Jump to content
Clubplanet Nightlife Community
Sign in to follow this  
sassa

Anti-Bush Thread

Recommended Posts

Ben Roberts: 'Believe George Bush at your own peril'

Posted on Thursday, May 15 @ 09:47:20 EDT By Ben Roberts

"When taxes are too high people go hungry

When the government is too intrusive people lose their spirit

Act for the people. Trust them; leave them alone."

- Lao Tzu

The story keeps repeating itself. George Bush comes out peddling something. The American people believe it. Then, to their detriment, they are left humiliated and holding the bag. This has been the hallmark of the Bush presidency. You know the saying, 'Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me?' Well, Americans never seem to have heard of it, as Bush continues to have a field day at their expense, both figuratively and literally. If we were to closely examine Bush's presidential campaign and his time in office, this modus operandi becomes abundantly clear. Let's take a look:

During the presidential campaign Bush relentlessly argued that the he needed access to our lucrative Social Security surplus so that he could 'invest it and put money in your pockets.' Where is that surplus now? Every financial expert with a voice box now constantly tells us that this once burgeoning surplus is a thing of the past. Thanks to Bush, and where he and his cronies have taken this country, our surplus has evaporated into thin air. Also, during the presidential campaign, when Bush was asked about his conduct in applying the death penalty during his term as governor of Texas, without hesitation he quickly put his hand over his heart in a Boy-Scout-honor fashion and said, 'In my heart I firmly believe that all those put to death were truly guilty of their crimes.'

This was quite alarming. Not even a moment's pause to reflect or question his actions in this grave undertaking. Yet shortly thereafter governor George Ryan of Illinois suspended the death penalty because a study he commissioned found that people had been wrongfully executed. A few other states followed suit for the same reasons. The man must have woken up in a cold sweat on realizing that, by his hand, he had wrongfully condemned American citizens to their deaths. No such realization for George Bush. For him the 151 inmates he sent to their deaths deserved what they got, and as far as he was concerned he was infallible. How humiliating for us in America that our leader stands out as so callous and bloodthirsty when most of the civilized world, and especially our European friends, have long ago banned the death penalty as inhumane and barbaric.

George Bush revealed some of his true identity during the presidential election see-saw in Florida. When Gore saw it looking as if Bush would win, he conceded defeat in the equivalent of a concession speech. Before the words were out of Gore's mouth, Bush was rushing around putting his cabinet together. Then Gore was informed by his people that election irregularities were rampant, denying his supporters the chance to vote. He then rescinded his concession speech. What did Bush do at this point? Recall in your memory. Did he like a true American who believes in democracy and freedom of choice say 'Wait something is wrong here. America is entitled to fairness in the right to choose. I will wait and cool my heels until the matter is settled.' No such thing. Bush got quite upset, and went on the attack, complaining how Gore was 'wishy washy' and reneging on his position. This was odd. Shouldn't it have been Gore who should have been upset? It was as if Bush was caught trying to pull a fast one before Gore could see what was up. He was exposed and tried to make himself look like a victim and Gore like an unpleasant character. What Bush did was like that legal but unscrupulous play in football where a team stands to benefit from a questionable play, and before it can be reviewed they run up to the line of scrimmage and get off a play, thus negating chances of a fair ruling. This showed Bush couldn't care less about fairness, or the right of Americans to express themselves at the polls.

Try and remember September 11. No not the attack itself. That will never be forgotten by us in America. Recall that night of September 11 when George Bush addressed the nation. I don't know about you, but I have never watched anything that gave me the willies like I did watching that speech. The nation was shocked, grief stricken, and in mourning. Bush came out affecting a somber demeanor, but what hit my senses was that just underneath this the man couldn't believe his luck. It was as if he was saying, 'Please pinch me someone to let me know that this is real.' Despite Bush trying to maintain a somber attitude his face seemed highly pleased, and on occasion showed fleeting smiles, especially when he said, 'We're the good guys here.' During that speech my overriding fear was that Bush would burst out laughing at any minute. If you dismiss this as irrational and paranoid thinking on my part, we can fast forward to Bush address to this nation informing us that war would begin in Iraq. He came out looking somber. News anchors that night analyzed how he was so 'somber,' 'serious,' and 'had his game face on.' Yet just before coming out Bush was accidentally caught off air by BBC TV clowning around, making faces, and pumping his fist in the air as he shouted 'Feels good!' How scary that this was the man's demeanor just prior to coming out to inform us that our men and women would die in battle, as would scores of Iraqi citizens. Strangely, that tape aired in Europe but not in America.

In that same address by Bush on the night of September 11, he said he would 'root out terrorism' and 'cut the head off the snake.' To this end he sold us on the need to attack Afghanistan. We did. We have not rooted out terrorism. We now have a lethal bombing in Saudi Arabia as I write. Team Bush, in justifying their use of our money in this everlasting war on terrorism, regularly crow about having 'disrupted' and 'broken the back of terrorism.' Does this look like a broken back to you? Also, Bush vowing to 'cut the head off the snake of terrorism' is an unfulfilled guarantee. Both Bin Laden and Mullah Omar have eluded capture. Speaking of capture. The perpetrator of the anthrax attack is still at large. Americans were talked into an attack on Iraq by Bush to root out terror by breaking the link between Saddam Hussein and major terror groups. It was so pathetic that the only terrorist America could drum up was Abu Abbas. He was involved in the hijacking of a ship, the Achille Lauro, twenty years ago. The man is probably a grandpa now, and was allowed by the Israeli government to reside in Gaza. Is this the best Bush can do in 'breaking' this supposed deadly link between Iraq and the terror world? Boy oh boy. Are we left holding the bag.

Bush told us that Iraq needed to be attacked to destroy weapons of mass destruction. None has been found. The United Nations inspectors said there were no such weapons. The Iraqi government said there were none. A week before the attack Wolf Blitzer, the CNN point man said on WTOP radio that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. How shocking and disingenuous. At the outset of the attack on Iraq a British government official said there were no such weapons. Now US officials are letting it slip that there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. This is after the Bush Administration has relieved the American people of billions of dollars to finance this war, creating unprecedented economic hardship and job losses to American citizens. They have humiliated America in the world by shooting children who demonstrate because they want their school back, and incarcerating children as prisoners of war.

In the wake of September 11, Bush told this nation to 'go out shopping and buy some stocks.' Shortly thereafter the stock market nose-dived as the highway robbery by Enron and its cohorts was revealed. When Bush was asked about this and his connection with Enron he responded, 'I took a hit from the stock market problems too, because my mother in law lost money.' What a ridiculous response. Moreover, George Bush has a degree in finances. What does that say about him that, within weeks of his advice to purchase stocks, the market fell? He said attacking Iraq would restore security and confidence in the world and cause a rebound of the stock market. That has not happened. The American economy is in quicksand, and unemployment is constantly on the rise and getting worse. Now he says his tax cut proposal needs to be approved to boost the economy and 'provide jobs for Americans.' The last tax cut did not stimulate the economy or provide jobs. We would be foolish to think that this one would be any different. Surprisingly, despite his supposed qualifications in business, Bush financial advice always proves disastrous and perilous for the average American. His war on terrorism, along with his scoffing at America and the world as a 'focus group' for their opposition to his attack on Iraq, has made Americans despised around the world, and has definitely compromised our personal safety and security. Believe Bush if you like, but his record in office clearly demonstrates that you do so at your peril, and to your own detriment and embarrassment.

Ben is a newsletter editor, freelance writer and published author. He can be contacted by email at: [email protected]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Dead Want the Truth

The GOP attack machine's consistent message, though, is "let's move on"

by Alan Bisbort - May 15, 2003

What happened in the days preceding 9/11? We'll never know if we rely on the Bush White House to tell us.

Remember the good old days when Whitewater was a clear and present danger to national security and the frequency with which Bill Clinton unzipped brought us together as a people? Yes, those were such pressing matters that the Congress authorized limitless time and money to pursue them for the better (or worse) part of Clinton's two elected terms. The conclusions of the costly probes were that the Clintons invested unwisely in a failed condo scheme and that Bill Clinton was sleazy in his relations with women. America could rest easier at night.

Sidney Blumenthal, a Clinton adviser, has brought those halcyon days of whine and Rose Law Firms roaring back in The Clinton Wars, the sort of book that terrifies the right-wing attack machine because they can't dismiss or defame it. This is due to the fact that Blumenthal was already an acclaimed journalist before he became a White House intimate. In other words, he knows what happened and he knows how to get it down accurately on paper. Hence the relative silence from the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge, Peggy Noonan, Ann Coulter, and other hatemongers on the right.

The GOP lynch mob is all there, salivating at every turn of a Blumenthal page, and led by Kenneth Starr, the Cotton Mather of the Cotton Belt. Starr, who carried the torch as independent (read: power-mad and completely out of control) counsel, was recently back in Little Rock, the city in which he left no drawers unsniffed, no drawer unemptied and few lives and/or careers untouched. Starr told reporters those days are behind him. "That was a very eventful eight years during American history ... My small part was a modest role," he disingenuously said. "It was an unpleasant part for the whole country ..."

Please note the GOP attack machine's consistent subtheme at work here. It is that same "Let's move on," "Sore Loserman" and "Get Over It" message that has been an unbroken chorus since the stolen 2000 election. Be prepared for this message to continue, only louder, until Nov. 2004.

Why? Because the Bush White House's equivalent of the Starr Report -- the report by the House and Senate intelligence panels on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks -- is being buried, for "national security reasons." (The 400-plus-page Starr Report, you might remember, was made available via the Internet before copies were sent to the Congress).

That the Bush White House never wanted a serious investigation into how such a heinous act could have occurred on their watch was obvious when Henry Kissinger was picked to head the probe. After a contentious meeting with the families of the 3,000 who died that day at the hands of the 19 terrorists, Kissinger bailed out and that "independent" panel has since been effectively silenced by simply letting it wither on the paltry funds allotted for it to do its job (little over $1 million, though Starr spent over $40 million to trace semen stains on blouses).

Get over it and move on, people. We will never know what series of events, screw-ups and/or crimes allowed 9/11. Nor will we ever know what happened in the preceding months that allowed something this heinous to occur on American soil. We will never know this, that is, if we rely on the Bush White House to provide it.

Two U.S. Senators, Bob Graham and our very own Joe Lieberman -- both Democratic presidential candidates -- briefly got off their knees last week to issue statements about Bush's attempt to hide the truth from the American people.

The one by Graham, chair of the Senate committee that prepared the report last December, was the more forceful. "The only reason that delay has occurred is because the administration does not want our report to be available to the American people," Graham said. "They don't want this report to come out ... There has not been in my memory, and I would question whether there has been in modern American history, an administration that was so committed to secrecy as this Bush administration."

This whole thing begs the tree in the forest question. What if our government fell into the hands of fascists and nobody was told? Would it make a sound?

Another question: Why is Clinton's sleazy personal behavior more pressing to the national interest than the possibility that we may now have a president who lied to United Nations, Congress and the American people about the reasons for starting an unprovoked war and who, therefore, may have violated the U.S. Constitution, which he is sworn to protect, and who may (and certainly would if he were a Democrat) face an impeachment hearing as a result?

So, even if we, as a democratic people, will not demand the truth about 9/11, the only decent thing to do -- as human beings -- is to demand the truth for the ghosts of the 3,000 dead, their loved ones, friends and next of kin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Iraq War to Save the Dollar"

GOOD AS GOLD.

