"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.

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

The Militarization of Our Police