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    Bailouts Were an Extortion of the American People

    Mac Slavo
    March 21st, 2010
    SHTFplan.com
    Comments (45)
    Read by 43 people

    Federal Reserve Chariman Ben Bernanke in a speech in Orlando suggested that we will not see the bailing out of banks as we saw in 2008 and 2009:

    “It is unconscionable that the fate of the world economy should be so closely tied to the fortunes of a relatively small number of giant financial firms,” Bernanke said yesterday in a speech in Orlando, Florida. “If we achieve nothing else in the wake of the crisis, we must ensure that we never again face such a situation.”

    As Karl Denninger pointed out at The Market Ticker, Ben Bernanke has essentially admitted that the actions they and the US government took to bail out failing institutions was unconscionable, or as defined by Dictionary.com, “not guided by conscience; unscrupulous; excessive; extortionate; not in accordance with what is just or reasonable.

    If these actions were so unscrupulous, extortionate, and excessive, then why did we saddle the American people, for generations to come, with trillions of dollars in debt to save a few banks who, arguably, were themselves to blame for the crisis in the first place.

    The Fed and the US Government engaged in extortion of the American people by first telling us that the system was on the brink of collapse and martial law would be instituted, and then forcing, by mandate and the barrel of a gun, the people to fork over what little they have left of their paychecks to save too-big-to-fail bankers.

    This is, as Mr. Bernanke pointed out, unconscionable, and all of those responsible should be held to account.

    Why then, as Mr. Denninger says, does the Fed continue to keep secret all of the information that would allow us to bring the criminals involved in the largest ponzi scheme in history to justice:

    So unconscionable actions taken by Bernanke must then be defended to the point of maintaining secrecy – perhaps so that the true nature of the outrage – that is, the actual impact, effect, and reality of those unreasonable and unscrupulous acts do not boomerang back on him and the rest of the Federal Reserve?

    Exactly who is being protected here?

    If Ben Bernanke actually cared about these unconscionable acts, then he would take the actions necessary to bring to light all of the machinations involved in this scheme. But doing so may very well show the American people that he himself, and a host of other officials like Messrs Henry Paulson and Tim Geithner, were complicit in the extortion.

    Regardless of the lip service Mr. Bernanke is paying to the notion that justice will be served, the truth is the last thing that we will get, as evidenced by the Fed’s continued attempts to keep all matters of monetary and financial policy secret.

    Please Spread The Word And Share This Post
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    Author: Mac Slavo
    Views: Read by 43 people
    Date: March 21st, 2010
    Website: www.SHTFplan.com

    Copyright Information: Copyright SHTFplan and Mac Slavo. This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to www.shtfplan.com. Please contact us for permission to reproduce this content in other media formats.

     

    45 Comments...

    Vote: Click here to vote for SHTF Plan as a Top Prepper Web Site
    1. Tony says:

      This latest healthcare bill is the beginning of the end of the USA. This is a bill that takes from those who work, and gives to those who dont. This is a bill that even empowers the IRS. The CBO processed the numbers which stated this will INCREASE the deficit.

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    2. manos says:

      Tony,
      let me play the devil’s advocate.
      Many people of those who don’t work, never chose to quit their jobs. What most likely happened to them, was a “downsizing” from the human resources dept.
      People like you and me, middle class, in their 50s, with a house, two kids, a dog, and a mortgage.
      I try to see the other side here. Today i work, tommorow i don’t and it’s not like i’m a lazy devil. Many people will be unemployed in the next couple of years.
      What i’m trying to say is, what if the president is in the right direction?  Can we really deny healthcare to some of our fellow citizens? And what if tommorow we find ourselves in the same position?

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    3. Egore says:

      Sorry manos, nobody has been denied health care in the past.  We just called it charity, not a right.  This is just another attempt to keep the whole government ponzi going for another five years.  Notice there are virtually no costs in the initial stages of Obama care, just taxes.  Money they say will be used down the road.  Yeah, like the social security money is just sitting there waiting for us.  We are not going to last long enough for the shortfalls to be noticed.
      We are toast!

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    4. Adam says:

      It’s true many, and many more to come, are unemployed. That’s why we need to focus on the root of the problem in our country and not focus on entitlements that will further burden our crumbling financial base. And many soak the handouts from government because they frankly don’t want to work. I worked maintenance in a 120 unit apartment complex when I was in my early 20′s. It was mostly HUD housing. The majority of the residents of that complex were not working because they didn’t want to. They had the energy to get around and buy the newest gaming system for their kids, with the cash given to them by the government, and buy Cheetos with their food stamps. At that time there were plenty of jobs, talking mid to late 90′s. They soaked my tax dollars and many many more do as well. I can think of only a handful of residents in that complex at the time that TRULY needed assistance and those in that category that were able to work towards making their lives better where trying to do so. The others didn’t care and were enjoying the free ride.

