Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Paradox Of Barack ......

By P.M. Carpenter

with I.U talkback

There has always existed an almost paradoxical tension within the Obama campaign. If the Illinois senator had attacked Hillary Clinton with the same ferocity that Hillary has applied against him, then, some have argued, this would have been a much different contest. He might well have smoked her in Ohio and Pennsylvania and she would already be political history. Still, had Obama gone after her as she has gone after him, he might well have smoked himself, because playing the old attack game would have violated the basic and (so far) successful premise of his "new politics" -- the very politics that could yet hold the seeds of its own destruction.

And if it does hold the seeds of its own destruction, it also, I feel certain, holds the seeds of our nation's destruction as well. Obama is right to recognize this and refuse to play the old game of "the politics of personal destruction" (a phrase ironically coined by Hillary, herself). It does not take a mental giant to play that game, especially with the money he has raised. He can afford the kind of researchers and hired guns it takes to obliterate his opponents. He has chosen not to take that road. Can his countrymen and women rise to his expectations and understand that the old politics are destroying this nation every bit as much as the wars we are fighting based on deception and fear-mongering?

It's a bit of a mind-bender -- and is likely to remain one.

...and let us not forget the inherent racial bigotry involved in this or any other national race, combined with misogyny. While any man, white or black, would be thought a bit of a bully if he lambasted Hillary as , perhaps, she well deserves, a black man attempting to smoke a white woman would be considered an animal by some. Those would be the same ones who would consider a white man blasting Hillary, especially, a Republican white man, as simply putting her in her place. How many of them are out there? Who knows? Far more, it seems than I was aware.

I, myself, have been absolutely flabbergasted during these last, almost, 8 years. Oh my, what I have learned about my fellow Americans. not much of it all that good, I'm afraid.

I honestly thought we were ready for the 21st century. I am no longer sure of that at all. Sometimes, I think we were not ready for the 20th century. We simply thought we were, as we fought two world wars to victory, after late entries into said wars, in the first half of the last century and thought ourselves to be heroes to all of Europe. Americans, each and every one, sacrificed for the two world wars, not just the soldiers, though their sacrifice was certainly not to be compared to the good folks at home...faithfully going to the movie theaters (an evening at the "movies' was a very cheap distraction back then) to catch the latest news from the front and to escape from the hard times at home ( high unemployment, gas rationing, food rationing, women taking over the men's jobs in the war plants (a la, Rossie the Riveter) and giving up their silk stockings and other such sacrifices, in addition to the worst sacrifices of all; their precious sons, brothers and husbands.

Obama hasn't been shy about attacking Hillary on the issues, when it comes to the few they actually and fundamentally disagree on. Such as the "McCain-Clinton gas tax gimmick," as he has rightly called it, which Hillary has somewhat melodramatically hung her hat on. "At best," he has charged on the stump, "this is a plan that would save you pennies a day for the summer months ... unless gas prices are raised to fill in the gap, which is just what happened in Illinois when we tried this a few years ago." In addition, "Unless you can magically impose a windfall-profits tax on oil companies overnight to pay for the holiday," Obama has said, "it could imperil federal highway funding, and cost Indiana more than 6,000 jobs." In a nutshell, Hillary's plan is "more about scoring points than solving problems."

(The very and super wealthy, the infamous 1 to 10%, don't care so much about the nation's infra-structure. This group of people are not so reliant on it as the underclasses are. Underclasses, mind you, now include a large part of the middle class, if not all of it.)

But his silence on other issues -- those of the "old politics" of personal but usually quite effective destruction -- raises an interesting question, which The Politico has pursued: "What arguments has Obama taken off the table, even though he thinks they are true?" The answers provide a peek not only into some real gold he could have mined but hasn't, but also a preview into what the GOP attack machine would have cranked up against Hillary had she landed the Democratic nomination.

Despite Hillary's claims to having been "fully vetted," there's a lot of material with which the public is little familiar, because the media have explored it so scantily. Some of it regards "old issues," reports The Politico, "like Hillary Clinton’s legal career, which includes lots of cases that never got much public attention even during the Whitewater era."

I wonder, whom does she thinks she is fooling?

Then there's the new, "like recent stories raising questions about the web of personal and financial associations around Bill Clinton. Since leaving the presidency, he has traveled the globe to exotic places and with sometimes exotic characters, raising money for projects such as his foundation and presidential library and making himself a very wealthy man." And some of this wealth, as Obama could have strenuously argued and the GOP most certainly would, has perhaps found its way into Clinton's campaign coffers.

Then, there is Bill's new found family, the Bushes. What's up with that? No, I don't buy Hillary's explanation of Bill and Poppy being members of the ex-president's club? That is pure horse-hockey. Bill made a big deal of wanting his ex-presidency to look a lot like Jimmy Carter's. Me thinks, "look like" is the operative words here, not "be like." How much time has Bill spent in Plains, Georgia as compared to the amount of time he has spent at the Bush compound in Maine and traveling with Poppy at Junior's request? Unbelievable, when one considers that the Bush family is not just any ex-president's family. It is the family of the current president. The current president is a war criminal, by his own admission; a president who has so damaged this country that we, the people, may never recover. The things which have been done in our name, and with our blood and treasure, during this administration are so immoral, if not amoral, we should not hope to recover intact; as the capital of an empire much like that of Rome. The cruel corporate empire must go and it shall. To the degree that our nation is dependent on it, we will be dealt a death blow as well.

As for guilt by association, Jeremiah Wright-style, "How about ... a trail of associations that includes golden oldies like [convicted-felon] Webb Hubbell?" Or Marc Rich, "the former fugitive financier who won a controversial pardon from Bill Clinton [and then] gave money to her first Senate campaign." Or Hillary's brother, Hugh Rodham, who "took large cash payments for trying to broker presidential pardons."

Guilt by association, could land a vast majority of the nation's upper-crust, and quite a few of the lower-crust, in prison. Of course, leading the way would be our nation's leaders; so-called representatives and dwellers in the so-called august, contemplative body, the senate.

