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26 October 2011


Paul Emery

Par Force will be consumer strikes and actions . It's already starting to happen in Colorado. Look what happened in India when consumers reused to buy from the "company store". The Brits packed up and left because they couldn't turn a schilling any more. This is going to be fun.

"The Mile High Showdown is associated with a national campaign "to restructure Wall Street" called The New Bottom Line, which is demanding reform from three major banks: Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase. Of the three, Wells Fargo has the biggest presence in Colorado, which Hanna says is why activists here plan to target it.

If Wells Fargo fails to come to its senses this afternoon and do all those things (in our letter), our communities will send a clear message that they can no longer use our money to foreclose on families and support deportations," Hanna says."


Paul Emery

And here


Mikey McD

Run! you can still make it....

"Today, Wednesday, everybody has an opportunity to come by Briar Patch between 12 and 4 pm to sign a petition of Local Food Freedom (LFF) addressed to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).

The petition is asking the CDFA to exempt the Family Cow/Goat and Herd Share Agreements from existing regulations which currently make any dispensing and receiving of raw milk from an unlicensed dairy illegal.

Come by and show your support!"

Brad Croul

XM25 - Duck hunting just got a lot easier!

Account Deleted

See Paul - if you don't like a corporation, you stop doing business with them. You lefties are slower than molasses in the winter. According to the OWS street rabble, this won't work because the corps control everything, so how is this possible? Won't the banks just send troops to your house and force you at gun point to put your money back into their branches? Won't your children be held captive? If you want to bother us with this tripe, you should have the decency to at least apologize to us on the conservative side first. We've been telling you all along that this was all you had to do.
Of course this didn't quite work when folks stopped buying GM products because President Zero just stepped in and gave them our money to keep going. Let's see how much money Wells will have to bribe the coin operated president to stop this run on the bank. Let the fun begin!

D. King

"...coin operated president..."



Duck hunting? Didn't think of that,lol... But that is one cool weapon. They have been on the science channels for a while. But according to Berkeley "U" of the net, ( wiki) they have only made five. So did a contract get signed?

Paul Emery

You entirely miss the point Scott. The OWS movement is rapidly moving in that direction as the logical target for action. Lookout when this catches on. It will make the Tea Party look like just that. Non violent consumer action. The ultimate weapon against disfigured capitalism.

Steve Frisch

The term and concept of "satyagraha" needs to be rapidly applied to the OWS movement. Burning police cars won't get anyone anywhere, although I think a cogent case could be made that the excesses of some of the protest movement of the 60's were instrumental in moving public policy. The issue is that if one wants to make permanent change protest needs to go beyond acting out against a perceived threat and rapidly move into insisting on a specific set of actions it advocates.

The point that the Tea Party movement does not have a specific coherent agenda and set of actins but is rather a loose collection of ideas is largely responsible for its force being diffused over the past year.

The OWS is rapidly trying to define its agenda, but it needs to do so quickly, and move into a non-violent, truth-seeking insistence on change.

For the record, I can never condone violence as a public policy tool and I find it as equally abhorrent in the OWS movement as any other.

That does not mean that they can not move quickly to the Satyagraha stage and gain my heartfelt support. I will be watching thier process on-line to select an agenda.


Steve Frisch

Oh yeah, OWSneeds a new name as well. OWS does not represent the true depth and goals of the movement. I think ReForm might be a better moniker.

George Rebane

SteveF - what 'truth' have you been able to determine that the OWS demonstrators/rioters are trying to force, and upon whom?

George Rebane

PaulE 759pm - "disfigured capitalism" a mighty concept indeed. Do you think that any of the OWS street people understand how the government fomented and enabled the subprime loan mess? Does anyone out there know what Barney and Chris pushed the industry to do as they lied about the role and status of Fannie and Freddie, GSEs that promoted and instantly bought every subprime loan the banks made, giving them the funds to continue lending??? How does this fall only on the shoulders of the banks (capitalists) that behave in their self-interest while being encouraged by a Congress that shielded the entire operation until it collapsed?

Ben Emery

Peaceful rallies that get hammered by authorities. In nonviolent fashion people surround the victims of the violence not go after those who inflicted the violent action. Great strength is found in non violence activism and pacifism. I can do the former but am not strong enough yet for the latter.


Account Deleted

I don't think I missed anything - you on the left claimed that the all powerful corps control everything and now you find that they have no power at all. If their customers all leave, they wither to nothing. We on the conservative side have told you that all along.
I have never given any money to B of A or Wells or Citi or any of them. Apparently you on the left have have been quite generous to them, or how else would you be in the position of being able to now deny them funds? It turns out that the useful idiots of the left have been the problem. First you give them money and then they squander it and then you elect the fool that that takes my money to bail them out. Thanks a lot.

Ben Emery

When those who aren't part of the privileged class or doing their bidding they need to be silenced.
This is why more democracy is the answer not less.


Steve Frisch

Oh George, what a difference transposing words and concepts make in the English language. The concept is "truth force" not "force truth". There is a difference. To force truth is to impose it, to work with truth force is to state it and demonstrate it. One is active I position, the other is passive demonstration.

The simple truth I am hoping that the mature OWS movement can demonstrate is that our economic and political systems are dysfunctional because they are failing to build prosperity and empowerment across a broad cross section of society, and that our systems need to be reformed to achieve more equity. That is why I prefer to think of the movement coming to a cogent reform agenda. That reform agenda should include decentralization of capital so that the sources of capital are closer to the community, decentralization of power so that more decision-making is done closer to the local level, and more transparency and accountability in government.

