U.S. has ‘enough oil to be independent’

Analysts say reserves can be safely tapped if leaders have the will

Offshore Oilrig

By Michael Carl

He added that other factors are involved in helping reduce the cost of a gallon of gasoline.

“Certainly any oil that is produced domestically can be transported more economically than importing it from overseas. So, to the extent that the oil can be drilled and produced in this country, it should benefit the consumer,” Duncan explained.

Duncan said Canadians are in the best position in terms of supply.

Alberta Energy Department spokesman Tim Markle said the Alberta oil sands can yield more than 170 billion barrels of oil.

There are a variety of methods to get to the oil reserve, he pointed out.

“The methods vary from company to company based on the processes they’re using,” Markle explained. “There’s open pit mining. There are other processes that include steam-assisted gravity drainage and a vapex system. There’s also toe-to-heel air injection.”

Energy analysts say demand for crude oil will double by 2035, but some argue that with vast untapped petroleum reserves that can be accessed by new environmentally safe technologies, the U.S. can become energy independent if it has the political will.

The increase in demand was highlighted by President Obama’s announcement last week that the federal government is opening up Florida’s west coast, part of Alaska’s northern coast and the southern Atlantic Shelf for exploration and drilling.

The Atlantic Shelf is estimated to have more than 3.8 billion barrels of oil from Newfoundland to southern Florida. But the American Petroleum Institute’s Erik Milito points out Obama’s target area is smaller.

“Obama didn’t include the whole Atlantic coast in the program. He included south of Delaware and somewhere about the middle of the Florida coast. It’s not all-encompassing,” Milito explained.

“It’s hard to say how much is really available in the area Obama included, but it’s most likely going to be lower than the [3.8 million barrels],” he said.

Milito said the estimates are shaky, noting they are based on data and seismic activity more than 30 years old.

“The industry hasn’t had a chance to go out there and take a look with the newer technologies,” he said. “The estimates could change and maybe even go up.”

Milito added that opponents of offshore drilling shouldn’t be too concerned, because new technologies are making offshore drilling safer.

“It’s not the platforms; it’s the drilling methods that have changed in terms of having blowout preventers. You have stacks of them so that when there’s a blowout they shut off,” Milito said.

He explained that during the production stage, subsurface safety valves keep any liquids or oil from leaking into the water.

Spikes in oil prices over the past two years have turned attention to the Bakken oil shale deposits in North Dakota, Montana and the Canadian province of Saskatchewan.

The U. S. Geological Survey estimates there are 3 to 4 billion barrels of oil in the Bakken field.

“If we have more oil on the market, the price should go down. It’s the simple law of supply and demand,” observed USGS Petroleum analyst Doug Duncan.

Markle added that companies in Alberta are moving to a cleaner and more environmentally friendly method.

“Open pit mining is the most economical, but it has an adverse environmental impact. So most of the companies coming on line are using steam-assisted gravity drainage or toe-to-heel air injection,” Markle said.

Markle said that future demand is only going to increase, and he believes that the Alberta oil sands are the best source to meet the growing demand.

“We know we can access 170.4 billion barrels, and by 2018 we’ll be producing 3 million barrels a day instead of the 1.4 million barrels a day now,” Markle projected.

“As more companies come online there will be more oil coming out of here. And as we further our technology, we’ll likely find that we can get more oil out of the oil sands,” Markle said.

Both Alberta’s Markle and the American Petroleum Institute’s Milito say oil is becoming a safer and more environmentally friendly energy source.

Political analyst J. D. Pendry said the barrel estimates from the Atlantic Shelf and the Bakken Fields show that the U.S. should be energy independent. He says the lagging development has no logical explanation.

“We have enough oil reserves in our country, much of which is on federal lands, to achieve energy independence. We have more than any other nation on the planet,” Pendry claimed.

“Yet we choose instead to empower the Middle East and tyrants like (Venezuela’s) Hugo Chavez rather than developing our own oil and energy sources,” he said.

“When you factor in our coal reserves and the potential for coal-to-liquid fuel development, it is even more astounding that we purchase even one drop of fuel from other countries,” said Pendry.

He believes the reason for the continued dependence is a lack of political will on the part of leaders. He believes there’s some political maneuvering.

“It’s only a smoke screen for the uninformed, which amazingly enough still works today. When cap-and-trade is forced on us, the president will state that he is pursuing drilling and claim the Republicans aren’t supporting him in his efforts,” Pendry said. “Our energy situation is mind-boggling.”

US has ‘enough oil to be independent’


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Moscow alarmed by Chinese maneuvers

Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin

Moscow's Red Square Military Might

Moscow, which conspicuously left out any mention of China’s growing influence and power in its newly adopted military doctrine, is revealing the depth of its alarm, however, through its trade and business decisions, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

The new doctrine takes aim at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which Moscow identifies as a threat due to its eastward expansion ambitions. But a glance at the trade balance sheets between Moscow and Beijing and other business decisions reveals an equal concern is developing there.

