Saturday, February 2, 2013

St. Boniface Church In San Francisco Lets Homeless People Sleep In Pews

RNitcfCHuffington Post – by Zoe Mintz
For the city’s homeless, San Francisco’s St. Boniface Church is seen as a safe haven.
The nonprofit known as the Gubbio Project partners with the Roman Catholic church to let the city’s homeless sleep on its pews during daylight hours, even during Mass, and provides a host of services to hundreds of those who are forced to leave when homeless shelters close in the morning, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
“Part of the craziness you run into on the streets with homeless people is drugs and alcohol related, but some is severe lack of sleep, which can cause psychosis,” Rev. Tommy King, a pastor at St. Boniface told the Chronicle. “This helps them in terms of mental health.”
Every weekday the program uses the sanctuary’s rear 76 pews between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. while providing access to the church’s amenities like bathrooms, blankets, clothing vouchers and haircuts, executive director Laura Slattery told the Huffington Post in an email.
PHOTOS: Jeanette Antal. Story continues below.

“This sends a powerful message to our unhoused neighbors – they are in essence part of the community, not to be kicked out when those with homes come in to worship,”the organization describes on its website.
The Gubbio Project is unique for its daytime hours and open pews for sleeping. Slattery doesn’t know of another church offering the same kind of sanctuary, she told HuffPost.
The project, which was founded in 2004, sees an average 90 sleepers on a given day, Slattery told HuffPost.

And in a city that has an estimated homeless population of 6,455, the Gubbio Project is welcomed. According to Ken Dotson, a member of the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness, the city offers around 1,139 beds for single adults and less than 100 for families, he told HuffPost.

In an interview with Catholic Radio, Slattery describes how homelessness isn’t the sole problem her guests face. Many come from the margins of society. There are veterans, others from the LGBT community and those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction who come to the church for an open ear, she says.
And although the program keeps its guests anonymous, every so often someone comes in to share a success story, she tells HuffPost.
Slattery points to a man in his twenties who recently came to thank the program’s founder for saving his life seven years ago when he said he was suicidal.
But the program itself, which has struggled with funding at times, sees triumph in the everyday.
“Homeless people, in addition to needing housing, have primary needs of calm, safety, beauty, and a sense of belonging. We are providing these things,” Slattery told HuffPost, “These are our daily successes.”

Peter Schiff ~ Obama Recession Will Be Worse Than The Obama Recovery

Peter Schiff ~ Obama Recession Will Be Worse Than The Obama Recovery

During the 2012 Presidential election, President Obama boasted about the third quarter growth of the America's GDP, but the fourth quarter is a completely different story. The country experienced a decline in GDP in the last quarter for the first time since 2009 and many critics believe that somehow the Obama administration manipulated the data to come out victorious in the November election. Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital, gives us his take on how the government could have played with numbers.
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Who Runs The World? Solid Proof That a Core Group Of Wealthy Elites Is Pulling the Strings

