Monday, October 31, 2011

Unhappy Halloween (Message of OccupyEveryStreet? "We Are Ruled By Monsters: Put the Predators On Trial!")

THE TRICK - Being Played on the 99%

The TRICK - Bob AlexanderThe leaders and law makers in the government are psychopaths. The heads of the media, the military, and Wall Street are intraspecies predators. They are in complete control. We are ruled by monsters.

You don’t think so? You can’t accept the idea that our society is completely dominated by these inhuman freaks? Well … ask yourself a couple of questions.

Who does the system protect? And who does the system prosecute?

Right now … Today … fracking gas wells are poisoning the air, people, animals, plants, land, and water. Now you’d assume in a rational society that squad cars full of cops would have rolled up and arrested everyone involved in this process of harvesting natural gas. Clearly the people carrying out this insane assault against the planet are guilty of dozens of crimes. But if you tried to interfere or protest an ongoing fracking operation … you’d be the one the cops hauled off to jail.

Wall Street, immensely aided by the government, committed the biggest financial fraud in human history. All the bailouts add up to more than the cost of the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Marshall Plan, the New Deal, and the landing on the moon … COMBINED! And who’s been arrested? The people protesting the corruption.

A newsreel reporter, hot on the trail of the meaning of “Rosebud,” is interviewing Mr. Bernstein, Charles Foster Kane’s personal business manager. One of the things Bernstein tells the reporter, “… it's no trick to make a lot of money … if all you want … is to make a lot of money.”

When I saw Citizen Kane over 40 years ago I thought it was a well written line, but not a realistic one. It seemed like a bit of dialogue a relatively inexperienced 25 year old Orson Welles might write for effect instead of realism. But I was a relatively inexperienced 20 year old. Now I know it’s as true as gravity, “… it's no trick to make a lot of money … if all you want … is to make a lot of money.”

Most people aren’t capable of doing whatever it takes to make money. The problem is … some people are.
It takes a unique kind of individual who can dismiss the massive air, water, and land pollution caused by pumping millions of gallons of water and thousands of tons of poisonous chemicals deep underground to get at the trillions of dollars worth of natural gas entombed in the Marcellus Shale.

It takes a keen business mind to knowingly sell mortgage-backed securities filled with loans that were going to fail while simultaneously making side bets that paid off when the toxic time bombs blew up. As soon as the entire house of cards collapsed, taking our economy with it, these geniuses of Wall Street reaped trillions in bailouts from U.S. taxpayers and awarded themselves billions for bonuses on top of that.

Socrates said over two thousand years ago, All wars are fought for money.Over the last 60 years the United States has spent well over 27 trillion dollars on the military. With that kind of incentive it still takes a special breed of businessman to line up to get a share from that bloody trough.

All of these actions are prime examples of psychopaths at work. Professor Robert D. Hare, renowned in the field of criminal psychology, wrote of psychopaths, " … Lacking in conscience and empathy, they take what they want and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without guilt or remorse.”

Professor Hare described psychopaths as "intraspecies predators." I don’t understand how they think. The same way I have no idea what is going on in the mind of a boa constrictor as it squeezes life out of its prey. But I don’t need to know how a psychopath thinks.

All we need to understand is that they have become our masters.

The leaders and law makers in the government are psychopaths. The heads of the media, the military, and Wall Street are intraspecies predators. They are in complete control. We are ruled by monsters.

You don’t think so? You can’t accept the idea that our society is completely dominated by these inhuman freaks? Well … ask yourself a couple of questions.

Who does the system protect? And who does the system prosecute?

Right now … Today … fracking gas wells are poisoning the air, people, animals, plants, land, and water. Now you’d assume in a rational society that squad cars full of cops would have rolled up and arrested everyone involved in this process of harvesting natural gas. Clearly the people carrying out this insane assault against the planet are guilty of dozens of crimes. But if you tried to interfere or protest an ongoing fracking operation … you’d be the one the cops hauled off to jail.

Wall Street, immensely aided by the government, committed the biggest financial fraud in human history. All the bailouts add up to more than the cost of the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Marshall Plan, the New Deal, and the landing on the moon … COMBINED! And who’s been arrested? The people protesting the corruption.

And one of my favorites …

In 2009 New York Times journalist David Barstow won the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. He wrote in the run-up to the Iraq War that every single major media network had featured pro-war “impartial experts” who were in fact government sock puppets from the Pentagon. Barstow’s report revealed how the government, the Pentagon, and all the major television networks misled Americans into war.

As Robert Evans wrote in Five Stories the Media Doesn’t Want You to Know About, “When Barstow won the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting in 2009, most television pundits were busy hyping swine flu. Brian Williams had the balls to report that the paper had won five Pulitzers, and even mentioned the subject of three of the stories they’d won for. He just chose not to mention the one they got for pointing out that he’s a government stooge.“
That Pulitzer Prize winning story went down the Memory Hole and the war criminals walk free.

Do We Know What The Word “Over” Means?

Apparently not.

The other team won. They took the ball, got on the bus, and went back to their gated communities. Just because we’re still wandering around the field doesn’t mean there’s a game still going on.

The Occupy Movement will last until The State moves them out. It will be brutal. It will be violent. And it will not be covered truthfully on the Nightly News. Oh there will be hundreds if not thousands of cell-phone videos of The State wiping out the Occupy Movement on YouTube but the story most Americans will believe will be the one presented on their wide screen TV’s. They didn’t tell us the truth about Iraq … why would we think they’ll honestly cover the routing of the Occupy Movement?

We’ve got to realize that psychopaths play for keeps and they have enough power to use it to stay in power. They don’t play the Right vs. Left Game. They control the game. They push buttons to make Conservatives jump one way and Liberals jump another.

Imagine for a moment McCain winning the presidency in 2008. Imagine the response from Liberals when McCain announces the surge in Afghanistan. Imagine the responses from Liberals about the handling of BP’s blowout in the Gulf, the talk of “clean coal”, or revitalizing the nuclear power industry. Though it might make Liberals cry … Obama’s only job as our first black president was to sell us a load of crap we wouldn’t take from John McCain.

So they won. We lost.

Now what?

As Clinton Callahan wrote in, Beware the Psychopath, My Son, “There are only two things that can bring a psychopath under submission:

1.    A bigger psychopath.
2. The non-violent, absolute refusal to submit to psychopathic controls no matter the consequences.

… If individuals simply sat down and refused to lift a hand to further one single aim of the psychopathic agenda, if people refused to pay taxes, if soldiers refused to fight, if government workers and corporate drones and prison guards refused to go to work, if doctors refused to treat psychopathic elites and their families, the whole system would grind to a screeching halt."

Well … it isn’t possible to fight established psychopaths with bigger, meaner, crazier psychopaths. So we must pursue option 2.

We can’t follow Gandhi’s, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” because personal change doesn’t equal social change. Go ahead. Change yourself all you want to because the psychopath doesn’t give a rat’s ass about your personal growth.

We must commit ourselves to the non-violent, absolute refusal to submit to psychopathic controls no matter the consequences.

