Remember when resignation was closely associated with honourable surrender and not just another politically correct way to preserve the illusion of honour and, to a certain extent, respect?

Just as resignation, that above question is rhetorical in nature.

Re·sig·na·tion: sudden urge to spend more time with one’s family, despite perpetually having chosen career over all. This seemingly calculated decision often coincides with one facing trouble or having to take responsibility by answering allegations of serious offences committed, which were or are are about to be brought to light to the public.

“One”, meaning “I”, along with perhaps a considerable amount of Japanese nationals, would trust that Seppuku, and certainly not an official statement delivered to the media and/or board of directors, would reflect the absolute essence of resignation.

In contrast to that essence, most would say that the most memorable resignation in modern western civilization took place on August 9, 1974, as Richard Nixon becomes America’s Greatest Disgraced President.

Moving forward to our recent times, the spectrum of various titles and professions eligible for resignation is no longer reserved for men of state, leaders of nations and military men.

Beloved athletes, risen to god-like status, bare the same pseudo-responsibilities as one who is required to influence a nation of soon-to-be responsible members of our well-balanced society. Along came, and almost went, Lance Edward Armstrong (born Lance Edward Gunderson), whom had won the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times between 1999 and 2005.

resignation-armstrong-thusalways

In 2012, he was disqualified from all his results; thus, stripped from all his titles, since August 1998, for using and distributing performance-enhancing drugs and was banned from professional cycling for life.

Last June, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) charged Lance “serial cheat” Armstrong with having used illicit performance-enhancing drugs, and announced a lifetime ban from competition, which applies in all sports which follow the World Anti Doping Agency code.

Recently, he was set to compete in an US Masters swimming event, but then withdrew, as a result of the International Swimming Federation’s (Fina) pressure.

Re·sig·na·tion…avoiding the complete dissolution of your self-founded corporation/foundation.

From one discipline to another…in November of 2012, David Howell Petraeus, retired American military officer and public official, who also served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), also resigned. Prior to his assuming the directorship of the CIA, Petraeus was a highly decorated four-star general, serving over 37 years in the United States Army.

resignation-patraeus-thusalways

Petraeus began an affair with Paula Broadwell, principal author of his biography in late 2011 , when he was no longer an active duty military officer. Petraeus reportedly ended the affair the following year, when he learned that Broadwell had been sending harassing emails to a longstanding family friend of the Petraeuses, Jill Kelley.

Mission accomplished.

In our modern times, highly decorated military men, resign offer affairs, and perhaps no longer over burying their nations, and others, under an avalanche of their inadequacies.

Re·sig·na·tion…keeping as much truth about Benghazi and the military industrial complex, hidden from civilians.

From military to its twin profession…politics!

Gérald Tremblay, businessman turned disgraced Canadian politician, served as mayor of Montreal for a decade until his resignation. This decision, coerced or not, necessary or not, was followed by allegations of corruption and financing the mafia, made at the Charbonneau Commission of Inquiry on the Awarding and Management of Public Contracts in the Construction Industry.

resignation-tremblay-thusalways

He was accused, at the Commission, by construction industry contractor Lino Zambito. The latter alledged that Tremblay’s party, Union Montreal, received a sum equivalent to 3% of the value of sewerage rehabilitation contracts awarded by the City of Montreal to a mafia-linked cartel.

Following these allegations, amongts others of similar nature, Tremblay announced that he would be taking a few days off. On November 5, 2012, Tremblay announced that he was resigning as mayor, and was leaving politics.

Re·sig·na·tion…bending under perpetual public outrage and furthering Omertà.

Gilles Vaillancourt is a former Canadian politician. He served as the mayor of Laval, Quebec, from June 8, 1989 until November 9, 2012. During this time Vaillancourt was also the leader of the Parti PRO des Lavallois.

resignation-vaillancourt-thusalways

As part of the same Commission, the Awarding and Management of Public Contracts in the Construction Industry and the Permanent Anti-Corruption Unit inquired and searched Vaillancourt’s residence for evidence of corruption.

On November 9, 2012, Vaillancourt resigned as mayor and denied all of the corruption allegations against him as his party dissolved.

Re·sig·na·tion…bending under perpetual public outrage and furthering Omertà…same as above…politicians, all the same n’est-ce pas?

From politics, to its close entity…economy! At this point, the military-politics duo is presenting itself as a full blown triplet set. The indefinite triangular axis of power some might say.

Ben Bernanke, an economist and currently chairman of the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States, since 2002.

Stop the press!

