Thursday, June 30, 2011


June 30, 2011 at 00:03:36

Promoted to Headline (H3) on 6/30/11:


Observations On The Day

by paul craig roberts (about the author)

Idiocy reigns supreme

Americans are a doomed people for many reasons. One reason is that they are disunited and at one another's throats and, thus, cannot stand up the tyranny issuing from Washington.

For example, the governments of Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, states that share borders, have been fighting for more than two decades over the water in Georgia's Lake Lanier, located a few miles northeast of Atlanta. In 2009 a federal district judge ruled that it is illegal for water to be drawn from the lake to meet the needs of Atlanta's three million residents. The judge stipulated that the three states had until July 2011 to reach an agreement, failing which Atlanta would be restricted to the amount of water it received in the mid-1970s, when its population was less than one-third of its present size.

Obviously, the ruling was a major incentive to Alabama and Florida not to compromise. Either the judge gave no thought to this fact or he was unconcerned that 3 million Atlantans would find themselves in drought circumstances.

At the last moment on June 28, with two days to go before Atlanta was cut off from its water supply, a federal appeals court ruled that the district court judge's decision was incorrect and gave the US Corps of Engineers one year to make a final decision concerning the allocation of Lake Lanier's water to the three states.

The state of Alabama, displaying total callousness to its 3 million fellow American citizens in Atlanta, has announced that it is appealing the ruling, and Florida is "studying the ruling," no doubt looking for a way to get Atlanta's share of the water.

Quite clearly, this is not a United States. Even the old Confederacy cannot stand together. For more than two decades the three states have not sat down to make a fair deal. Instead, they have been suing in federal courts, each seeking advantage.

In California, water is being attacked from a different direction. Rich corporate and financial interests realized that control over water was control over life -- the ultimate power. These powerful few are moving to deregulate and privatize California's water supply in order to exploit their control over the life-sustaining substance. California's dry spell has been hyped into a cataclysmic crisis that pits small farmers against urban environmentalists. This is theater to distract a gullible public and media from the fact that privatized water can be turned into paper water, for which derivatives can be created and speculation can ensue. "Privatized water" has nothing whatsoever to do with providing water to mere people. Its purpose is to provide billions of dollars to financial interests.

Speaking of paper profits, today the stock market was up on the news that the "democratic" Greek government, despite the overwhelming opposition of the Greek people, agreed to the imposed austerity measures in order to borrow from the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, both being illegal loans under the two organizations' charters, the money to pay private foreign banks that bought Greek government bonds. The private banks are being fully compensated for not doing due diligence.

The financial markets, in their utter stupidity, think -- if that is an appropriate word -- that it is good news the Greek government has agreed to drive the Greek economy deeper into recession in order to acquire more loans with which to pay off loans that it cannot pay off.

The financial press thinks that the austerity measures that the Greek government has to accept and the sell-off of the public domain -- water companies, ports, a string of Greek Islands, the state telephone monopoly, the state lottery and the reduction in pay, employment, and social services -- somehow makes the Greek economy more capable of producing the income needed to service the new IMF and ECB loans that pay off the private German, French and Dutch bankers.

If Wall Street and the financial sector had an IQ as high as 100, they would know -- every one of them -- that the "bailout" is pushing Greece deeper into a hole, and that Greek's ability to pay will decline.

Why doesn't the Greek government know what is completely obvious when the people in the streets protesting are fully aware of the fact? The only answer to this question is that the Greek politicians have been bought by the debtor banks. Greek "democracy" serves the debtor private banks, not the Greek people.

The vaunted financial markets are not rational. Indeed, they are the opposite. Financial markets turn obvious bad news into good news in order to drive up prices of financial assets. Truth and facts mean nothing whatsoever to financial markets. The financial markets are based on lies, illusions, and delusions that drive up asset prices. That is what you are investing in when you invest in Wall Street.

In the US today we have president obama challenging congress on the "default crisis." The american president (lower case is used to indicate the insubstantiality of american political institutions, including that of the country itself) who refuses to obey the War Powers Act which requires that he communicate with congress before he takes america to war, told congress that the entire cost of deficit reduction cannot be put on the backs of america's poor unless he has the cover of taking away a few special interest tax breaks. Obama is telling the nitwits who, like himself, are bought-and-paid-for by the interests, that to continue the game the rich corporations have to give up something, like a few insignificant tax breaks. If the congressional idiots catch on, then obama can emphasize how he is making the rich pay, while he covertly shifts the burden to the poor and to the remnants of the american middle class, a destroyed entity.

The entire default "confrontation" between "america's first black president" and congress is fraudulent. If attacking Libya is so much in the national interest that obama doesn't need to inform congress, it is completely obvious that it is too much in the national interest that the US government not default.

The US default on its bonds would not only wreck the international financial system, it would destroy american power. Nothing is more in "the national interest" than Washington not defaulting. Therefore, it is completely obvious that if congress does not raise the debt ceiling, the Federal Reserve will continue to purchase the Treasury's debt issues so that the government can pay its bills. The Bush regime, with its Federalist Society brownshirts, established once and for all that the american president becomes Caesar during war and that it is the president's prerogative alone to declare what is in the national interest. Congress has become unnecessary, like the Roman senate under the Caesars.

There is no chance whatsoever of the US government defaulting. Yet, the "default crisis" is the main story purveyed by the US Ministry of Propaganda.

On the environmental front, more devastation awaits america. This is not about the nuclear radiation dangers from the floods, no matter how real. It is more simple. The US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has also been "privatized" and has become a government servant of private interests.

The BLM has been "privatized" in the sense that those who actually cared about the purpose of the law and the preservation of public lands have been displaced by new appointees put in power by the Clinton and the Bush regimes. Yes, you guessed correctly, the BLM's management consists of corporate appointees, who are doing what they were put there to do, which is to steal the public domain for private profit.

For equines or horse lovers, this is turning out to be a hard blow. According to Marilyn Wargo, who is knowledgeable on this issue, the BLM is about to exterminate two-thirds of the remaining wild horse herds that exist on the pubic's lands in Nevada, Wyoming, Oregon and Colorado.

Like everything else in our "freedom and democracy" country, this extermination is being done despite powerful public protests by citizens -- citizens most likely characterized by Homeland Security as "animal rights terrorists."

Who stands to gain? Obviously, cattle and sheep corporations that take over the grazing rights from wildlife. Americans have still not understood that one accomplishment of the Bush Regime was to put government agencies that were created to protect the public domain into the hands of corporate interests. The fusion of corporate and government interests in the US today is more complete than in Fascist Italy.

There is no freedom, no democracy, and no government accountability in Amerika, a fascist state.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Greg Mello on US Nuclear Weapons Renaissance & Wildfire Threatens Los Alamos Nuclear Lab


Uploaded by democracynow on Jun 28, 2011 - In New Mexico, an out-of-control wildfire that began Sunday has already burned nearly 80-square miles and is a mile or less from Los Alamos National Laboratory, home to a nuclear weapons plutonium facility. Pieces of ash from the fire have dropped onto the laboratory grounds, sparking "spot" fires. A senior investigator with the Project on Government Oversight said a fire at the facility would be a "disaster" that could result in large and lethal releases of radiation. Officials insist explosive materials on the laboratory's grounds are safely stored in underground bunkers made of concrete and steel. But the group, Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, told the Associated Press that the fire appeared to be about 3.5 miles from a dumpsite where as many as 30,000 55-gallon drums of plutonium-contaminated waste were stored in fabric tents above ground. The group said the drums were awaiting transport to a low-level radiation dump site in southern New Mexico. Democracy Now! interviews Greg Mello, the director of the Los Alamos Study Group, a citizen-led nuclear disarmament group based in New Mexico. "Los Alamos National Laboratory is becoming the center of plutonium manufacturing for the country," Mello says, even though "it is a place with a lot of natural hazards, not just fires, but also earthquakes."

To download the podcast, read the transcript, and for more information about Democracy Now!, visit


June 29, 2011 at 00:40:46

Promoted to Headline (H3) on 6/29/11:     Permalink

A World Overwhelmed By Western Hypocrisy

by paul craig roberts (about the author)

Western institutions have become caricatures of hypocrisy.

The International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank are violating their charters in order to bail out French, German, and Dutch private banks. The IMF is only empowered to make balance of payments loans, but is lending to the Greek government for prohibited budgetary reasons in order that the Greek government can pay the banks. The ECB is prohibited from bailing out member country governments, but is doing so anyway in order that the banks can be paid. The German parliament approved the bailout, which violates provisions of the European Treaty and Germany's own Basic Law. The case is in the German Constitutional Court, a fact unreported in the US media.

US President George W. Bush appointed an immigrant, who is not impressed with the US Constitution and the separation of powers, to the Justice (sic) Department in order to get a ruling that the president has "unitary powers" that elevate him above statutory US law, treaties, and international law. According to this immigrant's legal decisions, the "unitary executive" can violate with impunity the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which prevents spying on Americans without warrants obtained from the FISA Court. The immigrant also ruled that Bush could violate with impunity the statutory US laws against torture as well as the Geneva Conventions. In other words, the fictional "unitary powers" make the president into a Caesar.

Constitutional protections, such as habeas corpus, which prohibit government from holding people indefinitely without presenting charges and evidence to a court, and which prohibit government from denying detained people due process of law and access to an attorney, were thrown out the window by the US Department of Justice (sic), and the federal courts went along with most of it.

As did Congress, "the people's representatives." Congress even enacted the Military Tribunals Commissions Act of 2006, signed by the White House Brownshirt on October 17.

This act allows anyone alleged to be an "unlawful enemy combatant" to be sentenced to death on the basis of secret and hearsay evidence not presented in the kangaroo military court placed out of reach of US federal courts. The crazed Nazis in Congress who supported this total destruction of Anglo-American law masqueraded as "patriots in the war against terrorism."

The act designates anyone accused by the US, without evidence being presented, as being part of the Taliban, al-Qaeda, or "associated forces" to be an "unlawful enemy combatant," which strips the person of the protection of law. Not even George Orwell could have conceived of such a formulation.

The Taliban consists of indigenous Afghan peoples who, prior to the US military intervention, were fighting to unify the country. The Taliban are Islamist, and the US government fears another Islamist government, like the one in Iran that was blowback from US intervention in Iran's internal affairs. The "freedom and democracy" Americans overthrew an elected Iranian leader and imposed a tyrant. American-Iranian relations have never recovered from the tyranny that Washington imposed on Iranians.

Washington is opposed to any government whose leaders cannot be purchased to perform as Washington's puppets. This is why George W. Bush's regime invaded Afghanistan, why Washington overthrew Saddam Hussein, and why Washington wants to overthrow Libya, Syria, and Iran.

America's First Black (or half white) President inherited the Afghan war, which has lasted longer than World War II with no victory in sight. Instead of keeping with his election promises and ending the fruitless war, Obama intensified it with a "surge."

The war is now 10 years old, and the Taliban control more of the country than does the US and its NATO puppets. Frustrated by their failure, the Americans and their NATO puppets increasingly murder women, children, village elders, Afghan police, and aid workers.

A video taken by a US helicopter gunship, leaked to Wikileaks and released, shows American forces, as if they were playing video games, slaughtering civilians, including camera men for a prominent news service, as they are walking down a peaceful street. A father with small children, who stopped to help the dying victims of American soldiers' fun and games, was also blown away, as were his children. The American voices on the video blame the children's demise on the father for bringing kids into a "war zone." It was no war zone, just a quiet city street with civilians walking along.

The video documents American crimes against humanity as powerfully as any evidence used against the Nazis in the aftermath of World War II at the Nuremberg Trials.

Perhaps the height of lawlessness was attained when the Obama regime announced that it had a list of American citizens who would be assassinated without due process of law.

One would think that if law any longer had any meaning in Western civilization, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, indeed, the entire Bush/Cheney regime, as well as Tony Blair and Bush's other co-conspirators, would be standing before the International Criminal Court.

Yet it is Muammar Gadaffi for whom the International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants. Western powers are using the International Criminal Court, which is supposed to serve justice, for self-interest reasons that are unjust.

What is Gadaffi's crime? His crime is that he is attempting to prevent Libya from being overthrown by a US-supported, and perhaps organized, armed uprising in Eastern Libya that is being used to evict China from its oil investments in Eastern Libya.

Libya is the first armed revolt in the so-called "Arab Spring." Reports have made it clear that there is nothing "democratic" about the revolt. The West managed to push a "no-fly" resolution through its puppet organization, the United Nations. The resolution was limited to neutralizing Gadaffi's air force. However, Washington, and its French puppet, Nicolas Sarkozy, quickly made an "expansive interpretation" of the UN resolution and turned it into authorization to become directly involved in the war.