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    5. grannyb says:

      I left the typical working world about 4 years ago – big salary, good health plan and enough stress to kill anybody. I started 2 home-based businesses, but they don’t pay nearly as much. Luckily, my husband didn’t mind. One thing I couldn’t afford to do was buy insurance, so I’ve been without. And luckily, I haven’t had much need to go to the doctor. Now, I wouldn’t mind having insurance – if I wouldn’t have to completely re-do our budget to afford it!

      What I really hate about this healthcare issue is being FORCED to buy insurance – regardless of whether I can afford it!! That is NOT the perogative of the federal government! I agree there are issues that need to be addressed regarding healthcare. But the reality is that not only will I be FORCED to buy insurance for myself, I will be paying higher taxes so that other people can also have insurance. There’s something wrong with this picture!

      Never in the history of this country has the government been able to successfully run a ‘business’ – and for something this massive, they shouldn’t take this one on either. But it will be a moot point when the government finishes bankrupting the country and killing our currency – we won’t have ANY kind of government services – only martial law!!!

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    6. sanityjones says:

      “If we must err, I believe we should err on the side of Liberty and Freedom”. What if we used that as a measuring rod for policies that affect America?  The whole system seems to operate under some sick reverse Robin Hood rule of law, which not only confiscates the resources of the common man, but uses them against him as a means to bind him into slavery.  It has become evident that the courts, the government, and at least 50% of the country support this corruption, therefore do not look for justice, accountability, or meaningful solutions any time soon. We have our work cut out for us.

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    7. Patrick says:

      Sure it would be nice to give everyone healthcare, but healthcare is not a right.  Food is not a right.  A house is not a right.  A job is not a right.  Cable TV is not a right… nor is high-speed internet, grande mocha lattes, coach purses, Escalades, swimming pools and fancy clothes or dinners out.

      RIGHTS come from God.  As soon as people start to believe rights come from govt, that’s the end.  There are two things wrong with believing that the govt will provide you with rights:

      1) The govt can only provide you with something it first takes away from someone else.

      2) The same govt can (and will) eventually take those “rights” away from you in the future.  Likely at the most inopportune time.

      The only thing helping those in need should be the charity of your fellow man/woman/citizen.  Not the govt.

      As for this power grab, er, I mean healthcare plan, it wouldn’t matter if it were a good idea or good plan.  The fact is, we can not afford it.  And don’t tell me about printing money or borrowing money to do it.  If wealth and prosperity could be fabricated by a printing press, then Weimar and Zimbabwe would be the most prosperous nations on Earth.  They are not.

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    8. grannyb says:

      Hear hear! Well said Patrick!!!

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    9. sam says:

      Comments…..These people don’t gather in secret to figure out ways to help the poeple, they want to fleece the people to the last drop. When it comes to health care the most important thing is for your to learn how to stay healthy physically,mentaly, spiritualy, in order to avoid doctors altogether because the minute they get their hands on you, you’re as good as dead anyway. It is a moral obligation to seek inteligence, start thinking for yourself and become your own doctor. I recall a statement by the great Adam Smith “Pandemics are caused by an unwholesome or insufficient food supply”. Eat right, for a sound mind can only exist in a healthy body, live long and prosper.

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    10. zukadu says:

      Right you are Tony! The IRS is the real winner with this monstrosity they call Obamacare. 15,000 new agents? Talk about “scores of officers eating out our substance”. 

       A computer program can determine who is buying insurance and who is not, then send warning letters out to those folks who are not. 15,000 new agents? You can bet these agents will be “reassigned” to other duties soon thereafter.

      Push for a flat tax and we can DOWNSIZE the IRS after November. 

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    11. zukadu says:

      Transparency Mac?  That would show that the Emporer has no clothes   ………….. :-)

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    12. AlanB says:

         We Americans like our easy credit to buy expensive things we do not need nor can afford.  This fractional reserve banking racket that feeds off debt and interest cannot function for ever.  The banksters got greedy, the government got greedy, safe guards were removedto protect investors from reckless business practises.   We are to blame. 

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    13. No doubt Zuk! A naked Ben Bernanke running around would certainly give the Chinese cause to reconsider any future lending.

