The Militant Libertarian

I'm pissed off and I'm a libertarian. What else you wanna know?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Obama Warns not to challenge Official 9/11 Story

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Readying Americans for Dangerous, Mandatory Vaccinations

by Stephen Lendman

At least three US federal laws should concern all Americans and suggest what may be coming - mandatory vaccinations for hyped, non-existant threats, like H1N1 (Swine Flu). Vaccines and drugs like Tamiflu endanger human health but are hugely profitable to drug company manufacturers.

The Project BioShield Act of 2004 (S. 15) became law on July 21, 2004 "to provide protections and countermeasures against chemical, radiological, or nuclear agents that may be used in a terrorist attack against the United States by giving the National Institutes of Health contracting flexibility, infrastructure improvements, and expediting the scientific peer review process, and streamlining the Food and Drug Administration approval process of countermeasures."

In other words, the FDA may now recklessly approve inadequately tested, potentially dangerous vaccines and other drugs if ever the Secretaries of Health and Human Services (HHS) or Defense (DOD) declare a national emergency, whether or not one exists and regardless of whether treatments available are safe and effective. Around $6 billion or more will be spent to develop, produce, and stockpile vaccines and other drugs to counteract claimed bioterror agents.

The Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act slipped under the radar when George Bush signed it into law as part of the 2006 Defense Appropriations Act (HR 2863). It lets the HHS Secretary declare any disease an epidemic or national emergency requiring mandatory vaccinations. Nothing in the Act lists criteria that warrant a threat. Also potential penalties aren't specified for those who balk, but very likely they'd include quarantine and possible fines.

The HHS web site also says the Secretary may "issue a declaration....that provides immunity from tort liability (except for willful misconduct) for claims of loss caused, arising out of, relating to, or resulting from administration or use of (vaccine or other pharmaceutical) countermeasures to diseases, threats and conditions determined by the Secretary to constitute a present, or credible risk of a future public health emergency...."

The industry-run US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notoriously rushes inadequately tested drugs to market, putting their efficacy and safety into question, and turning those who use them into lab rats. It includes everyone if a mass vaccination is ordered on the mere claim of a public emergency - no proof required.

The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (S. 3678) is the other worrisome law, effective December 19, 2006. It amended "the Public Health Service Act with respect to public health security and all-hazards preparedness and response, and for other purposes." Even its supporters worry about issues of privacy, liability, and putting profits over public health. Critics express greater concerns about dangerous remedies for exaggerated or non-existant threats as well as mass hysteria created for political purposes.

At least one other measure is also worrisome - The Model State Emergency Health Powers Act (MSEHPA). So far it's just a proposal by the Center for Law and the Public's Health - "A Collaborative at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown Universities (as) a primary, international, national, state, and local resource on public health law (and) policy for public health practitioners, judges, academics, policymakers, and others."

MSEHPA is now "track(ing) legal responses to the emerging international response to the 2009 H1N1 (swine flu) outbreak, including declarations of public health emergency at the international, national, state, and local levels...." even though forensic evidence can't confirm any H1N1 deaths. No emergency exists anywhere, and reporting one is all hype to sell dangerous drugs to unsuspecting people globally.

On its web site, the ACLU says this about MSEHPA:

It's "written in a way that doesn't adequately protect citizens against the misuse of the tremendous powers that it would grant in an emergency. (It's) replete with civil liberties problems. Its three top flaws are that:

(1) It fails to include basic checks and balances (by) grant(ing) extraordinary emergency powers (that) should never go unchecked. (It) could have serious consequences for individuals' freedom, privacy, and equality."

(2) "It goes well beyond bioterrorism (with) an overbroad definition of 'public health emergency" that may be anything a local or national authority declares for any reason with no conclusive evidence for proof.

(3) "It lacks privacy protections (and) undercut(s) existing protections for sensitive medical information."

MSEHPA worries other organizations besides the ACLU, both conservative and progressive - including the Free Congress Foundation, American Legislative Exchange Council, conservative association of state legislators, Human Rights Campaign, and Health Privacy Project.

The Real Threat of Dangerous, Mandatory Vaccinations

In the wake of the hyped Swine Flu scare, media reports suggest mass vaccinations are coming. The May 6 Kimberly Kindy - Ceci Connolly Washington Post one, for example, headlined "US May Add Shots for Swine Flu to Fall Regimen" without saying they'll be mandatory but reading between the lines suggests the possibility this year or later.

The writers report that "The Obama administration is considering an unprecedented fall vaccination campaign" to include regular and Swine Flu shots, the latter because it's "spreading across the globe."

HHS' Dr. Robin Robinson said "We are moving forward with making a vaccine," and if the government proceeds with a national program, enough supply will be produced to provide two doses for all Americans with spokespersons like National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, claiming adverse reactions aren't to be expected and adding another shot for Swine Flu "should not present a problem."

The New York Times also hypes the scare with reports of city schools closed after unconfirmed Swine Flu cases, a few adult deaths blamed on H1N1 bringing the claimed total in the city to seven, and the World Health Organization (WHO) saying on June 3 that it's moving closer to declaring a worldwide (Level 6) Swine Flu pandemic - even though none exists.

With all the hype, misinformation, and willful lies WHO's Dr. Keiji Fukuda, in charge of flu, said only 117 deaths globally have been "blamed" on Swine Flu and any warning may include the caveat that the virus isn't very lethal. A more accurate statement would explain that no forensic evidence links any deaths to H1N1, and influenza annually kills about 30,000 people in America alone - something the major media never report or that scattered accounts of any type flu deaths worldwide are no cause for alarm or reason for scary headlines.

It's also unconscionable for the WHO, US and other nations' officials to spread lies, deception, and hysteria so major pharmaceutical companies can foist dangerous vaccines and other drugs on unsuspecting people, harming their health and making them vulnerable to later diseases and possible early deaths.

Massachusetts May Be A Forerunner of What's to Come

On April 28, the Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed a pandemic flu preparation bill that rises to the level of martial law. If approved by the House and signed into law, it will mandate among other measures:

-- "vaccination, treatment, examination, or testing of" all individuals involved in providing health care - as perhaps step one before ordering the same process for all state residents;

-- owners or occupiers of all premises "to permit entry into and investigation of the premises;"

-- closure, evacuation, and decontamination of all suspected facilities; and

-- restricting or prohibiting "assemblages of persons."

Other states may be planning similar measures as precursors to mandatory nationwide vaccinations and overall suspension of civil liberty protections.

Adverse Vaccination Effects on Gulf War Troops

Before deploying to the Persian Gulf in 1990 - 91 (and thereafter to the present), all US troops got a standard series of inoculations against infectious diseases - the same ones given to all US citizens traveling to the region. After arriving, 150,000 also got anthrax vaccinations and 8000 botulinum toxoid ones even though concerns were raised about adverse long-term health consequences.

A National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine (IOM) study was conducted to assess them with results released in September 2000. In December 1997, the Department of Defense (DOD) announced that all US military forces would receive anthrax vaccinations. The Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program (AVIP) began in March 1998 even though IOM found little published peer-reviewed scientific information on its safety.

In its study, IOM reported evidence of an association between vaccinations studied and transient acute common health effects, including redness, swelling, and fever commonly associated with other vaccinations. However, conclusive proof of long-term problems wasn't determined - likely because study findings were skewed not to find them. More on that below.

IOM also studied botulinum toxoid vaccines and found evidence of an association between the vaccine and transient acute local and systemic effects similar to anthrax vaccinations. Again, conclusive proof of long-term adverse health effects wasn't found - another very dubious conclusion as evidence below explains.

