Thursday, March 28, 2013

Is The Federal Reserve System Federal?

"The Fed"
In Banker Jekyll Will Hyde Your Money - 2 Dredd Blog answered the question based on a federal case involving a FOIA request directed to "The Fed."

Another way to tell if an entity is federal, state, or private is federal statutes and court jurisdiction of those statutes and entities.

Under the Eleventh Amendment, the States cannot be sued in federal courts without their consent, and federal entities have the statutory right to have their cases heard in federal court if they choose to.

Concerning its employees, Federal Reserve System entities can even require that a state's workmen compensation laws be litigated in federal court should that Federal Reserve entity choose to do so:
This appeal raises a question of first impression regarding a Federal Reserve Bank's entitlement to proceed in federal court even where diversity jurisdiction does not exist and the underlying dispute involves so peculiarly a creature of state law as a state worker's compensation statute. Appellant Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta ("Federal Reserve") initiated this case by filing a "Petition for Determination of Disputed Claim for Worker's Compensation Benefits," seeking a declaratory judgment determining its liability under Alabama's worker's compensation statute to Appellee Robert R. Thomas, a Federal Reserve employee who allegedly injured his back on the job. The Federal Reserve claimed federal subject matter jurisdiction on the basis of 12 U.S.C. § 632, which creates federal jurisdiction over "all suits of a civil nature at common law or in equity to which any Federal Reserve Bank shall be a party." Thomas moved to dismiss, arguing that the dispute belonged in the Alabama state courts. The district court granted the motion, finding that section 632 was inapplicable because the Federal Reserve's cause of action was statutory and therefore was not a suit "at common law or in equity." As alternative grounds for dismissal, the court exercised its discretion to abstain in favor of a related case that Thomas had filed in state court, and also exercised its discretionary authority to decline to hear declaratory judgment suits.

The Federal Reserve now appeals, arguing that the district court's purported "literal" reading of the language of section 632 fails to take account of traditional interpretations of the phrase "all suits of a civil nature at common law or in equity." Moreover, asserts the Federal Reserve, dismissing this action in favor of Thomas's later-filed lawsuit in state court was an abuse of discretion, because under section 632 the Federal Reserve has the absolute right to remove that suit at any time before trial. We agree that the Federal Reserve was entitled to pursue this lawsuit in federal court, and therefore reverse the order of dismissal and direct the district court to reinstate the Federal Reserve's action.
(Fed. Reserve Bank of Atlanta v. Thomas, 220 F.3d 1235 (11th Cir. 2000), emphasis added). Another way to determine if an entity is federal, state, or private, is to ask and answer the question: "who created the entity?"

In that context, the federal government can only create federal entities, the states can only create state entities, and private individuals create private entities.

The Federal Reserve System was created by:
The Federal Reserve Act (ch. 6, 38 Stat. 251, enacted December 23, 1913, 12 U.S.C. ch.3) is an Act of Congress that created and set up the Federal Reserve System, the central banking system of the United States of America, and granted it the legal authority to issue Federal Reserve Notes (now commonly known as the U.S. Dollar) and Federal Reserve Bank Notes as legal tender. The Act was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson.
(Wikipedia, emphasis added). That says the Federal Reserve System is federal, so let's hear from the entity itself, explaining itself:
The Federal Reserve System fulfills its public mission as an independent entity within government. It is not "owned" by anyone and is not a private, profit-making institution.

As the nation's central bank, the Federal Reserve derives its authority from the Congress of the United States. It is considered an independent central bank because its monetary policy decisions do not have to be approved by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branches of government, it does not receive funding appropriated by the Congress, and the terms of the members of the Board of Governors span multiple presidential and congressional terms.

However, the Federal Reserve is subject to oversight by the Congress, which often reviews the Federal Reserve's activities and can alter its responsibilities by statute. Therefore, the Federal Reserve can be more accurately described as "independent within the government" rather than "independent of government."
(Who owns the Federal Reserve?). You might want to notice that the URL of that link has a ".gov" ending, which only government, not private, entities may use.

Thus, "The Fed" is a federal entity, yet there is still today a lot of folklore out there which imagines that "The Fed" is a private entity, so let's take a look at their position:
The long-time Chairman of the House Banking and Currency Committee (Charles McFadden) said on June 10, 1932:
Some people think that the Federal Reserve Banks are United States Government institutions. They are private monopolies …
And congressman Dennis Kucinich said:
The Federal Reserve is no more federal than Federal Express!
(Stunning Facts, Washington's Blog). Those two questionable sources set forth the astounding gist of the argument -- that since The Fed performs badly, by favoring the 1% over the 99%, it can't be a government entity.

That it is mastered by plutocrats, like the lobbyists who master congress, does not change "the stripes of the tiger" from federal to private.

That the Pentagon is controlled by the weapons industries does not convert the military from a government entity into a private entity.

Notice also the Dredd Blog concept of The Epigovernment (see Epigovernment: The New Model, Epigovernment: The New Model - 2, Epigovernment: The New Model - 3).

Even though the federal government (including "The Fed") is a level below the epigovernment, it is still federal.

The epigovernment is composed of "non-governmental entities", but that does not change the fact that a president is a federal president, a senator is a federal senator, and a House of Representatives member is a federal congress member.

Whether government entities are "controlled" by private entities or not, because they need the big bucks to win an election (which the 1% provide), does not change the fact that they are, non-the-less, still federal entities.

The black slaves did not become white because they were controlled by white slave owners, prostitutes don't become pimps because they are controlled by pimps.

The belief that The Fed is a private entity because it is controlled by the 1% private plutocracy is a nonsensical rhetorical game (MOMCOM: The Private Parts - 4) which won't solve what is wrong with The Fed (UPDATE):
When it bursts, there will be no new round of bailouts like the ones the banks got in 2008. Instead, America will descend into an era of zero-sum austerity and virulent political conflict, extinguishing even today’s feeble remnants of economic growth.

THIS dyspeptic prospect results from the fact that we are now state-wrecked. With only brief interruptions, we’ve had eight decades of increasingly frenetic fiscal and monetary policy activism intended to counter the cyclical bumps and grinds of the free market and its purported tendency to underproduce jobs and economic output. The toll has been heavy.
Instead, the White House, Congress and the Fed, under Mr. Bush and then President Obama, made a series of desperate, reckless maneuvers that were not only unnecessary but ruinous.
Without any changes, over the next decade or so, the gross federal debt, now nearly $17 trillion, will hurtle toward $30 trillion and soar to 150 percent of gross domestic product from around 105 percent today. Since our constitutional stasis rules out any prospect of a “grand bargain,” the nation’s fiscal collapse will play out incrementally, like a Greek/Cypriot tragedy, in carefully choreographed crises over debt ceilings, continuing resolutions and temporary budgetary patches.
(Sundown in America, by David Stockman). David Stockman was the Budget Czar for the Ronald Reagan administration, who resigned under protest.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

You're Doin' A Heckuva Job Browner - 5

America The Polluted
In this series we have discussed the continuation of the pollution "standards."

Actually, it might be more accurate to say the continuation of the demise of standards into more and more perverse pollution.

One of the Pollution Czar's of this episode of "Oil-Qaeda strikes again", Carol Browner, has been the focus of this series.

But no single individual can master pollution alone, since it is such a nation-sized reality, it takes an administrative village to ruin all of America's children's rivers and streams.

Let's look at the long and winding river of pollution brought to you by Oil-Qaeda America:
The following are the numbers reported in the last several stream and river assessments:
  • 1994: 36% of our streams and rivers were reported partially impaired or fully impaired.
  • 1996: 36% of waters assessed did not meet water quality standards. Very few rivers were assessed (approximately 19%), so the reality could have been worse than reported.
  • 1998: 40% of waters assessed did not meet water quality standards.
  • 2000: 44% of waters assessed did not meet water quality standards.
  • 2002: 45% of assessed rivers and streams were listed as impaired.
According to assessment released today [3/26/13]:
  • 55% of our river and stream miles are in poor condition.
(New Survey, Worsening Story, emphasis added; cf. EPA report in PDF). Does that give you a feel for what the neoCon wingnut Republicans want for America?

A feel for what democrats in the Obama Administration, and every other administration, allow by not properly resisting those who were once called pollution deniers, but now are called "climate change deniers"?

Is the only thing that will satisfy them 100% pollution of the once real but now fabled "America the Beautiful?"

The previous post in this series is here.

Pete Seeger sings the 1966 song "Garbage" as a warning our government ignored, because he was only a "hippie."

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

On The Origin of Nanny Statesmen

The Nanny State
The subtitle of today's post could just as well be The Origin of the Nanny State, as will be shown.

In this post we are going to focus on the philosophy of The Private Empire members, which we will call The Nanny Statesmen.

Originally their ideology was charitable to some extent, but in recent propaganda efforts the notion of "Nanny State" has been used pejoratively to attack the 99%.

This is done by insinuating that the 99% must always have the help of the 1% nanny statesmen, because they think that the 99% are inferior and incapable.

This johnny come lately philosophy changes the charitable aspects of their older perspectives, as will be shown below, and goes on beyond that into a belief that the 1% are utterly superior to the 99%, because the 99% are composed substantially of moochers who only want to mooch.

Their tactic of late, at its core, is an attempt to divert attention from the fact that the 1% have always had the ideology that could in fact be called a nanny state mentality.

The new twist is probably caused by injection of fundamentalist religious ideology and constant warfare.

In past posts Dredd Blog has pointed out the heart and core of their original doctrine:
Ok, so now it is probably a safe time to pull back the curtain to reveal the wizard of odds, the father of MOMCOM DNA:
THE conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.

Our invisible governors are, in many cases, unaware of the identity of their fellow members in the inner cabinet.

They govern us by their qualities of natural leadership, their ability to supply needed ideas and by their key position in the social structure. Whatever attitude one chooses to take toward this condition, it remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons — a trifling fraction of our hundred and twenty [now 320] million — who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.
It is the purpose of this book to explain the structure of the mechanism which controls the public mind, and to tell how it is manipulated by the special pleader who seeks to create public acceptance for a particular idea or commodity. It will attempt at the same time to find the due place in the modern democratic scheme for this new propaganda and to suggest its gradually evolving code of ethics and practice.
(Propaganda, by Edward L. Bernays, emphasis added). Old Fast Eddie totally believed in propaganda, and was not all "don't ask don't tell" in the closet about it.
(A Closer Look At MOMCOM's DNA - 4). Their fundamental belief, as "Father of Spin" Bernays expressed it, was that the few we now call the 1% have to take care of the 99% because, well, the 99% just can't do it for themselves.

Another Dredd Blog post goes on to point out that yet another one of their philosophers, whose views are taking over lately, says that attributing dignity to any nanny state is a bad idea:
The poor deserve to die; the rich deserve unmediated power. We owe nothing, she insists, to anyone, even to members of our own families. She described the poor and weak as "refuse" and "parasites", and excoriated anyone seeking to assist them.
.. heroic millionaires struggle against a nation of spongers ... the nation ... is rescued, through unregulated greed and selfishness, by one of the heroic plutocrats ...

[this philosophy is now also combined with:]

Prosperity theology (sometimes referred to as the prosperity gospel or the health and wealth gospel) is a ... religious doctrine which claims the Bible teaches that financial blessing is the will of God for Christians.

The doctrine teaches that faith, positive speech, and donations to Christian ministries will always increase one's material wealth.

Its proponents teach that the doctrine is an aspect of the path to Christian dominion over society, arguing that God's promise of dominion to Israel applies to Christians today.

The doctrine emphasizes the importance of personal empowerment, proposing that it is God's will for his people to be happy. The atonement (reconciliation with God) is interpreted to include the alleviation of sickness and poverty, which are viewed as curses to be broken by faith.
(Ayn Rand: Patron Saint of The Plutocracy, emphasis added). It seems that the 1% who now run the international plutocracy (see MOMCOM: The Private Parts - 3) are tiring of all the work they must do "to support the 99%" (after they plunder them of course).

Originally, as one example, "the nanny state" required us to purchase Social Security Insurance (they called it "insurance" then, but call it "entitlements" now) by withholding the premium payments from our paychecks, but now they want the money which we paid into the "big fat fund."

