I will be building a website on the science of “non violent” resistance

HERE IS A VERY RELEVANT COMMENT I JUST RECEIVED. HE’S LOOKING FOR PATRIOTIC ASSISTANCE.

thewonder30021
thewonder30021@yahoo.com | 76.176.169.152

I will be building a geocities website on the science of “non violent” resistance. Or as I like to call it “defensive resistance.” Is anyone interested in partnering up with me on this? I do not know website building that is why I use geocities. But perhaps someone out there would assist me?

Theory of Defensive Resistance:

1) the economic/social climate must be appropriate for resistance. With the deteriorating economic situation in the US and the continual assault on constitutional rights, we are now at that point.

2) leaderless or “small unit” economic warfare including what I call “Guerilla Protesting.”

- Guerilla protesting operates on the principle that it is now useless to assemble into groups carrying signs unless over a million can be organized. Small unit guerilla protesting operates this way, eg:

Drive up to a crowded gas station, with loudspeaker, and begin reading off your talking points. Come prepared. Talk about the patriot act. Talk about the military commissions act. Talk about FEMA’s Executive Orders. Be inflammatory. Stay inside your vehicle. The object is to “up the madness” amongst the sheeple, and get some of them to wake up. Those who do not wake up are demoralized, and this helps to further inhibit consumer spending/confidence, which in turn continues to make the political/economic/social atmosphere conducive to resistance. Guerilla protesting can be done anywhere, including grocery store lines, and college campuses. Get creative. But know your talking points, and do not be afraid. You are now a leader.

3) buy nothing and encourage your peers to buy nothing. Stress the importance of economic liberation through consumer initiative. Buy not purchasing, we force bankers and economists to recognize the power of the consumer. This is our first step to liberating ourselves as consumers, towards becoming CITIZENS again. This inhibits the economy and makes the social/political/economic atmosphere more conducive to grassroots resistance.

4) disperse pamphlets, DVDs, fliers, etc. Do not be afraid to be inflammatory. This is the revolutionary spirit. Give me liberty or give me death. So far, the climate is not such for the dispersed to emerge and begin the fight, thus we must make it safe for a proper reformist movement to take hold. In other words, fight propaganda, with propaganda.

If you like my ideas, please email me at thewonder30021@yahoo.com

I have been involved in this fight for years now. I am a “crack” protester in the southern california area. Thank you for your time.

Killing The Messenger Before He Arrives–The Real Reason For Israel’s Latest Threat To Kidnap Ahmadinejhad

Killing The Messenger Before He Arrives–The Real Reason

For Israel’s Latest Threat To Kidnap Ahmadinejhad

Mark Glenn

The Ugly Truth

Less than 2 weeks before Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejhad is scheduled to speak on the floor of the UN General Assembly, Israel–using as her personal mouthpiece one of the most important figures in the history of the Jewish state with regards to spying, assassination and Zionist intrigue, Rafael Eitan–has threatened that Israel may “kidnap him” and bring him to trial for ‘incitement to genocide’ regarding some of the inflammatory (but truthful) statements he has made in recent years concerning the great experiment in Jewish self-rule in the Middle East. In addition to this, the US–like some effeminate, limp-wristed yes-man always willing to debase itself for Israel’s benefit–is holding up Ahmadinejhad’s visa for entry into the US.

Those who think these recent developments are much ado about nothing should think twice. Eitan’s remarks are more than likely not the barking of some noisy little dog. In the first place, the threat of kidnapping did not come from some Zionist nobody or a tough-guy wannabe trying to grab as much of the limelight as possible to feed an overly-developed sense of self-worth. Rafael Eitan (“stinking Raffi” as he is referred to in underworld-fashion by his Zionist partners in crime) is and has been one of the “movers and shakers” in the Jewish state now for many decades. Former high-ranking Mossad chief now-turned Minister for Pensioner Affairs, Eitan was personally responsible for kidnapping Adolph Eichmann from Argentina in 1960, eventually resulting in the former high-ranking Nazi official being tried, convicted and executed for his activities during WWII. More recent and closer to home, Eitan oversaw the handling of convicted spy Jonathon Pollard, whose espionage on behalf of “America’s greatest friend in the Middle East”–Israel–resulted in some 800,000 pages of classified material marked “SCI” (the highest classification that exists) being passed to the Jewish state, who then passed it on to America’s enemies at that time, the Soviet Union. As a result of Pollard’s treason and Israel’s betrayal, some 1,400 American intelligence assets/agents working behind the Iron Curtain were either captured or killed. To this day Israel has neither returned any of the stolen documents nor apologized for what she did, but rather has on a repeated basis in her typical haughty and demanding demeanor, commanded that America’s most dangerous spy be released from prison. Furthermore, given that Israel does everything for effect means the former spy master would not have said what he said without the blessing of his superiors in Mossad.

And with regards to the report that the US is holding up Ahmadinejhad’s visa, one need do no more than consider briefly the following question that needs no answer for all its obviousness–would this have happened for any other world leader?

Those who shrug off this latest talk of kidnapping as just that of a gangster nation engaging in gangster talk have good grounds to say so to a certain degree. After all, kidnapping is one of the ‘can’t do withouts’ in the business of organized crime, and it is no conspiracy theory that Israel has become something of a headquarters to mob interests where drugs, illegal arms, forced prostitution, human trafficking, extortion and money laundering are as much a part of the daily grind as they were during the days of Al Capone’s Chicago.

In this case however, a former high-ranking Mossad chief and the individual responsible for the infamous capture of Eichmann making such a statement must be looked at within the context of an iceberg where much more is unseen than seen and moreover should assume it is neither typical Zionist rhetoric poking its ugly head out of Israel’s legendary sea of paranoia nor her seeming organic addiction to narcissistic behavior. No, the smart money says the timing of these latest developments is by no means accidental.

As noted, Ahmadinejhad is scheduled to speak at the UN General Assembly September 23, and the fact that certain elected members of Congress (and at least one university president) made perfect asses of themselves at this time last year trying to outdo each other in their slavish, slobbering devotion to Israel by calling for Ahmadinejhad’s arrest once he set foot in the US should not lead people to think this is merely a repeat of last year’s nauseating spectacle.

American Free Press has learned through contacts close to President Ahmadinejhad that ‘something big’ may be in the works with regards to his scheduled speech at the UN and that what is actually going on here is that Israel and her mouthy-mouthpieces are aware of this and are therefore trying to scare him away from coming to the US for fear of being kidnapped. Unable to divulge too much to AFP, (no doubt because of the sensitivity of the information involved) nevertheless the idea conveyed was the possibility of the Iranian president bringing forth information on the floor of the UN so embarrassing to the US and Israel that their plans for their long-desired war against Iran would be shelved indefinitely.

Needless to say, Israel (who desperately needs this war against Judea’s ancient enemies in Persia to hold together what is an otherwise organically-fractured society) is no doubt in panic mode. The longer this modern-day re-enactment of the slaughter of 75,000 innocent Persian citizens as recounted in the book of Esther is delayed, the less likely it is to take place, to say nothing of the diminishing chances of its overall success. As former Dimona nuclear technician-turned peace apostle Mordechai Vanunu testified to AFP recently, Israel must have war ‘every ten years or so’ for her survival. For the Jewish state, war is like a drug to any addict, and the longer she goes without her ‘fix’ the more desperate and irrational she becomes. Considering what took place in August with Georgia’s crushing defeat by Russia and the fact that more than likely Israel–up to her eyeballs in arming and training Georgia–planned on “tying Russia up” with a drawn-out military campaign that would prevent any interference with an attack on Iran, Israel is getting desperate, and this latest threat to kidnap the leader of a sovereign state is proof of it.

Those who doubt Israel’s ability in gleaning sensitive information concerning President Ahmadinejhad’s speech to the UN should think twice. Spying is something intrinsically woven into the paranoid culture of the Jewish state that sees nothing but enemies everywhere, beginning with the Old Testament story of the Israelite spies sent by Joshua who shacked up at the house of the prostitute Rahab (just prior to ‘God’s chosen people’ going on the rampage and slaughtering 31 Palestinian villages) to Esther sleeping her way into the court of king Xerxes (just prior to the slaughter of 75,000 innocent Persian citizens) to Judas Iscariot and his infamous crime. With a network of ‘sayanim’ scattered everywhere throughout the world (as described by ex-Mossad officer Victor Ostrovsky in his book ‘By Way Of Deception’) Israel literally has millions of eyes and ears, watching and listening to everything as it all pertains to the Jewish state. In a personal interview with American Free Press newspaper, a young man (US citizen of Palestinian heritage) who went to Gaza to visit family recently found himself detained and interrogated for 4 hours by Israel’s internal security service Shin Bet. During this interrogation, the young man (whose name will remain anonymous by his request) was grilled over phone calls he had made while in the US. By his own personal testimony, 6 years worth of his phone conversations had been recorded by Israeli intelligence, simply because of his Palestinian descent and despite the fact he was a medical school student and not involved in politics in any way. If Israel was willing to go to such lengths in keeping an eye on the personal life of one harmless American citizen of Palestinian descent, imagine the resources she is willing to expend in being a fly on the wall in any room where Ahmadinejhad’s business is being discussed.

Exactly what Ahmadinejhad may be planning to say on the floor of the UN only a handful of people actually know, but considering that it appears to have gotten the Jewish state’s underwear in a such knot means it must be fairly important. With two major events taking place in the last 7 months–the first being the release of the National Intelligence Report stating Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program and the second being Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullen warning Israel in early July that there will be no ‘USS Liberty pt II’, the situation is not just slightly pregnant with implications, but ready to burst, and it is for this reason that an extremely watchful eye should be kept on the comings and goings of Israel and her supporters in the days to come.

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Stormtroopin’

Stormtroopin’

William N. Grigg


In the early morning hours there’s a din in the air; mayhem’s on the loose. Stormtroopers comin’, and you better be prepared. Got no time to choose….

Comin’ up that street, jackboots steppin’ high. Got to make a stand. Looking in your windows and listen to your phone. Keep a gun in your hand….

Two hundred down, and it’s comin’ ’round again. Got no second choice. Where’s the justice and where’s that law. Raise your healthy voice…. Get ready. Stormtroopers comin’….



The recently concluded Republican National Convention in St. Paul served as the grand coming-out party for the Homeland Security State.

Its enforcers, fully panoplied in the military regalia that is rapidly becoming standard police attire, could be seen either strutting through the streets hungry to conduct a beat-down or marching to military cadences. Armored vehicles prowled the streets, while military helicopters rattled overhead. Several journalists, including Amy Goodman and two associates from the independent, left-leaning Democracy Now! media enterprise, were arrested and assaulted by police while covering protest marches.

Large sections of Minneapolis/St. Paul, a placid Midwestern American community, were made to resemble Baghdad under military occupation. As in Baghdad, homes in the Twin Cities were subjected to “pre-emptive” military raids on the eve of the Republican Convention. Beginning the night of Friday, August 29, multi-jurisdictional paramilitary police units armed with automatic weapons stormed residences where left-wing activists were billeted in anticipation of protest demonstrations.

More than one hundred people were handcuffed and questioned during those raids, many of them forced to lie face-down on the ground while officers searched for evidence of various purported plots to disrupt and “terrorize” the convention. According to Glenn Greenwald, a civil libertarian commentator who was on-site immediately after the raids, at least some of the police who conducted the raids couldn’t resist tormenting helpless detainees with jocular talk about summary executions.

In total more than 800 people were arrested during convention-related demonstrations. The most significant of those arrests involved seven people detained during the pre-convention raids who were eventually charged with “conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism” under Minnesota’s version of the PATRIOT (sic) Act.

Amerika, 2008: A riot policeman during the Republican National Convention in Minnesota’s Twin Cities.