Not only are trade channels drying up, the Kremlin is planning an uptick in military exercises this year focusing on the Far East and also is reaching out to enhance its relationship with nations that surround China, signaling a possible containment policy toward Beijing.

Russia recently agreed to sell a dozen Su-30 top-of-the-line fighter aircraft to Vietnam, in addition to an increase in other arms exports such as the recent Vietnamese purchase of six Russian Kilo submarines.

A key analyst has concluded that while Moscow’s policy doesn’t directly mention China, it includes references to the nation because of its mention of a “real possibility of military conflict.” The alarm follows China’s training program for what would appear to be an invasion of Russia.

Further, Russian-Chinese trade last year fell some 31.8 percent from 2008, to only $38.8 billion.

For the complete report and full immediate access to Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, subscribe now.

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U.S. government is bankrupt

WND

‘It’s only a matter of time before the public realizes it’


Jerome Corsi's RED ALERT

Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Jerome Corsi’s Red Alert, the premium online newsletter published by the current No. 1 best-selling author, WND staff writer and columnist. This week, he is including a Chapter One excerpt from his book, “America for Sale.”Red Alert subscriptions are $99 a year or $9.95 per month for credit card users. Annual subscribers will receive a free autographed copy of “The Late Great USA,” a book about the careful deceptions of a powerful elite who want to undermine our nation’s sovereignty.

The real 2008 federal budget deficit was $5.1 trillion, not the $455 billion previously reported by the Congressional Budget Office, according to the 2008 Financial Report of the United States Government released by the U.S. Department of Treasury, Jerome Corsi’s Red Alert reports.

The difference between the $455 billion “official” budget deficit numbers and the $5.1 trillion budget deficit based on data reported in the 2008 financial report is that the official budget deficit is calculated on a cash basis, where all tax receipts, including Social Security tax receipts, are used to pay government liabilities as they occur.

The calculations in the 2008 financial report are calculated on a GAAP basis (“Generally Accepted Accounting Practices”) that includes year-for-year changes in the net present value of unfunded liabilities in social insurance programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Under cash accounting, the government makes no provision for future Social Security and Medicare benefits in the year in which those benefits accrue.

Economist John Williams, who publishes the website Shadow Government Statistics, told Corsi, “As bad as 2008 was, the $455 billion budget deficit on a cash basis and the $5.1 trillion federal budget deficit on a GAAP accounting basis do not reflect any significant money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, which was approved after the close of the fiscal year.”

He continued, “For 2009, the Congressional Budget Office estimated the fiscal year 2009 budget deficit as being $1.2 trillion on a cash basis, and that was before taking into consideration the full costs of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, before the cost of the Obama nearly $800 billion economic stimulus plan, or the cost of the second $350 billion tranche in TARP funds, as well as all current bailouts being contemplated by the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve.”

Williams told Corsi the federal government’s deficit is hemorrhaging at a pace that threatens the viability of the financial system. He said the 2009 budget deficit will clearly exceed $2 trillion on a cash basis and the full amount must be funded by Treasury borrowing. He noted that it’s not likely to happen without the Federal Reserve acting as lender of last resort by buying Treasury debt and monetizing the debt.

Corsi explained, “‘Monetizing the debt’ is a term used to signify that the U.S. Treasury will ultimately be required to print cash to meet Treasury debt obligations, acting in this capacity only because the Treasury cannot sell the huge amount of debt elsewhere, possibly not even to the Federal Reserve.”

So far, the Treasury has been largely dependent upon foreign buyers, principally China and Japan and other major holders of U.S. dollar foreign exchange reserves, including Middle East oil-producing nations purchasing U.S. debt through their financial agents in London.

“The appetite of foreign buyers to purchase continued trillions of U.S. debt has become more questionable as the world has witnessed the rapid deterioration of the U.S. fiscal condition in the current financial crisis,” Williams noted.

Corsi wrote, “The sad reality is that the U.S. Treasury has not reserved any funds to cover the future Social Security and Medicare obligations we are incurring today.”

Williams said there are no funds held in reserve today for Social Security and Medicare obligations each year. He said it’s only a matter of time until the public realizes that the government is truly bankrupt.

Corsi wrote that if President Obama adds universal health care to list of entitlement payments the federal government is obligated to pay, the negative net worth of the United States government will only get worse.

Calculations from the 2008 Financial Report of the United States Government show that the GAAP negative net worth of the federal government has increased to $59.3 trillion, while the total federal obligations under GAAP accounting now total $65.5 trillion.

