February 21, 2011

Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail? | Rolling Stone Politics

Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail? | Rolling Stone Politics

By Matt Taibbi
February 16, 2011 9:00 AM ET

Here's how regulation of Wall Street is supposed to work. To begin with, there's a semigigantic list of public and quasi-public agencies ostensibly keeping their eyes on the economy, a dense alphabet soup of banking, insurance, S&L, securities and commodities regulators like the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), as well as supposedly "self-regulating organizations" like the New York Stock Exchange. All of these outfits, by law, can at least begin the process of catching and investigating financial criminals, though none of them has prosecutorial power.

The major federal agency on the Wall Street beat is the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC watches for violations like insider trading, and also deals with so-called "disclosure violations" — i.e., making sure that all the financial information that publicly traded companies are required to make public actually jibes with reality. But the SEC doesn't have prosecutorial power either, so in practice, when it looks like someone needs to go to jail, they refer the case to the Justice Department. And since the vast majority of crimes in the financial services industry take place in Lower Manhattan, cases referred by the SEC often end up in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. Thus, the two top cops on Wall Street are generally considered to be that U.S. attorney — a job that has been held by thunderous prosecutorial personae like Robert Morgenthau and Rudy Giuliani — and the SEC's director of enforcement.

The relationship between the SEC and the DOJ is necessarily close, even symbiotic. Since financial crime-fighting requires a high degree of financial expertise — and since the typical drug-and-terrorism-obsessed FBI agent can't balance his own checkbook, let alone tell a synthetic CDO from a credit default swap — the Justice Department ends up leaning heavily on the SEC's army of 1,100 number-crunching investigators to make their cases. In theory, it's a well-oiled, tag-team affair: Billionaire Wall Street Asshole commits fraud, the NYSE catches on and tips off the SEC, the SEC works the case and delivers it to Justice, and Justice perp-walks the Asshole out of Nobu, into a Crown Victoria and off to 36 months of push-ups, license-plate making and Salisbury steak.

That's the way it's supposed to work. But a veritable mountain of evidence indicates that when it comes to Wall Street, the justice system not only sucks at punishing financial criminals, it has actually evolved into a highly effective mechanism for protecting financial criminals. This institutional reality has absolutely nothing to do with politics or ideology — it takes place no matter who's in office or which party's in power. To understand how the machinery functions, you have to start back at least a decade ago, as case after case of financial malfeasance was pursued too slowly or not at all, fumbled by a government bureaucracy that too often is on a first-name basis with its targets. Indeed, the shocking pattern of nonenforcement with regard to Wall Street is so deeply ingrained in Washington that it raises a profound and difficult question about the very nature of our society: whether we have created a class of people whose misdeeds are no longer perceived as crimes, almost no matter what those misdeeds are. The SEC and the Justice Department have evolved into a bizarre species of social surgeon serving this nonjailable class, expert not at administering punishment and justice, but at finding and removing criminal responsibility from the bodies of the accused.

The systematic lack of regulation has left even the country's top regulators frustrated. Lynn Turner, a former chief accountant for the SEC, laughs darkly at the idea that the criminal justice system is broken when it comes to Wall Street. "I think you've got a wrong assumption — that we even have a law-enforcement agency when it comes to Wall Street," he says.

In the hierarchy of the SEC, the chief accountant plays a major role in working to pursue misleading and phony financial disclosures. Turner held the post a decade ago, when one of the most significant cases was swallowed up by the SEC bureaucracy. In the late 1990s, the agency had an open-and-shut case against the Rite Aid drugstore chain, which was using diabolical accounting tricks to cook their books. But instead of moving swiftly to crack down on such scams, the SEC shoved the case into the "deal with it later" file. "The Philadelphia office literally did nothing with the case for a year," Turner recalls. "Very much like the New York office with Madoff." The Rite Aid case dragged on for years — and by the time it was finished, similar accounting fiascoes at Enron and WorldCom had exploded into a full-blown financial crisis. The same was true for another SEC case that presaged the Enron disaster. The agency knew that appliance-maker Sunbeam was using the same kind of accounting scams to systematically hide losses from its investors. But in the end, the SEC's punishment for Sunbeam's CEO, Al "Chainsaw" Dunlap — widely regarded as one of the biggest assholes in the history of American finance — was a fine of $500,000. Dunlap's net worth at the time was an estimated $100 million. The SEC also barred Dunlap from ever running a public company again — forcing him to retire with a mere $99.5 million. Dunlap passed the time collecting royalties from his self-congratulatory memoir. Its title: Mean Business.

More at the link above ...

February 16, 2011

Tax Evader TARGET, pay your share !

