Friday, March 31, 2006

America's new FAST Track to Fascism

Every day on national cable, Lou Dobbs curses the steady flow of desperate migrant workers who cross our borders, laboring in exchange for increasingly worthless dollars. Meanwhile, under the radar, Goldman Sachs gives new meaning to the term "highway robbery" by facilitating the massive flow of foreign capital in exchange for American highways.
If somebody asked if you wanted to buy the Brooklyn Bridge, you’d know it was a con. But how about buying the Indiana Toll Road?

Before you snicker, you should know the Indiana highway was auctioned off last week for $3.8 billion.

For the next 75 years, the more than 150 miles of Interstate 80 will be run by a pair of Spanish and Australian companies that will collect the tolls, operate the pit stops, keep up the highway and try to make a profit.

Cintra SA, the Spanish firm, and Macquarie Infrastructure Group, the Aussies, are teaching Americans the business of investing in roads, bridges, water mains and the like.
All of a sudden, Americans need to be taught how to invest in infrastructure?

You may have heard of Macquarie. Last year it bought a controlling interest in the company that operates the Dulles Greenway for $533 million.

A year ago, Macquarie and Cintra took over the Chicago Skyway, adding it to a network of toll roads and bridges around the world.

And Macquarie is part of one of the rival groups bidding $1 billion to take over the Dulles Toll Road for 50 years, with the money expected to underwrite Metrorail’s extension to Dulles.

The Australians launched a sister company in the United States in December 2004. Since the $25-a-share initial public offering, Macquarie Infrastructure Co. Trust (MIC on the New York Stock Exchange) has climbed to $34.45.

Counting reinvestment of the hefty $2-a-share dividend, investors have made a 45 percent total return since the company went public 15 months ago.[!!!]

That's some return on investment! Either those privateers (read: profiteers) have a ground-breaking formula for making money from toll roads, or our governments' corruption and incompetence exceeds the bounds of human imagination. I suspect a combination of both.
Betting on infrastructure
With that kind of money to be made, Americans are lining up to try their luck at Wall Street’s hottest new game – investing in infrastructure.

Washington’s biggest financial firm, the Carlyle Group, just created an eight-member team to get into roads, bridges, etc.

Goldman Sachs & Co., which made $9 million [!!!] advising Chicago on the Skyway sale and stands to collect about $20 million in fees for putting together the Indiana Toll Road deal, is raising a multibillion-dollar fund to buy infrastructure.
Surprise, surprise. The usual suspects line up to milk a sure bet. Risk? What risk is there in leasing the only road in or out of a city or international airport? With endless access to FIAT capital, as long as people inhabit the country, you CANNOT lose.
Wall Street is getting into infrastructure because politicians have bailed out on one of the most important issues facing the nation.

Transportation was once one of the things Americans counted on their government to provide.
Uh, can someone remind this twit that building and maintaining infrastructure and providing protection from domestic and foreign thugs REMAIN the ONLY reasons why Americans tolerate government.
New York Gov. De Witt Clinton built the Erie Canal and opened up the Midwest in the early 1800s. President Dwight D. Eisenhower started the interstate highway system in the 1950s and put America on the road to being the world’s most motorized society.

But anybody who’s ever been caught in Washington traffic knows our elected officials lack the vision and the political will to deal with transportation issues that require difficult, politically unpopular decisions. Like raising taxes.
Or, issuing interest-free loans for infrastructure and ending the reign of the money masters.
Ducking tax increases is what motivated the state of Indiana and the city of Chicago to sell their toll roads. Indiana was facing a $10 billion bill for updating its highway system when Gov. Mitch Daniels, a former federal budget director, came up with an alternative to paying the price – tapping the Toll Road.

Chicago didn’t need roads; it needed money.
Isn't that special. Chicago doesn't need roads!!! That ought to win the wretched governor a nice warm spot in hell.
Monetizing the Skyway brought in $1.8 billion. That was enough to pay off $855 million in debt – only part of it due on the road itself – as well as set aside $500 million for a “rainy day fund” and give a few million in home heating assistance to the city’s poor.

If that sounds like tossing the family furniture in the fireplace to keep the house warm, you’re getting the message.

Excuse me. But, $855 million plus $500 million and "a few million in home heating" adds up to only $1,358,000,000. That leaves almost $442 million unaccounted for, give or take "a few million."
How privatization works: Neither Chicago nor Indiana actually sold its toll road. Both deals are structured as long-term leases with all the money paid up front. In exchange for the cash, Macquarie and Cintra will take over the roads and take responsibility for upgrading them, a $700 million commitment in Indiana. In return they get to collect all the tolls they can squeeze out of travelers, subject to some regulation.
Indiana is not alone. The NJ Turnpike Authority, which is in the hole for $5.5 billion, is considering forming a for-profit corporation to run the highway. The state would hold onto 51 percent ownership and the rest would be sold off to shareholders through an initial public offering, bringing in an estimated $6 billion one-time infusion of cash to the state, leaving only $500 million to spare.

The NJTP and GSP raise about $650m/year in toll revenues. That means the state will lose at least $325 million in annual revenue, FOREVER, in order to pay off some debt now.
The theory behind privatizing toll roads is that profit-motivated managers can run them better and more efficiently than government bureaucrats. Given Chicago’s ward-healing politicians and notoriously corrupt municipal contracting, it’s pretty hard to argue with that premise.
Why argue when you're getting paid not to? Since corrupt politicians are already being paid under the table by greedy corporations, this guy wants us to sell out to corporations directly!
Within six months of taking over the Chicago Skyway, Macquarie and Cintra had installed a complete electronic toll-taking system. Today more than a third of the tolls are being collected in the E-Z Pass lanes. In Toronto and Sydney, Macquarie has done away with booths entirely, collecting all the tolls electronically.

High-speed electronic toll lanes, where drivers don’t even have to slow down, are the state of the art.
Who needs freedom and democracy when you've got speed.
Most U.S. toll roads and bridges don’t have them, however, because private and public officials view the investment from different perspectives.

To government budget analysts, the issue is how much will it cost. To private operators, it’s how much it will return. So, too, with so many operating and management issues. For example, Indiana might have tackled its road problems by simply raising fares on the Toll Road, but the legislature has refused to raise tolls for 20 years.
Of course, the public sees managing public roads differently from private corporations! They're not out to pillage and plunder the population! They ARE the population! It's called Democratic governance!
The toll road privatization advocates argue that profit generates the motive for providing the best possible service. An army of anti-government academics and think-tankers supply the intellectual infrastructure for that argument.

But behind the private-is-preferable theory is the immediate reality that governments don’t have – or are unwilling to raise – the billions needed to rebuild the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.

The global theme, says Chris Leslie, managing director of Macquarie Securities (USA) Inc., is that “the fiscal constraints that governments find themselves under are driving them to explore new ways of finding money.
Notice how he characterizes the dire straits faced by our state governments as if it were part of a Broadway musical, or Hollywood adventure. These people are masters at marketing.
“Taxpayers want improved services, better roads, better airports, and yet of course nobody wants to pay higher taxes,” he said. The public sector isn’t ducking its responsibilities, he argues, “it is delegating to the private sector.”
That's a corporate euphemism for FASCISM. And the so-called "immediate reality" he speaks of has been foisted upon us by a corrupt government that has allowed international bankers to milk our national economy for centuries!
Surprisingly, America, the capital of capitalism, is far behind the rest of the world in privatizing infrastructure. Privately run roads, bridges, airports and ports are common all over Europe – even in France, where government intervention in the economy is embedded alongside liberty, equality and fraternity.

