And more importantly, why should I care? When the leaders of the free world (in many different disciplines)come together to discuss and attempt to solve the world’s problems outside the view of an independent press, we should all be concerned. Transparency is important. If nothing dangerous is being discussed, why the privacy, army of secret service and security agents, and the total media blackout? After all, hasn’t it been suggested that honest citizens who have nothing to hide should readily agree to searches at airports, in their homes, and on-line?
So if we are expected to be under surveillance 24/7, why not the ruling elite/overlords?
From the Bildeberg Website:
Approximately 145 participants will attend of whom about two-thirds come from Europe and the balance from North America and other countries. About one-third is from government and politics, and two-thirds are from finance, industry, labor, education, and communications. The meeting is private in order to encourage frank and open discussion.Bilderberg takes its name from the hotel in Holland, where the first meeting took place in May 1954. That pioneering meeting grew out of the concern expressed by leading citizens on both sides of the Atlantic that Western Europe and North America were not working together as closely as they should on common problems of critical importance. It was felt that regular, off-the-record discussions would help create a better understanding of the complex forces and major trends affecting Western nations in the difficult post-war period.
The Cold War has now ended. But in practically all respects there are more, not fewer, common problems – from trade to jobs, from monetary policy to investment, from ecological challenges to the task of promoting international security. It is hard to think of any major issue in either Europe or North America whose unilateral solution would not have repercussions for the other.
Thus the concept of a European-American forum has not been overtaken by time. The dialogue between these two regions is still – even increasingly – critical.What is unique about Bilderberg as a forum is the broad cross-section of leading citizens that are assembled for nearly three days of informal and off-the-record discussion about topics of current concern especially in the fields of foreign affairs and the international economy; the strong feeling among participants that in view of the differing attitudes and experiences of the Western nations, there remains a clear need to further develop an understanding in which these concerns can be accommodated; the privacy of the meetings, which has no purpose other than to allow participants to speak their minds openly and freely.
In short, Bilderberg is a small, flexible, informal and off-the-record international forum in which different viewpoints can be expressed and mutual understanding enhanced.Bilderberg’s only activity is its annual Conference. At the meetings, no resolutions are proposed, no votes taken, and no policy statements issued. Since 1954, fifty-nine conferences have been held. The names of the participants are made available to the press. Participants are chosen for their experience, their knowledge, and their standing; all participants attend Bilderberg in a private and not an official capacity.For further information refer to www.bilderbergmeetings.org. A list of participants is attached.31 May 2012
The Logan Act
The Logan Act is a United States federal law that forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments. It was passed in 1799 and last amended in 1994. Violation of the Logan Act is a felony, punishable under federal law with imprisonment of up to three years.
The text of the Act is broad and is addressed at any attempt of a US citizen to conduct foreign relations without authority.
Passed under the administration of President John Adams, during tension between the U.S. and France, it was informally named for Dr. George Logan of Pennsylvania, a state legislator (and later US Senator) and pacifist who in 1798 engaged in semi-negotiations with France during the Quasi-War.
Kevin Kearney, writing in the Emory Law Journal, described Dr. Logan’s activities in France:
Upon his arrival in Paris, he met with various French officials, including Talleyrand. During these meetings, he identified himself as a private citizen, discussed matters of general interest to the French, and told his audience that anti-French sentiment was prevalent in the United States. Logan’s conversation with Merlin de Douai, who occupied the highest political office in the French republic, was typical. Logan stated that he did not intend to explain the American government’s position, nor to criticize that of France. Instead, he suggested ways in which France could improve relations with the United States, to the benefit of both countries. He also told Merlin that pro-British propagandists in the United States were portraying the French as corrupt and anxious for war, and were stating that any friend of French principles necessarily was an enemy of the United States. Within days of Logan’s last meeting, the French took steps to relieve the tensions between the two nations; they lifted the trade embargo then in place, and released American seamen held captive in French jails. Even so, it seems that Logan’s actions were not the primary cause of the Directory’s actions; instead, Logan had merely provided convenient timing for the implementation of a decision that had already been made.
Despite the apparent success of Logan’s mission, his activities aroused the opposition of the Federalist Party in Congress, who were resentful of the praise showered on Logan by oppositional Democratic-Republican newspapers. Secretary of State Timothy Pickering, also of Pennsylvania, responded by suggesting that Congress “act to curb the temerity and impudence of individuals affecting to interfere in public affairs between France and the United States.” The result was the Logan Act, which was pushed through by the Federalist majority (60-46 in the House; and 22-10 in the Senate) with relatively little debate.
