the holistic radical

September 29, 2008

Stop this Bailout! Kick out Palin! Stop Raping Homeowners!

A trifecta of non-conservative reporting in today’s NY Daily News. Man, when your own party is saying your veep candidate should step down, you know you have a problem in making choices.

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Calls rise among Republicans for Sarah

Palin to step down from GOP ticket

BY THOMAS M. DeFRANK and DAVID SALTONSTALL
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

Sunday, September 28th 2008, 9:53 AM

Sarah Palin faces the biggest test of her month-old candidacy with this Thursday’s vice presidential debate, but many Republicans are already convinced the Alaska governor is not ready for prime time – and may never be.

“It was fun while it lasted,” conservative National Review columnist Kathleen Parker regretfully concluded last week. “But circumstances have changed since Palin was introduced as just a hockey mom with lipstick.”

Those “circumstances,” Parker and others are now saying, include not just the Wall Street meltdown – a crisis that seems to cry out for seasoned leadership – but also Palin’s choppy, tenuous, even unintelligible answers to the few questions she has fielded on her own.

Palin’s interview last week with CBS’ Katie Couric is Exhibit A – a frightening glimpse, say fans and critics alike, into what happens when Palin is allowed to speak without a script.

“It’s very important when you consider even national-security issues with Russia,” she told Couric in explaining why being able to see Russia from Alaska should count as foreign policy experience on her résumé. “It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right next to, they are right next to our state.”

On the Wall Street meltdown and polls showing Republican nominee John McCain slipping, she added, “What I think Americans at the end of the day are going to be able to go back and look at track records and see who’s more apt to be talking about solutions and wishing for and hoping for solutions for some opportunity to change, and who’s actually done it.”

It made some GOP veterans yearn for Dan Quayle.

“You needed the Jaws of Life to pry a coherent sentence out,” moaned one Republican operative.

Palin’s uneven answers may help to explain why her handlers have let her grant only a handful of media interviews so far.

It may also explain why her poll numbers have started to slip, as in a Fox News poll last week that showed her favorable ratings dipping to 47% from 54%.

Republican guru Ed Rollins believes Team McCain did Palin a disservice by keeping her so walled off from the press.

Palin was thrust straight into the big leagues with ABC’s Charlie Gibson and Couric (and a softball toss with conservative Fox News host Sean Hannity).

“They put her in storage,” said Rollins, “and it broke her confidence.”

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2008/09/27/2008-09-27_calls_rise_among_republicans_for_sarah_p.html?print=1&page=all

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Right-wingers are scapegoating hardworking American families

Saturday, September 27th 2008, 8:06 PM

http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2008/09/28/alg_gygi-drawing.jpgDarren Gygi

Conservative activists are busy concocting an utterly revisionist history of how America got into the current economic crisis.

Predictably, the talking points issued by right-wing bloggers, talk-show hosts and columnists lay blame on their favorite targets: Democrats, liberals, big government, neighborhood organizations – and above all, those irresponsible poor people who kept foolishly trying to snag a bit of the American Dream by becoming homeowners.

The starting point of the attacks  is the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act, a splendid and important piece of legislation requiring federally insured banks and thrifts to negotiate with local communities about providing financial services fairly throughout their entire service area.

Back when I worked as an activist in central Brooklyn, it was CRA that required bankers to bargain with churches, block associations and other groups about keeping branches open, depositing bank funds in community credit unions, donating bank furniture to neighborhood groups and so on.

I spent so much time arranging reinvestment deals that the state Banking Department – under Republican Gov. George Pataki – offered me a job monitoring bank compliance with the law. (I declined.)

The law was – and remains – an important corrective to decades of red-lining, in which banks would take in millions in savings and bank deposits in low-income areas but refuse to lend any of it to even the most creditworthy families and businesses in those neighborhoods.

It isn’t a mandate with hard-and-fast penalties and loads of onerous regulations. Banks are only required to try to serve all parts of their business area – and the penalty for noncompliance is maybe getting denied permission to merge or expand operations in the future, an exceedingly rare occurrence.

Nor has the law ever been exclusively about extending mortgage loans: Banks can also open branches in underserved areas, offer low-cost checking accounts, sponsor financial seminars and make donations to community organizations.

In other words, CRA represents America at her best: a good-faith attempt to get big, self-interested institutions to expand opportunities to hardworking people who would otherwise be left on the outside looking in.

But you’d never know that from listening to the right-wing echo chamber, which would rather add insult to economically injured families. Typical of the tone is an error-filled video diatribe prominently posted on the Drudge Report Web site.

“Deregulation did not cause this. A bad government regulation caused this that made Main Street banks become predatory lenders to fulfill a government mandate to offer souped-up, shell game ‘affordable mortgages,'” the video says. “Bad social engineering caused this.”

Repeating a lie won’t make it true. For starters, CRA only applies to federally insured depository banks – not the investment banks, loan syndicators, mortgage brokers and other Wall Street players that fueled the subprime crisis. According to congressional testimony this year by Michael Barr, a law professor at the University of Michigan, 80% of subprime loans were made by those market players.

And nationwide, the number of agreements created between banks and community groups from 1977 to 1991 was only $8.8billion, a pittance compared with the hundreds of billions in shaky subprime loans now featured in the headlines.

Did some low-income Americans agree to risky loans that they knew full well they couldn’t pay? You bet. Did others try to game the system? Sure. But those were the exceptions, not the rule.

The Community Reinvestment Act was an opportunity-expanding watershed – in exactly the right way. It stands in a line with the 1932 Home Loan Bank Act, created at the height of the Great Depression, and the 1968 Fair Housing Act that outlaws racial discrimination in housing.

And guess what? Anti-government conservatives opposed each one of those landmark reforms, too.

This isn’t about policy. What we’re really seeing is a cramped, callous view of society in which the poor and the striving middle class are entitled to nothing in the way of help from the rest of us – not capital, not laws, not political activism, not even sympathy.

All those things are reserved for the Wall Street types, whose well-being and year-end bonuses, we are told, are now the nation’s highest priority.

There is plenty of blame to go around in this economic swamp. But the fiction being peddled by ideologues only helps the real crooks slip away.

elouis@nydailynews.com

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2008/09/27/2008-09-27_rightwingers_are_scapegoating_hardworkin.html?print=1&page=all

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A whole lotta nothing: McCain, Obama offer not even two cents worth of wisdom on bailout

Saturday, September 27th 2008, 3:59 PM

John McCain delivered platitudes about forcing accountability ...Richards/Getty

John McCain delivered platitudes about forcing accountability …

... and Barack Obama spoke in generalities about protecting taxpayers. But neither offered any clear analysis or insight on the bailout.Dunand/Getty

… and Barack Obama spoke in generalities about protecting taxpayers. But neither offered any clear analysis or insight on the bailout.

For those who like boxing metaphors to score debates, here’s the most frightening one to come out of Friday night’s fight: Neither Barack Obama nor John McCain laid a glove on the financial meltdown.

That both men are trying, Muhammad Ali style, to dance like a butterfly around the crisis reveals neither has come to grips with the severity and its implications for the next President. After they delivered their platitudes about protecting taxpayers (Obama) and forcing accountability (McCain), their wells ran dry of ideas.

With the daily headlines filled with warnings of another Great Depression, we really do have something to fear: that our next President isn’t up to the job.

Obama and McCain railed vaguely against outdated regulations, but the same might be said of their campaigns. The world one of them will inherit has changed since they started running nearly two years ago, only they don’t seem to get it. Maybe the next bank failure will wake them up.

Then again, maybe not. The collapse of Washington Mutual happened hours before their first debate, yet it rated nary a word. It was the largest bank failure in American history. Ho-hum.

The disconnect is startling. Neither candidate would commit to voting for or against the proposed $700 billion bailout that could be finalized today. Nor could they talk about it with any plain-English detail. Do they even understand it?

McCain, who correctly said Wednesday the bailout discussions were more important than the debate, changed his mind Friday and never explained why. Perhaps the complexity of the issue and the lack of a risk-free political path convinced him the debate was actually safer turf than taking a stance on the largest government intervention ever.

Polls show that only about one-third of Americans support the bailout, yet the men vying to be responsible for it ducked the chance to explain to a huge TV audience why it is good or bad and what might happen next. They stuck to the tired refrain that the plan is more about saving Main Street than Wall Street, a Madison Avenue slogan as bloodless as it is outdated.

Moderator Jim Lehrer‘s prodding to detail how the crisis would reshape their economic plans was fruitless. Asked what they would cut in response to the new realities, the candidates fell back on promises crafted in the relatively flush times of last year.

They have their talking points and they’re sticking to them, facts be damned.

In biographical terms, Obama and McCain are unconventional candidates. But with a few exceptions – Internet fund-raising and made-for-YouTube ads – they are running utterly conventional campaigns.

They promise to be different, but I’m increasingly getting the creepy feeling that more of the same is what we’re in for, no matter who wins. The national landscape has changed in the blink of an eye, but the candidates are on autopilot.

We’re also getting a good lesson about why no senator since JFK has been elected President. The stereotype about Washington being the problem has more than a kernel of truth. Insiders navigate arcane procedures, busily scoring inside-baseball points while giving lip service to the global forces scaring the bejesus out of 300 million Americans.

It’s telling that Obama and McCain both deferred to congressional leaders of their parties during the summit with President Bush on Thursday. Instead of seizing the chance to set the agenda, they handed the baton to the people who either created or ignored the crisis while it was happening.

Come to think of it, that description also fits the two men who want to be President.

mgoodwin@nydailynews.com

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2008/09/27/2008-09-27_a_whole_lotta_nothing_mccain_obama_offer.html?print=1&page=all

September 11, 2008

Blue or Red, The Betrayal is the Same: Seven Years Later

Today, the world gives its condolences.

The idea of nineteen frustrated men hijacking planes and steering them with such precision into three of their four desired targets (T1, T2 and the Pentagon, but not the White House) is a fairy tale. Many independent and alternative media sources (media not bought wholesale and controlled by its corporate sponsors and thus with no allegiances to any particular company or reason to censor any unpleasant truths) provide ample reason to believe the version of events as we’ve been told is a not-so-carefully woven story gathering strength not through force of fact (for the script is not based on fact) but through sheer repetition and inflicting of looped traumatic imagery, combined with jingoism reducing the geopolitical complexities of the day.

Can your information source explain why:

· NORAD (the North American Air Defense system) was “stood down,” that is, told not to intercept the hijacked planes, thereby averting the crash into the towers?

· Why Towers 1 & 2 (first reported in the media as “exploding,” then reported in the media as “collapsing”) went down, considering that they were designed to precisely stand up to planes and hurricane winds, and considering that no solid-steel construction building in history has ever collapsed due to fire before or after that day? Fire alone could not have reached a high enough temperature to melt enough of the steel in the towers, because there was not a constant oxygen supply to literally fuel the fire. What about the telltale “squibs” caught on video coming out of the buildings as they were going down, signs that a controlled demolition was bringing the buildings down neatly into their footprints in a matter of seconds? What about the evidence of thermite? What about reports from people who worked in the buildings noting strange people coming and going the weeks before the “attacks,” strange power outages and turnings off of the camera and alarm systems while “construction” and “upgrades” were happening on short or no notice?

· Why were massive “put options” placed on United and American airlines? Why were these very visible transactions not noticed or investigated by the SEC?

· Why tapes from the Pentagon attack were immediately seized and not shown to the public except for a few frames years later? Why is there not a plane-shaped hole in the side of the Pentagon? Why was there so little debris, and why was it disturbed, carried away by hand by staffers? Why did the plane just happen to make a quite complicated turn to make the hit away from the side where key staff like Rumsfeld were, but “coincidentally” on the side of the structure being diligently renovated for reinforced strength? Could hijackers fresh out of Florida flight school have been capable of such a maneuver?

· Can anyone relying on conventional media alone explain why Building 7, a building never hit by a plane and several hundred yards from the Twin Towers, crumbled to the ground after 5 pm that day after burning on only a few floors for a few hours? This steel-constructed building held the IRS, the Secret Service, the SEC, the Office of Emergency Management, and other offices. Why did it have to go down, or, in the words of new leaseholder Larry Silverstein, why was it “pulled”? Why is there massive media silence about Building 7?

· The EPA, then headed by Christine Todd Whitman, said the air was safe to breathe in Lower Manhattan, just so the markets could be re-opened quickly?

· Why weren’t the firefighter’s radios working? Why did there have to be so many needless deaths?

· Why was this day interpreted as an act of war requiring us to militarize immediately, but a commission investigating the attacks could not be called for over 400 days?

· Why was evidence from the scene of the crime (and sacred ground) immediately hauled away to Fresh Kills and to China? Tampering with evidence is a Federal Offence. Why the rush to clear the scene so quickly?

These are just a few of the questions the conventional media is not interested in probing, let along attempting to answer. The conventional media, consolidating and seeking more consolidation all the time. The conventional media, where NBC is owned by defense contractor giant GE. The conventional media, which seeks to commercialize and censor the Internet in the United States, to limit communication on web pages, forums, and blogs like these.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to 9/11. No one individual has all the answers. When someone says the day was the result of an “inside job,” what they are trying to bring to light is the fact that the events of the day were not just a number of coincidental, horrifying, isolated incidents that can be avoided in the future through increased militarism and attention to “security.” What such a person is saying is that you need to see that the mainstream media has motives to deliberately distort and hide information from you, information that may have influenced how you voted in 2004 or how you will vote this November. The media is relying on a failure of memory on the part of the American people in order to control them. This complacency is also accomplished through our utterly bankrupt educational system that is only good at medicating children and administering them biased, meaningless, high-stakes tests with no relation whatsoever to skills or real learning. Honesty, integrity, and critical thinking are no longer revered in American life. We must use this day to insist on getting the answers the media and corporate interests would rather have us forget about. We must be brave enough to show the powers that be that some of us will not be bought off, that some of us not only remember, but question, and will not contain our drive for truth, not for the families of the victims, not for the families of the soldiers.

The events of 9/11, the “New Pearl Harbor” the neoconservatives were waiting for the implement their global agenda of warmongering and domestic enslavement—have been used to justify a shocking number of assaults to our freedom: from wiretapping, to the use of torture on those deemed “enemy combatants,” to the invasion and domination of other sovereign nations. We are no longer citizens with privacy and dignity—we are conforming, scared consumers. And it is guaranteed that we will lose our quality of life in return. Ron Paul was the only presidential candidate who spoke to all of these issues—including taking down the Federal Reserve, strengthening our currency, and running the wasteful and brutal system of taxation out of town. Predictably, Ron Paul was, on the whole, shut out of the mainstream media, despite an impressive number of supporters and financing from those supporters (and not major corporations). What his candidacy proves is that both major parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, are unwilling to ask the tough questions about what happened on 9/11 and are further unwilling to test the waters in implementing real, groundshaking, immediate change—because both sides are beholden to special interests. Blue or red, the betrayal is the same.

Even supposing this fairy tale is true, the myth of 19 (some of which were reported alive and well after the event by the BBC and others), that “they hate us for our freedom,” what “they” (the perpetually mysterious, exoticized, xenophobic, racist, polarizing “they”) actually hate us for is our stupidity, our wastefulness, our inability to see that our consumption of resources is putting the globe in peril but not before reducing two thirds’ of the world’s population to a slave-like existence, permitting deprivation and cruelty in the 21st century. If there is a “they,” their only fault is that they don’t see that it is not most Americans perpetrating that waste—not the ten million unemployed and not the likely fifty million without health insurance who barely have enough resources to move out of their ghetto or trailer park, let alone go to college or get anything other than a minimum-wage job (usually at Wal-Mart, at that). These aren’t the people influencing global policy. They are searching for dignity as well, and they are getting constantly beaten down by high costs and health problems brought on by processed food (often the only food they can afford, filled with aspartame and MSG) and a contaminated environment. They are not the ones deepening the debt and struggle of others; they are mired in the struggle. However, there is a cold elite in this country that not only is removed from this struggle—they are actively involved in wiping out and taxing to death anyone who cannot make six figures or a high five figures (I will be lucky to be entering the low five figures this year). These people, through the media, aim to tighten the screws on the poor and lower middle class, and they have succeeded—the gap between the rich and the poor in the United States, the “Leader of the Free World,” has never been higher in its two hundred-plus year history. If this is “Leadership,” don’t show me what falling behind looks like—I don’t think I can take it.

True patriots should remember this day and demand a true investigation, an independent, thorough and nonpartisan effort at decoding what truly happened before and during September 11, 2001.

That would be a far better use of our resources than bailing out the usurious financial sector or the irresponsible automotive industry; better than subsidizing companies that pollute the planet and aim to poison and reduce the food supply with genetically-modified crops; better than throwing money at the landlords who own this country while millions are on the brink of homelessness; better than screwing over our brave injured veterans while awarding never-ending contracts to Blackwater and KBR and Lockheed while civilians die in a country that we shouldn’t be in to begin with. A real and honest investigation would ultimately result in an end to all this madness, and it is for that reason alone that it is not being convened: it would be too much of a threat to the rampant exploitation and inequality that has become the status quo of American life.

Today, the world gives its condolences, but the grief will never end until we stop permitting war as a way of generating profit for a select few while the rest of us suffer. The grief will never end while we allow mass deceit to go on unpunished. The grief will never end until we demand our leaders stand up to their corporate puppetmasters and work for the people who elected them. The grief will never end until we become our own leaders and reassess what true security, freedom, and prosperity is. So long as poverty has been allowed to exist unchecked in America, there has never been freedom. As the number of poor will explode in America due to the neoconservative’s policies, the poor must find their voice—and really stand up and be counted. Trickle-down economics doesn’t work. Incarcerating one quarter of our adult population doesn’t work (though the FEMA “concentration” camps exist, waiting for the next disaster).

The grief will never end: where there is an injustice anywhere, there is injustice everywhere.

But where there is money, some people are just not interested in ending the injustice.

The time is now. We can let politics and the struggle for power distract us from the real problems facing the country and globe—food shortages, housing inequities, poverty, a looming water crisis, natural disasters, crumbling infrastructure—or we can act now to work on these urgent challenges. These are tasks that will require the foresight, cooperation, resourcefulness, and determination long absent from the public stage. They will require austerity and discipline, but most of all they require an angry populace that will insist on accountability and be vigilant in pursuing it. This is what it means when people say, “Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Anything else promotes the perpetuation of the plutocracy we currently have. The events of September 11, 2001 have been interpreted as the end of the “American Empire.” Besides the fact that a true democracy should not be interested in starting or maintaining empires, it must be said that the events of September 11, 2001 actually represented the failure of our Democratic system—which must be addressed with unfashionable attention to bona fide campaign finance reform, an end to racist gerrymandering (redistricting), term limits for all offices, stopping the practice of requiring identification to vote and other ways of preventing people from registering to vote, and an immediate end to the use of electronic voting machines, particularly those that would not permit a “paper trail” or written record of ballots cast. Until these very reasonable standards are met by a sincere democracy interested in counting the votes of all people, any election will be a complete farce.

Two films I hope to watch in the near future and will recommend to everyone are “Able Danger” and “Fabled Enemies.” “Able Danger” will discuss the program of that name that was one of the many “war games” being tested on that fateful day—but there are indications that the program is more sinister than a simple drill. Uncovering “Able Danger” should bring us right to the top of the military-industrial hierarchy that may have orchestrated most, if not all, of the attacks. “Fabled Enemies” is an Alex Jones production also probing who the real perpetrators are, and it promises to be a comprehensive investigation of some of the major players here and abroad.

It’s not enough to say “never forget” or “never again.”

We must begin to say, “never let them get away with it.”

September 1, 2008

The Politically Incorrect thing to say

Filed under: elections, national policy, politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — sesame seed @ 2:23 pm

In this “politically correct” age, we’re supposed to look beyond things, superficial things, like race and gender, and judge people by their merit. People even thinking of voting for McCain because Palin is part of the picture aren’t just politically incorrect, they’re showing a complete failure of imagination. Folks, Alaska is not the nation, and she isn’t experienced. (She also has poor taste in jewelry—come on, you want a VP who wears hoops? Not to be blunt, but is it Pennsylvania Avenue or South Philly? I know our culture is getting completely crass & trashed—before the fall of Rome, absurd decadence to the lowet-common-denominator—but there’s one thing to have a puppet government and other for them to cut their “populist” facade and be in appearance as elitist as they are in actuality.) Ovaries or testes, both parties show the same kind of betrayal—selling this country out to multinational corporations and big bankers while taking the carpet out from under the middle class and instituting fascist police-state surveillance and military mechanisms in order to get away with their injustice. These big bankers love neve-ending wars that drain infrastructure and resources so we are perpetual slaves to their money, their policies, their visions of the future. Those are the facts of the matter.

July 19, 2008

Mike Ruppert: “Truth and Lies of 9/11”–Must See

Some time ago I watched Mike Ruppert make a lecture on “The Truth and Lies of 9/11…” search Google Video, see if the censors took it down. Here are some stills…as well as some stills of a few of the more interesting/ insightful comments from viewers.

July 7, 2008

Enough is Enough is Enough is Enough!

Eight million people can watch the same TV show at night, but they can’t march in their town, hold up signs, or even write to their Senators? Democracy is not a spectator sport–get informed, be angry! This is why the economy is down–because we want everything to come to us in our isolated homes, because everyone only looks after themselves, because people with plenty of money have to have 2 or 3 jobs and houses while some people do not even have 1 job or 1 house. See outside yourselves, people!

Tell your Senators to stop letting the telecom companies off the hook! Stop this insanity and invasion of privacy–before you lose it all!

Surveillance has never brought heightened security. Community–not paranoia–brings prosperity. We are faring poorly economically because we are losing our freedoms: the freedom to think, speak, assemble, and travel.

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https://secure.aclu.org/site/Advocacy?page=SplashPage&pagename=homepage&id=987

No Compromise on Liberty

The legislative battle over gutting the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act will resume in the Senate in Washington on July 8.

Without a dramatic turnaround, it appears we will lose this important fight in the Senate over the gutting of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

While we greatly appreciate the valiant efforts of senators like Feingold and Dodd to improve the legislation these efforts should not and will not provide political cover for any senator that says ‘yes’ to any final bill with warrantless wiretapping or immunity for telecommunications companies that broke the law.

Although we will urge senators to vote for amendments to improve the bill, the bottom line for the ACLU is that no president should have the power to monitor the phones and emails of Americans without a warrant, and telecommunications companies should not be let off the hook. No president should have the power to pardon companies that broke the law. Tell your senators the bottom line: no immunity, no warrantless spying.

April 9, 2008

What is the Significance of the National Debt?

It’s a good indicator of how we ruined a once solid economy.

http://www.naturalnews.com/022931.html

Comments by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger

As we wind our way towards an election between the professional liars that have been put forward as candidates for U.S. President, it seems to be a great time to remind us all about the issue being routinely ignored by virtually everyone (except Ron Paul, of course, who was never really embraced by the “please lie to me” mainstream public). To what issue am I referring? The national debt, of course.

As you can see in this bumper sticker, the way to annoy a liberal is to “get a job,” as the pop culture bumper sticker says. To annoy a conservative, all you have to do is “defend the Constitution.” But how do you annoy everybody? That’s simple: Explain the national debt.

Americans don’t want to hear about the national debt. It’s like a family living paycheck to paycheck, maxed out on their credit cards, trying to pretend the collection notices are all being lost in the mail. They don’t want to admit they have no ability to actually pay off the debt they’ve incurred by pursuing a flamboyoant lifestyle, blowing wads of cash on high-priced wines, luxury vehicles, and an occassional line of coke — they desperately want to imagine they can keep living on money that appears from nowhere, regardless of how much they owe to everybody else and the fact that their incomes don’t even come close to matching their expenditures.

