Puppet Masters


New Jersey Gov. Christie wants an investigation into gun intimidation caused by Facebook photo

© Facebook
Another shoe has dropped in last week's story about the New Jersey family that stared down police officers and social services workers demanding access to their home and gun safe. As you may recall, Shawn Moore's Carneys Point home was visited by representatives from the Division of Child Protection and Permanency after he posted a photo of his 11-yr-old son holding a gun on Facebook.

That story became national news and members of the family appeared on TheBlaze TV's Wilkow! and other programs. During our initial investigation of the story, TheBlaze reached out to Governor Chris Christie's office for comment, but our calls were never returned. Perhaps that's because the Mr. Christie was busy taking action on the situation.

Last Friday, the Governor sent a letter to his Attorney General, Jeffrey Chiesa. The strongly worded letter was sent to TheBlaze by Sean Hannity of Fox News. In the official communication from the Governor, Christie stated;
"The public reports of this matter raise troubling questions concerning the facts and circumstances surrounding the investigation, the manner in which the investigation was conducted, and the procedures followed by law enforcement and the Division of Child Protection and Permanency."
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"Get your money out of the banks" Jim Rogers on CNBC 3/28/13 'Looting' of bank accounts has Rogers worried

Investor Jim Rogers is concerned about the safety of his money in bank accounts around the world now that Cyprus is "looting" money from big depositors to help fund the country's bailout.

Video of Jim Rogers on CNBC this morning 3/28/13:

"Run for the hills and hurry to get your money out" IMF condoning stealing of people's money.

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It can happen here: The confiscation scheme planned for U.S. and UK depositors

March 28, 2013 "Information Clearing House" - Confiscating the customer deposits in Cyprus banks, it seems, was not a one-off, desperate idea of a few Eurozone "troika" officials scrambling to salvage their balance sheets. A joint paper by the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Bank of England dated December 10, 2012, shows that these plans have been long in the making; that they originated with the G20 Financial Stability Board in Basel, Switzerland (discussed earlier here); and that the result will be to deliver clear title to the banks of depositor funds.

New Zealand has a similar directive, discussed in my last article here, indicating that this isn't just an emergency measure for troubled Eurozone countries. New Zealand's Voxy reported on March 19th:
The National Government [is] pushing a Cyprus-style solution to bank failure in New Zealand which will see small depositors lose some of their savings to fund big bank bailouts . . . .

Open Bank Resolution (OBR) is Finance Minister Bill English's favoured option dealing with a major bank failure. If a bank fails under OBR, all depositors will have their savings reduced overnight to fund the bank's bail out.
Can They Do That?

Although few depositors realize it, legally the bank owns the depositor's funds as soon as they are put in the bank. Our money becomes the bank's, and we become unsecured creditors holding IOUs or promises to pay. (See here and here.) But until now the bank has been obligated to pay the money back on demand in the form of cash. Under the FDIC-BOE plan, our IOUs will be converted into "bank equity." The bank will get the money and we will get stock in the bank. With any luck we may be able to sell the stock to someone else, but when and at what price? Most people keep a deposit account so they can have ready cash to pay the bills.

The 15-page FDIC-BOE document is called "Resolving Globally Active, Systemically Important, Financial Institutions." It begins by explaining that the 2008 banking crisis has made it clear that some other way besides taxpayer bailouts is needed to maintain "financial stability." Evidently anticipating that the next financial collapse will be on a grander scale than either the taxpayers or Congress is willing to underwrite, the authors state:
An efficient path for returning the sound operations of the G-SIFI to the private sector would be provided by exchanging or converting a sufficient amount of the unsecured debt from the original creditors of the failed company [meaning the depositors] into equity [or stock]. In the U.S., the new equity would become capital in one or more newly formed operating entities. In the U.K., the same approach could be used, or the equity could be used to recapitalize the failing financial company itself - thus, the highest layer of surviving bailed-in creditors would become the owners of the resolved firm. In either country, the new equity holders would take on the corresponding risk of being shareholders in a financial institution.
No exception is indicated for "insured deposits" in the U.S., meaning those under $250,000, the deposits we thought were protected by FDIC insurance. This can hardly be an oversight, since it is the FDIC that is issuing the directive. The FDIC is an insurance company funded by premiums paid by private banks. The directive is called a "resolution process," defined elsewhere as a plan that "would be triggered in the event of the failure of an insurer . . . ." The only mention of "insured deposits" is in connection with existing UK legislation, which the FDIC-BOE directive goes on to say is inadequate, implying that it needs to be modified or overridden.
War Whore

Iran is not the threat, we are.

A Real Video on Iran, Not "Argo," Not Hardly!


Kentucky Democrats may overturn governor's veto of 'religious freedom' bill

Democrats in the Kentucky state House voted on Monday to bring an override of Gov. Steve Beshear (R)'s veto of the state's controversial Religious Freedom Act to the floor for a vote on Tuesday. According to the Lexington Herald-Reader, the House's Democratic caucus only arrived at the decision after heated debate.

