Archive for March, 2009

March 31, 2009
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Climate Change Phonies Call On G20 To Take Action

March 31, 2009

 

A last-ditch effort is being made to insert clearer green commitments into the global economic recovery package. The move comes amid fears amongst some British government officials that the G20 summit is in danger of missing a unique opportunity to prevent the world from being locked into irreversible and catastrophic climate change.

Gordon Brown yesterday promised that a commitment to tackle the environment will be one of the five tests of the communique due to be released following the summit on Thursday, adding “there were long hours of hard negotiations ahead”.

Number 10 counselled caution insisting that the main climate change event of the year will be at Copenhagen in December, when the UN hopes to reach a global deal to replace the Kyoto agreement.

The draft G20 communique leaked at the weekend makes only the smallest reference to climate change, and appears to be vague on the subject of how green the $2tn (£1.4tn) stimulus package agreed by world leaders should be.

This provoked the eminent climatologist James Hansen, director of Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, to tell the Guardian: “If this is the best they can do, then their ‘planet in peril’ rhetoric is probably just that – empty rhetoric.”

Professor Robert Watson, chief scientific adviser for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, also voiced concern about the limited commitment to a low-carbon economy: “I think it [low-carbon recovery] deserves a higher profile. Everybody seems to be focusing on short-term recovery and getting long-term regulation of the banks right. I haven’t heard anything that suggests the green recovery and climate change are a major part of the [G20] agenda.”

He added: “It would be a missed opportunity while they’re talking about the economy not to talk about how to transform it to low carbon.”

Steve Howard, CEO of The Climate Group, which works with major businesses and governments to promote a low-carbon economy, said: “What is lacking from the statement as a whole is timetables, targets and amounts. It lacks specifics on anything.”

Some senior British officials privately believe the framing of the G20 stimulus package to ensure it has a large green element will be as decisive in the battle against climate change as the outcome of the UN talks on climate change in Copenhagen.

British ministerial sources insisted last night that there will be no mention in the communique of what proportion of the new jobs stimulated by the economic recovery package will be low-carbon roles. They suggested that any mention of green jobs might be seen as a form of covert protectionism by some members of the G20.

British officials said yesterday they regard it as essential that during the summit China gets a clear message from countries such as South Africa, Mexico, France, Germany, Britain and the US that they are all committed to tackling climate change and that China will not be put at a disadvantage if it shapes a low-carbon recovery.

Lord Stern, the government’s former climate change adviser, yesterday tried to increase the pressure on the G20 by arguing that the worst recession since the 1930s gave the world the opportunity to lay the foundations for growth over several decades, based on low-carbon technology and energy efficiency.

He said the argument that the first priority was to deal with the current economic crisis and postpone action on climate change was “wrong and should be confronted”.

He called for the G20 leaders to send out a signal that the “difficult” work of getting the specifics of a deal in place needed to be done. “This is an opportunity to have a green recovery that lays the foundations of growth for the next two to three decades.”

A report by HSBC found that the US, Europe, China and South Korea lead global “green” spending plans after committing $300bn-$500bn to boost low-carbon technologies under wider plans to boost the global economy.

Green spend accounts for about 15% of the total economic spending of $2tn-$3tn.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/31/g20-summit-climate-change

Beyond Treason – The Story of Depleted Uranium (Movie)

March 31, 2009

(I like to repost this every once in a while). “Stop being cannon fodder for the ultra-elite scum. It’s time for all our hard working poor and middle class people (of all races, religions) to take our country back. It’s in the hands of very evil elite who are practicing eugenics on the common man. We got the numbers. Time to strike back. Get involved.”

The movie investigates causes of Gulf War Illness and continuing deaths of gulf war veterans. It outlines: * exposure to depleted uranium munitions used on the battlefield. * chemical and biological exposures. * experimental vaccines given. Statistics show that 250,000 troops are now permanently disabled, 15,000 troops are dead and over 425,000 are ill and slowly dying. This 100 minute documentary presents comprehensive and compelling documentation from United States Government archives of a massive cover-up lasting over two generations.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=beyond+treason&emb=0&aq=0&oq=beyond+tr#

Is FACEBOOK run by D.A.R.P.A’s Information Awareness Office?

March 31, 2009

 

By: D. H. Williams @ 10:15 PM – EST

Is FACEBOOK a Department of Defense datamining scheme run by the CIA and D.A.R.P.A.? Should you be trusting all your personal data to FACEBOOK’s management?

FACEBOOK was initially conceived by Mark Zuckerberg but the venture was first funded with $500,000.00 in capital from PayPal founder Peter Thiel. With millions more to come from sources with close ties to D.A.R.P.A, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Defense.

The CIA connection:

Another $12.7 million came from James Breyer he is closely associated with a venture capital company called  InQtel established by the CIA in 1999 and he  served on the board of BBN.  InQtel deals in information technology and intelligence most notably “nurturing data mining technologies”.

The D.A.R.P.A. connection:

Dr. Anita Jones former Director of Defense Research and Engineering for the U.S. Department of Defense. While with D.A.R.P.A.  her responsibilities included serving as an adviser to the Secretary of Defense. Dr. Jones was also served on the board of directors for InQtel and is nowemployed by BBN.

D.A.R.P.A. runs the Information Awareness Office whose task it is to collect data on as many people as possible. Their website is full of references to the war on terror, terrorism and terrorist. The IAO claims its programs are for identifying and responding to threats of terrorism.

D.A.R.P.A. program Human ID at a Distance (HumanID)

I.A.O.’s Mission Statement:

Information Awareness Office is to gather as much information as possible about everyone in a centralized location for easy perusal by the United States government.

Including but not limited to: internet activity, credit card purchase history, airline ticket purchases, car rentals, medical records, educational transcripts, drivers license, utility bills, tax returns and any other available data.

Video: FACEBOOK is a massive intel operation

 

http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Find-Freedom.htm?EdNo=001&At=045941

 

 

More On D.A.R.P.A:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_Advanced_Research_Projects_Agency

http://web.cecs.pdx.edu/%7Estrom/onr_workshop/pavel.pdf

http://www.prisonplanet.com/pentagon-seeks-fleet-of-massive-darpa-spy-blimps.html

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/01/21/darpa_economy_fix_plan/

Texans for Accountable Government **Join**

March 31, 2009

Come on Texas People…

Texans for Accountable Government

http://texasforaccountablegovernment.org/

 

texas

4 Peas In A Pod

March 31, 2009

March 31, 2009

Greg Palast and Mike Papantonio on Ring of Fire Radio the video

March 31, 2009

Insurers shun those taking certain meds

March 31, 2009

“As you already know most insurance companies, especially the “big” ones, are high on the public enemy #1 list.”

F.F. 

 

 

How health insurers secretly blacklist those with certain ailments.

 

JDORSCHNER@MIAMIHERALD.COM

 

Trying to buy health insurance on your own and have gallstones? You’ll automatically be denied coverage. Rheumatoid arthritis? Automatic denial. Severe acne? Probably denied. Do you take metformin, a popular drug for diabetes? Denied. Use the anti-clotting drug Plavix or Seroquel, prescribed for anti-psychotic or sleep problems? Forget about it.

This confidential information on some insurers’ practices is available on the Web — if you know where to look.

What’s more, you can discover that if you lie to an insurer about your medical history and drug use, you will be rejected because data-mining companies sell information to insurers about your health, including detailed usage of prescription drugs.

These issues are moving to the forefront as the Obama administration and Congress gear up for discussions about how to reform the healthcare system so that Americans won’t be rejected for insurance.

It’s especially timely because growing numbers are looking for individual health insurance after losing their jobs. On top of that, small businesses, which make up the bulk of South Florida’s economy, are frequently finding health policies too expensive and are dropping coverage, sending even more people shopping for insurance.

The problem is, material available on the Web shows that people who have specific illnesses or use certain drugs can’t buy coverage.

”This is absolutely the standard way of doing business,” said Santiago Leon, a health insurance broker in Miami. Being denied for preexisting conditions is well known, but when a person sees the usually confidential list of automatic denials for himself, “that’s a eureka moment. That shows you how harsh the system is.”

A 50-year-old Broward County man, with two long-standing medical conditions, saw the harshness for himself when surfing the Web trying to learn why insurers kept denying him coverage. He was shocked to find several insurers’ instructions to sales personnel, usually called the Guide to Medical Underwriting and often marked “confidential and proprietary.”

”I think it’s atrocious what’s going on,” he said. “Basically, they’re taking only the healthy so they can get the fattest profits. If you really need insurance, then you can’t get it.”

The man, a self-employed consultant, didn’t want his name or preexisting conditions identified for fear that the information might frighten away potential employers.

CONFIDENTIAL GUIDE

Insurers don’t want to talk about the guides. Sunrise-based Vista , which has its 35-page ”confidential and proprietary” guide tucked away within its website, refused to make executives available for an interview and instead issued a brief statement:

“The medical underwriting guidelines used by VISTA are based on industry standards, comply with all regulations and are subject to review by the Florida Department of Insurance. VISTA’s Guide to Medical Underwriting is an educational tool intended to assist agents and brokers who are selling VISTA individual plans. We do not comment on our specific underwriting processes and practices.”

Sandra Foertsch, who sells individual policies, says the fundamental concern of insurers is clear: ”They don’t want to buy a claim,” meaning that they would start to collect $500 monthly premiums from a person and quickly pay out more than that to doctors and other providers.

Foertsch said she was surprised that any of the guides could be found on the Web. “I’d guess someone made a mistake.”

The Miami Herald asked several other major Florida insurers — Aetna, Humana and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida — for copies of their underwriting guides. All refused, saying they contained propriety information and were confidential.

Searching the Web, The Miami Herald found underwriting guidelines for Coventry Health Care, which owns Vista; Wellpoint; Assurant Health; and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska.

Among the health problems that the guides say should be rejected: diabetes, hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, quadriplegia, Parkinson’s disease and AIDS/HIV.

Some guides echo Nebraska’s warning on the Web that it’s ”intended as a reference tool only,” with final decisions made by managers.

COVERAGE VARIES

Insurers have different criteria. Sleep apnea and fainting for no known cause are reasons for denial for the Nebraska plan, but not for other plans. Vista doesn’t want to cover severe acne, but other guides seen don’t mention it. Insurers often use measures of body mass index to reject those who are too heavy or too thin.

For cancer, the key is how patients have been doing in remission. Wellpoint, a national insurer, rejects applicants who have had breast or prostate cancer within the past five years. With other types of cancer, 10 years must have passed. Assurant Health, based in Milwaukee, rejects most patients whose cancer has not been in remission for at least eight years.

Other reasons for automatic denial by various companies: alcohol-related problems of people who have not been abstinent for at least six years, chronic bronchitis, severe migraines, and a cardiac pacemaker installed within the last two years.

Some insurers will automatically reject applicants who are using certain prescription drugs. Wellpoint denies anyone who within the past year has taken Abilify and Zyprexa for mental disorders as well as Neupogen, which is used to treat the side effects of chemotherapy. Vista lists the anticoagulant Warfarin and the pain medication Oxycontin. Both companies list insulin.

The medications, of course, are indications of specific health problems. To make sure that applicants are not lying, insurers hire a data-gathering service — Medical Information Bureau, Milliman’s Intelliscript or Ingenix Medpoint.

Intelliscript and Medpoint do computerized searches of a person’s drug use, gleaned from pharmacy benefits managers and other databases. The two companies say they comply with privacy laws. ”Ingenix requires each Medpoint client to obtain the authorization of the individual applicant or insured person,” said Ingenix spokeswoman Karin Olson.

Last year, the Federal Trade Commission accused both companies of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act by not offering to provide consumers with information about them. The companies agreed to settlements in which they promised to let people see their personal information.

http://www.miamiherald.com/living/health/costs/story/973158.html

 

T H I S I S H U G E

March 31, 2009

“Get ready for mass thievery. I hope your ready for mass retaliation too.”

F.F.

32

“Concern increases as losses mount; Failing plans could overwhelm agency”

By Michael Kranish

Globe Staff / March 30, 2009

 

WASHINGTON – Just months before the start of last year’s stock market collapse, the federal agency that insures the retirement funds of 44 million Americans departed from its conservative investment strategy and decided to put much of its $64 billion insurance fund into stocks.

 

Switching from a heavy reliance on bonds, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation decided to pour billions of dollars into speculative investments such as stocks in emerging foreign markets, real estate, and private equity funds.

The agency refused to say how much of the new investment strategy has been implemented or how the fund has fared during the downturn. The agency would only say that its fund was down 6.5 percent – and all of its stock-related investments were down 23 percent – as of last Sept. 30, the end of its fiscal year. But that was before most of the recent stock market decline and just before the investment switch was scheduled to begin in earnest.

No statistics on the fund’s subsequent performance were released.

Nonetheless, analysts expressed concern that large portions of the trust fund might have been lost at a time when many private pension plans are suffering major losses. The guarantee fund would be the only way to cover the plans if their companies go into bankruptcy.

“The truth is, this could be huge,” said Zvi Bodie, a Boston University finance professor who in 2002 advised the agency to rely almost entirely on bonds. “This has the potential to be another several hundred billion dollars. If the auto companies go under, they have huge unfunded liabilities” in pension plans that would be passed on to the agency.

In addition, Peter Orszag, head of the White House Office of Management and Budget, has “serious concerns” about the agency, according to an Obama administration spokesman.

Last year, as director of the Congressional Budget Office, Orszag expressed alarm that the agency was “investing a greater share of its assets in risky securities,” which he said would make it “more likely to experience a decline in the value of its portfolio during an economic downturn the point at which it is most likely to have to assume responsibility for a larger number of underfunded pension plans.”

However, Charles E.F. Millard, the former agency director who implemented the strategy until the Bush administration departed on Jan. 20, dismissed such concerns. Millard, a former managing director of Lehman Brothers, said flatly that “the new investment policy is not riskier than the old one.”

He said the previous strategy of relying mostly on bonds would never garner enough money to eliminate the agency’s deficit. “The prior policy virtually guaranteed that some day a multibillion-dollar bailout would be required from Congress,” Millard said.

He said he believed the new policy – which includes such potentially higher-growth investments as foreign stocks and private real estate – would lessen, but not eliminate, the possibility that a bailout is needed.

Asked whether the strategy was a mistake, given the subsequent declines in stocks and real estate, Millard said, “Ask me in 20 years. The question is whether policymakers will have the fortitude to stick with it.”

But Bodie, the BU professor who advised the agency, questioned why a government entity that is supposed to be insuring pension funds should be investing in stocks and real estate at all. Bodie once likened the agency’s strategy to a company that insures against hurricane damage and then invests the premiums in beachfront property.

Since he issued that warning, he said, the agency has gone even more aggressively into stocks, which he called “totally crazy.”

The agency’s action has also been questioned by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, which concluded that the strategy “will likely carry more risk” than projected by the agency. “We felt they weren’t acknowledging the increased risk,” said Barbara D. Bovbjerg, the GAO’s director of Education, Workforce and Income Security Issues.

Analysts also believe the strategy would not have been approved if the government had foreseen the precipitous decline in the stock market.

Now, they warn about a “perfect storm” scenario in which the agency’s fund plummets in value just as more companies go into bankruptcy and pass their pension responsibilities onto the insurance fund. Many analysts say it is inevitable that the agency will face significantly increased liabilities in coming months.

“The worst case scenario is coming to pass,” said Mark Ruloff, a fellow at the Pension Finance Institute, an independent group that monitors pensions. He said the agency leaders “fail to realize that they are an insurer of pension plans and therefore should be investing differently than the risk their participants are taking.”

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation may be little-known to most Americans, but it serves as a lifeline for the 1.3 million people who receive retirement checks from it, and the 44 million others whose plans are backed by the agency.

The agency was set up in 1974 out of concern that workers who had pensions at financially troubled or bankrupt companies would lose their retirement funds. The agency operates by assessing premiums on the private pension plans that they insure. It insures up to $54,000 annually for individuals who retire at 65.

Despite its name, the agency does not necessarily guarantee the full value of a person’s pension and is not backed by the full faith and credit of the government.

Nonetheless, agency officials say that if the pension agency fails to meet its obligation, the government would come under intense political pressure to step in. That means taxpayers – including those who don’t get pensions – could be asked to pay for a bailout.

Currently, the agency owes more in pension obligations than it has in funds, with an $11 billion shortfall as of last Sept. 30. Moreover, the agency might soon be responsible for many more pension plans.

Most of the nation’s private pension plans suffered major losses in 2008 and, all together, are underfunded by as much as $500 billion, according to Bodie and other analysts. A wave of bankruptcies could mean that the agency would be left to cover more pensions than it could afford.

In the early years of the George W. Bush presidency, the agency took a conservative investment approach under director Bradley N. Belt, who favored putting only between 15 and 25 percent of the fund into stocks.

Belt said in an interview that he operated under “a more prudent risk management” style and said he “would have maintained the investment strategy we had in place.” Belt left in 2006 and Millard arrived in 2007.

Under Millard’s strategy, the pension agency was directed to invest 55 percent of its funds in stocks and real estate. That included 20 percent in US stocks, 19 percent in foreign stocks, 6 percent in what the agency’s records term “emerging market” stocks, 5 percent in private real estate and 5 percent in private equity firms.

Millard said he thought he had little choice but to seek a higher investment return in part because Congress had limited the agency’s ability to charge higher premiums based on each plan’s likelihood of drawing on the agency’s funds.

The agency’s board – which consists of the secretaries of Treasury, Labor, and Commerce – approved the new investment strategy in a meeting in February 2008. But the board members have had only a limited role in the agency’s operation, meeting only 20 times over the 28 years before 2008.

The board is also too small to meet basic standards of corporate governance, according to an analysis by the Government Accountability Office.

“The whole model of having three sitting Cabinet secretaries with day jobs overseeing a $60 billion investment portfolio and occasionally owning significant percentages of large American companies is fundamentally flawed,” said Belt, the former agency director.

The Government Accountability Office is preparing a new review of the investment policy, but in the meantime it continues to place the agency on its list of federal programs at “high risk.”

Michael Kranish can be reached at kranish@globe.com

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2009/03/30/pension_insurer_shifted_to_stocks/?page=full

 

What should I do?

Ashley Biden Alleged Cocaine Tape Seller Withdraws Under Fire

March 31, 2009

“Nice. Hey, I don’t blame her. I can’t imagine having Biden for a father either.”

F.F.

 

31

The Huffington Post   |  Megan Slack   |   March 30, 2009 10:19 AM

 

Washington lawyer Thomas Dunlap is under firefor attempting to sell a video of Ashley Biden, the 27-year-old daughter of Joe Biden, allegedly snorting lines of cocaine at a Delaware party last month.

The New York Post claims that Dunlap showed it 90 seconds of the 43-minute tape, which purportedly shows Ashley doing lines of coke with a red straw in front of witnesses and later shouting “Shut the F– Up!” The newspaper reported that the seller wanted $2 million before dropping his price to $400,000.

Radar Online reported that Dunlap has since dropped the client after he learned the tape was recorded on a hidden camera, complaining about all the “negative attention.”

Dunlap told RadarOnline.com early Sunday that he is no longer involved in the attempted sale of the video and informed his client he would not continue to represent him. The lawyer said he did not want to be involved due to circumstances surrounding the publicity of the matter.

According to the New York Post, the video in question shows a woman who looks like Biden talking and snorting several lines of cocaine with a straw.

The video … shows a 20-something woman with light skin and long brown hair taking a red straw from her mouth, bending over a desk, inserting the straw into her nostril and snorting lines of white powder.
She then stands up and begins talking with other people in the room.

 

Vice President Joe Biden, who coined the term “drug czar” in 1982, has not yet commented on the story.

Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, adds that fellow lawyers are stunned by Dunlop’s behavior:

While most people are shocked by the craven acts of the still unidentified friend, most lawyers are equally shocked by the involvement of a member of the bar in allegedly shopping this tape to tabloids for the highest bidder.