And then there are the more proper political issues that Obama nevertheless has remained relatively -- almost curiously -- silent about. For instance health care and Hillary's lambasting of him "for not being sufficiently committed to universal" coverage. "Why is it, his team asks, that Democrats have done so little to advance a long-time progressive goal for the past 15 years? The answer has everything to do with Hillary Clinton’s misjudgments when she was leading the reform effort in 1993 and 1994."

What, I have often wondered, was the deal with the Clintons when it came to the environment and climate change? They had a VP who was quite up to date in these matters, and little was ever suggested, let alone done about the greatest threat to humankind, during their administration and even now? Hmmmm?

Furthermore, reports The Politico, "Most irritating of all to Obama partisans is what they see as her latest pose: that she is selflessly staying in the race despite the long odds against her because of devotion to the Democratic Party and the belief that she is a more appealing general election candidate." Yet what you won't hear Obama echoing on the stump is the "article of faith among most people" who surround him: "that the Clintons were a disaster for the party throughout the 1990s. When Bill Clinton came to town in 1993, Democrats were a congressional majority, with 258 seats in the House. When he left in 2001, they were a minority with 46 fewer seats. There were 30 Democratic governors when he arrived, 21 10 years later."

As I have heard, from friends who register as Democrats, Bill Clinton was the best Republican we have ever had as president. I'm not so sure. I think he and Ike were on par. Actually, Ike was probably better. At least, he warned us about the military/industrial complex.

Which brings us back to the Obama campaign's internal tension.

"The Obama side is frustrated with the news media," says The Politico, "for not carrying more of its argument." But, as is correctly noted -- and it's a big but -- "If he really wanted, Obama could generate all the coverage he wanted about Clinton’s past by leveling accusations in his own words." The media would have a field day, each accusation would be front-page news, and all us junkies would have an old-fashioned shootout to revel in.

Yet now he can't personally generate the coverage, even if he were so inclined. "Politically, he correctly believes that he would be called out as a hypocrite if he practiced the conventional art of attack politics after preaching against it."

Hence he is forced to limp -- not soar -- to the nomination. Still, that's something of a remarkable feat, considering Hillary's original "inevitability." How much of the new and rather genteel politics he'll be able to salvage in a longer campaign against John McCain and the GOP's brutality, however, will be fascinating to behold.

It certainly will. Especially, if the people who support Barack in the field or simply love their country, ordinary voters, in no way connected to the Obama campaign, begin demanding answers of Hillary and McCain, for the good of the country.

Please respond to the commentary by leaving comments below and sharing them with the BuzzFlash community. For personal questions or comments you can contact P.M. at


(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

House of Bush Bad Real Estate Buy

Back in late 2006, it was widely reported in the Latin American media that President Bush, or perhaps his old man, had bought a 100,000-acre farm in a remote area of Paraguay.

What struck people at the time was the choice of country. Paraguay, of course, has gained a certain Club Med status among the world's villains and criminal elements as the place to go when the law's on your tail. The country, ruled for six decades by the dictatorial and fascist Colorado Party of Gen. Alfredo Stroesser, an almost cartoon caricature of a Latin American dictator, has no extradition treaty with any nation.

That's why it has long harbored aging Nazis, bank robbers, and a string of ousted or retired Latin American dictators and their assistants over the years.

Given that President Bush, once he leaves office on January 20, 2009, will no longer have the diplomatic immunity conferred upon heads of state, or the Constitutional protection against indictment by domestic prosecutors, it makes sense that he would be looking for a safe haven from the long arm of the law.

After all, the guy is guilty of a huge laundry list of international crimes, from the Crime Against Peace and Conspiracy against Peace in the UN Charter, to Geneva Convention violations such as approval of torture of prisoners, collective punishment of civilians, the killing of children and child soldiers, the failure to protect occupied citizens, the use of banned weapons, etc., etc., and also of domestic crimes, ranging from political use of government employees, conspiracy, treason, lying to federal officials, defrauding Congress, etc.

No wonder he wants to do what Klaus Barbie, Josef Mengele, and Adolf Eichmann did, and hole up in Paraguay.

Only trouble is, Paraguay may not be such a safe haven for long.

Last month, a former Roman Catholic Bishop with leftist, populist tendencies, Fernando Lugo, surprised almost everyone in Paraguay, and no doubt President Bush, by winning the national presidential election, ousting the Colorado Party for the first time in 61 years. There is talk that among other things, Lugo is thinking of returning Paraguay to the community of nations, by signing some of those extradition agreements.

If he does that, Bush may be stuck having to hide behind his rump squad of Secret Service agents down at the Crawford Ranch, hoping they can keep the process servers from Brattleboro and Marlboro, VT, with their war crimes arrest warrants, at bay.

DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest book is "The Case for Impeachment" (St. Martin's Press, 2006 and now available in paperback edition). His work is available at

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

American Aviation Companies Sue Government Sue CIA, FBI over 9/11

NEW YORK: Aviation companies sued by the families of Sept. 11 victims for failing to safeguard air travel are in turn blaming federal investigators — arguing the Federal Aviation Administration was not alerted that al-Qaida was poised to launch terrorist attacks.

In court documents filed this week in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, aviation companies are seeking to force five FBI employees to provide testimony that may help defend against claims the companies share blame in the attacks.

"The aviation parties anticipate that the FBI witnesses' testimony will demonstrate that the FBI had information before Sept. 11 indicating that al-Qaida may have been about to launch terrorist attacks on civil aviation, which it did not timely pass along to the Federal Aviation Administration," lawyers wrote.

The airlines and aviation companies are defending themselves against lawsuits seeking billions of dollars in damages for injuries, fatalities, property damage and business losses related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack.

The companies in turn filed separate lawsuits against the CIA and the FBI last August to force terrorism investigators to tell whether the aviation industry was to blame for the Sept. 11 attacks.

The latest documents filed by the airlines, airport authorities, security companies and an aircraft manufacturer argue that if the FAA had known about an FBI investigation of Zacarias Moussaoui weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks, it could have amended security measures to guard against the type of terrorist attack Moussaoui was planning.

