Treasury Secretary Geithner proposed a $1 trillion plan to help Wall Street make a killing buying “toxic assets” with our tax dollars and guarantees. And he proposed a complex regulatory scheme to keep huge financial institutions from wrecking our economy once again.
But there’s a better and simpler solution: break up those huge financial institutions. If they’re “too big to fail,” then they’re too big to exist.
Sign our petition to Congress:
Returning to the banks and insurance companies that existed before the Reagan era would not hurt our economy. As Paul Krugman writes, “that boring, primitive financial system serviced an economy that doubled living standards over the course of a generation.”
Our friends at A New Way Forward have a plan:
NATIONALIZE: Insolvent banks that are too big to fail must incur a temporary FDIC intervention – no more blank check taxpayer handouts.
REORGANIZE: Current CEOs and board members must be removed and bonuses wiped out. The financial elite must share in the cost of what they have caused.
DECENTRALIZE: Banks must be broken up and sold back to the private market with new antitrust rules in place – new banks, managed by new people. Any bank that’s “too big to fail” means that it’s too big for a free market to function.
Sign our petition to Congress:
On Saturday April 11, A New Way Forward will lead protests all across the country to demand these changes. Find one near you:
And if you’re in New York City on Friday April 3, join the National March on Wall Street:
Thanks for all you do!
Forward this message to everyone you know!
To subscribe, create a free Democrats.com account here:
Hi this makes even clearer what my husband has already explained to
*Advice from Snopes:
Here is a nice little tidbit of information that came my way this
morning, so if any of you are wondering why I won’t return something to
you that said something like ‘if I don’t get this back I’ll….or, ‘See
how many flowers or hugs you can get back’, or ‘Forward this to 10
people in the next 5 mins. Or something bad will happen to you’, etc.
The following is why I will not send them.
Advice from Snopes.Com http://snopes.com/>* <http://snopes.Com/>
* 1) Any time you see an E-Mail that says forward this on to ’10′ of
or whatever, it almost always has an E-Mail tracker program attached
that tracks the cookies and E-Mails of those folks you forward to.
The host sender is getting a copy each time it gets forwarded and then
is able to get lists of ‘active’ E-Mails to use in SPAM E-Mails, or sell
to other spammers.
2) Almost all E-Mails that ask you to add your name and forward on to
others are similar to that mass letter years ago that asked people to
Guinness Book of Records for the most cards.
All it was, and all any of this type of E-Mail is, is a way to get
names and ‘cookie ‘ tracking information for telemarketers and spammers
- – to validate active E-Mail accounts for their own profitable purposes.
You can do your friends and family members a GREAT favor (PLEASE) by
sending this information to them; you will be providing a service to
your friends, and will be rewarded by not getting thousands of spam
E-Mails in the future!
If you have been sending out (FORWARDING) the above kinds of E-Mail,
now you know why you get so much SPAM!
Do yourself a favor and STOP adding your name(S) to those types of
listings regardless how inviting they might sound! You may think you are
supporting a GREAT cause, but you are NOT in the long run. Instead, you
will be getting tons of junk mail later! Plus, we are helping the
spammers get rich! Let’s don’t make it easy for them!
Also: E-Mail petitions are NOT acceptable to Congress or any other
organization. To be acceptable, petitions must have a signed signature
and full address of the person signing the petition.
Read the full story here:*
Uncategorized | Tags: Business card, Email, Florida, Guinness World Records, Luck, Mail, Snopes, Spam | Comment (0)
Gotta love TRUTH OUT!
We can make over 25,000 things with it. Farmers love it. Environmentalists love it. You can’t get high from it. So why is it still illegal?
While Uncle Sam’s scramble for new revenue sources has recently kicked up the marijuana debate – to legalize and tax, or not? – hemp’s feasibility as a stimulus plan has received less airtime.
But with a North American market that exceeds $300 million in annual retail sales and continued rising demand, industrial hemp could generate thousands of sustainable new jobs, helping America to get back on track.
”We’re in the midst of a dark economic transition, but I believe hemp is an important facet and has tremendous economic potential,” says Patrick Goggin, a board member on the California Council for Vote Hemp, the nation’s leading industrial hemp-farming advocacy group. “Economically and environmentally, industrial hemp is an important part of the sustainability pie.”
With 25,000 known applications from paper, clothing and food products – which, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal this January, is the fastest growing new food category in North America – to construction and automotive materials, hemp could be just the crop to jump-start America’s green economy.
But growing hemp remains illegal in the U.S. The Drug Enforcement Administration has lumped the low-THC plant together with its psychoactive cousin, marijuana, making America the planet’s only industrialized nation to ban hemp production. We can import it from Canada, which legalized it in 1997. But we can’t grow it.
”It’s a missed opportunity,” says Goggin, who campaigned for California farmers to grow industrial hemp two years ago, although the bill was vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, citing the measure conflicted with federal law.
Considering California’s position as an agricultural giant – agriculture nets $36.6 billion dollars a year, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture – Goggin’s assessment is an understatement. Especially if extended nationwide.
”Jobs require capital investment, which isn’t easy to come by at the moment, and we need hemp-processing facilities, because the infrastructure here went to seed. But this is a profitable crop, and the California farming community supports it.”
