Want to know the dates for the Blood Moons and total lunar eclipses in 2014 and 2015? You’ve come to the right place…
We have been receiving a number of inquiries about some upcoming Blood Moons in the years 2014 and 2015. And we want to say, first of all, that the Blood Moons most people are asking about are not part of astronomy. Instead, their origin is religious, at least according to Christian pastor John Hagee, who wrote a 2013 book about Blood Moons. More about that below. Still, since they’re moons, and since people are asking us, we wanted to reply.
Follow the links below to learn more about Blood Moons.
View larger. | Hunter’s Moon collage from EarthSky Facebook friend Kausor Khan in Hyberabad, India. Notice that she choose reddish moons to depict the Hunter’s Moon. That’s because many people see the Hunter’s Moon low in the sky, and moons seen low in the sky appear reddish. In 2013, the Hunter’s Moon – sometimes called the Blood Moon – came in mid-October.
Why is a Hunter’s Moon linked in people’s minds with a red moon? First of all, in autumn, the angle of the ecliptic – or sun and moon’s path – makes a narrow angle with the horizon. Image via classicalastronomy.com.
Secondly, the narrow angle of the ecliptic means the moon rises noticeably farther north on the horizon, from one night to the next. So, every autumn, there is no long period of darkness between sunset and moonrise. Around the time of full moon, many people see the moon low in the sky, around the time of twilight. At that time, the moon often looks reddish. Image via classicalastronomy.com.
Blood Moons in astronomy. In astronomical lore, all the full moons have names. The names typically coincide with months of the year, or seasons.
The Hunter’s Moon, in skylore, is also sometimes called the Blood Moon. Why? Probably because it’s a characteristic of these autumn full moons that they appear nearly full – and rise soon after sunset – for several evenings in a row. Many people see them when they are low in the sky, shortly after they’ve risen, at which time there’s more atmosphere between you and the moon than when the moon is overhead. When you see the moon low in the sky, the extra air between you and the moon makes the moon look reddish. Voila. Blood moon.
Harvest Moon: September 9
Autumn Equinox: September 23
Hunter’s (Blood) Moon: October 8
Autumn Equinox: September 23
Harvest Moon: September 28
Hunter’s (Blood) Moon: October 27
This book, published in 2013, is apparently what launched all the questions to our astronomy website about Blood Moons. We confess. We haven’t read it.
From what we’ve been able to gather, two Christian pastors, Mark Blitz and John Hagee, use the termBlood Moon to apply to the full moons of the upcoming tetrad – four successive total lunar eclipses, with no partial lunar eclipses in between, each of which is separated from the other by six lunar months (six full moons) – in 2014 and 2015. John Hagee appears to have popularized the term in his 2013 book Four Blood Moons: Something is About to Change.
Mark Blitz and John Hagee speak of a lunar tetrad as representing a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. After all, the moon is supposed to turn blood red before the end times, isn’t it? As described in Joel 2:31 (Common English Bible):
The sun will be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood before the great and dreadful day of the LORD comes.
That description, by the way, describes both a total solar eclipse and total lunar eclipse. Sun turned to darkness = moon directly between the Earth and sun in a total solar eclipse. Moon turned to blood = Earth directly between the sun and moon, Earth’s shadow falling on the moon in a total lunar eclipse.
This is what a total eclipse looks like. This is the total eclipse of October 27, 2004 via Fred Espenak of NASA. Visit Fred’s page here. We astronomy writers often describe a totally eclipsed moon as appearing ‘blood red.’ Here’s why the moon turns red during a total eclipse.
We astronomy writers often describe total lunar eclipses as appearing blood red. Why red? They appear reddish because sunlight from all of Earth’s sunrises and sunsets is scattered by the Earth’s atmosphere and falls on the surface of the eclipsed moon. In years where volcanic activity is pronounced, however, a total lunar eclipse may appear more brownish or gray in color. Read more here: Why does the moon look red during a total lunar eclipse?
Total lunar eclipse: April 15
Total lunar eclipse: October 8
Total lunar eclipse: April 4
Total lunar eclipse: September 28
There are a total of 8 tetrads in the 21st century (2001 to 2100). But proponents of this Biblical prophecy regard the upcoming tetrad as especially significant because it coincides with two important Jewish holidays: Passover and Tabernacles.
The April 2014 and April 2015 total lunar eclipses align with the feast of Passover. The October 2014 and September 2015 total lunar eclipses align with the feast of Tabernacles.
The Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar. In any year, it’s inevitable that a full moon should fall on or near the feasts of Passover (15 Nissan) and Tabernacles (15 Tishri). Nissan and Tishri are the first and seventh months of the Jewish calendar, respectively.
It is somewhat ironic that three of these four lunar eclipses are not visible – even in part – from Israel. The only eclipse that can be seen at all from Israel is the tail end of the September 28, 2015 eclipse, which may be observable for a short while before sunrise.
How common is a tetrad of total lunar eclipses? Depending upon the century in which you live, alunar tetrad (four consecutive total lunar eclipses, spaced at six lunar months apart from one another) may happen fairly frequently – or not at all.
For instance, in our 21st century (2001-2100), there are a total 8 tetrads, but in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, there were none at all. If we include all the centuries from the 1st century (AD 1-100) through the 21st century (2001-2100), inclusive, there are a total of 62 tetrads. The last one occurred in 2003-2004, and the next one after the 2014-2015 tetrad will happen in 2032-2033.
However, if we want to know which tetrads specifically fell on the Jewish feasts of Passover and Tabernacles, there appear to be a total of 8 in these 21 centuries:
1. 162-163 C.E. (Common Era)
2. 795-796 C.E.
3. 842-843 C.E.
4. 860-861 C.E.
5. 1493-1494 C.E.
6. 1949-1950 C.E.
7. 1967-1968 C.E.
8. 2014-2015 C.E.
Why is the term Blood Moon being used to mean a full moon of a lunar tetrad? We can’t really tell you why more and more people are using the term Blood Moon to describe the four full moons of alunar tetrad. We don’t know why, exactly.
Here’s the definition of a lunar tetrad, again: four successive total lunar eclipses, with no partial eclipses in between, each of which is separated from the other by six lunar months (six full moons). There’s no obvious reason why Blood Moon should be associated with this term.
To the best of our knowledge, however, the use of the term Blood Moon to describe a lunar tetrad is of recent origin. It might have originated with John Hagee’s 2013 book.
We’re still not sure whether Blood Moon pertains to the full moon of any tetrad, or specifically to a tetrad that coincides with the feasts of Passover and Tabernacles.
Either way, I suspect the nouveau definition of Blood Moon will gain traction as we approach the tetrad, the four total lunar eclipses of 2014 and 2015.
Bottom line: The term Blood Moon in astronomy in sometimes used as another name for the Hunter’s Moon. The term Blood Moon in Biblical prophecy appears to have been popularized by two Christian pastors, Mark Blitz and John Hagee. They use the term Blood Moon to apply to the full moons of the upcoming tetrad – four successive total lunar eclipses, with no partial lunar eclipses in between, each of which is separated from the other by six lunar months (six full moons) – in 2014 and 2015. Astronomers will not be using the term Blood Moon to describe these four upcoming lunar eclipses.
Can the sharing economy movement address the root causes of the world’s converging crises? Unless the sharing of resources is promoted in relation to human rights and concerns for equity, democracy, social justice and sustainability, then such claims are without substantiation – although there are many hopeful signs that the conversation is slowly moving in the right direction.
In recent years, the concept and practice of sharing resources is fast becoming a mainstream phenomenon across North America, Western Europe and other world regions. The internet is awash with articles and websites that celebrate the vast potential of sharing human and physical assets, in everything from cars and bicycles to housing, workplaces, food, household items, and even time or expertise. According to most general definitions that are widely available online, the sharing economy leverages information technology to empower individuals or organisations to distribute, share and re-use excess capacity in goods and services. The business icons of the new sharing economy include the likes of Airbnb, Zipcar, Lyft, Taskrabbit and Poshmark, although hundreds of other for-profit as well as non-profit organisations are associated with this burgeoning movement that is predicated, in one way or another, on the age-old principle of sharing.
As the sharing economy receives increasing attention from the media, a debate is beginning to emerge around its overall importance and future direction. There is no doubt that the emergent paradigm of sharing resources is set to expand and further flourish in coming years, especially in the face of continuing economic recession, government austerity and environmental concerns. As a result of the concerted advocacy work and mobilisation of sharing groups in the US, fifteen city mayors have now signed the Shareable Cities Resolution in which they officially recognise the importance of economic sharing for both the public and private sectors. Seoul in South Korea has also adopted a city-funded project called Sharing City in which it plans to expand its ‘sharing infrastructure’, promote existing sharing enterprises and incubate sharing economy start-ups as a partial solution to problems in housing, transportation, job creation and community cohesion. Furthermore, Medellin in Colombia is embracing transport-sharing schemes and reimagining the use of its shared public spaces, while Ecuador is the first country in the world to commit itself to becoming a ‘shared knowledge’-based society, under an official strategy named ‘buen saber’.
Many proponents of the sharing economy therefore have great hopes for a future based on sharing as the new modus operandi. Almost everyone recognises that drastic change is needed in the wake of a collapsed economy and an overstretched planet, and the old idea of the American dream – in which a culture that promotes excessive consumerism and commercialisation leads us to see the ‘good life’ as the ‘goods life’, as described by the psychologist Tim Kasser – is no longer tenable in a world of rising affluence among possibly 9.6 billion people by 2050. Hence more and more people are rejecting the materialistic attitudes that defined recent decades, and are gradually shifting towards a different way of living that is based on connectedness and sharing rather than ownership and conspicuous consumption. ‘Sharing more and owning less’ is the ethic that underlies a discernible change in attitudes among affluent society that is being led by today’s young, tech-savvy generation known as Generation Y or the Millennials.
However, many entrepreneurial sharing pioneers also profess a big picture vision of what sharing can achieve in relation to the world’s most pressing issues, such as population growth, environmental degradation and food security. As Ryan Gourley of A2Share posits, for example, a network of cities that embrace the sharing economy could mount up into a Sharing Regions Network, then Sharing Nations, and finally a Sharing World: “A globally networked sharing economy would be a whole new paradigm, a game-changer for humanity and the planet”. Neal Gorenflo, the co-founder and publisher of Shareable, also argues that peer-to-peer collaboration can form the basis of a new social contract, with an extensive sharing movement acting as the catalyst for systemic changesthat can address the root causes of both poverty and climate change. Or to quote the words of Benita Matofska, founder of The People Who Share, we are going to have to “share to survive” if we want to face up to a sustainable future. In such a light, it behoves us all to investigate the potential of sharing to effect a social and economic transformation that is sufficient to meet the grave challenges of the 21st century.
Two sides of a debate on sharing
There is no doubt that sharing resources can contribute to the greater good in a number of ways, from economic as well as environmental and social perspectives. A number of studies show the environmental benefits that are common to many sharing schemes, such as the resource efficiency and potential energy savings that could result from car sharing and bike sharing in cities. Almost all forms of localised sharing are economical, and can lead to significant cost savings or earnings for individuals and enterprises. In terms of subjective well-being and social impacts, common experience demonstrates how sharing can also help us to feel connected to neighbours or co-workers, and even build community and make us feel happier.
Few could disagree on these beneficial aspects of sharing resources within communities or across municipalities, but some controversy surrounds the broader vision of how the sharing economy movement can contribute to a fair and sustainable world. For many advocates of the burgeoning trend towards economic sharing in modern cities, it is about much more than couch-surfing, car sharing or tool libraries, and holds the potential to disrupt the individualist and materialistic assumptions of neoliberal capitalism. For example, Juliet Schor in her book Plenitude perceives that a new economics based on sharing could be an antidote to the hyper-individualised, hyper-consumer culture of today, and could help rebuild the social ties that have been lost through market culture. Annie Leonard of the Story of Stuff project, in her latest short video on how to move society in an environmentally sustainable and just direction, also considers sharing as a key ‘game changing’ solution that could help to transform the basic goals of the economy.
Many other proponents see the sharing economy as a path towards achieving widespread prosperity within the earth’s natural limits, and an essential first step on the road to more localised economies and egalitarian societies. But far from everyone perceives that participating in the sharing economy, at least in its existing form and praxis, is a ‘political act’ that can realistically challenge consumption-driven economics and the culture of individualism – a question that is raised (although not yet comprehensively answered) in a valuable think piece from Friends of the Earth, as discussed further below. Various commentators argue that the proliferation of new business ventures under the umbrella of sharing are nothing more than “supply and demand continuing its perpetual adjustment to new technologies and fresh opportunities”, and that the concept of the sharing economy is being co-opted by purely commercial interests – a debate that was given impetus when the car sharing pioneers, Zipcar, were bought up by the established rental firm Avis.
Recently, Slate magazine’s business and economics correspondent controversially reiterated the observation that making money from new modes of consumption is not really ‘sharing’ per se, asserting that the sharing economy is therefore a “dumb term” that “deserves to die”. Other journalists have criticised the superficial treatment that the sharing economy typically receives from financial pundits and tech reporters, especially the claims that small business start-ups based on monetised forms of sharing are a solution to the jobs crisis – regardless of drastic cutbacks in welfare and public services, unprecedented rates of income inequality, and the dangerous rise of the precariat. The author Evgeny Morozov, writing an op-ed in the Financial Times, has gone as far as saying that the sharing economy is having a pernicious effect on equality and basic working conditions, in that it is fully compliant with market logic, is far from valuing human relationships over profit, and is even amplifying the worst excesses of the dominant economic model. In the context of the erosion of full-time employment, the assault on trade unions and the disappearance of healthcare and insurance benefits, he argues that the sharing economy is accelerating the transformation of workers into “always-on self-employed entrepreneurs who must think like brands”, leading him to dub it “neoliberalism on steroids”.
Problems of definition
Although it is impossible to reconcile these polarised views, part of the problem in assessing the true potential of economic sharing is one of vagueness in definition and wide differences in understanding. The conventional interpretation of the sharing economy is at present focused on its financial and commercial aspects, with continuous news reports proclaiming its rapidly growing market size and potential as a “co-commerce revolution”. Rachel Botsman, a leading entrepreneurial thinker on the potential of collaboration and sharing through digital technologies to change our lives, has attempted to clarify what the sharing economy actually is in order to prevent further confusion over the different terms in general use. In her latest typology, she notes how the term ‘sharing economy’ is often muddled with other new ideas and is in fact a subset of ‘collaborative consumption’ within the entire ‘collaborative economy’ movement, and has a rather restricted meaning in terms of “sharing underutilized assets from spaces to skills to stuff for monetary or non-monetary benefits” [see slide 9 of the presentation]. This interpretation of changing consumer behaviours and lifestyles revolves around the “maximum utilization of assets through efficient models of redistribution and shared access”, which isn’t necessarily predicated on an ethic of ‘sharing’ by any strict definition.
Other interpretations of the sharing economy are far broader and less constrained by capitalistic assumptions, as demonstrated in the Friends of the Earth briefing paper on Sharing Cities written by Professor Julian Agyeman et al. In their estimation, what’s missing from most of these current definitions and categorisations of economic sharing is a consideration of “the communal, collective production that characterises the collective commons”. A broadened ‘sharing spectrum’ that they propose therefore not only focuses on goods and services within the mainstream economy (which is almost always considered in relation to affluent, middle-class lifestyles), but also includes the non-material or intangible aspects of sharing such as well-being and capability [see page 6 of the brief]. From this wider perspective, they assert that the cutting edge of the sharing economy is often not commercial and includes informal behaviours like the unpaid care, support and nurturing that we provide for one another, as well as the shared use of infrastructure and shared public services.
This sheds a new light on governments as the “ultimate level of sharing”, and suggests that the history of the welfare state in Europe and other forms of social protection is, in fact, also integral to the evolution of shared resources in cities and within different countries. Yet an understanding of sharing from this more holistic viewpoint doesn’t have to be limited to the state provision of healthcare, education, and other public services. As Agyeman et al elucidate, cooperatives of all kinds (from worker to housing to retailer and consumer co-ops) also offer alternative models for shared service provision and a different perspective on economic sharing, one in which equity and collective ownership is prioritised. Access to natural common resources such as air and water can also be understood in terms of sharing, which may then prioritise the common good of all people over commercial or private interests and market mechanisms. This would include controversial issues of land ownership and land use, raising questions over how best to share land and urban space more equitably – such as through community land trusts, or through new policies and incentives such as land value taxation.
The politics of sharing
Furthermore, Agyeman et al argue that an understanding of sharing in relation to the collective commons gives rise to explicitly political questions concerning the shared public realm and participatory democracy. This is central to the many countercultural movements of recent years (such as the Occupy movement and Middle East protests since 2011, and the Taksim Gezi Park protests in 2013) that have reclaimed public space to symbolically challenge unjust power dynamics and the increasing trend toward privatisation that is central to neoliberal hegemony. Sharing is also directly related to the functioning of a healthy democracy, the authors reason, in that a vibrant sharing economy (when interpreted in this light) can counter the political apathy that characterises modern consumer society. By reinforcing values of community and collaboration over the individualism and consumerism that defines our present-day cultures and identities, they argue that participation in sharing could ultimately be reflected in the political domain. They also argue that a shared public realm is essential for the expression of participatory democracy and the development of a good society, not least as this provides a necessary venue for popular debate and public reasoning that can influence political decisions. Indeed the “emerging shareability paradigm”, as they describe it, is said to reflect the basic tenets of the Right to the City (RTTC) – an international urban movement that fights for democracy, justice and sustainability in cities and mobilises against the privatisation of common goods and public spaces.
The intention in briefly outlining some of these differing interpretations of sharing is to demonstrate how considerations of politics, justice, ethics and sustainability are slowly being allied with the sharing economy concept. A paramount example is the Friends of the Earth briefing paper outlined above, which was written as part of FOEI’s Big Ideas to Change the World series on cities that promoted sharing as “a political force to be reckoned with” and a “call to action for environmentalists”. Yet many further examples could also be mentioned, such as the New Economics Foundation’s ‘Manifesto for the New Materialism’ which promotes the old-fashioned ethic of sharing as part of a new way of living to replace the collapsed model of debt-fuelled overconsumption. There are also signs that many influential proponents of the sharing economy – as generally understood today in terms of new economic models driven by peer-to-peer technology that enable access to rather than ownership of resources – are beginning to query the commercial direction that the movement is taking, and are instead promoting more politicised forms of social change that are not merely based on micro-enterprise or the monetisation/branding of high-tech innovations.
Janelle Orsi, a California-based ‘sharing lawyer’ and author of The Sharing Solution, is particularly inspirational in this regard; for her, the sharing economy encompasses such a broad range of activities that it is hard to define, although she suggests that all its activities are tied together in how they harness the existing resources of a community and grow its wealth. This is in contradistinction to the mainstream economy that mostly generates wealth for people outside of people’s communities, and inherently generates extreme inequalities and ecological destruction – which Orsi contends that the sharing economy can help reverse. The problem she recognises is that the so-called sharing economy we usually hear about in the media is built upon a business-as-usual foundation, which is privately owned and often funded by venture capital (as is the case with Airbnb, Lyft, Zipcar, Taskrabbit et cetera). As a result, the same business structures that created the economic problems of today are buying up new sharing economy companies and turning them into ever larger, more centralised enterprises that are not concerned about people’s well-being, community cohesion, local economic diversity, sustainable job creation and so on (not to mention the risk of re-creating stock valuation bubbles that overshadowed the earlier generation of dot.com enterprises). The only way to ensure that new sharing economy companies fulfil their potential to create economic empowerment for users and their communities, Orsi argues, is through cooperative conversion – and she makes a compelling case for the democratic, non-exploitative, redistributive and truly ‘sharing’ potential of worker and consumer cooperatives in all their guises.
Sharing as a path to systemic change
There are important reasons to query which direction this emerging movement for sharing will take in the years ahead. As prominent supporters of the sharing economy recognise, like Janelle Orsi and Juliet Schor, it offers both opportunities and reasons for optimism as well as pitfalls and some serious concerns. On the one hand, it reflects a growing shift in our values and social identities as ‘citizens vs consumers’, and is helping us to rethink notions of ownership and prosperity in a world of finite resources, scandalous waste and massive wealth disparities. Perhaps its many proponents are right, and the sharing economy represents the first step towards transitioning away from the over-consumptive, materially-intense and hoarding lifestyles of North American, Western European and other rich societies. Perhaps sharing really is fast becoming a counter-cultural movement that can help us to value relationships more than things, and offer us the possibility of re-imagining politics and constructing a more participative democracy, which could ultimately pose a challenge to the global capitalist/consumerist model of development that is built on private interests and debt at the cost of shared interests and true wealth.
On the other hand, critics are right to point out that the sharing economy in its present form is hardly a threat to existing power structures or a movement that represents the kind of radical changes we need to make the world a better place. Far from reorienting the economy towards greater equity and a better quality of life, as proposed by writers such as Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, Tim Jackson, Herman Daly and John Cobb, it is arguable that most forms of sharing via peer-to-peer networks are at risk of being subverted by conventional business practices. There is a perverse irony in trying to imagine the logical conclusion of these trends: new models of collaborative consumption and co-production that are co-opted by private interests and venture capitalists, and increasingly geared towards affluent middle-class types or so-called bourgeois bohemians (the ‘bobos’), to the exclusion of those on low incomes and therefore to the detriment of a more equal society. Or new sharing technology platforms that enable governments and corporations to collaborate in pursuing more intrusive controls over and greater surveillance of citizens. Or new social relationships based on sharing in the context of increasingly privatised and enclosed public spaces, such as gated communities within which private facilities and resources are shared.
This is by no means an inevitable outcome, but what is clear from this brief analysis is that the commercialisation and depoliticisation of economic sharing poses risks and contradictions that call into question its potential to transform society for the benefit of everyone. Unless the sharing of resources is promoted in relation to human rights and concerns for equity, democracy, social justice and sound environmental stewardship, then the various claims that sharing is a new paradigm that can address the world’s interrelated crises is indeed empty rhetoric or utopian thinking without any substantiation. Sharing our skills through Hackerspaces, our unused stuff through GoodShuffle or a community potluck through mealshare is, in and of itself, a generally positive phenomenon that deserves to be enjoyed and fully participated in, but let’s not pretend that car shares, clothes swaps, co-housing, shared vacation homes and so on are going to seriously address economic and climate chaos, unjust power dynamics or inequitable wealth distribution.
Sharing from the local to the global
If we look at sharing through the lens of just sustainability, however, as civil society organisations and others are now beginning to do, then the true possibilities of sharing resources within and among the world’s nations are vast and all-encompassing: to enhance equity, rebuild community, improve well-being, democratise national and global governance, defend and promote the global commons, even to point the way towards a more cooperative international framework to replace the present stage of competitive neoliberal globalisation. We are not there yet, of course, and the popular understanding of economic sharing today is clearly focused on the more personal forms of giving and exchange among individuals or through online business ventures, which is mainly for the benefit of high-income groups in the world’s most economically advanced nations. But the fact that this conversation is now being broadened to include the role of governments in sharing public infrastructure, political power and economic resources within countries is a hopeful indication that the emerging sharing movement is slowly moving in the right direction.
Already, questions are being raised as to what sharing resources means for the poorest people in the developing world, and how a revival of economic sharing in the richest countries can be spread globally as a solution to converging crises. It may not be long until the idea of economic sharing on a planetary scale – driven by an awareness of impending ecological catastrophe, life-threatening extremes of inequality, and escalating conflict over natural resources – is the subject of every dinner party and kitchen table conversation.
Agyeman, Julian, Duncan McLaren and Adrianne Schaefer-Borrego, Sharing Cities, Friends of the Earth briefing paper, September 2013.
Bollier, David, Bauwens Joins Ecuador in Planning a Commons-based, Peer Production Economy, 20th September 2013, bollier.org
Botsman, Rachel, The Sharing Economy Lacks a Shared Definition: Giving Meaning to the Terms, Collaborative Lab on Slideshare.net, 19th November 2013.
Childs, Mike, The Power of Sharing: A Call to Action for Environmentalists, Shareable.net, 5th November 2013.
Daly, Herman and John Cobb, For the Common Good: Redirecting the Economy toward Community, the Environment, and a Sustainable Future, Beacon Press, 1991.
Eberlein, Sven, Sharing for Profit – I’m Not Buying it Anymore, Shareable.net, 20th February 2013.
Enright, Michael in interview with Benita Matofska and Aidan Enns, Sharing, Not Buying at Christmas (Hr. 1), CBC Radio, 16th December 2012.
Friends of the Earth, Big Idea 2: Sharing – a political force to be reckoned with?, 26th September 2013.
Gaskins, Kim, The New Sharing Economy, Latitude, 1st June 2010.
Gorenflo, Neal, What’s Next for the Sharing Movement?, Shareable.net, 31st July 2013.
Grahl, Jodi (trans.), World Charter for the Right to the City, International Alliance of Inhabitants et al, May 2005.
Griffiths, Rachel, The Great Sharing Economy, Co-operatives UK, London UK, 2011.
Grigg, Kat, Sharing As Part of the New Economy: An Interview with Lauren Anderson, The Solutions Journal, 20th September 2013.
Heinberg, Richard, Who knew that Seoul was a leader in the sharing economy?, Post Carbon Institute, 12th November 2013.
Herbst, Moira, Let’s get real: the ‘sharing economy’ won’t solve our jobs crisis, The Guardian, 7th January 2014.
Jackson, Tim, Prosperity without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet, Routeledge, 2011.
Johnson, Cat, From Consumers to Citizens: Welcome to the Sharing Cities Network, Shareable.net, 9th January 2014.
Kasser, Tim, The High Price of Materialism, MIT Press, 2003.
Kisner, Corinne, Integrating Bike Share Programs into a Sustainable Transportation System, National League of Cities, City Practice Brief, Washington D.C., 2011.
Martin, Elliot and Susan Shaheen, The Impact of Carsharing on Household Vehicle Ownership, Access (UCTC magazine), No. 38 Spring 2011.
Matofska, Benita, Facing the future: share to survive, Friends of the Earth blog, 4th January 2013.
Morozov, Evgeny, The ‘sharing economy’ undermines workers’ rights, Financial Times, 14th October 2013.
Olson. Michael J. and Andrew D. Connor, The Disruption of Sharing: An Overview of the New Peer-to-Peer ‘Sharing Economy’ and The Impact on Established Internet Companies, Piper Jaffray, November 2013.
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Orsi, Janelle and Doskow, Emily, The Sharing Solution: How to Save Money, Simplify Your Life and Build Community, Nolo, May 2009.
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Wiesmann, Thorsten, Living by the Principle of Sharing – an interview with Raphael Fellmer, Oiushare.net, February 2013.
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Yglesias, Matthew, There Is No “Sharing Economy”, Slate.com, 26th December 2013.
A month ago, a student toting a shotgun, machete and 125 rounds of ammunition marched into Arapahoe High School in Denver, Colorado. His target: to kill the debate teacher whom he felt treated him poorly.
On his way to the teacher, he shot a beautiful girl named Claire Davis in the face. She hung on for a week before dying of her wounds. The killer, a regular 17-year-old high school student, tall and lanky, with good looks, shot himself before Swat teams could reach him.
As a former teacher who started teaching in the 1970s, my colleagues and I could not imagine such violence. But here in Denver, we suffered Columbine shootings by Klebold and Harris when they mowed down a dozen kids and teachers. Another killer shot and killed “Emily” in Bailey, Colorado a few years back. Recently, James Holmes marched into a Denver movie theater to unleash his own killing spree on a bunch of innocent movie attendees.
Even more disturbing: bullied teachers–145,100 public-School teachers physically attacked by students and 276,700 threatened with injury every year.
Over 4,800,000 women, both girlfriends and wives, suffering beatings by their men annually in the United States—a beating every 15 seconds.
According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, which includes crimes that were not reported to the police, 232,960 women suffer rape in the U.S. annually. That’s more than 600 women everyday.
The United States carried on two ten-year wars in Iraq and Afghanistan where we killed an estimated 250,000 civilians. We killed many more Muslim fighters by the tens of thousands. We destroyed their country with our bombs. Because those third world countries lack birth records, identification and death certificates—the numbers could be much higher.
In most large city in America, such as Denver, newscasters relate killings every night of the week. Chicago, Houston, Detroit and Los Angeles suffer gang killings nightly.
One in four children suffers bullying by a teen thug in high schools across America every day during school terms. In other words, our children cannot attend school without fear of being beat up, harassed, called names and demeaned by meaner, bigger students who have no other purpose in life but to manifest their thuggery.
What bothers me: we promote horrific violence via our continuous wars promoted by bankers and the military industrial complex that profit at the cost of human lives. We promote TV violence such as “Criminal Minds” and “NCIS” where lots of people commit diabolical mayhem. We support social media arcade games for kids like “Doom” and worse. Our movies feature horrific violence that pours into our kids minds and emotions. It’s like the 60s movie “Clockwork Orange” seems normal. You can watch television “Cops” where violence becomes normal. Our drones in the Middle East kill any number of humans without identity.
Today, 68 percent of African-American children grow up under the parenting of single mothers and most of them living on welfare and food stamps. Who babysits those kids? Answer: television. What do they see? Answer: violence. How do they respond? Answer: black flash mobs, “knockout” games, shoplifting and gang violence.
Over 2.3 million Americans languish in prison. We spent $1 trillion in the last 43 years on the “War on Drugs”, but a pittance for raising healthy kids. Why haven’t we spent as much money on discovering peaceful ways to rear our children as we spend on killing other people in contrived wars?
This information bothers me because Claire Davis could have been my daughter. Congresswoman Gabby Gifford could have been my friend. Your kid might be the one being bullied. I suffered bullying and getting beat up as a skinny kid in grade school and high school.
Question: are we a moral and ethical civilization or do we feature immorality and unethical behavior manifested in our wars and violence as stated above?
Today, 2014, one in six Americans faces hunger. That includes one in five children. (Source: www.feedingamerica.org)
What makes for peaceful, happy and contributing citizens? Answer: jobs for parents, homes for kids, excellent schools, playgrounds, after school activities and positive guidance by two parents.
What can we do to change course toward a moral, ethical, peaceful and happy nation?
- We need to bring our troops home from Afghanistan and other countries around the world. Let our fathers come back home to be fathers instead of fighting useless wars.
- We need to limit imports from China and other nations that take jobs away from our 14 million unemployed and 48 million citizens subsisting on food stamps. We can make all those manufactured products as well as Chinese workers.
- We need to stop importing 100,000 legal immigrants every 30 days into America that take jobs away from our own working poor.
- We need turn our war machine money into production for alternative energy, conservation and environmental balance.
- We need to pay teachers and educational professionals much better salaries in order to educate our children to the highest excellence for competing in the 21st century. We need classes to teach parents how to parent with respect, loving discipline and positive living. (Source: www.LoveandLogic.com)
- We need to examine how and why we create so much violence in our society. Then, we must take action to stop it such as stopping violent video games, stopping bullying by parenting peaceful kids, stopping TV violence seen by our young and stop glorifying war, violent movies and violent TV for children.
You can think of a dozen other ideas, but in the end, if we keep doing what we’re doing, we will continue to suffer daughters, sons, fathers and mothers involved in violence and death.
What do you consider the most important issue facing America in 2014? What will affect our country more than any other challenge facing us in the 21st century? What long-term impact will change the face of America for the worse?
A reader said, “This is truly scary when one adds it all up like you have done. Too many people are very low in the information poll and pay no attention to what is going on in this country. I am worried so much about all of this, but the liberals of this country just continue to march on and win over us. While I am not totally committed to one party, I am truly against the party in power. I am afraid that one day it will be too late. I fear the world that my grand children will grow up in.”
The most important issue facing Americans in 2014: the long-term ramifications if the S744 Amnesty Bill passes in the House of Representatives. It will set in motion a human wave of 100 million immigrants injected into the United States within the next 36 years. Enough people to double the size of our top 20 most populated cities.
If that bill passes, it will change the face of America dramatically on our cultural, linguistic, racial, ethnic, ethos, quality of life and standard of living scale. It will impact our environment more than anyone understands.
Ask yourself: do I want my kids to face an added 100 million immigrants added to America in the next 36 years? What will it mean to them, their lives, their communities, their schools, their water, their environment and their country?
As you saw in the series “What America Will Look Like in 2050?” no amount of denial, no amount of ignoring this behemoth, no amount of technology will be able to deal with the sociological, religious and cultural impact of 100 million immigrants from 150 countries around the world.
Please understand that 100 million added immigrants WILL land on our shores if the current 1965 Immigration Reform Act and 1986 amnesties continue—by 2050. If S744 passes, our brilliant U.S. Senate doubled the rate of speed from 1.0 million immigrants annually to over 2.0 million annually—to increase the rate of immigration at twice the speed.
As one of my readers noted above, the American public does not comprehend the enormity of the numbers, the size of that number, the consequences to our environment and/or the loss of our country to what constitutes a “human typhoon.”
So, whatever you can do in 2014, you need to focus on visiting your senator’s office, your House of Representatives’ offices, your newspaper editors, your governor’s office, your mayor’s office and every radio and TV show you can write, call or contact by email.
Why? Once S744 passes, we shall have crossed the point of no return, we will have “Crossed the Rubicon” exactly like Rome’s Caesar, which led to his ultimate defeat. We shall have overrun our country with an army of humanity that we shall not be able to water, feed, house, warm, transport, work, educate or medicate.
Again, I give you the tools to understand the ramifications of what we face. We can stop it this year, or our children will become victims of it.
These two videos show graphically what it will look like:
In a five minute astoundingly simple yet brilliant video, “Immigration, Poverty, and Gum Balls”, Roy Beck, director of www.numbersusa.ORG, graphically illustrates the impact of overpopulation. Take five minutes to see for yourself:
“Immigration by the numbers—off the chart” by Roy Beck
This 10 minute demonstration shows Americans the results of unending mass immigration on the quality of life and sustainability for future generations: in a few words, “Mind boggling!” www.NumbersUSA.org
2014 is upon us. For a person who graduated from Georgia Tech in 1961, a year in which the class ring showed the same date right side up or upside down, the 21st century was a science fiction concept associated with Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film, “2001: A Space Odyssey.” To us George Orwell’s 1984 seemed so far in the future we would never get there. Now it is 30 years in the past.
Did we get there in Orwell’s sense? In terms of surveillance technology, we are far beyond Orwell’s imagination. In terms of the unaccountability of government, we exceptional and indispensable people now live a 1984 existence. In his alternative to the Queen’s Christmas speech, Edward Snowden made the point that a person born in the 21st century will never experience privacy. For new generations the word privacy will refer to something mythical, like a unicorn.
Many Americans might never notice or care. I remember when telephone calls were considered to be private. In the 1940s and 1950s the telephone company could not always provide private lines. There were “party lines” in which two or more customers shared the same telephone line. It was considered extremely rude and inappropriate to listen in on someone’s calls and to monopolize the line with long duration conversations.
The privacy of telephone conversations was also epitomized by telephone booths, which stood on street corners, in a variety of public places, and in “filling stations” where an attendant would pump gasoline into your car’s fuel tank, check the water in the radiator, the oil in the engine, the air in the tires, and clean the windshield. A dollar’s worth would purchase 3 gallons, and $5 would fill the tank.
Even in the 1980s and for part of the 1990s there were lines of telephones on airport waiting room walls, each separated from the other by sound absorbing panels. Whether the panels absorbed the sounds of the conversation or not, they conveyed the idea that calls were private.
The notion that telephone calls are private left Americans’ consciousness prior to the NSA listening in. If memory serves, it was sometime in the 1990s when I entered the men’s room of an airport and observed a row of men speaking on their cell phones in the midst of the tinkling sound of urine hitting water and noises of flushing toilets. The thought hit hard that privacy had lost its value.
I remember when I arrived at Merton College, Oxford, for the first term of 1964. I was advised never to telephone anyone whom I had not met, as it would be an affront to invade the privacy of a person to whom I was unknown. The telephone was reserved for friends and acquaintances, a civility that contrasts with American telemarketing.
The efficiency of the Royal Mail service protected the privacy of the telephone. What one did in those days in England was to write a letter requesting a meeting or an appointment. It was possible to send a letter via the Royal Mail to London in the morning and to receive a reply in the afternoon. Previously it had been possible to send a letter in the morning and to receive a morning reply, and to send another in the afternoon and receive an afternoon reply.
When one flies today, unless one stops up one’s ears with something, one hears one’s seat mate’s conversations prior to takeoff and immediately upon landing. Literally, everyone is talking nonstop. One wonders how the economy functioned at such a high level of incomes and success prior to cell phones. I can remember being able to travel both domestically and internationally on important business without having to telephone anyone. What has happened to America that no one can any longer go anywhere without constant talking?
If you sit at an airport gate awaiting a flight, you might think you are listening to a porn film. The overhead visuals are usually Fox “News” going on about the need for a new war, but the cell phone audio might be young women describing their latest sexual affair.
Americans, or many of them, are such exhibitionists that they do not mind being spied upon or recorded. It gives them importance. According to Wikipedia, Paris Hilton, a multimillionaire heiress, posted her sexual escapades online, and Facebook had to block users from posting nude photos of themselves. Sometime between my time and now people ceased to read 1984. They have no conception that a loss of privacy is a loss of self. They don’t understand that a loss of privacy means that they can be intimidated, blackmailed, framed, and viewed in the buff. Little wonder they submitted to porno-scanners.
The loss of privacy is a serious matter. The privacy of the family used to be paramount. Today it is routinely invaded by neighbors, police, Child Protective Services (sic), school administrators, and just about anyone else.
Consider this: A mother of six and nine year old kids sat in a lawn chair next to her house watching her kids ride scooters in the driveway and cul-de-sac on which they live.
Normally, this would be an idyllic picture. But not in America. A neighbor, who apparently did not see the watching mother, called the police to report that two young children were outside playing without adult supervision. Note that the next door neighbor, a woman, did not bother to go next door to speak with the mother of the children and express her concern that they children were not being monitored while they played. The neighbor called the police. http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/mom-sues-polices-she-arrested-letting-her-kids-134628018.html
“We’re here for you,” the cops told the mother, who was carried off in handcuffs and spent the next 18 hours in a cell in prison clothes.
The news report doesn’t say what happened to the children, whether the father appeared and insisted on custody of his offspring or whether the cops turned the kids over to Child Protective Services.
This shows you what Americans are really like. Neither the neighbor nor the police had a lick of sense. The only idea that they had was to punish someone. This is why America has the highest incarceration rate and the highest total number of prison inmates in the entire world. Washington can go on and on about “authoritarian” regimes in Russia and China, but both countries have far lower prison populations than “freedom and democracy” America.
I was unaware that laws now exist requiring the supervision of children at play. Children vary in their need for supervision. In my day supervision was up to the mother’s judgment. Older children were often tasked with supervising the younger. It was one way that children were taught responsibility and developed their own judgment.
When I was five years old, I walked to the neighborhood school by myself. Today my mother would be arrested for child endangerment.
In America punishment falls more heavily on the innocent, the young, and the poor than it does on the banksters who are living on the Federal Reserve’s subsidy known as Quantitative Easing and who have escaped criminal liability for the fraudulent financial instruments that they sold to the world. Single mothers, depressed by the lack of commitment of the fathers of their children, are locked away for using drugs to block out their depression. Their children are seized by a Gestapo institution, Child Protective Services, and end up in foster care where many are abused.
According to numerous press reports, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 year-old children who play cowboys and indians or cops and robbers during recess and raise a pointed finger while saying “bang-bang” are arrested and carried off to jail in handcuffs as threats to their classmates. In my day every male child and the females who were “Tom boys” would have been taken to jail. Playground fights were normal, but no police were ever called. Handcuffing a child would not have been tolerated.
From the earliest age, boys were taught never to hit a girl. In those days there were no reports of police beating up teenage girls and women or body slamming the elderly. To comprehend the degeneration of the American police into psychopaths and sociopaths, go online and observe the video of Lee Oswald in police custody in 1963. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FDDuRSgzFk Oswald was believed to have assassinated President John F. Kennedy and murdered a Dallas police officer only a few hours previously to the film. Yet he had not been beaten, his nose wasn’t broken, and his lips were not a bloody mess. Now go online and pick from the vast number of police brutality videos from our present time and observe the swollen and bleeding faces of teenage girls accused of sassing overbearing police officers.
In America today people with power are no longer accountable. This means citizens have become subjects, an indication of social collapse.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.
Source: Paul Craig Roberts
There is no remission to Washington’s belligerence towards Iran and no deal seems to be an antidote to this venom of spite secreted out on the part of the US officials on a daily basis.
In a tone not unfamiliar to Iranian ears, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on board the USS Ponce, just 120 miles off the coast of Iran once againreminded the servicemen that the “threat of US military force still exists even though the Obama administration is pursuing a six-month long diplomatic process with Iran to freeze its nuclear program.”
There was some hope that the nuclear deal between Iran and the six world powers would considerably alleviate the tensions on Iran, relieve the inhumane sanctions against the Iranian population and offset future internal and external attempts directed at imposing more illegal sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
However, the sanctions are not only still in place but there is also a perceptibly powerful force at work in Washington to intensify the sanctions that have already taken human toll in Iran.
According to reports, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Robert Menendez, and Republican Senator Mark Kirk are on the verge of “agreeing on legislation that would target Iran’s remaining oil exports, foreign exchange reserves and strategic industries.”
Widely considered the major engineers of the anti-Iran sanctions, these two senators are at the beck and call of the Zionists and their efforts are certainly aimed at gratifying their Iranophobic desires.
Quite naturally, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has warned Washington of imposing new sanctions as they would definitely kill the nuclear deal.
A top Republican Senate aide has told Reuters that the legislation is “an insurance policy to protect against Iranian deception.”
Time and again, Sen. Robert Menendez has proved to be cravenly submissive to Tel Aviv and has frequently warned Washington of the impending danger Iran poses towards the entity. For instance, in September, he recklessly said that Iran and Hezbollah “could possibly” strike Israel.
“The Iranians and Hezbollah… ultimately could possibly strike against neighbors in the region, including our ally, the state of Israel.”
Apart from playing an extremely effective role in imposing sanctions on Iran, he has resorted to any brute means to instill a sense of threat and phobia about Iran.
Also, in his AIPAC address, he clearly said that he would make every endeavor to safeguard the interests of Israel.
“The committee has helped every American president, from Harry Truman to Barack Obama, protect and defend our fundamental promise to stand with Israel and the Israeli people in a strong and lasting and enduring alliance. And as chairman, I can say without hesitation I will keep that promise as I always have. There will never be any daylight between the United States and Israel on my watch. Never. Not on my watch.”
Prominent among his numerous political hunger games are designing anti-Iran sanctions after sanctions under the aegis of Tel Aviv, authorizing the US President the use of military force in Afghanistan and his refusal to vote against the Iraq Resolution, which terminated in an invasion of Iraq.
In this diabolical league comes in Sen. Mark Kirk, who tries in a similar way to disseminate fear of Iran in the world. During an invitation-only phone briefing for supporters, Kirk said, “It’s the reason why I ran for the Senate, [it] is all wrapped up in this battle. I am totally dedicated to the survival of the state of Israel in the 21st century. This has been very much a one-senator show, unfortunately.”
After all, Sen. Mark Kirk is a darling of the Zionists. In 2012, when he was still home recovering from a stroke that incapacitated him from making an appearance at AIPAC, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced his “sincere request” during his keynote and said, “I want to send a special message to a great friend of Israel who is not here tonight: Senator Mark Kirk, the co-author of the Kirk-Menendez Iran Sanctions Act. Senator Kirk, I know you’re watching this tonight. Please get well soon. America needs you; Israel needs you. I send you wishes for a speedy recovery. So get well and get back to work.”
Indeed it is not hard to imagine that these well-financed marionette-handlers in Washington are playing in the hands of Tel Aviv to advance their ultimate goals regarding Iran, which is clearly regime change. As time passes and realities come to surface, one acquires conviction that the rift that keeps deepening more and more between Iran and the West has nothing to do with a West concerned about Iran’s intention in trying to build a nuclear bomb; rather, it is an ulterior motive long cherished and shaped by the West and the Zionists: uprooting a tree of truth.
The confrontational attitude of these senators against Iran and the unfortunate and powerful sway they exercise on the powers-that-be in America leave no room for optimism in restructuring a politically correct attitude on the part of Washington towards Iran.
Be that as it may, global awakening is on the horizon. Manipulation of public opinion has run its course. Distorting the realities on the ground is a threadbare ploy. It is now generally acknowledged that the West’s narrative on Iran’s intention to produce nuclear weapons is but a thumping big lie and a fairy tale forcefully woven into the warps and wefts of public opinion. Indeed, it is, in Shakespeare’s words, “a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing.”
Chalk up another victory for the post-racial president’s agenda. No, it’s not Barack Obama falsely claiming that white society denied black Hurricane Katrina victims monetary assistance.
Or having a bigoted reverend ask at his inauguration when “white” will do “right.”
Or having a DoJ that refuses to pursue voting-rights cases when the victims are white.
Or sitting in a black-power church, where our country was called the “US of KKK-A,” for 20 years.
This time it’s a black-supremacist Department of Homeland Security employee who, almost four months ago, was discovered to be running a website that advocated the mass murder of whites — and who is still in the employ of the DHS.
Ayo Kimathi’s job was to purchase guns and ammunition for the government, until he was placed on leave in August after the Southern Poverty Law Center exposed him as the purveyor of the website “War on the Horizon.” As to the site’s content, Alex Seitz-Wald at National Journal writes:
Kimathi, using the online nom de guerre “the Irritated Genie,” called for “ethnic cleansing” of “black-skinned Uncle Tom race traitors” on his website, which envisioned a massive race war on the horizon. “In order for Black people to survive the 21st century, we are going to have to kill a lot of whites — more than our Christian hearts can possibly count,” he wrote.
In other postings, he warned that whites and their enablers like President Obama are trying to “homosexualize” black men in order to make them weaker, and suggested that a woman’s primary role in life should be to “keep a strong Black man happy.” He also seemed to hold anti-Semitic views, claiming in a Facebook post that his website was under attack from a conspiracy of “zionist smallhats, the Uncle Tom koons,” and, naturally, “the haters.”
By the way, Kimathi drew a salary of $115,731 in 2012 for his position, which, we can be sure, he attained solely due to merit.
While Kimathi obviously isn’t too fond of Obama, there’s no word on whether the president has said that the man “acted stupidly.” We also have to wonder — and, yes, I know this joke has been done to ObamaCare death: if Obama had a bitter, angry, rebellious son, would he look like Kimathi?
Of course, we have a DoJ that dropped a voter-intimidation case against Black Panthers caught on video wielding nightsticks and intimidating white voters; and an attorney general who, a DoJ whistleblower tells us, carried a card in his wallet that essentially states, “Blackness is more important than anything, and the black US attorney has common cause with the black criminal.” Given this, I’m not sure what’s more surprising, that Kimathi hasn’t been fired yet or that he hasn’t been promoted. Other surprises in this story are that the Southern Poverty Law Center actually exposed a black bigot and that this black bigot doesn’t even half-like The One.
