Friday, January 30, 2009

Few Jobs For The Jobless

This weeks news was all about Jobs, and the impending foreclosure fiasco that comes about because of unemployment. CT has seen an increase in both job losses and homelessness. This condition has been compared to 1983, the era of the Russian Scare and the fear of Nuclear War.

Since we are now in 2009, the new fear is "Terrorism" perhaps there is a parallel but I assure you it is a weak one at that. Our biggest problem at the moment is the continued loss of confidence in the U.S. Economy, and the inability of Congress or the President to win back peoples faith. Things could not be more divided today between Democrats and Republicans who in unison opposed Obama's stimulus plan as being "too large" and "too exclusive."

Ron Paul said that America cannot restore faith in its economy with the "same solutions that created the problem we are in." Not to say that Ron Paul is Einstein, but he said that "the problems we all face cannot be resolved by the same level of thinking that created them."

This translated to the current "Obamanomics" or a continuation of the Bush policy to continue to inject seemingly unlimited liquidity or "Money" in the Macro economy. For those who are wondering what the "Macro economy" is forget it because that is not you the average struggling person with a family.

As unemployment soars, yet again in our state, many have been asking what happened to the last two trillion dollars issued by way of the economic bailout plan. The answer from the man in charge of the money, none other than Ben Bernake the head of the private corporation known as the Federal Reserve Bank told the taxpayers "thanks for the money" but its "none of your business who we gave it to." Litigation to get answers is still pending in court as MSNBC and Bloomberg are both suing the Fed for disclosure.

What are the people of Connecticut to do when an estimated 46 out of 50 states are facing budget emergencies in the next two years? The loss of faith in America is evident and Congress has a pathetic 9% approval rating. Some believe that America is headed for a "total meltdown" of the US dollar and ultimately will experience worse street chaos than the Nixon era Antiwar protests.

Should our recession turn into a Depression, and I hope it never does, Americans will wake up real fast. A sobering reminder that voting alone is not enough anymore. The new lesson one where it becomes important to actually learn more about the people we put in charge of our life, our finances. We will learn real fast that our future is actually much more important than shallowly voting for someone who is popular.

The bitter reality is coming to pass as Voters, are increasingly left Jobless, Homeless, and in the Cold by the very politicians in Congress who promised the "Moon." Speak up against NAFTA, GAFTA, EPP, and the North American Union. These are the nails in Americas coffin.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

UI Rate Increase Zapped!

This is some very good news for consumers, showing that once again the monopolies do not have omnipotent powers. The last victory that served the public interest this well was the rejection of the LNG in the Long Island Sound.

Even with all the cheer now in motion, there is still some concern as the public score card of us against them is pretty dismal. To give an estimate of how it looks, one could could easily tally Two Wins for us Seven for the energy giants. This merely means that the public needs more practice in standing up against the very corporatism that chastises the wallets of all too many struggling families. The good news is that people are starting to "get it" we are standing up for ourselves better today than in the past. I wish to offer my thanks to all of you who turned off the "I Pod" stepped away from the TV and wrote a letter, instead of playing X Box or going out to a game.

UI is, at the moment is digesting their defeat, and much to their chagrin their stock will be battered over it. This is because failed avaricious greed also backfires punishing those executives who did not succeed in their obligation to enrich their stock holders. The party is clearly over, UI now has an "off balance" balance sheet has taken out a line of credit and shuttered its investors some of whom are livid and downgraded their stock.

Thankfully for the people of Milford these numerical complexities caused by this unholy Wall Street alliance is not our problem this go around, but the UI monsters are still scheming in the days to come. We wait in angst as they digest the DPUC report and prepare a retaliatory response this February 4th.

We are all nervously awaiting the next round of punches, and their new strategy in circumventing the very system that disallows them the freedom to charge at will. The bad news is that because of that attitude the people of Milford will never stop fighting them.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Owner Distraught Over Missing Dog

When resident Kellie Roper brought her pet greyhound to Companion Animal Hospital of Milford on Dec. 29, she never expected she would be going home alone.
Roper adopted Finnley Nov. 1 from ReGap CT, a rescue group, and brought the dog to the animal hospital for dental work.