Just how profitable? According to Chris Conrad, a respected authority on cannabis and industrial hemp and who authored Hemp for Health and Hemp, Lifeline to the Future, the industry would be regionally sustainable, reviving the local economy wherever it was grown.
”Hemp will create jobs in some of the hardest-hit sectors of the country – rural agriculture, equipment manufacturing, transportable processing equipment and crews – and the products could serve and develop the same community where the hemp is farmed: building ecological new homes, producing value-added and finished products, marketing and so forth,” he writes in an e-mail from Amsterdam, where he is doing research. “Add to that all the secondary jobs – restaurants, health care, food products, community-support networks, schools, etc., that will serve the workers. The Midwestern U.S. and the more remote parts of California and other states would see a surge of income, growth, jobs and consumer goods.”
In America, industrial hemp has long been associated with marijuana, although the plants are different breeds of Cannabis sativa, just as poodles and Irish setters are different breeds of dog.
While hemp contains minute levels of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana (compare 0.3 percent or less in Canadian industrial hemp versus 3-20 percent for medical marijuana), to get high you’d have to smoke a joint the size of a telephone pole.
Still, the historical hysteria caused by federal anti-marijuana campaigns of the 1930s, which warned that marijuana caused insanity, lust, addiction, violence and crime, have had a long-term impact on its distant relative.
Doomed by the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which in effect criminalized cannabis and levied high taxes on medical marijuana and industrial hemp, hemp cultivation wasn’t technically disallowed.
However, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, the DEA’s predecessor, said its agents couldn’t differentiate between industrial hemp and marijuana, a stance the DEA maintains today, so fewer farmers were willing to grow it. The exception came during World War II, when the armed forces experienced a severe fiber shortage and the government launched an aggressive campaign to grow hemp.
But after the war, hemp production faded away, and the last legal crop was harvested in 1957. Marijuana’s propaganda-fuelled history, one filled with lurid stories, one-sided information, slander and corporate profiteerism, is too lengthy to address here, but hemp has never managed to remain unscathed.
Considering today’s economic crisis and the combined threats of peak oil and global warming, there is increasing pressure to move toward sustainable resources before everything goes up in smoke. If there was any time to revisit hemp, it’s now.
”Industrial hemp is the best gift a farmer could have. It’s the ideal alternative crop,” says Gale Glenn, on the board of the North American Industrial Hemp Council. Glenn, now retired, owned and managed a 300-acre Kentucky farm producing burley tobacco, and she immediately launches into hemp’s benefits: It’s environmentally friendly, requiring no pesticides or herbicides, it’s the perfect rotation crop because it detoxifies and regenerates the soil, and it’s low labor.
”You just plant the seed, close the farm gate and four months later, cut it and bale it,” she says.
And there’s more. As a food, hemp is rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids; the plant’s cellulose level, roughly three times that of wood, creates paper that yields four times as much pulp as trees; hemp is an ideal raw material for plant-based plastics, used to make everything from diapers to dashboards.
In fact, Germany’s DaimlerChrysler Corp. has equipped its Mercedes-Benz C-class vehicles with natural-fiber-reinforced materials, including hemp, for years. Even Henry Ford himself manufactured a car from hemp-based plastic in 1941, archival footage of which can be found on YouTube, and the car ran on clean-burning hemp-based ethanol fuel.
This leads to the most compelling argument for hemp: fuel. Hemp seeds are ideal for making ethanol, the cleanest-burning liquid bio-alternative to gasoline, and when grown as an energy crop, hemp actually offsets carbon emissions because it absorbs more carbon dioxide than any other plant.
As the world rapidly depletes its reserves of petroleum, America needs to create a renewable, homegrown energy source to become energy independent. Luckily, unlike petrol, hemp is renewable, unless we run out of soil.
”As a farmer, it’s frustrating not being able to grow this incredible crop,” says Glenn. But if Glenn did try to grow it, the American government would consider her a felon guilty of trafficking, and she would face a fine of up to $4 million and a prison sentence of 5 to 40 years. Because no matter how low its THC content, hemp is still considered a Schedule I substance, grouped alongside heroin.
It’s exactly this war-on-drugs logic that has kept serious discussion of hemp off the table.
”I’ve met with senators over the last 13 years, and I’ve been to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) four times, and I’m always amazed by what they tell us – that industrial hemp is by far one of the most superior fibers known to man, but since it’s a green plant with a five-point leaf, you’ll never grow it in America,” says Bud Sholts chairman of the the North American Industrial Hemp Council and former economist for Wisconsin’s State Department of Agriculture.
Sholts’ research into sustainable agriculture convinced him of industrial hemp’s value, and he has been lobbying for it ever since. “We’re overlooking something huge.”
Luckily, farmers are practical folk whose pragmatism ensures their survival, and they have championed industrial hemp, which they see as a potential economic boon, by pushing for it through their state legislatures, where it has become a bipartisan issue.
To date, 28 states have introduced hemp legislation, including Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Maryland, North Dakota, New Mexico, Virginia, Vermont and West Virginia. Fifteen have passed it, and seven have legalized hemp production, according to Vote Hemp.