      Patrick, excellent point here: “The same govt can (and will) eventually take those “rights” away from you in the future.  Likely at the most inopportune time.”

      I had a discussion with my father about this very topic this past week. I am a smoker and in the last decade it has become common practice to outlaw smoking in privately owned restaurants. While I understand the health concern here, the fact that a PRIVATE business chooses to allow smoking in its establishment should be the most important consideration. If you, as a non-smoker, choose not to patronize them, so be it.

      That is the jist of the argument — my point is, that once we allow the government to make choices for private citizens or individual businesses, we’ve opened the flood gates. Now we have elected representatives discussing the banning of salt in New York City restaurants because it is also a ‘health’ concern. We’ve got discussions of additional taxing of foods and drinks with sugar due to health concerns, and i suspect that so long as the government is allowed to regulate private businesses we will continue to move towards more government control of every minute detail of our lives.

      I believe it is important to educate people about the dangers of smoking, or high salt or sugar intake, but having a government step in by forced mandate to ban/tax such things because one group of people believe it to be dangerous to the entire population while another sees no problem with it is very dangerous to our liberty.

      So, you can feel free to argue the merits of forcing private establishments to restrict smoking in their businesses, but understand that by doing so you are setting a precedent for those same government officials to someday restrict something that you deem to be a personal right.

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    14. alanisimus says:

      Comments….. Does anyone know how much burden the healthcare system shoulders due to the illegal aliens that help themselves to our system? What law or right is there that these folks have access to the medicaid system? I understand that on the average that for every 100 visits to the emergency rooms in this country, 38 are paid for out of pocket or through insurance. The cost is distributed to the 38 who do pay. The unwritten code of ethics in the ER world is that they never turn anyone away… who says that people in need have no access to heath care?

      The point that I am making is that there is no antidote to the poison of the most sinister of habit forming substances there is…being “hooked on handouts”. The government uses this habit forming substance to keep half of the masses enslaved and the other half paying for it through the ‘brown-shirt’ tactics of the IRS!

      Note, every time a politician tries to pass legislation contrary to this handout trend.. he or she is labeled as someone who is cruel and who will take away precious resources for the poor. Those hooked on the handouts raise up and vote against anyone trying to fix the mess we are in.  Every year, more and more get hooked… we, who work hard and are law abiding citizens are becoming more and more of a minority. That is why we must act by mobilizing the vote while there is still time.. throwing out the “pushers” and bracing ourselves for some civil unrest… those hooked on the handouts will start going through withdrawals and will resort to violence to get their point across. Just look at the failed socialist state of Greece and what the hooked populace is behaving there!

      Let’s not miss the opportunity this November election and in 2012 coming up.. I am afraid that if we don’t remove these people it will be too late. We are becoming out numbered… especially if the socialists succeed with their amnesty programs– another crop of folks to keep them in power!

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    15. Don says:

      Want real change,want your Constitution back,and your just tired of a Gov that doesn’t work anymore?   Try this!

      http://www.articlesoffreedom.us/

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    16. grannyb says:

      zukadu – why should I be forced to buy insurance? If I am able to pay for what healthcare I need, why should I have to join a ‘pool’ to balance the proportion of well/sick insureds?

      BTW, I have no problems reducing the IRS – three of us in my family have received letters telling us we owe more than we reported for 2007 and 2008. They have already begun to search for ways to make the paying public pay more! More time to spend justifying my taxes paid!!!! :-(  

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    17. Tony says:

      *AMERICA NEEDS TO WAKE UP*

      Manos,
      When I talk about those who “dont work” I’m not talking about those who work and get laid off. There is and has always been a large number of people who live off the welfare system in this country and you and I both know who they are. This healthcare bill further enhances the welfare state our country has created and the Obama administration is empowering them. When the poor and or lazy become dependent on the government they need to realize they are then at their mercy,

      Like someone else said we should push for a flat tax and we can downsize the IRS after November. I dont see this happening though. This is the beginning of the end.

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    18. Tony says:

      *KEEP THIS IN MIND*

      There will be people in this country who dont work a day in their life and you and me will be paying their healthcare benefits for them.

      Is that fair?

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    19. MDF says:

      Real simple solution here. If you don’t contribute to society, you should not receive anything from society. Let’s start with “If ya don’t want to work – ya don’t want to eat”. The ONLY folks I am willing to help are the physically handicapped or the TRULY mentally handicapped (not someone who’s was traumatized because they got spanked to hard as a kid). If your purpose in life is to suck on the Government titty, I’m going to make sure that tit is dry. This medical thing is just another way of keeping that thing flowing. Enough is enough people. What is it going to take to get this thing back? I know. When the rest of you figure it out, then we can get busy.

