Freedom is a four-letter word. It’s fast disappearing. It’s an endangered species. Wealth, power and privilege alone matter. America’s war on terror priorities advance them.
International, constitutional and US statute laws are spurned. Rogue state ruthlessness replaced them. Boston’s unprecedented lockdown suggests what’s coming. It covered a two hundred square mile area. An important threshold was crossed.
Martial law terrorized city residents. Constitutional rights were suspended. Perhaps it was prelude to what’s coming. It can happen anywhere across America. It can show up nationwide.
Thousands of heavily armed militarized police, National Guard troops, FBI Swat teams, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives operatives, Drug Enforcement Administration agents, and perhaps other federal, state and local enforcers showed what full-blown tyranny looks like.
Defying public diktats risked arrest or getting shot. Helicopters hovered low over neighborhoods. House-to-house searches ordered pajama-clad families outside.
Without probable cause, some were handcuffed and/or placed face down on sidewalks. Others were publicly strip-searched. Imagine what’s coming next time. Freedom in America’s on the chopping block for elimination.
What’s ongoing already includes:
• numerous police state laws;
• waging war on humanity;
• indefinite detentions without evidence, charges or trials;
• forced disappearances;
• targeted assassinations;
• torture and other forms of abuse;
• Big Brother surveillance;
• warrantless searches;
• other privacy invasions;
• false flag national security abuses;
• war on terror fear-mongering;
• military commission trials, including for US citizens;
• domestic military force deployments;
• secret FEMA concentration camps;
• racial profiling and persecution;
• militarized local police;
• criminalizing whistleblowers; and
• targeting non-believers for supporting right over wrong.
Tyranny isn’t in the eye of the beholder. It’s escalating in plane sight. It’s just a matter of time until it’s full-blown. Washington’s bipartisan criminal class plans it.
It’s hard-right, unbridled, reactionary, and pro-corporate. It’s anti-democratic, anti-dissent, anti-freedom, anti-civil and human rights, anti-social justice, anti-environmental sanity, and anti-government of, by and for everyone.
It’s dangerous living in America at the wrong time. Supporting right over wrong is threatened. Anyone can be targeted for any reason or none at all. Guilt by accusation is policy. Diktat authority has final say.
The National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms (NCPCF) includes national and local organizations. Its mission is:
“To educate the public about the erosion of civil and political freedoms in the society, and the abuses of prisoners within the US criminal justice system especially after 9/11, and to advocate for the preservation of those freedoms and to defend those rights according to the US Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its related UN Conventions, and the Geneva Conventions.”
Civil liberties are threatened, it warns. Public safety at the expense of freedom assures neither.
Post-9/11, thought crime prosecutions followed. Individuals and groups were targeted for “their beliefs, thoughts, or associations.”
Doing so violates constitutional protections. First Amendment freedoms are compromised. They’re fundamental. Without them, all others are at risk.
They include free speech, a free press, free thought, culture and intellectual inquiry, assembly, freedom to practice the religion of one’s choice, and to petition government for redress of grievances.
The Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC) “defend(s) the rule of law and rights and liberties challenged by overbroad national security and counter-terrorism policies.”
It “support(s) an ideologically, ethnically, geographically, and generationally diverse grassroots movement to protect and restore these principles by encouraging widespread civic participation; educating people about the significance of our rights; and cultivating grassroots networks to convert concern, outrage, and fear into debate and action.”
Its “Campaign for the Constitution” headlines: “Building a Movement. Restoring Rights. Reclaiming Our Constitution.” At issue is restoring lost rights. Bipartisan complicity compromised them en route to eliminating them altogether.
Rule of law protections “withered under warrantless surveillance, rampant racial and religious profiling, and torture – and even human experimentation – with impunity.”
The ACLU highlights lost digital age civil liberties. New technologies compromised existing protections. Post-9/11, they’ve undergone serious erosion.
Web site visits are tracked. Cell phones log our movements. Emails and social network communications are monitored and stored. Warrantless spying is policy.
“Things we once thought could only happen in far-away enemy states or distant dystopias are suddenly happening here in America” said ACLU.
Privacy laws haven’t kept up with technology. War on terror priorities matter most.
Protecting civil liberties in the digital age requires “ensur(ing) that expressive, associational, and privacy rights are strengthened rather than compromised by new technology.”
It’s also about “protect(ing) these core democratic rights against intrusive corporate and government practices that rely on new technology to invade these rights.”
They’re being systematically destroyed. According to the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Washington “consistently (doesn’t) recognize the protections afforded by the US Constitution and international law, and in doing so, it has failed in its responsibility to maintain a democratic society that is both open to, and accountable to, the people.”
Government is shrouded in secrecy. Checks and balances no longer matter. Bill of Rights freedoms are fading. They’re fundamental in democratic societies.
War on terror priorities breached First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendment freedoms. At issue are search and surveillance authority, indefinitely detaining citizens and non-citizens uncharged, and undermining free expression, due process, and equal protection.
Washington’s criminal class is bipartisan. Ahead expect much worse. Old time radio listeners recall a memorable Jack Benny skit. “Your money or your life,” a robber asked?
After a pause, he was asked again. He responded saying “I’m thinking it over.”
Today no one’s asked. It isn’t either-or. It’s both.
A Final Comment
Fixing America’s dysfunctional system demands fundamental change. It starts by reforming the nation’s sham electoral process. Throwing out bums assures new ones.
Both major parties are two sides of the same coin. Not a dime’s worth of difference separates them. Secrecy and back room deals substitute for a free, fair and open process. Duopoly power rules.
Party bosses chose candidates. Big money owns them. Voters have no say. They get the best democracy money can buy. It happens every time.
The entire process was constitutionally flawed by design. Over time, things got worse. Bipartisan politics serves serves wealth, power, and privilege. Popular interests go begging.
Money power runs America. It games the system. It does so destructively. Controlling money, credit and debt for private enrichment assures speculation, booms, busts, inflation, deflation, instability, crisis, recessions and depressions.
It assures transferring enormous amounts of wealth from ordinary people to corporate giants and super-rich elites already with too much.
Washington is Wall Street occupied territory. What financial giants want, they get. They’re waging financial war on humanity. They’re more powerful than standing armies.