These reforms can be achieved while protecting all of the traditional rights we enjoy today: the right to private property, which is intriinsically tied to democracy, the right to speech, assembly, press and religion, the right due process and security in our homes and the living of our lives.

I believe that in very many ways what the Tea PfarFty movement is seeking and what the OWS movement is seeking are one in the same thing, but we live in a society trapped in ideology and incivility, which inhibits our ability to work together.

A prime example of this intentional incivility is transposing "truth force" and " force truth". This sort of word play to change the meaning of ones intent is what traps us in frozen governance and civil society, and makes us incapable of reaching accords to advance mutual objectives.

By the way, I agree with you that Barney and Chris share some of the blame, if we must cast blame, for the mess we are in; however, so do very many conservative Republicans and free marketeers who were right there with them taking advantage of the lack of vigilance of the people.

Clear enough?

Steve Frisch

That should read "active imposition", and the "right to due process". I-pad's are killing the English language!


Hey look, Jerry Brown delivers on his promise to address pension reform.


Barry Pruett

I read that story. Sounds good at first glance, but I would like to see the details before I start doing back flips.


I agree that we need to see the actual policy when it is released, but I am hopeful that some progress can be made.

Account Deleted

Good to see that Moonbeam is addressing it. Funny he didn't mention any of this plan when he ran for office. Let's wait and see the details and how far it gets in the leg. I like to see that there will be a 401K-type component. Perhaps the majority of state workers will now see the connection of a healthy economy with their retirement. When I worked there most were clueless about basic economics.

George Rebane

SteveF 1122pm - No intent to misrepresent your thought. Since the satyagraha's definition includes the notion of force - an entity that has both direction and magnitude - even its "passive demonstration" has some agent who is the target of such demonstrations. I was referring to 'force' only in that sense to invite your further dissertation on the Occupiers. Maybe I should have asked, 'In your view, what truths are they attempting to demonstrate to whom?'

Account Deleted

Ben - 'When those who aren't part of the privileged class or doing their bidding they need to be silenced.' Please define the privileged class and list all of the different classes in the US as you see them. Thanks

Mikey McD

Wilson 'solved' the pension crisis in CA only to have Davis unsolve it. Moonbeam's pension press release is not worth squat, Arnold issued the same press release (multiple times) and action was never taken.

In the words of Arnold's bi-partisan pension commission (paraphrase) "The unions are too powerful and any reform savings would be cancelled out by the legal fees incurred for such reforms. It is impossible to compete with the public employee unions."

Paul Emery

Yes George, disfigured capitalism. When billions of dollars are made without the slightest pretense of creating any useful goods or services one can only speculate where the money come from and what would the benefit to the economy be if it rewarded useful innovative efforts. Instead we have a tiny minority capturing a huge percentage of the capital without contributing anything useful to earn it. Please tell me, for example, how making millions off successful hedge fund gambling creates any useful goods or services? Just because you earn money doesn't mean you've done anything of value to earn it. When you have indeed trillions being earned without any useful services or products produced you have what I term as disfigured capitalism.

My grandfather was a Greek truck farmer in Yolo County and raised his family growing fruits and vegetables and selling them at the farmers wholesale marked in Sacramento. I remember riding in his truck and hanging out with him as he did the business of selling his produce going from one buyer to another till he got the best price. Most buyers were wholesalers who would service a string of markets reselling the produce and making a useful profit acting as a procurer and distributor. Now thats real capitalism. Making a reasonable profit on your added value to goods and services.

It was a set up deal that the government would bail out the "too big to fail" institutions that made billions and passed it on to a tiny few before crying Uncle to Georgie B who then rewarded them with TARP money that was essentially borrowed passing on the debt to future generations. Obama hired the same crew and continued the same practices and that's where we are today. It may not be the role of government to provide a shelter from the storm so to speak but it is a legitmate role to warn us one is coming. Our Deer in the Headlights President (Bush 2) had no clue or understanding what was going on but he was a useful idiot for those that did.

George, blaming this on Fannie and Freddie is betting short on the problem. You know better than that.

Todd Juvinall

Frsiech should not tangle with Mikey on monetary issues. There is no contest and Friesch is way overmatched.

Ben Emery

Privileged Class are those who have complete excess wealth having the privilege of not having to consider the basic costs of the necessities of life.

Working class breaks up into many categories

Upper Middle 6 figures but still dependent on working for a paycheck

Middle income is all over the map it has to do with control over their time

Working poor are those who work full time, multiple jobs, and have to make choices of what necessities can be neglected

Poor who work just enough not to die from malnourishment and survive with government programs or help from others.

Destitute that have become institutionalized to the condition of not being able to function on a daily basis due to either generational poverty, mental instability, or the pressures of every mistake could negatively impact those who depend on them. This class is 100% dependent on government services and don't won't to jeopardize their one constant in their lives.

George Rebane

PaulE 1023am - I think we circled this bush (pun intended) many times already. That the Left does not admit the push-pull role of the federal government in creating the financial debacle short circuits such discussion. Starting with the 1977 CRA and going through the exhortations of and lies from Congress (e.g. Barney and Chris), the mortgage industry was goaded and prodded to make sub-prime loans, and celebrated for making them. The feds, through Fannie and Freddie, made these "no-doc"/"low-doc" loans risk free since these GSEs were also told to simply buy the mortgages and give the issuing banks additional cash to keep the sub-prime tsunami going. The capitalists did what all good capitalists do in any system jaundiced by the government - the play it for all it's worth. All of this was done with full knowledge in Freddie and Fannie and the appropriate Congressional oversight committees. But vote buying ideology ruled.

