In a stunning blow to Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has lost its parliamentary majority for the first time in over 13 years. By curtailing Erdogan’s power, the results of the general election held last Sunday (June 7) are likely – at long last – to have some positive repercussions for the Greater Middle East.
Erdogan had hoped to obtain a two-thirds legislative supermajority, which would enable him to push through a new constitution that would create an executive presidency and make him de iure, as well asde facto, Turkey’s autocrat with sweeping powers which would have made the U.S. presidency look weak by comparison. His by now openly Islamist AKP, which has governed Turkey since February 2002, went along with his plan. In view of Erdogan’s victory in the presidential election less than a year ago with 52 percent of the vote in the first round, and the AKP’s ability to steadily increase its share of the vote in three consecutive elections, the party’s top brass initially assumed the AKP would be able to gain the 400 seats which Erdogan boldly promised at the beginning of the campaign. Some weeks later he lowered his expectations to 330 seats, the number necessary to hold a referendum on the constitutional amendment he wanted. In the final fortnight of the campaign he remained confident that the AKP would get at least 276 seats needed to form a single-party government for the fourth time.
Erdogan’s name was not on the ballot, but the election was widely perceived as a referendum on his proposed “Turkish-style presidency” – and he has overplayed his hand. Unprecedentedly high turnout of 86 percent included a significant number of former abstainees who were now motivated simply by the desire to stop Erdogan. After last Sunday’s fiasco, his overall power and even his authority in the AKP will no longer be absolute.
With 258 seats and 41 percent of the vote the AKP remains Turkey’s largest party by far, but it is now 18 mandates short of a simple majority in the 550-seat national assembly. In order to continue governing it has two options: to find a coalition partner among the three opposition parties which have crossed the (blatantly undemocratic) ten-percent threshold, or else to form a minority government with the tacit support of one of those three parties. If neither scenario works in the next 45 days, there will have to be a new election in three months’ time.
The secular-Kemalist Republican People’s Party (CHP) remains the second largest force in Turkish politics, with 25 percent of the vote and 132 seats. Its social-democratic agenda is supported mainly by the urban middle class and by pro-European liberals who regard Erdogan as a calamity that must be stopped. It is therefore unlikely to consider a coalition with the AKP, let alone to provide passive support for a minority government. CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu declared that the nation “stopped the rot” on Sunday, but also expressed his opposition to yet another election. He and his colleagues would like to form a broad coalition without the AKP, but the problem is that the other two opposition parties fundamentally disagree on several key issues at home and abroad.
Even less likely to help Erdogan and the AKP is the success story of this election, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which enters parliament for the first time with 80 seats and 13 percent of the vote. Its leader Selahattin Demirtas openly taunted Erdogan in his speech late on election night: “As of this hour, the debate about the presidency, the debate about dictatorship is over. Turkey averted a disaster at the brink. We prevented you from being the kind of president you wanted to be!” This mainly Kurdish party has successfully appealed to young Turks everywhere with its staunch opposition to AKP’s Islamist conservatism and with its advocacy of a radical social agenda which includes Western-style homosexual and women’s rights.
All this is anathema to the third opposition party, the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) – the home of the “Grey Wolves” of yore – which also has 80 seats, with just over 16 percent of the vote. It is opposed to practically everything the HDP stands for, Kurdish minority rights in particular. When the chips are down the Nationalist Movement Party is more likely to join an AKP-led coalition. Its price is likely to be Erdogan’s acceptance of a greatly curtailed presidential role, in accordance with the existing constitution, and his public commitment that he would not make another attempt to change the rules.
This may well be quietly welcomed by many AKP leaders who have grown weary Erdogan’s confrontational style and autocratic ways. Former president and party founder Abdullah Gul, who is known to resent Erdogan, may reenter the fray. There are many influential Turks of Islamist persuasion, within and without the AKP, who have not been adverse to the drift away from secularism at home and to the assertive pursuit of neo-Ottomanism abroad, but who believe that the power of “the Sultan” (as Erdogan is known among his friends and foes alike) needs to be curtailed. While they do not identify with the values and aspirations of the secular and liberal urban middle class which dominates the opposition, some religious conservatives will see the election result as an opportunity to persuade the “Sultan” that he needs to listen to the neglected pashas and viziers.
Erdogan was not the only reason for AKP’s poor showing. Turkey’s no longer growing economy and a weak lira have played a major role, as well as the government’s involvement in Syria, the growingmedia censorship, government corruption, and the typically Islamist disregard for the Kemalist legacy of women’s equality. Last but not least, Erdogan’s brazen involvement in the campaign process – in spite of the fact that the president of the republic is constitutionally required to remain politically neutral – may have cost cost the AKP a couple of percentage points.
Internationally, the election result and the ensuing weeks, perhaps months, of domestic political uncertainty will probably decrease Turkey’s involvement in the Syrian civil war, specifically its support for the hard-core jihadist Nusra Front. Most Turks, AKP supporters and Kemalists alike, are opposed to Erdogan’s support for the Syrian rebels and advocacy of foreign intervention, which is perceived as an “American,” rather than “Turkish” policy. If Turkey becomes less involved in Arab affairs in the period ahead, that will be good news for Syria’s beleaguered president Bashar al-Assad, the man who commands the only army in the field capable of opposing ISIS.
There was only an en passant reference to Syria at the end of my analysis of Erdogan’s defeat three days ago. This subject deserves closer scrutiny. His controversial policy vis-à-vis Damascus now appears to have been a major factor in his defeat, and Turkey’s likely fine-tuning of her posture in the months ahead may have major repercussions for the Greater Middle East.
Turkey’s three opposition parties, the social-democratic, neoKemalist Republican People’s Party (CHP), the sternly nationalist Action Party (MHP), and the predominantly Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) may not have much in common on social, cultural, ethnic and religious issues, but they all agree that Erdogan was mistaken in entering the Syrian fray. He did so by arming Islamic militants fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government, by quietly allowing thousands of foreign jihadists to cross from Turkey into Iraq and Syria, and by enabling the Islamic State (ISIS) and the Jabhat al-Nusra – a hard-line jihadist fighting force if there ever was one – to become major players in the conflict. Turkey’s assistance to the latter group is a matter of well documented record.
It is now apparent that the ruling AKP performed poorly, in contrast to its earlier showing, in all provinces bordering Syria. and especially among the millions of Kurds disenchanted with Turkey’s failure to help their Syrian brethern in Kobani. As a reliable news source has noted,
The change of power structure in Turkey came precisely at a time when the new Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey partnership is changing the balances in the field against Assad’s regime. The double-pronged strategy of the partnership sought to arm and expand the territory dominated in the northern front of Idlib and Hatay and the southern front of Daara, Quneitra, Suwayda and Damascus via Jordan. The Turkish prong of this strategy is now up in the air.
Erdogan had agreed with the recently enthroned Saudi King Salman to supply weapons and training to al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch of Jabhat al-Nusra and the affiliated Army of Conquest (Jaish al-Fateh), led by Ahrar al-Sha. These al-Qaeda affiliates are hard-core jihadists, of course, whose only claim to respectability (in the eyes of Washington’s “foreign policy community”) is the fact that they are anti-Bashar and not affiliated with ISIS. They are horrible people nevertheless, and designing them as “moderates” in the mainstream Western media simply serves the bipartisan neocon-neolib agenda of bringing down Assad – regardless of consequences for Syria’s Christians, for Syria itself, and for Israel’s vulnerable Golan frontier.
It is noteworthy that HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtas, speaking to CNN International, stated point blank that any coalition government would have to discontinue Turkey’s “support IS and other radical groups in the region.” Turkey’s eventual disengagement from Erdogan’s axis of evil with the worst purveyor of Islamic agenda in the world – Saudi Arabia – would be a long overdue ray of hope in the nightmarish Middle Eastern equation.
We are constantly seeing and hearing our American media use the word “Regime” these days. So exactly what is a “Regime”? Apparently it is whatever you want it to be.
Whenever Wall Street and/or War Street want to vilify a country that disagrees with their policies of occupation and exploitation, they always begin their vilification program by calling that country’s form of government a “Regime”.
Here are some examples: Syria is a “Regime” — even though it has a constitution, holds elections and almost all Syrians support its president, Bashar Assad. Gaddafi in Libya also operated a “Regime” — even though his government offered the kind of free education and healthcare benefits to its citizens that most Americans can only dream about. Cuba was (and still is) considered a “Regime” in the eyes of Wall Street and War Street. Putin also runs a “Regime” — even though most Russians today support him totally.
In reverse, Saudi Arabia is not a “Regime” — even though the House of Saud uses torture, suppresses decent, beheads people, treats women badly, brutally invades other countries and supports Al Qaeda and ISIS.
The House of Saud has spent over a trillion $$$$ of its enormous petro-dollar wealth over the last half-century on killing people and being despotic. Just imagine what the Middle East would look like right now if the Saudis had chosen butter instead of guns. What a waste. And yet Saudi Arabia is still not considered to be a “Regime” by American media.
Israel never gets called a “Regime” either — even though it supplied Iran with weapons back when Khomeini was holding Americans hostage and it kills Palestinian children with impunity, foments wars whenever possible, runs secret torture prisons, is a neo-colonialist in the worst sort of way, appears to even be anti-Jewish, uses 9-11 to its advantage and has notoriously corrupt leaders.
And now America seems to have become a “Regime” as well — even though nobody ever dares to call it by that name. But if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck….
Here are at least ten reasons that cause me to suspect that Wall Street and War Street are running a “Regime” here in America too:
Reason No. 1: Torture. Black sites. Rendition. Indefinite detention of Americans. Stuff like that. Our tax dollars at work.
Reason No. 2: No one is ever allowed to examine (let alone question) election results or voting machines here in the USA. Remember GWB, for instance? Never legally won an election in his life! Or take those new voter restrictions that have suddenly become so popular in the Ol’ South. You would expect something like that in the old Soviet Union or in the bad old days of Jim Crow — but not here, not now. And yet here it is.
No one is ever allowed to examine (let alone question) election results or voting machines here in the USA. Remember GWB, for instance? Never legally won an election in his life! Or take those new voter restrictions that have suddenly become so popular in the Ol’ South. You would expect something like that in the old Soviet Union or in the bad old days of Jim Crow — but not here, not now. And yet here it is.
Reason No. 3: Spying on its citizens. NSA. The Patriot Act. Snowden and Manning are being persecuted for spying — while FaceBook, Google and NSA get a free pass.
Reason No. 4: Ferguson. Baltimore. Zuccotti Park. Oakland. Military tactics used to violently suppress the American underclass if they dare to complain that their jobs are all disappearing, their children’s education sucks eggs and their tax dollars are being spent on military adventurism in foreign lands instead of on infrastructure here at home.
Reason No. 5: Congress! Government for sale. Widespread corruption. The Koch brothers’ and K Street’s yard sale of our politicians — all bought on the cheap. A solder in Afghanistan once told me that, “The only difference between corrupt politicians in Afghanistan and corrupt politicians in America is that corrupt politicians in America pass laws to make their corruption legal and Afghan politicians do not.” (Also see Reason No. 9)
Reason No. 6: No daycare! I just threw that in because I’m now babysitting my wonderful three-month-old granddaughter so that my daughter can go back to work. Even Iraq under Saddam Hussein had free daycare! Even Cuba under Castro.
And when Sofia goes off to kindergarten in five years, then I’ll finally be able to go back to being a war correspondent again — knowing for certain that the American “Regime” will still be subsidizing despots and Endless War in the Middle East even five years from now. What a waste.
Reason No. 7: Media suppression. You think that you might have some good ideas about telling truth to power around here? Then don’t expect to get a job with the New York Times or the Washington Post any time soon. Shades of the old Pravda.
Reason No. 8: Cops and the military (again). Peaceful protests are suppressed here just like they are in Occupied Palestine. Rubber bullets and tear gas R Us! Our cops recently used tear gas on protesters even here in my own hometown. And then there are all those poor countries abroad that have been Blitzkriegged by our very own Luftwaffe and then invaded by our very own Storm Troopers. I could drone on and on about that!
Reason No. 9: Our Supreme Court. Scalia would feel right at home in Nigeria or Haiti. There’s not a single corrupt corporate take-over that he doesn’t like.
Reason No 10: Corporatism itself. Nazi Germany ran on “Corporatism”. Hitler just loved handing out corporate welfare. And so do our so-called leaders. Nazi Germany was a “Regime”. Perhaps America is too.
I rest my case.
The shadow cabal that exerts raw power over the public controls and dictates the mindset that passes as the popular culture. Keeping people in fear, real or manufactured is essential to keep the police state omnipresent. Both foreign and domestic operations are conducted to divide and rule, not only other nations, but the indigenous populations that are targets of the next clandestine mission. Since the end of WWII, the intelligence community has lead the way to overturn our constitutional republic and put into place a controlled social environment that is docile and obedient to the masters of the Amerika Empire.
In order to accomplish this fundamental transition from a free society into a despotic police state, threats must be fashioned, real or imaginary. Bona fide menaces that imperil our legitimate national security require intelligent and defensive action. However, such situations are rare, when compared to the entire mix of manufactured crisis that are designed to increase the range and scope of the power establishment.