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    20. zukadu says:

      Actually, GrannyB, I don’t think you, or I, or anyone else should be forced to buy Heath Insurance. I joined Mac’s Free Party and we’re going Global!!!!   :-)    Uhhhh, right Mac?

      GB, I think you have me confused with someone else. I was just commenting on the IRS portion of Obama Care because its rediculous to hire 15,000 more “officers” to eat out “our substance” and I suspect that once they have been hired they will be used to harass us even more. Did you ever see my post about the poor slob I know who makes about 25K gross, is married with one kid, and has no assets, yet he has been audited 4 times in the past four years and has had to pay 8K in penalties over that time frame? This is just another example of our government at work for ….. the government.

      Having said that, I do believe we should have better, cheaper health care by turning market forces loose on the Insurance companies. Also, don’t any of you remember that both Obama and McCain promised us THEIR health care program when they were running for President? 

       Lets have it! Lets demand it!!!

      There is no GOOD reason why politicians should have one health care plan and the rest of US another. Its time to end the special priviledges of our public SERVANTS! They are taking advanytage of US in every way.

      ERADICATE the G-FLU : R1D1L1   !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    21. grannyb says:

      zukadu-sorry if I misinterpreted your earlier comment. I’ve read lots of your previous posts – should have known better! 

      The sheeple of this country have no idea how intrusive this gov’t has become. They are in for a very rude awakening! I plan to do whatever I can to assist in the unseating of the current members of our congress in November. Wish we didn’t have to wait until then for elections.

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    22. Jonny V says:

      Watching the health care grandstanding right now…….

      Z- I wish that market forces could do something to help us, but the thing is, market forces are interested in generating profits.  They’re not interested in generating a quality health care product, or even an affordable one.  We’re in this mess because corporations are the greediest, most evil institutions the world has ever seen.  While governments can be (and mostly are) incompetent, they are not necessarily evil.  The direction of a government can be “steered”, even though only through monumental effort.

      Corporations are only concerned with profits.  Corporations cannot be “steered”.  The profits every quarter must be higher than the quarter preceding it.  Corporations are the living definition of “the love of money being the root of all evil”.  You religious people out there should recognize that line.  This is happening because the insurance corporations have forced it to happen and deserve it to happen.  They have cheated so many people, for so long, and provided such shoddy service and product, at such outrageous prices, that the only response is to try and use the government to try and make some change to the status quo.

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    23. zukadu says:

      No harm, no foul GrannyB.

      In November we definitely need to turn the democrats out for starters, and then support the grass roots efforts of other parties until 2012. We have to change the two party system. That system only serves the parties and their lobbyists.

      Next we will see Congress try to ram illegal immigration down our throats. The dems will want these new “voters”. And the Republicans will want to exploit their cheap labor at the expense of the American worker: which is why all we have today are $12/hr telemarketing jobs, and internet scams. (BTW, someone please tell “Ashley” that I do not want to see her pictures!)

      Fortunately, I have a professional background and do my own thing, but then I saw all this coming long, long, ago and far, far, away: sacrificed the good times for the future, and prepared myself for the long haul with specific goals in mind. Not everyone is willing to exercise that kind of self discipline.

      JonnyV: With respect to market forces I was thinking specifically about competition across state lines to eliminate near monopolies. That would lower costs and increase coverage quality; which is EXACTLY why the IC’s have wanted things their way for so long, and gotten it by paying a small percentage of their ill gotten gain back in the form of “campaign contributions”.

      I hate insurance companies, greedy corporations, banksters, big government, and the military industrial complex as much as any of you. No one has been more vocal about them than I. These are the products of the marriage between unfettered capitalism and a self serving government that passes, today, for America.

      The Founding Fathers would storm the Capital and put the Gang of Three in chains, throw them in jail, give them a just and speedy trial, then a sure and swift execution. And me?I would draw out the latter for at least a fortnight.

      Hey! Its OK, they have insurance!

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    24. Tina says:

      Back in July I saw a story on Fox News about a group of Doctors who had begun to ask themselves “Who is John Galt?” Back in 1994 when I read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged for the first time, I did what those Doctor’s talked about doing and left the looters world.

