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Hat tip: Liberty Maven
March 4, 2010
The wave of “Tea Party” activism and renewed interest in the Constitution in the wake of the 2008 elections has mostly been fueled by a rightfully-deserved fear of the tyranny and reckless disregard for the rule of law that the current administration has displayed. Attend a local Tea Party event and you’ll likely encounter healthy, much-needed discussions on the 10th Amendment rights of the state, the protection of the inherent rights of the individual via the 1st and 2nd Amendments, the unconstitutionality of wasteful federal programs, and even once-fringe talking points such as repealing the 17th Amendment.
Quite often, however, the Constitution is lost on many when the topic of discussion turns to foreign policy and the so-called “War on Terror.” At a recent GOP primary debate that I attended (sponsored by the local Tea Party), several candidates were asked about national security, the role of America’s foreign policy, and what to do about the rising threat of Iran. Despite drooling over their love of the Constitution for the rest of the evening, the candidates didn’t mention the founding document once in their responses to these issues. One of the candidates, in fact, could be quoted as saying “If Israel bombed Iran, I’d slap them on the back and buy them a drink.” Several other candidates pledged their allegiance to defending Israel at all costs. Another candidate responded that the goal of American foreign policy should be to “help nations” and to “pressure nations that do not comply.” All of these statements drew more cheers than boos from the crowd.
From whence springs this disconnect between so-called “constitutionalists” and their eagerness to abandon all mention of the Constitution as it relates to our world empire? Since the GOP establishment takeover of the national Tea Party – seems funny that the rugged individualism that the Tea Party movement represents would even have a national organization, doesn’t it? – it seems that most of the Tea Parties have devolved into throngs of Republican dissenters who only take issue when “the other guy” is the one shredding the Constitution, while using the Amendments, clauses, and Founders’ quotes that support their agenda.
By James Petras
Axis of Logic
Wednesday, Mar 3, 2010
The principle propaganda mouthpiece of the Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (PMAJO), the Daily Alert (DA), has come out in full support for Israel’s practice of extra-judicial, extra-territorial assassination.
In the face of world-wide governmental condemnation (except from the Zionist-occupied White House and US Congress), the PMAJO slavishly backs any brutal murder committed by the Israeli secret police anywhere in the world and at anytime. The recent assassination of Hamas leader, Mahmoud Mabhouh, in Dubai is a case in point. The PMAJO has defended all of Mossad’s criminal actions leading up to the murder, including extensive identity theft and the stealing or falsification of passports and official documents from several European countries, presumably allied to the Zionist state. Among the Mossad agents who entered Dubai to kill Mabhouh, twelve agents used stolen or forged British passports, three Australian, three French, one German and six Irish. These agents assumed the identity of European citizens in order to commit murder in a sovereign nation.
Once again the PMAJO demonstrate that its first loyalty is to the Israeli secret police, even when they violate the sovereignty of major US allies. No doubt the PMAJO would readily support the Israeli Mossad, even if it were shown to have used U.S. documents to assassinate Mabhouh. In fact, two of the 26 Israeli assassins, carrying fake Irish and fake British passports, are known to have entered the United States after the killing and may still be here.
The US Economy is Set for a “Double-Dip” Recession
by Paul Craig Roberts
Happy news! The government has come up with a 5.9 percent GDP growth rate in the fourth quarter of 2009. The recession is over.
Or is it?
Statistician John Williams has informed us that 69 percent of this growth, or 4.1 percentage points, is the result of inventory accumulation. That leaves a 1.8 percent growth rate, and the 1.8 percent is likely due to the underestimate of inflation and other statistical problems.
The Federal Reserve’s own monetary evidence contradicts the recovery assurances from Fed chairman Ben Bernanke. The Federal Reserve continues to pour massive reserves into the banks. The monetary base, which consists of currency in circulation and bank reserves (the basis for new loans), has surged from $850 billion in 2009 to $2.2 trillion on February 24.
Despite this potential for massive new money creation, the broadest measure of money growth is still contracting.The banks are too impaired and so are consumers for the banks to create new money by making loans.
The economy, in other words, is going nowhere.
By Robert S. Becker
Hat tip:Dandelion Salad
March 2, 2010
It is a truth universally acknowledged that predatory bankers in possession of great fortunes are in want of media lackeys, especially after savaging the American Dream. Actually not, considering the corporate media outlets reinforcing the clownish social gospel from Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs: conglomerates do good, indeed “God’s work.”How would any CEO richer than Midas know God’s mind or presume entry to heaven, according to a more reliable source, any more likely than a camel through the eye of a needle?
