Pedophile Panic at the Salvation Army: No Teen Boys Allowed, Too Dangerous

ColdWhen it comes to helping families in need,
the Salvation Army turns a cold shoulder to one class of people:
Teenage boys. A family in Johnson City, TN, found this out recently
when, on a freezing cold night, they asked the organization for
shelter. But because their family of five contained a 15-year-old
boy, they were turned down. 

As the dad, Tim Lejeune, explained to WMC Action News 5:

“They said he’s too old to stay on the women’s side, because of
the women running around in their pajamas and they said he’s too
young to stay on the men’s side in case some pervert wants to do
whatever,” Lejeune said.

Lejeune says his wife, their 15 year-old son, 16 year-old
daughter and five year-old son, all down on their luck, have been
living in their car for the last several weeks.

So instead the family headed to their car. The temperature: 18

Somehow, local police officers came upon them and brought them
to the Johnson Inn. The officers then pooled their money to pay for
a room. When the night clerk figured out what was going on, he
comped the room, so the officers’ money went to groceries for the

Meantime, 911 dispatchers who had been in on the action
pooled their money to provide the
Lejeunes some more food.

And after that, the Salvation Army did take the family in—minus
the teen boy.

free-range-kidsHe’s not sleeping on
the streets. He’s now in a mental health facility. He had a breakdown, his
dad says, because he thought it was his fault the family was turned
away from shelter.

I blame a society so obsessed with sex crimes and predators that
it has lost its mind. It cannot imagine a 15-year-old male, chilled
to the bone, simply and gratefully sleeping through the night. In
our worst-first fantasies, which we give the weight of fact, all
young men are either innocent victims about to be violated by
predators, or predators eager to prey upon innocent victims.

The Salvation Army told WMC it is now reconsidering its
longstanding prejudice against teen boys.

That should make us all sleep a little easier.

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from Hit & Run

Four Members of Congress Put Their Hands Up in Solidarity With Ferguson Protesters, None Voted to Limit Police Militarization

Four members of Congress with hands upMichael
Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson,
Missouri, in August. Protests over the shooting yielded a
militarized response from police. Renewed protests continued in
October and again after a grand jury declined to indict Darren
Wilson, the officer who shot Brown. The Brown shooting may have
been a flash point for civil rights protesters. It’s also provided
an opportunity for politicians to attach themselves to the highly
publicized incident and score political points for themselves.

Yesterday, for example, four members of Congress
raised their hands
on the House Floor to “show solidarity with
the protesters” in Ferugson. Those four are Reps. Yvette Clarke
(D-NY), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.), and Al
Green (D-Tex.). All four voted AGAINST an amendment in July that
would’ve limited the transfer of military equipment from the
Department of Defense to local police agencies.

It’s just another reminder for protesters more interested in
policy reforms than partisan agendas that elected leaders, by and
large, are only interested in how they look vis a vis police issues
and not what they can do to improve the situation.

President Obama’s announcement on police militarization, for
example, included no roll backs, just more bureaucracy, which
promises more inertia. Nevertheless, the move was
as some kind of progress on the state of policing,
including by Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), who represents Ferguson and
also voted against limiting police militarization in July.

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from Hit & Run

The Oath Keepers in Ferguson: Three Updates

Yesterday I
 that the Oath Keepers, a controversial group that
I’ve covered
in the past
, had organized rooftop anti-arson patrols in
Ferguson, Missouri—and that police there had ordered them to stop.
Here are some updates on the story:

On the left, one of the Oath Keepers' volunteers. On the right, the owner of one of the businesses he's helping protect.The Oath Keepers are
challenging the order in court.
 The authorities
“claim that they had a St. Louis County ordinance that prevented
anyone from securing a building or conducting a security operation
without a St. Louis County license,” one of the group’s organizers,
Sam Andrews,
 KTVI. The Oath Keepers intend to argue that the
regulation restricts businesses, not volunteers.

