Sunday, July 31, 2011


By "Conspirituality" 

"Never Trust A Bush Unless It's Burning."

(I was kidnapped, abducted, falsely imprisoned, tortured, and threatend with further torture, without charge, without trial....Even many soldiers had said to me afterwards, it was "Hell, if you weren't a terrorist when you came in here, by the time you leave I'm sure you would be because of the way we treated you."
(Bush:" Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of September the 11th. Malicious lies that attempt to shift the blame away from the terrorists themselves. Away from the guilty")

People are always asking me "YO gemineye, what's your angle? are you a devil or an angle?" and i say "BOTH!" as i continue to blame the Knights Templar and the harsh Protalus. The real reason New York lost their towers.

Don't sit back, or hesitate to react to the impact. Many takin a nap.In fact they would fake an attack to make way for the patriot act.

Some say " hey it ain't safe to say that" but its the same game, different name on the map, as they place blame, and they aim at Iraq. Its a damn shame cause they never claimed the hijack.

Followin the fiddle while with a bound hero. The town hero, responsible for ground zero. Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear, so clear your ear. They hear the sound of fear grow.

Beware the evil, the dragon, and the ego. And the boarders that we are forced to see slow. Persecuted and disputed because of what we know. The strength that control these kings come from below.

Absorb the norm of this dark art double mit. Thinking they can avoid the spark of another mit. Walk right up, take the Ark of the Covenant. The cords have been pulled by the shark and I'm lovin it.

Look hard, and you will find 7, head to the beast behind 9/11. Repped and fillin and even John Lenin, couldn't imagine this mortared day, Armageddon.

We've been ambushed, pushed to the edge. Persecuted because we disputed to know the ledge. Pledge allegiance? Not even if the world stops turning. Never trust a bush unless its burning!
We've all been ambushed, pushed to the edge. Persecuted because we disputed to know the ledge. Pledge allegiance? Not even if the world stops turning. Never trust a bush unless its burning!

(their is a chance, for the president of the united states to use this disaster to carry out what his father, a phrase his father used i think only once and hasn't been used since. and that is a new world order.)

From junior to senior, to grandpa Prescot. to the Nazi mouse house at the center at Etkart. lets not forget the messed up mascot. skull and bones walkin up to Ron Paul's rest spot.

These fool goons are not alone in their obsessed plot. These dark gnomes are part of em, so i take my best shot. With a heart of stone as they approve. They never get caught. Because they be going through any details in your emails on your desktop.

Many be grown like Ghandi or mayor Giuliani. Practicing karate with the illuminati. A ton of people savoy whos quick to kill somebody. For the love of mud honey or a little blood money.

I don't find these thugs funny. they sell drugs to bugs bunny. Not that its any of my business that Imo dissin daffy duck's bunny. Just hidin when they laugh at me and what my dread locks study. When they killed tiny children, left many building blocks bloody.

Their squaring in the compass in the almanac. Are you aware that their amongst us and that its all an act? Some in a sizzle now come crawling back. Choked the bohemian groom dressed all in black.

A serpent king worshiping a stone owl. The dragon Ronald Reagan ain't Colin Powell. The description like battle white showing a bowwel. We have to plan to fight and never throw in the towel.

We've been ambushed, pushed to the edge. Persecuted because we disputed to know the ledge. Pledge allegiance? Not even if the world stops turning. Never trust a bush unless its burning!
We've all been ambushed, pushed to the edge. Persecuted because we disputed to know the ledge. Pledge allegiance? Not even if the world stops turning. Never trust a bush unless its burning!

(Remember this! your government funded and trained al-queda!)

(Bush:"The supreme courts ruling has said that uh we must conduct ourselves under the common article 3 of the Geneva convention. And that common article 3 sais that you know that their will be no outrages upon human dignity..... uh, is it, its a, it, is it like, its very vague. what does that mean?")

Inside A Right-Wing Christian Law School

That Brought Us Michele Bachmann

When Oral Roberts University sought to set up a law school, it called in Christian Reconstructionist Herb Titus. Michele Bachmann is the law school's most famous graduate.

By Sarah Posner
July 19, 2011
Courtesy Of "Alter Net"

At the May “First Friday” lecture hosted by the Institute on the Constitution at the Heritage Community Church in Severn, Maryland, IOTC founder Michael Peroutka presented the evening’s guest speaker, attorney Herb Titus, with a “Patrick Henry Award” for “his tireless and fearless telling of God’s truth to power.” Titus (best known for his representation of former Judge Roy Moore in his failed quest to install a 2.6-ton Ten Commandments monument in the Alabama Supreme Court building) is one of the few lawyers in America who, Peroutka noted, truly “believes God is sovereign and therefore God’s law is the only law.” For Peroutka, the Constitution Party’s 2004 nominee for president, this was his usual spiel on God and the law.

In the late 1970s, Titus played an instrumental role in launching the law school at Oral Roberts University (ORU), from which GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann graduated in 1986. Titus, who rejected his Harvard Law School education after reading the work of R.J. Rushdoony, the late founder of Christian Reconstructionism, was moved to exercise what he believes is a “dominion mandate” to “restore the Bible to legal education.” To teach, in other words, that Christianity is the basis of our law, that lawyers and judges should follow God's law, and that the failure to do so is evidence of a “tyrannical,” leftist agenda.
Titus’ lecture, as well as the teachings of Reconstructionists, the Constitution Party, and the IOTC, provide a window into Bachmann’s legal education, and thus how her political career and rhetoric—so incomprehensible and absurd to many observers—was unmistakably shaped by it. 
Restoring The American Jurisprudence To Its “Biblical Foundations” 
After launching ORU’s law school, and later helping with Regent University’s 1986 takeover and launch of a public policy program, Titus ran on Constitution Party founder Howard Phillips’ presidential ticket in 1996. The stated goal of the Constitution Party “is to restore American jurisprudence to its biblical foundations and to limit the federal government to its Constitutional boundaries.” Thatincludes, for example, “affirm[ing] the rights of states and localities to proscribe offensive sexual behavior” (i.e., homosexuality) and “oppos[ing] all efforts to impose a new sexual legal order through the federal court system” (i.e., civil unions, marriage equality, or adoption by LGBT people). It is more extreme than the Republican Party platform, to be sure, but the GOP is hardly devoid of allies of the Constitution Party—including Sharron Angle, who ran for Senate in Nevada last year, and presidential candidate Ron Paul. 
The lecture series at the Institute on the Constitution, which also offers in-depth classes that are popular with tea party groups, has recently included presentations on constitutional law by Moore and one of his protégés, current Alabama Supreme Court Justice Tom Parker. In a dissenting opinion in a 2005 child custody case in which the majority affirmed an award of custody to the child’s grandparents, Parker cited not legal cases or statutes, but rather Romans 13:1-2, for the proposition that “there is no authority except from God.” That, he concluded, dictated that the state should stay out of such family law matters except in the most extraordinary circumstances. 
Christians Are “Second-Class Citizens” 
The claim that powerful, anti-Christian forces aim to undermine God’s “truth” lies at the heart of the IOTC’s and Titus’ conception of the constitutional roles of government and religion. Titus insists that Christians are discriminated against by these conventional interpretations of the Establishment Clause, which are at odds with his own, and which he contends have contributed to the treatment of Christians as “second-class citizens.” 
“I would say to you that someone who holds a Christian view such as Michele Bachmann does would be much more accommodating of different views than any liberals,” he told me, because her views would permit the public posting of the Ten Commandments, for example, but a liberal’s would not. 
That’s because, of course, under a “liberal” (i.e., accepted by the Supreme Court, at least for now) view of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, the government cannot act in a way that does, or appears to, endorse a particular religion.
Titus contends, however, that religion, as used in the Establishment Clause (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”) does not mean, well, a religion. Rather, Titus insists that this clause means that Congress cannot make you do anything that you are otherwise commanded by God to do: in other words, Congress cannot flout God.
Religion, Titus told the IOTC audience, “is the duty which we owe our Creator.” As Julie Ingersoll has described in detail, Rushdoony argued that God granted certain jurisdictional authority to the government, the church, and the family—therefore any government action exceeding its God-granted authority is in violation of God’s commands. Titus says the government has the power to make you, say, pay taxes, but other “duties we owe to God exclusively” cannot be enforced by the government.  
In Titus’ view, the First Amendment prohibition against Congress establishing a religion was actually intended to prevent Congress from establishing institutions that he maintains are tantamount to a religion, like public education, or National Public Radio. “I don’t believe what they teach in public schools,” Titus told his IOTC audience. “They don’t even believe in the first thing—that God is the source of knowledge.”
Indeed, as Titus himself was aware, the activism that launched Bachmann’s political career was an extended crusade against public schools in Minnesota (which, oddly enough, included a failed bid for a spot on her local school board, even though her own children did not attend public schools).
According to a 2006 Minneapolis City Pages profile, in 1993 Bachmann helped found a charter school in Stillwater “that ran afoul of many parents and the local school board when it became apparent that the school—which received public money and therefore was bound to observe the legal separation of church and state—was injecting Christian elements into the curriculum.” Later, Bachmann “became a prolific speaker and writer on the evils of public education.” 
Health Care, Guns, and Slavery 
In a 2009 interview with Glenn Beck, Bachmann said, “I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back.” Both that statement and her characterization of health care reform as federal government excess that amounts to creating “a nation of slaves” and “tyranny,” draw on her Reconstructionist understanding of the Constitution.
Indeed, Bachmann possesses an alarming misunderstanding of the history of slavery that at once celebrates it as a heyday of African-American family life, and engages in revisionism about the founders’ view of it. She recently signed a “marriage pledge” in Iowa that included the statement (since removed): “sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American president.” She has also stated,incorrectly, that the founders “worked tirelessly” to end slavery. 
Peroutka and the IOTC, for their part, express affection for the Confederacy. In bestowing the “Courage of Daniel Award” on Moore on June 3, Peroutka, who frequently ribs people for being from the “wrong side of the Mason-Dixon line,” cheerfully noted that it also happened to be the birthday of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
Other IOTC speakers have included Franklin Sanders, whom the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as “a peculiar mix of neo-Confederate fantasist and seasoned tax protester.” Sanders has served on the Board of Directors of the League of the South, a Southern nationalist organization the SPLC characterizesas “a neo-Confederate group that advocates for a second Southern secession and a society dominated by ‘European Americans.’” That society would be, according to the SPLC, a “godly” nation “run by an ‘Anglo-Celtic’ (read: white) elite that would establish a Christian theocratic state and politically dominate blacks and other minorities.” 
In the Reconstructionist view, a gun will protect you from your imagined enslavement by the federal government. Bachmann is one of several Republicans endorsed by the Gun Owners of America, another Titus client, which contends that gun ownership is not just a right, but an “obligation to God, to protect life.” Last year, Titus cited the “totalitarian threat” posed by “Obamacare” and told me that people need to be armed, “because ultimately it may come to the point where it’s a life and death situation.”
When I asked him recently whether he agreed with Bachmann’s opposition to health care reform, he exclaimed approvingly, “talk about turning yourself over to tyranny—your health care decisions made by bureaucrats.” 
“Real” Americans 
Bachmann’s history of questioning Barack Obama’s American-ness, or of espousing “normal people values,” is rooted in the Reconstructionist conception of “American-ness.” Not just Christian, but their kind of Christian; one who would obey God, exercise “dominion authority,” and, most crucially, is one of their “brethren.” 
Titus, founder of Bachmann’s law school, happens to be the architect of a legal theory—as far outside of the legal mainstream as his Establishment Clause theory—that Obama is not a “natural-born citizen,” a designation that would render him ineligible to be president due to his “divided loyalties.” Deuteronomy 17, he insists, demands that that the “king” be selected from one’s own “brethren.” As an outsider Obama isn’t a “real” American, worthy—according to the Bible or the Constitution—of being president. 
The “Judicial Tyranny” Canard
In 2003, motivated by Moore’s Ten Commandments crusade, then-state senator Bachmann participated in a “Ten Commandments Rally” on the state capitol steps, at which speakers called for the impeachment of federal judges who rule public postings of the Ten Commandments unconstitutional, and for a return to “biblical principles.” Bachmann, according to coverage in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, “told the crowd that the founders of the United States—including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson—‘recognized the Ten Commandments as the foundation of our laws.’”
Bachmann isn’t alone among Republican politicians embracing Reconstructionist views. After Moore was stripped of his judgeship for defying a federal court order to remove his monument, Titus drafted the Constitution Restoration Act, which would have deprived federal courts of jurisdiction in cases challenging a government entity’s or official’s “acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.” The bill, which did not pass, nonetheless had nine Senate co-sponsors and 50 House co-sponsors; including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Bobby Jindal, now the governor of Louisiana, Nathan Deal, now the governor of Georgia, and Mike Pence, a conservative hero who’s now running for governor of Indiana.  
While campaigning for president, Bachmann took up the “tyrannical judges” mantle, this time in connection with the Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling that the state’s gay marriage ban was unconstitutional. She applauded the ouster of “black-robed masters,” the three Iowa judges who had ruled same-sex marriage constitutional, and who were targeted by the religious right. In Iowa, judges are appointed, but subject to what is normally a routine, periodic retention vote.
The necessity of electing judges, rather than appointing them, was the subject of Parker’s First Friday lecture in January, because “elected judges are bulwarks against the agenda of the left.”
“If you take a moment to think,” said Parker, “federal judges appointed for life have legalized abortion, homosexuality, pornography, same-sex marriages, and outlawed school prayer and the display of the Ten Commandments.” 
“When judges don’t rule in fear of the Lord,” he concluded, “all the foundations of the earth are shaken.”
Just the sort of thing that Peroutka complains isn’t taught in secular law schools. But at ORU, it was.
The Birth Of The Christian Law School 
The launch of the law school at ORU was intended to create public figures just like Bachmann: lawyers unafraid to inject their particular Christian beliefs, not only into the public square, but quite deliberately into legislation, policy, and jurisprudence.
As Titus tells it, God opened a door when the televangelist Oral Roberts wanted to found a Christian law school at his eponymous university in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “My first reaction,” said Titus in a recent interview with the Christian Reconstructionist Chalcedon Foundation, “was, no way, I’m not going to be identified with Oral Roberts, with this healer, with this Pentecostal personae and so forth, and yet God made it so clear to us that we were to go and help begin a Christian law school.” 
Bachmann, who until a few years ago attended a staid and deeply conservative Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod church in Stillwater, Minnesota, might have been, like her law school classmate Dean Burnetti, “shocked” when a fellow student spoke in tongues in chapel the first day of law school. But Burnetti, now a personal injury lawyer in Florida, told me, “My personal worship experience has changed because of those people, and the way I see God’s active involvement in my life has changed because of that.” 
The law school at ORU was a first effort at creating a “Christian” law school that would teach the “biblical” foundations of the law—essentially substituting Rushdoony’s totalizing worldview for mainstream legal theory. His views are evident not only in the ORU education Bachmann received, but in the perspectives of other Christian law schools forged on the ORU example, such as Liberty University Law School, where students are taught to follow “God’s law” rather than “man’s law,” and where Rushdoony’s texts are required reading. The rise of Christian schools—not just law schools, but elementary and secondary education, and homeschooling as well—has been, in Titus’ view, a “silent revolution” that has “basically escaped the scrutiny of most journalists.”
According to Titus, there have been “tremendous strides that have been made in last 20 or 30 years,” in developing other “Christian” law schools, including Regent University Law School, which, as noted above, took over ORU law school after Bachmann graduated. Titus credits Roberts, who “didn’t bow down to the establishment”; in particular the American Bar Association, which initially refused to give the school accreditation because it required faculty and students to be professing Christians (both were required to sign a pledge that they were followers of Jesus).
Burnetti described Bachmann as “brilliant” and a “very gifted, very talented, very smart girl.” When I asked whether he could see now how her ORU education influenced her, he said, “there’s no doubt in my mind that has an influence and will have an influence on everything that passes through the filter of her conscience and life. It will be filtered through the principles she has used in the joining of the Bible and her Christian faith and beliefs and the use of the Constitution.” 
Titus was quick to point out that not all of the students of his preferred pedagogy are “cookie-cutter” types who fall into an identical ideological line. On foreign policy matters, for example, he said he’d be more aligned with the non-interventionism of Ron Paul than with Bachmann.
But it’s clear, nonetheless, that he’s confident that her Christian beliefs pass muster. He doesn’t consider either Mitt Romney or Jon Huntsman, both Mormons, to be Christians; said he didn’t know whether Tim Pawlenty was a Christian (even though his pastor is the president of the National Association of Evangelicals); and defended Texas Governor Rick Perry’s hosting of a prayer rally.
Though he isn’t even running, Titus took a dig at Mike Huckabee, saying that host of Fox News’ Huckabee show “doesn’t understand the difference between the state’s business and the church’s business,” because he believes in “welfare taking care of the poor, which is contrary to Jesus’ teaching.” Again, that’s areflection of the Christian Reconstructionist view of God-granted authority—i.e., it’s not within the government’s “authority” to take care of the poor.
I asked Titus whether it would be a big moment for him to see Bachmann, a product of the law school he helped found, ascend to the GOP presidential nomination. He replied, “It’s the kind of thing that we believe was one of our major purposes, which was to train people in such a way so as to make an impact in the leadership of the country.”
Sarah Posner is associate editor of Religion Dispatches and author of God's Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters. Read her blog or follow her on Twitter.

There's A Solution To The Debt Fight That Could Avert Catastrophe

Why Is Everyone Ignoring It?

When you're this far down the rabbit-hole, who's to say which ideas are crazy and which are serious?

By Joshua Holland
July 20, 2011
Courtesy Of "Alter Net"

Another day, another round of leaks about a potential debt ceiling deal in the making. Yet this ludicrous standoff could be brought to a conclusion tomorrow, without concessions or the specter of legal challenges. It wouldn't require Congress to take any votes, or a “Gang of Six” to haggle over any backroom deals.

But here's an interesting thing: while it is now considered within the “mainstream” that a small group of intractable reactionaries might hold the economy hostage by threatening not to pay the tab that Congress itself ran up, ending the theatrics by creative but legal means isn't. It's a telling example of how our discourse is narrowed, policed by the Very Serious People who populate the Beltway media.
The escape hatch nobody at the Washington Post or the New York Times is talking about is called coin seignorage. It's based on Title 31 of the U.S. code, which authorizes Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to “mint and issue platinum bullion coins and proof platinum coins in accordance with such specifications, designs, varieties, quantities, denominations, and inscriptions as the Secretary, in the Secretary’s discretion, may prescribe from time to time.”
“crisis” would be averted.
So tomorrow, Geithner could order the mint to manufacture a couple of trillion-dollar platinum coins and swap them for public debt now held by the Federal Reserve. The coins, unlike the bonds held by the Fed, don't count as debt, so the transaction would bring us $2 trillion below the debt ceiling and the manufactured 

Some Democratic senators – and former president Bill Clinton – have kicked around what they're calling the “Constitutional option” for avoiding catastrophe. Obama would cite Section 4 of the 14th Amendment (“the validity of the public debt, duly authorized by Congress, shall not be questioned”), declare the debt ceiling unconstitutional and order the Treasury to continue issuing bonds. While it may provide a way out of the mess, it's a legal theory that has never been tested in court, and would potentially create a crisis between the executive branch and Congress. Several Republicans have promised to attempt to impeach Obama if he uses the maneuver. Coin seignorage, on the other hand, leaves the debt ceiling intact, and simply steers around it (much more detail on coin seignorage is available here).
The idea has bubbled up within the blogosphere in recent months. Economist Warren Mosler writes that “it does work operationally...the US Treasury is already legally empowered to simply mint its own platinum coin in any denomination it wants and effectively deposit it in its Fed account, rather than sell bonds to the public to fund its Fed account.”

This process doesn’t change actual government spending, so doing it this way doesn’t add to inflation, nor does it change the fact that govt deficit spending adds income and net financial assets to the other, non government sectors. It’s just that the new financial assets will simply be new reserve balances at the Fed, rather than new Treasury securities (which are also simply accounts at the Fed).
Given that Congress is hurtling at breakneck speed toward the cliff of default, one might imagine that a neat accounting trick with the potential to avert an economic catastrophe would get some attention in the corporate media. But as of this writing, none of the country's leading media outlets have touched it.

It has gotten a little mainstream attention on a few news outlets' blogs. Marketwatch called it “the wacky talking point of the day,” and said it sounded “crazy,” even as the post's author acknowledged that “the proposal has got it right that the U.S., as issuer of a fiat currency, can create any amount of cash it wants and doesn’t really need to borrow money to spend it.”
Felix Salmon wrote on Reuters' blog that “tools like the 14th Amendment or even crazier loopholes like coin seignorage would be signs of the utter failure of the US political system and civil society,” and claimed that it could lead to “the loss of America’s status as a safe haven and a reserve currency.” But he never bothered to explain why avoiding a debt ceiling crisis would make us less trustworthy in the eyes of the world than Congress' inability to govern, never mind all the theatrics around the non-question of whether it will pay off its debts.
Think Progress blogger Matt Yglesias dismissed coin seignorage as “an idea that’s circulating in Modern Monetary Theory circles” that, in his view, is “legally mistaken.” But he didn't bother to explain why. He later updated his post with a note: “I now think this might be legal after all, provided the coin is made of palladium.” He was likely referring to a law passed last year authorizing the mint to produce palladium coins, but it specifies a face-value of $25 for the coins. (A response to both Yglesias and Salmon's post can be found here.)
The idea of minting a few trillion-dollar coins to skirt the debt ceiling is certainly unprecedented, and it's possible that Yglesias is right and there is some legal issue of which proponents of the idea are unaware. Perhaps it's accurate to call it a “radical” proposal. But all of that needs to be viewed in the context of what are, today, considered relatively “mainstream” positions – positions that are reported and analyzed daily by the Washington Post and the New York Times.
Consider the debt ceiling debate itself: Congress has the power to authorize any amount of spending and raise any amount of tax revenues it wants, and it chose to spend $1.5 trillion more this year then it will take in in taxes. Many of those holding up the debt ceiling were members of Congress when the budget passed – some voted for it. That debt has already been incurred, and now the hard-right flank of the GOP – the party of purported “fiscal responsibility” – is threatening to simply stiff our creditors, despite the fact that doing so would not only cause extreme economic pain on “Main Street,” it would also send the deficit skyrocketing.
Some within the “suicide caucus” are brazen enough to claim, beyond all reason, that nothing much would happen if the U.S. government were in fact to default. A Democratic president has offered them a deal that is well to the right of where even Republican voters stand, but they are steadfast in their opposition to it. Eighty Republican members of the House have also vowed to oppose an alternative crafted by their own party's leaders.
While the debt ceiling has been raised without fuss under both Democratic and Republican presidents, today it's considered an acceptable conservative position for a minority to insist on gutting popular safety-net programs like Social Security and Medicare – programs overwhelming majorities of Americans across the political spectrum support – in exchange for a “deal” on something everyone knows will happen eventually. (The debt ceiling needs to be raised under every budget proposal, including Rep Paul Ryan's, R-Wisconsin, draconian plan.)
And the sheer insanity of cutting spending -- taking money out of people's pockets – in the midst of the worst economic downturn to hit the country in generations has become so mainstream that it is now a bipartisan position with which virtually every “serious” pundit agrees. Perhaps a headline appearing this week in the  satirical news outlet the Onion  captured this political moment best: “Congress Continues Debate Over Whether Or Not Nation Should Be Economically Ruined.”
What's sane about any of this? It's a “wacky” situation that just may be crying out for a similarly “wacky” solution. When you're this far down the rabbit-hole, who's to say which ideas are crazy and which are serious?

How To Liberate America From Wall Street Rule

A new report details the ways America can be free of the power wielded by the big banks that brought on the economic crisis.

