Thursday, May 29, 2014


Spies, Cash, and Fear: Inside Christian Money Guru Dave Ramsey’s Social Media Witch Hunt

Ramsey is one of America’s best-known financial advice gurus, famous for his gospel of “financial peace,” “Biblically based, common sense” wisdom on debt, investing, and retirement.

Exploding out of the evangelical Christian world and onto the national stage, he has sold millions of books, hosts a popular radio show, and runs an organization that boasts more than 400 employees. 

Eight million people listen to The Dave Ramsey Show, 400 publications run his “Dave Says” column, and more than 2 million families have participated in Ramsey’s Financial Peace University

According to Ramsey, his Lampo Group sells “hope,” and that business has given him an estimated net worth of $55 million.


It looks like it will take an executive order from Obama to put a stop to the wanton abuse of children by parents too uninformed (or just plain stupid) about the dangers they are subjecting them to.
Obama Vs. Concussions: Why The White House Made Head Injuries A Presidential Issue
The craving for entertainment seems to completely cloud the minds of these people who sincerely believe they are doing this for all the right reasons when it's obvious the opposite is true.


According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), participation in organized sports is on the rise. Nearly 30 million children and adolescents participate in youth sports in the United States. This increase in play has led to some other startling statistics about injuries among America's young athletes:

* High school athletes account for an estimated 2 million injuries and 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations each year.

* More than 3.5 million kids under age 14 receive medical treatment for sports injuries each year.

* Children ages 5 to 14 account for nearly 40 percent of all sports-related injuries treated in hospitals. On average the rate and severity of injury increases with a child's age.

* Overuse injuries are responsible for nearly half of all sports injuries to middle and high school students

* Although 62 percent of organized sports-related injuries occur during practice, one-third of parents do not have their children take the same safety precautions at practice that they would during a game.

* Twenty percent of children ages 8 to 12 and 45 percent of those ages 13 to 14 will have arm pain during a single youth baseball season.

* Injuries associated with participation in sports and recreational activities account for 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries among children in the United States.

* According to the CDC, more than half of all sports injuries in children are preventable.
By age 13, 70 percent of kids drop out of youth sports. The top three reasons: adults, coaches and parents.

* Among athletes ages 5 to 14, 28 percent of percent of football players, 25 percent of baseball players, 22 percent of soccer players, 15 percent of basketball players, and 12 percent of softball players were injured while playing their respective sports

* Since 2000 there has been a fivefold increase in the number of serious shoulder and elbow injuries among youth baseball and softball players.

JS Powell, KD Barber Foss, 1999. Injury patterns in selected high school sports: a review of the 1995-1997 seasons. J Athl Train. 34: 277-84.
Safe Kids USA Campaign Web site. 2009.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. 2009.
Preserving the Future of Sport: From Prevention to Treatment of Youth Overuse Sports Injuries. AOSSM 2009 Annual Meeting Pre-Conference Program. Keystone, Colorado.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


The NRA plays a major role in fueling the gun craze in the US which produces the numbers seen here;

The US has the highest gun ownership in the world and the highest murder rate in the developed world.

Gun Suicides in US, 2011: 19,766

The United States continues to be peculiar in handing out powerful magazine-fed firearms to almost anyone who wants one and not requiring background checks on private purchases even if these are made at gun shows. 80% of civilian-owned firearms world-wide are in the US, and only Yemen vaguely competes with us for rates of firearm ownership;  And even it has fewer guns per person than the USA.

It has gotten to the point where the increasing epidemic of mass shootings now threatens the US military, the most powerful military in the world.

The US is downright weird compared to civilized Western Europe or Australia (which enacted gun control after a mass shooting in 1996 and there have been no further such incidents).

Monday, May 26, 2014


Economic inequality at the levels experienced today wreaks havoc on the lives of all concerned; even those at the top.

Concentration of wealth rather than distribution is contrary to the tenets of social capitalism which is the cornerstone of what productive societies are built.

In his book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Piketty places contemporary income concentration in over two centuries worth of historical context, primarily zeroing in on France, Britain, and the United States since the late 18th century. Intense levels of income and wealth concentration have defined our industrial world for generations. The only exception: the decades of the mid twentieth century, a relatively brief interlude when the richest 1 percent’s share of society’s income and wealth dropped substantially in both Europe and the United States.

 Another landmark book on inequality — The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, co-authors Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett have marshaled vast arrays of data and identified nearly every social problem where reliable statistics let us compare how well or poorly the major nations of the developed world are delivering a decent quality of life.
In which developed nations, Wilkinson and Pickett ask, do people live the longest? What nations show the highest levels of obesity? Where do people born at the bottom have the best shot at climbing up? Which nations send the most people to prison? Have the most teenage moms? Tally the most homicides?
People in some developed nations, the Spirit Level documents, can be anywhere from three to ten times more likely than people in other developed nations to be obese or get murdered, to mistrust others or have a pregnant teen daughter, to become a drug addict or escape from poverty.
And the nations that do the best, on yardstick after yardstick, all turn out to share one basic trait. They all share their wealth.
“If you want to know why one country does better or worse than another,” as Wilkinson and Pickett note, “the first thing to look at is the extent of inequality.”
The United States, the developed world’s most unequal major nation, ranks at or near the bottom on every quality-of-life indicator that Wilkinson and Pickett examine. Portugal and the UK, nations with levels of inequality that rival the United States, rank near that same bottom.
People in more equal societies simply live longer, healthier, and happier lives than people in more unequal societies. And not just poor people in these societies, Wilkinson and Pickett emphasize, but all people.