Before you initiate an email with the purpose of addressing my mistake, which will hopefully initiate my erratum, I am require to advise that I am fully aware that Bernanke is still active in his position, allowing the print of devalued currency at its usual healthy pace.

resignation-bernanke-thusalways-1

During his first term as Chairman, the Federal Reserve experienced its largest increase of power since its creation in 1913. Successor to Alan Greenspan, he will most likely step down from his position in January 2014.

He has been attacked for failing to foresee the financial crisis, for bailing out Wall Street, and, most recently, for injecting an additional $600 billion into the banking system to give the slow recovery a boost.

Re·sig·na·tion…stop the prints…a scandal of personal nature is in the works or perhaps even ready to be released at any time.

Who’s next?

– We shall see how this resignation trend will unfold. In these though economic times and omnipresent global conflicts, not only immunity is scarce but also the amount of backs left exposed and unscratched is exponentially increasing.

Where?

– Anywhere the chips may fall and everywhere desks can be cleared. Anywhere and everywhere.

resignation-nixon3-thusalways

“By the time I took my seat in the Gods, the opera was well into its final act”

– Barbara Covett, played by Dame Judi Dench, in Notes on a Scandal (2006)

Re·sig·na·tion …

resignation-nixon-thusalways

… Nostalgia tends to often be best left as such.

Thus Always…

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Election Carnival Season has arrived.

On Mardi Gras (French for “Fat Tuesday”), Christians would eat rich fatty foods before the beginning of Lent season, which begins on Ash Wednesday. Lent is a reminder of one’s religion obligations, mainly penitence. Hence, the reason why traditional Christians refer to Mardis Gras as “Shrove Tuesday”. This period of abstinence lasts 47 days, until Easter Sunday, which represents the Christ’s resurrection.

The agnostics tend to take part of popular practices associated with celebrations, which includes dancing, wearing masks and costumes and participating in parades.

Speaking of celebrations, I still remember 2009 as it was yesterday, when President Barack Obama assumed office. The spirit of the American people resurrected with hope and optimism in dark times as if they were witnessing the second coming of Christ: “Yes, We Can”. Four years passed by and it is a whole new day filled with the same old …

Things got better? Not sure. Things got worse? Not sure either. All we know is that most of us are left feeling torn between sustaining hope in the Obama administration and just giving up on the whole political system. The rest of us might just be in plain old denial; still wearing our now faded and washed out “Obama for President” t-shirt that now reads “bama side”. Yes, as in “by my side”. That’s right, every step of the way, that is where we were: by his side. Lately, I am no longer sure where I now stand.

This dilemma is familiar to believers of any religion as we tend to be torn between our holy scriptures and the actual existence of any divine being. As we wait for the Second Advent of Jesus of Nazareth, which could coincide with the presidential election in the United States, provided that Obama wins, we wear our rosaries around our necks and keep our bibles close by.

We will patiently wait 245 days for Tuesday November 6, 2012, to come around. Obama of Honolulu could rise again. But rise from where? Rise towards where? … Not sure either.

As the idealists debate with the pragmatists, let’s pause for a moment and pay attention to what currently matters. Who will win the primary election on this Super Tuesday?

Super Tuesday has been taking place for almost four decades. It refers to a Tuesday in February or March of a presidential election year, when the greatest number of states hold primary elections to select delegates to national conventions, at which each party’s presidential candidates are officially nominated. These candidates seeking the presidency must do well on this day to secure their party’s nomination.

This year, these republicans; Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, campaign and preach to get as close as they can to the Promise Land.

As election season begins, let’s allow them to put their masks on, and off, before initiating their pseudo penitence, while awaiting their canonization.

While we are left under the impression that we are taking actual sides, voting for one party over another, believing in certain promises and shutting down other ideologies, we fail to remember the essence of belief. There is only one fundamental core, sedentary in Washington, which embodies all: Republican or Democrat; aristocrat or working class, Black or White, Catholic or Protestant … Evil or Good. Same difference.

The Devil is after all considered to be an angel who was condemned to the Lake of Fire after rebelling against God.

How art thou fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down
to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

– Isaiah 14:12 (Holy Bible, King James Version)

“Yes We Can! ”

– Barack Hussein Obama II

Copyright © 2012 Thus Always To Genius. All Rights Reserved.


Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, a former lawyer and KGB (Committee for State Security) agent, has just been re-elected as president of the Russian Federation, for a third non consecutive term.

In 1999, Putin entered the political scene as acting Deputy Prime Minister after Boris Yeltsin’s unexpected resignation. He then transitioned as acting president, which led to his two official presidential terms of eight (8) years, which is the maximum length of time that one can hold such position in Russia. He was then appointed Prime Minister by his successor and long time friend, Dmitry Medvedev.

Four years passes by (that is 1461 days or 4 revolutions) and 2012 finally comes around: “Welcome back Mr. Putin. It feels as if you never left.”

Surprised? … not really …

Glasnost? … not really …

Perestroika? … kind of , in a “full circle” kind of way

* Please note that if you are under the impression that Glasnost and Perestroika might be a Vodka based drink that is popular in Moscow’s trendy bars, I invite you to click on their respective hyperlinks.

But as I now think of it, these would make great names for drinks….

– Waitress, may I please have glass of Glasnost with two shots of Perestroika?

– Listen, Gorbachev is gone and he is not welcomed back.

– … but didn’t he …

– I suggest you leave the establishment.

Okay Bref, back to history. Over two decades might have elapsed since the end of the cold war but the Soviet mind never forgets (as my fictitious waitress demonstrated).

Seems as if “Revolution” is as relevant in today’s Russia as it was back in 1991.

Putin has been clearly expressing his views on his nation’s enemies, especially the Americans. He has made it very clear that he is not interested in the “love / hate” relationship that the United States is offering. Matter of fact, he is not interested in any partnership with them.

He often warns the U.S. against military strike on Iran. He also cautions them against a NATO styled attack on Syria, as it was conducted on Libya.

Although all these omnipresent warnings are addressed to foreigners, he also warns his fellow citizens against potential invasion, such as Napoleon’s of 1812.

From 1812 to 2012, same difference perhaps.

From St. Petersburg, to Petrograd, to Leningrad, to once again St. Petersburg.

From Russian Bribes, to Russian Brides, to Russian Pride, to once again Russian Bribes.

From President, to Prime Minister, to President, same difference perhaps.

The earth’s revolution is completed in 365.25 days. As for Russia’s revolution, the clock is ticking…

Ready when you are Vlad. You might just be historically remembered as one of Russia’s emperors , as the following are:

Alexander I: the Blessed

Alexander II: the Liberator

Alexander III: the Peace-Maker

Alexander IV Vladimir I: the ____________

Well done Sir Czar. But always remember … “Thus Always to Genius” → “Thus Always to Tyrants”.

Copyright © 2012 Thus Always To Genius. All Rights Reserved.

A few weeks ago, I decided to get an early start on my taxes and gathered my documents in order to initiate this excruciating yearly obligation. As I am growing up and maturing, I am starting to not only relate but also to understand why the elders in my life always had such disdain for the taxation system.

It also seems as if the more money one makes, the more money comes out of one’s pockets. However, if you keep it up and continue accumulating wealth to eventually become part of the 1% that runs the world, you will have the luxury of benefiting from all sorts of tax exemptions.

It has come to the point that even the silver spoons have come to realize that they were not subjected to the same sacrifices that us proletarians are subjected to. To add insult to injury, we need to make sure that our books are in order because if we miscalculate, there is no second chance made possible by bailouts.

Warren Buffett, an American business magnate and investor, disclosed that he made almost $63 million last year, yet paid less than $7 million in federal income tax. Mr. Buffett long has urged lawmakers to raise income-tax rates on the wealthiest, arguing that his secretary paid a higher effective rate than he did last year.

How can this be?

Before passing judgment, I decided to investigate. After all, I always pride myself in being a fair and reasonable person.

I decided to knock on the Internal Revenue Service’s door, instead of the usual other way around.

As we all know, the IRS, a bureau of the Department of the Treasury, is responsible for collecting taxes and the interpretation and enforcement of its regulations and codes.

Federal income tax was introduced with the Revenue Act of 1861. In 1863, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln and Congress created the office of Commissioner of Internal Revenue and enacted an income tax to pay war expenses. Because it was passed as an emergency and temporary tax, it was repealed, re-adopted, and then held unconstitutional.

The initial rate was 3% on income over $800, which exempted most wage-earners. In 1864, the rate was 5% on income between $600 and $5,000; 7.5% on income $5,000–$10,000; and 10% on income $10,000 and above.

Nowadays, most of the world’s highest tax rates can be found in western European nations. Belgium tops the list, with a marginal tax rate that goes as high as 54%. Finland imposes 46.6%; Germany, 45%; Denmark, 44.4%; Italy, 43%. In addition, France enforces a tax rate on average workers of about 40% (and a top tax on high-income workers of nearly 50%), France is long-known for sacrificing economic growth to social benefits handed out by government. Unsurprisingly, the European country with the lowest marginal tax rate on average income workers are Switzerland, at 20%.

The United States is still relatively tax-friendly, with a marginal tax rate of around 27% on averaged income workers.

