Is Your Money Safer Under the Mattress?

by Don Hank, Guest Contributor

Several investment advisers are now warning people not to put too much money in the bank, or if you have more than a ‘safe’ amount, to pull some out – and also to divvy up your deposits in more than one bank.

They base this on some new laws being crafted right now in various parts of the world enabling banks to steal deposits under a euphemistic concept known as the “bail-in,” which first reared its hideous head in Cyprus last year (see links below for details on these new developments).

Like bailouts, bail-ins are a way to transfer wealth from the people to the banks. Bailouts made the little guy pay the bankers back in 2008. But finally, the bank robbers in the IMF, the EU and the rest of the top echelons of our globe will be stealing mostly from people who in their estimation have too much money deposited in their bank accounts.

When the IMF-EU team pulled the first heist – er, bail-in – in Cyprus last year, they took something on the order of 80% of the overage above 100,000 euros from depositors with 100,000 euros or more in their accounts. So they were soaking the rich, right?

Well, not exactly. See, I was a business man once and I sometimes had a rather large bank deposit too. But often about 70-80% or more was owed to my creditors and employees.

Let’s say you own a corner grocery store and you have 4 employees and temporary help @ about $10,000/mo counting their benefits and social security taxes, etc, and you buy $90,000 worth of products from your wholesaler every week. On top of that, you pay $4,000 rent every month and have hefty taxes and utilities costs for the lights inside and outside the store plus heating fuel, amounting to roughly $2000/mo. You have a service vehicle that costs $800/m in mortgage payments and $200 for gas and maintenance. Your liability and fire insurance runs you $2000/m and you have, on a smaller scale, similar personal car and home costs of around $2500/mo. plus food and clothing costs of about $2500/mo for yourself and your family.

If I added correctly that makes $114,000 in bare-bones costs alone. To be on the safe side, you let some money accumulate and after a few years you wind up with $140,000 in that account, not very much overage.

But the government doesn’t give a crap about you and your family. When the bank crisis hits, they hold an emergency meeting in secret and, since the their willing accomplices in government have already passed a law enabling bail-ins under certain dire circumstances, they swoop down and take 80% of the “overage” of $40,000, or $32,000 from your account without prior notification of you the customer.

Now you have only $108,000 left, which is below your expenses. Assuming that is all your cash, you either get a quick bank loan or max out a credit card or two or your home is foreclosed!

You see, to government, which is as stupid as a box of hammers, you – in truth a struggling business man with a gazillion strikes against you – are a “rich” man because you have over $100,000 in the bank.

Little do they care that most of this is not yours at all, belonging instead to your employees and your creditors in business.

Subtracting the $114,000 that you need to live and do business, you really only personally own $26,000 of that deposited cash.

But the government is now our god in a full secularized society where religion is swapped out for sacred material symbols and godheads. The government giveth and the government taketh away. We the people have met the threat with our silence = consent, because the conservatives took the crooks in the GOP to be their lord and savior while the liberals took the crooks in the Democratic Party to be their lord and savior, and they both voted out one set of crooks to replace it with another in a never-ending cycle of total futility.

Germany to start bail-ins by 2015.

BERLIN–Germany’s cabinet Wednesday approved plans to force creditors into propping up struggling banks beginning in 2015, one year earlier than required under European-wide plans that set rules for failing financial institutions.

The new bail-in rules are part of a package of German legislation on the European banking union–an ambitious project to centralize bank supervision in the euro zone and, when banks fail, to organize their rescue or winding-up at a European level.

Germany “leads the way” in Europe by implementing European rules quickly and “creates instruments that allow the winding-down of big systemically relevant institutions without putting the financial stability at risk,” the country’s finance ministry said in its draft bill seen by The Wall Street Journal.

Well, isn’t that special. So instead of stealing from the public, ie, the taxpayer, they will steal from the private sector, suggesting to the sheeple that the system is now “fair.”