The aviation defendants said the FBI has refused to permit even a single deposition, although the agency does not deny that five potential witnesses in the case have already testified and made other public statements before the 9/11 Commission, the Moussaoui trial jury and the media.

In the lawsuit against the CIA, companies including American Airlines Inc., United Airlines Inc., US Airways Group Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc., Continental Airlines Inc. and The Boeing Co. are seeking to interview the deputy chief of the CIA's bin Laden unit in 2001, and an FBI special agent assigned to the unit at that time. The names of both are secret.

The lawyers said testimony from both agencies was critical to their defense.

"After weighing this evidence together with the criminal acts of the terrorists, the jury would be entitled to conclude that any act or omission by the aviation parties was so dwarfed by the other causal factors of the attacks that the aviation parties' conduct was not a substantial cause of the plaintiffs' injuries," the lawyers wrote.

U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia said last year that the request for depositions with FBI agents was rejected because the aviation companies didn't explain how FBI information before the attacks would relate to their defense efforts.

Garcia said much of the information was protected from disclosure, "because it involves classified national security information or matters protected by the law enforcement investigative privilege."

He also said it would be "extremely difficult and burdensome" to separate the classified information from the non-classified information and risk that some classified materials may be inadvertently disclosed.

Yusill Scribner, a spokeswoman for government lawyers in the case, said there was no comment Wednesday.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

What's This? A Democratic Grown-up?

DNC chairman under Bill Clinton: Unite behind Obama

By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer

A leader of the Democratic Party under Bill Clinton has switched his allegiance to Barack Obama and is encouraging fellow Democrats to "heal the rift in our party" and unite behind the Illinois senator.

Joe Andrew, who was Democratic National Committee chairman from 1999-2001, planned a news conference Thursday in his hometown of Indianapolis to urge other Hoosiers to support Obama in Tuesday's primary, perhaps the most important contest left in the White House race. He also has written a lengthy letter explaining his decision that he plans to send to other superdelegates.

"I am convinced that the primary process has devolved to the point that it's now bad for the Democratic Party," Andrew said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

Bill Clinton appointed Andrew chairman of the DNC near the end of his presidency, and Andrew endorsed the former first lady last year on the day she declared her candidacy for the White House.

Andrew said in his letter that he is switching his support because "a vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote to continue this process, and a vote to continue this process is a vote that assists (Republican) John McCain."

"While I was hopeful that a long, contested primary season would invigorate our party, the polls show that the tone and temperature of the race is now hurting us," Andrew wrote. "John McCain, without doing much of anything, is now competitive against both of our remaining candidates. We are doing his work for him and distracting Americans from the issues that really affect all of our lives."

Andrew said the Obama campaign never asked him to switch his support, but he decided to do so after watching Obama's handling of two issues in recent days. He said Obama took the principled stand in opposing a summer gas tax holiday that both Clinton and McCain supported, even though it would have been easier politically to back it. And he said he was impressed with Obama's handling of the controversy surrounding his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Wright's outspoken criticisms of the United States have threatened Obama's candidacy. Obama initially refused to denounce his former pastor, but he did so this week after Wright suggested that Obama secretly agrees with him.

"He has shown such mettle under fire," Andrew said in the interview. "The Jeremiah Wright controversy just reconfirmed for me, just as the gas tax controversy confirmed for me, that he is the right candidate for our party."

Andrew's decision puts Obama closer to closing Clinton's superdelegate lead. Clinton had a big advantage among superdelegates, many of whom like Andrews have ties to the Clintons and backed her candidacy early on. But most of the superdelegates taking sides recently have gone for Obama, who has won more state contests.

Obama now trails her by just 19 superdelegates, 244-263. This week, he picked up eight superdelegates while she netted three.

Superdelegates are nearly 800 elected leaders and Democratic Party officials who aren't bound by the outcome of state contests and can cast their ballot for any candidate at the national convention. They are especially valuable in this race since neither Clinton nor Obama can win enough pledged delegates to secure the nomination through state-by-state elections.

Obama now leads in the delegate count overall 1732.5 to 1597.5 for Clinton. A candidate needs 2,025 delegates to win the nomination. About 230 superdelegates remain undecided, and about 60 more will be selected at state party conventions and meetings throughout the spring.

Other party leaders are encouraging superdelegates to pick a side by late June to prevent the fight from going to the national convention in August. Andrews wrote in his letter that he is calling for "fellow superdelegates across the nation to heal the rift in our party and unite behind Barack Obama."

It's the second endorsement for Obama this week that could be influential in Indiana. Rep. Baron Hill, who represents a crucial swing district in the state, endorsed Obama on Wednesday. Clinton has the backing of Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, who has a vast organization in the state and has been campaigning aggressively with the former first lady.

Obama and Clinton are running close in Indiana and both need a victory there — Obama to help rebound from a loss to Clinton in Pennsylvania and to prove he can win Midwestern voters and Clinton so she can overcome Obama's lead in the race overall.


On the Net:

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What's Good For G.M Is Good For America

So, true. The corporate mind only understands one thing and that is $ and only the loss of $ can change the corporate mind.

General Motors Corp. reported Wednesday a net loss of $3.25 billion, or $5.74 per share, in the first quarter of 2008, as revenue was down slightly on business in North America.

In the comparable quarter a year ago, the Detroit automaker (NYSE: GM) posted net income of $62 billion, or 11 cents per share.

GM's total revenue for the first quarter of 2008 was $42.7 billion, down slightly from $43.4 billion in the year-ago quarter primarily due to lower North America automotive and financial services and insurance revenues. Automotive revenues outside of North America were up over 20 percent, with strong growth in China, Brazil, Russia and India.

Minus charges, GM posted an adjusted net loss of $350 million, or 62 cents per share in the period, compared to an adjusted net loss from continuing operations of $10 million, or 1 cent per share, in the first quarter of 2007.

The company said special items totaled $2.9 billion.

GM employs about 2,000 at its Moraine assembly plant.