By David Korten
Source: "Yes Magazine"
July 20, 2011
Courtesy Of "Alter Net"

How is it that our nation is awash in money, but too broke to provide jobs and services? David Korten introduces a landmark new report, "How to Liberate America from Wall Street Rule."
The dominant story of the current political debate is that the government is broke. 
We can’t afford to pay for public services, put people to work, or service the public debt. Yet as a nation, we are awash in money. A defective system of money, banking, and finance just puts it in the wrong places.
Raising taxes on the rich and implementing financial reforms are essential elements of the solution to our seemingly intractable fiscal and economic crisis. Yet proposals currently on the table fall far short of the need.
A newly released report of the New Economy Working Group, coordinated by the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC, goes beyond the current debate  to call for a deep restructuring of the institutions to which we as a society give the power to create and allocate money. How to Liberate America from Wall Street Rule spells out the steps required to rebuild a system of community-based and accountable institutions devoted to financing productive activities that create good jobs for Americans and generate real community wealth.
Despite the financial crash of 2008, the financial assets of America’s billionaires and the idle cash of the most profitable corporations are now at historic highs. Their biggest challenge is figuring out where to park all their cash.Over the past 30 years, virtually all the benefit of U.S. economic growth has gone to the richest 1 percent of Americans. Effective tax rates for the very rich are at historic lows and many of the most profitable corporations pay no taxes at all
Corporations are using their stores of cash primarily to buy back their own stock, acquire control of other companies, invest in off-shoring yet more American jobs, and pay generous dividends to shareholders and outsized bonuses to management.Unfortunately, most of those who hold the cash and the corporations they control have lost interest in long-term investments that build and expand strong enterprises. The substantial majority of trades in financial markets are made by high-speed computers in securities held for fractions of a second. Business pundits still refer to this trading as investment. It bears no resemblance, however, to the investment required to put people to work rebuilding a strong America.
It was not always so. In response to the Great Depression, our country enacted financial reforms that put in place a system of money, banking, and investment based on community banks, mutual savings and loans, and credit unions. These institutions provided financial services to local Main Street economies that employed Americans to produce and trade real goods and services in response to community needs and opportunities.
This system, which Wall Street interests dismiss as quaint and antiquated, financed the U.S. victory in World War II, the creation of a strong American middle class, an unprecedented period of economic stability and prosperity, and the investments that made America the world’s undisputed industrial and technological leader.
The consequences include the erosion of the middle class, an extreme concentration of wealth and power, a costly financial collapse, persistent high unemployment, housing foreclosures, collapsing environmental systems, the hollowing out of U.S. industrial, technological, and research capacity, huge public and international trade deficits, and the corruption of our political institutions.In the 1970’s Wall Street interests began pushing a deregulation agenda that led to a transfer of financial power from Main Street to Wall Street. Wall Street’s mega-banks lost interest in real investment and developed a new business model. They now specialize in charging excessive fees and usurious interest rates, providing leverage to speculators, speculating for their own accounts, luring the unwary into mortgages they cannot afford, bundling junk mortgages to sell them as triple-A securities, betting against the clients to whom they sell the overrated securities, extracting subsidies and bailouts from government, laundering money from drug and arms traders, and offshoring their profits to avoid taxes.
Wall Street profited at every step and declared its experiment with deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthy a great success. It now argues for extending the same measures even further.
How to Liberate America from Wall Street Rule spells out details of a six-part policy agenda to rebuild a sensible system of community-based and accountable financial services institutions.
  1. Break up the mega-banks and implement tax and regulatory policies that favor community financial institutions, with a preference for those organized as cooperatives or as for-profits owned by nonprofit foundations.
  2. Establish state-owned partnership banks in each of the 50 states, patterned after the Bank of North Dakota. These would serve as depositories for state financial assets to use in partnership with community financial institutions to fund local farms and businesses.
  3. Restructure the Federal Reserve to function under strict standards of transparency and public scrutiny, with General Accounting Office audits and Congressional oversight.
  4. Direct all new money created by the Federal Reserve to a Federal Recovery and Reconstruction Bank rather than the current practice of directing it as a subsidy to Wall Street banks. The FRRB would have a mandate to fund essential green infrastructure projects as designated by Congress.
  5. Rewrite international trade and investment rules to support national ownership, economic self-reliance, and economic self-determination.
  6. Implement appropriate regulatory and fiscal measures to secure the integrity of financial markets and the money/banking system.
How to Liberate America from Wall Street Rule is the product of extended discussions among representatives of a diverse group of organizations committed to deepening and reframing the conversation on financial reform to focus attention on the serious financial system restructuring required to build a strong new American economy adequate to the social and environmental challenges of the 21st century. It may be freely shared, reproduced and distributed with appropriate citations.
David Korten is a former economist with USAID, author of "When Corporations Rule the World," and an associate of the International Forum on Globalization.

Dying Nation

Artist: "CunninLynguist's"

[Intro: George Bush]

"There's an old saying in Tennesse, I know it's in Texas, it's probably in Tennesse
that says fool me once... shame on... shame on you.
If you fool me you can't fool me again."


I live in a nation that relies on business and crime
And the leaders are politician guys livin' a lie
Who bullshit like everyone else for a nickel and dime
America ... just as corrupt as it is online
Using freedom and entertainment just to keep us sedated
But remember what the declaration of independence stated?
All men are equal and that's the way they're created?
But when that was written, black and white people were segregated
And this country still breeds racism, just not as blatant
To call us the land of the free is overstatement
Cause ain't NOBODY free. We all being watched quietly
National security's an invasion of privacy
Drug Trafficking, conspiracy, murder and piracy
What America can't have they take silently
Sometimes violently, open up your eyes and see
Even dirty money is supporting our economy
It's all backwards like negative split photography
But I guess that's the way it's got to be
United we stand on this land and we do all crimes
Facin' a Dyin' Nation ?


"Facin' a dyin' nation. Listen to the retold lies"
"Facin' a dyin' nation. Listen to the retold lies"

[Deacon the Villain]

I live in a nation where it ain't what's physical that fights us
Now it's silent strikes from political insiders
A black market government where being criminal is righteous
Ran by bloodlines that were dirty before Isis
The crisis has even spread to spiritual infestations
Confessionals filled with sexual molestations
Professionals so set on capitalization
They don't notice their children freebasin' in their million
Dollar basements
Babies having babies in the hood I grew up in
Hands are too small for the guns that they be bustin'
Schools underfunded, graduates retain nothing
On Capitol Hll it's barely a topic of discussion
Kids like, why should I think about college
When this hood situation is holding me hostage
And even if I fought and bought the knowledge
I'd prolly get shot 41 times by a cop over my wallet
Shiiiiit.. So wherever you are
Don't inhale the second hand smoke from its victory cigar
Motivate yourself don't just stand on the side
Facing a dying nation and listening to the new told lies


"Facin' a dyin' nation. Listen to the retold lies"
"Facin' a dyin' nation. Listen to the retold lies"


Somebody dial 9-1-1
It's mass confusion, mass contusions
At last we losin' Uncle Sam to a mass of tumors
And that's the rumor at least, it's soon to be seen
If its true that the beast is soon to decease
Catchin' blood clots in the crude oil
That runs through his veins and up thru his brain
Its tough to maintain
If he was low income he'd already been gone
Insurance paperwork gettin handled by Enron
And scandalous friends call to speak
Even Bill O'Reilly's wrapped in a hospital bedsheet
With a pointed hat, where the ointment at?
Wax the taxpayers backside for a tax hike
Woulda had a Catholic priest at his bedside
But they were too busy giving these Boy Scouts a leg ride
Temperature stay high but no pain
Cus the presidents Hooked on Phonics and cocaine
Product of old age and Alzheimers disease
Medical bills raised from all types of fees
Looks to the American people to show love
But his Social Security ran out - pull the plug


Economic Difficulties and Discrimination In The US

This Edition Of Double Standards Takes A Look At The Economic Catastrophe Facing The United States Of America.

FBI Entraps US Citizens To Feign Success Against Terror

30 Years In Prison For Saying The Wrong Thing?

By Rehanna Jones-Boutaleb
Source: "Foreign Policy In Focus"
Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011
Courtesy Of "Axis Of Logic"

The FBI, under considerable pressure to produce results, has resorted to unjust measures to create villains of domestic terror.

July 11, 2011

On August 28, 2008, two childhood friends from Midland, Texas, Bradley Crowder and David McKay, traveled north to join thousands of protesters at the 2008 Republican National Convention (RNC). In the company of six Austin activists, Crowder and McKay were ready for adventure, and prepared, in Crowder's words, to protest to "change the world." What began as a journey of hope, however, ended in sudden catastrophe. Crowder and McKay's efforts to mark their opposition to the Republican administration and the U.S. involvement in Iraq resulted in multiple charges of domestic terrorism and a high- stakes entrapment defense in federal court. What the "Texas Two" hadn't realized in Minnesota was that their trusted comrade, Brandon Michael Darby - the very activist to whom they had looked for inspiration and guidance - was in fact an FBI informant.
Tracing Crowder and McKay's saga from its very origins, the 2011 documentary Better this World cunningly unveils the intricacies of the two protestors' federal trials, as well as the media sensation they precipitated. The film, which is scheduled to air nationally on PBS's "POV" series, not only provides a nuanced perspective of two alleged cases of domestic terrorism but also cuts to the heart of the "war on terror" and its effect upon civil liberties.

Aiming to go beyond the "nice-kids-turned-domestic- terrorists" narrative propagated by mainstream media sources, film-makers Kelly Galloway and Kelly Duane de la Vega have turned their attention to the viewpoints of the key players themselves: Crowder, McKay, and Darby. Although both directors are clearly sympathetic toward the convicted Texas youths, they take care to interview multiple FBI agents and prosecutors, providing viewers with conflicting approaches to the trials. The result is a documentary thriller that stands as both a compelling character study and a necessary reminder of the broader themes behind McKay and Crowder's testimony, namely the post-9/11 security apparatus and the use, and abuse, of informants in the government's "war on terror."

David v. Goliath

Playing out against the backdrop of the RNC in St. Paul, Minnesota, Better this World opens with visceral footage from the 2008 protests. These recordings, alongside testimonies detailing McKay and Crowder's involvement with Austin's progressive scene, reveal that both youths were not only newcomers to the activist community but also indisputably shocked by what they encountered in St. Paul. There was, in Crowder's words, a "pervasive sense of occupation…it was a war zone…a police state." Indeed, police searched the group's rented white van without a warrant on its arrival in St. Paul and seized their homemade shields constructed for the protests.

Unnerved by this illegal bust and inspired by Darby's militant polemics, Crowder and McKay walked into a Walmart on August 31 and bought provisions to construct Molotov cocktails. Although they proceeded to make eight bottled gasoline bombs, the next morning the two protestors realized, in Mckay's words, that they "didn't know what they were doing." Leaving the Molotovs behind, they joined other protestors in St. Paul only to be arrested soon after for disorderly conduct. Due to lack of identification on his person, Crowder was held in jail.

At this point, the narrative takes its tragic turn. Incensed that Crowder had not been released, McKay foolishly announced to Darby that he was planning to throw his homemade bombs on police cars in a nearby parking lot. His conversation with Darby, held in a moment of hotheadedness, was in fact being transmitted to the FBI through electronic surveillance gear. Although McKay and Darby agreed to meet once more at 2 a.m. to use the Molotovs, McKay decided against this plan and ceased contact with Darby. Nevertheless, several hours later, just before McKay was due to leave for the airport, the FBI arrested him at gunpoint.

When McKay took his case to trial, arguing that he'd walked into an FBI trap, he was facing up to 30 years in federal prison. As his father remarked in a phone conversation prior to his trial, the case was that of "David against Goliath." An entrapment defense had no precedent of success in the United States. Crowder, in contrast, found himself in a more secure position; he had never conversed with Darby on employing firebombs. The prosecution offered him a two-year plea deal for accepting one charge of possession of unregistered firearms. In the belief that this would exempt him from testifying against McKay, Crowder agreed to these terms.

The two friends nonetheless found themselves pitted against each other as their cases played out. As Better this World critically reveals, when McKay's trial resulted in a hung jury, the prosecution crawled back to Crowder, effectively blackmailing him for information on McKay. Although the latter still had a chance to prove entrapment, when he was offered a plea-deal of four years in prison, he accepted, thus allowing Darby and the FBI to wash their hands of the case. Faced with the decision to accept four years in prison, or risk 30 in proceeding with a second trial, McKay backed down.

As Crowder explained in an interview on June 23, he and McKay were simply "pawns in somebody else's game." A paid FBI informant -- once respected for his involvement with Common Ground Relief, the post-Katrina recovery effort -- directly influenced their progression to more radical activism. More importantly, the machinery of the U.S. judicial system constrained and shaped their decisions following arrest.

