government to bolster its credit or cause its credit to deteriorate has to reach a very negative conclusion. Why? Simply because the country’s leadership has been taking it downhill for decades on end. America is like a bright and fresh red apple in which rotting has been proceeding inexorably. The apple still has some edible portions but large parts of it are gone. The seeds need to be planted and a new tree grown.
Dagong Global Credit Ratings Co. Has 15 categories of ratings of sovereign debt (AAA, AA+, AA, AA-, A+, A, A-, BBB, BB+, BB, BB-, B+, B, B-, CCC.) The U.S. has a rating of A+. Dagong lowered it from AA- to A+ in November 2010 after the FED announced a new QE program.
In a remarkable statement made in mid-June 2011, Dagong’s president said “In our opinion, the United States has already been defaulting.” Dagong has spent $1 million to enter the U.S. market, but the SEC has so far turned it down.
The debate over the debt ceiling, like all Washington debates, is throwing off negative signals about U.S. credit. Obama is the key person. He is airing various proposals in public in press conferences. If he were serious about any of them, he’d be working closely with key Congressmen in private behind closed doors. He would not be trying to box in Republicans or embarrass them in public or score political points. He would have been working on controlling the budget long before this. He would have shown leadership on this long ago. One does not place multi-trillion dollar proposals on the table and expect them to be taken seriously, debated and acted upon within 2 or 3 weeks. Obama’s credibility on serious budget control is nil. The Republicans and even members of his own party have little reason to trust him when he paints himself as on a high road and willing to compromise. Any compromise will be on his terms to further his agenda. The debate, such as it is, can’t be taken seriously.
Did the near-miss of the 2008 credit crisis prod the U.S. government into corrective action? Sure, bailouts and wars and deficits and the absorption of Fannie Mae. The U.S. government has had three years to enact measures to revive the economy, clean out the bad debts in the banking system, and get the U.S. budget under control. Make that thirty years or more. At this moment, I can’t think of one good step it has taken. Look for yourself. Do I see healthcare in there as the centerpiece along with Wall Street reform? Don’t make me laugh.
The U.S. government has no credibility in terms of restoring America. The government is living off its past reputation, like a once great entertainer grown tired and going through the motions.
Under these conditions, trust in the dollar and all the other fiat currencies that are linked to the dollar will continue downwards.
Unless there is a change in these conditions, someday there will be a run on the United States government. I see nothing that suggests a change in these conditions.
Michael S. Rozeff is a retired Professor of Finance living in East Amherst, New York. He is the author of the free e-book Essays on American Empire: Liberty vs. Domination and the free e-book The U.S. Constitution and Money: Corruption and Decline.
Copyright © 2011 by LewRockwell.com.
"While Reitano's sharply etched flavors are from produce picked just a few hours earlier, the best rum cake we've had this year comes out of a can. Jim Walters produces four traditional, liquor-laced cakes steamed in cans, including old-fashioned Christmas pudding, and a buttery single malt whisky cake made with McClelland's Speyside Single Malt. His Barbados rum cake contains spirits from Celebration Distillation, the oldest premium rum distillery in the continental U.S. With the texture of light shortbread fudge, this cake doesn't even need hard sauce.
(Advisory: Avoid reading the label's calorie count, a number that is unprintable in this mainstream magazine.)"
When the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee released a report -- “The Department of Justice’s Operation Fast and Furious: Accounts of ATF Agents” (pdf) -- it infuriated law enforcement officers and American citizens across the country.One police commander in New Jersey told Law Enforcement Examiner, "We need to get to the bottom of this renegade operation fast. I am furious that our government actually contributed to the killing of two American law enforcement officers -- one in the U.S., the other in Mexico."The (at times) shocking report includes testimony from four Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) agents offering firsthand accounts about the controversial Operation Fast and Furious that allowed suspects to walk away with illegally purchased guns.The gunrunners reportedly smuggled the weapons into Mexico and the agents, who were supposed to conduct surveillance, lost track of the suspected gun smugglers and the weapons which are believed to still be in the hands of Mexican drug cartel members."This is a prime example of an administration that is clueless in running a law enforcement operation," said former intelligence officer and police detective Mike Snopes."[Attorney General Eric] Holder and his minions are being deceptive in this case claiming they were unaware of the operation," said Snopes.