Gadaffi has resisted the armed rebellion against the state of Libya, which is the normal response of a government to rebellion. The US would respond the same as would the UK and France. But by trying to prevent the overthrow of his country and his country from becoming another American puppet state, Gadaffi has been indicted. The International Criminal Court knows that it cannot indict the real perpetrators of crimes against humanity -- Bush, Blair, Obama, and Sarkozy -- but the court needs cases and accepts the victims that the West succeeds in demonizing.

In our post-Orwellian times, everyone who resists or even criticizes the US is a criminal. For example, Washington considers Julian Assange and Bradley Manning to be criminals because they made information available that exposed crimes committed by the US government. Anyone who even disagrees with Washington is considered to be a "threat," and Obama can have such "threats" assassinated or arrested as a "terrorist suspect" or as someone "providing aid and comfort to terrorists." American conservatives and liberals, who once supported the US Constitution, are all in favor of shredding the Constitution in the interest of being "safe from terrorists." They even accept such intrusions as porno-scans and sexual groping in order to be "safe" on air flights.

The collapse of law is across the board. The Supreme Court decided that it is "free speech" for America to be ruled by corporations, not by law and certainly not by the people. On June 27, the US Supreme Court advanced the fascist state that the "conservative" court is creating with the ruling that Arizona cannot publicly fund election candidates in order to level the playing field currently unbalanced by corporate money. The "conservative" US Supreme Court considers public funding of candidates to be unconstitutional, but not the "free speech" funding by business interests who purchase the government in order to rule the country. The US Supreme Court has become a corporate functionary and legitimizes rule by corporations. Mussolini called this rule, imposed on Americans by the US Supreme Court, fascism.

The Supreme Court also ruled on June 27 that California violated the US Constitution by banning the sale of violent video games to kids, despite evidence that the violent games trained the young to violent behavior. It is fine with the Supreme Court for soldiers, whose lives are on the line, to be prohibited under penalty of law from drinking beer before they are 21, but the idiot Court supports inculcating kids to be murderers, as long as it is in the interest of corporate profits, in the name of "free speech."

Amazing, isn't it, that a court so concerned with "free speech" has not protected American war protesters from unconstitutional searches and arrests, or protected protesters from being attacked by police or herded into fenced-in areas distant from the object of protest.

As the second decade of the 21st century opens, those who oppose US hegemony and the evil that emanates from Washington risk being declared as "terrorists." If they are American citizens, they can be assassinated. If they are foreign leaders, their countries can be invaded. When captured, they can be executed, like Saddam Hussein, or sent off to the ICC, like the hapless Serbs, who tried to defend their country from being dismantled by the Americans.

And the American sheeple think that they have "freedom and democracy."

Washington relies on fear to coverup its crimes. A majority of Americans now fear and hate Muslims, peoples about whom Americans know nothing but the racist propaganda which encourages Americans to believe that Muslims are hiding under their beds in order to murder them in their sleep.

The neoconservatives, of course, are the purveyors of fear. The more fearful the sheeple, the more they seek safety in the neocon police state and the more they overlook Washington's crimes of aggression against Muslims.

Safety uber alles. That has become the motto of a once free and independent American people, who once were admired but today are despised.

In America lawlessness is now complete. Women can have abortions, but if they have stillbirths, they are arrested for murder.
Americans are such a terrified and abused people that a 95-year-old woman dying from leukemia traveling to a last reunion with family members was forced to remove her adult diaper in order to clear airport security. Only a population totally cowed would permit such abuses of human dignity. 

In a June 27 interview on National Public Radio, Ban Ki-moon, Washington's South Korean puppet installed as the Secretary General of the United Nations, was unable to answer why the UN and the US tolerate the slaughter of unarmed civilians in Bahrain, but support the International Criminal Court's indictment of Gadaffi for defending Libya against armed rebellion. Gadaffi has killed far fewer people than the US, UK, or the Saudis in Bahrain. Indeed, NATO and the Americans have killed more Libyans than has Gadaffi. The difference is that the US has a naval base in Bahrain, but not in Libya.
There is nothing left of the American character. Only a people who have lost their soul could tolerate the evil that emanates from Washington. 


Banker Occupation of Greece


By Stephen Lendman (about the author)

Economist Michael Hudson calls it "Replacing Economic Democracy with Financial Oligarchy" in a June 5 article by that title, saying:

After being debt entrapped, or perhaps acquiescing to entrapment, the Papandreou government needs bailout help to pay bankers that entrapped them. Doing so, however, requires "initiat(ing) a class war by raising its taxes (harming working households most), lowering its standard of living - and even private-sector pensions - and sell off public land, tourist sites, islands, ports, water and sewer facilities" - in fact, all the country's crown jewels, lock, stock and barrel, strip-mining it of everything of worth at fire sale prices.

Why? Because the US-dominated IMF, EU and European Central Bank (ECB), the so-called "Troika," demand it as the price for bailout help that wouldn't be needed if Greece wasn't trapped in the euro straightjacket. Membership means foregoing the right to devalue its currency to make exports more competitive, maintain sovereignty over its money to monetize its debt freely, and be able to legislate fiscal policies to stimulate growth.

Instead they're entrapped by foreign banker diktats demanding tribute. They call it a "rescue." In May 2010, the Papandreou government agreed to earlier austerity in return for loans. Now they're at it again, demanding more or they'll collapse the entire economy, or so they say. And the same scheme is replicated in Ireland and Portugal. Moreover, it's heading for Spain, and potentially most of Europe and America as representative governments head closer to "financial oligarchy."

In other words, it amounts to financial coup d'etat authority over sovereign governments unless popular anger prevents it, involving more than street protests or short-term strikes accomplishing nothing.

Former Wall Street broker, financial analyst, radio/TV host, and consummate critic Max Keiser calls it "banker occupation" for good reason. They:

-- make the rules;

-- set the terms;

-- issue diktats;

-- pressure, bribe or otherwise cajole or force governments to acquiesce; and

-- burden working households with higher unemployment, wage and benefit cuts, higher taxes, and other austerity measures to assure financial predators profit - always at their expense, forcing once prosperous nations to surrender sovereignty to financial oligarchs, ruling world economies like fiefdoms.

Hudson said European central planning concentrated financial power in "non-democratic hands" from inception under European Central Bank (ECB) dominance. Operating like a financial czar over its 17 Eurozone members, it:

-- "has no elected government (to) levy taxes;

-- (t)he EU constitution prevents (it) from bailing out governments," unlike the Fed able to monetize US debt in limitless amounts; and

-- "the IMF Articles of Agreement also block it from giving domestic fiscal support for budget deficits," saying:

"A member state may obtain IMF credits only on the condition that it has 'a need to make the purchase because of its balance of payments or its reserve position or developments in its reserves.' "

However, despite ample foreign exchange reserves, IMF loans are offered "because of budgetary problems," precisely what it's not allowed to do. As a result, "when it comes to bailing out bankers," said Hudson, "rules are ignored" to save them and their counterparties from incurring losses. And it works the same way in America under the Fed, dispensing open-checkbook amounts to Wall Street on demand.

