Monday, October 20, 2008

Putting America on Its Knees

Open dictatorship is upon us.

One thing has happened and one thing is going to happen that are nothing more than openly goon, as in thug, tactics by our government.

The first was last week when the Federal Reserve met with nine big banks to let them know that it had to take their bailout money. One balked because it did not need to borrow money. By the end of the meeting, they had signed the paper that placed the government at the center of their business.

The second is the announcement in the Wall Street Journal that if Congress does not act, Obama will unilaterally have the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) tax and control all carbon emissions down to your lawn mower.

If you listened to the talk by Mr. Griffen on the Federal Reserve in my previous post, you see that its purpose is to have everyone borrowing money. This keeps you needy, on the treadmill and ultimately under the thumb of the Federal Reserve. And it creates a river of money flowing into the hands of the cartel that is the Federal Reserve System.

The EPA matter making carbon emissions a crime means that you are a criminal because you exist. It is a direct attack on industrialization, the advanced human way of survival, and worse, a direct attack on people personally. You and I emit carbon dioxide! If carbon emissions are evil, then you and I are evil by definition. It is an "original sin." This sweeping conclusion, made by Al Gore and his global warming crusade, hold that man is the cause of earth's climate changes. ALL WITHOUT PROOF!!!

In general few are aware how dictatorship operates. First it declares open war on its citizens rendering them powerless however it can do so. Because everything is urgent and has to be done immediately, all kinds of sweeping rules, regulations and restrictions are instituted. This demoralizes the population. As the productivity of the nation plummets and people care less and less about anything other than their immediate circumstances, the government the crisis of war to mobilize the people to get behind it and to plunder the economy of other nations.

Everything is a crisis and the crisis mentality has to be maintained at all times for the dictatorship to extend itself. It is the necessity and the urgency of the situation plus acting in the name of the public good that justifies the government in its ever increasing violations of individual people and their rights. Individual rights are meaningless. Those that fight it and speak out get silenced one way or the other. Thugs aren't nice. This is the natural progression of events and we are seeing this already in spades.

Community organizing is the art of creating crisis and has been Obama's purpose all his adult life. It is the focus of his every action. It has nothing to do with the people who he says are in the crisis and need his help. It is about the power he is able to amass to do what he wants - namely, the overthrow of capitalism, i.e., political freedom, and placing every moving thing under his direct control. (I predict that if Obama is elected, we will see many blacks voting for him for the wrong reasons turn against him. It's one thing to be romantically attracted to the Motherland as the place of one's roots. It's quite another to have to live in the dead end economies that millions of Africans live in. Why do you think they leave their families and communities to come to America if it weren't for a better, freer life?)

And this has nothing to do with the Party in power. One may hasten the process but both parties now are into this up to their armpits - the Republicans, assuring us that we will soon return to freedom all the while instituting programs that will cause future crises, and the Democrats openly embracing dictatorship.

At Moment of Truth, Where Was Dagny Taggart?

Written By: Joseph L. Bast
Published In: Heartland Perspectives 10/15/2008
Publisher: The Heartland Institute

The front page of today's Wall Street Journal carries a story titled "At Moment of Truth, U.S. Forced Big Bankers to Blink." In the quarter-century I've been reading the Journal, I've never read a news story that was more disturbing.

The article describes the Monday, October 13 meeting between government regulators and top executives from nine of the nation's largest banks. "On one side of the table sat Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, flanked by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Benanke and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair.

"On the other side sat the nation's top bank executives, who had flown in from around the country, lined up in alphabetical order by bank, with Bank of America Corp. at one end of the table and Wells Fargo & Co. at another."

The government officials most responsible for causing the financial crisis ordered the bankers to appear at this meeting, with no explanation of the purpose of the meeting. ("Come on down, we'll tell everyone at the same time," Paulson reportedly told Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack.) Isn't that an astounding thing for a country that thinks of itself as a democratic capitalist society? What if Mr. Mack had said "no thanks"? Would he have been arrested? But as you'll see in a moment, there was little chance of that happening.

"As the meeting neared a close, each banker was handed a term sheet detailing how the government would take stakes valued at a combined $125 billion in their banks, and impose new restrictions on executive pay and dividend policies." The bankers were told "they weren't allowed to negotiate. Mr. Paulson requested that each of them sign. It was for their own good, and the good of the country, he said, according to a person in the room."

My mind reels. A command appearance before government regulators was followed by a command (not a "request") surrender of autonomy by the nine biggest banks in the U.S. A forced "sale" of preferred shares to the government was ordered in return for billions of newly minted dollars from the Fed with instructions that it immediately be loaned out to "thaw" the frozen credit markets.

Surely this wasn't happening in America. The very notion of bureaucrats telling business leaders what they must do "for their own good, and the good of the country" makes me want to throw up. Preposterous. By what authority? How would they know? What conceit!

How did America's leading bankers react? Did they laugh in the regulators' faces, tear up the "term sheets," and storm out of the room? Did they hold press conferences condemning this high-handed and obviously unconstitutional attempt to intimidate and steal private assets? Not exactly.

"Morgan Stanley Chief Executive John Mack, whose company was among the most vulnerable in the group to the swirling financial crisis, quickly signed." Thank you, Mr. Mack, for being first in line to sell out your customers, your business, your country, and maybe a 250-year history of economic and political freedom.

There was apparently a brief moment during the meeting when freedom's hope raised its hand in protest. "During the discussion, the most animated response came from Wells Fargo Chairman Richard Kovacevich, say people present. Why was this necessary? He asked. Why did the government need to buy stakes in these banks?"

