January 10, 2010 archive

Geithner: Criminal or Just Incompetent ?

It has been announced that House Oversight Committee Will Hold Hearing On Geithner/NY Fed/AIG Scandal

Ed Towns, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, just announced that he would hold hearings into the emails that show how the New York Federal Reserve delayed disclosure of AIG counter-party payments, hiding public information from federal regulators. The statement is below.

Towns wants to hold the hearing the week of January 18, and has invited Treasury Secretary Geithner to testify.

The question is did Geithner’s New York Fed Ordered AIG to Violate Securities Law in 2008

Yves Smith over at Naked Capitalism commented on a report from Bloomberg News that just about made my eyes pop out of my head. Evidently, Darrell Issa got his hands on some 2008 emails between AIG and Tim Geithner’s New York Federal Reserve, wherein the NY Fed orders AIG to make material misstatements on SEC filings:

Bloomberg reports:

   The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, then led by Timothy Geithner, told American International Group Inc. to withhold details from the public about the bailed-out insurer’s payments to banks during the depths of the financial crisis, e-mails between the company and its regulator show.

   snip

   AIG’s Dec. 24, 2008, filing was challenged privately by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which polices the adequacy of disclosures by publicly traded firms. The agency said in a letter to then-CEO Edward Liddy six days later that AIG should provide a Schedule A, which lists collateral postings for the swaps and names the bank counterparties that purchased them from the company. The Schedule A was disclosed about five months later in a filing.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 CIA director defends agency against criticism

AFP

Sun Jan 10, 1:33 am ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – CIA Director Leon Panetta, in an article published Sunday, revealed that a Jordanian doctor who killed seven agency operatives was about to be searched before he blew himself up at a US military base in Afghanistan.

“This was not a question of trusting a potential intelligence asset, even one who had provided information that we could verify independently. It is never that simple, and no one ignored the hazards,” Panetta wrote in The Washington Post.

“The individual was about to be searched by our security officers — a distance away from other intelligence personnel — when he set off his explosives.”

On General Strike

In NightProwlKitty’s essay Ground, Heather writes:

My immediate thought and what i got from that diary was that even if a person had only small opportunities to have an impact on the revenue stream like canceling the cable, but that move was part of a whole big movement under ONE umbrella framed as a general strike, which also absorbed the people making the big moves, and the people already impacted severely by the way things are, then there would be some eyes popping open.

Wikipedia:

A general strike is a strike action by a critical mass of the labour force in a city, region, or country. While a general strike can be for political goals, economic goals, or both, it tends to gain its momentum from the ideological or class sympathies of the participants. It is also characterized by participation of workers in a multitude of workplaces, and tends to involve entire communities. The general strike has waxed and waned in popularity since the mid-19th century, and has characterized many historically important strikes.

… The classic general strike, by contrast, involves also workers (and members of the working-class) who have no direct stake in the outcome of the strike. For example, in the San Francisco General Strike of 1934, both union and non-union workers struck for four days to protest the police and employers’ tactics that had killed two picketers and in support of the longshoremen’s and seamen’s demands …

Some in the labour movement hope to mount a “peaceful revolution” by organizing enough strikers to completely paralyse the state and corporate apparatus. With this goal achieved, the workers would be able to re-organize society along radically different lines.

Since we are political people, I think it most helpful to go with the syndicalist use Wikipedia quoted in the paragraph directly above.

Ein Brotchen, Ein Brotchen, Gemutlicheit!

I was sitting in a German beer festival tent a couple of whiles back when somewhat randomly, the brass oompah band struck up a melody and all present raised their glasses and began singing. None of us knew German, and what we all thought was very weird was the shortness of the little song. It was all, “DOO DA-DOO!” “Sing a few words!” Done! It tended to happen at random – sometimes the bands would play it during a set of other songs, and sometimes just in the middle of a long period of silence. We American noobs did not get it.

As the years went on and our knowledge of German grew a buddy of mine, Jesus Portillo guessed in his typical wiseass way that they were singing “Ein brotchen, ein brotchen!”, referring to the little dinner rolls that came with most German meals.

By then we all knew that what they were actually singing was “Ein prosit, ein prosit, gemutlicheit!”, which roughly translates to something like “A toast, a toast, to fellowship!”

Gemutlicheit is actually a lot more than fellowship or a happy party vibe. It has it’s foundations in a Northern European custom documented in pre-Christian lore as gastfriður – Guest-Joy, or gast-griður – Guest Peace. Today it is commonly referred to as gastfreundschaft or gastfreundlichkeit.

