Friday, September 26, 2008


Figured I would just leave you with something to chew on about the current financial mess for the weekend. Sorry about the spacing, but I've got to run and don't have time to fix it up for you.

The following is from ZNet.

Profiles in Cowardice and Corruption: Why McCain and Obama are United in Weakness on the Financial Crisis
by Paul Street
September, 26 2008


The nation's financial system is in the middle of a colossal crisis caused by massive fraud, idiocy, and greed at the upper reaches of the banking, insurance, and real estate industries. The arch-plutocratic Bush administration and Federal Reserve propose to "solve" the crisis by orchestrating a massive taxpayer bailout granting stupendous rewards to the leading perpetrators. The Paulson-Bernanke plan to buy up $700 billion worth of bad, overpriced mortgage assets takes the venerable corporate principle of "socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor" (privatization of reward and socialization of risk) to grotesque new levels.

Compensating gross business misconduct on a spectacular scale, it would be what former Wall Street economist Michael Hudson called "the largest and worst giveaway since a corrupt Congress gave land grants to the railroad barons a century and a half ago. If it goes through, it will shape the coming century by giving finance unprecedented power over debtors - homebuyers, industry, state and local government, and the federal governmentas well" [1]

As former presidential candidate and progressive Democrat Dennis Kucinich notes, "The double standard is stunning; their profits are their profits, but their losses are our losses." Further: "the same corporate interests that profited from the closing of U.S. factories, the movement of millions of jobs out of America, the off-shoring of profits, the out-sourcing of workers, the crushing of pension funds, the knocking down of wages, the cancellation of health care benefits, the sub-prime lending are now rushing to Washington to get money to protect themselves" [2].

On the front page of the New York Times today (I am writing on Thursday, September 25th), a reporter notes a grave concern among "many ordinary Americans" - that the profound difficulty involved in determining the real value of "troubled investments" could "result in the government's buying them for more than they will ever be worth, a step that would benefit financial institutions at taxpayers' expense." Times reporter Vikas Bajaj notes that "each one of these investments is tied to thousands of individual mortgages, and many of those loans are going bad as the housing market has worsened." Bajaj quotes a leading bond portfolio manager who reports that "we are not going to know what the right price is for years." [3]

But while precise valuation waits, it is a sure bet that the government's purchasing price will be well above fair market value. Asset inflation (along with asset-stripping) is what this latest late-capitalist boom and bust drama - the "mother of all bubbles" (Glen Ford) - is all about [4].


Is it any wonder that the Bush administration's scheme to rescue predatory high finance at a price that could fund Society Security for four decades evokes widespread fear and loathing across the United States? Lawmakers of both parties have been releasing e-mail messages from their constituents decrying the proposed bailout. A typical message to Representative Jim McDermott (D-Washington) reads as follows: "I am hoping Congress can find the backbone to stand on their feet and not their knees before BIG BUSINESS." A representative e-mail to conservative Republican congressperson Candice Miller (R-Michigan) said this: "NO BAILOUT, I am a registered republican. I will vote and campaign hard against you if we have to subsidize the very people who have sold out MY COUNTRY." U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) reports 2,000 e-mails and calls that are "95 percent opposed" to the bailout. The reactionary Illinois congressman Ray LaHood (R-Illinois) says he has not seen such an outpouring of citizen rage since the Bill Clinton impeachment trial [5].


How interesting that the supposed "populist" "maverick" John McCain and the alleged left "progressive" Barack Obama have taken a painfully cautious, wary, and vague approach to the epic financial meltdown and the Paulson-Bernake giveaway. These two would-be leaders of "We the People" have watched the historic financial debate with super-careful reserve. They have responded with few if any meaningful differences between them, consistent with the "post-ideological" Obama's request for the open economic ignoramus McCain to join him in issuing a joint statement and with McCain's call to suspend the first presidential debate so that "our national leaders" might "come together at a time of crisis."

Both candidates have called for "greater oversight," for "limits" on executive pay at bailed out firms, and for "ensuring that taxpayers benefit" from whatever emerges. Both have agreed to meet with Bush to forge a Wall Street "rescue bill" because, as both Obama and Bush declare - in Obama's word's yesterday, anticipating Bush's televised statement on the financial crisis last night - the "the risk of doing nothing is economic catastrophe" [6].

Neither of the two business party contenders has called for a moratorium on foreclosures or for writing down the mortgage debt of millions of families facing expropriation. Neither has demanded a public ownership stake in recused firms or the tough re-regulation, disciplining, and political (and campaign finance) neutralization of the finance, insurance, and real estate (FIRE) sector's owners and managers. Neither has called for transferring funds from the giant, bloated (but sacrosanct_ "defense" (Empire) budget to support current and would-be homeowners, renters, workers and to stabilize markets poisoned by junk mortgages and other related toxic financial instruments.

"National eeaders?" The only presidential candidates speaking forthrightly and urgently against the proposed Wall Street giveaway have been Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney, and Bob Barr. They are banned from the presidential debates, even as McCain threatens not to show up for the first one. They have been preemptively exiled from serious consideration in the corporate-crafted narrow-spectrum electoral extravaganza.


The two "mainstream" candidates' cowardly response to the latest spectacular state-capitalist financial fiasco is a result of six basic factors.

First, neither of them wants to be seen as sticking their foot in their mouth on a major but complex issue that changes from one day to the next in accord with shifting markets, polls, and political winds. This is a close race (absurdly enough given the transparent danger and idiocy of the McCain-Palin ticket and the Republican Party's recent record) and one mistaken comment could cost the election.

Second, while both candidates (even the painfully isolated McCain) are sharply aware (that many voters hate Bush's bailout, they also know that officeholders and candidates who oppose the plan risk blame if deepening economic calamity is seen to have resulted from "congressional inaction." As William Greider notes, "Wall Street has put a gun to the head of the politicians and said, ‘Give us the money - right now - or take the blame for what follows'"[7].


Third, the major hike in federal debt that is certain to result from a "rescue" plan does not fit well with either of the candidates' campaign promises. The giant public expenditures certain to occur in a likely Wall Street bailout works against McCain's call to extend Bush's tax cuts for the rich. They also challenge Obama's call for "middle class tax cuts" and his promise to increase public subsidies for health care, education, renewable energy, retirement savings, and other priorities. Obama is already talking scaling down some of his already tame "hope" agenda in response to the crisis.


Fourth, both candidates know that their own parties and key players in their campaigns were centrally involved in key policy moves that created the context for the current financial debacle. During the late 1990s, McCain's longtime ally, associate, and (until recently) economic adviser Phil Gramm was the leading Congressional force behind legislation that exempted numerous toxic financial instruments ("credit swaps," "over the counter derivatives," "credit defaults" and the like) from regulatory scrutiny. Gramm also led the way for the fateful undoing of basic federal (from the New Deal) firewalls between commercial banking, investment banking and the insurance industry [8].

The top Obama advisor and funder Robert Rubin was an even bigger agent of the fateful deregulation of the financial industry and the related drastic over-escalation of financial asset prices during the 1990s "Clinton boom." Under the guidance of the its Treasury Secretary Rubin - a former Goldman Sacs CEO and future Citigroup Chair - the neoliberal Clinton administration (described as "recognizably progressive" in Obama's 2006 campaign book The Audacity of Hope) refused to halt the path to ultimate disaster by taxing speculative financial transactions or by reducing reserve requirements for loans funding productive rather than speculative investments. As Lila Rajiva recently noted, Rubin "was responsible as much as anyone else for blocking regulation of the over-the-counter derivative trade and for consolidating the banks - misdeeds for which the rest of the financial industry is now paying." Rubin influenced Clinton to sign Gramm's deregulatory legislation, favored by Wall Street Republicans and Democrats alike[9].

