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Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened Senators with Martial Law

Tuesday, December 2, 2008, 9:04 AM

Some people think of Hank Paulson as our Treasury Secretary.  I think of him as a 19 year veteran of Wall Street banking.

At every turn of this entire bailout he has specifically advantaged banks over taxpayers, banks over industry, banks over homeowners, and banks over the future health and prosperity of this country.

Is this surprising for a banking veteran?  No, not really.

But the tactics he used certainly are.  Consider this:

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Ok.) said yesterday that it was Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson who personally told Congressmen that there would be martial law in America if they did not pass the bailout of the banks as demanded by the Bush Administration.

On Oct. 2, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) said on the House floor that "Many of us were told in private conversations that if we voted against this bill on Monday the sky would fall, the market would drop two or three thousand points the first day, another couple of thousand the second day, and a few members were even told that there would be martial law in America if we voted no."

Now, Senator Inhofe, speaking on KFAQ radio station in Tulsa, has confirmed who it was that issued this threat.

The interview host Pat Campbell asked Infhofe, "Somebody in D.C. was feeding you guys quite a story prior to the bailout, a story that if we didn't do this we were going to see something on the scale of the depression, there were people talking about martial law being instituted, civil unrest. Who was feeding you guys this stuff?"

Inhofe replied, "That's Henry Paulson. We had a conference call early on, it was on a Friday I think--a week and half before the vote on Oct. 1. So it would have been ... the 19th of September, we had a conference call. In this conference call and I guess there's no reason for me not to repeat what he said, but he said, he painted this picture you just described. He said, This is serious. This is the most serious thing that we faced."

I want you to consider that these threats of martial law were being bandied about in the final weeks before a national election.  So the implied threat was that the elections themselves could have been jeopardized as a result.  This is exceptionally serious.  Paulson deserves to be brought up on charges of some sort.

Even leaving aside the implied election threats, such tactics were heavy-handed and unnecessary.This level of arm-twisting speaks of a certain desperation and I think the one hundred-to-one public opposition against the bailout was the impetus for raising the rhetorical stakes to such hysterical levels.

I'm just disappointed that our representatives were swayed by an administration that has proved itself over the years to be willing to use any and all methods to achieve its political aims, including lying and violating the public trust.

Speaking of which, yesterday Bush said this:

As he leaves office, Bush said he felt responsible for the economic downturn because it's occurring on his watch, but he added: "I think when the history of this period is written, people will realize a lot of the decisions that were made on Wall Street took place over a decade or so" before he became president.

But, of course and as always, reality is a different beast.  This next bit is also from an article printed yesterday:

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration backed off proposed crackdowns on no-money-down, interest-only mortgages years before the economy collapsed, buckling to pressure from some of the same banks that have now failed. It ignored remarkably prescient warnings that foretold the financial meltdown, according to an Associated Press review of regulatory documents.

“Expect fallout, expect foreclosures, expect horror stories,” California mortgage lender Paris Welch wrote to U.S. regulators in January 2006, about one year before the housing implosion cost her a job.

Bowing to aggressive lobbying — along with assurances from banks that the troubled mortgages were OK — regulators delayed action for nearly one year. By the time new rules were released late in 2006, the toughest of the proposed provisions were gone and the meltdown was under way.

In 2005, faced with ominous signs the housing market was in jeopardy, bank regulators proposed new guidelines for banks writing risky loans. Today, in the midst of the worst housing recession in a generation, the proposal reads like a list of what-ifs:

  • Regulators told bankers exotic mortgages were often inappropriate for buyers with bad credit.
  • Banks would have been required to increase efforts to verify that buyers actually had jobs and could afford houses.
  • Regulators proposed a cap on risky mortgages so a string of defaults wouldn’t be crippling.
  • Banks that bundled and sold mortgages were told to be sure investors knew exactly what they were buying.
  • Regulators urged banks to help buyers make responsible decisions and clearly advise them that interest rates might skyrocket and huge payments might be due sooner than expected.

Those proposals all were stripped from the final rules. None required congressional approval or the president’s signature.

What we are experiencing now was not some random accident.  Plenty of people, myself included, could clearly see where this was all headed.  But the entrenched interests, primarily bankers and their bought and paid for representatives, did not want any limits on their obscene profits and they got everything they desired.

We can draw two conclusions:

  1. Banks have way too much power over our legislative process and have abused that power. Badly.
  2. If it looks like, smells like and acts like a looting operation, it is a looting operation.

Folks, there's really no kind way to put this.  Not only have we been subjected to the greatest theft of our wealth ever seen, but that looting operation is continuing today.

What can be done about a banking industry that has so thoroughly violated and abused the public trust?

  1. Have banks return all profits from the period in question including claw-backs on all bonuses and dividends paid. 
  2. Eliminate all funding and lobbying money from financial institutions.  Make it a felony with automatic, mandatory jail time for any person or organization found in violation of this stricture.
  3. Immediately nationalize enough banks to allow our society to carry on and let the rest go under.  We can no longer afford for 40% of all corporate profits to be earned by the essentially non-productive industry that is finance.
  4. Begin directly issuing non-interest bearing money from the Treasury.  Why pay the Federal Reserve interest on our own money?
  5. Allow competing currencies to exist in parallel with Federal Reserve Notes.  If the Fed wants to ruin its balance sheet by supporting its broken network of morally and economically ruined banks, we the people should be allowed to choose whether we prefer to conduct our affairs using promise notes from the Fed or some other currency.  Competition is the only known way to assure that businesses remain honest and fair.  Why should the business of money be any different? 
  6. Return accountability to our landscape.  Obama needs to immediately distance himself from the Wall Street led looting operation and do so by announcing that mistakes were made and laws were broken and that accountability will be part of his solution set.  We the people need to see that laws are not just for us.  If our system operates on trust (and it does) then we need to trust that the system is capable of policing itself.  Right now there is zero evidence of that and its absence is rapidly eroding our social contract.
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35 Comments

wdstk46's picture
wdstk46
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 17 2008
Posts: 59
Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...

