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Monday, December 6, 2010

Julian Assange: Scarlett Pimpernel or Pretentious Prig?

Julian Assange: Scarlett Pimpernel or Pretentious Prig?
by
Paul E. Rondeau

   How courageous of Julian Assange to fight for open government as he braves the radiation from his laptop.  We can now all feel safe as WikiLeaks exposes the failures and foibles of the human condition from those in high office to the front lines of the battlefield.
    Gadzooks!  NATO has expanded contingency plans should Russia invade Poland (again) or enslave the Baltics (again).  OK, so the timing of this revelation may be deleterious for relations between the two nations that could turn Earth into nuclear ash.  And, it is probably not that helpful to the security of NATO's 24 democratic nation members.  Julian has calculated that this is a small price to pay.
   Julian Assange imagines himself as Scarlett Pimpernel of the information age bent upon ending the reign of secrets.  But, just what is being exposed?
   WikiLeaks could help dissidents expose terrorists, religious persecution, ethnic cleansing, drug cartels, weapons proliferation, or human trafficking.  But alas, apparently Assange's 'media outlet' never receives secrets about governments or organizations that might violently act to silence him permanently.
However, this self-appointed arbiter of the greater good will enlighten us ignorants to sensitive conversations, duplicity, double dealings, and governments who play both sides against the middle.
   Assange assumes we are surprised that in many places around the world that much -- both good and bad -- can only be accomplished in the shadows? Assange's solution is to undermine the tenuous trust between officials and governments upon which diplomacy and alliances rely.
   Of course, the rest of us never heard of the tragedy and the horror of soldiers mistakenly killing friendlies...including children.  Or, of machete wielding cutting of hands, raping women, and intentionally killing their own people or neighbors over food, territory, or just plain power.   Sir Julian will end such things by undermining diplomacy and trust between the longest running continuous democracy mankind has ever seen and other nations.  Yes, that's the ticket!
   Knowing nothing of personal sacrifice in defending freedom beyond a hard drive crashing, Assange endeavors to enlighten us that innocents are killed in war, sometimes by a soldier surrounded by death and destruction who becomes indifferent to causing death and destruction.  His contribution is to portray the tragic exception as the rule without context.
  Of course, should he be detained or arrested, Assange threatens to release the cyber equivalent of a 'thermonuclear device' of unexpurgated classified files sure to endanger the lives of innocents   When it comes to his noble fight for open government and a better world the sacrifice of innocent life is justified in defending his personal life from legal threat.
   Perhaps Mr. Assange imagines himself as the Robert Redford character in the movie Sneakers.  I see no similar courage nor character. I see no cyber-Robin Hood, Scarlet Pimpernell, nor Zorro.   I do see a crippled intellect blind to any negative consequences of his actions.  Meanwhile, media elites give 'journalism awards' to a convicted computer hacker.
  If Assange offered a solution rather than just further mucking up the works, he might amount to more than a self-aggrandized pretentious prig.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Helen Thomas, Israel, and Studied Ignorance

Helen Thomas, Israel, and Studied Ignorance
by
Paul E. Rondeau 

Recently, the matriarch of the White House press corps Helen Thomas  said Israeli Jews are "occupiers" and should go home to "Germany and Poland." These ill-conceived remarks sparked a firestorm  finally forcing the veteran journalist into 'immediate retirement' at age 89.
   But her remarks are far beyond just politically insensitive, they are conveniently and grossly ignorant.  It is too bad that the current administration and liberal media seem intent to keep the rest of us no better informed.
   First, there is scientific consensus that Hebrews are a West Semitic people indigenous to Palestine.  Their roots in the The Levant (lands at the eastern end of the Mediterranean) date back to the Bronze Age, circa 3,000-4,000 BC.
   Second, Palestine was never a nation.  It was little more than a loosely defined geographic area with no central government reaching from Egypt to Turkey comprised of various people, city states and nomadic tribes.
   After the breakup of the Egyptian Empire, the Hebrews consolidated western Palestine around 1,000 BC into the nation of Israel, i.e. the Kingdoms of David and Salomon. (There is academic argument whether Israelites actually conquered Canaan (Palestine) as described in the Book of Joshua or simply expanded via migration.)
   But from about 1,000 to 500 BC, Jewish dominion stretched from the Euphrates in northern Syria to the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea, over 1,600 years before Islam was even founded.  (A religion itself birthed in multiple political-religious assassinations and civil wars after the death of Mohammad.)
   Neither Arabs nor Persians/Iranians have any claim to the land known as Israel.  Persians, Arabs, Greeks, Romans, and later the Turks (Ottomans), British and French are all Johnny-come-lately interlopers, invaders or traders in comparison to the Hebrews.
   If anti-Semite Thomas had only said "go home to Africa" from which humanity's first migrations flowed, at least her remarks could have been more intelligent although still insulting.  Instead, she told Jews to go home to "Poland and Germany," epicenters of the holocaust. A ridiculously dishonest statement both politically and historically.

It's (not) the land...stupid!
  
