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I have absolutely no idea what my generation did to enrich our democracy. We dropped the ball. We entered a period of complacency and closed our eyes to the public corruption of our democracy.                                                                                                             Wynton Marsalis


Wasteful Spending…and Buying Votes! 
September 1, 2009

Highway 65 runs through the Ozarks, and it is quite beautiful.  Since Obama’s Stimulus bill passed, there has been a manmade addition.  There is a sign where the road is being resurfaced  that reads “Made Possible By the Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009”.  I have traveled that stretch of highway several times a year for several years and can tell you it needed no repair. 

I currently reside in Columbia, MO, where our local government is “beautifying” the streets…adding raised grass medians where there was once painted concrete, ”improving” the crosswalks, (most of which were already bicycle and wheelchair accessible) requiring the moving of stoplights a mere few feet.  Columbia is a foot traffic and bicycle-friendly town.  This is going on while one of our main thoroughfares is in desperate need of repair.  They “improved” that throughway about 3 years ago by scraping the surface down to the concrete, and calling it done!  I am not against beautifying any city IF our country has the money to do it, BUT our country is so far in debt we may never crawl from under it!  So, I ask, should we be wasting money? 

My dad would argue that “beautifying the city” is stimulating the economy; after all, it is giving those people something to do, for which they get paid, so they can, in turn, purchase goods and services…so, I guess in a round about way, he is right.  BUT should the stimulus money be spent in such a way?  Should the “infrastructure” be repaired if it really doesn’t need it, just to “stimulate” the economy?  

According to www.brillig.com, at the time of this writing, our National Public Debt is $11,730,801,000,000-plus, that reads…11 trillion, 730 billion, 801 million plus dollars!  Can you even begin to comprehend this?  Divide that by the TOTAL population of the United States of America and that comes to more than $38,000 PER EVERY man, woman and child!  Multiply that by the number of people living in your household and you start to get an ugly picture!  What is going on?  Well…according to the Obama Administration, and the Bush administration too, something had to be done! 

First, government officials decided that some businesses were too big to fail so our government went into the housing, insurance and banking businesses and the automotive industry by “bailing out” some of these type businesses.  Our representatives gave money to the very people whose ill-conceived business and financial practices disintegrated our entire economy.  Why would they do that?  Anyone with ANY amount of common sense would not have considered it!  

Then…with the economy in ruins, government officials decided that we needed to stimulate it, because people were not spending.  Well…common sense, again, comes into play…NO ONE HAS ANY MONEY…OF COURSE THEY AREN'T SPENDING IT!  The businesses receiving bail out funds, and others since, have laid off hundreds of thousands of people, who are now out of work…and suffering, but are the executives that made the bad decisions having to endure the stress and humiliation of losing their jobs?  Of course not!  They are still receiving mega pay and bonuses! 

President Obama is a very charismatic, handsome guy.  He never had my support, however, because he does not believe in We-the-People.  That was made very clear when he chose to vote for several egregious pieces of legislation, including the FISA Amendment Act.  Yet, others see him as the savior of this Country.  According to Open Secrets, the Obama campaign raised nearly $750 million.  That is a lot of money for a job with a compensation package of $569,000 (That is $2,276,000 for a 4-year term or $4,552,000 for an 8-year term.)  As critical thinkers, we need to ask ourselves why it takes nearly $750 million to get a job that pays less than 1% of that. 

By examining some easily researchable facts, thanks to www.OpenSecrets.org, we can actually start to paint a fascinating picture.

AT&T is THE top all-time donor to politicians.  From 1989 through 2008 the employees of AT&T, have donated $43,206,447 to those folks running for government office.  Does anybody wonder why Congress sold the people of the United States down the river to give AT&T and the other telecoms retroactive immunity with the passage of the FISA Amendment Act? 

As we peruse more pieces of information, again, we find some other enlightening facts.  Obama’s campaign for President raised over $23.2 million JUST from the Banking and Finance Industries.  Of that, over 10% was donated by employees with Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JPMorgan, UBS Ag, and Morgan Stanley.  Add the Insurance and Real Estate industries and his combined haul from Finance, Insurance and Real Estate was well over $39.4 million (receiving nearly $10.4 million from the Real Estate and receive $2.27-plus million from the Insurance.)  No wonder Obama voted FOR Bush’s bailout!  (McCain raised over $28.9 million so don’t feel bad for him!) 

Take a look at what is going on now.  There is a huge debate over Health Care reform.  Many want it, many don’t and others, still, are calling for Tort Reform.  What’s the connection?  Obama collected well over $18.6 million from several health related industries for his 2008 Election bid.  Who wants the bill passed?  

What about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi?  Well, she faired ok, receiving around $612,000 from the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate industries.  What is more telling for her, though, is her list of assets.  On her 2007 Personal Financial Disclosure (the most current on Open Secrets) Ms Pelosi owns AIG and Bank of America assets valued up to $566,000.  Her Real Estate assets range up to $1 million!  Do you think she was going to let the bank or real estate markets crumble? 

Representative Chris Dodd seems like a very likable guy …but take a look under the surface.  From 2003 to 2008 Mr. Dodd, the current Chairman of the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, received donations in the neighborhood of $10 million from the industries of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate.  In normal circles, this would amount to a conflict of interest.  Not only that, he received a VIP Loan from Countrywide, the mortgage company now owned by Bank of America (who’s employees invested $119,250 in Dodd).  Also Dodd’s wife works for a company linked to AIG.  Considering these last two pieces of information, could they be conflicts of interest, as well?  

By the way, the new buzz-phrase for the Democrats with regard to Healthcare Reform is “Not Deficit Neutral,” as in they will not pass or sign a bill that is not deficit neutral.  I have now heard several say exactly that at their respective Town Hall Meetings.  Unfortunately, the program will have to be paid for in some manner (the early proposal for cost on Healthcare Reform is around $1 trillion over ten years) and our country is already experiencing a huge deficit, so I’d like to know how they plan to accomplish that!  And, that brings to mind the amount of money employees of the Health Professional Industry donated to the 2008 election cycle:  more than $95.8 million (split nearly evenly between Democrats and Republicans)!  

Add in the likes of George Soros and friends (and people like them) and the money starts to make some real sense.  Soros and some of his high-profile friends have funded some interesting organizations.  The Center for American Progress (a “think tank” headed by former Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta) is funded in part by Soros, along with friends Peter Lewis of Progressive Insurance, Herb and Marion Sandler, formerly of Golden West Financial and presently of Pro Publica (a “media newsroom” specializing in “investigative journalism of public interest.”), and Steven Bing, a Real Estate developer and film producer.  Their hands are in many other pots, Sandler’s is involved with ACORN, Soros and Lewis’ with America Coming Together (a 527 Group) and MoveOn.Org and all have quite the donations to the 2008 Election Cycle.  Soros, openly known to dislike George W Bush, donated both individually and through his Management Fund (by way of 527’s) $10,050,000 during the 2008 election cycle.  

This tiny tip of the iceberg is beginning to paint a very wicked picture! This Constitutional Republic is moving backward, not forward…our country is becoming Socio-Fascist.   As citizens, we need to recognize it and do something about it.  Do we want to be truly free or would we rather be slaves to a government that does not represent us?  

First, it is more than obvious that money needs to be TOTALLY REMOVED from the political process and system.  Second, we need to understand that when things are mandated, that is not freedom, that is slavery…and third, we need be responsible for our own actions.  When will we put a stop to the nonsense on the Hill?  When will we finally draw our line in the sand, stand up and say “No more!”  When will we realize that we have to actually participate in the running of the government that represents us?  Many people have done just that, with regard to Healthcare Reform, and at least our representatives have been forced to listen!  If we do not step up, we will get the representation we deserve! 

End Notes:
Information on ALL Elected Officials
http://www.opensecrets.org 

General Information about the President of the United States
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_of_the_United_States 

TARP Recipients Paid Out $114 Million for Politicking Last Year
http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2009/02/tarp-recipients-paid-out-114-m.html
 

Dodd's Wife a Former Director of Bermuda-Based IPC Holdings, an AIG Controlled Company
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/03/dodds_wife_a_former_director_o.html
 

Before the Fall, AIG Payouts Went to Washington
http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2009/03/before-the-fall-aig-payouts-we.html
 

Senator Christopher Dodd got VIP loan from Countrywide
http://www.nationalbubble.com/senator-christopher-dodd-got-vip-loan-from-countrywide/


Commentary - Bank of America PAC money behind Dodd's Countrywide loan
http://www.examiner.com/a-1449448~Bank_of_America_PAC_money_behind_Dodd_s_Countrywide_loan.html

Bank of America Completes Countrywide Financial Purchase
http://newsroom.bankofamerica.com/index.php?s=43&item=8202
 

Senators Dodd, Conrad cleared of ethics charges
http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSTRE57656S20090807
 

Soros-Funded Democratic Idea Factory Becomes Obama Policy Font 
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=washingtonstory&sid=aF7fB1PF0NPg
 

The Soros Threat To Democracy
http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=275526219598836
 

For other information, please visit
www.TakeBackWashington.com

http://www.takebackwashington.com/TBWR_DebsBlog.htm


The Healthcare Debate
August 12, 2009

I will admit it; I do not have insurance.  Am I worried?  Not really.  My family tries to live as healthy a life as we can.  I will also go on the record here by saying that I do hold very positive thoughts, pray, if you will, regularly, for the health and safety of my children, family and friends. 

Do I wish I had health insurance?  Sometimes I do.  But, I don’t want to raise anyone else’s taxes to get it and I don’t want someone else to pay for it.  Do I feel the Federal Government has the right to legislate that I get health insurance?  No, I do not.

The reason people cannot afford insurance is that the medical industry (this includes the pharmaceutical industry) is so out of hand.  Remembering back to when I was a child and even a bit later into my 20’s, I remember that doctors charged a fair price for health care.  We didn’t have people suing doctors at the drop of a hat.  AND, doctors were willing to let you pay a percentage up front and make payments for the rest, if you could not afford to pay all of it up front.  Did I have health insurance back then?  Yes, but it was affordable.  BUT, there was no co-pay this and prescriptions for $5 that and other stuff. 

Doctors go to school for a long time to learn their trade.  Some choose it because of a genuine desire to help others.  Others choose the profession because of the money to be made.  Either way, the cost of going to school is tremendous.  Some would argue that they chose that profession, so what does that have to do with it?  They put in the time so they should get paid for it.

Let me tell you what I remember, though.  When people could afford health care, you went to the doctor when you were ill, and also for a yearly check up. 

The first thing I remember driving up the cost of healthcare was that people started suing the doctors for malpractice, a lot.  Now, I am not one to begrudge a person who has been taken advantage of, but the judgments and settlements were out of this world.  Malpractice insurance went through the roof, sending the cost of healthcare on an upward spiral.  AND, even if doctors were/are found innocent, there was/are still the attorney fees and the time out of the practice.  (I wonder if doctors get the opportunity to counter-sue for the loss of money and time???) 

Next, I noticed that as more and more people found it difficult to afford insurance, whether it was because they did not make enough to afford it or the rate of divorce, or whatever the reason, single parents and low-income families could get on Medicaid. That seemed to be a really good thing.  But, as this kept happening, I personally know of doctors that abused the system, and to a great degree!

It seemed to me, and I will admit that I am not a government administrator, that if the government was going to dole out money, they would at least try to track it.  Many people in my area knew that if you were going to see this one doctor, who took Medicaid patients, your initial visit would be at least $125 to $150 dollars.  That is in the early ‘90’s.  And, it didn’t matter why you were there, there were no exceptions.  This was common knowledge.  That particular doctor’s office was one of only a few in the city where I lived that took Medicaid at the time.  He ran every test known to man for children, even if they didn’t really need it.  Did the government investigate him…ever?  No, he continued to practice, bilking the government for every dime he could get…wasn’t his money and it wasn’t the money of his patients, so what did it matter?

Well…it WAS everyone else’s money.  Shortly before and following that point, I saw healthcare costs skyrocket and the treatments become more and more useless.  I say that to state this, government got involved, albeit trying to do something worthwhile, and the cost of maintaining your health became out of reach. 

In defense of doctors, and I can’t believe I am about to do this, but bear with me…Doctors decide their course of action, first and foremost, by what we tell them.  If we go to the doctor and are less than honest with them, they may not have the facts they need to determine what the next step should be and what is really wrong with us.  So, to that end, should the doctor be held responsible for his diagnosis if you do not give him all the facts?  No…your healthcare begs the active participation of your healthcare provider AND you! 

If we want true healthcare reform, we need to concentrate on prevention.  We need to make better decisions about our own lifestyles.  If we choose to drink ourselves into a drunken stupor, that should be our right, but we should also be responsible for the results of the drinking.  That goes for smoking and eating too much and everything else.  We need behavioral specialists to quit assigning everything a “disease” status.  And, we need to be responsible for what we do. 

There are some other factors I am willing to concede to that could very well contribute to some of our health related problems.

Our government needs to stop adding chemicals to our drinking water that depress the major organs of our bodies…Did you know that fluoride and chlorine negatively affect your thyroid?  Why, yes they do…among other things.  AND, if you garden and do not use filtered water to water your garden, you are adding those chemicals to your lovely produce, as well.  And showering in the toxic chlorine/fluoride solution…hot water causes your body to absorb the toxins through your skin.

Have there been enough studies to actually tell us the harm or good of genetically modified foods?  I understand the reasoning that has been used to justify genetically modified foods…to increase the production rate of food, so we have enough for everyone on the planet…Why not try something novel…let farmers farm! 

I read where some farm lands have been (and probably still are being) signed up for the Conservation Reserve Program, thus being paid (through the government) not to farm.  I spoke to a lady that told me the government pays her farmer friends not to farm on their land, but I do not know if it has to do with the same program.  I also read the same thing is going on in England, and I am willing to bet it goes on all over the planet.  WHAT!?!  Does that even make sense?  We need food and the world is paying farmers not to grow food!  This could actually help curtail the rotten economy, help farmers AND help world hunger…but then…I am not an expert…

We have President Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and many other Democrats are ramming healthcare reform down our throats as if to drown out our meager screams to stop with the nonsense.  Pelosi and Hoyer wrote an article in USA Today calling all of us who are drowning out opposing views “un-American.”   My question to them is, do they feel they fall into the un-American category?  Healthcare reform proponents are not listening to those of us who are against it.  In fact, recently, one man trying to attend a Town Hall Meeting it was beaten up in St Louis.  AND a reporter on the scene stated that those against Healthcare reform were not being allowed into the meeting.

Our government has not been very successful at managing its own business and truly needs to just bow out of the process…we do not need healthcare reform any more than we need any other over-bloated government program.  We need less government participation in our everyday lives.  Let us live our lives freely and independently of big brother’s intrusion.  We, as responsible citizens, NEED to be responsible for our own actions.  And…the government needs to be held responsible for its actions…Period!

For more research and investigation:

An interesting History of Medical Malpractice

Thyroid Dysfunction:  Is Your Thyroid Working Properly
http://www.thedietchannel.com/Thyroid-Dysfunction-Is-Your-Thyroid-Working-Properly.htm

Shirley’s Wellness Café 
http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/fluoride.htm

Health Alert:  The Thyroid and Fluoride 
http://www.fluoridealert.org/fluoride-thyroid.htm

The CRP: Paying Farmers Not to Farm
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4736044

Farm Program Pays $1.3 Billion to People Who Don't Farm
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/01/AR2006070100962.html

Union Thugs Beat Patriot at Obamacare Town Hall in St Louis
http://www.infowars.com/union-thugs-beat-patriot-at-obamacare-town-hall-in-st-louis/


Divided We Fall
July 18, 2009

My daughter was so looking forward to starting school this fall with her friends.  We home school part time and she attends the local high school part time.  We received mail from the school yesterday with her registration packet in it and she started reading through it with glee.  However, the more she read, the less gleeful she became.

It appears there is a new form to be filled out.  As my daughter read through the form she became more and more agitated.  The note reads:

"...new guidelines for the US Department of Education regarding the collection of data on race and ethnicity for public school students and staff.  The Federal Government, which requires all states to collect this information, has developed a new way to report ethnicity and race that includes new categories."

"It goes on to say:

"The federal government has developed these new categories in order to provide a more accurate picture of the nation's ethnic and racial diversity.  This will enable individuals to be identified in ethnic and racial classifications and in more than one racial category..."

And continues:

"The data with the new ethnicity and race categories will be used in the same manner that such information is currently used.  For example, the federal government uses racial and ethnic data in reporting and analyzing test results.  The new categories will replace all existing categories for use in state and federal data collections that include data on ethnicity or race."

It is nearly impossible for me to believe that in 2009 race is still an issue!  I grew up in the '60's and '70's, starting school in 1965.  My dad grew up on a farm and my mother is a US citizen born overseas.  They did not teach me that there was any differences between me and other people, black, white, Indian, or any other.  I was taught to treat EVERYONE with respect...AND I was reared in the South!  In my family, we were not taught to nor allowed to refer to anyone by race.  I made friends with everyone...everyone!  As I got older, I saw that certain people were treated differently.  I really never understood that, because of my upbringing.  

In High School, I boycotted the "Senior Dance," because, while it was called the "Senior Dance," not all the Seniors were invited.  Arguing with my friends didn't help.  They told me that I was invited, and could invite anyone I wanted...accept for the black Seniors.  There were even Seniors from other schools attending, but not all the Seniors from my school.  Later, I found out that the black Seniors were going to have their own party, and several people boycotted that dance as well.

Remember "Divide and Conquer?"  To this day, I do not understand this!  How do we plan to unify we when are constantly dividing ourselves?   When we classify ourselves as something other than the Human Race, we ARE divided.  We will never, NEVER, achieve unity in ANY form until we stop this nonsense and become the HUMAN RACE!  What effects one of us effects all of us.  THIS is the information all the politicians, including the ever-effervescent Obama are missing!  Want to make a difference?  Want change you can believe in?  Then STOP categorizing people.  Treat EVERY person o t his planet with dignity and respect and start referring to all of us as the HUMAN RACE!   At that point, we will have Unity!


Another What?  Is ANYONE Paying Attention?
July 7, 2009

Rep. Steny Hoyer, according to Bloomberg News, told reporters in D.C. that we should be open to another stimulus program.  Has anyone been paying attention?  The Bush-era bailout was a complete disaster...and we can't blame all of that on Bush (even though we might like to!).  Do you remember back in late September 2008 when they were debating the $700 Billion bailout?  According to Rep. Brad Sherman, the House was told several really scary things, and even threatened with Martial Law unless the thing was passed!  Then-Secretary of the Treasury Henry I'm-making-my-buddies-at-Goldman-Sachs-wealthy-despite-the impending-market-crash Paulson speculated that if the bill didn't pass, the market would take a 3000-point dive...Well, the bill passed, the market has fallen WAY more than 3000 points, and some of the already irresponsible companies that got bailout funds as taxpayers were told to tighten their respective belts paid for lavish jaunts to destinations some of us could only dream of AND paid BONUSES to their employees.  

Do we remember what the "bailout" was supposed to do?  Yes...bail out some businesses, but also to help banks so they would loan more money so that people would feel confident in the economy and STIMULATE it...Fast forward to the beginning of the Obama Administration just a mere few months after the bailout.  The Democratically led Congress made the case for Obama's "Stimulus" package.  The package was gargantuan, but Congress and the Obama administration were able to pare it back to a mere $787 Billion.  The debate was entertaining...mainly because Democrats were arguing with the Republicans saying they needed this new "stimulus package" because of the disastrous "Republican" bailout.  The Democrats blamed the Republicans for the lack of oversight in the Republican version, yet Congress, at the time, was Democratically led.  Democrats in Congress criticized Bush, claiming he let them down on oversight, and Congress itself didn't place its own person in the allotted time, either.

We need to remember a few MAJOR details about the "Republican" bailout.  First, you may want to revisit Rep. Mark Burgess' remarks on the House floor in late September when he told the House that "House Republicans were cut out of the process" and that he, personally, had been thrown out of more meetings than he thought possible.  Second, 73% of the House DEMOCRATS and 80% of Democratic Senators voted FOR the "Republican" bailout while only 46% of House Republicans and 69% of Senate Republicans voted for it.  Third, and this is important, then-Senator Barack Obama, Senator Chris Dodd, then-Senator Hilary Clinton, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer ALL voted FOR the "Republican" bailout.  Regardless of whose administration it was, this WAS a Democratic bill!

More to the point, we have had the $700 Billion Emergency Economic Recovery Act of 2008 and the $787 Billion America Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 pass within five-ish months of each other, and we are STILL in dire straits.  We now have the highest unemployment figures since August 1983 (that is 26 years!).  And Rep Steny Hoyer thinks we need to be open to another "stimulus" bill...

Steny, I've got a bridge I'd like to sell ya...and maybe, just maybe, California would be willing!


And it took the Supreme Court to tell us this was Unconstitutional?
June 26, 2009

There was several bits of disturbing news today.  First Farrah Fawcett died after her long battle with cancer.  Then Michael Jackson died of an apparent heart attack.  These two people were icons in the entertainment industry.  And while the news of their deaths was somewhat of a shock, that was not the disturbing news.  What disturbed me, a mother of two teenaged daughters, was that it took the Supreme Court to rule that a strip search of a 13 year old girl was unconstitutional.  How, may I ask, can there even be any question?

Now a college student, Savanna Redding is finally getting some partial justice!  Another student at her Middle School reported that she had gotten two prescription strength ibuprofen from Redding, so the vice principle escorted Redding to his office and searched her backpack.  When he found nothing, the teenaged Redding was taken to the nurses office and told to disrobe, then told to move her bra around and shake out her panties, exposing her breasts and her pelvic area, according to reports.  Nothing was found.

While the justices found that the search was against Redding's Constitutional rights, they also cited that the vice principle Kerry Wilson and the nurse could not be held liable in court.  What a bunch of bull!  All I have to say is they better be darn glad it wasn't one of my daughters or I would OWN that school district!  The shining light in this was the stand taken by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Paul Stevens.  Ginsburg stated that, "Wilson's treatment of Redding was abusive and it was not reasonable for him to believe that the law permitted it."

What is it about people that they do not understand what is permissible and what isn't?  How in any realm of reason did Wilson and the school nurse think strip searching a 13 year old on the word of one student could be legal?  I must say, I am at a loss!  What is our school system coming to when those in positions of authority have no more common sense that this?  