Sunday, May 25, 2014


He wasn't a gang-banger from inner-city USA or a PTSD crazed vet.

He came from an upscale  "all american" family with lot's of money and able to afford the best America has to offer; first class education, high end cars, designer clothes, and a cadre of mental health professionals to help out with the hardships that life has to offer.

By all accounts he would be considered one of the NRA "good guys." A prime target for the NRA's Wayne LaPiere, who said;

"In this uncertain world, surrounded by  lies and corruption, there is no greater freedom than the right to survive, to protect our families with all the rifles, shotguns and handguns we want." 

We know, in the world that surrounds us, there are terrorists and 
home invaders and drug cartels and car-jackers and knock-out gamers 
and rapers, haters, campus killers, airport killers, shopping mall killers, 
road-rage killers, and killers who scheme to destroy our country 
with massive storms of violence against our power grids, or vicious 
waves of chemicals or disease that could collapse the society that 
sustains us all. 

I ask you. Do you trust this government to protect you? 
We are on our own. That is a certainty, no less certain than the 
absolute truth — a fact the powerful political and media elites continue 
to deny, just as sure as they would deny our right to save our very 
lives. The life or death truth that when you’re on your own, the surest 
way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun! 

There's little doubt that this person took that message to heart; with 3 legally purchased handguns and 400 rounds of ammo those he terrorized heard his message out loud and clear.

“It sounded like I was in a war zone,” he said. “It definitely sounded like the shooter was exchanging fire with someone … it was intense.”

"The guy unloaded a full clip, a nine clip," Rodriguez said. "He was shooting fast."

The windows of the shooter's BMW were so tinted that Rodriguez said he couldn't see the flash of the shots being fired from inside the car. He said the attacker was shooting out the passenger window as he drove down the street.

 “I heard shots, I heard people scream, I realized this was actually gunfire.” De Bree said he ran back into the park.

 “I saw a few people collapse, a few people run, a few go in the store. It was chaos. There were a bunch of people on the street corner like me, and we were all running away,” De Bree said. He later heard that one woman had been shot in the leg at the 7-Eleven.

At first, the gunshots sounded like they were coming from a handgun – there were a lot of “loud bangs,” De Bree said. “But later, I distinctly remembering thinking ‘that was definitely an automatic weapon.‘ I heard like 20 shots in a row.”

Isla Vista shooting suspect targeted sorority, neighbors, strangers

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Trickle down economics doesn't work and has instead effectively destroyed the middle class in the US which ranks 4th in income inequality.

Republicans continue to push for these failed policies that without a doubt has transformed this republic/democracy into a autocratic/plutocracy.

Countries with the widest gap between rich, poor

4. United States

> Gini index – post tax & transfer: 0.380
> Social spending, pct. of GDP: 20.0% (11th lowest)
> Chg. in Gini after tax & transfer: 0.119 (4th smallest)
> Job growth, 2013: 1.0% (14th highest)

Despite being one the world's wealthiest nations with the third highest GDP per capita in the OECD, the U.S. still had one of the developed world's largest income gaps. 

The U.S. spent the most of any member nation on education per student, at more than $22,700 annually as of 2010. The U.S. also had the fourth highest percentage of adults between 25 and 64 years old with a tertiary degree, at over 42%. Despite this, the country has struggled to keep workers in the labor force. In each of the last two years, labor force growth has been less than 1%, as Americans exited the workforce and the population continued to age.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Breaking news!  Tax evasion is a crime. Well..........maybe. Aiding and abetting evaders is a crime. Well, maybe.

Even though tax evaders are going to have a harder time hiding from the IRS now that one of their favorite shelter has been forced out into the limelight there's still a long way to go before we see any of them doing the "perp" walk.

In a sign that banking giants are no longer immune from criminal charges, despite concerns that financial institutions have grown so large and interconnected that they are too big to jail, federal prosecutors demanded that Credit Suisse’s parent company plead guilty to helping thousands of American account holders hide their wealth.

As part of a deal announced on Monday, the Swiss bank met the demands, agreeing to one count of conspiring to aid tax evasion in a scheme that “spanned decades.” Credit Suisse, which has a giant investment bank in New York and whose chief executive is an American, will also pay about $2.6 billion in penalties and hire an independent monitor for up to two years.