Williams explained the federal government is truly bankrupt and argued that in a post-Enron world, if the federal government were a corporation such as General Motors, “the president and senior Treasury officers would be in federal penitentiary.”

Red Alert’s author, whose books “The Obama Nation” and “Unfit for Command” have topped the New York Times best-sellers list, received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in political science in 1972. For nearly 25 years, beginning in 1981, he worked with banks throughout the U.S. and around the world to develop financial services marketing companies to assist banks in establishing broker/dealers and insurance subsidiaries to provide financial planning products and services to their retail customers. In this career, Corsi developed three different third-party financial services marketing firms that reached gross sales levels of $1 billion in annuities and equal volume in mutual funds. In 1999, he began developing Internet-based financial marketing firms, also adapted to work in conjunction with banks.

In his 25-year financial services career, Corsi has been a noted financial services speaker and writer, publishing three books and numerous articles in professional financial services journals and magazines.

For financial guidance during difficult times, read Jerome Corsi’s Red Alert, the premium, online intelligence news source by  the WND staff writer, columnist and author of the New York Times No. 1 best-seller, “The Obama Nation.

For full immediate access to Jerome Corsi’s Red Alert, subscribe now.

Subscribe to Jerome Corsi’s new weekly economic newsletter, Red Alert, for one year and, for a limited time get “The Late Great USA” free. (This offer applies only to annual subscriptions for $99.)

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U.N. calls for replacement of U.S. dollar

WND

Joins Russia, China and G20 with demands IMF step forward

One dollar

Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Jerome Corsi’s Red Alert, the premium online newsletter published by the current No. 1 best-selling author, WND staff writer and columnist. Subscriptions are $99 a year or $9.95 per month for credit card users. Annual subscribers will receive a free autographed copy of “The Late Great USA,” a book about the careful deceptions of a powerful elite who want to undermine our nation’s sovereignty.

World organizations, including the United Nations, are openly calling for the creation of a one-world currency to replace the dollar – and the Obama administration’s trillion-dollar deficits are serving as a trigger for the currency switch, Jerome Corsi’s Red Alert reports.

A United Nations report recommended that a new one-world currency should be created to replace the dollar as the standard for foreign-exchange holdings in international trade.

“If the plan succeeds, the United Nations would effectively end up replacing the United States as the issuer of the one-world international currency used as the standard of foreign exchange to settle international trade transactions,” Corsi wrote. “The move would obviate the need for any nation state in the future to be the arbiter of world trade, marking yet another blow to national sovereignty on the path to one-world government.”

The report, released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, or UNCTAD, endorsed a proposal that Special Drawing Rights, or SDRs, issued by the International Monetary Fund, or IMF, “could be used to settle international payments.”

Red Alert has previously reported that Russia and China championed the idea to use the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights as a new international currency as a proposal that was adopted by the G-20 meeting held in London last April.

Corsi noted, “That G20 summit meeting took an important step toward creating a new one-world currency through the International Monetary Fund that is designed to replace the dollar as the world’s foreign exchange reserve currency of choice.”

Point 19 of the final communiqué from the G20 summit in London on April 2 stated, “We have agreed to support a general SDR which will inject $250 billion into the world economy and increase global liquidity,” taking the first steps forward to implement China’s proposal that Special Drawing Rights at the International Monetary Fund should be created as a foreign-exchange currency to replace the dollar.

The IMF created SDRs in 1969 to support the Bretton Woods fixed exchange-rate system.

“The international supply of two key reserve assets – gold and the U.S. dollar – proved inadequate for supporting the expansion of world trade and financial development that was taking place,” a document on the IMF website explains. “Therefore, the international community decided to create a new international reserve asset under the auspices of the IMF.”

When the Bretton Woods fixed-rate system collapsed, major world currencies, including the dollar, shifted to a floating exchange-rate system where the price of the dollar and other major world currencies was created by trading on international currency exchanges.

Until the current global economic crisis, SDRs issued by the IMF have been used by IMF member nation states primarily as a reserve account to support international trade transactions, not as an alternative international currency available to settle international debt transactions in danger of default.

“The discussion of using SDRs at the IMF as an international reserve payment system is further evidence that the momentum to create a one-world currency is gaining among not only among academic economists, but also among and professional economists holding prominent government positions,” Corsi wrote.

Red Alert previously reported that strong support for the idea of a one-world currency has recently come from Canadian economist Robert Mundell, who won a Nobel-prize in 1999, for his work formulating the intellectual basis for creating the euro.