      Nothing I say or do will stop them from looting my earnings or taxes. By making as little as I have to, to survive and prepare for my life away from them, there is less that they can take and I do not perpetuate their irresponsibility. Like those Doctors who will soon be shrugging my compassion, sympathy and talents are for those who value me, not for those who loot or take it from me at the point of a gun. It is getting close to collapse and I fear for those I love who live in big cities. I hope they get out in time.

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    25. We’re on the same page Z!  I guess it’s just the realization that everything we’ve ever been told by these political parties is a bald faced lie.  I think that the only real solution to lowering health care costs is going to be outlawing “for profit” corporations being involved in health care in the first place.  A lot of other countries have already done this.  Not surprisingly, they have better health care than we do, and lower costs.  Ours ranks along about 28th or 30th in the world, we’re not “the best health care in the world” like all the politicians keep saying.  We’re the WORST in the industrialized world.  We pay the most, and get the least, RIGHT NOW.

      Oh, and don’t forget to add
      Big pharmacueticals
      Hedge fund managers
      Automobile manufacturers
      Corporate farming
      BIG OIL COMPANIES (jesus christ, how did I forget them?!?!?!?)
      Open pit mining companies
      Sarah Brady
      Microsoft
      and Nike shoes to your list!!!!!

      We need a SHTF “shit list” on this website, maybe on the side bar or something………..MAC?

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    26. Anonymous says:

      Uhh Johnny, I think normally I agree with you, but this time I think you have lost your mind.  Our health care is expensive is basically because o f 2 main reasons and then lots of other little ones. 

      Government regulation stifling free competition and R & D of life saving procedures and in some cases drugs.  The lie that other countries have better healthcare for less money is a terrible mtyh that quite frankly very suprised you are buying into.  Its been proven a progressive lie over and over and over again.

      The reason the other countries health care costs are lower is because they GET LESS!!!!!!!!!!

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    27. Anonymous says:

      oh boy, another comment from johnny v I didn’t see until reading further up…….so much where do I start?

      Quality care would come FROM competition if allowed to be free.  Quality and fair prices gets customers, garbage is allowed to fail in a TRUE free market society.  Problem is we haven’t been a free market environment for a long time.

      Government intervention only makes things easier for those who have the money or connections to make things favorable for them and it eliminates their competition which is what allows them to be callous. 

      Sorry but you have definitely been drinking the koolaid.  I know it is hard to think differently when you see the coruption and everyone is blaming it on corporations, but they are only partly to blame.  The real rat in all this are the enablers, big government.   Government IS evil and corrupt and has created a completely unlevel playing field for a select few companies to be free to do as they wish. 

      More rules begets more rules and less freedom, people your age really have no clue what a free market and freedom really are, hell I barely remember having a little more than e have now.

      I thought in the past you have had some agreeable insight, maybe I have confused you with someone else our your username has been hijacked.

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    28. zukadu says:

      Hey Jonny V:  We are on the same page, but personally, I have to scratch MS off that list. I am a big fan and very happy with what they do for me. Frankly, its a bargain.

      In the early, good old days of personal computing, I was the BIGGEST fan of Wordperfect and 1-2-3 and HATED MS. Even though these companies CONTROLLED their particular market segment, there was no innovation. They weren’t even smart enough to merge.

      MS was smart enough to bundle important apps into one easy to use interface. MS didn’t come to dominate the marketplace because they had a better product, they dominated because they were smarter, motivated, continued to improve their products, and had a vision of what personal computing could mean  for the world. Eventually, I too had to concede to MS.

      Snooze you lose. By the time WP and 1-2-3 woke up, the game was over. MS didn’t win the software wars, the other two lost it because they rested on their laurels, had no vision or execution, and have no one to blame but themselves. That was probably before your time.

      Be grateful for MS. I am. Its one of lifes real blessings.

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    29. Captain Ahab says:

      Zaduku,

      Cmon its not unfettered capitalism!!!!!!!   Its crony capitalism, unfettered capitalism is what made this country great, favoritism, corporate, industry, and special interest political lobbying has destroyed unfettered capitalism. 

      You have it backwards my friend, and are just regurgitating progressive nonsense/lies.  THEY have caused this mess!!!!

      I really think Mac, you need to set up a history section so those readers who are still believing the BS they were taught or have unknowingly wrongly “learned” on their own, can see the real history of what brought us to this point. I will gladly help compile that information.   History will set you free…..

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    30. Captain Ahab says:

      Zaduku,

      You rant against evil corporations then sing the praises of one of the most corrupt companies in the world.   They are the king of fettered crony capitalism!!  They used politicians/government/ regulations to eliminate  their competition. Gates is a modern day robber barron!!!!!!!!

