Top

Let Them Eat Sight-Words

November 21, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Marie Antoinette, on hearing that French peasants had no bread to eat, suggested, “Let them eat cake.”

This quip perfectly captured the cruel indifference which many people attributed to the French monarchy. A few years later, she was punished for her hauteur: execution by guillotine.

The famous quote was probably never uttered. Real or not, it’s a handy symbol for an arrogant elite, indifferent to the suffering of the people.

When you read in the newspaper that the US has 50 million functional illiterates, the disdainful queen should flash into your mind.

During the 1920’s, the American population was moving toward universal literacy. By 1940’s, that success was a thing of the past. More than 1,000,000 young men could not read well enough to enter the military. What happened?

Circa 1931, the Education Establishment enforced a new instructional method called Look-say, and later known as Whole Word, Sight-Words, Dolch Words, and many other aliases.

This method (no surprise to teachers of phonics) has been a painful catastrophe. Theory says that children can memorize 25,000, 50,000, or even 100,000 English words as graphic designs. Oh, really?? Most people can’t reach 1,000, and that requires a major struggle over many years.

It’s striking that so-called literacy professionals, in the face of manifest failure, pushed this dubious gimmick for so long. Clearly, they are well barricaded in ivory towers. “Eh bien, paysans, mangez les sight-words!”

It’s also remarkable that the public (in many countries) has put up with this flop. Part of the reason is that once people know how to read, they have little sympathy or understanding for people who can’t read. It’s hard to empathize with the struggle of a first-grader trying to memorize sight-words. But I want to ask you to try.

Conjure up a list of objects you’re comfortable with. For example, vintage cars, Hollywood stars, paintings, famous dates in history, telephone numbers of people you have known, or currency symbols. Suppose you have to learn to recognize 100 of them with instantaneous response. (Anything less is not reading speed.) Then imagine you have to move up from 100 to 300, then to 500, then to 1,000. You’ll start to empathize with the struggle these children go through as they try to memorize hundreds of sight-words.

The brain has to match the design on the paper with a design stored in the memory. The problem with the human brain is that you can look at a picture of a person you know very well, let’s say Marlon Brando, and go blank for several seconds. You might know 50 things about him, you see him in your mind, but you can’t bring up his name. That in a nutshell is why sight-words create low levels of literacy.

Hardly mentioned in this bogus reading theory is the huge additional difficulty created by needing to deal with lower case, UPPER CASE, script, and hundreds of fancy type faces. Having memorized “then,” would you even recognize “THEN”? Hardly one stroke is the same.

Furthermore, graphic designs can be read in any direction, for example, right to left or top to bottom. Once this omni-directional scanning of words starts to happen, the mind becomes disoriented. Sight-words almost invariably lead to different kinds of dyslexia. Victims talk about words turning backwards or drifting off the page. Reading of English must be a steady left-to-right process, otherwise a sort of vertigo creeps in. (The US is said to have 1,000,000 dyslexics.)

But you don’t need to know any of this detail. You just need to look at the reading statistics. Last year the media casually announced that only one-third of American fourth graders, and one-third of eighth graders, could read at what was called a “proficient” level. Which means that TWO-THIRDS of the nation’s children are illiterate in one way or another. Why weren’t the media, and everyone else, screaming? Shouldn’t the Marie Antoinettes responsible for this weird kind of child abuse be put in jail?

To keep sight-words in play, the Education Establishment has devised a gaudy profusion of airy claims and excuses. We are told that some children simply aren’t ready to read. Some children are said to have different styles of learning from whatever the class used. Some are ADHD and need Ritalin. Some are wired wrong at birth. On and on. If you could look at a list of the jargon and alibis that the literacy experts concocted, you would know they came ready for failure.

I found, over a period of several years, that every time I reexamined sight-words, I saw a new way of explaining to myself why this thing is a massive con. I would write another article. Months later I would get a whole new insight. Point is, Whole Word is slippery. You can’t keep a Ponzi scheme in play for 70 years, and dumb down millions, unless you’ve got a slick sophistry.

Here’s the whole nonsense. The claim is that children can memorize a huge vocabulary of word-designs. Not true. The few kids with photographic memories might pull it off. The rest are forever semi-literate. QED: Whole Word has the same chance of turning average children into fluent readers as alchemy has of turning lead into gold.

The latest jargon seems to be shifting from “Balanced Literacy” to “high-frequency words.” All the same three-card monte. Here’s what a first-grade teacher actually wrote for publication. “High-frequency words are hard for my students to remember because they tend to be abstract. They can’t use a picture clue to figure out the word ‘with’….Once they recognize ‘the,’ they can predict with amazing accuracy what the next word will be.” Just as when the page says “the xxxx,” experienced readers immediately know what “xxxx” is! The idea that kids should “predict” anything is absurd. The notion that readers use pictures to “figure out” words is just nuts. This poor befuddled teacher is a victim of the professors of education. Her students will also be victims of the same Marie Antoinettes.

I think that being taught to read should be viewed as a basic civil right. Tens of millions of children have been deprived of this right. Reading is the one essential skill. That’s why illiteracy is killing American (and Canadian) education. We need to take Sight-Words entirely out of the schools.

In the meantime, parents should focus on early literacy. When the children are three or four, teach them the alphabet, the sounds, the blends, and so on. These kids will be protected against the craziness that many schools insist on perpetuating.

CODA: I’m hopeful that a quiet rebellion will form around the banner Early Literacy At Home. For more on this important topic, see my “54: Preemptive Reading” on Improve-Education.org.


Bruce Deitrick Price is an author, artist, poet, and education activist. He founded Improve-Education.org in 2005.

Bruce Deitrick Price is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

Matt Taibbi On JPMorgan Chase’s Worst Nightmare

November 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The attention that Taibbi is receiving for the Rolling Stone essay, The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase’s Worst Nightmare, may push forward a serious debate on the systemic corruption that is common knowledge among informed observers of the financial structure. Zero Hedge can always be depended upon to incisively sum up the issue.

“In reality, there is nothing surprising in Matt Taibbi’s latest piece since returning to Rolling Stone from the Intercept, as it tells a story everyone is by now is all too familiar with: a former bank employee (in this case Alayne Fleischmann) who was a worker in a bank’s (in this case JPM) mortgage operations group, where she observed and engaged in what she describes as “massive criminal securities fraud” and who was fired after trying to bring the attention of those above her to said “criminal” activity.

The story doesn’t end there, and as Carmen Segarra already showed, when she revealed that Goldman runs the NY Fed, once Alayne was let go and tried to “whistleblow” on the house of Jimon from the outside, she found the that US Department of Justice headed by Eric Holder is just as, if not more, corrupt, and in his desperate attempt to prevent discovery and bring JPM et al to justice, he would stretch the statue of limitations on frauds committed during the crisis long enough to where nobody had any legal recourse any more, up to and including the US taxpayer.”

Well, that is a sober and tragic assessment. Even more heartbreaking is the statement made by Ms. Fleischmann as reported in Straight Line Logic.

“And now, with Holder about to leave office and his Justice Department reportedly wrapping up its final settlements, the state is effectively putting the finishing touches on what will amount to a sweeping, industrywide effort to bury the facts of a whole generation of Wall Street corruption. “I could be sued into bankruptcy,” she says. “I could lose my license to practice law. I could lose everything. But if we don’t start speaking up, then this really is all we’re going to get: the biggest financial cover-up in history.”

The only coherent response that regular citizens can exert, when dealing with the mega financial houses, is to avoid entanglements whenever possible. What good is it to establish accounts, whether as loans, savings or investments, when the rules of survival are stacked against main street customers?

Firms like JP Morgan or Goldman are not terrified by fines because they are protected by the “To Big To Fail” culture. Bailouts are a way of life and infusion of easy money into the liquidity flow of balance sheets employ the most creative accounting techniques to cover up accurate net worth.

The threat of principals actually doing jail time is so remote that the probability is far greater that the next Secretary of the Treasury will come from their ranks.

This plight produces a true dilemma of confidence. In this environment only brave souls dare become a whistleblower. Public support for such individuals like Fleischmann and Segarra is faint because neither are public persons, readily recognized by most people. This lack of notoriety as individuals is far less important than the criminal activity both are documenting.

However, in a media driven and social networking society, the personality of celebrity far out paces the substance of the offenses. Matt Taibbi’s star persona, deserved or manufactured, illustrates that getting attention through the clutter and noise of the sound bites is possible. For an unknown person, getting your 15 minutes of fame requires even more creative strategies, to expose the basic purpose in the news revelations.

The dying main stream presstitutes will not confront the intrinsic nature of the abuses because their own financial futures depend upon Wall Street support. Yet, struggling Middle America foolishly rely upon their reporting and advice in most financial matters.

JPMorgan Chase’s Worst Nightmare fundamentally is the unwinding of the derivative debt black hole of their making. The essential risk of a collapse and implosion of the financial manipulated markets only grows because no effort or willingness exists to purge the system of crooked companies, practices or individuals. The culture of corruption survives because the pattern of exposing and demanding justice is so brutally punished.

How can meaningful accountability come from internal reform, when the price of disclosure is the end of your professional endeavors and even your livelihood?

Arguments, data and evidence of generational embedded fraud have been made by some of the most intuitive minds on finance and economics. Nonetheless, the degeneracy accelerates. The wolves of Wall Street target their prey when they lobby regulators to allow for more exotic financial products that are designed to fleece the public and place the entire monitory system in greater jeopardy.

Activists rally during elections cycles to pressure the establishment. The Occupy Wall Street movement, misguided on potential solutions, did muster awareness with media exposure. However, most taxpayers do not exert sufficient outrage about the selling out of their financial security.

Stopping “massive criminal securities fraud” is a true national security requirement. Internet revelations can only expose the latest schemes. As stated in the essay, Repeal of Glass-Steagall and the Too Big To Fail Culture, is a major reason for the current unsustainable breakdown in trust and lack of liability consequences for financial institutions.

Take the opportunity of the Alayne Fleischmann disclosures to demand that your newly elected representatives exert the courage to advance a national debate on a major overhaul of the ground rules for Wall Street.

While the prospects are slim that any constructive and critical legislation will come out of the new Congress, public indignation needs to grow and intensify. The battle for economic viability and perseverance of capital is being lost for ordinary citizens. An angry constituency is necessary to confront the outrageous abuses that pass as normal conduct. The sacrifices of Alayne Fleischmann and Carmen Segarra need not be in vain. Mobilize for action; boycott the big banks and security fraudsters.


Sartre is the publisher, editor, and writer for Breaking All The Rules. He can be reached at: BATR

Sartre is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

Bethel Church’s “Apostle” Bill Johnson: A Comedy of Errors, Part 2

November 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Before I report on Apostle Bill’s endeavor to involve his followers in his “grave sucking,” undertaking, I must tell you a brief story that involves an angel, a gift, and slaying a dragon.

May 2005

Wednesday night at half past 11, I was in bed reading when a white lightning bolt struck the floor and out stepped a dazzling creature with wings the length of a 747.  “Do not fear!” he said when he saw the alarmed expression on my face. “I am the angel Archibald!”  My husband was sacked out next to me with a pillow over his head so he announced in a quiet voice, “I have come with a message from the Lord of hosts.”

A flood of feathers floated around the room so I covered my nose and mouth with both hands.  But it was too late.  “Ah-choo!”

God bless you!” said the angel.

Now I was certain that he was the Lord’s messenger.  I tapped my husband on the back and whispered, “Wake up.”  Dead to the world.  A poke in the ribs and, “Honey…you gotta see this.”

A muffled voice groaned, “Whuuut?”

“We have a visitor.”

The pillow came off his head and he sat bolt upright in bed.  Seconds later he spotted Archibald hovering in the corner.  “Holy cow!” he exclaimed.

“Cow?” said the angel, seeming a bit cross.  “Hardly!”  His eyes shifted from my stunned husband and settled on me.  In a strong clear voice he stated matter-of-factly: “The Spirit of God has bestowed upon you a new gift.  Forthwith you will become a blogger.”

He eyed me quizzically, waiting for my response.  When none was forthcoming, he said firmly, “You are to use your new gift to expose ravenous wolves that have slipped into the sheep pen under the cover of darkness.  These wolves are teaching doctrines of demons…”

I didn’t have to ask what he meant by doctrines of demons.  He had to be alluding to Word of Faith…New Apostolic Reformation…Purpose Driven…Emergent…Social Justice…New Age…New Thought and other false teaching that had made its way into churches and seminaries while our shepherds snoozed.  “I’ve tried telling people about false teaching, I said to myself, “but what I say goes in one ear and out the other.”

I heard the angel say: “There are counterfeits who call themselves new apostles and prophets.  These men and women are giving Him (he glanced up at the ceiling) a bad name. Expose them as false teachers!”  His wings ceased fluttering and he became as still as a stone.  “Are you ready to serve the King?

“Are you kidding me?”  I exclaimed in disbelief.  “First of all, I’m not gifted to write – or at least I wasn’t, until now.”  I searched for excuses.  “And…and I got a B in English by the skin of my teeth—“

The angel cut me off sharply.  “Certainly you do not think this is news to Him (he glanced up at the ceiling).”

True.  God knows all things, including my grades in college.  Perhaps He wanted to get me out of my comfort zone.  Writing a blog would definitely accomplish that.   One last try: “But…um… I’m nobody!  No one will listen to a word I say.”

Some will listen,” Archibald assured me.  “And others will fall for lies. It is always that way with humans.”

I turned to my husband and said, “Tell him no one will take me seriously.”

My husband came out of his stupor and said in a serious tone, “God uses nobodies all the time.  But there’s a catch.  You’ve got to be willing.”  He looked me straight in the eye. “Are you?”

Am I willing, I wondered?   I needed but a moment to ponder his question.  Yes, I guess I am, I said to myself.  I’m more than willing.  Suddenly I felt as if I could go out and slay a dragon.  “OK, I’ll do it!” I glanced over at my husband.  “The two of us can do it together.”

We high-fived and he said with a grin, “We make a good team.”

I gave Archibald a thumbs up.  “We’re in.”

Poof!  The angel disappeared, feathers and all.

—–

The next morning I found a large silver feather on the floor where Archibald had appeared to us.  He had left his calling card.

