Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Yesterday, in response to an essay arguing for impeachment, I got the following comment:
"If anything, the start of impeachment proceedings might force Bush to start the war against Iran early or cause him to bring about the false flag attack you mention. What better way to show the country how the Democrats engage in devisive partisan politics than to have them impeach him while the country is at war. Bush could also use the threat of impeachment as a pretext for declaring martial law and sweeping aside all opposition. It's better to just let Bush leave office quietly than to risk the horrors that he could unleash on us before then."What is he talking about?
Well, both Ralph Nader
and attorney, longtime activist and 24-year public defender Bob Fueur
say Congressman John Olver disclosed that Congress is terrified that -- if Bush or Cheney are impeached -- they might bomb Iran, declare martial law and suspend the 2008 elections.
Indeed, leading neocon Daniel Pipes said in a recent interview posted at National Review Online, that if Obama is elected in November, Bush will attack Iran in the remaining ten weeks of his term.
If what Olver or Pipes say is true, then Bush and Cheney are literally terrorists. And Congress is literally negotiating with them by saying - in essence - "please don't bomb Iran or declare martial law and suspend the elections, and we won't impeach you".
I thought we didn't negotiate with terrorists.
Impeaching, removing and convicting these guys is the safest approach. Covering up their crimes - which Congress is currently doing - is like telling a terrorist that we won't spill the beans on his last terrorist attack if he doesn't blow us up . . . an approach which will backfire and lead to more terrorism.
Disclosing their crimes, taking away their ability to carry out further mischief, taking away their base of power, and imprisoning them is the way to protect ourselves.
Monday, June 16, 2008
I am constantly amazed at how we can fail to see things which are right under our nose.
For example, former Congressman Dan Hamburg's excellent essay entitled "State of Emergency: The US in the Final Six Months of the George W. Bush Administration" got a lot of interest in the alternative press last Friday.
In that essay, Mr. Hamburg wrote:
We believe that this administration is so zealous, so determined to hold onto power, that they may well stage a “false flag” attack, creating just the kind of “catastrophic emergency” to which NSPD-51 refers.(NSPD-51 is a Continuity of Government document; if you don't know what a "false flag" is, read this).
So we the alternative media publish a story warning about a possible false flag attack so as to create a state of emergency which will allow the overt declaration of martial law.
But we ridicule any suggestion that 9/11 was itself a false flag attack, which allowed the passage of the Patriot Act and the "soft" form of fascism which already exists in America?
Do we know that Congressman Hamburg has long questioned the government's version of 9/11? Do we know that he is a member of the group Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice (and before that, Scholars for 9/11 Truth)?
Do we remember that other Congress people question the government's version of 9/11?
Do we notice that Congressman Kucinich's articles of impeachment against Bush and Cheney include facts proving that they allowed the attacks to occurred, and then covered up what happened?
Do we listen when thousands of high-level military officials, intelligence officers, former prosecutors, scientists, structural and mechanical engineers, architects and other credible people -- even the 9/11 Commissioners themselves -- question the government's version of 9/11?
Do we understand that this is not a partisan issue for the left or the right?
How can we, the publishers, editors and writers in the alternative media, acknowledge the danger of a false flag attack but not even see what is right under our nose . . . the multiple lines of evidence pointing to the conclusion that 9/11 was the biggest false flag attack of all time?
Most Americans know that Bush, Cheney and the boys have committed impeachable offenses.
But they assume it is "too late to impeach" them.
Are they right?
Well, in 1876, Secretary of War General William Belknap (who served in the administration of Pres. Ulysses Grant), accused of accepting a bribe, resigned just hours before the House was scheduled to consider articles of impeachment. The House went ahead and unanimously impeached him, and by a vote of 37-29 the Senate rejected the argument that Belknap’s resignation should abort the case.
Indeed, numerous constitutional experts have stated that Bush and Cheney can be impeached even after they are out of office (see this, for example).
If articles of impeachment can be introduced even after Bush and Cheney are out of office, it is obviously not too late to introduce them now, while they are still in office.
What Good Would It Do?
Many people respond, "I know we can do it, but what good would it do?"
Well, for one thing, it could prevent war against Iran or another Middle Eastern country.
And it might prevent a false flag attack.
But there is another important reason to impeach. Impeachment was designed to be a deterrent, not just a punishment. The Founding Fathers included impeachment provisions in the Constitution so that if a president tried to act like a king, Congress could nip the tyrannical impulse in the bud, and tell all future presidents "Don't try it . . . We'll stop you!"
Unless Bush, Cheney and the whole lot of them are impeached, Congress will be ignoring the wishes of the framers and instead be loudly saying to future administrations "Go ahead . . . Bush and Cheney got away with it, and so can you".
As Professor Kalt of Michigan State University College of Law writes:
Structurally, impeachment is designed not just to remove but to deter, and this effect would be severely undermined if it faded away near the end of a term.And see this discussion with Constitutional scholar Bruce Fein.
Many rank-and-file Democrats have bought Pelosi's line that impeachment would be a "distraction", and that we should just focus on getting Obama elected.
Even putting aside the fact that a new war or terror attack would help McCain, the issue of election fraud (could McCain steal the election?), or the possibility that Bush might suspend elections in case of a "national emergency", impeachment is arguably a good election strategy for Democrats.
In any event, even from a strictly selfish, partisan perspective, the Democrats must learn the lesson that failing to impeach Richard Nixon and hold him accountable enabled Bush and Cheney to do what they've done. Unless the Democrats want to face an even more tyrannical White House in the future, they have to stand up and hold these guys accountable NOW.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Part of being a father is making sure my kids have enough to eat, have a roof over their heads, are protected from harm in our neighborhood.
These are all fairly traditional notions of fatherhood.
But being a father means more than that . . .
Didn't See it Coming
Imagine that you're a father living in 13th century Mongolia. A farmer, you work hard, put plenty of food on the table, keep a waterproof roof over your kids' heads, and protect them from the local thugs.
Not if your village lay in the path of Genghis Khan 's invading army. Unless you get your family out of harm's way, or figure out a way to organize all of the villages together and train them up in warfare, your kids aren't going to have it very easy, and all of your fathering will be for nothing.
Okay, that was pretty obvious, right?
Let's talk about another hypothetical example. Let's say you're a father in Germany in 1930. A banker, you work hard, and give your kids the best of everything.
But you fail to see the gathering storm as Adolph Hitler consolidates more and more power, and even after fire is set to German's Reichstag building and the fascist Enabling Act passed, you still naively hope that things will turn out okay.
They don't, and unless you get your family out of Germany or figure out a way to successfully organize resistance against the Nazi regime, your family is going to suffer mightily.
Seeing the Big Picture
As the above examples show, being a good father doesn't just mean paying attention to things within your house or neighborhood. It also includes protecting your kids against enemies within the seat of power in your country as well as outside your borders.
So let's talk man-to-man. Be honest with yourself. Don't pretend that just because you go to your son's little league practices or whatever, you're a big family man.
If you really cared about your children, you would work to protect them from the real, big-picture threats. You would fight for a level economic playing field and a solvent economy, so that your kids can have a fair chance. You would fight to reveal the hidden history of false flags so that new, bigger ones aren't carried out. You would fight to restore the Constitution and the rule of law in our country, so that your children would live in a just and free society.
Do you really care about your kids? Well, the imperial warmakers in Washington, whose loyalty is not to the people of America, are the new invading hordes. We've had our own Reichstag fire, and the new Enabling Act has been passed.
Do we just sit passively by and obsess over trivialities, or do we fight to protect our families?
Will we be real men and true fathers? Or will we just accept the role that the new ruler from abroad or the new homegrown tyrant tells us we should play?
We are deciding our children's future with our choice.
This essay is dedicated to my father, a successful man, who put his backside on the line to help the oppressed, who was the most honest man I've ever met, and who treated even the least valued members of society with respect.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
The Supreme Court ruled today that suspected foreign terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay have rights under the Constitution to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts and to confront their accusers.
