Negative Interest on Private Bank Accounts Coming to the US?

We just reported about how the European Central Bank has instituted negative interest rates for member banks. This could soon spread to the US and also to consumer accounts. If so, you would find money taken out of your bank account each quarter unless you spend it.

The idea is that if low rates are not yet persuading you to spend, then why not punish you even more for saving? To make this more effective, there would also be a push for all electronic money to keep you from stashing any away from the confiscation agents. Ken Rogoff, leading Harvard (and Republican) economist has just recommended this as a first step toward implementing negative interest rates in the US.

This is far from the only “innovation” that could be coming our way. In a speech on June 4, San Francisco Fed Chairman John Williams suggested that the Fed should consider “nominal income targeting.” He said this could be “a creative way to bend the curve in terms of macroeconomic and financial stability trade-offs.” What this gobbledegook means is that the Fed would simply create money and then distribute it to parties in danger of bankruptcy and foreclosure.

Isn’t that a great idea? Why stop with the bail-out of big banks when you can bail out anyone who gets in financial trouble? That would guarantee the zombification of the economy that is already well underway. Bad business ideas and badly managed companies would live forever at the expense of good ideas and well managed companies.

Click here to read the rest of the article at AgainstCronyCapitalism.org.

Hunter Lewis is co-founder of Againstcronycapitalism.org, co-founder and former CEO of Cambridge Associates, a global investment firm, and author of two recent books, Crony Capitalism in America 2008-2012 and Free Prices Now!, about the Fed.




Source: Breitbart Feed

The Texas GOP Convention, Public Education and Efforts to Stop Common Core

There are a number of hot button issues happening outside of the 2014 Texas Republican State Convention; however, a huge one is playing out inside the Fort Worth Convention Center — public education.

The “Educating Our Children” subcommittee has been working hard to create the kind of resolution that could put Texas in the cat bird seat to take down the Common Core.  For starters, the resolution would add the necessary punch to enforce the existing Common Core shield law, HB 462, passed by the 83rd Legislature in 2013.

This is critical at a time when Common Core conferences and materials continue to seep into Texas classrooms, as Breitbart Texas has reported.   A dynamic final subcommittee resolution is something that its  members are hopeful will be added to the Republican platform to stop those independent school districts that do not comply to TEKS but align to Common Core, CSCOPE or other international related content.

A total of 15 presenters provided testimony to the education subcommittee.  This included concerned parents, taxpayers and conservative grassroots education advocates came to present solutions, some of which have been adopted since folded into the working version of the education resolution.

Parents like Jennifer Frank from the Fort Worth Area. She told Breitbart Texas, “This resolution actually would give teeth and meaning to the law by actually enforcing the law. Any parent that sees any of these (Common Core) standards and practices being used will be able to take concrete action.”

Frank was excited that some of her testimony was taken into consideration for the resolution.  She said it is even more important that whatever the resulting final version of the education subcommittee resolution, the resolution itself makes it into the state GOP platform because, she said, if it gets that far, it stands a good chance of making it into the 2015 legislative session.

Frank also said that the impetus for her getting involved politically came as the result of “finding out that Governor Perry actually outlawed Common Core last summer.”  She said,  that even though she thought there was no Common Core in Texas, “I kept hearing all of these stories from Northwest Fort Worth, Denton and Crowley school districts where parents were complaining at school board meetings that Common Core was ruining their kids’ education.”

Likewise, seasoned conservative education watchdog Bill Ames was a subcommittee presenter this week. Ames was previously appointed by former State Board of Education (SBOE) chairman Don Mc Leroy in 2009 as a member of a panel commissioned to review and revise the 11th grade U.S. history standards that were part of the Texas social studies curriculum. Many of Ames recommendations became part of the final standards.  He is also the author of the “Texas Trounces the Left’s War on History,” the book in which Ames told the story of how progressive educators and the left-wing media attempted to hijack American history, and how SBOE conservatives and hundreds of mainstream Texans rejected the attempt.

Breitbart Texas spoke with Ames who said that he presented resolution testimony that, if included, will result in the oversight legislation to ensure that local school districts teach a tradition academic and knowledge-based curriculum. That means, each school district in Texas must certify that it is TEKS compliant, the cost of non-compliance would be the reduction of state spending for that district.