This is the first time American citizens have been accused, in a civilian court, of committing a crime “in furtherance” of terrorism. It will not be the last.

Some elements of the protest “community” that materialized in St. Paul were incontestably seeking a confrontation with the police as a form of ideological street theater.

While some consider this approach to be useless at best, it’s not that different in principle from tactics perfected by Samuel Adams and like-minded patriots of our founding period.

Other street activists in the Twin Cities expressed their contempt for the criminal violence of the State by deliberately impeding peaceful commerce and destroying private property, which is neither useful nor justified.

But it is the prosecution of the “St. Paul Seven,” and the long-term surveillance project involving the RNC Welcoming Committee, that will have the most important tangible consequences. The methods of infiltration, surveillance, and apprehension used against those activists will provide a model for future crackdowns against any organized dissent.

Accounts of the arrests in the corporatist press retailed prosecution claims that the activists planned a campaign of mayhem and violence that would have included attacks on public transportation and attempts to kidnap Republican delegates.

The “evidence” seized during the raids consists of unremarkable construction materials — cans of paint, rope, roofing nails — that could be used in various disruptive ways. The search warrant application also permitted police to confiscate “computer systems” and “media in whatever form,” in order to obtain detailed information about the activities of the RNCWC, which is described as an “organized criminal enterprise.”

That document also claims that “possession of the property above described constitutes a crime.” Thus someone who owned a computer or a single can of paint could be arrested, indicted, and perhaps convicted of terrorism charges in absence of a single documented criminal act if the prosecution can supply a convincing narrative.

And in this case, as with so many others, the job of supply the appropriate narrative has been given to “confidential informants,” two of whom (along with an “undercover investigator”) are cited copiously in the warrant application and the criminal complaint. The “corroboration” offered for the most lurid and disturbing charges — those dealing with actual violence and property destruction — consists entirely of the accounts provided by paid informants.

“Of the stuff that was seized by the police, about ninety percent is just common household items that we’re told were going to be used for criminal acts,” commented Bruce Nestor, a defense attorney for the detainees, in a telephone interview with Pro Libertate. “In fact, there is nothing here that in itself constitutes evidence of a crime or a plot to commit a crime. [The prosecution] wants us to view these items in light of the story being told by the paid informants, and the presumed political beliefs of the detainees.”


Police who conducted the pre-convention raids claim to have found 37 “caltrops” — spikes that are scattered on a motorway to disable cars during a police pursuit. What was actually found was not a supply of standard-issue caltrops, but roofing nails that had supposedly been “weaponized.”

“To be fair, roofing nails could be used as caltrops, but they could also be used as roofing nails,” Nestor pointed out when I asked him about that reported discovery. “Some police experts insist that these particular roofing nails had been modified or bundled together in some way that suggests an intent to use them to disrupt traffic. But this is suggestive, once again, largely because of the stories told by the informants. Otherwise you’ve got common roofing nails” — possession of which is evidence only of a plot to repair one’s roof.

Similar considerations apply in evaluating the claim that police discovered “weaponized urine” (no, I’m not kidding) during the pre-convention raids. What the police, citing breathless reports from their confidential informants, triumphantly described as an attempt to create a very crude bio-chem anti-personnel weapon was described by activists as a rudimentary chamber pot.

Given the frequency with which well-publicized “international terrorist plots” prove to be media spectacles choreographed by the FBI through paid informant/provocateurs, it’s reasonable to suspect that the case against the “St. Paul Seven” may involve a domestic application of the same approach.

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, who was present in St. Paul to speak to peace activists at a St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, believes that “what violence there was [during protests] bore the earmarks of provocation by the likes of Sheriff Fletcher and his Homeland Security, FBI, and — according to one well-sourced report — Blackwater buddies.”

McGovern describes one instance in which “a man who looked like a protester — dark clothes, backpack, a bit disheveled” — was identified as one of the police officers who had carried out the Friday night raid against the RNCWC. “The young protesters asked the man, and two associates, to leave [the protest], at which point the three hustled into a nearby unmarked sedan,” writes McGovern. “The license plate, observed by a Pioneer Press reporter, traced back to the detective unit of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s office….”

It’s worth remembering that the same time-honored tactic was on display during the August 2007 Security and Prosperity Partnership summit in Montebello, Quebec almost exactly a year earlier. In an incident captured on video, a group of ineptly disguised police infiltrators, armed with rocks and reeking of foul intentions, were caught trying to infiltrate and radicalize a peaceful protest march.

While McGovern may be right about the involvment of agents provocateur, there’s reason to believe at least some of those caught up in the pre-convention sweep harbored criminal designs.

One of the seven activists arrested during a “pre-emptive” sweep, a young man burdened with the theatrically villainous name Max Jackob Specktor, was found to possess several sets of black clothing, goggles, helmets, several implements that a vandal would find very useful (a bolt cutter, a pry bar, spring loaded “punches,” and metal pipe of various sizes), and documents suggestive of something other than innocent intentions.

Obviously, if the prosecution can prove that Specktor was planning to participate in a riot, he should be convicted of that charge and be given the appropriate penalty. If he has proven co-conspirators, they should likewise receive a suitable punishment. The ominous novelty of this case resides in the effort to punish the familiar misdemeanor offense of “conspiracy to riot” as a form of domestic terrorism, and to incriminate others who appear to have committed no offense at all as part of a widespread terrorist plot.

The prosecution depicts Specktor as part of the “black bloc,” a radical element within the larger anarchist community that carries out “direct action” in the form of assaults on property confrontations with the police.

It’s likely that a trial would place Specktor at the center of a series of concentric circles intended to implicate others — beginning with his immediate co-defendants, and working out to those identified as belonging to “affinity groups” — as part of a large domestic terrorist conspiracy. If this turns out to be true, this one case could metastasize into a public works project for prosecutors across the country. It will certainly provide a template to be used whenever any appendage of the Homeland Security Leviathan wants to suppress organized dissent and prosecute it as a criminal act “in furtherance of terrorism.”

In March 2007, the RNC in St. Paul was designated a National Security Special Event (NSSE). Shortly thereafter, the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department began hiring and deploying infiltrators. According to Sheriff Bob Fletcher, his department, working through the local Joint Terrorism Task Force, was involved in a nation-wide effort to track down and keep suspected protesters under surveillance.

The lead agency for Ramsey County in this undertaking was Fletcher’s Special Investigations Unit, under the direction of former US Secret Service Special Agent Tony Samec (who is one of four affiants listed in the warrant application). The application observes that Samec, who most likely was temporarily seconded to the Sheriff’s department, “has been involved in numerous NSSEs throughout the United States.”

Ramsey County’s Special Investigations Unit has an interesting relationship with the federal government. It was the chief local federal subcontractor for the crack-down on dissent during the RNC. But it was also being investigated by the FBI for corruption. And in one of those bits of historical symmetry one would find implausible in a novel, those two developments intersected in the days immediately prior to the RNC.

Guilty on corruption charges: Deputy Timothy Rehak (center-left with his arm around his wife) is led away from court by a steroid-enhanced police goon after being found guilty of stealing $6,000 in an FBI sting operation. Rehak was a member of the Ramsey County “Special Investigations Unit” that spearheaded the crack-down on dissent during the Republican Convention in St. Paul.


On August 27, just days before the pre-emptive raids on RNC protesters, two close associates of Sheriff Fletcher on the SIU were found guilty of theft and civil rights violations. Officer Timothy Rehak and Mark Naylon were convicted of stealing $6,000 during an FBI “integrity check,” a sting operation intended to ferret out corrupt police officers.

Rehak is a former St. Paul police officer who had a troubled history before Fletcher asked him to join the SIU.

Naylon, significantly, has never been a police officer, despite the fact that he commanded considerable clout on the force.

He was Fletcher’s chief PR spokesman. Before that he was the best man at Fletcher’s second wedding. He operated a private security firm that employed off-duty deputies to serve as bouncers at a nightclub owned by a man named Mike Ogren, who was convicted of an illegal gambling operation in 2003.

Spinning the crack-down: Ramsey County Sheriff Robert Fletcher (center), along with former Secret Service agent Tony Samec (left), unveil to the media the supposed terrorist arsenal seized during pre-convention raids on residences in St. Paul.

Despite the fact that he had no training or authority, Naylon was permitted to carry a sidearm, make arrests, and otherwise behave as if he were a duly deputized member of Fletcher’s department.

On occasion, when a member of Fletcher’s department needed to cite a “confidential informant” to obtain a warrant, Naylon would play that role as well — perjuring himself by providing the exact “testimony” an officer needed to secure permission for a search or an arrest.

The SIU first came under FBI scrutiny more than five years ago. A July 2003 raid on a bar discovered an unlicensed gambling operation. The bar’s owner claimed that the proceeds were helping to underwrite Fletcher’s re-election effort. That charge was recanted, but it stirred up an FBI inquiry that prompted the sting operation against Rehak and Naylon and led to their eventual conviction.

During his four terms as Sheriff, Fletcher has radically expanded the size and budget of his force, and strong-armed the county commission (by way of litigation and a cynical PR campaign) to build a new $61 million jail. He also developed a reputation for cronyism (demonstrated by his treatment of Naylor), empire-building, and what former St. Paul Mayor George Latimer calls “conspiratorial” thinking. Most importantly, he eagerly queued up for every dime of federal largesse he could find.

To put the matter tidily, Robert Fletcher — ambitious, power-fixated, and compromised — was an ideal local subcontractor for the Homeland Security State.

Former FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley, who exposed the Bureau’s ineptitude in investigating the 9-11 plot (or, perhaps, its passive complicity in abetting it), resides near St. Paul.

In a letter written to FBI Director Robert Mueller three weeks before the attack on Iraq, Rowley warned that the “`pre-emptive strike’ rationale being applied to situations abroad could migrate back home, fostering a more permissive attitude on the part of law enforcement officers in this country.”

During his visit to the Twin Cities, Ray McGovern asked Rowley if the spectacle unfolding in St. Paul offered an awful vindication of her concerns. Referring to the pre-emptive raids and the military occupation of the streets illustrate how once the Feds take control of matters, “all the rules go up in smoke” and “otherwise wonderful community police officers [will] turn on their own peaceful citizens….”

To employ the argot of Star Wars fans, Rowley believes that St. Paul demonstrated how quickly “local” police personnel are transformed into stormtroopers when the Feds activate Order 66.
In fact, as Glenn Greenwald pointed out, the apparatus on display in St. Paul was a federally controlled local militia, rather than a local police agency in any sense of the expression.

However one addresses the nuance of the proposition, this much seems clear: The Homeland Security Death Star is now fully operational.

The Denouement (Updated)

The Denouement (Updated)

William N. Grigg

Hail comrades well met: In this famous 1911 editorial cartoon, Karl Marx is rapturously greeted on Wall Street and taken to the bosom of Carnegie and Rockefeller. This tidily sums up the relationship between Wall Street corporate socialists and the non-housebroken Marxist revolutionaries who are their distant kin.


Denouement (n) — The unraveling of a plot; a catastrophe….

From Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

There is something supernally appropriate to the fact that, in order to find the most suitable definition for just right word to describe the ongoing crisis of the financial system, we have to refer to a dictionary published in 1913.

We are now into the second year of the unraveling of the world financial system. It could be described as the Great Denouement (or final act) of a plot that began in 1913, when Congress created the Federal Reserve System, aka the Focus of Evil in the Modern World. So far the effects of the unraveling have had minimal impact on the larger economy.

This is about to change.

Last Friday, there were five globe-bestriding Wall Street investment banks. Today there are three. Lehman Brothers, a 158-year-old financial colossus, is headed for bankruptcy and oblivion. Merrill Lynch, which was following the same trajectory, was bought by Bank of America.