Bentley’s Angels

In part one I covered New Apostolic Reformation’s rock-star evangelist Todd Bentley and the shame he brought on the Name of our Lord and how “Super Apostles” Bill Johnson and Rick Joyner restored him to ministry despite his obvious character flaws. There were exaggerated healings and dangerous “healing” practices that included assaulting the sick with leg drops, high kicks and head punches which he claimed the Lord told him to do to people who came to him for help.  Moreover, Bentley drank excessively, committed adultery and soon thereafter left his wife and children and married the adulteress. There’s a whole lot more to report on the fraud evangelist, but space does not allow.  So – why bring him up again?  Because he says angels visit him.  It’s not uncommon for people who are into “signs and wonders” strange manifestations, and other esoteric experiences to boast of angel visitations.  Two angels who supposedly come to Bentley are Emma-O and the Winds of Change.  Winds is supposedly “a high-ranking angel over all the ones assigned to healing, breakthrough and revival unto harvest.”

To the best of my knowledge Todd Bentley has never met the Angel Archibald.  But I have.  Or have I?

Do you see the problem? I made up a story and so can you.  Anyone with a vivid imagination can make up a story about angel visitations, trips to heaven, and whatnot.   But there’s no way to validate all the wild claims people make.  Sadly, NAR leaders pitch their stories to gullible sheeple who want desperately to believe that their heroes would never lie to them. This might explain why “Super Apostle” Rick Joyner’s followers hang on his every word as he looks straight into a video camera and testifies that he’s been to heaven.  During one of his many visits he claims the Lord handed him the key to eternal joy.  Watch the video he made and you’ll see that I’m not making this up.  In it Apostle Rick crows that he’s had a number of encounters with Elijah, and he knows many others who’ve had Elijah encounters too!  He’s quick to point out that it’s not necromancy (communicating with the dead) because Elijah was taken up to heaven without dying.  At 9:20 minutes you’ll learn how he met Enoch.

But this is not about Rick Joyner’s spiritual gift of pulling the wool over the sheep’s eyes.  So I’ll move on.

Grave Sucking

It’s hard to imagine anything more ludicrous than “grave sucking” yet Apostle Bill endorses this macabre practice.  Grave sucking aka “mantle grabbing” occurs when the Holy Spirit draws powers from the bones of a deceased person who, while alive, was allegedly Spirit empowered.  Since God’s mission for the dead is thwarted when he dies, the Spirit passes on his powers to individuals who visit their graves.

According to Victory Ministries, Apostle Bill led a group to John Lake’s grave where the following ensued:

He was looking for Lake’s anointing to heal the sick by a supernatural power. The people seeking this new paranormal anointing prostrated themselves upon Lake’s grave weeping, worshipping and expecting that Lake’s ministry power would strike them and his spirit would infuse them with a sign and wonders ministry like he had when he was alive.  Thus, a new preternatural cult was formed that day that is now referred to as “grave sucking.”

 Mr. Johnson testified about this bazaar act of desecration and necromancy (the practice of attempting to communicate with the spirits of the dead in order to predict or influence the future) that he and his group committed on Sid Roth’s radio show, “It’s Supernatural”

Johnson spun a weird mystical/Occult experience tale to Sid Roth about meeting the Late John Lake’s angel in the building where Lake had previously ministered in his healing rooms. He testified that two ladies went to a back room and they met a giant angel there that healed one of the women. They called Johnson and when he came into the room, he claimed there was an angel about 10 feet tall. Sid asked him, did you see the angel? Johnson replied “No, but I knew he was there and the angel said to me, ‘What took you so long, I’ve been here for 80 years!’” (Source)

It should surprise no one that Bill Johnson claims that he had a tête-à-tête with an angel.

What does the Bible say about playing around in the spirit realm?:

Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.  (Colossians 2:18-19)

Bethel School Of Sorcery

Apostle Bill runs the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry  in Redding CA.  According to its website:

(BSSM) is committed to the truth that God loves people, gave Himself for them and has given His Church supernatural power to bring individuals and nations into wholeness. The mission of BSSM is to equip and deploy revivalists who passionately pursue world-wide transformation in their God-given spheres of influence. Students are trained to continue in the ministry style of Jesus: to enjoy the presence of God, say what He is saying, and do what He is doing. (emphasis added)

Basically, BSSM trains people to heal the sick and raise the dead.  This raises the question: why do these folks not bring dead people back to life in America, Canada and western European countries?  Why only in the developing countries?  If the dearly departed are coming out of their graves in the developed countries, the media would surely report on it.

Insanity

The Redding Spotlight describes one man’s experience at Bethel Church (BC):

After a strange experience with an erratic Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry student who baby-sat his children, Bart McCurdy of Cottonwood decided to find out for himself what was going on at Bethel.

McCurdy said he attended a Friday night service at the church, during which he saw people painting on stage, dancing and flailing around on the ground. He found their worship music unconventional when one line of the same song was played for at least 11 minutes, he said.

McCurdy said the repetitive music, dancing, painting and excessive stimuli serve to get people worked up into an emotional frenzy where they’re expecting to see miraculous things.

“They come looking for that feel-good feeling, that high, for supposed miracles, supposed signs and wonders, speaking in tongues, gold dust, diamonds, feathers[floating down from the ceiling]. … It seems like they’re just ready for it,” he said.

Once, as she ran through her house frantically searching for her journals, the baby sitter told McCurdy the anti-Christ was in her house and Jesus was in hell saving people, he said. Shortly after that, she went into a trancelike state and said she felt 20 feet tall before losing consciousness…. The behavior made him believe she was demon-possessed, he said.

McCurdy said he regularly downloads podcasts of Bethel messages and hasn’t heard the Christian gospel message taught at Bethel. …

Then what gospel does Apostle Bill preach if not the gospel of Christ taught in the Bible?  He teaches the Word of Faith/prosperity gospel (WoF) that saves no one.  What is the true gospel message?

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Eph 2:8-9)

See also 1 Cor. 15:1-8

Despite the fact that Apostle Bill teaches a false gospel he’s hugely popular with many professing Christians.  His book sales are in the millions.  He’s become so popular that a large number of churches around the globe are affiliated with BC.  This speaks volumes as to the current state of evangelicalism.  Sadly, a growing number of believers have zero discernment, thus they accept every “wind of doctrine.”  Translation: Every sort of false teaching that blows their way.

A Challenge

Christians have been warned that charismania, as some call it, represents a danger to millions of people around the globe, especially to LIEs (low information evangelicals) and the unsaved.  Because of self-professed apostles and prophets such as C. Peter Wagner, Rick Joyner (mentioned in part one), Bill Johnson and a slew of others, we’ve seen an unbridled abuse of the Holy Spirit.  After reading this series, I challenge you to do your own research (links below).  Before starting, pray that God will reveal truth to you.  What you’ll discover is that WoF/NAR teaching isn’t remotely close to historic orthodox Christianity — and it certainly isn’t the Christianity for which the martyrs shed their blood!  Flee from it!

Part 1

Resources:

Strange Fire Conference Q&A—Phil Johnson interviews John MacArthur

The New Age Propensities of Bethel Church’s Bill Johnson–By John Lanagan

  1. Peter Wagner launches WLI Seattle, Sonrise Chapel, Feb. 3, 2008–Around 54:00 minutes into the session, Wagner responds during the Q&A. He tells the audience that when the Holy Spirit stopped revealing things through the written Word, He kept on revealing new things to us through the “Rhema Word.” He claims that the Holy Spirit still speaks to us today by giving us information that you cannot find in the 66 books of the Bible; info that the Bible doesn’t address, but it’s not contradictory.

NAR “Apostle C. Peter Wagner teaching its key doctrine of Dominionism

Todd Friel of Wretched Radio/TV on Bill Johnson — 2:14 min.

Why I Must Speak Out Against the NAR and Bethel Church—Tony Miano, host of Cross Encounters radio, discusses, among other things, the music of BC’s music team Jesus Culture (more below). Listen to Tony tell of his Twitter chat with Beni Johnson, Bill’s pastorette wife.

Bill Johnson…scroll down—Apologetics Index

All About Angels—On Solid Rock resources

New Apostolic Reformation/Dominionism –On Solid Rock Resources

Bethel Church’s Music & Entertainment:

Jesus Culture of Bethel Church and Practicing Raising the Dead—Ken Silva

The Holy Spirit Makes A Movie?  I Don’t Think So…—Amy Spreeman

The “Jesus Culture” – a petri dish for growing young new heretics?

Watch And Weep:

Try this Bethel Redding Snack Pack—My Word Like Fire

Gold dust rains at Bethel service

Bethel Church Dance

Bethel Church children’s director and “trips to heaven, with kids”

Creative Miracles at Bethel

Bethel Church Dance

Kundalini Spirit at Redding

School of Worship – Prophetic Song

Helpful Scripture:

Matthew 7:13-16,

Acts 20:25-31,

Eph 4:14,

1 Thess. 5:21-22 


Marsha West is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

She can be reached at: embrigade@aol.com

When ‘Change’ Delivers More of The Same

November 8, 2014 by · 4 Comments 

‘Wag the Dog’ is an expression which denotes, “to purposely divert attention from what would otherwise be of greater importance, to something else of lesser significance. By doing so, the lesser-significant event is catapulted into the limelight, drowning proper attention to what was originally the more important issue.”

Now, the Dog has been Wagged. Feel better? If you were voting for someone with an R beside their name you probably feel good. If you went for the big D, you are sad. No matter. The present trajectory is not going to change unless or until we take control of our own lives and our own communities.

What you just witnessed was a cast change of no real significance. One team of professional liars ‘D,’ is just giving liars team ‘R’ their turn. This is intended to distract us so we remain passive where it matters, here, where we live.

I understand why it happens. When we are hungry for hope, any hope, elections are very seductive. The fiery speeches and promises make things seem possible. But in the end nothing changes except the names of the rascals who are taking and spending your money and transferring more of your personal life to their direct control. Solving problems in our own community, ourselves, recedes into the distance again.

Several months ago I interviewed the candidate for Ohio’s 14th Congressional District. A classical Conservative was running. He answered every question asked just as President William Howard Taft or Senator Barry Goldwater would have done. He loved Barry’s line on gays in the military. “You don’t have to be straight to shoot straight.” He and Barry shared the same view on abortion, too, and on preserving the environment.

You had a chance to vote for him last Tuesday. No, it was not the Libertarian. The candidate was Michael Wager. He sounded shocked when I told him.

William Howard Taft, the president who went down to defeat in 1912, would have stopped the FED, nixed the IRS and made sure the Hetch Hetchy was not converted into a water supply for San Francisco. His views were known. He was a Conservative.

Oh. And the pledge of allegiance was written by a socialist whose goal was to stop the study of our founding documents in schools.

Direct governance by the people was the original form of government intended by our founders. We still need it.


Melinda Pillsbury-Foster will soon begin her new weekly radio program on Surviving Meltdown. The program examines how government can be brought into alignment with the spiritual goal of decentralizing power and localizing control and links also to America Goes Home americagoeshome.org, a site dedicated to providing information and resources.

She is also the author of GREED: The NeoConning of America and A Tour of Old Yosemite. The former is a novel about the lives of the NeoCons with a strong autobiographical component. The latter is a non-fiction book about her father and grandfather.

Her blog is at: http://howtheneoconsstolefreedom.blogspot.com/ She is the founder of the Arthur C. Pillsbury Foundation. She is the mother of five children and three grandchildren.

Melinda Pillsbury-Foster is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

Subprime Loans And Auto Sales: Debt On Wheels

November 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

“It’s not the underlying economics that’s driving things, it’s central bank liquidity.”

— Matt King, Citigroup

Soaring auto sales are not so much a sign of a strong economy as they are an indication of financial hanky-panky. We saw this same type of fakery play out in housing between 2004 – 2006, when prices went through the roof due to a mortgage-lending scam (“subprime”) that crashed the stock market and sent the economy reeling. Now the bigtime money guys are at it again, writing up auto loans for anyone who can sit upright in a chair and scribble an “X” on the dotted line. As a result, car sales have surged to over 16 million for the last 6 months. (A full 7 million more than the low point in January, 2009.)   And it’s not hard to see why either. The finance gurus are packaging these sketchy subprimes into bonds, offloading them on eager investors, and recycling the profits into more crappy loans. It’s a perfect circle and it won’t end until the loans start blowing up, jittery investors head for the exits,  and Uncle Sugar rides to the rescue with more bailouts.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.  First take a look at these charts by House of Debt which shows the disparity between auto spending and other types of spending since the end of the slump in 2009.

House of Debt:  “New auto purchases have driven the consumer spending recovery to a large degree. The chart below shows the spending recovery for new auto sales and for all other retail spending…

From 2009 to 2013, spending on new autos increased by 40% in nominal terms. All other spending increased by only 20%. Further, excluding autos, 2013 saw lower growth in nominal retail spending than 2012…

The concern is that a lot of auto purchases are being fueled with debt, given a strong recovery in the auto loan market. Below is the net flow of auto loans from 2002 to 2013. It is a net flow because it includes pay downs in addition to new originations. As it shows, auto lending in 2012 and 2013 tops any other year during the previous expansion from 2002 to 2007 (although it is still below the amount of new auto loans in 2000 and 2001).


(“Another Debt-Fueled Spending Spree?” House of Debt) 

How about that? So there’s a bigger debt bubble in auto loans today than there was before the bust. But why? Is it because demand is strong,  jobs are plentiful, wages are rising, the economy is growing, and people are optimistic about the future?

Heck, no. It’s because rates are low, credit is easy, and dealers are ready to put anyone with a license and a heartbeat into a brand-spanking new car no questions asked.  Here are the details from an article in the New York Times titled “In a Subprime Bubble for Used Cars, Borrowers Pay Sky-High Rates” by Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Michael Corkery:

”Auto loans to people with tarnished credit have risen more than 130 percent in the five years since the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis, with roughly one in four new auto loans last year going to borrowers considered subprime — people with credit scores at or below 640.

The explosive growth is being driven by some of the same dynamics that were at work in subprime mortgages. A wave of money is pouring into subprime autos, as the high rates and steady profits of the loans attract investors. Just as Wall Street stoked the boom in mortgages, some of the nation’s biggest banks and private equity firms are feeding the growth in subprime auto loans by investing in lenders and making money available for loans.

