Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Isolde en Panitao

Palestine's Guernica and the Myths of Israeli Victimhood

by Mustafa Barghouti, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative

From Palestinian Think Tank

The Israeli campaign of 'death from above' began around 11 am, on Saturday morning, the 27th of December, and stretched straight through the night into this morning. The massacre continues Sunday as I write these words.

The bloodiest single day in Palestine since the War of 1967 is far from over following on Israel's promised that this is 'only the beginning' of their campaign of state terror. At least 290 people have been murdered thus far, but the body count continues to rise at a dramatic pace as more mutilated bodies are pulled from the rubble, previous victims succumb to their wounds and new casualties are created by the minute.

What has and is occurring is nothing short of a war crime, yet the Israeli public relations machine is in full-swing, churning out lies by the minute.

Once and for all it is time to expose the myths that they have created.

1. Israelis have claimed to have ended the occupation of the Gaza Strip in 2005.

While Israel has indeed removed the settlements from the tiny coastal Strip, they have in no way ended the occupation. They remained in control of the borders, the airspace and the waterways of Gaza, and have carried out frequent raids and targeted assassinations since the disengagement.

Furthermore, since 2006 Israel has imposed a comprehensive siege on the Strip. For over two years, Gazans have lived on the edge of starvation and without the most basic necessities of human life, such as cooking or heating oil and basic medications. This siege has already caused a humanitarian catastrophe which has only been exacerbated by the dramatic increase in Israeli military aggression.

2. Israel claims that Hamas violated the cease-fire and pulled out of it unilaterally.

Hamas indeed respected their side of the ceasefire, except on those occasions early on when Israel carried out major offensives in the West Bank. In the last two months, the ceasefire broke down with Israelis killing several Palestinians and resulting in the response of Hamas. In other words, Hamas has not carried out an unprovoked attack throughout the period of the cease-fire.

Israel, however, did not live up to any of its obligations of ending the siege and allowing vital humanitarian aid to resume in Gaza. Rather than the average of 450 trucks per day being allowed across the border, on the best days, only eighty have been allowed in - with the border remaining hermetically sealed 70% of the time. Throughout the supposed 'cease-fire' Gazans have been forced to live like animals, with a total of 262 dying due to the inaccessibility of proper medical care.

Now after hundreds dead and counting, it is Israel who refuses to re-enter talks over a cease-fire. They are not intent on securing peace as they claim; it is more and more clear that they are seeking regime change - whatever the cost.

3. Israel claims to be pursuing peace with 'peaceful Palestinians'.

Before the on-going massacre in the Gaza Strip, and throughout the entirety of the Annapolis Peace Process, Israel has continued and even intensified its occupation of the West Bank. In 2008, settlement expansion increased by a factor of 38, a further 4,950 Palestinians were arrested - mostly from the West Bank, and checkpoints rose from 521 to 699.

Furthermore, since the onset of the peace talks, Israel has killed 546 Palestinians, among them 76 children. These gruesome statistics are set to rise dramatically now, but previous Israeli transgressions should not be forgotten amidst this most recent horror.

Only this morning, Israel shot and killed a young peaceful protester in the West Bank village of Nihlin, and has injured dozens more over the last few hours. It is certain that they will continue to employ deadly force at non-violent demonstrations and we expect a sizable body count in the West Bank as a result. If Israel is in fact pursuing peace with 'good Palestinians', who are they talking about?

4. Israel is acting in self-defense.

It is difficult to claim self defense in a confrontation which they themselves have sparked, but they are doing it anyway. Self-defense is reactionary, while the actions of Israel over the last two days have been clearly premeditated. Not only did the Israeli press widely report the ongoing public relations campaign being undertaken by Israel to prepare Israeli and international public opinion for the attack, but Israel has also reportedly tried to convince the Palestinians that an attack was not coming by briefly opening crossings and reporting future meetings on the topic. They did so to insure that casualties would be maximized and that the citizens of Gaza would be unprepared for their impending slaughter.

It is also misleading to claim self-defense in a conflict with such an overwhelming asymmetry of power. Israel is the largest military force in the region, and the fifth largest in the world. Furthermore, they are the fourth largest exporter of arms and have a military industrial complex rivaling that of the United States. In other words, Israel has always had a comprehensive monopoly over the use of force, and much like its super power ally, Israel uses war as an advertising showcase of its many instruments of death.

5. Israel claims to have struck military targets only.

Even while image after image of dead and mutilated women and children flash across our televisions, Israel brazenly claims that their munitions expertly struck only military installations. We know this to be false as many other civilian sites have been hit by airstrikes including a hospital and mosque.

In the most densely populated area on the planet, tons upon tons of explosives have been dropped. The first estimates of injured are in the thousands. Israel will claim that these are merely 'collateral damage' or accidental deaths. The sheer ridiculousness and inhumanity of such a claim should sicken the world community.

6. Israel claims that it is attacking Hamas and not the Palestinian people.

First and foremost, missiles do not differentiate people by their political affiliation; they simply kill everyone in their path. Israel knows this, and so do Palestinians. What Israel also knows, but is not saying public ally, is how much their recent actions will actually strengthen Hamas - whose message of resistance and revenge is being echoed by the angry and grieving.

The targets of the strike, police and not Hamas militants, give us some clue as to Israel's mistaken intention. They are hoping to create anarchy in the Strip by removing the pillar of law and order.

7. Israel claims that Palestinians are the source of violence.

Let us be clear and unequivocal. The occupation of Palestine since the War of 1967 has been and remains the root of violence between Israelis and Palestinians. Violence can be ended with the occupation and the granting of Palestine's national and human rights. Hamas does not control the West Bank and yet we remain occupied, our rights violated and our children killed.

With these myths understood, let us ponder the real reasons behind these airstrikes; what we find may be even more disgusting than the act itself.

The leaders Israel are holding press conferences, dressed in black, with sleeves rolled up.

'It's time to fight', they say, 'but it won't be easy.'

To prove just how hard it is, Livni, Olmert and Barak did not even wear make-up to the press conference, and Barak has ended his presidential campaign to focus on the Gaza campaign. What heroes…what leaders…

We all know the truth: the suspension of the electioneering is exactly that - electioneering.

Like John McCain's suspension of his presidential campaign to return to Washington to 'deal with' the financial crisis, this act is little more than a publicity stunt.

The candidates have to appear 'tough enough to lead', and there is seemingly no better way of doing that than bathing in Palestinian blood.

'Look at me,' Livni says in her black suit and unkempt hair, 'I am a warrior. I am strong enough to pull the trigger. Don't you feel more confident about voting for me, now that you know I am as ruthless as Bibi Netanyahu?'

I do not know which is more disturbing, her and Barak, or the constituency they are trying to please.

In the end, this will in no way improve the security of the average Israeli; in fact it can be expected to get much worse in the coming days as the massacre could presumably provoke a new generation of suicide bombers.

It will not undermine Hamas either, and it will not result in the three fools, Barak, Livni and Olmert, looking 'tough'. Their misguided political venture will likely blow up in their faces as did the brutally similar 2006 invasion of Lebanon.

In closing, there is another reason - beyond the internal politics of Israel - why this attack has been allowed to occur: the complicity and silence of the international community.

Israel cannot and would not act against the will of its economic allies in Europe or its military allies in the US. Israel may be pulling the trigger ending hundreds, perhaps even thousands of lives this week, but it is the apathy of the world and the inhumane tolerance of Palestinian suffering which allows this to occur.

'The evil only exists because the good remain silent'

Lee Iacocca Comments On The State Of The Nation

I receieved the following in an email from my mother the other day.

In a way it is hopeful that Mr. Iacocca is so incensed because it shows that even some traditional leaders of the establishment are opening their eyes. He does not take the next logical step to realize that the entire system has been corrupted, but his rant may indicate that perhaps libertarians are not alone. Maybe there still are other Americans that have not been brain-washed. Maybe some intelligent, independent thinkers like Mr. Iaccoca are also watching the self-destruction of our once noble country, amazed that no-one has noticed that we have separated ourselves from reality.

Remember Lee Iacocca, the VP at Ford credited with the birth of the Mustang, the man who rescued Chrysler Corporation from their death throes, and the owner of the famous quote 'Lead, follow, or get out of the way'? Well, he's back! He has a new book, and here are some excerpts.

Lee Iacocca writes:

'Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, 'Stay the course'

Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America , not the damned 'Titanic' I'll give you a sound bite: 'Throw all the bums out!'

