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jody's Journal - Archives
Posted by jody in Economy
Tue Oct 25th 2011, 05:51 PM
Opportunities Exist to Broaden Director Recruitment Efforts and Increase Transparency
Summary

Events surrounding the 2007 financial crisis raised questions about the governance of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks (Reserve Banks), particularly the boards of directors' roles in activities related to supervision and regulation. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act required GAO to review the governance of the Reserve Banks. This report (1) analyzes the level of diversity on the boards of directors and assesses the extent to which the process of identifying possible directors and appointing them results in diversity on the boards, (2) evaluates the effectiveness of policies and practices for identifying and managing conflicts of interest for Reserve Bank directors, and (3) compares Reserve Bank governance practices with the practices of selected organizations.

The Federal Reserve Act requires each Reserve Bank to be governed by a nine-member board--three Class A directors elected by member banks to represent their interests, three Class B directors elected by member banks to represent the public, and three Class C directors that are appointed by the Federal Reserve Board to represent the public. The diversity of Reserve Bank boards was limited from 2006 to 2010. For example, in 2006 minorities accounted for 13 of 108 director positions, and in 2010 they accounted for 15 of 108 director positions. Specifically, in 2010 Reserve Bank directors included 78 white men, 15 white women, 12 minority men, and 3 minority women. According to the Federal Reserve Act, Class B and C directors are to be elected with due but not exclusive consideration to the interests of agriculture, commerce, industry, services, labor, and consumer representation. During this period, labor and consumer groups had less representation than other industries. In 2010, 56 of the 91 directors that responded to GAO's survey had financial markets experience. Reserve Banks generally review the current demographics of their boards and use a combination of personal networking and community outreach efforts to identify potential candidates for directors. Reserve Bank officials said that they generally limit their director search efforts to senior executives. GAO's analysis of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission data found that diversity among senior executives is generally limited. While some Reserve Banks recruit more broadly, GAO recommends that the Federal Reserve Board encourage all Reserve Banks to consider ways to help enhance the economic and demographic diversity of perspectives on the boards, including by broadening their potential candidate pool. The Federal Reserve System mitigates and manages the actual and potential conflicts of interest by, among other things, defining the directors' roles and responsibilities, monitoring adherence to conflict-of-interest policies, and establishing internal controls to identify and manage potential conflicts. Reserve Bank directors are often affiliated with a variety of financial firms, nonprofits, and private and public companies. As the financial services industry evolves, more companies are becoming involved in financial services or interconnected with financial institutions. As a result, directors of all three classes can have ties to the financial sector. While these relationships may not give rise to actual conflicts of interest, they can create the appearance of a conflict as illustrated by the participation of director-affiliated institutions in the Federal Reserve System's emergency programs. To increase transparency, GAO recommends that all Reserve Banks clearly document the directors' role in supervision and regulation activities in their bylaws. One option for addressing directors' conflicts of interest is for the Reserve Bank to request a waiver from the Federal Reserve Board, which, according to officials, is rare. Most Reserve Banks do not have a process for formally requesting such waivers. To strengthen governance practices and increase transparency, GAO recommends that the Reserve Banks develop and document a process for requesting conflict waivers for directors. The Federal Reserve System's governance practices are generally similar to those of selected central banks and comparable institutions such as bank holding companies and have similar selection procedures for directors. However, Reserve Bank governance practices tend to be less transparent than those of these institutions. For instance, comparable organizations make information on their board committees and ethics policies available on their websites; most Reserve banks do not.

Nothing has changed since 1976 as discussed in DU thread “FEDERAL RESERVE DIRECTORS: A STUDY OF CORPORATE AND BANKING INFLUENCE”
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Posted by jody in General Discussion
Sat Feb 19th 2011, 06:36 PM
founders of the Democratic party and authors of the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions would be proud - - or would they?

The brouhaha in Wisconsin has prompted many DU threads but I don’t believe any current threads address the state’s rights and Amendment Ten issue that Jefferson and Madison championed.