Perversely enough, Rubin was one of the first to personally profit from the abolition of the separation between commercial and investment banking. Getting out of Dodge before the asset inflation bubble burst in 2002-2001, Rubin moved from Treasury to become co-director of Citigroup, a newly merged investment-commercial banking conglomerate [10].


Fifth, both McCain and Obama are deeply beholden to the very financial elites and Wall Street firms who created the current mess and who stand to gain from the Bush-Paulson-Bernanke proposal. Through August of 2008, McCain's top 20 contributors include: Merrill Lynch (#1 at $298,000); Citigroup (#2 at $209,000); Morgan Stanley (3 at $233,000); Goldman Sacs (4 at $208,000); Credit Suisse Group (8 at $150,000); UBSAG (10 at $140,000); PriceWaterhouseCooper (11 at $140,000); Bank of America (13 at $129,000); Wachovia (14 at $122,000); Lehman Bros (15 at $116,000), Bear Stearns (19 at $99,000), and Pinnacle West (20 at $98,000)

Of all the leading U.S. economic sectors, FIRE (finance, real estate, and insurance) is the top giver to McCain at $22,108,921 [11].

Obama's top 20 contributors include Goldman Sachs (#1 at $692,000), Citigroup (#3 at $449,000), JP Morgan Chase (#4 at $405,000), Lehman Bros. (#10 at $371,000), and Morgan Stanley (#16 at $319,000). Note that Goldman Sachs has given three times the amount to Obama it has contributed to McCain and that Citigroup's Obama giving more than doubles its investment in McCain. Obama's #16 contributor - the investment bank Morgan Stanley - gave Obama $20,000 more than McCain got from his top contributor (the investment banker and brokerage house Merrill Lynch).

FIRE is also Obama's top contributor, granting him $24,860,257, more than $2 million more that sector gave to McCain [12].

It is darkly interesting to note that the Obama campaign's finance chair, the Hyatt heress Penny Pritzker, was one of the leading originators of the toxic sub-prime mortgage instrument during the late 1990s, when she served on the board of the Superior Bank in Hinsdale, Illinois [13].

Also worth noting, Obama initially tried to hand his vice presidential nominee vetting process to Jim Johnson, a former CEO of mortgage lender Fannie Mae (recently re-nationalized in the wake of its financial collapse). Johnson was a top player in the meltdown of the financial system [14].

As the prolific author and Wall Street critic Kevin Phillips noted on the Public Broadcasting System's Bill Moyers Show last week, "But then, you've got Obama with Bob Rubin and he doesn't seem to have any problem with the hedge fund types. I mean, one of the Chicago people was a major financer of his. He gets a guy to pick his vice-president. Turns out to be somebody who was part of the Fannie and Freddie mess."

"So I don't exactly see Obama as this fellow riding in on a horse who represents all kinds of reformism. It's an important thing probably to have to change from the Republicans but I don't see that he is free of the ties to finance and Democratic Party financial types....."

When Moyers noted many Democrats' hopes that a new New Deal - involving tightened financial regulation among other progressive reforms - is in the offing under an Obama administration [15], Phillips responded with understandable skepticism, explaining that:

"there's several difficulties here. First of all, at this point, what you've got are the Democrats are the party right at this point that's getting most of the financial money. When Franklin D. Roosevelt won in 1932, we know he wasn't getting most of the financial money."

"The second thing is I don't think we're more than partway through. The Democrats think it's going to be another 1933, they get in there, they can do all the New Deal stuff. My feeling is that they're coming in halfway and they're going to have to make hard decisions that are going to eat the Democratic coalition like a bologna sandwich. They're going to start civil wars...."

Phillips added that McCain probably "osmossed ...much less sycophancy toward Wall Street and the money crowd" growing up in "a naval family" than what Obama would have "osmossed at Harvard Law School." (But Phillips also noted that McCain who is an economic idiot, as evidence by his willingness to be advised by the ridiculous Gramm)[16].


The sixth and final factor is that both Obama and McCain are open enthusiasts of American so-called "free market capitalism." This shared ideological commitment to the profits systems is of course mandatory for "viable" presidential candidates under the rules of American "dollar democracy," the "best democracy that money can [and did] buy." It does not leave a lot of room for serious public confrontation with the privileges and dictates of capital, no matter how dysfunctional and dangerous masters of finance have become for the common good.

The supposed "radical leftist Obama" [17]identifies himself as a "pro-market" and "free trade" "guy," saying things like, "Look, I am a pro-growth, free-market guy. I love the market" [18]. But as Laurence Shoup recently noted in Z Magazine, Obama "fail[s] to note that the market loves and rewards those who already have money and power, not those lacking these advantages. To say that you ‘love the market' is akin to saying that you love the ruling class (the top 1 percent of the population that controls 20 percent of the country's wealth and nearly 40 percent of the country's wealth) and do not care about the great majority (the 60 percent of the population that controls only 25 percent of the income and 5 percent of the wealth). To say ‘I love the market' - at a time when the financial system is deflating because of decades of lies about how great unregulated markets are which fueled rampant speculation, phony valuations, and deceitful assurances - is to be deaf to the reality of powerful interests are protected by the government while everyone gets a lecture on personal responsibility. ‘Change we could believe in,' would involve confronting the perversity of market-driven capitalism...." [19]

Cowards, fools, whores, and defenders of unjust privilege and concentrated wealth do not make great popular leaders in times of crisis or stability. The cautious and conservative approach of the two dominant party presidential candidates to the current state-capitalist financial fiasco reminds us of the need, in John Pilger's words (on the back cover of my recent study of the Obama phenomenon) to "reveal power as it is, not as many of us wish it to be." It is also, to quote Adolph Reed, Jr. (also writing on the back of my new Obama book) a "bracing reminder that progressive agendas will not be advanced through vesting hopes and aspirations in candidate-centered politics, that there is no quick and easy substitute for the task of building a serious, institutionally grounded, working-class based political movement - from the bottom up and top down" [20].

Veteran radical ex-historian and activist Paul Street ( is the author of Empire and Inequality (2004), Segregated Schools (2005), and Racial Oppression in the Global Metropolis (2007). His latest book (just released) is "Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics" (Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, August 2008),order at


1. Michael Hudson, "The Paulson-Bernanke Bank Bailout Plan," CounterPunch (September 22, 2008), read at

2. Dennis Kucinich, "Protecting the Public Interest in Any Economic Bailout" (September 23, 2008), read at

3. Vikas Baja, "Rescue Plan's Basic Mystery: What's All This Stuff Worth?," New York Times, 25 September, 2008, p. A1.

4. Michael Hudson, "America's One Kleptpcracy," CounterPunch (September 20/21, 2008); Glen Ford, "Death Rattles of a Criminal Class," Black Agenda Report (September 24, 2008), read at

5. Sheryl Gay Stolberg, "Lawmakers' Constituents Make Their Bailout Views Loud and Clear," New York Times, 25 September 2008, p. A25.

6. Charles Babington, "Obama, McCain Cautiously Watch financial Debate," Associated Press (September 23, 2008); Gail Collins, "Bring On the Rubber Chickens," New York Times, 25 September 2008, A29; Elizabeth Bumiller and Jeff Zeleny, "McCain for Delay," New York Times, 25 September 2008, A1, A23.

7. William Grieder, "Goldman Sachs Socialism," The Nation (September 23, 2008), read at

8. Alexander Cockburn, "Is This the Stake Through Neoliberalism's Heart? It Should Be, But...", CounterPunch (September 20/21, 2008), read at; Lila Rajiva, "Putting Lipstick on an AIG," CounterPunch (September 20,21, 2008), read at

9. Rajva, "Putting Lipstick on an AIG;" Cockburn, "Is This the Stake?;" Robert Pollin, Contours of Descent: U.S. Economic Fractures and the Landscape of Global Austerity (New York: Verso, 2003)

10. Pollin, Contours of Descent, p. 32.

11. Center for Responsive Politics, "John McCain (R): "Top Contributors" and "Sectors" (2008 election cycle through August 2008), view at Here are the standard economic sectors used in the reporting of campaign finance data: Agribusiness; Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate (FIRE); Lawyers and Lobbyists; Health; Labor; Communications/Electronics; Transportation; "Defense;" Construction; Energy and Natural Resources; Misc. Business; Ideological/Single Issue.

