Tuesday, August 17, 2010

• Pent-up Pressures Will Explode Into A New Age Of America

The Obama Administration nudges Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to the front of the class to present Pollyanna statements on subjects apparently not fully understood by the President or many of his advisors. Millions react with little more than frowns of confusion.

The skeptical population is exposed to too many scripts on the economy written in rose-colored ink, read through rose-colored lenses. Listening to Geithner, leads one to wonder if he’s read the news lately. Actually seeing him, leads one to doubt that he cares. Down the road, Bernanke does as he’s told by the bankers who have little concern for 17%+ unemployment. Their multi-billion dollar bonuses are thick insulation from the plight of Middle America. Ben Bernanke pontificates from The Fed, pretending that inflation is a curse, when in fact its advance would erode the assets of his bosses on The Street. Inflation’s impact would also be a reduction of the real debt currently burdening homeowners whose perceptions rendered home ownership a panacea.

Hypocrisy is one those more despicable black arts practiced by too many sitting in positions of influence. Self preservation and self interest too easily twists truth from the podiums of power, and confuses a population unfamiliar with the complexities pretended by economists. Today a whole middle class shudders at the long term prospects of its underwater mortgages further sliding into an abyss, as job continue to evaporate.

The public sustains abuse, particularly when the likes of Geithner, and Bernanke continue the reign of power and influence enjoyed by Greenspan, even after having proven complete and absolute incompetence during the creation of the mess. Of course in fairness to Bernanke and Greenspan, we should note that Geithner additionally demonstrated contaminated morals and meager principles in his tax filings. These three mousequeteers of finance and their friends, along with the misguided Congress of the past 20 years fuelled the indebtedness now burdening an anguished middle America. The crisis is the result of burst housing and debt bubbles, which many perceived correctly and some capitalized on. Bernanke, Geithner and Greenspan were not among them. Bernanke, however, was very capable when he effectively misled Congress on behalf of his boss in the White House and his bosses on The Street, to get the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) passed.

Both businesses and consumers are ignoring Bernanke’s continuation of “cheap debt”. If you’re concerned with job security, you’re not running out borrowing for a bigger home. These days, no one wants more debt, it seems. No one, that is, except Washington.

The lamentable uncertainty afflicting every corner of the United States has permeated its business engines. In Board Rooms across the Nation, Accountants are telling their bosses, “hold tight.” CEOs aren’t economists, or fortunetellers. They gleam information from those they have hired, and those which they have confidence in and trust. From behind closed doors, senior executives sense the choking “uncertainty” and they fear it. The result? Corporate America sits on almost $9 trillion in cash and counting.

Another result? Investors purchase Johnson & Johnson 2.95% ten-year notes, preferred over company shares or even over Treasuries with downward sliding yields. Suddenly junk bonds are more delectable than Treasuries? This is a major shift in perceptions. It is also telling of concern for the economy’s future, mid to long term. It speaks volumes of investor confusion about the economic future. Corporate America and Main Street are uncertain, and Washington daily adds to the confusion.

Corporate America would normally look for any excuse to invest. American business is seeking signs from the country’s leadership that it can “get behind.” That is the biggest failure of the current leadership in Washington. No one in the Capital seems capable of leading the charge to the restoration of confidence, least of all the inexperienced President. Ineptitude, indecision, reckless spending and loading up the future with unfathomable debt, pulls the train of hope into reverse.

A panoply of hapless maladroits appear like balls bouncing down a pinball machine, reacting to daily events with little grasp of the most critical expectations of a tired public. Perceptions are powerful forces moving through the country’s social, economic and political fabrics. While stagnating over economic stimulus package decisions, Washington should give energy to psychological stimulus.