As Americans have learned in the past month, even in this country most port facilities have been privatized. Foreign companies are the major players in large part because foreign nations went to this system long ago. (One of the arguments made against the Indiana Toll Road deal was that it would be dangerous for the road to be under foreign control.)
So, the rest of the world is being overrun by fascists and Americans are supposed to gladly hop on the bandwagon?
Profitability question: Since the idea is so new in America, it’s too soon to tell if privatizing infrastructure will prove to be the most economical way of financing those projects. Government entities can almost always borrow money cheaper than private companies can raise capital, so the private sector starts with a handicap.
That's a LIE! These corporations are backed by international bankers. They make money from nothing. Governments must borrow from them!
Private toll-takers and maintenance crews will probably make less money than public employees doing similar work, but private managers demand higher salaries than the government pays.
That's if they keep their jobs at all! Here's a reply from a corporate paid shill to a poor Indiana toll collector who inquired about his job prospects once the corporation takes over:
Frankly I don't think there is a great future in manual toll collection anyway, what with the increasing use of cards and transponders. Think of supermarkets and gas stations. Most people now pay by card, fewer and fewer by cash. Cash is on the way out regardless. I'd be thinking of other work.
Doesn't it just warm your heart? And that's not all!
[P]rivatization requires profits – two tiers of profit, actually. Companies such as Macquarie, Carlyle and Goldman Sachs will earn a profit for arranging and managing these transactions, and stock and bond investors who put up the capital will get a second profit.

Nor can anyone know yet how profitable the business will be.
They know it WILL be profitable. So, who cares how profitable? They'll just milk the market for whatever it's worth. Meanwhile . . .
[T]here’s the question of how well the public will be served by privatization. It could take several years of private operations before anyone can judge how well it is working.

Facing a multibillion-dollar backlog of road-building needs, governments aren’t likely to wait for the facts. Already, Pennsylvania is investigating some kind of private deal for the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Other projects are in the works in California and Texas.

Prudence would argue for going slowly, doing what amount to clinical trials of privatization before prescribing it as a cure for the ailments of America’s infrastructure. But bridges are crumbling, roads are jammed and the infrastructure privateers are standing at the door, checkbooks in hand.
Americans would be well served to reflect on this quote by Brian Freeman, Executive Director of Chrysler Loan Guarantee Board while Chrysler was in bankruptcy:
Patience and Prudence
Bankers function by reference to prudence. It's imprudent for them to do anything until they have to.
But for everyone else, it's a desperate rush to sell whatever they've got. Why? Could it be because bankers control the money supply and therefore control the means by which they manufacture and exploit need and direct or destroy a nation's economy?
Many politicians aren’t willing to take the risk of passing tax increases. But lawmakers across the nation are willing to take the risk of passing the buck to the private sector.
How perverse. It's not a GOLDEN-plated opportunity on a silver platter - it's a chore!
It’ll take so many years to know whether this is the right decision that the politicians who promoted it will be long gone by the time anything can go wrong.

In the meantime, there’s money to be made investing in infrastructure.
Is America the land of the living brain-dead? Is everyone on dope? Does everyone have their heads cranked so far up their asses that they can't tell shit from shinola?

Our forests, our ports, our industries, our national defense, and now our roads? WTF is left?!! Our water? Not for long.

Wakeup America. You're on the express lane to Fascism.

Bad Fruit and the Forbidden Tree

By now, it's no news that Stephen Walt, co-author of the controversial paper on AIPAC's influence on US foreign policy, has been forced to resign from his position as academic dean of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Anyone with eyes can see who's behind his resignation. But, those few who remain clueless might benefit from learning something new about many of cable's beloved talk show hosts who, as Justin Raimondo points out, so dutifully invited David Duke to endorse (read: discredit) Walt and Mersheimer's important paper.
Joe Scarborough of MSNBC [introduced] the notorious racist this way:

"Thank you for being with us tonight, Mr. Duke. You have been attacked as a former Klansman, an anti-Semite, but tonight you're in league with Harvard University. Do you feel vindicated?"

What would the Lobby do without the former Ku Klux Klan leader, who now inveighs against "ZOG" and the alleged perfidy of the Jews from somewhere in Central Europe? He ought to be getting some kind of stipend from them, in view of the tremendous service he performs: by setting up an avowed neo-Nazi as the chief spokesman for the other side, the Lobby gets to control the discourse.

Naturally, Scarborough would never have invited anyone like, say, Juan Cole on the show to defend the Mearsheimer-Walt thesis.
What does Joe Scarbarough do in his spare time? Write regularly for the Jewish World Review, an online pro-Israel magazine that considers its daily edition a 'must read' for "many in the media and in Washington."

Who else writes for JWR? Dan Abrams; Tony Blankely, editorial page editor of the Washington Times; Tucker Carlson; Anne Coulter; David Horowitz; Michelle Malkin; Bill O'Reilly; Wheel of Fortune host, Pat Sajak!; Tony Snow; and Mort Zuckerman, editor-in-chief and publisher of U.S. News and World Report - to name a few.

Draw your own conclusions. For me it confirms that bad fruit does not fall far from the forbidden tree.

Thanks to WRH for the link to Justin's piece.

The World's Most Powerful Woman?

I doubt it. But, she is no doubt the world's coldest and most calculating bitch. How does she do it? She's not married; no kids. How does she manage to find the immoral fortitude to lie so often and with such gall?
On her visit to Blackburn and Liverpool, Condoleezza Rice, US secretary of state, told her audience that the citizens of “Baghdad and Beirut and Cairo and yes, Tehran” would realise their “impossible dreams” for democracy . . .

“They will remember fondly those other great democracies… who stood with them in their time of need,” she said, in a reference to the war in Iraq.

* * *

About 200 protesters at a Blackburn voiced their opposition to Rice's visit, some carrying signs that read: How many lives per gallon? Blood, Lies, Oil, War.

Rice said she wasn't surprised by the protests, calling it an essential element of a healthy democracy.

"People have the right to protest. That's what democracy is all about."

* * *

She also said the US was ready to help Iran with humanitarian aid after the country’s earthquake the previous night.
She failed to mention that the aid would likely be delivered on the back of a nuclear missile.

Stand in Solidarity with Auto Workers in Detroit

Auto workers and other concerned citizens (people who work for a living) are getting together next Monday to protest Delphi's fraudulent bankruptcy:

On April 3, 2006 rank-n-file auto workers will be protesting outside on the sidewalks surrounding the Masonic of Detroit. Delphi CEO Robert S. Miller is to speak in Detroit about “the challenges of corporate turnaround and transformation”. Rank-n-file auto workers will picket in Detroit, Michigan to protest the Detroit Economic Club and their guest speaker Delphi CEO Robert S. Miller.

Monday, April 3, 2006
Picket Starts At 12 Noon
The Masonic Of Detroit Building
500 Temple Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48201

For directions, handbills, and more visit Future of the Union's website.

For More Information Contact:
Gregg Shotwell (616) 451-4401
Todd M. Jordan (765) 210-0768

Support Delphi Workers!
Stop Wage Cuts!
Preserve Benefits!
Preserve Pensions!
Universal Health Care!

In solidarity we will picket at the Masonic Building in protest of the attack on working people by GM-Delphi. It is time for working men and women to stand up and demand the respect we deserve. We ask that you join with the Soldiers of Solidarity on the sidewalks surrounding the
Masonic of Detroit. Bring your own signs and show support for working families whose very livelihoods are under attack by GM-Delphi.

Remember, first they came for the air traffic controllers, then they came for . . .

Sooner or later, they'll be coming for you.

9/11 Homework - Past Due!