For his recommendations to the education subcommittee resolution, Ames sourced the Texas Education Code 28.002 (h), which in part states “A primary purpose of the public school curriculum is to prepare thoughtful active citizens who understand the importance of patriotism and can function productively in a free enterprise society with appreciation for the basic democratic values of our state and our national heritage…”

These are only in the proposal stages. The resolution will continue to change throughout the subcommittee process.  For example, in a more recent version the resolution, a possible outcome for a Texas school district using the national or international core curriculum, or using and/or modifying college entrance exams to align with national core standards would make it a violation of  HB 462 where a district would lose all state funding until the curriculum is removed permanently from a school’s classrooms.

Breitbart Texas spoke to education subcommittee chairwoman Susan Fletcher, from Senate District 8, who emphasized everything remains a proposed plank until it is agreed upon and they move through the ratification process.  All proposed planks await ratification by a temporary platform committee, followed by a permanent platform committee and which then goes to approval from the entire delegation.

Until then, there’s a lot of topics for the subcommittee to tackle. From TEKS compliance and educational content standard issues, to college tuition requirements, parental rights, K-12 and higher education funding, local control, special needs, American identity, English Language learner assistance, career and technology education, college tuition requirements, parental rights, and equal access to state education grants for Texas students based on measurable criteria are also under subcommittee discussion are all on the proposed plank list.

“Texas Republicans on this subcommittee are taking a hard stand against Common Core. I hope that by the end of the convention, we can say that all grassroots Republicans took a hard stand!,” Fletcher added.

Fletcher, who is the Republican pick for Collin County Commissioner, Precinct 1, will take office after the November general election, according to the Texas Local Government Code.  Fletcher runs unopposed on the ballot.

She also told Breitbart Texas, “I am very thankful for the work of the Education subcommittee and I’m encouraged that we were able to preserve our conservative planks and even add additional planks to strengthen our stand against this national ‘Core’ curricula and other harmful instructional materials.”

Fletcher added, “I believe that we must be vigilant to protect our children from any initiatives aimed at indoctrinating or conforming students to a pre-determined position. It is critical that we eliminate the use of Common Core / CSCOPE instructional materials, as well as educate the public regarding the dangers surrounding their use.”

Other key items in the working template include supporting legislation that would prohibit non US citizens from unlawfully enrolling in free public schools, opposition to public funding of foreign charter schools, transparency and accountability; and opposition to the use of “quota systems” for college entrance admissions.

Additionally, in its support of knowledge-based education, the subcommittee is reviewing planks that oppose outcome-based learning, which according to a version of the draft “focuses on behavior modification and has the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed believes and undermining parental authority.”  Instead, the subcommittee proposal encourages critical thinking skills based learning through logic, rhetoric an analytical sciences. These are only an overview of many planks in progress. 

“We support a return to the traditional basics of reading, writing, arithmetic, and citizenship with sufficient discipline to ensure learning and quality educational assessment,” Fletcher told Breitbart Texas.

On Friday, June 6, there will also be a noontime breakout session with Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston). Patrick is currently chairman of the Texas Senate Education Committee.  He is also the grassroots conservative GOP nominee for Lt. Governor. 

According to Fletcher, it is the subcommittee chairs’ hope that the final version of the resolution will be ratified on Saturday morning as part of the Texas GOP platform. In addition to Fletcher, Educating Our Children sub-committee members are  Larry Gonzales, Senate District 52 (SD 52), Dwayne “Doc” Collins (SD2), Sharon Graves (SD3), and Morgan Graham (SD 27). Gregg County’s Neal Frey, conservative Christian textbook reviewer, also provided testimony.  Breitbart Texas will continue to follow this resolution.

Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.




Source: Breitbart Feed

McCants: Khloe K, NCAA Title, Straight A’s, & No Classes

Before Rashad McCants dated Khloe Kardashian (pictured) at the end of his 4-year NBA career, he was in the top 2% of all college basketball players while at UNC. He managed to win an NCAA title and–according to him–get several A’s in classes he did not attend. The latter is similar to a report I had regarding a 1970s UNC player, but coach Roy Williams is denying the “paper classes” Friday night.