Economies are strip-mined for profit. Communities are laid waste. Ordinary people are impoverished and left out. Vital needs go begging.
Money power in private hands and democracy can’t co-exist. Complicit politicians betray the public trust. They do so for benefits they derive.
Social injustice defines official policy. Class war rages more than ever. America’s on a fast track toward tyranny. Stopping it requires free, fair and open elections. It’s also about returning money to public hands where it belongs.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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On May 4, he called US president Obama the “grand chief of devils.”
Obama, who has betrayed democracy in America, unleashing execution on American citizens without due process of law and war without the consent of Congress, provoked Maduro’s response by suggesting that Maduro’s newly elected government might be fraudulent. Obviously, Obama is piqued that the millions of dollars his administration spent trying to elect an American puppet instead of Maduro failed to do the job.
If anyone has accurately summed up Washington, it is the Venezuelans.
Who can forget Chevez standing at the podium of the UN General Assembly in New York City speaking of George W. Bush? Quoting from memory: “Right here, yesterday, at this very podium stood Satan himself, speaking as if he owned the world. You can still smell the sulphur.”
Hegemonic Washington threw countless amounts of money into the last Venezuelan election, doing its best to deliver the governance of that country to a Washington puppet called Henrique Capriles, in my opinion a traitor to Venezuela. Why isn’t this American puppet arrested for treason? Why are not the Washington operatives against an independent country–the US ambassador, the counsels, the USAID/CIA personnel, the Washington funded NGOs–ordered to leave Venezuela immediately or arrested and tried for spying and high treason? Why allow any presence of Washington in Venezuela when it is clear that Washington’s intention is to make Venezuela a puppet state like the UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, Turkey, Japan, and on and on.
There was a time, such as in the Allende-Pinochet era, when the American left-wing and a no longer extant liberal media would have been all over Washington for its illegal interference in the internal affairs of an independent country. But no more. As CounterPunch’s Jeffrey St. Clair has recently made clear, the American left-wing remains “insensate to the moral and constitutional transgressions being committed by their champion”–the first black, or half-black, US president–leaving “Rand Paul to offer official denunciations against [Washington’s] malignant operations” against independent countries.
Against the Obama regime’s acts of international and domestic violence, “the professional Left, from the progressive caucus to the robotic minions of Moveon.org, lodge no objections and launch no protests.” St. Clair has written a powerful article. Read it for yourself: http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/05/03/the-game-of-drones/print
I think the American left-wing lost its confidence when the Soviet Union collapsed and the Chinese communists and Indian socialists turned capitalist. Everyone misread the situation, especially the “end of history” idiots. The consequence is a world without strong protests of Washington’s and its puppet states’ war criminal military aggressions, murder, destruction of civil liberty and human rights, and transparent propaganda: “Last night Polish forces crossed the frontier and attacked Germany,” or so declared Adolf Hitler. Washington’s charges of “weapons of mass destruction” are even more transparent lies.
But hardly any care. The Western governments and Japan are all paid off and bought, and those that are not bought are begging to be bought because they want the money too. Truth, integrity, these are all dead-letter words. No one any longer knows what they mean.
The moronic George W. Bush said, in Orwellian double-speak, they hate us for our freedom and democracy. They don’t hate us because we bomb them, invade them, kill them, destroy their way of life, culture, and infrastructure. They hate us because we are so good. How stupid does a person have to be to believe this BS?
Washington and Israel present the world with unmistakable evil. I don’t need to stand at the UN podium after Bush or Obama. I can smell Washington’s evil as far away as Florida. Jeffrey St. Clair can smell it in Oregon. Nicolas Maduro can smell it in Venezuela. Evo Morales can smell it in Bolivia from where he cast out CIA-infiltrated USAID. Putin can smell it in Russia, although he still permits the treasonous “Russian opposition” funded by US money to operate against Russia’s government. The Iranians can smell it in the Persian Gulf. The Chinese can smell it as far away as Beijing.
Homeland Security, a gestapo institution, has “crisis actors” to help it deceive the public in its false flag operations.
The Obama regime has drones with which to silence American citizens without due process of law.
Homeland Security has more than a billion rounds of ammunition, tanks, a para-military force. Detention camps have been built.
Are Americans so completely stupid that they believe this is all for “terrorists” whose sparse numbers require the FBI to manufacture “terrorists” in so-called “sting operations” in order to justify the FBI’s $3 billion special fund from Congress to combat domestic terrorism?
Congress has taxpayers paying the FBI to frame up innocents and send them to prison.
This is the kind of country American has become. This is the kind of “security” agencies it has, filling their pockets by destroying the lives of the innocent and downtrodden.
“In God we trust,” reads the coinage. It should read: “In Satan we follow.”
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.
Source: Paul Craig Roberts
Historically, what separated American society from most other countries was a healthy distrust of government and a tradition of civil liberties. The Bill of Rights is a unique safeguard embodied within the constitutional structure of a road map for governmental restraint. One of the most important restrictions placed upon the police powers of the central government is exemplified in Posse Comitias. The militarization of domestic law enforcement is fundamentally in conflict with individual rights and natural law.
The basic character of the American spirit envisioned narrow intrusion into the personal affairs of citizens. The federal government is burdened with thoughtful and precise limitations on its powers for the essential reason to inhibit the aggressive expansion of despotic tendencies. Once upon another era, the people of the Republic understood this vital social construct of control against the destruction of liberty, by the very government entrusted to preserve the essence of the union.
Fifty years ago, the nation entered into a morass of a foreign conflict that altered the very fabric and substance of the post World War II mentality. As the Viet Nam war expanded, the consciousness of a youthful generation exploded into a fundamental counter cultural resistance against the mindset that built the military-industrial-complex and perpetuated an interventionist global foreign policy.
The campuses and streets of America were filled with swarms of dissenters opposing the war and the repression of a burgeoning police state. The gambit of defiant speeches to civil disobedience saw the corridors of power crumple in the wake of a nation galvanized against the Sovietization of our authorities, when the war, was supposedly fought, to stop the spread of Communism.
Even with the incomplete success in ending the Viet Nam hostilities, the political loss of that war, did not prevent the uninterrupted march toward the Orwellian collectivist state, that we now live under and the oppressive compliance that Homeland Security so aptly represents.
