Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Talk by Naomi Wolf - The End of America

It is upon us unless we all take to task our fundamental duty as patriots.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Ten Reasons not to Vote for Clinton

1. Clinton voted to give the President unprecedented powers to illegally invade a nation that posed no threat to U.S. security, bypassing Congress and openly defying our Constitution.

2. Clinton has continued to vote for massive appropriations for the continued Iraqi occupation.

3. Clinton has been complicit with the large majority of Democrats in posing no real opposition to the growing tyranny and power-hungry Executive branch under the Bush-Cheney regime.

4. Clinton has stated that "all options" are on the table for dealing with Iran, which is code for the nuclear option. Clinton will continue our illegal occupation of Iraq, and undoubtedly entangle us further in the Middle East.

5. Clinton has received millions from the Corporate Lobby. It should be obvious who she "represents".

6. Clinton is the consummate politician. Her rhetoric and her actions do not jibe.

7. Clinton's record as Senator, and her husband's record as President both support the Neoliberal (Neo-Con) agenda. They are both pro Big Government and pro Big Corporate Monopolies.

8. Clinton has made no statement at any time regarding the amount of power that has been obtained by the Executive branch during the past seven years, and she'd likely be content as the next American Emperor. It is doubtful she would do anything to restore our rights and liberties.

9. Clinton is the media "darling". This alone should be reason to question her motives and allegiance. Hint: it doesn't lie within the bounds of the Constitution.

10. 1980 (Bush Sr. V.P.), 1984 (Bush Sr. V.P.), 1988 (Bush Sr. Pres.), 1992 (Clinton Pres.), 1996 (Clinton Pres.), 2000 (GW Bush Pres.), 2004 (GW Bush Pres.), 2008 (Clinton Pres.?) Notice a pattern?

Please note that the mere fact that Clinton is a woman has nothing to do with my top ten reasons not to vote for her.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Penn and Teller Defend Ron Paul vs. Luntz and Fox News

Most thinking people would say that Faux News is nothing more than a propaganda machine for the NeoLiberal Fascists (or NeoCons if you prefer). Yet we all are suckers for poll numbers. Don't believe the polls. Vote your conscience. Ron Paul blew the other Republican candidates away in the Fox News debate. He was asked only three questions, the moderator inferred that he got his "marching orders" from Al-Qaeda, and Giulliani cackled like a clown and cued his supporters to heckle Paul (over 1,000 of Giulliani's supporters were given tickets whereas Paul's supporters were allowed a mere handful regardless of the fact that wherever Paul goes he generates far more public support than any other candidate). Yet even still, when the text message polls were taken by Fox News, Congressman Paul won by a landslide 38% compared to Giulliani (the runner up) who managed to get 12 percent. Sean Hannity tried to bury the results and inferred that Paul supporters sent multiple messages (but the truth is that only a single vote could be made per phone). The Fox spin-machine then went into high gear attempting to explain away such support.

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Saturday, 3 November 2007

Why Is the Dollar Losing Value?

Why Is the Dollar Losing Value?
A Closer Look at the Dollar and the Euro and What the Dollar's Drop Means for You

ABC NEWS Business Unit
Sept. 20, 2007 —

The Canadian dollar has reached parity with the U.S. dollar for the first time since 1976. They are now equal in value. The euro also soared to its highest-ever level against the dollar, trading above $1.40 for the first time since the currency was introduced in 1999.

So why is the dollar plunging, and what impact does that plunge have on U.S. and world markets? Here's a look at some of the reasons for the dollar's fall, and the consequences

Why the Weak Dollar?

There are several reasons. First, there's the difference between the interest rate in the United States -- the one the Federal Reserve just dropped by half a percentage point to 4.75 percent -- and the interest rates of other central banks around the world.

When the United States dropped its rate, other banks did not follow. Now the spread between the interest rate at the European Central Bank (home of the euro) and the Federal Reserve (home of the dollar) is smaller than it has traditionally been, and that has weakened the value of the dollar against the euro. Put another way, you would get a better interest rate return holding a euro than a dollar.

Second, central banks around the world have been diversifying their holdings away from dollars to euros, British pounds and so on. That means there are more dollars out there in currency markets available to purchase. More dollars floating around means diminished value.

What Effect Does This Have?

Look at the record-high price of oil. Even if the same amount of oil is being pumped out of the ground, since it is traded in dollars and the dollar has weakened, the price of oil has increased to make up for the lost value of the dollar, creating a sort of vicious cycle.

Oil-producing countries don't want to keep all the dollars they are getting for their oil, since it's worth less, so they are diversifying and converting their dollars into euros or other currencies. That pushes more dollars back out into currency markets, which in turn pushes down the dollar's value.

One analyst told ABC News that Russia used to have 90 percent of its financial reserves in dollars. It now has 45 percent in dollars, 45 percent in euros and 10 percent in British pounds.

What Does This Mean in the U.S.?

The news is mixed. It's good, because it makes what we produce here cheaper to sell in foreign markets, and that in turn spurs exports of our products around the world. That translates into more manufacturing and more jobs. For example, BMW and Mercedes Benz want to build cars in the United States, because they can do it cheaper in nonunion states than in Germany, where they'd pay labor and parts in euros, and then bring the cars to the United States, where they would be too expensive to sell at a profit.

But a weak dollar is bad, because it leads to inflation in this country. Imports from foreign countries will become more expensive, and in particular, oil will be more expensive. That puts pressure on businesses to increase prices for anything that uses oil or products that come from overseas. One benefit for American shoppers is that China has largely pegged its currency to ours, so that keeps the price of Chinese-made goods low and therefore, keeps a check on inflation.

U.S. Treasuries, Bonds, Mortgages, Stocks

What does a weak dollar mean for all that, and why should I care? If the dollar falls too much, foreign investors and banks won't be so interested in buying T-bills and bonds that keep the U.S. government and businesses humming. That's because the interest rate might not be enough to compensate for inflation. In other words, whatever is earned would be worth less money.

To attract buyers, the T-bills and bonds will sell for less and have higher interest rates. And since many mortgages are tied to these interest rates, that might mean mortgage rates won't drop anytime soon. Also, a weak dollar might scare away foreign investors who don't want to own stock in U.S. companies.

What About Foreign Investors?

Could there be a wholesale dumping of U.S. dollars by foreign governments and investors? Maybe. But that would be executing a sort of "nuclear option."

If China were to dump its reserves of dollars into currency markets, that would dramatically lower the value of the dollar. All those bonds and T-bills that the country holds would drop in value, as inflation would erase any gains from the investment. China would be less able to sell its goods to the United States because the dollar would be too weak, and Chinese products would be more expensive.

If Saudi Arabia were to call for oil to be traded in euros, "that announcement would be the end of the U.S. dollar," said Ashraf Laidi, chief currency analyst at CMC Markets. But he said that would never happen as long as the United States and Saudi Arabia are allies, and the U.S. continues to negotiate arms and other deals with the world's largest oil producer.

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