We must have a National Strike for starters. We don’t have to get our feet wet. Just stick our big toe in. If we can’t get it together to stay home and unplug from the psychopathic system for One Day … then we won’t ever get ourselves from Step One (a) to Step One (b).

We can’t negotiate with the people who have already won. The only thing left for us is to say … “No.”

People come up with all sorts of reasons for not unplugging from the system for one day. Most of them are financial. I don’t know what to say to that. All I know is that if we continue to cooperate with the system, it will continue. When we stop … it grinds to a halt.

And one more thing …

If we don’t deal with them now …there’s something even worse than psychopaths shambling down the road towards us.

Happy Halloween.




From Kenny's SideShow (who takes prisoners):

Friday, October 28, 2011

Rules Change in the Middle of the Game

Occupy Nashville got rousted from their encampment at Legislative Plaza in Nashville in the middle of the night by 100 State Troopers obeying orders from their police state bosses.

This was a result of a new 'policy' put out yesterday by the state requiring time limits and permits with daily fees to protest on state (people owned) property.

Twenty nine protestors arrested early Friday morning at Legislative Plaza have been released.

They were issued a citation for criminal trespass and being in violation of general services policy. A court date has been set for November 18.

A judge said there was no probably cause for the arrest around 3 a.m. by Tennessee State Troopers on Legislative Plaza.

About 100 storm state troopers began moving around 3 a.m. using a newly enacted state policy that set a curfew for the grounds near the state Capitol, including Legislative Plaza where the protesters had been staying in tents since October 7.

Troopers gave the protestors 10 minutes to leave peacefully, but instead some of the protestors sat in a semi-circle facing outwards with their arms locked. Once the 10 minutes was up, state troopers came in and placed plastic cuffs on those that stayed and were forced to drag them off the property.
Whether one agrees or not with Occupy Nashville and their limited demands, it is obvious that the current Tennessee state administration thinks they can make up the rules as they go along and put in place police state policies that run contrary to 1st amendment rights. Not that we expected anything different from the slugs in charge.

Protesters claim victory. Perhaps now they can sharpen their focus and address more of the concerns that many of us see as important. We'll see.

TN Gov. Bill Haslam signed off on plan to arrest Occupy Nashville protesters

Safety Commissioner Defends Occupy Nashville Eviction: 'We Can't Babysit Protesters' 

It's a Homeland Security issue ...........


Sunday, October 30, 2011

How the Legal System Was Deep-Sixed and Occupy Wall Street Swept the Land (and the Criminalization of Non-Violent Dissent)

How the Legal System Was Deep-Sixed and Occupy Wall Street Swept the Land
Glenn Greenwald

October 25, 2011

Tom Dispatch

As intense protests spawned by Occupy Wall Street continue to grow, it is worth asking: Why now? The answer is not obvious. After all, severe income and wealth inequality have long plagued the United States. In fact, it could reasonably be claimed that this form of inequality is part of the design of the American founding -- indeed, an integral part of it.

Income inequality has worsened over the past several years and is at its highest level since the Great Depression. 
This is not, however, a new trend. Income inequality has been growing at rapid rates for three decades.  As journalist Tim Noah described the process:

“During the late 1980s and the late 1990s, the United States experienced two unprecedentedly long periods of sustained economic growth -- the ‘seven fat years’ and the ‘long boom.’ Yet from 1980 to 2005, more than 80% of total increase in Americans' income went to the top 1%.

Economic growth was more sluggish in the aughts, but the decade saw productivity increase by about 20%. Yet virtually none of the increase translated into wage growth at middle and lower incomes, an outcome that left many economists scratching their heads.”

The 2008 financial crisis exacerbated the trend, but not radically: the top 1% of earners in America have been feeding ever more greedily at the trough for decades.

In addition, substantial wealth inequality is so embedded in American political culture that, standing alone, it would not be sufficient to trigger citizen rage of the type we are finally witnessing. The American Founders were clear that they viewed inequality in wealth, power, and prestige as not merely inevitable, but desirable and, for some, even divinely ordained. Jefferson praised “the natural aristocracy” as “the most precious gift of nature” for the “government of society.” John Adams concurred: “It already appears, that there must be in every society of men superiors and inferiors, because God has laid in the… course of nature the foundation of the distinction.”

Not only have the overwhelming majority of Americans long acquiesced to vast income and wealth disparities, but some of those most oppressed by these outcomes have cheered it loudly. Americans have been inculcated not only to accept, but to revere those who are the greatest beneficiaries of this inequality.

