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About the Twisted USA Monetary System

9:04 am in Uncategorized by Liz Berry

Cross Post from IfLizWereQueen

The Rich should pay higher interest rates than the poor.

The US monetary system is set up to perpetuate the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. This will never end until we remove most members of Congress who continue to support this system because it works for them. That is fact. Overall, this means stop voting for Democrats or Republicans. Realize that they are merely two heads of the same counterfeit coin.

Most of us know by now that the way money is created is by extending credit. The government and banks are the ones endowed with the power to create money. The rich don’t need credit. They can afford to pay for whatever they want. It’s the poor who need credit/money. However, you can only get credit if you have assets to post as collateral. But you only have assets if you are rich. Therefore, the rich get cheap money (loans at low interest rates) while the poor, when they can obtain a loan, often pay in interest many times the value of the loan. In other words, those who can least afford it pay the most. It would make much more business sense, not only for the poor, but for all of us, if the wealthy paid higher interest rates for their loans and the poor paid lower rates.

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More on the Monetary System in the USA

Many Americans knew what was coming down the pike with the creation of the Federal Reserve and they didn’t like it.  The cartoon below was created a year or so before the signing of the Federal Reserve Act. The Plan originally called for the establishment of a National Reserve Association with 15 regional district branches and 46 geographically dispersed directors primarily from the banking profession. The Reserve Association would make emergency loans to member banks, print money, and act as the fiscal agent for the U.S. government. State and nationally chartered banks would have the option of subscribing to specified stock in their local association branch. The plan was proposed by a Republican by the name of Aldrich. Since the Aldrich Plan essentially gave full control of this system to private bankers, there was strong opposition to it from rural and western states because of fears that it would become a tool of certain rich and powerful financiers in New York City, referred to as the “Money Trust”.

Typical with their hand-in-glove side show, the Democrats stepped in and worked out a compromise to the Republican proposal (private sector take all) and proposed a compromise.  The Glass-Owen bill was created by two Democrat Senators.  However, unlike the Aldrich plan, which gave controlling interest to private bankers with only a small public presence, the new plan gave an important role to a public entity, the Federal Reserve Board, while establishing a substantial measure of autonomy for the (regional) Reserve Banks which, at that time, were allowed to set their own discount rates. Also, instead of the proposed currency being an obligation of the private banks, the new Federal Reserve note was to be an obligation of the U.S.

If you haven’t noticed, that’s how the Democrat and Republican leaderships for the rich have been working for over a hundred years.  First the Republican propose an outrageous scheme that is so one-sided for the rich that public outrage arises from the people.  Then the Democrat leadership steps in and proposes a “compromise”.  And we feel better because “it could be so much worse.”    In the end, the majority of the people get the shaft–only instead of the full shaft, we only get 2/3′s of it.  A recent example of this is the Obama Administration’s compromise for health care.  A few Americans, as long as they can afford to pay the premiums, get a few breaks on coverage.  However, the bill did nothing to bring down the over all cost for insurance premiums that Americans must pay AND it mandated that all Americans currently without insurance purchase it in 2016 from the very crooks who are currently ripping them off–50 million new customers for the crooks who are already ripping us off.  This is a solution?  You bet it is–for Wall Street and for the members of Congress–most of who own stock in these health insurance companies.

Another step backward for Humanity: International court gives stamp of approval to mass murder and torture

8:12 am in Uncategorized by Liz Berry

Cross post from IfLizWereQueen

Bundesarchiv

I read about a disturbing war crimes ruling this morning in Der Spiegal regarding an international court ruling on Friday that Germany cannot be held liable for paying reparations to descendants of victims of a massacre perpetrated during World War II in Italy.   No doubt both the Democratic and Republican leaders of the USA are rejoicing in this verdict as it has implications for them as well.

This means that  people in Afghanistan or Ethiopia, in the Balkans or in Libya, will not be able to take countries to court whose soldiers committed war crimes on their soil. It is a situation that governments everywhere wanted to avoid.

This means that the USA will get away with the war crimes that they have committed all over the world–especially those of the past 20 years under the leadership of both Bushes, Clinton and Obama.

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE

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The Fosse Ardeatine massacre was a mass execution carried out in Rome on 24 March 1944 by German occupation troops during the Second World War as a reprisal for a partisan attack conducted on the previous day in central Rome.

a total of 335 Italian the prisoners were taken, five in excess of the 320 called for. On March 24, led by SS officers Erich Priebke and Karl Hass, they were transported to the Ardeatine caves in truckloads and then, in groups of five, put to death inside the caves.

