the holistic radical

April 9, 2008

Shocker: Endless, Unjust Wars Lead to Economic Crisis

Vote Ron Paul or we’ll be in Iraq forever and watch our dollar go down with it.

———–

USA in Iraq: Recession in the Crosshairs
By Jean-Louis Denier
Marianne2

Sunday 30 March 2008

The exorbitant cost of the war in Iraq risks plunging the United States a little further into a recession catastrophic for it … and the rest of the world!

If one effects a comparative analysis with other conflicts, one realizes that the binomial, quagmire/occupation of a large territory is not economically neutral. The longer this kind of war lasts, the more it costs; the more it costs over a long period, the more it disturbs and distorts the economic machine, notably by the inflation and monetary depreciation it generates. The consequences of Operation Iraqi Freedom on the American economy seem, in appearance at present, to limit themselves to the sole question of the United States’ federal deficit, since the increase in military expenses, including those related to Iraq (total US federal budget for 2009: $3,100 billion, with a 7.5 percent increase in the Pentagon’s budget, which represents $515 billion, in addition to which a special supplement of $70 billion is reserved for Iraq and Afghanistan) has consequences.

The effects of this headlong rush:

  • A $410 billion deficit for the 2008 fiscal year (2.9 percent of American GNP) and another deficit of $407 billion for 2009 which the new administration will inherit next January. You will note that these sums are twice the size of the $162 billion deficit recorded for fiscal 2007 and approach the record $413 billion deficit recorded in 2004.
  • Dark dealings in the federal budget, such as the 22 percent reduction (to $2 billion only) in the amount available to help poor families pay their heating cost, or the 34 percent reduction in investments accorded Amtrak, the national passenger railway company.

But one should not trust appearances, for the deficit in American public finances interacts with the global economy as a whole. Since the American taxpayer does not have enough money to pay all the expenses of his federal government, that government turns abroad to borrow money and bring capital back to the USA. In this way, the savings of foreign countries are solicited – notably through the purchase of American Treasury bonds or other dollar-denominated assets – to cover purely American expenses. No comment up to there. Except that the foreign countries exporting capital to the USA are primarily Asian – with China in the lead – which countries profit from the financial flows created to align their currencies to the dollar – to undervalue it even – and thus put their own international trade competitiveness on steroids through that exchange rate chicanery. Moreover, overindebted and consequently overexposed vis-à-vis their creditors, the Americans are happy to reimburse them with worthless currency and consequently … to depress the dollar exchange rate – by reducing US interest rates – notably vis-à-vis other currencies, including the euro, but also against the British pound sterling.

And the Rest of the World in All This?

This vicious spiral (deficit plus dollar fall plus undervaluation of other currencies, like the Chinese yuan and the Japanese yen) has been ongoing for several years, but is especially dangerous:

  • For the USA’s creditors: The dollar’s nosedive entails the progressive devaluation of assets denominated in that currency; those who hold those assets find themselves less rich now than they were the day they bought them for more.
  • For the USA itself: How long will the USA’s creditors trust the USA and continue to cover its unbridled spending if the federal government seems too exposed through its abysmal debts? Moreover, the rise in foreign capital equates to increased dependence, even submission to foreign financial power. Finally, if $1,300 billion of subprimes generate $1,000 billion to $2,000 billion of losses and suffice to plummet global exchanges, what will happen when the markets realize that the war in Iraq could cost between $1,000 billion and $3,000 billion in the middle of a complete American economic recession, consequently with fewer fiscal revenues for the US federal government, consequently with more deficits?
  • For the Europeans, including the French: The depreciation of the dollar will never stop, since it results from a deliberate American strategy of lightening the federal government debt burden, a strategy that condemns the euro to an unremitting rise and European products to no longer being produced or even conceived in the euro zone, transforming said zone into an economic and social desert over the long term. More than ever, Europeans could hear: “The dollar is our currency; it’s your problem.”

Conclusion:

The Vietnam War, through its length and its cost, provoked the abandonment of the gold standard for the dollar, as well as strong American inflation, provoking a temporary crisis in the exercise of American hegemony over the world. The war in Iraq is taking the same path, with two exceptions, only worse: it combines with a mixed (American household and the federal government itself) overindebtedness and recession in the American economy against the background of a rampant global banking and financial crisis.

Consequently, all the ingredients for a crash followed by a wide-ranging and long-lasting depression (like the one of the 1930s) are potentially brought together. And this time the revision of American hegemony will not be temporary only. Will Osama bin Laden have won not only “his” war, but the war?


Translation: Truthout French language editor Leslie Thatcher.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/040108G.shtml

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February 10, 2008

Fascismwatch: an SS? A Gestapo? A Secret Police?

When the police grow this large, anyone not in the police will become a criminal.  

WHY is this not front page news?

WHY is this being conducted through private-sector partnerships, not subject to public scrutiny?

WHY is there no outrage?

WHY is our government preparing to declare martial law? Will it happen, say, right before the election?

Write to your newspapers, people. Do not take this lying down. Then vote Ron Paul.

Oh, you think a woman will stop this? Clinton was on the board of Wal-Mart for 6 years while her husband was governor of Arkansas (discussed on Bill Moyer’s journal–I get the podcasts). Do you think she really cares about people? What has Wal-Mart done for wages, job stability, and quality of life for your community?

Support alternet:

AlterNet

FBI Deputizes Private Contractors With Extraordinary Powers, Including ‘Shoot to Kill’

By Matthew Rothschild, The Progressive
Posted on February 8, 2008, Printed on February 9, 2008
http://www.alternet.org/story/76388/

Today, more than 23,000 representatives of private industry are working quietly with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. The members of this rapidly growing group, called InfraGard, receive secret warnings of terrorist threats before the public does — and, at least on one occasion, before elected officials. In return, they provide information to the government, which alarms the ACLU. But there may be more to it than that. One business executive, who showed me his InfraGard card, told me they have permission to “shoot to kill” in the event of martial law. InfraGard is “a child of the FBI,” says Michael Hershman, the chairman of the advisory board of the InfraGard National Members Alliance and CEO of the Fairfax Group, an international consulting firm.

InfraGard started in Cleveland back in 1996, when the private sector there cooperated with the FBI to investigate cyber threats.

“Then the FBI cloned it,” says Phyllis Schneck, chairman of the board of directors of the InfraGard National Members Alliance, and the prime mover behind the growth of InfraGard over the last several years.

InfraGard itself is still an FBI operation, with FBI agents in each state overseeing the local InfraGard chapters. (There are now eighty-six of them.) The alliance is a nonprofit organization of private sector InfraGard members.

“We are the owners, operators, and experts of our critical infrastructure, from the CEO of a large company in agriculture or high finance to the guy who turns the valve at the water utility,” says Schneck, who by day is the vice president of research integration at Secure Computing.

“At its most basic level, InfraGard is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the private sector,” the InfraGard website states. “InfraGard chapters are geographically linked with FBI Field Office territories.”

In November 2001, InfraGard had around 1,700 members. As of late January, InfraGard had 23,682 members, according to its website, http://www.infragard.net, which adds that “350 of our nation’s Fortune 500 have a representative in InfraGard.”

To join, each person must be sponsored by “an existing InfraGard member, chapter, or partner organization.” The FBI then vets the applicant. On the application form, prospective members are asked which aspect of the critical infrastructure their organization deals with. These include: agriculture, banking and finance, the chemical industry, defense, energy, food, information and telecommunications, law enforcement, public health, and transportation.

FBI Director Robert Mueller addressed an InfraGard convention on August 9, 2005. At that time, the group had less than half as many members as it does today. “To date, there are more than 11,000 members of InfraGard,” he said. “From our perspective that amounts to 11,000 contacts . . . and 11,000 partners in our mission to protect America.” He added a little later, “Those of you in the private sector are the first line of defense.”

He urged InfraGard members to contact the FBI if they “note suspicious activity or an unusual event.” And he said they could sic the FBI on “disgruntled employees who will use knowledge gained on the job against their employers.”

In an interview with InfraGard after the conference, which is featured prominently on the InfraGard members’ website, Mueller says: “It’s a great program.”

The ACLU is not so sanguine.

“There is evidence that InfraGard may be closer to a corporate TIPS program, turning private-sector corporations — some of which may be in a position to observe the activities of millions of individual customers — into surrogate eyes and ears for the FBI,” the ACLU warned in its August 2004 report The Surveillance-Industrial Complex: How the American Government Is Conscripting Businesses and Individuals in the Construction of a Surveillance Society.

InfraGard is not readily accessible to the general public. Its communications with the FBI and Homeland Security are beyond the reach of the Freedom of Information Act under the “trade secrets” exemption, its website says. And any conversation with the public or the media is supposed to be carefully rehearsed.

“The interests of InfraGard must be protected whenever presented to non-InfraGard members,” the website states. “During interviews with members of the press, controlling the image of InfraGard being presented can be difficult. Proper preparation for the interview will minimize the risk of embarrassment. . . . The InfraGard leadership and the local FBI representative should review the submitted questions, agree on the predilection of the answers, and identify the appropriate interviewee. . . . Tailor answers to the expected audience. . . . Questions concerning sensitive information should be avoided.”

One of the advantages of InfraGard, according to its leading members, is that the FBI gives them a heads-up on a secure portal about any threatening information related to infrastructure disruption or terrorism.

The InfraGard website advertises this. In its list of benefits of joining InfraGard, it states: “Gain access to an FBI secure communication network complete with VPN encrypted website, webmail, listservs, message boards, and much more.”

InfraGard members receive “almost daily updates” on threats “emanating from both domestic sources and overseas,” Hershman says.

“We get very easy access to secure information that only goes to InfraGard members,” Schneck says. “People are happy to be in the know.”

On November 1, 2001, the FBI had information about a potential threat to the bridges of California. The alert went out to the InfraGard membership. Enron was notified, and so, too, was Barry Davis, who worked for Morgan Stanley. He notified his brother Gray, the governor of California.

“He said his brother talked to him before the FBI,” recalls Steve Maviglio, who was Davis’s press secretary at the time. “And the governor got a lot of grief for releasing the information. In his defense, he said, ‘I was on the phone with my brother, who is an investment banker. And if he knows, why shouldn’t the public know?’ ”

Maviglio still sounds perturbed about this: “You’d think an elected official would be the first to know, not the last.”

In return for being in the know, InfraGard members cooperate with the FBI and Homeland Security. “InfraGard members have contributed to about 100 FBI cases,” Schneck says. “What InfraGard brings you is reach into the regional and local communities. We are a 22,000-member vetted body of subject-matter experts that reaches across seventeen matrixes. All the different stovepipes can connect with InfraGard.”

Schneck is proud of the relationships the InfraGard Members Alliance has built with the FBI. “If you had to call 1-800-FBI, you probably wouldn’t bother,” she says. “But if you knew Joe from a local meeting you had with him over a donut, you might call them. Either to give or to get. We want everyone to have a little black book.”

This black book may come in handy in times of an emergency. “On the back of each membership card,” Schneck says, “we have all the numbers you’d need: for Homeland Security, for the FBI, for the cyber center. And by calling up as an InfraGard member, you will be listened to.” She also says that members would have an easier time obtaining a “special telecommunications card that will enable your call to go through when others will not.”

This special status concerns the ACLU.

“The FBI should not be creating a privileged class of Americans who get special treatment,” says Jay Stanley, public education director of the ACLU’s technology and liberty program. “There’s no ‘business class’ in law enforcement. If there’s information the FBI can share with 22,000 corporate bigwigs, why don’t they just share it with the public? That’s who their real ‘special relationship’ is supposed to be with. Secrecy is not a party favor to be given out to friends. . . . This bears a disturbing resemblance to the FBI’s handing out ‘goodies’ to corporations in return for folding them into its domestic surveillance machinery.”

When the government raises its alert levels, InfraGard is in the loop. For instance, in a press release on February 7, 2003, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General announced that the national alert level was being raised from yellow to orange. They then listed “additional steps” that agencies were taking to “increase their protective measures.” One of those steps was to “provide alert information to InfraGard program.”

“They’re very much looped into our readiness capability,” says Amy Kudwa, spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security. “We provide speakers, as well as do joint presentations [with the FBI]. We also train alongside them, and they have participated in readiness exercises.”

On May 9, 2007, George Bush issued National Security Presidential Directive 51 entitled “National Continuity Policy.” In it, he instructed the Secretary of Homeland Security to coordinate with “private sector owners and operators of critical infrastructure, as appropriate, in order to provide for the delivery of essential services during an emergency.”

Asked if the InfraGard National Members Alliance was involved with these plans, Schneck said it was “not directly participating at this point.” Hershman, chairman of the group’s advisory board, however, said that it was.

InfraGard members, sometimes hundreds at a time, have been used in “national emergency preparation drills,” Schneck acknowledges.

“In case something happens, everybody is ready,” says Norm Arendt, the head of the Madison, Wisconsin, chapter of InfraGard, and the safety director for the consulting firm Short Elliott Hendrickson, Inc. “There’s been lots of discussions about what happens under an emergency.”

One business owner in the United States tells me that InfraGard members are being advised on how to prepare for a martial law situation — and what their role might be. He showed me his InfraGard card, with his name and e-mail address on the front, along with the InfraGard logo and its slogan, “Partnership for Protection.” On the back of the card were the emergency numbers that Schneck mentioned.

This business owner says he attended a small InfraGard meeting where agents of the FBI and Homeland Security discussed in astonishing detail what InfraGard members may be called upon to do.

“The meeting started off innocuously enough, with the speakers talking about corporate espionage,” he says. “From there, it just progressed. All of a sudden we were knee deep in what was expected of us when martial law is declared. We were expected to share all our resources, but in return we’d be given specific benefits.” These included, he says, the ability to travel in restricted areas and to get people out. But that’s not all.

“Then they said when — not if — martial law is declared, it was our responsibility to protect our portion of the infrastructure, and if we had to use deadly force to protect it, we couldn’t be prosecuted,” he says.

I was able to confirm that the meeting took place where he said it had, and that the FBI and Homeland Security did make presentations there. One InfraGard member who attended that meeting denies that the subject of lethal force came up. But the whistleblower is 100 percent certain of it. “I have nothing to gain by telling you this, and everything to lose,” he adds. “I’m so nervous about this, and I’m not someone who gets nervous.”

Though Schneck says that FBI and Homeland Security agents do make presentations to InfraGard, she denies that InfraGard members would have any civil patrol or law enforcement functions. “I have never heard of InfraGard members being told to use lethal force anywhere,” Schneck says.

The FBI adamantly denies it, also. “That’s ridiculous,” says Catherine Milhoan, an FBI spokesperson. “If you want to quote a businessperson saying that, knock yourself out. If that’s what you want to print, fine.”

But one other InfraGard member corroborated the whistleblower’s account, and another would not deny it.

Christine Moerke is a business continuity consultant for Alliant Energy in Madison, Wisconsin. She says she’s an InfraGard member, and she confirms that she has attended InfraGard meetings that went into the details about what kind of civil patrol function — including engaging in lethal force — that InfraGard members may be called upon to perform.

“There have been discussions like that, that I’ve heard of and participated in,” she says.

Curt Haugen is CEO of S’Curo Group, a company that does “strategic planning, business continuity planning and disaster recovery, physical and IT security, policy development, internal control, personnel selection, and travel safety,” according to its website. Haugen tells me he is a former FBI agent and that he has been an InfraGard member for many years. He is a huge booster. “It’s the only true organization where there is the public-private partnership,” he says. “It’s all who knows who. You know a face, you trust a face. That’s what makes it work.”

He says InfraGard “absolutely” does emergency preparedness exercises. When I ask about discussions the FBI and Homeland Security have had with InfraGard members about their use of lethal force, he says: “That much I cannot comment on. But as a private citizen, you have the right to use force if you feel threatened.”

“We were assured that if we were forced to kill someone to protect our infrastructure, there would be no repercussions,” the whistleblower says. “It gave me goose bumps. It chilled me to the bone.”

Matthew Rothschild is the editor of The Progressive.

© 2008 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/76388/

January 20, 2008

Kant’s Categorical Imperative Wins Out Again—If Only Our Politicians Could Recognize It

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/011908Z.shtml

    Go to Original

    Tom Ridge: Waterboarding Is Torture
By Eileen Sullivan
The Associated Press

    Friday 18 January 2008

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

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

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

    Waterboarding is a harsh interrogation tactic that was used by CIA officers in 2002 and 2003 on three alleged al-Qaida terrorists. The tactic gives the subject the sensation of drowning.

    The CIA has not used the technique since 2003, and CIA Director Michael Hayden prohibited it in 2006, according to U.S. officials. The debate was recently revived when the CIA revealed it had destroyed videotapes showing the interrogations of two alleged terrorists, both of whom were waterboarded.

    Ridge’s comments come a week after a report that Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell said he would consider waterboarding torture if it were used against him. [NB: My emphasis.] 

    In a separate interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, the current Homeland Security secretary, Michael Chertoff, refused to say what he thinks of the interrogation technique. Chertoff, a former federal prosecutor and judge – who was also assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Criminal Division in 2002 – said the question should be asked in the context of a specific set of facts and a specific statute and should not be posed abstractly.

    “This is too important a discussion to have based on throwing one question at somebody,” Chertoff said.

    Attorney General Michael Mukasey has declined so far to rule on whether waterboarding constitutes torture. An affirmative finding by Mukasey could put at risk the CIA interrogators who were authorized by the White House in 2002 to waterboard three prisoners deemed resistant to conventional techniques.

    Ridge, homeland security adviser and then secretary from 2001 to 2005, said he was not involved in the discussions about CIA interrogation techniques. Rather, his department was a consumer of any intelligence gleaned from them.

    “I have no idea how any of the intelligence community extrapolated any information from anybody – where they got it, how they got it, and from whom they got it. But waterboarding is torture.”

    Ridge, a lawyer, wades into the waterboarding debate with both a military and civilian background. He is also a former Pennsylvania governor and congressman. He has since started his own homeland security consulting firm.

    “As a former soldier, I will tell you that we go to great pains, and a lot of men and women, who serve in the military at risk of their own lives, do everything they can to minimize civilian casualties and certainly do everything they can to respect the Geneva Convention.”

    The House and Senate intelligence committees want to prohibit the CIA from using any interrogation techniques not allowed by the military. That list includes waterboarding. If their intelligence bill containing the restriction is approved by Congress, it almost certainly will face a veto from President Bush.

  ——-

January 18, 2008

Ron Paul makes some excellent comments on the nature of freedom, leadership, and what the role of government should be–important notes for the current election

A great article by Ron Paul. Although I do not agree with everything he speaks of here–especially his invocation of Ayn Rand–at least he is discussing and questioning the serious philosophical underpinnings no other candidate seems to be addressing. No other candidate is even mentioning Orwell, despite how Orwellian our times have become–they want to put us further in the mire and take away more of our liberties, not preserve us from them.

In my opinion, government should promote economic rights, and then step out of the social/cultural/educational arena almost entirely (i.e., publicly funded schools and libraries are good, but not when moral police determine curriculums and what those institutions get to buy–which infringes on your right to do research and get information, and your freedom of speech). The government should not have anything to say about sexual acts, abortion, or anything else that does not violate someone else’s health or safety. (Yes, I know Paul is pro-life; I also know that he wouldn’t waste his political energy–or spend his “political capital”–making it a major issue to try to actively push through a law banning it. If anything, he’s the most pro-health freedom candidate out there, wanting to make it very hard for the FDA to [as it is currently trying to do] limit our access to herbs and alternative therapies not monopolized by Big Pharma and their lobbyists).

What’s impressive here is that Paul is an old-school public civil servant, not a new-school spin-dominated “pol.” He is concerned about checking the powers of government, not enlarging it, as Bush has done so egregiously (with exploding the power of the executive and with signing statements, and now with probably knowingly allowing his government to mislead the public–if not overtly lie to the public–concerning the nature of CIA torture and the existence of taped evidence thereof).  Paul is the only candidate who seems actually concerned about governance, not media damage control or PR doctoring of mass opinion, or of maintaining propaganda. For this alone, he represents true freethinking and change, and a step in the right direction, even if he does not support as much of an economic safety net as I would like. At least, unlike the other candidates–including the democrats–he doesn’t get in the quagmire of promising what he can’t deliver.

————

http://www.ronpaul2008.com/articles/161/what-does-freedom-really-mean/

Dr. Paul’s WritingsWhat Does Freedom Really Mean?

Summary:

Few Americans understand that all government action is inherently coercive. If nothing else, government action requires taxes. If taxes were freely paid, they wouldn’t be called taxes, they’d be called donations. If we intend to use the word freedom in an honest way, we should have the simple integrity to give it real meaning: Freedom is living without government coercion. So when a politician talks about freedom for this group or that, ask yourself whether he is advocating more government action or less.


“…man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.”
Ronald Reagan


We’ve all heard the words democracy and freedom used countless times, especially in the context of our invasion of Iraq. They are used interchangeably in modern political discourse, yet their true meanings are very different.

George Orwell wrote about “meaningless words” that are endlessly repeated in the political arena*. Words like “freedom,” “democracy,” and “justice,” Orwell explained, have been abused so long that their original meanings have been eviscerated. In Orwell’s view, political words were “Often used in a consciously dishonest way.” Without precise meanings behind words, politicians and elites can obscure reality and condition people to reflexively associate certain words with positive or negative perceptions. In other words, unpleasant facts can be hidden behind purposely meaningless language. As a result, Americans have been conditioned to accept the word “democracy” as a synonym for freedom, and thus to believe that democracy is unquestionably good.

The problem is that democracy is not freedom. Democracy is simply majoritarianism, which is inherently incompatible with real freedom. Our founding fathers clearly understood this, as evidenced not only by our republican constitutional system, but also by their writings in the Federalist Papers and elsewhere. James Madison cautioned that under a democratic government, “There is nothing to check the inducement to sacrifice the weaker party or the obnoxious individual.” John Adams argued that democracies merely grant revocable rights to citizens depending on the whims of the masses, while a republic exists to secure and protect pre-existing rights. Yet how many Americans know that the word “democracy” is found neither in the Constitution nor the Declaration of Independence, our very founding documents?

A truly democratic election in Iraq, without U.S. interference and U.S. puppet candidates, almost certainly would result in the creation of a Shiite theocracy. Shiite majority rule in Iraq might well mean the complete political, economic, and social subjugation of the minority Kurd and Sunni Arab populations. Such an outcome would be democratic, but would it be free? Would the Kurds and Sunnis consider themselves free? The administration talks about democracy in Iraq, but is it prepared to accept a democratically-elected Iraqi government no matter what its attitude toward the U.S. occupation? Hardly. For all our talk about freedom and democracy, the truth is we have no idea whether Iraqis will be free in the future. They’re certainly not free while a foreign army occupies their country. The real test is not whether Iraq adopts a democratic, pro-western government, but rather whether ordinary Iraqis can lead their personal, religious, social, and business lives without interference from government.

Simply put, freedom is the absence of government coercion. Our Founding Fathers understood this, and created the least coercive government in the history of the world. The Constitution established a very limited, decentralized government to provide national defense and little else. States, not the federal government, were charged with protecting individuals against criminal force and fraud. For the first time, a government was created solely to protect the rights, liberties, and property of its citizens. Any government coercion beyond that necessary to secure those rights was forbidden, both through the Bill of Rights and the doctrine of strictly enumerated powers. This reflected the founders’ belief that democratic government could be as tyrannical as any King.

Few Americans understand that all government action is inherently coercive. If nothing else, government action requires taxes. If taxes were freely paid, they wouldn’t be called taxes, they’d be called donations. If we intend to use the word freedom in an honest way, we should have the simple integrity to give it real meaning: Freedom is living without government coercion. So when a politician talks about freedom for this group or that, ask yourself whether he is advocating more government action or less.

The political left equates freedom with liberation from material wants, always via a large and benevolent government that exists to create equality on earth. To modern liberals, men are free only when the laws of economics and scarcity are suspended, the landlord is rebuffed, the doctor presents no bill, and groceries are given away. But philosopher Ayn Rand (and many others before her) demolished this argument by explaining how such “freedom” for some is possible only when government takes freedoms away from others. In other words, government claims on the lives and property of those who are expected to provide housing, medical care, food, etc. for others are coercive– and thus incompatible with freedom. “Liberalism,” which once stood for civil, political, and economic liberties, has become a synonym for omnipotent coercive government.

The political right equates freedom with national greatness brought about through military strength. Like the left, modern conservatives favor an all-powerful central state– but for militarism, corporatism, and faith-based welfarism. Unlike the Taft-Goldwater conservatives of yesteryear, today’s Republicans are eager to expand government spending, increase the federal police apparatus, and intervene militarily around the world. The last tenuous links between conservatives and support for smaller government have been severed. “Conservatism,” which once meant respect for tradition and distrust of active government, has transformed into big-government utopian grandiosity.

Orwell certainly was right about the use of meaningless words in politics. If we hope to remain free, we must cut through the fog and attach concrete meanings to the words politicians use to deceive us. We must reassert that America is a republic, not a democracy, and remind ourselves that the Constitution places limits on government that no majority can overrule. We must resist any use of the word “freedom” to describe state action. We must reject the current meaningless designations of “liberals” and “conservatives,” in favor of an accurate term for both: statists.

Every politician on earth claims to support freedom. The problem is so few of them understand the simple meaning of the word.

 

*Politics and the English Language, 1946.

Keywords: Civil Liberties, Constitution

Incredible must-read article by Nat Hentoff–what the CIA had to destroy

Hentoff is a national treasure. We are running out of time to impeach Bush, and Hentoff presents more persuasive reasons why such action is not only warranted, but necessary. Average citizens will not be protected from CIA-allowed torture in the future, and the destruction of evidence going on here is not only unjust and morally shady, but it’s outright criminal–here are the actions of power out of control, here are the frantic moves of an empire crumbling.
The whole “is waterboarding torture” debate should not be taking place, and speaks volumes about our moral degradation. Of course waterboarding is torture: it is more than “simulated drowning”–it is all but real drowning–it is oxygen deprivation and it is being used to coerce information out of people–people who do not even have to be formally charged with any crime, who can be you or me called an “enemy combatant” (see the debate on internet freedoms and why S. 1959 must be defeated–Ron Paul is the only candidate taking a stand on this). Average citizens must go on the record and display their abhorrence to it, if governments are being reprehensible about it.
http://www.villagevoice.com/generic/show_print.php?id=78870&page=&issue=0803&printcde=MzYwMTc2NzQwMg==&refpage=L2FkbWluL2VkaXQvZWRpdC5waHA/aWQ9Nzg4NzAmc2VjdGlvbj1uZXdz
Nat Hentoff
What the CIA Had to Destroy
The many reasons this torture evidence was too hot to handle
by Nat Hentoff
January 15th, 2008 6:14 PM
So what was on those videotapes destroyed by the CIA? Let’s put a face to it. Abu Zubaydah was captured in Pakistan in 2002 and, after being shot in the groin while trying to escape, was sent to recover in a CIA secret prison. He would be the first of the CIA’s many “ghost prisoners”—and also the first to test the value of what the president has often described as an “alternative set of [interrogation] procedures . . . that are safe and necessary.”As described by Ron Suskind in The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America’s Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11 , Zubaydah—held in an ice-cold cell—was denied medication for his wounds, threatened with death, prevented from sleeping, incessantly blasted with pounding rock music (by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, among others), and, at last, waterboarded. After 30 seconds of feeling that he was on the verge of drowning, he was more than eager to answer any questions.

In a September 6, 2006, speech, George W. Bush triumphantly called Zubaydah “one of the top operatives plotting and planning death and destruction on the United States.” After the application of those “alternative” interrogation procedures, which the president described as “designed to . . . comply with our laws, our Constitution, and our treaty obligations, [and which] the Department of Justice reviewed extensively and determined to be lawful,” the detainee “disclosed Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [to be] the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks” and “also provided information that helped stop a terrorist attack being planned for inside the United States.”

But, Suskind added, two weeks before Bush’s words of praise for these “coercive” interrogations, Dan Coleman—the FBI’s leading expert on Al Qaeda—asserted that Zubaydah was “insane, certifiable, split personality,” and that he wasn’t the top operative he was made out to be. The CIA was informed of Coleman’s assessment, and it was, “of course, briefed to the President and Vice President.” Undaunted, Bush made his congratulatory speech and then surreptitiously said to CIA director George Tenet: “I said he was important. You’re not going to let me lose face on this, are you?”

After his involuntary contribution to the advanced arts of interrogation, Zubaydah became a resident of our penal colony at Guantánamo Bay, which the president has made an entirely law-free zone, much like the CIA’s secret prisons. But after two Supreme Court decisions contradicted the commander in chief in his assertion of unfettered war powers, the Bush administration reluctantly set up a transparently prosecutorial kangaroo court there.

In April of last year, appearing before a status-review tribunal to determine whether he had been accurately designated as an enemy combatant, Zubaydah testified, as reported in the New York Times, that as a Palestinian, and because of American support for Israel, “I have been an enemy of yours since I was a child.”

However, he insisted that as a longtime adherent of “defensive jihad”—and despite what he’d said after being waterboarded—”I disagreed with the Al Qaeda philosophy of targeting innocent civilians like those at the World Trade Center. . . . I never conducted nor financially supported, nor helped in any operation against America.”

He explained that he’d made false statements while being tortured by the CIA. Asked by the president of the tribunal, an Air Force colonel, “Can you describe a little bit more about what those treatments were?”, Zubaydah obliged.

Not surprisingly, his answers are not part of the transcript. I expect that Attorney General Michael Mukasey would consider those waterboarding details to be “state secrets” involving highly classified “sources and methods.”