12. Center for Responsive Politics, "Barack Obama (D): "Top Contributors" and "Sectors" (2008 election cycle through August 2008), view at

13. "Truthteller," "REVEALED: Obama Finance Chairwoman Pritzker the Toxic Catalyst of the current Financial Crisis," No Quarter (September 22, 2008), read at

14. Johanna Neuman, "Barack Obama Advisor Jim Johnson Quits under Fire," Los Angeles Times, 12 June, 2008, read at

15. This is the fantasy behind a smart but silly book by the liberal economist and American Prospect editor Robert Kuttner: Obama's Challenge: America's Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency (White river Junction, VT: Chelsea Green, September 2008)

16.Kevin Phillips Interview by Bill Moyers, Bill Moyers Journal(September 19, 2008), read transcript at

17. The ridiculous description of Obama advanced by the right-wing hit-man Jerome Corsi in his best-selling book "Obama Nation." For a (I hope) useful review of Corsi's preposterous neo-McCarthyite (and yet best-selling) account of Obama, see Paul Street, "The Madness of Jerome Corsi," ZNet (August 25, 2008), read at

18. Naomi Klein, "Obama's Chicgao Boys," The Nation (June 12, 2008), read at

See also Barack Obama, Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (New York: Crown, 2006),pp. 149-150; Paul Street, "Obama's Audacious Deference to Power," ZNet Magazine (January 24, 2007), read at

19. See Laurence H. Shoup, "Obama and McCain March Rightward," Z Magazine (September 2008), p. 27.

20. Paul Street, Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics (Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2008), back cover. I hope this book will be understood as useful left alternative to both the vicious right-wing neo-McCarthyiite-white-Christian-nationalist madness of Corsi's attack book ("Obama Nation") and the childish progressive hopefulness of Robert Kuttner's monograph and an earlier similarly immature (but much less serious and substantive) book by Obama's liberal former law student John Wilson: Barack Obama: This Improbable Quest (Boulder,CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2007).

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Police in southern France have arrested at least 15 people with links to Basque separatist groups in the past couple of days. Some of those detained are said to be members of Batasuna, the alleged political wing of the armed group ETA, and from another group that supports separatist prisoners. Police say they are investigating the illegal funding of ETA and a terrorist attack in 2006.

ETA and Batasuna have been outlawed in Spain, but Batasuna is still legally allowed to operate in France. Both groups want independence for the Basque region, which lies in northern Spain and southern France (see map above).

The arrests were carried out Tuesday and early Wednesday in towns across France's southwestern Basque region and included two senior figures of the separatist political party Batasuna.

The blog Leherensuge reports a search of the offices of the Basque party in Baiona lasted all day long while surrounding streets were closed to the public.

The Askatasuna support group for Basque prisoners (itself a target of the raid) said in a statement that French police were using the Bidarry hotel attack -- which caused no injuries and only minor damage to the building -- as an excuse to crack down on Basque separatists.

The arrests come as a bilateral meeting between the French and Spanish interior ministers is planned to take place in Toulon later today.

Among the detained are Batasuna party spokesman, Xabi Larralde, foreign affairs spokesman, Giuliano Cavaterra and national council members, Jean Claude Aguerre and Aurore Martín whose bank accounts have already been frozen as part of an inquiry into the funding of the Basque communist party initiated last May by Spanish High Court anti-terror judge, Baltasar Garzón.

Also arrested today was Jean François Lefort, alias 'Lof', a former spokesman for the Askatasuna association that defends the rights of jailed ETA activists.

Batasuna denounced the operation saying it in effect makes the groups illegal.

The French Green Party also protested the police operation and said that it is an attack against freedom of political activity, and warned Paris that violence only brings more violence.

Yesterday evening there was a protest demonstration of several hundred people in the city of Baiona in the French Basque region. Banners reading "Repression is not the way!" and "Batasuna resist!" were visible in many parts of the city, both in the streets and at private homes.

Other protests happened all through the Northern Basque Country.

Meanwhile, M and C reports the National Court in Spain has ordered that a search be carried out to find the whereabouts of José Ignacio De Juana Chaos, the long-time ETA activist who was released from prison in August this year having served his sentence for 25 killings.

It comes amid reports from police sources that De Juana and his wife, Irati Aranzabal, are now living in Belfast, under the protection of "IRA sympathisers."

The following is from EITB (Spain).

Arrests of the 14 detained in Northern Basque Country extended
Seven of them are at the police station of Pau, while the other half are being questioned in Bayonne. On the other hand, French police has resumed search at the offices of the banned leftist party Batasuna in Bayonne.

The arrest of the 14 members of the so called “leftist movement” detained on Wednesday in Northern Basque Country has been extended. Those arrested will spend this night at the police stations of Pau and Bayonne respectively, France Press agency reported, citing police sources.

Meanwhile, police continue searching the offices of the banned Basque leftist party Batasuna in the city of Bayonne, together with Xabi Larralde, Batasuna’s spokesman in Northern Basque Country.

Questionings to the 14 members of the Basque leftist movement arrested yesterday are expected to begin today.

The police operation coincided with the meeting of the Spanish and French Interior Ministers, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba and Michelle Alliot-Marie. French Interior Minister said this may be the first step of the banning of Batasuna in France, although she underlined this is in the hands of Justice.

On the other hand, about a thousand protesters demonstrated on Wednesday against the arrests in several towns of Northern Basque Country.


Professor Ze'ev Sternhell (pictured here), the victim of a pipe bomb attack at his home on Thursday, spoke out against the incident, saying that "if this act was not committed by a deranged person but by someone who represents a political view, then this is the beginning of the disintegration of democracy."

The small pipe bomb exploded on Thursday at around 1:00 A.M. at the entrance to Sternhell`s home. The professor was lightly wounded by the blast and taken to Shaarei Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem for treatment.

Pamphlets calling for the physical assault of left-wing activists were found near the professor's home on Wednesday night, reportedly promising a NIS 1,100,000 reward to anyone who murdered someone associated with the Peace Now organization.

Sternhell, a Haaretz columnist and left wing activist, was lightly hurt in the bombing. He was being treated at Jerusalem's Shaarei Tzedek hospital. Sternhell, an internationally renowned expert on the history of fascism, was awarded the country's highest honor, the Israel Prize, earlier this year. The award drew fire from West Bank settlers and their supporters, who unsuccessfully petitioned Israel's Supreme Court to try to block it.

Sternhell is a veteran supporter of Peace Now, most recently addressing the audience at an event marking 30 years of Peace Now and only last month attended a Peace Now tour to Hebron that was denied entry by police due to settler violence and threats.

"On the personal level," Sternhell told Haaretz, "if the intent was to terrorize, it has to be very clear that I am not easily intimidated; but the perpetrators tried to hurt not only me, but each and every one of my family members who could have opened the door, and for that there is no absolution and no forgiveness."

A statement from Peace Now read in part:

"Peace Now activists are not surprised by this new wave of threats and violence, in particular the recent fliers, being distributed among the rightist population, promising a 1million shekel prize to anyone who murders a Peace Now member."

Since the murder of Peace Now activist Emil Grunzweig in 1983, Peace Now has been warning the police and the IDF that law enforcement authorities must abandon their lenient policy when it comes to law-breakers from within the settler community and their supporter. It is clear that those who don't enforce the law on violent settlers in the territories will find himself with a Jewish terror organization in the heart of Israel."

