Richmond Fed: Letting Its Glee Flag Fly By Michael R. Shannon

One of the positive benefits of smaller government is the consequent reduction in taxpayer–funded prevarication. The private sector will produce plenty of liars without government help.

Case in point is Jeffrey M. Lacker, Richmond Virginia Federal Reserve Bank president. Del. Bob Marshall (R–Prince William, VA) requested Lacker remove the homosexual lobby’s rainbow flag currently flying in front of the bank. The flag celebrates “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Deviancies to Be Named Later Month.”

Marshall pointed out that “a flagpole in front of a federal building is not a commercial or political message board.” And that Congress created the Fed to “contribute to the strength and vitality of the U.S. economy.”

Public support of sexual activity is obviously far outside the bank’s charter, unless one believes combating the phrase “queer as a three–dollar bill” will provide a boost to the economy.

In response, Lacker claimed flying the flag supports its employees and is not a political or social statement. Which is, of course, a lie.

There are a number of ways a company can discretely support alternate–lifestyle employees without putting a thumb in Middle America’s eye. For example, pin a poster up in the break room, right next to the hand sanitizer dispenser where everyone will see it. Circulate a memo. Organize an after work party at Richmond’s ‘Club Hush.’ Attach a rainbow balloon to the sneeze guard that protects the arugula. Sponsor an outing to an AIDs hospice or even award a free subscription to the New York Times.

What you don’t do is run a patently political banner up the flagpole to see who salutes. By way of contrast, does the Richmond Fed fly a manger flag at Christmas?

Good grief! What am I thinking? What I meant was: Does the Fed fly a snowman flag during the winter holidays?

The Federal Reserve likes to consider itself a quasi–governmental agency. This means it has all the advantages of a government–run organization — lack of accountability, immunity from market forces, access to taxpayer dollars and control over the citizenry — without any of the disadvantages, like elections.

The fact is, just like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Fed can claim ‘quasi” all it likes, but when something goes wrong taxpayers will own the problem lock, stock and “pride” flag.

Which is why taxpayers, and their representatives, should have some say about what gets run up the flagpole.

Still, we can be glad (not GLADD) that the Fed is not as ambitious as the USDA, which evidently is ready to open re–education camps for conservative Christians and supporters of traditional morals.

The US Department of Agriculture (Motto: Fighting Famine Since 1862) evidently believes that since most of us are now obese and food no longer appears to be a problem, the USDA should concentrate on expanding its “intense brand” of homosexual indoctrination into the rest of the federal government.

According to the Washington Times, while the Fed is content with a bit of flag flapping, USDA seeks lavender domination by using the Office of Personnel Management to impose what is essentially brainwashing and self–criticism classes (who said Mao was unfashionable?) on every other government agency, quasi or otherwise.

I can certainly see how the sexual practice of farm animals comes under the purview of USDA, but adding humans appears to be mission creep.

USDA homosexual sensitivity training is adamantly opposed to traditional marriage and goes so far as to imply that people who support male–female marriage are bigots guilty of “heterosexism.”

This puts the “Oh!” back in Orwellian.

It redefines the approval of 4,000 or so years of normal behavior as the equivalent of hate. I would venture to say a class of individuals pathologically obsessed with broadcasting their sexual practices and demanding affirmation from people who do not approve of their choices could be in need of some from of intervention, but that’s just me.

You could also ask why taxpayer dollars are being spent on an indoctrination program that the vast majority of taxpayers do not support? But then you would have to justify the IRS, too.

You could even ask why Republican presidential candidates are always urged by the media and elites to “avoid divisive social issues” while government agencies are applauded for jumping into the fray in the most objectionable way possible?

Make no mistake, the goal here is not “tolerance.” The alternate activist’s ultimate aim appears to be controlling our thoughts, speech and opinions with regard to their place in society with no room for deviation — a goal I haven’t been able to achieve in my own household.

No wonder columnist Mike Adams refers to them as the “Gaystapo.”

How Can The Fed Be So Clueless?

Policy Errors: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says he’s puzzled by the failure of the economy to respond to our government’s many ministrations. Which explains much of why our economy is such a mess.