The sordid and soiled history of the Central Intelligence Agency is a prime example of furthering international conflict and tension so that the national subjects will accept a trepidation culture. But the CIA is not alone in this coordinated effort to create undeviating terror. In the 50’s the FBI looked for a commie under any bed. Just consider how far we have sunk since Hoover did his illegal wire taps to a society that routinely accept the NSA collection of all electronic communications.
With the collapse of the Soviet International and the intellectual disrepute of Marxist ideology, one might think that the efforts of the intelligence communities might have earned their keep. With the recent disclosure of the CIA cooperated with Chinese intelligence to target Russia, the book “The Hundred Year Marathon” by former Pentagon official Michael Pillsbury reveals the following:
“Covert CIA-China cooperation was part of successive administrations’ programs to undermine the Soviet Union, which China turned on after realizing Moscow’s Marxist-Leninist economic model was doomed. China instead began courting the United States for economic benefit while creating a revised communist economic system.
The disclosures of clandestine U.S.-China intelligence cooperation dating to the 1970s are likely to embarrass Beijing. China frequently attacks the CIA for allegedly fomenting democratic revolution in China and for supporting the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama, whom China designated as a major enemy. Beijing also accused the CIA of organizing the recent large-scale pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong. The U.S. government has denied any role in the public outcry over creeping Chinese control over the former British colony.”
The significance of the “Agency” working with an advocacy to destabilize a different foe should not shock seasoned observers of international intrigue. What is even less surprising is that the defeat of the Soviet Communist regime brought a new era of openness to Russia, while the neo-commies in Beijing China perfected their totalitarian model for the NWO globalism elites.
Now that the Putin administration is exerting its own national interest and pushes back against the American expansion to surround the “Motherland”, the pro Zionists over at the State Department ratchet up pressure on the new Russia. The U.S. inspired coup in Ukraine has always been about neutering the Christian revival in Russia.
As currency wars develop and the Russia Rubble was recently undermined, the attack on any intended opposition to the “world community” is set to expand. Conversely, speculation that the IMF will soon add the Chinese Yuan as a reserve currency indicates that it is vital to craft essential enemies when needed and elevate opportunist when useful.
The common theme throughout the last century has been the planned technocratic human bondage of the world population. The calls for democratic self determination and economic uplifting for subsistent level peasants may seem to have improved the human condition. Even so, the upgrading in material minimalism has not been accompanied with respect for individual human rights.
The State, no matter what nationality or ideological orientation all share a consistent flaw; namely, a false authority of supremacy that imposes the dictates of committed globalists.
Failure to recognize that intelligence and security agencies are nothing more than police state enforcers is a prime reason why a universal populist movement does not gain traction.
Different cultures perceive the world within their own ethnic eyes. Expecting varied outlooks should be accepted as normal. However, the overriding message that comes out of the mass media, both foreign and domestic, share a common commercial content. The powers that be must be obeyed. This social indoctrination is intended to protect the interdependency of a unified global matrix.
In order to achieve this objective, perceived threats are useful. Distinguishing between tangible and phony dangers, contrary to popular wisdom, is not a function, preformed by the security apparatus, one can have confidence in. Their literal agenda is to serve the shifting global instability template, so that the elite’s can continue to have free reign on adding more layers of servitude.
Today’s serfs often wear designer duds. But more important, perception is altered when history is perverted. How the CIA Turned Doctor Zhivago into a Propaganda Weapon Against the Soviet Union provided a valuable lesson.
“The CIA’s recently revealed use of Boris Pasternak’s novel Doctor Zhivago as a propaganda weapon. Repressed in Pasternak’s native Russia, the book first appeared in Italy in 1957. The following year, the British suggested to America’s Central Intelligence Agency that the book stood a decent chance of winning hearts and minds behind the Iron Curtain — if, of course, they could get a few copies in there. A CIA memo sent across its own Soviet Russia Division subsequently pronounced Doctor Zhivago as possessed of “great propaganda value, not only for its intrinsic message and thought-provoking nature, but also for the circumstances of its publication. We have the opportunity to make Soviet citizens wonder what is wrong with their government, when a fine literary work by the man acknowledged to be the greatest living Russian writer is not even available in his own country in his own language for his own people to read.”
That evaluation comes from one of the over 130 declassified documents used by Peter Finn and Petra Couvée in their brand new history of this act of real-life literary espionage, The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book.”
The message behind this outstanding treasure of literature is undeniable. Hopeful, uplifting of the human spirit, while describing the grim circumstances of the commissar system, is memorable. Comrades beware; bringing down an evil empire to have it replaced with a kinder and gentler Western version of globalization is not exactly the definition of success.
Who among the defenders of Western Civilization will write the next masterpiece about the sinister motives and dire effects of the true global hegemony that seeks to subjugate all of humanity under the banner of world unity?
The imposition of State terror initiates its next operation with the full blessing of the financial controllers. Keeping and expanding the danger level of false flag terrorism, provides the excuse to impose the Jade Helm gulag.
“JADE-HELM – stands for: “Joint Assistance For Deployment and Execution – Homeland Eradication of Local Militants.” In other words, the Government is getting nervous about the fact that more Americans are now aware of the corruption, criminality and destruction of civil rights. Jade Helm is specifically intended for the purpose of eliminating fomenting Government insurrection groups. The States in which Jade Helm exercises are being conducted are “hot beds” for anti-Government militia groups (the latter are your allies).”
The faint-hearted vassals, who would never dare to jeopardize their own tranquility, if not meaningless subsistence, or oppose their countries deep sleep into oblivion, are real bondage serfs.
Keeping or amplifying the CIA sub-rosa agenda of warfare missions to include domestic operations should be opposed by any loyal citizen. Since apathy, confusion and denial of what actually constitutes a “Good and Open Society” is in such short supply, few will act upon resisting the forces of global tyranny.
When genuine national security is sacrificed to further a climate of prefab fear, we lose the battle for true safety. If enduring under a Reign of Terror is the price we all must pay to complete the global New World Order, we must be collectively insane to allow this transition to be accepted without a fight to the death.
Many will conclude that this conversion is inevitable. Doctor Zhivago was a heroic figure and fought the autocrats. His example provides motivation to apply the same principles of opposition to the established order of a demonic organized criminal syndicate.
Having the courage to combat despotism in favor of individual liberation, is fundamentally our duty and purpose as true Americans. Reject phony intelligence community terrorist threats. In order to restore the essence of our nation, every citizen needs to oppose any and all components of the New World Order. Reform will not work. Only total rebellion is left.
Water and air are the most important resources on the planet. Breathing clean air seems to be accepted as a noble goal and the cost attributed to its improvement is usually universally accepted. However, the same cannot be said about access to fresh water as big business interests often argues. Many corporate interests contend that private ownership of public water out- weighs the rights of actual property owners. Corporate agriculture is quite different from traditional family farming. Yet, the factory farms that have taken over agribusiness demonstrate little regard for preserving a viable water supply.
Tilling the back forty is no longer the face of farming. Adding concern to an already parched situation is the California delta’s water mysteriously missing amid drought, news has come to light.
“Delta farmers don’t deny using as much water as they need. But they say they’re not stealing it because their history of living at the water’s edge gives them that right. Still, they have been asked to report how much water they’re pumping and to prove their legal rights to it.
At issue is California’s century-old water rights system that has been based on self-reporting and little oversight, historically giving senior water rights holders the ability to use as much water as they need, even in drought. Gov. Jerry Brown has said that if drought continues this system built into California’s legal framework will probably need to be examined.”
So what is all this water extraction being used for? Manuel Ramirez from K&M Press is an exporter in the Imperial Valley is quoted by the BBC in the account, California drought: Why farmers are ‘exporting water’ to China.
“The last few years there has been an increase in exports to China. We started five years back and the demand for alfalfa hay has increased,” he says.
“It’s cost effective. We have abundance of water here which allows us to grow hay for the foreign market.”
Japan, Korea and the United Arab Emirates all buy Californian hay. The price is now so high that many local dairy farmers and cattle ranchers can’t afford the cost when the rains fail and their usual supplies are insufficient.”
California Food Facts – Production & Crops lists the state’s leading export crop as almonds. Widely described in Mother Jones is the amount of water needed to produce a list of crops. A single almond requires 1.1 gallons of water. The lunacy of exporting a product that consumes such a high water usage is typical of an environment that has ignored the wasteful use of water resources for decades.
Even more alarming is contained in the CBS news report, Farmers May Sell Water Meant For Growing Crops During California’s Drought.
“Instead of growing crops, some California farmers will sell their water to other farms during the fourth year of the state’s drought.
Not all farmers will use their allocated amount of water this year, and several irrigation districts will allow farmers to sell their extra water.”
The practice of selling water may seem on the surface a free market transaction. Nonetheless, the dubious corporatist claim on a vanishing water supply defies rational policy. Now that California Governor Jerry Brown Orders Statewide Water Restrictions, and issued a decree, “The order calls on local water agencies to implement tiered water pricing that charges higher rates as more water is used and requires agricultural users to report more water use information to state regulators”, fails to rein in big agriculture.
Of course as with setting an enlightened public policy, especially when addressing an emergency, not all the blame should be placed on farming. Notwithstanding, their abuses, the underlying failure in allowing exporting crops that use up our domestic water reserves is the key failure in the Governor Brown executive order.
The National Geographic quotes from a Governor Brown statement:
“Some have questioned the production of so much food for export during a water shortage. Even as many farmers struggle to meet their crops’ demand for water in drought-stricken California, every year they also send billions of virtual gallons to other countries—in the form of the food and animal feed grown with that water.
The United States exports about 82 trillion gallons of water a year–more than twice as much virtual water as any other country. That’s largely because American farms are a big supplier of the global food chain.”
California is currently getting media attention. But when compared to global conditions, Water Usage & Privatization, makes some astounding warnings.
“About 90 percent of the world’s freshwater stocks currently remain under public control, but privatization is becoming more common as revenue-strapped governments increasingly cannot afford to maintain and repair crumbling municipal water purification and delivery systems often built decades ago. Historically, however, in places where privatization has been established, it has proven to be another cause of—rather than a solution to—chronic water shortage problems. That is, because corporations are (by their nature) more concerned with making money than serving people’s and communities’ best interests, water privatization has led to corruption, lack of corporate accountability, loss of local agency, weakened water quality standards, and steep rate hikes that eliminate poor people’s access to water.”
Government oppression is always a prime concern with public policy. Still, the greed of corporatist farming plays a destructive role when water usage is misused with flagrant disregard for the public welfare. As long as state and local office holders ignore balance and prudent measures to curb flushing freshwater down a wasteful hole, the prospects of a prosperous civilized society will be brought into question.
However long weather conditions remain that diminishes replenishment in ground water, the need to act now becomes more important. As expected corporatist interests will fight every inch to keep control of every drop. The globalists warming cultists will spin their fear agenda, but will do little to confront the destructive practices of the “Free Trade” sellout. The proper role of lawful government is absent. Heed this example of the special interests control of our future, through their influence of bad public policy.
That notorious time of the year is upon us again; the income tax deadline. It is an affected date because the tax system tells it is so. The torment and extortion of organized theft goes on all year long, but April 15 has a special place in the gut of every victim of larceny by government. Oh sure, paying taxes is supposed to be the price of maintaining civilization, but when was the last time that government protected , much less promoted, the mythical “Good Society”. The notion that paying tribute to a federal self ordained authority as a duty is only accepted by delusional proponents of a fantasy existence of welfare recipient beneficiaries.
For the productive wealth creators, the government pensioners aid and abet the tax distribution scheme that extracts revenue from the private sectors and rewards public scavengers. This entire arrangement is based upon fear. The axiom is that your money is not your own and that tax rates run on an arbitrary scale and deductions are granted to privileged sympathizers.
If you buck the tax swindle, folks expect to be harassed and targeted. However, when law abiding citizens become the focus of financial molestation, the checks and balances in the legal adjudication, hypothetically should grant relief. The manner by which Tea Party groups were persecuted by the IRS division under the direction of Lois Lerner reach new heights of bureaucratic tyranny.
With the announcement that DOJ Will Not Prosecute IRS’s Lois Lerner for Contempt of Congress, righteous outrage builds among the remnant of justice seeking organizations.
“The American Center for Law and Justice has represented dozens of the conservative groups targeted by the IRS. It says the decision not to prosecute Lerner “is troubling but not surprising.”
“This latest development reflects what has become standard operating procedure for the Obama Administration in its so-called investigation of this unlawful targeting scheme by the IRS. One year ago, the Justice Department refused to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the unconstitutional actions of Lerner and others at the IRS.
“Now, by refusing to pursue criminal contempt charges against Lerner…the Justice Department is making a mockery of our criminal justice system. This is just one more example of an administration that refuses to hold anyone accountable for a scheme that unlawfully targeted conservative groups.”
Read the conclusion in the full letter from the Department of Justice letter to John Boehner, Speaker of the House, from Ronald C. Machen Jr.
We wish to assure you that the Department of Justice does not question the authority of Congress “to summon witnesses before either House or before their committees,” or “to pass laws ‘necessary and proper’ to carry into effect its power to get testimony.” See Adams v. Maryland, 347 U.S. 179, 183 (1954) (citing U.S. Const. art. I, $ 8). Thus, in appropriate circumstances, a United States Attomey’s Office will refer to a grand jury under Section 192 witnesses who contumaciously withhold testimony or other information that Congress has legitimately sought to compel in the exercise of its legislative or oversight responsibilities. Because, however, the authority of any branch of the United States government to compel witness testimony is limited by the protections of the Constitution, and Ms. Lerner did not waive those protections in this matter, the United States Attorney’s Office will not bring the instant contempt citation before a grand jury.