Too bad every household in America doesn’t have its own Federal Reserve, huh? If it did, we could all just print money to pay off our debt, save our skins, and ignore the fundamentals of economics. But even in Washington today (and New York), the Federal Reserve is too busy bailing out greedy, criminally-operated banks to turn much attention to the much larger issue of the United States’ national debt. Apparently, saving the banks is more important than anything else, and the Fed is now committed to destroying the U.S. dollar through runaway hyperinflation in order to prevent a few rich bankers from facing the consequences of their outrageous sub-prime lending sprees.

America runs its finances like a crack addict

But let’s get back to the national debt for a moment. The United States government is broke. The only reason it’s been able to operate for this long is because other nations and foreign central banks have been foolish enough to keep lending the U.S. government more money. It’s like giving cash to a crack addict and hoping he will somehow seek out a drug rehab center on his own.

This is the person who never gets a job, never makes an honest living, but yet somehow manages to hit up everybody else for cash. You know how it works: “I need to buy a car to get a job,” they say. And then when you pony up the cash for their car, they get drunk and wreck the car, and they never try very hard to get a job in the first place. They keep spending and spending, tossing money down the drain on blows of crack, meth, heroin or booze. They promise to go into rehab someday, if you’ll only help them through “the next month” with a little more cash. This is the life of a drug addict. (Do you know one? Everybody does, it seems…)

America is that drug addict. It borrows cash from the central banks around the world, blowing it all on Medicare prescription benefits signed into law by Bush (money for drugs, see?). It spends trillions on military campaigns that accomplish nothing positive, yet enrage the global community and recruit lifelong enemies of this nation. Notice how the price of oil has more than tripled since the war with Iraq started? It’s so bad now that truck drivers are going on strike over the price of diesel.

America spends money not merely like a drunken sailor, but like a crack-addicted sailor with a wheelbarrel piled high with one-hundred dollar bills, locked in a room full of Gov. Spitzer’s favorite hookers and a suitcase spilling over with blow.

Don’t dare explain the national debt to anyone

But try to explain the simple workings of finance, debt and economics to the uninformed, and you’ll be accused of being a doomsayer, a pessimist, or — the worst insult in today’s fear-based society — unpatriotic! How dare you point out the economic truths that will soon bring this country’s federal government to its knees! Such blatant truths shall not be tolerated… especially not in a country whose entire financial system is based on a cascade of fictional financial instruments propped up by nothing more than wishful thinking and Enron-style accounting fraud.

Let me translate all this for you in serious terms: The United States is already broke. The Federal Reserve is destroying the currency. The U.S. dollar will soon be virtually worthless. There is no saving the dollar, and there’s no saving the savings of any U.S. citizen foolish enough to be holding dollars when the music stops. The Federal Reserve has already decided to do anything in its power to save the rich bankers; even if it means destroying the value of all the dollars held by hard-working Americans. The day will come, folks, when your savings accounts will all be “recalibrated” and you’ll be given ten cents on the dollar while the Fed slinks away with 90% of your savings, using it to bail out overpaid bank owners.

And the federal government? Under a long string of presidential crooks — Democratic and Republican alike — it has decided to pursue a dangerous experiment called, “What happens if we never pay our debtors while running up more debt?” That experiment, not surprisingly, will end in the financial demise of this nation. (But there’s good news: A new, better system may emerge from the dust of the greenback… keep reading…)

You can’t defy the laws of gravity… nor economics

These aren’t careless predictions, by the way. These are simple observations the follow the fundamentals. Why are the nations of the world fleeing the U.S. Treasury debt auctions? Why are dollars increasingly worthless everywhere except in the United States itself? The answer is because the Fed is hyperinflating the currency to save the banks, even while the government is snorting yet more crack and spending unprecedented levels of increasingly-worthless dollars on drugs and war (or, as they call it, “medication and defense”).

Hence the bumper sticker: Annoy everyone. Explain the national debt. People don’t want to hear this. They’d rather imagine none of these problems exist; that debt doesn’t matter; that unlimited dollars can be created out of nothing with zero impact on peoples’ savings; that the U.S. government is wise enough to avert financial disaster. These are the hopes of the deluded. These are precisely the ramblings of Enron’s accountants before the crash, or dot-com stock pushers before that crash. They’re the slobbering blatherings of all the people who said housing prices will never fall, and therefore everyone will get rich off the never-ending housing price booms!

Being right does not make you popular

I’ve spend many years pointing out the idiocies of the deluded. I publicly predicted the dot-com crash and began warning people to get out of the market in 1998 – 2001. (This is a matter of public record, not some wishful hindsight.) I also publicly predicted the collapse of the housing market right here on this website, beginning nearly two years ago. And now, those predictions that once seemed “radical” are the Wall Street Journal’s front page news. What am I predicting now? Like I said, it’s not a prediction, it’s just an observation.

It’s like observing gravity. If you toss something into the air, you can be confident it’s going to come falling back to the ground. You don’t have to “predict” gravity; it’s a law of the universe. It works by itself, like clockwork, regardless of what you want it do to (I’m ignoring near-light speed travel, relativity, quantum physics, and all that fun stuff for the purposes of this metaphor, by the way, for those readers who are physicists). Likewise, when you see a nation throw its dollars into the air, spending its way to oblivion, ignoring its debt and ramping up its spending to even higher levels, it doesn’t take much of a prediction to know that it’s all going to fall back to the ground in a grand economic collapse.

So I’m not even calling the coming collapse of the U.S. government a “prediction.” It’s just common sense. It’s as obvious as gravity. If you don’t believe me, do the math. There is no mathematical solution to the current financial crisis facing not merely the banks and the currency, but the federal government itself. The only unknown factor is WHEN things will happen. Can the Fed help the economy limp along in a state of near-collapse for another year? Perhaps. Five years? Maybe. Ten years? I doubt it.

Now for the good news: The good news is that the U.S. federal government will eventually go bankrupt. Yes, that’s the good news! Because after the financial chaos passes (which will not be fun, believe me), we have a chance to create a new society, a new currency and a new, honest system of government that actually represents the People for a change. The current cabal of corruption and criminal behavior that sits in Washington and pretends to protect the interests of the voters is about to find itself on the receiving end of an angry mob. The 200+ year experiment called The United States of America is in its final chapter. But out of its failure, we can learn important lessons. We can learn things that will help us create a better future society. Lessons like:

• Never let a private company (the Federal Reserve) control the money supply.

• Never let “representative” legislators vote in your place. Insist on a DIRECT Democracy in the next society. (We don’t need Senators and Congresspeople, folks. The whole concept is long since outdated, and most Senators and Congresspeople are crooks.)

• Never let a government abandon the gold standard for its currency. If you do, that government will inevitably hyperinflate the currency and leave the people broke.

• Never let corporations run the government. If you do, your government will become a branch of the corporations, and the regulators (like the FDA, USDA, etc.) will become agents of corporate-sponsored terrorism that abandon all ethics and destroy the health and safety of the People.

• Never allow the centralization of power in one branch of government. For example, do not allow the creation of Executive Orders we’ve seen signed by the President.

• Never allow one man (the President) to commit acts of war. Didn’t we learn this after Vietnam?

• Never allow people from industry to take jobs in the government where they become biased, pro-corporate pushers of everything from pharmaceuticals to beef.

• Never allow politicians to censor scientists.

• Never allow the population to be dumbed-down through sub-standard public schools that only raise a generation of obedient workers, not skeptical thinkers.

• Never allow the media to control the population through advertiser-supported propaganda and violent programming.

• Never allow politicians to destroy citizens’ rights. When they attempt to do so, march on your capitol (in a non-violent way, of course). Arrest the politicians. Prosecute them for crimes against the People.

• Never allow corporate lobbyists to have access to lawmakers. If you do, you’ll end up with a corrupt government that only protects corporations, not the People.

• Never allow your government to operate in secret, with secret prisons, secret wiretapping laws and secret war “evidence” that is never made public. Secrecy breeds corruption. Honest societies do not need to conduct their judicial processes in secret.

• Never allow corporations to play God with the food supply by genetically modifying the crops.

• Never allow corporations to be granted intellectual property ownership over seeds, genes, animals and medicines. If you do, you will one day wake up impoverished, “homeless on the continent your fathers conquered,” to quote Jefferson.

• Never allow banks to operate on a fractional reserve system of loans and money creation that’s just begging for a series of cascading failures.

… I could go on, but you get the point. We have learned some very tough lessons over the last 200+ years, and once this present government collapses, it is crucial that we apply those lessons in creating a new system that abandons tyranny and embraces genuine freedom. We will have this opportunity soon. Many Americans will lose their life savings on the journey towards this new opportunity, but if we maintain our collective vision of a brighter future society, I believe we can create something much better out of the ashes of this failed experiment called the United States of America.

Please note: In no way do I support violence of any kind in creating a new society in the aftermath of this current one. I only support collaboration, openness, freedom and great respect for all living creatures as well as our sacred planet Earth. I believe the passing of this failed government is a blessing, not a curse, and I believe the collapse of the U.S. dollar will ultimately help awaken many to the tough but rewarding decisions that will face us all in the very near future. We must consciously decide to take back our freedoms, our rights and our futures from a system of corporate and government control that has destroyed our planet, exploited our people, and stolen our savings. But if can make the rights decisions based on creating a more promising future for our children, then the rewards will be unimaginable.

We the People hold the power to create a new society based on the freedoms and promises once held sacred in this land. Be ready to play your role, a constructive role, in the aftermath of this current society. And do not be surprised when gravity kicks in and this entire fictional government charade comes crashing down along with the fractional reserve banking system, the criminal Federal Reserve, the war-mongering politicians and the endless, endless debt. There is no way out now other than collapse and rebirth.

I can’t say when it will come, or exactly how it will play out. I only urge us all to remain positive, informed and constructive. The coming chaos will be painful in the short term, but out of the ashes of a failed society, we can work together to rebuilt a new one based on real freedom, honest money, sensible medicine and limited government.

Excellent Piece on Food Imperialism

If you don’t think food production can be political, read this piece.

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The new rules of imperialism: Economic warfare, consumer products and disease exports

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 by: Mike Adams | Key concepts: America, consumer products and intellectual property

History tells us that imperialist nations quite predictably invade weaker nations on a regular basis… especially when those weaker nations happen to be standing on valuable natural resources like oil or uranium. Thanks to this desire for strategic control over territories, the twentieth century was the bloodiest in human history, with more people being lost to war, greed and conquest than during any single century in recorded history (including the centuries spanning Greek and Roman civilizations).

War remains as supported as ever today, and in fact, many nations actually thirst for war. Just look at the pro-war coverage on Fox News and the unending war games being played on computers and game consoles by young men who find entertainment in war. (In fact, the U.S. Army is actually recruiting young men now through a free, downloadable video game that teaches young boys how to pick up a rifle and kill people with it.)

Why some nations create war

The people of some nations actually create war (or support it) in their quest to express a sense of nationalistic heroism. Failing nations need heroes, and when those heroes are no longer found in the realms of science, art, politics or global achievement, they will be fabricated from the false victories of war.

The tearful American mom whose son dies in Iraq is, indeed, suffering a tremendous personal loss, but her loss is a necessary part of feeding the population’s desire to proclaim there are heroes among them. Through the sacrificing of young men who are killed in Iraq, the people of America can find common connection, righteousness, and purpose where none existed before. War gives meaning to empty lives, and it delivers a masochistic form of entertainment to those who are too young, too old or too wealthy to participate. This is precisely why, throughout human history, the leaders of failing nations have habitually turned to military imperialism as a method to distract the people from far more serious problems at home. When the sons of a nation are returning home in body bags, nobody pays much attention to failures in education or the economy.

This is not to say that there are not some instances in which going to war has genuine justification. When a nation is threatened by an invading force, for example, going to war to defend your own land against invading aggressors is not only necessary, it is also truly heroic. Defending your own land is courageous; invading your neighbor’s land is cowardly. (Some people claim, by the way, that the only way to protect America’s land is to invade other countries first. This concept, called “preemptive war” is based on mass distortions used to falsely justify actions of war.)