The rooftop patrols have not ceased entirely.
There are a number of retired cops in the Oath Keepers, and they’re
still on the roofs. “They’re exempt from local regulations about
security,” Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes
to Vice. “[But] you shouldn’t have to be a
cop to do the right thing by your neighbors.”

The group is about to try its hand at community
More from Rhodes: “When I get [to Ferguson],
my main goal is going to be to organize the community and encourage
them to start their own neighborhood watches. They don’t need
outside help. They should be able to do it themselves. We’re going
to offer assistance in training them.”

Rhodes also gave Vice this explanation for the Oath
Keepers’ interest in the situation:

in Ferguson, what they’re being told is you only have
two choices: 1) a hyper-militarized police state to stop violence,
including arson, or 2) let it go and burn the town down. Twenty
different buildings have burned to the ground. That’s a false

For Ferguson in particular if…they don’t believe that the police
department is legitimate, they should be protecting themselves and
secure themselves because the more they secure themselves, the less
reason there is for the police to be in their neighborhoods and
communities. So they should take care of themselves for both
reasons—to be secure, but also to be more free.

In addition to charging the authorities with failing to protect
people (“it became apparent on Monday that the National Guard was
only guarding government buildings”), Rhodes criticizes them for
the ways they’ve mistreated peaceful protesters in the past few
months, accusing the police of “gross violations of free
speech and assembly, shooting rubber bullets at everybody, pointing
their guns at everybody, spraying CS gas at everybody.”

It’s not surprising that local business owners
appear to be pleased
with the guards. More interestingly,
Andrews claims that the Oath Keepers and the protesters have been
getting along, despite some initial mistrust: “Once they got to
know us they said, ‘We’re so glad you’re here. Thank you for
coming; we appreciate everything you’re doing.'” On the other hand,
there have also been exchanges like this one. Rhodes
calls the reaction to the group “mixed.”

I wrote a feature on the Oath Keepers and their critics four
years ago; you can read that article here.
I discussed their activities in Ferguson here
. For yet more from Reason on the group, go

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from Hit & Run

Close Encounter Between NATO F-16 And Russian MiG-31 Caught On Tape

Once upon a time, the only place where a western fighter jet could come within meters of a Russian MiG was on Top Gun.


However, according to a video released earlier today by the Norwegian Armed Forces, that is no longer the case.

In the clip, a Russian MiG-31 “suddenly cut in front of one of two Norwegian aircraft sent up by NATO to intercept Russian aircraft in international airspace north off Norway. “What the hell,” says the Norwegian F-16 pilot in the video, as he dodges the MiG-31 passing him at a distance estimated to be closer than 20 meters (65 feet).”

According to the WSJ, the release of the video on Sunday follows a series of publications by Norwegian defense authorities regarding encounters with Russian aircraft this year, and it marks another sign of escalating concern among North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies over Moscow’s increased military activity.

The Norwegians are angry:

Norwegian Armed Forces spokesman Brynjar Stordal declined to say when the incident occurred, but said close calls such as this are rare. “We could have had a collision between the aircraft,” he said. “The pilot has a spontaneous reaction in the video, and both his comment and the evasive maneuver indicate that this is unwanted … We don’t know if this was a mistake by the Russian pilot, or a sign of a more aggressive behavior by the Russians.”

Or perhaps it was just aggressive behavior by Norway? After all, the Norwegiansdecided to intercept the Russian aircraft in international airspace on behalf of NATO.

It is now a provocation to fly in “international airspace”? Actually, it isn’t. ““I don’t think there’s a special need for worry, but we are of course monitoring the activity,” Minister of Defense Ine Eriksen Søreide said in an emailed statement. Ms. Søreide said it was legitimate for the Russian military to exercise, also in international airspace, but that “Russia, like everyone else, must abide with international aviation laws and regulations. It is unacceptable that Russian planes create dangerous situations in European airspace….”