Red Alert’s author, whose books “The Obama Nation” and “Unfit for Command” have topped the New York Times best-sellers list, received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in political science in 1972. For nearly 25 years, beginning in 1981, he worked with banks throughout the U.S. and around the world to develop financial services marketing companies to assist banks in establishing broker/dealers and insurance subsidiaries to provide financial planning products and services to their retail customers. In this career, Corsi developed three different third-party financial services marketing firms that reached gross sales levels of $1 billion in annuities and equal volume in mutual funds. In 1999, he began developing Internet-based financial marketing firms, also adapted to work in conjunction with banks.

In his 25-year financial services career, Corsi has been a noted financial services speaker and writer, publishing three books and numerous articles in professional financial services journals and magazines.

For financial guidance during difficult times, read Jerome Corsi’s Red Alert, the premium, online intelligence news source by  the WND staff writer, columnist and author of the New York Times No. 1 best-seller, “The Obama Nation.

For full immediate access to Jerome Corsi’s Red Alert, subscribe now.

Subscribe to Jerome Corsi’s new weekly economic newsletter, Red Alert, for one year and, for a limited time get “The Late Great USA” free. (This offer applies only to annual subscriptions for $99.)

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Europe’s $57 billion plan to put windmills in the ocean

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR

Ocean Windmill

Paris – Wind is the fastest growing renewable energy in Europe – making up a third of new energy here, with 20 turbines added every working day in 2008, according to EU statistics.

What the European wind energy industry now wants is to expand – offshore. Ocean winds are a stronger and more predictable form of energy than the ones on land, and the industry is pushing a $57 billion investment to allow broad-winged turbines to spin at sea.

Offshore wind is “absolutely” a significant new resource, argues Walt Patterson, an associate at Chatham House and author of “Keeping the Lights On,” adding that “the big question mark is not sticking the stuff in the ocean, but how to get the electricity ashore.”

A report released in Stockholm Monday by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) argues that offshore turbines could provide 10 percent of Europe’s energy by 2020 – avoiding some 200 tons of C02 emissions.

Currently, 11 sets of the wind-powered turbines are circling off Europe’s shores, with 21 under construction, mostly in Great Britain. At the moment they only contribute about .02 percent of Europe’s electricity needs.

EU energy czar Andris Piebalgs backed the EWEA’s ambitious plans to harness ocean winds, saying in Stockholm that the European commission is “committed to doing everything we can to support offshore wind developers and make sure their… projects come to fruition.”

The EWEA Stockholm wind conference, called “Oceans of Opportunity,” comes at a time when Europe is focusing on climate control and job creation. Offshore turbines are also seen as a solution to complaints from Europeans who do not want the gargantuan turbines in their backyards.

Complaints and hurdles
But people also have complaints about turbines at sea. Complaints that the turbines ruin ocean views have slowed US efforts to get a project started off the coast of Massachusetts. The US has virtually no offshore wind energy, though the Obama administration has started to work on the issue.

There are also economic limitations, since electricity produced by offshore turbines is more expensive to deliver to consumers. There are also maintenance concerns involving storms at sea and corrosion from salt water. Mr. Patterson says the biggest hurdle is making the power deliverable.

“It’s a chicken and egg question, really,” says Patterson. “If you are the industry, do you wait for the cables to be laid on the ocean floor, or do you build the fields and then hope they are laid?”

The industry was boosted by a recent EU law requiring that 20 percent of Europe’s energy be obtained fromrenewable sources by 2020. Some 15 European states are planning offshore projects, according to the EWEA report. “There is huge developer interest in offshore wind power,” Arthuros Zervos, president of EWEA, said in a statement Monday. “The scale of planned projects is far greater than most people realize.”

Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported on Monday that Germany is about to begin construction of a wind farm 12 miles off its Baltic coast that German Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee said would produce 12,000 megawatts of electricity, bringing Germany “closer to our goal of producing 25,000 megawatts offshore by 2030.”

This week the American electric giant GE, which produces nearly a quarter of the turbines for wind power worldwide, said it will enter the offshore market for the first time.

The Financial Times reported Monday that GE is expected to invest “hundreds of millions” in developing offshore turbines. The FT reported that GE “is also buying ScanWind, a small Norwegian-Swedish turbine company for 18 million, giving it access to new turbine technology, tested in harsh conditions on the coast of Norway.”

The EWEA in Stockholm presented data asserting that all of Europe’s energy needs could one day be met by eight fields of turbines roughly the size of 10,000 square kilometers, off the coasts of EU states.

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Israel Gas Field Is Now Twice the Size of Previous Estimates

WORTHY NEWS

By George Whitten, Jerusalem Bureau Chief

JERUSALAM, ISRAEL

Gas Fields

Israel’s discovery of the one of the world’s largest natural gas field is much larger than previously estimated, according to a new report obtained by Worthy News.

The Tamar Gas field, offshore from Haifa, is now worth $8 billion, nearly double previous estimates of local analysts, said a report prepared by Wood Mackenzie Research and Consulting.