E-mail Call (937) 528-4400

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Howard Dean: Party Elders Will Likely Step In

Howard Dean: Party Elders All Agree Race Shouldn't Go To Convention

Howard Dean, on ABC this morning, makes it absolutely clear that he and all the other "party elders" want the race to end well in advance of the convention:

"The rules say [superdelegates] can make up their mind in August if they want to, but there are a lot of Democrats myself included, Senator Reid, Speaker Pelosi, and many many others who understand that we want the voters to have their say, that's over on June 3rd, and then the unpledged delegates really have got to make up their mind.

"None of the so-called party elders that I've talked to thought that this should go to the convention and I agree with that."

This is likely to provoke more anger from Hillary's major supporters, who have expressed fury at Dean for statements like this, which they characterize as meddling in the Dem primary.

Either way, Dean appears to be suggesting that it's likely that party elders will step in after the voting and try to engineer a movement of super-dels to the perceived winner.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Father Of LSD-25 Dies at 102 YOA

His accidental experience of 'an extremely stimulated imagination' caused by the drug led to a lifetime of experiments and initiated the psychedelic generation.
By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
April 30, 2008
Albert Hofmann, the Swiss chemist who discovered LSD and thereby gave the psychedelic generation the pharmaceutical vehicle to turn on, tune in and drop out, has died. He was 102.

Hofmann died Tuesday morning at his home in Basel, Switzerland, of a heart attack, according to Rick Doblin, the head of MAPS, the Multidisciplinary Assn. for Psychedelic Studies.

Hofmann also identified and synthesized the active ingredients of peyote mushrooms and a Mexican psychoactive plant called ololiuqui and developed at least three related, non-psychoactive compounds that became widely used in medicine.

Those other feats would have been little remembered, however, had he not accidentally gotten a trace amount of an experimental compound called lysergic acid diethylamide on his fingertips and taken the world's first acid trip.

Hofmann was a talented synthetic chemist working in the Basel research center of Sandoz Laboratories -- now Novartis -- in the 1930s when he began studying the chemistry of ergot, the common name for a fungus that grows on rye, barley and certain other plants. Although ergot is poisonous, midwives had used a crude extract for centuries to induce labor in women.

Twenty years earlier, researchers had isolated ergotamine, the first ergot alkaloid isolated in pure form, and the compound had become widely used for halting bleeding after childbirth and as a treatment for migraine headaches.

In the early 1930s, American researchers had identified the primary active ingredient of ergot, a chemical called lysergic acid. Hofmann devised a technique to make a series of derivatives of lysergic acid called amides and began systematically looking for medically useful compounds.

The 25th compound he synthesized, in 1938, was lysergic acid diethylamide (in German, lyserg-saure-diathylamid), or LSD-25. Because this compound had a chemical structure similar to an existing drug called Coramine, Hofmann had hoped that it would be a stimulant for the respiratory and circulatory systems.

But testing in experimental animals showed no significant activity for the drug -- although the animals were observed to become restless after its administration -- and it was abandoned.

During this period, Hofmann synthesized at least three amides that became drugs: Methergine, used to halt bleeding after birth; Hydergine, which improves circulation in the limbs and cerebral function in the elderly; and Dihydergot, used to stabilize circulation and blood pressure.

Prompted by what Hofmann later described as a "peculiar presentiment" that LSD-25 might have properties other than those established in the first investigations, he decided to look at it again.

On Friday afternoon, April 16, 1943, Hofmann had just completed synthesizing a new batch when, he subsequently wrote to his supervisor, "I was forced to interrupt my work in the laboratory in the middle of the afternoon and proceed home, being affected by a remarkable restlessness, combined with slight dizziness.

"At home, I lay down and sank into a not-unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours, this condition faded away."

Hofmann suspected that the state had been caused by something in the lab. In an interview on his 100th birthday, he said, "I didn't know what caused it, but I knew that it was important."

After breathing the solvents he had used produced no effect, Hofmann suspected that the synthetic drug was the source. "LSD spoke to me," he said. "He came to me and said, 'You must find me.' He told me, 'Don't give me to the pharmacologist, he won't find anything.' "

The next Monday, he took what he considered to be an extremely small dose of LSD, so small that a similar dose of even the most powerful toxin known at the time would have had little or no effect. He had planned to gradually increase the dosage but instead was surprised to encounter the first bad acid trip.

Feeling bad, he asked his laboratory assistant to accompany him home on his bicycle, no cars being available because of World War II restrictions. During the trip, "I had the feeling that I could not move from the spot. I was cycling, cycling, but the time seemed to stand still."

By the time they reached his home, its furnishings had transformed themselves into terrifying objects.

"Everything in the room spun around, and the familiar objects and pieces of furniture assumed grotesque, threatening forms," he wrote in his autobiography, "LSD: My Problem Child." "They were in constant motion, animated, as if driven by an inner restlessness. The lady next door [became] a malevolent, insidious witch with a colored mask."

Hofmann thought he was dying and sent for a doctor, but the physician could find nothing wrong.

Next »

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

How To Spend Your Rebate Check

Fantastic, Mark.

Damned Good Idea. Let's not forget the local Farmer's Market.

As you may have heard, the Administration said each of us would get a rebate check to stimulate the economy. If we spend that money at Wal-Mart, all the money will go to China.

If we spend it on gasoline it will go to the Arabs, if we purchase a computer it will go to India, if we purchase fruit and vegetables it will go to Mexico, Honduras, Chile, Argentina and Guatemala, if we purchase a good car it will go to Japan, if we purchase useless crap it will go to Taiwan and India and none of it will help the American economy.

We need to keep that money here in America. The only way to keep that money here at home is to spend it at garage and yard sales, since those are the only businesses still in the U.S.

Marc Perkel

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

A Secret Israel Must Face

Israel Is Suppressing a Secret It Must Face

How did a Jewish state founded 60 years ago end up throwing filth at cowering Palestinians?

by Johann Hari

When you hit your 60th birthday, most of you will guzzle down your hormone replacement therapy with a glass of champagne and wonder if you have become everything you dreamed of in your youth. In a few weeks, the state of Israel is going to have that hangover.