Wait a minute, according to that clip, it was the Norwegian behind the Russian not the other way around. And last we checked with any insurance company, it would have been the Norwegian’s fault if a “dangerous situation” was created. Sadly, it increasingly appears that NATO’s only motivation these days is to create as many “dangerous situations” involving Russia, as possible, with hope that one of them finally escalates into more than just jawboning. After all, one can’t stimulate plunging “Keynesian” GDP with mere harsh words or John Kerry-esque “diplomacy.”

via Zero Hedge Tyler Durden

Picture of the Day – A Very Creepy Season’s Greetings from Tony Blair

Everybody takes weird photos, but this is Tony Blair. A man who mascarrades as a humanitarian, but in reality is a complete and total fraud. A guy who has leveraged his position of power to enrich himself at the expense of humanity itself. He is being mocked heavily all over the internet for his recent Christmas card. It’s hard to feel bad for the guy. Here are a few of the best tweets I’ve seen:

continue reading

from Liberty Blitzkrieg

Holder Says Feds to End Racial Profiling. Unless He’s Declaring an End to the Drug War, No.

War will always have a "disproportionate impact" on the poor.Outgoing Attorney General Eric
Holder is making the rounds, promising that the Department of
Justice will soon reveal new “guidance” to end racial profiling. He
went so far in a speech in Atlanta to suggest that the feds will
end it “once and for all.” Here’s a quote from the Atlanta CBS
affiliate and Associated Press from his
speech yesterday
at Ebeneezer Baptist Church:

“In the coming days, I will announce updated Justice Department
guidance regarding profiling by federal law enforcement. This will
institute rigorous new standards — and robust safeguards — to help
end racial profiling, once and for all,” Holder said. “This new
guidance will codify our commitment to the very highest standards
of fair and effective policing.” …

“We are dealing with concerns that are truly national in scope
and that threaten the entire nation. Broadly speaking, without
mutual understanding between citizens – whose rights must be
respected – and law enforcement officers – who make tremendous and
often-unheralded personal sacrifices every day to preserve public
safety – there can be no meaningful progress,” Holder said. “Our
police officers cannot be seen as an occupying force disconnected
from the communities they serve. Bonds that have been broken must
be restored. Bonds that never existed must now be created.”

Why are the police seen as an “occupying force”? Because the
police, hand in hand with the Department of Justice, have been
perpetuating the drug war for decades. They’re now doing it with
actual military equipment! The administration will not announce an
end to the drug war, and therefore the “occupation” will

To be fair
, the Department of Justice under Holder has made
changes to reduce the use of mandatory minimum sentencing in
non-violent drug cases and increase accessibility to federal
clemency for non-violent crimes. But as long as there is a drug
war, there will be a black market for drugs and money shunted to
police departments (including money from Holder’s own agency).
There will be a drive to get results in a war that cannot possibly
ever be won, and therefore a pursuit for low-hanging fruit. That
would be poor people without the ability to secure skilled lawyers
to protect their interests. And in urban settings that will often
end up hitting minorities hardest. That’s where
communities like Ferguson extract their fines
to get the
revenue to keep their governments running.

I also suspect the Department of Justice will not announce
changes to its asset forfeiture program, where the DOJ shares money
and property taken from people suspected of crimes with local law
enforcement agencies. The system has proven to be an incubator for
police abuse and outright theft from citizens from law enforcement
agencies looking to pad their budgets. Yesterday’s
somewhat lackluster report
from the White House about police
militarization explored the Equitable Sharing Program and seemed to
determine the program had adequate oversight, pointing out that
five whole law enforcement agencies have been booted from the
program for violations (three of which were civil rights
violations). There isn’t any sort of indication in the report that
the Department of Justice sees any sort of twisted incentives
resulting from the very existence of the program.