World Net Exchange has an editorial “States to become referees of feds' constitutionality” on the topic.
New proposal would let committees review legislation for nullification

Two states have introduced legislative plans that would set up standing commissions whose members would be tasked with reviewing "all existing federal statutes, mandates, and executive orders" to determine their constitutionality, then recommending to lawmakers whether that state should "nullify" any federal law or regulation "that is outside the scope of the powers delegated … to the federal government."

And 28 more states are considering the move. Sometimes there have been inquiries from lawmakers, sometimes the requests for information and help have come from the governors' offices.

Will pro-union right proponents also be state rights proponents?
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Posted by jody in General Discussion
Fri Feb 18th 2011, 04:18 PM
confuses a “natural, inherent, inalienable/unalienable right” with privileges granted by government.

One class of rights are enumerated in our Constitution or, are unenumerated but covered by the Ninth Amendment.

Our Constitution obligates government to protect those rights when exercised by a minority of one against the tyranny of a simple majority vote among elected representatives, a true democracy, or against the power of a rogue president.

SCOTUS says about enumerated rights, “We look to this because it has always been widely understood that the Second Amendment, like the First and Fourth Amendments, codified a pre-existing right. . . . As we said in United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553 (1876), ’{t}his is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.’

The majority and minority in that SCOTUS decision both cited constitutions written before our Constitution and Bill of Rights in which states acknowledged those pre-existing rights and which could not be given away to federal government at any time. See PA (1776) "That all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent and inalienable rights" and VT (1777) "THAT all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent and unalienable rights".

Contrast those rights with privileges granted by government whether by majority vote in congress or an executive order by a president.

Government has the authority to grant privileges under our Constitution by a simple majority vote but it also can use its authority to take away those privileges.

Government may infringe upon but not prohibit, enumerated and unenumerated rights our government is obligated to protect under our Constitution.
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Posted by jody in Justice
Wed Feb 02nd 2011, 06:16 PM
Subject: rapid growth in internet-interstate retail sales with the attendant growth in scams, and retailers using their contacts to ruin a buyer’s credit rating, etc.!

Assuming a state’s small claims court has limited jurisdiction over internet, interstate retail sales, IMO the “general Welfare” of We the People would be protected if our federal judicial system established a venue to resolve small claims that allow citizens to plead their cases without having to hire an attorney.

IMO the filing fee should be no more than $10 and the paperwork to file a civil claim would be limited to no more than one single form. Both criteria intended to make justice affordable and accessible to ALL We the People.

On the other hand such a legal forum with the authority to resolve interstate small civil cases might already exist and some DUer will give me a link to that site.
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Posted by jody in Political Videos
Sun Jan 23rd 2011, 05:12 PM
possible, .e.g. abortion, gays, guns.

RKBA is one such issue and although the law of the land is that law-abiding citizens have the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense, those who would prohibit that unalienable/inalienable right continue to fight to impose their opinion on the majority who support RKBA.

In like fashion, the anti-abortion minority who oppose abortion , like the anti-RKBA minority, continue to fight to impose their opinion on the majority.

IMO the majority of voters support GLBT rights however, the anti-GLBT minority, like the anti-RKBA minority and anti-abortion minority, continue to fight to impose their opinion on the majority.

Interesting question is how can one find a compromise between proponents of the majority and minority opposition represented by anti-RKBA, anti-abortion, and anti-GLBT groups?

It's also interesting to note that some people may be in one or two of those minority anti groups and not in the other.

IMO a true progressive values all natural, inherent, inalienable/unalienable INDIVIUAL rights and does not identify with any of those three "anti" groups.
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Posted by jody in General Discussion
Tue Jan 18th 2011, 05:08 PM
Desiderata

-- written by Max Ehrmann in the 1920s --

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.


If you are as good as you think you are, then listen to others and become better.
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Posted by jody in Guns
Sun Jan 16th 2011, 09:03 AM
that recognized the responsibility of each individual to defend them self and proposed a "sensible gun control" law with a 100% guarantee that government would never use it to disarm law-abiding citizens.

PA (1776) got it right in their first constitution, VT copied Pa's constitution in 1777.

A DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF THE INHABITANTS OF THE COMMONWEALTH OR STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA 28 Sept. 1776
"That all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent and inalienable rights, amongst which are, the enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety."
And
"That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state; and as standing armies in the time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; And that the military should be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power."

