Author Archive | DrLechter

$1.2 Trillion: The Real Cost of U.S. National Security

TomDispatchChristopher Hellman writes on TomDispatch.com:

So the big week is here as the federal budget heads for the Washington operating table. The question in the media will be: to shut or not to shut the government down — and whether that shutdown is likely to happen now, two weeks from now, or in the spring when raising the debt ceiling comes up for debate. In the meantime, the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives is intent on taking out fuel subsidies for the poor, federal funding for Planned Parenthood, money for National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System, and the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant that “supports state-based prenatal care programs and services for children with special needs,” among many other programs, but not (as New York Times columnist Gail Collins pointed out recently) the millions of dollars the U.S. Army sinks into its “relationship” with NASCAR.  The House voted down a proposal to eliminate that program a week ago by a wide margin.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

President Obama, Say The ‘D-Word’

Egyptian Protests

Photo: Muhammad Ghafari. Giza, Egypt (CC)

Mark LeVine writes on Al Jazeera:

It’s incredible, really. The president of the United States can’t bring himself to talk about democracy in the Middle East. He can dance around it, use euphemisms, throw out words like “freedom” and “tolerance” and “non-violent” and especially “reform,” but he can’t say the one word that really matters: democracy.

How did this happen? After all, in his famous 2009 Cairo speech to the Muslim world, Obama spoke the word loudly and clearly — at least once.

“The fourth issue that I will address is democracy,” he declared, before explaining that while the United States won’t impose its own system, it was committed to governments that “reflect the will of the people… I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Information Super-Sewer: The Internet Is Hijacked By Corporate Interests

World Wide WebInteresting article from Chris Hedges on Global Research earlier this year. Author Jaron Lanier is quoted in this article as saying, “Funding a civilization through advertising is like trying to get nutrition by connecting a tube from one’s anus to one’s mouth.” Chris Hedges writes:

The Internet has become one more tool hijacked by corporate interests to accelerate our cultural, political and economic decline. The great promise of the Internet, to open up dialogue, break down cultural barriers, promote democracy and unleash innovation and creativity, has been exposed as a scam. The Internet is dividing us into antagonistic clans, in which we chant the same slogans and hate the same enemies, while our creative work is handed for free to Web providers who use it as bait for advertising.

Ask journalists, photographers, musicians, cartoonists or artists what they think of the Web. Ask movie and film producers. Ask architects or engineers.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

“Manufacturing Dissent”: The Anti-Globalization Movement is Funded by the Corporate Elites

Anti-Globization Sign

Photo: Herder3 (CC)

Michel Chossudovsky writes on Global Research:

How is the process of manufacturing dissent achieved?

Essentially by “funding dissent”, namely by channelling financial resources from those who are the object of the protest movement to those who are involved in organizing the protest movement.

Co-optation is not limited to buying the favors of politicians. The economic elites — which control major foundations — also oversee the funding of numerous NGOs and civil society organizations, which historically have been involved in the protest movement against the established economic and social order. The programs of many NGOs and people’s movements rely heavily on both public as well as private funding agencies including the Ford, Rockefeller, McCarthy foundations, among others.

The anti-globalization movement is opposed to Wall Street and the Texas oil giants controlled by Rockefeller, et al. Yet the foundations and charities of Rockefeller et al will generously fund progressive anti-capitalist networks as well as environmentalists (opposed to Big Oil) with a view to ultimately overseeing and shaping their various activities.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Psywar: The Real Battlefield is the Mind (Video)

Via American Pendulum:
Psywar: The Real Battlefield is the Mind explores the evolution of propaganda and public relations in the United States, with an emphasis on the “elitist theory of democracy” and the relationship between war, propaganda and class.
Includes original interviews with a number of dissident scholars including Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Michael Parenti, Peter Phillips (“Project Censored”), John Stauber (“PR Watch”), Christopher Simpson (“The Science of Coercion”).
Continue Reading

Debt Dynamite Dominoes: The Coming Financial Catastrophe

By Andrew Gavin Marshall for the Centre for Research on Globalization:

Understanding the Nature of the Global Economic Crisis

The people have been lulled into a false sense of safety under the ruse of a perceived “economic recovery.” Unfortunately, what the majority of people think does not make it so, especially when the people making the key decisions think and act to the contrary. The sovereign debt crises that have been unfolding in the past couple years and more recently in Greece, are canaries in the coal mine for the rest of Western “civilization.” The crisis threatens to spread to Spain, Portugal and Ireland; like dominoes, one country after another will collapse into a debt and currency crisis, all the way to America.