‘We don’t have a precise read on why this slower pace of growth is persisting,” Bernanke said recently, adding that the growth slowdown was proving to be “more persistent than we thought.”

His remarks came as the Fed dropped its 2011 gross domestic product growth forecast from the range of 3.1% to 3.3%, made just two months earlier, to a much slower 2.7% to 2.9% pace.

Not to be rude, but can the nation’s top banker really be so clueless? Anyone with half a lick of common sense looking at our economy knows what’s wrong: We’ve spent the better part of three years with government making the most extraordinary interventions in the economy in our nation’s history.

Government spending, as a share of the economy, has soared 25%. Regulations, many of them arbitrary and foolish, such as the ban on incandescent light bulbs, have never been more numerous.

Businesses say in survey after survey that, with all the government’s micromanaging of the economy, they are uncertain of what comes next, and therefore are postponing investment and hiring decisions.

But to top economic officials like Bernanke, it’s not clear by now what’s wrong. Really? How about:

    • $830 billion in failed, corrupt stimulus efforts?

    • A $700 billion TARP program that was promised as a way to stabilize the banks but ended up as a kind of union-crony slush fund?

    • The government takeover of GM and Chrysler?

    • The punitive re-regulating of Wall Street through a Dodd-Frank bill that affected even those entities that had nothing to do with the financial meltdown?

    • Small-business fears about higher taxes and stringent, new green regulations that are making it harder to plan and make profits?

    • Soaring oil prices that the government seems not only to tolerate, but also to actively advocate by refusing to permit our oil companies to drill for more?

    • The admission by Vice President Joe Biden, put in charge of efforts on the economy, that higher taxes are “most important to us Democrats”?

    • And, finally, the Bernanke Fed’s own $1.7 trillion in quantitative easing — a fancy central bankers term for “let’s print more money”?

Seriously, does Bernanke — and for that matter, all the other policymakers who say they’re “surprised” at the weakness in our economy — really think all this is normal?

Read more from IBD Editorials

SideBear: As for me, I don’t think the Fed is really clueless because all of what has been cited above has been reiterated before over and over again. I really think the problem centers around the Fed’s attempt to serve two masters, fixing the economy and the politics of the administration.

The two are like mixing water and oil, they just won’t blend with the other and as long as Obama remains President the economy will remain in limbo.

Under Obama and the Democrats the country has pursued a philosophy of ever expanding big government that controls all aspects of the economy through bureaucrats and regulators and the results speak for themselves. Obviously the expansion of government is for building a base to remain in power and control. That’s the politics side of it.

The irony in all of this by time they get through, there will be very little left to control. Is there a way out of this malaise, sure there is, but it won’t come until November 2012.

‘Gunwalker’ Scandal and the Case for Impeaching Holder by Howard Nemerov

A detective assembles a crime’s “history” by collecting and examining evidence, which eventually leads him to the perpetrator. When sufficient evidence points to a reasoned conclusion, perpetrators are arrested and prosecuted in court. Crimes consist of means, motive, and opportunity. So it is with ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious, also known as “Gunwalker.”

Violent crimes committed with Gunwalker firearms

Besides Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s murder, “Mexican officials estimate 150 of their people have been shot by Fast and Furious guns.” This indicates at least 150 incidents of murder or attempted murder.

While Holder didn’t pull any triggers, the Department of Justice was involved in Gunwalker from the beginning. The Washington Post notes: “The ATF became part of the Justice Department after Sept. 11, 2001….”

From the recent congressional report on Fast and Furious:

    In the fall of 2009, the Department of Justice (DOJ) developed a risky new strategy to combat gun trafficking along the Southwest Border.…The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) implemented that strategy using a reckless investigative technique that street agents call “gunwalking.” ATF’s Phoenix Field Division began allowing suspects to walk away with illegally purchased guns.

    This shift in strategy was known and authorized at the highest levels of the Justice Department. Through both the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona and “Main Justice,” headquarters in Washington, D.C., the Department closely monitored and supervised the activities of the ATF.

Holder accessory to crime?

Read more from Pajamas Media

SideBear: The list for Impeaching Holder grows by the day.

