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Archive for November, 2009

Open Letter from Michael Moore to President Obama

Posted by honestpoet on November 30, 2009

I got this in my email digest from Common Dreams today. I’m going to quote it in full to save you the trouble of clicking the link, and because I agree with everything he says.

Dear President Obama,

Do you really want to be the new “war president”? If you go to West Point tomorrow night (Tuesday, 8pm) and announce that you are increasing, rather than withdrawing, the troops in Afghanistan, you are the new war president. Pure and simple. And with that you will do the worst possible thing you could do — destroy the hopes and dreams so many millions have placed in you. With just one speech tomorrow night you will turn a multitude of young people who were the backbone of your campaign into disillusioned cynics. You will teach them what they’ve always heard is true — that all politicians are alike. I simply can’t believe you’re about to do what they say you are going to do. Please say it isn’t so.

It is not your job to do what the generals tell you to do. We are a civilian-run government. WE tell the Joint Chiefs what to do, not the other way around. That’s the way General Washington insisted it must be. That’s what President Truman told General MacArthur when MacArthur wanted to invade China. “You’re fired!,” said Truman, and that was that. And you should have fired Gen. McChrystal when he went to the press to preempt you, telling the press what YOU had to do. Let me be blunt: We love our kids in the armed services, but we f*#&in’ hate these generals, from Westmoreland in Vietnam to, yes, even Colin Powell for lying to the UN with his made-up drawings of WMD (he has since sought redemption).

So now you feel backed into a corner. 30 years ago this past Thursday (Thanksgiving) the Soviet generals had a cool idea — “Let’s invade Afghanistan!” Well, that turned out to be the final nail in the USSR coffin.

There’s a reason they don’t call Afghanistan the “Garden State” (though they probably should, seeing how the corrupt President Karzai, whom we back, has his brother in the heroin trade raising poppies). Afghanistan’s nickname is the “Graveyard of Empires.” If you don’t believe it, give the British a call. I’d have you call Genghis Khan but I lost his number. I do have Gorbachev’s number though. It’s + 41 22 789 1662. I’m sure he could give you an earful about the historic blunder you’re about to commit.

With our economic collapse still in full swing and our precious young men and women being sacrificed on the altar of arrogance and greed, the breakdown of this great civilization we call America will head, full throttle, into oblivion if you become the “war president.” Empires never think the end is near, until the end is here. Empires think that more evil will force the heathens to toe the line — and yet it never works. The heathens usually tear them to shreds.

Choose carefully, President Obama. You of all people know that it doesn’t have to be this way. You still have a few hours to listen to your heart, and your own clear thinking. You know that nothing good can come from sending more troops halfway around the world to a place neither you nor they understand, to achieve an objective that neither you nor they understand, in a country that does not want us there. You can feel it in your bones.

I know you know that there are LESS than a hundred al-Qaeda left in Afghanistan! A hundred thousand troops trying to crush a hundred guys living in caves? Are you serious? Have you drunk Bush’s Kool-Aid? I refuse to believe it.

Your potential decision to expand the war (while saying that you’re doing it so you can “end the war”) will do more to set your legacy in stone than any of the great things you’ve said and done in your first year. One more throwing a bone from you to the Republicans and the coalition of the hopeful and the hopeless may be gone — and this nation will be back in the hands of the haters quicker than you can shout “tea bag!”

Choose carefully, Mr. President. Your corporate backers are going to abandon you as soon as it is clear you are a one-term president and that the nation will be safely back in the hands of the usual idiots who do their bidding. That could be Wednesday morning.

We the people still love you. We the people still have a sliver of hope. But we the people can’t take it anymore. We can’t take your caving in, over and over, when we elected you by a big, wide margin of millions to get in there and get the job done. What part of “landslide victory” don’t you understand?

Don’t be deceived into thinking that sending a few more troops into Afghanistan will make a difference, or earn you the respect of the haters. They will not stop until this country is torn asunder and every last dollar is extracted from the poor and soon-to-be poor. You could send a million troops over there and the crazy Right still wouldn’t be happy. You would still be the victim of their incessant venom on hate radio and television because no matter what you do, you can’t change the one thing about yourself that sends them over the edge.

