Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Ohio Bans Plywood for Foreclosures

Ohio Bans Plywood for Foreclosures
Crony capitalist strikes it rich
Conspiracy Theorist
By Mark Luedtke
Publication date 021417

The Dayton Daily News recently published an article detailing how crony socialism enables rulers to strike it rich at the expense of everybody else. The article reads like an advertisement for Community Blight Solutions’ SecureView products.
“Clear boarding products are shatter- and tamper-proof, preventing vandalism, trespassing, squatting and other crimes in vacant properties, said [the founder and chairman of Community Blight Solutions Robert] Klein, who advocated for House Bill 463. Clear boards allow police and property owners to see inside buildings to make sure no intruders or other trouble is inside,” gushes the DDN. “Most notably, clear boards tend to be indistinguishable from windows and glass doors, meaning they don’t publicize that a property is empty as plywood does, Klein said.”
The DDN wants you to believe SecureView products are a panacea for blight, as if blight is caused by plywood, not a broken economy. Critics of the plan say… I don’t know what they say. As usual the DDN presents no counter to its propaganda.
But there’s a catch. “Clear boarding products are more expensive than plywood. A 48-by-96-inch SecureView window cover runs about $115 per sheet. A SecureView security door costs about $395.”
That’s over ten times the cost of plywood. It’s nearly 40 times the cost of a plywood sheet for a door. Klein and his partners struck the mother lode.
Of course he lobbied for this ban on plywood. We tend to speak of lobbying as if it was a legitimate, although often abused, activity. It isn’t legitimate. Lobbying is the purchase of government’s illegitimate power of coercion. Politicians sell that power to the highest bidder constrained by their ability to get re-elected. This is how politicians get rich fast and their rich cronies become super-rich faster.
Ohio is the first state to pass such a law. Klein must have successfully purchased a lot of votes.
But the DDN wants us to believe politicians care about taxpayers. “The law won’t affect Springfield or other municipalities that board up abandoned structures, Springfield Planning, Zoning and Code Administrator Stephen Thompson said. He believes the new requirements might improve blight in neighborhoods,” it wrote. “‘I would hope so but it’s hard to tell what the real impact of something like this will be,’ Thompson said.”
The law only applies to mortgage lenders. There’s not many of them so their votes aren’t important. They can be preyed upon to fund a plan advertised to fight blight.
But Thompson really knows what the impact of this law will be. While some mortgage lenders will pay the exorbitant additional cost to board up houses, making Klein super-rich, many will forego boarding up properties at all. More foreclosed houses will be used as crack houses and by squatters. Blight will increase. The additional costs will put marginal mortgage lenders out of business, hurting the economy, and they’ll be taken over by bigger companies, funneling more wealth into the hands of the few.
We’ll eventually read about these supposedly unintended consequences. They aren’t unintended. These consequences benefit rulers. They give them excuses to further interfere in the economy, making themselves and their cronies richer again.
The DDN inadvertently notes another way taxpayers are harmed by this legislation. “Fannie Mae, one of two massive U.S. government-backed agencies to buy and guarantee mortgages, was an early adopter of clear board alternatives,” it reported. “The housing finance giant started using polycarbonate coverings in 2013 to maintain its post-foreclosure properties in a handful of states, including Ohio. By the end of 2014, Fannie Mae had implemented clear boarding across all of its markets.”
Fannie Mae was created by Congress and is backed by taxpayers. Taxpayers bailed out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2008. Taxpayers will have to bail them and their clear board products out again soon.
But rulers declare the cost is worth it. Jake Williamson, vice president of Fannie Mae’s distressed assessment fulfillment division, told the DDN, “We feel the product is a bit safer and more secure than plywood.’”
A bit safer sounds worth paying ten times or 40 times more.
This article exposes the anatomy of legalized crony corruption that goes on every day in government halls in plain sight. Rulers think of taxpayers as an unlimited supply of wealth. They milk us like cows for every pet project that makes them and their cronies richer and us poorer, and like cows, we let it happen. Then we’re outraged when the negative consequences become obvious.

Bad Actions Have Terrible Consequences

Bad Actions Have Terrible Consequences
Conspiracy Theorist
by Mark Luedtke
publication date: 012715

There’s no such thing as freedom from consequences of actions. If you poke a stick into a hornets’ nest, you can expect to get stung. If you poke a stick at a rabid dog, you can expect to get bitten. If you oppress and kill thousands of people every year for decades, both directly by dropping bombs on them and instigating coups and indirectly by supplying tyrants with weapons, tear gas and money to beat, torture and kill them, don’t act surprised when some of the survivors fly planes into your buildings.
Speech is also an action. If you ridicule people’s prophet and religion almost daily for years, you can expect radicals to respond violently. It’s not right. Everybody should live by the non-aggression principle. Everybody should live by the adage: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” But terrorists don’t. If you make it your mission to consistently insult, anger and incite all Muslims including terrorists, you can expect jihadists will respond with violence. That’s what happened in Paris.
Government propagandists are already trying to take advantage of the massacre. Economist Robert Wenzel observes, “I see where government opportunists are using the recent hack attack on Sony and the killings in Paris of Charlie Hebdo satirists, as an opportunity to raise national defiance against those who ‘hate our freedoms.’ Puhleeze. The fact of the matter is that both Sony employees and Charlie Hebdo employees pissed people off. This, in itself is not a good or bad thing. When you piss people off, they might come back at you. If you don't want to deal with blowback, then don't do the deed.”
Commentator Becky Akers adds, “Naturally, I do not condone murdering journalists and graphic artists. But let us be very clear that these killings have nothing to do with freedom of speech or expression, regardless of how much Our Rulers and France’s try to cast them that way. Governments are the only ones who can restrict either freedom, and so far reports of this atrocity have not implicated France’s administration regardless of its other crimes.”
It’s a sign of the decline of western civilization the boorish cartoons of Charlie Hebdo found enough audience to keep them in business. A healthy society would have shunned them, not defended them as free speech. Just because you can say something doesn’t mean you should.
Foreign policy expert Eric Margolis suggests blowback from perpetual war as another motive for the attack. “France has emerged as one of the most active interveners in the Muslim world, conducting military operations in Libya, Mali, Chad, Ivory Coast, Central African Republic, Djibouti, Abu Dhabi, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria,” he explained. “Critics accused France of a new era of Mideast and African colonialism.”
The French government is complicit in this massacre because it disarmed the victims. One of the most evil actions governments undertake is disarming the people by threatening them with violence for possessing the best tools of self defense. Gun control is an another sign of the decline of western civilization. Barbarians and brigands disarm their victims. Civilized people arm themselves and defend themselves and others.
The massacre in Paris is another spectacular example of government failure. The Sydney Herald writes, “Long before the French editor and cartoonist Stephane Charbonnier was gunned down by Islamic militants in Paris on Wednesday he had said in response to earlier threats: ‘I would rather die standing than live on my knees’.” That’s a heroic sentiment, but unbacked by effective action, it was reduced to empty bravado. Instead of taking action to keep himself and his co-workers safe, Charbonnier foolishly trusted the French government. The British Broadcasting Company reports, “Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier, 47, had received death threats in the past and was living under police protection.” Government’s police protection for Charbonnier was as effective as you would expect - not at all - for a person who is not a member of the ruling class. French police stopped watching these terrorists six months ago.
But these are exactly the kind of terrorists and the kind of attacks the National Security Agency (NSA) was created to stop. NSA spies on every communication in the world to stop attacks like these, but it failed. NSA ubiquitous spying has never stopped an attack. Republicans who support NSA spying on everyone including Americans used Charlie Hebdo to justify NSA tyranny.  Similarly, the head of Britain’s ineffective MI5 already exploited the attack to demand more power. Only government uses failure to justify its activities and demand more power.
The Sydney Herald continues with the propaganda, “[Charbonnier] died standing. He died for our freedom. Charbonnier and the others murdered on Wednesday died for the cause of freedom and enlightened scepticism. We must all stand up for that cause.”
Baloney. Charbonnier and his co-workers died because they intentionally, repeatedly, angered fanatical killers, supporting perpetual war against Muslims in the process. Government’s propagandists are painting Charbonnier and his co-workers as heroic martyrs for free speech rights for political gain. They’re not.