From 1944 to 1971, the U.S. dollar was ``backed'' by gold, meaning that the government agreed to buy and sell gold for a fixed price in dollars. Other governments did likewise, leading to fixed exchange rates between their currencies.

In 1971, when U.S. President Nixon abandoned gold backing, the exchange rate system began to unravel. Domestically, the U.S. dollar became a "fiat" currency, i.e. a currency whose only ``backing'' is the legal obligation to accept that currency as final payment of debts. Internationally, however, there is no such thing as a fiat currency, and no currency will be accepted as payment unless it is guaranteed to buy some valuable commodity.

GOLD TURNS BLACK.

In 1973, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

quadrupled the price of oil but continued to accept only U.S. dollars in payment, so that the demand for dollars soared. From then on, the dollar was effectively backed by oil instead of gold -- and the U.S. government didn't even have to own the oil! Because dollars can buy OPEC oil, countries that need to import oil -- i.e. most developed countries --will accept dollars as payment for their exports. Hence everyone who needs to buy from those exporters will accept dollars as payment for other things, and so on, so that the dollar is the preferred global currency. To pay their bills, importers must have reserves of dollars. To prop up their currencies against speculative attacks, the central banks of all countries must have reserves of dollars. To get capital, poor countries must borrow dollars, and to service these debts they must export goods to obtain more dollars.

About 2/3 of all currency reserves, more than 4/5 of all currency

transactions, more than half of the world's exports, and all loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are denominated in dollars. As these things create demand for the dollar and shore up its value, OPEC is the more willing to accept payment in dollars. So the system is self-reinforcing.

The result is that America can export dollars, which cost nothing to produce, and receive real goods and services in return. As long as those dollars are spent outside America, they don't cause domestic inflation. And when they eventually find their way into foreign reserves, they can only be invested in American assets. This continuous flow of foreign investment (on the ``capital account'') props up the American real-estate market and stock market, and allows America to run a mammoth trade deficit (on the ``current account'') without devaluing the dollar.

America's imports now exceed its exports by almost 50% (or 5% of DP) and its foreign debt is 60% of annual GDP.

If OPEC were to abandon the dollar in favour of some other currency, the whole process would slam into reverse. America could no longer export paper dollars for real goods and services. Corporations and central banks would sell their dollar reserves, causing the value of the dollar to plummet. The redemption of dollar reserves would force sales of the assets in which those dollars are invested, so that the American property and stock markets would crash. Other investors who have bought American property and stocks with borrowed money would declare themselves bankrupt, causing some American banks to collapse under the weight of bad debts. The newly liberated dollars could only be spent on American goods and services, which would begin to flow out of the country (reducing living standards), while the glut of dollars chasing these same goods and services would cause massive domestic inflation. The flow of foreign investment would dry up, so that America could no longer run a trade deficit, but would have to export yet more goods and services to pay for its imports, and to service its massive foreign debt, and to accumulate reserves of the new global currency -whatever that currency might be.

EUROPE STRIKES BACK.

In 1999, eleven member states of the European Union (EU) adopted the euro as a common accounting currency. Greece joined the Euro Zone a year later. On January 1, 2002, the twelve countries withdrew their old money from circulation, completing the biggest currency reform in history. The Euro Zone already has a bigger share of world trade than the USA. In particular, it imports more oil than the USA and is the main trading partner of the Middle East. It offers higher interest rates than the USA, but does not have a huge foreign debt or trade deficit. These things inspire confidence in the euro. It was perhaps for that on that in 2002, China started converting some of its currency reserves from ollars to euros, while North Korea abandoned the dollar and started using euros for trade. The strength of the euro also encourages expansion of the EU and puts pressure on current members Denmark, Sweden and the U.K. to join the Euro Zone. In December 2002, ten new countries were accepted for EU membership with effect from May 2004. This will create a common market of 450 million people, which will buy more than half of OPEC's oil.

In summary, the only argument for preferring dollars to euros is that dollars can buy oil. As that argument does not affect OPEC, it would make sense for OPEC to convert its reserves to euros by mid 2004. If OPEC were then to price its oil in euros, it would increase demand for the euro, causing a huge increase in the value of its new euro reserves.

These possibilities are not discussed in the U.S. media.

ROGUE STATES

The first OPEC member to show serious disloyalty to the dollar was Iran.

Since 1999, Iran has been talking about pricing oil in euros. In January 2002, George W. Bush named Iran in his ``axis of evil'' although the country is experimenting with democracy -- something that the USA, if true to its professed values, would want to reward and encourage.

Undeterred, Iran converted most of its currency reserves to euros during 2002, and a proposal to price oil in euros is being considered by the central bank and the parliament. Let us see whether the Americans find an excuse to topple Iran's fledgling democracy and to replace it with a dictatorship that just happens to prefer dollars to euros.

The second offender was Venezuela. In 2000, Venezuela's twice elected president Hugo Chavez called a conference on the future of fossil fuels and renewable energy. The report of the conference, delivered by Chavez to the OPEC summit in September 2000, recommended that OPEC set up a high-tech electronic barter system, so that members could trade oil for goods and services without the use of dollars or any other currency. The chief beneficiaries would be OPEC's poorer customers, who did not have large currency reserves. Chavez made 13 such deals. In one of them, Cuba

provided health services in Venezuelan villages. In April 2002 there was a coup against Chavez. The coup was welcomed by the Bush administration and by editorials in numerous American newspapers, but collapsed two days later, leaving evidence that the U.S. administration was behind it [1].

The third and most blatant offender was Iraq. In October 2000, Saddam announced that Iraqi oil would be sold for euros instead of dollars, with effect from November 6. Soon afterwards, Saddam converted Iraq's entire $10 billion ``oil for food'' reserve fund from dollars to euros.

