Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Great Mortgage Scam Exposed - Sure ~ Libya's Not a "Crusade" (Xtian or Not) & The Truth About "Dirty Oil"

These banks which demand borrowers have all of their paperwork just right - these same banks - have fouled up their own paperwork to a historic degree. . . an absolute, intentional fraud (allowed by) . . . sweatshop(s) for forged mortgage documents . . . . some of the bank vice presidents . . . were high school kids - their signatures were entered into evidence in untold thousands of foreclosure suits that sent families packing. . . the banks whose paperwork was handled by the . . . forgery mills included Wells Fargo, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, CitiBank, US Bank and Bank of America . . . . each said that it farmed out its mortgage servicing work to other companies.

Trust my buddy over at Walled-In-Pond to guide me to the video depicting the final summation (if there will ever be only one) of the Great Mortgage Scam (from 60 Minutes):

The FBI is supposedly investigating. Let's see if its work gets "farmed out." It's tough not to be cynical these days, isn't it?

Government officials are talking about a billion-dollar cleanup fund being a necessity in order to actually get to the bottom of the frauds and clean them up.

Please watch the video above for the home-owning lesson of your life.

And speaking of the lessons of your life that are really instructive, David Michael Green tells us that now that they think they've won (after annihilating the social safety net over the weekend), they're ready to move in for the kill (emphasis marks and some editing inserted - Ed.):

Barack wrote to tell me that he wants to do a big old grass roots campaign again next year, one that doesn’t start with “expensive TV ads”, but with me – “with people organizing block-by-block, talking to neighbors, co-workers, and friends”.

Now those would be some brief goddam conversations, I can tell you.

“Hey neighbor, let’s do some organizing for Obama, ‘cause he capitulates so gracefully!” “Hey co-worker, would you like to pay more taxes so that rich people can contribute even less than they already do? Let’s give Barack another term!”

I don’t think so.

And Now, For the Kill

David Michael Green

One of the more interesting developments in American history is something that actually didn’t happen. But if one wants to gain some appreciation of the degree to which our public sphere has deteriorated over time, it’s worth remembering this non-event.

When Dwight Eisenhower came to the presidency in 1953, it was the first time in an entire generation that a Republican had held the office. Prior to that time, the GOP had led the country into unparalleled economic destruction, refused to do anything about the nightmare they’d created, lost five presidential elections running, and sat on the sidelines while Democratic presidents guided the US through a few slightly consequential events like the Great Depression, World War II and the beginning of the Cold War.

The American Constitutional system – with its potential for divided power – isn’t so big on the notion of responsible government (as one finds in parliamentary systems), where authority, and thus responsibility for outcomes is clearly assigned to a given actor or political party. Nevertheless, we got pretty close to it in 1953, with the exhaustion of Democratic governance, the repudiation of Harry Truman, and the Republican Spring led by the grey, seemingly-above-politics new president, General Eisenhower.

What’s important here is what could have happened, but didn’t. The character of American government had changed radically – the most in the country’s history – during the two decades since Herbert Hoover had been in office. It was now much bigger in size, it did a lot more things than it used to do, and the federal government had usurped responsibility for policy domains formerly primarily in the hands of the states.

Most importantly, the ethos underscoring the relationship between the American people and their government had completely changed. In the past, that relationship had been one characterized chiefly by libertarianism, on the one hand, and oligarchical corruption on the other.

With the New Deal, the government was for the first time in the business of serving the public interest and providing Americans a much-needed social safety net. In short, the American welfare state was born. These changes had been completely contrary to the politics of the Republican Party, and especially to the politics of the plutocrats in American society (for whom the GOP had long prior become an interest-serving vehicle).

They saw Roosevelt as a “traitor to his class”, and they hated him so much they couldn’t even spit out his name. They actually referred to him as “that man”. All of this is relevant and significant because the GOP had a choice to make in 1953. With their hands on the levers of power for the first time in a long time, they could have undone the New Deal. Some in the party wanted to do so. But by that time both Ike and the bulk of his party had left behind the Neanderthal tendencies of the pre-FDR days and had moved to the center-right.

