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Harry Markopolos Testimony before Congress – CNN Missed It

I hope everyone listened to Harry Markopolos yesterday testify about Madoff before Congress. He was brilliant. He was exactly right about what to do with the SEC. He said put all 3500 employees on the street and let the New York State Attoney General enforce securities law. He said there had been no federal enforcement for the last eight years. He had lots to say and he said it all well. The entire testimony is available on CSPN3.

No one can deny that this was an important bit of history. Markopolos was testifying about the biggest bilking of investors in the history of the world. Every news organization covered it. MSNBC broadcast the event live. Tell me why this event did not exist for CNN. There was no coverage. It’s as if it never happened. I find this very strange and a very disturbing editing of world events.

February 5, 2009   No Comments

Greenspan in a “state of shocked disbelief.”

Raise your hand if you’ve read any of Ayn Rand’s books? When you read them, did you laugh out loud? If the answer is yes, you may leave the room. You have a brain. If you didn’t, tsk tsk tsk. You must stay and listen to her loyal follower, Alan Greenspan.

Mr. Greenspan is testifying before Congress about our economic meltdown. He said he is in “a state of shocked disbelief.” Poor poor Alan. He read Ayn Rand and sat at her feet like a sweet little puppy. He is stupid.

People who say they are libertarians are actually saying they’re better than everyone else and they should be rewarded for that. I’ve got mine, screw you is the underlying text. Me and people like me are so smart and so clever and so industrious that we should lead without any government restraint on our actions. Dumb d’Dumb Dumb Dumb.

Libertarianism is a religion to Alan Greenspan. There is no logic. There is no data. He had “faith” in his libertarian beliefs. Ooopsie. It’s nonsense! From the New York Times:

Mr. Greenspan said he had made a “mistake” in believing that banks in operating in their self-interest would be sufficient to protect their shareholders and the equity in their institutions.

Mr. Greenspan said that he had found “a flaw in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure that defines how the world works.”

Mr. Greenspan, who headed the nation’s central bank for 18.5 years, said that he and others who believed lending institutions would do a good job of protecting their shareholders are in a “state of shocked disbelief.”

He said that the current crisis had “turned out to be much broader than anything that I could have imagined.”

Guess what, sanctimonious wonder pup, people are people are people and no one is good all the time. In fact, most people are bad most of the time when money is involved. I think the key word in the text above is “believing.” Alan based all of his actions on a belief. Then he jumbled the numbers to fit the belief. That’s not science. That’s nonsense. That’s religion.

I had this friend once upon a time who claimed to be a libertarian. Like most liberatians I’ve known, she was functionally very ordinary. She had degrees all over the place but next to nothing in her bank account. She was basically ineffectual in the workplace. Was she smart? Yes, she was smart with books but hopelessly self obsessed, conceited and an insulting patronizing supervisor. She was doomed to a slow rise to middle management without a single innovative thought. She was a libertarian true believer.

Next time you see a libertarian bumper sticker on a car, take note of the driver and the car. You’re probably looking at the company joke searching for his Swingline stapler.

And, Mr. Greenspan and Mr. Bernanke, next time you decide to play with the world’s money, sit back and imagine what P.T. Barnum would do if he was given a pile of dough and didn’t have to worry about the cops. He’d steal it all. Maybe you should teach that in your econ courses at Princeton.

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October 23, 2008   No Comments

Knoxville School Shooting

It’s only been a few weeks since the shootings at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Church. Today, we have another shooting at Central High School in Fountain City. There’s an ironic twist to the latest tragedy. From the Knoxville News Sentinel web site:

Among Central parents picking up their children this morning was the Rev. Chris Buice, pastor of Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, where two people were killed and six others shot when a gunman opened fire during a Sunday morning service July 27.

August 21, 2008   No Comments

Knoxville TVUU Shooter — A Familiar Character

From the Knoxville News Sentinel:

The man who is accused of Sunday’s church shooting was described today by a long-time acquaintance as a loner who hates “blacks, gays and anyone different from him.”

He was also your typical control freak, the malicious sexual possessive, who wants to kill what he can’t control:

Adkisson’s ex-wife, Liza Alexander of Powell, was a former long-time member of the church, congregant Barbara Kemper said today.

Alexander, a resident of the Powell community inside Anderson County, repeatedly refused comment when contacted today.

The Adkissones’ marriage disintegrated eight years ago after Adkisson had been drinking heavily and then put a gun to Alexander’s head, said Carol Smallwood of Alice, Texas.

I know there is no logic in this sort of thing. This type of person is completely nuts but I wish they would just kill themselves and not take other people with them. They’re crazy and they’re cowards and, sorry boys, they are almost always men. At the root of their crazy headedness, there is always sexual possessiveness and sexual control. There is also a logic of entitlement. They seem to believe that they are entitled to own/control other people.

July 28, 2008   1 Comment

Knoxville Shootings — Motive Was Suicide by Cop and Right Wing Loony-ism

From the Knoxville News Sentinel:

The shotgun-wielding suspect in Sunday’s mass shooting at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church planned to shoot until police shot him, Knoxville Police Chief Sterling P. Owen IV said this morning.

Jim D. Adkisson, 58, of Powell wrote a four-page letter in which he described his feelings and why he committed the shooting, Owen said.

Adkisson said he was frustrated about not being able to obtain a job and how much he hated the liberal movement, Owen said.

The letter, recovered from Adkisson’s 2004 Ford Escape parked in the church’s parking lot at 2931 Kingston Pike, indicates he had been planning the shooting for about a week.

So, my initial suspicions were correct, the guy is another hateful right wing nutter. He deliberately sought to kill the people at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church.

It’s such a familiar tune, isn’t it. Some guy who is, by all the sad standards that our culture sets, a loser decides to kill himself but he can’t go it alone. He has to vent his hate by taking others out as well. The school shooters are like this. The family killers are like this. They’re consumed by their own failure and want to punish others for it. He’s just another pitiful nutter.

July 28, 2008   1 Comment

Motive for the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Church Killings

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports today that a manifesto was found in Jim D. Adkisson’s car possibly giving his motivation for the shootings.

Police apparently found a multi-page, handwritten letter in the vehicle of the shotgun-wielding suspect charged in Sunday’s mass shooting during a children’s play at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church.

The letter apparently offers some clues about accused shooter Jim D. Adkisson’s motive for targeting the church’s congregation, although specifics were not immediately available.

From interviews on the local TV stations last night, it appears that this guy had a grudge against his parents for forcing religion on him. The impression that I’m getting is that this guy is not simply a right wing nut who went over the edge but someone with a long standing mental illness something like what was shown to be the case with the Unibomber.

The second victim who died, Linda Kraeger, was a member of my brother’s West Side Unitarian Universalist Church.

July 28, 2008   No Comments

Speculation on the Knoxville Unitarian Church Shooting

For those of you not familiar with the location of this shooting, the TVUUC is located on on a tree lined 4 lane stretch of Kingston Pike immediately west of the University of Tennessee. There are many churches along this stretch of road. The Unitarian church is a sweeping single story structure set back from the street. It doesn’t rise high above the street. The 2nd Presbyterian Church next door to the TVUUC, for example, is on a hill and more easily visible. This suggests to me that the shooter probably did not randomly select the TVUUC.

As far as I know, the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church is the oldest Unitarian church in the immediate area. It is also the largest and most prominent church with the denomination. My brother is a long time member of the West Knoxville Unitarian Universalist Church. This is a much smaller group. There are several other small Unitarian groups in the area including Oakridge and Blount County. There’s no doubt that if you wanted to strike at this denomination in east Tennessee, the TVUUC would be the place to hit.

Of course, this is all my speculation. In the next few days, the motive will be exposed. As an evangelical atheist, I’m betting this nut job, Jim Adkisson, had some crazy religious inspired motive.

July 27, 2008   5 Comments

Knoxville Unitarian Church Shooting

The promised press conference has not been broadcast on local television but the Knoxville News Sentinel continues to provide coverage of the shootings.  From their reports, it looks like the shooter was some sort of right wing nutcase:

Kemper said the gunman walked into the side of the sanctuary after firing one shot from a hallway.

She said the gunman was yelling “hateful things” and was wearing a red, white and blue T-shirt.

The damage reported so far is 1 dead of the 7 people shot. One person was slightly injured from trampling. The FBI is also investigating the shooting as a possible hate crime.

July 27, 2008   No Comments

Knoxville Unitarian Church Shooting

If you don’t know, there is a bitter county election about to take place and one of the folks running for office in that election is Steve Drevik.  He is a member of the Unitarian church where the shooting took place this morning. This guy was not at the church at the time of the shooting. He went there after he heard the news and now he’s giving interviews to all of the media. This sort of thing makes me gag. Does he realize how inappropriate he’s being?

There will be a police news conference at 4 pm and hopefully we’ll learn the identity of the shooter at that time.

July 27, 2008   No Comments

Knoxville Shooting

The police are keeping mum on the shooter in the attack at the West Knoxville Unitarian Church. No one that I know personally was injured in the attack. The wire services are reporting that one person has died.

The news coverage in Knoxville is horrible. Here’s an event that is getting national headlines and the local stations won’t even interrupt an infomercial to give a detailed report.  The only station attempting to report on the situation with regular updates is WBIR. This is the local NBC affiliate.

p.s. The Knoxville News Sentinel has the video of the police press conference.

July 27, 2008   No Comments