Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Rebellion Strikes Back - Fed Loses

Some time back we discussed the federal court decision that held:
1) The Federal Reserve Is Federal, Not Private

2) Therefore it is subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests
(Banker Jekyll Will Hyde Your Money). That decision was upheld yesterday by the U.S. Court of Appeals For the Second Circuit.

A companion case, where another federal district court had ruled the other way, was reversed.

The Fed had gone all rogue and mavericky saying the sky would fall if they had to disclose what they did with federal money:
The Federal Reserve Board must disclose documents identifying financial firms that might have collapsed without the largest U.S. government bailout ever, a federal appeals court said.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled today that the Fed must release records of the unprecedented $2 trillion U.S. loan program launched primarily after the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. The ruling upholds a decision of a lower-court judge, who in August ordered that the information be released.

The Fed had argued that disclosure of the documents threatens to stigmatize borrowers and cause them “severe and irreparable competitive injury,” discouraging banks in distress from seeking help. A three-judge panel of the appeals court rejected that argument in a unanimous decision.
(Bloomberg). Now we can expect them to ask for an en banc hearing (all the judges on the 2nd Circuit) and/or an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Peek At The Peak Oil Catastrophe

Talk about being conflicted.

If "peak oil" happens in 2014, as some scholars at Kuwait University, and other scientists around the world agree, will environmentalists cease to advocate for environmental concerns?

Is a safer world ahead because oil is going to run out, and thus bring about a better environment because the main poison is subsiding?

Is cap and trade a useless endeavor now, because oil will not be used as a primary source of energy in the next generation?

Some of these questions, together with other scuttlebutt, have been sparked anew by a study done in Kuwait:
The Kuwaiti study created its world model for peak oil based on 47 individual models for each major oil-producing nation. It also took a separate look at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which includes nations that control about 35 percent of the world's oil reserves.

More complications may still change the ultimate end date for peak oil. OPEC's latest projection suggests that world oil demand will grow by 900,000 barrels per day in 2010, according to an Associated Press story this week. That follows a period of low oil demand during the height of the worldwide recession in 2009.

For now, Kuwaiti scientists say that the world continues to consume its oil reserves at a rate of about 2.1 percent each year. They plan to continue including new data that can refine the model as time goes by.
(Oil Production to Peak in 2014, Live Science). There is a convergence of security threats to all nations by this conundrum of the convergence of global warming and peak oil.

This blog has focused on the security threat to the nations brought about by the spectre of global warming, and on the security threat brought on by the spectre of peak oil.

Some of the concern Dredd Blog raises is due to the reality that we are talking about threats to addicts, who tend to respond with violence when their "stuff" is placed in jeopardy.

Considering that our governments are built from the garbage heap of humanity, if their behavior in the face of these mounting assaults on our ability to survive as a species is any indicator, it is more likely than not that the worst pathway will be selected as "the way to go".

That would mean that governments, as depicted in the movie 2012, will provide for themselves, via some concept of building an ark for them and theirs (underground shelters, secret survival enclaves, etc.), but will leave the people to weather the storm on their own.

This is especially true of MOMCOM, already well versed in not caring about the populace.

The next post in this series is here.

Britain's Bush Is A MOMCOM Favorite

It seems that the Brits feel the same way about Blair as the Americans feel about Bush II.

Their press seems more critical than the American press, for what seems to be Blair's receipt of bribes from MOMCOM if he would lead Britain to stumble accidentally into the Iraq oil fields as the neoCon bushies also lied Americans into those oil fields.

Bush II hides his gold coin from MOMCOM better than Blair seems to be able to hide his.

Which might be a comment on the abilities of England's press, as well as a comment on America's press.

The story goes like this:
Tony Blair waged an extraordinary two-year battle to keep secret a lucrative deal with a multinational oil giant which has extensive interests in Iraq.

The former Prime Minister tried to keep the public in the dark over his dealings with South Korean oil firm UI Energy Corporation.

Mr Blair - who has made at least £20million since leaving Downing Street in June 2007 - also went to great efforts to keep hidden a £1million deal advising the ruling royal family in Iraq's neighbour Kuwait.

