Monday, March 31, 2008

Strangelove’s Wet Dream

Strangelove’s Wet Dream - a nuclear free fire zone. By: Peter Chamberlin “You've felt it your entire life, that there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. You are a slave..., like everyone else you were born into bondage. Into a prison that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your mind.” – Morpheus. Never before have so few invested so much, for such long a time, to confuse so many people, about so many things. Never before have so many free people willingly betrayed their own country, their own religion, even their own family, in order to gamble for the opportunity to serve the interests of the powerful few, who are known to reward loyalty so extravagantly. This is typical behavior for a country that gambles enough to support its public school system with proceeds from lottery ticket sales. Our government, with the help of the psychos and sycophants who worship at its feet, has created a police state, which the people allow to masquerade as a democracy. The various wars against this or that problem in America, but more specifically, the “war on drugs,” have been used successfully by our overlords as an excuse to create a police state apparatus, and with it, new omnipresent agencies which made illegal searches and the invasion of privacy in America commonplace, long before the Patriot Act applied it to every facet of our lives. The American government, in bed with the magnates of big business (the dictionary definition of “fascism”), have been at war with the American people for a very long time. Fat cat Republicans, who regularly bankroll both parties, have long plotted to replace democracy with a fascist dictatorship. (SEE: THE PLOT TO SEIZE THE WHITE HOUSE) Corporations have invested billions in foundations to study the people, in order to make more efficient war upon their minds. America has the largest prison population in the world, not by accident, but by design. Many years ago it became apparent to the masters of our government that the American people would never submit to the involuntary slavery that awaited them. One day, when the people realized what was being done to them, circumstances would devolve into a military confrontation between Washington and the people. When that day comes, it would be better for government mercenary forces if most young men of fighting age were either overseas, or in jail. Like the revolutionary movie “Matrix,” every totalitarian state will eventually produce an underground resistance, which will find its own charismatic leaders, who can convince enough fellow slaves to rise-up into an irresistible critical mass. It will be the same way here in America, once Internet researchers finally manage to blow the lid off the 911 cover-up, or one of the other pressure cooker political cover-ups that are now being brought to a boil on the stove. When the people can finally get a clear glimpse of the totalitarian state rising around them, they will throw off all pretense of self-serving self-restraint. The nature of the overthrow will depend upon the length of time required to alert the masses to the dangerous truth. If the people can be aroused to perform their patriotic duty to restrain their government from destroying the world, before it crosses the nuclear threshold, then peaceful change is still possible. The lunatic-in-chief and his supporters in both the political parties are prepared to use nuclear weapons against vast civilian populations, if We the People are unwilling to stop them. This new phase in the war that is allegedly being fought in America’s defense will represent the final transmutation of that war into a totally new war, fought to prevent alleged nuclear weapons construction, by unleashing actual nuclear destruction. Strangelove’s “wet dream,” a nuclear free fire zone. The disaster unfolding in Washington is like nothing the earth has ever seen. The highest form of government ever produced by man is putting the final stages of planning on freedom’s demise, and yet the freest people in the history of the world believe that they are powerless to change anything, as they watch excitedly from the sidelines, screaming patriotic hymns to Clinton and McCain. The planners and their stooges ultimately believe in their own ability to carry forward the grand “success” stories of Iraq and Afghanistan into the rest of the Muslim world. The illusion that they can destroy select areas of the rest of the world without destroying us, helps to calm the delirious worry-free psyches of an immoral society, ready to kill the world to save their own sorry asses. The war on terrorism uses our beliefs against us. It has been exposed as a holy war between Christianity and Islam, at least that is evidently what the Jewish neocon authors of the war want it to be. It is only a matter of time before it becomes obvious to everyone that the war of the new world order is a war against all religion. Religious belief and basic human morality must be allowed to serve as the basis for the fight against this war, because it is a war on life itself. The inherent evil of the whole operation must become the rallying point for the people to oppose the war. It is nothing less than an egotistical human attempt to overthrow the moral basis of international law, replacing it with the inhumane law of parasitic capitalist Darwinism. Kill everyone who refuses to be made into a slave! Religious extremists are primary tools for manipulating religious populations into embracing false violent beliefs, in direct contradictions to the peaceful books they were taught from. In both politics and religion, it is the extremists who stand-out, commanding attention, if not respect. It is through the various targeted extremists that the false religious and political beliefs are introduced into the mainstream of ideas. It is within this flow of ideas that we must wade, to fight the false ideas of a war of civilizations and its counterpart a “holy war” between Christianity and Islam. It is time that extremists in the cause of religious truth and freedom took the fight to our corporate government. We do not have to bow before a form of Zionist-sanctioned political correctness, which leaves no room for truth in an entertainment/indoctrination bureau which masquerades as a free press. Our “free press” has allowed itself to become the greatest threat to freedom our nation has ever faced. It is impossible for a free people to defend itself against an administration of deadly lies when the truth is so easily buried. The American people must become their own press, in order to get around the main obstacle to freedom. The revolution must be a national rejection of a political system based on lies and cover-ups. Our national resistance movement must take the form of a fight for truth, and it must take place in the national arena. The truth we have learned from the rest of the world, through the alternative media, must become common knowledge. You would think that the way Americans love ironic, sarcastic humor, the majority would eagerly join us over here in the alternative media, to share our fascination with the hypocritical stage theater now being performed for our national amusement, which masquerades as politics and foreign policy. The national debate has been strangled because of the news blackout over American/Israeli relations and American duplication of Israeli tactics in the war. Criticism of Israel or its tactics which are used by American forces will not be found anywhere in the “legitimate” American press. This news “dead zone,” which is geographically centered on Israel, is certain to be where the planned conflict against Iran and everyone associated with Iran will break-out. We have to overcome this news blackout over the selected zone of conflict. The Zionist censorship of American debate relies upon the accusation of “anti-Semitism” as their primary weapon, to silence fair-minded Americans, who would normally refuse to remain silent in the face of such massive cold-blooded murder on this scale. This instantly has the effect of elevating whatever position they are defending from debate to an (so far) unassailable position beyond debate from the “racist” rabble, otherwise known as “anti-Zionists.” By openly making Israel’s war America’s war, the magical talisman of “anti-Semitism” insulates the Israeli roots of the war on Islam from criticism. Israel must be exposed as the progenitor of this war and the even bigger battle about to be let loose upon the innocent Muslims of the world. The real racists are the Zionists. It is impossible to fight the racist basis of the war, without exposing this cold hard fact. Ideas of Jewish superiority based on Biblical accounts of ancient Israel are embraced by “Christian” leaders, who ignore the obvious ethnic cleansing and state policies of today’s “Israel” that easily match the accepted international definition of “genocide.” The ongoing “Shoah” (holocaust) being inflicted upon the Palestians is ignored by the loyal press, while the most cynical Zionists seek to derail true debate by mislabeling feeble homemade rockets as genocidal weapons. Once again, the Zionists turn truth on its head, with its genocidal weapons claim, while denying that the truly horrific thermobaric, phosphorus and uranium-based weapons it has used in Gaza and Lebanon were used in contravention of international law. If the indigenous people of Palestine are not made to seem inferior, as somewhat less human than the citizens of the “Jewish state,” then it becomes much harder to rationalize a “Shoah” upon them, or to “broom them” from their land, like an infestation of vermin. The war against Islam is based on this false position of superiority over all the Muslim people, just as it has been in previous American wars against other non-white populations, who had land or lives available for the taking. The would-be tyrants of the world have always looked at the American genocide of Native Americans as the ultimate example to follow. For those of you still on the sidelines, who have never been baptized by the fires of vitriol and accusations of “anti-Semitism” that always come from criticizing our government for fighting catastrophic wars to enshrine Israel’s security above our own, I invite you to wade into the political waters and be baptized in organized hatred, for daring to speak-out. For I guarantee that the first comments you will hear for breaking the taboo and telling the truth will be very abusive in a special mad dog sort of way. The Jewish extremists (who call themselves Zionists) have manipulated Christians, (who also call themselves Zionists) into fighting a genocidal war against Muslims (whom the Zionists call Islamists), so that the Jewish extremists in Israel could safely, openly, remove all Muslims from “Greater Israel,” the land coveted by “the chosen people.” It is wrong to allow a new holocaust of one people to fulfill the territorial ambitions of the descendents of the survivors of the last holocaust.

Planned World Economy
Mankind at the Turning Point Part 3

by Brent Jessop

Global Research, March 31, 2008
Knowledge Driven

"The human race is getting to be too much for itself and too much for the world." - William Saroyan as quoted in Mankind at the Turning Point (1974)

The Club of Rome is a premiere think tank composed of approximately 100 members including leading scientists, philosophers, political advisors and many other characters who lurk in the shadows of power. This series of articles described the major conclusions of the 1974 book Mankind at the Turning Point: The Second Report to The Club of Rome [1]. Part 1 described their desire for the development of a totalitarian world system presented under the euphemism of an "organic society". Part 2 described the need to create a new value system to ensure the acceptance of the upcoming world government. This new value system will be based on a "world consciousness."

Mankind at the Turning Point used an absurd, exponentially based computer model of the world system in an attempt to hide their predetermined conclusions behind the vale of science. One of the main scenarios developed by the model was an analysis of the price of oil. This was an obvious choice due to the importance of oil to the world economy and the Middle East oil crisis which began the previous year (1973). The conclusion of this analysis was that an optimal price exists for oil. A price too high, would encourage development of alternatives and result in long-term losses to the exporting nations. A price too low, would encourage over use and resource depletion which would result in long-term losses of the importing nations who would not have sufficient time to develop alternatives. Therefore, there existed an "optimal" price for oil and that the only way to obtain this price was through cooperation. Naturally, an optimal price would exist for all commodities and the only way to obtain these prices was a planned world economy. After all, a planned economy was working so well in the Soviet Union, why not extend it to the rest of the world?

From Mankind at the Turning Point:

"The conclusion applies not just to oil, but to all of the finite resources - food, fertilizer, copper and so forth. The "most beneficial" price range and the proper rate of increase differ for each commodity, but the optimal level exists for all and should be determined and then on a global basis maintained by all participants in the world system - if recurrence of the world economic crises due to resource-constraints is to be prevented." [emphasis mine] - 100

"Indeed, nothing short of a complete integration of all strata, from individual values to ecology and mineral resources - and on a global scale - will suffice for the solution of the world food crises..." [emphasis mine] - 87

Redistribution of Industry

Not satisfied with the control of resource prices the report also stresses the need for a planned redistribution of industry throughout the world, especially to South Asia.

"Scenario five - the only way to avert unprecedented disaster in South Asia - requires the emergence of a new global economic order. Industrial diversification will have to be worldwide and carefully planned with special regard for regional specificity. The most effective use of labour and capital, and the availability of resources, will have to be assessed on a global, long-term basis. Such a system cannot be left to the mercy of narrow national interests, but must rely on long-range world economic arrangements... But the strain on the global food production capacity would be lessened if the eating habits in the affluent part of the world would change, becoming less wasteful." [emphasis mine] - 127

Global Resource Allocation System

A planned economy would entail a powerful central government with the authority to allocate resources to areas it decrees most deserving.

"Now is the time to draw up a master plan for organic sustainable growth and world development based on global allocation of all finite resources and a new global economic system. Ten or twenty years form today it will probably be too late..." [emphasis mine] - 69

"The solution of these crises can be developed only in a global context with full and explicit recognition of the emerging world system and on a long-term basis. This would necessitate, among other changes, a new world economic order and a global resources allocation system." [emphasis mine] - 143

The horrors of this proposed system should be obvious to anyone, but for those without any imagination I will provide a quote from The Impact of Science on Society [2] by Bertrand Russell who was also a proponent of world government. The quote below highlights one of the benefits - in Russell's view - of such a world allocation system.

"To deal with this problem [increasing population and decreasing food supplies] it will be necessary to find ways of preventing an increase in world population. If this is to be done otherwise than by wars, pestilence, and famines, it will demand a powerful international authority. This authority should deal out the world's food to the various nations in proportion to their population at the time of the establishment of the authority. If any nation subsequently increased its population it should not on that account receive any more food. The motive for not increasing population would therefore be very compelling. What method of preventing an increase might be preferred should be left to each state to decide." - 124


[1] Quotes from Mihajlo Mesarovic and Eduard Pestel, Mankind at the Turning Point: The Second Report to The Club of Rome (1974). ISBN 0-525-03945-7

[2] Quotes from Bertrand Russell, The Impact of Science on Society (1952). ISBN 0-415-10906-X

Brent Jessop is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Our Learned Helplessness
Thu, 27 Mar 2008 14:44 EDT

"[...] the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you [...]" Character V, from V for Vendetta

Yes, V is right. There is something terribly wrong with this country - and this could be referring to almost any country on the globe, since Pathocracy has taken global control. It actually makes sense for psychopaths to act as they do as such is their nature. But what about the rest of us? How is it that "fear got the best of us", and why is it that a paralyzing fear descends upon us when we consider resisting? Why is it that thoughts of "them" coming for us and locking us away, overshadow our truest human desires for Freedom, Love, Truth?

There is, in fact, a reason. It is called Learned Helplessness. One can find various websites on the respective experiments with dogs done by psychologist Martin Seligman and his colleagues in the 60s. But I'll quote from Clarissa Pinkola Este's book, Women who run with the Wolves, which sums up the experiment quite nicely.

We all were conditioned to this helplessness from our earliest days, and it is possible that those of us with the innate need to know and the ability to resist, defend and actually do something at some point in the future were particularly targeted in order to really embed this helplessness so as to keep us frozen in inaction.

In my daily life I interact with so many people who are confident, mobile, and intelligent, people who have ideas and speak up for themselves, but I always wonder why it is that they are not out there voicing their opposition to the corruption and criminality of big government. These people can't be blind to the state of the world because the evidence is all around them, yet still they remain complacent in the face of a very grave threat to us all. They are content to live out their lives within the restrictive limits set them by the political and corporate elite of this world.

So the task of speaking out is left to us 'neurotics', despite all our fears and scars, we still have that burning desire to know, to understand, to see, and then see what we can do about it - to DO something about that which is causing our fear is the only way to alleviate it. And once we discover, once we understand something, we feel the need to share it, to pass it on to those who, like us, are searching.

Because frankly, what are we going to do with everything we learn if we keep it to ourselves? There's a Greek folk song that says "life not shared is a stolen life". I would argue that also "knowledge not shared, is stolen knowledge".

If you think about it, it's the not speaking up, the submission, the not sharing of our discoveries, the not pointing out that the emperor is naked that allows the psychopaths in power to continue their predatorial ways and for the situation to continue on its downward spiral. As with so many problems in life, the problem here is one of fear-based faulty thinking. People fear that "they" will come for them if they speak out, but the paradox is that by not speaking out and facilitating our continued slide towards "Armageddon", people vastly increase the chances that a jack booted agent of the Pathocrats will one day kick down their door. Because when "they" seek to imprison us, defame or attack us in one way or another, their first targets of choice are always those who speak out against "them".

But I digress, here is the experiment:

In the early 1960s scientists conducted animal experiments to determine something about the "flight instinct" in humans. In one experiment they wired half the bottom of a large cage, so that a dog placed in the cage would receive a shock each time it set foot on the right side. The dog quickly learned to stay on the left side of the cage.

Next, the left side of the cage was wired for the same purpose and the right side was safe from shocks. The dog reoriented quickly and learned to stay on the right side of the cage. Then, the entire floor of the cage was wired to give random shocks, so that no matter where the dog lay or stood it would eventually receive a shock. The dog acted confused at first, and then it panicked. Finally the dog "gave up" and lay down, taking the shocks as they came, no longer trying to escape them or outsmart them.

But the experiment was not over. Next, the cage door was opened. The scientists expected the dog to rush out, but it did not flee. Even though it could vacate the cage at will, the dog lay there being randomly shocked. From this, scientists speculated that when a creature is exposed to violence, it will tend to adapt to that disturbance, so that when the violence ceases or the creature is allowed its freedom, the healthy instinct to flee is hugely diminished, and the creature stays put instead. [Estes, 1995]

This is the case with every single feeling person on this planet. We've been so battered emotionally, physically, mentally; we are so injected with terror and fears since day one, that all our natural instincts for survival have vanished. We no longer are able to stand up, speak up, and defend that which matters most in our hearts. We are scared to even dream or hope for anything better than ponerized world that "they" have crafted for us. So passivity becomes our modus operandi.

Restin Wells and Barbara O'Brien in their published personal accounts of the psychological journey to healing, Deep Therapy in the Fast Lane and Operators and Things (both invaluable reading for every person honestly searching to understand their inner world), found and shared the fact that what saved their sanity, ultimately, was feeling angry at their condition and its causes.

If you see yourself in the same position as one of these dogs in the experimental cage, receiving the administered shocks and staying put while the cage door is open, can you not feel angry at those administering the shocks, for making you like this? Would you not want to inform the other "dogs" in the cages of what is really going on as soon as you figured it out?

It is true that we are not many and we are all scared, but by uniting and combining our efforts in this battle we may overcome our fear and present a force for freedom in this world that is much greater than the sum of its parts. In doing so we give our selves the chance to carve out a new and different future. But as you sit there, reading these words, if you understand nothing else, understand this: if we do not act and give a voice to the Truth in this world, our future and the future of all decent human beings on this planet will be dictated by the psychopaths that have brought us to the edge of the precipice on which we now stand. Understand, make a choice and then act, in however small a way. Do it for yourself, for others, for the Truth.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Mission accomplished: FUBAR ‘R’ us
Filed under: Constructive Criticism — MrBogle @ 6:42 pm
Which one of these headlines scares you the most? “Recession fears rise on more job cuts.” “Fed takes new steps to boost cash for banks.” “World markets slide as US economy groans.” “Housing market spirals, no end in sight.” “Consumer confidence at lowest since 2002.” “Studies: Iraq costs US $12B per month.” “Gas prices rise to new national record.” “Consumers increased their borrowing by $6.9 billion in January.” “Bush says no recession in sight.”

Yeah, I know. It’s not even close. Once again, our President emerges victorious.