Again, they best be glad it wasn't my daughter, cause they would be in one world of hurt!


Journalism at its finest!
June 17, 2009

A friend brought something interesting to my attention today.  Apparently a writer for the Washington Times needs to do a bit more research...but from the looks of things, if she is paying any attention at all, she is getting educated quite quickly via reader comments!

Written yesterday, the article in question, written by Patrice Hill, is a shining example of what journalism has become and why people are losing faith in our mainstream media.  And, if my own experience in researching news holds true, this article will be snatched, revised and be reposted, minus the blatant error, and no one will be the wiser.  

The beginning of the very first sentence is a lie.  It reads, "The Federal Reserve, already arguably the most powerful agency in the U.S. government..."  The question we should all be asking is, "Does Ms Hill really not know that the Federal Reserve is not "federal" or is she, and the Washington Times, by extension, feeding the public blatantly false information so as to keep them from realizing what is going on?

My friend, Paul Sheridan, concluded this, "It is a BLATANT attempt to misdirect and divert the American idiot into thinking that the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 was somehow representative of the interest of the American taxpayers and patriots."  He may very well be right!  Sheridan, a hero by all rights, is understandably concerned.  He called the Washington Times, and had to make three phone calls before getting someone who would at least hear him out.  

Lets spell a few things out...for Ms Hill and the Washington Times.  The Federal Reserve is the third in a series of "banks" that attempt to handle the financial goings on of the country.  The Constitution gives Congress the power to coin our money and, through the insistence of our first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, our Congress turned over it's duty to the First, and ultimately the Second, Bank of the United States.  Both failed miserably.  (Please see Life On The Edge Of A Bubble for more information.)  Our money is now in the hands of the utterly inept Third Bank of the United States, more commonly known as the Federal Reserve.  

I will be watching the Washington Times, as they told Sheridan that they would run another article to "straighten this out."  I wait with bated breath to see if they got the message, and the education, that they sorely lack!  As for the integrity of journalism...I put no faith in them what-so-ever!  


Could this Be Related?
June 11, 2009

The price of gas is on the rise, but then, you'd have to have been living under a rock the past few weeks not to have notice.  Why is it that that the price of everything is going up just when everyone is struggling to stay afloat?  Do people not realize this is a never-ending battle?

There is a report out today that says that household net worth is off by $14 trillion.  What?  Makes me glad I do not own a home right now...There was a report in September that the housing market crash is in direct correlation with the rise of gas prices to over $4 a gallon (average) last year.  (See America Obsolete here.)  So, with the rising gas prices, are we going to have even more problems?  

People need to work so they can pay their bills.  People might pay their bills late, but they are not going to quit a perfectly good job, so it seems we are in a catch-22.  Gotta get to work, so I am going to have to pay the ridiculous price to get there.  BUT, the cost of gas is so high, it is really eating away at my budget.  I am going to feed my family, and go to work, so now what?  On top of that, businesses are losing money because they no one can afford their products anymore, so now, they are either cutting back employee hours (again, eating into their overall budget) or laying off their work force to the point that they can barely function, yep, you guessed it, eating into the layed-off  workers overall budget.

Well, I am here to tell you this whole sordid "game" we have going on stinks!  Wait, though.  I have a novel concept...We all need to find a way to quit playing their game!  I realize this is easier said than done, but we have to find a way to play a fair game, leaving behind those who want to cheat us.  Those who pass laws and then take no blame for the results.  Those who make bad decisions, then get their buddies in Congress to pass the cost on to the American citizens.

It is my belief that if we work on it, we will be able to find a solution.  Let's get to it!


Pay Attention...Get Outraged!
June 4, 2009

We are constantly reading and hearing about the failing economy.  Jobless rates are sky high, and people are losing their homes.  And what the heck are they doing on The Hill?  Well, they aren't representing us, that's for sure!  I must ask, how do these people continue to get elected?  We complain and complain but come election day, we elect the same jokers that knifed us in the back in the first place. 

I have defended the working men and women of this country to many a "patriot," because I realize that we are all so busy trying to make it that we are practically zombies when we get home from work, only to find more work, and children and/or animals to look after.  We don't really pay attention to the news...it serves as back ground noise.  I wouldn't worry too much about it.  Main stream news lost touch with its audience, and reality, a long time ago!

I will tell you this, though, IF we do not start paying attention to what is going on, we are going to wake up one day and not recognize the country in which we live!

Here is some of the why you need to be paying attention...We are broke, as a nation.  Why?  Because of bad leadership by those we elect to represent us and because of poor personal decisions on our own part.  I am as guilty as everyone else...but no one is paying me to fix things.  AND, if they WERE paying me as much as we pay our representatives, I would for darned sure get to fixing things...I'd FIND a way!

We have had several administrations just royally screw us over with their out-of-control spending.  The Democrats blame the Republicans and the Republicans blame the Democrats.  Let me tell you that if you have not been paying attention and have just emerged from your zombie state to find this once-great country in a mess, they are ALL to blame! 

Obama, the president of "change we can believe in," hasn't changed much, but maybe his residence.  Instead of doing something useful, he and his democrats have passed another massive spending bill, after the first one didn't do what it was supposed to...Congressional Democrats blamed the first massive bailout on Bush and the Republicans...yet they seem to have forgotten that Obama and Biden voted for it, along with Pelosi and a large majority of the Democrats...After all, in 2008 the Democrats held the majority in Congress, and it passed handily! 

Not only that, one of the first things Obama did was approve a drone strike against Palestine, something left over from the Bush administration...He made promises on the campaign trail to not hire lobbyists in his white house, then turned around and hired several.  Obama rejected torture, but his administration will not prosecute anyone for waterboarding prisoners.  And the spending...His bailout is chock full of waste, in a time when we need all the money we can get...What the heck?

Lest you think I am just picking on our newest entry in the President-of-the-United States game, Former President George W. Bush and his nasty little administration entered us into an illegal war with Afghanistan and Iraq that is devastating our troops and has cost us $864-plus Billion dollars, and counting...and that's just a starters.  Congress could have stopped President Bush, as is their legal right, not to mention their duty, to do, but they chose not to perform the task to which they were elected...representing our best interest.

Congress, with the help of the Bush administration, pushed through legislation that attacked several of our very basic rights in this country. 

The USA PATRIOT Act and it's "Improvement and Reauthorization" cost us our freedom of speech, our right to privacy, our right to a speedy trial, our right to NOT be incarcerated with out a grand jury indictment, our right not to endure unusual punishments.  They passed legislation that stripped us of our right to Habeas Corpus and another that ended Posse Comitatus.  They passed a law requiring a "Real ID" instead of our usual drivers license...And then enter the introduction of the bill I, and many others, refer to as thought crime legislation...Thank goodness Congress as a whole did not see fit to pass this bill, although I must say, I have heard the language put forth in the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Act in other places, making me wonder if they just introduced it to say, well it didn't pass, making us all feel better about it, only to find out they have decided to incorporate the thinking of the bill into actions in other ways.

The Bush administration was not forth-coming during several investigations into wrong doing, and when the people in this country thought they would get a fair shake by returning the Congress to the Democrats at the 2006 mid-term elections, boy did they get a shock!  Their "fearless leader," Rep Nancy Pelosi, was quick to let them know that the justice they craved was "off the table."  Unfortunately for the 110th Congress it has been dubbed the Do-Nothing Congress...And rightfully so...Except for a couple of things...they passed some legislation that should never have been introduced in the first place.

I implore you to try and pay attention to what is going on around you.  Many of us are already angry.  Many of us know something isn't right.  There are plenty of other sources for news.  Start with our resources page.  There are several places to get info about what is going on in the world.  Listen to some alternative media.  When you have been initiated into the real goings on, maybe you can check out one of these educational films.  But most importantly, please, please let's quit electing people that are so out of touch with us that they think by bailing out Wall Street and faulty businesses they are helping us!  I read in USA Today the other day that the new national debt per household is $668,000-plus, $546,000-plus is Federal debt. Please pay attention and get outraged!  PLEASE...for all our sakes!

 


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Grasping A Trillion Dollars
March, 2009

With the $700 Billion Bush Bailout plan, the $787 Billion Obama Stimulus plan and the new possibly $1 trillion Obama bailout, it is high time people understand just what “a trillion” is.  If they truly understood this, I think they would all be as livid as I!  (Bear with me, because this does not make for great reading…but it is extremely enlightening!) 

We can all agree that we would be sitting really pretty if we had a six-figure income, right?  Let’s say we made a consistent $150,000 a year, starting at age 18 until we retired at age 75.  I’ll do the math…We would have made $8,550,000 in our life.  That is not bad, but lets say we stumbled upon something really crazy and made a consistent $250,000 per year for the same period.  We would have made $14,250,000 for our life’s work.  Now, keep in mind, that is with absolutely NO raise for the 57 years of work…Now, lets think about this, 100,000 people can work for $150,000, or 70,000 people for $250,000, for the 57 years and that would STILL not be $1 trillion.  

The population of the United States is estimates at 305,982,756 at the time of this writing.  The population of the world, at the same time, is 6,765,807,365.  It would take more than 3,251 US populations, or 147 world populations, to get even close to 1 trillion people.  Have you grasped what a trillion is yet? 

Ok, lets look at something else. If we divided $1 trillion by the population of the United States, EACH person, that is each man, woman, and child, would receive $3,251.  Now, THAT would stimulate the economy!   Now let’s averaged by household, there are approximately 117,687,214 households in the US.  That means that EACH household would receive more than $8,497.  What could you do with that? 

Let’s get social, shall we?  

As of 2007, there were an estimated 671,859 homeless people in the United States.  With $1 trillion, we could give EACH homeless person approximately $1,488,407!  

According to I Care About Orphans, there is an estimated 127,000 children awaiting homes in the United States.  With $1 trillion, we could give EACH child more than $7,874,000.  

In 2006, it was estimated that there were 36,500,000 people in the US living in poverty.  With $1 trillion, you could give EACH person living in poverty more than $26,000. 

Are you grasping what $1 trillion is yet? 

Or, in more abstract terms, a trillion grains of sand would weigh over 73 tons…it would take 62 days for light to travel a trillion miles…1 trillion dollar bills taped end to end it would stretch from Earth to the Sun at its farthest distance from the Sun. 

Former Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee had some interesting figures.  According to him, with $1 trillion, we could buy 1000 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies for every for every single person in the United States or we could put 8,000,000-plus students through a four-year Private College.  Huckabee came up with this, but I did some re-figuring for more current estimates and according to the market values which appeared on Forbes for early Feb, 2009, with $1 trillion, we could actually purchase Microsoft ($168B), Walmart ($188B), Google ($107B), Coca-Cola ($100B), Pepsi Co ($80B), Apple, Inc ($83B), and Time Warner ($35B) and still have $243 Billion left over to purchase even more businesses!  