ESPN’s Outside the Lines gathered the details in their interview with McCants.

Years ago it was reported to me that a UNC basketball player in the 1970s was pushed into a Portuguese class at registration despite his protests that he had taken several years of another language in high school. He relayed to mutual friends that when showed up for class, he saw only fellow athletes. I was never able to talk directly with the player to let him confirm or deny the story.

Forty years later UNC coach Roy Williams denies claims from McCants that the same things was still happening during his time at UNC leading up to the 2005 title (see Charlotte Observer article)

McCants ranked in the top 2% (80th or better out of 4,000) of all college basketball players for all three of his years at UNC, according to the database at www.valueaddbasketball.com.

Season Rank Player Off Def PG Per Value Add Year
78 McCants, Rashad 3.44 -1.1 0.5 5.5 2003
26 McCants, Rashad 5.38 -0.93 0.5 7.42 2004
80 McCants, Rashad 4.27 -0.44 0.5 5.68 2005

He was one of five players on the 2005 NCAA championship roster who would go onto play in the NBA. According to www.valueaddbasketball.com he was the third best player on that team behind Sean May and Raymond Felton. Marvin Williams and Felton went on to be greater NBA players and just finished their ninth seasons. However, McCants scored a solid 2,479 points in four seasons before being demoted to the D-League, where he won rave reviews for donating his entire salary to charity.

2005 Rank UNC Title Roster NBA seasons NBA Pts College Off College Def PG/Per Value Add
12 May, Sean 4 821 5.6 -2.43 0 8.76
34 Felton, Raymond 9+ 8737 3.63 -1.24 1.5 6.95
80 McCants, Rashad 4 2479 4.27 -0.44 0.5 5.68
99 Williams, Marvin 9+ 6748 3.44 -1.53 0 5.42
155 Williams, Jawad 3 340 4.25 0 0 4.64
585 Manuel, Jackie D-League only 1.15 -0.32 0.5 2.15
706 Noel, David D-League only 1.19 -0.48 0 1.81
1016 Scott, Melvin D-League only 1.2 0.13 0 1.16
2086 Thomas, Quentin No pros 0 -0.13 0 0.14




Source: Breitbart Feed

10AM-1PM EST: ‘Breitbart News Saturday’ On SXM 125: ‘Battle for Normandy Special’

On Breitbart News Saturday on Sirius XM Patriot channel 125 from 10AM to 1PM, host Breitbart Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon will be joined by co-host and Breitbart News’ Jarrett Stepman and John Nolte to discuss the commemoration on the 70th anniversary of D-Day. They will speak to a number of renowned historians and commenters about the largest amphibious assault in human history and the generation that won WWII. Nolte will discuss the best films on D-Day and World War II and what to watch for this weekend, and Stepman will talk about the articles he wrote about the fighting and special meaning of the legendary invasion.

Breitbart Contributors AWR Hawkins and James P. Pinkerton will come on the program to talk about their Breitbart articles on D-Day. AWR will be talking about the deadly training “Exercise Tiger” that ended up taking 1,000 American lives. Pinkerton will talk about the D-Day lessons for today and whether or not the United States is still capable of bringing the “Arsenal of Democracy” to bear in the future.

Prominent combat historian Patrick K. O’Donnell will come on the program to discuss the incredible battles that took place on D-Day and the brave men that fought there. He has written eight books on military history and received the Colby Circle Award for Outstanding Military History for his best-selling book, Beyond Valour. He also recently wrote Dog Company: The Men Who Took Pont du Hoc bout the legendary 2nd Ranger battalion, Company D, that charged up the 100 ft. cliffs on D-Day.

Bannon will speak to Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large, Hoover Fellow, and Government Accountability Institute (GAI) President Peter Schweizer who authored VictoryThe Reagan Administration’s Secret Strategy that Hastened the Collapse of the Soviet Union. He will talk about D-Day and President Ronald Reagan’s speech at Pointe-du-Hoc.

Dr. Sebastian Gorka PhD, National Security Editor of Breitbart News and instructor at the National Defense University, will come on the program to discuss how the technical aspects of waging war has changed since D-Day, but fundamentally remains the same. He is an expert on national defense and asymmetric warfare.