Tellingly, the markets greeted that acquisition by selling off Bank of America shares, despite CEO Ken Lewis’s happy prattle about the “synergies” supposedly catalyzed by this buy-out. Likwise, the bank’s credit rating took a hit following the transaction. This is exactly the opposite of what we would expect to see when one business demonstrates its vitality by purchasing another. In this case, however, it is well understood that BofA wasn’t gaining assets, but rather taking on an infection.

Over the same cluttered weekend, American International Group, which insures (among other things) corporate bonds, played the mendicant at the Fed’s discount window, pleading for $40 billion in tide-us-over money while it tries to liquidate assets in order to raise cash. [For more about AIG, see the update below.]

While we’re accustomed to weekly bank failures and periodic federal bailouts, the converging meltdowns of three pillars of Wall Street in a single weekend indicates that the crisis is accelerating and deepening in ways that our financial overlords hadn’t anticipated. The fact that Lehman was permitted to fail demonstrates that the overlords are now beginning to conduct triage among themselves — a spectacle that might offer the some brief amusement for the hoi polloi until the survivors within the Power Elite turn their undivided attention on the rest of us.

It’s likely that some distant day, when the history of the Greater Depression is written, the collapse of Lehman Brothers will be seen as a climacteric for the Fed-centric financial system — indeed, for Washington’s entire apparatus of imperial power, in which that investment house played a conspicuous role.

Mapping the catastrophe (click to enlarge).

During the mid-1800s, Lehman provided much of the initial financing for the railroad combine, one of the first serious ventures in American corporatism. That combine, a public-private partnership — a prototype for what Mussolini later called Fascism — thrust Abraham the Abhorrent into the White House, where he presided over a war of national consolidation and pioneered the concept of a dictatorial war presidency.

Following the destruction of the pre-1861 Union of free states and creating a unitary Corporate State, the combine engaged the services of the United States military to drive the Plains Indians from lands pledged to them by treaty, but also coveted by the combine to build its federally subsidized transcontinental railroad. This relationship was a distant but recognizable ancestor of the modern military-industrial complex.

Lehman was part of the cartel that pushed for creation of the Fed. Its roster of corporate leaders bristles with insider credentials; senior management officials held prestigious posts on the Federal Reserve Board, in the World Economic Forum, and in the Council on Foreign Relations. And yet the firm is now bound for bankruptcy, a casualty of the Fed’s housing/mortgage/refinancing bubble. Pulling the plug on Lehman Brothers may be equivalent to the sharp tug on a dangling thread that causes the entire tapestry to unwind.

Unlike the bailout of Bear Stearns earlier this year, no takers could be found when Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke tried to find a buyer for Lehman Brothers. Would-be buyers were repelled by the aroma of Lehman’s assets, which was quite similar to that emitted by an artificial butte constructed out of not-so-gently-used disposable diapers.

When it became clear that no rescue could be arranged for Lehman, the bankster mafia did the next best thing: It opened the markets — just a crack — to let a handful of favored investors minimize their losses. The manipulation was as undisguised as the contempt the banksters feel for the torpid and indifferent public that is being plundered on behalf of the financial elite.

Lehman CEO Richard Fuld, known as “The Gorrilla” because of his penchant for alpha male-style posturing, was able to keep the firm intact during the last big scare, the Asian debt crisis of a decade ago.

Learning exactly the wrong lessons as a result of that corporate near-death-through-debt experience, Fuld threw his company into issuing and securitizing mortgage loans. During the last two years, long after rational people had sought protection from the bursting of the housing/mortgage bubble, Lehman was the nation’s largest underwriter of mortgage bonds.

Last March, by which time Fuld must have been fully aware of his bank’s afflictions, he accepted a $22 million performance bonus, based on a supposed net profit of 5 percent in 2007. Surely there are people just as qualified as Fuld to lead a company to immediate ruin who would have done so for less than one percent of what Lehman paid Fuld. The bank’s Chapter 11 filing lists $613 billion in debts. This is not only the largest private bankruptcy in history, it must also rank as the largest act of non-governmental accounting fraud on record.

A few weeks later — April 15, to be exact — Fuld inscribed his name indelibly in the Big Book of Hubristic Quotations when he told shareholders that “the worst is behind us.”

As recently as August, Fuld could have taken advantage of buy-out or buy-in offers that would have rescued his firm. But the CEO, looking at his company’s worth through the distorting lens of bubble-vision, insisted that the offers “didn’t reflect the value he saw in the bank,” according to the New York Times. So he dithered and dissimulated until it was much too late, perhaps in the misplaced confidence that his comrades in the financial elite would seal a deal with a taxpayer guarantee. Rather than giving him that cushion, however, his fellow elitists pulled the chair out from beneath him.

Given the Fed’s new role as “lender of last resort,” why did it permit Lehman to fail? It may be simply a matter of bad timing: Had Lehman’s terminal crisis occurred two months ago, the Fed and Treasury might have been willing to arrange another taxpayer-insured bailout. But right now the overlords have their hands full managing the nationalization of Fannie and Freddie, which may require trillions of dollars yet to be created.

Even Helicopter Ben must appreciate the point that the foreign creditors who continue to fund this racket are eventually going to stop taking dollar-shaped IOUs. That’s when the real fun will begin.

The Bailout Resumes….

AIG, valued at $1 trillion at the beginning of the trading day, “lost 70% of its value in just three hours,” reports the New York Daily News. Its stock recovered about half its losses by mid-afternoon. Meanwhile, the Governor of New York announced that he was altering state regulations — apparently by executive decree — to permit AIG “to borrow against its subsidiary assets.”

Ten of the largest American banks have announced a plan to pool $70 billion “in a collaborative effort to prevent any of them [from] running out of funds in an emergency.” Each has thrown in $7 billion, and any can borrow up to $23 billion.

That’s not a “pool”; it hardly qualifies as a puddle. And it will be gone before the end of the week.

So, in all probably, will Washington Mutual, which was dangling from a cliff, clinging to an exposed tree root at the end of last week. Lehman’s demise will almost certainly send WaMu careening into the abyss.

And there are at least 1,000 more banks headed over the edge, as well….

LIFE AND DEATH

LIFE AND DEATH

By: Peter Chamberlin

When it becomes obvious to the rest of the country that we are truly locked into a life or death struggle the people will rise-up from their easy chairs and demand answers. If we cannot make them aware of the obvious fateful track we are now on before then, then it will be too late for us all.

The life or death struggle I am referring to is not with some shadowy terrorist group, or with an axis of foreign governments, but with our own government. We are in an existential struggle with the Bush Administration and everyone in government who supports the violence they carry-out upon the world.

The struggle is between the American people and an out of control administration determined to visit world war III upon the world before its allotted time is up. For their own reasons (which are transparent to the discerning eye), Bush and Cheney are going to find a politically feasible way to attack someone else before their power is taken away.

This attack plan risks the survival of the planet and all life upon it, to carry-out the neocon war. Our two co-presidents are so committed to their obviously catastrophically failed war plan to seize all the resources of South Asia that they cannot allow their time to expire without taking irreversible actions. They think that they can threaten, bribe, intimidate and selectively nuke key governments in the region (including Russia and China) to have their way with them.

This most distrusted government in our history wants us to trust their judgment that they can “shock and awe” the world into submission to American demands, without destroying the world in the process. This most incompetent government ever elected by the American people, diddled while the economy was crushed by the weight of its insane economic and military policies, and enacted police state laws in an illegal manner, and now intends to kill many millions more innocents than it already has for the sake of total control.

This most devious and malign administration to ever curse the White House threshold thinks that it would be a good thing to kill millions as “collateral damage” in their plan to create a global American empire. They are either so foolish that they think that America would survive in a post-nuclear war world, or they have other plans for themselves so that they do not care whether this Nation survives the ravages of their scheme to reap absolute wealth. Perhaps this gives credence to the rumor from the Latin American press about a recent Bush family purchase of a large portion of Paraguay –

“…a few short miles from the US Mariscal Estigarribia Military Base…

[Sitting atop the] Acuifero Guaraní…one of the largest underground water reserves in South America.”

The solutions being discussed (to this life or death struggle between the American people and a malignant administration determined to risk the fate of the world) range from impeachment to outright revolution. I am of the opinion that violent revolution is wrong, unless government actions turn it into a matter of self-defense, and that impeachment is too slow and weak to stop Bush from pushing the button when the opportunity arises. The opportunity may arise very soon in the mountains of Pakistan, as American troops making illegal incursions are now being repelled by Pakistani military forces.

This administration cannot be trusted to possess the powers that it has usurped. The Bush Administration has to have its hands tied now, even before it is removed from office. Congress must know whose side in this life or death struggle the American people are on.

We the people have to assume our rightful power and show our hand now, as we find the means to legally bind the bloody hands and force the issue to a head, before Bush or Cheney acts. Congress must witness an aroused population that is “mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore!”

If you won’t stand-up for the sake of your own children’s lives, then what will you take a stand for?

peter.chamberlin@yahoo.com

Pakistan to halt oil supply to NATO in case of attack

Pakistan to halt oil supply to NATO in case of attack

Pakistan in unequivocal terms has said that it would halt supply of oil and other commodities to NATO in Afghanistan if the US troops continue to violate country’s border.

Private TV Channel quoted government and defense sources saying Pakistan would also hold fresh talks on agreement struck between Former President Pervez Musharraf and US President George. W. Bush with regard to logistic support to US in war against terrorism.

US would be informed strictly that Pakistan would halt supply of oil, edible items, weapons and other commodities to Afghanistan based US allied forces if US troops counties to violate country’s border.

According to information, more than 400 containers carrying commodities for Afghanistan based US allied forces pass from Torkham to Chaman.

Sources further said that debate on the issue would also be held in the Parliament.

They will become more easily docile…

They will become more easily docile…

“Capital must protect itself in every possible manner by combination and legislation. Debts must be collected, bonds and mortgages must be foreclosed as rapidly as possible. When, through a process of law, the common people lose their homes they will become more docile and more easily governed through the influence of the strong arm of government, applied by a central power of wealth under control of leading financiers. This truth is well known among our principal men now engaged in forming an imperialism of Capital to govern the world. By dividing the voters through the political party system, we can get them to expend their energies in fighting over questions of no importance. Thus by discreet action we can secure for ourselves what has been so well planned and so successfully accomplished.”

USA Banker’s Magazine, August 25 1924

Head for the hills: U.S. economy collapsing under debt

Head for the hills: U.S. economy collapsing

under debt

Meanwhile, the European Union slashed its economic growth outlook, now admitting that Germany, Spain and Britain have suffered brief recessions. In fact, the euro zone’s GDP shrank between April and June, the first quarter of negative growth since the currency bloc was created in 1999. And the subprime fallout continues, with Washington Mutual Inc. stock losing 30% of its value yesterday sinking to its lowest level in 17 years. With U.S. debt at $9.6 trillion and growing by billions by the second with the war machine and continuous bailouts, a financial Armageddon is in the works. – Linda Leatherdale


Linda Leatherdale
Sept 15, 2008

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Or find a cave to hide in.

As the United States collapses under a mountain of debt worth trillions, another Wall Street investment bank struggles to stay afloat and global economies start to crumble – the Bay Street guru who warned oil would skyrocket to US$200 a barrel has suddenly changed his tune.

Jeff Rubin, CIBC World Markets chief economist, is no longer talking about $200 oil by 2010 and in his latest Canadian Portfolio Strategy Outlook Report scales back other predictions for crude. Instead of crude averaging $125 this year, followed by $150 next year, Rubin now says it will be at $115 this year and $130 next year.

To me that’s still overly optimistic. But peak oil advocates – who paint a Mad Max future where we kill our fellow man for a drop of precious black gold – would say I’m wrong.