And, like subprime mortgages before the financial crisis, many subprime auto loans are bundled into complex bonds and sold as securities by banks to insurance companies, mutual funds and public pension funds — a process that creates ever-greater demand for loans.

The New York Times examined more than 100 bankruptcy court cases, dozens of civil lawsuits against lenders and hundreds of loan documents and found that subprime auto loans can come with interest rates that can exceed 23 percent. The loans were typically at least twice the size of the value of the used cars purchased, including dozens of battered vehicles with mechanical defects hidden from borrowers. Such loans can thrust already vulnerable borrowers further into debt, even propelling some into bankruptcy, according to the court records, as well as interviews with borrowers and lawyers in 19 states.

In another echo of the mortgage boom, The Times investigation also found dozens of loans that included incorrect information about borrowers’ income and employment, leading people who had lost their jobs, were in bankruptcy or were living on Social Security to qualify for loans that they could never afford.” (“In a Subprime Bubble for Used Cars, Borrowers Pay Sky-High Rates”, New York Times)

Can you believe that this kind of chicanery is going on in broad daylight without the regulators stepping in? Think about it for a minute: If the NYT’s journalists can find “dozens of loans that included incorrect information about borrowers’ income and employment”, then why can’t the government regulators? It’s ridiculous. What we’re talking about here is a new version of “liar’s loans” where dealers are helping people who don’t have the means to repay the debt, to fudge the details on their loan application so they can drive off in a shiny new Impala.

Haven’t we seen this movie before?

Here’s more from USA Today: “In the first quarter of 2014, 24.9% of all new-car loans were 73 to 84 months long. Four years ago, less than 10% of loans were that long. In fact, such lengthy terms have pulled the average new-car loan to 66 months. That’s an all-time record.”

7 years to pay off a car?  You got to be kidding me? It’s like a second mortgage. And there’s more, too. The average monthly payment and average amount financed hit record highs in the first quarter too. This is from Auto News:

“The average monthly new-vehicle payment was $474 in the first quarter, up 3.3 percent from a year ago. The average monthly used-vehicle payment was $352, up 1.1 percent, Experian Automotive said.

Also in the first quarter, the average amount financed on a new-vehicle loan was $27,612, an increase of $964, or 3.6 percent. For used vehicles, the average amount financed was $17,927, up $395 or 2.3 percent.”

(“Auto loan terms, monthly payments hit high in Q1, Experian says“, Auto News)

So Americans are not just loading on more debt, they’re also assuming that they’re financial situation is going to be stable enough to make these large payments well into the future.  Good luck with that.

It’s also worth noting that, in many transactions, dealers are actually lending more than the value of the vehicle. According to Reuters David Henry,

“The average loan-to-value on new cars rose to 110.6 percent… On used cars it rose to 133.2 percent…

Auto lenders often provide loans that exceed the value of cars they are financing because borrowers want cash to pay sales taxes and fees.”

(“U.S. car buyers borrow more as rates fall and standards loosen“, David Henry, Reuters)

Let me see if I got this straight: You walk onto a car lot without a dime in your pocket, and drive off in a brand new car with everything paid for upfront? Such a deal! Can you see why we think that the sales numbers are a big fake?  This isn’t the sign of a strong economy. It’s the sign of another gigantic credit bubble rip-off. But what do the dealers get out of this thing? Is it really worth their while to botch the underwriting when they know that eventually they’ll have to repossess the vehicle? Sure, it is, because there’s big money in stuffing people into loans they can’t afford.

Here’s how the Times explains it: ”Auto loans to borrowers considered subprime, those with credit scores at or below 640, have spiked in the last five years. The jump has been driven in large part by the demand among investors for securities backed by the loans, which offer high returns at a time of low interest rates. Roughly 25 percent of all new auto loans made last year were subprime, and the volume of subprime auto loans reached more than $145 billion in the first three months of this year.”

Bingo. So not only do they make dough on the high interest rates they charge their subprime borrowers, (Sometimes 23 percent or more.) they also make it by selling the loan to investors who are eager to buy any manner of crappy bond provided it offers a better return than US Treasuries. This is the mess Bernanke created by fixing interest rates at zero for nearly 6 years.  Zirp (zero interest rate policy) unavoidably leads to excessive risk taking by yield-crazed speculators.    The voracious appetite for subprime securities (ABS–Asset-Backed Securities) has even surprised the bond issuers who are constantly beating the bushes looking for sketchier products.  This is from the same article by the NY Times:

“Investors, seeking a higher return when interest rates are low, recently flocked to buy a bond issue from Prestige Financial Services of Utah. Orders to invest in the $390 million debt deal were four times greater than the amount of available securities.

What is backing many of these securities? Auto loans made to people who have been in bankruptcy.

An affiliate of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies, Prestige specializes in making the loans to people in bankruptcy, packaging them into securities and then selling them to investors.

“It’s been a hot space,” Richard L. Hyde, the firm’s chief operating officer, said during an interview in March. Investors are betting on risky borrowers. The average interest rate on loans bundled into Prestige’s latest offering, for example, is 18.6 percent, up slightly from a similar offering rolled out a year earlier…. To meet that rising demand, Wall Street snatches up more and more loans to package into the complex investments.” (NYT)

HA! Now there’s a good way to feather the old retirement fund; load up on bonds made up of loans to people who’ve gone bust.

This is the impact that zero rates have on investor behavior. The abundance of cheap and plentiful liquidity invariably leads to trouble. And there are victims in this Central Bank-authored gold rush too, namely the unsophisticated borrowers who pay prohibitively high rates on beater vehicles that are typically worth less-than-half the value of the loan. (Check the NYT article for examples.)

The Times also notes that the ratings agencies have been playing along with the finance companies just as they did during the subprime mortgage fiasco. Here’s more from the Times:

“Rating agencies, which assess the quality of the bonds, are helping fuel the boom. They are giving many of these securities top ratings, which clears the way for major investors, from pension funds to employee retirement accounts, to buy the bonds. In March, for example, Standard & Poor’s blessed most of Prestige’s bond with a triple-A rating. Slices of a similar bond that Prestige sold last year also fetched the highest rating from S.&P. A large slice of that bond is held in mutual funds managed by BlackRock, one of the world’s largest money managers.” (NYT)

Ask yourself this, dear reader: How are the ratings agencies able to give “many of these securities top ratings”, when the investigators from the Times found “dozens of loans that included incorrect information about borrowers’ income and employment, leading people who had lost their jobs, were in bankruptcy or were living on Social Security to qualify for loans that they could never afford”?

Let’s face it: The regulatory changes in Dodd-Frank haven’t done a damn thing to protect the victims of these dodgy subprime schemes. Borrowers and investors are both getting gouged by a system that only protects the interests of the perpetrators. The sad fact is that nothing has changed. The system is just as corrupt as it was when Lehman went down.

So, how long can this go on before the market implodes?

According to the Times:

“financial firms are beginning to see signs of strain. In the first three months of this year, banks had to write off as entirely uncollectable an average of $8,541 of each delinquent auto loan, up about 15 percent from a year earlier, according to Experian…

In another sign of trouble ahead, repossessions, while still relatively low, increased nearly 78 percent to an estimated 388,000 cars in the first three months of the year from the same period a year earlier, according to the latest data provided by Experian. The number of borrowers who are more than 60 days late on their car payments also jumped in 22 states during that period….” (NYT)

(According to Amber Nelson at loan.com: “In the second quarter, the value of all auto loans late by 60 days or more was more than $4 billion, up 27 percent from the prior year, according to Experian.”)

So, yeah, the trouble is mounting, but that doesn’t mean that this madness won’t continue for some time to come. It probably will. It’ll probably drag-on until the economy turns south and more borrowers start falling behind on their payments. That will lead to more defaults, heavier losses on auto bonds, and a hasty race to the exits by investors. Isn’t that how the subprime mortgage scam played out?

Indeed. But at least there are signs of hope on the regulatory front. Check out this clip from an article at CNBC:

“In August, both Santander Consumer and General Motors Financial Co. acknowledged receiving Justice Department subpoenas in connection with a probe over possible violations of civil-fraud laws. And the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Securities and Exchange Commission have both stepped up their scrutiny of the auto-loan market.” (“New debt crisis fear: Subprime auto loans“, CNBC)

So the SEC, the DOJ, and the CFPB are actually investigating the underwriting practices of these behemoth finance companies to see if they violated “civil fraud laws”?

Will wonders never cease?

Just don’t hold your breath waiting for convictions.


Mike Whitney is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com

Risky Business “Easy Money”

November 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Here we go again.

Last week, the country’s biggest mortgage lenders scored a couple of key victories that will allow them to ease lending standards, crank out more toxic assets, and inflate another housing bubble.  Here’s what’s going on.

On Monday,  the head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Mel Watt, announced that Fannie and Freddie would slash the minimum down-payment requirement on mortgages from 5 percent to 3 percent while making loans more available to people with spotty credit. If this all sounds hauntingly familiar, it should. It was less than 7 years ago that shoddy lending practices blew up the financial system precipitating the deepest slump since the Great Depression. Now Watt wants to repeat that catastrophe by pumping up another credit bubble. Here’s the story from the Washington Post:

“When it comes to taking out a mortgage, two factors can stand in the way: the price of the mortgage,…and the borrower’s credit profile.”

On Monday, the head of the agency that oversees the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac outlined … how he plans to make it easier for borrowers on both fronts. Mel Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, did not give exact timing on the initiatives. But most of them are designed to encourage the industry to extend mortgages to a broader swath of borrowers.

Here’s what Watt said about his plans in a speech at the Mortgage Bankers Association annual convention in Las Vegas:

Saving enough money for a downpayment is often cited as the toughest hurdle for first-time buyers in particular. Watt said that Fannie and Freddie are working to develop “sensible and responsible” guidelines that will allow them to buy mortgages with down payments as low as 3 percent, instead of the 5 percent minimum that both institutions currently require.”

Does Watt really want to “encourage the industry to extend mortgages to a broader swath of borrowers” or is this just another scam to enrich bankers at the expense of the public?  It might be worth noting at this point that Watt’s political history casts doubt on his real objectives.   According to Open Secrets, among the Top 20 contributors to Watt’s 2009-2010 campaign were Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citigroup Inc., Bank of New York Mellon, American bankers Association, US Bancorp, and The National Association of Realtors. (“Top 20 Contributors, 2009-2010“, Open Secrets)

Man oh man,  this guy’s got all of Wall Street rooting for him. Why is that, I wonder? Is it because he’s faithfully executing his office and defending the public’s interests or is it because he’s a reliable stooge who brings home the bacon for fatcat bankers and their brood?

This is such a farce, isn’t it? I mean, c’mon, do you really think that the big banks make political contributions out of the kindness of their heart or because they want something in return?  And do you really think that a guy who is supported by Goldman Sachs has your “best interests” in mind?  Don’t make me laugh.

The reason that Obama picked Watt was because he knew he could be trusted to do whatever Wall Street wanted, and that’s precisely what he’s doing. Smaller down payments and looser underwriting are just the beginning; teaser rates, balloon payments, and liars loans are bound to follow. In fact, there’s a funny story about credit scores in the Washington Post that explains what’s really going on behind the scenes. See if you can figure it out:

“Most housing advocates agree that a bigger bang for the buck would come from having lenders lower the unusually high credit scores that they’re now demanding from borrowers.

After the housing market tanked, Fannie and Freddie forced the industry to buy back billions of dollars in loans. In a bid to protect themselves from further financial penalties, lenders reacted by imposing credit scores that exceed what Fannie and Freddie require. Housing experts say the push to hold lenders accountable for loose lending practices of the past steered the industry toward the highest-quality borrowers, undermining the mission of Fannie and Freddie to serve the broader population, including low- to moderate- income borrowers.

Today, the average credit score on a loan backed by Fannie and Freddie is close to 745, versus about 710 in the early 2000s, according to Moody’s Analytics. And lenders say they won’t ease up until the government clarifies rules that dictate when Fannie and Freddie can take action against them.” (Washington Post)

Can you see what’s going on? The banks have been requiring higher credit scores than Fannie or Freddie.

But why? After all, the banks are in the lending business, so the more loans they issue the more money they make, right?

Right. But the banks don’t care about the short-term dough. They’d rather withhold credit and slow the economy in order to blackmail the government into doing what they want.

And what do they want?

They want looser regulations and they want to know that Fannie and Freddie aren’t going to demand their money back (“put backs”) when they sell them crappy mortgages that won’t get repaid. You see, the banks figure that once they’ve off-loaded a loan to Fannie and Freddie, their job is done.  So, if the mortgage blows up two months later, they don’t think they should have to pay for it. They want the taxpayer to pay for it. That’s what they’ve been whining about for the last 5 years. And that’s what Watt is trying to fix for them. Here’s the story from Dave Dayen:

“Watt signaled to mortgage bankers that they can loosen their underwriting standards, and that Fannie and Freddie will purchase the loans anyway, without much recourse if they turn sour. The lending industry welcomed the announcement as a way to ease uncertainty and boost home purchases, a key indicator for the economy. But it’s actually a surrender to the incorrect idea that expanding risky lending can create economic growth.

Watt’s remarks come amid a concerted effort by the mortgage industry to roll back regulations meant to prevent the type of housing market that nearly obliterated the economy in 2008. Bankers have complained to the media that the oppressive hand of government prevents them from lending to anyone with less-than-perfect credit. Average borrower credit scores are historically high, and lenders make even eligible borrowers jump through enough hoops to garner publicity. Why, even Ben Bernanke can’t get a refinance done! (Actually, he could, and fairly easily, but the anecdote serves the industry’s argument.)

(“The Mortgage Industry Is Strangling the Housing Market and Blaming the Government“, Dave Dayen, The New Republic)

Can you see what a fraud this is?  6 years have passed since Lehman crashed and the scum-sucking bankers are still  fighting tooth-and-nail to unwind the meager provisions that have been put in place to avoid another system-shattering disaster. It’s crazy. These guys should all be in Gitmo pounding rocks and instead they’re setting the regulatory agenda. Explain that to me? And this whole thing about blackmailing the government because they don’t want to be held responsible for the bad mortgages they sold to the GSE’s is particularly irritating. Here’s more from Dave Dayen:

“After the housing market tanked, Fannie and Freddie forced the industry to buy back billions of dollars in loans. In a bid to protect themselves from further financial penalties, lenders reacted by imposing credit scores that exceed what Fannie and Freddie require. ….And lenders say they won’t ease up until the government clarifies rules that dictate when Fannie and Freddie can take action against them.”