"When I first called to make an appointment for Finnley I asked if they knew how to handle a greyhound. They said ‘yes’ they did," Roper said. "Apparently they don’t."
She has not seen Finnley since that day.

Despite some sightings of Finnley in the Walnut Beach area, a widespread search and newspaper advertisements the animal hospital placed, the animal has not turned up.
"People I have never met have come from 1½ hours away, scrambling through brush and forest helping me look for my dog," Roper said.

"People in Milford have amazed me calling with wishes and prayers. It’s nice to know there is still such generosity left in the world," she said.

Roper said Finnley is black, with a gray muzzle, weighs 54 pounds and wears a pink/purple collar with yellow bones on it and might be dragging a leash. Roper also said the greyhound has a REGAP of CT tag, and that the dog is shy but extremely friendly and loves the sound of children.

Roper said she was told by hospital owner Dr. Kenneth Preli that veterinarian Dr. Dave Champaigne took Finnley outside after the Dec. 29 dental work."He said she became tangled in her leash and when (Champaigne) went to untangle her he dropped the leash and she bolted," Roper said.

Hospital administrator Rona Preli said when Champaigne went to pick up the leash Finnley "was probably disoriented." "I was told he chased her into the K-Mart lot and jumped in a stranger’s car to try and follow her. He borrowed a cell phone and called the office and they evacuated the office and went looking for her," Roper said.

Rona Preli said eight of the office staff of 10 people immediately left to look for the greyhound and searched until 8 p.m. that night and for the next four days. Since then, she said, staff have continued to canvass the area, putting up fliers and talking to people. Roper said the greyhound community, as well as the Milford community, have been extremely helpful, finding time to help her repeatedly canvass the beach area and put up fliers everywhere.

Rona Preli said the hospital contacted area police and fire departments and animal control officials. Roper said Milford Animal Control, which has increased patrols in the vicinity Finnley has been seen, has been "truly amazing."

Roper said before the dog was lost, Finnley had changed her life.
"She has made me take a step back from work stress and Ironman training. She has made me relax. She has been a wonderful stress reliever," Roper said.
Anyone with information on Finnley can reach Roper at (203) 506-4790.

Bridget Albert

This dog is very shy and will shy away from strangers, the search still goes on as flyers were being handed out at Stop & Shop as early as this weekend.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Jim Richetelli MIA

Our Republican mayor Jim Richetelli is out of the office this week. His family has reported that he had an adverse reaction to some prescription pills he took. Currently he is receiving treatment for this condition at an out of state facility and has pledged to give the public more details about his recovery when he returns.

The deputy mayor is currently in charge until the Mayor returns from this "out of state treatment." Meanwhile Richard smith the Milford Democratic Party Chairman said this is a time for "community unity and not judgement, we need to pull together as a community and support his family and medical privacy."

However, the Democratically heavy blog boards have not been so forgiving and have even questioned why he left the state for treatment. A Topix blogger had this to say: "I am sorry to hear the mayor is ill but quite frankly this story does not pass the smell test. We live in an area where people come for medical treatment from all over the world. Yale School of Medicine and the hospital it is affiliated with is literally a 15 minute ride from Milford. The fact that Richetelli felt he had to go out of state is suspect at best. It is rarely the action that gets a politician in trouble -it is usually the cover-up."

People around Milford, I spoke with, are mostly saddened about his treatment, and wish for our Mayor to gain a speedy recovery and a return to politics. However, some fear that his condition may have been triggered by these economically challenging times. I personally feel it can be stressful being a Mayor of a city who demands very high standards from our leaders. We will see how forgiving the people of Milford are when he returns to work, as for the Democrats they will show their true colors next Mayoral election as they always do.

In my opinion, Jim has done a great job holding the line on taxes in 2009, and even presided over the first ever 3% increase in a school budget that usually is double that. Jim has in my opinion, been a very friendly and compassionate Mayor and I wish him, his wife and children all the best in dealing with this difficult unfortunate situation. Lets keep him, and his family, in our prayers.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Independent Party Forms In Milford

A recent barrage of news stories has once again proven that even after my candidacy for State Representative the Independent party has not subsided, in fact it looks like it is gaining strength and without added work on my part. This is truly exciting, and today I am urging all those folks who voted for me the nearly 1005 or 10% of the district to visit the the new website and join us for an open house.