No wonder Hudson calls finance "a form of warfare," operating like pillaging armies, taking over land, infrastructure, other tangible assets, and all material wealth, devastating nations in the process, causing unemployment, poverty, neoserfdom, "demographic shrinkage, shortened life spans, emigration and capital flight."

Greece's business-friendly fiscal legacy, in fact, caused today's crisis, squeezing public spending in favor of the rich the rich, especially with sweetheart tax policies letting much of their income go undeclared.

Financial deception followed. On February 8, 2010, Der Spiegel writer Beat Balzli headlined, "How Goldman Sachs Helped Greece to Mask its True Debt," saying:

In 2002, Goldman helped them borrow billions by circumventing Eurozone rules in return for mortgaging assets. Using creative accounting, debt was then hidden through off-balance sheet shenanigans, employing derivatives called "cross-currency swaps in which government debt issued in dollars and yen was swapped for euro debt for a certain period - to be exchanged back into the original currencies at a later date."

Debt entrapment followed, nations like Greece held hostage to repay it, the usual price being structural adjustment harshness, making a bad situation worse. In 2010, in return for a $150 billion loan, Papandreou imposed:

-- large public worker layoffs (around 10% overall);

-- public sector 10% wage cuts, including a 30% reduction in salary entitlements;

-- cutting civil service bonuses 20%;

-- freezing pensions;

-- raising the average retirement age two years; and

-- higher fuel, alcohol, tobacco, and luxury goods taxes, knowing much more lay ahead given Greece's worsening debt problem.

More bailout help is now needed in return for greater austerity, as well as selling off Greece's crown jewels as explained above. On June 24, New York Times writer Stephen Castle headlined, "Europeans Agree to a New Bailout for Greece with Conditions," saying:

The deal "came a day after Greece agreed with international creditors to more austerity measures (requiring parliamentary approval) as part of revised plans for 2011-15 aimed at" assuring bankers are first in line to get paid, popular and national interests be damned.

An agreement in principle expects half the funds offered to come from new loans, a fourth from state asset sales, and the remainder from private sector contributions.

An unspecified larger amount (of around 110 billion euros in total) will follow an initial 12 billion euro emergency loan with strings. They include:

-- laying off another 20% of public workers;

-- privatizing public enterprises and assets on the cheap;

-- a one-time personal income levy from 1 - 5%, depending on income;

-- lowering the tax-free income threshold to 8,000 euros annually from 12,000;

-- setting the lowest tax rate at 10%, with exemptions for people up to age 30, over-65 pensioners, and disabled people; and

-- annually taxing the self-employed an additional 300 euros.

Up to $120 billion in cuts are expected though final figures haven't been announced, depending on amounts raised from asset sales and private contributions.

In response, public anger is visceral through daily protests. The ruling PASOK party's approval rating is 27%. Over 90% of the public are dissatisfied with Greece's governance. Another 90% say the country is "on the wrong path." About 80% are unhappy with their lives, and 70% are concerned that conditions will keep deteriorating.

Nonetheless, on June 22, Papandreou won a parliamentary vote of confidence ahead of two more steps the IMF and Eurozone leaders require before releasing more funds - agreeing on their demanded austerity plan and enacting measures to implement it.

In fact, acting IMF managing director John Lipsky (a former JP Morgan Investment Bank vice chairman) said no opposition will be tolerated. In other words, Eurozone nations have no option but to obey IMF diktats, Lipsky acting more like a commissar than banker.

At the same time, austerity, privatizations, and greater debt amounts are self-defeating. Workers, of course, are hardest hit unless mobilized mass action stops it. Ideally they can do it by general strike, shutting down the country, setting non-negotiable demands, staying out until predatory banker diktats are rejected, and prevailing by letting nations regain their sovereignty and people their rights.

That's how labor battles are won. It works the same everywhere when rank and file determination stays the course to victory.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago.

Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. .

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Michael Hudson: The Financial Road to Serfdom – How Bankers are Using the Debt Crisis to Roll Back the Progressive Era

By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. Cross posted from CounterPunch.

Financial strategists do not intend to let today’s debt crisis go to waste. Foreclosure time has arrived. That means revolution – or more accurately, a counter-revolution to roll back the 20th century’s gains made by social democracy: pensions and social security, public health care and other infrastructure providing essential services at subsidized prices or for free. The basic model follows the former Soviet Union’s post-1991 neoliberal reforms: privatization of public enterprises, a high flat tax on labor but only nominal taxes on real estate and finance, and deregulation of the economy’s prices, working conditions and credit terms.

What is to be reversed is the “modern” agenda. The aim a century ago was to mobilize the Industrial Revolution’s soaring productivity and technology to raise living standards and use progressive taxation, public regulation, central banking and financial reform to distribute wealth fairly and make societies more equal. Today’s financial aim is the opposite: to concentrate wealth at the top of the economic pyramid and lower labor’s returns. High finance loves low wages.

The political lever to achieve this program is financial. The European Union (EU) constitution prevents central banks from financing government deficits, leaving this role to commercial banks, paying interest to them for creating credit that central banks readily monetize for themselves in Britain and the United States. Governments are to go into debt to bail out banks for loans gone bad – as do more and more loans as finance impoverishes the economy, stifling its ability to pay. Yet as long as we live in democracies, voters must agree to pay. Governments are sovereign and debt is ultimately a creature of the law and courts.

But first they need to understand what is happening. From the bankers’ perspective, the economic surplus is what they themselves end up with. Rising consumption standards and even public investment in infrastructure are seen as deadweight. Bankers and bondholders aim to increase the surplus not so much by tangible capital investment increasing the overall surplus, but by more predatory means, headed by rolling back labor’s gains and stiffening working conditions while gaining public subsidy. Banks “create wealth” by providing more credit (that is, debt leverage) to bid up asset prices for real estate and enterprises already in place – assets that either are being foreclosed on or sold off under debt pressure by private owners or governments. One commentator recently characterized the latter strategy of privatization as “tantamount to selling the family silver only to have to rent it back in order to eat dinner.”