So the industry has engaged in an insidious tactic: tightening lending well beyond required standards, and then claiming the GSEs make it impossible for them to do business. For example, Fannie and Freddie require a minimum 680 credit score to purchase most loans, but lenders are setting their targets at 740. They are rejecting eligible borrowers….so they can profit much more from a regulation-free zone down the line.

So, I ask you, dear reader; is that blackmail or is it blackmail?

And what does Watt mean when he talks about “developing sensible and responsible guidelines’ that will allow them (borrowers) to buy mortgages with down payments as low as 3 percent”?

What a joke.  Using traditional underwriting standards, (the likes of which had been used for  the entire post-war period until we handed the system over to the banks) a lender would require a 10 or 20 percent down, decent credit scores, and a job. The only reason Watt wants to wave those requirements is so the banks can fire-up the old credit engine and dump more crap-ass mortgages on Uncle Sam.  That’s the whole thing in a nutshell. It’s infuriating!

Let me fill you in on a little secret: Down payments matter! In fact, people who put more down on a home (who have “more skin in the game”) are much less likely to default.  According to David Battany, executive vice president of PennyMac, “there is a strong correlation between down payments to mortgage default. The risk of default almost doubles with every 1%.”

Economist Dean Baker says the same thing in a recent blog post:

“The delinquency rate, which closely follows the default rate, is several times higher for people who put 5 percent or less down on a house than for people who put 20 percent or more down.

Contrary to what some folks seem to believe, getting moderate income people into a home that they subsequently lose to foreclosure or a distressed sale is not an effective way for them to build wealth, even if it does help build the wealth of the banks.”

(“Low Down Payment Mortgages Have Much Higher Default Rates“, Dean Baker, CEPR)

Now take a look at this chart from Dr. Housing Bubble which helps to illustrate the dangers of low down payments in terms of increased delinquencies:

Data on mortgage delinquencies by downpayment. Source:  Felix Salmon 

“When the mortgage industry starts complaining about the 14 million people who would be denied the chance to buy a qualified mortgage if they don’t have a 5% downpayment, it’s worth remembering that qualified mortgages for people who don’t have a 5% downpayment have a delinquency rate of 16% over the course of the whole housing cycle.” (“Why a sizable down payment is important“, Dr. Housing Bubble)

So despite what Watt thinks,  higher down payments mean fewer defaults, fewer foreclosures, fewer shocks to the market, and greater financial stability.

And here’s something else that Watt should mull over:  The housing market isn’t broken and doesn’t need to be fixed.  It’s doing just fine, thank you very much. First of all, sales and prices are already above their historic trend. Check it out from economist Dean Baker:

“If we compare total sales (new and existing homes) with sales in the pre-bubble years 1993-1995, they would actually be somewhat higher today, even after adjusting for population growth. While there may be an issue of many people being unable to qualify for mortgages because of their credit history, this does not appear to be having a negative effect on the state of market. Prices are already about 20 percent above their trend levels.” (“Total Home Sales Are At or Above Trend“, Dean Baker, CEPR)

Got it? Sales and prices are ALREADY where they should be, so there’s no need to lower down payments and ease credit to start another orgy of speculation. We don’t need that.

Second, the quality of today’s mortgages ARE BETTER THAN EVER, so why mess with success? Take a look at this from Black Knight Financial Services and you’ll see what I mean:

“Today, the Data and Analytics division of Black Knight Financial Services … released its November Mortgage Monitor Report, which found that loans originated in 2013 are proving to be the best-performing mortgages on record…..

“Looking at the most current mortgage origination data, several points become clear,” said Herb Blecher, senior vice president of Black Knight Financial Services’ Data & Analytics division. “First is that heightened credit standards have resulted in this year being the best-performing vintage on record. Even adjusting for some of these changes, such as credit scores and loan-to-values, we are seeing total delinquencies for 2013 loans at extremely low levels across every product category.”

(“Black Knight Financial Services’ Mortgage Performance Data Shows 2013 Loans Best Performing on Record“, LPS)

Okay, so sales and prices are fine and mortgage quality is excellent. So why not leave the bloody system alone? As the saying goes: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

But you know why they’re going to keep tinkering with the housing market. Everyone knows why. It’s because the banks can’t inflate another big-honking credit bubble unless they churn out zillions of shi**y mortgages that they offload onto Fannie and Freddie. That’s just the name of the game: Grind out the product (mortgages), pack it into sausages (securities and bonds), leverage up to your eyeballs (borrow as much as humanly possible), and dump the junk-paper on yield-chasing baboons who think they’re buying triple A “risk free” bonds.

Garbage in, garbage out.  Isn’t this how the banks make their money?

You bet it is, and in that regard things have gotten a helluva a lot scarier since last Wednesday’s announcement that the banks are NOT going to be required to hold any capital against the securities they create from bundles of mortgages.

Huh?

You read that right. According to the New York Times:  “there will be no risk retention to speak of, at least on residential mortgage loans that are securitized.”

But how can that be, after all, it wasn’t subprime mortgages that blew up the financial system (subprime mortgages only totaled $1.5 at their peak), but the nearly $10 trillion in subprime infected mortgage-backed securities (MBS) that stopped trading in the secondary market after a French Bank stopped taking redemptions in July 2007. (a full year before the crisis brought down Lehman Brothers) . That’s what brought the whole rattling financial system to a grinding halt. Clearly, if the banks had had a stake in those shabby MBS— that is, if they were required to set aside 5 or 10 percent capital as insurance in the event that some of these toxic assets went south– then the whole financial collapse could have been avoided, right?

Right. It could have been avoided. But the banks don’t want to hold any capital against their stockpile of rancid assets, in fact, they don’t want to use their own freaking money at all, which is why 90 percent of all mortgages are financed by Uncle Sugar. It’s because the banks are just as broke as they were in 2008 when the system went off the cliff. Here’s a summary from the New York Times:

“Once upon a time, those who made loans would profit only if the loan were paid back. If the borrower defaulted, the lender would suffer.

That idea must have seemed quaint in 2005, as the mortgage lending boom reached a peak on the back of mushrooming private securitizations of mortgages, which were intended to transfer the risk away from those who made the loans to investors with no real knowledge of what was going on.

Less well remembered is that there was a raft of real estate securitizations once before, in the 1920s. The securities were not as complicated, but they had the same goal — making it possible for lenders to profit without risking capital.

The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 set out to clean that up. Now, there would be “risk retention.” Lenders would have to have “skin in the game.” Not 100 percent of the risk, as in the old days when banks made mortgage loans and retained them until they were paid back, but enough to make the banks care whether the loans were repaid.

At least that was the idea. The details were left to regulators, and it took more than four years for them to settle on the details, which they did this week.

The result is that there will be no risk retention to speak of, at least on residential mortgage loans that are securitized.

“…..Under Dodd-Frank, the general rule was to be that if a lender wanted to securitize mortgages, that lender had to keep at least 5 percent of the risk…….But when the final rule was adopted this week, that idea was dropped.”  (“Banks Again Avoid Having Any Skin in the Game”, New York Times)

No skin in the game, you say?

That means the taxpayer is accepting 100 percent of the risk. How fair is that?

Let’s review: The banks used to lend money to creditworthy borrowers and keep the loans on their books.

They don’t do that anymore, in fact, they’re not really banks at all, they’re just intermediaries who sell their loans to the USG or investors.

This arrangement has changed the incentives structure. Now the goal is quantity not quality.  “How many loans can I churn-out and dump on Uncle Sam or mutual funds etc.” That’s how bankers think now.  That’s the objective.

Regulations are bad because regulations stipulate that loans must be of a certain quality, which reduces the volume of loans and shrinks profits. (Can’t have that!) Therefore, the banks must use their money to hand-pick their own regulators  (“You’re doin’ a heckuva job, Mel”) and ferociously lobby against any rules that limit their ability to issue credit to anyone who can fog a mirror. Now you understand how modern-day banking works.

It would be hard to imagine a more corrupt system.


Mike Whitney is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com

Mary Poppins, Elizabeth Warren & The American Banking System

October 21, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

When I saw the movie “Saving Mr. Banks” during one of my interminably-long plane rides back from Syria, I liked it so much that I actually went out and bought a copy of the 1964 “Mary Poppins” Disney classic it was based on — the one with Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke frolicking across the rooftops of London.

And much to my surprise, I discovered that Mary Poppins might have been one of the world’s first hippies.  Who woulda thought!  And what was even more amazing is that Mary Poppins was one of the first people to warn us about the dangers and perfidy of big bankers and big banks.

And fortunately for those of us living here in America one hundred years later, Elizabeth Warren has now become the new Mary Poppins — also warning us about the dangers and perfidy of big bankers and big banks.

If only Americans would start paying attention to Elizabeth Warren as much as they paid attention to Julie Andrews!

“Hey, Elizabeth!” I also want to shout on the rooftops like Dick VanDyke, “voters aren’t listening to you!”  Maybe if Disney studios made a movie about you too?  Then maybe voters would finally start to listen.

According to Warren, the American middle class has been absolutely decimated by the banking and credit-card lobbies.

And yet voters still keep falling for all those glossy ads and happy lies that still keep getting pro-big-bank candidates elected to the White House and Congress even though voters can clearly see that they themselves are losing their jobs, having their homes repossessed, becoming slaves to their student loans and getting ripped off bigtime by credit-card debt.  But then I guess that those syrupy ads actually do prove that “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” after all.

In the heroic country of Iceland, their well-informed voters have vigorously fought back against bankster greed and have even re-written their constitution in order to make lending-bubbles and bank fraud illegal.

But in America, the opposite happens.  Here in America our very own government, the very one that bank lobbyists have chosen for us to elect, is handing over billions of our very own hard-earned dollars to big banks just as fast as it can.  And Congress is always writing new bankruptcy laws that favor banksters over the middle class every time.  Mary Poppins would be livid, of course, but nobody else seems to even notice these days — except for Elizabeth Warren.

And even the Federal Reserve is dancing over the rooftops in glee as it too gives away our money to the banksters just as fast as it possibly can, singing “Step in Time” as gleefully hands over giant bags of taxpayers’ money to Chase, Bank of America, CitiBank and Goldman Sachs.

And the Federal Reserve’s chim chem cher-ee chummy coverups are going through the roof too.

Plus the Senate just vetoed a bill that would have given students a break from paying up to 12% interest on their college loans too.  According to Warren, “This isn’t complicated.  It’s a choice – a choice that raises a fundamental question about who the United States Senate works for.  Does it work for those who can hire armies of lawyers and lobbyists to protect tax loopholes for billionaires and profits for the big banks?  Or does it work for those who work hard, play by the rules, and are trying to build a future for themselves and their families?”

Not to mention the hidden (and not-so-hidden) fees that banks gleefully charge us customers for no reason at all.

To try to completely understand how banksters and their toadies in Congress and the Department of Justice are robbing the rest of us blind, you just gotta watch this video of Bill Moyers interviewing bank-fraud expert Thomas K. Black.  Seriously.   You really should watch this:  http://vimeo.com/107916659

In this video, Black describes how Obama was elected by the banking industry and how Obama has totally paid back his debt to the banksters by handing them all “get out of jail free” cards.  Is being elected president really worth selling us Americans out to the banksters?  Apparently so.

“There’s no threat to capitalism like capitalists,” continues Black.  “They are destroying its underpinnings.  And when dishonest people gain an advantage in the marketplace, bad ethics drive good ethics out.  This is why we need the rule of law.”  Doesn’t Thomas K. Black sound just like Dick VanDyke, er, I mean Burt the Chimney Sweep here — as Black proposes that it’s high time to sweep clean our banks.

And now let’s talk about America’s ratings on the so-called “Misery Index”.  Apparently America rates higher on the misery charts now than it ever has, even back in the Great Depression — and probably even as high as did Mary Poppins’s 1910 London.  Thanks a lot, banksters.

Isn’t it time that American voters finally join up with Elizabeth Warren and Mary Poppins — and tell big banks and banksters to go “fly a kite!”

PS:  Speaking of money, look how much of it is being spent in the Middle East — and not here at home where it is needed!

According to a recent blog-post at thehill.com, the first official estimates of the ISIS price tag from the Pentagon showed that, “the costs of intervention between mid-June and late-August was $7.5 million per day.  At that rate, the U.S. has spent $850 million on operations against ISIS as of October 8, adding up to about $2.74 billion per year.  The Pentagon has since revised the estimate up to as high as $10 million per day, or $3.65 billion per year.  In reality, both of those numbers are quite likely to be underestimates of what’s to come.”

Looks like the US military is just as bad as the US banksters when it comes to cleaning out America’s pocketbooks — after they both have put us to sleep with false promises and false news https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZewopnA6H7E.

What we Americans really need to do these days is to once again take Mary Poppins’s advice and “Stay Awake”!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yC_voMY6kY


Jane Stillwater is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice
She can be reached at: jpstillwater@yahoo.com

Bethel Church’s “Apostle” Bill Johnson: A Comedy of Errors, Part 1

October 21, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Bill Johnson is no stranger to controversy.  For one thing, he claims to be an apostle, as in the unique position held by the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ.  He was given this high honor by C. Peter Wagner who holds many titles himself, including president of Global Harvest Ministries, chancellor of Wagner Leadership Institute, convening apostle of theNew Apostolic Roundtable, and my personal favorite: presiding apostle of International Coalition of Apostles (ICA).  So for the purpose of this article I’ll dub him Presiding Apostle Peter or PA Peter for short.   What’s important to know about him is that he’s sort of like the pope of the “new apostolic-prophetic movement.”

Following is ICA’s definition of modern day apostle:

An apostle is a Christian leader gifted, taught, commissioned, and sent by God with the authority to establish the foundational government of the church within an assigned sphere of ministry by hearing what the Spirit is saying to the churches and by setting things in order accordingly for the growth and maturity of the church.

What role do the so-called apostles play?  There are a couple of tasks, says PA Peter.  First, apostles are to “set things in order” and “they’re to assure that the body of Christ is operating on the basis of sound, biblical doctrine.”

