"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.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Layoffs coming, and in large numbers, survey finds

Corporate executives are poised to start making substantial cutbacks in their staffing, according to a new forecast by employment consulting and legal firm Career Protection.

In fact, the firm is predicting a 37% increase in layoffs this year over last, based on a survey of more than 1,300 corporate executives and senior level officials that was conducted earlier this month.

More great news about our economy...yet the government refuses to openly admit how bad it is...ignore the propaganda and get ready folks...no little "stimulus package" is going to straighten out this mess...the politicians just want brownie points for looking like they are doing something.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The FISA Follies, Redux

The Senate (reportedly still under Democratic control) seems determined to help President Bush violate Americans’ civil liberties and undermine the constitutional separation of powers. Majority Leader Harry Reid is supporting White House-backed legislation that would expand the administration’s ability to spy on Americans without court supervision and ensure that the country never learns the full extent of Mr. Bush’s illegal wiretapping program.

The 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA — which Mr. Bush decided to ignore after 9/11 — requires a warrant to intercept telephone calls and e-mail messages between people in the United States and people abroad.

It needed updating to keep pace with technology, and the technical fixes were included in a bill that Congress passed last summer. The problem was that Mr. Bush managed to add measures that sharply undercut the court’s role in monitoring eavesdropping. Fortunately, lawmakers gave them an expiration date of Feb. 1.

The House has passed a reasonable new bill — fixing FISA without further endangering civil liberties. But Mr. Bush wants to weaken FISA as much as he can. And the Senate leadership has been only too happy to oblige.

With the help of Republican senators and the misguided chairman of the Intelligence Committee, Jay Rockefeller, the White House got a bill that, once again, reduces court supervision of wiretapping. It also adds immunity for telecommunications companies that cooperated with the illegal spying.

Mr. Bush says without amnesty, the government won’t get cooperation in the future. We don’t buy it. The real aim is to make sure the full story of the illegal wiretapping never comes out in court.

I guess it is becoming quite clear to many that the Demofacists have no intention of putting a stop to Bushco's assault on our civil liberties...all that power that the Bush bunch has seized for the executive branch is expected to fall into the hands of one of their own after the election....did anyone REALLY think they were going to give up their shot at running the dictatorship by restoring our rights?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The “Brutal World” How did Western Civilization get a monopoly on “moral conscience” when it has no morality?

“The first use of nuclear weapons must remain in the quiver of escalation as the ultimate instrument to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction.” Five Western military leaders.

I read the statement three times trying to figure out the typo. Then it hit me, the West has now out-Owellled Orwell: The West must nuke other countries in order to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction! In Westernspeak, the West nuking other countries does not qualify as the use of weapons of mass destruction. The astounding statement comes from a paper prepared for a Nato summit in April by five top military leaders--an American, a German, a Dutchman, a Frenchman, and a Brit. It can be found here: [ http://www.guardian.co.uk/nato/story/0,,2244782,00.html ]

The paper, prepared by men regarded as distinguished leaders and not as escapees from insane asylums, argues that “the West’s values and way of life are under threat, but the West is struggling to summon the will to defend them.” The leaders find that the UN is in the way of the West’s will, as is the European Union which is obstructing NATO and “NATO’s credibility is at stake in Afghanistan.”

And that’s a serious matter. If NATO loses its credibility in Afghanistan, Western civilization will collapse just like the Soviet Union. The West just doesn’t realize how weak it is. To strengthen itself, it needs to drop more and larger bombs.

The German military leader blames the Merkel government for contributing to the West’s inability to defend its values by standing in the way of a revival of German militarism. How can Germany be “a reliable partner” for America, he asks, if the German government insists on “special rules” limiting the combat use of its forces in Afghanistan?

Ron Asmus, head of the German Marshall Fund and a former US State Department official, welcomed the paper as “a wake-up call.” Asmus means a call to wake-up to the threats from the brutal world, not to the lunacy of Western leaders.

Who, what is threatening the West’s values and way of life? Political fanaticism, religious fundamentalism, and the imminent spread of nuclear weapons, answer the five asylum escapees.

By political fanaticism, do they mean the neoconservatives who believe that the future of humanity depends on the US establishing its hegemony over the world? By religious fundamentalism, do they mean “rapture evangelicals” agitating for armageddon or Christian and Israeli Zionists demanding a nuclear attack on Iran? By spread of nuclear weapons, do they mean Israel’s undeclared and illegal possession of several hundred nuclear weapons?

No. The paranoid military leaders see all the fanaticism, religious and otherwise, and all the threats to humanity as residing outside Western civilization (Israel is inside). The “increasingly brutal world,” of which the leaders warn, is “over there.” Only Muslims are fanatics. All us white guys are rational and sane.

