Saturday, December 13, 2008


...and "default" on their "debts," the bankers would be powerless. Correa has a good slogan: "Life before debt." Here's the story:

" GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador, Dec 12 (Reuters) - President Rafael Correa declared a default on Ecuador's foreign sovereign bonds on Friday, vowing to fight "monster" debt-holders in court in one of most aggressive moves against investors in the region for years.

Ecuador's dollar-denominated debt prices plunged on news of its second default in a decade and the first in Latin America since Argentina in 2002, although the decision was not expected to lead to similar moves around the region.

Correa, a U.S.-trained economist and ally of Venezuela's anti-U.S. President Hugo Chavez, refused to make a $31 million interest payment due on Monday on 2012 global bonds, saying the debt was contracted illegally by a previous administration.

"I gave the order not to pay the interest and to go into default," Correa said. "We know very well who we are up against -- real monsters.""

Correa is right--these "creditors" are monsters. Interest is nothing short of robbery, especially when it's supposed to be paid on fake money, which is what this "debt" is.

Monday, December 08, 2008


I don't have any either. This New York Times story illustrates why:

"During the economic expansion that lasted from 2001 until December 2007, when the recession began, incomes for most households barely outpaced inflation. It was the weakest income growth in any expansion since World War II."

Most people's income just barely kept up with inflation. That was over a year ago. With the gas prices of this past year, it would probably be accurate to say that the income of many, if not most, households did not "outpace" inflation.

Bailout Commitments=Coming Hyperflation?

The bailout of our fraudulent financial system is just over 2 months old (awww...look at the little's so cute...cute wittle bailout) and over $7 trillion dollars have been committed to various institutions. A study by Casey Research (whoever that is) has determined that the bailout costs "more than all U.S. wars and many big programs combined."

That's at least $24,000 for every person in America.

And that much new money floating around the economy is going to cause hyperinflation, possibly on par with that of the Weimar Republic. And then no one's income will outpace inflation.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Here's how you can tell--just read the first sentence of this article:

"WASHINGTON (AFP) — Terrorists are "likely" to use nuclear or biological weapons in the next five years, a US commission warned, highlighting Pakistan as the weakest link in world security."

Seems someone--our government, natch--is trying to set up Pakistan. Again, that's a country that Obama singled out for saber-rattling during his campaign.

And note how this report dovetails so nicely with the announcement of 20,000 troops to be stationed in the U.S., with blame being assigned to Pakistan for the Mumbai attack, with the warnings from Colin Powell and others that January 21st or 22nd specifically, but Obama's first few months in office generally will be a time of testing for Obama and the U.S.

Oh dear.

India says a Pakistani guy did it:

MUMBAI -- India has accused a senior leader of the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba of orchestrating last week's terror attacks that killed at least 172 people here, and demanded the Pakistani government turn him over and take action against the group.

Just two days before hitting the city, the group of 10 terrorists who ravaged India's financial capital communicated with Yusuf Muzammil and four other Lashkar leaders via a satellite phone that they left behind on a fishing trawler they hijacked to get to Mumbai, a senior Mumbai police official told The Wall Street Journal. The entire group also underwent rigorous training in a Lashkar-e-Taiba camp in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, the official said.

Mr. Muzammil had earlier been in touch with an Indian Muslim extremist who scoped out Mumbai locations for possible attack before he was arrested early this year, said another senior Indian police official. The Indian man, Faheem Ahmed Ansari, had in his possession layouts drawn up for the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower hotel and Mumbai's main railway station, both prime targets of last week's attack, the police official said.

Mr. Ansari, who also made sketches and maps of locations in southern Mumbai that weren't attacked, had met Mr. Muzammil and trained at the same Lashkar camp as the terrorists in last week's attack, an official said.

U.S. officials agreed that Mr. Muzammil was a focus of their attention in the attacks, though they stopped short of calling him the mastermind. "That is a name that is definitely on the radar screen," a U.S. counterterrorism official said.

Information gathered in the probe also continues to point to a connection to Lashkar-e-Taiba, that official said. Along with a confession from the one gunman captured in the attacks, officials cited phone calls intercepted by satellite during the attacks that connected the assailants to members of Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan, and the recovered satellite phone from the boat.

It also emerged Tuesday that U.S. authorities had warned Indian officials of a pending attack by sea.
Hasan Gafoor, Mumbai police commissioner, told reporters there was a general warning issued in September that hotels could be targeted as well, after the bombing of the Marriot Hotel in Islamabad.

Pakistan says they had nothing to do with it:

WASHINGTON: President Asif Ali Zardari said Tuesday that Pakistan was not involved in the lethal attacks on Mumbai last week.

"I think these are stateless actors who have been operating all throughout the region," Zardari said on U.S. based television channel in an interview aired Tuesday night. "The gunmen plus the planners, whoever they are stateless actors who have been holding hostage the whole world."

President Asif Ali Zardari informed that it was wrong to put blame on Pakistan as the person arrested has no connection with Pakistan and he does not posses Pakistani nationality.

Indian officials have publicly blamed Pakistani militants for the attacks, and called on Pakistan to hand over a group of wanted militant leaders suspected of plotting them. On Tuesday, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi proposed a joint investigation into the attacks and said, "This is not the time to point fingers."

Zardari confirmed he is willing to have Pakistani security officials participate with India in a joint investigation.

"The state of Pakistan is in no way responsible," he told media "Even the White House and the American CIA have said that today. The state of Pakistan is, of course, not involved. We’re part of the victims. I’m a victim. The state of Pakistan is a victim. We are the victims of this war, and I am sorry for the Indians, and I feel sorry for them."

India and Pakistan. Both our allies and each other's mortal enemies. And both nuclear powers. Obama said even before this happened that he'd be willing to strike Pakistan if necessary.

Oh dear.

Forgot to include this info in the post below. The London Telegraph quotes a leaked internal memo from Tom Fitzpatrick, the chief technical strategist for Citigroup in which he validates the "Troops + Recession=Mayday" scenario:

The bank said the damage caused by the financial excesses of the last quarter century was forcing the world's authorities to take steps that had never been tried before.

This gamble was likely to end in one of two extreme ways: with either a resurgence of inflation; or a downward spiral into depression, civil disorder, and possibly wars. Both outcomes will cause a rush for gold.

"They are throwing the kitchen sink at this," said Tom Fitzpatrick, the bank's chief technical strategist.

"The world is not going back to normal after the magnitude of what they have done. When the dust settles this will either work, and the money they have pushed into the system will feed though into an inflation shock.

"Or it will not work because too much damage has already been done, and we will see continued financial deterioration, causing further economic deterioration, with the risk of a feedback loop. We don't think this is the more likely outcome, but as each week and month passes, there is a growing danger of vicious circle as confidence erodes," he said.

"This will lead to political instability. We are already seeing countries on the periphery of Europe under severe stress. Some leaders are now at record levels of unpopularity. There is a risk of domestic unrest, starting with strikes because people are feeling disenfranchised."

"What happens if there is a meltdown in a country like Pakistan, which is a nuclear power. People react when they have their backs to the wall. We're already seeing doubts emerge about the sovereign debts of developed AAA-rated countries, which is not something you can ignore," he said.

Collapse of 2009

Gerald Celente has been in the news lately, mostly because he makes accurate predictions. I'll let the article take it from there:

The country’s top trends forecaster, who accurately predicted the “panic” of 2008 nearly a year before it unfolded, is now ominously suggesting that next year will come to be known as “the collapse of 2009″.

Gerald Celente, CEO of Trends Research Institute, sent out a letter to his subscribers announcing that he had purchased a domain name called “”.

Around this time last year, Celente sent the following message to his subscribers:

"In 2008, Americans will wake up to the worst economic times that anyone alive has ever seen. And they won’t know what hit them. Just as they were in a state of shock on 9/11, they’ll be frozen in fear when the Economic 9/11 strikes at the heart of Wall Street.

Dismiss this trend forecast at your own peril. If you believe everything will be all right, and that the ship of state is sailing along just fine, toss this out and go about your business."

