PRO

Planetary Rescue Operations [Filtered & blocked by Google!]

Google Image Search Links to Porn Sites

Posted by msrb on June 25, 2009

Pornography on Internet Courtesy of Google, Inc

MSRB Moderators have received information from fellow bloggers in South East Asia that the “DO NO Evil [sic]” Google is spreading pornography on Internet in Japan, Korea, Taiwan  and possibly other countries.

A simple image search can connect Google users to various on-line pornography sites directly and without any warning.

The confirmation comes amid reports that China’s Foreign Ministry has  accused Google of spreading pornography on Internet thereby breaking Chinese law.

Meanwhile, it was reported that neither Google’s search engine nor its Chinese-language version were accessible in most parts of China, presumably blocked by the authorities as a retaliatory measure.

China has demanded that all new computers sold in the country come pre-installed with an Internet-filter software called Green Dam Youth Escort to  block pornographic content, starting  July 1, 2009.

As the deadline approaches, however, the US called on China to scrap its plan. “China is putting companies in an untenable position by requiring them, with virtually no public notice, to pre-install software that appears to have broad-based censorship implications and network security issues,” BBC reported the US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke as saying.

China ordered Google last week to stop deliberately linking Internet users to “pornographic and vulgar” websites.

“We have found that Google has spread a lot of pornographic content, which is a serious violation of Chinese laws and regulations,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters.

The US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said “China’s proposed internet filter would violate China’s free trade obligations, weaken computer security and raise serious censorship concerns.” The report said.

“Mandating technically flawed Green Dam software and denying manufacturers and consumers freedom to select filtering software is an unnecessary and unjustified means to achieve that objective, and poses a serious barrier to trade,” Kirk said.

“The latest comment raises the concern about a broader trade war between the US and China over everything from computer security to chicken poultry imports.” The report said.

The US has already filed major complaint with the World Trade Organization accusing China of unfair trade practices by restricting competitors’ access to raw materials, and is now complaining that to pre-install the “pornography-filter” software would violate China’s WTO free trade obligations because it puts  pressure on PC manufacturers.

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology now says  installation of the filter was not compulsory and users can uninstall the software.

Related Links:

Posted in Chinese law, Google in China, Green Dam Youth Escort, restricting competitors' access, WTO | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

CIA Has a Duty to Investigate 9-11

Posted by msrb on June 15, 2009

submitted by a reader

Whatever the politics du jour, CIA under a new, accountable management is duty-bound to investigate 9-11 events

CIA director Leon Panetta says it’s almost as if  Dick Cheney wishes to see another attack on the United States to prove he is right in criticizing President Obama for stopping CIA’s “harsh interrogation” techniques of terrorism suspects.


Central Intelligence Agency Director Leon Panetta delivers remarks at a National Italian American Foundation policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 11, 2009. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst. Image may be subject to copyright.

“I think he smells some blood in the water on the national security issue,” Panetta said in an interview published in The New Yorker magazine’s June 22 issue.

“It’s almost, a little bit, gallows politics. When you read behind it, it’s almost as if he’s wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point.”

Mr Panetta has called Cheney’s actions “dangerous politics,” saying that “he had favored the creation of an independent truth commission to look into the detainee policies of former President George W. Bush. But the idea died in April when Obama decided such a panel could be seen as politically vindictive.”

What Mr Panetta doesn’t know is that Bush-Cheney gang are quite capable of staging yet another attack on America, even a deadlier one than the 9-11 attacks.

Perhaps, instead of worrying about creating an independent truth commission to investigate the detainee policies of George W. Bush, Mr Panetta should concentrate his efforts into conducting an investigation into Bush-Cheney gang’s role in the attack on America on 9/11.

Whatever the politics du jour, CIA has a duty to investigate 9-11 events. They might discover how Bush-Cheney gang is plotting to attack America again!

A World Based on Lies Shall Collapse!

It’s in the interest of the President, his Admin, the US Citizens, and ROW to free the 9-11 truth!

Related Links:


Posted in Bush-Cheney Gang, Dick Cheney, Leon Panetta, Obama, waterboarding | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

World cannot survive without a revolution

Posted by msrb on June 11, 2009

Not Just the US, world cannot survive without a revolution

Consider this:

1. About 92 percent of all economic activity goes toward maintaining a system that is destroying the very world our lives depend on.

2. Between us and a possible future stands a tiny minority that actively destroys our chances of getting there.

It’s time for a second American revolution in the spirit of perestroika

Mikhail Gorbachev
June 10, 2009

Years ago, as the Cold War was coming to an end, I said to my fellow leaders around the globe: the world is on the cusp of great events, and in the face of new challenges all of us will have to change, you as well as we. For the most part, the reaction was polite but sceptical silence.

In recent years, I have often told listeners that I feel Americans need their own change – a perestroika, not like the one in my country, but an American perestroika – and the reaction has been markedly different. Halls filled with thousands of people have responded with applause.

Some have reacted with understanding. Others have objected, sometimes sarcastically, suggesting that I want the United States to experience upheaval, just like the former Soviet Union. In my country, particularly caustic reactions have come from the opponents of perestroika, people with short memories and a deficit of conscience.

Our perestroika signalled the need for change in the Soviet Union, but it was not meant to suggest a capitulation to the US model. Today, the need for a more far-reaching perestroika – one for America and the world – has become clearer than ever.

The need for change in the Soviet Union in the mid-1980s was urgent. The country was stifled by a lack of freedom, and the people – particularly the educated class – wanted to break the stranglehold of a system that had been built under Stalin.

We opted for free elections, political pluralism, freedom of religion and an economy with competition and private property. We sought to effect these changes in an evolutionary way and without bloodshed. We made mistakes. Important decisions were made too late, and we were unable to complete our perestroika. Nevertheless, perestroika won, because it brought the country to a point from which there could be no return to the past.

In the West, the break-up of the Soviet Union was viewed as a total victory that proved that the West did not need to change. Western leaders were convinced that they were at the helm of the right system and of a well-functioning, almost perfect economic model. Scholars opined that history had ended. The dogma of free markets, deregulation and balanced budgets at any cost was force-fed to the rest of the world.

But then came the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, and it became clear that the new Western model was an illusion that benefited chiefly the very rich. Statistics show that the poor and the middle class saw little or no benefit from the economic growth of the past decades.

The global crisis demonstrates that the leaders of major powers had missed the signals that called for a perestroika. The result is a crisis that is not just financial and economic. It is political, too.

The model that emerged during the late 20th century has turned out to be unsustainable. It was based on a drive for super-profits and hyper-consumption for a few, on unrestrained exploitation of resources and on social and environmental irresponsibility.

But if all the proposed solutions and action now come down to a mere rebranding of the old system, we are bound to see another, perhaps even greater upheaval down the road. The current model does not need adjusting; it needs replacing. I have no ready-made prescriptions. But I am convinced that a new model will emerge, one that will emphasise public needs and public good, such as a cleaner environment, well-functioning infrastructure and public transport, sound education and health systems and affordable housing.

Elements of such a model already exist in some nations. Countries such as Malaysia and Brazil have achieved impressive rates of growth. China and India have pulled hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. By mobilising state resources, France has built a system of high-speed railways, while Canada provides free health care. Among the new democracies, Slovenia and Slovakia have been able to mitigate the social consequences of market reforms.

The time has come to strike the right balance between the government and the market, for integrating social and environmental factors and demilitarising the economy.

Washington will have to play a special role in this new perestroika, not just because the United States wields great economic, political and military power, but because America was the main architect, and America’s elite the main beneficiary, of the current world economic model. That model is now cracking and will, sooner or later, be replaced. That will be a complex and painful process for everyone, including the United States.

However different the problems that the Soviet Union confronted during our perestroika and the challenges now facing the United States, the need for new thinking makes these two eras similar. In our time, we faced up to the main tasks of putting an end to the division of the world, winding down the nuclear arms race and defusing conflicts. We will cope with the new global challenges as well, but only if everyone understands the need for real, cardinal change – for a global perestroika.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, heads the International Foundation for Socio-Economic and Political Studies, a Moscow-based think tank.

Source: SMH

Related Links:

Posted in cabal, demilitarizing economy, ecosystems collapse, endless wars, US Stalinist System | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

God Bless America!

Posted by msrb on June 4, 2009

Submitted by a reader

Just one serious illness away from bankruptcy

The banks don’t take every everything; it’s the pharmaceuticals, “health providers,” and doctors that shake our pockets empty!

This is 21st Century America, where you can have your money OR your “health.” Medical bills are responsible for 62 percent of U.S. personal bankruptcies, U.S. researchers said today. That is an increase of about 50 percent in just over 5 years.

“More than 75 percent of these bankrupt families had health insurance but still were overwhelmed by their medical debts, the team at Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School and Ohio University reported in the American Journal of Medicine.” Reuters said.

“Using a conservative definition, 62.1 percent of all bankruptcies in 2007 were medical; 92 percent of these medical debtors had medical debts over $5,000, or 10 percent of pretax family income,” the researchers wrote.

“Most medical debtors were well-educated, owned homes and had middle-class occupations.”

The share of bankruptcies caused by medical bills rose by 50 percent between 2001 and 2007, researchers said.

“Unless you’re Warren Buffett, your family is just one serious illness away from bankruptcy,” Harvard’s Dr. David Himmelstein, an advocate for a single-payer health insurance program for the United States, said.

“For middle-class Americans, health insurance offers little protection,” he added.

“Nationally, a quarter of firms cancel coverage immediately when an employee suffers a disabling illness; another quarter do so within a year,” the report said.

Some 2,134 families, who filed for bankruptcy, were surveyed between January and April in 2007, well before the latest recession began.

“While only 29 percent directly blamed medical bills for their bankruptcy, 62 percent had medical bills that totaled more than 10 percent of family income, said an illness was responsible, had lost income due to illness or some other medical factor.” Reuters said.

“Among common diagnoses, nonstroke neurologic illnesses such as multiple sclerosis were associated with the highest out-of-pocket expenditures (mean $34,167), followed by diabetes ($26,971), injuries ($25,096), stroke ($23,380), mental illnesses ($23,178), and heart disease ($21,955),” the researchers reported.

Soon, only bankers, doctors and lawyers could afford to live and have a family!

http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSTRE5530Y020090604

Posted in diabetes, health insurance, mental illnesses, middle-class Americans, multiple sclerosis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Airbus Must Come Clean

Posted by msrb on June 2, 2009

Breaking News: Cockpit Fire Forces Airbus A330 to Land

submitted by a reader

Airbus: Third time ‘unlucky,’ too!

Third Airbus in 6 months plunges into the sea

Alright, the US Airways Airbus that plunged into the Hudson River was hit by a flock of birds, but the Air New Zealand Airbus A320 ‘Flying Coffin‘ fell into the sea because of a combination of pilot incompetence/error and catastrophic flight control system failure.

The author [and MSRB Moderators] strongly suspects that catastrophic flight control system failure was also responsible for the downing of Air France Airbus 330-200 flight AF 447.

[Moderators also strongly suspect that Airbus is aware of the problem, but is unwilling to come clean because of the financial ramifications. One way or another, Airbus could probably go bust in the coming months, but it's better to go down with a clean conscience and less passenger blood on their hands. MSRB.]

Unlike flight AF 447, the problem with the flight control system failures will not disappear, no matter how hard Airbus wishes it to go away. Sooner or later there would be another plane crashing into the Pacific, Indian, Atlantic, Arctic or Southern ocean … and then another. And it’s only a matter of months perhaps weeks before that would occur.

[We know it, and we know that Airbus knows it, too! MSRB]

Come clean now! Ground all Airbuses and fix the problem!

Related Links:

The Moderators have been expecting another Air New Zealand Airbus A320 to plunge into the sea (again), based on the airline’s safety statistics, but Air France beat the kiwis to it!

The probability remains that the next major air disaster would occur as a result of an Air New Zealand Airbus crashing into the sea [with a certainty of 0.74]

Posted in Air New Zealand crash, Galeão Airport, missing Airbus, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Rio de Janeiro | Tagged: , , , , | 10 Comments »

Why Are All Millenialists Ex Drunks (Conmen, Junkies)

Posted by msrb on May 26, 2009

The following article was written by Clive Hamilton, a Visiting Professor at Yale University, and sent by a reader.

Note, this article was originally published at counterpunch.org and is mirrored here. By printing this article MSRB does not tacitly endorse counterpunch.org as its principal operators have failed the “9/11 test” by accepting the government conspiracy theory thus misleading their readers.

Years of unfettered consumption of Southern Comfort and cocaine can bend the mind of any man! —The Book of Google MaGoogle [Gog and Magog,] Chapter II, Verse XXI

Biblical Prophesy and the Iraq War

Bush, God, Iraq and Gog

By CLIVE HAMILTON

http://www.counterpunch.org/hamilton05222009.html

The revelation this month in GQ magazine that Donald Rumsfeld as Defense Secretary embellished top-secret wartime memos with quotations from the Bible prompts a question. Why did he believe he could influence President Bush by that means?

The answer may lie in an alarming story about George Bush’s Christian millenarian beliefs that has yet to come to light.

In 2003 while lobbying leaders to put together the Coalition of the Willing, President Bush spoke to France’s President Jacques Chirac. Bush wove a story about how the Biblical creatures Gog and Magog were at work in the Middle East and how they must be defeated.

In Genesis and Ezekiel Gog and Magog are forces of the Apocalypse who are prophesied to come out of the north and destroy Israel unless stopped. The Book of Revelation took up the Old Testament prophesy [No questions asked!]:

“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle … and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.”

Bush believed the time had now come for that battle, telling Chirac:

“This confrontation is willed by God [syn: Wealthy Jewish merchants,] who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins”.

The story of the conversation emerged only because the Elysée Palace, baffled by Bush’s words, sought advice from Thomas Römer, a professor of theology at the University of Lausanne. Four years later, Römer gave an account in the September 2007 issue of the university’s review, Allez savoir. The article apparently went unnoticed, although it was referred to in a French newspaper.

The story has now been confirmed by Chirac himself in a new book, published in France in March, by journalist Jean Claude Maurice. Chirac is said to have been stupefied and disturbed by Bush’s invocation of Biblical prophesy to justify the war in Iraq and “wondered how someone could be so superficial and fanatical in their beliefs”.

In the same year he spoke to Chirac, Bush had reportedly said to the Palestinian foreign minister that he was on “a mission from God” in launching the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and was receiving commands from the Lord [syn: State of Israel.]

There can be little doubt now that President Bush’s reason for launching the war in Iraq was, for him, fundamentally religious. He was driven by his belief that the attack on Saddam’s Iraq was the fulfilment of a Biblical prophesy in which he had been chosen to serve as the instrument of the Lord [syn: State of Israel.]

Many thousands [at least 1.5 million] of Americans and Iraqis have died in the campaign to defeat Gog and Magog. That the US President saw himself as the vehicle of God whose duty was to prevent the Apocalypse can only inflame suspicions across the Middle East that the United States is on a crusade against Islam.

There is a curious coda to this story. While a senior at Yale University George W. Bush was a member of the exclusive and secretive Skull & Bones society. His father, George H.W. Bush had also been a “Bonesman”, as indeed had his father. Skull & Bones’ initiates are assigned or take on nicknames. And what was George Bush Senior’s nickname? “Magog”. [Emphasis and remarks were added.]

Copyright: Clive Hamilton is a Visiting Professor at Yale University He can be reached at: mail@clivehamilton.net.au.

Notes:

Jocelyn Rochat, ‘George W. Bush et le Code Ezéchiel’, Allez Savoir!, No. 39, September 2007

http://www.rue89.com/2007/09/17/un-petit-scoop-sur-bush-chirac-dieu-gog-et-magog

http://www.plon.fr/ficheLivre.php?livre=9782259210218

http://www.palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=14890

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/oct/07/iraq.usa

Related Links:

Posted in Ezekiel, Geroge W Bush, Jacques Chirac, mission from God, Thomas Römer | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Shadow of a man he used to be

Posted by msrb on May 25, 2009

Image of the Month

A “Law Professor” Caught Between the U.S. Constitution and “Trappings” of Oval Office


The shadow of the head of U.S. President Barack Obama falls upon a copy of the U.S. Constitution as he makes a speech on America’s national security at the National Archives in Washington, May 21, 2009.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque. Image may be subject to copyright.

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Posted in law, US President, WASHINGTON | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Four Men and a ‘Dud’ Stinger Missile

Posted by msrb on May 23, 2009

submitted by a reader

“Anti-Semitic” AND “Unpatriotic!”

The 10 things that gave away the laughable FBI plot

“Four men were arrested Wednesday night in what the authorities said was a plot to bomb two synagogues in the Bronx and shoot down military planes at an Air National Guard base in Newburgh, N.Y.,” New York Times headline said.

Immediate reaction #1: Aha, so the master plotter is a “graduate” of Frankfurt School and Authoritarian Personality!

The Authoritarian Personality, an influential theory of personality was developed by Frankfurt School’s Jewish intellectuals, who later moved to University of California, Berkeley. The Authoritarian Personality, a book of the same name, which was written by Theodor W Adorno, and published in 1950, makes all [non-Jewish] group affiliation as if they are caused by mental disorder [insanity.] Patriotism [except when it's to the state of Israel,] religion [with the exception of  Judaism], family [excluding Jewish families,] racial identity [Jewishness exempted,] loyalty [unless it's to the state of Israel,] superstition,  power and “toughness” [except when it's used against the enemies of Israel,] destructiveness and cynicism [again, with the exception of Israel's,] and “exaggerated concerns over sexuality” are regarded as signs of a dysfunctional, dangerous and defective “authoritarian personality.”

Further, drawing distinctions between the groups are considered illegitimate, and therefore all group loyalties, including close family ties are regarded as “prejudice.”

The Jewish intellectuals who founded the Frankfort School  consider “anti-Semitism” a sign of mental illness. Adorno stipulates that the authoritarian is predisposed to “commitment to tradition,” among other traits, and combines “Anti-Semitism” and “Emotional Disorder [insanity]” as one of the same.  In other words, if you are an “anti-Semite” you must necessarily be insane, too. And it follows [sic] that all insane people must be “Jew-haters.”

Why else would you plot to blow up TWO  synagogues with “play clay,” and shoot down a military plane or two with “dud” Stinger missiles simultaneously?