This scam is known broadly in the land today, and rejected only by the hard Left which guarantees that as long as they are in the wheelhouse, nothing will change and the debacle continues. That you seem to attribute this insight only to me ("You know better than that.") is not true, but a complement that I will accept.

Ben Emery

The ability of getting subprime bad loans off their books in COD/ derivatives (CFMA 2000 and GLBA 1999) is what fueled the bubble.

It is ultimately the government at fault but who controls the government and gives them their marching orders? It is definitely not the people.

Get special interest money out of politics.

Paul Emery

You are such a die hard Republican. The Republicans controlled both houses from 1994-2006 Also the Presidency under Reagan-Bush 1 and Bush 2. Bush 2 enthusiastically supported housing ownership access and did nothing to warn the public that this was coming down because all his pals were making billions from the associated scams. Do you not believe it's a legitimate role of government to issue "storm warnings"? Either they didn't know or they knew and kept their mouth shut which I believe to be the case. The banksters knew this was going to happen and got away with gaming their investments and walking away with billions which was the plan all along and also which makes this criminal fraud.

William Black writes "The essence of fraud is convincing the victim to trust the perpetrator – and then betraying that trust." which is exactly what happened and why it was a criminal activity. When the OWS crowd stops sputtering and gets serious that's where they will go and it won't be pretty.

The fact that there has not been one fraud indictment shows how corrupt Washington culture is and I mean both party's.

A good question I don't have an answer for is where did the money they ended up with come from. In other words if there was $100 in the pot and they got $70 where would the money be had they not scammed the system? Also what happens in a capitalist system when huge profits are made without providing useful goods and services. Hence my disfigured capitalism taq.

Mikey McD

Exhibit A: Global Central Planning creates bubble in real estate, encourages risk in financial sector and brings banks to the verge of collapse (2000-2009).

Exhibit B: Decades of central planning and socialism brings down Europe to the verge of collapse (19??-present).

Problem Summary: central planning.
Solution: End central planning, free the markets.

D. King

There is no need to fear, the new Cap N Trade system is here!


Bubbles you say? Nooooo!

From 2009


"This system would create whole new classes of financial assets, which financial firms could securitize, derivatize, and speculate on."...

"Sound familiar? Many critics are pointing out that this new market for carbon derivatives could, without effective oversight, usher in another Wall Street free-for-all just like the one that precipitated the implosion of the global economy."

Are we really here again...really?


Todd Juvinall

PaulE, was it the wacally Republicans that fueled the dot.com bubble and its bust right before Bush took office?

Paul Emery


Now that's another golden moment in Capitalism. I don't place a Party gender to either case. Todd as you know I'm not a Democratic party enthusiast although I generally favor that side of the aisle as the lesser of two evils which, by the way I acknowledge is still voting for evil.

These "bubbles" are examples of disfigured capitalism when value is given to goods and services that have no value to sucker people into investing money under fraudulent pretenses. I had a friend who made big bucks in those days because he knew how the system worked and would invest in "pump and dump" stocks and ride the stock wave jumping out right before it collapsed. He specialized in phony dot coms that were designed to rise and fall and suck money out of investors along the way that thought they were buying into a legitimate business.

These people have no allegiance to either party but they do pay big to create legislation that favors their scam of the day. Blaming the Republicans or Democrats is not the way to go here. However observing the violation of public trust that occurs when they fiddle while America burns is legitimate.

Ben Emery

At the root of all this is one of the issues we agree, the banks. The banks wouldn't have taken the risk of subprime loans if they didn't know they couldn't insure, bundle them, and then take shorts on them when they sold them off. Before the two pieces of legislation I mentioned above (GLBA 1999 and CFMA 2000) banks weren't go hog wild with the subprime mortgages. Financial sector saw an opportunity to exploit the system another way and bought off our government to change the rules to allow them to do it legally. In the process they understood the government wouldn't let them fail because our politicians take their orders from the banks and they told George W Bush and Congress to pass the bailouts despite the overwhelming opposition from the people.

As for bubble economies, they come about when a small few people have so much excess capital laying around they gamble with it creating bubbles that will eventually burst.

George Rebane

PaulE and BenE - If I get the drift of your compelling arguments, it is not the fault of the politicians who accept the bribes, but the people who offer them. Well, they're technically not bribes in the criminal sense, even though they give rise to corruption and criminal (in my view) behavior by the politicos.

Does the following statement by a lobbyist absolve a politician? 'Here's the way votes in the legislature would best serve our interests, and we have $X to support the legislators who support our industry and interests.' Jo Ann and I are going to some upcoming fundraisers where we will be, in every sense, making the same statement to the politicians seeking to fatten their re-election war chests. Are then the politicians innocent, and we become the subsequent guilty parties?

George Rebane

Memo to our Leftwing Readers - Apropos the Occupy demonstrations and riots, please note that these people and their sponsors are proudly labeling themselves as 'progressives', 'liberals', 'communists', 'socialists', etc. As I have explained many times, these are not pejorative labels that some RR readers have misconstrued in the past on these pages. They are labels of pride that seek to efficiently communicate to America the ideological origins and objectives of the Occupiers. And that they do.

Paul Emery

Any Green Libertarians in the group? Labels are so silly. It sure serves the purpose of dumbing down conversations


there was a time when we voted in politicians and gave them the privilege to make decisions on their better judgement based on information they gather as representatives of the people. To give someone money and requiring a pledge that they will vote your way on specific issues tarnishes the system and in my opinion is a direct form of bribery. The Norquest pledge will haunt the Repubs and I would never vote for anyone who took such a pledge.

