Maverick Republican, Donald Trump, has been under intense pressure from the GOP establishment for his off-the-cuff remark about Senator John McCain (R-Arizona). In a televised interview, Trump said, “[John McCain] is a hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
Predictably, establishment Republicans immediately called Trump just about every dirty name in the book. Lindsey Graham called him a “jackass.” Rick Perry said the comment made him “unfit” to be President. Mitt Romney said Trump “shot himself down.” (Not hardly! Trump is the clear front runner of all the GOP presidential candidates in most polls.) But, clearly, the Republican establishment is frustrated with Trump’s popularity–and for good reason.
Donald Trump is scorching the GOP for its support of illegal immigration, and he is scorching it for its support of incessant foreign wars. Trump said, “We spent $2 trillion in Iraq, $2 trillion. We lost thousands of lives, thousands in Iraq. We have wounded soldiers all over the place, thousands and thousands of wounded soldiers. And we have nothing. We can’t even go there. We have nothing. And every time we give Iraq equipment, the first time a bullet goes off in the air, they leave it.” Amen!
See the report here:
And he is scorching them BIG TIME by calling into question the GOP’s 2008 standard bearer. Specifically, he has dared to tell the truth about the miserable record of John McCain’s treatment of America’s veterans.
See this report:
In refusing to apologize for his remarks about Senator McCain, Trump rightly said, “The reality is that John McCain the politician has made America less safe, sent our brave soldiers into wrong-headed foreign adventures, covered up for President Obama with the VA scandal and has spent most of his time in the Senate pushing amnesty. He would rather protect the Iraqi border than Arizona’s.”
See the report here:
While most everyone has criticized the second part of Trump’s statement (“I like people who weren’t captured”), hardly anyone has dared to broach the first part of the statement: “[John McCain] is a hero because he was captured.” That statement is an absolute fact.
John McCain rose to become one of America’s most powerful senators and became the Republican Party’s nominee for President in 2008 mostly on his Prisoner of War (POW) status. Absent his POW history, McCain would no doubt have lived his entire life in relative obscurity. It usually takes more than simply being a veteran or being the son of a Navy admiral or even being a POW to make one obtain famous hero status. How many other POWs do you know that have achieved McCain’s political power and influence?
Alabama’s Jeremiah Denton was a POW who truly endured intense torture at the hands of the enemy and who became one of our finest U.S. senators. And there was never the first hint of dishonorable conduct or scandal or accusations that Denton used his war record for personal profit. I had the privilege of meeting Senator Denton a couple of times, and the thing that struck me most about the man was his deep and genuine humility. The same cannot be said of John McCain.
John McCain’s POW record has been shrouded in controversy from the very beginning. Many independent journalists and military veterans have accused McCain of being America’s version of “Tokyo Rose.” They offer convincing evidence (or at least credible postulations) that McCain was NEVER tortured, that he received special treatment by his captors, and that he actually willingly participated in anti-America propaganda, in much the same way that Tokyo Rose did in the Pacific during World War II.
One Vietnam veteran who was publicly critical of John McCain was my friend Jack McLamb. McLamb served nine years in secret operations in Cambodia and other nations before going on to become one of the most highly decorated police officers in Phoenix, Arizona history, winning Police Officer of the Year twice before taking a role as a hostage negotiator for the FBI.
McLamb said of McCain, “I know a lot of Vietnam veterans and a few POW’s and all the POW’s that I’ve talked to over the years say that John McCain is a lying skunk.
“He never was tortured–they were there in the camp with him and then when he came in….he immediately started spilling his guts about everything because he didn’t want to get tortured,” said McLamb, contradicting the official story that McCain only offered his name, rank, serial number, and date of birth.
“The Vietnamese Communists called him the Songbird, that’s his code name, Songbird McCain, because he just came into the camp singing and telling them everything they wanted to know.”
McLamb also said, “The POW’s said that McCain made 32 propaganda videos for the communist North Vietnamese in which he denounced America for what they were doing in Vietnam.
“They have these sealed now, our government has these sealed, we can’t get to it, they have it classified. In truth the POW’s hate John McCain.”
See the report here:
There are many similar reports about John McCain. I suspect that Donald Trump is familiar with these reports. Here are a few of them:
Reports note that former American POWs such as Col. Ted Guy and Gordon “Swede” Larson, who were held in the same communist prison as McCain, have gone on record saying that they are very skeptical about McCain’s claims of torture.
See this report:
Another former POW, Philip Butler, a man who was also imprisoned with McCain, is more sympathetic to the man, saying that he had probably been tortured early on in his captivity and made no reference to McCain’s alleged anti-America propaganda charges–but was emphatic that McCain was unqualified to be President. Butler firmly said that he would NOT vote for McCain because McCain was a hot-tempered man who had become a Bush-like warmonger and who had used his POW status for personal and political gain. Remember, this is from a fellow POW who actually likes McCain.
See the report here:
Regardless of McCain’s real war record (the U.S. government has sealed the record, so we will likely never know the truth about the matter), it is a fact that, as one of the most powerful senators in Washington, D.C., John McCain has done little to assist America’s veterans. In fact, McCain is commonly regarded as being one of the strongest opponents to the investigation and rescue of POWs left behind in Indochina following the Vietnam War.
While a member of the Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs (1991-1993), McCain referred to POW/MIA family members and activists as “whiners,” “vultures,” and “the lunatic fringe.” Although the committee concluded that there were indeed American POWs left behind in Indochina, McCain voted to normalize relations with Vietnam without any accountability for America’s missing servicemen. In so doing, McCain ignored a letter written by fellow POW Captain Eugene “Red” McDaniel and co-signed by 50 former POWs which asked him to not support normalized relations with Vietnam until the POW issue had been resolved.
In 1996, McCain opposed the Missing Service Personnel Act (MSPA) as being “unnecessary” and “burdensome.” He also helped to amend the MSPA to remove criminal liability, which POW/MIA families knew was a serious blow to obtaining meaningful accountability on behalf their loved ones still languishing in Southeast Asia.
See the report here:
And this report:
John McCain has spent most of his senatorial career promoting an open border with Mexico, a path to citizenship for illegal aliens, and incessant foreign wars; facilitating the miserable performance of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA); and covering up evidence of Americans left behind in Indochina. No wonder so many people have referred to McCain as “The Manchurian Candidate.”
Read this report:
By telling the truth about John McCain, Donald Trump has hit the rawest of nerves within the Washington establishment (and New World Order globalist elite). Without a doubt, John McCain is one of the globalist elite’s political darlings. A favored son of globalist puppet-masters such as Henry Kissinger, John McCain has been a water boy for the New World Order from the time he entered politics. Guilty of corruption as one of the infamous “Keating Five,” John McCain was given a mere “slap-on-the-wrist” and allowed to continue his pernicious ways.
See the report here:
And McCain’s “war hero” status has made him virtually untouchable–until now.
My mind is far from made up in regards to supporting Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy. But, so far, Donald Trump has been willing to courageously confront the Washington establishment in an in-your-face, no-holds-barred manner that we have not seen in a long, long time. And if Trump accomplishes nothing else in his presidential bid except exposing establishment sycophants like John McCain, I, for one, am excited that he has entered the race.
J. Rushdoony wrote a book about confession: “The Cure of Souls”. (CofS) His intent was to provide a Biblical foundation to a necessary Christian procedure that has been a source of frustration. As with all of his extensive writing he did it extremely well.
When confronted with the snooping that is the source of Goggle’s income C. E. O. Eric Schmidt replied that people should not mind having their internet tracks followed if they were not doing something they shouldn’t. He was partially correct.
There are a variety of practices that individuals indulge that they wish to keep secret – some are problems and some are solutions. Pornography is a serious problem in America. Many people, both men and women, become addicted to it and want to keep it private. The use of internet pornography is tracked, recorded, and shared. On the other side of the coin there are many who oppose the current course of our nation and seek to use the internet as a source of information; their journey, too, is tracked, recorded, and shared.
Recreational drug use is widespread and those who indulge often seek anonymity. Some drug use is controlled and remains recreational, other users become addicted and invariably hide their addiction. Alcohol, also a drug, is socially acceptable even though it creates similar problems.
Rushdoony writes about an early contact with Catholics who made jokes about their sessions with the priest. Biblical confession is a serious procedure between the confessor and God. For the Christian, Jesus’ death as propitiation for sin is a positive and primary confession. When confession becomes titillating or routine it is bogus.
Biblical confession petitions God to forgive violations of His Law. Violation of God’s Law is sin. Jesus died for our sins and when we confess them He forgives them. However, the Biblical pattern for confession involves restoration and repentance.
Law is a prerequisite to legitimate confession. Known breaches of human law are followed by punishments that are often arbitrary. Breaches of God’s Law are sin. In our current society the state has become sovereign and all offenses are against the state. God and His Law have been replaced by the capricious and arbitrary laws of men. Some of God’s Law has been preserved but even in those cases the penalties are humanistic.
Rushdoony believed that sin was a serious disorder that affects the “church, state, family, business, and more….. It shatters trust and communication. Non-confessional societies cease to be societies and develop a ‘communication problem’”. (CofS Pg.144)
A current article on Greece called its government a “Fantasy Government”. United States of America has had a fantasy government for several decades. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, is another voluminous, wealth robbing, globalist international agreement. All of the international trade agreements have resulted in the theft of wealth for the United States. A treasonous congress passes these bills without knowing their contents. Elected officials are oath-bound to support our Constitution. When they vote for legislation they have not read they are guilty of treason against the American people. Greece has a small fantasy government; ours, with the world’s largest stock of weapons of mass destruction, is a gargantuan chimera.
The word “sin” has become anachronistic. Right and wrong is now determined by the state with accompanying cognitive dissonances. While laws against sexual harassment in the military and in the office are being strengthened and enforced, homosexuals can parade their deviance everywhere. And, on a more dangerous note, while the Bramble men celebrating marriages that are unable to reproduce we are regularly told by our demographers that the White race is becoming extinct.
Evangelical Christians are against sin but they seldom have a proper definition. Biblical sin is disobedience to God’s Law. Antinomianism is so widespread that a true confession of sin is rare.
Bristol Palin is pregnant again. She says “I know this has been, and will be, a huge disappointment to my family, to my close friends, and to many of you”. She does not want any lectures; she and her family will be fine. She has another illegitimate child fathered by Levi Johnson. His name is Tripp. The father of the unborn child remains anonymous. Ignoring the price that was paid for her forgiveness Bristol depends on a merciful God.
Not only does the United States have a fantasy government but it is also distinctly Pharisaical. Ellen White in her book “The Great Controversy” describes the behavior of the comely and talented archangel, Lucifer. While not endorsing her religious affiliation I quote her excellent description: “Leaving his place in the immediate presence of God, Lucifer went forth to diffuse the spirit of discontent among the angels. Working with mysterious secrecy, and for a time concealing his real purpose under an appearance of reverence for God, he endeavored to excite dissatisfaction concerning the laws that governed heavenly beings, intimating that they imposed an unnecessary restraint. Since their natures were holy, he urged that the angels should obey the dictates of their own will. He sought to create sympathy for himself by representing that God had dealt unjustly with him in bestowing supreme honor upon Christ.”
It is hard to miss the corollary with the present leadership of the United States. We are being controlled by self-described superior beings who are mysterious and who seek to destroy the embers of devotion to the One True God. We are manipulated with lies and with events that are planned and perpetrated with intent to deceive the people. A mysterious oligarchy seeks to gain absolute control over God’s people and His creation. It is a Luciferian plot in both intent and practice.
Rushdoony writes, “A culture which is not truly Christian may plan grandly for ‘a new world order’. It may imagine that all problems are to be solved by its wisdom, and it has a great deal of self-admiration. Is there a major country in the world today which does not see itself as the earth’s true center? Each seeks to direct itself and the world in terms of its ostensible superior eminence and wisdom.” (CofS pg. 211)
Since Christianity has been banned from everyday life right and wrong are now determined by the puppeteers that control the American State. The rules that govern life are no longer immutable but are subject to change and interpretation as the power structure sees fit.
When the state becomes sovereign as it is now doing in America and has done in the past, particularly in Stalin’s Russia, confession becomes staged and coerced. Loyal Russian Communists were sometimes forced to confess erroneous sins against the state to showcase its divine nature. Actions against the state were punishable by death.
The legalization of same sex marriage by the United States Supreme Court is a leap into the arena of state divinity. This law not only plunges a knife into the heart of Christianity, the major religion of the nation, but violates the obvious tenets of Natural Law as well. It puts the engine of government on a straight track to godhood.
While this momentous evil is engulfing the world the Protestant Church remains as silent as the insouciant people in her pews. The Catholic Church has in the past produced a call to righteousness but is now supporting centralization and seems to have a soft spot for sodomy.
Humanistic churches have no vision. They cannot conceive of a world living in peaceful prosperity under the rule of a merciful God. For Evangelicals conversion is the beginning and the end. The theological hole that obedience should fill is ignored and misinformed Christians like Bristol Palin and her mother fail to properly understand the God they claim to worship.
Justice has fled and the sound for righteousness is faint and fading.
Rushdoony writes, “we live in an age when the world and its apostate cultures are dying, and they do not know it. They dream and plan in terms of a new world order. Its name is death.” CofS Pg.179)
Yes, “Its name is death”.
What would happen if we Americans suddenly decided to withdraw all of our troops currently scattered all over the world and to actually bring them back to within our own US borders where they belong? What would happen if we actually closed down all of America’s extensive and pricy (over one thousand and counting) military bases and black-site operations all around the globe? We may never know. “Why?” you might ask. Because it is never gonna happen, that’s why.
Despite all of the incredibly huge amounts of money, energy, pain and grief that all these bases and black-site operations are costing us American taxpayers daily right now, the subject of closing even a few of these bases and black-site operations (or at least to stop opening up new ones!) isn’t even up for debate.
There are so many other topics that we are happily debating in America right now — but not this one.
Americans are currently debating such crap topics as how best to save rich people from having to pay taxes; whether cops should be allowed to kill minority and/or poor people at will; why torture is a good thing; how we can most easily give large corporations our life savings and pensions; whether or not our kids should get measles vaccines; and exactly how soon “we” can bomb the crap out of Russia. But one of the most important subjects for debate in America today is not even on the menu right now.
A raging debate on how to return America to its grand old isolationist tradition should be the major topic in every newspaper headline and TV news show in America right now. But, sadly, it is not.