Participation and interest is paramount to the success of this fledgling party, and it will be hosted on the celebratory day of former independent Mayor Iovino of Milford. Iovino became world famous when he was elected mayor due to "write in" votes. This was so unusual that Time magazine placed our great city in the spotlight.

Visit this link for the preliminary website, your RSVP details, and mention that Rocco Frank Sent you.

The party is hosted by Peter Spalthoff Former RTC chairman who has officially recognized in numerous press releases the need for a new party. Spathoff feels that the independent party should cater to candidates that are disenfranchised with the local Republican and Democratic parties.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Amman Declines Job Offer

Former Speaker of the House James Amann visited the Capitol Press Room Tuesday afternoon to tell the media he had officially declined newly elected Speaker of the House Chris Donovan’s six-figure job offer, which according to Amann had been revised Monday into a part-time position with a $60,000 salary and benefits.

“I am not a rich man. I have to work for a living,” Amann said. He said if he had accepted the job he would have given Donovan 200 percent, however, many even within the Democratic caucus wondered if it was realistic for Amann to work for Donovan, continue fundraising for the MS Society, and run for governor all at the same time.

“I regret that Jim will not be joining our team in the Speaker’s office, but understand his decision. He and I had a chance to discuss these matters at length yesterday and again today, and it became clear that his sense of the demands of his political work differed from mine to an extent that it made employment in my office unrealistic,” Donovan said in this written statement.

Setting aside their own personal feelings for Amann, Democratic insiders said virtually the entire Democratic caucus felt it was wrong to offer Amann the job. Many said they were unaware it had even been offered to him until shortly before the statement was released Friday.

Amann said he expected to receive some negative publicity about the job offer, but was surprised by the chilly reception.

“It’s not an uncommon thing in this building to be a former representative or senator or whatever and receive a job,” Amann said. “I don’t think that’s a bad thing.”

Amann met with Donovan on Monday in Meriden, at which time he made the second, reduced offer for a part-time job at $60,000 per year plus benefits. Amann said he seriously considered the offer because, “for me it wasn’t about the $120,000; it was about the insurance.”

Amann is a cancer survivor and his wife has had a kidney transplant. Amann said he learned this morning they will be able to obtain health insurance through his wife’s employer.

When asked if he felt the controversy over the job offer would impact his run for governor, Amann said, “Why would that be?”

Amann said he was uncomfortable with some of the new job restrictions that Donovan proposed Monday, along with the part-time position, because they may have hindered his campaign for governor.

He said that after the meeting with Donovan Monday he visited Waterbury, where he was greeted by a room of about 75 Latinos excited about his gubernatorial campaign.

He said Tuesday that if he hadn’t gone Monday to Waterbury, he may have accepted the position. But he said he will maintain his position as a fundraiser with the MS Society, but is currently looking for another job in the private sector

C. Stewart (Ct New Junkie)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Jim Amann Gets "Hooked Up" With Controversial New Job.

Just when many Amman objectors thought "good riddance" to the former Speakers departure from politics a new surprise today. The Connecticut Post announced that the Speaker may have all along confirmed many suspicions and conspired against his colleagues in Hartford by using his former post for personal gain via a shady side deal.

The jaw dropping announcement puts current Speaker Donovan in an "unholy relationship" with his new consultant Jim Amann. While he may think he unwittingly outwitted and outflanked the ethics of his office, many of his colleagues, including top ranking Republicans are speechless this week.

The money trail is clear, $39K as Speaker or $120K as a consultant to the new Speaker. Aside from the fact that this denotes the epitome of Cronyism in the "N-Th" degree I would suggest we remember that Jim has always been at odds with his critics, including some Democrats who drove a hearse to Milford city hall to protest his run for governor.

To remember the past, he involved himself with a criminal gangster Joe Gentile as part of Hollywood East, an unproven debacle that is yet to produce more income than it depletes from our state in tax credits. That not being bad enough he also decided to openly and brazenly play the part of a gangster when he was caught on video speaking about "Crushing" his "Idiot" opponents.