Since the killing squad mostly consisted of officers who had never killed before, Kappler had ordered several cases of cognac delivered to the caves to calm their nerves. The officers were ordered to lead the doomed prisoners into the caves with their hands tied behind their backs and then have them kneel down so that the soldiers could place a bullet directly into the cerebellum, ensuring that no more than one bullet would be needed per prisoner. MORE AT WIKI

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Note from ILWQ:  No justice for the victims of Fallujah and Bagram.  It is up to individuals like you and me to remember and tell their stories.  We have leaders like Bill Clinton who don’t even bother to convene a cabinet meeting as over 850,000 human beings are hacked to death with machetes in Rwanda. We have leaders like George Bush who turns his back while the US military extract revenge on innocent civilians in Fallujah.  Our current president oversees drone attacks that kill civilians and doesn’t even bother to apologize for it.

For those who care about the truth can view  ”Fallujah, The Hidden Massacre”–a documentary film by Sigfrido Ranucci and Maurizio Torrealta.  The film documents the use of chemical weapons and alleges indiscriminate use of violence against civilians and children by military forces of the USA in the city of Fallujah in Iraq during the Fallujah Offensive of November 2004.

Interviews with American ex-military personnel who claimed to have been involved in the Fallujah offensive back up the case for the use of weapons by the United States, while reporters who were stationed in Iraq discuss the American government’s attempts to suppress the news by covert means.

Then there are the Bagram torture and prisoner abuse cases. In 2005, The New York Times obtained a 2,000-page United States Army report concerning the homicides of two unarmed civilian Afghan prisoners by U.S. armed forces in 2002 at the Bagram Theater Internment Facility (also Bagram Collection Point or B.C.P.) in Bagram, Afghanistan. The prisoners, Habibullah and Dilawar, were chained to the ceiling and beaten, which caused their deaths. Military coroners ruled that both the prisoners’ deaths were homicides. Autopsies revealed severe trauma to both prisoners’ legs, describing the trauma as comparable to being run over by a bus. Seven soldiers were charged.


The drawing is from WIKI Commons showing a sketch by Thomas V. Curtis, a former Reserve M.P. sergeant, showing how Dilawar was allegedly chained to the ceiling of his cell.

If Twitter is any indication, Kim Kardashian is our next president

8:57 am in Uncategorized by Liz Berry

IfLizWereQueen Cross post ,

Yesterday I reported on The Twitter popularity of Candidates. Today I decided to investigate other candidates and pundits and personalities and their corresponding twitter popularity

This is what I found:

President Obama https://twitter.com/#!/barackobama is the champion of the politicians with over 12 million followers:  12, 276, 394

But perhaps to put the president’s 12, 276, 394 into perspective.  We might note that Kim Kardashian beats him by almost 700,000 followers.  Ms. Kardashian has 12, 928,641 twitter  followers.  http://twitter.com/kimkardashian.  Does that mean that she should be our next president?

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Newt Gingrich https://twitter.com/#!/newtgingrich has 1,433,224 followers

Sarah Palin https://twitter.com/#!/sarahpalin has 728, 895 followers

Jon Stewart http://twitter.com/thedailyshow has 622, 147 followers.

Mitt Romney https://twitter.com/#!/mittromney has 313, 472 followers (half as many as Palin and more than four times less than Gingrich.

Speaker Boehner http://twitter.com/speakerboehner has 272,846 followers.

Ron Paul http://twitter.com/ronpaul has 223, 309 followers

Nancy Pelosi http://twitter.com/nancypelosi has 152, 676 followers.

Bill O’Reilly http://twitter.com/oreillyfactor has 133,288 followers.

Bernie Sanders http://twitter.com/senatorsanders has 89,045 followers

Eric Cantor http://twitter.com/EricCantor has 58,054 followers.

Rachel Maddow http://twitter.com/maddowblog has 55,300 followers

Rick Perry https://twitter.com/#!/teamrickperry has 25,190 followers

Alan Grayson http://twitter.com/alangrayson has 24,404 followers

Harry Reid http://twitter.com/HarryReid has 7,553 followers

Chris Matthews http://twitter.com/MSNBC_CMatthews has 6,003 followers.

Green Party USA http://twitter.com/gpus has 2,462 followers

Jill Stein http://twitter.com/jillstein2012 has 1,866 followers

Justice Party USA http://twitter.com/justicepartyusa has 461 followers


It’s interesting to see who these people follow as well.  While most of them follow several hundred people, there are some such as Eric Cantor, who only follow 20 people—what does that say about them?

