Before reading this article, try to answer this question: How many military bases does the United States have in other countries: a) 100; b) 300; c) 700; or d) 1,000.
According to the Pentagon's own list PDF, the answer is around 865, but if you include the new bases in Iraq and Afghanistan it is over a thousand. These thousand bases constitute 95 percent of all the military bases any country in the world maintains on any other country's territory. In other words, the United States is to military bases as Heinz is to ketchup.
The AIG "bonus" scandal frenzy is a way to distract us and throw us off the scent of the real scandal. To wit:
The Real AIG Scandal
By Eliot Spitzer | Slate | March 17, 2009
...we need to go back to the very first decision to bail out AIG, made, we are told, by then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (formerly of Goldman), then-New York Fed official Timothy Geithner (formerly of Goldman), Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke last fall. Post-Lehman's collapse, they feared a systemic failure could be triggered by AIG's inability to pay the counterparties to all the sophisticated instruments AIG had sold. And who were AIG's trading partners? No shock here: Goldman, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, UBS, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, and on it goes. So now we know for sure what we already surmised: The AIG bailout has been a way to hide an enormous second round of cash to the same group that had received TARP money already...
The appearance that this was all an inside job is overwhelming. AIG was nothing more than a conduit for huge capital flows to the same old suspects, with no reason or explanation. So here are several questions that should be answered, in public, under oath, to clear the air:
- What was the precise conversation among Bernanke, Geithner, Paulson, and Blankfein that preceded the initial $80 billion grant?
Was it already known who the counterparties were and what the exposure was for each of the counterparties?
- What did Goldman, and all the other counterparties, know about AIG's financial condition at the time they executed the swaps or other contracts? Had they done adequate due diligence to see whether they were buying real protection? And why shouldn't they bear a percentage of the risk of failure of their own counterparty?
Just wanted to mention to you all that I was watching Morning Joe this morning and Joe Scarborough really gave the good doctor his due props.
This is maddening!!!!! Read below:
"Thank you for bringing your concerns to my attention. I appreciate the time you took to contact my office on this important issue and welcome the opportunity to respond.
As you know, the recent bailouts of the financial industry, the auto industry, and the twin efforts to stimulate the economy have cost trillions of dollars. As I am sure you also know, the federal government was operating at a substantial loss before these expenditures. Those trillions must come from somewhere. If spending is not curtailed, or revenues are not increased, there are really only two ways the government can finance its deficit: First, the Department of Treasury can issue debt to investors around the world. Second, the Federal Reserve can "print money" and put it into circulation.
Congress places a cap on how much debt the Treasury can issue, but it does not place a cap on how much money the Federal Reserve can "print". This is the main source of concern for critics of the Fed and increasingly investors as well. From August of 2008 to December of 2008, the Federal Reserve doubled the "monetary base", or the amount of money under its direct control. The Federal Reserve was designed to be as independent of politics as possible. The reason is simple: good politics doesn't necessarily equal good economic policy. The Obama "stimulus" plan, for instance, is a prime example of that.
Yet despite this need for independence, it is important that Congress keep a close eye on the big picture, both in terms of economic security, and the relative power that this small groups of people has. Some critics argue that opening the Fed's books for public inspection would accomplish these goals. There is a concern, however, that revealing which banks are borrowing from the Fed on a short-term basis, or how much they are borrowing, would create uncertainty about those banks' health, and could create or spread a panic. There is legitimacy to those concerns, and Congress should approach the subject in a sober and deliberate way.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Pete Winn, Senior Writer/Editor
U.S. Army soldiers from Ft. Rucker patrol the downtown area of Samson, Alabama after a shooting spree March 10, 2009. (Photo: Reuters/Mark Wallheiser. Used by permission. )(CNSNews.com) - The U.S. Army has launched an inquiry into how and why active duty troops from Fort Rucker, Ala., came to be placed on the streets of Samson, Ala., during last week's murder spree in that tiny South Alabama community. The use of the troops was a possible violation of federal law.
“On March 10, after a report of an apparent mass murder in Samson, Ala., 22 military police soldiers from Fort Rucker, Ala., along with the provost marshal, were sent to the city of Samson,” Harvey Perritt, spokesman for the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) at Fort Monroe, Va., told CNSNews.com on Monday.
Another snip from the article:
The troops were apparently not deployed by the request of Alabama Gov. Bob Riley -- or by the request of President Obama, as required by law.
When contacted by CNSNews.com, the governor’s office could not confirm that the governor had requested help from the Army, and Gov. Riley's spokesman, Todd Stacy, expressed surprise when he was told that troops had been sent to the town.
No request from President Obama, meanwhile, was issued by the White House--or the Defense Department.
Wrongful use of federal troops inside U.S. borders is a violation of several federal laws, including one known as the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, Title 18, Section 1385 of the U.S. Code.
There is a new phenomenon sweeping across the political landscape. It’s the new “revolution” complete with meet-up groups and tea parties. It’s full of the usual rhetoric about the out-of-control politicians in Washington. What’s strange is that this “movement” is full of new faces that were nowhere to be seen during the Ron Paul Revolution. This new “movement” is being promoted by the Republican party, and neo-con hacks like Glenn Beck - who all did their absolute utmost to slander, squelch, and stop the Ron Paul Revolution.