Military personnel usually get multiple vaccinations. IOM studied their effects but didn't prove or disprove any long-term adverse effects. However several independent studies of British Gulf War veterans found some link between multiple vaccinations and later health problems.

Gary Matsumoto is a New York-based award-winning investigative journalist. His 2004 book, "Vaccine A: The Covert Government Experiment That's Killing Our Soldiers and Why GIs are Only the First Victims" took sharp issue with IOM results and the Pentagon's denial of Gulf War syndrome.

Investigating the shadowy vaccination development world, he discovered US military-employed doctors and scientists conducted secret medical experiments on US citizens in violation of the Nuremberg Code and fundamental medical ethics.

For its part, Nuremberg established legal medical experimental standards now incorporated into ethical medical codes, including:

-- requiring voluntary consent of human subjects without coercion, fraud, deceit, and with full disclosure of known risks;

-- experiments should avoid "all unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injury;"

-- experiments should never be conducted if there's "an a priori reason to believe death or disabling injury will occur;"

-- risk "should never exceed that determined by the humanitarian importance of the problem to be solved..;" and

-- experiments should be terminated if there's reason to believe they'll cause "injury, disability, or death to the experimental subject."

According to Matsumoto, the Pentagon violated these and other standards, betrayed the troops, and the fundamental duty of military and civilian leaders to protect them. Since at least 1987, biowarfare development trumped the welfare of tens of thousands of GIs used as human guinea pigs for inoculation with experimental unlicensed anthrax vaccines containing squalene - an oil-based adjuvant (to enhance immunity) known for decades to cause severe autoimmune diseases in lab animals, yet administered involuntarily without disclosure of its harmful effects to human health. Matsumoto wrote:

"The unethical experiments detailed in this book are ongoing, with little prospect of being self-limiting because they have been shielded from scrutiny and public accountability by national security concerns." He suggested the "writing (was) on the wall" of what's to come with prospects now it may be soon.

"When UCLA Medical School's Michael Whitehouse and Frances Beck injected squalene combined with other materials into rats and guinea pigs back in the 1970s, few oils were more effective at causing the animal versions of arthritis and multiple sclerosis." In 1999, immunologist Dr. Johnny Lorentzen at Sweden's Karolinska Institute found that on injection, an "otherwise benign molecule like squalene can stimulate a self-destructive immune response," even though it occurs naturally in the body.

Other research shows that squalene is the experimental anthrax vaccine ingredient that caused devastating autoimmune diseases and deaths for many Gulf War veterans from the US, UK, and Australia, yet it continues in use today and for new vaccines development in labs. There's a "close match between the squalene-induced diseases in animals and those observed in humans injected with this oil: rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus erythematosus."

Other autoimmune diseases are also linked to humans injected with squalene. "There are now data in more than two dozen peer-reviewed scientific papers, from ten different laboratories in the US, Europe, Asia and Australia, documenting that squalene-based adjuvants can induce autoimmune diseases in animals...observed in mice, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits. Sweden's Karolinska Institute has demonstrated that squalene alone can induce the animal version of rheumatoid arthritis. The Polish Academy of Sciences has shown that in animals, squalene alone can produce catastrophic injury to the nervous system and the brain. The University of Florida Medical School has shown that in animals, squalene alone can induce production of antibodies specifically associated with systemic lupus erythematosus."

Micropaleontologist Dr. Viera Scheibner conducted research into the adverse effects of adjuvants in vaccines and wrote:

Squalene "contributed to the cascade of reactions called "Gulf War syndrome. (GIs developed) arthritis, fibromyalgia, lymphadenopathy, rashes, photosensitive rashes, malar rashes, chronic fatigue, chronic headaches, abnormal body hair loss, non-healing skin lesions, aphthous ulcers, dizziness, weakness, memory loss, seizures, mood changes, neuropsychiatric problems, anti-thyroid effects, anaemia, elevated ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate), systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, ALS, Raynaud's phenomenon, Sjorgren's syndrome, chronic diarrhea, night sweats and low-grade fever."

Matsumoto's book includes numerous case studies of GIs afflicted with one or more of the above syndromes, their devastating effects, and the outlandish US government reaction - failing to acknowledge their existence or a connection between them and administered vaccines. Also denying the effects of other toxic Gulf theater exposures (like depleted uranium) as well as withholding meaningful treatments or protocols.

US Army Captain George L. Skypeck spoke eloquently for many when he said:

"Was the character of my valor less intense than those at Lexington? Was the pain of my wounds any less severe than those at Normandy? And was my loneliness any less sorrowful than those at Inchon? Then why am I forgotten amonst those remembered as 'heros?' "

If mass vaccinations are ordered, millions of Americans may ask: Why do you keep using unsafe vaccines and other drugs when clear evidence shows their dangers? Why do you jeopardize all Americans by unleashing a future plague of serious illnesses, diseases, and disabilities? Why have you willfully and maliciously ruined my health?

Immunologist Dr. Pamela Asa first recognized autoimmune diseases showing up in GIs that mirrored those in lab animals injected with oil formulated squalene adjuvants. By 1997, hundreds of millions of dollars had been spent testing vaccines containing them, in animal studies since 1988 and human clinical trials since 1991 - by leading research institutes like NIH, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

According to Matsumoto, today, "Squalene adjuvants are a key ingredient in a whole new generation of vaccines intended for mass immunization around the globe" even though researchers at Tulane Medical School and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research proved "that the immune system responds specifically to the squalene molecule."

The immune system "see(s) and recognizes it as an oil molecule native to the body. Squalene is not just a molecule found in a knee or elbow - it is found throughout the nervous system and the brain." When injected in the body, the immune system attacks it as an enemy to be eliminated. Eating and digesting squalene isn't a problem. But injecting it "galvanize(s) the immune system into attacking it, which can produce self-destructive cross reactions against the same molecule in the places where it occurs naturally in the body - and where it is critical to the health of the nervous system."

Once self-destruction begins, it doesn't stop as the body keeps making the molecule that the immune system is trained to attack and destroy.

Immunologist Dr. Bonnie Dunbar also did extensive research on hepatitis B-inflicted illnesses and found similar autoimmune processes involved in molecular mimicry in people with devastating neuroimmune syndromes after getting vaccine injections.

Matsumoto says "Squalene is a kind of trigger for (a) real biological weapon," what Soviet researchers called "a biological time bomb!!" and Matsumoto says is "the immune system." When its "full repertoire of cells and antibodies (attack) tissues they are supposed to protect, the results can be catastrophic." He and Dr. Pam Asa conclude that "Oil adjuvants are the most insidious chemical weapon ever devised," including ones with squalene - something the Soviets knew could be used as a weapon in the 1980s.

Matsumoto says that "the real problem with using squalene (isn't) that it mimics a molecule found in the body; it is the same molecule. So what American scientists conceived as a vaccine booster (or what's now being developed in labs) was another 'nano-bomb,' instigating chronic, unpredictable and debilitating disease. When the NIH....argued that squalene would be safe because it is native to the body, just the opposite was true," and, of course, still is. "Squalene's natural presence in the body made it one of the most dangerous molecules ever injected into man" and using it in vaccines is outlandish and criminal.

So why does Washington sanction its use? According to Matsumoto: "scientists in the United States are now literally invested in squalene. Army scientists who developed the second generation anthrax vaccine have reputations to protect and licensing fees to reap (as well as) worldwide rights to develop and commercialize the new recombinant vaccine for anthrax" and ones for other health threats.