These facts went unreported in the U.S. media. George W. Bush assures us that Iraq's oil belongs to the Iraqi people. But any asset priced in dollars is at least partly an American asset because it adds to the demand for dollars, allowing America to export more dollars and receive more goods and services in return. So the test of America's sincerity will be whether its new regime in Iraq continues to accept euros for oil.

Dr Gavin R. Putland, Queensland University of Technology,Australia, March 26, 2003.

REFERENCES [1] See

http://www.fair.org/press-releases/venezuela-editorials.html,

http://www.observer.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,688071,00.html .

For more information on the oil currency war, see

http://www.feasta.org/documents/papers/oil1.htm and the links on that

page. On the fortunes of the U.S. dollar, see

http://www.npq.org/archive/1987_fall/adventures.html . For more

reflections on the economic significance of natural resources, see

http://www.prosper.org.au and http://www.earthsharing.org.au .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bush Goes AWOL

[from the May 5, 2003 issue of The Nation]

One of the many maddening feats of this Administration is that in choosing to fight the war on terror by going to war with Iraq, George W. Bush has inspired new terrorist threats to the United States--according to the official testimony of his own CIA--where none existed. At the same time, he purposely starves those localities and institutions on which the complex and expensive task of terrorist protection ultimately falls.

The Economist compares New York City to Atlas, bearing the weight of the world on its shoulders. Already reeling from a massive deficit, declining income and the economic aftershocks of 9/11, the city must pay an estimated

$1 billion a year for emergency and counterterrorism costs. Bush could care less. After attempting to stiff New York entirely, Congress has finally agreed to kick in about $200 million, far more than Bush proposed. My shaken city can ill afford to make up the difference. It already has 4,000 fewer cops than it did two years ago but must assign more than a thousand of those remaining to the terrorist beat. It may shutter forty fire companies. Massive layoffs, tax hikes and cutbacks in every kind of social service are in the offing. And Gotham is hardly alone. Enhanced security measures cost the nation's cities an estimated $2.6 billion in the fifteen months after 9/11.

But as with Vietnam, "W" is AWOL and Cheney has "other priorities." They have not merely ignored "homeland" protection, they have sabotaged it. Shocking, yes. But don't take my word for it. A January Brookings Institution report explains, "President Bush vetoed several specific (and relatively cost-effective) measures proposed by Congress that would have addressed critical national vulnerabilities. As a result, the country remains more vulnerable than it should be today." A Council on Foreign Relations task force chaired by Gary Hart and Warren Rudman concurs: "America remains dangerously unprepared to prevent and respond to a catastrophic terrorist attack on U.S. soil," it warns.

Power plants constitute obvious terrorist targets but are frequently operated by private or semiprivate corporations unwilling to pay to protect them. According to Brookings, the Administration has done nothing--repeat, nothing--to help or encourage "private-sector firms--even ones that handle dangerous materials--toward improving their own security." Last year, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review discovered a frightening series of security lapses at three separate chemical plants in Houston and Chicago, which, if attacked, could endanger 1 million people each. The New York Daily News found one plant in East Rutherford, New Jersey, where an attack could threaten the lives of more than 7 million people (including, um, mine). And it employed virtually no security at all. Spencer Abraham, Bush's Energy Secretary, worried in a March 2002 letter to OMB director Mitch Daniels that firms "are storing vast amounts of materials that remain highly volatile and subject to unthinkable consequences if placed in the wrong hands." However, he added, due to insufficient funding, "the Department now is unable to meet the next round of critical security mission requirements.... Failure to support these urgent security requirements," he concluded, "is a risk that would be unwise." Nevertheless, The New Republic's Jonathan Chait reports, Bush agreed to propose a mere 7 percent of what Abraham said would be needed just to get started.

Chait has more: Bush refused to compensate healthcare workers injured or killed by the smallpox inoculation program. His budget is squeezing the Coast Guard, in charge of port security. He is starving "first responders"--the very heroes of 9/11 to whom he dishonestly promised so much. And the Customs Service got not a single penny in new funding in the Administration's budget. With everyone losing sleep over "loose nukes" falling into terrorist hands, Bush even tried to cut overseas nuclear security funding by 5 percent.

How does he get away with it? Quite easily, apparently. In the Orwellian universe of the "liberal media," Bush can inspire new terrorist threats, ignore the ones we already face and evade responsibility for both because he is "tough" enough to spit in the face of world opinion.

In a sensible media universe, Chait's cover story, "The 9/10 President," would have set off a journalistic firestorm. But the only place I've seen it picked up is in Paul Krugman's invaluable New York Times column. Using the Homeland Security Department's original spending figures, Krugman took Chait one step further on April 1, arguing that Bush's plan to spend seven times as much per capita on protection for Wyoming as for New York--where, need I point out, a few more obvious terrorist targets are located--"was adopted precisely because it caters to that same constituency" that enabled Bush's "election." Krugman puts the Rove/Bush strategy thus: "Even in a time of war--a war that seems oddly unrelated to the terrorist threat--the Bush administration isn't serious about protecting the homeland. Instead, it continues to subordinate U.S. security needs to its unchanged political agenda."

This is an eerie moment in American political history. George W. Bush was defeated in the popular vote by his more liberal opponent but rules from the most extreme wing of his party. He campaigned as a fiscal conservative but has pushed tax cuts that will create a deficit larger than any in US history. As a candidate, he articulated the need for a "humble" foreign policy but now conducts it with a degree of hubris that makes Lyndon Johnson look like the Dalai Lama. His hypocrisy, in other words, is so great as to be almost unfathomable, and yet he has somehow managed to convince the media to admire him for his "moral clarity."

Thanks to Bush & Co., America is hated the world over as never before. Deficits are exploding, unemployment remains high, the stock market is still in the tank and interest rates are poised to take off. The country is headed to hell in a handbasket from so many directions one can barely keep track. And yet the increasingly Foxified media tell a story only of heroism: of the US military, of the American people and of the President of the United States, who has so far managed to avoid service to either one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please take the time to listen to this cut. How many more outrages must there be before someone in charge says ENOUGH!??

