I just don’t understand the thinking behind this operation “Fast and Furious” that was conducted by the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms people from 2009 to 2010. Why in God’s name would this armed Federal agency facilitate sales of dangerous automatic weapons to Mexican drug gangs?

I am beginning to think the Justice Department is whacked.

Then we have all these stories of scandal, “investing” in Solyndra and other government waste. And now come the omnibus protestors, with their Woodstockian  sanitation leavings and the clean up burden taxpapers have to pay for.

I am just tired of it and all the politics involved.

I think I will take a couple of weeks off to enjoy the fall colors in the mountains of western North Carolina and then I will go to southwest Florida and do some fishing. I need to purge my mind of the likes of Fast and Furious.

Slow and thoughtful contemplation with a fishing pole in hand is the way.


The other day, while listening to the news, I tried to understand what it is that the protesters  anarchists who are “occupying” Wall Street and other parts of the country actually want. As far as I could tell none of them could articulate a reason, good or otherwise explaining what their beef was. Basically they just seemed mad at the world and wanted to vent their anger on the “rich” people of Wall Street.

Having worked in the financial district myself for a number of years, I could have told these folks not to waste their time. There are a hell of a lot more hard-working people on Wall Street than rich people. Rich people stay in Greenwich or Southampton. Blocking the Brooklyn Bridge just caused trouble and inconvenience for many of the City’s everyday working people.

Now if these protesters are mad about the state of the economy, they probably have a right to be upset, but disruption of the nation’s financial district is misguided. Sure there are some bankers who took advantage of the system and sold some pretty worthless paper to a greedy investing public, and they need to spend time in jail for that. But they also had a number of willing enablers to assist them. First, the cast of thousands that work for the government, supposedly to oversee and protect the financial marketplace from this type of deceit. Major fails by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Reserve and the Comptroller of the Currency and others all had a hand in this disaster.

In addition, the investing public with a blind thirst for the intoxicating elixir of higher returns, failed miserable to perform proper investor due diligence on the suspect paper they were buying.

Finally, the American mortgagors, who were told by  real estate brokers, politicians and mortgage brokers to buy houses they could not afford with money that did not exist. because real estate ALWAYS goes up, unwittingly became the sacrificial pawns.

The one piece of the process that is often blamed but actually did not have anything to do with the real estate collapse and the start  of the Great Recession was the financial market itself. This mechanism is just a tool to facilitate the best sources of liquidity from capital rich areas to areas of the country that need funding. Nowhere else in the world does such a marvelous system work as well.

For the past 50 years Americans have taken advantage of this system of liquidity to buy and sell homes with an ease never before experienced in the history of the world. Hundreds of millions of Americans have had access to the “American Dream ” because of this system. It is only when politicians and other market tinkerers try to manipulate the system for their own purposes does the trouble begin.

The country’s capital market is not to blame for the malaise of the Great Recession, that distinction goes to the cons and frauds who abused the system.

More waste by UN wastrels

October 2, 2011

Hey, how would you like to work in a place where there is no accountability? You get to do what you want… and by the way make $120,000 a year.  Oh, there are also perks like free insurance and no excise taxes, so that $48 bottle of scotch you bought at the “company store” only cost you $12.

Sounds like a sweet deal, right? It is for the frauds and perpetrators employed by this organization. But not so much for the American taxpayers who are footing the bills.

I am talking about the United Nations, that corrupt, useless, soul draining organization which last week, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu accurately described as the “House of Lies.” and  “Theatre of the Absurd.”

The United Nations also loves to give out awards to thugs, hoods and thieves. Their latest waste of time and your money is the proposed “award” to one  Teodoro Obiang Nguema, President of Equatorial Guinea.  He is the one who spent your donated money on an $800 million resort instead of education for his country’s poor.  He then used the impressive resort’s facilities to charm the corrupt UN officials on their summer visit for the African Union “Summit.” Now they want to give him an award.

I have said before that the United Nations is just riddled with corruption and waste. The delegates are largely unaccountable for the other peoples’ money they spend. And the American taxpayer pays for about a quarter of the UN annual budget which totals billions and billions.

Just what has the House of Lies produced lately to promote peace, stability and democracy? That is a very short list indeed.

Well, finally, the Obama administration has had a response, albeit weak, to this waste. Nevertheless, the President did mention it, but I suspect it is just another politician’s rhetoric that won’t go anywhere. In a statement last week, the Administration, issued  “calls for a comprehensive, department-by-department, line-by-line review of this budget” and a new process to approve UN funding.


While he is at it, the President should issue calls for the same comprehensive review of his own Federal budget when he gets around to actually doing one.