   Mideast strife is about religion, not geography.  When the United Nations mandated a homeland for Jews a fraction the size of the original nation of Israel that existed for 500 years, the U.N. simultaneously divided Jerusalem and created a new nation named (Trans-) Jordan for Arab Palestinians.
   Nevertheless, the Palestine Post reported in 1948 that within 24 hours of the formal reconstitution of Israel it was invaded by every Arab nation on its borders, "Moslem armies from the south, east, and north." That violence has continued unabated for seven decades. 
   Today, the Hamas government of Gaza stated mission is to replace the Jewish state with an Islamic state.  Iran simply wants to wipe Israel off the map.   That would tend to make one a bit testy one would think.
  Such hate is aided and abetted by intellectual posers like Ms. Thomas and even our own President who falsely espouse that  Jews are "occupying" Arab peoples and places holy to Islam while, in reality, Hebrews in Palestine are the equivalent of our Native Americans.
   Jerusalem was the center of Jewish culture for centuries before it was taken by the sword and Israel became a military district of the Arab Caliphate circa 630 AD.   Muslims built the Dome of the Rock, the third holiest site of Islam, over Judaism's most holy place, the Temple Mount.
  Jews believe God gathered dust at the Temple Mount to create mankind.  Jews built the first temple to God in this place. Today, Muslim countries would consider Israel rebuilding their Holy Temple in their own capital on Temple Mount as desecration of the Dome of the Rock, as an act of war.
   No one dares mention that the Dome of the Rock itself is an artifact of a millennia old act of war against Jews that included total desecration of  Judaism's most holy sight and religious cleansing of all Jews from the Jewish capitol of Jerusalem.

None are So Blind...

   Activists and media blinded by ideology condemn Israel for the deaths resulting from Israel intercepting an uninspected 'freedom' flotilla' carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza.   Yet video shows IDF forces being attacked with steel bars, knives, and stun grenades.
   Reuters News doctors pictures to crop out the the knife in the hands of  "peace activist" attackers and pools of blood from wounded Israeli soldiers prior to any shots being fired.  (Only discovered because a blogger  noticed the difference in photos published in Turkey versus those released by Reuters for U.S. consumption.)
   They choose to be blind to Gaza electing a government dedicated to purging Judaism from Israel.  They are blind to Islamic terrorists acting with impunity from within Gaza's borders to strike against Israel. They are blind to Hamas as a vassal of Iran, an Islamic nation seeking seeking nuclear weapons that is publicly committed to Israel's annihilation.
   It has been said that a blind man will still not see a light even when shined directly into his eyes.  Perhaps this explains why both Thomas and President Obama lack the intellectual honesty to even see the simple critical issue:
   If Islamic terrorists lay down their weapons, Mideast violence could cease to exist.  If Israel lays down its weapons before that time, Israel would cease to exist.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

ENDA: Prelude to a Nightmare

ENDA: Prelude to a Nightmare
by
Paul E. Rondeau

The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service summarizes the intent of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) introduced by Rep. Barney Frank as "prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity by covered entities (employers, employment agencies, labor organizations, or joint labor-management committees)." CRS notes that religious organizations, but not religious people, are exempted as is the military.
   Advocates claim that heterosexuals--that is the other 97% of America-- are also protected under the term sexual orientation. Theoretically true but any benefit that might inure to heterosexuals is obviously incidental out of pragmatic political necessity.  ENDA's sole purpose is protect and advance homosexuality, all of its variant behaviors, and the sexual worldview called gender identity.  In short, ENDA is an employer's (and society's) nightmare.


Is ENDA intellectually honest?
 
ENDA  is the result of powerful forces that desire to further codify variant sexual behaviors disguised as minority rights. (Hence the gay-friendly media repetition ad nauseum of terms like gay rights, sexual rights, and sexual minority. It doesn't really matter that pedophiles, rapists and so on also qualify as sexual minorities. Attaching words like minority and rights to gay serves the "civil rights rhetoric" political purpose.)
   What is intellectual honesty? Well, supporters pretend ENDA is anchored in the "universally accepted understanding" that sexual orientation is normal, innate and immutable, i.e. the same as race or ethnicity. However, when gay supporters say universally accepted,  they mean by the most intelligent, enlightened, important people: i.e. themselves.
   Even after torturing science for three decades with millions of dollars of targeted research, not one recognized association of scientific, medial, or mental health professions says more than, "We don't know for sure what causes homosexuality."
   No matter. Led by the almost militantly pro-gay American Psychological Association, many mental health associations take the oxymoronic position, "We don't know what causes it but we know it is normal and can't be changed." (The APA tends not to disclose that they proactively make sure that any research that may run counter to their position is unwelcome, unfunded, and unpublished.)  With political cover like this, gays co-opt and spend the legitimate civil rights political capital of African-Americans and other minorities as if everyone knows it to be true.
   But forget that sexual orientation is not proven to be innate like race.  The whole "born that way" debate is a red herring anyway.  Pedophiles also claim to be born that way. The innateness debate is contrived to foster  sympathy and distract from the real issue: "What is healthy sexual behavior in a healthy society?"

And the Real Question is...

