Tag: accountability

Nov 10

The winningest coach in college football history

Penn State’s self-inflicted disgrace is multiplying by the hour.  Anally raping 10-year olds in the locker room shower is horrifying beyond its mere criminal dimensions.  Sandusky deviously procured his child victims through his very own “charitable foundation for at-risk youths.”  Now we hear as yet unsubstantiated rumors that children may have been fetched and pimped out for some big money donors.   In any case, the cover-up by Paterno and scads and scads of other well-paid stewards of high stakes college football higher learning is likewise disturbing beyond any criminality that may obtain, and yet Paterno, who thanks to the long-delayed revelations is now the “winningest” coach in college football, is indignant at his treatment by the University.  

Almost unbelievably, Penn students rioted upon hearing news of Paterno’s firing by the Board of Trustees, thus issuing an unequivocal statement about their own deranged values as the nation’s next generation of leaders, intellectuals, role models, well-paid administrators.  The older, wiser, more politically astute Board of Trustees issued a not-so-carefully-worded statement indicating that they fired the university president Spanier and Paterno “in the best interests of the university.”  “In the best interests of university,” they repeated.  Yes, they emphasized their own afflicted motives as emotionless, conflicted agents eyeing the bottom line.  This is what it means to be a “winner,” Deacon.

This is our society in a nutshell, rotten through and through.  Based on these events, the entire football program at Penn State should be shut down indefinitely, as its particular incentives quite evidently disorder normal thinking and disrupt acceptable behavior across the entire swath of society it intersects.

“In the best interests of the university,” Penn State needs a l-o-o-o-ng time-out, while somebody draws some chalk on the board.

Oct 10

#OWS: Mark banks to market or no more bailouts.

Want to see Blankfein’s head on a metaphorical pike?  Want accountability?  Justice?

Photobucket

It’s called “mark-to-market” accounting.

Listen to Ilargi:  

It’s perfectly defensible for a government to lend money to a bank in trouble that is important to its economy, in order to try and save. However, it borders on criminal negligence, if it isn’t outright criminal behavior, to lend that money without being perfectly aware of what assets that bank holds.

A bank could have 100 times more debt than it receives in bail-out money. But we wouldn’t know about that today, we’re not allowed to know. Both the US (FASB 157) and the European Union (IFRS 9) have accounting (non-)principles in place that say it’s perfectly alright for a financial institution to hold assets in its books at 100 cents on the dollar that have a market value of 70% of that, or 50%, or even 5%. It has therefore no obligation to reveal even to its shareholders what its true financial situation is.

Fraudulent accounting is why banks pass stress tests with flying colors then implode weeks later.  We’re dumping money into black holes.  If the banks want to take our money, they have to mark all their assets to market value.  Mark-to-fantasy accounting is, as Ilargi says, “criminal.”  And a total waste of taxpayer funded bailout money, a never-ending money pit.

Mark-to-market is instant karma.

…a bank should never ever be allowed to sit on its debt and mark it to fantasy and then also receive funding from our governments, whether in bail-outs, hand-outs, loans, special facilities’ windows at our central banks, or any other sort of funding, nothing of the kind.

We need to tell our politicians that they can no longer give even one single penny of ours to any institution that hasn’t marked all of its assets to market. No exceptions.

Let the sun shine on these blood-sucking freaks.  It couldn’t happen to nicer people.

May 12

Movies: West Side Story vs. The Town:

Hey, folks:   Here’s hoping that you can bear with me while I write yet another essay on a couple of movies that I’ve been thinking about lately, involving their differences (of which there are many) and their similarities.  

Please note:  This  thread is cross-posted in firefly-dreaming.com, and part of this post (about West Side Story) is posted on the new leonardbernstein.com blog, in the West Side Story section.  This, too, is my very own writing, and nobody else’s.

Here goes

Hey, all…can you stand more on West Side Story?

I’ve got that on my mind as well.  Here goes:

Pretty much everybody knows that West Side Story is my alltime favorite movie, hands down,  and that I’m a devout fan of this great classic film  who  always feels like I’m seeing West Side Story for the first time.  Inotherwords, it’s still fresh, imho.   Although West Side Story is loosely based on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, this particular musical is still relevant, imho, because, although it’s fiction, it’s closer to reality in many respects;  people from “opposite sides of the track” falling in love amid conflict on both sides, dating and even marrying, racial, ethnic and religious tensions, urban gang warfare, all of which still frequently gets played out in real life.  People can and do even fall in love at first sight in real life, although in real life, even that takes time to grow and develop into something where mutual trust and love enable the love to mushroom into something really substantial, if one gets the drift.