Who-Runs-The-World-Solid-Proof-That-A-Core-Group-Of-Wealthy-Elitists-Are-Pulling-The-Strings-294x300By Michael Snyder
Activist Post
Does a shadowy group of obscenely wealthy elitists control the world?  Do men and women with enormous amounts of money really run the world from behind the scenes?  The answer might surprise you.  Most of us tend to think of money as a convenient way to conduct transactions, but the truth is that it also represents power and control.  And today we live in a neo-feudalist system in which the super-rich pull all the strings.  When I am talking about the ultra-wealthy, I am not just talking about people that have a few million dollars.
As you will see later in this article, the ultra-wealthy have enough money sitting in offshore banks to buy all of the goods and services produced in the United States during the course of an entire year and still be able to pay off the entire U.S. national debt.  That is an amount of money so large that it is almost incomprehensible.
Under this neo-feudalist system, all the rest of us are debt slaves, including our own governments.  Just look around – everyone is drowning in debt, and all of that debt is making the ultra-wealthy even wealthier.  But the ultra-wealthy don’t just sit on all of that wealth.  They use some of it to dominate the affairs of the nations.  The ultra-wealthy own virtually every major bank and every major corporation on the planet.  They use a vast network of secret societies, think tanks and charitable organizations to advance their agendas and to keep their members in line.  They control how we view the world through their ownership of the media and their dominance over our education system.
They fund the campaigns of most of our politicians and they exert a tremendous amount of influence over international organizations such as the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO.  When you step back and take a look at the big picture, there is little doubt about who runs the world.  It is just that most people don’t want to admit the truth.
The ultra-wealthy don’t run down and put their money in the local bank like you and I do.  Instead, they tend to stash their assets in places where they won’t be taxed such as the Cayman Islands.
According to a report that was released last summer, the global elite have up to 32 TRILLION dollars stashed in offshore banks around the globe.
U.S. GDP for 2011 was about 15 trillion dollars, and the U.S. national debt is sitting at about 16 trillion dollars, so you could add them both together and you still wouldn’t hit 32 trillion dollars.
And of course that does not even count the money that is stashed in other locations that the study did not account for, and it does not count all of the wealth that the global elite have in hard assets such as real estate, precious metals, art, yachts, etc.
The global elite have really hoarded an incredible amount of wealth in these troubled times.  The following is from an article on the Huffington Post website
Rich individuals and their families have as much as $32 trillion of hidden financial assets in offshore tax havens, representing up to $280 billion in lost income tax revenues, according to research published on Sunday.
The study estimating the extent of global private financial wealth held in offshore accounts – excluding non-financial assets such as real estate, gold, yachts and racehorses – puts the sum at between $21 and $32 trillion.
The research was carried out for pressure group Tax Justice Network, which campaigns against tax havens, by James Henry, former chief economist at consultants McKinsey & Co.
He used data from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, United Nations and central banks.
But as I mentioned previously, the global elite just don’t have a lot of money.  They also basically own just about every major bank and every major corporation on the entire planet.
According to an outstanding NewScientist article, a study of more than 40,000 transnational corporations conducted by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich discovered that a very small core group of huge banks and giant predator corporations dominate the entire global economic system…
An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy.
The researchers found that this core group consists of just 147 very tightly knit companies…
When the team further untangled the web of ownership, it found much of it tracked back to a “super-entity” of 147 even more tightly knit companies – all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity – that controlled 40 per cent of the total wealth in the network. “In effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network,” says Glattfelder. Most were financial institutions. The top 20 included Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and The Goldman Sachs Group.
The following are the top 25 banks and corporations at the heart of this “super-entity”.  You will recognize many of the names on the list…
1. Barclays plc
2. Capital Group Companies Inc
3. FMR Corporation
4. AXA
5. State Street Corporation
6. JP Morgan Chase & Co
7. Legal & General Group plc
8. Vanguard Group Inc
10. Merrill Lynch & Co Inc
11. Wellington Management Co LLP
12. Deutsche Bank AG
13. Franklin Resources Inc
14. Credit Suisse Group
15. Walton Enterprises LLC
16. Bank of New York Mellon Corp
17. Natixis
18. Goldman Sachs Group Inc
19. T Rowe Price Group Inc
20. Legg Mason Inc
21. Morgan Stanley
22. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc
23. Northern Trust Corporation
24. Société Générale
25. Bank of America Corporation
The ultra-wealthy elite often hide behind layers and layers of ownership, but the truth is that thanks to interlocking corporate relationships, the elite basically control almost every Fortune 500 corporation.
The amount of power and control that this gives them is hard to describe.
Unfortunately, this same group of people have been running things for a very long time.  For example, New York City Mayor John F. Hylan said the following during a speech all the way back in 1922
 The real menace of our Republic is the invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation. To depart from mere generalizations, let me say that at the head of this octopus are the Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests and a small group of powerful banking houses generally referred to as the international bankers. The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes.
They practically control both parties, write political platforms, make catspaws of party leaders, use the leading men of private organizations, and resort to every device to place in nomination for high public office only such candidates as will be amenable to the dictates of corrupt big business.
These international bankers and Rockefeller-Standard Oil interests control the majority of the newspapers and magazines in this country. They use the columns of these papers to club into submission or drive out of office public officials who refuse to do the bidding of the powerful corrupt cliques which compose the invisible government. It operates under cover of a self-created screen [and] seizes our executive officers, legislative bodies, schools, courts, newspapers and every agency created for the public protection.
These international bankers created the central banks of the world (including the Federal Reserve), and they use those central banks to get the governments of the world ensnared in endless cycles of debt from which there is no escape.  Government debt is a way to “legitimately” take money from all of us, transfer it to the government, and then transfer it into the pockets of the ultra-wealthy.
Today, Barack Obama and almost all members of Congress absolutely refuse to criticize the Fed, but in the past there have been some brave members of Congress that have been willing to take a stand.  For example, the following quote is from a speech that Congressman Louis T. McFadden delivered to the U.S. House of Representatives on June 10, 1932
Mr. Chairman, we have in this country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks. The Federal Reserve Board, a Government board, has cheated the Government of the United States and the people of the United States out of enough money to pay the national debt. The depredations and iniquities of the Federal Reserve Board has cost this country enough money to pay the national debt several times over. This evil institution has impoverished and ruined the people of the United States, has bankrupted itself, and has practically bankrupted our Government. It has done this through the defects of the law under which it operates, through the maladministration of that law by the Federal Reserve Board, and through the corrupt practices of the moneyed vultures who control it.
Sadly, most Americans still believe that the Federal Reserve is a “federal agency”, but that is simply not correct.  The following comes from
The stockholders in the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks are the privately owned banks that fall under the Federal Reserve System. These include all national banks (chartered by the federal government) and those state-chartered banks that wish to join and meet certain requirements. About 38 percent of the nation’s more than 8,000 banks are members of the system, and thus own the Fed banks.
According to researchers that have looked into the ownership of the big Wall Street banks that dominate the Fed, the same names keep coming up over and over: the Rockefellers, the Rothschilds, the Warburgs, the Lazards, the Schiffs and the royal families of Europe.
But ultra-wealthy international bankers have not just done this kind of thing in the United States.  Their goal was to create a global financial system that they would dominate and control.  Just check out what Georgetown University history professor Carroll Quigley once wrote
[T]he powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations.
Sadly, most Americans have never even heard of the Bank for International Settlements, but it is at the very heart of the global financial system.  The following is from Wikipedia
As an organization of central banks, the BIS seeks to make monetary policy more predictable and transparent among its 58 member central banks. While monetary policy is determined by each sovereign nation, it is subject to central and private banking scrutiny and potentially to speculation that affects foreign exchange rates and especially the fate of export economies. Failures to keep monetary policy in line with reality and make monetary reforms in time, preferably as a simultaneous policy among all 58 member banks and also involving the International Monetary Fund, have historically led to losses in the billions as banks try to maintain a policy using open market methods that have proven to be based on unrealistic assumptions.
The ultra-wealthy have also played a major role in establishing other important international institutions such as the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO.  In fact, the land for the United Nations headquarters in New York City was purchased and donated by John D. Rockefeller.
The international bankers are “internationalists” and they are very proud of that fact.
The elite also dominate the education system in the United States.  Over the years, the Rockefeller Foundation and other elitist organizations have poured massive amounts of money into Ivy League schools.  Today, Ivy League schools are considered to be the standard against which all other colleges and universities in America are measured, and the last four U.S. presidents were educated at Ivy League schools.
The elite also exert a tremendous amount of influence through various secret societies (Skull and Bones, the Freemasons, etc.), through some very powerful think tanks and social clubs (the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group, the Bohemian Grove, Chatham House, etc.), and through a vast network of charities and non-governmental organizations (the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the World Wildlife Fund, etc.).
But for a moment, I want to focus on the power the elite have over the media.  In a previous article, I detailed how just six monolithic corporate giants control most of what we watch, hear and read every single day.  These giant corporations own television networks, cable channels, movie studios, newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, music labels and even many of our favorite websites.
Considering the fact that the average American watches 153 hours of television a month, the influence of these six giant corporations should not be underestimated.  The following are just some of the media companies that these corporate giants own…
Time Warner
Home Box Office (HBO)
Time Inc.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
CW Network (partial ownership)
New Line Cinema
Time Warner Cable
Cartoon Network
America Online
Castle Rock
Sports Illustrated
Marie Claire
People Magazine
Walt Disney
ABC Television Network
Disney Publishing
Disney Channel
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Buena Vista Theatrical Productions
Buena Vista Records
Disney Records
Hollywood Records
Miramax Films
Touchstone Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures
Pixar Animation Studios
Buena Vista Games
Hyperion Books
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Home Entertainment
Black Entertainment Television (BET)
Comedy Central
Country Music Television (CMT)
MTV Canada
Nick Magazine
Nick at Nite
Nick Jr.
Spike TV
The Movie Channel
TV Land
News Corporation
Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Fox Television Stations
The New York Post
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Fox Business Network
Fox Kids Europe
Fox News Channel
Fox Sports Net
Fox Television Network
My Network TV
News Limited News
Phoenix InfoNews Channel
Phoenix Movies Channel
Sky PerfecTV
Speed Channel
STAR TV Taiwan
STAR World
Times Higher Education Supplement Magazine
Times Literary Supplement Magazine
Times of London
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
20th Century Fox International
20th Century Fox Studios
20th Century Fox Television
The Wall Street Journal
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Interactive Media
HarperCollins Publishers
The National Geographic Channel
National Rugby League
News Interactive
News Outdoor
Radio Veronica
Sky Italia
Sky Radio Denmark
Sky Radio Germany
Sky Radio Netherlands
CBS Corporation
CBS News
CBS Sports
CBS Television Network
CBS Radio Inc. (130 stations)
CBS Consumer Products
CBS Outdoor
CW Network (50% ownership)
Infinity Broadcasting
Simon & Schuster (Pocket Books, Scribner)
Westwood One Radio Network
NBC Universal
NBC News
NBC Sports
NBC Television Network
SciFi Magazine
Syfy (Sci Fi Channel)
USA Network
Weather Channel
Focus Features
NBC Universal Television Distribution
NBC Universal Television Studio
Paxson Communications (partial ownership)
Universal Parks & Resorts
Universal Pictures
Universal Studio Home Video
And of course the elite own most of our politicians as well.  The following is a quote from journalist Lewis Lapham
“The shaping of the will of Congress and the choosing of the American president has become a privilege reserved to the country’s equestrian classes, a.k.a. the 20% of the population that holds 93% of the wealth, the happy few who run the corporations and the banks, own and operate the news and entertainment media, compose the laws and govern the universities, control the philanthropic foundations, the policy institutes, the casinos, and the sports arenas.”
Have you ever wondered why things never seem to change in Washington D.C. no matter who we vote for?
Well, it is because both parties are owned by the establishment.
It would be nice to think that the American people are in control of who runs things in the U.S., but that is not how it works in the real world.
In the real world, the politician that raises more money wins more than 80 percent of the time in national races.
Our politicians are not stupid – they are going to be very good to the people that can give them the giant piles of money that they need for their campaigns.  And the people that can do that are the ultra-wealthy and the giant corporations that the ultra-wealthy control.
Are you starting to get the picture?
There is a reason why the ultra-wealthy are referred to as “the establishment”.  They have set up a system that greatly benefits them and that allows them to pull the strings.
So who runs the world?
They do.  In fact, they even admit as much.
David Rockefeller wrote the following in his 2003 book entitled “Memoirs”
“For more than a century, ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure — one world, if you will. If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”
There is so much more that could be said about all of this.  In fact, an entire library of books could be written about the power and the influence of the ultra-wealthy international bankers that run the world.
But hopefully this is enough to at least get some conversations started.
So what do you think about all of this?  Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below…
This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog.  Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.