Hi Chris,

While I share your rage, four of the solutions are non-starters.

1.  What profits and from whom?  Who decides?  What happens to the shareholders who will get hammered?  

2.  That works!

3.  Nationalize banks?  That's just more of the same.  Government, not the market, decides who lives and dies.  Lobbying for survival becomes rampant.  Cronyism with a capital C.  The fox now runs the hen house.  Bad idea.

4.   This will be the immediate end of all government funding from all non-tax sources.  Total collapse of the system.  Interest free Treasury notes and bonds will NOT sell. 

5.  Gresham's law will prevent this from working.  As long as government issues fiat legal tender, commodity money will end up in storage.

6.  That works!

Michael Höhne's picture
Michael Höhne
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 16 2008
Posts: 119
Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...

Mankind got to a point where basic principles are disregarded. If you think about what's most needed to survive,  you will find food, water and a place where you don't freeze to death. We are taking all of this for granted, but are unable to survive if delivery of goods and energy is deferred. Almost any kind of delivery is based on energy, mainly gas, which itself is based on money. If the monetary system fails, so will delivery of goods and that means tremendous consequences for all of us.

Our civilized world totally focuses on money to create cars, computers, games, TVs and so forth, so all of these nice-to-haves that are needed for fun and pleasure. They are not required to survive at all, but are our main point of interest. We don't care much about good food and farmers are totally underpaid. They may become the wealthiest people in the future, when we are trying to buy food from them directly and they decide how much it costs, not someone else.

Currencies are a good thing in general, as they enable us to trade goods and services, making it easier to combine our individual strengths. However, I'm getting more and more tired of stock exchanges, banks, taxes and our current money system in general. Our generation is already paying a major amount of each earned buck just for the interest of our countries, states and cities. And it's common sense that we can't pay more or at least are not willing to pay more. How does that work when adding trillions on top of that? To somehow support this system, our children will have to pay even more. On the other hand our social security systems will collapse, because they are not backed up with real assets. It's just money and if that becomes worthless, then how can we survive? The only chance are our children again, so they not only have to clean up this mess, they also have to support us.

Almost any newscast shows the latest stock market data. If it's up, then we feel save. If it goes down, then we are scared, even if we don't own stocks ourselves. The entire stock and crude markets aren't related to goods anymore. Companies and individuals are not buying things because of a demand. They do because it's a gigantic game, where people try to "make" money with these assets. Try to find out how many people are employed in these financial markets and how many of them are really required. The basic question is: what value do they add to mankind, if any? We have some farmers and expect them to feed us, but we don't want to spend much money on it. Food is considered to be just there, because it always was. And we expect to get clear water from our facets, but anyone having faced a water-mains burst knows what it means if it doesn't work anymore. We ignore the fact that billions of people don't have what we take for granted. They know how to survive though. What about us?

We don't even know where to get information when the Internet is shut down. Local libraries have closed because there wasn't enough money to support them. Local shops have closed because they can't compete with bigger outlets. This works as long as we have the freedom to use a car or turn on the computer. But who can guarantee that this is lasting forever? If our currencies fail then there will be new currencies. One of the biggest challenges we may face though is the period from where money is starting to lose value up to the point where something new is in place. In between we will see serious problems in just buying things. At some point it may be uneconomical to provide energy or clear water. Or it may be too expensive for you to pay for it. At this point you heavily rely on a local community. We don't need a 1,500 square feet home for four people to survive. So if it comes to a point where you need a warm room and something to eat and drink, then it's good to be prepared yourself, but it's even better to know your neighbors being prepared as well, otherwise you may have to make some tough decisions later.

I think that most people are not scared about a new currency or entirely new monetary system. It's about the way to it, the uncertainty. We don't want to believe that all of this can happen, because we may consider our own countries to be too big to fail as well. But who will give our countries money to prevent bankruptcy? What could they expect in exchange? Paper? 

I'm tired of paying for the financial industry. We don't need most of it at all, it's just a gigantic machinery to make a few people very rich while leaving most others poor. And we don't get anything in return.

EndGamePlayer's picture
EndGamePlayer
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 2 2008
Posts: 546
And they will be . . . Taxing the H*ll out of us for this

Here's a quip on the option of taxing us to death:

http://money.cnn.com/2008/12/01/news/economy/tully_vat.fortune/index.htm

is the most likely senario. This means - buy everything you need to sustain your life for low energy, food production and durable goods before this hits the fan.

The rich get richer while the poor get poorer. It's only a matter of time before we become a 3rd world nation.

EGP

Headless's picture
Headless
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 28 2008
Posts: 363
Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...

(melodramatic, but has the key clips from here and there)

 (Just Inhofe, though not the original "martial law" threat, just a follow up)

 

 

Mike Pilat's picture
Mike Pilat
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 8 2008
Posts: 929
Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...

"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them (around the banks), will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered." --- Thomas Jefferson

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a moneyed aristocracy that has set the Government at defiance. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs." --- Thomas Jefferson

 I don't mean to rain on anyone's parade (certainly not my own) but I do acknowledge that the Founding Fathers (and particularly Jefferson) were generally extremely well educated. They didn't just regurgitate facts from books - they actually applied the facts. And I am clearly preaching to the choir because it is websites like this that keep the real education alive in this country. Personally I find it apalling that a high school freshman can know in detail how to dissect a grasshopper but has no clue about how to run a personal budget or how much debt hangs over their head from the day they are born.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it wants what never was and never will be." --- Thomas Jefferson

1776 occurred because our Founding Fathins were not ignorant. I am convinced that it will take nothing less than a Revolution - hopefully peaceful - to change the deeply entrenched banking interests that (usually invisibly) control nearly ever aspect of our lives. There is nothing particularly inmpressive in the pwoer display of the bailouts except for the fact that the banksters have temporarily had the curtain removed - we can SEE the looting occurring when normally "not one man in a million" can distinguish it. We all have a precious opportunity now where Joe Sixpack understands and feels what is going on.