Tamar is the world’s second largest natural gas discovery over the past 18 months. Natural gas will be flowing into Israel by 2012, officials said.

Analysts say the natural gas field will have a huge impact on the economy of Israel and is expected to make the Jewish state more energy independent.

“The state of Israel will make over $5 billion in royalties and corporate taxes from the production of the gas at Tamar field alone,” said Gal Reiter, an energy industry analyst at Clal Finance & Brokerage, a leading Tel Aviv investment bank.

As infrastructure is built for bringing natural gas onshore, local economies are also expected to benefit from the billions that will be spent on a 500 kilometer (311 mile) distribution network, officials said.

Israel’s National Infrastructure Ministry (NIM) announced it is considering adapting the country’s bus fleet as well as cars to run on natural gas.

The NIM said it believes demand for natural gas “will triple” by 2016, as power plants and industry rapidly switch from oil to natural gas.

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Most sweeping ethics reform in history?

FROM WND

BY CHUCK NORRIS

Obama promised during his campaign to “clean up both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue” with “the most sweeping ethics reform in history.” He repeatedly declared that “an Obama administration is going to have the toughest ethic laws of any administration in history.” But shouldn’t that moral commitment extend to all of those he appoints too?

First, there was New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who withdrew his name from consideration as commerce secretary because of a grand jury investigation into whether donations to his political committees were mingled with state contracts.

Second, there was William J. Lynn III, a lobbyist for a major military contractor slated to become the No. 2 at the Defense Department. (There are other Obama appointees who worked as lobbyists and are now located among his administration, like Mark Patterson, who represented Goldman Sachs and is now chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.)

Third, there was Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s appointment, which somehow squeezed through Congress despite his failing to pay more than $34,000 in self-employment taxes.

Fourth, there was former Treasury official Nancy Killefer, who withdrew her name as the government’s first chief performance officer because of not paying her taxes.

Fifth, there was Senate majority leader Thomas A. Daschle, who withdrew his name to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, but only after a barrage of confrontation over his failure to pay $146,000 in taxes.

Sixth, there was Rep. Hilda Solis, Obama’s nominee to be Labor secretary, whose husband this past week paid $6,400 in tax liens against his business – some outstanding for 16 years. (But she claims innocence and even press secretary Robert Gibbs said, “[W]e’re not going to penalize her for her husband’s business mistakes.” Is her husband’s business and money not also hers? Have you ever noticed how nothing is anyone’s fault anymore?)

And now, lucky No. 7, Obama has nominated David Ogden to be the deputy attorney general – the second person in command in the U.S. office of the attorney general. According to the American Family Association, as an attorney in private practice, Ogden has filed briefs opposing parental notification before a minor’s abortion and the Children’s Internet Protection Act and the Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act. He has also litigated many obscenity and pornography cases on behalf of clients like the ACLU, Playboy, Penthouse and the largest distributor of hardcore pornographic movies.

With more than 90,000 names of registered sex offenders just turned over from MySpace alone, do we really want one more high-ranking politician who is soft on sexual crime and immoralities? I’d recommend Ogden and indeed everyone else watch the DVD, “Someone’s Daughter – A Journey to Freedom from Pornography” (distributed by Vision Video). (Ogden must still be confirmed by the Senate, so write your representatives today.)

Am I missing something? Remember when tax evasion was a crime? Remember when porn was bad? Remember when ethics actually mattered in our choices for politicians? Remember when there were expected moral standards for leaders? Remember when politicians were role models? (Now I’m dating myself!)

I’m doing my best to support my president. I don’t want him to fail. And I do want to give him a chance to get out of the gates without criticizing every step he makes. But when he repeats the same sizable mistakes in choosing unethical and even immoral leaders, does anyone close to him propose that maybe he’s going down the wrong road – that his criteria need to change? Have we grown so calloused of political indiscretions and corruption that we don’t care about any leader’s moral standings anymore? Do we really want controversial cabinet members running our country? Are we supposing they will help usher in the “most sweeping ethics reform in history”?

I know Obama told multiple network news stations in a dozen different ways, “I screwed up” and “nobody is perfect.” I have made my share of mistakes too, but I’m not the president, and I didn’t promise all Americans to make historic ethic reforms in Washington. I’m all for “mea culpas,” but what about my country? How many more leadership failings are we going to face? Should I or we keep silent until we reach 11 or 21 unethical appointees? We’re not even a month into Obama’s presidency!

The fact is that Obama has at his disposal more resources than any corporation on the planet to do a battery of background and psychological tests before even nominating anyone, but is he using them? Does he really have so few moral candidates from whom to choose that the only qualified ones are those who have straddled and gone over the ethical edge?

Call me Pollyanna-ish, but I believe leadership should be exemplary. I believe leadership should be above reproach. And if Obama can’t find an ethical criteria for choosing other politicians, then let me pass along some advice – from our Founding Fathers.