And there are many other life-threatening topics for debate here in America that we should be discussing too (but are not) such as, “Is it really in our best interest to support chaos in the Middle East or be Israeli neo-colonialists’ catspaws?” Or whether corporations really are people, or “Why is election-malfeasance in America is still running amuck?” Or if we really want to be committing climate-change suicide? Or why America now has the same distribution of wealth between the upper classes and the rest of us that it had back in 1910 and that the difference in income between America’s top 1% and the rest of us is further apart now than any other time in history including the Roman Empire, Charles Dickens’ London and Marie Antoinette’s France.
According to economist Thomas Piketty, “Income inequality has exploded in the United States.”
And why the freak is America a member of NATO, the most war-mongering organization in the entire world outside of the US Department of “Defense”?
And — really? Here’s a headline that will warm all those Scrooge-like corporate hearts: “Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown“Social science is being militarized to develop ‘operational tools’ to target peaceful activists and non-violent protest movements. Should we not be discussing that too?
And then there’s that good old “New World Order” thingie popping up again, and it no longer even includes America on the list of those giving the New Orders — because the global overlord dudes who are currently drawing up the list to re-order our world seem to have us Americans in mind only to play the minor roles of vassals and serfs.
But none of these other topics are up for debate in America either.
According to journalist Juan Cole, the top five favorite planks for the Republican party platform in 2016 are gonna be torture, war-mongering, bank corruption, tax evasion for the uber-rich and how best to steal elections. Why aren’t we discussing that either?
Frankly, there seems to be no debate in America today on almost any topic that should be of primary concern to We the People who are paying for all this crap. But I digress. Let’s get back on topic, the topic of closing over a thousand US military bases and black-site operations all across the globe.
Of course I myself am obviously an advocate for closing all U.S. bases and black-site operations on foreign soil and bringing all of our troops home where they belong. So. Let’s debate.
Debaters in favor of keeping America’s foreign empire strong and all these bases and black-site operations open might come up with a list of arguments such as:
1. “They” will come here and terrorize us if we let down our guard.
2. We will then have little or no access to raw materials and natural resources. Our economy will shrink.
3. We need the war industry because it produces jobs.
4. We must bring freedom and democracy to the world and stop tyrannies.
These four points are all laughably easy to refute — except for perhaps point number three. Here are my counter-arguments:
1. In the many decades since the end of WW II, America has systematically created more enemies than one can shake a stick at due to its brutal policy of foreign military interference abroad. People all over the world used to love America. But this is no longer true. Obviously. These foreign bases and black-site operations are not keeping America safe. Just look at 9/11. Just look at the Great Recession of 2008. I rest my case.
2. Hey, we can always get access to foreign natural resources by actually paying for them. Now there’s a unique idea. It’s called Capitalism!
Right now, our military mainly serves the purpose of acting as thugs and extortionists for corporations, allowing corporations to go into foreign countries at will and steal their natural resources. Our nation’s finest young men and women are being forced to serve as mega-corporations’ personal security forces and Mafia crews. Hell, let these corporations pay for their own damn security thugs. Why should we taxpayers do the job? We are never the ones who make money off of this deal. Au contraire. We get to pay through the nose for it.
Why should we American taxpayers keep paying out trillions of dollars so that the best and brightest of our young generation can die violent and lonely deaths and leave widows and orphans behind them — in order to “Keep Corporations Strong”? It’s like Vietnam all over again.
3. Yes, the war industry does produce jobs. But working for the Yankee Dollar is a high-risk employment, is morally repugnant and the benefits are few. How about, instead, that we hire all those soldiers to work in the solar industry or to repair our shabby infrastructure? Or train them to become doctors or teachers. Just think of the money we’d save!
4. America doesn’t bring democracy to the world. “We” mostly bring dictators and ruffians and torturers and election fraud. And “we” are currently supporting monsters like ISIS and those neo-Nazis in Ukraine. It’s all about the money. The American dream has become a nightmare if you live overseas (and will probably become more of a nightmare here too if we continue to keep the same vampires and doofuses in charge).
That’s my argument and I’m sticking with it.
Hey, I may be wrong here about proposing that we immediately bring all of “our” weapons and troops home. Or I may be right. Who knows. But shouldn’t we at least be having this debate?
Author’s note: “War Street” is the simplified name that I’ve given to the war-mongers, weapons manufacturers and military-industrial complex members who pretty much own America right now — along with their buddies on Wall Street and K Street of course.
This is my own personal list. Feel free to jump right in with a list of your own.
1. That the Civil War was fought to free the slaves. Nah, that was solely an afterthought. The real reason for the Civil War was the lust for $$$$ and power. Like war always is for.
2. That holding the Union together back in 1860 was a good thing. A good thing for who? Dontcha sometimes just wish that The South had been allowed to go on its own merry way back then — so that we now don’t have to waste billions of Yankee dollars on Red State racists, corrupt senators, war-mongers and welfare queens? Boy, I could surely live without Mitch McConnell. He’s our ultimate grand prize for The North having won the 1860 Civil War? Really?
3. “Remember the Maine!” Yeah right. Apparently the sinking of the Maine was a false-flag operation to force Americans into a brutal war with Spain. http://zinnedproject.org/
4. The 1908 invasion of the Philippines — wherein approximately one-sixth of its population was massacred by the US Army in the name of bringing “Democracy” to Filipinos. They could have lived without that one — literally.
5. World War I? Really? Do you even have to ask why this war was based on lies — such as that the Huns were out to murder our babies? Or that the Lusitania was torpedoed by the evil Kaiser when actually it was illegally carrying six million pounds of explosives on board a munitions transport ship disguised at a cruise liner before it blew up. Or how about the famous “Zimmerman Telegram” lie?
6. Pearl Harbor. Roosevelt knew. Of course he did. And Senator Prescott Bush invested in Nazi Germany bigtime. And after WW II was over, our very own CIA brought 1,000 Nazi officers over here to help J. Edgar Hoover, Allen Dulles and Joe McCarthy organize their new Cold War storm-troopers. And today “Corporatism,” as Mussolini called it, is now king in the USA — and all over the rest of world too. Unbelievable. Was there any reason at all why we fought World War II? http://www.nytimes.com/2014/
7. The invasion of Korea. Again, that phony “Democracy” thing came into play — as it has again and again and again as Wall Street and War Street set up dictator after dictator across the globe and then whitewashed these brutal bad guys to the gullible American public back home:
7.a Chaing Kai-shek, “Our democratic ally in Asia”
7.b The Shah of Iran, “Our democratic ally in the Middle East.”
7.c Fulgencio Batista, “Our democratic ally in Cuba.”
7.d Apartheid South Africa, “Our democratic ally in Africa.”
7.d Francisco Franco, “Our democratic ally in Spain.”
7.e Syngman Rhee, “Our democratic ally in South Korea.”
7.f. Papa Doc Duvalier, “Our democratic ally in Haiti.”
7.g Augusto Pinochet, “Our democratic ally in Chile.”
7.h Manuel Noriega, “Our democratic ally in Panama.”
7.i Mubarak and Sisi, “Our democratic allies in Egypt.” http://www.amec.org.za/
7.i King Salman al Saud, “Our democratic ally in Saudi Arabia.” http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/
Although I must admit that the new Saudi king now appears to be actually lightening up and coming to his senses a bit — not an easy task for someone who allegedly has Alzheimers http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
However, Saudi Arabia still has a “Democratic” track record that would impress even Hitler, Stalin and Genghis Khan. In Saudi Arabia today, for example, the government holds a public beheading on the average of once every four days. No wonder that their ISIS protegees are handy with swords. But don’t even get me started on the Saudis! http://www.iacenter.org/
There are approximately 50 other “Democratic ally” dictators that I could list here too but am running out of space. I don’t wanna be doing this forever you know.
8. The Kennedy assassination. Do you really believe that one lone gunman could have gotten through all that security without any help, or could have made that incredible kill shot with a BB gun from behind Kennedy and very far away — and yet still manage to hit the front of Kennedy’s head? Then I have a bridge to sell you. Lee Harvey Oswald was definitely not Chris Kyle. He was a patsy.
9. Vietnam! The Gulf of Tonkin incident was made-up baloney.
10. Remember all those lies we were told by that “low-life scum” Henry Kissinger during his vicious secret bombings of Cambodian rice paddies in 1969, wherein approximately 600,000 poor Cambodian farmers were massacred from the skies? “Never happened,” said Henry. Plausible deniability is all that matters to him. http://www.
11. The Iran-Contra scandal. The death squads in Central America. And all that BS about “Americans do not torture” — even as War Street was running the School of the Americas right under our noses.
12. What came next? Oh yeah. That Milosevic nightmare. Milosevic was America’s go-to guy — until he wasn’t. Didn’t you ever wonder why no one did anything to stop him until after socialist Yugoslavia was just a hot mess?
13. Saudi Arabia. Again. They told us that the Saudis were the good guys, but actually Saudi Arabia is where most of the 9-11 hijackers came from. http://www.newyorker.com/news/
14. Israel, said to be “Our democratic ally in the Middle East.” But if Israel is a democracy, I’ll eat my hat. Just ask the Moroccan-Israeli Jews living there. http://vimeo.com/60814711 Or the Ethiopian-Israeli Jews.
Violent and shifty Israeli neo-colonialists have also committed despicable crime after despicable crime against humanity in the most undemocratic fashion, including their brutal, traitorous, dastardly and deliberate attempt to sink the USS Liberty, a false-flag operation approved and facilitated by War Street itself https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Just watch this horrifying film of Israeli neo-colonials’ cowardly destruction of a whole city in Gaza, using US weapons and $$$$: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
15. Saddam Husein, who we were told was Ronald Reagan’s hot new Middle East boy wonder — until he wasn’t. See #12.
16. And then there was that first Gulf war, totally based on a lie. The Kuwaitis were slant-drilling into Iraqi oil reserves, a big no-no, and so Pappy Bush told Saddam, “Sure, they deserve it, go ahead and invade…” And remember all those incubator babies too? Lies upon lies.
17. September 11, 2001. Bush knew. And let it happen. http://www.paulcraigroberts.
18. As a result of that infamous “Second Pearl Harbor” on Bush’s watch, we were once again lied to and told that we needed to invade Afghanistan instead of Saudi Arabia. And that we needed to invade Iraq.
18.a. John McCain himself lied right to my face in Baghdad back in 2007 — but I still can’t decide if it was a lie of commission or omission. At a press conference in the Green Zone, McCain told us that it was perfectly safe for him to walk around a marketplace in Baghdad — but neglected to tell us that he was also protected by body armor, humvees and helicopters, and also put a battalion of grunts in harm’s way while he did it. http://jpstillwater.blogspot.
Just that same morning, I had been told by Major Hernandez of CPIC that if I wanted to go outside of the Green Zone without a major armored escort, I would be dead within five minutes after crossing the 14th of July Bridge. Luckily I believed Major Hernandez and not John McCain.
18.b. That, after 9-11, we also needed to invade Libya, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, I forget where all else, if we were ever to be safe. And that we needed to invade oodles of other countries all over the world in order to “Keep America Safe”. That was the biggest lie so far. Are we safe yet?
19. That Muammar Gaddafi in Libya was standing in the way of “Democracy”. Well, he sure isn’t standing in the way any more! Turns out he was standing in the way of anarchy. But you get what you pay for.
20. That Bashar Assad in Syria is in cahoots with ISIS. Yeah right. NATO, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Pentagon are in cahoots with ISIS. Assad is only the victim here, the one who is getting his country torn apart. Why would he want to support the brigands who are robbing his home? http://www.counterpunch.org/
21. “I am Charlie.” No, you aren’t. “I am the CIA”. Watching that film of the killers getting into their getaway car was just a big joke. They took their time. They even put their AK-47 on the roof of the car while they fiddled with their backpacks and chatted about the weather, obviously knowing that they were protected. But then they weren’t. See # 12. https://www.youtube.com/watch?
22. The debacle in Ukraine. “We’re not involved,” the Pentagon tells me. Then how come when Flight MH17 was tragically shot down by the Ukies, War Street went to such lengths to blame the event on Russia and not on the neo-Nazi stooges they had set up in Kiev? https://consortiumnews.com/
23. That the torture and mass murders at Auschwitz and the “preemptive war” on and occupation of Holland, France, Greece, Norway, Denmark and Poland by Hitler’s minions were obviously war crimes — but the torture and mass murders at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and Gaza, and “preemptive war” on and occupation of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine by Bush and Obama’s minions aren’t. https://www.youtube.com/watch?
That Nuremberg standards apply to war crimes committed 70 years ago but no longer apply to war crimes committed today.
24. That we are always being told the truth by the New York Times and Fox News. Yeah right. Despite the fact that War Street just loves the “Newspaper of record” to pieces, the Times needs to wash its mouth out with soap. And Politifact just announced that 60% of everything Fox News tells us is lies. 60%? Yikes! http://www.politifact.com/
25. That War is better than Peace.
Sorry, that’s all of the War Street lies I can think of right now. But I’m sure there are many more out there, many many more lies that I’ve missed. Transparency is clearly and obviously not an American value — and democracy doesn’t seem to be one either.
But I will tell you one thing that I know for sure: I won’t ever be fooled again. And the rest of America needs to avoid being suckered down the garden path to War Street as well.
Whether to require labeling on GMO foods should be the easiest and simplest of decisions. If health and safety is really a mandate of federal agencies, ‘where is the beef’ in their policies? Come on people, banning such modifications is not even remotely being considered, so why will the government not lead the way and allow the public to be reasonably informed with full disclosure of exactly the makeup and alterations to the very essence of the food we eat.
Advocates stressing caution provide Top 10 Reasons to Label Genetically Engineered Foods. Where are the warning labels that sheer common sense demands?
- The Convention on Biodiversity recognizes that genetic engineering is a threat to amount and variety of life on the planet.
- Scientists reviewing data from Monsanto’s own studies “have proven that genetically engineered foods are neither sufficiently healthy or proper to be commercialized.”
- Biotech’s scattershot technique of spraying plant cells with a buckshot of foreign genes that hit chromosomes in random spots would trigger the expression of new allergens and change the character of plant proteins.
- Milk and dairy products from cows injected with genetically engineered growth hormones ARE different from conventional and organic milk and dairy products.
- The third generation of hamsters fed genetically engineered soy suffered slower growth, a high mortality rate, and a bizarre birth defect: fur growing in their mouths. Many also lost the ability to have pups.
- Animals fed genetically engineered feed ARE different from animals fed conventional and organic feed.