      Consistency man, consistency…..

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    31. Anonymous says:

      And no they did not become successful because they had a vision of what personal computing would be for the world, Gates and MS missed the boat on cloud computing and they are very afraid.  They will become greatly diminished  as a result of backlash of anger felt towards their unscrupulous  and  un-free market practices that got them their “success”

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    32. Anonymous says:

      A majority of The Founding Fathers were unfettered capitalists!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    33. zukadu says:

      Captain Ahab, you missed the point entirely. I really don’t care about cloud computing. I wasn’t talking about cloud computing, and I wasn’t talking to you. I was talking about the beginnings of personal computing when MS was not dominate, and I was addressing Jonny V. Mind your own business.

      My point was that MS didn’t succeed as much as the others failed. No one says YOU have to use their products. Use the free products available on the Net. You have a choice, exercise it. I do. And I am very happy with my choice.

      MS must be your white whale.

      Crony capitalism is a good label, but I like “unfettered capitalism” it is a good label too, because all systems need checks and balances; particularly financial systems. When Congress repealed GLASS-STEAGULL it unleashed the banksters to do whatever they pleased, thus they were “unfettered”.

      Deregulation and poor oversite by those charged with the task is what got US into the financial mess we are in now. I am in favor of regulated markets because if the political and financial elite in this country are left alone to be regulated by their own conscience, we would all be slaves.

      As for the FF being “unfettered capitalists” yes, thats probably true but they were in essence small businessmen working within the commercial statutes of the time; and not multinational corporations with hundreds of billions of dollars (think Exxon, Monsato, Dow and yes, MS) available to buy or influence politicians on a large scale.

      Say what you want about the company, I don’t care. I don’t own any stock in MS. I like their products and I will continue to buy them.

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    34. Captain Ahab says:

      Excuse me but this isn’t a private forum Jack ASS.  Make ridiculous statements and you are going to get called on it!!!

      Government makes you the slave, talking to a brick wall.

      Crony and unfettered are mutally exclusive. Go ahead, wallow in your ignorance and  contradictions,  ignorant punk..

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    35. Jonny V says:

      WOW, looks like we got them stirred up this time!  The point about corporations and competition I tried to make is valid.  I’ll put it to you another way.

      It used to be that you could go to Las Vegas on vacation, and get a nice hotel room and eat for almost nothing.  The logic was that the casinos would make their money on the gambling.  They were happy to give you all-u-can-eat steak and lobster for 1.99 because they knew that you would be going in for some gambling after your meal.  Anyone here been to Vegas lately?

      Like all corporations, they learned the truth.  It almost doesn’t matter what they charge people.  People WILL PAY.  That 1.99 buffet is now a 30 dollar buffet, and the room costs 200 a night.  And they will still get the money from gambling too.  It would seem that if a casino wanted to “compete” they would lower their prices, right?  Wrong.  They’ll advertise that the prices are lower, but the reality is that all the prices are virtually the same.

      On the larger scale, these insurance companies have learned that they can simply deny coverage, or worse.  During the bush administration, it was passed into law that life insurance companies could simply return your premiums, instead of paying off on your policy.  This is happening A LOT.  Corporations are greed personified.  They care about nothing but profits, and will run over anyone or anything to raise their profits.  They are paying the money they need to pay to make sure that the government sees things their way (that’s the “steering” part).

      This is why the rest of the industrialized world (yes they’re capitalists too) refers to us as “casino capitalists”.  We do not have “competition” in our marketplace anymore, and we haven’t had it for decades now.  Mergers are allowed to take place that suffocate any small chance of competition, and laws are passed protecting corporations from US (the customers).

      Lastly, to illustrate how far we’ve fallen, we can take a look at the 26th president, Teddy Roosevelt.  This man is generally considered to be in the top five greatest presidents ever, far ahead of numbskulls like we’ve had in the last 50 years (that means ALL of them).  TR advocated for national health care, national health insurance, used his office to smash large corporations into smaller ones (hence the nick name “trust-buster”), argued in favor of labor unions in front of the supreme court, was an ardent conservationist, and was the prototype of the modern republican.  Unfortunately, his views would make him more liberal than Obama in the modern world.  He would be kicked out of the R’s on his ass.  You don’t have to take my word for it, go read his biography.

      I’m a republican from WAY BACK, and it makes me ashamed.  I actually ran for a state government seat as a democrat.  I agree with TR on damn near EVERYTHING, and therefore, I really don’t have a party anymore.