In an unprecedented move, he persuaded the committee which vets the jobs of former ministers to keep details of both deals from the public for 20 months, claiming it was commercially sensitive. The deals emerged yesterday when the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments finally lost patience with Mr Blair and decided to ignore his objections and publish the details.
(Daily Mail Online, UK). Twenty million pounds some time ago equated to over $120 million dollars, but now it equates to a paltry $40 million dollars, if that.

Still, that is a hefty wage for waging a war he only had to lie his people into.

I would not be too surprised if TARP money or war budget money was funnelled to him and his.

After all, the neoCon bushies said the war would be paid for by Iraq oil, which was in one sense never in doubt.

The controversy or doubt is who was paid with Iraq oil, and how.

Blogs That Support SCAD

Who would have thought that so-called progressive blogs like Huffington Post would end up being script readers for the propaganda of government; covering up with crimes already on the public record?

Especially when a main stream source, Newsweek, was not afraid to question or point out grave errors in the 9/11 Commission Report?

I for one missed the conundrum that Newsweek sets out:
Powerful Democrats on Capitol Hill are clamoring for creation of a bipartisan "9/11 style" commission to investigate the legality of the Bush administration's antiterrorism tactics—especially its use of harsh interrogation [torture] techniques.

President Obama has been notably cool to the idea. But the case for a "truth" commission was bolstered by the disclosure this month that the CIA had destroyed 92 videotapes of the interrogations and confinement of Al Qaeda suspects. A dozen showed the use of "enhanced" techniques routinely described by human-rights groups as torture.

Lawmakers say the obvious model for such an inquiry would be the 9/11 Commission — an independent bipartisan body praised for its authoritative account of the attacks.

...

Footnotes in the panel's report indicate when information was obtained from detainees interrogated by the CIA. An analysis by NBC News found that more than a quarter of the report's footnotes — 441 of some 1,700 — referred to detainees who were subjected to the CIA's "enhanced" interrogation [torture] program, including the trio who were waterboarded.

...

Kerrey said it might take "a permanent 9/11 commission" to end the remaining mysteries of September 11. Those now calling for more 9/11-style panels would be wise to heed his words.
(Newsweek). So, to help rectify the situation, I apologize to Newsweek and call upon Huffington Post to reject the shame they are bringing on progressives, and to publish Governor Jesse Ventura's post they censored in whoredom to despotic influences.

Otherwise, all progressives should boycott Huffington Post.

UPDATE: Huffington Post is less rabid about this now, but they have a long ways to go.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Is "Deem & Pass" Constitutional?

The congress was recently rebuffed for going into mob mode then stampeding out a bill that was voted in by both houses, and signed by the president; then held to be unconstitutional.

One can reasonably wonder if they are doing it again with the "Deem And Pass" parliamentary procedures now being contemplated.

On any major bill it would be better to have a vote, but is a vote and a record of the vote required?

An argument can be made that the U.S. Constitution requires such a vote on any bill in both houses of congress:
Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a law. But in all such cases the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each House respectively.
(Article I, Sec. 7, emphasis added). The counter argument would probably be that "in all such cases" only applies to vetoes overridden by 2/3 majority, but that would result in an absurd conclusion.

It would be an absurd result because very few bills are vetoed, and even fewer are overridden.

So if it were interpreted not to apply to all bills, there would in effect be no way to know how congress members voted.

That should not be the law, open vote record keeping should be the law.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Greening of Saint Patrick

Saint Patrick's Day is another one of those fogs of history that makes green famous once a year.

Much like the health care for the environment, notions are associated with a color, whooped about a bit, then forgotten with the change of the channel by the click of our modern wizard's electronic stave.

But that is not how it is with Saint Patrick himself, who, once upon a time as a young man was taken captive by Irish raiders, circa the turn of the 4th century.

The raiders carried him off to Ireland where he was made a slave for six years until he escaped to return to England.

He returned to Ireland years later as a bishop, eventually to be morphed into Saint Patrick by those who came after him.

Napoleon once said "History is a set of lies agreed upon" which was modified by another mood into "History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon. "

We see a struggle to form the history of Saint Bush II, one version by Karl Rove and Liz Cheney, but another version formed by those who would not paint the same picture.