- A single serving of genetically engineered soy can result in horizontal gene transfer, where the bacteria in the human gut adopts the soy’s DNA.
- Genetically engineered foods ARE different from conventional and organic foods.
- Genetically engineered foods have not been tested to determine whether they are safe for human consumption.
- Almost all non-organic processed food and animal products in the U.S. today contain ingredients that come from genetically engineered crops or from animals given genetically engineered feed, vaccines or growth hormones.
Health concerns are on the minds of responsible consumers, especially since Obamacare rationing lowers the quality of care. Proponents of limited government are cautious to expand regulations and bureaucratic regulation. However, how can a consumer accept the risk when meaningful labeling is absent?
If you think you are diligent in avoiding selecting such genetically engineered food with your shopping, think again because, What Are We Eating?
“We Currently Eat Genetically Engineered Food, But Don’t Know It.
A genetically engineered food is a plant or meat product that has had its DNA artificially altered in a laboratory by genes from other plants, animals, viruses, or bacteria, in order to produce foreign compounds in that food. This type of genetic alteration is not found in nature, and is experimental. The correct scientific term is “transgenics,” and is also often referred to as (GE) genetically engineered.
Example: Genetically Modified corn has been engineered in a laboratory to produce pesticides in its own tissue. GMO Corn is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency as an Insecticide, but is sold unlabeled. [EPA Pesticides ]”
So what is the nutrimental value of this laboratory designed foods? Should there be open transparency so that full disclosure can evaluate exactly what comprises this new source of sustenance? If you listen to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), think again. CSPI Refuses to Debate Consumers Union on Labeling of GMO Foods presents suspect reasoning.
“Gregory Jaffe, CSPI’s director of Biotechnology told a reporter last year — “we don’t feel it should be mandated on labels that foods are produced with GM crops.”
“You could argue for example that non-GMO label claims are misleading since they falsely imply that food made without GE ingredients is safer or superior in some other way,” Jaffe said.”
Attempts to equate natural foods with a genetically engineered menu are no surprise. That bistro of fine dining, Monsanto falls back on the select club of government authorities and medical experts of chemically toxic healers to justify the limits on warnings of known risks. In Labeling Food and Ingredients Developed from GM Seed, establishment science protects the corporate benefactors of the designer disease and drug treatment cycle.
“Within the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees food labeling. FDA guidance requires labeling of food products containing ingredients from GM seed if there is a meaningful difference between that food and its conventional counterpart. The American Medical Association (AMA) supports FDA’s approach and approved a formal statement asserting that there is no scientific justification for special labeling of foods containing GM ingredients.”
Skyrocketing cancer associated with processed foods promises to be dwarfed by the hidden consequences of GMO experimentations. Yet, the government simply ignores their mission of promoting public health.
Overcoming this threat is no easy process. When Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods provides a list of pros and cons for mandatory labeling, their negative reasons fall short of reassuring that a GMO food system is safe. Their argument follows a familiar pattern, Caveat Emptor “Let the buyer beware”.
“Mandatory labeling would extend much further and would require, at a minimum, that all food products containing any GM ingredient (above a certain threshold for trace amounts) to indicate that fact. Stronger mandatory labeling requirements could include identification of each specific GM ingredient and its level of content in the product. Mandatory labeling requires further regulatory interventions including monitoring and enforcement. Under a mandatory labeling system, all consumers—both those that are concerned about the GM ingredients and those that are not—help bear the costs associated with being able to verify that foods do or do not use GM ingredients.”
Since our health is ultimately our own responsibility, having reliable labeling on all GMO foodstuffs should be a prudent requirement to enhance public knowledge. Taking actions like those listed in 10 Things You Can Do to Stop GMOs, should not necessitate a full scale crisis. Putting people before corporate profits needs to become the standard every consumer deserves.
When I was in India several years ago, I learned a lot about its historic caste system and the role of its “untouchables”. But I never put two and two together — that we might have “untouchables” and a caste system here in America too — until I saw photos of what happened in Ferguson, Missouri, this August. http://www.stltoday.com/news/
When I was in the Peace Corps in South Africa, I learned all about its grim apartheid practices in the past. But I never actually figured it out — until Ferguson — that America practiced apartheid too, and that the old apartheid bantustans of South Africa strongly resemble modern African-American bantustans like Ferguson; deliberately kept isolated, controlled and apart from the rest of America until there is almost no hope of ever getting out of them except by doing hard time in prison. http://www.blackagendareport.
When I visited the slums of Kampala, I was struck by what a third-world country Uganda was, with many of its poorest citizens being jobless, homeless, hopeless and living a bleak hand-to-mouth existence. But it never occurred to me that parts of America have similar unemployment rates, sparse education systems and the hopelessness of a third-world country too — until Ferguson gave me that new perspective. http://www.
In Israel/Palestine, I saw people constantly discriminated against “not by the content of their character but by the color of their skin,” to paraphrase Martin Luther King. But not until Ferguson, where whites clearly hold all the power and use it corruptlyhttp://stlouis.cbslocal.com/
When I was embedded in Iraq, I saw American tanks and weaponry like you wouldn’t believe, used on Iraqi civilians to keep them in line. But it wasn’t until I saw videos of Ferguson that I realized that the use of tanks and military weaponry have become standard warfare procedure against civilians here in America too. http://readersupportednews.
When I was in Burma, I saw minorities being labeled as inferior, being called insulting names and constantly being accused of laziness, stupidity, immorality and violence to the point where in some cases the minorities actually started suffering from the Stockholm Syndrome and becoming all the things that they were constantly being labeled as — but I never really brought this connection back home until Ferguson. http://readersupportednews.
When I was in Honduras, I heard tales about how Ronald Reagan funded his brutal death squads there by having the CIA fly whole plane-loads of drugs into secret airfields in Arkansas via “Air America” and then sell all those drugs in the ghettos here at home.
I knew that, back in the 1980s, the sudden availability of cheap crack cocaine had hit America’s Black communities like a ton of bricks — but I hadn’t really realized how much this crack epidemic had hurt these communities, even decades later, until I saw what the results of this evil agenda of deliberately choreographing drug sales in America’s ghettos had done to the societal fabric of American cities and towns like Ferguson back in the 1980s — and how hard, even today, that “authorities” are still fighting to keep the residents of places like Ferguson from ever putting their lives back together again.
When I was in Afghanistan, I constantly heard all kinds of stories about how American military planes would arrive there all loaded up with military supplies and then fly back to America loaded down with heroin, and that the dirty-money made on these ventures would help finance the American military-industrial complex’s Forever Wars.
But I never thought to associate all of this foreign drug trafficking with the breakdown of African-American cultural norms due to the sudden availability of huge amounts of heroin in ghettos all across our own nation — at least not until Ferguson caused me to see that the break-down of cultural norms in American ghettos had been carefully orchestrated and planned to do just that. And while turning a profit too — so that our own impoverished ghetto bantustans here at home are actually helping to finance the American military-industrial complex’s grim slaughter-for-empire abroad. Think about it. http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-
When I was an election observer in Syria last June, I soon learned not to trust anything the American and British mainstream media claimed about election fraud there. There was no election fraud there. Period. https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Shame on me for so easily seeing all the bias, racism, apartheid, military brutality, corruption, caste systems and just down-right immoral behavior by ruling-class Brahmans that routinely happens in other countries — but failing to see that all these grim tactics are being used right here at home too. http://readersupportednews.
And shame on America for letting all this profiling, perfidy, pilfering and prejudice go on for so long back here at home — where we Americans are supposedly civilized and moral, and supposedly hold ourselves to the higher ideals of liberty, equality and democracy. http://vimeo.com/84249535
What a waste of human resources, human compassion and human life.
Something drastic must be done immediately to rectify this grim situation if we are ever going to pull the emergency brake on America’s rapid downward descent into feudalism and fascism — starting with using the trillions of dollars that we will save when we put a stop to ruthless military adventurism, and instead use that money to open world-class schools in every ghetto (and even in every non-ghetto) in the land, and to provide decent, chemical-free non-mutated food on every table too. http://www.
We now live in a nation where
doctors destroy health
lawyers destroy justice
universities destroy knowledge
governments destroy freedom
the press destroys information
religion destroys morals
and our banks
destroy the economy.
PS: Can American taxpayers really afford to pay for the occupation of Ukraine, Palestine, Iraq, Syria and Ferguson? Plus why would we want to? http://www.
The American military-industrial complex is currently spending 1.5 million dollars a day on military operations in Iraq. Imagine if that money was being spent to send Black kids to college — or to supply a college education to all American kids too for that matter. http://www.theguardian.com/
Every single patriotic American who loves his or her country needs to immediately get on the phone (and not even just go on FaceBook either) and make calls to Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court — bluntly telling them, “I’m sick of war!” https://www.aclu.org/secure/
PPS: “But Jane,” you might say, “those people in Ferguson blatantly stole stuff and looted and defied the law.” Yeah they did. But then so did Cliven Bundy — and nobody seemed to object to that. Angry Ferguson-Americans obviously need to learn how to steal and loot and defy the law Bundy-style! Fox News will probably even make them heroes. And maybe Bundy could even give them some tips.
Or maybe the citizens of Ferguson can get some tips from the primitive horde of neo-Nazis that the American military-industrial complex has recently hired (for five billion dollars) to shoot up and loot Ukraine — including but not limited to that Malaysian airplane that we never read about any more after it became public knowledge that Ukrainian neo-Nazis, not Putin, shot it down. http://www.wsws.org/en/
When I was in Ukraine several years ago, everything was peaceful — but just look at it now. It’s a war zone. And just another example of our tax dollars at work abroad destroying people’s lives rather than fixing people’s lives here at home.
I wouldn’t mind at all if that five billion dollars had been spent here at home instead. It could have bought Ferguson a new library, several new schools and probably a new hospital too. http://www.globalresearch.ca/
The post-Cold War status quo in Eastern Europe, not to mention in Western Europe, is now dead.
For Western plutocracy, that 0.00001% at the top, the real Masters of the Universe, Russia is the ultimate prize; an immense treasure of natural resources, forests, pristine water, minerals, oil and gas. Enough to drive any NSA-to-CIA Orwellian/Panopticon war game to ecstasy. How to pounce and profit from such a formidable loot?
Enter Globocop NATO. Barely out of having its collective behind unceremoniously kicked by a bunch of mountain warriors with Kalashnikovs, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is now fast
“pivoting” – that same old Mackinder to Brzezinski game – to Russia. The road map will be put in place at the group’s summit in early September in Wales.
Meanwhile, the MH17 tragedy is undergoing a fast metamorphosis. When the on-site observations by this Canadian OSCE monitor (watch the video carefully) are compounded with this analysis by a German pilot, a strong probability points to a Ukrainian Su-25’s 30 mm auto-cannon firing at the cockpit of MH17, leading to massive decompression and the crash.
No missile – not even an air-to-air R-60M, not to mention a BUK (the star of the initial, frenetic American spin). The new possible narrative fits with on-site testimony by eyewitness in this now famously “disappeared” BBC report. Bottom line: MH17 configured as a false flag, planned by the US and botched by Kiev. One can barely imagine the tectonic geopolitical repercussions were the false flag to be fully exposed.
Malaysia has handed out the flight recorders to the UK; this means NATO, and this spells out manipulation by the CIA. Air Algerie AH5017 went down after MH17. The analysis has already been released. That begs the question of why it is taking so long for MH17’s black boxes to be analyzed/tampered with.
Then there’s the sanctions game: Russia remains guilty – with no evidence – thus it must be punished. The EU abjectly followed His Master’s Voice and adopted all the hardcore sanctions against Russia they were discussing last week.
Yet there are loopholes. Moscow will have reduced access to US dollar and euro markets. Russian state-owned banks are forbidden from selling shares or bonds in the West. Yet Sberbank, Russia’s largest, has not been sanctioned.
So Russia in the short and medium term will have to finance itself. Well, Chinese banks could easily replace that kind of lending. Don’t forget the Russia-China strategic partnership. As if Moscow needed another warning that the only way to go is to increasingly bypass the US dollar system.
EU nations will suffer. Big time. BP has a 20% stake in Rosneft, and it’s already freaking out on the record. ExxonMobil, Norway’s Statoil and Shell will also be affected. Sanctions don’t touch the gas industry; now that would have propelled the EU’s counterproductive stupidity to galactic levels. Poland – hysterically blaming Moscow for everything under the sun – gets more than 80% of its gas from Russia. The no less strident Baltic states, as well as Finland, get 100%.
The ban on dual-use goods – civilian and military applications – will badly affect Germany, the top EU exporter to Russia. On defense, the UK and France will suffer; the UK has no less than 200 licenses selling weapons and missile launching gear to Russia. Yet the French 1.2 billion euro (US$1.6 billion) sale of Mistral assault ships to Russia will go ahead.
Meanwhile, in the demonization front …
This is what Associated Press spins as “analysis” and distributes to papers around the world; a collection of cliches desperately in search of a thesis. Dmitri Trenin of the Carnegie Moscow Center, faithful to who pays his bills, gets a few things right and most things wrong. David Stockman at least has a ball deconstructing the lies of the Warfare State.
But the real thing is definitely Putin’s economic adviser Sergei Glazyev. One of his key theses is that European business must be really careful to protect their interests as the US attempts to “ignite a war in Europe and a Cold War against Russia”.
This, though, is the ultimate bombshell – delivered by a cool, calm and collected Glazyev. Watch it carefully. A detailed reappraisal of what Glazyev has been saying for weeks now, mixed with some outstanding comments here leads to a inevitable conclusion: key sectors of Western plutocracy want a still ill-defined war with Russia. And journalism’s Holy Grail – never trust anything until it’s officially denied – confirms it.
NATO’s Plan A is to install missile batteries in Ukraine; that is already being discussed in detail in the run-up to NATO’s summit in Wales in early September. Needless to say, if that happens, for Moscow, that’s way beyond a red line; it implies a first strike capability at Russia’s western borderlands.
Washington’s short Plan A, meanwhile, is to organize a wedge between the federalists in Eastern Ukraine and Russia. This implies progressive, direct funding of Kiev in parallel to building up, via American advisers already on the ground, and vast weaponizing, a huge proxy army (nearly 500,000 by the end of the year, according to Glazyev’s projection). Endgame on the ground would be to seal the federalists off into a very small area. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshensko has been on the record saying this should happen by early September. If not, by the end of 2014.