You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore.

The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we're fiddling in Iraq , the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving 'pom-poms' instead of asking hard questions. That's not the promise of the ' America ' my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've had enough. How about you?

I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have.

The Biggest 'C' is Crisis !

Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis It's easy to sit there with your feet up on the desk and talk theory. Or send someone else's kids off to war when you've never seen a battle field yourself. It's another thing to lead when your world comes tumbling down. George Bush, Dick Cheney and who is this Bozo coming up next? One of the most Liberal Idiots in the U. S. Senate and he is talking about disarming America . I can't believe the American people are seeing what he is about to do to this country. May God have mercy on us all.

On September 11, 2001, we needed a strong leader more than any other time in our history. We needed a steady hand to guide us out of the ashes. A Hell of a Mess. So here's where we stand. We're immersed in a bloody war with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving. We're running the biggest deficit in the history of the country. We're losing the manufacturing edge to Asia , while our once-great Companies are all moving offshore. We're getting slaughtered by health care costs. Gas prices are skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent energy policy. Our schools are the worst in the world. Our borders are like sieves. The middle class is being squeezed every which way. These are times that cry out for leadership and we are getting ready to put the most Liberal Senator in the U. S. Senate in as our next President because we want to be fair and elect someone just because of his race. We don't have time to be fair, we need a strong leader.

But when you look around, you've got to ask: 'Where have all the leaders gone?' Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, omnipotence, and common sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I hope you get the point.

Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo? We've spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened.

Name me one leader who emerged from the crisis of Hurricane Katrina. Congress has yet to spend a single day evaluating the response to the hurricane, or demanding accountability for the decisions that were made in the crucial hours after the storm. Everyone's hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping it doesn't happen again. Well guess what people? We are having more floods right now. What are we doing to help these people out. Now, that's just crazy. Storms happen. Deal with it. Make a plan Figure out what you're going to do the next time. Why are we allowing people to build in flood plains anyway? If you build in a flood area, expect to be flooded and deal with it. Don't expect the Government to bail you out.

Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing. All they seem to be thinking now-days is getting themselves bigger salaries and bonuses. Who would have believed that there could ever be a time when 'The Big Three' referred to Japanese car companies? How did this happen, and more important, what are we going to do about it? likely nothing!

Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debt, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry.

I have news for the gang in Congress and the Senate. We didn't elect you to sit on your asses and do nothing and remain silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our greatness is being replaced with mediocrity. What is everybody so afraid of? That some bonehead on Fox News will call them a name? Give me a break Why don't you guys show some spine for a change? I honestly don't think any of you have one!

Had Enough?

Hey, I'm not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I'm trying to light a fire. I'm speaking out because I have hope; I believe in America .... In my lifetime I've had the privilege of living through some of America's greatest moments I've also experienced some of our worst crises: the 'Great D epression', 'World War II', the 'Korean War', the 'Kennedy Assassination', the 'Vietnam War', the 1970s oil crisis, and the struggles of recent years culminating with 9/11. If I've learned one thing, it's this:

'You don't get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. Whether it's building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play. That's the challenge I'm raising in this book. It's a call to 'Action' for people who, like me, believe in America . It's not too late, but it's getting pretty close. So let's shake off the crap and go to work . Let's tell 'em all we've had 'enough.'

So I'm delighted that Mr. Iacocca is pissed off, but dissapointed that he doesn't see that this transformation has happened because of the marriage of Washington, large corporations and modern technology. With 55,000 registered lobbyists in Washington, with political campaigns that spend a billion dollars, with the concentration of popular media in only six companies who all have vested interests in the War State, with billions spent on spying on Americans we must come to the realization thattweaking the system or hoping for Iacocca's "strong leader" isn't going to make any difference.

In order to stop out careen towards totalitarianism there will have to be terrible pain. The sheep are not going to wake up otherwise and the ubiquitous power of the Corproate State will continue to grow until the only means of change will be violent and deadly revolution.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

What Really Happened

This is a fabulous explanation of the destruction of the American economy. It is easy for anyone to understand. It is not short, but please take the time to read the whole thing.The swindle of the system is simple. The Federal Reserve Bank hires the US Treasury to print up some money. The Federal Reserve only actually pays the treasury for the cost of the printing, they do NOT pay $1 for each 1$ printed. But the Federal Reserve turns around and loans out that money (or credit line) to banks at full face value...

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Greenspan On The Great Depression, Before His Re-education

When business in the United States underwent a mild contraction in 1927, the Federal Reserve created more paper reserves in the hope of forestalling any possible bank reserve shortage. More disastrous, however, was the Federal Reserve's attempt to assist Great Britain who had been losing gold to us because the Bank of England refused to allow interest rates to rise when market forces dictated (it was politically unpalatable). The reasoning of the authorities involved was as follows: if the Federal Reserve pumped excessive paper reserves into American banks, interest rates in the United States would fall to a level comparable with those in Great Britain; this would act to stop Britain's gold loss and avoid the political embarrassment of having to raise interest rates. The "Fed" succeeded; it stopped the gold loss, but it nearly destroyed the economies of the world, in the process. The excess credit which the Fed pumped into the economy spilled over into the stock market-triggering a fantastic speculative boom. Belatedly, Federal Reserve officials attempted to sop up the excess reserves and finally succeeded in braking the boom. But it was too late: by 1929 the speculative imbalances had become so overwhelming that the attempt precipitated a sharp retrenching and a consequent demoralizing of business confidence. As a result, the American economy collapsed. Great Britain fared even worse, and rather than absorb the full consequences of her previous folly, she abandoned the gold standard completely in 1931, tearing asunder what remained of the fabric of confidence and inducing a world-wide series of bank failures. The world economies plunged into the Great Depression of the 1930's.

Alan Greenspan 1966

So, following his reasonable analysis of the causes of the Great Depression, we find that it was the inflation of the money supply that was the culprit, not the constriction of the money supply as Ben Bernanke seems to think.

The Federal Reserve and our government are doing exactly the wrong things. The dollar is holding its value becuase the big banks are holding their dollars. They will have to start lending massively soon (the Obamites will force them to). At that point the dollar will begin to lose value rapidly. Bernanke will try to leave interest rates low, but he will be forced by the holders of dollars as foreign reserves to try to slow the inflation by raising rates and constricting the money supply.

That will complete the cycle that Greenspan indicated back in 1966.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Solace Of Beauty

This blog has veered into politics because of the terrible events that occur with increasing frequency and give clear signal that the world is approaching a tragic change. Freedom and common sense, the natural world and traditional social order, Christian morality and the respect for life are all under attack and reeling. So as the deconstruction of society, the death of tradition and the terrible insecurity of the modern world smash through our little refuges and blast acrid jets of clamorous screeching to deafen us and poison our souls, is there still time to think about beauty?

There must be. If we are to be something more than the manipulators and murderers that rule the world and kill and steal all that is good and noble, then we must look for beauty. We can rip our eyes from the tragedies, turn off the noise and concentrate for now on what is beautiful. It is still there outside the window if we look for it. It is time to repair the soul.

The jungle is disappearing but a chucao still chortles from under the ground cover of the Valdivian forest. The little rayaditos still flit into view and bob around singing among the blossoms on the lumas. In America the song sparrow still heralds spring with his clear beautiful voice and the warblers and cardinals and blue jays and orioles splash beautiful colour through the green woods and cold white snow banks.

Marriages collapse into hatred and vengeance and little girls cry alone in their beds at night. It tears out my heart, but a beetle climbing on a calla lilly or a little honeybee caressing a plum blossom or a sprig of chilco is still beautiful enough to overcome the screeching caustic world of modern man. These gifts of Providence are what we truly need; they lighten our burden like the caress of a mother.

Beauty is not a drug, and it will never dull the mind. I will still know that the little girl cries alone and it will still hurt me, but I will also know that through the pain there is hope. Where reason tells us that all is lost, beauty tells us that there is still hope. The wind stills sighs softly through the pine boughs and a loon calls out on the still water under a silver moon. Beauty still reigns over the heart of those that look for it.