Anyway, if Kimathi can’t be fired, DHS should just assign him the task of negotiating the ObamaCare website. That ought to redirect his Internet endeavors for at least four or five years.
Linguistic chaos and tension…
As a reminder validating the reason for this series: demographic experts project the United States adding 100 million immigrants to this country by 2050—a scant 37 years from now. All totaled, since we reached 300 million in October of 2007, we will add 138 million people by 2050 to total 438 million people—enough to duplicate 20 of our top cities’ populations to our country. The Pew Research Center, U.S. Population Projections by Fogel/Martin and the U.S. Census Bureau document those demographic facts.
From the dawn of time, ethnic tribes created languages to fit their understanding of their surroundings. Eskimos created words that defined ice, cold, caribou, whales and frozen seasons. Tribes in Africa created languages that described their trees, rivers, monkeys, elephants and zebras. Tribes in the desert of the Middle East formed entirely different languages based on heat, camels and sand storms.
Each language not only allowed tribes to communicate, language defined their “worldview” or how they perceived existence. That same language also formed their religions. They created their religions based on their fears of the unknown—to give them a sense of hope, community and purpose. Each language defined how a tribal member understood and interpreted the meaning of life.
Language also allowed human beings to become self-aware, pursue understandings of the world around them and form family and community bonds. It served them well and humanity advanced in word, thought and concepts.
Language also separated tribes because they could not understand one another. Back in those times, civilizations grew, but never mixed because few seldom stepped outside their territorial boundaries. However, when they stepped out of their “turf”, they fought in wars for dominance. History reads as one Great War or conflict after another right up to 2013. In the last 10 years, the USA fought two wars. Another 20 wars wage in different areas of the planet as you read this series.
Isolation of tribes changed with mass transportation first with the sailing ship, locomotive, automobile and finally the airplane. Today, we see cultures, civilizations and individual humans crossing over onto all seven continents.
The one thing they take with them with a powerful sense of meaning remains their culture and their language. It defines them and offers them meaning.
However, when they cross over into countries with totally different languages, cultures and meanings—they become ostracized, confused, marginalized, out of place and ultimately, angry.
No multicultural and multilingual country in the world today enjoys a peaceful state of being. Today, Canada struggles with French, Arabic, Chinese and other Asian languages overwhelming their schools via immigration.
Belgium, Lebanon and Malaysia suffer conflicts and tension from multiple languages. In those countries, minorities with different languages vie for autonomy. Pakistan separated from India and Cyprus divided because of language, religion and culture. Nigeria suppressed ethnic rebellion. France faces difficulties with Basques, Bretons, Corsicans and a growing Muslim demographic.
With hundreds of languages in the world today, we see a clashing of civilizations, which ultimately come down to culture and language. A country without a single language in the 21st century faces ultimate disintegration of its culture, worldview and language.
With different languages come different ideas on how political “things” should proceed in a country. Some languages suppress all women’s rights. Other languages condone “honor killings” of women as a normal way of life.
Immanuel Kant said, “Language and religion are the great dividers.” You can see his wisdom working all over the planet in violent confrontations: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sweden, France, UK, Tunisia and many more.
A country, culture and language constitute more than a place to live. A language creates a state of mind, a worldview and distinct understanding of a person’s standing in life. His or her culture defines how he or she operates in the world. If a person in a country loses language and culture—they lose their ability to function in a viable manner.
If you notice all the terrorist attacks on the USA in the last 11 years, they came from people who speak other languages, come from other cultures—yet injected themselves into America via our immigration policies. From the 9/11 maniacs, to the Fort Dix Six, to the Times Square Bomber, to the Shoe Bomber, to the Underpants Bomber, to the Denver bomber, to the Fort Hood killer, to the Korean shooter at Virginia Tech, to the Boston Marathon Bomber, to the New Jersey Muslim who beheaded and be-handed two people last year—all of them arrived from a different language.
Unfortunately, at the present rate of 1.0 million legal immigrants annually and the proposed 2.0 million immigrants annually via Senate Bill 744 Amnesty, Americans guarantee themselves more bombings, more mass murderers and more language breakdown that descends on this country at blinding speed. Especially in education! Once we lose our literacy, we lose our ability to maintain a first world civilization.
Already, America faces a complete language change with Spanish when the Mexican tribe becomes the new majority in 2042, a scant 29 years from now. You can bet they will force their language onto America. In 2013, every business in America offers a phone recorder with “Press 1 for Spanish” and “Press 2 for English.” Already in Detroit, Michigan, a recorder says, “Press 1 for Arabic.”
This linguistic chaos speeds into America at such a rate of speed, that once it lands in greater numbers, we will not be able to turn back. When Caesar crossed the Rubicon, he sealed his face. If we citizens allow Congress to pass S744, we seal our fate as a multicultural and multi-linguistic nation guaranteed to fracture every community, our culture and our future.
You see, as former Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm said, “Different languages create a deeper and more intractable separating factor. America has been successful because we have become one people. Language is the social glue, shared history and uniting symbols that tie us together.”
We need one language to bind us, one culture to sustain us. When a host country such as Canada, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Europe and Holland lose their language, they lose their foundation.
If we continue on this current path, by 2050, America faces 100 million more immigrants with at least 100 to 150 new languages and they will press for their right to speak, learn and establish their languages in their tribal enclaves. They will crush English, crush our schools and create chaos in our culture. By 2050, America cannot help but become a multicultural morass, linguistic battlefield and suffer 100 million immigrants attempting to make their language THE language of America. It’s not going to be pretty for anybody because no one will be able to understand anyone else.
If you remember the Biblical Tower of Babel, God changed one language into multiple languages. They disagreed, fought, separated and finally abandoned the tower.
America faces the same fate with multiple languages.
The following articles examine the official and witness stories from the days of the Bin Laden Raid in Pakistan 2011. What really happened that day we still do not know, and the U.S. government and military certainly continue to lie and obfuscate.
21st Century Wire reports on eyewitness testimony and asks whether the SEAL Team 6 casualties from the 2011 chopper crash in Afghanistan were actually killed during the raid itself.
DeadLine Live reveals how the SEAL families are pushing for answers and coming to the conclusion that there’s been a cover-up one way or another.
In all, nothing concrete is being released by official channels (except lucrative book deals and public-myth-creation movies) and the truth is a non-story to the mainstream media. Once again vital information is being brought to the forefront by the alternative media in a continued push to learn what really happened.
Did Part of SEAL Team Six Die in a Helicopter Explosion During the Bin Laden Raid?
From: 21st Century Wire
21st Century Wire says…
What the public were told by the US government via the corporate media, and what actually happened during the White House’s much-celebrated “Bin Laden Raid” in 2011 – are not the same.
One thing which becomes clearer by the day about the fabled Bin Laden Raid which took place in Abbotabad, Pakistan, is that the US government has intentionally deceived the public about what happened. In other words, what President Obama described when he addressed the American people following “the raid” – was a work of pure fiction.
The following interview appeared on Pakistani broadcast channel, Sama TV, and includes a translation in English from an eye witness on the scene. If the translation is accurate, then this eye witness blows the lid off of another plank in the White House’s fictional drama.
The following is an interview with Muhammad Bashir, who lives next door to the alleged ”compound” of Osama bin Laden. He claims that the first US helicopter suffered an explosion, which killed all of its US military occupants, somewhere between 10 and 20 men.
Based on this man’s testimony, we have to ask the question: did the White House cover this up in order to protect the Dear Leader from a devastating “Jimmy Carter moment” (1979 Iran hostage rescue cock-up). That’s certainly what this looks like at first glance. Would Obama lie to protect his and his party’s political legacy? We’ll let the readers answer that question.
“It seems that although initially, the TV station was overjoyed with this interview, they changed their tune, twenty four hours later (for some unknown reason)”. You decide why…
So the original lie, the 9/11 Operation, was covered up by the next lie – the Bin Laden Raid. Following on to this, it only stands to reason that the Abbotabad lie should be concealed by the next lie. The next lie is that no one knows where Bin Laden’s body is. In stark contrast to President Obama’s declaration that bin Laden was “buried at sea”, US Navy Sailors on the USS Carl Vinson have stated on record did not witness an at-sea burial of Osama bin Laden. Therefore, someone is lying. Did Barack Obama chop down the cherry tree?
Read the full article at: 21stcenturywire.com
“Wreckage inside the compound Monday morning. U.S. forces lost a helicopter in the raid due to a mechanical problem and later destroyed it. ” (The Wall Street Journal)
“Reuters says it is confident of the authenticity of the purchased images because photos in the set, including this one, appear to show a wrecked helicopter from the assault, matching details from photos taken independently on Monday. ” (The Wall Street Journal)
Red Ice Creations: Here’s an article published shortly after the raid, May 3, 2011 by The Associated Press. Inflammatory language, threats of danger, and propagandist statements demonstrate the high emotions around the event – so much for incredulity of the press and actual investigative reporting! This “news” reads like it came right from the DOD Press Office.
U.S. analyzing material seized during bin Laden raid
Navy SEALs who killed the world’s most-wanted terrorist seized a trove of al-Qaida documents during the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound.
The CIA is already poring over confiscated hard drives, DVDs and other documents. The agency is looking for inside information on al-Qaida, including clues that might lead to his presumed successor, Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahri. Al-Qaida under al-Zawahri would likely be further radicalized, unleashing a new wave of attacks to avenge bin Laden’s killing by U.S. troops in Pakistan.
Al-Zawahri’s extremist views and his readiness to use deadly violence are beyond doubt.
The Associated Press
Article from: news10.net
Red Ice Creations: This following post from DeadlineLive.info points out that the families of the SEAL Team 6 crash are right to have suspicions about the crash and the soldiers’ deaths, but the Washington Times piece seems to be misdirecting blame, and as always, hiding real possibilities:
Families suspect SEAL Team 6 crash was “inside job”
By Jack Blood | DeadlineLive
* When reading this we want to keep in mind who the “Taliban” are, and who they work for, etc… And who the Govt / Cops in Kabul are paid by etc…
By Propagandist at the Washington (Mooney) Times
Questions haunt the families of Extortion 17, the 2011 helicopter mission in Afghanistan that suffered the most U.S. military deaths in a single day in the war on terrorism.
Every day, Charlie Strange, the father of one of the 30 Americans who died Aug. 6, 2011, in the flash of a rocket-propelled grenade, asks himself whether his son, Michael, was set up by someone inside the Afghan government wanting revenge on Osama bin Laden’s killers — SEAL Team 6.
“Somebody was leaking to the Taliban,” said Mr. Strange, whose son intercepted communications as a Navy cryptologist. “They knew. Somebody tipped them off. There were guys in a tower. Guys on the bush line. They were sitting there, waiting. And they sent our guys right into the middle.”
Doug Hamburger’s son, Patrick, an Army staff sergeant, also perished when the CH-47D Chinook descended to a spot less than 150 yards from where armed Taliban fighters watched from a turret.
He asks why the command sent his son into Tangi Valley toward a “hot landing zone” in a cargo airship instead of a special operations helicopter. The souped-up choppers — the MH-47 and the MH-60 Black Hawk, which SEAL Team 6 rode the stealth version of to kill bin Laden — are flown by Night Stalker pilots skilled in fast, ground-hugging maneuvers to avoid detection.
“When you want to fly them into a valley, when you’ve got hillsides on both sides of it with houses built into sides of the valley, that is an extremely dangerous mission,” Mr. Hamburger said. “The MH, the new model, they’ve got radar that will pick up an incoming missile or incoming RPG. They’re faster. They’re quicker on attack. They’re more agile. So there was every reason in the world to use the MH that night.”
Sith Douangdara, whose 26-year-old son, John, was a Navy expeditionary specialist who handled warrior dog Bart, said he has lots of unanswered questions.
“I want to know why so many U.S. servicemen, especially SEALs, were assembled on one aircraft,” he said. “I want to know why the black box of the helicopter has not been found. I want to know many things.”
Read the full article at: deadlinelive.info
Source Compilation: Red Ice Creations
On 28 November 1953, at 2 am, a man crashed through a closed window and fell to his death from the 10th floor of the Statler Hotel in New York City. He was identified as Frank Olson, a bacteriologist with the US Army Research Center at Fort Detrick, Maryland. He had fallen from a room he shared with another scientist, Robert Lashbrook. It was ruled a suicide.
Twenty-two years later, in 1975, William Colby, then CIA director, declassified documents that changed the complexion of the case. It was revealed that Olson had actually been an undercover CIA operative at Fort Detrick, and that one week prior to his death, he had been drinking Cointreau at a high-level meeting with scientists at Deep Creek Lodge in rural Maryland. The Cointreau was laced with a large dose of LSD administered by his CIA boss, Sidney Gottlieb. He was then sent to New York with Lashbrook, also with the CIA, to see a psychiatrist because the LSD had induced a psychosis.
It was also revealed that Olson had been part of the top secret CIA program that was known as Project MK-ULTRA, exploring the use of chemicals and drugs for purposes of mind control, and bacteriological agents for covert assassination. Olson had been working on ways to deliver anthrax in aerosol form, for use as a weapon. New evidence that came to light, through the persistent efforts of Olson’s son Eric, made the suicide ruling highly suspect.
It turned out that Olson had been labelled a security risk by British intelligence after getting upset witnessing human experimentation on a trip to Frankfurt, Germany the previous summer. Eric Olson now believes that his father was drugged and then murdered to make sure that he didn’t reveal the secrets of the MK-ULTRA project. Following the 1975 revelations, the government must have felt more than a little guilt about the affair because Olson’s family was given a 17 minute audience with US President Ford, who apologised to them, and they were awarded damages in the amount of $750,000.
Controlling Human Behaviour
The MK-ULTRA program was instituted on 13 April 1953 by CIA Director Allen Dulles, ostensibly to counter the brainwashing techniques of American prisoners being held by the North Koreans during the Korean War, and to duplicate those techniques on enemy prisoners, i.e. the creation of “Manchurian Candidates.” This was the claim used to obtain funding for the project. However, the Prisoner of War brainwashing program was just the tip of the iceberg, and the CIA-sponsored experiments ventured far and wide into areas of Mind Control under the aegis of MK-ULTRA that had little or nothing to do with methods of interrogation.
The Colby revelations were part of a sweeping investigation of the CIA in January 1975 by the “Commission on CIA Activities Within the United States,” chaired by Vice-President Nelson Rockefeller. The subsequent June 1975 Report to the President said: “The drug program was part of a much larger CIA program to study possible means for controlling human behaviour. Other studies explored the effects of radiation, electric-shock, psychology, psychiatry, sociology and harassment substances.”
Even though the program got off to a rocky start with the Olson affair, it recovered quickly and became an umbrella project with 149 sub-projects. The overall guiding principal was succinctly stated in an internal CIA memo dated January 1952: “Can we get control of an individual to the point where he will do our bidding against his will and even against fundamental laws of nature such as self-preservation?”
The drug program came under the aegis of the Chemical Division of the Technical Services Staff headed up by Sidney Gottlieb from 1951 to 1956. Gottlieb was a highly intelligent eccentric who drank goat’s milk, enjoyed folk-dancing, and raised Christmas trees on his farm outside Washington.
The Agency funded LSD research programs at major medical centres and universities including Boston Psychopathic, Mt. Sinai Hospital at Columbia University, University of Illinois Medical School, University of Oklahoma and others. The funding was carried out secretly through the Josiah Macy Foundation, and the Geschickter Fund for Medical Research in Washington, D.C. The CIA claimed the secrecy was necessary to keep it from the Russians, but we have already seen that it was part of much larger project to learn how to control human behaviour in general, so this is not credible.
Gottlieb told Dr. Harold Abramson at Mt. Sinai (who just happened to be the psychiatrist that Olson was supposed to see!) that he wanted “operationally pertinent materials [about]: a. Disturbance of Memory; b. Discrediting by Aberrant Behaviour; c. Alteration of Sex Patterns; d. Eliciting of Information; e. Suggestibility; f. Creation of Dependence.” That sounds like pretty deep stuff for the spy game. They were really afraid of public reaction and congressional condemnation, especially since the CIA charter did not allow domestic operations, and certainly prohibited experimentation on US citizens.
The callousness of the research is best exemplified by the CIA-funded work of Dr. Harris Isbell, the Director of the Addiction Research Center in Lexington, Kentucky. The drug addict hospital inmates, who were mostly black, were encouraged to volunteer for LSD research in return for hard drugs of their choice or time off their sentences. In most cases, they were given pure morphine or heroin. At one point Isbell kept seven men on LSD for 77 straight days. Many others were on it for up to 42 days.
Concerning extended LSD usage, John Marks in his landmark book The Search for the Manchurian Candidate: The CIA and Mind Control says about writer Hunter S. Thompson (recently deceased) that he “frightened his readers with accounts of drug (LSD) binges lasting a few days, during which Thompson felt his brain boiling away in the sun, his nerves wrapping around enormous barbed wire forts, and his remaining faculties reduced to their reptilian antecedents.” The recent movie The Rum Diary, starring Johnny Depp, based on the autobiographical book by Hunter S. Thompson, presents an imaginative re-enactment of his LSD adventures.
The CIA Turns On the Counter-Culture
Not satisfied with university research, Gottlieb recruited New York narcotics agent George White to distribute LSD surreptitiously to the “borderline underworld.” Operating through safe houses in Greenwich Village, Haight-Ashbury and Marin County, White gave doses to prostitutes, pimps, drug addicts and other “marginal people” and then observed the results and reported to Gottlieb.
John Marks says they were people “who would be powerless to seek any sort of revenge if they ever found out what the CIA had done to them. In addition to their being unlikely whistle-blowers, such people lived in a world where an unwitting dose of some drug… was an occupational hazard anyway.”
Eventually, White started using it randomly all over New York and San Francisco. Regarding the results, Marks says, “The MKULTRA scientists reaped little but disaster, mischief, and disappointment from their efforts to use LSD as a miracle weapon against the minds of their opponents.” Yet, they continued this program for 10 years until 1963.
Ironically, since the CIA had pretty much cornered the market on LSD internationally, buying up all the product of Sandoz and Eli Lilly, the spread of the drug to the counter-culture was through the Agency.Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey, Allen Ginsburg and Tom Wolfe were first “turned on” thanks to the CIA, and that’s how the “flower children” became psychedelic.
But, the LSD experiments may have been more successful than Marks realised. They were carefully noting the precise effects on brain chemistry, and in the six areas that Gottlieb was concerned with: memory disturbance, aberrant behaviour, altered sexual patterns, eliciting information, suggestibility and creation of dependence. This became evident when they started using LSD as an adjunct in hypnotic and electronic experiments.
Re-Patterning the Brain
Perhaps the most notorious and nefarious MK-ULTRA sub-project was carried out at the Allan Memorial Institute in Montreal, Canada under the directorship of Dr. Donald Ewen Cameron, an American from Albany, New York. Cameron had trained at the Royal Mental Hospital in Glasgow, Scotland, under eugenicist Sir David Henderson, and founded the Canadian branch of the World Federation for Mental Health. At various times, he was elected president of the Canadian, American, and World psychiatric associations. In other words, Cameron was no renegade but had the full faith and endorsement of the world psychiatric establishment.
The CIA wanted Cameron to “depattern” the contents of the brain to make it receptive to new patterning. David Remnick in a Washington Post article on 28 July 1985 said:
“The…. heart of the laboratory was the Grid Room…. The subject was strapped into a chair involuntarily, by force, his head bristling with electrodes and transducers. Any resistance was met with a paralysing dose of curare. The subject’s brainwaves were beamed to a nearby reception room crammed with voice analysers, a wire recorder and radio receivers cobbled together… The systematic annihilation or ‘depatterning’ of a subject’s mind and memory was accomplished with overdoses of LSD, barbiturate sleep for 65 days at a stretch and ECT shocks at 75 times the recommended dosage. Psychic driving, the repetition of a recorded message for 16 hours a day, programmed the empty mind. Fragile patients referred to Allan Memorial for help were thus turned into carbuncular jellyfish.”
Anton Chaitkin in his essay, ‘British Psychiatry: From Eugenics to Assassination’, says:
“Patients lost all or part of their memories, and some lost the ability to control their bodily functions and to speak. At least one patient was reduced almost to a vegetable; then Cameron had the cognitive centres of her brain surgically cut apart, while keeping her alive. Some subjects were deposited permanently in institutions for the hopelessly insane.”
The CIA funded these horrors through a front called “The Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology.” Other supporters of the Allan Institute were the Rockefeller Foundation, the Geschickter Foundation, and the Canadian government.
About Cameron’s work, Wikipedia says: “Naomi Klein states, in her book The Shock Doctrine, that Cameron’s research and his contribution to the MKUltra project was actually not about mind control and brainwashing, but ‘to design a scientifically based system for extracting information from “resistant sources.” In other words, torture’. And citing a book from Alfred W. McCoy it further says that ‘Stripped of its bizarre excesses, Cameron’s experiments, building upon Donald O. Hebb’s earlier breakthrough, laid the scientific foundation for the CIA’s two-stage psychological torture method’.” This method was codified in the infamous “KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation Manual” published by the CIA in July 1963, and in the Human Resources Exploitation Training Manual – 1983 that was used in CIA training courses in Latin American countries up until 1987. These manuals describe methods of psychological torture, far more potent than physical torture, to elicit information from “resistant sources.”
An Orwellian Nightmare
As one would expect, the technologies now available to the mind-controllers have zoomed off the chart to the point where George Orwell’s world of omni-surveillance now seems almost quaint. Of course, it is true that 1984 was 28 years ago. But even as far back as 1970, US congressman James Scheur was able to say:
“As a result of spinoffs from medical, military aerospace and industrial research, we are now in the process of developing devices and products capable of controlling violent mobs without injury. We can tranquillise, impede, immobilise, harass, shock, upset, stupefy, nauseate, chill, temporarily blind, deafen or just plain scare the wits out of anyone the police have a proper need to control and restrain.”
A brief survey of some of the scariest products known to be in the arsenal of the secretive alphabet agencies arrayed against John Q. Public are such devices as the Neurophone, patented by Dr. Patrick Flanagan in 1968. It converts sound to electrical impulses which can be delivered from satellites. When aimed at individuals, the impulses travel directly to the brain where the sounds are re-assembled and appear to be voices inside the head, which can be perceived as coming from God, or telepathic aliens, or whatever. Or the sounds can come out of a turned-off TV or radio. Through software, the device can mimic anyone’s voice and translate into any language.
It is believed that the CIA, DIA, NSA et al use the Neurophone to deliver threats and propaganda to selected targets, or just to torment someone they don’t like. One can imagine the possibilities. Could this explain some of the killings by “psychopaths” who say they were instructed by God, such as Mark David Chapman, David Berkowitz, or Sirhan Sirhan? If they had been previously evaluated through sophisticated personality assessments and groomed by LSD or hypnosis, such voices could easily tip the balance and convince them to kill.
We’ve all heard about the “Thought Police” and laughed because it seemed so implausible. Well, the joke is on us. Brain scanning technology is now well-advanced. In 1974, Lawrence Pinneo, a neurophysiologist and electronic engineer with the Stanford Research Institute succeeded in correlating brain wave patterns from EEGs with specific words. In 1994, the brain wave patterns of 40 subjects were officially correlated with both spoken words and silent thought at the University of Missouri. It is believed that US intelligence agencies now have a brain wave vocabulary of over 60,000 words in most common languages.
Brain waves constitute a magnetic field around the head (the aura), each person having a unique, identifiable electromagnetic signature which becomes visible through Kirlian photography, and these fields can be monitored by satellites. The translated results are then fed back to ground-side super computers at speeds of up to 20 gigabytes/second. Neurophone messages can then be beamed to selected individuals based on their thoughts. It is believed that about one million people around the globe are now monitored on a regular basis. As these numbers increase, as they certainly will, to include most educated and important people in the world, the New World Order will definitely have arrived.
As Australian writer Paul Baird has observed, “no-one will ever be able to even think about expressing an opinion contrary to those forced on us by the New World Order. There will literally be no intellectual property that cannot be stolen, no writing that cannot be censored, no thought that cannot be suppressed (by the most oppressive/invasive means).” Baird also claims that ex-military/intelligence whistle-blowers have reported that experiments in controlling voters with these techniques have been tried in several foreign countries. So much for democracy.
Other technologies, such as microwave bombardment to confuse and disorient field personnel, microchip implantation, silently delivered acoustical subliminal messages, widespread population control through psychiatric drugs, and extreme close-up satellite-based viewing able to read documents indoors, are all well-developed and in use by military and intelligence agencies. This doesn’t even address the monitoring of overt spoken and written material. Under Project ECHELON, the NSA monitors every call, fax, e-mail and computer data message in and out of the US, Canada and several other countries. Their computers then search for key words and phrases. Anything or anyone of interest draws the attention of agency operatives, who can then commence surveillance operations by the NSA or other intelligence agencies.
We conclude with a chilling vision of the future from the US Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. It is from New World Vistas of Air and Space Power for the 21st Century.
“Prior to the mid-21st century, there will be a virtual explosion of knowledge in the field of neuroscience. We will have achieved a clear understanding of how the human brain works, how it really controls the various functions of the body, and how it can be manipulated (both positively and negatively). One can envision the development of electromagnetic energy sources, the output of which can be pulsed, shaped, and focused, that can couple with the human body in a fashion that will allow one to prevent voluntary muscular movements, control emotions (and thus actions), produce sleep, transmit suggestions, interfere with both short-term and long-term memory, produce an experience set, and delete an experience set. This will open the door for the development of some novel capabilities that can be used in armed conflict, in terrorist/hostage situations, and in training…”
And based on the past clandestine abuses of MK-ULTRA reviewed above, one can predict with relative certainty that these capabilities will be used on civilians, with or without their knowledge or acquiescence, in the service of the New World Order.
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About the Author
LEN KASTEN has been involved in metaphysical and UFO/ET studies, research and writing for over thirty years. A graduate of Cornell University, he is a former member of NICAP and MUFON. He has written over fifty published articles for Atlantis Rising magazine. His book,The Secret History of Extraterrestrials, published by Inner Traditions, went to number sixteen on the publisher’s Top Fifty list, in four months.
The above article appeared in New Dawn Special Issue Vol 6 No 3.
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Washington has been at war for 12 years. According to experts such as Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, these wars have cost Americans approximately $6 trillion, enough to keep Social Security and Medicare sound for years. All there is to show for 12 years of war is fat bank balances for the armament industries and a list of destroyed countries with millions of dead and dislocated people who never lifted a hand against the United States.
The cost paid by American troops and taxpayers is extreme. Secretary of Veteran Affairs Erik Shinseki reported in November 2009 that “more veterans have committed suicide since 2001 than we have lost on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.” Many thousands of our troops have suffered amputations and traumatic brain injuries. At the Marine Corps War College Jim Lacey calculated that the annual cost of the Afghan war was $1.5 billion for each al-Qaeda member in Afghanistan. Many US and coalition troops paid with their lives for every one al-Qaeda member killed. On no basis has the war ever made sense.
Washington’s wars have destroyed the favorable image of the United States created over the decades of the cold war. No longer the hope of mankind, the US today is viewed as a threat whose government cannot be trusted.
The wars that have left America’s reputation in tatters are the consequence of 9/11. The neoconservatives who advocate America’s hegemony over the world called for “a new Pearl Harbor” that would allow them to launch wars of conquest. Their plan for conquering the Middle East as their starting point was set out in the neoconservative “Project for the New American Century.” It was stated clearly by Commentary editor Norman Podhoretz and also by many neoconservatives.
The neocon argument boils down to a claim that history has chosen “democratic capitalism” and not Karl Marx as the future. To comply with history’s choice, the US must beef up its military and impose the American Way on the entire world.
In other words, as Claes Ryn wrote, the American neoconservatives are the “new Jacobins,” a reference to the French Revolution of 1789 that intended to overthrow aristocratic Europe and replace it with “Liberty, equality, fraternity,” but instead gave Europe a quarter century of war, death, and destruction.
Ideologies are dangerous, because they are immune to facts. Now that the United States is no longer governed by the US Constitution, but by a crazed ideology that has given rise to a domestic police state more complete than that of Communist East Germany and to a warfare state that attacks sovereign countries based on nothing but manufactured lies, we are left with the irony that Russia and China are viewed as constraints on Washington’s ability to inflict evil, death, and destruction on the world.
The two pariah states of the 20th century have become the hope of mankind in the 21st century!
As Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick prove in their book, The Untold History of the United States, the American government has never deserved its white hat reputation. Washington has been very successful in dressing up its crimes in moralistic language and hiding them in secrecy. It is only decades after events that the truth comes out.
For example, on August 19, 1953, the democratically elected government of Iran was overthrown by a coup instigated by the US government. Sixty years after the event declassified CIA documents detail how the secret CIA operation overthrew a democratic government and imposed Washington’s puppet on the people of Iran.
The declassified documents could not have spelled it out any clearer: “The military coup that overthrew Mossadeq and his National Front cabinet was carried out under CIA direction as an act of U.S. foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government.”http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/19/politics/cia-iran-1953-coup
In the 21st century Washington is attempting to repeat its 1953 feat of overthrowing the Iranian government, this time using the faux “green revolution” financed by Washington.
When that fails, Washington will rely on military action.
If 60 years is the time that must pass before Washington’s crimes can be acknowledged, the US government will admit the truth about September 11, 2001 on September 11, 2061. In 2013, on this 12th anniversary of 9/11, we only have 48 years to go before Washington admits the truth. Alas, the members of the 9/11 truth movement will not still be alive to receive their vindication.
But just as it has been known for decades that Washington overthrew Mossadeq,
we already know that the official story of 9/11 is hogwash.
No evidence exists that supports the government’s 9/11 story. The 9/11 Commission was a political gathering run by a neoconservative White House operative. The Commission members sat and listened to the government’s story and wrote it down. No investigation of any kind was made. One member of the Commission resigned, saying that the fix was in. After the report was published, both co-chairmen of the Commission and the legal counsel wrote books disassociating themselves from the report. The 9/11 Commission was “set up to fail,” they wrote.
NIST’s account of the structural failure of the twin towers is a computer simulation based on assumptions chosen to produce the result. NIST refuses to release its make-believe explanation for expert scrutiny. The reason is obvious. NIST’s explanation of the structural failure of the towers cannot survive scrutiny.
There are many 9/11 Truth organizations whose members are high-rise architects,
structural engineers, physicists, chemists and nano-chemists, military and civilian airline pilots, firemen and first responders, former prominent government officials, and 9/11 families. The evidence they have amassed overwhelms the feeble official account.
It has been proven conclusively that World Trade Center Building 7 fell at free fall which can only be achieved by controlled demolition that removes all resistance below to debris falling from above so that no time is lost in overcoming resistance from intact structures. NIST has acknowledged this fact, but has not changed its story.
In other words, still in America today official denial takes precedence over science and
known undisputed facts.
On this 12th anniversary of a false flag event, it is unnecessary for me to report the voluminous evidence that conclusively proves that the official story is a lie. You can read it for yourself. It is available online. You can read what the architects and engineers have to say. You can read the scientists’ reports. You can hear from the first responders who were in the WTC towers. You can read the pilots who say that the maneuvers associated with the airliner that allegedly hit the Pentagon are beyond their skills and most certainly were not performed by inexperienced pilots.
You can read David Griffin’s many books. You can watch the film produced by Richard Gage and Architects & Engineers for 9/11 truth. You can read the 9/11 Toronto Report, International Hearings on 9/11. http://www.amazon.com/9-11-Toronto-Report/dp/1478369205/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1376960447&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Toronto+Report You can read this book: http://www.international.to/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9319:hijacking-americas-mind-on-911-counterfeiting-evidence&catid=66:oped&Itemid=151
Actually, you do not need any of the expert evidence to know that the US government’s story is false. As I have previously pointed out, had a few young Saudi Arabians, the alleged 9/11 hijackers, been capable of outwitting, without support from any government and intelligence service, not only the CIA and FBI, but all sixteen US intelligence services, the intelligence services of Washington’s NATO allies and Israel’s Mossad, the National Security Council, NORAD, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Traffic Control, and defeat Airport Security four times in one hour on the same morning, the White House, Congress, and the media would have been demanding an investigation of how the National Security State could so totally fail.
Instead, the President of the United States and every government office fiercely resisted any investigation. It was only after a year of demands and rising pressure from the 9/11 families that the 9/11 Commission was created to bury the issue.
No one in government was held accountable for the astonishing failure. The national security state was defeated by a few rag tag Muslims with box cutters and a sick old man dying from renal failure while holed up in a cave in Afghanistan, and no heads rolled.
The total absence from the government for demands for an investigation of an event that is the greatest embarrassment to a “superpower” in world history is a complete give-away that 9/11was a false flag event. The government did not want any investigation, because the government’s cover story cannot stand investigation.
The government could rely on the mega-media corporations in whose hands the corrupt Clinton regime concentrated the US media. By supporting rather than investigating the government’s cover story, the media left the majority of Americans, who are sensitive to peer pressure, without any support for their doubts. Effectively, the American Ministry of Propaganda validated the government’s false story.
Common everyday experiences of Americans refute the government’s story. Consider, for example, self-cleaning ovens. How many American homes have them? Thirty million? More? Do you have one?
Do you know what temperature self-cleaning ovens reach? The self-cleaning cycle runs for several hours at 900 degrees Fahrenheit or 482 degrees Celsius. Does your self-cleaning oven melt at 482 degrees Celsius. No, it doesn’t. Does the very thin, one-eighth inch steel soften and your oven collapse? No, it doesn’t.
Keep that in mind while you read this: According to tests performed by NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), only 2% of the WTC steel tested by NIST reached temperatures as high as 250 degrees Celsius, about half the temperature reached by your self-cleaning oven. Do you believe that such low temperatures on such small areas of the WTC towers caused the massive, thick, steel columns in the towers to soften and permit the collapse of the buildings? If you do, please explain why your self-cleaning oven doesn’t weaken and collapse.
In Section E.5 of the Executive Summary in this NIST reporthttp://www.nist.gov/customcf/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=101019 it says: “A method was developed using microscopic observations of paint cracking to determine whether steel members had experienced temperatures in excess of 250 degrees C. More than 170 areas were examined . . . Only three locations had a positive result indicating that the steel and paint may have reached temperatures in excess of 250 degrees C.” Analysis of steel “microstructures show no evidence of exposure to temperatures above 600 degrees C for any significant time.”
In section 3.6 of the NIST report http://www.nist.gov/customcf/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=860495NIST states: “NIST believes that this collection of steel from the WTC towers is adequate for purposes of the investigation.”
How did these truths get out? My explanation is that the NIST scientists, resentful of the threat to their jobs and future employment opportunities and chaffing under the order to produce a false report, revealed the coerced deception by including information that their political masters did not understand. By stating unequivocally the actual temperatures, NIST’s scientists put the lie to the coerced report.
The melting point of steel is around 1,500 degrees C. or 2,600 degrees F. Steel can lose strength at lower temperatures, but the NIST scientists reported that only a small part of the steel was even subjected to moderate temperatures less than those obtained by the self-cleaning oven in your home.
If you need to think about this a bit more, obtain a copy of The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes. Have a look at the streetcar in photo 108. The caption reads: “The Hiroshima fireball instantly raised surface temperatures within a mile of the hypocenter well above 1,000 degrees F.” Is the streetcar a melted lump of steel? No, it is structurally intact, although blackened with burnt paint.
Washington would have you believe that steel that survived intact the atomic bomb would melt from low temperature, short lived, isolated office fires. What do you think of a government that believes that you are that stupid?
Who would support a government that lies every time it opens its mouth?
The three WTC buildings that were destroyed were massive heat sinks. I doubt that
the limited, short-lived, low temperature fires in the buildings even warmed the massive steel structures to the touch.
Moreover, not a single steel column melted or deformed from softening. The columns
were severed at specific lengths by extremely high temperature charges placed on the columns.
On this 12th anniversary of 9/11, ask yourself if you really want to believe that temperatures half those reached by your self-cleaning oven caused three massive steel structures to crumble into dust.
Then ask yourself why your government thinks you are so totally stupid as to believe such a fairy tale as your government has told you about 9/11.
Source: Paul Craig Roberts
“The European race’s last three hundred years of evolutionary progress have all come down to nothing but four words: selfishness, slaughter, shamelessness and corruption.”
It only took the rest of the world 300 years to catch on to the evil that masquerades as “western civilization,” or perhaps it only took the rise of new powers with the confidence to state the obvious. Anyone doubtful of America’s responsibility for the evil needs to read The Untold History of the United States by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick.
The “New American Century” proclaimed by the neoconservatives came to an abrupt end on September 6 at the G20 meeting in Russia. The leaders of most of the world’s peoples told Obama that they do not believe him and that it is a violation of international law if the US government attacks Syria without UN authorization.
Putin told the assembled world leaders that the chemical weapons attack was “a provocation on behalf of the armed insurgents in hope of the help from the outside, from the countries which supported them from day one.” In other words, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Washington–the axis of evil.
China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Indonesia, and Argentina joined Putin in affirming that a leader who commits military aggression without the approval of the UN Security Council puts himself “outside of law.”
In other words, if you defy the world, obama, you are a war criminal.
The entire world is waiting to see if the Israel Lobby can push obama into the role of war criminal. Many are betting that Israel will prevail over the weak american president, a cipher devoid of all principle. A couple of decades ago before the advent of the american sheeple, one of the last tough Americans, Admiral Tom Moorer, Chief of Naval Operations and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, publicly declared that “no US president can stand up to Israel.” America’s highest ranking military officer could not get an honest investigation of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty.
We are yet to see an american president who can stand up to Israel. Or, for that matter, a Congress that can. Or a media.
The obama regime tried to counter its smashing defeat at the G20 Summit by forcing its puppet states to sign a joint statement condemning Syria. However the puppet states qualified their position by stating that they opposed military action and awaited the UN report.
Most of obama’s bought-and-paid-for “supporters” are impotent, powerless. For example obama counts the UK as a supporting country because of the personal support of the discredited UK prime minister, david cameron, despite the fact that cameron was repudiated by the British Parliament in a vote that prohibits British participation in another of Washington’s war crimes. So, although cameron cannot bring the British people and the British government with him, obama counts the UK as a supporter of obama’s attack on Syria. Clearly, this is a desperate count of “supporting countries.”
The Turkish puppet government, which has been shooting its peacefully demonstrating citizens down in the streets, with no protest from obama or the Israel Lobby, supports “holding Syria accountable,” but not itself, of course, or Washington.
The puppet states of Canada and Australia, powerless countries, neither of which carry one ounce of world influence, have lined up to do the bidding of their Washington master. The entire point of having the top government job in Canada and Australia is the payoff from Washington.
The obama cipher also claims the support of Japan and the Republic of Korea, another two countries devoid of all diplomatic influence and power of any kind. Helpless Japan is on the verge of being destroyed by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, for which it has no solution. As the radiation leaks spread into the aquifer upon which Tokyo and surrounding areas rely, Japan is faced with the possibility of having to relocate 40 million people.
Saudi Arabia, implicated in the transfer to al-Nusra rebels of the chemical weapons used in the attack, supports Washington, knowing that otherwise its tyranny is toast. Even the neoconservatives headed by obama’s shrill National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, want to overthrow the Saudis.
Obama claims also to have support from France and Germany. However both Hollande and Merkel have stated clearly that a diplomatic solution, not war, is their first choice and that the outcome rests on the UN.
As for Italy and Spain’s support, both governments are hoping to be rewarded with the Federal Reserve printing enough dollars to bail out their indebted economies so that both governments are not overthrown in the streets for their acquiescence to the looting of their countries by international banksters. Like so many Western governments, those of Italy and Spain, and, of course, Greece, support the international banksters, not their own citizens.
The president of the European Commission has declared that the European Union, the central overlord over Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, does not support a military solution to the Syrian Crisis. “The European Union is certain that the efforts should be aimed at a political settlement,” Jose Manuel Barroso told reporters at the G20 meeting. The EU has the power to issue arrest warrants for the heads of EU governments that participate in war crimes.
What this reveals is that the support behind the liar obama is feeble and limited. The ability of the Western countries to dominate international politics came to an end at the G20 meeting. The moral authority of the West is completely gone, shattered and eroded by countless lies and shameless acts of aggression based on nothing but lies and self-interests. Nothing remains of the West’s “moral authority,” which was never anything but a cover for self-interest, murder, and genocide.
The West has been destroyed by its own governments, who have told too many self-serving lies, and by its capitalist corporations, who offshored the West’s jobs and technology to China, India, Indonesia, and Brazil, depriving the Western governments of a tax base and the support of its citizens.
It is difficult to know whether citizens in the West hate their corrupt governments any less than do Muslims, whose lives and countries have been devastated by Western aggression, or than do citizens of third world countries who have been impoverished by being looted by predatory First World financial organizations.
The idiot Western governments have pissed away their clout. There is no prospect whatsoever of the neoconservative fantasy of US hegemony being exercised over Russia, China, India, Brazil, South Africa, South America, Iran. These countries can establish their own system of international payments and finance and leave the dollar standard whenever they wish. One wonders why they wait. The US dollar is being printed in unbelievable quantities and is no longer qualified to be the world reserve currency. The US dollar is on the verge of total worthlessness.
The G20 Summit made it clear that the world is no longer willing to go along with the West’s lies and murderous ways. The world has caught on to the West. Every country now understands that the bailouts offered by the West are merely mechanisms for looting the bailed-out countries and impoverishing the people.
In the 21st century Washington has treated its own citizens the way it treats citizens of third world countries. Untold trillions of dollars have been lavished on a handful of banks, while the banks threw millions of Americans out of their homes and seized any remaining assets of the broken families.
US corporations had their taxes cut to practically nothing, with few paying any taxes at all, while the corporations gave the jobs and careers of millions of Americans to the Chinese and Indians. With those jobs went US GDP, tax base, and economic power, leaving Americans with massive budget deficits, a debased currency, and bankrupt cities, such as Detroit, which once was the manufacturing powerhouse of the world.
How long before Washington shoots down its own homeless, hungry, and protesting citizens in the streets?
Washington represents Israel and a handful of powerful organized private interests. Washington represents no one else. Washington is a plague upon the American people and a plague upon the world.
Source: Paul Craig Roberts
American presidents, starting with Kennedy-Johnson in Vietnam to Bush-Obama, pushed America into deadly, costly, disastrous and pointless wars in the last 50 years. Millions of people died while the American “Silent majority” sat quietly watching the slaughter on the evening news. As Walter Cronkite said, “And that’s the way it is.”
At this moment, Barack Obama races toward a bombing campaign on the Syrian people. He mandates death, destruction and mayhem on a country and people struggling in their own civil war. He uses an excuse like Assad “gassing” his own people.
Harry Truman used the “Domino Effect” to stop communism from conquering Korea. We lost 33,000 young men and killed thousands more of their troops. Countless civilians died. Korea solved nothing because it proved to be a civil war. It has cost over $1 trillion for troop deployment and logistics for the past 60 years.
Lyndon Baines Johnson used the “Gulf of Tonkin Incident” to justify sending 58,319 young American kids to their deaths and killing over 2.1 million Vietnamese soldiers, men, women and children. He poisoned their land with Agent Orange that still kills and disfigures into 2013.
Then came 9/11 to give George W. Bush justification to bomb the hell out of a goat-herder third world country like Afghanistan into little pieces. Never mind that nearly all 19 terrorists came from Saudi Arabia. Ten years later, after killing bin Laden, we still haven’t “conquered” Afghanistan, but we lost 1,400 American kids to ugly deaths and another 1,500 who committed suicide from the insanity of that war.
A special note: I followed an M.D.’s book about Vietnam whereby 175,000 to 200,000 American combat troops that left Vietnam in one piece—later committed suicide. Countless tens of thousands suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and drank or drugged themselves into their own private hells after the torture of Vietnam. Predications for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as to American suicides: estimated at over 200,000 suicides will ultimately manifest by our returning troops. Hundreds and thousands will suffer a lifetime of PTSD.
Out of nowhere, George W. Bush dreamed up “Weapons of Mass Destruction” and his “shock and awe” bombing rampage into Iraq. He killed over a quarter of a million innocent men, women and children. He used bunker-busting bombs with depleted uranium that poisons the soils of Iraq for centuries. He killed 4,400 of our finest young men and women and left 35,000 hideously wounded.
Today, Barack Obama, a man who never served in the U.S. armed forces, who instead, smoked a lot of dope and snorted drugs, and who knows nothing of the horrors of war—stands ready to send bombers into Syria because he thinks he’s going to stop Assad from gassing his people.
“Nothing is so important as that America shall separate herself from the systems of Europe, and establish one of her own. Our circumstances, our pursuits, our interests, are distinct. The principles of our policy should be so also. All entanglements with that quarter of the globe should be avoided if we mean that peace and justice shall be the polar stars of the American societies.” –Thomas Jefferson to J. Correa de Serra, 1820.
Obama, enjoys the unearned and unwarranted Nobel Peace Prize of 2009, yet threatens to expand his ever widening “War on Everything” from Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Nigeria, Mali, Al-Awlaki and his son and nephew, Snowden, Manning, Assange, Rosen and now Syria.
I must ask you Mr. Obama, is killing everything but the 2013 Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens football team the answer?
Finally, what about our feckless U.S. Congress? The Constitution mandates that all war choices must be agreed by the House and Senate. Instead, we let LBJ, Bush II and now, Obama, wage wars they cannot justify and, in the end, will kill a lot of people, but do nothing good in the world nor will they accomplish anything good. Additionally, the president has no legal authority to attack Syria absent congressional and United Nations Security Council approval.
What about each American citizen who cannot be bothered to participate, but watches by the sidelines as the 21st century “Silent Majority”? How many more innocent, brain-washed kids must die, not in service to America, but in service to the U.S. Military Industrial Complex and the bankers—who provoke, guide and determine wars? Plus, make a lot of money on our mechanized military violence!
John Lennon sang, “Give peace a chance.” If we citizens take action by stopping our government from waging useless, insane and meaningless wars—a lot of our children will be able to live their lives instead of being sacrificed like sheep to the slaughter.
I recently read a column by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts that was so good I wish I had written it. First, a little bit about Roberts. This is from his official web site: “Dr. Roberts has held academic appointments at Virginia Tech, Tulane University, University of New Mexico, Stanford University where he was Senior Research Fellow in the Hoover Institution, George Mason University where he had a joint appointment as professor of economics and professor of business administration, and Georgetown University where he held the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy in the Center for Strategic and International Studies.”
His bio continues: “Dr. Roberts was associate editor and columnist for The Wall Street Journal and columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He was a nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate in Los Angeles. In 1992 he received the Warren Brookes Award for Excellence in Journalism. In 1993 the Forbes Media Guide ranked him as one of the top seven journalists in the United States.”
And one more paragraph about Paul Craig Roberts: “President Reagan appointed Dr. Roberts Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and he was confirmed in office by the U.S. Senate. From 1975 to 1978, Dr. Roberts served on the congressional staff where he drafted the Kemp-Roth bill and played a leading role in developing bipartisan support for a supply-side economic policy. After leaving the Treasury, he served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Commerce.”
See Paul’s web site at:
I realize that anyone who dares to contradict accepted politically correct dogma is demonized as being “radical,” “extremist,” or racist,” and some people have tried to characterize Dr. Roberts in that vein. But it should be obvious to any honest and objective person that Paul Craig Roberts has one of the most distinguished resumes of anyone in America today.
Paul recently wrote a column entitled, “Humanity Is Drowning In Washington’s Criminality.” I realize it is difficult for most Americans to conceive the idea that their federal government could actually be criminal, but the case Roberts makes in his column cannot be tossed aside as the ranting of some right-wing nut (as if there are no left-wing nuts).
Roberts writes, “Americans will soon be locked into an unaccountable police state unless US Representatives and Senators find the courage to ask questions and to sanction the executive branch officials who break the law, violate the Constitution, withhold information from Congress, and give false information about their crimes against law, the Constitution, the American people and those in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Guantanamo, and elsewhere. Congress needs to use the impeachment power that the Constitution provides and cease being subservient to the lawless executive branch. The US faces no threat that justifies the lawlessness and abuse of police powers that characterize the executive branch in the 21st century.
“Impeachment is the most important power of Congress. Impeachment is what protects the citizens, the Constitution, and the other branches of government from abuse by the executive branch. If the power to remove abusive executive branch officials is not used, the power ceases to exist. An unused power is like a dead letter law. Its authority disappears. By acquiescing to executive branch lawlessness, Congress has allowed the executive branch to place itself above law and to escape accountability for its violations of law and the Constitution.
“National Intelligence Director James R. Clapper blatantly lied to Congress and remains in office. Keith B. Alexander, Director of the National Security Agency, has also misled Congress, and he remains in office. Attorney General Holder avoids telling Congress the truth on just about every subject, and he also remains in office. The same can be said for President Obama, one of the great deceivers of our time, who is so adverse to truth that truth seldom finds its way out of his mouth.
“If an American citizen lies to a federal investigator, even if not under oath, the citizen can be arrested, prosecuted, and sent to prison. Yet, these same federal personnel can lie to Congress and to citizens with impunity. Whatever the American political system is, it has nothing whatsoever to do with accountable government. In Amerika [Roberts’ spelling] no one is accountable but citizens, who are accountable not only to law but also to unaccountable charges for which no evidence is required.”
Roberts is one hundred percent right. While everyone seems to be caught up in debating all kinds of remedies to Washington’s ills, hardly anyone seems to notice that the power to put a stop to all of this unconstitutional (not to mention criminal) conduct on behalf of the executive branch of the federal government rests squarely in the laps of the 535 men and women who comprise the US House of Representatives and US Senate. Granted, impeachment has been seldom used by the legislative branches in Washington, but what was that again about desperate times calling for desperate measures? Besides, impeachment is not a desperate measure; it is a constitutionally-required measure. When the executive branch of the federal government is run amuck in foul play, it is the duty of Congress to protect both the American citizenry and the US Constitution.
Roberts rightly asks, “The question demanding to be asked is: What is the purpose of the domestic surveillance of all Americans? This is surveillance out of all proportion to the alleged terrorist threat. The US Constitution is being ignored and domestic law violated. Why? Does the US government have an undeclared agenda for which the ‘terrorist threat’ is a cover?
“What is this agenda? Whose agenda is more important than the US Constitution and the accountability of government to law? No citizen is secure unless government is accountable to the Constitution and to law. It is an absurd idea that any American is more threatened by terrorism than by unaccountable government that can execute them, torture them, and throw them in prison for life without due process or any accountability whatsoever. Under Bush/Obama, the US has returned to the unaccountable power of caesars, czars, and autocrats.”
Roberts is exactly right. The modern-day burgeoning police state, under the rubric of “national security,” is the biggest threat to our liberties since the British marched on Lexington and Concord in 1775. And, unfortunately, when it comes to the destruction of civil liberties, Republicans are as culpable as Democrats.
Roberts writes, “American conservatives regard civil liberties as mere excuses for liberal judges to coddle criminals and terrorists. Never expect a conservative Republican, or more than two or three of them, to defend your civil liberty. Republicans simply do not believe in civil liberty. Democrats cannot conceive that Obama–the first black president in office, a member of an oppressed minority–would not defend civil liberty. This combination of disinterest and denial is why the US has become a police state.
“Civil liberty has few friends in government, the political parties, law schools, bar associations, or the federal judiciary. Consequently, no citizen is secure. Recently, a housewife researched online for pressure cookers looking for the best deal. Her husband was searching for a backpack. The result was that a fully armed SWAT team appeared at the door demanding to search the premises and to have questions answered.”
When it comes to creating the modern-day police state, the left-right paradigm that most people are consumed with means absolutely nothing. NOTHING! As Roberts notes, for the most part, both Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, Christians and heathens seem to see nothing wrong with the dismantlement of the Bill of Rights if the stated reason is to keep us “secure.”
Beyond that, so many Americans seem to have the attitude, “I don’t care if the government is spying on me; I haven’t done anything wrong.” To this, Roberts writes, “I am always amazed when someone says: ‘I haven’t done anything wrong. I have nothing to fear.’ If you have nothing to fear from the government, why did the Founding Fathers put the protections in the Constitution that Bush and Obama have stripped out? Unlike the Founding Fathers who designed our government to protect the citizens, the American sheeple [Roberts’ word] trust the government to their own demise.”
And exactly who are the real terrorists, anyway? Roberts answers:
“Terrorism seldom comes from outside. The source almost always is the government in power. The Czarist secret police set off bombs in order to blame and arrest labor agitators. The Nazis burned down the Reichstag in order to decimate the communists and assume unaccountable power in the name of ‘public safety.’ An alleged terrorist threat is a way of using fear to block popular objection to the exercise of arbitrary government power.
“In order to be ‘safe from terrorists,’ the US population, with few objections, has accepted the demise of their civil liberties, such as habeas corpus, which reaches back centuries to Magna Carta as a constraint on government power. How, then, are they safe from their government? Americans today are in the same position as the English prior to the Great Charter of 1215. Americans are no longer protected by law and the Constitution from government tyranny.
“The reason the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution was to make citizens safe from their government. If citizens allow the government to take away the Constitution, they might be safe from foreign terrorists, but they are no longer safe from their government.
“Who do you think has more power over you, foreign terrorists or ‘your’ government?”
“The constitutional principle of freedom of speech is being redefined as treason, as aiding an undefined enemy, and as seeking to overthrow the government by casting aspersions on its motives and revealing its secret misdeeds. The power-mad inhabitants of Washington have brought the US so close to Gestapo Germany and Stalinist Russia that it is no longer funny. Indeed, it is sometimes difficult to see the difference.
“The neoconservatives have declared that Americans are the ‘exceptional’ and ‘indispensable people.’ Yet, the civil liberties of Americans have declined the more ‘exceptional’ and ‘indispensable’ that Americans become. We are now so exceptional and indispensable that we no longer have any rights.
“And neither does the rest of the world. Neoconservatism has created a new dangerous American nationalism. Neoconservatives have given Washington a monopoly on right and endowed its military aggressions with a morality that supersedes the Geneva Conventions and human rights. Washington, justified by its ‘exceptionalism,’ has the right to attack populations in countries with which Washington is not at war, such as Pakistan and Yemen. Washington is using the cover of its ‘exceptionalism’ to murder people in many countries.”
Roberts also rightly observes, “Washington is always morally right, whatever it does, and those who report its crimes are traitors who, stripped of their coddling by civil liberties, are locked away and abused until they confess to their crimes against the state. Anyone who tells the truth, such as Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, and Edward Snowden, are branded enemies of the state and are ruthlessly persecuted.”
See Paul Craig Roberts’ column at:
Sadly, everything Dr. Roberts stated above is absolutely true.
Many previous administrations most certainly pushed the envelope of federal usurpation of power from time to time, but the administrations of G.W. Bush and Barack Obama have (and are) literally taken America to the very precipice of a police state. With the advent of the Patriot Act, the Department of Homeland Security, the Military Commissions Act, the NDAA, USNORTHCOM, etc., all of the laws and military apparatus which would be necessary to enact a police state within the continental United States are in place.
Plus, grassroots Americans throughout the country are abuzz with both rumors and truthful eyewitness testimony to the strange movement of military supplies and personnel and the construction of large, unmarked and undeclared facilities. All over America, large containment-looking facilities are being built. Most of these structures are large, fenced (with the fences designed to keep people IN not OUT), in rural areas, near train tracks, and are completely unmarked and inaccessible.
Granted, for every substantiated fact there seems to be a dozen meritless rumors out there. I will absolutely give you that. But, there are simply too many reports by extremely credible eyewitnesses (including military and police personnel) to simply ignore as mere conspiracy theories. Concerned federal agents (yes, MANY federal agents love freedom and the Constitution just as much as we do) continue to leak information regarding unusual training, equipment purchases, procedural instructions, etc., to their fellow citizens.
Could some of this strange and unconfirmed information be government propaganda and disinformation designed to embarrass and marginalize patriot-minded citizens? Absolutely. But the old adage is still true, “Where there is smoke, there is fire.” And right now, this is a HUGE amount of smoke.
Paul Craig Roberts has spent a lifetime in the upper echelons of economics, journalism, and politics. His assertion that Washington, D.C., is awash in “criminality” cannot be taken lightly.
Americans will soon be locked into an unaccountable police state unless US Representatives and Senators find the courage to ask questions and to sanction the executive branch officials who break the law, violate the Constitution, withhold information from Congress, and give false information about their crimes against law, the Constitution, the American people and those in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Guantanamo, and elsewhere. Congress needs to use the impeachment power that the Constitution provides and cease being subservient to the lawless executive branch. The US faces no threat that justifies the lawlessness and abuse of police powers that characterize the executive branch in the 21st century.
Impeachment is the most important power of Congress. Impeachment is what protects the citizens, the Constitution, and the other branches of government from abuse by the executive branch. If the power to remove abusive executive branch officials is not used, the power ceases to exist. An unused power is like a dead letter law. Its authority disappears. By acquiescing to executive branch lawlessness, Congress has allowed the executive branch to place itself above law and to escape accountability for its violations of law and the Constitution.
National Intelligence Director James R. Clapper blatantly lied to Congress and remains in office. Keith B. Alexander, Director of the National Security Agency, has also misled Congress, and he remains in office. Attorney General Holder avoids telling Congress the truth on just about every subject, and he also remains in office. The same can be said for President Obama, one of the great deceivers of our time, who is so adverse to truth that truth seldom finds its way out of his mouth.
If an American citizen lies to a federal investigator, even if not under oath, the citizen can be arrested, prosecuted, and sent to prison. Yet, these same federal personnel can lie to Congress and to citizens with impunity. Whatever the American political system is, it has nothing whatsoever to do with accountable government. In Amerika no one is accountable but citizens, who are accountable not only to law but also to unaccountable charges for which no evidence is required.
Congress has the power to impeach any presidential appointee as well as the president. In the 1970s Congress was going to impeach President Richard Nixon simply because he lied about when he learned of the Watergate burglary. To avoid impeachment, Nixon resigned. In the 1990s, the House impeached President Bill Clinton for lying about his sexual affair with a White House intern. The Senate failed to convict, no doubt as many had sexual affairs of their own and didn’t want to be held accountable themselves.
In the 1970s when I was on the Senate staff, corporate lobbyists would send attractive women to seduce Senators so that the interest groups could blackmail the Senators to do their bidding. Don’t be surprised if the NSA has adopted this corporate practice.
The improprieties of Nixon and Clinton were minor, indeed of little consequence, when compared to the crimes of George W. Bush and Obama, their vice presidents, and the bulk of their presidential appointees. Yet, impeachment is “off the table,” as Nancy Pelosi infamously declared. http://www.nytimes.com/cq/2006/11/08/cq_1916.html Why do Californian voters send a person to Congress who refuses to protect them from an unaccountable executive branch? Who does Nancy Pelosi serve? Certainly not the people of California. Most certainly not the US Constitution. Pelosi is in total violation of her oath of office. Will Californians re-elect her yet again? Little wonder America is failing.
The question demanding to be asked is: What is the purpose of the domestic surveillance of all Americans? This is surveillance out of all proportion to the alleged terrorist threat. The US Constitution is being ignored and domestic law violated. Why? Does the US government have an undeclared agenda for which the “terrorist threat” is a cover?
What is this agenda? Whose agenda is more important than the US Constitution and the accountability of government to law? No citizen is secure unless government is accountable to the Constitution and to law. It is an absurd idea that any American is more threatened by terrorism than by unaccountable government that can execute them, torture them, and throw them in prison for life without due process or any accountability whatsoever. Under Bush/Obama, the US has returned to the unaccountable power of caesars, czars, and autocrats.
In the famous play, “A Man For All Seasons,” Sir Thomas More, Chancellor of England, asks: So, you would have me to cut down the law in order to chase after devils? And what will we do, with the law cut down, when the devil turns on us?
This is the most important legal question ever asked, and it is seldom asked today, not in our law schools, not by our bar associations, and most certainly not by the Justice (sic) Department or US Attorneys.
American conservatives regard civil liberties as mere excuses for liberal judges to coddle criminals and terrorists. Never expect a conservative Republican, or more than two or three of them, to defend your civil liberty. Republicans simply do not believe in civil liberty. Democrats cannot conceive that Obama–the first black president in office, a member of an oppressed minority–would not defend civil liberty. This combination of disinterest and denial is why the US has become a police state.
Civil liberty has few friends in government, the political parties, law schools, bar associations, or the federal judiciary. Consequently, no citizen is secure. Recently, a housewife researched online for pressure cookers looking for the best deal. Her husband was searching for a backpack. The result was that a fully armed SWAT team appeared at the door demanding to search the premises and to have questions answered. http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/08/government-knocking-doors-because-google-searches/67864/
I am always amazed when someone says: “I haven’t done anything wrong. I have nothing to fear.” If you have nothing to fear from the government, why did the Founding Fathers put the protections in the Constitution that Bush and Obama have stripped out? Unlike the Founding Fathers who designed our government to protect the citizens, the American sheeple trust the government to their own demise.
Glenn Greenwald recently explained how the mass of data that is being accumulated on every American is being mined for any signs of non-terrorist-related criminal behavior. As such warrantless searches are illegal evidence in a criminal trial, the authorities disguise the illegal way in which the evidence is obtained in order to secure conviction based on illegally obtained evidence.http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article35773.htm
In other words, the use of the surveillance justified by the “war on terror” has already spread into prosecutions of ordinary criminals where it has corrupted legal safeguards and the integrity, if any, of the criminal court system, prosecutors and judges.
This is just one of the many ways in which you have much to fear, whether you think you are doing anything wrong or not. You can be framed for crimes based on inferences drawn from your Internet activity and jokes with friends on social media. Jurors made paranoid by the “terrorist threat” will convict you.
We should be very suspicious of the motive behind the universal spying on US citizens. The authorities are aware that the terrorist threat does not justify the unconstitutional and illegal spying. There have been hardly any real terrorist events in the US, which is why the FBI has to find clueless people around whom to organize an FBI orchestrated plot in order to keep the “terrorist threat” alive in the public’s mind. At last count, there have been 150 “sting operations” in which the FBI recruits people, who are out of touch with reality, to engage in a well-paid FBI designed plot. Once the dupes agree, they are arrested as terrorists and the plot revealed, always with the accompanying statement that the public was never in any danger as the FBI was in control.
When 99 percent of all terrorism is organized by the FBI, why do we need NSA spying on every communication of every American and people in the rest of the world?