Tax Evader TARGET, pay your share !

Saturday, February 26 · 11:00am - 2:00pm

Midway Super Target
1300 University Avenue West
Saint Paul, MN

Created By

More Info
Target has 8 offshore subsidies to avoid fair taxation ! Meanwhile we all experience cuts to our services.

Stop the cuts! Tax the rich !

If you are affected by tax cuts, do you think Target should be avoiding its share?
Let's educate people - So, bring your literature, signs, costumes, music, street theater and be part of a new international movement ! 

We will stand STRONG and UNITED against injustice.

February 15, 2011


Posted on 13th February 2011 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“And the great owners, who must lose their land in an upheaval, the great owners with access to history, with eyes to read history and to know the great fact: when property accumulates in too few hands it is taken away. And that companion fact: when a majority of the people are hungry and cold they will take by force what they need. And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.” – John SteinbeckGrapes of Wrath

John Steinbeck wrote his masterpiece The Grapes of Wrath at the age of 37 in 1939, at the tail end of the Great Depression. Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize for literature. John Ford then made a classic film adaption in 1941, starring Henry Fonda. It is considered one of the top 25 films in American history. The book was also one of the most banned in US history. Steinbeck was ridiculed as a communist and anti-capitalist by showing support for the working poor. Some things never change, as the moneyed interests that control the media message have attempted to deflect the blame for our current Depression away from their fraudulent deeds. The novel stands as a chronicle of the Great Depression and as a commentary on the economic and social system that gave rise to it. Steinbeck’s opus to the working poor reverberates across the decades. He wrote the novel in the midst of the last Fourth Turning Crisis. His themes of man’s inhumanity to man, the dignity and rage of the working class, and the selfishness and greed of the moneyed class ring true today.

More, much more on the link above .. (read the awesome comments, too ...)

February 11, 2011

Mubarak resigns, military claims power in Egypt

Mubarak resigns, military claims power in Egypt

Not always a big World Socialist Website fan, but I think these are fine observations.

Have not been feeding this stuff onto the blog, but onto facebook - which I may come to regret. : (

By Tom Eley
12 February 2011

At about 6 p.m. on Friday, Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman went on national television and issued a brief statement saying that President Hosni Mubarak, who for 30 years ruled Egypt as a dictator, had resigned and left a group of top generals, the Armed Forces Supreme Council, in charge of the nation.

Egypt erupted in jubilation on word of Mubarak’s resignation. A crowd numbering in the millions and spreading out for kilometers in all directions from Cairo’s Tahrir Square broke out into singing, dancing, and tears of joy. Similar scenes took place across Egypt, including at a demonstration of hundreds of thousands in Alexandria.

Mubarak’s departure came after 18 days of demonstrations and strikes that had waxed and waned, but that had generally grown in size and scope in spite of the brutal oppression of the regime. At this stage in the revolution, at least 300 have been killed―the real number is doubtless far higher―and thousands have been arrested and “disappeared”.

The decisive moment came Wednesday and Thursday, when the Egyptian working class moved to the forefront, partially or completely shutting down every sector of the economy.

The strike wave propelled the Egyptian military to finally move against Mubarak. Up until then, the Obama administration backed Mubarak, fearful that his removal would only spread the revolutionary contagion beyond Egypt and set the stage for a showdown between the Egyptian workers and the military, which will be neither willing nor able to address the social and democratic grievances of the masses.

There had been many indications that in his televised Thursday evening speech Mubarak would announce his resignation. Earlier in the day the nation’s supreme military council convened before television cameras, in the conspicuous absence of Mubarak and Suleiman, and issued a document titled “Communiqué #1” that suggested a coup d'état had taken place. The same day a general appeared in Tahrir Square and told demonstrators their demands would be met.

Meanwhile, in the US, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Leon Panetta told Congress he expected Mubarak would step down later in the day.

When Mubarak appeared on television Thursday night and provocatively insisted he would serve out his term, while delegating additional authority to Suleiman, formerly the nation’s top intelligence official and a close collaborator with the US and Israel, the stage was set for a social explosion.

Up until he made his announcement, it was unclear whether or not Mubarak would resign. In the morning, the military council issued another statement, “Communiqué #2,” supporting the dictator’s speech of the night earlier. The document indicated the military would maintain its allegiance to Mubarak indefinitely. The Obama administration once again refused to publicly call for Mubarak’s resignation.

But Mubarak’s speech only deepened the resolve of the population. Friday’s demonstration centered in Tahrir Square was the largest to date. Demonstrations erupted elsewhere in Cairo, Egypt’s capital and largest city, including around Mubarak’s palace and the headquarters of the hated state television network. In the afternoon it was reported that Mubarak and his family had left the city for his Red Sea palace at Sharm el-Sheikh.