In the US, and a great deal of the EU, a monstrous grotesquerie has developed, packaging Putin as the new Stalinist Osama bin Laden. So far, his strategy on Ukraine was to be patient – what I called Vlad Lao Tzu – watching the Kiev gang hang themselveswhile trying to sit down with the EU in a civilized manner working for a political solution.
Now we may be facing a game changer, because the mounting evidence, which Glazyev and Russian intel relayed to Putin, points to Ukraine as a battlefield; a concerted drive for regime change in Moscow; a concerted drive aiming for a destabilized Russia; and even the possibility of a definitive provocation.
Moscow, allied with the BRICS, is actively working to bypass the US dollar – which is the anchor of a parallel US war economy based on printing worthless pieces of green paper. Progress is slow, but tangible; not only the BRICS but BRICS aspirants, the G-77, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the whole Global South is absolutely fed up with the Empire of Chaos’s non-stop bullying and want another paradigm in international relations. The US counts on NATO – which it manipulates at will – and mad dog Israel; and perhaps the GCC, the Sunni petro-monarchies partners in the Gaza carnage, which can be bought/silenced with a slap on the wrist.
The temptation for Putin to invade Eastern Ukraine in 24 hours and reduce the Kiev militias to dust must have been super-human. Especially with the mounting cornucopia of dementia; ballistic missiles in Poland and soon Ukraine; indiscriminate bombing of civilians in Donbass; the MH17 tragedy; the hysterical Western demonization.
A bear with limited patience
But Putin is wired for playing the long game. The window of opportunity for a lightning strike is gone; that kung fu move would have stopped NATO in its tracks with a fait accompli, and the ethnic cleansing of 8 million Russians and Russophones in Donbass would never have developed.
Still, Putin won’t “invade” Ukraine because Russian public opinion doesn’t want him to. Moscow will keep supporting what is a de facto resistance movement in the Donbass. Remember: in give or take two months, General Winter starts to set in those broke, IMF-plundered Ukrainian pastures.
The leaked German-Russian peace plan will be implemented over Washington’s collective dead body. This New Great Game, to a great extent, is also about preventing Russia-EU economic integration via Germany, part of a full Eurasian integration including China and its myriad Silk Roads.
If Russia’s trade with the EU – about US$410 billion in 2013 – is due to take a hit because of sanctions, then that also spells out a Go East movement. Which implies a Russian fine-tuning of theEurasian Economic Union project. No more a Greater Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok – Putin’s original idea. Enter the Eurasian Union as a brother in arms of China’s myriad Silk Roads. Still, this spells out a strong Russia-China partnership at the heart of Eurasia – and still this is absolute anathema to the Masters of the Universe.
Make no mistake, the Russia-China strategic partnership will keep evolving very fast – with Beijing in symbiosis with Moscow’s immense natural and military-technological resources. Not to mention the strategic benefits. A case could be made this has not happened since Genghis Khan. But it’s not like Xi Jinping is pulling a Khan to subdue Siberia and beyond.
Cold War 2.0 is now inevitable because the Empire of Chaos will never accept Russia’s sphere of influence in parts of Eurasia (as it doesn’t accept China’s). It will never accept Russia as an equal partner (exceptionalists don’t do equality). And it will never forgive Russia – alongside China – for openly defying the creaking, exceptionalist, American-imposed order.
If the US deep state, guided by those nullities who pass for leadership, in desperation, goes one step beyond – it could be a genocide in Donbass; a NATO attack on Crimea; or worst case scenario, an attack against Russia itself – watch out. The Bear will strike.
Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).
He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Asia Times Online
And Why the Facts Matter Now…
Part One of Four…
“I’m not a journalist and the facts don’t matter.” – Rayelan Allen, RMN owner and editor
“All politics is personal,” or “the personal is political.” Early feminist sayings
In November of 2002 we had been lied to about Weapons of Mass Destruction, the reason given for invading Iraq, resistance to the war was waning. Standing in the way, though this was not publicly known at the time, was Saddam Hussein, who was very willing to leave Iraq forever – if he was paid.
Paying him off would have been far cheaper than the cost of the war. But it would not have accomplished the real goals.
The real drive for war was oil and the dollar. The details were carried out by a group of people who had no conscience, willing to lie themselves into power and lie, cheat, steal and kill, to keep it. Together, they have changed our world, bringing us to the precipice of destruction. These are the acts of individuals who behave in exactly the same way in their personal lives. I know.
The build up to war, constructed by the Bush White House, took place as events in my own life played out in shocking ways but which proved to be highly informative in a horrible way.
The strategies used by those I was forced to deal with personally were the same as those used by the NeoCons who were driving us to war. At the time, I was fighting to protect my daughter, Morgan, from the consequences of her life-long bad behavior and judgment. Later, I realized this was not possible.
She is a psychopath acting on the mistaken belief she can get away with anything. Harming others, or even killing them, was perfectly acceptable to her.
Our internal values determine all parts of our lives and for all parts we are responsible and accountable.
How many people died because of the War in Iraq and the lies told to us? At least a million and a half, though the total is probably higher.
How many people misdirected their life efforts through patriotic fervor incited by people who had intentionally used the symbols and language of honor to defraud us? The number is unbearably high.
How many of us have struggled to understand how this could have happened?
Hold the impact of the war and how this was accomplished in mind as we consider what happened from the time this story began in 1997 until the invasion of Iraq began in the spring of 2003.
I first became active in politics during the Goldwater campaign. My goal was to achieve social justice and individual empowerment. While pursing these goals I joined the Libertarian Party in 1974. I managed campaigns, ran for office, did fundraising and organized. I left when it was clear the Kochs had destroyed any potential for effective action in 1988.
I studied the problem of organizations while remaining active. In 1997 I was a Regent for the National Federation of Republican Women and coping with the continuing crises generated by my husband, Craig Franklin. Not filing his taxes, when he owed nothing, was typical of Craig’s irresponsible behavior. I wrote this article about what we called, “The Tax Crisis,” in 2008. You’re Not Paranoid – The IRS is out to get you.
After I solved the problem Craig decided to leave me and take all the money with him.
Beginning in 1997 Morgan, who had committed the incredibly ugly act of working with Craig to defraud me of millions of dollars during our divorce, had, in October of 1998, started a sexual relationship with an old boy friend of mine, John Fund, then on the Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal. She wanted a rich husband and decided he would do.
Always ambitious, she had emerged from her childhood, which had traumatized her entire family, functionally illiterate – and her previous prospect for marital bounty,Eugene Volokh, had flown the coop the month before.
She was actually traveling with my estranged husband, on a tour of New York, London, and Paris, when she and John started their affair. Would she have hesitated if she had known how promiscuous John had become, enabled by the power accrued as a NeoCon operative? Probably not. But she might have played things differently.
John Fund was placed at the WSJ in 1984 by connections who maintained close ties with the people who were already working to put Bush in office by stealing the election in 2000. Positioned as a journalist he is actually a political operative, his first experiences in this coming through the Koch Brothers’ attempt to take over the Libertarian Party.
Taking up with your mother’s former boy friend, someone you have referred to as ‘Uncle John’ since you were a child, is scandalous behavior, there is no other word for it. This type of behavior is normal for Morgan.
I had no idea this was going on because I was thousands of miles away caring for my oldest son, Arthur, who had attempted suicide by shooting himself through the brain on March 22, 1998. It would be another year before he would be able to even go to the bathroom himself. My entire focus was on his care.
Morgan and I were not talking because her deviousness and lies had included attempting to persuade me she needed a heart transplant in an attempt to get me to turn off her brother’s life support. She called me to ask for his heart. This happened, I later realized, soon after she had been paid $10,000 to do this by my estranged husband, Craig Franklin.
One of the reasons psychopaths get away with so much is our inability to believe the ugliness of their real motives. This is also true in politics.
When John started his liaison with Morgan he expected a job as speechwriter for the Bush administration, still two years in the future. They were already discussing war with Iraq. John would assist, pushing the agenda in the media.
After years of dealing with Morgan I knew not to believe her if she did not offer proof but I had no reason to distrust John. So, in September, 1999, for practically the only time in her life, Morgan told the truth, with proof.
Puzzled at the persistent rumors about a relationship between her and John, I called to ask him. John and I had been chatting regularly for over twenty years. Asked about the relationship he expressed shock. He denied it, saying he had fed her cat for her once or twice. I believed him. He was completely persuasive, giving the impression of absolute openness.
It was the WeaselSearch Tape, recorded by Morgan in September of 1999, which changed my mind.
This is a man who helped lie us into war. His personal ethics match the ones he uses professionally.
One afternoon that September Morgan called me to beg for help. She was broke and about to be evicted from her apartment in Jersey City. John, she said, had forced her to abort his baby the previous March and then dumped her. A heated discussion ensued as I relayed to her my recent conversation with John.
Hearing a call coming in, Morgan put me on hold. It was John. She recorded her conversation with him. You can listen to it on the tape above. A few minutes later I had heard the whole of it.
I was stunned and confronted him on the phone soon afterward. He hung up on me. His cover blown he moved to the next strategy, distancing.
As a result of a fax I sent to the WSJ moments later, the job as a speechwriter for the Bush White House, already being promised, vanished. The fax, I was told, was copied at least five times on its way to his office.
The illusion of family values needed to be retained.
Instead of a job in the White House, which John had earned through his work as an operative for the NeoCons, then coming to power, he was told to write a book about how liberals steal elections. This would provide cover for the electronic hacking about to begin.
Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy, would be published September 24, 2004.
The relationship between John and Morgan seemed to stabilize for a while. Fund spent nearly half his time at the apartment I rented in NY at the Rivergate. I was rarely there. John told me he intended to marry Morgan, who he said really loved. I wished them well, glad they had come to some resolution.
But then, in December of 2000 Morgan realized he was sneaking into my empty room to call other women, including Federal judge Diane Sykes, late at night. He left emails where Morgan could find them.
I received copies of these from Morgan via email. This one, Fund sent on July 22 this same year, was typical.
Morgan’s relationship with John continued, headed for rockier and rockier ground as the number of ‘other women’ Morgan discovered increased.
Despite this, they moved in together in Jersey City in July of 2001, just days after Morgan had vented to John Connolly of Vanity Fair. From those interviews Connolly wrote an article titled, “Sex, Lies and the Tape.” Over my objections Morgan had given him a copy of the tape she had made in 1999.
The article was published September 4, 2001, along with the tape.
Connolly had arranged for the article to be published in Talk Magazine – but Fund intimidated Tina Brown into canceling the story by having his attorney, John J. Walsh, call and make threats. Walsh later billed for services, producing this letter. Morgan also found a Work Memo later.
Instead, the article was published only online on a site called WeaselSearch, from which it got its name. When the site folded it was hosted on American Politics Journal, where it is today.
What Fund did to stop publication is standard operating procedure for NeoCons. He used this later against me.
But because the article refuted the lies John had continued to tell, a scandal erupted anyway.
Understandably, this event did not contribute to bliss in John and Morgan’s relationship but the reasons were far more complex than just one little article.
Morgan called me, outraged. She had refurbished John’s apartment at his request and he was refusing to pay her back. When she moved in the utilities had been turned off because of his non-payment and the plumbing did not work. I made her produce the receipts since I still did not trust her. She kept track of payment for cleaning supplies and repairs, which were complete before she told me John was battering her in the later part of September.
The violence, she later said, had begun one evening after an event at the ALEC Conference in New York in early August.
I had hoped the relationship would work out. To say it didn’t vastly understates the case.
I did not believe her until I heard it happening over the phone, which happened in late September. When I heard John’s demonic glee as he pounded her I felt obligated to take action. As I have said, Morgan lies. Another friend of her’s, Eric Buchanan, confirmed he had also heard this taking place on another occasion. Both of us advised Morgan to leave him. She refused.
During this time Carol Divine Molin, a Republican Woman, called me to express concern for Morgan as a battered woman. She told me she counseled women who had been battered.
Then it came out that her motive was reigniting her brief fling with Fund by assisting him with Morgan. The fling had taken place some time earlier, after Fund spoke to a group to which Molin belonged. Liking what she saw, evidently, she took him home with her. Fund’s parting words were, by report, “You got to swallow.”
We learned Molin had complained to the management at the Wall Street Journal about how she had been treated the year before.
The beatings continued. Morgan filed police reports in New Jersey.
Morgan became aware John was still lying about their relationship, saying he barely knew her, while she was living with him. At one point she used her cell phone so I could hear him telling these lies to Lloyd Grove from the Washington Post.
Listening to him lie was stunning. Again, I begged her to leave.
After she found even more emails, from a growing list of other women, she agreed. The emails included these between him and Michele Davis, on January 13th and 18th, and this Email, revealing the sexual relationship he had begun with law professor Gail Heriot, also on the 13th of January.
Christine Hall Reis, a new bride, offered the services of herself and her friend, Julie Currie, from Kroll Opposition Research to John on January 21, 2002. Christine had sent an unusual photo of herself to John, which he printed and left on the floor, where Morgan found it.
Morgan moved out of the apartment in Jersey City and into an apartment I rented for her in New York around January 24 – 26, 2002. I breathed a sigh of relief, but it was not over. The craziness escalated.
John found out where Morgan was living and moved in with her. He left a litter of papers there, some of which Morgan scanned and sent me to prove this was happening. This letter from Fidelity Investments is dated January 25, 2002. Morgan picked it up off the floor in her Manhattan apartment after John left it there. Another incident of battery soon took place just moments before I arrived at the apartment. When I walked in I saw Morgan bloodied and bruised.
The New York police report was filed.
John had been told by his two closest friends, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove, who occupied adjacent spaces on his speed dial, he needed to provide evidence Morgan had lied. Which she might well have done. But there were witnesses. Buchanan and I had heard beatings take place and were ignored by authorities. Neither of us were ever called though the authorities knew we were witnesses.
Fund received help from some of the other women in his life. A few of these were victims themselves, unaware of what was really happening and are not named. Others, like Gail Heriot, whose relationship with Fund began in a hotel room in December of 2001 or January of 2002, assisted in building the website Fund used to insert lies into public view and wrote letters for him, libeling both Morgan and myself.
Desperate, we sought help from people who were politically at odds with the NeoCons. One of these individuals was Sidney Blumenthal.
It was at this time Blumenthal put a keylogger on Morgan’s computer to steal information about Fund. He had refused to help, trying to persuade her it was enough to expose him politically. So Morgan returned the keylogger favor, against my advice.
While she can’t write a literate sentence Morgan was a wiz with computers. It was this act which would expose to us the strategy adopted by the Bush White House to ensure the War in Iraq was not stopped in November of 2002.
