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Wrights Photo Yes, that’s right. I, R. Lee Wrights, being of sound mind and aging body, do solemnly acclaim and justly affirm that I am a criminal. And, if I do my job correctly, by the time you finish reading this you will realize that you are a criminal also; and, that something needs to [...]
hat tip: The Daily Bell
Monday, May 24, 2010 – by Staff Report
Who owns America today? … Perhaps the greatest threat to … the tea party is that they appear to be arguing a case that, for all practical purposes, has already been settled for the majority of Americans. The America of the Founding Fathers roots – a modest, decentralized, and agrarian nation – is gone, or is at least being pushed to the demographic margins, inhabiting the great red swath of the country’s middle. Politically, the America of today is as much a product of Lyndon Johnson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt as James Madison and Thomas Jefferson – of the sprawling government programs of Medicaid and Social Security as much as the Second Amendment and its provision for nongovernment militias. Though he was speaking of … the Civil Rights Act specifically, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele’s comment Sunday morning on “Fox News Sunday” appears to be broadly relevant to the tea party as a viable political movement: “The philosophy was misplaced in these times,” he said. “The philosophy got in the way of reality.” – Christian Science Monitor
Dominant Social Theme: It’s ovah! The blue states have won. Federal government activism is gloriously ascendant.
Free-Market Analysis: Working closely together, we Bell staffers have developed a most un-libertarian, hive-like mentality. These days, buzzing in our brains are recollections, often, of the compelling Claudius books by Robert Graves. What comes to mind, however, is not so much the pomp and decrepitude that Graves brought to life as the books’ over-riding, semi-tragic perspective that the Republic was gone and could not be brought back.
Indeed, the theme of Roman republicanism-now-lost hangs over these books and in our humble opinion lifts them into the realm of great art. Not only does Graves have an apparently thorough grasp of ancient times, but he is able to bring these times to life and to inhabit them with living, breathing creatures who are often among the most maleficent and fascinating since Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, wrote his great character-driven plays (Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, etc.).
By Michael Collins
hat tip: opednews
There is no viable solution in sight for the out of control oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico. The stunning failure of British Petroleum (BP) raises the question – are these oil giants too big to exist? Are they too dangerous to function in our presence? BP has four permanent deep water structures and 28 boreholes operating at a water depth of greater than 5000 feet in the Gulf of Mexico. What’s next?
British Petroleum (BP) had the resources to drill the well but lacked the planning and ability to deal with its failure. The oil giant’s performance inspired ridicule by Jon Stewart in a recent Daily Show comment (“There will be blame“). The White House was not amused, however. Nobel Prize winning physicist and Secretary of the Energy, Steven Chu, is now in Houston with a team of cutting edge scientists tasked with mentoring BP and devising a viable solution as the oil giant continues to falter.
There is a well known history of oil company accidents including blazing oil rigs, the Exxon Valdez tanker leak, and the Prudhoe Bay pipeline collapse (another BP special). But nothing matches the collapse of BP’s Deepwater Horizon structure at the Macondo prospect, Gulf of Mexico.
By Mamoon Alabbasi – London
hat tip: Palestine Chronicle
Professor Norman Finkelstein’s admirers are familiar with his views, which they share to one degree or another. His critics are unhappy with the ‘tone’ in which he criticises Israel. As for his foes, they charge ‘anti-Semitic’ and ‘self-hating Jew’ – but backed by little evidence.
However, the newly released documentary film American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein sheds much light on the true character of the man who is often found in the middle of controversies.
He is seen as controversial because of the issues he raises and the way he raises them. Finally; a documentary that tells us why.
From early on in his academic life, he challenged the faulty conventional wisdom regarding the Middle East conflict in the US, by showing Joan Peters’s widely praised best seller, “From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict Over Palestine”, to be not much more than a work of fiction.
After reading Finkelstein’s long and detailed review of Peters’s book, Professor Noam Chomsky told the then young Norman: “[This article] is very solid. It’s a very good topic to study. But if you go into it, do it with eyes open. You are not only going to undermine this book and show that it’s a fraud but you’re going to undermine the whole US intellectual community.”