In America today, the thirst for war remains as strong as ever. But the real war being waged on the world right now by America is not merely found in the limited military action in the Middle East. That’s only the blunt instrument of this war. The real American invasion is happening through foods, medicines, personal care products, international banking and intellectual property law. Through the proliferation of fast food restaurants, pharmaceutical companies, chemically-contaminated consumer products and similar items invented in America, the world is being bombarded by systems of food, medicine and distorted intellectual property claims that are producing far more casualties than any bombs-and-bullets war.

How to control a nation

In World War II, the Germans attempted to steal natural resources from neighboring nations by forcefully occupying and controlling the targeted territories. Today, war is far more sophisticated: America steals national resources by patenting seeds, genes, medicines and ideas, then applying economic and political pressure against targeted nations to forcefully take a cut of their productivity through the application of intellectual property law. Only Thailand has offered any sort of resistance in an attempt to protect its people from the predatory, monopolistic drug pricing of Big Pharma, for example, but most countries just go right along and pay tribute to the western world through outrageous patent royalties on medicines that should belong to the people.

If that’s not enough to dominate the targeted nation’s economy, America sends in the World Bank. The World Bank makes predatory loans to desperate nations, knowing full well they cannot pay them back. It then uses the leverage of debt to invade those nations with western financial institutions. Those banks and lending institutions subsequently turn around and engage in predatory financial practices that soak the people of the target nation, skimming off productivity and exporting it back to the West where rich white men cash in billions without a single honest day’s work.

The World Trade Organization, for its part, makes sure that targeted nations comply with imperialistic western trade practices. The huge push of Big Tobacco into Asia, for example, is the result of support by “world trade” proponents who threatened to impose trade sanctions against Asian nations if they tried to ban cigarette advertising. Today, more than a third of Chinese men are addicted to cigarettes, generating billions in annual profits for Big Tobacco companies who are right now producing more Chinese casualties than any war in China’s long history.

Western medicine is also invading the continents around the world, bringing its expensive, heartless and corporate-controlled system of medicine to nations who were actually far healthier, happier and more financially solvent before America showed up with all its patented chemicals. Chinese medicine, for example, is routinely discredited in China by arrogant Chinese doctors who went to med school in America then returned home to betray their own fellow citizens. Drug companies see China’s one billion people as nothing more than revenue-generating patients, and convincing all those people to take more medicines will require a well-planned, well-funded economic and philosophical assault on Chinese medicine. Essentially, Big Pharma must find a way to disconnect the Chinese from their heritage, turning them all into depressed, diseased “white” consumers whose medical mythology worships the falsehoods of western reductionism.

Consequences of the great American invasion

All around the world, America is invading nations through its foods, medicines, consumer products, dangerous economic practices, synthetic chemicals and intellectual property. And everywhere that American products are adopted, widespread disease and death soon follows.

Small island nations in the South Pacific, for example, had never heard of diabetes, heart disease or depression just two generations ago. But then American-made processed food products invaded their islands, edging out traditional foods like raw coconut, fresh fish, seaweed and taro. Today, South Pacific populations are suffering from widespread diabetes, depression, heart disease, learning disabilities, asthma and much more — all thanks to the “invasion” of American foods, medicines and products.

America is the world’s largest exporter of disease. Through our popular soda products, cigarettes, fast food chains and manufactured foods, we have caused more death and disease around the world than any nation in human history (including Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot). And it all remains perfectly legal. Our chemical companies even manufacture and export pesticide chemicals that have been banned in the United States. Poor agricultural nations openly use those deadly pesticides on their crops, then ship the produce back to the U.S. where consumers buy it at grocery stores. It’s all perfectly legal and, in fact, encouraged by U.S. political leaders.

Resistance is futile

It’s actually more than legal: It’s required! Any nation that says “no” to western products and intellectual property is immediately branded an enemy of world trade and is targeted for legal action by the WTO. Even creating pro-consumer safety standards such as banning aspartame, sodium nitrite or hydrogenated oils can be deemed a violation of international trade agreements. Product sales, you see, are the No. 1 priority, even when nations are being decimated by the products manufactured and exported by American companies.

Poor nations with undereducated populations suffer enormously under western economic imperialism. It’s easy to sell Pepsi, cigarettes and lotto tickets to people in a country like Panama, for example, where the education level remains low and people are easily tricked into thinking that western products will make them happier. Pepsi, in fact, is the dominant consumer product throughout most of Central and South America. You can hardly travel anywhere south of the U.S. / Mexico border without being inundated with Pepsi propaganda. The Pepsi logo is more prominent than images of the Virgin Mary or the Pope, even though many South and Central American populations are Catholic. (It’s quite clear what they actually worship!)

These international product invasions are important to the bottom line of U.S. corporations, of course, who are expanding their propaganda campaigns to non-U.S. countries following the wising up of American consumers. Only uneducated, ignorant consumers drink soft drink products in America these days. It’s the same crowd that buys lotto tickets, smokes cigarettes, watches TV infomercials and lives on frozen dinners. Smart consumers in America switched to healthier drinks long ago. That’s why soda sales continue to fall each year, and that’s why U.S. soda corporations have to increasingly crank up their marketing machines in countries that haven’t yet caught on to the toxicity of aspartame or the links between diabetes and high-fructose corn syrup.

The west is conquering the world

There’s no more need to drop tanks, soldiers and bombs on nations in order to conquer them. Countries can be controlled through economics, intellectual property law, banking and finance systems. Consumers can be controlled through advertising, publicity and corporate-fabricated fake news.

The corporations, as always, rake in the profits while the consumers pay the price all over the world. They eat their American hamburgers, drink their American sodas, take their American medicines and think they’re cool, sophisticated consumers even while their internal organs are beginning to fail from all the toxic chemicals. Soon, they will suffer from American diseases: Cancer, diabetes, depression, osteoporosis, heart disease, obesity and violent, psychotic behavior. In fact, we’re already seeing it: Countries like Thailand and Japan are witnessing unprecedented obesity for the first time in history, and diseases like diabetes and depression are only a few years away from becoming pandemic throughout Asia. This is almost entirely from their adoption of western diets and medical practices.

Those nations that continue to worship western culture are engaged in a dangerous game of paying homage to precisely the wrong group. Worshipping American foods, products and medicines will only destroy the health and happiness of any nation, and mimicking American financial markets will only spell economic suicide in the long run. There is nothing good that can come of debt spending, intentional disease proliferation (through ignoring disease prevention programs), widespread chemical contamination and corporate dominance over the people and the government. These are the things that will come to destroy the world’s nations, probably starting with America.

The last days of America as we know it

The era of American dominance in the world is nearly over. It will likely be replaced by an era of Chinese dominance, in which western medicine, western science, western debt spending and western culture will ultimately be rejected by most world nations.

It’s time for Americans to face up to the reality of the country they’re living in. Take the issue of health care as a rather important example. Did you know that you can get better health care in Cuba than America? Did you know that the life expectancy of a Cuban citizen is the same as an American citizen, and yet Americans spend hundreds of times more money per capita on disease care and sickness care than Cubans? American medicine is an utter failure, and it’s destroying the economic viability of the entire country. Businesses are going bankrupt or moving offshore because of health care costs, and even those that can afford to operate on U.S. soil are faced with the reality that it’s almost impossible to hire employees who can actually think these days thanks to the widespread use of brain-damaging prescription drugs. Success stories like Google are increasingly rare.

I remember living in Taiwan in the 1990’s, and I paid something like $4 / month for health insurance coverage. A visit to the doctor cost me $2 out of pocket. Every person in Taiwan who has a job gets automatic health insurance coverage, and the nation has prospered economically over the last four decades in a way that the U.S. simply cannot match. The Taiwan people are innovative, resourceful and hard working. Of course, they’re also hopelessly corrupt when it comes to politics, but that seems to be a universal law: Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

America’s reputation is in shambles

If you travel the world these days and ask about America, you might be surprised at the negative answers you’ll hear. This is not obvious to people living in America because, of course, they only have access to the controlled, pro-America news sources that dominate mainstream thinking. But the world opinion of America has already suffered a severe setback under the leaderhip of President Bush, and in time, the world will reject American intellectual property, the American medicine scam and the harmful effects of American foods and beverages.

History will reveal America to be a nation that burned itself out on drugs, debt spending and junk foods, destroying the health its own people until its population could hardly even reproduce without medical intervention. Lacking any useful ideas, steeped in the defense of the status quo and abandoning the true needs of its own people, American political leaders have set our nation on a destructive course that may prove impossible to reverse. And they seem to want to destroy as many other nations as possible along the way — as long as it generates more profits for U.S. corporations in the short term. “Poison the world and reap the profits!”

The future belongs to smart nations

Any nation that wishes to protect itself from the same fate America is headed towards would be wise to reject American foods, medicines, beverages, consumer products, intellectual property laws and financial practices.

The nations that survive and prosper over the next hundred years will be:

• Those nations that save money and invest in their future (rather then spending it on war or underfunded entitlement program).

• Those nations that reject western foods and pass laws to protect their populations from dangerous chemicals in foods, beverages and consumer products.

• Those nations that reject American intellectual property guidelines and ban corporations or private individuals from “owning” patents on medicines, seeds and genes.

• Those nations that invest in education, energy efficiency and environmental cleanup in order to create a better future for their children.

• Those nations that invest now in energy independence, teaching their people to use less energy while switching to vehicles that can run on electricity (which can be produced domestically in any country).

• Those nations that reject elite-controlled banking and money systems and restore the power of the currency to the people, where open trade can happen with zero inflation, creating enormous abundance for the people.

No nation will likely fully embrace all these points, but those that manage to fulfill at least some of them will do far better than those who don’t. What’s certain is that those nations attempting to mimic the culture of America will suffer the same fate as America — a fate that will soon be obvious to even the most insistent deniers who claim that environmental pollution, endless debt spending and the mass contamination of food and medicines with deadly synthetic chemicals are somehow sustainable practices. The end result of all this is not in question by any serious thinker: Widespread bankruptcy, disease pandemics, environmental collapse and a bursting of the food production bubble.

Papua New Guinea may ultimatey emerge as one of the few successful, sustainable nations in the world. If you’re not sure why, I urge you to read Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond, and then study the history of human civilization from a geographic viewpoint. You will see that the only nations with any sort of future are those that protect and nurture the health of their people and their environment, taking a long-term perspective rather than short-term economic gain. America has no long-term vision other than controlling world oil resources. America has no investment whatsoever in the health of its people and virtually no effort to protect its environment. America is fixated on short-term thinking and stop-gap measures, ignoring the greater concerns of education, renewable energy, individual health and individual liberty. And finally, America is a bankrupt nation by any honest accounting method, and it is only by the grace of debt holders of Asia that America can continue to sell debt at all.

No wise nation will follow America into this quagmire (and why should they, when they have their own quagmires to explore?).

The good news in all this, by the way, is that you don’t have to follow the fate of your nation. By protecting your own health, saving your own wealth and investing in the future of yourself and your children (through education, fertile land, etc.), you can avoid the worst of what’s coming and actually thrive during difficult times. That’s why taking charge of your own life right now is more important than ever. Be independent from the mainstream. Learn how to protect your own health and reject medical propaganda. Understand the basic laws of economics and how debt is manufactured and sold. (A good book on that is called the Concise Guide to Economics and it’s available free at http://www.conciseguidetoeconomics.com ). Teach yourself the basic principles of sustainable living, green living and “hippie wisdom.” These are the things that will get you through the tough times ahead.

In terms of financial news, be sure to read the Daily Reckoning (www.DailyReckoning.com) if you want to hear the truth about world financial news. Also check out the book Empire of Debt, which earns my top recommendation for the best book available on the coming financial collapse of America.