Christopher Lasch, the well-known American historian, moralist and social critic, wrote:

Authoritarian Personality leads to the conclusion that prejudice “could be eradicated only by subjecting the American people to what amounted to collective psychotherapy – by treating them as inmates of an insane asylum.”

What’s the Frankfurt School?

The Frankfurt School, otherwise known as the Institute of Social Research, was founded in Frankfurt, Germany, during the Weimar period by a Jewish millionaire but was closed down by the Nazis shortly after they took power. Most of its staff and Jewish intellectuals fled to the United States and the institute reconstituted itself at UC Berkeley. Headed by Max Horkheimer, the group’s top echelon were T.W. Adorno, Erich Fromm, and Herbert Marcuse, all of whom had strong Jewish identities. Horkheimer made no secret of the partisan nature of the institute’s activities: ‘Research would be able here to transform itself directly into propaganda,’ he wrote.

“The men, all of whom live in Newburgh, about 60 miles north of New York City, were arrested around 9 p.m. after planting what they believed to be bombs in cars outside the Riverdale Temple and the nearby Riverdale Jewish Center, officials said. But the men did not know the bombs, obtained with the help of an informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, were fake.” NYTimes article said.

Immediate reaction #2: Aha, the master plotter doubles as a “scriptwriter” for blue movies in his spare time.

Were did the accused get their training to plant bombs? Fake bombs, or not, how did the men know it was “safe” for them to handle the bombs? How did they trust their supplier? How did they know the bombs would work, since they didn’t buy it from Wal-Mart? Did they do a dummy run in the woods outside Newburgh?

“The arrests capped what officials described as a ‘painstaking investigation’ that began in June 2008 involving an F.B.I. agent who had been told by a federal informant of the men’s desire to attack targets in America. As part of the plot, the men intended to fire Stinger missiles at military aircraft at the base, which is at Stewart International Airport, officials said.” Said NYTimes.

Immediate reaction # 3. Aha, there’s more than one master plotter because the plot is stretched too thin, and about to lose grip.

You want a Stinger Missile? Ask Santa! Right a wish list and post it to Santa Clause, North Pole. Hang up your socks and wait. Remember, when Santa arrives, pretend you’re sleep. Don’t embarrass Santa by pulling on his false beard, or try to identify him. FBI entrapment agents are very shy and may spoil your wish.

“‘This latest attempt to attack our freedoms shows that the homeland security threats against New York City are sadly all too real and underscores why we must remain vigilant in our efforts to prevent terrorism,’ Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said in a statement. The mayor was expected to appear at 6:45 a.m. Thursday at the Riverdale Jewish Center morning services, joined by Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly.” Said NYTimes.

Immediate reaction # 4. Aha, did you also wonder where this was leading to?

Remember what Prof. Horkheimer said? He wrote: “Research would be able here to transform itself directly into propaganda.’

“The charges against the four men represent some of the most significant allegations of domestic terrorism in some time, and come months into a new presidential administration, as President Obama grapples with the question of how to handle detainees at the Guantánamo Bay camp in Cuba.” NYT said.

Immediate reaction #5: Aha, wondered when the Gitmo connection comes into crosshair.

Guantánamo Bay prison is the cabal’s ‘anti-terrorism’ sacred cow, and must not be allowed to shut down. President Obama cannot be seen as a mature president who could undo with a stroke of a pen, what Bush-Cheney gang have sacrificed the lives of more than 2 million Iraqis, Afghans… and Americans to set up!

“Rabbi Jonathan I. Rosenblatt, the senior rabbi at the Riverdale Jewish Center, a modern Orthodox congregation, said the police informed him on Wednesday evening that his synagogue was a target of the plot, as well as the Riverdale Temple, a Reform synagogue that is a short distance away, on Independence Avenue. The two buildings are about six blocks apart, each with a brick facade. Outside the synagogues on Wednesday night, the streets were eerily quiet.” Said NYT

Immediate reaction #6: Aha, the master-plotters must be the same guys who “got away” with the previous laughable false-flag scripts.

If the authorities knew that the bombs and the Stinger missile were fake, why did they have to disturb the pious Rabbi?

“Law enforcement officials identified the four men arrested as James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams and Laguerre Payen, all of Newburgh. One is of Haitian descent, according to law enforcement officials, and at least three were United States citizens. They are all Muslim, a law enforcement official said.” NYTimes said, retracting an earlier print:

“Correction: May 22, 2009 [paragraph break] An article in some editions on Thursday about the arrests of four men suspected in what the authorities said was a plot to bomb two synagogues in the Bronx and shoot down military planes at an Air National Guard base in Newburgh, N.Y., included erroneous descriptions from a law enforcement official about the men’s ethnic origins. One is a Haitian immigrant and the other three are African-Americans; none are of Arabic descent.”

“Mr. Cromitie had told the informant that he was upset about the war in Afghanistan and that that he wanted to “do something to America.” Mr. Cromitie stated “the best target” — the World Trade Center — “was hit already,” according to the complaint.” NYT added

Immediate reaction #7. Aha, maximizing propaganda value by reinforcing the validity [sic] of the official account of 9/11, which in turn reinforces other “terror plots.”

“Mr. Kelly told Jewish leaders Wednesday evening that the attackers planned simultaneous attacks, and the men planned to leave the bombs in the cars in front of the two synagogues, drive back to Newburgh and retrieve cellphone-detonating devices and then proceed with the attack on the air base— simultaneously shooting down aircraft while remotely setting off the devices in the cars.”

Immediate reaction #8. Aha, the plot is struggling to survive, now.

If you can’t see why, read what Mr Kelly told the Jewish readers again, until you realize why it came from a ridiculous plot based on a comic script.

“On Wednesday night, they planted one of the mock improvised explosive devices in a trunk of a car outside the temple and two mock bombs in the back seat of a car outside the Jewish center, the authorities said. Shortly thereafter, police officers swooped in and broke the windows on the suspects’ black sport utility vehicle and charged them with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction within the United States and conspiracy to acquire and use antiaircraft missiles.” NYT said.

“A federal law enforcement official described the plot as ‘aspirational’ — meaning that the suspects wanted to do something but had no weapons or explosives — and described the operation as a sting with a cooperator within the group.” NYT added.

Immediate reaction #9. Aha, this plot was also designed to serve as yet another reason for pushing the populace even further in the “big Brother” direction by making “thoughtcrime” an official crime.

How could anyone be arrested, other than for nuisance-making, for planting “play clay” under a car? Could Hollywood moviemakers, directors, actors and producers also be arrested for using fake weapons to “kill” millions of Jews and gentiles alike every year?

“‘It was fully controlled at all times,’ a law enforcement official said.” NYTimes article said.

“Stewart International Airport is used by the New York Air National Guard and United States Air Force, according to the complaint, and it stores aircraft used to transport military supplies and personnel to the military in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Immediate reaction # 10. Aha, it had to be a classic FBI entrapment case!

If the FBI “informants” had not kindled the group’s aspiration, what must have been relentless encouragement for attempting to blow up a synagogue, fanning the flame of  “motive” for the fake bombing; if they hadn’t facilitated the “means” by way of providing the money to buy the expensive fake weapons, explosives and all the necessary paraphernalia, instructions and training on how to use them; if they had not created the “opportunity” by way of providing information, connections and logistics, there would have been no Jewish casualties [!] and no one would have been arrested.

[Note: Let's pretend for a moment the four patsies are not ex con, down-and-out junkies, who would go along with any idea, say anything, even confess to crimes they haven't committed for the sake of getting their next fix, or have the charges dropped for possession. Did the FBI "brainwash," or blackmail them?]

“This was a very serious threat that could have cost many, many lives if it had gone through,” Representative Peter T. King, Republican from Long Island, said in an interview with WPIX-TV. “It would have been a horrible, damaging tragedy. There’s a real threat from homegrown terrorists and also from jailhouse converts.” NYT said.

Oh, steady on, Rep King, it was just a fake Stinger missile. And don’t worry; FBI will never sell real explosives or functional Stinger missiles to would-be terrorists. [Could they?]

“Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said in a statement: ‘If there can be any good news from this terror scare it’s that this group was relatively unsophisticated, infiltrated early, and not connected to another terrorist group. This incident shows that we must always be vigilant against terrorism—foreign or domestic.’”NYT reported.

Thanks for making a smart remark, Senator. I ask you, could anyone other than a “relatively unsophisticated” group be so stupid to fall for this preposterous FBI entrapment script?

Whatever the outcome of this case, and whether or not the judge would throw out the case for anyone of the reasons described above, the purpose of this FBI publicity stunt was  to score a point which may have a long-lasting subliminal effect on most people via the the following circular fallacy:

“ANTI-SEMITIC” people are INSANE and BECAUSE insane people are UNPATRIOTIC, therefore, “Jew-Haters” pose a grave danger to our national security!

Related Links:

Posted in anti-terrorism, Bronx synagogues, homegrown terror, jewish groups, Terrorism | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Porky Pies President

Posted by msrb on May 15, 2009

submitted by a reader

Backtrack Barack Nixes Own Decision, Again!

President Obama halted the military trials at Guantanamo Bay as a matter of respect for human rights during the first few days after taking office in January. He signed a presidential decree with his left hand.

obama and friend
Dick Cheney’s daughter Liz has accused Barack Obama of  “siding with terrorists” by showing the U.S. in a bad light. The “spineless” President is of course scared witless of the criticism even from a woman like her.

Then the President’s right hand, which was totally unaware,  found out and complained.

Now, the President has decided to revive military trials for some of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay, with the proviso that they would get “improved rights.”

He promised to his right hand this time it could sign the order. The left hand may not be aware.

This is a major let-down by any unscrupulous presidential standard. President Obama severely criticized the military commission system at Guantanamo Bay military prison during his election campaign, calling it as “an enormous failure.”

Currently 241 detainees remain at the prison camp in the US military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The President had pledged to close down the camp by January 2010.

This decision comes shortly after another announcement when the President vowed to fight the release of dozens of the “old but classified” photos of  torture and prisoner abuse by U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. After a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Pentagon had agreed to release the photos, most of which have already leaked out.

Mr Obama declared that it would be like “putting automatic firearms in the hands of our enemies.”

That, of course, is another porky pie. There’s very little that “our enemies” haven’t experienced first hand. There’s little secret outside the US about the atrocities “we” have committed lately in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Our government has killed a million and half people in Iraq. Another few million have been maimed or sustained serious physical and mental injuries. Uop to five million people have lost their homes.

Is there a single family or individual who remains unaffected after a six-year [and continuing] war of aggression and illegal occupation by the US in Iraq, or in Afghanistan? Who’s is the president kidding?

Does he really think a few more photos, which the CIA has already leaked on its disinformation sites, will change the friendly attitude of Iraqis and Afghans toward us?

The fact is that the President is too afraid of the “Bush-Cheney Gang.” He lacks the moral courage to do the right thing. He is failing America every time he backtracks.

Are you also beginning to seriously doubt whether the President is capable of making sound decisions under duress?

Related Links:

Posted in Afghanistan torture, Bush-Cheney Gang, human rights, military trials, President Obama | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Denying the “Deniers”

Posted by msrb on May 12, 2009

submitted by Semitic reader

Benedict XVI: Pope The Irrelevant

Image of the Day: Kowtowing to the Blackmailers

pope at yadvasheem
Pope Benedict XVI is shown during a ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem May 11, 2009. Pope Benedict on Monday said at Israel’s memorial to [many] Jews killed by Nazi Germany that their suffering must never be denied. On the floor are seen names of concentration camps. (UPI Photo/Ziv Koren/Pool). Image may be subject to copyright.

From 1945 and up to 1987, about 76,000,000 people have been murdered in cold blood by one regime or another. Add another 10 -14 million people since then, to get a grand total of about 90 million killed.

Has Pope the Irrelevant, ever told any of the 90 million victims of genocide and democide “that their suffering must never be denied?”

Related Links:

Posted in holocaust industry, Jerusalem, Nazi germany, Vatican blackmail, ZioNazi Israel | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Obama Admin Must Indict Real Perpetrators of 9-11

Posted by msrb on May 8, 2009

sent by a member

A World Based on Lies Shall Collapse!

It’s in the interest of the President, his Admin, the US Citizens, and ROW to free the 9-11 truth

To stop the world’s worst nightmares being realized, the truth must be UNCOVERED NOW!

The following abstract is from a recent study titled: Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe published by Bentham Science Publishers, a major STM journal publisher of 92 online and print journals.

Blogger Jim Hoffman Wrote: “The scientific paper Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe provides, quite simply, proof that explosives were used in the destruction of the Twin Towers. Specifically, the paper positively identifies an advanced engineered pyrotechnic material in each of several samples of dust from the destroyed skyscrapers, in the form of tiny chips having red and gray sides and sharing a very specific three-dimensional structure, chemical composition, and ignition behavior.”

Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice said: The independent scientists and researchers from several different countries suggest “the cause behind the catastrophic destruction of World Trade Center Towers on September 11th can be seen in the dust itself: active thermitic material, a highly engineered explosive.”

“The study, published today in The Open Chemical Physics Journal, describes a finding of ‘red/gray bi-layered chips’ in samples of dust taken from vicinity of the World Trade Center following its destruction. Using tools such as a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and x-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (XEDS) to analyze the material, the study authors concluded that, ‘the red portion of these chips is found to be an unreacted thermitic material and highly energetic.’”

WTC particles
Fig. (2). Photomicrographs of red/gray chips from samples 1-4 of the WTC dust involved in this study, shown in (a)-(d) respectively. The inset in (d) shows the chip edge on, which reveals the gray layer. The red/gray chips are mounted on an aluminum pedestal, using a carbon conductive tab, for viewing in the scanning electron microscope (SEM). © Harrit et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.  This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http: //creativecommons.org/licenses/bync/3.0/)

Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe

pp.7-31 (25) Authors: Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, Kevin R. Ryan, Frank M. Legge, Daniel Farnsworth, Gregg Roberts, James R. Gourley, Bradley R. Larsen
doi: 10.2174/1874412500902010007

Abstract:

We have discovered distinctive red/gray chips in all the samples we have studied of the dust produced by the destruction of the World Trade Center. Examination of four of these samples, collected from separate sites, is reported in this paper. These red/gray chips show marked similarities in all four samples. One sample was collected by a Manhattan resident about ten minutes after the collapse of the second WTC Tower, two the next day, and a fourth about a week later. The properties of these chips were analyzed using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (XEDS), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The red material contains grains approximately 100 nm across which are largely iron oxide, while aluminum is contained in tiny plate-like structures. Separation of components using methyl ethyl ketone demonstrated that elemental aluminum is present. The iron oxide and aluminum are intimately mixed in the red material. When ignited in a DSC device the chips exhibit large but narrow exotherms occurring at approximately 430 °C, far below the normal ignition temperature for conventional thermite. Numerous iron-rich spheres are clearly observed in the residue following the ignition of these peculiar red/gray chips. The red portion of these chips is found to be an unreacted thermitic material and highly energetic.

Keywords: JScanning electron microscopy, X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy, Differential scanning calorimetry, DSC analysis, World Trade Center, WTC dust, 9/11, Iron-rich microspheres, Thermite, Super-thermite, Energetic nanocomposites, Nano-thermite

Conclusions:

We have discovered distinctive red/gray chips in significant numbers in dust associated with the World Trade Center destruction. We have applied SEM/XEDS and other methods to characterize the small-scale structure and chemical signature of these chips, especially of their red component. The red material is most interesting and has the following characteristics:

  1. It is composed of aluminum, iron, oxygen, silicon and carbon. Lesser amounts of other potentially reactive elements are sometimes present, such as potassium, sulfur, lead, barium and copper.
  2. The primary elements (Al, Fe, O, Si, C) are typically all present in particles at the scale of tens to hundreds of nanometers, and detailed XEDS mapping shows intimate mixing.
  3. On treatment with methyl ethyl ketone solvent, some segregation of components occurred. Elemental aluminum became sufficiently concentrated to be clearly identified in the pre-ignition material.
  4. Iron oxide appears in faceted grains roughly 100 nm across whereas the aluminum appears in thin platelike structures. The small size of the iron oxide particles or super-thermite. qualifies the material to be characterized as nanothermite
  5. Analysis shows that iron and oxygen are present in a ratio consistent with Fe2O3. The red material in all four WTC dust samples was similar in this way. Iron oxide was found in the pre-ignition material whereas elemental iron was not.
  6. From the presence of elemental aluminum and iron oxide in the red material, we conclude that it contains the ingredients of thermite.
  7. As measured using DSC, the material ignites and reacts vigorously at a temperature of approximately 430 °C, with a rather narrow exotherm, matching fairly closely an independent observation on a known super-thermite sample. The low temperature of ignition and the presence of iron oxide grains less than 120 nm show that the material is not conventional thermite (which ignites at temperatures above 900 °C) but very likely a form of super-thermite.
  8. After igniting several red/gray chips in a DSC run to 700 °C, we found numerous iron-rich spheres and spheroids in the residue, indicating that a very hightemperature reaction had occurred, since the iron-rich product clearly must have been molten to form these shapes. In several spheres, elemental iron was verified since the iron content significantly exceeded the oxygen content. We conclude that a high-temperature reduction-oxidation reaction has occurred in the heated chips, namely, the thermite reaction.
  9. The spheroids produced by the DSC tests and by the flame test have an XEDS signature (Al, Fe, O, Si, C) which is depleted in carbon and aluminum relative to the original red material. This chemical signature strikingly matches the chemical signature of the spheroids produced by igniting commercial thermite, and also matches the signatures of many of the microspheres found in the WTC dust [5].
  10. The carbon content of the red material indicates that an organic substance is present. This would be expected for super-thermite formulations in order to produce high gas pressures upon ignition and thus make them explosive. The nature of the organic material in these chips merits further exploration. We note that it is likely also an energetic material, in that the total energy release sometimes observed in DSC tests exceeds the theoretical maximum energy of the classic thermite reaction.

Based on these observations, we conclude that the red layer of the red/gray chips we have discovered in the WTC dust is active, unreacted thermitic material, incorporating nanotechnology, and is a highly energetic pyrotechnic or explosive material.