The Cat is now finally out of the bag By Leslie J. Sacks

Last year it was Israel’s intransigence – building apartments in greater Jerusalem and in their settlements in the West Bank – that was to blame for the lack of Mid-East peace. This year, it is all about Israel’s refusal to accept “1967 borders,” originally an armistice line formed after four Arab countries attacked the nascent Jewish state in 1948. After multiple wars were foisted on Israel, Israel in 1967 conquered the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights, legally winning in blood and treasure the “occupied territories.”

The Arabs now say peace is all about land. President Obama reiterates that peace is about going back to the 1967 borders “with mutually agreed land swaps.”

But peace, unfortunately has never been about land. It was and remains about Israel’s existence and it’s right to be a Jewish nation, small as it is, in the Arab Middle East.

On May 19th, Obama preempted his talks with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu the following day with a “fait accompli”, deciding for the Israelis and Palestinians alike what the basis of peace should be. On May 20th Netanyahu responded, facing a terse Obama, confirming that Israel will not, cannot, return to the indefensible 1967 “borders”, at times 9 miles wide, narrower than the cities of Los Angeles or Washington, DC. He concluded that the Palestinians and the Arab World (and by implication Obama and the State Department) would have to accept by implication some simple and inviolate facts:

    a) Israel is an independent country and its survival is its government’s paramount responsibility.

    b) Peace is not about land but about attitude. Peace partners do not educate for hate and violence or deny the very real existence of the other.

    c) The borders will be adjusted and some Israeli security presence in the Jordan valley will remain in the context of any peace agreement.

    d) Jerusalem is not for sale – it will remain an open city for all faiths, all worshippers.

    e) The right of return to Israel proper for 4 million (including third and fourth generation) descendants of the original Palestinian refugees is not now and will never be viable. They will need to be absorbed by their host countries and the new Palestinian State with help from the Arab and Western World, as well as Israel,

    f) Israel will not negotiate with terrorists – Abbas and the PA will need to make a simple choice, that of reconciliation with Hamas or with Israel, but not both at the same time.

Six clear facts that are now more self-evident than ever before. No more games, subterfuges, no more foils or pretense. Any partners for peace must show they want peace and act accordingly: then and only then is most everything negotiable. Otherwise-and unfortunately-only security will define Israel’s relationships (and borders). Hopefully (and finally) Obama got the message. Israel won’t be bullied – Kudos to Netanyahu.

WSJ – The U.N. Can’t Deliver a Palestinian State
WSJ – Turkey Welcomes U.S. Tack on Israel
WSJ – What If Jews Had Followed the Palestinian Path?

Note 1. Hamas’ charter called for the killing of all Jews (article 7), as well as Israel’s destruction (article 12). Hamas has merged with Abbas’ Fatah forming a unity government: whereupon Meshaal, the Hamas chief, said Hamas would never recognize Israel’s right to exist and would never abandon its goal of liberating all of Palestine (including Israel proper). Yunis al Astal, the PA parliament member, said on TV (May 11, 2011) that “the Jews being brought to Palestine is a divine plan that gives the Arabs the honor of annihilating the evil of this gang”. Only 13% of Palestinians support education for peace and 68% support suicide bombings. In the light of these unfortunate predispositions, peace partners will remain in short supply unless substantive education for tolerance and peaceful co-existence is firmly instituted in the West Bank and Gaza.

The Investigative Project – Peace ultimately is about attitude, not land
Washington Post – What Obama Did to Israel

Source: LESLIE’S BLOG: STRENGTH AND TOLERANCE

Stagflation Creates a Dangerous Position for Economy

With inflation rising and GDP forecasts continuing to be revised downward, fears of stagflation have crept back into the economy, with the economy hovering in a dangerous position between two possible outcomes: recovery or crash.

Stagflation is a sort of market purgatory, while we wait for one of two possibilities. Either the economy will recover and we’ll have inflation, or the economy will continue to stagnate, and we’ll end up with deflation.

While we will eventually work our way out of stagflation, inflation is hard to maintain if the global economy goes into a slowdown or decline. When the economy does begin to recover, it will bring inflation.

With QE2, Fed Chairman Bernanke has opened Pandora’s box, and once you open the box, it’s hard to control. When the banks start lending again, it will unleash the reserves that the Fed has pumped into the economy and there will be big inflation.

Source: George Mason University