Astounding?  Do you get it yet?  $1 trillion is $1,000,000,000,000, that is 1,000 billions.  Warren Buffett, the richest man in the world according to Forbes, is worth $62 billion.  That is not even CLOSE to $1 trillion!  So, the next time our Elected Officials tell you they need anywhere near $1 trillion, please remember what $1 trillion is really worth! 

http://www.takebackwashington.com/articles/GraspingATrillionDollars.html 

Endnotes:
Census
http://www.census.gov/
 

National Alliance to End Homelessness
http://www.endhomelessness.org/section/data/homelessmap
 

I Care About Orphans
http://www.icareaboutorphans.org/?Menu=2 

Household Income Rises, Poverty Rate Declines, Number of Uninsured Up
http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/income_wealth/010583.html
 

If You had $1 Trillion
http://www.mikehuckabee.com/index.cfm?fa=News.View&News_id=5868487c-f4ac-411b-a1ca-9f97e886a95a
 

The World’s Billionaires
http://www.forbes.com/lists/2008/10/billionaires08_Warren-Buffett_C0R3.html 

Saw’s Saws
www.sawssaws.com
 

Graphic illustration of a Trillion:
http://www.kickthemallout.com/article.php/Story-What_Does_A_Trillion_Look_Like


AIG, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and Others…The Circle of Financial Life
March, 2009

There is a very tight financial circle spinning in perpetuity.  There are players on the inside and there are others on the outside, forever looking for some sort of break, trying to figure out just how to stop this insidious circle from spinning…Like a financial tornado sucking money into it, but never throwing any out, it lays waste to the true productive economy.  Thus is the disaster that is the current United States Financial crisis. 

It was reported by several outlets that AIG, after receiving $170 billion-plus in taxpayer-funded bailout money, is paying “bills.”  Some of those “bills” were in the form of bonuses…$168 million in bonuses, to be exact.  But, the most disgusting “bills” paid by AIG, in my opinion, were the ones they paid to Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, CitiGroup, and a few others.  Yes the very same companies to which our government (from here on out, I will use the term lightly, as it doesn’t seem able to “govern” anything!) took the liberty of bailing out, along WITH AIG…

That is, AIG paid, according to a report meant for transparency, Goldman Sachs $12.9 billion, Merrill Lynch $6.8 billion, Bank of America $5.2 billion, Wachovia $1.5 billion, Morgan Stanley $1.2 billion, JP Morgan $400 million, among others.  The funny thing about this is that ALL these institutions also received bailout money from the “government,” as well, so they have now received a double dose!  Please tell me I am not the only one to find this utterly appalling!  Enough is enough!

On top of that, AIG paid several foreign banks, as well.  France’s Societe Generale received a whopping $11.9 billion, Deutsche Bank in Germany received nearly that at $11.8 billion.  Barclays of England faired well at $7.9 billion and the Swiss UBS received $5 billion, among others…so, our much-needed money is going overseas!  Now, granted, it was the dim-witted US financial institutions that caused the global meltdown, but come on!

Add to that, AIG paid itself $2.5 billion, and it paid AIG International $600 million.  Now, before we go too much farther, technically speaking Maiden Lane III paid AIG the $2.5 billion, as well as portions of the other payouts, but Maiden Lane III was set up for AIG by the New York Federal Reserve office to handle AIG business…so…the way I see it, they are the same company!

Why is it so hard for our “government” to let AIG fail and let other, (yes, smaller) companies pick up their slack?  Why is this a bad idea in the “land of opportunity?”  Our “government” has committed money to the favored, yet utterly worthless, AIG several times, and AIG is still failing.  The “government” isn’t, however.  Our “government” is shifting from a Constitutional Republic to a Fascist state right before our eyes and there seems to be little we can do about it…AND, our “government,” on behalf of the US taxpayers, now owns an 80% controlling share of AIG…as a result of the huge bailout.  Maybe that sheds some light on it!  

Over the past six months, our “government” has committed money (that wasn’t theirs to commit) to AIG, to the tune of $170 billion.  To put the $170 billion into perspective, that is about $555 PER PERSON living in the US right now.  A family of 4 has paid approximately $2,220 JUST to AIG in this bailout fiasco!  How many of us have lost jobs because of the nefarious dealings of AIG and all the others that caused this economic disaster?  Let’s put things another way…The War in Iraq, at the time of this writing, has only cost us (I use that lightly as well!) right around $656 billion. 

Our economy is tanking and while it was not our “policies” that caused it, our representatives are dedicating our funds to these shoddy businesses to fix it, all the while letting the criminals at the helm of these derelict companies get away with barely a slap on the wrist.  These companies and our “government” make unwise decisions and we pay for it.  I guess it is easy to make daring mistakes if you have a guarantee that someone else will pay for them!

AIG sells insurance, among other things.  During the first round of support for AIG, my brother made the statement that he already had insurance, so why is he paying for a service that he doesn’t need and will not use?  Not only that, why is he having to pay so much more for this unused service than he pays for the insurance he already has?  Good questions!  On the other hand, he did say that if we are bailing out AIG, then we should get free Insurance coverage from them.  Makes sense to me!

I’ve decided with all these inside-the-circle payments, that AIG is a legal money-laundering ring. 

This is an incessant circle of destruction that is continually fueled by more and more taxpayer money…how do we stop this vicious cycle?  Well…stop electing idiot lawmakers that cannot write a decent piece of legislative if their lives depended on it!  Stop electing lawmakers that are willing to make YOU tighten your belt when they are unwilling to make failing big business do the same.  Stop electing lawmakers that are IN the circle to begin with!

Endnotes:
Bonus Money at Troubled A.I.G. Draws Heavy Criticism
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/16/business/16aig.html?hp

Obama Orders Treasury Chief to Try to Block A.I.G. Bonuses
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/17/us/politics/17obama.html?hp

AIG Discloses $75 Billion in Bailout Payments
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/15/AR2009031501909.html?wpisrc=newsletter

The Payment Report for AIG:
http://www.aig.com/aigweb/internet/en/files/CounterpartyAttachments031809_tcm385-155645.pdf

A.I.G. Lists Which Banks It Paid With U.S. Bailout Funds
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/16/business/16rescue.html?th&emc=th

AIG again
www.sawssaws.com

Obama outraged over AIG bonuses
http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE52F60220090316

AIG, Seeking Government Bailout, Warned Of 'Run' On Insurance Cos
http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/djf500/200903161718DOWJONESDJONLINE000529_FORTUNE5.htm

The Case for Saving AIG, by AIG
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/03/business/economy/03sorkin.html?em

AIG DISCLOSES COUNTERPARTIES TO CDS, GIA AND SECURITIES LENDING TRANSACTIONS
http://www.aig.com/aigweb/internet/en/files/Counterparties_tcm385-153017.pdf?sid=ST2009031501910

The Kick Them All Out Project
http://www.kickthemallout.com/

Statement of Robert B. Willumstad Before The US House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Oct. 7, 2008
http://oversight.house.gov/documents/20081007101054.pdf

 


And so The “Change” Begins
March, 2009

Finally, we have change in Washington, D. C.  Entering into this year with the words of my father, “Obama is our new president, and we need to give him a chance,” I am trying to do just that.  The problem for me, though, is that as much as I would like to believe we are going to get something we can believe in with President Obama, I know Senator Obama’s voting record.  So the question on the table is, will we see change we can believe in, or will it be a replay of the Democratic victory of Congress in 2006?  That remains to be seen. 

Obama began in a positive light by signing an executive order to close Guantanamo Bay within a year.  He also signed an Executive Order regarding guidelines for hiring lobbyists for his administration.  Now, THAT is change we can believe in, for sure!  But what about his actions surrounding both of these highly anticipated Executive Orders?   

While Obama has rejected the Bush administration’s torture tactics, the taxpayers are paying government lawyers to defend Torture Memo draftsman John Woo.  WE are also paying to defend Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft, and Paul Wolfowitz, among others.  While it is legal for our government to defend its present and former employees, the federal law governing that does not apply if said representation is in direct conflict with the interests of the United States.  So…is torture in the interest of the United States or not?  Obama can legally reverse that Bush administration stance and save the taxpayers having to defend them.  Will he consider it?  Will that become change we can believe in?   

Ok, those may argue, Guantanamo Bay is closing, so why continue on and on about it?  A recent study found that inmates there WERE treated humanely…so, is waterboarding torture or not?  I know we heard from Eric Holder that he believes it is.  So how can this Pentagon Report be accurate?  A Defense Department Review did the investigation, so was it an unbiased review?  Plus, what will happen to the inmates still there?  There is a report of 17 inmates from China who have been there, for seven years.  It has been found that their incarceration there is “grossly unfair,” yet the United States says “it has no power to order their release.”  They cannot be sent back to China and the Untied States will not let them immigrate to our country.  What will happen?    

And what about the strict guidelines for hiring lobbyists?  President Obama stipulated certain rules for hiring former lobbyists, including that they cannot have served as a lobbyist within two years for rules of law that might come under their particular job description.  Yet within two weeks of taking office, he has put several former lobbyists in his Cabinet.  Geithner appointed Mark Patterson, former Goldman Sachs lobbyist, as Deputy Secretary of the Treasury.  Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack was, as recently as a year ago, a lobbyist for the National Teacher’s Association.  Deputy Defense Secretary William J Lynn III was, within the past two years, a lobbyist for defense contractor Raytheon.  Deputy Director of Health and Human Services William Corr was, within the past two years, an anti-tobacco lobbyist.  And there are more… 

Some would argue that, out of the thousands of jobs needing to be filled, a handful of lobbyists can’t hurt anything, but that is just giving leeway to a rule that Obama, himself, specified.  Why make rules you cannot hope to keep?  In doing so, aren’t you inviting ridicule?  Is this the type of change we are looking for? 

Within his first week, President Obama gave orders for a drone attack against Palestine.  Yes, he was after al-Qaeda members, and the reports say the attack took out a handful.  The first article, however, said that out of fifteen killed, seven were operatives, five were civilian adults and three were children.  That is eight killed as “collateral damage.”  Then came an article that reported twenty-two deaths.  Either way, the collateral damage for that video game-style attack was astronomical.  And, since the strike was conducted from an “operations room” in the United States, only the relatives were left to mourn the civilian casualties.  Why, with all the technology we have today, can we not prevent such percentages of collateral damage?  And…this little aggression was started by the Bush administration…no change… 

Let’s consider the nomination and subsequent approval of Timothy Geithner for Secretary of Treasury.  Now, I do not miss Henry Paulson, but Geithner brought baggage.  The man that will oversee the Internal Revenue Service forgot to pay taxes.  He misunderstood the law.  If he can’t understand it, how can we?  Add to that, the IMF gave him the money to pay the taxes…unlike the rest of us who must find ways to come up with the money to pay ours.  AND, Geithner had a housekeeper that became an illegal immigrant while in his employ.  How many business owners have Immigrations and Customs Enforcement raided and harassed because they hired an illegal?  What kinds of fines have they had to pay?  What about Geithner…we know he supposedly paid fines for back taxes, but what about having an illegal in his employ?  Did he pay any fines?  Was he harassed? 

As for other appointments, Obama has had no less than four nominees withdraw their names for appointments, two of which had tax issues and one of which had ethics issues.  These are people Obama and advisors are trying to choose to hold offices that will affect us all.   

As far as ethics issues go, Senator Roland Burris comes to mind.  His appointment to fill Obama’s seat in the Senate was the undoing of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.  If you remember, he was impeached and is standing trial for seeking bribes, among other things…and Burris himself, is now under investigation for charges of perjury.  While this has little to do with Obama himself, it is that atmosphere in which Obama has previously served.  Blagojevich and Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s Chief of Staff, were contemporaries, as Emanuel sent suggestions for Vicki Jarrett to replace Obama in the Senate.  