Propaganda aside, hear the hosannas this Great Recession isn’t so bad, no national tragedy, no generational plague, barely involving predatory lending. When viewed correctly this healthy downturn “will improve all of our lives by bringing us back to the original vision of the American Dream.” In the meantime, hard times cleanse debtors and clear books: thus, mystical free markets self-balance, punishing those lovers of excess and betrayers of contracts. Verdict; blame consumer spendthrifts for toppling our shining city on the hill. Rich people, not so much.
The media loves tough love that regains more than lost affluence but transcendent virtues: self-control, family togetherness, even, brace yourself, Yankee introspection. This Sunday CNN blessed us with its Pollyanna sermonette, profiling a perky Bernie Madoff survivor happier than ever. She’s not bitter towards this thug, so outlandish he dared capture, awash instead in wise acronyms, like SNT – Stop Negative Thinking. Unfortunately, no empty platitudes wash away unarguable research testifying joblessness and foreclosure can kill, with an array of anxiety disorders sharpened by depression, addictive and abusive behavior, divorce, even suicide – no endorsement for positive thinking. Note, those justifying pain always have jobs.
by Prof. Marc W. Herold
Hat tip: Global Research
Future U.S wars in the Third World will involve massive use of drones to police the territory, employ local satrap forces (like those of Karzai’s Afghan Army) and once the territory has been pacified sufficiently, the deployment of “Government Ready-to-Rule (GRR)” kits. The drones provide the critical and the weak link: critical insofar as they represent the ultimate American-style war where only the “Others” (opponents and civilians) die but weak insofar as this type of warfare only works against an opponent without any anti-drone/aircraft capability. In other words, this type of technological warfare can only be carried out upon weak opponents lacking independent industrial capacities (not against China, Russia, and India). This approach represents the culmination of disconnecting the delivery of deadly force – the rain of Hellfire missiles – upon the Others and incurring no human (physical or psychological – PTSD) costs. Or put in other terms, it represents the quintessential American way of “solving” problems with technological short-cuts, a military effort begun in 1942 with the Allied fire-bombing of German cities. The current American war in Afghanistan is a harbinger of what is to come, America’s electronic, troop-less war.
Prophetically the first victims in 2010 of Obama in his Afghan war were a teacher in a government school, Sadiq Noor, and his nine-year old son, Wajid as well as three other persons. Both were killed on Sunday night, January 3, 2010 in a U.S. drone strike involving two missiles fired into the home of Sadiq Noor in the village of Musaki, North Waziristan in Pakistan. During January 2010, a record number of twelve deadly missile strikes were carried out on Pakistan’s tribal areas. Three Al-Qaeda leaders were killed and 123 innocent civilians. During 2009, 44 U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan killed 708 people but only five Al Qaeda or Taliban; that is for each enemy fighter 140 civilian Pakistanis had to die.
Those who pull the gray trigger to fire are located in Nevada, Kandahar, or Pakistan. As Philip Alston points out, “Young military personnel raised on a diet of video games now kill real people remotely using joysticks. Far removed from the human consequences of their actions, how will this generation of fighters value the right to life?” In early 2010, the U.S. Air Force had more drone operators in training than fighter and bomber pilots.
by Suzanne Ito
hat tip: ACLU Blog
Mar 2nd, 2010
On Friday, we filed a habeas corpus lawsuit on behalf of four Bagram detainees. The lawsuit requests that the four men be granted access to lawyers and be allowed to challenge the legality of their detention in court. The petition alleges they have never engaged in hostilities against the U.S., have never been a part of any group hostile to the U.S. and have never even been told why they’re being detained or had access to a lawyer.
We have two sets of clients. The first set is brothers Samiullah and Sibghatullah Jalatzai. Sibghatullah served as a translator for the U.S. military for four years before his capture nearly 20 months ago. Samiullah was arrested without explanation at his workplace nearly 23 months ago. The second set is Haji Abdul Wahid, an Afghan government employee, and Zia-ur-Rahman, his nephew. Both were taken from their homes by the U.S. military during a massive neighborhood sweep more than a year ago.
We’re afraid to say it, but it’s looking like Bagram is the new Gitmo. Bagram detainees lack access to courts or any meaningful process to challenge their detention. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it was the same at Guantánamo until the Supreme Court decided, in Boumediene v. Bush, that detainees are entitled to challenge their detention through habeas corpus.
Hat tip: Mises Daily
by Mark Thornton
Thursday, November 14, 2002
For a few billion dollars you might expect to be able to bribe some small third world country into cleaning up its act, to defend the property rights of its citizens, to provide a stable currency, and to establish a non-interventionist economic and foreign policy.
With little Switzerlands and industrial revolutions developing around the globe, the U.S. could provide the examples that would establish a classical liberal world order within one generation with less than 1% of the federal budget.
Alas, Americans are united in their opposition to foreign aid—and with good reason! Foreign aid, military aid, debt relief, economic development assistance, and even disaster assistance money—all with “strings attached” to ensure proper behavior—are associated with “fraud, waste, and abuse.”
U.S. aid designed to bring about peace in the Middle East is an ideological seedbed of hatred, war, and terrorism. The big players in foreign aid, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, are more likely to bring about economic meltdown and social calamity than economic stability.
Ludwig von Mises pointed out (Planning for Freedom) that foreign aid doesn’t create friends in foreign lands, it creates ideological enemies who wish to do us harm:
The United States, they think, is aiding them because its people have a bad conscience. They themselves pocket this bribe but their sympathies go to the socialist system. The American subsidies make it possible for their governments to conceal partially the disastrous effects of the various socialist measures they have adopted.
Mises is here referring to our “friends” in Europe, but the same could be applied to the Middle East, Africa, the Western Hemisphere, and Asia, with the only possible exception being countries like Vietnam and Australia who receive limited or no foreign aid from the United States or the international organizations that we control.
The fraud and failure of foreign aid is now so obvious that it has ended up in the pages of the American Economic Review!
By Tom Burghardt
Hat tip: Antifascist Calling…
Though production lines at the fear factory are still in overdrive, the Department of Homeland Security’s Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) are scrapping plans for a new generation of “high-tech detectors for screening vehicles and cargo, saying they cost too much and do not work as effectively as security officials once maintained,” The Washington Post reported.
Nearly two years ago, Antifascist Calling revealed that when DNDO awarded contracts totaling some $1.2 billion over five years to defense and security giants Raytheon, Canberra Industries (a subsidiary of the French nuclear manufacturing titan, the Areva Group) and Thermo Scientific for Advanced Spectroscopic Portal (ASP) radiation monitors in 2006, it should have been “reality-check time.”
For the moment at least, it apparently is.
by Paul Craig Roberts
The Washington Times is a newspaper that looks with favor upon the Bush/Cheney/Obama/neocon wars of aggression in the Middle East and favors making terrorists pay for 9/11. Therefore, I was surprised to learn on February 24 that the most popular story on the paper’s website for the past three days was the “Inside the Beltway” report, “Explosive News,” about the 31 press conferences in cities in the US and abroad on February 19 held by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, an organization of professionals which now has 1,000 members.
I was even more surprised that the news report treated the press conference seriously.
How did three World Trade Center skyscrapers suddenly disintegrate into fine dust? How did massive steel beams in three skyscrapers suddenly fail as a result of short-lived, isolated, and low temperature fires? “A thousand architects and engineers want to know, and are calling on Congress to order a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7,” reports the Washington Times.
flickr image by wallyg
Originally published as, “Ohio has no idea how to pay U.S. back for jobless benefits”
hat tip: Dispatch Politics
By Catherine Candisky
$2 billion-plus debt grows as leaders pass the hot potato
It has been more than a year since Ohio depleted its unemployment-compensation fund, and with the fund’s debt surpassing $2billion and growing, a fix is nowhere in sight.
No one has even proposed what should be done to shore up the fund – not the governor, not the General Assembly, not an advisory panel made up of business, labor and legislative leaders.
In fact, state leaders can’t even agree on who is responsible for solving the problem.
The Unemployment Compensation Advisory Council threw its hands up 15 months ago after it was unable to reach consensus; it said the legislature would have to figure out a solution.
GOP leaders in the Senate say Gov. Ted Strickland must come up with a plan. The governor has urged the council to take another crack at it.
Absent action from the Statehouse, Ohio will owe the federal unemployment trust fund an estimated $3billion by the end of the year. Interest payments on the loan, which begin to accrue on Jan. 1, are projected at $120 million a year.
Frustrations boiled over again in a Senate committee hearing this week when Republican legislators pushed the administration for answers.
“It’s amazing the governor hasn’t said anything about this,” said Sen. Keith Faber, R-Celina. “This is a problem that is not going to get any smaller. … It’s part of a big hole going into the next budget.”
Read the rest of the story here.