Robert W. Wood over at Forbes, provides invaluable background in, No Criminal Charges For Lois Lerner Of IRS, Keeps Bonuses, Nice Retirement.
“There is considerable back story. Ms. Lerner and Justice Department officials met in 2010 about going after conservative organizations after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United case. In August 2010, the IRS distributed a ‘be on the lookout’ list for Tea Party organizations. By March 2012, amid reports of targeting, former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman testified there is “absolutely no targeting” by the IRS.
On November 9, 2012, Mr. Shulman stepped down, replaced by Steven Miller. On May 10, 2013, Ms. Lerner admitted targeting, calling it “absolutely incorrect, insensitive, and inappropriate.” Four days later, on May 14, 2013, the Inspector General issued a report confirming targeting. Attorney General Eric Holder announced an FBI investigation, and Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller resigned.
On May 22, 2013, Ms. Lerner professed her innocence, then took the Fifth. Next day, she was placed on administrative leave. On September 24, 2013, Ms. Lerner’s retirement was announced with full pension. President Obama said there is “not a smidgen of corruption” at the IRS, but the Committee on House Oversight and Reform issues a report on Lois Lerner.”
The substantiation and source evidence within this chronicle of corruption should alarm all Americans. Especially if the arguments and historic accounts in the essay, Proof that Paying Federal Income Tax is Voluntary, are operationally sound. Nonetheless, the punitive powers of autocratic administration operate under their own selective rulings, applying penalties to any group or individual who threatens the Federal Hydra Dragon.
The pattern of protective cover for arrogant and vicious operatives from the politicization of an IRS goon squad to destroy the Tea Party is undeniable. Jim Kouri writes in the article Sens. McCain and Levin urged IRS to target Tea Party, conservative groups, that a compelling reason for the protective status for Lerner came from familiar political crooks.
“Government documents obtained by a top “Inside the Beltway” watchdog group and released on Thursday reveal that Internal Revenue Service’s Lois Lerner was strongly urged by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, and Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, her assistance in attacking certain non-profit political groups. The organizations they selected for targeting by Lerner were part of the Tea Party and conservative movements.”
When Senators undermine the legitimate investigatory efforts of a House committee, the prospects for confidence in tax compliance is demolished. Few people expect the Department of Injustice to hold corrupt officials accountable. But when the Statists within Congress act as co-conspirators to block honest government, all the public suffers.
Apologists for the IRS exaction machine are tapping taxpayers for record amounts. First Time Ever: Federal Tax Revenues Top $1 Trillion Thru January; Gov’t Still Runs $194B Deficit.
“For the first time ever, real federal tax revenues topped $1 trillion in the first four months of the fiscal year–October through January–according to data released Wednesday by the U.S Treasury.
Federal tax revenues hit a record $1,046,224,000,000 for fiscal year 2015 through January, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement, but the federal government still ran a $194,209,000,000 deficit during that time.”
In spite of the record flow of cash into government coffers, the culture of deficit spending still continues. Bleeding the public while paying the pension of the likes of Lois Lerner epitomizes the mental illness that is the crux conduct of the tax collection force.
When Eric Holder’s shysters tweet their perversion of the law, anyone even remotely concerned about defending a constitutional framework are demeaned. DOJ acted as a prosecutor of the House, while giving a pass to the governance agent doing the dirty work for the establishment.
The WSJ reports on a reaction to the announcement, Lois Lerner Won’t Be Prosecuted on Contempt of Congress Charges.
“Once again, the Obama administration has tried to sweep IRS targeting of taxpayers for their political beliefs under the rug,” said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel. “But unaccountable federal bureaucrats using their power to attack the First Amendment strikes at the heart of our democracy, and the American people deserve the truth.”
As the flood of 1040 returns hit the processing facilities of the IRS, make April 15th a day of disgust, symbolic of the Lois Lerner retirement contribution fund. Deplorably, the rule of law has been relegated to the safekeeping of the most corrupt Attorney General in memory. By comparison, John Mitchell was an angel when stacked up to the careerist criminal Eric Holder.
The image of illegal defiance from Lois Lerner should invoke Congressional outrage to purge the Fifth Column traitors that make a vocation of persecuting Middle America, while maintaining a bipartisan alliance to destroy entirely all constitutional restraints.
Calls to abolish the IRS and replace revenue collection with a flat or consumption tax requires a ground swell to jump start a national movement. However, the likelihood that an additional VAT tax will be imposed before any actual remedy would be enacted is more probable.
Lois Lerner is the embodiment of all that is wrong with the tax shakedown racket. Funding of limited legitimate government expenditures must start with breaking the corrosive culture of bureaucratic benefits and retirement rewards. Maintaining employment and promoting the vile LL character model, dooms the system to continuous despotism.
In an Obamacare world of further scrutiny, the IRS will become even more selective with their targeting. It is not about collecting revenue, it is all about punishment and retribution to anyone resistant to Federal mandates. As long as the likes of Lerner and Holder escape accountability, the system will sink even lower into the abyss.
On a recent trip to Germany I took a day off to visit Sigmaringen, on the upper Danube some 20 miles north of Lake Constance. This town of ten thousand with a massive castle towering over it – or, more precisely, this castle with a town attached – interested me as the site of a little known, eight-month long melodrama at the end of Second World War.
It was here that Marshal Philippe Pétain, Chef de l’État Français, and several hundred Vichy government officials and prominent German sympathizers and collaborators of different hues, were brought by the Wehrmacht on 8 September 1944, as the Allies advanced across France. The leaders were installed in the castle, other ranks in the town below. They were followed by their wives, hangers-on, and mistresses. By the end of September a veritable French enclave was in place, some two thousand strong, which survived until the long-dreaded arrival of de Gaulle’s First French Army on 24 April 1945.
The initial impression is operetic: pure Leharian pastiche, an unreal world in which France’s prominent collabos are but a parody of their former selves. There is also a more sinister image, however: Sigmaringen as a trap, an open prison in which the principals go on with their performance, but at the same time watch helplessly as the end of the show – and for many the end of their lives – is approaching steadily, relentlessly.
This town and those bizarre eight months are erased from France’s collective memory. They belong to the past which many older Frenchmen would rather forget, while the young neither know that past nor care for it. “Fench Sigmaringen” is relegated to the margins of memory. The Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen family are back home. The castle’s magnificent halls and about a tenth of its 300 rooms are open to guided tours, but there are no Petainist mementos of any kind. A richly appointed color book about the castle disposes of the French episode matter-of-factly in a single sentence.
That episode started on the night of 17-18 August 1944, when the Germans evacuated Vichy. The first stop was Belfort, in French Alsace, but after only two weeks the Allies’ rapid advance made the move to Germany necessary. The 88-year-old “Lion of Verdun,” Marshal Pétain, did not want to go. He claimed he’d rather stay on France’s soil and defend his record, come what may; but the Germans decided otherwise. From that moment he declared that he regarded himself as a German prisoner, and cut off all formal contacts with German officials. He communicated with the outside world through Dr. Bernard Ménétrel, his personal physician and confidant, the widely detested “Cerberus of the Seventh Floor.”
Sigmaringen was a far cry from the summer of 1940, when Pétain offered France “the gift of his person” in the aftermath of the military collapse of the French army – and the political and moral collapse of the Third Republic. The old soldier embarked on a “national revolution,” a belated attempt to purge the defeated country not only of its party-political intrigues, leftist radicalism, masonry and corruption, but also – more ambitiously – of the legacy of 1789 and the subsequent “anti-France” (in the memorable phrase of Charles Maurras). He became part-monrach, part-father of the nation. His image was everywhere. Maréchal, nous voilà! became the de facto anthem of the French State (no longer la République). Liberté, égalité, fraternité were replaced by the distinctly anti-Jacobin sloganTravail, Famille, Patrie. Marianne was gone, replaced (informally) by the saintly image of the Maid of Orleans. The countryside was celebrated as the source of national strength, and the Catholic Church was brought back into public life. The ancient Francisca became the official coat of arms.
Pétain’s problem was that the proponents of outright collaboration with Germany had no time for such romantic pursuits. They accused Pétain of attentisme which could deny France her rightful place in the New European Order. They were divided into two camps: the more moderate collaborateurs – embodied in the opportunistic figure of Pierre Laval, who was appointed prime minister in early 1942 – and an array of fanatical collaborationistes, based in Paris, who wanted a clean break with Pétain’s “reactionary paternalism” and an outright alliance with Hitler. With the Wehrmacht occupying France’szone libre in November 1942 they became more powerful. The Germans – ever mistrustful of the French – were nevertheless careful to keep all three groups evenly balanced in an elaborate cadrille, conducted by the Reich’s ambassador in Paris (and self-avowed Francophile) Leo Abetz.
The members of these three factions, Pétainists, collaborateurs and collaborationistes, hated each others’ guts. Suddenly, at Sigmaringen, they found themselves sharing the same quarters and facing a similar, unpleasant future. The maréchal, occupying the palatial seventh floor of the castle, would pretend not to see Laval (the sixth floor occupant) if he passed him in the courtyard on the way to his car which was taking him out of town, every day after lunch, for walks in the countryside.
Those walks were elaborate affairs. Alone among the exiles Pétain had a Citroen and a driver, but he was not allowed far from town. Followed by his Gestapo detail in two black Opels, he would stop 5-6 miles outside Sigmaringen and start a brisk walk through the woods accompanied by one of his military orderlies. The Germans would follow at a respectful distance. After an hour and a half he’d be back, in time to return to the castle for the afternoon radio news.
Laval, “L’Auvergnat,” suddenly forced into inactivity, busied himself preparing his defense for the trial in Paris which he knew awaited him sooner or later. The former Socialist practiced speeches to the imaginary jury in front of his wife Jeanne and a young private secretary. (All his documents and notes were taken away when he was eventually arrested, as he repeatedly complained at the trial.) He had created too many enemies during his long political career, and especially during the 28 months as prime minister at Vichy. Hardly anyone talked to him.
On the third floor are the quarters of the Government Commission, the five-member cabinet in exile formally known as the Commission gouvernementale française pour la défense des intérêts nationaux. It can do little and does even less, but its members are jealous of their theoretical turfs and prerogatives. Like in earlier years back home they continue to denounce their political and personal enemies to the Germans, less to score some points, more out of pure spite.
The Commission’s chairman, the devious Marquis de Brinon, succeeds in having Dr. Ménétrel arrested by the Gestapo in November 1944 on the false accusation of contact with the Allied intelligence services. (Ménétrel survived the war, but was promptly arrested on his return to France in May 1945.) Brinon cracks jokes about Pétain, refers to him as “notre poster girl” (in English). “France is a country of disasters and lunches,” he quips one day after a less than satisfactory meal ofKartofels. “There are no more lunches now, only the disasters remain…”
Joseph Darnand, an ultracollabo, is the Commission’s Secretary of Interior Affairs (“except there’s no interior and no affairs,” Brinon comments). Decorated World War I hero, far right activist in the 1930’s (Action Française, then Croix-de-feu, and a Cagoulard to boot), and an SS Sturmbannführer, in 1942 he founded the volunteer Service d’ordre légionnaire (SOL). It became the dreaded Milice française– directly subordinated to him – in January 1943. He has brought some 10,000 faithful Milice members to the barracks in nearby Ulm, and plans to use them for a last stand. “Brave but obtuse,” according to Brinon.
Marcel Déat, the “minister of labor,” is for some reason the only member of the Commission with the rank of ministre. A Great War veteran and officer of the Légion d’honneur, a socialist until 1933 and a far right activist thereafter, he founded the pro-Nazi Rassemblement national populaire (RNP) in occupied Paris in 1941, and the French Legion of Volunteers (Légion des volontaires français, LVF) a year later. In 1944 it was incorporated into the French SS division Charlemagne.
Journalist Jean Luchaire, commissar for propaganda and information, is more polished than these two gentlemen but ideologically close to them. He starts a local radio station (somewhat ironically called Ici la France!), and a daily newspaper, predictably called La France, which was published until April 1945.
Freiherr Cécil von Renthe-Fink, Ribbentrop‘s envoy to Vichy, was also there, with little to do. The Ambassador is no longer welcome at Pétain’s table. M-me Laval, an open Germanophobe, does not allow him to the sixth floor either. He nevertheless soldiers on, busying himself with the procurement of provisions for the enclave amidst the looming collapse of the Reich.
In the town below there are several well known names from the world of French arts and letters. Actor Robert Le Vigan, openly homosexual and a drug addict, is the chief announcer for Ici la France. Poet Abel Bonnard, with similar proclivities (hence his nickname, “la Gestapette”) and the only member of the Academie to be expelled from its ranks, is a famous wit. On the account of frequent moves, he calls the Germans “notre agence Thomas Cook.” Laval is for him l’Auvergnat de Danube, Pétain “our dethroned monarch.”
Famous writer and virulent antisemite Louis-Ferdinand Céline is also there. After the war he wrote a hallucinatory novel about Sigmaringen, Castle to Castle (D’un château l’autre). Céline’s Sigmaringen is a dramatic stage and a paranoid anteroom for De Gaulle’s épuration légale trials which are already under way. The atmosphere of quiet desperation was briefly interrupted by a week of hope at Christmas 1944, during the initial stage of the German offensive in the Ardennes. Only Pétain maintains calm dignity in his self-imposed isolation, eating well and sleeping soundly. For Céline, Sigmaringen was the perfect backdrop for a romantic German tragedy or a Wagnerian musical drama, with a touch of Hollywood.
Commission officials and their wives eat together in the sumptuous dining hall. The fare is mediocre, even though they have menus based on four ration cards each. The atmosphere is morbid. In the evening they gather at the salon des dammes, not because they cherish each other’s company (quite the contrary) but because it is warm. Their cavernous rooms are not. Déat obsessively plays the lexicon, a version of scrabble, for hours on end. Darnand smokes his pipe in silence and reads papers. The ladies play cards. In the evening they listen to Radio Paris, and the news is grim. On 9 November they learn that journalist and Pétain’s biographer Georges Suarez was executed. On 6 February it was the turn of Robert Brasillach, whose last, sarcastic words were “Long live France, anyway!” (Vive la France, quand meme!) They had no command responsibility and no official functions. If they were shot on the account of their writing, the denizens of the castle could expect no mercy.
And so their lives went on, for eight long months, until a few days before the arrival of de Gaulle’s First Army on 24 April 1945. Only Pétain returns to France voluntarily, where a trial and a death sentence await him, commuted to life in view of his extreme old age and Great War record. Céline, his wife and cat manage to reach Denmark, where he lays low for some years after the war. No such luck for Brinon, who fails to get a Swiss visa and ends up before a firing squad in 1947. Laval managed to reach Spain on the very last German plane out, but Franco – pressured by de Gaulle – sends him back for a quick, brutal trial and execution on 7 October 1945. Darnand is captured in northern Italy in June, tried, and executed three days after Laval. Luchaire is recognized quite by accident in Innsbruck on 18 May 1945 by a French officer who had been a Gestapo agent in Paris until July 1944. “Haven’t you been shot?” asks Luchaire. “No, but you will be!” is the answer. Of the leading castle denizens only Déat and Bonnard, both sentenced to death in absentia, evade the firing squad. The former lived under an assumed name in Italy, the latter under his own in Spain.
Schloss Sigmaringen, like the Alcazar of Toledo, is one of those places which have a physical presence and a metaphysical quality. The French enclave of Sigmaringen was no longer life, not yet death. As such it is an apt metaphor for all of us, here, today.
The inexorable decay in moral conduct is evident and undeniable to any member of the cretin society. Only a fool or a fraudster would argue that the relativism ethics, which is the operative social prescription, is healthy human development for a harmonious culture. Society has gone mad. Look around and observe. Insanity in institutions and conflicts among personal interactions has become the norm. The basis of desirable stability and fair order are virtually non-existent. Upon this stage of discontent, humans are now viewed as the ultimate dispensable creatures. Eugenics is all the rage, as human life is treated with irreverence.
NWO Overman is the Eupraxsophy of Transhumanism article makes the assertion.
“All of Western Civilization is based upon the premise of “Natural Rights”. The implication that Natural Law is an inescapable component of individual purpose and social conduct is central to a cosmology of a grand design. The pursuit of understanding does not have to adopt a deist revelation in order to advocate a rational limitation on the human being. However, a belief in a divine creator is the very foundation of our common heritage and traditional culture.”
The conflict this affirmation brings to the sensibilities of the trendy set need not be supported with examples. Just look around. The fundamental crisis in faith is real. The popular culture is void of meaning and purpose. So it comes with a touch of hope that a movie entitled, God’s Not Dead, has the courage to provide a philosophical inquiry in a subject that most social relativists avoid. Watch the trailer and get a feel for the screenplay.
A short Plot Summary follows.
Freshman university student Josh Wheaton attends a philosophy class, where the uncompromising Professor Radisson requires all students to submit a signed statement that the “God is dead” and never existed. When Josh refuses due to his own Christian beliefs, the Professor challenges him to defend his position that his God is real – which leads to a series of confrontational presentations between himself and the professor, with the class as jury. Josh’s plans to go to law school depend on not failing this class. Josh’s fellow Christian girlfriend urges him not to throw away his future with this meaningless action of defiance. At the same time, Pastor Dave and African missionary Jude attempt to leave town on a trip, but are hindered by curious incidents. Student Ayisha is at odds with her father’s conservative Muslim religious principles. Hotshot businessman Mark acts cynically towards his mentally ill mother, while his famous leftist blogger girlfriend receives bad news from a doctor. – Written by ChazzMatt
Inherent Autonomy could not exist if there is no God. The Politics of the Existential Experience poses the essential Christian existential assertion that faith in the belief of God is the substantive foundation and ingredient for a moral imperative.
“For if God does not exist it would of course be impossible to prove it; and if he [or she] does exist it would be folly to attempt it.” Demonstrating the existence or non-existence of God only produces reasons for belief, not the actual proof that God exists. Kierkegaard also claims, “…between God and his works there exists an absolute relationship: God is not a name but a concept” The relationship between man and God is a concept. A person with belief in God, cannot prove its existence through his or her own relationship with God.
Many of the columns published on BREAKING ALL THE RULES project a need for a moral reawakening. Without the acceptance that the source of free will is based upon the creation of each human life, the massive confusion and social disintegration that is rapidly exploding will continue.
In the Totalitarian Collectivism article, The American “TC” Saga – Part 3 – CHURCH, Fyodor Dostoyevsky observed, “When God is dead anything is possible.” This is the consequence that a rejection of God accepts. Indeed, the “anything possible” culture has produced a dehumanization of life. Chaos is not the same as madness. The amplified evil is not random, it is intentional because restraint upon malevolent action has been delinked from a final judgment.
Many social radicals and social philosophers have attempted to build a moral system while being an atheist. The Solitary Purdah essay, Atheism to Secular Humanism and Objectivism deals with two such icons of religious deniers. The conclusion is germane.
“If the history of civilized society founded upon institutional religion, is replete with suffering and carnage; by what strange twist of belief in the ethical egoism of Goldman’s nihilist collectivism and Rand’s objectivism, could possibly make life better?
Individuals like Goldman and Rand are lost. They are solitary purdah pretentious intellectuals without the presence of God in their life. The screen curtain they erect around their egotism is a veritable veil surrounding their own lack of humanity.”
All the hollow cries for social justice from non believers always fail to achieve results. The reason is clear. Their unauthentic ethical fantasy land has no genuine moral foundation.
The hopeful message in the movie God’s Not Dead will fall on deaf ears for the hordes of self absorbed pseudo intellectuals, as portrayed and embodied in Professor Radisson. The absence in submission to God’s law and the rejection of Jesus’ Gospel and the Sermon on the Mount teachings is the most crucial denial of one’s own humanity. HOPE cannot exist outside faith that evil will ultimately be defeated.
The current path has society destined for ruin. Since waking up politically is but a mere step towards ‘Cosmic Consciousness’, the true awakening must be spiritual. By any normal gauge it would take a miracle for the American public to regain their moral compass. Yet, that is exactly what is possible if the nation humbles themselves and beg for mercy.
Immoral politics will not fade away, but political corruption can be tamed if a revival of the soul repents and seeks God’s forgiveness. By now a substantial segment of our readership is turned off. So be it. It is uncomfortable to admit one’s own sins. It is even more difficult to accept responsibility for the evil one contributes to the sick world that the God is Dead culture has fostered.
America’s Spiritual Crisis by Erwin W. Lutzer writes.
A National Revival Needed. There is reason to believe that only a national revival can pull us out of the ditch into which we have slid. I am convinced as all of us must be that every human resource is now inadequate and only the direct intervention of God can reverse our country’s spiritual decay. If America will really be given another chance, at least some kingdoms of darkness will have to fall like dominoes. That can only happen if God chooses to show us the mercy we most assuredly do not deserve.
There is Hope. Revival is possible as long as God is God. Jonathan Edwards, a leader during the First Great Awakening in America, argued that God grants light when the darkness is the greatest, and it was in just such times that the glorious periods of revival occurred in America’s history. When there was disinterest in religion, gross immorality and rampant unbelief, God poured out His undeserved gracious blessing.
This summary was written many years ago. The fact that such a prescription has not taken hold just means that the crisis is that much more acute.
It should be evident that burying the Christian Trinity has released the forces of satanic demons that are busy in persecuting believers. When the existentialist philosopher Jean Paul Sartre rendered his famous quotation from his play, No Exit; “Hell is other people”, characters are in hell because they are trivial, pretentious people. This is Sartre’s satiric point: they are in hell because they are petty-bourgeois. Their concern for the world goes only as far as the extent to which the world services their needs. When it doesn’t adequately cater to their desires, they blame the world and the people in it – that is, they say that “hell is other people.”
Professor Radisson is every bit the ostentatious atheist that makes up so much of the popular culture. He might share the same non-believer orientation that Sartre expounded during most of his life. However, in the final segment screen of God is Not Dead, Radisson dying from an auto accident, repents and seeks forgiveness. While according to his friend Pierre Victor, Sartre had a drastic change of mind about the existence of God and started gravitating toward Messianic Judaism.
The point is that even the most hardened “true believer” when faced with death can seek atonement. In our case rejecting atheism for faith has been long settled. The judgment is still out if the American nation has the courage to rebuff the God is dead culture and return to our heritage as Christian believing people. Start with a moral revival, one person at a time and witness your faith.
I just had a talk with a friend of mine who was all pissed off because he had purchased a Series EE savings bond for his little kid way back in 1998. “I paid $500 for it at the time and, at that time, the bank promised me that the bond would mature in ten years and then be worth $1,000.” So? Well? Did it? Is it?
“Eh — no,” sighed my friend. “When my kid cashed it in last month, she only got $850 back.” What? You mean after accumulating over 16 years of interest, the bond had only gained $250 in value? Even after all those promises of doubling its worth after just ten years? That’s whacked.
But, according to the Treasury Direct website, it is also legal. “Series EE bonds issued from May 1997 through April 2005 continue to earn market-based interest rates set at 90% of the average 5-year Treasury securities yields for the preceding six months. The new interest rate for these bonds, effective as the bonds enter semiannual interest periods from November 2014 through April 2015 is 1.49%. Market-based rates are updated each May 1 and November 1.”
What the freak does that mean?
It means that Series EE savings-bond-holders have been (and can continue to be) legally ripped off. Government agencies now under the happy control of the top 1% can legally make the rest of us little guys any promises they want — and then just take them back.
“Buying government savings bonds is practically like loaning the government interest-free money,” I told my friend. “But on the other hand, if you had bought $500 worth of gold back in 1998 instead of that bond, it would have cost you $296 an ounce — and an ounce and a half of gold would now be worth $1,808, a net gain of one thousand three hundred and seven dollars.”
However, if you had spent that $500 on baseball cards, you might be pretty much out of luck.
But what if, instead, you had purchased $500 worth of stock for your kid? If you had bought stock in mortgage companies like Countrywide, for instance, you would have kissed your $500 goodbye.
But if you had bought stock in pharmaceutical companies that produce products like mercury-laden vaccines, psychotropic drugs and male sex-enhancers, or bought stocks in weapons factories or bought stocks in oil companies or WalMart, you could have practically put your rugrat through college with your capital gains by now!
Or suppose you had invested that $500 in buying part-ownership in a Congressman — like the big boys on Wall Street, War Street and K Street do? Apparently you would have gotten an average of a 5000% return on your investment.
Or if, like your government in cahoots with its sleazy bankster friends, you had invested your $500 in loaning money to college students instead? Then you would have been able to collect 6% interest from said college students’ loans for decades to come — and owned their souls for the rest of their lives too!
But, no. You had faith in your government and bought savings bonds instead — never dreaming that your government would invest its resources in war and corporate welfare instead of in you.
However if it’s any consolation, you and your kid are not alone. China made that same mistake too.
Remember back when our founding fathers wisely designed our Constitution to include having three different branches of government? Legislative, executive and judicial? Well, just over 225 years later, America’s government still has three different branches — except now those three branches are Wall Street, War Street and K Street.
A Manhattan jury just awarded a $218.5 million verdict against the Palestinian Authority for damages done to Israelis with American citizenship by Palestinian suicide bombers. Do you know what this means? A new precedence has just been set. A new Pandora’s box has just been opened.
Now everyone affected by anything like this can now also use American courts to get recompense for damages done by acts of “terrorism” on American citizens abroad!
For instance, were any Chilean-Americans killed in the CIA coup against Allende in Chile? Their relatives can now sue Henry Kissinger — but of course they will have to stand in line behind the Cambodian-Americans killed by him.
And what about the bunches and groups of Palestinian-Americans, Yemeni-Americans, Iraqi-Americans, Syrian-Americans, Ukrainian-Americans, African-Americans, Grenada-Americans, Guatemalan-Americans, Haitian-Americans, etc. who have been either killed out in public for all to see by America’s overtly-evil war machine — or else killed on the sly by those covertly-evil CIA troublemakers at Langley?
Or, hell, what about all those dead American-Americans too for that matter? Does this mean that American soldiers killed or wounded in Vietnam, Iraq, Lebanon, Kuwait, Afghanistan, etc. can now sue the Department of Defense in American courts for “terrorism” too — as well as for fraud, creating dangerous conditions, willful negligence, breach of promise and entrapment as well?
Hey, Uncle War Street! See ya in court!
What can be written about Hillary Clinton that has not already been said? HilLIARy fatigue is natural, but ignoring all the lies and sleaze becomes the first goal of her 2016 presidential campaign. What is clear during the preliminary posturing is that hubby “Big Dog” Bill’s practice of trolling for bitches in heat will dominate the coverage. Poor old Hillary, a pureblood victim among mix breeds. The pretense that she continues in a loving marriage is about as insulting to the voters as the perverse behavior of either of the Clintons.
OK, forget the sex allegations no one cares, right? But what about continuing in a relationship with a certified criminal? Oh yes, that is the easy part, since being married to a crook is the part that Bill loves, and “Big Mama” takes no back seat to her partner outlaw in political offense.
From the ancient history files, the article Proof Hillary isn’t fit to be president by Larry Klayman reminds such past hits.
- Whitewater scandal
You can hear the cat calls now, “that’s old news, “we need to move forward”, but the best one comes from Hillary herself”, what difference at this point does it make”?
Well, maybe the monarch of deceit is correct. Who even remembers the scandal years under the “get two for the price of one” regime? Bygone days need to let sleeping dogs lie, but the past is screaming out as a warning for exactly what citizens should fairly expect if she was coroneted as Mister President.
Yet in the instant social media climate that will dominate the next Presidential campaign, both in the primaries and in the general election, 2016 will be all hyped up to report on the next Bill’s libido threatens to derail Hillary — again. A sample like this only forecasts the disclosures that will come out of the secretive cabinet recordings.
“And that is to say nothing of Bill’s solicitation of mystery donors, the concerns about financial malfeasance at the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, Bill’s racially charged verbal gaffes during Hillary’s 2008 bid and the alleged longtime, serious mistress who diverted Hillary’s presidential campaign from larger problems.”
Further background from Hillary Clinton’s Skeleton Closet claims that “she has some significant and troubling scandals that get overlooked with all the foo-farah over crazy conspiracy theories.”
Now that this ugly aspect is out of the way, what “exactly are the compelling reasons for Hillary to become President? The answer is reducible to one simple motive; she wants to be the Big Kahuna.
Eric Golub on Communities Digital News responds accordingly. “Can anyone name a single significant thing she has ever done that qualifies her to be president? The presidency is too important to be given to another celebrity heavy on cultish devotees but light on substantive successful accomplishments.”
Her qualifications as a superstar luminary and passed over by the Democratic power brokers in favor of Barack Obama in 2008, seems to be the basic argument why 2016 is now her turn. Such inevitability out of the GOP playbook just does not play well with the most fanatical of the loony left.
The NYT reveals that Hillary Clinton, Privately, Seeks the Favor of Elizabeth Warren. Their description of some lesson learned from the 2008 campaign seems to point that defusing the competition is her primary platform concern.
“Some of Mrs. Clinton’s supporters, frustrated by the attention and adulation generated by Ms. Warren, noted Tuesday that the two actually hold similar positions on a range of economic issues, though Ms. Warren’s rhetoric has been more fiery. Mrs. Clinton, hoping to delay formally starting her candidacy for as long as possible, has refrained from detailed discussions of economic policy. In recent weeks, though, she has become more vocal, using Twitter to offer support for the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul, for instance.”
Hit the ground running with a splash. ARE YOU READY? So asks to take the Pledge to Support Hillary for President Site. Before you register, a little investigation is in order.
3 Problems Standing in the Way of a Hillary Clinton Presidency starts with the following:
Politics and Experience
Hillary definitely has a legacy problem to overcome. More importantly, she has to talk up her record as Secretary of State. A sizable share of Democrats polled by YouGov, 79%, said earlier this year that they approved of her performance, but only 21% of Republicans and 45% of independents shared that assessment. And public opinion split along the same ideological lines when respondents were asked about her qualifications for office. More to the point, most Republicans are not as concerned with her experience as they are with her politics; although Republicans and independent voters cite her role in the Benghazi terrorist attack as one of her major errors in the State Department.
Hillary Clinton could be too establishment. Of course, possible contenders who would fit this progressive and insurgent role do not have the same weight as the former Secretary of State. But they are worth examining, if for nothing else than the fresh perspective and debate they will bring to the presidential primaries.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Wall Street has provided the largest source of campaign funds for the Clintons since 1992, with Goldman Sachs as the largest single contributor, giving close to $5 million. “Clinton Inc. is going to be the most formidable fundraising operation for the Democrats in the history of the country. Period. Exclamation point,” Rick Hohlt, a lobbyist and fundraiser for Republican Party presidential candidates, told the Journal, “It sure causes concern.” Plus, both Clintons earn massive speaking fees.
How does the public react with something positive about a Hillary Presidency? A Gallop poll reveals that 49% answers nothing or has no opinion.
So much for grassroots popular enthusiasm . . .
With any run-up to the primary season and supporting media barrage of electing the first woman President, a viewpoint that Hillary Clinton Shouldn’t Be President: A Feminist Perspective is insightful. “Any woman can become president. It feels like a slap to the face of America that so many of our politicians stem from the same family, or that our first female president appears to require a husband who came before her. It reminds us just how limited access is.”
Hillary’s retort to such an argument reeks of elitist privilege. Politico reports that Hillary Clinton: Other women qualified for White House.
“A lot of the women senators, we have a couple of women governors — I’m talking on the Democratic side — we have a good bench, so to speak,” Clinton says in a video clip posted Monday. “But they haven’t gone through the fire. Part of the reason why there’s a big drumbeat for me to run is because I’ve done it.”
And in 2008 the Wall Street king makers decided on Obama. In the flip flop composition of Tweedledum and Tweedledee politics, a Republican establishment candidate may well get the nod as the safer capitalist tool.
The real wall that Hillary faces is to massage the Occupy Wall Street wing of the progressive primary activities, while keeping and confirming her true symbiotic identification to the money wing of influence Banksters, who actually decide the direction of the government.
For in the end, the only qualifications that Hillary Clinton has for holding the office of the Presidency is that her hubby will occupy the distractions of a Clinton II kingdom. What a great country that elevates a Hill Billy couple to the highest pinnacle of the scandal sheets, while conducting diplomatic relations with the Davos set.
Can Hillary win in 2016? Hermene Hartman in the Huffington Post thinks so in the article, 10 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Will Be the Next President. Read her list and consider just how far this nation has fallen.
1) The Republicans don’t have a viable candidate and probably won’t.
2) The Hillary Papers have been released.
3) Hillary should not and cannot take blame for Bill’s poor judgments.
4) The Clintons are the ultimate Power Couple.
5) Hillary is ruthless.
6) Hillary learned valuable lessons from the 2008 election.
7) She is not a quitter or a loser.
8) The health bill has passed.
9) Hillary is a smart politician.
10) America is ready for the leadership of a Hillary Clinton.
If this list of excited imbecility does not give you pause, you must be part of the Hildebeest groupie crowd and better sign-up for, ARE YOU READY? alerts.
Hillary Klinton has all the worst attributes and moral depravity of her more infamous partner in corruption. Moreover, she lacks the political skills and rogue charm of her flimflam significant other. The brick wall in front of the electorate is that a vote for Hillary is a ballot cast for continuation of the decent into enslavement of the last 25 + years. Knowing the way the selection system for Presidents works, the next guests in the Lincoln bedroom may well be friends of the late Marc Rich.
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?
When the Negotium essay, Long History of HSBC Money Laundering was written over two years ago, one might think that the Banksters would look to take a lower profile. Forget about it, when you are part of a made criminal syndicate you never have to serve time, just say you are sorry. Bloomberg reports, the “HSBC Holdings Plc Chief Executive Officer Stuart Gulliver offered “sincerest apologies” following fresh details of how the bank’s Swiss unit helped customers evade taxes.”
The Forbes column, ‘Corporate Governance Is The Very Essence Of A Business’ presents a half hearted public relations spin from the notorious bank for Drug, Inc.
“As part of its response to the revelations HSBC said: “We acknowledge that the compliance culture and standards of due diligence in HSBC’s Swiss private bank, as well as the industry in general, were significantly lower than they are today. At the same time, HSBC was run in a more federated way than it is today and decisions were frequently taken at a country level.”
The most chilling feature of the laborious research into the HSBC files is the documentation of the knowing wrong-doing perpetrated by managers at various levels throughout the bank – and the flippancy with which it was undertaken. From ‘code names’ for clients to widespread collusion, it is clear there is complete contempt for the law.”
Arrogance in spades is how the world’s number two bank operates. Another example provided by Tom Heneghan, who professes to be an International Intelligence Expert, cites the following.
“Alibaba previously was de-listed on the Hong Kong Exchange for dealing in fraud with the Hong Kong branch of noted bank HSBC.
Alibaba is then simultaneously operating a foreign currency money laundry and ponzi scheme tied once again to HSBC.”
The bigger the money the greater the chance you have for just minor pin pricks and fines that are all part of the pay off cycle of international banking.
When it comes to inventing clandestine methods for money laundering, look to the masters in the City of London to perfect the art of double talk. The BBC account, HSBC whistleblower’s email to HMRC uncovered, states:
“An email which the whistleblower at the centre of an HSBC tax scandal says he sent to HM Revenue and Customs in 2008 has been uncovered by a French newspaper.
The UK tax authority has been under fire from MPs on the Public Accounts Committee, who accused tax officials of failing to deal with the matter adequately and ignoring Mr Falciani’s 2008 email.”
No surprise that a years old complaint gets pushed under the rug. HSBC is too big to fail and pays for protections in all the right places.
Reuters adds more accelerants to the firestorm, but the odds that this scandal will suck up all the oxygen to build into an inferno are slim.
“Other countries are already taking action against HSBC based on data leaked by Falciani and previously obtained by tax authorities. In November Argentina charged the bank with helping more than 4,000 clients evade taxes. HSBC Argentina rejected the charge, saying it respected Argentine law.”
Hey, the motive to avoid paying taxes is well understood. However, facilitating criminal enterprises under the banner of a fiduciary banking institution crosses the line. The Guardian provides the following in HSBC files: Swiss bank hid money for suspected criminals.
“HSBC also held assets for bankers accused of looting funds from former Soviet states, while alleged crimes by other account holders include bribery at Malta’s state oil company, cocaine smuggling from the Dominican Republic and the doping of professional cyclists in Spain.
The Swiss bank also held accounts for “politically exposed people” – defined as senior political figures or their relatives at heightened risk of involvement in corruption, money laundering, or avoiding international sanctions – with little evidence of any extra scrutiny of their activities.”
OK, what is the point of citing more horror stories, by now you get the drill that the Globalist interdependent financial extortion system needs a mechanism to keep all the pay offs and ill-gotten gains circulating. The history of HSBC is a case study of all that global corporatists has wrought on the planet.
Governments won’t even investigate credible complaints, enact necessary structural oversight and accountability processes, and certainly will not jail the kingpins who flaunt their untouchable status.
Repeating this saga using different circumstances never gets down to the level of approaching solutions. Without a universal outcry against the transnational banking model and the creation of regional and local alternative banking, the big banks will just keep getting larger and more autonomous and above national sovereignty.
What governments these banking house monopolies do not control, matter little in the larger scheme of finance. HSBC along with Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan may be the posters boys of the Banksters cabal, but you will never see their executive faces on a most wanted poster.
Last year Hang the Bankers published 48 suspicious banking deaths asks.
“With the global financial system heading towards a major crash in the near future are these people buckling under the pressure of what they see coming or are they being silenced because of what they know?”
Attempting to answer this question will take insider information of scores of Falciani whistleblowers. Or more probably, those who are considering joining the ranks of informers may well become part of the growing list of the deceased.
For those who doubt the shadow history of debt created banking, watch the video The Rothschild Family – Puppet Masters – World’s Only Trillionaires – Full Documentary on the BREAKING ALL THE RULES You Tube Channel, subscribe for future updates.
What people must come to understand is that banking is not really about making money. It uses the fractional reserve and current zero interest rates to further their political influence over nations to achieve global governance. They are the true outlaws, in Armani suits. HSBC just happens to have a longer experience with global thievery than most
After Paris, condemnation of religious fanaticism is at its height. I’d guess that even many progressives fantasize about wringing the necks of jihadists, bashing into their heads some thoughts about the intellect, about satire, humor, freedom of speech. We’re talking here, after all, about young men raised in France, not Saudi Arabia.
Where has all this Islamic fundamentalism come from in this modern age? Most of it comes – trained, armed, financed, indoctrinated – from Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. During various periods from the 1970s to the present, these four countries had been the most secular, modern, educated, welfare states in the Middle East region. And what had happened to these secular, modern, educated, welfare states?
In the 1980s, the United States overthrew the Afghan government that was progressive, with full rights for women, believe it or not , leading to the creation of the Taliban and their taking power.
In the 2000s, the United States overthrew the Iraqi government, destroying not only the secular state, but the civilized state as well, leaving a failed state.
In 2011, the United States and its NATO military machine overthrew the secular Libyan government of Muammar Gaddafi, leaving behind a lawless state and unleashing many hundreds of jihadists and tons of weaponry across the Middle East.
And for the past few years the United States has been engaged in overthrowing the secular Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad. This, along with the US occupation of Iraq having triggered widespread Sunni-Shia warfare, led to the creation of The Islamic State with all its beheadings and other charming practices.
However, despite it all, the world was made safe for capitalism, imperialism, anti-communism, oil, Israel, and jihadists. God is Great!
Starting with the Cold War, and with the above interventions building upon that, we have 70 years of American foreign policy, without which – as Russian/American writer Andre Vltchek has observed – “almost all Muslim countries, including Iran, Egypt and Indonesia, would now most likely be socialist, under a group of very moderate and mostly secular leaders”. Even the ultra-oppressive Saudi Arabia – without Washington’s protection – would probably be a very different place.
On January 11, Paris was the site of a March of National Unity in honor of the magazine Charlie Hebdo, whose journalists had been assassinated by terrorists. The march was rather touching, but it was also an orgy of Western hypocrisy, with the French TV broadcasters and the assembled crowd extolling without end the NATO world’s reverence for journalists and freedom of speech; an ocean of signs declaring Je suis Charlie … Nous Sommes Tous Charlie; and flaunting giant pencils, as if pencils – not bombs, invasions, overthrows, torture, and drone attacks – have been the West’s weapons of choice in the Middle East during the past century.
No reference was made to the fact that the American military, in the course of its wars in recent decades in the Middle East and elsewhere, had been responsible for the deliberate deaths of dozens of journalists. In Iraq, among other incidents, see Wikileaks’ 2007 video of the cold-blooded murder of two Reuters journalists; the 2003 US air-to-surface missile attack on the offices of Al Jazeera in Baghdad that left three journalists dead and four wounded; and the American firing on Baghdad’s Hotel Palestine the same year that killed two foreign cameramen.
Moreover, on October 8, 2001, the second day of the US bombing of Afghanistan, the transmitters for the Taliban government’s Radio Shari were bombed and shortly after this the US bombed some 20 regional radio sites. US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld defended the targeting of these facilities, saying: “Naturally, they cannot be considered to be free media outlets. They are mouthpieces of the Taliban and those harboring terrorists.”
And in Yugoslavia, in 1999, during the infamous 78-day bombing of a country which posed no threat at all to the United States or any other country, state-owned Radio Television Serbia (RTS) was targeted because it was broadcasting things which the United States and NATO did not like (like how much horror the bombing was causing). The bombs took the lives of many of the station’s staff, and both legs of one of the survivors, which had to be amputated to free him from the wreckage.
I present here some views on Charlie Hebdo sent to me by a friend in Paris who has long had a close familiarity with the publication and its staff:
“On international politics Charlie Hebdo was neoconservative. It supported every single NATO intervention from Yugoslavia to the present. They were anti-Muslim, anti-Hamas (or any Palestinian organization), anti-Russian, anti-Cuban (with the exception of one cartoonist), anti-Hugo Chávez, anti-Iran, anti-Syria, pro-Pussy Riot, pro-Kiev … Do I need to continue?
“Strangely enough, the magazine was considered to be ‘leftist’. It’s difficult for me to criticize them now because they weren’t ‘bad people’, just a bunch of funny cartoonists, yes, but intellectual freewheelers without any particular agenda and who actually didn’t give a fuck about any form of ‘correctness’ – political, religious, or whatever; just having fun and trying to sell a ‘subversive’ magazine (with the notable exception of the former editor, Philippe Val, who is, I think, a true-blooded neocon).”
Dumb and Dumber
Remember Arseniy Yatsenuk? The Ukrainian whom US State Department officials adopted as one of their own in early 2014 and guided into the position of Prime Minister so he could lead the Ukrainian Forces of Good against Russia in the new Cold War?
In an interview on German television on January 7, 2015 Yatsenuk allowed the following words to cross his lips: “We all remember well the Soviet invasion of Ukraine and Germany. We will not allow that, and nobody has the right to rewrite the results of World War Two”.
The Ukrainian Forces of Good, it should be kept in mind, also include several neo-Nazis in high government positions and many more partaking in the fight against Ukrainian pro-Russians in the south-east of the country. Last June, Yatsenuk referred to these pro-Russians as “sub-humans” , directly equivalent to the Nazi term “untermenschen”.
So the next time you shake your head at some stupid remark made by a member of the US government, try to find some consolation in the thought that high American officials are not necessarily the dumbest, except of course in their choice of who is worthy of being one of the empire’s partners.
The type of rally held in Paris this month to condemn an act of terror by jihadists could as well have been held for the victims of Odessa in Ukraine last May. The same neo-Nazi types referred to above took time off from parading around with their swastika-like symbols and calling for the death of Russians, Communists and Jews, and burned down a trade-union building in Odessa, killing scores of people and sending hundreds to hospital; many of the victims were beaten or shot when they tried to flee the flames and smoke; ambulances were blocked from reaching the wounded … Try and find a single American mainstream media entity that has made even a slightly serious attempt to capture the horror. You would have to go to the Russian station in Washington, DC, RT.com, search “Odessa fire” for many stories, images and videos. Also see the Wikipedia entry on the 2 May 2014 Odessa clashes.
If the American people were forced to watch, listen, and read all the stories of neo-Nazi behavior in Ukraine the past few years, I think they – yes, even the American people and their less-than-intellectual Congressional representatives – would start to wonder why their government was so closely allied with such people. The United States may even go to war with Russia on the side of such people.
L’Occident n’est pas Charlie pour Odessa. Il n’y a pas de défilé à Paris pour Odessa.
Some thoughts about this thing called ideology
Norman Finkelstein, the fiery American critic of Israel, was interviewed recently by Paul Jay on The Real News Network. Finkelstein related how he had been a Maoist in his youth and had been devastated by the exposure and downfall of the Gang of Four in 1976 in China. “It came out there was just an awful lot of corruption. The people who we thought were absolutely selfless were very self-absorbed. And it was clear. The overthrow of the Gang of Four had huge popular support.”
Many other Maoists were torn apart by the event. “Everything was overthrown overnight, the whole Maoist system, which we thought [were] new socialist men, they all believed in putting self second, fighting self. And then overnight the whole thing was reversed.”
“You know, many people think it was McCarthy that destroyed the Communist Party,” Finkelstein continued. “That’s absolutely not true. You know, when you were a communist back then, you had the inner strength to withstand McCarthyism, because it was the cause. What destroyed the Communist Party was Khrushchev’s speech,” a reference to Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev’s 1956 exposure of the crimes of Joseph Stalin and his dictatorial rule.
Although I was old enough, and interested enough, to be influenced by the Chinese and Russian revolutions, I was not. I remained an admirer of capitalism and a good loyal anti-communist. It was the war in Vietnam that was my Gang of Four and my Nikita Khrushchev. Day after day during 1964 and early 1965 I followed the news carefully, catching up on the day’s statistics of American firepower, bombing sorties, and body counts. I was filled with patriotic pride at our massive power to shape history. Words like those of Winston Churchill, upon America’s entry into the Second World War, came easily to mind again – “England would live; Britain would live; the Commonwealth of Nations would live.” Then, one day – a day like any other day – it suddenly and inexplicably hit me. In those villages with the strange names there were people under those falling bombs, people running in total desperation from that god-awful machine-gun strafing.
This pattern took hold. The news reports would stir in me a self-righteous satisfaction that we were teaching those damn commies that they couldn’t get away with whatever it was they were trying to get away with. The very next moment I would be struck by a wave of repulsion at the horror of it all. Eventually, the repulsion won out over the patriotic pride, never to go back to where I had been; but dooming me to experience the despair of American foreign policy again and again, decade after decade.
The human brain is an amazing organ. It keeps working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 52 weeks a year, from before you leave the womb, right up until the day you find nationalism. And that day can come very early. Here’s a recent headline from the Washington Post: “In the United States the brainwashing starts in kindergarten.”
Oh, my mistake. It actually said “In N. Korea the brainwashing starts in kindergarten.”
Let Cuba Live! The Devil’s List of what the United States has done to Cuba
On May 31, 1999, a lawsuit for $181 billion in wrongful death, personal injury, and economic damages was filed in a Havana court against the government of the United States. It was subsequently filed with the United Nations. Since that time its fate is somewhat of a mystery.
The lawsuit covered the 40 years since the country’s 1959 revolution and described, in considerable detail taken from personal testimony of victims, US acts of aggression against Cuba; specifying, often by name, date, and particular circumstances, each person known to have been killed or seriously wounded. In all, 3,478 people were killed and an additional 2,099 seriously injured. (These figures do not include the many indirect victims of Washington’s economic pressures and blockade, which caused difficulties in obtaining medicine and food, in addition to creating other hardships.)
The case was, in legal terms, very narrowly drawn. It was for the wrongful death of individuals, on behalf of their survivors, and for personal injuries to those who survived serious wounds, on their own behalf. No unsuccessful American attacks were deemed relevant, and consequently there was no testimony regarding the many hundreds of unsuccessful assassination attempts against Cuban President Fidel Castro and other high officials, or even of bombings in which no one was killed or injured. Damages to crops, livestock, or the Cuban economy in general were also excluded, so there was no testimony about the introduction into the island of swine fever or tobacco mold.
However, those aspects of Washington’s chemical and biological warfare waged against Cuba that involved human victims were described in detail, most significantly the creation of an epidemic of hemorrhagic dengue fever in 1981, during which some 340,000 people were infected and 116,000 hospitalized; this in a country which had never before experienced a single case of the disease. In the end, 158 people, including 101 children, died. That only 158 people died, out of some 116,000 who were hospitalized, was an eloquent testimony to the remarkable Cuban public health sector.
The complaint describes the campaign of air and naval attacks against Cuba that commenced in October 1959, when US president Dwight Eisenhower approved a program that included bombings of sugar mills, the burning of sugar fields, machine-gun attacks on Havana, even on passenger trains.
Another section of the complaint described the armed terrorist groups, los banditos, who ravaged the island for five years, from 1960 to 1965, when the last group was located and defeated. These bands terrorized small farmers, torturing and killing those considered (often erroneously) active supporters of the Revolution; men, women, and children. Several young volunteer literacy-campaign teachers were among the victims of the bandits.
There was also of course the notorious Bay of Pigs invasion, in April 1961. Although the entire incident lasted less than 72 hours, 176 Cubans were killed and 300 more wounded, 50 of them permanently disabled.
The complaint also described the unending campaign of major acts of sabotage and terrorism that included the bombing of ships and planes as well as stores and offices. The most horrific example of sabotage was of course the 1976 bombing of a Cubana airliner off Barbados in which all 73 people on board were killed. There were as well as the murder of Cuban diplomats and officials around the world, including one such murder on the streets of New York City in 1980. This campaign continued to the 1990s, with the murders of Cuban policemen, soldiers, and sailors in 1992 and 1994, and the 1997 hotel bombing campaign, which took the life of a foreigner; the bombing campaign was aimed at discouraging tourism and led to the sending of Cuban intelligence officers to the US in an attempt to put an end to the bombings; from their ranks rose the Cuban Five.
To the above can be added the many acts of financial extortion, violence and sabotage carried out by the United States and its agents in the 16 years since the lawsuit was filed. In sum total, the deep-seated injury and trauma inflicted upon on the Cuban people can be regarded as the island’s own 9-11.
- US Department of the Army, Afghanistan, A Country Study (1986), pp.121, 128, 130, 223, 232
- Counterpunch, January 10, 2015
- Index on Censorship, the UK’s leading organization promoting freedom of expression, October 18, 2001
- The Independent (London), April 24, 1999
- “Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk talking to Pinar Atalay”, Tagesschau (Germany), January 7, 2015 (in Ukrainian with German voice-over)
- CNN, June 15, 2014
- See William Blum, West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir, chapter 3
- Washington Post, January 17, 2015, page A6
- William Blum, Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, chapter 30, for a capsule summary of Washington’s chemical and biological warfare against Havana.
- For further information, see William Schaap, Covert Action Quarterly magazine (Washington, DC), Fall/Winter 1999, pp.26-29
Were a visitor to arrive at the embattled city of Aleppo these frigid and bleak days from the western government controlled side of the 7000 year old city, even if blindfolded and wearing tight earplugs the sightless and deaf traveler would likely sense something very different from what he experiences in Damascus and other cities in Syria.
Somehow, a visitor just feels it in the ambient atmosphere. Something–expectations, pressure, anticipation, dread, anguish, excitement is rapidly building and seemingly is about to impact profoundly events in this war that has killed nearly a quarter million people, wounded more than one million and forced more than 3 million to flee Syria while displacing half of the remaining population that once numbered 23 million. With no end even faintly in sight.
Aleppo has been and remains, along with Damascus, the strategic area which is critical to both sides of the chaotically stalemated conflict. The victor in Aleppo will achieve momentum which some military experts claim will lead them to control much of Syria and certainly nearly all of the major population centers. Aleppo is crucial for both sides as pressure builds daily and as many Aleppines are expressing a sense that some powerful dynamic in about to occur leading toward a resolution of the four year civil war or perhaps leading to even more abject horror.
None of us knows of course but this observer wondered the other day if this is what his host, the commander of government forces in the old city souk in Aleppo had in mind when he looked up toward the nearby ancient Citidel where his troops are finally stationed after two years of fighting opposition forces. But what did he mean when he cryptically said, “In three days my friend you will see something happen here that will have major consequences, enshallah (god willing) for the good of the Syrian people and my country.”
Well, in the following three days nothing particularly major seemed to happen in the neighborhood where this observer has been staying the western section of Aleppo. The usual thuds of mortars and artillery and aircraft screaming across the sky followed by bomb blasts and passersby often squinting skyward and shrugging at visitors as they hurry on their way.