Why even have representatives? Why not just straight votes on issues such as right to choose yes or no, no new taxes, yes or no, balanced budget yes or no. But wait, isn't that direct vote Democracy? I know what you think of that so what do you have in mind?

Todd Juvinall

I guess I am just a simple fellow and I need people to identify themselves. Sort of like needing a jihadist to let us know he is a Muslim Sharia jihadist or maybe a communist Che' follower or whatever. Simple people are not so sophisticated as those lefty's that can live without knowing what someone is, their beliefs or even their pedigree. Simple folks need to know, it is just a thing we simple people have needed and done since the caves.

I am a proud conservative, that is my label, nothing spectacular but it does describe me pretty well. Why the liberals turned chicken about being called liberals is a lesson all need to learn. Why would liberals reject and rename? Could it be their self imposed "label" became a pejorative? I would say yes. Their actions as liberals in screwing up the planet became a yoke around their neck so they became "progressives". Commies and socialists are now "secularists". Say what? Well, the conservatives of our country are proud of their label and we fully embrace the label. Sure there are people that twist the definition but for the most part conservatives share a like minded view of things. It sure is better for the psychic health when you accept what you are and don't hide from it. The left just don't have the heuvos here in America to do that.


I guess everyone here has forgotten the slogan of the 2004 Presidential campaign about creating an "ownership society". One key plank was increasing home ownership so Americans would have a stake in the future. This was advanced by George W. Bush. "We're creating... an ownership society in this country, where more Americans than ever will be able to open up their door where they live and say, welcome to my house, welcome to my piece of property." - President George W. Bush, October 2004

The idea that we can fault a single party, as many here are trying to do, for the failure of the American financial system to create a stable, low risk and transparent financial environment is nonsense. Not only did Republicans have control of Congress for a good portion of the time risk was increasing, they voted for many of the same policies that Democrats did that increased risk.

In addition, Republicans and Democrats agreed on our Fed Chairman though most of the time period, first with Volcker, appointed by Carter and re-appointed by Reagan, then Greenspan, appointed by Reagan and re-appointed by Clinton, and finally Bernanke, appointed by G.W. Bush and re-appointed by President Obama.

From January 2001 to January 2009 Republicans held the reins on all of the major oversight agencies: including the SEC, FDIC, and an alphabet soup of other agencies. TARP was an invention of Paulson and Bernanke; and although I still think we HAD to do TARP, and agreed with Democrats that supported it because the alternative was the total collapse of the global financial system, it was bi-partisan approval that made it happen.

Finally, the piece of legislation probably most responsible for the consolidation of the banking industry, the Gramm-Leach-Billey Act 1999, was passed by bi-partisan majorities of 343-86 in the House initially (Republicans 205–16; Democrats 138–69; Independent 0–1) and then after negotiations with the Senate to include financial and medical privacy clauses, by the Senate 90-8, and by the House 362-57. Two significant dissenting votes were John Dingell D-MI who warned that the legislation would cause banks to be come "too big to fail", the first use of the term, and Bernie Sanders I-VT, who warned that the consolidation of the financial services industry would lead to loss of transparency.

Perhaps we should get over the blame game--there is enough blame to go around--and work on the solutions, which in my opinion are transparency, accountability, oversight, de-centralization, and a return to higher savings rates and more realistic standards for lending. I like the Canadian system, 20% down for a home, with lending and income insurance.


Just as it took Nixon to go to China it will take Brown to negotiate a pension reform package. Brown did talk about pension reform during his campaign, numerous times, and it has been a cornerstone of his government reform agenda. Whether he can be successful or not does remain to be seen; but the process must begin somewhere. I would think that conservatives would be happy the process is starting.

Paul Emery

Well spoken Stephen

To blame the Democrats for the housing crash and ignore the administration that had their hands on the wheel for the 7 years leadng up to it is ridiculous.

It's important to recognize that it was the Bush economic team that was in charge leading up to the crash.

Bush and his team either didn't know or ignored the warning signs that the housing bubble was about to burst.

From the New York Times

"We can put light where there's darkness, and hope where there's despondency in this country. And part of it is working together as a nation to encourage folks to own their own home."

- President George W. Bush, Oct. 15, 2002

"Bush did foresee the danger posed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored mortgage finance giants. The president spent years pushing a recalcitrant Congress to toughen regulation of the companies, but was unwilling to compromise when his former Treasury secretary wanted to cut a deal. And the regulator Bush chose to oversee them - an old school buddy - pronounced the companies sound even as they headed toward insolvency.

As early as 2006, top advisers to Bush dismissed warnings from people inside and outside the White House that housing prices were inflated and that a foreclosure crisis was looming. And when the economy deteriorated, Bush and his team misdiagnosed the reasons and scope of the downturn. As recently as February, for example, Bush was still calling it a "rough patch."

The result was a series of piecemeal policy prescriptions that lagged behind the escalating crisis.

"There is no question we did not recognize the severity of the problems," said Al Hubbard, Bush's former chief economic adviser, who left the White House in December 2007. "Had we, we would have attacked them."


Paul Emery


I'm glad simple labeling gives you comfort. How do you classify Ron Paul and Libertarians? Also Barry Goldwater who believed in a womans right to choose and supported gays openly serving in he military. How about Richard Nixon who founded the EPA? How about Ronald Reagan who gave amnesty to 3 million undocumented immigrants.

George Rebane

And that is why it is important to distinguish between Left/Right and Democrats/Republicans, so we can sweep Republicans with progressive penchants under the properly labeled tent, and vice versa. PaulE's view that labels "dumb down" conversations is a fairly unique one that is rejected by the centuries of discussants of all political and religious hues. It is only the ones who don't like to be assigned labels that identify their actions and statements, who protest on the futility or stupidity or ... of using labels as efficient means to summarize the group membership of someone. We recall Sinclair Lewis' famous statement on selling socialism in America.