Having correctly forecast the “Economic 9/11″, Celente is warning that people should prepare for something much worse in 2009.

As we reported last month, Celente recently told Fox News that by 2012 America will become an undeveloped nation, that there will be a revolution marked by food riots, squatter rebellions, tax revolts and job marches, and that holidays will be more about obtaining food, not gifts.

Celente’s accuracy is widely heralded since he correctly predicted the 1997 Asian Currency Crisis, the subprime mortgage collapse and the massive devaluation of the U.S. dollar.

In 2007, Celente forewarned that “giants (would) tumble to their deaths,” which is exactly what we have witnessed with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and others.

Celente has stated that the current financial downturn will ultimately lead to nothing less than revolution.

“There will be a revolution in this country,” he said. “It’s not going to come yet, but it’s going to come down the line and we’re going to see a third party and this was the catalyst for it: the takeover of Washington, D. C., in broad daylight by Wall Street in this bloodless coup. And it will happen as conditions continue to worsen.”

And so the police state approacheth...

The Washington Post says that 20,000 more U.S. troops will be stationed in the U.S. to "bolster domestic security."

"The U.S. military expects to have 20,000 uniformed troops inside the United States by 2011 trained to help state and local officials respond to a nuclear terrorist attack or other domestic catastrophe, according to Pentagon officials.

The long-planned shift in the Defense Department's role in homeland security was recently backed with funding and troop commitments after years of prodding by Congress and outside experts, defense analysts said. "

This is on top of the brigade that began its tour of the "homeland" over two months ago. I cartooned about that here:

Didn't Bush "keep us safe?"

But why is this happening now? What happened to the argument that "Bush kept us safe" from a terror attack for the last 7+ years? We didn't have the U.S. military stationed here for "domestic security" or "civil unrest" and "crowd control" during that time. I thought it was all the warrantless spying and the Patriot Act and all that other crapola that kept us safe, not troops in the streets.

"Recession" is the key

The reason they're moving the troops in at this juncture, then, is obviously because the economy is collapsing. Even though it was completely unnecessary, it was officially declared yesterday that we've been in a recession since December 2007.

People are starting to freak out. The cost of literally everything is going up, and people are already in debt beyond all semblance of their ability to pay. They have no savings, me included. The unemployment rate continues to climb. Even those who did have investments, i.e., real estate and stocks, have seen the value of those investments simply disappear into thin air.

Eventually people are going to do something about it. Hopefully it will be peaceful--my personal favorite option--but it may not be. Well, not to worry, says the Federal Reserve (the main culprit of all these shenanigans), we've got U.S. troops right here in America to enforce "domestic security." But the security being enforced will be for the bankers, not for the people.

The people are trained to think they're "safe" and "secure" as long as there are no ghastly terror attacks. Meanwhile, the security and safety of our finances, our civil liberties, our health--literally everything else--is being attacked and eroded.

God help us.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Thought I'd share a nice letter I ran across today. It's right in line with a letter to the editor that appeared today in my local paper.

Here's a nice letter I ran across today that I thought I'd share with the group:

"Thank you, President Bush.

Thanks for legalizing torture.
Thanks for getting rid of habeas corpus.
Thanks for the "unitary executive" theory.
Thanks for making every man, woman, and child in America give $24,000 to private corporations and banks.
Thanks for the increase in poverty and hunger.
Thanks for the millions of dead and wounded soldiers and civilians.
Thanks for keeping us safe.
Thanks for the no-bid contracts.
Thanks for your response to Katrina.
Thanks the warrantless wiretapping and the telecom immunity.
Thanks for helping us undermine that pesky constitution.
Thanks for overturning posse comitatus.
Thanks for NSPD 51.
Thanks for the record average gas prices.
Thanks for kissing and holding hands with dictators and terrorists.
Thanks for invading countries that had nothing to do with 9/11.

Your friend,

The Military-Industrial Complex"

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


And so the propping up of the fraudulent, predatory system known as the "free market" continues. Everybody's getting billions of handouts except the people who need it--you and me.

The money passed out since the bailout passed just a few weeks ago after Congress was threatened with a depression and martial law (both of which were/are likely to come down the pike sooner or later even with a bailout) now comes to a grand total, according to this article, of basically $5 trillion. Here's the horrific breakdown:
Jim Bianco of Bianco Research crunched the inflation adjusted numbers. The bailout has cost more than all of these big budget government expenditures – combined:

• Marshall Plan: Cost: $12.7 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $115.3 billion
• Louisiana Purchase: Cost: $15 million, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $217 billion
• Race to the Moon: Cost: $36.4 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $237 billion
• S&L Crisis: Cost: $153 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $256 billion
• Korean War: Cost: $54 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $454 billion
• The New Deal: Cost: $32 billion (Est), Inflation Adjusted Cost: $500 billion (Est)
• Invasion of Iraq: Cost: $551b, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $597 billion
• Vietnam War: Cost: $111 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $698 billion
• NASA: Cost: $416.7 billion, Inflation Adjusted Cost: $851.2 billion

TOTAL: $3.92 trillion

The bailout, in the 6 to 8 weeks since it was passed, has cost more than our involvement in WWII!

You just gave these criminals $24,000...

...and so did everyone else you know (according to Bloomberg). My household, then, has contributed $72,000 to these private banks and corporations. That's $72,000 grand we ain't got, quite simply. This is going to cause massive inflation--how can $5-7 trillion dollars in free money to banks in less than two months not cause hyperinflation? Bloomberg points out that

"Federal Reserve lending last week was 1,900 times the weekly average for the three years before the crisis."

People, not banks, create money

So in effect what is happening, as I've pointed out in previous posts, is that we are giving banks money so they can then turn around and lend it back to us. Kashkari told us that helping people directly with the bailout money would keep it from going very far and wouldn't help people to get the credit they need. Well, if my family was given its $72,000 directly, that'd go a long way toward helping us out. We don't need credit. CREDIT CREATES DEBT, WHICH IS WHAT THEY WANT.

Oh, I can't take this...I gotta go to bed. But first, one more short post about Afghanistan...

...but not for the reason they say it is. According to this article, 44% of Ecuador's debt is to private banks. Ecuador has declared this and other foreign debts "illegitimate" because of the following:

"The commission found that usurious interest rates were applied for many bonds and that past Ecuadorian governments illegally took other loans on. Debt restructurings consistently forced Ecuador to take on more foreign debt to pay outstanding debt, and often at much higher interest rates. The commission also charged that the U.S. Federal Reserve's late 1970's interest rate hikes constituted a "unilateral" increase in global rates, compounding Ecuador's indebtedness."

Hey, those are all great reasons for Ecuador to declare its debt illegitimate. But, as we've seen, the overarching reason the debt is illegitimate is that the money loaned to them was fake. That is to say, it didn't and doesn't exist except as entries in computer databases.

So are we going to invade Ecuador?

The article notes that:

"Ecuador's findings could set an important precedent for the poorest of indebted countries, whose debt burden has long been criticized as inhumane."

Holy crap, that's the one thing the corporatists absolutely hate--setting an example for other countries, especially when the example being set is throwing off the chains of fraudulent debt slavery. Presidents are hunted down and killed and/or countries are invaded and/or overthrown via black ops for that kind of stuff.

U.S. declares debts illegitimate, why not Ecuador?

A former Ecuadorian government official points out the following:
"The United States itself has embraced the concept of illegitimate debt in encouraging countries to forgive the debt accrued in Iraq under Saddam Hussein."

Good point. Especially when one takes into account that the U.S. put Saddam in place to begin with.

The article makes a similar point:
"In fact, the U.S. originated the concept of foreign debt after the Spanish-American war. The U.S. refused to pay Cuba's outstanding debt to Spain, arguing that it was created by agents of Spain in Spain's self-interest, a matter in which Cubans had no say."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I have been led to believe my whole life that banks/finance companies lend money to people. I assume that most other people have been led to believe the same thing. But as we have seen, nothing could be further from the truth.