      As for the health care stuff I talked about, I have three members of my family who are doctors or nurses, and they agree.  The US is NOT number one in health care, or even close to it.

      Lastly, what’s up with the anonymous replies?

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    36. Captain Ahab says:

      “This man is generally considered to be in the top five greatest presidents ever” 

      Yeah by big government progressives…….I do not need to take “your word” for it, already now all about him, and he was exactly as you say a wannabe big government TYRANT! 

      Prototype of the modern republican??  WOW!!! speechless….

      TR agrees with damn near EVERYTHING the  sociacrats believe in, I think you DO have a perfect fit, just alittle confused.

      Sorry Mac, some of the “clientele” here is not as enlightened nor as fond of freedom, and the rest of our founding principles nor  the constitution as I thought, I will be taking my browsing somewhere else, I have had enough stupidity recently to last me a lifetime. 

      The arguments are not productive anymore, ignorance along with marxism/fascism/progressivism, whatever you choose to call it is endemic in our society  it appears and will only be discarded when it has been lived thru .

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    37. Jonny V says:

      I guess I’m not surprised that you’re so angry.  It’s one thing to talk about the country falling apart, but quite another to actually see it happening.  Just for the record, I DONT agree with this bill.  Everyone knows that health care had to be reformed, however this bill is just a giant blowjob to insurance corporations and is unlikely to actually do anything.

      As far as being “fond of my freedom”….I’ve paid the cost of my freedom through my honorable service in the United States Marine Corps.  These days, I’m watching the greediest people the world has ever seen tear apart the FREEDOMS I helped to provide in the name of “shareholder profits”.  Just because I think that the game should have some rules for the public good, doesn’t make me a marxist.

      And about TR….The idiot who was my commander in chief while I was in the Marines rode the image of TR to a landslide election (twice).  The whole horse-riding, tough talking thing was classic TR.  The problem is that Ronnie would have had to stand on Nancy’s shoulders just to kiss TR’s ass.  TR really was a tough guy.  He left his job as the Secretary of the Navy so that he could be issued a rifle and engage in ground combat against the enemy.  We don’t have leaders like that anymore.

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    38. Patrick says:

      @Mac- i’m a little conflicted about your point on smoking. Anyhow, allow me to make two arguments that I feel are pertinent.  1) the govt didn’t make those restrictions by edict, they were ballot proposals that the citizenry voted to approve.  That’s democracy at work… typically a good thing.  2) you may have a right to smoke, by my right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness also gives me the right to enjoy a meal without having your second-hand smoke give me cancer.  I can not “choose” not to breathe the air that you have polluted in the restaurant where I want to take my kids.  Also, there are govt laws against public nudity, extreme profanity and other such things… mainly because they take away the rights or impact the quality of life of others.

      Thoughts?

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    39. Patrick, your points are well taken and understood. I have actually discussed these same points with friends that are non-smokers.

      My argument in respect to point #2 is that a business owner should have a right to choose whether or not smoking is allowed in their restaurant. As a customer, you have the right to choose to eat there or not. If there is high enough demand for non-smoking establishments, I am certain that they will be readily available.

      I understand point 1, but the inherent problem with democracy is the mob rule that goes along with it. Say that salt is outlawed in an entire state, or country for that matter, because of a democratic election… does that make it lawful in respect to our constitution?  In my view, the salt and cigarette argument are very similar. I am not sure where I stand on public nudity, but I personally do not run around naked. With profanity — that is a tough one, as we are dealing with freedom of speech issues, especially if we are talking about profanity in public. In a private establishment, however, I see no problem if the owners of said establishment allow that behavior — again, as a patron, you have the right to choose.

      On a personal note — I prefer non-smoking establishments, though I am a smoker, because I have kids as well. LOL. (I just go outside, 25 feet from any entrances/exits of course, to toke in between my appetizer and dinner.)

      Again, my only point with the smoking argument was that once we open the door to government mandate, or even democratic elections, we are on a slippery constitutional slope.

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    40. zukadu says:

      Jonny V: This is an example of why you should quit smoking those underworld cigarettes. They will make you crazy! See? This is your brain on drugs! Too much pot makes you psychotic!

      Well, I will admit that you are right about the Casinos. I am not a gambler but those $5 prime rib dinners were a steal, weren’t they?

      As for health care, thats a complex issue, particularly when so much that is bad is also mixed up with the good in Obama Care. Pre-existing conditions need to be insured. Insurance needs to be portable, and insurance companies need to compete for customers with quality products and service.