Unlike most scientific reports, this one is extremely easy to understand. To read the report Go to Download Page

Related Links:

Posted in DSC analysis, energetic pyrotechnic, Iron-rich microspheres, super-thermite, thermite | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

Europe Entering New Dark Age II

Posted by msrb on May 4, 2009

In Part I of  Europe Entering New Dark Age

The IMF forecast a two-year recession, with Spain’s “economy contracting 3.0 percent in 2009 and 0.6 percent in 2010,” with the unemployment rate rising to 19.3 percent by 2010.

The newly revised figures, however, show that the EU economies will shrink by 4% [Too optimistic!] in 2009, the European Commission has forecast.

It also forecast unemployment in the 27-nation EU* would reach 10.9% in 2010. The jobless figure in the eurozone** would climb even higher to 11.5% .

“The European economy is in the midst of its deepest and most widespread recession in the post-war era,” said EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner, Joaquin Almunia.

  • German economy will shrink by  5.4% this year
  • Th economies of UK and Italy are expected to contract by about 4.5%
  • Irish economy will drop by 9%
  • Latvia’s will shrink by 13.1%

Notes * and **

The EU-27 block consists of

1. The 16 eurozone countries, which use euro as their common currency:  Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain and
2. The following 11 countries: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Sweden and the UK

Related Links:

Posted in euro, European economy, IMF forecast, Monetary Affairs Commissioner, unemployment forecast | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sales of Tamiflu Rocket Sky High

Posted by msrb on May 1, 2009

Making a Killing: Pharmaceuticals 911

Sales of Tamiflu and other antiviral drugs, hand sanitizers, anti-bacterial soap and protective masks and gloves are shooting up

tamiflu
Tamiflu is one of the antiviral drugs used against the A(H1N1) virus [swine flu.] “
Rare but serious skin reactions and allergic reactions have been reported. Stop taking TAMIFLU and call your doctor if you experience any of these reactions, as they could be very serious. People with the flu, particularly children and adolescents, may be at an increased risk of self injury and confusion shortly after taking TAMIFLU and should be closely monitored for signs of unusal behavior. A healthcare professional should be contacted immediately if the patient taking TAMIFLU shows any signs of unusual behavior. The most common side effects of TAMIFLU are mild to moderate nausea and vomiting.” Caption: Tamiflu.com. Image: AFP. May be subject to copyright.

  • A box of Tamiflu (ten 75-milligram capsules) is about $115 in the U.S.
  • A dose of Relenza usually costs about $100 at the pharmacies. [Relenza is packaged in medicine disks and is inhaled by mouth using a delivery device, manufacturer said.]
  • U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the United States would purchase 13 million more courses of flu medicine.
  • The U.S. government has stockpiled about 50 million courses of antiviral drugs and state stockpiles across the country include an additional 23 million courses.
  • The Indian government is buying 10 million Tamiflu tablets and 10 million N-95 face masks,  the Hindi daily Hindustan reported.
  • Johnson & Johnson, makers of the popular hand sanitizer Purell, are ramping up production to meet increased demand.
  • Kellogg Co, the world’s largest cereal maker, said it has received some large orders from Mexican retailers that are stockpiling to meet increased demand as consumers begin hoarding food, Reuters reported.
  • As the demand for protective masks skyrockets, 3M is counting its windfall. “We have seen an increase in demand and we have increased production,” a company spokeswoman said. “We have added additional shifts in our facilities.”

relenza-and-inhaler
Relenza Inhaler and medicine disk. “In studies, the most common side effects with RELENZA have been headaches; diarrhea; nausea; vomiting; nasal irritation; bronchitis; cough; sinusitis; ear, nose, and throat infections; and dizziness. Other side effects that have been reported, but were not as common, include rashes and allergic reactions, some of which were severe.” Image and caption: Relenza.com. May be subject to copyright.

Related Links:

Posted in Kellogg co, Relenza, Swine Flu, Tamiflu, W.H.O. | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

Swine Flu: A Deadly $100 billion Scam?

Posted by msrb on April 29, 2009

Follow the Money!

Is this the “perfect” viral mutation engineered to kill only a small number of “brown” people?

By now the seeds of fear have been sown in the hearts and minds of the governments ready for the pharmaceuticals to harvest a bumper crop.


A preliminary negative stained transmission electron micrograph (TEM) image depicts some of the ultrastructural morphology of an H1N1 “swine flu” virus culture obtained from a California patient suffering from the current outbreak, in an image obtained from the CDC.  Image C. S. Goldsmith and A. Balish/Centers for Disease Control/Handout via reuters.

Keywords: Swine Flu, Deadly A (H1N1) virus, Mexico City Deaths, Tamiflu,  Relenza, new flu vaccines

Major Players

Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline Plc (Major producers of Relenza)

  • Many countries placed substantial stockpile orders after the avian flu outbreak.
  • In the first quarter of 2009, sales of Relenza to governments, notably Britain and Japan, topped 222 million  UK [Sterling] pounds (~ $323 million)

Switzerland’s Roche Holding AG (Major producers of Tamiflu)

  • Governments previously ordered 220 million Tamiflu courses
  • New orders for Tamiflu are being placed, but Roach refused to quantify
  • Roche revealed yesterday it was working closely with the World Health Organization and governments regarding the availability of Tamiflu, preparing for a potential pandemic.
  • Roche sold about 4 billion Swiss francs ($3.5 billion) of Tamiflu to governments in 2006 and 2007.
  • In the first quarter of 2009, Roach sold 401 million Swiss francs ($350 million) of Tamiflu.

U.S. biotech company Gilead Sciences Inc (Designers of Tamiflu)

Donald Rumsfeld who was a Board member since 1988, was appointed Chairman of Gilead in 1997. He stood down from the Board when appointed Secretary of Defense by George W. Bush in January 2001.  Rumsfeld owns up to USD$25 million in the company stocks. In November 2005, George W. Bush urged Congress to pass $7.1 billion in emergency funding to prepare for the possible bird flu pandemic, of which one billion was earmarked for the purchase [and distribution of] Tamiflu, according to Wikipedia.

Major producers of flu vaccines

  • Sanofi-Aventis SA (world’s third-largest by prescription sales, the multinational pharmaceutical company is headquartered in Paris, France)
  • Glaxo (GlaxoSmithKline Plc is the world’s second largest pharmaceutical company. Also see above)
  • Novartis AG (Novartis International AG is one of the world’s largest multinational pharmaceutical and healthcare companies based in Basel, Switzerland).
  • Baxter International Inc (Baxter International Inc. is a global, diversified healthcare company based in Deerfield, Illinois, with annual sales of about $13 billion, and 49,000 employees.)

Other players

  • Novavax Inc (U.S.-based company working on new types of flu vaccines, shares surged 125 percent).
  • Biocryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc (Birmingham, Ala.-based company developing a new flu drug called peramivir, shares jumped 85 percent).
  • Biota Holdings Ltd (Australian company that licensed Relenza to Glaxo, shares climbed 82 percent).

Related Links:

Posted in Donald Rumsfeld, Gilead Sciences Inc, GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, Sanofi-Aventis | Tagged: , , , , | 10 Comments »

Europe Entering New Dark Age

Posted by msrb on April 24, 2009

Spain’s unemployment rate hits 17.4%

Two million people lost their jobs in 12 months to end March 2009, raising Spain’s registered unemployed to more than 4 million.  The jobless total has doubled since last year.

The central bank of Spain forecast the unemployment rate would reach to just under 20%  in 2010. The collapse of Spain’s economy, which started two years ago, comes after more than a decade of growth.

“Greg Schellhammer, author of the e-book Survive the Crisis in Spain notes that at the current rate of unemployment increase, ‘Spain will reach 30% by summer 2010′ and if the economic downward spiral continues to worsen as it has over the past months then, ‘by summer [this year] we will see 25% unemployment in Spain.’” Spanish News reported.

“Why? It’s simple, up to now every estimate and forecast predicted by both official government figures and international analysts have been beaten, if we look at the trend, we see we are heading into a dark hole.”

The IMF forecast a two-year recession, with Spain’s “economy contracting 3.0 percent in 2009 and 0.6 percent in 2010,” with the unemployment rate rising to 19.3 percent by 2010.

Posted in bank of Spain, Europe Crisis, job losses, unemployment rate, unemploymet | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

The United States Waterboarding Team

Posted by msrb on April 23, 2009

sent by a reader

Rice approved torture in 2002

Rice, Ashcroft, Richard Cheney [and by extension GW Bush] and others again approved the CIA techniques in July 2003


The Evil Eyes:
Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, shown Jan. 15, 2009. (UPI Photo/Mannie Garcia/Pool). Image may be subject to copyright.

Condoleezza Rice and John Ashcroft, among other U.S. administration staff, approved harsh CIA interrogation methods in 2002, documents reveal.

“Declassified information about the evolution of the Bush White House’s decisions to employ interrogation methods on terrorism suspects that some consider to be torture — such as simulated drowning known as waterboarding — were contained in Senate Intelligence Committee documents released Wednesday by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder,” UPI said.

Does it look like someone is absent?


Condoleezza Rice meeting with President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard B. Cheney, Attorney General John D. Ashcroft and White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales in September 2001.
(By J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press). Image may be subject to copyright.

“Declassified information about the evolution of the Bush White House’s decisions to employ interrogation methods on terrorism suspects that some consider to be torture — such as simulated drowning known as waterboarding — were contained in Senate Intelligence Committee documents released Wednesday by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder,” UPI said.

“Rice gave a key early green light when, as President George W. Bush’s national security adviser, she met on July 17, 2002, with the CIA’s then-director, George J. Tenet, and ‘advised that the CIA could proceed with its proposed interrogation of Abu Zubaida,’ subject to approval by the Justice Department, according to the timeline.” Washington Post reported.

“A year later, in July 2003, the CIA briefed Rice, Vice President Richard B. Cheney, Attorney General Ashcroft, White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales and National Security Council legal adviser John B. Bellinger III on the use of waterboarding and other methods, the timeline states. They ‘reaffirmed that the CIA program was lawful and reflected administration policy.’”


Several hundred students gathered on Sproul Plaza at the University of California Berkeley on Wednesday November 14, 2007 to witness a demonstration of Waterboarding. Source: Indybay

Four senior members of Congress, including Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), were briefed on the CIA interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, in 2002, U.S. officials said. “Pelosi has confirmed that she was then ‘briefed on interrogation techniques the administration was considering using in the future. The administration advised that legal counsel for both the CIA and the Justice Department had concluded that the techniques were legal.’” Post said

Colin L. Powell, Secretary of State, and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld were  briefed on the program in September 2003. “Strikingly, unless there is a further story in records not yet shown to us, the secretary of state and the secretary of defense were not involved in the decision-making process, despite the high stakes for U.S. foreign policy and for the treatment of the U.S. military,” Post reported Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) as saying.

Read more…

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Posted in Colin L. Powell, John D. Rockefeller, U.S. foreign policy, Donald H. Rumsfeld, Nancy Pelosi | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »

Freddie Mac finance chief found dead

Posted by msrb on April 22, 2009

sent by a reader

David Kellermann Bites the Dust

David Kellermann, the acting chief financial officer of Freddie Mac (the troubled US mortgage giant), was reportedly found dead in his upmarket Virginia home.

kellermann
David Kellermann. Source and date of image not specified by sender. Image may be subject to copyright.

The body of Kellermann, 41, was discovered before dawn in his home in Vienna, Fairfax County, Virginia (his palatial home at Hunter Mill Estates home is 13 miles  west of Washington DC. ), police said. They did not elaborate on the cause of death.

However, CNN said it had confirmed he had killed himself. It’s not known where they got their information from because police did not provide any details (the result of the forensics test take a few days). And given that CNN is one of the least trustworthy “news” networks in the world, independent confirmation of cause of death should be sought.

Freddie Mac, whose full name is the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, is one of the two major US home loan corporations that were  effectively taken over by the government in  September after massive financial irregularities were discovered. Freddic Mac owns or guarantees about 13 million home loans.

Before his promotion, Kellerman worked as senior vice president, corporate controller and principal accounting officer. He joined Freddie Mac in 1992.

He became acting chief financial officer in September 2008  after Anthony “Buddy” Piszel resigned from the position. Freddie Mac’s CEO David Moffett resigned in March 2009. [Perhaps he, too,  should make a similar consideration.]

Any relationship, or association between the deceased and Bernard Lawrence “Bernie” Madoff would be purely coincidental.

The big question is, why would he commit suicide, Madoff didn’t!

Related Links:

Posted in bailout, Bernard Madoff, Washington DC | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Image of the Day: Rape of Proserpina

Posted by msrb on April 20, 2009

Nature’s capacity to support life could fall by a half!

Mass Rape of Proserpina, her mom, Ceres, goddess of agriculture and crops, and dad, Jupiter, the god of sky

rape-of-proserpina-by-luca-giordano

Rape of Proserpina. Fresco by Luca Giordano (1634 -1705)

Related Links:

Posted in Climate Change, CO2e, collapse mechanisms, drought and deluge, ecosystems | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Spanish prosecutors will investigate Guantánamo torture

Posted by msrb on April 15, 2009

The Bush Six to Be Indicted

by Scott Horton

Spanish prosecutors will seek criminal charges against Alberto Gonzales and five high-ranking Bush administration officials for sanctioning torture at Guantánamo.

Spanish prosecutors have decided to press forward with a criminal investigation targeting former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and five top associates over their role in the torture of five Spanish citizens held at Guantánamo, several reliable sources close to the investigation have told The Daily Beast. Their decision is expected to be announced on Tuesday before the Spanish central criminal court, the Audencia Nacional, in Madrid. But the decision is likely to raise concerns with the human-rights community on other points: They will seek to have the case referred to a different judge.

Guantánamo

Guantánamo prisoners 2002. Photo: picture-alliance/dpa. Image may be subject to copyright.

Both Washington and Madrid appear determined not to allow the pending criminal investigation to get in the way of improved relations.

The six defendants—in addition to Gonzales, Federal Appeals Court Judge and former Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, University of California law professor and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo, former Defense Department general counsel and current Chevron lawyer William J. Haynes II, Vice President Cheney’s former chief of staff David Addington, and former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith—are accused of having given the green light to the torture and mistreatment of prisoners held in U.S. detention in “the war on terror.” The case arises in the context of a pending proceeding before the court involving terrorism charges against five Spaniards formerly held at Guantánamo. A group of human-rights lawyers originally filed a criminal complaint asking the court to look at the possibility of charges against the six American lawyers. Baltasar Garzón Real, the investigating judge, accepted the complaint and referred it to Spanish prosecutors for a view as to whether they would accept the case and press it forward. “The evidence provided was more than sufficient to justify a more comprehensive investigation,” one of the lawyers associated with the prosecution stated.

But prosecutors will also ask that Judge Garzón, an internationally known figure due to his management of the case against former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and other high-profile cases, step aside. The case originally came to Garzón because he presided over efforts to bring terrorism charges against the five Spaniards previously held at Guantánamo. Spanish prosecutors consider it “awkward” for the same judge to have both the case against former U.S. officials based on the possible torture of the five Spaniards at Guantánamo and the case against those very same Spaniards. A source close to the prosecution also noted that there was concern about the reaction to the case in some parts of the U.S. media, where it had been viewed, incorrectly, as a sort of personal frolic of Judge Garzón. Instead, the prosecutors will ask Garzón to transfer the case to Judge Ismail Moreno, who is currently handling an investigation into kidnapping charges surrounding the CIA’s use of facilities as a safe harbor in connection with the seizure of Khalid el-Masri, a German greengrocer who was seized and held at various CIA blacksites for about half a year as a result of mistaken identity. The decision on the transfer will be up to Judge Garzón in the first instance, and he is expected to make a quick ruling. If he denies the request, it may be appealed.

Judge Garzón’s name grabs headlines in Spain today less because of his involvement in the Gonzales torture case than because of his supervision of the Gürtel affair, in which leading figures of the conservative Partido Popular in Madrid and Valencia are now under investigation or indictment on suspicions of corruptly awarding public-works contracts. Garzón is also the nation’s leading counterterrorism judge, responsible for hundreds of investigations targeting Basque terrorist groups, as well as a major recent effort to identify and root out al Qaeda affiliates operating in the Spanish enclaves of North Africa.

Announcement of the prosecutor’s decision was delayed until after the Easter holiday in order not to interfere with a series of meetings between President Barack Obama and Spanish Prime Minister José Zapatero. However, contrary to a claim contained in an editorial on April 8 in the Wall Street Journal, the Obama State Department has been in steady contact with the Spanish government about the case. Shortly after the case was filed on March 17, chief prosecutor Javier Zaragoza was invited to the U.S. embassy in Madrid to brief members of the embassy staff about the matter. A person in attendance at the meeting described the process as “correct and formal.” The Spanish prosecutors briefed the American diplomats on the status of the case, how it arose, the nature of the allegations raised against the former U.S. government officials. The Americans “were basically there just to collect information,” the source stated.The Spanish prosecutors advised the Americans that they would suspend their investigation if at any point the United States were to undertake an investigation of its own into these matters. They pressed to know whether any such investigation was pending. These inquiries met with no answer from the U.S. side.

Spanish officials are highly conscious of the political context of the case and have measured the Obama administration’s low-key reaction attentively. Although Spain is a NATO ally that initially supported “the war on terror” under Bush with a commitment of troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan, relations with the Bush administration deteriorated after Zapatero became prime minister and acted quickly to withdraw the Spanish contingent in Iraq. In the 2008 presidential campaign, Republican John McCain referred to Spain as a hostile state in comments that mystified Spaniards (it appears that McCain may have confused Spain with Venezuela and Zapatero with Hugo Chávez). Recently, the United States and Spain also wrangled over Spain’s decision to withdraw its troop commitment in Kosovo as well. Both Zapatero and Obama, however, have given a high priority to improving relations between the two long-standing allies. Spanish newspapers hailed the fact that Obama referred to Zapatero three times as “my good friend” during the recent European summit meetings, a sharp contrast with meetings at which former President Bush gave Zapatero a cold shoulder.

Both Washington and Madrid appear determined not to allow the pending criminal investigation to get in the way of improved relations, which both desire, particularly in regard to coordinated economic policy to confront the current financial crisis and a reshaped NATO mandate for action in Afghanistan. With the case now proceeding, that will be more of a challenge. The reaction on American editorial pages is divided—some questioning sharply why the Obama administration is not conducting an investigation, which is implicitly the question raised by the Spanish prosecutors. Publications loyal to the Bush team argue that the Spanish investigation is an “intrusion” into American affairs, even when those affairs involve the torture of five Spaniards on Cuba.

The Bush Six labored at length to create a legal black hole in which they could implement their policies safe from the scrutiny of American courts and the American media. Perhaps they achieved much of their objective, but the law of unintended consequences has kicked in. If U.S. courts and prosecutors will not address the matter because of a lack of jurisdiction, foreign courts appear only too happy to step in.

Scott Horton is a law professor and writer on legal and national-security affairs for Harper’s magazine and The American Lawyer, among other publications.

Copyright the author/The Daily Beast

Posted in David Addington, Douglas J. Feith, Jay Bybee, John Yoo, William J. Haynes II | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

The Suckers List of ‘Ethical Companies’

Posted by msrb on April 13, 2009

submitted by a reader

Question:

What would it cost the ‘Devil,’ or the following companies to be called ethical on some coo coo list?

A New York based ‘Stink tank,’ calling itself  ‘The Ethisphere Institute’ has selected 99 companies  it says are the world’s most ethical businesses.

The list includes Dell Inc., Honeywell International Inc, Nike Inc, Patagonia, BMW Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, Johnson Controls Inc and HSBC Holdings PLC, Best Buy Co Inc and T-Mobile International AG & Co KG, General Electric Co, American Express Co, PepsiCo Inc, McDonald’s Corp, Starbucks Corp, IKEA AB…

“The mission of our group is to improve corporate behavior,” said Alex Brigham, executive director of the Ethisphere Institute.

Ethisphere Institute says they are “dedicated to the advancement of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability.” Reuters reported.

Each company is chosen against its peers in the same industries because  each industry operates under different circumstances, Brigham said.

It’s not clear whether AIG, General Motors and Madoff & Co had originally featured on the Ethisphere’s list, and subsequently withdrawn.

[The full list of companies was reportedly available  at http://www.ethisphere.org/wme2009 . However, their server wasn't behaving ethically at the time of posting. Moderator]

Answer:

You’re kidding, Right?

Posted in AIG, Dell Inc., General Motors, Johnson Controls Inc, PepsiCo Inc | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

The Great CPA Fraud

Posted by msrb on April 11, 2009

CPAs MIA

by Ralph Nader

Where were the giant accounting firms, the CPAs, and the rest of the accounting profession while the Wall Street towers of fraud, deception and cover-ups were fracturing our economy, looting and draining trillions of dollars of other peoples’ money?

This is the licensed profession that is paid to exercise independent judgment with independent standards to give investors, pension funds, mutual funds, and the rest of the financial world accurate descriptions of corporate financial realities.

It is now obvious that the accountants collapsed their own skill, integrity and self-respect faster and earlier than the collapse of Wall Street and the corporate barons.  The accountants—both external and internal—could have blown the whistle on what Teddy Roosevelt called the “malefactors of great wealth.”

The Big Four auditors knew what was going on with these complex, abstractly structured finance instruments, these collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and other financial products too abstruse to label.  They were on high alert after early warning scandals involving Long Term Capital Management, Enron, and others a decade or so ago.

These corporate casino capitalists used the latest tricks to cook the books with many of the on-balance sheet or off-balance sheet structured investment vehicles that metastasized big time in the first decade of this new century.  These big firms can’t excuse themselves for relying on conflicted rating companies, like Moody’s or Standard & Poor, that gave triple-A ratings to CDO tranches in return for big fees.  Imagine the conflict.  After all, “prestigious” outside auditors were supposed to be on the inside incisively examining the books and their footnotes, on which the rating firms excessively relied.

Let’s be specific with names.  Carl Olson, chairman of the Fund for Stockowners Rights wrote in the letters column of The New York Times Magazine (January 28, 2009) that “PricewaterhouseCoopers O.K.’d AIG and FreddieMac.  Deloitte & Touche certified Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns.  Ernst & Young vouched for Lehman Brothers and IndyMac Bank.  KPMG assured over Countrywide and Wachovia.  These ‘Big Four’ C.P.A. firms apparently felt they could act with impunity.”

“Undoubtedly they knew that the state boards of accountancy,” continued Mr. Olson, “which granted them their licenses to audit, would not consider these transgressions seriously.  And they were right…Not one of them has taken up any serious investigation of the misbehaving auditors of the recent debacle companies.”

“Misbehaving” is too kind a word.  The “Big Four” destroyed their very reason for being by their involvement in these and other boondoggles that have made headlines and dragooned our federal government into bailing them out with disbursements, loans and guarantees totaling trillions of dollars.  “Criminally negligent” is a better phrase for what these big accounting firms got rich doing—which is to look the other way.

Holding accounting firms like these accountable is very difficult.  It got more difficult in 1995 when Congress passed a bill shielding them from investor lawsuits charging that they “aided and abetted” fraudulent or deceptive schemes by their corporate clients.  Clinton vetoed the legislation, but Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) led the fight to over-ride the veto.

Moreover, the under-funded and understaffed state boards of accountancy are dominated by accountants and are beyond inaction.  What can you expect?

As for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), “asleep at the switch for years” would be a charitable description of that now embarrassed agency whose mission is to supposedly protect savers and shareholders.  This agency even missed the massive Madoff Ponzi scheme.

The question of accounting probity will not go away.  In the past couple of weeks, the non-profit Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)—assigned to be the professional conscience of accountancy—buckled under overt pressure from Congress and the banks.  It loosened the mark-to-market requirement to value assets at fair market value or what buyers are willing to pay.

This decision by the FASB is enforceable by the SEC and immediately “cheered Wall Street” and pushed big bank stocks upward.  Robert Willens, an accounting analyst, estimated this change could boost earnings at some banks by up to twenty percent.  Voilà, just like that.  Magic!

Overpricing depressed assets may make bank bosses happy, but not investors or a former SEC Chairman, Arthur Levitt, who was “very disappointed” and called the FASB decision “a step toward the kind of opaqueness that created the economic problems that we’re enduring today.”

To show the deterioration in standards, banks tried to get the FASB and the SEC in the 1980s to water down fair-value accounting during the savings and loan failures.  Then-SEC Chairman Richard Breeden refused outright.  Not today.

Former SEC chief accountant, Lynn Turner, presently a reformer of his own profession, supports mark-to-market or fair value accounting as part of bringing all assets and liabilities, including credit derivatives, back on the balance sheets of the financial firms.  He wants regulation of the credit rating agencies, mortgage originators and the perverse incentives that lead to making bad loans.  He even wants the SEC to review these new financial products before they come to market, eliminating “hidden financing.”

Now comes the life insurance industry, buying up some small banks to qualify for their own large federal bailouts for making bad, risky speculations.

The brilliant Joseph M. Belth, writing in his astute newsletter, the Insurance Forum (May 2009), noted that life insurers are lobbying state insurance departments to weaken statutory accounting rules so as to “increase assets and/or decrease liabilities.”  Some states have already caved.  Again, voilà, suddenly there is an increase in capital.  Magic.  Here we go again.

Who among the brainy, head up accountants, in practice or in academia, will join with Lynn Turner and rescue this demeaned, chronically rubber-stamping “profession,” especially the “Big Four,” from its pathetic pretension for which tens of millions of people are paying dearly?

Posted in Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young, Moody’s, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Standard & Poor | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Redoubt Fallout for Chevron

Posted by msrb on April 8, 2009

The mighty Chevron Corp bites the volcanic dust

The mighty Chevron Corp has been forced to suspend production from its Cook Inlet oil operations in Alaska, following an indefinite shutdown at its storage facility, thanks to Mt Redoubt Volcano’s eruptions.

Chevron operates about a dozen offshore platforms in Cook Inlet producing up to 10,000 bpd. However, the company suspended on Sunday all production after Redoubt’s 20th explosion since March 22.

The explosion interrupted operations at the Drift River Oil Terminal  on the western shore of Cook Inlet.

“The terminal had been closed since March 22, when Redoubt began erupting. Chevron, which operates the offshore Granite Point, Trading Bay and McArthur River oil fields, has since struggled with storage space. The company cut production at the mature fields in response to the volcano problems, and a week ago shut in two of its platforms.” Reuters reported.

“Chevron is considering ways to restart production without using Drift River, spokeswoman Roxanne Sinz said. ‘At this point, we’re taking a look at some options,’ she said.
The Drift River terminal lies at the mouth of a river that flows from the volcano. The Drift River valley is subject to lahars — mudslides and floods created when volcanic explosions melt the snow and ice on the 10,197-foot peak.”

The storage tankers pose a contamination risk to the cook inlet and surrounding areas.  The terminal briefly reopened over the weekend to allow a tanker to load about a half of the 150,000 barrels of crude oil that had remained stranded since Redoubt’s resumption of activity in March. However, the officials said they had no plan to do anything else right now.

“The risk to people at this point outweighs the benefit of any additional effort,” the U.S. Coast Guard said.

Rod Ficken, vice president of Cook Inlet Pipe Line, which is owned by Chevron and Pacific Energy Resources, said: “We don’t have an idea exactly what will happen. We will wait for the volcano to rest,” Ficken said.

Explosions at Redoubt volcano, about 170km southwest of Anchorage, have ejected 15-20km ash clouds into the air, leaving a legacy of volcanic particles and ash in the surrounding areas and forcing numerous flight cancellations and a temporary shutdown of the main Anchorage airport.

Lahars Near the Drift River Oil Terminal


Besides volcanic ash, the eruption of Alaska’s Mount Redoubt posed another hazard in early April 2009. The volcano’s activity sent lahars—muddy volcanic avalanches—through Drift River Valley, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory. Because an oil storage facility, the Drift River Oil Terminal, is located in the river valley, a catastrophic lahar could have caused an oil spill.

On April 4, 2009, the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 satellite captured this image of the Drift River Valley where it connects with Cook Inlet. Lahars have stained the river valley a deep muddy brown. Water channels form branching patterns just west of the Cook Inlet shore, and the dark brown color of each water channel contrasts sharply with the nearby snow. The Drift River Oil Terminal resides in this network of channels, and part of the facility appears as an off-white rectangle in a landscape of meandering mudflows. The same day that ALI acquired this image, the Alaska Volcano Observatory reported that a lahar had developed in the Drift River Valley, as indicated by seismometer readings. Lahars had also been recorded in the Drift River Valley during the previous weeks.

On April 6, 2009, the tanker Seabulk Arctic carried 3.7 million gallons of crude oil away from the Drift River Oil Terminal, reducing the risk of a massive oil spill. (On March 22, 2009, at the beginning of Mount Redoubt’s period of unrest, the facility contained 6.2 million gallons of oil.) A lahar struck the area on March 23, but a dike built in 1990 kept the facility’s oil tanks dry.   NASA image created by Jesse Allen, using EO-1 ALI data provided courtesy of the NASA EO-1 Team. Caption by Michon Scott. Instrument:   EO-1 – ALI. Image acquired April 4, 2009.

Posted in Anchorage, Granite Point, McArthur River, offshore drilling, Trading Bay | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Images of the Day: G20 at a Glance

Posted by msrb on April 4, 2009

G20 Demonstrations: Hundreds arrested, dozens injured, 1 dead

Peekaboo! Guess who?


A riot police officer stands behind a broken window of a Royal Bank of Scotland branch, near the Bank of England in London April 1, 2009. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty. Image may be subject to copyright.

Banks that Defecate on People?


A woman holds a sign as she demonstrates near the G20 meeting at the ExCel center in London, April 2, 2009. REUTERS/Phil Noble. Image may be subject to copyright.

Who Let the MPs In?


Demonstrators clash with police during protests near the Bank of England in London April 1, 2009. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty. Image may be subject to copyright.

Let Them Eat Money!


President Barack Obama (R) takes a drink of water during a joint news conference with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London April 1, 2009. REUTERS/Jason Reed. Image may be subject to copyright.

The Kong Fu Cop


Police officers clash with protesters during demonstrations opposing the G20 summit in the financial district of the City of London, April 2, 2009. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor. Image may be subject to copyright.

Spot the Odd One Out


Heads of delegation pose for a family photograph at the G20 summit at the ExCel centre, in east London, April 2, 2009. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez.
Image may be subject to copyright.

The Knights in Riot Gear Armor


Police in riot gear stand outside a Royal bank of Scotland branch near the Bank of England in London April 1, 2009. Thousands of demonstrators converged on London’s financial district on Wednesday, chanting “abolish money” and “storm the banks” in a heavily policed protest to coincide with the G20 summit of world leaders. REUTERS/Andrew Winning.
Image may be subject to copyright.

Father was a copper, too, mom says

g20-oli-scarff
Police guard the Bank of England in the City of London on April 1, 2009. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images). Image may be subject to copyright.

Average human has 5.5 liters of blood

g20-london
A bloodied protester shouts at police near the Bank of England in the City of London on April 1, 2009. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images). Image may be subject to copyright.

I thought Guillotine was a French number

g20-reuters1
People carry an injured demonstrator during a protest near the Bank of England in London April 1, 2009. (REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth).
Image may be subject to copyright.

Hit me, hit me with your rhythm stick!

g20-getty-2
A friendly policeman in riot clothing, teaches a protester a lesson  in self defense near the Bank of England, London, April 1, 2009. (CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images).
Image may be subject to copyright.

Does your dog bite?

g20-getty-images
A protester is bitten by a police dog on April 1, 2009 in London, England. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images). Image may be subject to copyright.

The banker who defecated on the lady in brown?

g20-afp
A mannequin dressed as a [banker] is tied to a traffic light and set alight by protesters during an anti G20 demonstration near the Bank of England in London on April 1, 2009. Violent clashes kicked off in London’s financial district late Wednesday after protesters demonstrating against the G20 summit here were penned in by riot police for several hours. (BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images). Image may be subject to copyright.

The cop wearing Abu Ghraib specials and Ian!

g20-tomlinson
47-year-old Ian Tomlinson lies on the sidewalk after collapsing near police during a protest in the City of London on April 1, 2009. Tomlinson later died, of an apparent heart attack. It is unclear whether the man, who worked downtown, was taking part in the protest, or was merely passing through. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images).
Image may be subject to copyright.

We the People? [Wrong country!]

g20-boe
A mass group of anti capitalist and climate change activists converge on the Bank of England as they demonstrate in the City on April 1, 2009 in London. Protesters marched through London demanding action on poverty, climate change and jobs, as world leaders arrive in London ahead of the G20 summit. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images). Image may be subject to copyright.

Related Links:

    Posted in Barack Obama, G20 Meeting, G20 Photo, gordon Brown, Royal bank of Scotland | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

    Bail Out the People: Nationalize the Banks

    Posted by msrb on March 30, 2009

    April 3 & 4: March on Wall Street


    Endorse April 3 & 4 | Become a Local Organizer for April 3 & 4 | Find an Apr 3-4 Organizing Center Near You
    Donate | Download BOPM Working Paper

    In this email:

    • Bail Out the People Movement Statement on AIG and the Latest Bailout Plan
    • Information about the April 3 March on Wall Street

    March on Wall Street & AIG on APRIL 3: Bail Out People, Not Banks!
    April 3 March on Wall Street
    Main focus of March:


    * The need for a real jobs program
    * A moratorium on foreclosures and evictions


    The April 3 March on Wall Street will begin with an opening rally at 1:00 PM at Wall Street and Broadway, followed by a march to AIG at 70 Pine St. (see details below)




    The Bail Out the People Movement Statement on AIG and the Latest Bank Bailout Plan

    • The new plan still bails out banks, not people
    • AIG outrage must fuel a struggle for a real jobs program

    On Friday, April 3, the Bail Out the People Movement, a growing coalition of hundreds of organizations and thousands of activists, will march on Wall Street and AIG. Protesters on April 3 will bring demands for a real jobs program, a moratorium on foreclosures, and other necessary programs for bailing out the people, not banks and Wall Street financial institutions.

    The growing anger over the AIG bonus bonanza, outrageous as it is, is really about the fact that trillions of dollars are being deployed to rescue the wealthiest on Wall Street, while the unemployment and foreclosure rates continue to head towards depressionApril 3 March on Wall Street levels.

    The mass anger at Wall Street will be wasted unless it is used to focus on the real crisis.

    At the April 3 March on Wall Street, the Bail Out The People Movement will open a nationwide petition campaign for an emergency jobs program on the scale of the Work Projects Administration of the 1930s. The stimulus legislation is far too little to make even a dent in the estimated 20 million people who are jobless or underemployed. The unemployed need a real jobs program, and they need it now.

    The April 3 Wall Street march will also focus attention on the need for an immediate national moratorium on foreclosures and evictions. Such a moratorium should have been put in place two years ago. It is unacceptable and scandalous, considering the historically unprecedented level of government interventions and control of the mortgage industry and the banks, that the government has failed to order an end to evictions

    Taxing multimillion dollar bonuses, putting a cap on corporate pay, and new regulations on the banks may be good ideas, but they are no substitute for a jobs program of sufficient scope and size to stop and reverse the unemployment crisis.

    Moreover, the measures being proposed in Washington are no substitute for a vitally necessary single-payer health care program for all or the need for the passage and signing into law of the Employee Free Choice Act, so that working people will be better able to organize and defend themselves against the robber barons of Wall Street.

    The  new so-called public/private bank bailout plan is a thinly veiled attempt to make it appear as though private investors will share the burden of bailed out banks. With the new plan, 90 percent of bailout funds, or at least one trillion dollars,April 3 March on Wall Street will come from the government.

    The new plan is premised on exact same rational as the last bank bail out plan. The government will continue to pump trillions of dollars in to the banks until the banks are declared fixed. In the meantime, the lives of tens of millions more
    people are going to slide into life-threatening poverty.

    The time has come for this rationale to be rejected. The idea that some banks are too big to fail but untold millions of peoples’ lives can be devastated, or that profits must come before the welfare of the people, are not commandments from heaven but rules made down here on earth to protect the interest of the few against that of the many.

    Henceforth, the fight must be about reversing the flow of government money away from the banks and into social needs.

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated the last year of his life to trying to open up what he considered the second phase of the civil rights movement: the fight for economic justice. King’s main focus in the few months of 1968, before being gunned down on April 4, was to win public support for the right of all to either a job or an income.

    As King planned the poor peoples’ march on Washington in those final weeks, nowhere did he ever mention that the need and the right to a job or an income must be based on the solvency of JP Morgan Chase, Citicorp, Bank Of America, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, etc. and their power to turn the economy on and off depending on what makes them richer.

    The message that thousands of marchers will bring to Wall St. on Friday April 3, the day before the 41st anniversary of King’s death, is that society can no longer allow for jobs, housing, healthcare and all that people need to be held hostage to the arrogance, greed and power of bankers.

    In addition to the need for a real jobs program and a moratorium on evictions, some of the other issues that the April 3 march on Wall St. will be drawing attention to include:


    * The need for an immediate moratorium on layoffs and cuts in social programs
    * Opposition to tuition hikes and public transportation fare hikes
    * Single payer health care for ALL

    * Support the Employee Free Choice Act
    * Support the rights of immigrant workers
    * An end to wars and occupations




    *** Building a national march requires printing tens of thousands of leaflets, posters, and stickers, as well as preparing placards and banners and providing sound for the rally and march.  Please consider making a contribution to help with organizing expenses at http://bailoutpeople.org/donate.shtml.

    Information on the April 3 March on Wall Street:

    Gather at 1pm on Wall Street at Broadway (map)

    Rally on Broadway from Wall Street south to Exchange and block further South to the ‘Bull’.

    MARCH on AIG
    We will march through the narrow streets of the New York Financial District – Major financial institutions are all along Broadway and within one block of Rally – Chase, Fidelity, American Express, the New York Stock Exchange, the Federal Reserve, and more.

    We will march east on Pine to the AIG Buildings at 70 Pine and 80 Pine and then to the AIG Building at 125 Water St.
    Then, we will march north on Water Street to Foley Square, for an ending rally at 5:15 at Foley Square

    Public Transportation: (map)
    2, 4,  or 5 to Wall Street
    R or W to Rector Street
    J, M or Z to Broad Street
    M1, M6 or M15 to Broadway-Nassau/Fulton Street
    NJ PATH trains to World Trade Center and 5 minute walk.

    Bus Drop Off: on Broadway at Wall Street
    Bus Pick up: at Foley Square

    Bail Out the People Movement
    Solidarity Center
    55 W. 17th St. #5C
    New York, NY 10011
    212.633.6646
    www.BailOutPeople.org
    Email: bailoutpeople@safewebmail.com


    Posted in end wars, life-threatening poverty, National protest, Stop evictions, tuition hikes | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

    G20 Protests

    Posted by msrb on March 29, 2009

    Who are you kidding Mr …?

    Tens of thousands of people demonstrated across Europe Saturday to “demand jobs, economic justice and environmental accountability.”

    US Vice-President Joe Biden to G20 protesters: Give governments a chance to solve the economic crisis.

    What people said:

    US VP Mr Biden, nearly reduced to begging, hoped the protesters would give the politicians a chance. “Hopefully we can make it clear to them that we’re going to walk away from this G20 meeting with some concrete proposals,” he said.

    Yahh!

    Billionaire George Soros, who should be held in prison incommunicado for the rest of his life, told the BBC the G20 meeting was “make or break” for the world economy.

    “Unless they do something for developing world there will be serious collapse in that part of the world,” he added.

    Gee, thanks Mr Sores, without your contribution it would have been much harder to get here.


    Thousands of people have taken to the streets of London ahead of the G20 summit. Image AFP. Image may be subject to copyright.

    British PM Golden Brown amazed everyone when he said said he understood why people were demonstrating in the UK [presumably instead of demonstrating on Mars.]

    “We will respond to it at the G20 with measures that will help create jobs, stimulate business and get the economy moving,” he said.

    Brazil’s President Lula told the G20 meeting in Chile that everyone was suffering because of  the reckless few who had turned the world economy into “a gigantic casino”.

    “We are rejecting blind faith in the markets,” he added.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked for continued dialog among G20 members, saying one meeting was simply insufficient to resolve “the economic crisis and finish building a new structure for global markets.”

    Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, the summit host, said the leaders had agreed to fight protectionism.

    “We agreed on putting people first, to avoid the economic recession turning into a social recession,” she said.

    Meanwhile, thousands of people marched through European cities Saturday to “demand jobs, economic justice and environmental accountability.”

    In Berlin, thousands of protesters demonstrated in the streets on Saturday carrying banners that said: “We won’t pay for your crisis.”

    In Frankfurt at least 20,000 people took to the streets to protest the banking crisis .

    In Paris hundreds of demonstrators dumped a large pile of sand outside the stock exchange to protest off-shore tax havens.

    In Rome, thousands of protesters made their voices heard.

    London police said about 35,000 protesters took part in the march.

    Bloomberg, unsurprisingly, downgraded the police estimate  to 12,000 marchers.

    Related Links:

    Posted in Angela Merkel, economic crisis, paris, President Lula, rome | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

    More On Bank Bailouts, Toxic Assets

    Posted by msrb on March 26, 2009

    Back to square one [IF you're lucky!]

    MSRB Thought for the Day: If the government did this, and banks did the other …

    Once the banks start lending, the ‘economy’ will be ‘strong’ again [sic.] Preventing the price of oil from racing past 3-digits is a mere technicality [sic.]

    Geithner’s Plan is “Extremely Dangerous.” —Economist Galbraith

    Misconception: “The trouble with the economy is that the banks aren’t lending”

    Reality: “American consumers still have debt coming out of their ears, and they’ll be working it off for years.  House prices are still falling.  Retirement savings have been crushed.  Americans need to increase their savings rate from today’s 5% (a vast improvement from the 0% rate of two years ago) to the 10% long-term average.  Consumers don’t have room to take on more debt, even if the banks are willing to give it to them.”

    See Part I of the interview here.

    “Geithner, Obama Kowtowing to ‘Massively Corrupted’ Banks.” —James Galbraith

    University of Texas professor James Galbraith, questions the sanity of toxic asset buyout by the government (people), and wonders why the ‘legitimate’ alternative,  FDIC receivership of insolvent banks, is not played out.

    On why Obama administration is NOT pushing for FDIC receivership, Galbraith says:  “Political influence of big banks,” is dictating their plan.

    See Part II of the interview here.

    Geithner, Obama plan is technically unsound even by ”principles” of capitalism; it’s a socialist bailout of  capitalism, using other peoples’ money, and is bound to fail! —MSRB

    Related Links:

    Posted in FDIC receivership, Massive Corruption, national debt, Other People's Money, University of Texas | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Images of the Day: ‘Tis still the economy, stupid!

    Posted by msrb on March 21, 2009

    submitted by a reader

    Shafted: Homo sapiens sapiens:

    In the dawn of 21st century, against all planetary interests and in the face of the welfare of majority, the carbon intensive economic system still continues  to serve the monetary interest of a very small minority.


    Demonstrators protest outside the Goldman Sachs building in New York, March 19, 2009. The demonstration was part of a national protest against major U.S. banks and firms with participants calling on Congress to take action on employee free choice, health care, and banking reform. REUTERS/Eric Thayer.
    All images on this page may be subject to copyright.


    A woman collects recyclable materials at a dump site in Changzhi, Shanxi province March 20, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer.


    French riot police arrest youth at the end of a peaceful protest march in Paris on March 19, 2009. Several hundred youths clashed with police in Paris on Thursday, as peaceful, million-strong protests against France’s handling of the economic crisis turned violent. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes


    Protesters clash with police in London in January over Israel’s action in Gaza. Such scenes could become more common sights in the UK. Guardian UK.  Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images


    Europe is in danger of being split by a new ‘Iron Curtain’ as the deepening economic crisis separates east from west, the EU has been told. Hungarian protester argues with riot police outside the Hungarian Parliament. March 1, 2009. Telegraph UK. Photo: AFP


    Global economic downturn takes its toll on “New Europ
    e.” Several hundred protesters clashed with riot police in front of Lithuania’s Parliament in Vilnius on January 16, 2009. (Photo: Petras Malukas/AFP/Getty Images).


    Iceland’s economy was devastated by the collapse of its 3 largest banks. In this January 20, 2009 photo, riot police is seen using pepperspray and teargas to disperse demonstrators in the capital, Reykjavik . Photo credit: Johannes G. Skulason


    Sofia, Bulgaria, 21 January 2009: Protesters wave the national flag and shout slogans during an anti-government protest in front of parliament in the capital. Bulgarians have held a rally to demand that the government resign because of alleged corruption and a deepening economic crisis. Guardian UK. Photograph: Petar Petrov/AP.


    Nikea, Greece, 26 January 2009: Tractors block the Athens-Thessaloniki motorway near the city of Larisa, as farmers continue to occupy key junctions on the route and other roads in northern Greece, effectively slicing the country in two. Photograph: Sakis Mitrolidis/Getty.


    Edinburgh, Scotland, April 23 2008: Demonstrators protest outside Edinburgh International Conference where the Royal Bank of Scotland annual general meeting is taking place. The bank went on to accept a £20bn government bail-out. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.


    Riga, Latvia, 13 January 2009: Looters pick up food and spirits in a grocery store after protesters clash with anti-riot police officers during a rally near the Saeima (parliament). Thousands of people massed in the capital demanding snap elections and the resignation of the government in the face of a deepening economic crisis. The rally is one of the largest protest since the Baltic country won independence from the crumbling Soviet Union in 1991. Photograph: Ilmars Znotins/AFP/Getty Images.

    All images on this page may be subject to copyright.

    Posted in China, New Europe, stealing candy from a kid, The Economy, US | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Israel: Imminent, Terminal Threat to the US, World

    Posted by msrb on March 20, 2009

    submitted by a reader

    The State of Israel, Likud Lobby and their Shabbos Goyim Pose an Imminent and Terminal Threat to the National Security of the United States and World Peace—MSRB

    “I do not believe the National Intelligence Council could function effectively while its chair was under constant attack by unscrupulous people with a passionate attachment to the views of a political faction in a foreign country.

    “The tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth. The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views, the substitution of political correctness for analysis, and the exclusion of any and all options for decision by Americans and our government other than those that it favors.

    “There is a special irony in having been accused of improper regard for the opinions of foreign governments and societies by a group so clearly intent on enforcing adherence to the policies of a foreign government – in this case, the government of Israel. I believe that the inability of the American public to discuss, or the government to consider, any option for US policies in the Middle East opposed by the ruling faction in Israeli politics has allowed that faction to adopt and sustain policies that ultimately threaten the existence of the state of Israel. It is not permitted for anyone in the United States to say so. This is not just a tragedy for Israelis and their neighbors in the Middle East; it is doing widening damage to the national security of the United States.” —Ambassador Charles Freeman on declining his appointment as Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, Wall Street Journal, March 10, 2009

    http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22241.htm

    Posted in AIPAC, American public, Israel lobby, National Intelligence Council | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    The Economy: Aren’t we missing the point?

    Posted by msrb on March 16, 2009

    The Undoing of the Bankster-bailout-stimulus-package-monopoly-money ‘Economic Recovery’ Plan

    This blog has already stated its position on why the bankster-bailout-stimulus-package-monopoly-money ‘economic recovery’ plan won’t work under any circumstances in the current economic, social and political framework.

    The blog Moderators, and contributors from affiliated blogs, will also endeavor to write about the other mechanisms, including the “Plateau Resilience Effect,” that are certain to result in the plan’s failure. For now, here’s a recent article by Ralph Nader, in which he advocates stepping up the policing of Wall Street … MSRB

    Seven Avoidance Indicators

    By Ralph Nader
    March 13, 2009

    Indicators of avoidance are what come to mind while absorbing the various rescue, recovery, stimulus and guarantee programs coming out of the Obama Administration to slow and reverse a splintering and shattering economy. If the Obamites do not act now when the political time is ripest, to put into motion forces of deterrence and prevention, the casino capitalists of tomorrow will again be able to de-stabilize our economy.
    The other day I saw Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, just about predicting another round of recklessness in about fifteen years. But he called it “human nature” not casino capitalism.

    Here are seven avoidance indicators which outline what Washington is not doing to prevent another round of greed and misdeeds by the Wall Street few against the innocent many throughout the country.

    1. Where are the resources for comprehensive law enforcement against the Wall Street crooks, swindlers and purveyors of costly deceptive practices? Isn’t there a need to add two to three hundred million dollars for more FBI agents, prosecutors and corporate crime attorneys under the Justice Department to obtain the fines and disgorgements which will far exceed in dollars what is spent by the forces of law and order?

    Americans want justice. They want jailtime not bailtime for these crooks. Look how many of the swindled just turned out in a New York City winter to let Bernard Madoff have a piece of their mind as he entered the courtroom and immediate imprisonment.

    There has been very little movement so far in Congress or the White House toward this necessary action.

    2. Where are the anti-trusters to revive the moribund divisions in the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission? Failed banks, brokerage firms, and now insurance companies are being taken over by shaky acquirers, often with the encouragement of the federal government. Other industries are experiencing similar mergers and acquisitions in an already over-concentrated economy.

    Our government needs to be on top of this accelerating creation of more companies deemed to be “too big to fail.” A variety of antitrust policies are needed to prevent, restructure or, at least, require spinoffs to minimize the anti-competitive effects of the “urge to merge.”

    3. What about Congress and Obama shifting some power to the investors and shareholders who are paying for all these losses? The corporate bosses have made sure for many years that shareholders, who own their companies, have little or no right to control them. Had there been less of a gap between ownership and control, the bosses could never have engaged in such reckless speculation, looting and draining of the trillions of dollars with which they were entrusted. These include mutual funds, pension funds and various trusts. Power to the owners seems to be off the table.

    4. The federal officials are talking up stronger regulation and re-regulation proposals but we have not yet been informed of their specific plans. There is not much talk of regulatory prohibition. That is, flat-out prohibition of banks, insurance companies, and other fiduciary institutions from speculating in derivatives or, to be more specific, bets on debts and the even more hyped creations of bets on bets on debts on debts.

    5. By now, Washington should be devising ways to pay for these gigantic deficits and bailouts. A fraction of one percent sales tax on the hundreds of trillions of dollars in derivative transactions annually would produce hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue and tamp down some of this Wall Street gambling with other peoples’ money.

    Such a tax on speculative trades in these abstract instruments can make the Wall Streeters pay for their own bailouts and reduce some of the taxes on human labor.

    6. Our government doesn’t highlight not-for-profit institutions like the 8000 credit unions that are increasing their loans and continue to serve over 80 million Americans without a single insolvency. One would think that with the financial goliaths in a free fall, despite ever-larger bailouts from the federal government, that the cooperative model of credit unions would become a useful teaching instrument.

    In his new paperback book, Agenda for a New Economy, David Korten makes an important distinction between the “phantom wealth” of Wall Street and the “real wealth” of Main Street.

    His twelve-point agenda raises the fundamental question of why Wall Street is needed and how the functions of a just and progressive economy can be fulfilled with a sensible transition to a “real wealth” economy engaged by and accountable to real people striving for the necessities and wants of life through environmentally friendly, more efficient institutions.

    Lest any remaining doubters out there are thinking about our country returning to business as usual Wall Street style, please read the confidential powerpoint presentation “AIG: Is the Risk Systemic?” by the AIG financial giant grasping $180 billion, so far, in federal aid and guarantees

    In 21 pages of very large type, you will see why the AIG bosses believe that failure of their gigantic corporation would only “trigger a cascading set of further failures which cannot be stopped except by extraordinary means.” In other words, AIG says to Uncle Sam and you the taxpayer save it or be prepared for a global collapse through a dominoes effect of unknown catastrophic sequences. For the full astonishing AIG text, see: http://www.aig.com/Related-Resources_385_136430.html. Right from the horse’s mouth!

    Related Links:

    Posted in Congress, Federal Trade Commission, jailtime not bailtime, Justice Department, Wall Street | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Madoff: A Goldmine of Information!

    Posted by msrb on March 8, 2009

    submitted by a reader

    To the Law Enforcement Agencies:

    Don’t let Madoff out of your sight, he is a goldmine of information!

    The Wall Street bankster Bernard Madoff reportedly agreed last month to a permanent freeze on his assets without admitting or denying fraud charges in a civil case against him, Reuters reported a U.S. regulator as saying .

    maddoff-photographed-by-stuart-ramson-ap
    Bernard Madoff arrives at District court in New York City. Photograph: Stuart Ramson/AP. Image may be subject to copyright.

    “The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said in a court filing that the amount of fines and disgorgement will be decided later against Madoff, the former Nasdaq stock market chairman whose assets were temporarily frozen by court order two months ago.” The report said.

    This may be an indication that Madoff is willing to settle the civil case, legal experts say. Madoff’s army of lawyers say that he is cooperating with investigators; however, he has not appeared in court to formally answer the charges. Further, Madoff has not yet yet faced the many investors he has ripped off.

    “But on Thursday, he’s expected to enter a guilty plea in the multibillion-dollar fraud, setting up a dramatic and highly unusual confrontation with the people he is accused of cheating.” AP reported.

    On Friday, according to a court document filed by US prosecutors, Madoff waived a formal grand jury indictment—a legal procedure that means the defendant is negotiating a plea bargain.

    “Late Friday, U.S. District Judge Denny Chin invited victims to address the court after prosecutors submitted papers noting that crime victims have the right to be ‘reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding.’ Typically, victims speak at sentencing hearings, not at ones in which a guilty plea is offered.”

    Madoff, 70, who is under ‘house arrest’  in his luxury Manhattan penthouse apartment, faces criminal and civil charges in U.S. District Court in Manhattan after he   admitted to running to running a  [Super] Ponzi scheme which costs  the investors some $50 billion in losses.

    Ponzi schemes operate by paying early investors from capital new investors bring in until the operator(s) decides to cash in.

    [Banks are required to report transactions of $10,000 or more. How many investors gave Madoff less than $10,000 dollars?]

    Madoff, Organized Crime and Controlled Demolition of WTC Towers on 9/11

    Madoff  couldn’t have pulled off a $50 billion super Ponzi scheme without the help, assistance and cooperation of agents, chief employees, key personnel, heads of sections… at

    • Money management and trading firms in Wall Street
    • International banking cartel
    • Key local and national Politicians
    • The financial regulatory system
    • Various branches of the law enforcement agencies
    • The news and advertising media
    • The US Treasury
    • Federal Reserve System

    There is only one international criminal fraternity in the world  which ‘owns’ corrupt law-enforcement agents and politicians and has it lieutenants strategically positioned at all of the above institutions, and is therefore powerful enough to help carry out such an audacious Ponzi scheme: The Zionist mafia.

    wtc7
    WTC Building 7 experienced a total collapse in under seven seconds. Source: Unknown. Image may be subject to copyright.

    In fact Madoff’s super Ponzi scheme has all the hallmarks of audacity with which the 9/11 terrorist attacks were carried out. Without the help, cooperation and influence of the Zionist mafia the gang that planned and carried out the demolition of the World Trade Center Towers in NYC couldn’t have gotten away with it.

    Larry Silverstein, Bernard Maddoff’s counterpart in the controlled demolition of WTC towers, was so confident of his mafia protection, he even admitted to having the WTC Bldg # 7 “pulled.” He knew no one could touch him, and no one so far has!

    Both of these major crimes were committed in Manhattan, the capital of Zionist mafia.

    In all likelihood, as a senior member of that criminal fraternity, Madoff knows just about everything there is to know concerning who planned the 9/11 attacks, who carried them out, and  which ones of the corrupt politicians, lawmakers, and  senior law enforcement officers in the country helped the perpetrators, or at least knew about the plans. If persuaded skillfully, as a condition of his plea bargain, he could reveal the identity of  the key people who ordered and executed the deadly attacks on the America on 9/11.

    So here’s a golden opportunity for the government and law enforcement agencies:

    Persuade Madoff to tell you what he knows about the 9/11 perpetrators as a part of his plea bargain!

    Related Links:

    Posted in Larry Silverstein, madoff, Ponzi scheme, U.S. District Judge Denny Chin, Zionist mafia | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

    Bush Crimes: Truth Must Have Some Value!

    Posted by msrb on March 7, 2009

    Leahy, Whitehouse Issue Passionate Call For Investigations Into Bush Crimes

    Posted in crimes against humanity, genocide, illegal wars, iraqi occupation, torture | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    May you find what you are looking for

    Posted by msrb on March 7, 2009

    The Triumvirate Chinese ‘Curse’

    • May You Live in Interesting Times
    • May you come to the attention of those in authority
    • May you find what you are looking for

    The Bottomless Bailout

    by Ralph Nader

    Does anybody in the federal government know or could know “who, what, where and when” of the massive, complex, vertical, horizontal, global collapse of Wall Street and its planetary tentacles in over 100 countries abroad? Step forward if you exist! Uncle Sam needs you!

    Is the multi-million dollar bailout of this financial mess and house of cards, this phantom wealth mummy hitting air beyond the federal governments’ salvage capability?

    It is relatively easy to announce hundreds of billions of dollars of corporate rescue programs here and hundreds of billions of dollars of guarantees of corporate recklessness there and trillions of dollars of assorted stimulus, loan availabilities and foreclosure prevention initiatives in all directions. Now comes the rubber hitting the road.

    Where are the skilled people to be hired by the federal agencies—the administrators, field implementers, auditors, financial whizzes able to understand the complexity of greed and over-reach; the inspectors, prosecutors and contract negotiators to name a few categories?

    In other words, how are a hurried President Obama and his deputies going to rapidly build up the infrastructure of the federal government itself to advance all these “public works” efficiently and to avoid expenditure disasters amidst a potential orgy of waste, fraud and abuse by the coast to coast recipients?

    So many of the federal government’s functions have been contracted out to corporations and consulting firms under Clinton and the Bushes that there is a serious dearth of skilled civil servants. Moreover, Obama has indicated he wants this work done by an accountable government and not by Halliburton-type outside contractors at greater expense to taxpayers.

    Knowing and doing have to go hand in hand. Some Congressional Committees have finally gotten around to asking the basic questions about what is actually going on inside companies like the giant financial conglomerate AIG. Since the Goliath’s near collapse in September, the federal government has committed $160 billion to keep it from splattering its reckless red ink over small businesses, municipalities, 401(k) plans, policyholders and of course the Fortune 500 big companies led by the omnipresent Goldman Sachs bank.

    At a Senate hearing on March 5, 2009 to review yet another $30 billion in rescue funds, Senators from both parties demanded that the Federal Reserve make public the names of the parties benefiting from all this taxpayer largesse. These include the derivatives trading partners (eg credit default swappers) who have received tens of billions of these dollars passing from Washington through AIG to them.

    Senators Chris Dodd, Richard Shelby and Jim Bunning went after Donald L. Kohn, the vice-chairman of the Fed board of governors who finally promised he would ask the other governors to reconsider their corporate privacy policy under these megabailouts. Don’t hold your breath!

    Surprisingly, the Wall Street Journal editorial writers weighed in three days earlier about this fourth ever-sweeter rescue of AIG. in six months. In an editorial titled “AIG’s Black Box” the Journal thundered: “Perhaps someday the feds will even explain to taxpayers which AIG creditors had to be rescued and why…..try figuring out exactly who benefits when taxpayer money arrives at the insurance giant.”

    Besides rebuilding the federal workforce and finding out what is going on inside casino capitalism begging for bailouts, the Obama Administration is wading into an administrative nightmare that could run through trillions of mis-directed dollars and not turn around a deep Recession plunging toward Depression.

    When dealing with esoteric gambling chips called “derivatives” that are bets on bets on debts on debts, more than astute regulations and prosecutions are needed to punish, disgorge and deter present and future self-paid corporate crooks looting and draining other people’s pensions and savings. What is essential is that the federal surgeons have to know just where to apply their scalpel on the continuum spanning the big predators to the millions of direct and indirect victims.

    So, during the next Congressional hearings featuring government witnesses from the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Department and the securities, insurance and banking regulatory agencies, the Senators should start with four direct questions:

    1.Just what is it that you do NOT understand about what is going on inside this widening Wall Street mess?
    2.Why don’t you understand what you need to know?
    3.How are you going to use your powers to achieve such understanding?
    4.Finally, if these corporations like AIG are too big to fail, too secret to fail and overwhelmingly global in structure and operations, why aren’t you asking other governments to pitch in with their own rescue packages and tell you what they know?

    As one solid small town banker in Indiana put it recently: “If these big companies are too big to fail, then they’re too big.”
    END.

    Related Links:

    Posted in AIG, GM, megabailouts, President Obama, Town Greeter | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Operating above and beyond the law

    Posted by msrb on March 5, 2009

    Sent by a reader

    ‘Mr Pilger is aware no doubt that King John was forced to sign Magna Carta, which was meant to limit his powers by law. Powers of the cabal, the criminal fraternity that runs Britain and the US,  go way beyond the laws of both lands, as well as international laws.’ —Reader’s Comment

    War Comes Home To Britain

    by John Pilger
    Published 05 March 2009  in New Statesman

    Freedom is being lost in Britain. The land of Magna Carta is now the land of secret gagging orders, secret trials and imprisonment. The government will soon know about every phone call, every email, every text message. Police can willfully shoot to death an innocent man, lie, and expect to get away with it. Whole communities now fear the state. The Foreign Secretary routinely covers up allegations of torture; the Justice Secretary routinely prevents the release of critical cabinet minutes taken when Iraq was illegally invaded. The list is cursory; there is much more.

    Indeed, there is so much more that the erosion of liberal freedoms is symptomatic of an evolved criminal state. The haven for Russian oligarchs, together with corruption of the tax and banking systems and of once-admired public services such as the Post Office, is one side of the coin; the other is the invisible carnage of failed colonial wars. Historically, the pattern is familiar. As the colonial crimes in Algeria, Vietnam and Afghanistan blew back to their perpetrators, France, the US and the Soviet Union, so the cancerous effects of Britain’s cynicism in Iraq and Afghanistan have come home.

    The most obvious example is the bombing atrocities in London on 7 July 2005; no one in the British intelligence mandarinate doubts these were a gift from Blair. And yet “terrorism” describes only the few acts of individuals and groups, not the constant, industrial violence of great powers. Suppressing this truth is left to the credible media. On 27 February, the Guardian’s Washington correspondent, Ewen MacAskill, in reporting President Obama’s statement that America was finally leaving Iraq, as if it were fact, wrote: “For Iraq, the death toll is unknown, in the tens of thousands, victims of the war, a nationalist uprising, sectarian infighting and jihadists attracted by the US presence.” Thus, the Anglo-American invaders are merely a “presence” not directly responsible for the “unknown” number of Iraqi deaths. Such contortion of intellect is impressive.

    In January last year, a report by the respected Opinion Research Business (ORB) revised an earlier assessment of deaths in Iraq to 1.033 million. This followed a peer-reviewed study in 2006 by the world-renowned Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, published in the Lancet, which found that nearly 655,000 Iraqis had died as a result of the invasion. US and British officials immediately dismissed the report as “flawed” – a deliberate deception. Foreign Office papers obtained under Freedom of Information disclose a memo written by the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Roy Anderson, in which he praised the Lancet report, describing it as “robust and employs methods that are regarded as close to ‘best practice’ given [the conditions] in Iraq”. An adviser to the Prime Minister commented: “The survey methodology used here cannot be rubbished, it is a tried and tested way of measuring mortality in conflict zones.” Yet, speaking a few days later, the Foreign Office minister Lord Triesman said: “The way in which data are extrapolated from samples to a general outcome is a matter of deep concern.”

    The episode exemplifies the scale and deception of this state crime. Les Roberts, co-author of the Lancet study, has since argued that Britain and America might have caused in Iraq “an episode more deadly than the Rwandan genocide”. This is not news. Neither is it a critical reference in the freedoms campaign organised by the Observer columnist Henry Porter. At a conference in London on 28 February, Lord Goldsmith, Blair’s former attorney general, who notoriously changed his mind and advised the government the invasion was legal, when it wasn’t, was a speaker for freedom. So was Timothy Garton Ash, a “liberal interventionist”. On 17 April 2003, shortly after the slaughter had begun in Iraq, a euphoric Garton Ash wrote in the Guardian: “America has never been the Great Satan. It has sometimes been the Great Gatsby: ‘They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things . . .’” One of Britain’s jobs “is to keep reminding Tom and Daisy that they now have promises to keep”. Less frivolously, he lauded Tony Blair for his “strong Gladstonian instincts for humanitarian intervention” and repeated the government’s propaganda about Saddam Hussein. In 2006, he wrote, “Now we face the next big test of the west: after Iraq, Iran” (my italics). This also adheres precisely to the propaganda; David Miliband has declared Iran a “threat” in preparation for the next war.

    Like so many of New Labour’s Tonier-than-thou squad, Henry Porter celebrated Blair as an almost mystical politician who “presents himself as a harmoniser for all the opposing interests in British life, a conciliator of class differences and tribal antipathies, synthesiser of opposing beliefs”. Porter dismissed as “demonic nonsense” all analysis of the 11 September 2001 attacks that suggested there were specific causes: the consequences of violent actions taken by the powerful in the Middle East. Such thinking, he wrote, “exactly matches the views of Osama Bin Laden . . . With America’s haters, that’s all there is – hatred.” This, of course, was Blair’s view.

    Freedoms are being lost in Britain because of the rapid growth of the “national security state”. This form of militarism was imported from the United States by New Labour. Totalitarian in essence, it relies on fear-mongering to entrench the executive with venal legal mechanisms that progressively diminish democracy and justice. “Security” is all and it relies on propaganda promoting rapacious colonial wars, even as honest mistakes. Take away this propaganda, and the wars are exposed for what they are, and the fear evaporates. Take away the obeisance of many in Britain’s liberal elite to American power and you demote a profound colonial mentality that covers for epic criminals such as Blair. Prosecute these criminals and change the system that breeds them, and you have freedom. Copyright the author or newspaper.

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    Posted in cabal, colonialism, David Miliband, Iraq Genocide, Obama | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

    For Now, Just South of the Border

    Posted by msrb on March 4, 2009

    Image of the Day: “Restoring Law and Order”


    Mexican Federal policemen patrol the street of Ciudad Juarez, March 2, 2009. Nearly 4,000 Mexican soldiers and federal police poured into Ciudad Juarez this weekend to restore law and order to the country’s most violent city, which has been ravaged by drug gangs. REUTERS/Daniel Aguilar. Image may be subject to copyright.

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    Posted in Ciudad Juarez, drug-related, law and order, poverty, violent unrest | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    How They Protect Social Divisions in the UK

    Posted by msrb on March 3, 2009

    The absence of social conscience within the UK establishment makes that country different to all others

    Wealth would be meaningless, if there was no poverty; and power, by definition, is the ability to deny others the same capacity!

    Governance is not about sharing; it’s about protecting social divisions.

    In view of public interest the following article from UK’s Daily Express is mirrored here in its entirety.  Moderator.

    MI5 ALERT ON BANK RIOTS

    Daily Express – Sunday March 1, 2009
    By Geraint Jones

    TOP secret contingency plans have been drawn up to counter the threat posed by a “summer of discontent” in Britain.


    Riot Police In London – Police and demonstrators clash in Trafalgar Square during rioting, which arose from a demonstration against the Poll Tax, London, 31st March 1990. Picture: STEVE EASON/HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES/Via Daily Telegraph. Image may be subject to copyright.

    The “double-whammy” of the worst economic crisis in living memory and a motley crew of political extremists determined to stir up civil disorder has led to the ­extraordinary step of the Army being put on ­standby.

    MI5 and Special Branch are targeting activists they fear could inflame anger over job losses and payouts to failed bankers.

    One of the most notorious anarchist websites, Class War, asks: “How to keep warm ­during the credit crunch? Burn a banker.”

    Such remarks have rung alarm bells in Scotland Yard and the Ministry of Defence.

    Intelligence sources said the police, backed by MI5, are determined to stay on top of a situation that could spiral out of control as the recession bites deep.

    The chilling prospect of soldiers being drafted on to the streets has not been discounted, although it is regarded as a last resort.

    What worries emergency planners most is that the middle classes, now struggling to cope with unemployment and repossessions, may take to the streets with the disenfranchised.

    The source said “this potent cocktail is reminiscent of the poll tax riots which fatally wounded Margaret Thatcher’s government in 1990”.

    Last night Scotland Yard vowed it was ready to face any threat. A source said: “We do have a policing plan in place and we have riot police officers trained for such measures.”

    But other senior police leaders fear the force will be unable to cope.

    Were that to be the case, the ­Government has a contingency plan to deploy troops on the streets of Britain’s major cities.

    A senior source said: “This is a very real, and very serious, problem.

    “I can tell you there have been crisis talks in Whitehall about this.

    “Half the senior officers in Britain have been warning the Home Secretary about the dangerous effects that reducing police manpower may have this summer, especially in the industrial heartlands.

    “We are not just talking about the problems of immigration and British jobs for British worker. We are also talking about mass unemployment.

    “In many of our industrial cities, this will not be measured in the hundreds, but in the thousands. With unemployment, comes the risk of increased crime. Some forces, such as South Wales, have publically ­stated they would be swamped.

    “Others are keeping it quiet, but you can be sure they are trying to make the Home Secretary listen, ­before it’s too late.”

    The “protest season” is due to ­begin on April 1 with the G20 Summit in London next month, followed by the 60th anniversary of NATO in Strasbourg a few days later. May Day is also ­potentially a flashpoint.

    Ministers cannot afford to allow ­latent public anger at Government policy to get out of hand if they are to maintain credibility through what promises to be ­Gordon Brown’s most testing period as Prime Minister.

    The Stop the War coalition, orchestrating the G20 protest, said: “The first week of April could be a week of world leaders will never forget.”

    The British authorities want to avoid a repeat of the rioting that scarred British cities in the 1980s Then, as now, the country was in recession with rising unemployment and deep public hostility to perceived social divisions.

    Today that anger is focused on the banks, with their bonus culture surviving despite billions being paid in taxpayer bail-outs.

    This has fomented in the outrage over news that senior executives will be rewarded for their failure.

    Sir Fred Goodwin, former boss of RBS, has refused to hand back his £693,000-a-year-pension even as the ailing bank announced a £24billion loss last year, the single largest loss in British corporate history.

    Early warnings of trouble ahead came from the furore over last months “British jobs for British workers” protest and wildcat strikes across the country.

    This week Britain’s most senior police officer warned that the summer could bring a wave of protests orchestrated by extremists in which ordinary people, fired by their own anger and fear at the economic downturn – became “foot soldiers”.

    Superintendent David Hartshorn, who heads the Met’s public order branch, identified the G20 as the possible start of a “summer of rage”.

    Murray Benham, head of campaigns at the UK-based World Development Movement, accused Supt Hartshorn of “scaremongering”.

    “Scaremongering from the police will not stop us because the price for failing is too high.

    “People are understandably angry about the impact of the economic crisis on their jobs, savings and plans for the future.”

    Additional reporting by James Fielding. Copyright authors or the newspaper.

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    Posted in contingency plans, deploy troops on streets, political activism, Scotland Yard, social unrest | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

    Military Powers in Asia

    Posted by msrb on March 2, 2009

    “If the U.S. military presence in Asia is reduced, then China will also not have to expand its military power.”

    —Japan’s opposition leader, Ichiro Ozawa [president of Minshuto, Democratic Party of Japan.]

    Protesters from an anti-nuclear organization and other peace groups stage a demonstration at a park in near the US Navy base at Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture on July 19, 2008 to protest the scheduled deployment of the US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington. Some 15,000 participants joined the rally, the organizers said, to protest against the USS George Washington, which will become the first nuclear powered carrier to be based in Japan. CVN refers to “carrier vessel nuclear”. Photo: AFP/Getty Images. Image may be subject to copyright.

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    Posted in 7th Fleet, carrier vessel nuclear, chinese military, USS George Washington, Yokosuka | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Japan Must Urgently Adopt New Economic Model

    Posted by msrb on February 26, 2009

    Japan’s  Survival Now Depends on a Low Energy, Intelligent Socioeconomic Model

    Japan’s economy, the world’s 2nd and Asia’s largest, is rapidly becoming the biggest victim of the global recession. As the world’s recession woes deepen, demand for Japanese exports like cars and high-tech goods falls. Japan’s economic and therefore national survival depends on its exports.

    tokyo-job-demoWorkers and trade union members hold placards which read “Don’t Cut” jobs during a rally in Tokyo. Photo: AFP. Image may be subject to copyright.