The Fed admits as much--in a roundabout way--in the quote I used below. Let's break it down again. Here's the quote:

"Banks actually create money when they lend it. Here's how it works: Most of a bank's loans are made to its own customers and are deposited in their checking accounts. Because the loan becomes a new deposit, just like a paycheck does, the bank once again holds a small percentage of that new amount in reserve and again lends the remainder to someone else, repeating the money-creation process many times."

First of all, despite the Fed's protestation to the contrary, "lending" does not create anything. By its very definition, the act of "lending" assumes that what is being lent already exists--in other words, one cannot lend something one does not have. That is to say, I can't lend someone a bicycle if I don't have a bicycle. I can't create a bicycle by lending someone a bicycle--it's impossible. So right off the bat, we can see that we are being misled because lending doesn't create anything. But this idea that money is created through bank lending is very pervasive. And this misconception is a fundamental part of the system under which we currently labor.

Okay, fine, but... is it that people lend to banks? Well, the Fed comes right out and says it--again, in a backhanded way. They point out that "loans" are made to bank customers and are then deposited in a checking account. The bank then uses that deposit as the engine to lend more money. So without saying it in so many words, the Fed is acknowledging that deposits lent to them by us are what they then use to lend.

In fact, every deposit of any kind into a bank is a loan to that bank from people. Without deposits, which are essentially and fundamentally loans from people to banks, the bank could do nothing, it would have no assets. So banks are helpless without the people. But we are always led to believe that in fact people are helpless without banks. That's the whole premise of the bailout--that if banks fail, people suffer. And that may be true if we insist on clinging irrationally to our current system in which we allow banks to dole out the money that is loaned to them by the people at great expense to the people.

A little more

Even with our current system, in which we all go along with the mass delusion that banks, not people, create money, it's still blatantly obvious that it is people that create money instead of banks. I used the illustration of an auto loan below to make this point but now let's illustrate the point with something more expensive, like a mortgage.

But first let's recap a little bit of what posts below mentioned. We already see, by the Fed's own admission, that "very little" of a bank's deposits is "kept in the bank's vault." In fact, they only keep enough on hand "to meet routine withdrawals." In other words, they don't have the money "on hand" at any given time to actually lend any significant amount of real money, i.e., cash. That's what the Fed is essentially saying.

So let's say Bill goes into the bank to get a mortgage loan on a $500K house. We already know that the bank doesn't have $500K in cash on hand to give to Bill to pay for his house. Their deposits, i.e., loans from people, may total many times more than that amount on paper, but they don't actually physically have that amount of money in cash on the day that Bill comes in for his loan.

So the bank judges Bill to be good for the "loan" and they have him fill out a promissory note stating that he will pay the bank the $500K plus interest. The bank then enters some digits into a computer and print Bill or Bill's attorney or real estate agent a check for the proper amount, which they don't have on hand, remember (by the way, if one doesn't have something "on hand," that necessarily means one doesn't have it, even if it is listed as an asset on a ledger book somewhere).

So the bank essentially writes a bad check to the owner of the house Bill wants. But under our current system, the bank's check--again, written for an amount that they do not currently have on hand--is made good by, guess who? Bill and his promise to pay. So the fact that Bill will be giving money to the bank for the next 30 years is viewed as being the same as cash by all parties involved. But that view does not change the fact that the bank does not have the $500K on hand at the time of the transaction.

Quite literally then, Bill is creating the amount of his loan himself by paying it in installments over the next 30 years. That is to say, he's literally loaning the bank the money to cover the bad check it wrote because they don't have the cash on hand to pay for Bill's house.

When looked at this way, one can understand the predatory and fraudulent nature of interest. Again, Bill does not have $500K on hand to pay for the house he wants, but neither does the bank! So because we have created the illusion that banks have the "divine right" of money creation, the bank now gets to charge Bill interest for lending them the money to pay for his house!

No one would ever agree to this system if they realized how it works, and that's why the Fed tells us that banks, not people, create money. But we have seen that the opposite is true--people, not banks, create money but the people have been suckered into letting banks charge them money for loaning money to banks.

So much for "Truth in Lending"...

Monday, November 17, 2008


OK, thought about it some more and have come to this conclusion: People, not banks, create money. The Fed site I quoted from below has it exactly backward, stating that "banks create money." That's what they want us to believe. However, that is false.

We know it's false because they go on to tell us that money is created through lending. Well, all right, but as I've pointed out, banks don't actually have the money to lend. The money is "created" by our "promise to pay" and our monthly installments, as in the car loan example I wrote about below. When the "loan" is paid in full, we have then created the amount of money we "borrowed," along with interest that wasn't created by any bank.

How to look at it

All money is created through our labor. In fact, labor is money. Banks don't do labor, people do. That's the ultimate reason why the bailout and the system it is trying to prop up are utter fraud. They want us to bail out banks because they tell us that it's banks that create money. That is completely false.

And that's why there is no need for a bailout. That's why there's no need, quite frankly, for banks. And that's why there's no need, ultimately, for money. Because our labor is money.

The questioning of Kashkari on Friday was a start, but it was only that. Kucinich and Issa didn't go far enough--even they appear to assume that the system is good for the most part and needs rescuing.

Fake money

However, as I've shown below, our system is based on fake money that creates only profit for banks and only debt for the public. Indeed, as we've seen, even the Federal Reserve admits that for a profit, banks lend money that they do not have on hand. You and I can't do that. And that's why we stay perpetually behind and they stay perpetually ahead.

But even if one accepts that this actual fake money is real, there was one burning question that none of the Congressmen asked, at least not that I saw. And that burning question is this: Why should taxpayers be forced to give a gift of money to banks that banks will then use to create only profit for themselves and only debt for the people who gave them the money to begin with?

This may seem like a silly question, but only if one accepts that Kashkari's precious system helps the public. However, we have seen quite clearly that the system does no such thing. Kashkari is pleading for the system to be maintained--that banks be given money by the taxpayers to issue credit in order to make a profit off of those taxpayers.

Kashkari makes the faulty assumption that helping needy people and businesses "directly" won't work. But that begs another unasked question that is related to the first unasked burning question mentioned above: Why not just give the taxpayer money to the taxpayers directly instead of giving it to a middleman (i.e., the banks) to dole out to us in order to make a profit for the middleman? In other words, instead of giving banks $750 billion (and really much more than that), why don't we just give it to ourselves?

The only answer to those questions is that the system must be preserved, which appears to be the assumption of all the Congressmen I saw questioning Kashkari. But as we've seen, the best way to really help the people instead of the banks is to dismantle the fraudulent, predatory system.

And dismantling the system would not be hard to do. It would be very, very easy, except for the fact that the public has been brainwashed a million times over into thinking that bankers have the divine right of money creation and that credit is necessary for life and the country to continue. Kashkari's comments indicate that credit is the answer to our problems when in fact credit is the problem.

Credit is the problem, not the solution

I'll say it again--credit is the problem, not the solution. If people had good jobs at good wages, they wouldn't need credit. If inflation wasn't through the roof, people wouldn't need credit. BUT, if no one needed credit, then the bankers would be out of work.

And the bankers don't want to be out of work. That's completely understandable because as we've seen, banks are allowed to create money without producing anything but debt, while the rest of us have to perform labor to have access to money. And in fact, it is only our labor that gives bankers their money. We are quite literally "working for the bank."

So the banks have an excellent scam going--they do and produce nothing while getting rich off of those of us who are performing labor.

Labor vs. capital

So that brings up the age-old fight between labor and capital. As we've seen, labor is the only thing that makes capital possible, yet in our system, labor is subservient to capital. This in inexplicably called "free market capitalism" and is extolled a billion times a day by presidents and pundits alike.

But if we were to put capital in its rightful place, i.e., subservient to labor, that would be and is called "godless communism" and is disparaged a billion times a day by presidents and pundits alike.

So we've been conditioned, brainwashed, taught--pick your term--to think that capital, i.e., the financiers/bankers/middlemen are what allow us to exist when in fact THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE IS TRUE. It was Abraham Lincoln who said

"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."

So call it communism, socialism, redistribution of wealth--again, pick your term--but the fact remains that labor is and therefore should be treated as the master of capital, not the other way around as is currently the case.