Today yet again we see that there are extreme factions amongst the right wing that are willing to use any means to reach their goals. The settlers that yesterday attacked Palestinians and Israeli soldiers serving in the West Bank, are those today attacking Israeli citizens within Israel."

These extremists have already established websites of hate threatening Peace Now members, and Peace Now demands that the Interior Minister commands the police force to cut this phenomena at its roots, and begin to immediately arrest and punish those who actions pose a serious threat to the very fabric of Israeli democracy."

Most, but not all Israeli government and political figures condemned the attack.

Israeli fascist activist Baruch Marzel denied that his organization, the National Jewish Front, was involved in the attack against the professor, but would not condemn it. Marzel said that "we are not condemning the incident because in the past, Professor Sternhell expressed his views that it was legitimate to hurt settlers."

Wondering what the National Jewish Front (or Jewish National Front) is? Here are the principles of the Jewish National Front, Chazit HaYehudit Leumit, from their of website. The original is in Hebrew, and an English translation is provided.
א. מפלגת “חזית יהודית לאומית” קמה על מנת לתת תנופה מחודשת למפעל ההיסטורי של שיבת עם ישראל לארצו, ולהביאו להשלמתו, היעד הוא הבטחת חרותו, עצמאותו המדינית ושלומו של עם ישראל בארצו האחת, כדי שיהיה מוכן למלא את יעודו ההיסטורי מאז ומקדם: ארץ ישראל לעם ישראל על פי תורת ישראל, על כל משתמע מכך בחומר וברוח, בחול ובקודש.

1. The ” Jewish National Front ” party arose in order to give a renewed push to the historical process of a return of the People Of Israel in its land, and to bring in due time, the goal that was promised Israel, which is the political independence and peace of The State Of Israel in its one country. This is in order that it may thence fulfill its historical destiny. The Jewish National Front promotes : The Land of Israel to the People of Israel according to the Torah of Israel, as understood in substance and in spirit, in the secular world and in holiness.

ב. מטרת הציונות היתה להביא את רובו של עם ישראל לרובה הגדול של ארץ ישראל. מנגד, מטרת הטרור הערבי היתה תמיד, עד היום ממש, ליצור פחד, חרדה וחוסר ביטחון אישי ולאומי, בכדי לזרוע יאוש ולמנוע את ההתקדמות התנועה הציונית, ובהמשך המדינה היהודית, לעבר מימוש יעדיה. הטרור הערבי שואף לדחוף את היהודים בארץ ישראל ל”תחום המושב”. לסגור אותנו בגטאות מאחורי גדרות הפרדה, ולבסוף להשמיד את עם ישראל ומדינתו. זהו המניע העמוק של הטרור, “חזית יהודית לאומית” תפעל לעקירתו משורשו.

2. The goal of the Zionism was to bring most of the People of Israel to the greatest portion of the land of Israel. From the beginning, the goal of the Arab terror has always been, and still is today, to create fear, panic and lack of personal and national security, in order to sow despair and to prevent the progress of the Zionist movement, and following the establishment of the Jewish state, across materialization of her objectives. The Arab terror lives to push the Jews in Israel ”into reservations”, to close us into the ghetto behind fences of separation, and lastly to destroy the People of Israel and their state. This is the basic motive of the terror, and the ” Jewish national front ” will act to pull it up from its roots.

ג. “החזית” קובעת כי אסור להיכנע לתחושת הרגע ואין ללכת שולל ולהתפתות למקסמי שווא בשל בעיות חמורות בביטחון, בכלכלה ובחברה, אלא יש להמשיך לפעול באמונה להגשמת יעדיו ההיסטוריים של עם ישראל בארץ ישראל, להביט קדימה בהכללה, ולגזור את הפתרונות הנכונים והחוקים ששירתו את המטרה העליונה

3. “The front ” declares that it we are not allowed to yield to short term impulses or to approach an enemy and be seduced by false enticements. There are severe problems in security, in the economy and in society, but you have to continue to act faithfully towards the attainment of the historical goal of the People of Israel in the Land of Israel; to look ahead to the broad view, and to make the right decisions, and laws that serve the higher goal.

ד. “חזית יהודית לאומית” קובעת כי כיבוש הארץ מוסרי וגירוש האויב מוסרי. תורת ישראל היא המקור הראשוני לכלל ערכי המוסר האנושיים, ולפי שהיא המצווה על ישראל לכבוש ולשחרר את הארץ, אין דבר מוסרי יותר מאשר כיבוש ושחרור ארץ ישראל על ידי עם ישראל, “החזית” קובעת שפינוי האוייבים מהארץ יפתור מן היסוד את כל בעיותיה החמורות של המדינה באשר הוא ינתק את הטרור משורשו וירחיק את מלחמה במקום ובזמן. כתוצאה מכך יתאפשרו ויבואו השקעות גדולות, תיירות המונית, צמיחה, בניין לפיתוח. האבטלה תצומצם למינימום, יהיו מקומות עבודה לכולם, והשכר יהיה נאה. פינוי האוייבים יביא בטחון אישי ולאומי , שגשוג כלכלי ותרבותי ופתרון למצוקות החברתיות.

4. “Jewish national front ” declares that occupying the land is moral and deportation of the enemy is moral. The Torah of Israel is the first source for the principled rule of humane ethics, and according to that it is commanded for Israel to conquer and to redeem the country. There is not a thing more morally approved than the conquering and redeeming of the Land of Israel by the People Of Israel. ” the Front ” determines that the deportation of the enemies from the Land will fundamentally solve the severe problems of the state, because it will tear out the terror from the roots and remove war from this place at the same time. As a result of which, big investments will come in, there will be growth in tourism, and thriving building and development. Unemployment will be reduced to a minimum, there will be jobs for all, and the wages will be good. Deportation of the enemies will bring personal and national security, economic and cultural prosperity and solutions to social problems.

ה. היעד האסטרטגי של מדיניות “החזית” יהיה לבסס רוב יהודי גדול ממערב לנהר הירדן, בדרך להחלת ריבונות ישראלית מלאה על כל ארץ ישראל המערבית. היעד יושג על ידי עידוד הגירה נחוש והחלטי מצד אחד, ועל ידי עידוד ילודה בקרב היהודים ויצירת תנאים נוחים לעליית יהודים המונית לארץ, מן הצד השני .לאחר שתתחולל תמורה דמוגראפית יסודית ויהיה רוב יהודי משמעותי ובלתי ניתן לעירעור, תחיל הממשלה ריבונות ישראלית מלאה על כל הארץ.

5. The strategic objective of the policy of ” the front ” will be to base most of the Jewish population increase west of the Jordan River, on the way to exercising full Israeli sovereignty for the western part of Israel. The goal will be met by strong immigration incentives on the one hand, and on the other hand by birth incentives for Jews and the creation of comfortable conditions for Jews to move to the country from other areas. After that because of basic demographics Jews will be the significant majority and without protest, the government of Israel will begin to have full sovereignty over the land.

ו. “חזית יהודית לאומית” תפעל לחינוך העם היהודי בארץ ובתפוצות לאור החזון החדש .היא תחנך לרעיונות יהודים ולאומיים ותביא להזדהות פנימית ולכידות מטרה בעם ,לכידות שהתרסקה בשלושים השנים האחרונות ,והצמיחה תחתיה קיטוב חברתי, פער כלכלי מהגבוהים במדינות המערב ועוני המוני עד כדי חרפה.

6. “Jewish national front ” will make a national education program for Jews in the Land and in the Diaspora to start a new direction. It will teach the concept of the Jewish national identity and bring them to an inner identity and a national cohesiveness of goals, a cohesiveness that crashed in the last thirty years. With that crash came social polarization, large economic gaps in the western nations and mass poverty to the point of disgrace.

ז. “החזית” מודעת לחשיבותם הגדולה של ירושלים והר הבית בתודעה היהודית ולהיותם מוקד המלחמה על הארץ. “החזית” תפעל להעמקת התודעה והקשר הנפשי אל העיר, לחיזוק האחיזה היהודית ולהחלת ריבונות מלאה בירושלים כולה.

7. “The Front “, is aware of the great importance of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in the Jewish consciousness, and that they are the focus of the war on the Land. “the Front” will act to increase the consciousness and the spiritual connection to the city, for the strengthening of the Jewish determination to exercise full sovereignty in all of Jerusalem.

ח. “החזית” קובעת שממשלות ישראל בשלושים שנה האחרונות הגבירו את תיאבון האויב לאדמה הישראלית ואת התאוות הרצחנות שלו, שכן הכניעה והויתור על חלקי ארץ ישראל ועל המשך ההתקדמות המדינה היהודית להגשמת יעדיה, מתפרשים לאויב נכון שהנה הטרור והרצח משתלמים באשר הם גורמים ליהודים לברוח ולהסתגר בגטאות, מאחורי החומות בטון וגדרות הפרדה. “חזית יהודית לאומית” תפעל בניגוד גמור למגמות הפייסנות והכניעה של ממשלות ישראל בעשורים האחרונים. “החזית” תפעל לשינוי ערכים יסודי והיכן שיהיה צורך, להיפוך ערכים: מדינה יהודית של העם היהודי - בכל מרחבי ארץ ישראל!

8. “The front ” declares that the Israeli governments in the last thirty years have increased the lust of the enemy for Israeli land, and his murderous greed. Entrenched in capitulation and in the surrender of parts of the Land of Israel and dragging the Jewish State steadily towards meeting their goals, the enemy correctly interprets that here the terror and the murder pay off because they cause Jews to flee and stay in ghettos, from behind the concrete walls and separation fences. “Jewish national front ” will operate opposite to the trends of appeasement and Israeli government capitulation in the last decades. “The front ” will act to the change basic values and where necessary, reverse the values : The nation of Israel for the Jewish people in the whole land of Israel!

The following is from Monsters and

Anti-occupation Israeli professor wounded by pipe bomb

Jerusalem - A pipe bomb exploded early Thursday morning next to the home of a prominent Israeli political scientist and critic of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, lightly injuring him.

Some hours later police found leaflets offering over one million shekels (290,000 dollars) to anyone who kills a member of the dovish Peace Now protest group.

Professor Ze'ev Sternhell was locking up his house in Jerusalem when the device exploded. He was wounded in the legs and was taken to hospital for treatment.

Police set up a special team to investigate the incident and beefed up security around Peace Now Secretary-General Yariv Oppenheimer, following the discovery of the leaflets.

Israel Radio quoted police sources as saying the evidence pointed to extreme right-wing elements being responsible for planting the device that wounded Sternhell.

According to newspaper reports, Sternhell, 73, has been receiving threatening telephone calls for some time. Earlier this year a nationalist group, outraged by his critical comments about Israeli settlers and settlements, petitioned the High Court against his being awarded the Israel Prize, the country's highest civilian honour.

'I criticize that which needs to be criticized, to tell the truth even when it is unpleasant. That to me is the definition of what a good researcher is,' he said when he received the award.

Politicians from across the Israeli political spectrum united in condemning the blast.

'We are returning to the sinister phenomenon of using bombs against people, in this case against a very capable man who has never been afraid to voice his opinion, because his position, which is the peace camp's position, is that of a liberal voice, a democratic voice, a sane voice amidst the incitement,' Defence Minister Ehud Barak said.

'We will not allow anyone, from any dank corner of Israeli society, to persecute anyone else,' he said.

'A dirty wave of radical and violent fanaticism is washing over Israeli society,' Ophir Pines-Paz, of the Israel Labour Party, said. He said he would convene the Knesset Interior Committee 'to ensure that the law enforcement agencies in Israel are prepared for this and know how to stop it in its tracks.'

'Even though I disagree and am a bitter rival of the contemptible things that Ze'ev Sternhell wrote about settlers and people whom he doesn't agree with, I think that such a contemptible act is wrong,' legislator Zvulun Orlev, of the pro-settlement National Religious Party, said.

Hawkish legislator Yuval Steinmatz, who once belonged to Peace Now before he changed his views, called the attack on Sternhell an attack on Israeli democracy and on the State of Israel.

'This is very dangerous and I condemn this with full force and hope that the ones responsible are caught and punished severely,' he said.

© Copyright 2007 by
This notice cannot be removed without permission.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Canada’s education ministers emerged from two days of meetings Tuesday, promising continued work on a hodgepodge of issues, including lagging aboriginal education.

Indigenous Canadians (pictured here) marched in the street of Edmonton, Canada to more dramatically highlight what they say is an education system that isn't working for them or their children.

Earlier this month First Nations demonstrators marched to the Manitoba Legislature to protest the lack of funding for First Nations elementary and high schools and post secondary students.

Further, on the same day that Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a campaign stop in Winnipeg, another group of aboriginals rallied in front of the city's Indian Affairs office for better education funding.

The other day Assembly of First Nations national Chief Phil Fontaine asked,"There's been $22-billion expended on the Afghan war, and so what is there for first nations people?"

In fact, First Nations issues have become totally invisible in this years federal election, with all the major parties failing to address the important issues that face the people.

Fontaine said the absence of any discussion of native issues in the campaign for the Oct. 14 election is a disservice to all Canadians, and urged the political parties to address those issues in their platforms.

"First nations poverty is the single most important social justice issue in the country and we would expect that each of the parties would do the responsible thing, and that is to engage Canadians," he said.

There are 27,000 native children in state care, 40 communities without schools, 100 communities under boil-water advisories and serious concerns about housing and health care for people living on reserves, Fontaine said.

On September 29 the Assembly of First Nations is calling for a National Day of Political Action in First Nation communities across the country. On this day all First Nation communities are encouraged to participate in a variety of political activities such as engaging with their citizens and local candidates, host community meetings and town halls, discuss platforms with each other, and other political events so that First Nation citizens can make an informed choice on October 14.

Anishinabek Nation leaders participating that day will be seeking commitments and support for five key priorities:
1. Eliminating poverty through implementation of the Anishinabek Nation
Economic Blueprint and enhancing First Nations economic capacity;
2. Enhancing Education and Training opportunities to enable Anishinabek
youth to enter the skilled workforce;
3. A renewed focus on the Treaties and Treaty Implementation, including
provisions for resource revenue-sharing;
4. Adopting and Implementing the United Nations Declaration on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
5. Commitment to protecting and proliferating First Nations languages -
including funding of an Anishinabek Language Immersion Institute.

As the marchers today in Edmonton are saying education must be near the top of any list of priorities of First Nation issues.

The results of a 2003 survey (the latest available) on literacy rates of aboriginal people were alarming.

About 72 per cent of urban Manitoban adult first nations scored below the benchmark level three literacy level, as did 70 per cent of first nations in urban Saskatchewan.

Amongst non-aboriginals, the comparable numbers are 44 and 37 per cent.

"It (adult literacy) is at a crisis level," Paul Michel, director of the First Nations Center at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George, told the Vancouver Sun.

Michel estimates that up to 75 per cent of his region's adult aboriginal population would need literacy upgrading before they could even think about applying to a university.

Dropout rates for aboriginal students at British Colombia high schools are "extremely high," said Michel, and those who stay in school often aren't encouraged to take academic-stream classes.

But high-school dropout rates and underemployment are often just the symptoms of deeper problems in aboriginal communities.

One major hurdle to improving literacy is the tainted relationship between aboriginal people and Western education due to colonialism and abuse.