Yet in cases like North Dakota, the DEA still insists that federal law trumps the state’s and farmers need a DEA-granted license before growing. This is exactly what happened to David Monson and Wayne Hauge, two North Dakota farmers given state permission to grow but who have been waiting a while for their federal licenses – in Monson’s case, since 1997.
”Here we are in 2009, and it seems like we’re still taking baby steps. We’re a little closer, but I’m not making any predictions,” says Monson, who also happens to be a Republican state representative.
Monson lives only 20 miles from the Canadian border, where fields of profitable industrial hemp have been growing since 1997, and he believes it’s a simple case of “if they can grow it, why can’t we?”
”The profit potential is there. Practically and economically, it makes sense to raise it,” says Monson. “I truly believe as a farmer that hemp is good for farmers, it’s good for the environment and it’s good for state of North Dakota. And for that matter the whole nation.”
As the law currently stands, to legalize hemp production, all the DEA has to do is remove hemp from its Schedule I drug list, a process that does not require a congressional vote.
Now that the Obama administration has announced an end to medical marijuana raids, hemp advocates are hopeful the move could open the door for hemp, because the president voted for a hemp bill while he was in the Illinois legislature.
The DEA follows the government’s lead, and the government, which does not want to be seen as being soft on drugs, has been notoriously skittish tackling drug policy reform. If Obama told the DEA to move forward aggressively and issue all pending research, commercial and agronomic licenses, farmers like Monson could grow hemp tomorrow.
”Politically, I liken the situation to pulling bricks out of a dam,” says Vote Hemp’s Goggin. “There are now so many leaks, the dam’s getting ready to burst. We’re working hard for a shift in policy, but at the moment, Washington doesn’t consider this a top issue.”
While industrial-hemp advocates are becoming hopeful that policy change is in the winds, they caution that the industry still requires a massive, coordinated effort to develop.
”I’m hesitant overselling hemp and touting it like the magic beans that will save the economy or the planet,” says Tom Murphy, national outreach coordinator for Vote Hemp. “Industrial hemp is an answer but not the answer. It has a great deal of potential – but it doesn’t have any potential if you can’t grow it.”
Conrad, who believes in American ingenuity to find creative solutions using hemp, says, “Only the scourge of prohibitionism can see to it that our economy and environment rot into sewage. It is up to the good, hard-working and honest people to end cannabis prohibition and start the process of rebuilding the planet and our global and regional economies.”
Dara Colwell is a freelance writer based in San Francisco, California.
Uncategorized | Tags: Cannabis, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Narcotics, Henry Ford, North America, United States, World War II, YouTube | Comment (0)
THIS IS REAL
To begin reversing GM contamination will require ending the power biotech companies such as Monsanto exert over our government and through that, over our food.
HR 875, was introduced by Rosa DeLauro whose husband Stanley Greenburg works for Monsanto.
The bill is monstrous on level after level – the power it would give to Monsanto, the criminalization of seed banking, the prison terms and confiscatory fines for farmers, the 24 hours GPS tracking of their animals, the easements on their property to allow for warrantless government entry, the stripping away of their property rights, the imposition by the filthy, greedy industrial side of anti-farming international “industrial” standards to independent farms – the only part of our food system that still works, the planned elimination of farmers through all these means.
The corporations want the land, they want more intensive industrialization, they want the end of normal animals so they can substitute patented genetically engineered ones they own, they want the end of normal seeds and thus of seed banking by farmers or individuals. They want control over all seeds, animals, water, and land.
Lots more information here: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h875/show
This is REAL folks. This bill has 39 sponsors, (all democrats for the few people out there that think democrats are going to save us all) so it should move fast. 2 of the bills sponsors are from AZ – Gabrielle Giffords (CD-8) and Raul Grijalva (CD-7). If you live in these districts, it’s time to get active, get these representatives to realize what they are doing, and get them to rescind support.
All of this permaculture will be for naught if the federal gestapo comes and hauls you off to jail so you can eat prison food.
Uncategorized | Tags: Agriculture, Gabrielle Giffords, Genetic engineering, Genetically modified food, Monsanto, Property, Rosa DeLauro, Stanley Greenburg | Comment (0)
Please forward to everyone…..
US House and Senate are about (in a week and a half) to vote on bill that
will OUTLAW ORGANIC FARMING (bill HR 875). There is an enormous rush to get
this into law within the next 2 weeks before people realize what is
Main backer and lobbyist is Monsanto – chemical and genetic engineering
giant corporation (and Cargill, ADM, and about 35 other related
agri-giants). This bill will require organic farms to use specific
fertilizers and poisonous insect sprays dictated by the newly formed agency
to “make sure there is no danger to the public food supply”. This will
include backyard gardens that grow food only for a family and not for sales.
If this passes then NO more heirloom clean seeds
but only Monsanto genetically altered seeds that are now showing up with
unexpected diseases in humans.
There is a video on the subject.
And another one:
The name on this outrageous food plan is:
Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009 (bill HR 875).
THIS IS REAL, FOLKS! PASS THIS ALONG TO ALL CONCERNED ON YOUR
MAILING LISTS & CALL YOUR SENATE REPRESENTETIVES TODAY!