Paul Gimigliano, a professional Pinocchio (i.e., spokesman) for the CIA, said that however Zubaydah described his treatment, “The United States does not conduct or condone torture. The agency’s terrorist interrogation program has been implemented lawfully, with great care and close review.”

If you have any doubts, just ask Attorney General Mukasey, whose department is conducting a close review (but close for whose sake?) of the destroyed CIA interrogation tapes starring Abu Zubaydah. But the Justice Department says that it cannot tell us how long this inquiry—which is being conducted in conjunction with the CIA—will take.

That’s not surprising in view of the intricate tapestry of cover-ups woven by both agencies and by the White House. With so little time remaining before the next administration takes over, a special independent prosecutor must be appointed before more criminal evidence disappears.

According to a December 30 investigation by The New York Times, as “interrogations of Abu Zubaydah had gotten rougher” in the CIA secret prison, “each new tactic [had to be] approved by cable from headquarters.”

CIA headquarters? Justice Department headquarters? White House lawyers? Names, please!

There’s another crucial dimension to uncovering the effects of what Zubaydah— terrified that he was about to drown— allegedly revealed during those “rougher” interrogations: There are several cases of purported terrorists before our courts who are being prosecuted on the basis of Zubaydah’s desperate testimony in that CIA black site.

For example, American citizen José Padilla was arrested at O’Hare Airport in 2002, after allegedly conspiring with Zubaydah and Al Qaeda to set off a “dirty bomb” in the United States. Padilla—himself relentlessly tortured while being held for years as an “unlawful enemy combatant”—first appeared in court on those charges before none other than Michael Mukasey, at the time a federal judge in New York. Mukasey ordered him imprisoned on a material-witness warrant, based in part on the information that had been proffered by Zubaydah under waterboarding. Then, suddenly, Padilla was taken out of the federal-court system by order of George W. Bush and vanished for years without even a hearing or charges or access to a lawyer.

Marjorie Cohn, a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, says: “It is not clear whether Mukasey knew Zubaydah’s statements were obtained by torture. But since he issued the warrant, Mukasey has a real or apparent conflict of interest” as one of the heads of the current investigation into the CIA- destroyed torture videos. Mukasey has appointed a career federal prosecutor to head the investigation and report back to him.

Cohn adds: “[Mukasey] has said it is premature to appoint an outside special counsel. But like the Nixon administration, the Department of Justice cannot be trusted to investigate itself. Congress should be pressured to pass a new independent-counsel stature.”

There are bipartisan constitutional lawyers beginning to apply that pressure, but there will be passionate resistance from Congressional Republicans. Do you think that Democratic Congressional leaders Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi will give a damn?

December 17, 2007

I don’t subscribe to Social Darwinist wet dreams

“Whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger…”

Or weakens you for the next orchestrated “Problem,” or “Attack,” or “Emergency;” whatever.

They don’t want you to know the difference between what is a real threat or not.

Continual paranoia dulls the senses, as does continual complacency.

Reason alone keeps the mind sharp, keeps the body healthy and intact.

When everything is an Absolute Crisis, you will begin to shut down.

I reject the idea that we are all in a web of competition and need to constantly prove ourselves, constantly defend ourselves.

Humans with intrinsic human rights don’t have to justify themselves.

We have stopped being human a long time ago.

You se, the neocons moved too fast. I remember being in second or third grade and writing Christmas cards to US soldiers in Iraq during the first gulf conflict. I was in an elementary school that didn’t teach history, and made it out to believe I was in the best country in the world. That’s proof that growing up in New York can be just as provincial as growing up in Iowa or some small town. As a child, like everyone else, we had to be “educated” as to what war was, because it did not occur to us that it was natural or necessary, as it is spun today.
Then, in college, my generation, seeing how poorly this second war in Iraq is going, begins to question it, its necessity, its morality, its genesis, and how it can finally end. Which leads one back to wanting to know the truth behind what supposedly led us to war, the attacks on 9/11/2001, the events used to say that war was vital, urgently needed, the only tool at our disposal to promote our safety and liberty, not a last resort effort. When it is known that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and that any possible aggressors in Iraq are more than likely not remotely connected to perpetrating the events of 9/11/2001 (especially if you consider such events to be an inside job or accomplished with foreknowledge and/or complicity on the part of the Administration[s]),

Neocons, you acted too soon. People in my generation remember Gulf I, remember how it was peddled as a video-game war, as a high technology easy solution, a quick, glorious war when in actuality there are no such things. Veterans with Gulf War syndrome from drinking aspartame-laced soda exposed to high temperatures remember how they were used as tools, and see how you are abusing contracts to keep troops in Iraq longer, how you are “waiving requirements” to try to meet your recruiting numbers, how you are talking about starting a draft–and how you think this will disappear in America’s media-and-chemical induced memory hole, so that our drugged silence will form the foundation for your “consent.” Aspartame puts holes in people’s brains and forms chemicals in the body that cause brain cancer. As Alex Jones has said, (paraphrasing), “Calling aspartame a poison would be paying it a compliment.” We know you’re trying to steal our freedoms by ruining our ability to think for ourselves. That’s why, today, health is a political act. That’s why you want our children to get autism with vaccines and cell phone signals, and people to get heart disease from taking cholesterol-lowering statins, though cholesterol has never been linked to heart disease. That’s why you deceptively label foods with up to .5g of trans fat–partially or fully hydrogenated fats–as being “trans fat” free, even when there is no safe level of trans fats for human consumption. That’s why you’re trying desperately to Genetically Modify all foods and erode organic farming standards. You are trying to incrementally weaken us. What doesn’t kill us will make us stronger? No, what doesn’t kill us will just act as the next obstacle for your “technologies” to work around, until there can be an efficient way to consentually kill us. Marijuana has never killed anyone; that’s why it’s illegal. It’s a weed and the profit margin is too low. Tobacco and chemical-laced cigarettes have killed millions through the cancers they have finally been shown to directly cause. Alcohol is toxic; it too is legal. These seemingly tangential points make sense when you see them as instruments to weakening the population and getting them to accept any form of misery, especially war. When people are allowed to eat healthy food, live in healthy homes, and provide for themselves–and I am not in any remote position of wealth or health, so I should know–that is when they can think for themselves. When people are saddled in debt and putting junk into their bodies, they are far easier to control and manipulate. Then they are surrounded by media that tries to prevent them from thinking about how they might not be in control of their lives.

We will not be lied to anymore, we will not be told that we need to die so others can profit, we will not be drafted.

We need an outcry every day; we need a Iraq Truth movement.

And we need all wars to end. We need to eliminate the banker’s incentives to start wars.

We have to choose–you really can’t have guns and butter, and you can’t eat guns. This should be obvious, but paper money won’t keep you warm when the power’s out, not even if you burn it by the wheelbarrowful.

—-

http://whatreallyhappened.com/lieofthecentury

THE LIE OF THE CENTURY

[Full page with graphics]

“All war is based on deception.” — Sun Tzu, The Art of War

There is nothing new in a government lying to their people to start a war. Indeed because most people prefer living in peace to bloody and horrific death in war, any government that desires to initiate a war usually lies to their people to create the illusion that support for the war is the only possible choice they can make.President McKinley told the American people that the USS Maine had been sunk in Havana Harbor by a Spanish mine. The American people, outraged by this apparent unprovoked attack, supported the Spanish American War. The Captain of the USS Maine had insisted the ship was sunk by a coal bin explosion, investigations after the war proved that such had indeed been the case. There had been no mine.

Hitler used this principle of lying to his own people to initiate an invasion. He told the people of Germany that Poland had attacked first. The Germans, convinced they were being threatened, followed Hitler into Poland and into World War 2.

FDR claimed Pearl Harbor was a surprise attack. It wasn’t. The United States saw war with Japan as the means to get into war with Germany, which Americans opposed. So Roosevelt needed Japan to appear to strike first. Following an 8-step plan devised by the Office of Naval Intelligence, Roosevelt intentionally provoked Japan into the attack. Contrary to the official story, the fleet did not maintain radio silence, but sent messages intercepted and decoded by US intercept stations. Tricked by the lie of a surprise attack, Americans marched off to war.

President Johnson lied about the Gulf of Tonkin to send Americans off to fight in Vietnam. There were no torpedoes in the water in the Gulf. LBJ took advantage of an inexperienced sonar man’s report to goad Congress into escalating the Vietnam

It is inescapable historical reality that leaders of nations will lie to their people to trick them into wars they otherwise would have refused. It is not “conspiracy theory” to suggest that leaders of nations lie to trick their people into wars. It is undeniable fact.

This brings us to the present case.

Did the government of the United States lie to the American people, more to the point, did President Bush and his Neocon associates lie to Congress, to initiate a war of conquest in Iraq?

This question has been given currency by a memo leaked from inside the British Government which clearly indicates a decision to go to war followed by the “fixing” of information around that policy. This is, as they say, a smoking gun.

But the fact is that long before this memo surfaced, it had become obvious that the US Government, aided by that of Great Britain, was lying to create the public support for a war in Iraq.

First off is Tony Blair’s “Dodgy Dossier“, a document released by the Prime Minister that made many of the claims used to support the push for war. The dossier soon collapsed when it was revealed that much of it had been plagiarized from a student thesis paper that was 12 years old!

The contents of the dossier, however much they seemed to create a good case for invasion, were obsolete and outdated.

This use of material that could not possibly be relevant at the time is clear proof of a deliberate attempt to deceive.

Then there was the claim about the “Mobile biological weapons laboratories”. Proffered in the absence of any real laboratories in the wake of the invasion, photos of these trailers were shown on all the US Mainstream Media, with the claim they while seeming to lack anything suggesting biological processing, these were part of a much larger assembly of multiple trailers that churned out biological weapons of mass destruction.

The chief proponent of this hoax was Colin Powell, who presented illustrations to the United Nations on February 5th, 2003.

This claim fell apart when it was revealed that these trailers were nothing more than hydrogen gas generators used to inflate weather balloons. This fact was already known to both the US and UK, as a British company manufactured the units and sold them to Iraq.

Colin Powell’s speech to the UN was itself one misstatement after another. Powell claimed that Iraq had purchased special aluminum tubes whose only possible use was in uranium enrichment centrifuges. Both CIA and Powell’s own State Department confirmed that the tubes were parts for missiles Saddam was legally allowed to have. Following the invasion, no centrifuges, aluminum or otherwise were found.

Powell also claimed to the United Nations that photos showed “Decontamination Vehicles”. But when United Nations inspectors visited the site after the invasion, they located the vehicles and discovered they were just firefighting equipment.

Powell claimed the Iraqis had illegal rockets and launchers hidden in the palm trees of Western Iraq. None were ever found.

Powell claimed that the Iraqis had 8,500 liters (2245 gallons) of Anthrax. None was ever found.

Powell claimed that Iraq had four tons of VX nerve gas. The UN had already confirmed that it was destroyed. The only VX ever found were samples the US had left as “standards” for testing. When the UN suspected that the US samples had been used to contaminate Iraqi warheads, the US moved quickly to destroy the samples before comparison tests could be carried out.

Powell claimed that Iraq was building long-range remote drones specifically designed to carry biological weapons. The only drones found were short-range reconnaissance drones.

Powell claimed that Iraq had an aggregate of between 100 and 500 tons of chemical and biological warfare agents. Powell gave no basis for that claim at all, and a DIA report issued the same time directly contradicted the claim. No biological or chemical weapons were found in Iraq following the invasion.

Powell claimed that “unnamed sources” confirmed that Saddam had authorized his field commanders to use biological weapons. No such weapons were ever used by the Iraqis to defend against the invasion and, of course, none were ever found in Iraq.

Powell claimed that 122mm warheads found by the UN inspectors were chemical weapons. The warheads were empty, and showed no signs of ever having contained chemical weapons.

Powell claimed that Iraq had a secret force of illegal long-range Scud missiles. None were ever found.

Powell claimed to have an audio tape proving that Saddam was supporting Osama Bin Laden. But independent translation of the tape revealed Osama’s wish for Saddam’s death.

Colin Powell’s UN debacle also included spy photos taken from high flying aircraft and spacecraft. On the photos were circles and arrows and labels pointing to various fuzzy white blobs and identifying them as laboratories and storage areas for Saddam’s massive weapons of mass destruction program. Nothing in the photos actually suggested what the blobby shapes were and inspections which followed the invasion, all of them turned out to be rather benign. In at least one case, the satellite Powell claimed had taken one of the pictures had actually been out of operation at the time. And many questioned why Powell was showing black and white photos when the satellites in use at the time over Iraq took color images.

Another piece of evidence consists of documents which President Bush referenced as in his 2003 State of the Union Speech. According to Bush, these documents proved that Iraq was buying tons of uranium oxide, called “Yellow Cake” from Niger. Since Israel had bombed Iraq’s nuclear power plant years before, it was claimed that the only reason Saddam would have for buying uranium oxide was to build bombs.

This hoax fell apart fast when it was pointed out that Iraq has a great deal of uranium ore inside their own borders and no need to import any from Niger or anywhere else. The I.A.E.A. then blew the cover off the fraud by announcing that the documents Bush had used were not only forgeries, but too obvious to believe that anyone in the Bush administration did not know they were forgeries!

In the end, the real proof that we were lied to about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction is that no weapons of mass destruction were ever found. That means that every single piece of paper that purported to prove that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction was by default a fraud, a hoax, and a lie. There could be no evidence that supported the claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction because Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction. In a way, the existence of any faked documents about Iraq’s WMDs is actually an admission of guilt. If one is taking the time to create fake documents, the implication is that the faker is already aware that there are no genuine documents.

What the US Government had, ALL that they had, were copied student papers, forged “Yellow Cake” documents, balloon inflators posing as bioweapons labs, and photos with misleading labels on them. And somewhere along the line, someone decided to put those misleading labels on those photos, to pretend that balloon inflators are portable bioweapons labs, and to pass off stolen student papers as contemporary analysis.

And THAT shows an intention to deceive.

Lawyers call this “Mens Rea”, which means “Guilty Mind”. TV lawyer shows call it “Malice aforethought”. This means that not only did the Bush Administration lie to the people and to the US Congress, but knew they were doing something illegal at the time that they did it.

All the talk about “Intelligence failure” is just another lie. There was no failure. Indeed the Army agents who erroneously claimed that missile tubes were parts for a uranium centrifuge received bonuses, while the Pentagon smeared Hans Blix, and John Bolton orchestrated the firing of Jose Bustani, the director of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, because Bustani was trying to send chemical weapons inspectors to Baghdad.

The President of the United States and his Neocon associates lied to the people of the United States to send them off on a war of conquest.

Defenders of the government will point to the cases listed at the top of the page as proof that lying to the people is a normal part of the leader’s job and we should all get used to it. And because “Everybody does it” that we should not single out the present administration. But this is madness. We do not catch all the murderers, yet when we catch a murderer, we deal with them as harshly as possible, in order to deter more murderers.