In the 1980s, this paradox -- whereby even those most trampled upon come to cheer those responsible for their state -- became more firmly entrenched. That’s because it found a folksy, friendly face, Ronald Reagan, adept at feeding the populace a slew of Orwellian clichés that induced them to defend the interests of the wealthiest. “A rising tide,” as President Reagan put it, “lifts all boats.” The sum of his wisdom being: it is in your interest when the rich get richer.
Implicit in this framework was the claim that inequality was justified and legitimate. The core propagandistic premise was that the rich were rich because they deserved to be. They innovated in industry, invented technologies, discovered cures, created jobs, took risks, and boldly found ways to improve our lives. In other words, they deserved to be enriched. Indeed, it was in our common interest to allow them to fly as high as possible because that would increase their motivation to produce more, bestowing on us ever greater life-improving gifts.
We should not, so the thinking went, begrudge the multimillionaire living behind his 15-foot walls for his success; we should admire him. Corporate bosses deserved not our resentment but our gratitude. It was in our own interest not to demand more in taxes from the wealthiest but less, as their enhanced wealth -- their pocket change -- would trickle down in various ways to all of us.
This is the mentality that enabled massive growth in income and wealth inequality over the past several decades without much at all in the way of citizen protest. And yet something has indeed changed.  It’s not that Americans suddenly woke up one day and decided that substantial income and wealth inequality are themselves unfair or intolerable. What changed was the perception of how that wealth was gotten and so of the ensuing inequality as legitimate.
Many Americans who once accepted or even cheered such inequality now see the gains of the richest as ill-gotten, as undeserved, as cheating.  Most of all, the legal system that once served as the legitimizing anchor for outcome inequality, the rule of law -- that most basic of American ideals, that a common set of rules are equally applied to all -- has now become irrevocably corrupted and is seen as such.
While the Founders accepted outcome inequality, they emphasized -- over and over -- that its legitimacy hinged on subjecting everyone to the law’s mandates on an equal basis. Jefferson wrote that the essence of America would be that “the poorest laborer stood on equal ground with the wealthiest millionaire, and generally on a more favored one whenever their rights seem to jar.”
Benjamin Franklin warned that creating a privileged legal class would produce “total separation of affections, interests, political obligations, and all manner of connections” between rulers and those they ruled. Tom Paine repeatedly railed against “counterfeit nobles,” those whose superior status was grounded not in merit but in unearned legal privilege. After all, one of their principal grievances against the British King was his power to exempt his cronies from legal obligations.
Almost every Founder repeatedly warned that a failure to apply the law equally to the politically powerful and the rich would ensure a warped and unjust society.  In many ways, that was their definition of tyranny. Americans understand this implicitly.
If you watch a competition among sprinters, you can accept that whoever crosses the finish line first is the superior runner. But only if all the competitors are bound by the same rules: everyone begins at the same starting line, is penalized for invading the lane of another runner, is barred from making physical contact or using performance-enhancing substances, and so on.
If some of the runners start ahead of others and have relationships with the judges that enable them to receive dispensation for violating the rules as they wish, then viewers understand that the outcome can no longer be considered legitimate. Once the process is seen as not only unfair but utterly corrupted, once it’s obvious that a common set of rules no longer binds all the competitors, the winner will be resented, not heralded.
That catches the mood of America in 2011.  It may not explain the Occupy Wall Street movement, but it helps explain why it has spread like wildfire and why so many Americans seem instantly to accept and support it.  As was not true in recent decades, the American relationship with wealth inequality is in a state of rapid transformation.
It is now clearly understood that, rather than apply the law equally to all, Wall Street tycoons have engaged in egregious criminality -- acts which destroyed the economic security of millions of people around the world -- without experiencing the slightest legal repercussions.
Giant financial institutions were caught red-handed engaging in massive, systematic fraud to foreclose on people’s homes and the reaction of the political class, led by the Obama administration, was to shield them from meaningful consequences. Rather than submit on an equal basis to the rules, through an oligarchical, democracy-subverting control of the political process, they now control the process of writing those rules and how they are applied.
Today, it is glaringly obvious to a wide range of Americans that the wealth of the top 1% is the byproduct not of risk-taking entrepreneurship, but of corrupted control of our legal and political systems. Thanks to this control, they can write laws that have no purpose than to abolish the few limits that still constrain them, as happened during the Wall Street deregulation orgy of the 1990s.
They can retroactively immunize themselves for crimes they deliberately committed for profit, as happened when the 2008 Congress shielded the nation’s telecom giants for their role in Bush’s domestic warrantless eavesdropping program.
If you were to assess the state of the union in 2011, you might sum it up this way: rather than being subjected to the rule of law, the nation’s most powerful oligarchs control the law and are so exempt from it; and increasing numbers of Americans understand that and are outraged.  At exactly the same time that the nation’s elites enjoy legal immunity even for egregious crimes, ordinary Americans are being subjected to the world's largest and one of its harshest penal states, under which they are unable to secure competent legal counsel and are harshly punished with lengthy prison terms for even trivial infractions.
In lieu of the rule of law -- the equal application of rules to everyone -- what we have now is a two-tiered justice system in which the powerful are immunized while the powerless are punished with increasing mercilessness. As a guarantor of outcomes, the law has, by now, been so completely perverted that it is an incomparably potent weapon for entrenching inequality further, controlling the powerless, and ensuring corrupted outcomes.
The tide that was supposed to lift all ships has, in fact, left startling numbers of Americans underwater. In the process, we lost any sense that a common set of rules applies to everyone, and so there is no longer a legitimizing anchor for the vast income and wealth inequalities that plague the nation.
That is what has changed, and a growing recognition of what it means is fueling rising citizen anger and protest. The inequality under which so many suffer is not only vast, but illegitimate, rooted as it is in lawlessness and corruption. Obscuring that fact has long been the linchpin for inducing Americans to accept vast and growing inequalities.  That fact is now too glaring to obscure any longer. (Glenn Greenwald is a former constitutional and civil rights litigator and a current contributing writer at

'Semper fi' is all one can say after watching video of Sergeant Shamar Thomas, a marine who indeed seems to proudly recall the oath he took to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States", the rights to peaceful protest contained in it.  In defending Occupy demonstrators, Thomas told NYPD that there was "no honor" in brutalizing unarmed US citizens, and that's a message that's long needed delivery.

Sergeant, I and many more gratefully salute you.

Days ago I watched video of an observer with the National Lawyer's Guild being struck by a New York City police scooter, screaming in obvious agony as his foot was pinned under it, and then actually being arrested.  I watched videos earlier in the protests of Occupy Wall Street's non-violent freedom fighters being pepper video, of four women simultaneously subjected to this torturous punishment, thankfully went global.  But history shows the price of popular change is too often measured in the agony of those pursuing it, and today's efforts, the struggle towards a genuine 'liberty and justice for all', are not proving an exception.

Every day I continue to read of a number of further instances of Occupy's heroes being pepper sprayed and abused, and every day their courage makes it difficult to recall a time that I've been prouder to be an American.  On many occasions, some years ago, I too was pepper sprayed, and I too was perceived by some as having committed 'a crime'...the 'crime' of Non-violent Dissent.

In 2005, a German film emerged that garnered critical acclaim for its examination of such 'criminality', the setting being 1940s Nazi Germany, the name of the film is 'Sophie Scholl - The Final Days'.  It examines how non-violent dissent has indeed sometimes been quite criminalized, sometimes even demanding the ultimate sacrifice.  Sophie, her brother, and a friend were tortured, then tried and executed by guillotine on February 22, 1943.

It might be well for those brutalizing Occupy to see this film, to be reminded of what kind of State uses brutal force against those brave souls with the vision and courage to attempt the righting of grievous wrongs.  It might indeed be well.

In 2006, New York Times film critic Stephen Holden wrote of the film: In a climate of national debate in the United States about the overriding of certain civil liberties to fight terrorism, the movie looks back on a worst possible scenario in which such liberties were taken away. It raises an unspoken question: could it happen here?  And, given the beatings, the abuses, and the pepper sprayings that have occurred, the question of how far from what's left of the Constitution our government might go is a good one, particularly if the Occupy movement continues to succeed and expand as it is. 

As ample video evidence has shown, too many today are far more interested in protecting privilege and property than people or their rights.  And perhaps fear -- a kind of fear that one is afraid to even acknowledge, especially to oneself -- long kept so many of us from strenuously objecting.

As readers may recall, it was only recently that 700 non-violent protesters were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge under 'questionable circumstances'.  Many protesters claimed they were led onto the bridge's roadway by police, police alleging protesters presence on the bridge roadway was a crime, a 'crime' that allowed police to arrest 700.  However, an October 4th class-action lawsuit filed against New York City -- by a group of these protesters -- essentially labeled that police action 'entrapment'. 

While the mass arrest galvanized support instead of dissipating it, it would seem the fact of the arrest makes a statement as to the course some seeking to suppress dissent are willing to take.  The alleged involvement of a journalist for a right-wing magazine, American Spectator, in the mass pepper spraying by police at Washington's Smithsonian Museum highlights a further concern.

Of course, in a real way it's a measure of Occupy's success that such a 'climate of repression' exists.  However, perhaps the key question is what will the 'climate' facing the courageous become, how far will America's police -- police that are a real part of the victimized 99% -- actually go?

I am old enough to well recall the events of Spring 1970, a moment when the US National Guard opened fire on protesting students at Kent State University, killing four -- the 'Kent State Massacre'.  One such memory in a lifetime is too many.

There was a time when this writer once wrote laws instead of articles.  It was a time when I believed there were limits as to what one might face in a democratic society, even if one was 'rocking the boat'.  And, I did 'rock' things a bit, chairing a police accountability hearing in Connecticut's legislature, a hearing centered upon why an elected Statewide Civilian Oversight Board for police was needed, a board to prevent conduct such as that we are too often now witnessing, and worse. 