Get on that phone and burn up the wires. Get anyone else you can to do the same thing.
The House and Senate WILL pass this if they are not massively threatened with loss
of their position…. They only fear your voice and your vote.
The best thing to do is go to www.house.gov/writerep <http://www.house.gov/writerep> all you have to do is
put in your zip and it will give you your congressperson and how to get in
touch with them. When you call their office someone will answer the phone,
just tell them (politely) that you are calling to express your views on HR 875.
Tell them your views, they’ll take your name and address and pass your
comments along to the congressperson.
The following link is a list of the U.S. senators and their contact info:
Mahalo Nui Loa and Thank you for your time <3
Environmentalists to battle Navy proposal
By Justin Burnett
Examiner Staff Writer
Whidbey Island environmental groups opposed to the Navy’s plan to expand its Northwest training operations say they will take their objections to the highest levels of government.
Representatives from Orca Network and the Whidbey Environmental Action Network have agreed to team up and send their comments not only to Gov. Christine Gregoire and Washington‘s Congressional delegation, but also to President Barack Obama.
“I think we need to kick it right to the top,” said Howard Garrett, president of Orca Network’s board of directors.
WEAN cofounder Marianne Edain said attracting presidential or congressional attention may be a long shot, but could end up being worth it. She pointed out that the Navy answers to both branches of government.
“The president and Congress have ultimate power over the military,” she said.
The Navy is planning to expand operations in its Northwest Training Range Complex, an area encompassing about 122,400 nautical miles of air, surface and subsurface space stretching from Washington to northern California. The complex has been in use since World War II.
The proposal, which ranges from increasing missile and sonar testing to dumping depleted uranium, has attracted the attention of more than just local environmentalist groups.
Following federal Environmental Policy Act requirements, the Navy prepared an environmental impact statement to examine how the expansion might affect wildlife and the environment. The Navy held six public hearings on the matter and accepted public comment from late December to mid-February.
But as concern over the plan began to grow, and more people learned about it, an increasing number of people complained that the public comment period was too short for a document of more than 1,000 pages. Even large, well-informed environmental groups such as People for Puget Sound said they felt caught off guard by the Navy’s proposal.
Although the Navy extended the comment period to mid-February, complaints in Oregon spurred six of the state’s seven-member Congressional delegation to send a letter to Navy Secretary Donald Winter requesting another extension of the comment period.
Navy Environmental Public Affairs Officer Sheila Murray the Navy has extended the comment deadline three times – a first for the Navy.
“This is unprecedented,” she said. “The Navy has never done this before.”
Murray said the Navy’s willingness to extend the deadline has been based primarily on the public interest generated by the plan. The new deadline is set for April 13. So far, more than 1,000 comments have been submitted.
That includes a 59-page document submitted by the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental watchdog group. The NRDC document was endorsed by 20 other national and local groups that are against the Navy’s plan.
According to Heather Trim of People for Puget Sound, the environmental impact statement does not adequately address potential impacts to Puget Sound.
“This is an area that’s already stressed,” Trim said.
The Navy’s increased activities could have serious implications on endangered species in the region, such as salmon and orca whales. That makes the Navy’s proposal more than just a local issue, she said.
“It really has national implications.” Trim said.
Garrett agreed, noting that the proposed training activities could cause significant harm to orca populations. He said that he appreciates the Navy’s need to train and be prepared, but he does not believe it should come at the price of the environment.
“It’s a clear case of social values that are in conflict,” he said.
Garrett said his hope is that the Obama administration shares his outlook, and will place a higher priority on the environment and resolving international conflict through diplomacy than on the military.
While the impact statement will be reviewed by the US Environmental Protection Agency, Murray said the assistant secretary of the Navy makes the final decision as to whether to proceed with the training expansion proposal. The decision is expected sometime this fall.
Comments can be mailed to Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest, Attn: Kimberly Kler, 1101 Tautog Circle, Silverdale, WA 98315-1101. Submit comments online at www.nwtrangecomplexeis.com. The deadline is April 13.
Uncategorized | Tags: Barack Obama, Environmental policy, Environmentalism, Natural Resources Defense Council, NRDC, United States, Washington, World War II | Comment (0)
Lynne Twist wrote the ground breaking book The Soul of Money. Her message is so worth hearing today as it was many years ago.
Take Heart, we are the courageous ones.
The Opportunity within the Economic Crisis – by Lynne Twist
We’re living in a time of economic crisis. We’re living in a time when the economic system, the money system itself, the markets are unraveling.
And this is a very frightening time for people.
At the same time, if we can recognize that what is unraveling is that which has no viability. What is unraveling is that which is not sustainable. Practices, ways of being with money, markets that are not based in true value any longer are starting to fall apart.
If we can see that what’s happening is a truing, is a recalibration, it helps us see how to deal with it on a personal basis.
It doesn’t mean it’s not going to be painful; it doesn’t mean that there’s not suffering; it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be paying close attention to how we use money.
But if we look on a larger scale, if we step back from the personal trauma, the fear, that we’re all caught in and that the media’s caught in, and see that we’re living at a time of enormous excess that has created financial structures and systems that are inappropriate and completely unsustainable. And now they’re falling apart. We’ll know that, at the end of this, we’re all going to be better for it, because we’re going to be in a truthful, more accurate, more integrous (appropriate) relationship with our self, with money and with the resources on this planet.