Over the years, Bush has acquired many critics. Some think him as being arrogant, stubborn, ill informed, short-sighted, paranoid, clueless and out of touch. Others consider him an ideologue, an overgrown frat boy with a warped sense of entitlement, a dry drunk, a sociopath, a fascist, a belligerent blow-hard, a monarch wannabe with the inherent intelligence of a kadota fig and a total failure. To be fair to Bush, he is all that and more – an unprecedented Black Hole in the history of American governance.

Our president, who believes in the piss on ‘em, I mean, er, trickle down theory of economics and who has made a practice out of robbing the poor to give to the rich, is now faced with his latest monstrous creation: an American economy that has gone bust. The only reason there aren’t Hoovervilles popping up around the country is that nobody can afford the cardboard.

The sheer madness of King George has been highlighted in the past week by dire financial headline after headline and Bush’s reaction, or lack of it, to the consequences of his “let them eat caca” economic policies.

Last week, the Labor Department announced that 63,000 non-farm jobs were lost in February, following January’s 22,000 goners. February’s figures were the worst in five years. In addition, 450,000 folks bade adios to the labor force. They just stopped looking for jobs that weren’t there. (As a result, our unemployment rate eased to 4.8% from 4.9%, a fact Bush actually bragged about.)

The real job loss for February is a tad higher than the official number. Construction lost 39,000 posts. Manufacturing took a 52,000 hit. Retailers cut 34,100 jobs. Financial companies slashed 12,000 positions. Even temp agencies reported 27,600 jobs cut. The total job loss number was offset by the creation of new jobs in such sectors as government, service, prostitution and television punditry. (Okay, I made some of that last stuff up.)

Consumer confidence sank to a new low of 33.1%.

“We’ve gotten to a point where there’s very little for the consumer to cheer about. Everywhere you look - homes, grocery stores, gasoline stations - there are things that are all weighing on consumer attitudes,” said Richard Yamarone, economist at Argus Research. “You have soaring energy and food prices, rising home foreclosures and uncertainties about the jobs climate. When you mix it altogether it is a recipe for miserable consumer sentiment.”

D’ya think?

Adding to the hilarity, the dollar slid to record international lows this past week. It’s right down there with colored beads, trinkets and beaver pelts.

Oil soared to a new high, just about $110 a barrel. Gas prices hit an all-time record, with regular unleaded going for $3.2272 a gallon, a figure that doesn’t accurately reflect what’s happening at the pump. In California, for instance, a gallon of unleaded averages $3.50, with one station in the northern part of the state pumping it up to $5.19! In other words, gas is now almost as costly as a D.C. hooker.

The amount of consumer credit owed to banks and credit cards rose to $6.9 billion this year because people are now using their credit cards to survive.

Probably not coincidentally, a survey measuring an individual’s outlook about their personal financial standing as well as that of the country’s came up with a resounding NEGATIVE 41.6%

Think of this way: all those folks who wanted to have a beer with Bush can no longer afford the beer. (Nor can they afford his policies.)

Bush’s King Midas in reverse financial touch is spreading across the land. Retail sales in January fell at the fastest pace in the last five years.

Retailers including AnnTaylor Stores Corp., Talbots Inc. and Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. have closed hundreds of stores so far this year. Gadget seller Sharper Image filed for bankruptcy protection last month and plans to shutter nearly half of its 184 stores.

That, along with the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of catalog retailer Lillian Vernon Corp., could mark the beginning of a wave of retail bankruptcies that’s expected to go well beyond the home furnishings stores hurt by the housing disaster.

Unless the economy dramatically improves, retail bankruptcies this year could reach the highest level since the 1991 recession. More closings could leave gaping holes in the nation’s retail centers, which have already seen average vacancy rates creep up to between 7 percent and 8 percent from 5 percent over the last six months.

David Solomon, president and CEO of ReStore, NAI Global’s retail division, expects the vacancy rate could hit 10 percent by the end of the year. Suzanne Mulvee, senior economist at Property & Portfolio Research, figures that vacancies could rise as high as 12.5 percent this year. Her figure includes retail spaces where tenants have defaulted on their rents.

Part of the problem, according to Mulvee, is that more retail space is coming to the market just as consumer demand is falling. Another 130 million square feet of retail space will become available this year, she predicts, on top of last year’s 143 million.

Another reason malls are being hit hard is that, despite dwindling business, landlords are raising rents, driving a lot of small stores out. Clearly, landlords subscribe to Bush’s sunny economic views. Either that or Helen Keller’s.

U.S. home foreclosure filings jumped 60 percent and bank seizures more than doubled in February as rates on adjustable mortgages rose and property owners were unable to sell or refinance amid falling prices.

More than 223,000 properties were in some stage of default, or 1 in every 557 U.S. households.

About $460 billion of adjustable-rate mortgages are scheduled to reset this year and another $420 billion will rise in 2011, according to New York-based analysts at Citigroup Inc. Homeowners faced higher payments as fourth-quarter home prices fell 8.9 percent, the biggest drop in 20 years as measured by the S&P/Case- Shiller home price index.

Foreclosure filings are likely to be “explosive'’ in May and June as more payments jump Rick Sharga, executive vice president of RealtyTrac, said in an interview. There may be between 750,000 and 1 million bank repossessions in 2008. Bank seizures rose 110 percent in February from a year ago, he said.

Even interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgage are rising. Why? The mortgage market is short by roughly $1 trillion in capital.

Despite BushCo.’s efforts to make it nearly impossible for regular folks to declare bankruptcy, an average of 4,000 bankruptcy filings were made PER DAY in February.

Meanwhile, hidden bank fees are on the rise, with consumers paying over $36 billion in 2006, the last year on record.

Americans are getting slapped around worse than Curly of The Three Stooges. The official government response? “I’m not saying there’s a recession,” insists Edward Lazear, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. (Bush has Council of Economic Advisers??? One that even has a president??? Who knew?) Ever the realist, Lazear stated: “We have definitely downgraded our forecast for this quarter.”

That sort of thinking is akin to the National Weather Service forecasting “drizzle” before Katrina hit New Orleans.

The Ponzi Schemes run by unregulated lenders while Bush was asleep at the wheel has resulted in a housing credit mess that is almost unparalleled in American history.

For the first time since the Federal Reserve started tracking the data in 1945, the amount of debt tied up in American homes now exceeds the equity homeowners have built.

The Fed reported last week that homeowner equity actually slipped below 50 percent in the second quarter of last year, and fell to just below 48 percent in the fourth quarter. estimates 8.8 million homeowners, or about 10 percent of homes, will have zero or negative equity by the end of this month. Even more disturbing, about 13.8 million households will be “upside down” if prices fall 20 percent from their peak. Again, U.S. home prices plunged 8.9 percent in the final quarter of 2007, so that 20 percent figure isn’t all that far-fetched.

So far, the government has stepped in with a number of half-assed measures to contain the housing fallout. Last month, Congress passed a $168 billion economic stimulus package with provisions aimed at helping homeowners refinance into more affordable loans. The Federal Reserve has also slashed interest rates in hopes of spurring growth.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested lenders reduce loan amounts to provide relief to beleaguered homeowners. (The lenders are sure to cave. That “pretty please with sugar on top” negotiating style has worked so well nationally during the last seven years.) Most economists believe that it’s all too little too late.

Peter Morici of the University of Maryland School of Business stated, on CNN: “This is a wholesale meltdown… Across the board the economy is shrinking. Over 600,000 Americans left the labor force. The labor department reports that unemployment is falling. That is simply because so many people have quit the labor market. They only count those that are looking for a job, not all those that are discouraged and decided to stay at home.

“We need 115,000 jobs (created a month) to break even. We lost over 100,000 jobs (in February). So, by all rights, the unemployment rate should have gone up to over 5 percent. The labor department only computes it on the basis of people that are actually participating, those that are employed and those that are looking. Those that quit looking don’t count in their mind. If we counted all the people that have quit, if we adjusted it for the labor force participation rate we had seven or eight years ago, the unemployment rate would be near 7 percent.”

As for Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Fed chief Ben Bernanke insisting that the sun will come out tomorrow, betcha bottom dollar that tomorrow, there’ll be sun, Morici was less than impressed.

“If you look at the (Congressional) testimony last week, Ben Bernanke’s testimony and Paulson’s speech in Chicago, according to Paulson, our manufacturing sector is just plain healthy, and there is nothing to worry about, even though it lost 50,000 jobs last month and over 3.5 million jobs during the course of the Bush administration. As for Bernanke, he keeps cutting interest rates thinking that is going to push the economy forward. But as he cuts interests rates credit card terms are becoming more difficult. Housing loans have all but dried up. The reason is that we have a wholesale breakdown in the credit markets.

“Normally, banks loan money to homeowners and they turn around and turn them into bonds and sell them to insurance companies. Because of the sub prime meltdown and all of the bad bonds they wrote, all of the bogus securities that are melting away in value, the fixed income buyers, the insurance companies, large private buyers, foreign governments and investors are no longer willing to accept paper that Citibank and the other large banks create. Bernanke has showed no recognition of this problem. He is not addressing it, instead he tells the banks to mark down the debt a bit. The credit markets are not functioning. Cutting the Fed rates will not help.”

But surely, our fearless leader has planned for such an economic emergency! Surely, he can face down a recession. Uh, not really. In fact, he doesn’t even think we’re in a recession. We’re experiencing a “slowdown.” And, once again, he’s on the case. (Uh-oh.) He’s administered, what he calls, “a booster shot.”