What is even more disconcerting is that Jim still gets 60K out of the MS coffers as a salary for raising money. Some have suggested that donating to his MS charity resulted in favorable legislation. That alleged there is still more mainly the lucritive Three Million Dollar CEF Governor grant, money he may use to run for a Job he has no chance of winning. It is my opinion that he knows this, so the big question is what will happen to this cash, how will it be spent and whose hands will it fall into. Could it be Donovan for helping him out with a high paying job?

Jim may be well on his way for setting himself up for the same criticism that ultimately led to the demise of the John Rowland Administration. Aside from the irregular nature and harsh criticism that his business dealings have drawn he has now proven to the academic community that education is not important in the way of political success, after all a college drop out can become a house Speaker as well as gain employment in a 120K job formerly set aside for true experts with years of study in many disciplines.

Some people, I have spoke with, indicated that Amann has always lacked the mathematical and accounting skills necessary to even understand the states fiscal picture. This criticism came center stage when Jim bilked the taxpayers of $50,000 because a scaffold was in the way of his party spot at the capitol.

Connecticut now mired with billions in debt will be advising our new Speaker on a subject he cannot explain beyond a few simple words. Jim is investing his popularity and charm at the expense of the good people of Connecticut.

For those who are not yet bothered it is important to point out that there is now a real cause for concern. Concern emanating from the effects of the Amann aggregate to the current rampant cronyism. This is surely to stand in the way of true qualified experts dedicated to scientifically fixing the states problems. Connecticut is rich with many talented people, brilliant in the understanding of practices and principles of macroeconomics, taxpayer relations, and balancing budgets.

When states fail to step up the plate and enact the practice of "hooking up their friends" with "sweet jobs" we fall victim to the crippling effects of failing government by way of crippling budget deficits like the ones we see now. These budget deficits are growing every minute of every day and if you wonder where this all leads just read this article it is frightening.

It is all too sad to quote.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Feds Bubble Trouble

A few weeks ago when the Fed announced a strategy designed to bring down long-term interest and home mortgage rates through unlimited Treasury bond purchases, government debt staged a spectacular rally. To the unschooled market observer, the spike may be difficult to understand. After all, why would the value of Treasury bonds rise while their underlying credit quality is deteriorating faster than Bernie Madoff’s social schedule? The move is actually a perfect illustration of the tried and true Wall Street strategy of “buy the rumor and sell the fact”.

If it is well known that Fed will be a big purchaser of Treasuries, those buying now will be positioned to unload their holdings when the buying spree begins. If the Fed pays higher prices in the future, traders can earn riskless speculative profits. If the traders lever up their positions, as many are likely doing, even small profits can turn unto huge windfalls.

The downside of course, is that all of the demand for Treasuries is artificial. Treasuries are now in the hands of speculators looking to sell, not investors looking to hold. These players are analogous to the mid-decade condo-flippers who flocked to new developments for quick profits. They did not intend to occupy their properties, but rather flip them to future buyers. Once these properties came back on the market, condo prices collapsed, as developers were forced to compete for new sales with their former customers.

This is precisely what will happen with Treasuries. Just as the U.S. government issues mountains of new debt to finance the multi-trillion annual deficits planned by the Obama Administration, speculative holders of existing debt will be offering their bonds for sale as well. In order to prevent a complete collapse in the bond prices the Fed will be forced to significantly increase its buying.

However, since the only way the Fed can buy bonds is by printing money, the more bonds they buy the more inflation they will create. As inflation diminishes the investment value of low-yielding Treasuries, such a scenario will kick off a downward spiral. But the more active the Fed becomes in their quest to prop up bond prices, the bigger the incentive to hit the Fed’s bid. The result will be that all Treasuries sold will be purchased by the Fed. But with the resulting frenzy in the Treasury market, and with inflation kicking into high gear, we can expect that demand for other debt classes that the Fed is not backstopping, such as corporate, municipal and agency debt, to fall through the floor, pushing up interest rates across the board.

In order to “save” the economy from these high rates the Fed will then have to expand its purchases to include all forms of debt. If that happens, run-away inflation will quickly turn into hyper-inflation, and our currency will be worthless and our economy left in ruins.