We can get through this.
It’s a difficult time. I don’t deny that.
But it can also be a beautiful time. Because we can move towards thrift rather than accumulation; we can move toward appreciating what we love rather than being afraid of what we’ve lost. We can focus our attention and intention not on what we’re losing, but on what we already have that’s so valuable and nourishing to us. And we can stop clamoring for more of what we don’t really need and take care of what we have.
This is a time that I think history will look back on and say,
“These are the people, this is the generation of humankind, that made the changes that went through a transformation that made the future of life possible. These are the people who had the courage to make profound changes in the way they were thinking–as well as in the way that they were behaving–that gave the future to life itself.”
So, I’m privileged to be living at this time.
I’m excited about being the generation that goes through this courageous period.
It’s a gift, it’s a blessing; a tough one, but something that will create the profound transformational change that’s absolutely necessary and required for us to have a future on this planet
Uncategorized | Comment (0)
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” –Margaret Mead
THE SMOKING GUNS OF 9/11
1. Demolition explosives leave evidence of their use, just like fingerprints at a crime scene. The “fingerprint” of Thermite (an incendiary explosive which cuts through steel) was conclusively identified in samples from the World Trade Center by Physics Professor Dr. Steven E. Jones. Additional samples from Ground Zero examined by Chemist Kevin Ryan and other scientists also conclusively identified conditions consistent with the use of demolition charges. Documentation of billions of microspheres containing molten metal from the chemical signature of Thermite can be found in the BPAT Report from FEMA; the Report of the United States Geological Survey; and the report of RJ Lee Group (the company hired by the WTC insurance company to conduct an independent private study). Those findings should have led to investigation procedures determined by the National Fire Protection Association:
“NFPA very clearly states melted steel or concrete is a sign of exotic accelerants. Therefore, the debris should have been thoroughly analyzed for exotic accelerants, specifically Thermite.”
FIREFIGHTERS FOR 9/11 TRUTH
2. Most Americans are still unaware that a 47-story skyscraper that no airplane crashed into also collapsed on 9/11. Let’s say that one more time for the official record and the officially blind: No airplane crashed into World Trade Center Building 7. It had minimal fires. Yet it collapsed, symmetrically, through the path of most resistance, at near free-fall speed, imploding neatly into its own footprint, in precisely the manner typical of controlled demolition. Fires in similar steel-framed skyscrapers have had dramatically different results. In Caracas in 2004 and Beijing in 2009, severe fires burned the buildings to the cores. Yet in each case, it did not even produce partial collapses, let alone total collapse. The fires in WTC 7 were minimal by comparison. Therefore, its global collapse defies the explanations offered:
CARACAS FIRE, 2004 BEIJING FIRE, 2009 WORLD TRADE CENTER FIRE, 2001
NO COLLAPSE NO COLLAPSE TOTAL COLLAPSE
It is patently absurd to suggest that the collapse of WTC 7 was anything other than controlled demolition.
3. It is scientifically impossible that the fires in the World Trade Center generated enough energy to turn reinforced concrete into fine powder in mid-air. Each of the Twin Towers contained approximately 90,000 tons of concrete that was visibly pulverized as it exploded in mid-air. MIT Engineer Dr. Jeff King concluded there simply was not enough energy available to cause that from a collapse due to fires. Where did all that explosive energy come from?
4. It is scientifically impossible that the fires in the World Trade Center generated enough heat to threaten the structural integrity of the steel. Even FEMA acknowledged that the jet fuel completely dissipated within the first few minutes after impact.
“The temperature of the fire at the WTC was not unusual, and it was most definitely not capable of melting steel.” (Eager & Musso, 2001)
5. It would be a violation of inviolable Laws of Physics if the official explanation of building collapse were true. Galileo’s Law of Falling Bodies and Newton’s Law of Conservation of Momentum determine the rates at which objects fall, not the U.S. Government and it is the Second Law of Thermodynamics which determines how a building falls, not the 9/11 Commission.
“Once you get to the science, it’s indisputable.”
–Richard Gage, AIA
ARCHITECTS & ENGINEERS FOR 9/11 TRUTH
6. F.D.N.Y. Battalion Commander Orio Palmer actually reached the impact zone at the 78th floor of the South Tower. Moments prior to global collapse he reported that the fires were very containable and that he only needed two fire lines to get them put out.
7. F.D.N.Y. Chief of Department Pete Ganci was so certain of the history and structural integrity of the World Trade Center that when a messenger informed him that the buildings were going to come down he responded incredulously:
“Who the f_ck would tell you a thing like that?”
At the sound of explosions as global collapse initiated, Chief Ganci looked up in disbelief in the moments prior to his death and said:
“What the f_ck is this?”
8. Over 100 F.D.N.Y. and other first responders described in detail hearing explosions and flashes of light prior to and during global collapse.
“I know what I heard. I heard explosions.”
DEPUTY DIRECTOR & EMERGENCY COORDINATOR
Emergency Services Department
“The whole time you’re hearing „Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.? I think I know an explosion when I hear it.”