And what about the Stimulus plan, the new Bank Bailout plan, and the thought that there will be a need for even more “stimulus?”  In the business world in which most of us reside, when a business is mis-managed and cannot pay it’s bills, it is liquidated, not given more and more money.  Yet the Bush administration passed, with the help of a Democratically-led Congress, a $700 billion bailout plan for Wall Street and Business.  This didn’t represent the people.  The Bush administration bailed out banks, insurance giants and home lenders, deeming them too big to fail, and taking controlling interests in some.  The Democratic Congress, while complaining about the expenditures of the Bush bailout, voted for them, and when Obama was elected President, went on to write their own bloated spending legislation (lovingly called a “stimulus plan”) to the tune of $787 billion, much of which is sheer nonsense.  Where is the change there?   

This is just the tip of the spending iceberg for this Congress.  As Congress (remember, Democratically-led) complains about the lack of “oversight” and details of Bush’s bailout, (which, remember, Geithner helped draft) they had a hand in the lack of oversight.  Add to that, Geithner recently rolled out his estimated $1 trillion plan for a new bailout, minus details…but, of course, Geithner is too important, so maybe some believe that he knows what he is doing.  

Investor and Financial commentator Jim Rogers has other thoughts.  He points out that Geithner was head of the Federal Reserve in New York, the very “entity” that should have been supervising Wall Street, and he missed it…the biggest financial crisis this country has seen in decades.   

I have high hopes for President Obama, as he seems to have so much goodwill toward America.  Unfortunately, Obama, in his first several weeks as President, is questionable.  I realize he is in new territory, so I am willing to give him a little time, but up to now, he hasn’t given us much change.  It really is just more of the same.  The hope is fading and I see that we have just another man making government bigger and doing little, if anything, to bring about real change.

http://www.takebackwashington.com/articles/changebegins.html

Endnotes:
Guantanamo detainees treated humanely, Pentagon report says
http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/02/23/pentagon.gitmo/
 

New Guantanamo Bay Challenge for President Obama
http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2008/s2496860.htm 

Eric Holder: Waterboarding is Torture
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdAt1GcIs6E

Obama's Prisoner Dilemma: Reject Torture, Defend Torturers
http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2009/02/analysis-dilemm.html
 

'Obama trying to whitewash Gitmo disaster'
http://www.presstv.ir/Detail.aspx?id=83623&sectionid=3510203
 

Ex-Goldman lobbyist now Geithner's right-hand man
http://www.dcexaminer.com/politics/Ex-Goldman-lobbyist-now-Geithners-right-hand-man-2009-01-2938596257.html
 

Obama finds room for Lobbyists 
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0109/18128.html
 

Obama Cabinet
http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/cabinet/#
 

Obama’s Pledge to Reform Ethics Faces an Early Test 
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/03/us/politics/03lobby.html?_r=2&hp
 

President Obama 'orders Pakistan drone attacks'
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article5575883.ece
 

Obama airstrikes kill 22 in Pakistan
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article5581084.ece

Obama Continues Drone Strikes in Pakistan, Civilian Deaths
http://moscowthroughbrowneyes.blogspot.com/2009/01/obama-continues-drone-strikes-in.html
 

Crisis may force Geithner's approval
http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/provider/providerarticle.aspx?feed=OBR&date=20090121&id=9530699
 

Illinois Gov. Quinn Calls on Burris to Resign
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123515088979434483.html
 

Emanuel talked directly to gov: source http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/blagojevich/1337789,CST-NWS-rahm18good.article  

Jim Rogers - Bloomberg Interview (February 11, 2009)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTQ4zVWt1wQ&feature=channel_page
 

Late Change in Course Hobbled Rollout of Geithner's Bank Plan
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/16/AR2009021601180.html?hpid=topnews

 


The Genocide of a Nation…With Full Support of the United States Government
January, 2009

I recently read that one of my heroes, Kevin Barrett, is leaving the country.  Barrett is a strong proponent of 9/11 truth and an even stronger enthusiast for human rights.  He cited several things, pictures of dead babies on the news overseas, probably the most exasperating, but he mentioned something else that should hit all of us square between the eyes, as well…the American Dream is dead.  He, like so many of us, is just plain fed up with the lack of conscience of this country’s leadership.  I have to say, that I can’t blame him. 

We, in the United States, pride ourselves with the knowledge that we are a civilized society.  We feel that we are humane, compassionate and care for those less fortunate than ourselves.  In his final press conference, Outgoing-President George W Bush told us that America is compassionate.  I am here to say that that notion could not be farther from the truth.  Bush said that if we don’t believe it we should ask China or Africa or India about the compassion of America.  What about the Palestinians?  Should we ask them? 

Rep Nancy Pelosi along with her hoard of bi-partisan co-sponsors, pushed through H Res 34, Israel’s Right to Defend Itself.  Did any of these Representatives ask we-the-people if it was okay for the United States to take sides in this conflict, because I thought they represented us!  It appears they represent Israel, though…yet we pay their salaries… Shouldn’t The Gaza Strip have the same right to defend itself? 

In his comments about this egregious piece of legislation, Rep Ron Paul told Congress that they have a moral obligation to both Israel and the Arab Nations, because “we provide help and funding for both,” yet as a country, the House has chosen to support Israel…again.     

During Bush’s press conference, when asked about peace between Israel and Gaza, Bush says that he is for a “sustainable ceasefire.”  He goes on to define a “sustainable ceasefire” as “Hamas stop(s) shooting missiles into Israel.”  What if Israel stops shooting missiles into the Gaza Strip?   

A very observant journalist asked about how other countries around the world view the United States. Bush goes on to say that he does not feel the entire world views the US as immoral, and that, if we wanted to, we could become popular by blaming everything going on in the Middle East on Israel.  Israel has broken the past several ceasefire agreements, so who should be blamed for that?   

According to an article by Global Research, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak had the Israel Defense Force start preparation for this latest slaughter in The Gaza Strip six month before its December 27th beginning, preparation that, incidentally, was started during a ceasefire.  The article also says  “…Operation ‘Cast Lead’ is a carefully planned undertaking, which is part of a broader military-intelligence agenda first formulated by the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2001.”  Wait, 2001?  It goes on to say that the operation “is intended, quite deliberately, to trigger civilian casualties.”  And Israel is not to blame for this?  The “sustainable ceasefire” has to be at the disarmament of Hamas, but not Israel?  And, by the way, since when does the United States get to decide who can be “armed” and who can’t?  I may have missed this in Civics class! 

According to secret documents obtained by Reuters, the Pentagon is seeking the services of a merchant ship to transport 325 20-foot containers of “ammunition” from Greece to Israel by the end of January.  The manifest says only that the shipment contains such hazardous substances as explosive materials and detonators.

Pentagon spokesperson Air Force Lt Col Patrick Ryder confirmed the shipment and said it was not in support of the Israel-Gaza conflict, yet a London senior military analyst stated that the timing was “irregular.”  A shipping broker in London stated that a 3000-plus ton “in one go” ammunition shipment is pretty rare. The Pentagon recently made a December delivery of 989 20-foot containers to Israel, as well, but Hamas needs to disarm?   

Rep. Paul reminded House members of the US involvement in the creation of Al Qaeda, as well as its indirect involvement in creating Hamas.  And Hamas is to blame?  He also reminded the House that the US pushed for Democratic elections in the Palestinian State, and they followed the process, electing the Israel/US created Hamas, and now they (the Palestinians) must be killed for it.  Paul, of course, was making a point, not advocating the actual deed, but the rest of the House, with the apparent exception of Paul, Kucinich and three others, is advocating the actual deed through blind support of Israel. 

During the first days of the attack, Former Presidential Candidate Cynthia McKinney was aboard a private boat attempting to deliver medical supplies to the war-torn Gaza Strip when an Israel Patrol vessel rammed the private boat.  McKinney said the purpose was one of peace and that the boat was clearly not engaging in terrorist activities, yet the Israeli’s rammed them.  She said that this paled in comparison to what the Palestinians were going through and reminded the CNN audience that this was also not the first time Israelis attacked a friendly American boat.  Remember the USS Liberty?  (Because I guarantee you the survivors remember it well!!!) 

Recently, Rep. Dennis Kucinich spoke out about the tragedy in Gaza. He told the House that some fifty percent of Gaza inhabitants are under the age of fourteen.  That is younger than my youngest daughter.  Some of his words will live on in my memory for the rest of my life.  “We cannot avert our eyes without staining our soul.”  He is right!  We call ourselves a nation created by God, and Israel is quick to claim they are “God’s chosen.”  This travesty against the Palestinians is not godly at all.  It is heinous and barbaric.  Kucinich went on to say that “this is a humanitarian crisis of the highest magnitude.”  He also confirmed that Israel is using aircraft and weapons supplied by the US which “imposes a moral obligation for this congress to speak out.”  He is right…again. 

The current death toll reported by one outlet as of January 14th, 2009, is 13 Israeli casualties, 3 civilian and 1010 Palestinian casualties.  Of that, 311 are children and 100 are women. For those concerned, that means 31% of the casualties are children and 10% are women, but how many civilian men?  It didn’t say that.  I have read several places on the Internet that say Hamas has brought this on the Palestinian people themselves.  Really?  Just the other day it was reported that several schools in the Gaza Strip were targeted by Israeli attacks.  So Israel has the right to target schools, and hospitals, clinics and refugee settlements?  Why would they attack a school or hospital or clinic, or refugee settlement?  What has that got to do with Hamas? 

What is going on in the Gaza Strip is genocide, pure and simple.  In all the barrage of rockets and missiles and whatever else Israel could shove down Palestine’s throat, “Israeli death squads,” according to another article, started moving through a Palestinian village separating the men from the women and children and then slaughtering the men, including young adults and teen-aged boys, shooting them in the back.  Paul, Kucinich and McKinney have stated that the US has basically supplied the weapons that Israel is using to kill Palestinians…at least 41% civilian women and children.  Again I ask, why would our government supply arms to Israel, yet ask Palestine to disarm?  This doesn’t make sense!  

Where does President Elect Obama stand on the situation he is about to inherit?  He has said that he does support Israel’s right to defend itself, and I am not saying that they shouldn’t, but if we afford Israel the right to defend itself then we must afford the Palestinians the same rights.  After all, this attack was planned in 2001, and was being prepared for during a ceasefire.  Israel broke this ceasefire…And, given the casualty rates that have been reported, Israel is killing far too many “women and children.”  What country is proud of collateral damage to the tune of 41% women and children?  

McKinney has a plea for President-Elect Obama.  She is asking him to please “say something…about the humanitarian crisis that is being experienced right now by the people of Gaza.”   

It is apparent by the vote on H Res 34 that this country is sorely lacking integrity.  The United States has just sworn in a new Congress, one that is supposed to bring about positive change.  Yes, I remember, Obama’s campaign slogan, “Change We Can Believe in.”  But didn’t some of the newly elected Representatives tout change, as well?  Yet, one of the first pieces of legislation they pass, and quite handily, I must say, is the support of Israel…there is no change in that!   

It is time we took a page from Rep Paul’s playbook, which, by the way, is not a new idea, and stood down with regard to other governments.  Have we learned nothing about the blowback, as Paul recently pointed out, which is certainly not worth it?  The United States must stand down…stay out of the affairs of other country’s.  Let them rule themselves.  Let them work out there differences, the only exception being of a TRUE threat against the United States.  Since when did the United States become the police of the world?  Is that a roll we really want?  I don’t think we do…the cost is just too high! 

Endnotes:
H Res 34: Recognizing Israel's right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=hr111-34

Bush’s Final Press Conference is available on YouTube in parts or in its entirety.  The text: 
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2009/01/20090112.html

Video:  Ron Paul - Israel Created Hamas to weaken Arafat ’s Fatah
http://dprogram.net/2009/01/11/video-ron-paul-israel-created-hamas-to-weaken-arafat-s-fatah/
 

2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008%E2%80%932009_Israel%E2%80%93Gaza_conflict
 

Video:  Cynthia McKinney: The Gaza Strip Relief Boat Attacked By Israeli Military
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBpcCumKh1w
 

The Invasion of The Gaza Strip: "Operation Cast Lead", Part of a Broader Israeli Military-Intelligence Agenda
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11606

In Shallow Graves in Al-Qarrara Village - Lies Fathers and Sons - Victims of an Israeli Massacre
http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m50693&hd=&size=1&l=e
 

US plans massive arms delivery to Israel 
http://dprogram.net/2009/01/11/us-plans-massive-arms-delivery-to-israel/
 

The Obama Factor in Israel's Gaza War
http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/world/2009/01/14/the-obama-factor-in-israels-gaza-war.html


Israel accused of using white phosphorus in Gaza - 11 Jan 09

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gchf_4VgtK4
 

Kucinich: 50 Percent of the Population of Gaza Under 14 Years of Age!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6MkzkBrxAg 


USS Liberty Memorial Website
http://www.gtr5.com/

http://takebackwashington.com/articles/Genocide-of-a-Nation.html

 


AIG, Congress and the Taxpayers 
November, 2008

What is up with AIG? The taxpayers, by way of the government and without being asked, have given AIG more than $122 Billion in funds (the amount is actually said to be more like $152 Billion) to keep the failing insurance giant afloat, and yet AIG cannot seem to tighten its belt. American Insurance Group, a company originally founded in China, has been caught spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in perks for executive, top producers and independent advisor retreats since its taxpayer bailout.

Taxpayers may be aware of the lavish resort visits, but are they being given a choice on whether or not they want to continue funding the irresponsible AIG? 

The tab for the first extravagant get-a-way was $440,000. Of that, the expenditures were reported to be $200,000 for rooms, $150,000 for meals $23,000 for spa treatments and $7,000 in Greens fees. So, lets get this straight, they spent all that money to stay in a resort, all that money for food, all that money for spa treatments, and yet there is still $60,000 unaccounted for. Maybe they spent it in tips! Since we are being forced to “help” AIG, I think it only right that we know what happened to the remaining $60,000! And…I am quite sure that with the stress taxpayers are under with regards to our collapsing economy, our losing our homes, our lack of funds to purchase food, we might like a nice get away ourselves, but we cannot afford one.

AIG tried to keep the next big outing secret, even staff members of the resort at which the new outing took place were told not to mention AIG by name. There were no AIG logos or signs to be seen. However, an ABC affiliate caught them on tape. This time, they spent $343,000.

AIG Company spokesperson Nick Ashoon maintains that these “meetings” are essential to their business and success. It is customary, according to Ashoon, to treat top producers and independent producers to retreats. Even AIG CEO Edward Liddy stated that gatherings such as these were “standard practice” in their industry. However, Maryland Representative Elijah Cummings is asking questions, and demanding answers. Cummings suggested, “if AIG truly wants to become as it claims ‘an ethical steward of the public’s investment,’ AIG must change its business practices…and it must…show it is truly willing to be transparent to the public that has saved it.” Cummings states that the first step in that endeavor is to provide him with answers to his requests and for AIG to accept the resignation of newly appointed CEO Liddy.

Liddy, a former Goldman Sachs Director, took over AIG on September 18, 2008 at the appointment of another Goldman Sachs employee, former CEO and now Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson. Add to this that Neel Kashkari, in charge of dispersing the $700 Billion aid, was also a former Goldman Sachs employee and one must wonder if there is some serious hanky panky going on!

New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has taken a hard-line stance in his approach to AIG. In a letter to Liddy, Cuomo makes it his position clear; there should be no funds paid to AIG executives until the taxpayers are repaid, in full, with interest. He also states that “rebuilding trust in our capital markets requires executive compensation packages that are rational, fair and based on bona fide performance measures…” He goes on to state that these packages should “no longer create improper incentives for executives to over leverage their companies and manipulate the books for their own short-term financial benefit.”

In a letter from Representative Henry Waxman to Liddy, Waxman points out that there were a couple of other “such events.” In light of the fact that AIG is clearly mishandling funds at this point, I must ask again, have the taxpayers been given a chance to say “no” to the bailouts? Have they even been given the opportunity to say to which companies the bailout money should go?

As part of the stipulations for considering approval of the bailout, the White House was supposed to appoint a special inspector general and Congress was supposed to choose an independent oversight panel, all of which has yet to be done, now more than six weeks after the bail out was passed. The purpose of these positions was to avert government waste and corruption. Congress is upset that the White House has not yet appointed the special inspector general, but Congress has failed to appoint the independent committee. Perhaps Senator Charles Schumer said it best when he stated that, “Considering how taxpayers’ money around Washington isn’t respected, a day shouldn’t go by without having an inspector general checking on it…”

To top all of this off, now it appears that the $700 Billion will not be used for the purposes for which it was passed. That’s right. Paulson has decided that a change in direction should be taken. According to a November 12, 2008 New York Times article, Paulson and the Department of Treasury has “abandoned the original strategy behind its $700 billion effort to rescue the financial system” in favor of a lending program run by the Federal Reserve. Now, if that isn’t a scary thought! In addition, Paulson, after demanding that the entire $700 Billion be available at once, has said he may leave half the money for President Elect Obama’s Administration to dole out as they see fit. Paulson, the former CEO, is exhibiting sure signs of a politician as he sold Congress on the bailout using one logic and has now scrapped part of it and is moving in a different direction.

The taxpayers should be up in arms about the disregard with which government, as well as the businesses government has chosen for the taxpayers to “bail out,” has conducted itself. Sure, there are key people in government trying to get things done “properly,” but wouldn’t “properly” have been to let the mis-managed businesses fail and to let other similar businesses pick up the slack? After all, if small businesses, you know the mom and pop businesses that fulfilled the American Dream, fail the government does not run to their aid. If we, as individual citizens fail, we cannot petition government to bail us out. How is it right that big, mis-managed business gets preferential treatment and We-the-People get the shaft? Aren’t We-the People the government? Then again, maybe that is a delusion…

Endnotes:  
Another AIG Resort "Junket": Top Execs Caught on Tape 11/10/08
http://abcnews.go.com:80/Blotter/WallStreet/story?id=6223972
 

AIG Fights Back on $440,000 Resort Trip; Says No Corporate Executives Attended 10/08/08
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=5987363&page=1  

$85 Billion Loan to save AIG from Bankruptcy Fed Reserve NY Agreement signed 09/23/08
http://phx.corporate-ir.net/staging/phoenix.zhtml?c=76115&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1200447&highlight
 

After Bailout, AIG Execs Head to California Resort 10/07/08
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=5973452&page=1
 

AIG's Federal Bailout funds Now Total $152.5 Billion 11/10/08
http://www.findingdulcinea.com/news/business/2008/November/AIG-s-Federal-Bailout-Funds-Now-Total--152-5-Billion.html

Wall Street CEO's Total compensation for 2007
http://www.networkworld.com/slideshows/2008/091808-wall-street-fat-cats.html
?=

Letter from Cuomo to Liddy about AIG Compensations
http://abcnews.go.com/images/Blotter/AIG%20Letter%2010%2022%2008.pdf
 

Letter from Henry Waxman to Liddy
http://www.scribd.com/doc/7112460/House-Oversight-Letter-to-AIGs-Liddy
 

Liddy's Forbes Profile...Goldman Sachs...
http://people.forbes.com/profile/edward-m-liddy/165
 

Clayton Dubilier & Rice Edward M Liddy
http://www.cdr-inc.com/index_bio.html
 

Cummings letter to Liddy
http://abcnews.go.com/images/Blotter/Cummings_to_AIG.pdf
 

Bailout lacks Oversight Despite Billions Pledged
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/12/AR2008111202846.html?hpid=topnews
   

U.S. Shifts Focus in Credit Bailout to the Consumer
http://www.nytimes.com:80/2008/11/13/business/economy/13bailout.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
 

Hill sources: Treasury won't use full bailout
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/17/AR2008111701576.html
 


Angry Yet???  Biggest Waste of Taxpayer Money Ever!
October, 2008

Against the wishes of most American’s, the Senate, followed by the House, approved the $700 Billion bailout package, attached, oddly enough, to HR 1424, the Paul Wellstone Mental Health And Addiction Equity Act of 2008.  Seems fitting, even though the bailout has nothing whatever to do with mental health.  Even more peculiar is the added bonus of energy legislation to the afore mentioned bill. 

What, under the sun, is going on in D.C.???  Well, it appears our government is moving in a peculiar direction…away from the Constitutional Republic under which we were founded and the Constitutional Democracy we have become to some xenomorphic adaptation of a communist- fascist state by “investing” and buying into the Mortgage, Insurance and Banking industries. 

The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, as it has been dubbed, is the direct work of President George Bush and Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson. The past several weeks have seen our government not only bail out these industries, but the Feds are also taking ownership interests in them, all at taxpayer’s expense.  Now our government “owns” some of the largest industries in our country.  Does anyone but me find that utterly disturbing? They ARE trying to make it clear that the taxpayers will not be responsible for this bailout.  Really???  And where, pray-tell, does our government get the money to operate???  Taxes!!!  In my humble opinion, they have already spent far too much time and resources in all this nasty bailout! 

Wall Street, as anyone who was around for the end of the 1980’s knows, is a gamble.  But wait!  Could a stock market crash affect people we “know?”  OHHHH!  There might be a problem!  Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson was the CEO of Goldman Sachs, from 1999, when the company went public, to 2006.  He must have a retirement portfolio, and I am willing to wager that part of his retirement package contains a good amount of Goldman Sachs stocks.  Why in 2005, alone, his compensation package was $37 million!  Not too bad for an English Major with an MBA!  And…That’s just the tip of the iceberg.  

Neel Kashkari, tapped to handle the government’s jump into the financial world, is also a former Goldman Sachs Vice President.  At barely 35 years of age and holding an Engineering Degree and an MBA, Mr. Kashkari is now handling $700 Billion dollars of taxpayer-funded insanity. 

Let us move into some specific areas of contribution and see what we find.  According to the latest information from Open Secrets, which is The Center for Responsive Politics, under the Commercial Banking industry figures we can find that this industry contributed $2,366,119 to Obama and $2,091,291 to McCain.  This is a whopping $4,457,410 from just bankers and their employees!  Obama’s contributions from employees of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley alone are $1,080,901.  McCain’s figures aren’t quite as bad at $469,422, but still we see how voting against this egregious legislation might put both candidates at odds with the industries of their contributors.    