Broader Implications
Crowder and McKay's experience serves as a crucial reminder of broader and more disquieting government trends, such as the tendency to amplify minor offences as cases of "homegrown" domestic terrorism and employ pre-emptive counterterrorism strategies on U.S. soil. "Going on the offense," as former Attorney General John Ashcroft once dubbed it, has worked to push the boundaries of civil privacy to their limit. Since 9/11, Ashcroft and his successor Michael Mukasey have steadily weakened rights protections and relaxed appropriate checks put in place for FBI investigations. In recent years, the Attorney General Guidelines, first promulgated in 1976 to eradicate the forms of investigative abuse that marked the COINTELPRO program, have markedly eroded. As documented in a study by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, Mukasey's 2008 guidelines continue to permit the FBI to authorize intrusive surveillance techniques, such as the dissemination of untrained informants, without any factual predicates to suspected criminal conduct.

The relaxation of criteria required to engage in investigative activity has been a recurrent feature of the post-9/11 world. Mukasey's Guidelines, for instance, allow the FBI to conduct preliminary "assessments" on the activities of individuals or organizations without any prior allegations indicating criminal activity or threats to national security. In these assessment stages that occur prior to preliminary investigations - which themselves can last up to six months! - FBI agents are also permitted to "assess individuals who may have value as human sources," effectively enabling the premeditated recruitment of informants. Crucially, the Guidelines refrain from imposing "supervisory approval requirements in assessments."

Taking advantage of this dearth of checks and balances, the U.S. Department of Justice has heretofore brought charges against just over 400 individuals in "terrorism- related investigations," since 9/11. As noted by David Cole, a professor of law at Georgetown University, this figure is widely regarded as inflated in that it incorporates a vast number of cases that relate to minor offences, such as immigration fraud, rather than actual terrorism.

Entrapment and Surveillance
Brandon Darby's recognized collaboration with the FBI also hints of a larger reality: government entrapment. As the FBI's focus, in the counterterrorism context, has steadily shifted to a preventative model, it has increasingly emphasized the use of paid and untrained informants in the "fight against terrorism." In 2009 alone there were the high-profile cases of Maher Husein Smadi, 19, and Michael Finton, 29, both of whom were convicted on charges of domestic terrorism when their crimes were, in no small part, shaped by the work of FBI informants. FBI agents posing as al-Qaeda members frequently approached Smadi, who was arrested for plotting to bomb a downtown Dallas skyscraper. Undercover U.S. agents also provided inert explosives to Finton, convicted of attempting to bomb the Paul Findley Federal Building and the offices of Congressman Aaron Schock in Illinois.

These cases are only two of hundreds that raise questions about the dividing line between covert operations and government entrapment. Have government informants been given too much leeway? In the eyes of James Weddick, one of several FBI veterans interviewed in Galloway's film, the answer is yes: "Before 9/11 it was eyes and ears only. Now it's eyes, ears, and the informant's mouth." In recent years, these surveillance techniques have become ominously extreme.

Indeed, one of the more shocking realities Better this World brings to light is the fact that the FBI was preparing for the 2008 RNC at least two years prior to its opening. In the words of one agent interviewed in the film, authorities treated the RNC as a 100% security threat. To that end, the FBI relied on informants in neighboring jurisdictions to track the activities of allegedly threatening activist groups, such as the RNC Welcoming Committee, which coordinated discussions and preparations for the 2008 protests. McKay and Crowder themselves had actually been on the FBI's radar for more than a year when they travelled to St. Paul. Given the enormous funds spent on RNC security operations, the FBI was under considerable pressure to produce results, to effectively press charges against the alleged terrorists whom they had been tracking.

For those convicted on dubious charges of domestic terrorism, the probability of mounting a successful entrapment defense is slim to nil. According to the Center for Law and Security, from 2001 to 2007, ten defendants charged with "terrorism-related" crimes have formally issued an entrapment defense. None, however, has prevailed. Although Brandon Darby, currently a right-wing political commentator, now refers to Crowder and McKay as "American-hating Americans," the reality is that the two boys' progression to militant activism was undeniably influenced by his words and actions. In an effort to "better this world," a phrase taken from Darby himself, government informants are taking suspects to the edge of the pool and pushing them in.
Rehanna Jones-Boutaleb is a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus.
© 2011 Foreign Policy in Focus All rights reserved.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Muslim Victim Of Post-9/11 Hate Crime Calls On Texas To Spare Life Of His Assailant


By Amy Goodman
Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011
Courtesy Of "Democracy Now"

In Texas, a hate crime victim is attempting to save the life of a convicted murderer who shot him in the face at close range after 9/11. Rais Bhuiyan is suing Governor Rick Perry in order to stop the execution of death row prisoner Mark Stroman scheduled for Wednesday. Stroman shot Bhuiyan in 2001, partially blinding him in his right eye. Stroman, an Aryan Brotherhood member, also killed Vasudev Patel, an Indian immigrant who was Hindu, and Waqar Hasan, a Muslim born in Pakistan. "I strongly believe what Mark Stroman did was a hate crime because of his ignorance, and he was not capable of distinguishing between right and wrong. Otherwise, he would not have done what he did,” Bhuiyan said. “The way my parents raised me, and my Islamic faith teaches me, that he is the best who can forgive easily. And my faith teaches that no one has a right to take another human life. Islam doesn’t allow for hate and killing.” In a statement written in prison, Stroman says, “Not only do I have all My friends and supporters trying to Save my Life, but now i have The Islamic Community Joining in ... Spearheaded by one Very Remarkable man Named Rais Bhuiyan, Who is a Survivor of My Hate. His deep Islamic Beliefs Have gave him the strength to Forgive the Un-forgiveable ... that is truly Inspiring to me, and should be an Example for us all. The Hate, has to stop, we are all in this world together." [includes rush transcript]

AMY GOODMAN: We turn to Texas, where a hate crime victim is attempting to save the life of a convicted murderer who shot him in the face, as well, at close range after 9/11. Rais Bhuiyan is suing Governor Rick Perry in order to stop the execution of death row prisoner Mark Stroman. He’s scheduled to die on Wednesday.