    “Because of the shrinking global economy, Japan’s business model of being dependent on exports is not working at all,” said Barclays Capital Japan chief economist Kyohei Morita.

    Japan’s economy is rapidly shrinking, WSJ said, “with government data showing that gross domestic product plunged by an annualized 12.7% in October-December, its fastest contraction since the 1974 oil shock.”

    “With the export sector extremely weak and the domestic economy weakening, there is a growing risk that you could get a significant rise in Japanese unemployment,” said Christopher Wood, an equity strategist at the CLSA bank.

    Japan’s trade deficit rose by a factor of 10 in January, to about 953 billion yen from a 90 billion yen deficit a year earlier, the Ministry of Finance said Wednesday, clocking up the country’s largest trade deficit ever. Overall exports during the period plunged by a record 45.7% year-to-year to 3.483 trillion yen.

    As the global economy heads further into a depression, the  outlook of a near- to mid-term recovery for Japaese exports is gleam.

    Japan’s energy self-sufficiency is less than 4 percent of the country’s consumption. As for the food security, Japan’s food self-sufficiency rate, the total calories supplied,  fell from 40 to 39 percents in fiscal 2006, one of the lowest rates in the ‘developed’ world!

    Related Links:

    Posted in Energy, Food Security, Japan's GDP, national survival, trade deficit | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Image of the Day: Emperor Meets the Don

    Posted by msrb on February 26, 2009

    sent by a reader

    Gotcha, You Amphibians!


    French President Nicolas Sarkozy gestures during a joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at the end of a bilateral summit at Villa Madama in Rome February 24, 2009. The expected appointment of a close economic adviser [Consigliere!] to Sarkozy as head of a new merged bank has drawn accusations of abuse of power by the French president from across the political spectrum. REUTERS/Tony Gentile. Image may be subject to copyright.

    New Latest World Order: Ruled by presidents who share neither your ‘nationality,’ nor ‘religion.’

    Posted in abuse of power, French citizens, Latest World Order, Mafia Don, Zionist mafia | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Bailout Fallout

    Posted by msrb on February 25, 2009

    Angry citizen(s) spray paint Congressman’s car and home

    By: D. H. Williams @ 10:48 AM – EST

    “On October 22, just after the first round of bankster bailouts was passed by Congress against the will of the American people several representatives in Minnesota found their cars and homes spray painted by angry constituents.  You can read about the story HERE.

    “It has just been reported by ABC Eyewitness News 5 in Missouri that Congressman Russ Carnahan’s home and car where spray painted in a similar manner.”

    Original Story + Video from ABC Eyewitness News 5 HERE

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    Posted in angry constituents, angry taxpayers, bailout fallout, Missouri | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

    U.S. Riots a Near Certainty

    Posted by msrb on February 23, 2009

    Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, foresees riots in the US, if the state of economy continues to deteriorate. His predictions are consistent with a forecast made by our colleagues at EDRO.

    “There’s going to be growing conflict between the classes and if people are unemployed and really hurting, hell, there could be even riots!” said Brzezinski, in a recent interview with NBC.

    “In 1907, when we had a massive banking crisis, when banks were beginning to collapse, there were going to be riots in the streets,” he added.

    Brzezinski has reportedly proposed “the creation of a voluntary national solidarity fund, whose contributors would be those who became wealthy in recent times.”

    “Where is the moneyed class today? Why aren’t they doing something: the people who made billions, millions. I’m sort of thinking of Paulson, of Rubin [former treasury secretaries]. Why don’t they get together, and why don’t they organize a national solidarity fund in which they call on all of those who made these extraordinary amounts of money to kick some back?” he commented.

    “I was worrying about it because we’re going to have millions and millions of unemployed, people really facing dire straits. And we’re going to be having that for some period of time before things hopefully improve,” said Brzezinski.

    Related Links:

    Posted in Food Crisis, food riots, Globalization, Neo-Slavery, unemployment riots | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

    PayPal: Pal from Hell

    Posted by msrb on February 19, 2009

    PayPal Blocks Donation to ImpeachBush Movement

    In response to the following appeal, a colleague attempted to make a donation to IndictBushNow.org; however, his donation was blocked by PayPal. This action by PayPal is unacceptable. PayPal must NOT be allowed to protect war criminals by way of impeding the action taken to prosecute them. Moderator.

    Here’s the Appeal

    ImpeachBush top

    A message from Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark:
    ‘Why indictment is a must.’

    Dear [Name withheld,]

    I am writing to you as a long-time supporter of the ImpeachBush movement. More than a million people came forward to demand the impeachment of Bush and other high-ranking officials in the Bush administration.

    I am appealing to you to make a donation to a growing new movement for the indictment and prosecution of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzales and other high officials of the Bush administration who engaged in criminal wrongdoing.

    Please make an urgently needed donation today to help the IndictBush movement grow by clicking this link.

    The greatest danger arising from impunity for President Bush and his cohorts would be that all subsequent officials will feel secure in committing the same crimes and the people, having failed to compel impeachment for such open, notorious and egregious crimes, will feel even more helpless to prevent them. Ultimately the power and the responsibility to prevent criminal acts by government is with the people.

    The movement for accountability is sweeping the country. The Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, John Conyers, and the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Patrick Leahy, are both proposing to launch investigations into the possibilities of criminal conduct by high officials in the Bush Administration.

    Now is the time for massive outreach and publicity. This requires organizing national call-in days to pressure Congressional representatives, intensive media work, and providing literature for people of conscience to distribute in cities and towns across the country.

    Please consider taking a moment right now to make a donation to this new movement for the indictment of Bush. There is no time to spare. The time to act is now and we will.

    The crimes of the Bush administration must be proclaimed, acknowledged and remembered because their disastrous human consequences, dictatorial tendencies, subversion of Constitutional government and violation of the rights and dignity of humanity. They include wars of aggression, the crime against peace and the “Supreme International Crime,” war crimes, and crimes against humanity, genocide by military violence “with intent to destroy in whole, or in part, a national… or religious group,” authorizing and condoning massive violations of the Constitution of the United States, its Bill of Rights and other Amendments, international treaties including the U.N. Charter, Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Convention Against Torture, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Geneva Conventions.

    The clear duty of the American people and their elected representatives — on which the changes in U.S. government policies essential to achieve a peaceful, decent and humane future depend — is the vigorous pursuit of the indictment of former President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and other high officials who have participated in their crimes, followed by rigorous criminal prosecution wherever the evidence, having been fully and fairly presented to a federal grand jury, results in their indictment.

    The indictment of George W. Bush and other high officials is the challenge facing ‘We, the People.’ Will we rise to meet it? This is not a matter of politics or partisanship. It is the defense of the basic tenets of the Constitution. Please consider making a donation so we can get this movement off the ground and into the streets.

    Sincerely,

    Ramsey Clark,
    Former U.S. Attorney General

    p.s. Please be sure to tell your friends to go to  IndictBushNow.org to sign the referendum!

    Posted in Bush administration, criminal activity, genocide, Indict Bush, Ramsey Clark | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    The Republic of Wall Street Saga Goes On

    Posted by msrb on February 15, 2009

    Can Congress “walk and chew gum at the same time?”

    by Ralph Nader                                                                               February 14, 2009

    This phrase used by President Lyndon Johnson for one of his political opponents comes to mind at a time early in the first 100 days of the Obama Administration when supposedly many long-overdue changes and rollbacks are possible.

    It is not just that Congress is completely absorbed with the tax-cut-stimulus package. It is stasis that seems to be enveloping, even within its numerous well-funded and staffed committees in the House and Senate, from even the signaling of serious movement toward rolling back Bush-pushed legislation and starting widely supported forays that take hope to change.

    The continuation of this state of stasis is made more likely because the Republican minority is feeling its oats. It put the White House on the defensive during the struggle to enact economic recovery legislation even though previous Republican policies and coddling of Wall Street for eight years build a steep cliff for financial collapse. Add the de-regulatory moves of 1999 and 2000 by the Clinton-Rubin crowd and the financial meltdown accelerates.

    There is something else operating. One gets the feel on Capitol Hill among some fairly sharp people of a lack of horizon, a paucity of progressive determination, a sense of being overwhelmed by the corporate forces still bearing down on Congress—easily the most powerful branch of government under our Constitution.

    But Congress does not act as if it is the most powerful branch. It routinely abdicates its constitutional responsibilities—the declaration of war authority and the plenary authority to investigate and require access to information in the executive branch.

    Even after the Democrats took control of the Congress in January 2007, George W. Bush again and again got his way including a rubber stamp for the huge Iraq and Afghanistan war budgets outside of the normal appropriations processes.

    Efforts by Senator Russ Feingold and Cong. John Conyers to move a modest censure resolution of Bush and Cheney for their many constitutional and statutory violations were aggressively rejected by their leaders—Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid. In January 2007, Pelosi and Reid two took impeachment off the table allowing the most chronically impeachable presidency in our history to continue undisturbed.

    Some staffers in Congress privately assert that the Democrats are not acting like a majority party. It is worse than that. They are not acting—period.

    From their majority status in 2007 to 2009 and a Democratic President in the White House, the Congressional Democrats are not moving swiftly to repeal the ban on Uncle Sam negotiating drug prices from volume discounts under the drug benefit law. They are not moving to amend the Patriot Act, regain control of warrantless surveillance, strengthen the corporate criminal laws and enforcement budgets. Congress is not even pushing to require taxing Hedge Fund manager’s income as ordinary income not as capital gains.

    I cite these policies because they are policies much favored by many Democratic lawmakers. But in practice lawmakers duck and duck and duck from translating their beliefs into contentious action vis-à-vis the lobbyists and their captive legislators.

    Senator Chris Dodd and the vast majority of the American people want to do something about credit card company abuses and gouges. But he is surrounded not just by the Republicans on the Senate Banking Committees but high-ranking Democrats beholden to the financial goliaths who, are demanding and receiving hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer bailouts.

    There is word from the politicians that consideration of health care insurance—apart from a quickly enacted expansion of some coverage for more poor children—will be put off for a year.  The trade unions’ top priority to enact labor law reforms, supported by Obama during his presidential campaign, are being held back by the Democrats.

    There is even doubt whether the District of Columbia will get a voting Representative in the House when push comes to shove in the Senate.

    The one-subject-at-a-time attitude is coming from the White House. “Obama doesn’t want it now” is a common phrase used by legislators to excuse themselves from exercising the separate but equal Congressional powers. This pretext applies to taking away some of the hugely expensive and unnecessary weapons systems like the F-22 aircraft decried by many military and retired military analysts. The vast, bloated military budget is sacrosanct on Capitol Hill as it is in the White House.

    At a time of widely perceived needs for Congressional action, with large corporations busy applying for corporate welfare and on the defensive, the Democrats are not generating any momentum for standing for and with the people. Even in the midst of food contamination, illnesses and fatalities, they cannot turn around forty years of delay on giving the Food and Drug Administration adequate authority and inspectors to protect our food supply.

    It is going to take a very focused civic jolt from you all to your Senators and Representatives. A couple of million jolters from our large country can get the train moving on the tracks. It doesn’t take much time to holler, yell or bellow with the facts.

    END.

    Related Links:

    Posted in financial meltdown, senate, Wall Street, war budget, White House | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Call it Arson, If You Must …

    Posted by msrb on February 10, 2009

    But when you run out of patsies … climate change will still be looking you in the eye!

    submitted by a reader

    The day God [sic] washed his hands off St. Andrew’s church


    The remains of St. Andrew’s church is seen after it was destroyed by fire at the community of Kinglake, north east of Melbourne, Australia February 9, 2009. Weary firefighters and rescuers pulled the remains of dozens of people from charred buildings on Monday as the death toll rose to 130 from southern Australia’s deadliest bushfires. REUTERS/Rick Rycroft/Pool.

    Related Links:

    Posted in arson, carbon footprint, carbon trading, dying continent, Human Excesses | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

    National March On Wall Street

    Posted by msrb on February 7, 2009

    BAIL OUT THE PEOPLE MOVEMENT

    Endorse April 3 & 4 | Donate | Bail Out the People Movement Home



    Bail Out the People Not the Banks

    In Memory of Martin Luther King, Jr: Announcing a NATIONAL

    Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet. April 3 & 4

    WE  DEMAND JOBS!

    Moratorium on Evictions & Foreclosures

    BAILOUT WORKERS

    STOP LAY-OFFS & CUTBACKS

    END THE WARS

    Bring the Troops Home

    Housing & Healthcare
    Are a right

    No Transit
    Fare Hike

    Bail out Students and YOUTH

    STOP THE WAR
    ON IMMIGRANTS

    END ATTACKS ON WOMEN & LGBT PEOPLE

    UNITE!


    The March on Wall Street was one of the events approved by hundreds of activists at Fight Back conferences in NYC in LA in January. There will be a report back from the conferences at the Feb. 18 planning meeting.



    March On Wall Street


    Friday APRIL 3 AND Saturday APRIL 4


    Yes, 2 days starting Friday. More people from around the country will join us Saturday – Watch for assembly locations and times.

    MARCH ON WALL STREET PLANNING MEETING

    Wed., February 18 – 7 P.M.
    CUNY Graduate Center
    365 5th Ave., between 34th & 35th St.
    (you’ll need ID to get into the building)
    Trains:  N, R, W, B, F to 34th St.; PATH to 33rd St.

    March on Wall Street on the Anniversary on the day Martin Luther King gave his life fighting for social and economic justice. Why? Because we must demand that the needs of the people come before the greed of the super rich. Millions are jobless and homeless, and millions more will be living on the streets if the government continues to waste trillions of dollars on saving wealthy bankers instead of saving people.
    Dr. King would have been appalled and opposed to the terrible siege of Gaza as well as the continuing occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    And just as King knew that the struggle for civil rights at home had to also be part of the struggle against war abroad, he understood that no one, regardless of their race would be free until everyone had the right to a decent paying job or an income for those unable to work. Most importantly, King also understood that “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” The time for suffering in silence has come to an end. Nothing will change unless our desperation and anger is channeled into a mighty movement that unites and fights.  It’s time to march on Wall St. Come to the march, and tell everyone you know to come with you.

    Below is a partial list of Endorsers of the March on Wall Street: Ad Hoc National Network to Stop Foreclosures and Evictions; Black Workers for Justice, Raleigh, NC; North Carolina Public Service Workers Union-UE Local 150; Moratorium Now! Coalition To Stop Foreclosures and Evictions (Michigan); Labor/Community Coalition to Stop Foreclosures and Evictions (Calif.); Service Employees International Union, Local 721; Latino Caucus, SEIU Local 721; BAYAN USA; May 1 Coalition For Worker and Immigrant Rights (NYC); Million Worker March Movement East; Chris Silvera, Sec-Treas., Teamster Local 808; Harlem Tenants Council, New York, NY; Private Health Insurance Must Go Coalition, New York City; NY Charles Barron, member, New York City Council*, Queers for Peace and Justice, Women’s Fight back Network (Mass.),Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST youth), International Action Center; Action Center For Justice, Charlotte, NC; Queers Without Borders, Hartford, CT; Maine Green Independent Party; Old Orchard Beach, ME; Guyanese American Workers United, New York, NY; Pakistan USA Freedom Forum – * For identification purposes only

    For more endorsers, or to endorse – go to www.bailoutpeople.org
    212.633.6646  Email: bailoutpeople@safewebmail.com

    Posted in Bring the Troops Home, homeless, jobless, politics, public service | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Thought for the Day: Crime and Political Complicity

    Posted by msrb on February 6, 2009

    sent by a reader

    Could crime flourish on a national, even international level without help from politicians?

    Former NSW assistant police commissioner Clive Small says the Calabrian organized crime group known as the ‘Ndrangheta now poses more of a threat than ever before to Australia. Small blames politicians and police for allowing the Italian mafia to flourish in Australia.

    What he doesn’t reveal is that compared with the Russian Mafia, which is powerful enough to control the entire political game in Australia, the Calabrians are merely juvenile delinquents.

    Related Links:

    Posted in Al Grassby, Calabrian, Italian mafia, political game | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Wall Street: The Biggest Threat to the U.S. Economy

    Posted by msrb on February 1, 2009

    The Moderators and contributors of this blog have identified Wall Street as the No. 1 threat to the U.S. economy and therefore its  national security. Our colleagues at EDRO have argued that the “ten-trillion-dollar bailout-stimulus-Wall-Street-Monopoly-money plan” won’t work unless Wall Street is eliminated and the Federal Reserve system is abolished and replaced with a nationalized central banking system.

    In the following essay, Ralph Nader, citing from Why Wall Street Can’t Be Fixed and How to Replace It: Agenda For a New Economy by David C. Korten, asks:

    “First, do Wall Street Institutions do anything so vital for the national interest that they justify trillions of dollars to save them from the consequences of their own excess?

    “Second is it possible that the whole Wall Street edifice is built on an illusion of phantom wealth that carries deadly economic, social, and environmental consequences for the larger society?

    “Third, are there other ways to provide needed financial services with greater results and at lesser cost?”

    Wither Wall Street

    by Ralph Nader [Received Sat 1/31/2009]

    Soon after the passage in 1999 of the Clinton-Rubin-Summers-P. Graham deregulation of the financial industry, I boarded a US Air flight to Boston and discovered none other than then-Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence Summers a few seats away. He was speaking loudly and constantly on his cell phone. When the plane took off he invited me to sit by him and talk.

    After reviewing the contents of this Citibank-friendly new law called the Financial Modernization Act—I asked him: “Do you think the big banks have too much power?”

    He paused for a few seconds and replied: “Not Yet.” Intrigued by his two word answer, I noted the rejection of modest pro-consumer provisions, adding that now that the banks had had their round, wasn’t it time for the consumers to have their own round soon?

    He allowed that such an expectation was not unreasonable and that he was willing to meet with some seasoned consumer advocates and go over such an agenda. We sent him an agenda, and met with Mr. Summers and his staff. Unfortunately, neither his boss, Bill Clinton, nor the Congress were in any mood to revisit this heavily lobbied federal deregulation law and reconsider the blocked consumer rights.