If that isn’t enough, according to Representative Brad Sherman, there were private conversations in the House designed basically to scare legislators into voting for the bailout.  He stated that if the Bailout wasn’t passed on the first vote, the market would see between a 2,000 to 3,000 point drop on the very first day, and would continue dropping by thousands after that.  He also stated that some members were told there would be “Martial Law in America” if the bailout didn’t pass.  The facts are that the Dow Jones did drop, but by 778 points, not the fabled 2-to-3,000 point drop.  According to a CNN article, that drop does not even make it in the top 10 percent of market declines.  So, I must ask, where did the fear mongerers get their figures???  Do they KNOW something we don’t know…Are they hiding something or creating something???  Now, several weeks after the bailout legislation passed, we have seen a nearly 3,000 point drop.  That was only supposed to happen IF the legislation DID NOT pass.  What, may we ask, happened???

Since We-the-People have been stabbed in the back by our treasonous representatives, lets compare the vote for the original House bill, HR 3997 Defenders of Freedom Tax Relief Act of 2007, to the newly passed HR 1424.  For HR 3997, the Ayes were 205 and the Nays were 228.  For HR 1424, the Ayes were 263 and the Nays were 171.  So, who jumped ship?  Who bowed under the pressure of Paulson/Bush/Pelosi?  For starters, it appears that four Reps from Arizona, Shadegg, Pastor, Mitchell, and Giffords, along with four Reps from Illinois, Rush, Jackson, Weller, and Biggert switched.  Next, California gave us seven more jumpers and Texas had five.  All in all, twenty-six states saw at least one of their Representatives mis-represent their constituent’s best interest and vote for the disastrous legislation.   

Even in the midst of it, we know there were Reps who new better, but in the end were coerced into treachery.  However, there were a few we could count on.  Representatives Defazio and Tiahrt knew better and voted no, but Rep. Rangel, and Rep Campbell, both complained about it, yet both voted yes, twice.  Rep Shelia Jackson Lee knew it was less than perfect, but she changed her vote from No to Yes, going against her better judgment, as did at least 55 other Representatives. 

According to a poll conducted by CNN, 45% of people poled opposed the bailout, with 16% undecided.  Only 38% of US Citizens were in favor of this disastrous piece of legislation, yet Congress passed it without regard to its constituency, apparently more concerned with business.  Well…Congress was not put in place to protect the bad judgment of business; it was put in place to represent the people of our fine nation.  In that, Congress has failed, and this is far from the first time. 

It is time to replace the puppets in DC.  If you have been paying attention, you should be absolutely outraged.  In November, ALL of the House of Representatives and 1/3 of the Senate is up for re-election.  It is time for Congress to know we mean business.  Let us Take Back Washington…before it is too late! 

Endnotes:
Goldman Sachs Bribed Senate to Pass Bailout
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ek7zc0lJxbM
 

HR 1424 the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2008
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/vote.xpd?vote=h2008-101
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-1424
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_Economic_Stabilization_Act_of_2008
 

Henry Paulson
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Paulson

http://www.ustreas.gov/organization/bios/paulson-e.html
 

Neel Kashkari
http://www.ustreas.gov/organization/bios/kashkari-e.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neel_Kashkari

www.opensecrets.org
 

Top Industry Financial Contributions
Barack Obama
http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/indus.php?id=N00009638&cycle2=2008&goButt2.x=8&goButt2.y=8 

John McCain
http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/indus.php?id=N00006424&cycle2=2008&goButt2.x=11&goButt2.y=6 

Top Contributors
John McCain
http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cycle=2008&cid=N00006424
 

Barack Obama
http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/contrib.php?cycle=2008&cid=N00009638  

Rep Brad Sherman Speech
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaG9d_4zij8
 

Stock Market Close 09/29/08
http://money.cnn.com/2008/09/29/markets/markets_newyork/index.htm?postversion=2008092916
 

Vote for HR 3997
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/vote.xpd?vote=h2008-674
 

Vote for HR 1424
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/vote.xpd?vote=h2008-681
 

www.takebackwashington.com


Angry Customers Boycott AT&T After Congress Grants Telecom Immunity
September, 2008

I am not sure people really understand just what took place in Congress this summer with regard to the NSA illegal wiretapping program.  Simply put, AT&T, Verizon, and the other telecom companies that, according to articles in the USA Today and the Washington Post, participated in an ongoing illegal spy network, will now receive retroactive immunity back to 2001 for breaking the law at the Bush Administration’s request.  HR 6304 is a treasonous and outright assault on our Fourth Amendment right to privacy; yet our Congress voted for this legislation with almost 70 percent of the members having never been briefed on the President’s illegal data-mining program to begin with.   

United States citizens found out about the seditious actions of the Bush Administration and the Telecoms in a December 2005 article by The New York Times.  Surprisingly, it seems, many people missed that article until the administration started spouting off about acquiring immunity for the lawbreaking Telecoms.  The administration says they needed the aggressive program to combat terrorism.  And, while the Bush Administration and AT&T, specifically, claim they did nothing illegal, one has to wonder why it was that close to a dozen “former and current government officials” were concerned “about the operation's legality and oversight,” according to the NY Times article. 

“Seeking Congressional approval was also viewed as politically risky because the proposal would be certain to face intense opposition on civil liberties grounds…” states the article.  You would think that people who swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic would have realized the illegality of their actions!  With the blessings of President Bush, senior administration lawyers, and others, they chose to blatantly attack a fundamental right of being an American; our right to privacy. 

USA Today reported in May 2006 that President Bush did authorize the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program and that AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth were “working under contract” soon after the “terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001,” according to their source.  However, in a Washington Post and a Los Angeles Times article about the insider trading conviction of Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio, we find out that Qwest (one of the only large telecoms to deny the government spy request) was approached about the program in February of 2001, over six months BEFORE the September 11, 2001 tragedy.  If, as these articles state, the much-needed illegal program to combat terrorism started PRIOR TO the attacks, why weren’t these attacks prevented, and, since they weren’t, why was the unlawful program continued? 

Outraged at the fact that my family has been a loyal AT&T customer for decades, we decided to take a stand:  we are canceling our service.  Having had many elongated conversations with the courteous people in Customer Service at AT&T, it has come to our attention just how many people in this huge company, have no idea or understanding of what their employer has done.  In talking with many of my own family and friends, it is clear that very few people, in fact, comprehend the egregiousness of the past several years of abuses by the NSA and the telecoms. 

While conversing with AT&T about our desire to be released from our contracts, we were told they had no intentions of releasing us from our contracts, because they did nothing wrong, they did not release any of our information and they had read the “stories” on the internet, too.  Internet rumor, is it?  Then why, I asked, did Congress have to pass HR 6304, giving the telecoms retroactive immunity for the program, if the telecoms did nothing wrong!  And you know, the AT&T representative said something that I could actually agree with…  “Congress passes laws all the time that are questionable!” 

Okay.  So if as you say, AT&T did nothing wrong, address the following, please:

1) Why did Judge Anna Diggs Taylor’s ruling find the program illegal and specifically state that the secret program was acknowledged by the Bush Administration, “undisputedly inaugurated by the National Security Agency” and “without benefit of warrant or other judicial approval?” 

2) Why didn’t Judge Vaughn Walker dismiss the Tash Hepting v AT&T case altogether?  Why did Judge Walker, in the same case affirm “AT&T and the government have for all practical purposes already disclosed that AT&T assists the government in monitoring communication content.” 

3) Why does the Hepting v AT&T ruling state, in official court documents, that “Considering the ubiquity of AT&T telecommunications services, it is unclear whether this program could even exist without AT&T’s acquiescence and cooperation” and “AT&T’s history of cooperating with the government on such matters is well known.” 

4) Where are the official certifications required to prove that what you did was legal?  After all, you could have saved time in court and the cost of your lawyers by just producing these certifications. 

5) Judge Walker, citing the Keith Decision, said the Supreme Court made it perfectly clear that the “Fourth Amendment does not permit warrantless wiretaps to track domestic threats to national security.” 

Now, AT&T, you were saying something about an Internet rumor?  While the Congress voted to give AT&T retroactive immunity for their “alleged” illegal actions, I do not.  It is time to fess up and take responsibility for your actions in this assault on our Right to Privacy.  

The government has, through the words of Donald Kerr, the Principle Deputy Director of National Intelligence, told us that we must change our definition of “privacy.”  That we should now define privacy as “government and businesses properly safeguarding people's private communications and financial information.”  Did everyone get that?  Our government has now “privatized” privacy.  And you thought this was the United States of America! 

The “government” may have dismissed AT&T’s treasonous actions, but you forget, we are the government and we will not forgive or forget what has happened!  We are the ones who hold AT&T, and every telecom that acted illegally accountable for their actions.  In addition, we hold all the Congressmen and women that voted for the immunity of the Telecoms accountable.  And, just as I will not support a candidate for President that cannot follow the Constitution, neither will I conduct business with a company that has the means to circumvent it.  Your actions are deplorable!  

Since the American people have been left with no other choice, in light of the immunity granted to AT&T and the other participating telecoms by HR 6304, the American people must now take the kind of action that only large corporations truly understand.  We must affect their profit margin – their bottom line!  Don’t continue to use the services of companies that continue to this day to violate core American principles and the U.S. Constitution.  Boycott these companies now.

Here’s how we dumped AT&T and why we did it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iieyi4D9nCs
 

AT&T Talking Points:
http://www.takebackwashington.com/spyprogram/

Endnotes:
USA Today, May 11, 2006, NSA has massive database of Americans' phone calls
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-05-10-nsa_x.htm
 

Washington Post, Nov 1, 2007, Roadblock for Telecom Immunity
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/31/AR2007103103126_pf.html
 

New York Times, Dec 16, 2005, Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/16/politics/16program.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
 

Washington Post, Oct 13, 2007, Former CEO Says U.S. Punished Phone Firm, Qwest Feared NSA Plan Was Illegal, Filing Says
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/12/AR2007101202485.html
 

Los Angeles Times, Oct 13, 2007, Pre-9/11 wiretap bid is alleged
http://articles.latimes.com/2007/oct/13/nation/na-qwest13
 

Judge Anna Diggs Taylor Ruling in the NSA Secret Program
http://epic.org/privacy/terrorism/fisa/acluvnsaop081706.pdf
 

Tash Hepting v AT&T Corp, Case No C-06-672 VRW, Judge Vaughn Walker, presiding
http://www.eff.org/files/filenode/att/308_order_on_mtns_to_dismiss.pdf
 

Boston Globe, Nov 11, 2007, Intel official: Expect less privacy
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2007/11/11/definition_changing_for_peoples_privacy/
 

Washington, You’re Fired
www.washingtonyourefired.com


The Odds of Change:  A Statistical Look at Our Democrat’s Voting Records
July, 2008

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, a statistic is a “collection, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of masses of numerical data.”  What is more interesting still is its etymology, from the German word meaning “study of political facts and figures” and the Latin “of Politics.”  With that in mind, lets do a statistical study of the voting record of those who would bring about “change” – the Democrats. 