It is important to understand what a label means for someone using it, and that was the motivation for my recent Right/Left post. We note, with one exception, that no one on the Left wanted to touch elucidating the attributes offered. The song is old, the same, and tiresome; so the labels hold but are not always correctly used. To reject their use is beyond silly, since it forces the referencer to fully describe the referant every time the reference is made. And again, this is a barn already circled many times. The world accepts and intensely uses labels, suck it up, try to be precise, and get used to it.

Todd Juvinall

PaulE, all the folks you mentioned are Republicans, they called themselves Republicans and I accept them as Republicans. We have a big tent. . We are happy to carry the label of Republican. How would you label the people the democrats running the last two nominating conventions who refused to let them speak to the body about them being pro-life? I call them democrats who are pro life but the democrats in charge called them traitors to the democrat party. Hmmm.

Paul Emery

Sorry Todd You lost me on this one. I don't pay much attention to political conventions. Pretty much a festival of wankers in my book. Did the Republicans allow supporters of gay marriage to speak? I don't have a clue and actually could care less but you were the one who brought this up for some reason. We were talking about Conservatives and I questioned whether you would consider Goldwater, Nixon, Ron Paul and Reagan conservatives based on their stated views on issues. I'm still curious about that.

I won't be an apologist for the Democratic Party. I have never been an active Democrat and don't particularly care for either party. My personal views are varied and don't fit into the convenient packaging you and George prefer.

I consider myself a Green Libertarian because I believe in government only when necessary. If we as a culture systematically destroy the environment with our consumption and lifestyles and don't naturally respect sustainability and leaving the earth in the same conditions for future generations then we need government to ensure a healthy earth which is essential for liberty and freedom. A bear doesn't crap in his own back yard and neither should we. We may argue thresholds but if we were to have a discussion we would not disagree on principals. Where does that put me in your labeling system?

Todd Juvinall

PaulE, sorry I am discussing things over your head. I am truly sorry for your apparent ignorance but I do understand. The topic was broached by you so maybe a review of your own comments and questions just a few comments ago will remind you of the topic. It was about labels and your abhorrence for them. Yet you call yourself be a label, a Green Libertarian, then you define it for us all. So, it appears you need to have a label then? The conventions are simply an example which I used to explain the hypocrisy of the left. And yes, the Log Cabin Republicans were allowed to speak at the convention unlike the pro-life democrats at theirs. You seem a bit confused in answering your own questions so perhaps a re-read of my comments will help.

Account Deleted

Ben - thanks for the run down on classes. I notice you admit that the Great Society and the War On Poverty pushed by the left has just worked to keep one class in poverty as the conservatives have charged for years. The great part about this nation is that if you don't like the 'class' you are in, you can move to another. Furthermore, technology has ensured that folks of any class now have the ability to be heard more than ever. The Occupy crowd forgot that freedom of speech does not mean that I have to listen. Making a nuisance of yourself is not conducive to having an intelligent dialog about how to get our economy going again. There is absolutely nothing new at the OWS gatherings. This is all just the same old left wing BS. Full of meaningless phrases: social justice, living wages, income equality.... There is never any explanation of who gets to define the terms and how they will enforce the outcomes without discarding our Constitutional rights.

Paul Emery

Sure Let's have hundreds of labels to cover every nuance of political thought and variation. Kind of like the Tea Party which is sort of like sour dough starter. It started with one strain and nod has dozens of variations. Whatever works for you Todd and makes you feel comfortable.

I'm still interested in whether you would consider Goldwater, Nixon, Reagan and Ron Paul Conservatives.


Are you hearing anything new from the current crop of Repub candidates?

D. King

Friday Funny


Todd Juvinall

PaulE, I answered your questions already. Also, PaulE, you claim a label for yourself, does that make you feel special and happy? Amazing!

George Rebane

PaulE - actually the Tea Party movement started with one strain - its core principles - and as it multiplied into its several factions, all of them retain the same core principles. That is why it is easy still to identify them all under the 'Tea Party' label, no matter if some endorse political candidates or expand to other issues. Everyone understands that label, the tea partiers are not offended by it, and therefore it is an example of the utility of labels.

However, the Left's problem appears to be that if someone is identified as a 'socialist' because he predictably affects socialist values, then the Lefty usually gets his undies in a bundle because he wants to be a sub-rosa socialist, or communist, or liberal, or progressive, or whatever. They only accept and display their correct labels when they gather in groups (e.g. the current Occupiers), but when caught alone, they will deny the labels of their particular brand of collective ideology. Again, I believe Sinclair Lewis was the first to observe that trait of the American Left. Lenin and cohorts, of course, knew and practiced it in Europe long before.

Paul Emery

There is a difference between core values and core functions. The TP Expresses sole function for example is subvert the movement into being soldiers for the Republican Party. For that purpose they cut and paste the message of the Tea Party into their Republican agenda which we can both agree does not in any way intend to adhere to Tea Party principals because they are part of the main stream political gangs that got us into this mess.

I feel very happy about that thank you. So from now on don't call me a liberal or a Democrat, socialist or communist. I'm just a good old fashioned Green Libertarian. I'll accept that label because you need it.

Todd Juvinall

I thought you needed it PaulE. I am just exposing your do as I say mot as I do mantra.