Yet, I’m aware of the fact that in real life, gangs don’t go dancing through the streets, nor do they dance their way through street fights and all-out rumbles, which have now evolved into dangerous drive-by shootings and shootings on street corners in many neighborhoods, and gangs today are even more vicious than they were in times  gone past.  It used to be that gangs would stake out and protect their territory, in real life, but  racial/ ethnic tensions and hostilities lent that protection of turf an even more vicious edge.  

Since I’ve also seen several very good stage productions of West Side Story, I kind of have to say that West Side Story is my favorite stage musical, as well.  In addition to the two screenings of the film version of WSS that I will be going to see;  one at the Emerson College-owned Paramount Theatre in downtown Boston this coming Saturday night, and the other at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, in Brookline, in mid-November (I’ve already got tickets for both of those screenings), I will be taking my youngest nephew and my niece to a matinee show of the latest Broadway stage revival of West Side Story here in Boston.  I’ve read a number of reviews on this latest WSS Broadway revival;  some good, some not so good.  I really wasn’t sure I wanted to see this particular production of the stage version of West Side Story, but some other people’s suggestion, I went down to the Colonial Theatre here on Boston’s Boylston Street, and purchased some rather expensive mezzanine tickets.  It’s well that I did, since they’re going fast, and there weren’t many mezzanine tickets left, and I didn’t want the balcony, because that would’ve been too far away.  

Mar 19

March 19, 2003: Iraq “decapitation attack”


U.S. and coalition forces launched missiles and bombs at targets in Iraq including a “decapitation attack” aimed at Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and other top members of the country’s leadership.

There were nearly 300,000 American, British and other troops at the border.

President George W. Bush warned Americans that the conflict “could be longer and more difficult than some predict.” He assured the nation that “this will not be a campaign of half-measures, and we will accept no outcome except victory.”

Read about the cost of this war

Timeline

This Week in Peace History

Feb 07

CCR: Bush Torture Indictment

The Center for Constitutional Rights has released the Torture Indictment against former President George W. Bush!

Done In Our Names

The blowback will be felt for the coming decades, he on the other hand just wants to sell his book and reap more wealth from speaking, if one can call what he does when mouth opens speaking!

Jul 26

We Didn’t Have Computers, An Internet, 24/7 Cable News or a Wikileaks

By now most have heard about the Afghanistan Docs, some 92,000, that were released by Wikileaks and with coordinated release at roughly the same time by three News Media outlets:

The Guardian: Afghanistan war logs: Massive leak of secret files exposes truth of occupation

New York Times: An archive of classified military documents offers an unvarnished view of the war in Afghanistan

Der Spiegel: The Afghanistan Protocol; Explosive Leaks Provide Image of War from Those Fighting It

Whoever hasn’t will as it’s become the main News Story today hitting every level and the links above give you the main outlets of the reports on the documents released and more.

May 19

Britain’s Iraq War Inquiry: In The U.S.!

The bush apparently won’t be questioned, probably couldn’t find cheney, in his undisclosed location, to sit down next to him while being so. Also may not question other top administration figures. We’ll see what this produces, every little tidbit, like many that came out early in the Inquiry, can only help and cause even more questions hopefully finally leading up to this country facing it’s own accountabilities.

But breath is not being held nor great expectations of my seeing the guilt cleansed!

May 14

Deep Water Engineer explains how to Stop the Gushers — Updated with BP info

I was listening to the Diane Rehm Show on NPR yesterday,

when I heard this Oil Rig Engineer call in

and explain a “common sense” way to put a halt to the Oil Gusher in the Gulf.

He was a shocked by BP’s incompetent, “shotgun” approach —

to contain the mess, as most of us have been.

Here’s the eye-opening clip, with my transcript of Engineer Henry’s simple advice to BP.