The hearing contained testimony from academics, police experts, politicos, activists and victims, with much of it nightmarishly riveting.  The hour long video of excerpts from that hearing tells a story, one of the fallacy that 'limits' to the abuse one may face do exist --  sometimes they don't.  Among many other things, an alleged murder plot upon an activist that made the Hartford Courant was discussed, as was police brutality, alleged rape by police, vandalism of a sitting mayor's own home, and considerably more.

While the video is from a few years back, it is worth watching today more than ever.

The Courant article on the alleged murder plot is titled 'Colchester Officers Accused Of Death Plot', and the opening line reads: A state police informant says he was offered $10,000 by two town police officers to make ''disappear'' a man who had lodged a brutality complaint against the officers.  I'll add that I'm writing this article from Sweden, and that some months after the hearing, life-threatening circumstances forced me to flee The States, my existence being one in exile since.

Fortunately, opportunities for effective protest have changed considerably in the interim, increasing numbers having become sufficiently aware to face the harsh realities that non-violent protest can mean, and thus able to face abuse to their fellows without their own fears leading them into denial of it.  There is safety in numbers, numbers which did not exist until recently, and it is indeed these numbers, these many, that will pave the path to change. 

One can look at instances of change occurring abroad, and indeed hope that 'America's finest' will too realize that they are, in fact, among the many.  It is 'we, the people' that are truly in need of their protection.

It has been far too long since 'we, the people' last came together, and far too long since 'liberty and justice for all' effectively disappeared from everything but the best of a collective memory we share.  But shared memories and dreams can become reality, doing so as each of our consciences points the way.

According to Wikipedia, the Sophie Scholl film contains a scene where a Gestapo interrogator says, "Without law, there is no order. What can we rely on if not the law?"  Of course, the circumstances too many police actions have recently shown do seem to pose questions about just what 'the law' today is.  But regardless, in her own time and place, the film depicts Sophie as simply replying, "Your conscience. Laws change. Conscience doesn't."

We know what is right, those of conscience know what must be done, and we also know the nightmarish price paid by those in a society that failed in doing it.  To borrow from an earlier time, to recall the struggle and success of America's proud Civil Rights movement, and to remind us that justice will be ours, I can only say that 'we, the people, shall overcome!'
Anyone else noticed that the Israelis seem to own YouTube?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Framing OWS - Why Is MSM So Afraid of OWS? Elaine Marshall - NC Sec. of State - ROCKS!

From my good buddy, Tony, at Wolves in the City:

*Mubarrak, Murdoch, Gaddafi. Bad year for Tony Blair's friends. Dubya next? Cliff Richards?*
Thanks, Tony, we needed that!

And from the Well-Armed Lamb we get a little bit of morning music:


Morning, hippies. Happy Weekend. Remember, if you HAVE a weekend, thank a Union! As the desperation among the average citizens of the USofA becomes more . . .

This just in from the Elaine Marshall campaign (for Secretary of State in North Carolina):

Dear Suzan,

There are a lot of politicians trying to cozy up to Occupy Wall Street – but very few are actually hitting the streets to stand with them. That's why I'm proud to be working for Secretary of State Elaine Marshall – someone who hasn't just embraced the OWS protests, but has actually joined with them on the streets of Raleigh!

Watch the incredible video of Elaine Marshall firing up the #OccupyRaleigh crowd last weekend here:

But it's more than just Elaine Marshall showing up for one rally – it's about her showing up and fighting for us her entire career. As North Carolina's Secretary of State, she has fought to reform our lobbying laws, cracked down on scam artists, and took the fight directly to financial institutions that misled investors and consumers.
In fact, in the last few years alone Elaine has helped recover nearly one billion dollars from Wall Street banks and financial institutions. It's just one of the many accomplishments the people of North Carolina should be proud of!
Watch Elaine speak truth to power at #OccupyRaleigh last week and help our re-election campaign start off with a BANG by chipping in $5 or more! We're only $3,987 away from our $10,000 goal for the month:
Thank you for being a part of our campaign,
Tiffany Reynolds Richardson 
Elaine Marshall for Secretary of State

A Framing Memo for Occupy Wall Street

By George Lakoff
I was asked weeks ago by some in the Occupy Wall Street movement to make suggestions for how to frame the movement. I have hesitated so far, because I think the movement should be framing itself. It’s a general principle:

Unless you frame yourself, others will frame you — the media, your enemies, your competitors, your well-meaning friends. I have so far hesitated to offer suggestions. But the movement appears to maturing and entering a critical time when small framing errors could have large negative consequences. So I thought it might be helpful to accept the invitation and start a discussion of how the movement might think about framing itself.
About framing: It’s normal. Everybody engages in it all the time. Frames are just structures of thought that we use every day. All words in all languages are defined in terms of frame-circuits in the brain. But, ultimately, framing is about ideas, about how we see the world, which determines how we act.
In politics, frames are part of competing moral systems that are used in political discourse and in charting political action. In short, framing is a moral enterprise: it says what the character of a movement is. All politics is moral. Political figures and movements always make policy recommendations claiming they are the right things to do. No political figure ever says, do what I say because it’s wrong! Or because it doesn’t matter! Some moral principles or other lie behind every political policy agenda.
Two Moral Framing Systems in Politics
Conservatives have figured out their moral basis and you see it on Wall Street: It includes: The primacy of self-interest. Individual responsibility, but not social responsibility. Hierarchical authority based on wealth or other forms of power. A moral hierarchy of who is “deserving,” defined by success. And the highest principle is the primacy of this moral system itself, which goes beyond Wall Street and the economy to other arenas: family life, social life, religion, foreign policy, and especially government. Conservative “democracy” is seen as a system of governance and elections that fits this model.
Though OWS concerns go well beyond financial issues, your target is right: the application of these principles in Wall Street is central, since that is where the money comes from for elections, for media, and for right-wing policy-making institutions of all sorts on all issues.
The alternative view of democracy is progressive: Democracy starts with citizens caring about one another and acting responsibly on that sense of care, taking responsibility both for oneself and for one’s family, community, country, people in general, and the planet. The role of government is to protect and empower all citizens equally via The Public: public infrastructure, laws and enforcement, health, education, scientific research, protection, public lands, transportation, resources, art and culture, trade policies, safety nets, and on and on. Nobody makes it one their own.
If you got wealthy, you depended on The Public, and you have a responsibility to contribute significantly to The Public so that others can benefit in the future. Moreover, the wealthy depend on those who work, and who deserve a fair return for their contribution to our national life. Corporations exist to make life better for most people. Their reason for existing is as public as it is private.
A disproportionate distribution of wealth robs most citizens of access to the resources controlled by the wealthy. Immense wealth is a thief. It takes resources from the rest of the population — the best places to live, the best foo d, the best educations, the best health facilities, access to the best in nature and culture, the best professionals, and on and on. Resources are limited, and great wealth greatly limits access to resources for most people.
It appears to me that OWS has a progressive moral vision and view of democracy, and that what it is protesting is the disastrous effects that have come from operating with a conservative moral, economic, and political worldview. I see OWS as primarily a moral movement, seeking economic and political changes to carry out that moral movement — whatever those particular changes might be.
A Moral Focus for Occupy Wall Street
I think it is a good thing that the occupation movement is not making specific policy demands. If it did, the movement would become about those demands. If the demands were not met, the movement would be seen as having failed.
It seems to me that the OWS movement is moral in nature, that occupiers want the country to change its moral focus. It is easy to find useful policies; hundreds have been suggested. It is harder to find a moral focus and stick to it. If the movement is to frame itself, it should be on the basis of its moral focus, not a particular agenda or list of policy demands. If the moral focus of America changes, new people will be elected and the policies will follow. Without a change of moral focus, the conservative worldview that has brought us to the present disastrous and dangerous moment will continue to prevail.
We Love America. We’re Here to Fix It
I see OWS as a patriotic movement, based on a deep and abiding love of country — a patriotism that it is not just about the self-interests of individuals, but about what the country is and is to be. Do Americans care about other citizens, or mainly just about themselves? That’s what love of America is about. I therefore think it is important to be positive, to be clear about loving America, seeing it in need of fixing, and not just being willing to fix it, but being willing to take to the streets to fix it. A populist movement starts with the people seeing that they are all in the same boat and being ready to come together to fix the leaks.
Publicize the Public
Tell the truth about The Public, that nobody makes it purely on their own without The Public, that is, without public infrastructure, the justice system, health, education, scientific research, protections of all sorts, public lands, transportation, resources, art and culture, trade policies, safety nets, … That is a truth to be told day after day.
It is an idea that must take hold in public discourse. It must go beyond what I and others have written about it and beyond what Elizabeth Warren has said in her famous video.
The Public is not opposed to The Private. The Public is what makes The Private possible. And it is what makes freedom possible.
Wall Street exists only through public support. It has a moral obligation to direct itself to public needs.
All OWS approaches to policy follow from such a moral focus. Here are a handful examples.
Democracy should be about the 99%
Money directs our politics. In a democracy, that must end. We need publicly supported elections, however that is to be arranged.

