Archive for January 26th, 2013

Terrorist to Speak to Teachers

January 26, 2013

This story should make you wonder just what your children are learning in school. It would seem that the Association of Teacher Educators believes that unrepentant former terrorist William Ayers is an appropriate choice to give the keynote address at their next meeting. I read about this at the Washington Examiner

The Association of Teacher Educators has recruited Chicago professor – and former domestic terrorist – William Ayers to speak at their the 2013 Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia which will be held next month.

William Ayers, a co-founder of the radical Weather Underground domestic terror group, was a key figure during the 2008 presidential campaign due to his Chicago ties to then-Senator Obama.

The organization’s executive director, David Ritchey, confirmed that Ayers would be a keynote speaker at the conference although he admitted that he wasn’t involved in the selection process.

Ritchey added that although Ayers was a controversial figure he had been invited due to his “work in the education field, apart from all the other stuff.”

At some point, Ayers realized that it was not possible to overthrow the government by bombing buildings. Instead, he decided to brainwash young people, hence his work in education. The fact that he has had some influence of primary school education in the United States is frightening. The fact that he and his wife Bernardine Dohrn are not serving life sentence in prison is infuriating. I feel like I am in Bizarro world.

What is the Association of Teacher Educators anyway? Their website gives an explanation.

The Association of Teacher Educators was founded in 1920 and is the only national, individual membership organization devoted solely to the improvement of teacher education for both school and campus-based teacher educators. ATE members represent over 650 colleges and universities, 500 major school systems, and the majority of the state departments of education. The ATE office is located in the Washington, DC area where it represents its members’ interests before governmental agencies and educational organizations. In addition, ATE has two voting seats on the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and has representation on the ERIC Clearinghouse on Teacher Education. ATE’s representational form of governance offers ATE members an unusually high level of opportunity for national leadership.

I could be wrong, but something tells me that William Ayers and his radical views are not that controversial with these people.

 

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Attacking the Messenger

January 26, 2013
English: Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus ...

At least he tried to solve his country’s problems. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That may be what the government is doing with the credit rating agencies if Tyler Durden  is right in this post he wrote at Zero Hedge.

Early in the 4th century, Emperor Diocletian issued an infamous decree to control spiraling wages and prices in the rapidly deteriorating Roman Empire.

As part of his edict, Diocletian commanded that any merchant or customer caught violating the new price structures would be put to death.

This is an important lesson from history, and a trend that has been repeated numerous times. When nations are in terminal economic decline, governments will stop at nothing to keep the party going just a little bit longer.

I thought of Diocletian’s desperation a few days ago when I read about the recent sanctions imposed on US rating agency Egan-Jones. It’s a similar story–

For years, major rating agencies (S&P, Moody’s, and Fitch) have championed the outright fraud of our financial system by pinning pristine credit ratings on insolvent governments and their heavily inflated currencies.

In doing so, the rating agencies are effectively claiming that the greatest debtor that has ever existed in the history of the world is nearly ‘risk-free’.

Clearly this is a ridiculous assertion. With a debt level over 100% of GDP, the US is so broke that the government must borrow money just to pay interest on the money it’s already borrowed. They’ve lost over a trillion dollars a year since 2008, yet they still spend money on things like drones and body scanners. It’s crazy.

As with any good scam, the government must maintain public confidence.  The moment someone says ‘the Emperor has no clothes,’ that shallow, fragile confidence will come crashing down and expose the scam. Dissent must be vigorously and swiftly pursued.

So when S&P finally downgraded the US one notch in August 2011, the SEC and Justice Department announced that S&P was under investigation, just two weeks later.

Egan-Jones, a smaller rating agency, has been even more aggressive, downgrading the US credit rating three times in 18 months. And while the federal government may not have imposed Diocletian’s death penalty, they are just as willing to squash dissent.

In a country that churns out thousands of pages of new regulations each week, it’s easy to find a reason to go after someone. As you read this letter, in fact, you are probably in violation of at least a dozen regulatory offenses.

In the case of Egan-Jones, the SEC brought administrative action against the agency within two weeks of their second downgrade. And a few days ago, the case was settled.

I’m sure you have already guessed the ending: Egan-Jones is banned from for the next 18 months from rating US government debt. They’ve effectively been silenced from telling the truth.

The lesson here is obvious. Just as in Roman times, bankrupt nations today will stop at nothing to keep up the scam just a little bit longer.

Given that all this is happening at a time when Congress is voting to suspend the debt ceiling entirely, these actions are the clearest sign yet of just how desperate the government has become.

Could the warning signs be any more obvious?

His knowledge of ancient history is a little off. The Roman Empire lasted another one hundred seventy years in the west and more than a thousand years in the east, so Diocletian’s reign hardly marked a terminal decline of the Empire. It is easy for us to consider Diocletian as a sort of villain or tyrant because of the harshness of some of his actions and the fact that he enlarged the Roman government and made it more autocratic. In fact, Diocletian ended the crisis of the third century with its continuing civil wars between short-lived emperors and the near total collapse of the Roman economy. Diocletian saw that the old system of pretending that Rome was still a republic and the Emperor just another citizen made it too easy for emperors to be overthrown. Although some of his reforms, like the Edict of Maximum Prices, were ill-advised, Diocletian did manage to stabilize the economy, in part by reverting to barter. He defeated Rome’s enemies and secured the borders. He also devised a system of regular succession for Emperors in order to prevent future civil wars. The plan was ignored by his successors, but he can hardly be blamed for that.

Tyler Durden is absolutely correct about our financial situation, though. We are in a lot of trouble, and no one seems to be willing to acknowledge the problem, much less try to solve it. We simply cannot continue to spend a trillion dollars more than we take in every single year. Contrary to what President Obama may think, we do have a spending problem, and a lot of it is his fault.

Which is more that you can say about him

Which is more that you can say about him

We are heading off the cliff very fast and it won’t be pleasant when we crash.

 


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