Corrosive incrementalism of totalitarian policies developed in an environment of gradual apathy, over the last half century. Dissenting opposition movements, persistently confrontational against the establishment became less organized and vocal. As a result, institutions of influence descended into deeper depths of moral corruption, as the agencies of bureaucratic dominance expanded their reach and scope of tyranny.
The generations of the post Viet Nam period, developed a materialistic career oriented motivation, at the expense of abandoning the search for spiritual and social responsibility, toward their fellow neighbor and their country. The flower power experienced at the opposite end of a National Guard bayonet is now replaced with a corporatist stock option in a company that builds the drone surveillance society.
With the spread of “Politically Correct” urbanity, political debate has become restrictive, sterile and punitive. The primary ingredient out of the corporate news media is a filtered mush that leads to a permanent blockage in the excretion track. These gatekeepers protect careerist criminal politicians, while serving the global interests of their Wall Street masters. The seldom-interrupted path towards government worship homogenization is a main accomplishment of the systematic dismantling of the principles of inherent autonomy.
Woefully, the plastic patriots of Bean Town demonstrated their retardation, from drinking of the dirty water, offered by the storm troopers. Accepting an arbitrary and capricious “Judge Dredd” martial law decree for an area wide lockdown is repulsive and antithetical to the noble tradition of a community, who squared off against the red coats.
The phony war on terror is actually a contrived policy and false flag drill exercises, to strip away the last vestiges of constitutional inhibitions and restraints. The “so called” terrorism that the government would have you believe threatens the nation, is but an elaborate deception to justify the methodical enslavement of unsophisticated and easily fear induced denizens.
As the connection between the patties, blamed for the Boston Marathon panic, with intelligence communities operatives and fronts become known, the official FBI version of the investigation unravels. Deployment of battalions of military vehicles with SWAT assassins poses a far greater danger to the citizenry than a nineteen-year-old “so called” Jihadist recruited into the cause by the very government, who claims to be in charge of keeping us all safe.
With the surrender of our cherished civil liberties to a ruthless DHS internal police force, martial law is now the rule of the land. Many Bostonians deserve the shame of their forbearers. Where are protests with every knock at the door? This precedent does not bode well. It is doubtful that the populace will resist in mass, when it becomes their time for transfer to their designated FEMA concentration camp.
That day is coming, and with the lack of courage in the veins of the mediocre public, the state will face little resistance, when the financial collapse hits the households of all the government dependent. This reincarnated empire of a “King George” assault, is seizing the spirit of the Bunker Hill memorial. Homeland insecurity is designed to eliminate the Gadsden flag so that it has no place to fly.
The hard-learned lessons of Viet Nam are lost to the self-absorbed and dumbed down civil servants, who pledge their loyalty to an illegitimate government, as they sell their souls to an evil empire. The mere hint of reviving a counter-culture resistance against the globalist matrix labels one an enemy of the state. Just maybe, too many people are drinking Sam Adams beer and drunk with lethargy, to heed the call of Paul Revere.
The underground press was alive and vibrant in the 1960’s. Now the internet is being groomed to be clipped with CISPA. During the confrontations with authority in a time long ago, the best within Americans emerged as defenders of core political values, while pushing the envelope of personal freedom discovery. Now the children of that generation are in seats of official authority. Lost in the education process; both in government schools and often in the family home, is a vigorous suspicion of the abuse of power and a duty to resist oppression.
Without a renaissance in traditional revolutionary commitment, the American experiment will end as every other botched and immoral imperium. The colonial civilization that rose up the original Tea Party rebels against the Crown has sunk into docile disciples of obedience to state fascist brutality.
The founding fathers were men of wisdom and courage. The survivors of the Viet Nam campaign grew in understanding over the decades in the knowledge that their battle for national survival just began with their return home. The enemy they fought in the rice paddies were fighting a civil war. Back on home soil, these veterans learned that their true foe became a tyrannical government, bent upon destroying the very civil liberties that every real American pledges upon their allegiance and sacred honor.
Until people develop the guts to face up to the 911, excuse for the terrorism fraud and the false security measures designed to destroy essential legal protections of individual rights, the organized government terror will continue.
The call goes out to rekindle the defiant spirit and resistance to the ever-growing police state. The sincere patriot opposes any bureaucratic and administrative edict that violates your natural rights. The next time belligerent and suspect authorities demand a lockdown on your neighborhood, hold a block party. The enforcement mercenaries have neither the moral mandate nor the practical efficiency to arrest and sequester the minuteman multitude with the willful daring to “just say no“ to tyranny.
Where are the Thoreauvian moralists, willing to defend their local Walden Ponds in their own communities? The reason the herds of the timid are so unwilling to challenge the supermax prison that Amerika has become is due to the fact, that so few have the fortitude to join the-strike-the-root inspiration that speaks to the character of a corrupt society.
Soon the infamous disturbed Colonel Kurtz will look like a sane expedient of military violence as the entire nation is transformed into an Apocalypse Now before our eyes. The best way to combat the thugs that violate every universal decency and common law right is to practice civil disobedience at any opportunity. Resisting oppression is a necessary step in the liberation of society from subjugation.
First responders need to stand down, when they are commanded to follow illicit orders. Boston needs to repent from their authoritarian progressive state worship. As a center of creative cutting edge protest during the Viet Nam war, the Bostonian Bluebloods of globalist indoctrination have succeeded into transmuting independent thinkers into lock step zombies.
Liberation from trumped up jingoism has been a difficult task for well over a century. At stake now is the very fabric of our own country. Surrendering our precious heritage, for a delusive and faux sense of security, plays directly into the hands of the fascists. Protest the dictatorship of the establishment. Learn from the majesty of dissent, that when the emperor is exposed as wearing no cloths, he is naked for all to see. The essential issue is whether the American public has any eyesight left, and what actions will they undertake to restore their dignity.
In 1965, as a college student, I felt the U.S. Government and Congress worked for and represented the best interests of the American people. As I learned more, and later as I understood more as a U.S. Army officer, I discovered presidents and Congress lie. When I became a math-science teacher in Denver, Colorado, I discovered that superintendents lie when it benefits them. I discovered people lie.