Right now, we have the criminals at hand. and, while other leaders in history have lied to start wars, for the first time in history, the lie stands exposed while the war started with the lies still rages on, to the death and detriment of our young men and women in uniform. We cannot in good moral conscience ignore this lie, this crime, lest we encourage future leaders to continue to lie to use to send our kids off to pointless wars. Lying to start a war is more than an impeachable offence; it the highest possible crime a government can commit against their own people. Lying to start a war is not only misappropriation of the nation’s military and the nation’s money under false pretenses, but it is outright murder committed on a massive scale. Lying to start a war is a betrayal of the trust each and every person who serves in the military places in their civilian leadership. By lying to start a war, the Bush administration has told the military fatalities and their families that they have no right to know why they were sent to their deaths. It’s none of their business.

Our nation is founded on the principle of rule with the consent of the governed. Because We The People do not consent to be lied to, a government that lies rules without the consent of the governed, and ruling without the consent of the governed is slavery.

You should be more than angry. You should be in a rage. You should be in a rage no less than that of the families of those young men and women who have been killed and maimed in this war started with a lie.You need to be in a rage and you need to act on that rage because even as I type these words, the same government that lied about Iraq’s nuclear weapons is telling the exact same lies about Iran’s nuclear capabilities. The writing is on the wall; having gotten away with lying to start the war in Iraq, the US Government will lie to start a war in Iran, and after that another, and after that another, and another and another and another because as long as you remain silent, and as long as you remain inactive, the liars have no reason to stop.

As long as you remain inactive, the liars have no reason to stop.

None.

It is time to fire the liars.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is
for good men to do nothing”
.
–Edmund Burke

**************************************************

U.S.C. TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 47 § 1001.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, WHOEVER, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully—
(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by ANY trick, scheme, or device a material fact;
(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or
(3) makes or USES any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry; shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
(b) Subsection (a) does not apply to a party to a judicial proceeding, or that party’s counsel, for statements, representations, writings or documents submitted by such party or counsel to a judge or magistrate in that proceeding.
(c) With respect to any matter within the jurisdiction of the legislative branch, subsection (a) shall apply only to—
(1) administrative matters, including a claim for payment, a matter related to the procurement of property or services, personnel or employment practices, or support services, or a document required by law, rule, or regulation to be submitted to the Congress or any office or officer within the legislative branch; or
(2) any investigation or review, conducted pursuant to the authority of any committee, subcommittee, commission or office of the Congress, consistent with applicable rules of the House or Senate.

**************************************************

SO HERE IS WHAT WE ARE GOING TO DO

The Bush administration and their friends in the media want this story to go away. More than want it to go away, they are in a panic, and will do everything they can to stop it. They will use every dirty trick, every paid shill, every presstitute that they can. Already there is a report that the Michael Jackson jury is “expected” to reach a verdict just before the Conyers hearings.

So, I want YOU to copy this article off, post it everywhere. This article is placed in the public domain. Mail it to your friends. Then send it to your local media and your Congresscritters and have everyone you know do the same. Get on the phones. Flood their offices.

The term is “Viral Marketing” where you get the people who need a product to market it for you. Well, this nation NEEDS this “product”. It needs to know that this war was started with lies. INTENTIONAL lies. And they need to know there is something they can do about it, and that is to start pounding on the doors of power.

Because when a flood of such messages reaches the Congress and the media, what they will hear is that there is no more time. Either they will deal with these lies and the liars, in full, or they will lose all credibility as a government and as media.

A government that lies to the people cannot be the legal government of this land. Make sure that they understand that YOU understand that the Constitution does not allow the government to lie to the people. Calling themselves the government does not make it so if they act unconstitutionally and illegally. The Constitution is the original “Contract with America” and a government that lies stands in clear breach of that contract.

MORE MEDIA CONTACTS     MORE CONGRESSIONAL CONTACTS

**************************************************

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
— “The Declaration of Independence

December 13, 2007

Today’s Education, Kids

These links will be added to the side in the near future, and I’ll fix the duplications later. Also, some links may be broken. They’ll be checked soon.

I am not endorsing everything on each of these sites. Use your common sense. I am not a “no planes” theorist or really any kind of theorist; I’m just trying to codify the barrage of links out there, so beginners can know how to start their own research.

LooseChange911.com

911inplanesite.com

“The Road to Tyranny” from prisonplanet.com or infowars.com

911truth.org

NY911truth.org

911blogger.com

rense.com

erichufschmid.net –The Author of “Painful Questions,” behind the film “Painful Deceptions”

copvcia.com / fromthewilderness.com –Mike Ruppert Exposes War Games on 9/11, CIA connection to drug money, and more. Must View: “Truth and Lies of 9/11,” strong evidence of US government knowledge, if not complicity, in the attacks.

ReOpen911.org–Demand a real, impartial, independent investigation, asking the hard questions. Unlike what the “9/11 Commission” found, how the attacks were financed is kind of relevant to how they actually played out. Don’t let the government insult your intelligence, or they’ll start taking your liberties.

martiallaw911.info –MArtial Law Planned for the US–and probably before the 2008 elections, according to some rumors. It is vital that everyone votes in the 2008 elections and that we have paper ballots for this election. Let’s remember how the 2000 election outcomes were decided. And let’s finally abolish the electoral college.

socialism.com –Capitalism is the problem, and “a linear system on a finite planet cannot survive,” as so eloquently stated on the excellent short film, “The Story of Stuff,” featured below. Neoliberalism is runaway, ruthless greed. Socialism is not the New World Order. The “free market” kills. In the”free market,” you’re worthless unless you’re continually producing or consuming.

globalfreepress.com

september11th.org–9/11 visibility

sf911truth.org–from San Francisco

pentagonresearch.com–about “Flight 77.” Some people think the “no planes” theory about the Pentagon incident is “disinfo.” Be aware of this, and think for yourself.

unansweredquestions.org

The New Pearl Harbor –9/11 was the new Pearl Harbor, the event needed to get a diverse society to rally behind an illegitimate global, endless war– http://www.p-fritz.net/w/newph.htm#part1

flight93crash.com

_________________________________________________________________________

Names of People associated with 9/11 research and truth movements

You can google for any of their webpages or publications or films just by searching for their names.

Davis Ray Griffith

Alex Jones

Barry Zwicker

Dave Von Kleist (behind 9/11 In Plane Site)

Mike Ruppert

Jason Justice & Dylan Avery

Rick Siegel

Eric Hufschmid

Jimmy Walter

Paul Thompson

Phil Jayhan

US Congress–Honorable Cynthia McKinney

FBI Whistleblower–Sibel Edmonds

Charlie Sheen

Ed Asner

Thierry Meyssan

Mindy Kleinberg–made a widow by the 9/11 attacks, speaking out and asking real questions

Phil Jayhan

_____________________________________________________________________________

Necessary Viewing–Short but comprehensive video: Story of Stuff–puts the system we are all in into perspective, and underlines the need for awakening and change.

Reuse and recycle, yes, but reduce! Buy durable goods and stop buying all the time and stop throwing out stuff.

Fifty years ago, planned obsolescence and perceived obsolescence were designed to make the US a consumer economy, rather than a producing economy.

This lifestyle is good for a few and bad for most and worse for the planet we all ultimately have to share and nurture.

George Carlin said it best (paraphrasing): “The planet’s not in peril; it’s people are fucked. The planet will shake us off like a bunch of fleas.” In millions of years, trees, mountains, and water will recover. But if we alldon’t want to be clawing ourselves to death, we’d better scale down our consumption now.