Beauty is not only the work of Providence, but also of Providence’s most troubled creation: man. It is curious that the same creatures that can invent the Guantánamo torture center can also write and perform Mozart’s Requiem Mass. We can kill and torture, cause pain and panic and deadly sorrow, but we can also write music as sad and beautiful as Grieg’s The Death of Ase. We can produce systems of enslavement as hopeless as the Soviet Gulags and blast them open with Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. Humans can create beauty and when we focus on art and the splendor of nature we find a peace that puts the horror and sadness into perspective. Listen to Wishbone Ash play the long, live version of Phoenix and feel the hope return into your heart at least for a moment.

I sat down to write an article about my favorite Spanish painters five hours ago, but this has completely gotten away from me. This thing wrote itself and now I am confronted with links to Velazquez and Goya and Dalí, with self-portraits of these giants and digital images of some of their most powerful works. Each of these men struggled through times and events as ugly as those that stain us today. The enemy reveled among the pain and corruption and carnage then as now. It drove Goya mad, but he was still able to paint with beauty. The crass commercialism distracted Dalí, but he still painted with an eye for the construction of the work that we may not see again. Velazquez had to give up his easel and brushes and deal with the world directly, but he could still enlighten us with a clear honest view into the nature of his subjects. They showed us beauty through the torment and I will write the article about these men sometime.

But for now I am listening to Phillip Glass and contemplating a surrealist vision painted by my friend Carlos Paredes. I am counting the days till I return to my home and my beautiful wife and children. I will hear the chucao soon. I will laugh at the antics of the rayadito and I will watch the little honey bees. The sun will come up over the Andes across the bay and the sea breeze will waft in the front window of our bedroom with cries of gulls, while the call of the chucao comes into the room from the back window. There is hope. Maybe not for long, but there is hope for now. The world is still full of beauty.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

World Economic Demand is Collapsing

Ships all over the world are stacking up in exporting countries, anchored, and not able to sail because they cannot get letters of credit. Hong Kong was mentioned as having rows and rows of loaded but idled ships stuck there. Over 100,000 factories in China are to close by the end of the year. Chinese plant owners are abandoning their plants

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More credit is not the solution if it can’t be repaid.

The unavoidable rules of traditional economy were:
1. Only production creates wealth.
2. You can only spend what you earn.
3. You should always save part of what you earn.
4. Sooner or later, all debts must be paid.

If these rules still apply to America in the 21st century, then we are in deep trouble because we are ignoring each one of these rules at the national, corporate and personal levels. We are in a deep financial crisis, which was caused by excess liquidity, and no one tells us to think about the fundamentals. I am not an economist, but I want you to read this short article and think with common sense.

The crisis that the economies of the world are suffering is the result of the Federal Reserve Bank having kept their interest rates way too low for way too long. They did that to keep an economy that produced less than it consumed moving. It did not encourage more production however; it just created situations that were ripe for speculation. The result of the Fed’s policy of irresponsibly low interest rates was a giant pool of cheap money that investors used to speculate in a variety of different markets, wreaking havoc in each one and moving on to the next.

First came the dotcom boom, when everyone was getting rich investing in tech stocks that rose meteorically without ever having made a single sale. Neither the small investor nor the institutional investor nor the Wall Street pundits ever had an inkling that the tech stocks wouldn’t keep rocketing upwards indefinitely. Something new and spectacular had happened! Everyone was going to get rich and the market was going to just keep climbing forever! Tech stocks didn’t have to produce sales, they were new and different! No one looked at rule #1 above. Speculation does not create wealth, production does and the dotcoms hadn’t produced a blessed thing. Even though the individual investors may be deluded or stupid, the group consciousness of the market eventually remembers the basic rules, therefore speculative bubbles burst. The instant millionaires instantly quit being millionaires when the dotcoms dove off of a cliff at the end of the 20th century.

But as the dotcom bubble burst, the Fed was afraid that a slowdown could ensue, or even the dreaded recession. The economy had to continue strongly forward, so they lowered the interest rates and flooded the markets with cheap money hoping that capital would work wonders and gets everything moving ahead again. This time the excess liquidity ended up in real estate and commodities. Housing prices began to rise as speculation became all pervasive. The truly moronic people in the government thought that this was the moment to put everyone in their own home, and even if they wouldn’t qualify to rent a three-bedroom apartment they were authorized to purchase a $200,000 house. Housing prices rose like the dotcom prices had five years earlier. Banks offered to let people cash equity out of their homes to go on buying sprees.

At the same time the cheap money started to speculate in commodities, driving up the price of basic foodstuffs and thereby actually killing people in Africa through starvation when food became too expensive to buy. Speculation drove the price of oil through the roof, almost bankrupting the aviation industry and severely hurting poor Americans at the same time that food got more expensive.

The investors on Wall Street were making more money than ever before in history. CEOs were considered so brilliant that they paid themselves eight and nine figure salaries. They invented complicated derivatives to make certain that they made the best use of the endless pool of cheap money provided by the Fed to leverage their investments and wagers by thirty or even as much as one hundred times. It was all a great party until the slow thinking group consciousness of the market pondered the four rules above and came to the conclusion that there was no production here and began to cash out. Kaboom! The market slides dangerously towards the brink until….

Paulson and Bernanke charge to the rescue at the head of the Congressional cavalry! There they went, Barney Frank mumbling away, Nancy in her pearls, Barack the chosen one and Bomb-bomb McCain all following the lead of the criminals that created the problem in the first place. And they decided that the solution was to do the same things that had created the crisis: increase debt and flood the markets with liquidity.

It is not working and it won’t work. The bailout will cause stagnation at best and a complete collapse of the dollar and the American economy at worst. The geniuses forgot the fundamentals. Instead of imposing tariffs and producing more here in America, instead of allowing bad companies enter into receivership where their “illiquid assets” can be disposed of and where their good assets can be bought by good companies, instead of waiting until credit for good companies loosens back up, instead of following the fundamental rules, the geniuses Bernanke and Paulson have followed the European socialists. They are trying to make us borrow our way out of trouble, but they forgot rule #4 above. Sooner or later all debts have to be paid, and it appears that neither the American government nor the American people will be able to pay their debts.

Why won’t we be able to pay our debts? Because we don’t produce anymore, instead we consume. Look at these three realities below and ponder that if they are accurate and will continue to be true that there is no way for us to pay our debts. Read them and tell me how we are going to pay a 12 Trillion dollar national debt. As more and more American jobs go overseas how are people going to pay their 3.5 trillion in consumer debt?

1.- America imports much more than it exports.
2.- The government spends much more than it collects in taxes.
3.- Americans take on more debt than they save.

Since our national economy began to be incorporated completely into the global economy twenty years ago, our production has declined while our consumption has increased. A large percentage of our production jobs have gone overseas. The goods that were once made in America are now made in China and Mexico, and the American companies that made the products here are still producing many of them, but the jobs are done by Mexicans and Chinese and Indonesians.

Since our good paying production jobs have gone, ours has become a "service economy". That means that we make caramel macchiattos for each other, spend a ton on medical attention and sell each other shiploads of stuff that is made overseas. We have become professional consumers and all of our consumption was paid for with debt.

There is a thing about debt. Sooner or later it must be paid. (Rule #4, top of the page) But we cannot pay our debt because we have a giant trade deficit, which the politicians won't touch because to question "free trade" is taboo. As China and India and others become more efficient and American plants become more run-down, how do the free-trade politicians (read Obama) suggest that we begin to produce more than we consume so that we can pay our personal, corporate and national debts?

It has come to the point that a magic fairy wand cannot be waved over our economy. Either we produce or perish. And that means dumping the free-trade mantra and protecting what little industry we have left. I am a pessimist. I do not think that we will be able to pay our debts and I think that the net result of that will be much worse than most people can imagine.

Just watch what transpires at the upcoming international financial summit. The creditors are going to have their say….

Friday, November 7, 2008

Conservatives Lost More Than An Election

Conservatives Lost More Than An Election by Chuck Baldwin November 7, 2008 That Barack Obama trounced John McCain last Tuesday should have surprised no one. In fact, in this column, weeks ago, I stated emphatically that John McCain could no more beat Barack Obama than Bob Dole could beat Bill Clinton. He didn't. (Hence a vote for John McCain was a "wasted" vote, was it not?) I also predicted that Obama would win with an electoral landslide. He did. The real story, however, is not how Barack Obama defeated John McCain. The real story is how John McCain defeated America's conservatives.For all intents and purposes, conservatism--as a national movement--is completely and thoroughly dead. Barack Obama did not destroy it, however. It was George W. Bush and John McCain who destroyed conservatism in America.Soon after G.W. Bush was elected, it quickly became obvious he was no conservative. On the contrary, George Bush has forever established himself as a Big-Government, warmongering, internationalist neocon. Making matters worse was the way Bush presented himself as a conservative Christian. In fact, Bush's portrayal of himself as a conservative Christian paved the way for the betrayal and ultimate destruction of conservatism (something I also predicted years ago). And the greatest tragedy of this deception is the way that Christian conservatives so thoroughly (and stupidly) swallowed the whole Bush/McCain neocon agenda.