In a land where the weather can kill you, HOSPITALITY IS SACRED. So it has been for millenia, and so it is today.

To protect another person from the elements, even if he is your sworn enemy, is a holy act. To create shelters from the cold where warring tribes can be guaranteed a peaceful place to eat and sleep is the foundation of our civilization. This is why small, empty mountain lodges randomly dot the hillsides in the Alps, stocked with cots, blankets, first aid supplies, small amounts of food, water and firewood. The use of dogs to find lost travelers in these mountains predates Saint Bernard by many a century. This is the source of the catchphrases, “Check your weapons at the door.” “Take it outside.” Grendel is considered a monster for his murders by anyone familiar with the story, but even more so among Scandinavians and Germans for his violation of guest-frith, a custom which anyone who has felt the winters of Northern Europe comes away with in their very bones.

One of the reasons Christianity assimilated itself so well into the Germanic and Scandinavian cultures was that the sacrament of Communion – the sharing of food and drink as a holy act – was something the native Northern Europeans INSTANTLY and FULLY understood.

The Havamal, the Sayings of Odin the High One, is one of the most ancient and sacred sections of Heathen Lore. The very first four verses show the importance of sacred hospitality to followers of the pre-Christian faith.

          Gáttir allar                  Before one would advance
          áðr gangi fram                through each doorway,
          um skoðask skyli              one must look about
          um skygnask skyli             and peer around,
          því at óvíst                  because one can't know
          er at vita                    for sure
          hvar óvinir                   where enemies
          sitja á fleti fyrir           sit in the hall beforehand.

          Gefendr heilir                Greetings to the hosts,
          gestr er inn kominn           a guest is come.
          hvar skal sitja sjá?          where must this one sit?
          Mjök er bráðr                 He is very impatient,
          sá er bröndum skal            the one who must sit on the firewood,
          síns um freista frama         to test his luck.

          Elds er þörf                  There is need of fire
          þeims inn er kominn           for him who is come in
          ok á kné kalinn               with cold knees;
          matar ok váða                 food and clothes
          es manni þörf                 this man needs
          þeims hefir um fjall farit    who has journeyed on the mountainside.

          Vats er þörf                  There is need of water,
          þeims til verðar kømr         for the one who comes for a meal,
          þerru ok þjóðlaðar            of towel and friendly intonation;
          góðs um œðis                  of good disposition,
          ef sér geta mætti             if he can get it,
          orðs ok endrþögu              of speech and silence in return.

There are homeless day laborers living along the railroad tracks and highways of Long Island. Most of them are undocumented immigrants. They have nowhere else to stay. People donate clothing to them but they have no place to store it, and I find it rotting all over the woods in plastic bags. They eat over open fires from pots and pans and drink from vessels creatively acquired from the local bars and restaurants.

As I came across evidence of their living in the woods while looking for bottles and cans this summer, sometimes I would rescue what I could of the clothing and wash it. Once I found one of them, sleeping under a plastic tarp. He spoke pretty fair English but was afraid of me, didn’t want any help and wouldn’t tell me his name. It can be pretty scary – you never know if these folks are out there because they might be mentally ill or on drugs, and I always carry a knife just in case. And they don’t know who the heck YOU are either, which is totally understandable. But no one should have to live like this, especially in the killing cold. Not never, people. Not never.

So today I find myself putting together a little care package for them. I found a backpack in the woods at a park this summer that apparently some thief had hidden there after stealing whatever was inside (probably a laptop from the looks of it). These guys need stuff like backpacks to store the few goods they have and keep them from rotting in the elements, so I’m going to give it to one of them. I’ve got some canned goods in there that we can afford to donate. And I’m making bread.

Back when we didn’t have much to eat ourselves, I scored a ten dollar bread machine from a local garage sale. I kept us alive with that thing for months. Making bread is a lot cheaper than buying it these days. This country still has the ability to feed the world if you play it right. We still don’t have a lot of money for food, but for ingredients worth about $20 I can make enough bread to feed a lot of these homeless guys.

It’s time this Heathen showed these right wing fascist “Christians”, these racist white pseudo-supremacists who for all their prating about the “folk soul” and the “master race” can’t even remember something as fundamental as the custom of sacred hospitality, how it’s really done.

Ein brotchen, ein brotchen… gemutlicheit. Thank you, Jesus Portillo.

As for the other Jesus, well, you’ll have to work a bit, pal, given the evident values of your numerous so-called “followers” on Long Island, to show me what I should be thankful for from you.



