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New World Order...?
Old 10-01-2006, 09:02 AM   #1
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New World Order...?

http://www.tpmcafe.com/blog/coffeeho...e_star_chamber

Going beyond political affiliations/principles, the risks outlined here are substantial, and more terrifying than I had previously imagined. Makes me awfully nervous in particular as someone using USD to maintain a life overseas. Does anyone else see this level of disruption on the horizon for the US?

Students of history and monetary policy encouraged to chime in...
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Re: New World Order...?
Old 10-01-2006, 09:40 AM   #2
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Re: New World Order...?

Let's see....

Abe Lincoln suspended habeous corpus (sp?) not only in the reconquered areas but in the whole Union. Somehow we survived and he's revered for "keeping the Union together."

A currency is ultimately worth what people will pay for it with goods and services. They can then trade them for other goods and services. As long as the US has the ability to produce goods and services others want. The currency will be strong. We are currently importing more goods than we export but the world is eager to buy the interest rates our Treasury is paying. Being the most stable economy and having a relatively high regard for property rights helps. We also export a lot of other financial services that aren't included in the classic "balance of trade" figures.

Britain used to have the most revered currency in the world until it's empire collapsed and they turned socialist. When the Pound stopped being the "reserve currency" of the world, it lost about 25% of its value in a matter of a few years. The Dollar replaced it.

Our biggest risk is that another country will become more "stable" and their currency will displace the Dollar.

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Re: New World Order...?
Old 10-01-2006, 10:00 AM   #3
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Re: New World Order...?

Since you asked . . .

zzzzzzzzzz

A compilation of pronouncements and assertions unencumbered by substantiation. I didn't think the article contributed to an informed debate on the issues raised. Plenty of sniping and hand-wringing. Is is really likely that the very limited question of detention and interrogation of unlawful combatants is linked to an economic breakdown of the US? Is it even likely that they may share some type of common root, as Newberry contends?

Still, some folks love this stuff.






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Re: New World Order...?
Old 10-01-2006, 10:32 AM   #4
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Re: New World Order...?

I agree with samclem. They article was written by a "whacko."

Our currently accepted legal view of "rights" are altogether different than when the Constitution was written. Most of the changes have really happened in the last 40 years when someone decided the Consitution had a "right to privacy." Rules of police conduct and evidence are also unrecognizeable after 200 years.
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Re: New World Order...?
Old 10-01-2006, 11:28 AM   #5
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Re: New World Order...?

It's too early on a Sunday morning to read all of S 3930, and plug in the amendments to the UCMJ and the original terrorist detention act, etc . But I'm not seeing what some of these pundits (like Newberry, Ackerman or Lederman) are claiming. Indefinite detention of U.S. Citizens - I'm pretty sure I didn't see that anywhere. The law is defined to act on aliens who are unlawful enemy combatants. Now, that said there are two way to define that and one of them does have enough room to drive a small truck through:

Quote:
(i) a person who has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its co-belligerents who is not a lawful enemy combatant (including a person who is part of the Taliban, al Qaeda, or associated forces); or...
So, if an alien writes a check to the al Qaeda Guns for Guys fund he is subject to a trial and punishment by a military commission. But what if that same alien writes a check to fund the book drive for a radical madras that takes the money and buys bombs for Jihadists? I guess that becomes a question for trial before the commission - the burden of proof being "...purposefully and materially supported hostilities."

Other than that I see a lot that prohibits torture and mistreatment and allows for judicial review. In fact, it provides for "due process of law", which Newberry makes a point of when he quotes CITY OF BOERNE v. FLORES, ARCHBISHOP OF SAN ANTONIO, et al. That case references back to Cantwell, which makes it clear that there is a Supreme Court and it will have the final say on the Constitutionality of this law:

Quote:
The Fourteenth Amendment has rendered the legislatures of the states as incompetent as Congress to enact such laws.
Not the end of the world and not a USD currency crisis in the making.

As somebody who has had to enforce laws that goofy politicians write I have learned that the only way to really understand the law is to read it and read the case law. Don't let people like Newberry tell you what it means - go read it for yourself.
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Re: New World Order...?
Old 10-01-2006, 11:32 AM   #6
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Re: New World Order...?

I am very concerned about the degradation of individual rights in the last 5 years. But I don't buy the argument that it will cause some kind of economic catastrophe. China seems to be managing a booming economy without bothering with all that human rights stuff.