Heavily armed contingents of the Egyptian military were stationed throughout the city, raising the specter of a bloody confrontation, but as the day wore on fraternization between demonstrators and rank-and-file soldiers increased.

Alexandria, Egypt’s second largest city, also saw its largest protest on Friday, a demonstration that numbered in the hundreds of thousands and snaked along the Mediterranean coastline for kilometers. Mubarak’s Alexandria palace also became a focal point of the demonstration.

In the industrial city of Suez, a crowd estimated in the tens of thousands massed around ten government buildings. In the Sinai, the town of El-Arish was the scene of armed clashes between demonstrators and police. Police fired guns, and demonstrators responded by throwing firebombs and setting police cars alight. The governor of a southern Egyptian province was forced to flee the region in the face of violent protests in the morning.

It is believed that Mubarak’s cabinet has been or soon will be disbanded, as have both the upper and lower house of parliament. It appears that Suleiman, the favored heir of both the US and Israel, will not assume the presidency. The ruling National Democratic Party also showed signs of dissolution, with its chairman announcing his resignation minutes before Mubarak’s resignation was announced.

Little is known at this point what steps the military regime will take. A “Communiqué #3” issued by the military command after Mubarak’s resignation said only that it was “studying” how it could meet the demands of the population. It did not lift the state of emergency that has governed the country uninterruptedly for decades, saying that it would only be lifted after the current protests had ended.

The main opposition figures and parties, including both Mohammed El Baradei and the Muslim Brotherhood―which have worked systematically to contain protests―have insisted that the military be brought into any government. As late as Thursday night, a desperate El Baradei pleaded for the military to intervene to prevent the deepening of the revolution. "The army must save the country now," he said after Mubarak’s speech on Thursday night. “I call on the Egyptian army to immediately interfere to rescue Egypt. The credibility of the army is on the line."

After Mubarak departed, El Baradei declared victory. “The country has been liberated after decades of repression,” he said.

There is in fact not the slightest possibility that a military-backed government will meet the demands of the Egyptian masses―for jobs, good wages, and housing. The Egyptian military government is itself profoundly committed to the existing order. Its leading figures are deeply integrated into the business enterprises, and it has been for more than three decades the basic guarantor of the Mubarak regime.

The military’s assumption of power, with the backing of the Obama administration and bourgeois political forces like El Baradei and the Muslim Brotherhood, can only set the stage for a new phase in the revolution.

February 10, 2011

Proposed New Constitution for the United States

Proposed change to the US Constitution

The President is a clerk, not a King or Emperor. 

We the People
I. Powers and Rights Reserved To We the People, Never Delegated or Violated Without Consent
A. The People are expressly defined as human beings and does not refer to corporations or contractual relationships.
B. No contract, agreement, or promise may ever bind any human to refuse to enforce the law, or prohibit them from speaking on matters of public interest.
C. We the People may believe anything, including the possible belief that this Constitution must be discarded and replaced with a superior document which defends the People and protects their power to enforce this Constitution against the Government.
D. The People are educated to apply the lessons of history to ensure rights are preserved, power asserted, and this Constitution is protected from domestic and foreign enemies.
E. The People have the enforceable right and power to review any public document and access any public official.
F. The People have the enforceable right to engage in any speech, communication, or discussion on issues of war crimes, government incompetence, or allegations of reckless government planning and maladministration.
G. Government officials, agencies, departments may not invoke any power or right they have denied to the People.
H. The People have the right to affordable housing. Where none is available, the government is denied the power to prosecute anyone for not living in a home, or residing in a public park, open forest, or public lands.
I. The People have the enforceable right to freely travel, without questions, and without delay. Any law enforcement officer, agents, or contacted security official who uses any ruse, scheme, or deception to engage in pretextual stops shall be enforced as a violation of this Constitution.
J. The People have the enforceable right to compel government officials, contractors, and securtit personnel to identify themselves, disclose their policies and procedures, and respond to complaints about violations of this Constitution, the Supreme Law, or laws of war.
K. The People may not be subject to any electronic surveillance except on probable cause and a warrant before a judicial tribunal. The President, Congress and others are expressly denied the power to enact, create, use, or rely on quasi-judicial tribunals to self-certify warrants to conduct surveillance.
L. All denied powers to the US Government in this Constitution are reserved to the People to be used to defend the Constitution.