Stroman shot Bhuiyan in 2001, partially blinding him in his right eye. Stroman, an Aryan Brotherhood member, also killed Vasudev Patel, an Indian immigrant who was Hindu, and Waqar Hasan, a Muslim born in Pakistan. Stroman’s half-sister was killed in the attack on the twin towers, and he claimed her death fueled his rampage. The killings happened just a few days after September 11th.

Bhuiyan is now calling on Perry to heed his demand for mercy and lower Stroman’s punishment to life in prison, arguing the attack was rooted in ignorance. As a devout American Muslim, Bhuiyan told reporters his faith led him to advocate for mercy, not vengeance.

In a typed letter from death row, Mark Stroman responded to a New York Times reporter’s question about his final thoughts as he awaits execution. This is what he wrote—we have not edited the original response—quote: "Not only do I have all My friends and supporters trying to Save my Life, but now i have The Islamic Community Joining in ... Spearheaded by one Very Remarkable man Named Rais Bhuiyan, Who is a Survivor of My Hate. His deep Islamic Beliefs Have gave him the strength to Forgive the Un-forgiveable ...that is truly Inspiring to me, and should be an Example for us all. The Hate, has to stop, we are all in this world together." Those are the words of Mark Stroman, scheduled to die on Wednesday.

For more, we’re joined by one of his victims, Rais Bhuiyan—Rais Bhuiyan, who was in a convenience store when Mark Stroman walked in and shot him directly, at point-blank range, in the face.

Rais, thank you very much for being with us. How can you find it in yourself to campaign for clemency for the man who killed others and shot you?

RAIS BHUIYAN: Well, thank you very much for having me on your show.

Well, I strongly believe what Mark Stroman did, that it was hate—I mean, that it was hate crime because of his ignorance, and he was not capable of distinguishing between right and wrong. 

Otherwise, he would not have done what he did. The way my parents raised me, and my Islamic faith teaches me, that he is the best who can forgive easily. And my faith teaches that no one has a right to take another human life. Islam doesn’t allow for hate and killing. All this kind of thing encouraged me not only to forgive Mark Stroman and also do something more to save this human life, because what Mark Stroman did, that it was hate crime, and now it is—we see crime all over the world, based on color, sex—I mean, color, sexual orientation, nationality and faith. So his execution will not eradicate hate crimes from this world. But if he’s executed, we’ll simply lose a human life without dealing with the root cause, which is hate. So that’s what encouraged me to come forward and run this campaign.

AMY GOODMAN: Rais, describe what happened 10 days after 9/11, September 11, 2001. What was the exact date that you were shot?

RAIS BHUIYAN: Well, it was September 21st, 2001. It was Friday, around 12:30, noon. I was working in a gas station. Suddenly, a customer came inside wearing bandana, sunglasses, baseball cap, and pointing a gun directly at my face. From my previous robbery experience, I thought that would be another robbery, so I offered him cash and requested him not to shoot me. In response, he asked me, "Where are you from?" And as soon as he asked me that question, I feel cold air flow through my spinal cord, and I thought, "He is not here for money. He is here for something else." And that question seemed strange to ask during a robbery. So I replied, "Excuse me?"

As soon as I spoke, I felt the sensation of a million bees stinging my face and then heard an explosion. I was not sure if he shot me or I was going through hallucination. I looked down, and I saw blood was pouring like an open faucet from the right side of my head. Images of my mother, my father, other siblings and my fiancée appeared before my eyes, and then a graveyard. I looked left, and I saw the gunman was still standing and looking at me. I thought, "If I don’t pretend I’m dying, he will shoot me again." So I jumped on the floor. And I remember screaming, "Mom!" And I was reciting from Holy Quran all the verses I have memorized, and I was asking God for His mercy to save my life.

AMY GOODMAN: And then what happened?

RAIS BHUIYAN: And I was thinking that "Maybe I’m dying today. This is the end of my life." And I was crying. I was reciting Quran. And I thought I have to stay positive, I have to stay active and keep my hope that God is watching me, and He knows what He’s going to do, so I have to stay focused. And I grabbed the phone, and as soon as Mark left the store, I came outside, with the thinking that if I stay inside and if I pass out, I may not get any help, but if I go in the parking lot, there might be some help. 

So I grabbed the phone, ran to the next door, which was a barber store. And once I entered, those folks, they were so scared, they tried to escape through their emergency door. Later on, they told me they thought the killer was coming behind me as I entered their store by running. So I captured one of them, and I said, "Please call 911." And he called.

That was the first time I looked at myself in the mirror. And I was—I was shocked by seeing myself, that just couple of minutes before, I was a beautiful young man, and now I look like a horror film, all those characters, full of blood on my face and my body. And I was thinking that maybe I’m dying today. I was very scared. I came back to the parking lot. I was running back and forth for the ambulance. Within a few minutes, the ambulance came to the parking lot. I ran towards that. And the paramedics, they were surprised seeing me running towards them, because they said later on that they thought they will be seeing some body on the floor, and they have to go with a stretcher. But rather, I was running toward them. They were surprised. And I was taken to the hospital.

AMY GOODMAN: Rais Bhuiyan, have you gotten to speak to Mark Stroman on death row?

RAIS BHUIYAN: I never got any chance to talk to him directly.

AMY GOODMAN: If you could, what would you say to him right now, scheduled to die on Wednesday?

RAIS BHUIYAN: Well, I will look directly at his eyes, if I get the chance to talk to him, and I will say that I was never angry at him, I never hated him. He is another human being like me, and I do not hate him.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you address the Governor of Texas or the Board of Pardons and Parole? You are a victim.

RAIS BHUIYAN: Yes, I’m the only survivor of Mark Stroman’s hate crime, what he did in 2001 because of World Trade Center tragedy in New York City. Governor Perry said in one of his statements that April 10 to 16, 2011, will be the victims’ rights week. He asked all the fellow Texans to join this effort to listen to the victim and help them whenever possible. I’d like to ask Honorable Governor Perry, that I’m a victim of this hate crime. Please listen to my request. Let me have a mediation dialogue with my offender, a meaningful—

AMY GOODMAN: We must leave it there, Rais Bhuiyan. Thank you so much for joining us.

Related Stories