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ron Paul at Google in July 2007

Listen to this man and compare his wisdom with what we heard from Obama and McCain

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Big One Is Nigh (The coming economic earthquake)

by Srdja Trifkovic

“The global economy is like the St. Andreas Fault: You know that a terminal disaster is inevitable, but you keep your fingers crossed and try not to think about it,” I wrote in the print issue of Chronicles seven months ago (“Waiting for the Big One,” March 2008). “When a tremor occurs, you often fear it could be the Big One and sometimes panic,” I went on, “but then, when the dust settles, you sigh with relief to find yourself alive and the Golden State still above the ocean.” Well, the Big One is nigh; and here’s the rest of that old column in which I argue that, in the end, the meltdown may be all for the best…The fiscal imbalances caused by President Bush’s addiction to deficit spending, by over-indebtedness, by ordinary Americans’ negligible savings, by the huge and growing foreign debt, and by the falling dollar are all still there.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Political Theory Is Not on One Axis

The range of political theory does not reside on one axis: "conservative" and "liberal" as Americans are trained to think. Take a look at the Nolan chart for instance. There are two axes, one for social orientation and the other for economic orientation.
Open your minds.....

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Phone Call To The Fed

CALLER - Mr. Supinski, does my country own the Federal Reserve System? MR. SUPINSKI - We are an agency of the government. CALLER - That's not my question. Is it owned by my country? MR. SUPINSKI - It is an agency of the government created by congress. CALLER - Is the Federal Reserve a Corporation? MR. SUPINSKI - YesPlease read this article for an entertaining and frightening look at the true nature of the Federal Reserve.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Problem With Neoconservatism

When I moved back to the States after 16 years in Chile I noticed that conservatism had changed course 180 degrees. How did a political movement that proposed perpetual war, huge deficits and ballooning government grow out of American conservatism? How did it happen without anyone noticing?

Well it must of been like boiling a live frog. When you heat the water up a bit at a time, the little creature doesn't notice. That is one reason that nobody talks about the transformation of conservative ideology. But I have been studying the change and the principal actors behind the change and have come upon another, graver reason that we don't talk about the problem with neoconservatism. Incredibly we are hesitant to discuss the change because we rapidly enter into a subject that is taboo in America. I have been to cowardly or too prudent to blog about this topic up until now.

But today I ran across an article by Dr. Kevin MacDonald that poses the important questions about neoconservatism. Where did this transformation of American conservatism come from? Who does it benefit? Why is it taboo to talk about this subject? So I am going to let Dr MacDonald, who is braver than I, talk about Neoconservatism:

Over the last year, there’s been a torrent of articles on neoconservatism raising (usually implicitly) some vexing issues: Are neoconservatives different from other conservatives? Is neoconservatism a Jewish movement? Is it “anti-Semitic” to say so?

The dispute between the neocons and more traditional conservatives — “paleoconservatives” — is especially important because the latter now find themselves on the outside, looking in on the conservative power structure.

Hopefully, some of the venom has been taken out of this argument by the remarkable recent article by neoconservative “godfather” Irving Kristol (“The Neoconservative Persuasion,” Weekly Standard, August 25, 2003). With commendable frankness, Kristol admitted that

“the historical task and political purpose of neoconservatism would seem to be this: to convert the Republican party, and American conservatism in general, against their respective wills, into a new kind of conservative politics suitable to governing a modern democracy.”

And, equally frankly, Kristol eschewed any attempt to justify U.S. support for Israel in terms of American national interest:

“[L]arge nations, whose identity is ideological, like the Soviet Union of yesteryear and the United States of today, inevitably have ideological interests in addition to more material concerns… That is why we feel it necessary to defend Israel today, when its survival is threatened. No complicated geopolitical calculations of national interest are necessary.”

If the US is an “ideological” nation, this can only mean that the motivations of neoconservative ideology are a legitimate subject of intellectual inquiry.

To read the rest of Dr. MacDonald's article click here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chuck Baldwin is Right On with his condemnation of the bailout.

I voted early for Bob Barr and I am glad that I did, but I may have voted for Baldwin instead of Barr if I had known how he is exactly right on monetary and fiscal policy.
His citations of Jefferson and Jackson and Washington should make us all think about the way fiscal policy is decided among the criminals in Washington DC

“Gentlemen, I have had men watching you for a long time, and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the eternal God, I will rout you out.”

Andrew Jackson- in a speech to a delegation of bankers in 1832

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Prosecute George Bush outside of the USA

It is clear to me that our government violated the laws that we wrote in order to prosecute the Nazis at the war crimes trials in Nuremburg after World War II. It is also clear that our government has purposely violated international laws against torture and illegal war. The Bush administration used false intelligence to manipulate our country into unjust war and since then has violated the human rights of hundreds or thousands of men in illegal detentions.

These are crimes. They are crimes under American and international law. It is highly improbable that Mr. Bush will face justice in America, given our corrupt system that never prosecutes the powerful. Therefore if we hope for justice to punish the guilty and as a message to future Machiavellians, then we must hope for Bush and his coconspirators to be tried outside of the United States. It would not mean that Mr. Bush would serve any jail time or even pay any fines, but it would make it very risky for him to travel internationally. We should pursue this avenue as it seems to be the only one available to show the world that even the President of the United States cannot laugh at the law and murder and torture at will.

There is a famous judge in Spain named Baltasar Garzón who brought charges against the retired President and dictator of Chile, Augusto Pinochet Ugarte. Pinochet was held in house arrest for two years in England and although he was allowed to return to Chile because of his health and senility, a precedent was set that obliged EU member states to validate legal warrants issued by other EU members. Here is some more information about Garzón.

It is interesting to note that Judge Garzón succesfully prosecuted and jailed Al Qaeda operatives in Spain, in fact more than we have here in America. He was absolutely against the unjust and unwise war in Iraq. He has said that they way to end a terrorist organization's activities is with good police and judicial work. He rolled up ETA and Al Qaeda in Spain.

I have written a letter to Judge Garzón asking him to investigate the crimes of murder, torture, illegal war and kidnapping against George Bush and Dick Cheney. He is well aware of the crimes committed at Guantánamo and has called for its closure. If he were to file an accusation for these crimes before the European Union, then Misters Bush and Cheney would have to think twice about leaving the safety of the United States. If you would like to send this letter to Judge Garzón, click on the letter above, print it, date it and sign it, put it in an envelope and send it to the address at the beginning of the letter.

Here is the text of the letter to Judge Garzón in Spanish. A translation in English is below the Spanish:

Juez Baltasar Garzón Reall
Audiencia Nacional
C/ García Gutiérrez 1
28004 Madrid, Spain

de octubre de 2008

Estimado Juez Garzón,

Con esta carta quiero agradacerlo por todo lo que usted ha hecho durante los últimos 15 años para llevar los cuplables de crimenes contra la humanidad a la justicia. Usted merece el agradecimiento de todo el mundo por su trabajo, en especial por perseguir los torturadores y asesinos que escondieron detrás de puestos políticos. Era con astucia y valentía que usted casi llevó Pinochet a justicia en España, y en hacerlo, usted lo dejó encarcelado en su casa en Santiago de Chile. También merece agradecimiento por llevar Scilingo, Videla y los otros argentinos involucrados en las matanzas de inocentes antes la justicia. Gracias a su trabajo, los culpables de genocidio y tortura no atreven salir de sus propios países.

Sr. Garzón, gracias a su reputación internacional como heroé de los inocentes, le pido con gran respeto que usted abra una investigación de dos hombres culpables de miles de muertes injustas y de cientos de torturas y encarcelaciones sin el debido proceso de la ley. Estas dos personas culpable de iniciar guerra injusta y de secuestra con asesinación son George Walker Bush y Richard Cheney. Sr. Garzón, estos criminales deben responder por sus crímenes.

