Archive for December, 2009

TSA Agents Visit Travel Writers Who Posted Security Directive

Posted in 9/11, Attack on Freedom, False Flag Terror, Kurt Nimmo, New World Order, News, Stupid Government Tricks, the 9/11 Files with tags , , on December 31, 2009 by truthwillrise

Kurt Nimmo
December 31, 2009

Wired reports today that two bloggers who posted new airport search procedures in the wake of the exaggerated underwear bomber fiasco received home visits from Transportation Security Administration agents.

“Special agents from the TSA’s Office of Inspection interrogated two U.S. bloggers, one of them an established travel columnist, and served them each with a civil subpoena demanding information on the anonymous source that provided the TSA document.” writes Kim Zetter on the Threat Level section of the Wired website.

“They’re saying it’s a security document but it was sent to every airport and airline,” blogger Steven Frischling told Wired. “It was sent to Islamabad, to Riyadh and to Nigeria. So they’re looking for information about a security document sent to 10,000-plus people internationally. You can’t have a right to expect privacy after that.”
TSA official Suzanne Trevino said security directives “are not for public disclosure.”

Frischling said the agents who showed up at his home were armed and threatened him with a criminal search warrant if he didn’t provide the name of his source. He said they threatened to get him fired from his KLM Royal Dutch Airlines job and also said they would get him designated as a security risk, which would make it difficult for him to travel. Frischling is a photographer and freelance writer.

Infowars posted the document on December 28 after it appeared on the Gizmodo website. The Department of Homeland Security memo instructs TSA employees to perform pat-downs “concentrating on upper legs and torso” of all passengers at airport boarding gates. “Physically inspect 100 percent of all passenger accessible property at the boarding gate prior to boarding, with focus on syringes being transported along with powders and/or liquids.” Heads of State or Heads of Government are exempt from the measures, according to the document.

TSA agents also visited Chris Elliot, a travel journalist who writes a regular column for The Washington Post. “Chris is the other journalist who received and published a copy of the TSA’s Security Directive SD-1544-09-06,” writes Frischling on his blog.
“Chris and I have conversed many times before, however this phone call began by him asking me if any Federal Agents had visited me from the Department of Homeland Security this evening, as he had just been visited by a TSA Special Agent,” Frischling explains. “Moments after my call with Chris ended a sedan pulled in front of my house and two US Transportation Security Administration Special Agents were at my door with some questions and paperwork for me. I sent two of my kids upstairs, and like Chris I was served a subpoena by the Department of Homeland Security to disclose who sent me the contents of SD-1544-09-06.”

“We had just put the kids in the bathtub when Special Agent Robert Flaherty knocked on my front door with a subpoena. He was very polite, and used ’sir’ a lot, and he said he just wanted a name: Who sent me the security directive?” explains Elliot on his blog.

The subpoena commands Elliot “to produce and permit inspection and copying of the records” in his possession related to “TSA Security Directive 1544-09-06 dated December 25, 2009.”

“Any person who neglects or refuses to produce records in obedience to this subpoena is subject to fines under Title 18, United States Code, imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, 49 U.S.C § 46313,” the subpoena concludes.
“So if I’m reading this correctly, the TSA wants me to tell them who gave me the security directive,” writes Elliot. “I told Flaherty I’d call my attorney and get back to him.”
“We are a free society, knowledge is power and informing the masses allows for public conversation and collective understanding,” Steven Frischling notes. “You can agree or disagree, but you need information to know if you want to agree or disagree. My goal is to inform and help people better understand what is happening, as well as allow them to form their own opinions.”

D.C. Lock Down After Person With Gun Report

Posted in News with tags , on December 30, 2009 by truthwillrise

Glenn Thrush
December 29, 2009

Editor’s note: Just a friendly little reminder to our Congress critters in the wake of the underwear bomber charade?

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
  • efoods

UPDATE: Capitol Police tell staffers the situation has “stabilized” and the lock down will soon be called off.

Hill staffers are in lock down after Capitol Police issued a report of a person with a gun.

The email:

Sent: Tuesday, December 29, 2009 3:24 PM
To: All House Staff
Subject: Capitol Hill Complex Lock Down

December 29, 2009
1523 hours

A lock down has been intiated for all buildings in the Capitol Complex due to the investigation of a man with a gun.

Obama monitoring Delta flight firecracker situation

Posted in 9/11, Attack on Freedom, False Flag Terror, New World Order, News, the 9/11 Files with tags , , , on December 26, 2009 by truthwillrise

Fri, Dec 25 18:02 PM EST

KAILUA, Hawaii, Dec 25 (Reuters) – U.S, President Barack Obama, who is on vacation in Hawaii, was “actively monitoring” the situation with a Delta flight on which a man reportedly set off firecrackers, the White House said on Friday.

A man reportedly set off firecrackers on Delta Flight 253 that was carrying 278 passengers to Detroit from Amsterdam.

“The president was notified of the incident this morning between 9:00 and 9:30 Hawaii time by the president’s military aide,” White House spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement.

Obama spoke by conference call with national security advisers and then he “instructed that all appropriate measures be taken to increase security for air travel,” Burton said.

“The president is actively monitoring the situation and receiving regular updates. There is currently no change to his schedule,” he said. (Reporting by Tabassum Zakaria, Editing by Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

The Hidden Agenda: The Fluoride Deception

Posted in Attack on Freedom, Fiat Currency, International Bankers, Life Improvement, New World Order, Poison Foods and Products, Secret Societies, Shadow Government with tags , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2009 by truthwillrise

Dr. Stanley Monteith goes over the history of fluoride, its use, its dangers and its promotion over time. Why something that is rejected by so many nations is promoted here in the USA. Learn about the Hidden Agenda behind the use of Fluoride, who’s behind it and the real purpose behind its use. Shocking video.

That Tap Water Is Legal but May Be Unhealthy

Posted in New World Order, News, Poison Foods and Products with tags , , , , , on December 19, 2009 by truthwillrise


Irfan Khan/The Los Angeles Times, via Associated Press

This Los Angeles reservoir contained chemicals that sunlight converted to compounds associated with cancer. The city used plastic balls to block the sun, but nearby homeowners asked why, if the water didn’t violate the law.

Published: December 16, 2009

The 35-year-old federal law regulating tap water is so out of date that the water Americans drink can pose what scientists say are serious health risks — and still be legal.

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Toxic Waters

Outdated LawsArticles in this series are examining the worsening pollution in American waters, and regulators’ response.

All Articles in the Series »

Browse Water Systems in Your State

Examine whether contaminants in your water supply met two standards: the legal limits established by the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the typically stricter health guidelines.

What’s in Your Water

The data was collected by an advocacy organization, the Environmental Working Group, who shared it with The Times.

Readers’ Comments

Readers shared their thoughts on this article.

Only 91 contaminants are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act, yet more than 60,000 chemicals are used within the United States, according to Environmental Protection Agency estimates. Government and independent scientists have scrutinized thousands of those chemicals in recent decades, and identified hundreds associated with a risk of cancer and other diseases at small concentrations in drinking water, according to an analysis of government records by The New York Times.

But not one chemical has been added to the list of those regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act since 2000.

Other recent studies have found that even some chemicals regulated by that law pose risks at much smaller concentrations than previously known. However, many of the act’s standards for those chemicals have not been updated since the 1980s, and some remain essentially unchanged since the law was passed in 1974.

All told, more than 62 million Americans have been exposed since 2004 to drinking water that did not meet at least one commonly used government health guideline intended to help protect people from cancer or serious disease, according to an analysis by The Times of more than 19 million drinking-water test results from the District of Columbia and the 45 states that made data available.

In some cases, people have been exposed for years to water that did not meet those guidelines.

But because such guidelines were never incorporated into the Safe Drinking Water Act, the vast majority of that water never violated the law.

Some officials overseeing local water systems have tried to go above and beyond what is legally required. But they have encountered resistance, sometimes from the very residents they are trying to protect, who say that if their water is legal it must be safe.

Dr. Pankaj Parekh, director of the water quality division for the City of Los Angeles, has faced such criticism. The water in some city reservoirs has contained contaminants that become likely cancer-causing compounds when exposed to sunlight.

To stop the carcinogens from forming, the city covered the surface of reservoirs, including one in the upscale neighborhood of Silver Lake, with a blanket of black plastic balls that blocked the sun.

Then complaints started from owners of expensive houses around the reservoir. “They supposedly discovered these chemicals, and then they ruined the reservoir by putting black pimples all over it,” said Laurie Pepper, whose home overlooks the manmade lake. “If the water is so dangerous, why can’t they tell us what laws it’s violated?”

Dr. Parekh has struggled to make his case. “People don’t understand that just because water is technically legal, it can still present health risks,” he said. “And so we encounter opposition that can become very personal.”

Some federal regulators have tried to help officials like Dr. Parekh by pushing to tighten drinking water standards for chemicals like industrial solvents, as well as a rocket fuel additive that has polluted drinking water sources in Southern California and elsewhere. But those efforts have often been blocked by industry lobbying.

Drinking water that does not meet a federal health guideline will not necessarily make someone ill. Many contaminants are hazardous only if consumed for years. And some researchers argue that even toxic chemicals, when consumed at extremely low doses over long periods, pose few risks. Others argue that the cost of removing minute concentrations of chemicals from drinking water does not equal the benefits.

Moreover, many of the thousands of chemicals that have not been analyzed may be harmless. And researchers caution that such science is complicated, often based on extrapolations from animal studies, and sometimes hard to apply nationwide, particularly given that more than 57,400 water systems in this country each deliver, essentially, a different glass of water every day.

Government scientists now generally agree, however, that many chemicals commonly found in drinking water pose serious risks at low concentrations.

And independent studies in such journals as Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology; Environmental Health Perspectives; American Journal of Public Health; and Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health, as well as reports published by the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that millions of Americans become sick each year from drinking contaminated water, with maladies from upset stomachs to cancer and birth defects.

Those studies have tracked hospital admissions and disease patterns after chemicals were detected in water supplies. They found that various contaminants were often associated with increased incidents of disease. That research — like all large-scale studies of human illnesses — sometimes cannot definitively say that chemicals in drinking water were the sole cause of disease.

But even the E.P.A., which has ultimate responsibility for the Safe Drinking Water Act, has concluded that millions of Americans have been exposed to drinking water that fails to meet a federal health benchmark, according to records analyzed by The Times. (Studies and E.P.A. summaries can be found in the Resources section of

Communities where the drinking water has contained chemicals that are associated with health risks include Scottsdale, Ariz.; El Paso, Tex., and Reno, Nev. Test results analyzed by The Times show their drinking water has contained arsenic at concentrations that have been associated with cancer. But that contamination did not violate the Safe Drinking Water Act.

In Millville, N.J., Pleasantville, N.J., and Edmond, Okla., drinking water has contained traces of uranium, which can cause kidney damage. Those concentrations also did not violate the law. (Contaminant records for each of the 47,500 water systems that provided data are at

“If it doesn’t violate the law, I don’t really pay much attention to it,” said Stephen Sorrell, executive director of Emerald Coast Utilities Authority, which serves Pensacola, Fla. Data show that his system has delivered water containing multiple chemicals at concentrations that research indicates are associated with health risks. The system has not violated the Safe Drinking Water Act during the last half-decade.

The Times analysis was based on water test data collected by an advocacy organization, the Environmental Working Group. The data, which contain samples from 2004 to this year, are from water systems that were required by law to test for certain contaminants and report findings to regulators. The data were verified by comparing a randomly selected sample against millions of state records obtained by The Times through public records requests.

The Times examined concentrations of 335 chemicals that government agencies have determined were associated with serious health risks. The analysis counted only instances in which the same chemical was detected at least 10 times for a single water system since 2004, at a concentration that the government has said poses at least a 1-in-10,000 risk of causing disease.

That is roughly equivalent to the cancer risk posed by undergoing 100 X-rays. (More information on data sources is at

Some local regulators say gaps in the Safe Drinking Water Act can put them in almost untenable positions. Los Angeles regulators, for instance, test more than 25,000 samples a year looking for poisons, industrial chemicals and radioactive elements. The water that the system delivers to more than four million residents is cleaner than required by law, according to state data. Dr. Parekh has lobbied for millions of dollars to build reservoirs and buy new treatment systems.

But some residents doubt his motives. People affiliated with groups protesting water rate hikes have printed leaflets accusing him and other officials of “fooling us into thinking that our city’s water is not safe to drink!”

Though the city’s water rates are among the lowest in the state — the average household pays $41 a month — other residents have included Dr. Parekh’s name on a poster naming “water officials who want to steal your money.”

In a statement, the E.P.A. said that a top priority of Lisa P. Jackson, who took over the agency in January, was improving how regulators assessed and managed chemical hazards.

“Since chemicals are ubiquitous in our economy, our environment, our water resources and our bodies, we need better authority so we can assure the public that any unacceptable risks have been eliminated,” the E.P.A. wrote. “But, under existing law, we cannot give that assurance.”

Ms. Jackson has asked Congress to amend laws governing how the E.P.A. assesses chemicals, and has issued policies to insulate the agency’s scientific reviews from outside pressures.

But for now, significant risks remain, say former regulators.

“For years, people said that America has the cleanest drinking water in the world,” said William K. Reilly, the E.P.A. administrator under President George H. W. Bush. “That was true 20 years ago. But people don’t realize how many new chemicals have emerged and how much more pollution has occurred. If they did, we would see very different attitudes.”

