cue the lightning bolts

the only question that matters: is it true?

Iran has signed the NPT. As a signatory to the NPT, Iran may rightfully, legally, use nuclear technology for peaceful energy purposes. Iran has submitted to and passed repeated IAEA inspections. The US intelligence community (NIE) does not consider Iran a nuclear threat. Israel refuses to sign the NPT. Israel has an estimated several hundred undeclared nuclear weapons. Russia and China have warned that an attack on Iran will have global consequences. That's the situation in a nutshell. Where to next, people? Where to?

Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? - Galatians 4:16

9.19.2008

Mike Rivero: An America That Can Say NO

There is no freedom without the freedom to say "no". Free people can say "no". Slaves cannot.

If we are free, or at least free enough that the terrorists hate us for it, then we have the right and ability and often the moral duty to say "no". We have the right to say "no" to being lied to. We have the right to say "no" to being lied into war. Certainly we have a right to say "no" when the government demands that we make do with less, so that the government and its favored cronies may have more.

Right now, the government is preparing to "fix" the economic mess by setting up a new Resolution Trust Corporation. For those too young to remember, this is a repeat of the same scam used to "fix" the S&L Debacle (remember the Keating Five?) back in the 1980s. And in short it was simply going around with a checkbook filled with taxpayer dollars and cleaning up the mess made by reckless deal making (and a little CIA drug money laundering) in a climate of relaxed regulation.

So, here we are, 20 years later, yet another Bush in the White House and a repeat of the same fiscal debacle stares us in the face. More than coincidence? Many think so.

The mere rumor of a new RTC sent the stock market soaring. Why not? The US Government is telling the investors that they can keep the profits from any trades, but any further losses will get transferred to the taxpayers. It's like being in Las Vegas at the Blackjack table, and every time you get 21 or beat the dealer, you get to keep the winnings, but if you bust, or the dealer wins, they take the money from the bus boy cleaning the table behind you. Such a deal! What's not to like?

Unless you are that bus boy, of course.

Wall Street executives are running around and saying that the taxpayer has to pick up the tab. "Has to"? Why? Why should we be on the hook for other peoples' bad judgments, especially when those people walked away form their bad judgments with $20 and $40 million dollar severance packages? Why is it our mess to clean up?

We cleaned up the last mess, back in the 80s. And the lesson we all learned is that no lessons were learned at all by the people whose assets we saved at great personal sacrifice. By protecting them from their mistakes, they just went on to make bigger mistakes. And now they are saying that We the people "have" to pick up the tab again.

We already give government at all levels 50% of our money. Do you think giving them the other 50% is going to motivate them to make better decisions? Or will they smile, relax, thanks whatever gods they pray to that they dodged another disaster (at taxpayer expense), and go right back to living life as they always have?

Back in the 80s, additional taxes were a cause for grumbling, but affordable. Today the situation is vastly different. We The People have been taxed to the edge of poverty. Nearly one out of every ten homes is delinquent in the mortgage or in foreclosure. One out of every five homes is in trouble with the IRS. It is no longer a question of whether we wish to pay additional tax or not; we can't! We don't have it. There is nothing left TO tax.

Which isn't going to stop the greedy bastards from trying to force the taxpayers to buy up all those worthless assets that Wall Street itself refuses to touch.

Probably the only reason they have not already set up this new RTC is they are trying to figure out how to sell it to you; choose which spin, which LIE will trick you into going along with this latest financial rape of the working class American. Last time, in the 80s, it was all about saving the poor widows and pensioners and orphans on fixed income. Then we found out (after it was too late) that most of those accounts refilled with our tax dollars were numbered and brokered corporate accounts.

So, it's really up to you.

Remember the movie "Network?" "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any longer!"

You need to be there. You need to get angry. REALLY angry. Mad-dog pissed off angry. Ready to start shooting angry. You need to say, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any longer", and you need to say it like you mean it.

Because if you stay silent and let the greedy bastards pull this off, it will be the end of the middle class. There will be the ultra-rich with their severance packages, and everyone else will be taxed into poverty to support them.

So, here is where I ask you for two favors.

Favor one: Go to www.congress.org and get the contact info for all your government representatives. Forget email; that's filtered. Call them, FAX them, pound on the door. Delivery two messages. Tell them, "I will NOT be made to pay for other peoples' mistakes." And tell them "I will not vote for anyone who insists I pay for other peoples' mistakes." Growl when you say it.

Favor two: Post this message on every BBS, web site, message board and mailing list you can find. Get everyone else to call their congresscritters. Tell them they need to learn how to say "NO" and make it stick. Make that "NO" heard not only in the halls of Washington DC and New York but in every major investment center in the world. Tell them that you will NOT be the guarantor of their investments in the United States any longer.

You are a free human being.

You have a right to say "no."

The dog days of September

Historians may look back on September, 2008 as America’s economic 9/11. Major financial institutions are collapsing—to use a bitter analogy–like the twin towers: first, Bear Stearns (already 6 months ago!); and now, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and the insurance giant A.I.G. Just as 7 years ago, we cry out, What hit us? Who did this? Why?