Dixon Cruickshank

PaulE 10-23

Yes George, disfigured capitalism. When billions of dollars are made without the slightest pretense of creating any useful goods or services one can only speculate where the money come from and what would the benefit to the economy be if it rewarded useful innovative efforts. Instead we have a tiny minority capturing a huge percentage of the capital without contributing anything useful to earn it.

Sounds like a perfect definition of the Green Energy movement to me - just say'in

Also just a note on the big banks - the governement has pretty much made them state banks TBTF. There are very few small banks left as the Gov Regulations have strangled them - just like the Frank-Dodd Act did away with Mortgage Brokers - gotta go to the BIG banks now, and who did that ??? Lots of small banks around under Reagan, not so much after Clinton. The biggest winner mutual fund for a couple years was the John Handcock Bank Aquision fund, that wasn't the exact name but I bet it doesn't even exist anymore.

Exit question - why does it every lefty 1/2 a page to answer a 2 paragraph statement or question by Mikey or Todd---- or 3 succesive posts to try and make a point ???? that nobody ends up understanding in any case or gets bored reading.

Mike Thornton

[mudball deleted]

George Rebane

PaulE 1044am - I think you just changed the subject. In my 931am I was talking about the Tea Party core principles (not principals) permitting the use of a single label to overarch its various factions. In any ethical organization its principles subsume the functions needed to correctly express/institute those principles. However, if you now want to talk about a specific faction of the Tea Party movement, you have to use its specific label and also understand that it may have added principles which require/permit added functions. And all of this is made efficient through the correct use of labels whose definitions are understood by the communicating parties.

Now what additional/new subject did you want to discuss?

D. King


Good exit question. Those posts are like an anesthetic.

Paul Emery


"Instead we have a tiny minority capturing a huge percentage of the capital without contributing anything useful to earn it."

Sounds like we're talking about the now famous 1%. Glad you agree with the OWS crowd.

"In the first Congressional hearing into the financial crisis, the former CEO of the bankrupt Lehman Brothers, Richard Fuld, became the poster boy for Wall Street greed today as he defended the $484 million he received in salary, bonuses and stock options since 2000."


George Rebane

PaulE - Is this an accusation of Richard Fuld having done something wrong, immoral, underhanded, criminal, or just class envy?

Paul Emery


We're talking about disfigured capitalism where someone earns huge amounts of money while contributing nothing to the value of goods or services. His bloated salary distributed to the income of reputable qualified employees perhaps could have prevented the bankruptcy of the company preventing the loss of millions or billions to investors. Pretty simple. This is capitalism at it's lowest level when people of power loot a company just because they can. Class envy? No. Disgusting greed yes

Todd Juvinall


Paul Emery

More and the link


"Despite warnings that "liquidity can disappear quite fast," Fuld "depleted Lehman's capital reserves by over $10 billion through year-end bonuses, stock buybacks, and dividend payments," Waxman said. "

George Rebane

PaulE - you have not, according to the weakest application of the principles of proof you preach, provided one bit of evidence that Fuld's ten year record of compensation was in any way deleterious to Lehman's fortunes. Of all people, Henry Waxman's accusations here would count as the baseless and biased lashings of a longstanding socialist and anti-capitalist.


Yeah Paul, can't you just answer questions about hugely complex systems and social interactions in a snappy one liner!

Paul Emery

He was captain of a ship that ran aground and sank wqhile under his watch. Before jumping ship he took all the bullion that he could stuff into a lifeboat and sailed away leaving a sinking ship. Is that simple enough to understand

George, you're going after the messenger here (Waxman) Didn't you scold me about that when I discredited your post that exalted famous neocon Donald Feith. You can't have it both ways or perhaps you can because it's your party.

Todd Juvinall

Waxman is a shameless partisan. He is anti capitalist and a socialist.

Paul Emery


That's a no no according to George (going after the messenger)

George Rebane

PaulE - your making the bald statement of accusation with no facts beyond Waxman making the same accusation with equivalent backing is not attacking the messenger. If Fuld actually did anything wrong for which Waxman et al had proof, Waxman would have hung his ass high. He didn't, and all he could muster was the same baseless accusation that you make. I'm only talking about the accusations here.

SteveF - Not sure where you got sidetracked on the requirement here to "answer questions about hugely complex systems and social interactions in a snappy one liner!" I don't recall your making one; I most certainly didn't.

D. King

Here Paul, in the hearing.


You throw raw meat to any pack and it will get ripped to shreds.

Paul Emery

So George

I'm really surprised that you're so cavalier about supporting Fuld. The reason I got into this is to come up with an example as to why the OWS crowd is so angry. You seem to have an attitude that anything is fair game as long as you get away with it. The facts are undeniable it doesn't matter who says them. He made a half billion dollars while steering his company to ruin losing the savings and investments of countless people and families.

The messenger is insignificant. The truth is real.

George Rebane

PaulE - all I'm saying is that Fuld played the game legally according to the rules set up by the government. Neither his last year compensation or that he gave to his team would have saved Lehman. All the others played the game the same way. That Lehman failed was government policy, the follow on guys should have been allowed to fail also. But again, it was government policy of picking winners and losers that the rest got bailed out. And so it goes.

The Waxmans, Franks, Dodds, ... are on record promoting and cheer leading the entire sorry mess. But being from the Innocent Party, they get a pass.

Paul Emery

So George, it's always the Democrats,

Greg Goodknight

Green Libertarian... in this case, apparently, meaning authoritarian rule when it comes to anything relating to the environmental scare du jour, and limited government when it comes to everything else. Meaning complete control over commerce, with social freedoms.

I'm not sure how different that is from the current left-liberal persuasion.

