"The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse." -- James Madison - (1751-1836)

"We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force. " :
Ayn Rand in "The Nature of Government"

"Throughout history there have been tyrants and murderers. And for a while they seem invincible, but always they fall. Always."-Mahatma Gandhi

Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all -- the apathy of human beings: Helen Keller

The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic. He is , more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime ; he is a good citizen driven to despair.--H.L Mencken

"When even one American-who has done nothing wrong-is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth-then all Americans are in peril" Harry S. Truman

"The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist."- Winston Churchill, Nov. 21, 1943

"When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you - when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed: Ayn Rand - (1905-1982) Author - Source: Atlas Shrugged, Francisco's "Money Speech"

"Loss of freedom seldom happens overnight. Oppression doesn't stand on the doorstep with toothbrush moustache and swastika armband -- it creeps up insidiously...step by step, and all of a sudden the unfortunate citizen realizes that it is gone." ~ Baron Lane

U.S. Constitution - R.I.P.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Top Ten Signs Your Country May Be Going Fascist

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Creeping Fascism: History's Lessons

“There are few things as odd as the calm, superior indifference with which I and those like me watched the beginnings of the Nazi revolution in Germany, as if from a box at the theater. ... Perhaps the only comparably odd thing is the way that now, years later....”

These are the words of Sebastian Haffner (pen name for Raimund Pretzel), who as a young lawyer in Berlin during the 1930s experienced the Nazi takeover and wrote a first-hand account. His children found the manuscript when he died in 1999 and published it the following year as “Geschichte eines Deutschen” (The Story of a German).

The book became an immediate bestseller and has been translated into 20 languages—in English as “Defying Hitler.”

I recently learned from his daughter Sarah, an artist in Berlin, that today is the 100th anniversary of Haffner’s birth. She had seen an earlier article in which I quoted her father and e-mailed to ask me to “write some more about the book and the comparison to Bush’s America. ... This is almost unbelievable.”

More about Haffner below. Let’s set the stage first by recapping some of what has been going on that may have resonance for readers familiar with the Nazi ascendancy, noting how “odd” it is that the frontal attack on our Constitutional rights is met with such “calm, superior indifference.”

The parallels are stunning....but still, we follow like mindless sheep down the path to tyranny, much as the Germans did under Hitler, stepping over the victims of of our criminal government along the way.

You’re Damn Right I’m Angry. Why Isn’t Everybody?

I’m furious because the Bush administration and its ideological allies have shredded the Constitution at every turn, destroying the institutional gift of those they pretend to revere (but only when it’s convenient to upholding their own depredations). This president, who has gotten virtually everything he has ever wanted throughout his life and his presidency, once privately exclaimed in frustration at not getting something he wanted when he wanted it, “It’s just a goddam piece of paper!”, and that is precisely how he has treated America’s founding document. His signing statements - probably over a thousand in count now - completely obliterate the checks and balances principle of the Constitution, its most central idea. His admitted spying on Americans without warrant smashes the Fourth Amendment. His fiasco in Guantánamo and beyond mocks due process and habeas corpus guarantees. His invasion of Iraq against the international law codified in the UN Charter, to which the United States is a signatory, violates the Constitutional requirement to hold such treaties as the highest law of the land. Altogether, Americans have never seen a presidency with such imperial ambitions, and anyone who cares about the Constitution should be furious. A year from now, it is quite possible that Hillary Clinton will be president of the United States (ugh). Would our conservative friends silently countenance, let alone viciously support, such a monarchy in the White House if it belonged to Queen Hillary rather than King George? I think not.

We could go on and on from here. This administration and the movement it fronts at least gets high marks for consistency. Everything they touch turns to stone. There’s Pat Tillman and Terri Schiavo. There’s the politicization of the US Attorneys and the corruption of DeLay and Abramoff. There’s North Korea, Pakistan and the Middle East. There’s the shame of torture and rendition. There’s the wrecking of the American military and of the country’s reputation abroad. There’s Afghanistan and the failure to capture bin Laden. And much, much more. But above all, and driving all, there’s the kleptocracy - the doing of everything in every way to facilitate the looting of the national fisc.

What an unbelievable record of deceit, destruction, hypocrisy, incompetence, treason and greed. What a tragic tale of debt, lost wars, stolen elections, environmental crises, Constitution shredding, national shame and diminished security.

All done by the very most pious amongst us, of course. Merry Christmas, eh? I guess those are our presents, all carefully wrapped in spin, contempt, and preemptive attacks on any of us impertinent enough to say “No thanks, Santa”.

So, yeah, you’re goddam right I’m angry about what’s been done to my country, and what’s been done by my country in my name.

How could anyone who claims to care about America not be?

How indeed.

Friday, December 28, 2007

This one has been around a while...but never fails to amaze me...we are so screwed.

Navy JAG Resigns Over Torture Issue

"It was with sadness that I signed my name this grey morning to a letter resigning my commission in the U.S. Navy," wrote Gig Harbor, Wash., resident and attorney-at-law Andrew Williams in a letter to The Peninsula Gateway last week. "There was a time when I served with pride ... Sadly, no more."

Outrage over CIA scandal

elow is an excerpt from the letter Andrew Williams submitted to The Peninsula Gateway. For the entire letter, see Letters to the Editor 16A.

"Thank you General Hartmann for finally admitting the United States is now part of a long tradition of torturers going back to the Inquisition. In the middle ages the Inquisition called waterboarding "toca" and used it with great success. In colonial times, it was used by the Dutch East India Company during the Amboyna Massacre of 1623.

"Waterboarding was used by the Nazi Gestapo and the feared Japanese Kempeitai. In World War II, our grandfathers had the wisdom to convict Japanese Officer Yukio Asano of waterboarding and other torture practices in 1947 giving him 15 years hard labor. Waterboarding was practiced by the Khmer Rouge at the infamous Tuol Sleng prison. Most recently, the United States Army court martialed a soldier for the practice in 1968 during the Vietnam conflict."