The rebuke from federal prosecutors as well as from the Federal Reserve and New York’s state banking regulator, Benjamin M. Lawsky, is intended as a blow against overseas tax dodging and the shadowy world of Swiss bank secrecy. The deal also signals a shift in prosecutors’ tactics. It is the most prominent bank to plead guilty in the United States since Drexel Burnham Lambert in 1989, and the largest to do so since the Bankers Trust in 1999, a bank a fraction the size of Credit Suisse.

For Credit Suisse, other than the fines and the reputational stain of being a felon, the implications are likely to be limited. The bank may lose some clients but is otherwise expected to survive largely unscathed. The plea deal also enables it to move beyond a case that had prompted a congressional hearing and had thrust the bank into an international squabble over tax dodging. If the bank had continued to fight the case, it would have been indicted, calling into question its very existence.

The Justice Department sought to contain the damage. Recognizing that criminal charges could prompt regulators to revoke a bank’s license to operate, the corporate equivalent of the death penalty, prosecutors met with the Fed and Mr. Lawsky to discuss punishing Credit Suisse without putting it out of business and imperiling the economy, according to people briefed on the matter who were not authorized to speak publicly. Authorities agreed to announce the plea after the markets closed in the United States, preventing the bank’s stock from plummeting.

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission also voted to grant Credit Suisse a temporary exemption from a federal law that requires a bank to hand over its investment-adviser license in the event of a guilty plea, according to two of the people briefed on the matter. That decision effectively spares Credit Suisse from one of the harshest repercussions of pleading guilty.

The plea from Credit Suisse, some three years after federal prosecutors in Virginia indicted eight bank employees, is expected to provide a template for prosecuting other financial misdeeds. BNP Paribas, France’s largest bank, is next in line to plead guilty in the coming weeks, the people briefed on the matter said. The bank, which is suspected of doing business with countries like Sudan that the United States has blacklisted, will also pay more than $5 billion in fines, the people briefed on the matter said.

The BNP and Credit Suisse cases may also lay the groundwork for criminal actions against American banks. While the new strategy applies to American banks like JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, those inquiries are at an earlier stage and it is unclear whether they warrant charges.
Prosecutors were not always so aggressive. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the Justice Department did not file any criminal cases against a Wall Street bank or top executives. And in 2012, the British bank HSBC escaped charges of money laundering, stoking a public outcry.

Against that backdrop, prosecutors homed in on the Credit Suisse case as a turning point in their pursuit of big banks. While Credit Suisse’s lawyers proposed a more modest guilty plea from a subsidiary rather than the parent company, people briefed on the matter said, prosecutors rebuffed the overtures.

“This case shows that no financial institution, no matter its size or global reach, is above the law,” the United States attorney general,Eric H. Holder Jr., said at a news conference on Monday.

The decision to seek a guilty plea stems in part from Credit Suisse’s failure to fully cooperate with the federal government. The bank, prosecutors say, was slow to turn over documents, deleted important emails and conducted an internal investigation that “failed to interview a number of the culpable individuals.”

The bank also kept three of the eight indicted employees on its payroll. Under the terms of the deal with Mr. Lawsky, Credit Suisse must fire the employees.

Long before the Credit Suisse case came to a head, prosecutors in Washington drafted a document outlining a possible chain reaction of a guilty plea, the people briefed on the matter said. The prosecutors, required under federal guidelines to weigh collateral consequences of charging a corporation, explained that some regulators have legal authority to withdraw a bank’s charter.

For Mr. Holder, blamed for enabling the idea that banks are “too big to jail,” the new strategy offers an opportunity to rewrite his legacy. But the public and congressional lust for Wall Street accountability may linger all the same.

For one, the plea deal will not require the bank to turn over the names of its American account holders, a hot-button issue in Congress. Credit Suisse has argued that Swiss law prevented it from turning over the names.

What is more, the cases against Credit Suisse and BNP will not quell the lingering outrage over the financial crisis. While the Justice Department levied billions of dollars in penalties on JPMorgan Chase and other banks, those cases were civil rather than criminal.

Credit Suisse Pleads Guilty in Felony Case


Ex-players sue NFL over use of painkillers 

Opening another legal attack on the NFL over the long-term health of its athletes, a group of retired players accused the league in a lawsuit Tuesday of cynically supplying them with powerful painkillers and other drugs that kept them in the game but led to serious complications later in life.

The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages on behalf of more than 500 ex-athletes, charges the NFL with putting profits ahead of players' health.

To speed injured athletes' return to the field, team doctors and trainers dispensed drugs illegally, without obtaining prescriptions or warning of the possible side effects, the plaintiffs contend.

Some football players said they were never told they had broken bones and were instead fed pills to mask the pain. One said that instead of surgery, he was given anti-inflammatory drugs and excused from practices so he could play in games. Others said that after years of free pills from the NFL, they retired addicted to painkillers.