James Grant: 'Bernanke's Helicopter Needs A Bailout'

'Money in search of mischief and likely to find it.'
"The Fed's balance sheet is exploding.  They have added over $3 trillion in new securities since QE began.  Bernanke's money printing is counter-productive and is why the economy won't recover.  If it were as easy as printing money or creating credit to levitate an economy or to reactivate business activity the world would have been richer many generations ago."
Jim Grant with Lauren Lyster yesterday on her new show.  Lyster and her producer Demetri Kofinas closed shop at Capital Account on RT a few weeks and  just popped up over at Yahoo Tech Ticker.
Special bonus clip below of Lauren Lyster and a mini-skirt leg-kick.
Yahoo Tech Ticker
As expected, the Federal Reserve announced Wednesday it will continue its $85 billion monthly bond-buying stimulus program until the economy improves.  The central bank also pledged to keep interest rates near zero until the national unemployment rate falls to at least 6.5%, and as long as inflation stays in line with its 2% target.  Ahead of the Fed announcement the Commerce Department reported 2012 fourth quarter GDP fell for the first time since 2009.  The 0.1% contraction is indicative of the "low-level virus" attacking the domestic economy, says Grant.  In fact, Grant believes the Fed's perpetual low-interest rate policy will lead to the next big economic crisis in this country: the bursting of the bond bubble.
Lauren Lyster Bonus:

Happy Friday.  Lauren Lyster leg kick in short skirt at 24 second mark.

UPDATE - I found this Krugman/Henry Blodget interview while at Yahoo.  More deficit-spending nonsense from the false prophet. 

The Real Obama Climate Plan

Green energy linksfest.
John provides his weekly update on news (graft, corruption and waste) in the clean energy sector.
The Real Obama Climate Plan - WSJ
To approve natural gas exports and other energy projects, the president may demand a carbon tax.  The president's climate shout-out sent the green community into flurries of ecstasy, with grand hopes of a new push for cap-and-trade in Congress, or of a redoubled U.S. commitment to a global carbon pact. It fell to Mrs. Boxer to tamp down those ambitions, even as she reassured her devotees that there is more than one way to skin the climate cat.
"A lot of you press me on: 'Where is the bill on climate change?  Where is the bill?'  There doesn't have to be a bill," Mrs. Boxer explained in a briefing the day after Mr. Obama's speech.  "I'm telling you right now, EPA has the authority in the transportation sector, the electricity sector, and the industrial sector under the Clean Air Act" to do everything that legislation might otherwise do."
In other words, with the election over, all pretense is gone. Democrats won't waste political capital on a doomed cap-and-trade bill. Yet they'll get their carbon program all the same, by deputizing the EPA to impose sweeping new rules and using their Senate majority to block any GOP effort to check the agency's power grab. The further upside? Brute regulation is not only certain and efficient, it allows vulnerable Democrats to foist any blame on a lame-duck administration.
Mrs. Boxer has spent years on climate, and she wouldn't be surrendering her legislative ambitions without clear assurances the White House has her covered. Her words were a signal that the Obama EPA is about to re-energize the regulatory machine that it put on ice during the election. Republicans who hoped Lisa Jackson's resignation signaled a more humble EPA approach should instead prepare for an agency with a new and turbocharged mission.
Obama Will Not Propose Carbon Tax: Spokesman
The White House on Wednesday ruled out proposing a tax on carbon emissions, two days after President Barack Obama called for action on climate change in his inaugural address.  Senator Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent and hard-line environmentalist, said Tuesday he plans to introduce legislation in February that would penalize companies for their carbon emissions, while also ending fossil fuel subsidies.
Carney confirmed that Obama would finalize greenhouse gas emissions standards on new power plants, which are due in April.  But he would not say what, if any, other actions the administration would take to tackle climate change, including issuing GHG standards for existing power plants.
World Bank Chief: Obama's Speech Could Reignite Climate Push
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim hopes that President Obama’s climate-heavy inaugural speech will be a shot in the arm for efforts to prevent catastrophic global warming.  “Strong leadership must come from the six big economies that account for two-thirds of the energy sector’s global carbon dioxide emissions. President Obama’s reference in his inaugural address this week to addressing climate and energy could help reignite this critical conversation domestically and abroad,” he writes in a Washington Post op-ed.
Larry Summers: It's Time To Tax Carbon And High Fat Foods
As the nation marches steadily toward the fiscal cliff, President Obama’s former chief economist Lawrence H. Summers says once that crisis is averted, policymakers should begin debating ideas like taxing carbon and high-fat foods.
[Note: Larry Summers is part owner of First Wind]
First Wind Update
Kahuku Wind Power, LLC, a project of First Wind in Kahuku Oahu, HI, was granted a $117 million loan in July 2010, estimated to create a whopping 200 jobs. And then on February 3, 2012 this same project received a 1603 grant­ for over $35 million [docket #2594 –- $35,148,839].
Sadly, in August 2012 a fire that destroyed First Wind’s battery storage facility and sent toxic fumes into the air, left ratepayers in the dark over costs and safety. We should keep an eye on that one, however, there is more corruption to expose.
The First Wind plan was to secure taxpayer money and then go public. Now they achieved their first objective from the Bank of Obama –– since he took office (and as of 7/18/12), First Wind's projects have received over $452 million in grants through the Stimulus' 1603 Program.
  • First Wind's Stetson Wind Farm in Maine –– $40,441,471
  • Cohocton Wind Farm in New York, $52,352,334
  • Dutch Hill Wind Farm In New York, $22,296,494
  • Milford Wind Corridor Phase I In Utah; $120,147,809
  • Milford Wind Corridor Phase II In Utah, $80,436,803
  • Rollins Wind Farm In Maine; $53,246,347
  • Sheffield Wind Farm In Vermont, $35,914,864
  • Kahuku Wind Farm In Hawaii, $35,148,839
  • Steel Winds II Wind Farm In New York, $12,778,75
However, in November 2010, Bloomberg announced, “First Wind Holdings Inc., the operator of wind-energy projects backed by D.E. Shaw & Co. and Madison Dearborn Partners LLC, said it withdrew its initial public offering because of unfavorable market conditions” that’s code for “weak demand.”
Speaking of IPO's...
Within the House Oversight leaked emails that were unleashed late October 2012, you'll discover that these correspondences basically prove that the White House, Secretary Chu, and certain DOE officials lied about how they handled the green energy loans on various fronts –– a story I have emphasized in many of my recent green corruption posts.
In the 350+ page Appendix II, I discovered a series of intriguing emails dated in May 2010, where the DOE staff was discussing the Kahuku loan, just months prior to the final approval in July 2010. It seems that on May 12, 2012, LPO Credit Advisor James McCrea was concerned about the Loan Guarantee Program Office's "credit policies and procedures" –– so much so that he intensely clarified the importance of order, "...everyone needs to understand is all that has to go in order to put the transaction into the Federal accounting system which requires collaborating among OMB, Treasury, and parts of DOE with which you do not normally interact. To be clear, one of the reasons this is so carefully handled is that there are several penalties for a violation of the Antideficiency Act including jail time..." Later McCrea writes, "I know the processing is frustrating for First Wind. The deal will close when it is time."
Five days later, McCrea writes, "To fill Brian in, we have a pretty good mess on First Wind and it is looking like it is going to get a lot worse and quickly at that. Someone is pressing Jonathan [Jonathan Silver is the former Executive Director of the Loan Program Office] who is now pressing hard on the everyone as the sponsor has an IPO in the works. I have told Jonathan that the deal has huge issues and the sponsor's overriding is not helping at all and that further, the sponsor's pending IPO is irrelevant."
While there's no mention of where that pressure came from, the first-rate, high-powered political ties to First Wind are vast, starting with D.E. Shaw & Co, a New York-based investment firm –– "a $39 Billion Hedge Fund Giant" (also a First Solar investor), which so happens to be one of the three top contributors to Democrats –– is a backer of First Wind Holdings Inc. The founder David Shaw, is a two-time Obama bundler, who employed Larry Summers, and before heading to the Obama White House, as the top economic advisor, "Lawrence Summers received about $5.2 million over the past year in compensation from hedge fund D.E. Shaw,” as revealed by the Wall Street Journal, noting his "frequent appearances before Wall Street firms including J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers." Towards the end of 2011, Summers left the Obama administration and rejoined the firm as a consultant.
Algonquin Buys "Shady" Oaks 
Algonquin Power and Utilities Corp. has acquired a 109.5 MW contracted wind powered generating station ("Shady Oaks") from Goldwind International SO Limited ("Goldwind") for total consideration to all stakeholders of approximately US$148.9 million.
The Shady Oaks wind power facility is located in Northern Illinois, approximately 80 km west of Chicago, Illinois and reached commercial operation in June 2012. Total annual energy production is expected to be 364 GW-hrs per year.  The Shady Oaks wind facility has entered into a 20 year inflation indexed power purchase agreement with the largest electric utility in the state of Illinois, Commonwealth Edison.
Goldwindmore here, may be connected to Brian Caffyn, who was also involved with First Wind/IVPC/UPC which has ties to organized crime in Italy.

