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Sunday, January 31, 2010 on Fed bailouts: Conspiracy theorists warning of sinister banking cabal appear to be right, after all

Secret Banking Cabal Emerges From AIG Shadows
( -- by David Reilly --

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- The idea of secret banking cabals that control the country and global economy are a given among conspiracy theorists who stockpile ammo, bottled water and peanut butter. After this week’s congressional hearing into the bailout of American International Group Inc., you have to wonder if those folks are crazy after all.

Wednesday’s hearing described a secretive group deploying billions of dollars to favored banks, operating with little oversight by the public or elected officials.

We’re talking about the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, whose role as the most influential part of the federal-reserve system -- apart from the matter of AIG’s bailout -- deserves further congressional scrutiny.

The New York Fed is in the hot seat for its decision in November 2008 to buy out, for about $30 billion, insurance contracts AIG sold on toxic debt securities to banks, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Merrill Lynch & Co., Societe Generale and Deutsche Bank AG, among others. That decision, critics say, amounted to a back-door bailout for the banks, which received 100 cents on the dollar for contracts that would have been worth far less had AIG been allowed to fail.

That move came a few weeks after the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department propped up AIG in the wake of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s own mid-September bankruptcy filing.

Saving the System

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was head of the New York Fed at the time of the AIG moves. He maintained during Wednesday’s hearing that the New York bank had to buy the insurance contracts, known as credit default swaps, to keep AIG from failing, which would have threatened the financial system.

The hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform also focused on what many in Congress believe was the New York Fed’s subsequent attempt to cover up buyout details and who benefited.

By pursuing this line of inquiry, the hearing revealed some of the inner workings of the New York Fed and the outsized role it plays in banking. This insight is especially valuable given that the New York Fed is a quasi-governmental institution that isn’t subject to citizen intrusions such as freedom of information requests, unlike the Federal Reserve.

This impenetrability comes in handy since the bank is the preferred vehicle for many of the Fed’s bailout programs. It’s as though the New York Fed was a black-ops outfit for the nation’s central bank.

Geithner’s Bosses

The New York Fed is one of 12 Federal Reserve Banks that operate under the supervision of the Federal Reserve’s board of governors, chaired by Ben Bernanke. Member-bank presidents are appointed by nine-member boards, who themselves are appointed largely by other bankers.

As Representative Marcy Kaptur told Geithner at the hearing: “A lot of people think that the president of the New York Fed works for the U.S. government. But in fact you work for the private banks that elected you.”

And yet the New York Fed played an integral role in the government’s bailout of banks, often receiving surprisingly free rein to act as it saw fit...MORE...LINK

Chris Moore comments:

Well, it's nice to know that elements of the MSM don't think we're crazy anymore, and now realize that they're the ones who have been deluded all this time. It sure took them awhile to catch up to reality (but this is what happens to narrow-minded elites who live inside a self-reinforcing echo-chamber -- they lose touch with what's really going on outside of their insular bubble, because they've become smug and soft by they're pampered, entitled existence.)

The question is, what else have we been right about all along? Maybe in another five years, the MSM will acknowledge that truth, too -- that is, if it still exists. Institutions and individuals that are wrong all the time tend to perish, or disappear from relevance -- thankfully.

Now, if we could only get rid of our mainstream politicians before their stupidity and delusions take us right over the cliff...

Report: Out-of-control crime syndicate Goldman Sachs tanking the markets because it's getting push-back from Volcker, JP Morgan

JPMorgan vs. Goldman Sachs: Why the Market Was Down 7 Days in a Row
(The People's Voice) -- By Ellen Brown --

We are witnessing an epic battle between two banking giants, JPMorgan Chase (Paul Volcker) and Goldman Sachs (Rubin/Geithner). The bodies left strewn on the battleground could include your pension fund and 401K.

The late Libertarian economist Murray Rothbard wrote that U.S. politics since 1900, when William Jennings Bryan narrowly lost the presidency, has been a struggle between two competing banking giants, the Morgans and the Rockefellers. The parties would sometimes change hands, but the puppeteers pulling the strings were always one of these two big-money players. No popular third party candidate had a real chance at winning, because the bankers had the exclusive power to create the national money supply and therefore held the winning cards.

In 2000, the Rockefellers and the Morgans joined forces, when JPMorgan and Chase Manhattan merged to become JPMorgan Chase Co. Today the battling banking titans are JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, an investment bank that gained notoriety for its speculative practices in the 1920s. In 1928, it launched the Goldman Sachs Trading Corp., a closed-end fund similar to a Ponzi scheme. The fund failed in the stock market crash of 1929, marring the firm’s reputation for years afterwards. Former Treasury Secretaries Henry Paulson and Robert Rubin came from Goldman, and current Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner rose through the ranks of government as a Rubin protégé. One commentator called the U.S. Treasury “Goldman Sachs South.”

Goldman’s superpower status comes from something more than just access to the money spigots of the banking system. It actually has the ability to manipulate markets. Formerly just an investment bank, in 2008 Goldman magically transformed into a bank holding company. That gave it access to the Federal Reserve’s lending window; but at the same time it remained an investment bank, aggressively speculating in the markets. The upshot was that it can now borrow massive amounts of money at virtually 0% interest, and it can use this money not only to speculate for its own account but to bend markets to its will.

But Goldman Sachs has been caught in this blatant market manipulation so often that the JPMorgan faction of the banking empire has finally had enough. The voters too have evidently had enough, as demonstrated in the recent upset in Massachusetts that threw the late Senator Ted Kennedy’s Democratic seat to a Republican. That pivotal loss gave Paul Volcker, chairman of President Obama’s newly formed Economic Recovery Advisory Board, an opportunity to step up to the plate with some proposals for serious banking reform. Unlike the string of Treasury Secretaries who came to the government through the revolving door of Goldman Sachs, former Federal Reserve Chairman Volcker came up through Chase Manhattan Bank, where he was vice president before joining the Treasury. On January 27, market commentator Bob Chapman wrote in his weekly investment newsletter The International Forecaster:

“A split has occurred between the paper forces of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase. Mr. Volcker represents Morgan interests. Both sides are Illuminists, but the Morgan side is tired of Goldman’s greed and arrogance. . . . Not that JP Morgan Chase was blameless, they did their looting and damage to the system as well, but not in the high handed arrogant way the others did. The recall of Volcker is an attempt to reverse the damage as much as possible. That means the influence of Geithner, Summers, Rubin, et al will be put on the back shelf at least for now, as will be the Goldman influence. It will be slowly and subtly phased out. . . . Washington needs a new face on Wall Street, not that of a criminal syndicate.”

Goldman’s crimes, says Chapman, were that it “got caught stealing. First in naked shorts, then front-running the market, both of which they are still doing, as the SEC looks the other way, and then selling MBS-CDOs to their best clients and simultaneously shorting them.”

Volcker’s proposal would rein in these abuses, either by ending the risky “proprietary trading” (trading for their own accounts) engaged in by the too-big-to-fail banks, or by forcing them to downsize by selling off those portions of their businesses engaging in it. Until recently, President Obama has declined to support Volcker’s plan, but on January 21 he finally endorsed it.

The immediate reaction of the market was to drop – and drop, day after day. At least, that appeared to be the reaction of “the market.” Financial analyst Max Keiser suggests a more sinister possibility. Goldman, which has the power to manipulate markets with its high-speed program trades, may be engaging in a Mexican standoff. The veiled threat is, “Back off on the banking reforms, or stand by and watch us continue to crash your markets.” The same manipulations were evident in the bank bailout forced on Congress by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson in September 2008...MORE...LINK

Back before the Bushcons, neocons and Buckleyites, real conservatives reigned in the GOP

Mr. Antiwar Republican

The Political Principles of Robert A. Taft, Russell Kirk and James McClellan, Transaction, 243 pages
(The American Conservative) -- By Justin Raimondo

The reader of a conservative disposition who chances upon Russell Kirk’s 1967 The Political Principles of Robert A. Taft, now reissued by Transaction Publishers and in paperback for the first time, is bound to experience that odd tingling sensation we call déjà vu. Arguing that the New Deal had pretty much expired—having been proved a failure—before Taft had entered the national political scene and taken his place in the U.S. Senate, Kirk and his co-author James McClellan write, “And yet for the following thirteen years, Taft found it necessary to argue incessantly with leading members of his own party as to whether the Republicans should come to terms with the allegedly triumphant New Deal. Many Republicans continued in a political trauma, shocked by their defeats of 1932 and 1936, and could think only of making concessions to the new order.”

A giant leap into government control of the economy, a nation on the brink of the economic abyss, and a popular liberal Democratic president whose programs have a revolutionary air—we have been here before. Then, too, there were those on the Right who counseled retreat, accommodation, and defeatism —the David Frums of their time, who argued that labeling FDR’s panoply of government programs “socialism” was too extreme and who only served to marginalize the Republican opposition.

Taft, though not temperamentally a radical, made no bones about his opinion of the New Dealers. Many of them, he declared in a radio debate, “have no concern whatever for individual freedom. They are collectivists, like Marx and Lenin and Mussolini. They believe in planned economy; that the government should regulate every detail of industrial and commercial and agricultural life.” The New Deal represented a “policy which inevitably leads to bankruptcy and inflation of the currency” and “will not only make the poor people poorer, but it is likely to force a socialism which will utterly deprive them of individual freedom.”