Terrorism seldom comes from outside. The source almost always is the government in power. The Czarist secret police set off bombs in order to blame and arrest labor agitators. The Nazis burned down the Reichstag in order to decimate the communists and assume unaccountable power in the name of “public safety.” An alleged terrorist threat is a way of using fear to block popular objection to the exercise of arbitrary government power.
In order to be “safe from terrorists,” the US population, with few objections, has accepted the demise of their civil liberties, such as habeas corpus, which reaches back centuries to Magna Carta as a constraint on government power. How, then, are they safe from their government? Americans today are in the same position as the English prior to the Great Charter of 1215. Americans are no longer protected by law and the Constitution from government tyranny.
The reason the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution was to make citizens safe from their government. If citizens allow the government to take away the Constitution, they might be safe from foreign terrorists, but they are no longer safe from their government.
Who do you think has more power over you, foreign terrorists or “your” government?
Washington defines all resistance to its imperialism and tyranny as “terrorism.” Thus, Americans who defend the environment, who defend wildlife, who defend civil liberties and human rights, who protest Washington’s wars and robbery of the people in behalf of special interests, all become “domestic extremists,” the term Homeland Security has substituted for “terrorist.” Those who are out of step with Washington and the powerful private interests that exploit us, other peoples, and the earth for their profits and power fall into the wrong side of Bush’s black and white division of the world: “you are for us or against us.”
In the United States independent thought is on the verge of being criminalized as are constitutionally guaranteed protests and the freedom of the press. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/10/james-risen-prison-journalism-criminalised The constitutional principle of freedom of speech is being redefined as treason, as aiding an undefined enemy, and as seeking to overthrow the government by casting aspersions on its motives and revealing its secret misdeeds. The power-mad inhabitants of Washington have brought the US so close to Gestapo Germany and Stalinist Russia that it is no longer funny. Indeed, it is sometimes difficult to see the difference.
The neoconservatives have declared that Americans are the “exceptional” and “indispensable people.” Yet, the civil liberties of Americans have declined the more “exceptional” and “indispensable” that Americans become. We are now so exceptional and indispensable that we no longer have any rights.
And neither does the rest of the world. Neoconservatism has created a new dangerous American nationalism. Neoconservatives have given Washington a monopoly on right and endowed its military aggressions with a morality that supersedes the Geneva Conventions and human rights. Washington, justified by its “exceptionalism,” has the right to attack populations in countries with which Washington is not at war, such as Pakistan and Yemen. Washington is using the cover of its “exceptionalism” to murder people in many countries. http://news.antiwar.com/2013/08/11/us-drones-pound-yemen-but-targets-arent-all-militants/print/ Hitler tried to market the exceptionalism of the German people, but he lacked Washington’s Madison Avenue skills.
Washington is always morally right, whatever it does, and those who report its crimes are traitors who, stripped of their coddling by civil liberties, are locked away and abused until they confess to their crimes against the state. Anyone who tells the truth, such as Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, and Edward Snowden, are branded enemies of the state and are ruthlessly persecuted.
How does the “indispensable, exceptional nation” have a diplomatic policy? How can a neoconized State Department be based on anything except coercion? It can’t. That is why Washington produces nothing but war and threats of war.
Wherever a person looks, whatever a person hears, it is Washington’s threat–“we are going to bomb you into the stone age” if you don’t do what we want and agree to what we require. We are going to impose “sanctions,” Washington’s euphemism for embargoes, and starve your women and children to death, permit no medical supplies, ban you from the international payments system unless you relent and consent to being Washington’s puppet, and ban you from posting your news broadcasts on the Internet.
This is the face that Washington presents to the world: the hard, mean face of a tyrant.
Washington’s power will survive a bit longer, because there are still politicians in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Latin America and in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the NGOs in Russia, who are paid off by the almighty dollar. In exchange for Washington’s money, they endorse Washington’s immorality and murderous destruction of law and life.
But the dollar is being destroyed by Quantitative Easing, and the domestic US economy is being destroyed by jobs offshoring.http://www.manufacturingnews.com/news/TAA0731131.html
Rome was powerful until the Germans ceased to believe it. Then the rotten edifice collapsed. Washington faces sooner or later the same fate. An inhumane, illegal, unconstitutional regime based on violence alone, devoid of all morality and all human compassion, is not acceptable to China, Russia, India, Iran, and Brazil, or to readers of this column.
The evil that is Washington cannot last forever. The criminals might destroy the world in nuclear war, but the lawlessness and lack of humanity in Washington, which murders more people as I write, is no longer acceptable to the rest of the world, not even to its European puppet states, despite the leaders being on Washington’s payroll.
Gorbachev is correct. The collapse of the Soviet Union was a debacle for the entire world. It transformed the US from the “city upon the hill,” the “beacon for humanity,” into an aggressive militarist state. Consequently, Amerika has become despised by everyone who has a moral conscience and a sense of justice.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.
Source: Paul Craig Roberts
One of the most troubling aspects of the “education reforms” currently being advanced by the Obama administration and its allies is the unprecedented monitoring and tracking of students — invasions of privacy so pervasive George Orwell might blush. Everything from biometric data to information on children’s beliefs and families is already being vacuumed up. Opponents of the “reform” agenda have highlighted the cradle-to-grave accumulation of private and intimate data as among the most compelling reasons to kill the whole process.
Aside from data produced by the looming Common Core-aligned national testing regime, most of the data-mining schemes are not technically direct components of the plot to nationalize education standards. However, the vast collection of personal information and the accompanying data-mining are intricately linked to the federally backed standards in multiple ways, not to mention myriad other federal schemes. Despite protestations to the contrary, the new standards and the data collection go together hand in hand.
Efforts to portray the data gathering via Common Core-aligned testing as a “state-led” plot notwithstanding, the Obama administration is reportedly considering raising phone taxes by executive decree to help subsidize the necessary technology. Why federal tax increases would be needed to pay for education and data-mining schemes that the federal government is supposedly not involved in has not been explained by officials, but experts and analysts say the reason is obvious.
Already, there are numerous systems being used and deployed across America aimed at compiling unprecedented amounts of data on students. Some are run by private organizations with government assistance; others are operated by authorities directly. All of them are extremely controversial, however, with parents and privacy advocates outraged.
Among the data schemes that have received a great deal of attention in recent months is “inBloom.” As with the new national education standards called Common Core, it is also funded by Bill Gates and the Carnegie Corporation. With at least nine states participating in the $100 million program already, the non-profit entity, which shares data with whomever authorities choose, is quickly gobbling up vast quantities of information.
Respected experts such as attorney Michael Farris, president of ParentalRights.org, pointed out that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child committee has repeatedly pressured governments to create similar national databases on children, albeit using different pretexts. Even liberals have expressed opposition. “Turning massive amounts of personal data about public school students to a private corporation without any public input is profoundly disturbing and irresponsible,” said New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna Lieberman, slamming authorities for failing to disclose the scheme or offer parents an opt-out.
In conjunction with inBloom, other systems are being funded and largely directed by the federal government itself. Using the same unconstitutional process as the one used to foist Common Core on state governments — a combination of federal bribes, waivers, and more — the Obama administration all but forced cash-strapped states to start monitoring and tracking student information, or to expand their existing systems.
Previous administrations and U.S. lawmakers also contributed to the problem, with the foundations having been laid decades ago. Before Obama, the Bush-era No Child Left Behind Act, for instance, among myriad other demands, called on states seeking federal funds to create “unique statewide identifiers” for each student. Under Obama, the process has accelerated at an unprecedented rate.
The stimulus-funded “Race to the Top,” a so-called school improvement scheme demanded by Obama, only distributed taxpayer funds to states that agreed to build and expand data systems, with the secretary of education specifically requesting interoperable databases to facilitate the collection and transfer of data. Massive bribes to states from the $50 billion “State Fiscal Stabilization Fund” conditioned on acceptance of Common Core and expanded data tracking, also part of the “stimulus” package, were critical in advancing the plot as well.
Boasting about the “stimulus”-funded coercion of state governments on data regimes during a speech to UNESCO, the deeply controversial UN “education” agency, Education Secretary Arne Duncan lauded the program.
“More robust data systems and a new generation of assessments can assist teachers and principals to improve their practices and tailor their instruction in ways that were largely unthinkable in the past,” Duncan continued. “We have advanced data systems that we are constantly improving.” Duncan wants other governments and the UN to follow the Obama administration’s lead on data gathering, he explained.
The administration helped pay for expanding “state” systems with an eye toward integrating them. Some $315 million in federal grants, for example, were used to bribe state governments and help them comply. However, the specific grant scheme, known as the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) program, actually began handing out taxpayer money in 2005.
As of 2009, the latest year for which figures are available on the Department of Education’s website, 41 states and Washington, D.C. had been awarded federal SLDS grants to expand their data systems on students. Experts say all 50 states now maintain or are capable of maintaining huge databases on the vast majority of American kids.
According to the Department of Education, the goal of the SLDS grants is to have states “expand their data systems to track students’ achievement from preschool through college.” The Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics offers slightly more detail about the SLDS scheme online: “Through grants and a growing range of services and resources, the program has helped propel the successful design, development, implementation, and expansion of K12 and P-20W (early learning through the workforce) longitudinal data systems,” it explains. “These systems are intended to enhance the ability of States to efficiently and accurately manage, analyze, and use education data, including individual student records.”
Cradle to Career Data Collection
Of course, all of the data collected must be shared with the U.S. Department of Education and other entities within and outside the federal government. Acting unilaterally, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan even purported to overrule federal privacy laws by promulgating new “regulations” gutting the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Some lawmakers expressed outrage, but the process continues.
“As part of what you described as a ‘cradle to career agenda,’ the Department of Education is aggressively moving to expand data systems that collect information on our nation’s students,” wrote Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), now chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee, in an early 2010 letter to Duncan. “The Department’s effort to shepherd states toward the creation of ade facto national student database raises serious legal and prudential questions.”
As Kline points out in the letter, there is good reason to believe that the administration is again flouting federal law. “Congress has never authorized the Department of Education to facilitate the creation of a national student database,” he explained. “To the contrary, Congress explicitly prohibited the ‘development of a nationwide database of personally identifiable information’ … and barred the ‘development, implementation, or maintenance of a Federal database.” Despite no mention of the Constitution, multiple federal statutes are cited in the correspondence.
Apparently, the administration does not take kindly to having its alleged violations of the law exposed. While it couldn’t fire Rep. Kline, the Education Department did reportedly dismiss its top privacy official, then-Family Policy Compliance Office chief Paul Gammill. According to a 2010 report in Inside Higher Ed, Gammill was fired after he “argued in internal meetings and documents that the department’s approach to prodding states to expand their longitudinal student data systems violated the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.” The Education Department refused to comment on the case, though it openly admits that one of the long-term goals of the SLDS program is to “make education data transparent through Federal and public reporting.”
According to the Department of Education, grants awarded to states under the program are aimed at supporting the creation and implementation of systems “that have the capacity to link individual student data across time and across databases” and “promote the linking of data collected or held by various institutions, agencies, and States.” Among the data to be included are the yearly test records of individual students mandated under the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act. “States are encouraged to include additional information in their longitudinal data systems,” the department continued.
In another Education Department document offering “guidance” on the SLDS schemes, further insight is offered into what sort of information authorities are seeking and collecting. Among the “Personally Identifiable Information” outlined in the report: name, parents’ names, address, Social Security number, date of birth, place of birth, mother’s maiden name, and more.
Other private and protected data that might be collected, the document suggests, include the “political affiliations or beliefs of the student or parent; mental and psychological problems of the student or the student’s family, sex behavior or attitudes; illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, and demeaning behavior; critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships; legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers; religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or the student’s parent; or income.” While the collection of such data in surveys and questionnaires funded by federal tax dollars requires parental consent under federal law, state-level collection does not. Plus, experts say there are numerous other potential loopholes as well.
So Much for Student Privacy
Much of the information vacuumed up at all levels of government already makes its way into a national Department of Education scheme known as “EDFacts.” The department describes it online: “EDFacts is a U.S. Department of Education (ED) initiative to collect, analyze, report on and promote the use of high-quality, kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) performance data…. EDFacts centralizes data provided by state education agencies, local education agencies and schools.” Under EDFacts, state education agencies submit some 180 data groups. The federal National Center for Education Statistics, meanwhile, describes over 400 data points to be collected.
The U.S. Department of Labor, separately, admits that it is working to “integrate workforce data and create linkages to education data.” According to the department’s “Workforce Data Quality Initiative,” the SLDS will “enable workforce data to be matched with education data to ultimately create longitudinal data systems with individual-level information beginning with pre-kindergarten through post-secondary schooling all the way through entry and sustained participation in the workforce and employment services system.” When combined with information from the IRS, ObamaCare, the NSA, and countless other federal data-collection schemes, the picture that emerges has critics very nervous.
As technology advances, the federal government’s Orwellian data gathering will — without action to stop it — almost certainly expand beyond most people’s wildest nightmares. In fact, it already has. Consider, for example, a February 2013 report by the Department of Education dubbed Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance: Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century. Included in the 100-page report is information about technology already being used in an Education Department-funded tutoring program.
“Researchers are exploring how to gather complex affective data and generate meaningful and usable information to feed back to learners, teachers, researchers, and the technology itself,” the report explains. “Connections to neuroscience are also beginning to emerge.” (Emphasis added.) The technological tools already being used by federally funded education schemes to probe students’ minds and “measure” the children include, as described in the report, “four parallel streams of affective sensors.”
Among the devices in use today through a federally funded tutoring scheme is a “facial expression camera” used to “detect emotion” and “capture facial expressions.” According to the report, the camera is linked to software that “extracts geometric properties on faces.” There is also a “posture analysis seat” and a “pressure mouse.” Finally, the report describes a “wireless skin conductance sensor” strapped to students’ wrists. The sensors collect “physiological response data from a biofeedback apparatus that measures blood volume, pulse, and galvanic skin response to examine student frustration.” Again, these systems are already being used in government-funded programs, and with technology racing ahead, developments are expected to become increasingly troubling.
Another Education Department report, entitled Enhancing, Teaching and Learning Through Educational Data Mining and Learning Analytics, acknowledges similarly alarming schemes. “A student learning database (or other big data repository) stores time-stamped student input and behaviors captured as students work within the system,” it notes. “A predictive model combines demographic data (from an external student information system) and learning/behavior data from the student learning database to track a student’s progress and make predictions about his or her future behaviors or performance.” (Emphasis added.)
All across the country today, Big Brother-like technological developments in biometrics are also making schools increasingly Orwellian. Earlier this year in Polk County, Florida, for example, students’ irises were scanned without parental consent. “It simply takes a picture of the iris, which is unique to every individual,” wrote the school board’s “senior director of support services” in a letter to parents. “With this program, we will be able to identify when and where a student gets on the bus, when they arrive at their school location, when and what bus the student boards and disembarks in the afternoon. This is an effort to further enhance the safety of our students. The EyeSwipe-Nano is an ideal replacement for the card based system since your child will not have to be responsible for carrying an identification card.”
In San Antonio, Texas, meanwhile, a female student made national news — and exposed what was going on — when she got in a legal battle with school officials over her refusal to wear a mandatory radio-frequency identification (RFID) device. The same devices are already being implanted under people’s skin in America and abroad — albeit voluntarily. Also in the biometric field, since at least 2007, children in states like Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New Jersey have been fingerprinted at school under the guise of “school lunch” programs and other pretexts.
Despite fierce opposition, the trend toward using biometric data to identify and track students while collecting unimaginable amounts of information is accelerating. The federal government is helping lead the way toward abolishing any vestiges of privacy, and aside from NSA spying on virtually everyone, students appear to be among the primary targets. Without major resistance, experts predict that someday — perhaps even in the very near future — biometric identification will become ubiquitous. Combined with all of the other data being collected, the federal government may finally achieve what was sought by tyrants throughout history: detailed 24/7 information on everything, about everyone.