In October 2008, the mainstream media and politicians of the Western world were warning of an impending depression if actions were not taken to quickly prevent this.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Fateful Geological Prize Called Haiti

Mineral Map of HaitiF. William Engdahl writes on Global Research:

Behind the smoke, rubble and unending drama of human tragedy in the hapless Caribbean country, a drama is in full play for control of what geophysicists believe may be one of the world’s richest zones for hydrocarbons-oil and gas outside the Middle East, possibly orders of magnitude greater than that of nearby Venezuela.

Haiti, and the larger island of Hispaniola of which it is a part, has the geological fate that it straddles one of the world’s most active geological zones, where the deepwater plates of three huge structures relentlessly rub against one another — the intersection of the North American, South American and Caribbean tectonic plates. Below the ocean and the waters of the Caribbean, these plates consist of an oceanic crust some 3 to 6 miles thick, floating atop an adjacent mantle. Haiti also lies at the edge of the region known as the Bermuda Triangle, a vast area in the Caribbean subject to bizarre and unexplained disturbances.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Living on Nothing but Food Stamps

JASON DEPARLE and ROBERT M. GEBELOFF write in the NY Times:
About six million Americans receiving food stamps report they have no other income, according to an analysis of state data collected by the New York Times. In declarations that states verify and the federal government audits, they described themselves as unemployed and receiving no cash aid — no welfare, no unemployment insurance, and no pensions, child support or disability pay. FoodStamps Their numbers were rising before the recession as tougher welfare laws made it harder for poor people to get cash aid, but they have soared by about 50 percent over the past two years. About one in 50 Americans now lives in a household with a reported income that consists of nothing but a food-stamp card.
Continue Reading

Is THIS How the Bank Bailout Money is Being Used? Where is the Bank Bailout Money Ultimately Going?

Who Picks up the Pieces in the Wake of the Financial Meltdown?

An internal war within the financial system is unfolding. Lehman Bros goes bankrupt, Merrill Lynch is bought up … Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are taken over by the government.

Bear Stearns collapses, America’s largest insurance company AIG’s share collapse from $22.19 on September 9 2008, to less than $4.00 at the close of trading on September 16, a decline of more than 80 percent of its value.

With the collapse in stock market values, listed companies experience a major collapse in the price of their shares, which immediately affects their creditworthiness and their ability to borrow and/ or to renegotiate debts ( which are based on the quoted value of their assets).

Bankruptcies and Foreclosures constitute a money-spinning operation for the financial giants. Among the companies on the verge of bankruptcy are some highly lucrative and profitable operations.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Landmark Decision: Massive Relief for Homeowners and Trouble for the Banks

A landmark ruling in a recent Kansas Supreme Court case may have given millions of distressed homeowners the legal wedge they need to avoid foreclosure. In Landmark National Bank v. Kesler, 2009 Kan. LEXIS 834, the Kansas Supreme Court held that a nominee company called MERS has no right or standing to bring an action for foreclosure.

MERS is an acronym for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, a private company that registers mortgages electronically and tracks changes in ownership. The significance of the holding is that if MERS has no standing to foreclose, then nobody has standing to foreclose — on 60 million mortgages. That is the number of American mortgages currently reported to be held by MERS.

Over half of all new U.S. residential mortgage loans are registered with MERS and recorded in its name. Holdings of the Kansas Supreme Court are not binding on the rest of the country, but they are dicta of which other courts take note; and the reasoning behind the decision is sound.… Read the rest

Continue Reading