Disturbingly, "Many of the cutting-edge vaccines currently in development by the NIH and its corporate partners contain squalene in one formulation or another. There is squalene in the prototype recombinant vaccines for HIV, malaria, herpes, influenza (including the swine strain), cytomegalovirus and human papillomavirus." Some of these "are intended for mass immunization(s) around the globe" and that possibility should terrify everyone enough to refuse any mandate or doctor's prescription to take them.

Another problem is that "Autoimmunity (takes) years to diagnose" because early symptoms (headaches, joint pain, etc.) are so vague they can easily be from other causes.

From inception, vaccines have always been dangerous enough for some experts to call them biological weapons undermining health, manipulating and crippling the immune system, and creating the possibility of future debilitating diseases. So Big Pharma's solution is new, more potent genetically engineered vaccines and drugs that may end up harming or killing many who take them, especially people with weakened immune systems.

Matsumoto and others sounded the alarm to alert everyone to avoid these poisons masquerading as protective drugs. In fact, they benefit only the bottom lines of companies that manufacture them and scientists reaping generous royalties.

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at

Also visit his blog site at and listen to The Global Research News Hour on Monday - Friday at 10AM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national issues. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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Global Warming Petition Signed by 31,478 Scientists

by Ron Paul

Statement before the US House of Representatives, June 4, 2009

Madam Speaker, before voting on the "cap-and-trade'' legislation, my colleagues should consider the views expressed in the following petition that has been signed by 31,478 American scientists:

"We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.

There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.''

Circulated through the mail by a distinguished group of American physical scientists and supported by a definitive review of the peer-reviewed scientific literature, this may be the strongest and most widely supported statement on this subject that has been made by the scientific community. A state-by-state listing of the signers, which include 9,029 men and women with PhD degrees, a listing of their academic specialties, and a peer-reviewed summary of the science on this subject are available at

The peer-reviewed summary, "Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide'' by A. B. Robinson, N. E. Robinson, and W. Soon includes 132 references to the scientific literature and was circulated with the petition.

Signers of this petition include 3,803 with specific training in atmospheric, earth, and environmental sciences. All 31,478 of the signers have the necessary training in physics, chemistry, and mathematics to understand and evaluate the scientific data relevant to the human-caused global warming hypothesis and to the effects of human activities upon environmental quality.

In a letter circulated with this petition, Frederick Seitz – past President of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, President Emeritus of Rockefeller University, and recipient of honorary doctorate degrees from 32 universities throughout the world – wrote:

"The United States is very close to adopting an international agreement that would ration the use of energy and of technologies that depend upon coal, oil, and natural gas and some other organic compounds.

This treaty is, in our opinion, based upon flawed ideas. Research data on climate change do not show that human use of hydrocarbons is harmful. To the contrary, there is good evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful.

The proposed agreement we have very negative effects upon the technology of nations throughout the world; especially those that are currently attempting to lift from poverty and provide opportunities to the over 4 billion people in technologically underdeveloped countries.

It is especially important for America to hear from its citizens who have the training necessary to evaluate the relevant data and offer sound advice.

We urge you to sign and return the enclosed petition card. If you would like more cards for use by your colleagues, these will be sent.''

Madam Speaker, at a time when our nation is faced with a severe shortage of domestically produced energy and a serious economic contraction; we should be reducing the taxation and regulation that plagues our energy-producing industries.

Yet, we will soon be considering so-called "cap and trade'' legislation that would increase the taxation and regulation of our energy industries. "Cap-and-trade'' will do at least as much, if not more, damage to the economy as the treaty referred by Professor Seitz! This legislation is being supported by the claims of "global warming'' and "climate change'' advocates – claims that, as demonstrated by the 31,478 signatures to Professor Seitz' petition, many American scientists believe is disproved by extensive experimental and observational work.

It is time that we look beyond those few who seek increased taxation and increased regulation and control of the American people. Our energy policies must be based upon scientific truth – not fictional movies or self-interested international agendas. They should be based upon the accomplishments of technological free enterprise that have provided our modern civilization, including our energy industries. That free enterprise must not be hindered by bogus claims about imaginary disasters.

Above all, we must never forget our contract with the American people – the Constitution that provides the sole source of legitimacy of our government. That Constitution requires that we preserve the basic human rights of our people – including the right to freely manufacture, use, and sell energy produced by any means they devise – including nuclear, hydrocarbon, solar, wind, or even bicycle generators.

While it is evident that the human right to produce and use energy does not extend to activities that actually endanger the climate of the Earth upon which we all depend, bogus claims about climate dangers should not be used as a justification to further limit the American people's freedom.

In conclusion, I once again urge my colleagues to carefully consider the arguments made by the 31,478 American scientists who have signed this petition before voting on any legislation imposing new regulations or taxes on the American people in the name of halting climate change.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Bound, blindfolded and beaten – by Israeli troops

by Ben Lynfield in Hares, West Bank

Two Israeli officers have testified that troops in the West Bank beat, bound and blindfolded Palestinian civilians as young as 14. The damaging disclosures by two sergeants of the Kfir Brigade include descriptions of abuses they say they witnessed during a search-and-detain operation involving hundreds of troops in Hares village on 26 March. The testimonies have been seen by The Independent and are expected to add fuel to the controversy over recent remarks by Colonel Itai Virob, commander of Kfir Brigade, in which he said violence against detained Palestinians was justified in order to accomplish missions.

Both the soldiers, from the Harub battalion, highlighted the tight tying of the plastic hand restraints placed on detainees. "There are people who think you need to tighten the restraints all the way, until no drop of blood will pass from here to there," one soldier said. "It doesn't take much time until the hands turn blue. There were a lot of people that you know weren't feeling anything."

He said about 150 Palestinians, some as young as 14, were bound, blindfolded and detained at the village school during the operation, which lasted from 3am to 3pm. He was told it was aimed at preventing village youths throwing stones against nearby settler roads. It was clear many of the people detained had done nothing wrong, but they were held to gather intelligence, he said.

Read the rest here: Times Independent

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Gorbachev; It's time for a second American revolution in the spirit of perestroika

Mikhail Gorbachev

Years ago, as the Cold War was coming to an end, I said to my fellow leaders around the globe: the world is on the cusp of great events, and in the face of new challenges all of us will have to change, you as well as we. For the most part, the reaction was polite but sceptical silence.

In recent years, I have often told listeners that I feel Americans need their own change - a perestroika, not like the one in my country, but an American perestroika - and the reaction has been markedly different. Halls filled with thousands of people have responded with applause.

Some have reacted with understanding. Others have objected, sometimes sarcastically, suggesting that I want the United States to experience upheaval, just like the former Soviet Union. In my country, particularly caustic reactions have come from the opponents of perestroika, people with short memories and a deficit of conscience.

Our perestroika signalled the need for change in the Soviet Union, but it was not meant to suggest a capitulation to the US model. Today, the need for a more far-reaching perestroika - one for America and the world - has become clearer than ever.

The need for change in the Soviet Union in the mid-1980s was urgent. The country was stifled by a lack of freedom, and the people - particularly the educated class - wanted to break the stranglehold of a system that had been built under Stalin.

We opted for free elections, political pluralism, freedom of religion and an economy with competition and private property. We sought to effect these changes in an evolutionary way and without bloodshed. We made mistakes. Important decisions were made too late, and we were unable to complete our perestroika. Nevertheless, perestroika won, because it brought the country to a point from which there could be no return to the past.

In the West, the break-up of the Soviet Union was viewed as a total victory that proved that the West did not need to change. Western leaders were convinced that they were at the helm of the right system and of a well-functioning, almost perfect economic model. Scholars opined that history had ended. The dogma of free markets, deregulation and balanced budgets at any cost was force-fed to the rest of the world.

