"Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."
Right; "non-reviewable" supremacy.
Congress, of course, is more than eager to abdicate whatever little authority they have left. They're infinitely grateful for their purely ceremonial role, the equivalent of Caligula's horse, albeit, with considerably less dignity. Has even one senator spoken out against this madness, which--according to informal internet polls--is resoundingly rejected by the voters? Does it concern the members of congress at all, that the present financial crisis was brought on by the proliferation and sale of trillions of dollars of mortgage-banked garbage which were fraudulently represented as Triple A rated bonds by the very same people who now claim to need unprecedented and dictatorial powers to fix the problem? Or are they more worried that the steady torrent of contributions which flows from Wall Street to congressional campaign coffers will be inconveniently disrupted if they fail to ratify this latest assault on democratic governance? The House of Representatives is one big steaming dungheap that should be leveled and turned into an amusement park instead of a taxpayer-funded knocking shop. What a pathetic collection of cowards and scumbags." Mushroom Cloud over Wall Street September 21, 2008 . "The following is a conversation with Mr. Ron Supinski of the Public Information Department of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank. This is an account of that conversation. CALLER - Mr. Supinski, does my country own the Federal Reserve System? MR. SUPINSKI - We are an agency of the government. CALLER - That's not my question. Is it owned by my country? MR. SUPINSKI - It is an agency of the government created by congress. CALLER - Is the Federal Reserve a Corporation? MR. SUPINSKI - Yes CALLER - Does my government own any of the stock in the Federal Reserve? MR. SUPINSKI - No, it is owned by the member banks. CALLER - Are the member banks private corporations? MR. SUPINSKI - Yes CALLER - Are Federal Reserve Notes backed by anything? MR. SUPINSKI-Yes, by the assets of the Federal Reserve but, primarily by the power of congress to lay tax on the people. CALLER - Did you say, by the power to collect taxes is what backs Federal Reserve Notes? MR. SUPINSKI - Yes" .. It gets much more interestingand it ends in: .. "CALLER - I smell a GIANT RAT that has overthrown my constitution. Aren't we paying tribute in the form of income taxes to a consortium of private bankers? MR. SUPINSKI - I can't call it tribute, it is interest. CALLER - Haven't all elected officials taken an oath of office to preserve and defend the Constitution from enemies both foreign and domestic? Isn't the Federal Reserve a domestic enemy? MR. SUPINSKI - I can't say that. CALLER - Our elected officials and members of the Federal Reserve are guilty of aiding and abetting the overthrowing of my Constitution and that is treason. Isn't the punishment of treason death? MR. SUPINSKI - I believe so. CALLER - Thank you for your time and information and if I may say so, I think you should take the necessary steps to protect you and your family and withdraw your money from the banks before the collapse, I am. MR. SUPINSKI - It doesn't look good. CALLER - May God have mercy on the souls who are behind this unconstitutional and criminal act called the Federal Reserve. When the ALMIGHTY MASS awakens to this giant hoax, they will not take it with a grain of salt. It has been a pleasure talking to you and I thank you for your time. I hope you will take my advice before it does collapse. MR. SUPINSKI - Unfortunately, it does not look good. CALLER - Have a good day and thanks for your time. MR. SUPINSKI - Thanks for calling. " A Phone Call To The Fed: "Does my country own the Federal Reserve System?" September 20, 2008
The date of this converation was 09/08/2002. The national debt at that time was $4T. Today it is $9.6T. Gas then was $1.40/gal. Today it averages over $3.50/gal. The Federal Reserve is owned by private banks. Source . "A short explanation of how we got to where we are" THE FINANCIAL MELTDOWN EXPLAINED ! September 20, 2008 . "The US has shot its financial bolt in Iraq, which may cost the country its financial system. It quite simply no longer has the money to stop a run on banks. Seen in this light, the war in Iraq brings to mind the ruinous decision on the part of the French ancien régime to finance Lafayette’s campaign during the American revolution." The Iraq war could cost US its financial system September 22, 20008
"Joseph Stiglitz won the Noble Prize and he was president of the World Bank.He has two simple messages: 1. The Iraq War will cost the US $3 TRILLION (minimum) 2. The war is one of the chief causes behind the destruction of the US (and the world's) banking system. This interview was recorded back in April (2008), long before the seriousness of the banking problems were apparent and long before the multi-trillion dollar bailouts." Bush's Iraq Madnesshelped destroythe US financial system
Stupider than Shit: ... Let me remind you of something that no Democrats and none of their defenders wants to be reminded of: the Iraq catastrophe. The Democrats have had the biggest "oversight" mechanism in the world -- or to be precise, in the Constitution -- since early 2007. The Democrats could have cut off all funding for this criminal war and occupation. They will not do it.
They could have impeached Bush, Cheney and several more of the leading criminals. They will not do it.
Add in the pattern the Democrats followed in the FISA debacle, with regard to the Military Commissions Act, and on a host of other questions, and you see what the Democratic opposition is worth. In a word: nothing.
He said a report that went to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other top Iraqi officials was never published because "nobody cares" about investigating such cases. Many investigators, he said, feared for their safety because 32 of his co-workers have been murdered.
When Refusing to Kill Has a Higher Sentence Than Murder: In the five and one-half years of the US occupation of Iraq, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed by US military personnel at checkpoints, during convoy movements and during operations to find the "enemy." In the half-decade of US military presence in Iraq, a very small number of US military personnel and an even smaller number of CIA and contractors have been charged with manslaughter or murder in these deaths. The deaths of most civilians are counted in the "costs of war." A few dozen military have been court-martialed on allegations of mistreatment, manslaughter and murder of Iraqi civilians. With a very few exceptions, most who were court-martialed have been acquitted. Those who were convicted have generally served light sentences.
This week we see again that punishment is less for murdering four Iraqis than for refusing to participate in a war that many citizens, and many in the military, see as a crime against the peace - a war crime.
Peace in Iraq is an Option Le Feyt Declaration: by International Anti Occupation Network [ . . . ] The Iraqi anti-occupation movement -- in all its expressions -- in defending the Iraqi people is the only force empowered to ensure democracy in Iraq. Across the spectrum of this movement it is agreed that upon US withdrawal a temporary administrative government would be charged with two tasks: preparing the ground for democratic elections and reconstituting the national army. Upon completion of these tasks the administrative government would disband, leaving decisions regarding reparations, development and reconstruction to a sovereign and freely elected Iraqi government in a state of all its citizens without religious, ethnic, confessional or gender discrimination.
All laws, contracts, treaties and agreements signed under occupation are unequivocally null and void. According to international law and the will of the Iraqi people, total sovereignty of Iraqi oil and all natural, cultural and material resources rests in the hands of the Iraqi people, in all its generations, past, present and future. Across the spectrum of the Iraqi anti-occupation movement all agree that Iraq should sell its oil on the international market to all states not at war with Iraq, and in line with Iraq's obligations as a member of OPEC.
The 2003 US invasion was and remains illegal and the law of state responsibility demands that states refuse to recognize the consequences of illegal state acts5. State responsibility also includes a duty to restore. Compensation should be paid by all state and non-state actors that profited from the destruction and plundering of Iraq.
The Iraqi people are longing for long-term peace. On the basis of the 2005 Istanbul conclusions of the World Tribunal on Iraq6, and in recognition of the tremendous suffering of the aggressed Iraqi people, the signatories to this declaration endorse the abovementioned principles for peace, stability and democracy in Iraq.
The sovereignty of Iraq rests in the hands of its people in resistance. Peace in Iraq is simple to attain: unconditional US withdrawal and recognition of the Iraqi resistance that by definition represents the will of the Iraqi people.
We appeal to all peace loving people in the world to work to support the Iraqi people and its resistance. The future of peace, democracy and progress in Iraq, the region and the world depends on this.
Please circulate this statement widely
(See statement for - Members of the International Anti-Occupation Network, and - International figures committed to ending the occupation and working for a sustainable peace in Iraq.)
Studies in Conformity, Generating Consensus, and Why You Are Not Adults: Insofar as the economic crisis is concerned, I will remind you of the relevant context in exceedingly brief terms. In my rude post the other day, I emphasized that the fundamental flaw in all the "solutions" offered is that those solutions are offered to "fix" a problem that cannot be fixed. To understand this basic point, you require only three sentences from Mike Whitney's analysis. Here they are:
This cycle [in the market] will persist until the bad debts are accounted for and written off or until the exhausted dollar-system collapses altogether.
In truth, there is no fix for a deleveraging market any more than there is a fix for gravity. The belief that massive debts and insolvency can be erased by increasing liquidity just shows a fundamental misunderstanding of economics.
This is the truth that almost no one will accept.
Denial of the truth envelops our culture like a suffocating fog. People desperately need to understand the consequences of denial of this kind. It is profoundly damaging, and it kills. I have written at length about our national narcissism, and how that narcissism allows us to deny the immense crime the U.S. government has committed in Iraq. You would think the fact that our government has murdered well in excess of one million innocent people would be front page news every day. Of course, you would be wrong. You might prefer to believe that, since the murder continues as I write this, as it will continue tomorrow and for years to come, there might be one or two decent and humane individuals in Washington who are working ceaselessly to make the slaughter stop. And you might like to think that many Americans would be outraged that our military continues to occupy a nation that we have entirely destroyed, and that Americans would demand that the destruction and death cease immediately.
To return to the economic crisis in particular, I first repeat the single most important point: the consequences we are now seeing are irrevocable and unavoidable. The bad debts must be accounted for and written off. A problem of massive bad debts and insolvency is not a problem of liquidity. This truth means one thing in terms of the "solutions" proposed: a massive bailout of insolvent financial institutions which includes keeping the bad debts in the system still longer is precisely the wrong action to take. It will not solve the problem, for this problem cannot be solved. But it will accomplish one goal: it will postpone the problem to another day, and it will make the problem worse, and it will cause still greater damage.
Phasing In the Audacity: This crisis is a godsend for Obama. Not only that'll help him get elected, but then his entire presidency can become a giant "phase-in." He can phase in the sick, the poor, and the guy who lost his home. Let's hope he can phase in the rain, too, so no one gets too wet in Tent City.
U.S. Troops In Homeland “Crowd Control” Patrols From October 1st: U.S. troops returning from duty in Iraq will be carrying out homeland patrols in America from October 1st in complete violation of Posse Comitatus for the purposes of helping with “civil unrest and crowd control” - which could include dealing with unruly Americans after a complete economic collapse.
PAUL WOLFOWITZ, Deputy Defense Secretary: “There is a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be US taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people. We are talking about a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon.” [3/27/03]
ARI FLEISCHER, White House press secretary: “Iraq has tremendous resources that belong to the Iraqi people. And so there are a variety of means that Iraq has to be able to shoulder much of the burden for their own reconstruction.” [2/18/03]
LAWRENCE LINDSEY, White House economic adviser: “The likely economic effects [of a war in Iraq] would be relatively small…. Under every plausible scenario, the negative effect will be quite small relative to the economic benefits.” [9/16/02]
Six years in Guantanamo: Sami al-Haj, an Al Jazeera cameraman, was beaten, abused and humiliated in the name of the war on terror. He tells our correspondent about his struggle to rebuild a shattered life
The cases were not taken through security scanners in the hotel’s lobby, but were shifted directly to the fourth and fifth floors, the same floors that fire broke out on after the truck bombing on Saturday.
Truth and War Mean Nothing at the Party Conferences: Reality can be detected . . . by applying the Orwell Rule and inverting public pronouncements and headlines, such as "Aggressor Russia facing pariah status, US warns," thereby identifying the correct pariah; or by crossing the invisible boundaries that fix the boundaries of political and media discussion. "When truth is replaced by silence," said the Soviet dissident Yevgeny Yevtushenko, "the silence is a lie."
Understanding this silence is critical in a society in which news has become noise. ...
... [A]n American invasion of Pakistan is under way, secretly authorized by President Bush. The "change" candidate for president, Barack Obama, had already called for an invasion and more aircraft and bombs. The ironies are searing. A Pakistani religious school attacked by American drone missiles, killing 23 people, was set up in the 1980s with CIA backing. It was part of Operation Cyclone, in which the US armed and funded mujahedin groups that became al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The aim was to bring down the Soviet Union. This was achieved ... .
It is a war of the world. In Latin America, the Bush administration is fomenting incipient military coups in Venezuela, Bolivia, and possibly Paraguay, democracies whose governments have opposed Washington's historic rapacious intervention in its "backyard." Washington's "Plan Colombia" is the model for a mostly unreported assault on Mexico. This is the Merida Initiative, which will allow the United States to fund "the war on drugs and organized crime" in Mexico – a cover, as in Colombia, for militarizing its closest neighbor and ensuring its "business stability."
Britain is tied to all these adventures – a British "School of the Americas" is to be built in Wales, where British soldiers will train killers from all corners of the American empire in the name of "global security."
None of this is as potentially dangerous, or more distorted in permitted public discussion, than the war on Russia. Two years ago, Stephen Cohen, professor of Russian Studies at New York University, wrote a landmark essay in the Nation which has now been reprinted in Britain.* He warns of "the gravest threats [posed] by the undeclared Cold War Washington has waged, under both parties, against post-communist Russia during the past 15 years." He describes a catastrophic "relentless winner-take-all of Russia's post-1991 weakness," with two-thirds of the population forced into poverty and life expectancy barely at 59. With most of us in the West unaware, Russia is being encircled by US and NATO bases and missiles in violation of a pledge by the United States not to expand NATO "one inch to the east." The result, writes Cohen, "is a US-built reverse iron curtain [and] a US denial that Russia has any legitimate national interests outside its own territory, even in ethnically akin former republics such as Ukraine, Belarus and Georgia. [There is even] a presumption that Russia does not have full sovereignty within its own borders, as expressed by constant US interventions in Moscow's internal affairs since 1992 . . . the United States is attempting to acquire the nuclear responsibility it could not achieve during the Soviet era."
This danger has grown rapidly as the American media again presents US-Russian relations as "a duel to the death – perhaps literally." ...
*Stephen Cohen's article, "The New American Cold War," is reprinted in full in the current issue of the Spokesman, published by the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation.
Bush rescues Wall Street but leaves his soldiers to die in Iraq: ... Mercifully for the presidential candidates, they don't have to debate the hell-disaster of Iraq any more, nor US-Israeli relations, nor Exxon or Chevron or BP-Mobil or Shell. George Bush's titanic if mythical battle between good and evil has transmogrified into the conflict between good taxpayers and evil bankers. Phew! No entanglement in the lives and deaths of the people of the Middle East. Until the elections – barring another 9/11 – they are yesterday's men and women.
Of course, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict no longer gets a look into the debate. McCain's visit to the Middle East and Obama's visit to the Middle East – in which they outdid each other in fawning to the Israeli lobby (Obama's own contribution surely earning him membership of the Knesset if not entry to the White House) – are safely in the past. Without any discussion, Israeli and US officials held a three-day security-technology forum in Washington this month which coincided with an equally undebated decision by the dying Bush administration to give a further $330m in three separate arms deals for Israel, including 28,000 M72A7 66mm light anti-armour weapons and 1,000 GBU-9 small diameter bombs from Boeing. Twenty-five Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets are likely to be approved before the election. The Israeli-American talks were described as "the most senior bilateral high-technology dialogue ever between the two allies". Nothing to write home about, of course.
Almost equally unreported in major US papers – save by the good old Washington Report – was a potential scandal in good old Los Angeles to which Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa recently returned after a $225,000 junket to Israel with three council members and other city officials (along with families, kids, etc). The purpose? To launch new agreements for security at Los Angeles international airport. Council members waffled away on cellphones and walked out of the chamber when protesters claimed that the council was negotiating with a foreign power before seeking bids from American security services. One of the protesters asked if the idea of handing LAX's security to the Israelis was such a good idea when Israeli firms were operating security at Boston Logan and Newark on 9/11 ... .
The Shadow of the Pitchfork: Elite Panic Attack as Bailout Goes Bust: ... [I]t is good to see the icy beads of panic dotting the brows of elites who have inflicted and/or countenanced so much death, destruction, terror and degradation in the past few years. Today they have suffered a very rare defeat in the relentless, remorseless class war they have been waging against us for decades. And that it is something to celebrate -- at least for one night.
When is a holocaust not a holocaust? When the perpetrators call it a victory. ... [W]hile there has been a reduction in violence in Iraq -- now down to a level that virtually any other society in the world would find horrible and intolerable, including Iraqi society before the US invasion and occupation -- we must keep in mind that thanks to this lovely little war more than half the population of Iraq is either dead, crippled, traumatized, confined in overflowing American and Iraqi prisons, internally displaced, or in foreign exile.
No American should be allowed to forget that Iraqi society has been destroyed. The people of that unhappy land have lost everything -- their homes, their schools, their neighborhoods, their mosques, their jobs, their careers, their professionals, their health care, their legal system, their women's rights, their religious tolerance, their security, their past, their present, their future, their lives. But they do have their surge.
The New American Century: Cut Short By 92 Years - There's trouble ahead. The multi-polar world is about to collide head-on with the "faith-based" unipolar world and millions are bound to suffer. But there is no doubt about the final outcome. The geopolitical plates are shifting inexorably away from Washington. America's ability to wage war will steadily erode as capital and resources dry up. Its only a matter of time before the war machine sputters to a halt and the troops return home. When the killing stops, a truly new world order will begin.
Shock and Awe: Bipartisan Beltway Terrorists Launch Economic 9/11 on the American People: [quoting Arthur Silber] Just as it is not possible for an individual to restrict what constitutes a fundamental psychological methodology to only one area of his life, so a ruling class will not employ one approach in foreign policy while dealing with matters of domestic politics in a radically different manner. In any case, the U.S. ruling class never had such a desire: in one way or another, other nations would be made to submit to the demands of the U.S. government -- and the same is true for U.S. citizens. The citizens of America will do exactly as the ruling class demands -- or else. As far as the ruling class is concerned, you have as little reason to complain as the murdered Iraqis do: the ruling class only wishes to improve your life. The ruling class acts only on your behalf, and "for your own good."