Lyndon Baines Johnson lied to plunge us into the Vietnam War. Bill Clinton lied from the day of his birth. George W. Bush lied us into Iraq War. Barack H. Obama continually lies to us as to immigration, Afghanistan War, Obamacare, his past history and more than we can count.
But the one lie that will go down in history as the beginning of the end of the United States of America goes to the late Senator Teddy Kennedy (D-MA) and his 1965 Immigration Reform Act. He exploded immigration from 175,000 annually to over 1.2 million year after year, decade after decade. He jumped our population from a reasonable 194 million to its current 316 million on our way to 625 million in this century.
In front of Congress he said, “First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same. Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset. Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and deprived nations of Africa and Asia.
“In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think. The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. The bill will not place a burden on the legal citizens by increasing taxes to pay the huge costs for care-and-feeding, medical care, education, etc of the “immigrants”… and additional social-services for their family members. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.” [Ted Kennedy at Judiciary Committee hearing on Feb. 10, 1965, commenting on the Hart-Celler Act]
Kennedy’s bill DID flood the country with another 100 million people. It created intractable poverty and entrenched illiteracy. It created cultural conflicts being played out across America in 2013, i.e. Mexicans battling African-Americans in Los Angeles, Muslims taking over entire cities like Detroit and running out everyone else; it imported many third world immigrants lost in the morass of this high speed society and unable to assimilate. We feature “Black flash mobs” terrorizing citizens in Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Chicago. We feature female genital mutilation, arranged marriages and honor killings in America in 2013. We see exploding illiteracy rates among citizens. We house 47 million people who cannot secure a job: thus, they exist on food stamps. Over 14 million Americans cannot secure a job at a living wage.
This new Comprehensive Immigration Bill expects to swamp our country with another 100 million immigrants within 37 years. From 2050, we face another 200 million beyond that.
In the meantime, Congress, led by a “Gang of Eight” senators expects to unload the gates of hell upon our country. Not only will Congress give total amnesty to 20 million, they in turn, can and will chain-migrate endless millions of their families into our country. This thing will become SO ugly on SO many levels, but we will become the victims and no one wins and everyone loses.
Amazingly enough, after the failure of the 1986 amnesty, our borders remain as porous as ever. Nothing in this bill shows any intention of enforcing past or current immigration employment, housing or transporting of illegal migrant laws. Thus, illegals will careen into our country in ever greater numbers.
Senator Chuck Schumer of New York said, “This is not amnesty — amnesty is the forgiveness of something. We’re going to create an alternative that says OK, you want to stay here, you’ll have to wait more than 10 years, you’ll have to pay this fine, you’ll have to pay your registration fee, you’ll have to be gainfully employed, you won’t qualify for any federal benefit, and then after all of that you don’t get to apply for anything until the enforcement mechanisms are in place.”
Schumer lies like a rug, like Al Capone, like a snake, like the 19 terrorists who flew airplanes into the Twin Towers and elsewhere.
- When the bill becomes law, every single illegal alien in America becomes legal.
- Legal status will never be revoked; it can and will only be expanded with every inevitable subsequent act of Congress.
- This amnesty will leader to more amnesties for millions of other aliens crossing our borders or overstaying their visas.
If you expect to save your own rear end and that of your children’s future, I implore you to join the following organizations for free and start sending pre-written faxes to your reps to defeat this bill.
What more time-honored practice in the long history of state sponsored servitude than the institutionalization of prisoners? Incarceration for offenses against government laws is a cornerstone for power and survivability of any regime. Prisons may have been hellholes over the centuries, but seldom has the internment of convicted lawbreakers been a growth industry for private profit. It almost makes one wonder exactly who are the crooks. While most hard-pressed citizens want a safe and secure society, few ever give even a passing thought to the insatiable corporatist criminalization of the criminal justice system. Just how many Americans agree with the proposition, if you did the crime, you need to serve the time.
All loyal law and order proponents can take pride in the one area where the imperium of government discipline still ranks first among nations. A Global Research article - The Prison Industry in the United States: Big Business or a New Form of Slavery? – points out some staggering facts.
“There are approximately 2 million inmates in state, federal and private prisons throughout the country. According to California Prison Focus, “no other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens.” The figures show that the United States has locked up more people than any other country: a half million more than China, which has a population five times greater than the U.S. Statistics reveal that the United States holds 25% of the world’s prison population, but only 5% of the world’s people. From less than 300,000 inmates in 1972, the jail population grew to 2 million by the year 2000. In 1990 it was one million. Ten years ago there were only five private prisons in the country, with a population of 2,000 inmates; now, there are 100, with 62,000 inmates. It is expected that by the coming decade, the number will hit 360,000, according to reports.”
Just imagine the hidden solution to the high unemployment economy is staring in our faces without even a hint of public reaction. The ultimate entrepreneurial partnership allows for corporate security firms to house government dissenters or rebellious non-conformers.
“Private prisons are the biggest business in the prison industry complex. About 18 corporations guard 10,000 prisoners in 27 states. The two largest are Correctional Corporation of America(CCA) and Wackenhut, which together control 75%. Private prisons receive a guaranteed amount of money for each prisoner, independent of what it costs to maintain each one. According to Russell Boraas, a private prison administrator in Virginia, “the secret to low operating costs is having a minimal number of guards for the maximum number of prisoners.” The CCA has an ultra-modern prison in Lawrenceville, Virginia, where five guards on dayshift and two at night watch over 750 prisoners. In these prisons, inmates may get their sentences reduced for “good behavior,” but for any infraction, they get 30 days added – which means more profits for CCA.”
The dramatic increases in prison population are not from violent convicts or rapists and killers. The majority of offense categories are property, drug and especially public-order related. The goal of social rehabilitation is a quaint concept of another era. The pretense of reclamation from a conviction of prosecutorial discretion is a standard that few DA’s or judges ever consider. Sentencing guidelines are based upon retribution and punishment, in order to keep the prisons filled with a growing number of new inmates. The supposition is that if you are charged with a crime, the suspect will plea bargain or the jury will follow the directions of the government and convict.