Biden is a social worker for a Delaware child-welfare agency.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/30/ashley-biden-cocaine-tape_n_180703.html

MIAC report creates dangerous precedent

March 31, 2009

Editor’s note: Peter Kinder, the Missouri lieutenant governor, claims reporters broke the MIAC story on March 20. In fact, Alex Jones and Infowars broke this story on March 11 and it took several days for the corporate media to pick it up, generally minus attribution or credit to Jones and Infowars.

http://www.infowars.com/kinder-miac-report-creates-dangerous-precedent/

 

 

PETER KINDER • MARCH 30, 2009

 

On March 20, reporters broke the astonishing news that a report from the Missouri Department of Public Safety was distributed to law enforcement across our state that depicted Christians, anti-abortionists, advocates for protecting our borders and supporters of certain political candidates as potential “threats” to public safety.

The report was developed by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) and was entitled, “The Modern Militia Movement.”

By title alone, the imagination conjures up images of commando renegades on remote outposts in secluded mountainous terrain. However, while this “Modern Militia” report did touch on such radical ideologies, the groups purported to be “threats” were supporters of such political candidates as Bob Barr and Ron Paul.

There are certainly individual extremists in many religious and political groups (both conservative and liberal), but Gov. Nixon and Director of Public Safety John Britt have created a dangerous precedent of profiling lawful citizens as threats to public safety simply based on their political or religious beliefs.

On Tuesday, Gov. Nixon and Director Britt said they stood by the content of the report, while both said they hadn’t read it. Then, on Wednesday, Col. Jim Keathley of the Missouri State Highway Patrol issued a statement saying the review process for future MIAC memos would be changed.

Shame on Gov. Nixon and Director Britt for making a noble public servant and iconic law enforcement leader like my friend Colonel Keathley take the fall for their bureaucratic and political failures.

Colonel Keathley, the men and women of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and law enforcement across this state put their lives on the line each and every day to keep our communities safe. We should honor these everyday heroes for their sacrifices and never allow them to be used in a political ploy.

By Thursday, as conservatives across this state made their voices heard, Gov. Nixon decided to pass the blame to the previous administration. This is unacceptable.

I am calling for Gov. Nixon to place Director Britt on administrative leave pending a full investigation and accounting of acts of profiling under his supervision at MIAC.

All Missourians should rest assured that we are protected by the freedoms of our constitution and should never have to fear being monitored by their government based upon a person’s race, place of birth, political beliefs or their spiritual convictions. Unfortunately, that confidence was shaken by the governor. Gov. Nixon remains ultimately responsible for his administration. Gov. Nixon should fully answer and apologize for what has been allowed to occur on his watch.

Peter Kinder is lieutenant governor of the state of Missouri.

 

http://www.news-leader.com/article/20090330/OPINIONS/903300316/1006/OPINIONS

Elite White Trash

March 31, 2009

“Thats right… Elite White Trash.”

F.F.

30

33

 

F. William Engdahl
Global Research
March 30, 2009

 

US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has unveiled his long-awaited plan to put the US banking system back in order. In doing so, he has refused to tell the ‘dirty little secret’ of the present financial crisis. By refusing to do so, he is trying to save de facto bankrupt US banks that threaten to bring the entire global system down in a new more devastating phase of wealth destruction.

The Geithner Plan, his so-called Public-Private Partnership Investment Program or PPPIP, as we have noted previously is designed not to restore a healthy lending system which would funnel credit to business and consumers.  Rather it is yet another intricate scheme to pour even more hundreds of billions directly to the leading banks and Wall Street firms responsible for the current mess in world credit markets without demanding they change their business model. Yet, one might say, won’t this eventually help the problem by getting the banks back to health?

Not the way the Obama Administration is proceeding. In defending his plan on US TV recently, Geithner, a protégé of Henry Kissinger who previously was CEO of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, argued that his intent was ‘not to sustain weak banks at the expense of strong.’ Yet this is precisely what the PPPIP does. The weak banks are the five largest banks in the system.

The ‘dirty little secret’ which Geithner is going to great degrees to obscure from the public is very simple. There are only at most perhaps five US banks which are the source of the toxic poison that is causing such dislocation in the world financial system. What Geithner is desperately trying to protect is that reality. The heart of the present problem and the reason ordinary loan losses as in prior bank crises are not the problem, is a variety of exotic financial derivatives, most especially so-called Credit Default Swaps.

In 2000 the Clinton Administration then-Treasury Secretary was a man named Larry Summers. Summers had just been promoted from No. 2 under Wall Street Goldman Sachs banker Robert Rubin to be No. 1 when Rubin left Washington to take up the post of Vice Chairman of Citigroup. As I describe in detail in my new book, Power of Money: The Rise and Fall of the American Century, to be released this summer, Summers convinced President Bill Clinton to sign several Republican bills into law which opened the floodgates for banks to abuse their powers. The fact that the Wall Street big banks spent some $5 billion in lobbying for these changes after 1998 was likely not lost on Clinton.  

One significant law was the repeal of the 1933 Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act that prohibited mergers of commercial banks, insurance companies and brokerage firms like Merrill Lynch or Goldman Sachs. A second law backed by Treasury Secretary Summers in 2000 was an obscure but deadly important Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. That law prevented the responsible US Government regulatory agency, Commodity Futures Trading Corporation (CFTC), from having any oversight over the trading of financial derivatives. The new CFMA law stipulated that so-called Over-the-Counter (OTC) derivatives like Credit Default Swaps, such as those involved in the AIG insurance disaster, (which investor Warren Buffett once called ‘weapons of mass financial destruction’), be free from Government regulation.     

At the time Summers was busy opening the floodgates of financial abuse for the Wall Street Money Trust, his assistant was none other than Tim Geithner, the man who today is US Treasury Secretary. Today, Geithner’s old boss, Larry Summers, is President Obama’s chief economic adviser, as head of the White House Economic Council. To have Geithner and Summers responsible for cleaning up the financial mess is tantamount to putting the proverbial fox in to guard the henhouse.

 

The ‘Dirty Little Secret’

What Geithner does not want the public to understand, his ‘dirty little secret’ is that the repeal of Glass-Steagall and the passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act in 2000 allowed the creation of a tiny handful of banks that would virtually monopolize key parts of the global ‘off-balance sheet’ or Over-The-Counter derivatives issuance.

Today five US banks according to data in the just-released Federal Office of Comptroller of the Currency’s Quarterly Report on Bank Trading and Derivatives Activity, hold 96% of all US bank derivatives positions in terms of nominal values, and an eye-popping 81% of the total net credit risk exposure in event of default.

The five are, in declining order of importance: JPMorgan Chase which holds a staggering $88 trillion in derivatives (€66 trillion!). Morgan Chase is followed by Bank of America with $38 trillion in derivatives, and Citibank with $32 trillion. Number four in the derivatives sweepstakes is Goldman Sachs with a ‘mere’ $30 trillion in derivatives. Number five, the merged Wells Fargo-Wachovia Bank, drops dramatically in size to $5 trillion. Number six, Britain’s HSBC Bank USA has $3.7 trillion.

After that the size of US bank exposure to these explosive off-balance-sheet unregulated derivative obligations falls off dramatically. Just to underscore the magnitude, trillion is written 1,000,000,000,000. Continuing to pour taxpayer money into these five banks without changing their operating system, is tantamount to treating an alcoholic with unlimited free booze.

The Government bailouts of AIG to over $180 billion to date has primarily gone to pay off AIG’s Credit Default Swap obligations to counterparty gamblers Goldman Sachs, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, the banks who believe they are ‘too big to fail.’ In effect, these five institutions today believe they are so large that they can dictate the policy of the Federal Government. Some have called it a bankers’ coup d’etat. It definitely is not healthy.

This is Geithner’s and Wall Street’s Dirty Little Secret that they desperately try to hide because it would focus voter attention on real solutions. The Federal Government has long had laws in place to deal with insolvent banks. The FDIC places the bank into receivership, its assets and liabilities are sorted out by independent audit. The irresponsible management is purged, stockholders lose and the purged bank is eventually split into smaller units and when healthy, sold to the public. The power of the five mega banks to blackmail the entire nation would thereby be cut down to size. Ooohh. Uh Huh?

This is what Wall Street and Geithner are frantically trying to prevent. The problem is concentrated in these five large banks. The financial cancer must be isolated and contained by Federal agency in order for the host, the real economy, to return to healthy function.

This is what must be put into bankruptcy receivership, or nationalization. Every hour the Obama Administration delays that, and refuses to demand full independent government audit of the true solvency or insolvency of these five or so banks, inevitably costs to the US and to the world economy will snowball as derivatives losses explode. That is pre-programmed as worsening economic recession mean corporate bankruptcies are rising, home mortgage defaults are exploding, unemployment is shooting up. This is a situation that is deliberately being allowed to run out of (responsible Government) control by Treasury Secretary Geithner, Summers and ultimately the President, whether or not he has taken the time to grasp what is at stake.

Once the five problem banks have been put into isolation by the FDIC and the Treasury, the Administration must introduce legislation to immediately repeal the Larry Summers bank deregulation including restore Glass-Steagall and repeal the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 that allowed the present criminal abuse of the banking trust. Then serious financial reform can begin to be discussed, starting with steps to ‘federalize’ the Federal Reserve and take the power of money out of the hands of private bankers such as JP Morgan Chase, Citibank or Goldman Sachs.

Betrayed in Iraq

March 31, 2009

Leila Fadel: Leaders of Awakening Councils are arrested, tortured and killed by Iraq government.

March 30, 2009

Willie’s World

March 30, 2009

“Man, I had to just email the writer of this article, which I’ve never done before, but this guy got to me. This bozo “Willie” writes a column in the S.F. Chronicle, I guess, called “Willie’s World.” Anyway, just another pawn being used in the retarded fight/logic behind gun control. Notice the use of black folks behind the gun control fight, Obama, Holder,  this Willie dude. If these sellouts had any minds of their own they would realize that the people who really need to be armed are all of the good black folks living in high crime areas, who are held hostage in their own homes because they are not allowed their God given right to protect themselves.  While little armed hood-rats terrorize the neighborhood… it’s just another form of slavery. I want all people to be able to protect themselves from street crime and from tyrannical governments.  Especially, poor folks and people who have dealt with a long history of oppression!

Anyway, here’s the article & Willie says a lot of dumb stuff and makes a claim to the Oakland “Bart” shooting… and because of that incident we need to ban AK-47’s? Wasn’t that kid unarmed and shot by a cop with a hand gun? It’s just shows how silly the gun control issue is and how desperate this Obama/Holder/Clinton gun control posse is getting.

(Willie’s email is at the bottom of the article if you want to contact him).

 

Willie’s Little S.F. Chronicle Article:

“Assault weapons have no place on streets”

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/03/29/BAN016NS9F.DTL

Rise of sea levels is ‘the greatest lie ever told’

March 30, 2009

The uncompromising verdict of Dr Mörner is that all this talk about the sea rising is nothing but a colossal scare story, writes Christopher Booker.

al-gore-plane-1

Christopher Booker
Last Updated: 6:31PM GMT 28 Mar 2009  www.telegraph.co.uk

If one thing more than any other is used to justify proposals that the world must spend tens of trillions of dollars on combating global warming, it is the belief that we face a disastrous rise in sea levels. The Antarctic and Greenland ice caps will melt, we are told, warming oceans will expand, and the result will be catastrophe.

Although the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) only predicts a sea level rise of 59cm (17 inches) by 2100, Al Gore in his Oscar-winning film An Inconvenient Truth went much further, talking of 20 feet, and showing computer graphics of cities such as Shanghai and San Francisco half under water. We all know the graphic showing central London in similar plight. As for tiny island nations such as the Maldives and Tuvalu, as Prince Charles likes to tell us and the Archbishop of Canterbury was again parroting last week, they are due to vanish.

But if there is one scientist who knows more about sea levels than anyone else in the world it is the Swedish geologist and physicist Nils-Axel Mörner, formerly chairman of the INQUA International Commission on Sea Level Change. And the uncompromising verdict of Dr Mörner, who for 35 years has been using every known scientific method to study sea levels all over the globe, is that all this talk about the sea rising is nothing but a colossal scare story.

Despite fluctuations down as well as up, “the sea is not rising,” he says. “It hasn’t risen in 50 years.” If there is any rise this century it will “not be more than 10cm (four inches), with an uncertainty of plus or minus 10cm”. And quite apart from examining the hard evidence, he says, the elementary laws of physics (latent heat needed to melt ice) tell us that the apocalypse conjured up by
Al Gore and Co could not possibly come about.

The reason why Dr Mörner, formerly a Stockholm professor, is so certain that these claims about sea level rise are 100 per cent wrong is that they are all based on computer model predictions, whereas his findings are based on “going into the field to observe what is actually happening in the real world”.

When running the International Commission on Sea Level Change, he launched a special project on the Maldives, whose leaders have for 20 years been calling for vast sums of international aid to stave off disaster. Six times he and his expert team visited the islands, to confirm that the sea has not risen for half a century. Before announcing his findings, he offered to show the inhabitants a film explaining why they had nothing to worry about. The government refused to let it be shown.

Similarly in Tuvalu, where local leaders have been calling for the inhabitants to be evacuated for 20 years, the sea has if anything dropped in recent decades. The only evidence the scaremongers can cite is based on the fact that extracting groundwater for pineapple growing has allowed seawater to seep in to replace it. Meanwhile, Venice has been sinking rather than the Adriatic rising, says Dr Mörner.

One of his most shocking discoveries was why the IPCC has been able to show sea levels rising by 2.3mm a year. Until 2003, even its own satellite-based evidence showed no upward trend. But suddenly the graph tilted upwards because the IPCC’s favoured experts had drawn on the finding of a single tide-gauge in Hong Kong harbour showing a 2.3mm rise. The entire global sea-level projection was then adjusted upwards by a “corrective factor” of 2.3mm, because, as the IPCC scientists admitted, they “needed to show a trend”.

When I spoke to Dr Mörner last week, he expressed his continuing dismay at how the IPCC has fed the scare on this crucial issue. When asked to act as an “expert reviewer” on the IPCC’s last two reports, he was “astonished to find that not one of their 22 contributing authors on sea levels was a sea level specialist: not one”. Yet the results of all this “deliberate ignorance” and reliance on rigged computer models have become the most powerful single driver of the entire warmist hysteria.

•For more information, see Dr Mörner on YouTube (Google Mörner, Maldives and YouTube); or read on the net his 2007 EIR interview “Claim that sea level is rising is a total fraud”; or email him – morner@pog.nu – to buy a copy of his booklet ‘The Greatest Lie Ever Told’

Fined, frozen and now jailed

The Marine Fisheries Agency was certainly onto a winner when it enlisted the aid of the Assets Recovery Agency in its ruthless war against our fishermen. In December 2007 Charles McBride and his son Charles, from Kilkeel in Northern Ireland, were fined £385,000 for under-declaring catches of whitefish and prawns in the Irish Sea, threatening the loss of their homes and boat. But the Assets Recovery Agency, using powers designed to recover money from drug dealers, also froze all their assets. To pay the fines, the McBrides tried to borrow against their assets. Now, for this effort to pay the fines, Liverpool Crown Court has sentenced the two men to two and three months in gaol for “contempt of court”.

Blown away

The Climate Change Secretary, Ed Miliband, timed his jibe impeccably last week when he said that opposing wind farms is as “socially unacceptable” as “not wearing a seatbelt”. Britain’s largest windfarm companies are pulling out of wind as fast as they can. Despite 100 per cent subsidies, the credit crunch and technical problems spell an end to Gordon Brown’s £100 billion dream of meeting our EU target to derive 35 per cent of our electricity from “renewables” by 2020.

Meanwhile the Government gives the go-ahead for three new 1,000 megawatt gas-fired power stations in Wales. Each of them will generate more than the combined average output (700 megawatts) of all the 2,400 wind turbines so far built. The days of the “great wind fantasy” will soon be over.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/5067351/Rise-of-sea-levels-is-the-greatest-lie-ever-told.html

Could a Massive “False-Flag” Cyberattack Be On The Horizon?

March 30, 2009

“I think this guys on to something with this article. And I assume many of you already know there is an element of eavesdropping already happening to you on your computer right now.”

F.F.

 

Michael S. Swenson

Underground Brooklyn

March 29, 2009

 

In what has become a bit of a disturbing trend this week, yet another computer infiltration article was posted today on CNN.com.

 

According to the article, “nearly 1,300 computers in more than 100 countries have been attacked and have become part of an computer espionage network apparently based in China, security experts alleged in two reports Sunday.”

 

The mysterious network, dubbed “Ghostnet” by researchers, has many dubious capabilities, including the ability to see everything in a network, as well as “hear the people using it”, according to the article. “GhostNet is capable of taking full control of infected computers, including searching and downloading specific files, and covertly operating attached devices, including microphones and web cameras,” the report says.”

 

Since the attacks on September 11th, 2001, which many have called a “false-flag operation”, meaning elements within the Federal Government carried out the attacks while blaming it on its enemies, there has yet to be a massive Internet attack which would, no doubt, cripple the global infrastructure, especially in these unstable times. But could one be in the works in order to usher in complete worldwide government control of the Internet?

 

In an article posted earlier this week by the Associated Press, a fast-moving Internet worm, known as the Conficker Worm, has deviously ravaged the PC’s of more than 3 million users worldwide. The worm is reportedly “set to spring to life in a new way on Wednesday — April Fools’ Day….That’s when many of the poisoned machines will get more aggressive about “phoning home” to the worm’s creators over the Internet. When that happens, the bad guys behind the worm will be able to trigger the program to send spam, spread more infections, clog networks with traffic, or try and bring down Web sites.”

 

The sudden rash of these types of stories over the span of just a few days seems more than just a strange coincidence. Especially given the fact, according to an article posted by earlier this week here at Underground Brooklyn, Australia is moving toward an “Internet Blacklist”. In the article, I outlined how the list is “not censorship of the type practiced by China or Saudi Arabia”, it has effectively included over 2,400 sites, including a dentist’s office, poker sites and a PG-rated site displaying images by a controversial Australian photographer.

 

This move by the Australian government, combined with major pushes from Europe for extreme net censorship and the dire warnings about this Chinese “Ghostnet”, is indeed putting up red flags.

 

But that is not all….

 

According to a post on the “ReleaseLog” blog on Wednesday (directly sourced from PC World), “China appears to be blocking all access to YouTube…YouTube use from China started dropping off the map sometime Monday night, with traffic nearly reaching a standstill by Tuesday morning. Google (which owns YouTube) has confirmed the apparent ban, though its staff is not certain of the cause. “We do not know the reason for the blockage, and we’re working as quickly as possible to restore access to our users in China,” a spokesperson says. Google does believe the Chinese government knowingly cut the access. The spokesperson, however, questions why officials wouldn’t have just blocked a specific video, as they’ve done before, rather than nixing the entire site.”

 

And finally, in a video posted on YouTube by Russia Today on Thursday, under a newly proposed “international copyright treaty”, the government may be given open access to people’s personal computers. The video can be seen below:

 

 

Whether or not any of this pans out into an actual massive cyberattack, false-flag or legitimate, remains to be seen, of course. However, the eerie resemblances it all has to the “terror drills” carried out by the US Government in the weeks leading up to, as well as on the day of, the 9\11 attacks in New York City and Washington, cannot be denied.

 

Stay tuned….