Rubin says his about-face is only temporary, and once we get through economic downturn (he wouldn’t dare utter the “GR” words … global recession) – we’ll be back to prices heading even higher.

Yesterday, even as OPEC announced it would reduce output by 520,000 barrels a day, prices kept gyrating their way down, with light, sweet crude for October delivery falling 68 cents to $102.58 a barrel in New York – its lowest level since April 1.

But don’t expect a break at the gas pumps. Prices in the GTA today will be up 1.6 cents to $1.237 a litre for self-serve, regular – while in his Rip-Off Alert Liberal MP Dan McTeague warns major refiners and marketers are now charging 10 cents more than the U.S. wholesale price for gasoline.

In Calgary the mark-up is 15.4 cents, Edmonton 13.2 cents and Vancouver, 12.8 cents, according to McTeague’s website.

Meanwhile, an independent study released yesterday by U.S. lawmakers blames institutional investors, who poured $60 billion US into commodity markets from January to May, for the rapid rise in oil which hit a record of $147 US a barrel in July.

“The bottom line here is that with regard to commodities, money going in pushes prices up, money going out pushes prices down,” says hedge fund manager Michael Masters, a co-author of the report.

The commodities freefall has hit markets hard, with Bay Street’s S&P/TSX index on a losing streak since the first of September, losing more than 1,600 points. But yesterday, markets rebounded sharply – after Wall Street heavy hitter Lehman Brothers, in a desperate bid to survive after losing almost $4 billion US in the third quarter, said it would sell a majority stake in its prized investment management business. It didn’t even rule out a sale of the entire company, after recently cutting 1,500 jobs.

So far this year, the 158-year-old investment bank has lost $6.5 billion US, which CEO Richard Fuld describes as “one of the toughest periods in the firm’s history.”

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX climbed 350.39 points to close at 12,497.15, as investors shopped for bargains after the index lost almost 500 points Tuesday. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 38.19 points to 11,268.92, after climbing by as much as 127 points earlier in the day.

Bay Street’s Rubin, by the way, has also scaled back his outlook for stocks, lowering his year-end target for the S&P/TSX from 14,300 to 13,000, and cutting his 2009 prediction from 15,250 to 14,000. As recently as June, Rubin was so bullish he predicted a 15,200 TSX by year-end.

Meanwhile, the European Union slashed its economic growth outlook, now admitting that Germany, Spain and Britain have suffered brief recessions. In fact, the euro zone’s GDP shrank between April and June, the first quarter of negative growth since the currency bloc was created in 1999.

And the subprime fallout continues, with Washington Mutual Inc. stock losing 30% of its value yesterday sinking to its lowest level in 17 years.

With U.S. debt at $9.6 trillion and growing by billions by the second with the war machine and continuous bailouts, a financial Armageddon is in the works.

Like I said, find that cave and hide.

Ripe Moment

Ripe Moment

We should be frightened by the political implications of this Great Implosion of presumed wealth. Some group of somebodies will have to clean up this mess. Moving toward a major election, it is hard to imagine the American people giving the clean-up task to the very group that created the mess — no matter how many cute little faces Sarah Palin can make on TV. Both parties have so far managed to ignore the gathering crisis of banking and money, but they can’t ignore the sequoia trees crashing down around their ankles and shaking the earth they stand on. At issue now will be the question of legitimacy in all its human social dimensions. Is our money legitimate? Is the authority of our elected officials legitimate? Are our values and ideas legitimate? These are the things that will determine what kind of future we find ourselves in. – James Kunstler


James Howard Kunstler
Sept 15, 2008

(Editor’s Note: Just a little more on domestic warfare. The day of impact has arrived. THis will turn out to be an interesting week. – JSB)

It turns out the real hurricane blew through Wall Street last week, not Galveston. This morning, Manhattan is strewn chest-deep with the debris of banking and at this hour (seven a.m.) nobody knows how far, deep, and wide the damage will spread. The fear, of course, is that we are witnessing a classic “house-of-cards” or “dominos-in-a-row,” situation, and that the death of Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch will cascade into a generalized collapse of the entire consensus of value that supports mediums of exchange.

At least one thing ought to be clear: this has happened due to the negligence and misfeasance of the regulating authorities, namely the Republican Party, and that now all the hoopla surrounding Sarah Palin can be swept away revealing that group to be what they actually are: the party that wrecked America. I hope one or two Barack Obama campaign officials are reading this blog. You must commence the re-branding of the opposition right now. The Republicans must be clearly identified as, the party that wrecked America.

Many things happening this week will be interesting to see and hear, but just now an outstanding question is how on earth can the Bank of America buy Merrill Lynch for $50 billion after assuming the liabilities of the tarbaby known as Countrywide? But that little detail may be lost in the din as other banks and bank-like organizations start crashing like sequoia trees in a national forest.

I wish I knew whether this extravaganza of ruin might settle the question as to whether America goes into hyperinflation or implacable deflation, but the net effect is that money is leaving the system in big gobs. And if not money per se, then the idea of money as represented in certificates, contracts, counter-party positions, and gentlemen’ agreements. This is the day that America finds itself a much poorer nation. The capital we thought was there, is gone.

A lot of it was actually translated over the years into Hamptons villas, Gulfstream jets, and other playthings that will now go up on Ebay or some equivalent as we turn into Yard Sale Nation in a general liquidation of remaining assets. Of course, the trouble in a situation like this, where absolutely everybody is trying to pawn off assets, is that there are very few buyers on the scene, so the prices of all these things go down down down. Everything is for sale and nobody has any money.

This was essentially the state of things in the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the only escape from that turned out to be the mobilization for war. And in the aftermath of that terrible war, we were the only industrial nation that hadn’t been bombed to rubble. What’s more, we had a very handsome supply of industrial world’s primary resource, oil, at our disposal. So we spent the next thirty years making oodles of things and selling them to people in other lands (lending them the money to buy), until these nations were back on their own feet and solvent. And after 1975, the industrial club picked up a bunch of new members and they all began to clean our clock.

So, as our industrial base waned, and our factories got old and brittle, and our labor force was steeply under-bid by cheaper labor forces, we embarked on a quest for “the new economy.” This was represented in successive turns as the information economy, the consumer economy, the high-tech economy, et cetera. They were all ruses, aimed at concealing the truth — which was that we had become a society no longer producing things of value, no longer generating real wealth. The final act of this farce has been the so-called “financial industry.”

That “industry” turned out to be most earnestly devoted to the production of complex swindles. They were so finely engineered that it took twenty years for the swindles to stand revealed, and they were cleverly hitched to the primary thing that the American public vested its identity in: house-and-home. Thus, much of the public finds itself in very real danger of becoming homeless and broke.

We generally recognize that some wicked-massive transfer of wealth occurred in the process of the mortgage fiasco, but it remains to be seen whether any residue of this wealth can actually be retained, as represented by currencies, contracts, and supposed securities. The wholesale settling of debt now underway may leave an awful lot of this stuff with no value.

We should be frightened by the political implications of this Great Implosion of presumed wealth. Some group of somebodies will have to clean up this mess. Moving toward a major election, it is hard to imagine the American people giving the clean-up task to the very group that created the mess — no matter how many cute little faces Sarah Palin can make on TV. Both parties have so far managed to ignore the gathering crisis of banking and money, but they can’t ignore the sequoia trees crashing down around their ankles and shaking the earth they stand on.

At issue now will be the question of legitimacy in all its human social dimensions. Is our money legitimate? Is the authority of our elected officials legitimate? Are our values and ideas legitimate? These are the things that will determine what kind of future we find ourselves in.

So, to begin this process, and to clarify the situation, I urge readers of this blog to identify the Republican Party by its new brand-name: the party that wrecked America. At least, then, we can reinstate one cardinal value into the juddering structure of what we claim to believe: that actions have consequences, that you can’t just swindle and loot a society and walk away with the swag.

Spread the word, change the tone of this campaign, and keep posted. This will be a momentous week.

Unaccountable Secret Government: Most Serious Constitutional Crisis in American History

Unaccountable Secret Government: Most Serious Constitutional Crisis in American History

ANDOVER , MASS. (Sept. 13)— President Bush’s conduct in office has precipitated a “most serious constitutional crisis,” “one that has already transformed the U.S. from a constitutional republic to an elected monarchy,” a noted political scientist told a conference on seeking prosecution of high Bush administration officials for war crimes. “We need to revers[e] a fifty-year trend towards unaccountable secret government, which can commit crimes with impunity,” said Professor Christopher Pyle of Mount Holyoke College.

“Sending a clear signal to future Cabinet-level officials that ours is still a government under law, and that they had better obey the criminal law, no matter what their president and his legal lackeys say,” is a matter of overwhelming importance, said Pyle.

Pyle spoke to 120 academics, constitutional scholars, public officials and political activists gathered in Andover , MA for the Justice Robert H. Jackson Conference on Planning For the Prosecution of High Level American War Criminals. Attendees were in consensus agreement that overwhelming evidence exists to bring legal actions against President Bush and other top members of his administration.

The consensus of attendees is President Bush’s attack on Iraq is a violation of the Charter of the United Nations and that he is culpable for this as well as for torture and abuse of war prisoners held by the U.S. military and the CIA.

Pyle said ideally the Justice Department should bring charges against Bush “if only to restore its integrity” (although many thought the DOJ unlikely to act because of its own culpability and partisanship). But there is nothing to “preclude the appointment of a non-partisan prosecutor with considerable independence, much as Attorney General Elliot Richardson did when he chose Archibald Cox to lead the Watergate team.”

A special prosecutor could be chosen by the next Attorney General from among any number of “distinguished Republican attorneys,” Pyle said. He added that if Congress and the Justice Department fail to act, state attorney generals might take action and that if no U.S. officials acted “the way is open for foreign trials.”

Even if the next president and two-thirds of the Senate “do not ratify the Rome Statute and submit to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court,” said Pyle, “the next president could revoke the non-extradition agreements that John Bolton negotiated and allow the Justice Department to facilitate extradition proceedings on behalf of any European court with universal jurisdiction over war crimes.”.

He went on to say that while the legal obstacles to prosecuting “the torture team” are substantial, they are no more daunting than those that Argentina and Chile faced and overcame after their generals initially obtained immunity for their “dirty wars.”

“Whether our nation will take as long to bring its torturers to justice remains to be seen, but failure to prosecute now almost certainly will lead to demands for prosecution later. This is not an issue likely to go away,” Pyle said. (Emphasis added.) That’s because there is “overwhelming” evidence that “the torture, kidnapping, and degradation of suspected terrorists was part of a deliberate policy, hatched and concealed at the highest levels of the Bush administration.”

Pyle pointed out the weight of legal opinion is against the Bush administration, “which is why it is keeps its legal opinions secret.” He added, “Today, even Attorney General Mukasey won’t deny that waterboarding is a crime. He simply refuses to say that it is, because, if he admitted the obvious, he would have to prosecute the criminals. The best excuse Mukasey can give is a version of the Eichmann defense: ‘Our lawyers said we could do it.”

Pyle drew applause when he pointed out that “We would be here addressing the same questions had these crimes been committed by Democrats.” “This is not a campaign event. It is a conference about how to restore governmental accountability in the wake of a criminal administration. It addresses the most serious crisis in our nation’s history—the claim that the president and his secret agents can get away with torture, kidnapping, and even manslaughter.” (Emphasis added.)

Pyle went on to say the issue is not whether the “torture team” deserves to be prosecuted but is about “reversing a fifty-year trend toward unaccountable, secret government, which can commit crimes with impunity.”

“Punishing the torture team is just the beginning. We also need to change the laws and legal doctrines, like the state secret privilege, that have already transformed the United States from a constitutional republic to an elected monarchy,” Pyle said.