Subsequently, Logan himself was appointed and then elected as a Democratic-Republican to the United States Senate from Pennsylvania to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John Peter G. Muhlenberg and served from July 13, 1801, to March 3, 1807. He was unsuccessful in getting the Logan Act repealed. Logan declined to be a candidate for reelection. Nonetheless, despite the Logan Act, he went to England in 1810 on a private diplomatic mission as an emissary of peace in the period before the outbreak of the War of 1812, but was not successful.
 Text of the Logan Act
- § 953. Private correspondence with foreign governments.
- Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
- This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply himself, or his agent, to any foreign government, or the agents thereof, for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.
1 Stat. 613, January 30, 1799, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 953 (2004).
 Government action under the Act
In general, the Act is intended to prohibit American citizens without authority from interfering in relations between the United States and foreign governments. Although attempts have been made to repeal the Act, it remains law and at least a potential sanction to be used against anyone who without authority interferes in the foreign relations of the United States.
Washington has threatened to use the act to stop Americans from negotiating with foreign governments. For example, in February 1941 Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles told the press that former President Herbert Hoover might be a target for prosecution because of his negotiations with European nations over sending food relief.
The only known indictment under the Logan Act was one that occurred in 1803 when a grand jury indicted Francis Flournoy, a Kentucky farmer, who had written an article in the Frankfort Guardian of Freedom under the pen name of “A Western American.” In the article, Flournoy advocated a separate nation in the western part of the United States that would ally with France. The United States Attorney for Kentucky, an Adams appointee and brother-in-law of Chief Justice John Marshall, went no further than procuring the indictment of Flournoy. The purchase of the Louisiana Territory later that year appeared to cause the separatism issue to become moot.
In the only other known case, US citizen John D. Martin, a prisoner of war in North Korea, was brought before a court-martial for collaborating with North Korean authorities and conducting “re-education” classes in the prison camp where he was held. The case was dismissed because the court-martial had no jurisdiction over acts he committed after the expiration of his enlistment.
In 1975, Senators John Sparkman and George McGovern were accused of violating the Logan Act when they traveled to Cuba and met with officials there. In considering that case, the U.S. Department of State concluded:
The clear intent of this provision [Logan Act] is to prohibit unauthorized persons from intervening in disputes between the United States and foreign governments. Nothing in section 953 [Logan Act], however, would appear to restrict members of the Congress from engaging in discussions with foreign officials in pursuance of their legislative duties under the Constitution. In the case of Senators McGovern and Sparkman the executive branch, although it did not in any way encourage the Senators to go to Cuba , was fully informed of the nature and purpose of their visit, and had validated their passports for travel to that country. Senator McGovern’s report of his discussions with Cuban officials states: “I made it clear that I had no authority to negotiate on behalf of the United States — that I had come to listen and learn….” (Cuban Realities: May 1975, 94th Cong., 1st Sess., August 1975). Senator Sparkman’s contacts with Cuban officials were conducted on a similar basis. The specific issues raised by the Senators (e.g., the Southern Airways case; Luis Tiant’s desire to have his parents visit the United States) would, in any event, appear to fall within the second paragraph of Section 953. Accordingly, the Department does not consider the activities of Senators Sparkman and McGovern to be inconsistent with the stipulations of Section 953.
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan stated that the activities of the Reverend Jesse Jackson, who had traveled to Cuba and Nicaragua that year and had returned with several Cuban political prisoners seeking asylum in the United States, may have violated the Logan Act; but Jackson was never indicted.
In 1987 and 1988, President Reagan was furious at what he felt to be House Speaker Jim Wright‘s “intrusion” into the negotiations between Nicaragua‘s Sandinista government and the Contras for a cease-fire in the long civil war. The National Security Council considered using the Logan Act to muzzle Wright, but nothing ever came of it.
 Constitutionality of the Act
There has been little judicial discussion of the constitutionality of the Logan Act.
In United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp. (1936), however, Justice Sutherland wrote in the majority opinion: “[T]he President alone has the power to speak or listen as a representative of the nation. He makes treaties with the advice and consent of the Senate; but he alone negotiates. Into the field of negotiation the Senate cannot intrude, and Congress itself is powerless to invade it.” Sutherland also notes in his opinion the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations report to the Senate of February 15, 1816:
The President is the constitutional representative of the United States with regard to foreign nations. He manages our concerns with foreign nations, and must necessarily be most competent to determine when, how, and upon what subjects negotiation may be urged with the greatest prospect of success. For his conduct, he is responsible to the Constitution.