PA ratified the BOR on 10 March 1790 and with contemporaneous knowledge of the Second Amendment, PA modified its constitution that took effect on 2 Sept. 1790 to say “The right of the citizens to bear arms in defence of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.”

As an inalienable right it is impossible for PA citizens to give the right of self-defense away when they ratified our Constitution or when they ratified the BOR. PA citizens acknowledged that fact by retaining the right of self-defense in their constitution when they modified it just five months after they ratified the BOR.

Of all the states, Pennsylvania was the first to clearly define the right to defend self, property, and state as a “natural, inherent and inalienable rights”.
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Posted by jody in General Discussion
Sat Jan 15th 2011, 04:05 PM
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-...
A New York man who says a rat bit his penis during a jail stay may sue county officials, a judge has ruled.

Peter Solomon, who said he later had to endure a course of rabies jabs, says jailers knew the ward in which they placed him was infested with rodents.

Interesting because SCOTUS says government is not obligated to protect a law-abiding citizen who is not in government custody as discussed in the DU thread Duty to Protect?
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Posted by jody in Guns
Thu Jan 13th 2011, 07:04 PM
b. “Keep and bear Arms.” We move now from the holder of the right—“the people”—to the substance of the right: “to keep and bear Arms.”

Before addressing the verbs “keep” and “bear,” we interpret their object: “Arms.” The 18th-century meaning is no different from the meaning today. The 1773 edition of Samuel Johnson’s dictionary defined “arms” as “weapons of offence, or armour of defence.” 1 Dictionary of the English Language 107 (4th ed.) (hereinafter Johnson). Timothy Cunningham’s important 1771 legal dictionary defined “arms” as “any thing that a man wears for his defence, or takes into his hands, or useth in wrath to cast at or strike another.” 1 A New and Complete Law Dictionary (1771); see also N. Webster, American Dictionary of the English Language (1828) (reprinted 1989) (hereinafter Webster) (similar).

The term was applied, then as now, to weapons that were not specifically designed for military use and were not employed in a military capacity. For instance, Cunningham’s legal dictionary gave as an example of usage: “Servants and labourers shall use bows and arrows on Sundays, &c. and not bear other arms.” See also, e.g., An Act for the trial of Negroes, 1797 Del. Laws ch. XLIII, §6,
p. 104, in 1 First Laws of the State of Delaware 102, 104

(J. Cushing ed. 1981 (pt. 1)); see generally State v. Duke, 42 Tex. 455, 458 (1874) (citing decisions of state courts construing “arms”). Although one founding-era thesaurus limited “arms” (as opposed to “weapons”) to “instruments of offence generally made use of in war,” even that source stated that all firearms constituted “arms.” 1 J. Trusler, The Distinction Between Words Esteemed Synonymous in the English Language 37 (1794) (emphasis added).

Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivolous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment. We do not interpret constitutional rights that way. Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844, 849 (1997), and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search, e.g., Kyllo v. United States, 533 U. S. 27, 35–36 (2001), the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.

That's the law of the land.
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Posted by jody in Economy
Wed Dec 29th 2010, 12:50 AM
COMMITTEE ON BANKING, CURRENCY AND HOUSING HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 94th Congress. Second Session, August 1976”
http://adabyron.net/FederalReserveDirector...

IMO reform of the FED will be a major issue in the next congress.
FOREWORD
AUGUST 6, 1976.

I transmit herewith a staff study of the corporate, banking and trade association relationships of the directors of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks.

This Committee has observed for many years the influence of private interests over the essentially public responsibilities of the Federal Reserve System.

As the study makes clear, it is difficult to imagine a more narrowly-based board of directors for a public agency than has been gathered together for the twelve banks of the Federal Reserve System.

Only two segments of American society – banking and big business-have any substantial representation on the boards, and often even these become merged through interlocking directorates.


The lack of diversity on the boards raises serious questions about the quality of economic intelligence and opinion which the district banks presumably feed into the Federal Reserve System and its monetary policy machinery. And the heavy links to the banking community raise doubts about the ability of the district boards to view bank and bank holding company regulatory issues with objectivity.

