Tag Archives: IRS

When Murder is just Tough Love: the Culture and Practical Reason of Terrorism after the Quatorze Juliet

A close friend sent me a cute French electronic card for Bastille Day 2016.   And what a Bastille Day it turned out to be, eh?  Think about it!!! A third massive attack on the French people in about a year… But… Cui Bono? What is an attack but an invitation to a counterattack? So if you’re going to start a war, your attack should always be something that weakens the enemy in some regard, right? But NONE of these stupid Muzzies seem to get that, do they? They always attack innocent civilians—everywhere they go, or at the most they attack government bureaucrats….What kind of logic is that? You attack people to prod them into attacking you, but all of your attacks seem carefully designed to arouse ire and anger among the populace while leaving the infrastructure of war that will be used against you completely intact and untouched. Is it just me or is there something wrong with this picture? It’s almost like the people making the attacks ONLY want to make the people MORE willing to counter-attack them back? How is that logical?

Holidays are very important, especially those with fireworks.  I have never lived in France or Quebec, but by the time I was 18 I had lived in London, Dallas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Honduras, and whether it’s New Years’ Eve, Guy Fawkes’ Day, the Fourth of July, the 15th of September, or the Queen’s Birthday, fireworks celebrations are really great.  So I try to imagine what would have happened if there had been a bombing during one of those holidays in any of the places I ever habituated…. and what would have been the purpose.  

And what of the Quatorze Julliet?  My grandmother was a Francophone and Francophile native of Louisiana and my Texas-born grandfather’s life took him from Galveston to “the City” on a regular basis, plus I took French in High School and College, and several of my professors were Francophones and Francophiles at Tulane and during those years—including  Archaeologists Harvey Bricker and Cynthia Irwin-Williams who had both studied under Hallam Movius, and from them all, I obtained a love for and habit of celebrating July 14, Bastille Day.

Terrorism, traditionally understood, is a species of poor-man’s war or revolution.  As such, it is inherently secretive and illegal.  War is open and honest: Austria declared war on Serbia, so Russia declared war on Austria, Germany was required by treaty to go to war with Russia to defend Austria, Britain was required by treaty, etc., and so the Great War of 1914-1918 began.  BUT EVERYBODY KNEW IT.

When terrorist organizations claim responsibility after the fact for their crimes… they are doing just that, they are claiming criminal responsibility… and when criminals claim responsibility for anything, you have to wonder: why?

And so I think to myself, what do the April 1995 Bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building, 9/11/01 in New York City and Washington, 7/7/05 in London, Dylan Storm Roof’s murderous assault in Charleston last June 17, Charlie Hebdo in France, and now this latest atrocity in Nice all have in common?  

Well, they neither advance any coherent revolutionary plan, nor weaken the countries they attack.  They all happen either on days with interesting numbers or anniversaries.   But the truck bombing that took out 84 yesterday, including two American tourists apparently, just “takes the cake” on Bastille Day—which now joins Guy Fawkes Day and 9/11, 7/7 and 6/17/15 anniversary of the collapse of Denmark Vesey’s 1822 slave uprising in Charleston as “false flag” or stage events of terrorism.

Bastille Day was already a slightly fictitious holiday because, as Louis XVI wrote in his diary, on 14 July 1789, “Nothing Important Happened.”  A mob knocked down an old prison with one prisoner, but the embattled King with a short life-expectancy didn’t even notice, under his peculiar circumstances.  As my son likes to say—the 14th of July was really a tragedy for the future of French Tourism—the Bastille, Mediaeval relic fortress that it was, would have been a major attraction had it survived…  But the French know how to make a good party out of a bad deal—and very few American Fourth of July Cookouts EVER equal the average 14 July party in France or among Francophile/Francophones worldwide… the comparison of the food and wine alone…. oh well, never mind.

But I keep trying to think to myself: if I were an Islamic Freedom-Fighter or would-be Caliph, would attacking innocent people over and over again at random make any sense?  What would I be hoping to accomplish?  What would be my goals?  What good TO ME AND MY CAUSE could possibly inure from committing such crimes?

A sophisticated and coordinated attack in the United States followed by a similar attack in London, and then a decade later two similarly “low tech” attacks in France, and a bunch of random attacks in the meantime… scattered around the world.  Shootings at Fort Hood in Texas, connected or not?  Who knows?  The Boston Marathon whatever it was, connected or not?  Who knows?  The Chattanooga, TN veteran shooting, connected or not?  Who knows?

What is absolutely certain is that SOMEONE wants to create the image of Islamic terror as a world-wide phenomenon that requires  coordinated security and response.  If I were an Islamic Freedom-Fighter or would-be Caliph, would this kind of premonitory strategy seem like a good idea to me?   The answer is NO.

Revolutionary terrorism needs to be targeted on ONE government, one regime, one power structure—and it needs to be consistent and persistent enough to destabilize a society or at least an elite.  The pattern of Islamic Terror since the original 1993 World Trade Center bombing is NOT THAT.   The movement around the map, the focus on NON-STRATEGIC, NON-MILITARY, NON-INFRASTRUCTURE targets is very consistent.

The murder of innocent people was an integral part of Timothy McVeigh’s and Dylan Storm Roof’s approach in distinctly non-Islamic terrorist events in the United States—and their two attacks had no more coordinated relationship to any ideological goals than the long line of supposed Islamic terrorist events.  Even my dearly departed, mild mannered, deeply religious late mother said, way back in April 1995, “if they call themselves Patriots and wanted to make a meaningful statement, they really should have bombed the IRS.”  And if Dylan Storm Roof were really a racist White Supremacist, the LAST associations he would have wanted to make were the killing of elderly black people during a prayer meeting at a conservative African Methodist Episcopal Church on the 193rd anniversary of the Suppression of one of the most famous Slave Rebellions in U.S. History: this sort of symbolism all plays for the OTHER side—and so does bombing the French Riviera during Bastille Day celebrations.  

IF you want to make sure to build your enemies’  anger and take every step possible to ensure that NOBODY has any sympathy for your cause, (a) make sure nobody knows what your cause is and (b) do things in random places but on important days to make sure people remember the randomness.

In short, to my mind, there is absolutely ZERO chance that the Nice attack on Bastille Day was organized by anyone sincerely to advance the Islamist cause.   You want to bomb a target on a holiday?  If you’re a real revolutionary, you seek a target like an electrical power plant or water pumping station or even a sewerage processing plant where you can disable your opponents entire city and infrastructure in some really inconvenient and expensive way.  Osama bin Laden was a structural engineer and IF he had been in charge of 9-11, as a plot against the United States, I’ve always said his targets of choice would have been the undefended dams along the Colorado River, in order to cutoff the water supply to evil sinful cities like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and the California “Inland Empire.”