Federal and State Drug Laws

Prescription drugs are considered "controlled substances." The federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act makes it clear that the only legal way to access prescription drugs is to have a doctor's prescription. An excerpt:

...No controlled substance in schedule II, which is a prescription drug as determined under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 301 et seq.), may be dispensed without the written prescription of a practitioner.

Even Doctors Can Break the Law

Sometimes even when a doctor does prescribe a drug, it is illegal to do so. For example, if a doctor writes a prescription for too many pills - either knowing that they are going to be resold or knowing that the amount is way too much medication for a single patient - that too can be a crime.

Sunday, May 18, 2014


They came out in force. All 400 plus, waving flags, spewing nonsense and again proving that only in America can completely insane people get in the news cycle.

Today is the day when the Obama administration will answer for their actions and America will be restored. At least, that's what the participants of "Operation American Spring" were hoping to do.

The rally, organized by retired Army Col. Harry Riley, aims to "[restore] Constitutional government, rule of law, freedom, liberty 'of the people, by the people, for the people' from despotic and tyrannical federal leadership." Col. Riley predicted about 10 million people who descend upon the White House and the U.S. Capitol to stage a peaceful occupation of the city until their demands were met.

When I arrived, about 150 mostly white dudes were stationed in the middle of the National Mall. (One such gentlemen referred to me as the "liberal Jew media" when I asked a question.) Even Awesome Con had more people show up in their attempt to break the world cosplaying record. The other 9,999,850 must have got stuck in traffic from the rain, or something. Here are some more pics that aptly sum up Operation American Spring.

Photos: Operation American Spring Misses Projected Attendance By About 9,999,850


The Merits Of Income Inequality: What's The Right Amount?

French economist Thomas Piketty has warned in his best-seller Capital in the Twenty-First Century that inequality is likely to grow. 

That's because capitalism tends to reward the owners of capital with a greater and greater share of the economy's output, he says. Meanwhile, wage-earners get a smaller and smaller share.

Milanovic says that concentration of wealth is a threat to democracy. "The elites start dominating the political discourse and even political decision-making, and then they reinforce their own privilege," he says.

Still, Milanovic says some level of inequality is needed to make capitalism work.

"It provides incentives for harder work, study, investment and ... general desire to better one's condition and the condition of one's kids," he says.

But what's the right level of inequality? Tyler Cowen, an economist at George Mason University, says whether a certain level of inequality is good or bad depends on how it came be.

Income inequality is a big problem, many economists agree. But they also say some level of inequality is necessary for capitalism to work.

Inequality in the U.S. has risen to levels not seen since the 1920s. The top 1 percent pocket more than 20 percent of the nation's income, and the 400 richest people in the country own more wealth than everyone in the bottom 50 percent.

War On Poverty, 50 Years Later The Changing Picture Of Poverty: Hard Work Is 'Just Not Enough'

That's not healthy for the society or the economy, says Branko Milanovic, an economists at the City University of New York Graduate Center. For one thing, he says, it undermines the idea of equal opportunity.

"It makes some people excluded or poor and unable to actually, for example, go to school, complete studies and contribute to society," he says.

That hurts individuals and, Milanovic says, it hurts the broader economy by not allowing a whole segment of society to be as productive as it could be.

"If your society has a lot of inequality because a lot of your producers have done very well selling their products on global markets, that kind of inequality is not harmful in general," he says. "But if you have inequality because your poorer people don't have enough economic opportunity, I would say that is a big problem."

Friday, May 16, 2014


Banks don't commit crimes. It's the bankers that run them who break the laws and take home big pay checks in the process. Yet, with the exception of a few scapegoats to appease the public, their crimes go unpunished as if they are immune from prosecution for some magical reason that has never been explained.

Rob a bank, you go to jail in a heartbeat, but let the bank rob it's customers; oh well.

Credit Suisse is close to reaching an agreement to plead guilty and pay about $2.5 billion to the U.S. Justice Department and regulators to resolve investigations into whether it helped Americans evade taxes, three people familiar with the matter said.

The Zurich-based bank would pay about $1.7 billion to the Justice Department, at least $600 million to the New York Department of Financial Services and $100 million to the Federal Reserve, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter isn’t public. The proposed accord could be announced as early as next week, the people said.

“That seems higher than what everybody was anticipating,” said William Sharp, an American tax lawyer who splits his time between Switzerland and the U.S. “It’s mutually beneficial for both the bank and the U.S. government to put this dispute behind them. It’s been dragging on for many years, and frankly could drag on for several more years.” 
The parent company would plead guilty in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, one of the people said. A guilty plea by Credit Suisse’s parent company would be the first by a major global bank in the U.S. in more than two decades. 

The tax dodgers the bank aided and abetted are not even mentioned.

Switzerland’s second largest bank would admit to a statement of facts still being negotiated, and the firm wouldn't have to disclose the names of U.S. account holders, the person said.

The U.S. legal assault seeks to chip away at the promotion of tax evasion through bank secrecy in Switzerland, the world’s largest cross-border financial center with $2.2 trillion in assets.