Sound biblical doctrine my Aunt Fanny!

PA Peter and his self-proclaimed apostles and prophets are out-and-out false teachers!  These men and women (yes, there are women apostles) are well aware that accusations of heresy have been leveled against them by a large number of highly regarded orthodox Bible scholars and still they continue the pretense.

In this two part series you’ll discover the many twists and turns the new apostolic-prophetic movement has taken over the years and why those of us who are in an online discernment ministry believe it is a clear and present danger to the Body of Christ, thus we will continue warning the brethren.  (Acts 20:31)

Now, keep in mind that the men and women involved in this heretical movement are sincere in their belief that they’re in the same league as the Old Testament prophets and the Lord’s hand-picked disciples who later became the Twelve Apostles.  The leaders have convinced their followers that the office of apostleship is not reserved for a select few, as the Bible teaches.  Moreover, they’ve led people to believe that Christ is once again choosing apostles and prophets to preside over His Church.  Listen to Got Questions’ dire warning:

Those claiming the office of apostle seek authority equal to, or at least rivaling, the authority of the original twelve apostles. There is absolutely no biblical evidence to support such an understanding of the role of apostle today. This would fit with the New Testament’s warning against false apostles (2 Corinthians 11:13).

So – if it’s true that Christ is giving authority to a select few apostles and prophets why, pray tell, would our Lord give it to individuals who possess questionable character?  I’ll have more on this in a moment.

Suffice it to say C. Peter Wagner and Bill Johnson believe that the Lord has given them the authority to rule over the Church.  So – if it’s also true that the so-called apostles arecalled by Christ to form a government to control the Church and that they will hold Church leaders accountable then who, pray tell, is going to hold them accountable?

Itching Ears

Without getting too far afield, since the new apostolic-prophetic movement’s inception it has been referred to in a number of different ways, i.e. Dominionism…Latter Rain…Joel’s Army…Manifest[ed] Sons of God…Kingdom Now…Charismatic Renewal…Positive Confession and a few others.  Its current handle, New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), was coined by Presiding Apostle Peter in the 1990s.  He “reinvigorated the Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God false prophecies about a great endtime revival accompanied by signs and wonders.”  As I said, NAR leaders teach that God is restoring the lost offices of church governance – and they are His chosen ones to bring it to fruition!

Do not be surprised:

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,;and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths 2 Timothy 4:3

In Paul’s final warning to the Church he never suggested that they embrace new movements.  On the contrary, he warned that they would not listen to the truth.  CommentatorMatthew Poole clarifies:

Having itching ears; for their ears itch, and they must have those that will scratch them. The disease of lust in their souls brings forth an itch in their ears, that they will have a mind to hear only such as will by scratching please them.

Shall they heap to themselves teachers, will be finding out teachers, not according to God’s, but to their own hearts; and there will be plenty of them to be found, they shall heap them up, choosing them without any judgment, regarding nothing but whether they will not be smart upon their lusts. (emphasis in original)

Paul’s message throughout his entire letter was that the church must “follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me” (1:13); “guard the good deposit entrusted to you (1:14); “what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also” (2:2).

Unity Over Doctrine

Now to Bill Johnson, head pastor of Bethel Church (BC).  BC’s leadership holds to the theology of the Word of Faith (WoF) movement.  WoF doctrine teaches the occult belief that:

He [God] framed the world with His words. You can’t build without substance. He took words — faith-Filled words were God’s substance. Here, essentially, is what God did. God filled His words with faith. He used His words as containers to hold His faith and contain that spiritual force and transport it out there into the vast darkness by saying ‘Light be!’ That’s the way God transported His faith causing creation and transformation. (Source)

One word: unscriptural!

BC also has its roots in the early1980s movement dubbed by C. Peter Wagner the Third Wave (TW).

Following is an excerpt from Apologetics Index.  What they’ve laid out here should help prevent people from getting drawn into TW:

[D]istinctives of the Third Wave movement include — but are not limited to — the following:

  • The baptism with the Holy Spirit is identified with conversion. This is unlike other Pentecostal movements, in which the baptism with the Spirit is either a separate and/or a recurring experience.
  • the belief that the spiritual gifts are valid for today; that Christians can ask for, receive and learn how to use these spiritual gifts (and become better at using them with practice.
  • the belief that the primary use of the spiritual gifts is for ministry in the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit – both to bless and heal those inside the church and to minister to those outside the church (“Power Evangelism.”). This ministry includes healing the sick, casting out demons, prophesying, etcetera.
  • active promotion of unity — sometimes at any cost (e.g. the Toronto Blessing Movement ‘s acceptance of certain Word-Faith teachers. “Unity over doctrine
  • the belief that people, Christians included, can be possessed (or ‘demonized’ — or ‘oppressed,’ something seen as a lesser form of possession) by evil spirits with or without their consent
  • the belief that objects or places can project evil influence and act as conduits for demonic oppression
  • the belief that traumatic events, either in our lives or in our ancestral past, can make us particularly vulnerable to demonic influence, possession or oppression
  • the belief that some Christians — using appropriate spiritual gifts — can identify and cast out demonic spirits
  • a general acceptance of Kingdom Now theology, which has led to the practice of so-called ‘Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare‘ or SLSW — an unbiblical concept in which Christians identify (through ‘spiritual mapping‘) and then target (with SLSW) ‘Territorial Spirits.’ (all links are AI’s)  (Source)

WoF and TW leaders are false teachers.  (You’ll find the names of these as well as many other false teachers on my website.)   Over the years self-proclaimed apostles and prophets have managed to coax undiscerning individuals to involve themselves in some of the strangest physical manifestations imaginable.  Those who participate in church services where “signs and wonders” take place like to blame their crude behavior on the Holy Spirit.  Now, try to imagine giants of the faith such as John, Peter, James or even Paul “drunk in the spirit,” crawling on all fours barking like a dog, clucking like a chicken, jerking and twitching, rolling on the floor, laughing themselves into a convulsive state.  People involved in NAR have done these things in the past and continue them to this day.  When I think about it, it really wouldn’t surprise me to witness Apostle Bill on all fours, nose in the air, howling like a wolf.  But I digress.

Two Super Apostles Restore A Fraud

During the alleged Lakeland Outpouring aka Lakeland Revival in Florida, a story hit the news that put NAR evangelist Todd Bentley in a bad light.  It was revealed that that the rock-star evangelist was in an adulterous relationship with a female intern – and suddenly all hell broke loose.  In my column “We have had enough of false prophets” I scrutinized the NAR’s leaders and pointed out that Apostle Bill,

calls those who exposed Todd Bentley as a false prophet “sharks.” He also says:

“I’ll never blame the opponents [sharks] of this outpouring for Todd’s choices [sin].  However, it had a greater effect on the outcome than any of his critics will likely own up to in this lifetime. History proves this.”

(More on the Bentley brouhaha here, here and here.)

Apostle Bill and fellow apostate – oops! — apostle-prophet Rick Joyner decided to involve themselves in Bentley’s “restoration process.”  Just so you know, Rick Joyner’s the founder and Executive Director of MorningStar Publications and Ministries and is a big promoter of the “new breed” of apostles and prophets.

Both Bill Johnson and Rick Joyner, who are seasoned apostle-prophets, claim to hold the title “Super-Apostle” and/or “Super-Prophet” which is comparable to holding the high office of cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church.  Chew on that for a moment.  As an aside I should mention that some “Super-Apostles” have been accused of using cultic mind control techniques on those they prey upon.

Listen to Apostle Rick pontificate about how he sees himself:

Even though I have not been able to go to journalism school, or even Bible school, in many ways I would not trade my education for anyone’s. Like Paul, I can say that what I received I did not receive from men.

I mean, really, are we supposed to believe him?  And why would we?

Now, back to Bentley.  Bringing this man under submission took place following his divorce and after he married the Proverbs 7 woman, who, by the way, wasn’t the only woman he had an extra marital affair with.  Apostle Bill was well aware that the fraud-evangelist had had a prior dalliance.  Both “Super-Apostles” knew that he was drunk during his Lakeland stage act yet they chose to return him to ministry.  But, then, no one has ever accused NAR leaders of doing much of anything by The Book.

Todd Bentley is no more qualified for ministry than is disgraced televangelist/prosperity preacher Jim Bakker, who was incarcerated for fleecing the flock (fraud).  After his release from prison, what did Bakker do?  Still craving attention, he returned to public ministry.

So – how should churches handle a person in a leadership role when he/she brings shame on the Name of our Lord Jesus?  I’ve already addressed this topic in my column entitledDoes the Bible Really Say We’re Not to Judge?   In a nutshell the biblical way to handle it is for the church hierarchy to apply an appropriate level of discipline necessary to bring the person to true repentance.  Church leaders who have a “moral failing” must publically repent of his/her sin against God.  They then must seek spiritual guidance and accountability and move out of the limelight altogether.  Once the person’s restored, he/she’s most often encouraged to serve the Lord behind the scenes.  Sadly, this hasn’t been the case with Todd Bentley.  And the reason for this is that the self-appointed Super Apostles Bill and Rick found it in their hearts—not in the Bible—to reinstate the man to public ministry.

I’ll close part 1 with a plea from a genuine apostle:

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. (Romans 16:17-18)

Part 2 coming up!

Resources:

Strange Fire Conference Q&A—Phil Johnson interviews John MacArthur

The New Age Propensities of Bethel Church’s Bill Johnson–By John Lanagan

  1. Peter Wagner launches WLI Seattle, Sonrise Chapel, Feb. 3, 2008–Around 54:00 into the session, Wagner responds to a question during the Q&A. He tells the audience that when the Holy Spirit stopped revealing things through the written Word, He kept on revealing new things to us through the “Rhema Word.” He claims that the Holy Spirit still speaks to us today by giving us information that you cannot find in the 66 books of the Bible, info that the Bible doesn’t address, but it’s not contradictory.

NAR “Apostle C. Peter Wagner teaching its key doctrine of Dominionism

Todd Friel of Wretched Radio/TV on Bill Johnson — 2:14 min.

Why I Must Speak Out Against the NAR and Bethel Church—Tony Miano, host of Cross Encounters radio, discusses, among other things, the music of BC’s music team Jesus Culture (more below). Listen to Tony tell of his Twitter chat with Beni Johnson, Bill’s pastorette wife.

Bill Johnson…scroll down—Apologetics Index

New Apostolic Reformation/Dominionism –On Solid Rock Resources

Bethel Church’s Music & Entertainment:

Jesus Culture of Bethel Church and Practicing Raising the Dead—Ken Silva

The Holy Spirit Makes A Movie?  I Don’t Think So…—Amy Spreeman

The “Jesus Culture” – a petri dish for growing young new heretics?

Watch And Weep:

Try this Bethel Redding Snack Pack—My Word Like Fire

Gold dust rains at Bethel service

Bethel Church Dance

Bethel Church children’s director and “trips to heaven, with kids”

Creative Miracles at Bethel

Bethel Church Dance

Kundalini Spirit at Redding

School of Worship – Prophetic Song


Marsha West is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

She can be reached at: embrigade@aol.com

Financial Regulators Bend Rules For Banksters

October 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The cozy relationship between financial institutions and their respective regulators has long been known. Concern from reformers and activists comes from all stripes of ideological perspectives. With the attention that Carmen Segarra, the whistleblower of Wall Street, has gained, the noise from the banking establishment pushes back. Here comes the expected spin from the Fed, The New York Fed Slams Tape-Recording Whistleblower, Says She Was Fired After Just 7 Months Over Performance. Read their Statement Regarding New York Fed Supervision. So what is this controversy all about?

How dare a mere low level regulator document the goings on within the financial establishment, Inside the New York Fed: Secret Recordings and a Culture Clash, writes.

“As ProPublica reported last year, Segarra sued the New York Fed and her bosses, claiming she was retaliated against for refusing to back down from a negative finding about Goldman Sachs. A judge threw out the case this year without ruling on the merits, saying the facts didn’t fit the statute under which she sued.

At the bottom of a document filed in the case, however, her lawyer disclosed a stunning fact: Segarra had made a series of audio recordings while at the New York Fed. Worried about what she was witnessing, Segarra wanted a record in case events were disputed. So she had purchased a tiny recorder at the Spy Store and began capturing what took place at Goldman and with her bosses.

Segarra ultimately recorded about 46 hours of meetings and conversations with her colleagues. Many of these events document key moments leading to her firing. But against the backdrop of the Beim report, they also offer an intimate study of the New York Fed’s culture at a pivotal moment in its effort to become a more forceful financial supervisor. Fed deliberations, confidential by regulation, rarely become public.”

In an attempt at damage control, the Fed was looking for a favorable review. What they got was not what they wanted, N.Y. Fed Staff Afraid to Speak Up, Secret Review Found.

“The investigation, conducted by Columbia University finance professor David Beim, was initially confidential but was later released by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.

Mr. Beim’s report called on the New York Fed to demand that its regulatory staffers maintain a “more distanced, high-level and skeptical view” of how the banks they oversee make money.”

A Short History of the Breathtaking Cluelessness of U.S. Financial Regulators, is outlined by the Motley Fool analysis. Any serious observer of the cozy relationships that permeate the financial community knows all too well, that the revolving door turns when favorable regulation decisions spin in the right direction.

The significance of this latest scandal, points out just how the regulation process is conducted in the suites of money manipulation. This next account is most telling; You Should Listen To The Goldman New York Fed Story.

“This American Life has a banking supervision story that turns on secret recordings made by a former employee of the New York Fed, Carmen Segarra, and it’s pretty good, because it shows how regulators basically do a lot of their regulating of banks through meetings, with no action items after. That’s weird, and it’s instructive to see how intertwined banking and supervision are. There’s a killer meeting after a meeting with Goldman Sachs where Fed employees talk about what happened, and – though we don’t know what was left on the cutting room floor – the modesty of the regulatory options being considered is fascinating. Nothing about fines, stopping certain sorts of deals, stern letters, or anything else. The talk is self-congratulation (for having that meeting with Goldman) and “let’s not get too judgmental, here, guys.”

The takeaway of the story, which is blessedly not an example of the “me mad, banksters bad!” genre, is that this kind of regulation isn’t very effective. It clearly hasn’t prevented banks from being insanely profitable until recently, in a way that you’d think would get competed away in open markets.”