Awesome! We need MANY more citizens with the integrity and courage to stand up for what is CLEARLY right, both from a human perspective and legally. This man deserves a medal for speaking out, as so many others go along to get along, ignoring their own values to serve a lawless and violent government.

New Orleans: Locked Outside the Gates

In a remarkable symbol of the injustices of post-Katrina reconstruction, hundreds of people were locked out of a public New Orleans City Council meeting addressing demolition of 4,500 public housing apartments. Some were tasered, many pepper sprayed and a dozen arrested.

Outside the chambers, iron gates were chained and padlocked even before the scheduled start.

The scene looked like one of those countries on TV that is undergoing a people's revolution - and the similarities were only beginning.
(See video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMBWAXfGsc4)

Dozens of uniformed police secured the gates and other entrances. Only developers and those with special permission from council members were allowed in - the rest were kept locked outside the gates. Despite dozens of open seats in the council chambers, pleas to be allowed in were ignored.

Chants of "Housing is a human right!" and "Let us in!" thundered through the concrete breezeway.

Public housing residents came and spoke out despite an intense campaign of intimidation. Residents were warned by phone that if they publicly opposed the demolitions they would lose all housing assistance. Residents opposed to the demolition had simple demands. If the authorities insisted on spending hundreds of millions to tear down hundreds of structurally sound buildings containing 4,500 public housing subsidized apartments, there should be a guarantee that every resident could return to a similarly subsidized apartment. Alternatively, the government should use the hundreds of millions to repair the apartments so people could come home. Neither alternative was acceptable to HUD. A plan of residents to partner with the AFL-CIO Housing Trust to save their homes was also ignored.

Outside, SWAT team members and police in riot gear and on horses began to arrive as rain started falling. Those locked out included public housing residents, a professor from Southern University, graduate students, the Episcopal bishop of Louisiana, ministers, lawyers, law students, homeless people who lived in tents across the street from City Hall, affordable housing allies from across the country and dozens of others.

Inside the chambers, the Rev. Torin Sanders and others insisted that the locked out persons be allowed to come and stand inside along the walls - a common practice for over 30 years. No one could recall any city council locking people out of a public meeting. The request to allow people to stand was denied. The council then demanded silence from those inside. Those who continued to demand that the others be let in were pointed out by police, physically taken down and arrested. Ironically, some young men were tasered right in front of the speaker's podium.

This was a meeting the council had repeatedly tried to avoid. It was only held after residents (100 percent African-American and nearly all mothers and grandmothers) got an emergency court order stopping demolitions until the council acted. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced long ago it was going to demolish 4,500 public housing apartments despite the Katrina crisis of affordable housing, no matter what anyone said. HUD had no plans to ask the council or anyone else for approval. The judge said otherwise, so the meeting was scheduled.

Opponents cited the affordable housing crisis in New Orleans. Homeless people camped across from City Hall and for blocks under the interstate. The number of homeless people has doubled since Katrina. Thousands of residents in FEMA trailers across the Gulf Coast were being evicted.

The brutality that happened in this case was incredible to see, one woman with a cane shoved around by the thugs in uniform repeatedly, then pepper sprayed. She left by ambulance, as did several others. We pay these thugs....and I mean both the police involved and the city government people who ordered these attacks on tax-paying citizens....and we ALLOW our employees to abuse us this way? And, for simply trying to attend a PUBLIC meeting, at a TAX-PAYER OWNED building? What has become of this country? It is sickening.....astounding and sickening.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

We Are All Prisoners Now, By Paul Craig Roberts


Americans are also imprisoned by fear, a false fear created by the hoax of “terrorism.” It has turned out that headline terrorist events since 9/11 have been orchestrated by the US government. For example, the alleged terrorist plot to blow up Chicago’s Sears Tower was the brainchild of a FBI agent who searched out a few disaffected people to give lip service to the plot devised by the FBI agent. He arrested his victims, whose trial ended in acquittal and mistrial.

Many Europeans regard 9/11 itself as an orchestrated event. Former cabinet members of the British, Canadian and German governments and the Chief of Staff of the Russian Army have publicly expressed their doubts about the official 9/11 story. Recently, a former president of Italy, Francesco Cossiga, said in an interview with the newspaper, Corriere della Sera (November 30, 2007), that “democratic elements in America and Europe, with the Italian center-left in the forefront, now know that the 9/11 attack was planned and executed by the American CIA and Mossad in order to blame the Arab countries, and to persuade the Western powers to undertake military action both in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

....Cossiga’s statement has not been reported by a US newspaper or TV channel. Raising doubts among Americans about the government is not a strong point of the corporate media. Americans live in a world of propaganda designed to secure their acquiescence to war crimes, torture, searches and police state measures, military aggression, hegemony and oppression, while portraying Americans (and Israelis) as the salt of the earth who are threatened by Muslims who hate their “freedom and democracy.”

Americans cling to this “truth” while the Bush regime and a complicit Congress destroy the Bill of Rights and engineer the theft of elections.

Freedom and democracy in America have been reduced to no-fly lists, spying without warrants, arrests without warrants or evidence, permanent detention despite the constitutional protection of habeas corpus, torture despite the prohibition against self-incrimination--the list goes on and on.

In today’s fearful America, a US Senator, whose elder brothers were (1) a military hero killed in action, (2) a President of the United States assassinated in office, (3) an Attorney General of the United States and likely president except he was assassinated like his brother, can find himself on the no-fly list. Present and former high government officials, with top secret security clearances, cannot fly with a tube of toothpaste or a bottle of water despite the absence of any evidence that extreme measures imposed by “airport security” makes flying safer.

Elderly American citizens with walkers and young mothers with children are meticulously searched because US Homeland Security cannot tell the difference between an American citizen and a terrorist.

All Americans should note the ominous implications of the inability of Homeland Security to distinguish an American citizen from a terrorist.

An article well worth reading in its entirety...just hit the link in the title...The condition this country is in is clear to so many, but apparently not enough to stop the noose from slowly tightening, as the oblivious majority slowly hang us all. We have merely been given the rope to do it ourselves...which we have cheerfully done. What a shame it is to see...sometimes I just barely resist the impulse to shake people, or scream at them...as they fret about nonsense like who is winning American Idol or how their kids will be sniveling if they don't get the latest $500 video game system...I can't stand it...

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The torture tape fingering Bush as a war criminal

The Washington Post reported that “current and former officials” said the torture lasted weeks and even, according to some, months, and that the techniques included hypothermia, long periods of standing, sleep deprivation and multiple sessions of waterboarding. All these “alternative procedures”, as Bush described them, are illegal under US law and the Geneva conventions. They are, in fact, war crimes. And they were once all treated by the US as war crimes when they were perpetrated by the Nazis. Waterboarding has been found to be a form of torture in various American legal cases.

And that is where the story becomes interesting. The Bush administration denies any illegality at all, insists it does not “torture” but refuses to say whether it believes waterboarding is torture or not. But hundreds of hours of videotape were recorded of Zubaydah’s incarceration and torture. That evidence would settle the dispute over the extremely serious question of whether the president of the United States authorised war crimes.

And now we have found out that all the tapes have been destroyed...........

This is not, of course, the first big scandal to have emerged over the administration’s interrogation policies. You can fill a book with the sometimes sickening details that have come out of Guantanamo Bay, Bagram in Afghanistan, Camp Cropper in Iraq and, of course, Abu Ghraib.

The administration has admitted that several prisoners have been killed in interrogation, and dozens more have died in the secret network of interrogation sites the US has set up across the world. The policy of rendition has sent countless suspects into torture cells in Uzbekistan, Egypt, Jordan and elsewhere to feed the West’s intelligence on jihadist terrorism.

But this case is more ominous for the administration because it presents a core example of what seems to be a cover-up, obstruction of justice and a direct connection between torture and the president, the vice-president and their closest aides.

Because several courts had pending cases in which testimony from Zubaydah’s interrogation was salient, the destruction of such evidence triggers a legal process that is hard for the executive branch to stymie or stall - and its first attempt was flatly rebuffed by a judge last week.

Its key argument is a weakly technical one: that the interrogation took place outside US territory - and therefore the courts do not have jurisdiction over it. It’s the same rationale for imprisoning hundreds of suspects at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba - a legal no man’s land. But Congress can get involved - especially if it believes that what we have here is a cover-up.

What are the odds that a legal effective interrogation of a key Al-Qaeda operative would have led many highly respected professionals in the US intelligence community to risk their careers by leaking top-secret details to the press?

What are the odds that the CIA would have sought to destroy tapes that could prove it had legally prevented serious and dangerous attacks against innocent civilians? What are the odds that a president who had never authorised waterboarding would be unable to say whether such waterboarding was torture?

What are the odds that, under congressional grilling, the new attorney-general would also refuse to say whether he believed waterboarding was illegal, if there was any doubt that the president had authorised it? The odds are beyond minimal.

Any reasonable person examining all the evidence we have - without any bias - would conclude that the overwhelming likelihood is that the president of the United States authorised illegal torture of a prisoner and that the evidence of the crime was subsequently illegally destroyed.

It is clear to me that most Americans simply don't care what the government does to these people, choosing to believe the propaganda that paints these people as somehow less human than us, less civilized, allowing them to achieve some sort of twisted justification in their minds for allowing this to continue. However, if basic humanity isn't enough to spur an outcry against this cruelty, perhaps self interest will be. The government has already begun to treat its "free citizens" savagely, and the brutality that is perpetrated in our names in the secret CIA prisons, Gitmo, Iraq, and Afghanistan has begun to travel home, and when it does, they will have perfected their techniques. Our society bears more resemblance to that of Saddam Hussein's Iraq
...the man that, of course, our CIA sponsored into power...than the free nation it claims to be.... It won't be long until Americans are waterboarded...in the name of "National Security"...and "for our own good", of course.

Monday, December 24, 2007

FBI Prepares Vast Database Of Biometrics

The FBI is embarking on a $1 billion effort to build the world's largest computer database of peoples' physical characteristics, a project that would give the government unprecedented abilities to identify individuals in the United States and abroad.

Digital images of faces, fingerprints and palm patterns are already flowing into FBI systems in a climate-controlled, secure basement here. Next month, the FBI intends to award a 10-year contract that would significantly expand the amount and kinds of biometric information it receives. And in the coming years, law enforcement authorities around the world will be able to rely on iris patterns, face-shape data, scars and perhaps even the unique ways people walk and talk, to solve crimes and identify criminals and terrorists. The FBI will also retain, upon request by employers, the fingerprints of employees who have undergone criminal background checks so the employers can be notified if employees have brushes with the law.

"Bigger. Faster. Better. That's the bottom line," said Thomas E. Bush III, assistant director of the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division, which operates the database from its headquarters in the Appalachian foothills.

The increasing use of biometrics for identification is raising questions about the ability of Americans to avoid unwanted scrutiny. It is drawing criticism from those who worry that people's bodies will become de facto national identification cards.

Self-employed, self sufficient, and ready to leave quickly ..the only way to live in the Big Brother Police State. How long will it be until the Sheeple open their eyes to what is happening here?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Surprise! Mukasey Covers Up Torture

Last month, Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer of New York and Dianne Feinstein of California joined Republicans to ensure Michael Mukasey's confirmation as Attorney General, even though he refused to acknowledge that the simulated drowning of waterboarding was torture.

Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada helped the Bush administration, too, by rushing a floor vote on Mukasey before rank-and-file Democrats could get organized and push for a filibuster.

To show thanks, Mukasey now is slapping the Democratic-controlled Congress in the face by demanding it back off any oversight investigations into how and why the CIA in late 2005 destroyed videotapes of the waterboarding of al-Qaeda suspects.

Mukasey is pressing the House Intelligence Committee to shelve its investigation into the videotape destruction and is refusing to turn over information to other congressional committees. He claims that to do so would interfere with his own investigation of what appears to be criminality that his Justice Department may have sanctioned.

And, to add insult to the stonewalling, Mukasey justified his refusal to provide information to Congress by citing his promise during his confirmation hearing that he would "ensure that politics plays no role in cases brought by the Department of Justice."

In other words, Mukasey is arguing that congressional oversight of possible criminal wrongdoing by President George W. Bush and other senior administration officials represents "politics" - and that the only legitimate investigation of Bush's Executive Branch is one carried out by Bush's Executive Branch.

Congress is just going to let it slide--Again. The American Sheeple are going to just let it slide--Again. I wonder, will we pretend not to notice when it is our friends and neighbors on the waterboard, rather than a foreigner who has been labeled an "Enemy Combatent"?...Pitiful...we should all be deeply ashamed at what this country has become...some of us are.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

An Alleged "Two Party System"

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

We must be clear about the following bitter realities:

1. "Every 10 minutes an Iraqi civilian is injured or killed in a war that George Bush says will not end until he leaves office. Every 10 hours an American soldier is killed in a war that George Bush says will not end until he leaves office. Every 10 days $2 billion is removed from the U.S. Treasury and placed in the accounts of Halliburton, Blackwater and all other war profiteers that are getting rich off the misery of Iraqis and Americans by a government that will continue to remove those amounts or more every ten days as long as George Bush is President of the United States" (from Sally B. Davidson at Veterans for Peace, NY).

While Bush and Cheney remain in office, the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan will continue. Bush's recent announcement of his (probably illegal) "agreement" with the increasingly unpopular, discredited, U.S.-puppet Maliki regime to continue Iraq deployment of U.S. troops indefinitely shows Cheney/Bush's absolute and total contempt for our Constitution and the wishes of 3/4 of U.S. citizens. As even Alan Greenspan admitted in his recently-published book: the Iraq War was largely about oil. The U.S. power elite, Democratic as well as Republican, wants those permanent U.S. bases in Iraq to protect access to, and control of, "our" oil, especially as China, India, and Europe become stronger economic and trade threats to U.S. global hegemony.

2. Why do BOTH major parties agree that the U.S. "needs" access to, and control of, this oil? Because, implicitly, most Americans believe that we "need" this oil to live the way we have become accustomed to living in 2007. The one, true religion of all Americans is Consumerism, and we all practice it daily via TV & radio, the Internet, and in our mega-cathedral of consumption, the shopping mall. We need to be honest with ourselves and face up to how much our consumptive (pun intended) U.S. lifestyle depends on maintaining our oil and other fossil fuels addictions, and how complacent, if not comfortable, we are about expecting that our political and military leaders will continue to secure these foreign fossil fuels to support our lavish "American Dream" lifestyle. Then we need to ask ourselves how much we are truly willing to cut back, and how we can make this a part of our activism.

We are a shallow and materialistic society, and there is no doubt that the blood shed in Bushco's wars is about money...and power of course...as Americans sell out freedom for more things that we don't even need. We have become a society of spoiled and demanding children, too busy whining for more things to care about the loss of our rights and our humanity. I know people who literally go into a panic when the cable goes out...as if it were as serious as losing one's heat on a blustery winter night...You won't see these same people upset at the reports of more innocent children blown to bits in Iraq to make sure the SUV can have a full tank, or the reports of thousands more children here drugged up for the depression and other emotional problems that stem from being raised in the empty wasteland that our culture has become. Of course many of them never see those reports, consumed with celebrity gossip and the latest sale at the mall. We have the President and Congress we elected....and they are a remarkably accurate reflection of what our society has become. Despite all the hard times and suffering that it will bring, I won't necessarily be sorry to see the house of cards that our economy has become collapse. Unfortunately, an event that extreme may be the only way our society will ever get its priorities back in order....I hear many economists saying our recent economic woes are a huge market correction, and necessary to get the country back on sound footing....well, I think that what is much more necessary for a solid and sound America is a massive values correction....and perhaps that will be the good that will come from a financial catastrophe.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Central Bank; Silent partner in the bloodletting

The meltdown in the real estate market continues to send tremors through Wall Street. Trillions of dollars in complex bonds (CDOs and MBSs) are being downgraded as foreclosures increase and housing inventory soars. Banks, insurance companies, pension funds, bond insurers, hedge funds; are all among the living-dead. Many are already insolvent and many more will follow. It's just a matter of time. The foundation of the financial markets is crumbling. The scheme to transform the liabilities of loan-applicants with bad credit into a reliable source of fat profits has failed. Alchemy still doesn't work. Never has.

The subprime crisis and (subsequent) credit crunch originated at the Federal Reserve. The Fed triggered a speculative frenzy by lowering interest rates below the rate of inflation for over 31 months between 2002 and 2004. Trillions of dollars were fed into the banking system creating the biggest equity bubble in history. Now that the housing bubble is crashing to earth--and trillions of dollars in shaky bonds are headed for the landfill--the Fed is trying to distance itself from any responsibility. But we know the truth. The plan was authored and executed by the Fed and that's where the blame lies. Everyone else is just a “bit player”.