Ethics (the practice of morality) is the foundation of a healthy character, family and country. If ethics wane, so goes the people and eventually the nation. As Founding Father, Elias Boudinot once said: “If the moral character of a people once degenerate, their political character must soon follow.”

Good morals precede good laws, which is why government isn’t much help here. Unless the people and their legislators are grounded in morality, the best of laws will be broken and the worst of laws will be made, legalizing immorality. All the vetting in the world won’t vanquish a corrupt human nature. That is why we can’t look to government to improve decency, civility and morality. For that we need to look to another source.

John Adams put it well when he said, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Government isn’t the answer. And neither is education, at least without religion. As Benjamin Rush, also a signer of the Declaration of Independence, explained, “Without religion, I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind.”

Our founders had a better answer than government or even education. God is the answer. God is the moral compass of America. Or He should be, if we ever want to restore morality in our homes and civility to our land. Our founders believed morals flowed from one’s accountability to God, and that without God moral anarchy would result.

John Quincy Adams believed there were “three points of doctrine, the belief of which, forms the foundation of all morality.” He enumerated them: “The first is the existence of a God; the second is the immortality of the human soul; and the third is a future state of rewards and punishments. Suppose it possible for a man to disbelieve either of these articles of faith and that man will have no conscience, he will have no other law than that of the tiger or the shark; the laws of man may bind him in chains or may put him to death, but they never can make him wise, virtuous, or happy.”

To the founders, religion was an essential buttress of free government. That is why Patrick Henry wrote, “The greatest pillars of all government and of social life: I mean virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone, that renders us invincible.”

Charles Carroll, who also signed the Declaration of Independence on behalf of Maryland, wrote, “Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion whose morality is so sublime and pure … are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.”

George Washington summarized it best in his Farewell Address: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. … Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

Of course, illegalities, immoralities and other ethic violations have existed in every age, including our founders’, but they weren’t as readily accepted and tolerated as they are today. Most led good, moral and decent lives. And most fought to elect those would so the same, and so should we.

To encourage ethical living in youngsters, I recommend they read and practice what even 14-year-old George Washington wrote out in freehand by his own volition, “110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation.” To everyone else, I recommend Jacob Abbott’s “Ethics: An Early American Handbook” – a reprint of an 1890 study on ethics. Humbly, Chapters 5 and 6 in my new book, “Black Belt Patriotism,” are also devoted to how to rebuild a civil and moral society according to our Founders. I lastly recommend Rushworth Kidder’s “Moral Courage” or, better yet, attend his seminar in Washington, D.C., on April 7, 2009. And stay attuned to ethical issues in politics by frequenting the website for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

Mr. President, I’m doing my best as a patriot and a conservative to support you. But if your present choice of leaders is reflective of “the most sweeping ethics reform in history,” then I’d respectfully say, sir, you’re sweeping in the wrong direction.

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Pelosi: Birth control will boost economy

FROM WND

Argues fewer people stimulates economy by cutting cost to state, federal government

In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., defended huge sums of money for “family planning services” tucked into President Obama’s proposed economic stimulus package, claiming contraception will reduce government costs.

“Hundreds of millions of dollars to expand family planning services,” Stephanopoulos asked Pelosi, “how is that stimulus?”

“Well, the family planning services reduce cost,” Pelosi answered. “They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children’s health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those – one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.”

Stephanopoulos immediately gave Pelosi, herself the mother of five children and grandmother to seven, the opportunity to retract a suggestion that it would help the economy if the government spent millions to help people stop having babies.

“So no apologies for that?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“No apologies,” Pelosi answered. “No. we have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy.”

As WND reported, President Obama is attempting to pass through Congress an $825 billion economic stimulus package, composed of both spending increases and tax cuts.

The effort comes less than six months after Congress approved a $700 billion bailout package, leaving many critics wondering if Americans will accept more government spending.

“I think a lot of Republicans will vote no,” Boehner said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” “because they see this as a lot of wasteful Washington spending, padding the bureaucracy and doing nothing to help create jobs and preserve jobs.”

Rep. Mice Pence, R-Ind., said, “The American people know we cannot borrow and spend and bail our way back to a growing economy.”

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has already announced he will vote against the plan.

Pelosi expressed caution and the need for accountability under the watch of wary voters.

“Whatever we have to do will have to be clearly explained to Congress and to the American people as to what the purpose of the money is, why it is urgent, and then accountability for it as it is distributed,” she said. “So hopefully this next second installment will help turn our financial crisis around, but it’s not – if they come back – there’s going to have to be a justification, because people will be very, very disappointed in how his money was dealt with at first.”