Eisenhower famously discussed his position – and that of others in the GOP – in a 1954 letter to his brother: “Should any political party attempt to abolish Social Security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”

Ah, how very quaint such sentiments now seem in retrospect. Weren’t those just the days, back when even Republicans sorta had a heart with a detectable pulse? Now we live in a very different place. It is a place of destruction and despair. An abattoir where the little people go – all 99 percent of the country, let alone the fully dispensable “human resources” found outside our borders – to be sacrificed on the altar of unparalleled greed.

But that’s just the beginning of the story. We’d be in bad enough shape if it were only Republicans out to destroy us. Then there’s the “Democrats”, including the “socialist” leader of the party, Barack Obama. If we’re remotely honest about it, we’d have to acknowledge that today’s Obama, the former anti-war community organizer, is to the ideological right of yesterday’s Dwight Eisenhower, former five-star general, leader of the Normandy invasion, commander of NATO and head of the Republican Party.

As today’s worst elements of the Republican Party (that is, almost all of them) seek to do exactly the things that Eisenhower called “stupid”, there is Obama, facilitating their efforts. There are the Democrats, continually adding to the pile of tax giveaways for the rich, and therefore adding to the pile of debt which is now being used as a cudgel to force cuts on essential government services, programs despised by the oligarchy since the beginning.

There are the Democrats, continually adding to the pile of stupid Middle Eastern wars being fought using resources so scarce that medical care must now be cut for the poor and elderly. There are the Democrats going even further than Republicans in smashing civil liberties and shredding the Bill of Rights. There are the Democrats, as absolutely unwilling as Republicans to remotely face the very real planetary peril of global warming.

There are the Democrats, continuing to promulgate the failed Bush education policy of No Child Left Behind. There are the Democrats, turning yet again to corporate ‘solutions’ to health care, which enrich parasitical insurance companies but do nothing for sick people other than to deny them care. There are the Democrats (led by a black man, no less!), joining the chorus of Jesus Freaks in denying civil rights to gays. I think the conservative Eisenhower would sooner have become a German storm trooper than a modern Democrat, let alone a Republican – and on far too many days I’m not sure I can see the difference.

I got a letter this week from my good friend, Barack. I call him by his first name because his note was addressed to “David” and signed “Barack”. I guess we’re old pals, though in my dotage I seem to have neglected to notice that the most powerful and prominent man on Earth somehow became my personal bud-bud. It was a letter to announce that he was launching his 2012 campaign for reelection. He seemed to be laboring under the misconception that I give a shit. He also seemed to think I hadn’t heard. In fact, the media reported that Barack launched his campaign by announcing it over Twitter, that network of abbreviated bursts of inanity which is ground zero for our national epidemic of narcissism.

I think that is totally appropriate that he would make such a momentous announcement in that fashion. Not, mind you, because he’s a cutting-edge sort of fellow, mobilizing the new social media technology for political purposes. But, rather, because that particular outlet of that medium speaks so perfectly to the impossible lightness of being that is our President Tweet.

Anyhow, Barack wrote to tell me that he wants to do a big old grass roots campaign again next year, one that doesn’t start with “expensive TV ads”, but with me – “with people organizing block-by-block, talking to neighbors, co-workers, and friends”. Now those would be some brief goddam conversations, I can tell you. “Hey neighbor, let’s do some organizing for Obama, ‘cause he capitulates so gracefully!” “Hey co-worker, would you like to pay more taxes so that rich people can contribute even less than they already do? Let’s give Barack another term!”

I don’t think so. Then he let me in on a little Team Obama secret that, “In the coming days, supporters like you will begin forging a new organization that we'll build together in cities and towns across the country. And I'll need you to help shape our plan as we create a campaign that's farther reaching, more focused, and more innovative than anything we've built before. We'll start by doing something unprecedented: coordinating millions of one-on-one conversations between supporters across every single state, reconnecting old friends, inspiring new ones to join the cause, and readying ourselves for next year's fight.”

Wow! That’s awfully flattering. The President of the United States – ol’ Potus himself – wants my help in shaping his plan to create a people-driven, grassroots campaign for “the cause” of giving him a second term. If only I didn’t have other plans for, gosh, well, the entirety of every waking minute in 2012. Looks like, for some reason, that project he has in mind is going to be a big job, too. He goes on to tell me that, “We've always known that lasting change wouldn't come quickly or easily. [Oddly, I don’t remember this campaign slogan from 2008.] It never does. But as my administration and folks across the country fight to protect the progress we've made – and make more – we also need to begin mobilizing for 2012, long before the time comes for me to begin campaigning in earnest.”

There’s that word “fight” again. Ol’ Barack, he’s a real fighter, eh?! At least now that there’s an election where something that he wants is at stake. I noticed that he didn’t really seem to fight for anything during his first two years in office, least of all for anything progressive.

Even his health care legislation, which is only partially progressive on a good day, didn’t seem to inspire any spunk from the president. Did you ever get the feeling that he wanted it real bad? Do you remember him ever pushing the public to rally hard behind this national necessity, making the urgent case for how it would make the country better off, in the same way that, say, Reagan or Bush pushed hard for their beloved tax cuts, or their wars based on lies?

Do you even remember Obama standing up to the insane lies told about him and his legislation, the death panels and government rationing and socialism cant, and so on? For that matter, do you remember Obama ever even defining what shape his own signature bill had to take? Single payer? Public option? Money for stethoscopes?

Predictably, a president who stood for nothing during a period of multiple crises got routed in the midterm election. Even still, did it seem to you like he cared very much about that?

I’m starting to develop a new theory about Obama. In 2008 I thought he might be a progressive. Then I thought he was such a wimp that it was just easier for him to capitulate at every turn, rather than to fight for progressive values. Now I think he’s truly regressive in his politics, and is purposefully altering his operating environment to allow him to pursue those policies while still remaining the nominee of a party that’s supposed to be devoted to the people’s interests.

“Golly”, he can say to stupid Democratic voters, “I really wanted to be progressive on [Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Egypt, Libya, health care, education, gay marriage, the budget, the economy, the environment, civil liberties, whatever] but those mean right-wingers won’t let me. And now there’s even more of them than there used to be! What can I do but give in even more?”

It’s a perfect formula for anyone with those priorities. Regressivism begets more regressivism, under cover of the long shadow of a genuinely liberal Democratic Party, thirty years dead. Meanwhile, the current condition of the United States is fantastical, the stuff of legend, the kind of absurdity that no one would find credible enough to buy were it presented as a work of fiction. We have genuine crises, but we ignore them. Instead we squabble about non-issues, while the ship of state rapidly sinks.

And who is squabbling? The far left versus the far right? The reds against the blacks? We should be so lucky. No, it’s this faction of political whores carrying water for the oligarchy versus that almost identical faction of political whores carrying water for the oligarchy. Meanwhile, the only seemingly assured ticket to electoral success in our political system on any given day is to have enacted failed policy ideas the day before. And, most bizarre of all, no one will seek to reward the depredations of the political class more rapidly than those who are its victims.

Wonderland would seem to Alice quite the paragon of rationality by comparison. The current budget brouhaha is only the most recent and obvious example of this political pathology par excellence. Think about it. Here’s the real version of what has happened:

A decade ago, the United States had the greatest budget surplus ever recorded in human history. Then the regressives came to power. They quickly slashed tax revenues, especially from the rich, borrowing like crack addicts in order to pay for their profligacy. They meanwhile spent gigantic sums on wars based on lies, on hugely increased military spending apart from the wars, on a new Medicare benefit which they insisted on setting up in a way that massively benefitted insurance and pharmaceutical corporations rather than the Federal Treasury, and on general pork barrel spending, thus driving the national debt up dramatically further, and creating the world’s greatest ever deficits.

Let me repeat, it was the GOP who did this. Now these very same people are falsely claiming an electoral mandate to slash spending, screaming that borrowing is an urgent problem which must be addressed at all costs. At the same time, they continue each year to further slash revenues coming in to the government, massively exacerbating the very problem they claim to desperately want to solve.

Their solution is to cut spending on essentials for poor people and the middle class. They have completely taken any form of tax restoration off the table. They won’t dream of reducing military expenditures, which are bloated to an absurd degree. They cannot contemplate allowing the government to buy way cheaper drugs from Canada, or negotiating a bulk price discount for those drugs, let alone rescinding their (socialist) prescription drug benefit plan. They would never accept a reduction in the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on corporate welfare each year for agricultural or sugar or oil or other industries.

Instead, they’re right back at us again, with more of exactly the same formula. Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan continues his (only in über-Wonderland) multi-year run as a media darling, some sort of budgetary guru, some sort of brave truth-teller.

He this week released a ten-year plan that is, in fact, astonishing for how cowardly and dishonest it is. It slashes almost every form of domestic spending imaginable, dramatically cuts Medicare for seniors, and turns control of Medicaid over to the fifty states, each of whom can of course then do whatever they want with it. Most amazing of all, while this entire draconian meat-axe of a budget proposal is predicated on the urgent necessity of slashing deficits, Ryan’s plan would gut revenues to the government by lopping almost 30 percent off of top individual and corporate tax rates, taking the top rate down from 35 percent to 25 percent.

No wonder, then, that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has calculated that Ryan’s plan would actually increase deficits, the direct opposite of the very rationale that supposedly justifies its existence.

Perhaps most ludicrous of all is the context in which this all arrives, along with the latest budget deal slashing $38 billion in federal spending on domestic programs. The two most urgent problems facing the United States today are global warming and a crappy economy for workers that is probably never going away. But the stuff we argue about has nothing to do with the former, and only exacerbates the latter (because cutting spending will kill the demand in the economy which is precisely what is needed now to stimulate a recovery).

We, as a society, could not possibly be more irrelevant to ourselves. And that’s the good news. If only it was just irrelevance. None of this is random, however. This has been a three-decade-long process to produce that which our unparalleled greedy rich have craved the most, namely, a return to the good old days when they had everything and the rest of us had nothing.

They have been indignant at the very notion of the slight bit of economic egalitarianism America managed to maintain for a couple of generations. They sat on their hands, gnashing their teeth, from the 1930s through the 1970s, because they had to, but now they’ve come back with a vengeance.

Exporting jobs, slashing government programs, moving tax burdens, bankrupting the government, breaking unions, coopting Democrats, creating bogus news media, dumbing down education, fabricating scary bogeymen, stealing elections.

It’s all there, man. Remember when Nixon and Kissinger decided to kill socialism (not to mention lots of people) in Chile by “making the economy scream”? Welcome to Chile Norte, amigo. As Scott Walker and Paul Ryan and the rest apply the finishing touches, the job is today almost complete. And now, for the kill.

Did I mention loudly enough that DMG speaks for me and just about everybody intelligent I know? I can't help but be reminded of a conversation I had (briefly) with a very wealthy gentleman at a family occasion when I said to him that I thought the reason the Rethugs were up in arms for more tax cuts for them and more regressive taxes for the lower classes were that their maid problem was getting worse as the maids now had 401K's and some thought of organizing. He just smiled.

Ellen Cantarow speaks for me also. Give her a moment and she'll clear up a lot of the fog floating around about our foreign policy. Don't faint at the facts.