The Gulf Coast Oil Spill and the Future of Offshore Drilling

May 13, 2010

Diane Rehm Show Audio

“Oil Rig Henry” starts his Engineering lesson, at Time Mark 40:20

My transcript of the his Engineering insights, and simple containment and shut-off recommendations, follows next:

May 14

It’s basically a giant Experiment: Corexit 9500, Oil, just Add Water Column

Cool, being a life-long Science fan, I have always liked Experiments …

But I generally prefer those of the ‘Controlled Experiment’ variety.  Those fly-by-night Variety, like combining a jet of Hair Spray with a tiny Lighter flame, always left me a little frightened.

Funny, I’m starting to feel that way again …

As the oil gushes from the broken well head at the sea floor, Rader says it has the potential to contaminate each layer of the water column that, “directly exposes those animals to toxicity, at the surface including the very sensitive surface zones where not only sea turtles and marine mammals and sea birds can be oiled, but also where the highways for fish larvae exist. And then as it rains back into the abyss over a much wider area carrying toxicants back into the deep sea where ancient corals and other sensitive ecosystems exist.”

One response strategy has been to use dispersants or anti-freeze-like chemicals to break the oil up into smaller globules.

[…]

It is a choice, he says, between two bad options. While the chemicals may protect birds and other wildlife by dissipating the slick before it reaches shore, their toxicity in the Gulf could harm fish and other marine life.

May 12

Where does the Buck Stop, when it comes to BP Oil?

There used to be a day when the ‘Blame Game’ was just NOT an option. There used to be a time, WHEN Action was called for, Action was taken.  

My oh my, how times have changed.


“The buck stops here” is a phrase that was popularized by U.S. President Harry S. Truman, who kept a sign with that phrase on his desk in the Oval Office. (Footage from Jimmy Carter’sAddress to the Nation on Energy” shows the sign still on the desk during Carter’s administration.) The phrase refers to the fact that the President has to make the decisions and accept the ultimate responsibility for those decisions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B…

May 06

Sen. Sanders reads the RIOT ACT to the Fed on the Senate Floor (Update: WH offers watered down alt)

Where did our 2 TRILLION dollars go, Ben Bernanke?

   Watch Senator Bernie Sanders as he spoke today for almost a half and hour in one of the greatest speeches the Senate has ever seen.

    I will be adding some quotes from this video in updates. I wanted to get this video published fast, because I think this is a matter of utmost importance.

    Are we looking at a Huge Scam?

~ Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

    The American people have a right to know where TRILLIONS of dollars of their tax payer dollars are going!

~ Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

    Why did the Fed argue that this information must be kept secret as a matter of National Security?

~ Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

     Congress required the Treasury Department to disclose who received TARP money, why is it wrong to demand the same of the Federal Reserve?

   

Apr 27

Greenwald: Obama DoJ prosecutes Bush corruption whistleblower, but not Bush war crimes

    The Obama Justice Department (on April 15th 2010)* announced that it has secured a ten-felony-count indictment against Thomas Drake, an official with the National Security Agency during the Bush years.  

~snip~

    (T)he DOJ alleges “that between approximately February 2006 and November 2007, a newspaper reporter published a series of articles about the NSA,” and it claims “Drake served as a source for many of those articles, including articles that contained classified information.”

~snip~

    Although the indictment does not specify Drake’s leaks, it is highly likely (as Shane also suggests) that it is based on Drake’s bringing to the public’s attention major failures and cost over-runs with the NSA’s spying programs via leaks to The Baltimore Sun.

salon.com

Bold text and some editing* done by the diarist

   The indictment of Thomas Drake has NOTHING to do with the illegality of the Bush warrantless wiretapping program, rather, it has to do with Drake’s uncovering of major failures and cost over-runs within the domestic spying program. As Greenwald writes . . .

    I used to write post after post about how warped and dangerous it was that the Bush DOJ was protecting the people who criminally spied on Americans (Bush, Cheney Michael Hayden) while simultaneously threatening to prosecute the whistle-blowers who exposed misconduct.  But the Bush DOJ never actually followed through on those menacing threats; no NSA whistle-blowers were indicted during Bush’s term (though several were threatened ).  It took the election of Barack Obama for that to happen, as his handpicked Assistant Attorney General publicly boasted yesterday of the indictment against Drake.

salon.com



Bold text added by the diarist

    Wait, wait, wait! If Obama’s DoJ is prosecuting crimes from the Bush era isn’t that an act of “Looking backwards, not forward”? ( and yes, revealing state secrets, even if done for the good of the public as whistleblowers do, is still illegal. )

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