An attempt to kill Morgan took place in May, 2002. I heard this over the phone as the key turned in the door of her apartment. Morgan threw herself against it and engaged the dead bolt. I believed her. She is not that good an actress.
Then, she went into hiding with a couple in Georgia.
As the campaign to sell the fiction of Weapons of Mass Destruction was hammered into accepted fact Morgan was following Sidney via his emails and reading early chapters of his book, Clinton’s War. Occasionally she would forward me a copy.
By November war appeared to be inevitable. Then, Morgan called me and asked if U-Day was something like E-Bay. The keylogger had turned up something with more surprises than Blumenthal’s book.
Saddam, in communication with Blumenthal, wanted to cut a deal to be paid to leave so war would not be necessary. I had the origin of the email checked out and the expert said it had come from the Emirates and Baghdad was a likely source.
The appointed agents for insuring Saddam would stay put were the Clintons and their old friend, Sidney Blumenthal. This activism on their parts is likely the real source of the largess which flowed into the Clinton coffers, not Hillary’s public speaking abilities or investment savvy.
The previous January Fund had forced Morgan to sign a ‘confession’ saying no abuse had taken place. The documents were dated January 24, 2002, just before she moved out.
Evidently, Fund promised to pay her what he owned her if she signed and, stupidly, she did. Since an accounting of what Fund owed matched what was asked if you add in the outdated checks Morgan found while cleaning, which Fund had given her, it is likely Rove and Cheney decided this was not enough ‘proof’ to be persuasive.
Eric and I knew the statement was hogwash and would have so testified.
The real campaign to destroy our credibility began in 2003, after Fund’s friends realized they had more than one political operation to protect. They needed to protect John, a pivotal political operative, and the truth about Saddam.
So evidence was sought and obtained through trade with those holding it.
Craig, my former husband, was Senior Vice President of Green Hills Software, Inc. He and the company’s president, Dan O’Dowd, had made a deal in 1997 to defraud their partners. Dan would have a fake stock option agreement made to deny me a marital share during our divorce and Craig would lead a walk out to keep Glenn Hightower, Dan’s partner, from exercising his buy out option when Dan exercised it and made him an offer.
Morgan had supplied a recording of Craig gloating about this and in late 1999 I had filed a law suit. Morgan gave a deposition on February 22, 2001. The suit settled and the deposition was never certified, making it illegal to copy.
Green Hills Software, LLC. exchanged a copy of this deposition for defense contracts. Today, Green Hills Software, Inc. is a billion dollar company heavily into drone technology and supplying the Military Industrial Complex.
The campaign to destroy our credibility began in early 2003.
On January 23, 2003 Fund filed an answer to Morgan’s law suit in New York.
On April 1, 2003 Melinda’s webmaster received a threatening letter.
On April 3, 2003, Dan O’Dowd decided the desperate need for servicemembers was to provide a measly $5,000 for a child’s college education. He amount pledged, $100.000, with matching funds up to $250.000. The non-profit was incorporated on the 9th and announced publicly on April 10th. The is an embarrassingly minor contribution for a corporation which made billions from contracts flowing from the military.
On April 7, 2003 Craig Franklin handed an enveloped copy of Morgan’s Deposition to Anne
Fisher, his then girl friend, telling her it contained Morgan’s deposition. It was addressed to John Fund. It was a Green Hills envelope with the postage paid by the company in advance.
On April 8, 2003 RuthlessPeople was down.
On May 11, 2003, Mother’s Day morning, I wrote an email responding to questions received early that morning from Eric Alterman for an article which would be published on the 15th.
On May 15, 2003 Eric Alterman’s hit piece, “Who Framed John Fund?” was published in The
On May 16, 2003 Gene Gaudette, Editor of American Politics Journal, received a Letter via email from Gail Heriot, one of Funds many girl friends libeling us.
On June 21, 2003 JohnFund.com, a hit site, appeared online. The site came down sometime after May 19th this year. It can be viewed through the WayBackMachine.
On July 22, 2003 Wendy MacElroy, who calls herself a feminist but focuses her attack pieces on women, traded a hit piece on Morgan for a gig at Fox News. Wendy, who has known Melinda since the 1970s, failed to call her or Morgan. The article is titled, False Rape Charges Hurt Real Victims.
During this time Melinda received notice from the IRS claiming she owed money. The IRS refused to tell her why since her returns were produced by a CPA and documented all expenses.
Carried out this way, the NeoCon campaign was masked and did not appear to have any relationship with the War in Iraq. It was all ‘personal.’
But all parts of our lives reflect our values, which is why trying to separate the two in this was is wrong.
Clearly, everyone else had agendas which had nothing to do with the simple, provable fact John Fund committed domestic violence. This is a crime and should be prosecuted even if the victim has lied previously and is a jerk.
In 2004 I wrote GREED – The NeoConning of America, a lightly fictionalized autobiography framed around my daughter, not myself. I am now reissuing a non-fiction version, which includes “the Bunker in Georgia” Story. That story about Saddam began in Chapter 16 – A Signal from the Bunker, in subsection The Bunker in Georgia.
Saddam also knew too much.
No one read the book, though the reviews were very good.
I wonder what would have happened if I had understood the ruthless lack of conscience these people carry behind smiling, and lying, faces in both their personal and professional lives. What choices would I have made, personal and political?
The next years were given over to stark survival and caring for my son. Since Morgan had drained me of money this was much more difficult. I fought back because I had to, using the only tool I could afford, the truth.
Stay tuned for Part Two – What Happens When You Know Too Much
While staying here in Damascus, I have heard the same thing said again and again from a whole array of sources, including foreign journalists, Syrian citizens and even Christian nuns. “This war on Syria is being fought by Al Qaeda operatives, fanatic Islamist jihadis, foreign fighters, terrorists and mercenaries for hire. And they are being financed by American money and given American weapons.” Yikes!
What this means to me personally is that my very own head (which I have actually become quite attached to) could possibly be blown off at any minute by fanatics and/or weapons bought and paid for by my very own tax dollars. Now that is a really confusing thought.
“War by proxy” is becoming a more and more frequently-used phrase here in Syria. The American military-industrial complex is now out-sourcing their war.
But, hey, that’s better than having American soldiers over here fighting and dying for Wall Street and War Street like they did in Iraq. Our soldiers’ jobs are being shipped overseas? That’s one example of outsourcing that is just fine by me.
Except, in the words of one local college professor I interviewed the other day, “We Syrians are fighting dirty enemies. This is a dirty war. The jihadists attack hospitals, power plants and schools. But the Syrian people are fighting back.” The professor also mentioned the discovery of vast new oil fields off the Syrian coast. And he found it ironic that the very first place that the jihadis, inquisionists, Taliban wannabes and Al Qaeda death squads attacked was in this oil-rich region. The original peaceful protests by Syrians themselves — before the Taliban wannabes arrived in force from overseas and turned Syria into a slaughterhouse — took place in Daraa, not in the oil fields. Hmmm.
“I also find it ironic that Americans are citing democracy as their primary reason for attacking Syria — while their biggest ally in this region is Saudi Arabia, a known dictatorship.” Not to mention the doubts that everyone has about American elections. Take Diebold for instance. And Florida and Ohio and that weird Supreme Court ruling that forced GWB down our throats. And voter ID cards and 92-year-old women turned away from the polls. But, hey, America is famous for exporting hypocrisy. Get over it, prof.
In Sweida, I talked with a young woman who spoke English and she said, “Living in Syria is like living in one of those Hollywood horror movies.” Slasher flicks. “These terrorists come here and they bomb our hospitals and schools, kill and rape women and children and even eat our flesh like cannibals. We Syrians just want this horror movie to stop.” And she was proud of Bashar Assad for standing up to these wannabe Freddy Kruegers. And most of the Syrians I have talked with feel the same way. “And you would too — if it happened to you.”
And it did happen to me too — sort of. I can hear the shelling outside Damascus going on night and day. Nerve-racking. I almost felt like a heroic citizen of London during the Blitz.
Syria’s president, Bashar Assad, has been playing the Great Game of political chess in this region like he is a grand master — and perhaps that’s why the American military-industrial complex hates him so much. But Syrians love him. They just do. It’s a Syrian thing. Remember what Maya Angelou said in “I know Why the Caged Bird Sings”? How she was being raped as a child and prayed for the Green Lantern to save her? Well President Assad, like it or not, is Syria’s Green Lantern.
Assad might have been a bit to enthusiastic in the past about suppressing dissidence. But please be aware that the inquisionist crazies and Al Qaeda freaks that have tried to invade Syria are so very much worse. Syrians weren’t totally behind Assad before the invasion — but they certainly are now, thanks to America’s military-industrial complex. Eisenhower warned us about the complex. He shoulda warned the Syrians too.
The only thing that I can truly fault Assad on presently are all those all-pervasive giant posters of him that you see everywhere — on buildings, in shops, on cars and buses, on T-shirts and even in elevators. Everywhere. He should stop doing that. He’s not just some Ken doll or even the next Brad Pitt. He’s a political genius who is trying save Syria from the bad guys. He should have understood by now that he has found a place in the hearts of the Syrians and just leave it at that.
PS: Observing the elections was fun. It was like attending a country-wide block party. Or, as Mother Agnes-Mariam said to me in an interview at the Dama Rose Hotel, “It would be impossible to coerce that many Syrians to vote out of fear. People actually went out from rebel-held territory to vote. Even the rebels voted.” So. Who are you going to believe about the authenticity of the Syrian elections? Mother Agnes-Mariam who said that they were valid — or Wall Street and War Street, who claim they were a fraud?
Are you going to believe the same people who lied to us about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction – or a mother-superior Christian nun?
PPS: In Homs, those nasty American-sponsored jihadists blew up a historic old Christian church — only to find an even older church lay buried under the newer church’s foundations. Built in 59 AD, this older church might actually been visited by the Apostles and Saint Paul himself. And these Taliban wannabes were happily trying to blow this older church up too. But apparently they got distracted by trying to break up the bones of some nearby Christian saints’ relics — and the old church was saved!
PPPS: I never did get to meet President Assad. “Apparently he has to keep his eye out for being assassinated by drones,” one journalist explained to me as to why Assad hadn’t come to the Dama Rose hotel. But still…I could have worn my cool “Berkeley High Water Polo Team” T-shirt that I had swiped from my daughter Ashley. I’m sure Assad would have been quite impressed.
“Prior to the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, US and other western oil companies were all but completely shut out of Iraq’s oil market. But thanks to the invasion and occupation, the companies are now back inside Iraq and producing oil there for the first time since being forced out of the country in 1973.”
– Antonia Juhasz, oil industry analyst, Al Jazeera.
These are the ‘best of times’ for the oil giants in Iraq. Production is up, profits are soaring, and big oil is rolling in dough. Here’s the story from the Wall Street Journal:
“Iraq’s oil production surged to its highest level in over 30 years last month, surprising skeptics of the country’s efforts to restore its oil industry after decades of war and neglect.” (Wall Street Journal)
You bet. But for those who still cling to the idea that the US was serious about promoting democracy or removing a vicious dictator or eliminating WMD or any of the other kooky excuses, consider what we’ve learned in the last couple weeks. Here’s the story from Aljazeera:
“While the US military has formally ended its occupation of Iraq, some of the largest western oil companies, ExxonMobil, BP and Shell, remain.
On November 27, 38 months after Royal Dutch Shell announced its pursuit of a massive gas deal in southern Iraq, the oil giant had its contract signed for a $17bn flared gas deal. Three days later, the US-based energy firm Emerson submitted a bid for a contract to operate at Iraq’s giant Zubair oil field, which reportedly holds some eight million barrels of oil.
Earlier this year, Emerson was awarded a contract to provide crude oil metering systems and other technology for a new oil terminal in Basra, currently under construction in the Persian Gulf, and the company is installing control systems in the power stations in Hilla and Kerbala. Iraq’s supergiant Rumaila oil field is already being developed by BP, and the other supergiant reserve, Majnoon oil field, is being developed by Royal Dutch Shell. Both fields are in southern Iraq.” (“Western oil firms remain as US exits Iraq”, Dahr Jamail, Aljazeera.)
If it sounds like the big boys are dividing the spoils among themselves; it’s because they are. Exxon, BP, Shell; they’re all here. They all have their contracts in hand, and they’re all drilling their brains out thanks to the American servicemen and women who gave their lives for some trumped up baloney about WMD. Isn’t that what’s going on?
Sure it is. And even now–after all the reasons for going to war have been exposed as lies–the farce continues. Nothing has changed. Nothing. There’s still no talk of reparations, no official investigation, no indictments, no prosecutions, no trials, no penalties, no nothing. Not even a stinking apology. Just a big “up yours” Iraq. We’re way too important to apologize for killing a million of your people and reducing your five thousand year old civilization to a pile of rubble. Instead, we’ll just screw you some more and paper it over with a little public relations, like Obama did a couple weeks ago when he promised to “leave behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people”.
Oh yeah. Obama’s all about sovereignty and stability, everyone knows that. That’s why Baghdad is the terror capital of the world, because Obama’s so committed to security.
These PR blurbs are effective though, they provide the necessary cover for leaving enough troops behind to protect the oil installations and pipelines. That’s the kind of security Obama cares about. Security for the oiligarchs and their stolen property. Everyone else can fend for themselves, which is why Baghdad is such a bloody mess. Here’s more from Aljazeera:
“Prior to the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, US and other western oil companies were all but completely shut out of Iraq’s oil market,” oil industry analyst Antonia Juhasz told Al Jazeera. “But thanks to the invasion and occupation, the companies are now back inside Iraq and producing oil there for the first time since being forced out of the country in 1973.” (Aljazeera)
Yeah, thanks for that invasion, Mr. Bush. We couldn’t have done it without you, guy. Hope you have a great retirement painting pictures of poodles and stuff while people continue to get blown to pieces in the terrorist Hellhole you created. Here’s more Al Jazeera:
“Juhasz, author of the books The Tyranny of Oil and The Bush Agenda, said that while US and other western oil companies have not yet received all they had hoped the US-led invasion of Iraq would bring them, “They’ve certainly done quite well for themselves, landing production contracts for some of the world’s largest remaining oil fields under some of the world’s most lucrative terms.”
Dr Abdulhay Yahya Zalloum, an international oil consultant and economist …(said) he believes western oil companies have successfully acquired the lions’ share of Iraq’s oil, “but they gave a little piece of the cake for China and some of the other countries and companies to keep them silent”. (Aljazeera)
How do you like that? These guys operate just like the Mafia. The Bossman pays off China with a few million barrels, and China keeps its mouth shut. Nice. Everyone gets “their cut” so they don’t go blabbing to the media about the ripoff that’s taking place in broad daylight. The stench of corruption is overpowering.
And here’s something else you won’t see in the media. In a White House press release, the Obama administration announced that they would continue to support Iraq’s “efforts to develop the energy sector” in order to “help boost Iraq’s oil production.”….
According to Assim Jihad, spokesman for Iraq’s ministry of oil, “Iraq has a goal of raising its oil production capacity to 12m bpd by 2017, which would place it in the top echelon of global producers.” (Aljazeera)
“12 million barrels-per-day by 2017″?
That makes this the biggest petroleum heist in history. And we’re supposed to believe that the oil bigwigs didn’t know anything about this before the war? What a crock! I’ll bet you even money the CEOs and their lackeys figured out that Saudi Arabia was running out of gas, so they decided to pick up stakes and move their operations to good old Mesopotamia. That’s why they put their money on Bush and Cheney, because they knew that two former oil men would do the heavy lifting once they got shoehorned into the White House. The whole thing was a set-up from the get-go, right down to the 5 shady Supremes who suspended the voting in Florida and crowned Bush emperor in 2000. The whole thing was probably mapped out years in advance.
Big oil runs everything in America. People talk about the power of Wall Street and Israel, but oil is still king. They run it all, and they own it all. And “what they say, goes.” Here’s more:
“Juhasz explained that ExxonMobil, BP and Shell were among the oil companies that “played the most aggressive roles in lobbying their governments to ensure that the invasion would result in an Iraq open to foreign oil companies”.
They succeeded,” she added. “They are all back in.” (Aljazeera)
Hooray. Big oil wins again, and all it cost was a million or so Iraqis who got blown to bits air raids or shot up at checkpoints, or beaten to death with a rubber hose at Abu Ghraib or any of the other democracy reeducation centers that dot the countryside. But, hey, look at the bright side: At least production is up, right? Can you see how sick this is? Here’s more:
“Under the current circumstances, the possibility of a withdrawal of western oil companies from Iraq appears remote, and the Obama administration continues to pressure Baghdad to pass the Iraq Oil Law.” (Aljazeera)
And what is the “Iraq Oil Law”, you ask?
It’s a way to privatize the oil market using Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs) which disproportionately benefit the corporations. Obama’s a big backer of the law since it means even heftier profits for his thieving friends. In other words, the humongous profits they’re already skimming off aren’t quite good enough. They want more. They want to own the whole shooting match lock, stock and barrel.
This is really an outrage. What other country behaves like this?
No one. No other country in the world goes out and kills a million people, destroys their country, and leaves them to scrape by on next to nothing just so they can pad the bank accounts of voracious plutocrats have more dough than they know what to do with. No one else would even dare to act like that for fear that they’d get bombed into annihilation by the world’s biggest bullyboy, the US of A. Only the US can get away with this type of crap, because the US is a law unto itself.
Iraq was the Cradle of Civilization. Now it’s the cradle of shit. The US decimated Iraq; blew it to bits, bombed its industries, its bridges, its schools, its hospitals, leveled its cities, polluted its water, spread diseases everywhere, killed its kids, pitted brother against brother, and transformed a vibrant, unique country into a dysfunctional cesspit run by opportunists, gangsters, and fanatics.
And, here’s the corker: No one gives a rip. Face it: No one gives a flying fu** about Iraq. The American people lost interest long ago, the politicians can’t be bothered, and the UN is too afraid of the US to lift a finger to help. They’d rather stamp their feet and scold Putin over Crimea than utter a peep about the genocide in Iraq. That’s the state of things today, right? No accountability for the men who started the war, and no justice for the victims. Just the infrequent (phony) pronouncement of support from the White House or the all-too-frequent sectarian bombing that leaves an untold number of civilians dead or wounded. This is all the US leaves behind; hatred, death and destruction.
Here’s a clip from a poem by Iraqi writer who wants readers to take a minute and think about all the suffering the United States has created. The poem is titled “Flying Kites”:
“Come and see our overflowing morgues and find our little ones for us…
You may find them in this corner or the other, a little hand poking out, pointing out at you…
Come and search for them in the rubble of your “surgical” air raids, you may find a little leg or a little head…pleading for your attention.
Come and see them amassed in the garbage dumps, scavenging morsels of food…
Come and see our little ones, under-nourished or dying from disease. Cholera, dysentery, infections…
Come and see, come….” (“Flying Kites” Layla Anwar)
A million people were killed so a few rich fu**ers could get even richer. That’s a hell of a legacy.
The Koch’s Secret Sauce – The Profit is in the Poisons
(Sort of like those special spices in your Indian food!)
Of course, it is not likely Charles himself was hunkered down in the secret laboratory under his mansion in Wichita, Kansas. But he certainly knew the formula.
Koch Truths and Green Fields Renewal will now reveal the actual content of the ugly substance which bubbled out of the broken pipe in Mayflower a little over a year ago. Notice, this information has been carefully sequestered by ExxonMobil.
Believe us, they have their reasons for this.
This sample of Wabasca Heavy was taken at the Suspected Source, (the pump station about 20 miles upstream from the Pegasus pipeline rupture). From there, it was sent by the USCG for analysis in Canada in June 2013, a few months after the Mayflower disaster. This is typical of what was in the pipe just before it ruptured.
Gas Chromatogram of Mayflower Suspected Source – These are the fingerprints, what ExxonMobil has worked so hard to hide from the public and their victims.
Source: EPA/ ESTS
Above we see a hybrid Dilbit mixture, with virtually identical distribution of heavy hydrocarbon molecules (on the right) as we saw in the Wabasca Heavy sample in Part 1.
But this Secret Sauce has special additions. These new additions include the toxic BTEXs like benzene, a virulent carcinogen, and toluene, a neurotoxin.
And the concentration levels were very, very high in the Secret Sauce.
Would having know about this made a difference in treating the victims? Absolutely.
But then the evidence would also have been presented in court, an eventuality to be avoided at all costs, especially if those costs can be externalized to small children and other victims.
“Please don’t go to Haiti — it could be dangerous down there!” several worried friends begged me right before I left. But boy were they wrong. Haiti is totally fun! I never had so much fun in my life as I did this past week in Haiti. And this is my very own tourist guidebook to all the neat stuff that I’ve done down here. Not exactly the Lonely Planet. But boy am I having a good time.
The most frequently asked question before I left was, “Are you going down there to do humanitarian work?” No no no. I’m going down there to be a tourist!
To start with, I got a really great bargain deal on Expedia — $800 to fly me from SFO to Port au Prince and five nights in a convenient, clean and quiet hotel called the Diquini Guest House. This was absolutely the smartest thing that I did on this trip. Why? Because the manager of the guest house, a former member of the Haitian diaspora and long-time resident of Washington DC, took me under his wing and for a reasonable fee let me hire his driver, translated for me, kept me fed on nicely-flavored Haitian stew and rice — and then took me off to explore Port au Prince. www.diquinigh.com.
First we went to the famous Hotel Oloffson where the ghosts of past American ex-pat writers such as Graham Greene and Lillian Hellman roam its gardens, terraces and gingerbread-style balconies; where Mick Jagger and even Jacqueline Kennedy have stayed — and where the famous vudou-inspired RAM band was playing that night. http://hoteloloffson.com/
The next day we explored what is left of the 2010 earthquake ruins, from what was left of the tragically beautiful stone-filigreed huge rose window of the old cathedral and the site of the historic National Palace to various small tent cities dotting Port au Prince that still house earthquake victims today, and the ruined buildings that still have market stalls precariously tucked into whichever concrete slabs are still left standing.
“So, Jane, how is Port au Prince actually doing now, four years after the quake?” you might ask, now that I’m an actual eye-witness to the scene of the crime. It’s not doing super-good, but not doing as badly as I had expected either. Most of the tent cities are gone now — as a lot of the homeless victims have by now squashed themselves in with relatives, left for the countryside or otherwise made do.
“But what are Haitians really like?” you might ask next. You can tell what Haitians are really like by the way that they drive. There are only a handful of traffic signals in Port au Prince and even fewer rules of the road. And Haitians drive very fast. But they also drive in a way that is almost polite. Everyone wants to get where they are going (and to get there fast) — but no one wants to actually hurt anyone else. I didn’t see any road rage there. Just people trying to get by.
Basically, Haitians are just people trying to get by after having been dealt a very rough hand for a very long time, from the moment they were kidnapped from Africa and sold as slaves here — starting in 1503, just eleven years after Columbus discovered the island. And those slaves were expendable too, worked to death in a few years at most and then replaced by other new slaves.
Then after having fought for and achieved its freedom in 1804, Haiti was also constantly attacked, exploited and/or invaded for the next 200-plus years by America, Canada and various combinations of European nations. And now Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world, resembling the slums of Uganda or the slums of Zimbabwe. And yet despite their poverty, which is dire and extreme, Haitians still remain stoically polite.
Next we went off to the Iron Market bazaar to buy Haitian stuff to hang on my walls when I get home. And then we drove all over Port au Prince — the grand tour. And that night we went off to Carnival in the Carrefour district. Are you jealous yet?
Carrefour’s pre-Lenten carnival was like one gigantic block party and was actually as much fun as Berkeley in the 1960s, the benchmark against I always measure how much fun something is.
I also wanted to go see San Souci and the Citadel, UNESCO world heritage sites up in Cap Haitien, but it was a seven-hour drive to get there, so we went to Fonds des Negres instead, which was only a three-hour drive, and I met a vodou master there. “No one is cursing you,” he told me. Not even the NSA? Good to know. Then he performed a candlelight ritual to help my knees get better. Then he pulled out a business card for his son who owns a botanica in SoCal who, for a price, could finish my knee treatment when I got back home .
And there’s also a cave in the mountains near Fonds des Negres where a “Suzan,” a vodou spirit, resides. But you have to get there by motorcycle and we didn’t have time to do all that on this day trip. So I just bought a sequin-covered vodou flag instead.
“Have you seen any zombies in Haiti?” might be your next question. Sorry, no. But on my plane ride down here, we ran into a bunch of really scary turbulence over Chicago and I thought I was going to die. So I had an epiphany. “When you are in your mother’s womb, the only way out is by going through a whole bunch of pain first — and death is also like that. First you pass through a whole bunch of pain and then, poof, you are out on the Other Side.” As a zombie? Let’s hope not.
The next day we went out searching for Jean-Bertrand Aristide and then ended the day in that famous five-star hotel in Petionville — just to see how the other 1% lives. Trust me, they are living well.
What else have I done down here? I can’t remember exactly. But I will tell you this: I have really had fun. And if you ever want to go to Haiti too, I totally recommend it highly. And, no, I’m not getting paid to say this.
PS: While in Haiti, I also watched the winter Olympics on TV — thus getting a chance to compare Port au Prince and Sochi. One city has far too little city planning and one city had far too much!
According to journalist Roi Tov, “With less than 350,000 denizens, [Sochi] has been occupied by at least 25,000 police officers, 30,000 soldiers, 8,000 special forces, and an undisclosed number of FSB agents.”
Port au Prince is nothing like that. The streets go every which-way like a patchwork quilt. But it does have one thing in common with Sochi — abuse of its fragile labor force.
And let’s also compare Port au Prince with Havana. I’m currently reading Carlos Eire’s autobiography, “Learning to Die in Miami”. Eire appears to believe with all his heart that the Castro experience was a nightmare — and yet just compare Cuba and Haiti today. Haiti has been under the thumb of American and European corporatists for ages and ages. And now, despite all its amazingly fertile soil and impressive mineral riches, Haiti is currently one of the poorest countries in the world. Seven out of ten Haitians live on less than $2 a day, according to the International Red Cross.
But in Havana under the Castro brothers, everyone has a good chance of getting a college education.
But, hell, most Haitians are lucky to have a chance to even get as far as fourth grade!
If Fulgencio Batista and the American corporatists who owned him back in 1959 had remained in power and Castro had never taken over Cuba, Cuba today would more than likely look just like Haiti today. And does anyone with a working brain really think that having American and European oil companies, bankers, war profiteers and neo-cons in control in Syria, Venezuela and Ukraine are going to help those countries either? Hell, just look at what those guys did to Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya — and to Detroit!
It’s all too customary for those analyzing the crises humanity faces to associate climate change, aka global warming, with whatever proximate cause they postulate for our imminent demise. John Tirman, for instance, in his book 100 Ways America Is Screwing Up the World lists as the first way “Altering the Earth’s Climate”. Richard Heinberg of the Post Carbon Institute includes Climate along with Energy and Debt as the three problem areas which threaten our future. Nafez Mossadeq Ahmed, author of A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization, integrates climate change with the other crises he believes civilization faces: the financial meltdown, dwindling oil reserves, terrorism and food shortages. This linking of concrete, demonstrable societal ills with the less grounded, more debatable theory of global warming is an ill-considered, strategic mistake, I think, as I believe critics of the global warming theory, the so-called “deniers”, are going to win the debate, at least for the near future. It would be a tragedy if valid, much-needed warnings about the dangers haunting our future were to be discredited because of their being tied to discredited fears about climate change.
Here’s why I think this is likely to happen. The warming trend which the earth experienced in the thirty years before the turn of this century has virtually stopped. This “hiatus”, as it is called, has been going on for over a decade and is likely to continue for another two. Check out this graph from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:
What do you see? I see a 60-year cycle in which a 30-year cooling period alternates with a 30-year warming period; to wit, from about 1880 to 1910 the mean global temperature went down, then from 1910 to 1940 the earth warmed up, then from 1940 to 1970, the earth cooled slightly, followed by the 30-year period from 1970 to 2000 when the earth warmed dramatically, and finally the dozen years from the turn of the century till now during which the mean temperature hasn’t risen (the hiatus). Given that the concept of a mean global temperature is an artificial construct subject to error and manipulation, just looking at this graph what would you predict for the near future? Wouldn’t you bet that for the next 20 years or so the earth is not going to get warmer, may even cool a bit?
If this does come to pass, what will be the consequence for the theory of global warming? Won’t it be viewed with increasing skepticism by the pubic at large, at least until the next warming demi-cycle commences 20 years from now? Won’t the discrediting of the global warming theory infect theories which have been linked to it? Are you willing to wait 20 years for your forewarnings of impending doom to be taken seriously?
Unless you have been following the issue as I have, you are probably not aware that the debate over the theory of global warming has been heating up (pardon the pun) of late, largely because of the prolonged global tepidness. If you believe the science is settled, consider that the “settled” science has generated a multiplicity of climate models which have done a terrible job of forecasting, invariably predicting warmer temperatures than what has actually occurred. If the science is so settled, why have global warming adherents only recently postulated that heat from the warming of the atmosphere is being absorbed by the oceans, their explanation for the hiatus? The models did not foresee this.What about that august body of climate scientists who comprise the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), you ask. Just recently the IPCC certified once again – with 95% certainty (whatever that means) – that human activities are causing global warming? We are told that 1800 scientists arrived at this conclusion; but, if you look into it, you will find the majority of the scientists on the panel are not climatologists and some not scientists at all. One scientist who served on the IPCC’s review committee called global warming fears the worst scientific scandal in history, predicting “When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.”For one side in a debate to label the opposition “deniers” is a sleazy rhetorical gambit usually employed by the name-callers when they are losing the debate (equally true in the case of another group of iconoclasts routinely labeled “deniers”, but that’s a story for another day). Consider who some of these so-called “deniers” are:
Richard Lindzen, Professor of Meteorology at MIT
Fred Singer, Professor emeritus of environmental science at the University of Virginia
Roy Spencer, former NASA Senior Scientist for Climate Studies
Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech
Pat Michaels, past president of the American Association of State Climatologists
Do you really believe such people deny science?
Perhaps you believe such credentialed skeptics are in the pay of Big Oil. It’s true that the global warming theory was once opposed by powerful interests who dominated the debate; but, when a former Vice President of the United States can win both an Academy Award and a Noble Prize for a highly tendentious film full of hyperbole and misinformation, you know there are powerful interests behind the global warming scare, too. If Big Oil has bought off the media, why is it that so many people are aware that sea ice in the Arctic shrank to its smallest extent in modern times in 2012 but not that sea ice in the Antarctic was expanding at the same time or that ice in the Arctic made its largest rebound ever last year, approaching the average for the last thirty years? Why is every extreme weather event – even blizzards– attributed to global warming when, in fact, extreme events like hurricanes, forest fires, tornados and even record high temperatures are less prevalent today than in the past?
I’m not a climatologist, so I’m neither inclined nor competent to expound on the science of global warming, but I do hope to have convinced you that the science surrounding global warming is far from settled and consequently to hitch your wagon to that fading star is not a good idea. Please, at least listen to what the skeptics have to say – for instance, by consulting the websites I’ve cited – before you link the fate of your own doleful prophecies to that of climate change.
Two rather interesting things have happened to me lately. First, I had one of my teeth pulled this week — totally not a fun experience. And, second, while still oozing pain and eating Hydrocodone and climbing the walls, I started reading a book about plants by Michael Pollan, entitled “The Botany of Desire”. So now I have suddenly become an expert on both pain-killers and gardens.
Having one’s tooth pulled is like, er, pulling teeth. It really hurts. So from now on I plan to brush and floss constantly and do whatever it takes to keep my remaining teeth healthy and clean. Someone recommended gargling with Bombay Sapphire twice a day. I’d try even that.
Even though the student doctor who pulled my tooth at the UCSF School of Dentistry was an angel of mercy combined with Dr. McDreamy, having one’s tooth extracted is never pretty. I kept reciting that mantra “Challenges make me stronger” in the dental chair and silently doing jin shin jyutzu — but even that didn’t work. I’m a wimp. And not only that but once the tooth was out, they wouldn’t even give it back to me to give to the Tooth Fairy. Rats.
Then, once finally back home and safely collapsed into bed, I took some of those “opioid” pain-killers they gave me — and dreamed that I was an escaped convict running a funeral parlor in my childhood hometown (Millbrae) and hiding under my daughter Ashley’s bed (probably from NSA). Forget that. No more weird Kubla-Khan dreams for me. I’m sticking with aspirin.
Now I’m wishing there was something I could do to replace my poor sweet little lost tooth, but there doesn’t seem to be anything. Getting a dental implant is expensive — $3,000 per tooth, even done by a dental student. Who can afford that? Not me. So now I’ve got a big gap in my teeth. How ugly is that! However, I won’t be alone for long. Two-thirds of America will soon be joining me in being gap-toothed as well unless affordable dental insurance becomes available reasonably soon. But if not, then we’ll all be totally ugly together, not just me. America goes third-world. Who would have thought.
I also have a postage-stamp sized garden attached to my apartment, which grows nothing. According to Michael Pollan, this shouldn’t be happening — unless there has been some really heavy-duty weed killer sprayed there at one time. Yes, there was. But not by me. So, apparently, what I need now is all new dirt. And at the rate that American agribusiness keeps using millions of tons of herbicides and pesticides each year, all of America will soon be needing all new dirt too.
“Actually, it’s not the heavy use of herbicides and pesticides that is causing the most problems on huge agribusiness farms,” to summarize one of Pollan’s chapters on the potato, “but rather the monoculture nature of their crops. Organic farmers can vary and rotate what they plant and thus stave off insect and fungal infestations — but if your main customer for potatoes is McDonalds, then you have to plant Burbank russets and only Burbank russets all of the time. So it is Americans themselves that are causing the major use of [stuff] like Roundup and Roundup-Ready GMOs.”
So if I promise to plant a huge variety of everything in my garden, from fingerling potatoes to roses to dandelions, then will at least SOMETHING finally grow?
And will I also be able to grow a new tooth?
Aside from Michael Pollan, why else have my thoughts been turning to gardening lately? In the middle of freaking January? Because this winter has been the sunniest one in Berkeley that I have ever seen. It’s like freaking summer here now, like July, every day — even going beyond April or May. www.weather.com even declared Berkeley a drought area the other day. Time to bust out the seeds.
Michael Pollan also wrote about cannabis in his book on plants. “Marijuana doesn’t make you forgetful of everything. It just makes you forget [stuff] that’s not important.” Interesting. I always forget names. So I guess names aren’t all that important or necessary for me to remember. Whew. I’m off the hook then. Am not getting senile dementia after all, just sorting out my priorities.
And maybe that’s why Alzheimer sufferers forget so much mental stuff too — they might be shutting down everything that won’t immediately help them to cope with this devastating disease (yes, I know that Alzheimers also rots its victims’ brains — but isn’t that just one more good reason for them to shut said brains down?)
With regard to raising the minimum wage here in soon-to-be-toothless America, wouldn’t it make more sense to just cut the rate of inflation instead? Starting by eliminating the Federal Reserve and its tendencies to print meaningless Monopoly money and to finance Endless War? And, while we’re at it, let’s stop giving out billions in “food stamps” to corporate welfare queens like Bank of America, BP, WalMart, Halliburton and Monsanto. Works for me. And can we also please bring our millions of jobs back from overseas too?
Back in 1963, I made $1.75 an hour while working in the post office on weekends and during summers. With this money plus some help from my parents (yes, they could also afford to help me back then), I was able to graduate from San Jose State College without requiring any student loans. And in 1966, when I got a big salary-bump to $3.50 an hour for working the stamp window instead of sorting mail, I was able put myself through graduate school at UC Berkeley, just by working during summer vacations. Can you even imagine staying alive and not homeless in Berkeley today on that kind of salary — let alone paying for your tuition at Cal as well.
What has happened to all of America’s jobs and wealth since the 1960s, back when we were the richest country in the world? That’s a no-brainer. It’s all flown away into the pockets of Wall Street mega-bankers, the numbered Cayman accounts of war profiteers and the fat wallets of all those corporate welfare queens who currently own and run our government.
While it’s always a good idea to raise America’s minimum wage a few dollars, it’s also important to stop runaway inflation — and to also start lowering a certain type of maximum wage as well: The maximum amount that rich guys can steal from us before they get sent to jail.And we need to put some teeth into these new regulations too.
A poll last year showed that trust in the mainstream media is increasing, which should worry all of us who value truth, integrity and press freedom. Why? Here are 10 disturbing things everyone needs to know about the global media giants who control our supply of information, wielding immense power over the people- and even over the government.
1. Mainstream media exists solely to make profit
What´s the purpose of the mainstream media? Saying that the press exists to inform, educate or entertain is like saying Apple corporation´s primary function is to make technology which will enrich our lives. Actually, the mass media industry is the same as any other in a capitalist society: it exists to make profit. Medialens, a British campaigning site which critiques mainstream (or corporate) journalism, quotedbusiness journalist Marjorie Kelly as saying that all corporations, including those dealing with media, exist only to maximize returns to their shareholders. This is, she said, ´the law of the land…universally accepted as a kind of divine, unchallengeable truth´. Without pleasing shareholders and a board of directors, mass media enterprises simply would not exist. And once you understand this, you´ll never watch the news in the same way again.
2. Advertisers dictate content
So how does the pursuit of profit affect the news we consume? Media corporations make the vast majority (typically around 75%) of their profit from advertising, meaning it´s advertisers themselves that dictate content- not journalists, and certainly not consumers. Imagine you are editor of a successful newspaper or TV channel with high circulation or viewing figures. You attract revenue from big brands and multinational corporations such as BP, Monsanto and UAE airlines. How could you then tackle important topics such as climate change, GM food or disastrous oil spills in a way that is both honest to your audience and favorable to your clients? The simple answer is you can´t. This might explain why Andrew Ross Sorkin of the New York Times- sponsored by Goldman Sachs- is so keen todefend the crooked corporation. Andrew Marr, a political correspondent for the BBC, sums up the dilemma in his autobiography: ´The biggest question is whether advertising limits and reshapes the news agenda. It does, of course. It’s hard to make the sums add up when you are kicking the people who write the cheques.´ Enough said…
3. Billionaire tycoons & media monopolies threaten real journalism
The monopolization of the press (fewer individuals or organizations controlling increasing shares of the mass media) is growingyear by year, and this is a grave danger to press ethics and diversity. Media mogul RupertMurdoch´s neo-liberal personal politics are reflected in his 175 newspapers and endorsed by pundits (see Fox news) on the 123 TV channels he owns in the USA alone. Anyone who isn´t worried by this one man´s view of the world being consumed by millions of people across the globe- from the USA to the UK, New Zealand to Asia, Europe to Australia- isn´t thinking hard enough about the consequences. It´s a grotesquely all-encompassing monopoly, leaving no doubt that Murdoch is one of the most powerful men in the world. But as the News International phone hacking scandal showed, he´s certainly not the most honorable or ethical. Neither is AlexanderLebedev, a former KGB spy and politician who bought British newspaper The Independent in 2010. With Lebedev´s fingers in so many pies (the billionaire oligarch is into everything from investment banking to airlines), can we really expect news coverage from this once well-respected publication to continue in the same vein? Obviously not: the paper had always carried a banner on its front page declaring itself ´free from party political bias, free from proprietorial influence´, but interestingly this was dropped in September 2011.
4. Corporate press is in bed with the government
Aside from the obvious, one of the most disturbing facts to emerge from Murdoch´s News International phone hacking scandal (background information here ) was the exposure of shady connections between top government officials and press tycoons. During the scandal, and throughout the subsequent Leveson inquiry into British press ethics (or lack of them), we learned of secret meetings, threatsby Murdoch to politicians who didn´t do as he wanted, and that Prime Minister David Cameron has a very close friendship with The Sun´s then editor-in-chief (and CEO of News International) Rebekah Brooks. How can journalists do their job of holding politicians to account when they are vacationing together or rubbing shoulders at private dinner parties? Clearly, they don´t intend to. But the support works both ways- Cameron´s government tried to help Murdoch´s son win a bid for BSkyB, while bizarrely, warmongering ex Prime Minister Tony Blair is godfather to Murdoch´s daughter Grace. As well as ensuring an overwhelming bias in news coverage and election campaigns, flooding newspapers with cheap and easy articles from unquestioned government sources, and gagging writers from criticizing those in power, these secret connections also account for much of the corporate media´s incessant peddling of the patriotism lie– especially in the lead-up to attacks on other countries. Here´s an interestinganalysis of The New York Times´s coverage of the current Syria situation for example, demonstrating how corporate journalists are failing to reflect public feeling on the issue of a full-scale attack on Assad by the US and its allies.
5. Important stories are overshadowed by trivia
You could be forgiven for assuming that the most interesting part of Edward Snowden´s status as a whistleblower was his plane ride from Hong Kong to Russia, or his lengthy stint waiting in Moscow airport for someone- anyone– to offer him asylum. Because with the exception of The Guardian who published the leaks (read them in fullhere), the media has generally preferred not to focus on Snowden´s damning revelations about freedom and tyranny, but rather on banaltrivia – his personality and background, whether his girlfriend misses him, whether he is actually a Chinese spy, and ahhh, didn´t he remind us all of Where´s Waldo as he flitted across the globe as a wanted fugitive? The same could be said of Bradley Manning´s gender re-assignment, which conveniently overshadowed the enormous injustice of his sentence. And what of Julian Assange? His profile on the globally-respected BBC is dedicated almost entirely to a subtle smearing of character, rather than detailing Wikileaks´s profound impact on our view of the world. In every case, the principal stories are forgotten as our attention, lost in a sea of trivia, is expertly diverted from the real issues at hand: those which invariably, the government wants us to forget.
6. Mainstream media doesn´t ask questions
´Check your sources, check your facts´ are golden rules in journalism 101, but you wouldn´t guess that from reading the mainstream press or watching corporate TV channels. At the time of writing, Obama is beating the war drums over Syria. Following accusations by the US and Britain that Assad was responsible for a nerve gas attack on his own civilians last month, most mainstream newspapers- like the afore-mentioned New York Times– have failed to demand evidence or call for restraint on a full-scale attack. But there are several good reasons why journalists should question the official story. Firstly, British right-wing newspaper The Daily Mail actually ran a news piece back in January this year, publishing leaked emails from a British arms company showing the US was planning a false flag chemical attack on Syria´s civilians. They would then blame it on Assad to gain public support for a subsequent full-scale invasion. The article was hastily deleted but a cached version still exists. Other recent evidence lends support to the unthinkable. It has emerged that the chemicals used to make the nerve gas were indeed shipped from Britain, and German intelligenceinsists Assad was not responsible for the chemical attack. Meanwhile, a hacktivist has come forward with alleged evidence of US intelligence agencies´ involvement in the massacre (download it for yourself here ), with a growing body of evidence suggesting this vile plot was hatched by Western powers. Never overlook the corporate media´s ties to big business and big government before accepting what you are told- because if journalism is dead, you have a right and a duty to ask your own questions.
7. Corporate journalists hate real journalists
Sirota rightly points out the irony of this: ´Here we have a reporter expressing excitement at the prospect of the government executing the publisher of information that became the basis for some of the most important journalism in the last decade.´ Sirota goes on to note various examples of what he calls the ´Journalists against Journalism club´, and gives severalexamples of how The Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald has been attacked by the corporate press for publishing Snowden´s leaks. The New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin called for Greenwald’s arrest, while NBC’s David Gregory´s declared that Greenwald has ´aided and abetted Snowden´. As for the question of whether journalists can indeed be outspoken, Sirota accurately notes that it all depends on whether their opinions serve or challenge the status quo, and goes on to list the hypocrisy of Greenwald´s critics in depth: ´Grunwald has saber-rattling opinions that proudly support the government’s drone strikes and surveillance. Sorkin’s opinions promote Wall Street’s interests. (The Washington Post´s David) Broder had opinions that supported, among other things, the government’s corporate-serving “free” trade agenda. (The Washington Post´s Bob) Woodward has opinions backing an ever-bigger Pentagon budget that enriches defense contractors. (The Atlantic´s Jeffrey) Goldberg promotes the Military-Industrial Complex’s generally pro-war opinions. (The New York Times´s Thomas) Friedman is all of them combined, promoting both “free” trade and “suck on this” militarism. Because these voices loyally promote the unstated assumptions that serve the power structure and that dominate American politics, all of their particular opinions aren’t even typically portrayed as opinions; they are usually portrayed as noncontroversial objectivity.´
8. Bad news sells, good news is censored, and celebrity gossip trumps important issues
It´s sad but true: bad news really does sell more newspapers. But why? Are we really so pessimistic? Do we relish the suffering of others? Are we secretly glad that something terrible happened to someone else, not us? Reading the corporate press as an alien visiting Earth you might assume so. Generally, news coverage is sensationalist and depressing as hell, with so many pages dedicated to murder, rape and pedophilia and yet none to the billions of good deeds and amazingly inspirational movements taking place every minute of every day all over the planet. But the reasons we consume bad news are perfectly logical. In times of harmony and peace, people simply don´t feel the need to educate themselves as much as they do in times of crises. That´s good news for anyone beginning to despair that humans are apathetic, hateful and dumb, and it could even be argued that this sobering and simple fact is a great incentive for the mass media industry to do something worthwhile. They could start offering the positive and hopeful angle for a change. They could use dark periods of increased public interest to convey a message of peace and justice. They could reflect humanity´s desire for solutions and our urgent concerns for the environment. They could act as the voice of a global population who has had enough of violence and lies to campaign for transparency, equality, freedom, truth, and real democracy. Would that sell newspapers? I think so. They could even hold a few politicians to account on behalf of the people, wouldn´t that be something? But for the foreseeable future, it´s likely the corporate press will just distract our attention with another picture of Rhianna´s butt, another rumor about Justin Bieber´s coke habit, or another article about Kim Kardashian (who is she again?) wearing perspex heels with swollen ankles while pregnant. Who cares about the missing$21 trillion, what was she thinking?
9. Whoever controls language controls the population
Have you read George Orwell´s classic novel1984 yet? It´s become a clichéd reference in today´s dystopia, that´s true, but with good reason. There are many- too many- parallels between Orwell´s dark imaginary future and our current reality, but one important part of his vision concerned language. Orwell coined the word ´Newspeak´ to describe a simplistic version of the English language with the aim of limiting free thought on issues that would challenge the status quo (creativity, peace, and individualism for example). The concept of Newspeak includes what Orwell called ´DoubleThink´- how language is made ambiguous or even inverted to convey the opposite of what is true. In his book, the Ministry of War is known as the Ministry of Love, for example, while the Ministry of Truth deals with propaganda and entertainment. Sound familiar yet? Another book that delves into this topic deeper is Unspeak, a must-read for anyone interested in language and power and specifically how words are distorted for political ends. Terms such as ´peace keeping missiles´, ´extremists´ and ´no-fly zones´, weapons being referred to as ´assets´, or misleading business euphemisms such as ´downsizing´ for redundancy and ´sunset´ for termination- these, and hundreds of other examples, demonstrate how powerful language can be. In a world of growing corporate media monopolization, those who wield this power can manipulate words and therefore public reaction, to encourage compliance, uphold the status quo, or provoke fear.
10. Freedom of the press no longer exists
The only press that is currently free (at least for now) is the independent publication with no corporate advertisers, board of directors, shareholders or CEOs. Details of how the state has redefined journalism are noted here and are mentioned in #7, but the best recent example would be the government´s treatment of The Guardian over its publication of the Snowden leaks. As a side note, it´s possible this paper plays us as well as any other- The Guardian Media Group isn´t small fry, after all. But on the other hand- bearing in mind points 1 to 9- why should we find it hard to believe that after the NSA files were published, editor Alan Rusbridge wastold by the powers that be ´you´ve had your fun, now return the files´, that government officials stormed his newsroom and smashed up hard drives, or that Greenwald´s partner David Miranda wasdetained for 9 hours in a London airport under the Terrorism Act as he delivered documents related to the columnist´s story? Journalism, Alan Rusbridge lamented, ´may be facing a kind of existential threat.´ As CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather wrote: ‘We have few princes and earls today, but we surely have their modern-day equivalents in the very wealthy who seek to manage the news, make unsavory facts disappear and elect representatives who are in service to their own economic and social agenda… The “free press” is no longer a check on power. It has instead become part of the power apparatus itself.’
Sophie is a staff writer for True Activist and a freelance feature writer for various publications on society, activism and other topics. You can read more of her stuff here.
Source: True Activist
Control oil and you control nations,” said US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the 1970s. “Control food and you control the people.”
Global food control has nearly been achieved, by reducing seed diversity with GMO (genetically modified) seeds that are distributed by only a few transnational corporations. But this agenda has been implemented at grave cost to our health; and if the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) passes, control over not just our food but our health, our environment and our financial system will be in the hands of transnational corporations.
Profits Before Populations
Genetic engineering has made proprietary control possible over the seeds on which the world’s food supply depends. According to an Acres USA interview of plant pathologist Don Huber, Professor Emeritus at Purdue University, two modified traits account for practically all of the genetically modified crops grown in the world today. One involves insect resistance. The other, more disturbing modification involves insensitivity to glyphosate-based herbicides (plant-killing chemicals). Often known as Roundup after the best-selling Monsanto product of that name, glyphosate poisons everything in its path except plants genetically modified to resist it.
Glyphosate-based herbicides are now the most commonly used herbicides in the world. Glyphosate is an essential partner to the GMOs that are the principal business of the burgeoning biotech industry. Glyphosate is a “broad-spectrum” herbicide that destroys indiscriminately, not by killing unwanted plants directly but by tying up access to critical nutrients.
Because of the insidious way in which it works, it has been sold as a relatively benign replacement for the devastating earlier dioxin-based herbicides. But a barrage of experimental data has now shown glyphosate and the GMO foods incorporating it to pose serious dangers to health. Compounding the risk is the toxicity of “inert” ingredients used to make glyphosate more potent. Researchers have found, for example, that the surfactant POEA can kill human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells. But these risks have been conveniently ignored.
The widespread use of GMO foods and glyphosate herbicides helps explain the anomaly that the US spends over twice as much per capita on healthcare as the average developed country, yet it is rated far down the scale of the world’s healthiest populations. The World Health Organization has ranked the US LAST out of 17 developed nations for overall health.
Sixty to seventy percent of the foods in US supermarkets are now genetically modified. By contrast, in at least 26 other countries—including Switzerland, Australia, Austria, China, India, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Greece, Bulgaria, Poland, Italy, Mexico and Russia—GMOs are totally or partially banned; and significant restrictions on GMOs exist in about sixty other countries.
A ban on GMO and glyphosate use might go far toward improving the health of Americans. But the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a global trade agreement for which the Obama Administration has sought Fast Track status, would block that sort of cause-focused approach to the healthcare crisis.
Roundup’s Insidious Effects
Roundup-resistant crops escape being killed by glyphosate, but they do not avoid absorbing it into their tissues. Herbicide-tolerant crops have substantially higher levels of herbicide residues than other crops. In fact, many countries have had to increase their legally allowable levels—by up to 50 times—in order to accommodate the introduction of GM crops. In the European Union, residues in food are set to rise 100-150 times if a new proposal by Monsanto is approved. Meanwhile, herbicide-tolerant “super-weeds” have adapted to the chemical, requiring even more toxic doses and new toxic chemicals to kill the plant.
Human enzymes are affected by glyphosate just as plant enzymes are: the chemical blocks the uptake of manganese and other essential minerals. Without those minerals, we cannot properly metabolize our food. That helps explain the rampant epidemic of obesity in the United States. People eat and eat in an attempt to acquire the nutrients that are simply not available in their food.
Glyphosate’s inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes is an overlooked component of its toxicity to mammals. CYP enzymes play crucial roles in biology . . . . Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body. Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
More than 40 diseases have been linked to glyphosate use, and more keep appearing. In September 2013, the National University of Rio Cuarto, Argentina, published research finding that glyphosate enhances the growth of fungi that produce aflatoxin B1, one of the most carcinogenic of substances. A doctor from Chaco, Argentina, told Associated Press, “We’ve gone from a pretty healthy population to one with a high rate of cancer, birth defects and illnesses seldom seen before.” Fungi growths have increased significantly in US corn crops.
Glyphosate has also done serious damage to the environment. According to an October 2012 report by the Institute of Science in Society:
Agribusiness claims that glyphosate and glyphosate-tolerant crops will improve crop yields, increase farmers’ profits and benefit the environment by reducing pesticide use. Exactly the opposite is the case. . . . [T]he evidence indicates that glyphosate herbicides and glyphosate-tolerant crops have had wide-ranging detrimental effects, including glyphosate resistant super weeds, virulent plant (and new livestock) pathogens, reduced crop health and yield, harm to off-target species from insects to amphibians and livestock, as well as reduced soil fertility.
Politics Trumps Science
In light of these adverse findings, why have Washington and the European Commission continued to endorse glyphosate as safe? Critics point to lax regulations, heavy influence from corporate lobbyists, and a political agenda that has more to do with power and control than protecting the health of the people.
In the ground-breaking 2007 book Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, William Engdahl states that global food control and depopulation became US strategic policy under Rockefeller protégé Henry Kissinger. Along with oil geopolitics, they were to be the new “solution” to the threats to US global power and continued US access to cheap raw materials from the developing world. In line with that agenda, the government has shown extreme partisanship in favor of the biotech agribusiness industry, opting for a system in which the industry “voluntarily” polices itself. Bio-engineered foods are treated as “natural food additives,” not needing any special testing.
Jeffrey M. Smith, Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, confirms that US Food and Drug Administration policy allows biotech companies to determine if their own foods are safe. Submission of data is completely voluntary. He concludes:
In the critical arena of food safety research, the biotech industry is without accountability, standards, or peer-review. They’ve got bad science down to a science.
Whether or not depopulation is an intentional part of the agenda,widespread use of GMO and glyphosate is having that result. The endocrine-disrupting properties of glyphosate have been linked to infertility, miscarriage, birth defects and arrested sexual development. In Russian experiments, animals fed GM soy were sterile by the third generation. Vast amounts of farmland soil are also being systematically ruined by the killing of beneficial microorganisms that allow plant roots to uptake soil nutrients.
In Gary Null’s eye-opening documentary Seeds of Death: Unveiling the Lies of GMOs, Dr. Bruce Lipton warns, “We are leading the world into the sixth mass extinction of life on this planet. . . . Human behavior is undermining the web of life.”
The TPP and International Corporate Control
As the devastating conclusions of these and other researchers awaken people globally to the dangers of Roundup and GMO foods, transnational corporations are working feverishly with the Obama administration to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement that would strip governments of the power to regulate transnational corporate activities. Negotiations have been kept secret from Congress but not from corporate advisors, 600 of whom have been consulted and know the details. According to Barbara Chicherio in Nation of Change:
The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has the potential to become the biggest regional Free Trade Agreement in history. . . .
The chief agricultural negotiator for the US is the former Monsanto lobbyist, Islam Siddique. If ratified the TPP would impose punishing regulations that give multinational corporations unprecedented right to demand taxpayer compensation for policies that corporations deem a barrier to their profits.
. . . They are carefully crafting the TPP to insure that citizens of the involved countries have no control over food safety, what they will be eating, where it is grown, the conditions under which food is grown and the use of herbicides and pesticides.
Food safety is only one of many rights and protections liable to fall to this super-weapon of international corporate control. In an April 2013 interview on The Real News Network, Kevin Zeese called the TPP “NAFTA on steroids” and “a global corporate coup.” He warned:
No matter what issue you care about—whether its wages, jobs, protecting the environment . . . this issue is going to adversely affect it . . . .
If a country takes a step to try to regulate the financial industry or set up a public bank to represent the public interest, it can be sued . . . .
Return to Nature: Not Too Late
There is a safer, saner, more earth-friendly way to feed nations. While Monsanto and US regulators are forcing GM crops on American families, Russian families are showing what can be done with permaculture methods on simple garden plots. In 2011, 40% of Russia’s food was grown on dachas (cottage gardens or allotments). Dacha gardens produced over 80% of the country’s fruit and berries, over 66% of the vegetables, almost 80% of the potatoes and nearly 50% of the nation’s milk, much of it consumed raw. According to Vladimir Megre, author of the best-selling Ringing Cedars Series:
Essentially, what Russian gardeners do is demonstrate that gardeners can feed the world – and you do not need any GMOs, industrial farms, or any other technological gimmicks to guarantee everybody’s got enough food to eat. Bear in mind that Russia only has 110 days of growing season per year – so in the US, for example, gardeners’ output could be substantially greater. Today, however, the area taken up by lawns in the US is two times greater than that of Russia’s gardens – and it produces nothing but a multi-billion-dollar lawn care industry.
In the US, only about 0.6 percent of the total agricultural area is devoted to organic farming. This area needs to be vastly expanded if we are to avoid “the sixth mass extinction.” But first, we need to urge our representatives to stop Fast Track, vote no on the TPP, and pursue a global phase-out of glyphosate-based herbicides and GMO foods. Our health, our finances and our environment are at stake.
Ellen Brown is an attorney, president of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books, including the best-selling Web of Debt. In The Public Bank Solution, her latest book, she explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her blog articles are at EllenBrown.com.
Source: Ellen Brown | CounterPunch