The haters were not the ones who elected you, and they can’t be won over by abandoning the rest of us.

President Obama, it’s time to come home. Ask your neighbors in Chicago and the parents of the young men and women doing the fighting and dying if they want more billions and more troops sent to Afghanistan. Do you think they will say, “No, we don’t need health care, we don’t need jobs, we don’t need homes. You go on ahead, Mr. President, and send our wealth and our sons and daughters overseas, ’cause we don’t need them, either.”

What would Martin Luther King, Jr. do? What would your grandmother do? Not send more poor people to kill other poor people who pose no threat to them, that’s what they’d do. Not spend billions and trillions to wage war while American children are sleeping on the streets and standing in bread lines.

All of us that voted and prayed for you and cried the night of your victory have endured an Orwellian hell of eight years of crimes committed in our name: torture, rendition, suspension of the bill of rights, invading nations who had not attacked us, blowing up neighborhoods that Saddam “might” be in (but never was), slaughtering wedding parties in Afghanistan. We watched as hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians were slaughtered and tens of thousands of our brave young men and women were killed, maimed, or endured mental anguish — the full terror of which we scarcely know.

When we elected you we didn’t expect miracles. We didn’t even expect much change. But we expected some. We thought you would stop the madness. Stop the killing. Stop the insane idea that men with guns can reorganize a nation that doesn’t even function as a nation and never, ever has.

Stop, stop, stop! For the sake of the lives of young Americans and Afghan civilians, stop. For the sake of your presidency, hope, and the future of our nation, stop. For God’s sake, stop.

Tonight we still have hope.

Tomorrow, we shall see. The ball is in your court. You DON’T have to do this. You can be a profile in courage. You can be your mother’s son.

We’re counting on you.

Yours, Michael Moore

Posted in Afghanistan war, Barack Obama, corruption, peace activism | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Abolish the Federal Reserve System – A Huge Impediment to Human Freedom, Dignity and Progress,

Posted by majutsu on November 26, 2009

Abolish the Federal Reserve System – A Huge Impediment to Human Freedom, Dignity and Progress

This blog is full of odes to the dignity and greatness of humanity, and blessings for those who have labored in anonymity and persecution to bring about this potential in all beings for the benefit of mankind. As a result, it has been littered with the refuse of the bigoted and unintellectual comments of those who precisely have struggled to prevent mankind from developing freedom from servitude. True to their technique of dissimulation, that have set about accusing others of the very thing they seek, and, as George Orwell so delicately imaged it, continued to misuse language deliberately and frankly calling white “black” and day “night”, so as to keep the very systems in place which hold back human progress.

But something very important has happened this month in American history, perhaps as important as the Civil War if not more so, in that it involves the potential unraveling of the world slavery system –

The Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009 (H.R. 1207), a bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives of the 111th United States Congress by Congressman Ron Paul (TX-14). The bill proposes a reformed audit of the Federal Reserve System (the “Fed”) before the end of 2010. I would encourage each and every American to support this bill and restore our free government.