What is dangerous to the value of the USD is the humongous current account deficit and budget deficit. I think we are starting to see signs that the current accound deficit is catching up with us, as foreign purchases of treasuries has been declining and interest and dividends recieved by Merkins has finally been exceeded by what we pay out of the country. I do not see a rosy future for the USD, and anyone living as an ex-pat should seriously consider greatly reducing their USD exposure, IMO.
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Re: New World Order...?
Old 10-01-2006, 11:46 AM   #7
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Re: New World Order...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
I do not see a rosy future for the USD, and anyone living as an ex-pat should seriously consider greatly reducing their USD exposure, IMO.
I'm not disagreeing with you that there are problems that may lead to a lower USD. I just wonder what currency is better. If you look at the Euro, it's supported by the full faith and credit of counties that make the US look fiscally strong. Every other country would suffer greatly if the USD collapsed.
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Re: New World Order...?
Old 10-01-2006, 11:51 AM   #8
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Re: New World Order...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2B
I'm not disagreeing with you that there are problems that may lead to a lower USD. I just wonder what currency is better. If you look at the Euro, it's supported by the full faith and credit of counties that make the US look fiscally strong. Every other country would suffer greatly if the USD collapsed.
EUR, CAD, SKW, RMB, Brazilian Real, and maybe the Indian Rupee asll look like currencies that will show strength vs. the USD. I'd imagine that some of the more stable parts of the Middle East (Saudi, UAE, etc.) will also do well.

I suspect that we will increasingly see that there will be no one single reserve currency for the world any more.
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Re: New World Order...?
Old 10-01-2006, 12:22 PM   #9
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Re: New World Order...?

Quote:
Our biggest risk is that another country will become more "stable" and their currency will displace the Dollar
I guess that is my $64,000 question.. With all its issues, could the Euro be poised for that position?

2B, of course things have changed.. what would obviously have been considered "unreasonable" search and seizure has now become somehow "reasonable"..

I'm not convinced of a "link" between economics and constitutional issues.. but perhaps a 'presaging'..?

Things are definitely changing in the US.. reading the above article I began thinking of the "Shoot First" laws.. now it's perfectly OK to shoot someone dead in certain states if you can 'prove' you 'felt threatened' (in some cases this has occurred during neighborhood disputes over too many trash cans..) !?!? [http://www.shootfirstlaw.org/] With this kind of paranoia legitimized, "what's next?" is what I am wondering...

Then I thought about other "wacko" issues, like the NYT (treasonously?) writing about the SWIFT program.. Now, I have known for years that 1.) the gov't keeps tabs on, at minimum, any financial xaction over $10,000 and that 2.) for me to transfer $ I need a SWIFT code for the receiving bank. Put 1 + 2 together... [Am I an 'enemy combatant' for having written this?]

Have been going over other threads like these:
http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...p?topic=9278.0
http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...p?topic=8566.0
The jury seems to still be out on US economic ascendancy. Buffet and Gates have been shorting the dollar, long term, one assumes for reasons beyond the political.

Many here have been speculating about what will happen when the proverbial "chickens come home to roost" w/r/t the private sector (CC, mortgages, and so on). What happens if/when this starts to apply to the public sector as well? Merely surviving the Civil War, or the Depression, or the Iraq debacle is not exactly the point. More to the point is what the Average Joe/Jane had to suffer during the transition, and whether something similarly drastic may await us. 2B, you have a lot of good and sensible points about why US currency is still as strong as it is.. From my point of view, though, I am looking at a significant dollar devaluation since I moved abroad, so you can see why these issues interest me.

The political question of whether a government exists to serve a people, or whether people exist to prop up serve a government is indeed a chicken/egg question. DH (a student of ancient history) and I were intrigued by this article as well, tracing the end of the Roman republic to an overreactive reliance on well-funded counter-terrorism and its concomitant concentration of power:
http://tinyurl.com/e96ku

Leonidas, I know it is all very complex; one could probably spend a quite a bit of time on legally determining who is a "lawful" combatant and who isn't.

brewer, you are right about China.. but it has had to adapt mightily to a market economy, though the changes are probably not perceptible on our radar. I guess the question then is how much of the strength of the USD comes from economic reality and how much is 'value added' by little things like 'freedom' and transparency (seemingly ever more fleeting)?
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Re: New World Order...?
Old 10-01-2006, 04:08 PM   #10
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Re: New World Order...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
2B, of course things have changed.. what would obviously have been considered "unreasonable" search and seizure has now become somehow "reasonable"..
It's more like what was considered "normal" is now "unreasonable." The great tightening of standards was mostly instituted by the Burger court. It's interesting that even though he was appointed by Nixon Warren Burger is the stereo-typical "liberal" justice. He wrote the Roe v. Wade decision.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
Leonidas, I know it is all very complex; one could probably spend a quite a bit of time on legally determining who is a "lawful" combatant and who isn't.
It's actually very simple and spelled out in the Geneva Convention.

combatant status

Combatants have protections under the Geneva Conventions, as well as obligations.