There's still time to avoid a failing grade, courtesy of George Dubya and his cronies, but you'd better hurry - because it's more than just a grade - our lives and liberties depend on it.
After eliminating the impossible, we are left with ghastly images of death and suffering. With brutal malice aforethought, on 9-11 this administration murdered 2,823 human beings. Only 1,102 victims have been identified, although 19,500 body parts were "collected." More than 100 Americans were pulverized in the explosions, their remains mingling with tons and tons of cement into fine dust, and just disappeared into the air, perhaps into the lungs of those working feverishly at Ground Zero to save them. Each of us with any connection to reality knows that the only explanation for 9-11 is that the entire holocaust was a deliberately planned, orchestrated, controlled demolition of our way of life.

If you want to know what happened on 9-11, watch Korey Rove, Dylan Avery and Jason Bermas' critical film, "Loose Change, 2nd Edition." Surely the Truth is worth 1 hour, 21 minutes and 50 seconds of our lives..

If you want to know why 9-11 happened, read the Project for the New American Century (PNAC)2000 report, Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century," which calls for a "new Pearl Harbor" to establish US military preeminence throughout the world as well as unending war to seize and control the world's resources. It's only 90 pages, and should take even less than 1 hour, 21 minutes and 50 seconds to peruse.

If you want to know the truth about the attack on this country, watch and read the above as if your life depended upon it. Because it does.

We have the crime. We have the criminals. The time has come to indict them. Try them. Convict them. Punish them. Then, and only then, can we move on.

Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. Contact her at:
Thanks MR.

  Thursday, March 30, 2006

Fed Cripples Working Americans with Rate Hikes

For the 15th consecutive time in 21 months, the Fed has raised interest rates under the insane pretense that it's somehow "controlling" inflation.

Of course, anyone with half a brain knows that's a pack of lies. Food and energy prices and the cost of borrowing money are the most important economic indicators for working Americans--over 85% of the population. And, we all know that the Fed ignores the former and exacerbates the latter when it raises interest rates.

So, here we are struggling to get by, each of us chained to a huge ball of debt that keeps getting heavier, thanks to the Fed's continuous rate hikes.

If we were chattel slaves (not just the debt slaves we are) and every quarter our masters added a heavier ball to our chain, but expected us to get the same amount of work done, eventually we would revolt.

Our condition is no different. The Fed doesn't lend us more money in exchange for the higher interest they exact. We derive no benefit from rate hikes. Nobody asks us. Instead, we are forced to pay more for what we've already borrowed. The money we borrowed is simply worth-less by Federal decree. It's INSANE! Why do we put up with this shit?

When the Fed increases interest rates, all it's doing is deciding that those who lend money (or, those who have already lent money) will get a bigger percentage of our incomes.

The volume of money in circulation does NOT contract - at least not in absolute terms. Lenders end up with TONS more money (at our expense) which of course they lend to others and the vicious cycle continues unabated. The Fed has accomplished NOTHING but bleed Americans dry for the benefit of money lenders.

Indeed, by raising interest rates the Fed institutes a perverse kind of socialism wherein the idle rich, by decree, transfer the wealth of working Americans to themselves and their comrades. It will take nothing less than a second revolution to free us from their death grip. France is on its way, and we must follow their lead.

Are you willing to sacrifice to win back your freedom?
“If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

--Samuel Adams

  Wednesday, March 29, 2006

UN ups ante, Iran prepares for War

In a move calculated to pave the way for sanctions against Iran . . .
The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council agreed on a statement Wednesday demanding that Iran suspend uranium enrichment . . .

The 15 members of the council planned to meet later Wednesday to approve the statement, the text of which was not immediately disclosed.

* * *

"The council is expressing its clear concern and is saying to Iran that it should comply with the wishes of the governing board," Britain's U.N. Ambassador Emyr Jones-Parry told reporters.

The West believes council action will help isolate Iran and put new pressure on it to clear up suspicions about its intentions. They have proposed an incremental approach, refusing to rule out sanctions.

U.S. officials have said the threat of military action must also remain on the table.

Russia and China, both allies of Iran, oppose sanctions. They want any council statement to make explicit that the IAEA, not the Security Council, must take the lead in confronting Iran.

* * *

"As many of our European and Chinese colleagues have stated more than once, any ideas involving the use of force or pressure in resolving the issue are counterproductive and cannot be supported," [Russian Foreign Minister Sergey] Lavrov said.

Iran remains defiant . . . warning that Security Council intervention would "escalate tensions, entailing negative consequences that would be of benefit to no party."
Meanwhile, Iran flexes its military muscle . . .
[Iran announced it will] launch a massive joint naval wargame titled "Holy Prophet (PBUH)", beginning on March 31 with shooting of a Shahab II Missile into the air with the message of "Peace and Friendship" for the regional countries, Persian Gulf, and Sea of Oman littoral states.

The wargame would begin with the password "Muhammad the Messenger of Allah," according to the IRGC Naval Force Commander and last till April 6 in the northern coasts of the Persian Gulf up to 40 kilometers to the south, to Iran's border port city of Chabahar in the region.

Over seventeen thousand of Iran's armed forces and Basij mobilization forces, would take part in the naval wargame in which ,500 large and small naval vessels of various types would participate.

The IRGC official added, "The Command Headquarters of the wargame would be the IRGC Noah Naval Barracks, while five other army, Air Force and navy bases in three provinces would back up the massive operation."

Admiral Saffari announced the entire armed forces' of the country's full readiness to defend the territorial integrity of the motherland.

He added, "The latest local achievements of the country in defense industries, implementation of the experiences of the country's armed forces in planning and launching massive military operations in practice, evaluation of the conduct of our commanders, and providing a real atmosphere for our mobilization forces to display their defense apabilities are among the top objectives of the maneuver." The four-phased naval wargame is meanwhile planned to display the Islamic system's defensive capabilities.

Iranian made drones would be flied to collect information from the virtual enemy's camp, sea-to-air missiles capable of pursuing moving objects, helicopters capable of shooting air-to-sea, and air-to-land missiles, rapid reaction boats, Iranian made intelligent mines with multi-sensors, various naval rocket mine launchers, huge Iranian made naval rockets and up-to-date telecommunication facilities would be among the sea of equipment to be facilitated during the wargame.
Recall that yesterday, Egypt and Sudan essentially backed Iran when they expressed a desire to join the "nuke club." These are very significant developments, albeit not unexpected.

Time is running out. We must act.

  Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Iran's Nuke Club accepts membership applications

The US and Israel are standing on increasingly shaky ground in the Middle East . . .
The head of the Arab League called on Arab states Tuesday to work toward "entering the nuclear club" by developing atomic energy - a new concern for a Western world already trying to rein in Iran's nuclear ambitions and fretting about a possible Mideast arms race.

* * *

[Amr] Moussa spoke to the gathered leaders at the opening of the summit, saying, "I would like to call on the Arab world to enter into the world of peaceful use of nuclear energy with all speed and momentum."

"This is a legal right ensured for all states that are party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty," he said.

No Arab country is known to have a significant program for nuclear energy, and few have shown a drive to do so.

But Moussa's call was likely to cause concern in the United States and Europe, which are pressing for U.N. Security Council action on Iran's nuclear program.

* * *

Countries close to Iran, including Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, [both clients of the US] have expressed concern over its program, focussing on safety issues and the threat of a possible regional arms race. Moussa, an Egyptian, quarreled publicly with the Emirates' foreign minister after he urged Gulf leaders to focus on Israel, not Iran.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir accused the West of double standards on the nuclear issue.

"This is an issue which should not be a subject of discrimination. For the international community to be honest, Israel should be pushed to sign the Nonproliferation Treaty and open its nuclear installations for inspection," he said in a speech to the summit Tuesday.
Things just got a little more complicated.