More On Goldwind And First Wind
US: Chinese turbine manufacturer Goldwind has appointed First Wind vice-president and chief financial officer Tim Rosenzweig to be the CEO of Goldwind USA.
More here and here 
Davos: Green Investment Report (pdf)
Brought to by: The Green Growth Action Alliance, see page 39 for members...
Businesses Brace For An Obama Wave Of Regulation
President Obama has begun to wield the power of the executive to press forward with a second-term agenda that delights the left and terrifies the right. When he said "we must act" in his inaugural address last week, liberals cheered him on and conservatives saw that the electoral earthquake of November is likely to be followed by a tsunami of executive orders and regulations.
Lawmakers, lobbyists and policy groups say they are expecting a deluge of new rules from agencies across the federal government. “They’re going to try to do with regulation what they cannot do with legislation,” said Mike House of Hogan & Lovells, a law and lobbying firm whose clients include businesses and trade groups.
White House Official: Corporate Tax Reform Should Boost Green Energy
A White House economic adviser said Thursday that any overhaul of the corporate tax code should provide a lift for green energy technologies.  “The first headline of corporate tax reform will not be ‘corporate tax reform for the clean energy economy.’  But the way that corporate tax reform gets done could have a dramatic effect, long-term, on the incentives for investment in the United States for ... technologies and renewable technologies,” said Brian Deese, deputy director of the National Economic Council.
PUC Approves Statoil Offshore Wind Project 
The PUC's 2-1 vote Thursday to support the Statoil Hywind Maine demonstration project means customers will pay slightly higher electricity bills in the near term. But the commission decided that the cost – about 75 cents a month for the average residential customer – is worth the opportunity to put Maine on the international wind power map.
The decision doesn't guarantee that Statoil will build the project. The contract gives the company room to change course if, for instance, it doesn't win the second installment of a large federal grant or Congress does not renew a key tax credit for renewable energy.
Norweigan Sea Can Hold 100 Years Of Norways CO-2 Emissions
The findings are most relevant for natural gas finds such as the Sleipner field in the North Sea, where the gas contains high levels of carbon dioxide. Norway has imposed taxes on carbon emissions since 1991 as part of efforts to limit climate change.
An atlas by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) showed that geological formations could store 5.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide beneath the Norwegian Sea, against current annual Norwegian emissions of about 50 million tonnes.
The storage is a fraction of the 70 billion tonnes of storage space below Norway's sector of the North Sea, as estimated in a 2011 NPD study. The NPD is still mapping storage sites in the Arctic Barents Sea.  "The Atlas shows that there are several suitable sites" for storage, Oil and Energy Minister Ola Borten Moe said in a statement. Norway is Europe's second-largest gas supplier after Russia.
Statoil: Carbon Capture 
Statoil Annual Report 2011
The main pension schemes in Norway are managed by Statoil Pensjon (Statoil's pension fund - hereafter "Statoil Pension"). Statoil Pension is an independent pension fund that covers employees of Statoil ASA and the company's Norwegian subsidiaries. The purpose of Statoil Pension is to provide retirement and disability pension to members and survivor's pension to spouses, registered partners, cohabitants and children. The pension fund's assets are kept separate from the company's and group companies' assets. Statoil Pension is supervised by the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway ("Finanstilsynet") and is licensed to operate as a pension fund.
US Delays Approval Of Big Chinese Oil Deal
A U.S. regulatory review has delayed completion of Chinese oil giant CNOOC’s $15.1 billion purchase of the Canadian oil company Nexen, a deal that triggered U.S. review because Nexen has oil-and-gas assets in the Gulf of Mexico.

Nexen, in a statement Sunday, said both parties to the deal have agreed to extend the closing date by 30 days until early March.

“Completion of the Agreement remains subject to the receipt of United States regulatory approval and the satisfaction or waiver of other customary closing conditions. Key regulatory approvals have been received from Canada, the United Kingdom, the European Union and the People's Republic of China,” Nexen said.
In the U.S., the deal has triggered review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, the Treasury Department-led interagency panel that reviews foreign purchases of U.S. assets if the transactions could affect national security.
Nexen is a multinational company active in Canada’s oil sands, off West Africa’s coast and elsewhere.
CNOOC’s takeover has drawn interest on Capitol Hill due to Nexen’s Gulf of Mexico holdings and because Nexen is a significant player in Canada’s oil sands. Click herehere and here for earlier E2-Wire coverage of the CNOOC-Nexen deal.
Global Warming's Latest Victim
LEGENDARY Nessie hunter Robert Rines is giving up his search for the monster after 37 years.  The 85-year-old American will make one last trip in a bid to find the elusive beast.  After almost four decades of fruitless expeditions, he admitted: "Unfortunately, I'm running out of age."
He started in 1971. The following year, he watched a 25ft-long hump with the texture of elephant skin gliding through the water.  His original trip was to help another monster hunter with sonar equipment and quickly identified large moving targets.  He was smitten and returned the next year, which is when, he says: "I had the misfortune of seeing one of these things with my own eyes."
Since then, he has been obsessed with tracking down the creature with a staggering array of hi-tech equipment. It was this gear that took the famous "flipper" picture that year which created a stir around the world.  Despite having hundreds of sonar contacts over the years, the trail has since gone cold and Rines believes that Nessie may be dead, a victim of global warming...The eulogy will be held at 5pm (somewhere).

Read Last Week's Green Energy Stories...

WATCH: Obama on Climate Change - Inauguration 2013

Obama sees a huge threat from climate change but no threat from a $17 trillion national debt.
"We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.  Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms."m

Biden: 'I'm Proud To Be PRESIDENT Of The United States'

Classic Biden.  The night before the inauguration.
Joe Biden the gaffe machine was at it again.  This wasn’t the first time Biden was confused about who’s in the White House.  In November, he referred to Obama as President Clinton.
But that's only the beginning:
List Of Biden's Public Gaffes
ABC, CBS and NBC Bury Bumbling Biden's Most Embarrassing Moments
Peggy Noonan on Biden:

If Biden were a Republican, Meet the Press's topic would be 'How Stupid Is This Person?'
Keep reading for more Biden gaffes…

Jim Rickards: Central Banks Repatriate Gold

Jim Rickards: Central Banks Repatriate Gold

You thought Wonga was bad? Meet Easy Finance Club - the payday lender with an APR of 68,300% Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Fast cash: Easy Finance Club offers quick cash for those with poor credit records, but at outrageous rates of interest.
Fast cash: Easy Finance Club offers quick cash for those with poor credit records, but at outrageous rates of interest.
If you thought the interest rates charged by Wonga were astronomical, those being charged by a new payday lender are in a different solar system.
Easy Finance Club is charging £65 on loans of £100 taken out over 28 days, which was calculated today at the equivalent of a whopping 68,300 per cent APR.
This is despite Easy Finance's website claiming it has a typical Representative APR of 3,300 per cent.
Incredibly, a loan of £100 over 28 days at its rate of interest would result in a total repayment of £67,187 were it paid back over a year. Though Easy Finance customers are only allowed to take out loans for up to 28 days.
It is not the only discrepancy that can be found on the website. Easy Finance's 'APR Explained' page stating that a £100 loan taken out over 14 days would result in a £124 repayment, yet the calculator on the front page says the total would come to £135.
The APR level at the biggest and best-known payday lender, Wonga, pales in comparison at 4,217 per cent. A £100 loan taken out over 28 days with Wonga would rack up an extra charge of £34.64 in interest and fees.
Easy Finance Club is a 'trading style' - or brand name - of a larger firm called Web Loans Processing Ltd, which uses 'Community Payday' as another brand.
Both firms have come onto the radar of guarantor lender Amigo Loans, which has calculated that the actual APR for both websites, taking into account compound interest, stands at 68,300 per cent for Easy Finance and 38,520 per cent for Community Payday.
A call to the Web Loans Processing's hotline number on its website however takes you through to Toothfairy Finance, another short-term loan provider which charges £9 per week for every £100 borrowed.

Toothfairy Finance was rapped by the OfT in November 2010 and was given a strict set of requirements it must comply with, including not levying debt collection charges disproportionate to the amount owed.
Payday lenders have long argued that APR should not be taken as an accurate indicator of the interest paid on their loans as these are taken out over shorter periods, with Easy Finance offering loans of up to £400 for 14, 21 and 28 days.
Responding to Love Money, Web Loans Processing said Community Pay Day and Easy Finance Club are new brands which 'service customers with particularly challenging credit circumstances'.
It said that as many of the costs of issuing a loan are fixed, 'such transaction costs have the effect of distorting the headline percentage when a customer chooses a small loan'.
It added: 'We prices ourselves on making all the costs clear and understandable to help our customers make an informed decision.
'We also regularly remind customers during the loan to make sure they remain in control of their finances and know in advance how much and what to pay.
'CPD and EFC are "Ping Tree" focused and offer customers funding when banks and other payday lenders won't.'
Calculations: Figures provided by Amigo Loans calculating the interest owed on a £100 loan from Easy Finance Club were it taken out over the course of a year.
Calculations: Figures provided by Amigo Loans calculating the interest owed on a £100 loan from Easy Finance Club were it taken out over the course of a year.

OFFICIAL: 'The Real Euro Crisis Is Just Getting Started'

'All hell will break loose when central bank sugar ends.'
Excellent short interview.
Jan. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Sebastian Mallaby, director of geoeconomic studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, talks about Europe's debt crisis.  He speaks with Jason Kelly at the Bloomberg Link Global Markets Summit in New York.
More detail is here:

Fed's Plosser On The Trillion Dollar Coin, 'Bernanke's Inflationary Policy'

Plosser fears the inflation risk of Bernanke's never-ending QE.
St. Louis Fed President Charles Plosser on Bloomberg Friday discussing the Fed's exit strategy and the trillion dollar coin, which was officially shot down (by the Fed, not the White House) over the weekend.
Interview Details: 'Bernanke's QE May Backfire, Fuel Inflation'...

Minutes Of Any Worth From Davos

"Why do we consider banks to be like holy churches?" is the rhetorical question that Iceland's President Olafur Ragnar Grimson asks (and answers) in this truly epic three minutes of truthiness from the farce that is the World Economic Forum in Davos. Amid a week of back-slapping and self-congratulatory party-outdoing, as John Aziz notes, the Icelandic President explains why his nation is growing strongly, why unemployment is negligible, and how they moved from the world's poster-child for banking crisis 5 years ago to a thriving nation once again. Simply put, he says, "we didn't follow the prevailing orthodoxies of the last 30 years in the Western world." There are lessons here for everyone - as Grimson explains the process of creative destruction that remains much needed in Western economies - though we suspect his holographic pass for next year's Swiss fun will be reneged...

REPORT: Morgan Stanley Sold A Toxic Security Called 'Nuclear Holocaust'

Surprise, surprise...
Pro Publica
Morgan Stanley's Nuclear Holocaust
By Jesse Eisinger
On March 16, 2007, Morgan Stanley employees working on one of the toxic assets that helped blow up the world economy discussed what to name it. Among the team members' suggestions: "Subprime Meltdown," "Hitman," "Nuclear Holocaust," "Mike Tyson's Punchout," and the simple-yet-direct: "Shitbag."
Ha ha. Those hilarious investment bankers.
Then they gave it its real name and sold it to a Chinese bank.
We are never going to have a full understanding of what bad behavior bankers conducted in the years leading up to the financial crisis. The Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission have failed to hold big wrongdoers to account.
We are left with what scraps we can get from those private lawsuits lucky enough to get over the high hurdles for document discovery.  A case brought in the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan against Morgan Stanley by a Taiwanese bank, which bought a piece of the same deal the Chinese bank did, has cleared that bar.
The results are explosive.  Hundreds of pages of internal Morgan Stanley documents, released publicly last week, shed much new light on what bankers knew at the height of the housing bubble and what they did with that secret knowledge.
The lawsuit concerns a $500 million collateralized debt obligation called Stack 2006-1, Morgan Stanley began putting together in the first half of 2006.  According to an internal presentation, Stack "represents attractive business for Morgan Stanley."
Why? In addition to fees, another bullet point listed: "Ability to short up to $325MM of credits into the C.D.O." In other words, Morgan Stanley could — and did — sell assets to the Stack C.D.O., intending to profit if the securities backed by those assets declined.  The bank put on a $170 million bet against Stack, even as it was selling it.
In the end, of the $500 million of assets backing the deal, $415 million ended up worthless.
"While investors and taxpayers all over the world continue to choke on Wall Street's toxic subprime products, to this day not a single major Wall Street executive has been held accountable for misconduct relating to those products," said Jason C. Davis, a lawyer at Robbins Geller who is representing the plaintiff in the lawsuit. "They are generally untouchable, but we are pleased that the court in this case is ordering Morgan Stanley to turn over damning evidence, so that the jury will get to see what Morgan Stanley really knew about the troubled nature of its supposedly 'higher-than-AAA' quality product."
In one email from Oct. 21, 2005, a Morgan Stanley employee warns a banker that the mortgages Morgan Stanley is buying from loan originators are troubled. "The real issue is that the loan requests do not make sense," he writes.  As an example, he cites "a borrower that makes $12K a month as an operation manger of an unknown companyafter research on my part I reveal it is a tarot reading house."
Continue reading...

Photos by WilliamBanzai7...

Barclays under investigation over claims it lent Qatar £6bn to buy its own shares and avoid a Government bailout at height of 2008 financial crisis

  • Alleged £6bn deal helped the bank avoid part-nationalisation suffered by Lloyds TSB and Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Bankrolling a share purchase like this would break British financial regulations
  • Financial Services Authority and Serious Fraud Office investigating

  • Barclays has been accused of lending billions to Qatar just so the Arab state would plough it back in again to help avoid an embarrassing government bailout, it emerged today.
    The deal is alleged to have been set up in 2008, at the height of the banking crisis, and is being probed by the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Services Authority.
    According to reports more than £6billion was lent to Qatar Holding, part of the rich country's huge investment fund, which then bought shares in Barclays to help them avoid becoming part-nationalised like Lloyds Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland.
    This investment was a critical show of support for Barclays when many were pulling their money out of banking shares.
    More scandal: Barclays has today been accused of underwriting a Qatari share deal to ensure the bank did not go bust in 2008
    More scandal: Barclays has today been accused of underwriting a Qatari share deal to ensure the bank did not go bust in 2008
    The Qatari funding machine owns Harrods, David Beckham's Paris Saint-Germain and is the largest shareholder of Sainsbury's.
    Barclays' alleged loan to Qatar would be underwriting their later investment, which breaches Britain's financial regulations.
    At the time it would have given the impression that a new £6billion investment had been made in the bank at a critical stage, but in reality Barclays would have had to have borrowed the money to fund the loan which was then used to buy the shares.
    The probe comes as the terms of the bank's fundraising at the height of the financial crisis are already being scrutinised, but allegations of a loan to the Qataris is a new strand.