Es claro que hay gran peligro de abrir un proceso contra el Presidente de los Estados Unidos, pero usted es la persona con la estatura internacional de hacerlo. Por favor, ponga la justicia por encima de la cautela. Hay miles de heridos y muertos, miles de hombres a los cuales les robaron años de sus vidas, quienes claman por justicia. Tengo fe que usted puede representar todas estas personas. Confío que una vez más usted va a dejar saber que el mundo no aguanta los crímenes contra la humanidad.


Here is the English translation:

With this letter I would like to thank you for all that you have done over the last 15 years to bring those that are guilty of crimes against humanity to justice. You deserve the thanks of the whole world for your work, especially for pursuing the torturers and murderers that hide behind their political positions. It was with great astuteness and courage that you almost brought Pinochet to trial in Spain and by so doing, you left him jailed in his home in Santiago de Chile for the rest of his life. You also deserve thanks for bringing Scilingo, Videla and the other Argentines involved in the slaughter of innocents during Operation Condor to justice. Thanks to your work, the men guilty of genocide and torture do not dare to leave their own countries.

Mr. Garzón, thanks to your international reputation as the hero of the innocents, I would like to ask you with great respect that you open up an investigation of two men who are guilty of thousands of unjust deaths and hundreds of tortures and illegal incarcerations without the due process of law. Those two men, guilty of initiating illegal war and of kidnapping with murder are George Walker Bush and Richard Cheney. Mr. Garzón, these men should abnswer for their crimes.

It is clear that there may be great danger involved with opening a process against a President of the United States, but you are the one person with sufficient international stature to do so. Please, put justice before caution. There are thousands of dead and injured, thousands of men who were robbed of long years of their lives who are crying for justice. I believe that you can represent those men and women. I believe that, once again, you will let the world know that we do not accept crimes against humanity.

Update - April 2nd 2009

Six months ago, I had the idea to write a letter and ask Judge Baltasar Garzón do investigate the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by George Bush and Dick Cheney.
And now this week we hear that he will almost certainly process David Addington, John Yoo, Doug Feith, Alberto Gonzales and two others. Justice may be served after all.


I was asked by a reader to write a new letter to Judge Garzón thanking him for initiating an investigation into the actions of David Addington, John Yoo, Doug Feith, Alberto Gonzales and two others for the crime of the unlawful justification of torture.
The letter below continues to request that Judge Garzón continue his process with an investigation of Dick Cheney and George Bush.

Click on the letter, print it, sign it and send it to Judge Garzón. Let´s let him know that Americans appreciate what he is doing.

Below is an English translation of the letter.

Judge Baltasar Garzón

With this letter I would like to thank you for initiating legal actions against the authors of the documents that justified the use of torture by the Administration of George Bush. You deserve the thanks of the entire world for your work; and you especially deserve the gratitude of the people of the United States of America for opening the processes that will find the guilty parties and thereby allow the USA to begin to clean up its international reputation. I hope that these investigations will serve as examples that will be continued here in America. The six men that you are investigating used the power of the USA to torture and jail inocent men and your investigation is an act of courage.

Mr. Garzón, thanks to your international reputation as the hero of the innocents, I would like to ask you with great respect that you open up an investigation of two men who are guilty of thousands of unjust deaths and hundreds of tortures and illegal incarcerations without the due process of law. Those two men, guilty of initiating illegal war and of kidnapping with murder are George Walker Bush and Richard Cheney. Mr. Garzón, these men should abnswer for their crimes.

It is clear that there may be great danger involved with opening a process against a President of the United States, but you are the one person with sufficient international stature to do so. Please, put justice before caution. There are thousands of dead and injured, thousands of men who were robbed of long years of their lives who are crying for justice. I believe that you can represent those men and women. I believe that, once again, you will let the world


Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Federal Reserve Bank Is The Cause Of The Economic Crisis

Please take a look at this short video and then educate yourself as to what the Federal Reserve Bank is and what it does and who owns it. Try reading "The Creature From Jekyll Island". Or if you aren't much of a reader, consider buying a two DVD set produced by Edward Griffin called "The Federal Reserve: Discourse"

The Federal Reserve is not part of the government. It is not any more "Federal" than Federal Express. It is a privately owned bank. It is also not a reserve, although it does hold all of America's gold bullion. However there has never been an accounting for our gold. We only have the word of the private bankers that the gold is still in their vaults.

The Federal Reserve has created the cycles of boom and bust by inflating the money supply or as they say "lowering the interest rates" or "increasing liquidity". All three things mean exactly the same thing. Whenever the Fed inflates the money supply, they take away the motivations to save and instead they promote the motivation to speculate. If the Fed had not doubled the money supply over the last five years, the interest rates would have risen and banks would not have speculated wildly in the Real Estate market.

Derivitives and hedge funds are only possible when the investors can leverage their personal investments massively. That is only possible when money is very cheap. Unqualified buyers would never be given home loans if investment money was limited. But since money has been so cheap for so long, some banks decided to gamble. The Fed has kept money very cheap for over ten years and thereby they created the dotcom boom and bust and now this much more serious crisis. This is actually a crisis of excess liquidity and the answer suggested by the governemnt and the Fed is their all-purpose answer to any calamity: Print more money.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Una Carta A Los Chilenos

Con esta carta abierta quiero expresar mis más profundos sentimientos de agradicimiento a los ciudadanos del mejor país del mundo. Quiero agradecerlos porque me aceptaron como uno de ustedes. Quiero agradecerlos porque me dieron la cosa más preciosa en todo el país, la hermosa fiera con la cual estoy casado en una relación tan fuerte que pasa del amor y llega a ser una fuerza de la naturaleza. Quiero agradecerlos por dejarme conocer las mansiones de Vitacura, los departamentos de La Granja, las chozas de la cordillera y los fundos del sur. Quiero agradecerlos por haber trabajado conmigo en el bosque y la muelle, en las construcciones y en las oficinas de Santiago. Quiero agradecer a cada campesino, cada cuico, cada obrero, cada agricultor, cada huaso, cada pescador, cada paco, cada fleite, cada huevón loco, cada borracho, cada señora digna, cada lola bonita, cada chilote, cada secretaria que maneja el mundo, cada sureño humilde, cada ladrón, cada norteño, y cada hijo de puta y su madre. Todos me han dado una mano, todos me han dado amistad y ahora siento en mi corazón que preciosos son los regalos que me dieron.

Ahora estoy lejos de Chile. Estoy lejos de mi hogar. Estoy lejos de mi preciosa señora y mis hijos tan buenos y llenos de vida. Los echo de menos con un vacío doloroso en mi alma. No supe valorarlos cuando estaba en casa. Mi familia chilena con la cual me casé cuando me casé con mi mujer pelea con furia, tirando platos a grito pelado, pero cuando uno necesita una mano, la pelea se olvida y se echa más agua a la sopa. En cambio aquí estoy entre gente fría y calculadora, creída como ellos solo se creen. Aquí no se ayudan, aquí se juzgan. Aquí tiene que pisar con cuidado porque no se perdonan y no olvidan nada.

En Chile uno es libre de decir que el Presidente es un culeáo de mierda y salir a la calle encapuchado para tirar piedras a los pacos. En Chile uno es libre de vivir como mejor le complace, y si a mi vecno no le gusta lo que hago, mala raja. Puedo hablar de lo que quiero y mientras no hago daño a nadie, me dejan en paz. En Chile no se habla tanto de la libertad porque no es un dicho, es palpable, se siente su olor en la brisa. Pero aquí en “la tierra de los libres” cada cosa que se hace es controlado por ley o por costumbre. Hay cuatro millones de huevones en la carcel y todavía los televidentes creen que viven en la tierra de los libres. La política es un chiste donde los dos partidos son igualmente comprado por las grandes corporaciones y todo es pantalla.

En Chile la puerta de la iglesia está abierta y la esperanza y fe de siglos calman el aire adentro del templo, suavizan el sonido, te abrigan contra el frío humano. Uno reza ante el altar seguro de estar en la presencia del Dios que perdona, el Dios que sabe que somos todos débiles como guaguas. Pero aquí una iglesia no es un refugio como en Chile. Las puertas están cerradas durante la semana y abren a la hora para los servicios. Llegan los autos todos juntos como una caravana para cumplir con un Dios que decidió que los gringos es la gente escogida. En lugar de dar refugio, de las iglesias emana una vibra de peligro como de una sala de la corte. La congregación se pega sonrisas de plástico mientras que se estudia uno al otro por defectos.

Nada es lo que parece aquí en gringolandia. Si parece madera, seguro que es plástico, parece verduras pero sabe de nada, parece amigo, pero seguro que cuando lo necesitas, no va a tener tiempo para ayudarte. Todo es falso. Todo es regimentado y él que es distinto es marginalizado. No hay discusiones políticas como en Chile porque todos tienen miedo de ofender a alguien. Y además, aquí en este lugar con acceso a más información que nunca ha habido en la historia, los huevones no saben nada. Miran la tele. Son espectadores de la vida. Basta de quejarme de este lugar donde nací pero en lo cual me siento absolutamente extraño. Quise decir lo anterior para subrayar tan increíblemente especiales son los chilenos.

Quiero agradecerlos por haber aguantado mis reventones por años interminables con todo los destrozos que me siguieron como los wagones siguen la locomotora. Quiero agradecerlos por quererme y perdonarme depués de todas las cagadas que mandé. Con la ayuda de Dios, la locomotora de destrucción no sale más del terminal. Escúchame Señor te pido a rodillas.

Quiero agradecerlos por enseñarme tanto sobre la madera y los pescados y los niñas y sus sonrisas. Quiero agradecerlos por enseñarme el arte y la danza. Quiero agradecerlos por mostrarme la cordillera y el mar y olor dulce de las lumas debajo las ramas de la selva fría. Quiero agradecer los asados al palo y los curantos y los humildes platos de cazuela. Ustedes saben abrir la puerta al forajero, saben tratar a una persona con cariño.

Lloro mientras escribo y se que fui bendecido el día que llegué a Chile y fui bendecido con la amistad de tantas personas. Gracias Juanito y Yohny y Gonzalo y Elisa y Lola y Fray Domingo y Dago y Ocho y René y Carlos y todos y cada uno que me extendió una mano. Pero mucho más bendecido fui en el día que me casé con mi chilena. No supe cuanto, pero ahora doy gracias a Dios todos los días por ponerme junto con La Única Y Mejor. Fui bendecido con tres hermosos hijos chilenos que me alegran la vida. Los amo.

Chile es hermoso y rudo y noble y peligroso y tierno como el pecho de la madre.
Y Chile es mi hogar y quiero volver a casa.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Nation on the Verge of Bankruptcy by Ron Paul

From the article:

"Not only is our nation on the verge of bankruptcy, but so are its people and private institutions. We are now repeatedly hearing about businesses “needing to access the credit market to make payroll.” This is an unmistakable sign of more dire consequences ahead for the economy. If businesses must borrow just to make payroll, this is evidence of a severe undercapitalization that cannot be sustained, even for the short run."

In order to read the whole article click here.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Forest and the Trees

We are in deep trouble. We are piling debt on debt with nothing to indicate that our tax receipts are going to increase faster than our expenditures. If we tax more, we will stifle the economy and collect less tax revenue. The only hope to balance the ledger is to drastically reduce spending. This article explains why we won't reduce spending even though it is THE existential problem facing the USA.

The modern analytical mentality focuses on details. To understand a thing we must break it into component parts and see what each of them is made of. Then we think that we understand the whole. This is the idea that by understanding each tree in detail, we will understand the forest. The old adage the he can’t see the forest for the trees indicates that our focus on detail is a break from traditional wisdom. This is especially true in Washington DC where we not only focus on each individual tree, but each tree now has its own lawyer, lobbyist and pet Congressman.

Change comes to Washington in starts and fits. Usually change means new programs and bureaucracies, but at some rare moments in our recent history, a new administration looks to save money by eliminating unnecessary programs and agencies. This almost never works because in Washington change only happens in one direction and that is always towards MORE. A new agency with hundreds or thousands of employees can come together in a flash, but the machine has no gear that allows us to go backwards and eliminate senseless, redundant or counterproductive departments. All new Presidents aim to kill some programs and offices, but it never happens.

Why is it impossible to eliminate Bureaus, Agencies, Offices and Departments? The main reason is that the people who have the most interest in each bureaucracy’s survival are those with the most information about it. These are the bureaucrats that work in each office of the gigantic Federal colossus, the clients of each office and the lobbyists that represent the special interests that sell to the office or are served in some other way by each office. They have facts and figures, they have evaluations on people served, they have personal testimonies and they collate, prepare and update all of their information into rock-solid arguments that advocate continuity. The administrations that want to eliminate spending by amputating these cost centers enter into arguments in Congress that they can’t win. Each Congressman that is beholden to lobbyists that are patrons of a certain office will be supplied with the carefully prepared, heart-wrenching and logical reasons that the special work of this office must continue. This Congressman will then huddle together with other Congressmen and make the deals so each washes the other’s back. “You vote with me here and I’ll vote with you there”.

This is understood in Washington and crusades to eliminate Offices, Agencies, Bureaus and Departments are not even attempted any more because they are certain to achieve nothing. But we now face a crisis of proportions that requires real cost-cutting. We are deeply in debt as individuals, as a trading nation and as a government. If our present rate of increase in spending and our present slower rate of income growth continue, there is no way out of our problem. The ledger does not balance now and if we continue as is, it will get so bad as to create unpayable debt.

All of our economic growth over the last ten years was fueled by debt and artificial expansion of the money supply by the Federal Reserve Bank. The demographics of our country are changing; from this day forward for at least fifteen years, more taxpayers are going to retire than new taxpayers will come into the workforce. The interest on the Federal debt this year will total $451,154,049,950.63. That is 15.3% of the total FY 2008 Federal Budget as reported with questionable accuracy by the White House. The latest estimate of the Budget deficit in FY 2008 is $438,000,000,000. FY 2009 will see a larger deficit; in fact it will probably be much larger as tax revenues will go down as entitlements go up. The national debt is at $10,287,246,000,000 as I write, but it does not include about a trillion dollars that have been approved by Congress but have not yet been spent by the Treasury. Conservative estimates by David Walker, the ex Director of the General Accounting Office project our national debt at over 65 Trillion dollars given today’s income and expenses. The interest on that debt would be more than this year’s entire Federal budget. Federal government spending is clearly unsustainable.

The United States of America has run a trade deficit for the last 16 years. In 2006 the trade deficit was 753 billion dollars and in 2007 it was 700 billion according to the US Census Bureau. Other organizations have much higher estimates of our trade deficit. These continuous trade deficits mean that we are buying on credit as a nation. In order to finance our national spending spree, the Federal Reserve Bank has created trillions of dollars out of thin air, doubling the money supply in the last ten years. Now in just the last two months the Fed has added another ten or fifteen percent to the money supply. We are constantly told that the global economy benefits us all, but if we step back to look at the whole forest we see that the idea that “free trade” is good for America is laughable. If we don’t balance trade with our creditors, they will demand that we pay our bills in their currency and our standard of living will collapse.

The Federal budget and trade policies are clearly unsustainable. That is why the economy is crashing around us. Paulson and Bernanke focus on the details of sub-prime lending and debt equity swaps, they focus on freeing up credit, but the reality is that the entire system is destined to crash unless we manage to balance our accounts. More debt will not solve the problem of too much debt. We need to address the big picture. We need to focus on the forest and not the trees.
• We need to eliminate trade deficits and make them trade surpluses.
• We need to care for the dollar right now before it is rejected as a reserve currency around the world and that means that we need to stop printing and instead, shrink the money supply.
• We need to change budget deficits to budget surpluses and we need to start paying down the national debt.
• We need to stop cartels of giant corporations from using the government in such a way as to protect themselves with regulations and enrich themselves with government contracts. This is particularly true of the financial, health and insurance industries and the Military Industrial Complex.

If we don’t do these things we will implode. These four goals require that we stop looking at the individual trees. These goals require that we step back so that our vision encompasses the whole forest and then we need to act. We need to start knocking down trees without listening to each tree’s representatives.

In order to explain the idea I am going to use an example to show what happens broadly across the hundreds of governmental offices. An obvious example is the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. There is no need for this bureau. There are three or four others that perform Federal law enforcement and the BATF has a terrible record of ineptitude and heavy handedness. But it has not been disassembled and it won’t be disassembled. It will continue to consume about a billion dollars a year. Last year its budget was $ 1,013,980,000.

The ATF like all Departments, Offices, Bureaus and Agencies has dedicated itself over the years to a number of different tasks, but the first of those tasks is the creation and constant perfecting of its institutional raison d’être. If you listen to the minutiae of a ATF apologist he or she will rattle off prepared lists of seemingly logical and moving reasons why the Bureau is needed to maintain order and the American way. That discussion will be interminable and the people who have had the most time to hone every point of their argument are those who are personally interested in the continuity of the ATF. There were concerted efforts by the Bush administration to do away with the ATF when they had recently arrived in DC. They went before Congress and told them that the ATF was badly operated, redundant and unnecessary. What came of those efforts? Nothing. If you think that we’ll get rid of the ATF by focusing on details you are dreaming.

But the ATF is only 0.03% OF THE federal budget. What will really sink us is unsustainable government spending, special interest driven regulations, the criminal manipulation of the Federal Reserve Bank and Trade Policies that have beggared the nation and the middle class. We can see that these are the causes of our problems when we step back and look at the big picture, when we look at the whole forest.

So what do we see when we look at the whole forest? Here are a few views that are worth thinking about:

• Our military spends more than half of all military expenditures on earth. Our defense expenditure for FY 2009 will be over 600 Billion dollars. We have US military in 130 countries around the world. We defend countries that then loan us money to defend them. The size of our defense expenditure can only because it is expensive to “project power”. In English that means attack other countries. We have an offensive, not defensive military machine
• We are running a global empire. We are involved in every dispute around the world. We are actively engaged in two wars against countries that could never threaten the United States. We are clandestinely involved in at least two wars. We are reviled in the Middle East and now in Latin America where we are seen as a mindless bully. We are even threatening Russia now. Would we allow any other country to do what we do around the world? Does anyone really think that infuriating the rest of the world makes us safer?
• We also spend more on intelligence than the rest of the world put together. Our intelligence budget is larger than the military budget of any other country in the world. And the intelligence that reaches our decision makers is more frequently wrong than right. How can we justify 911 when we spend so much on intelligence? How can we justify Iraq or the fact that we can’t find Bin Laden? Don’t we have a right to know what we are paying for?
• Our health care cost 2.3 Billion dollars in 2007. That was 16.6% of our GDP and the costs are rapidly rising. That cost is 75% more than any other developed country and the rest of the developed countries insure everyone. 15% of our population has no medical insurance and another 35% has inadequate coverage. Our health statistics are among the worst in the developed world.
• Along the lines of the item above, given the current rates of increase in costs, Medicare Parts A and B and Medicaid will occupy over 50% of the Federal Budget in five to seven years. How Is Medicare Funded? Unlike Social Security, Medicare payroll taxes and premiums cover only 57% of current benefits. The remaining 43% is financed from general revenues. Because of rising health care costs, general revenues will have to pay for 62% of Medicare costs by 2030.
• Since entering into “free trade” trade agreements, American industry has gone overseas. We have lost five million industrial jobs over the last ten years and we have gained jobs in hospitality and health care. We were told that “free trade” would allow American manufacturers to sell overseas, but American manufacturers WENT overseas and they sell their stuff back into the USA. We have a 800 Billion dollar trade deficit and it is increasing.

We are on the road to ruin and none of the Republicans or the Democrats is willing to take their eyes off of the details and tackle the whole picture. We are not going to come out of this unsustainable dive until we all agree that the Federal government must cut the budget at least by the amount of the deficit, which is somewhere between 500 and 600 Billion dollars. That will only happen by amputating whole Departments (Commerce, Education, Interior and Energy), and by ending our self-appointed role as global bully.

If we don’t get our house in order soon, our economy will truly crash and given the incredible power of the modern President, martial law will be imposed. If we don’t change course and attack our existential problems head-on, unemployment will reach 25% and no one will receive their entitlements. The government will use their favorite all-purpose tool, the military, to impose order. We will lose all of our constitutionally guaranteed rights and we will live in a police state.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Police State Cometh

It is time for Americans to realize that the land of the free and the home of the brave has become the land of the oppressed and the home of the sheep. Every single trend in modern America points to a degradation of our economic situation and much more importantly the revocation of our liberty. I am not a conspiracy theory nutcase, but I do pay attention and America is not what we think it is anymore.

The sinister Dept. of Homeland Security has been training and arming local police departments with military weapons and procedures. We are not under any threat of attack on American soil, so that military training and those arms must be prepared for those of us that live here. Why?

Why has an Army combat brigade been stationed in America in order to control crowds of civilians. An article about this redeployment of an American combat unit to the United States, in violation of the anti-sedition laws and the Posse Comititus law, appeared in the Army Times on September 30th. The article states:
The 1st BCT’s soldiers also will learn how to use “the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has fielded,” 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier said, referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them.

The package is for use only in war-zone operations, not for any domestic purpose.

“It’s a new modular package of nonlethal capabilities that they’re fielding. They’ve been using pieces of it in Iraq, but this is the first time that these modules were consolidated and this package fielded, and because of this mission we’re undertaking we were the first to get it.”

Note that right in the middle of these two paragraphs the Army writes: The package is for use only in war-zone operations, not for any domestic purpose. Then why are they being trained in these weapons and armed with these weapons when they are going to be stationed in America? Read the entire article here

Following is a link to an incredible article by Will Grigg about the militarization of the police in America. Please read it.
Rubicon in the Rear-View, Part I: Militarizing the Police
On the same topic, Will Grigg gave an hourlong interview to Scott Horton that is very informative. You can listen to it here.

And lastly here is a video that gives a brief overviw of some of the history of the development of the American police state over the last twenty-five years:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Lock Up Paulson and Bernanke and Get Congress to Address the Problem

Karl Denninger has been right in the money for the last six months. This man has an answer to avoid a complete meltdown into depression.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Debate Over Nothing

We are in the midst of an election that is heated and acrimonious but the debate doesn’t touch a single issue of substance. Both candidates choose to follow the status quo with subtle differences in emphasis and style. McCain shows himself to be confrontational and reactive; Obama shows himself to prefer deliberation and to be more thoughtful. One appears to be more ready to use the war machine in the first stages of diplomacy, the other would reserve the war option until a diplomatic performance has been offered to the public.

One offers a modification of our present health care system to include more payments by the Federal government to cover some people who at present have no insurance. The other offers a $5000 voucher so that people can purchase their own insurance. Neither would reform the system.

Both offer gratuitous tax breaks and other small and meaningless changes in tax policy.

Both have proposals to tweak the rules applied by the Dept. of education.

Both would increase the defense budget, but would concentrate some resources differently.

Both would continue our presence in Iraq indefinitely, but with different guidelines and a slightly different long term goal. Both will continue and expand the war in Afghanistan. Obama thinks we should include war in Pakistan, if not war against Pakistan.

Both candidates support “free trade” and mumble similar platitudes about tax breaks and retraining to bring vanishing jobs back to America.

Both favor continued support, both financial and military of Israel. Both favor continued embargos and threats of violence against Iran. Both favor the entry of the Ukraine and Georgia into NATO. Both favor a confrontational attitude with Russia and both demand that Ossettia and Abkazia be returned to Georgia.

And in the most important issue of the decade, both candidates voted for the “bailout”. Both blame irresponsible borrowers and lenders and a lack of government oversight as the cause of the crisis. Both favor more government regulation of markets. Both said that intervention was necessary to keep credit available to Main Street America.

Neither candidate even mentioned foreign owners of bad American debt, although Henry Paulson made it clear that without the authority to buy bad foreign held debt, that the bill would be vetoed.

They just talk and talk. Bla bla bla without ever addressing the real and existencial problems that America faces.

Department for department, McCain and Obama have slight differences in what and how they propose to do if elected. That would sound reasonable in a country that was economically strong. That would be expected if everything was going well and we had a healthy trade balance, good relations with the rest of the world, a budget surplus and a strong dollar. If everything important were in pretty good shape, it would be reasonable to expect that neither candidate would advocate much change.

But everything is not in great shape. In fact the country is rapidly heading for disaster. We are overextended everywhere. We have built-in budget and trade deficits. We went from a 5 trillion dollar national debt in 2000 to a 11.5 trillion dollar debt today. That is an increase of over 120% and if we do not make systemic changes the debt will grow exponentially.

So the TV news and the NYTimes and the Wall street Journal work themselves into a lather to try to interest their viewers and readers with the campaign and it works. Americans are talking about the Vice-Presidential debates as the country is going into a full-on meltdown. Neither McCain nor Obama will talk about any real issues, which means that they will both follow the status quo that has brought us to this precipice.