She will look in the mirror and think — I have a sore back, rickety knees and a gun at my waist, but I’m still standing. Yet somewhere, she will know she is suppressing an old secret she has to face. I would love to be able to crash the birthday party with words of reassurance. Israel has given us great novelists like Amos Oz and A.B. Yehoshua, great film-makers like Joseph Cedar, great scientific research into Alzheimer’s, and great dissident journalists like Amira Hass, Tom Segev and Gideon Levy to expose her own crimes.

She has provided the one lonely spot in the Middle East where gay people are not hounded and hanged, and where women can approach equality.

But I can’t do it. Whenever I try to mouth these words, a remembered smell fills my nostrils. It is the smell of shit. Across the occupied West Bank, raw untreated sewage is pumped every day out of the Jewish settlements, along large metal pipes, straight onto Palestinian land. From there, it can enter the groundwater and the reservoirs, and become a poison.

Standing near one of these long, stinking brown-and-yellow rivers of waste recently, the local chief medical officer, Dr Bassam Said Nadi, explained to me: “Recently there were very heavy rains, and the shit started to flow into the reservoir that provides water for this whole area. I knew that if we didn’t act, people would die. We had to alert everyone not to drink the water for over a week, and distribute bottles. We were lucky it was spotted. Next time…” He shook his head in fear. This is no freak: a 2004 report by Friends of the Earth found that only six per cent of Israeli settlements adequately treat their sewage.

Meanwhile, in order to punish the population of Gaza for voting “the wrong way”, the Israeli army are not allowing past the checkpoints any replacements for the pipes and cement needed to keep the sewage system working. The result? Vast stagnant pools of waste are being held within fragile dykes across the strip, and rotting. Last March, one of them burst, drowning a nine-month-old baby and his elderly grandmother in a tsunami of human waste. The Centre on Housing Rights warns that one heavy rainfall could send 1.5m cubic metres of faeces flowing all over Gaza, causing “a humanitarian and environmental disaster of epic proportions”.

So how did it come to this? How did a Jewish state founded 60 years ago with a promise to be “a light unto the nations” end up flinging its filth at a cowering Palestinian population?

The beginnings of an answer lie in the secret Israel has known, and suppressed, all these years. Even now, can we describe what happened 60 years ago honestly and unhysterically? The Jews who arrived in Palestine throughout the twentieth century did not come because they were cruel people who wanted to snuffle out Arabs to persecute. No: they came because they were running for their lives from a genocidal European anti-Semitism that was soon to slaughter six million of their sisters and their sons.

They convinced themselves that Palestine was “a land without people for a people without land”. I desperately wish this dream had been true. You can see traces of what might have been in Tel Aviv, a city that really was built on empty sand dunes. But most of Palestine was not empty. It was already inhabited by people who loved the land, and saw it as theirs. They were completely innocent of the long, hellish crimes against the Jews.

When it became clear these Palestinians would not welcome becoming a minority in somebody else’s country, darker plans were drawn up. Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, wrote in 1937: “The Arabs will have to go, but one needs an opportune moment for making it happen, such as a war.”

So, for when the moment arrived, he helped draw up Plan Dalit. It was — as Israeli historian Ilan Pappe puts it — “a detailed description of the methods to be used to forcibly evict the people: large-scale intimidation; and laying siege to and bombarding population centres”. In 1948, before the Arab armies invaded, this began to be implemented: some 800,000 people were ethnically cleansed, and Israel was built on the ruins. The people who ask angrily why the Palestinians keep longing for their old land should imagine an English version of this story. How would we react if the 30m stateless, persecuted Kurds in the world sent armies and settlers into this country to seize everything in England below Leeds, and swiftly established a free Kurdistan from which we were expelled? Wouldn’t we long forever for our children to return to Cornwall and Devon and London? Would it take us only 40 years to compromise and offer to settle for just 22 per cent of what we had?

If we are not going to be endlessly banging our heads against history, the Middle East needs to excavate 1948, and seek a solution. Any peace deal — even one where Israel dismantled the wall and agreed to return to the 1967 borders — tends to crumple on this issue. The Israelis say: if we let all three million come back, we will be outnumbered by Palestinians even within the 1967 borders, so Israel would be voted out of existence. But the Palestinians reply: if we don’t have an acknowledgement of the Naqba (catastrophe), and our right under international law to the land our grandfathers fled, how can we move on?

It seemed like an intractable problem — until, two years ago, the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research conducted the first study of the Palestinian Diaspora’s desires. They found that only 10 per cent — around 300,000 people — want to return to Israel proper. Israel can accept that many (and compensate the rest) without even enduring much pain. But there has always been a strain of Israeli society that preferred violently setting its own borders, on its own terms, to talk and compromise. This weekend, the elected Hamas government offered a six-month truce that could have led to talks. The Israeli government responded within hours by blowing up a senior Hamas leader and killing a 14-year-old girl.

Perhaps Hamas’ proposals are a con; perhaps all the Arab states are lying too when they offer Israel full recognition in exchange for a roll-back to the 1967 borders; but isn’t it a good idea to find out? Israel, as she gazes at her grey hairs and discreetly ignores the smell of her own stale shit pumped across Palestine, needs to ask what kind of country she wants to be in the next 60 years.

–Johann Hari


(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

PTSD Causes Old Vets To Seek Help

The War Within: Experts Say Millions Could Seek Treatment For Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

by Mike Fitzgerald

Forget what they say about time healing all wounds.

More than 57 years have passed since Phil Heath, 76, of Granite City, served with the Marine Corps in Korea. But he can’t shake the image of the first Marine he saw die in combat.

It was April 24, 1951. Heath’s company was trapped on a hill, defending it from communist attackers.

Fallen Marines covered the hillside, and stretchers were scarce. So Heath and his comrades used an old tarp to carry away the soldier’s body, he said.

“But in order to put him in there, I had to pick his intestines up off the ground and put them on him,” said Heath, a retired steel mill supervisor. “So his intestines were just laying open.”