Bannon will interview David Webb, host of The David Webb Show on SiriusXM Patriot 125, who has been recording a D-Day special from Normandy. He has been conducting interviews from where the fighting took place 70 years ago. He will be speaking to veterans of many different units as well as historians. The list includes: Jack Appel – 17th Signal Battalion in the US Army, Thomas Blakey – 82 Airborne in the US Army, Ralph Crump – Merchant Marine, Richard Duchossoi – Major 610th Tank Destroyer Battalion, Darold Rice – 359th Regiment in the US Army and many more.  Historians include Rick Atkinson, bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner in history; Dr. Donald Miller, Professor of History at Lafayette College as well an author of eight books including Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys, which will be made into a miniseries on HBO and Dr Gordon Mueller, President and CEO of the National WWII Museum. 




Source: Breitbart Feed

Congressman Poe Honors Texan Col. Rudder on D-Day

FORT WORTH, Texas–Congressman Ted Poe took to the House floor today in Washington, D.C. to honor Army Lieutenant Colonel James Earl Rudder who led his troops into battle seventy years ago today. Colonel Rudders assignment on this “Longest Day” was to lead his Army Rangers battalion into a battle on Normandy beach in France.

Following is Representative Poe’s speech in its entirety:

Texan Col. Rudder’s Boys of Ponte-Du-Hoc

HON TED POE

OF TEXAS

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Friday, June 6, 2014

Mr. Speaker, it was raining as the English Channel churned and tossed the Americans in the landing craft. The sun was coming up over the horizon, but no one could see it through the grey clouds. Thousands of teenage liberators stared into the distance to see the high cliffs of Normandy, France. It was D-Day, June 6, 1944 – 70 years ago. 

Expecting to land on Omaha Beach at 6:30 am ahead of other Allied Forces, Texan Lt. Col. James Earl Rudder led the United States Army Rangers’ 2nd Ranger Battalion into what seemed like an impossible feat. 

As the treacherous weather conjured crashing waves five to six feet tall, a shifting wind tossed the Rangers off course. The mist, clouds and smoke obscured the navigation, making it hard to locate Pointe-du-Hoc from a mile out at sea. Their landing was delayed by forty minutes. Already, the mission seemed doomed. This navigational error meant two things: They would have to sail parallel to the coast facing intense enemy fire. It gave the enemy time to recover and prepare for the next assault.

For almost half an hour, the Rangers rode along the coast as bullets were flying all around them.  Some Rangers were hit by enemy fire. But bleeding or not, still they pushed forward.

They battled the wind as the pelting rain blurred their vision and soaked their climbing equipment. They were exhausted and tense. The landing crafts that brought the GIs to shore were beginning to take on water, presenting yet another obstacle for Rudder’s Rangers.  Water began to leak in through the front ramp of the landing crafts, so the Rangers ripped up the floorboards and used their helmets to bail out the alarming amount of water rushing in all while the Nazis fired down at them atop the cliffs.

One of the landing crafts sunk from the weather and enemy fire.  The brutal conditions of the sea caused others in the landing craft to become violently seasick. Finally, the Rangers reached the eastern side of the Pointe, there new designated landing spot. It was now 7:10 am. The battle had just begun, and the odds were stacking up against Rudder’s success.

The Rangers were miserable, cold, wet and seasick; some bleeding from injury but none wavered. Their mission: to conquer the cliffs at Pointe-du-Hoc and find the big Germans’ guns. The guns could reap havoc on later landings.

No longer was the weather their only enemy. As the first shoe print was made in the wet sand of Normandy, the Rangers came under brutal fire from atop the cliffs as the enemy chunked grenades down at them. The men had to resist the urge to take out the machine guns because the primary mission was to climb. Fifteen men were already lost in the crossing of the beach.

Divided into three units, Lt. Col. Rudder prepared to lead the Provisional Rangers, task force A of 250 men up the cliffs. They moved quickly with precision and expertise.  They shifted through the chaos that ensued around them all while operating soaking wet equipment.

(The ropes attached to the grappling hooks were heavy with water and thus could not reach the top of the cliffs when launched from a mortar.)