Fed props up economy with TONS of new cash

According to Axis of Logic:
Three separate sources in the U.S. Treasury have told me that this week, the federal reserve ordered TWO TRILLION dollars to be printed! The U.S. Treasury is allegedly running printing presses 24/7 to accommodate that order. Treasury employees were specifically ORDERED not to talk about this to anyone because it could cause economic collapse.

Even worse, I was also told that the whole Immigration Amnesty Debate (especially the well-funded well-attended protests) was deliberately scheduled to take place now, to divert attention from this massive printing/devaluation of the U.S. Dollar. The feds allegedly figured that by the time anyone found out, they could smooth things over. They figured wrong. Surprise, boys, you've been exposed!
If you think they're printing this money to prop up the physical economy, think again.


This just in from the editors of Axis of Logic:

Editor's Note: On 3/28/06 we published an article which stated that the Federal Reserve has ordered 2 Trillion dollars to be printed by U.S. mints. We mistakenly published this text instead of the one we meant to publish (below) from Free Market News. The report on the Fed's printing of 2 Trillion Dollars is not adequately supported with sources and supporting factual information. Therefore we pulled that article today, March 29, 2006 and replace it with the article we meant to publish. We apologize to our readers for this error on our part. - LMB
I'm not sure that it makes much of a difference though since, as the article from Free Market News points out, "The Federal Reserve can create new dollars out of thin air."

Bottomline, it doesn't really matter whether they print it, or issue it as "credit." Increasing the volume of money/credit devalues the money in circulation.

Besides, things are happening very fast and chances are, there is a grain of truth to this news after all.

Finally, adding tons of money to the economy is not unprecedented.

Distracted Not Duped

This is a great post I found at Le Colonel Chabert that demonstrates once again how the media is responsible for distracting America from the issues that matter most.
I mentioned elsewhere once the ill-conceived pr campaign the NY State chamber of commerce ran very briefly some years ago. They had an ad on television boasting of the rate of exploitation in NY State. It said "NY workers produce five dollars for every dollar they are paid" or something like this. People were really annoyed: "Wait, you mean every time I make a dollar, the company makes five dollars?" "Four." "For what I did they make five dollars and give me one." "Right." "So there are a hundred of us, we each make a dollar every five minutes, and the boss make four hundred dollars every five minutes?" "Right." Capital schmapital, risk shmisk, that is not fair! The ads disappeared in three days.

This is managed simply with spin. The biznews doesn't lie about this but it looks at it from a slightly different angle. Well, somebody else would settle for fifty cents every five minutes! In Haiti they'd work for fifty cents a day! The main tactic is simply to tell all the stories from the shareholder's point of view.
Ah ha! So, that's why the economy is so lousy when they describe it as rosey!
On a bizchat programme on CNBC last year, the garrulous hosts went silent when a guest investment analyst accidentally mentioned that people with either a half a million dollars or more in the bank or an income of at least $150k yearly made up 3% of the US population. They stared.

You mean 30%, one said, quietly, practically holding his breath.

The guest reiterated: three.

The hosts looked at eachother. There was a pause. It was clear they really were very surprised, mouths hanging open. Some flash of something rare and human moved across their faces. As if to say, shit, everyone's living on less than that? That's not right!
But, that's exactly what's happening! And it's no coincidence--the rich are feeding off the poor.

FED aims PR campaign at Kids

Concerned that America's adults are not sufficiently duped, the Fed has launched a website for kids to start misinforming at an early age.

  1. What is the Federal Reserve System?
The Federal Reserve System, also known as "The Fed," is the central bank of the United States. [That's only HALF true.]

It was created to provide the nation with a safer, more flexible, and more stable monetary and financial system. [That's a bald faced LIE.]

Over the years, its role in banking and the economy has expanded. [to include the entire world!]

The Federal Reserve System is a network of twelve [privately owned] Federal Reserve Banks and a number of branches under the general [read: NO] oversight of the Board of Governors.

The Reserve Banks are the operating arms of the central bank. [More like, the other way around.]
Then they have the nerve to include as an example of inflation the price of popcorn and drinks in a movie theater when they know damn well that the Fed excludes the price of food and energy when measuring inflation for the purpose of "controlling" it.

Amazing. Parents, beware!

The Economics of Occupation

The following is an excerpt (links included) from an excellent article by Michael Schwartz at Tom
[T]he question of "what went wrong" in Iraq is now almost universally answered as follows:

The invasion was initially successful, but the plan for the peace was faulty. Bush administration officials misestimated the amount of resistance they would find in the wake of Baghdad's fall. Donald Rumsfeld and his civilian officials in the Pentagon ignored military warnings and did not deploy sufficient soldiers to handle this initial resistance. As a result, the occupation was unable to quell the rebellion when it was small. This first blunder allowed what was at best a modest insurgency to grow to formidable proportions, at which point occupation officials committed a second disastrous blunder, dismantling the Iraqi army which otherwise could have been deployed to smash the rebellion.

Bottom line: General Eric Shinseki was right. If the U.S. had deployed the several hundred thousand troops that he insisted were needed to lock down the country (instead of hustling him into retirement), then the war would have been short and sweet, and the U.S. would now be well on its way both to victory and withdrawal.

[This] is a fair summary of the thinking on Iraq currently dominant in the mainstream media and, because it ignores the fundamental cause of the war-after-the-war -- the American attempt to neo-liberalize Iraq -- it is also profoundly wrong . . .

* * *

[J]ust after Saddam was toppled the American victors announced that a sweeping reform of Iraqi society would take place. The only part of this still much mentioned today -- the now widely regretted dismantling of the Iraqi military -- was but one aspect of a far larger effort to dismantle the entire Baathist state apparatus, most notably the government-owned factories and other enterprises that constituted just about 40% of the Iraqi economy. This process of dismantling included attempts, still ongoing, to remove various food, product, and fuel subsidies that guaranteed low-income Iraqis basic staples, even when they had no gainful employment.

Without going into the tortured details (forcefully described at the time by Naomi Klein in an indispensable Harpers article), this neo-liberal "shock treatment" was adapted from programs undertaken by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank all around the globe in the 1990s, including those that immiserated Russia after the USSR collapsed and that helped to bankrupt Argentina. Because the privatizers of the Bush administration were, however, in control of a largely prostrate and conquered country, the Iraqi reforms were enacted more swiftly and in a far more draconian manner than anywhere else on the planet. Within six months, for example, the American occupation government, the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), had promulgated all manner of laws designed to privatize everything in Iraq except established oil reserves. (New oil discoveries, however, were to be privatized.) All restrictions were also taken off foreign corporations intent on buying full control of Iraqi enterprises; nor were demands to be made of those companies to reinvest any of their profits in Iraq.

At the same time, state-owned enterprises were to be demobilized and sidelined. They were to be prevented from participating either in repairing facilities damaged during the invasion (or degraded by the decade of sanctions that preceded it) or in any of the initially ambitious reconstruction projects the U.S. commissioned. This policy was so strict that even state-owned enterprises with specific expertise in Iraqi electrical, sanitation, and water purification systems -- not to speak of Iraq's massive cement industry -- were forbidden from obtaining subcontracts from the multinational corporations placed in charge of rejuvenating the country's infrastructure.

The elimination of all protections for local commerce quickly threw the market wide open to large multinational marketing companies. This resulted in an immediate surge of sales to the Iraqi middle class of previously unobtainable goods like air conditioners, cell phones, and all manner of electronic devices. Though few remember this today, many American journalists reported the influx of such goods as an early sign of coming prosperity -- and of how successful an economy could begin to be once freed from the oppressive binds of state control and state ownership.

