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A while ago, I discovered that the University of Southern California has incorporated swastikas into their campus design. Subsequently, I wrote a story called, Why Does USC Have Swastikas on Their Campus? I thought this would cause a big stir, but not a lot has come of it, so far. Apparently, swastikas have become an accepted part of the USC culture.

Yesterday, I took note of the $6 Billion bail-out for homebuilders. Needless to say, I was very suprised to see that the Senate passed this colossal blunder of a bill in the guise of helping out homeowners. Having lived in Southern California for the past 30 years, the heart of the real estate bubble, I am well aware of the disasterous polices homebuilders have pursued which helped create the fiasco currently unfolding.

Why are these billionaire homebuilders getting rewarded? It's a disturbing story and Jeff Birnbaum does a great job in describing why the Senate caved to the powerful homebuilder lobby. It made my blood boil to read how corrupt the politicians in Washington really are.

Then late last night, I came across this article, D.C. halts air traffic for old fashioned fly-by: O.C.'s William Lyon takes his B-17 bomber for a spin above the Pentagon.  Apparently, George W. Bush was at Andrews Air Force Base yesterday, personally clearing the runway and clearing the skies over the Pentagon for an old friend;

First he waited for President Bush aboard Air Force One to clear the runway. Then the 85-year-old pilot throttled forward for a ride few will ever take. In a plane few will ever pilot. For the next 10 minutes, "The General" owned the airspace over Washington, D.C. At 1:15 p.m., he dropped his vintage B-17 bomber from 1,000 feet to 400 feet, barely skimming the city's famed cherry blossoms.

I would venture to guess that most of you have no idea why this story is significant. I'd suggest you hold onto your socks. The Washington Post reported;

For 10 minutes yesterday afternoon, that day seemed not so far in the past as the airspace between Andrews Air Force Base and the Pentagon was closed to allow a vintage B-17 Flying Fortress, a P-40 Kittyhawk and a P-51 Mustang to soar overhead. The flyover was to honor the 30,000 American airmen who gave their lives flying from British bases during World War II.

Harmless enough, what could be the big deal about honoring past military heroes? In order to understand the significance of the story, you'll need to know who the man is flying the B-17. William Lyon is one of the richest and most powerful men in real estate, owning huge stakes in the bubble areas of South Florida, Phoenix, and Southern California He is one of the prime beneficiaries of the homebuider bail-out.

Lyon is an ultra-conservative right winger and a member of the notorious Orange County Lincoln Club that helped get Richard Nixon elected in 1968. He was head of the Air Force reserve under Gerald Ford, a big backer of Ronald Reagan, and an intimate of the Bush family.

He is also one of USC's biggest backers. His donations over the years have helped build the campus and the USC gymnasium is named in his honor. Because he has a penchant for collecting controversial items, like Adolph Hitler's staff car, it is a serious matter to see swastikas adorning the lampposts surrounding his building at USC.

Lyon has his hand in a number of ventures including the diploma mill industry. Diploma mills are basically businesses that award college diplomas to people who are willing to pay for them. The majority of them are centered in Lyon's backyard of San Diego. It's difficult to determine how many diploma mills Lyon ran as they go in and out of business and are constantly changing names, but one of them was called the American Commonwealth University. This is the place where the man who housed two of the 9/11 hijackers told the FBI he worked.

The man who, according to the 9/11 Report, was "the FBI's best chance to uncover September 11th before it happened," Abdussattar Shaikh, claims he worked as Vice President for International Projects at Lyon's American Commonwealth University. Shaikh helped two of the hijackers of American Airline's Flight 77 which crashed into the Pentagon, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar.

Combined with Lyon's USC swastikas and the homebuilder bail-out, you can understand why I was taken aback when I saw that the skies were cleared for William Lyon to buzz the Pentagon yesterday.

Originally posted to Aaron Dahl on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 03:49 PM PDT.

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