The Republican leadership are the ones imitating the European “Socialists”

4:59 pm in Uncategorized by Liz Berry

IfLizWereQueen Cross Post

The Irony of who these two jerks really are seems to be missed on a lot of people–especially the base of the Republican Party

They are  the real austerity candidates, these guys will be the water boys for the banksters who are crippling Europe, and a lot of Europeans, with economic strategies that keep themselves afloat while children die of preventable diseases.

They accuse President Obama of wanting to turn the USA into a Socialist state.

President Obama and his administration have actually created 2 million jobs. [They could have/should have done better--and maybe they would have with a little more cooperation from the Republicans.  But Obama has helped to create more jobs in three years than the Republican leadership created in 8 years and that's a fact.]

The Republican leadership under Bush, while chomping at the bit to bail out Wall Street financial institutions wanted to let the American Automotive industry go to hell in a bankruptcy hand basket–which surely would have happened to GM if Obama had not stood up for them. Today GM provides jobs to 5,000 Americans.

And here is the Irony:  While they accuse Obama,  it is the Republican leadership who are imitating the socialistic European lead–not the President.

Just listen to them and their pitches for austerity:  ”cut taxes, austerity for the working people, cut public services, etc.”

Doesn’t that sound familiar?  Well it should because that’s what Europe has been hollering for the past year!  Look at what they did to Greece.  Look at their austerity program for Spain and Ireland.

And how well have these austerity programs worked?  About as well as the George Bush tax cuts for the rich have worked in the USA.  Almost a year now after the austerity measures in Ireland, they stand at 14% unemployment.  Spain? After its austerity programs have been enacted, the unemployment among their youth have risen to almost 50%.

Please don’t allow their irrelevant corporate trash to lull you into complacency America.

10:16 am in Uncategorized by Liz Berry

Cross Post from IfLizWereQueen

TURN IT OFF!  THROW IT IN THE JUNKYARD!

They are all the same.  It is the business of the corporate sponsored media to make them appear as if they are not.

still from “The Twonky “(1953)

“Winston turned a switch and the voice sank somewhat, though the words were still distinguishable. The instrument (the telescreen, it was called) could be dimmed, but there was no way of shutting it off completely . . . Winston kept his back turned to the telescreen.” – from 1984 by George Orwell

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The Corporate Owned Pundits Are Buffers and all the Candidates they feature are cut from the same corporate cloth.

The role of the corporate owned, sponsored and managed media is to provide a buffer zone between the American people and the candidates that the king pins of the corporate state  select for the two-party side show they present every 2 and 4 years.  The last thing that any of the candidates and their handlers want is for some citizen to come out of left field and ask a question that really matters.

The millionaire pundits like John King, George Stephanopoulos, Brian Williams, Bill O’Reilly, etc. who lead the presidential “debates” are there to ensure that the really important questions don’t get asked.  They are there to keep the focus on the irrelevant, the titillating gossip.  They are there to manage the impression that a debate has taken place when in fact, what has really taken place is no debate.  It is a set up and the show we watch is about as relevant to the lives of most Americans as what the Kardashians do or who wins American Idol.

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But the Deck was Stacked Long before the Primary Debates

The deck was stacked in favor of the corporate state in the USA long before the television political “debates.”  Furthermore, the deck has been stacked for almost 25 years.

In 1987 the corporate leadership of the Democrat and Republican parties got together and formed a corporation called “the Commission on Presidential Debates.  The purpose of this commission is to choose and control the topics of the debates.  THEY along with their  corporate sponsors choose what is “important” to discuss–not the American people.

Furthermore, they decided that it is best to limit the “official” debates to the two “major” parties so as to not  confuse the American people with too many choices–aren’t they thoughtful?

Furthermore, since Wall Street corporations and corporate media outlets such as GE, the largest war contractor in the world who also happen to own the NBC networks, fund this corporation (“the Commission on Presidential Debates”) they have a heavy hand in saying who can and cannot participate even within this limited membership requirement of the two parties.  We saw a perfect example of this in the fall of 2007 when MSNBC’s Chuck Todd informed Mike Gravel (a Democrat candidate) that he could not participate in the debate because he had not raised a million dollars. That’s how the corporate world measures the value of a person–by how much money they have.

Then during the Iowa caucus in early 2008 Gannett Corporation (who own the Des Moines Register) applied an arbitrary and actually nonexistent rule to kick Dennis Kucinich out of those debates.  They claimed  they had a rule that candidates were required to have a store front established in Iowa by October 10, 2007 in order to participate in the debate.  [Oct 10 just happened to be the date that the last of the other Democratic candidates, Dodd, had put up a store front.]  What we all should be asking is:  ”Who died and gave corporations the right to control state election laws regarding who can and cannot participate in presidential debates?

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We do not have a two-party system in the USA.

We have a one-party corporate state system that is controlled by Wall Street king pins.bThe purpose of BOTH parties is to grind to a halt the passage of any meaningful legislation for the majority.  The leadership of BOTH parties are experts at managing impressions.

Other Democratic nations have many different parties represented in their government.  In our Senate we are represented by the two corporate sponsored parties and one Independent. This is ridiculous and needs to change.

The only way to change it is to stop voting for either a Democrat OR a Republican.  You will not change things by voting for either a Democrat or a Republican.  If you want better, you will have to vote for better.  You will have to become better yourself.

That is our POWER.  If we continue to vote for a Democrat or a Republican NOTHING.  N-O-T-H-I-N-G will change because they are all part of the same corporate state machine—all of them:  Obama, Boehner, Gingrich, Romney, etc.

It was a knockout for Gingrich in SC but a long road paved with ironies from the past and present stretch before him.

7:55 am in Uncategorized by Liz Berry

Cross Post from IfLizWereQueen

Yep.  No doubt about it. Ole Gingrich won last night and he will make a formidable opponent for Obama.  Unlike Romney, who no doubt is intelligent and viscous, Gingrich is all that and more.  Gingrich is clever, thinks on his feet and likely writes most of his own stuff. Unlike Romney, nothing is lost in translation because Gingrich’s words are connected to the horse’s mouth.  There little  feedback time delay between what he thinks and what he says. Also, unlike President Obama, Gingrich has a knack for knowing the hot buttons of Americans and he is willing to push them all.  President Obama seems to be totally out of touch with Main Street America.  It’s not that Gingrich represents us any more than Obama, but Gingrich seems to at least be aware of what makes us tick and what really ticks us off.  Gingrich goes for the knockout while President Obama plays the ropa dopa game.  That game may have worked with McCain and Romney, but it won’t work with Gingrich because Gingrich is no gentleman, and he is not above sucker punching.

Already this morning I read where Ginrich is comparing Obama to Jimmy Carter.  Now that’s a heck of a metaphor since in the minds of most Americans Jimmy Carter, while intelligent and a kind person, is viewed by many Americans as having been a weak and ineffectual one-term President.  It’s what I would call a “bless your heart” attack.  On the one hand Carter is a kind man while on the other hand, he was a one-term President.

But let us not forget that even Rick Santorum is still a viable candidate.  It’s all about electoral votes.  The candidate with the most wins.

Gingrich: 21 – Romney 18 – Santorum 16.

At least at this  point in the campaign:  Even Santorum is still in the race.  It’s all about electoral votes.  Gingrich, who the profane argue has outdone Jesus Christ by arising from the dead three times, holds the lead  having gone from zero to  21 electoral votes last night;  Romney follows on his heels with 18; and Santorum follows even closer on Romney’s heels with 16 electoral votes.

Ron Paul? Not so much.  Paul has garnered only 11 electoral votes. Think of this as a marathon that has just begun. Gingrich is already at the 21 mile marker and Paul is back at the 11 mile marker.

The only reason Paul should be in this race at all is to obtain national exposure that he could never get as a third party candidate.  But if Ron Paul doesn’t run as a third party candidate at the end of this dog and pony show, he should have once and for all proved himself for what he really is–just another Wall Street shill like the rest of them.

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The Ironies of the Gingrich Win


*See note below for photo credit.

Irony #1:  To Win the Presidential race, Gingrich may have to Pass off Moderate Republicans as Socialists.

The only way that Gingrich may able to garner enough votes is to show that Obama is a Wall Street shill just like he showed the majority of the American people what a private equity company like Bain Corporation really does.  In order to do that, he will alienate much of the old guard from the Republican Party.  Simply calling Obama a “socialist” won’t work this time around.  Thanks in part to Gingrich’s recent pulling back of the curtain,  and three years of the progressive bloggers along with only four months of OCCUPY, the American people much more about how Wall Street works than they ever have in the history of our nation.  Many of them are beginning to see that Obama and the leadership of the Democratic Party are  not that different from the middle of the road Republicans.  Many Americans are letting go the myth of the two-party system and its 4 year cycles of presidential sideshows.

Gingrich’s challenge will be to pass off moderate Republicans as socialists because if Obama is a “leftist socialist”, then moderate Republicans are too.  This, I don’t think that even Gingrich can accomplish.

