"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.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Financial Tidbits of the Day

Worsening Credit Markets Cause More Banks To Fail

An increasing number of federally insured banks are on the government's "problem" list as a result of the worsening credit crisis in the United States.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said on Wednesday that 117 banks and saving institutions were now on the list — the highest number since 2003. At the end of the first quarter of 2008 there were 90.

Fannie's Mudd Shakes Up Management to Boost Investor Confidence

Fannie Mae Chief Executive Officer Daniel Mudd replaced three top deputies in an effort to restore investor confidence after record losses and a 90 percent drop in the shares.

Mudd is seeking to show investors the company is taking action after $9.4 billion of losses the past four quarters eroded capital and sparked concern the company may not weather the worst housing slump since the Great Depression.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Disarm: The Lesson of the Georgia Fiasco

George Bush, with the clock ticking down the last months of his presidency, nearly started yet another war that might have escalated in the manner of World War I: a diplomatic failure backed by arms that resulted in a superpower clash.

It is a wonder that the world has survived his "war on terror," which turned out to be a war on American liberty and anyone in the world who got on his nerves. His confrontation with Russia in defense of a belligerent little client state of the US could have sealed his fate and ours too.

We need to examine Bush's actions and see how the US nearly stumbled into a calamity. For in the last weeks, we have gained a picture of the future with this continued push for a secure American world empire with its endless webs of payments, relationships, jockeying for power and treasure, and a diplomatic corps honeycombed with belligerents and lobbyists for foreign governments. The peace, such as it is, can be shattered through small screwups that will end in massive death.

Make no mistake about it: the flare-up was caused entirely by US diplomatic failures. You wouldn't know this, however, if all you did was watch television news. Fox and CNN have portrayed Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili as a benevolent leader of a "young democracy" struggling in the shadow of the mighty bear Russia.

In fact, Saakashvili was elected on a "National Movement" ticket with a centralizing, revanchist platform of retaking the autonomous provinces in the Caucasus, and he has ruled this country the size of South Carolina with an iron fist under a state of emergency for years. He had every intention of ruling these non-Georgian peoples who do not want to be ruled by him, as even the CIA admits.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sick, Psychotic Brutality...In The Name of Freedom?

It’s women and children now

Today, Aafia sports a broken nose, improperly reset. Her teeth have been pulled out. One of her kidneys has been removed, leaving a gashing scar down her abdomen. It is reported that she has been repeatedly raped. She is dehydrated and weak, unable even to walk. Psychologically, Aafia is confused and possibly suffers from brain damage.

But the physical and psychological nightmare hasn’t ended for her. Before and after every legal visit or trip to the court, Aafia is stripped naked and has to endure a cavity search. She has informed her legal team that she will not accept visits anymore due to the degradation and humiliation of the procedure.

Aafia is due to face trial this September. Ahmad, her eldest child, is still detained in Afghanistan. The other two, certainly the youngest American prisoners of war ever, are still unaccounted for. America’s disappeared in the War on Terror have been given scant attention. With women and children now victims, will the silence be broken?

Cry, Lady Liberty !

The US authorities pull a straight blank regarding the whereabouts and condition of Dr. Siddiqui’s three minor children. There have been conflicting statements about whether they are alive and if so, where. While the unforgivable brutality inflicted on ‘Prisoner 650′ has been shamelessly justified on the grounds of her ’suspected involvement with Al Qaeda’, no amount of ‘logical discourse’ or ‘legal argument’ can ever attempt to justify how and why her baby and two toddler sons have been ‘punished.’ So much for America’s commitment to fundamental Human Rights and basic justice.

God help us all. We have become worse than rabid animals to allow this to be done in our names. Torture and terrorism in the name of preventing torture and terrorism? How could any society condone this? Collective insanity. Impeach, prosecute, PLEASE!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Who's to blame for the Russian Georgian conflict?

Georgian troops launched an aerial bombardment and ground attack on its separatist province of South Ossetia on Thursday. South Ossetians want to join up with their ethnic brethren in North Ossetia, an autonomous republic within the Russian Federation. Seeing this as an act of aggression Russia launched bombing raids against Georgia, vowing to defend its citizens. More than half of South Ossetia's citizens are said to have taken up Moscow's offer of a Russian passport. Pepe Escobar believes that "the hypocrisy of the international community knows no bounds for if the West forced the issue of Kosovar independence then the independence of South Ossetia should also be on the cards."

They don't want independence; they want to unite with North Ossetia. The last referendum in the region was in November 2006. Ninety-one percent of attendance. Ninety-nine percent, they voted for union with North Ossetia and Russia. And the referendum was totally ignored by Georgia, the US, and in Europe. Once Saakashvili decided to attack South Ossetia last week, he was applying Pentagon tactics. US troops had just finished teaching Georgians how to ethnically cleanse an area. That was part of the so-called, I quote, "Georgian-US Immediate Response 2008 Military Exercises." This whole thing ended less than two weeks ago, on July 31. Saakashvili's game was to smash South Ossetia. In fact, his troops killed more than 2,000 civilians, destroyed the capital, Tskhinvali, killed 10 Russian peacekeepers, at least, provoked an exodus of 35,000 people to North Ossetia.

I have been watching the coverage of this conflict in the Amerikan corporate media. Amazing. They are all reporting it as if the Russians invaded Georgia, when Georgia, in fact, was the aggressor in the situation. These days you have to go to foreign news sources to get past the propaganda and political spin. Insane...free press my a**. The link to the entire story is in the title.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Stalin? Hitler? Saddam?...Nope...We the People

Update: Apparently one of her children has been "found"....a twelve year old who the government has now admitted is a "detainee" as well. See link below for more info
PRESS RELEASE: Aafia Siddiqui claims she was held by the US in Bagram for years

FBI concedes Aafia Siddiqui in US custody: lawyer

WASHINGTON, Aug 3: Five years after her mysterious disappearance in Karachi, the FBI has finally conceded that an MIT-trained Pakistani neuroscientist is alive and is in US custody in Afghanistan.

Aafia Siddiqui, 36, disappeared with her three children while visiting her parents’ home in Karachi in March 2003, around the same time the FBI announced that it wanted to question her over her alleged links to Al Qaeda.

Her family’s lawyer Elaine Whitfield Sharp said she believed recent media reports about Mrs Siddiqui’s incarceration increased pressure on the US and Pakistani authorities to divulge more information.

“I don’t believe that they just found Aafia,” she said. “I believe that she was there all along.”

The fate of her three young, American-born children is still unknown.

Before her disappearance, Mrs Siddiqui lived in a Boston suburb of Roxbury and studied at Brandeis University as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In a 2006 report, Amnesty International listed Mrs Siddiqui as among a number of “disappeared” suspects in the war on terrorism. On July 6, 2007, AI listed Mrs Siddiqui as a possible CIA “secret detainee”, although she was still on the FBI’s Seeking Information - Terrorism list. Late last week, Mrs Siddiqui’s photo still appeared on the FBI’s list of people wanted for questioning.

Aafia Siddiqui detained for political reasons: lawyer

WASHINGTON, Aug 4: Elaine Whitfield Sharp, the lawyer representing Aafia Siddiqui’s family, alleged on Monday that the MIT-trained Pakistani neuroscientist was being detained for political reasons.

Talking to Dawn, Ms Sharp also claimed that so far all the allegations brought against Ms Siddiqui had “proven wrong and unsubstantiated”.

The US media reported on Sunday that Ms Siddiqui was in US custody in Afghanistan, but gave no details.

The FBI office in Washington, when asked to comment on the reports, referred this correspondent to the US attorney’s office for New York’s southern district. Rebekah Carmichael, a press officer at the attorney’s office, however, said she had “no comments” to offer,

Ms Siddiqui, 36, disappeared with her three children while visiting her parents’ home in Karachi in March 2003, around the same time the FBI announced that it wanted to question her over her alleged links to Al Qaeda. The fate of her three young, American-born children is still unknown.

Ms Sharp said Ms Siddiqui’s family and lawyer were still trying to locate her and her three children. Ms Sharp, who spoke with an FBI agent on Friday, said the agent told her that she was alive but that injured.

Ms Sharp claimed that “every time that US authorities accused Aafia of something, we showed it was false”.

“They accused her of brokering a diamond ring for giving the proceeds to Al Qaeda. They said she was in Liberia when she did this. We showed she was here in Boston, running a play group with her sister.

“They said she was involved in the production of neuro-chemical to be used by terrorists in the US. We showed that she was not.”

Ms Sharp said US authorities also had accused her of other wrongdoings, but “when ask for evidence, they never gave us any evidence”.

That's OK folks...no need to care...she's just a foreigner...wears one of those rags on her head. ....
The fate of her three young, American-born children is still unknown. Is this how we want to live...to be perceived by the world? Who will be next ...me, you, your neighbor? What became of the children? What will they do with yours? How many years will it take for your family to find out where you were taken...will they ever?...DOES THIS SOUND LIKE AMERICA TO YOU? DO YOU CARE YET?

Jungle "Justice": Kangaroo Court Serves the Chimp in Charge

The first person to be tried in a military tribunal at Guantanamo will remain incarcerated no matter the verdict. Concerns remain about the procedure's fairness.
By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
August 4, 2008
GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA -- The war crimes case against Salim Ahmed Hamdan today goes to a jury of his enemies, hand-selected by the Pentagon official who charged him on behalf of a president who has ordered him imprisoned even if acquitted.

"The eyes of the world are on Guantanamo Bay," U.S. District Judge James Robertson said July 17 in declining to halt the first trial by military commission.

"Justice must be done there, and must be seen to be done there fairly and impartially."

But as the first U.S. war crimes tribunal since World War II draws toward a conclusion, many outside the Bush administration question what they've seen.

Why bother even presenting such a transparent farce of a "trial"?...what a waste of time and money...he won't be released even if found innocent. If acquitted, he will join the ranks of the "detainees" held simply because they have stories to tell...tales of torture and abuse....that cannot be allowed out while Bushie Boy is in residence in the White House. Disgusting.

The Militarization of Our Police