 

http://undergroundbrooklyn.com/worldnews-story-008.html

Barack Obama: Hypocrite on Health Care, Hater on Single Payer

March 30, 2009

obamaon_health_care

“…the Obama Administration’s emerging health care plan is expected to be based upon a model that has failed multiple times, most recently in Massachusetts”

by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
When it comes to health care, Barack Obama is a hater, and a dishonest one at that.  An honest and ethical hater tells you where she or he stands, and throws down the appropriate facts.  President Obama doesn’t do this.  He has claimed for years to be a proponent of single payer health care, the only practical and workable health care solution, but since his election to the senate in 2004 he has become accustomed to saying he would favor single payer “if we were starting from a clean slate” but of course we are not.  Insurance companies are powerful interests, he seems to say, and for some reason, we have to let them keep the thrid of every health care dollar they currently take.
President Obama knows there is no blank slate and there never was.  
That’s not even honest hating.  It’s hypocrisy.  And it’s not leadership, it’s caving to the parasitical private insurers.

Obama likes to say that the insurance industry employes tens or hundreds of thousands, and we cannot just displace them.  That’s hating.  But his advisors know perfectly well that single payer health care insurance would create 2.6 million new jobs , after allowing for the 440,000 insurance company jobs it would do away with a fact detailed in the groundbreaking report issued earlier this year by the National Nurses Organizing Committee.  Instead, in the spirit of a dishonest hater, Obama has tried to ban from public forums any discussion of the single payer health care option, despite the fact that it has massive support among the people who voted for him.  That is hypocrisy.
When the Obama campaign asked for house meetings across the nation on health care, the option suggested most often was indeed single payer.  So you didn’t hear much of anything about the outcomes of those meetings.  If that’s not dishonest hating on single payer health care it’s hard to imagine what is.
Instead, the Obama Administration’s emerging health care plan is expected to be based upon a model that has failed multiple times, most recently in Massachusetts, which includes “individual mandates” requiring people above a certain income level to purchase private insurance or face a fine, and provides some kind of care at subsidized rates to those with the lowerst incomes.  
A recent study by physicians at Harvard Medical School meticulously exposes the predictable failure of the  Massachusetts Plan live up to any of its promises, and explains succinctly why no “individual mandate” which subsidizes private insurance companies should be a model for any national health care plan.
It’s called “Massachusetts’ Plan”  A Failed Model for Health Care Reform“, and you can find it online here.
In it, Drs. Rachel Narden, David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler, all of Harvard Medical School deliver a withering assessment of the plan’s failure, and explain why it must not be a model for any national health care plan worthy of the name.

Continue Article:

http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/barack-obama-hypocrite-health-care-hater-single-payer

Standards under scrutiny as food giants explore nanotechnology

March 30, 2009

By Rachael Brown for AM

Posted Sat Mar 28, 2009 12:18pm AEDT
Updated Sat Mar 28, 2009 12:47pm AEDT

An ice cream low in fat, but with the same fatty texture and flavour? Choice says it's one use of nanotechnology that the food industry is researching.

An ice cream low in fat, but with the same fatty texture and flavour? Choice says it’s one use of nanotechnology that the food industry is researching. (Flickr: Jökull Sólberg Auðunsson, file photo)

Take a strand of your hair, divide its width by 100,000 and that’s the size of a nanoparticle, a tiny particle with the potential to create a big stir in the food world.

The technology promises to make food look and taste better but little is known about its health impact.

Some food giants are reported to be researching the technology, though none have publicly acknowledged it.

Europe is poised for a moratorium on the technology’s use in food, while Australia thinks its current regulatory standards are sufficient.

Consumer magazine Choice says nanotechnology is already used in around 800 products.

These include “invisible sunscreens”, where nanoscale particles of titanium dioxide give transparent protection from UV rays, according to Choice spokesman Christopher Zinn.

“There’s also shirts that don’t actually stain because they’ve copied the nano-structure of lotus leaves to create water repellent surfaces,” he said.

Mr Zinn says some of the food giants are exploring the use of the technology for food additives to enhance taste and texture.

“[They are] developing an ice cream that has lower fat content but has the same fatty texture and flavour,” he said.

“Food packaging can keep food fresher if you’re using nanomaterials. There’s a lot of applications; there’s a lot of work going on.”

But he says the food giants have been keeping hush on their research, and he is worried the technology could find its way into food and says consumers would be none the wiser and could get sick.

“Under current food code no requirement for any of this to be specifically labelled the use of nanoparticles,” he said.

“They’re so small they can actually enter cells and enter parts of the body, which might not routinely happen with normal food stuffs.

“That’s why we want to see a regime with Food Standards Australia and New Zealand, where there is going to be much greater safety assessments carried out.”

The ABC contacted food giants Unilever, Kraft and Nestle.

Kraft and Nestle say they have no local nanotechnology research underway but neither could speak for their international arms.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand declined an interview.

The Australian Office of Nanotechnology oversees the authority and develops nanotechnology policy.

Spokesperson Craig Cormick says the office thinks Australia’s regulations are tough enough.

“A major report commissioned by the Australian Government by Monash University found that right across the board the regulatory systems in Australia are sufficient to cover most things,” he said.

“However, they did point to some areas where we have to do a lot more work to make sure we keep on top of these things.”

Associate Professor Thomas Faunce, from Australian National University’s Medical School, doubts the veracity of the Monash University report.

“All the research at the moment tends to indicate nanoparticles have unusual toxicities related to size and shape,” he said.

‘In this sort of climate it’s much better if regulatory authorities apply the precautionary principle and start developing nano-specific regulatory structures.

“If we don’t we’re going to have a catastrophe-driven approach to regulation, where we wait for a major public health crisis to arise because of nanoparticles causing toxicity in people.”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/28/2528759.htm

NICE

March 30, 2009

Picture: Putin Pretending To Be Tourist During Reagan’s 1988 Visit To Moscow

March 16, 2009 · Filed Under Politics, Russia 

This is an amazing picture. See the guy with the camera around his neck standing behind the boy? That’s current Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin pretending to be a tourist when we know today that he was a KGB agent.

According to the photographer the Secret Service was under no illusions at the time however, and acknowledged the so-called “tourists” were KGB.

reaganputin-thumb

http://www.thehotjoints.com/2009/03/16/picture-putin-pretending-to-be-tourist-during-reagans-1988-visit-to-moscow/

Toxic Asses

March 30, 2009

Subject: Dissecting yet another scam

President Obama unveiled the latest government plan for buying up “toxic” assets on Monday, and the stock market soared by nearly 500 points. It’s not hard to see why. Investors get the reward, while taxpayers get the risk.

Please use our quick and easy Educate the Powerful System to ask Congress to block this bailout.

Here’s what you can say in your personal comments. This latest “toxic” asset bailout is yet another scam, because . . .

For every $100 used to buy “toxic” assets, private investors will put up only $7, while taxpayers will put in a matching $7 plus $86 in loans. These are no recourse loans. In other words, if a “toxic” asset doesn’t pay off, taxpayers will eat the loss — potentially $93 out of every $100 invested.

Investors get a chance to profit, while most of the potential losses will be socialized — paid by you.

Withdraw your consent!

And ask your friends to do the same.

Thanks for being a member of the growing Downsize DC Army.

Perry Willis
Communications Director
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

March 29, 2009

Our Criminal Government Is Getting Predictable

March 29, 2009

“Jesus Christ… just like I said. You see once you get passed what ever it is that keeps you blinded from our governments corruption and evil agenda then you can literally sometimes predict their actions. I don’t think I’m johnny-smart-guy… there are a growing number of Americans who know exactly what I’m talking about.”

The original post where I was saying that they would use the Mexican drug violence to further push gun control on law abiding American gun owners, (or “gun shop” owners in this article):

https://thetruthorthefight.wordpress.com/2009/03/26/clinton-mexico-violence-fueled-by-americas-insatiable-demand-for-drugs/

F.F. 3/28/09

 

 

U.S. Gun Trial Echoes in Drug-Torn Mexico

By JOEL MILLMAN

PHOENIX — This week, an Arizona gun shop goes on trial in state court in what law-enforcement officials are calling a landmark case against gun dealers who sell weapons that end up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels, fueling horrific violence south of the border that killed more than 6,000 people last year.

X-Caliber Guns LLC, is accused of knowingly selling hundreds of weapons, mostly AK-47s, to buyers who were posing as fronts for Mexican drug gangs. The gun store’s owner, 47-year-old George Iknadosian, has maintained his innocence in court filings.

While the U.S. has long pressed Mexico to stop the flow of illegal drugs such as cocaine from crossing the border heading north, Mexico has complained that the U.S. doesn’t stop the flow of guns heading south. Mexican and U.S. officials estimate that more than 90% of the weapons used by Mexican drug cartels come from the U.S.

Consider what happened last year in the Mexican border city of Nogales. The chief of the Sonora state anti-drug unit, Juan Manuel Pavón, was murdered by cartel hit men, just hours after attending a U.S. seminar on how to resist the tide of American firearms surging into Mexico. Several weapons linked to the crime traced back to X-Caliber Guns.

“The three highest priorities for me in terms of U.S. cooperation in the drugs war are these: guns, guns, guns,” Mexican Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora said in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal. “These drug groups intimidate society and government because of their firepower. And their firepower comes from the U.S.”

No one knows how many weapons cross the border into Mexico each year. Unlike contraband drugs, which are consumed, contraband guns “remain in circulation until they are captured,” says Terry Goddard, the Arizona Attorney General bringing the case against X-Caliber Guns.

The number of U.S. guns in Mexico is growing. The Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, says more than 7,700 guns sold in America were traced to Mexico in the fiscal year ending last September. That’s twice the 3,300 recorded the previous year and more than triple the 2,100 traced the year before that.

U.S. officials acknowledge that U.S. gun laws are partly to blame. The 1994 ban on the sale of assault weapons like AK-47s in the U.S. led to a decrease of such weapons south of the border. But the ban expired in 2004, and the numbers in Mexico spiked. Last week, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the Obama administration would seek to reinstate the ban. Contributing to the problem is the fact that Mexico’s customs control is famously weak, and authorities rarely check inbound traffic from the U.S.

Meanwhile, Mexican drug gangs are stocking up on deadlier weapons. ATF officials say they have registered more purchases of high-powered FN Herstal rifles and pistols — the Belgian-made weapon called “matapolicias” in Mexico, or “cop killers,” for their ability to fire through body armor. Such items are sold in hundreds of Arizona gun shops, or by private owners advertising online.

An FN rifle retails here for $2,200, but will resell in Mexico for “three to four times” the price, says William D. Newell, special agent in charge of Arizona for the ATF. “Money is no object to these guys,” he says.

Although U.S. gun laws generally forbid the sale of weapons to noncitizens, the X-Caliber case shows how Mexican purchasers used intermediaries — or “straw buyers” — to flout the rules.

The scheme, according to the prosecution, was simple: The buyers, usually 19- to 22-year-old U.S. citizens with no police record, declared that the firearm was for personal use, but instead passed it along to an associate of a Mexican cartel. The buyer filled out a standard form used by the ATF to track firearms. Lying on the form is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. But ATF agents here say buyers in the X-Caliber case were paid a fee to run that risk — up to $100 on each transaction.

Gun shops generally rely on ATF recordkeeping to check them before selling to the wrong buyer. Ken Logan, a manager at the Shooters World gun store in Phoenix says the ATF form, once approved after being checked against a national data base, relieves the store of responsibility. “The ATF says ‘yea’ or ‘nay,’ on who I can sell a gun to,” he says.

Gun stores run the risk of lawsuits if they’re deemed to be “profiling” — refusing to sell guns to young Latinos, for instance. Mr. Logan concedes he has seen men enter gun stores, point out to a girlfriend what weapon they should buy, and leave. The girlfriend fills out the form, attesting the firearm is for her personal use.

Getting bullets is even easier. Gun dealers here must report anyone purchasing more than one handgun during a single five-day period, but there is no restriction on ammunition. Last Christmas Eve, salesmen at Cabela’s Sporting Goods store in Phoenix were surprised when two Hispanic men bought 24,000 rounds of bullets — the same caliber used in FN “cop killers.” They paid in cash — more than $10,000. When the buyers were seen loading their purchase into a car with Mexican license plates, store managers summoned police. Authorities found 12 FN rifles and three “cop killer” handguns.

Police arrested the buyers, but only because they were foreign nationals, thus forbidden from possessing arms in the U.S.

The murder of Mr. Pavón last year illustrates how Arizona’s gun-friendly culture contributes to mayhem in Mexico. Last October, the men under Mr. Pavón’s command fought gangs of narco-pistoleros in gun battles across the state. On October 24, a caravan of heavily armed assassins descended on Nogales, only to be repelled, leaving 10 gunmen dead. A week later, they attacked a police substation about a mile from the U.S. border crossing.

Days later, Mr. Pavón was in Arizona for consultations with U.S. officials.

At a farewell picnic at a federal shooting range in Tucson, the Mexican policeman was invited to test fire a powerful American weapon that has been surfacing lately in the narco-gangs’ arsenals: the 50 caliber Barrett rifle, powerful enough to pierce a tank’s armor.

“We had a shootout,” recalls Mr. Newell, the ATF agent. “He won.”

The following night, Commander Pavón was ambushed as he entered a Nogales hotel.

—José de Córdoba contributed to this article.Write to Joel Millman at joel.millman@wsj.com

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123595012797004865.html

FOOTNOTE:

Subject: Prohibiting guns and drugs

(There’s a civil war going on in Mexico. It’s the drug cartels, funded by obscene black market profits, versus the government, funded by obscene taxes.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Mexico this week. She’s from the U.S. Federal Government and she was there to help. She promised . . .

* More taxpayer money to fight Mexico’s war on drugs
* Gun control laws here in the U.S.A. . . .

. . .to stop the flow of guns to the Mexican drug cartels.

Ms. Clinton seems to think that gun prohibition is the way to enforce drug prohibition. She’s right about one thing. Drug prohibition and gun prohibition are the same issue.

Now, you might think drugs are bad. You might believe them to be so harmful you’d never use them. But you probably expect the politicians to keep their hands off your firearms.
 
On the other hand, you may think guns are evil. You might believe they’re so dangerous, you’d never own one. But you think you have every right to choose what substances you take into to your own body. 

Both positions are correct. Guns and drugs are both dangerous to people who don’t use them prudently. But prohibition laws mean that no one is allowed to use them prudently. And the one form of prohibition ends up being used as a justification for the other, as Ms. Clinton made clear in Mexico this week.

We think it’s time to put the special pleading aside. Drug prohibition and gun control aren’t two separate issues, they are the same issue, and should be governed by the same principle. The only thing that should be prohibited is government prohibition in all its forms. 

We don’t need to renew the Assault Weapons Ban, or give money to Mexico to fight the war on drugs. 

What we need is less government coercion, not more. 

Downsize DC! That’s the winning formula here. 

Our government should end drug prohibition. That will defund the Mexican cartels (and the terrorists too), then they won’t be able to buy the guns. It would also reduce violent crime here at home and remove much of the supposed justification for gun prohibition).

If you see the wisdom in this please our free Educate the Powerful System to ask Congress to end prohibition. 

Then, please help spread the word. Digg this message on our blog.

Thank you for being part of the growing Downsize DC Army, which has grown in two months time from 24,095 to 24,649.

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.  

Experts On Third World Banana Republics: The U.S. has Become a Third World Banana Republic

March 29, 2009

dumbass

 

 

Who are the leading experts on third world banana republics?

Probably those at the International Monetary Fund with years of experience lending money to corrupt regimes after their excess became so out of hand that they needed emergency assistance.

Today, two top IMF officials said that the U.S. has become a third world banana republic.

First, Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the IMF, says recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform, and calls the U.S. a banana republic. In his essay “The Quiet Coup” (which includes sections like “Becoming a Banana Republic”), Johnson writes:

Typically, these countries are in a desperate economic situation for one simple reason—the powerful elites within them overreached in good times and took too many risks. Emerging-market governments and their private-sector allies commonly form a tight-knit—and, most of the time, genteel—oligarchy, running the country rather like a profit-seeking company in which they are the controlling shareholders. When a country like Indonesia or South Korea or Russia grows, so do the ambitions of its captains of industry. As masters of their mini-universe, these people make some investments that clearly benefit the broader economy, but they also start making bigger and riskier bets. They reckon—correctly, in most cases—that their political connections will allow them to push onto the government any substantial problems that arise. . . .

The downward spiral that follows is remarkably steep. Enormous companies teeter on the brink of default, and the local banks that have lent to them collapse….

Squeezing the oligarchs, though, is seldom the strategy of choice among emerging-market governments. Quite the contrary: at the outset of the crisis, the oligarchs are usually among the first to get extra help from the government, such as preferential access to foreign currency, or maybe a nice tax break, or—here’s a classic Kremlin bailout technique—the assumption of private debt obligations by the government. Under duress, generosity toward old friends takes many innovative forms. Meanwhile, needing to squeeze someone, most emerging-market governments look first to ordinary working folk—at least until the riots grow too large. . . .

In its depth and suddenness, the U.S. economic and financial crisis is shockingly reminiscent of moments we have recently seen in emerging markets (and only in emerging markets): South Korea (1997), Malaysia (1998), Russia and Argentina (time and again). . . .But there’s a deeper and more disturbing similarity: elite business interests—financiers, in the case of the U.S.—played a central role in creating the crisis, making ever-larger gambles, with the implicit backing of the government, until the inevitable collapse. More alarming, they are now using their influence to prevent precisely the sorts of reforms that are needed, and fast, to pull the economy out of its nosedive.The government seems helpless, or unwilling, to act against them.

 

 

 

Second, Desmond Lachman – a long-time official with the IMF and former chief strategist for emerging markets at Salomon Smith Barney –agrees, writing in an essay entitled “Welcome to America, the World’s Scariest Emerging Market”:

The parallels between U.S. policymaking and what we see in emerging markets are clearest in how we’ve mishandled the banking crisis. We delude ourselves that our banks face liquidity problems, rather than deeper solvency problems, and we try to fix it all on the cheap just like any run-of-the-mill emerging market economy would try to do. And after years of lecturing Asian and Latin American leaders about the importance of consistency and transparency in sorting out financial crises, we fail on both counts….

In visits to Asian capitals during the region’s financial crisis in the late 1990s, I often heard Asian reformers such as Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew or Japan’s Eisuke Sakakibara complain about how the incestuous relationship between governments and large Asian corporate conglomerates stymied real economic change.How fortunate, I thought then, that the United States was not similarly plagued by crony capitalism! However, watching Goldman Sachs’s seeming lock on high-level U.S. Treasury jobs as well as the way that Republicans and Democrats alike tiptoed around reforming Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae — among the largest campaign contributors to Congress — made me wonder if the differences between the United States and the Asian economies were only a matter of degree….

If we insist on … not facing our real problems, we might soon lose our status as a country to be emulated and join the ranks of those nations we have patronized for so long.

While such statements are generally taboo among officials or bankers in the U.S., even the former Vice President of the Dallas Federal Reserveagrees:

 

Gerald O’Driscoll, a former vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, said he worried that the failure of the government to provide more information about its rescue spending could signal corruption.

“Nontransparency in government programs is always associated with corruption in other countries, so I don’t see why it wouldn’t be here,” he said.

http://www.georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2009/03/experts-on-third-world-banana-republics.html

Trust Your Guts

March 29, 2009

 

“Two Fuck Heads From Fuckland.”

F.F.

Treasury Nominee

by WILLIAM GREIDER

 

March 28, 2009 The Nation.com

 

 

A reassuring new story line is emanating from our leaders. I heard Representative Barney Frank, chair of the House Banking Committee, explain it. Then I read the same line in a Washington Post news story. That tells me people in high places are selling it. Dynamic capitalism, they explain, invents ways to create greater wealth, but sometimes it goes a little too far. Then government has to step in to correct things. This need typically occurs every generation or so, all in a day’s work. The Obama administration is proposing “sweeping” new regulatory laws so that capitalism can continue its good works.

The story makes disturbing current events sound practically normal. But what are the storytellers leaving out? They aren’t saying that this financial catastrophe was not merely an inevitable development of history but a man-made disaster. Greedheads on Wall Street did their part, but so did Washington. The reason we need new rules is that a generation of Democrats and Republicans systematically repealed or gutted the old ones–the regulatory controls enacted eighty years ago to remedy the last breakdown of capitalism (better known as the Great Depression).