Should sexual behaviors and identities be singled out for special protection by ENDA?  Other employees can be terminated for perfectly legal sexual behaviors like adultery, affairs with coworkers, and pornography.  Employees can also be terminated for just not fitting in.  This may be because of trivial reasons like being perceived as a sloppy dresser, ugly, weird, or socially awkward.
   None of these reasons threaten anyone else's right.  But LGBT behavior is not trivial and may encroach on others' rights.  That is why gay activists never ever talk about LGBT sexual behavior. They insist that LGBT rights are not about sexual behavior.  But, there is no such thing as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transsexual without the identifying sexual behavior.  Is there a thief without the act of stealing?   This is indisputable.  ENDA is about controversial sexual behavior and alleged sexual identities.  That is the intellectual honesty.
   Forcing acceptance of this behavior into any and all workplaces may not be inconsequential to an employer's corporate values or personal religious beliefs that ENDA treats as irrelevant.

ENDA: Protecting a Plethora of Sexual Personas

   Although gender identity is thrown around in serious tones by academics and activists as some sort of scientific enlightenment, gender identity is just a sexual worldview that cannot be proven but much more importantly, never disproven. ENDA codifies "gender identity, perceived or real," as a protected class. So how do social engineers define these so-called gender identities?

   Gender Identify is an ideology that what humanity accepts as male or female gender in all of recorded history are merely social constructs in no way related to biological sex. These social constructs are prisons for a person's real; gender identity. The root "evidence" to support this bizarre enigma seems to be that in some non-western cultures, eunuchs are regarded as a third gender.
   An objective person would rightly say "So what? Some cultures still ritually mutilate prepubescent girls." But hold your horses: three genders is nowhere near enough for ENDA activists. ENDA would protect a gender identity such as a man who identifies as a lesbian who insists he was mistakenly born in a male biological body who gets a sex change so 'she' can have sex with other women as a woman. Did you follow that? It describes a true sexual reassignment surgery (SRS) case even though it sounds more like a mental illness.
  Oops...that's because it is.  ENDA says sexual psychopathology is a right.

From Sexual Psychopathology to Protected Class

The American Psychiatric Association defines Gender Identity Disorder as a serious and treatable psychopathology--as it does transsexualism (Gender Dysphoria). Nevertheless, with the stroke of a legislative pen, two sexual psychopathologies are transformed by ENDA into a federally protected class status with the burden to accommodate it placed on employers.
   Imagine how many gender identities that can be concocted by mixing male and female biological bodies with lesbian, transvestite, cross-dresser, homosexual, eunuch, intersexual, transsexual, and bisexual. I count 16 just combining two at a time: male or female biology with eight sexual behaviors.
   Simply put, ENDA ushers in sexual anarchy in the workplace as a federal right. Employers must accommodate a dizzying combination of biological sex, sexual preference, and sexual identity.
  1. How do you accommodate the difference between transvestism,cross-dressing, transsexualism, intersexuality, and transgenderism? Is there any?  How about a transvestite lesbian in a male body? 
  2. Which restroom, changing area, or locker room are they legally entitled to use?  Both, neither, depends?
  3. The hiring decision is ultimately subjective and often goes beyond a candidate's skills and experience. Even if sexual orientation or gender identity is not a hiring issue, do you risk legal costs and potential liability if you hire the candidate you believe is overall a better fit for your team? Can you even prove you don't discriminate under ENDA unless you purposely do hire LGBT people as evidence?
  4. K-12 schools are also workplaces.  Just what will Billy and Sally's cross-dressing transsexual kindergarten teacher be wearing to class tomorrow?   The day after?  
  5. What must we 'teach' Billy and Sally about their 'teacher?'
   How about the rest of your employees? Are female employees (you know, the kind as understood for millennia) forced to accept a male who identifies as female, bisexual, or some other identity in their changing room? Is providing separate 'but equal' facilities to accommodate a cornucopia of gender identities discriminatory? Will other employees sue you claiming that their own religious, free speech, or association rights are being infringed? Or will valuable employees just leave?
   Who the hell knows?  But, if you get in the way of their ENDA gender identity "rights," you can be sure their ACLU or EEOC attorney will be happy to educate you in court. ENDA is an employer's nightmare.

The Elephant in the Room: Gays are Affluent, Educated, and Powerful

Making allowances for these disorders, vis-a-vis American Disabilities Act, might make sense if gay activists were seeking protection based on disability. But just the opposite is true: gays insist that they are perfectly normal, it is society that is sick. That is why they need protection! (Is Nurse Ratched in the building? Cuckoo, cukcooo, cuckooooo.)
   Research published in The American Journal of Economics and Sociology concludes that "Gay activists paint a bleak picture of employment discrimination against homosexuals" but "the relative success of gays suggests that occupational discrimination against them is either mild and ineffective or that it is counterbalanced by other factors. Studies actually show that GLBT Americans are twice as likely to have graduated from college, twice as likely to have an individual income over $60,000 and twice as likely to have a household income of $250,000 or more."
   That puts gays among the most affluent, educated, and influential in America. Not bad for an oppressed minority who likens its gay rights movement to Africa-Americans!
   African-Americans rank near the bottom in affluence, education, and influence, have no choice whatsoever on being in or out of any metaphorical closet, and make no demands insisting that their identifying associated controversial sexual behavior is a right that society must redefine family, gender, and morality in order to accommodate.
   Historically, gays had to be "closeted" because they were bullied and got hassled by police in bars and bathhouses that frequently had drug traffic and glory holes for anonymous public sex. Whole black families were kidnapped, auctioned off piecemeal as property, not paid a penny for a lifetime of forced labor, barred from voting and education, counted as a fraction of a human, had to sit in the back of the bus, and could only eat, drink, or even relieve themselves at places designated for "coloreds."
   Other than that, the similarities in the gay and Black struggles for civil rights are truly striking!