There is nothing brutal about the US/Nato bombing of Serbia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, or the Israeli bombing of Lebanon, or the Israeli ethnic cleansing of the West Bank, or the genocide Israel hopes to commit against Palestinians in Gaza.

All of this, as well as America’s bombing of Somalia, America’s torture dungeons, show trials of “detainees,” and overthrow of elected governments and installation of puppet rulers, is the West’s necessary response to keep the brutal world at bay.

Brutal things happen in the “brutal world” and are entirely the fault of those in the brutal world. None of this would happen if the inhabitants of the brutal world would just do as they are told. How can the civilized world with its monopoly on morality allow people in the brutal world to behave independently? I mean, really! God forbid, they might attack some innocent country.

Pure insanity. And we, the citizens of allegedly enlightened and civilized Western nations, allow ourselves to be governed by the criminally insane. Unbelievable.

Study: False statements preceded war

A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The study concluded that the statements "were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."

The study was posted Tuesday on the Web site of the Center for Public Integrity, which worked with the Fund for Independence in Journalism.

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel did not comment on the merits of the study Tuesday night but reiterated the administration's position that the world community viewed Iraq's leader, Saddam Hussein, as a threat.

"The actions taken in 2003 were based on the collective judgment of intelligence agencies around the world," Stanzel said.

The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both.

"It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al-Qaida," according to Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith of the Fund for Independence in Journalism staff members, writing an overview of the study. "In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003.

Done with a complicit Congress and corporate press. And, most of all, a huge number of complacent sheeple.

Cheney Calls for Permanent Warrantless Wiretapping

Vice President Cheney called on Congress today to permanently extend the Protect America Act as the White House launched a drive to secure the tools it says are needed to fight a continuing terrorist threat beyond the law's Feb. 1 expiration.

In a speech to a sympathetic audience at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington-based think tank, Cheney also said the law must include immunity from lawsuits for telecommunications companies that assisted the U.S. government's electronic surveillance efforts after Sept. 11, 2001.

"There is no sound reason to pass critical legislation like the Protect America Act and slap an expiration date on it," Cheney said. "The challenge to the country has not expired over the last six months. It won't expire any time soon, and we should not write laws that pretend otherwise."

yep..perpetual war and perpetual tyranny....the terrorist threat to our country inhabits the halls of government.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Tom Ridge: Waterboarding Is Torture

The first secretary of the Homeland Security Department says waterboarding is torture.

"There's just no doubt in my mind - under any set of rules - waterboarding is torture," Tom Ridge said Friday in an interview with the Associated Press. Ridge had offered the same opinion earlier in the day to members of the American Bar Association at a homeland security conference.

"One of America's greatest strengths is the soft power of our value system and how we treat prisoners of war, and we don't torture," Ridge said in the interview. Ridge was secretary of the Homeland Security Department between 2003 and 2005. "And I believe, unlike others in the administration, that waterboarding was, is - and will always be - torture. That's a simple statement."

How interesting. Where was this conviction when he was running the national gestapo? Better late than never I guess.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Find the Truth About Bush's Wars Nancy Pelosi, You Must Impeach!

Speaker Pelosi, President Bush could have achieved his goal of "regime change" in Iraq quickly and without the violence of war. Saddam Hussein offered, weeks before his country was invaded, to leave Iraq and go into exile. President Bush withheld this offer from public view-and refused it. Nor did the President need to invade Afghanistan to apprehend Osama bin Laden. On five different occasions, George Bush refused a standing offer from the Taliban to surrender Osama bin Laden-three times before 9/11 and twice thereafter, again without public disclosure.

No, the military engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan are not directed against terrorism. They are territorial in nature. Mr. Bush intended from his first days in office to invade the two countries: as early as late January, 2001, his Administration was developing the decisions and beginning the preparations for both military incursions. 9/11 was in the distant future, so the conflicts cannot be exercises in counter-terrorism, as the Bush Administration frequently and dishonestly insists. They are premeditated wars of unprovoked conquest and occupation.

Madam Speaker, if you know this, and if you continue refusing impeachment, then you are a criminal accomplice in violating the trust of the American people-and in violating both U.S. and international law.

If you do not know this truth about the wars, Madam Speaker, you must learn its details and embrace it, and then you must seek with dispatch and justice to impeach George Bush and Richard Cheney.

You claim you don't have the votes. But to say that is to canvass the jury before the trial begins, before the evidence is presented and scrutinized. When the hideous truth of these wars is finally exposed-as it will be in the impeachment process-you will have the vote of every honest and patriotic member of the House of Representatives, Democrat and Republican alike.

Why isn't the truth already widely known? There are two reasons. The Bush Administration is infamous for its pathological lying and secrecy: they have done everything in their power to distort or suppress the truth. And the mainstream press has become an engine of entertaining, not informing the American people: it is indifferent to the truth.

But the truth is always there, and it can be discovered in foreign news outlets, in the domestic alternate press, in book-length treatises, and in the passion for truth and unconstrained inquiry displayed by people posting to the Internet. These are the sources for the exposition to follow.

Madam Speaker, if you will not impeach, then you must refute this history, if you can.

She will not impeach. She is complicit in the insanity that our government has become. She clearly must know the facts, as do the rest of those elected to "serve the people" in Congress. She has made her deal with the devil to sell OUR freedom for money and power, and she's sticking to it. Very good article...you can read it in its entirety by hitting the link in the title.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Subprime Nation

Meanwhile, Washington drifts mindlessly toward the maelstrom. With the dollar sinking, oil surging to $100 a barrel, the Dow having its worst January in memory, foreclosures mounting, credit card debt going rotten, and consumers and businesses unable or unwilling to borrow, we appear headed into recession.

If so, tax revenue will fall and spending on unemployment will surge. The price of the stimulus packages both parties are preparing will further add to the deficit and further imperil the U.S. credit rating. This all comes in the year that the first of the baby boomers, born in 1946, reach early retirement and eligibility for Social Security.

To stave off recession, the Fed appears anxious to slash interest rates another half-point, if not more. That will further weaken the dollar and raise the costs of the imports to which we have become addicted. While all this is bad news for the Republicans, it is worse news for the republic. As we save nothing, we must borrow both to pay for the imported oil and foreign manufactures upon which we have become dependent.

We are thus in the position of having to borrow from Europe to defend Europe, of having to borrow from China and Japan to defend Chinese and Japanese access to Gulf oil, and of having to borrow from Arab emirs, sultans and monarchs to make Iraq safe for democracy.

We borrow from the nations we defend so that we may continue to defend them. To question this is an unpardonable heresy called "isolationism."

And the chickens of globalism are coming home to roost.

We let Europe to get away with imposing value-added taxes averaging 15 percent on our exports to them, while they rebate that value-added tax on their exports to us. Thus, the euro has almost doubled in value against the dollar in the Bush years, as NATO Europe begins to bail out on Iraq and Afghanistan.

We sat still as Japan protected her markets and dumped high quality goods into ours and China undervalued its currency to suck jobs, technology and factories out of the United States. Now, China and Japan have $2 trillion in cash reserves. The Arabs have an equal amount of petrodollars. Both are headed here to spend their depreciating dollars snapping up U.S. assets – banks, ports, highways, defense contractors.

America, to pay her bills, has begun to sell herself to the world.

Its balance sheet gutted by the subprime mortgage crisis, Citicorp got a $7.5 billion injection from Abu Dhabi and is now fishing for $1 billion from Kuwait and $9 billion from China. Beijing has put $5 billion into Morgan Stanley and bought heavily into Barclays Bank.

Merrill-Lynch, ravaged by subprime mortgage losses, sold part of itself to Singapore for $7.5 billion and is seeking another $3 billion to $4 billion from the Arabs. Swiss-based UBS, taking a near $15 billion write-down in subprime mortgages, has gotten an infusion of $10 billion from Singapore.

Bain Capital is partnering with China's Huawei Technologies in a buyout of 3Com, the U.S. company that provides the technology that protects Pentagon computers from Chinese hackers.

This self-indulgent generation has borrowed itself into unpayable debt. Now the folks from whom we borrowed to buy all that oil and all those cars, electronics and clothes are coming to buy the country we inherited. We are prodigal sons, and the day of reckoning approaches.

Imagine, the world's last remaining superpower crushed by consumerism. Incredible isn't it? We're selling freedom down the river for the latest "must have" thing that NOBODY needs. All that money spent on national defense...for what? No other country will invade us, why should they? Much easier to sell the sheeple gadgets and gizmos until they destroy themselves...Why spend on military means when we will cheerfully allow them to make a profit off our stupidity as we defeat our own country economically.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

McConnell Weighs In on Waterboarding

Washington - The nation's intelligence chief says waterboarding "would be torture" if used against him or if someone under interrogation actually was taking water into his lungs.

But Mike McConnell, in a magazine interview, declined for legal reasons to say whether the technique categorically should be considered torture.

"If it ever is determined to be torture, there will be a huge penalty to be paid for anyone engaging in it," McConnell told The New Yorker, which published a 16,000-word article Sunday on the director of national intelligence.