Further Information or to reach Pyle for interviews: Sherwood Ross, media consultant to the war crimes prosecution conference at sherwoodr1@yahoo.com .

The Wall Street crisis and the failure of American capitalism

The Wall Street crisis and the failure of American capitalism

By Barry Grey

The end of Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, two of the largest Wall Street investment banks, one week after the government takeover of the mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, marks a new stage in the convulsive crisis of American capitalism.

On Monday, global markets fell sharply in a sign of mounting panic and doubt over the stability of the entire US banking system. Throughout Europe stock markets plunged by as much as 4 percent.

The fall on Wall Street was even steeper, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing 504 points, or 4.42 percent. There is every indication that the sell-off will intensify, with the full implications of the collapse of the two Wall Street banks as yet far from clear.

The immediate concern is the fate of American International Group (AIG), the world’s largest insurance company, and Washington Mutual, the largest savings and loan bank in the US, both of which are teetering on bankruptcy.

The sudden demise of Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch has removed a huge amount of liquidity from the economy, as paper values built up over decades of speculation come crashing down. This is capital that is needed to finance business operations, and its elimination will inevitably depress economic activity, fueling unemployment and recession, further undermining home prices and consumer spending, and further weakening the balance sheets of already financially shaken banks.

A sea change is unfolding in the US and world economy that portends a catastrophe of dimensions not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The fall of icons of American capitalism such as 158-year-old Lehman Brothers and 94-year-old Merrill Lynch can only lead to the further discrediting of the “free market” ideology of the US ruling elite, as well as its political and economic system. The spectacle of giants of capitalism drowning in debt piled up over decades of reckless speculation must inevitably discredit the social class—the American capitalist class—which is responsible for the debacle.

The bromides that have been uttered by the official spokesmen for the government, the media, Wall Street and the political parties over the past year of mounting financial crisis have lost all credibility. The assurances that the latest government bailout will stabilize the situation, that the US banking system is “fundamentally sound,” that the housing and credit markets are about to “turn the corner,” etc., reassure no one.

On Monday, President Bush mouthed such phrases in a brief White House appearance. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson at a White House press conference evaded questions about who was responsible for the financial disaster and instead declared that he was “focused on the future.”

The presidential candidates, Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, made perfunctory statements that were remarkable only for their brevity and vacuity. What is widely acknowledged, even in ruling class circles, as the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression is unfolding in the midst of a presidential election. But it barely rates a mention by either the Republican or Democratic candidate.

Both parties and their candidates tip toe around a financial scandal of world historic proportions because they are equally implicated. They are both bound hand and foot to Wall Street and single-mindedly dedicated to the defense of American capitalism.

McCain issued a statement demanding “reform” in Washington and on Wall Street and pledging to bring “accountability” to Wall Street. This from a multi-millionaire whose campaign is being run by a bevy of lobbyists for Wall Street and other sections of big business.

His Democratic counterpart, Barack Obama, issued a predictably mealy-mouthed statement complaining that “too many folks in Washington and on Wall Street weren’t minding the store.” While attempting to pin the blame for the crisis entirely on the Bush administration—ignoring the “free market,” deregulatory policies of Democrats Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton—he offered a mutual amnesty between himself and McCain, saying, “I certainly don’t fault Senator McCain for these problems…”

These events are signposts in the historic failure of American and world capitalism. For the working class, they mean a rapid growth of unemployment, poverty, homelessness and social misery. The government, Wall Street and both political parties will seek to place the burden for the consequences of their own greed and incompetence squarely on the backs of working people.

The collapse is devastating ever wider layers of the population, including those who have worked on Wall Street and received some of the financial benefits of the speculative boom. Some 26,000 Lehman employees are not only out of a job, with few prospects of finding similar employment elsewhere, but as owners of 25 percent of the company’s stock they have lost a combined $10 billion, wiping out their savings and retirement funds.

Tens of thousands of employees at Merrill Lynch and Bank of America will lose their jobs in the merger of the two firms, adding to the 110,000 jobs slashed in the US financial services industry over the past year.

The broader implications of the mounting financial crisis were signaled by Hewlett-Packard’s announcement Monday that it was cutting 25,000 jobs.

Many of those who precipitated this economic disaster, on the other hand, will profit handsomely from the debris they have left behind. Hedge funds and other short-sellers, who bet on the collapse of corporations, are even now speculating furiously on the demise of the remaining Wall Street firms, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, as well as big commercial banks such as Bank of America.

William Gross of the nation’s largest bond fund, Pimco, took in $1.7 billion last week by betting on—and publicly agitating for—a government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The emergency talks over the weekend, involving the heads of the major commercial and investment banks and led by Treasury Secretary Paulson and top Federal Reserve officials, centered on rescuing Merrill Lynch and orchestrating an orderly liquidation of Lehman. Under pressure from Paulson and the Fed, Merrill agreed to sell itself to Bank of America, the largest consumer commercial bank in the US.

At the same time, there were frantic negotiations over the fate of AIG, which faces bankruptcy unless it can raise tens of billions of dollars in capital. When US markets opened Monday, AIG was asking for emergency loans from the Fed to stave off collapse.

A failure of AIG threatens to bring down the entire credit system both in the US and internationally, because the company holds a large stake in the multi-trillion-dollar, unregulated market in so-called “credit default swaps.” AIG has sold CDS contracts to banks, hedge funds and big investors all over the world, under which it guarantees the mortgage-backed debt of a wide range of companies in the event that they default. If AIG should go under, the value of the debt which it insures would fall to an unknown level, destabilizing the credit markets and threatening a chain reaction of defaults and bankruptcies.

The events of the past two weeks demonstrate that the American financial aristocracy is plunging the entire country into bankruptcy. These events are themselves climatic moments in a protracted process.

For three decades, the “free market” has been elevated to the status of a secular religion in the US, with the capitalist market as its god and socialism as its devil. This period, under both Republican and Democratic administrations, has seen the wholesale dismantling of the productive base of the US economy, at the cost of millions of jobs and the living standards of the American working class.

In the name of the supposed infallibility of the market, the operations of big business have been deregulated, removing all legal restraints on corporate profit-making and fueling the accumulation of ever more obscene levels of wealth in the hands of a financial oligarchy. A vast process of social plunder has occurred, in which the wealth of the country has been redistributed from the bottom to the very top.

The scrapping of huge sections of industry and the immense growth of social inequality are the hallmarks of the historic decline of American capitalism. At the heart of this decay is the separation of the process of personal enrichment of the ruling elite from the material process of production.

The United States has become the world leader not in manufacturing technology or industrial power, but in financial speculation and parasitism. As Floyd Norris, the economics columnist of the New York Times, put it on Friday, “During recent years, Lehman—along with many competitors—went on a borrowing binge to buy assets with as little money down as possible.”

By its very nature, the parasitism of American capitalism has generated corruption and criminality on an unprecedented scale. Wall Street CEOs have awarded themselves tens of millions and even billions in compensation, in an utterly irrational and socially destructive squandering of social resources for the benefit of private greed.

At the end of 2007, for example, the Lehman board awarded CEO Richard S. Fuld a compensation package worth more than $40 million. According to Reda Associates, he can expect to collect $63.3 million if he is terminated. In 2004, he paid $13.75 million for an ocean-front home in Jupiter Island, Florida, adding to his other properties, including a home in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Joe Gregory, a former president of Lehman, used to travel to work in a helicopter. He recently put his 9,500-square-foot ocean-front home in Bridgehampton, New York on the market for $32.5 million.

The Financial Times recently reported that compensation for major executives of the seven largest US banks totaled $95 billion over the past three years, even as the banks recorded $500 billion in losses.

The question of precisely who and what is to blame for the greatest economic disaster in more than three quarters of a century is something that will not and cannot be raised by any section of the political or media establishment.

Since the eruption of the current crisis, there have no been serious congressional hearings, no public investigations, no attempt to hold anyone accountable. Massive government interventions into the supposedly sacrosanct precincts of the “free market,” for the purpose of bailing out giant Wall Street firms, including the biggest government takeover of corporate entities in US history, have been carried out without any public debate or significant opposition from either political party. This, while millions of Americans are losing their homes and their jobs as a result of predatory corporate practices!

Certain conclusions must be drawn from the crisis of the American economic and political system. There is no solution within the framework of the profit system. What is needed is a socialist program that places the needs of the people before the profits and personal fortunes of the ruling elite.

The entire financial system must be taken out of private hands and nationalized in the form of a public utility under the democratic control of the working class, with provisions taken to safeguard the holdings of small depositors and share-holders. It must be subordinated to the social needs of the people and dedicated to developing and expanding the productive forces in order to eliminate poverty and unemployment and vastly improve the living standards and cultural level of the entire population.

Those who are responsible for the economic catastrophe must be called to account. Criminal investigations should be undertaken with appropriate sanctions for those who have plundered the social wealth. A full public accounting should be made of the hundreds of billions that have been diverted to private bank accounts through fraud and criminality. Such gains should be seized and used for the public good.

The only social force that can carry this out is the working class. It requires a clean break with the Democratic Party and the two-party system and the mobilization of the immense social power of the working class in its own party, on the basis of a revolutionary socialist program.

Bushes’ `New World Order’ Is Yielding to `Post-American’ Era

Bushes’ `New World Order’ Is Yielding

to `Post-American’ Era

By James G. Neuger

Sept. 15 (Bloomberg) — Barack Obama wants to take American foreign policy back to the 1990s. For John McCain, the model is the 1950s.

Democratic presidential candidate Obama wants the U.S. to use economic leadership to navigate an increasingly borderless world, as it did in the last decade, while Republican McCain sees military might as the path to continued prosperity, as happened under the cloud of the Cold War’s nuclear standoff.

Whichever man wins, he will inherit what Johns Hopkins University political scientist Francis Fukuyama calls a “post- American world,” replacing the U.S.-dominated “new world order” that President George H.W. Bush proclaimed after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

No longer the “hyperpower” of the 1990s, the U.S. is slipping toward a first-among-equals status, narrowing the foreign-policy options of whoever moves into the White House in January.

For 20 years, U.S. leaders “have assumed American dominance; they’ve assumed that they’re working in a unipolar world,” says Fukuyama, who gained fame in 1992 by declaring that the collapse of Soviet communism heralded the eventual triumph of liberal democracy in the “end of history.” Now, he says, “there’s been this big redistribution of power.”

Georgia and the Torch

Future historians may date the end of U.S. supremacy to Aug. 8, when President George W. Bush sat in Beijing’s Bird’s Nest stadium as two seminal events unfolded.

The first was the lighting of the Olympic torch, a testament to China’s ascendancy. The second — engineered a continent away by Vladimir Putin even as he sat near Bush that night — was Russia’s invasion of Georgia to repel an attack on a pro-Moscow breakaway region, an act of revenge against the decade of humiliation Russians endured following the Soviet breakup.

Both events caught the U.S. in a state of heightened vulnerability, stuck in an economic malaise as it struggles to subdue insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Bush told NBC Sports of having “very firm” words for Putin, the Russian prime minister, in what Australian leader Kevin Rudd told journalists was an “animated” exchange. Still, Bush maintained a schedule geared to the games rather than a world crisis, the next day visiting the gold-medal-bound U.S. women’s beach volleyball team as the Russian tanks rumbled through Georgia, a U.S. ally.

Depleted

Whoever succeeds Bush will be working with a depleted toolkit. While Obama and McCain have both vowed to step up the war in Afghanistan after inheriting Bush’s “aspirational” goal of pulling out of Iraq by 2011, the two-front war has stretched land forces to the limit.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is struggling to ward off recession, stricken by a housing slump that has crippled consumer spending and led 76 percent of respondents in last month’s Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll to say the country is on the “wrong track.”