So nobody should be holding his or her breath at the possibility
of large changes. The administration and the Department of Justice
still do not acknowledge that the police abuse of communities is a
direct result of the power the government has given them or the
power of police unions to protect officers from being held
responsible for misconduct. Doing so would require believing that
government is the cause of—not the solution to—the abuse of

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from Hit & Run

How the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is Selling Residency to Chinese “Investors” at $500k a Pop

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 11.14.20 AMA major theme here at Liberty Blitzkrieg over the past year has been the creative ways in which corrupt Chinese oligarchs and government officials are maneuvering their way into the United States. To be clear, I am not anti-immigration by any stretch of the imagination. My mother was an immigrant. This is about being against corrupt and morally compromised individuals being welcomed here with open arms just because they have cash. We have enough domestic criminal oligarchs as it stands. These people have collectively captured the American political and economic system and control it to their own ends. Do we really need to import more of these types from abroad?

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from Liberty Blitzkrieg

Fed Fischer’s Complete & Bizarre Nonsense: Oil Price Collapse “Making Everybody Better Off”

“I’m not very worried,” explains Fed Vice Chairman Stan Fischer in a very Bernanke-“contained”-like nonchalence about the total collapse of oil prices (and US oil producer stocks). Sharply lower oil prices will boost spending and aid U.S. growth, Fischer stated in a mind-blowingly naive speech for the 2nd-most-important-monetary-policy-maker-in-the-world, adding that lower oil prices were “a phenomenon that’s making everybody better off.”

We don’t understand his ignorance: as Raul Ilargi Meijer noted earlier, Fischer is talking about money that would otherwise also have been spent, only on gas. There is no additional money, so where’s the boost? This is just complete and bizarre nonsense.


As Bloomberg reports,

Sharply lower oil prices will boost spending and aid U.S. growth, said two of the Federal Reserve’s most influential officials, playing down the risk that plunging energy costs could push inflation further below the Fed’s goal.


Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer and New York Fed President William C. Dudley, speaking at separate events yesterday in New York, both stressed the positive economic impact from the steepest decline in oil prices for five years.


“I’m not very worried,” Fischer told an audience at the Council on Foreign Relations. “The lower inflation that we’ll get from the lower price of oil is going to be temporary.”


He also said lower oil prices were “a phenomenon that’s making everybody better off.”

*  *  *

Perhaps Mr. Fischer should ask the owners of oil producer and servicer stocks, the workers in Texas and North Dakota, as well permits collapse..

*  *  *

Here’s some 1st grade math…

  • Money people have to spend (which is the number that is US CONSUMPTION) = X
  • Money people have to spend on Gas = GAS
  • Money people have to spend on everything else = EVERYTHINGELSE


Now if Gas becomes cheaper by 30%… the savings are merely spent on more of everything else OR ‘saved’ – there is not boost in US consumption…

How does it make X any bigger?

How does that make anyone better off?

*  *  *

Just don’t tell Fischer, Dudley, or anyone on CNBC this!!!

via Zero Hedge Tyler Durden

The Oil-Drenched Black Swan, Part 2: The Financialization of Oil

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

All the analysts chortling over the "equivalent of a tax break" for consumers are about to be buried by an avalanche of defaults and crushing losses as the chickens of financializing oil come home to roost.
The pundits crowing about the stimulus effect of lower oil prices on consumers are missing the real story, which is the financialization of oil. Financialization is another word that is often bandied about without the benefit of a definition.