And that's why the questions posed to Kashkari and Paulson and Bernanke about the bailout and "the system" should proceed from a different assumption than they currently do. The questions should proceed from the assumption that the current system is rapacious, fraudulent, predatory, and contrary to common sense, not from the assumption that the current system should be preserved at all costs.

I just want to make one thing crystal clear: the bailout is about propping up a failed, fraudulent system. We are being asked to preserve what even Kashkari calls "the system" but we are not supposed to question the system itself. All the bailout articles in the mainstream press proceed from the assumption that the system is good and needs saving and only quibble about whether or not the bailout is the best thing for the system or not.

But I'm saying that the very system needs to be questioned. And if you read what follows, you'll understand why...

How "the system" works--against us and for the bankers

This "system" that Kashkari referred to is used to keep us in debt slavery. And I'm using the term "debt slavery" quite literally. We are literally slaves to our debts. It's why we never do the things we really want to do--we have to pay a mortgage, don'tcha know. Meanwhile, the mortgage company is literally robbing us because they didn't have the money to lend us in the first place. The only thing that created the "money" to "lend" us was our "borrowing" of the "money."

That's right, our borrowing is the only way more money can be created. Here's how the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas explains it:

"Banks actually create money when they lend it. Here's how it works: Most of a bank's loans are made to its own customers and are deposited in their checking accounts. Because the loan becomes a new deposit, just like a paycheck does, the bank once again holds a small percentage of that new amount in reserve and again lends the remainder to someone else, repeating the money-creation process many times."

Just think about that for a minute. Let that sink in--money created by lending. I wish I could create money by lending. If I had that power, I'd never stop lending so I'd always make more money. And just when I was about to run out of money to lend, I'd simply lend some more so I'd have more money...that...makes sense, right?

We understand then, that this is the way our wobbly, fraudulent system works--there are a few people at the top (i.e., bankers) who are given magic powers to produce money out of nothing and the rest of us have to pay them exorbitant fees on pain of asset confiscation and/or financial ruination because...because...because we gave them these magic powers? That doesn't make any sense at all.

Divine Right

In fact, this scheme is terribly familiar and it's one that we thought we'd rid ourselves of for good. This scheme is just like the "divine right of kings," in which rulers in the past claimed to be ordained by the gods to rule over the people. It became evident (and was surely evident at the time) that such claims were poppycock, so eventually people correctly decided that they should rule themselves and the United States is a prime example of an attempt to do just that.

But then we allowed a privately-owned central bank (i.e., the Federal Reserve) to take over the creation of our money. They essentially assert a "divine right of money creation" over us. They openly tell us that they create their money out of our debt.

Think about it--in the Federal Reserve quote above, they openly admit that banks keep only a fraction of their deposits on hand. Indeed, the article puts it this way:

"Very little of this money (from savings and checking accounts) is kept in the bank's vault, however. While the Federal Reserve requires banks to keep a specified percentage of customer deposits on hand to meet routine withdrawals, they lend the excess."

Long story short, banks do not actually have on hand the money they are "lending." And the very act of "lending" creates more money on which they base their reserve requirements to then "loan" more "money," on and on, in a circular fashion of upward-spiraling profit for them and downward-spiraling debt for you and me (unless you're a banker).

In the Fed's own example of money creation, they point out that "a bank's loans are made to its own customers and are deposited in their checking accounts." Fine and dandy, but here's the catch--when one goes into a bank and gets a loan, the bank does not give one the amount of the loan in cash or gold or anything with inherent value. They simply "approve" the loan and get you to sign a promissory note. Bingo! That's the moment the "money" is created that puts you in debt and allows them to say they have that much more in deposits so they can do the same thing all over again. BUT NO ACTUAL CASH OR ANYTHING OF REAL VALUE EVER ENTERED INTO THIS TRANSACTION (except maybe what you put up as collateral).

And that's how "money" is created by banks--we do it for them. They can't "loan" us "money" unless we agree to pay them the money over time, plus interest. So not only are the banks keeping us in debt slavery, we are essentially financing our own indebtedness. We're creating only money/profit for the banks and debt for ourselves.

The conventional wisdom is that it all balances out, but that's not really true. Let's say I agree to an auto "loan" for a $30K car. At the end of 5 years (or whatever the loan period is), my labor has created $30K for the bank that didn't previously exist before the bank "loaned" it to me. And I've paid them interest on top of that.

So conventional wisdom says that well, it's true that the bank now has the money, but you've got the car, which is equal in value to the amount of money "lent" to you. Not true--the car is worth less 5 years later than it was when I first bought it. It's no longer worth the amount of money my labor has put in the bank's coffers. In short, the bank is way ahead (thanks to my labor) and I'm still behind (thanks to their chicanery). Indeed, since only banks can create money and they only loaned me the amount of the principal, how can I pay the interest and not still always be in debt? Remember, they only created the amount I financed, not the amount it takes (i.e., interest) to make good on the debt.

Why don't banks bail themselves out--they "create money when they lend it?"

I say all that to say that it's obvious that the system is fraudulent. That's why it makes no sense to continue to prop it up--unless you're one of the people with magic powers. Then it makes perfect sense. Except that it doesn't. If, as the Fed tells us, that banks create money through lending, why don't they just make more loans and bail themselves out?

Sunday, November 16, 2008


After writing the post below, I thought about what Kashkari said some more. He said that helping people directly wasn't feasible, but that taking taxpayer money to help banks directly was helpful for strengthening the system.

So basically what that comes down to is this bewildering, insulting, ludicrous situation:

We give the banks money to loan to us.

Does that make any sense at all? Why are we being forced to go along with this? That's how we should think of the bailout--we are giving free money to banks so they can loan money to us at interest. They get free money, we get debt.

And as Kashkari helpfully points out, we're being forced to do that to help sustain "the system," with the idea that what is good for the system is good for the people. Nothing could be further from the truth--again, we're GIVING banks money that they are supposed to then LOAN to us.

An Analogy

That's the equivalent of me saying to my friend, "Hey man, I'm hungry." So my friend says "If you'll give me an apple, I'll sell it to you." So I give him an apple which he then sells to me for a dollar. Then he says, "In a month, I'll need you to repay me an apple."

So now my friend has a dollar of my money plus he expects me to give him another apple as repayment for the apple I gave to him to sell to me because I was hungry.

I ask him why he thinks I should go along with his little scam. He says "Well, it's all for the good of the system. And hey, you got some benefit out of it--you got an apple when you were hungry. It's only fair that I should be justly compensated at a fair price for facilitating your receipt of sustenance. You see, the system works for the good of us all."

I protest, "But now I'm out a dollar and two apples while you have a dollar and will have an apple in a month. In fact, I've given you everything you now have. By what rights do you charge me for this?" And he says, "The system, the system must prevail! Questioning our free market system is not going to help you--but giving me free money sure will help one of us, i.e., me."

"The System" Uber Alles

And that's the situation we're in with this bailout--we give banks money to lend to us, and then they expect the amount of the loan plus interest yet we're not supposed to notice that the banks wouldn't even have the money to "lend" us if we hadn't given it to them.

But you see, it's for the good of "the system." And saving "the system" is what's important--saving the fortunes and homes of the people is secondary or tertiary if it ranks at all. Kashkari wants "the system" to be sustained because the system is what keeps him and his kind in silk undies and three homes.

Listening to Kashkari “walk through” the bailout procedure with Rep. Cummings, the main problem with the bailout occurred to me yet again. And that problem is this--the bailout money is being used to prop up a system that has two deficiencies: 1) the current system is unsustainable and 2) the current system is fraudulent.

That this is the main problem with the bailout occurred to me when Kashkari said the following to Cummings:

“If we went out to each of the people and businesses and communities and helped them directly the $700 billion wouldn’t go far enough. So we’re trying to take the $700 billion and stabilize the system as a whole so that credit can then flow out to everybody around the country who needs it. So it’s very hard--we’re trying to think of every day–if we have finite resources, how do we use those resources to the best possible benefit to the system as a whole, because that will help every American (at around 7:35 in the clip posted below).”