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) quoted an

ITN report broadcast yesterday on PBS NewsHour in which a hiring

administrator, after slamming the door in the face of an Iraqi applicant,

said: Guiding these local Arabs around is like herding cats...herding cats

into closets except the cats dont complain as much.

GO TO: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/newshour_index.html (Click on realaudio under The New Iraq) or

http://audio.pbs.org:8080/ramgen/newshour/expansion/2003/05/07/baghdad.rm?altplay=baghdad.rm

(The quote comes at 5:15 into the report, which begins at 4:28).

If our goal is to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people and present

a positive image of America, this is the wrong person for the job.He

should be removed and replaced with someone who does not harbor bigoted

views toward the population,said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.

Americans sent to work in Iraq should be sensitive to the plight of a

traumatized population and aware of the religion and culture of the

community they are serving,Awad added.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

May 8, 2003

Trouble in Bush's America

By BOB HERBERT

While our "What, me worry?" president is having a great time with his high approval ratings and his "Top Gun" fantasies, the economy remains in the tank. And the finances of state and local governments are sinking tragically into ever deeper and ever more unforgiving waters.

You want shock and awe? Come to New York City, where jobs are hard to find and the budget (as residents are suddenly realizing) is a backbreaking regimen of service cuts, tax increases and that perennial painkiller, wishful thinking.

The biggest wish, of course, is that the national economy will suddenly turn around and flood the city and state with desperately needed revenues. Meanwhile, the soup kitchens and food pantries are besieged.

"This is the worst situation I've been in," said Alfonso Shynvwelski, an unemployed waiter who stood in a long line of people waiting for food at the Washington Heights Ecumenical Food Pantry on Broadway in upper Manhattan. Mr. Shynvwelski, 36, has worked at a number of upscale restaurants, including the Russian Tea Room, which has closed. He's been unemployed for a year.

"It's the first time in my life I've had to look for food this way," he said.

This lament is being heard more and more often in the city, which has an official jobless rate of nearly 9 percent. The real rate is substantially higher, which means that more than 1 in 10 New Yorkers who would like to work cannot find a job.

Last week Local 46 of the Metallic Lathers Union announced that it would allow 200 people to apply for membership, which would mean a shot at high-paying work. The line of applicants began at Third Avenue and 76th Street and almost circled the block. The earliest arrivals waited in line for three days. They slept on the sidewalk.

In George Bush's America, jobs get erased like chalk marks on a blackboard. More than 2 million have vanished on Mr. Bush's watch. There are now more than 10.2 million unemployed workers in the U.S., including 1.4 million who are not officially counted because they've become discouraged and stopped looking.

There are also 4.8 million men and women who are working part time because they can't find full-time jobs.

John Challenger, the chief executive of the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, offered a cautionary word to the wishful thinkers who insist that prosperity is just around the corner. "The sharp increase in the job cuts last month," Mr. Challenger said, "should serve as a warning that it is premature to conclude that the quick end to the war in Iraq will bring a quick turnaround in the economy and job market."

The high unemployment and sharply reduced social services are having devastating consequences. In some cases people are being driven to destitution.

"This is a really spooky time for us," said John Hoffmann, who runs a food pantry and soup kitchen in the Bronx. He's faced with both a surge in demand and, because of government budget cuts, a threat to his financing.

"These are folks who are new to services like ours," Mr. Hoffmann said of his latest wave of clients. Many of them are working men and women who were struggling to support their families from one paycheck to the next. When workers in that situation are laid off, they have nothing to fall back on.

Nearly a quarter of a million jobs have been lost in New York City in the past two and a half years. Taxes are going up and services are going down  and still that is not enough. Similar scenarios are being played out in city and state governments throughout the country.

California is trying to borrow its way out of a nightmarish crisis. Texas, already near the bottom nationally in social services, is heading further south.

Two forms of help from the federal government are needed. One is direct assistance to local governments to help alleviate the disastrous budget shortfalls. The other is an economic stimulus program that really works, that boosts the economy and creates jobs through investments in some of the nation's real needs, rather than simply transferring trainloads of money to the wealthy in the form of tax cuts.

Mr. Bush has no interest in such remedies. Easing the economic struggles of poor and working families in America is not part of his agenda.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by mr mahs

I suggest you pick up a economics book and under tax cuts read how less taxes increase government revenue by putting people back to work and earning a paycheck..

why don't you say this to the person who wrote that article....

oh wait, he's an economics professor/expert...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IN a last-ditch attempt to stop broadbased tax cuts, Democrats are again circulating their tired argument that current and prospective budget deficits will drive up interest rates. But if deficits do in fact send interest rates skyward, then why is the 10-year Treasury note trading near 31/2 percent - a 45-year low?

The answer: A three-year deflationary recession, not deficits, is driving interest rates lower. As the economy turned down, deficits went up.

Still, the liberals tightly link interest rates and deficits. But there is an abundance of evidence that this is a weak leak.

Japan, for instance, which has much larger deficits than the United States, has a 10-year government bond with a yield of 0.59 percent. Germany, with deficits running about the same as ours (3 percent of gross domestic product), has a 10-year government note at 3.8 percent. When President Clinton and his Treasury man Robert Rubin raised taxes in 1993, the 10-year note hit bottom at 51/4 percent. Today, with large tax cuts and rising deficit forecasts on the horizon, the 10-year is near a half-century low.

So, if deficits don't necessarily drive up rates, what does?

The preponderance of research argues strongly that inflation or deflation expectations and anticipated real returns on investment (i.e., economic growth) are the major determinants of interest rates. While there may be a connection between deficits and rates, it's a fuzzy connection.