(The same story broke in German financial sites in July, for example, here:

Recent Bail-in law in Australia

So if you have an account that was earmarked for retirement and you are close to 65, you might want to yank that money out now and/or divvy it up among several bank accounts… but don’t bet the money that your government will not come up with a new plot to seize it.

Forget Global Warming – What About Global Madness?

by Robert Arvay, Contributing Writer

Throughout history, human life has been dominated by misery. Wars, famines, plagues and natural catastrophes were rampant, not to mention tyrannies that were cruel and oppressive. Life was brutal and short.

A few candles lit the darkness. For those of us fortunate enough to have been born in the Americas and Europe during the twentieth century, it may be difficult to understand what life is (and was) like for those born far from the glow of candles.

My  grandmother was born in East Europe in the 1880s, was orphaned in infancy and raised by relatives. She bore seven children; the first four all died at very early ages. She then immigrated to the U.S., where disease broke out on her ship and killed most of the passengers. The ship was quarantined in New York Harbor until there were no deaths for a couple of weeks; then the survivors were allowed ashore. A year or so later, the 1918 influenza epidemic overwhelmed the same city – so severely that there were corpses lying in the streets. Twenty million died worldwide, more than in the war which ravaged the same generation.

My paternal grandmother had a less tragic life, but by today’s standards, one of hardship. To the day she died, she cooked on a wood-burning stove, pumped water from the back porch, and used an outhouse. Living on a farm, the Depression years did not cause hunger, but she rarely had cash. I remember the jar of Indian Head pennies she hoarded.

We have it easy. After a recent storm, I was without electricity for two days. Trust me, you never know how central electric power is to your life until you have to do without it for more than a day. We dared not open the refrigerator door. Nightfall brought virtual blindness. The summer heat and humidity were stifling. The inability to watch TV and make telephone calls was frustrating, even maddening.

Yet this was in the U.S., and however uncomfortable those two days were, we had confidence. The lights would come on again, and life would return to what we so casually call, normal.

Much of the world is not like that. Not only is the summer heat stifling in most impoverished regions, but that is the least of the worries of many people. Death is a constant specter, looming darkly just outside the front door at every moment. It may come in the form of disease, crime, or war. Tyrannies deprive people of their freedom and dignity, and smother them in constant fear, anxiety and frustration. For those people, there is no promise that tomorrow the lights will come on. The illumination of candles is very far away indeed.

In watching the news about ISIS, one is reminded of the rampaging hordes of barbarians that throughout history periodically swept across Europe, orphaning large portions of the population, leaving ruin and desolation in their wake. Vikings, Huns and Mongols, to mention only a few, devastated what are today gleaming cities and centers of culture, but which in those times were wooden villages where farmers struggled daily to eke out a living from the dirt.

Today, we witness the same thing happening in the Middle East. Unlike in days of yore, the tragedies are painfully visible to anyone who cares to watch the news on television or the internet.

Shockingly, many do not. They live in their tiny little world of physical pleasures, absorbed in sports, entertainment and the night life.

One wonders. What will those people think when terror comes into their own neighborhoods? Yes, we do have high crime areas, but those are due more to ignorance than to foreign invaders. The uneducated in America suffer not from a lack of schools and libraries, but from a cultural disease that values physical pleasure more than the dignity of work.

September 11, 2001 woke us up for a day.

The Boston bombing disturbed our slumber on another morning.

Now and then, we are shaken, roused from our sleep by events …Then we get back to what we call “normal.”

Fear normal, because normal may anesthetize us … and the result is mass slaughter.

To paraphrase British Foriegn Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, August 3,1914 on the eve of World War I: when the candles are snuffed out again, they might not be relit in our lifetime. It’s not paranoia when they really and truly do plan to kill you.

I visualize an entire American city incinerated, while the adjacent city carries on, oblivious in the candlelight that it is next on the list.

Forget global warming, it is global madness that will do us in.


I Won’t Say I Told You So (But I Did)

by Robert Arvay, Contributing Writer

Actually, I’ve said it several times. Here was the most recent: Seven Days in September – Will They Finally Do It?