– Craig Bartmer
9. Destruction of evidence at a crime scene is a crime in itself because forensic analysis of the physical evidence is the most important component of any crime scene. The many tons of steel from the collapsed World Trade Center buildings were the most important evidence from 9/11. Yet it was immediately removed and recycled before investigators were allowed access to examine it. That was clearly unnecessary and was an illegal destruction of evidence which has been protested by many firefighters.
Similarly, at the Pentagon, military personnel combed the lawn after the explosion and cleaned up the crime scene before a proper investigation could be made. As a point of law, that is also destruction of evidence at a crime scene.
10. For the first time in history a steel-reinforced skyscraper supposedly experienced global collapse due to fire. That never happened before 9/11, or after. But on 9/11 it happened 3 times in 1 day.
11. For the first time in modern aviation history no apparent attempt was made at reconstruction of all available pieces and parts after a large jetliner crash. That never happened before, but it happened 4 times on 9/11.
When the Space Shuttle Challenger crashed on January 28, 1986, Search and Rescue aircraft were launched within minutes. The Search, Recovery and Reconstruction team pulled 15 tons of debris out of the ocean at depths of up to 1200 feet. To professional men and women of that caliber, how daunting a task would be posed by the mess on the Pentagon lawn on 9/11?
“The government alleges that four wide-body airliners crashed on the morning of September 11 2001, resulting in the deaths of more than 3,000 human beings, yet not one piece of hard aircraft evidence has been produced in an attempt to positively identify any of the four aircraft. On the contrary, it seems only that all potential evidence was deliberately kept hidden from public view.”
–Colonel George Nelson, MBA, U.S. Air Force (ret)
AIRCRAFT ACCIDENT INVESTIGATOR
(34-year career, U.S. Air Force)
12. Over 700 engineers and architects have confirmed that the buildings at the World Trade Center were structurally sound. They were designed to withstand the impact of a jetliner and they
did withstand it. It is literally impossible that the fires caused global collapse. See: www.ae911truth.org
13. A “stand-down” order was never necessary to eliminate an effective military response because a De facto stand-down was already in place and operational. On June 1, 2001 the Department of Defense issued a new policy directing
non-action until specific authorization was obtained from the Secretary of Defense. Therefore, for a stand-down to take place all that the Secretary of Defense had to do was not answer his phone, which is precisely what he did:
“Exactly. By placing themselves in the chain of command for responses to in-flight emergencies, the National Command Authority – i.e. Rumsfeld or his designee, had to issue no stand-down. All he had to do was not answer the phone. That is exactly what he did. Don’t forget the Mineta testimony about Cheney in the bunker. Nobody has even asked, as far as we know, what the order was that “still stood” that the young man came in to ask about just before the alleged strike on the Pentagon.”
–Lt. Colonel Shelton F. Lankford, U.S. Marine Corps (ret)
PILOTS FOR 9/11 TRUTH
Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta testified that while at the Emergency Operations Center on the morning of 9/11, a military liaison kept coming to the table with regular updates on the location of the hijacked plane headed for the Pentagon:
“During the time that the airplane was coming into the Pentagon, there was a young man who would come in and say to the Vice-President: “The plane is 50 miles out. The plane is 30 miles out.” And when he got down to: “The plane is 10 miles out,” the young man also said to the Vice-President: “Do the orders still stand?” And the Vice-President turned and whipped his neck around and said: “Of course the orders still stand. Have you heard anything to the contrary?”
14. Mayor Rudy Giuliani was told in advance (as he has publicly conceded) that the buildings were going to collapse.
MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI:
“We were told that the World Trade Center was gonna collapse.”
15. Larry Silverstein, leaseholder of the World Trade Center, also admitted in a video-recorded statement that he was told that Building 7 was going to be brought down by controlled demolition:
16. CNN and NBC also had forewarning of the collapse of Building 7. In a journalistic error of epic proportions, both mistakenly reported that Building 7 had collapsed. Just one problem — it
hadn’t collapsed. The building is actually standing in the background as a reporter describes how it came down:
17. Thousands of highly-qualified scientists and professionals have seriously questioned the government?s explanation of 9/11 and demanded a real investigation. Among others, the lists include General Wesley Clark and former FBI Director Louis Freeh.
For a more in-depth summary of all of the above, including expansive citations, see:
©2009 David R. Wayne & Greg GarrisonUncategorized | Tags: Federal government of the United States, Margaret Mead, National Fire Protection Association, Second Law of Thermodynamics, September 11 2001, Terrorism, United States, World Trade Center | Comment (0)
Chris Pala is the NY Times Hawaii reporter.
This article ties most of the loose ends together.
HONOLULU WEEKLY Wednesday, MARCH 25, 2009
Did we get taken for a ride by Hawai‘i Superferry?
Hawai‘i’s Superferry ended its choppy ride last week, leaving tantalizing clues, but no proof, that the whole venture was about more than providing “reliable commercial service in these islands,” as CEO Thomas B. Fargo insisted at his dawn press conference.
“You look at the players involved, you have to question their motives, there are some pretty significant defense contracts involved,” said Rep. Hermina Morita, who chairs the House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee.
The defense contracts come in two categories.