A pretty controversial start from the outset, one would argue. But why the harsh tone when criticizing Israel?
The answer is in the fact that both of his parents were Holocaust survivors, whose family members were exterminated by the Nazis.
Read the rest of the article at the Palestine Chronicle.
by Joe Wolverton, II
hat tip: The New American
On a cold night in December 1773, some three years after passage of the Tea Act by the British Parliament, colonists were fed up with the British crown’s haughty disregard of their rights as Englishmen, and they dumped 342 chests of the iconic British beverage into Boston Harbor, becoming icons themselves. The protesters (estimates range from as few as 30 to as many as 130) refused finally to be placated by repeated promises of change and reform and, rather than wait for legislative response, they exercised the Lockean right of “self-defense” and boldly resisted the alienation of their God-given liberty.
Modern Americans know something of that level of frustration. It’s been just over a year since Barack Obama was elected President of the United States and the Democratic Party assumed majority control of both houses of Congress. In that short time, there has emerged a vociferous band within the electorate who, like their tea-tossing forebears, feel they have been precluded from participating in the direction the ship of state will sail, and they have decided to protest the insupportable behavior of a government that habitually oversteps its constitutional boundaries. Fed up and fired up, they have chosen to exercise their constitutional prerogative of peaceful assembly, hence the Tea Party Movement.
Hat tip: The Patriot’s Pledge
I, a patriotic American, do hereby declare this to be my official request if I am killed in a ‘terrorist attack’.
Article I: War Powers
Congress must no longer abdicate its constitutional responsibility by granting open-ended war powers to the President through vague “resolutions” or “authorizations”. If a military response is warranted against another country, then Congress must formally declare war as stipulated in the Constitution. Or, if a military response is warranted against a terrorist group or organization, then Congress must formally grant Letters of Marque & Reprisal as stipulated in the Constitution.
Article II: Civil Liberties
We must not allow our constitutional rights to be undermined in the name of national security. Fear of terrorist acts is not sufficient cause to relinquish our civil liberties. Liberties such as, but not limited to, the freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of the internet, Habeas corpus, and freedom from government spying on private citizens must be strictly upheld in the event of an attack.
Hat tip: The Daily Bell
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
by Staff Report
Don’t go wobbly on us now, Ben Bernanke … Mervyn King, the Bank of England’s Governor, seems strangely alone in … seeing the absurdity of a recovery strategy where everybody tightens at once and surplus states keep on dumping excess capacity abroad. “I was struck by the mood at the G7, where several of the major economies around the world said quite openly that they were relying on external demand growth to generate growth. That can’t be true of everybody,” he said.
The West risks a slow grind into debt-deflation unless central banks offset fiscal tightening with monetary stimulus – QE, of course – to keep demand alive. Yet the Fed and the European Central Bank are letting credit contract. … Fed chairman Ben Bernanke told us in his 2002 speech “Deflation: Making Sure It Doesn’t Happen Here” that:
- Japan’s slide into deflation was “entirely unexpected”, and that it would be “imprudent” to rule out such a risk in America;
- “Sustained deflation can be highly destructive to a modern economy and should be strongly resisted”;
- That a “determined government” has the means to stop deflation, if necessary by use of the “printing press”.
Yet here we are, facing exactly that risk, unless you think one good quarter of inventory rebuilding has conjured away our debt bubble. The one-off inflation blip caused by a doubling of oil prices is already fading, revealing once again the deeper forces of deflation. Core prices fell 0.1% in January. They plummet from here.
So why has Bernanke broken ranks with King and begun to flirt with disaster by tightening too soon? Has he lost control to regional hawks, as in mid-2008? Have critics in Congress and the media got to him? Has China vetoed QE, fearing a stealth default on Treasury debt?
Don’t go wobbly on us now, Ben. If the governments of America, Europe, and Japan are to retrench – as they must – their central banks must stay super-loose to cushion the blow. Otherwise we will all sink into deflationary quicksand. – UK Telegraph