    The rest is unfolding, tragic history. The law abolished the Glass-Steagall Act which separated commercial banking from investment banking. This opened the floodgates for unwise mergers, acquisitions and other unregulated risky financial instruments. Laced with limitless greed, casino capitalism ran wild, tanking economies here and abroad.

    One champion of this market fundamentalism was Alan Greenspan, then chairman of the Federal Reserve. Last October before a House Committee, Greenspan admitted he was mistaken and expressed astonishment at how corporations could not even safeguard their own self-interest from going over steep speculative cliffs.

    Greenspan and Summers were deemed “brilliant” by the press and most of Congress. Summers’ predecessor at Treasury—Robert Rubin—was also a charter member of the Oracles—those larger-than-life men who just knew that the unfettered market and giant financial conglomerates would be the one-stop shopping mart consumers were assumed to be craving.

    Now the world knows that these men belong to the “oops oligarchy” that bails itself out while it lets the companies collapse into the handcuffed arms of Uncle Sam and bridled taxpayers who have to pay for unconditional megabailouts. Instead of the Wall Street crooks being convicted and imprisoned, they have fled the jurisdiction with their self-determined compensation. Corporate crime pays, while pensions and mutual fund savings evaporate.
    Now comes the next stage of the Washington rescue effort in a variety of stimulus packages which every vendor group imaginable wants a piece of these days. When trillions are offered, many come running.

    As the public focus is on how much, when and where all this money should be spent, there are very serious consequences to be foreseen and forestalled. First, consider how much more concentrated corporate power is occurring. Forced or willing mergers, acquisitions and panic takeovers of big banks by bigger banks along with bankruptcies of companies further reduce what is left of quality competition for consumer benefit.

    Remember the anti-trust laws. Obama needs to be their champion. The fallout from the Wall Street binge is likely to lead to a country run by an even smaller handful of monopolistic global goliaths.

    In the stampede for stimulus legislation, there is a foreboding feeling on Capitol Hill that there is no proposal on the table to pay for it other than by the children and grandchildren. Just the opposite is raining down on them. Everybody including the private equity gamblers, Las Vegas casinos and Hollywood studios along with the banks and auto companies are looking for tax breaks.

    So with the economy deteriorating and taxes being cut, where is the enormous money coming from? From borrowing and from printing money. So look out for big time inflation and decline in the dollar’s value vis-à-vis other currencies.

    In all the hundreds of pages of stimulus bills, there is nothing that would facilitate the banding together of consumers and investors into strong advocacy groups. We have long proposed Financial Consumer Associations, privately and voluntarily funded through inserts in the monthly statements of financial firms.

    If this bailout—stimulus—Wall Street funny money waste, fraud and abuse sounds confusing, that is because it is. A brand new paperback “Why Wall Street Can’t Be Fixed and How to Replace It: Agenda For a New Economy” by long-time corporate critic, David C. Korten will explain some of the wheeling and dealing.

    You don’t have to agree with all or many of Korten’s nostrums. Just read Part II—The Case For Eliminating Wall Street. He considers three central questions:

    First, do Wall Street Institutions do anything so vital for the national interest that they justify trillions of dollars to save them from the consequences of their own excess?

    Second, is it possible that the whole Wall Street edifice is built on an illusion of phantom wealth that carries deadly economic, social, and environmental consequences for the larger society?

    Third, are there other ways to provide needed financial services with greater results and at lesser cost?  END.

    Related Links:

    Posted in bailouts, phantom wealth, stimulus plan, tax breaks, U.S. National Security | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »

    Fonterra Advised Sanlu on ‘Safe’ Melamine Level

    Posted by terres on January 28, 2009

    Thanks to TEAA, our valuable friend in Wellington, for sending the link to the New Zealand article

    The Moderators have vociferously maintained that Fonterra executives knew about Sanlu’s melamine-tainted infant formula years in advance of the scandal breaking out, despite their denials.

    The truth is now beginning to come out in dribs and drabs! Here’s how the story is unfolding:

    Tian Wenhua, the former President and General Manager of Sanlu, who received a life sentence for her part in the Sanlu tainted infant formula scandal,  said during her trial that “she made the decision not to halt production of the tainted products because a board member, designated by New Zealand dairy product giant Fonterra that partly owned Sanlu Group, presented her a document saying a maximum of 20 mg of melamine was allowed in every kg of milk in the European Union. She said she had trusted the document at that time.” Xinhua reported.

    [Note: Readers are reminded that Sanlu Was First Banned in 2004, then Reinstated.]

    sue-kedgley

    Fonterra should set the record straight and release minutes at the center of the Chinese contaminated milk scandal, Green Party MP Sue Kedgley says. (January 28, 2009, 8:09 pm). Source Stuff.co.nz. Image may be subject to copyright.

    NZ Green Party MP Sue Kedgley said Fonterra’s credibility was on the line after the statement made by Tian Wenhua that “Fonterra approved a level of melamine in baby milk formula sold in China,” and has asked the New Zealand dairy cooperative to release the minutes of the conversation between the Fonterra director and Sanlu’s former president.

    “Fonterra is our biggest exporter and it is critical for its international reputation that the dairy company front up with evidence to dispel any doubts about its business practices in China,” Ms Kedgley said.

    “If the minutes of the recorded conversation demonstrate—as Fonterra claims—that Fonterra was adamant it was totally unacceptable to sell milk with any level of melamine contamination in it, this will help set the record straight.”

    “Fonterra chief executive Andrew Ferrier today said the conversation had been minuted, but he did not intend to release it to media while a court appeal was pending.” NZPA reported. [Moderators wonder how difficult it might be  for Fonterra to change the content of the said minutes to save its own backside.]

    andrew-ferrier Fonterra chief executive, Andrew Ferrier. Do you trust him with your little baby’s kidneys? Ferrier on Tuesday confirmed Tian had been given a document by a Fonterra board member, but he is economical with the truth about the content of the document. Mr Ferrier and his colleagues have so far gotten away with murder. Photo: NZPA. Image may be subject to copyright.

    “Everybody wants to move on, I think that’s the message that we’re getting from our shareholders. We’ve learned some painful lessons, we’ve learned to be more suspicious about supply chains, we’ve learned to shrink down our time of implementation of measures.” Ferrier said.

    [Mr Ferrier, due to their kidney failures, at least 6 Chinese babies will never be able to "move on!" And another ½ million or so babies could move only with great difficulty.  MSRB Moderators.]

    Related News Links:

    Related Links:

    This post has 570 words, 2 images, 6 links.

    Posted in Andrew Ferrier, China, Chinese Govt, corporate manslaughter, New Zealand dairy | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

    China’s military is rapidly expanding

    Posted by msrb on January 28, 2009

    Whatever the Moderators concerns about the political corruption in China, the rapid military expansion in the so-called “Chinese People’s Liberation Army” appears to be directly related to ‘wealth’ inequality and, consequently, China’s limited access to natural resources.

    The following stats may explain why:

    population-gdp2
    China’s population is nearly 4 times larger than the US, yet its GDP is about ¼ of the United States, creating a disparity of about 16 to1 against China.

    The following article appeared in the Mainlyichi Daily News on January 28, 2009 [See link below]

    Why does China continue to undergo such rapid military expansion?

    http://mdn.mainichi.jp/perspectives/news/20090127p2a00m0na001000c.html

    China has issued a white paper entitled “China’s National Defense in 2008,” tracing shifts in its defense budget since the nation first implemented its open door policy in 1978. The dramatic increase in defense spending over the past 30 years is striking.

    The first decade saw an average 3.5 percent rise in the defense budget. In the second decade the figure rose to an average increase of 14.5 percent, and the last decade, 15.9 percent. In recent years, the figure has exceeded Japan’s overall spending on national defense — in 2008, China’s military budget was 417.7 billion yuan (approximately 5.849 trillion yen). [US$1 = 90 yen - see date.]

    According to Western military experts, however, China’s military spending is actually said to be two to three times the figure, once other military-related expenses designated for categories such as space exploration and foreign aid are taken into account.

    Why does China continue to undergo such rapid military expansion? The white paper says that, “China will never seek hegemony or engage in military expansion now or in the future, no matter how developed it becomes.” But this does not amount to a rational explanation and does nothing to reassure neighboring countries.

    At one time, China offered an increase in military personnel costs as a result of improved labor conditions as its justification for soaring military expenses. It is more realistic to assume, however, that China’s defense budget increase of recent years is due to qualitative changes made under the country’s shifting military strategy.

    The white paper touches upon the military’s pelagic and space capabilities, and as if to confirm the country’s focus, the government has acknowledged its consideration of constructing aircraft carriers. China, furthermore, has succeeded in several manned spacecraft missions, has developed the missile technology necessary to shoot down satellites in orbit, and has continued launching its own positioning satellites crucial to guiding these missiles. China’s aspirations are transparent.

    The country’s goal is no longer the preservation of its land, territorial waters, and airspace, but the safeguarding of national interests, now spread across the globe. A debate has emerged within the military about replacing the protection of “territorial boundaries” with that of “boundaries of national interests.” If military expansion is the purpose of this shift, how does it differ from the pursuit of hegemony? The white paper, alas, does not shed light on this question.

    Currently the world’s third biggest economy, China obtains the oil and natural gas necessary to support its economic growth via massive pipelines running from Central Asia, Myanmar, and Russia. It has participated in oil field development in Africa and the Middle East, its tank vessels loaded with oil forming a queue in the Indian Ocean, and is hoping to explore undersea resources in the South China Sea and the East China Sea.

    The economic interests of the country have expanded on a worldwide scale. The Chinese Navy’s deployment of cutting-edge missile destroyers to the waters off the coast of Somalia was not a mere short-term measure for dealing with pirates, but a way to establish the foundations to develop sea lane defense capabilities to Africa’s coast.

    How will China’s military buildup be affected by economic growth that has slowed drastically this year? Had this been the China of yesterday, it would have focused its budget on building the economy. Putting the brakes on military expansion once it has gained momentum is no easy task, however, and, whether there will be a shift in the relationship between the government and the military remains to be seen.

    Copyright 2009 THE MAINICHI NEWSPAPERS. All rights reserved.

    Related Links:

    Posted in access to resources, China's military, China's National Defense, economic interests, military buildup | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

    What happens when you kill Chinese babies?

    Posted by msrb on January 24, 2009

    Q. What happens when you knowingly sell poisoned food products and kill at least six Chinese babies [the actual toll is a state secret] and sicken about ½ million other infants?

    A. It all depends on who you are!

    If you are a prominnet member of ‘National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference,’ like Tian Wenhua, 66, the former President and General Manager of Sanlu, you get a prison sentence!


    Sanlu Group‘s official logo. Image may be subject to copyright despite Sanlu bankruptcy!

    If you are not politically well connected, and haven’t paid the right amount of kickbacks to the corrupt officials, like the two men who supplied melamine to adulterate the milk, you would get a  death sentence.


    Sanlu show trial:
    Sanlu Group executives Tian Wenhua, Wang Yuliang, Hang Zhiqi and Wu Jusheng stand trial on 31 December 2008. (Xinhua/Ding Lixin. Image may be subject to copyright.

    As for other executive/employees:

    • The three other former top Sanlu executives on trial together with
      Tian under the same charge got sentences varying from five to 15 years.
    • Wang Yuliang and Hang Zhiqi, both top executive of
      Sanlu, were respectively sentenced to 15 years and 8 years in
      prison.
    • Wu Jusheng, former manager responsible for Sanlu’s  raw milk department, received a 5-year sentence.

    [Note: A total of two death sentences, three life sentences and six sentences ranging from 5 to 15 years were handed to the defendants, while 40 others still await trial.]

    Q. What about Fonterra, which owned 43% of the joint venture company?

    A. Fonterra directors literally got away with murder!

    But how could that be? Surely China is no longer a  colony.  Even Hong Kong …

    Fonterra’s new Logo. Readers will excuse the “Dairy for life [sentence]” pun.  Image may be subject to copyright.

    This is how it works. It always has. If the others who were involved in killing Chinese babies come from a country where the corrupt Chinese officials have a personal interest/stake, then those foreign nationals and their agent are excused.

    As for the response by the baby-killer Fonterra directors: They are “still studying the verdict.”

    Related News Links:

    Related Links:

    363 words – 3 images – 3 links

    Posted in China, Corrupt Chinese Communist Party, corruption in China, show trial, Tian Wenhua | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

    Punishing the Palestinians

    Posted by msrb on January 17, 2009

    In the Public Interest
    by Ralph Nader
    January 16, 2009

    In the long sixty-year tortured history of the Palestinian expulsion from their lands, Congress has maintained that it is always the Palestinians, the Palestinian Authority, and now Hamas who are to blame for all hostilities and their consequences with the Israeli government.

    The latest illustration of this Washington puppet show, backed by the most modern weapons and billions of taxpayer dollars annually sent to Israel, was the grotesquely one-sided Resolutions whisked through the Senate and the House of Representatives.

    While a massive bombing and invasion of Gaza was underway, the resolution blaming Hamas for all the civilian casualties and devastation—99% of it inflicted on Palestinians—zoomed through the Senate by voice vote and through the House by a vote of 390 to 5 with 22 legislators voting present.

    There is more dissent against this destruction of Gaza among the Israeli people, the Knesset, the Israeli media, and Jewish-Americans than among the dittoheads on Capitol Hill.

    The reasons for such near-unanimous support for Israeli actions—no matter how often they are condemned by peace advocates such as Bishop Desmond Tutu, United Nations resolutions, the World Court and leading human rights groups inside and outside of Israel, are numerous. The pro-Israeli government lobby, and the right-wing Christian evangelicals, lubricated by campaign money of many Political Action Committees (PACs) certainly are key.

    There is also more than a little bigotry in Congress against Arabs and Muslims, reinforced by the mass media yahoos who set new records for biased reporting each time this conflict erupts.

    The bias is clear. It is always the Palestinians’ fault. Right-wingers who would never view the U.S. government as perfect see the Israeli government as never doing anything wrong. Liberals who do not hesitate to criticize the U.S. military view all Israeli military attacks, invasions and civilian devastation as heroic manifestations of Israeli defense.

    The inversion of history and the scope of amnesia know no limits. What about the fact that the Israeli government drove Palestinians from their lands in 1947-48 with tens of thousands pushed into the Gaza strip. No problem to Congress.

    Then the fact that the Israeli government cruelly occupied, in violation of Israeli government the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 and only removed its soldiers and colonists from Gaza (1.5 million people in a tiny area twice the size of the District of Columbia) in 2005. To Congress, the Palestinians deserved it.

    Then when Hamas was freely elected to run Gaza, the Israeli authorities cut off the tax revenues on imports that belonged to the Gaza government. This threw the Gazans into a fiscal crisis—they were unable to pay their civil servants and police.

    In 2006, the Israelis added to their unrelieved control of air, water and land around the open-air prison by establishing a blockade. The natives became restless. Under international law, a blockade is an act of war. Primitive rockets, called by reporters “wildly inaccurate” were fired into Israel. During this same period, Israeli soldiers and artillery and missiles would go into Gaza at will and take far more lives and cause far more injuries than those incurred by those rockets. Civilians—especially children, the infirm and elderly—died or suffered week after week for lack of medicines, medical equipment, food, electricity, fuel and water which were embargoed by the Israelis.

    Then the Israeli bombing followed by the invasion during the past three weeks with what prominent Israeli writer Gideon Levy called “a brutal and violent operation…far beyond what was needed for protecting the people in its south.” Mr. Levy observed what the president of the United Nations General Assembly, Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann called a war against “a helpless and defenseless imprisoned population.”

    The horror of being trapped from fleeing the torrent of the most modern weapons of war from the land, air and seas is reflected in this passage from Amira Hass, writing in the leading Israeli newspaper Haaretz:

    “The earth shaking under your feet, clouds of choking smoke, explosions like a fireworks display, bombs bursting into all-consuming flames that cannot be extinguished with water, mushroom clouds of pinkish-red smoke, suffocating gas, harsh burns on the skin, extraordinary maimed live and dead bodies.”

    Ms. Hass is pointing to the use of new anti-civilian weapons used on the Gazan people. So far there have been over 1100 fatalities, many thousands of injuries and the destruction of homes, schools, mosques, hospitals, pharmacies, granaries, farmer’s fields and many critical public facilities. The clearly marked UN headquarters and UN school were smashed, along with stored medicines and food supplies.

    Why? The Congressional response: “Hamas terrorists” everywhere. Sure, defending their Palestinian families is called terrorism. The truth is there is no Hamas army, airforce and navy up against the fourth most powerful military in the world. As one Israeli gunner on an armored personnel carrier frankly said to The New York Times: “They are villagers with guns. They don’t even aim when they shoot.”

    Injured Gazans are dying in damaged hospital corridors, bleeding to death because rescuers are not permitted to reach them or are endangered themselves. Thousands of units of blood donated by Jordanians are stopped by the Israeli blockade. Israel has kept the international press out of the Gazan killing fields.
    What is going on in Gaza is what Bill Moyers called it earlier this month – “state terrorism.”  Already about 400 children are known to have died.  More will be added who are under the rubble.

    Since 2002, more than 50 Arab and Muslim nations have had a standing offer, repeated often, that if Israel obeys several UN resolutions and withdraws to the 1967 borders leaving 22 percent of the original Palestine for an independent Palestinian state, they will open full diplomatic relations and there will be peace.  Israel has declined to accept this offer.

    None of these and many other aspects of this conflict matter to the Congress.  Its members do not want to hear even from the Israeli peace movement, composed of retired generals, security chiefs, mayors, former government ministers, and members of the Knesset.  In 60 years these savvy peace advocates have not been able to give one hour of testimony before a Congressional Committee.

    Maybe members of Congress may wish to weigh the words of the founder of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, years ago when he said:

    “There has been anti-Semitism the Nazis Hitler Auschwitz but was that their [the Palestinian’s] fault?  They only see one thing: We have come here and stolen their country.”

    Doesn’t that observation invite some compassion for the Palestinian people and their right to be free of Israeli occupation, land and water grabs and blockades in the 22 percent left of Palestine?

    END.

    Posted in Israeli government, state terrorism, U.S. military, UN HQ, UN resolutions | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

     
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