Convention I offers protections to wounded combatants, who are defined as members of the armed forces of a party to an international conflict, members of militias or volunteer corps including members of organized resistance movements as long as they have a well-defined chain of command, are clearly distinguishable from the civilian population, carry their arms openly, and obey the laws of war. (Convention I, Art. 13, Sec. 1 and Sec. 2)

However, other individuals, including civilians, who commit hostile acts and are captured do not have these protections. For example, civilians in an occupied territory are subject to the existing penal laws. (Convention IV, Art. 64)

The 1977 Protocols extend the definition of combatant to include any fighters who carry arms openly during preparation for an attack and during the attack itself, (Protocol I, Art. 44, Sec. 3) but these Protocols aren't as widely accepted as the four 1949 conventions.

In addition to rights, combatants also have obligations under the Geneva Conventions.

In the case of an internal conflict, combatants must show humane treatment to civilians and enemies who have been wounded or who have surrendered. Murder, hostage-taking and extrajudicial executions are all forbidden. (Convention I, Art. 3)





http://www.genevaconventions.org/

Basically, all of the people we have can be summarily executed since they aren't meeting the requirements to be protected by the Geneva Convention.

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Re: New World Order...?
Old 10-01-2006, 06:20 PM   #11
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Re: New World Order...?

This differentiation between "lawful combatant" and "unlawful combatant" probably seems like a lot of hair splitting to some folks. It is not. The Geneva Conventions (and other laws of armed conflict, "LOAC") have gone a long way toward reducing pain and hardship among soldiers and civilians alike, but they only work when they are used as written.

Everyone involved in the business of organized violence understands the rules. If you fight the US as a lawful combatant, you will be afforded the protections outlined in the laws of armed conflict. If you engage the US as an unlawful combatant, then you are due no protection under the LOAC. In this regard, by the way, the US gives opponents a far better deal than most nations have actually done.

Example: Spies are generally recognized as unlawful combatants (no uniforms, etc). When spies are captured, they are regularly executed. This is standard practice and fully in accord with the LOAC. Heck, spies expect it!

Abiding by the LOAC can put soldiers at a tactical disadvantage in some circumstances, but adhering to the letter and spirit of these agreements yields big strategic dividends. Aside from the morality of abiding by these rules, there is a pragmatic rationale as well: All wars end. When they do, if the conflict has been conducted in a manner free of atrocities and outrages, then a peace is easier to achieve. The US is in compliance with the LOAC, and I think we will remain in compliance.

Some people seem to believe that unlawful combatants are due treatment similar to that afforded to US citizens arrested by their local police. Not so.


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Re: New World Order...?
Old 10-01-2006, 06:23 PM   #12
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Re: New World Order...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2B
Convention I offers protections to wounded combatants, who are defined as members of the armed forces of a party to an international conflict, members of militias or volunteer corps including members of organized resistance movements as long as they have a well-defined chain of command, are clearly distinguishable from the civilian population, carry their arms openly, and obey the laws of war. (Convention I, Art. 13, Sec. 1 and Sec. 2)
That seems to be what s 3930 says, with the exception of C, which seems to be an additional category that we are agreeing to recognize as lawful combatants. I'm not sure why C is there, but it looks like they are recognizing groups that are willing to be part of a military force (uniforms, chain of command, etc) that have sworn allegiance to some group we don't recognize as a country. Hmmmm, Hamas? Hizbullah?:

Quote:
(2) LAWFUL ENEMY COMBATANT- The term `lawful enemy combatant' means a person who is--

`(A) a member of the regular forces of a State party engaged in hostilities against the United States;

`(B) a member of a militia, volunteer corps, or organized resistance movement belonging to a State party engaged in such hostilities, which are under responsible command, wear a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance, carry their arms openly, and abide by the law of war; or

`(C) a member of a regular armed force who professes allegiance to a government engaged in such hostilities, but not recognized by the United States.
Unlawful combatants are different than lawful combatants and/or civilians. They are people who want to fight a war but don't want to obey the laws of armed conflict. That kind of thing has been around forever, like the franc tireurs of the Franco-Prussian war in the 1800's.