Merrill Lynch helped finance the cotton trade before the Civil War! Say it was an essential “linch-pin” in the rise of the South on the backs of black slaves. Say that “free-market,” deregulated capitalism is now getting its due; if I am in steerage on the Titanic and I hear that the swells who have been dancing above our heads are about to take a dip in the sea, Schadenfreude doesn’t calm my queasy stomach.

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'The world as we know it is going down'

Panic is the word of the hour on Wall Street. Now even Morgan Stanley is fighting for survival. The commercial bank Wachovia and China's Bank Citic are being discussed as possible rescuers. The crisis has led President Bush to cancel a trip.

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95% of money is created by private banks

The financial crisis has been in the headlines for a little more than a year now since it kicked off with the subprime mortgage loan imbroglio in the United States, and a lot has been written with varying degrees of accuracy and precision to explain how specific aspects of this crisis have come about. However, not so much has been published, and certainly never in the mass media, about how the current financial system’s need for exponential growth is the underlying cause of the speculative bubble and hence of the very crisis itself, in addition to being directly linked to the energy and food crises. Thus I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to discuss not the credit crisis but instead the background to it, which shows how the current financial system is an enormous fraud on ordinary working people while at the same time being a danger for the sustainability of life on our planet. This will bring us to an understanding of the role played by the banks as the main culprits for the whole situation.

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Credit crisis out of control - US govt admits "no one knows what to do"

In the wake of Global Financial Seizures that has affected housing, the stock market, and bonds Reid Says `No One Knows What to Do' to Solve Crisis .

The U.S. Congress is unlikely to pass new legislation to overhaul financial regulations this year because "no one knows what to do,'' Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said today.

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Hey, US, welcome to the Third World!

Dear United States, Welcome to the Third World!

It's not every day that a superpower makes a bid to transform itself into a Third World nation, and we here at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund want to be among the first to welcome you to the community of states in desperate need of international economic assistance. As you spiral into a catastrophic financial meltdown, we are delighted to respond to your Treasury Department's request that we undertake a joint stability assessment of your financial sector. In these turbulent times, we can provide services ranging from subsidized loans to expert advisors willing to perform an emergency overhaul of your entire government.

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Myth of Iran wiping Israel off the map dispelled

Who is this madman? Why it's Admadinejhad. That's so funny, you know, because he makes a lot of sense to me. Maybe I'm mad? - Ed.

Excerpt:

My message to the people of the United States is very clear as well. It is a message to all world nations… We believe that the relations that prevail in the world today are cruel relations. There are gaps and distance between nations. Through propaganda, gaps are created in order to fill the pockets of wealthy people and capitalists with more money and power. We oppose these cruel and brutal relationships.

We want friendship for all world nations. We have respect for all nations and we believe that this minority, this bullying minority… If they step aside and give the affairs of the world to the nations of the world, people can live together in peace and will not have so many problems. We are friends of all world nations.

The people of the United States do not have any problem with the people of Iran. Of course, there is a one-sided propaganda network that is putting a lot of pressure on the people of the US to make things very difficult. It does not allow the people of the United States to express their views and to prevail; we hope these pressures will be removed.

Today the image, the personality and the resources of the people of the United States are being used to support criminal elements, those who occupy other countries. We do not believe that the people of the United States are satisfied with the sorts of things that are taking place.

No nation wants to support the killers. The Zionist regime is a regime that will disappear. The reason and philosophy of their existence no longer exists. This regime is based on a wrong foundation and with the passage of time and by themselves… their personality is becoming clear - they are not just. The regime will not gain legitimacy with the passage of time. They themselves know this.

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Palin officially a pathological liar

No shit. She has now given two completely different answers to explain/describe her reaction to the VP nod. In the one to Gibson, she bragged about not even blinking. Now she says she consulted with her family and they even voted. Oh sure. How democratic is that?

So which one is it? What has happened here?

Her answer to Charlie Gibson was the real answer. She is in all likelihood a psychopath, as I wrote here. I noticed that Charlie also said, in asking his question, that it might belie some hubris for her to accept the job, but she glided right past that little remark and nobody else seems to have mentioned it either. There's a great deal of focus on her not knowing about the Bush Doctrine, and so forth. Be that as it may. But from a purely emotional level, her performance made it completely plain -- if you have eyes to see -- that she is ruthless and cutthroat, completely devoid of introspection or even a tiny shred of humility. This is not a nice person. I don't care what she looks like on the outside.

Psychopaths do not experience normal human emotions, and they try to fake it. But sometimes they just get it wrong. Her no blinking answer was a clashing gong to many thinking, feeling Americans; and now she has to redo that answer by having a new answer, the answer that a normal human would have. The fact that it contradicts her previous answer is of no concern to her. You have to understand that's how these people operate. Haven't we seen this over and over again with Bush/Cheney and the GOP? Reality is what they say it is. They actually believe that. They do not understand why we get all hung up on consistency and principles because they have no principles.

As for the comparisons to Cheney, I think they are accurate and justified. The main difference being that Cheney has been inside Washington for what, 30 years?, giving him plenty of time to learn how to spin his lies. Also, he spends so much time behind the scenes where he doesn't have to bother with all this pesky PR stuff. Sarah is a neophyte in comparison, but that does not mean that she is any less despicable. And if we're stupid enough to find out, well heaven help us. - Ed.


