June 30, 2008


I am taking Canadian names to attend the conference and asking for HELP.



Prosecuting For War Crimes: As Lincoln Said, The Battle Of Today Is Not For Today Alone, But For A Vast Future.

June 24, 2008

Re: Prosecuting For War Crimes: As Lincoln Said, The Battle Of Today
Is Not For Today Alone, But For A Vast Future.

In the last essay he wrote before his death, Arthur Schlesinger spoke of “national stupidity.” Here is what he said:

Sometimes, when I am particularly depressed, I ascribe our behavior to stupidity -- the stupidity of our leadership, the stupidity of our culture. Thirty years ago we suffered military defeat -- fighting an unwinnable war against a country about which we knew nothing and in which we had no vital interests at stake. Vietnam was bad enough, but to repeat the same experiment thirty years later in Iraq is a strong argument for a case of national stupidity.

This writer has expressed the same thought here many times, perhaps in more Runyanesque language. It has been said, on several occasions, “After Viet Nam, who would’ve thunk it?”

“[N]ational stupidity.” “Who would’ve thunk it?”. Yet it happened a second time. After Viet Nam no one thought it could happen again, and Congress took steps to assure it couldn’t, such as enacting the War Powers Act, reining in the CIA, and banning electronic eavesdropping of Americans by the NSA. But it did happen again and worse -- worse because today we not only have a years-long unwinnable war, but also torture, kidnappings and renderings to foreign countries for torture, many years of detention without trial of people who are innocent, the use of massive private armies to help carry out Executive policies, electronic spying on anyone and everyone the Executive wishes, suppression of the media far beyond anything experienced during Viet Nam, reducing Congress to an impotency exceeding that of Viet Nam, the use of Executive Branch lawyers to write professionally incompetent, secret memoranda giving clearance to awful policies, and the use of retired generals who are making a fortune from the Pentagon to spread its gospel on the mainstream media.

Once again, as occurred after Viet Nam, people are likely to reflexively think it cannot happen again. But what assurance is there that five or ten or twenty or thirty years down the road, when some militarists or reactionaries might again come to power, we will not get Iraq redux, just as Iraq was Viet Nam redux? We have been shocked once. What is to prevent the possibility of being shocked again? There are cultural reasons for a potential Iraq redux that go back to the very beginning of American history. They have been written of extensively in two journal articles that are now on the internet, with shortened versions of them having been picked up by numerous websites. (The articles are by Professor Michael Sherry of Northwestern University and by me.) Briefly put, the reasons for another possible redux include:

· The nation largely does not know, and ignores, history.

· A national penchant for violence.

· Hubris.

· Misbegotten, factually incorrect philosophies.

· Lies, distortions, and delusions.

· To the extent we consider history, viewing it through the prism of wars.

· A desire to maintain American power at a preeminent level.

· Congressional abdication of responsibility and congressional cowardice, coupled with Executive seizure of power.

· The fact that America itself has not suffered the ravages of war internally in any extensive way since the Civil War.

· Hollywood (i.e., The John Wayne syndrome).

· The South’s military culture coupled with its political power.

· Massive standing military forces and the added possibility of a draft.

· Public gullibility.

· The tenets of religious fundamentalism.

· Nearly uncontrolled nationalism.

· The fact that leaders’ families face no risks.

· Lack of accountability.

Because of these reasons we have, over the course of our history, fought, often repeatedly, the Indians, the French, the British, the Barbary States, the Mexicans, each other (in the Civil War), the Spanish, the Germans, the Japanese, the Chinese, the North Koreans, the Russians (at the end of World War I and in the air over Korea), the Viet Namese, the Panamanians, the Serbs, the Iraqis, and many others as well, such as the Haitians and the Grenadians. There are few other peoples who can “boast” such a historical record of wars, except perhaps imperial Rome and imperial Great Britain.

So the idea that in future we will not repeat the mistakes of Iraq would appear, on the basis of cultural factors and history, to be as likely to prove forlorn as the idea that World War I was the war to end all wars or the idea that we would not repeat Viet Nam. The forlornness is only the greater because American politicians, media and citizens continue to see the world as a place that could require military action against countries ranging from middle eastern theocracies and/or autocracies, like Iran, to China. Any politician who took a different position, a more pacific position, would be derided as “soft,” and probably could not win election.

What to do then to try to increase the possibility that America will not get into more misbegotten wars in the future and, if it does get into war, will not torture people, kill prisoners, spy on its own citizens, and commit other atrocious acts. There is only one thing to do: that is to hold American leaders to account for their actions so that in future other leaders will not repeat the actions for fear that they will likewise be held to account.

But domestic politics has proven useless in holding our leaders to account -- Lyndon Johnson retired to his ranch, George Bush was reelected and will retire to his, Nixon received a pardon and went back to San Clemente, McNamara became the long time President of the World Bank, Kissinger became richer and richer (and secretly advised Bush and Cheney on Iraq), nobody expects Rumsfeld to suffer, Wolfowitz was given a sinecure (which he blew) at the World Bank, lawyers who facilitated the misdeeds, such as Jay Bybee and John Yoo, are federal judges or professors at leading law schools.

Because domestic politics are obviously useless for holding the guilty accountable, we must try to do what was done in the 1940s to the leaders of nations who committed evil; we must try to do what was done to the German and Japanese leaders from top Nazis and Tojo right down to lawyers and judges. We must try to have them held accountable in courts of law. And we must insist on appropriate punishments, including, if guilt is found, the hangings visited upon top Germans and Japanese.

America’s Chief Prosecutor at Nuremburg, Justice Robert Jackson, said we were invoking principles that would govern our nation as well as our defeated enemies. We must attempt to make a truth teller of Jackson, instead of allowing our leaders to make a liar of him.

Today, there is no accountability for our leaders, nor do their own families face death on the front lines as occurred during the Civil War (when several Cabinet officials’ sons or brothers faced battle) and World War II (when one of FDR’s sons participated in extraordinarily dangerous missions in the Pacific). Today there are, rather, only very different factors -- factors that make it easy and safe for leaders to fight wars: there are half trillion dollar appropriations, huge standing military forces which the President orders into combat all around the world at the proverbial drop of a hat, a compliant Congress that refuses to do its duty, and an incompetent, if not venal, mainstream media. Not unless leaders fear prison or the gallows for actions that violate law will there be anything to check the next headlong rush to war for allegedly good reasons that later prove false, as with Mexico, Spain, Viet Nam or Iraq, a headlong rush to war regardless of whether it occurs under a McCain (who never met a war he didn’t like), an Obama, or someone whose name has not yet surfaced, and regardless of whether the headlong rush were otherwise to occur one year from now or five years from now or twenty years from now or thirty years from now.

There will, of course, be those who say that even if a precedent for punishment is established, future leaders will ignore the possibility of criminal punishment. Not so. Even the current crop of leaders were very concerned that they might be legally held to account, notwithstanding that American leaders have never before been held to account. It was the fear of being held to account in courts even though this had never happened before that led the Executive to commission exonerating legal memoranda from the John Yoos and their ilk in the Department of Justice and the Pentagon. For George Bush, Richard Cheney, Don Rumsfeld and Henry Kissinger to swing, or even for them to spend years in jail, would be a powerful lesson to future American leaders. It is not amiss to note that leaders of Germany and Japan from the end of World War II until today have never advocated the kinds of policies advocated by generations of their predecessors. There are several reasons for this, but one cannot discount the importance of the leaders’ knowledge that their predecessors swung in the 1940s.