In the words of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, they "were at once a valuable asset to the armed strength of France and a possible menace to internal order under military discipline." The societies strenuously and effectively resisted all efforts to bring them under normal military discipline; as a result, the Germans were within the laws of war in executing captured francs-tireurs as irresponsible non-combatants found with arms in their hands.
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Re: New World Order...?
Old 10-01-2006, 06:35 PM   #13
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Re: New World Order...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem

Some people seem to believe that unlawful combatants are due treatment similar to that afforded to US citizens arrested by their local police. Not so.
Sam, wanna bet?

MIAMI (Reuters) - A fugitive gunman accused of killing a Florida sheriff’s deputy was shot 68 times by SWAT team officers who found him hiding in the woods, according to autopsy results.

Police fired 110 shots at Angilo Freeland, 27, the target of a massive manhunt in central Florida following the shooting death of Polk County Sheriff’s Deputy Matt Williams Thursday.

“That’s all the bullets we had, or we would have shot him more,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told the Orlando Sentinel newspaper.

Judd said Williams was “executed” after Freeland was pulled over in a routine traffic stop on Thursday. Another deputy was wounded and a police dog killed.

Williams, 39, was shot eight times—one bullet fired at close range behind the deputy’s right ear and another in his right temple, according to autopsy results released on Saturday by the sheriff’s office.


http://msnbc.msn.com/id/15012086/
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Re: New World Order...?
Old 10-01-2006, 08:19 PM   #14
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Re: New World Order...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
[i]MIAMI (Reuters) - A fugitive gunman accused of killing a Florida sheriff’s deputy was shot 68 times by SWAT team officers who found him hiding in the woods, according to autopsy results.
Police fired 110 shots at Angilo Freeland, 27, the target of a massive manhunt in central Florida following the shooting death of Polk County Sheriff’s Deputy Matt Williams Thursday.
Less than 62% accuracy from presumed trained professionals on an unresisting & stationary suspect? Ye gods, I worked with 17-year-old seamen who could shoot a .45 Colt better than that.

You're right, REW-- that is terrifying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
Going beyond political affiliations/principles, the risks outlined here are substantial, and more terrifying than I had previously imagined. Makes me awfully nervous in particular as someone using USD to maintain a life overseas. Does anyone else see this level of disruption on the horizon for the US?
In the first place, Ladelfina, no matter whether the dollar is strong or weak, it probably makes sense to hedge your currency risk by investing in international equities.

In the second place, if six years of GWB hasn't already destroyed the U.S. currency as much as he's affected the country's reputation, then how much worse could it get? I think that surviving two terms of such a president is an incredible testament to the country's strength as well as to the rest of the world's opinion of the stability of the USD compared to their local fiat currency.
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Re: New World Order...?
Old 10-01-2006, 09:04 PM   #15
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Re: New World Order...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
Makes me awfully nervous in particular as someone using USD to maintain a life overseas.
In the first place, Ladelfina, no matter whether the dollar is strong or weak, it probably makes sense to hedge your currency risk by investing in international equities.
I personally wouldn't try to use USD to maintain a life overseas in the first place, unless it were in an unstable or developing region. I hold some USD-denominated assets as a diversifier, but keep the core of my assets in the currency in which the majority of my expenses are incurred. Not that this is necessarily a good approach for someone else, but it seems logical to me.

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Old 10-01-2006, 09:32 PM   #16
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Actually, from the following thread, it looks like ladelfina already has about 1/3 of her investments outside the US:
http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...2215#msg122215

In that thread she had asked for suggestions, and while she did not specifically do so in this thread, my unsolicited suggestion would be to up the allocation to Euro-denominated assets (because she lives in a Euro-zone country), both stocks and bonds. Maybe especially bonds when it comes to currency concerns, and because she doesn't seem to have any now.

Feel free to flame or ignore, of course.

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Old 10-01-2006, 11:08 PM   #17
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Re: New World Order...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Less than 62% accuracy from presumed trained professionals on an unresisting & stationary suspect? Ye gods, I worked with 17-year-old seamen who could shoot a .45 Colt better than that.

You're right, REW-- that is terrifying.
I've qualified "expert" on every firearm I ever carried since boot camp at Parris Island. In my first combat shooting, in which the target also had a gun and was moving, I fired four times and hit him once. He discharged two weapons (shotgun and pistol) until they were empty and missed every time. The real world is very different from the range.

Terrifying?

Quote:
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd explains, "Quite frankly, we weren't taking any chances... You have to understand, he had already shot and killed a deputy, he had already shot and killed a K-9 and he shot and injured another deputy."

A search ensued, which lasted for almost 24-hours, and involved an estimated 500 law enforcement officers. When a SWAT team finally caught up with Freeland, he raised the gun he stole from the deputy, and was in turn fired upon by police.

