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Current Conditions or Just a Bad Dream?
Ron Paul Speech to Congress
May 19, 2009
Could it all be a bad dream, or a nightmare? Is it my imagination, or have we lost our minds? It's surreal; it's just not believable. A grand absurdity; a great deception, a delusion of momentous proportions; based on preposterous notions; and on ideas whose time should never have come; simplicity grossly distorted and complicated; insanity passed off as logic; grandiose schemes built on falsehoods with the morality of Ponzi and Madoff; evil described as virtue; ignorance pawned off as wisdom; destruction and impoverishment in the name of humanitarianism; violence, the tool of change; preventive wars used as the road to peace; tolerance delivered by government guns; reactionary views in the guise of progress; an empire replacing the Republic; slavery sold as liberty; excellence and virtue traded for mediocracy; socialism to save capitalism; a government out of control, unrestrained by the Constitution, the rule of law, or morality; bickering over petty politics as we collapse into chaos; the philosophy that destroys us is not even defined.
We have broken from reality--a psychotic Nation. Ignorance with a pretense of knowledge replacing wisdom. Money does not grow on trees, nor does prosperity come from a government printing press or escalating deficits.
We're now in the midst of unlimited spending of the people's money, exorbitant taxation, deficits of trillions of dollars--spent on a failed welfare/warfare state; an epidemic of cronyism; unlimited supplies of paper money equated with wealth.
A central bank that deliberately destroys the value of the currency in secrecy, without restraint, without nary a whimper. Yet, cheered on by the pseudo-capitalists of Wall Street, the military industrial complex, and Detroit.
We police our world empire with troops on 700 bases and in 130 countries around the world. A dangerous war now spreads throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. Thousands of innocent people being killed, as we become known as the torturers of the 21st century.
We assume that by keeping the already-known torture pictures from the public's eye, we will be remembered only as a generous and good people. If our enemies want to attack us only because we are free and rich, proof of torture would be irrelevant.
The sad part of all this is that we have forgotten what made America great, good, and prosperous. We need to quickly refresh our memories and once again reinvigorate our love, understanding, and confidence in liberty. The status quo cannot be maintained, considering the current conditions. Violence and lost liberty will result without some revolutionary thinking.
We must escape from the madness of crowds now gathering. The good news is the reversal is achievable through peaceful and intellectual means and, fortunately, the number of those who care are growing exponentially.
Of course, it could all be a bad dream, a nightmare, and that I'm seriously mistaken, overreacting, and that my worries are unfounded. I hope so. But just in case, we ought to prepare ourselves for revolutionary changes in the not-too-distant future.
Video of speech below
Rumsfeld 'in strife' over Guantanamo From correspondents in Geneva
June 04, 2009 04:52am
FORMER US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld could soon be in trouble for the role he played in human rights abuses committed in the Guantanamo prison, a United Nations expert said.
"In a year or two, his responsibilities will be established. Wherever he goes, he will face difficulties," Leandro Despouy, who is Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, said in Geneva today.
A US bipartisan Senate report released late last year found Mr Rumsfeld and other top administration officials responsible for abuse of Guantanamo detainees in US custody.
It said Mr Rumsfeld authorised harsh interrogation techniques on December 2, 2002 at the Guantanamo prison, although he ruled them out a month later.
Mr Despouy said the "strong resistance" put forward by the former US administration to current US president Barack Obama's decision to close the detention centre has nothing to do with the officially cited reason of "national security" considerations.
Rather they are fearful that they may be taken to task once the detention centre is closed, said Mr Despouy.
The UN expert called on the international community to "support" Mr Obama's decision to close the prison.
"If we act in the perspective of human rights, we should support the efforts of those who want these responsibilities to be established," he said, referring to the harsh interrogation techniques used on the detainees.
He said the international community should help the US by taking in former detainees.
Mr Obama has said he would close the notorious "war on terror" prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba by January 2010 and is seeking host states for up to 60 of the 245 inmates.
The Obama administration however faces a series of legal and political hurdles at home in its efforts to close the base, with strong opposition against releasing detainees into the United States.
In January, the UN's special torture rapporteur called on the US to pursue Mr Rumsfeld and former president George W. Bush for torture and bad treatment of Guantanamo prisoners.
"Judicially speaking, the United States has a clear obligation" to bring proceedings against Mr Bush and Mr Rumsfeld, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak said, in remarks broadcast on Germany's ZDF television.
He said Washington had ratified the UN convention on torture which required "all means, particularly penal law" to be used to bring proceedings against those violating it.
National Level Exercise 2009 (NLE 09) is scheduled for July 27 through July 31, 2009. NLE 09 will be the first major exercise conducted by the United States government that will focus exclusively on terrorism prevention and protection, as opposed to incident response and recovery.
NLE 09 is designated as a Tier I National Level Exercise. Tier I exercises (formerly known as the Top Officials exercise series or TOPOFF) are conducted annually in accordance with the National Exercise Program (NEP), which serves as the nation's overarching exercise program for planning, organizing, conducting and evaluating national level exercises. The NEP was established to provide the U.S. government, at all levels, exercise opportunities to prepare for catastrophic crises ranging from terrorism to natural disasters.
NLE 09 is a White House directed, Congressionally- mandated exercise that includes the participation of all appropriate federal department and agency senior officials, their deputies, staff and key operational elements. In addition, broad regional participation of state, tribal, local, and private sector is anticipated. This year the United States welcomes the participation of Australia, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom in NLE 09.
NLE 09 will focus on intelligence and information sharing among intelligence and law enforcement communities, and between international, federal, regional, state, tribal, local and private sector participants.
The NLE 09 scenario will begin in the aftermath of a notional terrorist event outside of the United States, and exercise play will center on preventing subsequent efforts by the terrorists to enter the United States and carry out additional attacks. This scenario enables participating senior officials to focus on issues related to preventing terrorist events domestically and protecting U.S. critical infrastructure.
NLE 09 will allow terrorism prevention efforts to proceed to a logical end (successful or not), with no requirement for response or recovery activities.
NLE 09 will be an operations-based exercise to include: activities taking place at command posts, emergency operation centers, intelligence centers and potential field locations to include federal headquarters facilities in the Washington D.C. area, and in federal, regional, state, tribal, local and private sector facilities in FEMA Region VI, which includes the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
Through a comprehensive evaluation process, the exercise will assess prevention and protection capabilities both nationally and regionally. Although NLE 09 is still in the planning stages, the exercise is currently designed to validate the following capabilities:
•Intelligence/Information Sharing and Dissemination
•Counter-Terrorism Investigation and Law Enforcement
•Air, Border and Maritime Security
•Critical Infrastructure Protection
•Public and Private Sector Alert/Notification and Security Advisories
VALIDATING THE HOMELAND SECURITY SYSTEM
Exercises such as NLE 09 are an important component of national preparedness, helping to build an integrated federal, state, tribal, local and private sector capability to prevent terrorist attacks, and rapidly and effectively respond to, and recover from, any terrorist attack or major disaster that occurs.
The full-scale exercise offers agencies and jurisdictions a way to test their plans and skills in a real-time, realistic environment and to gain the in-depth knowledge that only experience can provide. Participants will exercise prevention and information sharing functions that are critical to preventing terrorist attacks. Lessons learned from the exercise will provide valuable insights to guide future planning for securing the nation against terrorist attacks, disasters, and other emergencies.
For more information about NLE 09, contact the FEMA News Desk: 202-646-4600.
FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism and other man-made disasters.
$100 Billion Bailout For IMF Tagged On To War Funding Bill Passage would see more billions in tax dollars handed to European banks
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Democrats in Congress have agreed to provide a $100 billion credit line to the International Monetary Fund, tagging it onto the war supplemental intended for operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq.
The measure would also increase the U.S. member contribution to the IMF by $8 billion and authorize the United States to back the IMF's plan to sell 400 tons (12.97 million ounces) of gold, according to lawmakers' aides quoted in a Reuters report.