I froze in the cold on November 22, 2008 with a group of people who attended the "End the FED" rally protest in Washington D.C. Thirty nine cities around the nation participated, but the national news ignored it completely. Still, "Russia Today" had video coverage. Do you think our media is bought and paid for? Having the knowledge and understanding (as most on this site do) is NOT enough. Action must be taken to raise awareness because the media will not support us - that's why we're on the internet - the last bastion of free press. I entreat all of you to talk with your neighbors. Protest. Call Congress: 202-224-3121 (just say the name of your representative, the call takes 2 min. to leave a message). If we do not take action peacefully, I fear action will occur with force eventually.

 

Mike

Davos's picture
Davos
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 17 2008
Posts: 3620
Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...

“A democratic society requires a stable and effectively functioning economy.I trust that we and our successors at the Federal Reserve will be important contributors to that end.”
~ Alan Greenspan, 1996

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27989275/


Pentagon to detail military to bolster security
Plan would dedicate 20,000 uniformed troops inside U.S. by 2011

 

I'll be thankful if there is a timely inauguration.

 http://www.scribd.com/doc/192230/GOLD-AND-ECONOMIC-FREEDOM-Alan-Greenspan 

 INSERT DESCRIPTIONMeet the olhttp://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/15/nixonland/d boss


There are all sorts of connections between the Nixon administration and the Bush administration. But here’s one I didn’t know about: Hank Paulson wasJohn Ehrlichman’s assistant in 1972 and 1973.

Maybe you have to have lived through Watergate to know what that means.

joe2baba's picture
joe2baba
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 17 2008
Posts: 807
Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...

hi chris

i have been on this site for over 8 months.

i have followed events and posted on this site many times. i agree with just about  every thing you have said about this situation. personally just about every way i have had in my life for making money has been wiped out. i have been a real estate broker for 25 years, i have been in construction for 37 years. i started a medical tourism business 2 years ago to help people get high quality low cost health care. the economy is so bad that people cannot even go overseas for medical care that is 80%less than here. i am on the board of directors of a non profit doing charitable work in india, ghana, argentina and the dominican republic.

i am as outraged as you are. but let's be real here. none of what you are proposing is EVER going to happen. can we really expect any one in washington to make any kind of real change when their personal wealth is dependent on not only maintaining the status quo but actually expanding it. i applaud you for always taking the high road. but no one is going to jail and no one is even going to court. they own the whole shooting match. the presidency, the congress and the courts.

obama is owned outright. he got 4 times the money from wall street than mac. he is surrounding himself with the perps who have been foisting this on us. i would suggest that if you keep doing the same things over and over and expect different results you are insane.

here is my analysis

the federal reserve has to go .....if this does not happen nothing else matters.

for this to happen we have to have 220 ron pauls in the house. we need to have 60 ron pauls in the senate. we need to have andrew jackson in the white house.

this is  huge mountain to climb.

an equally huge mountain to climb will be for the people of this country to adhere to the declaration of independence and the constitution.

"we hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers  from the consent of the governed.

that when any form of government becomes destructive of these ends it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it and to institute new government ................"

 this is just my analysis but jefferson and the boys put their lives on the line to create this country....is any one willing to put their lives on the line to take it back?

any other discussion is just urination in a hurricane.

what i see happening is we will be neo serfs tilling the kings fields, writing his software, making his computers and providing his amusements. we will do this for the right to trample someone to death to get a flat screen tv at a steep discount.

or maybe i am wrong

GDon's picture
GDon
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 2 2008
Posts: 86
Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...

wdstk46 -

my 2 cents on your response to Chris -

1.  What profits and from whom?      I believe Chris misspoke - just return the bailout funds given under government threat.  Who decides?     That's what the Judicial system was originally intended to do, and if we weren't all under Executive Branch autocracy, they would still intervene after filings submitted.      What happens to the shareholders who will get hammered?    That's how a free-market works - you get profits on successful risk taking.  You might also get losses.  The latter is not an excuse to take money from others at the point of a gun. 

2.  That works!

3.  Nationalize banks?  That's just more of the same.  Government, not the market, decides who lives and dies.  Lobbying for survival becomes rampant.  Cronyism with a capital C.  The fox now runs the hen house.  Bad idea.    I agree with you - no nationalization.  Let the bad banks go under.   Capital will be lent to truly sound investments, regardless the status or dissappearance of Citi, Lehman, BOA, etc. (eventually).

4.   This will be the immediate end of all government funding from all non-tax sources.      My first response was hooray!   Frankly, if the populus doesn't see the merit in "investing" in government programs, what options exist?  Allowing Congress to go ahead with financing anyway?   Under the fractional-reserve system, funding from non-tax sources isn't being actually "payed-back" in any case - it is a rig for the Bond players, and not for the benefit of the populus.  Again, I say hooray - our Government is totally beyond the size of control or positive influence in citizens lives.   Total collapse of the system.  Interest free Treasury notes and bonds will NOT sell.    The "profit" which exists from the funding of Government, is the societal benefit provided from the output - i.e.., roads, dams, bridges, etc., not to mention a building for Congress, etc.    Any other "profit" solution for Government financing is a funnel for corruption - like today.

5.  Gresham's law will prevent this from working.  As long as government issues fiat legal tender, commodity money will end up in storage.   Your answer explains it - STOP the "fiat legal tender" fraud which has been perpetrated for the last 75 years.   The US Constitution continues to just "gather dust", ignored by every branch of the US Goverment, which instead, has only become the "strong-arm" of the Federal Reserve System.   Article I Sections 8 and 10, define the role of the US Treasury for coining gold and silver as money.   It also forbade States from issuing and using "Bills of Credit" - i.e., "debt money", which is exactly what the $USD is.    No - people will trade (non-counterfiet, non-fraud, non-devalued) real money for real benefits within a free society, when there is some level of trust that the currency represents earned value (vs an IOU).

6.  That works!

joe2baba's picture
joe2baba
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 17 2008
Posts: 807
Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...

HEY MIKE I APPRECIATE YOUR USING THE FIRST JEFFERSON QUOTE BUT IT IS NOT I REPEAT NOT FROM JEFFERSON IT IS INCORRECTLY ATTRIBUTED TO HIM.

FIND THE CITATION AND I WILL SEND YOU TEN BUCKS

IT COMES FROM THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD IN THE THIRTIES.

THANKS FOR STANDING IN THE COLD

GDon's picture
GDon
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 2 2008
Posts: 86
Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...

 

(OK - at the risk of "reposting" from an earlier blog...)   

Anybody who has watched Chris' Crash Course, should take some time to learn some US history which they likely were NOT taught in school, but yet which we seem intent on repeating.

In particular, President Andrew Jackson made it his platform, to battle the concept of a PRIVATE US Central Bank (earlier version of the Federal Reserve), issuing the currency of the Nation.   He believed the "good fight" so important, that he had his tombstone engraved with "I BEAT THE BANK!"

The fraudulent usury and government cronyism and growth, which would result from this practice was warned against incessantly by the Founding Fathers.

Alas, it was forgotten again by 1913, with America's "leaders" giving into the the temptation of power and money, forming the Federal Reserve System.

So...take some time for the following read -  it is Andrew Jackson's Farewell Address of 1837, after taking the power of currency issuance from the private US Central Bank.

It is both fascinating, and a bit frightening, to see how little knowledge gets passed along from generation to generation, resulting in a repitition of the same difficulties.   Whether this is an intentional facet of our educational system, I'll leave to speculation.

If you read it, it is hard to not be struck with the parallels of today, and the passion in Jackson's address on the subject of fiat currency, monetary policy, and the intertwinings between monetary policy and political freedom.

 

President Andrew Jackson - March 4, 1837:

"In reviewing the conflicts which have taken place between different interests in the United States and the policy pursued since the adoption of our present form of Government, we find nothing that has produced such deep-seated evil as the course of legislation in relation to the currency. The Constitution of the United States unquestionably intended to secure to the people a circulating medium of gold and silver. But the establishment of a national bank by Congress, with the privilege of issuing paper money receivable in the payment of the public dues, and the unfortunate course of legislation in the several States upon the same subject, drove from general circulation the constitutional currency and substituted one of paper in its place.

It was not easy for men engaged in the ordinary pursuits of business, whose attention had not been particularly drawn to the subject, to foresee all the consequences of a currency exclusively of paper, and we ought not on that account to be surprised at the facility with which laws were obtained to carry into effect the paper system. Honest and even enlightened men are sometimes misled by the specious and plausible statements of the designing. But experience has now proved the mischiefs and dangers of a paper currency, and it rests with you to determine whether the proper remedy shall be applied.

The paper system being founded on public confidence and having of itself no intrinsic value, it is liable to great and sudden fluctuations, thereby rendering property insecure and the wages of labor unsteady and uncertain. The corporations which create the paper money can not be relied upon to keep the circulating medium uniform in amount. In times of prosperity, when confidence is high, they are tempted by the prospect of gain or by the influence of those who hope to profit by it to extend their issues of paper beyond the bounds of discretion and the reasonable demands of business; and when these issues have been pushed on from day to day, until public confidence is at length shaken, then a reaction takes place, and they immediately withdraw the credits they have given, suddenly curtail their issues, and produce an unexpected and ruinous contraction of the circulating medium, which is felt by the whole community. The banks by this means save themselves, and the mischievous consequences of their imprudence or cupidity are visited upon the public.

Nor does the evil stop here. These ebbs and flows in the currency and these indiscreet extensions of credit naturally engender a spirit of speculation injurious to the habits and character of the people. We have already seen its effects in the wild spirit of speculation in the public lands and various kinds of stock which within the last year or two seized upon such a multitude of our citizens and threatened to pervade all classes of society and to withdraw their attention from the sober pursuits of honest industry. It is not by encouraging this spirit that we shall best preserve public virtue and promote the true interests of our country; but if your currency continues as exclusively paper as it now is, it will foster this eager desire to amass wealth without labor; it will multiply the number of dependents on bank accommodations and bank favors; the temptation to obtain money at any sacrifice will become stronger and stronger, and inevitably lead to corruption, which will find its way into your public councils and destroy at no distant day the purity of your Government. Some of the evils which arise from this system of paper press with peculiar hardship upon the class of society least able to bear it. A portion of this currency frequently becomes depreciated or worthless, and all of it is easily counterfeited in such a manner as to require peculiar skill and much experience to distinguish the counterfeit from the genuine note. These frauds are most generally perpetrated in the smaller notes, which are used in the daily transactions of ordinary business, and the losses occasioned by them are commonly thrown upon the laboring classes of society, whose situation and pursuits put it out of their power to guard themselves from these impositions, and whose daily wages are necessary for their subsistence.

It is the duty of every government so to regulate its currency as to protect this numerous class, as far as practicable, from the impositions of avarice and fraud. It is more especially the duty of the United States, where the Government is emphatically the Government of the people, and where this respectable portion of our citizens are so proudly distinguished from the laboring classes of all other nations by their independent spirit, their love of liberty, their intelligence, and their high tone of moral character. Their industry in peace is the source of our wealth and their bravery in war has covered us with glory; and the Government of the United States will but ill discharge its duties if it leaves them a prey to such dishonest impositions. Yet it is evident that their interests can not be effectually protected unless silver and gold are restored to circulation.

These views alone of the paper currency are sufficient to call for immediate reform; but there is another consideration which should still more strongly press it upon your attention.

Recent events have proved that the paper-money system of this country may be used as an engine to undermine your free institutions, and that those who desire to engross all power in the hands of the few and to govern by corruption or force are aware of its power and prepared to employ it. Your banks now furnish your only circulating medium, and money is plenty or scarce according to the quantity of notes issued by them. While they have capitals not greatly disproportioned to each other, they are competitors in business, and no one of them can exercise dominion over the rest; and although in the present state of the currency these banks may and do operate injuriously upon the habits of business, the pecuniary concerns, and the moral tone of society, yet, from their number and dispersed situation, they can not combine for the purposes of political influence, and whatever may be the dispositions of some of them their power of mischief must necessarily be confined to a narrow space and felt only in their immediate neighborhoods.

But when the charter for the Bank of the United States was obtained from Congress it perfected the schemes of the paper system and gave to its advocates the position they have struggled to obtain from the commencement of the Federal Government to the present hour. The immense capital and peculiar privileges bestowed upon it enabled it to exercise despotic sway over the other banks in every part of the country. From its superior strength it could seriously injure, if not destroy, the business of any one of them which might incur its resentment; and it openly claimed for itself the power of regulating the currency throughout the United States. In other words, it asserted (and it undoubtedly possessed) the power to make money plenty or scarce at its pleasure, at any time and in any quarter of the Union, by controlling the issues of other banks and permitting an expansion or compelling a general contraction of the circulating medium, according to its own will. The other banking institutions were sensible of its strength, and they soon generally became its obedient instruments, ready at all times to execute its mandates; and with the banks necessarily went also that numerous class of persons in our commercial cities who depend altogether on bank credits for their solvency and means of business, and who are therefore obliged, for their own safety, to propitiate the favor of the money power by distinguished zeal and devotion in its service.

The result of the ill-advised legislation which established this great monopoly was to concentrate the whole moneyed power of the Union, with its boundless means of corruption and its numerous dependents, under the direction and command of one acknowledged head, thus organizing this particular interest as one body and securing to it unity and concert of action throughout the United States, and enabling it to bring forward upon any occasion its entire and undivided strength to support or defeat any measure of the Government. In the hands of this formidable power, thus perfectly organized, was also placed unlimited dominion over the amount of the circulating medium, giving it the power to regulate the value of property and the fruits of labor in every quarter of the Union, and to bestow prosperity or bring ruin upon any city or section of the country as might best comport with its own interest or policy.

We are not left to conjecture how the moneyed power, thus organized and with such a weapon in its hands, would be likely to use it. The distress and alarm which pervaded and agitated the whole country when the Bank of the United States waged war upon the people in order to compel them to submit to its demands can not yet be forgotten. The ruthless and unsparing temper with which whole cities and communities were oppressed, individuals impoverished and ruined, and a scene of cheerful prosperity suddenly changed into one of gloom and despondency ought to be indelibly impressed on the memory of the people of the United States. If such was its power in a time of peace, what would it not have been in a season of war, with an enemy at your doors? No nation but the freemen of the United States could have come out victorious from such a contest; yet, if you had not conquered, the Government would have passed from the hands of the many to the hands of the few, and this organized money power from its secret conclave would have dictated the choice of your highest officers and compelled you to make peace or war, as best suited their own wishes. The forms of your Government might for a time have remained, but its living spirit would have departed from it.

The distress and sufferings inflicted on the people by the bank are some of the fruits of that system of policy which is continually striving to enlarge the authority of the Federal Government beyond the limits fixed by the Constitution. The powers enumerated in that instrument do not confer on Congress the right to establish such a corporation as the Bank of the United States, and the evil consequences which followed may warn us of the danger of departing from the true rule of construction and of permitting temporary circumstances or the hope of better promoting the public welfare to influence in any degree our decisions upon the extent of the authority of the General Government. Let us abide by the Constitution as it is written, or amend it in the constitutional mode if it is found to be defective.

The severe lessons of experience will, I doubt not, be sufficient to prevent Congress from again chartering such a monopoly, even if the Constitution did not present an insuperable objection to it. But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing. It behooves you, therefore, to be watchful in your States as well as in the Federal Government. The power which the moneyed interest can exercise, when concentrated under a single head and with our present system of currency, was sufficiently demonstrated in the struggle made by the Bank of the United States. Defeated in the General Government, tho same class of intriguers and politicians will now resort to the States and endeavor to obtain there the same organization which they failed to perpetuate in the Union; and with specious and deceitful plans of public advantages and State interests and State pride they will endeavor to establish in the different States one moneyed institution with overgrown capital and exclusive privileges sufficient to enable it to control the operations of the other banks.

Such an institution will be pregnant with the same evils produced by the Bank of the United States, although its sphere of action is more confined, and in the State in which it is chartered the money power will be able to embody its whole strength and to move together with undivided force to accomplish any object it may wish to attain. You have already had abundant evidence of its power to inflict injury upon the agricultural, mechanical, and laboring classes of society, and over those whose engagements in trade or speculation render them dependent on bank facilities the dominion of the State monopoly will be absolute and their obedience unlimited. With such a bank and a paper currency the money power would in a few years govern the State and control its measures, and if a sufficient number of States can be induced to create such establishments the time will soon come when it will again take the field against the United States and succeed in perfecting and perpetuating its organization by a charter from Congress.

It is one of the serious evils of our present system of banking that it enables one class of society--and that by no means a numerous one--by its control over the currency, to act injuriously upon the interests of all the others and to exercise more than its just proportion of influence in political affairs. The agricultural, the mechanical, and the laboring classes have little or no share in the direction of the great moneyed corporations, and from their habits and the nature of their pursuits they are incapable of forming extensive combinations to act together with united force. Such concert of action may sometimes be produced in a single city or in a small district of country by means of personal communications with each other, but they have no regular or active correspondence with those who are engaged in similar pursuits in distant places; they have but little patronage to give to the press, and exercise but a small share of influence over it; they have no crowd of dependents about them who hope to grow rich without labor by their countenance and favor, and who are therefore always ready to execute their wishes. The planter, the farmer, the mechanic, and the laborer all know that their success depends upon their own industry and economy, and that they must not expect to become suddenly rich by the fruits of their toil. Yet these classes of society form the great body of the people of the United States; they are the bone and sinew of the country--men who love liberty and desire nothing but equal rights and equal laws, and who, moreover, hold the great mass of our national wealth, although it is distributed in moderate amounts among the millions of freemen who possess it. But with overwhelming numbers and wealth on their side they are in constant danger of losing their fair influence in the Government, and with difficulty maintain their just rights against the incessant efforts daily made to encroach upon them. The mischief springs from the power which the moneyed interest derives from a paper currency which they are able to control, from the multitude of corporations with exclusive privileges which they have succeeded in obtaining in the different States, and which are employed altogether for their benefit; and unless you become more watchful in your States and check this spirit of monopoly and thirst for exclusive privileges you will in the end find that the most important powers of Government have been given or bartered away, and the control over your dearest interests has passed into the hands of these corporations.

The paper-money system and its natural associations--monopoly and exclusive privileges--have already struck their roots too deep in the soil, and it will require all your efforts to check its further growth and to eradicate the evil. The men who profit by the abuses and desire to perpetuate them will continue to besiege the halls of legislation in the General Government as well as in the States, and will seek by every artifice to mislead and deceive the public servants. It is to yourselves that you must look for safety and the means of guarding and perpetuating your free institutions. In your hands is rightfully placed the sovereignty of the country, and to you everyone placed in authority is ultimately responsible. It is always in your power to see that the wishes of the people are carried into faithful execution, and their will, when once made known, must sooner or later be obeyed; and while the people remain, as I trust they ever will, uncorrupted and incorruptible, and continue watchful and jealous of their rights, the Government is safe, and the cause of freedom will continue to triumph over all its enemies.

But it will require steady and persevering exertions on your part to rid yourselves of the iniquities and mischiefs of the paper system and to check the spirit of monopoly and other abuses which have sprung up with it, and of which it is the main support. So many interests are united to resist all reform on this subject that you must not hope the conflict will be a short one nor success easy. My humble efforts have not been spared during my administration of the Government to restore the constitutional currency of gold and silver, and something, I trust, has been done toward the accomplishment of this most desirable object; but enough yet remains to require all your energy and perseverance. The power, however, is in your hands, and the remedy must and will be applied if you determine upon it...."

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Headless
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Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...

Michael said: "

I'm tired of paying for the financial industry. We don't need most of it at all, it's just a gigantic machinery to make a few people very rich while leaving most others poor. And we don't get anything in return."

And all of it producing not an iota of substance that could improve the living conditions of Man.  If 90% of the financial "industry" were dismantled--or hung--the capital markets would return to being just that, the standard of living around the world would improve, and we could all get back to doing what we had hoped to do before this cancer started to metastasize and consume our well being; chiefly, living meaningful lives with our families. (We can't do that now, because this "industry" is threatening everything we value.)

How do I really feel?

I believe the agenda of Paulson and Bernanke--no matter what they say, given that we have passed the point of no return, is to inflate to such an extent that it confuses the average American: "I have more money than I've ever had--look at my 401K, it's twice what it was two years ago. Why can't we afford bread?" (The confusion will only delay the inevitable.)

WIth each passing day, I am more sure that we are within sight of U.S. bond auction failures (perhaps we have already seen them...). Once that happens, the pick-up loads of gun tottin' vigilantes coming out of the Red states heading toward D.C. is a done deal. How long will it take?  Apparently not that long, given the recent proposed "troop movements."

The civil servants of the 7th largest economy on the planet are about to go unpaid:

Fact: There is no way out of the above-noted problem other than massive printing, mass unemployment, or a combination of the two. (This is just one state.)

Even worse: The thought that the pensions of Californians (and all others) will actually have purchasing power when they are accessed is pure folly. Those pensions are near worthless, fractional at best.

If someone figures out a way to communicate that (the loss of purchasing power) to the average person and provide the helping hand that it will take to lift them over the Wall of Denial, we're headed to a very dark place; if not, the dark place is patient...and will be waiting for the inevitable inhabitants...

http://www.emp3world.com/to_download.php?id=73006

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Icelanders invaded their central bank

http://newsfrettir.com/?p=898

Theres also a video. however, they couldnt abolish it.

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Headless
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Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...

Did you all know that "Stocks Rally on Reassurring Comments from Ford CEO?" (Proudly pronounced on the same page where auto sales were noted to be down 30-34%.)

http://finance.yahoo.com/

What do you want to be when you grow up son?

Oh, I hope to misinform large numbers of people with a retelling of my every impulsive thought.

Treasury Secretary is a fine ambition son. I'm proud of you.

Not Treasury Secretary dad! After I complete winter camp at Yahoo, I'm going to accept a job they offered me.

Oh. Well, do your homework first. Your teacher called and said you might not be promoted to the 6th grade if you don't start getting your assignments in...

 

 

 

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Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...

Fox Reporters Fired for trying to report the truth.   This is how we are getting our news.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcjzdoiL0j4 

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Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...

It's pretty clear to me that the banksters control the media. We have a sort of "soft" (some might even say "hard") fascism in this country, with the Central Banksters using the government to control the media and the defense contractors. The private sector is rapidly disappearing and apparently now represents under 60% of our GDP.

In a way it would be better for us if we just had "American News Network" or "Federal Reserve News," etc. Then at least we couldn't be in denial of the fact that the press is really just a lever of the banking interests.

I must admit it's a pretty good strategy they have: control the military power and control the information source. In an Orwellian way, if you control the media, then you control reality.

I try my hardest to steer people away from CNN, NBC, and the like. Many say that Fox News is "conservative" and "less biased" but that's not true. It has been added to the mix to give everything an aire of legitimacy.

The mainstream news is about as factual as professional wrestling is real. The only time I read it is when I want to stay abreast with what disinformation is being spread to the masses.

 Here's a wonderful little piece of propaganda from CNN today that tells us how "necessary" and "effective" it will be to institute a new Value Added Tax so that we can pay off the massive debt in this country. I think Americans would have just about bought into this, but when everyone understands that you will be paying higher prices to buy cars because you bailed out the banksters, then I think that Gerald Celente's predictions of a tax Revolution take on a whole new meaning.

See the nice VAT article here

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Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...

I would like to echo Joe's thoughts on this one, and reiterate that NOBODY will ever see a court room - certainly nobody who really deserves it!  You see, the folks who are in charge will wait for the masses to show signs of revolt, and they will pluck a few sacrificial lambs from the ranks of corporate drones and prosecute with full media coverage.  They will offer these sacrifices as proof of their ability to self police, the media will ensure that all see the end to this outlandish abuse of power and excess by these tyrants, and the serfs will rejoice in their victory!

And all the while the king (s) will dine well in true victory, having created a dumbed-up constituency that enjoys its enslavement, as long as the cell they occupy has a big screen video game in it.

I for one do not see any true revolt from the sheeple, but rather one from within the ranks of finance itself.  You see, those who hold the power today all want more, and they are all too greedy to share - at least not for very much longer.  Remember that the world is not enough, and the greed that led us to where we are will be its ultimate undoing.  Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, we on this forum will not see this end.  The world will be a very bleak place indeed when that day befalls us though.

Among the people who regularly provide commentary here are a collection of great minds and sound morals.  But, the system as it exists today does not support such minds, as they have knowledge and responsibility.  If any of us tried to enter public office, and ever got remotely close to gaining any level of support for that which must be done to return this nation to one of liberty, I fear we would become yet another statistic on the nations highways. (this was meant literally!)

 

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Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...

Bob:

You guys are likely right, but at least we will know who picked our pockets! 

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Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...
rlee wrote:

You see, the folks who are in charge will wait for the masses to show signs of revolt, and they will pluck a few sacrificial lambs from the ranks of corporate drones and prosecute with full media coverage.  They will offer these sacrifices as proof of their ability to self police, the media will ensure that all see the end to this outlandish abuse of power and excess by these tyrants, and the serfs will rejoice in their victory!

Thanks, Bob. You make a good point.

 One need look no further than all of the media attention of the Big 3 Bailout. I am NOT a fan of the Detroit automakers. I believe the unions are out of control and the managers have shown terrible leadership, plundering our wealth all the while. That said, I do have some sympathy in that they have been shown to be the straw man that the government arbitrarily attacks. Why do we even care about a $25 Billion auto bailout? At least they produce real products (cars), even if they aren't good ones. The banking industry produces nothing of use to society and the Federal Reserve has guaranteed $8 Trillion and refused to disclose where it went.

It's a complete head fake to have the media and Congress focusing on the automakers. This is but a minuscule percentage of the bailouts that are continuing to occur.

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take from those that would work and give to those that would not."   ---Thomas Jefferson

-Mike

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Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...

"Tuesday, December 2, 2008, 9:04 am, by cmartenson"

Shall we all hold our breath until accountability occurs?

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Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...

2

THIS "BAILOUT" IS SICK, STUPID, WRONG, INEPT, CRIMINAL, IDIOTIC! And we still have much more to go according to another tally.

 total-bailout-costs.png

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Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...

Just ALL stop making payments on your debts.....  the bastards would be on their knees in days.....  BEGGING.

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Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...

Contrary to settled opinion, every problem in the world is not Bush's fault.  For a rebuttal to this notion regarding the current financial crisis, see

http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=312766781716725

and

http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=313027333411197

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Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...

Chris, I posted your item above on my PO list in Australia.  The general concensus was that maybe you were the victim of "an intentional journalistic misperception" of what is at issue. The talk of martial law had
to do with "legislative martial law" within the houses of government, not general societal martial law.

Legislative Martial Law gives special powers to the US Government to
debate and pass laws that have not had as much of a public airing as is
normally required as well as the time for those voting to actually read
the legislation they are voting on. My understanding is that a new
piece of legislation is proposed and the vote comes at least 24 hours
after the initial proposal. under legislative Martial Law the
legislation is proposed, debated and voted on in one sitting.
Legislative Martial law was declared during a sitting at the start of
the financial crisis. I believe that Martial law in the conventional,
troops on the streets, call off the elections, sense of the word was
also threatened. That's my understanding.

Would anyone care to comment? 

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Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...