First, the construction of the two ferries by Austal USA helped the young company get a contract to build a military version of the fast cargo and troop-transport ship—with an option for nine others—for a total of $1.6 billion, according to defense analysts and Austal USA itself. It also played a role in getting a contract for a Littoral Combat Ship prototype, a separate project to build up to 50 fast, aluminum warships at more than twice the price for each. The question is: was that the real purpose of building the Superferry?
Second, there are the ferries themselves. Now that the Hawai‘i Supreme Court has freed them of any obligation to serve the Islands, which has proved to be a money-losing operation, are they going to fetch a better price elsewhere? If they do, was that the main point for building them and bringing them here?
Austal and INCAT are the two giants of the big, fast aluminum catamaran business that have been supplying the world market for decades from their shipyards in Australia. Unlike most countries, the United States can’t buy foreign vessels for internal or military use: the Jones Act specifies they must be built domestically. So to crack the American market, Austal and INCAT needed to set up shipyards in the United States. Austal USA set up shop in Mobile, Ala., in 2001 and INCAT partnered with Bollinger Shipyards, Inc. in South Lockport, La., both with their eye on a contract for a military version of the Superferry.
By the summer of 2004, when work started on the first Superferry, Austal USA had built eight ships, all smaller than the Superferry. “Bollinger/Incat [USA] was a credible threat,” Bill Pfister, VP for external relations at Austal USA, said in a telephone interview from Mobile. “Building the Superferry was very helpful in demonstrating that we can build these ships in the United States as well as Australia, it was a major part of our credibility, almost a prerequisite,” he said. “It allowed us to build up the work force and the facilities.” Once the first Superferry was finished, that work force moved to the Littoral Combat Ship prototype, he said. And last November, as work was ending on the second Superferry, the Huakai, Austal beat Bollinger/Incat USA for the contract for the military version of the Superferry, called the Joint High Speed Vessel—essentially a Superferry with a helipad in the back.
In an interview together last year, Tig Krekel, vice chairman and partner of J.F. Lehman & Company, an investment bank in New York, and John Garibaldi, a former Hawaiian and Aloha Airlines executive who was CEO of Hawai‘i Superferry when it launched service, described how Garibaldi, Tim Dick and Terry White started the project together, financing it out of their savings until early 2004, when they raised $3.3 million. In September 2004, Lehman & Company took over the company and its principal, John F. Lehman, signed a deal to provide $85 million for the first Superferry.
“The ship started being built in summer of ’04, basically on spec,” Garibaldi said. “It was done on verbal assurances from Lehman and me that we would not leave them with the ship.” By the fall of 2005, Krekel said, Lehman was chairman of the board and the Maritime Administration was ready to guarantee $140 million of the $185 million loan.
Garibaldi said the shipyard had started building the ship “on spec” because the project’s financial success was so obvious “it was a no-brainer.” Krekel added, “We expect service to grow to five ships, the market’s there.”
But Alan Lerchbacker, the founding CEO of Austal USA, painted a different picture in an interview in Honolulu with Pacific Business News published on January 19, 2007, the same week Hawai‘i Superferry took delivery of the Alakai.
“I just worry about getting enough business to cover costs because of the sheer size of it,” he was quoted as saying. “They may need 400 to 500 passengers to break even.” Indeed, Hawai‘i Superferry executives had said the financial break-even point lay at 50 percent capacity, or 143 cars and 433 passengers, which the Superferry rarely attained.
Lerchbacker said he had suggested a 220-foot vessel, but the company chose the 326-foot model–and then another one of 344 feet.
Still unclear is whether Austal started building the Alakea “on spec” because it was the perfect way to prove its mettle to the military procurement community or because it believed that whatever the Hawai‘i plan’s merit, the ship itself would be attractive to the military. Also opaque is J.F. Lehman & Co.’s financial interest in Austal’s success. Atlantic Marine, which the company purchased recently and has a shipyard that adjoins Austal’s in Mobile, works with steel ships and “has no connection to Austal,” said Tim Colton, a shipping analyst in Florida.
The second kind of military contract that may be involved has to do with what would happen if the Superferries fail in their mission to make money in Hawai‘i or are prevented from operating by the courts.
On Thursday, Superferry CEO Fargo said, “We’re going to have to go out and find other employment for Alakai.” He added, “There are other ferry operations that would like to expand their service. Certainly the military may very well want to lease this particular ship.”
In July, BYM Marine and Maritime News reported, “Austal was recently awarded a new contract to provide additional features and equipment on the second Hawaii Superferry to facilitate its use by the military. This follows on from the long-term charter, since 2001, of the Austal-built 308-foot vehicle-passenger catamaran WestPac Express by the III Marine Expeditionary Force based on Okinawa, Japan.”
Pfister, the Austal vice-president, sidestepped in an e-mail exchange the question of whether a contract had been signed with the military to lease the Huakai. He explained that modification in question is a ramp that allows the ship to discharge cargo pretty much anywhere. It’s not usually used in civilian service because it’s heavy and cuts the number of cars by about 20 to 25, he wrote.
Lori Abe, a spokeswoman for Hawai‘i Superferry, said the ramp was added for use in the Big Island and that BYM is wrong.
Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute in Arlington, Va., said leasing the superferries to the military would be difficult to pull off. “Leasing military equipment is not popular in Congress,” he said. Another analyst, who asked to remain anonymous, added: “Tolerance for leasing rather than buying ran out. Another lease now could be a hard sell.”
But Colton, the analyst, said that if anyone can pull it off, it’s Lehman. The Navy secretary in the entire Reagan administration who famously advocated a 600-ship navy (from about 500) was a major adviser and fund-raiser for John McCain and was seen as his likely his chief of staff. “He’s much better positioned than anyone else to get these boats leased,” Colton said.
While we may never learn what interest Lehman had in helping Austal get the military contracts, the value of the two civilian superferries should soon become apparent.
If Lehman fails to lease them out and stops servicing the loan, the federal maritime administration, the loan’s guarantor, would have to take over the ships and likely sell them to the Navy. That could trigger headlines like “Feds Bail Out Another Well-Connected Fatcat.”
And there would be some irony in Obama’s Navy bailing out one of his most powerful opponents.
Uncategorized | Comment (0)
From Three Decades as a Colonel and Diplomat to Six Years as a Peace Activist
Friday 20 March 2009
by: Ann Wright, t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Ann Wright speaks at an international meeting calling for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba. The former US Army colonel and career diplomat resigned in opposition to the invasion of Iraq by the Bush administration six years ago. (Photo: Getty Images)
It was six years ago today that I resigned from the Bush administration and the US diplomatic corps in opposition to the war on Iraq. I remember the day so well. I woke up about 2 in the morning.
Like so many mornings in the past months, I could not sleep through the night. I was very worried and upset hearing the comments out of Washington, that we, the US government, were being forced into taking military action against Saddam Hussein and his Iraqi government.
I, like so many US diplomats and US citizens, was wondering, why must the United States attack Iraq right now? Should we not wait and hear the results of the United Nations weapons inspectors on whether there was a weapons of mass destruction program in Iraq? How could we take military action without the agreement of the member states of the United Nations Security Council?
When President Bush launched “shock and awe” on Baghdad on the morning of March 19 (Mongolia time) and March 18 in the US, I decided I was not going to continue working in the Department of State.
Upon arriving at the Embassy, I asked our communications officer to send my letter of resignation from the United States government to my boss, Secretary of State Colin Powell. I expected to join quickly the two other federal employees who had resigned (both were also US diplomats.)
Several minutes later, the communications officer came back to my office and said “Ms. Wright, I read your telegram to the secretary of state and I wish that you would reconsider your resignation. I don’t agree either with the Bush administration’s decision to attack Iraq, but I’m not going to resign. I haven’t yet sent your telegram to Washington and wish you would not resign!”
I told the communications officer that I appreciated very much what she felt, but I needed her to send my resignation telegram. She went back to her office visibly disturbed. Fifteen minutes later, I called her and asked: “Have you sent my telegram?” She answered, “No, I was hoping you would reconsider.”
I told her of my appreciation of her concerns about my resignation, and repeated my request/order that she send the resignation telegram to Washington. A few minutes later, she brought me my copy of the telegram that she sent to Washington announcing my resignation from the federal government.
As the telegram went to Washington, I forwarded emails to friends in US diplomatic missions around the world, explaining why I felt I must resign in opposition to the Bush administration’s war on Iraq. Within hours, I received over 400 emails in support and not one email in opposition to my decision.
One week later, I left Mongolia. It took that long for packing materials to be brought from China into Mongolia, as there were no household packing/moving companies in Mongolia.
Now, six years later, many have asked whether I have had any regrets about resignation from the US government.
I must say that, honestly, my only regret has been that so many people who felt the same way that I did, did not resign too. For me, my resignation freed me to speak freely about my concerns over the Bush administration’s war on Iraq, the treatment of prisoners in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and the unnecessary curtailment of civil liberties under the Patriot Act.
I cannot imagine working the past six years in the Bush administration, and I fully intend to hold the Bush administration accountable for what it has done.
Since that fateful day, March 19, 2003, I have worked for peace in Iraq and have traveled for peace in other parts of the world, including Afghanistan, Cuba, Iran and Gaza.
After six years of no longer working for the United States government, I have no regrets. I have met and become a part of a strong movement within the United States that works for peace in the United States and in countries throughout the world – Iraq, Afghanistan, Cuba, Iran and Gaza.
As I was honored to serve my country by working within our government for over 35 years, I am now honored to be serving my country by actively and visibly confronting our government, demanding peace and justice and accountability for actions of government officials. Challenging government policies that are harmful, much less illegal, is a responsibility for us as citizens.
There are many ways to serve one’s country. I fully believe challenging policies that one feels are harmful to our nation is service, not treason.
So, six years after my resignation, I am proud to have resigned and value so much the new friends I have made, as well as the old friends from the past.
I will continue working for peace and justice every day.
Ann Wright is a retired US Army & Army Reserves colonel and former US diplomat, who resigned in opposition to the Iraq war. She was a US diplomat in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia. She is the co-author of “Dissent: Voices of Conscience”. Her March 19, 2003, letter of resignation can be read at http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0303/032103wright.htm.