A note before beginning. This article focuses on today's financial and economic crisis. Not affairs of state, war and peace or geopolitics. No guessing who's number one under those headings. That said:
With so many good choices, it's hard just picking one. But given the gravity of today's financial crisis, one name stands out above others. The "maestro," as Bob Woodward called him in his book by that title. The "Temple of Boom" chairman, according to a New York Times book review. Standing "bestride the Fed like a colossus." Now defrocked as the "maestro" of misery. Alan Greenspan. From August 11, 1987 to January 31, 2006, as head of the private banking cartel euphemistically called the Federal Reserve. That Ron Paul explains isn't Federal and has no reserves.
The bailout is the biggest overt theft in history. Only healthy banks get funding --so why do they get a bailout? The 'bailout' is yet another monumental instance in which 'wealth is spread around' to those who do not need it, did not create it, did not earn it, and did not do anything productive to create it! Why doesn't Bush and his 'base' just load up a convoy of armored trucks at Ft. Knox --then drive like hell to the border?
Most big recipients of 'bailout monies' are using the 'bailout' to gobble up smaller, less favored banks. In simpler times, we might have called them the "Savings and Loan". In "It's a Wonderful Life" with Jimmy Stewart, it was called the "Building and Loan". If you've seen this classic film, you will recall that when the Great Depression came, it was the "Building and Loan" that was faced with collapse --not Potter, the richest man in town who sought to own it all.
The US presidential campaign has already descended into a make-believe world of cosmetic saturnalia, and in this looney world, one should not be surprised if the Republicans pull off another White House coup on Nov 4.
This campaign has been disrobed to the level of slipshod slip-ups.
The initial kerfuffle generated by the $150,000 spent on the Palin wardrobe has now degenerated into a scandalous $22,800 paid to the vice presidential candidate's make-up artiste, Amy Strozzi.
"Everything has to change so that nothing changes." - Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa, Il Gattopardo
The color of money. Senator Barack Obama's campaign has now raised more than $600 million, almost equaling what all the candidates from both major parties collected in private donations in 2004.
Where do you think that awful lot of money comes from?
"Many of these large donors come from industries with interests in Washington. A New York Times analysis of donors who wrote checks of $25,000 or more to the candidates' main joint fund-raising committees found, for example, the biggest portion of money for both candidates came from the securities and investments industry, including executives at various firms embroiled in the recent financial crisis like Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and AIG. (...) More than 600 donors contributed $25,000 or more to [Obama] in September alone, roughly three times the number who did the same for Senator John McCain."
"You don't stick a knife in a man's back nine inches, and then pull it out six inches, and say you're making progress." - Malcolm X
Another Election Day approaches and I’m reminded of something the late Pakistani dissident, Eqbal Ahmad said about Noam Chomsky in the book, Confronting Empire (2000): “He (Chomsky) has never wavered. He has never fallen into the trap of saying, ‘Clinton will do better.’ Or ‘Nixon was bad but Carter at least had a human rights presidency.’ There is a consistency of substance, of posture, of outlook in his work.”
The presidential election is only a matter of days away now. I wish I could say there is reason to be optimistic that it will bring an end to the reign of greed and destruction of the bush regime. The reality is that there is little to be optimistic about.
A new president will not herald the changes we want and so desperately need. There will be no more than a changing of faces that will still tell us lies. We will still have a king instead of a leader. He will still act as though the constitution is somewhere between optional and flat out objectionable.
We will still have a government that is separated from us, that asserts a right to be above us and to rule over us with two separate sets of laws. The laws for themselves forgive every felony and lie, and excuse every wrongful death, theft and trespass. The laws for us forgive nothing, excuse nothing, and mete out brutal punishments and imprisonment even before crimes have been committed. ― We will still be held hostage by, and held accountable for the mental midgetry of our disconnected elites. We will still have multimillionaire legislators and multimillionaire White House denizens who's services are already pre-purchased by people whose interests are in direct conflict with our own.
One can understand why some people might have sincerely thought that the Iraq war would be a "cakewalk". First, consider WW2 ; the US mercilessly bombed Germany and Japan, including their civilian populations, then occupied those countries militarily, imposing almost total control. Yet, today, Germany and Japan are among the world’s most faithful allies of the US. How deep this alliance really is and how long it will last remains to be seen, but for the moment it is a reality.
Now, consider the Cold War. Remember that, once upon a time, governments from Poland to Bulgaria were hostile to the US. Now, they want nothing more than integration into Nato, advanced US anti-missile shields and participation in the occupation of Iraq. Or consider, even more surprisingly, Vietnam, where US investors are now welcomed with open arms, while, in a not so distant past, the US was ferociously bombing Vietnam, killing millions of people and poisoning the environment. Even after the bombing of their little country in 1999, the Serbs behaved as desired, by voting out Milosevic and by accepting, at least for a while, pro-Western governments approving implicitely if not explicitely the bombing of their own country.
Murray N. Rothbard
What the State Is Not
The State is almost universally considered an institution of social service. Some theorists venerate the State as the apotheosis of society; others regard it as an amiable, though often inefficient, organization for achieving social ends; but almost all regard it as a necessary means for achieving the goals of mankind, a means to be ranged against the "private sector" and often winning in this competition of resources. With the rise of democracy, the identification of the State with society has been redoubled, until it is common to hear sentiments expressed which violate virtually every tenet of reason and common sense such as, "we are the government." The useful collective term "we" has enabled an ideological camouflage to be thrown over the reality of political life. If "we are the government," then anything a government does to an individual is not only just and untyrannical but also "voluntary" on the part of the individual concerned. If the government has incurred a huge public debt which must be paid by taxing one group for the benefit of another, this reality of burden is obscured by saying that "we owe it to ourselves"; if the government conscripts a man, or throws him into jail for dissident opinion, then he is "doing it to himself" and, therefore, nothing untoward has occurred. Under this reasoning, any Jews murdered by the Nazi government were not murdered; instead, they must have "committed suicide," since they were the government (which was democratically chosen), and, therefore, anything the government did to them was voluntary on their part. One would not think it necessary to belabor this point, and yet the overwhelming bulk of the people hold this fallacy to a greater or lesser degree.
Whatever we know about today's financial crisis. Think we know. Eventually will know in the fullness of time. This time is really different. In 1922, Henry Ford put it this way in his book titled "My Life and Work:"
"The (economy's) primary functions are agriculture, manufacture, and transportation. Community life is impossible without them. They hold the world together....The great delusion is that one may change the foundation. The foundations of society are the men and means to grow things, to make things, and to carry things." Real enterprise producing value. Tangible products. Not casino capitalism. Computerized gambling. The illusion of wealth. Disappearing once liquidity dries up. Or even now when it's abundant. With a keyboard click, or when investors fear an approaching economic storm.
Khaled Al Sharif
[Translated by Kirsten Beck (Original article in Arabic)]
The financial crisis and economic destruction afflicting the United States of America is about to blow her away. It's natural that Bush's imperialistic policy resulted in plunging into crusade-like wars against the Arab and Islamic world--a policy that inflicted a heavy financial burden upon the extremist U.S. administration in order to finance unjustified wars of intolerance and hatred in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the others; a policy that cost the U.S. Treasury 60 trillion dollars and that, in spite of all the financing, caused a huge economic disaster, the extent of which, beyond the certain defeat of the U.S. and NATO in Afghanistan, is unknown to anyone but God.
A recent preliminary strategy report confirmed that NATO and the United States will lose the war in Afghanistan, like what happened with the Soviet Union in the 80s of the last century and the British Empire in the 19th century. In a report by the strategic thinker Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, titled "Losing the Afghan-Pakistani War? The Rising Threat," Cordesman confirmed that the influence of the occupation forces is declining in Afghanistan, while the influence of Islamic resistance forces is increasing, providing proof and evidence backing up his findings.
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