The Commission on Money and Credit raised some significant questions on these points in its 1961 report:
The agency-clientele relationship, between a Government agency and the business concerns it both serves and regulates, is almost always, almost inevitably, close; and the more 80 after it has matured for decades. There are public advantages in this: regulation can be knowledgeable, its inconveniences can be minimized, personal working relationships can be easy. But the hazards of too close a relationship are also well known; conflicts of interest tempt individuals on either side of the public-private line to consult private advantage too far; organized interests among the regulated may first infiltrate and then paralyze their public regulators; even legitimate transactions and contacts risk misconstruction; parties on both aides come to take too parochial a view of the national interest. (Pp. 91-92, emphasis added.)

The potential for conflict of interest has markedly increased since 1961, with the delegation of additional authority to the district Reserve Banks. The 1970 amendments to the Bank Holding Company Act, the Consumer Credit Protection Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and similar consumer statutes, have given important new duties to the Federal Reserve System- responsibilities which serve to highlight the shortcomings of the make-up of the bank boards.

Despite these broadening roles, consumer and labor organizations have no apparent representation anywhere in the system. In fact, many directors of the Federal Reserve district banks are members of the United States Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and local "employers associations" – groups with long histories of opposition to organized labor.

Small farmers are absent. Small business is barely visible. No women appear on the district boards and only six among the branches Systemwide including district and branch boards—only thirteen members from minority groups appear.

The study raises a substantial question about the Federal Reserve's oft-repeated claim of "independence". One might ask, independent from what? Surely not banking or big business, if we are to judge from the massive inter-locks revealed by this analysis of the district boards.

The big business and banking dominance of the Federal Reserve System cited in this report can be traced, in part, to the original Federal Reserve Act, which gave member commercial banks the right to select two-thirds of the directors of each district bank But the Board of Governors in Washington must share the responsibility for this imbalance. They appoint the so-called "public" members of the boards of each district bank, appointments which have largely reflected the same narrow interests of the bank-elected members.

The parochial nature of the boards affects the public interest across a wide area, ranging from monetary policy to bank regulation These are the directors, for example, who initially select the presidents of the 12 district banks—officials who serve on the Federal Open Market Committee, determining the nation's money supply and the level of economic activity. The selection of these public officials, with such broad and essential policymaking powers, should not he in the hands of boards of directors selected and
• The nation would be better served by making the Federal Reserve System truly independent of big business and banking, freed of its built-in conflicts of interest, and more open in its activities For example.
• Voting membership, on the Federal Open Market Committee should be restricted to officers appointed by the President of the United States.
• The three Class A directors, who by law must be bankers, should be prohibited from participating in decisions bearing directly or indirectly on bank or bank holding company regulatory matters.
• The business/agriculture representation on the board, which the Federal Reserve Act assigns to the three Class B directors of each bank, should be broadened to include more small businessmen and family farmers, minority businesses, cooperative enterprises, and community development entities.
• As this Committee proposed in the Federal Reserve Reform Act, which pressed the House in May, 1976, the "public" category (Class C) should be expanded from three to six members and women, minorities, agriculture, conservation, labor, education and consumers should be given specific consideration thus preventing the present over-emphasis on representation by big business and banking.
• The process for nomination and election of the board members should be reformed to lessen domination by trade associations and other narrowly-based groups. Consideration should be given to limiting the role of the commercial banks to the nomination and election of Class A directors, \with all other board members selected by the Presidentially-appointed Board of Governors.
• More information should be made available 1° the Congress and public about the day-to-day activities and decisionmaking of the district banks, including the economic intelligence input to the Board of Governors and the Federal Open Market Committee.

Until we have basic reforms, the Federal Reserve System will be handicapped in carrying out its public responsibilities as an economic stabilization and bank regulatory agency. The System’s mandate is too essential to the nation’s welfare to leave so much of the machinery under the control of narrow private interests. Concentration of economic and financial power in the United States has gone too far. We should celebrate our Bicentennial by reversing the trend away from Thomas Jefferson.