It is ridiculous that these candidates stand up and refer to Obamacare as socialism when in fact it would be more accurate to call it “WallStreet Investor Care”–a right-leaning program since it forces 50 million Americans to buy services from Wall Street corporations and the only ones who really benefit from it are the ones who work for a corporation.

Irony #2: A 15 year Anniversary

Gingrich won his first Primary and captured the lead in electoral votes on January 21, 2012.  On that same day and month in 1997 Gingrich’s Congressional colleagues voted 395-28 to penalize him $300,000 for misconduct.  See this article from Washington Post.

Note: Eighty-four ethics charges were filed against Gingrich during his term as speaker. After extensive investigation and negotiation by the House Ethics Committee, Gingrich was penalized $300,000 by a 395–28 House vote. It was the first time in history a speaker was disciplined for ethical wrongdoing.

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* This image is a work of an employee of the United States Farm Security Administration or Office of War Information domestic photographic units, created during the course of the person’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.

 

Why Newt Gingrich is the Great White Hope for the Republicans

7:21 am in Uncategorized by Liz Berry

Cross Post from IfLizWereQueen

I’m not at all surprised by Gingrich’s rise in the polls.  The American People realize that it will take a bold, intelligent leader to make things better–someone who is willing to shake things up in a big way.  And at the moment, that’s more than either Obama or Romney seem to realize.  You need to take their pulses to determine if either of  them are still breathing.

The USA is not likely to  get better fast enough to save a lot of drowning people without a bold leader with bold, specific, new and credible solutions who  is able to stand up to the establishment and fight for the 99%.

Many Americans I talk to believe that it will take someone who is a fighter and a screamer like Lyndon Johnson who is willing to make waves and crack heads–perhaps someone a little crazy and grandiose–not some pious religious fanatic like Rick Santorum who criticized Gingrich for being grandiose and not a Wall Street yes man like Obama who gives away the farm even before negotiation have begun as he did with health care insurance and certainly not someone like Mitt Romney, an avowed plutocrat.

The tepid leadership of Barack Obama has been great for Wall Street investors as many of them have more than doubled their wealth (including Congressional members) over the past three years. However, his leadership and his hand selected,  Harvard and Yale graduated Wall Street groomed cabinet and administration have not been nearly enough for the 99%. His campaign team still don’t get it because they have surrounded themselves with people who  agree with them–people who like them belong to the Wall Street invested 1%.

The tepid leadership of a mealy-mouthed private equity plutocrat like Mitt Romney certainly would not be enough.  After all, why vote for someone who looks so much like the current President we have–especially in his unabashed support of Wall Street.  The people realize this and that is why Romney is losing South Carolina with its 9.9% unemployment and why Gingrich is winning.

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Gingrich Needs to Work on His Solutions for the USA

But if he wants to win, Gingrich is going to have to do a lot better than offer Associates Degrees for unemployed workers as he suggested in one of  the debates:  He is going to have to be able to offer the unemployed jobs that pay a living wage.

The problem in the USA is not lack of education, nor is it an unwillingness for Americans to go to work.  Ask a friend of mine who holds a Masters degree and is working as a checker at a WalMart in Houston.  Ask any one of the 1,000 people who last fall applied for four jobs at a McDonalds.  I’m sure there were several hundred of them who even had four year degrees.  Tell me how an Associates degree is going to help them obtain a non-existent job.

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Gingrich and Clinton’s welfare reform act was one of the cruelest examples of “bipartisan” leadership in the history of our nation and few Americans realize what really happened.  Gingrich is going to have to do better than offer solutions such as his and Clinton’s Welfare Reform Act.  Peter Edelman, a Clinton appointee was so disgusted over the injustice of this bill that he resigned over it, calling the bill  the worst thing that Clinton had ever done [ Rwanda must have slipped his mind and of course this was before the "Bank Modernization Act of 1999".]

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) was passed August 22, 1996–just in time for Clinton’s presidential campaign that year. PRWORA instituted Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). which became effective July 1, 1997. TANF replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program.  TANF put a time limit on poverty.  It gave the poor parents (usually just one parent in these families) assistance for 2 years.  After that, if they didn’t have a job–tough luck.  No more help.  The rug is jerked out from beneath them.  This is justice?  This is humanity?

Making people work instead of keeping them on the dole sounds great and fair and few Americans including me would argue that..  However if there are no jobs to be had, what the hell good is an education and what are these parents going to do. Even more basic, what are their children going to eat?