Chief Executive Officer Brady Dougan apologized in testimony to the Senate panel, saying a small group of Swiss-based bankers appear to have broken U.S. laws.

“This was a very small business from our point of view, less than 1 percent of the global profitability of the global bank,” Dougan said at the hearing.

The report detailed the bank’s wooing of wealthy Americans with invitations to the annual Swiss Ball in New York and golf tournaments in Florida and the Bahamas. A branch office at the Zurich airport with the code name “SIOA5” offered banking services to clients passing through on skiing holidays.

Credit Suisse helped clients open accounts under false names and delivered account statements discreetly. One client was given an account statement hidden in a Sports Illustrated magazine. Another client said he was transported to a meeting in an elevator with no buttons that was remotely controlled. He signed orders to destroy account statements afterwards.

Is this a country that is governed under the rule of law or the law breakers?

In February, a Senate subcommittee issued a report and held a hearing that blasted the bank for helping Americans dodge taxes and the Justice Department for not aggressively pursuing the names of account holders through subpoenas and other enforcement tools.

Credit Suisse Close to Guilty Plea, $2.5 Billion Accord With U.S.


Thursday, May 15, 2014


Simple minded elitist refer to fast food workers as "unskilled" and not deserving of a livable wage. They threaten to replace them with machines should they complain about their working conditions or wages.

The one thing these simpletons forgot to take into account is that these are "human beings" and being treated like machines will eventually provoke them to defend themselves against this kind of abuse.

It appears that the red line has been crossed.

Fast-food workers kick off global labor action | Al Jazeera America

The world’s largest protest of fast-food workers kicked off Thursday with workers demonstrating in 150 cities in the United States and more than 30 other countries. The protesters are demanding better pay in a global rallying cry against rising income inequality, continuing on the heels of an 18-month-long labor campaign for higher fast-food wages in America.

Thursday’s protests come after the first-ever global meeting of fast-food workers last week, organized by the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF) in New York. Dozens of delegates from labor unions representing 12 million workers in 126 countries joined the U.S. movement of fast-food workers, which, Fells said, “created a huge sense of unity of fast-food workers around the globe.

This is a wake up call to the 1% that there are millions (if not billions) of people who are no longer willing to accept the status quo which has resulted in creating chronic and massive income inequality where a small number of people wallow in wealth while the rest of the world wallows in poverty; leaving very few in the middle.  

Pope Francis fired the first shot;

Pope Francis recently called for a "legitimate redistribution" of wealth when meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, saying governments should work to end the "economy of exclusion" that plagues the poor and the middle class from rising up the economic ladder.

"I do not hesitate to state, as did my predecessors, that equitable economic and social progress can only be attained by joining scientific and technical abilities with an unfailing commitment to solidarity accompanied by a generous and disinterested spirit of gratuitousness at every level," Francis said.

"A contribution to this equitable development will also be made both by international activity aimed at the integral human development of all the world's peoples and by the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the state, as well as indispensable cooperation between the private sector and civil society," the pontiff continued.

The pope, who has often reiterated his desire to see the Catholic Church be "a poor Church [...] for the poor," went on to argue that the only way to overcome poverty is to push forward and progress: "Much more needs to be achieved, since an important part of humanity does not share in the benefits of progress and is in fact relegated to the status of second-class citizens."

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


The streets are named after Hollywood legends (Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Dinah Shore) and ex-presidents (Gerald Ford). Sitting presidents come here to entertain heads of state (Obama meets with King Abdullah II of Jordan) and billionaires (Koch Brothers 'Billionaires Caucus') come here to put on "how to screw the American people" seminars for the 1% types.

There a set of railroad tracks that run through this valley. On the one side is the good life, for those who can afford it. The desert  floor of this valley is covered with a quilt of golf courses, resort hotels, gambling casinos, fine dinning restaurants, and country club like gated communities for those who can afford a second home.

 People flock here from all over the map. It's a gathering place for the gay community, snow birds, concert goers, sun worshipers, political power brokers, and a mish mash of what ever else falls under the "tourist" umbrella. Palm Springs is inundated with spectacular images of the good life plastered on the billboards, infomercials, and  brochure racks in travel agencies.

For example; Exclusive tour of the Ritz-Carlton experience

Enveloped in the Santa Rosa mountains, 650 feet above the valley - your experience can stay on property, or branch out to the more than 20 miles of mountain hiking trails originating from the hotel. All the while, receiving treatment stemming from the Ritz-Carlton motto: "We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen."

"The face of luxury is changing over time. The Ritz Carlton of old is the past. What we are creating is destinations within destinations. We don't want to be opulent or stuffy, we want to be warm and caring," general manager Doug Watson said.

Outside, you'll find three pools: family pool, one for kids, one just for adults.

"Our developers and owners do a great job of building wonderful environments and facilities. The heart of it is the ladies and gentleman. The difference is luxury consumers come to the Ritz Carlton for the service,” Gabaldon said.