II. Powers and Rights Reserved to States
A. States shall have authority to enforce any law within their jurisdiction. Failure to enforce the laws of war shall be prosecuted as a war crime.
B. States shall, when the Federal Government refuses to enforce the Constitution or Supreme Law, enforce the national and international law against contractors, legal counsel, state or US government officials.
C. Any state may start impeachment investigations or proceedings against the President, Member of Congress, or US government official on issues of international laws of war, domestic rebellion, or violations of the Supreme Law oath of office, or Geneva Conventions. The States shall, upon receipt of an impeachment investigation or conviction from any other state, shall within 10 days debate that resolution. If convicted by 2/3 of the States, that US government official shall be removed from office. Any effort to thwart State efforts to enforce the US Constitution through impeachment investigations or impeachment proceedings at the State level may be construed as a subsequent violation of this Constitution and laws of war.
D. The States may, without notice, organize themselves to collectively defend this Constitution from the domestic enemies in the United States government. The States Governors have the standing power, right, and authority to use deadly combat force to enforce this Constitution against US government officials.
E. A failure of any State official to enforce the laws of war shall be subject to a war crimes trial within 90 days of discovering that evidence. Where there are credible allegations of war crimes, a failure to investigate shall be construed as a subsequent war crime, punishable by the death penalty.
F. States have the power to enforce contract obligations between contractors and the US government which affect the rights of their State citizens. Failure to enforce these contractual obligations against the contractors or US government could be construed as a subsequent violation under the laws of war and US Constitution against legal counsel, state officials, or court officers.

III. Independent Branch
A. All US government, contractor-provided, and legal counsel data shall be retained in an independent branch.
B. The President, Congress, and Judicial branches have no power, right or claim to not fully fund this Independent Branch.
C. The Independent Branch conducts electronic surveillance of the US government, stores that data, and ensures there are independent, safe, retained records of all US government transaction, including conversations and memos between legal counsel and government officials. Once created for the government or connected with any legal or illegal activity, these records are public records.
D. The data may be seen only upon a showing of reasonable belief or suspicion by the United States Congress, Court, or Executive Branch that the information may be useful in enforcing the Constitution, Supreme Law, or Geneva Conventions.
E. Private citizens may view any data, unless the US government provides sufficient, detailed evidence why that request for information should not be met for bonafide, lawful secrets. Any effort to hide evidence behind a claim of "state secrets," where that claim is linked with an effort to bypass the Constitution, oath of office, Supreme Law, or laws of war may be punishable by the death penalty.
F. All government data belongs to the People. Any legal counsel working for the US government shall ensure that the People's right to reliable information is protected. A failure to protect this information could be construed as a war crime.

IV. Prosecutorial Branch
A. All prosecutorial options are denied of the President.
B. The Prosecutorial branch has the power to raise independent combat power, support them, and may lawfully use that deadly combat force to confront Members of Congress, the Judicial Branch Officers, or the Presidents upon showing of probable cause for war crimes.
C. The prosecutorial power is the exclusive power of the prosecution branch. However, anyone may make a claim of illegal activity, and enforce the laws of the United States and States respectively. Any effort to block anyone from unilaterally attempting to enforce the laws of war through discovery, investigation, and open discussion of those alleged war crimes shall be construed as a possible subsequent offense under the laws of war.
D. Legal counsel are subject to public review, audit, and can be required, with fair notice, of a requirement to demonstrate before any court their compliance with the laws of war.
E. Legal counsel may be denied authority to conduct discovery during any investigation when that discovery is linked with efforts that would thwart war crimes investigation, enforcement of the Supreme law or Geneva Conventions.

V. Judicial Branch
A. The Judicial Branch is above the Legislative Branch and Executive Branch only in order of precedence. The Judicial Branch is a co-equal branch, and closest to the People and Constitution. It is least responsive, and most slow to the People's daily interests to enforce the Constitution and Supreme Law or Geneva Conventions.
B. Where the Judicial Branch does not timely enforce the Constitution, Supreme Law, or laws of war, the States and People retain the power and right to investigate and prosecute allegations of US government illegal activity, war crimes, or violations of the Supreme law.
C. All precedents under the laws of war are binding on the Judicial Branch, US government, and the People through enforcement actions.
D. Any decision by any judicial officer not to fully enforce the laws of war, Supreme Law, or this Constitution may be construed as a war crime, subject to the death penalty.

VI. Legislative Branch
A. The Legislative Branch is listed after the Judicial Branch because it is less responsive to the People.
B. The Members of Congress may be stopped between sessions and held to account for their failure to enforce the laws of war.
C. Refusing to investigate or impeach the President, Judicial Officers, or any current or former US government official for alleged war crimes, maladministration, illegal warfare, or other crimes against the People, States, or US Government shall be prima facie evidence of an intent to not fully assert ones oath of office, and punishable by the death penalty under the laws of war.
D. There are three chambers to the Congress. The Senate and House have a legal duty to fully enforce the laws. Any decision to not timely review evidence of impeachable offenses, or not investigate war crimes or maladministration could be construed as subsequent offenses under the laws of war.
E. The Superior Chamber shall decide, before any debate, whether the proposed bill is or is not Constitutional. This determination is subject to approval, challenge, and rejection by the People, States, and Judicial Branch.
F. The Congress is denied the exclusive power to make rules. Any rule which prohibits any investigation into alleged malfeasance in re the laws of war, Supreme Law, or oath of office is illegal, and may be construed as a subsequent offense under the laws of war.
G. The Congress shall comply with public audits, and timely provide within 45 days of an audit report a statement of remedy, and outline a plan within 90 days to fully comply with all legal obligations under the Statute, Supreme Law, oath of office, and laws of war.
H. The Congress may raise and support an army, and independently order that army only against the President when the President refuses to enforce the laws of war, or comply with his legal obligations under this Constitution.

VII. Executive Branch
A. The Executive Branch is led by three Presidents, co-equal with non-overlapping jurisdictions. The Executive Branch has one power: Executive Power. All actions taken under that one power are lesser authorities not powers. The Executive Branch has no power to create new powers or assign itself broader power.
B. The Executive Branch is listed last because it is the least responsive to the People, and the greatest threat of tyranny to this Constitution. The President is a clerk, not a King or Emperor. The President only manages programs. The President has no power to ignore, rewrite, or refuse to enforce the law. Each of the three Presidents shall have an ongoing requirement to demonstrate to the People and States and Congress and Courts compliance with the Constitution, Supreme Law, oath of office, and laws of war.
C. The Domestic Affairs President is responsive to the States and US Government on internal affairs.
D. The Foreign Affairs President shall have exclusive power to interact with foreign powers. The Foreign Affairs President is denied any power to violate the laws of war, or use covert activity against American citizens.
E. The Executive Branch, Congress, Judiciary, and Foreign Affairs President are denied the power to thwart any lawful State action to organize with foreign powers and agents to defend the US Constitution, enforce the laws of war, or protect the rights and powers of the People and States against domestic encroachments by the US government, legal counsel, or other US government officials.
F. The Commander in Chief shall only have power to lead combat operations during war time. Congress shall conduct ongoing, public reviews whether the Commander in Chief is or is not competent in managing combat operations. The Presidents and Commander in Chief are denied the power to prohibit Congress from using electronic surveillance or use separately raised and supported armies to conduct this oversight during wartime and peacetime.
G. The Executive Branch is denied the power to block anyone from getting access to illegal activity related to the laws of war.
H. During Peacetime, the Commander in Chief shall periodically cooperate with ongoing Oversight of US combat forces to ensure they are combat ready, fully trained on the laws of war, and prepared to lawfully be used to defend the Constitution against foreign and domestic enemies.
I. The Executive Branch and Presidents and officers, agents, contractors, and personnel are denied the power, right, or authority to order anyone to ignore any statute, law, legal requirement, or obligation under the Constitution.
J. The Executive Branch has no power or authority to directly contact the Legislative Branch by name. The President may only request, not order other branches of government. All Communications between the Executive and Legislative Branch shall pass through the Prosecutorial Branch, and retained in the National Archives. Those records are available for public inspection at any time. The People have the enforceable right to compel the Executive Branch, Legislature, and Judicial Branch to produce documents.
K. The Executive Branch, Congress, Judicial Branch, and Prosecutorial Branch, and States are denied the power to wage warfare, information warfare, or harass American civilians through his agents, combat troops, or third parties in the United states or from overseas. Any funds used for this illegal purpose belong to the People and States. Contracts used to enforce, compel, or organize this illegal activity are not enforceable, and contrary to public policy.
L. The Presidents are denied a presumption of competence until proven. The President shall always have the burden of proof, and is expressly denied a presumption of good faith until demonstrated with overwhelming evidence in public. An election result is not proof of competence nor does it satisfy a presumption of good faith, only of mastery to win an election through legal or illegal methods and deception.
M. The Executive Branch and Presidents and subordinate agency head, contractor, and employees are expressly denied any assurance any conversation he has related to illegal activity, war crimes, unlawful acts, or other threats to the US Constitution shall remain secret behind any shield, scheme, agreement, or technology. Any order a President or anyone gives to anyone to hide, destroy,not provide, or conceal evidence of illegal activity may be construed as a subsequent war crime, punishable by the death penalty. This restriction against following illegal orders may not be bypassed by claiming the order was from a non-person, electronic device, or other non-Constitutionally recognized entity, database, policy, guide, or other document.
N. The Presidents are denied the power to use any combat force, technology, or other military weapon or plan against American civilians, except in cases of internal rebellion which only the Congress shall approve in writing. When the Congress fails to act, or abuses its authority, the State Governors may lawfully use deadly combat force to detain and enforce the laws of war prohibiting illegal use of force against American civilians.
O. The Presidents are denied the power to induce any civilian to take any action that might deny them on any Geneva protections as a civilian. Any order, ruse, scheme, propaganda, or unreliable information to induce anyone to wage war, information warfare, or any action to harass civilians is punishable by the death penalty, and may be enforced as a violation of the laws of war.
P. The President, when delegating any power to any agency head, agrees that that agency shall be organized as if it were a separate, lesser, and not coequal branch. Those agencies shall fully cooperate with the other branches of government to ensure power within the branch or department is divided. There is no single agency, division, or office in the Executive Branch that is beyond ongoing oversight by the other four branches.
Q. The President shall have no power to block the Congress, States, Judiciary, Prosecutorial, and Independent Branch from a having co-equal status to oversee, manage, and organize that lesser branch. If the President refuses to substantially comply with that requirement, Congress may not lawfully provide funding for that agency, and the funds return to the States and People.

Response to Robert Fisk

A MurKan/Canadian view of Barry's response to calls for democracy in the ME/North Africa ...

::::::::Like everyone else, I am watching with all four of my eyes the doings in Egypt and Tunisia. I am now an avid Facebook user, as this nets me better "news" than what I had before. I have a chance to peer into the Egyptian soul as never before.

I am posting a running commentary on all things Egyptian and trying heartily to avoid the Oped that proliferated like dandelions in April these days, UNLESS they indicate some major shift in perception or alliance. Or, like the NYT, they are official mouthpieces for some particular group, in their case the liberal democratic perspective as it pertains to "stability" and a critique of US foreign policy from their point of view. I've spent hours pouring over Egyptian blogs, magazines, FB pages, twitters, human rights organization reports. Sometimes my eyes are just looking for historical accuracy as it applies to US policy on Egypte and the Middle East. Remember; the outright torture and genocide of Paolestinian people is covert and largely unknown to those spoon fed US psyops.

So, with interest today I find an article by Robert Fisk making the rounds. It is superbly fitting after reading Allen J. Roland's article on Veteran's Today yesterday and hurriedly translating arabic texts to find out what the pro democracy forces are demanding and putting in writing to go global/viral. They are frustrated with rhetoric and want ALL their power back; Wael has urged them all to DREAM the big one. The Vision Statement of Egypt is being written which will drive the further actions and priorities of these Freedom Fighters. Such big demands are being laid on the Egyptian leadership as this is a LIFE AND DEATH battle: Despite the fact that the prime "directive" is to communicate and trust, as Wael brought up:

1. They are busy burying the dead and looking for the disappeared and the beaten and tortured. The list, to be presented to the press is busily being prepared in time for the Friday funeral; Also, documenting all the assault cases and in one case, death of journalists and news organizations.

2. They are busy recording all the crimes committed, including the looting of the treasury and corruption -- not just against lower level officials, but the Mubarak family (Going on on mainly arabic websites, some translations I have put on my FB notes " ) and making sure there are travel bans on these people. They are also documenting the abuses since Jan. 25, video, first hand accounts -- these include material related to the state-run TV stations and orders given to other media outlets

3. Refining demands while learning a WHOLE LOT of international law that is relevant.
Mubarak does not move on as Ben Ali did, so this is STRESSFUL to the entire process ..