The Court also slammed Congress for passing the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which set up the show trial military tribunals now in progress.
The Court held that even in times of war, and even with suspected terrorists, the Constitution controls.
Scalia and the other pro-torture judges whined in dissent that the ruling would make "the war on terror" tougher for the U.S., totally ignoring the ideas of the Founding Fathers that the Constitution should apply in wartime as well as peacetime and ignoring the fact that the world's leading experts on torture say that torture produces inaccurate and useless information.
Given that the Constitution has been getting mugged for many years now, this is an important decision which might shift the momentum away from fascism and towards justice and the rule of law.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Why would Pelosi "take impeachment off the table" and threaten Conyers so he wouldn't initiate impeachment proceedings?
Well, Pelosi was secretly tipped off about warrantless spying on Americans and torture many, many years ago, and yet did nothing to stop those unlawful programs.
Moreover, Pelosi hid from the 9/11 Commission and the American people the fact that the interrogations of 9/11 suspects were videotaped, and that the alleged "confessions" of those held at Gitmo were wholly unreliable. She could have stopped the whole farce cold -- but chose to go along with it.
No wonder Pelosi wants to make sure that impeachment is off the table and no real investigations into White House crimes are launched. She is herself a criminal and co-conspirator, and is very interested in keeping the lid on the truth.
Moreover, Pelosi appears to be taking orders from a foreign nation, a nation which wants Bush, Cheney and the other boys who are launching wars against its enemies to stay in office.
See also this.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid, Chairman Conyers, and other leaders of the Democratic Party:
We, the American people, know that your motivation in taking the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney "off the table" is to ensure victory in the 2008 elections.
Further, we know that you hope that - by letting Bush and Cheney run amok between now and the swearing in of the new President - you hope to ensure that the Democrats win "for a generation".
But please note that your game of "political cycles" cannot work if there is not a functioning country to run.
You have been trapped in a Washington bubble, and have badly misjudged what is really happening. In fact, history will condemn you for destroying the United States of America.
Specifically, when the history books are written, they will blame you for allowing the following for occurring on your watch and with your complicity:
- Shredding of the Bill of Rights, and destruction of the freedoms which our forefathers fought and died for
- The launching of unnecessary, illegal wars based upon lies, which have bankrupted our country, created enemies around the world, and severely weakened the ability of our country to defend itself
- Elevating vote fraud to a fine art
- Condoning and then covering up false flag terror
But as Constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley told Keith Olbermann: America's founders "would have been astonished by the absolute passivity, if not the collusion, of the Democrats in protecting President Bush from impeachment".
Future generations will be astounded as well.
And we also know that you are largely serving a different master than the American people.
Rather than being clever strategists on behalf of the Democratic party, rest assured that you will be viewed by history as traitors of the first order, leaders of the Vichy Congress, and co-conspirators in the destruction of the United States.
The American People.
For those who do not yet understand that Bush and Cheney have committed impeachable offenses with regard to 9/11, I will provide information to back up the relevant portions of Dennis Kucinich's articles of impeachment against President Bush which deal with 9/11:
Article 2: Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of Aggression:
- Here is information justifying this basis for impeachment.
Article 33: Repeatedly ignored and failed to respond to high level intelligence warnings of planned terrorist attacks in U.S. prior to 9/11:
Article 34: Obstruction into the investigation of 9/11:
Article 35: Endangering the health of 9/11 first responders:
- The results from this search provide evidence for this article of impeachment.
Friday, June 6, 2008
A group called the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee claims that the U.S. government has defrauded the American people out of the nation's wealth. Specifically, the group claims that the U.S. has secretly sold, leased or otherwise frittered away half of its entire gold reserves to pay for past military adventures abroad and other ill-conceived actions. Furthermore, the group claims that the government has intentionally covered up this loss of gold reserves through accounting fraud.
Are they right?