Canada is taxed in a manner similar to that of the United States, imposing a 31.2% marginal tax rate on average income workers. When the Canadian federation was formed in 1867, the British North America Act attempted to create a federal government with virtually unlimited revenue gathering abilities…..What?!!?

The federal government was entrusted with the high cost programs of the time, most notably defence and the building of railways.

During WWI, a tax on income was introduced as a temporary measure to fund the war. The income tax has since become a permanent feature of the Canadian tax system. The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) has been in charge since … eh!?

I have to admit that things could be worse. Nevertheless, things could be so much better!

Some countries are completely exempted from income tax: such as the Bahamas, Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Maldives, Oman, Qatar, Monaco, Saudi Arabia and North Korea.

What if one decides to halt its “contribution” to the government? One would wake up one day and shout: “enough is enough”!

Well… in response to that, the IRS would respond:

“Release the Hounds!”

You better believe that the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) will eventually get to you. The government might be slow but never sleeps nor forgets.

The IRS-CI investigates potential criminal violations of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. While other federal agencies also have investigative jurisdiction for money laundering and some bank secrecy act violations, the IRS-CI is the only federal agency that can investigate potential criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code.

Despite allegations of abuse of power and cover ups, they retain legal authority to enforce liens and seize assets without obtaining judgment in court. They never back down; even the underworld is wary of this agency. One of the most notoriously untouchable mobster, Al Capone, was eventually caught by the IRS and went to jail for tax evasion.

On this note, you can pretty much get away with everything, with good counsel … as long as you pay your taxes.

Pay up, Chumps!! We’ve got Wars to finance!!!

Copyright © 2012 Thus Always To Genius. All Rights Reserved.

On the Day of Atonement, a Mass is performed by Roman Catholic priests wearing Kippahs, ringing bells and waving incense, symbolically leading up to the immolating of Jesus. The participants figuratively eat the body of Christ and drink his blood. This Mass is believed to be beneficial with respect to having ones sins atoned for.

We are handed this precious gift of life. Each one of us is granted Redemption from Christ: murderers, rapists, and molesters, all of us, including hedge fund fat cats. All we have to do is repent and God takes us into His kingdom. The time has come for us to be worthy of His love.

The walk on the road to salvation might have already begun: Right now.

However, as churches and cathedrals are left empty, the masses have reassembled in courthouses and tribunals. The priests have been replaced by attorneys, judges and solicitors. This transposition has one similitude: Sins. And they are as despicable as they would if viewed in a religious stance.

In October 2009, Raj Rajaratnam, self-made billionaire and hedge fund manager and founder of the Galleon Group, was arrested by the FBI on allegations of insider trading.

After his arrest: Road to Redemption. In January 2010, Rajaratnam’s returned all funds to each and every one of his investors, with profit.

As an ethnic Sri Lankan Tamil, he has also contributed $3.5 million to the Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO), a group allegedly connected to the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) which is proscribed as a terrorist organization. TRO‘s offices were raided by the FBI in 2006 but the organization was never charged with any wrongdoing.

The “Billion Dollar Raja” was eventually found guilty on all 14 counts of conspiracy and securities fraud. As it was the largest hedge fund insider trading case in United States history, it resulted in the ruling of the longest prison sentence ever handed out for insider trading. He was then sentenced to 11 years in prison and fined with a civil penalty of $93 million in November 2011.

In December 2008, Bernard Lawrence “Bernie” Madoff, an American businessman, stockbroker and investment advisor, confessed to his family that his firm was a massive Ponzi scheme. The following day, FBI agents arrested Madoff and charged him with one count of securities fraud. He was at the time worth up to $830 million.

While on house arrest: Road to Redemption. Madoff and his wife both attempted suicide by ingesting a cocktail of prescription medication after his fraud was exposed.

In March 2009, Madoff, former non-executive chairman of the NASDAQ stock market, admitted to have orchestrated a Ponzi scheme since the 70s. It is considered to be the largest financial fraud in U.S. history. The amount missing from client accounts was almost $65 billion but the court-appointed trustee estimated actual losses to investors of $18 billion.

After pleading guilty to 11 federal felonies, “Winky Dink” was sentenced to 150 years in prison, the maximum allowed.

The main question remains; why adopt a Ponzi scheme when failure is bound to be its absolute “fortune”? I mean this fraudulent investment operation pays returns to its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors.

It is destined to collapse because the earnings are ALWAYS less than the payments to investors.

One could say that in the 20s, Charles Ponzi did leave us a damaging legacy, but yet again, greed could be embedded in human nature. In his defense, despite popular notion, Ponzi did not create that system. Charles Dickens’ novel, “Little Dorrit”, described such a scheme.