Photo: James Carbone, Newsday

Now, I have no case of the ass with Christians in general, just the ones who don’t practice what they preach. So I have to give credit where it’s due. Newsday reports that there’s a guy in a church in Glen Head who is collecting money and donated goods for these guys. But the funny thing about that is that I can’t propagate the information here with a direct link because you need to be a paid subscriber to Newsday in order to read the story. Interesting, no? Well I think this news needs to get the hell out there anyway, so here are the details for those who might be interested in helping out too:


January 9, 2010 By WILLIAM MURPHY   william.murphy@newsday.com

People can donate goods or  money for the homeless day laborers living in the woods in Huntington Station, the Rev. Allan Ramirez said Saturday.

Sleeping bags, gloves, hats, heavy socks and other winter wear can be left on the rear porch of the Brookville Reformed Church – where Ramirez is pastor – at 2 Brookville Rd., Glen Head, NY 11545.

Checks can be made payable to the Brookville Reformed Church with a notation that the money be used for the homeless people, Ramirez said.

Ramirez said he has already given out about 200 sets of thermal underwear, and no more of those items are needed.

The United States of Amnesia

It is nowhere written that the American empire goes on forever.

–Eugene Jarecki

Is American foreign policy dominated by the idea of military supremacy? Has the military become too important in American life? Jarecki’s shrewd and intelligent polemic would seem to give an affirmative answer to each of these questions.

He may have been the ultimate icon of 1950s conformity and postwar complacency, but Dwight D. Eisenhower was an iconoclast, visionary, and the Cassandra of the New World Order. Upon departing his presidency, Eisenhower issued a stern, cogent warning about the burgeoning “military industrial complex,” foretelling with ominous clarity the state of the world in 2004 with its incestuous entanglement of political, corporate, and Defense Department interests.



“Why We Fight”

99 minutes

How We Fight: Engage

Or… not. A big part of the trick is to determine who is, and is not, The Enemy.

Warning… this is not going to be an altogether serious essay, and it’s pretty much off the cuff. It is Sunday after all. And I’m in a quotey mood.

Ministry o’ Truth recently posted a good essay titled Why I Fight. Many in the leftosphere discuss all this stuff daily. Why. Who. What. Where. And quite often, there is at least an undercurrent of How. As if there’s only One Way.

Sigh.

The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can’t do. For instance, you can accept that your father was a pirate and a good man or you can’t. But pirate is in your blood, boy, so you’ll have to square with that some day. And me, for example, I can let you drown, but I can’t bring this ship into Tortuga all by me onesies, savvy? So, can you sail under the command of a pirate, or can you not? ~CJS

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Open Joy

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Reason #5629374 why the Democrats are professional LOSERS

I’ve made it clear that I believe the Democratic Party is in deliberate cahoots with the Republican party to keep a “balance of power” between the two parties.

This is all part of the “Kabuki Theatre” of what passes for modern day “electoral” politics in the United States.

The Democrats, if they really cared about anything other than the status quo, would be pissing on the grave of the Republican party right now.   Instead, they are intent on reviving the Republicans.   They are literally going out of their way to revive the Republican Party.  

Here’s one perfect exmple.    Harry Reid in Nevada.   He’s about to get his ass kicked by the Republicans.


More than half of Nevadans are unhappy with Sen. Harry Reid, according to a new poll commissioned by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. It’s the worst “unfavorable” rating he’s received in the newspaper’s surveys for this year’s election, and it comes amid quiet speculation — or perhaps wishful thinking by his opponents — that it’s time for the Nevada Democrat to retire rather than lose re-election.

In response, Reid told the Review-Journal Friday he wouldn’t consider stepping aside as did Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, whose announcement this week prompted rumors that the Senate majority leader might think about ending his political career now that he’s the most vulnerable incumbent.

“I am absolutely running for re-election,” said Reid, 70, in a statement. “These are difficult times for Nevada and as the majority leader of the Senate I have been able to take action to address those challenges. But I know there is more work to do to turn our state’s economy around and create jobs and I am committed to seeing it through.”

Most independent political analysts firmly discounted the idea that Reid would quit the race, despite poll after poll showing him in a losing battle with potential Republican opponents, who surveys suggest would beat him if the election were held today.

One elephant in the room the article never mentions:

Where is the Democratic challenger?  

If Harry Reid is a loser, which we all know he is, why isn’t there a Democrat primarying him?  

There isn’t one.   Nada.

They are handing that Senate seat to the Republicans.  

Why?