The run-up of U.S. debt testifies to the shift of the global economic center of gravity. The $127 billion budget surplus Bush took over will melt into what is projected to be a record deficit of $482 billion in the year starting Oct. 1.

During the same span, China’s holdings of U.S. government securities mushroomed to $504 billion from $62 billion. China is now the second-biggest U.S. government creditor behind Japan, with $584 billion. After leapfrogging Britain to become the world’s No. 4 economy in 2005, China is generating the fastest growth of the world’s 20 biggest economies: 10.1 percent in the second quarter.

A Power to Reckon With

China is now “a major power to reckon with,” says Kenneth Lieberthal, a Clinton-era National Security Council official who teaches at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. “We can’t tell the Chinese how to govern themselves and what to do.”

China is instead allying itself with up-and-coming economies in the southern hemisphere. When the Group of Eight industrialized nations established climate-change targets at their July summit, the developing world’s Group of Five demurred.

At rival summits in Japan, the G-5 — China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa — rejected the G-8′s call for a halving of greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050, portraying it as a ploy to suppress poorer nations’ economic advancement.

Staunchest Protectionists

The same north-south split helped torpedo World Trade Organization talks, reflecting increasing worldwide antipathy to free trade. The staunchest protectionists are in the U.S., where only 15 percent deem growing trade ties “very good,” according to the Pew Global Attitudes Project, a 24-nation survey published in June.

With the Democratic Party likely to strengthen its control of Congress, anti-trade sentiment may swamp the internationalism that marked the years of U.S. ascendancy. During the presidential primaries, Illinois Senator Obama, 47, tacked to the left to court core Democratic constituencies such as organized labor. Like candidate Bill Clinton in 1992, Obama wants to add tougher environmental and labor standards to the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“If Obama is elected, I’m confident that in the first instance half of the anti-Americanism in the world would disappear,” says Kishore Mahbubani, dean of the National University of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. “The tragedy here unfortunately is that on the economic and trade front, Obama’s policy is quite frightening. If he carries out some of his protectionist rhetoric, we’re in deep trouble.”

Relative Decline

The U.S. has coped with relative decline before. As the last power left standing when World War II ended in 1945, the U.S. accounted for as much as half of global gross domestic product. It then built institutions — the United Nations, the multilateral trading system, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization — to spread prosperity and security.

But this time is different, says Fukuyama: “We fumbled our unilateral moment in many, many ways, most importantly the Iraq war.”

In the eyes of the U.S.’s major competitors, the invasion of Iraq legitimized a might-makes-right policy that sidesteps international law. It added to suspicions that Russia harbored after the U.S. led NATO in bombing Serbia, Moscow’s longstanding Balkans ally, in 1999.

`Empowered by Destiny’

For Russia, “there was no new world order,” says Vladimir Chizhov, Russia’s ambassador to the European Union in Brussels. “What we saw was a return to a philosophy of bloc confrontation, with one bloc missing and the other bloc assuming that it is empowered by destiny to do anything it wants.”

Now Russia, abetted by its energy exports, is striking back. Putin, 55, sought no United Nations diplomatic cover when his troops pounced on Georgia. The list of Russian grievances with the West also includes the expansion of NATO to Russia’s borders and the planned basing of a U.S. anti-missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic, two former Soviet satellites.

“In their eyes, this is payback time,” says Jack Matlock, U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union during the Reagan administration. “We have set some very bad precedents for Russia.”

From Washington to Brussels, the reaction to the battering of Georgia pointed up the West’s limitations. Bush sent Vice President Dick Cheney to Georgia and offered $1 billion in reconstruction aid. Obama sent his running mate, Delaware Senator Joe Biden, and Arizona Senator McCain, 72, sent his wife, Cindy. The European Union, dependent on Russia for 34 percent of its imported oil and 40 percent of imported gas, didn’t venture beyond verbal condemnations.

Bullying Tactics

Russia’s attack on Georgia followed bullying tactics against Poland, Estonia and Lithuania, and may presage moves to reassert influence over the biggest prize in its “near abroad”: Ukraine.

Obama is counting on multilateralism as the solution, saying in his Aug. 28 Democratic convention acceptance speech that “you can’t truly stand up for Georgia when you’ve strained our oldest alliances.”

Meanwhile, McCain — asserting foreign-policy credentials through his experience as a prisoner of war in Vietnam and backing for a “surge” of troops to secure Iraq — was declaring that “we are all Georgians.”

Neither McCain nor Obama “have the slightest idea of what to do about the Russians,” says George Friedman, chief executive of Stratfor, a geopolitical risk analysis company in Austin, Texas. “I know of no policy difference except rhetoric.”

The Crash of Western Capitalist Civilization?

The Crash of Western Capitalist Civilization?

By: Richard_C_Cook

“Train-wreck” doesn’t even begin to describe what is starting to happen to the U.S. today with the financial crisis, an onrushing depression, and the failure of George W. Bush’s war policy as he is faced down by Iran and the Russian bear.

But in an even broader sense, the West, as a civilization, after a century of world war and the utter failure of global finance capitalism, may have reached its limits.

Those with a vested interest in the status quo dismiss any suggestion that something is wrong. This includes Donald Luskin, author of an article in the Washington Post on Sunday, September 14, titled: “A Nation of Exaggerators: Quit Doling Out That Bad Economy Line.”

Luskin writes, “The relentless drumbeat of pessimism in the media and on the campaign trail” is “a virus.”

He continues: “Sure, there are trouble spots in the economy, as the government takeover of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and jitters about Wall Street firm Lehman Brothers, amply demonstrate. And unemployment figures are up a bit, too. None of this, however, is cause for depression — or exaggerated Depression comparisons.”

Continue reading, and you find out who Luskin is: a campaign adviser to John McCain.

We know that “where you stand depends on where you sit”—and who pays you for advice. So is a catastrophic meltdown coming?

If so, probably a majority of the people in the world are thinking: “Serves them right.” For the last 500 years, the West has been striding across the globe, armed to the teeth with firearms, warships, bombers, and—more recently—depleted uranium, enforcing the “white man’s burden” by enslaving nations and peoples and confiscating everything of value—ranging from art objects to gold to oil—that can be carried away.

The financiers behind it all have also used the diabolically clever practice of creating money “out of thin air” to put the natives everywhere into debt, and, when that has proven insufficient, of doing the same to their own populations.

All this is rationalized by various brands of racism, cultural superiority, social Darwinism, historical determinism, “dominion of the Elect,” “God’s chosen people,” etc. Or, simply, “might makes right.”

Some call it “The New World Order.”

So today, we Americans, denizens of the “land of the free and the home of the brave,” victors in two world wars, bearers of “democracy” to Afghanistan and Iraq, allies of the brave Israelis who hold high the banner of Judeo-Christian values among the ungrateful Palestinians—well, we Americans owe our own bankers almost $70 trillion at most recent count. With the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, we owe holders of bad housing loans, including the governments of China, Korea, and Japan, another few trillion.

The bluster of Kissinger, Brzezinski, the Kristols, the Christian fundamentalists, and their paid-off politicians and media millionaires notwithstanding, America—indeed, the entire West—has been found out, perhaps even checkmated on the world stage.

The Bush/Cheney wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have blackened America’s name forever. Iran has called our bluff. In Israel the gap between rich and poor is increasing as much as in the U.S. According to an article by Ian S. Lustick, the Palestinians have stood up to the Israelis to the point where more Jews are emigrating from that country than are moving in, and where those who remain are increasingly huddling around Tel Aviv as a safe haven. (Ian S. Lustick, “Abandoning the Iron Wall: ‘Israel and the Middle Eastern Muck’,” Middle East Policy , Vo. XV, No. 3, Fall 2008.)

In the 1990s, the European bankers used U.S. and NATO forces to dismember Yugoslavia so George Soros and the Rothschilds could gobble up Balkan resources. But that strategy is failing in the Caucasus, where the Russians fought back against the genocidal attack by Dick Cheney’s poodle, Mikheil Saakashvili, the New York-trained attorney the CIA got elected as the president of Georgia.

And now the people of Ukraine, the “Little Russians,” realizing what the West has in store for them, are rushing back into the Slavic fold and may be only a year or so away from reuniting with their “Great Russian” cousins across the border.

What is telling is to watch the Western financier press, chiefly the Washington Post and the New York Times , fume about Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin and his “authoritarian” manner. An example is the article by Times correspondent Ellen Barry on Putin’s September 11 press conference in Moscow. She wrote, “In three-and-a-half hours, in tones that were alternatively pugilistic and needy, Vladimir V. Putin tried to explain himself.”

I’m sorry, Ms. Barry. You and your editors may think your writing is cute, but Vladimir Putin is the foremost figure on the world stage today. He will remain so after George W. Bush leaves the White House disgraced.

Putin is heir to an epochal movement of patriots who began in the 1970s to take back Russia from within. It started with a base of operations within the KGB and the Orthodox Church, led to Gorbachev’s glasnost in the 1980s, and culminated in the Second Russian Revolution of 1991. At that point, the Western financiers gleefully rushed in to support an assault from the Russian “oligarchs” who were looting Russia of everything it owned.

The oligarchs were the shock troops of a financier assault that had already begun to overlap in the West with the Russian Mafia. Cheered on by the Washington Post and aided by academic advisors from places like Harvard, this international syndicate nearly destroyed Russia during the 1990s. But when Putin was appointed interim president by Boris Yelstin in 1999, and after winning the presidential election of 2000 in his own right, he began to fight back.

From the mid-1970s to today, thousands of Russian gangsters, along with many hard-line Bolsheviks/Stalinists, were allowed to emigrate. Many settled in the U.S. and are here today, and many more settled in Israel. In fact, one reason the price of condos in New York, Miami, Tel Aviv, and elsewhere has inflated so much reportedly is the flood of cash from racketeering.

The crooks have allied themselves with the Colombian drug cartels and have heavily infiltrated the world’s financial systems, even setting up their own banks for laundering money and speculating in the commodities markets.

Today, Putin is cleaning out the remaining gangster class. His efforts reached a milestone in January with the arrest in Moscow of Semion Mogilevich, called “the world’s most dangerous man.”

Putin has declared that the world will not be governed in a “unipolar” manner; i.e. by the U.S. military as the police force for the global financiers. This does not mean Russia has to be our enemy. In fact the world would be much better off, and much safer, if we joined with Russia as allies in keeping the peace.

But to do that our system would have to change, because finance capitalism is far too unstable to coexist with other nations as equals. It must either grow or die, because it always needs new victims to pay the interest on its usury practices and to finance its speculative balloons. As a last resort, it needs the kind of financial institution bailouts being engineered by Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson, where the only remaining stopgap is borrowing from public funds and adding to the national debt.

Once economic growth stops, as has now happened, and all the bubbles to restart it have blown up, as has also happened, the end really is nigh. Especially if the host—the U.S.—is bankrupt.

What is coming at us today isn’t just another downturn. If people like McCain adviser Donald Luskin doubt it, maybe, instead of writing campaign propaganda, they should ask the fired CEOs of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the stockholders of Lehman Brothers, whose shares have dropped ninety percent in less than a year, and the millions who are losing their homes.

Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain are calling for “change.” Well, if I were standing on a beach with a 100-foot tsunami roaring in my direction, I would call for change too. Except I would not be standing around arguing about the meaning of the words “lipstick on a pig.”

Germany: Stern.de exposes CIA link to ‘Islamic’ terror plot

Germany: Stern.de exposes CIA

link to ‘Islamic’ terror plot

MANNHEIM, Sep. 15 (911video.de) — According to information from sources within the German authorities, a German contact person for the CIA was involved in the planning of what would have been the largest Islamic terror attacks on German soil. He supposedly helped transport 20 detonators.