Society is Not Simply the Sum of Individual Rights.

   Gays have the right to feel entitled to ENDA's enumerated rights and protections. Likewise, the rest of our society has the legitimate right to say "NO" just as it has to presumed rights like polygamy, incest, pederasty, and underage sex.
   The very nature of all laws is to prohibit (discriminate against) certain behaviors and protect or promote others. We seem to have forgotten that laws don't just protect the minority from the majority.  Most laws are required to protect the majority from the minority whether that be criminals, corrupt politicians...or even groups who fervently believe their presumed rights outweigh everyone else's.
   Society by its nature is defined by but also defines acceptable behavior, values, and norms. Society as a whole has the power and duty to arbitrate the rights and freedoms to which certain individuals (or groups) perceive they are entitled. Unless Society has rights too, all that is left is the anarchy of competing individual rights. Society ceases to function.  And without the protection of Society, individual rights vanish. All that is left is the rule of force.
   So what makes LGBT behavior and no-rules gender identity so important to society that the Barney Franks of the world intend to enforce them as a right and curtail the rights of others in the process?

   You already know:  money, education and power.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Financial Crisis? It's the People, Stupid.

The documentary Generation Zero is causing quite a stir.  Its preview drew gasps and rave reviews at CPAC in February.   Hannity at Fox devoted an entire program to it.  Bloggers (without seeing it) have already labeled it everything from a plot to get conservatives to the polls to 'disaster capitalism' to outright 'bullsh*t.'

It brings home the point that blaming the multi-trillion dollar financial meltdown on banks, the Fed, capitalism, Wall Street, or political parties ignores the obvious.  Governments don't make policy decisions like the Community Reinvestment Act.  Agencies like Fannie and Freddie don't inflate the mortgage and housing markets with whimsical financing.  Wall Street does not dip its snout ever deeper into ethereal derivatives and high risk strategies.

None of these alleged culprits brought the world to the literal brink of financial collapse.  Not really. No institution, no economic model, no political party, no industry sector, no financial system, and no government has ever made a decision or taken an action.  Only people do. 

Generation Zero follows the radical cultural shift to immediate gratification, self entitlement, and disdain for moral and fiscal traditions starting with the Baby Boomer generation.  The trend is global  and accelerating with generations X and Y.

Baby Boomers (of which I am one) all over the world have mostly been in charge for the last couple of decades.  That includes the leadership of developed nations as well as world class corporate disasters like Enron, Worldcom, and AIG.

Although one can certainly argue that this does not make the global financial mess that generation's fault, it is no matter--there is plenty of blame to go around.

The cradle of western civilization is on the verge of bankruptcy with a national debt nearing 125% of Greece's total Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  At its current rate, debt that Greece already can no longer afford will double in less than six years.  Nevertheless, private and government employees are striking and rioters are taking to the streets in protest of government cuts to bring their annual budget deficit of 12.7% GDP down to 'only' 8.7%.  (Most say Greece will be lucky to achieve a 2% reduction.)

U.S. Deficit Spending Jumps 500% since 2009
For comparison, from 2001-2008 U.S. national debt rose a dismaying 13 points from 56.5% of GDP to 69.2%.  But just since 2009 America's total debt has rocketed to 94.3% of GDP with annual deficit spending jumping a whopping 500% to 10% of GDP from the previous eight year average.

Including the six years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, deficit spending remained at about 2% GDP. Critics rightfully screamed that Bush was a big spender.  It was true.  But then how in the world does one describe the current administration;  a government that has already quadrupled deficit spending and added $2 trillion in federal debt in the first year?

The only other time in history that America's debt got to 100% or more of GDP was in WWII when annual deficit spending peaked at  28% of GDP.  Even when the government tried to spend us out of the Great Depression of the thirties, annual deficits stayed below 5% of GDP.  I guess we all had different ideas about debt back then.

Redefining Fiscal Responsibility
Saving is out.  Sliding ever deeper debt but at a slower rate is heralded as fiscal responsibility.  Maybe that is why the interest on our current national debt has reached over $1.2 billion per day and now consumes 11% of our nation's annual budget.

Maybe 11% of the budget seems manageable but it equals $380 billion annual tax dollars to pay nothing but interest on previous overspending.  By 2015 America's national debt is projected to grow another 30% approaching $20 trillion.  The CBO projects interest will explode to 11% of GDP by 2035.  But each year Congress circumvents Pay-as-you-Go legislation by raising the debt ceiling.

It gets worse.  About 42% of the federal budget goes to Social Security and subsidized health care.  The Trustees of Social Security and Medicare have issued a warning to the public for the third consecutive year.

The Medicare Health Insurance trust fund will be broke in seven years.  Medicare revenues from payroll taxes (FICA) will then fall short by 19% and grow to a 50% deficit within another 18 years.