There are also those who will say that American courts will never call this country’s leaders, or their minions like John Yoo, to account. That almost surely is true now and will likely remain true for at least ten or twenty years, even though library stacks and internet servers already are fairly bulging with books, journal articles, internet essays, legal complaints, newspaper articles and other materials showing that horrendous crimes have been committed, and more evidence of and reasons for guilt are in process of being written down. (Our courts are unlikely to act because, unlike in Germany or Iraq, our courts will be branches of the same government which committed the horrible acts, and will include deeply conservative political and judicial supporters of the acts.) But, as we have already seen in the last few years, in Italy, Germany and France, there are courts, and there also are international tribunals, that will prosecute these people, either in person if they dare venture abroad so they can be caught there, or in absentia if necessary. Even trials and convictions in absentia of current leaders would send a powerful message to future ones. And who knows, perhaps someday in the distant future even American courts may be willing to punish the criminal miscreants, or to at least admit that serious crimes have been committed (just as American judges ultimately admitted defacto, decades later, the horribly miscreant nature of the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II).

There will also be those who say, as is so typically American, that we should simply put Iraq behind us, should not seek “revenge” upon those responsible for it, and should just get on with life. But that was said about Viet Nam in its day, helped lead to Iraq, and was largely responsible for the pardon of Nixon which taught American leaders like Bush and Cheney that they can evade punishment for horrible actions. The “forget the past and get on with life” philosophy should not be indulged now any more than we indulged it with the Germans and Japanese. Otherwise we will get more Viet Nams and more Iraqs because leaders will know they can get away with anything, will suffer no consequences to themselves.

In his own time, in the vast cauldron of the Civil War, Lincoln said that the battle of today is not for today alone, but for a vast future. That is equally true of the necessity of bringing to book the men who have led us to disaster twice in one lifetime, in Viet Nam and Iraq. The battle to impose criminal responsibility upon them is not for today alone, but to safeguard a vast future. Otherwise the future will be threatened by Executive lawlessness undertaken because of knowledge that leaders need fear no personal consequences, the future will be threatened by the possibility of more Viet Nams, more Iraqs, more violent denials of basic civil liberties because leaders -- especially leaders of a militaristic or highly conservative cast of mind -- will know they need fear no personal consequences.

It is for all these reasons that I have called a conference to be held in Andover, MA on September 13 and 14, 2008. The conference is entitled Planning For The Prosecution Of High Level American War Criminals. The Conference is not intended to be only a discussion of violations of law that have occurred. Although discussions of ideas and facts showing violations of law will take place, library stacks and the internet are, as said, already bulging with materials showing violations (although in the last analysis decisions on violations will be made by judges if leaders are brought to justice). The Conference, rather, is intended to also be a planning conference, one at which plans will be laid, and necessary organizational structures will be set up, to pursue the guilty as long as necessary and to the ends of the earth in order to bring them before the bar of justice. The underlying law and facts will be discussed in the context of laying plans to pursue the guilty in courtrooms so that in future there may be no more Viet Nams, no more Iraqs.

The topics which will be discussed, and subjects on which plans will be laid, already include the following:

1. Brief introductory remarks stressing that the crimes and misconduct have now occurred twice in forty years -- in Viet Nam and then again in Iraq -- and that the high level perpetrators need to be punished (as occurred at Nuremberg and Tokyo in 1946) in order to insure that people will not do these things again (as the Germans and Japanese have not committed their crimes again).

2. A discussion of his recent book, The Torture Team, by Philippe Sands, including how Executive Branch lawyers failed in their duties (yet remained in power or gained soft landings (as, e.g., federal judges and professors at leading law schools)).

3. What domestic and international crimes were committed, which facts show crimes under which laws, and what punishments are possible.

4. What high level Executive officials (and federal judges and legislators too, if any) are chargeable with crimes.

5. What international tribunals, foreign tribunals and domestic tribunals (if any) can be used, and how to begin and prosecute cases in front of them.

6. What cases have already been brought, with what results and the reasons for the results.

7. What must be done to make the question of prosecutions an issue in the 2008 political campaign and to have the question become a significant subject in the media and on the internet.

8(a). Creating an umbrella coordinating committee with representatives from the various -- and increasing number of -- organizations that are involved in cases.

(b). Creating a Center to keep track of and organize compilations of relevant briefs, articles, books, opinions, facts, etc.

9. The possibility of having a Chief Prosecutor’s office ala Nuremberg.

10. Review and summary of the action items that have been decided upon.

Both experts and the public are invited to the Conference. It will be held at 500 Federal Street in Andover, Massachusetts, from 10 in the morning until 4:30 in the afternoon on Saturday and Sunday, September 13 and 14. Breakfasts, lunches and dinners will be provided, and will be covered by a conference charge of $125. Hotel rooms will be available a mile away, at the Wyndham Hotel, for 99 dollars per night, with buses available to take attendees to and return them from the conference.

Anyone who wants to attend the conference should contact my special assistant, Jeff Demers, at demers@mslaw.edu or at (978) 681-0800.*

* This posting represents the personal views of Lawrence R. Velvel. If you wish to comment on the post, on the general topic of the post, or on the comments of others, you can, if you wish, post your comment on my website, VelvelOnNationalAffairs.com. All comments, of course, represent the views of their writers, not the views of Lawrence R. Velvel or of the Massachusetts School of Law. If you wish your comment to remain private, you can email me at Velvel@VelvelOnNationalAffairs.com.

VelvelOnNationalAffairs is now available as a podcast. To subscribe please visit VelvelOnNationalAffairs.com, and click on the link on the top left corner of the page. The podcasts can also be found on iTunes or at www.lrvelvel.libsyn.com

In addition, one hour long television book shows, shown on Comcast, on which Dean Velvel, interviews an author, one hour long television panel shows, also shown on Comcast, on which other MSL personnel interview experts about important subjects, conferences on historical and other important subjects held at MSL, presentations by authors who discuss their books at MSL, a radio program (What The Media Won’t Tell You) which is heard on the World Radio Network (which is on Sirrus and other outlets in the U.S.), and an MSL journal of important issues called The Long Term View, can all be accessed on the internet, including by video and audio. For TV shows go to: www.mslaw.edu/about_tv.htm; for book talks go to: www.notedauthors.com; for conferences go to: www.mslawevents.com; for The Long Term View go to: www.mslaw.edu/about­_LTV.htm; and for the radio program go to: www.velvelonmedia.com.

Nuremberg-eyewitness to history

Fill in the blanks 2008.

"Each defendant was accused of one or more of four charges: conspiracy to commit crimes alleged in other counts; crimes against peace; war crimes; or crimes against humanity. Specific charges included the murder of over" 1,000,000 Iraqis, "pursuing an aggressive war, the brutality of the" FORCED OCCUPATION, "and the use of" ILLEGAL WEAPONS, Link CLICK HERE http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/pfnuremberg.htm

Iraq "WAR CRIMES REPORT" is fully documented, distributed worldwide, translated into Arabic, describes the war crimes committed in Iraq from the very first day of the invasion, those responsible, and proposes "a mechanism for accountability" Link CLICK HERE http://www.consumersforpeace.org/pdf/war_crimes_iraq_101006.pdf

George W. Guilty of Murder?
A prominent lawyer lays out a compelling case in THE PROSECUTION OF GEORGE W. BUSH FOR MURDER. Staggering evidence is collected against the president in a startling new book.
"The preferable venue for the prosecution of George W. Bush for murder and conspiracy to commit murder would be in the nation's capital, with the prosecutor being the Attorney General of the Unite States acting through his Department of Justice. This book, however, establishes jurisdiction for any state attorney general (or any district attorney in any county of a state) to bring murder and conspiracy charges against Bush for any soldiers from that state or county who lost their lives fighting Bush's war, which as you can see applies to every state in this nation", excerpt taken from renowned prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi's stunning, insightful, best selling book "The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder".

Okay, Canada! Let's get going!!

What's up in space - 30 June 2008

What's up in Space
June 30, 2008
AURORA ALERTS: Did you miss the Northern Lights of June 25th? Next time get a wake-up call from Space Weather PHONE.

SUNSET SKY SHOW: Tonight, after sunset, go outside and look west. Red Mars and 1st-magnitude star Regulus are having a close encounter, less than 1o apart. Together they join with Saturn to form a pretty isosceles triangle that you won't want to miss: sky map.

photos: from Tamas Ladanyi of Lake Balaton, Hungary; from Doug Zubenel of Linn County, Kansas

NOCTILUCENT COMPANIONS: The Pleiades. A slender crescent Moon. Electric-blue noctilucent clouds (NLCs). Add them all together and you get ... Monday in England. This morning just before the sun came up over the British Isles, a wispy bank of noctilucent clouds joined the Moon and Pleiades in the pre-dawn sky:

"What a sight!" says Pete Lawrence who took the picture, above, from the beach at Selsey in West Sussex. A panoramic shot "conveys the scene quite well with noctilucent fingers stretching out of the twilight arc." Noctilucent cloud activity remains high; readers, be alert for NLCs and their companions.

more images: from Martin Stirland of Winterton On Sea Norfolk England; from Laurent Laveder of Quimper, Bretagne, France; from Thad V'Soske of Grand Valley, Colorado; from Mark E. Peter south of Flint Ridge, Ohio; from David Arditti of Edgware, Middlesex, UK

LAVENDER SUNS: California is on fire. Hundreds of wildfires in the northern half of the state are filling the air with smoke and filling the sky with ... lavender suns? Christopher Calubaquib saw one on June 26th when he looked through the haze over El Sobrante, California:

"Because of the smoke, the sun was not very bright, and I didn't need to use a filter to take the picture," says Calubaquib. In other words, the colors are genuine. A day later, another lavender sun appeared over Arcata, California: "This photo was not processed or retouched; it's how the sun really looked," says photographer Mike Kelly.

What makes the sun lavender? It happens when the air is filled with particles measuring about 1 micron (10-6 m) across, a little larger than the wavelength of red light. Micron-sized particles scatter red light strongly, while letting shades of blue pass through. The mix of ash over El Sobrante produced a lavender hue, reminiscent of the great Alberta muskeg fires of September 1950. Believe it or not, the same physics can turn the Moon blue, but that is another story.

Is the smoke wafting through your hometown this week? Be alert for the lavender sun.

more images: from Raymond Rochelle of Chico, California; from Andrew Kirk of Bishop, California;

Important information tables on Iranian OIL (why mess with nuclear energy?)

Iran is OPEC’s second-largest oil producer and the fourth-largest crude oil exporter in the world.
According to Oil and Gas Journal, Iran has 136 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, or roughly 10 percent of the world's total proven petroleum reserves as of January 1, 2007. Iran has 40 producing fields, 27 onshore and 13 offshore, with the majority of crude oil reserves located in the southwestern Khuzestan region near the Iraqi border. Iran's crude oil is generally medium in sulfur content and in the 28°-35° API range.
Iran is OPEC’s second-largest producer after Saudi Arabia. In 2006, Iran produced an estimated 4.2 million barrels per day (bbl/d) of total liquids, of which 3.8 million bbl/d was crude oil, equal to 5 percent of global production.
Iran’s oil consumption totaled 1.6 million bbl/d in 2006. The Iranian government heavily subsidizes the price of refined oil products which has contributed to increased domestic demand. Iran has limited refinery capacity to produce light fuels, and imports much of its gasoline supply. Iranian domestic oil demand is mainly for gasoline and automotive gasoils, but domestic demand for other oil products are declining due to the substitution of natural gas. However, it is an overall net petroleum products exporter due to large exports of residual fuel oil. Oil export revenues represent the majority of Iran’s total exports earnings, but the country suffers from budget deficits due to a growing population and large government subsidies on gasoline and food products. In 2005, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated that energy subsidies accounted for 12 percent of Iran’s GDP, the highest rate in the world according to an International Energy Agency (IEA) study.

Iran produced 6 million bbl/d of crude oil in 1974, but has been unable to produce at that level since the 1979 revolution due to a combination of war, limited investment, sanctions, and a high rate of natural decline in Iran’s mature oil fields. Iran’s oil fields need structural upgrades including enhanced oil recovery (EOR) efforts such as natural gas injection. Iran’s fields have a natural annual decline rate estimated at 8 percent onshore and 10 percent offshore, while current Iranian recovery rates are 24-27 percent, 10 percent less than the world average. It is estimated that 400,000-500,000 bbl/d of crude production is lost annually due to reservoir damage and decreases in existing oil deposits.

Upstream Projects

The Azadegan project phases I and II represent the greatest potential increase in Iranian crude oil production. Azadegan contains 26 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves, but is geologically complex and difficult to extract. Iran and Venezuela have agreed on a $4 billion investment in the Ayacucho 7 block, where there are an estimated 31 billion barrels of oil. Iran’s Northern Drilling Company (NDC) has also worked with Russia’s Lukoil on oil field development in the Caspian Sea. (See Caspian Sea Analysis Brief)

Iran plans to increase oil production to over 5 million bbl/d by 2010, but it will need foreign help. According to Global Insight, an estimated $25-35 billion is required to meet the government’s 5.8 million bbl/d target by 2015. Investment in Iran’s energy sector has been tempered due to the election of the conservative government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005, the international controversy surrounding the Iranian uranium enrichment and nuclear program, and economic sanctions. According to the IEA 2007 Medium-Term Oil Market Report, Iran will not be able to increase its net expansion capacity through 2012.

U.S. Sanctions

U.S. sanctions against Iran due to Iran’s historic support for international terrorism and its actions against non-belligerent shipping in the Persian Gulf impact the development of its petroleum sector. According to the Iran Transactions Regulations, administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), U.S. persons may not directly or indirectly trade, finance, or facilitate any goods, services or technology going to or from Iran, including goods, services or technology that would benefit the Iranian oil industry. U.S. persons are also prohibited from entering into or approving any contract that includes the supervision, management or financing of the development of petroleum resources located in Iran.