There are many problems with this statement, but let me start with the one that aggravates me the most, and that is this–we don’t need more CREDIT, we need LESS INFLATION and GOOD JOBS at LIVING WAGES. Credit is what got everyone into this mess in the first place.

And not only that, “credit” is fake money. Credit of the type Kashkari is referring to is what “creates” “money” for the banks while creating only debt for everyone else.

Why Not Help The People Directly Instead of the Banks?

Indeed, Kashkari specifically rules out helping people directly, BECAUSE THAT’S NOT HOW BANKS MAKE MONEY. Instead, Kashkari would rather help the banks directly instead of the people. That way the banks can create more inflation through fractional reserve banking and “loan” the “money” created in this way to us at interest.

What kind of crap is that? People say “please help us” and Kashkari says, “I won’t help you but I’ll help your bank ‘help’ you.” Since when has a bank helped anyone do anything but go into debt?

The $700 billion Is Not the Sum Total of the Bailout

Kashkari would have us believe that the bailout funds total only $700 billion, when the final bailout bill actually had a price tag of $850 billion and we know that the Federal Reserve gave away $2 trillion in bailout money and then told Congress that Congress isn’t allowed to know where that money went.

The idea that the money supply is finite is insane–the money is issued out of nothing. It’s fake, it doesn’t even exist. It’s unlimited, it’s infinite.

In fact, here's a great summary of how the fake money is created from David Icke (the whole article is great; below is just a taste):

"This is how 'they' control governments, businesses and the general population, by creating enormous debt.

Vital to this has been to allow bankers to lend money they do not have. It works like this. If you or me have a million pounds, we can lend a million pounds. Very simple. But if a bank has a million pounds it can lend ten times that and more, and charge interest on it.

If even a fraction of the people who theoretically have 'money' deposited in the banks went today to remove it, the banks would slam the doors in half an hour because they do not have it. Money in the bank is a myth, another confidence trick.

If you go into a bank and ask for a loan, the bank does not print a single new note nor mint a single new coin. It merely types the amount of the loan into your account. From that moment you are paying interest to the bank on what is no more than figures typed on a screen. However, if you fail to pay back that non-existent loan, "they" using "they're" own made-up laws - which are illegal, according to God - will come along and take your wealth that does exist, your home, land, car, and possessions, to the estimated value of whatever figure was typed onto that screen."

Read that last paragraph again and then think about the homeowners on the Mississippi Gulf Coast who are still making mortgage payments, even on houses that were swept out to sea by Katrina on August 29, 2005. I heard a BBC story just yesterday about this--these homeowners are paying interest on nonexistent money (see above--read it multiple times if it doesn't make sense at first) to "pay back" a "loan" on a house that doesn't exist. And they're trapped in the debt--they can't sell or rent the house; they can only go into more debt rebuilding (because insurance won't pay) or have their wages garnished or their credit ruined through foreclosure or other judgments if they just stop paying the mortgage.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Oh, you have got to looooooovvvve this. The headlines tell the story pretty well:

"New GDP Numbers Strongest Signal Yet The Country Has 'Hurtled Into Recession'"

No shit, Sherlock. However, some of us aren't really affected by that, to wit:

"Exxon Mobil Profits Set a Record in Third Quarter"

"Shell announces huge rise in profits"

"AIG Already Running Through Government Loans"

And so on...


The recession article makes this interesting point:
"Americans stopped buying everything from cars to corn flakes in the July-September quarter, ratcheting back spending by the largest amount in 28 years and jolting the national economy into what could be the most painful recession in decades."

So spending dropped more than it has in 28 years yet ExxonMobil continues to make record profits. Why is that, one might ask? Well, simple--they charged us more for the gas.

Why are they suddenly charging us less? I have a relative who is a man of wisdom on many topics, and he had this to say about falling gas prices: "It's curious that the demand for gasoline would drop off so suddenly." You know, because as we all were conditioned to believe from grade school, prices are naturally a product of the magic of supply and demand.

Oh brother...what poppycock. The reason gas prices are low is because it's right before an election--it's rigged.

Recession?? Duh!

It's interesting that there has been a debate for some time now about whether or not we are in a recession. More specifically, there's been some discussion about whether or not the government will officially declare that we have been or currently are in a recession.

My hunch is that there won't be official government confirmation that we are or have been in a recession until after the election or even after the inauguration. That way, those at the top can decide which president it's best to put the blame on for the recession: Bush or Obama/McCain.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

HELL NO, WE WON'T "GET USED TO" BEING USED... finance our own demise through "inexplicable" oil company/OPEC price gouging. But that's not even what I wanted to write about...

Yesterday, the Huffington Post had a headline saying "Get Used To It" regarding this story, which says:

"WASHINGTON — Motorists can expect gasoline prices around $4 gallon through next year, the Energy Department said Wednesday, with oil prices staying well above $100 a barrel."

That one sentence begs the question: How does the Energy Dept. know that--that gas will stay around $4/gallon? Are they clairvoyant? Have they been to the future and back?

Oh sure, they say it's only a "projection" that these things will come to pass. They'll say that OK, they really don't know such things for sure but are able to make predictions based on current trends, computer models, etc. Yeah, maybe. But let's not forget this little tidbit:

The 24/7 Wall Street blog, which is affiliated with both Dow Jones' MarketWatch and The Wall Street Journal, carried an article over the weekend that entertained the possibility of oil tipping the $200 mark, citing experts in the industry who expect the $95 a barrel level to be surpassed by the end of the year if the recent stock market turmoil continues.

The ultra-secretive Bilderberg Group, a consortium of power brokers from banking, business, politics, academia and oil, met in Munich Germany in May 2005 when crude oil prices were around the $40 a barrel mark.

During the conference, Henry Kissinger told his fellow attendees that the elite had resolved to ensure that oil prices would double over the course of the next 12-24 months, which is exactly what has happened.

During their 2006 meeting in Ottawa Canada, Bilderberg agreed to push for $105 a barrel before the end of 2008. This information was gleaned from sources inside Bilderberg who have proven reliable in the past.

This shit is rigged, yo, plain and simple. Check my cartoon about it at Eggs Is Tense...

Thursday, June 05, 2008


An Iranian leader, referring to Bush's plan to stay in Iraq indefinitely, spoke the truth about the plan:

"The essence of this agreement is to turn the Iraqis into slaves of the Americans."

Bush is trying to force the Iraqi government to agree to the following terms by the end of next month:

-allow US troops occupy permanent bases
-allow US troops to conduct military operations without consulting Iraqi government
-allow US troops to arrest Iraqis without consulting Iraqi government
-allow US troops to have immunity from Iraqi law
-allow US control of Iraqi airspace below 29,000 feet

And so on.

Does that sound like "freedom" to anyone? Isn't that what our war was euphemistically named--"Operation Iraqi Freedom?" Oh, but we have long since learned that politicians in general and neocons in particular are well-versed in what I call "oppositism," i.e., saying the opposite of what they mean.

Do the terms that Bush wants Iraqis to agree to sound any different than what Saddam Hussein did? No, they don't. Bush obviously isn't interested in "victory" in Iraq. Making Iraq agree to such odious terms is a surefire way to ensure defeat and a prolonged conflict.

Because that's what the neocons really want--war all the time. That's so they can always say that we're "in a time of war" and they can use that excuse to continue taking our civil liberties. The war in Iraq and the wider "war on terror" are really an excuse to wage war on US.

If you can't see that, you're fucking blind.

From the Huffington Post report on the Senate's long-delayed "Phase II" report on the misuse of "intelligence" in making a case for our illegal and immoral invasion and ongoing occupation of Iraq:

"The 'Phase II' report states -- in terms clearer than any previous government publication -- that there was no operational relationship between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, that Bush officials were not truthful about the difficulties the United States would face in post-war Iraq and that their public statements did not reflect intelligence they had at the time, and, specifically, that the intelligence community would not confirm any meeting between Iraqi officials and Mohamed Atta -- a claim that was nevertheless publicly repeated."

