CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (AP) -- Marine instructor Maj. Daryl Desimone stood before an auditorium filled with fatigue-clad troops, carrying an unequivocal message: It's OK to disagree with letting gays serve openly in the military. It's not OK to disobey orders.
He explained that the impending repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" is an order, one heard by generals and rank-and-file alike as the military tries to change the culture of a traditionally conservative institution.
Only a few of the roughly 150 Marines stepped up to ask questions.
One stood up from a back row and demanded to know why his religious beliefs were being "put aside" in favor of gays, forcing him to "basically grit my teeth and bear it."
"It's not really open to discussion," Desimone said. "Nobody's trying to change your mind."
Sexual orientation will now be a private matter, just like religion or politics, he said.
Sgt. Jay Milinichik, of Tulsa, Okla., stood up to ask what would happen if a Marine refused gay roommates.
Marines won't have separate barracks or showers based on sexual orientation, Desimone said. He added that signing up for the Marines comes with an expectation of less privacy.
That said, officers may decide to separate roommates to preserve peace, just like they do now when roommates argue.
Marines will not be allowed an early discharge for opposing the policy but exceptions will be considered, Desimone said.
"You can't just walk up and say, 'I don't like this. I'm outa here,'" he said.
Classes like Thursday's for the Combat Logistics Regiment 17 of the 1st Marine Logistics Group are being held at military bases around the world. The Marines expect to finish training by June 1, with all military branches done by summer's end.
The repeal of the 17-year "don't ask, don't tell" policy would go into effect 60 days after the president, defense secretary and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certify that lifting the ban won't hurt the military's ability to fight.
Gen. James Amos, the Marine Corps commandant, testified last year that permitting gays to openly serve could disrupt smaller combat units and distract leaders from preparing for battle.
When he appeared this month before the House Armed Services Committee, he said he had been looking for problems that might arise under the new policy and hadn't found any "recalcitrant pushback."
"There has not been the anxiety over it from the forces in the field," he said.
In small group discussions, Marines are being asked to consider their reactions to a wide range of scenarios, from seeing a member "hanging around" a gay bar to hearing locker-room jokes from others who refuse to shower in front of gays.
There is nothing wrong with "hanging around" a gay bar, the training materials state.
The officer who witnesses the loud locker-room banter aimed at gays and lesbians should remind the Marines any discrimination or harassment is inappropriate.
If a Marine spots two men in his battalion kissing off-duty at a shopping mall, he should react as if he were seeing a man and woman, according to the training materials.
If he turns on the television news to see a fellow Marine dressed as a civilian and marching in a parade with a banner that reads, "Support Gays and Lesbians in the Military!" he should accept it as a free right of expression.
A top-notch Marine recruiter opposed to the new policy cannot refuse a promising applicant because of sexual orientation. The recruiter might be considered for another assignment or, at the Navy secretary's discretion, might be granted early discharge.
Chaplains who preach at base chapels that homosexuality is a sin are entitled to express their beliefs during worship.
At Thursday's class at Camp Pendleton, there were several questions about benefits.
Desimone said Marines must follow federal law that only recognizes marriage between a man and woman, disqualifying gays from housing allowances and other benefits afforded to married couples.
But he pondered a scenario in which a gay couple would be allowed to live in military base housing because they have children and the partner is a custodial parent.
"There are inconsistencies," he said. "Anyone who looks at it logically will see there are some things that need to be worked out."
After class, Petty Officer William Evans of Riverside, Calif., said he was a bit "blindsided" when the repeal was announced. The hospital corpsman lives off the base, but said he would feel uncomfortable sharing barracks with a gay man.
"Of course, it's not something that everyone's going to be comfortable with, but we'll have to deal with it," he said.
Cpl. Vannessa Huff of Spring Valley, N.Y., said she was confident of a "smooth transition." Sexual orientation of other Marines is irrelevant in combat, she said.
"It would matter that I would save their lives, and they would save mine," Huff said. "We all wear the same uniform."
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday held his first press conference in history. The press conference took place shortly after the Fed announced its decision to leave the Fed Funds Rate at a record low of 0% to 0.25%, where it has been for an unprecedented 28 months. The U.S. economy is flooded with U.S. dollars and is close to overdosing on excess liquidity. The fact that our financial markets are not falling on the possibility of the Fed not unleashing QE3 immediately at the end of QE2, shows that we could be on the verge of hyperinflation with or without QE3.
The Federal Reserve currently has a mandate of both maintaining price stability and facilitating job creation. However, central banks don't have the ability to create real employment. If any jobs happen to be created as a result of a central bank's policies, they are only temporary jobs created due to the errors and distortions of phony asset bubbles. All phony asset bubbles that are fueled by monetary inflation eventually burst, sending unemployment through the roof.
Almost every major central bank besides the Federal Reserve, understands the truth about job creation, and has a mandate that focuses solely on keeping price inflation low. The Bank of Japan, Swiss National Bank, Bank of Canada, and Bank of New Zealand, all have mandates that are entirely about low inflation and don't even mention the creation of jobs or the rate of employment. Bernanke said on Wednesday that, "while it is very, very important for us to try to help the economy create jobs and to support the recovery, I think every central banker understands that keeping inflation low and stable is absolutely essential to a successful economy."
Bernanke has decided to go down a route that no central banker has ever gone before. Bernanke has literally invented countless ways to create inflation that nobody else has ever thought of. If keeping inflation low was ever Bernanke's slightest concern, the Fed Funds Rate would currently be north of 5% and the U.S. economy would be in a steep recession. Bernanke has never once thought about keeping inflation low. He has literally implemented every measure he could possibly think of to create as much inflation as possible, while outright lying to the American public and saying that he isn't printing money and that inflation is under control.
Bernanke would like the public to believe that his policies of expanding the money supply through cheap and easy money will cause the U.S. economy to recover and unemployment to decline back to pre-crisis levels, and that right before price inflation spirals out of control, he can raise interest rates and prevent massive price inflation without disrupting the recovery. Unfortunately, this is impossible because the recovery isn't real and massive price inflation is already here. Bernanke's policies may have created 1 million artificial jobs since December of 2009, after 8.75 million jobs were lost in the previous two years, but he did this at the expense of 310 million Americans already seeing double-digit percentage increases in food and energy prices.
Since after the Real Estate bubble burst in late-2008, the primary economic concern of Americans has been finding a stable job in order to make mortgage payments and put food on the table. Under the pressure of Congress, the Fed printed enough money to prevent a much needed recession that would be healthy for the long-term U.S. economy. In its attempt to reinflate the Real Estate bubble, the Fed has been destroying the free market and creating new economic distortions, which caused an artificial bounce in the rate of employment. Unfortunately, when you add together the money the Fed has either printed or committed for bailouts and stimulus programs, over $4 million has been spent for each job created. The Fed would have been better off just crediting the bank accounts of unemployed Americans with the average U.S. income.
When asked about rising gas prices, NIA is very happy that Chairman Bernanke acknowledged that gas prices "have risen quite significantly" and are "creating a great deal of financial hardship for a lot of people". Bernanke admitted that gas is a "necessity" as "people need to drive to work" for the artificial jobs Bernanke created at a cost of $4 million per job. However, Bernanke seemed to be confused when he said "higher gas prices add to inflation". The truth is, Bernanke's zero percent interest rates and quantitative easing are the inflation, and inflation leads to higher gas prices.
Bernanke is directly responsible for gas prices rising back to $3.87 per gallon, yet refuses to admit it. Bernanke placed the blame on the growing global and emerging market economies, and their strong demand for oil. He said that America's demand for oil is going down, which NIA believes is actually due to the U.S. dollar losing its purchasing power and Americans seeing their standard of living decline. Bernanke said there is nothing that he can do about rising oil and gas prices "without derailing growth entirely". The truth is, Bernanke already derailed growth entirely when he derailed the free market. It is impossible to see real economic growth when a government and central bank is interfering in every aspect of the economy and impeding the free market in every possible way. All nominal GDP growth in the U.S., along with growth in retail sales, is solely due to inflation. Even when the government adjusts GDP and retail sales growth to the rate of inflation, it is based off of the consumer price index, which NIA believes is currently understating price inflation by approximately 4%.