Social Security is currently solvent only if you count Treasury IOUs as money? Forget about 10 or 20 years from now.  There is no cash in the Social Security Trust Fund account today.  Not one dime.  Zip. Nada.  Zilch. The big goose egg.  Just $1.2 trillion of 'special' Treasury bonds.

Our national debt.is so bad that our government even owes itself money.

Through stones at 'Capitol Hill' or 'Wall Street' if you must.  It is not likely to do much good. No lifeless federal building or mechanical ticker tape ever made a decision. It is people that we elect and allow to stay in office.  Corporate America is made of people.

No, it is not someone else or some lifeless legal entity that drives our society's culture and values.  It is people.  We are those people.


We have met the enemy and it is us.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Death of Common Sense Ruled 'Natural Causes'


Death of Common Sense Ruled 'Natural Causes'
by
Paul E. Rondeau

Today we discovered the passing of an old friend, Common Sense, who had been ill for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since both his birth and death records can no longer be found in government files.
    He will be remembered as having cultivated long standing but now discredited teachings such as:
- No one owes you anything;
- Don't spend more than you can earn;
- Life isn't always fair;
- Maybe it was my fault (and his infamous corollary Maybe I don't know everything.)
    It seems few will miss him.  Critics contend that Common Sense clung to outmoded principals.  "Simplistic ideas like 'adults, not children, are in charge' may be what people believed in the Dark Ages," said one critic, "but society is much more sophisticated today.  We now know that the Earth isn't flat."
   News accounts report that Common Sense's first visible signs of deterioration coincided with results of well-intentioned regulations to 'protect freedoms and promote tolerance' in public schools.  These facilitated much needed new protections such as charging a 6-year-old boy with sexual harassment for kissing a female classmate.  Teachers and student clubs could also now encourage acceptance of alternative sexual behaviors regardless of parents' wishes or the associated health dangers.
   Common Sense's health grew weaker with each new pretzel logic incident. Like when the State required schools to get parental consent to administer an aspirin and also ruled that children who were pregnant.and seeking to end their baby's life through a medical procedure called abortion needed to be protected by not involving their parents.
   His mood brightened when he thought he might have the answer to this paradox:  Perhaps many of these pregnancies were caused by incest and the students really were being protected by not informing the parents?  With some diligent research (almost an entire thirty seconds worth!) he confirmed that 99% of abortions stem from consensual sex and only 1% are reported as due to rape or incest combined.  Common Sense's mood once again darkened.
   One teacher who would only speak off the record said, "His depression really accelerated when sex and gender were determined to be totally unrelated and taught that way to children in K-12 schools.  He said he  he had done his best to serve humanity for a thousand years but now felt trivialized and marginalized.  I think it pushed him over the edge."
   The Superintendent of Progressive Public Education stated the accepted view for the record, "Common Sense obviously suffered from a severe mental illness.  He just didn't like being ignored.  Of course we feel sorry for him but today, it is our civic duty to protect our students from unscientific dangerous ideas like his."
   One friend of Common Sense who spoke on the condition of anonymity believes the final straw came when Tolerance was elevated to the transcendent virtue governing all others.  "I think Common Sense finally lost the will to live when the practice of his teachings became defined as ignorance and hate speech," he offered quietly.
   Political Correctness, also known as PC, was at first thought to be a person of interest in the death.  However, when questioned PC enlightened the investigators that Common Sense was obsolete and did not have the vision of the anointed.  Chastised investigators quickly realized that Common Sense died of natural causes and dismissed any need for further questions.
   Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, his wife, Moderation, his daughter, Personal Responsibility, and his son, Tradition.  No media accounts note their passing.
   He is survived by four estranged cousins: I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, I Have No Shame, and I'm A Victim.  They issued this joint statement:  "It would not be appropriate to hold a funeral that may offend someone. We encourage condolences for Common Sense to be expressed silently." 


Editor's Note:  Those wishing to commemorate Common Sense should speak-up while they still can.


Monday, February 8, 2010

CHASE BANK: Let Them Eat Cake!

Flash back to October, 2008.  The U.S. financial system is threatening to collapse.  JP Morgan Chase takes  $25 billion in TARP funds in exchange for preferred stock.  Jump forward to June, 2009.  Chase wants to pay pack the rescue funds plus interest equal to approximately 4% APR.

“We accepted TARP funding because we believed it was in the best interests of our financial system and our country, even though our company did not need the capital,”claims their CEO in a memo to employees.  That seems true enough.  Chase reported profits of $5.6 billion in 2008.


But that's good, right?  They suddenly had an extra $25 billion in capital laying around courtesy of the American taxpayer that they did not need!  Chase could dedicate 100% of the TARP money to extend credit to small businesses and average citizens to help get the economy moving again. 

You know any small business or individuals out there that got a loan from Chase at 4%?  No?  Well, I bet you do know Chase credit card holders who rates were jacked up to 19%,  25%, and more.  Chase also took their low APR promotional "balance transfer" rates and jacked up the repayment schedule from 2% per month to 5%.  A $500 monthly payment was suddenly $1,250 month: a 250% cash-flow hit to consumers while unemployment was skyrocketing.