Here is my definition:
Financialization is the mass commodification of debt and debt-based financial instruments collaterized by previously low-risk assets, a pyramiding of risk and speculative gains that is only possible in a massive expansion of low-cost credit and leverage.
That is a mouthful, so let's break it into bite-sized chunks.
Home mortgages are a good example of how financialization increases financial profits by jacking up risk and distributing it to suckers who don't recognize the potential for collapse and staggering losses.
In the good old days, home mortgages were safe and dull: banks and savings and loans issued the mortgages and kept the loans on their books, earning a stable return for the 30 years of the mortgage's term.
Then the financialization machine appeared on the horizon and revolutionized the home mortgage business to increase profits. The first step was to generate entire new families of mortgages with higher profit margins than conventional mortgages. These included no-down payment mortgages (liar loans), no-interest-for-the-first-few-years mortgages, adjustable-rate mortgages, home equity lines of credit, and so on.
This broadening of options and risks greatly expanded the pool of people who qualified for a mortgage. In the old days, only those with sterling credit qualified for a home mortgage. In the financialized realm, almost anyone with a pulse could qualify for one exotic mortgage or another.
The interest rate, risk and profit margins were all much higher for the originators. What's not to like? Well, the risk of default is a problem. Defaults trigger losses.
Financialization's solution: package the risk in safe-looking securities and offload the risk onto suckers and marks. Securitizing mortgages enabled loan originators to skim the origination fees and profits up front and then offload the risk of default and loss onto buyers of the mortgage securities.
Securitization was tailor-made for hiding risk deep inside apparently low-risk pools of mortgages and rigging the tranches to maximize profits for the packagers at the expense of the unwary buyers, who bought high-risk securities under the false premise that they were "safe home mortgages."
The con worked because home mortgages were traditionally safe. Financialization did several things to the home mortgage market:
1. Collateralized previous low-risk assets into high-risk, high-profit financial instruments
2. Commoditized this expansion of debt and leverage by securitizing the exotic mortgages
3. Built an inverted pyramid of leveraged speculative debt on the low-risk home mortgage
4. Used the Federal Reserve's vast expansion of liquidity and credit to originate trillions of dollars in new debt and leveraged financial instruments.
Consider a house purchased with a liar-loan, no-down payment mortgage. Since the buyer didn't even put any cash down or verify stable income, there is literally no collateral at all to back up the mortgage. The slightest decline in the value of the home will immediately generate a loss of capital.
Now pile on derivatives, CDOs, etc. on the inverted pyramid of risk piled on the non-existent collateral, and you have the perfect recipe for financial collapse.
Like home mortgages, oil has been viewed as a "safe" asset. The financialization of the oil sector has followed a slightly different script but the results are the same:
A weak foundation of collateral is supporting a mountain of leveraged, high-risk debt and derivatives. Oil in the ground has been treated as collateral for trillions of dollars in junk bonds, loans and derivatives of all this new debt.
The 35% decline in the price of oil has reduced the underlying collateral supporting all this debt by 35%. Loans that were deemed low-risk when oil was $100/barrel are no longer low-risk with oil below $70/barrel (dead-cat bounces notwithstanding).
Financialization is always based on the presumption that risk can be cancelled out by hedging bets made with counterparties. This sounds appealing, but as I have noted many times, risk cannot be disappeared, it can only be masked or transferred to others.
Relying on counterparties to pay out cannot make risk vanish; it only masks the risk of default by transferring the risk to counterparties, who then transfer it to still other counterparties, and so on.
This illusory vanishing act hasn't made risk disappear: rather, it has set up a line of dominoes waiting for one domino to topple. This one domino will proceed to take down the entire line of financial dominoes.
The 35% drop in the price of oil is the first domino. All the supposedly safe, low-risk loans and bets placed on oil, made with the supreme confidence that oil would continue to trade in a band around $100/barrel, are now revealed as high-risk.
In the heyday of mortgage financialization, exotic mortgages were tranched into securities that were designed to fail, to the benefit of the originators, not the buyers.These financial instruments were sold with the implicit understanding that they were only low-risk if the housing bubble continued to expand.
Once home prices fell and the collateral was impaired, it only made financial sense for borrowers to default and counterparties to refuse to pay until their bets were made whole by another counterparty.
The failure of one counterparty will topple the entire line of counterparty dominoes. The first domino in the oil sector has fallen, and the long line of financialized dominoes is starting to topple. Everyone who bought a supposedly low-risk bond, loan or derivative based on oil in the ground is about to discover the low risk was illusory. All those who hedged the risk with a counterparty bet are about to discover that a counterparty failure ten dominoes down the line has destroyed their hedge, and the loss is theirs to absorb.
All the analysts chortling over the "equivalent of a tax break" for consumers are about to be buried by an avalanche of defaults and crushing losses as the chickens of financializing oil come home to roost.


via Zero Hedge Tyler Durden