Neither can Heath forget the last Marine he saw die five months later.

That was Sept. 15, 1951. Promoted by then to platoon leader, Heath was fighting to survive on an outpost nicknamed “Starvation Hill.” He had taken cover in a foxhole when Chinese mortar shells began raining down on his unit.”And a young 18-year-old boy in my platoon had the left side of his head blown off,” Heath said, his voice quavering. “I’ll never get over it, you know.”

‘People who deserve help’

Heath is one of hundreds of thousands of aged veterans seeking help for the nightmares, flashbacks and anxiety they have battled for decades. They are spurred by a growing public awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) wrought by tens of thousands of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans seeking help.

And experts predict millions more World War II, Korea and Vietnam veterans will join them.

The implications for the Department of Veterans Affairs are staggering: There are 6 million World War II veterans, 4.1 million Korean War veterans and 8.1 million Vietnam-era veterans.

Vietnam veterans already receive 92 percent of the agency’s PTSD care, VA figures show. The percentage of male Vietnam veterans age 65 and older is projected to increase from 26 percent of the male veteran population in 1990 to more than 40 percent by 2017, the VA estimates.

In addition to seeking VA help, these aging veterans are filing claims for disability payments for their PTSD and other injuries suffered in war.

World War II veteran Stanley Gibson, 84, of St. Louis, served in the Army’s 99th Infantry Division during the Battle of the Bulge during WWII.

A light machine-gunner, Gibson spent two weeks — from Dec. 16, 1944, to Jan. 4, 1945 — eluding capture behind enemy lines after German tanks overwhelmed his unit.

Three years ago, Gibson, who grew up on a Southern Illinois farm, received a 100 percent disability rating from the VA — 60 percent for frostbite on his feet, 30 percent for PTSD and 10 percent for his age.

But the $2,500 VA check he gets each month doesn’t erase Gibson’s troubling memories of the two German soldiers he shot dead at close range with a .45-caliber pistol when they discovered him hiding in a Belgian farm shed.

Nor does it erase memories of another German soldier Gibson shot and killed as the soldier ran away.

“I think about it quite a bit. You don’t shoot a guy in the back,” Gibson said. “But when you get in combat, you throw the book away.”

Until a few years ago, when he began receiving treatment for PTSD, Gibson dreaded going to bed.

“I didn’t like to sleep because sleep would be dreams,” Gibson said. “And it’s a wonder Vyrlene (his wife) would still be alive because I would have these nightmares. I mean real bad dreams about the war.”

Overall, the influx of so many older veterans into the VA system is a positive trend for society, said Paula Schnurr, a psychologist and deputy executive director of the VA’s National Center for PTSD in White River Junction, Vt.

“What it means is that people who deserve our help, at least some of them, are finally getting it,” she said.

Schnurr began studying PTSD among World War II and Korean War veterans nearly two decades ago.

“Time heals most wounds if you look at the data, meaning that most people who get traumatized won’t develop PTSD,” she said. “However, all kinds of time are not equivalent.”

That is especially true for the veterans who adopted a workaholic lifestyle and decided to get on with their lives once they came home, Schnurr said.

“It helped them cope,” she said.

For older combat veterans, PTSD becomes a problem when one or a combination of “stressors” occur: retirement, the death of a spouse, serious illness, even attendance at a military reunion, Schnurr said.

“It’s the right combination of elements lining up together,” she said.

‘I’m not alone’

Heath spent more than 50 years trying to forget.

Burying himself in his work at the steel mill. Earning a business management degree at Washington University. Raising four kids. Building houses as a side business.

Always keeping busy.

“They say when you come back from war, you either become an alcoholic or workaholic,” Heath said. “I was a workaholic.”

Then seven years ago, everything fell apart.

Heath had retired from the steel mill after a corporate buyout and found himself with a lot of time on his hands.

In July 2001, a good friend and neighbor passed away. Over the next few months, Heath lost his brother, then another good friend, then other friends and relatives.

Then his daughter, Deborah, died at age 46 after suffering a brain aneurysm.

“I lost about 10 people, and it just closed in,” Heath said. “And I went to pieces.”

Heath grew depressed. He stopped eating, shedding 25 pounds from his already spare frame.

“I lost interest in almost everything,” he said.

With little to occupy his time, memories of Korea besieged him.

“My wife would sometimes say, ‘Why do you get so angry about things?’” Heath said. “I said, ‘I don’t know. I guess I just have a temper.’”

Then four years ago, Heath joined a weekly support group for Korean War veterans at Jefferson Barracks VA Hospital in St. Louis County. There, he has found comfort in the group counseling and camaraderie.

“I know I’m not alone in this business,” he said.

Sam Brown, 70, depends on the support group to make it from one week to the next.

Brown, a St. Louis native, lied about his age and joined the Marines at age 14 to fight communists in Korea. Boot camp was in San Diego. Brown remembers showing up in Korea ready to prove himself in battle.

“I thought I was a bad ass,” Brown said. “I really did. I thought nothing was going to happen to me.”

Brown nearly died on Easter Sunday 1953, after 11 months and 23 days in Korea. His platoon attacked a hill held by the Chinese. A grenade blast shredded Brown’s chest, winning him a Purple Heart and sending him home.

Brown still broods about the death of his best friend, a Japanese-American named “Musaki” — Brown never learned his first name, something he regrets — who was killed a few months earlier while they attacked a Chinese-held hill.

“We were together nine months when he got hit,” he said. “He just got too far ahead of me. I kept calling to him, ‘Slow down, slow down.’”

A pair of Chinese soldiers rushed at Musaki, killing him with their bayonets, Brown said.

Brown paused for a few moments to think about his long-dead friend.

“He made me brave,” he said.

Brown took immediate vengeance on the soldiers with his M1 rifle.

“And I didn’t have no regret,” he said. “None whatsoever. … But they were fighting for what they believed in. They had families just like we had families. Now I care. And that’s part of healing.”

Back home in St. Louis, Brown finished high school, then found work as a welder and as a railroad engineer.