As it happened, though, this surge did not last into the winter of 2003-4. The problem, it turned out, was that the CPA-induced economic "opening" to multinational competition administered a series of death blows to locally based enterprises. First of all, shops selling any item that could be imported by foreign companies found themselves in the unenviable position of competing with lower-priced goods that the multinationals could either provide at such prices or afford to sell at a loss to capture the market (i.e., run the local competition out of business). So a depression swept through small business in Iraq, leaving neighborhoods without their normal complement of shops and without the income that they plowed back into communities.

Second, the demobilization of the army and the sidelining of state enterprises resulted in an almost immediate unemployment crisis. Even though many state enterprises continued to pay employees (for doing nothing) and the Coalition Provisional Authority belatedly decided to pay Saddam's former soldiers (also for doing nothing), this money did not regularly reach the targeted groups. The fragmentary administration set up by the occupation was monumentally inefficient at delivering any services, including paychecks, and significant sums were evidently simply gobbled up by increasingly corrupt remnants of the Baathist administrative apparatus. As a result, millions of unemployed workers and soldiers, lacking the money to feed their families, also lacked the money to support local merchants.

These depressed neighborhoods became incubators for ferocious criminal gangs, who sought to redress their own economic hardship by looting public buildings and private dwellings of anything that might yield a return on the black (or export) market. Looting, which began with the fall of the government, became a permanent feature of Iraqi urban life once the occupation dismantled the Iraqi police force. As time passed without the establishment of effective law enforcement, criminality became organized and systematic, targeting professionals and shopkeepers who had substantial assets or retained incomes; while kidnapping for ransom became a regular fact of life for prosperous Iraqis.

As this crisis deepened, multinational corporations found they had sold just about all the appliances the market could bear and were no longer making sufficient profits to continue their marketing efforts in much of Iraq. So they simply withdrew from now-unprofitable local markets, leaving communities already sprinkled with the empty shops of bankrupt local merchants bereft of needed products and services. Those who still had incomes found it increasingly difficult to obtain needed resources. A reverse multiplier effect began to take hold as Iraqis who remained prosperous were forced to shop, work, or live outside their former communities, only depleting and depressing them further. Unemployment rates quickly exceeded 25% in many communities, and today -- as this process reaches its third anniversary -- nationwide unemployment estimates range from a depression-level 30% to a staggering 60%, depending on the source you consult . . .

* * *

By focusing attention only on the lack of U.S. (and Iraqi) military power brought to bear in the early days after the fall of Baghdad, [the mainstream media ignores] some of the deeper reasons why many Iraqis were willing to confront a formidable military machine with only small arms and their own wits. They ignore -- and cause the American public to ignore -- the fact that there was little resistance just after the fall of Baghdad and that it expanded as the economy declined and repression set in. They ignore the eternal verity that the willingness to fight and die is regularly animated by the conviction that otherwise things will only get worse.

Just goes to show that you can't have peace without prosperity. I recommend you read the whole piece, here.

Ignorance, Opportunism, and Apostasy

Just as I suspected, the row over apostasy in Afghanistan has turned into yet another opportunity for the media to bring America one step closer to a clash of civilizations.
[The] Rahman case . . . is not a solitary crazy prosecutor who brings the charge of apostasy but an entire society. It is not a single judge who would condemn the man but a culture. The Taliban are gone at gunpoint, their atrocities supposedly a thing of the past. In our boundless optimism, we consign them to the "too hard" file of horrors we cannot figure out: the Khmer Rouge, the Nazis, the communists of the Stalin period. Now, though, this awful thing returns and it is not just a single country that would kill a man for his beliefs but a huge swath of the world that would not protest. There can be only one conclusion: They were in agreement.
The writer is either hopelessly ignorant, or harbors a sinister agenda. I suspect the latter. Not only did the "evil" Taliban manage to eradicate the opium trade, where (intentionally or not) the U.S. never did, but also "the horrors" committed by the Taliban pale by comparison to "the horrors" committed over the last 50 years by successive U.S. administrations.

Moreover, it's obvious that the 'silence' the writer alleges does not necessarily mean agreement. Some Muslims may not have heard about the case. Some might have thought it self-evident that executing someone for his religious beliefs in the name of Islam is both illogical and unjust. Others might have been busy handling other pressing personal or national issues, assuming (rightly) that someone intimately involved would attend to this case.

To assume that 'silence is agreement' is an unreasonable conclusion that reflects a crisis-seeking mindset.

Yet, look at how easily the Afghan court backtracked. Some reports say it dropped the case because there was "not enough evidence." But, how much evidence do you need to try a case of apostasy? The man said he was ready to die for his faith. Seems open and shut to me - if indeed a genuine prosecution of the current law is what was taking place.

But as it stands, it seems almost incredible that Afghan courts and prosecutors would genuinely pursue such a case knowing, as they must have, the international outcry that would result. It's the political equivalent of a district attorney prosecuting individuals for violating criminal anti-sodomy laws, which still exist on the books in some American jurisdictions. The result of attempting to prosecute a law against apostasy in the current political climate seems apparent. Perhaps, the prosecutor was following an undisclosed agenda.

Then there are the conflicting reports about how many Afghans came out to protest the defendant's release. In one account, there were two hundred protesters. In another, there were one thousand. Either seems a small number of the total Afghan population, indicating that support for the law is weak, not broad as Cohen suggests.

But, all these details and nuances do not concern Cohen, who has a message to deliver to the American sheeple.
The groupthink of the Muslim world is frightening. I know there are exceptions -- many exceptions. But still it seems that a man could be killed for his religious beliefs and no one would say anything in protest. It is also frightening to confront how differently we in the West think about such matters and why the word "culture" is not always a mask for bigotry, but an honest statement of how things are. It is sometimes a bridge too far -- the leap that cannot be made. I can embrace an Afghan for his children, his work, even his piety -- all he shares with much of humanity. But when he insists that a convert must die, I am stunned into disbelief: Is this my fellow man?
Taken to their logical conclusion, Cohen's assertions leave no room for tolerance or understanding. According to him, Muslim conduct is inexplicable, and the ignorance of a few must be imputed to the whole. Therefore, they cannot be human and Americans should not shy away from ridding the planet of their barbaric practices by any means necessary.

This is the art of opportunism riding on the coat-tails of ignorance. It is a very dangerous art with dire consequences.

  Monday, March 27, 2006

Scalia Flips the Finger in Church

This is just classic!
BOSTON, March 27 (UPI) -- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia startled reporters in Boston just minutes after attending a mass, by flipping a middle finger to his critics.

A Boston Herald reporter asked the 70-year-old conservative Roman Catholic if he faces much questioning over impartiality when it comes to issues separating church and state.

"You know what I say to those people?" Scalia replied, making the obscene gesture and explaining "That's Sicilian."

The 20-year veteran of the high court was caught making the gesture by a photographer with The Pilot, the Archdiocese of Boston's newspaper.

"Don't publish that," Scalia told the photographer, the Herald said.

He was attending a special mass for lawyers and politicians at Cathedral of the Holy Cross, and afterward was the keynote speaker at the Catholic Lawyers' Guild luncheon.
Many thanks to WRH!

How to Avoid Taxes

There are two likely scenarios in the event of the death of a bond holder, according to Stephen Meyerhardt, speaking for the Bureau of the Public Debt.

If there's a co-owner or a beneficiary named on the bond, the bond would become the property of that person.

If there's no co-owner or beneficiary or if they died before the primary owner, the bond becomes part of the primary owner's estate and goes to the heirs.

Federal tax on the interest accumulated on the bond is owed by whoever redeems the bond unless the estate handles the tax or the original bond holder had paid tax on it year-to-year.

