Archive for the ‘Economic News’ Category


Seller, beware: Feds cracking down on garage sales

WASHINGTON — If you’re planning a garage sale or organizing a church bazaar, you’d best beware: You could be breaking a new federal law. As part of a campaign called Resale Roundup, the federal government is cracking down on the secondhand sales of dangerous and defective products.

The initiative, which targets toys and other products for children, enforces a new provision that makes it a crime to resell anything that’s been recalled by its manufacturer.

“Those who resell recalled children’s products are not only breaking the law, they are putting children’s lives at risk,” said Inez Tenenbaum, the recently confirmed chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The crackdown affects sellers ranging from major thrift-store operators such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army to everyday Americans cleaning out their attics for yard sales, church bazaars or — increasingly — digital hawking on eBay, Craigslist and other Web sites.

Secondhand sellers now must keep abreast of recalls for thousands of products, some of them stretching back more than a decade, to stay within the bounds of the law.

Staffers for the federal agency are fanning out across the country to conduct training seminars on the regulations at dozens of thrift shops.

“Even before this law, we had good mechanisms in place for pulling recalled products,” said Jim Gibbons, the chief executive of Goodwill. “The law just kicks it up a notch, so Goodwills around the country will continue to improve our process.”

Goodwill uses $2 billion in annual sales at its 2,300 thrift shops nationwide to pay for its job-training and employment placement programs.

Gibbons said the nonprofit group was accustomed to inspectors from the Consumer Product Safety Commission making unannounced visits to its stores.

Scott Wolfson, a spokesman for the agency, said it wouldn’t be dispatching bureaucratic storm troopers into private homes to see whether people were selling recalled products from their garages, yards or churches.

“We’re not looking to come across as being heavy-handed,” he said. “We want to make sure that everybody knows what the rules of engagement are to help spur greater compliance, so that enforcement becomes less of an issue. But we’re still going to enforce.”

The agency is working with eBay, Wolfson said, to help the online sales giant install software filters that will flag auction items subject to manufacturers’ recalls.

The commission’s Internet surveillance unit is monitoring Craigslist and other “top auction and reselling sites” for recalled goods. If the agency discovers that a recalled product has been sold online, it will try to find and inform the buyer, Wolfson said.

To kick off its Resale Roundup, the federal agency released a list of the 11 most dangerous previously recalled children’s products.

The oldest is the March 10, 1993, recall of 11,600 portable cribs sold as Playskool Travel-Lite Play Yards and made by Kolcraft, an Aberdeen, N.C., firm that’s the nation’s largest crib manufacturer.

Adele Meyer is the executive director of the National Association of Resale and Thrift Shops, which represents more than 1,100 store owners.

“Even before it was criminal to resell recalled goods, our members have always been diligent because children’s safety is always foremost in their minds,” she said. “But having consumers look out for recalled products that are sold at garage sales and flea markets, that is a problem, and hopefully this law will help.”

Nancy Lothrop, a mother of two in Monroe, Wash., was surprised to learn that she might be violating the law by selling about $200 worth of Polly Pocket dolls and accessories on Craigslist that her 12-year-old daughter no longer wants.

In two large recalls from November 2006 to August 2007, the El Segundo, Calif.-based Mattel asked consumers to return 9.7 million units of several dozen different sets of Polly Pocket dolls.

The recalled dolls and accessories, made for Mattel in China, had tiny magnets that could become loose and then swallowed or inhaled by young children. The magnets have caused three serious injuries — intestinal tears requiring surgery — that the Consumer Product Safety Commission knows of.

Lothrop’s daughter, Laura, was upset about four years ago when Mattel changed the clothing for many of the Polly Pocket dolls from a rubber-type material to plastic and inserted small magnets to hold it on the figures.

Laura didn’t like the new material or the way it fit her dolls. So, at 8, she e-mailed a complaint to Mattel. The toy giant never responded.

Now, Nancy and Laura Lothrop must do a painstaking inventory of her collection, searching for tiny model numbers to see whether they match any of the recalled items. If they find matches, they’ll pull the recalled dolls and accessories from the group that they’re selling.

Nancy Lothrop, though, doesn’t quite understand why the dolls are being singled out.

“Many toys have small pieces that could be dangerous,” she said. “My son played with army men, Lego blocks, all kinds of things with little parts. A toddler can put anything in his mouth. Parents need to have common sense. Ultimately, the parent needs to really evaluate and be watchful of what the child is playing with. We as consumers have to be careful. It really comes back to us.”

The Resale Roundup is being enforced under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed into law last year.

The law has a number of other beefed-up consumer protections, including much tougher standards for selling products that contain lead or lead-based paint. After stalling for years, the legislation gained new life after widely publicized massive recalls of Chinese-made dolls and toys with lead paint that started in late 2007.

The law also restored the full five seats on the Consumer Product Safety Commission for the first time in a quarter-century.

President Barack Obama and Democratic congressional leaders are crafting an appropriations bill that would boost the agency’s funding next year by more than 11.4 percent — to $117 million — and it’s already hiring new inspectors and other employees in anticipation of the funding infusion.


The Consumer Product Safety Commission has launched a drive to prevent used goods that have been recalled from being resold. Among thousands of recalled products on the market, the federal agency has identified 11 that it considers very dangerous for children:

Product………………………………………………………………..When recalled

Playskool Travel-Lite Play Yards (portable cribs)………..March 10, 1993

Baby Trend Home and Roam.(portable cribs)……………Dec. 19, 1994

Evenflo Happy Camper Play Yards (portable cribs)…….June 25, 1997

Baby Express Portable Cribs and Play Yards……………Feb. 28, 2001

Magnetix Magnetic Building Sets…………………………….March 31, 2006

Polly Pocket dolls with magnets………………………………Nov. 21, 2006

Easy-Bake Ovens………………………………………………….July 19, 2007

Simplicity Drop Side Cribs……………………………………….Sept. 21, 2007

Simplicity Bassinets………………………………………………. Aug. 27, 2008

Hill Sportswear hooded drawstring sweatshirts………….Feb. 12, 2009

Evenflo Envision high chairs……………………………………April 2, 2009

Posted by ben on August 26th, 2009 No Comments

Geithner: Auditing the Fed is a “line that we don’t want to cross”

James Corbett
The Corbett Report
August 26, 2009

In an interview released today by Digg and the Wall Street Journal, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was pressured about the growing popular movement to Audit the Fed spearheaded by Texas Congressman Ron Paul. A visibly uncomfortable Geithner attempts to dismiss the question by stating “I’m sure people understand that you want to keep politics out of monetary policy.” When Geithner is again pressed on the issue, he makes the stunning assertion that conducting an audit of the Federal Reserve—something never before done in its 96 year history—is a “line that we don’t want to cross,” proclaiming that such a move would be “problematic for the country.” Watch the interview in the player below:

Geithner’s response that auditing the Fed would give politicians dangerous control over American monetary policy is mistaken at best and a deliberate lie at worst. Allowing the public to know what happened to their $24 trillion in bailout money does not give undue control of monetary policy to the people’s elected representatives. Instead, such an audit would finally allow the public to see how their money has been spent in the midst of the largest spending binge in the history of the world’s economy, hardly an unreasonable demand given the well-documented revolving door between the Treasury and Goldman Sachs, the main recipient of bailout funds. Ultimately, the Treasury Secretary is left spewing the absurdity that “I think even the sponsor of that bill recognizes how important it is to us to have the Fed independent of politics,” which can only be said to be true insofar as Ron Paul—the sponsor of House Resolution (HR) 1207— wants to abolish the Federal Reserve system altogether.

That the Wall Street Journal would even pressure the Treasury Secretary on serious issues like the Audit the Fed movement may be surprising, given that the Wall Street Journal is a mouthpiece of the financial oligarchy and that editor Paul Gigot, like Geithner himself, is a Bilderberg attendee. Needless to say, this was not a typical inside-the-beltway interview. Instead, questions were submitted and voted on by the Digg community, with the top 10 questions being posed to Mr. Geithner.

As a result, the Secretary was bombarded by pointed questions about his documented tax evasion from 2001-2004, the wisdom of spending trillions of dollars in the light of long-term dollar devaluation and even, in the words of one particularly irate questioner, “Why are you running the Treasury Department?” Despite presumably having had time to prepare responses to each question well in advance, Geithner is still visibly discomfited by the entire exchange, picking at his shirt cuff and coughing nervously throughout the interview.

In one particularly telling moment, Geithner even admits “We have been forced to do just extraordinary things and, frankly, offensive things to help save the economy.”

That these questions are only being asked now, almost a year into the bailout and several months after the new administration has taken office, further highlights how the controlled corporate media is doing everything in its power to keep to well-trodden and uncontroversial areas in their interviewing of key administration officials. This interview is testimony to the power of the citizen journalism movement that is attempting to hold those in power accountable for their actions. We can only hope that the Obama Administration lives up to their promise to be the “cyber” administration by allowing more such question-and-answer sessions in the future.

Posted by ben on August 26th, 2009 No Comments

Six Flags declares bankruptcy

NEW YORK — The amusement park company Six Flags says it has filed for bankruptcy.

The New York-based operator of 20 theme parks in the U.S., Mexico and Canada, including Six Flags Great America in north suburban Gurnee, said Saturday that the filing in a federal bankruptcy court in Delaware is part of its plan to reorganize and shed $1.8 billion worth of debt.