To avoid this nightmare scenario, the Fed should pull out of the bond market before it’s too late and let prices fall to where real buyers, those willing to hold to maturity, re-enter the market. Given how high inflation will likely be by the time this happens, my guess is that long-term Treasury yields will have to rise well into the double digits to clear the market.

But we should know that the bursting of the bond market bubble will have even more dire consequences than the bursting of prior bubbles in stocks and real estate. Significantly higher interest rates and inflation that will result will severely compound the current problems. Imagine how much worse our economy would be if we faced double digit interest rates? In addition, not only will homeowners be confronted with record high mortgage rates, but the Government will be staring at trillion dollar annual interest payments on the national debt, making interest by far the single largest line item in the Federal budget. Just like homeowners who relied on teaser rates, the Government will face a similar problem when all its low-yielding short-term debt matures.

The grim reality of course is that when the real estate bubble burst the Government was able to “bail-out” private parties. However, when the bond market bubble bursts, it will be the U.S. Government itself that will be in need of the mother of all bailouts. If U.S. taxpayers or foreign creditors are unwilling or unable to pony up, and if the nightmare hyper-inflation scenario is to be avoided, default will be the only option. If misery really does love company, Bernie Madoff’s clients might finally find some comfort.

Written by Mr. Schiff President of Euro Pacific Capital and author of "The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets"

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Grinch Wanted! Help Police Catch Her.

This is the video Milford police released Wednesday in their quest to find a woman who allegedly stole items from the lobby at Milford Hospital that were intended to be part of a gift basket raffle.Police said the woman is described as white, 30 to 40 years old, with stocky build and brown hair. She was wearing glasses and a green jacket. The woman allegeldy entered the lobby area shortly before 2 p.m. last Thursday and took two baskets containing various gifts, and attempted to take Nintendo Wii games, police said. Police said they have exhausted all resources attempting to identify the woman and are seeking assistance from the public. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at (203) 878-6551

Helen Bennett Harvey

Saturday, January 10, 2009

With Amann Out Of Picture, Will Film Tax Credits Survive?

The former Speaker of the House certainly hopes so.

Just two days after handing the gavel over to the new Speaker of the House Chris Donovan, James Amann, who is not longer a legislator, returned to the state Capitol to attend a meeting of the Hollywood East task force that he created.

Amann who had trouble finding a parking space, since there was no longer one reserved for him said he wishes the lawmakers considering scaling back or eliminating the film industry tax credits would take a hard look at the data and visit some of the new studios.

“This thing is doing extremely well,” Amann said. However, the chairmen of the two budget committees sent out this press release Thursday stating that they have already begun an exhaustive review of the film industry credits to determine their value in an unsettled economy.

“The goal is to objectively determine if the state comes out ahead when the giveaways are matched up against the new business they generate,” Sen. Eileen Daily, D-Westbrook, said in the press release. And in fairness Daily, along with Appropriations Chairwoman Toni Harp, D-New Haven, both said they intend to weight the merit of all tax credits and tax exemptions this year.

Amann said he respects the lawmakers who may question the credits, however, they’re not here trying to get the information. “Why aren’t they taking the initiative?” Amann said.

He said since 2006 there have been 91 films made in Connecticut and 10 of them are up for Golden Globes. In fact, he said one of the films “Revolutionary Road” is up for film of the year.
The industry is growing, Amann said. He said everybody has to collectively put their data together, then they will see just how many jobs and economic activity were created by this credit.

Rep. Carlo Leone, D-Stamford, who chairs the Hollywood East task force, thanked Amann for all his hard work on the issue. In championing the film tax credits, Leone said the creation of jobs is the key winning public approval for these credits. He said as long as the task force and the industry get that message out then it will have the public on their side and will be able to convince lawmakers to keep the credits on the books.

Article Written By C. Stewart

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Why is Barry Soetoro Also Barrack Obama?

With the upcoming election, and the daunting words of Colin Powell reminding Americans that something significant is going to happen the 21st or 22nd of this month I started thinking about what could go so wrong.