    Last year the authorities started looking at the fees paid for fundraising deals in 2008.
    Barclays is already trying to rebuilt its reputation after it was fined a record £290million for its role in rigging the interbank interest rate known as Libor, which affects how much customers pay for mortgages and credit cards.
    Setting this rate low was a bid to paint a rosier picture of the bank's financial health at the time of the financial crisis.
    The rate fixing scandal led to resignation of former chief executive Bob Diamond, chairman Marcus Agius and chief operating officer Jerry del Missier.
    Former Citi banker Peter Hahn, now at Cass Business School, told the Financial Times today: 'The concept of lending money to any investor to purchase your own shares raises a series of immediate questions about disclosure and other regulatory issues.'
    Embarrassing: Former Barclays Bank chief executive Bob Diamond was forced to resign and the bank was fined a record £290million after it manipulated Libor
    Embarrassing: Former Barclays Bank chief executive Bob Diamond was forced to resign and the bank was fined a record £290million after it manipulated Libor
    Blow: New chief executive Antony Jenkins is trying to rebuild the bank's reputation but has now been hit with a FSA and SFO probe into the alleged loan
    Blow: New chief executive Antony Jenkins is trying to rebuild the bank's reputation but has now been hit with a FSA and SFO probe into the alleged loan
    The allegation piles yet more pressure on Barclays chief executive Antony Jenkins as he pledged to help it bounce back.
    Row: The Qatari investment was alleged made by the group led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al Thani (pictured), but there is no suggestion of wrongdoing on his part
    Row: The Qatari investment was alleged made by the group led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al Thani (pictured), but there is no suggestion of wrongdoing on his part
    The FT says Barclays received cash injections in 2008 worth a total of £6.1 billion from Qatar Holding, which is a subsidiary of the Qatar Investment Authority, and Challenger, an investment vehicle of Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani, the prime minister of Qatar and his family.
    There is no suggestion that they have carried out any wrongdoing.
    Investors from Abu Dhabi and other sovereign wealth funds also pumped cash into the group as part of a capital raising to prevent the Government bailing it out - a move that helped it avoid the fate suffered by part-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group.
    But existing shareholders complained the terms offered to the new investors were too attractive, while the fees paid for the deal are also thought to be under investigation.
    The FSA and the SFO were approached by MailOnline today but refused to comment.
    A Barclays spokeswoman said: 'Both the FSA and SFO investigations are on-going and, as such, we are unable to comment further.'
    Barclays said in August that Britain's fraud prosecutors had launched a criminal probe into payments between the bank and Qatar, a month after revealing the FSA's investigation into dealings between the two parties.
    It said the FSA probe was into the bank and four current and former senior employees, including finance director Chris Lucas.

    Beat kids keep your job, Smoke pot and you're fired. Wow Osaka

    This site is against war, Zionism, (or any other form of racism), profiteering, and all forms of government corruption, mass media deception, and cover ups. This is not a site to flail on about space aliens-illuminati-masonic-deathcult-jewish-catholic-lizard-lucifarian-jesuit-queen-barvarian-etc bull hockey. Take that junk somewhere else.

    Gold Run? 43 Tonnes of Gold Stand for February Delivery on 1st Notice Day

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    Today was first notice day for February delivery in gold, and as usual, we had a waterfall raid in gold to $1655.  The cartel MO has long been to raid gold and silver on options expiration as well as first notice day, to help prevent longs from standing for delivery.
    While the the cartel raid was successful based on the paper futures price, it was an epic fail based on physical gold delivery requests, as a monumental 1.391 million ounces, or 43.26 tonnes of gold stood for delivery today on first notice day. 
    To put this number in perspective, December delivery in gold, which is traditionally the largest delivery month of the year, saw less than 10 tonnes stand for delivery. 
    Has the Buba’s gold repatriation request ignited a full-fledged run on the cartel gold bank?
    [Read more...]


    CNN Goldman Sachs & the Zio Matrix

    'Government A Threat,' Majority Of Americans And 3 Of 4 Conservative Republicans Tell Poll

    The percentage of Americans who see the government as a threat to their freedoms is at an 18-year high, according to a poll released Thursday by Pew Research, with the change fueled mostly by conservative Republicans.
    Fifty-three percent of Americans now say that the federal government threatens their personal rights and freedoms -- the first time a majority has agreed with that statement since Pew began polling on the question in 1995.
    Mistrust of the government is also high, with nearly three-quarters of Americans saying they can trust the government to do the right thing only sometimes or never.

    Conservative Republicans have grown increasingly likely to view government as a threat during President Obama's time in office. Three-quarters now say the government is a threat, up from 62 percent in 2010. That sentiment increased to a lesser extent among Republicans as a whole. Democrats, 38 percent of whom see the government as a threat, showed relatively little change.
    Conservative Republicans are now also more than three times as likely than Democrats to say that the government poses a major threat to their rights and freedoms.
    Members of gun-owning households are more likely than non-gun owners to see the government as a threat, although the gap between the two has remained constant over the past three years.
    While the view of the government as a threat is at a peak, unhappiness with the federal government is not unusual, according to Pew, with anger and frustration spiking among liberal Democrats during George W. Bush's second term and more recently among conservative Republicans. Since 1997, the only time most people were basically content with the government came immediately after 9/11.
    The Pew poll surveyed 1,502 adults between Jan. 9 and Jan. 13, using live telephone interviews. Respondents self-identified their political affiliations.

     Things Being Blamed For Sandy Hook

    The Lack Of Guns In Schools
    The idea that the tragedy wouldn't have been as bad if more guns had been available has emerged as a highly popular argument in pro-gun circles.

    Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) suggested on national television over the weekend that if the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary had quick access to her own assault-style rifle, the situation could have been halted by her gunning down the shooter.

    A number of state legislators and governors have since announced plans to consider eliminating gun-free school zones in order to allow staff to come into work with their firearms.