Why is Goldman exempt from any meaningful oversight? William D. Cohen over at Politico provides an answer to the question, Why the Fed Will Always Wimp Out on Goldman.

“Although Michael Silva, Segarra’s superior, didn’t doubt that the Goldman-Santander transaction was legal, he didn’t think it passed the smell test. “It’s pretty apparent when you think this thing through that it’s basically window dressing that’s designed to help Banco Santander artificially enhance its capital position,” he told his New York Fed team before a meeting on the topic with Goldman executives.”

Segarra thought her boss’s pre-occupation with whether Goldman “should” have done the deal, or been allowed to do the deal, was all just a big waste of time and obfuscated the larger issue that Goldman, and other Wall Street banks, were busy pushing around a key regulator – the New York Fed – rather than the other way around. She worried that her bosses were focusing on “fuzzy” and “esoteric” issues such as Goldman’s “reputational risk.” Silva also shared with Segarra that it was all moot anyway, because Tom Baxter, the New York Fed’s general counsel, had, he said, “reined him in” on the subject. “I was all fired up, and he doesn’t want me getting the Fed to assert powers it doesn’t have,” Silva tells Segarra, according to the tape recording.”

Breaking down all the details and dialogues that transpire in the normal course of banking reviews comes down to the undeniable fact that Goldman is in charge of the process. The ownership of the Federal Reserve, a private entity, is ultimately owned by the shadow families that control the major financial institutions. Only a very naïve analysis or a compromised minion of the financial elite Plutocracy would dispute the power and clout that is applied to the political nature of regulatory oversight.

Bankster’s earn this graphic title by the way they conduct their protection racket. Courageous regulators like Carmen Segarra are treated as traitors to a system that is designed to facilitate every abuse that firms like Goldman can devise. Now you know who really owns the gold, because they make up whatever rules that foster their financial corruption.


Sartre is the publisher, editor, and writer for Breaking All The Rules. He can be reached at: BATR

Sartre is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

How Stable Is The Bond Market?

October 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Seldom does the enormous bond market turn on the fate of a single trader. Well, the news that Bill Gross was leaving Pimco under suspicious circumstances did not go unnoticed. The WSJ writes:

“The yield on the 10-year benchmark Treasury note was hovering around 2.506% immediately before the disclosure that Mr. Gross was leaving the hundreds-of-billions of dollars in Treasurys and other debt he oversaw at Pimco to go to rival firm Janus Capital Group Inc.

Within a half-hour, the yield jumped to 2.546%. While a move of 0.04 percentage point    may not seem like much in that period of time, it was perceptible enough in the $12 trillion Treasury market that several traders and strategists attributed it to the news about Mr. Gross.”

Attempting to explain the reasons for his departure, The Economist speculates in the essay, Overthrowing the Bond King. “There appear to be three main reasons behind Mr Gross’s abrupt exit. The immediate cause was his abrasive management style . . . Moreover, Mr. Gross’s public behavior has grown increasingly peculiar of late . . . Such mis-steps might have been forgiven had Mr. Gross’s charmed streak as an investor continued. But over the past three years, several misjudgments have caused his funds to lag.”

At this point What You Need to Know About SEC’s Investigation of Pimco, centers on a relatively small $3.6 billion ETF, exchange-traded fund.

“Apparently, Pimco went around buying up small blocks of bonds, known as “odd lots,” at discounts. Pimco then marked their prices upwards using estimates of their values derived from larger blocks of bonds.

If Pimco really couldn’t resell the bonds at the new, higher prices it seems off base. But it also seems plausible the bonds might genuinely be worth more in Pimco’s hands than they were in the hands of whoever sold them.”

The mystic that Pimco enjoyed in bond trading may have sunk from the implications of SEC snooping. Gross seems like he is sprinting for the exit, but is this all that is in play? Investor’s Business Daily paints a smiley face on the open door that Gross’ transfer of loyalties as a positive for Janus Capital Group.

Now step back from these headlines and examine the concerns that have been floated about the bond market for a very long time. Money Beat in an account suggests that aBond Bubble Will Burst in a ‘Very Bad Way’ and reports on the recent Bloomberg’s Markets Most Influential Summit.

“Bonds are at ridiculous levels,” Julian Robertson, founder of one of the earliest hedge funds in Tiger Management Corp., said on a panel at the Bloomberg Markets Most Influential Summit. “It’s a world-wide phenomenon that governments are buying bonds to keep their countries moving along economically.”

Howard Marks, the chairman of Oaktree Capital Group LLC, said interest rates are “unnaturally low today.” Leon Cooperman, founder of Omega Advisors Inc. and former partner at Goldman Sachs, said bonds are “very overvalued.”

Forecasting the direction of government bonds usually focuses on predicting what central banks will do to drive interest rates, either up or down. Since consensus in market watchers has long announced that U.S. Bonds yields are unnaturally low, the calls for a turn upward in interest rates seem ridiculously overdue in coming.

All that seems reasonable; however, the Federal Reserve is playing a much different game from the responding to the normal business cycle.

Since the financial meltdown of 2008-2009, the charts and metric gauges for predicting market movements require a complete overhaul. Betting on U.S. Bonds no longer is based solely on domestic factors.

ZeroHedge cites David Tepper Is Back, Sees “Beginning Of The End” Of Bond Bubble.

“Empirically, Tepper may be right: in the past every time a central bank has launched a massive easing program (think QE1, QE2, Twist, QE3, etc.) it resulted in aggressive stock buying offset by bond selling. The issue is when said programs came to an end, and led to major selloffs in equities, pushing bonds to newer and lower record low yields. So perhaps for the time being, we may have seen the lows in the 10Year and in the periphery. The question is what happens when Europe’s latest “Private QE” operation comes to an end: just how massive will the bond bid be when all the money currently invested in risk assets decided to shift out all in one move.

More importantly, it also explains why central banks now have to work in a constant, staggered basis when easing, as the global capital markets simply cannot exist in a world in which every single central bank stops cold turkey with the “market” manipulation and/or liquidity injections.”

Within this context, why all the hullabaloo over Bill Gross jumping ship? While price inflation is real and grossly underreported, currency deflation still persists over the last six years. Now some may claim this phenomenon proves that stability in the bond market exists. Conversely, if this measure is acceptable to institutional bondholders, are they not accepting very low returns out of fear that the economy still hangs on a precipice.

Always remember that bonds are loans that have an obligation for repayment. Stability is maintained in the core indebtedness with the reimbursement settlement of the principal. Most governments are able to string along the unavoidable roll over so that new funds are raised to refinance.

Not so in every case from private or corporate debt. Just ask the bond holders from GM, better known as “Government Motors”.

Government bonds make up the essential float in the paper trade. As long as the global collateralization of bonds is honored, the planet may be able to avoid the fate of Greece. Pimco is but a pimple when compared to the Federal Reserve’s monetization of U.S. Treasury debt.

Bond professional traders look for an edge. Firms may risk their own capital, but most brokers look to skim an easy commission. It’s the institutions who have the most at stake and need a stable bond market. When not if, the bubble busts or deflates, the air is going to escape and blow over average investors.


Sartre is the publisher, editor, and writer for Breaking All The Rules. He can be reached at: BATR

Sartre is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

America, For Sale Cheap: $2 Billion Oughta Do It

September 21, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

With election time almost upon us, here’s a rather sobering thought:  By spending as little as a mere two billion dollars, anyone with that amount of money can now afford to buy an entire American election — Congress, the White House, governorships and all.

“But Jane,” you might ask, “why would anyone even want to do that?”  Why?  Just look at all the immense amount of loot you can score with just this tiny investment.  Access to national park land, bank deregulation, profits from weapons production, corporate monopoly status, pro-pollution laws, judges’ rulings in your favor…need I go on?

For instance, eleven trillion dollars has been recently spent on escalating and pursuing fake wars.  So if you “invest” in American elections and still only receive, say, just ten percent of those eleven trillion singles for your weapons-manufacturing services or whatever the heck else companies like Halliburton do, you still have just grown your measly two-billion-buck investment at least a thousand times over.  Forever War really pays off!

Or if you are guys like Obama, Bush and Cheney — and can’t resist playing with war toys?  Then you get to buy your very own wars!  Lots and lots of wars.  You get to play with actual life-sized GI Joe dolls and call yourself “Commander in Chief”.  You get to bomb Libya and Ukraine and Iraq and Syria.  What fun!  Two billion dollars can buy you a hecka lot of war toys — eleven trillion dollars worth to be exact.

“Who’s your daddy, ISIS?”

Or let’s say that your net worth is approximately 100 billion dollars, like, say, the Koch brothers’ worth is.  You spend less than three percent of that money on buying elections — and voila!  You too get over a thousand percent return on every dollar you spend.  What kind of crazy-good investment is that!

Or let’s say you are a member of the notorious WalMart family, worth hundreds of billions of dollars.  You spend just a few paltry billion on election buyouts — and suddenly us taxpayers are paying for all of your employees’ healthcare.  And we’re throwing food stamps into the bargain too.  Brilliant idea!

Or what if you own a giant coal company, oil company, car company, power company or some other major polluter?  Common sense tells us voters that we need to cut down on polluting the atmosphere so as to avoid drastic climate change that even now threatens to kill off the whole human race.

We could have been using solar power all this time for instance — and also cleaned up our rivers and even eliminated the need for fossil fuel.  But no.  For a few (billion) dollars more at election time, you can potentially doom the entire human race.  America, are we having fun yet?

Or let’s say for instance that you are AIPAC, that Israeli political action committee.  Spend just two billion dollars to buy every election in America — up to and including the dog catcher?  What a deal!  And since Israel is already receiving three billion dollars every year from America, guaranteed, voted by Congress, you don’t even have to risk using your own moolah.  You can use ours.  Fabulous investment.  http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/09/12/how-the-west-created-the-islamic-state/

Plus you also get permission to bomb Gaza, take over the West Bank, design America’s stupid “Bomb Syria” policy, have red-carpet access to the entire Middle East (as in red carpets of blood) and get away with committing all kinds of other violations of the Nuremberg precedents and Geneva war crime conventions too.  

According to Middle East expert Paul Larudee, “Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu infamously bragged that ‘America is a thing you can move very easily’.”  Apparently all you need is just two billion bucks.   Hell, Attila the Hun never even had that kind of power.  Or even Josef Stalin.  All he ever got out his American investments was the freaking Cold War.

But don’t worry, Josef!  The Cold War is about to heat up again, thanks to AIPAC.  Hell, now AIPAC is even an unofficial member of NATO (and apparently its most influential member too).  And, as such, Israeli war hawks seem hell-bent on fomenting World War III.  Does the American public really want to go there?  I think not.

Or you could invest your capital in running America’s prison-industrial complex?  Just think of all the cheap labor you’ll get!  For much less than two billion in folding money, you don’t even have to ship your goods over from China any more.  Plus you get to have them stamped “Made in America” too.  Definitely a win-win for you.

Or what if you are Monsanto or Big Pharma or Bank of America or CitiCorp or Goldman Sachs or General Electric?  For far less than two billion dollars, you can get rid of unions, create your own monopolies, write your own “regulations”, appoint your own “regulators” and rake in the profits.  And if you are Big Media, our publicly-owned airwaves now belong to you.  Think Rupert Murdock.  Or net neutrality up in smoke.  Think AT&T.  Boo-yah!

Yep, America is for sale for really cheap these days.  The total assets of the United States of America is currently 188 trillion dollars.  And just think.  For just a mere two billion simoleons, all that can be yours!  Buy a little false advertizing, do a bit of voter-suppression, get your hands on a few electronic voting machines, tell a few lies on Fox News and CNN and, boom shake the room, you can own all of that.  All $188,000,000,000,000.00 worth.  “Worth playing for?”  Yeah.

My country these days has become like some aging cheap whore, selling herself on street corners to the first two-bit John who comes along and offers her a couple of dollars.

America these days isn’t even a high-priced call girl any more.


Jane Stillwater is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice
She can be reached at: jpstillwater@yahoo.com

Five Aces

August 30, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

If the Beast pushes you into a corner, do you come out swinging with haymakers?  Or sit down cross-legged and meditate?  Both could, conceivably, be actions that lead to salvation depending on what type of mood one might be in on any given day.  Do you fight fire with fire?  Or apply jiu jitsu techniques in a way that wears down the aggressor who strikes out against you?  Sometimes it is best to step out of the way and allow that which is evil to self-destruct from within.  Sometimes, however, it is best to rear back and punch a bully square in the nose.

How wrapped up are you in the causes of a lost Republic?  Do you still believe in the ideas put forth in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States of America?  Or are such revolutionary visions now laid to rest forever?  Are we destined now to return to what has been the common state of societal rule throughout the history of humanity: Authoritarian Dictatorship?  Probably.  For awhile at least.  Until the people have been dumped on long enough to get pissed off and fight back.  As long as we are fattened up on bread and wine and have big screen televisions broadcasting soap operas, sporting events and idol-worshipping nonsense to hypnotize us, chances are we will let the abusers go right along with their methods of tyranny.  But once the power plug is pulled and the food trucks shut down delivery, things might get a little edgy in the living rooms across this country.  From that point, the time remaining before the discontent spills out onto the streets is surely short.

Hysteria gets hyped up and pierces inside of ragged veins with hypodermic needle intensity correlating to the desired high of helium lift off.  Up floats the kite until hitting the big black void of deep space.  All lines cut adrift.  All focus depleted and put into a trance.  Hazed coordinates.  Fog and smoke distorts the scene.  Mirrors cast back naught but a karmic black eye.  Blue orbs inside the electric light buzz with anticipation of that which must come next.  Featureless wisps of absolute nothingness dance across the atmosphere as the vast array of entropy holds fast to its silence.  A vibrating hum of illusions reciprocates at five degrees of fantasy to function with the full force of final preparations.  The bigwig moneychangers laugh all the way to the bank as they madly rush to shut down the accounts.  Paychecks deposited under the mattress.  Gold nuggets laid low in a six-foot grave.  Silver stars start singing amber tunes of golden currency as the raft sets sail from shore.  A river of Tao processing through the time stream.  Bounty system adds up on deliverance.  Cuts down to subtract.  Multiplies to build back up.  Divides, finally, to conquer.