George Rebane

PaulE 957pm - Not at all; you may want to reread my 'Right/Left' piece. But I will admit that it is almost always the Left - whatever form of collectivism they espouse or party label they operate under, including Republican - and government buttressed corporations that will sing any song that gives them an edge over competition and assures ROI.

These pages have argued for years that large organizations fail because of intrinsic technical reasons (structure, communications, decision latencies) whether they be in the private or public sector. For example, ultimately all very large corporations need to be held up by the guns of the government, else they would collapse in a heap and be eaten up by more nimble and smaller companies. All of this is made possible by voters wanting OPM, and dirtbag politicians who promise it and who need money to keep sucking on the public tit. Being a conservetarian is complex stuff - hard to fit everything into a sound bite.

RL Crabb

"Green libertarian" would probably have as many definitions as the current two parties. As to the environment, I applaud the efforts of Dems and Repubs to clean up the mess that corporations left us with over the last hundred and fifty-odd years. The country is better for it. The current trend of the left to force us away from fossil fuels by manipulating the market may backfire in the long run. If energy becomes so expensive that it holds back any hope of recovery, even the Dem stranglehold on California may crumble. Just ask Gray Davis.

On the libertarian side, people should be able to live their lives without mama gov telling us what to eat, who we can marry, and whether a woman can be forced to have children against her will, at least in the early stages of pregnancy.

As I have maintained for years, it's a balancing act, and there is not one simple ideological solution.

George Rebane

Agreed BobRL about the "balancing act" that will not be handled by a "simple ideological solution". However, I do maintain that 1) it will be handled by an ideology, and 2) conservative/libertarian ideologies are complex (as witnessed how hard they are to understand on these pages). But you can bet the ranch that any ideology based on state imposed altruism will (again) be a catastrophe Man and his environment.

Ben Emery

Just to spice things up and change the direction a bit check out the Libertarian Green state of Vermont balances it political views.

It is called direct democracy.

"On Town Meeting Day, the first Tuesday in March, citizens across Vermont come together in their communities to discuss the business of their towns. For over 200 years Town Meeting Day has been an important political event as Vermonters elect local officers and vote on budgets. It has also been a time for neighbors to discuss the civic issues of their community, state, and nation."

Paul Emery


Let's take an example of how "Green Libertarian" process might work. Let's use hydrolic mining as an example.

In the quest for gold it was found that washing away hillsides of earth was an efficient way to extract gold and led to enormous profits to the mine owners.

Despite undeniable evidence that this was causing enormous harm downstream in the valleys and coastal regions as well as destroying the salmon population the mine owners refused voluntarily to cease operations instead going for the easy profit with no regard to the destruction of the environment and the economic impacts oh those downstream.

A Green Libertarian mine owner would recognize his responsibility and voluntarily change his practices therefore not requiring intervention. However most did not do that which forced the hand of government to intervene and pass laws and regulations restricting their practices on their private lands and yes, restricting liberty for the public good.

It all boils down to personal responsibility first, government intervention second.

Pretty simple I think. Can we at least agree that in this case restrictions and regulations were necessary because of the lack of responsibility shown by the property owners?

D. King

Yes Paul and that morphs into not being able to remove a diseased tree on your own property without permission. You know, one with no bark, branches or leaves.

George Rebane

PaulE, of course govt regs were necessary to stop hydraulic mining. I have tried to pass on Garrett Hardin's ('Tragedy of the Commons') teachings on social behavior, apparently with very little understanding from the Left - yes, it's an ideological thing.

The problem with hydraulic mining, and similar corporate overreaches, is simple social ethics, and it applies to areas beyond 'green'. During hydraulic mining, the state's rivers were a common, anyone could throw anything in there and let the water wash it downstream. Since you had to take the river as it came to you, those downstream would equally have to take the river as it came to them. There was no feedback to create responsibility (cf. Hardin again).

And what makes the whole thing egregious is the 'Rape and Run' mentality of those who screw up the environment of a place they don't have to live in, but others do. Ethics come in naturally when R&R is not possible (i.e. there's corrective feedback), else we need an enlightened government (the collective) to impose rules that take into account the broader utility (here of the farmer who stays, and the miner who may not) of society. The problem comes when govt grows so unwieldy and corrupt that there is no responsibility inducing feedback to the bureaucrats who make the rule - they have their own utility.

Rightist ideologies are willing to risk a more limited set of wisely fashioned rules; historically Leftist ideologies have readily risked adding quick band-aid rules willy nilly with little consideration for what collateral damage they cause. The more rules, the more enforcement required, the bigger the budgets, the larger the agency, the more power, the bigger the pensions, ... - 'F@%k the taxpayers!'

George Rebane

BenE 950am - direct democracy is stable only within small cohorts with a common feedback to the decisions they take. It is unstable within larger cohorts, especially those with the inevitable slop in the feedback from the decisions voted on.

D. King

Direct democracy

Mob rule...let's do that!


Russ Steele

Paul E,

How would a “Green Libertarian” handle our current climate crisis in CA. You point out regulation are good to protect the environment, but what about regulations that have no scientific standing and are not doing what they claim to do and there are some serious side effects.

CARB is trying to shut down, or drive all out of state, all industries that emit CO2 to save the planet from global warming, yet the planet has not warmed for for over 15 year and the temperatures have been declining since 2002. CARB is using the regulatory power of the government to destroy the economy, based on some sloppy scientist with a political agenda. CARB’s destruction will hurt every citizen in the state. They will raise fuel prices which will hurt the poor the most and will eventually drive business from the state.

How would a “Green Libertarian” handle bad environmental regulations that are destroying the California economy?