For 2011, the US Department of Justice reported a 93% conviction rate. Such a record implies a culture of criminalization or a hard road for an innocent suspect to navigate. No wonder, the private company screws are such staunch supporters of the transgression and disorder society.
The video, Private prisons - the most profitable real estate in the US? – provides a distressing analysis of the consequences of incentivizing revenue return motivated companies as the jailer overseers.
From the report Prison Labor and Crime in the U.S. - Industry, Privatization, Inmate Facts and Stats – Prison Industries and Inmate Labor – section:
“Many companies are now directly involved in some form of profiting off of incarceration or the labor of inmates. Since 1980 when there was only one prison industry operating as a privatized entity, there are now thirty eight states and at least five county jails with privatized prison industry productions or factory operations. Together state and federal factories now number over three hundred nationwide with between six hundred thousand and one million inmates working in some form of manufacturing or services. Hundreds of companies using inmate labor for manufacturing, services and other duties are now partnered with these operations. This is done under the federal Prison Industries Enhancement Certification Program (PIECP) under 18 USC 1761(c).
Clearly companies, businesses and corporations have become heavily invested in, and dependent upon incarceration for cheap labor and profit. In 2009 total sales of prisoner made products totaled $2.4 billion. Some research places that figure as high as $5 billion and this is in addition to the “prison industry” figure of $34 billion used previously.”
Another RT video details the Prison labor booms in US as low-cost inmates bring billions. Is society really safer from the dramatic increase in the prison population, or is this method of crowding a growing herd of cheap labor simply a strategy to enrich politically connected companies?
As the rapid implosion of the economy accelerates, the prospect of even greater numbers of government prosecutions will surely increase. How many Jean Valjean’s are there in Les Misérables penal confines baking bread?
Now if you are sympathy challenged and are as hard as the rocks that need to be broken, why is the political class virtually exempt from accountability. Remember the once popular bumper sticker; “I’ll Buckle Up When Ted Bundy Does”. Well, no compassion for a serial killer is certainly understandable and proper.
However, where is the justice when a professional bankster felon like Jon Corzine skates after his crimes in the MF Global theft? The rules for ex Goldman Sacks predators allows for financing publicly traded private jail companies, but are exempt of ever working on the assembly line making license plates. What is next: a hedge fund totally devoted to the management of a privatized infrastructure of FEMA camps.
Michael Snyder writes in The Economic Collapse article, Private Prisons: The More Americans They Put Behind Bars The More Money They Make.
“If you can believe it, three of the largest private prison companies have spent approximately $45,000,000 combined on lobbying and campaign contributions over the past decade.
Just look at what has happened to the U.S. prison population over the past several decades. Prior to 1980, there were virtually no private prisons in the United States. But since that time, we have seen the overall prison population and the private prison population absolutely explode.
For example, between 1990 and 2009 the number of Americans in private prisons grew by about 1600 percent.
Overall, the U.S. prison population more than quadrupled between 1980 and 2007.”
Hard core criminals that violate civic community standards and endanger public safety should pay a price for their transgressions. Conversely, political prisoners that challenge the crony corruption within the governmental hierarchy do not deserve a sentence in a sweatshop.
With the abandonment of a police ethic that was dedicated to keeping the peace for an apparatus of law enforcement for arbitrary and dishonest statutes, which only serve the privileged elites; our society is sentenced to a death penalty. Slavery was eliminated a century ago, right? Thus far, that message has not filtered down to the penal plantation. An inmate deserves the solitude of solitary confinement.
The most effective private prison is the one that interns the personal guilt of wicked deeds. If public officials would act upon the moral judgments of their conscience, the perversion within the laws that they pass, adjudicate or administer, would exempt or reduce the unequal application of legitimate legislation, now deemed as criminal acts.
Human nature being what it is; evil acts are instinctive within malevolent souls. Accepting a corrosive punitive system, that enriches private companies, is a horrible departure that prison is a valid tool that protects society. The most dangerous and violent forfeit their social freedom by their predatory actions. However, the sheer numbers of confined prisoners does not justify a structure that exploits a captured population for forced labor.
Do we really need to criminalize society as the price to coexist in the era of Guantanamo justice? America once strived to maintain a balance among competing factions. Today there are only Statists that absolve government transgressions as acceptable and the dissenters that are now in the sights for retribution and eventual arrest. The criminalization of citizens for capricious infractions is the sign of a doomed society. When the hacks patrol the halls to enforce proper public behavior, the entire country becomes a prison.
Over the past four decades, of all the reasons people over a certain age have given for their becoming radicalized against US foreign policy, the Vietnam War has easily been the one most often cited. And I myself am the best example of this that you could find. I sometimes think that if the war lovers who run the United States had known of this in advance they might have had serious second thoughts about starting that great historical folly and war crime.
At other times, however, I have the thought that our dear war lovers have had 40 years to take this lesson to heart, and during this time what did they do? They did Salvador and Nicaragua, and Angola and Grenada. They did Panama and Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan and Iraq. And in 2012 American President Barack Obama saw fit to declare that the Vietnam War was “one of the most extraordinary stories of bravery and integrity in the annals of military history”. 1
So, have they learned nothing? When it comes to following international law, is the United States like a failed state? The Somalia of international law? Well, if they were perfectly frank, the war lovers would insist that the purpose of all these interventions, and many others like them, was to keep the atheists out of power – the non-believers in America’s god-given right to rule the world – or to at least make life as difficult as possible for them. And thus the interventions were successful; nothing to apologize for; even the Vietnam War achieved its purpose of preventing that country from becoming a good development option for Asia, a socialist alternative to the capitalist model; precisely the same reason for Washington’s endless hostility toward Cuba in Latin America; and Cuba has indeed inspired numerous atheists and their alternatives for a better world.
If they were even more honest, the war lovers might quote George Kennan, the legendary State Department strategist, who wrote prophetically during the Cold War: “Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy.” 2
But after all these years, after decades of American militarism – though not a day passes without some government official or media acolyte expressing his admiration and gratitude for “our brave boys” – cracks in the American edifice can be seen. Some of the war lovers, and their TV groupies would have us believe that they have actually learned something. One of the first was Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in February 2011: “In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should have his head examined.”