As U.S. inflation descended from roughly 15 percent in 1980 to about zero today, long-term Treasury rates dropped from about 15 percent to 31/2 percent. During this period, as government revenues downshifted in response to disinflation, budget deficits were a recurring theme. But it was disinflation, not rising deficits, that drove interest rates lower and lower.

Washington revenue estimators, who project rising deficits in response to the tax cuts now being debated in Congress, are members of a Flat Earth Society - they intend to persuade the public that the planet is not round, and that tax cuts won't change the economy. Soon they will claim Christopher Columbus did not really discover America.

But of course he did, and it corroborated his view that the world is not flat. Similarly, lower tax rates that raise the after-tax return for working and investing do in fact induce behavioral changes.

Investors, unburdened by lower taxation, supply more capital to businesses and the economy by saving and investing more. Workers, meanwhile, supply more labor, including overtime hours worked.

And when workers and investors get busy, projected deficits from tax-rate reduction never pan out.

The so-called static revenue cost of President Bush's tax-relief plan is overestimated by one-third to one-half. Credit markets are not fooled by the resulting deficit forecasts. Neither is the public.

Tax cuts under JFK, Reagan, and Clinton (during his second term) all produced faster economic growth, more jobs, and higher tax revenues for Washington.

Indeed, Clinton's 1997 capital-gains tax cut was the driving force for late-decade budget surpluses. Revenues in this period soared as profits accrued from stock market gains and stock options. It was a near-perfect illustration of the Laffer Curve, which says, in clear terms: Tax something more, get less of it; tax something less, get more of it. The less we penalize work and investment, the more work and investment there will be.

This is Economic Behaviorism 101 - and it's a simple science that too many members of the U.S. Congress and most state governments fail to comprehend. Or do they get it?

The so-called sin taxes on alcohol, beer, and tobacco suggest that liberal lawmakers just might understand the behavioral basics of taxation.

In recent years, legislatures on every level have poured taxes on these products - especially tobacco, where the latest liberal mantra aims to save smokers from themselves. But doesn't this assume a behavioral change by smokers in response to the higher tax-cost of cigarettes? Sure does.

So why wouldn't the same logic apply to taxes on investment? Of course it applies.

If we tax investment more, we will get less investment. But if we tax investment less - including dividends, the centerpiece of the president's plan - we'll certainly get more investment.

And that's exactly what the American economy thirsts for today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hubris Unbound

by TIM SHORROCK

[posted online on May 8, 2003]

On May 2 President George W. Bush zoomed off the deck of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, where he had declared victory in Iraq following a televised landing in a US Navy S-3B Viking jet. A few hours later, Bush landed in California's Silicon Valley, where he abruptly changed the topic of the day from triumphant war to sputtering economy.

Mindful of the slowdown in what was once a high-tech symbol of US economic might, Bush's handlers carefully chose his stop in Santa Clara. The President avoided the traditional walk-through at Intel, Cisco Systems or Apple. Instead, as reported by David Sanger of the New York Times, Bush "pulled into the well-protected grounds of United Defense Industries, which produces the Bradley fighting vehicle, tanks and other equipment that became familiar to television viewers watching the 350-mile race to Baghdad last month."

There, standing before an array of weapons used in Iraq, Bush made his stand for a $550 billion tax cut that Republicans pray will revive investment, cut the deficit and bring back thousands of jobs lost over the past eighteen months. He thanked the assembled United Defense workers for their products, especially the Bradleys, which he boasted "were responsible for a lot of tank kills" in Iraq.

But Sanger, along with every other reporter covering the speech, neglected to mention a crucial fact about United Defense. It is majority-owned and controlled by the Carlyle Group, the Washington, DC, merchant bank in which Bush's father, George H.W. Bush, has a direct financial interest and serves as a trusted adviser. Yet the American public was kept in the dark about this relationship by the newspaper of record, along with the Washington Post, CNN and every other major media outlet. To people who follow these things, the silence was deafening.

"It's not irony anymore; its just shameless and brazen," said Dan Briody, a New York journalist who broke one of the first stories about Bush's connection to Carlyle. His new book, The Iron Triangle: Inside the Secret World of the Carlyle Group, tells the story of Carlyle's rise from a lowly buyout firm to the nation's eleventh largest--and arguably most politically connected--military contractor.

"I've been amazed at some of these arrangements that have taken place, like the Halliburton situation," Briody said, referring to the oil services company formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney that won a government contract to stamp out oil fires in Iraq. "This Administration keeps making decisions that benefit themselves and their friends, and I don't see an end to it." The day we spoke, Representative Henry Waxman released a US Army document disclosing that Halliburton's no-bid contract was much broader than initially described, and included oil operations and distribution that could increase the cost of the contract to $7 billion.

Briody's book on Carlyle, published by John Wiley & Sons, is an excellent place to begin understanding the intertwining of business, lobbying and foreign policy that define the twenty-first-century version of the military industrial complex. A key chapter recounts Carlyle's 1997 acquisition of United Defense for the "fire-sale price" of $850 million and documents how Carlyle spent more than $1.2 million on lobbyists, who roamed Capitol Hill on behalf of United Defense and its weapons systems.

Among Carlyle's current holdings that Briody lists in an appendix are Composite Structures, which makes metal parts for the AH-64 Apache Helicopter; Lier Siegler Services, which provides logistics support and maintenance for Army vehicles and Air Force jets; and USIS, which performs background checks on millions of government and corporate employees and stands to make a killing in the booming homeland security business.

With Bush preparing the American people for more battles ahead, "it's more crucial than ever that the press pick up the scent of this story until we make some change," Briody said. First and foremost, he argued, Bush Sr. should resign from the Carlyle Group "because of the obvious conflict of interest of working for a company that has such huge defense interests while his son is waging these wars."