      It would seem to me that these three items would be the basic tenants requisite to a free market system. That hasn’t existed, contrary to a “market system” which the insurance companies have foisted on an unsuspecting public.

      Insurance companies do need to make a profit so it is only fair that there is a cap on coverage: the amount a policy will pay out over time, or for for each operation; maybe like auto insurance. If you paid more, you got more coverage. Insurance is not my forte, so I don’t really have any answers as I am, and have always been, healthy as a bull.
      When I die, I will probably stub my toe, develop complications, and die before the sun goes down.

      Still, I understand the plight of those who have been bankrupted and/or denied coverage by a system that claims to care for people in distress, but in fact does not.  

      It may be that not-for-profit companies will emerge to provide insurance, but typically NFP’s are run by church organizations. And maybe we should get back to that kind of system. If Obama Care evolves into a single payer system with the government in charge, profits will disappear in no time at all anyway. 

      You can bet on that at the Casino ….. where there is no free lunch.

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    41. Jonny V says:

      Hey Z!  Finally someone sane!  Your local credit union is a not-for-profit, and I bet they’re doing pretty good right now.  I’m pulling my money out of BofA and joining the credit union.  I think it’s safer.  So there is a current business model that works, all their employees get paid fair market wages, and no one is being cheated or charged outrageous fees.

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    42. Patrick says:

      @Mac- understand your points for sure.  However, the govt already restricts lots of other things: who can drive, and how 0ld they have to be before they can do so, who can drink (and when), who can produce their own liquor, and they force you (at gunpoint effectively) to get an education or parents go to jail, etc.  So I guess there are some aspects of govt rules & regs that do benefit the populace collectively, but I agree with you about the slippery slope.  I guess I need to think this over a bit more.  Thanks for the nudge.

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    43. zukadu says:

      Hey Jonny V: Yeah, sanity is in short supply these days. Some of these psychos need to cut their meds in half or double up on them. I don’t know which.  :-)

      Credit unions are a good idea, but larger customers need an institution that is too big to fail. In the USA, the last bankster standing will be J.P. Morgan Chase, which is why I have my accounts there, and at Wells Fargo, where I worked years ago, reviewing commerical real estate across the country. Canadian banks are the best.

      Never put your “eggs” in one basket unless you are going to watch that basket very carefully.

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    44. Patrick, All excellent points — I agree that we cannot have total anarchy — it looks good on paper and all from an individual liberty standpoint, but communism looks good on paper too.

      Limited government, very limited, seems to be the answer. I might get digitally slapped around for suggesting that we need some form of governance, but the fact is that humans have, since the beginning of time, lived in communities. And as such, there was always some sort of leadership council. Thus, after many years, I have finally broken down and agree that we need some sort of representative government.

      And, with this view, I have opened the door to unlimited government, because it seems that no matter how hard a society tries to keep its government from controlling every aspect of the peoples’ lives, it always comes to pass. Seems to be some sort of cyclical occurrence, I suppose.

      If people want to drive on a public road, they need a driver’s license. Probably a good idea. Requirement of car insurance – probably because many people refuse to take responsibility for themselves or their actions in the event of an accident.

      Child prostitution or molestation – we need laws for that, as they protect those who cannot protect themselves.

      Someone murders another, society should seek just punishment for such a crime.

      Theft, certainly.

      Most of the aforementioned laws/protections seem to revolve around personal property (including one’s body) and thus I believe that equal protections should exist under the law.

      But when we get into things like smoking, and salt, and mandated education and healthcare, things start to get very dangerous from the stand point of maintaining a line between government intervention and personal liberty.

      The Republican form of government seems to be a good solution, though, as you mentioned, there is a democratic aspect to it, and on one level or another, the mob eventually rules.

      Unfortunately, what it seems like we are striving for is utopia, where everyone is happy, and this is just not going to happen anytime soon (I don’t think).

      I don’t know what the solution is and I suspect neither does anyone else. If there was a ‘right’ way to govern we should have figured it out in the last 200,000 or so years.

      Of course, it does seem like there has been an evolution of sorts during our history (people), so perhaps all hope is not lost and we will one day create a government that works for all – or better yet, we will educate all people about the virtues of personal liberty and personal property in such a way that no governance will be required!

      Wouldn’t it be grand — a world where everyone takes responsibility for themselves and does not infringe on the personal liberties of others?

      A new world order!

      Dare to dream.

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    45. ForceRecon0321 says:

      Bernanke is a CRIMINAL and should be treated accordingly. But so is Paulson and Geithner. I say we shoot all of them and be done with it.

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