The Federal Reserve Act (ch. 6, 38 Stat. 251, enacted December 23, 1913, 12 U.S.C. ch.3) is the act of Congress that created the Federal Reserve System, the central banking system of the United States of America, which was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson. Before the 1913 establishment of the Federal Reserve, the banking system had dealt with periodic crises (such as in the Panic of 1907) by suspending the convertibility of deposits into currency. The system nearly collapsed in 1907 and there was an extraordinary intervention by an ad-hoc coalition assembled by J. P. Morgan. The bankers demanded in 1910-1913 a central bank to address this structural weakness. The supposed idea [as illustrated by the critical scene in the Jimmy Stewart Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)] is to create a reserve of wealth to prevent bank runs. Let us say that Mr. Smith, a rich man, puts one million dollars into Bank XYZ. Now let us say the same Mr. Smith, now near death, has some sort of religious crisis and suddenly fears going to hell. He decides, therefore, to withdrawal his one million dollars all at once and give it away, so as to guarantee a trip to heaven. The problem is that Bank XYZ has actually loaned Mr. Smith’s money in the meantime to Ms. Hamptom’s flower business, the Gomez family’s mortgage, etc. So the bank doesn’t actually have the money at the bank to cover Mr. Smith’s sudden need for a withdrawal. If enough people does this at once, say because of a sudden fear about the future of the economy or whatever, that’s called a bank run. Similar situations in the past, such as in 1907, have caused severe economic crisis and a critical loss of confidence in the bank industry, currency as a means of trade, etc. In times of economic crisis, individuals often want to withdraw their money to put it into tangibles such as land or gold. This tendency has a way, from the bank industry’s point of view in particular, of magnifying sudden panics or losses of confidence in what is essentially a house of cards. The Federal Reserve was supposedly created to thereby serve as a pool of funds that Bank XYZ could call upon to honor Mr. Smith’s sudden withdrawal. In that way, it was supposed to stabilize the United States against economic crisis. Unfortunately, there were no crises to defend against except for a suspect and immoral usury system being shaken anyway, and all the Federal Reserve System really did was create a system of world-wide slavery and episodic economic crisis. By merely asking the Federal Reserve to have transparency, to show us, the American people what they really are and what they are really doing and for whom, Ron Paul has subtlety and cleverly forced the hand of a most corrupt and evil system of domination by an immoral few at a time when their machinations are most visible in their effect and most susceptible to destruction.

Federal Reserve System is “an independent entity within the government, having both public purposes and private aspects”. In particular, neither the Federal Reserve System nor its component banks are overseen or controlled by the US Federal Government, but bluntly act as loan-sharks to banks across the US.
According to the Federal Reserve acts and amendments over the years, there are presently five different parts of the Federal Reserve System:
1.The presidentially appointed Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, a governmental agency in Washington, D.C.
2.The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which oversees Open Market Operations, the principal tool of national monetary policy.
3.Twelve regional privately-owned Federal Reserve Banks located in major cities throughout the nation, which divide the nation into 12 districts, each with its own nine-member board of directors.
4.Numerous other private U.S. member banks, which have required amounts of stock in their regional Federal Reserve Banks, which does pay dividends like any other stock, but cannot be bought or sold publicly on the stocks.
5.Various mysterious advisory councils which provide some sort of sinister coordination or planning to this multi-tentacled and unaudited process.

It is widely believed that Woodrow Wilson rushed the system into law after election largely for the economic benefit of financial entities that contributed heavily to his election campaign. Oddly enough, while he is often portrayed as being pushed into this by lust for power and with remorse, as being our only president with a PhD, he left behind political writings that reveal a distaste for freedom and a desire for a more tyrannical system which abolished the founding father’s system of branches of government with checks and balances long before he ever held office. Under the influence of Walter Bagehot’s The English Constitution, Wilson saw the United States Constitution as pre-modern, cumbersome, and open to corruption. He wrote in the early 1880s:
“I ask you to put this question to yourselves, should we not draw the Executive and Legislature closer together? Should we not, on the one hand, give the individual leaders of opinion in Congress a better chance to have an intimate part in determining who should be president, and the president, on the other hand, a better chance to approve himself a statesman, and his advisers capable men of affairs, in the guidance of Congress?”

The first chairman of the Fed, McAdoo, was an entrepreneur. He was the president of the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad Company, which built the tubes connecting Manhattan and Hoboken and operated by PATH today. He worked on Wilson’s 1912 presidential campaign as noted earlier. Wilson named him Treasury Secretary in 1913. And in March 1914, he became engaged to Wilson’s daughter. So the president was also his soon-to-be father-in-law, quite the incestuous relationship with controlling monetary policy Wilson had hoped to have in the first place. In fact, in the picture beginning this article, McAdoo’s armband is worn to commemorate the death, four days earlier, of his mother-in-law, Ellen Axson Wilson, and some say the death of capitalism and human freedom in general. Interesting other facts about the above picture are that the standing gentleman is Paul Warburg of Hamburg, Germany, of a successful Jewish banking family. He is also of the family banking firm of M.M. Warburg & Company, still a member bank of the Fed, and chairman of Wells Fargo, still receiving Fed handouts to this day. He is also the founder of the Brookings Institute, still one of the aforementioned advisory councils of the Fed to this day!

In addition to controlling the American economy, the Federal Reserve has the authority to act as “lender of last resort” by extending credit to depository institutions or to other entities in unusual circumstances involving a national or regional emergency, such as an economic crisis, where failure to obtain credit would have a severe adverse impact on the economy.

Through its discount and credit operations, Reserve Banks provide liquidity to banks to meet short-term needs stemming from seasonal fluctuations in deposits or unexpected withdrawals. Longer term liquidity may also be provided in exceptional circumstances. The Fed is able to make money through these loans by charging a rate, known as the discount rate (officially the primary credit rate).

By making these loans, the Fed serves as a buffer against unexpected day-to-day fluctuations in reserve demand and supply. This contributes to the effective functioning of the banking system, alleviates pressure in the reserves market and reduces the extent of unexpected movements in the interest rates. For example, on September 16, 2008, the Federal Reserve Board authorized an $85 billion loan to stave off the bankruptcy of international insurance giant American International Group (AIG). The Federal Reserve System’s role as lender of last resort is criticized for shifting risk and responsibility away from lenders and borrowers and placing them on others, namely us middle-class taxpayers, in the form of taxes and/or inflation. This enables the banks and companies that are bailed out to avoid responsible management at our expense, and enables the banks that are doing the rescuing to actually profit from these transactions at our expense, not through any penalty or consequence of the offending institution.

Interestingly, the Fed also has over $11 billion in gold, which is a holdover from the days the government used to back US Notes and Federal Reserve Notes with gold. This means that in times of economic crisis, when tangibles such as gold rise greatly in value, the Fed sees a profit in the rise of the value of its holdings. The Fed has approximately a tenth of the world’s gold, and the member banks are estimated to trade approximately 75% of the world’s foreign exchange trade, or Forex market, while at the same time being able to control the value of the dollar vis a vis other currencies at will. The value of gold held by the Fed at this time of high gold value is around $310 trillion, and represents almost 80% of the world’s gold supply, which can be bought or sold as needed.

So what we are talking about is a group of private banks and companies in the hands of a few families, a surprising number of which are not United States corporations or citizens, many of whom have a similar degree of control over their own countries economic policy and national banking, capable of profiting greatly by economic crisis which they are capable of manufacturing by means of their hold of the reins of economic policy. In fact, the periodic economic cycles we are experiencing over time are in fact a by-product of the policy of those capable of profiting from these crises.
The Federal Reserve’s control of interest rates is an unnecessary and counterproductive interference in the economy. Rates should be naturally low during times of excessive consumer saving (because lendable money is abundant) and naturally high when high net volumes of consumer credit are extended (because lendable money is scarce). These critics argue that setting a baseline lending rate amounts to centralized economic planning, and inflating the currency amounts to a regressive, incremental redistribution of wealth.

Austrian School economists focus on the amplifying, “wave-like” effects of the credit cycle as the primary cause of most business cycles. They assert that inherently damaging and ineffective central bank policies, like those of the Federal Reserve, are the predominant cause of most business cycles, because they tend to set interest rates unnaturally low for too long, resulting in excessive credit creation, speculative “bubbles” and unnaturally low savings. The business cycle unfolds in the following way. Low interest rates tend to stimulate borrowing from the banking system. This expansion of credit causes an expansion of the money supply, through the money creation process in a fractional reserve banking system. This in turn leads to an unsustainable “monetary boom” during which the “artificially stimulated” borrowing seeks out diminishing investment opportunities. This boom results in widespread failed investment, causing capital resources to be misallocated into areas which would not attract investment if the money supply remained stable. The global economic crisis of 2008 represents an example of the Austrian business cycle theory’s dependability.
It is also a widely-accepted criticism of the Fed, first proposed by Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz, that the Fed exacerbated the 1929 recession, sparking the Great Depression. After the stock market crashed in 1929, the Fed continued to contract the money supply and refused to save struggling banks threatened with runs from failure; this mistake, critics charge, allowed what might have been a relatively mild recession to explode into catastrophe, as discussed in their work A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960. The Great Depression was caused by the fall of the money supply. Friedman & Schwartz note that “[f]rom the cyclical peak in August 1929 to a cyclical trough in March 1933, the stock of money fell by over a third.” The result was what Friedman calls the “Great Contraction” — a period of falling income, prices, and employment caused by the choking effects of a restricted money supply. The mechanism suggested by Friedman and Schwartz was that people wanted to hold more money than the Federal Reserve was supplying. People thus hoarded money by consuming less. This, in turn, caused a contraction in employment and production, since prices were not flexible enough to immediately fall.