The comments come as the House Intelligence Committee investigates the CIA's destruction of videotaped interrogations of two al-Qaida suspects. The tapes were made in 2002 and destroyed three years later, over fears they would leak. They depicted the use of "enhanced" interrogation techniques against two of the three men known to have been waterboarded by the CIA.

As McConnell describes it, a prisoner is strapped down with a wash cloth over his face and water is dripped into his nose.

"If I had water draining into my nose, oh God, I just can't imagine how painful! Whether it's torture by anybody else's definition, for me it would be torture," McConnell told the magazine.

A spokesman for McConnell said he does not dispute the quotes attributed to him in the story by Lawrence Wright, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for "The Looming Towers", a book on al-Qaida and the Sept. 11 attacks.

McConnell said the legal test for torture should be "pretty simple."

"Is it excruciatingly painful to the point of forcing someone to say something because of the pain?" he said.

White House spokesman Tony Fratto refused comment Saturday on waterboarding.

The man in charge of the agency charged with torturing prisoners for Buschco is speaking out against it? If he had any integrity he would not work for criminals. If so many were not so willing to "just follow orders" this insanity would stop.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Official Version of Naval Incident Starts to Unravel

Despite the official and media portrayal of the incident in the Strait of Hormuz early Monday morning as a serious threat to U.S. ships from Iranian speedboats that nearly resulted in a "battle at sea", new information over the past three days suggests that the incident did not involve such a threat and that no U.S. commander was on the verge of firing at the Iranian boats.

The new information that appears to contradict the original version of the incident includes the revelation that U.S. officials spliced the audio recording of an alleged Iranian threat onto to a videotape of the incident. That suggests that the threatening message may not have come in immediately after the initial warning to Iranian boats from a U.S. warship, as appears to do on the video.

Also unraveling the story is testimony from a former U.S. naval officer that non-official chatter is common on the channel used to communicate with the Iranian boats and testimony from the commander of the U.S. 5th fleet that the commanding officers of the U.S. warships involved in the incident never felt the need to warn the Iranians of a possible use of force against them.

Further undermining the U.S. version of the incident is a video released by Iran Thursday showing an Iranian naval officer on a small boat hailing one of three ships.

The Iranian commander is heard to say, "Coalition warship 73, this is Iranian navy patrol boat." He then requests the "side numbers" of the U.S. warships. A voice with a U.S. accent replies, "This is coalition warship 73. I am operating in international waters."

The dramatic version of the incident reported by U.S. news media throughout Tuesday and Wednesday suggested that Iranian speedboats, apparently belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard navy, had made moves to attack three U.S. warships entering the Strait and that the U.S. commander had been on the verge of firing at them when they broke off.

Typical of the network coverage was a story by ABC's Jonathan Karl quoting a Pentagon official as saying the Iranian boats "were a heartbeat from being blown up".

Bush administration officials seized on the incident to advance the portrayal of Iran as a threat and to strike a more threatening stance toward Iran. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley declared Wednesday that the incident "almost involved an exchange of fire between our forces and Iranian forces". President George W. Bush declared during his Mideast trip Wednesday that there would be "serious consequences" if Iran attacked U.S. ships and repeated his assertion that Iran is "a threat to world peace".

Central to the depiction of the incident as involving a threat to U.S. warships is a mysterious pair of messages that the sailor who heard them onboard immediately interpreted as saying, "I am coming at you...", and "You will explode after a few minutes." But the voice in the audio clearly said "I am coming to you," and the second message was much less clear.

Furthermore, as the New York Times noted Thursday, the recording carries no ambient noise, such as the sounds of a motor, the sea or wind, which should have been audible if the broadcast had been made from one of the five small Iranian boats.

A veteran U.S. naval officer who had served as a surface warfare officer aboard a U.S. Navy destroyer in the Gulf sent a message to the New York Times on-line column "The Lede" Wednesday pointing out that in the Persian Gulf, the "bridge-to-bridge" radio channel used to communicate between ships "is like a bad CB radio" with many people using it for "hurling racial slurs" and "threats". The former officer wrote that his "first thought" was that the message "might not have even come from one of the Iranian craft".

Pentagon officials admitted to the Times that they could not rule out that the broadcast might have come from another source.

Ah...but the propaganda has already served its purpose...trumpeted in hysterical headlines to the ten second soundbite American Sheeple...who will surely not be tuned in to hear the tall tale debunked....especially if Dancing with the Stars, American Idol or some other such mind numbing drivel is on the idiot box.

The Bush Legacy: Journey to the Dark Side

As a people, we Americans have not faintly come to grips with how centrally the Bush Administration has planted certain practices in our midst--at the very heart of governmental practice, of the news, of everyday life. Many of these practices were not in themselves creations of this administration. For instance, the practice of kidnapping abroad --"rendition"--began at least in the Clinton era, if not earlier. Waterboarding, a medieval torture, was first practiced by American troops in the Philippine insurrection at the dawn of the previous century. (It was then known as "the water cure.")

Torture of various sorts was widely used in CIA interrogation centers in Vietnam in the 1960s. Back in that era, the CIA also ran its own airline, Air America, rather than just leasing planes for its torture capers from various corporate entities through front businesses. Abu Ghraib-style torture and abuse, pioneered by the CIA in the 1950s and 1960s, was taught and used by American military, CIA, and police officials in Latin America from the 1960s into the 1980s. If you doubt any of this, just check out Alfred McCoy's still shocking book, A Question of Torture. Even offshore secret CIA prisons aren't a unique creation of the Bush Administration. According to Tim Weiner in his new history of the Central Intelligence Agency, Legacy of Ashes, in the 1950s the Agency had three of them--in Japan, Germany and the Panama Canal Zone--where they brought double agents of questionable loyalty for "secret experiments" in harsh interrogation, "using techniques on the edge of torture, drug-induced mind control, and brainwashing."

And yet, don't for a second think that nothing has changed. Part of the Bush legacy lies in a new ethos in this country. In my childhood in the 1950s, for example, we knew just who the torturers were. We saw them in the movies. They were the sadistic Japanese in their prison camps, the Gestapo in their prisons, and the Soviet Secret police, the KGB, in their gulags (even if that name hadn't yet entered our world). As the President now says at every opportunity, and as we then knew, Americans did not torture.

Today, and it's a measure of our changing American world, a child turning on the TV serial 24dotermed a "no-brainer," a "dunk in the water" in the torture chamber. There is no deniability left in the movies --and little enough of it in real life. or heading for the nearest hot, new action flick at the local multiplex knows that Americans torture and that torture, once the cultural province of our most evil enemies, is now a practice that is 100 percent all-American and perfectly justifiable (normally by the ticking-bomb scenario). And few even blink. In lockdown America, it computes. The snarl at the border fits well enough with what our Vice President has
termed a "no-brainer," a "dunk in the water" in the torture chamber. There is no deniability left in the movies --and little enough of it in real life.

For those who thought true bi-partisanship was a impossible, our descent into fascism is surely a model of seamless cooperation between the repuglinazis and demofascists capable of convincing the most stubborn skeptic. The rest of the article is well worth your time...just hit the link in the title.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Extinguishing Liberty’s Light and Independent Views, By Paul Craig Roberts

What was the greatest failure of 2007? President Bush’s “surge” in Iraq? The decline in the value of the US dollar? Subprime mortgages? No. The greatest failure of 2007 was the newly sworn in Democratic Congress.

The American people’s attempt in November 2006 to rein in a rogue government, which has committed the US to costly military adventures while running roughshod over the US Constitution, failed. Replacing Republicans with Democrats in the House and Senate has made no difference.

The assault on the US Constitution by the Democratic Party is as determined as the assault by the Republicans. On October 23, 2007, the House passed a bill sponsored by California Democratic congresswoman Jane Harman, chairwoman of a Homeland Security subcommittee, that overturns the constitutionally guaranteed rights to free expression, association, and assembly.

The bill passed the House on a vote of 404-6. In the Senate the bill is sponsored by Maine Republican Susan Collins and apparently faces no meaningful opposition.

Harman’s bill is called the “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act.” [ http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-1955 ] When HR 1955 becomes law, it will create a commission tasked with identifying extremist people, groups, and ideas. The commission will hold hearings around the country, taking testimony and compiling a list of dangerous people and beliefs. The bill will, in short, create massive terrorism in the United States. But the perpetrators of terrorism will not be Muslim terrorists; they will be government agents and fellow citizens.

We are beginning to see who will be the inmates of the detention centers being built in the US by Halliburton under government contract.

Who will be on the “extremist beliefs” list? The answer is: civil libertarians, critics of Israel, 9/11 skeptics, critics of the administration’s wars and foreign policies, critics of the administration’s use of kidnapping, rendition, torture and violation of the Geneva Conventions, and critics of the administration’s spying on Americans. Anyone in the way of a powerful interest group--such as environmentalists opposing politically connected developers--is also a candidate for the list.

......This search for extremist views comes after President Bush and the Justice (sic) Department declare that the President can ignore habeas corpus, ignore the Geneva Conventions, seize people without evidence, hold them indefinitely without presenting charges, torture them until they confess to some made up crime, and take over the government by declaring an emergency. Of course, none of these “patriotic” views are extremist.

The search for extremist views follows also the granting of contracts to Halliburton to build detention centers in the US. No member of Congress or the executive branch ever explained the need for the detention centers or who the detainees would be. Of course, there is nothing extremist about building detention centers in the US for undisclosed inmates.

Clearly the detention centers are not meant to just stand there empty. Thanks to 2007’s greatest failure--the Democratic Congress--there is to be an “Extremist Beliefs Commission” to secure inmates for Bush’s detention centers.

President Bush promises us that the wars he has launched will cause the “untamed fire of freedom” to “reach the darkest corners of our world.” Meanwhile in America the fire of freedom has not only been tamed but also is being extinguished.

The light of liberty has gone out in the United States.

Dark days are ahead for this country, and the public remains oblivious. This is exactly why it matters that history is no longer taught in the schools to any real extent...and surely that is no accident. So many Americans are in for a very rude awakening. How can so many intelligent people be so completely unaware of the world around them? Very frustrating, and incomprehensible to me.

Thinking For Yourself Is Now A Crime!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Bush convenes Plunge Protection Team

Bears beware. The New Deal of 2008 is in the works. The US Treasury is about to shower households with rebate cheques to head off a full-blown slump, and save the Bush presidency. On Friday, Mr Bush convened the so-called Plunge Protection Team for its first known meeting in the Oval Office. The black arts unit - officially the President's Working Group on Financial Markets - was created after the 1987 crash.

It appears to have powers to support the markets in a crisis with a host of instruments, mostly by through buying futures contracts on the stock indexes (DOW, S&P 500, NASDAQ and Russell) and key credit levers. And it has the means to fry "short" traders in the hottest of oils.

The team is led by Treasury chief Hank Paulson, ex-Goldman Sachs, a man with a nose for market psychology, and includes Fed chairman Ben Bernanke and the key exchange regulators.

Judging by a well-briefed report in the Washington Post, a mood of deep alarm has taken hold in the upper echelons of the administration. "What everyone's looking at is what is the fastest way to get money out there," said a Bush aide.

Emergency measures are now clearly on the agenda, apparently consisting of a mix of tax cuts for businesses and bungs for consumers. Fiscal action all too appropriate, regrettably.

We face a version of Keynes's "extreme liquidity preference" in the 1930s - banks are hoarding money, and the main credit arteries of the financial system remain blocked after five months.

"In terms of any stimulus package, we're considering all options," said Mr Bush. This should be interesting to watch. The president is not one for half measures. He has already shown in Iraq and on biofuels that he will pursue policies a l'outrance once he gets the bit between his teeth.

The only question is what the president can manage to push through a Democrat Congress.

The Plunge Protection Team - long kept secret - was last mobilised to calm the markets after 9/11. It then went into hibernation during the long boom.

Mr Paulson reactivated it last year, asking the staff to examine "systemic risk posed by hedge funds and derivatives, and the government's ability to respond to a financial crisis", he said.

It seems he failed to spot the immediate threat from mortgage securities and the implosion of the commercial paper market. But never mind.

Got to build false consumer confidence and keep that credit flowing to prop up the smoke and mirrors economy. Convincing consumers who are already up to their eyeballs in debt to spend more..on credit of course...is the economic "strategy" of the times apparently.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Sibel Edmonds, Turkey and the Bomb A Real 9/11 Cover-Up?

If a new article just published Saturday in the Times of London based upon information provided by US government whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, a 37-year-old former Turkish language translator for the FBI, we have not only solid evidence of prior knowledge of 9-11 by high up US government officials, but evidence of treasonous activity by many of those same officials involving efforts to provide US nuclear secrets to America's enemies, even including Al Qaeda.

The story also casts a chilling light on the so-called "accidental" flight of six nuclear-armed cruise missiles aboard an errant B-52 that flew last Aug. 30 from Minot AFB in North Dakota to Barksdale AFB in Shreveport, Louisiana.

The Sunday Times reports that Edmonds, whose whistleblowing efforts have been studiously ignored by what passes for the news media in American news media, approached the Rupert Murdoch-owned British paper a month ago after reading a report there that an Al-Qaeda leader had been training some of the 9-11 hijackers at a base in Turkey, a US NATO alley, under the noses of the Turkish military.

Edmonds, who was recruited by the FBI after 9-11 because of her Turkish and Farsi language skills, has long been claiming that in her FBI job of covertly monitoring conversations between Turkish, Israeli, Persian and other foreign agents and US contacts, including a backlog of untranslated tapes dating back to 1997, she had heard evidence of "money laundering, drug imports and attempts to acquire nuclear and conventional weapons technology." But the Turkish training for 9-11 rang more alarm bells and made her decide that talking behind closed doors to Congress or the FBI was not enough. She had to go public.

Edmonds claims in the Times that even as she was providing evidence of moles within the US State Department, the Pentagon, and the nuclear weapons establishment, who were providing nuclear secrets for cash, through Turkey, to Pakistan's intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, or ISI, agencies within the Bush administration were actively working to block investigation and to shield those who were committing the acts of treason.

Another one that should be read in its entirety to get a grasp on just how ruthless and corrupt our government has become...link to the original is in the title.

The NIST Report on the World Trade Center Collapse one year later: Still Dead On Arrival

In August 2002 the US Congress authorized the National Institute for Safety and Transportation (NIST) to investigate the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9/11. The official instruction was not limited to conducting a building performance study, as some have claimed.[1] The primary stated objective of the investigation was to determine the cause of the collapse–––no less.[2]

When NIST released its final report in September 2005, critics charged that the agency had ignored evidence of explosions in the towers. The agency responded by asserting its scientific laurels. NIST insisted that its “200 technical experts” had conducted “an extremely thorough investigation.” NIST boasted that its staff “reviewed tens of thousands of documents, interviewed more than 1,000 people, reviewed 7,000 segments of video footage and 7,000 photographs, analyzed 236 pieces of steel from the wreckage, performed laboratory tests and sophisticated computer simulations,” yet, found “no corroborating evidence for a controlled demolition.” NIST also claimed that it had considered “a number of hypotheses for the collapse of the towers.”[3]

No doubt, many Americans were persuaded by this snow-job. Sad to say, few of our countrymen (or women) bother to read official reports, especially when they run to 10,000 pages. The persistent individuals who do, however, know that there are sound reasons to question all of the above; because a close reading of the NIST report shows that the agency assumed from the beginning that the Boeing 767 impacts and subsequent fires were responsible for the collapse of the twin towers. The report gives no consideration whatsoever to alternative hypotheses, including the possible use of explosives, the leading candidate. Far from exploring other scenarios, NIST simply took it for granted that the impacts set in motion a chain of events leading to a catastrophic structural failure. Working backwards, NIST scientists searched for evidence that supported their predetermined conclusion. Everything else was ignored or excluded. If it is not already evident to the reader, this is no way to conduct a scientific investigation. NIST then had the audacity to imply that it arrived at its favored collapse model through an exhaustive process of elimination. Most readers who merely browsed NIST’s 2005 Executive Summary probably were not aware that NIST’s stated conclusion was really an assumption.

Great breakdown of the "official story" presented to America about 9/11 and the so-called investigation. For those who aren't aware of the many discrepancies, writing off those that wonder about it as conspiracy nuts, hit the link in the title and read the article in its entirety...Whatever the role of the government was in this one, they are certainly NOT telling us the truth, their official line on the matter is full of glaring holes.

US manned guns and were 'very close' to firing on Iranian ships

US Navy warships over the weekend came "very close" to shooting at Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels, which American officials say provoked US ships in international waters, according to CNN.

"US officials are confirming to CNN that five Iranian Revolutionary guard boats, in their words, 'harassed and provoked' three US Navy warships sailing in the Strait of Hormuz," reports CNN's Barbara Starr. "One of those Iranian boats came within 200 yards of a Navy warship."

The Iranian boats had also transmitted threats via radio, according to officials.

"According to the sources we have spoken to," Starr continued, "the Iranians made threatening moves and threatening radio transmissions. One of those transmissions was...'I am coming at you, you will explode in a couple of minutes.'"

CNN's website reports that "one of the Iranian ships had been dropping white boxes into the water in front of the US ships."

Following the radio transmission, a Navy ship had prepared to fire on an Iranian vessel.

Time is growing short for Bushco if he is going to have his war before the election...Although that may not matter much, as all the "front-runners" both republinazi and demofacist, have indicated that they are all for attacking Iran as well....so its just the names that will change when the new administration is sworn in.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Israel to brief George Bush on options for Iran strike

ISRAELI security officials are to brief President George W Bush on their latest intelligence about Iran’s nuclear programme - and how it could be destroyed - when he begins a tour of the Middle East in Jerusalem this week.

Ehud Barak, the defence minister, is said to want to convince him that an Israeli military strike against uranium enrichment facilities in Iran would be feasible if diplomatic efforts failed to halt nuclear operations. A range of military options has been prepared.