Well, as described by Darryl Robert Schoon in his book "How to Survive the Crisis and Prosper in the Process":
Frank Veneroso is the author of the Gold Book Annual, probably the most comprehensive study and analysis of gold markets available today. One of the world’s foremost financial analysts, Veneroso’s clients have included the World Bank, the Organization of American States, sovereign nations and global money managers.See also this.
Frank Veneroso is also chief investment strategist for RCM Global Investors, the equity investment arm of Allianz Dresdner, the giant German insurance conglomerate which also owns the PIMCO bond funds, the bailiwick of Bill Gross.
It was in compiling the statistics on gold markets that Veneroso discovered that the Central Banks were hiding the vast majority of their gold loans from public view. Veneroso estimated that by the late 1990s, the highly lucrative and still hidden gold-carry trade amounted to 10,000 to 15,000 tonnes of gold.
The Central Banks pointed to their books which showed receipts showing large amounts of gold on deposit. What Veneroso suspected and found to be true, however, was that the gold wasn’t there. Ten to fifteen thousand tonnes of gold, an amount far larger than the Central Banks would admit, had been loaned to the investment banks in order to suppress the price of gold and now, in Veneroso’s opinion, were never coming back.
Veneroso noted that the amount of physical gold lent, 10,000-15,000 tonnes, is far too large for investment banks to repurchase without causing the price of gold to explosively rise, the very result the Central Banks had set out to prevent.
The success of the gold-carry trade had led to its failure. Now, at the cost of almost half of their gold reserves, the Central Banks are left only with promissory notes from investment banks instead of the tons of physical gold they had once possessed.
Whereas someone you know, perhaps even yourself, may in the very near future be forced out of their foreclosed home by bank order, rest assured that the investment banks will suffer no consequence for not repaying the gold they borrowed from Central Banks, gold that belonged to the nations that lent it, not its Central Bankers. In matters of finance, especially, the “even hand of justice” is reserved primarily for those that cannot afford it. It is estimated that in the past, Central Banks’ holdings of gold totaled 32,000 tonnes; and Veneroso’s figures show that perhaps 50 % of that is gone. This newly-discovered charade of Central Bank bookkeeping is as fraudulent as Enron’s; and as with Enron, the bookkeepers were complicit in the deception.
Are Veneroso and GATA right? I don't know.
But given that the wealth and stability of our nation is at stake, we should support their attempts to find out. The group has launched a campaign and filed a freedom of information act request to uncover the truth.
If you don't have any background in the history of gold, here is a very brief history:
- The world's leading currencies (or "reserve currencies") have traditionally been backed by gold, at least since the days that shells were the preferred trading standard
- At the end of World War II, it was agreed by the wealthiest nations through the Bretton Woods agreement that the U.S. would be the world's reserve currency, but that the U.S. dollar would be backed by physical gold (the "gold standard")
- Because of huge over-spending on foreign military adventures, the U.S. had a gold deficit and was on the verge of economic disaster, and so in 1971 Richard Nixon suspended the gold standard (i.e. he de-linked the dollar from its gold backing)
- GATA and others allege that the U.S. and other wealthy nations have since intentionally suppressed the price of gold so as to make their non-gold backed currencies seem more valuable, and to hide the true level of inflation effecting paper money
- Part of this suppression has allegedly included dumping gold from Fort Knox and foreign gold repositories onto the gold market whenever the price of gold has drifted upward too much for their liking
Thursday, June 5, 2008
- The Neoconservatives are exploiting, oppressing and manipulating the average white American like slaveowners used to exploit black people
- The imperialists are trying to silence average, patriotic, family-loving Americans like the slaveowners used to demand that the slaves spoke only when spoken to
- The tyrants are raping the American treasury, stealing our possessions (by wrecking the economy with high inflation, which drains our wealth), and stripping us of our liberty and our dignity, as the slaveowners did to the slaves
And to the extent that Obama follows through on his promises to restore our freedom and dignity, to restore the Constitution and the rule of law, and to liberate America from our wanna-be lords and masters, he's got my vote.