It was a hot day in August last year, when the 15-year old Alaeddine T. from Braunschweig met a tall, sporty man, who called himself Obeida, in a mosque in Istanbul. The boy later told officials of the Federal Criminal Investigation Office, that Obeida gave him a bag with jeans and a few shoes and told him to take the bag to Germany.

On August 26 Alaeddine gave the bag to T. at a mosque in Braunschweig.

A week later the young man, who received the bag was presented to the world by the international media: Fritz Gelowicz, 29 years old, a muslim convert from Ulm.

Together with its fellow believers Adem Yilmaz, 29, and Daniel Schneider, 22, he had supposedly planned attacks on American and Uzbek installations in Germany.

Hidden in the shoes from Turkey were 20 detonators. The person who had originally handed over the bag in Istanbul was apparently a CIA contact and came from the Pfalz region, as the STERN has learned from security circles.

Mevlüt K., a 29 year old Turk from Ludwigshafen, is known to German investigators since 1997 as “Obeida, the turk”.

He was a member of the radical Islamic group “Imam Einheit” and was allegedly providing false passports to the terror organisation “Al Tawhid” and collecting donations for the armed Jihad.

He was also suspected to have provided explosives for an attack in Saudi Arabia. In August 2002 Mevlüt K. was arrested at the airport of Ankara and was in detention (in Turkey) until November 2003.

He was probably enlisted during this time by the CIA and was planted inside the so called “Sauerland Trio” around Fritz Gelowicz.

Last week the Federal Prosecutor’s Office submitted its 259-page indictment against Gelowicz, Yilmaz and the others.

The investigators found out, that the “Sauerland Gruppe”, wanted to blow up army barracks, pubs or discotheques in large German cities.
In addition the young Muslims had purchased twelve barrels of hydrogen peroxide, which inside a mixture with flour, would have had an explosive yield of 410 kilograms TNT, according to computations of consultants from the Federal Bureau of Criminal Investigations.

The planned targets: army barracks or pubs. Together the group had got hold of 26 detonators. Six originated from Bulgaria and Serbia.
The 20 detonators, which were handed over in Istanbul, were of Czech origin. How they got to the contact man of the CIA, does not seem to be clarified yet. There are leads that the detonators came from Syria. There are also traces leading to Lebanon, possibly to a former Palestinian transition camp, which was bombed later.

Technicians of the Federal Criminal Investigation Office who examined some the detonators more closely wrote in their report, which is known to STERN: “Only two of the altogether 17 tested detonators were functional.” The others would not have ignited, since they had been too damp.

White Privilege, White Entitlement and the 2008 Election

Guest Contribution

A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION

By Tim Wise

For those who still can’t grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.

White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because “every family has challenges,” even as black and Latino families with similar “challenges” are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.

White privilege is when you can call yourself a “fuckin’ redneck,” like Bristol Palin’s boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you’ll “kick their fuckin’ ass,” and talk about how you like to “shoot shit” for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.

White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.

White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don’t all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you’re “untested.”

White privilege is being able to say that you support the words “under God” in the pledge of allegiance because “if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it’s good enough for me,” and not be immediately disqualified from holding office–since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and the “under God” part wasn’t added until the 1950s–while believing that reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because, ya know, the Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school requires it), is a dangerous and silly idea only supported by mushy liberals.

White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you. White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto was “Alaska first,” and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family, while if you’re black and your spouse merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of school, people immediately think she’s being disrespectful.

White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the work they do–like, among other things, fight for the right of women to vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child labor–and people think you’re being pithy and tough, but if you merely question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college–you’re somehow being mean, or even sexist.

White privilege is being able to convince white women who don’t even agree with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate anyway, because all of a sudden your presence on the ticket has inspired confidence in these same white women, and made them give your party a “second look.”

White privilege is being able to fire people who didn’t support your political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.

White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whose pastors say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticize George W. Bush are going to hell, and that the U.S. is an explicitly Christian nation and the job of Christians is to bring Christian theological principles into government, and who bring in speakers who say the conflict in the Middle East is God’s punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and everyone can still think you’re just a good church-going Christian, but if you’re black and friends with a black pastor who has noted (as have Colin Powell and the U.S. Department of Defense) that terrorist attacks are often the result of U.S. foreign policy and who talks about the history of racism and its effect on black people, you’re an extremist who probably hates America.

White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by a reporter, and then people get angry at the reporter for asking you such a “trick question,” while being black and merely refusing to give one-word answers to the queries of Bill O’Reilly means you’re dodging the question, or trying to seem overly intellectual and nuanced.

White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW has anything at all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and experiencing racism is, as Sarah Palin has referred to it, a “light” burden.

And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allow someone to become president when he has voted with George W. Bush 90 percent of the time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people are losing their homes, inflation is rising, and the U.S. is increasingly isolated from world opinion, just because white voters aren’t sure about that whole “change” thing. Ya know, it’s just too vague and ill-defined, unlike, say, four more years of the same, which is very concrete and certain.

White privilege is, in short, the problem.


The Army’s Totally Serious Mind-Control Project

The Army’s Totally Serious Mind-Control Project

By MARK THOMPSON / WASHINGTON Mon Sep 15, 1:15 PM ET

Soldiers barking orders at each other is so 20th Century. That’s why the U.S. Army has just awarded a $4 million contract to begin developing “thought helmets” that would harness silent brain waves for secure communication among troops. Ultimately, the Army hopes the project will “lead to direct mental control of military systems by thought alone.”

If this sounds insane, it would have been as recently as a few years ago. But improvements in computing power and a better understanding of how the brain works have scientists busy hunting for the distinctive neural fingerprints that flash through a brain when a person is talking to himself. The Army’s initial goal is to capture those brain waves with incredibly sophisticated software that then translates the waves into audible radio messages for other troops in the field. “It’d be radio without a microphone, ” says Dr. Elmar Schmeisser, the Army neuroscientist overseeing the program. “Because soldiers are already trained to talk in clean, clear and formulaic ways, it would be a very small step to have them think that way.”

B-movie buffs may recall that Clint Eastwood used similar “brain-computer interface” technology in 1982′s Firefox, named for the Soviet fighter plane whose weapons were controlled by the pilot’s thoughts. (Clint was sent to steal the plane, natch.) Yet it’s not as far-fetched as you might think: video gamers are eagerly awaiting a crude commercial version of brain wave technology – a $299 headset from San Francisco-based Emotiv Systems – in summer 2009.

The Army doesn’t move quite as fast as gamers though. The military’s vastly more sophisticated system may be a decade or two away from reality, let alone implementation. The five-year contract it awarded last month to a coalition of scientists from the University of California at Irvine, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Maryland, seeks to “decode the activity in brain networks” so that a soldier could radio commands to one or many comrades by thinking of the message he wanted to relay and who should get it. Initially, the recipients would most likely hear transmissions rendered by a robotic voice via earphones. But scientists eventually hope to deliver a version in which commands are rendered in the speaker’s voice and indicate the speaker’s distance and direction from the listener.

“Having a soldier gain the ability to communicate without any overt movement would be invaluable both in the battlefield as well as in combat casualty care,” the Army said in last year’s contract solicitation. “It would provide a revolutionary technology for silent communication and orientation that is inherently immune to external environmental sound and light.”

The key challenge will be to develop software able to pinpoint the speech-related brain waves picked up by the 128-sensor array that ultimately will be buried inside a helmet. Those sensors detect the minute electrical charges generated by nerve pathways in the brain when thinking occurs. The sensors will generate an electroencephalogram – a confusing pile of squiggles on a computer screen – that scientists will study to find those vital to communicating. “We think we can train a computer to understand those squiggles to the point that they can read off the commands that your brain is issuing to your mouth and lips,” Schmeisser says. Unfortunately, it’s not a matter of finding the single right squiggle. “There’s no golden neuron that’s talking,” he says.

Dr. Mike D’Zmura of UC-Irvine, the lead scientist on the project, says his task is akin to finding the right strands on a plate full of pasta. “You need to pick out the relevant pieces of spaghetti,” he says, “and sometimes they have to be torn apart and re-attached to others.” But with ever-increasing computing power the task can be done in real time, he says. Users also will have to be trained to think loudly. “How do we get a person to think something to themselves in a way that leaves a very strong signal in EEGs that we can read off against the background noise?” D’Zmura asks. Finally, because every person’s EEG is different, persons using “thought helmets” will have to be trained so that computers intercepting their unspoken commands recognize each user’s unique mental pattern.

Both scientists pre-emptively deny expected charges that they’re literally messing with soldiers’ minds. “A lot of people interpret wires coming out of the head as some sort of mind reading,” D’Zmura sighs. “But there’s no way you can get there from here,” Schmeisser insists. “Not only do you have to be willing, but since your brain is unique, you have to train the system to read your mind – so it’s impossible to do it against someone’s will and without their active and sustained cooperation.”

And don’t overlook potential civilian benefits. “How often have you been annoyed by people screaming into their cell phones?” Schmeisser asks. “What if instead of their Bluetooth earpiece it was a Bluetooth headpiece and their mouth is shut and there’s blessed silence all around you?” Sounds like one of those rare slices of the U.S. military budget even pacifists might support. View this article on Time.com

It’s just a little piece of history repeated


It’s just a little piece of history repeated

by Leon Fisher

If a student of history were to research the rise and fall of civilizations they would no doubt study Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire . After a promising start as a Republic the Romans would embrace militarism, slavery and dictatorship in which to maintain and expand

their empire. The Patricians, the wealthy Romans whose greed and thirst for power was unquenchable, were in constant conflict with the common man. Both groups’ interests were heard and debated in the Roman Senate, but eventually the wealthy prevailed, the farmers losing their land to the wealthy landowners and a system of slavery imposed in their stead.

Although the Roman Senate was still meeting during the days of the Empire it was largely a rubber stamp with no real authority. The Roman economy, top heavy with multitudes of slaves working only for the benefit of the wealthy, collapsed. The Roman military, decimated by continuous wars of conquest, occupation, and a series of destructive civil wars, became weak and ineffective, unable to prevent the incursion of the barbarian hordes.

The decline of the Roman Empire began, as any student of history can tell you, when the balance of power swung to the advantage of the wealthy Patricians, who undermined the common free man by establishing an economy based upon cheap labor, in this

Although America still retains a Senate, it is no less a rubber stamp than that of the Roman Senate under the Emperors.

All important decisions are made behind closed doors, without any input from the people or their alleged representatives.

Elections have become a fraud and any opposition to the status quo will put the average citizen into conflict with any one of the numerous anti-terrorist legislation now on the books.

case slavery. As the slave society increased in size the only alternative for the growing numbers of disenfranchised freemen, small landowners, farmers, laborers, unable to compete in the slave economy, was to enlist in the legions, and through further military conquests which they contributed to, ensured a steady supply of slaves and loot for the wealthy, a vicious cycle which perpetuated the slave state and the continued undermining of a free and prosperous society.

Altough a multitude of differences exist between ill-fated ancient Rome and today’s America and the World, there are also many similarities which cannot be ignored. The most glaring example has been the swing of power and wealth into the hands of the wealthy few at the cost of the majority, made possible by the capitulation of what used to be freely elected governments, whose Senates and Parliaments have abdicated their responsibility to the majority of its citizens in favor of the wealthy few. We also see the undermining of organized labor with a modern day economic system of quasi slavery, that of outsourcing labor to nations whose downtrodden workers are exploited, forced to work long hours in unclean, unsafe, and deplorable conditions for wages which remain at poverty level. And, as was practice in the Roman Empire, the importation of slave labor, in this case the mass emigration of millions of impoverished illegals into the United States, whose labor is exploited by the wealthy at a fraction of the cost to that of its legal citizens and to that of organized labor. All this creates a race to the bottom of the pay scale, with all workers, citizen and non citizen alike, becoming quasi-slaves to the wealthy capitalist class whose thirst for wealth and power is no different than their Patrician forebears in the Roman Empire.

Next, the use of American military power of today differs little from that of ancient Rome, which now as then is being used to secure through brute force the land and resources of their neighbors which we are seeing in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and most recently the abortive land grab of South Osettia in the oil rich Caspian Sea region by the US/Israeli client state, Georgia.

And we should take note that the great majority of American military personnel fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, like the landless Roman farmers, come mostly from the disenfranchised members of American society who have lost their economic base to outsourcing and illegal immigration. Also filling the ranks are illegal immigrants themselves whose hope it is to have US citizenship bestowed upon them, a practice comparable to the foreign auxiliaries, Gauls, Germans, Dacians, and Parthians serving with the Roman Legions. We also cannot mistake the building boom of new sports stadiums across the United States for what is doubtless becoming a modern version of the bread and circuses of ancient Rome, a tried and proven tactic to keep the minds of the people distracted from what really matters.

But perhaps the most threatening and sinister comparison to Imperial Rome is the imposition of a dictatorship. Although America still retains a Senate, it is no less a rubber stamp than that of the Roman Senate under the Emperors. All important decisions are made behind closed doors, without any input from the people or their alleged representatives. Elections have become a fraud and any opposition to the status quo will put the average citizen into conflict with any one of the numerous anti-terrorist legislation now on the books.

In addition to the above-mentioned similarities to the Roman Empire, the US is showing the same signs of failure, although at a much faster pace. Whereas it took Imperial Rome hundreds of years before its final collapse, it is occurring at a fraction of the time in modern day America and the World. The great banks and financial institutions which had become household names for a hundred years or more are failing at a rate reminiscent of the Great Depression. Glaring military failure and impotence in the face of third-rate opponents, hyper-inflation, personal bankruptcy, trade imbalance and government debt in the trillions of dollars, all highlighting the failure of a wealthy capitalist class, who like their predecessors in Roman times have once again sacrificed a healthy Republic for a failed empire.

The decider can become a dictator

The decider can become a dictator

By SANFORD LEVINSON

Taking note of Perez Musharraff’s resignation as president of Pakistan, the New York Times editorialized that “the presidency must also be stripped of the special dictatorial powers that Mr. Musharraff seized for himself, including the power to suspend civil liberties and rule by decree.” It is easy to agree, especially given some of Musharraf’s excesses — including firing judges he didn’t like.

One might substitute the Bush presidency. The most dramatic example is the basically unilateral decision by the president to suspend recognition of limits imposed by American and international law on methods of interrogation and detention of persons — including U.S. citizens — declared, often by sheer fiat, to be “the worst of the worst.”

George W. Bush’s description of himself as “the decider” reinforces the notion that we are electing what might be called a “constitutional dictator” empowered to make unilateral decisions on matters of peace and war, life and death.

A similar idea was suggested by Hillary Clinton’s disgraceful “3 a.m.” campaign ad, which fed the image of the president as our de facto dictator, ready and willing to make instant decisions about national security.

Bush administration lawyers have mined ambiguities in the Constitution for the proposition that the president’s power is basically unconfined whenever he is acting as commander in chief or otherwise trying to protect vital U.S. interests. Such views display contempt both for Congress and popular government.

When the redoubtable journalist Helen Thomas asked White House press secretary Dana Perino in March if the American people are entitled to any real input on presidential decision making regarding the conduct of the Iraqi war, Perino replied that “the American people have input every four years, and that’s the way our system is set up.”

This is a frightening theory of electoral democracy, for it limits popular opinion to once every four years — when the winner of the election may, because of the vagaries of the Electoral College, fall short of receiving majority approval. It is especially frightening with regard to second-term presidents who don’t even have the potential fear of facing the electorate given the constitutional bar against running for a third-term.

Apologists for the president build their arguments on actions going back to Thomas Jefferson, who believed he was acting unconstitutionally albeit wisely in fundamentally transforming the United States through the Louisiana Purchase, and other White House greats such as Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt.

The late political scientist Clinton Rossiter described Lincoln as a dictator during various phases of the 1861-65 Civil War that almost destroyed the Union. And it is clear that Roosevelt played fast and loose with legal limits in some of his pre-World War II collaboration with British intelligence (as revealed in William Stevenson’s book “The Man Called Intrepid”).

It is probably true there are occasions when we expect what Alexander Hamilton called “energy” in an executive forced to respond to exigencies where time is of the essence and widescale consultation or recourse to Congress is impossible. Outside of national security, one might think of recent threats to the international economic order, where decisions had to be made literally overnight (by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, it turns out, rather than by President Bush).

To the extent that one of the tasks of the modern president is to make decisions of great consequence, it is important that we have ways to discipline presidents who display bad judgment. Impeachment doesn’t come close to providing a proper remedy for an incompetent president inasmuch as it forces us to ask, “Is the president a criminal” — rather than the appropriate question: Is this someone we feel confident giving unilateral authority regarding peace and war, life and death?

It would be wonderful, however unlikely, if the candidates for president would speak to the powers of the modern office and the extent to which they are aspiring to become our constitutional dictator for the next four years.

It would be even better if the rest of us asked if we are being well served by a system that will assure a four-year tenancy in the White House for a president who engages in disastrous decision making. Anyone who believes the issues posed by presidential power will vanish with the exit of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney on Jan. 20, 2009, is sadly mistaken.

Shatter the Illusions- Patriots Must Reject the Two-Party System

Shatter the Illusions-

Patriots Must Reject the Two-Party System

By: Peter Chamberlin

The illusion is a shield, a curtain to hide the preparations being made off-stage from the spectators, to seal the fate of mankind. The stage hands know that one day the curtain will be lifted on their epic tragedy, revealing all that is now hidden. Our task is to expose the men behind the curtain before they can stage their final act.

It is time for Americans to grow-up and learn to think for themselves. All our lives we have had it so easy, with the ever-growing “nanny state” keeping us safe from the big bad world, making our decisions for us. This is the year of change. Nothing will ever be the same after this next election.

This is not saying that either of these two candidates will make a difference on anything important, it is simply a hard fact that “the powers that be” have decided that November 4, 2008 is to be a pivotal day in human history. After that day, the tyrants’ hands will be loosed from all restraining considerations, no political force will be able to deter the internationalists’ conspiracy from completing the global empire. The American people must be made to face this fact now, before the day of reckoning arrives.

With the passing of that fateful day, the “dogs of war” will truly be unleashed upon the innocent unprepared world. After the great game is decided, about whether our Nation shall be dominated by Republicans or “Republicans-lite” the real “shock and awe” will get underway. The outcome of this election will not change one thing, for Obama, like Clinton before him, is just another Republican “wannabe.” (Ask yourself: If Bush Sr. would have bombed more people than did Clinton, had he been elected?) Whoever wins in November, we will experience the national pain of a renewed draft, to feed our new war with another of Israel’s mortal enemies (probably all of Israel’s enemies at once).

Both candidates have more or less pledged to continue the failed military policies of Bush and Cheney and pretend that they are not lost causes. Neither of them will shut-down these old wars or the new military aggressions that the “nut jobs” plan to launch before inauguration day. Surely we will be at war with Iran by then, since both candidates and their vices have sworn allegiance at the feet of Israel. The Israel/Neocon alliance surely maintains control, as they openly push us towards nuclear war against Iran.

We are absolutely in a war escalation scenario with Pakistan right now, after Bush’s recent declaration of Pakistan as a third war theater (just like Iran and Afghanistan). One thing is for certain, the Pakistani Army has decided it is no longer Bush’s “bitch,” as evidenced by today’s four-hour firefight with American ground troops and the repelling of two US helicopter gun ships earlier in the day. Other news reports, that Pakistan’s Tehrik Taliban Pakistan (TTP) are CIA tools, and that these American allies are the target of Pakistan’s ongoing military campaign, tell us that America has a rather large fight on its hands if it escalates the war there. Both of America’s presidential candidates have pledged to export the Afghan war into Pakistan.

Neither party could survive without generating mountains of false hope. The voting minority has bought-in to the great false hopes championed by both political parties, an improved economy and an end to the war of terrorism, The candidates both promise to do the impossible, to repair the crumbling capitalist system and to “win” the war by escalating the force to irresistible levels, just like Nixon did in Cambodia. The greed of capitalism is consuming the system itself, and exponentially compounding human misery. The nature of the weapons in our arsenal and the level of force required to kill all those who resist our aggression guarantees that the war will not be “won” by any military means. The false hope that America’s tiny military force can conquer the entire world without destroying it, when it could not conquer either Iraq or Afghanistan, is only believable to the smallest of minds.

The “hope” offered by corporate-sponsored political parties is an illusion created within the people’s minds that somehow the same multinational corporations who have been busily raping this country of its vital industrial and economic resources for decades would, for some inexplicable reason, field candidates who are hostile to their degenerative corporate agenda.

The creation of a promissory illusion is the basis for all the brainwashing techniques employed in creating a scientific dictatorship in this country and over the entire planet. Once we believe the false promise, we set ourselves up to accept all the ensuing lies that support it. Getting people to believe in the lies that you offer them is the key to controlling them. If you can persuade them to go along with you, because you can allegedly see things that they cannot, like a better tomorrow than today, then they will docilely support the obvious evil that you do to bring them that better tomorrow.

The electoral farce is the epitome of this illusion-creating process. The psychologists and political scientists play on loyalties and human trust in their creation of political candidates who will fill party loyalists with false hope. The roots of the two-party system run through generations of families, workplaces and affiliations, binding unsuspecting sheeple with imaginary bonds of loyalty to lying politicians. Candidates with identical goals are portrayed as opposites, in order to catch naive unsuspecting souls from both sides of the fence in the same net. The illusion that either candidate will honestly represent the people, or work to save America or the world from the predatory forces that corrupt and bind us all, is a dangerous psychological poison that blinds the people to the truth, the only basis of real hope.

The sheeple embrace the illusion on a daily basis, making it effective auto-suggestion as they reinforce it repetitively within their own minds, like some hypnotic mantra. They eagerly embrace the corporate media messages, in hopes of someday pleasing their elitist masters enough to gain a seat at their right hand, earning a place alongside the corporate criminals who are gang-raping this planet. All believers in the constructed corporate fantasy world want, more than anything, to become part of that imaginary world.

There is no place for true morality in this illusory world, only a bastardized form of limited morality, that is designed to appease the miniscule aroused consciences of those who suffer twinges of their own humanity as they strangle the human race. The false hope that the massive catastrophic use of military force will tame this enraged planet is rationalized as a pseudo-morality, behind which the soldiers of the apocalypse can hide themselves from the enraged face of God. The illusion that mankind is like some great beast that can be tamed or “domesticated” by the judicious application of both punishment and rewards, thereby changing human nature itself, is the violent false hope that fuels the delusional dream-state.

One massive military setback or a series of smaller military setbacks will shatter this immoral worship of America’s awesome military machine and cause the disillusioned sheeple to awaken and to shake-off the binding illusion. It is our task to hasten that day of awakening by attacking the illusion, exposing the false hope, making room in their little cloistered minds so that the flooding light of true hope can shine through.

If we cannot reach the dreamers who live in the fantasy world constructed by the scientific dictatorship to comfort the disillusioned with delusional fantasies and escapism, then our only option is to shatter the world of fantasy. They hide the truth from the people. The cold truth that presently there is no hope is masked by false hope, offering more of the same disguised as something new.

“We are the change that we have been waiting for.” The way to bring this corrupt dictatorship down is simply by holding-up a mirror before them.

“I shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.”

peter.chamberlin@yahoo.com