The good news on taxes is that if the person who redeems the bond uses it to pay qualified education expenses, it can be claimed as an exclusion from income on their tax filing.

And NO state tax is owed on I-bonds. [emphasis added]
So, if you work for a living, tough noogies. After all, someone has to pay that interest!

But, if you sit back and collect interest, American tax payers will subsidize education in business and finance for you and your heirs so you can better learn how to fleece us.

Orange Revolution Turns Into Lemon

I can see George Dubya now, puckering his lips and squirming in his seat.
Former pro-Russian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych appears to have taken the largest vote share.

With more than 35% of the vote counted, election commission officials put Mr Yanukovych's party in the lead with 26.4%, closely followed by Ms Tymoshenko's party with 23.9%.

The president's party trails in third place with 16.6%.

Observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe have described the election as "free and fair".
Now, the US can't claim it was rigged.
A victory for Mr Yanukovych - who was written off a year ago - would be a dramatic comeback.

He was declared the winner of the presidential election in November 2004, but allegations of widespread vote-rigging sent hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians out on to the streets to demand change.

In what became known as the Orange Revolution, the election result was overturned and Mr Yushchenko went on to win a re-run.

If confirmed, the results would be a humiliating blow for Mr Yushchenko [and his US supporters] . . .

"Today's victory is a revelatory moment for both myself and the Party of Regions," he said.

"It has shown that despite everything, the people have managed to show their great support of our political force."

Mr Yanukovych said he would support ties with the European Union, as well as mending Ukraine's relationship with Moscow.
Ah, the bitter taste of defeat!

  Sunday, March 26, 2006

America's Worst Enemy

Bin Laden?



North Korea?

Not even close.

They wield the most powerful weapon in the world, and depending on how they use it, they can be America's Worst Enemy.

In fact, when you examine what they produce, it's plain just how divisive and subversive they are.

For example, Fox Network is running an original series called "Thief," scheduled to premier Tuesday night.

Last week, I caught a glimpse of a bus ad promoting it. Its background was all white, and in the center was an adult African-American male with one arm stretched out before him, palm facing front, fingers wide open.

On either side of his palm were two words "EVERYBODY" "STEALS" in gargantuan letters which, but for their size, were hardly visible from the background.

I couldn't believe my eyes. Then, by chance, I ran into it again online.

I was right. The ad did say "EVERYBODY STEALS." And the African-American man it portrays is the principal culprit in the series - a professional bank robber, co-starring with another African-American male, an Italian mobster, a Chinese assassin, and a White mastermind. Every role carefully plotted. Each character designed to feed into stereotypes of each race.

And then it occurred to me, who created these stereotypes to begin with? The Media.

Blacks, Hispanics, Arabs, Italians, Irish, Whites, Indians - no one is immune from their brush.

But, why? Is it all by chance?

When was the last time you produced a movie, commercial, or billboard ad by chance?

Nothing gets produced in the media by chance. Every image - and its outcome - is produced by design. Their aim is to divide and control.

Take their slogan - "Everybody Steals." Why make a LIE like that your slogan, unless you want to destroy people's trust in each other. Better to trust only the government, their bankers, and the media.

It's time for Americans to realize just how badly we are being manipulated by the media - through every single image, commercial, news cast, movie - you name it.

It's not just the war in Iraq and 9/11.

The messages we're force-fed on a daily basis constitute our lives, consume our minds, shape our goals, and frame our discourse. Worst of all, they teach our children.

This is not informing and entertaining. This is programming.

Fox delivers another message in this series. By incorporating the number "1" from a one dollar bill into the logo for the series, Fox not only reinforces the false impression that money has any value in and of itself, it also focuses our attention on the crimes of a rogue gang of thugs with hand-guns who steal a few million by breaking locks in the dead of night.

Meanwhile, the REAL culprits get away with stealing trillions upon trillions, in broad daylight, legally, openly and systematically - using a printing press, fractional reserve banking, and interest.

The media not only knows the TRUTH, they're working to make sure we never learn it, by filling our minds with LIES - and that makes them our worst enemy.

Economics: Religion Masquerading as Science

Economics: The Clandestine Religion Masquerading as a Science is an excellent piece by the founder of the American Monetary Institute, Stephen Zarlenga.
[There's a] growing awareness that we are all being targeted in economic warfare – all of us – your children and parents, friends, neighbors; since we can’t escape this struggle we’d better understand, and learn how to fight and win it!

This war is real and becomes more obvious in different ways every day. I am not referring to Iraq but to the deeper struggle over the direction of mankind that is more religious in nature. Not the fights with the religious right wing now threatening America’s political process. Those are real problems, but now we focus on a more fundamental battle with the new clandestine religion known as “economics”!

A year ago, Zbignieuw Brezinski, Carter’s National Security Advisor said the attempt to establish a new world order was doomed to failure because there was no universal religious underpinning to it as existed in the old world order – the Roman Empire, with its emperor worship and later its Christianity.

Brezinski was probably right that it would fail, but overlooked that this new order does have a universal religious belief system called Economics. It has its own god, the Market; its own priesthood of Economists; its temples, Banks until recently, clothed in ancient temple architecture.

An example of the religious nature of economics is the promotion of market as god. We are warned:

Don’t try to legislate on the market; it is stronger than our puny laws. It is omnipotent

Don’t try to regulate outcomes, the market with input from all of its participants always knows better. It is omniscient

Do the right things and the market will reward you, the wrong things and you’ll be punished. It is beneficent

Omnipotence, omniscience and beneficence are the attributes of a god, not a mere device for buying, selling and exchanging. - A strange deity that abhors morality and where even the most atheistic libertarians have been suckered into believing in the market’s “invisible hands,” like multiple Holy Ghosts.

Economics used to be based in morality. From 1100 to 1500, philosophy, religion and economics were combined in one group – the Scholastics - church philosophers including Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas who defined morality in commercial dealings. They focused on “the just price” and on usury. Usury was not merely taking interest. It was always permitted to take interest in certain ways such as the Societas, and Census. The main condition was that there be real enterprise risk to the lender. They were really investors (see Lost Science of Money, Ch.7).

The scholastics distinguished between earning interest and the detested usury: usury being a misuse of the money system, similar to the Islamic concept of riba.

Their mentor from across the centuries was Aristotle not the bible and they drew conclusions based on his authority and on their observations; but mostly on logic and deduction, which is appropriate for moral questions.

Aristotle was the bulwark against usury writing: “The most hated sort [of wealth getting], and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange but not to increase at interest.” (1258b, politics)

Those promoting usury found it necessary to attack Aristotle. Francis Bacon attacked: “Aristotle so confident and dogmatical…barren of the production of works for the benefit of the life of man.” (works, p.850)

Jeremy Bentham’s 1787 defense of usury attacked: “... ‘to trace an error to its fountain head is to refute it’…. if our ancestors have been all along under a mistake... How came the dominion of authority over our minds?”

One would think he is going to cite the strong Old Testament admonitions against usury. But he ignores the biblical prohibitions completely; he is after Aristotle: “Aristotle: that celebrated heathen…had never been able to discover in any one piece of money any organs for generating any other such piece. Emboldened by so strong a body of negative proof he ventured… an universal proposition, that all money is in nature barren...”

Bentham foisted the present misdefinition of usury on us, as taking more interest than normal. He promoted the idea of Utilitarianism which I summarize as forget morality – utility is what counts!

Modern economists kept the scholastics’ theoretical method using deductive logic but they ditched morality in favor of Bentham’s Utilitarianism. Despite the fact that the theoretical method works better on moral questions. Despite the fact that morality – or fairness - is a most useful element in any good society. Today economics primary effect is to justify forms of usury and empower those misusing the world’s money systems.