Accumulating Threats

The Safe Drinking Water Act was passed in 1974 after tests discovered carcinogens, lead and dangerous bacteria flowing from faucets in New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Boston and elsewhere.

At the time, so little was known about the chemicals in American waters that the law required local systems to monitor only 20 substances. (Private wells are not regulated by the act.)

Over the next two decades, researchers at the E.P.A. began testing hundreds of chemicals, and Congress passed amendments strengthening the act. Eventually, the list of regulated substances increased to 91.

In 2000, the list stopped growing. Since then, the rate at which companies and other workplaces have dumped pollutants into lakes and rivers has significantly accelerated, according to an earlier analysis by The Times of the Clean Water Act.

Government scientists have evaluated 830 of the contaminants most often found in water supplies, according to a review of records from the E.P.A. and the United States Geological Survey. They have determined that many of them are associated with cancer or other diseases, even at small concentrations.

Yet almost none of those assessments have been incorporated into the Safe Drinking Water Act or other federal laws. (A complete list of drinking water standards and health guidelines is at

For instance, the drinking water standard for arsenic, a naturally occurring chemical used in semiconductor manufacturing and treated wood, is at a level where a community could drink perfectly legal water, and roughly one in every 600 residents would likely develop bladder cancer over their lifetimes, according to studies commissioned by the E.P.A. and analyzed by The Times. Many of those studies can be found in the Resources section of

That level of exposure is roughly equivalent to the risk the community would face if every person received 1,664 X-rays.

And in some places, tap water contains not just one contaminant, but dozens. More than half of the systems analyzed by The Times had at least seven chemicals in their water. But there is nothing in the law that addresses the cumulative risks of multiple pollutants in a single glass of water, as some public health advocates have urged.

In a statement, the E.P.A. said that a 2003 review of Safe Drinking Water Act standards found that advances in science or technology had made it possible to tighten regulations of some chemicals. However, at the time, “the agency decided that changes to these standards would not provide a meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction.”

Another review of drinking water standards is under way, and results will be released soon, the agency says.

Because some of the diseases associated with drinking water contamination take so long to emerge, people who become ill from their water might never realize the source, say public health experts.

“These chemicals accumulate in body tissue. They affect developmental and hormonal systems in ways we don’t understand, ” said Linda S. Birnbaum, who as director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is the government’s top official for evaluating environmental health effects.

“There’s growing evidence that numerous chemicals are more dangerous than previously thought, but the E.P.A. still gives them a clean bill of health.”

Skepticism From Residents

After six years of helping to build treatment systems to cleanse water of parasites and human waste in nations like Gambia and Liberia, Dr. Parekh was ready for a more relaxing life. So in 1986 he returned to Los Angeles, where he had earned graduate degrees in public health and environmental engineering, and joined the city’s Department of Water and Power.

At the time, almost all of its drinking water came from the pristine Eastern Sierra to the northeast. Until the 1970s, Los Angeles regulators hadn’t even bothered to filter it.

But when Los Angeles lost some of its rights to that water, the city began relying more on ground water from the nearby San Fernando Basin, Northern California and nearby states.

Soon, Dr. Parekh and his colleagues started seeing evidence that those new supplies were contaminated. The San Fernando Basin contains a huge Superfund site — an area so polluted by industry that the federal government has cleanup oversight — and as pollution spread underground, the city had to abandon 40 percent of the area’s wells.

Then, in October 2007, Dr. Parekh received a troubling call. A local laboratory was using tap water for experiments and had discovered compounds called bromates, which studies have associated with cancer.

Bromates are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act, but officials are required to test for them only when water leaves a treatment plant. Even after it was treated, Los Angeles’s water contained certain contaminants that, when combined with cleaning chemicals and exposed to sunlight in reservoirs, had formed bromates. Those bromate concentrations did not break federal rules, but city workers thought they were unhealthy and worried they could eventually violate the law unless action was taken.

Dr. Parekh’s colleagues released more than 600 million gallons of contaminated water into the ocean. Then a member of Dr. Parekh’s staff had an idea: to protect the drinking water from sunlight, cover the reservoirs with plastic balls.

The city bought 6.5 million dark balls — similar to the kind McDonald’s uses for its playground pits — for about $2 million, and dumped them into reservoirs. Angry residents began attacking the city’s regulators on blogs and leaving profane phone messages. A spokesman for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said he believed such complaints were not widespread.

Today, Los Angeles is drawing up plans for underground storage tanks. And Dr. Parekh and others are designing a treatment system that may cost as much as $800 million. The city has not determined how to pay those costs.

“I drink my tap water. My 86-year-old mother drinks tap water,” Dr. Parekh said. “We work very hard to give this city the cleanest water in the state. But water sources are getting more polluted. If we just do what’s required, it’s not enough.”

Polluters Push Back

Earlier this decade, scientists at the E.P.A. began telling top agency officials that more needed to be done. Dr. Peter W. Preuss, who in 2004 became head of the E.P.A.’s division analyzing environmental risks, was particularly concerned.

So his department started assessing a variety of contaminants often found in drinking water, including perchlorate, an unregulated rocket fuel additive, as well as two regulated compounds, trichloroethylene, a degreaser used in manufacturing, and perchloroethylene or perc, a dry-cleaning solvent. Research indicated that those chemicals posed risks at smaller concentrations than previously known. Links to that research can be found in the Resources section of

But when E.P.A. scientists produced assessments indicating those chemicals were more toxic — the first step in setting a standard for perchlorate and tougher standards for the other two substances — businesses fought back by lobbying lawmakers and regulators and making public attacks.

Military contractors, for example, said that regulations on perchlorate, which has been associated with stunted central nervous system development, would cost them billions of dollars in cleanup costs. In 2003, an Air Force colonel, Daniel Rogers, called an E.P.A. assessment of the chemical “biased, unrealistic and scientifically imbalanced.” Military officials told E.P.A. scientists they were unpatriotic for suggesting that bases were contaminated, according to people who participated in those discussions.

Property owners who had rented space to dry cleaners lobbied lawmakers and top E.P.A. officials to remove government scientists from research on perc, which has been associated with some kinds of tumors, according to interviews with lobbyists. (Trichloroethylene has been associated with liver and kidney damage and cancer.)

Soon, Dr. Preuss was told by some superiors that he might be dismissed if he continued pushing for extensive assessments of certain chemicals, he said.

“It’s hard for me to describe the level of anger and animosity directed at us for trying to publish sound, scientific research that met the highest standards,” Dr. Preuss said. “It went way beyond what would be considered professional behavior.”

Today, the Safe Drinking Water Act still does not regulate perchlorate or more than two dozen other substances that Dr. Preuss’s department has analyzed over the last eight years. And standards for acceptable levels of trichloroethylene and perc have not changed in 18 years.

Those two chemicals have been detected in drinking water in more than a dozen states, including California, Massachusetts, New York and Oregon. A study published last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found traces of perchlorate in every person examined by researchers.

A Department of Defense official, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivities regarding perchlorate, said the military’s perspective on the chemical had changed since 2005, and it now deferred to the E.P.A.’s assessments. Colonel Rogers did not reply to e-mail messages and calls seeking comment.

“We need action,” said Senator Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat and chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, which oversees the Safe Drinking Water Act. “E.P.A. has the authority to set new standards, but it wasn’t used over the last eight years. There are people at risk.”

In a statement, the E.P.A. said that standards for trichloroethylene and perc were under examination, and that a decision regarding perchlorate would be issued next year.

Dr. Preuss’s department has also written, but not yet published, a much tougher assessment of arsenic, the most common contaminant that companies are forced to clean up at Superfund sites. The chemical is a case study in the complexities of establishing risk levels and how industries fight regulatory efforts.

In 2000, the E.P.A. proposed setting a limit on arsenic in drinking water at five parts per billion — roughly equivalent to one drop in 50 drums of water. But water systems and industries that use arsenic complained, arguing that the science was uncertain and the chemical was expensive to remove. Regulators relented, doubling the arsenic limit to 10 parts per billion.

Since then, new studies have emerged, and interviews with more than 30 researchers as well as reports by the National Academy of Sciences indicate there is a general consensus on the dangers of arsenic at low concentrations. Those studies can be found in the Resources section of

Dr. Parekh estimates that arsenic poses more of a risk to Los Angeles residents than any other contaminant in drinking water.

A decade’s worth of evidence also indicates that the costs of removing arsenic from drinking water have often been smaller than initially estimated.

But there is still a scientific debate over the costs and benefits of lowering the arsenic standard in drinking water. Many of the scientists opposed to new regulation receive funding from industries that use arsenic. But they raise concerns that underscore the difficulties of evaluating such risks.

“I think most people would say that, from a health perspective, setting an arsenic limit as close to zero as possible is best,” said Kenneth Cantor, who recently retired from the National Cancer Institute. “But we can’t do controlled experiments where we expose some people to two parts per billion, and other people to eight parts per billion, and see which ones get more cancer. So there is some uncertainty, just as there is uncertainty in every scientific conclusion.”

Some industry groups have financed studies that highlight that uncertainty. And industry lobbyists have urged sympathetic lawmakers and officials to complain about tougher risk assessments, according to interviews and correspondence provided by E.P.A. employees or obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

Those lobbying efforts have succeeded, to a degree. Some officials from the Department of Agriculture and E.P.A. staff members have pushed back, and some said that a stricter arsenic assessment would have “disastrous impacts,” according to a confidential memo from one of the E.P.A.’s regional offices, and would present “a severe challenge in communicating risk information” to the public. The new assessment “lacks common sense” and is “unexpected and bewildering,” another memo argued.

Other critics have said that Dr. Preuss’s assessment will affect not just water regulations, but also toxicity estimates for anything containing arsenic.

“If the science is uncertain, and there are enormous costs associated with more regulation, maybe we should wait for certainty,” said Robert C. LaGasse, executive director of the Mulch and Soil Council, who has met with the E.P.A. on this issue. “Arsenic naturally occurs in soils and fertilizer. This could have a chilling effect on gardening.”

Dr. Preuss said such concerns should not shape scientific evaluations. “It is our job to follow the science, and when a preponderance of evidence indicates there is a risk, we should say so,” he said.

In May, Ms. Jackson, the E.P.A. head, announced reforms to protect agency scientists like Dr. Preuss from outside pressures. Dr. Preuss said he was an enthusiastic supporter of Ms. Jackson’s efforts, and believed the arsenic assessment would be published without interference.

“But there are still tens of thousands of chemicals we haven’t assessed,” he added. “If you don’t know what’s dangerous, you can’t write laws against it.”

Risky — and Legal

The effects of pollution are clear throughout the Los Angeles area. In Santa Monica, officials have shut wells contaminated by a gasoline additive that is not regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act. In Pomona, a college town to the east, water supplies contain chemicals dumped by manufacturing and agricultural companies.

And in Maywood, a city of 30,000 just southeast of downtown Los Angeles, tap water is often brown and tastes bitter, say residents. Many people don’t own white clothing, because they complain it becomes stained when it is washed.

Last month, Carlos Husman drew a bath for his 4-month-old granddaughter that was filled with what looked like particles of rust and dirt, staining the sides of the bathtub.

Maywood is only one square mile, but has three water systems. All are privately owned, so local officials have no real power except forcing them to follow federal and state regulations. About three-quarters of the nation’s water systems are private entities, beholden only to their shareholders and the law.

Laboratory tests show Maywood’s tap water has contained toxic levels of mercury, lead, manganese and other chemicals that have been associated with liver and kidney damage, neurological diseases or cancer.

But when Maywood’s residents asked for cleaner water, they were told what was flowing from the taps satisfied the Safe Drinking Water Act, and so the managers didn’t have to do more.

Indeed, some of the chemicals in Mr. Husman’s water — like manganese, which has been associated with Parkinson’s disease — are essentially unregulated, and so the water system isn’t required to remove them, even when particles float in a glass.

“When I shower in the morning, it looks like blood,” Mr. Husman said. “How can the government see this water, know it contains dangerous chemicals, and say it’s legal?”

When a city council member named Felipe Aguirre lobbied for cleaner water, anonymous leaflets arrived. “Felipe Aguirre has deceived the citizens of Maywood!” one reads. “Felipe Aguirre does not care that Maywood residents will be paying more for water already safe to drink!” another says. “Do you want this liar and corrupt politician to decide the future of Maywood and its residents?”

Water system managers say their water is safe. “If it wasn’t, the E.P.A. or the state would tell us to change,” said Gustavo Villa, general manager of Maywood Mutual Water Company No. 2. Before taking his job in 2006, Mr. Villa drove 18-wheeler trucks, and had no experience running a water system. He said the system was trying to install machinery to remove some manganese, but halted construction because of missing permits.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures have pursued options that could help Maywood and other cities. The California Legislature, for instance, this year passed a bill focused on Maywood that would revoke permits from the town’s water systems if they cannot “deliver safe, wholesome and potable drinking water.”

In May, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed the Water Infrastructure Financing Act, which, if approved by Congress and signed by President Obama, would authorize $14.7 billion in loans to help states improve their systems.

And the E.P.A. recently said it would analyze a host of chemicals — known as endocrine disruptors — that some scientists have associated with cancer and other diseases. Congress called for such tests in 1996, but the agency failed to meet deadlines for 13 years.

In the meantime, regulators struggle to explain to residents that even legal drinking water can pose risks. Some of them have recommended that people use home water filters.

Most people don’t comprehend the complicated scientific papers that describe cancer risks, Dr. Parekh said. “And if the law is working, they don’t have to,” he added. “But in this new world, where pollution is so much more common, they may have to learn to understand it.”


Posted in economic tyranny, Economy, Fiat Currency, International Bankers, New World Order, News, The Federal Reserve with tags , , , on December 19, 2009 by truthwillrise

By Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., Ph.D., J.D.
November 4, 2009

[The following is the full text of a somewhat shortened address presented to the Committee for Monetary Research and Education on 15 October 2009…]

The more things change, the more they remain the same. In 1814, in an address to the House of Representatives, Daniel Webster observed that

public credit, the last reliance of government, * * * does not exist. This is a state of things calling for the soberest counsels, and yet it seems to meet only the wildest speculations. Nothing is talked of but banks, and a circulating paper medium, and exchequer notes, and the thousand other contrivances which ingenuity, vexed and goaded by the direst necessity, can devise, with the vain hope of giving value to mere paper. All these things are not revenue, nor do they produce it. * * * [N]or is there a device more shallow or more mischievous, than to pour forth new floods of paper without credit as a remedy for the evils which paper without credit has already created.[1]
Even earlier, Thomas Jefferson had predicted the reason for such a sorry state of affairs:

From the conclusion of the [W]ar [of Independence] we shall be going down hill. It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to the people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves, but in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights.[2]
Jefferson was all too prescient. Ever since his day, the political class has looked elsewhere than to the American people for support—and always found it from the financial class.

The financial class has arrayed itself on the side of the political class, and the political class has arrayed itself on the side of the financial class—not just in an incestuous coupling, but in the veritable fusion of a political-cum-financial hermaphrodite: the full integration and consolidation of bank and state.

This unholy alliance has always centered around a mechanism by means of which the financial class can create ersatz “money” out of nothing tangible—through a monopolistic national bank (the First and Second Banks of the United States), then a national banking conglomerate (the National Banks of the Civil War), and finally a fully corporative-state banking apparatus (the modern Federal Reserve System), all operating on the basis of “reserves” so increasingly fractional that they have now become essentially fictional. Through the General Government, the political class has guaranteed the continuance of this scheme, in one form or another, for more than two hundred years.
By so doing, the political class has always been able to count on the support of the financial class—but only at the cost of enabling the financial class to exercise exorbitant influence over the General Government, and through the General Government over the American people themselves.

The true name of this system is financial fascism.

As with all fascistic arrangements, it involves an axis of coöperation between big private special-interest groups and rogue public officials—in this case, the Axis of Financial Fraud that runs from Lower Manhattan in New York City to Washington, in the Disgrace of Columbia.

Whenever and wherever a scheme of this type has been put into operation, it has rested upon a threefold fraud:

First, the falsehood that the purpose of “money” is to serve some disembodied entity—“the economy”; or some institution—“the government”; or some self-selected élite—“the financial community”, rather than the people as a whole.

Second, the falsehood that “money” should be created and managed by self-styled “experts” who are politically independent of the people.

Third, and most important, the falsehood that “money” should be based upon debt, whether public or private, not upon any tangible commodity, such as silver or gold, the supply and the value of which the free market determines.

Currency generated out of debt is not an attempt to create a medium of exchange “out of nothing”, such as the irredeemable, but debt-free, legal-tender Lincoln Greenbacks of the Civil War. Rather, it is an attempt to create a medium of exchange out of something worse than nothing. For, all other things being equal, debt is always less desirable than the absence of debt. At base, currency generated out of debt is a contradiction in terms, because it purports to transform liabilities into assets. Indeed, it is more of a fantasy even than the fabled Philosopher’s Stone. For that was supposedly able to transform one asset—lead—into a more valuable asset—gold, not to turn something that was not an asset at all into something else that was.

Currency generated out of debt rests upon the delusion that increases in the stock of society’s medium of exchange will cause corresponding increases in society’s real wealth—that is, that debt can be the source of and foundation for wealth because real economic development can always be “stimulated” with new doses of debt. Of course, this naive notion that “having more money equals having more wealth” ignores the questions of whether increases in the supply of money decrease the purchasing power of all money, and of whether such increases actually undermine or even sabotage the operation of the free market, thereby decreasing real wealth. It also ignores the reality that every emission of new currency results in a redistribution of real wealth to the currency’s issuer from the society that initially accepts the new currency at its full face value and then continues to use it as it depreciates in purchasing power—that is, that the issuers of currency generated from debt are in fact embezzling wealth from everyone else.

The generation of currency out of debt is a confidence game, because it depends for its continuation upon the average citizen’s misplaced confidence in the efficacy and especially the stability of the system emitting that currency. As with every confidence game, however, reality eventually supplants illusion. As time goes by, society suffers an ever-increasing dependence upon ever-expanding increments of debt in order to generate ever-contracting increments of purported “economic growth”. The economy supersaturates with debt. Then, like the drug addict who chokes to death on his own vomit as a result of an overdose, the economy finds itself strangled by the ever-tightening cords of unpayable debt—and slips into the fatal coma of stagnation, then depression, and perhaps hyperinflation, too.

The sole constitutional power of Congress with respect to money is “[t]o coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures”.[3] Observe that this clause links as cognate powers “regulat[ing] the Value [of Money]” and “fix[ing] the Standard of Weights and Measures”, because the Constitution intends for “Money” itself to be a scientific “Standard”—rational, objective, verifiable, or falsifiable—akin to every other known or knowable “Standard of Weights and Measures”.

Although emitted under a purported delegation of power from Congress, the contemporary Federal Reserve Note, in contrast, is a standard of nothing tangible or even theoretical—as John Exter used to say, it is truly “an IOU nothing currency”. The Federal Reserve System provides this country with neither a rational, nor an objective, nor a verifiable or falsifiable standard—not even a standard predictable in its changeability—let alone anything that could be called a constitutional legal standard. Operating without a scientific monetary standard, the Federal Reserve System interferes with the free market’s formation of prices—indeed, the System’s manipulations under the rubric of “monetary policy” intentionally falsify prices, causing widespread and ineradicable economic confusion and the monumental waste of human efforts and natural resources.


Of course, America’s financial class is not composed entirely of fools devoid of foresight. Anticipating all of these problems, the financial class arranged for the political class to provide three forms of protection for different levels of systemic risk in the Federal Reserve System:

at the lowest level, the concept of “deposit insurance”, designed to gull the victims of the fractional-reserve scam into believing that the banking system can and will secure its clients against a relatively few especially imprudent operators;

at the intermediate level, the concept of “the lender of last resort”, the spigot of “liquidity” within the banking system itself which enables the system to keep afloat some (albeit not all) large financial institutions when their mismanagement threatens to sink them in bankruptcy; and

at the highest level, the concept of “institutions too big to fail”, the ultimate safety-valve to be turned on whenever the financial class’s irresponsible speculations endanger one or more segments of the economy so sizeable that only the political class can marshal an adequate “bail out” through the General Government.
The term “institutions too big to fail” is a rather sorry misnomer—because under contemporary financial fascism the big financial institutions—and, it seems, the big industrial concerns as well—are proving too rotten with corruption not to fail. They cannot help but fail, they will fail, and for rogue public officials to provide them with “bail outs” merely transfers the real burden of failure from the pocketbooks of the financial class onto the backs of the American people. Having put across the swindle of “institutions too big to fail”, though, the financial class now holds the people of the United States hostage to its manipulations. Without “bail out” after “bail out”, the financial class warns, the economy will collapse, social chaos will break out, and the invocation of “martial law” will be necessary to restore order. Thus, common Americans have been made the unwilling, but perpetual guarantors of a gigantic Ponzi scheme in which well-organized racketeers in the financial class rake in the illicit profits—their cronies in the political class secure the votes, the pensions, and the golden parachutes—and average citizens must swallow the ever-increasing losses in jobs, in productivity, in income, in standards of living, and in every other measure of economic well-being.

Americans must also suffer the loss of their fundamental freedoms, because, politically, financial fascism is neither a benign nor a static system. Its vicious principles are such that their application will drive this country to a centralized financial police state—and then to a full-blown police state in every horrific sense of that term. Already in 1791 this potential for political disaster was recognized in the debate in the House of Representatives on the First Bank of the United States, during which Representative Giles warned the country that

“all the arguments adduced in favor of [a national bank], from whatever source they arise, if pursued, will be found to rush into the great one of expediency, to bear down all Constitutional provisions, and to end themselves in the unlimited ocean of despotism.”[4]
The question then becomes: Must the Axis of Financial Fraud be suffered to “crucify America on a cross of debt”?

The answer is NO! There is a way out. The purveyors of the culture of debt at both ends of the Axis of Financial Fraud have forgotten that their pyramids of phony paper promises are still subject to constitutional law. To smash the Axis once and for all, Americans must:

(i) restore commodity money of silver and gold as the only official media of exchange for the General Government and the States;

(ii) gradually displace and replace currency generated from debt with commodity money through competition in the free market;

(iii) enforce the absolute separation of bank and state, so that common people are no longer compelled to underwrite the financial class’s Ponzi schemes; and

(iv) declare uncollectible all unconstitutionally incurred debt.

The last entry in this list bears repetition and explanation: To declare uncollectible all unconstitutionally incurred debt is entirely different from “repudiating debt”. Repudiation of debt presumes that the debt was originally lawful, but that now, for some reason, the law must be set aside, or disregarded, or changed ex post facto. In contrast, declaring uncollectible all unconstitutionally incurred debt presumes that the debt was never valid at all. But how can this be accomplished? In at least two ways:

First, under the doctrine of the Supreme Court’s decision in Craig v. Missouri,[5] all contracts, agreements, or other arrangements in which any part of the consideration consists or consisted of the emission of unconstitutional “bills of credit” through or under the auspices of any Federal Reserve Bank, “member bank”, or “depositary institution” within the Federal Reserve System are declared to be void ab initio and unenforceable in any court of the United States or of any State.

Second, all public debt obligations of the United States, howsoever made and in whatever form, that have been incurred for the purpose of raising revenue to be expended from the general fund of the Treasury in payment of costs arising under a particular budget of the United States are declared to be void ab initio and unenforceable in any court of the United States or of any State in the same percentage that the unconstitutional programs, activities, or expenditures in that budget bear to the total programs, activities, or expenditures therein. Every lender must be presumed to know the constitutional limits on the expenditures of money the General Government borrows, to the same extent that every official of that government knows those limits. So, if a lender extends a loan to public officials, knowing that his loan will be used for unconstitutional purposes, or with willful blindness to or reckless disregard of the unconstitutionality of those purposes, he is thereby a participant in a fraud against the American people. And for the repayment of such a loan, the American people cannot be held liable.

Plainly enough, though, the present Congress, President, and Supreme Court will never reform the contemporary monetary and banking systems, and reduce average Americans’ burden of debt, along these lines. That leaves it to the victims of the swindle: WE THE PEOPLE themselves. Which is quite appropriate.

After all, the real “federal government” is not the General Government alone—it is not the General Government and the States alone—rather, it is the General Government, and the States, and most importantly WE THE PEOPLE. Most importantly, because the real “federal government” is not a pyramid in which power flows up from the bottom to concentrate at the top, with an all-seeing eye at its apex. For the strength of any pyramid is found not at its apex, but in its base. WE THE PEOPLE are the essential support of the entire structure, the source of its strength, the font of political power, the ultimate sovereigns.


All too many Americans for all too long have been conditioned to think of “the federal government” in terms of “higher” and “lower” levels as on some crude bureaucratic organizational chart: with Washington, D.C. at the top, the States and THE PEOPLE at the bottom. The correct description, however, takes into account degrees of authority: The truly “highest” level is the one closest to the well-spring of sovereignty, the “lower” levels the ones increasingly removed from that source. WE THE PEOPLE occupy the “highest” level in the real “federal government”, because WE THE PEOPLE not only originally “ordain[ed] and establish[ed] th[e] Constitution”, but also sustain—and must enforce—its authority every day. As the Supreme Court has held, “[t]he power to enact carries with it final authority to declare the meaning of the legislation”.[6] Moreover, as Sir William Blackstone taught the Founding Fathers, “whenever a question arises between the society at large and any magistrate vested with powers originally delegated by that society, it must be decided by the voice of the society itself: there is not upon earth any other tribunal to resort to”.[7]

To be sure, the partisans of the Federal Reserve System will contend that the System has been declared constitutional on numerous occasions, or at least is generally treated as constitutional, and that therefore its validity cannot now be contested. In fact, however, the Supreme Court has never heard a challenge to the central-banking scheme, or its irredeemable paper currency, on the numerous grounds of their greatest constitutional vulnerability. In any event, the very same legal gurus who tout the alleged legitimacy of the Federal Reserve System—as well as the propriety of the ever-expanding expenditures of the General Government that the Federal Reserve System finances through the banks’ “monetization” of public debt—also claim that America has a so-called “living constitution”, the meaning of which can change from time to time to meet differing circumstances. If that is true, then no matter how many times in the past the Federal Reserve System and the General Government’s expenditures have supposedly been declared constitutional, WE THE PEOPLE can decide tomorrow that circumstances demand reinterpretation of this “living constitution” in order to strike down the Federal Reserve System and those expenditures, and thereby to save this country from economic disaster. Or, WE THE PEOPLE can decide on the basis of the Constitution’s “original intent” that the Federal Reserve System and expenditures of those kinds were never even arguably lawful in the first place. In either case, the Federal Reserve System and all such expenditures—and the huge mountain of ostensible public and private debt associated with them—can be eliminated.

Why WE THE PEOPLE will take this course is obvious. As the old saw has it, “Nothing focuses a man’s mind more than his impending hanging!” THE PEOPLE have been asleep for a long time. Now, however, as the economic screws tighten on every side, they have finally awakened to the danger confronting them. Everyone with an IQ even a single point higher than his age recognizes the utter and irremediable corruption of the Federal Reserve System and the entire financial and political régime centered around and dependent upon it: Consider the gargantuan “bail outs” that amount to the most mammoth, brazen, and insolent financial looting any society has ever suffered in the history of the world. Consider the régime’s refusal to accept responsibility or to provide for accountability or even minimal transparency. Consider the régime’s grab for ever-more-abusive powers, not only over the financial sector of the economy, but also over what remains of the industrial sector. In short, ordinary Americans are witnessing—and know they are witnessing—a war being waged against them by the racketeers of the financial class and rogue public officials in the outlaw city-states of New York and Washington, D.C. So far, it is a war in which only the aggressors are doing any fighting. But that disparity will not persist much longer.

As Jefferson predicted, now that THE PEOPLE are no longer making money, but instead are losing it hand over fist—and with it their jobs, their prosperity, their economic security, and their hopes for decent retirement—they have but one other alternative: They must “think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights”. When they do, THE PEOPLE will recognize that the only way to restore their national independence, societal prosperity, and individual liberty is to break the links once and for all between bank and state and between currency and debt, using the industrial-strength tools the Constitution supplies.

How will they do it? WE THE PEOPLE must first declare and then secure their economic and legal independence from the Federal Reserve System’s régime of fiat currency and central banking within their own States and Localities. They can succeed in this endeavor because:

(i) THE PEOPLE do not need the advice, or the help, or the interference, or the direction, or least of all the dictation of anyone in Washington, D.C. or New York City to live as free and prosperous Americans in their own States and Localities.

(ii) THE PEOPLE vastly outnumber the totality of all public officials, politicians, financiers, bankers, and these parasites’ clients, partisans, hangers-on, and touts.

(iii) THE PEOPLE physically control most of the property in this country—and actual “possession is nine-tenths of the law”. If THE PEOPLE en masse and through properly organized and authorized resistance simply refused to relinquish their physical possession in defiance of the financial class’s merely paper claims, precisely what could the financial class do about it?

(iv) THE PEOPLE can still exercise an effective franchise in many States. And, most consequentially in the final analysis,

(v) THE PEOPLE constitute the Militia, which the Constitution declares to be “necessary to the security of a free State”, and to which institution alone the Constitution explicitly assigns the responsibility and the authority “to execute the Laws of the Union”.[8] Combining THE PEOPLE’S actual possession of most of the property throughout America with their authority through the Militia “to execute the Laws” would mean that the financial class could not possibly maintain its stranglehold over the economy for a single minute after THE PEOPLE decided to declare uncollectible all unconstitutionally incurred debt.

The initial step on the long march to reform is to introduce, State by State, an alternative currency of silver and gold that can compete with, and shortly replace, the Federal Reserve Note in each State’s public finances and private economy. This process must take place through the States, because:

(i) the States are large enough politically and economically to make it work;

(ii) the States have the undoubted legal authority to do it;

(iii) with respect to the choice of a currency for the performance of their own governmental functions, the States enjoy absolute legal immunity from interference by rogue public officials in the General Government;[9] and

(iv) the Militia, through which the alternative currency will quickly move into each State’s private economy, are “the Militia of the several States”.[10]

This plan is not some pie-in-the-sky vision. For several States—New Hampshire, Montana, Indiana, and Georgia, for instance—have already set out in the right direction (albeit only with halting steps so far). True enough, they and other States still have a long road to travel—but, as the Chinese say, even a journey of a thousand li begins with but a single step.

An alternative currency—introduced through the States’ governments and spread throughout the economy by THE PEOPLE themselves in their Militia—is not simply an idea whose time has come. More than that, true constitutional monetary reform will be the new “shot heard ‘round the world”, the announcement of a new American declaration of independence from the corrupt alliance of politicians and financiers that has driven this country to the brink of irretrievable disaster.


1, 9 December 1814
2, Quoted in Merrill D. Peterson, Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation (New York, New York: Oxford University Press, 1970), at 99
3, Article I, Section 8, Clause 5
4, The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States (J. Gales compilation, 1834), Volume 2, at 1942-1943.
5, 29 U.S. (4 Peters) 410 (1830).
6, Propper v. Clark, 337 U.S. 472, 484 (1949)
7, William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, Volume 1, at 212.
8, U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cl. 15 and amend. II.
9, Lane County v. Oregon, 74 U.S. (7 Wallace) 71 (1869).
10, U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cls. 15 and 16, and art. II, § 2, cl. 1.

© 2009 Edwin Vieira, Jr. – All Rights Reserved

U.S. Aided Yemeni Raids on Al Qaeda, Officials Say

Posted in 9/11, False Flag Terror, New World Order, News, Stupid Government Tricks, the 9/11 Files with tags , , , on December 19, 2009 by truthwillrise

Published: December 18, 2009

WASHINGTON — The United States provided firepower, intelligence and other support to the government of Yemen as it carried out raids this week to strike at suspected hide-outs of Al Qaeda within its borders, according to officials familiar with the operations.
The officials said that the American support was approved by President Obama and came at the request of the Yemeni government.
The American contributions were intended to help Yemen to prevent Al Qaeda from mounting attacks against American and other foreign targets inside its borders. Officials declined to say whether those targets were embassies, businesses, schools or other sites.
Yemeni officials said their security forces had killed at least 34 militants in the broadest attack on the terrorist group in years. A range of Pentagon, military and intelligence officials declined to provide details of the reported attacks, which, according to ABC News, included American missiles. But officials in Washington offered words of support for the government of Yemen in tackling international terrorism. “Yemen should be commended for actions against Al Qaeda,” said Bryan G. Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman. “Al Qaeda poses a serious threat to Yemeni, U.S. and regional interests.”
Reluctance among administration officials to comment on whether American forces had launched missiles into Yemen appeared to reflect a desire to make clear that the Yemeni government was in the lead in counterterrorism operations within its borders. There is a great reluctance among leaders of many Muslim nations to have any cooperation with the United States on counterterrorism operations made known. American officials said some of the strikes against suspected terrorist camps in Yemen earlier in the week were carried out solely by local forces.
American officials said this past summer that they were seeing the first evidence that dozens of fighters with Al Qaeda, and a small handful of the terrorist group’s leaders, were moving to Somalia and Yemen from Pakistan. In communications that were being monitored at the Pentagon, the White House and the C.I.A., the terrorist groups in all three locations had begun communicating more frequently, and apparently trying to coordinate their actions, the officials said.
Yemen has long been a haven for jihadists. Al Qaeda has mounted frequent attacks against foreign embassies and Yemeni officials. Last month, it claimed credit for an attack on a government convoy in Yemen’s remote eastern desert in which three top provincial officials and three of their guards were killed.

Student Suspended And Assaulted For Handing Out ANTI-VACCINE Flyers

Posted in Attack on Freedom, General, New World Order, News, Stupid Government Tricks, Tyranny with tags , , , , , , , on December 18, 2009 by truthwillrise

Robert Wanek

December 18, 2009

The flyers consisted of simple medical studies that disprove vaccine safety claims by the CDC. On December 16th Breckenridge High School was holding a free vaccination clinic for all willing students, I signed up on the 14th and intended to enter the science room to hand out educational flyers.

When I began handing them out I was physically pushed around by my principal, this didn’t stop me from handing out many more flyers to the waiting students, some of which changed their mind and began to leave the line. After being threatened with arrest and removal from school property, I went back to class.

When I was dismissed at 1:30 I ran back to the clinic. After being physical blocked by a public health official I slid under her arm and began peacefully offering nurses more information. This is when my science teacher Scott Wermerskirchen Assaulted me by pushing, bumping, grabbing, and aggressively ‘bearhugging’ me in an attempt to get my video camera.

The whole altercation was captured on multiple security cameras and seen by over 20 witnesses. The school is refusing to release any video footage, and has not taken action against this teacher. However, the punishment for handing out flyers was a 2 day out of school suspension which was issued to me. This is ludicrous unjust and downright fascist.

Contact the school with your opinions
(Principal Bettin)

Superintendent Schmidt

Every student in this film has given me WRITTEN CONSENT to film and broadcast them, although I did not operate the camera, I therefore avoided breaking any rules.


Posted in Alex Jones, Attack on Freedom, False Flag Terror, Fiat Currency, International Bankers, New World Order, Police State/Martial Law, RFID, Secret Societies, Shadow Government, The Federal Reserve, Tyranny with tags , , , , , , , on December 18, 2009 by truthwillrise

Putting Obama on Hold, in a Hint of Who’s Boss

Posted in Business, economic tyranny, Economy, International Bankers, New World Order, News, Shadow Government, The Constitution with tags , , , , on December 15, 2009 by truthwillrise


Published: December 14, 2009

President Obama didn’t exactly look thrilled as he stared at the Polycom speakerphone in front of him. “Well, I appreciate you guys calling in,” he began the meeting at the White House with Wall Street’s top brass on Monday.
He was, of course, referring to the three conspicuously absent attendees who were being piped in by telephone: Lloyd C. Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs; John J. Mack, chairman of Morgan Stanley; and Richard D. Parsons, chairman of Citigroup.

Their excuse? “Inclement weather,” according to the White House. More precisely, fog delayed flights into Reagan National Airport. (In the “no good deed goes unpunished” category, the absent bankers were at least self-aware enough to try to fly commercial.)

That awkward moment on speakerphone in the White House, for better or worse, spoke volumes about how the balance of power between Wall Street and Washington has shifted again, back in Wall Street’s favor.

Now that Citigroup has given back its bailout money — and Wells Fargo announced late on Monday that it would, too — whatever leverage Washington had over the financial services industry seems to be quickly eroding.
Executive compensation, leverage limits and lending standards were all issues that Washington said it planned to change — and when the taxpayers were the shareholders of these firms, it probably could have done so. But now the White House has been left in the position of extending invitations, rather than exercising its clout. And in the figurative and literal sense, it is getting stood up.

Those who attended the meeting — Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan flew down on a private jet and didn’t take any heat for it — seemed to talk a good game, but even President Obama acknowledged they might have been just toying with him.

“The problem is there’s a big gap between what I’m hearing here in the White House and the activities of lobbyists on behalf of these institutions or associations of which they’re a member up on Capitol Hill,” he said after the discussion.
Are we making too much of this meeting and its grounded attendees?

The meeting was always just going to be political theater. Wall Street bankers were supposed to play their part on the public stage in Washington, and submit to a scolding from the president about bonuses and the need to start lending more to help get the economy moving.

But inevitably public perception will issue its harsh ruling, and it goes something like this: If the meeting were really that important to Mr. Blankfein, Mr. Mack and Mr. Parsons, they would have found a way to get there.

They would have left the night before, or they would have flown out at the crack of dawn, or better yet, taken Amtrak (I called customer service, and the Acela was running only a couple of minutes late).

In fairness, there is little question that they wanted to be there and seemed genuinely disappointed they couldn’t make it. (You could hear it in Mr. Mack and Mr. Blankfein’s voice when they got on the call. “Mr. President, we’re upset we’re not able to be there, but we’re on line with you now,” Mr. Mack said. “It’s certainly not for a lack of effort,” Mr. Blankfein quickly followed up.)

But this missed meeting clearly didn’t help their case.
After all, they sure hoofed it down there last year, when Henry M. Paulson Jr. ordered them to meet him in Washington with less than 24 hours of notice. Most of them got there early, and went home with $10 billion to $25 billion of taxpayer money.

Upon hearing the news Monday morning of the airplane delays, Mark Haines, an anchor at CNBC, went on the air and, in a Howard Beale moment, said what many Americans were probably thinking: “These guys are such little girls! Give me a break. What a bunch of wimps! Thanks for all that taxpayer money … and, ah, gee, there are delays at the airport!”

But extra effort may have been a lot to ask given the blasting headwinds they were flying into down in Washington.

President Obama’s “60 Minutes” interview Sunday night eviscerating Wall Street laid down the not-so-welcome mat. “I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat-cat bankers,” he said.

Inside the Obama administration, there were bruised feelings about the need for a conference call to have a meeting.
“It was pretty nervy,” one staff member told me.
That’s not to say that Mr. Blankfein, Mr. Mack and Mr. Parsons have not been trying to be constructive.

Mr. Mack has been particularly outspoken about the need for serious financial reform on Wall Street. Mr. Parsons, too, has been trying to act as a liaison with Washington and has not pushed back on legislation.

And Mr. Blankfein, who is under perhaps the hottest spotlight, has been saying many of the right things, though he probably can’t say enough of them at the moment.
But as President Obama has said, it is not what those leaders say to him that really matters.

“The way I see it, having recovered with the help of the
American government and the American taxpayers, our banks now have a greater obligation to the goal of a wider recovery, a more stable system, and more broadly shared prosperity,” Mr. Obama said.

There’s an expression that many bankers already know, and might want to keep in mind if they are summoned to Washington again. The saying is often trotted out on Wall Street when people need to be reminded of the importance of getting on a plane and seeing a client: “You can’t fax a handshake.”