What matters most, is that the system is collapsing. It is being slowly crushed by the accumulated weight of its own corruption. When the system crashes, the flag will be lowered over Guantanamo Bay, the present oligarchy of racketeers will be removed from office, and the troops will come home from Iraq. Sometimes positive results derive from tragedy.

There could be anarchy or tyranny or martial law or detention camps. Who really knows? It's understandable that the public is worried about “what could happen” in the near future. But, consider this: can we continue moving in the same direction that we are now? Can we keep pouring the blood of innocent people all over the planet while claiming to own the world and all of its resources? Can we keep ignoring the species-threatening challenges of global warming, peak oil and nuclear proliferation?


Well, then, is there any chance that the media, the congress, the courts, or the president will come to their senses; chart a different course, restore civil liberties, stop the human rights abuse, and withdrawal the troops?


So tell me, dear reader, what hope is there for change apart from a full-system economic collapse?

Political systems do not have to be perfect to be acceptable. I'm not naive. But---for many of us---there are basic moral criteria that have to be observed to win our support. The Bush administration has elevated killing, torture and kidnapping to a level of state policy. This is unacceptable by any standard, and yet, all the levers of power are controlled by people who support the present doctrine.

Isn't that so?

The United States is not a beacon of hope or a light unto the world. It is a menace and a growing threat to survival on earth. America's political and military belligerence is just an extension of a domineering economic system which serves the sole interests of the rich and powerful. The Central Bank plays a critical role in this paradigm. Nation's don't go to war without the blessing of their main financial institutions. The “big money” guys are the silent partners in the plunder and bloodletting.

The men who own and oversee the US financial system; created the cancer which is presently devouring it from the inside. Now the tumor has metastasized and spread through the entire organism. The situation is irreversible. The economy is on its last legs and headed for a fall. US political leaders will have to accept a world in which America is just one of many states of equal power and significance. Military funding will slow to a dribble. The killing will stop. Finally.

Well, we are surely in for some changes in the world, and very soon. I wonder what will become of this country after the economy goes down in flames. Will we reevaluate our priorities? Will we demand accountability from the government and our citizens who are supposed to keep it honest? Will we demand our rights as free citizens and accept the personal responsibilities that come with freedom? Or, will we demand another nanny state to take care of us so we don't have to bother with being adults. Will we learn from our mistakes or be crushed by them?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Forecast: U.S. dollar could plunge 90 pct

A financial crisis will likely send the U.S. dollar into a free fall of as much as 90 percent and gold soaring to $2,000 an ounce, a trends researcher said.

"We are going to see economic times the likes of which no living person has seen," Trends Research Institute Director Gerald Celente said, forecasting a "Panic of 2008."

"The bigger they are, the harder they'll fall," he said in an interview with New York's Hudson Valley Business Journal.

Celente -- who forecast the subprime mortgage financial crisis and the dollar's decline a year ago and gold's current rise in May -- told the newspaper the subprime mortgage meltdown was just the first "small, high-risk segment of the market" to collapse.

Derivative dealers, hedge funds, buyout firms and other market players will also unravel, he said.

Massive corporate losses, such as those recently posted by Citigroup Inc. and General Motors Corp., will also be fairly common "for some time to come," he said.

He said he would not "be surprised if giants tumble to their deaths," Celente said.

The Panic of 2008 will lead to a lower U.S. standard of living, he said.

A result will be a drop in holiday spending a year from now, followed by a permanent end of the "retail holiday frenzy" that has driven the U.S. economy since the 1940s, he said.

The signs are clear folks, we are in big trouble....despite the government propaganda that is telling Americans that all will be well if we only just keep "spending our way to prosperity".....I am doing my best to prepare my little family to survive the crash....I hope more people will do the same. I fear the future is rather bleak for the many in America who have never known truly hard times, and for those who have been sucked into the frenzy of consumerism and debt, spending more than they earn to buy bigger and better and even more unnecessary things...for many of these people will have no idea how to prepare for the worst.... those of us who have learned to make do with less will be the ones to make it through.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Two US security guards arrested by Iraqi forces after woman is shot

By Kim Gamel in Baghdad

Published: 20 November 2007

Iraqi soldiers detained two US security guards along with other foreigners in a private convoy after the guards opened fire in Baghdad, wounding one woman.

US military and embassy officials had no immediate information about the report by the Iraqi military, which follows a series of recent shootings in which foreign security guards have allegedly killed Iraqis.

Brig-General Qassim al-Moussawi said the convoy was driving on the wrong side of the road in the central Baghdad neighborhood of Karradah when the shooting occurred. Those arrested included two US guards, along with 21 people from Sri Lanka, nine from Nepal and 10 Iraqis, the Baghdad military spokesman said.

"We have given orders to our forces to immediately intervene in case they see any violations by security companies. The members of this security company wounded an innocent woman and they tried to escape the scene, but Iraq forces arrested them," Brig-Gen Al-Moussawi said.

I wonder how far the Iraqis will go in trying to hold these mercenaries accountable for their actions.....the fact that they actually arrested them means they have already gone further towards that doing so than Americans have bothered to. That our government has done nothing does not surprise me, as the State is bound to be just as criminal and corrupt as the citizens will tolerate. What both amazes and disappoints me is that Americans...citizens of a country born of a rebellion against tyranny and government corruption....can and do tolerate such contemptible and illegal actions perpetrated in our names.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Oil leaders' private debate televised by mistake

On Friday night, during what the participants thought were private talks, Venezuela's oil minister Venezuela Rafael Ramirez and his Iranian counterpart Gholamhossein Nozari, argued that pricing - and selling - oil using the crippled dollar was damaging the cartel.

They said Opec should formally express its concern about the weakness of the dollar when the cartel makes its official declaration at the close of the summit today. But the Saudis, the world's largest oil producers and de facto head of Opec, vetoed the proposal. Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, warned that even the mere mention to journalists of the fact that leaders were discussing the weak dollar would cause the US currency to plummet.

Unfortunately his words and those of everyone at the meeting were being broadcast via a live television feed to a group of astonished reporters. 'I couldn't believe it,' said one who was there. 'When I realised they didn't know they were being broadcast live, I frantically started taking notes.'

Opec only realised that the leaders' row was being broadcast to the world when the Reuters news agency put out a report of the argument.

The weakness of the dollar is one reason why oil prices are so high, as cartel members seek to compensate for their lower earnings. This means a further drop in the dollar is likely to be accompanied by a rise in oil prices.

The American economy will soon be in even more serious trouble. We are bankrupt, our economy kept afloat with smoke and mirrors, and the world is beginning to take notice....but still, Americans are oblivious.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pentagon Cover Up: 15,000 or more US casualties in Iraq War

The Pentagon has been concealing the true number of American casualties in the Iraq War. The real number exceeds 15,000 and CBS News can prove it.

CBS’s Investigative Unit wanted to do a report on the number of suicides in the military and “submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Defense”. After 4 months they received a document which showed--that between 1995 and 2007--there were 2,200 suicides among “active duty” soldiers.


The Pentagon was covering up the real magnitude of the “suicide epidemic”. Following an exhaustive investigation of veterans’ suicide data collected from 45 states; CBS discovered that in 2005 alone “THERE WERE AT LEAST 6,256 AMONG THOSE WHO SERVED IN THE ARMED FORCES. THAT’S 120 EACH AND EVERY WEEK IN JUST ONE YEAR.”

That is not a typo. Active and retired military personnel, mostly young veterans between the ages of 20 to 24, are returning from combat and killing themselves in record numbers. We can assume that "multiple-tours of duty" in a war-zone have precipitated a mental health crisis of which the public is entirely unaware and which the Pentagon is in total denial.

If we add the 6,256 suicide victims from 2005 to the “official” 3,865 reported combat casualties; we get a sum of 10,121. Even a low-ball estimate of similar 2004 and 2006 suicide figures, would mean that the total number of US casualties from the Iraq war now exceed 15,000.

That’s right; 15,000 dead US servicemen and women in a war that--as yet--has no legal or moral justification.

CBS interviewed Dr. Ira Katz, the head of mental health at the Department of Veteran Affairs. Katz attempted to minimize the surge in veteran suicides saying, “There is no epidemic of suicide in the VA, but suicide is a major problem.”

What a waste...for an unnecessary war...so many families torn apart and lives lost, both American and Iraqi. None of the people who have been exposed to the horror and bloodshed of this war will ever be the same, not the soldiers nor the Iraqi children who are growing up amid the bullets, bombings, and blood in the streets. And what exactly has been accomplished with all this horror? The Iraqis don't seem very "liberated" as millions are driven from their homes by the violence, and more are shot or run down in the streets by mercenaries, or kidnapped and murdered, bodies
thrown in the street like garbage, thanks to the lawlessness and sectarian violence our invasion has created. A few have profited from the suffering of millions.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Grand Delusion

With an endless, futile and costly Iraq war, a stinking economy and most Americans seeing the country on the wrong track, the greatest national group delusion is that electing Democrats in 2008 is what the country needs.

Keith Olbermann was praised when he called the Bush presidency a criminal conspiracy. That missed the larger truth. The whole two-party political system is a criminal conspiracy hiding behind illusion induced delusion.

Virtually everything that Bush correctly gets condemnation for could have been prevented or negated by Democrats, if they had had courage, conviction and commitment to maintaining the rule of law and obedience to the Constitution. Bush grabbed power from the feeble and corrupt hands of Democrats. Democrats have failed the vast majority of Americans. So why would sensible people think that giving Democrats more power is a good idea? They certainly have done little to merit respect for their recent congressional actions, or inaction when it comes to impeachment of Bush and Cheney.

One of the core reasons the two-party stranglehold on our political system persists is that whenever one party uses its power to an extreme degree it sets the conditions for the other party – its partner in the conspiracy – to take over. Then the other takes its turn in wielding excessive power. Most Americans – at least those that vote – seem incapable of understanding that the Democrats and Republicans are two teams in the same league, serving the same cabal running the corporatist plutocracy. By keeping people focused on rooting for one team or the other, the behind-the-scenes rulers ensure their invisibility and power........

It takes more courage to boycott voting than to vote for lesser evil Democrats and in the end this is the only way for people to feel proudly patriotic. This is the only way to not contribute to the ongoing bipartisan criminal conspiracy running the federal government.

We have broken government because the spirit of Americans that gave us our revolution and nation’s birth has been broken, in large measure by distractive and self-indulgent consumerism. It is better to recognize that those who vote suffer from delusion than to criticize those who do not vote as apathetic. Non-delusional nonvoters recognize the futility of voting.

Democrats will not restore our democracy. That is the painful truth that most people will not readily accept. Such is the power of group delusion. Voting produces never-ending cycles of voter dissatisfaction with those elected, both Democrats and Republicans. It is time to break this cycle of voter despair. Voters that bitch and moan about Congress and the White House have nobody to blame but themselves, no matter which party they voted for.

He is right..electing the same bunch of criminals over and over again will change nothing...there is no true opposition party...the lack of action by the democratic congress is proof that they are complicit in the destruction of our constitutional rights. They could shut Bushco down if they chose to do so, were they not just as corrupt.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Intel Official: Say Goodbye to Privacy

A top intelligence official says it is time people in the United States changed their definition of privacy.

Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguards people's private communications and financial information.

Kerr's comments come as Congress is taking a second look at the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act.

Lawmakers hastily changed the 1978 law last summer to allow the government to eavesdrop inside the United States without court permission, so long as one end of the conversation was reasonably believed to be located outside the U.S.

The original law required a court order for any surveillance conducted on U.S. soil, to protect Americans' privacy. The White House argued that the law was obstructing intelligence gathering.

The most contentious issue in the new legislation is whether to shield telecommunications companies from civil lawsuits for allegedly giving the government access to people's private e-mails and phone calls without a court order between 2001 and 2007.

Yep...I trust Big Brother to "protect" us don't you? How much more are Americans going to take? Do the sheeple even notice how very quickly this nation is turning into a police state?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

What happened to the Senate's "60-vote requirement"?

Numerous Senate Democrats delivered dramatic speeches from the floor as to why Mukasey's confirmation would be so devastating to the country. The Washington Post said the "vote came after more than four hours of impassioned floor debate."

"Torture should not be what America stands for . . . I do not vote to allow torture," said Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy. Russ Feingold said: "we need an attorney general who will tell the president that he cannot ignore the laws passed by Congress. And on that fundamental qualification for this office Judge Mukasey falls short." Feingold added: "If Judge Mukasey won't say the simple truth -- that this barbaric practice is torture -- how can we count on him to stand up to the White House on other issues?"

Wow -- it sounds as though there was really a lot at stake in this vote. So why would 44 Democratic Senators make a flamboyant showing of opposing confirmation without actually doing what they could to prevent it? Is it that a filibuster was not possible because a large number of these Democratic Senators were willing to symbolically oppose confirmation so they could say they did -- by casting meaningless votes in opposition knowing that confirmation was guaranteed -- but were unwilling to demonstrate the sincerity of their claimed beliefs by acting on them?

The Post said the vote "reflected an effort by Democrats to register their displeasure with Bush administration policies on torture and the boundaries of presidential power." Apparently, they wanted to oh-so-meaningfully "register their displeasure" but not actually stop confirmation.

[The most amazing quote was from chief Mukasey supporter Chuck Schumer, who, before voting for him, said that Mukasey is "wrong on torture -- dead wrong." Marvel at that phrase: "wrong on torture." Six years ago, there wasn't even any such thing as being "wrong on torture," because "torture" wasn't something we debated. It would have been incoherent to have heard: "Well, he's dead wrong on torture, but . . . "

Now, "torture" is not only something we openly debate, but it's something we do. And the fact that someone is on the wrong side of the "torture debate" doesn't prevent them from becoming the Attorney General of the United States. It's just one issue, like any other issue -- the capital gains tax, employer mandates for health care, the water bill -- and just because someone is "dead wrong" on one little issue (torture) hardly disqualifies them from High Beltway Office.]

This bit sums up the "opposition party" charade quite nicely..."
Democratic Senators were willing to symbolically oppose confirmation so they could say they did"

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

7 Countries Considering Abandoning the US Dollar (and what it means)

It’s no secret that the dollar is on a downward spiral. Its value is dropping, and the Fed isn’t doing a whole lot to change that. As a result, a number of countries are considering a shift away from the dollar to preserve their assets...........

What does this all mean?

Countries are growing weary of losing money on the falling dollar. Many of them want to protect their financial interests, and a number of them want to end the US oversight that comes with using the dollar. Although it’s not clear how many of these countries will actually follow through on an abandonment of the dollar, it is clear that its status as a world currency is in trouble.

Obviously, an abandonment of the dollar is bad news for the currency. Simply put, as demand lessens, its value drops. Additionally, the revenue generated from the use of the dollar will be sorely missed if it’s lost. The dollar’s status as a cheaply-produced US export is a vital part of our economy. Losing this status could rock the financial lives of both Americans and the worldwide economy.

Our government is quickly spending us into third world nation status. Worse than bankrupt, we are billions in debt to foreign nations to keep our economy afloat. All of this "creative financing" will fall apart at some point,
rather like this whole sub-prime lending fiasco....the signs are quite clear that it is beginning already.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Olbermann: On waterboarding and torture

It is a fact startling in its cynical simplicity and it requires cynical and simple words to be properly expressed: The presidency of George W. Bush has now devolved into a criminal conspiracy to cover the ass of George W. Bush.

All the petulancy, all the childish threats, all the blank-stare stupidity; all the invocations of World War III, all the sophistic questions about which terrorist attacks we wanted him not to stop, all the phony secrets; all the claims of executive privilege, all the stumbling tap-dancing of his nominees, all the verbal flatulence of his apologists...

All of it is now, after one revelation last week, transparently clear for what it is: the pathetic and desperate manipulation of the government, the refocusing of our entire nation, toward keeping this mock president and this unstable vice president and this departed wildly self-overrating attorney general, and the others, from potential prosecution for having approved or ordered the illegal torture of prisoners being held in the name of this country.

"Waterboarding is torture," Daniel Levin was to write. Daniel Levin was no theorist and no protester. He was no troublemaking politician. He was no table-pounding commentator. Daniel Levin was an astonishingly patriotic American and a brave man.

Brave not just with words or with stances, even in a dark time when that kind of bravery can usually be scared or bought off.

Charged, as you heard in the story from ABC News last Friday, with assessing the relative legality of the various nightmares in the Pandora's box that is the Orwell-worthy euphemism "Enhanced Interrogation," Mr. Levin decided that the simplest, and the most honest, way to evaluate them ... was to have them enacted upon himself.

Daniel Levin took himself to a military base and let himself be waterboarded.

Mr. Bush, ever done anything that personally courageous?

Perhaps when you've gone to Walter Reed and teared up over the maimed servicemen? And then gone back to the White House and determined that there would be more maimed servicemen?

Has it been that kind of personal courage, Mr. Bush, when you've spoken of American victims and the triumph of freedom and the sacrifice of your own popularity for the sake of our safety? And then permitted others to fire or discredit or destroy anybody who disagreed with you, whether they were your own generals, or Max Cleland, or Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame, or Daniel Levin?

Daniel Levin should have a statue in his honor in Washington right now.

Instead, he was forced out as acting assistant attorney general nearly three years ago because he had the guts to do what George Bush couldn't do in a million years: actually put himself at risk for the sake of his country, for the sake of what is right.

And they waterboarded him. And he wrote that even though he knew those doing it meant him no harm, and he knew they would rescue him at the instant of the slightest distress, and he knew he would not die — still, with all that reassurance, he could not stop the terror screaming from inside of him, could not quell the horror, could not convince that which is at the core of each of us, the entity who exists behind all the embellishments we strap to ourselves, like purpose and name and family and love, he could not convince his being that he wasn't drowning.

Waterboarding, he said, is torture. Legally, it is torture! Practically, it is torture! Ethically, it is torture! And he wrote it down.

Wrote it down somewhere, where it could be contrasted with the words of this country's 43rd president: "The United States of America ... does not torture."

Made you into a liar, Mr. Bush.

Made you into, if anybody had the guts to pursue it, a criminal, Mr. Bush.

It is amazing to me that so few members of our "free press" are speaking out against the criminal behavior of our government as this man does. I give him a lot of credit...hit the link in the title for the video and complete transcript..

Saturday, November 3, 2007

'Invade and Bomb With Hillary and Rahm'

They're ginning up another war, and the target is Iran. While the propaganda campaign started shortly after we invaded Iraq, with Rummy and the President ratcheting up the warlike rhetoric early on, the accusations and threats against Iran have lately taken on a new urgency. Whereas in the early Rumsfeld era we mainly restricted ourselves to warning Tehran against meddling in our newly-acquired province, these days we are blaming the mullahs for our failure to stabilize the country: Iraq won't stay conquered, dammit, and it must be the Iranians' fault – that's the narrative the War Party is pushing to rationalize the ongoing disaster, while simultaneously making the case for opening up a new front.

And an increasing number of Americans are falling for it. A new Zogby poll says 52 percent of the American people favor attacking Iran to prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons. A recent Pew survey similarly indicates that war hysteria is on the rise, with 82 percent convinced that a nuclear-armed Iran would pass off nukes to terrorists, and two-thirds believing Iran is likely to attack the US. The yearlong hate-fest directed at Tehran is clearly paying off.

I can't say I'm surprised. After all, as of this past summer, 41 percent of the American people still believe Saddam Hussein was responsible for planning, financing, and/or carrying out the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Gee, I wonder how they got that impression….

The neocons are giving us the same song-and-dance that preceded our last glorious Middle Eastern "victory" – as administration spokesmen conjure the Halloweenish specter of mad-mullahs-with-nukes, the "evidence" is being doctored, massaged, and otherwise manipulated to fit the War Party's stipulations. Get ready for another massive "intelligence failure" and cries of "But everybody thought they had ‘weapons of mass destruction'!"

Yet, one has to ask: how many times are we going to fall for this guff?

Well, with nearly half of Americans still convinced by the last propaganda campaign, which has been thoroughly discredited....my guess is that as unbelievable as it seems, they'll be all for attacking Iran

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

US Accused of Torture

Ian Munro Herald Correspondent in New York
October 31, 2007

THE United States's willingness to resort to harsh interrogation techniques in its so-called war on terror undermined human rights and the international ban on torture, a United Nations spokesman says.

Manfred Nowak, UN Special Rapporteur on torture, said the US's standing and importance meant it was a model to other countries which queried why they were subject to scrutiny when the US resorted to measures witnessed at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prison.

Mr Nowak was speaking after releasing his finding that the use of torture was routine and widespread in Sri Lanka ,despite laws against it.

"I am very concerned about the undermining of the absolute prohibition of torture by interrogation methods themselves in Abu Grahib, in Guantanamo Bay and others, but also by rendition and the whole CIA secret places of detention. All that is really undermining the international rule of law in general and human rights but also the prohibition of torture," said Mr Nowak.

"(Other countries) say why are you criticising us if the US, the most democratic country with the oldest history of human rights, if they are torturing you should first go there. It has a negative effect because the US is a very powerful and important country and many other countries take the US as a model."

Shameful...and we have the nerve to spout all sorts of rhetoric about human rights abuses in other countries...and Bush can manage it with a straight face, while he has who knows how many prisoners locked in secret CIA prisons around the world first kidnapped, then tortured.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Zogby: Majority Favor Strikes on Iran

A majority of likely voters - 52 percent - would support a U.S. military strike to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon, and 53 percent believe it is likely that the U.S. will be involved in a military strike against Iran before the next presidential election, a new Zogby America telephone poll shows.

The survey results come at a time of increasing U.S. scrutiny of Iran. According to reports from the Associated Press, earlier this month Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice accused Iran of "lying" about the aim of its nuclear program and Vice President Dick Cheney has raised the prospect of "serious consequences" if the U.S. were to discover Iran was attempting to devolop a nuclear weapon. Last week, the Bush administration also announced new sanctions against Iran.

Democrats (63 percent) are most likely to believe a U.S. military strike against Iran could take place in the relatively near future, but independents (51 percent) and Republicans (44 percent) are less likely to agree. Republicans, however, are much more likely to be supportive of a strike (71 percent), than Democrats (41 percent) or independents (44 percent). Younger likely voters are more likely than those who are older to say a strike is likely to happen before the election and women (58 percent) are more likely than men (48 percent) to say the same – but there is little difference in support for a U.S. strike against Iran among these groups.

Very discouraging...the lies and propaganda seem to be working on the sheeple yet again...is it collective insanity? What is wrong with these people?

The Militarization of Our Police