He blamed the break-up of his two marriages on his PTSD. Undiagnosed for years, his illness made him hard to live with, and given to rages, he said.

“And I always say I need somebody to stop this thing that’s going on in my head,” he said. “I just wish somebody could stop what’s going on in my head. It’s like my head is talking to me.”

Brown could never convince his second wife his problems weren’t his imagination. His two daughters are split regarding whether he suffers from PTSD, he said.

“My oldest daughter, she’s like her mom. … ‘It’s all in the imagination,’” Brown said.

His other daughter, 13, takes his symptoms seriously, he said.

“And sometimes I have flashbacks, and I come out of that bedroom and I’ve hit the floor,” Brown said. “And the first thing she does is grab me. She tells me ‘Everything’s going to be OK, Daddy.’ That’s what she does.”

No quick fix

Dr. Robert Anderson, director of the PTSD clinic for older veterans at Jefferson Barracks, cautioned against anyone expecting a quick or permanent fix.

“These are the things that we deal with in life, and there are limits to what we can do,” said Anderson, a psychiatrist who has worked with Vietnam veterans since 1972.

The problem for many older veterans is their realization of all they lost to war. “You lost buddies. You lost your youth,” Anderson said. “You lost the perspective you had before.”

Today, many Vietnam veterans are coming forward for the first time to seek treatment because they realized their lives aren’t working, Anderson said.

“If you’re 30 you think, ‘OK, I still have a lot of time and I can fix this,’” Anderson said. “If you’re 45, you start to look back and say, ‘It isn’t getting fixed.’”

Nothing seemed to be working for Robert Hawkins, of St. Louis, until he showed up at the Jefferson Barracks clinic several years ago.

Hawkins, 64, served in a U.S. Navy Riverine squadron in 1970. Stationed aboard a heavily armed gunboat, Hawkins took part in combat patrols up and down Vietnam’s treacherous waterways.

His memories of combat and the deaths of his friends haunted him ever since he returned home, stoking an explosive rage.

“I didn’t understand it because I thought, ‘There’s nothing wrong with me. I have a good job. I have a family. There are guys much worse off than me,’” he said.

It came to a head one morning at the mortgage company he once operated in St. Louis when he tried to make some phone calls but couldn’t. He has since closed the mortgage company and is on disability.

“Because I had intrusive thoughts and flashbacks all day, I couldn’t pick up the hand holding a phone to make a call,” he said.

After several years in the therapy group Anderson runs, Hawkins said he now understands his rage “comes from pain and unresolved anger at the pain and the loss.”

“So by addressing those issues and grieving those issues, a funny thing happens: That anger goes away,” he said.

Many older veterans with PTSD forge strong bonds at their VA-sponsored group sessions.

Heath and Brown first met in 2004 at the support group. Brown had already been showing up for several months when Heath dropped in.

“And there was an empty chair, so I sat by the Marine Corps flag,” Heath said.

Brown grabbed the chair next to him.

“And that was it,” Heath said. “We got to talking, and we found out we were former Marines. And we just took it from there.”

Sometimes at group meetings, Brown said, when he’s feeling low, “Phil will tell me, ‘I don’t want you looking down,’” Brown said. “‘I want you to sit up straight.’”

Heath and Brown talk often on the phone. Their friendship helps each manage the thoughts and memories that weigh on them.

For Heath, it’s the guilt he feels for coming home alive.

“When you get over there, all you want to do is survive,” Heath said. “And you want your friends to survive. And you get a guilt complex when you come back. Because you had friends who were 18, 19, 20 years old, who were killed.”

When night falls, Brown feels anxious — a legacy of the night attacks he survived as an infantryman.

“So I leave the lights on every night,” he said.

But light can’t block the memories. One stands out.

It was 1952. Brown and his platoon were crammed in the back of a truck, part of a convoy speeding to the battle front.

Their truck passed a tiny Korean boy sitting near the road.

“Yeah, he couldn’t be no more than 2 or 3 years old,” Brown said, his voice catching, his face a mask of regret.

Next to the boy lay the bloated body of his mother.

“And he was just sitting there with his hands on her. And there was nothing we could do. Nothing,” Brown said. “That’s why wars are so horrible.”

Contact reporter Mike Fitzgerald at or 239-2533.

© 2007 Belleville News-Democrat

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

LA Times: Did U.S, Photoshop Syria Nuke Site

Either they just don't care anymore or they are getting extremely sloppy...kind of reminds me of the Niger forgeries.

SYRIA: More questions about alleged nuclear site

Professor William Beeman at the University of Minnesota passed along a note today from "a colleague with a U.S. security clearance" about the mysterious Syrian site targeted in a Sept. 6 Israeli air-strike.

The note raises more questions about the evidence shown last week by U.S. intelligence officials to lawmakers in the House and Senate.

The author of the note pinpoints irregularities about the photographs. Beeman's source alleges that the CIA "enhanced" some of the images. For example he cites this image:


The lower part of the building, the annex, and the windows pointing south appear much sharper than the rest of the photo, suggesting that they were digitally improved.

The author points to more questions about the photographs of the Syrian site.

  1. Satellite photos of the alleged reactor building show no air defenses or anti-aircraft batteries such as the ones found around the Natanz nuclear site in central Iran.
  2. The satellite images do not show any military checkpoints on roads near the building.
  3. Where are the power lines? The photos show neither electricity lines or substations.
  4. Here is a link to a photo of the North Korean facility that the Syrian site was based on. Look at all the buildings surrounding it. The Syrian site was just one building.

Now compare this photograph of the site:


To this one:


The site looks like a rectangle in the first shot, but more like a square in the second shot. Huh?

Thanks to Beeman, a professor of anthropology and Middle East studies as well as a member of the blogosphere, for allowing us to share his colleague's comments.

— Borzou Daragahi in Amman, Jordan

P.S. The Los Angeles Times issues a free daily newsletter with the latest headlines from the Middle East, the war in Iraq and the frictions between the West and Islam. You can subscribe by registering at the website here, logging in here and clicking on the World: Mideast newsletter box here.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Hillary Supporter Seems Connected With Wright's National Press Club Rant.