Sector Organization

The state-owned National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) is responsible for oil and gas production and exploration. The National Iranian South Oil Company (NISOC), a subsidiary of NIOC, accounts for 80 percent of local oil production covering the provinces of Khuzestan, Bushehr, Fars, and Kohkiluyeh va Boyer Ahamd. Though private ownership of upstream functions is prohibited under the Iranian constitution, the government has allowed for buyback contracts which allow international oil companies (IOCs) to enter exploration and development through an Iranian affiliate. The contractor receives a remuneration fee, usually an entitlement to oil or gas from the developed operation. In August 2007, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appointed NIOC executive Gholamhossein Nozari to serve as Acting Oil Minister, replacing Vaziri Hamaneh and creating controversy over President Ahmadinejad’s role in the energy sector.


According to International Energy Agency’s Monthly Oil Data Service and Global Trade Atlas, Iran’s net crude and product exports in 2006 averaged 2.5 million bbl/d, primarily to Japan, China, India, South Korea, Italy, and other Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations, making it the fourth-largest exporter of crude oil in the world. In 2006, Iran’s oil export revenues amounted to $54 billion.

Export Terminals

Iran has the largest oil tanker fleet in the Middle East, the National Iranian Tanker Company, which holds 29 ships including Very Large Crude Carriers. Kharg Island is the country’s largest terminal with a holding capacity of 16 million barrels of oil and a loading capacity of 5 million bbl/d, followed by Lavan Island with capacity to store 5 million barrels and loading capacity of 200,000 bbl/d. Other important terminals include Kish Island, Abadan and Bandar Mahshar, and Neka, which helps facilitate imports from the Caspian region. The Strait of Hormuz, on the southeastern coast of Iran, is an important route for oil exports from Iran and other Persian Gulf countries. (See Persian Gulf Analysis Brief) At its narrowest point the Strait of Hormuz is 34 miles wide, yet an estimated 17 million barrels, or roughly two-fifths of all seaborne traded oil, flows through the Strait daily. Iranian Heavy Crude Oil is Iran’s largest crude export at 1.6 million bbl/d followed by Iranian Light at 1 million bbl/d.


Iran’s total refinery capacity is 1.5 million bbl/d from nine refineries operated by the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC), a NIOC subsidiary. Iranian refineries are unable to keep pace with domestic demand, and face major infrastructure problems. The country plans to add around 985,000 bbl/d of refining capacity by 2012, mostly through expansions and upgrades for gasoline yields at the Bandar Abbas, Bushehr, and the 90-year-old Abadan refineries. Large expansion projects at Bandar Abbas, including new catalytic reformers, distillation units, and condensate splitters will help supply the domestic demand, but it will probably not eliminate all gasoline imports. Iran has also discussed joint ventures in Asia, including China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore to expand refining activity.


Iran has an expansive domestic oil network including 5 pipelines, and multiple international pipeline projects under consideration. Recently, an expansion of the 150 mile pipeline from the port of Neka on the Caspian coast to Rey, Tabriz, and Tehran refineries has reached a capacity of 300,000 bbl/d according to Global Insight. Iran has invested in its import capacity at the Caspian port to handle increased product shipments from Russia and Azerbaijan, and enable crude swaps with Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. In the case of crude swaps, the oil from the Caspian is consumed domestically in Iran, and an equivalent amount of oil is produced for export through the Persian Gulf with a Swiss-trading arm of NIOC for a swap fee.
In 2006, Iran imported over 192,000 bbl/d of gasoline and relied upon imports to meet almost half of its fuel needs costing $5 billion.

Iran is the second biggest gasoline importer in the world after the United States, consuming over 400,000 bbl/d. According to FACTS Global Energy, Iran imported over 192,000 bbl/d of gasoline in 2006 costing $5 billion. The gasoline consumption growth rate has averaged ten percent annually over the past six years, and the cost of imports is expected to reach $6 billion in 2007, up from $2.8 billion in 2005. Gasoline prices are heavily subsidized, and sold below the market price at around 42 cents per gallon, which has encouraged increased consumption. An increase in vehicle sales in recent years has also contributed to the problem. According to PFC Energy, car ownership in Iran grew 250 percent between 1990 and 2006, and a majority of these vehicles are older models. Gasoline powered vehicles in Iran are expected to reach 14.9 million by the end of 2007. Iran does not have sufficient refining capacity to meets its domestic gasoline and other light fuel needs. Therefore Iran imports gasoline from India, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, the Netherlands, France, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates. Iran also imports from large, multinational wholesalers such as BP, Shell, Total, Vitol, LUKoil, and several Chinese companies.

New Gasoline Rationing System

In June 2007, the Iranian government instituted a gasoline rationing system. The decision followed a 25 percent price increase to 42 cents per gallon in May. NIORDC is responsible for the program which allows private cars to purchase 26 gallons per month and taxis to buy 211 gallons per month. The rations and increased costs are politically unpopular in Iran. Customers are allowed to purchase their ration six months in advance. Part-time taxis, commercial vehicles, and government vehicles also have special allowances. Records are maintained on smart cards, and later this year the government is expected to announce the price for gasoline bought beyond quota levels.

Iran’s gasoline consumption dropped 30 percent immediately after the rationing scheme was adopted. NIOC executive, Hojjatollah Ghanimifard, stated that Iranian gasoline imports for August 2007 dropped 14 percent, although an additional $1.5 billion was requested by the Iranian Oil Ministry to increase gasoline imports through March 2008. The International Energy Agency reported in its August 2007 Oil Market Update that gasoline consumption will likely increase again due to the fact that Iran allows advance purchase of gasoline at a subsidized rate. The combination of rationing, price hikes, increased refining capacity, as well as compressed natural gas (CNG) production, will reduce Iranian gasoline import demand by an estimated 30,000 bbl/d in the next three years according to FACTS Global Energy.

Ralph Nader is now being attacked as a racist for pointing out the obvious - that Obamarama is NOT a populist at all. He is getting some lamestream media attention for stating the TRUTH.

Meanwhile, although Ralph, who has done enormous good for all people, is being called racist. They forget about his support of Winona LaDuke!

Many progressives in America who support the Bill of Rights, are now sending their dollars to Ralph! Go, Ralph, Go! (And Cynthia M., too !)

Hard to tell what will happen before the US elections, but you can be sure it will prove "interesting" !!


June 30, 2008

Contact: Chris Driscoll, 202-360-3273, chris@votenader.org
IL Contact: Christina Tobin: 312-320-4101


The Nader/Gonzalez independent presidential campaign will be on the Illinois ballot in the November election. The campaign submitted more than 50,000 signatures to the Illinois Board of Elections on Monday June 23, far surpassing the required 25,000. Under Illinois law, upon submitting signatures for ballot access, other parties have 1 week to challenge those signatures. That 1-week period has now passed and no party has challenged the Nader/Gonzalez signatures.

This is good news for voters who want more choice and the opportunity to vote for an anti-war candidate in November.

Illinois marks the third state where Nader/Gonzalez will be on the ballot in 2008, but did not qualify in 2004. Arizona and Hawaii are the other two. Presently, the Nader/Gonzalez Campaign has seven teams in seven states collecting signatures for ballot access. Sunday, on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," Mr. Nader announced his campaign will be on the ballot in 45 states.

In 2004 the Democratic Party and their allies initiated frivolous lawsuits aimed at keeping the Nader/Camejo ticket off the ballots in 18 states, denying voters the choice of an Independent candidacy for President and Vice President. In 2008 the Nader/Gonzalez Campaign is cautioning the Democratic Party not to misuse the court system with baseless political challenges and to honor the will of the people for more choices on the ballot.

- End -

Whistleblower information on Jack Layton from Connie Fogal !!

NDP leader JACK LAYTON betrays CANADA on "deep integration"

Location: Windsor
Date Listed: 05-Jun-08
Event Date(s): 01-Jul-08



Bet you can't wait to celebrate CANADA DAY with Jack!

NDP leader JACK LAYTON was a guest speaker at the 30 May 2008 "model Parliament
for North America" held in Montreal City Hall last week, organized by the North American Forum on Integration, and also featuring SEPARATIST guest speaker, Gilles Duceppe.

Search google for these key words:

"jack layton", NAFI, "Friday May 30 City hall"

This organization, the North American Forum on Integration, operates from offices at the French University of Montreal on Montreal soil, is co-planning the end of CANADA and of the Canadian Parliament.

But Jack Layton, who pretends to be AGAINST "deep integration" of Canada into the US and Mexico has NEVER told his electorate about this organization or HIS PARTICIPATION IN IT.

Moreover, at his NDP web site, Layton maintains an itinerary of his speeches and events. He was delivering CANADA to the globalists at lunch time on 30 May 2008 for NAFI in Montreal, but he has listed only ONE activity on that same date, when he also delivered a speech to the Canadian Labor Congress. Why has Layton NOT DIVULGED his participation in "continental integration" to his Danforth constituents and to his NDP Party's members all across Canada? Why does Layton maintain an e-mail campaign PRETENDING to oppose "deep integration"
while in fact he is promoting it SECRETLY?

Jack Layton, in Canadian Parliamentary Hansard which he published at his NDP site, accuses Paul Martin of a "hidden agenda" of "deep integration", but Layton himself IS IN ON IT.


Layton has a "Continental Integration" subject tab at his NDP web site. That section of his site says NOTHING about the NAFI forum on integration, NOR about his participation IN IT. Search his NDP site, NOT A WORD on NAFI's existence.

Want to find out MORE about the criminally illegal integration of CANADA into the US and MEXICO scheduled for 2010 or sooner?

Want the TRUTH on Canadian unity and the criminal SCAM of so-called "Quebec Secession"? It is and has always been a SCAM to "deep integrate" Canada into the US and Mexico. Every rabid separatist from the PARTI QUEBECOIS and the BLOC QUEBECOIS is behind the bogus new Parliament for North America, and Layton is in WITH them, as are the Conservatives and the Liberals.

Search GOOGLE for "HABEAS CORPUS CANADA DOT COM" and make sure to READ the Grounds page and the Statement of Purpose.

Also visit YOUTUBE and look for crazyforcanada where I have posted a video on the SCAM in English and in French. The straight jacket in the video is for a good reason: on 31 October 2007, I was criminally assaulted by municipal POLICE after my landlord changed the locks on my apartment WITHOUT A LEGAL PROCEEDING and confiscated my law books and research notes on the annexation of Canada to the US and Mexico. The Police said, "we think you're a bit mental" because of my web site, HABEAS CORPUS CANADA, and forced me into an ambulance by physical assault, and off to a Hospital, which is SOVIET-STYLE INCARCERATION of this
Canadian Sovereignty activist.

Look for my blog: crazyforcanada on the internet for the story on that.

June 29, 2008

Jason Call calls for CITIZEN'S ARRESTS

I'm casting a wide net with this email. Some of you have much more professional experience with legal issues and procedural matters than I do. I've been reading Bugliosi's book The Prosection of George Bush for Murder. The case is clear, as most of us have known for years, but it has now been organized and is ready and waiting for someone to pick it up and move forward.
Can we count on the various state and federal attorneys general to file suit? At one point I may have thought so, but look at what the Democratic leadership is doing to actively thwart the will of their constituents to hold impeachment hearings.
So how does a citizen group use what Bugliosi has proferred? I don't know if the case has to be taken up by a representative of the government, or if it can be done by a private citizen (or citizens) as a class action type suit, being that Bush's assault on the Constitution (resulting in the deaths of 4000 Americans) has done injury to us all.
Here's what I know though - if these bastards are going to be held legally accountable, and it can be done by a citizen or citizen group - I want to be a part of it.
Lynnwood, WA

WAR CRIMES DOSSIER; Conyers subpoena to Michael Mukasey

For Immediate Release

Conyers Issues Subpoena to DOJ for Valerie Plame Documents

For Immediate Release Contact: Jonathan Godfrey
June 27, 2008 Melanie Roussell

(Washington, DC)- House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) today issued a subpoena to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to provide to the committee a number of previously requested documents by July 9. The Subcommittee on Commercial and Adminstrative Law voted this week to authorize committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. to issue the subpoena at his discretion. The documents the committee is seeking cover a broad range of issues including the Valerie Plame leak, allegations of selective prosecution, and other matters. The subpoena is here.


Conference on disarmament statements


Listen to this article. Powered by Odiogo.com
24 June 2008
States News Service

The following information was released by the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG):

The Conference on Disarmament today heard statements from Australia, Japan, the Russian Federation, South Africa, Canada, France, Sri Lanka, China and New Zealand on Presidential proposal CD/1840 to end the impasse in the Conference and on regional nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament efforts.

The incoming President of the Conference, Ambassador Christina Rocca of the United States, said it was unquestioned that CD/1840 was a compromise, and thus by definition, unable to meet anyone's goals perfectly, but it was well-suited to advance everyone's interests and to get the Conference back to work. If it was adopted, all would win much and lose a little. While the United States would continue to focus on CD/1840 as the desired outcome of this year's activities in the Conference, with the support of the P6, they proposed a series of informal meetings during the third part of the 2008 session of the Conference in late July and in August. The United States had asked the seven Coordinators to resume their roles and to chair the discussions. The full exchange of views in these renewed informal discussions would help refresh all the issues in Members' minds, would help advance consensus on CD/1840, and would help inform the Conference on its final report.

Australia informed the Conference of an announcement made by the Australian Prime Minister in a speech in Japan on the establishment of an International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament. In a joint statement with the Japanese Prime Minister, Australia and Japan had renewed their determination to strengthen the international disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation regime and to cooperate closely to achieve a successful outcome to the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. The objective of the Commission was to enhance global efforts to strengthen the Non-Proliferation Treaty by paving the way for a successful Review Conference in 2010.

Japan said that, on 12 June, the Japanese Prime Minister and the Prime Minister of Australia had released a joint statement to reaffirm the particular importance of the Japan-Australia relationship and to strengthen further the comprehensive and strategic partnership between the two countries. Both leaders had renewed their determination to strengthen the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime. Japan had also welcomed the Australian Prime Minister's proposal to establish an international commission on nuclear non-proliferation. On CD/1840, Japan believed it was a well-balanced compromise.

The Russian Federation said not everything in CD/1840 suited the Russian Federation and it was sure that all other delegations were not fully satisfied either. The Russian Federation wanted a stronger focus on prevention of an arms race in outer space which was a priority for the country. The Russian Federation was interested in having a negotiating mandate for the Ad Hoc Committee on the prevention of an arms race in outer space. Nevertheless, the Russian Federation was prepared not to oppose it with the view of ensuring the quickest return of the Conference to work.

South Africa said the consensus rule in the Conference had often been mentioned as the main reason why the Conference had not been able to negotiate anything in the last couple of years. But was it not perhaps the misuse of the consensus rule, rather than the rule itself, that had created the problem. The consensus rule did not apply itself, it was the Members of the Conference that chose when and how to apply it. When it was used to block the commencement, not the finalization, of negotiations, one could perhaps understand why some referred to the "tyranny of consensus". South Africa did not believe that CD/1840 was perfect. However, it represented that which was possible and practical under the present circumstances. South Africa stood ready to join a consensus on CD/1840.

Canada, speaking also on behalf of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), presented to the Conference the report on a conference entitled: "Security in Space: the Next Generation", that had taken place earlier this year. The conference had been the latest in a series of annual conferences held by UNIDIR on the issues of space security, the peaceful uses of outer space and the prevention of an arms race in outer space.

France referred to the statement by the President of the French Republic, Nicolas Sarkozy, on 21 March in Cherbourg proposing an ambitious disarmament plan, saying that these transparency measures were unprecedented for a nuclear weapon State. The President of France proposed to invite international experts to come and witness the dismantling of the fissile material for weapons facilities in Pierrelatte and Marcoule. Today, France renewed this invitation, and a visit to these facilities would be organized on 16 September. All Member States were invited to send representatives.

Sri Lanka said CD/1840 was a good basis for discussion, Sri Lanka had no doubt about that. However, Sri Lanka wished to draw attention to some underlying structural anomalies which had to be addressed if this effort was to be successful. CD/1840 privileged one agenda item over others. This particular item elevated over the others involved certain Member States more than certain others. If those Member States felt that their fundamental national interests were at variance with the spirit of CD/1840, then it was not a question of a handful of holdouts. Those countries concerns had to be seriously engaged with. If it was the perception of these States that their core strategic interests were at stake, then the Conference had to do better. Doing better could mean looking afresh at the other agenda items.

China hoped that the relevant parties would continue to make efforts to further conduct a constructive dialogue and consultations so that they were able to narrow the differences and reach consensus on a programme of work which was acceptable to all. In general, China was ready to make joint efforts with all the relevant delegations to push forward progress in the Conference.

New Zealand supported the President's comment that moving forward to reach consensus on the basis of CD/1840 was the best basis for advancing the work in the Conference. As far as its national position was concerned, New Zealand would be happy to commence negotiations on any of the core items before the Conference. As a non nuclear weapon State and as a State which had taken strong positions on nuclear weapons, New Zealand particularly wished for the start of negotiations on nuclear disarmament. The reality was that no delegation here was in a position to begin serious negotiations on all the core issues before the Conference. A Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty would contribute to nuclear disarmament. New Zealand would like to see the treaty deal with verification and existing stocks and would argue in the negotiations in favour of including verification and existing stocks.

According to draft decision CD/1840 by the 2008 Presidents of the Conference, the Conference would appoint Chile as Coordinator to preside over substantive discussions on nuclear disarmament and the prevention of nuclear war; appoint Japan as Coordinator to preside over negotiations, without any preconditions, on a non-discriminatory and multilateral treaty banning the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, thus providing all delegations with the opportunity to actively pursue their respective positions and priorities, and to submit proposals on any issue they deem relevant in the course of negotiations; appoint Canada as Coordinator to preside over substantive discussions dealing with issues related to prevention of an arms race in outer space; appoint Senegal as Coordinator to preside over substantive discussions dealing with appropriate arrangements to assure non-nuclear weapon States against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons; and would request those Coordinators to present a report to the Conference on the progress of work before the conclusion of the session. The Conference would also decide to request the Coordinators for the agenda items previously appointed by the 2008 Presidents (i.e., new types of weapons of mass destruction and new systems for such weapons, radiological weapons; comprehensive programme of disarmament; and transparency in armament) to continue their work during the current session.

Draft Decision CD/1840 builds on an earlier proposal submitted by the 2007 P-6 (CD/2007/L.1), and its related documents CRP.5 and CRP.6, combining those three texts in a single document.

The Conference on Disarmament will hold a public plenary at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 25 June, to listen to a statement by Javier Solana, High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union. This will be the last public plenary of the second part of the 2008 session of the Conference. The third and last part of the 2008 session of the Conference will be held from 28 July to 12 September.


CHRISTINA ROCCA (United States), Incoming President of the Conference on Disarmament, said it was an honour to preside over the Conference. The common sense of purpose shown by all members of the Presidency, their joint aim in getting the Conference back to work, the genuine collegialitiy, was all impressive and gratifiying. It was a demonstration of how harmony could be created from disparate voices, given the will to do so. Some delegations had questioned the need for the differentiation among the key issues shown by CD/1840. It was unquestioned that CD/1840 was a compromise, and thus by definition, unable to meet anyone's goals perfectly, but it was well-suited to advance everyone's interests and to get the Conference back to work. If it was adopted, all would win much and lose a little.

read the rest here.

Reminder: Blackwater is still around - even in Canada !!

Proposal to Amend the US Constitution

on Daily Kos

Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 09:50:54 PM PDT

The dangers of private security contractors to civil society have been much discussed in light of the recent shootings of Iraqi civilians by employees of Blackwater Security. Author Naomi Wolf (among others) has emphasized, in a current diary on Dkos, the dangers to Democracy of a Praetorian Guard responsible ultimately to the President, and largely protected from the legal consequences of their actions.

I propose to fix this problem by amending the US Constitution; please continue reading for further details.

I am not a lawyer, but I believe the following draft of a 28th amendment would provide an interesting springboard to discussion and action.

No person in the service, under the orders, or at the behest or bidding of the United States Government shall employ, pursuant to their duties as such, a firearm, or any other physical weapon of aggression, protection, or restraint, except that said person be an employee of the United States Government, such as a member of the Armed Forces, an agent of the Justice Department, or in exceptional cases, a deputized federal marshal or equivalent, subject to the full battery of institutional laws, liabilities, and constraints customarily applying to such persons.

The idea is simple: any person with the power to employ lethal force on behalf of the US Government must be an employee of the US Government.

If this thing needs a name, call it the Blackwater Amendment.


Should the US Constitution be amended to prohibit employment of private security contractors by the US government?