At the beginning of his first term Bill Clinton passed NAFTA (with the assistance of Rahm Emmanuel shoving it down the throats of reluctant Congressional members).  Then throughout the Clinton presidency, they turned a blind eye as Wall Street cooked the books and inflated the value of stocks–particularly for all the newly formed dot com tech companies.  Clinton’s parting gift to the 1% and Wall Street investors was the deregulation of the  financial system of the USA with the “Bank Modernization Act of 1999″.

But back to the “welfare reform” and its time line.  USA Trade agreements like NAFTA hit the people of the other countries hardest first.  There is lag time in the USA, a lull before the American people feel the full brunt of such one-sided agreements for the rich of both countries.  Within the first two years after the passage of NAFTA, the Mexican corn farmers were decimated.  They could not complete with the heavily subsidized USA corporations such as ADM and Cargill.  As the Mexican corn farmers failed, so did hundreds of other cottage industries whose prosperity depended on the corn farmer.  Within two years inflation had gone through the roof and thousands of Mexicans were out of work.  They did what all citizens of a nation do when they are displaced by war, famine or unfair trade agreements that decimate their local economies:  They migrate.  From 1996 to 2000 the illegal immigrant population in the USA swelled from just under 2 million (which it had been for almost 10 years) upwards to estimates as high as 15 million.

TANF became active in 1997–just in time for the USA to start feeling the full impact of NAFTA in our own country.  It is estimated by most reliable sources that by 1998 NAFTA had resulted in the loss of over 2 million jobs for Americans.  Then the crash of the dot com bubble brought more job losses.  So here these people are, mostly young women with children under the age of five with their training and associates degrees but no jobs to be had.

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Newt’s not going to win by regurgitating solutions from the 1990′s–or if he does, he is not going to make any more difference for the 99% than Obama has.

We’ve been living with an administration for three years who have been reliving the Clinton solutions from the 1990′s so we already know that doesn’t work.

 

Chris Hedges is suing Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Panetta

9:53 am in Uncategorized by Liz Berry

Cross Post from ILWQ

 

Yes.  The leadership of  Democratic and Republican Parties may be too gutless to stand up to Obama, but Chris Hedges is not.  Last Friday Attorneys Carl J. Mayer and Bruce I. Afran filed a complaint in the Southern U.S. District Court in New York City on Hedges behalf as the plaintiff against Barack Obama and  Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to challenge the legality of the Authorization for Use of Military Force as embedded in the latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act signed by President Obama Dec 31, 2011.

With this bill, which will take effect March 3, the military can indefinitely detain without trial any U.S. citizen deemed to be a terrorist or an accessory to terrorism. And suspects can be shipped by the military to our offshore penal colony in Guantanamo Bay and kept there until “the end of hostilities.” It is a catastrophic blow to civil liberties.

“. . .But I suspect the real purpose of this bill is to thwart internal, domestic movements that threaten the corporate state. The definition of a terrorist is already so amorphous under the Patriot Act that there are probably a few million Americans who qualify to be investigated if not locked up. Consider the arcane criteria that can make you a suspect in our new military-corporate state. The Department of Justice considers you worth investigating if you are missing a few fingers, if you have weatherproof ammunition, if you own guns or if you have hoarded more than seven days of food in your house. . . .”

Go to Truthdig to read Chris Hedges full explanation of why he is doing this.

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Note:  If anyone knows  of the potential impact of this heinous act, it’s Chris Hedges.

Chris Hedges is currently a senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York City.  He spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than fifty countries, and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News, and The New York Times, where he was a foreign correspondent for fifteen years (1990–2005).

 

Yet another Obama Boy Scout Appointment to “protect the people”

7:05 am in Uncategorized by Liz Berry

Cross Post from IfLizWereQueen

What makes people think that Obama’s latest appointment to “provide financial protection for the people”  will be any different from the rest of his appointments to provide financial protection for the people?

Where is the history to support this in Obama’s prior appointments?  It is not there.  Those who think that it is are either delusional or asleep.

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Obama appointed Mary Schapiro–the chairman of the SEC--a woman who had been an SEC commissioner (regulator since 1988 having served Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and Bush II).  A lot of experience.  Kinda makes you wonder why SHE didn’t catch Madoff if she is such an experienced regulator.

But never mind that.  Look at her history as Director of Duke Energy since 1999.  When she took over, Duke Energy ranked 46th as the worst polluter in the USA.  After 9 years of Mary’s leadership, Duke Energy ranked as the #13 worst polluter in the USA.  Duke Energy also has a nasty reputation for cutting off the tops of mountains–another great recommendation for Mary and her respect for the environment and people.