They now want those public funds to go into their bank accounts.

It seems that their fantasies have run amok now that global warming induced climate change, economic collapse, and other catastrophes, which their insanity has brought, threaten their very existence as well as our very existence.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Remodelling Memory For Life's Sake

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill - Alaska
Consciousness and life are very intertwined within the human psyche.

Sometimes, in order to extend life beyond the here and now, we use what we call memory, which is our personal version of our personal history.

"I have such fond memories" of thus and such is synonymous with "I had such a great life at that time" in my history.

Since we will do almost anything to stay alive, those fond memories which compose that great life we had, that life constructed from those memories, are often remodeled like an old house that may not look as good to us as it once did.

Social scientists and historians are aware of this phenomenon, especially when it has an impact on a larger segment of society:
... historians nowadays tend to be interested in different facets of memory, especially "collective memory" and its mirror image, forgetting. Among other things, we want to know how a society or community's memory of important events changes over time. Those changes often involve forgetting what we once knew -- or thought we knew.

For example, the Yale historian, David Blight, has shown that during the first 50 years after the Civil War, the majority of white Americans largely forgot the harshness of slavery and came to remember the institution as relatively benign. A southern, romanticized version of slavery took shape thanks to a proliferation local Civil War museums and the desire of political and cultural elites to forge reconciliation between the North and the South.
(Historians and Collective Memory). And there we have it, the remodeling of memory is sometimes called "forgetting."

Perhaps like, during a remodeling project, taking a wall out between two rooms to make one large room, where two rooms existed before.

It is for that reason we review Dredd Blog posts from time to time -- to see how this is working on some historical issues in the collective American mind.

On today's date in 2009 there were three Dredd Blog posts that we will review in today's post.

First, let's tie memory to life that was displayed in the post Death Penalty For Being Late.

In that case six people were executed on death row because their lawyers forgot to file their appellate briefs on time, one being only 20 minutes late.

The judge in a Texas Court of Criminal Appeals forgot that life is more than a clock and is worth more than she had thought it was when she said "sorry, you die, you are late."

Next there was the Spill Baby Spill! post about the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska (in 1989), which has not completely been cleaned up yet, and the environment is still dead there in places, woefully absent of those fond memories of a previous life before Oil-Qaeda brought its terror to the North Country.

And finally, Garbage Garbage Garbage was a Dredd Blog post which shows that life in the ocean a few hundred miles south of the Exxon Valdez spill is only a fond memory, because "civilization" has filled the "gyre" with garbage.

Since that time five or so additional garbage gyres have been found in the oceans of the world.

Out of sight is out of mind and out of our lives, so "get that out of my sight" is tantamount to "get that out of my life."

But reality does not work that way, because by forgetting we have made extinct 200 species a day since 2009 (200 x 365.242 x 4 = 292,193 extinct species since then).

That is a lot of life and memory lost to remodeled history.

Related posts: On The Memorial Daze, Searching For Lost Iraq War Memories.

Memory life as zeros and ones a la computer memory ...

Zeros and Ones

Zeros and ones, zeros and ones
I’ll tell you things I never told anyone
Zeros and ones, zeros and ones, zeros and ones

Zeros and ones, zeros and ones
Where does it hurt? Who unplugged the sun?
Zeros and ones, zeros and ones, zeros and ones

Free me from this tangle of technology
Feed me with the heart of your humanity
Take me, do you like what you see
Be me, only you can turn the key

Zeros and ones, zeros and ones
Fun is fun, now the pain has just begun
Zeros and ones, zeros and ones, zeros and ones

Zeros and ones, zeros and ones
In your skin there is no place to run
Zeros and ones, zeros and ones, zeros and ones

“Heal me,” said the doctor to the patient
“Shield me,” cried the lawyer to the nun
“Hold me,” said the banker to the indigent
“Behold me,” said the servant with the gun

Zeros and ones, zeros and ones
I’ll tell you things I never told anyone
Zeros and ones, zeros and ones, zeros and ones

Zeros and ones, zeros and ones
In your skin there is no place to run
Zeros and ones … zeros and ones

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