Thank you, Mr. Kovacevich, for at least asking the right questions. But by the end of the meeting, he too had signed the "term sheet." Too little, too late.

Missing from this meeting was someone willing to play the role of Dagny Taggart, Ayn Rand's heroine in Atlas Shrugged, who saw government incompetence, corruption, and moral bankruptcy all around her and vowed not to join other businesses in capitulating to it. Like Mr. Kovacevich, she would have challenged the need for another government bailout. More than that, she would have challenged the bureaucrats' right to call such a meeting, to make such demands, and most especially to claim the moral high ground by claiming to speak on behalf of the "good of the country."
"My 'term sheet' is the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution," Dagny Taggart might have said by way of a conclusion. "If you really want to solve this financial crisis, and not just expand your budgets and power, you have to do just one thing: Get the hell out of my way."

It's a sad day for global capitalism that none of the bankers at Monday's meeting had the nerve to say what Dagny Taggart might have said. If there is a glimmer of hope, it is that capitalism has never relied for its survival on the courage or convictions of the few--not political leaders, and especially not a few bankers, however big their financial empires might be.

The left is trumpeting the current government-made financial crisis as "the end of capitalism." Neocons fire back that the crisis was the result of government failure, not market failure. Notice the failure to engage, though. Both sides can be right.

A long train of government policy mistakes led to the financial crisis, but the capitulation by business leaders to the demands and claims of government officials has turned what could have been a contained and short-term economic problem into a genuine threat to the very survival of capitalism, and with it, of democracy.

Obama's Carbon Ultimatum
The coming offer you won't be able to refuse.

Wall Street Journal editorial, October 20, 2008

Liberals pretend that only President Bush is preventing the U.S. from adopting some global warming "solution." But occasionally their mask slips. As Barack Obama's energy adviser has now made clear, the would-be President intends to blackmail -- or rather, greenmail -- Congress into falling in line with his climate agenda.


Jason Grumet is currently executive director of an outfit called the National Commission on Energy Policy and one of Mr. Obama's key policy aides. In an interview last week with Bloomberg, Mr. Grumet said that come January the Environmental Protection Agency "would initiate those rulemakings" that classify carbon as a dangerous pollutant under current clean air laws. That move would impose new regulation and taxes across the entire economy, something that is usually the purview of Congress. Mr. Grumet warned that "in the absence of Congressional action" 18 months after Mr. Obama's inauguration, the EPA would move ahead with its own unilateral carbon crackdown anyway.

Well, well. For years, Democrats -- including Senator Obama -- have been howling about the "politicization" of the EPA, which has nominally been part of the Bush Administration. The complaint has been that the White House blocked EPA bureaucrats from making the so-called "endangerment finding" on carbon. Now it turns out that a President Obama would himself wield such a finding as a political bludgeon. He plans to issue an ultimatum to Congress: Either impose new taxes and limits on carbon that he finds amenable, or the EPA carbon police will be let loose to ravage the countryside.

The EPA hasn't made a secret of how it would like to centrally plan the U.S. economy under the 1970 Clean Air Act. In a blueprint released in July, the agency didn't exactly say it'd collectivize the farms -- but pretty close, down to the "grass clippings." The EPA would monitor and regulate the carbon emissions of "lawn and garden equipment" as well as everything with an engine, like cars, planes and boats. Eco-bureaucrats envision thousands of other emissions limits on all types of energy. Coal-fired power and other fossil fuels would be ruled out of existence, while all other prices would rise as the huge economic costs of the new regime were passed down the energy chain to consumers.

These costs would far exceed the burden of a straight carbon tax or cap-and-trade system enacted by Congress, because the Clean Air Act was never written to apply to carbon and other greenhouse gases. It's like trying to do brain surgery with a butter knife. Mr. Obama wants to move ahead anyway because he knows that the costs of any carbon program will be high. He knows, too, that Congress -- even with strongly Democratic majorities -- might still balk at supporting tax increases on their constituents, even if it is done in the name of global warming.

Climate-change politics don't break cleanly along partisan lines. The burden of a carbon clampdown will fall disproportionately on some states over others, especially the 25 interior states that get more than 50% of their electricity from coal. Rustbelt manufacturing states like Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania will get hit hard too. Once President Bush leaves office, the coastal Democrats pushing hardest for a climate change program might find their colleagues splitting off, especially after they vote for a huge tax increase on incomes.

Thus Messrs. Obama and Grumet want to invoke a political deus ex machina driven by a faulty interpretation of the Clean Air Act to force Congress's hand. Mr. Obama and Democrats can then tell Americans that Congress must act to tax and regulate carbon to save the country from even worse bureaucratic consequences. It's Mr. Obama's version of Jack Benny's old "your money or your life" routine, but without the punch line.

The strategy is most notable for what it says about the climate-change lobby and its new standard bearer. Supposedly global warming is the transcendent challenge of the age, but Mr. Obama evidently doesn't believe he'll be able to convince his own party to do something about it without a bureaucratic ultimatum. Mr. Grumet justified it this way: "The U.S. has to move quickly domestically . . . We cannot have a meaningful impact in the international discussion until we develop a meaningful domestic consensus."

Normally a democracy reaches consensus through political debate and persuasion, but apparently for Mr. Obama that option is merely a nuisance. It's another example of "change" you'll be given no choice but to believe in.

No comments: