Congressional Climate Bills - Stealth Schemes to Raise Energy Prices and Enrich Wall Street

Stephen Lendman

On June 26, 2009, HR 2454: American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACESA) passed, purportedly "To create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean energy economy."

In fact, it lets energy polluters raise prices for huge windfall profits and gives Wall Street a bonanza through carbon trading derivatives speculation. Catherine Austin Fitts' blog explained it last July in her article titled, "The Next Really Scary Bubble" is coming, saying:

"If you think the housing and credit bubble diminished your financial security and your community, or the bailouts, or the rising gas prices did as well, hold on to your hat" for what's ahead. "Carbon trading is gearing up to make the housing and derivative bubbles look like target practice," or in other words, be the mother of all scams, courtesy of administration, House and Senate collaboration with Wall Street and the energy giants.

Palestinians Observe Nakbah or Catastrophe Day, raise Hopes of Unity

Juan Cole

Thousands of Palestinians rallied in Gaza on Saturday to commemorate the Nakbah or national catastrophe of 1948, when European Jewish settlers brought into the Mandate of Palestine by imperial British policy expelled 700,000 Palestinians from what is now Israel and then sealed the border, confiscating all their property without compensation. These actions turned the bulk of the Palestinians into poverty-stricken camp dwellers and/or stateless persons living under the rule of others, and prevented the rise of an independent Palestinian state such as was envisaged by the League of Nations and the British government just a decade before. [Aljazeera English has video (click link).]

Keeping the memory of their national catastrophe alive is especially important to Palestinians since the rest of the world has forgotten it and wealthy and powerful elements of the rightwing Israel lobbies in the US monitor and intimidate media figures and academics who dare depart from the fantasyland Leon Uris “Exodus” narrative of 1948. (Israelis have the right to their narrative, but not to erase the national narratives of others).

1947-48 in Palestine was a civil war of sorts between the two major populations under British rule there. But most of the 700,000 Palestinians made homeless were not politicized nor were they fighters, and permanently depriving them of their property with no compensation is illegal (not to mention immoral). And although a subcommittee of the UN had proposed a partition of Palestine, the UN Security Council never voted on the plan and it was openly rejected by the Palestinians and privately rejected by Zionist leaders like Ben Gurion (who wanted a ‘Greater Israel’ than was on offer from the UN).

What the Monster Said + Making Friends with Evil

Arthur Silber

Our Monstrous Culture, and the Monsters Who Rule You (I): What the Monster Said

I remember seeing about half an hour of the original Night of the Living Dead several decades ago. For most of the 1970s, I lived in the middle of Manhattan. I had been flicking through television channels late at night, and I stumbled across the film, which had been released theatrically in 1968. The film caused some controversy because of the nature and level of violence it portrayed. Since I'd now come across it, I was curious to see what the furor was about.

So I watched for a little while. I could barely believe what I was seeing. Limbs torn from bodies, zombies munching on human legs and arms, blood everywhere. I kept watching -- for a little while -- because I found that I was unable to make real to myself the kind of mind that would create this kind of mayhem. It wasn't simply that the images -- and, as I recall, the sounds, oh God, the sounds -- were horrifying. Of equal and probably greater significance to me was the fact that (in part, remembering some of what I'd read about George Romero, the director of the film) the creation of a movie about people who were terrorized and then eaten, all of which was presented in loving, careful detail, was clearly intended to be entertainment. This was fun! It appeared that a sizable audience agreed with this assessment.

Comment on the Tea Party Movement

Bob Altemeyer

A Brief History of the Movement

Today's Tea Party movement began in early 2009 in reaction to the American government‟s efforts to stabilize the banking system and keep the nation from sinking into economic turmoil. In October, 2008 the Democrat-controlled Congress passed a “Wall St. bailout” bill (the “TARP” bill) proposed by the Bush administration, which Bush immediately signed. This bill deeply offended some economic conservatives who held a “let the chips fall where they may, no matter what” view of free market economics. (I‟m not going to provide references to major events that are part of the public record, such as the TARP bill, nor to organizations and polls that can easily be tracked down through Google from the information provided.)

Anger among economic conservatives rose yet higher in early 2009 when Congress responded to President Obama‟s call for a massive economic stimulus to keep the recession from turning into a Depression. Almost every major Western government, whatever its political stripe, went deeply into the red at this time to keep its economy afloat. Republicans in Congress voted massively against the bill, and Democrats took the heat for trying to stop a recession that the Republicans had largely caused by deregulating the banking system.

The first of what became Tea Party protests occurred on February 10, 2009. It was produced by FreedomWorks, an organization led by influential Republicans such as former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, that specialized in creating “grass roots” protests. On February 9, a FreedomWorks official phoned Mary Rakovich in Ft. Myers, Florida, whom he had trained in organizing demonstrations. He wanted a protest the next night when Obama was in town holding a town hall on the stimulus bill. About ten people showed up on short notice to decry government waste and “Obama‟s socialism,” but it was a start. Rakovich was then interviewed on Fox.

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