In an email that I recently sent to friends and colleagues, I asked: Did I predict this?

I was watching Fox News and they were commenting on how unusual it is for
military generals to openly question administration policy.

Yet, some generals have been increasingly doing just that, openly expressing concerns.

This may amount to little or nothing, but in my view, there must be serious worries among high officials about the danger into which Obama is putting the nation.

The “rebellion of the generals,” as one commentator put it, may snowball or not, we shall see. [End of quote]

There may not yet be open rebellion, but the storm clouds are surely gathering. The Conservative Tribune website lists eight generals who have recently and publicly spoken out, in varying degrees, objecting to Barack Obama’s policies.

Retired officers:
Major General Bentley Rayburn (US Air Force)
Brigadier General Charles Jones (US Air Force)
General Jack Keane (US Army)
Lieutenant General William G. “Jerry” Boykin (US Army)
General Patrick Henry Brady (US Army)
Major General Paul E. Vallely (US Army)

Active duty officers:
General and US Southern Command Commander John Kelly (US Marine Corps)
General James Amos (US Marine Corps)

Military officers, especially those still on active duty, take serious risks to their careers whenever they speak out in public in any way that is not in agreement with the president who is, after all, their Commander in Chief. Even retired officers can be recalled to active duty and court-martialed – a little-known fact. For these men, the risks are high, and the penalties can be severe.

It is, therefore, more than a minor news item when such officers reveal their dismay at presidential decisions.

Under normal conditions I would agree that officers should either keep quiet or resign, but these are not normal conditions. A military man’s first loyalty is not to the president, but to the Constitution, and that loyalty may require an officer to speak up.

As it turns out, these generals may have done Barack Obama a favor, and the nation as well. Today, Obama gave a masterful speech (doesn’t he always?) at the United Nations, condemning terrorism in no uncertain terms, and calling for the active eradication of it at all levels, including military, financial and cultural.

While Obama is no General Patton, and while he did allow some leftist sentiment in among his words, the influence of the generals was, in my fallible opinion, clear and distinct. At least, he is no longer calling for understanding what America did wrong to incite the nice terrorists to behave so rudely (oh my, am I being sarcastic?).

Nor is Obama a General Douglas MacArthur, who told us, quite accurately, that when it comes to war, “There is no substitute for victory.”

MacArthur was objecting to the policy of containing communism instead of defeating it. He also made other pronouncements objecting to the policies of President Harry Truman.

Truman fired him.

Forged in Faith

by Robert Arvay, Contributing Writer

We can, and should, separate church from state, but we can no more separate faith in God from public policy than we can separate rights from the Constitution.

The inception of the United States of America is rooted in two opposing philosophies. One of them is the Greek tradition of democracy and reason; the other is the Hebrew tradition of faith and discipline. Or, one might ask, are they really opposed?

These two philosophies somehow fused during the years that saw Christianity rise from an obscure cult of Jews into a major world religion. During that time and later, the Greek idea of democracy gradually took ever firmer hold in Europe, which alongside Christianity, began its thousand year journey toward parliamentary democracy.

This unnoticed revolution took hundreds of years to work its way into the psyche of western thinkers. The pinnacle of that revolution was the founding of the United States.

While many secularists deny that America was founded as a Christian nation, the evidence is just too overwhelming to draw any other rational conclusion. Yes, many of the Founders were Deists, not Christians, but all of them were so well versed in the Bible that their writings are saturated with references to the God of Abraham. The Judeo-Christian influence on their thinking was a dominant factor in the formation of our country. Not one of their statements of principle comes from any other major religious tradition.

Despite the fusion of the Greek and Hebrew worldviews, despite their being joined in the formation of the idea that, “all men are created equal, endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights,” despite all that, the two worldviews never quite completed their merger. They remained quietly at odds with each other for centuries during a period of truce.

That truce is over. America is once again separating, philosophically speaking, into two warring factions.