HENRY S. REUSS, Chairman, { Democrat U.S. Representative from Wisconsin}
Banking, Currency and Housing Committee
Of the U.S. House of Representatives


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Posted by jody in Guns
Thu Jul 29th 2010, 08:20 PM
disciplining, the Militia". Given that authority it is nonsense to assert as you do that the Second Amendment talks about militias.

Congress has not done its duty to organize, arm, and discipline the "unorganized militia" and it should do so immediately. See 10 USC 311 for militia.

California law says:

“The militia of the State consists of all able-bodied male citizens and all other able-bodied males who have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, who are between the ages of eighteen and forty-five, and who are residents of the State, and of such other persons as may upon their own application be enlisted or commissioned therein pursuant to the provisions of this division, subject, however, to such exemptions as now exist or may be hereafter created by the laws of the United States or of this State.”

And

“The unorganized militia consists of all persons liable to service in the militia, but not members of the National Guard, the State Military Reserve, or the Naval Militia.”

I’m familiar with the population of Riverside California and I know it’s “unorganized militia” is not organized, armed, and disciplined.

You keep bringing up the militia so why don't you educate yourself and become an activist lobbying congress to do its duty under our Constitution?
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Posted by jody in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Jul 14th 2010, 12:53 PM
a way of retaining to themselves some of the things an individual possesses in a state of nature.

History records before the 15th century or there-about people were mere subjects to whoever had the power to enslave others. Add to that a religious group that could prey upon the ignorance and fear of subjects and anoint kings and we had only privileges granted through the divine right of kings.

Science finally broke the iron grip of the church-king relationship and philosophers began to question privately and then openly whether subjects really had to beg privileges from the king-church duo or whether each individual had rights that were natural, inherent, inalienable/unalienable as PA (1776) and VT (1777) stated in their constitutions.

Obviously PA and VT were influenced by Jefferson who wrote "they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights" although someone either John Adams or Ben Franklin, replaced "inalienable" with the word "unalienable" that we read today in the Declaration of Independence.

Back to your question.

We the People threw off the tyranny of kings and churches and declared ourselves free.

We then loaned or granted some but not all our authority to a central government but declared some things off limit to that government. Those things we recognize today as inalienable rights like freedom of speech, press, assembly etc.

I've read enough of the history preceding our Declaration of Independence and Constitution to believe your question can be answered only one of two ways.

One inalienable rights are granted by some divine entity but I haven't been able to find a link to his/her/its website to check out that source.

Two a right is inalienable because a group of sovereign people say it's an inalienable right to tell government that its off limits.

Of course there do emerge conflicts between an individual exercising an inalienable right and society which might benefit if that right is infringed upon.

My field is science and math so I bow to an authority in philosophy et al who have a different view.

ON EDIT ADD:Some time ago I posted on this topic at http://www.democraticunderground.com/discu...
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Posted by jody in Editorials & Other Articles
Tue Jul 13th 2010, 11:26 AM
wanted to control our legislative branch for example, they could finance the campaigns of senators in the smallest 25 states, with less than 20% of our population, from which 50 senators theoretically could be elected by a simple majority or less than 10% of our population.

Those senators could control our legislative process and that could be done under the radar if they represented Democratic and Republican parties on the surface for bipartisan support of laws that would favor the agenda of for example corporatists.

Of course that's really far out and could never happen in full view of We the People.
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Posted by jody in Guns
Sat Jul 10th 2010, 09:41 AM
§ 921. Definitions
(a) As used in this chapter—

* * * * * * * * * * * *

(20) The term “crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year” does not include—

(A) any Federal or State offenses pertaining to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, restraints of trade, or other similar offenses relating to the regulation of business practices, or

(B) any State offense classified by the laws of the State as a misdemeanor and punishable by a term of imprisonment of two years or less.

What constitutes a conviction of such a crime shall be determined in accordance with the law of the jurisdiction in which the proceedings were held. Any conviction which has been expunged, or set aside or for which a person has been pardoned or has had civil rights restored shall not be considered a conviction for purposes of this chapter, unless such pardon, expungement, or restoration of civil rights expressly provides that the person may not ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms.
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