Chris Ullman, Carlyle's vice president for corporate communications, rejected that idea. "Former President Bush's relationship with his son has nothing to do with Carlyle or our investments," he said in an e-mail. "The former president does not discuss Carlyle matters with his son; the success of our firm rests on the hard work of our investment professionals."

As for Briody's book, Ullman said: "Peel away the layers of factual errors and the self-righteousness and all you're left with is baseless innuendo. This book should be exposed for what it is, a compilation of recycled conspiracy theories masquerading as investigative journalism."

That's something readers can judge for themselves. But does the mainstream press really think the Bush-Carlyle connection is irrelevant? And in the stories about Bush's speech at United Defense, did it simply fail to note the company's connection with Carlyle, which can easily be made with a quick search on Google? I put those questions to Sanger on his message machine at the Times's Washington bureau, but he never returned my call. Maybe next time he'll get it right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rose: The White House Lied

By John David Rose

Carolina Morning News

Friday 02 May 2003

"The White House Lied" was the headline on the ABCNews.com Web site on April 25. They weren't harking back to the days of Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.

Nobody died from Clinton's dalliance or his lies.

The ABC News report reveals a White House so depraved that it makes Clinton seem like a choir boy.

Wrote ABC News reporter John Cochran: "To build its case for war with Iraq, the Bush administration argued that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, but some officials now privately acknowledge the White House had another reason for war - a global show of American power and democracy."

That poor dupe Colin Powell stood before the United Nations narrating a slide-show of phony intelligence trying to convince the world that Hussein was a threat.

Was he lying or was he lied to?

"We're not lying," said a White House official to ABC News. "But it was just a matter of emphasis."

A matter of emphasis? Good lord, it's a matter of life and death!

Tell that "emphasis" story to the families of Staff Sgt. Stevon Booker of Apollo, Pa., Pfc. Gregory Huxley of Forestport, N.Y., 2nd Lt. Jeffrey Kaylor of Clifton, Va., and Pfc. Anthony Miller of San Antonio, Texas, all from the Third Infantry Division of Fort Stewart. And tell the rest of the 150 American families now grieving over lost sons and daughters, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers.

They thought their loved ones were sent to protect America from Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. Now they learn they died for a "show," a bit of entertainment for Rumsfeld and his warhawk friends.

This was no fight for freedom or to liberate Iraq. There were no huge stores of weapons of mass destruction that threatened us.

The United States didn't win a victory, we committed an atrocity.

Writes ABC News' Cochran: "Officials feared that young Arabs, angry about their lives and without hope, would always look for someone to hate - and that someone would always be Israel and the United States."

Give Arab youth hope by killing them? Shades of the Spanish Inquisition when people were "saved" for Christianity by burning them at the stake.

The brutal truth is that American soldiers were sacrificed for nothing that this nation can be proud of. No amount of White House "spin" or hype can gloss over it.

Congress - all those who voted to give Bush the power to mount an attack on Iraq, Republicans and Democrats alike - should be outraged at how they were misled and ashamed at what they allowed to happen.

Every American who did not protest against this war should get down on his/her knees and beg forgiveness from the parents of those who were killed. We sent their children on a cruel fool's errand.

We are not naturally a nation of brutish intimidators, attacking anyone who won't bow and scrape at our command, who don't pray to our particular interpretation of God. But we stupidly allowed such people into high office and now we and the rest of the world are paying the price.

Bush has got to go. Join those who are trying to retrieve our nation's honor by logging onto www.VotetoImpeach.Org.

Stop him before he kills again.

John David Rose is a long-time Hilton Head Islander and political observer.

© Copyright 2003 by TruthOut.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bush Should be Impeached and Tried for War Crimes

Denise Giardina

The Charleston Gazette

Monday 12 May 2003

One image from the conflict in Iraq continues to haunt me. A photograph in the New York Times includes the school pictures of three girls. Marwa, Tabarek, and Safia Abbas were dark-haired beauties, aged 11, 8, and 5. They could be from anywhere, but until recently they lived in Baghdad. Note I refer to them in the past tense.

According to the Times, their family was agonizing how to tell their injured father that an American bomb killed his daughters. It wasnt just ordinary love,they said. He was crazy about them.

So much for photos. The most haunting quote has come from a military man, retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Don Shepperd.

The dog has caught the car,he said.

Indeed. Some fools may think the war in Iraq is over. In truth, it has just begun. And we all know what happens to dogs that catch cars, even if all they wanted was the oil.

Most of the worlds nations, spiritual leaders, Nobel Peace Prize recipients, and artists, opposed this war. There was a reason for that. Consider the objections:

The war would be bloody. It has been. The world community is documenting the widespread death and suffering that continue in Iraq. Americans may not understand this since American television has abandoned its responsibilities. The Abbas girls are only three of thousands of dead civilians.

Particularly appalling was the use of condemned weapons like cluster bombs which continue to kill noncombatants, especially children. The Pentagon has admitted that about one in 10 missiles missed their target. Add to that the reports in the New York Times, the New Yorker, and the foreign press, of truckloads of dismembered bodies of women and children, of far greater casualties than the Gulf War, of U.S. troops killing civilians and journalists, sometimes indiscriminately, even firing upon ambulances. The protesters shot by U.S. troops in Fallujah were mostly schoolboys.

The war would destabilize the Middle East and empower Islamic fundamentalists. Take out a dictator like Saddam Hussein without proper planning, and you get a power vacuum. The fundamentalists who gave us 9/11 are more than ready to step into it. Donald Rumsfeld says it wont happen. But how does he intend to stop it, except with another bloodbath?

The Iraqi people would not be happy to have us stay and run their country for them. They clearly arent.

The war would be about oil. This seems accurate considering the care taken to protect the Iraqi Oil Ministry offices, while allowing the sacking of hospitals and museums. Iraqis go without water and electricity but the oil wells are running. Bushs corporate crony Bechtel is busy already building pipelines, and companies like ExxonMobil will be major players.