Could this big crisis be an identity crisis? Or perhaps something more scathing. Barry or Barrack has had his birth certificate thing go to the Supreme Court and be essentially dismissed but the following Fox news story still leaves many questions about who our President is and also who he works for? I think he still owes us answers and his allegiance to America should not be automatically assumed.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Novel Solution To The State Deficit

Some time ago about a year ago today to be precise I said that the economy and local businesses would falter. As our clueless leaders balk at the balanced budged amendment to the state constitution, they shutter at the thought of eliminating yet another 3 billion dollars from our state economy.

The impossible mission is to balance the budget and still have friends show up to your party at the local club. With the new legislature expected to arrive into session in the coming weeks, baptism by fire is apropos in lieu of the burgeoning budget catastrophe. But perhaps there is hope, and in times of turmoil it is always good to think "outside the box" something I think I may be good at.

But here is the big idea, and this idea is based on all the technology that I find so annoying. These include texting on your cell phone, X-Box, and like gaming consoles, dollar menu garbage food, game shows, Facebook, Myspace and of course the I-Pod and all those annoying musical devices that cloak people into the matrix of technology.

Safe to say that these technologies have become, in my opinion, as irritating as people who smoke near others, and drink until they have no friends and a reputation for drunkenness. This brings me to the point, how many people would object to being ejected or "taxed out" of the technology matrix.

The countless hours people and kids spend disconnecting from reality is really a disgrace, and on occasion I could personally say that I have witnessed the "looneyness" of texting friends and relatives in the same house. The cellular companies are getting wealthy with this trend alone, and the music industry is cashing in a good sum by selling 99 cent songs, the video game industry is already in "hot water" and is being forced to label their games, and even have recalled some like "San Andreas" a version of a killer road rage game called "Grand Theft Auto."

With our state leaders calling for a "balanced budged" i.e. Gov. Rell and Cafero, who wish to achieve this without raising taxes, should at least consider implementing a win/win tax approach to the financial malaise now at hand.

Nothing would give me more pleasure than to see a new tax implemented against the digital matrix of society. This in my opinion would be a blessing, a tax that makes gizmo's more of a luxury than a commodity. This of course could be thinly disguised as the lifeline our state so desperately needs. Why not tax it into the abyss? And as a last note stop sending "weed" smokers to prison for years and years shorten their sentence these people are "stoned" and the punishment does not fit the crime 3-6 months is plenty. Lots of savings there at $55,000.00 P/Y per prisoner.

Rocco Frank

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Nader Writes Letter to Bush on Gaza Crisis

Cong. Barney Frank said recently that Barack Obama’s declaration that “there is only one president at a time” over-estimated the number. He was referring to the economic crisis. But where are you on the Gaza crisis where the civilian population of Gaza, its civil servants and public facilities are being massacred and destroyed respectively by U.S built F-16s and U.S. built helicopter gunships.

The deliberate suspension of your power to stop this terrorizing of 1.5 million people, mostly refugees, blockaded for months by air, sea and land in their tiny slice of land, is in cowardly contrast to the position taken by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956. That year he single handedly stopped the British, French and Israeli aircraft attack against Egypt during the Suez Canal dispute.

Fatalities in Gaza are already over 400 and injuries close to 2000 so far as is known. Total Palestinian civilian casualties are 400 times greater then the casualties incurred by Israelis. But why should anyone be surprised at your blanket support for Israel’s attack given what you have done to a far greater number of civilians in Iraq and now in Afghanistan?

Confirmed visual reports show that Israeli warplanes and warships have destroyed or severely damaged police stations, homes, hospitals, pharmacies, mosques, fishing boats, and a range of public facilities providing electricity and other necessities.

Why should this trouble you at all? It violates international law, including the Geneva Conventions and the UN Charter. You too have repeatedly violated international law and committed serious constitutional transgressions.

Then there is the matter of the Israeli government blocking imports of critical medicines, equipment such as dialysis machines, fuel, food, water, spare parts and electricity at varying intensities for almost two years. The depleted UN aid mission there has called this illegal blockade a humanitarian crisis especially devastating to children, the aged and the infirm. Chronic malnutrition among children is rising rapidly. UN rations support eighty percent of this impoverished population.