Originally published in the Dayton City Paper.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Cold War on Cash

Cold War on Cash
It turned hot in India
Conspiracy Theorist
By Mark Luedtke
Publication date: 012417

World rulers have long waged a cold war on cash. The Federal Reserve [Fed] began taking bills larger than $100 out of circulation in 1969. Today, the high denomination bills that haven’t been destroyed are used by banks to transfer funds between them. No more are in production. The European Central Bank is removing €500 notes from circulation and the US $100 bill is next on the chopping block. This slow process discourages scrutiny of the nefarious motives behind it.
But Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn’t want to go slow. Using the typical excuse that large denomination bills facilitate crime and black markets, the formerly popular Prime Minister recently removed 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes from circulation.
The cover story provided by the government was misleading at best. The real story is Indians, especially poor, rural ones, don’t trust corrupt government or banks, and therefore they hoard cash, hiding it from the taxman and preventing the government from controlling them by controlling their money. Indians understand cash gives them power and freedom.
At least it did. With the stroke of a pen, Modi wiped out their savings, invalidating 86 percent of cash in circulation.
Modi planned to replace the old large bills with newly minted bills, but only after stealing the government’s cut. Zero Hedge explains things didn’t work out as planned. “So in an attempt to overturn the existing system, one where vast amounts of wealth were concentrated in inert cash, Modi launches the biggest demonetization experiment in modern history: requiring Indians to exchange their big bills at banks for newly created ones—or suffer a quiet, potentially catastrophic financial loss—was the prime minister’s way of forcing hidden riches to the surface,” writes Tyler Durdin. “There, authorities would be watching, ready to examine large cash deposits.”
But, “While millions of Indians have heeded the call and more than $80 billion in old bills have been exchanged or deposited since the November 8 announcement, this is insufficient and represents just 40% of the value of all large rupee bills in circulation. … And it is here that those who are unwilling to exchange their ‘unprovable’ cash for new banknotes, are coming up with novel ideas, and are discreetly jettisoning their cash stockpiles in more inventive ways.”
Central planning fails again, defeated by individual, innovative Indians acting in their own self-interest.
Every government intervention in the economy makes things worse, and each leads to further intervention to try and fix the problems caused by the previous intervention. So it is in India. Many Indians traded their old bills for gold, so now government’s taxmen are raiding houses and stealing people’s gold. Not just coins and bullion, but jewelry including heirlooms.
Bloomberg reports, “What this means, unfortunately, is that India’s income tax officers have just won the lottery. During a raid, they can, on the spot, decide whether or not to confiscate a family’s gold holdings. And remember, India has an enormous amount of gold — 20,000 metric tons, much of it inherited. ... Rather than cleaning up tax administration, the government has handed tax officials more power than they’ve had for decades. The rich will pay what they need to escape harassment; the rest will suffer.”
Corruption was endemic in India before. Now it’s off the charts, and gold is flying out of India which was previously a net importer of gold.
This matters to Americans because Modi didn’t do this in a vacuum. Modi’s injustice is part of the world-wide war on cash and gold which is heating up here too. That’s because rampant money-printing has left banks worldwide worse off than ever. Any financial shock could wipe many out at the same time, worse than in 2008. The banking crisis in Cyprus in 2012 established the bail-in - banks stealing money from their depositors after authorization by government - as the favored means of avoiding bankruptcy.
But bail-ins are limited by people taking their money from banks and hoarding it in the form of cash or gold. The war on cash and gold is designed to strip that option from people so banks never have to worry about bank runs or going bankrupt again.
Besides proving again central planning of the economy can only make things worse, Modi’s experiment also proves the value of cash is illusionary, set by government fiat, but gold not only retains its value, its value increases during economic upheaval.
Bury gold to protect yourself from bankers, government, and rulers in general.