Bush addressed the economy in-between FISA snit-fits and anti-Cuba rants. “Losing a job is painful,” he imagined, “and I know Americans are concerned about our economy. So am I. It’s clear our economy has slowed, but the good news is, we anticipated this and took decisive action to bolster the economy, by passing a growth package that will put money into the hands of American workers and businesses.”

Unfortunately, Bush was not done in his speechifying: “I signed this growth package into law just three weeks ago, and its provisions are just starting to kick in. First, a growth package includes incentives for businesses to make investments in new equipment this year. These incentives are now in place, and they are starting to have an impact. My advisors tell me that investment in new equipment remains solid thus far in the first quarter.”

So, lets review. Businesses are going belly up. What’s the first thing on their minds? “Hey, we’re going under! Let’s expand and upgrade.” Note to whoever is advising Bush. Hide the bong when Cheney shows up.

Bush summed up his sunny views with a succinct: “So my message to the American people is this: I know this is a difficult time for our economy, but we recognized the problem early (Note: what tipped you off? The quiche lines in Kennebunkport?), and provided the economy with a booster shot. We will begin to see the impact over the coming months. And in the long run, we can have confidence that so long as we pursue pro-growth, low-tax policies that put faith in the American people, our economy will prosper.”

In other words, we’re fucked until a new president takes over.

The checks that Bush is sending out to some Americans are in the $600 to $1200 range. (“Look, ma! Now we kin buy ourselves that terlet paper we’ve been a’ hankerin’ for.”) Bush sincerely believes that these checks will perk up the economy. Why? Because, with all that dough burning a hole in their pockets, Americans will spend like drunken sailors.

Theorized Bush: “The purpose is to encourage our consumers. The purpose is to give them money — their own to begin with, by the way — but give them money to help deal with the adverse effects of the decline in housing value. Consumerism is a significant part of our GDP growth, and we want to sustain the American consumer, encourage the American consumer and, at the same time, we want to encourage investment. So we’ll see how the plan works.”

In other words: lost your home, your job, and your health insurance? Buy shit! You know like you did after 9/11! Buy lotsa shit! “When the money reaches the American people, we expect they will use it to boost consumer spending,” Bush fantasized.

Clearly Bush has his pulse on the upraised finger of the nation.

Why else would he be moved towards such profundities as: “I’m concerned about the economy because I’m concerned about working Americans, concerned about people who want to put money on the table and save for their kids’ education.”

If you’re like me, you put that money right next to the mashed potatoes on your table. Yum. Pass the unpaid mortgage, please. I’m saving bankruptcy for dessert!

One day after “The Wall Street Journal” ran the results of a survey wherein 71% of economists polled thought we were in a recession now, Bush gave a speech devoted to our current crises. “I’m coming to you as an optimistic fellow,” he golly-geed. “I’ve seen what happens when America deals with difficulty. I believe that we’re a resilient economy, and I believe that the ingenuity and resolve of the American people is what helps us deal with these issues.”

If you’re religious by nature, that nails it. All gods have officially abandoned us.

Probably the most telling reflection of America’s current Bizarro state of affairs can be found in the story headlined: “Dr. Death to run for US Congress.”

It seems that assisted-suicide advocate Jack (“Dr. Death”) Kevorkian has decided to throw his cowl into the ring and run as an independent in Oakland, California’s 9th Congressional district. Kevorkian spent more than eight years in jail for the murder of a man whose videotaped assisted suicide was aired on national television. He claims to have helped 130 folks kick the bucket.

In a sense, Bush has fashioned a political career doing what Kevorkian does but on a much larger scale. Unlike Bush, Kevorkian was always upfront with his patients as he ended their suffering.

With Bush, all you get is: don’t worry, be happy.

And don’t worry about that dirty needle.

It’s good for you.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Flashback! 6/9/2003

Germany In 1933: The Easy Slide Into Fascism

Bernard Weiner
Co-Editor, The Crisis Papers
June 9, 2003

If my email is any indication, a goodly number of folks wonder if they're living in America in 2003 or Germany in 1933.

All this emphasis on nationalism, the militarization of society, identifying The Leader as the nation, a constant state of fear and anxiety heightened by the authorities, repressive laws that shred constitutional guarantees of due process, wars of aggression launched on weaker nations, the desire to assume global hegemony, the merging of corporate and governmental interests, vast mass-media propaganda campaigns, a populace that tends to believe the slogans and lies it's fed without asking too many questions, a timid opposition that barely contests the administration's reckless adventurism abroad and police-state policies at home, etc. etc.

The parallels are not exact, of course; America in 2003 and Germany seventy years earlier are not the same, and Bush certainly is not Adolf Hitler. But there are enough disquieting similarities in the two periods at least to see what we can learn -- cautionary tales, as it were -- and then figure out what to do with our knowledge.

The veneer of civilization is thin. We know this from our own observations, and various writers -- from Shakespeare to Sinclair Lewis ("It Can't Happen Here") -- have shown us how easily populations can be manipulated by leaders skillfully playing on patriotic emotion or racial or nationalist feelings.

Whole peoples, like individuals, can become irrational on occasion -- sometimes for a brief moment, sometimes for years, sometimes for decades. Ambition, hatred, fear can get the better of them, and gross lies told by their leaders can deceive their otherwise rational minds. It has happened, it happens, it will continue to happen.

One of the most outrageous and horrific examples of an entire country falling into national madness probably was Hitler's Germany from 1933-45. The resulting world war was disastrous, leading to more than 40,000,000 deaths.

A good share of what we know about how this happened in Germany usually comes to us many years later from post-facto books, looking backward to the horror. There are very few examples of accounts written from the inside at the very time the events were unfolding.

One such book is "Defying Hitler," by the noted German journalist/author Sebastian Haffner. The manuscript was found, stuffed away in a drawer, by Haffner's son in 1999 after his father's death at age 91. Published in 2000, the book became an immediate best-seller in Germany and was published last year in English, translated by the son, Oliver Pretzel. (His father's original name was Raimund Pretzel; as Sebastian Haffner, he went on to a highly successful career, writing in England during the war and then later back in Germany. He authored "From Bismarck to Hitler" and "The Meaning of Hitler," among many other works.)

"Defying Hitler" is a brilliantly written social document, begun (and ended abruptly) in 1939; even though it fills in the reader on German history from the First World War on, its major focus is on the year 1933, when, as Hitler assumed power, Haffner was a 25-year-old law student, in-training to join the German courts as a junior administrator.

You find yourself reading this book in amazement; there is so much historical perspective, so much sweep of what was going on and predictions of what later was to happen, so many insights into what led so many ordinary Germans to join with or acquiesce to the Nazi program -- how could anyone so young be so prescient in the midst of the brutal sordidness that was Nazism? (Indeed, some critics claimed that Haffner must have rewritten the book decades later; every page of the original manuscript was sent to laboratories, which authenticated that it indeed had been composed in 1939.)


What distinguishes "Defying Hitler," in addition to its superb writing, is that Haffner focuses on "little people" like himself, rather than on the machinations of leaders. He wants to explore how ordinary Germans, especially non-Nazi and anti-Nazi Germans, permitted themselves to be swallowed whole into the Hitlerian maw.

Haffner makes occasional broad pronouncements about German character traits ("As Bismarck once remarked in a famous speech, moral courage is, in any case, a rare virtue in Germany, but it deserts a German completely the moment he puts on a uniform"), but he devotes a good deal of his attention to the question of personal responsibility. If you read ordinary history books, he says, "you get the impression that no more than a few dozen people are involved, who happen to be 'at the helm of the ship of state' and whose deeds and decisions form what is called history.

"According to this view, the history of the present decade [the 1930s] is a kind of chess game among Hitler, Mussolini, Chiang Kai-Shek, Roosevelt, Chamberlain, Daladier, and a number of other men whose names are on everybody's lips. We anonymous others seem at best to be the objects of history, pawns in the chess game, who may be pushed forward or left standing, sacrificed or captured, but whose lives, for what they are worth, take place in a totally different world, unrelated to what is happening on the chessboard.

"... It may seem a paradox, but it is nonetheless the simple truth, to say that on the contrary, the decisive historical events take place among us, the anonymous masses. The most powerful dictators, ministers, and generals are powerless against the simultaneous mass decisions taken individually and almost unconsciously by the population at large... Decisions that influence the course of history arise out of the individual experiences of thousands or millions of individuals."


Haffner tries to solve the riddle of the easy acceptance of fascism in Hitler's Third Reich. In March of 1933, a majority of German citizens did not vote for Hitler. "What happened to that majority? Did they die? Did they disappear from the face of the earth? Did they become Nazis at this late stage? How was it possible that there was not the slightest visible reaction from them" as Hitler, installed by the authorities as Chancellor, began slowly and then more quickly consolidating power and moving Germany from a democratic state to a totalitarian one?

All along the way, Hitler would propose or actually promulgate regulations that sliced away at German citizens' freedoms -- usually aimed at small, vulnerable sectors of society (labor unionists, communists, Jews, mental defectives, et al.) -- and few said or did anything to indicate serious displeasure. In the early days, on those rare occasions when there was concerted negative reaction, Hitler would back off a bit. And so the Nazis grew bolder and more voracious as they continued slicing away at civil society. Many Germans (including some of Hitler's original corporate backers) were convinced Nazism would collapse as it became more and more extreme; others chose denial. It was easier to look the other way.

Haffner saw what was starting to happen, but retreated into his law studies. Even while the Brownshirts were beating and killing people in the streets, the courts with which he worked remained a solid bulwark in defense of traditional democratic principles. And then one day, the Nazis simply marched into the Berlin court buildings and took over Germany's judicial system. Haffner was shaken to the core, but continued studying for his final exams.

Shortly thereafter, he and his fellow students were dispatched to a kind of boot camp for ideological and military training. Haffner, a Christian anti-Nazi, found himself, to his astonishment and horror, wearing jackboots, a swastika and learning how to kill.

In an inner monologue, Haffner says: "There are some things I must never do: never say anything that I would be ashamed of later. Shooting at targets is all right. But not at people. I must not commit myself, or sell my soul... Oh dear! It dawned on me that I had already relinquished and lost everything. I wore a uniform with a swastika armband. I stood to attention and cleaned my rifle... .But that did not count: it was not me that did it; it was a game and I was acting a part.

"Only what if, dear God, there was some court that did not recognize this defense, but simply wrote down everything as it happened; that did not look into my heart, but simply noted the swastika armband? Before that court I was in a wretched position. Dear God, where had I gone wrong? What should I say to the judge who asked, 'You wear a swastika armband and say that you do not want to. Then why do you wear it?'"

Nazi propaganda, policies and terror had broken down traditional support-networks. You couldn't be sure whom to trust. Everyone could be on the government payroll, or could turn into informants to save their skins. And so arms went out in Nazi salutes, militarist songs were sung at rallies and on the streets, "each one of us the Gestapo of the others." In fear, individualism was crushed, leaving most citizens to relate only to The Leader, or to their military units, the comradeship offered by fascism.


Then there was the economic factor, the terror associated with having no money with which to live. One reads Haffner's description of the hyper-inflation crisis, but it's difficult to accept or understand: "No other nation has experienced anything comparable to the events of 1923 in Germany. All nations went through the Great War, and most of them have also experienced revolutions, social crises, strikes, redistributions of wealth, and currency devaluation. None but Germany has undergone the fantastic, grotesque extreme of all of these together; none has experienced the gigantic, carnival dance of death, the unending, bloody Saturnalia, in which not only money but all standards lost their value.

"... Anyone who had savings in a bank or bonds saw their value disappear overnight. Soon it did not matter whether it was a penny put away for a rainy day or a vast fortune. Everything was obliterated... A pound of potatoes which yesterday had cost fifty thousand marks now cost a hundred thousand. The salary of sixty-five thousand marks brought home the previous Friday was no longer sufficient to buy a packet of cigarettes on Tuesday... In August, the dollar reached a million [marks]... .In September, a million marks no longer had any practical value... At the end of October, it was a billion... The atmosphere became revolutionary once again."

When citizens face uncertainty on this scale -- and the fear and dislocation that attend all such social traumas -- a man on a white horse promising to restore order has great appeal, even to some staunch democrats.

There were other ingredients that went into the bubbling fascist vat: the humiliating terms of the Versailles Treaty that were placed on defeated Germany after World War I; the unceasing propaganda barrage in the mass media, helping citizens to agree with the government; the martial mentality that pervaded society. ("From 1914 to 1918 a generation of German schoolboys daily experienced war as a great, thrilling, enthralling game between nations, which provided far more excitement and emotional satisfaction than anything peace could offer; and that is where [Nazism] draws its allure from: its simplicity, its appeal to the imagination, and its zest for action; but also its intolerance and its cruelty toward internal opponents... Ultimately, that is also the source of Nazism's belligerent attitude toward neighboring states. Other countries are not regarded as neighbors, but must be opponents, whether they like it or not."

And then there is the inexplicable mystique that surrounds such men as Hitler, that mesmerizes and lures millions into their web. "If my experience of Germany has taught me anything, it is this: Rathenau [who led a progressive government in 1921-22, and was then assassinated by anti-Semitic thugs] and Hitler are the two men who excited the imagination of the German masses to the utmost; the one by his ineffable culture, the other by his ineffable vileness. Both, and this is decisive, came from inaccessible regions, from sort of 'beyond.' the one from a sphere of sublime spirituality where the cultures of three millennia and two continents hold a symposium; the other from a jungle far below the depths plumbed by the basest penny dreadfuls, from an underworld where demons rise from a brewed-up stench of petty-bourgeois back rooms, doss-houses, barrack latrines, and the hangman's yard. From their respective 'beyonds,' they both drew a spellbinding power, quite irrespective of their politics."

When Hitler's in-your-face brand of "beyond" power -- with its meanness and arrogance and menace, throwing opponents in jail, beating them, even killing them -- met the traditional democratic culture, those on the other end often had no tools at their disposal to combat the new hardball politics: "It was then that the real mystery of the Hitler phenomenon began to show itself: the strange befuddlement and numbness of his opponents, who could not cope with his behavior and found themselves transfixed by the gaze of the basilisk, unable to see that it was hell personified that challenged them."


And how did Haffner deal for so long with this menacing force in front of him? "What saved me was... my nose. I have a fairly well developed figurative sense of smell, or to put it differently, a sense of the worth (or worthlessness!) of human, moral, political views and attitudes. Most Germans unfortunately lack this sense almost completely. The cleverest of them are capable of discussing themselves stupid with their abstractions and deductions, when just using their noses would tell them that something stinks."

Given their built-in weakness and their willingness to swallow the most outrageous Big Lies emanating from the propaganda ministry and the media, most Germans were fruit waiting to be plucked by the Nazi harvesters. "They still fall for anything. After all that, I do not see that one can blame the majority of Germans who, in 1933, believed that the Reichstag fire was the work of the Communists. [The Parliament burned down and a convenient Communist arsonist was fingered, which the Nazis used as the excuse to unleash police-state tactics against all opponents.] What one can blame them for, and what shows their terrible collective weakness of character clearly for the first time during the Nazi period, is that this settled the matter. With sheepish submissiveness the German people accepted that, as a result of the fire, each one of them lost what little personal freedom and dignity was guaranteed by the constitution; as though it followed as a necessary consequence."

In short, what should have been a strong political and moral opposition movement to Hitlerian policies, meekly acceded to the destruction of their country's institutions of law and social harmony. The result in society was a clear leaning toward the dynamic, muscular policies advocated by the Nazis, and a seething "anger and disgust with the cowardly treachery of their own [opposition] leadership."

Of course, fear of police-state action always was operative. "Join the thugs to avoid being beaten up. Less clear was a kind of exhilaration, the intoxication of unity, the magnetism of the masses. Many also felt a need for revenge against those who had abandoned them. Then there was a peculiarly German line of thought: 'All the predictions of the opponents of the Nazis have not come true. They said the Nazis could not win. Now they have won. Therefore the opponents were wrong. So the Nazis must be right.' There was also (particularly among intellectuals) the belief that they could change the face of the Nazi Party by becoming a member, even now shift its direction."

All of this follows the normal range of psychology, Haffner says. "The only thing that is missing is what in animals is called 'breeding.' This is a solid inner kernel that cannot be shaken by external pressures and forces, something noble and steely, a reserve of pride, principle, and dignity to be drawn on in the hour of trial. It is missing in the Germans. As a nation they are soft, unreliable, and without backbone. That was shown in March 1933. At the moment of truth, when other nations rise spontaneously to the occasion, the Germans collectively and limply collapsed. They yielded and capitulated, and suffered a nervous breakdown. The result of this million-fold nervous breakdown is the unified nation, ready for anything, that is today the nightmare of the rest of the world."

Haffner laments that the crimes of the Hitler administration, given this collective nervous breakdown, have very little impact on the population, which seems to accept everything done in its name with a shrug of the shoulders. "It is one of the uncanny aspects of events in Germany that the deeds have no doers, the suffering has no martyrs. Everything takes place under a kind of anesthesia. Objectively dreadful deeds produce a thin, puny emotional response. Murders are committed like schoolboy pranks. Humiliation and moral decay are accepted like minor incidents. Even death under torture only produces the response 'Bad luck'."


And so it becomes easier to simply permit oneself to sink, ever so slowly into this collective illness, into accommodation with the ruling party, even though the police-state is constantly violating citizens' privacy. "We were pursued into the farthest corners of our private lives; in all areas of life there was rout, panic, and flight. No one could tell where it would end. At the same time we were called upon, not to surrender, but to renege. Just a little pact with the devil -- and you were no longer one of the captured quarry. Instead you were one of the victorious hunters."

Certainly, Haffner and others like him felt their own slide toward complicity with the Nazis, as their sense of self faded. "Things were quite deliberately arranged so that the individual had no room to maneuver. What one represented, what one's opinions were in 'private' and 'actually,' were of no concern and set aside, put on ice, as it were. On the other hand, in moments when one had the leisure to think of one's individuality... one had the feeling that what was actually happening, in which one participated mechanically, had no real existence or validity. It was only in these hours that one could attempt to call oneself morally to account and prepare a last position of defense for one's inner self."