    The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence responded to this idea, calling it an "insane" proposal that suggests "the only answer to violence is more violence. The only answer to guns is more guns.”

    A large Illinois teacher's union and other school administrators have since scoffed at the suggestion.
    The Lack Of God In Schools
    Former Arkansas governor and GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee became the spokesman for this argument on Friday, saying that the crime was no surprise because we have "systematically removed God" from public schools.

    A number of religious leaders have since echoed this reasoning, claiming that the squelching of religion in school has helped create a culture where mass shootings are more frequent. In this argument, they also appear to suggest that free-flowing religious expression repels violence.
    Violent Video Games
    Reports that alleged shooter Adam Lanza was an avid video game player have led lawmakers from both parties to suggest games deserve some blame for mass shootings.

    A number of Democratic lawmakers called for new studies into the effects of violent video games on their players. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said some blame belongs to violent forms of entertainment.

    A number of recent studies have found no correlation between video games and gun violence.

    Fisher Price Toys?
    Glenn Beck seems to think there could be a connection between baby toys and mass murder. Follow the link to the left for additional confusion.
    The 'Evilness' Inside People
    As in prior mass shootings, commentators and politicians have been quick to assign words to Lanza that suggest he was driven by some supernatural force.

    "What we tend to do, because we can't understand these killers, is define them as monsters," Scott Bonn, a serial killer expert and assistant professor of sociology at Drew University, told HuffPost's David Lohr. "You almost always see the word 'evil' and 'monster' used in reference to serial killers and mass murderers. This tendency to turn them into these supernatural ghouls obscures the fact that these are really disturbed individuals. It oversimplifies what is a very complicated problem. It obscures the reality of what's going on, and we as a society never make it beyond that. That's why we go on finger-pointing."
    Support For Gay Marriage & Abortion
    Here's how Focus on the Family founder James Dobson attempted to explain the massacre:

    I mean millions of people have decided that God doesn't exist, or he's irrelevant to me and we have killed 54 million babies and the institution of marriage is right on the verge of a complete redefinition. Believe me, that is going to have consequences, too.

    Apparently growing public support for gay marriage and abortion rights helps explain mass shootings.
    School Curriculums
    In a Sunday sermon, Pastor Sam Morris of Old Paths Baptist Church in Tennessee linked the shooting to a public school system that focused on "humanism" and scientific principles, which in turn may have led Lanza to believe that he was God and could "go blow away anybody he wants.” Morris also managed to throw in a reference to "how to be a homo" classes.

    "When I got in high school, man, I started learning all this kingdom, phylum stuff, all this junk about evolution,” Morris told his congregation, according to Raw Story. "And I want to tell you what evolution teaches -- here's the bottom line -- that you're an animal. That’s what it teaches. So, you’re an animal, you can act like an animal. Amen.”

    Morris continued:

    “So, here you are, you're an animal and you’re a god! So, what are we going to teach you about in school? Well, we can teach you about sex, we can teach you how to rebel to you parents, we can teach you how to be a homo! But we’re definitely not going to teach you about the word of God! Amen.”
    It's popular to blame Hollywood for promoting themes that contribute to the supposed disintegration of society's moral fabric.

    Over the weekend, former Reagan speechwriter and Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan argued that Hollywood was being negligent in denying its role in promoting a culture of violence that supposedly motivates mass killers. She said it would take action from Obama to get the film industry to change its mind.

    From Noonan's Wall Street Journal op-ed:

    When Hollywood wants to discourage cigarette smoking it knows exactly how to do it, because it knows exactly how much power it has to deliver cultural messages. When Hollywood wants to encourage environmentalism it knows how to do it. But there’s a lot of money to be made in violence, and God knows there’s a market for it -- in fact, the more people are fed violence the bigger the market grows, so it’s an ever hungry, always growing market. This is exactly what you want if you’re in a tough business and don’t have a conscience.

    Republicans have no sway in Hollywood, none. They are figures of mockery, sometimes deservedly so. If they get into the act here, Hollywood will be able to ignore them, and nothing will change. But the Democrats and the president are in a different position. They could change things for the better.
    Asperger's Syndrome
    Due to a number of media reports and interviews, claims that Lanza had Asperger's -- a form of autism -- has played into initial rounds of speculation about why he might have carried out the massacre.

    Experts say there is no link between Asperger's and violence, and the original reports have since prompted pushback from a number of writers and bloggers who claim they were wrong to connect the two.
    Libor, 'The Hunger Games,' Drugs, Brainwashing, Or...OBAMA?
    Talking Points Memo broke down the conspiratorial fervor over supposed ties to the Libor British banking scandal. According to their report, proponents of these theories attempted to to connect the Newtown shooting with the earlier one in Aurora, Colo., crafting a complex web surrounding unfounded rumors that various family members close to both gunmen had been planning to give bombshell testimony on global banking fraud.

    Others said the shooting had something to do with the highly popular book series, "The Hunger Games," because author Suzanne Collins is from Newtown.

    And the drugs and/or brainwashing theory comes from birther queen Orly Taitz and has zero discernible factual basis, so that pretty much covers that angle.

    She's also responsible for concocting a theory that President Obama is "trying to show that some person can appear out of the blue and slaughter people" so he can ban guns and "gain an absolute power."

    So there you have it.
    Teacher's Unions
    This fringe idea comes from Timothy Birdnow at Tea Party Nation, an ultra-conservative offshoot of the Tea Party movement.

    According to Birdnow, teacher's unions have helped ensure the gradual degradation of the moral values espoused in schools will continue to do so as long as they exist.

    Birdnow suggests allowing volunteers such as George Zimmerman, the man accused of killing Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, to serve as security personnel.

    If Zimmerman had "been at the front door instead of some mechanical card reader those children would still be alive," Birdnow writes. Thanks to the teacher's unions, he argues, that will never happen. 
    The Media
    In a Wall Street Journal column, James Taranto argued that wall-to-wall coverage of the perpetrators of mass shootings encourages them to act. He admitted that there was no simple way to avoid such tendencies, but urged restraint:

    Our point here is that the medium is the motive: If these killers seek recognition, it is available to them because the mass media can be counted on to give extensive attention to their horrific deeds. They are, after all, newsworthy, and they do raise important questions of public concern, not only about the availability of weapons and the vulnerability of "gun-free zones" but also about the treatment of mental illness.

    We journalists often proclaim high-mindedly that the public has a right to know--and we're right. But as in the Garden of Eden, knowledge is dangerous. An industry devoted to serving the public's right to know gives twisted and evil men the means of becoming known.