The Rangers used rope ladders, a few dry grappling hooks and steel ladders to scale the cliffs. Their machine guns were clogged with mud. Amidst enemy fire and malfunctioning equipment, the Rangers were flung back and forth climbing the wet ropes.

While some Rangers provided cover on the beach, amazingly, the first ones to the top, conquered the cliff in 10 minutes.  They in turn provided covering fire for the ones still on the beach.

As soon as the Rangers pulled themselves over the cliff, snipers immediately fired. Fortunately, the heaving bombing the Americans had done to the island in the days beforehand had created large craters in earth. This allowed the Rangers to hide themselves from the enemy fire.

Within half an hour, the remaining task forces had made it up the tall cliffs.

Rudder, bleeding from two gunshot wounds, never let his focus waver or his determination grow weary. He discovered quickly that the Germans had left wooden decoys in the gun casements. Exhausted, wounded and bewildered, Rudder kept pushing the Rangers inland.  They had to find the big guns. Around 8:00 am small patrols were sent south to locate the missing guns. By 9:00 am, their second goal completed. Now, they had to take them out.

The Rangers had located the missing guns 600 yards south of the Pointe. The Nazis had hidden the guns back from the beach to protect them from Allied air strikes and naval bombardment. 

Rudders’ Rangers took out the emplacements using thermite grenades and eliminated the enemy protecting them.

The mission though completed in spite of the horrific obstacles was not without cost. Rudder’s Rangers had over 50 percent casualties.  Some Rangers gave their lives that summer morning conquering the cliffs.

As American blood was shed on the French beaches and cliffs, General Rudder had secured the beachhead for later Allied Forces coming ashore. This paved the way to eventual victory.

In the months leading up to the Normandy Invasion, Rudder’s elite group of Army Rangers underwent rigorous training in preparation for the part that they would play for the invasion named Overlord at Normandy.

 Colonel Rudder put his 2nd Ranger Battalion through hell in order to prepare them for their mission at Pointe du Hoc. He made them march in full gear for over 20 miles. He had them train in hand to hand combat, climb rope ladders without safety harnesses and endure difficult amphibious training.

The success that the Rangers had on D-Day was a direct result of Rudder’s intense personal involvement with their training. The amount of effort and dedication he put forth into the training is why the troops were able to manage the chaos and complete their mission. Rudder made sure that every man was prepared to do the impossible.

James Earl Rudder was born in the small Texas town of Eden, about 45 miles southeast of San Angelo, in 1910. After graduating from high school, he played football for two years at Tarleton State. He then transferred to Texas A&M in 1930.  He graduated in 1932 with a degree in education. After graduation he joined the US Army Reserves as a second lieutenant.

In 1937, he married Margaret Williamson (who graduated from the The University of Texas), and together they had five children.  In 1941, he was doing what he loved, coaching football, when duty called. 

These brave men who cracked the Nazi grip on Europe began with the liberation of France 70 years ago. From there, the Rangers went on to fight in the Battle of the Bulge and U.S. forces on to Germany. Nothing like it had ever been done before in history. Over 150,000 Allied soldiers hit the beaches during the assault landings on the 6th of June.

By the 4th of July, over 1 million joined in the invasion force through Normandy. It was a miraculous feat for 1944.  

Colonel Rudder received many military honors including the second highest award, the Distinguished Service Cross. He was a full Colonel by the end of the war and was promoted to Brigadier General of the U.S. Army Reserves in 1954 and Major General in 1957. 

After the war, Rudder returned to Texas.  He remained a highly successful and distinguished Texan until his death. 

He served as Mayor of Brady for 6 years, visited the White House frequently- advising Lyndon Bain Johnson on many military issues and was hired to clean up the corruption going on in the General Land Office. 

Col. Rudder became president of Texas A&M University in 1959 and president of the entire A&M system in 1965, holding both positions until his death in 1970.

The boys of D –Day came; they liberated; and some went home. Over 9,000 other GIs are buried at the top of the cliffs of Normandy France. As we reflect on those Rangers on D-Day, 70 years ago, and the Texan who led them into battle, Lt. Col. James Earl Rudder, we once again marvel at the lives of those we call the Greatest Generation of Americans. 

And that’s just the way it is.  

Bob Price is a staff writer and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.




Source: Breitbart Feed