How do these incontrovertible facts affect you? Do you have any empathy or what you have called Christian charity?

What would a vastly shrunken Texas turned in an encircled Gulag do up against the 4th most powerful military in the world? Would these embattled Texans be spending their time chopping wood?

Gideon Levy, the veteran Israeli columnist for Ha’aretz, called the Israeli attack a “brutal and violent operation” far beyond what was needed for protecting the people in its south. He added: “The diplomatic efforts were just in the beginning, and I believe we could have got to a new truce without this bloodshed… send dozens of jets to bomb a total helpless civilian society with hundreds of bombs—just today, they were burying five sisters. I mean, this is unheard of. This cannot go on like this. And this has nothing to do with self-defense or with retaliation even. It went out of proportion, exactly like two-and-a-half years ago in Lebanon.”

Apparently, thousands of Israelis, including some army reservists, who have demonstrated against this destruction of Gaza agree with Mr. Levy. However, their courageous stands have not reached the mass media in the U.S. whose own reporters cannot even get into Gaza due to Israeli prohibitions on the international press.

Your spokespeople are making much ado about the breaking of the six month truce. Who is the occupier? Who is the most powerful military force? Who controls and blocks the necessities of life? Who has sent raiding missions across the border most often? Who has sent artillery shells and missiles at close range into populated areas? Who has refused the repeated comprehensive peace offerings of the Arab countries issued in 2002 if Israel would agree to return to the 1967 borders and agree to the creation of a small independent Palestinian state possessing just twenty two percent of the original Palestine?

The “wildly inaccurate rockets”, as reporters describe them, coming from Hamas and other groups cannot compare with the modern precision armaments and human damage generated from the Israeli side.

There are no rockets coming from the West Bank into Israel. Yet the Israeli government is still sending raiders into that essentially occupied territory, still further entrenching its colonial outposts, still taking water and land and increasing the checkpoints This is going on despite a most amenable West Bank leader, Mahmoud Abbas, whom you have met with at the White House and praised repeatedly. Is it all vague words and no real initiatives with you and your emissary Condoleezza Rice?

Peace was possible, but you provided no leadership, preferring instead to comply with all wishes and demands by the Israeli government—even resupplying it with the still active cluster bombs in south Lebanon during the invasion of that country in 2006.

The arguments about who started the latest hostilities go on and on with Israel always blaming the Palestinians to justify all kinds of violence and harsh treatment against innocent civilians.

From the Palestinian standpoint, you would do well to remember the origins of this conflict which was the dispossession of their lands. To afford you some empathy, recall the oft-quoted comment by the founder of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, who told the Zionist leader, Nahum Goldmann:

“There has been anti-Semitism the Nazis Hitler Auschwitz but was that their [the Palestinians] fault? They only see one thing: We have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?”
Alfred North Whitehead once said: “Duty arises out of the power to alter the course of events.” By that standard, you have shirked mightily your duty over the past eight years to bring peace to both Palestinians and Israelis and more security to a good part of the world.

The least you can do in your remaining days at the White House is adopt a modest profile in courage, and vigorously demand and secure a ceasefire and a solidly based truce. Then your successor, President-elect Obama can inherit something more than the usual self-censoring Washington puppet show that eschews a proper focus on the national interests of the United States.

Ralph Nader

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009 Promises New Challenges

Hard to believe that today we are at the 9th year of a very fast moving decade, but 2009 promises lots of "change" or new and unprecedented challenges. The biggest "change" come 2009 is going to be our first interracial President. This alone is a testament to the great achievement of minority tolerance and acceptance by America and Americans. But race alone, will be not enough to quell the unparallelled and daunting challenges facing our country in the coming years.

As we look to our future here in Milford and Connecticut, we see massive multi-billion dollar deficits at the state levels, our major cities in default on paying their bills and a rash of business closings. UI our biggest local electrical provider, and vital business resource is relentlessly reaching deeper in the pockets of those businesses on the verge of failure.