Those were fighting words that very few in the cowed Republican opposition were willing to speak, although they may have believed them—or feared them—in their hearts. Taft rallied the GOP remnants and the beleaguered American Right under the banner of liberty and responsibility at a time when the headwinds of collectivism were blowing mightily from every direction. Around him he gathered a movement, which today is known as the Old Right—as distinguished from the “New” Right of William F. Buckley Jr. and National Review, which inherited from Taft and his confrères the mantle of opposition but did little to honor it. That movement is now virtually unknown or chiefly remembered by its enemies, who continue to smear it with the ignorant epithets coined by the New Dealers and their propaganda machine.

Conservatives without historical memory would seem to be a contradiction in terms, yet that is the situation in which we find ourselves some 70 years after Taft’s heyday. Conservatives seem to have forgotten their past, which is a pity because the history of their movement is rich with lessons for today, as illustrated by this modest little book...MORE...LINK

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Iraq war and the banality of evil among our ruling elites and intelligentsia

Remember the illegal destruction of Iraq?
( -- By Glenn Greenwald --

British political news has been consumed for the last several weeks by a formal inquiry into the illegality and deceit behind Tony Blair's decision to join the U.S. in invading Iraq. Today, Blair himself is publicly testifying before the investigative commission and is being grilled about numerous false claims he made in the run-up to the war, not only about Iraqi weapons programs (his taxi-cab-derived "45-minutes-to-launch!!" warning) and Saddam's ties to Al Qaeda, but also about secret commitments he made to join the U.S. at a time when he and Bush were still pretending that they were undecided and awaiting the outcome of the U.N. negotiations and the inspection process...

The invasion of Iraq was unquestionably one of the greatest crimes of the last several decades. Imagine what future historians will say about it -- a nakedly aggressive war launched under the falsest of pretenses, in brazen violation of every relevant precept of law, which destroyed an entire country, killed huge numbers of innocent people, and devastated the entire population. Have we even remotely treated it as what it is? We're willing to concede it was a "mistake" -- a good-natured and completely understandable lapse of judgment -- but only the shrill and unhinged among us call it a crime. As always, it's worth recalling that Robert Jackson, the lead prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, insisted in his Closing Argument against the Nazi war criminals that "the central crime in this pattern of crimes" was not genocide or mass deportation or concentration camps; rather, "the kingpin which holds them all together, is the plot for aggressive wars." History teaches that aggressive war is the greatest and most dangerous of all crimes -- as it enables even worse acts of inhumanity -- and illegal, aggressive war is precisely what we did in Iraq, to great devastation.

I'm periodically criticized for an "angry" tone in my writing, which I always find mystifying. I genuinely don't understand why anger should be avoided or even how it could be. What other reaction is possible when one looks around and sees the government leaders who committed these grave crimes completely unburdened by any accountability and treated as respectable dignitaries, or watches the Tom Friedmans, Jeffrey Goldbergs, Fred Hiatts and other unrepentent leading media propagandists who helped enable it still feted as Serious and honest experts, or beholds the current Cabinet and Senate filled with people who supported it, or observes the Michael O'Hanlons and Les Gelbs and other Foreign Policy Community luminaries who lent trans-partisan credence to it all continue to traipse around still pompously advocating for more wars that never touch their lives?

A few months ago, I did an MSNBC segment with Dan Senor, who is currently a Fox News contributor, author of a new book hailing the greatness of Israeli innovations, a recent addition to the Council on Foreign Relations, and husband of CNN anchor Campbell Brown. But back in 2003 and 2004, he was Chief Spokesman for the "Coalition Provisional Authority" in Iraq -- the U.S. occupying force in that country. Sitting in the green room with him before the segment, I was really disgusted by the paradox that one is supposed to treat him as just some random political adversary deserving of standard civility, respect and respectability -- in other words, a Decent Person is supposed to forget that he was an official who enabled and lied about some of the most monstrous acts of the last many years and is wholly unrepentent. And, of course, he was going on MSNBC that day to opine about our current foreign policy options: direct involvement in this horrific crime is no disqualifying factor; it's not even a black mark against someone's credibility and reputation...MORE...LINK

Friday, January 29, 2010

Hired hand for rotting empire, neoliberal Obama dissembles his way through another insincere State of the Union speech

The State of the Empire
Not so good
( -- by Justin Raimondo

Well, I see the President read and took to heart my suggestion, made Wednesday, that he minimize mentions of the two wars we are currently fighting: either that, or else we’re just on the same wave-length. There was very little foreign policy talk in this SOTU, and that was the usual disingenuous happy-talk.

The President claimed "all" of our troops are coming home from Iraq – this in spite of repeated statements by military commanders and other US officials that at least 50,000 will be staying indefinitely, and will furthermore be engaged in combat operations alongside the Iraqis.

Oh, but there was never any chance of a Republican yelling out "You lie!" – not this time. Although I had some hope that Dennis Kucinich might be up for it – but, alas, no….

The President’s brief Afghanistan spiel was but a rehash of his escalation speech, complete with a reiteration of his pledge to "begin" withdrawing by next summer – a promise universally derided as less than sincere.

Focusing on the economy, the President blamed his predecessor for "not paying for wars" – after having declared his vaunted spending "freeze" would exclude military appropriations. Given that our war-spending is now totaling $1 trillion and rising since 2001, this huge exception reduces all talk of a "freeze" to mere rhetorical posturing.

The President has no time for foreign policy: he’s too busy campaigning, in spite of his protest last night that he doesn’t want to engage in a "permanent campaign." That’s one reason why he’s ceded the foreign policy realm to his secretary of state. You’ll note Hillary wasn’t there last night: that’s because she was in London, cajoling our allies to help with the burden of occupying and policing Afghanistan and environs.

Barack Obama shows every sign he’ll share the fate of another US chief executive with an ambitious domestic agenda who was effectively undermined by foreign policy disasters: Lyndon Baines Johnson, a one-term president whose "Great Society" was fatally subverted by the Vietnam war.

The very lack of attention paid to foreign policy in the president’s peroration, at a time when we’re fighting two wars (and threatening a third), was itself a significant comment on the state of the American hegemon. In the Imperial metropolis, they’re too consumed with their own internal problems to care much about the far frontiers of the empire. This turning inward presages a radical contraction, similar in scope and origins to the one currently squeezing the life out of the US economy.

The American sphere of influence – the structure of which is comprised an "empire of bases," in Chalmers Johnson’s phrase – has reached the outer limits of its possible expansion. We now preside over a network of 737 known US bases that rings the globe, each a possible launching pad for the projection of American military power anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. The sustainability of this project, however, has always been challenged by anti-interventionists on the right as well as the left, and today we are seeing the direst of their predictions fulfilled on a daily basis.

Economically ruinous, culturally poisonous, socially disruptive, and subversive of the Constitution, the very idea of imperialism is antithetical to our traditions and alien [.pdf] to the American character. That is why our more recent wars of conquest (Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan) have been so wrenching, domestically, and the cause of such bitter controversy: they required the sort of self-violation that is usually restricted to mental patients who maim themselves habitually.

It wasn’t so long ago that the post-cold war triumphalism of certain neocons led them to proclaim "the end of history" and hail the advent of "the unipolar moment." How wrong they were! Today, of course, multi-polarity is everywhere apparent, and the would-be world policeman finds himself on the brink of bankruptcy. The American "hyperpower," which once aspired to global hegemony – "benevolent global hegemony," was the soaring phrase neocons William Kristol and Robert Kagan used – shows every indication of going into irreversible decline...MORE...LINK

Chris Moore comments:

It’s now so clear that the average American is getting nothing out of Empire but debt, taxes, growing domestic authoritarianism, and a political class too drunk on power to govern properly that I think it’s time to delve deeper into the economic motives behind this imperialism.

Is it pure economic Zionism/fascism? Mercantilism? Oil imperialism? War profiteerng?

I have come to believe that the modern American economy, now that the globalist, secular-materialist, “end of history” cult of mainstream Left and Right have off-shored our jobs and de-facto opened our borders in the name of "progress," is being propped up by the U.S. military going around sticking its guns in the world’s face. What else is preserving the dollar as the world’s reserve currency and the petro-doallar as the currency of oil, and thus preserving the ability of Washington to print and circulate its monopoly money by the ton?

The implications of this are monumental, because all of those dollars that are being printed to “save the world” and pay for the U.S. military to ring the globe and get everyone hooked on American foreign aid and the dollar, are actually, then, responsible for the homicide being committed in the name of this secular salvation.

In short, we’re killing ourselves and the foreign village to save both -- or rather, our inept elites are killing them and us to preserve their own power, bank accounts, grandiose visions, and delusions of manifest destiny and world hegemony.

Raimondo mentions "mental patients" in reference to the self violating travails our "representatives" are putting us through. Well, there is unquestionably something organically wrong with the way these people think, as if many of them might be functioning sociopaths. It's almost as if we're all being held hostage by maniacs -- yet we ourselves are insane enough to keep electing, alternately, neoliberals and neocons (who are both playing for the same team) to the highest national posts year after year.

Charlie Brown getting the football pulled out from under him by these cunning and wicked Lucys decade after decade is no longer cute. In fact, Charlie Brown is starting to look like a complete idiot, whose stupidity is costing America its very future, and the world an infinite number of innocent lives.