Strong Wages Make a Strong America

Middle-class wages have not gone up significantly in 30 years, and there is conservative pressure to lower them. But when most people get more money, they spend it and spur the economy, making the economy and the country stronger, as well as making their individual lives better. This truth needs to be central to public economic discourse.

Global Citizenship

America has been a moral beacon to the world. It can function as such only if it sets an example of what a nation should be.

Do we have to spend more on the military that all other nations combined? Do we really need hundreds of military bases abroad?


We are part of nature. Nature makes us, and all that we love, possible. Yet we are destroying Nature through global warming and other forms of ecological destruction, like fracking and deep-water drilling.

At a global scale, nature is systemic: its effects are neither local nor linear. Global warming is causing the ferocity of the monster storms, tornados, floods, blizzards, heat waves, and fires that have devastated huge areas of our country. The hotter the atmosphere, the more evaporated water and the more energy going into storms, tornados, and blizzards.

  Global warming cannot be shown to cause any particular storm, but when a storm system forms, global warming will ramp up the power of the storm and the amount of water it carries In winter, evaporated water from the overly heated Pacific will go into the atmosphere, blow northeast over the arctic, and fall as record snows.

We depend on nature – on clean air, water, food, and a livable climate. And we find beauty and grandeur in nature, and a sense of awe that makes life worth living. A love of country requires a love of nature.  And a fair and thriving economy requires the preservation of nature as we have known it.


OWS is a moral and patriotic movement. It sees Democracy as flowing from citizens caring about one another as well as themselves, and acting with both personal and social responsibility. Democratic governance is about The Public, and the liberty that The Public provides for a thriving Private Sphere. From such a democracy flows fairness, which is incompatible with a hugely disproportionate distribution of wealth. And from the sense of care implicit in such a democracy flows a commitment to the preservation of nature. 
From what I have seen of most members of OWS, your individual concerns all flow from one moral focus.


The Tea Party solidified the power of the conservative worldview via elections. OWS will have no long-term effect unless it too brings its moral focus to the 2012 elections. Insist on supporting candidates that have your overall moral views, no matter what the local issues are. 

A Warning

This movement could be destroyed by negativity, by calls for revenge, by chaos, or by having nothing positive to say. Be positive about all things and state the moral basis of all suggestions. Positive and moral in calling for debt relief.  Positive and moral in upholding laws, as they apply to finances. Positive and moral in calling for fairness in acquiring needed revenue. Positive and moral in calling for clean elections. To be effective, your movement must be seen by all of the 99% as positive and moral. To get positive press, you must stress the positive and the moral.

Remember: The Tea Party sees itself as stressing only individual responsibility. The Occupation Movement is stressing both individual and social responsibility.

I believe, and I think you believe, that most Americans care about their fellow citizens as well as themselves. Let’s find out! Shout your moral and patriotic views out loud, regularly. Put them on your signs. Repeat them to the media. Tweet them. And tell everyone you know to do the same.  You have to use your own language with your own framing and you have to repeat it over and over for the ideas to sink in.

Occupy elections: voter registration drives, town hall meetings, talk radio airtime, party organizations, nomination campaigns, election campaigns, and voting booths.

Above all: Frame yourselves before others frame you.

Friday, October 28, 2011


I've said for a very long time (since the stolen election in 2000 at least) that something big and societally dislocating must be in store for us as none of the events that were taking place made any sense otherwise. The subornation of the integrity of the once-unquestioned Supreme Court? The hundreds of obvious questions about the planning and implementation of the Incredibly Impossible 9/11 Events? The quick march to mayhem in both Afghanistan and Iraq (based on false assumptions and obvious outright lies). The non-prosecution of any of the Wall Street Terrorists? The murder of Gaddafi (who had been reclaimed as our ally in the War on Terror a few years before)? The plans for wars on Syria and Iran developed by the same perpetrators responsible for the Iraq War Lies?

Need I go on? Karl Denninger, a well-respected financial journalist, agrees and is long past being tired of hearing any more fantasy plots from the "leaders" who are leading us irrevocably to ultimate financial destruction with their holding actions as they move their interests out of the unstable environments. (Okay, this is really wonky and quite scary enough for a Halloween essay!)

[This blog joyfully accepts any donations for its operating expenses and is hoping for an angel to descend. Calling all angels!]

Thursday, October 27, 2011


by Karl Denninger

"Now we're talking. I'm getting word (via Twitter) that the Oakland branch of "Occupy Wall Street" has finally done what I recommended as the only course of peaceful action that will matter: They have called for a GENERAL STRIKE November 2nd.
Why will a General Strike work? Simple: It attacks the government in a lawful, peaceful manner in the one way they cannot counteract: It cuts off their funding! You can't tax what doesn't happen, basically.  This is the people's way to peacefully withdraw consent to being governed.  You buy nothing, you perform no work, you do nothing that is taxable. The implicit threat is that you cut the legs out from under the government's ability to fund itself.  This is an entirely lawful action and I said in 2008 that this was the appropriate thing to be doing.