This is something I can't let pass--not without taking notice. Sarah Palin has just made her most blatant lie yet. It's one that the average television viewer can catch. And most tellingly, it's a lie that exposes not just mendacity, but a compulsion to lie.

In a transparent attempt to shore up her feminist appeal, she's changed her story on how she accepted the offer to run for vice-president.

Which one is it, Sarah? The problem with lying isn't so much putting the lies out there. It's in sticking to them.

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Additional information from Alaska about how her ruthless behavior toward Monegan.

George Bush desperate for "trophy strike"

What can one say about this sick little twit. Time for him to go. And of the military people cooperating on this, my God, for shame. - Ed.

George Bush has signed a secret order allowing US troops to operate in Pakistan, without permission from the Pakistani government or agreement by the United Nations, contravening numerous international laws and conventions. Bush says the recent ground assault by US commandos and the big increase in the number of US missiles fired from unmanned aircraft are directed at al-Qaeda leaders, but the Pakistani government and local observers say that most of the dozens killed in these attacks have been civilians, the majority of them women and children.

The Guardian newspaper suggests a different interpretation for these attacks: "Bush is thought to be in a desperate push for a trophy strike...before he leaves office." No doubt part of the calculation is the hope that this will boost the electoral chances of John McCain in his campaign to succeed Bush as president.

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Lost middle-class tribe's 'secret' eco-village in Wales spotted in aerial photograph taken by plane

Good pictures. Interesting to contemplate about now. - Ed.

For five happy years they enjoyed simple lives in their straw and mud huts.

Generating their own power and growing their own food, they strived for self-sufficiency and thrived in homes that looked more suited to the hobbits from The Lord of the Rings.

Then a survey plane chanced upon the 'lost tribe'... and they were plunged into a decade-long battle with officialdom.

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9.18.2008

Huge anti-Palin rally in Alaska







































From an email forwarded to me...

[The] Alaska Women Reject Palin rally was to be held outside on the lawn in front of the Loussac Library in midtown. Home made signs were encouraged, and the idea was to make a statement that Sarah Palin does not speak for all women, or men. I had no idea what to expect.

The rally was organized by a small group of women, talking over coffee. It made me wonder what other things have started with small groups of women talking over coffee. It's probably an impressive list. These women hatched the plan, printed up flyers, posted them around town, and sent notices to local media outlets. One of those media outlets was KBYR radio, home of Eddie Burke, a long-time uber-conservative talk show host. Turns out that Eddie Burke not only announced the rally, but called the people who planned to attend the rally 'a bunch of socialist baby-killing maggots,' and read the home phone numbers of the organizers aloud over the air, urging listeners to call and tell them what they thought. The women, of course, received some nasty, harassing and threatening messages.

I felt a bit apprehensive. I'd been disappointed before by the turnout at other rallies. Basically, if you can get 25 people to show up at an event, it's a success. So, I thought to myself, if we can actually get 100 people there that aren't sent by Eddie Burke, we'll be doing good. A real statement will have been made. I confess, I still had a mental image of 15 demonstrators surrounded by hundreds of menacing 'socialist baby-killing maggot' haters.

It's a good thing I wasn't tailgating when I saw the crowd in front of the library or I would have ended up in somebody's trunk. When I got there, about 20 minutes early, the line of sign wavers stretched the full length of the library grounds, along the edge of the road, 6 or 7 people deep! I could hardly find a place to park. I nabbed one of the last spots in the library lot, and as I got out of the car and started walking, people seemed to join in from every direction, carrying signs.

Never, have I seen anything like it in my 17 and a half years living in Anchorage. The organizers had someone walk the rally with a counter, and they clicked off well over 1400 people (not including the 90 counter-demonstrators). This was the biggest political rally ever, in the history of the state. I was absolutely stunned. The second most amazing thing is how many people honked and gave the thumbs up as they drove by. And even those that didn't honk looked wide-eyed and awe-struck at the huge crowd that was growing by the minute. This just doesn't happen here.

Then, the infamous Eddie Burke showed up. He tried to talk to the media, and was instantly surrounded by a group of 20 people who started shouting O-BA-MA so loud he couldn't be heard.Then passing cars started honking in a rhythmic pattern of 3, like the Obama chant, while the crowd cheered, hooted and waved their signs high.

So, if you've been doing the math… Yes. The Women Reject Palin rally was significantly bigger than Palin's rally that got all the national media coverage! So take heart, sit back, and enjoy the photo gallery. Feel free to spread the pictures around to anyone who needs to know that Sarah Palin most definitely does not speak for all Alaskans. Alaska, who know her best, have things to say.

The death of paper money

Today we are witnessing why in paper fiat-land debt is a four letter word; and a nasty one at that. The only thing the Federal Reserve has accomplished since its creation in 1913 is the loss of 95% of the dollar’s purchasing power; and they are hard at work destroying what little is left. Incompetence does not even begin to describe their actions.

This means that you and I – all of us, except the elite few – are becoming poorer by the day. Our standard of living is decreasing – not increasing. We owe more than we own: a prescription for debt-servitude – not the accumulation of wealth.

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Let the bank runs begin!

The immediate aftermath of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy will be a massive and manic flight to liquidity and withdrawal of funds and credit from banks, S&L's, insurance companies and brokerages, leading to more failures.