Dodgy neoliberal Tony Blair unrepentant in logically incoherent testimony before British Iraq war inquiry

Blair Defends Iraq War, Citing 9/11
Eyes Similar Upcoming War With Iran
( -- by Jason Ditz

Under cover of darkness, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair arrived at Britain’s Chilcot Inquiry on the Iraq War today, using a side entrance to avoid the mass of antiwar protesters out front. He then delivered what was expected by many to be the key testimony moment of the inquiry.

Incredibly, the former prime minister was totally unrepentant over the war, insisting that 9/11 had changed everything and speaking of the “threat” posed by Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction insisted “you could not take risks with this issue at all.”

So Blair took what was to him the non-risky route, helping the Bush Administration start a war that killed upwards of a million Iraqis and which, nearly seven years later, still sees over 100,000 international troops occupying the nation.

He conceded that Saddam never had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks, but repeatedly turned to them as proof that “religious fanatics” couldn’t be allowed to have WMDs. It was unclear how Saddam’s largest secular state fit in to this model, but he insisted that the “absolutely key issue was the WMD issue.” Of course, after seven years, no WMDs were ever found and most officials have conceded they never will be.

But Blair, ever the supporter of devastating wars “just in case,” appeared quite contented with his decision, to the revulsion of the parents of slain soldiers, who sat quietly watching as the crowds outside called for the former prime minister to face war crimes charges.

Not content with starting just one major war on false pretense, Blair ended his talk by declaring that Iraq’s neighbor Iran posed a similar threat for its also illusory WMDs, and urged the leaders of today to not “take any risks” with Iran either...LINK

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Value of "public servant" Geithner's wealth transfer from taxpayers to Goldman Sachs cronies revealed: $8 billion

Revealed: See Who Was Paid Off In The AIG Bailout
(Huffington Post) --

A key question at the heart of the controversial bailout of AIG is just how much money the government lost. The Federal Reserve and Treasury Department have worked to keep that number secret and to conceal who was on the winning end.

An unredacted document obtained by the Huffington Post list the damage in detail. Goldman Sachs alone, for instance, got $14 billion in government money for assets worth $6 billion at the time -- a de facto $8 billion subsidy, courtesy of taxpayers.

The list was produced as part of a congressional investigation led by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee into the federal bailout of AIG.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, then led by now-Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, purchased a slew of souring assets from the world's biggest banks for 100 cents on the dollar in November and December 2008. A scathing report by a government watchdog held Geithner responsible for the overpayments.

The New York Fed initially pressured AIG to keep the list hidden from investors, regulators and the public. When it was eventually filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the SEC allowed the Fed and AIG to keep the details secret. A heavily-redacted version was made public last March.

The document is part of 250,000 pages of internal documents on the AIG deliberations subpoenaed by the oversight committee. It lists the toxic mortgage bonds that banks insured through AIG.

Those insurance contracts, called credit default swaps, are what the New York Fed ultimately took off AIG's books, paying the banks 100 cents on the dollar for toxic mortgage bonds -- home mortgages that were bundled together and securitized. The banks could never have gotten anywhere near such a generous deal on the open market, so the move served essentially as a direct subsidy to those banks from taxpayers...MORE...LINK

Chris Moore comments:

The Left will say this is a problem with capitalism, but what is going on in Washington has nothing to do with free enterprise capitalism and actually more closely resembles old Soviet Communism.

Free enterprise capitalism is when people organize labor, products and/or services, and profit from the organization and market implementation of those tangible goods.

Despite its rhetoric as being implemented upon social and economic justice lines, in the old Soviet system, the government took all the resources of the society and all the goods and services produced by the society at the point of a gun and redistributed them to "the people" upon hierarchical lines, where elite politicians, Commissars, Party members, and their cronies got the lion's share of everything from food to housing to all the best jobs, and "the people" were left to fight over the crumbs.

This is exactly what's going on in America today under the auspices of "capitalism," as the case above demonstrates.

If you follow the link and read the whole story, you will see the following quote:
"The way the AIG bailout was engineered was to specifically benefit Goldman Sachs and its trading partners," said Janet Tavakoli, a Chicago-based derivatives expert and founder of Tavakoli Structured Finance. "Goldman's past and present officers used crony capitalism to put their own interests ahead of the public."
Here is Wikipedia's definition of "crony capitalism":
Crony capitalism is a pejorative term describing an allegedly capitalist economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between businesspeople and government officials. It may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal permits, government grants, special tax breaks, and so forth. Crony capitalism is believed to arise when political cronyism spills over into the business world; self-serving friendships and family ties between businessmen and the government influence the economy and society to the extent that it corrupts public-serving economic and political ideals.
But what's going on in the Fed/Goldman Sachs case (and the many other cases like it) is the federal government (via the Fed) is requisitioning the resources of society (taxpayer money and debt), and redistributing them to their cronies -- who did nothing whatsoever to "earn" them other than incurring heavy gambling losses, which the Fed is absurdly pointing to as the "rationale" for the wealth transfer.

It would be akin to a mayor who gets big campaign contributions from his gambling-addict brother when he's on a winning streak going to the city council and saying that this same brother, who just went bust, needs to subsidised by the city taxpayers because his losses are helping to keep the local casino in business, and that means jobs and services.

Yes, it's as simple and absurd as that.

But as Hitler and Stalin recognized, the bigger the lie, the more people will believe it. And our "representatives" involved in this massive swindle (which is really what communism was and is, too), have organized much of the government system around maintaining the grift and others like it, getting themselves elected with campaign contributions from the Wall Street fraudsters and other beneficiaries of the scam, or employed by them as ongoing "private" parties to the fraud when they leave office.

Today, the massive swindle is all finally starting to unravel, despite Washington's best efforts to sweep it all under the rug, and the AIG confidence game is only the tip of the iceberg.

Mainstream conventional wisdom ignores inconvenient fact that rising populist insurgency a consequence of futile foreign wars, too

The Populist Insurgency and Foreign Policy: Why Non-Interventionists are Marginalized?
(Huffington Post) -- By Leon T. Hadar

The Republican win in the special Senate election in Massachusetts has been compared to a powerful earthquake that could transform U.S. politics as we know it, pointing to a forceful populist uprising that reflects the rage of the economically distressed and politically frustrated American voters who are ready to storm the barricades and get rid of the crooked politicians on Capitol Hill and the Fat Cats in Wall Street.

According to the conventional wisdom, much of this populist fury has been fostered by the members and the groups that constitute the Tea Party movement -- who had backed Republican Scott Brown in the Senate race in Massachusetts -- and have created a political backlash against the growing government intervention in the American economy under President Obama and the Congressional Democrats, that has taken the form of the bailouts of the big banks and the auto companies, the costly fiscal and monetary policies (the economic stimulus program and the injection of liquidity into the financial system), and of course, the much derided health-care reform plan.

It is not surprising that Americans who according to opinion polls are feeling worried about unemployment, the value of their homes, and the availability of credit are being energized to take political action. What is intriguing, however, is that at a time when the U.S. military has been fighting two very expansive wars in the Broader Middle East (Afghanistan and Iraq -- and soon perhaps another one with Iran) while terrorism continues to be seen as a threat to American security, the populist insurgents seem to have been relatively silent when it comes to dead-end American foreign policy and the high costs in blood and treasure of the never-ending U.S. global interventionism. They have been castigating the political and economic elites -- as they should. But why do the foreign policy and military elites seem to be immune to the wrath of the new populists?

Interestingly enough, opinion polls indicate that most Americans are growing disenchanted with American global interventionism. Indeed, when Americans were asked in a recent survey of American attitudes conducted by the Pew Research Center and the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), whether the U.S. should "mind its own business internationally," 49 percent said they agreed with that sentiment. That was up sharply from 30 percent in 2002, and was the highest reading found since the Gallup Survey first asked the question in 1964. These results seem to be compatible with the findings in other opinion polls that reflect continuing public disillusionment with the Iraq War and a clear support for a gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops from both Mesopotamia and Afghanistan.

So in a way, it seems that as many Americans are unhappy with Wall Street's bailout and the health care reform bill as they are with the military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet while the domestic policy issues seemed to have been the focus of the debate during the Senate race in Massachusetts, America's wars have received much less attention. If anything, the Republican Brown ended-up attacking Obama's foreign policy from a more pro-interventionist perspective when he called for sending all the additional troops that General Stanley McChrystal had requested.

Similarly, some of the stars of the Tea Party movement like former Alaska Governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin and news show host Glenn Beck have accused President Obama of projecting weakness in dealing with the threat of terrorism and have appealed for more assertive U.S. policy vis-à-vis Iran, North Korea and Russia. At the same time, another political figure that has been much admired by many of the new populists is Dr. Ron Paul,Dr. Ron Paul (I served as one of his foreign policy advisors during the campaign), the Republican-libertarian Representative from Texas who has been a staunch opponent of the decision to invade Iraq and has called for U.S. military disengagement from the Middle East as well as from other parts of the world -- not to mention his long-time criticism of much the rising power of the National Security State...MORE...LINK

Obama a slick campaigner and convincing pubic speaker, but a lousy, duped leader

A Duped President’s Wasted Foreign-Policy Year
(Tribune Media Services) -- by William Pfaff

PARIS — Barack Obama’s first State of the Union address has passed with his administration’s record widely criticized by his own supporters as one of unexpected ineptitude and political incompetence, in astonishing contrast with the foresight, innovation, and ability displayed during his campaign for the presidency.