Bush and Blair were lying about the threat Saddam Hussein posed to the world.

Armchair warriors, who seem to think combat is like a Civil War re-enactment in Putnam County, love to compare Saddam Hussein to Adolf Hitler. The comparison is absurd. Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein had nothing in common save cruelty and moustaches.

In 1938, Hitler commanded one of the most powerful armies on earth. In 2003, Husseins army was a shadow of its 1991 strength, not remotely close to a force that could dominate the world. In 1938, Hitler took over Austria and attacked Czechoslovakia. In 2003, Saddam attacked and conquered no one. He was, in fact, scarcely able to defend his own country.

Hitler made clear his aim to conquer Europe and enslave its people while leading Germany to world domination. What Saddam Hussein made clear was that he was one of scores of vicious dictators in the world today. Left to himself, his regime would have imploded of its own evil and madness, as did that of Idi Amin in Uganda. Saddam lasted as long as he did only because of years of support from the Reagan administration, including Donald Rumsfeld.

Weapons of mass destruction? Saddam no longer had them. If he had, he would have used them. And if any are found now, the cabal that has hijacked our country will have planted them there. That is why the Bush administration has made clear it will not allow the U.N. back in the country to provide neutral inspections.

Here is what is coming clear. George W. Bush and his cabal lied to the American people so they could attack another country to seize its oil wealth. Bush has, as Doonesbury and others have pointed out, assumed the mantle of Julius Caesar. He is in the process of ruining the American republic and establishing an American/corporate empire. A favorite motto at the White House is Let them hate us, as long as they fear us. Emperor Caligula liked that saying too.

The American people should be clear about two things. History never judges kindly a rich, powerful nation that attacks a small, poor one. The second is that empires all empires end up on the ashbin of history.

George W. Bush should be impeached. After that, he should stand beside Saddam Hussein in the dock to be tried for war crimes. First witnesses though they cannot speak for themselves should be Marwa, Tabarek, and Safia Abbas.

Giardinas novel Saints and Villains,about German theologian and Nazi-resister Dietrich Bonhoeffer, won the Boston Book Reviews Fisk Fiction Prize in 1998.

© Copyright 2003 by TruthOut.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by mr mahs

IN a last-ditch attempt to stop broadbased tax cuts, Democrats are again circulating their tired argument that current and prospective budget deficits will drive up interest rates. But if deficits do in fact send interest rates skyward, then why is the 10-year Treasury note trading near 31/2 percent - a 45-year low?

The answer: A three-year deflationary recession, not deficits, is driving interest rates lower. As the economy turned down, deficits went up.

Still, the liberals tightly link interest rates and deficits. But there is an abundance of evidence that this is a weak leak.

Japan, for instance, which has much larger deficits than the United States, has a 10-year government bond with a yield of 0.59 percent. Germany, with deficits running about the same as ours (3 percent of gross domestic product), has a 10-year government note at 3.8 percent. When President Clinton and his Treasury man Robert Rubin raised taxes in 1993, the 10-year note hit bottom at 51/4 percent. Today, with large tax cuts and rising deficit forecasts on the horizon, the 10-year is near a half-century low.

So, if deficits don't necessarily drive up rates, what does?

The preponderance of research argues strongly that inflation or deflation expectations and anticipated real returns on investment (i.e., economic growth) are the major determinants of interest rates. While there may be a connection between deficits and rates, it's a fuzzy connection.

As U.S. inflation descended from roughly 15 percent in 1980 to about zero today, long-term Treasury rates dropped from about 15 percent to 31/2 percent. During this period, as government revenues downshifted in response to disinflation, budget deficits were a recurring theme. But it was disinflation, not rising deficits, that drove interest rates lower and lower.

Washington revenue estimators, who project rising deficits in response to the tax cuts now being debated in Congress, are members of a Flat Earth Society - they intend to persuade the public that the planet is not round, and that tax cuts won't change the economy. Soon they will claim Christopher Columbus did not really discover America.

But of course he did, and it corroborated his view that the world is not flat. Similarly, lower tax rates that raise the after-tax return for working and investing do in fact induce behavioral changes.

Investors, unburdened by lower taxation, supply more capital to businesses and the economy by saving and investing more. Workers, meanwhile, supply more labor, including overtime hours worked.

And when workers and investors get busy, projected deficits from tax-rate reduction never pan out.

The so-called static revenue cost of President Bush's tax-relief plan is overestimated by one-third to one-half. Credit markets are not fooled by the resulting deficit forecasts. Neither is the public.

Tax cuts under JFK, Reagan, and Clinton (during his second term) all produced faster economic growth, more jobs, and higher tax revenues for Washington.

Indeed, Clinton's 1997 capital-gains tax cut was the driving force for late-decade budget surpluses. Revenues in this period soared as profits accrued from stock market gains and stock options. It was a near-perfect illustration of the Laffer Curve, which says, in clear terms: Tax something more, get less of it; tax something less, get more of it. The less we penalize work and investment, the more work and investment there will be.

This is Economic Behaviorism 101 - and it's a simple science that too many members of the U.S. Congress and most state governments fail to comprehend. Or do they get it?

The so-called sin taxes on alcohol, beer, and tobacco suggest that liberal lawmakers just might understand the behavioral basics of taxation.

In recent years, legislatures on every level have poured taxes on these products - especially tobacco, where the latest liberal mantra aims to save smokers from themselves. But doesn't this assume a behavioral change by smokers in response to the higher tax-cost of cigarettes? Sure does.

So why wouldn't the same logic apply to taxes on investment? Of course it applies.

If we tax investment more, we will get less investment. But if we tax investment less - including dividends, the centerpiece of the president's plan - we'll certainly get more investment.

And that's exactly what the American economy thirsts for today.

so guess alan greenspan and warren buffet are both wrong? :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×