Company CEO Mark Shapiro said the move won’t affect the day-to-day operations of the parks.

Six Flags said it actually had a great year in 2008. It saw 25 million visitors and posted record revenues.

However, it said it needed to do something about its crushing debt load.

An earlier plan to work out an out-of-court deal with creditors wasn’t successful.

Mark Shapiro, the CEO of Six Flags, is a Tribune Company board member.

– Associated Press

Posted by ben on June 15th, 2009 No Comments

Bilderberg 2009 Attendee List

May 18, 2009

Dutch Queen Beatrix,

Queen Sofia of Spain

Prince Constantijn Belgian Prince

Philip Ntavinion Etienne, Belgium

Joseph Akerman, Germany

Friends Alexander, United States (NSA)

Roger Altman, United States

Arapoglou, Greece (National Bank of Greece governor)

Ali Bampatzan, Turkey (Deputy Prime Minister responsible for economy)

Francisco Balsemao bidet, Portugal

Nicholas Bavarez, France

Franco Bernampe, Italy (Telecom Italia)

Xavie Bertran, France

Carl Bildt, Sweden (Secretary)

January Bgiorklount, Norway

Christoph Blocher, Switzerland

Alexander Bompar, France,

Boten Anna, Spain

Henri de Kastios, France

Juan-Luis Themprian, Spain

Clark Edmunds, Canada

Kenneth Clarke, Great Britain (TD Bank Financial Group)

Luc Cohen, Belgium

George David, Greece

Richard Ntiarlav, Great Britain

Mario Dragan, Italy (Italia VANCA d)

Elntroup Anders, Denmark

John Elkan, Italy (Fiat SRA)

Thomas Enders, Germany (Airbus SAS)

Jose Entrekanales, Spain

Isintro phenomena casket, Spain

Naial Fergkiouson, United States (Harvard University)

Timothy Gaitner, United States (Minister of Finance)

Ntermot convergence, Ireland (AIV Group)

Donald Graham, United States (Washington Post Company)

Victor Chalmperstant, Netherlands (Leiden University)

Ernst hirsh Ballin, Netherlands

Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. (Obama’s special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan)

Jaap De Hoop Scheffer, Netherlands (CC NATO)

James Jones, the U.S. (National Security Advisor to the White House)

Vernon Jordan, United States

Robert Keigkan, United States

Girki Katainen, Finland

John profit Britain (Royal Dutch Shell)

Mustafa Kots, Turkey (Group Kots)

Roland GT, Germany

Sami Cohen, Turkey (Journalist)

Henry Kissinger, United States

Marie Zose Ktavis, United States (Iudson Institute)

Neli Kroes, the Netherlands (European Commissioner for Competition)

Odysseas Kyriakopoulos, Greece (Group S & B)

Manuela Fereira mode, Portugal (PSD)

Bernarntino Leon, Spain

Jessica Matthews, United States

Philip Meis Tant (EIB)

Frank MakKena, Canada (TD Bank Financial Group)

John Mikelthgoueit, Great Britain (journalists, The Economist)

Tieri Montmprian de France (Franse Instituut) Tieri Montmprian de France (French Institute)

Mario Monti, Italy (University Louitzi Bokoni)

Angela Miguel Moratinos, Spain (Minister of Foreign Affairs)

Craig dirty, U.S. (Microsoft)

Egkil Miklempast, Norway

Mathias A, Germany

Olive Denis, France (Le Nouvel Observateur)

Frederick Ountea, France (Societe Generale)

Avg Ozntemir, Germany (Green Party)

Tomazo Pantoa-Siopa, Italy

Papalexopoulos Dimitris, Greece (Titan)

Richard Pearl, United States (Αmerican Enterprise Institute)

David Petreous, United States (head of the Central Administration of the U.S. Armed Forces)

Pint Manuel, Minister of Finance of Portugal

Robert Pritsarnt, Canada (Totstar Corporation)

Romano Prodi, Italy (former Italian Prime Minister)

Heather Raisman, Canada (Indigo Vooks & Music Inc.).

Eivint Reitan, Norway

Michael Rintzier, Czech Republic

David Rockefeller, U.S.

Dennis Ross, United States

Ruby Barnet, United States

Alberto Rouith-Gkalarthon, Spain

Susan Sampantzi Ntintzer, Turkey

Ιntira Samarasekera, Canada

Rountol Solten, Austria

Jürgen Stemp, Germany

Pedro Solbes Mira, Spain (Ministry of Finance)

Sampatzi Saraz, Turkey (banker)

Sanata Seketa, Canada (University of Canada)

Samer Lawrence, United States

Peter Sutherland, Ireland

Martin Taylor, UK

Peter Thiel, USA

Agan Ourgkout, Turkey

Eye Vanchanen, Finland, (Prime Minister)

Daniel Vazela, Switzerland,

Jeroen van der Veer, Netherlands

Guy Verhofstadt, Belgium (ex-Prime Minister)

Paul Volker, the U.S.

Jacob Valenmpergk, Sweden

Marcus Valenmpergk, Sweden

Nout Wellink, the Netherlands

Viser Hans, Netherlands

Martin Wolf, Great Britain (Financial Times Journalist)

James Goulfenson, United States (the former World Bank President)

Paul Goulfovits, United States

Farint Zakaria, United States (Analyst Journalist, Newsweek)

Robert Zoellick, United States (President World Bank)

Dora Bakoyannis, Greece (Minister of Foreign Affairs)

Anna Diamantopoulou, Greece (PASOK MP)

Papathanasiou, Greece (Minister of Finance)

Alogoskoufis, Greece (former Minister)

David, Greece (businessman, president of Coca-Cola 3E)

Posted by ben on May 18th, 2009 1 Comment

Ron Paul is ‘Fed up’

Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) is attracting a lot of attention for his proposal to audit the Federal Reserve bank, the independent financial powerhouse that creates and regulates our money.

In other words, as he wrote in Forbes recently, Paul is ‘Fed up’ with the complete lack of transparency.

From Dr. Paul’s op-ed:

The Federal Reserve’s recent and unprecedented actions in the realm of monetary policy have provoked a backlash among the American people. Trillions of dollars worth of loans and guarantees have been provided to Wall Street firms, while Main Street Americans suffocate under harsh taxation, the prospect of higher debt levels and increasing inflation. These events have awakened many Americans to problems with the Fed’s loose monetary policy, the bubbles it has created in the past and the potential hyperinflation it might cause in the future.

One of the fallacies of modern economics is the idea that a central bank is required in order to keep inflation low and promote economic growth. In reality, it is the central bank’s monetary policy that causes inflation and depresses economic growth. Inflation is an increase in the supply of money, which in our day and age is directly caused or initiated by central banks. All other things being equal, inflation results in a rise in prices. A so-called “mild” rate of inflation of 3% per year leads to a 56% rise in prices over a 15-year period. Even a “low” rate of inflation of 2% per year leads to a 35% rise over that same period. How is that conducive to long-term growth?

A common misconception is that the Fed is completely independent of political pressures. While the Fed has far too much authority to make agreements with foreign governments and central banks, or create temporary liquidity facilities, the governors and–more important–the chairman, are appointed by the president.

“In essence, the bill requires an audit of the Fed’s activity which shall be made available to Congress,” wrote Glenn Greenwald a couple weeks ago. “What possible arguments exist against this bill? Who opposes an audit of the Fed’s activities and why?”

As if to answer Greenwald’s question, days later Forbes published an opinion contrary to Paul’s, wrapped in a seemingly reasonable argument. Consider this, by Thomas F. Cooley:

Extraordinary times require extraordinary actions. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the bold policy moves undertaken by the Federal Reserve over the past two years. The financial crisis forced the Fed to be aggressive and creative in its attempts to provide liquidity to credit markets that had frozen up. These were necessary steps, and mostly applauded.

But the very boldness of its actions has put the independence of the Fed at risk. Congress is now clamoring to audit the Fed, and some of the policy proposals currently under discussion at the Federal Reserve will only increase the threat to its independence.

Before we deconstruct these issues, let’s focus on why it is important to have an independent central bank. The answer is quite obvious. An independent central bank can focus on monetary policies for the long term–that is, policies targeting low and stable inflation and a monetary climate that promotes long-term economic growth. Political cycles, alas, are considerably shorter. Without independence, the political cycle would subject the central bank to political pressures that, in turn, would impart an inflationary bias to monetary policy.

Paul’s bill, H.R. 1207, has 165 co-sponsors. Its fate is currently in the hands of the House Financial Services Committee’s 71 members. Almost all the committee’s Republicans have co-sponsored the bill and two Democrats have joined their numbers.

What are your thoughts on this bill? And why do you think there is an apparent partisan divide on a matter that essentially boils down to keeping our Congress informed?

– Stephen C. Webster

Posted by ben on May 18th, 2009 No Comments

Acting Freddie Mac CFO commits suicide

VIENNA, Va. — David Kellermann, acting chief financial officer of Freddie Mac, committed suicide in his Hunter Mill Estates home Wednesday morning. He hanged himself.Fairfax County Police spokeswoman Mary Anne Jennings tells WTOP police responded to the Kellermann home after family members called police at 4:48 a.m.

“We were called from inside the house to come investigate an apparent suicide,” Jennings says.

“We’re not going to give you details of the condition of the body, except to say it was an apparent suicide.”

A medical examiner will make the final determination that the death was a suicide.

Police on the scene tell WTOP Kellermann’s body was found on the home’s lower level.

The Kellermann home, which has two floors above ground and a three-car garage, sits on the corner of Raleigh Hill Road and Brittenford Drive in picturesque Hunter Mill Estates, a neighborhood of single-family homes outside of Vienna, just over the border from Reston. According to Fairfax County tax records, Kellermann’s home is assessed at $898,440.

Neighbors tell WTOP they are surprised to hear about Kellermann’s suicide.

“I’m in total shock. This is a wonderful family. This is the last thing I would have ever expected,” says Susan Ungerm who lives across the street from Kellermann.

Kellermann, 41, had has been with Freddie Mac for more than 16 years.

He had been named acting chief financial officer in September 2008, taking over after Anthony “Buddy” Piszel resigned. Freddie Mac’s CEO David Moffett resigned last month.

Government-controlled Freddie Mac, based in McLean, has been criticized heavily for reckless business practices. Some say those practices contributed to the nation’s housing and financial crisis. Freddic Mac owns or guarantees about 13 million home loans.

As CFO, Kellermann was responsible for the company’s financial controls, financial reporting and oversight of the company’s budget and financial planning.

Freddie Mac released this statement about Kellermann’s death:

“The Freddie Mac family is truly saddened by the news this morning of David Kellermann’s death. We extend our deepest condolences to David’s family and loved ones for this terrible personal tragedy.

David was a man of great talents. He dedicated those talents to Freddie Mac for more than 16 years, serving in many business and finance capacities before recently taking the reins as acting chief financial officer. His extraordinary work ethic and integrity inspired all who worked with him. But he will be most remembered for his affability, his personal warmth, his sense of humor and his quick wit. David was a friend to many in the Freddie Mac family, and we mourn his passing.”

Posted by ben on April 22nd, 2009 No Comments

Republicans and Democrats Determined to Turn Tea Parties into Circus Sideshow

Kurt Nimmo
April 14, 2009

It’s not enough the disinfo operative Glenn Beck and the neocons posing as Republicans led by Fox News are attempting to undermine grassroots efforts to undermine and render politically correct — for milquetoast Republicans — the grassroots tea party movement. Now the sinister organization ACORN, funded to the hilt by the globalist George Soros and the one-world foundations, has piled on.

featured stories   Republicans and Democrats Determined to Turn Tea Parties into Circus Sideshow
John Farmer
Arianna Huffington will help the Republicans make the tea bag movement a circus sideshow.

“Some believe ACORN, which has been under scrutiny for accusations of voter fraud, is preparing to crash some of the tea parties. But ACORN says it is only helping to organize dozens of rallies on the same day in support of President Obama’s first budget,” reports Fox News.

ACORN spokesman Brian Kettenring pretends he lives in a vacuum where there is no corporate media. “This is the first we’ve heard of these so-called ‘tea parties.’ And, frankly, a bunch of small get-togethers by fringe conservative activists dedicated to simply saying ‘no’ is of little interest to us…. The idea that ACORN is out to disrupt these meet-ups of fringe activists is yet another conservative fantasy.”

On April 7, however, Jeff Poor, writing for the Business & Media Institute, mentioned Fox’s Neil Cavuto’s report on the plan to disrupt tea parties around the country. “Cavuto reported that the Tax Day tea party protests on April 15 will be ‘infiltrated’ by their political opponents and led by left-wing activist organizations. He specifically named Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN),” Poor wrote.

Arianna Huffington has set up a website for so-called citizen journalists to infiltrate the protests, according to Poor. Huffington is also connected to the one-worlder Soros through his Democrat “Shadow Party,” according to the neocon duo of David Horowitz and Richard Poe (Horowitz and Poe are not necessarily opposed to big money networks and political operatives, so long as the networks are comprised of neocons and big war machine government Republicans).

“The Huffington Post wants to have citizen journalists at as many of these events as possible,” writes Arthur Delaney for Huffpo.

It is reported followers of the wannabe CIA employee and Democrat operative Markos Moulitsas Zuniga and his Daily Kos crew will also “report” on (disrupt) tea parties around the country. Zuniga posted the following on his website on April 7 in yet another underhanded attempt to link the Fox News faux conservatives (neocons) to the murder of three cops in Pittsburgh:

Dear Conservatives,

If having hilarious tea bagging parties keeps you guys from shooting people up, then I heartily endorse them.

Hugs and kisses,


It is unfortunate the tea party movement was hijacked by neocon Republicans and now serves as a punching bag instead of an anti-tax tea bag for the foundation liberals and the globalist minions of Soros. Fox News, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich and the statist, one-worlder Republicans — who have no problem with government and the bankster debt expanding forever, so long as neocons are running the show — have effectively disarmed a movement originally created by the Libertarian Party of Illinois in 2008.

“Never mind that the original point of the Tea Parties, so far as I can tell, was completely libertarian in nature and was to be as much a protest of the Republicans as it was of the Democrats,” writes Mark Thompson. “Movement conservatives saw an opportunity to co-opt it — and they did.”

Thompson explains how Republicans have loaded up the tea party movement with their pet causes — “gay marriage, affirmative action programs in government hiring policies, and just about everything else that movement conservatives oppose even more vehemently now that they’ve been beaten — badly — in consecutive national elections.”

In fact, the Fox News and the Republican leadership have subverted the tea party movement because it represents an effective grassroots way to organize against the corporatist and bankster plan to increase the size of government and load-up on the federal debt.

Of course, the globalist bankers in control of both the Democrat and Republican parties are not about to let that happen.

On April 15, as demonstrations kick off around the country with Republicans in control and steering the show — and the ACORN, Kos, and Huffpo Democrats in opposition — the tea party movement will be reduced to an absurd and partisan politics circus sideshow of the kind the corporate media loves.

Posted by ben on April 14th, 2009 No Comments

Tent-City Residents Issued Moving Papers

Rob Dew and Debra Hamilton
April 14, 2009
featured stories   Tent City Residents Issued Moving Papers
papers featured stories   Tent City Residents Issued Moving Papers

Sacramento Police were busy today passing out decrees to the citizens of tent city telling them to move out by April 15th. “Any items not removed will be considered abandoned and disposed of accordingly.” stated the one page document. “Move to Shelter by: 4-15-09 WED” was hand written at the bottom of the page. What alternatives for shelter do the Tent Citizens have? The Cal-Expo shelter touted as a solution on several local news reports has been full for some time and has a waiting list. That will leave many of over 500 residents without a solution. Most tent-city residents have too many possessions to store at the bus depot storage lockers. Motorhome Dave a nine month resident was selling off some of his possessions in a yard sale in order to rent a storage unit. He thinks the mayor and governor are just trying to mitigate the public relations nightmare that Oprah caused. Another resident, Bill who has unsuccessfully tried to get transitional housing will try his luck across the river, which is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks and Recreation and could result in $100 illegal camping ticket. As of now the City of Sacramento has given a large population of homeless two days to find a home.

Tent city

Tent city

Photos: Debra Hamilton

Posted by ben on April 14th, 2009 No Comments

Sacramento Tent-City an Alternative to the Control Grid

Jason Douglass and Rob Dew
April 9, 2009

As our government wages economic warfare against its own people, the existence of a middle class dwindles and disappears. Regardless of your political outlook, the situation has become obvious and the gap between rich and poor widens everyday. In this shifting socio-economic landscape, where will the middle class find themselves?

featured stories   Sacramento Tent City an Alternative to the Control Grid
tent city

All around our country, phenomenon’s called ‘Tent-Cities’ are popping up as a response to our current economic crisis. There are large groups of people, banding together in open spaces, and they all have one thing in common: a desperation to survive in the growing desert that is our economy.

This is not a new story. We have all heard tales from our parents, and grandparents about these types of encampments. In The Great Depression, communities like Tent-City were not a phenomenon but rather the norm. Anyone who has fallen on financial troubles has had the thought, if they could just slow the outpour of money, they could catch their breath and start anew. Today, living in the dawn of The New World Order – this type of self help has become illicit.

In Sacramento, people deemed ‘homeless’ have been singled out by media monsters and a government of celebrities, who couldn’t be further removed from the day to day struggles of real people. Under the guise of help, Sacramento’s Mayor Kevin Johnson and Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger have placed these refugees in their cross hairs. And how does the attention manifest itself? Are they helping people to find jobs? Do they create programs to transition people off the street and into homes? Of course not. It is business as usual in this bloated and corrupt government. Money is funneled into already failing programs that do nothing more than perpetuate the problem by placing a band-aid on an already infected wound.

Before we left for Sacramento, there was a diligent attempt to speak with both Mayor Johnson and Governor Schwarzenegger in order to get their comments. From both sides, we were met with resistance and told by their publicists that both politicians would be out of town during our residency at Tent-City. This was particularly odd because when we arrived at Tent-City we learned that ‘The Governator’ had just visited the encampment, which was contrary to his publicists time line. Of course, approved media was politely invited to capture this photo opportunity. Infowars was not among those privileged journalists deemed safe enough to attend. But our special brand of journalism allowed us to peer beyond the veil and to see this situation for what it really is. This is the first contractions of the birth of a new world order. Welcome to total control. Or as the Mayor’s office referrs to it ‘tough-love’.

featured stories   Sacramento Tent City an Alternative to the Control Grid
Tent city featured stories   Sacramento Tent City an Alternative to the Control Grid

One of our first goals in Tent-City was to get an accurate headcount. After several days of walking the perimeter, our numbers reflected a population of almost 600 people. This was shocking because the million dollars earmarked to alleviate this plight will only create 50 more beds at the winter shelter at Cal Expo. There is no mention of what will happen to the 550 additional occupants of Tent-City or the 10 or so new occupants arriving everyday other than threat that they will be forced to leave. In addition to being seriously short of any kind of real solution, this shelter only serves to control its occupants and creates a culture that intensifies an already bad situation.

The Cal-Expo Winter Shelter is housed in the State Fairgrounds, in a old miniature golf course and is simply a bleeding heart’s money pit. The schedule of arrival and departure from the winter shelter is a bureaucratic nightmare, to say the least. This only serves to complicate the lives of the small group of people eligible for help. As we watched the 100 male shelter candidates mill about over a protracted period of 3 hours, vying for the small amount of shade, small vans shuttled inhabitants from Tent-City to Cal Expo.

Tim, an employee of Volunteers of America, the organization in charge of the winter shelter, told us the protocol for securing a bed. He explained how would-be residents arrive at the fenced off bus depot and sign-in. ‘Newbies’ are given priority and then available beds are given to ‘Repeaters’. While sign-in is technically not until 4pm, we learned that if you aren’t in line by 2:30pm you might as well not even show, as the chances you will get a bed are slim. The lucky few that make it are allowed to bring one bag to the shelter. All other belongings have to be stored in large, group containers.

Then, once the inhabitants enter the shelter, they are searched and told to submit to electronic scan to check for weapons. The schedule dictated by the shelter makes having, or getting a job an impossibility. As we were told countless times that unless you can find a flexible position that will allow you to work between the hours of 5am and 2:30pm there is nothing to do but give yourself up to this constricting schedule. Imprisoned by this schedule, inhabitants become wards of the system, and soon loose the ability to make decisions for themselves. And thus the mentality of homelessness is solidified and the refugees become less inhabitants and more inmates. But the control doesn’t stop there. Men and women are separated at the shelter and not allowed to interact. Intense searches are conducted and pets are denied asylum with their human companions. In the downward trajectory, these people have had almost all their humanity stripped away. In many cases, it starts with the inability to pay into the institutions that most of us also labor to satiate. When they lose the ability to pay rents or mortgages, their homes are lost. When they stop paying auto insurance, their cars are impounded and auctioned. When they try to survive on the street, their children and pets are snatched by government institutions.

featured stories   Sacramento Tent City an Alternative to the Control Grid
tent city

During one particularly startling interview with met with a young man who had his RV taken without warning because he had to make the choice between maintaining his vehicle and paying high insurance premiums. After losing his job as the marketing director of a flooring company, Jason moved into an RV in an attempt to streamline his overhead. While repairing the vehicle, Jason made the mistake of not procuring insurance. When he was pulled over, instead of receiving a fix-it ticket, his car was immediately impounded, and he was left on the side of the road with only the possessions he could carry and the clothes on his back. Because of his situation, he was forced into ‘homelessness’ and unable to get his RV out of impound. As a result, all his worldly possessions were auctioned. He had no idea where the money that was raised by auction went and simply became somber at the mention of it. The money, his previous life, and a part of his soul were simply gone. Jason’s life had been gobbled up by a system that makes sure that is void of human empathy.

Another facet of life in Tent-City revolves around relationships between men and women. Most of the women we encountered were victims of domestic abuse, fleeing their abusers.

In order to successfully reside in Tent-City, these women had to forge bonds with men. This is one of the main problems of separating men from women at the shelter. Only a few women, like C.C. survived with the help of a pit bull and a small group of women who looked out for one another like sisters. Repeatedly, we were told that by these women that they felt safe where they were. Societal bonds at work, even in this microcosm.

featured stories   Sacramento Tent City an Alternative to the Control Grid
Tent city featured stories   Sacramento Tent City an Alternative to the Control Grid

Another overlying theme was the self segregation of the tent city residents. We were informed of four different areas – The snake pit a grassy area with lots of shade and about 30 -35 tents. The suburbs (45 tents) inhabited mostly by long time campers the tents had the most space between them. One citizen Mobilehome Dave had manged to procure electricity and had a modest settlement of five tents, a propane space heater, and a private toilet. The newbies area was populated with 50 tents and was set between the levee and a fenced off area. The largest area set under the power lines was called the ghetto by several residents and contained about 85 tents. We were told not to go there unless we knew someone there and definitely not to go in after dark. While we were there, a large bonfire consumed a couple of tents in the “ghetto” area promoting a visit from the fire department.