Wow. Thanks to things like the NY Times report on the Pentagon analyst scandal, Scott McClellan's new book, this Phase II report and other sources, the truth is finally being officially admitted, here in the middle of Bush's last year in office when it's too late to do much about it. Oh, he could still be impeached, I suppose. But that was taken "off the table" long ago.

And so the war will go on into the next presidency. And the presidency after that. And the presidency after that. And so on. But at least we got a quiet official admission that it was all based on lies. That's something, at least, right?

No. It isn't. They got away with it. And they'll get away with the next one. And they'll admit to lying about the next one, too. And I guess we'll just say that impeachment is "off the table" then, too. I guess it just goes to show you that THE SYSTEM WORKS (for the bad guys)! Hooray!

Friday, April 25, 2008


...and apparently that's cheap for regular grade. This evening I saw it as high as $3.56 for regular.

Gee, it wasn't even 4 months ago that I paid "only" $3.09. But oh yeah, the head of OPEC told us that oil prices aren't set according to supply and demand. They're set according to a "common understanding" that we, the rabble, have to be brought low financially while they enjoy record profits. Isn't that nice?

Maybe we should start a cartel and do some things according to a "common understanding." Like make them quit gouging us. Just an idea...

Monday, April 21, 2008


...rather, the price of oil is the product of a "common understanding," says one Abdalla Salem el-Badri, the secretary-general of OPEC. Here's the quote from the AP story, so it's clear I'm not paraphrasing or spinning:

"'Oil prices, there is a common understanding that has nothing to do with supply and demand,' el-Badri said on the sidelines of an energy conference in Rome."

This little tidbit comes to us in a story about the national average gas price hitting $3.50!

It's interesting that the head of OPEC tells us that the price of oil has nothing to do with supply and demand, yet this AP article attempts to justify the new record oil price of $117.83 with the following factoids:

-"Militancy and lawlessness has [sic] grown in recent years in Nigeria's south,
and attacks on oil infrastructure have become common."

-"Nigeria is a major supplier to the United States. Attacks there in the past two years have cut nearly a quarter of the African country's oil output."

-"Crude oil also rose Monday after the 150,000-ton tanker Takayama was attacked off the coast of Yemen as it headed for Saudi Arabia."

-"In Mexico, oil production slipped 7.8 percent in the first quarter to 2.91 million barrels a day as output at the country's traditional oil fields wanes, state oil company
Petroleos Mexicanos said."

-"In Scotland, workers at Ineos PLC's 196,000-barrel-a-day Grangemouth refinery and petrochemical plant have threatened to strike for 48 hours from April 27 over changes to an employee pension plan."

Hmmm...all of those sound like reasonable excuses for the price of oil to go up. However, the head of OPEC, of which Nigeria (which, as you'll recall is a "major supplier" to the U.S.) is a member, just told us that supply and demand have nothing to do with the price of oil.

What Is This "Common Understanding?"

If you're like me, you probably wonder what "common understanding" the head of OPEC is talking about. Also if you're like me, you really already know what the understanding is but search for just the right way to accurately express it. Well, search no more, for here it is, from the Boston Herald:

"[Peter] Beutel [a Cameron Hanover analyst] estimated that the 25-cent gas
increase over the past two weeks takes about $100 million out of American
consumers’ pockets each day, funneling money away from other purchases."

There it is, the "common understanding" among OPEC members that truly determines the price of oil--$1,400,000,000 dollars transferred to the already obscenely wealthy. That's $1.4 BILLION sucked out of our pockets in just 2 weeks! And that's only an "estimate!" It could be even higher! Who doesn't "understand" that? If you could make an extra $1.4 billion in 2 weeks without the hassles of providing better products, better services, or any of that jazz, wouldn't you do that? Of course you would! Now you "understand!"

OPEC Is A Cartel...

...and by their very definition, cartels are formed to regulate prices:

"car·tel Audio Help /kɑrˈtɛl/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kahr-tel] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun 1. an international syndicate, combine, or trust formed esp. to regulate prices and output in some field of business."

Or better yet, from the same link:

"car·tel Audio Help (kär-těl') Pronunciation Key
A combination of independent business organizations formed to regulate production, pricing, and marketing of goods by the members."

Just one more--they get more damningly accurate as you scroll down the page:

"cartel [noun]
a consortium of independent organizations formed to limit competition by controlling the production and distribution of a product or service; "they set up the trust in the hope of gaining a monopoly" [syn: trust]"

Great cartel article here. Gotta go night-night--I think the point is abundantly clear, i.e., that we're being raped economically and it's on purpose, it's by design and the people who we elect to supposedly look after our interests are just letting it all happen.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Here's WHLT's story on the McLean situation:

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Finally joined the McLeans in their monthly protests. All it took was five years of war and McLean getting arrested to get a bunch of us out there. Finally met some fellow members of the Hattiesburg American forum face to face. I'll write more later. Here are some pix:

Thursday, March 20, 2008


A poster at the Hattiesburg American forum asked this question today:

“How many attacks have been [on] American soil since 9-11?”

Well, let’s see...

There was the anthrax attack.
There have been multiple attacks on our civil liberties, including but not limited to:
the Patriot Act, the illegal detention of Jose Padilla, warrantless wiretapping, the Military Commissions Act, the John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007, NSPD 51, the Tasering of Andrew Meyer, the extremely questionable detention of Yuri Wainwright, the arrest of William McLean, the normalization of torture as an interrogation tool, etc.

There have been many, many attacks. And frankly, if one wants to count embassy compounds as “American soil”–which the government does under the doctrine of extraterritoriality–then we have the following attacks:

March 2002-US embassy in Yemen attacked by a “sound grenade”
January 29, 2005–US Baghdad embassy compound hit with a rocket; 2 killed, 4 wounded–all Americans
September 12, 2006-US embassy in Damascus, Syria attacked
December 2, 2007-US embassy in Manila attacked
February 21, 2008-US embassy in Belgrade burned

And that doesn’t count all the attacks on the Green Zone, which while not technically “American soil,” is controlled by the U.S. and home to many U.S. citizens.

So to answer the question, there have been a lot of attacks on American soil since 9/11. George Bush hasn’t kept us “safe” in any sense of the word.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Went to an antiwar “candlelight vigil” today. Met up with my friend Scott Tyner, pictured below with the green “Support our troops” sign. Saw William McLean (the creator of the unforgettable “Impeach the Lying Corporate Greedheads” sign), about whom I wrote both a blog entry and letter to the editor over two years ago.

Scott told me that William was arrested for disturbing the peace during their most recent protest. Apparently a cop pulled up and cited some nonexistent ordinance and took William to jail. He had to pay a $100 fine to get out. At least they didn’t Tase him.

How can anyone say William is/was “disturbing the peace?” There’s no peace to disturb–after all, as Bush and Cheney and their neocon followers love to say, “This is a time of war.” And William and the rest of us would like to see that time pass, so that we can use “this is a time of peace” as an excuse to say no when they want to build more weapons and kill more people. In other words, use their strategy on them, but for positive purposes.

Not much to say but this–this is not a just war, this is just war. End it. Now.

Friday, February 22, 2008


...and a place down the street was selling it for $3.06. These prices have sparked some discussion on the Hattiesburg American forum, and I reproduce one of my posts there below:

All I'm saying is that the previous inflation-adjusted record average gas price was in 1981, when Reagan was in office and there was a war going on in Iraq. That same month, this is what happened:

"...U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he saw the possibility of improved ties with Baghdad and approvingly noted that Iraq was concerned by "the behavior of Soviet imperialism in the Middle Eastern area." The U.S. then approved the sale to Iraq of five Boeing jetliners, and sent a deputy assistant secretary of state to Baghdad for talks."

The declassified memorandum that details all this is here.

Reagan was also shot that month.

The new inflation-adjusted record average gas price has now been achieved during Bush's term. And strangely enough, there's a war going on in Iraq.

Coincidence? Not bloody likely.

I'm not at all saying that Democratic presidents haven't had their share of foibles--LBJ lying us into Vietnam, Truman using the atom bomb even though he knew Japan wanted and was trying to surrender, etc.