Nothing can stop it at this point.

The stunning magnitude of debt owed by Lehman Brothers - $613 billion -- comes to light because of their public bankruptcy filing. No wonder that Barclays, has, over the decades, experienced a dizzying array of mergers and acquisitions
– including historical linkages to VISA (known earlier as the BankAmericard).
Today, the Bank of America is the third largest commercial bank in the United
States.', Bank of America and other potential buyers took a few sniffs at Lehman's books and walked away.

The Lehman Brothers bankruptcy is the largest in the history of the world.

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The potential end of America's government

Watch that video.

Watch it twice, three times if you have to. Go look at the other video, and the other Ticker referenced in there.

Now understand that there is no solution to this fast and vicious destruction of America's financial markets and financial companies until and unless the lying stops.

It has NOT stopped and in fact has gotten materially worse.

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The final destruction of the middle class

The Great 2008 Transfer of Wealth

Americans are confronted with what appears to be the worse economic situation since the Great Depression. What will history say about the U.S. credit crisis turned global financial crisis? At every turn investors are faced with new problems, new crises, and less than desirable solutions which include debt, deflation and a transfer of wealth.

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Is the Illuminati provoking economic collapse?

We may be on the verge of a stock market crash reminiscent of 1929.


I was watching CNBC when the news came across that Moody's had downgraded the Insurance giant AIG (American International Group.) This company was already on the ropes Monday when its stock crumbled to $4.75 from $11, %60 in one day. It was down from a $70 52-week-high. The company had gone to the Fed for a bailout. It was estimated it needed $40 billion.

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Lessons from the banking meltdown

So...Merrill (MER) sells to Bank of America (BAC), most likely to avoid bankruptcy, Lehman (LEH) files for bankruptcy, Bear Stearns (BSC) sells to JP Morgan (JPM), again most likely to avoid bankruptcy. Major financial institutions — once revered as the "crown jewels" of the financial community — are failing. And all I can think is...

Are you kidding me?!?

Aren't these supposed to be the greatest financial minds and businesses in the world?

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So, the president may kill anybody he pleases, right?

Among the many cock-and-bull stories set afoot by the Bush administration during the lead-up to its attack on Iraq was the one about the now-infamous drones of death. Later, it became sufficiently clear that this alleged threat had no more substance than the others the administration and the lapdog mainstream media had served up to a credulous public.

Although the ludicrously primitive Iraqi drones had no capacity whatsoever to harm the American public, the lethality of U.S. drones is another matter. Predator drones equipped with Hellfire missiles now provide the U.S. government with a means of flying over territory that U.S. ground troops dare not penetrate, observing activities on the ground, and killing people there with, shall we say, a minimum of due process.

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Books - Iraq: "We blew her to pieces"

Aside from the Iraqi people, nobody knows what the U.S. military is doing in Iraq better than the soldiers themselves. A new book gives readers vivid and detailed accounts of the devastation the U.S. occupation has brought to Iraq, in the soldiers' own words.

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Creative Destruction: The solid core behind the financial crisis

Do you get it now? The rich and powerful spend years making foolish deals in a market they rigged with the connivance of utterly corrupted politicians on both sides the aisle; their fraudulent scheme finally collapses, exposing them to some of the most horrific financial losses in history....and YOU will have to pay for it. For generations. Not only directly, with the tax money straight from your pocket, but even more so in the further degradation of national life: infrastructure, services, programs, amenities that will be starved or abandoned as even more of the government's money is poured out to shield the wastrel elite from suffering the consequences of their own rapacious folly.

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Wayne Madsen: Bush family cleaning up on transfer of public lands to private hands

WMR has learned from a senior Democratic congressional source that the Bush family, most notably former President George H. W. Bush, is reaping windfall profits from the transfer of title of public federal and state lands to private hands. The elder Bush, according to our sources, has a vested financial interest in land title companies that specialize in the transfer of public lands to private interests.

The revelations represent the first evidence that the elder Bush has benefited from the transfer of public lands to private hands in a giant scheme to defraud federal and state governments, as well as the American taxpayers and Native Americans.

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Unaccountable Secret Government: Most Serious Constitutional Crisis in American History

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

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John McCain and Thinking the Unthinkable

Americans must consider the terrible possibility that electing John McCain as president, and Sarah Palin as Vice-President, will result in a series of escalating confrontations with Russia over oil supplies in central Asia that will lead to a nuclear exchange.

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9.17.2008

All the chips are on the table

At the risk of sounding really crazy, I do think now is as good a time as any to think through the worst case scenarios which may lie directly ahead.

Obviously, the economy is collapsing; though so far the major tremors shake the shadow economy of big Wall Street firms. While scary to watch on the news, you may wonder how this will affect you. Aside from the fact that you, dear US taxpayer, your children, your grandchildren and your great great grandchildren have been made wage slaves -- well aside from that -- it probably doesn't affect you at all, as long as you can keep your job. But it may affect your employer, like say if you work in the financial industry or the insurance industry, or if your employer relies on the financial industry or the insurance industry as a customer base, or any infinite number of scenarios by which we have all become trapped in a sticky spiderweb of financial interconnectedness.

However, and this is important, this disaster may possibly help avert an even larger disaster -- WW III -- by cutting off the source of financing. If the world economy refuses to lend us more money, since we don't any longer seem capable of paying it back, then it would really put a crimp in the hose for funding military adventures. That is why I think the timing of this problem may be off by a couple of months, because the War with Iran has not happened yet. Events should have gone (ideally, to the psychopaths) along this trajectory: War with Iran (caused by an Israeli false flag operation, blamed on Iran), then financial collapse (blamed on the war and Iran via proxy, not on Bush), then martial law in the US (an unfortunate necessity, also blamed on the evil Iran). This would have greatly facilitated sliding McCain/Palin into the White House. But the financial collapse has occurred first, a significant handicap for McCain/Palin as well as the war planners. As it stands now you have the financial collapse (correctly blamed on Bush), and an excellent chance that everyone, being very pissy about the collapsed economy, will rightfully blame the War with Iran on Bush and Israel. It's just not going to be so easy to pull this off and get away with it, too.

But that doesn't mean they won't do it. That's the problem with psychopaths. You can't rely on them to make good decisions. In fact, you can rely on them to overreach, and in this case their overreaching can cause millions of deaths.

Lord Stirling reports here that Bush the Idiot has agreed to sell Israel some bunker buster bombs, and one may conclude that Israel will use them to attack Iran, especially if that monster Netanyahu steps in as Prime Minister in a few days. And then what?

The Israeli and American war planners may be counting on all sides refraining from the use of WMD. Rather like Saddam held back his 29 WMD armed (chemical and anthrax) Scud-type guided missiles during the First Gulf War and like Hezbollah did during the Second Lebanon War in 2006. If this is the strategy it is one very, very, massive risk to all involved.
And if they don't? If they don't, Iran will possibly use their ABW (Advanced Biological Warfare) weapons, which are scary as shit, and cheap, and you wouldn't know until two weeks later -- or in other words -- Too Late.

I just really think people should know that the minute you hear about an attack on Iran, you would be advised to get your fanny home, and pick up your kids at school, and plan to hang out at your house for the next month or so. Please God may I be wrong, and we can all have a good laugh about it someday. Nothing would make me happier.

Lord Stirling: Bush agrees to war on Iran

The United States has agreed to sell to Israel 1,000 of the very advanced bunker buster GBU-39 bombs. This is a major development as the Bush Administration had denied previous recent Israeli requests for large numbers of this weapon system. The GBU-39 has a stand off range of 110 km and uses pop-out wings with extremely accurate fire and forget technology. It is capable of penetrating 90 cm of steel reinforced concrete. This indicates that the Israeli Government has succeeded in its request that America allow it to attack Iranian nuclear facilities. The GBU-39s will be used extensively in attacks on Iranian targets, as well as on Syrian and Hezbollah high value targets in both Syria and Lebanon.

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Killing the messenger before he arrives - the real reason for Israel's latest threat to kidnap Admadinejhad

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

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Russia: Israel + US before Nov 5 will bomb Iran

The US top secret in Iraq and the Israeli connection

Bob Woodward’s newest book "the War within" which he reveals in it how the Bush administration has administrated the war in Iraq and in it he talks about a US secret program to counter the Iraqi insrugency. Woodward told CNN’s Larry king, earlier this week, that he has obtained secret information on the workings of US military in Iraq that enabled the US forces to stem the tide of violence and al-Qaeda terrorism in Iraq.

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Les Vis: Well here it comes.....

Yes… here it comes people. It’s a big, awkward, ungainly beast and it is collapsing through the wreckage of a large infrastructure so it may be a little while yet before it hits the ground, pulverizing the infrastructure beneath it. The greed goblins and psychopaths all have (treasure of) Sierra Madre Fever so they are only concerned with grabbing as much loot as possible before the beast crushes everything beneath it. However, like monkeys trying to steal avocados or mangos out of a clay vase, they’re not going to let go of the fruit. They just can’t… even if it means their life. More power to them in that endeavor.

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The Denouement

Don't miss the 'gratuitous extra update' at the end. - Ed.

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


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

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Arthur Silber: The vampire, struck by sunlight

Simplicity and directness would appear to be advisable, as we are all buried in a torrent of irrelevancies, self-justifications, explanations which explain nothing and serve only to confuse everyone (which is precisely their aim), and an unending stream of lies and half-truths. Perhaps it would be easier to think of it in the following terms, for vampire stories are very popular. The economy of the United States is disintegrating in the same way a vampire does when exposed to sunlight, and for the same reason. Having sucked the blood out of all the living creatures unfortunate enough to be nearby, the vampire becomes intoxicated with what he perceives as his own power.

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A tyranny that goes straight to the soul

Alexis de Tocqueville observed the American way of life, government and politics when the country was still young in 1835. His observations show that while there are new problems and social issues today, many of them have haunted this country since its early days.

Tocqueville's observations, in his own words, will be biting and offensive to some Americans, but this is only because the truth in what he says cannot be avoided. He saw a new kind of tyranny rising that was more effective than brute force, a tyranny that went straight to the soul. Tocqueville writes,

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A crash course in economics

The first time I was in a car crash, I was six or seven years old.

That's a long time ago. But there are certain things about it that I remember quite vividly. My father was driving. The road was icy. We began to slide. This was in the days before seat belts and cars had bench seats, upholstered, but not shaped for each individual bottom. My father shot out his right arm and pressed me against the seat back to keep me from flying forward if, indeed, we ended up in hitting something.

But what was most extraordinary, to me, was how long it seemed to take. How time slowed while we slid forward and sideways, heading onto the shoulder, then past it...it seemed as if we had all the time in the world, yet there was nothing we could do to get off the ice, alter the trajectory, slow down...nothing...until we crashed.

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US economy: rudderless and reeling from direct hits

We were promised a “New Economy” of high-tech tradable services to take the place of the offshored manufacturing economy. Wondering what had become of the “New Economy,” Duke University’s Offshoring Research Network searched for it and located it offshore. Yes, the activities of the “New Economy” are also outsourced offshore.

Call centers, IT operations, back-office operations, and manufacturing have long been moved offshore. Now high-value-added proprietary activities such as research and development, engineering, product development, and analytical services are being sent offshore. All that’s left is finance, and it is crumbling before our eyes.

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The worse economic and financial crisis in decades

Regular readers of this blog are familiar with my views. But here below is a detailed summary of the reasons for my views – as presented in this blog in the last few months - that this will turn out to be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and the worst US recession in decades (hyperlinks to my relevant recent writings are provided for each argument):

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Media Manipulation

The riveting excerpts below are from the revealing accounts of 20 award-winning journalists in the highly acclaimed book Into the Buzzsaw. These courageous writers were prevented by corporate media ownership from reporting major news stories. Some were even fired or laid off. They have won numerous awards, including several Emmys and a Pulitzer. Join in building a better world by helping to spread this news across the land.

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Life and Death

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

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

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Nakba Documentary

Director Ryuichi Hirokawa went to Israel in 1967 and worked on a kibbutz. One day he found rubble at the edge of the kibbutz that later proved to be the remains of a village once lived in by the Palestinian people; his friend showed him an English map where next to the names of Palestinian villages was printed the word “destroyed." It was evidence of the fact that the Kibbutz had been founded on the land where this destroyed Palestinian village once stood. Hirokawa’s journey to find out what had happened to the village started at that moment. In his journey into the past, he learned about the NAKBA and a history which had been waiting to be revealed.

Read more, see trailer

The short - but eventful - life of Ike

When Hurricane Gustav hit during the Republican convention, did they talk a great big game about being responsive, and helping the people, blah blah blah?? Two weeks later...not so much. - Ed.

In its brief lifespan of only 13 days, Hurricane Ike wreaked great deal of havoc. Affecting several countries including Cuba, Haiti, and the United States, Ike is blamed for approximately 114 deaths (74 in Haiti alone), and damages that are still being tallied, with estimates topping $10 billion. Many shoreline communities of Galveston, Texas were wiped from the map by the winds, storm surge and the walls of debris pushed along by Ike - though Galveston was spared the level of disaster it suffered in 1900. (28 photos total)

See amazing pictures

9.16.2008

Where does one even begin?

Following the news can easily become a full-time job, and interpreting the news takes the wisdom of Solomon. Since I am unqualified for that task, let me just wish all of you the best of luck and I'll do what I can with the cards we've been dealt.

As for the financial meltdown currently taking place, I see it but I'm not sure what it really means yet. It appears to be planned event, but the timing seems off. Perhaps "they" hoped to forestall it until after the elections to insure that McCain could get in first. In addition, it does not seem that everyone expected to have both feet on the reservation about McCain got the memo. Perhaps Palin is a bridge too far. The overall problem appears to be that events are happening so quickly that they defy coordination and control. Considering how orchestrated our lives have become, the advantage accrues to those paying attention -- as long as you can keep up. Good luck.

Meanwhile, the revelations about the DOJ and Cheney's cabal back in 2004 are very, very interesting. Clearly Cheney and Addington have been making all sorts of decisions and using a combination of secrecy and bullying to make it all stick. Addington whined:

"I'm sure when we leave office we're all going to be hauled up before congressional committees and grand juries," Addington told one colleague in disgust.
God Willing!

But we still don't know what was this surveillance 'thing' that prompted such intense pushback from the DOJ.

While all this rages on, we've had other news about the mysterious weapons that Bob Woodward told Larry King about. He couldn't say more because someone could get killed, by which he must have meant a "good guy," since obviously, plenty of people have been getting killed by the said unknown technology, but I digress...

And what the hell is going on with Hurricane Ike? Gee whiz the Republicans were so attentive to people's needs when Hurricane Gustav displaced their convention. They were paragons of virtue. But here we are, just two weeks later, and they're right back to the Katrina playbook.