57%83 votes
15%22 votes
9%13 votes
1%2 votes
16%24 votes

| 144 votes | Vote | Results

Impeachment toolkit!! Today's visual comment !!

impeach bush and cheney

Declare It Now!
Wear Orange
Drive Out the Bush Regime!

referring page for this image.

Done deal!!

(about bloody time !!

We all came dangerously close to martial law.)

Activism - open letter to the Stop-SPP-digest: The US Government is now run by John Conyers !! SO ..

- Please circulate widely -

The US government is now in the hands of the US House Judiciary Committee, chaired by John Conyers.

Cheney will be impeached first, to make the point: TREASON DOES NOT PAY.

Canada has a present and at least one ex-Prime Minister who fit the bill, eh?

After Cheney, BuZh will be impeached.

War Crimes charges have been issued against Donald Rumsfield; War Crimes charges have also been issued against Australia's John Howard. There will be Canadian war crimes charges filed as well.

So I am taking the liberty to give any US Citizen who stops by the blog (run so far donation free), or gets my emails, the form they need to file complaints. Pick a random issue, ANY issue, and send in your complaints (gee, how many are there?) Just press the link !!

Unfortunately, the link is not applicable to US expats nor global citizens, but HEY! Send in those faxes, send him a registered letter, just keep up calling ..

Conyers' phone number:

2138 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 p/202-225-3951

Remember: The impeachment hearings are on c-span!

Tune in, turn on, don't drop out!

I have been asked, by WAR CRIMES prosecutors,

to relay this message:


By Sherwood Ross

A conference to plan the prosecution of President Bush and other high administration officials for war crimes will be held September 13-14 at the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover.

"This is not intended to be a mere discussion of violations of law that have occurred," said convener Lawrence Velvel, dean and cofounder of the school. "It is, rather, intended to be a planning conference at which plans will be laid a

nd necessary organizational structures set up, to pursue the guilty as long as necessary and, if need be, to the ends of the Earth."

"We must try to hold Bush administration leaders accountable in courts of justice," Velvel said. "And we must insist on appropriate punishments, including, if guilt is found, the hangings visited upon top German and Japanese war-criminals in the 1940s."

Velvel said past practice has been to allow U.S. officials responsible for war crimes in Viet Nam and elsewhere to enjoy immunity from prosecution upon leaving office. "President Johnson retired to his Texas ranch and his Defense Secretary Robert McNamara was named to head the World Bank; Richard Nixon retired to San Clemente and his Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was allowed to grow richer and richer," Velvel said.

He noted in the years since the prosecution and punishment of German and Japanese leaders after World War Two those nation's leaders changed their countries' aggressor cultures. One cannot discount contributory cause and effect here, he said.

"For Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeild, and John Yoo to spend years in jail or go to the gallows for their crimes would be a powerful lesson to future American leaders," Velvel said.

The conference will take up such issues as the nature of domestic and international crimes committed; which high-level Bush officials, including Federal judges and Members of Congress, are chargeable with war crimes; which foreign and domestic tribunals can be used to prosecute them; and the setting up of an umbrella coordinating committee with representatives of legal groups concerned about the war crimes such as the Center for Constitutional Rights, ACLU, National Lawyers Guild, among others.

The Massachusetts School of Law at Andover was established in 1988 to provide an affordable, quality legal education to minorities, immigrants and students from low-income households that might otherwise be denied the opportunity to obtain a legal education and practice law. Its founder, Dean Velvel, has been honored by the National Law Journal and cited in various publications for his contributions to the reform of legal education. #


(To attend or for further information Jeff Demers at demers@msl.edu (978) 681-0800; or Sherwood Ross, media consultant to MSL, at sherwoodr1@yahoo.com)

Sherwood Ross has worked as a publicist for the City of Chicago and public relations consultant to New York City. He served as news director for the National Urban League; and worked as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News and wor

kplace columnist for Reuters. He has also been a media consultant to colleges, universities, law schools and more than 100 national magazines including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Business Week, and Foreign Policy; as a speechwriter for mayors, governors and presidential candidates, and as a radio news reporter and talk show host at WOL, Washington, D.C. He holds an award for "best spot news coverage" for Chicago radio stations in 1963. His degree from the University of Miami was in race relations and he has written a book, "Gruening of Alaska," a number of national magazine articles and several plays, including "Baron Jiro," produced at Live Arts Theatre, Charlottesville, Va., and "Yam

amoto's Decision," read at the National Press Club, where he is a member. His favorite quotations are from the Sermon on The Mount.

This law school has been picked PARTICULARLY. A law suit has been filed against the ABA. This will legitimatize the attorneys it graduated, so ignore the ignorant comments at afterdowningstreet.

We who are interested in WAR CRIMES prosecutions are looking particularly for Canadian participants, so that Canadian WAR CRIMINALS are brought to justice !!

I have been asked by the WAR CRIMES prosecutor to stay here in Canada until that date and ORGANIZE, so any help is deeply appreciated over the summer. The relevant legal information has long been posted on my blog - under "Special Prosecutor Information" and is applicable to Canadian officials who have participated in GENOCIDE in Afghanistan.

All comments on Canadian WAR CRIMES are accepted on my blog. These are being vetted by WAR CRIMES prosecutors.

I would like to have a press pass to attend from Canada. If anyone on this list could accomodate me, I would be most appreciative.

Our Canadian segments of the WAR CRIMES prosecutions will be posted on my blog.

The relevant information on infowarfare, a term you will hear often used now, has also been posted on my blog under INFRAGARD.

Part One is to alert those of you in universities how to prepare for the next stage of liberation.

Any help getting up a Canadian WAR CRIMES site will be much appreciated. And all comments posted on my blog are being saved for historical purposes, so I urge you to post.

Sounds nearly "corny" to mention, but - there are
NO HUMAN RIGHTS without national sovereignty

and GENOCIDE is the Supreme International War Crime.

Time to take our Canadian TRAITORS to the woodshed.


Virginia Simson
Many Rivers


Don't forget as Canadians! - our fellow citizen, OMAR KHADR, is STILL not free!
Torture is torture no matter what you call it - and Canada is complicit in rendition, torture. And Omar Khadr is the Amistad of our generation.

The last blog, deals particularly with ONTARIO complicity in du, and other radiation-Canadian issues and could use some co-bloggers, if anyone is interested. This will help end Canadian complicity in du-related WAR CRIMES.

Happy summer everyone ;-)

We don't have to worry about the SPP anymore !!

I might mention: you might want to send thanks

to EFF Foundation

for the valuable work they did getting the

US Department of Defense emails released.

And please ..

continue to send letters of complaint to the ICC.

See why the US CONgress has an 11% approval rating!!

Democrats will 'refrain' from pushing liberal agenda, Reuters wire story asserts

Published: Sunday November 26, 2006

"Three Democratic congressmen who are about to take important leadership posts said on Sunday they plan to pass popular legislation blocked by Republicans but would refrain from pushing some of the most controversial elements on the liberal agenda," a Sunday Reuters story claims.

"The three, appearing on Fox News Sunday, are among the most liberal Democrats who will take over key committee chairmanships when Democrats regain control of the House of Representatives in January," Reuters adds.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), who will take over the House committee that oversees financial institutions, mentioned upping the minimum wage, providing cheaper drug coverage for seniors and providing affordable housing and college tuition aid as the focus of Democratic legislation. He did not, however, float more controversial plans pushed by party liberals including overturning the ban on gays from serving in the US military.

"Our first efforts are going to be to do those things that I think the mainstream of America wants," Frank said. "Some things have become liberal because the right wingers who control the Republican party have abandoned them to us."


Be sure to check out the commentary on the link !

BuZh quit doing signing statements.

What's the lame CONgressional excuse NOW?

Now that I know impeachment is coming -

and that war crimes tribunals will take place,

I can shrug off anyone's INCOMPETANCE

Knowing how ignorant, greedy and stoopid

they really all are.

It's all just a matter of TIME.

Of course, We the People need to keep up the pressure !

Will Obamarama do the FISA fillibuster

after the recess ?

Good question ! Now let's watch !!

What the unruly mob has to say on idiocracy

Are Americans Getting Dumber?

There are two things I always notice when I travel in Europe. The first is how fat we are (myself included, although by American standards I'm pretty slim). The second is how the level of discourse goes up by at least an order of magnitude when I get off the plane. Here is a translated article from die Zeit (by way of Watchingamerica.com).

(If you don't read watchingamerica from time to time, do so. It's really instructive to learn how the world thinks of us.)

Now I don't think Americans are dumb, at least not individually. In the herd, though, we sink to the lowest level of nearly any civilized country. We don't speak other languages. I have literally shocked people in Germany when they address me in English and I respond in German. Das gibt doch nicht, they say, That doesn't exist, or Du hast mich doch erschrocken,

you certainly shocked me. Not to say I'm the only American who speaks German but I certainly find the ones who do a lot more interesting.

My German friends and acquaintances of all educational levels always surprise me with their depth. We get together, a bit of beer or wine flows and we're talking about politics - American politics - or literature, or philosophy, or art. I read the posters stuck to nearly any flat surface in Frankfurt, classical concerts, theater, political talks. Here on the bus stops I see posters for Get Smart. And we wonder why we are losing ground in the world. In Sweden, everyone literally speaks English. They get their entertainment from us, you see, and the market for Swedish entertainment is not large enough to overdub, so they get English with subtitles. And the buildings are all built to allow natural light, something I'd like to see you propose to an American builder.

Are Americans stupid? No, not individually. As a herd, we're shallow, we think only in the short term and we tend to be very self-absorbed and I think that was what the author of the piece cited meant.

Then I read of attempts to legislate natural law and once again, I become just a bit ashamed of what our country has become.

And finally, a bit of culture for a Friday night:

And a bit more fuel for this fire....

TAGS: Stupid American Tricks, Dumb and dumberer, Get Smart, Fool, American Decline

Matt Janovic on the Supreme Court's 2nd Amendment Ruling

On the Supreme Court's 2nd Amendment Ruling Today

Washington D.C.--While not advocating anything actionable, see dictionary definition below. For educational purposes only. Time to open a gun shop in D.C., a wide-open frontier! The American Dream writ large!! Do not remove tag under penalty of law. The number three: that's odd. That'll learn ya.'

Massive Government and Private Sector Job Cuts Coming : Mish Shedlock

* Massive Government and Private Sector Job Cuts Coming -


CNN Money is reporting State, city layoffs: 45,000 and counting.

With falling revenue from sales and income taxes, and property-tax declines looming, states, cities and towns have already laid off tens of thousands of government employees. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, a public employees union, says about 45,000 government layoffs have been announced this year.

There are 29 states, including California, Florida and Ohio, facing a combined budget shortfall of at least $48 billion in the fiscal year that starts July 1, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a liberal think tank.

There are nearly 20 million state and local government employees in the country. So a 1% decline in employment at cities, towns, schools and states would result in a job loss of almost 200,000 people, a much larger amount than we've seen from battered sectors such as automakers or home builders in the past two years.The effect of those layoffs will far outweigh any benefit of the economic stimulus package, much of which was already spent. We must use the word benefit loosely because government giving away money it does not have never produces any economic benefit.

Bank of America To Cut 7,500

MarketWatch is reporting Bank of America sees 7,500 job cuts after Countrywide close.

Bank of America Corp. (BAC) said Thursday it expects to make about 7,500 job cuts after acquiring Countrywide Financial Corp. (CFC) . Affected employees will start finding out their fate in the third quarter. "Citigroup to cut 6,500

The TimesOnline is reporting Citigroup and Goldman Sachs cut more staff.

Citigroup, America's largest bank, is expected to cut up to 6,500 investment banking jobs as much as 10 per cent of its roughly 65,000 headcount worldwide. It is believed that entire trading desks in New York, London and other cities will be eliminated. Senior managing directors will not be immune from the layoffs.

In April, Citigroup said that 9,000 jobs would go on top of the 21,000 eliminated in the past year. [This is yet another 6,500 - Mish]175,000 Financial Cuts Coming

Bloomberg is reporting Financial Firms May Make Deeper Cuts, Eliminate 175,000 Jobs.

The world's biggest financial firms may lose as many as 175,000 jobs by this time next year as Citigroup Inc. and other banks shed workers amid slowing revenue and billions in writedowns, executive recruiters say.

"The worst is yet to come," Russ Gerson, head of New York- based recruiting firm Gerson Group, said yesterday in an interview. "We are going to have a major contraction. This is affecting all areas of the investment banking universe and it's affecting all areas globally."

New York-based Bear Stearns Cos. is cutting more than 9,000 jobs, or 66 percent of its workforce, as it was acquired by JPMorgan Chase & Co. Zurich-based UBS AG has announced 7,000 job cuts, and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. has trimmed 6,300 employees.

The Independent Budget Office in Manhattan said in a report issued last month that it expects 33,300 finance jobs in the city, or 7.1 percent of the total, to be cut from the peak in 2007. The industry lost 52,500 jobs in New York during the 2000- to-2003 market drop.

About 17 percent of banking and securities jobs in New York were wiped out from 2000 to 2003, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. The current round of cuts may claim 35 percent to 40 percent of the industry, said Gary Goldstein, chairman of New York-based financial recruitment firm Whitney Group.

"They just keep chopping heads," Goldstein said. "They'll wake up one day and realize that they've cut too deep and now these businesses have come back and they don't have anybody to do them."Goldstein Needs To Wake Up

This is the backside of Peak Credit.

None of the financial engineering jobs that fueled this credit boom will ever be needed again. SIVs, Conduits, Toggle Bonds, Covenant Lite loans are all dead for years, more likely decades to come. Add to that liar loans, Pay Option Arms, insane leverage, and numerous other ridiculous lending arrangements. And if those things are not coming back, we do not need Wall Street shills to securitize that garbage and pitch it to unsuspecting suckers.

More Mergers Coming Up

There are undoubtedly more bank mergers coming up. The strong swallow the weak to the point the strong become weak. And with each merger there will be more job cuts, massive job cuts. Bank of America's announced cutback of 7,500 related to its acquiring Countrywide is just a small down payment of what's coming down the pike.

Unemployment is poised to soar. Few are prepared for it.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock