March 1, 2015 by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster
“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”
Lent is a time to examine our values and how we express these with action. The Ten Commandments have been a tool for examining values for thousands of years. They make a great tool for seeing our own values in new ways. In this first week of Lent I was drawn to consider the Ninth Commandment and what light it can shed on human behavior today.
Bearing false witness means lying about someone. Usually, the lie defames and misrepresents the target, making them vulnerable for further attacks. Bullying often includes bearing false witness. The person who is defamed is less able to defend themselves because many people will draw back from contact, increasing the vulnerability of the individual to more abuse. Others watching may also join in attacking the targeted person. We see this taking place with children today but adults react the same way.
The individual defamed is often bewildered. They may never know what was said about them. And because they do not know they cannot refute the lies and defend themselves. More attacks can then come from unexpected directions instigated either by the original liar or by those drawn in to participate.
So, why do people of all ages accept malicious lies as the truth? There are lots of motives. Participants can experience a sense of false righteousness. It is easy and satisfying to demean someone made vulnerable. All too few pause to question the stories told them.
What do you do when you hear a shocking or unflattering story about someone you know?
Have you ever gone to them and explained what you heard and listened to their response?Most people will not do this, but they should. Have you repeated unsubstantiated stories about others? As we have seen with young teenagers lies can kill and traumatize. It is not true that little harm can be done.
Perhaps you were persuaded by the vehemence and anger exhibited by the slanderer and decided the person slandered did was undeserving of defense. This is equally a sin because we can know the truth if we question the lie and ask the target.
Our Savior told us to love one another. Part of loving is caring enough to hear both sides of the story.
In this Lenten season reflect on each Commandment and check how well you really keep it.
March 1, 2015 by Chuck Baldwin
As much as we liberty-loving, Constitution-loving, America-loving patriots hate to admit it, the government in Washington, D.C., is NOT fixable. The elitist power structure in D.C. is too ensconced and too powerful. They will never cede power to folks, such as Justin Amash, Thomas Massie, etc., who truly believe in limited government. Nor will they permit the states to reclaim ANY of their constitutionally recognized powers. And neither party in D.C. has enough Ron Paul-types to thwart the evil machinations of the power-drunk leviathan that is Washington, D.C.
Furthermore, the same forces of darkness that control the political establishment in Washington, D.C., also control the media and financial establishments in New York City. The voters of America have too often rejected the presidential and congressional candidates who had the potential to help lead our ship of state to safer waters (if we even have untainted elections). The warnings of the prophets and porters have fallen on deaf ears. For the most part, Americans refuse to dislodge themselves from their addiction to government handouts. In addition, America’s pastors have largely abandoned their calling to be watchmen on the wall, which has left our ship of state without a moral compass or a spiritual rudder.
As much as I hate to say it, it is becoming more and more clear that Washington, D.C., may not be fixable. If that’s the case, it is only a matter of time before freedomists will be forced to do what freedomists have always been forced to do when facing a tyrannical juggernaut: declare independence.
The closest thing America has had in modern times to Patrick Henry or Thomas Jefferson is former Congressman Ron Paul. In late January, Dr. Paul brought a speech before the Mises Institute. The theme of the event was “Breaking Away: The Case For Secession.”
In his address, Ron said, “‘And it’s [secession] not gonna be because there will be enough people in the U.S. Congress to legislate it. It won’t happen. It will be de facto. You know, you’ll have a gold standard when the paper standard fails, and we’re getting awfully close to that. And people will have to resort to taking care of themselves. So when conditions break down, you know, there’s gonna be an alternative. And I think that’s what we’re witnessing.’
“Later, Paul said the Federal Reserve would end and the states would stop listening to federal laws they didn’t agree with.
“‘The Fed is gonna end. There is going to be a de facto secession movement going on. The states are going to refuse to listen to some of the laws. We’ve seen tremendous success already with states saying to the federal government, “We’re not gonna listen to you anymore about the drug laws.” And they’re getting out of it, and I think the American people are waking up to that, and as far as I’m concerned, the more the merrier.’”
See the report here:
I believe Dr. Paul is right. Secession (“de facto” or otherwise) is inevitable. How it will come and when it will come is debatable. That it will come is not. The only question is, do we wait for a national or international crisis of apocalyptical proportions or do we begin the debate now in the relative tranquility of peace and order? I say we should begin the debate NOW.
The assaults against our liberties are rooted and grounded inside The Beltway. The federal government in Washington, D.C., has been attacking our Natural rights for decades, to the point that it is almost insufferable. It is fomenting war and aggression all over the world; it is turning people around the globe into the enemies of the American people; it is training its own officers to enslave the American citizenry; it has set up a domestic military command that is nothing less than an occupation force; it has passed laws and policies stripping the American people of virtually every freedom protected in our Bill of Rights; it has set the world’s most sophisticated spy system against its own citizens; it has freely allowed violent criminals and gang members from foreign nations to have unfettered access to America’s heartland; it has dictated policies to the sovereign states to the point that our states more resemble national provinces; it has taken liberty to the precipice of destruction.
The powers of darkness manipulating the politicians in Washington, D.C., are leading us to financial collapse and global war. They are manipulating the east and west against each other; they are facilitating the military build-up of China; they are goading Russia into war; they are manipulating the collapse of the U.S. dollar; and they are declaring patriotic, God-fearing Americans as “homegrown terrorists,” while creating real terrorists abroad.
I propose that the People of the several states begin calling for The Third Continental Congress to the intent that this Congress proposes, debates, and eventually votes on the decision to declare independence from the government in Washington, D.C.
Delegates to such a Congress would by necessity be sent by the People of the states, not by the State legislatures. The focus of the Congress would be singular in purpose: to debate and eventually vote on a resolution of independence. I think the resolution of The Third Continental Congress should mirror Richard Henry Lee’s resolution during The Second Continental Congress in 1776:
“Resolved, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”
I am fully aware that this is a bitter thought to contemplate. It is for me, too. But, ladies and gentlemen, there may be no other way to preserve liberty in our land.
Granted, if Ron Paul (or perhaps his son, Rand) could obtain the White House–and providing he could stay alive–substantial victories could probably be wrought over the Beast. We should NOT stop fighting for the principles of liberty. No one is more engaged in the liberty fight than I. And I will continue to be engaged.
Furthermore, I continue to believe if America’s pastors and churches would collectively awaken to the principles of liberty, see “the man behind the curtain,” and aggressively preach and teach the principles of Natural Law regarding government, a certain amount of time might be able to be purchased. That’s what I’m trying to accomplish with my Liberty Church Project. It’s yet to be seen how quickly we will be able to restore patriot pulpits to America.
Yet, many patriotic folks mistakenly believe that we must preserve the Union at all costs. This is NOT the case. We must preserve LIBERTY at all costs. Our loyalty to the Union should only be up and unto the point that it “becomes destructive” to the security of our liberties. Our original Declaration says it plainly:
“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
The mood for such a declaration is already growing. I believe if such a Congress were convened, several of our sovereign states would vote in the affirmative. I think states such as Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma, Missouri, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, New Hampshire, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, West Virginia, Virginia, Alaska, and even Hawaii, would seriously entertain such a resolution. The actual number of states who might be inclined to vote in the affirmative could potentially number at least half (or more) of the total states in the Union.
The idea that we will be able to maintain the Union under the growing tentacles of Washington, D.C., while maintaining liberty at the same time is now an utterly irreconcilable notion. As did our Founding Fathers before us, we have made–and continue to make–repeated redresses, we have convened conferences, we have repeatedly petitioned, and we have “voted the bums out” over and over again. No matter! The Beast in Washington, D.C., only gets more and more insatiable in its hunger to eat away our liberties. At some point, the American people must take their principles of liberty to The Third Continental Congress and vote on a Twenty-First Century declaration of independence.
And, no, a modern declaration of independence does not have to be bloody. Had Scotland voted for independence a few months ago, would London have sent troops to stop them? Absolutely not. World opinion would not tolerate it. Plus, the need for peaceful trade, commerce, and mutual self-defense would demand cooperation between neighboring governments. This would equally apply in North America.
What separation would likely accomplish is to take the teeth out of a ravenous Beast. It would accomplish what our separation from Great Britain accomplished two hundred years ago. The Beast would not be able to subjugate the free people of a new nation. No longer would it be able to play the world’s policeman. No longer would it be able to freely foment hatred and war between nations. Plus, it would give the new republic that would likely form the opportunity to export the ideas of liberty, free enterprise, peaceful trade and diplomacy, etc., around the world. You know, the ideas and principles that the United States USED to export. Separation might actually save, not just the liberties of the American people, but the lives of people around the world from a global catastrophe.
The worst scenario is that the American people wait until the powers of darkness controlling Washington, D.C., bring about a global apocalypse before they realize what they must inevitably do. That is the scenario that Dr. Paul alluded to in his remarks referenced above. The better scenario is that the American people have the sagacity and foresight to see the storm clouds on the horizon and put in motion NOW the remedy for their–and their children’s–survival.
Unfortunately, the established track record of the American electorate seems to favor Ron Paul’s scenario. I much prefer that liberty-loving patriots begin broaching this subject NOW, before times are desperate.
Either way, sooner or later, in my lifetime or not, in a time of relative peace or extreme chaos, separation is inevitable, because unless the patriot pulpit quickly returns to America, or a Ron Paul-type leader be elected President, the government in Washington, D.C., is not fixable. And as such, we desperately need The Third Continental Congress. It just might be liberty’s last chance.
March 1, 2015 by Mike Whitney
Varoufakis vs. The Troika…
“Will the United States, Germany, the rest of the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund – collectively constituting the International Mafia – allow the new Greek leaders of the Syriza party to dictate the conditions of Greece’s rescue and salvation? The answer at the moment is a decided “No”.
— William Blum, The Greek Tragedy, Veracity Voice
“The Greek economy is finished…. There is no power, no force within the Greek economy, within Greek society that can avert – it’s like – imagine if we were in Ohio in 1931 and we were to ask: What can Ohio politicians do to get Ohio out of the Great Depression? The answer is nothing.”
— Yanis Varoufakis, Greek Finance Minister
A disagreement over the terms of a deal to provide a bailout extension for Greece, has set the stage for a final clash between the Eurogroup and members of the Greek ruling party, Syriza. Although the agreement was approved on Tuesday when a list of reforms were submitted by Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis to the Eurogroup, Varoufakis believes that changes to the original program give him greater flexibility to implement policies that will end austerity, reduce the ailing country’s primary budget surplus, and ease the humanitarian crisis that has persisted for 6 years. Regrettably, no one at the ECB, the European Commission or the IMF shares Varoufakis’s views on the subject. The so called “troika” thinks that Greece has signed on to essentially the same program that was in place before the negotiations, give or take a few cosmetic changes in the language. And because the program is the same, they think Varoufakis should stick with the same policies as his predecessor and ignore mounting public opposition to austerity. Given the irreconcilable differences between the two parties, there’s bound to be a violent confrontation in the near future that will lead to heated recriminations and, eventually, a Grexit.
To illustrate the widening chasm between Varoufakis and the members of the Eurogroup, consider the fact that, going into the negotiations, Varoufakis was determined to end the bailouts and secure a “bridge” loan that would shield Greece from default for a six month period of adjustment after which basic changes to the current austerity regime would be re-negotiated. While the Eurogroup agreed to change the term “program” to “agreement” and “troika” to “institutions”, in the minds of the EU finance minsters, the substance of the original deal, which was laid out in the hated Memorandum of Understanding, remained the same. Take a look at this excerpt from a letter from ECB president Mario Draghi and Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem and you’ll see how this is playing out:
“I assume that it is clear, that the basis of concluding the current review, and also any future arrangements, will be the existing commitments in the current Memorandum of Understanding and The Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP). In this context we note that the commitments outlined by the authorities differ from existing programme commitments in a number of areas. In such cases, we will have to assess during the review whether measures which are not accepted by the authorities are replaced with measures of equal or better quality in terms of achieving the objectives of the programme.” (Naked Capitalism)
What Draghi is saying is that Varoufakis’s changes will be put under a microscope to see if they conform with the memorandum which Varoufakis believes no longer applies. The way this will work on a practical basis, is that additional money will only be meted out incrementally depending on compliance with, you guessed it, the old agreement. In other words, Varoufakis will not have a 4 month grace period to experiment with his pro-growth, anti-austerity economic policies. He’ll be expected to toe the line from Day 1.
Varoufakis either doesn’t understand what he signed or thinks he can implement his own plan without too much interference from the Eurogroup. Either way, there’s probably going to be a confrontation given the vast disparity in the way the agreement is being interpreted. In a Tuesday interview with CNBC, Varoufakis said that the new deal is fundamentally different than the previous agreement. He said:
“Some people have been insisting that the program that we’ve been under must surely be the program that we shall remain under simply refuse to understand that this has changed. So they keep insisting that that program is still on-going. Let me give you a very simple number. The program that we challenged compelled to the Greek government to extract 4.5% of the primary surplus every year in a depressed economy. We’ve changed that. Now surely that is not dismissed as simply a non-event and it’s business as usual, so it’s not business as usual we have a fresh start and now what matters is to use the opportunity of that fresh start in order to build something good on top of it. And we will endeavor to do this.” (“CNBC Exclusive Interview: Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis“, CNBC)
See? He sincerely believes that the old deal is history. But the troika, the Eurogroup, and the majority of people who have analyzed the new arrangement, disagree. They think everything is the same (which explains why critics on the right and left have repudiated the deal as a “climb-down, a capitulation and a sellout.)
In an interview with Nikos Hatzinikolaou on REAL FM, Greece, Varoufakis rejected the Memorandum while claiming that the new agreement represents “a huge success’ in ending the “recessionary measures” that are needlessly prolonging Greece’s Great Depression. Here’s what he said:
Varoufakis: “The current government (Syriza) wants to say things with their name. I will explain it to you in very simple terms, Mr. Hatzinikolaou. As long as our debt is what it is, as long as Greece was bounded within this iron cage of primary surpluses that were impossible to achieve without killing whatever is left in the private sector, and as long we have a negative sign in investments (essentially, real investments), it was impossible to achieve this exit.
What we are trying to do – and have succeeded in doing so; it was a huge success, I’d say – is to create a four-month bridge during which we achieve the following:
First, the cancelation of the recessionary measures and the implementation of a transitional program we ourselves have made, one the Greek society will be able to withstand. This will help us negotiate during this four-month period a new contract between us and our partners with the goal of solving this system of three equations with three unknowns.
Hatzinikolaou: Thus, we are talking about a new Memorandum? ….
Varoufakis: OK. Let us be careful with the words. What does the Memorandum mean? … Let me remind you of what it comprises. It comprises the logic of continuous domestic [or internal] devaluation, of huge primary surpluses in an economy that does not have a real credit system, where investments are negative, and at the same time where we have a series of measures that empower this recession. This is the MoU. It is the automation, the a-politicization, and the subjection to the crisis.” (“The juicy interview of Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis“, Greek Analyst)
Varoufakis appears to be saying that, in his view, the new agreement constitutes a rejection of the memorandum and, thus, is a de facto repudiation of austerity. The question is whether Varoufakis is stretching the facts to give himself greater latitude to relieve Greece’s humanitarian crisis and to put Greece back on a sound path to growth. While those are worthy goals, they are not likely to win the Eurogroup’s support. Check out this excerpt from a letter from the IMF to Dijsselbloem concerning the vagueness of Varoufakis’s reform package:
“In quite a few areas, however, including perhaps the most important ones, the letter is not conveying clear assurances that the Government intends to undertake the reforms envisaged in the Memorandum on Economic and Financial Policies. We note in particular that there are neither clear commitments to design the envisaged comprehensive pension and VAT policy reforms, nor unequivocal undertakings to continue already-agreed policies for opening up closed sectors, for administrative reforms, for privatization, and for labor market reforms. As you know, we consider such commitments and undertakings to be critical for Greece’s ability to meet the basic objectives of its Fund-supported program, which is why these are the areas subject to most of the structural benchmarks agreed with the Fund.” (Excerpt IMF letter posted at Naked capitalism)
Repeat: “We consider such commitments and undertakings to be critical for Greece’s ability to meet the basic objectives of its Fund-supported program.” In other words, Greece should not expect to get its loan extension unless it follows the troika’s explicit orders on pensions, VAT (sales taxes), government cutbacks, privatization and labor market reforms.
So, what is Varoufakis’s approach to these benchmarks?
Let’s take a look at pension reform. In an interview with CNBC’s Julia Chatterley on Tuesday, Chatterley asked Varoufakis point blank, “So you’re ruling out pension cuts?”
Varoufakis: “Of course over the next four months there will be no such thing.” (CNBC)
How about raising the VAT tax?
Same thing. And in the interview on REAL FM Varoufakis covered the other policies that the troika sees as “critical”. Listen to this exchange:
Hatzinikolaou: My fundamental question about the e-mail is whether or not it entails layoffs in the public sector …, if it entails pension reductions … if it entails wage reductions?
Varoufakis: I will answer to all these questions, since these are very specific questions, and it is best that we speak forthrightly. My answer to all of these questions is NO, in NO WAY.”
Let’s summarize: No pension cuts, no higher VAT taxes, no lower wages for public workers, and no layoffs. While I admire what Varoufakis is suggesting, I can’t figure out how he’s going to convince the troika to give him more money. Apparently, he thinks that streamlining the government and aggressively pursuing tax cheats will do the trick. Or maybe he has something else up his sleeve, like ignoring the terms of the agreement long enough to generate growth in the economy, lower unemployment, and create an improved environment for foreign investment. He might think that that will force the troika to acknowledge that austerity has failed and that pro-growth Keynesian strategies actually produce positive results. Of course, that’s just a guess on my part. It’s impossible to know for sure.
Here’s more of the interview with CNBC:
Varoufakis: “The reason why we have this 4 month period is to re-establish bonds of trust between us and our European partners as well as the IMF in order to build a new, we call it, contract between us and our partners so as to put an end to this spiral, the debt inflationary spiral; reform Greece; and make sure that CNBC doesn’t care about Greece anymore, because we don’t want to be in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.” (“CNBC Exclusive Interview: Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis“, CNBC)
The “bonds of trust” are going to put to the test if Varoufakis doesn’t comply with the troika’s diktats, that’s for sure.
Varoufakis assumes that the troika doesn’t understand the impact of its belt-tightening policies. He seems to think that the punishment that’s being inflicted on Greece is just the unfortunate byproduct of debt reduction policy and not a deliberate attempt to crush the unions, roll back progressive reforms, decimate the welfare state, and reduce the country to a condition of “permanent colonial dependency.” But that viewpoint is shockingly naïve, after all, the IMF has been in the looting biz for a long time and has a pretty good grasp of the effects its toxic policies. They know what they’re doing, just like know that austerity is just a refinement of the “shock doctrine” which is the traditional way the elites exploit crises by imposing harsh, economy-demolishing reforms that only benefit themselves and their class. The men who conjure up these thieving schemes aren’t likely to be hoodwinked by Varoufakis’s vague reforms. They’re going to force Varoufakis to jump through all their respective hoops before he gets one dime of their precious money. Here’s Varoufakis again:
“There is going to be a great deal of toing and froing between us and the institutions and our partners but what we have established through stubborn refusal to succumb to the notion that elections change nothing over the past couple of months or weeks I should say is the notion that this government deserves to have a degree of room for policy-making that allows us to reform Greece and to carry the great multitude out there with us. This is the government for the first time in Greece that has the people behind it and it would be a terrible waste not just for us but for our partners to allow this wave of support to dissipate through non-action.” (CNBC)
Does Varoufakis really think he can pull this off? Does he really think he can out-fox the slimy, authoritarian brigands and leg-breakers who run these extortionist institutions and who will use every means possible to extract the last drop of blood from their victim be he an aspiring, but penniless student at the university or a destitute pensioner huddling homeless and frozen in an abandoned doorway in downtown Athens?