Schapiro is another Wall Street toady who believes in “self regulating” markets. Right. As the head of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) she twiddled her thumbs while the financial giants increased their leverage to gigantic levels and spread their derivatives contagion to every part of the system.

Schapiro also missed the Madoff scandal, the auction-rate bond fraud, the blow up at Lehman Brothers, and the    .  .  . ”   Schaprio is perfect for the position as chairman of the SEC–just not perfect for the majority of the people.  She is the perfect one to ensure that the Wall Street shysters will continue to fleece the American public.

Obama appointed  Adam Storch to be the Chief Operating Officer of the SEC enforcement division. Mr. Storch is a former Goldman Sachs employee. For the five years prior to his appointment by  Obama in Oct of 2009, Storch worked at Goldman Sachs, most recently as vice president in Goldman’s Business Intelligence Group. The position, along with the division, was created as a reaction to the subprime mortgage crisis. If Storch is not a fox in the henhouse, there has never been one. If you think that the system can or will be improved from the inside out by Barack Obama’s appointments, you are dreaming.

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Now Obama is appointing a regulator for the regulators.

Now we have yet another Obama appointment to protect us: Richard Cordray’s appointment as director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a bureau created under the Dodd-Frank Act in response to complaints that existing regulators didn’t do enough to protect consumers before the 2008 credit crisis. The rules overhaul shifted consumer protection from regulators responsible for banks’ financial stability, removing a potential source of conflict.

Not having that much faith in the altruistic nature of human beings, I am a person who leans strongly in the direction of more, not less regulation, but it seems to me that if Mary Schapiro and Adam Storch were doing their jobs (which these two Foxes in the Henhouse obviously are not) the consumers would be protected.  Regulators such as Schapiro and Storch disregard the holistic picture of a banks financial stability that includes their fair treatment of customers.  Banks and financial institutions who treat their customers unfairly always put their investors at risk and when they do, we end up with catastrophic events such as our current global financial crisis.  It seems to me that the solution is to replace people like Mary Schapiro and Adam Storch–not to create yet another government bureau.

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But what is the purpose of this useless Obama Boy Scout Appointment?

It wins him the Boy Scout badge of  ”I stand for the little guy” in an election year.

Mary Warren, whom I respect and support was quoted as saying that this appointment ” . . .puts a cop on the beat” to protect protect Americans against unscrupulous lenders by — among other things — eliminating jargon-filled loan documents in favor of plain-English paperwork.”

With all due respect, at the best, this appointment is too little too late.  We need a helluva lot more than a “cop on the beat” to undo the damage that Wall Street investors and crooks in Congress have done to our nation ( and by “Wall Street “, I include all members and traders and investors on the NYSE which is literally located on Wall Street and the NASDAQ which is located on Times Square but especially investment in financial institutions and yes, those of you who have money invested in pensions need to look into what you can do towards taking responsibility for that stock ownership as well).  We need an army of Independent legislators in BOTH houses of Congress who are not millionaires and who are not invested in Wall Street and who are not beholden to either of the “two” parties with the courage to create legislation to undo the damage that the 1% have done to our nation.  We need to all remember that they can only continue to do so with our permission.

One “cop on the beat” is not enough–even if Richard Cordray turns out to be an exception to Obama’s previous appointments and is an honest cop.  We need millions of Americans to stand up and replace Congress.

 

Amazing how the 99% continue to defend the propaganda of the 1%

8:43 am in Uncategorized by Liz Berry

Cross Post from IfLizWereQueen

Last night I got into a somewhat heated discussion with a man who argued that the only way we can get things changed is to change the law regarding contributions to candidates.  The discussion went on for over an hour and he never saw the futility of convincing incumbents to give up their source of wealth for their campaign coffers.  Many people stlll believe that they can influence the majority of the utter criminals that we have in Washington DC to do the right thing.  Faith is good, but putting your faith in the hands of proven self-serving Wall Street crooks serves them–not you.

In order to believe that establishing laws for clean elections is possible, you must first believe that those in power have the best interests of the 99% at heart and will vote to pass such laws.  That is the logical fallacy upon which clean elections is built.

You must first believe that the current crop of elected officials would vote against what they seem to believe is in their best own best interests.  Asking the same people who vote for war and mayhem day in and day out to vote against their Wall Street stock portfolios?  Asking the same people to do the right thing who (with a Democratic majority in both houses) voted almost unanimously to defund an organization whose only crime was to empower poor people?  Asking the same Congress who defends Wall Street corporations like Goldman Sachs who literally starved millions of human beings to death in 2008 to do the right thing? You are going to ask these people to do the right thing and support publicly funded elections?  If so, you are placing your faith in the hands of your abusers. Don’t expect a happy return on your investment.