Originally published in the Dayton City Paper.

Blame Putin

Blame Putin
To cover up deep state schism
Conspiracy Theorist
By Mark Luedtke
Publication date: 011717

Speaking of fake news, US rulers, government, and their media propagandists keep churning it out. The biggest fake news story of the new year so far is Russian President Putin caused president-elect Donald Trump to win. This story shows the contempt rulers have for the American people. Rulers believe the American people are so stupid that fake news which is actually real news - they produce the fake news - decided the election. They won’t admit the people rejected their terrible candidate. My dog could have crushed corrupt warmonger Hillary Clinton.
They also believe blaming Putin will benefit them, but all it does is expose them as selfish, petty, and foolish to more Americans.
As of this writing, we’re told the entire intelligence community agrees Putin influenced the US election, but that’s more fiction. In reality, the FBI and other agencies didn’t agree until they were pressured to. In mid-December Reuters reported, “The overseers of the U.S. intelligence community have not embraced a CIA assessment that Russian cyber attacks were aimed at helping Republican President-elect Donald Trump win the 2016 election, three American officials said on Monday.”
Reuters then tried to downplay the disagreement. “While the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) does not dispute the CIA's analysis of Russian hacking operations, it has not endorsed their assessment because of a lack of conclusive evidence that Moscow intended to boost Trump over Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, said the officials, who declined to be named,” it continued.
Rulers couldn’t allow this public dissention, so they forced all parties to appear to subsequently publicly agree.
To that end the Director of National Intelligence issued a report blaming the Russians. There was only one problem: it offered no evidence the Russians were the source of the leaks of her campaign manager John Podesta’s emails or anything else that damaged Clinton. The report is designed to bolster more fake news.
US News and World Report explained the true story behind this charade. “In a typical year, Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign would go down as one of the most startlingly deficient endeavors in political history,” it wrote. “But a postliminary campaign by Clinton allies to shape why the heavily favored and first major party female nominee lost to an eccentric billionaire reality television star is already bending the storyline in their favor through a concerted media offensive meant to undermine the president-elect, his tactics and the ultimate outcome.”
As to the real source of the leaks, one Wikileaks operative, a former British ambassador, admitted he received leaked Podesta emails from a Washington insider. Note Clinton’s emails weren’t leaked.
This media campaign is designed to cover up the schism in the US deep state as well as delegitimize Trump. Some in the intelligence community support the globalist, perpetual war agenda represented by Clinton. Some support the America-first agenda represented by Trump. Most in the media, excluding US News and World Report, are in bed with the former, but the civil war continues.
I can’t help but laugh at the irony. Evil Putin is accused of telling the truth, not lying, but truth is treason in the empire of lies. Foreigner Putin is accused of doing work Americans, at least reporters, won’t do. Nobody disputes the leaked emails are real. Nobody disputes Clinton ran a private email server as Secretary of State and stored classified information on it, leaving it vulnerable to hackers. This Alinskyesque media campaign crucifies a phony messenger; it doesn’t refute the message.
Furthermore, recent investigations discovered massive electoral fraud by the Democrats, not Trump. The Detroit News reported, “Michigan’s largest county voted overwhelmingly for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, but officials couldn’t reconcile vote totals for 610 of 1,680 precincts during a countywide canvass of vote results late last month. Most of those are in heavily Democratic Detroit, where the number of ballots in precinct poll books did not match those of voting machine printout reports in 59 percent of precincts, 392 of 662.”
You know this happens in every big city. It’s long been standard operating procedure for Democrats.
Leaked emails and the list of foreign donors to the Clinton Foundation prove foreigners influenced the election on her behalf, not Trump’s. Infowars exposes, “A Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, bragged about the Saudis funding 20% of Clinton’s presidential campaign earlier this year.” And, “The Communist Chinese have put massive amounts of money into the pockets of Clinton via U.S. subsidiaries.”
Democracy is a sham.

Originally published in the Dayton City Paper.