Hmmmm... it makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Now that there’s no chance of electing Ron Paul for President and getting REAL change; now that we have safely installed our new boss Obama that is so like the old boss Bush and working so harmoniously with the controlled opposition candidate McCain; now that Republicans have someone they can safely criticize and still be “in” with their party cronies; now that it is “safe” to say you support the Constitution and the Founding Fathers (because now “safe” people like Glenn Beck are saying it); now the timid hordes of controlled, mind-numbed Republicans are once again being herded into a controlled opposition movement.
Because that’s what this movement is. The “establishment” or the “new world order” or whatever you want to call them, were frightened by the Ron Paul movement. There were a lot of us; and, for the most part, we were dedicated, passionate, and educated about freedom, which was very much a threat to the establishment. We were breaking through the “left-right paradigm” that has been used so successfully for so many years to control the people of this country.
You can read more of Jen's work at http://www.jenspen.com/
By Ira Iosebashvili | The Moscow Times
17 March 2009
The Kremlin published its priorities Monday for an upcoming meeting of the G20, calling for the creation of a supranational reserve currency to be issued by international institutions as part of a reform of the global financial system.
The International Monetary Fund should investigate the possible creation of a new reserve currency, widening the list of reserve currencies or using its already existing Special Drawing Rights, or SDRs, as a "superreserve currency accepted by the whole of the international community," the Kremlin said in a statement issued on its web site.
Dear Governor Nixon and Attorney General Koster,
I was outraged when I recently learned that supporters of Campaign for Liberty and Congressman Ron Paul had been labeled as security threats in a report released by the Missouri Information Analysis Center.
Titled, "The Modern Militia Movement" and released on February 20, 2009, the report was disseminated to law enforcement officers throughout the state of Missouri. In the report, law enforcement is told that violent militia members are "usually" supporters of past presidential candidates like Ron Paul and can be seen with Campaign for Liberty materials.
Both Ron Paul and Campaign for Liberty champion principles of freedom, peace, and prosperity. We believe that the Founder's vision for America can be reclaimed through education and peaceful activism.
Simply supporting the Constitution does not make you worthy of a watch list; it makes you a Patriot.
It is time for the Missouri government to hear our voices and rein in reckless bureaucrats before they single out Ron Paul and Campaign for Liberty members again.
I will not support politicians who label me and others like me who love freedom and liberty as "threats" to security and place me in the same category as hate groups. It is important that you recognize the gross injustice that has taken place and, on behalf of the state of Missouri, swiftly issue a formal apology to both Ron Paul and Campaign for Liberty members.
I strongly urge you to take hold of this situation and on behalf of the state of Missouri, issue a formal apology to the Campaign for Liberty and Ron Paul.
I've read that the Federal Reserve Note is worth 2 cents today compared the Federal Rerserve Note of 1913. But I'm thinking both prices and wages in fiat currency have increased since 1913, so while I can see that inflation has been eroding savings, I would like to see what has been happening to buying power of wages.
Does anyone have a link to a site that lists the historical prices of things in terms of hours of work at median American wage for stuff like a loaf of bread, a litre of Coca Cola, a gallon of gasoline, a car, a month's rent, an acre of land, a 4-year college education, etc?
By Chuck Baldwin | March 17, 2009
Thanks to a concerned Missouri state policeman, a nationally syndicated radio talk show host stated that he was alerted last week to a secret Missouri state police report that categorized supporters of Congressman Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and myself as "'militia' influenced terrorists." The report, he said, "instructs the Missouri police to be on the lookout for supporters displaying bumper stickers and other paraphernalia associated with the Constitutional, Campaign for Liberty, and Libertarian parties."
Ignoring the threat of Muslim terrorists, the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) report focuses on the so-called "militia movement" and "conflates it with supporters of Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, Bob Barr, the so-called patriot movement and other political activist organizations opposed to the North American Union and the New World Order."
This report is not original, of course. During the Clinton administration, a Phoenix Federal Bureau of Investigation and Joint Terrorism Task Force explicitly designated "defenders" of the Constitution as "right-wing extremists." However, the MIAC report significantly expands on earlier documents and is the first known document to actually name names.
According to the MIAC, opposition to world government, NAFTA, federalization of the states, and restrictive gun laws are a potential threat to the police. The MIAC report also refers to Aaron Russo's film, "America: Freedom to Fascism."
Read this article from Washington Monthly and the comments..this is what they think of Glenn Beck and "conservatives"
Fox News' deranged media personality, has been telling a national television audience that the Obama administration might be setting up secret "concentration camps" to lock up conservatives. The president, Beck believes, may be using FEMA in this conspiratorial drive towards "a totalitarian state."
Beck, who has already voiced his affinity for the John Birch Society, is also distributing Birchers' literature to his audiences.
If he were just some random right-wing blogger, it would be easier to laugh this off. If he were just some strange man screaming on a street corner, social service agencies might be called in to help the guy out. But instead, people are listening to this nut.
Would you support Chuck Baldwin if he ran for office in Florida's 1st Congressional District?
Would you donate to money bombs on his behalf, and help promote him on the Internet?