On the third day in Idlib, rebels and Nusra Front militants did seize at least three government checkpoints near two military bases, Wadi Deif and Hamidiyeh which straddle an important supply route in Idlib Province to the southwest. This achievement suggests al Nusra achieves occasional dominance over the Syrian army. Yet almost immediately government combat aircraft bombed the Bab town area of Aleppo, an area controlled by Da’ish (IS) which are increasingly collaborating with Nusra in some areas. Rebels hav also been active recently to the southwest adding more pressure on government forces that are currently scattered over a large area vaguely surrounding Allepo and fighting to capture it from rebels still building up their forces in the east, north and northwest of the city.
Or did the commander mean the reportedly rapid in-gathering of Hezbollah and Iranian fighters who many believe are preparing a Qalamoun type offensive from the west aimed at cutting supplies lines to rebels forces? Its hard to know, but when we last visited his compound on the fifth day, for sure it had changed, presumably in anticipation of something significant about to be unleashed. The hallways of his three level HQ were now neatly stacked to the ceilings with rockets and ammunition of various kinds. One of his aides joked that he hoped Da’ish or Nusra was not digging another tunnel in the area. With a grimace, his commander explained that his men have only a little outdated Soviet era tunnel detection equipment that does not work well so they rely on literally keeping their ears to the ground to detect deadly tunneling sounds. Rebel tunneling that led to the nearby 150 year old Carlton Citadel Hotel being completely demolished on 8 May 2014. The blast from a tunnel underneath killed between 14 and 50 people depending of which source one credits. Da’ish claims it was being used as an army barracks. As this observer stumbled alongside army guys whispering into their radios as we climbed through the Carlton Hotel rubble in pitch blackness toward the Citadel, he was advised that some bodies under the rubble had still not been recovered seven months later and he sensed fear in his guides about tunnels being dug below. A well-grounded nervousness because on 12/30/14 a powerful blast from explosives planted in a tunnel near the HQ this observer visited reportedly, by a new rebel coalition in Aleppo called Jabha Shamiyeh, killed or wounded more than 30 soldiers.
Both sides and their allies are getting exhausted with reported increased desertions from both sides and intensifying complaints from the population. Syria’s allies are growing weary of a conflict that could last decades without clear benefits to any side. Russia is tired with major economic problems looming. The recent collapse in oil prices and Western sanctions have battered the Russian economy which has fallen into decline for the first time in five years, according to official figures. This forced drastic interventions from the Russian Central Bank and appears to be creating the biggest crisis in Vladimir Putin’s leadership of the country. Russia’s economy ministry said GDP had fallen by 0.5pc in the year to November, the latest sign that the country is heading for recession.
With respect to Iran, despite repeated assurances from its leaders that the US led sanctions have been defeated, it still faces severe economic problems as well as the growing loss of al Quds commanders in Syria and Iraq leading to increasing criticism of the regimes involvement in both countries and even Lebanon from the Iranian people.
Iran’s worst nightmare in Iraq and Syria and perhaps soon in Lebanon is Da’ish (IS) and Nusra black flags fluttering on the horizon Both have left little doubt that they view Shia as a cult of apostates who tried to hijack Islam in the 7th Century and need to be eradicated or at a minimum converted and watched closely. On 12/19/14 a suicide bomber, presumably from Da’ish (IS) or Nusra attacked Shiite pilgrims on their way to a shrine at Samarra in the Taji area north of Baghdad again, this time killing at least 17 people and wounding more than 35. This as they have recently launched a campaign to liberate Syria and Iraq from what they claim now nearly total Iranian occupation. Da’ish has launched a social media campaign among Sunni tribes to eliminate once and for all Shia and return Islam to the Caliphate of and by Mohammad the Prophet. One Da’ish adviser discussed with this observer how Iran’s regime has become vulnerable and ripe for removal by the people of Iran due to the same forces plaguing Hezbollah. That is trying to justify to their supporters why they are in Iraq and Syria killing Sunni and Shia alike instead of getting serious about dialogue and salvaging these countries. Time is claimed to be on the side of Da’ish by its spokesmen given the perceived depth of corruption and illegitimacy of rulers in the region and increasingly restive populations.
One student I met at the restaurant in Aleppo explained as only an inspired student seems to be able and willing to do these days: “Change is coming. Deep change. The corrupt incompetents and religious fanatics on all both sides will be swept away. What you are seeing these days in our region are only mild soft tremors presaging the next phase. Frankly, I put religions at the top of my personal Terrorism List.”
Hezbollah is under increasing pressure, even within the Shia community, to leave Syria and Iraq partly because their supporters have tired of seeing posters of their dead sons plastered around the Bekaa, South Beirut, and South Lebanon. Hezbollah leaders have never really convinced many people of its necessity to fight in Syria and Iraq to keep the “terrorist and takfiris” out of Lebanon. According to virtually every poll taken, a majority of Lebanese believe the opposite- believing that IS and Al Nusra are coming here because Hezbollah went there and created a magnate for jihadists to fight them and target their strongholds. Meanwhile some right-wing Israeli politicians, if not the Northern Command, reportedly claim Hezbollah is over stretched and they fantasize about ‘ turf furloughing’ in Lebanon’ and carpet bombing Hezbollah much more severely than during its most recent genocidal ‘lawn-mowing’ in Gaza.
Against this backdrop, maybe the subject most frequently discussed these days with foreign visitors to Aleppo is the urgent need for a ceasefire leading to a negotiated settlement. So the time may be ripe for a ceasefire in Aleppo. One idea is to establish a ‘stand down models’ or ‘freeze zones” to be put into place across Syria in order to stop the seemingly interminable slaughter. UN envoys UN Envoy Staffan De Mistura’s proposal for a ‘freeze’ and the fast approaching Jan. 26-29 Moscow talks could be what the army commander had in mind. Part of De Mistura’s goal is to secure a ceasefire that would allow humanitarian aid to reach those in dire need. He has warned the fall of Aleppo would likely create an additional 400,000 refugees.
The ‘freeze’ proposal was within three days of the commanders prediction and if adopted by the parties could spread to other areas and conceivable lead to a ceasefire and then to peace talks as being promoted by Russia and being studied by the Assad government. The Foreign Ministry told the media this week that “Syria is ready to participate in preliminary consultations in Moscow in order to meet the aspirations of Syrians to find a way out of crisis.”
One example of ‘freezing the conflict in Aleppo” movement, as a step toward a broader settlement along the lines proposed by is the 12/29/14 action by Syrian army allowing more than 30 besieged families and some armed men who surrendered, “safe passage” out of from Douma and Zibdin in Eastern Ghouta adjoining Damascus. There are also rumors that male evacuees might be recruited into a pro-regime militia. The evacuation was the second since December 9, when 76 families were allowed out of Douma.
According to Freeze proponents, this plan to freeze the fighting in Aleppo is the only hopeful one available. De Mistura has said he sees no hope for another plan and it is the only plan capable of freezing the fighting, securing people’s needs and returning the displaced people who are burdening neighboring areas and states. It will also allow for the eventual process of reconstruction he and many others insist. Regime supporters argue that Syrian President Assad is showing readiness to ensure the success of the international plan in Aleppo, and that he convinced Russian President Vladimir Putin of the plan while convincing his Iranian allies as well.
The White House, despite reservations, appears more flexible this week, linking their approval with that of some of their regional allies, meaning Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Persian Gulf countries. Two rounds of Geneva talks early in 2014 failed to halt the conflict and some claimed actually inflamed it.
A Syrian gentleman who speaks regularly to security officials and leaders from Mr. Assad’s minority Alawite sect, an important component of his base, said recently that a growing numbers across the political spectrum now are insisting on a political settlement despite others still insisting on a fight to the death. One angry gentleman, exhibiting a ‘no turning back’ mentality and who lost his home, family and all hope for recovery, emphasized to this observer, that, “What happens to us during this period is not important. What matters is how history will judge us 1000 years from now.”
And so the Syrian civil war goes on. As Red Cross Dr David Nott who returned to Aleppo recently to help treat victims presented a gloomy assessment while describing the nearly complete breakdown of medical treatment in the city. He explained that more than 80% of patients requiring urgent treatment now die as a result of their injuries or lack of basic care, medicine and equipment. A plunge in vaccination rates from 90 percent before the war to 52 percent this year and contaminated water is allowing typhoid and hepatitis to spread and over half of public hospitals are closed resulting in treatments for diseases and injuries being erratic. More than 6,500 cases of typhoid and 4,200 cases of measles, the deadliest disease for Syrian children, being reported in 2014 across Syria.
One can only wish Envoy De Mistura and like-minded proponents of the immediate establishment of a “freeze zone” in Aleppo, to be replicated across Syria as strongly favored by army commanders with whom this observer recently discussed the subject, the very best of luck in the New Year.
Freezing hostilities in Aleppo could possibly achieve the same for Syria. It’s worth a try.
Author’s note: I haven’t had much to be grateful for this past Thanksgiving because I spent that time recovering from an operation that involved re-breaking my arm, realigning the bones in my left hand and having nine pins, a bone graft and a titanium plate installed. Ouch! So now I’m all busy trying to make up for lost time and dreaming up things to be thankful for. Here are a couple of items I’ve come up with (besides my wonderful family of course).
To paraphrase that song by Kermit the Frog, “It’s not easy being old.” There just aren’t that many perks involved. Your teeth fall out. Your joints freeze up. Say goodbye to your sex life, no matter what they claim about Viagra. Plus no one ever invites you to parties any more and you can no longer Twerk.
However, having enough money to make yourself comfortable in your old age can surely help alleviate all those various aches and pains associated with old age — unless of course you are an elderly widow living in Chicago and have 100K or more in your savings account. Because if that is you, then getting old is really really gonna to suck eggs.
“But, Jane,” you might ask, “why is that?” Let me tell you.
You’ve heard of ambulance-chasing lawyers before, right? Well, in Chicago they also have rich-widow-chasing lawyers. These heartless scoundrels actually go out and scour through various tax and real estate records until they find clues to locating financially-solvent yet vulnerable senior citizens, preferably rich widows. And then they move in for the kill.
The first thing they do is have their target victims declared incompetent — which is not all that hard to do when you have Chicago’s probate courts helping you out. Then they get themselves appointed Guardian ad Litems for these vulnerable wealthy elders. And then the fun part begins.
“First they pop these poor souls into rest homes where they are warehoused, starved, fed tranquilizers and ignored,” said one family member whose mother had been victimized in Chicago. “Then they sell their victim’s home, empty her bank accounts and pocket the profits — calling all these ill-begotten gains their ‘fees’ for services rendered. And then, when the victim has no more money left, they then throw her unceremoniously out of the rest home and onto the cold streets of Chicago — that is, if she is still alive.”
But there is hope. Some relatives of the victims and other conscientious local attorneys are starting to fight back. For instance, Joanne Denison, an honest Chicago attorney with a conscience, stumbled onto this racket about three years ago by accident and tried to do something to stop these malfesiants. “So what did she do?” you might ask. Denison started a blog. That’s all she did. She started a blog to try to expose some of these worst practices and blow the whistle on said legal vultures.
According to Denison’s blog, “40% of all psychotropic drugs are sold to nursing homes as illegal chemical restraints, and no one ever seems to do anything about it, even though they are deadly dangerous to most elders and the FDA says they are contra-indicated or not recommended for those under 20 or over 60.”
“So what happened to attorney Denison as a result?” you might ask next. What do you think happened to her? This is Chicago — not Utopia. Her attorney’s license has just been suspended for three years.
Now we all know that Rush Limbaugh and Fox News can tell any lie that they want over public airwaves and/or on the internet and get away with it, right? But if you ever dare to tell the truth and expose corruption in Chicago, you had better watch out.
And if you are a wealthy widow in Chicago, you had better really watch out!
So during this week after Thanksgiving I’m gonna be super-grateful for a lot of things — and one of those things is going to be that I’m not a widow, am not wealthy and don’t live in Chicago!
“What else are you going to be grateful for?” might be your next question.
“That I don’t live in Ukraine or Syria or any other foreign country that the US or NATO or BIBI has its eyes on.” If there’s just one take-away that I’ve learned after enduring all this pain in my left arm, it’s that injuries to our bodies can really really hurt, really hurt a lot. And that a human body will probably hurt even a hecka lot more if you are hit by a NATO smart-bomb in Ukraine or if an American-made cruise missile lands on you in Gaza or if you get gang-raped by American-funded ISIS in Syria — and have no pain-killers or hospitals or doctors to help you out like I did.
Do I think that the rich widows of Chicago have it bad? Yeah. But this sad injustice is almost minimal compared to having the vultures of Wall Street and War Street eying your assets and trying to steal them by torturing, raping and blowing up yourself and your kids.
At least the rich widows of Chicago don’t have to worry about getting hit with NATO smart bombs or having their heads chopped off!
Not really sure why I’m worried about getting old. It’s probably not gonna happen to any of us anyway — at least not while the deep-state neo-cons who now control America, Israel and NATO are all so bound and determined to try to pick a fight with Russia, China and Iran (one that they truly can’t win).
And if all this current saber-rattling foolishness doesn’t kill us all off in a mass wave of war-induced grim reaping, then don’t forget that climate-change-run-a-muck will be sending us off to the happy hunting ground soon too.
Have the oligarchs of DC and NATO and BIBI totally lost their minds — or do they just have a death wish for peons like you and me? Either way, these malfesiants now hold all the power and the rest of us are all screwed.