But I'm saying that when wars in Iraq converge with Republican presidents, we seem to get record average gas prices. And interestingly, in the case of both records, in '81 and '07, men named George Bush were either president or vice-president.

Also, not exactly sure what 1977 gas lines kenjutsu is referring to. The first Arab oil embargo was in 1973, when Nixon, yet another Republican, was in office.

There was of course the energy crisis of 1979, due to the effects of the Iranian revolution, and there were gas lines then.

"Back in the 1973-1974 period and in 1979, folks waited for an hour or more on gasoline lines that at times stretched for miles, and people could only buy gas on alternate days, depending upon whether their license plate ended with an odd or even number. The federal government even printed gas-rationing coupons, although they were never used."

Gas prices "climbed throughout the 90's?"

Gas prices, according to kenjutsu, began to "climb throughout the 90's." He notes that this started in approximately 1992, the last year Bush I was in office.

As ol' Ronnie Raygun said--"Trust, but verify":

All prices listed are for U.S. regular grade gasoline:

1/6/92: $1.04
12/28/92: $1.06
1/25/93: $1.05
12/27/93: $0.99

Point taken? No? OK, let’s skip ahead a few years...

5/26/97: $1.20
7/28/97: $1.16
1/5/98: $1.08
3/23/98: $0.99
1/4/99: $0.91
12/27/99: $1.26

I think we can conclude that the price of gas didn’t ONLY “climb throughout the 90's.” The price FLUCTUATED.

Gas prices under Bush

Lowest gas price of Bush admin.:

Lowest price since beginning of Iraq war:
5/12/03: $1.42

The price of regular has not been that low since then. And since March 14, 2005, gas has never been less than $2.

Where’s the data come from? From the Energy Information Administration in good ol’ Washington, D.C.

Under “Area,” click on “United States.” You have to have Excel or an Excel viewer to see the chart. All data above was taken from the first column.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Should've posted this last week...

"The Pentagon on Monday charged six Guantanamo Bay detainees with murder and war crimes for the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Officials sought the death penalty in the unprecedented military tribunal case that has been clouded by revelations the key suspect suffered interrogation tactics that critics call torture."

Meanwhile, Osama bin Laden runs free!

And were any of these six suspects citizens of Iraq or Afghanistan, the two countries we invaded because of 9/11?

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed-Kuwait
Mohammed al-Qahtani-Saudi Arabia
Ramzi bin al-Shibh-Yemen
Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali-Kuwait or Pakistan
Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi-Saudi Arabia
Walid bin Attash-Saudi Arabia or Yemen we are we at war with Iraq and Afghanistan again? WMD? Freedom? 9/11? Oil? Israel? Because it's certainly not because any citizens of Iraq or Afghanistan attacked the U.S on 9.11.

A dude at the Hattiesburg American forum said Afghanistan is a "just war." I attempt to disabuse him of that notion with what follows...


1. The Bush administration gave the Taliban a lot of money before our invasion--$53 million, to be exact. This was only a few months before 9/11 in spite of their support for terrorism, their treatment of women, and their toleration of Osama bin Laden.

2. Suddenly, and I'm sure quite by coincidence, Bush agreed to a plan to attack Afghanistan on 9/10/01.

3. In February 2001, the Taliban offered to send Osama bin Laden to Saudi Arabia if the U.S would work with them.

4. None of the hijackers in the official 9/11 fable were from Afghanistan.

5. If bin Laden's presence in Afghanistan justifies a war on a country that has hardly ever known anything else, why did the Bush admin. arrange for bin Laden's relatives to be flown out of the country two days after 9/11?

6. Afghanistan did not invade or attack the United States. In fact, the Taliban tried to warn the U.S. about 9/11.

7. The U.S. government has never brought formal charges against bin Laden for 9/11.

So why again is Afghanistan a "just war?" If you ask me, it's not "just war"--it's just war. And war is a racket.

Monday, February 11, 2008

BUSH'S IMPEACHABLE OFFENSES! Plus: the relative novelty of Hillary Clinton and Ron Paul

A letter to the editor of my local newspaper:

Is this the America we have become?

In recent testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, CIA director Michael Hayden testified that the agency had used waterboarding on three "enemy combatants" and that the technique is probably illegal under current statute.

Later, like a spoiled brat, President Bush, strutting his macho Rambo stuff, announced that he reserved the right to authorize water boarding on those he, in his wisdom, decides need it.

A short video at about American torture gives a small glimpse of how America under Bush has strayed from its founding principles in the last seven years.

Is this the America we have become? Is this an America we can be proud of? Is this who we are?

George W. Bush has taken us on a path from which there is no return to undo the evil we have wrought. We are an empire with more than 700 military bases in about 130 countries (see "Nemesis" by Chalmers Johnson).

Defense and expansion of that empire requires belittling, demonizing, even torturing anyone who gets in the way of our crusade to dominate the world (as has been true of every empire in history - in the end there are no benign empires).

It's called American exceptionalism. In his 1920 poem, "Four Preludes On Playthings Of The Wind," Carl Sandburg laments the demise of an "exceptional" nation with the monotonously repeated hollow refrain; "We are the greatest city, the greatest nation, nothing like us ever was."

Even as the nation decays into rubble populated only by rats and lizards.

Robert R. Regl


My response:

Great letter, Bob.

Mr. Regl never said or implied that GWB put 700 military bases around the world.

As Bob said, Bush has publicly admitted to at least one other criminal act--warrantless wiretapping. It doesn't matter whether GWB has one year or one hundred years left in office. He should still be impeached, tried, and put in prison.

The trial ought to be very short--it could consist of someone reading the FISA act and then playing videotape of Bush admitting to warrantless wiretapping. Then someone could read statutes relevant to cruel and unusual punishment or whatever law forbids waterboarding (granted, it's not decapitation, but since when is it OK for us to do exactly what the bad guys do) and then play videotape of Bush's latest admission. Cut and dried. Open and shut. Maybe it'd take about 45 minutes. Bye bye Bush.

Then we let Cheney go ahead and take the oath of office, after which he'd also be tried and convicted in a similar manner. So with the swearing in and the trial, maybe an hour and half goes by. Then we go to lunch, by which time President Pelosi knows that she better mind her p's and q's or she'll get the same treatment (this would have the added benefit of taking the potential title of "first female president" away from Hillary Clinton, thereby cancelling out the novelty of the idea of Clinton becoming president, turning the mood of the country toward another novelty--following the Constitution and voting for Ron Paul)!

Also, Regl is far from alone when it comes to "hating Bush." Nobody likes the guy or wants to have a beer with him anymore. He's got miserable poll numbers. It's not divisive to speak out against Bush, it's mainstream!

Monday, February 04, 2008


According to the CDC, they both contain sodium fluorosilicate, an inorganic fluoride compound that is recommended for use as an insecticide and a rodenticide.

Our water has been laced with this poison since 1976. Here's the data:

"CITY OF HATTIESBURG 0180008 8 Forrest Sodium Fluorosilicate Adj 8/1/1976 48,000 0.2 0.8"

Sodium fluorosilicate is a poisonous substance defined thusly:

"Definition: A sodium silicate of the formula Na2SiF6 occurring as a white, odorless, granular powder. It is toxic if ingested or inhaled, and will strongly irritate tissue. It is used for fluoridation, in porcelain and china enamels, to mothproof woolen garments, and in the manufacture of silicon.
(Synonyms: sodium fluosilicate, sodium hexafluorosilicate, sodium silicofluoride)"

Here's how an apparently Chinese company that sells the chemical describes it ("poisonous," "pesticide"):

"Formula: Na2SiF6 M.W: 188.06
Property: This product is a white crystal or crystalline powder, poisonous, slightly acid, soluble in water and insoluble in alcohol, it can decompose into fluoride and silica in alkali. S.G.: 2.68 ; HS Code: 28262000; Cas No.: 16892-85-9.
Package: Plastic lined woven bags of 25kg or 50kg net each
Usage: it is mainly used as disinfectant for running water, additive for acid¡ªproof daub, solvent for enamel, pesticides, wood preventive, welding solvent for lead alloy and also used in production of opal glass, artificial marble, sodium fluoride, pharma"

Here's another website regarding chemicals from China that indicates that containers with sodium fluorosilicate, the ingredient intentionally added to our water supply since 1976, should be labeled with a skull and crossbones.