And here’s former Secretary of State George Shultz speaking before the prestigious Council of Foreign Relations last month (January 29): “Iraq and Afghanistan cannot be the template for how we go about” dealing with threats of terrorism.
A few days earlier the very establishment and conservative Economist magazine declared: “The best-intentioned foreign intervention is bound to bog its armies down in endless wars fighting invisible enemies to help ungrateful locals.”
However, none of these people are in power. And does history offer any example of a highly militaristic power – without extreme coercion – seeing the error of its ways? One of my readers, who prefers to remain anonymous, wrote to me recently:
It is my opinion that the German and Japanese people only relinquished their imperial culture and mindset when they were bombed back to the stone age at the end of WWII. Something similar is the only cure for the same pathology that now is embedded into the very social fabric of the USA. The USA is a full-blown pathological society now. There is no other cure. No amount of articles on the Internet pointing out the hypocrisies or war crimes will do it.
So, while the United States is busy building bases and anti-missile sites in Europe, Asia and Africa, deploying space-based and other hi-tech weapons systems, trying to surround Russia, China, Iran and any other atheist that threatens American world hegemony, and firing drone missiles all over the Middle East I’m busy playing games on the Internet. What can I say? In theory at least, there is another force besides the terrible bombing mentioned above that can stop the American empire, and that is the American people. I’ll continue trying to educate them. Too bad I won’t live long enough to see the glorious transformation.
Afghanistan: Manufacturing the American Legacy
“A decade ago, playing music could get you maimed in Afghanistan. Today, a youth ensemble is traveling to the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. And it even includes girls.”
Thus reads the sub-heading of a Washington Post story of February 3 about an orchestra of 48 Afghan young people who attended music school in a country where the Taliban have tried to silence both women and music. “The Afghan Youth Orchestra is more than a development project,” the article informs us. For “the school’s many international donors, it serves as a powerful symbol of successful reconstruction in Afghanistan. And by performing in Washington and New York, the seats of U.S. political and financial power, the orchestra hopes to showcase what a decade of investment has achieved.”
“The U.S. State Department, the World Bank, the Carnegie Corporation and Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education have invested heavily in the tour. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul awarded nearly $350,000 footing most of the estimated $500,000 cost. For international donors, the tour symbolizes progress in a country crippled by war.”
The State Department’s director of communications and public diplomacy for Afghanistan and Pakistan declares: “We wanted Americans to understand the difference their tax dollars have made in building a better future for young people, which translates into reduced threats from extremists in the region.”
“There’s a lot of weariness in the U.S. and cynicism about Afghanistan,” said William Harvey, an American violinist who teaches at the school, where 35 of 141 students are girls. “What are we doing there? What can be achieved? These concerts answer those questions in the strongest way possible: Cooperation between Afghanistan and the international community has made it safe for young girls and boys to learn music.”
There can be no question that for the sad country of Afghanistan all this is welcome news. There can also be little doubt that a beleaguered and defensive US foreign policy establishment will seek to squeeze out as much favorable publicity as possible from these events. On the issue of the severe oppression of women and girls in Afghanistan, defenders of the US occupation of that desperate land would have you believe that the United States is the last great hope of those poor females. However, you will not be reminded that in the 1980s the United States played an indispensable role in the overthrow of a secular and relatively progressive Afghan government, one which endeavored to grant women much more freedom than they’ll ever have under the current Karzai-US government, more probably than ever again. Here are some excerpts from a 1986 US Army manual on Afghanistan discussing the policies of this government concerning women:
- “provisions of complete freedom of choice of marriage partner, and fixation of the minimum age at marriage at 16 for women and 18 for men”
- “abolished forced marriages”
- “bring [women] out of seclusion, and initiate social programs”
- “extensive literacy programs, especially for women”
- “putting girls and boys in the same classroom”;
- “concerned with changing gender roles and giving women a more active role in politics”. 3
The US-led overthrow of this government paved the way for the coming to power of Islamic fundamentalist forces, which led directly to the awful Taliban. And why did the United States in its infinite wisdom choose to do such a thing? Because the Afghan government was allied with the Soviet Union and Washington wanted to draw the Russians into a hopeless military quagmire – “We now have the opportunity of giving to the Soviet Union its Vietnam War”, said Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s National Security Adviser. 4
The women of Afghanistan will never know how the campaign to raise them to the status of full human beings would have turned out, but this, some might argue, is but a small price to pay for a marvelous Cold War victory.
People on the left never tire of calling for the closing of the US prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The fact that President Obama made the closing a promise of his 2008 campaign and repeated it again in the White House, while the prison still remains in operation, is seen as a serious betrayal. But each time I read about this I’m struck by the same thought: The horror of Guantánamo is not its being open, not its mere existence. Its horror lies in its being the site of more than 10 years of terrible abuse of human beings. If the prison is closed and all its inmates are moved to another prison, and the abuses continue, what would have been accomplished? How would the cause of human rights be benefitted? I think that activists should focus on the abuses, regardless of the location.
The War on Terror – They’re really getting serious about it now
For disseminating classified materials that exposed war crimes, Julian Assange is now honored as an official terrorist as only America can honor. We Shall Never Forget 9/11, Vol. II: The True Faces of Evil – Terror, a graphic coloring novel for children, which comes with several pages of perforated, detachable “terrorist trading cards”. Published by Really Big Coloring Books Inc. in St. Louis, the cards include Assange, Timothy McVeigh, Jared Lee Loughner, Ted Kaczynski, Maj. Nidal Hasan, Bill Ayers, and others. 5
Superpower – the film
Starring Noam Chomsky, Chalmers Johnson, Michel Chossudovksy, Karen Kwiatowski (Pentagon “defector”), William Blum, Sergei Khrushchev (son of Nikita), Kathy Kelly, and many others:https://vimeo.com/55141496 (enter password when prompted: barbarasteegmuller) – 2 hours long.
New Book and talk
The eagerly awaited (I can name at least three people) new book by William Blum is here at last. “America’s Deadliest Export – Democracy: The Truth About US Foreign Policy and Everything Else” is made up of essays which are a combination of new and old; combined, updated, expanded; many first appeared in one form or another in the Anti-Empire Report, or on my website, at various times during the past ten years or so.