The current Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, even acknowledged this in a 2002 speech:

Let me end my talk by abusing slightly my status as an official representative of the Federal Reserve. I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding the Great Depression. You’re right, we did it. We’re very sorry. But thanks to you, we won’t do it again.

I think I would prefer to audit their actions in the future rather than take their “good word,” especially as it has occurred repeatedly since then, particularly when the next generation of beneficiaries of these few families needs to yet again harvest the work and ideas of the world for the continuation of their parasitic life-cycle.

In a 2002 interview with Peter Jaworski, Friedman said that ideally he would “prefer to abolish the federal reserve system altogether” rather than try to reform it, because it was a flawed system in the first place. He would prefer to replace the organization with a mechanical system that would increase the money supply at some fixed rate, and thought that “leaving monetary and banking arrangements to the market would have produced a more satisfactory outcome than was actually achieved through government involvement.” I would have to agree. But I must say that Ron Paul’s urgent plea that the American people at least be allowed to be informed as to the workings of the Federal Reserve is certainly logical and virtually unarguable, especially if the workings of the Fed involve the periodic construction of waves of starving families and ruined lives for the benefit of a few families around the world, as they appear to.

You see, there is no witchcraft. The controlling influences are a handful of WASP and Jewish families, about 50/50, who no doubt boringly and dutifully attend their weekly church or synagogue services. After all, what need is there for the drinking of goat’s blood or black masses when you can watch infants starve and grown men bleed tears for their dying wives while you dine on gold-leaf cake? The organization of Adam Weishaupt and it’s members such as Goethe and the founding fathers like Thomas Jefferson in their Joseph Campbellian embrace of humanism have little to do with these fascist machinations. Indeed the forces of the Enlightenment, the lovers of classical culture, and Jesuits and Catholic scholars such as myself and John Kennedy have always stood in stark battle against the forces of totalitarianism and degradors of human freedom. This is why John Kennedy was shot in the first place, for railing against the Fed and endorsing human freedom, potential and the brotherhood of man. Compare this to Woodrow Wilson, author of the Federal Reserve, abolisher of the design of our illuminated founding fathers, and acknowledged Klansman. Listening to the speech below, remember that Kennedy was killed for daring to cry out for change, and let his martyrdom not be in vain. Join Ron Paul and myself and call your representative today and insist on transparency for the Federal Reserve and begin the end of human slavery to a greedy and unintelligent few.

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To the Climate Vulnerable Nations, The Danger is Not in Doubt

Posted by honestpoet on November 19, 2009

My fellow Thinking Blogger Greenfyre argues with climate change deniers who would like to pretend that climate change is a political issue and not any kind of reality. But for climate vulnerable nations like The Maldives, there is no doubt about the dangers that are immanent. Whole populations will disappear if we don’t do something. Here’s a video of their President Nasheed making a moving speech appealing to the leaders of fellow vulnerable nations at the recent Climate Vulnerable Forum to act to make carbon neutrality a reality as soon as possible.

As he points out, approaching the issue as we are, each nation clinging to their “right” to high carbon emissions, is like signing a global suicide pact.

Please show your support. Go here to 350.org to sign the Climate Survival Pact in solidarity with President Nasheed and the rest of the climate vulnerable nations. And then do whatever you can in your own life, from the choices you make as a consumer to writing your representatives, letters to the editor, etc., to urge your leaders to do what they must in Copenhagen.