Well, here you have it.  One ex-Marine - a combat veteran - took a rubber round in the head.  He is in critical condition and may die.  That was not a mistake; that was aimed fire and an intentional assassination.  Sorry folks, that's facts - from 50' you don't "miss" and hit someone in the head with these things if you're shooting for the legs or other non-vital parts.  He was shot in the head by someone who aimed for the head.  Those projectiles are not "non-lethal" and the bomb thrown by a cop at the people trying to come to his assistance after he fell wasn't tossed accidentally either.

So here's the deal folks: Do you have a pair of clankers or are you still sporting mouse-sized nerfs?

Yeah, I know, participating in a General Strike means personal sacrifice.  Heh, that's how it is when you make choices.  There are costs.  Nothing's free, including doing nothing.  Four years of constructive consent has not brought you continued prosperity.  It has not brought the economy out of the slump and employment has not returned.  It has done nothing for you, and everything for the scammers and fraudsters on Wall Street and in DC. Four years into this and there's been no end to the fraud.  No admission of what happened and who was responsible.  No change.  No honesty.  No truth.  And no prosecutions of any materiality.  Yeah, I know, they are going after one former board member now.  That's nice.

But Obama just announced that he intends to "refinance" a bunch of home mortgages (again) and the primary beneficiary of doing so will be not you but the banks as that program includes a waiver of any fraud claims against the original mortgage so it cannot be "put back" on the originator. Yeah, the "benefits" here will be small for the banks, since the number of people who will qualify will be small and the damages on a fraudulent loan that is paying (which you must be in order to qualify) are zero.  But fraud is still a crime, and this will make ignoring the criminal side trivial as well.

I've said that it's time to choose for the four years.  Well, now you have a group that has thrown down the gauntlet for you and provided a date: November 2nd. Elephant-size or mouse-size - clankers or nerfs? That's the question, and you will answer that question on November 2nd. And incidentally, if there is no constructive response out of DC? DECLARE NOVEMBER 25th-27th AS THE NEXT ONE.  AND YEAH - I'LL DO IT.  NO SPENDING OR WORK OF ANY SORT.  NOT ONE DAMN NICKEL.”

To The Naysayers For November 2nd (And 25-27): So you have a job and thus you won't risk anything to stop spending and participate in a General Strike. Cool.  That's your choice, of course. But let me ask this: If not now, when?

See, this fraud has been going on for 30 years.  But it has picked up to a fever pitch in the last four.  FedUpUSA and Tickerforum organized marches on Wall Street and in Washington DC in 2008 after the unlawful actions related to Bear Stearns and the rest of the financial system. Pretty much nobody showed up.  Those who do deserve praise (and gratitude), but they were few in number. Now "Occupy Wall Street" (in its various incantations) has thousands in the streets in peaceful protest and has called for a General Strike; a subject I raised in 2008 as well. And again, people say "oh, no, I can't do that."

Ok. But again: If not now, when? Do you feel "better" that the DOW is up 300 points today?  You did in 2009 when Kanjorski made fraud on balance sheets a business model, right?  So let's tabulate the results of legislating fraud as a business model. Did it get you a job?  Why no, it did not. Did it make college more affordable by resolving the cost-push problem?  No, it made it worse. Did it solve the medical cost problems that bankrupt millions?  No, it made it worse. Did it solve the housing crisis?  No, it made it worse.

Ah, I get it.  It's not "bad enough" yet. Well, here's the deal folks: This is a lawful and peaceful action. Now the inconvenient question: What do you think is going to happen when, not if, the government funding model breaks down and the Federal Government is forced to curtail 60-75% of its spending overnight?  When the Social Security and Medicare stops?  When the food stamps.... stop?  When the military benefits.... stop?  Will the people's reaction to that be lawful and peaceful?

Better think that one over folks..... because virtually all of you aren't considering this at all, and those who naysay now are betting not only their future but that of their children that when it does get worse it will be "business as usual." You may be right, but that's the wager you're taking, and I don't like the odds. Before you say "oh that can't happen, especially not here" you might want to look at Greece, where it is, at Italy, where it will, and in Egypt, where it did, and everyone said it wouldn't happen in those three cases too. And that's just in the last couple of years. Something to think about."
Want some Halloweeny economic news?


Trick or Treat!

Yet More Grim Inequality News from the CBO

Oct. 25, 2011
The Congressional Budget Office is out with a timely new report on income inequality, which you can find here. Nickel version: The rich are getting richer, and the rest of us are just kind of drifting along.
The main summary chart is the one on the right. Since 1979, adjusted for inflation, incomes of the broad middle class (solid blue line labeled "21st to 80th percentiles") have increased about 40 percent, which comes to a sluggish 1 percent per year. During the same period, the incomes of the richest 1 percent have increased about 280 percent, or 7 percent per year. This is a pretty familiar chart by now, but one thing to note is that the incomes of the rich are pretty volatile: They drop a lot during recessions, but they also bounce back pretty quickly and regain their high growth rates as soon as the recession is over. This chart only goes through 2007, but the same dynamic has been at work in the aftermath of the Great Recession: a steep drop followed by an equally steep recovery.
Another set of charts is below. These are a little less familiar and need a bit of explanation. They show Gini inequality coefficients for different kinds of incomes, and the more distorted the chart the higher the inequality.
The top left chart shows the inequality of labor income in 1979 (light blue) and 2007 (dark blue). As you can see, it's moderately unequal, and the level of inequality hasn't changed a lot over the years. Likewise, the bottom right chart shows the inequality of capital gains income. This is extremely unequal, but again, the level of inequality hasn't changed too much. Both the light blue and dark blue lines are pretty close to each other.
The other two charts show business income and capital income, and they're quite different. Both show a fairly heavy amount of inequality, and, more interestingly, they show that the level of inequality has widened dramatically over the past three decades. Business income, which means income going to owners of private businesses, has grown much more concentrated, probably due to the growth of high incomes among privately owned professional firms (law, medicine, and finance). And capital income, which is largely dividends and rental income, has become far more concentrated as well. I'm not quite sure what story this tells, but one thing it tells us for sure is that most of the growth in income since 1979 has been in nonlabor income. Which is to say, not the kind of income that people like you and I get much of.
Click on the title for the rest of that essay.

Police confront occupations in NYC, San Diego, Nashville, Raleigh

And speaking of that type of income (or lack of it), we get the latest update on the bank shenanigans and some insight from the OWS Versus Tea Party perspective:

In recent years banks have become so powerful they apparently don’t even feel the need to feign deference to federal regulators. After providing hundreds of billions in public bailouts to their colleagues at Bear Stearns and other reckless speculators, the Fed rejected a 2009 request from the U.S. Treasury for a review of the central bank’s governance and structure. One candid trader stunned a BBC on-air panel last month by flatly stating, “governments don’t rule the world, Goldman Sachs rules the world."

Given the power struggle between the U.S. government and powerful banking interests dating back to the days of the American Revolution, it is strange that Tea Party leaders such as Rick Perry now dismiss the Occupy Wall Street movement as “class warfare.” Rather than join the battle against the banks stretching back to the days of Benjamin Franklin, the patriots of the Tea Party have unwittingly become a zombie army of the same corporate interests seeking to destroy the very institutions the Founding Fathers fought so hard for.