Blumenthal our AG personally joined me and others at Bridgeport City Hall where we along with 70 other people openly spoke to the DPUC about the negative impact UI continues to have on business here in CT. While our newly elected State Rep. Barbara Lambert recommends we purchase solar panels, none are seen on her house or that of any local businesses. She along with others recommends incurring more debt and loans to combat the high cost of energy, a prevailing "looney" philosophy that is now being reiterated at all levels of government.

2008 will forever be remembered as the year of the TARP, or the year America was threatened with Marshall law if we did not give massive loans to big banks, the same then has gone for the Automakers, and the FED now has cut interest rates to near zero the lowest ever by my memory.

All this to combat the symptomatic "bubble economy" the pop after pop could be heard still today, as the energy bubble burst from $150+ dollars a barrel down to as low as $35, to the real estate bubble, the Internet bubble, the derivatives bubble, etc. etc. etc.. A good friend of mine and an economic adviser told me that if Americans paid off all their debt the economy would fail in its entirety. This is simply because we built a Fractional Reserve system. What this means to the layman, is that money today is real easy and cheap to make its simply paper and ink, but more importantly than that our country passed a law making it "legal Tender" and your willingness, or unwillingness to accept it is what gives it value. More disconcerning is the 10-1 deposit to loan ratio, where by a $1,000.00 deposity allows a bank to lend $10,000.00. This system allows loans that default to also default at 10 to 1.

The kicker going into 2009 is that emergency economic circumstances caused the government to panic and hence printed and created far more than the Congressional allowed 700 Billion. MSNBC and Bloomberg are both now litigious demanding that the FED and the Treasury reveal who they gave Two Trillion Dollars to, and what assets were secured on behalf of the taxpayer. Our leaders at both these institutions have refused to hand over the records, their tenacity over these records are an eerie reminder of the Nixon administration and his unwillingness to hand over the Watergate tapes.

Meanwhile Americans are contributing vast sums of money in taxes so we may have good roads, good schools, social security, health care, and economic development but so far the only thing that appears to happening is greater cries for stalled, delayed, and underfunded projects that are desperately needed. On the larger note, Richard Roy our local state Rep. in Milford uses the word "total meltdown" when speaking about the burgeoning federal and state deficits and the impact they will have on our state.

As comical as he may sound to some ignorant people, He his not alone in his assertion, David Walker former Comptroller General of the GAO warns that "hard choices" have to be made now or we risk the collapse of Social Security and Medicaid in the not so distant future. Nancy Wyman our state Comptroller is also struggling with nightmarish state deficits, deficits so large that as much as 1/4 of the entire state budget may have to be eliminated.

One would think that with all this bleak news and expert advice that our leaders would dare to challenge or reverse the very policies that got us here. Unbelievable as it may be, no one is encouraging Americans to save money, quit borrowing beyond their ability to pay. None are condemning NAFTA, GAFTA, and those American job killing trade agreements, none are calling for impeachments or criminal arrests of the perpetrators of these economic crimes. None dare condemn the two party system for not more aggressively challenging one another on matters of illegal wars, torture, theft of taxpayer resources, corporatism, and greed.

Whatever the cowardly reasons are, fear, intimidation, insurrection, spineless leadership, or conspiracy none of it matters, what matters are the immutable laws of history and the arrogance of decadent people who fail to act, care, or understand the nature and gravity of things to come. History may have to repeat itself yet again, as it did in Germany.

Right here in our own town we can see the early patterns of economic implosions, as Linens and Things, Bic, KB Toys, Milford Furniture, Steve and Barry's, The Blue Turtle, and yes many others too numerous to name are all out of business or GONE. Yet our leaders still remain complacent, cavalier and refuse to act against those tyrants that got us into this mess. We are yet to have a leader come forth and declare independence from a nation that has proved its incompetence beyond a reasonable doubt. We have instead misplaced our faith in a new President who by his own words promised "unpopular choices" coming during his tenure.

The constitution makes it clear for the states to defend them selves during these challenging times. Mainly the 10Th Amendment, and Article 1 section 10 of the constitution. What I believe our state needs to do is declare as much independence as it can from the Federal Level and institute a Platinum, Gold and Silver intrastate denominated barter system. This will shield us from the excesses of the "weimar-Fiat" over printed dollar. And one last point, gun sales and ownership are breaking all records.

Rocco Frank