So what are the real issues?
1. The USA is bankrupt and we need to increase national production. Selling derivatives and hamburgers and Chinese suitcases to each other will not get us out of the hole. We have to increase American production that went overseas.
2. The US foreign policy of Empire is unsustainable and threatens our security and our liberty. We have to close our overseas bases and bring our troops back to the USA and our territories. The rest of the world will just have to figure out its own problems.
3. The USA is bankrupt and we are going to have to cut spending. We have to cut spending, not by 1% by going after earmarks, but by 40% through major surgery.
4. Washington is run by the Corporations. They write the legislation and finance the campaigns. The government needs to be squeezed until there just isn’t enough cash to interest the Corporations.
5. The Federal Reserve Bank has caused many or most of our economic ills by bloating the economy with free money that was created out of nothing. The dollar is now a dead man walking.
6. Health-care. It doesn’t work. We spend 16% of our GDP and only about half of Americans have decent Health care.
7. The legal system is broken. We have 4 million men and women in prison, many of them for non-violent drug offenses. We have created a prison culture. Lawsuits in this country are ridiculous. Awards have no relationship with reality.
8. Entitlement Programs are unfunded. Medicare parts A and B, Medicaid and Social Security are unfunded and the costs are rising fast as the demographics change.

So why don’t we scream and demand that both of the corporate tools from the Corporate Party address real issues? Why don’t we see who does address these real issues?

I am trying not to give my opinion as to how we should deal with these issues, but I find it incredible that as we are about to crash and burn that we are talking about mavericks and hope and lipstick and leadership and endless vacuous bullshit. I will listen to anyone who tackles these real issues and it may sound crazy to the Americans who are fed a constant diet of Mainstream media, but I find myself in agreement with Bob Barr and Ralph Nader much more frequently and on more of these real issues than I do with McCain and Obama. That is because these “fringe” candidates recognize the real and existential problems that we face, while McCain and Obama refuse to discuss real issues.

Don’t trust them. How can you when you don’t know their opinions about the topics that matter?

Vote third party.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

McCain and Obama's answer to the crisis - only a difference of style

October 1st, 2008
Most people didn't notice this, what with all the noise in Congress about the bailout, but last week the Fed extended another 630 Billion in credits to failing Investment banks. That will have to be repaid with Treasury Notes by the American taxpayer. If you add that 630 Billion to our obligations incurred in the deals with Fannie Mae and Freddia Mac, Bear Stearns, AIG, etc. we are already out at least 1.2 Trillion dollars.

So the 700 Billion deal was at least partly a smokescreen to keep the public´s attention off what Bernanke was doing quietly at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue while the press was covering the agitation in the Capitol Building. You would think that with a Trillion point two in their checkbooks that Bernanke and Paulson might have the courteesy to at least wait a bit before asking for more. You would think wrong.

Hank and Ben, along with the White House and Congressional leadership are still after the 700 Billion. The Senate voted to steal this amount from you and I today. Tomorrow pressure will be applied to the House members to pass this robbery. God give them the strength to stand firm.

But if they do stand firm, John McCain has the solution. Please watch the video to see incredible importance that John McCain places on the voters, that is the taxpayers, demands:

So if John had his way, we would be way over two trillion dollars deeper in debt to try to re-inflate a bubble that made a few men and women obscenely rich and damaged our financial markets. At the same time Mr. Obama is urging the House to pass the bill robbing you of the 700 Billion. He says "we cannot fail" to rip off the average guy.

For the sake of the next generation, please do not vote for either John McCain or Barack Obama. Let us close the Federal Reserve Bank and use the basket of currencies as suggested by Dr. Ron Paul. Let us all show our disdain for the corprorate politicians, by they Rs or Ds, by voting for a third party candidate.
Bob Barr
Chuck Baldwin

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Economist: Why Bankruptcy is Better than Wall Street Bailout

Congress has balked at the Bush administration's proposed $700 billion bailout of Wall Street. Under this plan, the Treasury would have bought the "troubled assets" of financial institutions in an attempt to avoid economic meltdown. This bailout was a terrible idea. Here's why.

read more | digg story

Monday, September 29, 2008

Ron Paul after the bailout was voted down

So the Fed has kept inflating the dollar anyway.
The markets need to readjust and the criminals on Wall Street need to return to the fundamentals. The banks and the stock market exist to finance production. They are not an alternative to Las Vegas.
But Bernanke keeps passing more bags of dope to the junkies.

Ron Paul on the Bailout

House Floor, September 29th, 2008
Why don't we ask advice of those that saw this coming, rather than those that caused it?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

And here's the best part - the idiots will vote for us again anyway!

Nancy succumbs to the ecstasy of spending billions while Barney and his friends share a laugh at the fact that there is nothing that they can do that will overcome the power of American propaganda and convince the average idiot to change Washington.

"Just wait and see what we're gonna do to 'em next time!" Says Barney to a chorus of chuckles.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Defense Spending during Bush Years

Click on the graph for a larger image

Please keep in mind that this graph only includes budgeted "defense" spending. It does not include over 400 Billion in Supplemental War Funding.
Including the War Funding, American defense spending is considerably larger than all the rest of the defense spending on earth. The 700 Billion dollar spending bill for 2009 will be larger than ever. Take a look here

Are we safer? Of course not. Our position as the world's bully makes people hate us. Our tendency to include ourselves in every dispute around the world gains us more enemies. Our military and our diplomacy are designed to create conflict and then involve ourselves in those conflicts.

Our State Department, Intelligence Agencies and Defense Department are operated to do the bidding of the military industrial complex. They do not make us friends. They do not make us safer. They make us evil and spend money that we do not have.

But the military industrial complex has purchased the Democrat and Republican parties. It doesn't matter who you vote for, you vote will finance more war, more spending, more intimidation. McCain is already advocating INCREASING military spending above the present levels. Obama says that he will disengage from Iraq but will add soldiers to Afghanistan, continue our partnership with Israel, work to include Georgia in Nato, keep our bases in the Orient and Europe. Neither one will even attempt to cut military spending.

If this does not seem right to you, then please do not vote for the lesser of two evils. Vote for a Presidential Candidate who signed Ron Paul's Four Points Agreement.

Cynthia McKinney
Bob Barr
Chuck Baldwin
Ralph Nader

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Bailout and Los Fabricantes de Comunistas

Ron Paul posted a letter refuting Bush's reasons for a bailout. Check it out here.

There are sensible ideas, but nobody is listening. Instead we are hell-bent on a course to bury Constitutional government and to make the well-being of the richest 1% of Americans the only goal of the US government.

This bailout is being handled exactly like the run-up to the Iraq War and the putsch to get the "Patriot" Act through Congress without giving anyone time to read it.
We are being threatened again, but this time the "smoking gun in the shape of a mushroom cloud" is not a visual image. He threatened us with the following:

"More banks could fail, including some in your community. The stock market would drop even more, which would reduce the value of your retirement account. The value of your home could plummet. Foreclosures would rise dramatically.

And if you own a business or a farm, you would find it harder and more expensive to get credit. More businesses would close their doors, and millions of Americans could lose their jobs.

Even if you have good credit history, it would be more difficult for you to get the loans you need to buy a car or send your children to college. And, ultimately, our country could experience a long and painful recession."

Then Bush lied by implying that the Treasury would buy the toxic Collateralized Mortgage Obligations at the current low price. Here is what he said:

"The government is the one institution with the patience and resources to buy these assets at their current low prices and hold them until markets return to normal.
And when that happens, money will flow back to the Treasury as these assets are sold, and we expect that much, if not all, of the tax dollars we invest will be paid back."

But Paulson and Bernanke said that we need to buy the CMOs at their "hold-to-maturity" price. So we will be buying this toxic paper at face value, the taxpayer will be out billions and the criminals on Wall Street will be ready to rip off the public again.

There is a saying in Chile: "fabricante de comunistas", or maker of communists. The saying is used for those corporate shysters and inhuman bosses who take advantage of their employees to live high on the hog. Sooner or later enough of the small people get pissed off enough to tear the whole governmental structure down. It happened in Chile and caused twenty years of suffering. It is now possibly going to happen here in the USA. When the top one tenth of one percent of Americans earns more than the bottom 50% of Americans and the bottom 50% is expected to pay to bail out the top one tenth of a percent, you are building a factory to produce socialists.