The Southern District of New York in Waldron v. British Petroleum Co., 231 F. Supp. 72 (S.D.N.Y. 1964), mentioned in passing that the Act was likely unconstitutional due to the vagueness of the terms “defeat” and “measures,” but did not rule on the question.
In a memorandum dated September 29, 2006, and entitled “MEMORANDUM FOR ALL MEMBERS AND OFFICERS, from the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct of the United States House of Representatives, regarding the subject of “Post-Employment and Related Restrictions for Members and Officers,” members of the House who were leaving office were cautioned regarding activities that may implicate the Logan Act: ‘Members should further be aware of a permanent federal statutory restriction that prohibits any U.S. citizen acting without authority of the United States from: “Directly or indirectly commencing or carrying on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government, or any officer or agent thereof, with the intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States.’”
The House memo goes on to state that the Logan Act “has never been the basis of a prosecution, and this Committee has publicly questioned its constitutionality. House Comm. on Standards of Official Conduct, Manual of Offenses and Procedures, Korean Influence Investigation, 95th Cong., 1st Sess. 18-19 (Comm. Print 1977). Members should be aware, however, that the law remains on the books.”
 Proposed congressional actions
The chair of the House Judiciary Committee in the 109th Congress, F. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, proposed a comprehensive revision and modernization of the federal criminal code in 2006. The bill, H.R. 6253, was not enacted into law. What is noteworthy is that the Logan Act was significantly revamped in the proposed legislation to prohibit only knowingly false statements made under oath. The section revising the Logan Act was proposed to read as follows:
Sec. 923. False statements influencing foreign government — Whoever, in relation to any dispute or controversy between a foreign government and the United States, knowingly makes any untrue statement, either orally or in writing, under oath before any person authorized and empowered to administer oaths, which the affiant has knowledge or reason to believe will, or may be used to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government, or of any officer or agent of any foreign government, to the injury of the United States, or with a view or intent to influence any measure of or action by the United States or any department or agency thereof, to the injury of the United States, shall be imprisoned not more than ten years.
In June 2007, Representative Steve King introduced legislation that would prohibit then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi from drawing on Federal funds to travel to foreign states which the U.S. deems to sponsor terrorism. King claimed that Pelosi’s dialogue with the Syrian government violated the Logan Act. The amendment was not adopted.
18 USC § 953 – Private correspondence with foreign governments
I REALLY want to hear what you have to say on the topic. I find this topic and people’s perspectives on it fascinating.
Today’s episode is a rant on HOSPITALITY and the worst birthday party I ever attended.
To take it out more generally, when prepping, make sure if you’re counting on people to show up that you actually have supplies for them and graciously extend the supplies to them…you PUSH food and drink on guests.
I’m pretty hacked off about this and want to know if this has ever happened to you. I really want some feedback on hospitality.
In brief, here’s the scene:
Mom leaves a two and 1/2 hour party for an hour and a half.
Elderly people are invited and they’re sitting in the sun without even a drink offered to them.
No goody bags
What a horrible, classless party.
The rule of hospitality is you give food and drink to guests. Especially drinks to elderly people who are sitting in the Nevada sun when it’s 100 degrees. The Greeks made this golden rule of hospitality MANDATORY…because someday you may be on the road and you’d want hospitality extended to you.
Categories: Uncategorized Tags: do-it-yourself, Gambling problems, gardening, glass block installation, hobbies, home renovation, homesteading, horticulture, investing, investment, organization, painting, retirement, saving, self-reliance, survival
The difference between a home and a homestead
- A little background on me
- Plant fruit trees suitable to your area ASAP
- The longer you wait to start, the longer the wait for food
- Make your home work for you and start paying you back
- Get a 3-ring binder
- Place plastic sleeve/folders in it
- Save all receipts, owner’s manuals, warranties, and house-related documents in one place
- The system places all important house-related documents in one easy-to-find place
This article came up in my interview this past week. I wanted to make it readily available to those of you who were interested.
How to be a “bad neighbor” and lower neighborhood home values at the same time
Almost every neighborhood has a “bad neighbor” or two. Nearby residents, and especially home owners, roll their eyes, mutter quietly and often say nothing to the offender so as to avoid a blowout with the “problem neighbor”.
If you’re buying a home, or moving into a new neighborhood, you may not know about these bad apples and their nuisances. But sometimes there are clues – things right out in front that are hard to miss. Even where there aren’t any hints of trouble, you can always knock on doors and ask about the area. Problems can be visual, auditory, olfactory or other. Ask – people will talk! A list of things which annoy the neighbors and possibly lower home & property values follows below.
A list of “bad neighbor” behaviors: bad sounds, bad sights, bad smells top the list
- Junky cars and RVs – especially if there are a lot of them!
- Remodeling work that is visible from the street and takes excessively long to complete (more than a few months)
- Gaudy paint colors or decor on your house (some schemes that work on a Victorian don’t work on a ranch style home – neighbors won’t appreciate a bubble-gum pink, turquoise or baby blue ranch style house)
- Regularly leaving garbage cans out too long (more than 24 hours)
- Honking (car horns are for emergency only, not a clue that it’s time to go to school etc.), especially if it’s early in the day
- Frequently parking in front of someone’s house other than your own (a pet peeve for some people)
- Shouting (neighbors don’t want to hear your disputes or have you try to carry on a conversation from 100 feet away)
- Loud parties that go past midnight
- Smoking (if you live in a condo or townhouse and smoke in your yard or front porch, your neighbors will have to smell it – but don’t want to – it’s even worse if it’s pot vs regular tobacco)
- Pods or storage containers that stay in your driveway more than a couple of days
- Frequent garage sales (in many places, twice a year is allowed and beyond that you need a permit)
- Dogs that bark excessively or at all hours of the night
- Loud or smelly pets (could include goats and chickens)
- Neglected yard, especially in front. Grass and weeds that are 12 inches tall or a completely dead yard hurts home values nearby.
- Trees that you should trim, but don’t (and drop leaves, sap or needles on the neighbors’ yards or cause them to fear your tree’s limb breaking and hurting their property)
- Constantly keeping your garage door open, especially if it’s a mess. (Some home owner’s associations even have rules against this.)
- Not picking up after your dog, or allowing your cats or dogs to roam free in the neighborhood (defecating wherever they will)
- Not helping to pay to replace a shared fence when it needs to be done
- Building something too close to the property line, especially if it’s an eyesore
- Using the lawn area as extra parking
This list is not fully comprehensive and I may add to it later, but these are some very common issues. Most neighborhoods have one or more of these issues – it is extremely hard to find an area with no problem neighbors whatsoever. But hopefully you don’t have to rent or buy directly next to one of them!
How much do bad neighbors impact resale value of homes nearby?
If the home for sale is adjacent to a property with an issue, the impact can be huge and can literally drive buyers off. A few months ago I showed a townhouse for sale in Santa Clara. The unit I showed was a nice end unit. While we were arriving to view it, the next door neighbor stepped onto her front porch, with a very yappy dog, and began to smoke. My clients saw the townhouse but ended up eliminating it based on the smoking neighbor with the barking pooch (two strikes!).
A lot of time the impact depends on how pervasive the issue is. Junky cars? Huge problem – they are a constant eyesore. Ditto that for the remodel that takes 10 years to complete. Who wants to look at that every day? The occasional late party – not so much. Garbage cans – annoying but in the greater scheme of things, not so terrible. A yelling, honking neighbor? Big issue.
In a nutshell, if the bad neighbor has multiple negative issues going on, the impact can be huge – perhaps 10% of market value – for homes closest to the offending property. This is even more true if there are several bad homes on the street that are offensive. One’s usually forgivable, but if there are several, buyers will skip the whole street. I see this the most with motor homes and boats parked in driveways out in front of the house. Many home buyers don’t want to live next to a trailer or RV. Some streets have no RVs, some look like an RV storage lot.
What can you do about bad neighbors?
If possible, ideally you (or perhaps whoever is closest to them in the area) have a frank talk with them about the upsetting behavior. Sometimes this can work, but of course, sometimes it backfires too, so use your best judgement. Some people are simply dangerously ill tempered and it may not be possible to reason with them safely, so don’t take any chances. If you have hostile neighbors, and the issue is a code violation or otherwise illegal behavior, you may consider talking to the code compliance department or police non-emergency line of your city, town or county. If you are in a home owner’s association, you can probably mediate through that group. If it’s a small issue, you might want to just leave it be and humor the annoying neighbor. Sometimes peace in the neighborhood is worth more than a well kept yard, a horn-free zone or other ideal conditions.
Merry Christmas and Season’s Greetings to all. Thank you for making this Christmas so special. Your support, just by visiting my website and listening to my podcast, has been INCREDIBLE. I can’t believe how popular the blog/podcast is becoming. Thanks for getting in on the ground floor. Keep spreading the word, and I’ll keep providing you all the free content, tips, and support I can.