The ones that take expiation seriously and wish to get as far as possible from the Babel Tower(s) might want to convert and embrace their new Mennonite identities. After all, the Amish are known for simple living and unwillingness to adopt modern technology.

But wait, the proliferation of greed spares no one. In September 2011, Monroe Beachy, an Amish man, who began raising money in the 90s, assured investors they were earning funds from safe US government securities.

He was charged with mail fraud after allegedly defrauding thousands of people out of $17 million.

Road to Redemption: not applicable as they mostly believe that the gates of heaven are naturally open to them.

For the believers of the ” Thus always to tyrants / genius ” doctrine, the time has come to confess your sins and atone, before it is too late.

  • Goldman Sachs has cut bonuses by 20%;
  • Lloyds Banking Group has cut £2m from bonuses paid to 13 executives;
  • Citigroup has cut bonuses by about 30%;
  • Barclays is cutting back on bonuses by 32% and will be capped at $100000 for its investment bankers;
  • Royal Bank of Scotland is cutting bonuses to the “absolute legal minimum” by more than 90%t to £175million. The bank had to be bailed out by the taxpayer to the tune of £20billion;
  • Merrill Lynch has cut bonuses by 40%;

The walk on the road to salvation has already begun …take a number.

Old pirates, yes, they rob I;
Sold I to the merchant ships,
Minutes after they took I
From the bottomless pit.
But my hand was made strong
By the hand of the Almighty.
We forward in this generation
Triumphantly.

Won’t you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
‘Cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs,
Redemption songs.

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.
Have no fear for atomic energy,
‘Cause none of them can stop the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look? Ooh!
Some say it’s just a part of it:
We’ve got to fulfill the Book.

Won’t you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
‘Cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs,
Redemption songs,
Redemption songs.

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our mind.
Wo! Have no fear for atomic energy,
‘Cause none of them-a can-a stop-a the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look?
Yes, some say it’s just a part of it:
We’ve got to fulfill the book.
Won’t you have to sing
These songs of freedom?

‘Cause all I ever had:
Redemption songs
All I ever had:
Redemption songs:
These songs of freedom,
Songs of freedom.

Redemption Song, by Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley
(produced by Chris Blackwell, from album: “Uprising”)

Copyright © 2012 Thus Always To Genius. All Rights Reserved.

 

The United Nations (UN) does indeed have guns but no need to worry as these are held by friendly blue helmeted peacekeepers. Let’s not panic now, the casques bleus are in town. After all, the UN was founded in 1945 to stop and prevent wars between nations.

Not just any country has the privilege to join that selective organization. Only the following 5 countries have permanent seats: United Kingdom, United States of America, France, Russia and China. What a powerful quintet: the English drums, the American saxophone, the French piano, the Russian guitar (balalaika) and the Chinese violin (erhu). Music to our ears!

If we listen closely, we notice that there is another, slightly more controversial “band”, created by France in 1975, that adopts a similar musical genre. They are called the “G8” and are formed by the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France, Russia, Canada, Germany, Japan and Italy. Collectively, the G8 nations comprise 53% of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Logically, they must export astronomical amounts of goods as they are wealthy nations. Not only they must conduct good business, but they must also excel in clean honest trade. Remember, they are part of the UN rocket band as well.

After further investigation, I come to find out that the top global arm dealers are, in order, the United States of America, Russia, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and China.

– “ Knock, Knock …

– Who’s there?

– “ U.N. ”

– You and Who?

– “ U.N. GUNS !!! ”

The global arms industry manufactures and sells equipment, weapons and military technology. Departments of government operate in the arms industry by buying and selling weapons and other military items. In 1953, shortly after the death of Stalin, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower did warn the world about the emerging Military–Industrial complex.

The Military–Industrial Complex, or Military–Industrial-Congressional Complex, refers to policy and monetary relationships between legislators, armed forces, and the defense industry: the “Iron Triangle”.

Despite Eisenhower’s cautionary speech, the war against communism converted into the war against terrorism, which is now basically just a full-blown “peace for capitalism” takeover. When looking back, his speech might just have well been a catalyst for the proliferation of government approved and backed arm dealings.

On that note:

– “ Knock, Knock …

– Who’s there?

– “ U.N. ”

– “ Friend or Foe?

– “ …”

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. … Is there no other way the world may live?”

– Eisenhower, Chance for Peace Speech

They call it freedom …

… thus, wave your flags ….

Copyright © 2012 Thus Always To Genius. All Rights Reserved.