What is not seen or talked about much is what goes on on the other side of the tracks.

While the folks at the Ritz are being showered with luxury life is much different for folks on the other side of the tracks a few miles away. One that the "ladies and gentlemen" would rather not talk about and that some consider an inconvenient embarrassment. People who consider someone asking for food or money to be "harassment" rather than a person in distress begging for help.

Concern Over Growing Homeless Camp in Palm Springs

There's concern over some tent cities going up in the City of Palm Springs. Homeless people have been setting-up several camps in and around the wash along Palm Canyon and Gene Autry, next to the Von's shopping center.

"You know how big is this tent city going to get? Is it going to continue to grow and grow and grow until we have a real issue here?" Douglas Clark said.

The Palm Springs resident takes regular hikes up the Murray Canyon trail nearby, he says he's recently noticed the growing problem.

He says there's a lot more transients wandering around, harassing hikers and shoppers.

"I have talked to a couple female hikers that they've been approached by guys that have said, Do you have a light? Do you have a cigarette? Do you have any money? I'm hungry, that sort of thing,"

Homeowners and business owners say there's been an increase in disturbances because of homeless people. They believe a recycling center there is also attracting a lot of transients. 

Mark McWaters admits the location is a convenient one.

"I've only been up here since last night, and I'm actually thinking of coming up here because its close to water and food resource," he said.

Only a few miles separate these two groups but the way they are perceived is millions of miles apart.

Pope Francis has spoken out on this issue several times (Pope demands 'legitimate redistribution' of wealth)
which, in the US seems to fall on deaf ears. Some even go so far as to label him a Marxists as they desperately try to hang on to the status quo;

He said a more equal form of economic progress can be had through "the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the state, as well as indispensable cooperation between the private sector and civil society."

Monday, May 12, 2014


How pathetic. And old billionaire naive enough to believe a woman 1/2 century younger than him would "like him" (in that way). How many other old farts are living in this same delusional state brought on by what could be called a Viagra/Cialis psychosis?

Donald Sterling tells Anderson Cooper: I was 'baited' into 'a terrible mistake'

"I don't know. An 80-year-old man is kind of foolish, and I'm kind of foolish. I thought she liked me and really cared for me," he said. "I guess being 51 years older than her, I was deluding myself. ... I just wish I could ask her why, and if she was just setting me up."

The answer to that question is simple. No, Donald, you set yourself up by opening up to someone who (had you been paying attention) was not there because they liked you, but rather because they liked your money. You got what you paid for.  

Sunday, May 11, 2014


Is going deeper into debt a sign that the economy is recovering or in relapse?

Americans are again huffing and puffing and blowing up the next balloon that will inevitably explode one more time and throw the country back into another financial crisis.

There's no stopping them. Like Lemmings racing towards the cliff consumers will once again prove that insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

There was a time when buying on credit was for sensible reasons; a home, a new car, r some other big ticket item that would be impossible for the average American to plunk down the cash for. That's something only a privileged few (the 1%) can indulge in.

Credit in these times; like many other aspects of life in America, has become addictive. The more the better. Going to a movie, buying a hamburger, or a pair of jeans.  No problem. When the balance get's up there you can just apply for another card and transfer it.

Are consumers just plain dumb or not paying attention? Are the banks so slick they can slip all those fees and interest charges in there without anyone noticing? Do consumers realize they are paying more for what they buy when they do it on credit? Sometimes as much as 20% more on cards doled out to those who can't afford to even have credit let alone be issued a credit card that will eventually come back to haunt them.

Consumer Credit Balances Jump

Consumer credit balances increased by $17.5 billion in March to a total of $3.141 trillion. The gain was a bigger increase than the $15.5 billion expected by economists.

This was the biggest month-over-month growth rate since February 2013, reports Bloomberg.

Nonrevolving debt like college and auto loans grew by $16.4 billion.

Revolving debt like credit cards increased by $1.1 billion.

Saturday, May 10, 2014


If you are going to be disgustingly rich you might as well go all out and flaunt it. The 1% must cringe every time this clown makes the news and acts as a reminder to the rest of us what Pope Francis described as "the root of all evil." Pope Francis: the love of money is the root of all evil

In July 2011, a Vanity Fair tell-all detailed the outrageous spending habits and lifestyle of Prince Jefri Bolkiah, brother of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. Among other tidbits, the profile said Prince Jefri owned more than 2,300 cars and a yacht named Tits with tenders called Nipple 1 and Nipple 2.

The Sultan himself lives in a palace with 1,788 rooms and 257 bathrooms. It's considered to be the world's second-largest palace after Beijing's Forbidden City, and reportedly has a 110-car garage, an air-conditioned stable for the Sultan's 200 polo ponies, and five swimming pools.

The Royals Of Brunei Lead Lives Of Almost Incomprehensible Wealth


There's nothing scarier than being in a situation with a bunch of strange looking people armed to the teeth, hiding behind women and children and daring anyone to do anything about it.