"It's not possible to underestimate the negative effect of the residential school experience," said Elizabeth Wilson, who's worked for 20 years as an educational consultant in the Pacific Northwest.

"[Aboriginal children] were put into situations that were basically devastating and that was their first time with schooling," said. "And it wasn't that many generations ago. So it's not surprising that schooling-type situations have not been easy for aboriginal people."

In residential schools, students were often forbidden to speak their native language and discouraged from maintaining their culture.

Wilson said this legacy has often translated into a feeling that when students learns English, they are simultaneously losing something of their aboriginal language and traditions.

Michel says the best way to teach basic skills to aboriginal learners is to make lessons resonate with their everyday lives.

"If they're hunting, then you've got all the hunting words and you write about that," he said. "So when you're teaching literacy, you're not teaching about the 14th floor in downtown Toronto with a three-piece business suit -- words that really don't have any relevance within their life."

At that Winnipeg rally a few weeks ago Chief Terrance Nelson, with the Roseau River First Nation, said the next government needs to put education first. Right now, he said parents on reserves have to pay much more for their children's education than other Canadian residents.

Instead of paying $70,000 to keep one young person in jail, Nelson said the government should be investing that money in ensuring every young person can go to a well-funded school.

The government boasts about spending $10 billion on aboriginal programs but very little of that money actually trickles down to the people who need it, he said.

"It's sure as hell not getting to us," Nelson told the rally. "It's not getting to the young people. What we're saying is we need to make sure this becomes an election issue."

The following is from the Edmonton (Canada) Sun.

First Nations take to city streets over education system 'in crisis'

Hundreds of First Nations people took to the streets today to protest what National Chief Phil Fontaine called an education system “in crisis.”

“We’re here to protest the conditions in First Nations and the discrepancies in funding in First Nations as opposed to non-First Nations,” said Treaty 6 Grand Chief Wayne Moonias, who is from Hobbema.

“We’re severely underfunded and as a result there’s a lot of negative impacts.”

Those impacts, he added, include teachers who are paid up to $25,000 less annually than their colleagues working for the province.

He said retaining quality teachers - nine left his home town of Hobbema over the summer - and offering “quality programs,” is a constant challenge.

Other problems include a lower standard of education, leaving students behind those in public schools.

“Any mainstream child, they’re at least three to five years behind those children just because of poor education,” said protester Jacqueline Fayant, shortly before the crowd - waving banners and beating drums - marched from Churchill Square to Canada Place.

Fontaine, who once again expressed his disappointment with most First Nations issues being left off campaign platforms in the federal election, said the lack of proper funding directly affects students on reserves.

“We have 40 communities without education facilities, without schools. There’s another 80 with schools in terrible state of disrepair, so it compromises our kids,” he said. “Our kids deserve better.

“There’s a huge disparity between what public schools receive from provincial governments and what First Nations schools receive; it’s at least $2,000 on the average (per year) per student.”

Fontaine said much of the funding woes stem from a cap imposed in 1996 that limits funding increases to core services to two per cent per year.

Many present said that is not keeping pace with the rising cost of living and does not take into account the booming First Nations population.


That big racist "Anti- Islam Congress" which was supposed to happen last weekend for Cologne, Germany flopped. When tens of thousands of protesters and the people of Cologne, made it clear they weren't interested in the fascists meeting in the city, the cops finally agreed and said the "Congress" ain't gonna happen.

Police chief Klaus Steffenhagen said, "It would have been excessive to deploy water cannon and special units to fight a way into the square for 300 (right wing) participants."

Some 3,000 police had been brought in and part of the old city sealed off as authorities appealed for peaceful protests against a weekend congress called by the far-right group Pro-Köln (For Cologne).

Der Spiegel reports when radical-right activists from around Europe arrived in Cologne on Saturday for a rally, the city was ready. Thousands of anti-racist protesters flooded the rally site. Protesters of all stripes and all levels of militancy included some who blocked urban trains to keep delegates away and raided a tourist boat shaped like a whale -- called the "Moby Dick" -- where the far-right gathering had been hoping to hold a press conference. A Pro Cologne spokesman said, "Stones, bricks and paint bombs were thrown and the panoramic windows of the Moby Dick were shattered."

After less then an hour the police called the "rightists"press conference off while the more militant members of the crowd flung paint bombs at the racist organizers of the fascist fest and lit fires near barricades in the streets.

Less militant protesters did their job as well. "Conservative Christian Democrats stood with trade unionists, Left-Party members and students; Christian churches stood with Islamic groups; critics of Islam stood with mosque supporters; Carnival clowns stood with hooded anarchists. Taxi drivers refused to help the far-right delegates, hotel owners cancelled their rooms, and bar owners backed up their promise of 'No Kölsch for Nazis'" wrote Der Speigel.

The demonstrators, including thousands more regular citizens let out a jubilant cheer when the mayor of Cologne, Fritz Schramma, told them the right was beaten.

Schramma slammed Pro-Köln as "arsonists and racists" hiding under the cloak of a "citizens' movement.".

Even after the massive crowd dispersed almost 6000 others stuck around for a street concert and some of them scuffled with police or set garbage alight in the city's alleys.

Baton-swinging police surrounded 500 masked leftists at one point and took the names of individuals who had been seen earlier "rioting," throwing stones and firecrackers at officers and trying to snatch away police guns.

Six police were injured, 15 leftists were arrested and 500 were briefly held for identity checks Saturday.

Pro Cologne claimed it held the third day of the event out of the public eye on premises in the nearby city of Leverkusen. It was not clear how many people were attending.

A city councilor for the Pro Koln, which won 5 percent of votes at the last poll, said his group would challenge the ban in court. "We'll repeat the event later," Manfred Rouhs told WDR television.

Armin Laschet, minister for minorities in North-Rhine Westphalia told the Tagesspiegel newspaper it was the first time an entire German city "stood up to protect its Muslims."

The following is from Qantara.

European Parties Fail to Feed Resentment against Islam

European right-wing populist parties had planned an "Anti-Islam Congress" in Cologne for the past weekend. An alliance of local people, politicians, the media, churches and associations put a stop to these plans. Frank Überall reports from Cologne

Radical right-wingers from all over Europe suffered a major political defeat in Cologne. They had intended to hold a xenophobic "Anti-Islamisation Congress", but were foiled by the people of Cologne's vehement resistance. Thousands took part in peaceful demonstrations against the extreme right-wing meeting, accompanied by isolated incidents of violence. Cologne's police eventually banned the central right-wing rally at the last minute due to the dangerous security situation. The organisers announced they would go to court over the ban and stage a repeat event.

The group Pro Köln was to host the three-day congress, planned as a critical discussion of Islam. The organisation is under official observation due to suspicion of right-wing extremism. It has built up a high public profile over the past few years, mainly through its protest against the construction of Cologne's first major mosque. Pro Köln's publications also routinely incite blanket resentment against migrants and Islam.

Local mayor admits mistakes

"We made the mistake of not taking public concerns seriously at an early point," admitted the Social Democratic politician Josef Wirges. He is the mayor of the Cologne district of Ehrenfeld, where the large mosque and community centre are being built. One reason for its size is that the Turkish Islamic religious organisation Ditib has its German headquarters in Cologne. The district has had an improvised Muslim prayer-room in a former factory building for over ten years. Issues of increased traffic, possible noise pollution and architectural compatibility arising from the new mosque had been tackled too late, commented Wirges. "Pro Köln took advantage of this vacuum to gain votes." Pro Köln now has a number of representatives on Cologne's city council.

Josef Wirges was one of several thousand people who took part in this weekend's demonstrations against the extreme right-wing events. According to a Pro Köln spokesperson, these were partly financed by the populist right-wing parties Vlaams Belang (Belgium) and FPÖ (Austria). The public demonstration was to be accompanied by a congress, where the participants intended to launch a Europe-wide patriotic party. But the events never took place, as the people of Cologne literally blocked out the radicals in their thousands.