Although Bernanke denies he has the ability to reduce gas prices, he claims he can prevent "gas prices from passing into other prices and wages throughout the economy and creating a broader inflation which will be much more difficult to extinguish." Bernanke obviously doesn't want Americans to see higher wages because he believes it could lead to broader inflation, but NIA believes rising wages would be a good thing. Inflation hurts Americans most when the rate of inflation is far outpacing wage increases. The fact is, the U.S. is already experiencing broad inflation even without wage increases.
Bernanke's brand new favorite word as of late seems to be "transitory", which he used about a dozen times during his press conference. Despite what Bernanke says, NIA strongly believes that rising food and gas prices are not transitory. Bernanke likes the word "transitory" because he can use it to try and pretend that rising food and gas prices are only just a temporary phenomenon and that their current high levels aren't here to stay. Many Americans can remember the day 40 years ago when a can of Coca-Cola cost a dime and a Hershey chocolate bar cost a nickel, with a gallon of gas back then costing only thirty-five cents. Have rising food and gas prices over the past four decades been transitory?
NIA first predicted two years ago in its documentary 'Hyperinflation Nation', that rising food and gas prices would soon become the primary concern of all American citizens as a result of the Fed's dangerous and destructive monetary policies. Bernanke back then claimed that inflation would not be a problem and said that the U.S. risked deflation. If Bernanke has been so wrong about the inflation that Americans are faced with today, NIA doesn't see how anybody can possibly believe that Bernanke will be right and that current high food and gas prices aren't here to stay. In our opinion, the food and gas price inflation that Americans have experienced over the past 40 years, is likely to occur all over again during the next 4 years. NIA believes that 4 years from now, Americans will look back at the good old days of having cheap $4 a gallon gas.
The last thing the U.S. government wants is for the American public to realize that Bernanke is responsible for rising food and gas prices. If the public demanded to end the Federal Reserve, the government will no longer be able to spend recklessly knowing that the Fed will be there to monetize their deficit spending. In an attempt to make up excuses for rising gas prices and deflect attention away from the Fed, Congress has been pressuring the U.S. Attorney General to investigate the matter. Attorney General Eric Holder just announced the formation of the Oil & Gas Price Fraud Working Group. The stated purpose of this working group is to monitor the oil and gas markets for potential violations of criminal or civil laws to safeguard against unlawful consumer harm.
NIA considers this to be complete insanity. Any government interference in the oil markets will only drive oil prices up even higher. Oil prices are rising solely do to supply and demand. Demand is going through the roof because the Federal Reserve is creating a lot of inflation, and inflation always gravitates to the goods that Americans need the most to live and survive. Oil supplies are falling because President Obama has ordered U.S. troops to occupy Libya. In the past we at least made up excuses to invade countries like Iraq over oil by claiming they had weapons of mass destruction. Today, the U.S. government doesn't even bother. Obama campaigned as an anti-war President, saying he would bring our troops home from the middle-east. Instead, he has increased our middle-east troop levels, and the sheep who voted for him are showing absolutely no signs of outrage.
The "Certificate of Live Birth" document released by the White House today, if authentic, assures Americans that their president was born in Hawaii as he has said, according to two participants in a lawsuit who challenged the president's tenure in the Oval Office.
But they say it also proves he's ineligible under the Constitution's requirements to be president.
According to Mario Apuzzo, the attorney who argued the Kerchner vs. Obama case, and the lead plaintiff, retired Navy Cmdr. Charles Kerchner, the documentation reveals that Barack Obama Sr., a Kenyan national subject to the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom, was the father when Barack Obama Jr. was born.
That, they say, would disqualify Obama because of the Founders' requirement in the Constitution that a president be a "natural born Citizen," commonly understood during the era of the beginnings of the United States to mean a citizen offspring of two citizen parents.
The Kerchner vs. Obama case, as have some others, challenged Obama on two grounds: that he had not proven his U.S. birth and that even if that was documented, he still needed to meet the requirements of being a "natural born Citizen."