Always one more extreme to push.  To the limit.  Over the edge.  Off the reservation.  Mutiny in its most sublime form.  An anarchic gift from the Goddess.  A neon war sign in the sky.  Look up and see chemical trails laced between clouds.  Agent Orange on a bad day throwing a fit and raining down upon the unsuspecting populace.  Until they wake up, that is, and come to fully realize the awesome righteousness of noncompliance.  Until they straighten their spines and fill up on the sweet nectar of spiritual empowerment.  Until they cry out with wild abandon, informing the enemy in no uncertain terms that not one more move in the current direction of decadence and desolation shall be made.  Tables get turned.  Lines in the sand get drawn.  The rebellion marches along in full swing.  One foot right after the other.  Left, right, left.  Lockstep to the beat of a new paradigm as the shifting cycles of history spin around to taste the glorious consequences wrought when David stands up to Goliath and fires the rock. Glass houses shatter.  Ivory towers collapse.  The best is yet to come.  Overthrown empires are dumped down and laid to waste.  Walked tall until it fell hard.  Spoke loud when it had kings and queens hidden up its sleeve but then shut up quickly and fell silent when the Phoenix Generation showed that we had five natural aces up ours.

Ash to ash and dust to dust.  The drama plays out over and over.  Eternal recurrence of the spinning cycles.  Circles within circles.  Movement to and fro.  Past and future entwined in the present moment.  All events become fixed at one point.  The screen fades to black.  The curtains come down.  Then, just when it all seemed to be over and the ending was closing in, a fresh beginning erupts from out the constant continuation of life’s perpetual motion and evolution pulses forward toward the New Age. Version 2.0.  Coming soon to a mind near you.


Scott Thomas is a guest columnist for Veracity Voice


Scott Thomas Outlar is a researcher and truth seeker who enjoys writing essays, poetry and wild rants advocating for peace and karmic justice in this world gone mad with war. He can be reached at: 17Numa@gmail.com

Calico Discussed At The Google Camp

August 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

When the billionaire tech jet set decides to let down their hair, what do they talk about around the campfire? According to the New Your Times, “Google is sponsoring an elite conference this week at a golf resort in Sicily, with a guest list of chief executives, investors and celebrities, all of whom were invited to bring their families. On the agenda are high-minded discussions of global issues — along with relaxation by the Mediterranean Sea.” How quaint! . . . For the real scoop, Here’s What Went On At Google’s Exclusive Conference For The Rich And Famous In Sicily.

Sicilian blogger Tony Siino talked to an attendee about what went on, and told Business Insider via email that the conference, dubbed “The Camp,” was three-days of intellectual discussions, relaxation, and sight-seeing.According to Siino’s source, morning discussions included a wide range of topics, including how to extend human life and the design of cities of the future.”

Reported by NBC local TV channel in the Bay Area has “guests include Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd C. Blankfein, executives from German and Spanish banks, Uber chief Travis Kalanick, Tesla boss Elon Musk, Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts and Snapchat boss Evan Spiegel. Also on hand is Ben Horowitz, venture capitalist with Marc Andreessen at make-or-break Silicon Valley fund Andreessen Horowitz.”

Spending quality time with the family between sessions in the next round of tech discoveries hardly seems to be the best use of time. Yet, time may well be the ultimate objective if you can uncover the mysteries of anti-aging research. Life Extension Magazine reports that Google Life Extension is investing in a venture called California Life Company, or Calico for short, and its goal is to extend human life by 20 to 100 years.

At this point, Google is being highly secretive about their plans for Calico. All Google would reveal is that Calico will focus “in particular on the challenge of aging and associated diseases.”

Calico could produce startlingly counterintuitive breakthroughs, as a result, of Google’s strengths in the following areas:

  • Non-commercial dedication — rather than a focus on commercial marketing of mediocre drugs as pharmaceutical companies now do.
  • Vast consumer access and core data-handling skills — with unprecedented data gathering, pattern-matching, and causal-relationship detection.
  • Ability to attract the brightest minds — potentially preferring to work on life-and-death problems instead of cutesy apps and games.

Further speculation in an essay – How’s Google Dabbling in Health, Life, DNA, and Immortality? – cites areas of research has cutting-edge technology pushing the limits of the wheel of life itself.

“A CNN article listed a few common subjects, like cryonics (a process where the body is preserved in liquid nitrogen), cryotherapy (which exposes injured patients to very low temperatures for short periods of time), cloning and body part replacement, nanotechnology (deploying small robots to overcome the problem of incorrect DNA replication, one cause of aging), and even research into telomeres, the ends of a chromosome that protect cells against degradation.”

Hidden within a “feel good” sentiment behind the altruism to elevate the life span of the human race is an unconvincing skepticism. In an article like Google Wants You to Live 170 Years, just does not seem believable to a rational observer.

“What Google brings to the table is data. “Not just one set of data, multiple forms,” says Harry Glorikian, founder of life sciences consulting firm Scientia Advisors. “Search data, GPS data, all sorts of other pieces, electronic breadcrumbs that you produce all out there to get a picture of you.”This data could be paired with each person’s genome — a partial genome can be mapped today for $99 via 23andMe (another Google investment), but many are hoping a full genome will cost as much in the next few years.”

Even if such ambitious projections that life extension might become common-place for the masses, it does not guarantee that everyone will be a candidate for future “Camp” invitations. Google hardly needs to market the secrets of the gods in order to maintain or enhance their cash flow. The Globe and Mail describes the gathering, “Like the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland – an annual gathering of the elite at a snowy ski resort – the upstart conference from Google projects an aura of exclusivity. Its existence has not previously been disclosed.”

Following the example of other enigmatic elitist stratagems, “The Camp” shows no signs of a charitable motivation when the onion is peeled. Michael Downey in the account, Google Wants To Extend Your Life laments that not enough is being done to achieve the holy grail of Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth.

“Tragically, while the government spends over $3 billion annually on “health concerns” of the elderly, it operates on the assumption that aging is not a disease. Corporations lack the longer-term view needed. And extremely few of the world’s 1,426 billionaires, with a total net worth of $5.4 trillion, have included anti-aging research in their charities.”

Do you really believe that the beautiful people, much less, the corporatist return on assets crowd, or the great democracies of the planet are eager to share any medical, genetic or nanotech leap forwards with the chattel serfs? Attending boot camp for the peasants is quite different from rubbing elbows with these Nouveau riche Sicilian Dons in the global technocratic mafia. The blueblood patricians of the banksters’ families will enlighten their newly made men into the rules and ways of the global syndicate.

The Calico family franchise promises to be more alluring than the temporary ecstasy of a drug high. Most godless souls want to live forever, since rejecting an afterlife is automatic to such atheistic masters of the universe. Google has proven to be a “New Age” android. Hence, it is natural for apps, developed to manage the life cycle, become part of the smart set. The key question is will the source code become available to the masses, or will the elites maintain the restricted knowledge only for their devil witch coven.


Sartre is the publisher, editor, and writer for Breaking All The Rules. He can be reached at: BATR

Sartre is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

The Low-Information Evangelical – Part 1

August 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

We are told throughout the New Testament to judge, to test, to discern, to assess, to rebuke, to hold one another to account, to make moral distinctions, and to pronounce judgment when and where it is due. ~ Bill Muehlenberg

The phrase low-information voter (LIV) was made popular in the mid-1990s.  Although the LIV is uninformed on the issues, he casts his vote.  The LIV is often highly opinionated even when he has no idea what he’s talking about.  A popular conservative talk show host has labeled a segment of those who vote for liberals LIVs.

D. Edmund Wright expresses his disdain for the LIV in a rather harsh way:

But forget low-information voters for just a minute; the malignancy that is really destroying this country is low-information people with high-profile power and/or influence.  You know, people who would lobby for, comment on, advocate for, or vote on laws like ObamaCare without any understanding of its real-world impact.  Such felonies are then carried out by low-information bureaucratic microbes with the power to destroy lives and businesses with impunity, and a political and talking-head class with the access and sway to codify these common malfeasances. Destruction of private property and liberty – and these two concepts are not divisible – takes place in government cubicles every minute of every day across the country.  And why not?  (Source – emphasis in original)

While reading Wright’s rant against the organized left (and rightly so) it occurred to me that evangelicalism is dealing with the same sort of crisis – low-information people with high-profile power and/or influence.  So for the purpose of this piece I’ll refer to them as low-information evangelicals (LIE).

Reminiscent of the LIV, the high-profile LIE does not understand the impact that his unorthodox view has on the visible church.  When it comes to the Bible, the LIE has opinions on a variety of challenging topics.  Even when his opinion is decidedly unbiblical, he presents it as the gospel truth.  The LIE’s arguments are often based, not on what God’s Word clearly teaches but instead on esoteric experiences he’s had or what he’s picked up from LIE celebrities.  As a side note, whenever I write a column for the express purpose of exposing a LIE-celeb’s unbiblical teaching and even though I included an abundance of evidence to support the biblical view, the LIE rarely uses logical argumentation to contest the facts and win me over to their way of thinking.   Instead he resorts to personal attacks.  For example I’m often scolded for being unloving…ungracious…mean spirited…hateful…homophobic…judgmental…and far worse.

Facts are stubborn things.  And the fact of the matter is that it’s biblical to report on a high-profile Christian leader whose teaching is unbiblical.  Much of the problem lies in the fact that oodles of LIE-celebs are unapologetically liberal in their worldview and their teaching reflects that.  (For the record, “progressive Christian” is an oxymoron.)

Several influential Bible teachers started out as good Bible expositors but got off track when they became enamored with Eastern mysticism.  Today the beliefs some Christians hold contain a good deal of New Age/New Thought ideas borrowed from Eastern mysticism.  Bible teacher, conference speaker and founder of Living Word Ministries Beth Moore is one of those teachers.

Over the years Moore has gained substantial popularity with women, so much so that her resources line the shelves of churches and Christian book sellers everywhere.  Because she’s affiliated with the SBC her overt acceptance of “charismania” surprised a lot of people.  For instance, at one of her conferences she shared a vision she supposedly received of “the church as Jesus sees it.”  Listen to this bombshell:

You know what He [God] told me not too long ago? I told you when I first began this whole concept, He first started teaching it to me about five years ago, and He said these words to me: “Baby, you have not even begun to believe Me. You haven’t even begun!”

You know what He said just a few days ago? “Honey, I just want you to know we’re just beginning.” Oh, glory! That meant I had begun. Hallelujah!

But He was telling me, “When this ends, we ain’t done with this. Honey, this is what we do for the rest of your life.” And He says those words to me over and over again: “Believe Me. Believe Me. And I hope it’s starting to ring in your ears, over and over again, Believe Me.” (Source)

Does that not make your hair stand on end?   “He said these words to me…” is the same as saying “Thus saith the Lord!”   Any discerning Christian will no doubt find Moore’s alleged chats with God troubling.

Contrary to what Beth Moore believes, when the Lord allegedly speaks to her it couldn’t be His voice she’s hearing.  How do I know that?  Because the way in which she claims the Almighty communicates with her is unbiblical.  How does God speak to us today?  We are told in Hebrews that He speaks to us by His Son through His Spirit in His Word.

In 1 Thes 5:21 Paul commands us to “test everything; hold fast what is good.”  With this in mind, I challenge Beth’s fans to test her teaching by the Word of God.  Those who are open to the truth will discover that this Bible teacher is feeding her followers rotten fruit!

Erin Benziger has been warning of Beth Moore’s shift into mysticism for quite some time.  Erin points out that:

Beth Moore has demonstrated time and again that she cannot properly handle the biblical text. And yet, she is a mentor and teacher to many women who look to her leadership and knowledge as a foundation for their own spiritual walk.

In recent months, Moore participated as a speaker at the Unwrap the Bible conference, which was held at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church. The event was hosted byWomen of Faith ministries, and also featured such dangerous teachers as Priscilla Shirer, Christine Caine, Lisa Harper, Sheila Walsh and of course, Victoria Osteen. Nearly 11,000 women were in attendance at this event. 11,000. That is a tremendous number of women who were exposed to deceptive and erroneous Bible teaching. These are women in your Bible study and in your church. These are women who will now take the principles they learned and will begin to influence other women and girls within their church. This ought to be of no small concern to those who love and revere the Word of God. (Source)

Before I move on, I should mention that I don’t enjoy tearing down the powerful magnetic personalities professing Christians revere.   My purpose for taking aim at Beth Moore is to get undistinguished LIEs (ordinary folk) up to speed on her unbiblical teaching.  Sadly, some undistinguished low information evangelicals (u-LIEs) assume that popular pastors, teachers and best-selling authors would never steer them wrong.  But nothing could be further from the truth!

The Undistinguished LIE

The u-LIE learns Scripture in a variety of ways:  (1) Best-selling “Christian” books; (2) Blog posts; (3) Religious TV programs; (4) “Christian” radio/podcasts; (5) Trendy market-driven/seeker sensitive churches; (6) Family and friends (some of whom are nominal Christians at best and Bible illiterates at worst.)

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m not saying that the u-LIE who utilizes the above resources won’t learn anything worthwhile. He will!  In fact it’s a good idea to gain knowledge from mainstream Bible scholars/theologians/apologists/bloggers and ministers of the gospel; likewise from TV, radio/podcasts of solid Bible expositors.  But we must see to it that those from whom we learn, including LIE-celebs, continually guard against error.  As I said above, when someone’s theology lands outside of the pale of orthodoxy it’s appropriate to challenge what’s being taught and to (gasp!) “name names.”  How else will we know who to be wary of?

Christians must never lose sight of the fact that false teachers are deceptive and evil.  And by the way, anyone who’s exposed as a wolf or wolverine must swallow their pride and repent of their sin against God.  The objective is restoration.

What has resulted from all the abysmal teaching in the Church?  U-LIEs have accepted liberal/progressive theology.  Likewise, they’re up to their eyeballs in aberrant/heretical movements such as liberal/progressive/social justice; emergent/emerging; word-faith/health & wealth/name-it-claim-it; New Apostolic Reformation/Dominionism/Latter Rain. Moreover they’ve become easy prey for the Kingdom of the Cults.  How does one avoid becoming ensnared by the wiles of the devil?  By becoming a Berean!  (Acts 17:10-15)

Christian Mysticism

Thanks largely to Christian mystics such as recently deceased ordained Baptist Minister Dallas Willard and Quaker Richard Foster, many u-LIEs have been introduced to spiritual formation.  Sounds biblical, but I assure you it’s not.  In a nut shell, spiritual formation,

encourage[s] believers to incorporate a wide variety of extrabiblical spiritual practices, such as contemplative prayer, silence, meditation, creative expression, and yoga.  In fact, some of the most popular methods of spiritual formation have been lifted from Catholicism, new age mysticism, or other religions and rebranded with biblical-sounding terminology. (Source)

Ken Silva cautions that involving oneself in mysticism can lead to a “denial of the Reformation and the acceptance of apostate Roman Catholicism as a viable form of Christianity.”

Both Willard and Foster, as well as Rick Warren, John Ortberg, Ruth Haley Barton and Tony Campolo have encouraged believers to read the writings of Roman Catholic Trappist Monks such as Thomas Merton, Basil Pennington, William Menninger and Thomas Keating to name a few.  From individuals like these, Eastern pagan practices have been introduced into mainline Protestant churches, likewise independent, nondenominational, charismatic and Pentecostal churches.

Because of books penned by Catholic monks, an increasing number of u-LIEs embrace the idea that God speaks to His people in much the same way that He spoke to the patriarchs and apostles.  And this is the primary reason Christians boast that they hear directly from God.

LIE-celebs and u-Lies who are exposed to mysticism will say things such as: “I had a word from the Lord” or “God said (this or that)…”  Or “God told me to do (this or that)…” And “I have received revelation knowledge.”  Anyone who makes these claims is saying that God speaks directly to them!  The danger in thinking this way is that when God doesn’t “speak” to a professed Christian, she worries that He’s silent because she doesn’t have enough faith, or she has a “hidden sin” in her life because if she didn’t, God would speak to her; or perhaps the Lord’s silent because He’s angry over an act of disobedience…and the list goes on.

The Silence Is Not Golden

The aforementioned monks, or Desert Fathers, allege that by engaging in a prayer method called The Silence they’ve been able to achieve a profound experience with God.  “We enter the silence to consciously experience our oneness within the one Mind, God.”  The idea of experiencing oneness within the mind of God comes, not from the Bible, but from Eastern mysticism.  It makes no sense for God’s people to borrow from a corrupt religious system that God despises.  Listen to Isaiah 2:6:

For you [God] have rejected your people, the house of Jacob, because they are full of things from the east and of fortune-tellers like the Philistines, and they strike hands with foreigners.

The Desert Fathers have so little discernment that they not only participate in recycled paganism, they encourage others to go that route!  Willard and Foster and other LIE-celebs know full well that they’re “striking hands with foreigners” and they do it anyway!

Being that the Lord condemns paganism, His people are to have nothing to do with it.  No dabbling!  Steer clear of anything to do with mantra meditation.  Methods such ascontemplative prayer…centering prayer…breath prayer…are forbidden!   Even though this will ruffle some feathers, my advice is to steer clear of “Christian” yoga.  “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” (Eph 5:11)

Part 2, coming up!

Recommended:

Entering “The Silence” (Posting this with a warning)

The following is a concise presentation of the contemplative practice known as “Entering the Silence” taught by the Unity School of Christianity [a cult] founded byCharles and Myrtle Fillmore

Contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints—By Mike Ratliff

Research links:

Contemplative Prayer–On Solid Rock Resources

Cults and Heretical Teaching—On Solid Rock Resources

Occult—On Solid Rock Resources


Marsha West is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice

She can be reached at: embrigade@aol.com

Globalists Push EU-style “Union” For Middle East

August 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

As if globalist scheming had not yet caused enough death and destruction in the Middle East, the global government-promoting Council on Foreign Relations and various outfits associated with the secretive Bilderberg group are now pushing a radical new plot for the region: a European Union-style regional regime to rule over the Arab, Turkish, Kurdish, and other peoples who live there. The sought-after “Middle Eastern Union” would put populations ranging from Turkey and Jordan to Libya and Egypt under a single authority.

If the plot moves forward, like in other areas, it would usurp from the peoples of the region their right to self-government and national sovereignty. It would also advance the longtime establishment goal of setting up regional regimes on the path to a more formal system of “global governance.” Already, the peoples of Europe, Africa, South America, Asia, and other regions have had self-styled regional “authorities” imposed on them against their will. In the Middle East, numerous similar efforts such as the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab League have been making progress, too.

A true “union” to rule over the broader Middle East and North Africa, though, would represent a major step forward in the ongoing regionalization of power around the world. Using a wide range of pretexts to advance the scheme, top globalist outfits and mouthpieces claim such a regional government would solve myriad real and imagined problems. However, with the plot being pushed hard by the CFR and various globalist propaganda organs such as the Financial Times, a U.K. newspaper that is always well represented at the shadowy Bilderberg summits, there is good reason to be skeptical at the very least.

“Just as a warring [European] continent found peace through unity by creating what became the EU, Arabs, Turks, Kurds and other groups in the region could find relative peace in ever closer union,” claimed Mohamed “Ed” Husain, an “adjunct senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies” at the CFR, in a piece published in the Financial Times and on the CFR website last month. “After all, most of its problems — terrorism, poverty, unemployment, sectarianism, refugee crises, water shortages — require regional answers. No country can solve its problems on its own.”

Of course, the notion that Europe “found peace through unity” — in reality it was globalists surreptitiously crushing national sovereignty and foisting an unaccountable regime on the peoples — is fashionable among establishment types. In truth, though, “peace” hardly requires giving up self-government. Plus, many of the wars in Europe over the last century were actually fomented by the very same forces that imposed the EU on the continent. Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, for example, was a member of the National Socialist (Nazi) party before going on to create Bilderberg, which attendees openly boast has played a crucial role in imposing the Brussels-based super-state that now dominates Europe.

Plenty of actual examples also refute Husain’s claims about the supposed necessity of a regional regime to solve national problems. The Swiss, for instance, have had peace for centuries, yet they have consistently and overwhelmingly refused to surrender their sovereignty to the EU or any other outfit. Switzerland also has virtually no terrorism, poverty, unemployment, sectarianism, refugee crises, or water shortages, yet it never sought “regional answers.” In fact, contrary to Husain’s factually challenged argument, the Swiss have done better than virtually any other people in solving their problems on their own. Perhaps Husain views Middle Easterners as less capable, but more likely, he knows full well that a country could solve its problems on its own.

“Most in the Middle East no longer feel the dignity of their ancestors,” continued the CFR’s Husain without citing any data or surveys. “What Plato called thymos is desperately missing: the political desire for recognition and respect as dignified peoples. A Middle Eastern Union could recreate it.” How being ruled by an unaccountable and autocratic EU-style leviathan would give the peoples of the Middle East “dignity” or “thymos” was not immediately clear. Plato, of course, like bigwigs at the CFR and their fellow travelers, believed the masses should be lorded over by their superiors — Plato called them “philosopher kings.”

Rather than allowing Middle Easterners to create their own union, Husain makes clear that Western globalists should take the lead. “Will the west wait until Islamists and radicals are powerful enough to create their own Middle East, one opposed to us?” he asked, conveniently failing to mention the gigantic role of the Western and globalist establishment in fomenting Islamic extremism and terror. “Or will we help our partners in government harness this momentum? This is the moment to create multilateral institutions that could implant pluralism across the region.” Husain also called for the EU and the U.S. government to lend “bureaucratic experience” to “voices in the region who want greater integration.”

“A complete change of psychology is needed,” he added without elaborating on how such a transformation in people’s views and beliefs would be achieved.

Of course, Husain at the CFR is not alone. In 2011, the Islamist president of Turkey, Abdullah Gül, also called for an EU-style regime to rule the Middle East. Speaking in the United Kingdom, Gül claimed “an efficient regional economic cooperation and integration mechanism” was needed for the region. “We all saw the role played by the European Union in facilitating the democratic transition in central and Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall,” he claimed. Islamic Turkey is also working to join the EU.

Various Middle Eastern tyrants have echoed the calls for a regional regime, too — the kings of Saudi Arabia and Jordan, for example. As Husain pointed out, the radical Muslim Brotherhood and the terrorist group Hamas are also working to unify the Middle East under one single tyrannical government of gargantuan proportions.

Already, AstroTurf groups working toward such a union are popping up across the region, too. “We dream of a Middle East that is empowered, free, and governs for all it’s [sic] peoples at the highest level of being in a new world where the Middle East Union is an important integral part of a greater global community that pledges its allegiance to the earth and every human on it,” declares the newly created “Middle East Union Congress” on its website.

By 2050, the new Congress aims to shackle some 800 million people from Pakistan in Asia to Morocco in Northwest Africa under a single regime with a single euro-style currency. The outfit also wants to create a new capital city for the union named aftercommunist revolutionary Nelson Mandela, whom it described as “the 20th century’s greatest global citizen.” From “Nelson Mandela City,” the new regime would “eco-govern” all of the nations and peoples of the union as “a model for the new global paradigm that honors and respects mother earth.”

One of the primary selling points for the “union” plot is the notion it would help rein in radicals — most of whose organizations were either created, armed, trained, financed, or all of the above by Western governments and the Soviet Union. Ironically, though, just a few years ago, Husain was touting al-Qaeda’s key role in furthering the globalist plan to oust Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad. “The influx of jihadis brings discipline, religious fervor, battle experience from Iraq, funding from Sunni sympathizers in the Gulf, and most importantly, deadly results,” gushed Husain, a Sunni Muslim, in a 2012 piece for the CFR. “In short, the [Obama/CFR/Bilderberg/Goldman Sachs-backed Free Syrian Army] needs al-Qaeda now.”

Before joining the CFR, meanwhile, Husain spent years working with Hizb ut-Tahrir, a radical Islamist group pushing for an Islamic Caliphate — a vast, totalitarian “Middle Eastern Union” of sorts — based on sharia law. The outfit also promotes the death penalty for apostates and has been accused by various governments of involvement in jihad terrorism. Husain, though, is hardly the only figure at the globalist outfit with a history of extremism. CFR Latin America boss and Castro apologist Julia Sweig has even been identified by a senior U.S. intelligence officer as a probable “agent of influence” for the terror-sponsoring communist regime enslaving Cuba.

All over the world, globalists are quietly but quickly foisting supranational regimes on hapless populations. In Africa, for instance, the African Union is now sending its troops all across the continent. In Latin America, the socialist-dominated Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) is working to “integrate” the region, alongside various other transnational outfits. Even in North America, top CFR and Bilderberg globalists are doing the same. “After America comes North America,” boasted ex-general and CFR/Bilderberg bigwig David Petraeus this year.

Of course, the Council on Foreign Relations, despite its operatives’ anti-sovereignty extremism, remains immensely influential in terms of U.S. foreign policy. “We get a lot of advice from the Council, so this will mean I won’t have as far to go to be told what we should be doing and how we should think about the future,” then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told CFR bosses in Washington. The CFR’s affiliates around the world hold similar influence. Bilderberg, meanwhile, brings together many of the world’s top globalists, communists, government officials, media barons, and more.

For the sake of liberty, peace, self-government, national sovereignty, and prosperity, humanity should resist the globalist regionalization agenda from Europe to the Middle East and beyond. The alternative is literally global tyranny.

Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is currently based in Europe. He can be reached atanewman@thenewamerican.com. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU.

Source: Alex Newman | The New American

Obama & Congress: Spending Our Money To Kill Babies

July 27, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

[Author’s note:  Yes, I know that I should be grateful that John McCain wasn’t elected in 2008 because he would have had America in the middle of WW III by now and there probably would have been bunkers and anti-aircraft missile launchers (and also lots of American dead babies) outside my bedroom window instead of just robins, but still…we are already up to our necks in wars, proxy wars and dead babies as it is — and I’m sick of it.]

President Obama and Congress may hate each other’s guts regarding a whole lot of domestic issues — but with regard to foreign policy, Obama and Congress just can’t kiss each other’s butts fast enough when it comes to agreeing to kill as many babies as humanly possible in as many foreign countries as they possibly can.  And ASAP.

Obama and Congress spend American taxpayers’ money on killing babies in foreign lands like there is no tomorrow; as if all our hard-earned money could just magically and automatically replenish itself overnight like some magical ATM that never stops working, an inexhaustible resource that has no limits or end.

“Seven trillion dollars gone forever?  No problem.  It’ll grow back.  The important thing here is to keep producing all those dead babies.”  Can’t stop now.  There are still a few left alive.

In Haiti, dead babies.  “They all would have died in fifty or sixty years anyway.

In Ukraine, dead babies.  “But those babies were rebels, clearly red-diaper babies!

Afghanistan’s dead babies keep piling up like cordwood.  “We thought they were Taliban!  Diapers, not head-cloths?  Nah.

Dead babies in Iraq, murdered by ISIS, weaponized and trained by Obama and Congress.  “Just collateral damage that got in the way of the oil.  Again.  Pesky babies.

Dead babies in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and, hopefully, Iran next.  “Those babies possessed WMDs!”

Dead babies in Libya, Egypt, Africa and Palestine.  “Ah, the smell of dead babies in the morning.” Dead babies in Honduras.  “They won’t be camping at our borders any more — because they are dead.

And don’t forget poor bleeding Syria, where Congress and Obama happily released the Kraken, er, ISIS on all kinds of babies that used to be living.  “Those babies were dictators!  They had to go!”

And now Obama and Congress have solemnly shaken hands and agreed that Palestine and Gaza both need more dead babies too.

“The only difference between the “shooting fish in a barrel” attack on the USS Liberty and the “shooting fish in a barrel” attack on Gaza is that there were no babies on board the USS Liberty.  What a waste.”

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/07/hamas-didnt-kidnap-the-israeli-teens-after-all.html

http://ow.ly/zAJae

And even as we speak, Obama and Congress still tirelessly continue to work together, constantly dragging gigantic bags of gold coins over to the Pentagon; hundreds of thousands of black bags that contain over half of all the money that we Americans will ever earn in our lifetimes — huge black bags of gold, all clearly labeled “Dead Baby Fund”.

I want no part of any of this.

Do you?


Jane Stillwater is a regular columnist for Veracity Voice
She can be reached at: jpstillwater@yahoo.com

« Previous PageNext Page »

Bottom