 

The White House executed a nifty two-step this week to re-educate the public and deflect anger. On Tuesday Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner relaunched the massive bailout of banking and finance. Knowing how unpopular this is with the people at large, Geithner followed on Thursday with his “sweeping” plans to re-regulate the bankers and financiers. Whenever official plans are called “sweeping,” it indicates that they really, really mean it this time.

Most Americans are not financial experts. It’s very difficult, nearly impossible, for normal mortals to sort through the dense policy talk and conflicting opinions to figure out if the rhetoric of reform is real. Confusion is widespread in the land. Most Americans want to believe this president is leading us out of the swamp, but how can they know? I say, trust your gut feelings. They are as reliable as the learned experts.

Many Americans want to believe because they think that returning to “normal” means their decimated 401(k) accounts might somehow recover the 30-40 percent that disappeared during the past year. If it takes monster bank bailouts to restore stock-market prices, let’s have bailouts. Good luck with that. The Dow has regained 21 percent in two weeks of rallies, but I remind friends that steep, short bursts in the stock market do not foretell the future of the economy. Banks may be relieved of their losses without changing the general economic outlook. After the crash of 1929, there were occasional stock rallies, followed by fierce bears. It took twenty-five years (until 1954) for the Dow to regain its old peak. Another way to assess the Obama plan for reform is ask: who likes it? The verdict was swift and sure after Geithner’s twin announcements. Wall Street likes it. The blueprint for regulatory reforms was applauded by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association; the American Insurance Association; and the Private Equity Council, the trade group for the major private funds that will get public money and backup insurance to buy the banking system’s rotten assets. This could be born-again patriotism. Or it could be the animal appetites of financiers smelling gorgeous opportunity for returns.

This may be one of those moments where people can find some guidance from their moral convictions. They do not need to know all the details to ask simple questions. Does the outline of what’s happening to rescue major financial institutions seem morally wrong? Or is it justified by the larger necessities of the national predicament? Is the government insufficiently tough in demanding reciprocal commitments from the beneficiaries? Should Washington pursue larger structural changes in the banking system?

Trying to imagine alternatives to the bankers-first bailouts is a good place to start. What follows are suggestions I produced at the request of young people organizing demonstrations around the country for April 11. They call themselves A New Way Forward. I hope they light lots of bonfires.

This rough outline leaves out lots of particular regulatory issues, but the core goal of reform is to create a banking and financial system that serves the society and the economy, not the other way around. Everything being done to rescue and restore the old order gets in the way of creating something truly new and valuable for the future. Those of us throwing logs in the path of the bailouts are dismissed as naysayers or worse, but the financial titans are trying to foreclose just solutions by stampeding Congress and the president to adopt ill-considered ideas.

If Wall Street gets its way, the “reforms” may further consolidate power and ratify a corporate state–a grotesque hybrid that combines the worst aspects of socialism and capitalism. The reform ideas announced by Geithner would plant the seeds by creating a “systemic risk” regulator, presumably the Federal Reserve, to oversee the largest, most politically adept banks and financial firms that qualify as “too big to fail.” Capitalism, with its inherent tendency toward monopoly, would have the means to monopolize democracy (see my recent Washington Post article.)

My new book, Come Home, America, asks people to enunciate their versions of “patriotic realism.” That is the essence of an alternative vision: deconcentrate power, liberate people and smaller enterprises, workers and middle managers and investors, to help shape the country’s future from many different perspectives. This is how democracy was supposed to work. It can again.

Some points I recommend people consider:

1. Euthanasia for insolvent banks. Transferring their losses to the public will not restore the trillions in capital the bankers helped destroy. It would merely relieve the banks, their creditors and shareholders of the pain. Government must take control of the system to supervise a just unwinding of the mess–whether we call it nationalization or something else. Handing out money and leaving bankers in control of how it’s spent is nutty and morally wrong. People everywhere understand this. Only Washington seems oblivious to the irrationality of what it is attempting.

2. The Federal Reserve must be democratized and effectively stripped of its peculiar antidemocratic status as an unaccountable island of power within the government. A new federal agency–accountable to Congress and the president–can be refashioned from the working parts of the Fed. Call it a central bank or something else, but its governing power must not rest with heavyweight bankers on the board of directors at the twelve regional banks. (To understand why, consider that the New York Federal Reserve Bank was headed until recently by Geithner.)

3. The reformed Fed would be confined to conducting monetary policy and stripped of its regulatory functions. A different section of the Treasury or a new free-standing regulatory agency can assume responsibility for regulation and be armed with strong antitrust laws and other rules to ensure that “too big to fail” institutions are redefined as “too big to save.”

4. The federal law against usury can be restored to halt predatory lending. Persistent violators would not be fined with trivial penalties, as they are now, but stripped of their government protections and subsidies–that is, doomed.

5. A new banking system–smaller and more diverse and responsible to the public interest–can fill the hole left by the demise of major banks like Citigroup. Vast public resources should be devoted to creating this system, not to saving the mastodons. Public banks (like the North Dakota State Bank) and nonprofit savings and lending cooperatives can also serve as an important cross-check on private commercial banking–a competitive model that offers credit on nonusurious terms and keeps the big boys honest.

6. Once the Federal Reserve is domesticated in a democratic fashion, then it can be reformed to assume broad supervision of the nonbank financial firms in the “shadow banking system”–hedge funds, private equity firms, pension funds, mutual funds, insurance companies. (For more on this, see my recent Nationarticle, “Fixing the Fed.”)

7. Our first political challenge is to disturb business as usual in Washington and prevent Congress from taking hasty action to adopt Wall Street’s “reform” agenda. Congress is rattled by the exploding popular anger and listening nervously. The people need to speak louder–loud enough for the president to hear.

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090413/greider?rel=hp_picks

“No time in America’s history…

March 29, 2009

has their been a better opportunity to unit our melting pot of people under a common cause. Most of us admire each other and want to learn from one another. It’s our government and (government controlled) media that perpetuates the divide & the hate.”

F.F. 3/28/09

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”
—Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities.  English novelist (1812 – 1870)

 

Obama Puppet

March 29, 2009

The plane was stationed at Dulles International, which is less than a 20 minute drive from the Westfields Marriott Hotel in Chantilly, where Henry Kissinger and David Rockefeller, among other globalists, were gathered for the annual Bilderberg Group conference.

The Bilderberg Group made a press release available explaining the agenda for the meeting: “The conference will deal mainly with a nuclear free world, cyber terrorism, Africa, Russia, finance, protectionism, U.S.-European Union relations, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Islam and Iran. Approximately 140 participants will attend, of whom about two-thirds come from Europe and the balance from North America,” the release stated. “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.”

James A. Johnson was going to be the one who selected Democratic candidate Barack Obama’s running mate for the 2008 election and in turn potentially act as kingmaker for America’s future President before stepping down after he was outed as an elitest. He was also the “Veep Vetter” for John Kerry’s running mate, which Kerry was obviously a set up candidate too.

Johnson is a member of “American Friends of Bilderberg,” which is an offshoot Bilderberg front group that has accepted donations from the Ford Foundation to fund Bilderberg meetings where lavish hotels are entirely booked up for three days, by no means an inexpensive feat. The organization is basically a steering committee for the Bilderberg Group – a secretarial outpost through which Bilderberg conferences are organized. 

Johnson has also directly attended Bilderberg meetings therefore can be classed as a Bilderberg member. He attended last year’s meeting in Istanbul, Turkey and was also on the leaked list of attendies at this years meeting. 

As AFP (American Free Press) has reported for years, Bilderberg has been trying since 1992 to “establish a UN tax” which would be used to finance their globalist-oriented programs. Of course, the brunt of this tax would fall on American workers, and it appears this is being spearheaded by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

On Feb. 14, 2008, an Obama-sponsored bill called the “Global Poverty Act” (S 2433) was referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee after passing the House. What this bill would do, in effect, is levy a global tax on the United States where an additional 0.7% of the gross national product would be earmarked to foreign aid (on top of what we already give).

If passed this year, by 2021 the U.S. would be committed to an extra $845 billion in foreign aid. Not only would the United States be under the UN’s thumb in regard to taxation, but this bill (part of the globalists’ Millennium Development Goal) would also seek to ban certain weapons, establish an international criminal court, push global warming legislation, and promote “biological diversity.”

Anyone familiar with Bilderberg sees that all of the above “buzzwords” have been part of their agenda for decades. Assisting Obama in his endeavors are two longtime Council on Foreign Relations members: Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), who has been called Obama’s mentor, and Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.). Both have attended secret Bilderberg meetings and have been influential in trying to ratify the UN’s Law of the Sea Treaty
(LOST).

One political commentator has stated that this bill “would effectively turn control of seven-tenths of the Earth’s surface over to the UN,” not to mention surrendering the sovereignty of our seas to them.

Obama’s popularity can be attributed to one concept: he stands for “change.” But is this the type of change that American citizens really want-to become enslaved by a UN global tax on top of the local, state and federal taxes they already pay? Obama is another political tool whose loyalties lie with those shadowy figures who sit atop the world’s control pyramid.

Jim Tucker speaks about Bilderberg in Greece early May 2009

March 29, 2009

American Free Press editor Jim Tucker speaks about the upcoming Bilderberg meeting, which will be held in Greece in early May 2009.

9/11 Truth From The UK

March 29, 2009

http://www.911truthskipton.com/

Police identify 200 children as potential terrorists

March 29, 2009

 

“Ya, this will steer kids in the right direction… when you put a giant label on them. Do any of you adult freak-shows remember being a kid?  Stay the fuck out of other peoples children’s development. Terrorist or not, I don’t think you want to hear what I think a Father should do to someone who labels their adolescent child a terrorist… right between the eyes.  The UK authorities have completely lost their minds ours are not that far behind.”

F.F. 3/28/09

 

28

Drastic new tactics to prevent school pupils as young as 13 falling into extremism

 

Exclusive by Mark Hughes Crime correspondent

 

Two hundred schoolchildren in Britain, some as young as 13, have been identified as potential terrorists by a police scheme that aims to spot youngsters who are “vulnerable” to Islamic radicalisation.

 

The number was revealed to The Independent by Sir Norman Bettison, the chief constable of West Yorkshire Police and Britain’s most senior officer in charge of terror prevention.

He said the “Channel project” had intervened in the cases of at least 200 children who were thought to be at risk of extremism, since it began 18 months ago. The number has leapt from 10 children identified by June 2008.

The programme, run by the Association of Chief Police Officers, asks teachers, parents and other community figures to be vigilant for signs that may indicate an attraction to extreme views or susceptibility to being “groomed” by radicalisers. Sir Norman, whose force covers the area in which all four 7 July 2005 bombers grew up, said: “What will often manifest itself is what might be regarded as racism and the adoption of bad attitudes towards ‘the West’.

“One of the four bombers of 7 July was, on the face of it, a model student. He had never been in trouble with the police, was the son of a well-established family and was employed and integrated into society.

“But when we went back to his teachers they remarked on the things he used to write. In his exercise books he had written comments praising al-Qa’ida. That was not seen at the time as being substantive. Now we would hope that teachers might intervene, speak to the child’s family or perhaps the local imam who could then speak to the young man.”

The Channel project was originally piloted in Lancashire and the Metropolitan Police borough of Lambeth in 2007, but in February last year it was extended to West Yorkshire, the Midlands, Bedfordshire and South Wales. Due to its success there are now plans to roll it out to the rest of London, Thames Valley, South Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, and West Sussex.

The scheme, funded by the Home Office, involves officers working alongside Muslim communities to identify impressionable children who are at risk of radicalisation or who have shown an interest in extremist material – on the internet or in books.

Once identified the children are subject to a “programme of intervention tailored to the needs of the individual”. Sir Norman said this could involve discussions with family, outreach workers or the local imam, but he added that “a handful have had intervention directly by the police”.

He stressed that the system was not being used to target the Muslim community. “The whole ethos is to build a relationship, on the basis of trust and confidence, with those communities,” said Sir Norman.

“With the help of these communities we can identify the kids who are vulnerable to the message and influenced by the message. The challenge is to intervene and offer guidance, not necessarily to prosecute them, but to address their grievance, their growing sense of hate and potential to do something violent in the name of some misinterpretation of a faith.

“We are targeting criminals and would-be terrorists who happen to be cloaking themselves in Islamic rhetoric. That is not the same as targeting the Muslim community.”

Nor was it criminalising children, he added. “The analogy I use is that it is similar to our well-established drugs intervention programmes. Teachers in schools are trained to identify pupils who might be experimenting with drugs, take them to one side and talk to them. That does not automatically mean that these kids are going to become crack cocaine or heroin addicts. The same is true around this issue.”

But Inayat Bunglawala of the Muslim Council of Britain said the police ran the risk of infringing on children’s privacy. He warned: “There is a difference between the police being concerned or believing a person may be at risk of recruitment and a person actually engaging in unlawful, terrorist activity.

“That said, clearly in recent years some people have been lured by terrorist propaganda emanating from al-Qa’ida-inspired groups. It would seem that a number of Muslim youngsters have been seduced by that narrative and all of us, including the Government, have a role to play in making sure that narrative is seen for what it is: a nihilistic one which offers no hope, only death and destruction.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “We are committed to stopping people becoming or supporting terrorists or violent extremists. The aim of the Channel project is to directly support vulnerable people by providing supportive interventions when families, communities and networks raise concerns about their behaviour.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/police-identify-200-children-as-potential-terrorists-1656027.html

 

 

Newsweek’s Krugman Cover Story: Obama’s Loyal Opposition

March 29, 2009

“Bout fuckin’ time.”

F.F. 3/28/09

27

Huffington Post   |  Nick Sabloff   |   March 28, 2009 12:15 PM

 

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has been one of most vocal critics of the Obama administration’s bank bailout plan. As the Financial Times noted Friday, Krugman is one of the “many prominent left-leaning economists” who is leading what the article referred to as “the liberal backlash” against Obama. For example, in a widely-read post on his blog “Conscience of a Liberal” last Saturday, Krugman criticized Geithner’s plan for the banks, declaring that “the zombie ideas have won.” His critique quickly echoed around the blogosphere and beyond.

This week’s issue of Newsweek highlights, and perhaps helps solidify, Krugman’s status as arguably the most prominent, influential and prescient critic of the administration on the left by featuring him on the magazine’s coveralongside the headline “OBAMA IS WRONG: The Loyal Opposition of Paul Krugman.” (SCROLL DOWN FOR IMAGE OF COVER)

As Newsweek editor Jon Meacham writes in his letter to the magazine’s readers about the Krugman article:

Every once a while, … a critic emerges who is more than a chatterer–a critic with credibility whose views seem more than a little plausible and who manages to rankle those in power in more than passing ways. As the debate over the rescue of the financial system–the crucial step toward stabilizing the economy and returning the country to prosperity–unfolds, the man on our cover this week, Paul Krugman of The New York Times, has emerged as the kind of critic who, as Evan Thomas writes, appears disturbingly close to the mark when he expresses his ‘despair’ over the administration’s bailout plan. […]
There is little doubt that Krugman–Nobel laureate and Princeton professor–has be come the voice of the loyal opposition. What is striking about this development is that Obama’s most thoughtful critic is taking on the president from the left at a time when, as Jonathan Alter notes, so many others are reflexively arguing that the administration is trying too much too soon.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/28/newsweeks-krugman-cover-s_n_180343.html

 

Read the full Newsweek article by Evan Thomas:

http://www.newsweek.com/id/191393/page/1

Geithner ‘open’ to China proposal

March 29, 2009

26

“Timothy Geithner is a swormy little white-bread rich bitch. Of course he is retracting on his earlier statement that the Obama administration wasn’t interested in a “global currency.” This was the plan from the beginning… “Problem-Reaction-Solution.” Create the global economy collapse then swoop  in as the saviors and say that the only way we can get out of this depression is with a ONE WORLD CURRENCY. If you live in NYC/Washington, hang around this guys office and throw some eggs at his stuffy white ass. I’m not suggesting hurting him… but egg his dumb ass.”

F.F. 3/28/09

 

Geithner, at the Council on Foreign Relations, said the U.S. is “open” to a headline-grabbing proposal by the governor of the China’s central bank, which was widely reported as being a call for a new global currency to replace the dollar, but which Geithner described as more modest and “evolutionary.”

“I haven’t read the governor’s proposal. He’s a very thoughtful, very careful distinguished central banker. I generally find him sensible on every issue,” Geithner said, saying that however his interpretation of the proposal was to increase the use of International Monetary Fund’s special drawing rights — shares in the body held by its members — not creating a new currency in the literal sense.

“We’re actually quite open to that suggestion – you should see it as rather evolutionary rather building on the current architecture rather than moving us to global monetary union,” he said.

“The only thing concrete I saw was expanding the use of the [special drawing rights],” Geithner said. “Anything he’s thinking about deserves some consideration.”

The continued use of the dollar as a reserve currency, he added, “depends..on how effective we are in the United States…at getting our fiscal system back to the point where people judge it as sustainable over time.”

President Obama flatly rejected the notion of a new global currency at last night’s press conference.

UPDATE: Evidently sensing a gaffe, moderator Roger Altman told Geithner that it would be “useful” to return to the question, and asked if he foresaw a change in the dollar’s centrality.

“I do not,” Geithner said, adding several forceful promises, including, “We will do what’s necessary to say we’re sustaining confidence in our financial markets.”

 

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0309/Geithner_open_to_China_proposal.html?showall

Extras from the Obama Deception

March 29, 2009

Obama held hostage by PPPIP

March 29, 2009

Pepe Escobar: If Geithner’s plan does not work, the President sinks

Another One For The Good Guys

March 29, 2009

March 28, 2009

Dear Friend of Liberty,

Although it sometimes seems that freedom is shrinking everywhere we turn, the fact is a powerful grassroots stand can still stop Big Government bureaucrats in their tracks.

That is exactly what happened to the Missouri Highway Patrol this week after being forced by your vocal outrage to retract the incendiary Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) report.

This report identified peaceful, freedom-loving Americans as possible security threats, simply for supporting Ron Paul or opposing tyrannical government.

Faced with an overwhelming public outcry, Missouri officials quickly started backpedaling, removing references to Ron Paul and Campaign for Liberty.

Then, just hours before Dr. Paul’s plane touched down in St. Louis to lead our Celebration of Freedom rally Friday night, the Missouri Highway Patrol officially retracted the entire offending document.

The Missouri Highway Patrol will be performing an investigation into the origin of the report.  Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder has even called for the suspension of the Director of Public Safety until those responsible have been identified.

Click here to read the news report.

It is no surprise that oversight and accountability are in short supply at the MIAC, a Big Government “fusion center” combining federal, state and local agencies into an unconstitutional mess of a bureaucracy.   But government disorganization is no excuse for making political profiling and persecution into official policy.

This victory for the grassroots freedom movement, coupled with this weekend’s Campaign for Liberty Regional Conference in St. Louis, marks a great moment for liberty in Missouri and all of America.

This week we saw that politicians still respond to the voices of their constituents.

This week we saw that freedom can triumph over tyranny when we unite to take a stand.

In Liberty,

John Tate
President, Campaign for Liberty

P.S. This week Campaign for Liberty showed that freedom-loving Americans will not be silenced by political persecution.  We successfully fought for the retraction of the MIAC report, and we met in St. Louis to celebrate freedom’s victory over tyranny.

Please click here to donate so that Campaign for Liberty can always afford to stand up against tyranny in all its forms.

March 28, 2009

Obama the Socialist and the Cause of Poverty

March 28, 2009

iamtheone

 

 

By Jacob Hornberger 

 

Obama the Socialist 

Amidst all the devastation from the latest economic crisis, there have been some really funny moments. Among the most humorous has got to be what happened recently with President Obama and the New York Times. 

I recently referenced an article by Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson in which he expressed shock that people are actually calling President Obama a socialist because of his massive stimulus package, bank bailouts, and tighter government regulation. All this government involvement in economic activity, Meyerson says, just consists of free-market mechanisms designed to help revitalize America’s free-enterprise system. He says that it’s not socialism and interventionism that are at the root of the current crisis but rather America’s capitalist system. 

Well, guess what then happened! The New York Times conducted an interview with Obama in which the reporter asked him to respond to suggestions that he is a socialist. Obama laughingly responded, “The answer would be no” and then, according to the paper, added that he was “making some very tough choices” on the budget. 

And now the really funny part happens. About an hour-and-a-half later, Obama actually calls the reporter back and says that he wants to give a fuller answer on the socialist question. He wanted to point out that “large-scale government intervention in the markets and the expansion of social welfare programs had begun under his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush.” 

Now, if you’re not rolling in the aisles from laughter at this, then you’ve got to be either a conservative or a liberal rather than a libertarian. 

Here’s what happened, as any clear-thinking libertarian will tell you. 

America was founded on the principles of a free market. What “free market” meant was that market activity was free from government control. That is, “free market” didn’t mean less government control or regulation of market activity, it meant free of government control or regulation. 

It also meant no income tax. People were free to keep everything they earned. It also meant no welfare programs. That is, there were no government programs in which people were taxed in order to give the money to other people. 

In the late 1800s and continuing into the early 1900s, philosophical attacks began being leveled at the philosophy of economic liberty. The chief attackers were the Progressives, who were copying socialist and regulatory ideas from European socialists and interventionists. Some of the attacks were successful, as reflected by the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, the 16th Amendment, the Federal Reserve (which caused the 1929 stock-market crash), and minimum-wage laws in some of the states. 

For decades, the advocates of economic liberty were able to stem the tide. But with the stock-market crash in 1929 and the Great Depression, the socialist and interventionist tide overwhelmed America like a tsunami. Franklin Roosevelt seized upon the crisis to revolutionize America’s economic system. Seizing upon the economic principles of both the socialists andfascists, the primary mission of the federal government became taxing some to give to others and regulating economic and business activity. The era of laissez faire had come to an end. 

But Roosevelt was a brilliant politician. He understood that Americans generally had a deep revulsion against socialism and fascism. So, he simply convinced them that all his welfare-statism and interventionism, including Social Security, the SEC, the NIRA, and the FHA weren’t socialistic or fascistic but instead simply free-market mechanisms to save America’s free-enterprise system. 

It worked. And that’s the way it’s been ever since. No matter how many socialistic and fascistic policies were adopted over the years, they were always to be considered “free-market devices” to improve America’s free-enterprise system. The public schools, which themselves are a model of a socialist enterprise, reinforced people’s mindsets by year-after-year repetitive indoctrination: “America has a free-enterprise system. America has a free-enterprise system.” 

For a while, Republicans resisted the trend, fighting for the principles of economic liberty on which America was founded. But realizing that they were unlikely to regain the reins of power by hewing to principle, Republicans finally threw in the towel and joined the socialist-fascist bandwagon. In doing so, they followed the script — that all this socialism and fascism that they were now embracing were really the free market in action. 

Thus, it is easy to understand why Obama is confused, confounded, and troubled by the allegation that he is a socialist. All his life he has been taught that he’s pro-free-enterprise, that America has a free-enterprise system, that all these welfare-state, regulatory programs are free-enterprise, and, perhaps most important of all, that those free-enterprise-loving Republicans believe in all this too. 

It has been the libertarians, of course, who have pierced through this life of the lie and this devotion to unreality. Unlike Republicans and Democrats, we recognize that Roosevelt didn’t save free enterprise with his socialism and fascism. He destroyed it. Thus, unlike the Republicans and Democrats, we libertarians don’t find ourselves exclaiming during the current economic crisis, “Oh, my gosh, free enterprise has failed again.” Unlike them, we understand that it’s their socialism and fascism that have failed again and that the only real solution lies in restoring the principles of economic liberty on which our nation was founded, which would include at a minimum the repeal of all welfare-state and regulatory programs and departments and the abolition of the federal income tax and the IRS. 

The Cause of Poverty 

Liberals are saying that President Obama isn’t really a socialist because he doesn’t favor complete government ownership and control of everything, which is the strict definition of socialism. Since he “only” favors massive government involvement in some things, such as education, healthcare, mail delivery, transportation, retirement, employment, airports, money, bailouts, subsidies, grants, banks, insurance companies, the stock market, occupations, the drug war, and trade restrictions and immigration controls as well as progressive income taxation and equalization of income — well, according to liberals, all that makes Obama “free enterprise” instead of socialist. 

I wonder what Fidel Castro, who also favors all those things, would say about that. 

Lost in all this debate on whether Obama is a socialist or not is one simple but important point: It is the dead hand of government that is the cause of America’s economic woes. That means that the more that Obama does to restore wealth and prosperity to America with his increases in borrowing, spending, and printing money, the worst things are going to get. 

The situation is akin to someone suffering from arsenic poisoning. He goes to the doctor and asks for an antidote. The doctor prescribes more arsenic. 

What liberals, who purport to love the poor, needy, and disadvantaged, fail to recognize is another important point: It is the dead hand of the state that is the cause of poverty. Or to be more precise, it is massive government involvement in economic activity that prevents or inhibits a society from becoming wealthy. Call it socialism, fascism, welfare-statism, central planning, inflationism, wealth equalization, or just massive government involvement in the economy, the fact remains: the heavier the hand of government in people’s pocketbooks and business activity, the poorer people will be. 

Consider my hometown of Laredo, Texas. It is located adjacent to the Rio Grande. On the other side of the river sits Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. It’s actually one great big metropolitan area, separated by a river. 

Yet, the standard of living of people in Nuevo Laredo is markedly lower than that of those living in Laredo. It’s a phenomenon that one cannot help but notice the minute he crosses the border into Nuevo Laredo. People in Nuevo Laredo are a lot poorer than those in Laredo. 

I’ll bet that most Americans would never ask themselves that simple one-word question that they used to constantly ask when they were children, before they had it drummed out of them in those government-run schools their parents were forced to send them to: “Why?” Why are people in Nuevo Laredo significantly poorer than those in Laredo? 

After all, if one travels to the American city of St. Louis, he’ll find that the standard of living of people in East St. Louis, Illinois, is about the same as that in St. Louis, Missouri. That city is separated by the Mississippi River rather than the Rio Grande. Could that be the difference? 

No. The reason that people in Nuevo Laredo are so much poorer than people in Laredo is this: The dead hand of the state is much more prevalent in Mexico than it is in the United States. As bad as things are in the U.S. with respect to taxes, welfare, regulation, inflation, and bureaucracy, they are 1,000 times worse in Mexico. While we have Big Government in the United States, Mexicans have Mega Government. 

That’s the reason people are poorer in Mexico than they are in the United States. It’s also the reason that people in North Korea are poorer than those in Mexico. The dead hand of the state is more prevalent in North Korea than it is in Mexico. 

All this should provide a clue for liberals, who are supposedly interested in helping the poor. If one wants to raise standards of living for people, the solution is not to increase taxes, spending, borrowing, and regulation but instead to slash them, such as by abolishing the income tax and the IRS and by completely separating the economy and the state. That’s the way to help the poor. 

Alas, however, liberals move in precisely the opposite direction — higher taxes, borrowing, spending, welfare, regulation, bailouts, and stimulus plans. Even worse, they continue to force children into those government-run schools where they learn to memorize, regurgitate, and conform to this destructive nonsense rather than learn how to critically analyze and challenge it. 

Copyright © 2009 The Future of Freedom Foundation

 

http://www.campaignforliberty.com/article.php?view=26

Ron Paul on HR 1207 Update

March 28, 2009

Ron Paul gives an update on HR 1207, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, which would thoroughly audit the Federal Reserve System.

Obama plans to expand strikes against terror to Pakistan

March 28, 2009

 

obama-terrorism-pakistan_0preview
“Heres your joke of a President vomiting more of his insides getting us ever more closer to see that shallow, hollow, fraud of a man that dwells within.”
F.F. 3/27/09
__________________________________________________________________________________________
Lalit K Jha 
Washington, Mar 27 (PTI) US President Barack Obama intends to expand the strikes against terror across the border of Afghanistan to Pakistan, which many of his team members believe has emerged as the ground zero of terrorism.
 The new policy, to be unveiled by Obama at the White House this evening, would endorse more drone attacks inside Pakistan much beyond their traditional strike zones of the tribal regions of Pakistan, media reports said. 

The new strategy, now being called Af-Pak policy, would focus equally on Afghanistan and Pakistan, the reports said on the eve of the release of the much awaited report.

Confronting a faltering war, Obama plans to dispatch thousands more military and civilian trainers to Afghanistan by fall in addition to 17,000 already announced this month.

It will “provide capability for the Afghan government and military until they’re able to do it themselves,” an unidentified official was quoted as saying by Politico.

Obama is likely to endorse an amendment by Senators John Kerry and Richard Lugar that calls for additional foreign aid money — USD 1.5 billion a year — for Pakistan, with strings attached with the goal of reducing terrorism.

The Washington Post reported that the Administration in association with the Congress will develop new “benchmarks and metrics to measure our performance and that of our allies,” including the Afghan and Pakistani governments. PTI

 

http://www.ptinews.com/pti%5Cptisite.nsf/0/FA37C6E40DF26CFB652575860028F6C7

Kucinich To Investigate “Executive Assassination Ring”

March 28, 2009

 

s-kucinich-large

Huffington Post   |  Stuart Whatley   |   March 16, 2009 11:23 AM

 

Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich has sent a letter to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns on Friday requesting an investigation into an executive assassination ring rumored to exist under the Bush administration. Here is the release as well as the original letter:

Washington D.C. (March 16, 2009) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) Friday sent a letter to Chairman Edolphus Towns of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee requesting an immediate investigation into allegations made by the investigative reporter Seymour Hersh that the White House operated an ‘executive assassination ring’ that circumvented Congressional oversight.
Kucinich explains in the letter that, “Mr. Hersh made the allegation before an audience at the University of Minnesota on Tuesday, March 10, 2009. He stated, ‘Under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving… It is a special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently. They do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly to the Cheney office. . .Congress has no oversight of it.'”

Kucinich adds, “If true, these operations violate longstanding U.S. policy regarding covert actions and illegally bypass Congressional oversight… Hersh is within a year or more of releasing a book that is said to include evidence of this allegation. However, we cannot wait a year or more to establish the truth.”

The full text of the letter follows:

March 13, 2009
The Honorable Edolphus Towns

Chairman

Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

 

U.S. House of Representatives

2157 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Chairman Towns:

 

As you may already be aware, recent media reports indicate that investigative reporter, Seymour Hersh, while answering questions before a public audience at the University of Minnesota divulged information about what he calls an “executive assassination ring” operating under the George W. Bush Administration.

 

If substantiated, the allegation would have far reaching implications for the United States. Such an assertion from someone of Hersh’s credibility that has a long and proven track record of dependability on these issues merits attention. Mr. Hersh is within a year or more of releasing a book that is said to include evidence of this allegation. However, we cannot wait a year or more to establish the truth. As such, I request that the Full Committee immediately begin an investigation to determine the facts in this matter.

 

Mr. Hersh made the allegation before an audience at the University of Minnesota on Tuesday, March 10, 2009. He stated, “Under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving.”

 

Mr. Hersh continued, “It is a special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently,” he explained. “They do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly to the Cheney office. . .Congress has no oversight of it.”

 

If true, these operations violate longstanding U.S. policy regarding covert actions and illegally bypass Congressional oversight. Current statute governing covert action (50 U.S.C. 413b) requires a presidential finding and notification to the appropriate congressional committees. Additionally, Executive Order 12333 clearly states that “[n]o person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in or conspire to engage in assassination.”

 

I urge the Committee to explore Mr. Hersh’s allegation. Please do not hesitate to call on me or my staff if we can be of assistance.

 

Sincerely,

 

Dennis J. Kucinich

Member of Congress

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/16/kucinich-to-investigate-e_n_175294.html?show_comment_id=22029334#comment_22029334

 

March 28, 2009

Actual U.S. Department of Defense Surveillance Footage of the Mc5 at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago 68′

Know Your Enemies. (Part One)

March 28, 2009

Know Your Enemies! (A lovely new series of posts, so, your anger may not be misplaced… pointed directly at the guilty).

 

“Poor people of America,

Middle class people of America,

And yes, the majority of wealthy people in America,

These are your enemies,

Lets get to know them…

 

F.F. 3/27/09

poar02_bear_stearns0808

Jamie Dimon (Center): 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamie_Dimon

http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/01/jamie_dimon_grim_reaper.php

Images:

http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&client=safari&rls=en-us&q=Jamie%20Dimon%20fraud&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi

 

Henry Paulson (Left):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Paulson

http://www.prisonplanet.com/paulson-was-behind-bailout-martial-law-threat.html

Images:

http://images.google.com/images?client=safari&rls=en-us&q=Henry%20Paulson%20criminal&oe=UTF-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi

 

Ben Bernanke (Right)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Bernanke

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUJIG3JNPk0

Images:

http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&client=safari&rls=en-us&q=Ben%20Bernanke%20fraud&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi

Obama unveils war plan to ‘defeat’ Al-Qaeda

March 28, 2009

Footnote:

 

  Zbigniew Brzezinski

 

210

Brzezinski is partners with David Rockefeller. 

Together they created the TriLateral Commission in 1973. (Intellectual representative of 300 of the wealthiest people in the world).

He’s an author. He’s a strong influence on US policies, foreign and domestic. 

He’s like a bookend to Henry Kissinger, who is also a Tri-Lateralist.

Brzezinski basically created Al-Qaeda.

“Brzezinski is Obama’s “right-hand man.” (He’s his fucking “Dick Cheney” if you need it spelt out for you in “Bush” language, (seeing as democrats hold this uncorrupt Godly notion about their party. There is no difference. It’s a charade.” (F.F.)

 

 “The Trilateral Commission is intended to be the vehicle for multinational consolidation of the commercial and banking interests by seizing control of the political government of the United States. The Trilateral Commission represents a skillful, coordinated effort to seize control and consolidate the four centers of power political, monetary, intellectual and ecclesiastical. What the Trilateral Commission intends is to create a worldwide economic power superior to the political governments of the nationstates involved. As managers and creators of the system, they will rule the future.” – U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater in his l979 book: With No Apologies.


 

(now for the article)

Obama unveils war plan to ‘defeat’ Al-Qaeda:

President Barack Obama will Friday announce a new strategy to “disrupt, dismantle and defeat” Al-Qaeda in safe havens in Afghanistan and Pakistan and deploy an extra 4,000 military trainers.

The new strategy, the product of a 60-day review in conjunction with US allies, marks one of the boldest foreign policy bets laid so far in Obama’s two months in power and defies those who warn he is walking into a quagmire.

The 4,000 US troops will build up the Afghan army and are in addition to 17,000 extra troops already promised by the president.

Obama will also send hundreds more civilian and development workers into Afghanistan, three administration officials said on the eve of his announcement.

“It is a clear, concise, attainable goal, and that goal is to disrupt, dismantle and defeat Al-Qaeda in its safe havens in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” one of the officials said on condition of anonymity.

The strategy will also establish clear benchmarks to judge the performance of the United States and its allies in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, to enable mid-course corrections, another official said.

The officials accused the Bush administration of leaving US policy “adrift” in the two nations.

“Seven-and-a-half years after September 11, the Al-Qaeda core leadership, Osama bin Laden and others, have moved from Kandahar, Afghanistan, to a location unknown, somewhere in Pakistan,” one official said.

“From that location in Pakistan, we know they are plotting new attacks against the United States, against our allies, against our forces in Afghanistan, against our Pakistani friends as well.”

The officials discounted the arguments of critics who oppose escalating the US role in the conflict, warning that given a vacuum, the Taliban would return in force to Kabul, and bring Al-Qaeda along.

The officials also said the Taliban had made a “very significant comeback in the last two years,” that could not be allowed to take root.

Obama will formally announce the new strategy to members of the military and development workers who will serve in the two nations in coming months, as well as foreign ambassadors at a White House event on Friday.

He will then present it to US NATO allies at the end of next week at the western alliance’s annual summit, along the border of France and Germany.

A key ingredient will be benchmarks so that later this year Obama will be able to judge if his policy is working, or if it needs to be adjusted.

“We will develop benchmarks and metrics to measure our performance, and frankly to measure the performance of our partners and our allies,” one official said.

“We will periodically revisit those metrics to see how they are doing and to see if we need mid-course corrections.”

Another key goal of the strategy is to support Pakistan’s besieged Democratic government, and to help Islamabad crack down on Al-Qaeda and Taliban havens on its territory.

“In many ways, Pakistan is the hardest part of the problem,” one of the officials said, adding that terror groups had become a “Frankenstein” within the country that threatened the survival of democracy.

Obama will support a bi-partisan Senate bill to triple US aid to Afghanistan to 1.5 billion dollars a year for five years, and would also look at needed military assistance, particularly helicopters to transport troops to war zones.

“We are going from a policy of throwing money at Pakistan and ignoring it, to a policy of consistency and constancy towards Pakistan,” the official added.

The officials also said they expected to secure pledges for additional military help for the Afghan war from NATO allies next week.

France, for instance, had expressed an interest in working with the Afghan police force, one of the officials said.

The administration officials argued that the Bush administration had failed to properly finance the development of the national Afghan army.

The review will set a target of expanding the Afghan army to 134,000 men and the police force to 82,000, but the numbers could go higher if needed, the officials said.

As a result of the troop increases, the US force in Afghanistan will reach 61,000-65,000 by mid-September, which officials said would have a significant impact on the war zone.

They also said they would attempt to engage Afghan tribes and foot soldiers, who were not as committed to the fight as Taliban leaders and could be prised away from the force. 

 

http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Obama_unveils_war_plan_to_defeat_0327.html

The Quiet Coup

March 28, 2009
MAY 2009 ATLANTIC

The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time.

by Simon Johnson

The Quiet Coup

IMAGE CREDIT: JIM BOURG/REUTERS/CORBIS

ONE THING YOU learn rather quickly when working at the International Monetary Fund is that no one is ever very happy to see you. Typically, your “clients” come in only after private capital has abandoned them, after regional trading-bloc partners have been unable to throw a strong enough lifeline, after last-ditch attempts to borrow from powerful friends like China or the European Union have fallen through. You’re never at the top of anyone’s dance card.

The reason, of course, is that the IMF specializes in telling its clients what they don’t want to hear. I should know; I pressed painful changes on many foreign officials during my time there as chief economist in 2007 and 2008. And I felt the effects of IMF pressure, at least indirectly, when I worked with governments in Eastern Europe as they struggled after 1989, and with the private sector in Asia and Latin America during the crises of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Over that time, from every vantage point, I saw firsthand the steady flow of officials—from Ukraine, Russia, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, and elsewhere—trudging to the fund when circumstances were dire and all else had failed.

Every crisis is different, of course. Ukraine faced hyperinflation in 1994; Russia desperately needed help when its short-term-debt rollover scheme exploded in the summer of 1998; the Indonesian rupiah plunged in 1997, nearly leveling the corporate economy; that same year, South Korea’s 30-year economic miracle ground to a halt when foreign banks suddenly refused to extend new credit.

But I must tell you, to IMF officials, all of these crises looked depressingly similar. Each country, of course, needed a loan, but more than that, each needed to make big changes so that the loan could really work. Almost always, countries in crisis need to learn to live within their means after a period of excess—exports must be increased, and imports cut—and the goal is to do this without the most horrible of recessions. Naturally, the fund’s economists spend time figuring out the policies—budget, money supply, and the like—that make sense in this context. Yet the economic solution is seldom very hard to work out.

No, the real concern of the fund’s senior staff, and the biggest obstacle to recovery, is almost invariably the politics of countries in crisis.

Typically, these countries are in a desperate economic situation for one simple reason—the powerful elites within them overreached in good times and took too many risks. Emerging-market governments and their private-sector allies commonly form a tight-knit—and, most of the time, genteel—oligarchy, running the country rather like a profit-seeking company in which they are the controlling shareholders. When a country like Indonesia or South Korea or Russia grows, so do the ambitions of its captains of industry. As masters of their mini-universe, these people make some investments that clearly benefit the broader economy, but they also start making bigger and riskier bets. They reckon—correctly, in most cases—that their political connections will allow them to push onto the government any substantial problems that arise.

In Russia, for instance, the private sector is now in serious trouble because, over the past five years or so, it borrowed at least $490 billion from global banks and investors on the assumption that the country’s energy sector could support a permanent increase in consumption throughout the economy. As Russia’s oligarchs spent this capital, acquiring other companies and embarking on ambitious investment plans that generated jobs, their importance to the political elite increased. Growing political support meant better access to lucrative contracts, tax breaks, and subsidies. And foreign investors could not have been more pleased; all other things being equal, they prefer to lend money to people who have the implicit backing of their national governments, even if that backing gives off the faint whiff of corruption.

But inevitably, emerging-market oligarchs get carried away; they waste money and build massive business empires on a mountain of debt. Local banks, sometimes pressured by the government, become too willing to extend credit to the elite and to those who depend on them. Overborrowing always ends badly, whether for an individual, a company, or a country. Sooner or later, credit conditions become tighter and no one will lend you money on anything close to affordable terms.

The downward spiral that follows is remarkably steep. Enormous companies teeter on the brink of default, and the local banks that have lent to them collapse. Yesterday’s “public-private partnerships” are relabeled “crony capitalism.” With credit unavailable, economic paralysis ensues, and conditions just get worse and worse. The government is forced to draw down its foreign-currency reserves to pay for imports, service debt, and cover private losses. But these reserves will eventually run out. If the country cannot right itself before that happens, it will default on its sovereign debt and become an economic pariah. The government, in its race to stop the bleeding, will typically need to wipe out some of the national champions—now hemorrhaging cash—and usually restructure a banking system that’s gone badly out of balance. It will, in other words, need to squeeze at least some of its oligarchs.

Squeezing the oligarchs, though, is seldom the strategy of choice among emerging-market governments. Quite the contrary: at the outset of the crisis, the oligarchs are usually among the first to get extra help from the government, such as preferential access to foreign currency, or maybe a nice tax break, or—here’s a classic Kremlin bailout technique—the assumption of private debt obligations by the government. Under duress, generosity toward old friends takes many innovative forms. Meanwhile, needing to squeeze someone, most emerging-market governments look first to ordinary working folk—at least until the riots grow too large.

Eventually, as the oligarchs in Putin’s Russia now realize, some within the elite have to lose out before recovery can begin. It’s a game of musical chairs: there just aren’t enough currency reserves to take care of everyone, and the government cannot afford to take over private-sector debt completely.

So the IMF staff looks into the eyes of the minister of finance and decides whether the government is serious yet. The fund will give even a country like Russia a loan eventually, but first it wants to make sure Prime Minister Putin is ready, willing, and able to be tough on some of his friends. If he is not ready to throw former pals to the wolves, the fund can wait. And when he is ready, the fund is happy to make helpful suggestions—particularly with regard to wresting control of the banking system from the hands of the most incompetent and avaricious “entrepreneurs.”

Of course, Putin’s ex-friends will fight back. They’ll mobilize allies, work the system, and put pressure on other parts of the government to get additional subsidies. In extreme cases, they’ll even try subversion—including calling up their contacts in the American foreign-policy establishment, as the Ukrainians did with some success in the late 1990s.

Many IMF programs “go off track” (a euphemism) precisely because the government can’t stay tough on erstwhile cronies, and the consequences are massive inflation or other disasters. A program “goes back on track” once the government prevails or powerful oligarchs sort out among themselves who will govern—and thus win or lose—under the IMF-supported plan. The real fight in Thailand and Indonesia in 1997 was about which powerful families would lose their banks. In Thailand, it was handled relatively smoothly. In Indonesia, it led to the fall of President Suharto and economic chaos.

From long years of experience, the IMF staff knows its program will succeed—stabilizing the economy and enabling growth—only if at least some of the powerful oligarchs who did so much to create the underlying problems take a hit. This is the problem of all emerging markets.

 

 

 

Becoming a Banana Republic

 

In its depth and suddenness, the U.S. economic and financial crisis is shockingly reminiscent of moments we have recently seen in emerging markets (and only in emerging markets): South Korea (1997), Malaysia (1998), Russia and Argentina (time and again). In each of those cases, global investors, afraid that the country or its financial sector wouldn’t be able to pay off mountainous debt, suddenly stopped lending. And in each case, that fear became self-fulfilling, as banks that couldn’t roll over their debt did, in fact, become unable to pay. This is precisely what drove Lehman Brothers into bankruptcy on September 15, causing all sources of funding to the U.S. financial sector to dry up overnight. Just as in emerging-market crises, the weakness in the banking system has quickly rippled out into the rest of the economy, causing a severe economic contraction and hardship for millions of people.

But there’s a deeper and more disturbing similarity: elite business interests—financiers, in the case of the U.S.—played a central role in creating the crisis, making ever-larger gambles, with the implicit backing of the government, until the inevitable collapse. More alarming, they are now using their influence to prevent precisely the sorts of reforms that are needed, and fast, to pull the economy out of its nosedive. The government seems helpless, or unwilling, to act against them.

Top investment bankers and government officials like to lay the blame for the current crisis on the lowering of U.S. interest rates after the dotcom bust or, even better—in a “buck stops somewhere else” sort of way—on the flow of savings out of China. Some on the right like to complain about Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or even about longer-standing efforts to promote broader homeownership. And, of course, it is axiomatic to everyone that the regulators responsible for “safety and soundness” were fast asleep at the wheel.

But these various policies—lightweight regulation, cheap money, the unwritten Chinese-American economic alliance, the promotion of homeownership—had something in common. Even though some are traditionally associated with Democrats and some with Republicans, they all benefited the financial sector. Policy changes that might have forestalled the crisis but would have limited the financial sector’s profits—such as Brooksley Born’s now-famous attempts to regulate credit-default swaps at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, in 1998—were ignored or swept aside.

The financial industry has not always enjoyed such favored treatment. But for the past 25 years or so, finance has boomed, becoming ever more powerful. The boom began with the Reagan years, and it only gained strength with the deregulatory policies of the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. Several other factors helped fuel the financial industry’s ascent. Paul Volcker’s monetary policy in the 1980s, and the increased volatility in interest rates that accompanied it, made bond trading much more lucrative. The invention of securitization, interest-rate swaps, and credit-default swaps greatly increased the volume of transactions that bankers could make money on. And an aging and increasingly wealthy population invested more and more money in securities, helped by the invention of the IRA and the 401(k) plan. Together, these developments vastly increased the profit opportunities in financial services.

 

Click the chart above for a larger view

 

Not surprisingly, Wall Street ran with these opportunities. From 1973 to 1985, the financial sector never earned more than 16 percent of domestic corporate profits. In 1986, that figure reached 19 percent. In the 1990s, it oscillated between 21 percent and 30 percent, higher than it had ever been in the postwar period. This decade, it reached 41 percent. Pay rose just as dramatically. From 1948 to 1982, average compensation in the financial sector ranged between 99 percent and 108 percent of the average for all domestic private industries. From 1983, it shot upward, reaching 181 percent in 2007.

The great wealth that the financial sector created and concentrated gave bankers enormous political weight—a weight not seen in the U.S. since the era of J.P. Morgan (the man). In that period, the banking panic of 1907 could be stopped only by coordination among private-sector bankers: no government entity was able to offer an effective response. But that first age of banking oligarchs came to an end with the passage of significant banking regulation in response to the Great Depression; the reemergence of an American financial oligarchy is quite recent.

 

 

 

Continue Reading Article:

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200905/imf-advice/2

Popular Anti-Stimulus Video Blogger Summoned to White House

March 28, 2009

WorldNetDaily is reporting that Bob Basso, who has released videos urging Americans take their government back from corrupt politicians, was reportedly “summoned to the White House by President Obama to discuss the subject matter of the short films.”

 

n the video below, Basso, who portrays Thomas Paine, author of the “Common Sense” pamphlet that made the case for independence during the American Revolution, has called for Americans to send tea bags to Congress. Basso strongly criticizes Congress for approving the “largest spending bill in history without reading it” and takes Americans to task because “you did nothing.”

The video, “We The People Stimulus Package,” has over a million views.

Basso is a former award winning news director for NBC TV and visiting professor at UCLA.

He was scheduled to appear on the Jerry Doyle radio show but canceled after Obama had personally invited him to meet in the White House “to discuss the disturbing nature of the videos,” according to WND.

 

http://www.infowars.com/popular-anti-stimulus-video-blogger-summoned-to-white-house/

Chomsky on Geithner

March 28, 2009

“Noam Chomsky speaks to Paul Jay on the Obama – Geithner plan. Chomsky says that “they’re simply recycling, the Bush-Paulson measures and changing them a little, but essentially the same idea: keep the institutional structure the same, try to kind of pass things up, bribe the banks and investors to help out, but avoid the measures that might get to the heart of the problem.”

Activism Requires Informed People

March 28, 2009

March 27, 2009

Dear Friend of Liberty,

Principled freedom activism requires informed workers with a strong grasp of the ideas we champion. The more immersed we are in the reasons for our beliefs, the better we are able to communicate our message and achieve our goals. These recent books should be of great interest to members of Campaign for Liberty.

For the book on the financial collapse, how it started, and what to do about it, see Tom Woods’s newest masterpiece Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse (Regnery, 2009).  Woods explains how the Federal Reserve, Fannie and Freddie, and other government programs meant to subsidize housing caused the real estate bubble. He sheds light on the whole crisis, critiques the bailout, provides an accessible explanation of the Austrian Theory of the Business Cycle, discusses past booms and busts including the Great Depression, and discusses the importance of sound money to a free, functioning economy. The book anticipates the other side’s arguments and refutes them in an understandable way. Meltdown is short, comprehensive, a pleasure to read, and could not be more needed today.

Presidential power has been a top issue under the last couple presidencies, but the abuses go far back in our history. Who were the best presidents, from the standpoint of liberty, peace, and prosperity? Who were the worst? Ivan Eland ranks the presidents in his well-researched and well-written tome Recarving Rushmore: Ranking the Presidents on Peace, Prosperity, and Liberty (The Independent Institute, 2009). While most historians, pundits, journalists, and political scientists tend to favor “great” presidents who waged major wars and expanded their own power, Eland judges America’s chief executives on the basis of how closely they adhered to the Constitution, avoided unnecessary war, and protected Americans’ personal and economic liberties. Find out why Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan tend to be overestimated while overlooked presidents like John Tyler and Warren G. Harding are the true greats.

Now that the Bush years are over and the Obama era is well underway, it is an important time to reflect on why government power, whether controlled by the left or the right, is a great danger to liberty. Lew Rockwell’s newest book, The Left, the Right, and the State (Mises Institute, 2009), identifies the threats to liberty coming from both sides of the modern political spectrum, is uncompromising in its analysis of statist ideology, and points the way toward a principled alternative: freedom. Rockwell dissects socialism, economic ignorance, central planning, environmentalism, anti-capitalism, and invasions into economic liberty; he critiques warmongering, the drug war, nationalism, and corporatism; he defends the free market against all its enemies and finds threats to liberty in government operations ranging from drunk driving laws to the census. For a full understanding of what we freedom lovers are up against, this beautiful book is a must-read.

If you have not yet read Andrew Napolitano’s blockbuster A Nation of Sheep (Thomas Nelson, 2007), what are you waiting for? The book is a wonderful treatment of the war on terror’s threats to our liberties, public complacency in the face of government lawlessness, the danger of censorship, as well as the importance of a political culture that respects individual rights. And don’t miss his forthcoming book Dred Scott’s Revenge: A Legal History of Race and Freedom in America. This book explores the origins of American slavery, the problems with early America in sticking to its ideals, the history of segregation and Jim Crow, the Tuskegee Experiment, the trouble with legal positivism, and how both parties exploit racial tensions. The Spanish edition is currently available for pre-order here.

These books will help you arm yourself in the battle for our liberties and articulate the ideas we believe are essential to a free society. For more information on Campaign for Liberty’s core principles of individual liberty, constitutional government, sound money, free markets, and a noninterventionist foreign policy, check out our Education section at CampaignforLiberty.com.

In Liberty,

Anthony Gregory

Editor-In-Chief, Campaign for Liberty

Obama, Holder as bad as Yoo?

March 28, 2009

 

24Holder

 

Dear Fred,

There was a time when the United States was the undisputed world leader when it came to upholding the rule of law.  We lost that reputation under George W. Bush.  And now, even under President Obama, we are being outclassed and outshone by other nations.

This morning, the Washington Post reported that the British government has launched a criminal investigation to determine whether British intelligence officers were involved in the torture of a British resident detained by the United States.  

Notably, the British Attorney General initiated the investigation and called on the police to investigate “as expeditiously as possible given the seriousness and sensitivity of the issues involved.”  British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, “I have always made clear that when serious allegations are made they have got to be investigated.”

While the British are seeking to restore international respect for their nation by adhering to the rule of law, President Obama is “looking forward” and Attorney General Eric Holder is twiddling his thumbs.  Twelve days ago, the world read leaked details from an International Committee of the Red Cross report concluding that the treatment to which detainees were subjected while under the control of the CIA “constituted torture.”  Was this enough to spur Holder to act?  Shockingly, no.

Is this what we have become?  Are we, as a nation, going to do nothing about the fact that our leaders authorized and employed torture?  If President Obama and Attorney General Holder refuse to launch a criminal investigation, then they are accessories after the fact in the torture themselves.  They are no better or worse than individuals like John Yoo, who bent the law to allow the torture in the first place.

Can we please get upset about this?  At the very least, please take a minute to send an E-mail to the Department of Justice, asking AG Holder why he is covering up torture.  Just use the following link to get started:

http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/2165/t/1027/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=26948

Once you have sent your message, please forward this email widely to friends and family.  In the alternative, you can use the “Tell-A-Friend” option on the AFC Web site that will appear after you have sent your message.

In the eyes of the world, the United States is now a nation that tortures.  Unless past acts of torture are treated like crimes, that reputation will continue.  We must have investigations and prosecutions now.

Thank you so much for taking action.

Steve Fox
Campaign Director
American Freedom Campaign Action Fund

Senate Passes National Service Bill

March 27, 2009
“Man, I don’t know what this chick is talking about? Seriously. (The video above). Who is she again? Opra says who, what? Her husbands a pretty good actor at best. Don’t tell people he is the most brilliant person you will ever meet. Do people eat this kinda stuff up, or what? I don’t know. I’m kind of disconnected from TV land, (glad to be).
She and her husband need to get out of their “comfort zone” and expose themselves as the fraud, (on a massively  historic scale), they really are. Come on people are you really getting into this Obama stuff? You remember how you would laugh and snicker at the people driving around with “W” stickers on their car… well,  thats what a lot of well meaning, well educated people are doing to Obama stickers now. Ya, been duped folks… sorry… tried real hard to warn you. He’s a product of the banking elite, period. He’s here because the people who planned the imploding of the world economy, YEARS & YEARS ago, needed to have a lightning rod in place to take a bit of the heat but…BUT… at the same time keep “the people” at bay because they think they got one of their own representing them.  
You really have to open up your minds soon because things are gonna keep getting worse…I Absolutely Guarantee That. I’m not trying to play God… but come on… he has retracted literally on almost all of his campaign promises. His “starting” track recored is almost making Bush’s look good and anyone that knows me, knows how much I love to feel Bush up? Wait a minute, that didn’t come out right. Anyway, you get the point. Point being, that I’m really funny, har har. No, What was my point?  Oh ya… Does it just take someone to speak well and have charisma to keep people from asking questions? Are the adults in this country still on a 8th grade perception level? I don’t know, I’m asking?
OK, the Senate Bill: You realize that they are sugar coating the “community service” aspect of this bill with the serving at soup kitchens and helping old ladies bullshit. Part of it is that they are going to be trained to be soldiers… boys & girls. Your children from middle school age will be going to classes, lectures, and training, (outside from their regular classes), being taught directly from the mouths of OUR GOVERNMENT. IT IS REQUIRED. Of course, there will be some sweet frosting in this Senate Bill but in the end, it is our government having more control in the shaping of our youths development. Red Flag. This sits ok with people? Is our absolutely corrupt government who you want teaching your kids things while you are at work? Luckily for some teacher in Texas I don’t have any kids right now because I can’t fucking imagine what they would have to do to me to let my kid go through with this shit. Really… I can’t imagine. 
Even if your kids smart, artistic and creative and can see right through this nightmarish government indoctrination mind control bullshit… too fuckin’ bad. He has to do it!  He’s gonna be required to assimilate like the other little freaks-shows they’ll have running around. 
Come on people? How fucked up is everybody getting? Is there some zombie prescription pill that I don’t know about? Did I not get invited to some meeting? What’s up? I’m wondering, really? Are people just scared to speak out? Freaked out or what?? Fill me in, seriously. 
-Fred Face 3/27/09
__________________________________________________________________________________?
Fox News
The Examiner

March 26, 2009

Editor’s note: In a statement after passage in the Senate, Obama said “our work is not finished when I sign this bill into law — it has just begun.” It will now only be a matter of time before Obama’s “civilian national security force” powerful as the U.S. military takes to the streets.

See Obama Calls For National Civilian Stasi and Obama’s “Civilian National Security Force.”

The Senate on Thursday approved a major national service bill that triples the AmeriCorps program, despite concerns from some conservatives that it could allow politically charged groups to benefit from extra funding.

The Senate voted 78-20 to increase AmeriCorps to 250,000 from its current 75,000 positions. The legislation is expected to cost $6 billion over five years.

The House could take up the bill as early as Monday, sending it then to President Obama for his signature.

The package, called the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act, or GIVE Act, encourages a broad range of Americans to give back to their communities. It would create five groups to help poor people, improve education, encourage energy efficiency, strengthen access to health care and assist veterans.

Read entire article

 

 

 

 

Expanded Americorps has an authoritarian feel

The Examiner
March 26, 2009

With almost no public attention, both chambers of Congress in the past week advanced an alarming expansion of the Americorps national service plan, with the number of federally funded community service job increasing from 75,000 to 250,000 at a cost of $5.7 billion. Lurking behind the feel-good rhetoric spouted by the measure’s advocates is a bill that on closer inspection reveals multiple provisions that together create a strong odor of creepy authoritarianism. The House passed the measure overwhelmingly, while only 14 senators had the sense and courage to vote against it on a key procedural motion. Every legislator who either voted for this bill or didn’t vote at all has some serious explaining to do.

featured stories   Senate Passes National Service Bill  
Obama featured stories   Senate Passes National Service Bill

Last summer, then-candidate Barack Obama threw civil liberties to the wind when he proposed “a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded” as the regular military. The expanded Americorps is not quite so disturbing, but a number of provisions in the bill raise serious concerns.

To begin with, the legislation threatens the voluntary nature of Americorps by calling for consideration of “a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people.” It anticipates the possibility of requiring “all individuals in the United States” to perform such service – including elementary school students. The bill also summons up unsettling memories of World War II-era paramilitary groups by saying the new program should “combine the best practices of civilian service with the best aspects of military service,” while establishing “campuses” that serve as “operational headquarters,” complete with “superintendents” and “uniforms” for all participants. It allows for the elimination of all age restrictions in order to involve Americans at all stages of life. And it calls for creation of “a permanent cadre” in a “National Community Civilian Corps.”

But that’s not all. The bill also calls for “youth engagement zones” in which “service learning” is “a mandatory part of the curriculum in all of the secondary schools served by the local educational agency.” This updated form of voluntary community service is also to be “integrated into the science, technology, engineering and mathematics curricula” at all levels of schooling. Sounds like a government curriculum for government approved “service learning,” which is nothing less than indoctrination. Now, ask yourself if congressmen who voted for this monstrosity had a clue what they were voting for. If not, they’re guilty of dereliction of duty. If yes, the implications are truly frightening.

UPDATE:

Between being first officially “reported” to the House and being voted on by the full House, bill managers stripped one whole section of the measure that created a Congressional Commission on Civil Service, thus removing the section that contained the language cited above concerning “a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people” and a possible requirement for “all individuals in the United States” to perform such service. The section could be restored during the Senate-House conference committee meeting. A new, separate bill containing that language has since been introduced in the House.

http://www.infowars.com/senate-passes-national-service-bill/

Russ Baker, the award-winning journalist and author of Family of Secrets

March 26, 2009

J.H. Hatfield

March 26, 2009

ASTRO
Interview with Bush Biographer J.H. Hatfield Who Died
Tue Aug 12 13:50:56 2003
64.140.158.143

Full transcript of interview with Bush Biographer J.H. Hatfield Who Died 2 Years Ago of an Alleged Suicide Amidst Controversy Over his Book Fortunate Son

Today we play an interview that we have held for over three years. It involves allegations of President Bush, drugs, obstruction of justice and corporate scandal. It raises questions about why Bush’s driver license number was changed.

In the book Fortunate Son: George W. Bush and the Making of an American President author J.H. Hatfield charges that President Bush was arrested in 1972 for cocaine possession and that Bush’s father George Sr. used his political connections to have his son’s record expunged.

Soon after publication, Hatfield’s credibility was challenged. He had been convicted in 1988 for hiring a hit-man in a failed attempt to kill his boss and had served five years in prison.

J.H. Hatfield died of an alleged suicide in July 2001.

Listen to or watch the interview here

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=03/08/11/1447218 

This is how the story goes: Four years ago St. Martins Press published a book by author James H. Hatfield called Fortunate Son. It is about the life of George W. Bush.

In the book, Hatfield charges that Bush was arrested in 1972 for cocaine possession. Why wasn’t the future President charged? Hatfield writes that Bush’s father used his political connections to have his son’s record expunged.

Soon after publication of Fortunate Son the Dallas Morning News received information about Hatfield’s criminal past.

The media jumped all over it and Hatfield’s reputation and credibility were ruined.

St. Martins Press promised to turn Fortunate Son into “furnace fodder.” It withdrew 70,000 copies from bookshelves and destroyed them. But a small publisher Soft Skull Press http://www.softskull.com/  reprinted the book with the banner “The Book They Burned is Back.”

Hatfield had previously refused to reveal the source of his information about Bush’s alleged cocaine arrest. He now to decided to name him. He claimed it was none other than Karl Rove Bush’s closest political adviser.

If Rove did indeed leak the information, he couldn’t have leaked it to a better subject. Soon after publication of the Fortunate Son, Hatfield’s credibility came under fierce attack.

The media followed the trail laid out for them. They diverted inquiries about Bush’s drug history to stories about Hatfield’s checkered past. He lost two other book contracts and faced financial ruin and obscurity.

The character assassination finally took its toll. In July 2001, Hatfield was found dead of an apparent suicide in a hotel room in Springdale, Arkansas. He was 43 years old. Police said he left notes for his family and friends that listed alcohol, financial problems and Fortunate Son as reasons for killing himself. He is survived by a wife and daughter.

Special thanks to Suki Hawley and Michael Galinsky who made the documentary film “Horns and Halos” http://www.hornsandhalos.com / about J.H. Hatfield and Soft Skull Press publisher Sander Hicks. They filmed the Democracy Now! interview we premiered today.

* J.H. Hatfield, interview conducted in early 2000. He is the author of Fortunate Son: George W. Bush and The Making of An American President. Hatfield discusses the Bush-Bin Laden connection in the interview which was conducted before Bush was elected President and well before the Sept. 11 attacks. The writer spent a year investigating Bush. J.H. Hatfield died of an alleged suicide July 2001.
* Toby Rodgers, wrote the introduction to the Soft Skull edition of Fortunate Son: George W. Bush and The Making of An American President.

March 26, 2009

Code Pink and Barney’s Bailout Circus

March 26, 2009

AIG Outrage

Kurt Nimmo 
Infowars
March 24, 2009

 

Barney Frank was livid. Code Pink kept distracting Frank, who was holding an adult session with a couple world class criminals, Fed mob boss Ben Bernanke and Obama Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who wants himself granted a scepter to wave over the heads of subject corporations. Frank told the kids in pink to “grow up” and declared they did not understand “rational” discussion, for instance stealing trillions from your children and the children of their children.

 

No doubt Code Pink’s leader, Medea Benjamin, and her followers are silly — but then they are supposed to be.

Medea aka Susan Benjamin is described as “one of the high profile leaders of the peace movement” and was nominated as one of 1,000 exceptional women from around the world to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. If Medea seriously confronted Bernanke and Geithner for their economic crimes instead of harping on the AIG bonus sideshow, chances are slim to none she would be nominated for a Nobel.

The only reason Benjamin is allowed to be anywhere near Bernanke and Geithner is because she represents a particularly harmless faction of the false opposition that is funded by the globalist George Soros and the MacArthur Foundation, the latter with connections to the CIA through Henry Bienen, president of Northwestern University (see Michael Pugliese, CIA funding the pseudo-left). The CIA has long used foundations (specifically the Ford Foundation) to fund a non-communist “parallel left.” The MacArthur Foundation also has connections to the Council on Foreign Relations through its former senior vice president, Victor Rabinowitch. Billionaire George Soros is a CFR member and a member of the Bilderberg Group.

The MacArthur Foundation, CFR, and the Bilderbergers — these are not the sort of benefactors that will fund sincere opposition to the Federal Reserve and the bankster dominated Treasury Department. Barney Frank would not tolerate activists from End the Fed or similar adults anywhere near the House Financial Services Committee.

Code Pink is allowed to sit in attendance with its silly signs and clownish costumes because it is part of a controlled opposition that is allowed to “protest” only within the most narrow of parameters, namely the corporate media orchestrated “outrage” over AIG bonuses.

If a real activist appeared before Barney’s committee protesting the criminal behavior of the Federal Reserve and the bankers, he or she would likely be tased and beaten to a pulp by the Capitol Hill police.

Code Pink is allowed because it poses no real threat and offers a bit of color for the corporate media.

Inside source reveals FEMA & DHS preparing for mass graves and martial law near Chicago

March 26, 2009

By: D. H. Williams @ 10:41 PM – EST

 

An Indiana county municipal official in the vicinity of Chicago reveals the contents of his meetings with FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security. The initial requests seem reasonable enough when FEMA asks the county officials to prepare a Hazard Mitigation Plan to deal with flooding, fires, high winds and tornadoes.

But as the required meetings and calls with FEMA and DHS continue over a two year period their request become more unusual, raising suspicions of county officials

Listen to the audio:

http://www.dailynewscaster.com/2009/02/11/inside-source-reveals-fema-dhs-prepairing-for-mass-graves-and-martial-law-near-chicago/

 

 

“We want to know every important thing in this county. We want to know where police departments are. Where weapons are stored. Hazardous material. Where can we land a helicopter. Where are the airports. How big a plane can you land at the airport. Where are all the bridges. Where are all the power stations. Where are all the generating stations.Where are all the substations. They literally wanted to know where everything was. I’m sitting there thinking man if there was ever martial law. This kind of information is exactly the kind of stuff they are going to want. We’re just laying it all out for them right there.”

During the legally mandated meetings held with FEMA and DHS different disaster scenarios were reveled to county officials:

  • In late December 2008 municipal officials were invited to Indianapolis for a briefing on the state of Indiana. There were told if industry were to collapse for example GM going bankrupt resulting in mass unemployment a depression would soon follow and municipalities could expect to loose 40% of their funds.
  • Every county in the nation would be required to prepare a Hazard Mitigation Plan.
  • The county should prepare a plan to vaccinate the entire population within 48 hours and practice the plan several times.
  • FEMA inquired to where mass graves could be placed in the county and would they accept bodies from elsewhere.
  • The sheriff’s department via the state sheriff association was told that no .223 ammunition rounds would be available as the military would be purchasing all stocks.
  • The county was asked to make plans for “hardening” of police and fire stations, putting in hardened bunker type buildings around town.
  • The county was asked to make plans for the possibility of up to 400,000 refugees from Chicago.

 

http://www.dailynewscaster.com/2009/02/11/inside-source-reveals-fema-dhs-prepairing-for-mass-graves-and-martial-law-near-chicago/

Maxine Waters Proves Obama Is A Fraud

March 26, 2009

March 25, 2009

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) grills Barack Obama’s Secretary of Treasury, Timothy Geithner, on the link between AIG and Goldman Sachs. In the process, the U.S. Secretary of Treasury admits he isn’t part of the U.S. government. He clearly states “your government” when talking about the U.S. government, which Maxine Waters represents.

I am starting to wonder if they are purposely trying to make Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and U.S. Secretary of Treasury Tim Geithner to look bad in preparation of bringing in the new global financial order when the G20 starts next month.

Of course the new financial order won’t be much different from the current one. The same players will be behind the scenes. It will just be much more difficult to fight the criminal action of the international banking cartel since it would be above national law and in the realm of international law.

–jeepndesert

http://newworldliberty.wordpress.com/2009/03/25/maxine-waters-proves-obama-is-a-fraud/

S C R E A M R E V O L U T I O N

March 26, 2009

17

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Just Replace Obama with George W In This Vid. He is the new FACE. Own up to it.

 

IRAQ THE WOUNDED

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030422-F-7203T-024

Here’s What Most Of Them Really Think About YOU!

March 26, 2009

Harry Reid Says Capitol Visitors Smell

by MARK IMPOMENI
DEC 3RD 2008 9:45PM

filed under:eSenateDemocratsGaffes

 

Politicians often get in trouble because of the actions of members of their staff. But, sometimes it pays for elected officials to listen to them. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is learning that lesson tonight after off the cuff remarks he made at the unveiling of the new Capitol Visitors Center.

The center, like most government projects, is late and over-budget. At a cost of $621 million, the center must certainly have some nice amenities. But for Reid, man of the people, defender of the forgotten, champion of the little guy, the best part about the new Capitol Visitors Center is the air conditioning. Why? Because it will keep the stinking masses away from him.

That’s no exaggeration. Reid said the following at the opening of the center this morning.

“My staff tells me not to say this, but I’m going to say it anyway,” said Reid in his remarks. In the summer because of the heat and high humidity, you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol. It may be descriptive but it’s true.”

Ah, Harry Reid. If he didn’t exist, Republicans would have to invent him. Next time, Senator, listen to your staff.

Clinton: Mexico Violence Fueled By America’s ‘Insatiable’ Demand For Drugs

March 26, 2009

“Don’t blame the people of this country you little twat-troll. Then why don’t you legalize, (at least), marijuana and it will get us out of this depression that you all created in the first place. All this blaming of the American people… while these politicians fuck us everyday. Thats their schedule for the day… “Well at 9:00 I have to be in the Capital building to fuck over the same people who pay my salary. Then at noon I have to meet with some other fuck-head from fuck-land to figure out how we can squeeze more tax dollars from our mindless public, etc etc.

They are not doing much to help. If you think I’m over reacting then I suggest cleaning the wax out of your ears and taking your blinders off and taking a deep breath and realize that I’m right. Click on the link below to watch the “American Drug War” movie and see what half-man, half-elf Clinton and her criminal cronies in Washington really think about the drug trade.

(And get ready for them to use the gun violence on the Mexican borders for more lame rhetoric on trying to take Americans guns away).”

F.F. 3/25/09

American Drug War:

http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=american+drug+war&emb=0&aq=0&oq=american+dru#

Mexico Clinton

MATTHEW LEE | March 25, 2009 04:31 PM EST | AP

 

 

MEXICO CITY — Secretary of State HillaryRodham Clinton said Wednesday that America’s “insatiable” demand for illegal drugs and its inability to stop weapons from being smuggled into Mexico are fueling an alarming spike in violence along the U.S.-Mexican border.

Clinton said the United States shares responsibility with Mexico for dealing with the violence and that the Obama administration will work with Mexican authorities to improve security on both sides of the border.

President Barack Obama himself said Tuesday that he wanted the U.S. to do more to prevent guns and cash from illicit drug sales from flowing across the border into Mexico. But Clinton’s remarks appeared more forceful in recognizing the U.S. share of the blame. In the past, particularly under the Bush administration, Mexican official have complained that Washington never acknowledged the extent that the U.S. demand for drugs and weapons smuggling fuels the violence.

“I feel very strongly we have a co-responsibility,” Clinton told reporters accompanying her to Mexico City a day after the Obama administration said it would send more money, technology and manpower to secure the Southwestern frontier and help Mexico battle the cartels.

“Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade,” she said. “Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians.”

Criminals are outgunning law enforcement officials, she said, referring to guns and military-style equipment like night vision goggles and body armor that the cartels are smuggling into Mexico from the United States.

“Clearly, what we have been doing has not worked and it is unfair for our incapacity … to be creating a situation where people are holding the Mexican government and people responsible,” she said. “That’s not right.”

Clinton said she would repeat her acknowledgment as loudly and as often as needed during her two-day visit to Mexico City and the northern city of Monterrey during which she will brief Mexican officials on U.S. plans for the border and counter-narcotics aid to Mexico.

In her discussions, Clinton plans to stress Obama’s commitment and encourage Mexican President Felipe Calderon and his top aides to boost efforts to combat rampant corruption by promoting police and judicial reform, according to senior U.S. officials.

Just hours before she arrived, the Mexican army announced it had captured one of the country’ most-wanted smugglers, a man accused of controlling the flow of drugs through Monterrey for the powerful Beltran-Leyva cartel. Clinton will visit Monterrey on Thursday.

The administration announced Tuesday that it would increase the number of immigrations and customs agents, drug agents and antigun-trafficking agents operating along the border. It will also send more U.S. officials to work inside Mexico.

Those measures fall short of calls from some Southwestern states that troops be deployed to prevent further spillover of the violence, which has surged since Calderon stepped up his government’s battle against the cartels.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/25/clinton-mexico-trip-agend_n_178983.html

 


One Small Problem With Geithner’s Plan: It Will Bankrupt The Banks

March 26, 2009

15

Henry Blodget|Mar. 25, 2009, 6:21 AM

 

The big problem with Tim Geithner’s plan to fix the banks is the same as it ever was: The gap between what banks say their assets are worth and what the market says they are worth.

When a bank says an asset is worth 60 cents and the market says it’s worth 30 cents, someone has to cover that spread.  The genius of Geithner’s plan is that it pawns most of the cost (and most of the risk) off on the taxpayer without the taxpayer noticing. 

But unless the taxpayer gets stuck with the entire spread, which is probably what Geithner is hoping, banks that sell assets will have to take massive writedowns.  This will start the whole cycle of violence again.

This risk to the banks is particularly acute when dealing with whole loans that the banks currently say they have no plans to sell.  These loans are often carried at 100 cents on the dollar, because loans classified as held to maturity don’t have to be marked to market.  Even subsidized buyers won’t likely be willing to pay anywhere near 100 cents on the dollar for these loans.  So, here, the writedowns could potentially be huge.

And then there’s another problem:

If the banks go through the exercise of putting assets up for sale only to have the bids come in at, say, 40 cents instead of the 60 cents on the books, the banks’ accountants and/or federal regulators might notice.  So even if the banks recoil in horror and refuse to sell at 40 cents, someone somewhere might insist that assets now carried at 60 cents be written down to 40 cents (after all, they won’t have the “temporary illiquidity discount” excuse anymore, will they?).  This will blow another huge hole in the banks’ balance sheets.

Given this, banks would probably be wise not to participate in Geithner’s plan.  Which is why the government is already talking about forcing them to:

FT: “The unspoken fear here is that selling off loan portfolios would lead to more government capital injections into major banks,” said an executive at a large bank…

Richard Bove, an analyst at Rochdale Research, wrote in a note to clients: “[The plan] will not happen because it would destroy bank capital. It might cause a bank to fail the new stress tests under way. Banks will not take this risk.”

But while banks in theory have discretion over whether to sell loans, Sheila Bair, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, said this decision would be made “in consultation with regulators” – a sign that the authorities might put pressure on banks to sell toxic assets.

It’s time to face the fact that we have already de facto nationalized the big banks–and that the way we’ve done it is worse than standard receivership and restructuring.  The longer we remain in denial about this, the worse off we’ll be.  But that’s another story…

http://www.businessinsider.com/henry-blodget-one-small-problem-with-geithners-plan-it-will-bankrupt-the-banks-2009-3

Obama should save the banks, not the bankers

March 26, 2009

“You notice how Obama threw in… (blaming the people again for) “maxing-out” their credit cards. Just like Bush blaming people for getting in over their heads with a bigger mortgage than they could afford. The banks & credit companies have policies set up to do exactly what Obama is blaming the borrowers for doing. They want you to get in over your head. It’s a form of slavery. They “juice” you to death and you spend the rest of your life playing catch up. It’s predatory lending and I was stupid enough to fall for it while I was in college and I’m still playing catch up.

So, Obama,  you swormy little ass kisser/teachers pet. Keep blaming the people while you saddle up with the same “designers” of this predatory lending, (there are a few literally in your cabinet), and blame all the hard working people of this country. What are you gonna do when this charade is completely uncovered and people from the rural mountains to the cramped ghettos are looking for someone to blame. They’ll blame you, you shameless fraud.”

F.F. 2/25/09

Battle Over Gun Rights On Federal Land Continues

March 26, 2009

goa_logo_trans3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gun Owners of America E-Mail Alert 
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151 
Phone: 703-321-8585 / FAX: 703-321-8408 
http://www.gunowners.org 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009 

An amendment to repeal the National Park Service (NPS) gun ban is headed 
to the floor of the U.S. House on Wednesday, March 25. 

The massive public land bill, which has bounced between the House and 
Senate in recent weeks, has sidestepped the issue of your right to 
self-defense. Several pro-gun representatives tried to amend the bill so 
that it offers real protection of Second Amendment rights, but they were 
prevented by the anti-gun leadership. 

Repeal of the gun ban takes on added urgency after a federal appeals 
court issued an injunction last week to stop changes made by the Bush 
administration to allow concealed carry on NPS land from taking effect. 

When the bill comes to the floor on Wednesday, pro-gun Representatives 
Doc Hastings (R-WA) and Rob Bishop (R-UT) plan to offer an amendment to 
repeal the onerous NPS gun ban. 

First, a procedural vote, known as “Ordering the Previous 
Question,” 
will be voted on. A “no” vote is the pro-gun position on that 
motion. 

If we are successful on that vote, there will be a vote on an amendment 
to repeal the NPS gun ban. Urge your representative to vote IN FAVOR of 
the Hastings-Bishop amendment. 

And tell them not to be fooled by language that was recently added to 
the bill to protect hunting and fishing on certain parts of federal 
land, as if the Founding Fathers pledged their lives, fortunes and 
sacred honor to protect a recreational pastime. 

Please urge you representative to support the Hastings-Bishop amendment, 
protecting your right to carry a firearm for self-defense, hunting or 
any other lawful purpose. 

NPS bureaucrats and federal judges should not be empowered to negate 
self-defense on YOUR land. 

ACTION:  Please immediately use the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center 
at http://gunowners.org/activism.htm to send your Representative the 
pre-written message below. 

—– Pre-written message —– 

Dear Representative: 

On Wednesday morning, the Omnibus Public Land Act (H.R. 146) will come 
to the floor. 