By Errol Louis
NY Daily News

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright couldn't have done more damage to Barack Obama's campaign if he had tried. And you have to wonder if that's just what one friend of Wright wanted.

Shortly before he rose to deliver his rambling, angry, sarcastic remarks at the National Press Club Monday, Wright sat next to, and chatted with, Barbara Reynolds.

A former editorial board member at USA Today, she runs something called Reynolds News Services and teaches ministry at the Howard University School of Divinity. (She is an ordained minister).

It also turns out that Reynolds - introduced Monday as a member of the National Press Club "who organized" the event - is an enthusiastic Hillary Clinton supporter.

On a blog linked to her Web site- Reynolds said in a February post: "My vote for Hillary in the Maryland primary was my way of saying thank you" to Clinton and her husband for the successes of Bill Clinton's presidency.

The same post criticized Obama's "Audacity of Hope" theme: "Hope by definition is not based on facts," wrote Reynolds. It is an emotional expectation. Things hoped for may or may not come. But help based on experience trumps hope every time."

In another blog entry, Reynolds gives an ever-sharper critique of Obama: "It is a sad testimony that to protect his credentials as a unifier above the fray, the senator is fueling the media characterization that Rev. Dr. Wright is some retiring old uncle in the church basement."

I don't know if Reynolds' eagerness to help Wright stage a disastrous news conference with the national media was a way of trying to help Clinton - my queries to Reynolds by phone and e-mail weren't returned yesterday - but it's safe to say she didn't see any conflict between promoting Wright and supporting Clinton.

It's hard to exaggerate how bad the actual news conference was. Wright, steeped in an honorable, fiery tradition of Bible-based social criticism, cheapened his arguments and his movement by mugging for the cameras, rolling his eyes, heaping scorn on his critics and acting as if nobody in the room was learned enough to ask him a question.

Wright has, unquestionably, been caricatured and vilified unfairly. The feeding programs, prison outreach and other social services he has built over more than 30 years are commendable, and his reading of the Judeo-Christian tradition as an epic story of people trying to escape slavery is far more right than wrong - and not something to be caricatured or compressed into a 10-second sound bite.

But Wright should have known - and his friend and ally Reynolds, a media professional, surely knew - that bickering with the press can only harm Wright and, by extension, Obama.

I hope that wasn't their goal.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

American Collapse: Accelerating

The collapse of the United States is accelerating: Oil in Euros vs. US


In the last eight years implementing the plans for the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) designed "to promote American global leadership" has backfired.

To accomplish PNAC's goals, all threats needed to be eliminated. From the onset, the United Sates earmarked two countries as mortal enemies: Venezuela and Iran. With Venezuela, it is well documented that the CIA attempted to overthrow the democratically elected government of Chavez. And with Iran, the United States continues to use it as a scapegoat for its failures in Iraq. These cold war tactics however are proving to be US's undoing.

The United States is hemorrhaging from every orifice, and oil prices can be used to measure the rapidity of its demise.

In April 2006, Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez launched "a bid to transform the global politics of oil by seeking a deal with consumer countries which would lock in a price of $50 a barrel." At the time, this proposed price was $15 a barrel below global market levels, and what must surely seems to be a steal at the current $118 a barrel.

How critical was the decision not to take Chavez's proposal seriously? Just two short years later, in April 2008, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran is stating that oil at current levels is too cheap. That's calling a 136% increase in price not enough, and most analysis and the market seem to agree. So what has changed in that time? The perceived value of the US dollar of course.

US dollar versus euro

In 1999 the euro was introduced as an accounting currency (travelers' checks, electronic transfers, banking, etc.) and then launched as physical coins and banknotes on 1 January 2002. The euro replaced the former European Currency Unit (ECU) at a ratio of 1:1. However its value quickly began to drop, reaching a low of 0.8252 relative to the US dollar on 26 October 2000. This proved to be a solid support level for the next two years, and in 2002 the euro began its appreciation reaching a high of 1.60 as of 23 April 2008.

Aside from consolidating power for the new European Union, the euro added liquidity and flexibility to the financial markets which in time has made the euro a very attractive and safe investment as a major global reserve currency.

As of the beginning of 2007, within five short years, euro notes in circulation have exceeded the value of circulating US dollar notes. Considering that the dollar has been devalued by approximately 50% since reaching its high relative to the euro in 2000 (the euro has gained approximately 100%), we can only assume that according to global markets, the US dollar is losing its perceived value.

Price of oil in US dollars and euros

Oil prices had a recent low point in January 1999 at $8 per barrel, after "increased oil production from Iraq coincided with the Asian financial crisis, which reduced demand. The prices then rapidly increased, more than tripling by September 2000 (35 dollars per barrel), then fell until the end of 2001 before steadily increasing."

1999 is the same year that the euro was introduced as an accounting currency. By the time that the euro was launched as physical coins and banknotes in January 2002, oil was trading at approximately $20 a barrel, and at present, on 23 April 2008, oil is trading at $118 a barrel.

Let's compare the rise in the price of oil relative to the two currencies.

If we take Autumn of 2000 as our base point when the euro was trading at its low of 0.8252 relative to the US dollar and oil was trading at $35 dollars per barrel, we get the following results: The increase in price of oil in euros has been 74% since 2000, while it has been a 237% increase in US dollars.

Now let's take a look at what the increase in price of oil in euros and US dollars has been since April 2006 when Hugo Chávez wanted to lock the price at $50 per barrel. (Note: in April 2006 the euro was trading at approximately 1.22 relative to the US dollar).

Taking into account that the euro had a dramatic increase in value from 2002 to 2005, and then began a retraction period through to 2006, the above numbers confirm what Ahmadinejad has been stating, that "the dollar is not money any longer but a handful of paper distributed in the world without commodity support," and that oil is undervalued at present levels when priced in US petrodollars.


April 27, 2008 By chycho, visit; The collapse of the United States is accelerating: Oil in Euros vs. US, for related Posts

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.