But then came the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, and it became clear that the new Western model was an illusion that benefited chiefly the very rich. Statistics show that the poor and the middle class saw little or no benefit from the economic growth of the past decades.

The global crisis demonstrates that the leaders of major powers had missed the signals that called for a perestroika. The result is a crisis that is not just financial and economic. It is political, too.

The model that emerged during the late 20th century has turned out to be unsustainable. It was based on a drive for super-profits and hyper-consumption for a few, on unrestrained exploitation of resources and on social and environmental irresponsibility.

But if all the proposed solutions and action now come down to a mere rebranding of the old system, we are bound to see another, perhaps even greater upheaval down the road. The current model does not need adjusting; it needs replacing. I have no ready-made prescriptions. But I am convinced that a new model will emerge, one that will emphasise public needs and public good, such as a cleaner environment, well-functioning infrastructure and public transport, sound education and health systems and affordable housing.

Elements of such a model already exist in some nations. Countries such as Malaysia and Brazil have achieved impressive rates of growth. China and India have pulled hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. By mobilising state resources, France has built a system of high-speed railways, while Canada provides free health care. Among the new democracies, Slovenia and Slovakia have been able to mitigate the social consequences of market reforms.

The time has come to strike the right balance between the government and the market, for integrating social and environmental factors and demilitarising the economy.

Washington will have to play a special role in this new perestroika, not just because the United States wields great economic, political and military power, but because America was the main architect, and America's elite the main beneficiary, of the current world economic model. That model is now cracking and will, sooner or later, be replaced. That will be a complex and painful process for everyone, including the United States.

However different the problems that the Soviet Union confronted during our perestroika and the challenges now facing the United States, the need for new thinking makes these two eras similar. In our time, we faced up to the main tasks of putting an end to the division of the world, winding down the nuclear arms race and defusing conflicts. We will cope with the new global challenges as well, but only if everyone understands the need for real, cardinal change - for a global perestroika.

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, heads the International Foundation for Socio-Economic and Political Studies, a Moscow-based think tank.

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FEMA Web Page Shows Martial Law Exercise With Foreign Troops

Set for July 2009
The above is a link to FEMA.GOV website page that details the upcoming nationwide training exercise in July 2009. This is directly cut and pasted the full text below from the site.

This is very alarming. This IS NOT an exercise for FEMA to practice disaster relief. This page states very clearly that this exercise will "focus exclusively on terrorism prevention and protection, as opposed to incident response and recovery".

AND THEY ARE BRINGING FOREIGN TROOPS INTO OUR TOWNS AND CITIES TO TRAIN TO POLICE US. As stated in FEMA website, "This year the United States welcomes the participation of Australia, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom in NLE 09."

Imagine, armed Mexican troops protecting us from "terrorism" in the United States! Don't you feel safer already? ¿Dónde están sus documentos?

Rumors of foreign troops on our soil have been circulated for a long time. BUT this is not a rumor. It is a blatant fact as stated by FEMA on their government website. THIS IS AN INVASION.

During Katrina the federal government went in and disarmed everyone, even law abiding citizens. Recently, Tennessee passed into law a bill that states that Tennessee residents undoubtedly have the right to keep and possess their firearms during martial rule. Why did they feel the need to do this? And what does it mean when our government is running martial law drills on a nationwide scale?

We are told that this is just a training exercise. Should we believe that? Foreign troops in the Southwest sounds incredibly similar to what we learned, back in the 1980's, from undercover FBI agent Larry Grathwohl:

Watch the videos that are here:

Undercover FBI agent Larry Grathwohl told us of people whom he described in this way:

"They felt that this counter-revolution could best be guarded against by creating and establishing re-education centers in the Southwest, where we would take all of the people who needed to be re-educated into the new way of thinking and teach them how things were going to be. I asked, well what is going to happen to those people that we can't re-educate that are die-hard capitalists? The reply was that they would have to be eliminated. When I pursued this further they estimated that they would have to eliminate 25 million people in these re-education centers. When I say eliminate, I mean kill … 25 million people.
I want you to imagine sitting in a room with 25 people, most of which have graduate degrees from Columbia and other well-known educational centers, and hear them figuring out the logistics for the elimination of 25 million people. And they were dead serious."
National Level Exercise 2009 (NLE 09)
National Level Exercise 2009 (NLE 09) is scheduled for July 27 through July 31, 2009. NLE 09 will be the first major exercise conducted by the United States government that will focus exclusively on terrorism prevention and protection, as opposed to incident response and recovery.

NLE 09 is designated as a Tier I National Level Exercise. Tier I exercises (formerly known as the Top Officials exercise series or TOPOFF) are conducted annually in accordance with the National Exercise Program (NEP), which serves as the nation's overarching exercise program for planning, organizing, conducting and evaluating national level exercises. The NEP was established to provide the U.S. government, at all levels, exercise opportunities to prepare for catastrophic crises ranging from terrorism to natural disasters.

NLE 09 is a White House directed, Congressionally- mandated exercise that includes the participation of all appropriate federal department and agency senior officials, their deputies, staff and key operational elements. In addition, broad regional participation of state, tribal, local, and private sector is anticipated. This year the United States welcomes the participation of Australia, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom in NLE 09.


NLE 09 will focus on intelligence and information sharing among intelligence and law enforcement communities, and between international, federal, regional, state, tribal, local and private sector participants.

The NLE 09 scenario will begin in the aftermath of a notional terrorist event outside of the United States, and exercise play will center on preventing subsequent efforts by the terrorists to enter the United States and carry out additional attacks. This scenario enables participating senior officials to focus on issues related to preventing terrorist events domestically and protecting U.S. critical infrastructure.

NLE 09 will allow terrorism prevention efforts to proceed to a logical end (successful or not), with no requirement for response or recovery activities.

NLE 09 will be an operations-based exercise to include: activities taking place at command posts, emergency operation centers, intelligence centers and potential field locations to include federal headquarters facilities in the Washington D.C. area, and in federal, regional, state, tribal, local and private sector facilities in FEMA Region VI, which includes the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.


Through a comprehensive evaluation process, the exercise will assess prevention and protection capabilities both nationally and regionally. Although NLE 09 is still in the planning stages, the exercise is currently designed to validate the following capabilities:

Intelligence/Information Sharing and Dissemination
Counter-Terrorism Investigation and Law Enforcement
Air, Border and Maritime Security
Critical Infrastructure Protection
Public and Private Sector Alert/Notification and Security Advisories
International Coordination

Exercises such as NLE 09 are an important component of national preparedness, helping to build an integrated federal, state, tribal, local and private sector capability to prevent terrorist attacks, and rapidly and effectively respond to, and recover from, any terrorist attack or major disaster that occurs.

The full-scale exercise offers agencies and jurisdictions a way to test their plans and skills in a real-time, realistic environment and to gain the in-depth knowledge that only experience can provide. Participants will exercise prevention and information sharing functions that are critical to preventing terrorist attacks. Lessons learned from the exercise will provide valuable insights to guide future planning for securing the nation against terrorist attacks, disasters, and other emergencies.

For more information about NLE 09, contact the FEMA News Desk: 202-646-4600.

FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism and other man-made disasters.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

GM, Amtrak and an Increasingly Fascist America

Texas Straight Talk

Last week, General Motors finally declared bankruptcy. Many in government thought $20 billion in taxpayer dollars would save the company, but as predicted, it only postponed the inevitable. The government will dump another $30 billion into GM and take a 60 percent controlling interest for it. Public officials are now involving themselves in tactical business decisions such as where GM’s headquarters should move and what kind of cars it will build.