The fatal complacency of the Obama White House and Democratic Party leadership concerning last week’s Massachusetts senatorial election outcome, together with that upset’s probable consequences for health-insurance reform legislation, produced a drama in which the president has never seemed a player. He has seemed to have never himself known the reforms he actually wanted, leaving it to Congress and the lobbies to fight over whatever legislation they, undirected, might be able to produce.

In foreign relations, the president recently told Time magazine that he "overestimated our ability to persuade (Israelis and Palestinians to agree to ‘meaningful conversation’) when their politics ran contrary to that."

This astounding statement by a president of the United States, after nearly 40 years of futile U.S. efforts to convince Israelis and Palestinians to agree — from the time of Henry Kissinger’s "shuttle diplomacy" in the 1970s to the useless 2009 missions to Palestinians and Israelis by George Mitchell — alone disqualifies President Obama as a maker of American Middle Eastern policy.

When he took office, there can hardly have been any American holder of public office who did not understand that the United States had either to tell the Palestinians to give up the two-state solution (and prepare for emigration or apartheid), or to inform Benjamin Netanyahu that it was all over for the settlements, and that if he wished to continue to be Washington’s best friend he must sign, on the spot, that long-negotiated two-state draft agreement whose conditions everyone by now knows by heart.

President Obama’s failure has astonished the international public and left in despair those Americans who can scarcely believe that a whole year has been irresponsibly wasted. By now, there is little or no hope of recovering that promise of national and international reform that had pervaded Western society a year ago, thanks to Obama, persuading a Nobel Peace Prize committee, dizzied by Obama glamour, to award him their prize even as he escalated the most senseless yet of America’s unsuccessful wars in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America...

According to a common estimate, the United States now has 1.25 million service men and women on active duty, 700,000 civilians in service and supporting roles, and that it outsources guard and security duties, some combat, (and in the past, at least, some torturing of prisoners), to an unknown number of private and foreign mercenaries. The whole of this force is on 800 to 1,000 bases scattered about the world.

What, ultimately, is this for? Barack Obama would say that it is meant to assure the security of the United States. He has been duped.

The Americans who today are actually at risk from dangers that have a foreign origin are these hundreds of thousands of people stationed around the world, intervening in the political affairs of other societies.

They are fighting in support of one or another internal faction or group inside foreign countries of no actual importance to American interests. They are luckless participants in America’s grand but futile effort to defeat local insurrections and radical groups, nearly all of them inspired by America’s own interventionist policies...MORE...LINK

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

After selling out, betraying their blue collar and middle class base for years, Democrats as compromised and corrupted by corporatism as is GOP

Rule by the Rich
(Global Research) -- by Paul Craig Roberts--

The election of Republican Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate by Democratic voters in Massachusetts sends President Obama a message. Voters perceive that Obama’s administration has morphed into a Bush-Cheney government. Obama has reneged on every promise he made, from ending wars, to closing Gitmo, to providing health care for Americans, to curtailing the domestic police state, to putting the interests of dispossessed Americans ahead of the interests of the rich banksters who robbed Americans of their homes and pensions.

But what can Obama do other then spout more rhetoric?

The Democrats were destroyed as an independent party by jobs offshoring and so-called free trade agreements such as NAFTA. The effect of"globalism" has been to destroy the industrial and manufacturing unions, thus leaving the Democrats without a power base and source of funding.

Obama and the Democrats cannot be an opposition party, because Democrats are as dependent as Republicans on corporate interest groups for campaign funding.

The Democrats have to support war and the police state if they want funding from the military/security complex. They have to make the health care bill into a subsidy for private insurance if they want funding from the insurance companies. They have to abandon the American people for the rich banksters if they want funding from the financial lobby.

Now that the five Republicans on the Supreme Court have overturned decades of U.S. law and given corporations the ability to buy every American election, Democrats and Republicans can be nothing but pawns for a plutocracy.

Most Americans are hard pressed, but the corporations have only begun to milk them.

Wars are too profitable for the armaments industry to ever end. High unemployment is now a permanent state in the U.S., thus coercing job seekers into military service.

The security industry profits from the police state and regards civil liberties as a hindrance to profits. By announcing that he intends to continue the Bush policy of indefinite detention, a violation of the Constitution and U.S. legal procedures, Obama has granted the Democratic Party’s consent to the Republicans’ destruction of habeas corpus, the main bastion of individual liberty.

Jobs offshoring is too profitable for U.S. corporations for Obama to be able to save American jobs and restart the broken economy.

Americans are being squeezed out of health care not only by the loss of job benefits, but also by corporate takeover of medical practice from physicians. Today medical doctors are wage slaves of corporate health providers that leverage doctors by turning them into supervisors of physician assistants, lower-paid people without medical degrees who perform the services that doctors once provided. As neither doctor nor physician assistant has any independence, there is no one to represent the patient’s care against the profits of the corporation.

Even environmental concerns are being used to create "cap and trade" rights to buy and sell the ability to pollute. Wall Street is licking its lips over a new source of leveraged derivative instruments.

The American public cannot even get reliable information about their plight as the "MainStream Media" has been concentrated into a few corporate hands that do not permit independent reporting. The media is as dependent on corporate money as are politicians.

How can President Obama restart an economy that has been moved offshore? Millions of manufacturing jobs are gone, as are millions of jobs for college graduates, such as software engineering, Information Technology--indeed, any intellectual skill the product of which can be conveyed via the Internet. Even those intellectual skill jobs that do remain in the U.S. are filled increasingly by foreigners brought in on work visas.

The wipeout of blue collar and middle class job growth has stopped the growth of American incomes except, of course, those of the super rich. For a decade American consumers substituted increased personal indebtedness for income growth. In order to maintain and to increase their consumption, Americans consumed their assets, such as their home equity. Americans reached their maximum debt load just as the real estate bubble burst and just as the banksters highly-leveraged, toxic financial instruments brought down the stock market and the values of Americans’ pensions.

The enormous damage done to the U.S. economy by jobs offshoring, work visas, and financial deregulation cannot be offset by government stimulus plans, which expand the debt burdens that are crushing Americans. The federal government’s massive budget deficits and the Federal Reserve’s easy monetary policy are setting the stage for an inflationary depression to follow a deflationary depression...MORE...LINK

Corrupted GOP Establishment threatened by Ron & Rand Paul

GOP Establishment threatened by Ron & Rand Paul
(LA Nonpartisan Examiner) -- By Robert Stark

Congressman Ron Paul has become the unofficial spokesman of a growing liberty movement. However many in the GOP establishment view the movement as a threat to their power. Ron Paul was reelected last election by an overwhelming margin but the establishment Republicans are looking to up seat him in the next election. Ron Paul says he has "drawn 317 cosponsors and passed through the House Financial Services Committee a bill to audit the Federal Reserve., and has "led the fight against bailouts, Obamacare and Cap and Trade". He says "the national attention our efforts have generated, we have broadened the debate on foreign policy and are challenging the status quo idea that America must be the World’s policeman."

Seven candidates have filed to run against him for congress, including three Republicans who he will face in the primary on March 2. He says "they will stop at nothing to tear down and destroy all we have worked for." They have resorted to making nasty personal attacks. Paul says "these quotes come directly from his opponents’ campaign literature and websites:

"Ron Paul wants to cut spending on our military industrial complex because he believes in a weaker foreign policy.”

“Ron Paul has become a complete nutcase conspiratorialist quasi-Anti-Semitic leftwing American-hating nutball.”

“Ron Paul is out of touch with this district and it is time for him to move on…Dr. No Must Go!”

Of Course these are all lies. Ron Paul believes in a strong military but opposed nation building and taking the founders advice of avoiding entangling alliances. He is very popular in his district and his last reelection proves that. However the GOP establishment will stop at nothing to discredit him because his movement threatens their power. Paul says "they will instead vote for big spending, eroding our Liberties and policing the world, while ignoring our crooked monetary system."

Ron Paul's son is running for US Senate in Kentucky, and is now the front runner against Trey Grayson who has the backing the GOP establishment and Wall Street. 23 Republican Senators held a $500 per plate fundraiser for Trey Grayson in Washington DC. Rand Paul declined to guarantee his vote for Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell as Republican leader who has campaigned for Grayson. McConnell was a major supporter of the Wall Street bailouts and has a poor record on Constitutional liberties and illegal immigration. Despite the face that Rand and Ron Paul's opponents have the party establishment's support they are leading by grass roots support...LINK

Weak leaders: Following the same limp trajectory as Bush, Obama starts brash but quickly rolls over for the Israel lobby to "take on" the Muslims

Obama Takes on the Muslim World
( -- by John Taylor

In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, George W. Bush recognized that Israel’s endless war on the Palestinians, a grossly unequal struggle waged with the military, financial, and diplomatic support of the United States, had put America at risk. For a brief moment, Bush spoke strongly of the need to establish a Palestinian state and bring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to a speedy and just conclusion. Bush even demanded an end to Israeli incursions into the West Bank and the targeted assassinations of Palestinian leaders.

In very little time, the president realized that acknowledging America’s own foreign policy in the Middle East had put America in the terrorist crosshairs was unlikely to be a vote-getter, particularly among the Republican Party’s Evangelical faithful, who view the establishment of the state of Israel as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. So the president, with the eager support of both parties and a tame corporate media, chose the explanation that foreigners willing to fly airplanes into buildings must hate America’s freedom and openness, our margaritas and miniskirts. This facile and entirely specious assertion was a much more palatable explanation for 9/11 than that American intervention, particularly U.S. support of corrupt Arab kings and potentates, a blank check for Israeli adventurism, and a murderous embargo on the Iraqi people, had provoked an intense hatred of the U.S. among a small but growing percentage of Muslims around the world.

Fast forward though the invasion of Iraq, justified by entirely bogus intelligence, through years of fighting in Afghanistan, bringing nothing but misery to the Afghan people, and through Israel’s brutal pounding of Lebanon and Gaza, to the election of a new American president determined to make a fresh start with the Muslim world. Barack Obama’s visit to Cairo in June of last year to deliver a much-ballyhooed speech seemed to break with the policies of the Bush administration, which had been perceived, especially in the Arab states, as blatantly anti-Arab and anti-Muslim. As part of Obama’s determination to change America’s profile among the world’s billion Muslims, he subsequently insisted that Israel end all settlement activity in Palestinian lands captured in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, a stance consistent with international law and favored by most of America’s allies.

As Bush learned in 2001, pressure on Israel, no matter how justified, takes courage and has political costs. The Democratic Party has long received a large proportion of its financial support from Israel’s friends in the United States, and Israel has many advocates in the Obama administration, the best example being the president’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, who served in the Israeli army. So President Obama quickly surrendered to Israel’s American constituency, dropped his insistence that settlement of Palestinian lands cease, and began to pressure the Palestinian Authority’s weakling President Mahmoud Abbas to resume negotiations without preconditions.

To put a seal on Obama’s humiliation at the hands of right-wing Israeli politicians Bibi Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman, the Obama administration sidelined the Goldstone Report detailing war crimes during the Gaza war (“willful killings and willful causing great suffering” to the civilian population and “collective punishment intentionally inflicted by the government of Israel on the people of the Gaza Strip”), signed a multi-year, $30 billion defense protocol with the Israelis, and rebuked U.S. Middle East negotiator George Mitchell for saying quite accurately that the U.S. had once withheld U.S. loan guarantees as a way showing displeasure at settlement activity.

At the same time, President Obama did nothing to alleviate the sufferings of 1.4 million desperate Palestinians under Israeli siege in Gaza...MORE...LINK

Chris Moore comments:

Clinton and Blair followed pretty much the same trajectory, too. Perhaps it's Baby Boomer syndrome: selfish, no principles other than self-preservation and comfort at any cost, shallow, compassionate on a superficial level that is more of a calculated pose out of personal vanity than a philosophy, highly materialistic to the point of completely selling out the country, its interests, and future generations of Americans for temporal luxuries; craven and cowardly -- bent on studiously averting their gaze as Israel rapes the Palestinians and America because noticing might effect their careers and personal bottom line...

I could go on and on, but America has been ill served by the Baby Boomer generation of leadership. It's almost as if it was custom engineered to roll over for the Zionists so America could be easily Judaized and thus sold out and co-opted by the Lobby for Jewish tribal interests.

Marx...Freud...Dr. Spock...Falwell...Spielberg...Hagee...what say you?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Buchanan: Populist uprising a product of rage and revulsion at the Washington and Wall Street elites

End Ben Bernanke
(The American Conservative) -- by Patrick J. Buchanan --

...A 78-seat Democratic margin is apparently insufficient to save a health care reform bill that is the highest priority of a Democratic president elected just a year go.

What argument is then left for Democratic control of Congress?

The shock wave from Brown’s victory also appears to have killed cap-and-trade and immigration reform. Democrats are in open flight.

For what Massachusetts revealed is that this Congress, where Democrats still hold 59 percent of the Senate and 59 percent of all House seats, is no longer representative of America, if ever it was.

We have a center-left Congress imposing a minority ideology on a center-right country.

Obama has gotten the message. Thursday, doing a passable imitation of William Jennings Bryan, he ripped the Wall Street banks and endorsed “the Volcker Rule” to force Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase to divest themselves of their hedge funds and stock-trading operations, or lose their protections as banks.

Panic is also evident in Harry Reid’s caucus, where the Brown victory put in sudden doubt Obama’s nomination of Ben Bernanke to a second term as chairman of the Federal Reserve. Sens. Russ Feingold and Barbara Boxer immediately bailed on Bernanke, as has Sen. McCain.

Liberals are asking why they should go to the wall to confer a second terms on a Fed chairman appointed by George W. Bush.

Reacting to the president’s attack on the Street and the sudden peril to Bernanke’s reappointment, the Dow went into a three-day dive that wiped out 5 percent of its value. Should Bernanke be rejected, it is said, the effect on Europe’s markets will be like that on Europe’s monarchs when news arrived that Louis XVI had gone to the guillotine.

“Chairman Bernanke helped the president … steer through some very turbulent times and rough waters,” said the White House Monday.

Fine. But was not Ben in the wheelhouse when we hit the iceberg? And never saw it. In his first two years, did he not preside over an easy money policy that fueled the housing boom that created the housing bubble, the popping of which brought on the crisis from which the good professor has helped to save the republic?

If a snoozing camper’s unattended fire sets Yellowstone ablaze, do we single him out for honor for alerting the Park rangers and leading a bucket brigade?

Paul Volcker, the Fed chairman who wrung inflation out of the economy to prepare the ground for the Reagan tax cuts, said of his harried successor, “Bernanke has been through a fire, and given the experience he has had, he’s a lot more … qualified than he was four years ago.” Were Bernanke to be rejected, Volcker added, “I don’t think that would be received well here or abroad.”

But if rejection of Bernanke would cause turmoil in U.S. and world markets, what does that say about the real stability of the system? And is it not time we stopped treating the Fed as a holy of holies?

In 1913, when the Fed was created with the duty of preserving the dollar, one 20-dollar bill could buy one 20-dollar gold piece. Fifty 20-dollar bills are needed today to buy one 20-dollar gold piece. Under the Fed’s custody, the U.S. dollar has lost 98 percent of its value.

Against the euro, in the George W. Bush decade, the dollar lost close to half its value.

The dollar is the storehouse of our wealth. Has the Fed faithfully safeguarded that storehouse? Was it not Thomas Jefferson who taught us, “In questions of power let us hear no more of trust in men, but bind them down from mischief with the chains of the Constitution”?

Every monetary crisis is a result of Fed action or inaction, for the Fed controls the money supply. As Milton Friedman wrote in the book that won him a Nobel, the Fed’s easy money fueled the market bubble that burst in 1929. In our time, the Fed fueled the dot-com bubble, the stock market bubble and the housing bubble. Bubbles appear when money is created faster than the supply of goods that money buys.

This populist uprising is a product of rage and revulsion at the Washington and Wall Street elites, the unindicted co-conspirators who created this crisis, neither of which has paid a price commensurate with what they did to the country.

Let this rebellion not end until all receive their just desserts, and we get real “change we can believe in.”...MORE...LINK

Chris Moore comments:

I think the "end game" that both parties in Washington have/had in mind for America is/was something similar to the economics of a combination of China (Communist-Capitalist economic and social nationalism) and Japan (economic and social nationalism, private industry fueled by massive government deficit spending). All of this requires massive citizen subservience to centralized state planning and strong collectivist instincts.

The problem is that America lacks history and instincts of the latter two -- which is what once made it great; and that it is now too racially disparate to ever unite under government engineered collectivism (particularly with the Left's multi-culturalism agenda actually discouraging assimilation and encouraging tribalism, in combination with right-wing greed encouraging open borders.)

Our current crises will only be solved with a return of the architecture and ethos constructed by the Founders -- strict limits on government, dilution of power, and truly free enterprise (not business monopoly and Wall street chicanery) rewarded, and individual initiative encouraged and rewarded, not punished.

Short of that, the crises will likely be "resolved" with the bankruptcy and break up of the U.S.

From centralized health care to the Fed wealth-transfer to bankers, Washington is run by and for plutocrat-socialist sociopaths for their own benefit

Anyone Against 'Audit The Fed' Is The Enemy
Are Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barney Frank, and Chris Dodd all as insane as they look?
( -- By J. Speer-Williams

In case you have not yet been alerted, the above gang of pretended public servants are either truly insane, or they are working for some source other than that from which they draw their constitutional power. But then again, the lawmakers in congress who heed Jefferson's Declaration of Independence, that insists that the US federal government rule "with the consent of the governed," are so few as to nullify the good and wise intentions of our founding fathers.

The Democratic leadership of Pelosi, Reid, Frank, Dodd, and many others remains steadfast in their support of some kind of draconian healthcare deformity, while recent polls show only 34 percent of those polled still support the latest version of Obamacare.

Requiring Americans and small businessmen the expensive cost of buying into health plans of the Monetary Cartel's insurance giants and into the ever sliding quality of US medicine, all under pain of huge fines and prison time, does not sit well with most informed Americans and could be the death knell for the American small business class and our middle-class as well.

What are tax-paying Americans to do? If we don't pay our taxes, we are hit with stiff penalties and maybe incarcerated to boot. If we miss a health insurance payment, same thing, a huge fine and jail time could be our fate. But, what about our mortgage payments, our car payments, and food for our children? All these pressures, while Pelosi and her fellow mobsters grossly destroy the value of our money, sending inflation soaring; which starts the big squeeze all over again, even if we are lucky enough to get a pay raise: Thanks to the "progressive income tax, we'll pay even more taxes, while the cost of living continues to skyrocket.

And the healthcare "reform" legislation Pelosi and her ilk are proposing could turn out to be the largest tax increase in American history, when even the least educated economist (who has not been bought off) would suggest cutting taxes across the board, especially for small businesses in order to save our dying middle-class. Obviously, Pelosi and her gang in congress want a two tiered class system: Them and us.

And where does most of our income tax money go? To the International Monetary/Banking Cartel, by way of their US subsidiary, the Federal Reserve System. The Fed has been so unspeakably illegitimate for the last century their criminally has become institutionalized, with the support of senators like Dodd, and representatives like Pelosi, and her gaggle of zombies in the house, who even refuse to have a financial audit of the Fed.

Think about the fact, we have US senators and representatives who oppose a financial audit of a front group for secret foreign oligarchs, most of our taxes go to, and who recently got a 700 billion dollar bonus from the American people. Pelosi, et al, don't even want to know how our $700 billion has been spent.

Who are these lawmakers working for? Us or them? Or a more critical question is, "Who do you work for, Mr. Obama?"...MORE...LINK

Chris Moore comments:

It's true that Washington's attempt to centralize health care by making it a federal legal requirement to purchase health insurance is a massive wealth transfer to large, private health insurance companies. But such a scheme empowers Big Government as well in that it will be Big Government that dictates the terms of those policies offered and how much or how little coverage they must provide, Big Government that transfers taxpayer subsidies to the health insurance companies to enable the program, and Big Government that consequently transfers massive amounts of taxpayer largesse to itself in order to build and maintain the massive bureaucracy that will oversee all of this. The entire program is a just another plutocrat-socialist scheme.

If Washington was really interested in addressing the problem of lack of health insurance coverage across America, it would work with the existing and functioning state programs across the country that have helped to fill in the gaps of the uninsured thus far. For example, Washington State has a functioning public/private program called Basic Health that, to be sure, is struggling financially, but that has functioned reasonably well to catch most of those who have fallen between the cracks. With federal subsidies, and some shoring up of the rules to prevent people from only buying into it when they are sick or injured, the program would function about as efficiently and inexpensively as is humanly possible, given the professed mandate of universal health coverage.

Those states that didn't already have existing programs could be granted federal seed money to start them, and incorporate all the best and success-enabling features of the existing state programs per federal guidelines written with state input from the people on the ground who have actually had to administer such programs.

This all could be accomplished by applying a little common sense. But addressing pressing problems like health insurance isn't what Washington D.C. really wants. Instead, it is exploiting the issue to centralize and concentrate power in itself, to grow the federal government, and to enrich its cronies. It's all about centralized power, control, and the grand project of socially-engineering the masses to come begging, hat in hand, docile and broken, to their masters (the Washington commissars and plutocrats), when they are in need. If that means destroying the economy, liberty and the free-will future of generations of Americans, so be it.

The whole ethos is positively sadistic and medieval.

The sequence of events involving the wealth and power transfer to Washington commissars and the plutocratic Wall Street bankers that has taken place over the last decades, finally resulting in the economic implosion of America, has been nearly the exact same process, premeditated and engineered in Washington, as well.

Don't be fooled. There isn't an iota of good will in any of these sociopathic, control freak cads in charge of plutocrat-socialist Big Government and Big Business. For them, as was the case for the Bolsheviks and Communists who destroyed Russia (underwritten by wealthy New York bankers) it's all about power, plunder, sadism and control.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Still opposed to vouchers? American public schools increasingly resemble survival-of-the-fittest prison yards

Racial bullying roils a Philadelphia high school
(The Associated Press) -- PATRICK WALTERS

PHILADELPHIA - The blocks surrounding South Philadelphia High School are a melting pot of pizzerias fronted by Italian flags, African hair-braiding salons and a growing number of Chinese, Vietnamese and Indonesian restaurants.

Inside is a cauldron of cultural discontent that erupted in violence last month , off-campus and lunchroom attacks on about 50 Asian students, injuring 30, primarily at the hands of blacks. The Asian students, who boycotted classes for more than a week afterward, say they've endured relentless bullying by black students while school officials turned a blind eye to their complaints.

"We have suffered a lot to get to America and we didn't come here to fight," Wei Chen, president of the Chinese American Student Association, told the school board in one of several hearings on the violence. "We just want a safe environment to learn and make more friends. That's my dream."

Philadelphia school officials suspended 10 students, increased police patrols and installed dozens of new security cameras to watch the halls, where 70 percent of the students are black and 18 percent Asian. The Vietnamese embassy complained to the U.S. State Department about the attacks and numerous groups are investigating, including the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.

The New York-based Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund joined the fray this week with a civil rights complaint to the U.S. Justice Department.

The Philadelphia school district acted with "deliberate indifference" toward the harassment and failed to prevent the Dec. 3 attacks, according to the complaint. It says Asian students' pleas for help and protection were ignored by school employees.

Asian students say black students routinely pelt them with food, beat, punch and kick them in school hallways and bathrooms, and hurl racial epithets like "Hey, Chinese!" and "Yo, Dragon Ball!"

Community advocates repeatedly told school and district administrators of that bullying, according to the legal defense fund's complaint, which was based on accounts and statements by unidentified students and teachers.

Black students say they all are unfairly being blamed for the actions of a few.

"They just want to look at everybody" for blame, said Ali Bailey, 15, a sophomore. "That's not cool."

Principal LaGreta Brown, the school's fourth principal in five years, was cited for a discriminatory attitude, particularly for referring to the advocacy groups' efforts as "the Asian agenda."...

Superintendent Arlene Ackerman and other school officials say the assaults followed an attack on a disabled black student by two Asian students the day before. But students say the violence goes back even further...

Ackerman apologized to the students but was criticized for bringing a busload of black "student ambassadors" to one hearing , students who were not involved in the strife. She also stirred tensions when she complained that the cultural crisis was "taking up a lot of my time."...MORE...LINK

The collapse of America: Enslaved by selfishness, complacency, apathy, dependency, debt

Happiness in Slavery
(Revolt of the Plebs) -- By Keith Johnson --

This week the Federal government will attempt to auction off 118 billion dollars in U.S. debt to anyone who thinks the U.S. dollar is a great place to be. Of course if you ask liars like Fed Chief Ben Bernanke or his young sidekick “tiny” Tim Geithner, they will most certainly assure you that the dollar is strong and that the U.S economy is on a miraculous rebound. But this is fiction...

Stewart Dougherty is a specialist in inferential analysis, the practice of identifying historic and contemporary patterns and then extrapolating their likely effects upon the future. In his recent piece, “America’s Impending Master Class Dictatorship”, Mr. Dougherty crunches some numbers for us and finds:

“According to the Federal Reserve’s most recent report on wealth, America’s private net worth was $53.4 trillion as of September, 2009. But at the same time, America’s debt and unfunded liabilities totaled at least $120,000,000,000,000.00 ($120 trillion), or 225% of the citizens’ net worth. Even if the government expropriated every dollar of private wealth in the nation, it would still have a deficit of $66,600,000,000,000.00 ($66.6 trillion), equal to $214,286.00 for every man, woman and child in America and roughly 500% of GDP. If the government does not directly seize the nation’s private wealth, then it will require $389,610 from each and every citizen to balance the country’s books.”...

Though the author of the following passage is unknown, it has been quoted as part of a speech given in 1943 by American Industrialist H.W. Prentis though much of what he said has been attributed to late 18th Century writer Andrew Fraser Tytler. Regardless of who or when it was said, it certainly seems prophetic now in relation to the situation we currently find ourselves in…

“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

· From bondage to spiritual faith;
· From spiritual faith to great courage;
· From courage to liberty;
· From liberty to abundance;
· From abundance to complacency;
· From complacency to apathy;
· From apathy to dependence;
· From dependence back into bondage.
And what of our destiny? Will we go the way of North Korea, a communist regime that controls it’s population through hunger and fear? One only needs to read accounts of daily life in it’s largest city, Pyongyang to conclude that this is precisely what our masters have in store for us. Imagine living in tiny living quarters within towering, drab apartment complexes that siphon intermittent supplies of water and electricity while reliably feeding government propaganda through living room speakers that can never be fully turned down. A place where no citizen is allowed to drive or even own a bicycle. A place where rations of food are so miniscual that hunger and starvation are commonplace.

And though I suspect that none of us will live long enough to be forced to live under such harsh conditions, is it acceptable to use that as an excuse to leave that fate to our children?...MORE...LINK

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Government wanted to keep wealth transfer from taxpayers to Wall Street banksters secret under auspices of "national security"

SEC mulled national security status for AIG details

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. securities regulators originally treated the New York Federal Reserve's bid to keep secret many of the details of the American International Group bailout like a request to protect matters of national security, according to emails obtained by Reuters.

The request to keep the details secret were made by the New York Federal Reserve -- a regulator that helped orchestrate the bailout -- and by the giant insurer itself, according to the emails.

The emails from early last year reveal that officials at the New York Fed were only comfortable with AIG submitting a critical bailout-related document to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission after getting assurances from the regulatory agency that "special security procedures" would be used to handle the document.

The SEC, according to an email sent by a New York Fed lawyer on January 13, 2009, agreed to limit the number of SEC employees who would review the document to just two and keep the document locked in a safe while the SEC considered AIG's confidentiality request.

The SEC had also agreed that if it determined the document should not be made public, it would be stored "in a special area where national security related files are kept," the lawyer wrote.

In another email, a New York Fed official said the SEC suggested in late December 2008, that AIG file the document under seal and then apply to the regulatory agency for so-called confidential treatment, if central bankers wanted to stop the information from becoming public.

The emails were included in the mountain of documents the New York Fed turned over last week to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which will hold a hearing Wednesday into the AIG bailout and the New York Fed's role in trying keep the specific terms of that Fed-engineered rescue in November 2008, from being made public.

More than a year later, the Fed's bailout of AIG remains controversial because it funneled nearly $70 billion to 16 big U.S. and European banks that had bought credit default swaps from AIG. Banks like Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Societe Generale and Deutsche Bank had bought those insurance-like derivatives to guard against defaults on hundreds of securities backed by subprime mortgages.


Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have labeled the AIG bailout, in which the New York Fed created a special entity to purchase those securities from the banks at essentially their face value, a "backdoor bailout" for the 16 financial institutions.

The new batch of emails, along with others that have become public in recent weeks, reveal that some at the New York Fed had gone to great lengths to keep the terms of the bailout private and the SEC may have played a role in contributing to some of the secrecy surrounding the AIG rescue package.

"The New York Fed was orchestrating what can only be characterized as an extreme effort to ensure that details of the counterparty deal stayed secret," Rep. Darrell Issa from California, the ranking Republican on the House Oversight Committee, said through a spokesman. "More and more it looks as if they would've kept the details of the deal secret indefinitely, it they could have."...MORE...LINK

Who's worse: greedy, scheming bankers, or greedy, scheming Big Government central planners -- especially when they're one in the same?

Now Fire Geithner and Summers
( -- By Richard C. Cook

The new restraints on bank lending for speculation proposed yesterday by President Barack Obama follow the advice of former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker but will be much more credible if the president now fires Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner and National Economic Council director Lawrence Summers.

What President Obama is calling the “Volcker Rule” would take us back in the direction of the 1932 Glass-Steagall Act which kept commercial and investment banking separate for 67 years, until 1999 when it was foolishly repealed by President Bill Clinton. Then-Treasury Secretary Summers strongly supported the repeal.

It was the demise of Glass-Steagall that allowed commercial banks to create the vast amounts of unbacked credit which fueled the gigantic financial bubbles in housing, commercial real estate, hedge funds, equities, and derivatives during the catastrophic years of the George W. Bush presidency. It was the blowing up of these bubbles that brought the financial crash of 2008-9, the multi-trillion dollar bailouts of the financial industry by the Treasury and Federal Reserve, and the worst recession since the Great Depression.

American financiers became filthy rich in the meantime. Timothy Geithner, as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 2003-2009, worked closely with Bush’s Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in overseeing the bailouts of Bear Stearns and AIG. He also favored reducing the capital required to operate a bank which would have exposed the financial system to even greater risk of failure.

Since becoming charter members of the Obama administration, both Geithner and Summers favored a much milder approach to bank reform. According to the Washington Post, industry executives were “startled and disheartened that Geithner was overruled” in favor of Volcker’s approach. Under Geithner’s watch, though, the banks have been using taxpayers’ money not to restart lending but to take over smaller banks, invest in the stock market, and continue to pay their executives obscene bonuses.

The poor bankers, now standing like deer in the headlights, are breaking our hearts. Their flight from the stock market, which began yesterday, caused an immediate drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average of over 200 points. It shows the stranglehold the banks have had on the nation’s wealth. But in reality, the proposed “Volcker Rule” should be only the first step in the nation’s recovery from the worst financial crime spree in history.

Think about it for a minute. Banks are allowed to create credit “out of thin air” only under a public charter. It is a fiduciary trust that should be regarded as sacrosanct. One way this trust has been abused has been for banks to use this created credit to buy companies whose employees are then fired and assets stripped before the company is sold at a profit to pay off the loans and the bankers’ brokerage fees. If this isn’t a crime against the national interest, what is?...MORE...LINK

Chris Moore comments:

Richard Cook writes: "Think about it for a minute. Banks are allowed to create credit “out of thin air” only under a public charter. It is a fiduciary trust that should be regarded as sacrosanct."

What Cook is referring to here is the concept of fractional reserve banking. From Wikipedia: "Fractional-reserve banking is the banking practice in which banks keep only a fraction of their deposits in reserve (as cash and other highly liquid assets) and lend out the remainder, while maintaining the simultaneous obligation to redeem all these deposits upon demand.[1][2] Fractional reserve banking necessarily occurs when banks lend out any fraction of the funds received from deposit accounts. This practice is universal in modern banking, and is to be contrasted with full-reserve banking which died out over two centuries ago. By its nature, the practice of fractional reserve banking expands money supply (cash and demand deposits) beyond what it would otherwise be. Because of the prevalence of fractional reserve banking, the broad money supply of most countries is a multiple larger than the amount of base money created by the country's central bank."

Fractional reserve banking is a similar concept to fiat money. From Wikipedia: The term fiat money is used to mean: any money declared by a government to be legal tender; state-issued money which is neither legally convertible to any other thing, nor fixed in value in terms of any objective standard...

While specie-backed representative money entails the legal requirement that the bank of issue redeem it in fixed weights of specie, fiat money's value is unrelated to any physical quantity. Even a coin containing valuable metal may be considered fiat currency if its face value is higher than its market value as metal...

By World War I most nations had a legalized government monopoly on bank notes and the legal tender status thereof. In theory, governments still promised to redeem notes in specie on demand. However, the costs of the war and the massive expansion afterward made governments suspend redemption in specie. Since there was no direct penalty for doing so, governments were not immediately responsible for the economic consequences of printing more money, which lead to hyperinflation – for example in Weimar Germany.

Attempts were made to reassert currency stability by anchoring it to wholesale gold bullion rather than making it payable in specie. This money combined pure fiat currency, in that the currency was limited to central bank notes and token coins that were current only by government fiat, with a form of convertibility, via gold bullion exchange, or via exchange into US dollars which were convertible into gold bullion, under the 1945 Bretton Woods system.

The Bretton Woods system pegged the value of the United States dollar to 1/35th of a troy ounce of gold. Other currencies were pegged to the U.S. dollar at fixed rates. The U.S. promised to redeem dollars in gold to other central banks. Trade imbalances were corrected by gold reserve exchanges or by loans from the International Monetary Fund. This system collapsed when the United States government ended the convertibility of the US dollar for gold in 1971, in what became known as the Nixon Shock...

The Austrian School of Economics has long held that no sound economy can long endure under fiat money, with prominent Austrian Economist Ludwig von Mises arguing in his book, Human Action, that, "What is needed for a sound expansion of production is additional capital goods, not money or fiduciary media. The credit boom is built on the sands of banknotes and deposits. It must collapse."

So the road to our contemporary economic collapse actually started with Big Government's creation of fiat currency in order to fight World War I, was aggravated when Nixon ended the convertibility of the US dollar to gold (which allowed the federal government to deficit spend and issue credit astronomically without having to purchase gold to back up it all up.)

So what has backed the U.S. currency since the Nixon era? Well, the full faith and credit of the United States government (which essentially means its ability to tax the American people to the hilt, if need be), and the U.S. Military.

So really, it was the scheming Big Government central planners who were the first to stop treating their responsibility to protect the economy as sacrosanct by ending the discipline of pegging dollars to metal, first through the creation of bank notes, and secondly through ending the redeemability of those bank notes for gold.

The greedy, scheming bankers with their irresponsible lending and bubble creation were merely following the lead originated by lazy, greedy and irresponsible Big Government central planners who didn't want to be restrained in their warmongering, their spending, and their government takeover of society by keeping the creation of credit and currency tied down by an accompanying purchase of gold to back it.

Friday, January 22, 2010

After years of racial demagougery and trickery from Leftists and Globalizationist Right, whites get tribal in their voting, too

Has Obama Lost White America?
(American Conservative) -- By Patrick J. Buchanan

...What explains the white surge to the GOP?

First, sinking white support for Obama, seen as ineffectual in ending the recession and stopping the loss of jobs.

Second, a growing perception that Obama is biased. When the president blurted that the Cambridge cops and Sgt. James Crowley “acted stupidly” in arresting black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates — a rush to judgment that proved wrong — his support sank in white America and especially in Massachusetts, where black Gov. Deval Patrick joined in piling on Crowley. Deval is now in trouble, too.

Then there was Obama’s appointment of Puerto Rican American Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Her militant support for race and ethnic preferences and her decision to deny Frank Ricci and the white firefighters of New Haven a hearing on their case that they were denied promotions they won in competitive exams because they were white caused 31 GOP senators to vote against her.

While Massachusetts is Democrat over Republican three to one, Reagan carried the state in 1984 and Hillary Clinton clobbered Obama in the 2008 primary, though the Kennedys were in Obama’s corner. The Scott Brown Democrats were the Hillary Democrats were the Reagan Democrats.

But if McDonnell, Christie and Brown could roll up large enough shares of the white vote to win in three major states McCain lost, why did McCain lose all three?

Answer: In 2008, the working and middle class had had a bellyful of the Bush-McCain Republicans. They were seen as pro-amnesty for illegal aliens and pro-NAFTA, when U.S. workers had watched 5 million manufacturing jobs disappear in a decade — and reappear in China. They were willing to give Obama a chance because Obama had persuaded them by November he was not just another big-spending utopian liberal.

So what have Obama and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi been doing for a year? Crafting a federal takeover of health care with a vast plan that provides coverage for the uninsured — most of whom are minorities — while sticking it to Medicare recipients, 80 percent to 90 percent of whom are white...

What the McDonnell, Christie and Brown victories teach is that the GOP should stop listening to the Wall Street Journal and start listening to these forgotten Americans.

An end to affirmative action and ethnic preferences, an end to bailouts of Wall Street bankers, a moratorium on immigration until unemployment falls to 6 percent, an industrial policy that creates jobs here and stops shipping them to China appear a winning hand in 2012...MORE...LINK

Chris Moore comments:

How long did the elitist left-wingers think they could win elections by encouraging tribalism via racial affirmative action, relentless accusations of racism against whites only, engineered multi-culturalism which encourages racial blocks instead of assimilation, and coddling racialist lobbies like the Jewish lobby and La Raza, and not see whites eventually respond in kind?

And how long did the money-worshipping, warmongering Corporatist-Globalizationist Right as epitomized by the Wall Street Journal and the multi-national banks and money powers think it could enrich itself through selling out the interests working class Americans by opening the borders to drive down the price of labor and set up NAFTA style trade agreements, by growing the economy by flooding the country with illegal aliens, by pandering to wealthy, racialist American Jews by sending working class Americans off to fight wars for Jewish-supremacist Israel, and by generally pursuing a money-worshipping Globalizationist agenda at the point of a military-industrial compex/war profiteering gun?

What we've seen in Washington is the merger of soft-Communism and soft-Fascism into a hardened Globalizationist agenda that features some of the worst characteristics of each being pursued by both the wealthy elite and the insular, delusionally-utopian, infantile left-wing intelligentsia.

When you add on top of their sinister, bipartisan betrayal the fact that they are printing money by the ton to pay for their agenda and pay off their cronies -- which necessarily leads to the fascist deployment of troops around the world to keep the dollar propped up -- what emerges is a portrait of a profoundly selfish, profoundly evil and epically incompetent "establishment" that is far too morally stunted, greedy and power-mad to be trusted with he reins of power ever again.

Soon, it won't just be whites that reject these insane Internationalist/Globalist elites, but all patriot Americans who refuse to sell their souls, and sell out their country for a few shekels, or reduce themselves to primitive and tribal racial blocks jockeying for government spoils.

This is what the Ron Paul revolution is all about, and the Left-Right "elites" can go to hell where they belong.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Book review: Jeff Gates' Guilt By Association offers a matrix for understanding the trans-party political-criminal syndicate plundering America

Jeff Gates’ Guilt by Association
(Occidental Observer) -- Reviewed by Edmund Connelly --

...Tracing this corruption to criminal syndicates from the 1920s, Guilt by Association reveals how those skilled at displacing facts with beliefs wield clout from the shadows. Both deception and self-deceit play critical roles in enabling this criminality to expand its reach on a global scale. Guilt by Association documents how by operating in the realms of politics, media, academia, think tanks and popular culture corruption came to dominate politics, as shown by presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama. Chronicling systemic corruption that predates these candidates by decades, the book explains how organized crime expanded worldwide while the U.S. discredited itself in the eyes of a global public astounded that Americans would tolerate such corruption to their own detriment. Featuring sophisticated analysis presented in layman’s language, Guilt by Association will transform political debate in the U.S. and beyond...

These are matters of war and peace, prosperity and poverty. Many of the same people responsible for the economic meltdown are either still there, or worse, being brought into the Obama team...MORE...LINK

Nation-Building Should Begin At Home

Nation-Building Should Begin At Home
( -- By Richard C. Cook

...The Republicans, with the victory of their candidate Scott Brown in the race for the late Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat in Massachusetts, are jubilant, even though they have absolutely nothing to offer as an alternative. How soon we forget that it was Republican policies, starting with Reaganomics and ending with the George W. Bush catastrophe, that has been the prelude to where we are today.

The prognosis for the U.S. economy is dim. From a larger perspective, we are at the end of the era of Keynesian economics, when the government thought all it had to do was run up more debt to stimulate the economy. When you add to that a generation of outsourcing of manufacturing jobs abroad, completely irresponsible and out-of-control behavior by the financial industry, and the cancerous growth of the military-intelligence-industrial complex and their pet wars, you have all the signs of an empire in precipitous decline.

For those who are habitually against everything the government does, I’d like to say that there are actually a few caring and intelligent people in authority these days who don’t want to see the total collapse of the U.S. as a nation, an economy, and a society. The U.S. remains the world’s largest consumer economy and the dollar the predominant currency. But the rest of the world has caught up. The Anglo-American Empire is seeing the sunset, and the choice now to be made is whether it will end peacefully or in a bang.

We can all hope for a peaceable conclusion, though it will take patience and hard work for the U.S. even to become a functioning economy on the same level as the rest of the world’s developed nations. So we can hope that the “soft landing” will work. But we still have a gigantic debt load to deal with, amounting to $60 trillion from all sources–business, government, and consumer.

We also have a gutted manufacturing sector, the huge overhead of a bloated financial industry (and their obscene bonuses), bankrupt governments at all levels, and way too many people with no real work to do like lawyers, health insurance executives, national security analysts, financial and educational bureaucrats, etc.

The short and simple answer is that we have to rebuild our economy, and our lives, from the bottom-up. We have to relearn how to do manual work like what we have mainly been asking immigrants to do for the last couple of decades. We should rebuild our local farming sector and get rid of bloated monstrosities like Monsanto. We should launch a major assault on the automobile culture and begin to revitalize cities and towns so that people can bike or walk to work or take public transportation.

It will not be easy to do these things. It may not even be possible. We have forgotten how to work because we have wanted our money to “work for us.” But that money, which only ever existed on paper, is gone. Our population is aging and not too healthy, making care of the sick and dying the only growth industry. And the young people who come out of our schools have few practical skills with which to earn a living. This must change too.

And what of investment capital? Loans are harder than ever to get. The small business sector, which could be an economic engine, is in dismal shape with lack of credit, high costs, and weakened markets for their products. Half of all new small businesses fail within one to two years of start-up.

Some say that a nation armed to the teeth and under this much pressure is likely to start a really big war out of frustration and not knowing what else to do. In other words, roll the dice. But World War II ended a long time ago. Since then, except for Vietnam, we have had our way bullying small nations. But that era has ended too. We won’t be able to do to China, Russia, and India what we did to Iraq and are trying to do to Afghanistan.

World War III would be a really bad choice. What we should do instead is take a positive attitude and sit down together and figure out ways to work our way out of this mess. But it will take a heap of humility, leadership, and willingness to face the pain of starting over again. But it could also be an adventure. After all, nation-building should begin at home...MORE...LINK

Chris Moore comments:

Richard Cook's piece got me thinking about some back-of-the-envelope solutions to Americans many problems. My two cents:

We need to control our borders so the insane money worshippers and Left-Right globalization advocates can't continue to drive down the price of labor with mass immigration; we need to dismantle the vast government bureaucracies and government unions sponging up so much of the economy and discouraging entrepreneurs, and dumbing down the population with the failing public school system; we need school vouchers redeemable at private schools, and to encourage the opening of more and more private schools; we need to encourage Christianity instead of allowing Hollywood, commercialism, and cultural Marxism to bludgeon it; we need to go into trust busting mode and dismantle many of the huge, soulless, monopolistic corporations and banks run by unpatriotic internationalists and corporatists in order to spur competition and stimulate innovation and entrepreneurialism; we need to dismantle the satanic military-industrial, war-profiteering complex which has encouraged the government's printing of monopoly money in the false and evil belief that it could coerce the world into playing by the U.S. economic rules and maintain the petro-dollar and the dollar as the world's reserve currency at the point of a gun indefinitely; the existence of the military-industrial, war-profiteering-complex has also encouraged arbitrary and unnecessary wars that have helped destroy our economy, our reputation, and our morality, and has encouraged the delusions of grandeur of our Washington politicians, many of whom are already megalomaniacs and sociopaths; we need to elect politicians who will enforce the Constitution, and cull the laws of the land down to the essentials, which they then enforce competently and tenaciously; we need to dismantle the K Street lobbying complex in general, and the Israel lobby in particular, which encourages many of the warmongering abuses mentioned above; we need to encourage Zionists to immigrate to Israel, which is where their primary loyalties lie anyway; we need to get Israel off of American welfare, and other countries around the world as well, with any ensuing vacuum being temporarily filled by American NGO's; we need to shape up the U.N., and turn it into a real peace-keeping force, with the world deciding collectively to which hot spots and emergencies it should be deployed, but only under strict and limited circumstances (the never-ending conflict and perpetual sore spot between Israel and environs, for example, comes to mind).

Again, all just my two cents.