Metro officers who intervened to protect the lives of federal employees from the 400 or so Bundy supporters and armed militia members. Officers told the I-Team they feared for their lives that day because of the assembled firepower, and because many in the crowd had pointed weapons at officers, taunted them, told them they should be ready to die.

“When we first got out there and made a left to divide I-15, that is all you saw. You saw kids and women and horses in the backdrop and then men with guns, laying on the ground, in the back of pickup trucks. We’re going, ‘Wow, this would never happen in Las Vegas,’ But it was there. That is not a rumor. It is reality and I saw it with my own eyes,” said Metro Police Sgt. Tom Jenkins, who has been interviewed by the FBI. Read more at

So it is when it comes to these so-called "militias" who claim to be defending the Constitution while stomping on everything it stands for.

FBI investigating Bundy supporters in BLM dispute


I  get this feeling of nausea when people (especially Republicans) talk about income inequality as if it's what makes capitalism so great; being able to go from rags to riches by merely picking yourself up by your bootstraps, thinking to yourself, "yes I can" and shouting "America Strong" a dozen times.

As I look around I wonder how many Americans are still able to live in this fantasy world; at least without drugs.

True. America was once the "dream come true" capital of the world. People flocked here from all 4 corners of the planet intent on making the dream come true; and many did.

But that was then. This is now.

Tell me. How many Americans will be able to go from here;

To here;

Let alone, here;

“The game is rigged,” writes Senator Elizabeth Warren in her new book A Fighting Chance. It’s rigged because the rich and their lobbyists have rigged the rules of the game to their favor. The rules are reflected in a tax code and bankruptcy laws that have seen the greatest transfer of wealth from the middle class to the rich in U.S. history.
America has the most billionaires in the world, but not a single U.S. city ranks among the world’s most livable cities. Not a single U.S. airport is among the top 100 airports in the world. Our bridges, road and rail are falling apart, and our middle class is being guttered out thanks to three decades of stagnant wages, while the top 1 percent enjoys 95 percent of all economic gains.
Who feels it the worst?
To determine the 10 states with the most skewed growth in incomes, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed income growth figures from 1979 to 2007 from “The Increasingly Unequal States of America,” a study by Estelle Sommeiller and Mark Price published by the EPI. 

These are the 10 states where income inequality has soared. Read more: Ten States Where Income Inequality Has Soared - 24/7 Wall St. 
Some Americans; especially those in the top 1%, call this Marxism rather than " worldwide ethical mobilization" a term the Pope coined in a speech to the UN.
Pope Francis called for governments to redistribute wealth to the poor in a new spirit of generosity to help curb the "economy of exclusion" that is taking hold today.

Francis made the appeal during a speech to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the heads of major U.N. agencies who met in Rome this week. Latin America's first pope has frequently lashed out at the injustices of capitalism and the global economic system that excludes so much of humanity, though his predecessors have voiced similar concerns.

Francis called for the United Nations to promote a "worldwide ethical mobilization" of solidarity with the poor in a new spirit of generosity. He said a more equal form of economic progress can be had through "the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the state, as well as indispensable cooperation between the private sector and civil society."

Francis voiced a similar message to the World Economic Forum in January and in his apostolic exhortation "The Joy of the Gospel."

That document, which denounced trickle-down economic theories as unproven and naïve, provoked accusations in the U.S. that he was a Marxist.

Francis urged the U.N. to promote development goals that attack the root causes of poverty and hunger, protect the environment and ensure dignified labor for all.

"Specifically, this involves challenging all forms of injustices and resisting the economy of exclusion, the throwaway culture and the culture of death which nowadays sadly risk becoming passively accepted," he said.

One thing is certain. If Americans continue to elect politicians that pander to the needs of the wealthy (mostly Republicans) nothing will change and/or probably get worse.

Republicans are boldly predicting that they will regain control of the Senate in the coming mid-terms which in essence would seal the fat of the 99% of Americans who have been "excluded' or disenfranchised of the American dream.

The ones to feel the pain the most are the very ones who fail to show up and vote in mid-terms; the younger, working class voters who Republicans count on to be pre-occupied and distracted; no time to vote, too busy chasing the dream.

Time to wake up folks!

Thursday, May 8, 2014


A large percentage of millionaires are beginning to come around to acknowledging that income inequality; like climate change, is real.

Even though many of them still hang on to the myth that anyone can get to the top, there is a reluctant acknowledgement that it is more a "dream" than real.
In the heated debate over inequality, the wealthy are usually portrayed as the cause rather than the solution.

But CNBC's first-ever Millionaire Survey reveals that 51 percent of American millionaires believe inequality is a "major problem" for the U.S., and of those, nearly two-thirds support higher taxes on the wealthy and a higher minimum wage as ways to narrow the wealth gap.


Youths sue U.S. government over climate inaction | Al Jazeera America

Young people across the country are suing several government agencies for failing to develop a climate change recovery plan, conduct that amounts to a violation of their constitutional rights, says their lawyer Julia Olson.

Their futures are at stake, say the young plaintiffs.

Sunday, May 4, 2014


Congress Job Approval Starts 2014 at 13%

Job approval of Congress remains well below the historical average of 33%. Gallup has not measured a job approval rating above that mark since early in Barack Obama's presidency. Gallup first measured congressional job approval in 1974.
Congressional Job Approval: Recent Trend

The reason(s) are based on a myriad of factors but underlying it all is that the Congress of the Unitied States for all practical purposes is run like a brothel.

“Instead of electing the best leaders, we elect the best fund raisers.”

Defining a political whore is to simply look where the money is coming from.

·       SMALL Individual contributions from constituents; you – the voter.

·       LARGE; usually difficult to trace, amounts of money coming from wealthy individuals or 
organizations that buy, package, and own the candidate.

The way our broken political system works is that the chief place to raise money for campaigns is from industries and interest groups that want something from government. Influence is purchased all the time, whether in explicit quid pro quo trades or not, and such influence peddling just as bad for democracy as bribery.

Politicians, for the most part, behave like prostitute, drafting or blocking legislation that favor those who pay them; be it wealthy individuals, lobbyists, PACS, or any special interest groups or organizations willing to help finance their campaigns. 

Since these political whores still need to be voted into office they and their backers will say and do anything to sway voters to them and then, once elected, abandon these voters to pander to their benefactors. 

In this information age it isn't difficult to find out who these political whores are. One source; The Center for Responsive Politics  is a one-stop web site to find almost anything there is to know about politics, the politicians and the players. 

Here's an example of how quickly you can get a snapshot view of who is financially backing a politician; or in this example a "political whore".

Cycle Source of Funds, 2009-2014, Campaign Cmte only

Individual Contributions About Size of Contributions
 - Small Individual Contributions
 - Large Individual Contributions
$706,910 (5%)
$8,258,546 (59%)
legendPAC Contributions$3,120,138(22%)
legendCandidate self-financing$0(0%)

Note that only 5% of this politicians money comes from "small individual contributions" though he  has millions in his campaign coffer. 

Another example; one of a "politician" the numbers will reflect this:

Cycle Source of Funds, 2011-2014, Campaign Cmte only

Individual Contributions About Size of Contributions
 - Small Individual Contributions
 - Large Individual Contributions
$20,397,757 (46%)
$22,676,543 (51%)
legendPAC Contributions$712,408(2%)
legendCandidate self-financing$0(0%)
The coffer is filled with millions from "individual" donors; almost equally between both large and small contributions.

The best way to clean up the institution so that it is once again acting as the voice of the American people rather than a 2-bit brothel is to cut off the money so that a vote actually counts for something. 

"I think he (Sterling) was pimping us to get credit for helping the African American community."

When it comes to shining the light on games played by the 1% crowd Sterling is indeed the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to wealthy folks playing the charity card.

Here's the way one of the organizations that got played by the Sterling charity scam put it.

"I think he was pimping us to get credit for helping the African American community,0,359848.story#ixzz30lgEivdq

Recently, the 1% started to get nervous when Pope Francis (who happens to lead an organization of around 1.2 billion members)  spoke out against what Sterling has unwittingly brought into the spotlight;

Pope Francis' critical comments about the wealthy and capitalism have at least one wealthy capitalist benefactor hesitant about giving financial support to one of the church's major fundraising projects. 

Ken Langone, the investor known for founding Home Depot, among other things  told CNBC that one potential seven-figure donor is concerned about statements from the pope criticizing market economies as "exclusionary," urging the rich to give more to the poor and criticizing a "culture of prosperity" that leads some to become "incapable of feeling compassion for the poor."

Sterling does stand out from the pack in that he is either so arrogant (or dumb) that he would run full page ads in major newspapers drawing attention to his scam(s) which exposes that charity for many of the wealthy is nothing more than a tax dodging strategy with some free positive press to boot, plain and simple, and nothing more than "pimping" the system.

Friday, May 2, 2014


With enough money (Sterling) and knowing the right people (Jenkins) you can buy anything these days.

The N.A.A.C.P. is no different than any other organization when it comes to playing the money game. And they have no problem with hiring cronies who know how to troll for it.

Handing out awards; be it a lifetime achievement for racism to Sterling or an "honorary" (?) PhD to clowns like Reagan, if the money is there, you got it.

This isn't about Sterling or Jenkins more than it is about exposing the corruption that seethes through this society because of this unchecked influence wielded by those with money; bottom feeders of the highest kind.

The N.A.A.C.P. has known that Donald Sterling is a full blown racist for many years. They also were well aware that Jenkins was an easy target willing to whore himself out when he smelled money.

Rather than resignations and apologies, this organization like untold numbers of others ought to consider reform (bad word I know) with the focus on taking money and throwing awards at it, out of the equation.

 N.A.A.C.P. Scrutinizes Branch Over Honor for Clippers Owner