I haven’t even mentioned peak oil yet, by the way. Ever wonder what happens when the oil runs out? Check out this page on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil

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About the author: Mike Adams is a holistic nutritionist with a passion for teaching people how to improve their health He has authored more than 1,500 articles and dozens of reports, guides and interviews on natural health topics, reaching millions of readers with information that is saving lives and improving personal health around the world. Adams is a trusted, independent journalist who receives no money or promotional fees whatsoever to write about other companies’ products. In 2007, Adams launched EcoLEDs, a manufacturer of mercury-free, energy-efficient LED lighting products that save electricity and help prevent global warming. He’s also a noted technology pioneer and founded a software company in 1993 that developed the HTML email newsletter software currently powering the NaturalNews subscriptions. Adams volunteers his time to serve as the executive director of the Consumer Wellness Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and regularly pursues cycling, nature photography, Capoeira and Pilates.

http://www.naturalnews.com/021873.html

Shocker: Doctors Think Nationalized Health Care Is a Good Idea

For one, it lets them do their job without being concerned about being paid (“reimbursed”) by a heartless corporation only concerned with profit. But hey, maybe someday we’ll join other industrialized nations who believe in treating their citizens like human beings.

Why do you think Big Media isn’t reporting this?

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Doctors Support Universal Health Care: Survey
By Maggie Fox
Reuters

Monday 31 March 2008

Washington – More than half of U.S. doctors now favor switching to a national health care plan and fewer than a third oppose the idea, according to a survey published on Monday.

The survey suggests that opinions have changed substantially since the last survey in 2002 and as the country debates serious changes to the health care system.

Of more than 2,000 doctors surveyed, 59 percent said they support legislation to establish a national health insurance program, while 32 percent said they opposed it, researchers reported in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

The 2002 survey found that 49 percent of physicians supported national health insurance and 40 percent opposed it.

“Many claim to speak for physicians and represent their views. We asked doctors directly and found that, contrary to conventional wisdom, most doctors support national health insurance,” said Dr. Aaron Carroll of the Indiana University School of Medicine, who led the study.

“As doctors, we find that our patients suffer because of increasing deductibles, co-payments, and restrictions on patient care,” said Dr. Ronald Ackermann, who worked on the study with Carroll. “More and more, physicians are turning to national health insurance as a solution to this problem.”

Patchwork

The United States has no single organized health care system. Instead it relies on a patchwork of insurance provided by the federal and state governments to the elderly, poor, disabled and to some children, along with private insurance and employer-sponsored plans.

Many other countries have national plans, including Britain, France and Canada, and several studies have shown the United States spends more per capita on health care, without achieving better results for patients.

An estimated 47 million people have no insurance coverage at all, meaning they must pay out of their pockets for health care or skip it.

Contenders in the election for president in November all have proposed various changes, but none of the major party candidates has called for a fully national health plan.

Insurance companies, retailers and other employers have joined forces with unions and other interest groups to propose their own plans.

“Across the board, more physicians feel that our fragmented and for-profit insurance system is obstructing good patient care, and a majority now support national insurance as the remedy,” Ackermann said in a statement.

The Indiana survey found that 83 percent of psychiatrists, 69 percent of emergency medicine specialists, 65 percent of pediatricians, 64 percent of internists, 60 percent of family physicians and 55 percent of general surgeons favor a national health insurance plan.

The researchers said they believe the survey was representative of the 800,000 U.S. medical doctors.


Reporting by Maggie Fox; editing by Will Dunham and Xavier Briand.

http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/040108HA.shtml

April 8, 2008

The greatest country in the world has 28 million on food stamps–but, hey, no recession here–just business as usual

The number of people on food stamps does not reflect the number of people who are malnourished because they do not qualify for food stamps–i.e., unsteady addresses, lack of documents, etc. Food is a human right. This is civilization?

USA 2008: The Great Depression
By David Usborne
The Independent UK

Tuesday 01 April 2008

Food stamps are the symbol of poverty in the US. In the era of the credit crunch, a record 28 million Americans are now relying on them to survive – a sure sign the world’s richest country faces economic crisis.

New York – We knew things were bad on Wall Street, but on Main Street it may be worse. Startling official statistics show that as a new economic recession stalks the United States, a record number of Americans will shortly be depending on food stamps just to feed themselves and their families.

Dismal projections by the Congressional Budget Office in Washington suggest that in the fiscal year starting in October, 28 million people in the US will be using government food stamps to buy essential groceries, the highest level since the food assistance programme was introduced in the 1960s.

The increase – from 26.5 million in 2007 – is due partly to recent efforts to increase public awareness of the programme and also a switch from paper coupons to electronic debit cards. But above all it is the pressures being exerted on ordinary Americans by an economy that is suddenly beset by troubles. Housing foreclosures, accelerating jobs losses and fast-rising prices all add to the squeeze.

Emblematic of the downturn until now has been the parades of houses seized in foreclosure all across the country, and myriad families separated from their homes. But now the crisis is starting to hit the country in its gut. Getting food on the table is a challenge many Americans are finding harder to meet. As a barometer of the country’s economic health, food stamp usage may not be perfect, but can certainly tell a story.

Michigan has been in its own mini-recession for years as its collapsing industrial base, particularly in the car industry, has cast more and more out of work. Now, one in eight residents of the state is on food stamps, double the level in 2000. “We have seen a dramatic increase in recent years, but we have also seen it climbing more in recent months,” Maureen Sorbet, a spokeswoman for Michigan’s programme, said. “It’s been increasing steadily. Without the programme, some families and kids would be going without.”

But the trend is not restricted to the rust-belt regions. Forty states are reporting increases in applications for the stamps, actually electronic cards that are filled automatically once a month by the government and are swiped by shoppers at the till, in the 12 months from December 2006. At least six states, including Florida, Arizona and Maryland, have had a 10 percent increase in the past year.

In Rhode Island, the segment of the population on food stamps has risen by 18 percent in two years. The food programme started 40 years ago when hunger was still a daily fact of life for many Americans. The recent switch from paper coupons to the plastic card system has helped remove some of the stigma associated with the food stamp programme. The card can be swiped as easily as a bank debit card. To qualify for the cards, Americans do not have to be exactly on the breadline. The programme is available to people whose earnings are just above the official poverty line. For Hubert Liepnieks, the card is a lifeline he could never afford to lose. Just out of prison, he sleeps in overnight shelters in Manhattan and uses the card at a Morgan Williams supermarket on East 23rd Street. Yesterday, he and his fiancée, Christine Schultz, who is in a wheelchair, shared one banana and a cup of coffee bought with the 82 cents left on it.

“They should be refilling it in the next three or four days,” Liepnieks says. At times, he admits, he and friends bargain with owners of the smaller grocery shops to trade the value of their cards for cash, although it is illegal. “It can be done. I get $7 back on $10.”

Richard Enright, the manager at this Morgan Williams, says the numbers of customers on food stamps has been steady but he expects that to rise soon. “In this location, it’s still mostly old people and people who have retired from city jobs on stamps,” he says. Food stamp money was designed to supplement what people could buy rather than covering all the costs of a family’s groceries. But the problem now, Mr Enright says, is that soaring prices are squeezing the value of the benefits.

“Last St Patrick’s Day, we were selling Irish soda bread for $1.99. This year it was $2.99. Prices are just spiralling up, because of the cost of gas trucking the food into the city and because of commodity prices. People complain, but I tell them it’s not my fault everything is more expensive.”

The US Department of Agriculture says the cost of feeding a low-income family of four has risen 6 percent in 12 months. “The amount of food stamps per household hasn’t gone up with the food costs,” says Dayna Ballantyne, who runs a food bank in Des Moines, Iowa. “Our clients are finding they aren’t able to purchase food like they used to.”

And the next monthly job numbers, to be released this Friday, are likely to show 50,000 more jobs were lost nationwide in March, and the unemployment rate is up to perhaps 5 percent.

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

April 2, 2008

When Labor Is Pushed to Its Limit, What Does it Mean for All of Us?

Will we ever have a living wage in America? When will we learn that social safety nets are not handouts but SOCIAL JUSTICE allowing everyone to have a better quality of life?

———-

AlterNet

Fair Labor Standards Under Attack

By Eric Schlosser, The Nation
Posted on March 24, 2008, Printed on April 2, 2008
http://www.alternet.org/story/80471/

“The proposal is unworkable, un-American, impractical and dangerous to our institutions,” said Representative Wade Kitchens, a Democrat from Arkansas, during the Congressional debate over the Fair Labor Standards Act. What were these radical ideas, guaranteed by the last great piece of New Deal legislation, that in Kitchens’s view threatened the future of the Republic? A minimum wage, limits on overtime and a prohibition of child labor. In submitting the act to Congress on May 24, 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt succinctly explained its basic goal: “a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.”

It’s good to keep in mind some of the labor conditions in the United States before passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Workers were often forced to work ten to twelve hours a day, six days a week. They earned as little as twelve cents an hour. They were sometimes paid in scrip, redeemable at a company store, instead of money. A survey of American children conducted by the Labor Department found that one-quarter worked for sixty or more hours a week. The median wage for children was $4 a week. All of this was justified in the name of “freedom,” as business groups championed the liberty of contracts and the liberty of employers to hire, fire and set wages without any restrictions. The Supreme Court had consistently upheld that notion of freedom, overturning a federal child labor law in 1922 and a local minimum wage law the following year.

The Court abruptly switched course in March 1937–amid Roosevelt’s effort to pack it with sympathetic Justices–and affirmed the right of Washington State to require minimum wages for women and minors. Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes argued that “the denial of a living wage” not only harmed workers but placed an unfair burden upon society. “What these workers lose in wages the taxpayers are called upon to pay,” Hughes noted in his majority opinion. “The community is not bound to provide what is in effect a subsidy for unconscionable employers.”

Two months later Roosevelt sent the Fair Labor Standards Act to Congress, launching one of the most bitter legislative battles of the New Deal. Despite overwhelming popular support, Southern Democrats joined forces with Republicans to oppose the act, forming a coalition that would thwart future New Deal legislation. Their spirited defense of low wages and the liberty of employers delayed passage of the bill for more than a year. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, signed by Roosevelt that June, was a watered-down version of the original. It provided exemptions for agriculture and other industries, as well as a minimum wage of just 25 cents an hour. Nonetheless, it established fundamental economic rights for American workers.

Seventy years later, the Fair Labor Standards Act is still under attack. “A higher minimum wage equals less economic freedom,” a Heritage Foundation essay claimed last year. Although the rhetoric is more subdued, the underlying attitude has changed little since Representative Kitchens railed against the bill. The minimum wage doesn’t eliminate poverty; it creates poverty, we are told. When do-gooders demand a higher wage, poor workers lose their jobs. Countless studies are cited as proof. Yet the period of America’s greatest economic growth coincided with its highest minimum wage rates. In 1956 the minimum wage in today’s dollars was about $7.93 an hour. Adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage reached its peak in 1968, at about $9.91 an hour. During the decades that followed, its real value declined by almost 50 percent. That enormous pay cut for the nation’s poorest workers benefited some industries enormously–supplying cheap labor to fast food restaurants, retail stores and farms–while imposing enormous costs on society. When the federal minimum wage hits $7.25 in July 2009, it will still not reach the level considered adequate by President Dwight Eisenhower.

The high-minded arguments against the minimum wage, for the most part, are merely justifications for higher corporate profits. Since passing a minimum wage law in 1998, Britain has enjoyed some of the fastest economic growth rates and lowest unemployment rates in the European Union. The British minimum wage is now equivalent to more than $11 an hour. “No business which depends…on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country,” President Roosevelt once declared. “By living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level–I mean the wages of a decent living.” Those words are as true today as when they were first spoken. I hope our next President will not only agree with Roosevelt on this subject but will have the courage and compassion to do something about it.

Eric Schlosser is the author of ‘Fast Food Nation’ and ‘Reefer Madness.’

© 2008 The Nation All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/80471/

March 12, 2008

NAU: The Truth is Hitting Critical Mass–Vote for a Candidate who will OPPOSE IT!

Ron Paul–the only candidate taking a stand on the looming North American Union (NAU). Learn more.

________

NaturalNews.com printable article

Originally published February 25 2008

The North American Union – You Could Be Voting Your Rights Away

by Barbara L. Minton (see all articles by this author)

(NaturalNews) One issue that is conspicuously absent from the rhetoric of the presidential candidates is the North American Union (NAU). The questions of immigration and border security are frequently raised and the candidates claim to realize the need for a clear immigration policy and effort to secure the borders of the United States. Yet when you begin to understand the purposes of the North American Union and the agenda of its proponents, you will understand why this will never happen. And you may also begin to see that you are being manipulated by the major candidates.

The NAU, a goal of the Council on Foreign Relations, follows a plan laid out by Robert Pastor. It is currently promoted by the Bush administration to expand the size and scope of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). Its goal is to effectively create a North American trading block by erasing the borders between the U.S., Mexico and Canada resulting in free, unimpeded movement of people and goods across those borders. It is also a political union that would integrate the governments of the three countries. And clearly it is an economic union with the intention of equalizing the wages and standard of living of all but the ruling elitists.

Sounds a lot like the European Union, doesn’t it? There are even plans for a common currency called the amero. But there is one glaring difference. The people of the United States have never been asked if they want to become integrated with Mexico and Canada, two countries of enormously different laws, culture, economic systems, standards of living, and acceptance of the role of government.

The European Union followed years of open debate at all levels, intense coverage of the ramifications and implications in major media, and a vote of the people.

History and Origins of NAU

President Bush signed the Declaration of Quebec City in April, 2001, making a “commitment to hemispheric integration”. After Hugo Chavez of Venezuela voiced opposition, these plans were scaled back to include only North America.

The Independent Task Force on North America, a project organized by the Council on Foreign Relations and co-chaired by Robert Pastor, was launched in October, 2004. This group published two documents: Trinational Call for a North American Economic and Security Community by 2010 (March, 2005), and its final report Building a North American Community (May, 2005). This Task Force had as its central recommendation the establishment by 2010 of a North American economic and security community. The boundaries of this community would be defined by a common external tariff and outer security perimeter. Also called for is the replacing of all three branches of the US government with a North American version effectively ending U.S. representative government.

In March 2005, at their summit meeting in Waco, Texas; Bush, President Fox of Mexico and Prime Minister Martin of Canada issued a joint statement announcing the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP). The creation of this agreement was never submitted to Congress for discussion or decision. The U.S. Department of Commerce merely created a new division implementing working groups to advance a North American Union agenda. This agenda included movement of goods, finances, e-commerce, environment, business facilitation, food and agriculture, and health. The result is an action agreement to be implemented immediately and directly by regulations, without any envisioned Congressional debate or oversight.

In September 2006, Rep. Virgil Goode (Va), Rep. Ron Paul (Tx), Rep. Walter Jones (NC), and Rep. Tom Tancredo (Co) introduced House Concurrent Resolution 487, expressing concerns about the NAU. Resolution was passed by the House of Representatives with the Senate concurring that the U.S. should not enter into a North American Union with Mexico and Canada; the U.S. should not engage in the construction of the NAFTA Superhighway System, and the President should indicate strong opposition to these or any other proposals that threaten the sovereignty of the U.S.

In October 2006, Congressman Paul formally denounced the formation of the SPP and the plans for the North American Union and the SPP as “an unholy alliance of foreign consortiums and officials from several governments”. Paul says that the real issue raised by the SPP is nation sovereignty. “Once again, decisions that affect millions of Americans are not being made by those Americans themselves, or even by their elected representatives in Congress. Instead, a handful of elites use their government connections to bypass national legislatures and ignore our Constitution – which expressly grants Congress the sole authority to regulate international trade.” In this speech Paul predicts that the NAU will become a sleeper issue for the 2008 election, stating that “any movement toward a NAU diminishes the ability of average Americans to influence the laws under which they must live.”

A report authored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIC) was presented to all three governments in September 2007. CSIC is a political influence group of internationalists who have crafted many of the government policies of the past several years. At the core of the report is its plan for America’s future, North American “economic integration” and “labor mobility”. The plan for government integration is also revealed as the report states: “to remain competitive in the global economy, policymakers must devise forward-looking, collaborative policies that integrate governments”. Also called for is the adoption of “unified North American regulatory standards”.

Features of NAU:

The Trans-Texas Corridor and the NAFTA Superhighway

The NAFTA Superhighway and its entry point at the trans-Texas corridor were first proposed in 2002. It consists of a 1,200 foot wide highway that also carries utilities such as electricity, petroleum and water as well as railway tracks and fiber-optic cables. When completed, the new road will allow containers from the Far East to enter the U.S. through the Mexican port of Lazaro Cardenas, bypassing the Longshoreman’s Union. With Mexican drivers and without the involvement of the teamsters union, the Mexican trucks will drive straight into the heart of the US, crossing the border in fast lanes, and checked only by a new electronic system. The first customs stop will be the new Smart Port complex in Kansas City. From there the trucks may disperse into the U.S. or continue northward into Canada, again crossing the border with only an electronic checkpoint.

Millions of acres of land for the completion of this highway will be taken under the new laws of eminent domain.

A government pilot program has allowed Mexican trucking companies to make deliveries anywhere in the U.S. since April 2007, even before the completion of the superhighway. There is no limit on the number of trucks the 100 companies in the pilot program can operate. Eventually all Mexican trucking companies are to be granted the same access. These Mexican drivers are paid substantially less that their U.S. counterparts, their operations are not regulated, and they are driving on U.S. taxpayer subsidized roads.

The Amero

This is the name of what may be the North American Union’s counterpart to the euro. It was first proposed by Canadian economist Herbert G. Grubel in his book The Case for the Amero published in 1999, the same year the euro became currency. Robert Pastor supported Grubel’s idea in his book Toward A North American Community published in 2001. If implemented, the Amero’s debut may come later in the progression of the NAU, with exchange rates that depend on market forces at the time, after the economies of the three countries have been integrated and homogenized.

The North American Plan for Avian and Pandemic Influenza

Finalized and released at the September 2007 summit of the SPP, this plan calls for a “comprehensive coordinated North American approach during outbreaks of influenza.” It gives authority to international officials “beyond the health sector to include a coordinated approach to critical infrastructure protection,” including “border and transportation issues”.

It sets up a “senior level Coordinating Body to facilitate the effective planning and preparedness within North America for a possible outbreak of avian and/or human influenza pandemic under the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP).” The SPP is to act as “decision-makers.” “The chair of the SPP Coordinating Body will rotate between each national authority on a yearly basis” resulting in foreign decision making for Americans in two out of every three years.

The plan suggests that these powers will include “the use of antivirals and vaccines… social distancing measures, including school closures and the prohibition of community gatherings, isolation and quarantine.”

Council on Foreign Relations

Since its inception in 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has attracted men and women of power and influence. Its stated intentions are to bring about the surrender of the sovereignty of the national independence of the United States. The ultimate, declared aim of the CFR is to create a one-world government, and to make the U.S. a part of it. The stated intentions of the CFR are clearly treasonous to the U.S. Constitution.

The influence of the CFR is wide. Not only does it have members in the U.S. government, but its influence has also spread to other vital areas of American life. Members have run, or are running, NBC and CBS, the New York Times, and The Washington Post, and many other important newspapers. The leaders of Time, Newsweek, Fortune, Business Week, and numerous other publications are CFR members.

The organization’s members also dominate the political world. U.S. presidents since Franklin Roosevelt have been CFR members with the exception of Ronald Reagan. The organization’s members also dominate
the academic world, top corporations, unions and military. They are on the board of directors of the Federal Reserve.

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Rudy Guiliani are all either members of the CFR or have close ties with it. Mike Huckabee is reportedly not a member, but following his interaction with the group in September, he has become a favored candidate in the eyes of the media. Republican Ron Paul is the only remaining significant candidate who does not have ties with the CFR. He has has voiced opposition to the NAU for several years.

Where Do You Stand on This Issue?

There is an ideological battle being waged between the forces supporting globalism and the forces supporting national sovereignty. If you plan to participate in the 2008 presidential election, you will need to answer these questions for yourself: Do you believe in the timelessness of the Constitution, or do you believe that the Constitution has served its usefulness and it’s time for another model for government? Are you in favor of international government and more regulation by the United Nations, or do you favor continuation of the institutions that have served the U.S. in the past? Do you want big government with its attendant costs and regulations, or do you favor small government that allows for self direction?

About the author

Barbara Minton is a school psychologist by trade, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using “alternative” treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature and all things natural.

http://www.naturalnews.com/z022707.html

February 10, 2008

Live in NYC? You’re going to be a criminal

Because when wealth is hoarded by the few, the many poor are a threat.

Let’s arrest the poor rather than keep them content and able to survive.

And then let’s take their genetic information (their DNA) as soon as we arrest them, even if they are never convicted.

Ticket quotas are common knowledge. Are arrest quotas far behind. “It was only a misunderstanding, officer!”–Too bad–once your genetic information is taken away, you can’t get it back. Well, if you scrounge up some money, maybe you can get your eyeballs switched like in “Minority Report.”

And this is the man people were praying would come in like a white knight to run for president?

—–

Bloomberg Wants to Get in Your Genes
Compared to the present mayor’s contempt for civil liberties, Giuliani was a piker
by Nat Hentoff
February 5th, 2008 6:19 PM

Our humble mayor, Mike Bloomberg, has been basking in the glow of largely unmerited approval around the country, ranging from his purported resurrection of the city’s school system (many parents and students beg to differ) to his handling of the city budget, among other feats of the managerial prowess that has made him a billionaire. Encouraged by the buzz, Bloomberg has been consulting specialists in national election law even as Deputy Mayor Kevin Sheekey diligently studies the terrain for a possible Bloomberg vault to the White House.Even that inflated kingmaker, the Reverend Al Sharpton, has knighted the mayor for diminishing the “tone of ugliness”in this city.

Since Bloomberg has given his police commissioner, Ray Kelly, free rein to curtail civil liberties (and has warmly encouraged Kelly to try succeeding him at Gracie Mansion), Sharpton might have mentioned one particularly noticeable and ugly mark of the Bloomberg regime, described here by Christopher Dunn, associate legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union: “The black community continues to bear the brunt of police stops, [and] blacks continue to be singled out for stops that don’t ever result in an arrest.”

(However, a cop would have to be a rookie policeman recently moved from Juneau, Alaska, to stop and frisk the renowned Al Sharpton.)

But now our mayor has proposed an assault on the most fundamental constitutional rights of New Yorkers—one that exceeds the contempt for the Constitution shown by any mayor in all the years I’ve been covering civil liberties in this city. Not even Rudy Giuliani thought of this one, which was reported by Jim Dwyer in the January 19 issue of The New York Times:

“This week, the mayor proposed that everyone arrested for any crime in New York City—before the case has been judged—should be required to provide a sample of DNA.” (Emphasis added.)

Under New York State law, DNA can only be collected from those convicted of felonies and certain misdemeanors. But in New York City, the mayor’s proposal would force anyone who’s merely arrested to give up a DNA sample for a data bank even before they can appear in court (as the Constitution requires).

The New York Civil Liberties Union release, “Myths and Facts About DNA Data Banks,”makes clear that each of us “has a privacy interest in the information contained in their DNA—it is information you would not want falling into the hands of employers, insurance companies, and other actors who could use it against you. . . . While a fingerprint is a two-dimensional representation of the surface of your fingers, DNA contains a tremendous amount of sensitive information about you, including your susceptibility to certain diseases, family history and ancestry.”

What Bloomberg wants to do is take away our Fifth Amendment guarantees of “due process of law”—the foundation of our system of justice—and our Fourth Amendment protections against “unreasonable searches and seizures.”Having your fundamental privacy ransacked before you ever get the chance to defend yourself against a criminal charge not only magnifies Giuliani’s reckless legacy of imperial executive power in this city, but also sharply reveals Bloomberg as a presidential aspirant who will continue the Bush-Cheney administration’s subversion of the Bill of Rights.