Libya: Oil, Banks, the United Nations and America's Holy Crusade

Global Research

April 5, 2011

"America is not – and never will be – at war with Islam." (President Barack Hussein Obama, Al-Azar University, Cairo, 4th June 2009.)

George W. Bush embarked on the casual snuffing out of uncounted, unique, human lives in majority Muslim populations, chillingly called it a "Crusade." President Barack Hussein Nobel Obama did not go that far, he left that to the French Minister of the Interior, Claude Gueant who, on 21st March, praised President Nicholas Sarkozy for having: "headed the Crusade ..." For the "change we can believe in" President, reducing another ancient land of eye watering archeological gems, massive oil and water resources and a population of six million - little more than Scotland - it is, reportedly, a "turd sandwich."

Humanity is not "at the crossroads." It is on the Cross, scourged, nailed (in all senses) and utterly inconsequential, in face of murdering, marauding, looting Empire. When President Obama: "updated the American people on the international effort we have led in Libya", on 29th March, he stated that: "we are naturally reluctant to use force to solve the world's many challenges" and referred to: "our interests ..." being: "at stake."

Reluctance would be a first. America's bombing for "interests" would be an encylopaedia. Colonel Quaddafi, had, of course, stated the President: "denied his people freedom, exploited their wealth, murdered opponents at home and abroad, and terrorized innocent people around the world ..." busy man.

Heaven forbid "NATO's" blitzkrieg should send the occasional shiver down a spine. However, interestingly, at the end of March, a Report was due to be presented by the UN Human Rights Council leading to a Resolution commending Libya's progress in a wide aspect of human rights.

Numerous quotes from UN diplomatic delegations of many countries commented. Citations included: " ... achieving a high school enrolment rate and improvements in the education of women", Libya's: " ... serious commitment to, and interaction with, the Human Rights Council ... enhanced development of human rights ... while respecting cultural and religious traditions." Also mentioned was: " ... establishment of the national independent institution entrusted with promoting human rights, which had many of the competencies set out in the Paris Principles."

The country had: "become party to many human rights conventions and had equipped itself with a number of institutions, national, governmental and non governmental tasked with promoting human rights ..." The country was commended: "for the progress made in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, namely universal primary education (and) firm commitment (to) health care." There was "praise" for "cooperation with international organizations in combating human trafficking and corruption .." and for cooperation with "the International Organization for Migration."

"Progress in enjoyment of economic and social rights, including in the areas of education, health care, poverty reduction and social welfare" with "measures taken to promote transparency", were also cited. Malaysia: "Commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for being party to a significant number of international and regional human rights instruments." Promotion: "of the rights of persons with disabilities" and praise for "measures taken with regard to low income families", were cited.

In May 2010, Libya had also been voted on to the UN Human Rights Council by a veritable landslide, 155 of 192 UN General Assembly votes. As noted previously Libya comes top in Africa on the Human Development Index, which measures longevity (the longest) infant mortality (the lowest) education, health services, well being.

All that said, before this publication is flooded with complaints about the writer's naivety, "propagandist flights of fancy" (an orchestrated old favourite) or whatever, some of the countries making positive recommendations regarding Libya did not have the most shining human rights records. But then the US., UK., and NATO Member countries, pontificate from the high moral molehills of the mass graves of the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, overtly, and Yemen, Somalia and other countries, covertly. And of course there is Guantanamo, Bagram, Abu Ghraib, rendition flights and secret torture programmes and prisons across the globe for US., UK., convenience.

Further, in a train wreck of factual inaccuracies in President Obama's speech, a (possibly) Freudian slip crept in. "Benghazi", he said, was: "a city nearly the size of Charlotte" in danger of suffering: "a massacre (staining) the conscience of the world." A quick check shows that Charlotte, North Carolina: 'has a major base of energy orientated organisations and has become known as "Charlotte, USA - The New energy Capital." In the region there are 240+ companies directly tied to the energy sector ... Major players are AREVA, Babcock and Wilcox, Duke Energy, Electric Power Research Institute, Fluor, Metso Power, Piedemont Natural Gas, Siemens Energy, Shaw Group, Toshiba, URS Corp., and Westinghouse.

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte has a reputation in energy education and research and its “Energy Production and Infrastructure Center” trains energy engineers and conducts research." ' (Wikipedia.) Whilst many respected oil experts have argued that since so many western energy companies operate in Libya, this is not about oil, there are some points worth pondering. All companies operating in Libya must have Libyan partners, entitled to 35% of profits.

Trading is via the Libyan Central Bank, in the Libyan Dinar, not US$s. The Libyan Central Bank is also independently outside the IMF and the World Bank. There are only 5 nations without a Rothschild model central bank: North Korea, Iran, Sudan, Cuba and Libya. There were two others: Afghanistan and Iraq, but they were gobbled up by the international banking system within a heartbeat of the invasions.

"It has always been about gaining control of the central banking system in Libya. Oil is just a profitable side issue like every other state asset that is waiting in Libya to be privatized and sold off to multinational corporations like Bechtel, GE, and Goldman Sachs. Oil is important and it is certainly a target but it isn’t the driving force behind these global wars for profit. Banking is."

That said, as President Obama was busy being inaugurated, Colonel Quaddafi (January 2009) was mooting nationalizing: "US oil companies, as well of those of UK, Germany, Spain, Norway Canada and Italy . "Oil should be owned by the State at this time, so we could better control prices by the increase or decrease in production", stated the Colonel.

So how does the all tie together? Libya, in March being praised by the Majority of the UN., for human rights progress across the board, to being the latest, bombarded international pariah? A nation's destruction enshrined in a UN., Resolution? The answer lies in part with the Geneva based UN Watch.

UN Watch is: "a non-governmental organization whose mandate is to monitor the performance of the United Nations." With Consultative Status to the UN Economic and Social Council, with ties to the UN Department of Public Information, "UN Watch is affiliated with the American Jewish Committee." (AJC.) Among those involved in UN Watch are Co-Chair, AJC's David A. Harris.

Core values: "AJC has long believed that the development of a comprehensive U.S., energy program is essential to the economic and social well-being of our country." Their website is an exceptionally instructive listen and read.

Ambassador Alfred Moses, former US Ambassador to Romania, Heads UN Watch. His company, Secure Energy's Mission : "Improving US., Energy security", "Securing America's Energy Future." Board Member Ruth Wedgwood is : "an international law expert ... at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) a former member of Donald Rumsfeld's Defence Policy Board (formerly headed by Richard Perle.) Closely associated with: "a number of neo-conservative and rightist pro-Israeli groups - including Freedom House, UN Watch and Benador Associates - a neo-con dominated public relations firm." She "has been a vocal advocate of the war on terror ... strong defender of the Patriot Act and decision to invade Iraq."

Executive Director Hillel Neuer, has served as law clerk to the Supreme Court of Israel, is a Graduate Fellow at the Shalem Center think tank and holds a host of law degrees. In addition to extensive human rights legal Advocacies and Testimonies, as associate in the international law firm of Paul Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison llp., (New York) "He was associate in the legal team that successfully represented Raytheon Company in various claims against Hughes Electronics Corporation." Neuer was also instrumental in achieving victory for the California Public Utilities Commission in: "various disputes with Pacific Gas and Electric Company ..."

Speakers at events hosted by the company have included Hillary "I met the rebel leader in Paris" Clinton and Vernon Jordan, former political advisor to Bill "I would be inclined to arm the rebels" Clinton.

The UN Watch's relentless campaign: "to remove Libya from the Human Rights Council" began in May 2010: " .. working closely with Libyan dissident Mohamed Eljahmi." . . . Mr Eljahmi is: " ... a Libyan/American human rights activist. He is a co-founder and former Communication Officer of American Libyan Freedom Alliance. ALFA was founded 2003 to help educate and inform US government and media about Libya. Mr. Eljahmi actively educates and informs US government, national and international media and NGOs about Libyan affairs."

An aspect of especial ire for UN Watch has been Libya's place on the five Member investigation by the Human Rights Council, on the use of mercenaries. Given their woeful excesses from Blackwater's (now Xe) shoot ups to CACI's man-management at Abu Ghraib (then there's Paravant, an Xe subsiduary at Bagram; Guantanamo and KBR) it is a supreme irony that UN Watch's cry of "foul" over Libya has won out, as the US place on the Council is unsullied. (Libya was suspended from the Human Rights Council on 25th February this year.)

And did Libya employ "black African mercenaries", to fight the rebels? In the fog of disinformation, certainties are scarce, but it is a story which would seem to be unravelling. Then there is the water. Quaddafi's project to make Libya's vast desert bloom, has been dubbed by some "The eighth wonder of the world." A succinct overview cites: " .. the large quantities of water in Libya deep beneath the desert ... Libya’s Great Man-Made River Project. A project worth 33 billion dollars. The value of the small reservoirs is about 70,000,000,000,000 dollars."

When the project was announced in September 1991, London and Washington were reported to be "ballistic." At a ceremony attended by Arab and African heads of state, foreign diplomats and delegations, including President Mubarak of Egypt, King Hassan of Morocco, Quaddafi called it a gift to the Third World. He also said: "American threats against Libya will double."

Looking at the all, it is impossible not to think the truth of an attack of over thirty nations on a country of six million is buried deeper than Libya's aquifers. "Operation Odyssey Dawn", was well named. An odyssey indeed. Odysseus's tortured journey lasted ten years.

End Note: 'Libyan rebels in Benghazi said they have created a new national oil company to replace the corporation controlled by leader Muammar Qaddafi whose assets were frozen by the United Nations Security Council. The Transitional National Council released a statement announcing the decision made at a March 19 meeting to establish the “Libyan Oil Company as supervisory authority on oil production and policies in the country, based temporarily in Benghazi, and the appointment of an interim director general” of the company.

The Council also said it “designated the Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and the appointment of a governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a temporary headquarters in Benghazi.' And of course, given Israel's chronic water shortage, Libya's abundant underground blessings, and the close geographical proximity of the two countries, there might be other regional advantages mooted in regime change.

Tom at the Dispatch has some very low-key words of wisdom about Obama's energy speech and what is really going on in the world of energy adventurers:

When it comes to energy there are no easy answers.

This was painfully evident last week when President Barack Obama gave a speech on “ America’s Energy Security” at Georgetown University. “We’ve known about the dangers of our oil dependence for decades,” Obama told the audience, explaining that every president since Richard Nixon has talked about “freeing ourselves from dependence on foreign oil,” without delivering anything of the sort.

Already a member of that club, he doubled down, telling the crowd that in ten years: “[W]e can cut our oil dependence by a third.” The speech was destined to be a loser and the caveats came on fast and furious. America needed to cut its reliance on foreign oil, Obama told the crowd of politicos and college students, and drilling at home was one avenue toward that goal. He proudly announced, “we’ve approved 39 new shallow-water permits; we’ve approved seven deepwater permits in recent weeks. When it comes to drilling offshore, my administration approved more than two permits last year for every new well that the industry started to drill.”

While embracing a “drill, baby, drill” ethos, the president was forced to admit it was not a long-term solution. He not only acknowledged that there isn’t nearly enough domestic oil to meet the country’s needs, but the specter of disaster loomed so large that he had to address it as well. “I don’t think anybody here has forgotten what happened last year, where we had to deal with the largest oil spill in [our] history,” he said, according to the White House’s official transcript.

Later he came to the subject of nuclear power. If BP’s Gulf of Mexico disaster was the elephant in the room, Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station was a blue whale. “Now, in light of the ongoing events in Japan, I want to just take a minute to talk about nuclear power,” the president began, before extolling its supposed virtues as a clean energy source. “So those of us who are concerned about climate change, we’ve got to recognize that nuclear power, if it’s safe, can make a significant contribution to the climate change question.”

By the end, he left no room for debate about the future of atomic power in the United States, telling the audience: “[W]e can’t simply take it off the table.” Ongoing events.

It was a curious and entirely disingenuous way to describe the ever-worsening disaster at Fukushima when, just the day before, Japan’s prime minister, Naoto Kan, told his Parliament, “The earthquake, tsunami and the ensuing nuclear accident may be Japan’s largest-ever crisis.” He said this, it’s worth reminding ourselves, about a country that, within living memory, saw more than 60 of its cities reduced to ashes through systematic firebombing and two metropolises obliterated by atomic bombs, losing hundreds of thousands of its citizens in one of the most devastating wars of a conflict-filled century.

In fact, the very morning that Obama gave his speech, the New York Times quoted Tetsuo Iguchi, a professor in the department of quantum engineering at Nagoya University, about a subject that only a few outside observers had dared to previously broach: the prospect of a swath of Japan becoming an irradiated dead zone. “The worst-case scenario is that a meltdown makes the plant’s site a permanent grave,” Iguchi said.

Between his soft-peddling of ecological and humanitarian catastrophes resulting from dirty energy and his advocacy of a variety of dubious strategies for freeing America from the chains of foreign petroleum, the president admitted that the U.S. would continue to import oil for the foreseeable future. “It will remain an important part of our energy portfolio for quite some time until we’ve gotten alternative energy strategies fully in force,” Obama told the crowd. “And when it comes to the oil we import from other nations, obviously we’ve got to look at neighbors like Canada and Mexico that are stable and steady and reliable sources.”

Unlike offshore drilling and nuclear power, reliance on neighboring countries for a particularly dirty form of energy didn’t prompt any excuses or handwringing from the president, as if petroleum from Mexico (a place his secretary of state likened to insurgent-embattled Colombia of the 1990s) and Canada posed no problems.

If you believe that, then I’ve got an electric power company in Japan to sell you. As Ellen Cantarow makes clear, oil flowing south from Canada poses its own devastating risks, and if pipelines proceed as industry desires, may someday turn out to be yet another debacle to be explained away in a future American presidentʼs energy security speech. Nick

Energy Is Ugly

Tar Sands Make Their Mark

By Ellen Cantarow

For years, “not in my backyard” has been the battle cry of residents in Cape Cod who stand opposed to an offshore wind farm in Nantucket Sound. The giant turbines will forever mar the beauty of the landscape, they say. Energy is ugly. Some forms more so than others, as nuclear near-meltdowns in Japan, the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and deaths in a West Virginia Coal Mine explosion have driven home in the last year. Energy kills plants, plankton, and people. It imperils the environment, poisons the oceans, and is threatening to turn part of Japan, one of the most advanced nations on the planet, into a contaminated zone for decades to come.

David Daniel knows this all too well. He built his dream home on 20 acres of lush wilderness, alive with panthers, wild boar, and deer, in Winnsboro, East Texas. Then a nightmare called tar sands appeared on his doorstep.

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Tom Harper said...

The FBI, or whoever investigates, definitely needs to crack down on these banks with their foreclosure scams. The irony, the double standard, is too insane. Like you pointed out, your own mortgage documents have to be 100% in order. If one T isn't crossed or one I not dotted, they've Gotcha!

But the foreclosing bank can cut corners, omit procedures, make huge glaring mistakes over and over, and the foreclosure process keeps moving full speed ahead.

If our "regulatory" agencies don't start cracking down on this, the public will.

Suzan said...

I am in awe of your certainty, Tom.

Public will crack down?

I'm guessing after, oh, maybe 20 million foreclosures?

And, boy, will they be hot.

Oh wait . . . .

Love ya,