Disclaimer: I'm a white guy. So I can't speak to the black experience. And I understand there are huge racial tensions in America.
But what's more important: Your anger and hatred? Or protecting yourself from the anti-American tyrants?
If you are black, I didn't use the phrase "African-American" because this essay is aimed at White racists, so please cut me some slack.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
A couple of months ago, a financial analyst who sells derivatives told me that fears about a meltdown in the derivatives market were unfounded.
Yesterday, he told me - with a very worried look - "THE DERIVATIVES MARKET IS UNWINDING!"
What does this mean? What are derivatives and why should you care if the market is unwinding?
Well, it turns out that the reason that Bear Stearns was about to go belly-up before JP Morgan bought it is that it had held trillions of dollars in derivatives, which were about to go south. (The reason that JP Morgan was so eager to buy Bear Stearns is that it was on the other side of these derivative contracts -- if Bear Stearns had gone under, JP Morgan would have taken a huge hit. But the way the derivative agreements were drafted, a purchase by JP Morgan canceled the derivative contracts, so that JP Morgan didn't experience huge losses. That is probably why the Fed was so eager to broker - and fund - the shotgun marriage. JP Morgan is a much larger player, and if Bear's failure had caused the derivatives hit to JP Morgan, it probably would have rippled out to the whole financial system and potentially caused an instant depression).
In addition, the subprime prime loan crisis is intimately connected to the unwinding of the derivatives market. Specifically, loans were repackaged into derivatives called collateralized debt obligations (or "CDO's") and sold to both big and regional banks and investment companies worldwide. The CDO's were highly-leveraged -- many times the amount of the actual loans. When the subprime loan crisis hit, the high leverage magnified the fallout, and huge sums of CDO derivatives became essentially worthless.
Do you remember when wealthy Orange County, California, went bankrupt in 1994? Yup, that was because it had invested in bad derivatives.
And, according to a recent article by one of the world's top derivative insiders, the market for credit default swap ("CDS") derivatives is also unraveling.
And reported just today, Lehman Brothers is now on the edge, due to exposure to derivatives.
Derivatives are the Elephant in the Living Room
The subprime mortgage crisis is bad, and is hurting many people, and slowing the economy. High oil and food prices are bad, and are hurting many people, and bringing down the economy. But -- according to top insiders -- derivatives are the elephant in the room . . . the single largest threat to the U.S. and world economy.
One reason is that, according to Paul Volcker, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, the entire modern financial system is based upon derivatives, and the financial system today is entirely different from the traditional American or global financial system because derivatives - a relatively new concept - now underly the entire fabric of the financial system. In short, many of the people who know the most about derivatives say that the current system is a house of cards built upon derivatives.
Moreover, as mentioned above, the subprime and derivatives crises are closely linked. Similarly, Britian's New Statesman newspaper links derivatives and rising food and commodity prices:
"This latest food emergency has developed in an incredibly short space of time - essentially over the past 18 months. The reason for food "shortages" is speculation in commodity futures following the collapse of the financial derivatives markets. Desperate for quick returns, dealers are taking trillions of dollars out of equities and mortgage bonds and ploughing them into food and raw materials. It's called the "commodities super-cycle" on Wall Street, and it is likely to cause starvation on an epic scale.
The rocketing price of wheat, soybeans, sugar, coffee - you name it - is a direct result of debt defaults that have caused financial panic in the west and encouraged investors to seek "stores of value". These range from gold and oil at one end to corn, cocoa and cattle at the other; speculators are even placing bets on water prices."
Hiding the Ball
And yet banks and financial houses have hidden their derivatives exposure off the balance sheets. No wonder almost no one understands derivatives:
"Not only [world's richest man] Warren Buffett, but Bond King Bill Gross, our Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, the Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and the rest of America's leaders can't 'figure out'" the derivatives market.Indeed, the government may have actively helped to hide the the derivatives mess since at least 2006. For example, according to Business Week:
"President George W. Bush has bestowed on his intelligence czar, John Negroponte, broad authority, in the name of national security, to excuse publicly traded companies from their usual accounting and securities-disclosure obligations."Former fed chairman Alan Greenspan has been a huge booster for and defender of derivatives since 1999 or before (and see this). Did you know that the same guy that pushed subprime loans has also aggressively pushed derivatives for many years?
And the other regulatory agencies and Congress have taken a totally hands-off approach towards derivatives.
How Big a Problem?
How big is the derivatives market? Worldwide, it is $596 TRILLION dollars *. The derivatives market dwarfs the real market for goods and services, and acts likes an unregulated black market.
As one writer put it:
"It’s all smoke and mirrors. The financial system has decoupled from the productive elements of the economy and is now beginning to show disturbing signs of instability."And its not just the U.S. Derivatives salesmen have sold these babies all over the world. Because banks, financial institutions and governments world-wide have bought significant derivatives, the fall out will not be limited solely to the U.S. See this and this.
If the derivatives market is truly unwinding, as my investment advisor friend and some of the top industry insiders say, we could be in for a very bumpy ride.
For further information on derivatives, see these articles:
* This is the "notional value". The actual amount of potential losses from a meltdown in the derivatives market is smaller, although still very large.
In response to former White House press secretary's Scott McClellan's revelations, veteran news anchor Tom Brokaw said "all wars are based on propaganda".
Is he right?
Well, veteran reporter Bill Moyers criticized the corporate media for parroting the obviously false link between 9/11 and Iraq (and the false claims that Iraq possessed WMDs) which the administration made in the run up to the Iraq war, and concluded that the false information was not challenged because:
"the [mainstream] media had been cheerleaders for the White House from the beginning and were simply continuing to rally the public behind the President — no questions asked."Indeed, the government actually pays off reporters to spread disinformation. Indeed, an expert on propaganda testified under oath during trial that the CIA employs THOUSANDS of reporters and OWNS its own media organizations (the expert has an impressive background). And famed Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein says the CIA has already bought and paid for many successful journalists. See also this New York Times piece, this essay by the Independent, this speech by one of the premier writers on journalism, and this and this roundup.
Brokaw even hinted that WWII was based on propaganda. What is he talking about?
Well, the mainstream media also played footsie with the U.S. government right before Pearl Harbor. Specifically, a highly-praised historian has documented that the Army’s Chief of Staff informed the Washington bureau chiefs of the major newspapers and magazines of the impending Pearl Harbor attack BEFORE IT OCCURRED, and swore them to an oath of secrecy, which the media honored (page 361) . Also listen to this interview.
And an official summary of America's overthrow of the democratically-elected president of Iran in the 1950's states, "In cooperation with the Department of State, CIA had several articles planted in major American newspapers and magazines which, when reproduced in Iran, had the desired psychological effect in Iran and contributed to the war of nerves against Mossadeq." (page x)
In fact, the large media companies have drummed up support for all previous wars. For example, Hearst with the Spanish-American War. And the military-media alliance has continued without a break (as a highly-respected journalist says, "viewers may be taken aback to see the grotesque extent to which US presidents and American news media have jointly shouldered key propaganda chores for war launches during the last five decades.")
And the media support isn't just for war: it is also for conspiracies by the powerful. For example, a BBC documentary shows that
there was "a planned coup in the USA in 1933 by a group of right-wing American businessmen . . . . The coup was aimed at toppling President Franklin D Roosevelt with the help of half-a-million war veterans. The plotters, who were alleged to involve some of the most famous families in America, (owners of Heinz, Birds Eye, Goodtea, Maxwell Hse & George Bush’s Grandfather, Prescott) believed that their country should adopt the policies of Hitler and Mussolini to beat the great depression."Moreover, "the tycoons told General Butler the American people would accept the new government because they controlled all the newspapers." See also this book.
Have you ever heard of this conspiracy before? It was certainly a very large one. And if the conspirators controlled the newspapers then, how much worse is it today with media consolidation?
Dan Rather sums up the American media: "What you have is a miniature version of what you have in totalitarian states".