The promise that this is temporary and will eventually be profitable is supposed to ease the American people into accepting this arrangement, but it is of little comfort to those who remember similar promises when the American taxpayers bought Amtrak. After three years, government was supposed to be out of the passenger rail business. 40 years and billions of dollars later, the government is still operating Amtrak at a loss, despite the fact that they have created a monopoly by making it illegal to compete with Amtrak. Imagine what they can now do to what is left of the great American auto industry!

In a truly free market, GM would get your money one way and one way only – by selling you a car you want, at a price you are willing to pay. Instead, the government is giving public money to a private company in spite of the market signals it has been sending. Throwing money at GM does not stop it from being an engine of wealth destruction; on the contrary, it simply gives it more wealth to destroy.

Had it been allowed to fail naturally, the profitable pieces of GM would have been bought up and put to good use by now. The laid off employees would likely have found new jobs and all that capital would be in private hands, reinvested in companies that produce products demanded by consumers. Instead, we are all poorer now.

Political pressure, rather than the rule of law, is deciding how to divide up the remains of GM. The bondholders had billions in retirement savings invested in the company, and though they were entitled to nearly three times as much as the United Auto Workers, the bondholders were left with just a 10 percent stake compared to the union’s 17.5 percent stake. For their 60 percent stake, taxpayers have a future of constant bailouts to look forward to.

Comingling public control of private business is known as fascism. While today’s politicians may feel emboldened with all their new power, history will only repeat itself as all this collapses on itself. It is the height of hubris for bureaucrats and politicians to attempt to control the market and the freewill of the American people. In the end, the market always wins out. Maybe one day future generations will wise up and allow free markets to function and thrive without the albatross of government around its neck. For now, it looks like those in charge have not learned the lessons of the past, and have doomed us to repeat those mistakes once again.

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Sotomayor To Overturn Roe v. Wade?

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FEMA Web Page Shows Martial Law Exercise With Foreign Troops

Set for July 2009
From: Target Freedom
The above is a link to FEMA.GOV website page that details the upcoming nationwide training exercise in July 2009. This is directly cut and pasted the full text below from the site.

This is very alarming. This IS NOT an exercise for FEMA to practice disaster relief. This page states very clearly that this exercise will "focus exclusively on terrorism prevention and protection, as opposed to incident response and recovery".

AND THEY ARE BRINGING FOREIGN TROOPS INTO OUR TOWNS AND CITIES TO TRAIN TO POLICE US. As stated in FEMA website, "This year the United States welcomes the participation of Australia, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom in NLE 09."

Imagine, armed Mexican troops protecting us from "terrorism" in the United States! Don't you feel safer already? ¿Dónde están sus documentos?

Rumors of foreign troops on our soil have been circulated for a long time. BUT this is not a rumor. It is a blatant fact as stated by FEMA on their government website. THIS IS AN INVASION.

During Katrina the federal government went in and disarmed everyone, even law abiding citizens. Recently, Tennessee passed into law a bill that states that Tennessee residents undoubtedly have the right to keep and possess their firearms during martial rule. Why did they feel the need to do this? And what does it mean when our government is running martial law drills on a nationwide scale?

We are told that this is just a training exercise. Should we believe that? Foreign troops in the Southwest sounds incredibly similar to what we learned, back in the 1980's, from undercover FBI agent Larry Grathwohl:

Watch the videos that are here:

Undercover FBI agent Larry Grathwohl told us of people whom he described in this way:

"They felt that this counter-revolution could best be guarded against by creating and establishing re-education centers in the Southwest, where we would take all of the people who needed to be re-educated into the new way of thinking and teach them how things were going to be. I asked, well what is going to happen to those people that we can't re-educate that are die-hard capitalists? The reply was that they would have to be eliminated. When I pursued this further they estimated that they would have to eliminate 25 million people in these re-education centers. When I say eliminate, I mean kill … 25 million people.

I want you to imagine sitting in a room with 25 people, most of which have graduate degrees from Columbia and other well-known educational centers, and hear them figuring out the logistics for the elimination of 25 million people. And they were dead serious."

Set for July 2009
From: Target Freedom / Read the rest here

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Judge Rules It Is OK to Taser for DNA Samples

(The Buffalo News)

It is legally permissible for police to zap a suspect with a Taser to obtain a DNA sample, as long as it’s not done “maliciously, or to an excessive extent, or with resulting injury,” a county judge has ruled in the first case of its kind in New York State, and possibly the nation.

Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza decided that the DNA sample obtained Sept. 29 from Ryan S. Smith of Niagara Falls — which ties him to a shooting and a gas station robbery— is legally valid and can be used at his trial.

Smith was handcuffed and sitting on the floor of Niagara Falls Police Headquarters when he was zapped with the 50,000- volt electronic stun gun after he insisted he would not give a DNA sample.

He already had given a sample, a swab of the inside of his cheek, without protest the previous month. But police sent it to the wrong lab, where it was opened and spoiled. Prosecutors who had obtained a court order for the first sample went back to Sperrazza, who signed another order without consulting the defense.

Defense lawyer Patrick M. Balkin denounced the ruling in an interview with The Buffalo News.

“They have now given the Niagara Falls police discretion to Taser anybody anytime they think it’s reasonable,” he asserted. “Her decision says you can enforce a court order by force. If you extrapolate that, we no longer have to have child support hearings; you can just Taser the parent.”

A police officer said that when Smith was ordered by officers to give his DNA, he adamantly refused.

“I ain’t giving up my DNA again. I already gave it up once. I’ll sit in jail. I ain’t giving it up. You’re going to have to Tase me,” the officer’s report stated.

The officer wrote that he then applied the stun gun to Smith’s left shoulder, a “drive stun” that is regarded as less painful than shooting electric prongs into a person, which is the usual Taser approach. Smith then consented to the sample, and he was arrested on a contempt of court charge.

In her ruling, Sperrazza cited numerous legal precedents and the state’s Criminal Procedure Law, allowing the use of reasonable force to carry out a court order.

Although there are no New York cases specifically dealing with using a Taser to accomplish that, the judge did find a Wyoming case where a court ruled it was legal to use a Taser to force a suspect to open his hand for a search.

Balkin and other lawyers familiar with the case say they know of no other case in the country in which a Taser was used to gather DNA.

The decision Wednesday in Niagara County stunned Balkin, who admitted in court that he hadn’t been carrying out trial preparation, such as seeking an expert to review the DNA test results.

“It’s my fault,” Balkin told Sperrazza. “I truly thought it was going to be suppressed.”

Balkin thought a victory on the Taser issue would lead to the dismissal of the 24-count indictment against Smith, 21, of Grove Avenue.

Sperrazza granted a postponement of Smith’s trial to Aug. 10.

Smith is charged with shooting a man in the groin July 27, 2006, after allegedly invading his ex-girlfriend’s home, tying up her two children and forcing the woman to take him to the shooting victim’s home.

He is also accused of taking part in the Dec. 24, 2006, armed robbery of a Sunoco station in Niagara Falls. A codefendant in the robbery, Christopher T. Walker Jr., now 21, pleaded guilty and is serving a 10-year state prison sentence.

DNA was found on a can of pop taken from Smith’s ex-girlfriend’s refrigerator and on a glove dropped at the gas station. It matched a sample he had to give after a previous assault conviction, and prosecutors sought another sample from Smith to confirm the findings.

“Our case is mostly DNA,” Deputy District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann said.

She also said she didn’t agree with Balkin that suppressing the DNA sample would have led to the dismissal of the indictment.

There is a surveillance video of the gas station robbery, Hoffmann revealed in court.

Balkin said he also was most concerned about Sperrazza’s reasoning that she didn’t have to go through a courtroom procedure for the second DNA sample because Smith had not objected to the first one.

“The court waived my client’s due process,” the defense lawyer said.

Testimony at a hearing last month partially contradicted the incident report written by Officer George McDonell, who used the Taser on Smith.

Sperrazza wrote in her ruling, based on police testimony, that when Smith refused to give another sample, Detective Lt. William Thomson phoned Hoffmann about it, and Hoffmann “instructed him that they could use the minimum force necessary to obtain the sample.”

But McDonell wrote in his report, “It was relayed that officers could use any means necessary to secure the sample.”

Sperrazza said the police should have arrested Smith first and brought him to court to be warned about the penalties for noncompliance with a court order.

McDonell testified that he used the Taser for 1z to two seconds. Another officer testified that the data readout on the Taser showed it was on for as long as four seconds.

Court papers filed by Smith’s civil attorney, Christopher O’Brien, assert that Smith was zapped three times and lost consciousness. McDonell’s report says, “Suspect complained of no injury and none was observed.”

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Interview with Future Prediction Expert Gerald Celente

by Terry Easton

It’s the end of the world as the Greater Depression hits after 2010’s failed “W-recovery”

Human Events had the opportunity to interview forecaster extraordinaire Gerald Celente, President of Trends Research Institute, several days ago – and the future he predicts looks bleak indeed. In fact, as Mr. Celente sees it, the Great Depression will seem like a mild recession as what waits for us in 2011 hits with the force of a Katrina financial hurricane.

In case you’re wondering who Mr. Celente is (if this is still possible), he’s appeared – along with his predictions – on Oprah, CNBC, Reuters, NBC, PBS, BBC, the Glenn Beck Show – the list goes on an on. His Trends Report has been successfully predicting the major future trends impacting our lives for 3 decades, including calling the dot com crash back in the 1990's.

Mr. Celente's forecast on our impending future is based on his study of history. He says we are bent on destroying our currency, bankrupting our government, and unleashing a violent citizen-against-citizen eruption as the economy collapses into chaos and marshal law fascism.

Quite a claim. And God help us if he is right – again.

“We’re sounding the alarm about the ongoing downward economic cycle,” Gerald told Human Events. “In 2002, we predicted that the collapse of the American empire would fall like the World Trade Center in a thunderous crash – in slow motion before our eyes. And now it’s happening.”

Mr. Celente follows over 300 trends: family, crime, war, education, consumer & business patterns which TRI synthesizes to predict the future.

“The US is becoming a shadow of what it used to be. Take education for example. The OECD group of developed countries ranks quality of life, education, health care of its member nations. The US is now falling down the table as one piece of data after another shows America is in decline. We’re no longer Win, Place or Show in quality of life, education, longevity… all the essentials where we used to be #1. And our economic underpinnings are failing.”

Mr. Celente puts part of the blame squarely on the federal government, and especially FED Chairman Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Geithner, and warns us not to believe a word they say “They’re the same people who didn't see it coming – are now telling us the worst is over, that ‘green shoots are spouting upwards’. But they were wrong before. They’re wrong on this too.”

“When you pump out tons of money manure into this system based on nothing – printing press paper, it’s like giving a patient with a chronic disease a pain killer – it won’t cure the patient.”

“But let’s go beyond the economics. Our whole Constitution has been abrogated. The president simply writes an Executive Order to do whatever he wants. Nationalize the banks, take over the insurance industry, automobile industry, health care industry…
None of it is constitutional.”

When did the problem begin?

“After Dwight Eisenhower – our last great president – the Allied Supreme Commander in WWII – who warned us of the dangers of the military-industrial complex. We've become completely corrupted.”

“We became enmeshed in foreign entanglements. We forgot the lesson of England – and how their global imperial overreach destroyed their empire.”

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Video: Cop Tases Grandmother

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Hello Dr. State

by Ron Paul

Statement before the US House of Representatives introducing the Coercion is Not Health Care Act, May 21, 2009

Madam Speaker, today I am introducing the Coercion is Not Health Care Act. This legislation forbids the federal government from forcing any American to purchase health insurance, and from conditioning participation in any federal program, or receipt of any federal benefit, on the purchase of health insurance.

While often marketed as a “moderate” compromise between nationalized health care and a free market solution, forcing every American to purchase a government-approved health insurance plan is a back door approach to creating a government-controlled health care system.

If Congress requires individuals to purchase insurance, Congress must define what insurance policies satisfy the government mandate. Thus, Congress will decide what is and is not covered in the mandatory insurance policy. Does anyone seriously doubt that what conditions and treatments are covered will be determined by who has the most effective lobby? Or that Congress will be incapable of writing a mandatory insurance policy that will fit the unique needs of every individual in the United States?

The experience of states that allow their legislatures to mandate what benefits health insurance plans must cover has shown that politicizing health insurance inevitably makes health insurance more expensive. As the cost of government-mandated health insurance rises, Congress will likely create yet another fiscally unsustainable entitlement program to help cover the cost of insurance.

When the cost of government-mandated insurance proves to be an unsustainable burden on individuals and small employers, and the government, Congress will likely impose price controls on medical treatments, and even go so far as to limit what procedures and treatments will be reimbursed by the mandatory insurance. The result will be an increasing number of providers turning to “cash only” practices, thus making it difficult for those relying on the government-mandated insurance to find health care. Anyone who doubts that result should consider the increasing number of physicians who are withdrawing from the Medicare program because of the low reimbursement and constant bureaucratic harassment from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Madam Speaker, the key to effective health care reform lies not in increasing government control, but in increasing the American people’s ability to make their own health care decisions. Thus, instead of forcing Americans to purchase government-approved health insurance, Congress should put the American people back in charge of health care by expanding health care tax credits and deductions, as well as increasing access to Health Savings Accounts. Therefore, I have introduced legislation, the Comprehensive Health Care Reform Act (HR1495), which provides a series of health care tax credits and deductions designed to empower patients. I urge my colleagues to reject the big government- knows-best approach to health care by cosponsoring my Coercion is Not Health Care Act and Comprehensive Health Care Reform Act.

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Sotomayor To Overturn Roe v. Wade?

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HR 1207 Call-a-thon Underway

An impromptu HR 1207 Call-a-thon happened yesterday on twitter after I saw my rep (Kratovil) STILL hadn't co-sponsored the bill. Much to my delight, because of all of the calls, he co-sponsored this morning!! We're keeping it going today over on twitter, but starting this post so you guys can add your reps to the list. We'll hit a few a day, and see if we can get the 28 we need for a majority! Thanks guys!!

Go to the site link (above) for current updates on who's to be called, how many are now cosponsoring, etc.

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Peak Oil for Lithium-Ion Battery and EV Technology?

by Aaron Turpen

There are some rare earth metals that are vital to electric motor production, lithium-ion battery storage, and other electric vehicle concerns. One of them, dysprosium, is essential for almost all electric motor and generator applications: cars, wind turbines, and more.

A recent report in the Times Online says that China currently holds 95% of that and other rare earth metals’ production. Byron King, an analyst of commodities, puts that number at 97% and the Financial Times says it’s over 90%. Any of those three numbers says that not only are these things rare, they’re under the almost exclusive control of China.

Since dysprosium is so vital to electric vehicle and motor production, does this mean that we’re trading energy dependence from one foreign power to another? Going from the MIddle East to China with our energy dependence?

Several rare earth metals are present in almost all magnets, which are central to the design of nearly all electric turbine generators and high-output electric motors as well.