Assertive leadership should take forceful steps to reduce administrative bureaucracies, and streamline all levels of the structures providing services, including simplification of the taxation and the health-care systems. Other actions should include biting into the biggest lie of them all - the Social Security and health-care costs which almost 80 million Baby Boomers have been led to expect as they head into retirement. The expectations represent entitlements of $4 trillion which the U.S. economy will be incapable of supporting. There is even more important action for a leader to take. Inspiration.

It is not the nature of the average American to want coddling by big government. America has long demonstrated a propensity for innovation, hard work, creativity, and entrepreneurship. America has progressed through numerous transformations since its founding. The vast majority of jobs lost in the past five years have been in manufacturing, while the most stable corporate environments have been those in the high technology industries.

We may not know what new chemicals or revolutionary algorithms will trigger new industry sectors, but as the future unfolds, America’s destiny will rest on the stimulation of interaction between people and the stimulation of thinking which will galvanize toward new discoveries. Avenues of communication, through the Internet, as well as physical corridors such as high-speed trains between major urban centers will further stimulate connections and energize creativity. Each of these discoveries, large or small, will then need encouragement on risk taking, and entrepreneurship.

Companies, nascent and mature, will require the opposite of the noise which is today effusing from Washington. Leadership means pointing to clear defined goals and energizing Main Street. It means stating confidence in the bearing – clear heading and clear direction. Once such leadership leaps onto the stage, there is pent-up pressure from the cash stockpiles corporations are sitting on. Just as significant is the pent-up creativity and innovation waiting to commercialize the next technological revolution. The psychological stimulus America hungers for, is inspiration.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

• Gang Receives Succor From Federal Judge In Gang-Haven Vancouver

Canada’s Federal Court brings new meaning to coddling criminality. A Federal Judge has handed down a decision that will heretofore ensure that Canadian authorities will address criminal gangs with proper decorum and “quiet” respect.

Federal Court Judge The Honourable Mr. Justice Michael L. Phelan has, in one simple judgment, backhanded Revenue Canada, and the Gang Task Force. Justice Phelan has stymied and impeded any future approach government officers and officials might make on gangs and their members.

Here is the heart of his decision on behalf of all Canadians (Docket: T-555-08, Citation: 2110 FC 448): “THIS COURT ORDERS that the Applicants are awarded fees of $200,000 plus disbursements of $13,986.92. The Applicants are to have their costs of this motion of $3,000 plus disbursements of $500.”

The applicants are Ryan Murphy et al, . . . et al being his UN gang member associates, and the respondent is the Minister of National Revenue, which is in effect the Canadian taxpayer. Canadian taxpayers, . . . the gang thanks you.

Why would a judge of the Federal Court hand down such an astounding decision? Why would the Court in one bang of the gavel render ineffective any future investigations into the countless billions of dollars that are being made illegally and purchasing businesses and estates from Victoria to Halifax? Why would the Federal Court have a problem with Revenue Canada digging into the non-existent sources of income which materialize so readily into so much material and visible wealth? Why would a Federal Judge decree that the Revenue Canada Agency (CRA) should in effect care little about its own personal safety when serving Requests for Information on very well known and dangerous criminals? Why would a Federal Judge have a problem with the CRA investigators teaming up with Gang Task Force members to deliver request letters to gang members?

Justice Phelan’s stated reasoning was that “Police presence was clear and visible and highly obtrusive. The service of the documents was generally carried out late at night, with multiple police cruisers present, lights on and with all the paraphernalia of a police raid.”

So? Are all Canadians now suddenly in fear of being similarly served? Is this what this judge thinks is, . . . protecting Canadians from overt and visible harassment from the police?

Shouldn’t the authorities have some room for common sense? Shouldn’t Revenue Canada be used to launch investigations into illicit earnings? Don’t most Canadians know that the neighbor just down the road with NO visible income, but with the mansion and fleet of cars in the driveway, might be, just might be, in the drug business, for example?