This isn’t going to end well. Varoufakis had one card to play–the threat of leaving the Euro–and he failed to play it. Now his leverage is gone and the roof is about to cave in. Just wait and see.
The troika isn’t going to convene another dreary round of negotiations to rehash the same old nonsense. Those days are over. They’re simply going to withhold the money, curtail liquidity assistance, and torpedo the Greek banking system. Kaboom! That’s the way this thing is going to go down. The mood among the EZ finance ministers has soured considerably since the last meeting. They want to put this whole thing behind them. They’re sick of it. They want closure. They’re not going to quibble over issues they’ve already gone over and clarified a million times. Varoufakis will either have to get with the program or face the consequences. That’s the way it works in Mafia-land; you either pay the piper or you find yourself in the East River in cement booties.
Who knows: maybe this is what Varoufakis wanted from the beginning, a ferocious clash ending in banishment, a Grexit. Well, he won’t have to wait long now.
March 1, 2015 by Frosty Wooldridge
During the Oscars last Sunday night, winner Patricia Arquette, Boyhood, admonished America to work for women’s equal pay. J.K. Simmons, Whiplash, invited Americans to phone their parents and thank them. Michael Keaton, Birdman, told the audience how thankful he felt for his life and his son.
All of the winners and losers spoke eloquently about their fortunes and misfortunes in the American film making business. Ironically, legendary Clint Eastwood’s epic film, American Sniper, out-grossed all the other top Oscar winning films combined. The academy ignored his movie.
The movie, Selma, produced by Oprah Winfrey, didn’t fare very well. If you remember, back in the era of Dr. Martin Luther King, African-Americans marched from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to force this nation toward voter rights and Black rights in the American pantheon.
Since that time, America evolved to see African-Americans like Colin Powell become Secretary of State; Clarence Thomas and Thurgood Marshall served on the Supreme Court; Condoleezza Rice became Secretary of State; Barack Obama became president and much more as US Senators, governors, mayors and House of Representatives feature African-Americans from every walk of life.
African-Americans dominate the NBA, NFL and major television shows such as “Scandal” and “How to get away with murder.” American Blacks head up Fortune 500 companies.
With all of their success, a black dance group pranced on the stage at the Oscars with a highly racially charged routine depicting their struggles against White America. At one point, they all raised their hands, shouting, “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” They referred to 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri who lost his life after he robbed a convenience store and charged a police officer.
Six African-American witnesses testified that Brown wrestled the police officer for his gun in the police squad car and they testified that Brown charged the police officer with intent to overpower him. Riots and carnage resulted in burning down a good portion of the city while Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson charged racism and ruthless police tactics.
In reality, Michael Brown showed up in several videos where he viciously beat an old man senseless and his crime sheet showed a budding criminal who would reach jail or death, whichever came first.
Somehow, major Black leaders lay the blame on White America for all of Black America’s problems. Even Barack Obama said that Trayvon Martin, a budding criminal in his own right, could be Obama’s son.
Black Americans omit or ignore numerous aspects of Black crime, poverty, illiteracy and prison sentences.
First of all, the latest statistics show that 6,000 Black on Black killings occur annually in the USA via strangling, guns, knifes and beatings. No Black leaders whisper a word about how to solve such horrible numbers. They don’t condemn their own actions, but they always condemn Whites.
Second, 73 percent of African-American children arrive out of wedlock and into welfare with a single mother annually. None of the Black community that screams at the Brown and Garner killings, breathes a word about the irresponsible actions of Black teen girls and their boyfriends. They live on welfare provided by the American taxpayer. Is it any wonder that the African-American family devolves into fatherless families, rogue children, violence, illiteracy, shoplifting and cyclical dependency on taxpayers?
Third, figures show that Black American teens quit high school by 50 to 60 percent in our major cities. Millions of African-Americans guarantee their poverty, homelessness, joblessness and fatherless families. They choose their conditions.
Fourth, millions of Black Americans fill our prisons in a response to their choices to deal, consume and transport drugs. Each African-American chooses prison when they choose to break the law.
Fifth, a whopping 48 million Americans failed themselves as to education, personal responsibility and personal accountability as they subsist on food stamps provided by American taxpayers. Millions of Blacks stand in the ranks of those who gain EBT cards (Electronic Benefits Transfers) for food stamps and free housing.
Each person, Black or White, suffering lack of an education and making poor choices, brings a personal tragedy into the fabric of American life. Our inner city projects like Chicago, Detroit, New York City, Atlanta, Houston, Denver and Los Angeles—bear witness that we must change our national priorities.
Instead of massive financial disasters of 13-year wars created and maintained by bankers and the Military Industrial Complex, we need to fund national educational systems that work for our youth. We need all male and all female schools with dress codes to take the sexual intrigues out of the classrooms. We need to teach parents how to parent their children by mandatory classes before marriage. We need to pay teachers and mentors ample money to create discipline and respect for education.
We need to stop endless and massive legal immigration, that injects 1.2 million people annually, who take jobs from our working poor. We need to reduce all immigration to less than 100,000 annually instead of the current 100,000 every 30 days. We must elect Congressional leaders who garrison troops on our Mexican border to stop in excess of 500,000 illegal aliens jumping our borders and into our workforce annually. If not, we cannot and will not solve mass unemployment of Black America. The past five presidents and Congresses did nothing to help Black or White Americans as to jobs. In fact, Congress forces our poorest into more poverty by mass immigration.
We need Black national leaders to lead, guide and inspire African-American youth to participate in the American Way of Life. Whether Black America likes its past or not, it now must deal with living in a highly educated, highly industrialized 21st century country.
We need all the angry Al Sharpton’s, all Black entertainers, all sports heroes and political leaders to stand in front of Black audiences and thank their lucky stars for living in America. If Black Americans lived in the unending violence of Africa for a few months, examples—mass murderer Boko Haram, Somalia, Sudan, Congo, millions dying of AIDS, etc., they would change their mantra of “Hands up! Don’t Shoot!” to “How lucky I am! Praise the Lord!”
Have Black Americans wondered why all those millions of starving African immigrants clamor to come to America? They die by the millions in Africa from starvation, AIDS, cholera, Malaria, genocide wars and worse.
If we hope to maintain a viable civilization, we all need to buckle down to education, jobs, lawful communities and civil participation. If not, we all face Ferguson, Missouri’s in our own towns across the nation, especially in our cities where the cauldrons boil with contempt for law and order. You heard the marches, “Kill cops now!”
Once our nation loses its respect for law and order, we all face what occurs in Africa, the Middle East, Mexico and Paris, France daily. It’s not going to be pretty for anyone.
February 28, 2015 by Sartre
What can be written about Hillary Clinton that has not already been said? HilLIARy fatigue is natural, but ignoring all the lies and sleaze becomes the first goal of her 2016 presidential campaign. What is clear during the preliminary posturing is that hubby “Big Dog” Bill’s practice of trolling for bitches in heat will dominate the coverage. Poor old Hillary, a pureblood victim among mix breeds. The pretense that she continues in a loving marriage is about as insulting to the voters as the perverse behavior of either of the Clintons.
OK, forget the sex allegations no one cares, right? But what about continuing in a relationship with a certified criminal? Oh yes, that is the easy part, since being married to a crook is the part that Bill loves, and “Big Mama” takes no back seat to her partner outlaw in political offense.
From the ancient history files, the article Proof Hillary isn’t fit to be president by Larry Klayman reminds such past hits.
- Whitewater scandal
You can hear the cat calls now, “that’s old news, “we need to move forward”, but the best one comes from Hillary herself”, what difference at this point does it make”?
Well, maybe the monarch of deceit is correct. Who even remembers the scandal years under the “get two for the price of one” regime? Bygone days need to let sleeping dogs lie, but the past is screaming out as a warning for exactly what citizens should fairly expect if she was coroneted as Mister President.
Yet in the instant social media climate that will dominate the next Presidential campaign, both in the primaries and in the general election, 2016 will be all hyped up to report on the next Bill’s libido threatens to derail Hillary — again. A sample like this only forecasts the disclosures that will come out of the secretive cabinet recordings.
“And that is to say nothing of Bill’s solicitation of mystery donors, the concerns about financial malfeasance at the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, Bill’s racially charged verbal gaffes during Hillary’s 2008 bid and the alleged longtime, serious mistress who diverted Hillary’s presidential campaign from larger problems.”
Further background from Hillary Clinton’s Skeleton Closet claims that “she has some significant and troubling scandals that get overlooked with all the foo-farah over crazy conspiracy theories.”
Now that this ugly aspect is out of the way, what “exactly are the compelling reasons for Hillary to become President? The answer is reducible to one simple motive; she wants to be the Big Kahuna.
Eric Golub on Communities Digital News responds accordingly. “Can anyone name a single significant thing she has ever done that qualifies her to be president? The presidency is too important to be given to another celebrity heavy on cultish devotees but light on substantive successful accomplishments.”
Her qualifications as a superstar luminary and passed over by the Democratic power brokers in favor of Barack Obama in 2008, seems to be the basic argument why 2016 is now her turn. Such inevitability out of the GOP playbook just does not play well with the most fanatical of the loony left.
The NYT reveals that Hillary Clinton, Privately, Seeks the Favor of Elizabeth Warren. Their description of some lesson learned from the 2008 campaign seems to point that defusing the competition is her primary platform concern.
“Some of Mrs. Clinton’s supporters, frustrated by the attention and adulation generated by Ms. Warren, noted Tuesday that the two actually hold similar positions on a range of economic issues, though Ms. Warren’s rhetoric has been more fiery. Mrs. Clinton, hoping to delay formally starting her candidacy for as long as possible, has refrained from detailed discussions of economic policy. In recent weeks, though, she has become more vocal, using Twitter to offer support for the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul, for instance.”
Hit the ground running with a splash. ARE YOU READY? So asks to take the Pledge to Support Hillary for President Site. Before you register, a little investigation is in order.
3 Problems Standing in the Way of a Hillary Clinton Presidency starts with the following:
Politics and Experience
Hillary definitely has a legacy problem to overcome. More importantly, she has to talk up her record as Secretary of State. A sizable share of Democrats polled by YouGov, 79%, said earlier this year that they approved of her performance, but only 21% of Republicans and 45% of independents shared that assessment. And public opinion split along the same ideological lines when respondents were asked about her qualifications for office. More to the point, most Republicans are not as concerned with her experience as they are with her politics; although Republicans and independent voters cite her role in the Benghazi terrorist attack as one of her major errors in the State Department.
Hillary Clinton could be too establishment. Of course, possible contenders who would fit this progressive and insurgent role do not have the same weight as the former Secretary of State. But they are worth examining, if for nothing else than the fresh perspective and debate they will bring to the presidential primaries.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Wall Street has provided the largest source of campaign funds for the Clintons since 1992, with Goldman Sachs as the largest single contributor, giving close to $5 million. “Clinton Inc. is going to be the most formidable fundraising operation for the Democrats in the history of the country. Period. Exclamation point,” Rick Hohlt, a lobbyist and fundraiser for Republican Party presidential candidates, told the Journal, “It sure causes concern.” Plus, both Clintons earn massive speaking fees.
How does the public react with something positive about a Hillary Presidency? A Gallop poll reveals that 49% answers nothing or has no opinion.
So much for grassroots popular enthusiasm . . .
With any run-up to the primary season and supporting media barrage of electing the first woman President, a viewpoint that Hillary Clinton Shouldn’t Be President: A Feminist Perspective is insightful. “Any woman can become president. It feels like a slap to the face of America that so many of our politicians stem from the same family, or that our first female president appears to require a husband who came before her. It reminds us just how limited access is.”
Hillary’s retort to such an argument reeks of elitist privilege. Politico reports that Hillary Clinton: Other women qualified for White House.
“A lot of the women senators, we have a couple of women governors — I’m talking on the Democratic side — we have a good bench, so to speak,” Clinton says in a video clip posted Monday. “But they haven’t gone through the fire. Part of the reason why there’s a big drumbeat for me to run is because I’ve done it.”
And in 2008 the Wall Street king makers decided on Obama. In the flip flop composition of Tweedledum and Tweedledee politics, a Republican establishment candidate may well get the nod as the safer capitalist tool.
The real wall that Hillary faces is to massage the Occupy Wall Street wing of the progressive primary activities, while keeping and confirming her true symbiotic identification to the money wing of influence Banksters, who actually decide the direction of the government.
For in the end, the only qualifications that Hillary Clinton has for holding the office of the Presidency is that her hubby will occupy the distractions of a Clinton II kingdom. What a great country that elevates a Hill Billy couple to the highest pinnacle of the scandal sheets, while conducting diplomatic relations with the Davos set.
Can Hillary win in 2016? Hermene Hartman in the Huffington Post thinks so in the article, 10 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Will Be the Next President. Read her list and consider just how far this nation has fallen.
1) The Republicans don’t have a viable candidate and probably won’t.
2) The Hillary Papers have been released.
3) Hillary should not and cannot take blame for Bill’s poor judgments.
4) The Clintons are the ultimate Power Couple.
5) Hillary is ruthless.
6) Hillary learned valuable lessons from the 2008 election.
7) She is not a quitter or a loser.
8) The health bill has passed.
9) Hillary is a smart politician.
10) America is ready for the leadership of a Hillary Clinton.
If this list of excited imbecility does not give you pause, you must be part of the Hildebeest groupie crowd and better sign-up for, ARE YOU READY? alerts.
Hillary Klinton has all the worst attributes and moral depravity of her more infamous partner in corruption. Moreover, she lacks the political skills and rogue charm of her flimflam significant other. The brick wall in front of the electorate is that a vote for Hillary is a ballot cast for continuation of the decent into enslavement of the last 25 + years. Knowing the way the selection system for Presidents works, the next guests in the Lincoln bedroom may well be friends of the late Marc Rich.
February 28, 2015 by Jane Stillwater
Back in the day, I was always trying to fly off to report on international combat hot-spots like Iraq and Afghanistan — always hoping that if the American people back home read my horror-stories of war, they too would somehow become war-resisters and that my stories of brutal, grim and unjustified death in far-away places might even help escalate a strong anti-war movement here at home, one that would finally stop the heartless killing of women and children by American tanks, rockets and drones. But now? Now I’m thinking that I should be doing something even more important than traveling to combat zones far away — that I, like some modern-day Jonah, should actually be going down into the belly of the American beast itself instead.
Plus it’s always cheaper to go to North Carolina or Washington DC or St Louis than to go off to Syria, Gaza, Haiti or Ukraine.
The main question that I would be asking in these particular American war zones, however, would be, “What makes America tick?”
What has made us become the most dreaded and hated country in the world — a country that has more weapons and more money to spend on weapons than any other country anywhere, ever? What gives us the right to call ourselves “patriotic” and “brave” and “democratic” when, in reality, it is America that has killed, maimed, tortured and mutilated millions of people all over the world — and trampled any survivors’ chances and their children’s chances of ever ever having a decent life again.
Why do Americans support dictators in Ukraine, Palestine, Honduras, Congo, etc. with such enthusiastic glee? And also why do Americans applaud so loudly when elections here at home are stolen and our infrastructure and school systems die and “Christianity” becomes just another excuse to kill, rape, torture and maim God’s children both at home and abroad?
And what makes Americans bitch and complain so much about what ISIS is doing in Iraq and Syria — when what Americans have done there in the past and are doing there right now is so much much much worse? ISIS fanatics behead hundreds of people. American troops level whole cities and leave them contaminated with radioactive detritus that will kill children and other living things there for the next 500 years.
Why are Americans so set against preventing nuclear holocausts both at home and abroad? Why do Americans cheer and get all teary-eyed and proud when our cops turn into robo-cops and spray peaceful protesters with tear gas? And then actually buy tickets to go see women tortured?
“What makes Americans tick?” I need to know what is going on right here in America before I can possibly understand what the freak is going on in all those American-financed war zones throughout the rest of the world.
So here’s my plan. I’m going to go out and see America first. Ukraine and Gaza and Baghdad will just have to wait — while I, like Jonah, go deep into the belly of the American beast instead.
Despite all the nightmares I have seen in the last decades, I continue to be an idealist and to dream of a better world, a world that Buddha, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammad would be proud of. Most Americans, however, apparently dream of cruelty, torture, injustice and ruling the world vicariously.
We are the protagonists of our own dreams.
Americans (and all other human beings too for that matter) need to finally learn that it is far better to die with love in our hearts than to live with hatred in our eyes, fear in our guts and evil in our souls.
PS: A Manhattan jury just awarded a $218.5 million verdict against the Palestinian Authority for damages done to Israelis with American citizenship by Palestinian suicide bombers. Do you know what this means? A new precedence has just been set. A new Pandora’s box has just been opened.
From now on, relatives of Americans killed in any foreign country, not just Israel, can also use American courts to get recompense for damages done by acts of “terrorism” on American citizens abroad!
For instance, if any Chilean-Americans were killed in the CIA coup against Allende in Chile, their relatives can now sue Henry Kissinger in American courts — but of course they will have to stand in line behind the relatives of any Cambodian-Americans killed by him.
And what about the bunches and groups of Palestinian-Americans, Yemeni-Americans, Iraqi-Americans, Syrian-Americans, Ukrainian-Americans, Vietnamese-Americans, Somali-Americans, Haitian-Americans, etc. who have been killed by American tanks, rockets and drones?
America? You can no longer pretend to not know what you are doing. See ya in court!
February 28, 2015 by William Blum
Some things not to forget, which the new Greek leaders have not…
American historian D.F. Fleming, writing of the post-World War II period in his eminent history of the Cold War, stated that “Greece was the first of the liberated states to be openly and forcibly compelled to accept the political system of the occupying Great Power. It was Churchill who acted first and Stalin who followed his example, in Bulgaria and then in Rumania, though with less bloodshed.”
The British intervened in Greece while World War II was still raging. His Majesty’s Army waged war against ELAS, the left-wing guerrillas who had played a major role in forcing the Nazi occupiers to flee. Shortly after the war ended, the United States joined the Brits in this great anti-communist crusade, intervening in what was now a civil war, taking the side of the neo-fascists against the Greek left. The neo-fascists won and instituted a highly brutal regime, for which the CIA created a suitably repressive internal security agency (KYP in Greek).
In 1964, the liberal George Papandreou came to power, but in April 1967 a military coup took place, just before elections which appeared certain to bring Papandreou back as prime minister. The coup had been a joint effort of the Royal Court, the Greek military, the KYP, the CIA, and the American military stationed in Greece, and was followed immediately by the traditional martial law, censorship, arrests, beatings, and killings, the victims totaling some 8,000 in the first month. This was accompanied by the equally traditional declaration that this was all being done to save the nation from a “communist takeover”. Torture, inflicted in the most gruesome of ways, often with equipment supplied by the United States, became routine.
George Papandreou was not any kind of radical. He was a liberal anti-communist type. But his son Andreas, the heir-apparent, while only a little to the left of his father, had not disguised his wish to take Greece out of the Cold War, and had questioned remaining in NATO, or at least as a satellite of the United States.
Andreas Papandreou was arrested at the time of the coup and held in prison for eight months. Shortly after his release, he and his wife Margaret visited the American ambassador, Phillips Talbot, in Athens. Papandreou later related the following:
I asked Talbot whether America could have intervened the night of the coup, to prevent the death of democracy in Greece. He denied that they could have done anything about it. Then Margaret asked a critical question: What if the coup had been a Communist or a Leftist coup? Talbot answered without hesitation. Then, of course, they would have intervened, and they would have crushed the coup.
Another charming chapter in US-Greek relations occurred in 2001, when Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street Goliath Lowlife, secretly helped Greece keep billions of dollars of debt off their balance sheet through the use of complex financial instruments like credit default swaps. This allowed Greece to meet the baseline requirements to enter the Eurozone in the first place. But it also helped create a debt bubble that would later explode and bring about the current economic crisis that’s drowning the entire continent. Goldman Sachs, however, using its insider knowledge of its Greek client, protected itself from this debt bubble by betting against Greek bonds, expecting that they would eventually fail.
Will the United States, Germany, the rest of the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund – collectively constituting the International Mafia – allow the new Greek leaders of the Syriza party to dictate the conditions of Greece’s rescue and salvation? The answer at the moment is a decided “No”. The fact that Syriza leaders, for some time, have made no secret of their affinity for Russia is reason enough to seal their fate. They should have known how the Cold War works.
I believe Syriza is sincere, and I’m rooting for them, but they may have overestimated their own strength, while forgetting how the Mafia came to occupy its position; it didn’t derive from a lot of compromise with left-wing upstarts. Greece may have no choice, eventually, but to default on its debts and leave the Eurozone. The hunger and unemployment of the Greek people may leave them no alternative.
The Twilight Zone of the US State Department
“You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. Your next stop … the Twilight Zone.” (American Television series, 1959-1965)
State Department Daily Press Briefing, February 13, 2015. Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki, questioned by Matthew Lee of The Associated Press.
Lee: President Maduro [of Venezuela] last night went on the air and said that they had arrested multiple people who were allegedly behind a coup that was backed by the United States. What is your response?
Psaki: These latest accusations, like all previous such accusations, are ludicrous. As a matter of longstanding policy, the United States does not support political transitions by non-constitutional means. Political transitions must be democratic, constitutional, peaceful, and legal. We have seen many times that the Venezuelan Government tries to distract from its own actions by blaming the United States or other members of the international community for events inside Venezuela. These efforts reflect a lack of seriousness on the part of the Venezuelan Government to deal with the grave situation it faces.
Lee: Sorry. The US has – whoa, whoa, whoa – the US has a longstanding practice of not promoting – What did you say? How longstanding is that? I would – in particular in South and Latin America, that is not a longstanding practice.
Psaki: Well, my point here, Matt, without getting into history –
Lee: Not in this case.
Psaki: – is that we do not support, we have no involvement with, and these are ludicrous accusations.
Lee: In this specific case.
Lee: But if you go back not that long ago, during your lifetime, even – (laughter)
Psaki: The last 21 years. (Laughter.)
Lee: Well done. Touché. But I mean, does “longstanding” mean 10 years in this case? I mean, what is –
Psaki: Matt, my intention was to speak to the specific reports.
Lee: I understand, but you said it’s a longstanding US practice, and I’m not so sure – it depends on what your definition of “longstanding” is.
Psaki: We will – okay.
Lee: Recently in Kyiv, whatever we say about Ukraine, whatever, the change of government at the beginning of last year was unconstitutional, and you supported it. The constitution was –
Psaki: That is also ludicrous, I would say.
Lee: – not observed.
Psaki: That is not accurate, nor is it with the history of the facts that happened at the time.
Lee: The history of the facts. How was it constitutional?
Psaki: Well, I don’t think I need to go through the history here, but since you gave me the opportunity –- as you know, the former leader of Ukraine left of his own accord.
Leaving the Twilight Zone … The former Ukrainian leader ran for his life from those who had staged the coup, including a mob of vicious US-supported neo-Nazis.
If you know how to contact Ms. Psaki, tell her to have a look at my list of more than 50 governments the United States has attempted to overthrow since the end of the Second World War. None of the attempts were democratic, constitutional, peaceful, or legal; well, a few were non-violent.
The ideology of the American media is that it believes that it doesn’t have any ideology
So NBC’s evening news anchor, Brian Williams, has been caught telling untruths about various events in recent years. What could be worse for a reporter? How about not knowing what’s going on in the world? In your own country? At your own employer? As a case in point I give you Williams’ rival, Scott Pelley, evening news anchor at CBS.
In August 2002, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz told American newscaster Dan Rather on CBS: “We do not possess any nuclear or biological or chemical weapons.”
In December, Aziz stated to Ted Koppel on ABC: “The fact is that we don’t have weapons of mass destruction. We don’t have chemical, biological, or nuclear weaponry.”
Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein himself told CBS’s Rather in February 2003: “These missiles have been destroyed. There are no missiles that are contrary to the prescription of the United Nations [as to range] in Iraq. They are no longer there.”
Moreover, Gen. Hussein Kamel, former head of Iraq’s secret weapons program, and a son-in-law of Saddam Hussein, told the UN in 1995 that Iraq had destroyed its banned missiles and chemical and biological weapons soon after the Persian Gulf War of 1991.
There are yet other examples of Iraqi officials telling the world, before the 2003 American invasion, that the WMD were non-existent.
Enter Scott Pelley. In January 2008, as a CBS reporter, Pelley interviewed FBI agent George Piro, who had interviewed Saddam Hussein before he was executed:
PELLEY: And what did he tell you about how his weapons of mass destruction had been destroyed?
PIRO: He told me that most of the WMD had been destroyed by the U.N. inspectors in the ’90s, and those that hadn’t been destroyed by the inspectors were unilaterally destroyed by Iraq.
PELLEY: He had ordered them destroyed?
PELLEY: So why keep the secret? Why put your nation at risk? Why put your own life at risk to maintain this charade?
For a journalist there might actually be something as bad as not knowing what’s going on in his area of news coverage, even on his own station. After Brian Williams’ fall from grace, his former boss at NBC, Bob Wright, defended Williams by pointing to his favorable coverage of the military, saying: “He has been the strongest supporter of the military of any of the news players. He never comes back with negative stories, he wouldn’t question if we’re spending too much.”
I think it’s safe to say that members of the American mainstream media are not embarrassed by such a “compliment”.
In his acceptance speech for the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature, Harold Pinter made the following observation:
Everyone knows what happened in the Soviet Union and throughout Eastern Europe during the post-war period: the systematic brutality, the widespread atrocities, the ruthless suppression of independent thought. All this has been fully documented and verified.
But my contention here is that the US crimes in the same period have only been superficially recorded, let alone documented, let alone acknowledged, let alone recognized as crimes at all.
It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.
Cuba made simple
“The trade embargo can be fully lifted only through legislation – unless Cuba forms a democracy, in which case the president can lift it.”
Aha! So that’s the problem, according to a Washington Post columnist – Cuba is not a democracy! That would explain why the United States does not maintain an embargo against Saudi Arabia, Honduras, Guatemala, Egypt and other distinguished pillars of freedom. The mainstream media routinely refer to Cuba as a dictatorship. Why is it not uncommon even for people on the left to do the same? I think that many of the latter do so in the belief that to say otherwise runs the risk of not being taken seriously, largely a vestige of the Cold War when Communists all over the world were ridiculed for blindly following Moscow’s party line. But what does Cuba do or lack that makes it a dictatorship?
No “free press”? Apart from the question of how free Western media is, if that’s to be the standard, what would happen if Cuba announced that from now on anyone in the country could own any kind of media? How long would it be before CIA money – secret and unlimited CIA money financing all kinds of fronts in Cuba – would own or control almost all the media worth owning or controlling?
Is it “free elections” that Cuba lacks? They regularly have elections at municipal, regional and national levels. (They do not have direct election of the president, but neither do Germany or the United Kingdom and many other countries). Money plays virtually no role in these elections; neither does party politics, including the Communist Party, since candidates run as individuals. Again, what is the standard by which Cuban elections are to be judged? Is it that they don’t have the Koch Brothers to pour in a billion dollars? Most Americans, if they gave it any thought, might find it difficult to even imagine what a free and democratic election, without great concentrations of corporate money, would look like, or how it would operate. Would Ralph Nader finally be able to get on all 50 state ballots, take part in national television debates, and be able to match the two monopoly parties in media advertising? If that were the case, I think he’d probably win; which is why it’s not the case.
Or perhaps what Cuba lacks is our marvelous “electoral college” system, where the presidential candidate with the most votes is not necessarily the winner. If we really think this system is a good example of democracy why don’t we use it for local and state elections as well?
Is Cuba not a democracy because it arrests dissidents? Many thousands of anti-war and other protesters have been arrested in the United States in recent years, as in every period in American history. During the Occupy Movement two years ago more than 7,000 people were arrested, many beaten by police and mistreated while in custody. And remember: The United States is to the Cuban government like al Qaeda is to Washington, only much more powerful and much closer; virtually without exception, Cuban dissidents have been financed by and aided in other ways by the United States.
Would Washington ignore a group of Americans receiving funds from al Qaeda and engaging in repeated meetings with known members of that organization? In recent years the United States has arrested a great many people in the US and abroad solely on the basis of alleged ties to al Qaeda, with a lot less evidence to go by than Cuba has had with its dissidents’ ties to the United States. Virtually all of Cuba’s “political prisoners” are such dissidents. While others may call Cuba’s security policies dictatorship, I call it self-defense.
The Ministry of Propaganda has a new Commissar
Last month Andrew Lack became chief executive of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees US government-supported international news media such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks and Radio Free Asia. In a New York Times interview, Mr. Lack was moved to allow the following to escape his mouth: “We are facing a number of challenges from entities like Russia Today which is out there pushing a point of view, the Islamic State in the Middle East and groups like Boko Haram.”
So … this former president of NBC News conflates Russia Today (RT) with the two most despicable groups of “human beings” on the planet. Do mainstream media executives sometimes wonder why so many of their audience has drifted to alternative media, like, for example, RT?
Those of you who have not yet discovered RT, I suggest you go to RT.com to see whether it’s available in your city. And there are no commercials.
It should be noted that the Times interviewer, Ron Nixon, expressed no surprise at Lack’s remark.
- William Blum, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II, chapters 3 and 35
- “Greek Debt Crisis: How Goldman Sachs Helped Greece to Mask its True Debt”, Spiegel Online (Germany), February 8, 2010. Google “Goldman Sachs” Greece for other references.
- U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing, February 13, 2015
- Overthrowing other people’s governments: The Master List
- CBS Evening News, August 20, 2002
- ABC Nightline, December 4, 2002
- “60 Minutes II”, February 26, 2003
- Washington Post, March 1, 2003
- “60 Minutes”, January 27, 2008
- Democracy Now!, February 12, 2015, Wright statement made February 10
- Al Kamen, Washington Post, February 18, 2015
- Huffington Post, May 3, 2012
- New York Times, January 21, 2015
February 28, 2015 by Frosty Wooldridge
This month, former Mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani said, “I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that that President Obama loves America,” said Giuliani at a New York dinner. “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”
As a red-blooded American who loves my country, I second Giuliani’s assessment of Barack Hussein Obama. We do not know Obama. We question his origins, his fraudulent Social Security number, his forged-backdated Selective Service number, his hidden college records, his foreign beneficiaries as to money for Columbia and Harvard, his mediocre grades that led to those top colleges accepting him, and his whereabouts during his formative years. He spent millions of dollars to seal his high school records, his college records, his passport and more. No one steps forth to talk about any high school or college classrooms he shared with them. He’s a ghost on the American landscape, but he’s in charge of leading our country.
We know that he wrote a book, Audacity of Hope, where on page 261, he said, “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”
That single statement illustrates his deepest Islamic religious cognitive choices that violate every single aspect of the American Way of Life and our Constitution. His Koran’s ultimate prime directive seeks to destroy free thought, freethinking, free choice of religion, free choice of governance and women’s rights. In other words, according to his quoted words, he loves the holy call of the music of Islam over the Stars and Stripes, our Pledge of Allegiance and our national anthem.
His father(s), whether it was Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. or Frank Marshal Davis, whom he resembles without question or his stepfather, LoLo Soetoro, all devoted themselves to Islam, proving itself to be the most violent-barbaric religion on the planet.
Lolo Soetoro lawfully adopted and changed Obama’s name to Barry Soetoro as an official Indonesian citizen. When Obama applied for scholarships to Columbia University, he used his Indonesian citizenship to gain scholarships. That single fact alone makes Obama ineligible to serve as an American president.
Nobody knows the reality of Obama’s childhood because every single legal record remains locked up in sealed records. At some point, history will uncover the mystery of Barack Obama. It won’t be pretty.
In the meantime, in six years, he subverted the American worker by not enforcing our immigration laws at the border or internally by arresting employees of illegal aliens. He knowingly assisted and continues to assist illegal aliens jumping our borders and already working within our country in violation of our laws.
He broke our U.S. Constitution numerous times ending lately in overstepping his Constitutional authority by granting a counterfeit amnesty for 20 million illegal aliens.
He continually lied to the American public via the Benghazi cover-up where he personally failed to act, which led to four Americans being killed by Muslims. Ironically, Obama hired eight Muslims in his immediate circle to help him with Islamic prime directives to dismantle America’s dominate religious base: Christianity. Obama remains intent on turning our country into an Islamic refugee holding pen—that sooner or later will erupt in major violence, much like in Europe.
In fact, Obama scoffs at Christians when he defends Muslims for their barbaric violence, which manifested in Paris, France in January and this month of a Jordanian pilot being burned to death in a cage with cameras rolling.
And yet, Barack Hussein Obama chastises our country in favor of the violence of Islam: “Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.” Fact: Europeans fought the Muslims in the Crusades. Fact: Muslim women remain slaves in their own countries with no rights.
He covered-up, along with his U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the “Fast and Furious” gun trafficking at our borders that killed more of our border patrol officers. The cover-up continues as of this date.
While in office, he understood that African-Americans suffer job losses and depressed wages at the hands of endless legal and illegal immigration—yet does nothing to solve the problem. A mind numbing 1 in 4 Black American males cannot secure a job. A stunning 73 percent of African-American “out of wedlock” children face life with a single mother living on welfare, which equates to complete disintegration of Black American families. Instead of taking action favoring our suffering African-American millions living in poverty, Obama plays more golf and takes more vacations than any other president. He follows the Black Caucus in Congress that plays a similar game of doing nothing for Black constituents across America.
While in office, Obama watched food stamp recipients jump from 36 million in 2008 to 48 million in February, 2015. In other words, he hasn’t and won’t do anything to bring jobs to those Americans, but he will engage illegal acts against our Constitution in favor of 20 million illegal aliens and their employers.
Obama never served in our U.S. military. He doesn’t know a platoon from a company. He never worked a job in his life, thus doesn’t know what American workers must endure.
Whatever Obama loves, it’s not America or Americans. His words, his “Islamic gang sign” that he features prominently in his trips around the world shows that he loathes America and Americans. I for one, as a red-blooded American, would like to see Barack Hussein Obama brought up on charges of failure to defend our country, our way of life and our citizens. I would like to see him tried, convicted and impeached.
February 24, 2015 by Mike Whitney
“Though it’s happening to a stricken country, on the edge of Europe, the choices presented to Greece are being understood throughout Europe… Obey or leave.”
— Paul Mason, Channel 4 News Blog
It’s not easy to negotiate with a gun to your head. Nevertheless, that’s the situation Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis found himself in on Friday preceding a crucial meeting with the Eurogroup. According to one report, the objective of the last-ditch confab “was to prepare a consensus text that would be the basis for the discussion” with the EU’s finance ministers. That might sound innocent enough, but it doesn’t come close to explaining the real purpose of the meeting which was far more sinister. Check out this blurb from Costas Efimeros at the Press Project:
“According to a Greek official who doesn’t want to be named, the Greek delegation were yesterday subject to outright blackmail. Our ‘partners’ informed us that if Eurogroup doesn’t result in an agreement, on Tuesday the Greek government will be forced to implement capital controls. It seemed that they had taken the decision to strangle the Greek economy by cutting off funding to the banks through the ELA system. Furthermore, it seemed that the big Greek banks already knew this. Leaks from the ECB, after all, had suggested that they were preparing for a GREXIT.” (“Europe trashed democracy“, Costas Efimeros, The Press Project)
It’s nice to know that EU leaders ascribe to the same basic moral code as Don Corleone, isn’t it?
The fact is, a slow motion bank run has been underway in Greece for more than a month draining roughly 40 billion euros from the Greek banking system. If a deal hadn’t been struck on Friday, the ECB would have pulled the plug on its liquidity assistance program and blown the whole system to kingdom come. That’s how the Eurocrats planned to say goodbye to their long-struggling member, Greece, by giving them a sharp jolt to the groin before razing their economy to the ground. That tells you everything you need to know about the Eurogroup.
If Greece got the boot on Friday, it’s humanitarian crisis would have deepened overnight while the blow to the capital markets would have paved the way for another financial crisis. Fortunately, the catastrophe was averted mainly because Varoufakis was able to cobble together a viable plan for meeting the Eurogroup’s basic requirements while creating significant opportunities to ease conditions in Greece. Don’t get me wrong; this isn’t a perfect deal by any stretch, but it is the best deal that could have been reached given the circumstances and the unbridled hostility from German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble who was eager to scuttle the whole project and throw Greece to the wolves. Varoufakis managed to out maneuver the irascible Schaeuble and get some of what he wanted, but only through stiff-necked resolve and significant compromise. As a result, Greece is still a member of the Eurozone, but just barely. A rejection of its reform package today (Monday) could push the beleaguered country out of the 19-member Union for good.
Keep in mind, the Eurogroup made it perfectly clear from the beginning that they weren’t going to restructure Greece’s debts or end the austerity program. The issues weren’t even on the table. So, those who think that Varoufakis should have given the Eurogroup an ultimatum (“Reduce our debts or we’ll leave.”) simply don’t understand the nature of the negotiations. Varoufakis was forced to operate within very strict parameters. Given those limitations, he nabbed a very respectable deal. Even so, it’s only natural for people to feel let-down, especially since Syriza had promised much more than they could deliver. But that doesn’t mean Varoufakis is a traitor or a sellout. Not at all. It merely means that Syriza’s belief that it could end austerity but keep Greece in the Eurozone proved to be unfounded. In fact, German opposition has made it nearly impossible. The larger point is this: Syriza had no mandate to spearhead a Grexit. That is not what the people voted for or what they want. Varoufakis’s was asked to do the impossible, square the circle. In that regard, he failed. But still, the deal he hammered out should mitigate Greece’s slump to some extent, although one should not expect a full-blown economic recovery, not without a healthy dose of fiscal stimulus which is nowhere in sight.
Varoufakis managed to change the terms of the deal which is now referred to as the “existing arrangement” rather than a “program”. According to Norbert Haring, this new “arrangement”…”is not a “technical” extension of the “program” any more, but an extension of the funding arrangement, plus vague conditionality.” (“Was it worth it? Concessions to Greece relative to the rejected draft of 16 February“, Nobert Haring)
It all sounds very tedious and legalistic, but the change is significant. You see, the real fight between Varoufakis and the Eurogroup was over this precise issue, that is, changing the inflexible, ironclad austerity “program” into a looser “arrangement” where polices can be altered via–what Varoufakis dubbed –“constructive ambiguity.” Varoufakis objective is to create enough gray area for Greece to regain sovereign control over its own economic policies. Constructive ambiguity will help to achieve that, provided the reforms meet the Eurogroup’s fiscal targets.
Here’s more from Haring’s post: “There is no mention any more of “successful conclusion of the program”, nor of “program” in the text. Instead a successful conclusion of the review of the “conditions in the current arrangement” is the new condition. This allows the Greek government to continue to say that the old program cannot be successful. It also allows for changes in the program, as “conditions of the arrangement” is deliberately more vague.” (“Was it worth it? Concessions to Greece relative to the rejected draft of 16 February”, Nobert Haring)
This isn’t just legal claptrap. It’s a critical change in the way the policy is implemented. Once again, Varoufakis has loosened the financial straitjacket in which Greece finds itself, which can only be seen as progress.
The new deal also allows Greece to decide its own reform package rather than the troika dictating what government expenses to cut or which publicly owned assets to sell. Here’s another excerpt from Haring’s post: “Most important change of the whole document: Addition of “The institutions will, for the 2015 primary surplus target, take the economic circumstances in 2015 into account.” Excessive, self-defeating austerity is off. Only the target for 2015 is mentioned, because everything further out would have to be part of a new arrangement, still to be negotiated.”
So Varoufakis has achieved his goal of reducing austerity. Not only is there greater flexibility operationally but, also, Greece will control the levers of decision-making in the “field of tax policy, privatisation, labour market reforms, financial sector, and pensions”. Naturally, the lower the primary surplus, the more fiscal stimulus is available for economic growth. (Running a surplus during a depression is absolute madness, but this is the lousy hand Varoufakis was dealt.)
Haring’s final comments are a good summary of Varoufakis’s achievement:
“Was it worth the hassle to reject the draft of 16 February, just to accept the statement four days later? For Athens it most certainly was. It got the promise that no self-defeating, excessive austerity would be asked of it any more, the assurance that it could devise its own economic and social policies, as long as they did not impact negatively on the interests of its partners, rather than having to execute and leaving in place all the measures accepted by the former government and strongly rejected by the people. These are huge improvements for Athens, with no significant counterbalancing downside compared to 16 February.” (“Was it worth it? Concessions to Greece relative to the rejected draft of 16 February”, Nobert Haring)
Clearly, this is a good deal for Greece, but let’s not go overboard; the basic situation still stinks to high heaven, mainly because the Eurogroup would rather lecture and punish than give a struggling member a helping hand. Had the Eurozone evolved into a viable political union that distributed fiscal transfers to the weaker states on the periphery, Greece would have emerged from its recession years ago. Instead, the fiasco drags on endlessly punctuated by infrequent outbursts from EU leaders who vehemently defend belt-tightening measures that have only made matters worse. If anything, this experience should help the Greek people decide whether there’s a future for them and their children in the Eurozone or not. Dealing with authoritarian boneheads (The Eurogroup) may eventually prove to be more trouble than its worth. (A Grexit looks better by the day!)
As for Varoufakis, well, he passed the finance minister’s test with flying colors. He distinguished himself as a capable horse trader and managed to squeeze more concessions out of the EU’s austerity-obsessed representatives than anyone thought possible. The man proved that he’s neither a “sell out” or a “traitor”.(as some claim.) Quite the contrary, he kept his word and did exactly what the Greek people asked of him.
At the very least, he deserves credit for a valiant effort.
February 23, 2015 by Selwyn Duke
A homosexual couple goes into a known Christian bakery and asks for a wedding cake for a same-sex “marriage,” is refused and then files a government complaint or sues. “Intolerance! Bigotry! Equal access!” is the cry. Many Americans have read of such stories in the news. Often the attempted purchase is a set-up, with activist-minded individuals targeting bakers whom they know will decline the request and then be vulnerable to state persecution by zealous bureaucrats.
It’s a new front in the war on faith, legitimate freedom and private property rights. Many point out that it constitutes an unprecedented trampling of religious liberty, and this is true. It also violates the principle of freedom of association, which isn’t explicitly mentioned in the Constitution but should be upheld. But neither of these arguments should be the centerpiece of the fight against the tyranny in question. There is another, far more powerful argument:
Freedom of speech.
Usually missed in the commentary on this subject is that the bakers in question are not refusing service to a type of people — they are refusing to be party to a type of message. This is not debatable. When you put writing on a same-sex “wedding” cake, you’re crafting a message; if you place figurines (of two men, for instance) on that cake, you’re erecting symbols relating that message. Note here that the Supreme Court has already ruled that “Symbolic Speech” — a legal term in U.S. law — is protected under the First Amendment; examples of such rulings would be that pertaining to flag-burning and the Tinker v. Des Moines case.
And can we compel people to participate in the creation of a message? Forced speech is not free speech.
Some homosexuality activists have likened the bakers’ refusal to provide faux-wedding cakes to a denial of service to blacks. This is a false analogy. A race-specific refusal is denying service based on what a person is; in the wedding-cake incidents, denial was based on what message was being requested.
In point of fact, none of the targeted bakers had erected signs stating “No shoes, no shirt, no heterosexuality, no service.” Nor did they apply a sexuality test to customers. Homosexuals could patronize their establishments and purchase cookies, bread or any products anyone else could; they could even buy wedding cakes for normal weddings — as anyone else could. And, of course, probability would dictate that homosexuals did buy from those bakers at times.
What actually is analogous to the wedding-cake controversy is a black person asking a baker for a cake expressing a racial message such as “Black Power” or “Fight the Blue-eyed Devils.” Of course, it could also be a white person with a white-power message or a neo-Nazi asking a Jewish baker to craft an anti-Semitic one.
Some may now assert that while a faux-marriage message is positive (in their eyes, anyway), the above messages would be hateful. But the nature of a message doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a message. To drive the point home, should a liberal baker be compelled to craft the message, “Celebrate Gun Rights,” “Life Begins at Conception” or “Marriage is One Man, One Woman”?
Here’s another point: It has often been emphasized that unless the First Amendment protects even unpopular speech, it’s “protection” is a sham. After all, popular speech’s popularity is protection enough. Likewise, however, it’s also true that if the right to refuse to participate in speech doesn’t include the right to refuse to participate in popular speech, it is no right at all.
Note here that many commentators have made the “Nazi and Jewish baker” and “white supremacist and black baker” arguments, but they often take a freedom-of-association approach. This gives the other side the opportunity to counter with, “But Nazis and white supremacists aren’t ‘protected groups’; homosexuals are” (I reject the notion of “protected groups,” but the principle currently exists in law, and this is about crafting airtight legal arguments). Emphasizing the speech aspect presents the opposition with no such avenue of attack.
Some may now claim that messages vs. people in the baker controversies is a distinction without a difference, asking “Who else but homosexuals would request a faux-wedding cake?” First, there are many heterosexuals advancing the homosexual agenda, and it’s conceivable that such a person could order such a cake, for symbolic value, to serve at an activist gathering. This is in the same way a white person (N.Y.C.’s mayor Bolshevik Bill comes to mind) could order a cake with a black-power message. Or, a heterosexual wedding planner could attempt to order a faux-wedding cake. None of this matters, though. That a message may be characteristic of a certain group doesn’t change the fact that it’s a message. And forced speech isn’t free speech.
In the baker controversy, the free-speech argument should be superior in the courts of both law and of public opinion. While we ought to enjoy completely unfettered freedom of association, Americans long ago became inured to its trampling, and the courts universally accept the “public accommodation” rationalization. So it’s currently a non-starter. The religious-freedom argument is more effective, but it has two weaknesses relative to the free-speech strategy. First, there are many more limitations placed on religious practice than on speech; examples would be the outlawing of human sacrifice and polygamy. Thus, there’s more of a precedent for further limitations on religious practice. In the area of speech, not much is out of bounds aside from “yelling ‘fire!’ in a movie theater” and issuing threats.
This difference is evident in the burden placed on a person whose religious practice has been outlawed. As the Harvard Political Review points out, the “‘Sherbert Test’ requires that an individual must prove sincere religious beliefs and substantial burden through government action. If these are established, the law is unconstitutional unless the government proves a ‘compelling state interest’….” No such burden is placed on those exercising unpopular speech, however, and the government cannot prohibit it based on “compelling state interest.”
The second issue is that in these secular times, many Americans aren’t sympathetic to religious-freedom arguments. But freedom of speech enjoys much broader support, and the fear of its violation is far greater. Remember, only the religious engage in religious practice — but both the religious and non-religious engage in speech.
Of course, it should lastly be mentioned that the argument I’ve outlined would be applicable not just to bakeries, but anytime a message-oriented product or service is at issue.
It’s hard to imagine a sane court (which, unfortunately, leaves out a good portion of today’s judiciary) not finding in favor of the free-speech argument. It is airtight, and rationalizing it away would take far more complex intellectual contortions than the freedom-of-religion argument would require. Because, quite simply, forced speech is not free speech.
February 23, 2015 by Chuck Baldwin
Kent Hovind is a creation-science evangelist and Baptist minister who has already served eight years of a ten-year prison sentence for alleged tax evasion. Kent has a master’s degree in education. He founded and operated Creation Science Evangelism and has traveled extensively presenting creation-science lectures. He has debated evolutionists in over one hundred debates across the country. Kent also operated Dinosaur Adventure Land in Pensacola, Florida. This was a very popular creation-science museum/theme park. Kent also produced scores of videos on the subject of creation-science that have circled the globe and been translated in over thirty languages. Many people affectionately refer to Kent as “Dr. Dino.” He and his wife have three children; and all three of their children (all grown) worked alongside of him in the ministry.
Kent and I were college classmates for one year in Michigan. I was a sophomore when Kent transferred to the school from Illinois. I transferred colleges after that year. Kent stayed and graduated from the college in Michigan. After graduation in 1975, my wife and I moved to Pensacola, Florida, to begin our ministerial work. Some years later, Kent and his family also moved to Pensacola. So, I’ve known Kent a long time.
Kent considered his ministry a church and the people who worked for him as missionaries. He did not incorporate under the 501c3 non-profit organization status. Of course, the Internal Revenue Code states that churches are not required to do so; that, as a church, they automatically have tax-exempt status. Accordingly, Kent believed his ministry was tax-exempt.
Nevertheless, in 2004, IRS agents raided Kent’s home and ultimately brought multiple counts of tax-evasion-type charges, including “structuring,” against him. “Structuring” means deliberately making cash deposits or withdrawals of just under the supposed reporting level of ten thousand dollars. (Egad! God forbid that the IRS not know the details of our banking transactions.) In 2006, Kent went to trial and was convicted on all counts and sentenced to ten years in federal prison. He has been there ever since.
But now the story gets bizarre. Federal prosecutors are currently bringing charges of mail fraud against Kent for using the mail system from inside prison to challenge the lien that the IRS placed upon his property. And, are you ready for this? They want Kent to serve an additional twenty to one hundred years in prison. Obviously, even if he received twenty years, this amounts to a life sentence.
See this report:
By contrast, the Rev. Al Sharpton is reported to owe nearly $1.5 million in overdue taxes and penalties from many years ago. But our federal government doesn’t put Mr. Sharpton in the Big House; it invites him to the White House instead.
See the report here:
Regardless of where one comes down on the whole tax-exempt status issue for churches and non-profit organizations, here is a very relevant fact: the average time spent behind bars for tax “crimes” is between two to five years. For instance, Pete Rose served five months; Chuck Berry served four months; Aldo Gucci served one year; Sun Myung Moon served eighteen months; and Leona Helmsley served four years. Kent has already served much more time than any of those people did.
To help put it in perspective even further, the infamous Chicago gangster, Al Capone, was released after eight years in prison. And, as everyone knows, the only reason the government put him prison for tax evasion was because they couldn’t obtain the evidence they needed to convict him of murder, racketeering, bribery, etc. Yet, our federal government wants to keep a Christian minister–who never committed an act of violence against anyone–in prison for the rest of his natural life. In truth, there are thousands of people who have been convicted of some form of homicide who have not spent as many years in prison as Kent has already.
Back in 2001, restaurant owner, fisherman, and ship builder, Frank Patti (also of Pensacola, Florida) was indicted on 24 counts of tax evasion of more than $12 million. He was sentenced to 79 months in prison and released after serving but 39 months. Kent has already served almost 100 months.
After witnessing the Frank Patti case, I wrote this in 2002: “The prospect of local businessman Frank Patti spending 8 years in federal prison for tax evasion causes me to once again reflect upon the justness of throwing people in jail for nonviolent crimes.
“I believe it is past time for America to examine its practice of locking people up for nonviolent crimes. Even though the United States is far from being the most populous country in the world, we incarcerate more people than any other nation. According to recent reports, there are more than two million people behind bars in U.S. jails and prisons [now the number exceeds six million]. Many of these people are there for crimes in which no one was physically injured or killed and, therefore, pose little or no threat to society.
“Furthermore, it seems that this infatuation with locking people up serves more the interests of ever-burgeoning government bureaucracies than the interests of justice. A breadwinner behind bars means more welfare, more food stamps, and more dependence upon government, not to mention more government jobs, of course.
“With the federal government increasingly encroaching into the area of crime and punishment and with an exploding number of new laws continually being created, more and more people are losing their freedom over crimes that have more to do with offending the powers of government than injuring the lives of innocent people. Such a system hardly promotes justice.”
These comments do not even take into account the question as to whether refusing to pay personal income taxes to Uncle Sam should even be regarded as a crime at all. The income tax was initially sold to the American people as being a “voluntary” tax, remember? Regardless, the federal government treats the income tax as obligatory and most jurors have the attitude, “If I have to pay taxes, so does this defendant,” which is why most juries never acquit folks charged with tax evasion.
In Kent’s case, the argument was that his ministry was a church and as such should have been automatically tax exempt.
What Kent’s case does show is that the IRS can make its own decisions as to who and what owes taxes, the 501c3 non-profit organization status for churches notwithstanding. Charges of tax evasion are very subjective to the whims of the IRS–as Al Sharpton proves. And let’s not forget the Lois Lerner version of selective tax enforcement that targeted conservative organizations. And there is nothing new about that. The federal government has been using the IRS to intimidate or silence individuals or groups it does not like for many, many years under both Republican and Democrat administrations.
While I will not elaborate on this issue here (I’ve done so many times already in this column), this is just another example of the danger of the 501c3 tax exempt status for churches. With the way the IRS can subjectively interpret and enforce the tax code with impunity, a church or so-called non-profit organization that accepts tax-exempt status, can literally be “damned if you do and damned if you don’t.” It’s mostly to do with politics. Remember, it is the IRS–NOT THE CHURCH–that ultimately defines whether an organization is qualified to be tax-exempt. What the Internal Revenue Code stipulates about churches being automatically tax-exempt means NOTHING to the IRS. You must remember that!
In the case of Kent Hovind, one has to wonder if he is actually being treated as a political prisoner. A life sentence for tax evasion? Whoever heard of such a thing?
Then again, I am reminded of the way our government treated former Idaho Congressman George Hansen. His book “To Harass Our People” (about the IRS) should be regarded as a must-read for every lover of liberty. Then, after you read the book, find out how our federal government railroaded him into a prison sentence and how it mercilessly tortured him afterward. It will make your hair stand on end.
Then, after reading what our federal government did to one of its own congressmen, try to convince yourself that our federal government would NOT do almost anything to anyone. And if this is true for American citizens (and it is) imagine how our federal government (CIA, military Dark Ops, etc.) treats foreign governments–even those it once befriended. Come on, folks. Turn off FOX News long enough to start thinking for yourself a little bit.
If you would like to sound off regarding the obvious injustice being committed against Kent Hovind, there is a website set up for that purpose. See it here:
If enough people rally to Kent’s defense, the IRS might rethink its attempt to keep him in prison for the rest of his life. Like most dark forces, the IRS loves darkness and hates light. Whether you think Kent is guilty or not, eight years is enough! Please help spread a little light for Kent Hovind.
February 23, 2015 by Jane Stillwater
What would happen if we Americans suddenly decided to withdraw all of our troops currently scattered all over the world and to actually bring them back to within our own US borders where they belong? What would happen if we actually closed down all of America’s extensive and pricy (over one thousand and counting) military bases and black-site operations all around the globe? We may never know. “Why?” you might ask. Because it is never gonna happen, that’s why.
Despite all of the incredibly huge amounts of money, energy, pain and grief that all these bases and black-site operations are costing us American taxpayers daily right now, the subject of closing even a few of these bases and black-site operations (or at least to stop opening up new ones!) isn’t even up for debate.
There are so many other topics that we are happily debating in America right now — but not this one.
Americans are currently debating such crap topics as how best to save rich people from having to pay taxes; whether cops should be allowed to kill minority and/or poor people at will; why torture is a good thing; how we can most easily give large corporations our life savings and pensions; whether or not our kids should get measles vaccines; and exactly how soon “we” can bomb the crap out of Russia. But one of the most important subjects for debate in America today is not even on the menu right now.
A raging debate on how to return America to its grand old isolationist tradition should be the major topic in every newspaper headline and TV news show in America right now. But, sadly, it is not.
And there are many other life-threatening topics for debate here in America that we should be discussing too (but are not) such as, “Is it really in our best interest to support chaos in the Middle East or be Israeli neo-colonialists’ catspaws?” Or whether corporations really are people, or “Why is election-malfeasance in America is still running amuck?” Or if we really want to be committing climate-change suicide? Or why America now has the same distribution of wealth between the upper classes and the rest of us that it had back in 1910 and that the difference in income between America’s top 1% and the rest of us is further apart now than any other time in history including the Roman Empire, Charles Dickens’ London and Marie Antoinette’s France.
According to economist Thomas Piketty, “Income inequality has exploded in the United States.”
And why the freak is America a member of NATO, the most war-mongering organization in the entire world outside of the US Department of “Defense”?
And — really? Here’s a headline that will warm all those Scrooge-like corporate hearts: “Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown“Social science is being militarized to develop ‘operational tools’ to target peaceful activists and non-violent protest movements. Should we not be discussing that too?
And then there’s that good old “New World Order” thingie popping up again, and it no longer even includes America on the list of those giving the New Orders — because the global overlord dudes who are currently drawing up the list to re-order our world seem to have us Americans in mind only to play the minor roles of vassals and serfs.
But none of these other topics are up for debate in America either.
According to journalist Juan Cole, the top five favorite planks for the Republican party platform in 2016 are gonna be torture, war-mongering, bank corruption, tax evasion for the uber-rich and how best to steal elections. Why aren’t we discussing that either?
Frankly, there seems to be no debate in America today on almost any topic that should be of primary concern to We the People who are paying for all this crap. But I digress. Let’s get back on topic, the topic of closing over a thousand US military bases and black-site operations all across the globe.
Of course I myself am obviously an advocate for closing all U.S. bases and black-site operations on foreign soil and bringing all of our troops home where they belong. So. Let’s debate.
Debaters in favor of keeping America’s foreign empire strong and all these bases and black-site operations open might come up with a list of arguments such as:
1. “They” will come here and terrorize us if we let down our guard.
2. We will then have little or no access to raw materials and natural resources. Our economy will shrink.
3. We need the war industry because it produces jobs.
4. We must bring freedom and democracy to the world and stop tyrannies.
These four points are all laughably easy to refute — except for perhaps point number three. Here are my counter-arguments:
1. In the many decades since the end of WW II, America has systematically created more enemies than one can shake a stick at due to its brutal policy of foreign military interference abroad. People all over the world used to love America. But this is no longer true. Obviously. These foreign bases and black-site operations are not keeping America safe. Just look at 9/11. Just look at the Great Recession of 2008. I rest my case.
2. Hey, we can always get access to foreign natural resources by actually paying for them. Now there’s a unique idea. It’s called Capitalism!
Right now, our military mainly serves the purpose of acting as thugs and extortionists for corporations, allowing corporations to go into foreign countries at will and steal their natural resources. Our nation’s finest young men and women are being forced to serve as mega-corporations’ personal security forces and Mafia crews. Hell, let these corporations pay for their own damn security thugs. Why should we taxpayers do the job? We are never the ones who make money off of this deal. Au contraire. We get to pay through the nose for it.
Why should we American taxpayers keep paying out trillions of dollars so that the best and brightest of our young generation can die violent and lonely deaths and leave widows and orphans behind them — in order to “Keep Corporations Strong”? It’s like Vietnam all over again.
3. Yes, the war industry does produce jobs. But working for the Yankee Dollar is a high-risk employment, is morally repugnant and the benefits are few. How about, instead, that we hire all those soldiers to work in the solar industry or to repair our shabby infrastructure? Or train them to become doctors or teachers. Just think of the money we’d save!
4. America doesn’t bring democracy to the world. “We” mostly bring dictators and ruffians and torturers and election fraud. And “we” are currently supporting monsters like ISIS and those neo-Nazis in Ukraine. It’s all about the money. The American dream has become a nightmare if you live overseas (and will probably become more of a nightmare here too if we continue to keep the same vampires and doofuses in charge).
That’s my argument and I’m sticking with it.
Hey, I may be wrong here about proposing that we immediately bring all of “our” weapons and troops home. Or I may be right. Who knows. But shouldn’t we at least be having this debate?