Unwanted guests

"There's no kölsch for Nazis here," said landlord Markus Hemken, referring to Cologne's famous local beer. He and 150 other bar-owners had beer mats printed with an unmistakeable message – they would not serve right-wing extremists. The unwanted guests were thrown out of a Cologne hotel after anti-fascist groups informed the manager exactly who had booked the rooms. Pro Köln, otherwise a verbal proponent of law and order, had rented a number of conference rooms and coaches under false names. As a result, the party's members and their guests were not allowed in, and had to cancel almost every part of their congress.

Even the central rally "against Islamisation" at the heart of Cologne had to be called off, as the police were concerned about major security problems and banned the event.

Far-left activists had attacked police officers all over the city. "They were throwing stones, incendiaries and fireworks," said police spokesman Wolfgang Baldes: "There were even isolated attempts to remove police officers' guns." More than 400 demonstrators were placed under temporary detention, with six police officers sustaining injuries. These incidents overshadowed the fact that thousands of people were involved in peaceful demonstrations against the right-wing extremists.

An alliance across broad swathes of the population had called the protest – including the Protestant and Catholic churches, the Jewish community and the Turkish Islamic organisation Ditib. "I think it's great that the people of Cologne have blocked the way for right-wing extremists together," said the German reggae singer Gentleman. "I'm proud of Cologne."

Cologne's Christian Democrat city mayor, Fritz Schramma, put across a clear message at a protest event outside the famous cathedral: "I say to this clique of eurofascists, these Haiders and Le Pens and whatever their names are: there's the exit, that's the way home. We don't want you here."

Researchers call for clearer information policy

Pro Köln, however, is not willing to leave it at that. "We want to make next year's local election a plebiscite on the new mosque," said councillor Markus Beisicht. Had the radical right-wing conference in Cologne been a success, the "Pro Köln model" would have been emulated across Germany. There are already local branches in Berlin, Hamburg and Munich, though none of them are particularly active as yet.

Political scientists see deliberate incitement of resentment against mosques as a key element of the "Pro movement". "This is an extreme right-wing party that consciously operates in the guise of respectable middle-class moralists," says Alexander Häuser from the Neonazism Research Centre at Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences: "They consciously pander to resentments against migrants and Islam held by parts of the population. The only thing that can help is a consistent public information policy."

Frank Überall

© 2008

Translated from the German by Katy Derbyshire

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


"The financial crisis on Wall Street has New York's well-to-do reeling. The people who fuel the area's economy with their spending on art, fashion, cars, restaurants, plastic surgery and other luxe goods and services are starting to cut back once-lavish budgets. As a result, those who cater to their every whim -- from nanny agencies to jewelers to yacht builders -- are seeing clients tighten their belts on expenses from the millions to the thousands."
- By Ellen Gamerman, Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan and Francine Schwadel in Sep. 20, 2008, Wall Street Journal

Oh the poor, poor rich.

Resistance to the Wall Street bailout is beginning to increase.

Some are asking, why do the rich get corporate socialism while the rest of us are stuck with the dregs of capitalist system in decay? Why is no one talking about welfare Cadillacs now?

Already protests of the $750 billion proposed rescue of the rich plan have occurred from Los Angeles to Burlington, Vermont.

In LA Alvivon Hurd from ACORN told the local ABC affiliate, "I hope Congress does the right thing. I hope that they don't okay it, and I hope they let them sink in their own muck."

Trouble is all those Congress folks have been playing in the same much as the rich Americans they represent.

In Miami, site of another protest, Onial Merceus lost his North Miami home to foreclosure Tuesday. No one came to bail him out. At the protest Wander Adderly of Fort Lauderdale told the Miami Herald, ''If they can bail out AIG, they can help bail us out of the foreclosure crisis.''

Thing is Onial and Wander aren't rich enough to get bailed out.

Truth of the matter is governmental and business leaders haven't a clue as to what to do about the latest capitalist crisis. They are putting huge bandaids on a system in need of a complete overhaul at least, and elimination at best.

Wealthy Democrats and Republican leaders are lost in a quandary of bailout soup. They all tout the "free market" until it hits them and their rich buddies in their wallets, then suddenly the market is too free.

Gerald Celente Founder/Director, The Trends Research Institute, is well respected for his track record of picking business, consumer, political, and economic trends before they come to pass. Celente predicted an economic 9/11 more than a year ago (of course, my wife predicted it long before that). Celente says the worst is yet to come. He has little use for this federal bailout and writes about it in a piece in the Hudson Valley Press:

"On the evening of September 18th 2008, the American democratic system was replaced by a financial dictatorship."

What was billed as a "Federal Bailout" was nothing less than a bloodless coup. The Wall Street Gang had taken over the White House and control of Washington. Congress promised not to resist, and pledged to pass legislation as demanded."

...Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, spearheading the coup, sought unrestricted authority to spend the nation's money as he saw fit. The first order of business by the Economic Czar was to take trillions of dollars of bad debt from crumbling investment banks and insurance companies and transfer it to the backs of already debt-burdened citizens."

...In simple language, with cameras rolling, in broad daylight, the American public was robbed blind. This wasn't a magic show. There were no hidden tricks or sleights of hand. "We want this to be clean, we want this to be quick," demanded the Economic Czar. "We need to get this done quickly, and the cleaner the better," intoned President Bush, with the urgency of his "smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud" logic he used as a pretext to invade Iraq."

...Presidential candidate Barack Obama promised to "fully support" the plan and called on Congress to take "immediate action." Republican challenger John McCain said he would further review the proposal before passing judgment while Congressional leaders from both parties have signed on with their support.

Americans were told they would have to pay to rescue the very companies whose unregulated greed, fraud and recklessness had created the crisis in the first place. Considered nobodies by the authorities, the people had no voice and had no choice."

Anybody heard tell of the long dismissed REVOLUTION lately.

The following is from Indypendent.

Get Out the Pitchforks and Lighted Torches: Protest at Wall St. This Thursday at 4 p.m.
By John Tarleton

There is a polite debate going on Inside-the-Beltway as well as on the presidential campaign about how exactly to give away the $700 billion that Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson is demanding as a bailout for the bankers and financiers who presided over last week’s economic meltdown. What hasn’t been visible is the shock and outrage that much of the public is feeling over this proposed looting of the public treasury. That, hopefully, will change on Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. when protesters plan to gather (see announcement below) at Bowling Green Plaza, just south of Wall St.

With the world famous financial district as a prop and the eyes of the national and global media on us, those of us who live in New York can make visible the anger and concern so many people and we can do so at a strategic moment as Congress appears set to pass legislation by the end of the week before adjourning for the fall campaign season.

There is no central group organizing this event. But as the call to action that began circulating Monday afternoon noted, “Do whatever you can – make and distribute your own flyers, contact all your groups and friends. This crime is without precedence and we can’t be silent! What’s the point of waiting for someone else to organize a protest two months from now, long after the crime has been perpetrated?”


When: 4pm Thursday, September 25!
Where: Southern end of Bowling Green Park, in the plaza area
What to bring: Banners, noisemakers, signs, leaflets, etc.
Why: To say we won’t pay for the Wall Street bailout


This week the White House is going to try to push through the biggest
robbery in world history with nary a stitch of debate to bail out the Wall
Street bastards who created this economic apocalypse in the first place.

This is the financial equivalent of September 11. They think, just like
with the Patriot Act, they can use the shock to force through the
“therapy,” and we’ll just roll over!

Think about it: They said providing healthcare for 9 million children,
perhaps costing $6 billion a year, was too expensive, but there’s
evidently no sum of money large enough that will sate the Wall Street
pigs. If this passes, forget about any money for environmental protection,
to counter global warming, for education, for national healthcare, to
rebuild our decaying infrastructure, for alternative energy.