But here is the good news.
Perhaps facing WW III and/or the coming climate apocalypse might end up being a good thing. “But how?” Because now we’re all going to have an air-tight excuse to run down to the mall, max out our credit cards and buy all kinds of new gear to wear to the show. https://hughw.net/h2o/texas-
And here’s another positive thought. Extinction of the entire human race will surely mean that we won’t have to worry about who is gonna pay for our funeral — because there will be no one left alive to attend it! Sorry, guys, but there won’t be any “handsome corpses” on display at the local funeral chapel any more. Rats. I was really looking forward to that.
I am so freaking bored from sitting around doing nothing while waiting for my arm to heal that I actually checked Thomas Piketty’s new book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” out from the library. If I’m going to be bored, I might as well be really bored.
“The main driver of inequality today [which appears to be wanky pseudo-capitalism run amuck] threatens to generate extreme inequalities that stir discontent and undermine democratic values,” sez the dust jacket. Just one more reason why I won’t have to worry about paying for my own funeral — I won’t be able to afford it. And neither will you.
“But if you’re so bored, then why don’t you just go see the film ‘Interstellar’ instead,” suggested one of my kids. Good idea. Now I can go watch our planet die on the big screen instead of having to wait to watch it die in real life. http://www.theguardian.com/
The attention that Taibbi is receiving for the Rolling Stone essay, The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase’s Worst Nightmare, may push forward a serious debate on the systemic corruption that is common knowledge among informed observers of the financial structure. Zero Hedge can always be depended upon to incisively sum up the issue.
“In reality, there is nothing surprising in Matt Taibbi’s latest piece since returning to Rolling Stone from the Intercept, as it tells a story everyone is by now is all too familiar with: a former bank employee (in this case Alayne Fleischmann) who was a worker in a bank’s (in this case JPM) mortgage operations group, where she observed and engaged in what she describes as “massive criminal securities fraud” and who was fired after trying to bring the attention of those above her to said “criminal” activity.
The story doesn’t end there, and as Carmen Segarra already showed, when she revealed that Goldman runs the NY Fed, once Alayne was let go and tried to “whistleblow” on the house of Jimon from the outside, she found the that US Department of Justice headed by Eric Holder is just as, if not more, corrupt, and in his desperate attempt to prevent discovery and bring JPM et al to justice, he would stretch the statue of limitations on frauds committed during the crisis long enough to where nobody had any legal recourse any more, up to and including the US taxpayer.”
Well, that is a sober and tragic assessment. Even more heartbreaking is the statement made by Ms. Fleischmann as reported in Straight Line Logic.
“And now, with Holder about to leave office and his Justice Department reportedly wrapping up its final settlements, the state is effectively putting the finishing touches on what will amount to a sweeping, industrywide effort to bury the facts of a whole generation of Wall Street corruption. “I could be sued into bankruptcy,” she says. “I could lose my license to practice law. I could lose everything. But if we don’t start speaking up, then this really is all we’re going to get: the biggest financial cover-up in history.”
The only coherent response that regular citizens can exert, when dealing with the mega financial houses, is to avoid entanglements whenever possible. What good is it to establish accounts, whether as loans, savings or investments, when the rules of survival are stacked against main street customers?
Firms like JP Morgan or Goldman are not terrified by fines because they are protected by the “To Big To Fail” culture. Bailouts are a way of life and infusion of easy money into the liquidity flow of balance sheets employ the most creative accounting techniques to cover up accurate net worth.
The threat of principals actually doing jail time is so remote that the probability is far greater that the next Secretary of the Treasury will come from their ranks.
This plight produces a true dilemma of confidence. In this environment only brave souls dare become a whistleblower. Public support for such individuals like Fleischmann and Segarra is faint because neither are public persons, readily recognized by most people. This lack of notoriety as individuals is far less important than the criminal activity both are documenting.
However, in a media driven and social networking society, the personality of celebrity far out paces the substance of the offenses. Matt Taibbi’s star persona, deserved or manufactured, illustrates that getting attention through the clutter and noise of the sound bites is possible. For an unknown person, getting your 15 minutes of fame requires even more creative strategies, to expose the basic purpose in the news revelations.
The dying main stream presstitutes will not confront the intrinsic nature of the abuses because their own financial futures depend upon Wall Street support. Yet, struggling Middle America foolishly rely upon their reporting and advice in most financial matters.
JPMorgan Chase’s Worst Nightmare fundamentally is the unwinding of the derivative debt black hole of their making. The essential risk of a collapse and implosion of the financial manipulated markets only grows because no effort or willingness exists to purge the system of crooked companies, practices or individuals. The culture of corruption survives because the pattern of exposing and demanding justice is so brutally punished.
How can meaningful accountability come from internal reform, when the price of disclosure is the end of your professional endeavors and even your livelihood?
Arguments, data and evidence of generational embedded fraud have been made by some of the most intuitive minds on finance and economics. Nonetheless, the degeneracy accelerates. The wolves of Wall Street target their prey when they lobby regulators to allow for more exotic financial products that are designed to fleece the public and place the entire monitory system in greater jeopardy.
Activists rally during elections cycles to pressure the establishment. The Occupy Wall Street movement, misguided on potential solutions, did muster awareness with media exposure. However, most taxpayers do not exert sufficient outrage about the selling out of their financial security.
Stopping “massive criminal securities fraud” is a true national security requirement. Internet revelations can only expose the latest schemes. As stated in the essay, Repeal of Glass-Steagall and the Too Big To Fail Culture, is a major reason for the current unsustainable breakdown in trust and lack of liability consequences for financial institutions.
Take the opportunity of the Alayne Fleischmann disclosures to demand that your newly elected representatives exert the courage to advance a national debate on a major overhaul of the ground rules for Wall Street.
While the prospects are slim that any constructive and critical legislation will come out of the new Congress, public indignation needs to grow and intensify. The battle for economic viability and perseverance of capital is being lost for ordinary citizens. An angry constituency is necessary to confront the outrageous abuses that pass as normal conduct. The sacrifices of Alayne Fleischmann and Carmen Segarra need not be in vain. Mobilize for action; boycott the big banks and security fraudsters.
The names Catherine Engelbrecht and Reggie B. Walton may not exactly be household names, but both are part of a disturbing court ruling that can only be described as a reprehensible government protection racket in plain sight for all to see. Ms. Engelbrecht was the plaintiff and Reggie B. Walton the judge. A succinct summary is provided by Breitbart in the report, True the Vote’s Lawsuit against IRS Gets Tossed by Federal Judge.
“A federal judge in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia entered an order dismissing a lawsuit filed by True the Vote, a Houston, Texas-based non-profit organization focused on “voters’ rights and election integrity” against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The order alleged that the IRS had improperly delayed granting their application for 501(c)(3) status and targeted them as a conservative organization. The opinion, by Judge Reggie B. Walton, found that the IRS had taken sufficient “remedial steps to address the alleged behavior.”
From the ruling by Judge Walton, analysis:
“The defendants contend that the Court does not have subject-matter jurisdiction over counts one, two, and five of the plaintiff’s complaint because the IRS ultimately approved the plaintiff’s application for tax-exempt status, and thus counts one, two, and five—all of which seek “to correct [the] alleged targeting [of the IRS] and delay during its application process” for tax-exempt status—are now moot as there is no longer any case or controversy for the Court to resolve.”
How nice that the IRS can slip out of a sticky wicket by simply retroactively approving a 501(c)(3) application that they officiated with a touch of harassment and a sprinkle of intimidation. The reasoning used by Judge Walton to protect the IRS from a “voluntary cessation” exception follows:
“The rationale supporting the defendant’s voluntary cessation as an exception to mootness is that, while the defendant’s unilateral cessation of the challenged conduct may grant the plaintiff relief, the defendant is free to return to its old ways—thereby subjecting the plaintiff to the same harm but, at the same time, avoiding judicial review. Accordingly, a case can be mooted by virtue of the defendant’s cessation of its allegedly illegal conduct only if (1) there is no reasonable expectation that the conduct will recur and (2) interim relief or events have completely and irrevocably eradicated the effects of the alleged violation.”
Oh praise the sacred high priests of the Internal Revenue Service for “seeing the light” and repenting their ways. Such a reasonable trust in the good intentions of the IRS to not only follow the law but to administer their trade under the “good faith” doctrine that only a judge working for the same corrupt government as do the Lois Lerner brigade of bureaucrats, would profess.
An important USA Today article, from hardly an anti government publication, IRS list reveals concerns over Tea Party ‘propaganda’, furnishes the evidence.
“Newly uncovered IRS documents show the agency flagged political groups based on the content of their literature, raising concerns specifically about “anti-Obama rhetoric,” inflammatory language and “emotional” statements made by non-profits seeking tax-exempt status.
The internal 2011 documents, obtained by USA TODAY, list 162 groups by name, with comments by Internal Revenue Service lawyers in Washington raising issues about their political, lobbying and advocacy activities. In 21 cases, those activities were characterized as “propaganda.”
The list provides the most specific public accounting to date of which groups were targeted for extra scrutiny and why. The IRS has not publicly identified the groups, repeatedly citing a provision of the tax code prohibiting it from releasing tax return information.”
The supporting items Document: IRS ‘political advocacy cases’ list, while the pattern of selective favoritism is authenticated in the report, IRS approved liberal groups while Tea Party in limbo.
For a more cutting edge analysis from Twitchy US politics on the insanity from the Loony Left, just absorb the rhetoric and ask, who the real totalitarians are in society and even worse in government. Outrage: Court acknowledges that IRS targeted True the Vote, dismisses lawsuit anyway explains.
“Voters’ rights group True the Vote , a nonprofit “founded to inspire and equip voters for involvement at every stage of our electoral process,” has had a hard time of it. As the 2012 election approached, Cher of all people referred to True the Vote as “a bunch of Tea Party Nazis” and “animals.” Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, who sits on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, informed True the Vote founder and president Catherine Engelbrecht that he would be launching an investigation into her organization.
Of course, all of this was happening while the IRS was targeting conservative groups and holding up applications for nonprofit status, often through several election cycles. And even though the U.S. Federal District Court didn’t deny this, True the Vote’s case against the IRS was dismissed today.”
Engelbrecht issued the following brief statement:
“The Court today correctly acknowledged that the IRS targeted True the Vote because of its perceived political beliefs. Such conduct is reprehensible and should never be acceptable in a free society. Despite this critical finding, we are stunned and disappointed in the court’s ruling which nevertheless dismisses our case. We will be evaluating our legal options and will announce our intent in that regard soon.”
Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots reaction to the DC Court Decision on IRS “Unconscionable”. “The Court’s decision not to sanction either the IRS or the individual agents because it and they had taken “remedial measures” is unconscionable.”
Supporting this conclusion are Top 9 Quotes on the IRS Targeting of Tea Party Groups.
- “Not even a smidgen of corruption.” – President Barack Obama to Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly February, 2014
- “Decline to answer that question.” – Lois Lerner, pleading the Fifth Amendment before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, March 5, 2014
- “The IRS used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention.” – Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Audit
- “Instead of referring to the cases as advocacy cases, they actually used case names on this list. They [Determinations Unit in Cincinnati, Ohio] used names like ‘Tea Party’ or ‘Patriots’ and they selected cases simply because the applications had those names in the title. That was wrong, that was absolutely incorrect, insensitive, and inappropriate.” – Lois Lerner
- “Even after admitting that it had targeted groups, and a TIGTA [Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration] report detailed the abuses, the IRS did not let up. In August 2013, the IRS requested yet more documents and information. It asked us to provide, for example, all fundraising communications for the 60 days before the November 6, 2012 election, and all materials that we used in various “Get Out the Vote” activities. That request made no sense under the current standards for evaluating non-profit applications. The regulations proposed three months later, however, explain the requests, as they include specific provisions classifying any mention of a candidate’s name within 60 days of an election and get-out-the-vote efforts as taxable political activity.” – Jenny Beth Martin in testimony to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, February 27, 2014
- “The Internal Revenue Service says acting IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller was first informed in May 2012 that tea party groups were inappropriately targeted for scrutiny.” – Hot Air, May 13, 2013
- “The IRS inspector general said this week that while some liberal groups were given extra scrutiny by the tax agency, they were not subjected to the same invasive queries as tea party groups – a finding that seems to confirm political bias was at play.” – The Washington Times, June 27, 2013
- When the IRS revelations broke, Obama promised a full investigation. Yet Cleta Mitchell, an attorney for a number of tea party and conservative groups targeted by the IRS, testified, “None of my clients have received a single contact from the FBI, the DOJ [Department of Justice] or any other investigator regarding the IRS scandal.” – The Chicago Sun-Times, February 10, 2014
- More than 400,000 documents have been turned over to Congress, only a fraction of which have been publicly released under the Freedom of Information Act. Republicans say they’re still missing key documents including the e-mails of former IRS Exempt Organizations Director Lois Lerner. – USA Today, February 26, 2014
But remember, President Obama assures us there’s “not a smidgen of corruption!”
No matter your political leanings, every American should be concerned when the courts condone abusive and arbitrary administration in any agency. Allowing the IRS to retroactively cover their rear, while turning a blind eye to systemic illicit practices, is just part of the game plan that permits the court to make up law, which favors government tyranny.
The True the Vote decision is insulting and only goes to prove that reforms through the election process are truly the moot option.