So none of these attacks, my friends, are about an Islamic agenda for World Domination or even in revenge for the (indisputable) wrongs suffered by the Arab and Islamic people generally at British, French, and most recently American Imperialist hands….

WHO WANTS TO DIVIDE AND CONQUER THROUGH TERROR?  The Radical Islamic World?  Or Powers, Princes and Potentates MUCH Closer to Home!

All these attacks, in my opinion, reflect a “tough love” strategy of the United States, French, and British Governments to “soften up” the people and by long-term repetitive pseudo-Pavlovian conditioning make them (i.e. US, the free and responsible people of America and Europe) willing to accept an all-encompassing, eternal “Thousand Year” Police State—exactly what Strom Thurmond predicted was the goal in his “Dixiecrat” Platform of 1948.  They want to impose the police state for our own good and our own protection, don’t you understand?  That’s why modern government false-flag murder is just TOUGH LOVE.  And if you don’t like it, well, tough s__t, you know, my fellow Americans: “We have to break a few eggs here and there to prepare for you our New World Order of Omelette—-they’re all for you, you know!  But we know you’re too stupid to want this wonderful highly organized Police State where we can organize and regulate all of your lives, so we have to scare you into it.”  

In other words: Tales of Terrorism function for the modern media  motivated masses exactly the way Perrault’s or Grimm’s Fairy tales did in days of yore…. scary stories are INSTRUCTIONAL!  You need to scare the children by telling them about the BIG BAD WOLF and what he did to Little Red Riding Hood, or about what the Witch did to Hansel & Gretel with her candy house, so that they will live in constant fear of strangers and of attempting to strike out on their own.  FEAR!  FEAR!  FEAR!  “You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear, it’s got to be taught from year-to-year, it’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear, You’ve got to be carefully taught.”

DALLAS WAS JUST PERFECT!

The Dallas Police Murders last week, which suspiciously took place on the now recurring date of 7/7, were not Islamic either, but they served the fear purpose and the “Divide and Conquer” purpose to a degree unmatched in any other attack.  Black people killing black cops—a recipe made by Machiavelli in Hell….

Peaceful black protesters complaining about police brutality were forced to hide behind the police lines when one or more black gunmen murdered 5 and injured 7 more.  DID THIS ADVANCE THE CAUSE OF “BLACK LIVES MATTER”?  No, but it was a boon for American Renaissance (and I write this as a regular reader  of and a subscriber to AmRen).

To feed the ignorant white suburban paranoia of blacks attacking whites was a simple stroke of Genius on the part of the Obama administration—all of a sudden, we have forced a portion of the black population into making a choice: either they act out the worst fears of the white middle class suburbanites or they support the Police.  Obama, as usual, was totally two-faced, but two-faced is how the supporters of the police state need to be: they need to FOMENT inter-racial violence on the one hand and then condemn murder on the other, because THIS STRATEGY SUPPORTS INCREASING THE POWER AND THE EFFICACY OF THE STATE.

The way to satisfy the Black Lives Matter movement is to suppress white-conservative expression and culture and desires to be left alone in an essentially segregated society.  To satisfy the White AND Black Middle and Upper Classes, the government must enlarge (a better word might be to engorge) the police state and enhance the power of the police to protect them from the rising black tide.

Now I read AmRen and similar publications and websites because I support what I perceive as their key long-term goals, namely segregation of the races to maintain cultural continuity.  Strangely enough, many black civil rights advocates share these goals, and I wholeheartedly support those who do.  BUT I HATE INJUSTICE, UNFAIRNESS, and  OPPRESSION and the way the POLICE STATE MAXIMIZES all three.  And the only thing that all the terrorist murders of the past 21 years since Oklahoma really have in common is: they justify oppressive measures and unfair oppression.

I totally disagree, then, with the advocacy of increased police power and authority which the reaction to Dallas has engendered both among the White and Black Middle Class.   Whites may believe that the police are on their side, but my experience in life is quite the opposite.  The calibre and IQ of men (and women) who opt for a career in law enforcement are not the highest, and police ONLY support the “side” that pays them directly (namely the State and City power structures, and the banks and other large institutions who support those) AGAINST ALL THE PEOPLE, REGARDLESS OF RACE CREED, OR COLOR.

One feature of modern society that deeply distresses me is the increasingly lack of respect among people.  The police do not respect anyone’s rights, as can be seen from countless examples in various fields of law enforcement, from domestic relations to enforcement of judicial foreclosures.  But ordinary people, too, do not respect each other’s rights, space or property, and depend for all protection on the police or state power generally as arbiters of everything.  Individuals need to take responsibility for all things, including their own protection and that of their loved ones and property.

Concern over lack of respect is, I think, a unifying theme in both the radical White and radical Black Lives Matter movements.  

Quatorze Juillet  (Edith Piaf)

Il me vient par la fenêtre
Des musiques de la rue.
Chaque estrade a son orchestre.
Chaque bal a sa cohue.
Ces gens-là m’ont pris ma fête.
Je ne la reconnais plus.

Dans ma chambre, je me chante
L’air que nous avons valsé.
Je regarde la toquarde
Où tes doigts se sont posés.

Tu m’as dit : “Tu es si belle.”
Et tu as, l’instant d’après,
Ajouté : “La vie est bête.”.
J’ai compris que tu partais.
Si tu ne reviens jamais,
Il n’y aura plus de quatorze juillet.

Il me vient par la fenêtre
Un murmure qui s’éteint,
Les chansons d’une jeunesse
Attardée dans le matin.
N’allez pas troubler mon rêve.
Allez rire un peu plus loin.

Que m’apporte, que m’apporte
Cette joie de quelques heures ?
Je suis morte, je suis morte
Et je t’ai déjà rejoint
Et mon corps est près du tien
Mais personne n’en sait rien…

The 14th of July

He comes to my window
The music in the street
Each stage has its orchestra
Each dance has its crowd
These people took my celebration
I don’t recognize it anymore

In my room, I sing to myself
The air that we waltzed in
I watch the infatuation
Where your fingers encountered mine

You tell me “you are so beautiful”
And you after a moment
Added “life is stupid”
I understood that you left
If you never come back
There will not be another 14th of July

He came to my window
A murmur that has extinguished
The songs of youth
Lingering in the morning
Don’t go troubling my dream
Laughing one step further away

That brings me, that brings me
The joy of a few hours
I’m dead, I’m dead
And I already reached you
And my body is close to yours
But nobody knows anything…

When is a Pastor Embezzling from a Church? As the Feast of All Saints Approaches—is it time to Open the Barry Taylor Case to real inquiry as to all sides?

http://blogs.christianpost.com/time-for-everything/how-to-spot-a-pastor-or-priest-stealing-church-funds-16556/

I have not written on the Barry Taylor fiasco at All Saints Church in Beverly Hills for several weeks now.  It is not because my opinion has changed but just because… I have too much else going on in my life (LAME, LAME excuse, I know).  

Typically, the Feast of All Saints is the highlight of my own personal Church year.  Like so many modern (and historical) Christo-pagans, I love Halloween and Samhain, All Saints, and Day of the Dead/All Souls Day for their syncretic qualities, in both Europe and Mexico (translated to America), crossing the boundaries between ancient and contemporary religious worship and social customs.  One of my local chauffeurs (or more properly, in Spanish, “choferes”, Alberto Felipe, a hative Zapotec from Oaxaca), needed extra money for his mother to prepare the family altar in East L.A. for the Día de los Difuntos.  But, also I was confirmed at All Saints in Beverly Hills when I had just turned 14, in April 1974, and my parents’ Oxford Movement “home away from home” Church in London was All Saints on Margaret Street in London W1W, City of Westminster, in Fitzrovia, but near the triangulation point of that neighbourhood with Marylebone, and Soho.  So All Saints seems very important in my life.

And so I remain outraged that I found there one block from the intersection of Rodeo Drive and Santa Monica the first Episcopal Priest who ever really and truly moved me and inspired me to think, even to change my thinking, and he has been fired, forced to resign, on the flimsiest of charges, and this all just hits WAY too close to home.

Barry’s new home in Brentwood is a small “liberal” Lutheran Church in Brentwood on Church Street which looks every bit of the marginal suburban Church that it is.                                                 (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Village-Church-of-Westwood-Lutheran/116610431697541).  The Village Church is just not one of Walter Christaller’s “Central Place” the way All Saints Beverly Hills, in the heart of Los Angeles really and truly is.                                      (http://geography.about.com/od/urbaneconomicgeography/a/centralplace.htm).    So the presentation of “the Gospel according to Barry Taylor” (a book which I told him he should write on more than one occasion during the past two years), will be marginalized and pushed to the side.  This cannot be coincidence.

As the Feast of All Saints Approaches, the magnitude of the Tragedy and Travesty just keeps getting bigger. 

The question of the mere propriety of the charges against Barry which led to his forced resignation continues to grate at me: is it really “embezzlment” (in the sense of a misappropriation of funds or a breach of trust with the Congregation) for a priest to use funds from his own sermon’s collection plates for any expenses related to his role as a priest?

One June 13 2013 article I found on-line, “How to Spot a Pastor or Priest Stealing Church Funds,” the web-address I cited above at the outset of this note, suggested: 

“Here are four possible signs that money is being embezzled by religious leaders.

  1. The pastor or priest lives an extravagant lifestyle.
  2. The church leader regularly fails to turn in receipts when using the church or ministry credit card.
  3. The church sends you a receipt for donations and the amount listed doesn’t match your own records of what you have given. (Anonymously given cash offerings will not be tracked.)
  4. The church suddenly starts showing large unexplained debts.”

NONE of these factors were alleged to have manifested themselves at All Saints, Beverly Hills.  NO NOT ONE. 

Except that every one of Barry’s friends to whom I have spoken have affirmed that he NEVER USED a Church Credit Card or Charge Account and NEVER PRESENTED RECEIPTS for reimbursement from his expenditures.  And it is undeniably true that the ONLY member of the Clergy at All Saints housed in a somewhat extravagant manner is the Rector, Reverend Stephen Huber himself, complete with servants and a nearly unlimited entertainment budget—as is totally befitting of the neighborhood.  But Barry Taylor did not partake of such luxuries….not perhaps by choice, but because of internal Church Policies.

Churches are now regulated by the IRS under 501(c)(3).  This is the provision by which they maintain their Tax-Exempt Status.  The IRS is one of the major symptoms of alien domination and domestic slavery in the United States (of Untied Constitutional constraints) today.  There are those who believe that Churches who seek IRS protection are voluntarily serving Caesar rather than God—and yes, that was part of Barry’s Second Sermon at Westwood Village Lutheran Church two weeks ago.

A couple of years ago, Glenn Beck, one of whose “Reclaim America” Rallies I attended in Orlando back in the Spring of 2010, had asked Pastors to defy 501(c)(3) and preach on religion for at least one Sunday.(http://www.glennbeck.com/2012/09/27/pulpit-freedom-sunday/) I believe it was Stephen Huber’s First or Second Year as Rector of All Saints, when Barry’s alternative service was consigned to the small All Saints Chapel, before it was given full AS2 Status in the main Church, but Steve made it clear that All Saints WOULD NOT participate in “Pulpit Freedom” Sunday and that it planned on obeying all IRS regulations and that all IRS agents, officers, and tax collectors were welcome at All Saints.  The Gospel Truth and Christian validity of admitting Tax Collectors and (all other) Prostitutes to Church is unquestionable in light of the “WWJD?” formulaic question.  Jesus would invite the Publicans, and possibly even some Republicans (say I, speaking as both a former President of Tulane College Republicans,and one of the few Confessing Harvard graduate school Republicans known ever to have lived, a supporter of both the Buckley brothers and Ronald Reagan, both as California Governor and President of the USA, and of Pat Buchanan, and of Texas Representative Ron Paul both as congressman and presidential candidate, but also as one who has become strangely intolerant of and uninterested in Senator Rand Paul, whose emails have become very “spammy” rather than welcome information in my inbox).

But in spite of the Reverend Huber’s Gospel accuracy that we should tolerate tax collectors and IRS officials in our midst, I thought his message AGAINST Pulpit Freedom was something of a cop out. (and compare also: http://www.alliancedefendingfreedom.org/pulpitfreedom). And I think that Huber’s and the Bishop’s “paper pushing” attack on Barry Taylor was wrong, untrustworthy, and generally, MORALLY unworthy.  

Great men like the Reverend Barry Taylor need to be preaching at “Central Places” to reshape and reform the Episcopal Church, and to guarantee the transformation and survival of the Christian Faith into the current millennium.  Things cannot be forever as they have been.  They must Change.  Barry Taylor Represents Change.  Barry Taylor needs a Centrally Placed Pulpit from which to Preach.  If All Saints and the Episcopal Church cannot accept the indictment of hypocrisy which the dismissal of Barry Taylor has leveled upon them, the members of the Church need to revolt, and to demand a “new birth of freedom” in the Episcopal Church—a new birth of Christian life and authenticity.  

Strange indeed that Barry reminds me more than anyone of the Irish Catholic John Dominic Crossan, with whose work I first became familiar when he visited for a fortnight at Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach (also in the Spring of 2010).  But unlike the highly academic Crossan, Taylor takes his message to the people.  And it seems that All Saints has ERASED all of Barry’s Recorded Sermons and DELETED all of his contributions over the years at All Saints, and this is one of the greatest tragedies in the English Church, comparable on a small scale to the monstrous destruction and abolition of the monasteries and the confiscation of their property under King Henry VIII.

The Confederate Flag, Constitutional Slavery, and Constitutional Freedom

https://www.facebook.com/pages/What-is-the-Confederate-flag-about/194319327272913

The Confederate Flag, like the Confederate States of America, was all about Constitutionally Limited Government and FREEDOM. It seems ironic to some, an irony exploited by those who think shallow thoughts, that those most dedicated to personal liberty indisputably believed that they were “Free to Keep Slaves”. I have considered this syllogistic problem and believe it to be inherently true that the Confederate Government WAS more committed to freedom than the Union.

https://www.facebook.com/TheConstitutionOfTheCSAExplained

Absolute individual freedom, under any coherent system of law, WOULD include the power to sell oneself into slavery, because slavery is just the ultimate power of self-determination (to extinguish one’s power to self-determination. Individual freedom, however, is utterly incompatible with vast governmental power to protect individual rights.  “The greater degree of governmental protection of individual rights, the greater degeneration of individual freedom.

In the United States, the ultimate proof of this fact is that more blacks are now in jail than were ever held in chattel slavery, and the direct “honesty” of the system of slavery has been replaced by an elaborate ruse and deception committed by the government in the name of “due process of law.”  

Because today is the 76th anniversary of Orson Welles’ Famous “War of the Worlds” Radio Show, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/welles-scares-nation, it seems appropriate to ponder the American War Between the States as the first of a trio and as such the 19th Century predecessor the two great subsequent Marxist-inspired “Wars to Change the World” which followed it in the Twentieth (aka “The Great War” of 1914-1918″ and “The Good War” of 1939-1945, more commonly called World Wars I and II).  What is really more horrible to contemplate: Alien invasions from another planet or “friendly invasions to save us from ourselves” launched by our do-gooding neighbors and relatives in the world?  What is worse?  Death by alien marauders or slavery in concrete, unescapable prisons built to promote “the general welfare?”

Just last week (Tuesday 21 October 2014), I attended a City Council Meeting in Beverly Hills, California, where the Mayor and Council were debating, among other things, the “absolute necessity” of posting armed guards in every school, starting with Beverly Hills High School, in that elite, but now largely “alien” (i.e. foreign-born) enclave of Los Angeles, and of building walls around all schools which are higher and more impenetrable than the walls around the White House, which were recently scaled by a single intruder.  THE PRISON PLANET HAS COME HOME!!!!   Wow, you know, what a concept?  Walled public schools patrolled 24 hours a day by armed Guards in one of the richest zip codes of America and the World—that sounds like the American Dream AND the best way to provide a productive learning environment for its children, doesn’t it?  We all know that the guards will be too busy protecting the kids from attacks by ISIS to use their power to harass the High School Students, don’t we now?  (Anyone who doesn’t see the obvious sarcasm here is free to go jump into the nearest body of water deep enough to drown him or herself.)

The American Criminal Justice system is indeed Criminal but it contains no justice and is hardly American except in its geographic origin (but not its boundaries).  The American Criminal Justice system as it currently operates depends on the government’s ability to coerce individuals into plea bargains which render the “pleading” individual into little more than an ordinary slave for the rest of his life—except that his life belongs to the soulless government, not to an individual who might show kindness or cruelty or both (as most humans do).  

In Britain, political legal scholars often debate the limits of the power of Parliament. “Is the Power of Parliament Absolute?” goes the first question. “Yes,” is the first answer. So can Parliament delegate all its power to a dictator, or indeed, to the Queen from whom (historically speaking) the Power of the Parliament (legally, formally) derived? “NO”, say the commentators. “Well, then, the power of Parliament is not Absolute.”

We see relics of this problem in modern legal question regarding the rights of living people to sell kidneys or other organs in other to keep other people alive. This is considered a crime “for the benefit of the individual” who might otherwise sell parts of his own body and thereby reduce his own life expectancy. But those who support abortion support a form of “slavery”, declaring the right of a woman to abort that part of her body which has the undeniable status as a separable (just not yet separated) human being.

And of course, the modern STATE endorses all kinds of slavery under different names: prison, “the voluntary income tax”, “criminal liability for borrowers accepting bank credit applications containing false statements prepared by bank officers”.

I think our Confederate ancestors opposed the notion that the GOVERNMENT had the power to hold anyone in slavery, and therein is the resolution to the syllogistic dilemma: does the Constitution exist to limit the power of the government to enslave or did the Nation commit, through the Declaration of Independence, to force “equality” among “all men” and so to abolish the freedom of individuals to own property in their own bodies, and to sell this property.

https://www.facebook.com/TheConstitutionOfTheCSAExplained

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Unreconstructed-Rebel/275457345930002

REMICS | DID THE IRS CAUSE THE FINANCIAL CRISIS?

Justice League

As the dust from the financial crisis begins to settle, we learn that the lack of IRS enforcement of themortgage-backed securities industry bears blame for the financial crisis. The financial crisis began when lenders started making bad loans on a large-scale basis in the late ’90s and early ’00s. Big banks purchased these bad loans, bundled them into trusts, and sold interests in the trusts to investors worldwide. The interests in the trusts are mortgage-backed securities. The investors (financial institutions, pension and retirement plans, insurance companies, state and local governments and individuals) did not know the loans were bad, and paid inflated prices for the mortgage-backed securities. Now that the practices of lenders and banks are coming to light, borrowers and investors are seeking to recover losses through lawsuits. And it is obvious that better practices, as required by tax law and enforced through IRS audit, would have prevented or mitigated those losses.

Mortgage-backed securities are a vital part…

View original post 117 more words

Patriot’s Day 2013—April 15 Ennui in Boston—why I feel numb and no longer care (I hadn’t even notice four and a half months had already gone by again….)

Of course it’s a sad thing when anyone dies….. except, exactly why is it sad? Death is, after all, absolutely the only, the one single thing that all of we sons of Adam and daughters of Eve know for sure that we have in common.  Why should we be sad about that which is certain and inevitable?  Are we sad when the sunrises or sets?  

Nihil nisi bonum de Mortuis, wrote Marcus Tullius Cicero (without explaining how he felt about death after they posted his head on a spike in the Forum Romanun after Julius Caesar’s Assassination—it makes no sense to me why Mark Anthony and his allies wanted to killed Cicero—the great orator was basically critical of everybody….equal opportunity negative rhetoric was quite his specialty “Cicero was a real pompous ass” as top Newcomb Classics scholar Sarah Willard used to say back in my undergraduate days… To which my aunt Mildred replied, “what a marvelously astute young lady.”)  Cicero clearly was a pompous ass, but I wish we had just a few like him around these days….

To say that death comes too early to some—well, the miseries of old age don’t come to them at all.  Perhaps they are saved from betrayals by those they love, who instead of turning against them from greed or boredom will remember them fondly if they died young.  John F. Kennedy was simply not destined to become a grumpy old man.  Marilyn Monroe never had to worry about wrinkles or men not asking her out anymore…. Princess Diana never lost her saintly regal aura as she almost certainly would have had she actually settled down to live (in sin or otherwise) with Dodi Fayed.  An early death surely saves some people from fates much worse than death and thereby grants them imperishable fame.

But “terror” in the United States has become mind-numbingly tiresome and dull.  Thirty years ago, “domestic terror” basically didn’t exist—the occasional postal worker would “go postal” (= go berserk), riots would happen from time to time.

But every four months now, or so it seems, it’s time for another “tragedy” and we are expected dutifully either to ululate in public or at least go about wailing and gnashing our teeth in private.  July 2012—Batman in Aurora, December 2012—Newton School Children—April 2013—I can’t believe I hadn’t gotten the rhythm of it—every four and a half months we need a terroristic event, don’t we?  

I guess it keeps the blood circulating for some people, but not for me anymore.  It’s just a crashing bore: another chance for police to “boost security worldwide”, engage in “clamp down” in every city, and be extra-vigilant in their surveillance of the ignorant masses.  And talking of ignorant masses: did you hear that George W. Bush is now taking painting lessons in Dallas?

The newspapers from Paris-to-Portland talk of the tragedy, tragedy, tragedy, the pain and the tears—but who can cry for Argentina or America anymore?  I cannot.  I absolutely know that all these events are staged theatre and the use of real blood instead of ketchup or some other red tint on the sidewalks doesn’t make it any less theatrical—just a bit more primitive and sacrificial, perhaps, “Blood of the Lamb” and all that.  

I read with almost dull non-challance that the Boston Police had tweeted an announcement in the Boston Globe that there was going to be a “Bomb Explosion Exercise”, just as there was a North Atlantic Air Exercise on 9-11-01, just as there were tunnel exercises in London 0n 07-07-05.  Who cares?  

We who are awake and alert know that the government makes up the news as it goes along to suit its own purposes and those who have not realized or accepted this by now are free to cry for the runners of the Boston Marathon if they want to. 

In 1992, I thought that Ruby Ridge was a terrible tragedy—my wife was pregnant and my son was born so I was somewhat distracted that month, but I thought it was a terrible thing that the government had done.  And the conversations of just a couple of years ago with friends in Washington about how domestic terrorism was the next big threat now that the Cold War was over never entered my mind at that point.

I was likewise mesmerized in front of the TV at Judge Kenneth L. Ryskamp’s West Palm Beach chambers in April 1993 during the Mount Carmel/Branch Davidian Crisis as we all watched Waco waft up in smoke fanned by ATF flame-throwers.  Judge Ryskamp had been involved in the Miami legal scene for several decades and he had absolutely nothing good to say about then Attorney General Janet Reno…. but she was not prosecuted.  Only the “little people” who survived the government onslaught were ever accused of any wrongdoing, naturally.  Little people always get in the way, you know… of big projects.  Although what the big project was in Waco in April 1993, I’m still not sure.  Perhaps it was sowing the seeds of that much needed campaign of domestic terrorism which would reshape and sustain the government after the cold war….

Two years later, the explosion and collapse of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City was shocking.  I was attending a Rotary Meeting luncheon at the time and it was so utterly boring the news from straight up north on I-35 was almost a relief….much as I hate to say so.  Maybe that goes back to the whole “we need terrorist attacks to keep our blood circulating” concept noted above.

My mother, I guess, was perhaps wiser than I was, or at least more jaded.  Her question was: if they’re going to be anti-government terrorists, why couldn’t they do something useful, you know, like blow up the IRS?  It doesn’t help anything to blow up a Federal Building.  What happens in a Federal building anyhow?  (I hate to say it but I have only the vaguest notion myself…they apparently have child care facilities there is all that came to like after OKC).  I guess the answer to my mother’s question became fully apparent only after 9-11-01: real terrorists would take out real targets, but phony fake false-flag government terrorists only take out buildings that no one really cares about anyhow….

With a hey, ho, the wind and the rain for the rain it raineth every day…

In the summer of 1998, my son and I were on Holiday in Chicago.  We had a fantastic suite at the old Chicago Hilton on Michigan Avenue overlooking Grant Park and the Lake.  It was really one of the best suites I’ve ever had anywhere—tons of space for a five year old to run around and play in, and a three way view of Michigan Avenue North, East, and South.  So when the news of the bombings in Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam detained us in the room, and we had to explain to Charlie why we were glued to the tube….it was hard to explain to a little boy what it was all about.  It’s hard to explain to anyone what it’s all about, isn’t it?

September 11, 2001, was an epic day for me in many ways.  It started out with…well, some evidence of paranormal phenomena in my home and family life, progressed to a long drive listening to Lohengrin, and I only became aware of what was going on when I arrived at my destination at the Southwesternmost “Pinnacle” Campus of Austin Community College…. (The ACC Pinnacle Campus, 7748 Highway 290 West, Austin, Texas 78736, is one of eight campuses in the ACC District service area).  I was supposed to teach something about Political Anthropology and Cultural Evolution, but the television screens taught us all much more about those subjects.

I didn’t exactly know why but from the very moment it all started I could not think of anything except that Osama bin Laden was going to be the new Guy Fawkes…. this was all well over four years before V-for-Vendetta came out—it was originally scheduled to be released on Guy Fawkes’ Day in 2005, but it was delayed until the Spring of 2006 I think.  

By noon of 9-11-2001, I suppose my destiny as a “9-11 truther” was already fixed in stone—although I didn’t become aware of the movement or actively involved until 2003-2004.  But by noon of 9-11-2001, I knew I could see no aeroplane wreckage at the Pentagon.  NOT A SCRAP, and I knew it was quite simply physically impossible that an aeroplane actually hit the Pentagon, so what happened?  By that afternoon, when Building 7 came down—I was deeply puzzled but I didn’t know anything about controlled demolition…..so I couldn’t form the scenario in my head completely.  

By that evening I could tell that George W. Bush’s reelection campaign had already started.  I later found out my mother had come to exactly the same conclusion.  To paraphrase both Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt simultaneousely, the 43rd U.S. President George W. Bush had nothing to offer except Fear Itself, and nothing to fear except blood, toil, sweat, and tears….  And I suppose that’s why a couple of months later GWB went on television to tell everyone to go have a Merry Christmas and be “patriotic” by going out and doing lots of Christmas shopping.  I think my grandfather would have dropped dead, had he not died 21 years before that… he was always scandalized by America’s “crass materialism in time of war”, having been for a couple of years in charge of regional gas rationing and similar forms of organized, Patriotic, sacrifice during World War II, in which he heartily participated although he had not initially believed War was necessary—and his elder sister Marguerite was  an “active pacifist” associate of the anti-war Bund.

I guess the last time I was sad about any of these events was after the Madrid train bombing mostly because I had taken the exact same route and knew how beautiful the train route was and how completely unwarlike the Spanish people were, whatever their ancestors in the 1930s or 1450s-1590s might have been like.

So 7-7 in London was just “predictable” as were the bombings in Djakarta and I didn’t even bother to keep up, honestly.  2011 rolled around and I just commented to my friends, including William Rodriguez, a former janitor/custodians at the World Trade Center whom I had gotten to know through the Truther movement and from working with Philip J. Berg, “Well, Norway can expect to have it’s own Patriot Act within about 60-90 days, want to make a bet how long it will take?”  

Quite simply, it has become absolutely impossible to believe ANYTHING the government or mainstream media says.  “You got the CBS, and the ABC, you got Time and Newsweek, they’re the same to me—-PUZZLING EVIDENCE, PUZZLING EVIDENCE” to quote from the wild-eyed Texas Pastor in “True Stories” (David Byrne & the Talking Heads’ 1986 masterpiece, the clarity and depth of whose brilliance has only grown with time, even as the Texas Sesquicentennial of Special-Ness has receded into dim memory).

So, sorry folks: here are my great hopes about the possible results of the 15th of April in ’13:  (1) I hope that the commemorations of Paul Revere’s Ride on the 18th, and of the Battles of Lexington & Concord on April 19, will go ahead as normally scheduled, because THOSE were all very important events, (2) I hope that as a real result of the “tragedy” of the Boston Police Department’s Bomb Explosion Exercises which took place yesterday (whoever they decide to try to pin the blame on eventually—I wonder how much they have to pay to Patsies or their families these days???? I hope it’s a lot—I hope they pay in Gold and Silver in fact…), I do hope that as a real security measure, they will now forever BAN Urban Marathons.

Urban Marathons really have no purpose except to create traffic congestion and major driving problems for ordinary folks, whether it’s Boston or LA or you name it.  Healthy, safe MARATHONS could and should be run WAY OUT IN THE COUNTRY.  In rural agricultural areas or forests or on seaside roads snipers will have to hide behind trees or in cornfields or rocks and will be easily visible. Any potential attackers will be all the more visible and apparent because  very small (if any) crowds will ever assemble to watch, so that if bombs are set off, they may disturb the vegetation, but little else.  Now THIS (the abolition of Urban Marathons) would be a REAL security improvement AND a real advance in Urban life in America generally.

Here endeth my most severely curmudgenous meditations on this most solemn day.  To the victims of the Patriot’s Day Marathon “terrorist attack” in Boston, and their families, I’d say: “You got a lucky break—yesterday you were absolute nobodies, today you’re either the ‘honored dead’ or the ‘worthily wounded’ and you can count on a lifetime of government honors, support, and assistance—just like the victims of 9-11” (oh, uh, er, um, well, uh—maybe you’ll do better than they did, actually, I’ll give you a thumbs up on that one—the victims of 9-11 (see, e.g. the “Jersey Girls/Jersey Widows”) for the most part got screwed).

Elements of the Constitutional Crisis, January 1, 2012: a modern Platonic dialogue in miniature

I had the following New Year’s afternoon exchange with a good friend and supporter today by I-phone-to-I-phone text message.  It reminded me of Plato’s “Socratic” dialogues, and it seems to encapsulate the basic elements of the fundamental constitutional crisis facing our country so well that I have decided to reproduce it in full here, as a New Year’s Message:

Julia: Dear Charles!! I wish you all Happy, Successful, Peaceful & Fruitful New 2012 Year, filled with Love and Care! May all your wishes come true!!!

CEL III: Well, Happy New Year to you too! How are things going with you and the kids today?
Julia:   Well, I guess it is all relative…. …I will be in la tomorrow looking for places to rent…. Let’s plan in getting together and we will have time to talk more…
CEL III: I am available tomorrow. You wrote: “May all your wishes come true.” One of my wishes is that you and I form a team running against the establishment. What do you think about that item on my wish list?
Julia:   One of my wishes is to work with you also. I will not work against establishment, I will work on improving the establishment- big difference!!! So, if you want to work with me you will have to grind… the granite of the establishment!!
CEL III:  I suspect you are posing a question of definitions. The only part of “the establishment” that I want to preserve is the framework of a true three part federal government with States Rights and Local Government as originally envisioned in the Constitution. To me, almost nothing else is worth saving.
Julia:   That is a very strange statement!!!
CEL III: I am a very strange person, as you must know. But we will have to talk. I oppose all deviations from the three part structure of the federal government. For example: the President and Executive Bureaucracy (including the army and the jails) should not have the power to make law.
Julia:  The latter part!!
You are not a strange person, you are noble and decent man!!!
Well, that is very kind of you to say, but what do you mean, “the latter part?”
The part where you say: To me, almost nothing else is worth saving.
CEL III: Article I creates Congress to be the bicameral legislature (House of Representatives and Senate), Article II creates the executive branch (The President and all executive Departments, including the Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Attorney General, 11 other Cabinet Level Departments with countless subsecretarial positions from the Indian Affairs under the Secretary of the Interior to the Bureau of the Mint under the Secretary of the Treasury to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Prisons under the Attorney General, aka “Department of Justice”), and Article III creates the Judiciary (the Supreme Court, Circuit Courts of Appeal, and all District Courts, together with special “Article I” courts of Bankruptcy and Magistracy under the supervision of Article III judges).
The major problem in modern times arises from the historically indisputable fact that the Executive Branch has taken upon itself a vastly expanded role in legislating (that means creating new laws) and performing judicial functions (that means applying the law to specific instances or situations). And the States have been all but absorbed and abolished by the Executive bureaucracy, most notably through “revenue sharing” under the rubrics of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, other forms of “Welfare,” Highway, Commercial, Agricultural, and Environmental programs).
Julia:  Ok
CEL III:  And basically I want to wipe out that vast “de facto” government establishment to the degree that the government’s activities today deviate from the very small and limited “de Jure” establishment created and defined by the Constitution. So “grinding the granite” is not enough. We have to abolish all unconstitutional “independent agencies” and “independent commissions” which cross the boundary between the public and private (governmental and individual) realms of life.
The de facto three parts of government establishment with real power to control our world today are (1) the Federal Reserve Bank, created by Title 12 of the United States Code (2) the Commission on Internal Revenue (Aka IRS), created by US Code Title 26 and (3) the Social Security Administration and all Title 42 programs on public health and welfare—none of which were authorized by the de jure Constitution.
         Each of these three de facto branches of government performs its own Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Functions in the name of the United States: thus the “establishment” consists of a shadow de facto government created by and real power delegated by the now paralyzed overwhelmed “de jure” bicameral Congress and unitary Presidency.
Julia:  Let’s talk later
CEL III:  Just study what I have given you above.  It’s a good introductory thumbnail outline.
Julia:  K:)

The New Deal: When Lawyers Became the Masters of our Destiny by Making Paper more valuable than Property

New Deal of Deception by Designation: “Security”                                  A Working Draft of Research in Progress © Charles Edward Lincoln Sunday October 23, 2011 

         The “New Deal” is the name given by political historians to the “recovery & relief” programs initiated during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first term as President (March 4, 1933-January 20, 1937).   While many of Roosevelt’s iconic “relief” programs, including the NRA, the WPA, and CCC were either struck down by the Supreme Court or repealed during World War II, the modern legacy of the New Deal includes some familiar names of the most powerful governmental agencies and programs.

The list of six most famous “New Deal” agencies which remain active today, still operating under their original names, includes (1) the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), (2) the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), (3) the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and (4) the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). By far the largest “New Deal” programs still in existence today are (5) the Social Security Administration (headed by the Independent “Commissioner of Social Security”) and (6) the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)—because these two “independent commissions” in essence control and define the modern economy.  All of these programs are tightly knit together in one single tapestry of centralization of economic “command and control”.

What each of these six programs had in common with the other was nothing less than the transformation of various areas of American life by redefining it, by altering the cultural and normative understandings of certain words, phrases, and standards of behavior and transforming the legal landscape, replacing the traditional Anglo-American common law with modern regulatory codes.  The trajectory of each program merits some attention and reflection here, from the most general program to the most specific and limited.

TVA: TEMPLATE FOR A CENTRALLY PLANNED FUTURE

         Most discrete and delineated territorially within the country, and yet most overwhelmingly powerful in regard to “cradle to grave” impact on the lives of those forming its target population, the TVA was the most comprehensive governmental regional reorganization and restructuring plan ever undertaken in world history, and remains the longest lived such plan (still operating up to the present day after almost eighty years as a major techno-economic and socio-cultural planning “corporation”).

Chartered by Congress during Roosevelt’s famous “First Hundred Days” (in May 1933), the TVA manifests, in essence, the ideal of the Centrally Planned Society: a region including parts of seven States in the Protestant Old South transformed and reshaped under the leadership of an ethnic Jew of Austro-Slovakian parentage named David Eli Lilienthal, trained at Harvard by fellow Austrian-born Jew Felix Frankfurter. Frankfurter was famous in teens and twenties as a socialist radical, paving the way for the New Deal by advocated “judicial restraint” in dealing with government misdeeds, including greater freedom for administrative agencies from judicial oversight…..  In practice, this meant that (as Roosevelt’s 1938 appointee to the Supreme Court as the third Jewish Supreme Court Justice to Replace Benjamin Cardozo) Frankfurter would generally uphold all executive branch actions, including those of administrative agencies and government corporations against all constitutional challenges so long as they did not “shock the conscience” (meaning of course, his own conscience).

After 20 years in government, establishing first the TVA and then the Atomic Energy Commission, Lilienthal worked for several years for the investment bank Lazard Freres, and in 1955, formed an engineering and consulting firm called Development and Resources Corporation (D&R) which took the TVA’s objectives worldwide: major centrally planned public power and public works projects. Lilienthal was able to leverage the financial backing of Lazard Freres to found his company. He hired former associates from the TVA to work with him at D&R.  D&R focused on overseas clients, including Post-Mossadegh/Early Shahist Iran, and similarly politically oriented “forced cultural evolution” or “regional development” projects to suppress regional dissent and thus support U.S. backed regimes or programs in Colombia, Venezuela, India, Southern Italy, Ghana, Nigeria, Morocco, and above all, South Vietnam.

Because of Lilienthal’s leadership, TVA is said to be the model which the State of Israel emulated in its reorganization and redesign of Palestine after 1947, and the Tennessee Valley Authority stands as the template for U.S. Overseas Development up through and including the reconstruction of Iraq after 2003—a nearly eighty year run.  Nothing quite like the TVA ever happened again inside the United States, however.

FHA: TO ABOLISH THE DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN CITIES AND URBAN AREAS

         After the TVA’s design to redefine 100% of the way of life in a general region, the next broadest program of the six surviving New Deal Programs has been the acquisition and maintenance of interests in housing.  Born of a depression wherein millions were displaced, providing housing for about forty years for tens of millions, the New Deal legacy in 2011 is a cloaked depression, or perhaps a planned “genocide” in which an astounding 30-50 million Americans are losing or have lost their homes acquired and maintained since the New Deal under the aegis of Federal Government Programs.

For its “constructive” part in the transformation, the Federal Housing Authority was a massive nationwide “lending” umbrella project to fund the mass construction of housing—it also could be called the “Suburban Genesis Authority” or “the Abolition of Urban-Rural Distinctions Authority.”  Just as the TVA transformed parts of the landscape from Virginia through Tennessee to Mississippi, the Federal Housing Authority played a decisive role in moving people out of the cities and off farms into the vast suburban wastelands which now occupy immense percentages of the most fertile farm land in the world and are increasingly marred by decay and degeneracy brought on by foreclosure and eviction—empty ruins being sold off through “Investment Visa EB-5” and “Green Card” sales to thousands of Arabic and Chinese foreign investors with interests hard to characterize or predict except with the wildest speculation.

The Federal Housing Authority was originally created by the National Housing Act of 1934, which was amended in 1938 (Roosevelt’s Second Term) to create the Federal National Mortgage Association “Fannie Mae”, which under Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon metamorphosized and split into “Ginny Mae” (Government National Mortgage Association”) and “Freddie Mac” (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Association) to “foster competition”, even though all three entities remained entirely government controlled and Freddie and Fannie are now [since their “renationalization” by executive fiat in September 2008] owned by the U.S. Treasury Department and controlled by FHFA (Federal Housing Finance Authority).