This is a historic moment. We need to act now while we can influence the
debate. Let’s demonstrate this Thursday at 4pm in Wall Street (see below).
We know the congressional Democrats will peep meekly before caving in like
they have on everything else, from FISA to the Iraq War.

With Bear Stearns, Fannie and Freddie, AIG, the money markets and now this
omnibus bailout, well in excess of $1 trillion will be distributed from
the poor, workers and middle class to the scum floating on top.

This whole mess gives lie to the free market. The Feds are propping up
stock prices, directing buyouts, subsidizing crooks and swindlers who
already made a killing off the mortgage bubble.

Worst of all, even before any details have been hashed out, The New York
Times admits that “Wall Street began looking for ways to profit from it,”
and its chief financial correspondent writes that the Bush administration
wants “Congress to give them a blank check to do whatever they want,
whatever the cost, with no one able to watch them closely.”

It’s socialism for the rich and dog-eat-dog capitalism for the rest of us.
Let’s take it to the heart of the financial district! Gather at 4pm, this
Thursday, Sept. 25 in the plaza at the southern end of Bowling Green Park,
which is the small triangular park that has the Wall Street bull at the
northern tip.

By having it later in the day we can show these thieves, as they leave
work, we’re not their suckers. Plus, anyone who can’t get off work can
still join us downtown as soon as they are able.

There is no agenda, no leaders, no organizing group, nothing to endorse
other than we’re not going to pay! Let the bondholders pay, let the banks
pay, let those who brought the “toxic” mortgage-backed securities pay!

On this list are many key organizers and activists. We have a huge amount of
connections – we all know many other organizations, activists and
community groups. We know P.R. folk who can quickly write up and
distribute press releases, those who can contact legal observers, media
activists who can spread the word, the videographers who can film the
event, etc.

Do whatever you can – make and distribute your own flyers, contact all
your groups and friends. This crime is without precedence and we can’t be
silent! What’s the point of waiting for someone else to organize a protest
two months from now, long after the crime has been perpetrated?

We have everything we need to create a large, peaceful, loud
demonstration. Millions of others must feel the same way; they just don’t
know what to do. Let’s take the lead and make this the start!


The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) met on Monday to discuss a $12 million deficit in the agency. The solution RIPTA found entailed service cuts.

The meeting was soon disrupted by over 20 Providence Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), who took over the already overcrowded conference room and the meeting itself. Led by Chelsea Miller, a Rhode Island College student, they protested against the changes RIPTA was planning to make (raise fares, cut services) and against its management, who SDS said did not represent the public.

Miller said that SDS has talked to hundreds of bus riders who say that “they have no voice in this process.”

The SDSers chanted slogans, spoke over board members and handed out fliers indicating their own agenda for the meeting. Eventually the protest forced the cancellation of a state transit authority board meeting.

Miller, was detained briefly in a police car until RIPTA officials told the police they didn’t want her prosecuted for disorderly conduct. RIPTA officials actually stated they were in agreement with many of the points being made by SDS.

Before she left, Miller ended up smoking cigarettes and talking with RIPTA General Manager Alfred J. Moscola in the parking lot outside the agency’s headquarters on Melrose Street. “Al and I agree on a whole lot of things,” Miller said as she was leaving. “We disagree on tactics.” It was Moscola who had called the police.

It is important to note that for Brown students, faculty and staff RIPTA service is available for free. It is notable that these students understand, however, cutting or shortening routes will acutely affect those who most need it, like senior citizens who can't drive and low-income Rhode Islanders who use it to travel to work each day.

The student group had appeared at a board meeting in July to demand, much less vigorously, that the board drop consideration of service cuts and eliminate a fare increase that took effect July 1.

SDS members said yesterday that they will hold their own public hearing on RIPTA’s situation on Sunday, Oct. 5, at the office of DARE (Direct Action for Rights and Equality), at 340 Lockwood St.

The following is from the Brown Daily Herald.

Angry SDS riders take over RIPTA meeting
By: Nandini Jayakrishna and Scott Lowenstein

Under the specters of public transit budget shortfalls, fare increases and fewer routes, Providence Students for a Democratic Society stormed into a monthly board meeting of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority Monday afternoon, causing the meeting to be adjourned early.

Amid the heat and smell of a conference room filled with too many people, more than 20 SDS members - most of whom were Brown students - took over the meeting at RIPTA's headquarters on Melrose Street. They protested fare hikes, proposed service cuts and RIPTA's power structure, which they said does not adequately represent the public. RIPTA is run by an eight-member Board of Directors appointed by Governor Donald Carcieri '65, said Chelsea Miller, a Rhode Island College student who led the protest.

The RIPTA board originally planned to discuss the fiscal year 2009 budget, among other items, before the protest made it impossible to continue with the regularly scheduled meeting.

As soon as the meeting was called into session, Miller started the protest by sitting down at the board table and placing a placard before her reading, "Chelsea Miller RIPTA Board Member." At the same time, SDS members handed out to board members and others in the room their own agenda for the meeting. The new agenda included motions such as "no cuts or freezes to staff wages and benefits" and "no route shortenings or eliminations."

At first, Board Chairman John Rupp told Miller that he appreciated her coming to the meeting and that she would be given time to make comments at the end. But when Miller continued to speak, Rupp told her she was showing disrespect to the board.

"I am trying to run a meeting and you are out of order," he told Miller.

Whenever Rupp tried to speak over Miller, the protestors used noisemakers and yelled slogans like "Let her speak," "This is what democracy looks like" and "Who's RIPTA? We are RIPTA," After letting Miller voice her group's concerns for a few minutes, Rupp said, "If it's your RIPTA, take the board seat," and adjourned the meeting, prompting cheers from the protestors.

Officer Al Lima of the Providence Police Department, who arrived at the scene after the meeting was adjourned, said the police weren't looking to arrest anyone but were there to "just keep peace."

RIPTA is funded by rider fares and government subsidies, such as the gas tax. Among the SDS's demands was a transfer of RIPTA's deficit this year to the R.I. General Assembly. SDS cited the deficit as $12.2 million, though a RIPTA press release Monday put the figure at $10.8 million, saying it has increased ad revenue and decreased costs to decrease the shortfall. Miller told the board that it should not "put the deficit on the backs of riders" by increasing fares and reducing routes.

She said of the roughly 200 RIPTA riders surveyed by SDS, most said they felt they had no power or voice in the way things were run at the authority.

The protestors also said the board meeting time - Mondays at noon - was inconvenient and inaccessible for most RIPTA riders, since many work nine-to-five jobs.

Miller invited the board members to attend a public meeting that SDS is organizing on Oct. 5, at the Direct Action for Rights and Equality (DARE) offices on Lockwood Street.

Organizers of the protest called it a success.

Mael Vizcarra '09, an SDS representative at the meeting, said the protest "gave a really clear statement to the board and hopefully to Rhode Island that RIPTA riders cannot allow an unrepresentative, undemocratic board to tell us what we have to do."

Still, RIPTA officials said it would be difficult to move forward after the protest.

"I don't have the opportunity to run a meeting," Rupp told The Herald when asked if the board meeting would be rescheduled. "We just lost a month," of progress, since meetings are monthly.

In the coming weeks, RIPTA plans to hold several public meetings in various communities to discuss proposed service reductions in the authority's 2009 budget. Rupp told The Herald that he did not plan on attending the Oct. 5 meeting organized by the group.

Michael Lewis, board member and director of transportation for RIPTA, said it was "unfortunate that the board meeting was allowed to be disrupted," but acknowledged that SDS had a valid message to convey.

"It was an effective protest," he said. "These are the very issues that we as a board are wrestling with."