Fought in the name of free markets, this counter-revolution rejects the classical ideal of markets free of unearned income paid to special interests. The financial objective is to squeeze out a surplus by maximizing the margin of prices over costs. Opposing government enterprise and infrastructure as the road to serfdom, high finance is seeking to turn public infrastructure into rent-extracting tollbooths to extract economic rent (the “free lunch economy”), while replacing labor unions with non-union labor so as to work it more intensively.

This new road to neoserfdom is an asset grab. But to achieve it, the financial sector needs a political grab to replace democracy with financial technocrats. Their job is to pretend that there is no revolution at all, merely an increase in “efficiency,” “creating wealth” by debt-leveraging the economy to the point where the entire surplus is paid out as interest to the financial managers who are emerging as Western civilization’s new central planners.

Frederick Hayek’s Road to Serfdom portrayed a dystopia of public officials seeking to regulate the economy. In attacking government so one-sidedly, his ideological extremism sought to replace the checks and balances of mixed economies with a private sector “free” of regulation and consumer protection. His vision was of a post-modern economy “free” of the classical reforms to bring market prices into line with cost value. Instead of purifying industrial capitalism from the special rent extraction privileges bequeathed from the feudal epoch, Hayek’s ideology opened the way for unchecked financial power to make a travesty of “free markets.”

The European Union’s financial planners claim that Greece and other debtor countries have a problem that is easy to cure by imposing austerity. Pension savings, Social Security and medical insurance are to be downsized so as to “free” more debt service to be paid to creditors. Insisting that Greece only has a “liquidity problem,” European Central Bank (ECB) extremists deem an economy “solvent” as long as it has assets to privatize. ECB executive board member Lorenzo Bini Smaghi explained the plan in a Financial Times interview:
FT: Otmar Issing, your former colleague, says Greece is insolvent and it “will not be physically possible” for it to repay its debts. Is he right?
LBS: He is wrong because Greece is solvent if it applies the programme. They have assets that they can sell and reduce their debt and they have the instruments to change their tax and expenditure systems to reduce the debt. This is the assessment of the IMF, it is the assessment of the European Commission.
Poor developing countries have no assets, their income is low, and so they become insolvent easily. If you look at the balance sheet of Greece, it is not insolvent.
The key problem is political will on the part of the government and parliament. Privatisation proceeds of €50bn, which is being talked about – some mention more – would reduce the peak debt to GDP ratio from 160 per cent to about 140 per cent or 135 per cent and this could be reduced further.
A week later Mr. Bini Smaghi insisted that the public sector “had marketable assets worth 300 billion euros and was not bankrupt. ‘Greece should be considered solvent and should be asked to service its debts,’ … signaling that the bank remained firmly opposed to any plan to allow Greece to stretch out its debt payments or oblige investors to accept less than full repayment, a so-called haircut.” Speaking from Berlin, he said that Greece “was not insolvent.” It could pay off its bonds owed to German bankers ($22.7 billion), French bankers ($15 billion) and the ECB (reported to be on the hook for $190 billion) by selling off public land and ports, water and sewer rights, ownership of the telephone system and other basic infrastructure. In addition to getting paid in full and receiving high interest rates reflecting “market” expectations of non-payment, the banks would enjoy a new credit market financing privatization buy-outs.

Warning that failure to pay would create windfall gains for speculators who had bet that Greece would default, Mr. Bini Smaghi refused to acknowledge the corollary: to pay the full amount would create windfalls for those who bet that Greece would be forced to pay. He also claimed that: “Restructuring of Greek debt would … discourage Greece from modernizing its economy.” But the less debt service an economy pays, the more revenue it has to invest productively. And to “solve” the problem by throwing public assets on the market would create windfalls for distress buyers. As the Wall Street Journal put matters bluntly: “Greece is for sale – cheap – and Germany is buying. German companies are hunting for bargains in Greece as the debt-stricken government moves to sell state-owned assets to stabilize the country’s finances.”

Rather than raising living standards while creating a more egalitarian and fair society, the ECB’s creditor-oriented “reforms” would roll the time clock back to oligarchy. Not the post-feudal oligarchy of landlords owning land conquered militarily, but a financial oligarchy accumulating banking claims and bonds growing inexorably and exponentially, leaving little over for the rest of the economy to invest or consume.

The distinction between illiquidity and insolvency
If a homeowner loses his job and cannot pay his mortgage, he must sell the house or see the bank foreclose. Is he insolvent, or merely “illiquid”? If he merely has a liquidity problem, a loan will help him earn the funds to pay down the debt. But if he falls into the negative equity that now plagues a quarter of U.S. real estate, taking on more loans will only deepen his net deficit. Ending this process by losing his home does not mean that he is merely illiquid. He is in distress, and is suffering from insolvency. But to the ECB this is merely a liquidity problem.

The public balance sheet includes land and infrastructure as if they are surplus assets that can be forfeited without fundamentally changing the owner’s status or social relations. In reality it is part of the means of survival in today’s world, at least survival as part of the middle class.

For starters, renegotiating his loan won’t help an insolvency situation such as the jobless homeowner above. Lending him the money to pay the bank interest (along with late fees and other financial penalties) or stretching out the loan merely will add to the debt balance, giving the foreclosing bank yet a larger claim on whatever property the debtor may have available to grab.

But the homeowner is in danger of being homeless, living on the street. At issue is whether solvency should be defined in the traditional common-sense way, in terms of the ability of income to carry one’s current obligations, or a purely balance-sheet approach taken by creditors seeking to extract payment by stripping assets. This is Greece’s position. Is it merely a liquidity problem if the government is told to sell off $50 billion in prime tourist sites, ports, water systems and other public assets in order to pay foreign creditors?

At issue is language regarding the legal rights of creditors vis-à-vis debtors. The United States has long had a body of law regarding this issue. A few years ago, for instance, the real estate speculator Sam Zell bought the Chicago Tribune in a debt-leveraged buyout. The newspaper soon went broke, wiping out the employees’ stock ownership plan (ESOP). They sued under the fraudulent conveyance law, which says that if a creditor makes a loan without knowing how the debtor can pay in the normal course of business, the loan is assumed to have been made with the intent of foreclosing on property, and is deemed fraudulent.

This law dates from colonial times, when British speculators eyed rich New York farmland. Their ploy was to extend loans to farmers, and then call in the loans when the farmer’s ability to pay was low, before the crop was harvested. This was indeed a liquidity problem – which financial opportunists turned into an asset grab. Some lenders, to be sure, created a genuine insolvency problem by making loans beyond the ability of the farmers to pay, and then would foreclose on their land. The colonies nullified such loans. Fraudulent conveyance laws have been kept on the books since the United States won its independence from Britain.

Creditors today are using debt leverage to force Greece to sell off its public domain – having extended credit beyond its ability to pay. So the question now being raised is whether the nation should be deemed “solvent” if the only way to carry its public debt (that is, roll it over by replacing bad old loans with newer and more inexorable obligations) is to forfeit its land and basic infrastructure. This would fundamentally alter the relationship between public and private sectors, replacing its mixed economy with a centrally planned one – planned by financial predators with little care that the economy is polarizing between rich and poor, creditors and debtors.

The financial road to serfdom
Financial lobbyists are turning the English language – and economic terminology throughout the world – into a battlefield. Creditors are to be permitted to take the assets of insolvent debtors – from homeowners and companies to entire nations – as if this were a normal working of “the market” and foreclosure was simply a way to restore “liquidity.” As for “solvency,” the ECB would strip Greece clean of its public sector’s assets. Bank officials have spoken of throwing potentially 150 billion euros of property onto the market.

Most people would think of this as a solvency problem. Solvency means the ability to maintain the kind of society one has, with existing public/private checks and balances and living standards. It is incompatible with scaling down pensions, Social Security and medical insurance to save bondholders and bankers from taking a loss. The latter policy is nothing less than a political revolution.

The asset stripping that Europe’s bankers are demanding of Greece looks like a dress rehearsal to prevent the “I won’t pay” movement from spreading to “Indignant Citizens” movements against financial austerity in Spain, Portugal and Italy. Bankers are trying to block governments from writing down debts, stretching out loans and reducing interest rates.

When a nation is directed to replace its mixed economy by transferring ownership of public infrastructure and enterprises to a financial class (mainly foreign), this is not merely “restoring solvency” by using long-term assets to pay short-term debts to maintain its balance-sheet net worth. It is a radical transformation to a centrally planned economy, shifting control out of the hands of elected representatives to those of financial managers whose time frame is short-term and extractive, not long-term and protective of social equity and basic needs.

Creditors are demanding a political transformation to replace democratic lawmakers with technocrats appointed by foreign bankers. When the economic surplus is pledged to bankers rather than invested at home, we are not merely dealing with “insolvency” but with an aggressive attack. Finance becomes a continuation of war, by economic means that are to be politicized. Acting on behalf of the commercial banks (from which most of its directors are drawn, and to which they intend to “descend from heaven” to take their rewards after serving their financial class), the European Central Bank insists on a political revolution to replace democratic government by a technocratic elite – not of industrial engineers, but of “financial engineers,” a polite name for asset stripping financial warriors. If Greece does not comply, they threaten to wreak domestic financial havoc by “pulling the plug” on Greek banks.

This “carrot and stick” approach threatens that if Greece does not sign on, the ECB and IMF will withhold loans needed to keep its banking system solvent. The “carrot” was provided on May 31 they agreed to provide $86 billion in euros if Greece “puts off for the time being a restructuring, hard or soft,” of its public debt.

It is a travesty to present this revolution simply as a financial exercise in solving the “liquidity problem” as if it were compatible with Europe’s past four centuries of political and classical economic reforms. This is why the Syntagma Square protest in front of Parliament has been growing each week, peaking at over 70,000 last Sunday, June 5.

Some protestors drew a parallel with the Wisconsin politicians who left the state to prevent a quorum from voting on the anti-labor program that Governor Walker tried to ram through. The next day, on June 6, thirty backbenchers of Prime Minister George Papandreou’s ruling Panhellenic Socialist party (Pasok) were joined by some of his own cabinet ministers threatening “to resign their parliamentary seats rather than vote through measures to cut thousands of public sector jobs, increase taxes again and dispose of €50bn of state assets, according to party insiders. ‘The biggest issue for the party is stringent cuts in the public sector … these go to the heart of Pasok’s model of social protection by providing jobs in state entities for its supporters,’ said a senior Socialist official.”

Seeing the popular reluctance to commit financial suicide, Conservative Opposition leader Antonis Samaras also opposed paying the European bankers, “demanding a renegotiation of the package agreed last week with the ‘troika’ of the EU, IMF and the European Central Bank.” It was obvious that no party could gain popular support for the ECB’s demand that Greece relinquish popular rule and “appoint experienced technocrats to half a dozen essential ministries to implement the EU-IMF programme.”

ECB President Trichet depicts himself as following Erasmus in bringing Europe beyond its “strict concept of nationhood.” This is to be done by replacing elected officials with a bureaucracy of cosmopolitan banker-friendly planners. The debt problem calls for new “monetary policy measures – we call them ‘non standard’ decisions, strictly separated from the ‘standard’ decisions, and aimed at restoring a better transmission of our monetary policy in these abnormal market conditions.” The task at hand is to make these conditions a new normalcy – and re-defining solvency to reflect a nation’s ability to pay debts by selling the public domain.

The ECB and EU claim that Greece is “solvent” as long as it has assets to sell off. But if populations in today’s mixed economies think of solvency as existing under existing public/private proportions, they will resist the financial sector’s attempt to proceed with buyouts and foreclosures until it possesses all the assets in the world, all the hitherto public and corporate assets and those of individuals and partnerships.

To minimize opposition to this dynamic the financial sector’s pet economists understate the debt burden, pretending that it can be paid without disrupting economic life and, in the Greek case for example, by using “mark to model” junk accounting and derivative swaps to simply conceal its magnitude. Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the IMF claims that the post-2008 debt crisis is merely a short-term “liquidity problem” and one of lack of “confidence,” not insolvency reflecting an underlying inability to pay. Banks promise that everything will be all right when the economy “returns to normal” – as if it can “borrow its way out of debt,” Bernanke-style.

This is what today’s financial warfare is about. At issue is the financial sector’s relationship to the “real” economy. From the latter’s perspective the proper role of credit – that is, debt – is to fund productive capital investment and spending, because it is out of the economic surplus that debts are paid. This requires a financial regulatory system and tax system to maximize growth. But that is precisely the fiscal policy that today’s financial sector is fighting against. It demands preferential tax-deductibility for interest to encourage debt financing rather than equity. It has disabled truth-in-lending laws and regulations to keeping interest rates and fees in line with costs of production. And it blocks governments from having central banks to freely finance their own operations and provide economies with money. And to cap matters it now demands that democratic society yield to centralized authoritarian financial rule.

Finance and democracy: from mutual reinforcement to antagonism
The relationship between banking and democracy has taken many twists over the centuries. Earlier this year, democratic opposition to the ECB and IMF attempt to impose austerity and privatization selloffs succeeded when Iceland’s President Grímsson insisted on a national referendum on the Icesave debt payment that Althing leaders had negotiated with Britain and the Netherlands (if one can characterize abject capitulation as a real negotiation). To their credit, a heavy 3-to-2 majority of Icelanders voted “No,” saving their economy from being driven into the debt peonage.

Democratic action historically has been needed to enforce debt collection. Until four centuries ago royal treasuries typically were kept in the royal bedroom, and loans to rulers were in the character of personal debts. Bankers repeatedly found themselves burned, especially by Habsburg and Bourbon despots on the thrones of Spain, Austria and France. Loans to such rulers were liable to expire upon their death, unless their successors remained dependent on these same financiers rather than turning to their rivals. The numerous bankruptcies of Spain’s autocratic Habsburg ruler Charles V exhausted his credit, preventing the nation from raising funds to defeat the rebellious Low Countries to the north.

The problem facing bankers was how to make loans permanent national obligations. Solving this problem gave an advantage to parliamentary democracies. It was a major factor enabling the Low Countries to win their independence from Habsburg Spain in the 16th century. The Dutch Republic committed the entire nation to pay its public debts, binding the people themselves, through their elected representatives who earmarked taxes to their creditors. Bankers saw parliamentary democracy as a precondition for making sound loans to governments. This security for bankers could be achieved only from electorates having at least a nominal voice in government. And raising war loans was a key element in military rivalry in an epoch when the maxim for survival was “Money is the sinews of war.”

As long as governments remained despotic, they found that their ability to incur more debt was limited. At this time “the legal position of the King qua borrower was obscure, and it was still doubtful whether his creditors had any remedy against him in case of default.” Earlier Dutch-English financing had not satisfied creditors on this count. When Charles I borrowed 650,000 guilders from the Dutch States-General in 1625, the two countries’ military alliance against Spain helped defer the implicit constitutional struggle over who ultimately was liable for British debts.

The key financial achievement of parliamentary government was thus to establish nations as political bodies whose debts were not merely the personal obligations of rulers, but truly public and binding regardless of who occupied the throne. This is why the first two democratic nations, the Netherlands and Britain after its 1688 dynastic linkage between Holland and Britain in the person of William I, and the emergence of Parliamentary authority over public financing. They developed the most active capital markets and became Europe’s leading military powers. “A funded debt could not be formed so long as the King and Parliament were fighting for the mastery,” concludes the financial historian Richard Ehrenberg. “It was only after the [1688] revolution that the English State became what the Dutch Republic had long been – a real corporation of individuals firmly associated together, a permanent organism.”

In sum, nations emerged in their modern form by adopting the financial characteristics of democratic city states. The financial imperatives of 17th-century warfare helped make these democracies victorious, for the new national financial systems facilitated military spending on a vastly extended scale. Conversely, the more despotic Spain, Austria and France became, the greater the difficulty they found in financing their military adventures. Austria was left “without credit, and consequently without much debt” by the end of the 18th century, the least credit-worthy and worst armed country in Europe, as Sir James Steuart noted in 1767. It became fully dependent on British subsidies and loan guarantees by the time of the Napoleonic Wars.

The modern epoch of war financing therefore went hand in hand with the spread of parliamentary democracy. The situation was similar to that enjoyed by plebeian tribunes in Rome in the early centuries of its Republic. They were able to veto all military funding until the patricians made political concessions. The lesson was not lost on 18th-century Protestant parliaments. For war debts and other national obligations to become binding, the people’s elected representatives had to pledge taxes. This could be achieved only by giving the electorate a voice in government.

It thus was the desire to be repaid that turned the preference of creditors away from autocracies toward democracies. In the end it was only from democracies that they were able to collect. This of course did not necessarily reflect liberal political convictions on the part of creditors. They simply wanted to be paid.

Europe’s sovereign commercial cities developed the best credit ratings, and hence were best able to employ mercenaries. Access to credit was “their most powerful weapon in the struggle for their freedom,” notes Ehrenberg, in an age whose “growth in the use of fire arms had forced them to surround themselves with stronger fortifications.” The problem was that “Anyone who gave credit to a prince knew that the repayment of the debt depended only on his debtor’s capacity and will to pay. The case was very different for the cities, who had power as overlords, but were also corporations, associations of individuals held in common bond. According to the generally accepted law each individual burgher was liable for the debts of the city both with his person and his property.”

But the tables are now turning, from Icelandic voters to the large crowds gathering in Syntagma Square and elsewhere throughout Greece to oppose the terms on which Prime Minister Papandreou has been negotiating an EU bailout loan for the government – to bail out German and French banks. Now that nations are not raising money for war but to subsidize reckless predatory bankers, Jean-Claude Trichet of the ECB recently suggested taking financial policy out of the hands of democracy.
But if a country is still not delivering, I think all would agree that the second stage has to be different. Would it go too far if we envisaged, at this second stage, giving euro area authorities a much deeper and authoritative say in the formation of the country’s economic policies if these go harmfully astray? A direct influence, well over and above the reinforced surveillance that is presently envisaged? …
At issue is sovereignty itself, when it comes to government responsibility for debts. And in this respect the war being waged against Greece by the European Central Bank (ECB) may best be seen as a dress rehearsal not only for the rest of Europe, but for what financial lobbyists would like to bring about in the United States.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Brain, No Gain: College a bad investment for jobless US grads


Uploaded by RussiaToday on Jun 12, 2011

A solid college education used to be the key to getting a great job in America and was a core component of the American dream. However, the times have changed. With the recession, the number of highly educated unemployed individuals has skyrocketed. An education has become more of a financial burden than a stepping stone into the workforce.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Questions for The Money Party: Why Negative Job Growth Since 2000?

Monday, June 20, 2011


Conspiracy Theory

By paul craig roberts (about the author)

While we were not watching, conspiracy theory has undergone Orwellian redefinition.

A "conspiracy theory" no longer means an event explained by a conspiracy. Instead, it now means any explanation, or even a fact, that is out of step with the government's explanation and that of its media pimps.

For example, online news broadcasts of RT have been equated with conspiracy theories by the New York Times simply because RT reports news and opinions that the New York Times does not report and the US government does not endorse.

In other words, as truth becomes uncomfortable for government and its Ministry of Propaganda, truth is redefined as conspiracy theory, by which is meant an absurd and laughable explanation that we should ignore.

When piles of carefully researched books, released government documents, and testimony of eye witnesses made it clear that Lee Harvey Oswald was not President John F. Kennedy's assassin, the voluminous research, government documents, and verified testimony was dismissed as "conspiracy theory."

In other words, the truth of the event was unacceptable to the authorities and to the Ministry of Propaganda that represents the interests of authorities.

The purest example of how Americans are shielded from truth is the media's (including many Internet sites') response to the large number of professionals who find the official explanation of September 11, 2001 inconsistent with everything they, as experts, know about physics, chemistry, structural engineering, architecture, fires, structural damage, the piloting of airplanes, the security procedures of the United States, NORAD's capabilities, air traffic control, airport security, and other matters. These experts, numbering in the thousands, have been shouted down by know-nothings in the media who brand the experts as "conspiracy theorists."

This, despite the fact that the official explanation endorsed by the official media is the most extravagant conspiracy theory in human history.

Let's take a minute to re-acquaint ourselves with the official explanation, which is not regarded as a conspiracy theory despite the fact that it comprises an amazing conspiracy. The official truth is that a handful of young Muslim Arabs who could not fly airplanes, mainly Saudi Arabians who came neither from Iraq nor from Afghanistan, outwitted not only the CIA and the FBI, but also all 16 US intelligence agencies and all intelligence agencies of US allies including Israel's Mossad, which is believed to have penetrated every terrorist organization and which carries out assassinations of those whom Mossad marks as terrorists.

In addition to outwitting every intelligence agency of the United States and its allies, the handful of young Saudi Arabians outwitted the National Security Council, the State Department, NORAD, airport security four times in the same hour on the same morning, air traffic control, caused the US Air Force to be unable to launch interceptor aircraft, and caused three well-built steel-structured buildings, including one not hit by an airplane, to fail suddenly in a few seconds as a result of limited structural damage and small, short-lived, low-temperature fires that burned on a few floors.

The Saudi terrorists were even able to confound the laws of physics and cause WTC building seven to collapse at free-fall speed for several seconds, a physical impossibility in the absence of explosives used in controlled demolition.

The story that the government and the media have told us amounts to a gigantic conspiracy; really a script for a James Bond film. Yet, anyone who doubts this improbable conspiracy theory is defined into irrelevance by the obedient media.

Anyone who believes an architect, structural engineer, or demolition expert who says that the videos show that the buildings are blowing up, not falling down, anyone who believes a Ph.D. physicist who says that the official explanation is inconsistent with known laws of physics, anyone who believes expert pilots who testify that non-pilots or poorly-qualified pilots cannot fly airplanes in such maneuvers, anyone who believes the 100 or more first-responders who testify that they not only heard explosions in the towers but personally experienced explosions, anyone who believes University of Copenhagen nano-chemist Niels Harrit who reports finding unreacted nano-thermite in dust samples from the WTC towers, anyone who is convinced by experts instead of by propaganda is dismissed as a kook.

In America today, and increasingly throughout the Western world, actual facts and true explanations have been relegated to the realm of kookiness. Only people who believe lies are socially approved and accepted as patriotic citizens.

Indeed, a writer or newscaster is not even permitted to report the findings of 9/11 skeptics. In other words, simply to report Professor Harrit's findings now means that you endorse them or agree with them. Everyone in the US print and TV media knows that he/she will be instantly fired if they report Harrit's findings, even with a laugh. Thus, although Harrit has reported his findings on European television and has lectured widely on his findings in Canadian universities, the fact that he and the international scientific research team that he led found unreacted nano-thermite in the WTC dust and have offered samples to other scientists to examine has to my knowledge never been reported in the American media.

Even Internet sites on which I am among the readers' favorites will not allow me to report on Harrit's findings.

As I reported earlier, I myself had experience with a Huffington Post reporter who was keen to interview a Reagan presidential appointee who was in disagreement with the Republican wars in the Middle East. After he published the interview that I provided at his request, he was terrified to learn that I had reported findings of 9/11 investigators. To protect his career, he quickly inserted on the online interview that my views on the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions could be dismissed as I had reported unacceptable findings about 9/11.

The unwillingness or inability to entertain any view of 9/11 different from the official view dooms to impotence many Internet sites that are opposed to the wars and to the rise of the domestic US police state. These sites, for whatever the reasons, accept the government's explanation of 9/11; yet, they try to oppose the "war on terror" and the police state which are the consequences of accepting the government's explanation. Trying to oppose the consequences of an event whose explanation you accept is an impossible task.

If you believe that America was attacked by Muslim terrorists and is susceptible to future attacks, then a "war on terror" and a domestic police state to root out terrorists become necessary to make Americans safe. The idea that a domestic police state and open-ended war might be more dangerous threats to Americans than terrorists is an impermissible thought.

A country whose population has been trained to accept the government's word and to shun those who question it is a country without liberty in its future.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

GOP Cuts To Food Aid For Seniors And Food Banks Equals One Day Of Bush Tax Cuts For Millionaires

The CSFP provides food assistance to 600,000 low-income families every month, 96 percent of whom are seniors, while the TEFAP “provides our nation’s emergency food bank network with food commodities and storage and distribution support.” We previously noted that the cuts to WIC are roughly equivalent to the cost of extending the Bush tax cuts for millionaires alone for just one week.

As it turns out, the cuts to CSIP and TEFAB, according to Half in Ten’s Melissa Boteach, are equivalent to the cost of extending the Bush tax cuts for millionaires alone for just one day:

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Blogger's Note: Among the dozens of political videos that come my way each week, I rarely watch any of them for longer than about 5 minutes. But I stayed with this one for the full hour and a quarter. This former member of the Reagan administration is surely the only person who both knows the full story and is eager to tell it. You will find her to be a lucid speaker.

Original here.

Charlotte Iserbyt: The Miseducation of America Part 1-Full 


Uploaded by ConspiracyScope on May 27, 2011

Charlotte Thompson Iserbyt served as the head of policy at the Department of Education during the first administration of Ronald Reagan. While working there she discovered a long term strategic plan by the tax exempt foundations to transform America from a nation of rugged individualists and problem solvers to a country of servile, brainwashed minions who simply regurgitate whatever they're told.

Part one of our exclusive interview with Iserbyt breaks down how conditioning/training under a corporate agenda has replaced traditional education, leading to a deliberate dumbing down of Americans. Iserbyt further explains how Reagan signed agreements merging the U.S. and Soviet systems under the United Nations banner, turning over education and many other areas of public policy to global control.

This 74 minute exposé is a must see for anyone who wants to truly know why the education system is deliberately crafted to produce human drones with no critical thinking whose only skills are to be subservient, trust authority and follow orders.

Her book,'The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America' is free at