These things are connected. It's all connected: mysterious weapons, surveillance, the lethargic and brain-dead American public, weather modification. We must discover the connections, and they have to do with technology.
The surveillance state is well in place and all pervasive. The government here employs one in 25 people (2001) to snitch on their neighbors and clientele, and there are many more recruits available who do this out of some misguided zealotry: fundamental churches are sponsored to provide candidates for this role, as well as any other organization including but not limited to motorcycle club/gang members. Two way television surveillance is rife, and in place just about anywhere there are cable TV facilities. Many monitors and televisions are equipped with a camera OUT, letting law enforcement into your living room whenever they feel the need. The legislation enacted recently by boy george (Since 9-11) is just an attempt to make all this legal on paper.
Watching people in their homes, through their TVs and computers? Was that what pushed Ashcroft and Comey over the edge? I mean, were they ok with monitoring all our phone calls and emails, but they drew the line at the peep show? I don't know. That's just the problem -- we don't know. So much secrecy surrounds our government, and what they're really doing, and to what nefarious ends.
The New World Order is wireless, and will never end unless the antennae come down. That is the stark truth. Get up close to them, see how they are made.
I encourage you to explore the links at this site, especially if you have some background in science.

Nouriel Roubini spikes the football (in a nice way)

Now, this really is "piling on" by Nouriel Roubini, an economist who, given how closely reality is matching up with his dire forecasts, is quickly rising to "rock star" status.

It's almost as if he's trying to incite the crowd with his "slow motion run on the bank" concern, the video below having probably already been played by hundreds of thousands of people after sitting on the front page of Yahoo! for most of the afternoon.


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Palin, Huckabee and the GOP's 'Hick Factor'

Why did the GOP choose a political neophyte to appeal to the religious right over a seasoned politico? Fried squirrels and economic populism.

In a convention hall filled with ecstatic Republicans taking in Sarah Palin's speech on Wednesday night, one observer seemed a little less than enthusiastic. Mike Huckabee, the former Republican presidential hopeful spurned by party leaders and religious right honchos, must have felt like the hockey mom from Wasilla stole the thunder of the Southern Baptist preacher from Hope.

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White privilege, white entitlement and the 2008 election

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

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

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

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Neocons plan Project Sarah Palin to shape future American foreign policy

Excerpt:

A former Republican White House official, who now works at the American Enterprise Institute, a bastion of Washington neoconservatism, admitted: "She's bright and she's a blank page. She's going places and it's worth going there with her."

Asked if he sees her as a "project", the former official said: "Your word, not mine, but I wouldn't disagree with the sentiment."

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Saakass - Drug Abuser according to Medvedev

President Medvedev revealed in a frank talk with members of the Valdai Discussion club how news of war in South Ossetia came to him, why Russia will not deal with drug-addicted Georgian president Saakashvili, what George W. Bush said in his latest phone call, and why he won’t let Russia turn into a state behind an iron curtain.

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McCain rally - wide angle lens



Empty seats greet McCain at Florida rally


In FLORIDA?? I could see the trouble in Massachusetts, but in Florida?? - Ed.

Greenwald: What illegal 'things' was the government doing in 2001-2004?

For the second consecutive day, The Washington Post has published an excerpt from reporter Barton Gellman's new book on the Cheney Vice Presidency, and it provides still more details on the intense confrontation in March, 2004 between the Bush Justice Department and the Cheney-led White House over the DOJ's refusal to certify the legality of the NSA's domestic spying activities.

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Shatter the Illusions: Patriots must reject the two party system

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

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Literally, there is a curtain.....more here...you are not to know who is entering the White House because, apparently, it's so scandalous or outrageous or WTF???

US designs on Pakistan

A pattern is beginning to emerge. Every time the Pakistani military and local tribal forces in Pakistan’s north form a successful alliance in the fight against terrorism, US forces launch offensives striking civilians in the area, thereby undermining the Pakistan military’s credibility vis a vis its own population and sabotaging the effectiveness of the joint strategy to combat terrorism in the region.

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Courts are stacked: Is there hope for the Andover criminal trial of Bush + Co?

Cognitive distortions are based on a grain of truth, but also throw off the message we give ourselves from the real truth. Let's correct the cognitive distortions about the courts being stacked, without denying the reality either, and get to work. Thanks!

::::::::

Dear friends:

Of course the courts are stacked. We all know that. Of course people are discouraged and afraid that the Andover, Massachusetts lawschool's proposed criminal trial of Bush, Cheney and Administrative officials just won't work because of that.

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9.15.2008

The New American Slavery

Look what all he could see back in 2005. It's all there. It's all been there. We just need to be able to open our eyes and look. - Ed.

The average American in the year 2005 lives a fragile existence, in a struggle for survival that can be end-ed by missing a few paychecks. The carrot at the end of the stick which was formerly known as "the American dream" has been replaced by a whip that can best be described as the American nightmare of homelessness, and slow, early death. You no longer work to achieve a better life for yourselves and your children. You work to keep a roof over your head, and you pray that you don’t lose it. You became a slave when fear replaced incentive as your motivation to work, but I still suggest that you work while you can, because if the company you work for can’t send your job overseas, the U.S. government is allowing 2000 people per day to enter this country illegally, because they’re willing to do your job for less. It doesn't matter if you’re a "white collar" or "blue collar" employee. If you’re an American, you’re too highly paid. There are billions of people who want your job, and your government is doing all they can to see that you lose it to them. You see, we’re not really Americans anymore. Now we’re just anonymous faces in the "global village," because our government has sold our nation to foreigners and international bankers, and the new bankruptcy law has doomed the American citizen to a life of debt slavery. They’ll insist that illegal immigrants are only doing jobs that Americans refuse to do, and you’ll probably believe it, because if you’re watching the TV that shovels that crap, you probably still have your job. The illegal immigrants are doing jobs that Americans always did, and every unemployed American I talk to can’t find a job anywhere.

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Conflict over spying led White House to brink

A burst of ferocity stunned the room into silence. No other word for it: The vice president's attorney was shouting.

"The president doesn't want this! [1] You are not going to see the opinions. You are out . . . of . . . your . . . lane!"

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What you can do to put Bush and Cheney behind bars

Remarks on September 14, 2008, at Justice Robert Jackson Conference on Planning for the Prosecution of High Level American War Criminals, Andover, Massachusetts.

I want to thank Dean Lawrence Velvel and also Sherwood Ross and Jeff Demers for putting this event together.

These remarks are posted at the top of AfterDowningStreet.org in a version that has links to materials and action pages that I reference. So you don't have to catch everything I say.

I want everyone in this room to please do something before going to sleep tonight. Take a look at Alan Dershowitz's op-ed in Friday's Wall Street Journal and send a letter to the editor responding to it in your own words. It can be a sentence or three paragraphs. It should be polite and include all of your contact info. You'll find links to the op-ed and the Email address in the version of these remarks at the top of AfterDowningStreet.org. Dershowitz thinks the rule of law is no more important than preventing a situation in which a prosecution results from an election, so he wants Obama not to prosecute. But he could have had both that result and the rule of law by asking Mukasey or McCain to prosecute. Dershowitz also suggests that the crimes of Bush and Cheney, IF there have been any, are no worse than those of any previous administration.

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Sarah 'the tyrant' Palin

I'm telling you, she's a psychopath. Dubya in drag. - Ed.

Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin is a tyrannical woman who pursues vendettas and fires people who cross her, The New York Times said.

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Christian Fundamentalism permeates the Republican party: Sarah Palin's links to the Christian Right

Very, very important reading. - Ed.

Some days ago, most Americans had never heard of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Now, following her Vice Presidential acceptance speech, viewed live by more than 40 million people, Palin is viewed favorably by 58% of American voters according to the latest Rasmussen Reports survey. The self-described ‘hockey mom’’s poll ratings, if they are to be believed, are that of a rock superstar who is rated now higher than either McCain or Democrat Obama. The same Bush-Cheney propaganda apparatus that made the nation believe that Saddam Hussein was the new Hitler and that Georgia was a helpless victim of ruthless Russian aggression after 8.8.08 in Georgia is clearly behind one of the most impressive media propaganda efforts in recent history—the effort to package Republican Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska for less than 19 months, to be the American dream candidate. Her religious roots are something she has been deliberately vague about. It’s worth a closer look.

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Anti-Palin rally organizers receive threats

ANCHORAGE, Alaska-- Opponents of Gov. Sarah Palin's policies are being threatened.

Alaska Women Reject Palin, a local group that opposes the Republican vice presidential candidate, on Wednesday announced plans to host an anti-Palin rally this weekend.

Since that announcement organizers say they've received intimidating messages.

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Anti-Bush graffiti: 25 countries, six continents

As our country sinks ever deeper into delusion, it's good to know that people around the world can see clearly. Think of us, brethren! - Ed.

Barack Obama recently made headlines with his eight-day tour of Europe and the Middle East.

Many analysts here and abroad agree it was a smart political move for the U.S. presidential nominee, but some argue it was just a drop in a substantial bucket of goodwill needed to improve international relations with America.

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Tina Fey does Sarah Palin on SNL season opener

Saturday Night Live's Tina Fey teamed with Amy Poehler to impersonate Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton during the show's opening segment. The two comedians pleaded with the news media to stop sexist coverage.

This video is from NBC's Saturday Night Live, broadcast September 13, 2008.

Watch clip

Israel and the Dark Arts

Israel’s enduring use of Palestinian collaborators to entrench the occupation and destroy Palestinian resistance was once the great unmentionable of the Middle East conflict.

When the subject was dealt with by the international and local media, it was solely in the context of the failings of the Palestinian legal system, which allowed the summary execution of collaborators by lynch mobs and kangaroo courts.

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Former Israeli soldier bears witness to 'dirty' occupation

JERUSALEM–If you are heading to Hebron any time soon, do not expect Yehuda Shaul to act as your guide, not the way things are going.

The 25-year-old Israeli political gadfly would certainly like to escort you on a bracing tour of the powder-keg Palestinian city, where an enclave of Jewish settlers cohabits uneasily with the surrounding Arab populace. Shaul conducted 145 such tours last year alone, providing some 3,000 people with a first-hand glimpse of the starker aspects of the Israeli occupation.

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The Baby Killers

RICHARD NEVILLE keeps promising not to mention the wars but can't help commenting on the ongoing blood bath in Afghanistan.

I keep promising myself not to mention the wars for these reasons: the invaders couldn't care less about their crimes or their critics, my friends think I've become a ranting bore and many of today's citizens have more pressing worries than the serial massacres of toddlers in badlands. Bad stuff keeps happening. It keeps being denied. And is soon forgotten.

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Paulson: Congress has no authority here

Hank Paulson's God Complex just got bigger. The Director of Government Bailouts, and head of the Socialism Departmant at Treasury has informed Congress to back off his turf.

"All your legislation belongs to us!"

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legal mumbo jumbo

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