Pelchem makes the rat poison connection

Pelchem, a South African producer of sodium fluorosilicate, issues the following warning about the chemical in their safety information:

"Toxic by inhalation and if swallowed. Harmful if in contact with skin."

Is that not what we do with water, i.e., inhale it (steam in shower or from boiling), swallow it, and bring it into contact with our skin? And our water is intentionally spiked with a chemical that makes all such activities toxic?

The Pelchem data sheet also tells us the following:

Ingestion may cause gastrointestinal irritation,
nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Inhalation of
dust may cause shortness of breath, tightness
of the chest, a sore throat and cough.
Continuous or intermittent exposure to
inorganic fluorides can lead to
appreciable accumulation of fluoride in
bone, and, to development of
osteosclerosis and other bone
No evidence of association between fluoride ingestion and mortality from cancer in
humans. (Internal Agency of Research on Cancer)."

Here are Pelchem's recommended uses for the chemical:

1. Fluoridation of drinking water.
2. Laundry sours.
3. Opalescent glass.
4. Vitreous enamel frits.
5. Metallurgy of aluminium and verblium.
6. Insecticides and rodenticides.
7. Leather and wood preservatives."

They recommend that what's in our drinking water be used as RAT POISON! Or to process aluminum!

Where does Hattiesburg's sodium fluorosilicate come from?

Where does the city of Hattiesburg get its sodium fluorosilicate to put in our water, I wonder? In my limited Google searches, the main manufacturers/importers seem to be from Asia and Africa. Do we special order our poisons from overseas to put in our water supply?

Saturday, February 02, 2008


So ExxonMobil has now broken its previous record, which was the all-time high for any company in history in quarterly profits:

By any measure, Exxon Mobil’s performance last year was a blowout.

The company reported Friday that it beat its own record for the highest profits ever recorded by any company, with net income rising 3 percent to $40.6 billion, thanks to surging oil prices. The company’s sales, more than $404 billion, exceeded the gross domestic product of 120 countries.

Exxon Mobil earned more than $1,287 of profit for every second of 2007.

The company also had its most profitable quarter ever. It said net income rose 14 percent, to $11.7 billion, or $2.13 a share, in the last three months of the year. The company handily beat analysts’ expectations of $1.95 a share, after missing targets in the last two quarters.

Like most oil companies, Exxon benefited from a near doubling of oil prices, as well as higher demand for gasoline last year. Crude oil prices rose from a low of around $50 a barrel in early 2007 to almost $100 by the end of the year — the biggest jump in oil prices in any one year.

It's simple, really. They made more because they charged us more for something we have to have. They didn't make the gas any better, they didn't serve us any better or anything. They just charged us more.

Why are we upset about this? I'll tell you why...

At the Hattiesburg American forum, a poster asked "Why are we upset that the big oil company makes record profits?" Here's my reply:

"Why are we upset that the big oil company makes record profits?"

1. We're upset because they charged us more for the same exact product and the same exact service.

2. We're upset because gas is something we must have.

3. We're upset because higher gas prices mean higher prices for everything. ("Diesel price rise has ripple effect on goods," LA Times)

4 We're upset because the value of the dollar keeps dropping while prices keep rising.

5. We're upset because of record credit card debt, negative savings, and declining wages. (An earlier post about all that can be found here)

6. We're upset because of record debts and unnecessary wars that threaten to collapse our economy.

7. We're upset because we're about to borrow from ourselves (or the Chinese) to "help" ourselves buy some more over-priced gas or goods made in China, which only fuels (no pun intended) #6 (and #5).

8. We're upset because we know the world is nowhere near to running out of oil--the supply is being suppressed while demand only increases, jacking up the price.

9. We're upset because the president makes out with oil-rich dictators who won't cut us a break on oil prices, so we agree to sell a dictatorial regime that maintains a state of war with Israel a bunch of weapons because we love democracy so much (which only fattens the bottom line of defense contractors who then have that much more money to lobby with, allowing the whole sick cycle to continue ad infinitum).

10. We're upset because we have very few alternatives to get us out of this mess--even if we buy hybrids, we still have to pay inflated prices for all the goods that are trucked to market because of high gas/oil prices.

11. We're upset because the "free market" has allowed many industries, including the oil industry, to consolidate in fewer and fewer hands (now only 6 "supermajor" oil companies), whiich reduces competition and the incentive to fix any of the problems mentioned above.

12. We're upset that none of the American oil companies, including ExxonMobil, would help out with discounted home heating oil for Americans. Luckily, Venezuela's Citgo stepped up to the plate to help out.

If I left anything out--and I'm sure I did--please add your reason we're upset to the list.

Monday, January 28, 2008


Another post from the HA forum that involved a bit of research...

Mississippi IS a recession...

OK, wait a second.

Yesterday, we were informed that:
"Hattiesburg residents haven't been spending as much money as they once did..."

And today, we're informed that:
"...representatives at most Hattiesburg businesses that rely on disposable income say it is too early to see a drastic change in the habits of consumers."

Something isn't adding up.

For one thing, today's story has one caveat, which is that businesses "that rely on disposable income" supposedly aren't hurting. That could be taken as an implication that businesses that don't rely on disposable income are seeing "a drastic change in the habits of consumers." This flies in the face of generally accepted notions of economic behavior, i.e., that when people have less money (which we know is true across the country), they have to cut back spending on the types of goods and services mentioned in today's article in order to be able to cover the expenses they must pay, such as rent, mortgage, insurance, daycare, health care, etc.

I'm not sure that the statement of the headline of today's story--"Hub City economy doing well so far"--can be validated on the basis of comments from five representatives of small businesses in Hattiesburg. After all, it is in the best interests of those representatives to put a positive spin on their supposed success and resilience even if in reality, they are not especially successful or resilient. In fact, the comment from McLelland along with the copy in the story regarding his business comes off like an advertisement rather than as an actual inquest regarding the strength of his sales.

In other words, to accurately say "Hub City economy doing well so far," one would not ask for an assessment of the how good or bad sales are from a representative of any given business (who will almost invariably feel obligated to paint as rosy a picture of the situation as possible), one would have to view current sales numbers versus sales numbers from a comparable period of time. And that data is surely not going to made available to a reporter for analysis.

On the other hand, it may be true that "businesses that rely on disposable income" might not be experiencing hard times despite the negative savings rate and decline in wages that plagues the entire country--we also know that a majority of the country is in massive credit card debt. So it could very well be that the businesses mentioned in this piece are doing just fine, but that does not necessarily mean that the economy of the Hub City is doing well, because people are racking up even more credit card debt.

Whatever the case may be, these two stories seem to paint completely different pictures of the state of the economy in Hattiesburg.


Negative personal savings (2006 figures):

"People are saving at the lowest level since the Great Depression, and that could be a problem for the millions of baby boomers getting ready to retire. In fact, the Commerce Department reported Thursday that the nation’s personal savings rate for all of 2006 was a negative 1 percent, the worst showing in 73 years."

Decline in wages (inflation-adjusted):

"Average weekly earnings, after adjusting for inflation, dropped by 0.9 percent in 2007, the fourth decline in the past five years. The lagging wage gains are cited as a chief reason many workers have growing anxiety about their economic futures."

Record credit card debt ($915 billion):

"While the fallout of the subprime loan industry collapse continues to play out, momentum is gaining on another potential economic calamity: Americans now owe a record $915 billion in credit card debt, according to a new report by Moody's Investors Service.
Credit card companies wrote off 4.58 percent in payments between January and May, almost a third more than in the same period in 2006, Moody's said.
As a result, lenders such as Citigroup, Bank of America, and American Express, already reeling from the subprime mortgage collapse, are being further weakened, according to a new report at"