As of this writing, I’ve seen very little press attention given to this omen of what Bloomberg’s America would be like. Where are the outraged editorials? Where are the protests from the city’s lawyers? And will there be a response from the New York City Bar Association—the nation’s most influential, as far as civil liberties are concerned—which has condemned past “revisions”of the Constitution by the Bush-Cheney regime in the most acutely critical terms.

New York City’s criminal-justice coordinator, John Feinblatt, told Jim Dwyer that the mayor’s proposed DNA search-and-seizure policy “will prevent crime,”and that even though there’d be some resistance on the basis of privacy concerns, its adoption was “inevitable.”

Do you agree? It would be extremely interesting to find out what the current presidential candidates of both parties think of Bloomberg’s proposal. Then again, the mayor’s total disdain for due process isn’t entirely surprising in view of his enthusiastic support for his police commissioner’s actions before and during the 2004 Republican National Convention here. As I described it in an earlier column, “J. Edgar Bloomberg: COINTELPRO in NY” (April 24, 2007), teams of undercover New York City police officers were sent around the country, as well as to Canada and Europe, to infiltrate and spy on not only anti–Iraq War groups, but also such potential dangers to national security as church groups, environmental organizations, and anti-death-penalty groups.

And during the NYPD’s decidedly extra-constitutional arrests during the Republican convention, those people incarcerated (not all of them protesters) were asked by police what they thought of George W. Bush and questioned on their other political views. After forceful objections by New Yorkers—and the New York Civil Liberties Union—the cops stopped violating the First Amendment with such questions, which were obviously none of their damn business. The mayor, of course, didn’t object to the policy of asking such questions.

As a further indication of J. Edgar Bloomberg and Ray Kelly’s need for a crash course on the Constitution, the New York Law Journal reported on February 16, 2007, that U.S. District Court Judge Charles S. Haight—who has had a busy time of it trying to force the NYPD to abide by the constitutional guidelines for police surveillance—charged the department with “egregious”spying on “political activity”after the Intelligence Division videotaped a protest by (I kid you not) the Coalition for the Homeless in front of Mayor Bloomberg’s residence.

If that Putin-style police surveillance was “egregious,”what is the word for probing the most intimately personal information of New Yorkers after they are arrested—and only arrested?

With any luck, the mayor may have unintentionally performed an educational service, quickening interest in other investigative uses and abuses of DNA by the police. Next week: What the mayor obviously doesn’t know about the maze of problems in implementing his proposal. For example: Such massive expansion of DNA testing greatly increases the likelihood of error that is already inherent in the system. Or perhaps he simply doesn’t care—until, God forbid, there’s a mix-up, and a perpetrator’s DNA is mislabled as Michael Bloomberg’s.

On the January 23, 2008, Letters page, Ethan Young calls me “reactionary”for being pro-life. On the same page, Joseph Carducci provides one of the reasons I am indeed pro-life. He writes: “Yes, Barack Obama is half-black and talks about change, but he does not want to change Roe v. Wade, a ruling that eliminates more black people than any other cause of death.”

February 7, 2008

THIS WAR MUST END

                          

http://www.afsc.org/cost/

Insanity is trying the same thing over and over again when it’s not working.

Insanity is making people in “the wealthiest country in the world” live like slaves, and squeezing them of every cent in taxes.

You have been warned about your insanity. Insanity is not being angry at injustice everywhere.

    

January 20, 2008

Giuliani’s Agenda–Please do not vote for this man

Filed under: elections, politics — Tags: , , , — sesame seed @ 7:22 pm

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Silver tongue may haunt Rudy Giuliani

Sunday, January 20th 2008, 4:00 AM

Rudy Giuliani made millions as a lawyer and consultant, but he pocketed far more by giving $100,000-a-pop speeches to corporate bigwigs – many who would likely hope for a friendly ear in a Giuliani White House.

The Republican presidential hopeful has released details on 126 speeches he gave in 2006 and early 2007, when he exited the lucrative speakers’ circuit and hit the campaign trail in earnest.

But an exhaustive review of public documents by the Daily News has identified a total of 280 speeches that the former mayor has given since leaving City Hall in 2002, many to powerful corporate interests who paid him handsomely – and whose lobbying of Washington will unquestionably continue no matter who wins the White House.

The groups include a drug company active in embryonic stem-cell research, as well as a hospital association working to add “flexibility” to the nation’s immigration laws – both hot-button issues within the GOP.

The list – representing an estimated $25 million in income for Giuliani between 2002 and 2007, based on his typical fees – poses an unusual source of potential conflicts.

As President, Giuliani would have oversight of contracts and policies affecting industry groups that have directly paid him big bucks in the past, experts noted.

Of the 280 speeches Giuliani is known to have made since 2002, roughly 220 were to private, business-oriented groups in the U.S. Of those groups, 44 already employ lobbyists in Washington, disclosure forms show.

“This is kind of a subtle way for corporations to spread their influence,” said Bob Edgar, a former Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania and now president of Common Cause, the national campaign finance watchdog group. “If you’ve given someone $100,000 for an hour-long speech and [you] call the White House asking for a meeting, my guess is that meeting will be held.”

The speeches are perhaps the least investigated, but not only, source of potential business conflicts in Giuliani’s past.

The former mayor remains a partner at his consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, as well as at Bracewell & Giuliani, the Texas-based law firm that has carried his name since 2003.

He has so far refused to release a complete client list from either firm. But a review of court records, business filings and other publicly available documents has turned up some 175 legal and consulting clients, many with backgrounds that seem ready-made for political attack ads.

They include Saudi Arabia’s oil ministry, owners of nuclear reactors, a pharmaceutical giant fined for fraud, a tobacco company and even an admitted cocaine smuggler who later developed a system for tracking down terrorists.

Aides to the former mayor have argued that Giuliani was simply giving speeches “to a wide range of companies that wanted to hear him speak about his own unique experiences and lessons on leadership.”

“Rudy Giuliani is his own candidate, and he will continue to run for President on the issues and ideas he believes are important to the future of this country,” said Giuliani spokeswoman Maria Comella, adding that he is not alone in the speech-making department.

Mike Huckabee, a former Baptist minister and GOP rival, collected $35,000 in speaking fees last year from drug-maker Novo Nordisk, a leading advocate for embryonic stem-cell research, Politico.com has reported.

Giuliani’s general response to his past business ties is that his firms performed good, honest work and he has stepped down from any day-to-day dealings. He has also argued that many of his law firm’s clients predated his arrival in 2003.

That’s a degree of separation, however, that does not exist for Giuliani on the speaking fees – they were paid directly to him and typically amounted to more money per speech than the average American family makes in a year.

Many of those who paid Giuliani $100,000 or more for an hour-long speech represent interests that could prove troubling to Republican voters.

He pocketed $48,000, for instance, from Novartis Pharmaceuticals, a company that has been active in embryonic stem-cell research.

He received an undisclosed sum from the American Hospital Association, which has worked to increase flexibility in immigration laws – a position not embraced by many GOP voters – to let hospitals employ more foreign-trained nurses.

In other cases, Giuliani seems to have largely adopted the policy goals of groups who swelled his bank account in the years after he left City Hall.

They include several health care companies and associations, among them Assurant Health, a leading underwriter of health insurance policies bought by individuals who paid Giuliani $40,000 for a speech in July 2006. Giuliani has made growing the individual market for insurance a centerpiece of his health care plan.

The former mayor also spoke to the American Nuclear Society (ANS), nuclear power’s main industry association. Giuliani the candidate has vowed to expand nuclear power as part of a plan to push the country toward energy independence.

Recently, the ANS lobbied Congress, the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency on issues related to disposal of high-level nuclear waste, according to lobbying disclosure reports filed with the U.S. Senate.

dsaltonstall@nydailynews.com

List from Daily News Article

Couldn’t find the associated graphic on the Daily News website, so here is a list from the callout box associated with the above article, which practically replaces the article, which itself is a little vague with the proper names.

Follow the Money

Here are Rudy Giuliani’s main sources of income in recent years, as well as some of the politically wired or controversial clients and audiences he has accepted fees from as a lawyer, consultant or speaker.

Giuliani Partners LLC: A consulting firm. Income reported by Giuliani for 2006: $4,108,328. Clients have included:

  • Seisint Inc.–Giuliani Partners hooked up with Florida-based Seisint in 2002, but the company hit the skids amid concerns that its data-tracking product violated privacy. It didn’t help when one of the company’s founders, Hank Asher, admitted to smuggling cocaine earlier in life.
  • Purdue Pharma–The maker of the painkiller OxyContin, Purdue hired Giuliani to help address growing PR and security woes after OcyContin became a popular black market drug. Purdue and three top executives ultimately pleaded guilty to marketing fraud and paid $634 million in fines.
  • Entergy Nuclear–Entergy operates Westchester County’s Indian Point nuclear power plant, which has faced growing public opposition since 9/11 over safety questions. The company also hired Giuliani to develop a security plan.
  • Qatar–Giuliani Safety & Security has provided counterterrorism advice to Qatar, an emirate on the Persian Gulf. Qatar’s Interior ministar, Sheik Abdullah bin Khalid al-Thani, is suspected by some former U.S. officials of protecting Al Qaeda suspects.

Bracewell & Giuliani

The mayor’s Texas-based law firm. Income reported by Giuliani for 2006: $1,200,901. The firm’s legal and lobbying clients have included:

  • Saudi Arabia’s oil ministry–The firm is representing Saudi Arabia’s oil ministry in a Texas lawsuit on the same side as Citgo, which is controlled by Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez–another former Bracewell client.
  • The Scooter Store–The firm lobbied the Feds on Medicare coverage of power scooters. The store later agreed to pay $4 million in fines and give up $43 million in Medicare reimbursements over Justice Department allegations the company made false advertising claims to wheelchair patients.
  • News Corp.— The firm helped Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. lobby against the Indecent and Gratuitous and Excessively Violent Programming Control Act, a bill aimed at keeping graphic sex and violence off TV.
  • UST Public Affairs Inc.–The world’s leading producer of smokeless tobacco, including marquee brands Copenhagen and Skoal. Giuliani’s firm lobbied against a bill that would prevent tobacco firms from selling products through the mail.

Speeches

Giuliani has disclosed his fees from 126 mostly corporate groups that he addressed in 2006, but he gave many more in prior years. Income reported by Giuliani for 2006: $11,390,000. Audiences over the years have included:

  • Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. –The drug company has been active in embryonic stem-cell research, a controversial issue among evangelical voters.
  • American Hospital Association–The nation’s leading hospital advocacy group, it has lobbied Washington to increase “flexibility” in immigration laws to let hospitals employ more immigrant nurses–a hot-button topic for the GOP.
  • Assurant Health–The company is a leading underwriter of health insurance policies bought by individuals. Giuliani has made growing that market for individual health policies a centerpiece of his health care plan.
  • American Nuclear Society–The nuclear industry’s leading association, the ANS has recently lobbied Congress, DOE and EPA on issues related to disposal of high-level waste. Giuliani has vowed to exapnd nuclear power aspart of a plan to push the country toward energy independence.”

Sources: Federal Election Commission, U.S. Senate Lobbying Disclosure Database

NY Daily News, Sunday, January 20, 2008, page 22.

January 18, 2008

Still the economy, stupid—Will this election help the middle class and the poor?

Without a stable middle class, this country has no reason to survive, and there will be mass discontent.

As this article points out, making a middle class salary no longer signifies that one can have a middle class quality of life due to inflationary pressures. In other words, a dollar worth less makes survival difficult for everyone, especially the middle class and the poor.