This continues despite the fact that over a century ago the great reformer Henry George destroyed utilitarianism in one sentence, writing: “[economics]…a science which…seems but to justify injustice, to canonize selfishness by throwing around it the halo of utility…” (Study of political economy lecture p. 6)

George noted the purposeful corruption of economics by: “…a powerful class whose incomes could not fail to be endangered by a recognition…that what makes them…wealthy is…only robbery, must from the beginning…have beset (political economy’s) primary step…” (SPE 140; also see 134, and 138)

Yet everywhere we look today, we see our world has come to be ruled by this new clandestine religion often referred to as Monetarism. How did it happen? Through control of the money system, society’s greatest dispenser of justice or injustice….

Power-hungry elements from ancient times to the present have dominated through the money power. Their main weapon has been the manipulation of language and thought, where definitions serve as heavy artillery….

By misdefining the nature of money, corrupt interests seized control of the money power, dominating society and deforming mankind in the process (see Lost Science of Money)

Economics has never properly defined money. They are still arguing whether money is a concrete power in commodities like gold and silver, or an interest bearing credit issued by private banks, or as we conclude from historical cases, money is an abstract social power - an institution of the law, having value because government receives it in taxes.

Economists use poor methodology – an over reliance on theoretical reasoning. We have two basic methods of gaining knowledge – through reason and through experience. Alexander Del Mar the great monetary historian noted:

"As a rule economists...don’t take the trouble to study the history of money; it is much easier to imagine it and to deduce the principles of this imaginary knowledge."

This failure becomes staggering when combined with their reluctance to accurately define the terms of their theories. This is not new – in 1827 Malthus wrote a book to complain about poor definitions in political economy, noting: “it is quite astonishing that political economists of reputation should be inclined to resort to any kind of illustration however clumsy and inapplicable, rather than refer to money.” But when Malthus presented 60 “better” definitions; a definition of money is glaringly absent.

Fortunately, Aristotle outlined a science of money in 330BC still valid today: “all goods must therefore be measured by some one this unit is in truth, demand, which holds all things together...but money has become by convention a sort of representative of demand; and this is why it has the name nomisma - because it exists not by nature, but by law or binding custom [which in Greek is nomos].”

Thus Aristotle identified money as an abstract legal power - a social invention. Its essence is not tangible wealth, but a power to obtain wealth – a crucial distinction. Plato agreed and advocated such fiat money for his Republic. We find these key principles used in both Greek and Roman systems….

Right from Aristotle’s time, we find evidence of the great battle over the control of money. This private vs. public struggle over the monetary power remains the main political divide to this day.

We summarize it as Adam Smith vs. Aristotle. Smith helped erect a mythology of money obscuring the science of money, by attacking the legal concept of money in his definition:

“By the money price of goods it is to be observed, I understand always, the quantity of pure gold or silver for which they are sold, without any regard to denomination of the coin.”

Smith’s primitive misdefinition of money as a commodity insinuated a mythology of money into economics in 1776, from which it has not recovered. He did this despite the earlier work of Berkeley, Locke and Franklin, from 1729 to 1735, in his library which more accurately identified money’s abstract nature….

Bad as Smith was monetarily, there is now an even worse effort to completely remove the concept of money from our language and replace it with a concept of credit. Then, monetary reform will actually become “unthinkable” because we won’t have the monetary concepts necessary to frame our reform thoughts. That’s the opponent’s game plan, but the AMI won’t allow it – with your help we are reviving the concept of money!

  Saturday, March 25, 2006

IAEA tells US to bug off!

Not even mild-mannered diplomats can control their disgust with this administration:
The [IAEA] is clearly rankled by [U.S.] assertions just days ahead of a trip by IAEA inspectors to Natanz, the site of Iran's known enrichment efforts.

IAEA officials normally refuse to be identified as such when discussing sensitive topics such as disputes with leading IAEA board members, such as the United States.

But reflecting exasperation, a senior agency official dropped such reservations Saturday as he called the U.S. claims that an agency briefing on the advances made by Iran on enrichment was a bombshell "pure speculation and misinformation."

"It comes from people who are seeking a crisis, not a solution" to the confrontation over Iran, the official said.
Ghee, where did he get that impression?
[A] diplomat in Vienna . . . said some U.S. [officials] were misrepresenting a recent briefing by the agency to Vienna-based representatives of . . . the five permanent Security Council members.

The information on where Iran was on enrichment and where it was headed was not new, but the U.S. officials claimed "the ... IAEA was blown away by (Iran's) progress and had the U.S. redefining its timeline" for Iran's capacity to make its first nuclear weapon down to three years, the diplomat told [AP].

Just last year, U.S. officials cited intelligence estimating Iran would need 10 years for its first bomb.

The U.S. is going to have to come up with a new strategy. Their time-honored method of bullshit-ing their way into war is not working this time.

Iraqi Lackeys Show Their Fangs

Iraq's embassy to Canada lashed out at the Christian Peacemaker Teams Friday, calling them "phony pacifists" and "dupes" after the anti-war group responded to the rescue of three of its kidnapped activists by condemning the U.S.-led military intervention in Iraq.
Had the hostages been killed, no doubt these jackals would have exploited their murders to the fullest in support of continued US occupation of Iraq.

But, instead . . .
In a statement obtained by the National Post, the Iraqi embassy called CPT "willfully ignorant" and "outrageous," and accused the Chicago-based group of being on the side of anti-democratic forces in Iraq.

"The Christian Peacemaker Teams practises the kind of politics that automatically nominate them as dupes for jihadism and fascism," the embassy's statement said.

"The statement shows they even share the rhetoric of the jihadists, even if they do it out of naivete. Despite their claimed affinity for 'non-violence,' this is false.

"Politically, they are on the other side of this war. Christian Peacemaker Teams are objectively on the side of the fascists, Saddam Hussein's loyalists and al-Qaida in Iraq.

"It is abundantly clear that Christian Peacemaker Teams are opposed to and, in effect, at war with Iraqi democrats, Americans, the British, and the rest of the multi-national Coalition."
Amazing. These guys are deranged, psychotics.

By their twisted logic, to qualify as a bona-fide peacemaker you must agree with the murderous and illegal occupation of Iraq and be ready to atomize an entire nation at the drop of a hat.
CPT issued a statement the day of the rescue blaming the "illegal occupation" of Iraq for the kidnapping.

The group said the hostages were "motivated by a passion for justice and peace to live out a non-violent alternative in a nation wracked by armed conflict."

"They knew their only protection was in the power of the love of God and of their Iraqi and international co-workers," CPT's statement said.

"We believe that the illegal occupation of Iraq by Multinational Forces is the root cause of the insecurity that led to this kidnapping and so much pain and suffering in Iraq. The occupation must end."

Well, this explains why Iraqi lackeys are attacking them. But, does it also explain why they were not killed?

And there's more . . .
The Daily Telegraph is also reporting today that the Christian activists refused to fully cooperate with an intelligence unit sent to question them. Based on an interview with a security source, the newspaper claims the activists said cooperating would contradict their Christian principles.
Now, I get it! These activists are armed and dangerous--with the TRUTH!
[Canadian Prime Minister Stephen] Harper refused to give a more detailed explanation of how the three men were freed from captivity.

"No length of time would allow me to release those details," he said.

* * *

The men also said they had not been physically abused: They were given food and kept somewhat warm during the long winter. The main problem they encountered during 118 days of captivity, [one of the hostages] said, was boredom.

* * *

The CPT workers in Iraq are also counteracting rumours Fox was tortured before he was killed. Nash cited two unidentified "independent sources" who said the American had been shot in the head and chest, but had not been tortured.
These men's lives are more at risk now than when they were hostages.