JP Morgan Chase:  The Good Neighbor Who Just Wants to HelpSince JPM just wants what's best for the country, then Chase Mortgage must be helping the millions of Americans struggling on the mortgage side, right?  They even say so in this January 2010 letter they sent out to thousands of homeowners who were 60 days behind on their mortgage payments;


"Your house is your home.  We want to keep it that way...call us today so that we can help turn things around.  We need to talk--call (800) 848-9380 today....One of our loan specialists will work with you to determine your options."

The neighborly cover letter adds a P.S. " The enclosed legal letter outlines, in detail, your current situation... " But what does the attached letter say?

"Acceleration Warning (Notice of Intent to Foreclose)...If you fail to cure the default within 32 days, we will acclerate the maturity of you loan, terminate your credit line...and commence foreclosure proceedings....If this happens, Chase... will [also] be entitled to collect...attorney's fees....We have no obligation to accept less than the full amount owed....While the loan remains in default, we will...visit your property at regular intervals...


Well, my, my.  Chase really is just being a good neighbor. You can't get much more friendly than that.  If you are unemployed and delinquent on your mortgage, they will regularly come out to visit you without being invited!  (Not actually you but the property and you're there too so it's kinda the same.) 

Meanwhile, just call the 800 number for help. (Well yes, it actually connects you to the collections department--but that's just semantics.)  Their 'loan specialists' is actually the collections department but they will help you and give you options.  (OK, so they really just compile a lot more information about you, your friends, and family, your employer and finances to help them with even more collection calls.)

They will help you get a loan modification if you qualify.  (Of course, you must agree up front that any information you give them will be used to help Chase collect a debt.)  But hey, what are friends for?

The bank might even 'help' you with a loan modification like they did a senior programmer in hard hit Michigan who has been unemployed for 18 months:  The bank agreed to modify his mortgage by pushing back the two payments he was behind.  In turn, they would just increase his $900 mortgage payment that he can't make to $1,200 per month.  Now why didn't he think of that?

Or, Chase may go the extra mile to help like they did for the executive in Virginia who had never missed a payment in over six years but hadn't had a paycheck in 14 months. He paid early withdrawal penalties from his IRA in order to make mortgage payments to Chase payment until recently. 

When he called to tell Chase that he scraped enough money together to make a payment, he asked for just a little help like their letter said: Could Chase just waive the two months of late payment fees that had accumulated?

Chase to the rescue!  Well, not quite.  They wouldn't waive their own arbitrary late fees but they would be happy add them on to what he owed to the mortgage.  Oh, and by the way, even though the account would now only be past due 8 days, they would still exercise "their right' to call him every 5 days.


JPMorganChase:  Never a Truer Patriot
Well, that's just business, right?  If super patriot Chase accepted $25 billion of taxpayer dollars just for the best interest of our country, they must have some patriotic plan for the rest of us taxpayers.


The New York Times gained access to a confidential conference call just four days after JPM accepted the money.  When a senior JPM executive was asked about the impact on lending, he explained the real plan: “What we do think (the $25B] will help us do is perhaps be a little bit more active on the acquisition side or opportunistic side for some banks who are still struggling....I think we have an opportunity to use that $25 billion in that way and obviously depending on whether recession turns into depression or what happens in the future, you know, we have that as a backstop.”

Oh, so JPMorganChase never planned to use the money to loan to small businesses, stimulate the economy, or help the housing market.  JPM would use it to buy up other companies or keep it for their own rainy day fund.

So JPMorganChase for suffering taxpayers who actually put up the $25 Billion is this:  Let them eat cake.

Marie Antoinette would have been proud. 

Monday, February 1, 2010

Gay Community or Gay Cult?


Do self-proclaimed gay leaders use cult-like messaging to keep those with same-sex attraction from questioning themselves or the cause?

A cult is defined "as a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols." Another definition is: "any system for treating human sickness that originated by a person [or persons] usually claiming to have sole insight into the nature of disease..."

Gays certainly hold their sex as sacred above all else: tradition, faith, common sense.   And they certainly claim that only they have divine insight into how this is all normal.  Everybody is else is ignorant, homophobic, or both.  Sound familiar?

Only after it becomes known that a group does something wildly illogical do we call them a 'cult'. Meanwhile, the cult members remain convinced that it is they who are the enlightened ones and they see the rest of us as lacking. 

For example, having unlimited anonymous sex in bath houses even though you are killing yourselves.  Or, insisting that even with a plethora of cancers, STDs, mental health issues, and substance abuse higher than anyone else, that homosexual behavior is healthy and normal.  Does this sound logical?

People choose their own propaganda to support what they need to believe. And an isolated compound is not necessary to become a victim of that propaganda. You can be alone in a crowd.

Thirty-nine people in San Diego killed their "earthly containers" in order to be taken up in a space ship hiding in the tale of the Hale Bopp comet. Only then did the public know Heavens Gate as a cult.

I lived near a idyllic ski town north of Montreal called Morin Heights. A decade later, friends called to tell me that five people there had burned themselves to death. A video left behind explained that they believed that this transported them to be reborn on a planet called Sirius. More than 60 other members of Order of the Solar Temple members repeated the bizarre ritual in Quebec, France and Switzerland over the next three years.

See if you recognize these rhetorical drums beaten 24-7 by gay leaders:
  •  DESTINY: You are born homosexual. Being gay is your destiny. Be proud and embrace it.
  •  LOVE: Only total affirmation of homosexual behavior is love. Anything less from family and friends is homophobic. Anything less from you is denial and 'internalized homophobia'.
  •  BELONGING: Don't try to leave homosexuality: you will fail and you will harm yourself. You will be a traitor to yourself, your gay friends, and the cause.
  •  TRUTH: Only gay leadership know Truth because they have the vision of the anointed. Gay worldview must be forced on others because society is sick, not gays.
How are these messages any different than a cult?

If you convinced that you were trapped in homosexuality with no hope for change, no matter how unhappy, conflicted, and unhealthy this made your personal life, what propaganda might you need to believe?

And, after doing what you are told, embracing your homosexuality, and still not feeling happy and healthy, who might you blame?



Sunday, January 24, 2010

What's the Big Deal about Ex-Gays?

  
What's the Big Deal about Ex-Gays?
by
Paul E. Rondeau

The small, all volunteer organization PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays) is once again making national news. They are supporting a shareholder's resolution at Disney (yes, that Disney) asking the media giant to include former homosexuals under their anti-discrimination policies based on sexual orientation.
   PFOX has successfully taken powerful school systems like Montgomery County, MD, ( a suburb of Washington, DC) to federal court for pushing unsafe and untrue sexuality classes on their students.
   PFOX brought mega-union National Education Association to the Superior Court of DC for blocking PFOX for years from even exhibiting at NEA national conferences while welcoming gay groups to train teachers.
   In order to continue to ban PFOX from the national conferences, NEA argued that they could discriminate against PFOX and ex-gays due to their right to freedom of association.  PFOX did not get to exhibit in the future but forced NEA to admit in court what PFOX already knew: the NEA and gay activist groups like GLSN and PFLAG that target K-12 schoolchildren are in bed together.
   Something else happened that the NEA forgot to mention in press releases:  The Court ruled that ex-gays are also protected from discrimination by the same laws that apply to gays.  PFOX forced the Goliath union out of the closet and set legal precedent--not a bad's day's work!
   PFOX is the only ex-gay group in the nation to sign-on in support of California's marriage amendment. They participate in press conferences against federal hate crimes legislation.  Fox News reported that PFOX also has confronted the mighty American Library Association.
   (The ALA vets and recommends books for inclusion in K-12 libraries. They routinely reject anything written by or about ex-gays. Meanwhile, children's books on gay penguins, lesbian mommies, and details of homosexual initiation with  an older man get their imprimatur.) 
   Why is this small Virginia-based group taking on mega-issues, mega-unions, and now Fortune 500 companies when ex-gay ministries like Exodus have walked off the public policy playing field? (PFOX is neither a therapeutic or counseling organization.)
  Both the Left and the Right scratch their heads about PFOX. The Left wonders, "Who do they think they are and how can we silence them?" Some on the Right wonder, "Who do they think they are and what are they doing?"
   What do marriage amendments, hate crimes, school curricula, and library books have to do with the PFOX mission of supporting and advocating for 'ex-gays?'  Most of all, the Right doesn't comprehend this "bizarre idea" that ex-gays should be covered by sexual-orientation anti-discrimination policies.
   To answer the first, all the ex-gay ministries and support in the world will not keep up with K-12 schools, library books, and teacher unions that continue to promote homosexuality as normal and healthy to millions of children each day. 
   Second, gay activists target ex-gays for ridicule, economic harassment, and political silencing.  Any discussion of successfully changing one's homosexual attraction blows down the "born that way" Ponzie scheme.  Gays unleash a spew of vitriol denouncing the bigotry such 'hateful' speech. What hateful speech?  Well, just that ex-gays exist.  If ENDA, Hate Crimes, same-sex marriage, and the rest of gay legislative laundry list become law, the next step is hateful speech becomes hate speech.  All ex-gays will become legally persona non grata
   And if just saying change of sexual orientation for some is possible becomes illegal hate speech, ex-gay ministries who support change will close-up shop.  It's not rocket science.  All professional therapeutic or research support to overcome unwanted same-sex attraction will become unethical if not illegal.  (Conspiracy theory?  Ridiculous?  Just check Germany where gay militants fought to revoke an M.D.'s license for just that.)
   In the last few years, radicals in the American Psychological Association almost succeeded in banning all  therapeutic support  for change as unethical--regardless of the patient's expressed desire.  Only pressure and threat of litigation from ex-gays and their supporters demanding that a patient's rights to self-determination was more important than APA political ideology defeated the gay gambit.


Not Hard to Imagine:  The Future is Already Here.

A Christian photographer passes on doing a 'gay wedding.' A single girl renting out an extra bedroom chooses not to have a lesbian roommate. They are sued, fined and ordered by the court to sensitivity training
   Did the gay complainants have ample other choices?  Doesn't matter.  The constitutionally enumerated right to religious freedom of the defendant?  Does not matter.  Private property and personal rights of the young woman?  Does not matter.
   eHarmony offers match-making based based on years of psychological research on successful heterosexual marriage.  It is not a generic dating site.  It has no research on same-sex relationships.  Doesn't matter. Ditto, Ditto.  The founder is an evangelical Christian.  Doesn't matter. More likely, that is exactly what did matter.
   A New Jersey gay filed for discrimination.  eHarmony is not found guilty but to finally end months of litigation, the owner agrees to launch a homosexual matching service called Compatible Partners.  Sorry, not good enough. Gays in California then filed a class action suit claiming a 'separate but equal [dating site]' is still discriminatory.
   What does matter is that these are not future events. They already happened.  Pastors in Canada and Europe have already faced hate speech prosecutions.  Ex-gay supporters have been dismissed by gay supporters.  Obama's 'safe school' czar is a past drug abuser and pro-gay zealot.  Oh, didn't hear any of this in the media?  Surely just an journalistic oversight on crowded news days for the last decade.
   Jurisprudence does not exist in a vacuum. What is the legal trajectory after ENDA, Hate Crimes, and wide spread same-sex marriage?  The obvious result would be further  forced compliance by the courts to validate homosexuality in every manner .
  Where would this leave those who want to leave homosexuality?   Or ex-gays?  Or un-affirming parents or teachers?  Is it so hard to imagine discrimination complaints followed by court ordered therapy to cure 'homophobia'? ( Remember, whether or not charges of homophobia  are untrue...doesn't matter!)
  That's where public policy and PFOX intersect.  The underlying precept to pro-gay policies is that there is no such thing as ex-gays. This implies that anyone, including ex-gays, who believes change is possible are either mentally ill or prejudiced against gays.
   Policies that protect the 'right' to be gay must also protect the right to become ex-gay.   If leaving homosexuality were mere science fiction, why don't gays ignore protection for ex-gays as meaningless?  Instead, they fight tooth and nail against any protection for ex-gays as a conspiracy to discriminate against gays, i.e. ex-gay is discrimination..  Hence, PFOX's strategic advocacy for inclusion of ex-gays in sexual orientation policies.  Q.E.D.

Gays are Self-Evident Proof, but Ex-gays are Just Crazy.
 
Homosexuality is still not proven to exist as anything other than a mental perception.  The 'science'  that proves the innate nature of gayness is that gays self-identify and behave as gays.  We are told that we must accept homosexuality as normal and healthy even for ourselves or loved one and pass pro-gay protections against those less enlightened.
  Gays set a little different level of scientific rigor for ex-gays. Ex-gays must prove that they were gay in the first place and then they must also prove that they are no longer gay . That is, ex-gays must first prove what gays have failed to prove in four decades and then prove the null hypothesis to what has not been proven in the first place.
  (No-no-no.  It doesn't work the same way in case your wondering.  It's perfectly fine to claim civil rights status because you say you are homosexual and behaving that way.  But self-identifying as ex-gay, claiming to now have less or no same-sex attraction  and behaving that way is not proof.  That's classified as just ex-gay right wing ignorant crazy talk.)
  PFOX fights for policies to keep the road to self-determination open for those who choose it and against policies that threaten it.  It's kind of like insurance or a constitutional amendment protecting marriage: you have to have it before you imagine you could ever need it. 
   Because in spite of being assured that change is impossible and against all odds, thousands of homosexuals do start the journey each year to conquer their unwanted same-sex attraction.
  It is a daunting, arduous trek. Some do not reach the life-changing goal they set. Gay activists exploit these most intimate personal disappointments as proof positive of the folly for all.
   But many do reach their destination.  They leave homosexuality behind.  That truth is a lighthouse in the perfect storm of sexual politics. They prove to gays, parents, and lawmakers that self-determination in one's own sexual nature is possible.    They prove change is possible.
   And that's a big deal.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Matter (& Anti-Matter) of Sexual Politics

 
The Matter (& Anti-Matter) of Sexual Politics
by 
Paul E. Rondeau

"Born gay, forever gay" are two halves of the keystone to all gay political rhetoric. Although still not supported by science after 30 years of research, demands for all sorts of gay friendly legislation rests solely on keeping the government and you believing that homosexuality is innate like race or gender.

Demands for "gay rights" perches precariously on a false ledge. Only as long as the public believes that homosexuality is the same as race or gender will the ledge hold. Repeated often enough and loudly enough without evidence or voices to the contrary, political correctness will carry the day.

Gay proponents must keep ex-gays in the national closet or portray ex-gays as self-deluded and mentally ill. Like matter and anti-matter, political physics states that gays and ex-gays cannot coexist in the same political space.

The resulting big bang would be political ruination of the gay quest for protected class status, mainstreaming homosexuality in K-12 schools, and rewriting the meaning of family and marriage. 

Public knowledge that ex-gays even exist is an immense threat.  Not just geneticists, biologists, and anthropologists would quickly smell something fishy. The political jig is up for gay activism if too many average Americans start asking, "Why are there ex-gays but no ex-Blacks, ex-Latinos, or ex-Native Americans?"

Obviously, there is no answer from science--other than political science.  And that is why gay activists and their politically correct advocates aggressively work to deny ex-gays the right to even exist.

How tolerant of them.