The Federal Housing Authority now exists within the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  “HUD” was established in 1965 among the first steps of Lyndon B. Johnson’s program called the “Great Society”, which was not coincidentally also the first major expansion of Government Centralization in the United States SINCE the “New Deal” (and also not coincidentally formed part of the same program as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965).  The Federal Housing Authority remains today the key government agency supervising the Banking Industry’s role in mortgage finance and securitization of home loans.

In short, the TVA was all about completely reconditioning and reworking technology, society and culture in one region considered particularly “backward” and in need of “development”.  And having done so without significant protest or expressions of pain, TVA, became the model for “foreign aid” for the development of “Third World” Countries, while the FHA was a more general program to restructure the urban and rural landscape by “stimulating” housing construction and lowering costs nationwide.  There are those who say that the housing foreclosure and eviction crisis brought on by Federal financial programs means that the time for a national TVA has finally come, and that the next “Third World Country” to be forceably re-engineered and developed is the U.S., except this time it will be a much more diverse consortium of Near Eastern and Chinese experts who will impose their own standards of “conscience” on our legal system and the interpretation of our constitution.

THE FOURTH BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT: INDEPENDENT COMMMISSIONS OR AGENCIES, INCLUDING THE SEC, SOCIAL SECURITY, IRS, AND FEDERAL RESERVE: UTTERLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL & CONTROLLED BY INDUSTRY INSIDERS

Regarding distinct onomastic pattern characterizes the list of six after the TVA “Corporation” and the sub-cabinet level FHA: two “Insurance Corporations” and two “Security Commissions”— (1) the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), (2) the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), together with (5) the Social Security System and (6) the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

It is worth noting that in 1933 the United States Government owned no corporations whatsoever, at least not “outright”, although it had certainly chartered and funded some, including the great transcontinental railroads in the 19th century and many large banks after the creation of the Federal Reserve System in 1913, and regulated many others, especially after the enactment of the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890 and (never coincidentally, the establishment of the first “Independent Commission” namely) the Interstate Commerce Commission (“ICC”) in 1887.

With the aforementioned dominance of the great transcontinental railroads in the U.S. in the late 1800s, legislators in the several states established commissions to effectively supervise them. State legislators delegated power to unelected and “independent” commissions in the belief that “specialists” could more readily accumulate expert knowledge to regulate the railroads than the legislators could do on behalf of the people. However, when the U.S. Supreme Court in 1886 struck down an Illinois statute on railroad commerce involving neighboring states, the U.S. Congress intervened. Congress copied state “unelected industry specialist” approach and established the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) in 1887.  Congress authorized the ICC to issue orders regarding the rates set by the railroads and to enforce its orders in court.  The Constitutional authority for Independent Commissions under the United States Constitution of 1787, and as amended since then is, as the late Chief Justice Warren E. Burger once confided to me in 1993 in Palm Beach, Florida, “absolutely nil.”

However, no successful challenge to the existence of these “independent commissions” has ever been litigated through the courts.  For this reason, after the ICC, Congress established many more {independent} regulatory commissions in the early 1900s, to include the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Federal Power Commission (FPC), the Federal Elections Commission (FEC), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS: Headed by the “Commissioner of Internal Revenue”), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC—which took over from David Lilienthal’s Atomic Energy Commission or “AEC” mentioned above), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and of course, last but not least, the Social Security Administration (SSA: Headed by the “Commissioner of Social Security”).  More recently many “Independent Agencies” such as the Environmental Protection Agency have been created, always preserving, for whatever reason, the three letter monogram style of name.

These Commissions almost always work closely with Executive Branch Cabinet Officers and Administrative Bureaucracy whose officers CAN be fired by the President.  Officers of the Independent Commissions cannot be discharged by the Chief Executive nor, at least not without impeachment, by Congress, although they serve for limited terms.  In “Constitutional Law I” at the University of Chicago with Judge Richard Allen Posner, we spent a great deal of time on the unsuccessful constitutional challenges to the Independent Commissions over the past century.

In blatant defiance of any principles of separation-of-powers, the independent commissions/independent “executive” agencies all both have and exercise powers that functionally parallel all three branches of federal government as established by the Constitution. These Commissions/Agencies legislate by publication in the Federal Register/Code of Federal Regulations when they adopt or enact their own regulations. The Environmental Protection Agency, for example, adopts or enacts regulations limiting pollution emissions by industry.

Independent agencies also carry out executive functions, such as when the Interstate Commerce Commission checks to ensure that trucks have proper safety features.  Finally, many officers of independent agencies act in judicial capacity in “administrative” courts when they hold hearings and issue fines for violations of their undemocratically decreed regulations. Their powers, however, are at least theoretically limited by Congress. Congress may alter, amend, or appeal legislation delegating authority to an agency. The president may remove the head of an agency “for cause” (but not for disagreement with policy or decisions).  Under the desperately deferential “Chevron” standard, the courts (also mostly theoretically) may (but only very occasionally do) declare agency action to be unconstitutional or outside the grant of authority from Congress.

While not officially described as an “Independent Commission”, the Federal Reserve is set up in exactly the same way as the others listed above, and for many of the same practical and political reasons, its de jure “independence” of the government means de facto dependence on the industry being regulated, namely in the Federal Reserve’s case, the banking industry. Like every other “Independent Agency,” the Federal Reserve is independent within government in that “its monetary policy decisions do not have to be approved by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branches of government.”  However, its authority derives from Congress and Congressional statutes and is subject to “congressional oversight.”  Additionally, the members of the Board of Governors, including its chairman and vice-chairman, are chosen by the President and confirmed by the advice and consent of the Senate. Congress and the President also exercises not insignificant political control over the Federal Reserve by appointing and setting the salaries of the system’s highest-level employees.

Thus the Federal Reserve Board is populated by Banking “Industry Insiders” and its chairman always hails from Wall Street in New York or at least La Salle Street in Chicago. Like the original ICC, the Federal Reserve epitomizes the government-and-corporate cooperation which is neither democratically controlled by the people through their elected officials for the public good nor permits any genuine “laissez-faire” free-market competition by the operation of any such primitive principles as supply and demand, never mind customer satisfaction with service.   “Independent Commissions” are quintessentially creatures of government “by the industry, of the industry, for the industry” allegedly being “regulated” in the public good.  “Independent Commissions”, in short, constitute a fraudulent and unconstitutional mixture of governmental authority and corporate (financial) power.

TRANSFORMING THE MEANING OF “SECURITY” FROM PRIVATE PROPERTY TO PUBLIC PROMISES