Stop trying to defend the indefensible from either party!

Voting reform is not going to happen until we remove the majority of the members of BOTH houses from Washington DC and replace them with non-millionaire, non Wall Street stock investors– and not a day before.  Not one damn day before.  What on earth makes people think that these proven crooks will have a sudden change of heart?

Yes, 44% of our entire Congress are millionaires who are heavily invested in Wall Street and in the defense industries in particular.  But they didn’t get there with their money. They got there because of the apathy and laziness of the American voters.  Every year in Congressional districts all over the USA, some incumbents are not even challenged.  Almost one third of all the eligible voters in the USA are not even registered to vote.  Even when we do have elections, especially in the non-presidential years, a pathetic percentage of those who are registered to vote show up.  These people don’t get re-elected year after year because of their money.  They get re-elected year after year because of the apathy of the American voters and our willingness to accept the political cliches and rhetoric of the incumbents instead of calling these people on their misrepresentations and what they have actually done to us and our nation.

The man argued that the overwhelming majority of candidates who win are the ones with the most money.  I’m not certain that this is true, but even if it is, that argument does not prove that it is money that was the winning factor.  There are plenty of elections to prove that it takes more than money to win.  If money were all it was about, Meg Whitman would be governor of California today.  She poured $170 million of her own money onto that race (many times over that of Brown) and she still lost.  Linda McMahon is another example of a wealthy candidate who far outspent her rival and lost.  Mitt Romney is by far the richest Republican candidate and it doesn’t look like he is going to get the nomination.  Hillary Clinton had almost a 100 times as much money as Barack Obama.  She was christened “the inevitable candidate” in 2007 by those in power and yet she lost the nomination.

Winning–even in apathetic America is about more than money and there are many cases to prove my point. But the ones in power don’t want the 99% to realize that.  As long as we believe that it takes hundreds of thousands of dollars to win a race, or that we can’t raise that kind of money, we won’t even try.  The one thing that the incumbents fear the most is that the majority of Americans will start thinking and will stand up and vote–particularly those of us who are poor and recently removed from the middle class.  Please remember:  With a Democratic majority in BOTH houses, Congress voted almost unanimously to defund ACORN –an organization whose only crime was to empower poor people by registering them to vote.  You can forget the myths about the Democratic leadership as being champions of the poor.  They don’t any more give a damn than the Republican/Tea Party do.

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As long as we believe that we need hundreds of thousands of dollars to begin, most of us will never begin.  Year after year we will continue to vote for the one that we consider to be the “lessor of the two evils.”  And nothing could please the incumbents more.

As long as we continue to beg the incumbents who are currently in Washington DC to act like decent human beings, that is exactly how long the 99% will continue to be disappointed and will continue to lose ground.  We must turn our backs on them as they have turned their backs on us–and this includes ceasing to believe the myths that they use to remain in power.  We must unseat the majority of them and replace them with non millionaire, non- Wall Street stock investor Americans.

It’s time for Americans to create their own choices.  If we don’t, then we can expect to have more of the same dished up to us by those that we continue to send back to Washington year after year.

Texans, you have one more day to file your intent to run as an Independent for the U.S. Congress.  Please step up to the plate and file today.  Here are more instructions. Drop me an email at iflizwerequeen@gmail.com when you do.  I would love to hear from you.  Perhaps we can form a coalition to strengthen our efforts.  BELIEVE!  Faith in ultimate triumph of good and acting “as if ” may be all we have to bolster our efforts in the beginning.  The rest will follow.  I believe in Americans.  I believe that people will awaken just in time.  But nothing will change if their choices are limited to the “lessor of two evils” from the corrupt Wall Street Party of One that calls itself Democrat and Republican/Tea Party.

Won’t you join me and run as an Independent in your U.S. Congressional District? All it would take to turn the tide is for 435 Americans to stand up, take a chance, and run for U.S. Congress as an Independent.  The rest will follow because the majority are as fed up as we are.  Just imagine!  We could replace the entire U.S. House of Representatives with 435 Independents in 2012.  It is possible, but not as long as the majority of Americans waste their time defending the propaganda of the 1%.  We must turn our backs on them and turn our efforts to the task of putting candidates who will represent the majority in office in 2012.  If you still believe they will come from the ranks of either party, you need to review their voting records for the past three years.