And this only a short time after the Bush II regime closed up shop in the White House to return to the Republic of Texas.

The bottom line is that history is a concept we form in our minds by looking at the remains of things, such as the remains of buildings, tools, and the remains of memory.

Saint Patrick is covered by the haze and fog of the years of the past, just like our future is.

If we continue on our current course to destroy the environment before the Sun does, green will not be what comes to mind if visitors from space ever look upon our planet, whether they do so on 3/17 or not.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

State Crimes Against Democracy - 4

General Truth
The Huffington Post caved into its own paranoia about 9/11, evincing the symptoms of fear, world view immaturity, and social dementia.

As a regular blogger for awhile at Huffington Post, Governor Jesse Ventura (a "controversial" public figure), violated a Mainstream Media Taboo, and was therefore censored by a "progressive" blog:
Editor's Note: The Huffington Post's editorial policy, laid out in our blogger guidelines, prohibits the promotion and promulgation of conspiracy theories -- including those about 9/11. As such, we have removed this post.
(HuffPo). Huffington Post editors chickened out when one of their posters presented an unapproved by the government view of the 9/11 evidence.

One of the goals of despots is to turn the citizens against each other, through fear and loathing, thereby taking their focus off the government.

The underlying psychology the despots are exploiting, and Huffington Post is acting out, is well known:
Research on TMT and SJT strongly suggests that defending the current U.S. political system and its prerogatives post-9/11 requires individual and collective denial to block out any and all information undermining the government's account of 9/11 and hence the archetypal image of "America Under Attack." When a particular mindset governs the collective consciousness to promote a particular agenda, such as the U.S. government's account of 9/11 parroted by the mainstream media without judicious investigation, the result is what McMurtry (2007) refers to as a "ruling group-mind" (RGM) ...
(American Behavioral Scientist Journal, Vol. 53, Num. 6, p. 863, emphasis added). Can you see that this is the "Newspeak" George Orwell talked about in his book "1984"?

Shame on those who fancy themselves as "progressives" while they kowtow to fear, then help the government spread that fear and oppression to fellow citizens.

A free press must serve faithfully to be considered American journalists, but alas, Huffington Post has become hokey.

The previous post in this series is here, the next post in this series is here.

American Citizen To Be Held Indefinitely

As if fascism has not already had an obscene effect on the behavior of the U.S. government, there are politicians who can't seem to get enough of fascism.

If Senators McCAIN, LIEBERMAN, INHOFE, BROWN (MA), WICKER, CHAMBLISS, LEMIEUX, SESSIONS, and VITTER have their way, this will become law:
... a citizen of the United States, determined to be an unprivileged enemy belligerent ... may be detained without criminal charges and without trial for the duration of hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners ... in which the individual has engaged, or which the individual has purposely and materially supported ...
(S. 3081, emphasis added). Can't you hear the prosecutor arguing about the definition of "materially supported" or "an unprivileged enemy belligerent".

If Cheney were the prosecutor those lawyers who defended accused GITMO detainees could be held in prison indefinitely.

Next would come bloggers and political opponents who were "unpatriotic".

Will this political sickness never end?

Monday, March 15, 2010

State Crimes Against Democracy - 3

Are we getting over it?

Some newspapers seem to be.

Yes, some of the smaller newspapers seem to be able to face the story that keeps on hanging around:
It might be far easier on our national psyche to deny the vast amount of evidence pointing to inside collaboration on the 9/11 attacks. The implications of an inside job are horrific. How could traitors among us do such a thing? Could we ever admit that we initiated two wars and gross violations of our national values, including torturing suspects and spying on our own citizens, all because of a lie? If the WTC towers were exploded, as the San Francisco group of architects and engineers boldly contend, how have our media, our leaders and we American citizens been so blind?

Yes, to discover the truth about 9/11 would be extremely painful indeed. But not facing the truth and swallowing our government's current lies about the attacks requires that we deny a mountain of powerful, incriminating evidence. If we persist in our denial, we will indeed continue to resemble the sad, sick inmates of "Shutter Island."
(Ashland Daily Tidings). Interesting use of metaphor, especially since the American Behavioral Scientist Journal came out with an entire issue dedicated to the psychology of denial surrounding 9/11 Truther issues.