Posted in Building a Better World, climate change, Earth Justice, ecology, global warming | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why I love her

Posted by majutsu on November 15, 2009

Why I love her


Sheltered beneath this opened umbrella
a pituitary parasol of parabolic
colors, emanations of the unifying embrace
of her, loved before I knew her
whose hair strand is the corner of a market stand
in Darfur, a blinked eyelash at a family
dinner table of waspish mediocrity.
The inviolability of sufficient for our needs
screams like a stark reminder of the march
of sensory soldiers
unified only by a pole of
consciousness, the arbitrary skin fences
of yours and my stories
mere wisps of ether ,
vortices in her dance.

Mary with her ragged clothes
and unknown violation
in that dark night of the soul
mirrored in her almost bottomless almond eyes
the horror of every woman
afraid to show her face beneath her veil,
her intellect beneath her subjegation,
that vast moonlight of divinity reflected
in softest cafe au lait skin
responding to electric touch,
whipping into a frenzy – energy itself ,
the male sword plunged against his brother’s breast
for the misdirection of cash, with nary
but the gliding of a palm
on a warm sensate field of short
dark hairs standing like soldiers
in obeisance of place and duty.

Who whipped her neck around,
like some awkward rubik’s cube?
Someone’s daughter or wife
in a parking lot
beneath the shadow conspired by two streetlights?
Who slit the insides of her thighs like an orange
peeled before a morning breakfast?
What monster did not see
her divinity, her beauty,
her sideways glance
as proof of her eternity,
her testimony to their evil, before
they laid the black tarp of autopsy over her
and laid her to rest out back of the old church?
The monstrous violation
of the goddess of us all,
the breather of life into our every broad armed inhalation,
was obvious to us later
in the funeral parade of silk and ceremony.

It is said by ancient tribes that in this willing death
she undergoes beneath my stabbing sword at night,
that petit mort under full moon’s watchful glow,
is a sacrifice of tears.
She is the queen of mercy
mother to a field of daughters laying down under a foreign sword
whose crop of babies are never born to suck
the nuzzle of this young girl’s older breast.

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The Chains that Bind – philosophical doggerel

Posted by majutsu on November 14, 2009

To break the chains that bind

Thracian Girl carrying the Head of Orpheus on his Lyre, by Gustave Moreau

A bird sings in the morning light
four chirps and a brief silence, a blight
of melody, let us not be tied to hate or like
or black or white
or day or night.
Let the crescent moon ring forth its reflected sunlight
of our working hands or running feet alight.
with the startling quakes that course our body when
pealed thunder strikes.
Unison voices singing together like
stopping a goal at a soccer match, bright
with red faced determination,
to love, to breathe,
to feel the chill wind race up our backs,
against our futile sleeves
that struggle against the sleep and cold,
against rain and lassitude that odd
determination to believe
in this human face
a young girl’s smile of slight relief
a small boy’s clenched fist
To overthrow that prickly wreath,
that tyranny of thoughtlessness.
The right to force our way
through walls of hate,
that sunrise on a morning hill -the curious belief
no matter how small
that we can overcome the division and strife
between here and there and somehow meet
in this common journey.
That staff pounding on the ground
like an unshaken heartbeat,
a steady knock of reason at the feet
of our those stone human statues, closed hearts walled off
with disbelief
in the magical, the transcendent,the over-
coming of that which cannot be.
That new dawn, the era of every greased
hard-working chin, piped veins pumping
through every flexed arm. The hope that we
can rise above what we are in pieces
in someone’s child’s half-peeled scalp to seek
that golden handshake or stolen kiss.
A tomorrow that shakes without boundaries,
without age , gender, or color.
Unsteady as an aspen tree
or a wave of wind through some new crop of wheat.
A tomorrow that comes with love,
union and belief
that those who do not now dare now share our tongue
might someday speak
tomorrow’s orange glow
of sonorous peace.

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New to the Blogroll: Beyond Intractibility

Posted by honestpoet on November 7, 2009

Here’s a great website devoted to encouraging more constructive ways of dealing with difference. I’ll be adding it under “Building a Better World.” I found it looking for a synopsis of Jimmy Carter’s excellent book, Our Endangered Values.

Posted in Building a Better World, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »