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   Now in our tenth calendar year!
   PCR #477 (Vol. 10, No. 20). This edition is for the week of May 11--17, 2009.

"Angels and Demons"  by Mike Smith
Forgotten Horrors: Blood Massacre  by ED Tucker
Summer Blockbusters of 1989  by Chris Woods
Angels And Demons And Freemasons, Oh My! .... The Chrysler Conspiracy? .... Enemy Of The State .... Revisiting The Air Force One Fly Over .... Defining The Enemy .... Greed Returns .... ....  by Brandon Jones
This Wont End Well, Brett .... Nfl Wants 2 Games In London .... Tampa Gets A New Team .... Josh Freeman Will Sit This Year .... Excuse Me While I Choke, Again .... Nfl Live’s Hall-of-fame Coaches .... Clemens Speaks .... Phelps Is A Stud!  by Chris Munger
Reunited And It Sounds So Good! .... Creepy And Kooky .... Still Unsinkable .... #18??? .... Passing On .... .... .... .... My Favorite Films, Part 2...  by Mike Smith
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State of the Nation

Angels and Demons and Freemasons, Oh My!
Ron Howard’s “Angel and Demons” brings the Dan Brown novel to the big screen this week and expect religious backlash similar to the outrage over “Da Vinci Code.” More interesting will be the debates over the “Illuminati” that will bubble to the surface.

The story opens with the death of a physicist who is branded with the Illuminati symbol and the story follows Robert Langdon, an expert on symbols and the Illuminati. The “Path of Illumination” that Langdon follows in the film will take the audience through Rome and into the Vatican peeling back layers of hidden symbols.

Curiosity into the Illuminati seems bigger now than ever as with a huge cult following of devoted websites that can consume hours upon hours consuming information. Brown’s legacy may be popularizing the Knights of the Templar, the Jesus scroll, the Priory of Sion, Opus Dei, and the Papal Conclave. People love the possible cover-ups especially those political and religious in foundation.

Baby Boomers had the Kennedy assassination and that fraudulent moonwalk and we now have the 9/11 inside job and the questionable citizenship of the President.

Dan Brown’s next novel is due September 19th, “The Lost Symbol”, rumored to deal with the Solomon’s key and the Freemasons. In the meantime, the conspiracy theorists will discuss FEMA camps, the Mayan calendar and the Dajjal system.

The Chrysler Conspiracy?
Look no further than the Chrysler bankruptcy to see the futility in salvaging failed business in our free market system. There’s no point to putting down mattresses and pads to cushion the blow from the automotive collapse, it was going to happen anyway – we just threw away $8.5 billion in the process. The jobs are or will be lost as plants and dealerships close.

The “New” Chrysler will have the UAW, the retiree health fund in particularly, as the controlling interest (55%) and one board appointee. Fiat will have somewhere between 20-35%, US government would have a minimum of 8% (but will get four board nominees) and the Canadian interests will be around 2%. The banks held $6.9 billion in secured debt will be offered a $2.25b payout with out any interests going forward.

So, basically if things go well, special note – IF, then the government brokered a deal for the Italian automaker to buy one of the big three, for absolutely no cash. Fiat isn’t in the greatest financial state posting a 44% percent revenue drop in 2008 (5.1 billion) and sought a government bailout themselves.

“New” Chrysler will also get two additional loans to the government-Italian automaker: $8 billion in total with only $3.3 billion secured by a lien against assets. So, we get NOTHING for the money already shelled out AND we get to give them more cash.

Cerberus, who controlled 81% of Chrysler, is essentially walking away with nothing, NADA. The taxpayers bought 8% for 4.3B (and $8B more to come) and the UAW got 55% for 6B. Canada’s stake is 2% (and board nominee) for 1.4B with the “New” Chrysler commitment to keep 20% of production in Canada. Seems, the taxpayer got a really raw deal, obliging Canada while cutting jobs here and handing this over to the UAW to run with government involved.

The White House has denied rumors of their “strong arm tactics” and “threats” towards creditors, Perella Weinberg Partners, but surely the administration has to understand the skepticism.

The original owners walk away with nothing, the union and the government will now run one of the big three automakers in the world and billions upon billions are still being lost. Meanwhile Fiat, who is also in financial ruins, maneuvers to take ownership entitling them to further bailout assistance.

There have banks attempting to repay TARP funds, but the government turns them away. Memos released confirm that some banks were strong armed into the TARP deal. We see the taxpayers fund the transition of Chrysler to the UAW, the government and a bankrupt foreign automaker. Extortion, ignorance, greed or power --- the reason doesn’t matter, but expect more to come.

This is Fiat’s move to survive and it marks the certain demise of Mopar, Chrysler in Nascar and possibly Dodge. In certainly the beginning of losing more US production and jobs to a foreign enterprise and GM will be next.

GM is operating with $16.5B of our money yet the plants will be cutting over 2,500 of its dealerships (about 40%) faster than originally proposed – upwards of 180,000 new unemployed workers.

My prediction is GM will file bankruptcy and the deals are already being written in a similar fashion.

Enemy of the State
Robert Rubin, the former Secretary of the Treasury, received over $125 million in cash and stock options over eight years with Citigroup.

In 1997, together with Alan Greenspan, Rubin strongly opposed the regulation of derivatives. Overexposure to credit derivatives of mortgage-backed securities was a key reason for the failure of US financial institutions Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, American International Group, and Washington Mutual in 2008. Rubin and Greenspan worked hand-in-hand to ensure the derivatives market was deregulated.1

Rubin’s legacy at Citigroup is now tarnished by insider trading allegations2 and accusations that he was essentially running a Ponzi scheme that cost taxpayers about $300 billion.

I’ll let conspiracy theorists connect the dots between the Rubin founded Hamilton Project, “shadow banking”, and several members leaving for posts in the current administration.

Rubin is not only absent from jail time, pending indictments, but is frighteningly still active in the banking sector. So, no matter

1 http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/09/business/economy/09greenspan.html?pagewanted=3&_r=1
2 http://blownmortgage.com/2009/01/21/robert-rubin-insider-trading/

Revisiting the Air Force One Fly over
Last week I mentioned the Air Force fly over “photo shoot” in New York City that scared citizens. The price tag is reported to be $328,835 for the stunt and the FAA knew the photo op would cause panic.1

Louis Caldera, Director of the White House Military Office, approved the photo shoot and has now resigned (May 8th). The photos were first being withheld but now are being released one at a time.

Was it worth it? It seems like a silly stunt to tarnish the administration, waste a ton of money and cause unnecessary panic in New York.

1 http://www.newsroomamerica.com/politics/story.php?id=452421

Defining the Enemy
CNN’s Nic Robertson sits down with a Taliban leader, Zabiullah Mujahid. While it’s important to note the animosity towards Osama bin Laden, they share an affinity for a violent means to an end. The interviewee makes comparisons to Vietnam, warns the President that no number of troops will ever be enough, makes direct threats to the upcoming Afghanistan elections, and brags of informers on US bases.


Greed Returns
Hollywood’s recycling continues as Oliver Stone and Michael Douglas will bring Gordon Gecko back in a sequel. Shia LaBeouf is in talks to co-star as a young trader.

From Douglas: “I think it's time to take another hard look at trading and the economy and what went wrong in the last few years.”

It sure is, it’s just a shame that it’s coming from Hollywood and not Washington.

Quote of the Week
Government is not reason, it is not eloquence –- it is force! Like fire, it is a troublesome servant and fearful master. –- George Washington

"State of the Nation" is ©2009 by Brandon Jones.   All graphics this page, except where otherwise noted, are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2009 by Nolan B. Canova.