Our President has been lobbying to back legislation supported by Republican senators that would bar the US military from engaging in “cruel inhuman or degrading treatment” of detainees, from hiding prisoners from the Red Cross, and from using interrogation methods not authorized by a new Army Field Manual. Bush contends legislation on these matters would usurp the president’s authority. It looks like the neocons have a Republican uprising on their hands. The lawmakers are finally outraged about what they consider to be the administration’s failure to hold any senior military officials responsible for notorious detainee abuse in Iraq and the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The senators know full well that George and the neocons fully authorized all those actions. They just want them stopped. It’s hurting their reelection chances, as is Iraq and Bush’s 37 to 42% approval ratings. Of course, all the hearings, investigations and dialog between the neocons and both houses are secret.
Citizens Financial Group has offered to refund customers over 75 years old the funds they invested in variable annuities in 2003 and 2004. They were unsuitable investments and they were well aware of that. They will pay a $3 million fine for unethical and dishonest conduct, and as usual no one is prosecuted criminally and no one goes to jail.
The BBC World Service Poll of 22 countries shows a majority believes the world economy is getting worse. Citizens of only nine countries saw it getting better with people in ten countries believing it would worsen. Overall, 44% saw it getting worse to 34% that saw improvement. Forty-eight percent said their national economy was getting worse and 41% saw it getting better. Yet, 47% saw their family’s economic conditions getter better and 36% getting worse. South Korea was the most pessimistic with 82%. They are looking down the barrels of North Korea’s guns. Italy was 67%, Philippines 65%, Mexico 62% and Canada 53%. The most optimistic was China at 68%, India 55% and Indonesia 52%. Most negative on their national economy was Lebanon 77%, the Philippines 82% and Mexico 66%. The most disappointed in economic growth was South Korea 88%, Italy 81%, France 74%, Japan 53% and Germany 52%. The US public was 51% negative and 45% positive. Overall nations’ peoples’ were pessimistic regarding the world economy and their national economy, but they were optimistic regarding the success of their own families. The result is ridiculous; they must have interviewed 22,953 psychotics.
The deadline for the EU has been fixed as August 15th by Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades. They intend to exact a bloody war in the service of God. The crusaders led by George and the neocons had best prepare for their onslaught, which they brought upon us. You can rest assured that EU governments will make additional announcements of withdrawal from the Middle East.
Of course, Tony Blair will continue his charade and duet with George Bush. After the second set of bombings and the execution of an innocent bystander, we believe the British national ID legislation will go forward as quickly as they can present it. The US has already pushed through an extension of most of the heinous Patriot Act, under the cover of terrorism.
The government Accountability Office has sent a letter to Congress saying the Transportation Security Administration violated privacy protections within the Privacy Act, which prohibits the government from compiling information on people without their knowledge. You really didn’t expect anything different did you? The Intel came from the program Secure Flight, which made computerized checks of airline passengers against terrorist watch lists. They broke the law in a multiplicity of ways, including matching files with commercial broker lists. The GAO reports that about 100 million records were collected. The 1974 Privacy Act requires the government to notify the public when it collects information about citizens. It must say who it is gathering information about, what kinds of information, why it is being collected and how the information is being stored. Whatever their reasons, George and the neocons and Fatherland Security are above the law. They do what they feel like doing. They do not care what you think because they know better than you know what is good for you. Your government is your enemy and if you do not believe that you are dumb.
The State of Idaho Legislature recognizes that the USA Patriot Act does nothing to protect the citizens of Idaho and the US from terrorism, but is an affront to the Bill of Rights and is totally repugnant to the US Constitution and the Constitution of Idaho and to the liberty of each of its citizens. Be it further resolved, that the Idaho legislator does repudiate, reject, repeal and make unenforceable any and all provisions of the national ID card, known as the Real I.D. Act, which is an affront to the Bill of Rights and is totally repugnant to the US Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Idaho.
We write about a multitude of issues that cross the economic, financial, social and political spectrum and many of them describe Americans. What is very perplexing is the lack of outrage from Americans. This phenomenon has led many to call the American people sheeple. It looks as though an event has to occur to trigger a response from the people. If it is not an economic – money issue, it will have to be Martial law.
The Frankenstein aspect of genetically modified crops is beginning. Modified genes from crops in a GM crop trial have transferred into local wild plants, creating a form of herbicide-resistant “superweed.” The cross-fertilization between GM oilseed rape and charlock has formed a new form of charlock. When the new plant was treated with lethal herbicides it showed no ill effects. This hybrid manifestation will cause farmers serious problems.
The bond industry has again asked the US government to revive the 30-year Treasury bond, a long-term industry benchmark and retirement portfolio mainstay. They asked for a new reissue date of next February. We would have thought government would have acted on the 30s already, because the longer they wait the more it is going to cost. We see higher interest rates, as do many others.
The US economy needs $4 billion a day in loans to keep the American economy afloat. Globalization and free trade through open markets under transparency and the rule of law. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is no such thing as a level playing field. Every country cheats. The engine that really makes all this work is the US consumer. This year it could consume $800 billon more than it sells. This madness is financed daily foreigners. We consume 80% of the world’s savings because we do not have any. The US and world growth depend on ever rising US growth. We cannot expect that to go on indefinitely. Not when our factories and jobs are leaving the country at a greater rate every day and our exports have great trouble competing. Enforcing rules and devaluation are not the answer – only tariffs will solve this problem.
A woman has been fined by the US Treasury Department for being one of 300 human shields in Iraq from thirty countries. They said she broke sanctions prohibiting citizens from engaging in commercial, financial or trade transactions after she entered Iraq. The fine is $10,000 and if not paid she faces 12 years’ imprisonment or a lengthier legal battle that could cost her more than $1 million. She stands to lose her retirement paycheck, social security check and possessions to pay the fine. What kind of a country and government does such things to its citizens for protesting?