So can we move to make ourselves independent by finding our own supplies of these rare earth metals closer to home? Maybe, but that involves speculation, mining, and purification. We have little technology in the Americas for that and many roadblocks for the implementation here.

Not only does mining for these metals take years to establish, but like all mining, it’s destructive and likely to occur on land that environmental lobbies would prefer to see protected. This leads to sort of a conundrum.

The problem here isn’t just with the production of electrics. Hybrids, including hydrogen fuel-cell hybrids, are in the same boat.

I don’t have the answers to this question, but it’s one that needs addressing. We can’t just ignore it. We could literally be trading oil dependence for heavy earth metals dependence and end up no closer to energy independence than we were before.

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Monday, June 08, 2009

Fed to Hire PR Wizard to Fight Against HR 1207

by Kurt Nimmo

As HR 1207 gains momentum and co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, the Federal Reserve is planning to fight the tide calling for an audit of its books by hiring a veteran lobbyist to “manage its relations with Congress,” according to Reuters.

The Fed plans to hire Linda Robertson, who previously worked for now-defunct energy company Enron, as well as the Clinton administration. She is currently head of government, community and public relations at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Robertson “spent eight years in senior positions at the Treasury Department, working for three secretaries: Lloyd Bentsen, Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers,” a bio posted on The John Hopkins University website states.

Robert Rubin, as secretary of the Treasury, recommended that Congress pass legislation to reform or repeal the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, while Lawrence Summers in the same capacity organized the looting of Russia, stripping one trillion dollars from Russia’s struggling economy in the name of the bankers.

“Members of Congress have chafed at the Fed’s bold use of its emergency powers and in particular its multibillion-dollar bailouts of investment bank Bear Stearns and insurer American International Group,” Reuters continues. “Critics also bristle at the Fed’s practice of maintaining the confidentiality of the companies that borrow directly from the central bank on the grounds that divulging their names would risk runs on those institutions.”

One such critic is senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. In March, Sanders put it squarely to Fed boss Bernanke when he said “My question to you is, will you tell the American people to whom you lent $2.2 trillion of their dollars?” Bernanke, of course, refused to divulge a single name and instead said the loans in question are “over-collateralized” and thus come with a heavy stigma for the unknown borrowers.

Sanders has put his weight behind a similar bill — S. 604, the Federal Reserve Sunshine Act of 2009. It was referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on March 16, 2009.

As reported by Bloomberg, the Fed has entered into trillions of dollars in off-balance sheet transactions since last September. More specifically, the Fed extended $9 trillion in credit, which is $30,000 for every single men, women, and child in this country.

Early last month, Elizabeth Coleman, Inspector General for the Federal Reserve, told Rep. Alan Grayson of the United States House Committee on Financial Services that she does “not have jurisdiction to directly go out and audit Reserve Bank activities specifically.” See a video of Grayson questioning Coleman.

“We’re getting instructions from on high saying, ‘Don’t dwell on the past,’” Grayson was told before a hearing scheduled to investigate the Fannie and Freddie swindle.

HR 1207 would put an end to this sort of hide-and-seek nonsense. It would “amend title 31, United States Code, to reform the manner in which the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is audited by the Comptroller General of the United States and the manner in which such audits are reported, and for other purposes.”

Rep. Ron Paul notes that only the Fed can inflate the currency and create new money out of thin air in secrecy without oversight or supervision. “Debasing a currency is counterfeiting,” Paul told Congress in February, 2008, “it steals value from every dollar earned or saved. “It robs the people and makes them poorer… it is the enemy of the working person. Inflation is the most vicious and regressive of all forms of taxation. It transfers wealth from the middle class to the privileged rich.”

HR 1207 would cast a laser light on this criminal process. “By opening all Fed operations to a GAO audit and calling for such an audit to be completed by the end of 2010, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act would achieve much-needed transparency of the Federal Reserve,” Paul explained earlier this year.

An audit would set the stage for the end of the Federal Reserve and a return of honest money and fiscal policies. The banksters behind the Fed understand this very well and that is why they have not only hired a PR wizard but also why they have attempted to subvert the End the Fed movement.

It is hardly a mistake that the MIAC report characterized the End the Fed movement as extremist. It is also no mistake the United States Army Reserve Command issued “mitigation measures” in response to End the Fed demonstrations around the country last year. The Army “established relationships” with local law enforcement and the FBI and encouraged them to “update alert rosters,” according to a Force Protection Advisory leaked to the media. On November 22, 2008, Alex Jones led a rally at the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas Texas. The Dallas protest is specifically mentioned in the official Army document.

As HR 1207 picks up sponsors and gains critical mass, we can expect the international bankers to devise ways to protect their Federal Reserve racket. Obviously, it will take more than a former Enron and Treasury Department hack to stem the growing tide of people demanding the Fed be investigated and eventually dismantled.

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Security Theater in Three Airports: Istanbul, Paris, and Atlanta

by Robert Higgs

Returning recently from a trip to Turkey, my wife and I had the distinct displeasure of passing repeatedly through “security” checkpoints, not to mention waiting in long queues in order to arrive at these unpleasant passages. Although every country’s airport security boasts its own unique idiocies, all have much in common. It’s a waste of time to fret about swine flu; the more pressing danger to the world is obviously fool flu - although I am not sure who are the greater fools, the politicians and their flunkies who put these stupid procedures in place or the masses who put up with them in the wholly mistaken belief that their security is thereby enhanced.

But let us not dwell on generalities when specifics lie so close at hand. Consider food. As all travelers have learned, the authorities strictly forbid passengers from bringing onboard an aircraft any food that has not been purchased in the airport outlets available to them after they have successfully navigated past the checkpoints. Moreover, U.S. authorities forbid travelers entering the United States from bringing various food items into the country with them. Nevertheless, because the Turks make scrumptious candies and pastries - I particularly recommend the baklava with finely ground pistachio nuts - we decided to bring some of these treats home with us despite the security prohibition, being confident that the security employees’ abysmal level of competence gave us a good chance of success in the commission of this forbidden act. Suffice to say that our packages of candy and pastries sailed though all of the checkpoints ever so smoothly.

To compound the absurdity of the enforcement apparatus, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent with a sniffing dog stopped by our bags as we were collecting them after entering the United States at the Atlanta airport. Uh, oh, I thought, as the dog took a distinct interest in our luggage and would not move along on his appointed rounds. The agent asked, “Are these your bags.” I confessed that they were. “You have any food in them?” “Yes, we have some sweets.” “Okay.” Still the dog would not move on. “You have any pets at home?” “Oh, yes, we have tons of pets at home - cats, and dogs, and what have you.” “Okay,” he said, dragging the unfortunate Gestapo-pooch away from our luggage. We were greatly relieved, first that the airport thugs had not gunned us down on the spot for our admitted violation of the no-food rule, and second, for our good fortune in getting the cherished treats to their intended destination in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, where we have been enjoying them for the past several days. (Note to unfriendly readers: don’t bother to report us; by the time the gendarmes get here, we certainly shall have eaten all of the evidence.)

Not all airport security is created equally idiotic. I hereby award the blue ribbon to the Charles de Gaulle International Airport outside Paris, where we transferred from one aircraft to another on our trip from Istanbul to New Orleans. Many people think of Paris as a romantic place. Get over it. It’s actually an asylum for persons deemed incapable of holding down a real job, as opposed to a job in airport security. The queues seemed interminable - at least the ones into which we were herded, notwithstanding that nearby queues had hardly anyone in them. This lop-sided arrangement was probably a test setup arranged by a security expert with a minor in queuing theory (his identity will be revealed, no doubt, when he is awarded a future Nobel Prize in Economic Science). The French authorities seemed to be mightily exercised about the threat posed by swine flu, completely overlooking the greater threat posed by the fool flu that was manifestly running rampant at the airport.

