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Truth To Power

the strong do as they wish, and the weak suffer as they must

Archive for July, 2009

Audit the fed they say

Friday, July 31st, 2009

75% Favor Auditing The Fed

So much for the ongoing secrecy of the nation’s independent central banking system. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 75% of Americans favor auditing the Federal Reserve and making the results available to the public.

Over half the members of the House now support a bill giving the Government Accounting Office, Congress’ investigative agency, the authorization to audit the books of the Federal Reserve Board.

Support for the bill has grown now that the Obama administration is proposing to give the Fed greater economic regulatory powers. The Fed which sets U.S. monetary policy was created as an independent agency to keep it free of politically-motivated interference.

The last line is funny as hell, ain’t it? And frankly, I’m surprised that 75% of the people polled even knew what the Fed is.

The Kinks, brought to you by…the Krays?

Friday, July 31st, 2009

The Kinks were approached to be managed by notorious criminals the Kray twins in the 60s, singer Ray Davies has revealed.

Reggie and Ronnie Kray reportedly tried to set up a meeting with The Kinks as Davies explains: “Our managers at the time were stockbroker types. They had a visit from someone in the Kray organization saying they were interested in managing us. They also asked if Mick Avory would be available for a date. It wouldn’t have been beneath our managers to strike a deal. The mind boggles.”

Ray adds that Reggie Kray contacted him again in 1998, after his solo track “London Song” referenced the brothers. Davies says: “I received a phone call from Her Majesty’s Prison saying how much he liked it.”

Liquidating our empire

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Three Good Reasons To Liquidate Our Empire and 10 Ways to Do It

Chalmers Johnson

According to the 2008 official Pentagon inventory of our military bases around the world, our empire consists of 865 facilities in more than 40 countries and overseas U.S. territories. We deploy over 190,000 troops in 46 countries and territories. In just one such country, Japan, at the end of March 2008, we still had 99,295 people connected to U.S. military forces living and working there — 49,364 members of our armed services, 45,753 dependent family members, and 4,178 civilian employees. Some 13,975 of these were crowded into the small island of Okinawa, the largest concentration of foreign troops anywhere in Japan.

These massive concentrations of American military power outside the United States are not needed for our defense. They are, if anything, a prime contributor to our numerous conflicts with other countries. They are also unimaginably expensive. According to Anita Dancs, an analyst for the website Foreign Policy in Focus, the United States spends approximately $250 billion each year maintaining its global military presence. The sole purpose of this is to give us hegemony — that is, control or dominance — over as many nations on the planet as possible.

The GOP: Too stupid to be ashamed

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

From the “yeah, he really said that” dept:

David Vitter: ‘I’m on the side of conservatives getting back to core conservative values.’

Earlier this week, Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) told the Columbus Dispatch that the GOP was “being taken over by southerners” and that the party has “too many Jim DeMints and Tom Coburns.” Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) responded today by slamming his colleague for being a “moderate, really wishy-washy” Republican. Vitter decried the influence of “moderates” in his party, saying that the GOP has not stuck to “core conservative values:”

I’m on the side of conservatives getting back to core conservative values,” said Mr. Vitter, Louisiana Republican and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “There are a lot of us from the South who hold those values, which I think the party is supposed to be about. We strayed from them in the past few years, and that’s why we performed so badly in the national elections.”

Seriously. People lacking any sense of self awareness or shame are really too stupid to operate a toaster, much less Congress.

No mass vaccinations says gov

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Swine flu vaccine for ‘half US’

About half the US population should be vaccinated against the H1N1 virus with pregnant women and health workers the top priority, US officials have said.

A US government advisory committee said health officials should prepare to vaccinate 160 million people.

The vaccination campaign, which will involve two doses of vaccine per person, is due to begin in mid-October.

In the event that not enough vaccine is available, a tighter group of high-risk patients will receive it.

This group also includes people who care for babies, health workers and children between the age of six months and four years.

While 160 million people are a bunch, certainly, this isn’t the specter of mass forced vaccinations many were fearing. Granted, nobody I know is going to be taking any drug our government hands out, and you ain’t gonna make us, either.

Lets just toss econ 101 out the frackin’ window

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

CFTC: Speculators caused 2008 oil price crisis

In a major U-turn from its claims during the Bush administration, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is now set to admit that speculation in oil markets — and not the forces of supply and demand — are behind last year’s massive oil price spike.

In the summer of 2008, oil prices on the open market reached an unprecedented $147 per barrel. Many economists argue the spike helped push the US into an economic free-fall last autumn.