Meanwhile - I, just like you, do not like them as Sitting Targets " ! I wish Anonymous would attack the Egyptian government computers which have the capacity to give the military knowledge to go after and punish anyone who has participated in actions.
This is a bloodbath going on, and Barry&Co are morally culpable. Chris Hedges takes on that vast problem here and it well worth your while to give 27 minutes attention to it.
The US tried to BUY OFF and influence pro-democracy leaders like 6th April, but support them verbally, hell no. They knew what was coming and hedged their bets. Hi LIAR y brought them over on a regular basis. She thought that they were "safer" than the Muslim Brotherhood.
When Wael and his friends outsmarted the US intended control of The Movement, Barry&Co immediately grew frustrated and have blown this crisis/opportunity in every way possible. Both public and private diplomacy "efforts" are DISASTERS. MurKa has shown itself to be only capable of supporting military action/elites. They have no concept of making friends based on moral, ethical, and values as the basis of true alliance. Choosing Wisner as the POINT MAN was a TOTAL disaster from everyone's point of view but Wisner's and Mubarak's -- and shows precisely why the US cannot be trusted. No one will convince me that they did not know of Wisner's CIA connections, his firm representing The Regime and his own personal investments in Egypt. Strains credulity doesn't it?
It becomes increasingly clear that Obomber's only agenda is to get enough money to run in 2012 , and for that he needs to kowtow to those who would never even consider speaking with, let alone supporting, someone who is an ACTIVIST. Remember: he needs to raise $1.6 million per DAY to get the necessary funds. As this all rages, he with the Chamber of Commerce and making deals with Canada to have 30 corporations RUNNING North America. The North American Union has slipped in under the radar while eyes were diverted. The militarization of Canada is nearly complete, just a few details to iron out. This took far higher priority than any human rights attention on either of their parts.
Barry thinks no one in Egypt with power, clout and MONEY is backing The Movement. I think that Dream TV interview with Wael indicated something far different. I think we will see resources being mobilized to help the new leadership and America be DAMNED. The Regime has a new call for a bond issue that is slipping in under the wire -- they made a tender on Monday to keep themselves "solvent" as the elite raids the treasury before leaving. Fortunately, the real leaders of The Movement are figuring out what to do as I type. I've posted their preliminary demands to freeze these assets from officials and slap travel bans on them so that they can't flee with funds. I think banks who help these criminals will be held liable, too. Mubarak, alone, has enough money (not counting his gold) to bail out the entire Egyptian debt !! What will Barak do when the protestor/citizens get what is "RIGHTFULLY theirs?

As Allen J. Roland said: This is not a bright, shining moment for Barak ". Anyone who supports torturers should have been highly suspect anyway ....

There is the call to WAKE UP from Egyptian women who know "the score" .. will Barry hear them and their children?

February 09, 2011


British Consul Closes Office to Duck Assange Letter

I wonder what was SO dangerous about my comment here that Huff wouldn't publish it.


I am making the point WE are taxpayers, too and that one man came out and harassed us and nothing was done to HIM.

The issue SHOULD be discussed at the City Council. It is NOT in Mpls purview to back up idiots who troll FB and twitter and pay public funds to send out the police. There is plenty of CRIME here to take care of ..
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

February 08, 2011

British Consul Closes Office to Duck Assange Letter

Oh, the irony!

When we handed out anti torture postcards earlier in the day we were THANKED by nearly everyone who took one regardless of age, race, nationalit­y, political persuasion­. It was extremely gratifying­.

Then we show up at a private building and treated like rodents, the ones with the leathery tails. One spiteful man came outside and started SCREAMING AT US, and not ONE cop or security guy said a word or even moved a muscle !! Hey, we are taxpayers, too. These kinds of bullies

("PUT THAT MAN IN PRISON AND THROW AWAY THE KEY" he yelled. Yet, I'll bet he'd give the WAR CRIMINALS campaign donations and invite them to dinner.)

If protesters are peaceful but cannot even deliver a letter about justice, how can anyone think this is a land of the free, home of the brave?
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

ACTIVISM: CETA IS the North American Union

 Obomber and Harpo have done with nerve that which no man has done before.  It was done in secret and without fanfare.  The Canadian Senate has not stopped it as I had predicted it would.

The Competitive Council is probably celebrating and Obomber went to the Chamber of Commerce.

Corporatocacy is carrying the day.


Harper signs new security perimeter deal without consulting Canadians or Parliament

Late Friday afternoon, Prime Minster Stephen Harper announced he had unilaterally signed a deal with the United States government that some pundits have said is larger in scope than NAFTA.
The security perimeter deal, which Harper touted as being needed to further ease trade restrictions between the two countries, states that Canadian and U.S. governments will work “together within, at, and away from the borders of our two countries” to toughen security and promote trade.
In his comments following the announcement, Prime Minister Harper said the border plan is intended to “keep out terrorists and criminals,” “simplify regulations that hinder trade,” create “consistent inspection measures,” and to have “better management of our border” but not eliminate it.
The Council of Canadians has spoken out against this deal, which was reportedly negotiated in secret for six months with involvement from business groups, but not Parliament or public interest groups. While concrete details about the deal have been sparse, many concerns have already been raised about the implications of sharing security information with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the loss of sovereignty and trade-offs made to come to this agreement, and the degree to which any of the common measures being discussed will address the so-called “thickening” of the border.
"We've gone down this road before – it was called the Security and Prosperity Partnership – and North Americans rejected it," said Stuart Trew, Trade Justice Campaigner with the Council of Canadians. "The Harper government must disclose what terms it is negotiating with the Americans and open it to public and parliamentary scrutiny."

Take action!

Contact Prime Minister Stephen Harper today and tell him he shouldn’t sign away Canada’s sovereignty by making backroom deals without public debate or scrutiny. The security perimeter deal was signed by Prime Minster Harper without permission from the Canadian public and without approval from Parliament even though it could result in major changes to how our borders are monitored, unfair immigration policies, and the sharing of Canadians’ personal information with U.S. Homeland Security.
Go here to send your message to Prime Minister Harper today.
Here’s more about what’s new at the Council of Canadians:


JURIST - Forum: Tunisia, Egypt, and Revolution in a "Democracy"

JURIST - Forum: Tunisia, Egypt, and Revolution in a "Democracy"

JURIST Guest Columnist Jordan Paust of University of Houston Law Center says that revolutions occur in different manners around the world, including in the US, and suggests that the US and other members of the UN should change their foreign policies to reflect the values and hopes of the majority of people in an interdependent world....

During our witnessing of what appear to be democratic revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, a law professor named Carl T. Bogus posted a comment on CNN alleging that, "[T]here's no right of revolution in a democracy." Surely such a Bogus admonition is not correct or preferable. Some revolutions occur peacefully and partially through changing patterns of generally shared expectations or changes at the ballot box. The fact that a particular change, resting on general patterns of expectation or demand, occurs within a relative democracy should not be alarming to those who favor political self-determination of peoples, human rights, and the rule of authoritative law.

Moreover, of course, it begs a question at stake whether a given governmental process is democratic. It is also worth noting that some of our Founders, especially J.Q. Adams, Hamilton, Henry, Jefferson, Madison, Paine, and Wilson, who engaged in a notable revolution of their own, did not prefer that our federal government would be a direct democracy but a republic. Without, for example, the direct election of a President and with a balancing role of a Senate that is in potential opposition to a House with membership that is more directly representative of the human beings who make up our polity.

It was a Republican President in the midst of a civil war in 1861 who remarked during his First Inaugural Address that the people of the United States have a revolutionary right to overthrow their government at any time. But, he added, the Union, and not the secessionists, represented the people of the United States, or at least the majority thereof. His sentiments reflected, of course, those of the Founders of our country and others in the Americas who had thrown off the yoke of foreign powers.

I recall a time when Richard Nixon was on his way out, when thousands of demonstrators had already been locked up for days without trial in Washington, D.C. (something that the ACLU, which handled some of the cases, still cannot admit in view of "gag" orders imposed by the judiciary in a relative democracy). It was a time when the New York Times reported that generals in the Pentagon had decided not to push the button merely because a democratically elected President had ordered a nuclear attack. The unelected generals would decide themselves whether there was a need to use nuclear weapons - and thank goodness for common sense.

A general officer told me later that President Nixon, through his Chief of Staff, had asked the Joint Chiefs whether the military would support martial law and Nixon's retention of power, although the process of impeachment had begun. The unelected generals said, "No" - thank goodness. It had become clear that a previously democratically elected President had lost a democratically based authority to rule. It is a lesson for us that sometimes there is a need for revolutionary refusal or confrontation in a relative democracy, even against a government that had initially been democratically elected. Abraham Lincoln was correct.

And what is happening now in the Middle East, in Tunisia, Egypt, and elsewhere? What should our response be and that of the United Nations? Should we continue with an ultimately failed foreign policy that prefers stability at the expense of democratic values, political self-determination of peoples, and human rights - our cherished American values evident from the time when my ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War? Under article 55 of the United Nations Charter, every U.N. entity must promote and serve self-determination of peoples and participate in a universal respect for and observance of human rights. These same obligations are incumbent upon state members of the U.N. through article 56 of the Charter. Isn't it time for a revolutionary change in our foreign policy - one that reflects the values and hopes of the majority of our people and, quite obviously, numerous other peoples who seek to share a common dignity in an increasingly interdependent world?

Jordan J. Paust is the Mike and Teresa Baker Law Center Professor at the University of Houston and has ancestors who participated in the Revolutionary War and others who, far earlier, had signed the Magna Carta. He is the author of "The Human Right to Participate in Armed Revolution and Related Forms of Social Violence: Testing the Limits of Permissibility," 32 Emory Law Journal 545 (1983).

Suggested citation: Jordan J. Paust, Tunisia, Egypt, and Revolution in a "Democracy", JURIST - Forum, Feb. 1, 2011, http://jurist.org/forum/2010/09/tunisia-egypt-and-revolution-in-a-democracy.php