One of them is the familiar Christian faith, along with its Jewish root, the belief in a creator God who intervenes in the lives of individuals and nations, and who reveals to us what is morally right, and what is morally depraved.

The other is the secular worldview, which combines atheism and naturalist-materialism.  This worldview holds that there is no credible evidence of God, and therefore no reason to believe in what it calls the myths of Christianity. That view avers that nature is all that there is, and that nature is composed only of material governed by mathematical rules.

Such worldviews have consequences. One of the consequences of the Christian worldview is that all humans are regarded as specially created by God for a divine purpose, and are therefore to be treasured in their own right, not at the whim of an earthly ruler.

The consequences of secularism are much darker. While one of the tenets of secularism is that, “Man is the measure of all things,” natural-materialism considers humans to be nothing more than a happenstance by-product of natural processes. If we are considered to be nothing more than biological processes, doomed to oblivion in an uncaring universe, then that cannot help but shape social policy, one that instead of being humanist, is inhumane.

That dark effect has not yet reached its nadir, but only because the old moral traditions are still deeply embedded in our culture. They will not disappear overnight, but with time, the Biblical underpinnings of our culture will continue to erode. Legalized abortion is only one visible effect. It has already redefined what it is to be human, defining it downward.  We have seen only the beginning.

As American society turns further away from God, so it will also turn further away from human rights, from liberty and freedom, and toward tyranny.

The monstrous tyrannies of the mid twentieth century serve as dire warnings. Communism and fascism massacred untolled numbers in Europe, and the imperialism of a false god (emperor) murdered millions in Asia . All were based in a world view that considered individual humans to have no sovereignty, no inherent rights of their own. People were deemed to be simply tools of the state, to be sent to their deaths by the millions, in the pursuit of evil purposes.

Faith is not, of course, a political tool. We do not embrace it for political purposes. That, indeed, would be contrary to what faith in God really is.

Instead, faith is embedded in our human nature. Birds fly, fish swim, and humans worship God. We freely choose to accept faith or to reject it. In doing so, we also choose the consequences, which are either humanity or inhumanity.

Faith is not contrary to reason. True, we can no more reason our way to faith than we can count by ones to infinity. In both cases, we get there all at once. Faith gives context to reason. It affirms that our lives have a plan, a purpose and a meaning far beyond merely the biological. Our deeds have eternal consequence.

Apart from faith, nothing makes sense.  Apart from faith, there is no plan, no purpose, no meaning.

Natural materialism strays so far from reason as to even deny that free will exists. Free will makes us into independent, sovereign entities, capable of choosing other than as nature would dictate. Therefore, natural materialism falls apart as soon as it accepts that free will is our nature. Free will cannot be the product of a cold, uncaring universe; it can only be the gift of God creating us in His own image and likeness.

Faith will not destroy reason but uphold it. Faith will not conquer democracy, but give it meaning.

There should be no war between reason and faith, but those who have rejected faith are drawing the battle lines. History is about to repeat itself, but the future is ours.

Nature of the Beast

by Robert Arvay, Contributing Writer

In order to better understand the nature of Barack Obama, let us turn to history.

Alexei Petrovich Romanov (1690 -1718) was the son of Peter the Great, czar of Russia. Alexei was supposed to inherit the throne, someday, and his father spent great effort in grooming him for the job. Alas, Alexei was not the stuff of which kings are made. He had neither the interest nor the stamina to lead the army, nor even to oversee the Russian navy’s construction projects. His true interests lay more in poetry than in political pogroms, and more in art than in artillery.

Fearing his father, and with good reason, Alexei ran away to Vienna, and while there, reportedly attempted to persuade the Austrian emperor, Charles VI, to wage war against Peter, with Alexei leading the charge. The emperor might possibly have been persuaded, but his advisors intervened, saying something to the effect, just look at him. He is a delicate, spoiled child of privilege. He does not have it in his nature to lead an army, neither to rule a nation were he to succeed in usurping his father’s throne.

Alexei’s final, fatal mistake was to trust his father, who promised that all would be forgiven if Alexei returned to Moscow. He did. He wasn’t.

Peter the Great tortured Alexei, and also everyone connected with him, including Alexei’s mother, to learn every detail of Alexei’s alleged plot to overthrow Peter. Suffering protracted and unspeakable torment, Alexei finally died in the dungeon.

What does this have to do with today? Just this:

Expecting Barack Obama to wage war against terrorists is like asking a rabbit to kill a lion. As the counselors advised Charles VI concerning Alexei, Obama does not have it in his nature to lead an army, neither to govern a republic. Even were he to be given total power, it would not last. Obama is a speechmaker, not a leader. He is an academic, not a strategist. His effeminate mannerisms are not those of a warrior. They are in his case, a vital signal to be overlooked at our peril.

Obama’s worldview is as surreal as Salvador Dali’s art. He has swallowed hook, line and sinker the suppositions of his radical leftist associates and professors from college onward. He is the Ward Churchill of the Democrat Party. The consequences have proved brutal and devastating.

Obama sees the United States as an inherently unjust nation, based on an inherently unjust Constitution which, as he described it, protects people from government instead of mandating what it is that government must be required to do for the people. This, Obama declares, is where the Founders “got it wrong.”

Obama is willing to kill terrorists, but only if he can do so without political risk, from the golf course. When successful, he struts boldly and claims credit, but when he fails, he whines and blames others.

Like Alexei who astonishingly trusted his treacherous father, Obama astonishingly believes that America’s foreign enemies can be persuaded to abandon their vicious ideology and instead, “listen to reason.” The problem with that is that he is willing to place an entire nation at the merciless mercy of murderous thugs.

Obama could never have been elected by an informed people. Many of those previously uninformed people are just now beginning to understand that. The election of America’s first black president seemed to them such a noble and lofty goal that they thought nothing could go wrong. Everything did.

We are Alexei.

Income Inequality

by Robert Arvay, Contributing Writer

I filed a lawsuit today to remedy income inequality.

I told the judge that since my neighbor has more money than I do, that I asked him for some of his, but he refused to give it to me.

He said that he worked hard for his money and saved it, whereas I am lazy and I spend every penny I get as soon as I get it.

He also said that he got himself educated and trained for employment, whereas I spent all my time on parties and complaining.

So what, I said to the judge. None of that excuses the injustice of income inequality. Why should I have less than he has? I deserve more.

Besides, the things he said about me injured my self esteem. I should get something for that, too.

But the judge ruled against me, and he had the audacity to say that if I wanted more money, I should earn it.

What was worse, my other neighbor sued me, because he has less than I have, and he wants some of mine. Why should I give him anything? What did he ever do for me?

I’m so angry about all this that I’m thinking of rioting and burning down my house.

How my son Mike came to recognize the wickedness in Washington

by Don Hank

A few years ago my son, a child of divorce, remarked to me that he was thinking about joining the military. I worried about him doing that not because I am unpatriotic but because years ago I recognized that the US government had for many years been risking young American lives for questionable causes to say the least, and worse, since Clinton, our military misadventures had pointedly redounded to the persecution and murder of Christians and to the burning of countless churches in the Muslim world. I began to have the sneaking suspicion that this was not an accident.

As I read report after report on how Washington had given this or that group guns and materiel which later were used against us and against minorities in their countries, I became so impacted by this phenomenon of American officials’ complicity with the murder of good and innocent people that I began warning about it at my blog. That was several years ago.

Here are some examples:

I don’t flatter myself to imagine that I was the first to notice this, but I can assure you it was almost a full year after I posted my first blog on this topic that another author and then another and another ventured to mirror my thinking in writing. I can also tell you that web sites that had once posted most or all of my material started passing on this kind of article.
It seems that conservatives, too, have their own political correctness. I can’t help but think it is hypocritical of them to criticize the MSM for spiking stories and ignoring facts when they themselves do the same sort of thing, and in ways that are often much more damaging and do more harm than the MSM themselves.

In view of this generalized resistance to this kind of truth, I decided that if I should try to explain this to Mike; he might well react like a typical teenager who thinks his conservative dad is a nut and wind up doing just the opposite of what Dad recommended (I remembered my ‘blockheaded self’ as a boy). So, I decided to leave it up to God to set the stage for discovery. Something told me I would somehow, some day get the golden chance to give him an object lesson. My faith is often weak, but this was something I decided God would definitely do, not so much for me but for Mike, who has a kind heart and is a polite and obedient boy – with all the usual caveats of course. God has His eye on him.

Years passed and when Obama was elected, sensing trouble ahead, my family and I decided to settle in my wife’s home country of Panama. We moved in July of 2009. We asked Mike to join us but he wanted to be with his mom and his buds at home. I respected that. He came to see us every year for a while.

Then about 2 years later, we decided to go back to the US for a visit. We stayed for a month and saw Mike several times a week.

On one occasion we took him to Old Country Buffet in Lancaster, PA, one of our favorites before our move to Panama.

We sat down at a table and our server came to introduce herself. She turned out to be an Egyptian girl I had met years earlier. (Being a foreign language buff, when I meet someone who speaks with an accent under circumstances like that I always try to ask where they are from – trying hard not to appear too giddy or gauche about it – to see if they speak a language I may have learned or studied. So, at that time I had learned she was a Coptic Egyptian and attended a Coptic church in Lancaster County, which I had also attended a few times.)

This particular day she recognized us and we started to chat. I must admit I figured this might be my chance to give Mike a peek behind the wizard’s curtain.

This was during the brief period when the US-backed Islamist Morsi was in power, so I asked her about her family in Egypt. She told us that her husband had traveled back home to visit his parents, but when he got off the plane and was going through customs, they asked him where he was headed and when he mentioned the name of the village, apparently a known Coptic stronghold, he was immediately put on another plane and returned to the US. By the US-backed regime.

I asked her questions designed to elicit the role of the US government in all of this. I said, for example, that it seemed strange to me that the US government would be supporting an anti-Christian regime of this kind. I was being coy. It didn’t seem strange at all to me. By that time, I had already written all or most of those above linked warnings and it would have seemed stranger to me if Washington were in any way helping persecuted Christians anywhere in the world.

She admitted that was strange. I then asked her if she didn’t sometimes have the feeling that the US government is actually using the US military to support anti-Christian regimes in the Middle East. I knew she had to see it.

She quietly nodded yes. I knew it hurt her to have to come to terms with this truth, especially before a group of customers in her restaurant, but hurt is the trigger for revolt and I believe America needs to revolt and people need to hurt and cry often in front of their friends and loved ones before people can be motivated to do what needs to be done. Jefferson said we needed a revolution every generation. We’re 200 years past due. Christians have been busy waiting for the Second Coming since 1776. I guess they didn’t believe Jesus when He said no one knows the day nor the hour. They forget that God uses men to do His work, fighting men like Gideon and Joshua who never once thought about sitting around and waiting for God to do the fighting all by Himself.

After she left, I asked Mike if he still was considering joining the military. He said “no way.”

Kids want to do the right thing. It’s just that they come into a world where good is called evil and evil is called good and they need to meet evil face to face and naked, without its Joker’s smile before they recognize it for what it is.

Mike met it that day, Lord be praised!
I think our Egyptian friend was also able to see it more clearly at that point. I hoped it would stimulate her and her friends and family to talk about their hurt and deep disappointment with the American Dream, not only among themselves but to others.

Recognition – always deeply painful – is the first step in combating evil.

Communicating that recognition to others is the next. They won’t want to hear it. Talk anyway. Let it out. Painful words from a broken heart are more powerful than bullets.

The hour is late and the revolution is pending, but somehow I don’t think God minds waiting just a little more. Until we’re ready. Not a moment sooner. Not a moment later.

We’ll know when the time comes. I know we will. We have a kind heart and are a polite and obedient people – with the usual caveats.

God has His eye on us.