The widespread revolt against the excesses of wealthy financiers spreading across North America would be very familiar to the Founding Fathers. Iconic Americans from Thomas Jefferson to Teddy Roosevelt battled valiantly to protect the fragile notion of liberty against repeated and coordinated attacks from a corrupt and self-serving banking sector. In contrast, the milquetoast response by President Obama to the recent crimes of corporate America indicate just how enfeebled the U.S. government has become.

But hope springs eternal. More than two centuries on, the true spirit of the American Revolution is finding new life on the streets below financial towers across the continent. While the foe is formidable, these battles have been waged — and won — many times before.

On my way out of the New York preview screening of “In Time,” I overheard another moviegoer cheerfully describing what he had just seen as a “Marxist propaganda film.” So it wasn’t just me. But it says something about our times, I guess, that the phrase would even come up in reference to a motion picture that could just as well be called grade-B dystopian sci-fi, or an attempt to position Justin Timberlake as an action star. New Zealand-born writer-director Andrew Niccol, he of “Gattaca” and “S1m0ne,” has been making chilly, satirical, almost-excellent science-fiction movies and thrillers for years; he cannot possibly have known that this particular one — which advocates nothing short of full-on class warfare — would land right on top of the Occupy Wall Street moment. I mean, could he?

. . . the guy gets props for being weirdly and accidentally on time with “In Time,” and also for the best-ever high-concept premise that allows him to cast only beautiful young actors. See, in the downscale urban future (which strongly resembles the downscale urban past, circa 1978), everyone is genetically engineered to stop aging at 25 — and to die at 26. On your 25th birthday, a phosphorescent digital clock in your arm starts counting down that last year, and that time is literally money, the society’s only currency. If you can accumulate more of it, through work or crime or gambling or the good fortune of birth, you can live on indefinitely — albeit in constant fear of dying through violence or by accident. But the poor, in the downtrodden “time zone” where Timberlake’s character, Will Salas, grew up, must literally live day to day, borrowing or stealing or working double shifts to keep themselves from “timing out.” (There are several background details that made me crack up, like a painted advertisement for the “99-second store.”)

So my anonymous friend in the theater was absolutely right, since it was Karl Marx who observed that the worker’s only capital in the modern economy is his labor power, or vital force, and the capitalist seeks to drain it out of him, day by day, at the cheapest possible rate, allowing the worker the sustenance to continue but little more.
Under late capitalism, i.e., large-scale consumer capitalism, to be sure, that equation was altered significantly, at least in the developed world. The question we now face is whether that system is collapsing. “In Time,” one could say, forecasts a world in which it has done so — a world in which a tiny minority have found immortality but lost their souls, while the mass of working people has been reduced once again to an economic subjugation that is based on a supposedly free and fair exchange of labor for capital but is every bit as thorough as slavery or feudalism.

More Halloween spookiness?

From our really frightening finance ghoul, John Mauldin's Out of the Box:

Right now, the team comprising the ECB, EU and the various parliaments that make up that fractured and faltering alliance are sending pitcher after pitcher to the mound (sometimes in groups of two or three) trying to combine for the perfect game that they NEED in order to escape the debt trap they have backed themselves into.

Being in a situation where you lose unless you can pull something off against odds of multiple-thousands to one and pitch a 'perfect game' is a ridiculous spot in which to find yourself, but as this month has rolled by, it has become ever-more apparent that that is precisely where the Brussels Eurocrats now find themselves. It appears as though, as the pressure has ratcheted up this week, we are now in the ninth inning.

Personally, my own belief (as regular readers are by now well aware) is that the very best the Eurocrats can hope for is to extend the game by an inning or two, but their arms are tired, their bullpen is empty and, at some point, we are going to see an absolute avalanche of runs scored against them as the whole thing finally topples under its own weight. 

This past week has been nothing short of farcical as the tension has built towards a crescendo that seemed at first to be willfully engendered in order to generate just enough sense of impending crisis to enable a resolution to be forced through in a similar fashion to that which preceded Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke's now-infamous closed-doors fright-fest (hyphenation alert!) that led to the passing of the TARP in late 2008.
Obviously any and all capitulation towards outright bailouts (or 'QEU') must at least be seen to be against the will of the Germans and that proviso goes a long way towards explaining the raft of headlines that have flooded the Reuters and Bloomberg screens of investors all around the world this week. We have seen misdirection, scaremongering, u-turns and abject incompetence as well as the kinds of 'leaks' that are, frankly, laughable - the prime example being the 'leaked' draft copy of the Euro Summit statement which was printed, in its entirety, in the Daily Telegraph on Thursday - coincidentally at the precise moment when things were starting to come unglued as it became clear that this Sunday's Summit would NOT produce the magic bullet required.

The statement itself is priceless. It begins with a bit of back-slapping for the passing of the EFSF (after no less than six months of wrangling and an eleventh-hour drama in Slovakia):
The strategy we have put into place encompasses determined efforts to ensure fiscal consolidation as well as growth, support to countries in difficulty, and a strengthening of euro area governance. At our 21 July meeting we took a set of major decisions. The ratification by all 17 Member States of the euro area of the measures related to the EFSF significantly strengthen our capacity to react to the crisis.
The agreement on a strong legislative package within the EU structures on better economic governance represents another major achievement. The euro continues to rest on solid fundamentals. . .
It then moves on to more familiar ground; an agreement to display their strong determination to fix things. Nothing concrete, of course, but they sure as hell are determined:
The crisis is, however, far from over, as shown by the volatility of sovereign and corporate debt markets. Further action is needed to restore confidence. That is why today we agree on additional measures reflecting our strong determination to do whatever is required to overcome the present difficulties.
The rest of the text, should you want to read it, is here, but allow me to summarise it through a few select phrases that will save you the trouble of doing so:
“blah, blah, blah… All Member States are determined, blah, blah, blah… We want to reiterate our determination, blah, blah, blah… We reaffirm clearly our unequivocal commitment that, blah, blah, blah… All other euro area Member States solemnly reaffirm their inflexible determination, blah, blah, blah… The euro area Heads of State or Government fully support this determination, blah, blah, blah… All tools available will be used in an effective way to ensure financial stability in the euro area, blah, blah, blah… We fully support the ECB, blah, blah, blah… “
See. I told you they were determined.
But, buried deep in the draft are (amazingly enough) some specific measures that will surely help solve the crisis:
• There will be regular Euro Summit meetings bringing together the Heads of State or govern­ment (HoSG) of the euro area and the President of the Commission. These meetings will take place at least twice a year
• The President of the Euro Summit will be designated by the HoSG of the euro area at the same time the European Council elects its President
• The President of the Euro summit will keep the non euro area Member States closely informed of the preparation and outcome of the Summits
• As is presently the case, the Eurogroup will ensure ever closer coordination of the economic policies and promoting financial stability.
• The President of the Euro Summit will be consulted on the Eurogroup work plan and may invite the President of the Eurogroup to convene a meeting of the Eurogroup, notably to prepare Euro Summits or to follow up on its orientations
• Work at the preparatory level will continue to be carried out by the Eurogroup Working Group(EWG)
• The EWG will be chaired by a full-time Brussels-based President. He/she should preferably also chair the Economic and Financial Committee
…and my personal favourite:
• Clear rules and mechanisms will be set up to improve communication and ensure more con­sistent messages.
It’s at this point that the non-Europeans amongst you are possibly finally beginning to get the joke that anybody caught in the tractor beam of ineptitude that is ‘Europe’ (and by ‘Europe’ I mean the bureaucratic construct rather than the land mass) has understood for years.


Millions of Euros spent on days of ‘talks’ to come up with solutions that fail to address any REAL problems.
Don’t believe me?
Please read on for the really bad news.

Amidst this barrage of headlines, Nicolas Sarkozy was quoted in two articles which outlined his own fears for Europe: 
“Allowing the destruction of the euro is to take the risk of the destruction of Europe. Those who destroy Europe and the euro will bear responsibility for resurgence of conflict and division on our continent.”
And...“If there isn’t a solution by Sunday, everything is going to collapse”
There’s something eerily familiar about that last sentence. Let’s see what Google Translate makes of the original French version, shall we?:
“If money isn’t loosened up, this sucker could go down”
Those words were uttered by another President on September 26, 2008 - a few days before TARP was passed into law.
No matter how long this charade continues, it seems impossible to see how it doesn’t end in a EuroTARP. The ECB have a brand new, never-been-used printing press just sitting there in a locked room waiting to be called into action. The only problem is; the Germans have the key to the door. How long they continue to try to do the ‘right’ thing before capitulating is pretty much the only unknown quantity right now
Having backed themselves into a hopeless corner early last week with promises of a ‘solution’ come the end of this weekend’s summit, the Eurocrats have now postponed the decision until next Wednesday. On hearing this, the markets were eerily calm, as the UK Guardian noted:
(UK Guardian): Investors’ thinking seems to be that the adoption of a new deadline - “Wednesday, at the latest,” according to last night’s communiqué - could be construed as good news, or at least neutral from the point of view of share prices and bond prices. This theory says that more time to reach agreement makes a watertight plan more likely to happen.
Really? The notion sounds like a triumph of hope over experience. Okay, last night’s statement still promised “a global, ambitious response to the crisis currently facing the Eurozone” but it seems just as likely that more time will simply entrench disagreements between Germany and France. As the clock ticks, the definition of “ambitious” could simply be watered down..
But is this sense of calm justified? Well, in a word, no.
Overnight, the latest leaks out of the ongoing Crisis Summit paint an ugly picture about what happens next and, if the leaks are anything to go by, we are in for anything BUT a period of calm:

(UK Daily Telegraph): Europe’s leaders are threatening to trigger a formal default on Greek debt and risk a “credit event” if banks refuse to accept losses of up to €140bn (£120bn) on their hold­ings.
Hardline eurozone members, backed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), delivered the ulti­matum this weekend after an official report found that in a worst-case scenario Greece could need a second bail-out of€450bn – twice the current package and more than the entire €440bn in the eurozone’s rescue fund.
Vittorio Grilli, a senior EU official, travelled to Rome yesterday to present the “take it or leave it” deal to the Institute of International Finance, which is leading the negotiations for the banks. “The only voluntary element for the banks now is to take a 50pc haircut or face a credit event, a default,” said an EU diplomat.

Apparently, even a once-taboo idea of a centralized Treasury is also now on the table:

(UK Daily Telegraph): European Union chiefs are drawing up plans for a single “Treasury” to over­see tax and spending across the 17 eurozone nations.
The proposal, put forward by Herman Van Rompuy, the European Council president, would be the clearest sign yet of a new “United States of Europe” — with Britain left on the sidelines.
The plan comes as European governments desperately trying to save the euro from collapse last night faced a new bombshell, with sources at the International Monetary Fund saying it would not pay for a second Greek bail-out..
Or how about an EFSF SPV that will attract money from our old friends the Sovereign Wealth Funds (surely, by now, even THEY are starting to understand the folly of investing in these things?):
(UK Guardian): Finance ministers from the 17 eurozone countries are discussing the option of creating a “special purpose vehicle” for the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) in order to boost its current€440bn (£383bn) lending capacity.
The idea, according to sources, would be to attract further money from official and private inves­tors, with the sovereign wealth funds of countries such as China, Singapore or Qatar a prime target. Some of these already invest in European banks such as Barclays and UBS.
So here we are.
It’s Sunday morning in Asia as I finish writing this week’s missive and the messages coming out of Europe are as mixed as ever, despite the clear need for a ‘solution’ (which has been perhaps the only consistent communique for about two years now). Sadly for the Eurocrats, the time when they have to stop telling us how important a ‘solution’ IS and actually devise one that WORKS is now at hand.
Any more prevaricating and the markets will give them their solution whether they like it or not.

The chances are that we will see another photo-op featuring the region’s finance ministers this week as they unveil their latest ‘plan’ that will fix everything. There will be a communique issued which lays out exactly how determined they are to solve everything and quantifies all the important steps they have so far taken as well as the improvements they are seeing in the finances of the PIIGS.

There may be some criticism of the banks for forcing them to this point, and there will most likely be certain promises made about how they aim to extract retribution for their forced largesse, but they will take one more swing at a solution - one that stops short of the massive steps they need to take to shore things up once and for all.
Then the markets will have their say
Ultimately, the only realistic way to fix Europe’s problems is to shovel money into the gaping hole that is the region’s finances. Which means that the REAL question that has to be answered is fairly simple:
Where is that money going to come from?
Growth? Nope.
Inflation? Not quickly enough.
Forgiveness or default? Not if you don’t want M. Sarkozy’s prediction coming true.
The ECB’s printing press? Only if you can change German minds.
Until German minds are harder to change than the immutable laws of mathematics, I suspect we have our answer.
Only one Perfect Game has been thrown in a World Series game - when it REALLY counted. The year was 1956, the pitcher that day was Don Larsen and, as the 27th opposing batter was finally struck out, Larsen leapt into the arms of a man whose words of wisdom have graced the cover of Things That Make You Go Hmmm..... on several occasions: Yogi Berra.
The latest European Crisis Summit? Well, as Yogi would probably have said, it’s déja-vu all over again.
So what do we have for you this week? Well, naturally, there’s a whole lotta Europe including warnings of a French downgrade from top economists, warnings of a ‘downgrade blitz’ across the EMU from S&P and a warning for Mario Draghi as he prepares to take the crown from Jean-Claude Trichet’s greying head in a little over a week.
Morgan Stanley explain Europe’s‘Triangle of Terror’, we hear how the EU is mulling over a $1.3 trillion fund and little Belarus is doing its bit to show that austerity is the way forward by heading to eBay.
Amidst Boston’s own ‘Occupation’ we find some of the most delicious irony of the year, the next wave of mortgage-backed lawsuits is set to traumatize Wall Street yet again, Peter Tchir imagines the EFSF as a hedge fund and we investigate the mysterious China International Fund and its activities in Africa.
That’s all for me for another week.
Play Ball!

As if anyone really wants to see the endgame.