My wife Elizabeth was traveling with a lead-lined bag, approximately six inches by ten inches in size, to shield her photographic film from damage by the X-ray machines. When an X-ray machine produces an image of such a bag, it shows up on the screen as a large totally black rectangle, a fact that induces some of the less idiotic airport-security personnel to panic and inquire into what it is, and even to open it and paw through the rolls of film in search of those containing plastic explosive, fuses, and timing mechanisms. Shoe bombs are passé; film-pack bombs are now all the rage among fashionable terrorists. To make my story short, I can state for the record that the Parisian X-ray personnel blinked not an eye upon seeing a large black blob on their screens. Move along, mes amis; you may proceed with your parcel of explosives and whatever other hidden items your black blob contains. Bon voyage!

It would be droll to maintain that we did enjoy a bonne journée, but the imperative of telling the truth forbids me from maintaining that we did so. The time spent - in truth, more suffered than merely spent - in enduring our passages through three of the world’s more prominent security theaters guaranteed that whatever other indignities might have dimmed the sunlight of our travels, the airport Gestapos in themselves were more than adequate to ruin the entire experience. Elizabeth declared most emphatically that she will never travel again, except by ship.

Like Paris, foreign travel used to be seen as romantic, or at least as interesting and enjoyable. Gone are the days. Today’s world traveler is little more than a guinea pig in a diabolical experiment designed to determine how much abuse the masses will take before either lapsing into complete madness or taking up pitchforks and torches and coming after the Dr. Frankensteins who created these “security” monstrosities.

“Mankind,” declared the American revolutionaries of 1776, “are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed.” I submit that the mass endurance of “airport security” illustrates the truth of this statement. The American Declaration, however, went on to say: “But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security.” Amen, brothers and sisters. Moreover, if not us, who? If not now, when?

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Regulation Red Herring

Why There's No Such Thing as an Unregulated Market
by Sheldon Richman

Most people believe that government must regulate the marketplace. The only alternative to a regulated market, the thinking goes, is an unregulated market. On first glance that makes sense. It’s the law of excluded middle. A market is either regulated or it’s not.

Cashing in on the common notion that anything unregulated is bad, advocates of government regulation argue that an unregulated market is to be abhorred. This view is captured by twin sculptures outside the Federal Trade Commission building in Washington, D.C. (One is on the Constitution Ave. side, the other on the Pennsylvania Ave. side.) The sculptures, which won an art contest sponsored by the U.S. government during the New Deal, depict a man using all his strength to keep a wild horse from going on a rampage.

The title? “Man Controlling Trade.”

Since trade is not really a wild horse but rather a peaceful and mutually beneficial activity between people, the Roosevelt administration’s propaganda purpose is clear. A more honest title would be “Government Controlling People.” But that would have sounded a little authoritarian even in New Deal America, hence the wild horse metaphor.

What’s overlooked—intentionally or not—is that the alternative to a government-regulated economy is not an unregulated one. As a matter of fact, “unregulated economy,” like square circle, is a contradiction in terms. If it’s truly unregulated it’s not an economy, and if it’s an economy, it’s not unregulated. The term “free market” does not mean free of regulation. It means free of government interference.

Ludwig von Mises and F. A. Hayek pointed out years ago that the real issue regarding economic planning is not: To plan or not to plan? But rather: Who plans (centralized state officials or decentralized private individuals in the market)?

Likewise, the question is not: to regulate or not to regulate. It is, rather, who (or what) regulates?

All markets are regulated. In a free market we all know what would happen if someone charged, say, $100 per apple. He’d sell few apples because someone else would offer to sell them for less or, pending that, consumers would switch to alternative products. “The market” would not permit the seller to successfully charge $100.

Similarly, in a free market employers will not succeed in offering $1 an hour and workers will not succeed in demanding $20 an hour for a job that produces only $10 worth of output an hour. If they try, they will quickly see their mistake and learn.

And again, in a free market an employer who subjected his employees to perilous conditions without adequately compensating them to their satisfaction for the danger would lose them to competitors.
Market Forces

What regulates the conduct of these people? Market forces. (I keep specifying “in a free market” because in a state-regulated economy, market forces are diminished or suppressed.) Economically speaking, people cannot do whatever they want in a free market because other people are free to counteract them. Just because the government doesn’t stop a seller from charging $100 for an apple, doesn’t mean he or she can get that amount. Market forces regulate the seller as strictly as any bureaucrat could—even more so, because a bureaucrat can be bribed. Whom would you have to bribe to be exempt from the law of supply and demand?

It is no matter of indifference whether state operatives or market forces do the regulating. Bureaucrats, who necessarily have limited knowledge and perverse incentives, regulate by threat of physical force. In contrast, market forces operate peacefully through millions of participants, each with intimate knowledge of his or her own personal circumstances, looking out for their own well-being. Bureaucratic regulation is likely to be irrelevant or inimical to what people in the market care about. Not so regulation by market forces.

If this is correct, there can be no unregulated, or unfettered, markets. We use those terms in referring to markets that are unregulated or unfettered by government. As long as we know what we mean, the expressions are unobjectionable.

But not everyone knows what we mean. Someone unfamiliar with the natural regularities of free markets can find the idea of an unregulated economy terrifying. So it behooves market advocates to be capable of articulately explaining the concept of spontaneous market order—that is, order (to use Adam Ferguson’s felicitous phrase) that is the product of human action but not human design. This is counterintuitive, so it takes some patience to explain it.

Order grows from market forces. But where do impersonal market forces come from? These are the result of the nature of human action. Individuals select ends and act to achieve them by adopting suitable means. Since means are scarce and ends are abundant, individuals economize in order to accomplish more rather than less. And they always seek to exchange lower values for higher values (as they see them) and never the other way around. In a world of scarcity tradeoffs are unavoidable, so one aims to trade up rather than down. The result of this and other features of human action and the world at large is what we call market forces. But really, it is just men and women acting rationally in the world.

The natural social order greatly concerned Frederic Bastiat, the nineteenth-century French liberal economist. In Economic Harmonies he analyzed that order, but did not feel he needed to prove its existence—he needed only to point it out. “Habit has so familiarized us with these phenomena that we never notice them until, so to speak, something sharply discordant and abnormal about them forces them to our attention,” he wrote.

…So ingenious, so powerful, then, is the social mechanism that every man, even the humblest, obtains in one day more satisfactions than he could produce for himself in several centuries…. We should be shutting our eyes to the facts if we refused to recognize that society cannot present such complicated combinations in which civil and criminal law play so little part without being subject to a prodigiously ingenious mechanism. This mechanism is the object of study of political economy….

In truth, could all this have happened, could such extraordinary phenomena have occurred, unless there were in society a natural and wise order that operates without our knowledge?

This is the same lesson taught by FEE’s founder, Leonard Read, in I, Pencil.

Most people value order. Chaos is inimical to human flourishing. Thus those who fail to grasp that, as Bastiat’s contemporary Proudhon put it, liberty is not the daughter but the mother of order will be tempted to favor state-imposed order. How ironic, since the state is the greatest creator of disorder of all.

Those of us who understand Bastiat’s teachings realize how urgent it is that others understand them, too.

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Sunday, June 07, 2009

Newsroom for June 7 - Gitmo update, prison labor, global warming, auto bankruptcies

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Welcome To The Machine

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