Haffner was approaching decision time about his future if he stayed in the Third Reich. But it's clear which way he was leaning, as his analyses got darker and darker. "It is said that the Germans are subjugated. That is only half true. They are also something else, something worse, for which there is no word: they are 'comraded,' a dreadfully dangerous condition. They are under a spell. They live a drugged life in a dream world. They are terribly happy, but terribly demeaned; so self-satisified, but so boundlessly loathsome; so proud and yet so despicable and inhuman. They think they are scaling high mountains, when in reality they are crawling through a swamp. As long as the spell lasts, there is almost no antidote."

He hung in until 1938. Just prior to the Second World War, Haffner left Germany for England to join the war-effort against fascism. He did not return until the mid-'50s.

So, dear reader, examine the above descriptive passages from the Germany of the 1930s, when the Nazis were assuming full power, and see what lessons can be learned for our situation today.

As I write this, Ashcroft is telling the Congress that the Patriot Act -- the same act that more than 100 cities have voted not to honor because of its numerous violations of rights guaranteed by the Constitution -- does not give the Bush Administration enough police power and needs to be expanded. (This at a time when American citizens have been arrested, not charged and then stashed away on military bases, outside the judicial system; and hundreds of foreign prisoners are being held by the U.S. military at Guantanamo in violation of both the U.S. Constitution and the Geneva conventions.)

Demonstrable government falsehoods are being published by a compliant media, while that same media, owned by corporate giants, refuses to report factual information that is embarrassing to the Administration. And finally, the Pentagon is working on "contingency plans" for the next unilateral invasion of a sovereign state by the U.S. military.

Copyright 2003 by Bernard Weiner

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Cheering God, Bush says war with Iraq 'will forever be' the right decision

March 12,2008

Speaking Tuesday to the National Religious Broadcasters' convention, President Bush declared the decision to "remove" Saddam Hussein in 2003 the "right decision at this point in my presidency, and it will forever be the right decision."

The 42-minute speech, covered in the New York Times, drew rousing applause, "mixing faith and foreign policy as he told a group of Christian broadcasters that his policies in the region were predicated on the beliefs that freedom was a God-given right and 'every human being bears the image of our maker.'"

A White House aide told the Times -- anonymously -- that the speech, along with speeches by General David Petraeus, is intended to allow Bush to "frame" the Iraq war.

"It’s a way of resetting a little bit," the White House official said. "There was a lot of talk about the surge, and then when the surge worked, it was like, 'O.K., it worked,’ and then ’08 heated up and people sort of moved on. People need to be reminded of who we’re up against and what the stakes are."

"The effects of a free Iraq and a free Afghanistan will reach beyond the borders of those two countries," Bush said. "It will show others what’s possible. And we undertake this work because we believe that every human being bears the image of our maker. That’s why we’re doing this. No one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave."

He lauded the broadcasters for "standing up" for "our values," and pledged to veto the "fairness doctrine," which would enjoin radio stations to give even time to opposing views.

Happy Birthday to me

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Sunday, March 9
911 was an Inside Job; say it till they hear It!

Joe Scarborough calls for members of the 9/11 Truth movement to be thrown into secret prisons; possibly the greatest and most soulless whore to appear on television, ever; Geraldo Rivera, states that the New York bombing is likely the work of the 9/11 Truth movement. We’ve seen Netanyahu soul mate, Bill Maher, screaming like a hemorrhoidal finger puppet at his audience. We’ve seen sneers and grins and a denial that should be lining the outside of our space vehicles. We’ve seen and we have believed our lying eyes. Everyone else’s spouse is sleeping with the help.

Along the way to the incontrovertible proof… that we each possess some portion of… we’ve seen our share of lies. We’ve seen phony 9/11 sites and disinfo agents. We’ve seen weird and ridiculous stories created to distract us from the truth. We’ve seen Popular Mechanics and the History Channel talk out of their asses like Topo Gigo; lipstick optional. We’ve seen the kind of lies swallowed by a hypnotized world that would give Moby Dick pause… that would give Leviathan pause… that would give space pause just to envelope them and contain them. They are space. They are empty space devoid of content because a lie has no existence except in the mind of its creator. However, lies do breed. Lies reproduce. Lies can kill. Never forget that great quote, “A lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its pants on.”

I feel compelled to say… to scream… to juggle and rhyme at the same time… I feel that I have no choice and would make only one choice in either case. I must stand on the mountaintop… at the high point of the internet where it meets our minds in virtual exchange. I must howl and become fierce in my noise. I have to throw a million boom boxes with the volume maxed out through a million windows of businesses and employees complicit in a lie and huddling for survival against a shadow and the boomboxes are screaming to twin guitars of Hendrix and Allman dueling high above the wind and silhouetting the vocal track that screams “9/11 was an Inside Job.” The backup singers are going, “London and Washington and Tel Aviv.” as if they were singing, “Abraham, Martin and John…”

I’ve got some kind of a compulsion. I can’t let it go. I’ve got a tic under my eye. I’ve got a nervous twitch. I’ve got some kind of divine Tourette’s that just can't help itself and makes me scream at the top of my lungs that, “9/11 was an inside job!!!”

I’m standing on an orange crate in my mind. I haven’t shaven. I haven’t eaten and I haven’t been home because I don’t have one and I keep repeating over and over that, “9/11 was an inside job.”… “9/11 was an inside job…”, “9/11 was an inside job…”

If you haven’t realized this yet then you are next up to be standing in the window where these fierce flames are burning hot enough, not only to melt steel but to melt the steel a hundred floors below. You are next up to be standing in the window and looking down and waving while these flames that are hot enough to melt steel somehow allow you to stand there. If you don’t burn away the lies with your reason and the light of your understanding then you will be wrapped up and baked in them like Hell’s own Christmas Turkey. Up to you pilgrim…

The only media ‘we have’ is this media that allows you to read these words. They don’t control this media so the solution is simple. Don’t buy any more newspapers. Don’t watch TV. Don’t listen to the radio. Don’t buy any mainstream, news magazines. Don’t go to or any other ‘official’ news organ. You know what happens if no one watches? They die.

Here’s the thing, people; the media is probably the number one weapon in the war against humanity. The people who own and manipulate it are the biggest vampires on the planet. They think they have control of our attention but we can shut them down by not paying attention to them. It is that simple. Our attention translates into ‘their money.’ Well, it might have been our money once but… we’re just milk cows now. Isn’t that right people? You know, they let you watch TV while they milk you?

The people who own the media are the same people who own the banks and the arms markets. The entire force of perceived reality is fabricated by these people who spread the fear that starts the planes that drop the bombs that kill the people that they don’t like. It all takes place in The House that Jack (off) Built.

We can shut them down people. We can put Geraldo Rivera in the soup line. All we have to do is not buy their crap and not pay any attention to them. See, as long as you participate you are complicit. That’s how it is partner. That’s where those innocent bystanders come from.

It’s not an accident that a lone gunman made his way all that distance to that Nazi rabbinical school and wasted all those other gunmen. It’s not an accident that the news is repeating the same article everywhere ‘now’ (lights flashing… follow the flashing lights…) about how Israel wants to talk to Hamas and the Palestinians even though… even though…. They… did… this… See, this is how a setup works. This is why you should not pay attention to anything they say because they are working you and you are less than a bug on the windshield to them.

One hundred and twenty Palestinians are nothing, even if half of them are women and children. Compared to a slathering handful of genocidal, true believers they are nothing. The good news about whoever did hit the settler school is that they were being trained to kill more Palestinians. Bet on it

When we universally acknowledge who our oppressors are and turn our heads away from everything they say and refuse to genuflect before the next Jack in the Box that jumps up on their screen… well… we can become free.

This is not the real world. This is their world. You do not have to live in their world. Do not feed the mechanisms by which they generate the capital to enslave you. Step away pilgrim. Step away. And really step away on March 19th. Give these vampires the finger. Here is where we start. Let us starve the beast. Let us remove its income. Let us make it weak with need. It’s a fat, soft and wheezing lamprey. It’s grown fat and indolent from feeding on the willing and the unaware. Remove the food source and it will die. It has no life unless you give it life with your attention.

Let me say it again and again. Let me say it every day; Bin Laden did not do 9/11, Bush and Cheney knew. 9/11 was an inside job. 9/11 was an inside job! 9/11 was an inside job!!!

They are running scared people. They know that we know and we know that they know that we know and there are too many of us. Being the fecal eating cannibal rats that they are, it isn’t going to take too long before they turn on each other. As organized as they seem; as well equipped and pervasive as they seem, however it is that they seem they need our attention to survive. They cannot survive without our attention. They need us. We do not need them and it is time that we realized it.

On March 9th take the day off and don’t go to work and don’t buy anything and think about how nice a week or a month of the same action might feel. Don’t stop talking about the lies. Don’t stop mentioning that 9/11 was an inside job and that Iraq and Afghanistan and Iran had nothing to do with 9/11. Laugh when you hear the name, Al Qaeda. Be informed and make others informed and let’s skewer the beast and roast it on a spit over the flames of its own desire until it disappears.

Friday, March 07, 2008

What is the Logic of False Flag Terror Attacks?

The two winners of the 2008 presidential election: fear and war

by Larry Chin

Global Research, March 7, 2008
Online Journal

The 2008 US presidential charade has already been decided. Come November, the next White House occupant (who will be installed via political malfeasance, computer vote theft and other election “irregularities”) will be the puppet who proves to be the most effective in echoing Bush-Cheney’s “war on terrorism” lies, and expanding the Bush-Cheney “national security” agenda.

The American populace will bow to the “next Bush” who will “keep them safe” from “Islamic jihadists." Facing a new and increasingly brutal regime (probably under McCain), many brain-addled Americans will be stunned that “it is happening all over again," oblivious to the fact that their own acquiescence helped make it possible.

Washington’s bipartisan consensus “war on terrorism” deception

Amply demonstrated by the rhetoric of each of the prospective US presidential candidates, the “terrorism” lie is also the key to the election. The candidates know that the ill-informed US population remains petrified, and still thoroughly manipulated by fear of “another 9/11."

As exhaustively detailed by Michel Chossudovsky, author of America’s “War on Terrorism," and in "Washington's consensus al-Qaeda deception", the “war on terrorism” deception is a manipulation supported by an elite consensus, and a cover-up promoted equally by Washington’s political factions and both Republican and Democratic parties.

This myth, which rests on the perpetual fabricated threat of an outside enemy, has been the key to the power wielded by Bush-Cheney. It remains at the core of every official and unofficial decision made by this criminal regime, and its complicit bipartisan Washington partners. The “terrorist” threat to the US homeland, and its many propaganda variations, are now embedded fixations in the American psyche, reinforced by endless corporate media bombast.

The Washington consensus has remained united behind the lies and cover-up of 1) the atrocities of 9/11, a US-led false flag operation, 2) the fact that “Al-Qaeda” is an Anglo-American military-intelligence covert operation, and 3) the use of “anti-terrorism” as a pretext to invade and conquer Afghanistan and Iraq, and its use as the justification for future war across the Middle East and Central Asia, Africa, and other vital geostrategic regions.

Which candidate will be the most effective mass murderer?

Clinton, McCain and Obama are backed by hawkish national security teams headed by some of the world’s master war criminals (Kissinger, Brzezinski, Albright, etc.).These elite connections, and their ramifications, which promise the deepening of the war, remain unaddressed and ignored.

John McCain is deeply corrupt and ruthless -- the perfect extension of Bush-Cheney. McCain’s participation in the 1980s savings and loan scandal, as a member of the infamous Keating Five, is a matter of historical fact. Also a matter of record are McCain’s brutal views on war and killing, which are best exemplified by his 2001 op-ed, War is Hell. Now Let's Get On With It.

Despite their inexplicable reputations as liberals, Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, are now locked in a bitter and destructive struggle over who is the more Bush/Cheney-esque; who is the superior “anti-terrorist” and protector of “American security."

Clinton and Obama have both repeated the same slippery and all too familiar “war on terrorism” deceptions favored by the elite neoliberal faction:

“The Bush administration has failed to fight the ‘real war on terrorism’ begun after 9/11.”

“Mismanagement and blunders of the war in Iraq have created radical jihadist insurgencies that will the destroy the United States.”

“The Iraq mistake has distracted us from fighting the ‘real’ war on terrorism.”

“We should declare war on Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, which harbor the real ‘terrorists’ who attacked us on 9/11.”

“The Iraq distraction has prevented us from capturing Osama.”

“The world was united after 9/11, but Bush squandered it all.”

Other variations popular with the Clinton and Obama camps include:

“Al-Qaeda is reforming in Afghanistan, because of Bush policy failures, and must be dealt with.”

“Iran has become increasingly radical and dangerous because of Bush’s Iraq policy, and now must be dealt with.”

Both Clinton and Obama repeat bald-faced lies about “bringing troops home," when it is clear that their agenda will do neither. US bases in Iraq are permanent. Some troops could be redeployed, but the US geostrategic foothold in the region is permanent -- and they know it.

Both enthusiastically support war waged under the NATO banner, the US-backed Kosovo criminal apparatus (created by the Bill Clinton administration), and other atrocities.

In a telling exchange during a recent debate, Clinton and Obama each kissed the feet (and other body parts) of the powerful AIPAC war lobby, declaring Israel and Israeli security “sacrosanct," leaving no doubt that a presidency under either of them promises a continuation of genocidal Middle East policy.

The gutter tactics of Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton’s recent primary victories in Texas and Ohio were the result of gutter politics directly out of the Karl Rove playbook. Clinton has stooped to every trick in this book, and the most below-belt attacks and open lies in recent memory.

Clinton’s penchant for fear-mongering is exemplified by the now-infamous "Red Phone" Ad. In this malodorous work, endorsed by the right wing and hailed as a smashing success by venal Clinton strategists, Obama’s ability to deal with a 3 a.m. “international security” crisis is called into question.

Here again, the 9/11 “terrorism” lie is placed front and center, obliterating every other issue.

The peevish Clintons are so hungry for power, that they destroy the Democratic Party, and hand the White House to the Republicans and Bush-Cheney-McCain, to achieve their objective. Clearly, the beneficiaries are the Republicans, and Bush-Cheney-McCain.

It is also no surprise that Clinton’s Texas and Ohio success was assisted by orchestrated conniving by right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh. Armed with the certainty that McCain is already the Republican nominee, Limbaugh and other fanatical right-wingers swarmed to cast votes for Clinton in “cross-over” states. Limbaugh’s stated goal was to “bloody up” Obama (perceived by the right wing to be more liberal and more dangerous), force the Democrats deeper into self-destruction “for fun," making a McCain victory that much more certain.

This is not the first time Clinton has benefited from shenanigans (and Republican help), nor will it be the last. Her New Hampshire primary results were manipulated, giving her a surprise victory despite exit polls favoring Obama by big margins. Clinton has continued to bully and intimidate her peers in the Congress (her “super delegates”), and force the Democratic Party into giving her delegates from Florida and Michigan, despite the party’s rules that do not permit delegates from those uncontested states.

Of course, it is no coincidence that criminal activity saves a Clinton or a Bush every time one faces political defeat. The political and criminal connection that the Clinton faction shares with the Bushes is a matter of historical fact, going back to their criminal activities in Arkansas. The Bush-Clinton milieu has cooperatively ruled the United States for decades.

In fact, a McCain-Clinton ticket, with Jeb Bush and other intelligence-connected neocons in their administration, would offer the most honest representation of what the American empire really is.

Obama’s support for war and death squads

Despite his stirring rhetoric, razor sharp intellect and immensely appealing persona, Barack Obama’s foreign policy agenda is virtually identical to that of Bush-Cheney-McCain and Clinton, including his approach to the “war on terrorism." The differences in nuance, over which a bitter campaign is being fought, are slight.

Obama has repeated his earlier promise to take unilateral military action to “take out terrorists” anywhere in the world, where “actionable intelligence” identifies terrorists, and governments (where these terrorists are found) fail to act. This is no different than existing Bush-Cheney policy. In a recent debate, Obama stated that he would send troops back into Iraq (after a hypothetical pullout) if, hypothetically, “Al-Qaeda reforms in Iraq."

As reported by Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Largest Mercenary Army, Obama has even expressed support for continuing to outsource war-related activities to Blackwater USA. This itself should eliminate any notion that Obama is in any way “antiwar," or anti-criminality.

An Obama presidency would offer a soothing and momentary illusion of false hope to many Americans.

But if recent events are any indication, even false hopes will be squashed, well before a national election contest begins.

Every election in modern US history has been a criminal manipulation, choreographed and rigged by political elites and performed by handpicked elite puppets, each backed by their teams of corrupt war criminals, intelligence/security “advisors” and think tank assets. The 2008 affair will be no different.

It is still a fact that corporations (primarily connected to the Republican political apparatus) control the American vote, and with increasing technological sophistication: Diebold, ESS, Sequoia, and SAIC. In fact, new generations of their machines will be used in 2008.

Democratic Party “war on terrorism” complicity in Congress

In activities paralleling the red herrings bandied about by the presidential campaigns, the bipartisan consensus in the US Congress is demonstrating (again) that it is will not act to stop Bush-Cheney on domestic surveillance. Congressional Democrats are also unable to muster meager opposition of any kind to Bush-Cheney’s Iraq war.

The Iraq Redeployment Act, pushed by Senator Russ Feingold, is a perfect example of Democratic Party ignorance and complicity. Feingold’s bill limits funding, except for “hunting Al-Qaeda terrorists," and for “training Iraqi troops to fight Al-Qaeda."

Given that the “hunt for Al-Qaeda” has been the eternal bipartisan consensus pretext for US geostrategy, and given that “Al-Qaeda” is blamed for the host of Iraq problems (including, but not limited to, “insurgencies”), the Feingold bill essentially accommodates continued funding for eternal war.

The Feingold bill, like the rest of Democratic Party's “war on terrorism” rhetoric is the definition of a zero-sum charade.

The presidential campaign to hell

Without an end to the “terrorism” lie, there will be no end to the “war on terrorism."

Given the intensity with which this lie is being wielded by Clinton, McCain and Obama, and with the Anglo-American empire’s very survival at stake, clearly there will be no end to war, no matter who is the next White House occupant.

Larry Chin is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Nice Horns

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

What a Suprise...NOT

Iraqi cabinet OKs deals with oil giants By SINAN SALAHEDDIN, Associated Press Writer
Wed Mar 5, 6:44 AM ET

Iraq's cabinet has given the green light to the Oil Ministry to sign agreements with international oil companies to help increase the nation's crude output, a ministry official said Wednesday.

The two-year deals, known as technical support agreements, or TSAs, are designed to develop five producing fields to add 500,000 barrels per day to the country's 2.4 million barrels per day output.

Last December, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, BP PLC, ExxonMobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. submitted technical and financial proposals for the five fields and received counterproposals from the Iraqi side.

In January, representatives from the companies and Iraq met again in Amman, Jordan, and they will hold a third round of discussions later this month, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release information.

In Vienna, Iraq's Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani said Iraq intends to compensate these companies with crude oil rather than in cash, the Dow Jones Newswires reported Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters as he arrived for a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, al-Shahristani said the Oil Ministry was still working on the compensation details with the Development Fund of Iraq, which is controlled by the United States and the United Nations.

Iraq's average production was 2.4 million barrels per day in January while exports stood at an average of 1.92 million barrels per day. December's exports averaged 1.81 million barrels per day.

The oil giants are among more than 70 international firms that met the ministry's deadline of Feb. 18 to compete to help develop Iraq's oil reserves, seen as vital to providing the funds to rebuild the shattered country.

Iraq is in dire need of expertise from international oil companies to achieve the Oil Ministry's target of 3 million barrels per day by the end of 2008. The country has been relying on a Saddam Hussein-era natural resources law until Parliament approves a new oil law to regulate the international oil companies' work and share Iraq's oil resources among the country's Shiites, Sunni Arabs and Kurds.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Hugo Chavez Strikes Back

Venezuela: The Spectre of Big Oil

By Paul Kellogg

Global Research, March 4, 2008
The Bullet, Socialist Project e-bulletin

"Never again will they rob us -- the ExxonMobil bandits. They are imperial, American bandits, white-collared thieves. They turn governments corrupt, they oust governments. They supported the invasion of Iraq."

This was the response from Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez to the successful lawsuit by the world's biggest corporation (ExxonMobil), freezing $12 billion in assets of Venezuela's state-owned oil company, PDVSA -- a serious escalation in Big Oil's long running dispute with Chávez and the movement he represents.

ExxonMobil isn't suing PDVSA because it needs the money. The world's largest publicly traded corporation recorded profits of $40.6-billion (U.S.) in 2007, up three per cent from 2006's record of $39.6-billion. "If Exxon were a country, its 2007 profit would exceed output of two-thirds of the world's nations. Its 2007 revenue of $404-billion (U.S.) would place it among the 30 largest countries, ahead of such middle powers as Sweden and Venezuela."

ExxonMobil claims it is suing PDVSA because of a June 2007 deadline given by Chávez to Exxon and other Big Oil corporations operating in Venezuela, demanding they cede majority control in their heavy-crude upgrading projects in the country. ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips filed arbitration requests with the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, and ExxonMobil simultaneously took legal action in courts in the U.S. and Britain, which on February 7 agreed with their claim, and ordered the freeze of PDVSA assets.

But there is much more at stake than a simple legal disagreement. First -- many other Big Oil companies have agreed to Chávez' terms and not gone to court -- among them, Chevron Corp., Norway's Statoil ASA, Britain's BP PLC and France's Total SA. Second, Venezuela is not the only country to confront Big Oil and demand that old contracts be renegotiated. Here in Canada, Newfoundland's Danny Williams demanded and won an ownership share in the multi-billion-dollar Hebron offshore oil deal. Even the Tories in Alberta are forcing Big Oil to pay higher royalties. And in Russia, "both BP PLC and Royal Dutch Shell PLC have ceded control in big, lucrative Siberian projects to Russian gas monopoly OAO Gazprom."

The truth is, ExxonMobil's ultimatum has more to do with politics than economics. Russia's ruler Vladimir Putin holds office because of his ties to the secret service, his crackdown on public debate, and his commitment to pushing Russia back into the world of Big Power politics. That world of corruption and repression is comforting and familiar to the owners of ExxonMobil. Chávez, by contrast, holds office because millions have again and again been willing to put their bodies on the line against multinational corporations and their local allies. That revolutionary movement is terrifying to ExxonMobil.

So -- working with courts in the U.S. and Britain (the two biggest western imperialist powers) -- ExxonMobil is testing the water, seeing just how strong the revolutionary movement in Venezuela is. This is especially critical, given the setback faced by Chávez in the recent constitutional referendum.

And we shouldn't doubt the capacity of multinational corporations to use a legal fig leaf to pursue their "right" to pull exorbitant profits out of the Global South. "BP won an arbitration case against Libya in the 1970s ... and chased tankers of Libyan crude around the world to seize them as payment." In 2006 and 2007, "Western companies that purchased debt for unpaid construction work in the Congo have tried to seize tankers of Congolese oil to satisfy arbitration awards."

The ExxonMobil attacks have been met with defiance in Venezuela. PDVSA denies that any significant assets have been affected by the court action. "PDVSA is operating at 100 percent and is exporting oil all over the world," said Venezuelan Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez. February 11, Chávez said that if ExxonMobil does succeed in freezing PDVSA assets, he would halt oil exports to the United States. This is a threat the U.S. has to take seriously. As well as being the fourth largest exporter of oil to the U.S., if Venezuela succeeds in certifying an additional 200 billion barrels of oil reserves to the 100 billion already certified, it will officially have the most proved reserves of oil, in the world.

With so much at stake, U.S. imperialism and its corporate allies are not at the moment in a position to launch a sequel to the failed coup of 2002. Venezuela's movement is too big, and Venezuela's oil is too important for that to happen -- for now. But we know from the bitter history of Big Oil and the Global South that this is not the last confrontation between corporate and popular power in Venezuela.

Paul Kellogg is a member of the International Socialists and blogger -- PolEconAnalyss ( -- where this article was originally published.

*** Stop ExxonMobil's theft from the poor! ** * Support Venezuela's right to sovereignty! *

United States oil giant ExxonMobil Corporation has launched a major attack on the Venezuelan people's right to independence and self-determination.

In January and February, ExxonMobil used the courts in Britain, the U.S. and the Netherlands to get injunctions that freeze up to $12 billion in assets of Venezuela's state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), in those countries. The British injunction, granted on January 24 without any prior notice to PDVSA, will be heard again on February 22. The U.S. injunction was upheld by a February 13 ruling of the U.S. Federal Court.

ExxonMobil's economic thuggery is an attempt to undermine and reverse the Venezuelan government's decision last May to nationalise ExxonMobil's 41.7% stake in the Cerro Negro project in the Orinoco oilfield. The nationalisation was part of the revolutionary government's efforts to recover Venezuela's sovereignty over its natural resources. ExxonMobil rejected the Venezuelan government's offer of compensation, instead using the legal system in various First World countries to punish the country. In contrast, France's Total and Norway's Statoil have agreed to accept from Venezuela close to $1 billion compensation for part of their holdings in the oil project.

ExxonMobil is the world's largest oil company, and was a key "stakeholder" in the US's bloody invasion and occupation of Iraq. The corporation's attack on Venezuela is a continuation of its aggressive response to any government daring to assert its nation's right to own and control their natural resources. More fundamentally, the attack also aims to destabilise Venezuela and undermine the socialist revolution being constructed by the Venezuelan people.

PDVSA accounts for some 90% of Venezuela's foreign exchange and half of its federal tax revenue, and it is the crucial source of funds for the Venezuelan government's programs that provide free education and health care to the poor. In 2006, the state-owned oil company spent $13.3 billion on such programs, up from $6.9 billion in 2005 and more than double the $5.8 billion it invested in new domestic gas and oil projects.

ExxonMobil's actions have angered poor Venezuelans, who have held protests around the country. As oil workers' union leader Luis Carvajal said: "This transnational has exploited our wealth, has exploited our workers and violated our rights. All the workers in the Orinoco oil belt support the nationalisation."

Venezuela supplies about 10% of the US's oil. On February 14, PDVSA halted oil supplies to ExxonMobil and the government is now considering suspending oil supplies to the USA. As Venezuela's energy minister, Rafael Ramirez, has emphasised, the interests of the Venezuelan nation are more important than any corporation, and Venezuela will not back down from its policy of full oil sovereignty.

In light of these events, we the undersigned:

** Support the Venezuelan government's efforts to defend and extend the Venezuelan people's common ownership and control over Venezuela's natural resources, and defend the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela's right to assert its social, political and economic sovereignty.

** Condemn ExxonMobil's economic blackmail against Venezuela and call for it to immediately withdraw its legal campaign against PDVSA.

** Reject as illegitimate and immoral the British, U.S. and Dutch courts' order to freeze PDVSA's assets. Only Venezuela, through its own courts and in accordance with its own Constitution, has the right to decide the ownership and control of the resources in its territory. So-called "international arbitration" on Venezuela's resources via courts in the First World countries is colonialism.

** Stand in solidarity with the protest actions of Venezuela's people, trade unions and social organisations against ExxonMobil and the U.S. government's economic and political thuggery, and commend the words of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez: "They will never rob us again, those bandits of ExxonMobil."

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