America's ONLY Chance

An Act to save this country from certain disaster . . .
An Act to restore the Constitutional power to create Money to the Congress of the United States
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
This Act may be cited as the American Monetary Act

The Congress finds that –
  1. The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 effectively ceded the sovereign power to create Money delegated to Congress by the Constitution to the private financial industry.

  2. This cession of Constitutional power has resulted in a multitude of monetary and financial afflictions, including an uncontrollable national debt, excessive taxation of citizens, inflation of the currency, drastic increases in the cost of public infrastructure investments, excessive un- and under-employment, and erosion of the ability of Congress to exercise its Constitutional responsibilities to provide for the common defense and general welfare.

  3. The issue of means of exchange by private financial institutions as interest-bearing debts should cease once and for all.

* * *

Not later than 90 days from the effective date of this section, the Secretary shall report to Congress on opportunities to utilize direct funding by the Government to modernize, improve, and upgrade the physical economy of the United States in such areas as transportation, agriculture, water usage and availability, sewage systems, medical care, education, and other infrastructure systems, to promote the general welfare. This will be done with substantial intrinsic ecological sustainability and quality of life considerations. In particular to promote throughout the U.S. a harmonious and balanced development of economic activities, sustainable and non-inflationary growth respecting the environment, a high level of employment and of social protection, the raising of the standard of living and quality of life, and economic and social cohesion.
The Act is now open for public comment.

Please, pass it on to everyone you know. Returning our money supply to the American public is our only ticket back to prosperity.

NM Democrats call to Impeach Bush!

One state at a time, it's going to happen.
The New Mexico Democratic Party is calling for President Bush's removal from office.

Party Chairman John Wertheim said Tuesday that delegates to Saturday's state party convention supported a call for the president's impeachment largely because of "perceived abuses of power and corruption in the Bush administration."

He listed as examples of abuses of power, warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens, the misstatement of facts preceding the invasion of Iraq, and the scandal surrounding the indictment of Vice President Dick Cheney's former top aide in connection with the leak of the identity of a covert CIA operative.

"Everyone understands President Bush is not going to be impeached," Wertheim said. "But these abuses of power and corruption in the administration are deeply serious matters and there should be more talk about this abuse of power."

The one-sentence amendment, added from the floor to the platform's section on political and election reform, reads: "Resolved, that the Democratic Party of New Mexico supports the impeachment of President George Bush and his lawful removal from office."

Marta Kramer, executive director for the Republican Party of New Mexico, said Tuesday the Democrats "foolishly" voted to "to impeach and punish our president for aggressively waging the war on al-Qaida and terrorist organizations."

"How will dragging the country into impeachment hearings protect Americans?" she asked. "How will censuring the president protect Americans?"

The amendment, suggested by Bernalillo County convention delegate Robb Chavez, was accepted on a show of hands by about 80 percent of the nearly 1,400 registered convention delegates, Wertheim said. It required support by at least two-thirds of the delegates.

Kramer said the action proved the only plan the Democrats have "is to attack our president, undermine American resolve and demoralize our troops."

Wertheim said Democrats perceive a double standard between President Bush and former President Clinton. Concerns raised about Bush's actions are "much more serious than anything that was said about President Clinton," he said.
This follows Vermont and I've heard something about Iowa but can't find a link.

It's just a matter of time.

Many thanks to Connie at Larouche for the tip.

Cut Down for Knowing the Truth?

Student Member of Scholars for 9/11 Truth Shot Dead.
Police said Zebuhr was walking to a parked car with family members, when robbers approached them and demanded his mother's purse. She gave it to the gunmen without any resistance. One of the men then shot Zebuhr.
This at 911 Blogger sums up my suspicions:
If the objective was to get his mother's purse, why needlessly throw a murder charge on top of it by firing *two shots* into Michael Zebuhr's head? Obviously the objective wasn't to get the purse, the objective was to murder Michael Zebuhr. The purse was simply taken so that it would be written up in the press as a mugging.

Scholars for 9/11 Truth had better get this case front-and-center on the frontpage of their website and point out the logic in my previous paragraph--as well as using press releases and everything else at their disposal to draw attention to it. If they don't call attention very load and clear to the obvious and sinister political implications of this case then they are making it easier for other members of Scholars for 9/11 Truth to be knocked-off.

Also interesting:

"Mpls. Police Say Uptown Still Safe Despite Murder," Jason DeRusha, WCCO (CBS), March 22, 2006: local..._080225959.html

Now how can the police truthfully say it is safe unless they believe that this wasn't a random act that could have happened to anyone at the same place and time? The only way they can truthfully say that is if they believe that it was a targeted murder specifically inteded for Michael Zebuhr; in which case others in the area need not fear the person who murdered Michael Zebuhr, since it wasn't a random act
How angry does that make you, because my blood is boiling.

We've got to stay on this story until the truth about who murdered him comes out.

9/11 Truth Goes Mainstream?

Thanks to Nate from Get In Their Face for streaming & 911 Blogger for the original.

Related Links:

Third Night of Showbiz Tonight's Sheen 9/11 Coverage - Video Download

Action Alert-Charlie Sheen Blows the Lid off the 9/11 Coverup

Follow Up Letter to 700 Structural Engineering Professors

No Longer The Minority: 82% Plus Support Charlie Sheen

'Showbiz Tonight' Continues their 9/11 Coverage Tonight at 7pm EST

Student Member of Scholars for 9/11 Truth Shot Dead

Author of Recent 9/11 Article in New York Magazine On Air America

Hannity & Colmes Cover Sheen's 9/11 Comments - Video Download

Showbiz Tonight Follows Up Sheen Coverage With Alex Jones - Video Download

Making Sense of Charlie Sheen's 9/11 Media Coverage

9/11 Skeptics Receive Fair Shake on Showbiz Tonight - Video Download

Charlie Sheen coverage tonight on CNN?

9/11 Breakout: Message from Webster Griffin Tarpley

Huge Reaction To Sheen 9/11 Story

Charlie Sheen Questions Official Story of 9/11

Is It Safe Yet? Hits Prime Time on CNN

Vote at CNN Poll

Spitzer On the Spot

Helen Thomas Speaks Of The PNAC, And The President's Desire For Iraq - Video

Some thoughts on the recent media coverage from 911 Blogger

The hypocrisy in the statements about Sheen's lack of knowledge on the subject of 9/11 lies in the fact that when people who do have the proper credentials to question 9/11 ask real questions they get no coverage by these same media outlets. While Sheen is not a government official, a 9/11 family member, an esteemed scientist, a rogue scholar, or a member of military intelligence - those that are exactly these things never get any coverage whatsoever.

Where was the media when the Jersey Girls complained about Philip Zelikow being appointed to head the 9/11 commission?

Where was the media when Dr. David Ray Griffin (professor emeritus of philosophy, religion, and theology, at the Claremont School of Theology for over 20 years) went on CSPAN to discuss the failures of the 9/11 commission?

Where was the media when the Jersey Girls called the 9/11 Commission Report a 'hollow failure'?

Where was the media for the 9/11 Congressional Hearing on the failures of the 9/11 commission held last July?

Where was the media when Dr. Steven Jones (professor of physics at BYU) came out supporting a real investigation into the collapse of WTC7?

Where was the media when Michael Meacher (former member of British Parliament) questioned the truth behind 9/11?

Where was the media when Morgan Reynolds (former Bush cabinet member) stated that 9/11 was an inside job?

Where was the media when Paul Craig Roberts (assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury under Reagan) said 'the account in the 911 report is a total contradiction to the laws of physics'?

Why has the media consistently avoided asking any real questions, or educating the American people regarding 9/11 for the last 4+ years?