Damnthematrix:

You may very well be correct in these assessments, but I think the heart of the matter is that Congress shouldn't pass any legislation when it's being threatened with anything from our own Secretary of Treasury. This kind of "decision making" (aka "fear mongering") proved very helpful in getting us into Iraq, bringing us the Patriot Act, and the like.

Besides, the people who are truly good with money are the ones that are able to separate their emotions from the picture. A highly emotional Treasury Secretary and a highly emotional and fearful Congress lack the proper mindset to debate the (let's just admit it) creation of a Plunder Package.

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Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...
For your viewing "entertainment"....
Paulson sees larger Fed role 3:39
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson says additional financial regulation will be necessary to prevent future financial calamity. http://money.cnn.com/video/ft/#/video/fortune/2008/12/01/fortune.paulson.1201.fortune
What Paulson learned 2:38
Fortune's Andy Serwer says the treasury secretary realizes there was not enough 'smart' regulation of financial institutions.
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Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...

Alex Merk of Merk Investments, LLC wrote a cogent and detailed explanation of the Fed's policy:

http://www.merkfund.com/merk-perspective/insights/2008-12-02.html

It doesn't make my day any brighter.

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Mike Pilat
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Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...

It's the age old story of our political system: The statists will always say they can solve all of our problems if only we give them more power or money or more ability to regulate, etc.

As Icelanders have recently stormed their own Central Bank, I wonder how much longer it will take before the Sheeple of America realize the fraud that is being wrought upon us.

Doug: It's a good article you have. I find it poetically just that the Federal Reserve is having great difficulty getting "the system" to work with their present toolbox. Of course more regulation and more drastic actions by them are doomed to fail miserably for the reason that Chris illustrates: the system is based on a continuous expansion of the money supply which assumes never-ending economic growth.

Personally, I would have assumed the system would fail in a hyperinflationary way, and it still might. But at the present time, Ben's Helicopter is dropping money but no one is picking it up. For a system where money is loaned into existence to work, two parties must be present: the lender and the borrower. I have no doubt that the lender (the FED) will be ever present and aggressive. But thankfully, it seems most Americans are not naive enough to be drawn into more debt at this moment.

The very framework and structure of this whole Ponzi scheme is undergoing a true systemic failure. Most of the banksters and indeed practically all of the politicians do not know how to operate outside of a debt based system. It's as if gravity has inverted itself on them. The old rules don't seem to be applying very well.

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Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...
castlewp wrote:

Fox Reporters Fired for trying to report the truth.   This is how we are getting our news.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcjzdoiL0j4 

This is from a documentary call The Corporation.  I just viewed this doc a month ago...a well done piece that makes you think.

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Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...

AjParrillo:

I was wondering which doc that was, I thougt it was outFoxed but wasn't sure. The corp was indeed eye opening watch 

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Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...
Davos wrote:

AjParrillo:

I was wondering which doc that was, I thougt it was outFoxed but wasn't sure. The corp was indeed eye opening watch 

What has been encouraging recently is that research of these issues have been making more and more mainstream appearances (cable networks), except for the "main" mainstream media of course.  I only wish the upcoming generation of late teens and early twenties would be more interested in these issues that have profound impacts on their lives...they are most interested in what new gadgets to get (shiny objects) and/or what do I have to know to get by.  There is a lack of critical thought being encouraged at all levels of education due to systemic factors...teachers are trapped.  The upcoming generations have been reared in the "wealth" of the baby boom generation and are in for quite a shock when everything they know, all the rules and lifestyle, comes crashing down.  I never thought I'd feel like such a curmudgeon at such a young age.

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castlewp
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Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...

I have been in the television business for 16 years and this is what happens.  Years ago when there were independent television stations this type of thing rarely happened and if an advertiser would threaten to pull $$ the stations would tell them that would be a part of the story.  Now there are literally 5 corporations that own the tv media in our country.  That is scary!!

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ajparrillo
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Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...
StudentOfJefferson wrote:

I believe the unions are out of control...

Well...this is just a silly statement in the grand scheme of things.  You might want to read this article debunking this attitude.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/11/24/opinion/main4630103.shtml

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Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...

A very important point, and thank you bringing it up here.  The fact is that much to much focus has been placed on the wage of workers issue versus the real industry issue.

FACT: EVERY auto manufacturer has suffered the same losses in revenue as have the 'Big Three'.  Toyota, Nissan, and Honda have all issued their last quarter reports and the numbers are what they are.

Why then are we even considering any kind of infusion into a select few companies at the detriment of the others, when they all employ American workers?  Isn't this a leadership and Management problem for the industry to correct?

Let's face it, the government screwed up in the 30's and helped to not only ensure the depression, but it was the government and its "programs" that made the depression "Great".

I've said it here before - invest well in liquor and cigarettes.  In bad times there will be sorrow to reflect on, and in good times there will be celebration! 

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Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...

i find it funny that an alien from oz is explaining martial law in the u.s. to folks in the u.s.

thanks for the help.

for a quick run down on martial law check out wiki.

it varies from country to country. i personally have never heard of legislative martial law it  would seem to violate our constitution.

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Re: Looting America: Treasury Secretary Paulson Threatened ...
cmartenson wrote:

I want you to consider that these threats of martial law were being bandied about in the final weeks before a national election. So the implied threat was that the elections themselves could have been jeopardized as a result. This is exceptionally serious. Paulson deserves to be brought up on charges of some sort.

I haven't had a chance to read the rest but before I forget, I want to point out that there were already rumours of martial law coming in in October. I remember seeing this youtube video at the time. I don't know who these "Democracy Now" people are or what their credibility is so I can't vouch for it. I just thought it worth pointing out because if it is true then the situation in the US may well be more grave than many are willing to admit.

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