This would fulfil Obama's pledge to the G20 in April, to contribute toward a $500 billion boost for the IMF, which it says will go toward "helping poorer nations" during the economic downturn.
However, what the The Treasury Department is really proposing is an international version of the Wall Street bailout; a $100 billion bailout for the IMF, which amounts to a bailout for European banks facing big losses in Central and Eastern Europe.
If the bill pasess, we will see $100 billion in U.S. tax dollars simply handed over to foreign banks with no oversight.
House Republicans, including Minority Leader John Boehner, have threatened to vote no on the war funding if the IMF money is attached.
"Let's be clear: a troop-funding bill should fund our troops, period," said Boehner. "Weighing down this critical legislation with nondefense spending will only drag this process out further and cost it essential Republican support needed for passage."
"We should not be having this discussion. IMF funding has no business being included in the war supplemental" bill, said Representative Eric Cantor, a member of the Republican leadership.
The passage of the bill will be an extrememly close run contest, given that GOP votes are needed to make up for 51 anti-war Democrats who opposed it last month.
If all Republicans vote no, then the House leadership will need 18 of the Democrats to reverse their defection and vote yes.
Of course, because the IMF money is tagged onto a bill to fund U.S. troops in the field, there is increased pressure on those considering voting down the measure.
We have previously highlighted the ongoing agenda to vastly empower the IMF and transform the institution into a "bank of the world" with the power to print its own currency.
This is not a "conspiracy theory".
As the Washington Post highlighted two months ago, the agenda is laid out in publicly available internal IMF documents, interviews and think-tank reports.
It is part of an open move to empower a group of unelected central bankers with the authority to usurp state sovereignty by overseeing benchmarks for national economic governance and setting regulations for financial institutions all over the globe.
As we have also previously highlighted, both the IMF and the United Nations have thrown their weight behind proposals to implement a de-facto global financial dictatorship.
Both bodies have expressed support for new world reserve currency system to replace the dollar as part of the acceleration towards a new economic world order.
NYC Turns Luxury Units Into Shelters For Homeless Brooklyn Neighborhood Residents Furious Over The Fact That Public Is Footing The Bill For Such Lavish Digs
By JOSH LANDIS, CBS 2 HD News
There's controversy swirling around how much New York City is paying to rent luxury condos for homeless families. The plan is making some people fighting mad.
This is not skid row.
"Oh, it's beautiful. Marble tops … hardwood floors. Everything is brand new. Special fixtures," said shelter resident Jesenia Tejada.
By all accounts it's the nicest homeless shelter in the city and some non-homeless neighbors are feeling pretty inhospitable.
"The apartments are beautiful. They're living better than a lot of people around here and they don't have to pay for it," neighbor Maria Brown said.
When the building went up the idea was to sell the units, some of them for more than $300,000. But now, even though apartments sit empty, you can't even rent them.
"Because of these tremendously difficult times and downturn in the economy here's an empty building. And we're seeing a lot more families experiencing homelessness. Let's bring the two together creatively to meet the needs of both," said Robert Hess, commissioner of the Department of Homeless Services.
The city pays its standard rate of $90 a night per apartment to a contractor called Bedco, which also provides security and social services. At full occupancy it would cost taxpayers almost $200,000 a month.
"It's like home, a real apartment," shelter resident Justice Figueroa said.
But neighborhood homeowners are worried that temporary shelter will have permanent consequences.
"I really thought that they had tenants that were qualifying to get apartments in this building," Brown said. "Have you seen the apartments inside?"
Tejada said the opportunity given her and the reaction from the locals has not gone unnoticed.
"I understand their resentment but they should also understand these are not just any people. These are people that are homeless. Small children with nowhere to go you know? And if they put 'em here just to give 'em a glimmer of hope there's nothing wrong with that," Tejada said.
Homeless numbers are expected to rise as property values fall, turning more dream homes into houses of hope.
On a typical night, 35,000 homeless people stay in 250 shelters around the city.
The Department of Homeless Services provides temporary emergency shelter to homeless individuals in a safe environment. There are a variety of ways for the homeless in New York City to receive services. Go to the DHS' website for more.