ABC news may be the first main stream media to break in some small degree, with the paranoia they have harboured and the fear they have helped spread about for years.

ABC covered a local 9/11 Truther event, avoiding the typical rabid ad hominum slander of Truthers for once, but they still did not interview any of the thousands of professionals in the movement, choosing instead, because of their fear, to interview people who did not look like "mainstream people".

The previous episode in this series is here, the next episode is here.

Wee The People - 2

About an anniversary ago there was a post on this blog entitled "Wee The People".

Not much has changed since then in terms of the tension and struggle between "we the people" and "we the government".

A few million more homes lost, jobs lost, and health care lost while more of the 700 bases in Afghanistan are being built as our states, counties, and cities fail.

Symbolic of the disdain despots tend to have against the people is this story about IRS:
Arriving at Harv's Metro Car Wash in midtown Wednesday afternoon were two dark-suited IRS agents demanding payment of delinquent taxes. "They were deadly serious, very aggressive, very condescending," says Harv's owner, Aaron Zeff.

The really odd part of this: The letter that was hand-delivered to Zeff's on-site manager showed the amount of money owed to the feds was ... 4 cents.
(Sacramento Bee). Meanwhile IRS allows billions of dollars to be hidden in foreign bank accounts by the one percenters, the warmongers who are plundering America.

Two beloved presidents explained the struggle to wee the people, and make giant the Big Brother Government:
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone.

It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.
(President, General Eisenhower). An earlier president detailed one mechanism MOMCOM uses to plunder the middle class and poor:
Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied : and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. Those truths are well established.
(President James Madison). The mainstream media (MSM), Big Oil, and the Military are the "M" components of MOMCOM.

Their essential effort is to wee (continually minimize) the control of the people, while making government control over people big, Bigger, then BIGGEST.

The struggle is between attempts by the people to find a way to starve the monster, and attempts by MOMCOM to keep a big boot on the neck of the people, should the propaganda of the media fail to do the job of deceit.

The next post in this series is here., the previous post in this series is here.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The $$Heat$$ & Fog Of War Goes On

While the Ferengi portion of MOMCOM's empire (the 'upper' one percent) say they are doing quite well, the state budgets clearly are not.

There is talk in financial circles that states may not be able to pay pensions or return tax refunds:
State governments in the United States had approximately $2 trillion set aside in pension funds and $3 trillion of “stated” pension liabilities in December 2008. By this measure, the funds seemed to be short nearly $1 trillion. But according to Rauh and Novy-Marx, the shortfall is more than three times larger, at $3.2 trillion. The lower estimate, they say, is the result of government accounting standards that require states to apply accounting procedures that severely understate their defined-benefit pension plan liabilities.

Many states seem to be in dire straits. Relative to its revenues, Ohio faces the largest burden. It would need to devote over eight years of tax revenue solely to retirement funding to cover already-acquired pension liabilities. Colorado, Rhode Island, and Illinois are close behind. “Vermont, the least underfunded as a percent of total tax revenue, would still need over twenty months of tax revenue to make up for its pension fund shortfall,” Rauh says.
(Kellogg Insight, emphasis added). It is a good thing the wars don't cost anything or we would have financial problems in this country wouldn't we?

The Bush II budget propaganda "don't ask, don't tell" approach to war costs has been replaced with "we have to pay for the wars" in the current political configuration.

This leaves out the underlying, overlying, and just plain lying portion of the story: we have to borrow the money because we cannot pay for the wars.

That is one meaning of "pay".

The other meaning of "pay" is that since we are paying dearly with our freedoms, common welfare, national reputation, and general well being, the democrats may have a bill to pay in the 2010/2012 elections (is that the definition of "pay-GO"?) like the republicans did in the previous two elections.

Yes, we are paying very dearly for the stupid, endless, unamerican wars to make the one percenters obscenely rich while the nation as a whole, or the ninety nine percenters as we like to say, are obscenely plundered.

That is the way it goes when addiction generates commerce.

Addicts never seem to be able to balance the check book.