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Fed borrowing could reach $4 trillion

FROM WND

Welfare spending, unemployment balloon deficit

By Jerome R. Corsi


U.S. Treasury

NEW YORK – The federal government will have to issue record levels of debt in the next two years – up to $2.5 trillion in 2009 and as much as $4 trillion in 2010.

The record federal debt financing is required to fund the social welfare programs called for in the Obama administration’s nearly $1 trillion deficit-spending economic stimulus plan and to overcome a likely shortfall due to falling tax revenues, according to BustedBudget.com, a website dedicated to “tracking the government’s shameful overspending one painful day at a time.”

BustedBudget.com noted that factors leading to the increased federal government borrowing needs include the cost of the Troubled Assets Relief Program, amounting to approximately $700 billion, plus the nearly $1 trillion in deficit-spending that will be required to fund the proposed stimulus package.

Another contributing factor forcing the Treasury to plan for an unprecedented amount of federal borrowing this year is the unanticipated unemployment resulting from the economic downturn, with the resulting drop in employment tax revenues to the U.S. Treasury.

A total of 3.6 million jobs have been lost since the recession officially started in December 2007, according to U.S. Labor Department reports cited in the Wall Street Journal yesterday.

The Wall Street Journal also reported the U.S. unemployment rate for January is expected to grow to 7.5 percent, the highest since 1993, as 525,000 jobs were lost last month, up from the 524,000 shed in December.

The possibility that the U.S. Treasury will be forced to raise as much as $4 trillion in debt in 2010 just to finance the federal budget deficit raises the question of how long the Obama administration can continue to increase social welfare spending unless millions of new jobs are created as a result.

Given the Labor Department’s estimates, the Obama administration will have to create over 3 million new jobs, just to replace the job losses that have occurred since December 2007.

According to the minutes of the U.S. Treasury’s Borrowing Advisory Committee, or TBAC, a key advisory committee to the Treasury Department, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Markets Karthik Ramanathan said estimates for Treasury borrowing needs range between $1.5 trillion and $2.5 trillion in the current fiscal year.

The TBAC warned that federal borrowing in fiscal year 2010 could reach levels as high $4 trillion. The U.S. government defines fiscal year 2009 as Oct. 1, 2008 through Sept. 30, 2009.

Whatever the deficit is this year, the Obama administration will be forced to have the U.S. Treasury sell Treasury bills and notes in that amount.

The Treasury debt will be sold largely to foreigners, predominately in China and Japan, the two biggest foreign buyers of U.S. Treasury debt.

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China stiffing America for $100 billion in debt

FROM WND

Yet U.S. taxpayers helping Beijing as part of trillion-$ credit bailout

By Bob Unruh

While Chinese companies are in line to benefit directly from U.S. taxpayers’ $700 billion-plus bailout of Wall Street, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other financial institutions, Beijing is stiffing the U.S. for $100 billion or more in unpaid debt.

The status of the Chinese economy, including its repudiated debt, has prompted one analyst to warn of an “ominous threat” involving China’s finances and suggest the possibility of “a dramatic reversal” for the “so-called Chinese Miracle.”

“One of the greatest problems facing China is the government’s failure to acknowledge and effectively address the true extent of state institutions’ bad debt,” Kevin O’Brien writes in an article titled, “Reassessing China’s Sovereign Risk: Emerging Global and Domestic Trends Threaten the ‘Chinese Miracle.”

O’Brien’s report was published at a website for the Global Association of Risk Professionals, a not-for-profit independent trade association of risk management practitioners around the world. It has 77,000 members from fields such as banking, investment management and academics.

One problem that should be addressed, he writes, is the $260 billion in sovereign debt owed U.S. and other investors which China has said it simply won’t repay.

“The repayment obligation was inherited by the People’s Republic of China, when the communists took control in 1949. The successor government doctrine of settled international law affirms continuity of obligations among international recognized successive governments,” O’Brien said.

“The PRC is the internationally recognized successor government … which contracted the credit sovereign debt … and which had a loan agreement that states that such debt is intended to be ‘a binding engagement upon the Republic of China and its successors.'”

The bonds, however, were excluded from a 1979 settlement of Chinese debts and in 1987, China even “concluded a discriminatory settlement accord with bondholders in Great Britain – an agreement that excluded from settlement any bonds held by non-UK citizens.”

Then in 2006, the Chinese Ministry of Finance issued an official communiqué addressed to “the Embassy of the United States of America in China,” in which the Chinese government formally repudiated China’s defaulted full faith and credit sovereign debt and announced that it would not repay any debt held by American citizens, O’Brien said.

The repudiation still stands, even though the China Economic Review confirmed that major Chinese banks own $8 billion in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securities that are the targets of bailout provisions.

“Bank of China said last month it owned $7.5 billion in Fannie and Freddie bonds,” the report continued. “The bank also held $5.2 billion in mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by the two agencies.”

Those owners will be among the beneficiaries of the overall bailout plan assembled by the government and funded by taxpayers to “rescue” bad debt created by an agenda of loaning money to “subprime” recipients who may not have had the wherewithal to repay the loans.

Recipients of the U.S. taxpayers’ generosity also may include various private Chinese interests with investments in American real estate and mortgage.

As recently as three weeks ago, China Investment Corp. was in active discussions to buy into U.S. financial institutions, including Morgan Stanley.

All the while Congress has been aware of the Chinese default but unwilling to mandate action.

Elton Gallegly, a California Republican in Congress, called it the “China debt syndrome.”

“After Saddam Hussein’s government was replaced in Iraq, China demanded that the new government pay off the debt Saddam’s regime ran up against China. China prevailed and is getting 100 percent of the more than $10 billion Iraq owes it,” he said in a recent commentary.

“China, however, refuses to recognize the debt its current government inherited when the communists took control in 1949. That debt includes about $260 billion on bonds issued by the former Republic of China. Of that, more than 300 American citizens are owed nearly $100 billion from bonds on which the People’s Republic of China has defaulted,” the congressman wrote.

“It’s time China owned up to its international obligations. Pressure is the only thing China understands. And pressure works. Americans weren’t the only ones owed billions when the communists seized control. British citizens were among the bondholders communist China had been ignoring. That lasted until 1987, when Great Britain enacted a law denying Chinese access to British capital markets and China responded by negotiating a settlement to pay off the bonds,” he wrote.

Now, he said, China is in negotiations with France on defaulted bonds but “continues to ignore the United States.”

He said worse than the actual monetary loss is the message that suggests China “does not have to play by the rules when it competes in the global economy. This helps explain Beijing’s refusal to abide by trade agreements, the manipulation of its currency, its underwriting of the genocidal regime in Sudan and its financial relationship with the terrorist-sponsoring government in Iran.”

“To that list we can add China’s refusal to crack down on the widespread theft of intellectual property. The piracy of U.S. movies, books, music and other products is costing Americans billions of dollars each year,” he said.

China, meanwhile, is boasting of its economy growth and influence. On a Chinese-promoted website today the headlines bragged: “China ranks among the world’s top 30 economies,” “China Investment Corp to start investing in Japan stocks” and “China’s ship industry strives for No. 1 spot.”

A resolution similar to Gallegly’s also has been introduced in the Senate. The plan by Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., targets China’s attempt “to conceal its defaulted government debt from investors.”

“The Senate measure labels China’s present ‘investment-grade’ credit rating as artificial and in testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, SEC Chairman Christopher Cox acknowledged that wrongful actions by a credit rating agency may subject the agency to revocation of its SEC registration,” an announcement said.

At Washington Watch, the criticism focused on the U.S. credit rating agencies that have allowed the situation to remain under the radar.

“In China’s instance, the three largest rating agencies (Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch) are accused of intentionally violating their published criteria and metrics,” said the report. “Sovereign Advisers, a risk metrics firm assisting the defaulted creditors of the Chinese government, has performed comprehensive research on this matter and has provided the U.S. Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission with evidence suggesting that the actions of Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s were intentionally designed to conceal the Chinese government’s debt repudiation and establish an artificial sovereign benchmark in order to increase ratings revenue from expanded securities issuance by Chinese corporations.”

On the Washington Watch website, several participants in an online discussion expressed concern over the situation.

“It is about time the PRC was made to pay for their financial indiscretions from the past,” said one.

“The situation is crystal clear,” said another. “China has an obligation and if it wishes to operate globally it must meet this and any other obligations.”

“If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck. China’s credibility should be disclosed so investors are aware of the risk. China needs to pay its debts,” added another.

Gallegly’s effort also was to encourage that knowledge among investors.

“This action will put all investors on notice that China has refused to honor its obligations in contravention of international law,” he wrote. “It will also encourage China to negotiate in good faith with American bondholders to settle their claims on defaulted bonds.”

O’Brien called China’s actions “selective default.”

He said that’s “a practice whereby a government selectively defaults on one specific class of full faith and credit soverereign obligations … yet honors repayment to selected creditors of a separate class..”

“China’s refusal to honor repayment of its full faith and credit sovereign debt to American bondholders is best characterized by a statement that appeared in a recent news article: ‘When it comes to territory, China claims Tibet and Taiwan based on historical claims predating the current communist government assuming power, but when it comes to debts owed to American citizens, it’s a different story,” he wrote.

WND reported in 2007 about the influence China wielded over the American dollar because of its investments in financial instruments.

WND also has reported extensively on a long list of defective and even dangerous products that have been exported from China to the U.S.

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