Must view. Free and easy to understand, nontechnical. Tell everyone you know. storyofstuff.com

217x188_sos_banner003.jpg sos_button.jpg

December 6, 2007

Stop the Presses–No Taxes on Tips

Another reason to rally behind Ron Paul. This is one ballsy guy–because he tells the truth that needs to be told, plain and simple. He doesn’t need handlers or spin. He might be too uncomplicated for American politics.

No Taxes on Tips

It is an outrage that waiters, waitresses, and other service-sector employees have to pay taxes on the tips they earn. The IRS makes an estimate of how much service-sector workers will make in tips, and taxes them on it even if the taxpayer did not actually earn as much as the IRS’ estimate!

Tips provide a substantial portion of the income of many service-sector employees, many of whom are young people just trying to make a few extra dollars to get through school, or single parents often balancing two jobs while trying to make enough to raise a family. This tax amounts to nothing more than the federal government punishing these employees for working hard and doing their jobs well.

I have introduced H.R. 3664 in Congress to end this problem. The Tax Free Tips Act of 2007 will exempt tips from federal income and payroll taxes. Ending taxes on tips will give workers an immediate pay raise, letting them keep more money to put toward things like a house or car payment, their retirement, or their own and/or their children’s education.

When you give someone a tip, you should not have to simultaneously tip the federal government.

http://www.ronpaul2008.com/issues/no-taxes-on-tips/

—–

BusinessWeek

Facetime November 29, 2007, 6:09PM EST text size: TT

Ron Paul on the Evil Fed, the IRS, and Saving the Buck

At 72, Ron Paul is a Web phenomenon. His campaign says that some 80% of the $17 million raised in the past four quarters—including about $4.3 million in one October day—has come from online supporters. And according to a mid-November poll, the Republican Presidential hopeful is gaining ground in New Hampshire, though he’s still in single digits. Like maverick candidates such as Howard Dean in 2004 and Ross Perot in 1992, Paul seems to connect with voters hungry for unvarnished positions. Paul, an obstetrician and 10-term congressman from the Texas Gulf Coast, voted against the war in Iraq and wants the troops home fast, but it’s his economic ideas that are the most radical: He detests the Fed and would abolish the IRS. Paul was about to climb on a plane for a campaign trip to South Carolina when I caught up with him.

MARIA BARTIROMO

As President, how would you strengthen the economy?

RON PAUL

The most important thing is to get control of the budget, because the more we spend and the higher the deficit, the more we have to tax and borrow and inflate the currency—literally create new credit to buy Treasury bills. We need to restore confidence in the dollar before [its decline] gets out of control. The easiest place to cut spending is overseas because it’s doing so much harm to us, undermining our national defense and ruining our budget. I would start saving hundreds of billions of dollars by giving up on defending the American empire. I’d start bringing our troops home, not only from the Middle East but from Korea, Japan, and Europe, and save enough money to slash the deficit. We can actually pay down the national debt and still take care of people here at home. That would restore a lot of confidence.

What is the most important change you would make?

Aim for the federal government to immediately live within its means, to take the pressure off the Fed to create money.

And that means what?

Means no more inflation. If the Fed doesn’t create money out of thin air—and they do it mostly to accommodate the deficits—that would restore the soundness of the dollar and give us our purchasing power back.

But as President, you’re supposed to be independent from the Fed. You would encourage the Fed to stop printing money?

You know this idea that we can create a secret bank and they manage things and rarely tell us—or Congress or the Executive Branch—what they’re really doing, there’s a problem there. I can’t even go to a monetary policy board meeting of the Federal Reserve, and I’m on the Banking Committee of the U.S. Congress. I want open government, and certainly the Fed ought to be open. But it’s an institution that really shouldn’t exist. [Its financing] allows Big Government to get bigger without being responsible. And that’s why we have runaway spending for both warfare and welfare.

Hasn’t the Fed been effective in providing liquidity in the current credit crisis?

You’re right, but it’s sort of like a drug addict. The drug addict demands more or he’s going to have convulsions. The economy would have a convulsion if the Fed didn’t inject more credit. But if you continue to do that, the problem gets worse. You can’t solve the problem of monetary inflation with monetary inflation. These circumstances have all been created by our government and the Fed.

How was the recent crisis caused by our government?

It was astounding that you could get a mortgage at 4%, and this was all due to the Fed creating money and artificially lowering rates, which gets people to do the wrong thing. Builders do the wrong thing, and people borrow money and buy houses they can’t afford.

How would you change tax policy?

Ideally, get rid of the income tax. In the meantime, I’d give huge tax credits to anybody who wanted to take care of their own medical care. I’d give tax credits for all educational benefits. I’d get the government out of managing education and medicine. And do it by changing the tax code. I have a bill right now that is very popular, especially for people who are trying to work their way through college or who are having a tough time making ends meet, and that is to exempt all taxes on tips. People who have a first job or a second job waiting on tables and doing other things, they’re harassed by government rules and regulations, and sometimes they have to pay higher taxes than the tips they actually receive. I’d move next to saying no taxes on anybody who’s trying to get through college. Why do we tax them, make it hard for them, then give them grants? It doesn’t make any sense.

Who are your economic advisers?

I don’t have any. I read Austrian economics, which I’ve been doing for 30 years. So my advisers have been [von] Mises and Hayek and Sennholz.

Do you consider yourself a friend or a foe of Wall Street?

If they believe in freedom, free markets, and sound money, they’ll love me. But if they like creating credit out of thin air, they’ll see me as a threat. I was one of three people who voted against Sarbanes-Oxley because I thought it was detrimental to Wall Street. I’d repeal it.

You want to take the troops out of Iraq, but what about Iran? What do we do if other nations turn hostile?

I’d treat them something like what we did with the Soviets. I was called to military duty [as a U.S. Air Force flight surgeon] in the ’60s when they were in Cuba, and they had 40,000 nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles, and we didn’t have to fight them. We didn’t have to invade their country. But to deal with terrorism, we can’t solve the problem if we don’t understand why they [attack us]. And they don’t come because we’re free and prosperous. They don’t go after Switzerland and Sweden and Canada. They come after us because we’ve occupied their land, and instead of reversing our foreign policy after 9/11, we made it worse by invading two more countries and then threatening a third. Why wouldn’t they be angry at us? It would be absolutely bizarre if they weren’t. We’ve been meddling over there for more than 50 years. We overthrew a democratically elected government in Iran in 1953; we were Saddam Hussein’s ally and encouraged him to invade Iran. If I was an Iranian, I’d be annoyed myself, you know. So we need to change our policy, and I think we would reduce the danger.

You have vehement new supporters. What’s driving the sudden interest in your candidacy?

I think they’re sick and tired of what they’re getting. They’ve lost all trust and faith in the government. They believe in the American Dream, and they’re getting a nightmare. And they’re rallying behind the program I’ve been working on for 30 years—defending the Constitution, limited government, free markets, sound money, and self-reliance; believing people can take care of themselves better than government can. The nanny state doesn’t work, the police state doesn’t work, and neither does the warfare. And they know it.

Maria Bartiromo is the anchor of CNBC’s Closing Bell.

http://www.businessweek.com/print/magazine/content/07_50/b4062021769214.htm

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November 19, 2007

WHERE THERE IS NO DISSENT, THERE IS FASCISM

Please check out these sites and media for yourself:

http://www.spychips.com

http://www.wtprn.com/ (interesting, but with a “conservative” slant on issues too urgent to be ideologically pigeonholed)

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/thermite_index.html

Alex Jones films to watch (google video or
psionplanet.tv
infowars.com):

Endgame
Matrix of Evil

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