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Posts Tagged ‘Federal Reserve’

Expelling the American Myths

Posted by msrb on July 15, 2009

submitted by a reader

Whatever our differences with Cindy Sheehan, we find her latest speeches more to the point and worth a listen

“Myth America: 10 Greatest Myths of the Robber Class and the Case for Revolution”

Myth #1. America: Greatest Nation in the Universe!
Myth # 2. Elections Matter
Myth # 3. There’s a huge Difference Between Dems and Repubs
Myth # 4. It is Noble to Die in Robber Class Wars
Myth # 5. The Federal Reserve Cares About You
Myth # 6. It’s a Privilege to pay Income Taxes to the Robber Class
Myth # 7. Housing, Health Care and Education are Privileges, too
Myth # 8. America has a Free Press
Myth # 9. The Environment, Who Needs it?
Myth #10. Nineteen Muslims with box cutters were responsible for 9/11

This page is mirrored at

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Ms. Sheehan was speaking at an event that was co-sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Thomas Paine Chapter of Veterans for Peace and the Social Concerns Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Lehigh Valley. Click here to purchase “Myth America”

Cindy Sheehan takes on the Robber Class

By Bob Fitrakis

July 11, 2009 “The Free Press he United States has produced several mythic historical figures – Paul Bunyan, John Henry and the like – but our actual prophetic peace activists are actually far more interesting. People like Eugene Victor Debs, Emma Goldman, and in our present day, Cindy Sheehan.

Myth America: 10 Greatest Myths of the Robber Class and the Case for Revolution places Sheehan firmly in the pantheon of progressive heroes. Myth America is an online book by Sheehan geared towards destroying the military industrial and security industrial complex that killed her son Casey in the corrupt war in Iraq.

Sheehan is calling for re-localization and the uncoupling of the “robbed class” from the war profiteers and new high-tech robber barons that are flourishing under globalization. The beauty of Sheehan’s work, directly echoing the speeches and writings of Debs, is its sheer bluntness.

I interviewed her for, and she began by pointing out that “the last month or so in Iraq does not show that the war is winding down, and that part of Obama’s plan to withdraw from the cities in Iraq simply involved redefining the border of the city.” She termed the so-called withdrawal “painfully slow.”

“The peace movement has been co-opted by the Democratic Party,” Sheehan said, while on her way to a national gathering of peace activists in Pittsburgh on July 10. She ran a Congressional campaign in the Democratic primary last year against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and raised the issue of Pelosi being aware of the practices of torture and waterboarding.

Sheehan favors the appointment of an independent special prosecutor to look into the issues of torture and war crimes in Iraq. She is well aware that if you begin digging up facts concerning the practices of the Bush administration following 911, you’re going to “pull up some Democratic skeletons as well.”

Sheehan argues that it’s necessary to dig up all the bodies and bones or there’ll be “no healing.”

In one sense, Sheehan is both old-fashioned and cutting edge – she uses the appropriate term in discussing U.S. foreign policy – “imperial.” When asked she believes current U.S. policy is imperialist, she replied “Of course.”

But her focus is more on re-invigorating the peace movement at the local level, which she says is doing a “bad job” under the Obama administration. Make no mistake, Sheehan sees the current imperial policy of the U.S. reflected in a domestic “class war” as well. The book poses a key question: “What can the vast majority of Americans do as the “robbed class?” She recently wrote: “The so-called Ship of State that ‘turns slowly’ cannot turn at all if the rudder keeps pointing in the direction of economic piracy for the Robbers and economic pillage for We the Robbed.” This populism from below sentiment has usually been a harbinger for large-scale social economic movements, from the original Populists to the Socialists, Wobblies, progressives and New Leftists.

Her new book analyzes the relationship between the U.S. government and the six or so transnational media corporations that control 80% of the world’s for-profit content. Sheehan’s strategy is to avoid the Robber Class corporations as much as possible, whether its through publishing e-books and articles on the internet, or re-allocating one’s capital in a different direction.

Sheehan’s pitch is to free ourselves from our co-dependency with the Robber Class. “…Only buy used, only use cash or bank debit cards, or only buy from local merchants,” she recently wrote. They can only steal from us if we enable them.” And when the Robber Class steals from us they generally get away with it. Sheehan argues that Bernie Madoff was punished so severely because he stole from the rich.

Sheehan’s book is a plea for the robbed class to take back their independence and the wealth that they produce, not only for their own good, but for the good of all the people on the planet.

Bob Fitrakis is the Editor of and the author of The Idea of Democratic Socialism in America and the Decline of the Socialist Party.

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Posted in 9/11, Dick Cheney, Nancy Pelosi, Veterans for Peace, waterboarding | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

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: Right from the horse’s mouth!

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

Cost of Your Upkeep: Your Freedom, Your Rights and Your Money

Posted by msrb on January 14, 2009

Neo-Slavery is Alive and Well

Handling your ‘new’ freedoms and money the old-fashion way!

Thought for the Day: Taking away your freedoms and your money to provide security and employment

The so-called Department of Homeland Security [sic] and the Federal Reserve System [sic] operate within an identical discourse structure:

Homeland Security says to guarantee your physical safety, they must take away all of your constitutional rights.

Michael Baruch Chertoff, United States Secretary of Homeland Security.

Federal Reserve says to guarantee your job they must take away all of your [and your children’s] money to bailout the banks.

Ben [NOT Benjamin] Shalom Bernanke, chairman of the Board of Governors, The Federal Reserve Board, USA.

However, neither of the two organizations tells you that if ordinary people operated and supervised cooperative banks on local, state and national levels [remember, its all of your money] not only more jobs and a sustainable economy could be created, but gangsters like Maddoff et al would go out of business. And both the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Reserve would become obsolete.

Bankster Bernie [before he went to jail]: Hey, I’m one of them. Your money is safe with me. If you can’t trust us, who can you trust?

Bernard Lawrence Madoff (Bankster Bernie), former chairman of the NASDAQ stock exchange. Photo: AP. Image may be subject to copyright.

He founded the Wall Street firm Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC in 1960 and was its chairman until December 11, 2008, when he was charged with perpetrating what may be the largest investor fraud ever committed. He is free under house arrest until his indictment with a deadline of February 11, 2009. [Wikipedia]

Could it be that the parasitic triumvirate grow on the same tree? Would that surprise you?

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Posted in bank bailout, Bernard Madoff, cooperative banks, creating jobs, employment data | Tagged: , , , , | 13 Comments »

Senate Majority: Out of Touch with Reality

Posted by msrb on October 2, 2008

More from pundits on bailout of Wall Street gamblers

Ralph Nader: “As predatory lending mushroomed out of control, the regulators — key among them, the Federal Reserve and the Office of Comptroller of Currency — sat on their hands. The Federal Reserve took exactly three formal actions against subprime lenders from 2002 to 2007. Bloomberg news service found that the Office of Comptroller of the Currency, which has authority over almost 1,800 banks, took three consumer-protection enforcement actions from 2004 to 2006. [Full Article by Nader: In the Public Interest: Behind The Deregulatory Curtain.]

A demonstrator stands outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York, September 29, 2008. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton. Image may be subject to copyright.

ROBIN HAHNEL, a professor emeritus of economics at American University, currently visiting at Portland State University, is the author of “Panic Rules!: Everything You Need to Know About the Global Economy,” “The ABCs of Political Economy: A Modern Approach,” and “Economic Justice and Democracy: From Competition to Cooperation.”

He said today: “An unregulated financial industry is an accident waiting to happen. Eighty years ago that lesson was learned and New Deal legislation ushered in an unprecedented era of financial stability. But over the past 30 years the U.S. financial industry, Republican free market ideologues, and ‘New Democrats’ have conspired to eliminate necessary safeguards. The result is a financial system now dominated by three megabanks where those engaged in unregulated, risky investment banking once again have full access to the savings of ordinary people in commercial banks that are experiencing a category four financial meltdown.

“A week ago Secretary of the Treasury Paulson came to Congress with a terrible three-page proposal designed to bail out Wall Street but not Main Street with no oversight or judicial review. A week of negotiations with congressional leadership added 99 pages of window-dressing to the Paulson plan, devoid of any enforceable protections for taxpayers or homeowners, that was voted down by the House of Representatives, leaving us with no effective government response to a financial crisis that worsens by the hour.”

TIMOTHY CANOVA, a professor of international economic law at the Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California, is the author of an articles related to the current crisis titled: The Legacy of the Clinton Bubble.

He said today: “I am unconvinced that this $700 billion bailout for Wall Street will have any lasting positive effect. If the goal is to help the credit markets, the Federal Reserve already has the authority to purchase commercial paper and support the money markets. The Bush administration is once again using fear to scare people into supporting a dangerous course. There are almost 10,000 foreclosures a day now, and between one and two million adjustable rate mortgages are due to adjust upward in the next year. Without help for the bottom of the pyramid, Wall Street will be back next year asking for another trillion dollars.
This was Japan’s quagmire in the 1990s. The decline in housing prices must be stopped in its tracks and the sooner the better.

“Obama is saying many of the right things — that we should be helping Main Street as well as Wall Street, and that we need to re-regulate Wall Street. But like many in Congress, he’s also saying that these things can wait until next year, that such measures should not be in the bailout package. However, now is the time when Wall Street is desperate for taxpayer help for Congress to demand real help for Main Street.”

Canova addressed what he thinks is missing from the bailout plan: “First, there should be a moratorium on foreclosures and the Bankruptcy Code should be amended to allow people to modify their mortgage loans and stay in their homes. Congress should also extend the ban on short-selling in financial stocks. This could all be accomplished immediately. Any exceptions to a moratorium on foreclosures or to a ban on short-selling can wait some weeks or even months. Likewise, Congress should pass at least $50 billion in revenue sharing for state and local governments which have been hit hard by the decline in tax revenues stemming from falling property values.”

On the need to scrutinize the Federal Reserve, Canova said: “It was the Fed that helped gut the Glass-Steagall Act that had kept banks separate from securities speculation, and it was the Fed that lobbied against margin requirements and reserve requirements, and against the regulation of derivatives and hedge funds. All of this was the inevitable result of making the Federal Reserve ‘autonomous,’ a euphemism for the capture of the Fed by the same financial interests it should have been regulating. It’s like the fox running the henhouse.

“The Fed clearly violates both the Constitution’s Appointments Clause and its private non-delegation doctrine. But the federal courts have dismissed these challenges on very narrow procedural grounds, namely that plaintiffs lack standing because the courts say they cannot show they were directly injured by the Fed. It’s ludicrous, and Congress has the power to change the Fed’s structure and make it more accountable to a wider range of interests and perspectives.” (Source)

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Posted in Congress, deregulation, Glass-Steagall Act, main street, Wall Street | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

If you thought your assets were safe, think again!

Posted by msrb on June 12, 2008

One Day Soon, A Tiny Wall Street Black Hole Will Suck In the Rest of Your Assets!

Original Entry: Black Holes Suck!

The Goal of the Cabal is to Strip YOU of Everything You’ve Got. Then Your Hearts and Minds Will Follow!

Posted in Bush, cabal, China, collapse, Earth, ecosystems, Energy, environment, George W. Bush, government, lifestyle, money, politics, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »