Iran-India Pipeline to Continue Depite US Objections

Click here for the link to the story:

India Pursues Energy From Iran

My comments:

The lowdown: India and Iran had made a deal to run a pipeline from Iran to India through Pakistan (India would pay a transit fee to Pakistan who would also get access to oil from the same pipeline).

Well, the US offered a sweeter deal to India to stab Iran in the back: Vote against Iran in the UN security council and we’ll offer to work with you to build nuclear energy plants. India took the new deal from the US and put off the Iran pipeline crying out about the price of oil and reservations about Pakistan’s control of the pipeline (they knew all along this before they made the deal the pipeline was not going the other way around the globe) and also voted against Iran in the UN in the last two years.

Well – India’s energy needs are huge since it is growing rapidly. And at this time it can’t afford to wait decades when it has nuclear power plants. Also India’s parliament shot down the deal with the US. So India decided to go kiss and make up with Iran.

The State Department’s Sean McCormack said Monday in Washington that the United States would “counsel against” the pipeline plan.

“Given where Iran is in the international system, being under sanctions, and given its actions within the international system, is now really the time to conclude a pipline deal with the Iranian government?” he said.

However, insinuations from the United States that India should turn its back on Tehran or use its leverage to pressure Iran into abandoning its alleged nuclear ambitions have not been welcomed by policymakers.

“India and Iran are ancient civilizations whose relations span centuries,” India’s Foreign Ministry said last week. “Neither country needs any guidance on the future conduct of bilateral relations.”

For India, good relations with Iran are important for at least three reasons. India needs energy and Iran is the second largest supplier of oil to India, after Saudi Arabia, and a potential source of natural gas in the future; it wields influence in Afghanistan, which India increasingly considers critical to regional stability; and it commands loyalty from India’s substantial community of Shi’ite Muslims (after Iran and Pakistan the third highest population of Shi’ite is in India).

Iran and India understand what the warmongering Bush administration does not – that it is trade that brings growth, prosperity and peace to a nation – not wars, threats or voodoo economics like “economic stimulus packages”. This is why India is the number one fastest growing major economy in the world, with a GDP growth rate of 9.4% for the fiscal year 2006–2007.

Ron Paul on “The Revolution” on CNN

Ron Paul was on CNN this morning talking about his book “The Revolution: A Manifesto”. Check it out! It was a best seller even before it came off the presses:

Amazon.com Sales Rank: #9 in Books (See Bestsellers in Books)

Popular in these categories: (What’s this?)
#1 in Books > Biographies & Memoirs > Leaders & Notable People > Political
#1 in Books > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Political Science > Political Doctrines
#1 in Books > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Political

Ron Paul’s TV Ad in Pennsylvania

This video has been playing in Pennsylvania markets leading up to Tuesday’s primary.

Here’s a Transcript:

Ron Paul:

We now are a nation known to start war.

We feel compelled because of our insecurity, that we have to go over and attack these countries to maintain our empire.

We have over 700 bases — we’re in 130 countries. And they’re talking about bombing Iran.

It is such a dramatic change from what is truly American, and truly Constitutional.

I don’t want to run the world!

The Constitution doesn’t give me the authority to run the world!

We ought to mind our own business is what we need to do!

With all this spending overseas wasting money!

This is a continuation of a revolution. It is a peaceful revolution. It’s up to you to spread this message around this country.

This is an American cause, it’s the cause of freedom.

There’s something going on in this country, and it’s big!

Spread the message! Thank You!

“Economic Stimulus” and Consumer Bubble Burst

Retailers are so desperate for your “stimulus” package – they want to make sure you will spend it in their store and are offering a 10% bonus.

Click here for full article.

Extract:


Can’t wait for that economic-stimulus check from the IRS?

Neither can Sears, Kmart and Fry’s Food Stores.

Starting next month, they will give shoppers a bonus to spend the bucks in their stores.

Sears Holdings Corp., which owns Sears and Kmart, and the Kroger Co., Fry’s parent, this week announced national campaigns that will allow shoppers to exchange their stimulus checks for store gift cards worth the amount plus an additional 10 percent.

Can you imagine these retailers plotting to get the stimulus before the Consumer Spending bubble bursts…..

Click here to read about the Consumer Spending Mirage.

Extract:

Forecasting the stock market is a fool’s game—but there are grounds to believe there’s another drop in the market yet to come. The reason: a broad decline in consumer spending, which so far has been masked by a quirk in the government’s statistics.

Combine that with a rapidly unraveling job market, high energy prices, and the continuing credit crunch, and you have the recipe for a drop in consumer stocks. A big decline there could take the rest of the market down with it.

Ron Paul Questions General Betray Us

Watch the Video:

Questions for Petraeus

by Ron Paul

Before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Report on Iraq to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, April 9, 2008

Opening Statement

Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank you for calling this hearing on the current state of affairs in Iraq with General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker. Reviewing the presentations by our panel, I have noted with some concern that they seem more focused on justifying a future attack on Iran than reporting on progress in Iraq. Much of the assertions about Iran in Iraq seem illogical, others seem intended to inflame the situation with little justification.

Particularly, I am concerned about claims that a new enemy in Iraq has emerged with ties to Iran. First we were told that the enemy was Saddam Hussein and his Baathist Party. Then we were told the enemy was the “dead-enders” from Saddam’s former government. Then the prime enemy became “al-Qaeda in Iraq,” a prime focus of the presentation by Ambassador Crocker and General Petraeus last September. Now we are told that the new enemies are mysterious “Special Groups” that are said to have spun off from al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army.

If this phenomenon of constantly emerging enemies bent on destabilizing Iraq is accurate and our presence in Iraq keeps generating new enemies, perhaps the problem is the occupation itself. If this is the case, doesn’t it make sense that our departure from Iraq may actually have a stabilizing effect?

I suspect these allegations that Iranian-supported “Special Groups” are now the prime enemy are in reality designed to provide an excuse for a planned US attack on Iran or are meant as justification for a permanent US military presence in Iraq.

It makes little sense to assert that Iran is funding militias to undermine the Iraqi government. The current Iraqi government may have been approved by the United States, but essentially it was made in Iran. The leading political parties of Iraq, the DAWA and the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council have close ties to Iran. Leaders of these parties were in exile in Iran until the US invasion of Iraq. Iranian president Ahmadinejad is warmly welcomed in Baghdad by Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki. Why would Iran set up militias in the south to destabilize a government with such strong Iranian ties? I find the allegation that Iran just cannot tolerate an elected government next door to be unsatisfying, particularly considering that Iran itself regularly holds elections where a wide variety of political parties compete for power.

It is alleged that the rockets fired into the Green Zone during the recent clashes in Baghdad and Basra were made in 2007 in Iran. Is it not true, however, that if the Iranian government were to actually arm the Iraqi militias, these groups would have more modern weapons to counter U.S. helicopter gunships and heavy tanks? Is there any hard proof that the Iranian government is arming groups in Iraq? There are reports that thousands of US weapons have gone missing in Iraq. If some of these turn up in the hands of insurgents, would it make sense to suggest that the US government is intentionally arming them?

In fact, there is plenty of evidence that Iran is trying to prevent the further destabilization of Iraq, which makes sense considering that Iran is next door and would keenly feel the effects of an Iraq fallen into civil war. The Associated Press reported yesterday that the Iranian government has condemned attacks on the “Green Zone” in Iraq. According to other press reports, the government of Iran brokered a ceasefire after recent Iraqi government moves against elements of al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army in Basra.

Mr. Chairman, I would like to conclude by again stating my concern that the real purpose of today’s testimony is to further set the stage for an attack on Iran. Congress should make it very clear that there is no authority under current law for an attack on Iran. It is in our best interest to talk with Iran and to work with Iran to help stabilize the situation in Iraq. It is also in our immediate interest to remove US forces from Iraq as quickly as it is safe to do so.

Questions at Hearing

Questions for the Witnesses, General David H. Petraeus, USA and The Honorable Ryan C. Crocker

Mr. Chairman, I would like to submit several questions to the panel. I know there will not be enough time to answer these, but I want to get them into the record.

Why should the American people continue to support a war that was justified by false information, since Saddam Hussein never aggressed against the United States, Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, and Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction?

It is said that we must continue the war because we have already sacrificed so much. But what is moral about demanding even more needless sacrifice of human lives merely to save face for the mistakes of invading and occupying Iraq?

Doesn’t it seem awfully strange that the Iraqi government we support is an ally of the Iranians who are our declared enemies? Are we not now supporting the Iranians by propping up their allies in Iraq? If (Iraqi Prime Minister) Maliki is our ally and he has “diplomatic relations” with (Iranian President) Ahmadinejad why can’t we? Why must we continue to provoke Iran, just looking for an excuse to bomb that country? Does our policy in Iraq not guarantee chaos for years to come?

It is estimated that up to 2,000 Iraqi soldiers refused to fight against al-Sadr’s militia. Why should we not expect many of the 80,000 Sunnis we have recently armed to someday turn their weapons against us, since they as well as the Mahdi Army detest any and all foreign occupation?

Is it not true that our ally Malaki broke the ceasefire declared by al-Sadr by initiating the recent violence? Is it not true that the current ceasefire was brokered by the Iranians, who also condemned the attacks on the “Green Zone”? How can we blame all the violence on the Iranians?

Is it not true that with the recent surge in violence in March, attacks are now back at the same levels as they were in 2005?

Does Iran not have a greater justification to be involved in neighboring Iraq than we do, since it is 6,000 miles from our shores? If China and Russia were occupying Mexico how would we react?

Since no one can define “winning the war,” just who do we expect to surrender? Does this not mean that this war will be endless since the political leaders will not end it – until we go broke, and maybe that’s not so far off?

War Profiteering For Lawmakers

War profiteering is not only for the elite chickenhawks, Cheney, George H.W. Bush, Jim Baker, George Schultz, etc. Even today’s small time lawmakers are in it.

This is why our lawmakers keep beating the drums of war. John Kerry wanted to send more troops (and boost defense spending), Joe LIE-berman wants America to attack Iran, Roy Blunt wants all war spending bills passed so that will ensure the war never ends. All because they will profit pretty handsomely from war. Our men will die so these people can profit. The term “cannon fodder” comes to mind.

Click here for the link.

Extracts:

Members of Congress have as much as $196 million collectively invested in companies doing business with the Defense Department, earning millions since the onset of the Iraq war, according to a study by a nonpartisan research group.

“I don’t pretend to speak for other offices, but I am fairly certain that no member would consider their personal finances when voting on issues as important as sending our men and women in uniform into harm’s way,” said Blunt spokesman Nick Simpson. The Lockheed Martin stock was given to Blunt’s wife by her mother, he said.

Right, that’s settled then…. I’m sure just because they tell us, they are not considering their personal finances which are heavily invested in defense when sending other people’s kids to war against countries that pose no threat to us, we should believe them.

Anyone wonder why we’re going to war with Iran (another Muslim country that poses no threat to us)? No matter what our politicians are telling us – their money’s on it.

Blackwater Book – A Must Read!

blackwater book

I am currently reading the book “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s most Powerful Mercenary Army.” By Jeremy Scahill. It is like a horror story, fast paced and chilling.

Frightening to see how this company operates both inside and outside the country accountable to no one. Today in America, Blackwater USA is not nearly as well known as Halliburton or Bechtel — two mega-corporations making a killing off the reconstruction of Iraq. But it is making its way up there now.

Recently, the State Dept. renewed Blackwater’s contract despite the Pentagon’s labeling of the September killing of 17 civilians by Blackwater mercenaries, “a criminal event”:

The book traces the history of Blackwater USA, the powerful private army that the U.S. government has quietly hired to operate in international war zones and on American soil. It has some twenty thousand troops ready to carry out “regime change” on the fly and hires mercenaries from all over the world – especially ones that were veterans of tyrannical or oppressive regimes such as Apartheid in South Africa and August Pinochet in Chile.

This book is truly a brilliant collection of research. Jeremy Scahill has done a terrific job of explaining the history of the founder’s family, town, relatives, political views and ties, etc to what the company’s operations both overseas and domestic look like. There is so much going on today that most average citizens do not have information about.

I would highly recommend you read this book. It is very informative and worth reading. Instead of just reporting on the names and dates, Scahill goes further and explores just why institutions like Blackwater constitute such a dire threat to our government and country. Without any of the checks and balances associated with using our U.S. military and without any allegiance to treaties, standards, or accountability to the American people, these armies for hire represent the ability for money to buy unchecked power in ways we had previously thought could not happen in the U.S.

IRS Wants to Make Sure You Spend Your “Economic Stimulus”

NPR’s Marketplace recently did a report for April Fool’s on how the IRS is making sure that you do not spend your “economic stimulus” on paying off debt or savings. They want to make sure you spend it on frivolous gizmos so that the government can maintain its borrow and spend consumer economy at your expense. They’ll even help you spend it.

Click Here for the link

TEXT OF “STORY”

Kai Ryssdal: You might have gotten a little note from the Internal Revenue Service recently telling you about your forthcoming rebate check. It’s part of the economic stimulus package Congress and the White House agreed on a couple of months ago. Most taxpayers will get anywhere from $600 to $1,200 back from Uncle Sam.

The hope is that we’ll spend it to buy things, which would be what the government wants to give the economy a kick in the pants. The worry is that many have said they’ll pay down debts instead. So, with some taxpayers, the IRS isn’t taking any chances.

Marketplace’s Rico Gagliano reports.

Rico Gagliano: Hello!

Stacey Atkinson: Hi!

Gordon Atkinson: Hey! How ya doin’!

Gagliano: Gordon and Stacey Atkinson live in Phoenix Arizona, in a home they bought with a subprime loan.

Gordon: Come on in.

Like many subprimers, they’re having a hard time paying the mortgage. So, eager for their $1,200 rebate check, they filed their taxes in February.

Stacey: And I was expecting — or we were expecting — a rebate check shortly thereafter.

It eventually arrived. Sort of.

Gordon: We get this thing in the mail. It’s addressed from the IRS. I had no idea what it was.

Stacey: So, we open up the package, and, well actually, I can show you what was inside of it. Do you want to come see it?

Rico: Yeah, sure.

Stacey: It’s an air conditioner.

Gordon: A General Electric “Zoneline” air conditioner.

After they got over their shock, the Atkinsons called the IRS for an explanation. So did I.

Beverly Jaworsky: My name is Beverly Jaworsky. My title is Debt-To-Purchase Ratio Assessor.

Armed with a huge IRS database, Beverly and others like her have spent the last few months identifying taxpayers who’d be most likely to use their rebate checks to pay off debt.

Jaworsky: Someone who may be listing their house on the market as a short sale, for instance. Or students with student loans. Or screenwriters.

Then those taxpayers get special rebates.

Jaworsky: Instead of receiving that check that they were going to receive, we send it to them in the form of retail goods, in relative value to what their check would have been.

In other words, the government makes sure these taxpayers’ rebates get spent in the manner intended by spending it for them. On stuff. But how to be sure it’s stuff the taxpayer actually needs?

Jaworsky: You know, we plug in Social Security numbers into our database, we find where the people live, and we send them something that would be suitable to their lifestyle.

That’s why a couple in the Arizona desert might get an air conditioner. Someone in Boston might get a snowblower. Jaworsky says the program will target only about a million taxpayers, but that equals close to a billion dollars guaranteed to be injected into the economy.

Even so, critics say it’s not worth the effort. Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich is a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley.

Robert Reich: It’s too little, too late. Also, the government is not terribly good at knowing what individual people want, even in the same neighborhood. I mean, my neighbor might want, say, Viagra, but if the government ships a toaster oven to my neighbor and ships Viagra to me — and by the say, I don’t use Viagra — that’s not going to be terribly efficient; I would much rather get the toaster oven. Now, I suppose my neighbor and I could barter, but then I would have to know exactly what the government shipped my neighbors and it would be difficult for all of us to get together and know that fact.

Reich also notes the government can send a rebate check for the price of a 41-cent postage stamp. Sending toasters or bikes could cost a lot more taxpayer money. But Beverly Jaworsky says the IRS gets a discount.

Jaworsky: Well, we own the Post Office and they’ll do as we say.

Meanwhile, back in Phoenix, the Atkinsons are of two minds about their air conditioner rebate.

Gordon: I love it, ’cause I get really hot sometimes, but, unfortunately, she doesn’t feel the same way, I don’t think.

Stacey: Yeah, because I mean we’ve got a ton of debt and this thing’s going to increase our utility bills.

Gordon: OK, true, we could lose the house, but until then it’ll be cool and comfortable.

In Phoenix, Arizona, I’m Rico Gagliano for Marketplace.

RYSSDAL: Oh, c’mon, check your calendars, everybody.

Only 15% of Americans Support Government Bailout of Banks

Crash Proof by Peter Schiff

According to the latest poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports only 15% of Americans support a government bailout of banks stuck with bad loans they made during the sub prime mortgage boom.

Click here for full article.

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information. It is highly praised for its accuracy and reliability.

Of course! Most Americans are pretty wise – they understand that the sub prime mortgage troubles happened because these banks and their 9 figure income CEOs made bad decisions to loan out money under extreme risks, sometimes making nearly half a million dollar loans to homeless people and Americans borrowed more than they could afford to pay for. Both bankers and homeowners need to (pardon the pun) bear the stern consequences. They should not have to rely on those taxpayers who were responsible and saved money to bail them out.

This is what a market cycle is all about. Government interference can make this worse and bring about a depression. Ben Bernanke is making all Americans pay up for those homeowners who made bad decisions and went on a spending spree and allowing those bank CEOs to get away with 9 figure bonuses.

The same survey also found that only 29% of Americans support a government bailout of home owners who borrowed more than they could afford.

In California, home prices tripled between 2001 (when I moved out here) to 2006 (peak of the real estate “boom”). There were many home buyers who were clearly speculators (everyone from the broker, appraiser, loan officer, bank, builder, etc were collaborators) and as soon as the home price was artificially inflated the owner would pull out some equity, refinance and spend the “bonus” on a new Range Rover, vacations to exotic tropical places, flat screen TVs, etc.

Another survey found that the most Americans believe that the troubled homeowners should downsize. It is common sense; those who can no longer make their mortgage payments should simply sell and get a smaller house. But they will have to bear the responsibility of paying the difference now that prices are heading down.

Ron Paul Revolution Lives!

This book is not out yet but has become a bestseller already on Amazon.

Crash Proof by Peter Schiff

Amazon.com Sales Rank: #44 in Books (See Bestsellers in Books)
Popular in these categories: (What’s this?)
#1 in Books > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Political

#1 in Books > Nonfiction > Politics > Practical Politics

#3 in Books > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Political Science > Political Doctrines

I’ve ordered one I intend to give to Darin, my 8 year old as a gift.

Last week, while sightseeing in Washington DC, taking pictures outside the White House I asked him what his platform would be if he were running for president.

He replied: “Limited government, lower taxes, no wars, and bring back the Constitution…. you know Dad – just like Ron Paul.”

Some may call it brainwashing….but look at it this way…it is teaching a child the difference between what is right and wrong and giving him the courage to make a choice.

Hahaha! Who said Ron Paul is history? Darin showed me that The Ron Paul Revolution Lives!!! There is hope.