Beyond these obvious flaws in the system, there is the very real issue of misinformation presented as solution. Repeatedly, it is inferred that the winter shelter is a permanent solution to Tent-City. However, it is all too clear from the proposal that this is at best only a temporary solution, since its time line will only be extended to early June. There is also the very clear discrepancy of the numbers helped. 50 beds will barely make a dent in the number living in the encampment. In the end, we are not talking about a well thought out plan to get these people off the street and restore their dignity. This is more about creating inmates of a system that perpetuates helplessness and the hijacking of tax-payer monies in a state that repeatedly has trouble balancing its own books. So what is the answer?

Tent-City, while not ideal, is the closest solution to the problem while still maintaining some sense of freedom. The infrastructure for aid is already present in the immediate community with Loaves & Fishes – a faith based organization living in the trenches with the inhabitants of Tent-City. At Loaves & Fishes, residents can eat, shower, make calls, and get medical help. Volunteers from local churches drive out on the levee every evening to pass out hot food and clean water to the gracious campers. It really comes down to the simple question, do you want to be an inhabitant of a community or an inmate of a system? While it is not pretty at Tent-City, there is the very real sense that these people are living by their own accord the best the can. They answer to no one, and the only price they pay is sharing the burden with their fellow campers. It may not be middle americas best answer for the homeless epidemic, but tent cities are happening and in the next few years as the economy continues to spiral downward you may find yourself pitching a tent.

Posted by ben on April 9th, 2009 No Comments

Controlled Opposition Embarrass Banker Minion Summers

As former Clintonite, CFR member, and Bilderberger Larry Summers was addressing the Economic Club in Washington D.C. on Thursday, two Code Pink demonstrators mounted the stage and unfurled a banner demanding Larry and the banksters give back the criminally acquired giveaway money. “Larry Summers is part of the problem,” screamed one of the activists. “He is a mess.” It took a minute or two for security to drag away the Code Pinkers. “Resign Larry, the people are asking you to give Obama a fair shot,” they demanded.

featured stories   Controlled Opposition Embarrass Banker Minion Summers
Code Pink gets media coverage of stunt demanding Larry Summers return their funny money.

Give Obama a fair shot? Code Pink may not be aware of it, but the Obama administration is packed like a sardine can with CFR members, former hacks from the Federal Reserve, and assorted bankster minions. If Obama gets rid of Larry Summers — and rest assured he will not — he would merely replace him with another CFR member or Bilderberger. Code Pink seems to be oblivious to the fact Obama is a front man for the global elite. Obama is a marionette reading from a prepared script projected on teleprompter screens.

Code Pink does not want to get rid of Obama and his international banker puppet masters because they are seriously brainwashed into thinking he can do the right thing if only given a “fair shot.” Code Pink is at the forefront of the fake opposition spawned by the globalists and their foundations.

Last year Jodie Evans, co-founder of Code Pink, passed the hat among her liberal friends to raise campaign money for Obama, who since packed his administration with globalist one-worlders. Is Ms. Evans is part of an elaborately orchestrated false opposition.

Code Pink is on the payroll of Winston Foundation, an organization linked to the National Endowment for Democracy, a documented CIA front, and connected as well to the Rockefeller Family Fund, the Carnegie Corporation, the Heinz Family Foundation, and the Soros Foundations. In 2003, Code Pink shared office space with the Institute for Policy Studies, an organization taking money from the Turner, Ford, MacArthur and Charles Stewart Mott foundations. The Ford Foundation is notorious for funding liberal organizations. It is connected to the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, and the CIA (see Alternative Media Censorship: Sponsored by CIA’s Ford Foundation?).

Code Pink is apparently clueless about the fact that the money they demand Summers and his bankster cronies return is worthless paper based on absolutely nothing but thin air. It is bank ledger trickery. Instead of demanding a return of worthless fiat money, they should be calling for the Federal Reserve to be closed down and the criminals on Wall Street be rounded up, arrested, and tried for economic crimes against humanity.

Instead, they will continue their theatrics and propose dead-end solutions to the banker engineered economic crisis, in fact an economic take down. The Ford Foundation and the CIA need to make it look like there is opposition to the banker plan and that is why Code Pink is called in and allowed to take the stage and propose solutions that are not solutions.

In the meantime, the sincere opposition will continue to be demonized and sabotaged. In a few days, the Soros founded liberals will attempt to disrupt tax day tea parties. Soros and Ford Foundation operatives are now engaged in a nasty effort to discredit and link Alex Jones to the Pittsburgh cop killer.

It is difficult for Jones and the real opposition to get their message covered by the corporate media.

It’s is not so difficult for Code Pink to get their message broadcast because they are controlled. Larry Summers might be a tad embarrassed by all the theatrics, but realizes Code Pink does not pose a serious threat to the bankers or threaten their plan to turn the world into a bleak nightmare of unfettered globalism, poverty, misery, and hopelessness.

They simply want their funny money back.

Posted by ben on April 9th, 2009 No Comments