Its stories like this that make me want to smack all those dimwits nattering about “free markets” and a “capitalistic system” in the head. America- nay- the world- is not a free market system, as long as a bunch of guys in a room can divorce the marketplace from the rules of the marketplace. Anyone with a dollop of common sense realized that last years price gouging at the pump wasn’t the result of supply and demand- it was simply pigs at the trough, full tilt boogie on greed.

More regulations? Nah. Shotguns in board rooms? Yeah.

Now this is nice

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Purdy, eh?

flowers

Happy almost bday, LH!

Are Nixon’s secrets about to be revealed?

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

CSI: Watergate
Has an amateur historian found the key to the lost 18 ½ minutes?

ON JUNE 20, 1972, President Richard Nixon and his chief of staff, H.R. “Bob” Haldeman, met in Nixon’s hideaway office at the Old Executive Office Building. Three days earlier, White House-connected dirty tricksters had been nabbed breaking into the Democratic National Committee’s Watergate offices, and the 79-minute-long conversation—with Nixon’s secret taping system running and Haldeman taking his typically meticulous notes on a tablet of yellow lined paper with a ballpoint pen—at one point turned toward the break-in and how to craft a counterattack. What exactly the two men said to one another would become one of the great political mysteries of the 20th century: Sometime during the Watergate scandal, 18 ½ minutes were suspiciously erased from the tape recording of this meeting.

Many have since tried to figure out what transpired during that gap. But now, Phil Mellinger, a one-time systems analyst at the National Security Agency (NSA) who went on to a career in high-tech corporate security, thinks he has discovered a way to determine what was wiped off the tape. And the National Archives believes he’s on to something. In response to a request from Mellinger, the Archives unit in charge of the Watergate files has proposed conducting a scientific test that could yield information on what was said during the missing minutes. This procedure would not, as has been tried unsuccessfully in the past, seek to recover the obliterated audio. Mellinger’s approach takes a simpler route: resurrecting Haldeman’s notes via a CSI-ish technology that can extract information from the imprints made by a ballpoint pen.

As for the big picture, Mellinger theorized that what had propelled the Watergate burglary was Nixon’s fear that the Democrats possessed evidence that he had covertly sabotaged Vietnam peace negotiations to boost his election chances in 1968. (Tapes of President Lyndon Johnson’s telephone conversations released last year show that Johnson suspected as much.)

Fascinating stuff. Too bad when revealed no one will pay too much notice- 1972 is ancient history to the 24/7 cycle of babble. Who cares if Nixon was a tyrant that subverted democracy in his unending quest for power, and who spawned the loathsome likes of Dick Cheney, and began our economic decline when he dropped the gold standard. Or let a better scribe than I say it:

Nixon will be remembered as a classic case of a smart man shitting in his own nest. But he also shit in our nests, and that was the crime that history will burn on his memory like a brand. By disgracing and degrading the Presidency of the United States, by fleeing the White House like a diseased cur, Richard Nixon broke the heart of the American Dream. His body should have been burned in a trash bin.

Hunter Thompson

Brits sued over rendition

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

UK Government to be Sued For Involvement in CIA Rendition Program

A former detainee at Guantanamo Bay, now living back in Pakistan, claims the CIA plane that took him to be interrogated in Egypt stopped to refuel on the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, where the U.S. has an air base.

Mohamed Saad Iqbal Madni is filing a lawsuit in the High Court in London that alleges the stopover makes the British complicit in the torture he received at the hands of the Egyptians and Americans – and, moreover, the British government now has a duty to help him win justice.

“A duty to help him win justice”. That’s cute. If the British government cared about justice, they wouldn’t have taken part in the practice of rendition, would they?

Manson and Spector: Jailhouse rock?

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

CHARLES MANSON’S OVERTURE TO PHIL SPECTOR

CHARLES Manson — a third-rate musician before he turned homicidal cult leader — still has twisted delusions about becoming a pop star and wants to consult with fellow jailbird Phil Spector.

Rachelle Spector says her legendary music-producer hubby, now serving 19 years to life for the fatal shooting of actress Lara Clarkson, was recently transferred to Corcoran State Prison in central California, where Manson — who masterminded the savage Tate/LaBianca killings 40 years ago — is housed in a separate wing.

Soon after he settled in, “a guard brought Philip a note from Manson, who said he wanted him to come over to his [lockup]. He said he considers Philip the greatest producer who ever lived,” Rachelle told Page Six. “It was creepy. Philip didn’t respond.”

Dang. That woulda been something.