Erin Burnett continues her “incite-full” coverage

The day after the riot made Ferguson MO resemble 14th street of Washington DC after MLK’s 1968 assassination, Erin Burnett interviewed NAACP President who announced a call for a march to protest the injustice of the violence committed on Michael Brown. Erin Burnett asked no question of whether Michael Brown’s death remains a good basis for a protest against America’s over-all perceived mistreatment of the black community. After all, the grand jury concluded that the physical evidence supported those witnesses who testified that the Officer had a reasonable basis that his own safety was in jeopardy regardless of Brown being unarmed.

Aren’t there better examples of police bias on which to base a protest?

How many decades did it take for 14th street to recover?

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Better news on Boston from MSNBC?

MSNBC has been reporting that the suspect is in a boat, that he was wounded, and they are waiting waiting to make sure no one else gets injured.  A resident reported seeing blood in a backyard and it led to a boat that he apparently hid in after being wounded last night.  CNN hasn’t said anything similar to that. What is truth?

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Is the budget impasse another GOP use of the “big lie” technique?

House Speaker Boehner said, in his party’s April 2, 2011 weekly address, “Republicans continue to fight for the largest spending cuts possible to help end Washington’s job-crushing spending binge.”  Really? It’s Washington spending that caused the high unemployment that was really brought on by the mortgage-backed securities fiasco?  Ignoring the recent news about the recent drop in new unemployment claims, will the House version of cuts in the budget for the of the 2010 federal fiscal year (which is already half over) lead to more jobs?  No. I think it will cause greater unemployment, at least in the short term.

I have for some time been of the opinion that the sophisticated Republican spin machine uses the “big lie” propaganda technique.  The “big lie” technique was described first by Hitler in Mein Kampf:

“… the magnitude of a lie always contains a certain factor of credibility, since the great masses of the people in the very bottom of their hearts tend to be corrupted rather than consciously and purposely evil, and that, therefore, in view of the primitive simplicity of their minds they more easily fall a victim to a big lie than to a little one, since they themselves lie in little things, but would be ashamed of lies that were too big. Such a falsehood will never enter their heads and they will not be able to believe in the possibility of such monstrous effrontery and infamous misrepresentation in others; yes, even when enlightened on the subject, they will long doubt and waver, and continue to accept at least one of these causes as true. Therefore, something of even the most insolent lie will always remain and stick — a fact which all the great lie-virtuosi and lying-clubs in this world know only too well and also make the most treacherous use of.”

The cuts in the House FY 2010 budget will not create jobs, they will cost jobs.  What could be a bigger lie than taking the argument that the cuts will cost jobs and turning it around into the cuts will create jobs?  When programs are cut the people working on those programs, both government and private-sector employees, will face lay off. I’m not an economist, but some economists are saying the same thing.

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ATM Fee Increases

I watched a 2011 April’s Fool Day ABC news story dealing with increases in ATM fees.  It reported that the banks need to make up for the impact of new banking law restrictions.  The media accepted what the banks are telling them without critical thought.  Democracy’s Fourth Estate needs to be skeptical not just of government, but of all sorts of institutions, including (particularly) corporations.  News broadcasts should just report facts and leave reasons for actions to analysts.

Banks have come through taxpayer bailouts making excessively large profits.  They needed the bailouts because of banking industry getting away from the conservative investments they should have been making. They deliberately created and purchased  mortgage backed securities that had been designed to fail so that they could cash in on inflated AIG insurance protection.  They made loans to people they knew were unqualified just to feed the demand for more mortgage backed securities.

It’s not that banks NEED to make up for the reduced profits they will get on credit cards. Their credit card operations will still be profitable, just not at the inflated rates they’ve become accustomed to.  Investors in bank stocks should expect modest but dependable returns on their investments.  I thought riskier growth stocks are the investments that give greater returns, not with blue chip investments such as banks, public utilities and insurance companies.

The banking industry must be happy to have sold the notion that the federal government is to blame for the fee increase.  (I think the health insurance industry similarly took advantage of Obama’s heath care legislation as the blame for continuing their previous trend of large increases in insurance fees.)  Our media needs to take more care with the language they use to report news, so that they stick with facts and not claimed reasons.  As with Orwell’s “newspeak,”  control of language can subliminally sway public opinion.

Also see Personal Money Store’s Money Log story.

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Response from Sen. Warner on my concerns about China

Following is a response  from Senator John Warner (R-VA) to my argument that we shouldn’t back down from a trade war with China:
            Thank you for contacting me to share your concerns over U.S.-China relations. I appreciate your thoughtful inquiry.

            As you are aware, in this new world economy, the United States faces China as its greatest economic competitor for years to come. China has become a global economic power with a $1.3 trillion economy that grows at 9 percent rate annually. In comparison, the long-term annual growth rate for the U.S. economy runs between 2 and 5 percent. Indeed, the Chinese economy is forcing changes in how the world does business, and our country is not immune to these changes. We will have to develop ways and opportunities of adapting to compete in this changing global marketplace.

            The United States finds itself directly in the path of China’s economic growth and all of its ramifications. We are seeing our U.S. markets being flooded with inexpensive goods produced by Chinese labors who are paid minimally and work in deplorable conditions not tolerated in our country. America cannot afford to stand by and allow one country to completely dominate the world economy through unfair trade practices. With a burgeoning U.S. trade deficit with China, which soared to $233 billion in 2006, the time has come for our two countries to find a way to rebalance our trading relationship; or else we will face serious disruptions in our economy.

            With respect to China’s undervalued currency, from 1994 until July 2005, China maintained a policy of pegging its currency (the yuan) to the U.S. dollar at an exchange rate of approximately 8.28 yuan to the dollar. In July 2005, the Chinese government modified its currency policy by making the yuan’s exchange rate adjustable based on market supply and demand with reference to exchange rate movements of currencies in a basket. Since July 2005, China has allowed the yuan to appreciate steadily but at a slow rate. Specifically, from July 21, 2005, to June 11, 2007, the dollar-yuan exchange rate went from 8.11 to 7.57, an appreciation of about 6.7%. Some members of Congress have expressed dissatisfaction with the slow pace of China’s currency reforms and thus introduced legislation in the 110th Congress to address the issue.

            In the Senate, on June 13, 2007, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) introduced S. 1607, the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2007. This legislation would require the Department of Treasury on semi-annual basis to identify currencies that are fundamentally misaligned, which is defined as a significant and sustained undervaluation of the prevailing exchange rate, and to designate such currencies for priority action under certain circumstances. Specifically, it would establish a series of actions to be taken to remedy undervalued currencies starting with consultation with the offending nation and its trading partners. If negotiations do not produce policy changes, it would call for increasingly severe punishment, including legal action through the World Trade Organization. The bill also would permit the Department of Commerce to take fundamental misalignment into consideration in antidumping investigations involving the country in question. On July 26, 2007, the Senate Finance Committee approved S. 1607 by a vote of 20 to 1.

            On June 21, 2007, Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) introduced a similar bill S. 1677, Currency Reform and Financial Markets Access Act of 2007. While this legislation would retain the current framework of for Treasury investigation of foreign currency practices, it would restrict the Treasury’s discretion in labeling countries currency manipulators. On August 1, 2007, the Senate Banking Committee approved the bill by a vote of 17 to 4. Further consideration of these bills by the full Senate is pending.

            Please be assured that I certainly understand the seriousness of the situation at hand and will certainly keep your views in mind as my colleagues and I in the Senate seek effective solutions to our trade imbalance with China.

            Again, thank you for sharing your views with me.

            With kind regards, I am


                                                            John Warner
                                                            United States Senator


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Stop Importing Hazardous and Adulterated Products

Wash. Post, July 15, 2007: "In Role Reversal, China Blocks Some U.S. Meat"


If China wants to play hard ball with us shouldn’t our government say "bring it on"? What would happen if we banned all Chinese imports? 


Isn’t the Chinese economy way more dependent on trade with the U.S. than the other way around?  U.S. clothing and many other products sold in the U.S. have a made in China label.  The U.S. has a massive trade deficit with China.  This means that dollars are being transferred in large quantities from the U.S. to China. That gives China the ability to purchase large quantities of U.S. Treasury bonds that the U.S. government has to sell in order to operate. If this trade deficit continues indefinitely, US taxes will have to soar in order for the US to pay just the interest on its borrowing.  Furthermore, if Treasury becomes overly dependent on sales of debt to China (perhaps it already is) than China could use that as a strategic weapon against us that could be more potent than any WMD.  Wouldn’t the U.S. benefit from a trade war with China, banning all Chinese imports? 


Also, the fact that U.S. chicken is contaminated with salmonella has been long known.  That’s why the U.S. years ago started warning everyone to cook poultry thoroughly and to decontaminate any utensils or cooking surfaces used in preparing raw poultry. 

Moreover, the U.S. consumer wants leaner pork [China’s complaint, see Post article] because its healthier than pork loaded with saturated fat.

 So if China wants a trade war, shouldn’t the U.S. be saying bring it on and stop all imports from China?

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Is the public’s view of the Iraq War out of synch?

The majority of the public and many candidates for President are demanding that the U.S. pull out of Iraq ASAP. Troops are dying for a war based on lies.  What about the war on Jihadists can really use dispassionate informed debate argues that these demands to withdraw, although based on valid reasons, are out of synch with what’s happening in Iraq today, and deliberative debate on the advantages and disadvantages of continuing with the current strategy versus a timetable for withdrawal..  Some more recent information from Commanders in the field suggest that their current strategy and tactics may be working.  Here are RealPlayer videos of presentations by two generals in Iraq:  

While I don’t trust President Bush or his cronies to give us honest information, I do trust our servicemen and women in Iraq.

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