Sheriff Judd adds, "I suspect the only reason 110 rounds was all that was fired was that's all the ammunition they had. We were not going to take any chance of him shooting back."
This past week I went to the funeral of a police officer murdered in the line of duty and a Marine, the son of another police officer, killed in Iraq. Bad guys killing the good guys - that's what terrifies me.

As a former District Attorney was fond of saying: "If you're justified in shooting once, you're justified to keep on shooting until there is no longer a threat."

Unlike television bad guys, real bad guys don't get blown backwards ten feet when they are shot. I've personally seen a suspect who was shot twice - with one wound causing partial paralysis - continue to shoot until he was hit in the head. Even then he didn't die and went on to serve a lengthy sentence in prison. A good friend and old partner has a scar the length of his face from a suspect - shot twice in the heart - who still managed to run up to him and slash him with a knife before he died.
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Old 10-02-2006, 03:05 AM   #18
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Re: New World Order...?

(taking a breath) ok... after 2 weeks away I'd been catching up on my America-centric news and got swept up in these developments. My "snob radar" (that which tells me to ignore anything with too many typos) was not functioning at 100%. Nor my radar that discounts things written by people named "Stirling"..

Catching up on my late-arriving Economists gave me a somewhat saner, less US-obsessed, view: a recent cover has a giant chick hatching out of a globe, with the American eagle and a European goose (no comment! ) staggering back in awe and dismay.

Yep, I need to start upping my international exposure. With half the world's GDP being generating by "emerging economies" 50%, at least, seems like a good target to me (while my Schwab quarterly reports regularly chastise me for being overweighted at 30%..!).

bpp, I hear you.. but you are working and accumulating IIRC. Shifting a lot of USD means taking a risk, too (will now really be the best time of any to buy euros over the next 40 years?) and I also don't have the greatest confidence in investment systems here. I guess I could look into this further. What I do know is that an Italian account would be subject to automatic withholding and higher tax rates than I currently enjoy in the US.

Leonidas.. you're right.. that is terrifying. (The prospect of losing $ is just dismaying.) If someone is shooting at you, by all means, fire away.

----
re. combatants and war..
samclem, it's hard for me to get my head around because we have Exhibit A: the war in Iraq -- at some point this will theoretically 'end'. Will Exhibit B, the GWOT, ever end? Since the two are, to all effects and purposes, conflated, you can understand my consternation and confusion. I read of many highly-paid commentators charging "treason" hither and yon, so the whole "secret and indefinite detention/secret court/secret trial" thing naturally gives me pause. If "lawful" and "unlawful" are clear.. is "combatant" equally well-defined?

How much worse could it get? I dunno.. we seem to be "on deck" re. Iran. GWB's gotta have SUMthin to do for the next 2 years.

I know, I know.. "this, too, shall pass.."

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Old 10-02-2006, 09:59 AM   #19
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Re: New World Order...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
EUR, CAD, SKW, RMB, Brazilian Real, and maybe the Indian Rupee asll look like currencies that will show strength vs. the USD. I'd imagine that some of the more stable parts of the Middle East (Saudi, UAE, etc.) will also do well.

I suspect that we will increasingly see that there will be no one single reserve currency for the world any more.
The way Indians save and hate debt, it could become a good alternative currency.........

Don't "worry" so much, brewster. We'll get a Dem as a prez, taxes will go up, the deficit will be halved in 3 years................presto: Instant Prosperity for all Americans...........
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Re: New World Order...?
Old 10-02-2006, 01:15 PM   #20
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Re: New World Order...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2B
It's more like what was considered "normal" is now "unreasonable." The great tightening of standards was mostly instituted by the Burger court. It's interesting that even though he was appointed by Nixon Warren Burger is the stereo-typical "liberal" justice. He wrote the Roe v. Wade decision.


It's actually very simple and spelled out in the Geneva Convention.

[color=blue]combatant status

Combatants have protections under the Geneva Conventions, as well as obligations.
Though Burger was the CJ during Roe v Wade, it was Blackmun who wrote the decision.

As far as unlawful combatants, the term isn't mentioned in the Geneva Conventions. Those who do not meet the definition of "lawful combatant" must be tried by a fair tribunal/court. If they are found guilty, they do not have to be given POW status.

Ex Parte Quirin established this in 1942.

http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/proj...aw/quirin.html

Your claim that they can be "summarily executed" without a tribunal and legal counsel would violate US law and the Geneva Conventions, which were ratified by the US.
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