It is no secret that the Republicans have passed their fair share of rubber-stamped bills and ignored the collective will of the United States people, but the Democrats would have us believe that they alone have acted in a patriotic and constitutional manner.  They ask us to believe that they are listening to our collective voice.  They claimed that they would make change, starting with the 2006 mid-term elections and more recently with the Nomination and subsequent “election” of Barack Obama to the White House.  Can they back up those claims with good old-fashioned math?  Let’s look at some statistical information based on voting data collected over the past 8 years.

The USA PATRIOT Act was passed in a time of national distress, and as such, was given a title that made Americans feel good about the reality of this intrusive new spy bill.  In truth, this outrageous bill directly contradicted no less than five amendments contained in our U.S. Bill of Rights.  Statistically, 69% of the House Democrats and 96% of Democratic Senators voted FOR the first PATRIOT Act.  In contrast, 22% of House Democrats and 77% of Democratic Senators voted for the Re-Authorization.  In comparison, we do see a slight improvement on behalf of the Democrat’s collective vote for this bill, but will this “shift” turn into an upward trend? 

The Real ID Act was hotly contested by both political aisles because it’ sought to establish a defacto-National ID Card, limiting and tracking the movement of U.S. citizens.  While the Real ID Act did not pass on its own, author James Sensenbrenner (who also sponsored PATRIOT Acts 1 and 2) had it attached to an Emergency Appropriations bill (HR1268) where it passed, virtually un-debated.  80% of the House Democrats and 98% of the Senate Democrats voted FOR this bill.  Compared to the votes on the USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization, that’s a collective downward shift in Constitutionally principled voting by 47%.  There does seem to be a rather dramatic change in the collective voting habits of our nation’s elected Democrats.  Unfortunately, this data represents is a huge shift away from the safeguards set into motion by our nation’s founding documents, NOT a return to them. 

Furthermore, by examining legislation passed under the 2006 Session of Congress, we will see a similar split-pattern taking shape.  The John Warner Defense Act (ending Posse Comitatus) and the Military Commissions Act (removing Habeas Corpus) would be the top two bills removing more constitutional protections.  Respectively, the statistical data shows that 84% of House Dems and 100% of the Senate Dems voted to end Posse Comitatus, while, 16% of the House Dems and 26% of the Senate Dems chose to support the ending of Habeas Corpus.  And what of our Presidential Hopefuls?  McCain voted to end both, while Obama only voted to end Posse Comitatus, making it illegal for the President of the United States to station active military troops in cities throughout the United States during any self-declared emergency.  Remember, 100% of the Senate Democrats voted to end Posse Comitatus. 

Let’s shift our focus to the 110th congress and the much hoped for changes in government that the 2006 mid-term elections promised.   Weren’t the Democrats going to fix the FISA Laws, Restore Habeas Corpus (S.185), and impeach the President of the United States for leading this country into an illegal war and for violating U.S. law by ordering the NSA and FBI to data-mine the daily communications of every person in the United States?  Instead of seeing Democrats racing to the House floor to repeal such bad legislation, we would now see them racing to sponsor their own versions of bills that were far worse than the ones proposed by Republicans in the first place. 

Also introduced during this session is the most damning piece of legislation to ever make it’s way to the halls of Congress:  the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007, HR1955, and its Senate equivalent S.1959.  For the first time, American citizens will be psychologically profiled and indexed based upon their religious, social, and political aspirations.  This database will be used to “predict” whether or not the target may be a potential “homegrown terrorist” and indexes these results based upon the individual’s ability to persuade the mind or behavior of another person – your ability to win an argument.  The House version, sponsored by California Democrat Jane Harmon, was supported by 98% of the House Democrats.  The Senate version has not made it for a vote, yet. 

Next we have HR 6304, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, a blatant attack on our Fourth amendment right to privacy.  This heinous act of government sanctioned intrusion and, among other things, retroactive immunity to the TeleComm’s for their part in the illegal wiretapping of US citizens, smacks of fascism at its core.  Yet, 45% of House Democrats voted for this legislation.  It has not come up for a vote in the Senate yet, but both of our Presidential hopefuls have said they support it. 

What happened to our precious change?  It would appear that the only thing that has noticeably changed is our Democrat’s willingness to subject the American people to an ever-growing mountain of bad legislation that strips away our freedoms and expands the roll of government in our everyday lives. 

While the Democrats continually play the “blame-the-Republicans” game, it becomes a matter of fact versus fiction.  The fiction is that Republicans alone are to blame.  The fact is that 67% of our Democrats have collectively voted for legislation that removes critical components of our U.S. Bill of Rights.  Democrats are as much at fault as the Republicans in the demise of our liberty, yet here we are again faced with another election where citizens are forced to vote for the lesser of two evils, if there truly is such a thing.  Statistically speaking, we’ve had change in DC, just not the kind we asked for. 

Isn’t it time that we stand up to the bullies in D.C. and start actively seeking alternatives to the “status quo” politician.  Who will those new candidates be?  Where will they come from?  Who will support them?  We know what the status quo will bring us…the same old broken promises of the past seven years.  It’s time to run for office, it’s time to vote in mass, and it’s time to support candidates who are your neighbors, friends, and colleagues.  It is time for new blood in Washington.  It’s time for representation that we can be proud of.   

Want to see some of these elected representatives “duke it out” on civil liberties?
http://www.youtube.com:80/watch?v=Rkv2E1YPqsM
 

Want a game plan for replacing most of our House of Representatives?
http://www.washingtonyourefired.com
 

End Notes:
Statistics Defined
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/statistics
 

Pelosi: Bush Impeachment “Off the Table”
http://www.nytimes.com/cq/2006/11/08/cq_1916.html
 

Rep Dennis Kucinich Articles of Impeachment
http://kucinich.house.gov/spotlightissues/documents.htm
 

All of the votes for bills presented can be found by searching www.house.gov and www.senate.gov, or the convenient www.govtrack.us. 

HR 3162 (107) USA PATRIOT Act of 2001

HR 3199 (109) USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005

HR 418 died, but attached to HR 1268 (109) Emergency Supplemental Appropriations

Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief Act of 2005

HR 5122 (109) John Warner Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal year 2007

S 3930 (109) Military Commissions Act of 2006

HR 2863 (109) Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2006 – Containing the Detainee Treatment Act (protecting torture)

HJ RES 114 (107) Authorization for use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution for 2002

HR 4939 (109) Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, The Global War on Terror, and Hurricane Relief

HR 1955 (110) Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 (Related to S 1959 Bill of the Same Title)

HR 6304 (110) FISA Amendments Act of 2008 

House Passes Spy Bill; Senate Expected to Follow
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/20/AR2008062000986.html?hpid=topnews
 

Al Gore Speech, Video and Text
http://zennie2005.blogspot.com/search?q=full+text+of+Gore%27s+Speech  

A Blueprint For True Change in DC
http://www.youtube.com:80/watch?v=Rkv2E1YPqsM


Layoffs, Pink Slips, and A Plan to Take Back Washington
May, 2008

The release of the new politically charged documentary, Washington, You’re Fired, is generating the proverbial “fire under the butt” syndrome for all who watch it.  This “clarion call to arms,” as the film has been referred to, is stirring the ire of not only the voting population, but the young, as well.  The youths of our nation seem to understand just what is at stake, for it is their generation that will be handed the torch of liberty and expected to keep that flame burning constantly and brightly.   

This citizenry charged film verbalizes what Americans have been feeling for over a decade and sets a plan into motion to shape changes that will rescue the U.S. Constitution.  Its poignant and unpartisan approach is forcing audiences to think outside of the political-party box and come up with creative solutions.  No matter your political party - if you are frustrated, shell-shocked, and otherwise politically disenfranchised… Washington, You’re Fired is THE film that you’ve been waiting for. 

Both Republican-led and Democratic-led Congresses have given us legislation that has damaged the fundamental principals of our U.S. Constitution and warped our Bill of Rights beyond recognition.  Freedom eating bills such as the USA PATRIOT Act, the Military Commissions Act or the John Warner Defense Act are not just the work of a power hungry President.  These bills were passed into law by Congressmen and Congresswomen that WE elected and trusted to represent US. 

The film points out several things that non “career politicians” can do to make a difference.  Some people are shocked to find out that these suggestions are actually a real, workable plan to re-take our country and breathe fresh life into our Congress. 

Right away, there are several things you can do.  Learn what your rights truly are.  Use the resources at www.bordc.org and either join or start a local Bill of Rights chapter.  There are many different things available on this website to help make your group a success.  If that is not to your liking, start or join a Fire Congress Meet-Up.  Make sure your voices are heard in your local government.  Choose a person from your group to run for a local office.  Use your newly founded group to help get this person elected.  Also, have your group start communications with your city, state and national representatives.  Write letters.  Make phone calls.   

Remember, also, that on the national level, even though the representatives on certain committees come from other states, if they are deciding on legislation for all the citizens of the United States, they do represent you, so contact them, as well.  For example, Jane Harmon, of California, sponsor of the Violent Radicalization and Home Grown Terrorism Act (HR 1955), represents all of us.  Obviously not well, however!!!  Contact her.  Let her know that she is out of line and that she does not represent you.  As a citizen of the United States, you expect better representation.  Contact John Conyers.  He is the ranking member of the Judicial Committee.  If you support impeachment, he is the one to contact.  He, as a member of this committee, represents all of us.  He needs to hear our concerns. 

Then, bear in mind, the mainstream media must also be held accountable.  I would suggest that you start communications with your local media.  Contact all your local media and make them aware that you and your group no longer plan to let them run roughshod over us. Let them know that if they will not report the truth, there are viable alternatives to their “exclusive” reporting.  Make sure you give them a list of your alternative media preferences.  In addition, let them know that you, and your group, will boycott them.  They must stop reporting junk and report the truth.  They must remember that the backbone of this country is not the career politician, but We-the-People; you and me. 

As for information about your rights and the Constitution, these are a few of the many helpful websites out there that have information you need to know. 

www.bordc.org Bill of Rights Defense Committee (lots of free downloads and info)
www.ccrjustice.org/faqs Center for Constitutional Rights and Justice FAQ’s
www.civilrights.org/research_center/ Civil Rights dot Org Research Center

Study the information on these websites.  Research the Bill of Rights and the Constitution and make sure you and your group understand just what is at stake.  These freedoms and rights are unalienable; they are yours by the very right of your birth in this once-noble country.  Make sure that your new group is aware that these rights cannot be given up, or taken.  They belong to you!

A few others are (including independent media!):
www.kickthemallout.com Supports the firing of Congress, Join or start a Fire Congress MeetUp
www.outtheretv.com Out There TV with Kate and Richard Mucci
www.meria.net Meria Heller
www.1100kfnx.com/ Charles Goyette
www.rprradio.com Ron Paul Revolution Radio
www.wtprn.com/ We the People Radio Network
www.truthout.org Truth Out (many issues)
www.freedomfighterradio.net Freedom Fighter Radio
www.inyouraceradio.net In Your Face Radio

If you, me, and everyone, unite, we CAN make a difference!  It is certainly not impossible.  It will take work, though.  There are so many of us that have had enough of the lack of representation that if we ban together, we CAN make this happen.  It is up to you and me!

For more information, please visit www.takebackwashington.com and get involved today!