If the authorities have evidence of such, let them have at it, and if they break the law in the process, then charge them, or fire them, or both. It flies in the face of common sense to think that if what occurred in this case is allowed by the judicial system, then we would all see multiple police cars at our doors delivering requests for itemized income sources. Canadians should beware of those pretending to defend them against the beginnings of “slippery slopes.” Canadians should beware of this judge.

A judge pandering to an ephemeral notion that his decision, right off the scale of common sense, protects the public, is a twisted percept rooted in self importance. The police admits that the gang problem in Canada, particularly Vancouver, is out-of-control. Isn’t the Canadian public getting tired of witnessing its police force stifled by the courts?

This judge’s sanctimonious decision panders to some righteous percept that the judiciary grasps elements pertaining to the social order that society at large cannot possibly comprehend. For too many years, the Canadian courts have been ensconced in the belief that they have unique abilities to perceive realities that their broader community is incapable of considering. These former lawyers are wrong.

Their many incomprehensible decisions are not so difficult to fathom. It is not the nature and complexity of the cases that society cannot understand. Canadian society cannot and should not accede to decisions which negatively affect the social setting. Decisions such as the one handed down by Justice Phelan add to the government’s failure to accomplish its most critical purpose – preserving the safety of citizens and their property. When our public schools have pushers selling drugs to 7 and 10 year olds, the system is broken. The courts have much blame to shoulder for this calamity, along with Canada's Parliament.

This court order was not about the prevention of entry onto slippery slopes, but was the result of incompetence on the Federal bench. The decision should be reversed.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Canada Welcomes Illegal Sri Lankan Asylum Seekers

Canada, the world's leader in the immigration business, is about to welcome the first of many ships carrying illegals from Sri Lanka.

The Canadian immigration industry is licking its lips at the imminent arrival of a ship load of illegals, with lawyers lining up to leach off the Canadian taxpayers, and the Courts are making sure that endless days will be cleared from the dockets, so judges can enjoy the stories of downtrodden Sri Lankans well into the next decade.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will pretend to filter the good from the bad, not having a clue about much, since no human being on earth can vouch for the veracity of any documentation presented in pretense on the origins of any asylum seekers. There are few countries in the world where documentation cannot be purchased, names changed, false birth certificates magically created, and new family members materialized.

Canadian taxpayers seem to rest easy in the knowledge that the CBSA will investigate thoroughly, then make sure that Canada becomes the destination of choice for Tamil asylum seekers, replacing the formerly more convenient Australia. Canada will enjoy the unique distinction of being the only country on earth not overly concerned with allowing Tamil Tigers into its midst. Pretending otherwise, is pretending that the CBSA has the capacity to know the difference between terrorists and non-terrorists, and also further pretending that it has the capability of tracking them once they’ve allowed them into the Canadian society at large.

Canada has no way to track anyone. The immigration industry knows this and takes advantage. Daily abuses of the many loopholes in the country’s laws result in the government having no idea of the country's real population.

There are almost 7 billion people on earth, most of whom live in abject poverty, in overpopulated corners of the earth. Canada’s doors seem wide open. Canadians have for generations attempted to build a country that could support itself. For some reason, the current version of Canadian governance is following the Jean Chretien belief that “Anyone who wants to live in Canada, should be allowed to live in Canada.” Such genius thinking now brings a need to increase taxes (such as HST) to feed a rapidly breaking system, . . . a system controlled by too many lawyers who were elected to the National Legislature over the last century.

Canadians should know that their government is under no international obligation to accept a ship arriving under false pretenses. Ottawa should stop aiding and abetting the human smuggling operations of international criminal organizations.

Those pretending that Canada is a wealthy country and that it should “share,” haven’t spent much time with the average Canadian household working multiple jobs, and carrying personal debts second only to their neighbors to the South.

The concern here isn’t even about Tamils, but about an attitude toward the preservation of a fast disappearing lifestyle. Overcrowding was once not a Canadian objective. The clogged arteries of Vancouver and Toronto are evidence that the balance has tipped.

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