Last month it was revealed that the US National Intelligence Estimate report, drawing together information from 16 agencies, had concluded that Iran stopped a secret nuclear weapon programme in 2003.

Israeli intelligence is understood to agree that the project was halted around the time of America’s invasion of Iraq, but has “rock solid” information that it has since started up again.

Bush hasn't given up on invading Iran...let cold hard facts stop him...never...lies worked to rally the sheeple behind an invasion of Iraq, right?

Why I Believe Bush Must Go. Nixon Was Bad. These Guys Are Worse.

By George McGovern
Sunday, January 6, 2008; B01

How could a once-admired, great nation fall into such a quagmire of killing, immorality and lawlessness?

It happened in part because the Bush-Cheney team repeatedly deceived Congress, the press and the public into believing that Saddam Hussein had nuclear arms and other horrifying banned weapons that were an "imminent threat" to the United States. The administration also led the public to believe that Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks -- another blatant falsehood. Many times in recent years, I have recalled Jefferson's observation: "Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just."

The basic strategy of the administration has been to encourage a climate of fear, letting it exploit the 2001 al-Qaeda attacks not only to justify the invasion of Iraq but also to excuse such dangerous misbehavior as the illegal tapping of our telephones by government agents. The same fear-mongering has led government spokesmen and cooperative members of the press to imply that we are at war with the entire Arab and Muslim world -- more than a billion people.

Another shocking perversion has been the shipping of prisoners scooped off the streets of Afghanistan to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and other countries without benefit of our time-tested laws of habeas corpus

Although the president was advised by the intelligence agencies last August that Iran had no program to develop nuclear weapons, he continued to lie to the country and the world. This is the same strategy of deception that brought us into war in the Arabian Desert and could lead us into an unjustified invasion of Iran. I can say with some professional knowledge and experience that if Bush invades yet another Muslim oil state, it would mark the end of U.S. influence in the crucial Middle East for decades.

In addition to the shocking breakdown of presidential legal and moral responsibility, there is the scandalous neglect and mishandling of the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe. The veteran CNN commentator Jack Cafferty condenses it to a sentence: "I have never ever seen anything as badly bungled and poorly handled as this situation in New Orleans." Any impeachment proceeding must include a careful and critical look at the collapse of presidential leadership in response to perhaps the worst natural disaster in U.S. history.

Impeachment is unlikely, of course. But we must still urge Congress to act. Impeachment, quite simply, is the procedure written into the Constitution to deal with presidents who violate the Constitution and the laws of the land. It is also a way to signal to the American people and the world that some of us feel strongly enough about the present drift of our country to support the impeachment of the false prophets who have led us astray. This, I believe, is the rightful course for an American patriot.

While I agree that Bush and company have committed many impeachable offenses and should be thrown out, they are just the latest and most blatant of the bunch. Government has been out of control for a long time, Bushco has just pushed the envelope a bit farther. Congress is just as responsible for this lawlessness and insanity, with some too spineless to stand up for what is right, and others complicit in the crimes committed. They all need to be impeached. None are upholding their oath to preserve and protect the Constitution. To blame ONLY the Bush administration for the condition of this country is a very superficial approach, just meant to appease the people who are demanding accountability. Fact is, the entire system has become corrupt, and simply removing the criminals in the executive branch will not even begin to address the problem.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Leading surveillance societies

Despite political shifts in the US Congress, surveillance initiatives in the US continue to expand, affecting visitors and citizens alike.

In terms of statutory protections and privacy enforcement, the US is the worst ranking country in the democratic world. In terms of overall privacy protection the United States has performed very poorly, being out-ranked by both India and the Philippines and falling into the "black" category, denoting endemic surveillance.

The 2007 rankings indicate an overall worsening of privacy protection across the world, reflecting an increase in surveillance and a declining performance o privacy safeguards.

Concern over immigration and border control dominated the world agenda in 2007. Countries have moved swiftly to implement database, identity and fingerprinting systems, often without regard to the privacy implications for their own citizens

The 2007 rankings show an increasing trend amongst governments to archive data on the geographic, communications and financial records of all their citizens and residents. This trend leads to the conclusion that all citizens, regardless of legal status, are under suspicion.

The privacy trends have been fueled by the emergence of a profitable surveillance industry dominated by global IT companies and the creation of numerous international treaties that frequently operate outside judicial or democratic processes.

Surveillance initiatives initiated by Brussels have caused a substantial decline in privacy across Europe, eroding protections even in those countries that have shown a traditionally high regard for privacy.

Congrats folks, Our government here in "The Land of the Free" is locking it's citizens down at a faster rate than most official dictatorships.

The Militarization of Our Police