Ben Emery

George and everyone at RR,
Isn't that what the end game really is for those who support decentralization? Small cohorts governing themselves through self determination. Reduce the size and scope of the federal government, state governments, and make local governments stronger. Allow us to hold those directly accountable in our local and regional governments. Shrink the size of all institutions especially the big two called the democratic and republican party's. Millions of small businesses and the elimination monopolies and trusts that expand their tentacles into multiple industries thus subsidizing specific goods/ services through outside income to eliminate competition.

Perfect example walmart loses money on some items such as soccer equipment but since they make a killing on other items they can undercut the local soccer store by subsidizing the soccer equipment long enough to put the soccer shop out of business.

Hundred and fifty local shops go out of business on average when a Walmart moves into town. Once store vs 150 equals less employment and virtually no competition.

Ben Emery

Explain how regulations when equally applied hurts an economy? Also explain how, why, and who would advocate or get special treatment avoiding equal responsibility.

Ben Emery

D King,
Why do you hammer away at the state you live in when it has consistently led the way for the rest of the nation, the nation you claim is the best that ever was?

Paul Emery


You jump right to the present in our discussion. First of all there are different opinions about Global Warming and I will not jump into that argument for the purposes of not diverting the ethical questions at hand.

First of all I assume you agree that government intervention in stopping hydraulic mining was necessary and proper. Going on that assumption we can agree that what made it necessary was the overwhelming evidence that it was doing irreparable harm and that there was no inclination the mine owners would stop without the force of law.

If we can at least agree on this then we can move forward to the question of global warming and the appropriate response if indeed it is a problem.

To me there are several questions and I'm not going top argue any of them just lay out the groundwork for discussion.

1 Is global warming even happening at all

2 If it is happening does human activity play a significant role .

3. If it does is there a correction in human activity that will significantly aid in slowing it down

4. If there is a path of correction in human activity that will assist in this end will that come voluntarily or will it require the force of law such as what was required with hydro mining ?

5 Even if we acknowledge human activity plays a major roll we may also find that there's nothing significant that can be done and that we'd best button down the hatches and prepare for a future world that is much different than what we have today.

The old Science Fiction parable of an asteroid heading for earth and the world uniting to stop it comes to mind. More times than not all; human effort failed and the course of nature came to the rescue with a special alien not friendly virus or something like that.

Lots of ifs here. but I believe I have outlined a reasonable course of action. Of course if you believe that there is no significant global warming the question path stops after question one. The question is significant and people of good will have opinions of both sides. A consensus is not likely so a resolution will be messy.

Russ Steele


The issue is that the rules are not being applied equally. California is applying the rules and the other western states are not. Therefore, the cost of business is going up for CA business and not in surrounding states, and in Texas. Our former RINO governor tired to get the Western Climate Initiative started to make the rules apply, and many Western states signed up, but when the cost became clear, they abandoned the WCI and now only CA and two Canadian Providence are in the alliance. CARB is going to charge $35 a ton for carbon emissions. When the Chicago Climate Exchange collapsed you could buy a ton of carbon for 5 cents. CA continues down a road that other states have abandoned, and they realize that they will be spending billions of tax dollars they do not have to solve a problem that does not exist. But, we Californians are too stupid to recognize reality and abandon the road to economic ruin.

Russ Steele

Paul E.

I think the Sawyer Decision was the best for the majority, as it held up to all challenges. Now what if the Sawyer decision was applied to the ozone issue, where cities are sending dirty air into the foothills. Could the Sawyer Decision be used to stop San Francisco and Sacramento from the generation of ozones and letting it blow in to the Sierra foothills. Seems to me we should be applying the rules equally. But, then there is the economic issue if San Francisco and Sacramento would have to stop using cars, like miner had to stop hydro mining, and this would have a huge economic impact on the majority. What is your “Green Libertarian” views on the ozone issue, should we apply the Sawyer Decision to ozone?

D. King

Sorry, I can't do this anymore!

Ben Emery

Can you explain how, why, and who would advocate or get special treatment avoiding equal responsibility.

George Rebane

BenE 1125am - Walmart is making a high quality of life possible for millions of poorer Americans. It is applying and passing on the savings available from large scale retailing. And its net effect on jobs is neutral to beneficial, please see
The company is clearly running away with profits since it's stock has appreciated less than 4% per annum over the last 5 years - whoopeee!

Your other thoughts on scaling human enterprises are acceptable and laudible (see related articles herein). We don't yet know how to start rolling back the government buttressed large corporations without tanking the economy faster than is our current rampant socialism. But that should definitely be the aim - 'If it's too big to fail, it's just too big.' But first the tort laws and tax system have to go through a 'fundamental transformation'.

Paul Emery


You raise valid points both about California taking on the brunt of global warming mitigation and the parallels between hydro mining and ozone impacts. This is a very useful discussion and I appreciate it. I need to table my comments for this afternoon because of work commitments but I'll get back to this

Thanks Russ I appreciate your thoughtful insights.

Greg Goodknight

There is nothing to mitigate for cAGW. The CARB search for CO2 bogeymen is a race to the bottom for the economy of California, with no upsides. There will be no new Green Economy with the Golden State in the vanguard, just Californians paying more for less energy with fewer jobs.

Governor Brown, if he wants to be reelected, will be rolling this back within the next three years. His only problem is his core constituency won't believe there is no Global Warming catastrophe in the making until they again have a Global Cooling scare to rally around.

Greg Goodknight

"CA continues down a road that other states have abandoned, and they realize that they will be spending billions of tax dollars they do not have to solve a problem that does not exist."

Cap and Tax is also dead at the Federal level.

There is literally nothing Green about CO2 regulation.

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