This bill, which has bounced between the House and Senate in recent 
weeks, has completely sidestepped the issue of my right to self-defense. 

Several pro-gun representatives tried to amend the bill so that it 
offers real protection of Second Amendment rights on National Park 
Service and Fish & Wildlife Service lands, but those efforts were 
defeated. 

Repeal of the NPS gun ban takes on added urgency after a federal appeals 
court issued an injunction last week to stop changes made by the Bush 
administration to allow concealed carry on NPS land from taking effect. 

And please don’t be fooled by language that was recently added to the 
bill to protect hunting and fishing on certain parts of federal land, as 
if the Founding Fathers pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor 
to protect a recreational pastime. 

First, there will be a vote on Ordering the Previous Question. I urge 
you to vote “NO” on that motion, in order to allow for 
consideration of 
an amendment by Reps. Doc Hastings and Rob Bishop. 

The Hastings-Bishop amendment to repeal the NPS gun ban protects my 
right to self-defense on OUR public lands, and I urge you to SUPPORT it. 

Gun Owners of America will inform me of how you vote, and will rate the 
procedural vote and the vote on the amendment in its upcoming 
Congressional rating. 

Sincerely, 

(Your Name)

Paul, Baldwin, Barr Send Letter to Missouri Gov. in Response to MIAC Report

March 25, 2009

 

(Original Story):
Infowars
March 23, 2009

Last week on the Alex Jones Show, former presidential candidate and Baptist minister Chuck Baldwin said he would co-author with former presidential candidate and House member Ron Paul and former federal prosecutor, former member of the United States House of Representatives and presidential candidate Bob Barr a letter ( see PDF) to the Governor of Missouri, Jeremiah Nixon, protesting the Missouri Information Analysis Center’s document designating Baldwin and his co-authors as terrorists.

Baldwin, Paul, and Barr “respectfully demand” the document in question “be immediately removed from any and all websites associated with or maintained by the state of Missouri or any agency thereof, including the MIAC.” In addition, they demand “said document no longer be circulated by the state of Missouri” and the state repudiate its references to Baldwin, Paul, and Barr.

The letter insists action be taken within three days of receipt.

On March 20, Prison Planet reported Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s defense of the MIAC report. “Getting information, especially public information, out of our fusion center out to local law enforcement agencies is we do every day and we’re going to continue to do,” said Nixon. “Any way they take that information and can analyze what the threat levels are is important to make sure the public stays safe.” ConnectMidMissouri reported. In other words, Nixon will continue to permit MIAC to designate Baldwin, Paul, and Barr as terrorists.

In regard to the content of the MIAC report, see our Police Trained Nationwide That Informed Americans Are Domestic Terrorists, posted on the Infowars and Prison Planet websites on March 13.

After Alex Jones received the MIAC document and it was posted on his websites, the news story went viral and was covered by the Associated Press and other corporate media outlets (Alex Jones, Infowars, and Prison Planet did not receive attribution for breaking the story, however.)

Read the letter: Page OnePage TwoPage Three.

miac01miac02miac03http://www.infowars.com/paul-baldwin-barr-send-letter-to-missouri-gov-in-response-to-miac-report/

March 25, 2009

YouTube Caught Censoring Obama Deception Video

March 25, 2009

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Infowars
March 23, 2009

 

YouTube has deleted ChangeDaChannel’s honors formerly attached to Alex Jones’ high quality encode of The Obama Deception in a crass effort to knock the film’s ratings down, an obvious effort by Google’s YouTube to make sure people remain unaware of and do not watch the video. In essence — and not unlike the old Soviet Union — YouTube is acting as a political police goon squad for the establishment, attempting to make sure as few people as possible see this important documentary.

YouTube and Google Video are notorious for censoring and fudging view results on Alex Jones films and other films including Loose Change and NufffRespect’s hugely popular Question Your Realityvideo. For more on the mechanics behind Google’s censorship, see Google Censorship — How It Works.

It is important that The Obama Deception get out to as many people as possible and that is why Alex has allowed the film to be posted on the internet. ChangeDaChannel has the best high quality encode of the film and this needs to go viral.

Please watch the film below and order your copy of the DVD today. Now that Obama’s drones are on the street and going door-to-door in order to high pressure you into supporting the banker scam that will indenture our former republic to the international bankers for generations to come, it is vitally important you get a copy of this film, make copies, and pass them out to your family and neighbors so they will be ready to respond when Obama’s little Maoists come knocking on your door.

http://www.infowars.com/youtube-caught-censoring-obama-deception-video/

 

 

Here’s The Movie If You Haven’t Seen it:

1 dead, one injured in Miami Burger King shooting

March 25, 2009

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“This is what can happen when good people carry guns. Make sure you tell this to Obama & Holder because they won’t be plastering this story everywhere because it doesn’t involve a little kid finding his drunk uncles gun and shooting up his kindergarten class. Gun ownership, it’s common sense, it’s simple.”

F.F. 3/24/09

 

“Arms in the hands of the citizens may be used at individual discretion for the defense of the country, the overthrow of tyranny or private self-defense.” — John Adams

 

 

Wikileaks- (I can’t recommend this site enough)

March 25, 2009

13

… could become as important a journalistic tool
as the Freedom of Information Act.  — Time Magazine

  http://wikileaks.org/

Sign A Petition! Investigate Gardasil Vaccine Risks NOW!

March 25, 2009

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The National Vaccine Information Center (http://www.nvic.org/) is petitioning President Barack Obama and Congress on behalf of families to investigate Gardasil vaccine deaths and serious injuries NOW! 

Get Involved & Sign The Petition:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/14/investigate-gardasil-vaccine-risks-now

And now for something completely different…

March 25, 2009

Teenager paints 60ft phallus on roof of family home

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Rory McInnes, 18, climbed on to the flat roof of his parents’ home and daubed the symbol using a tin of white paint, after watching a programme about Google Earth.

Web surfers can view detailed images from satellites using the Google software, enabling them to zoom in on their homes to see them from above. 

But parents Andy and Clare did not discover their son’s rude artwork until a helicopter spotted it on top of their home near Hungerford, Berks.

The pilot called The Sun newspaper, which then contacted Mr McInnes to tell him.

Mr McInnes, 54, a company director, thought the newspaper was having a joke.

He said: “It’s an April Fool’s joke, right? There’s no way there’s a 60ft phallus on top of my house.”

However, when he asked each of his four children if there was indeed the image of a phallus on their newly-completed roof, Rory owned up.

When Mr McInnes phoned his son, who is currently in Brazil on a gap year, the teenager said: “Oh, you’ve found it then!”

The boy’s father appeared to take the prank in good humour.

But he said: “When Rory gets home he will be given a scrubbing brush and white spirit and he can go and scrub it off.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/5041848/Teenager-paints-60ft-phallus-on-roof-of-family-home.html

Commander confirms Netanyahu war plans

March 25, 2009

“The Israeli government is getting crazier and crazier and crazier and crazier by the minute.”

F.F.

 

12

Mon, 23 Mar 2009 13:36:18 GMT 

Israel is preparing for all-out war on multiple fronts that include Iran, Syria and Lebanon, a senior military commander claims. 

Israeli army Home Front Command Major General Yair Golan said Sunday that Tel Aviv is preparing for “all possible scenarios”, indicating that one such scenario would be to fight a simultaneous war against Iran, Syria and Lebanon. 

The confirmation comes as US President Barack Obama seeks “new beginnings” with its arch-rival Iran. The US offer has been met with world praise but with fury in Tel Aviv. 

Israeli media outlets late on Sunday began propagating wild scenarios that Iran is using the Lebanese Hezbollah to recruit Palestinian fighters to carry out terror attacks on Israel. 

Citing anonymous sources, the reports began to surface after Tel Aviv countered an alleged bombing attempt outside a shopping mall in the northern city of Haifa. 

“We are treating the attempted attack in Haifa with great gravity. A huge disaster was prevented by a miracle,” Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told a weekly cabinet meeting after the bomb was defused on Sunday. 

Israel has long accused Iran of arming Hezbollah and Palestinian groups via Syria, in an attempt to demonize the two Muslim countries. 

Tel Aviv also accuses Tehran of developing nuclear weaponry — a chargedenied by the UN nuclear watchdog. 

At a conference held in Tel Aviv, Golan also confirmed the likeliness of Israel staging another military confrontation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. 

Although Israel does not consider rocket attacks from Gaza as a serious threat, there is the possibility of “dangerous” missile attacks by other countries, he said. 

He failed to elaborate how such missile attacks would relate to Gaza. 

His remarks came as reports claim that the soon-to-be Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has plans for “a major military conflict in the coming months.” 

The commander also revealed that Tel Aviv will install new warning systems across Israel in preparation for its war plans. 

The last Israeli-waged war on the Gaza Strip, which began on December 27, killed at least 1,350 Palestinians and wounded more than 5,450 others in the densely-populated sliver. 

 

 

The aggression was the last in a series of operations carried out by the Israeli forces against the natives of the land since occupying Palestine in 1948. 

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=89413&sectionid=351020202

March 25, 2009

H.R. 1388: Obama’s Youth Brigade Conscripts Would Be Prohibited from “Organizing or Engaging in Protests” or Participating in a Variety of Religious Activities

March 25, 2009

“Has everyone collectively lost their minds in this country? Or do they just not know about these things? What ever it is… it’s no excuse to allow America to turn into a combination of communist Russia & Hitlers Germany. What has happened to the people in this country???? Something went dreadfully wrong somewhere. I still have faith in everyone but it is getting difficult as the Obama administration is single handedly turning this country into a fascist/socialist nightmare and the average person doesn’t even talk about it. Or they are just clueless?? Who the fuck knows? You all make a sensible person want to cook up a cereal bowl batch of H and inject it in their eyeball. Wake up!

F.F. 3/24/09

 

March 24th, 2009

 

Will the uniform include an armband?

Via: GovTrack:

SEC. 1304. PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES AND INELIGIBLE ORGANIZATIONS.

Section 125 (42 U.S.C. 12575) is amended to read as follows:

‘SEC. 125. PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES AND INELIGIBLE ORGANIZATIONS.

‘(a) Prohibited Activities- A participant in an approved national service position under this subtitle may not engage in the following activities:

‘(1) Attempting to influence legislation.

‘(2) Organizing or engaging in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes.

‘(7) Engaging in religious instruction, conducting worship services, providing instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship, constructing or operating facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship, maintaining facilities primarily or inherently devoted to religious instruction or worship, or engaging in any form of religious proselytization.

http://cryptogon.com/?p=7652

Drone War’s Rules: Shoot First, Ask Permission Later (Updated)

March 25, 2009

“This seems to be Obama and his flunkies killing weapon of choice in Pakistan. Coward.”

F.F.

080519-F-0782R-046

By Noah Shachtman EmailMarch 23, 2009 | 2:50:00 PM

Wired.com

 

 

The U.S. isn’t just launching killer drone attacks on targets in Pakistan, from bases on Pakistani soil. It’s doing so without the individual authorization of the Pakistani government.

Before August, the CIA had to ask for Islamabad’s OK before launching any attack. The approvals often took “a day or more, sometimes causing the agency to lose track of the target,” the L.A. Times reports. But when Pakistani president and Bush administration ally Pervez Musharraf was forced to resign in August, Bush quickly approved “new rules: Rather than requiring Pakistan’s permission to order a Predator strike, the agency was allowed to shoot first.”

“We had the data all along,” a former CIA official tells the paper. “Finally we took off the gloves.”

“The effect was immediate, the Times adds. “There were two Predator strikes on Aug. 31, and three more by the end of the week.” And dozens more, since then.

The result, American officials say, is an al-Qaeda leadership that’s on the run, constantly looking over its shoulder. But Craig Mullaney, rumored to be the next Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Central Asia, wonders whether the drone strikes have been worth it.

“There are advantages to being able to strike remotely, at key leadership in Pakistan,” Mullaney recently told Danger Room. “But when you pan back and look strategically: What does that do for the recruiting base of the Taliban in Pakistan, Afghanistan. What does that do for the ability of Al Qaeda to reconstitute? You’re balancing the political stability of Pakistan against the military advantages of making these counter-terror strikes. I’m not sure what the answer is.”

Over the weekend, new CIA chief Leon Panetta made his first overseas trip — to South Asia, including Pakistan. The agency won’t say exactly what was on his agenda there. But you can imagine.

UPDATE: “The heart of the problem for the West is in western Pakistan,” U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke tells the Christian Science Monitor. “But there are not going to be US or NATO troops on the ground in Pakistan. There is a red line for the government of Pakistan, and one which we must respect.” Notice he didn’t say anything about robot planes.

http://blog.wired.com/defense/2009/03/finally-we-took.html

AIG’s Six Year Saga Of Alleged Fraud

March 25, 2009

14

Huffington Post   |  Julie Satow   |   March 24, 2009 11:15 AM

 

 

The recent outcry over $165 million in post-bailout bonus payments has put AIG on the hot seat. But, in fact, the bonus disbursement is perhaps the least serious in a string of actions by the insurance giant that span six years and involve several cases of alleged fraud.

“AIG has a culture of complicity. “You don’t get into these kinds of problems by having a good corporate culture,” said Peter Morici, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Business and the former chief economist at the US International Trade Commission. “Clearly this company has had endemic problems and it’d be best if we broke it up and sold it off so others can run its parts.”

AIG is currently facing investigations by the New York Attorney General’s office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the British Serious Fraud Office.

And that is only in the last six months.

Here is a breakdown of the AIG rap sheet, present and past:

Current Investigations:

-The FBI, SEC, and the British Serious Fraud Office are investigating the AIG Financial Products Group for hiding its losses on investments related to derivatives known as credit default swaps. The group was headed by Joseph Cassano, the Brooklyn-born son of a cop, until he stepped down in February. It sustained a loss of more than $11 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Cassano, who started out working for junk bond king and one-time prison inmate Michael Milken, said of the group in August 2007: “It is hard for us, without being flippant, to even see a scenario within any kind of realm of reason that would see us losing one dollar in any of these transactions.”

 

This wasn’t Cassano’s first legal controversy. The Justice Department charged his unit in 2004with helping another firm, PNC Financial Services, to conceal certain assets from its books. AIG settled the case and paid a hefty $80 million in fines.

-At least one AIG shareholder has also filed a suit against Cassano’s former group.

-In a separate investigation, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is pursuing a civil case launched by his predecessor Eliot Spitzer into Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, the former head of AIG who stepped down amid controversy in 2005. The investigation stems from a deal struck in 2000 between AIG and fellow insurer General Re. The case has already resulted in four guilty sentences and a large settlement (See below).

January 2009:

-A senior executive of AIG was found guilty in the 2000 case involving AIG and General Re. Christian Milton, who was AIG’s vice president of reinsurance from 1982 to 2005, was convicted of conspiracy, securities fraud, mail fraud, and making false statements to the SEC in the case, which cost shareholders nearly $600 million.

Greenberg was not charged in the case, although prosecutors identified him as an “unindicted co-conspirator.”

September 2008:

-Greenberg and three other former AIG executives paid $115 million to settle a case brought by a Louisiana pension fund.

The Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana alleged that half of the $2.2 billion that AIG paid to C.V. Starr — a firm run by Greenberg that also underwrote some AIG business — from 2000 to 2005 was a sham, a way to artificially drive profits to the company. They also questioned why some AIG executives were allowed to serve simultaneously as officers of Starr, while also profiting from business between the two companies.

February 2006:

-AIG agreed to pay more than $1.6 billion — the biggest regulatory settlement by a single company in U.S. history, according to Reuters — to settle claims related to the 2000 case involving General Re and AIG. The settlement was for improper accounting, bid rigging and practices involving workers’ compensation funds. Then-New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said at the time that AIG “finds itself in this position solely because some senior managers thought it was acceptable to deceive the investing public and regulators.”

September 2003:

AIG paid a $10 million civil penalty to settle fraud charges involving Plainfield, Ind.-based phone distributor Brightpoint Inc.

The SEC charged AIG with fashioning and selling “purported insurance product that Brightpoint used to report false and misleading financial information to the public.”

There are also numerous lawsuits Greenberg and his former company have lobbed at one another. Some recent examples:

-Earlier this month Greenberg sued AIG and some senior executives, alleging securities fraud that cost him $2 billion. Greenberg claims the company and its executives were untruthful about its dire financial state.

“I was hurt very badly” as a result of the decline in the stock price, Mr. Greenberg told CNBC.

AIG fired back with its own suit, claiming that Greenberg was “directly responsible” for the creation of the AIG Financial Products Group that originated the credit default swaps that brought the insurer to its knees.

In May 2008, Greenberg’s Starr Foundation sued AIG, claiming it had “misrepresented and concealed the truth” about losses related to its credit default swaps. Greenberg maintains that if Starr, whose holdings of AIG shares is its only currency, knew of AIG’s potential losses, it would have sold the shares.

 

This wasn’t Cassano’s first legal controversy. The Justice Department charged his unit in 2004with helping another firm, PNC Financial Services, to conceal certain assets from its books. AIG settled the case and paid a hefty $80 million in fines.

-At least one AIG shareholder has also filed a suit against Cassano’s former group.

-In a separate investigation, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is pursuing a civil case launched by his predecessor Eliot Spitzer into Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, the former head of AIG who stepped down amid controversy in 2005. The investigation stems from a deal struck in 2000 between AIG and fellow insurer General Re. The case has already resulted in four guilty sentences and a large settlement (See below).

January 2009:

-A senior executive of AIG was found guilty in the 2000 case involving AIG and General Re. Christian Milton, who was AIG’s vice president of reinsurance from 1982 to 2005, was convicted of conspiracy, securities fraud, mail fraud, and making false statements to the SEC in the case, which cost shareholders nearly $600 million.

Greenberg was not charged in the case, although prosecutors identified him as an “unindicted co-conspirator.”

September 2008:

-Greenberg and three other former AIG executives paid $115 million to settle a case brought by a Louisiana pension fund.

The Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana alleged that half of the $2.2 billion that AIG paid to C.V. Starr — a firm run by Greenberg that also underwrote some AIG business — from 2000 to 2005 was a sham, a way to artificially drive profits to the company. They also questioned why some AIG executives were allowed to serve simultaneously as officers of Starr, while also profiting from business between the two companies.

February 2006:

-AIG agreed to pay more than $1.6 billion — the biggest regulatory settlement by a single company in U.S. history, according to Reuters — to settle claims related to the 2000 case involving General Re and AIG. The settlement was for improper accounting, bid rigging and practices involving workers’ compensation funds. Then-New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said at the time that AIG “finds itself in this position solely because some senior managers thought it was acceptable to deceive the investing public and regulators.”

September 2003:

AIG paid a $10 million civil penalty to settle fraud charges involving Plainfield, Ind.-based phone distributor Brightpoint Inc.

The SEC charged AIG with fashioning and selling “purported insurance product that Brightpoint used to report false and misleading financial information to the public.”

There are also numerous lawsuits Greenberg and his former company have lobbed at one another. Some recent examples:

-Earlier this month Greenberg sued AIG and some senior executives, alleging securities fraud that cost him $2 billion. Greenberg claims the company and its executives were untruthful about its dire financial state.

“I was hurt very badly” as a result of the decline in the stock price, Mr. Greenberg told CNBC.

AIG fired back with its own suit, claiming that Greenberg was “directly responsible” for the creation of the AIG Financial Products Group that originated the credit default swaps that brought the insurer to its knees.

In May 2008, Greenberg’s Starr Foundation sued AIG, claiming it had “misrepresented and concealed the truth” about losses related to its credit default swaps. Greenberg maintains that if Starr, whose holdings of AIG shares is its only currency, knew of AIG’s potential losses, it would have sold the shares.

 

Video of my main man Spitzer talking about AIG:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/24/aig-fraud-history_n_178545.html

The American Way of War

March 25, 2009

“E. Jarecki of ‘Why We Fight’: Obama is moving towards traditional Washington view of defense”