Amber Duke, communications manager of the Kentucky ACLU told Raw Story that the vote count on the House decision was 27 to 26 in favor of bringing the veto before the House, which is scheduled to convene at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, but has not said when it will vote on the measure.

House Bill 279, known as the Religious Freedom Act would allow Kentuckians to ignore laws that they feel place an undue burden on their religious beliefs. More than 50 rights groups have opposed the bill, arguing that it would undermine anti-discrimination laws.

Gov. Beshear vetoed the law earlier this month after it passed easily in both houses of the state legislature, earning plaudits from the ACLU and other civil rights organizations that, like the governor, felt that the law was so broadly written as to open to door to legalized discrimination.

A note to conservatives eager to draw parallels between same sex marriage and non-consensual criminal acts

© lev radin / Shutterstock
When I think of LGBT people, I think of my dad's best friend, the village's sole male hairdresser who catered to female clients and how he taught my mom and me how to French braid so I could be cooler in my ballet class. I think of the sweet high school boy who kissed me over a screening of "Truth Or Dare" (yes, I know) and later was so worried that I would hate him forever when he told me he liked boys. I think of my friend in high school who, after she came out, had guys screaming "Dyke!" at her as she walked down the hall to her locker, and all the teachers who never came out of their classrooms to have her back. I think of my friend's two mommies, my college roommate who came out as bi, the guys at the goth club who felt they could only there kiss in front of straight people and know no one cared, my friend who found drag at an urban university a world away from Texas, the guy upstairs, the couple across the hall, my cousins, fellow writer friends, artist friends, my family.

You think of sex with children. And sex with animals. And goodness only knows what else (other than butt sex and until what point in life a man's, i.e., your own, sperm is viable, which isn't exactly giving straight marriage the best reputation).

Former Republican candidate handing out dozens of shotguns in Tucson, Arizona

© YouTube
Former mayoral candidate Shaun McClusky
A failed Republican mayoral candidate says that he has raised enough money to give away dozens of shotguns in the same town where former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and 18 other people were shot.

Former mayoral candidate Shaun McClusky told Tucson Weekly that he was leading a Tucson chapter of the Armed Citizen Project, which launched in Houston earlier this year to prove that more guns mean less crime. McClusky said that he had already gotten $12,000 in pledges, enough to arm at least three dozen people.

Participants in high-crime neighborhoods "will receive a cleaning kit, they'll receive the shotgun, they'll receive slugs, they'll go through a background check and they'll also go through the training class," McClusky explained.

Never mind Cyprus - look to Germany for causes of the euro crisis

© AFP Photo
Proper analysis suggests Germany is not a wage-productivity paragon but a major cause of the eurozone crisis

Over the course of the last week's tense negotiations over a Cyprus bailout deal, much of the commentary has focused on the role of Europe's finance ministers. But perhaps closer attention should be paid to Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank. On 14 March Draghi made a presentation to heads of state and government on the economic situation in the euro area. His intent was to show the real reasons for the crisis and the counter-measures needed. In this he succeeded - although not in the way he intended.

Draghi presented two graphs that encapsulate his central argument: productivity growth in the surplus countries (Austria, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands) was higher than in the deficit countries (France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain). But wage growth was much faster in the latter group. Structural reforms and wage moderation lead to success; structural rigidities and greedy trade unions lead to failure. QED.

According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, which reported the affair approvingly, the impact of Draghi's intervention was devastating. François Hollande, the French president, who had earlier been calling for an end to austerity and for growth impulses, was, according to the newspaper, completely silenced after the ECB president had so clearly demonstrated, with incontrovertible evidence, what was wrong in Europe - or rather in certain countries in the eurozone - and what must be done.

Homeland Security seeks student hackers to help counter cyberthreats

© Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano speaks at a Monitor Breakfast at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. The need to develop a skilled cyber workforce is a formidable challenge for government, she said.
There are "new and rapidly growing threats" of a cyberstrike to the US homeland - perils that will require hundreds of young, college-age hackers to counter an alarming number of daily incursions into the nation's electrical grid and financial networks, says Department of Homeland Security (DHS) head Janet Napolitano.

This will be "hackers for good," and the DHS currently has a need for about 600 of them, Secretary Napolitano added in remarks Tuesday at a Monitor Breakfast.

The need to develop a skilled cyber workforce has been a common - and formidable - challenge for a number of US government agencies, including DHS and the Pentagon, which is also struggling to build its own cyber workforce.

That's because most skilled "cyber warriors," as the US military calls them, often get recruited by private industry after their service commitments are up.

"That's a big concern, to be honest," says Col. Kiley Weigle, commander of the Air Force's Cyber Training Unit. "We have not, in my opinion, fully cracked that nut yet."

Bill O'Reilly says same sex marriage foes are just a bunch of Bible thumpers

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly knocked opponents of same sex marriage on Tuesday night, claiming they had a weak argument that relied entirely on religious beliefs.

The conservative Fox News host was discussing two cases before the Supreme Court regarding same sex marriage with his colleague Megyn Kelly.

During the segment, O'Reilly remarked that public policy should not be based on religion. Kelly responded by saying that arguments against same sex marriage were not very persuasive when the religious element was removed.