Because that’s their job.  To make sure they don’t get too much power.

Becuase if they get too much power, they won’t have any excuses.   If they get too much power, they can no longer come up with all their fake reasons for not working for the American people.

It’s part of their corrupt game.  

And it’s bullshit.   Las Vegas is a huge union town.  All they need is a seriously pro-union candidate from the Dem party to challenge this LOSER.   But will they do it?

Of course not.  

Blood Sucking for Billions

How low can you go to make billions? By quite literally bleeding the poor and selling their blood to the people who need it to stay alive. Sound like a plot from HBO’s “True Blood”? No. It is the business practice of Cerberus Capital, a Wall St. hedge fund firm. Cerberus recently made $1.8 billion on a mere $82.5 million investment four years ago when they bought a company called Talecris.

Cerberus Capital: Literally Blood-Sucking the Poor to Make Their Billions

Cerberus Capital, one of Wall Street’s most notoriously ruthless leveraged-buyout firms (or “private equity firms” in PC-speak), recently made a $1.8 billion killing on its human plasma investment, a company called Talecris. Talecris was purchased for a mere $82.5 million just four years earlier, meaning Cerberus made 23 times its investment on human plasma.

This was accomplished by the most savage, heartless means possible: by paying peanuts to impoverished human plasma donors, who increasingly come from Mexican border towns to blood-pumping stations set up on the American side, jacking up the price of plasma by restricting supply (a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission accused Cerberus Plasma Holdings of “operat[ing] as an oligopoly”), and then selling the refined products to the most desperately ill-patients suffering from hemophilia, severe burns, multiple sclerosis and autoimmune deficiencies. The products cost so much-one, IVIG (intravenous immunoglobulin) cost twice the price of gold as of last summer-that American health insurance companies have been dropping or denying their policyholders in increasing numbers, endangering untold numbers of people.

(emphasis mine)

Cerberus is the same hedge fund that drove auto makers Chrysler and GMAC into the ground. It’s Republican “players” are former Treasury  Secretary, John Snow, Chairman, former V.P. Dan “potatoe” Quayle, International Chairman, and Founder of Cerberus, billionaire Stephen Feinberg, “a major Republican Party campaign donor with a hardcore fetish for Harleys and big guns”.

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Blood Suckers

H/T to Hecate

Special Report: Agent Orange

In surfing the web early this morning, with in-box help, I was led to the following report, US assistance for Vietnamese AO victims ‘insufficient’, say Americans at the Vietnamese Online News: NhanDan on which you will find this link Justice for Vietnamese AO Victims which gives a page of links to other reports about Agent Orange and the Vietnamese casulties of, through these past decades.

From the first report link we get the following:

Sunday Morning – The Fuck Texas and their Mis-Education System Edition

(no offense to Lady Libertine or any other sane reader/writer who has the poor luck to live in the State that brought us the Bush regime… and this shit.)

Hat tip to Elian Maricon, the busiest man in America, for sending me this outfuckingrageous link. Don’t worry, E, I got your back my brother, keep your nose in that book so you and your Masters degree can support me in my old age someday, in the poverty-stricken manner to which I am accustomed.

Check this clusterfuck out:

The UFW needs your help to stop the Texas state Board of Education from erasing Cesar Chavez and all Hispanic historical figures from public school text books. Since Texas is such a major textbook purchaser, such a move could have a nationwide impact.

This Wednesday, Jan. 13, the state board will take a preliminary vote to adopt new standards for social studies texts. These new standards would eliminate all Hispanics since the conquest of Mexico in the early 16th Century.Cesar Chavez, arguably the most important Hispanic civil rights leader of the 20th Century, is among the historical figures to be eliminated. One of Lowe’s so called “experts” said that Chavez “lacks the stature…and contributions” and should not be “held up to our children as someone worthy of emulation.”

To read the entire story and then take action  go to: http://action.ufw.org/page/spe…

History can only be written about those “WORTHY OF EMULATION?”

WORTHY OF EMULATION?

Ok, you inbred assholes, with your 10 gallon douchebag hats, lets play, shall we?

Sheeple Shit News

When I have to partake things from the commercial infotainment propaganda system I have to filter it out spiritually.  To see the big picture details are just not important rather details do get in the way of seeing the big picture.  NBC WBZTV in Boston ended a “newscast” story about the Newark airport fiasco by saying there ought to be stiffer penalties for the guy who walked through a vacant screening station thus shutting down the entire airport.  WTF?  Allow me to get a tad crude here.  Allow me to fully illustrate my current contempt.

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