Maybe the dollar’s so low because we have a huge national debt and because we import almost everything, making few products here. That’s how buying American-made whenever available really does matter–it’s not jingoistic as much as it is good economic and environmental policy. When we lose our manufacturing infrastructure, all we have are desk-jockey jobs, inequitably distributed to those who have “educational,” family-based or other connections–the precise opposite of a meritocracy; instead we have a hierarchy based on appearances and credentials which are purchased more than earned. That’s why, unfortunately, an American education still means nothing.

The bubble is beginning to burst. With this election, we have out last chance to set priorities, make changes, and fix inequities. The middle class and the poor are beginning to not be so distant–and as such, they need to align politically in this election to help each other out. If they can move beyond racism and geographical and local segregation to see their common interests (and please not vote for Giuliani or Clinton, picking Obama, Paul, or Kucinich instead), real change can finally begin to happen with those numbers.

If we decide to do nothing, or keep doing what we have been doing, things will only get worse.

One problem: where is Ron Paul in this article?

newsday.com/news/opinion/ny-opwhe165539332jan16,0,7517032.story

Newsday.com

Candidates lack concrete plans to aid middle class

BY JENNIFER WHEARY AND THOMAS SHAPIRO

Jennifer Wheary is a senior fellow at New York-based public policy organization Demos, and Thomas Shapiro is director of the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University’s

January 16, 2008
The primary election results so far show that candidates need to work harder. The fact that the race is still open does not mean we voters can’t make up our minds. It means we are thinking very carefully about what’s best for the country and what policies will bring about true change.

Addressing economic insecurity among the middle class has been a recurring theme among the contenders and a top concern in the polls.

Candidates have played to this concern, but only superficially. Politics often turns into a game of appearances, so that it’s not about who has the solutions but who has the best sound bites.

We’ve seen a large sampling of sound bites from candidates from both parties about what it takes to strengthen the middle class. This has mostly amounted to bickering about whether tax reform or a massive mortgage bailout or better trade policy or health care reform is the magic bullet.

What we haven’t seen from anyone is a true understanding of what being middle class means, and what it should be.

Being middle class means having financial security. That security requires the education level necessary to find a good job and the ability to afford housing and essential living expenses. It requires having enough financial assets to provide a safety net for troubled times and a nest egg for the future. It means having adequate health insurance to ensure that financial stability is not eroded in the event of an unforeseen illness.

Tens of millions of American families earning a middle-class salary are unable to meet these basic conditions.

Only about one in three middle-class families has the critical mass of financial assets, higher education, affordable housing, adequate income and health insurance needed for long-term economic security. In fact, one out of four families is so weak in these areas that it is in danger of slipping out of the middle class.

The troubling signs do not stop there.

More than half of middle-class families have no net financial assets whatsoever or debt levels that exceed their assets.

More than one in five middle-class families has less than $100 left over each week after covering essential living expenses such as food, housing, clothing, transportation, health care, personal care, education, personal insurance and pensions.

More than a quarter of middle-class families match the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s definition of being housing burdened – spending more than 30 percent of their after-tax income on housing.

In nearly one in four of middle-class families, at least one member lacks health insurance of any kind.

In the age of appearances, our candidates have chosen to overlook the implications of these hard facts.

It is time to send them a clear message. The middle class does not need a Botox bolster, a series of superficial, short-term sound-bite solutions. We need a complete makeover.

This requires vision and bold new ideas, not bickering among opponents or across congressional aisles. It’s time to push past appearances and challenge our campaigners to engage in a serious national discussion about how to build a broader and more secure middle class.

This is no easy task. It requires that candidates lose the platitudes and describe concrete plans to make it easier for low- and moderate-income families to enter the middle class and for those already in the middle class to stay there.

Why should candidates go the extra mile?

When you count up those Americans who either have earnings that fall below middle-class incomes (below 200 percent of the poverty line) or have middle-class incomes but lack the basic pillars of economic stability, middle-class financial security eludes an estimated 70 million working-age households.

And that’s the kind of number that can turn the tide of an election.

January 13, 2008

The Difference Between Being Educated and Being Influenced and What it Means for How You Vote

Filed under: elections, mediawatch, politics, Ron Paul — Tags: , , , — sesame seed @ 11:57 pm

A comment on how the media is treating this election, ignoring Ron Paul (which, if most poeple knew for the economic and diplomatic changes he is for, would vote for him) and making the de facto rae Hillary or Obama or both v. Giuliani.

People aren’t getting informed, they’re just getting influenced. There’s a big difference between being educated and being influenced. And I think we have a lot of influenced people; I wouldn’t say we have a lot of educated people. The consequences for democracy are huge. When once in democracy we believed we needed a commonly, communally educated populace, now we have sold that ideal out and are settling for an influenced population, a highly suggestible population who will go along with pretty much anything as long as you sell it to them.

December 19, 2007

Political Quotes

Filed under: Freedom of Speech--Your First Amendment Right, politics — Tags: , , , — sesame seed @ 6:54 pm

Some noteworthy political quotes that should be common knowledge.

“First they came for the Communists,

but I was not a communist so I did not speak out.

Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists,

but I was neither so I did not speak out.

Then they came for the Jews,

but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out.

And when they came for me

there was no one left to speak out for me.”    -Dietrich Bonhoeffer

———————

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government.

It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote

themselves largess from the public treasury.

From that moment on, the majority always votes for the

candidates promising them the most benefits from the public

treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses

over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.

The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

These nations have progressed through this sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith;

from spiritual faith to great courage;

from courage to liberty;

from liberty to abundance;

from abundance to selfishness;

from selfishness to apathy;

from apathy to dependance;

from dependency back again into bondage. ”  – Dr. Alexander Tyler

December 16, 2007

Letter to My Countryfellows

US & world politics we may not be able to change, but we can take charge of our health–and the issues are connected, deeply. I’ll try to compactly explain how & why it is so important (& possible) for you to take steps now to inform yourself and preserve your health, so that you can preserve your life, take care of yourself and the community you live in.

These aren’t things you will hear on The Nightly News or even PBS. That’s because those are corporations (Even the Corporation for Public Broadcasting) & all corporations uphold & worship only one thing– the Almighty Dollar. They want you to consume, and if you can’t or won’t, they’ll try to shred your self-esteem to bits. We must recognize that “better stuff” does not equal a “better life.” Although we are in an inflationary society that penalizes savings, we must learn how to provide for ourselves–and one of the most important ways to do this is through establishing our good health. Health is the wealth the elite do not want the masses to have.

So…if we accept the premise that the media is highly controlled, as are the schools, as is everything we learn…we know how providing alternate information or dissenting information can be a threat, even in this supposed “democracy.”

There is a bill–S. 1959– before the Senate now (please write or call your Senators) that supposedly quite innocently wises to establish a Committee-something-to-other to study the rise of “homegrown terrorism” and “violent radicalization.” However, this proposed law (we citizens still have the power to stop it) is really vague and can be used to shred the free speech rights of casically anyone who might be a little “fringe.” This “Committee” will try to get support from Academia to legitimate its claims–prove its hypothesis for them–that “homegrown terrorism” is a really big problem, far bigger than the 45 million Americans, say, without health insurance.

Things are getting dark in America, and yes, I want to be alarmist. Here I am passing on what I am reading from multiple sources about how bad things are now and how bad they are likely to get in “the future”–and let’s just say that it’s not a future that will be for everyone to participate in. And I don’t just mean the exclusion of some people from buying a house or retiring early. I mean the killing off the people, though:

–aspartame, splenda, splenda, etc., any and all artificial sweeteners

–vaccinations (forced)

–manufactured diseases and/or the release of biological agents

–Big Pharma medications (Avandia, Vioxx)

–tainted and genetically modified foods (GMOs–most commonly in corn and soy and products containing corn and soy)

–fluoridated water (and fluoridated salt in some countries)

–cell phone radiation/ computer radiation

As well as the “standard” killers:

polluted air

secondhand smoke

hazardous building materials

warfare

hunger/malnutrition

etc…

And how will people be controlled? This will be the icing on the cake. Already we have show trials in Guantanamo (no Geneva convention rights–no charges against “enemy combatants”–a test for here).

Plus show trials here:

–“plea bargains”

–the mass imprisonment of the poor, unemployed, and (mostly) nonwhite

–the 4th Amendment is dead–courtesy of the “Patriot” Act–Americans need to understand what this act means–this act was swept through Congress before they could read it, conveniently in the hysteria that set in during the few months after the events of 9/11/2001. The FBI can enter your home and search it when you are not around and they do not have to warn you, notify you, or have a warrant. This is insanity. Everyone is a potential criminal, and when that begins to be carried out, by searching us all, it will not be pretty.

The fact of the matter is that more prisons than schools are being built today in America–they can’t build them fast enough, at huge profits for (sub) contractors. And–hold on to your chair–concentration camps–“civilian labor camps”–are being built in America. By the way, in case of emergency, natural or man made, FEMA can take hold and declare martial law. No Constitution involved or required.

A few more points:

>>In 2005, to take effect in May 2008, something called the “REAL ID” was passed, because apparently terrorism is such a huge problem (more than, say, the 40,000 homeless in New York City alone). States will be pressured to force this National ID card onto its citizens because otherwise they will not get Federal Funding. If you, John Q. Citizen, do not submit to this card, you will not be allowed to: enter a Federal/Public Building, take a train, or take a plane. Can anyone say, “Police state”? “Papers, please!”

>>When this fascism does not prove to be enough to control the populace (“cards are not secure”), efforts will be made to put chips in people. Then such chips will be tied to all financial accounts you have, all buying and selling, and all cash will be eliminated. These chips have been invented already–they are called the Verichip–and are being marketed for “medical purposes” like Alzheimer’s patients, despite the facts that the chips are invasive, can have side effects, are extremely vulnerable to identity theft (the fastest growing crime in the US as all our information becomes interlinked with computers), and have not been proven more effective at person identification/medical identification than the good-old-reliable medicalert bracelets.

>>There will be bank runs in America again sometime soon, and 1929 will look like a picnic. This is because our money is worthless, printed by the Federal Reserve cartel of big bankers rather than our own government, and because any gold in fort knox ostensibly used to back up our ‘currency’ (such as it is) has been given away in foreign debt payments a long time ago–no audits of fort knox holdings since the 1950s…gold is over $800 an ounce now, it will move past $1000 in our lifetime, if not soon–people are waking up to the need for hard currency–after this point silver will also become more appealing as an investment…I wish I could be proud of my country, but it’s an oligarchy, not a democracy, and we are massively exploiting other countries and ourselves being screwed.

>> In 2010, or around then, depending on how fast the elite can work–and history shows they’re pretty efficient–there will be something called the North American Union, with one currency, the Amero (and presumably all our dollars will be even more worthless than they are now). If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard about this in “the media” (besides the fact that they are corporations, the CIA has a thing called Operation Mockingbird designed to plant their agents & disinformation into the media–to perpetrate their Psy Ops/ Psychological Operations aka Mind Control–I don’t know a lot about this, but I have no reason to disbelieve this–it’s because it’s an outrageous assault on national sovereignty and has nothing to do with trade. (NAFTA was just the beginning for this.) Supposedly the NAU (North American Union) will be “patterned after the EU,” but that would make it sound harmless, which it is most certainly not. It’s a step toward One-World Government, which the elites like the Rockefellers have wanted since WWII. An Asian Union (“for trade,” of course) is also in the works for 2015, and apparently there is already an African Union (which, again, I don’t know a lot about and would love to be sent information about, but I have no reason to disbelieve that the American media would censor this as well, as it censors other controversies like the idea that AIDS was probably created in the lab, and that certainly more AIDS deaths happen due to liver failure from toxic effects of antiviral cocktails than to the disease itself, etc.)

So…more to say but not now. I am not saying for anyone to liquidate their savings or do anything rash. I certainly don’t have any special information or all the answers. I just do a lot of browsing, which I present in the links here, and I keep an open mind.
See clip on YouTube or Google Video (alas, same difference: “Television is a Goddamned Amusement Park” from Network).

Please donate to and support Ron Paul–Tea Party Today!

https://www.ronpaul2008.com/donate/

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

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