As mentioned in the book, activists like myself are sometimes scoffed at for saying the same old things to the same old people; just spinning our wheels, we’re told, “preaching to the choir” or “preaching to the converted”. But long experience as speaker, writer and activist in the area of foreign policy tells me it just ain’t so. From the questions and comments I regularly get from my audiences, via email and in person, I can plainly see that there are numerous significant information gaps and misconceptions in the choir’s thinking, often leaving them unable to see through the newest government lie or propaganda trick; they’re unknowing or forgetful of what happened in the past that illuminates the present; or knowing the facts but unable to apply them at the appropriate moment; vulnerable to being led astray by the next person who offers a specious argument that opposes what they currently believe, or think they believe; and, perhaps worst of all, many of them suffer pathetically from an over-abundance of conspiracy thinking, often carrying a justified suspicion or idea to a ridiculous level; virtually nothing is taken at face value.
The choir needs to be frequently reminded and enlightened to be better able to influence others, to be better activists.
To order a signed copy directly from me you can go to my website: http://killinghope.org.
I’ll be speaking about the new book at Politics and Prose bookstore, 5015 Connecticut Ave., NW, in Washington, DC, Saturday, March 2 at 1 pm.
- May 28, 2012, speaking at the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington ↩
- George Kennan, Wikipedia entry ↩
- US Department of the Army, Afghanistan, A Country Study (1986), pp.121, 128, 130, 223, 232 (Library of Congress Call Number DS351.5 .A34 1986) ↩
- Zbigniew Brzezinski, Wikipedia entry ↩
- View the press release; see the cards ↩
Few polarizing subjects are more hotly debated than gun control. Usually lost in the fray of emotional diatribes to ban guns, are the historic empirical foundations of our forefathers who fought a revolution to escape from imperial tyranny. The true reality in today’s AmeriKa is that individual liberty is the most despised activity that any citizen can exert in their lives. Both the popular state worship culture and the authoritarian hoodlums that run the government are so fearful of armed independent citizens, that they are eager to burn the Bill of Rights. Face it, the government is committed to force you to be a ward of the state and will kill you if you resist.
Because of government school propaganda, those indoctrinated during the last several decades are woefully lacking in the knowledge of their own heritage. Phyllis Schlafly writes in, The Founding Fathers On Right To Bear Arms, and reminds of the essence in the Second Amendment.
James Madison: Americans have “the advantage of being armed” — unlike the citizens of other countries where “the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”
Patrick Henry: “The great objective is that every man be armed. . . . Everyone who is able may have a gun.”
George Mason: “To disarm the people [is] the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”
Samuel Adams: “The Constitution shall never be construed . . . to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.”
Alexander Hamilton: “The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.”
Richard Henry Lee: “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.”
“The chief reason America has remained a free country is the widespread private ownership of firearms. Individual ownership of guns made the American Revolution possible. The principal purpose of the Second Amendment was to maintain our freedom from government. It is an insult to our heritage to imply that the Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment just to protect deer hunters.”
End of story, but the beginning of the gulag. Before bleeding hearts start their vicious attacks on the gun toting culture, a critical examination of your own national allegiance must be questioned. Do you freely give your loyalty to the principles upon which the nation was founded or do you simply pledge your obedience to an imperium empire?
Consider that public officials are terrified of an armed citizenry because they are well aware that their personal safety might someday be confronted. Their outlaw edicts and coercive submission is recognized as a dictatorship. However, an armed insurrection is so remote, based upon the overwhelming lack of character and courage of most populace denizens. Facing an enemy on a battlefield would be more an exercise of genuflection and public remorse for daring to oppose the institutional establishment.
The current state of the art of weaponry, as any viewer of the TV military channel knows, is so advanced that open conflict against the Federal Stasi would result is suicide by cop. Homeland Security is designed to be the domestic Gestapo. Any thinking and liberty-loving person must conclude that President Barack Obama acts as if he is a potentate.
Rule by executive orders is a formula for tyrannical governance. Gun registration builds the database for constabulary confiscation. An organized knock at the door means that abolition of banned munitions from the “Cold Dead Hands” will look more like a visit from an IRS tax auditor than an assault from the nearest SWAT team.
Too many people accept that subjects must be intimidated into compliance of surrender. The threat of armed defiance is less likely than meek regimentation for transport to a FEMA camp. All those body bags will be used more effectively, when people’s opposition to being re-educated fails, than for dragging out your remains from your own house.
The practical prospects to use violence against a well funded and equipped force of government storm troopers is problematic at best. The solution to marital law thuggery is to repatriate the military legions stationed globally in the expansion of the empire. Somewhere within the ranks of the active military, the means to confront Emperor Obama exists. The military oath states:
“I, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
Careerist politicians, a tenured judiciary and an entrenched and escalating bureaucracy that consolidates the central government monster have systematically dismantled the Constitution. The repressive regime would have you believe that the Bradley Manning’s in the military machine are traitors just as much as Benedict Arnold. Hitherto, the certainty that going it alone resistance allows for the enormous capacities of the Intelligence Community apparatus to target any lone individual.
Remember the predictive example of the American crypto-anarchist, James Dalton Bell. “He created the idea of arranging for anonymously sponsored assassination payments via the Internet, which he called “assassination politics”. Since the publication of the “Assassination Politics” essay, Bell was targeted by the federal government of the United States. He was imprisoned on felony charges of tax evasion in 1997.”
Folks, let’s get real. Violent subversion just provides an excuse for even greater levels of repression. Likewise, gun confiscation has more to do with instilling universal fear in the minds of ordinary law abiding; translate – valid constitutional laws, than removing firepower out of your home.
Since the system dreads an armed citizenry, the criminal syndicates that divvy up their ruling fiefdoms, fear an informed population even more. Knowledge is required, but action must accompany an awakening that the totalitarian government thrives because civil society obeys the despotism of their feudal master.
Per the pernicious mass media, civil conduct is defined as surrendering your guns in order to repent out of a fictitious guilt or a bogus empathy for innocent victims. Insultingly, the pressitute media professes to be the purveyor of altruism. Never will you hear one utterance about the foundations of individual natural rights that underpins rightful authority for personal and community liberty.
The Second Amendment of the Constitution was written to protect society from the instinctual tendencies of a tyrannical government. Where is the outrage from a horror-struck public? The laundry list of dictatorial politicians from California to Illinois and in New York has identified themselves as enemies of the people.
The disgusting “Gabby Gifford’s” executive order that is being engineered by the Biden comrades will prohibit the manufacture and sale of a comprehensive range and types of weapons and accessories. Administrative fiat out of the barrel of a government regulation is more dangerous than a Glock pistol pointed at your head from a FBI agent. Many civil servants still restrain their oppressive actions to the appearance of legal conduct. However, the tyrants that make policy are bent on destroying the will of the public to oppose the transformation of America into a total police state.
The system will implode when enough genuine patriotic resistors organize a modern day Committee of Correspondence. The Tree of Liberty requires heroes. Unfortunately, most compliant citizens are cowards.
The rush to purchase guns demonstrates that a groundswell of public awareness is growing. The hoops designed to make gun ownership burdensome or personal carry permits nearly impossible to obtain, need to be endured and applied for in greater numbers.
By sending a loud and clear message to the establishment elitists, the righteous citizen militia will undertake the legitimate role of the Minute Men. Treason against the people has been official policy for decades. Now is the time to revolt against the TSA mindset that is calculated to condition the acquiescent and the timid from exercising their basic rights.
A countrywide day of protest leading up to a national strike of civil disobedience is the inherent response to government tyranny. Engage in a public dialogue at your local assembly. Organize events that demonstrate the resolve and bravery of our ancestors. Stand up to oppressive authority and defy the illicit tactics of the goon squads.
The system is playing a bluff. Push back now will spare bloodshed later. Never initiate any action that can be construed as violent behavior. Public political speech is the most skillful weapon to use, when exposing the oppressors.
The “War on Liberty” needs to be fought for the minds and hearts of all judicious thinking citizens. Guns are not the issue, recapturing your heritage and exercising your God given rights is the struggle. The state of war is on. Fight it with fervor, while maintaining your dignity. Nothing less would dishonor your defiant forebearers.
While our government still happily continues to peel big bucks off its wad and shower it down on Wall Street, big business and the “war” machine like it was Christmas for banksters and war-mongers all year long whether they need it or not, all too many hard-working tax-paying victims of Hurricane Sandy out in Staten Island and Rockaway are still getting no help at all. Zero. Ziltch. Nada.
Nothing is currently being peeled off our government’s endless roll of big bucks for them.
Last week I was riding in a Muni bus over in San Francisco (on my way back from an audition to play a bored office worker in a student film) and on the bus was a very delightful older couple who seemed to have absolutely no cares.
“Where are you from?” I asked them.
“Rockaway,” they replied hesitantly. Rockaway? OMG! Not THAT Rockaway? “Yeah, that’s the one. And, yes, we did live through Hurricane Sandy and, yes, our home was badly damaged and almost destroyed.” http://www.phillipvan.com/
“So what the freak are you doing out here?”
“Having fun! After having survived a personal visit from Sandy, we realized that life is just too short not to enjoy it. So we came out here to have fun.”
“But did you at least get any help from FEMA?” I asked, figuring that after our government has spent trillions on bailing out Wall Street (where no one hardly ever pays taxes and pretty much lives on Welfare for the Wealthy), then the least that our government could do is send a measly few billion bucks off to bail out afflicted taxpayers in Rockaway. http://www.phillipvan.com/
“Have we received any help from FEMA? In a word? No.”
“Not even anything?” No.
“It’s been a whole month after Sandy and parts of Rockaway still don’t even have electricity now. Or places for people to go.”
“But did FEMA give you any money to help you out?” No.
“We got nothing but an avalanche of paperwork.” They didn’t even get bottled water. “A relative in Wisconsin finally ended up bringing us some.” And they can’t go back to their home because the wife has asthma and their house is a hell-hole of black mold right now. Ah, black mold, the bane of asthma sufferers’ existence.
“We just took out a 60-day insurance policy from Lloyd’s of London on our stuff and left.”
I tried to grill the happy couple for more information on what is happening in Rockaway right now — and right in the middle of the Christmas season too — but they weren’t interested in being reminded. All they wanted to do was forget their worst nightmare and celebrate that they, unlike some of their neighbors, were still alive and had survived one of the fiercest mega-storms ever.
And as our bus drove on past Chinatown, the happy couple soon had all us passengers singing “Merry Christmas” — in Chinese. Brave souls. I almost cried.
Avgi Tzenis, 76, is standing in the hall of her small brick row house on Bragg Street in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. She is dressed in a bathrobe and open-toed sandals. The hall is dark and cold. It has been dark and cold since Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast a month ago. Three feet of water and raw sewage flooded and wrecked her home.
“We never had this problem before,” she says. “We never had water from the sea come down like this.”
Hurricane Sandy, if you are poor, is the Katrina of the North. It has exposed the nation’s fragile, dilapidated and shoddy infrastructure, one that crumbles under minimal stress. It has highlighted the inability of utility companies, as well as state and federal agencies, to cope with the looming environmental disasters that because of the climate crisis will soon come in wave after wave. But, most important, it illustrates the depraved mentality of an oligarchic and corporate elite that, as conditions worsen, retreats into self-contained gated communities, guts basic services and abandons the wider population.
Sheepshead Bay, along with Coney Island, the Rockaways, parts of Staten Island and long stretches of the New Jersey coast, is obliterated. Stores, their merchandise destroyed by the water, are boarded up and closed. Rows of derelict cars, with the tires and license plates removed and the windows smashed, line the streets. Food distribution centers, most of them set up by volunteers from Occupy Sandy Recovery, hastily close before dark every day because of the danger of looting and robbery. And storm victims who remain in their damaged homes, often without heat, electricity or running water, clutch knives against the threat of gangs that prowl at night through the wreckage.
This storm—amid freakish weather patterns such storms will become routine—resulted in at least $71.3 billion in property damage in New York and New Jersey. Many of the 305,000 houses in New York destroyed by Sandy will never be rebuilt. New York City says it will have to spend $800 million just to repair its roads. And that is only the start. The next hurricane season will most likely descend on the Eastern Seaboard with even greater destructive fury. A couple of more hurricanes like this one and whole sections of the coast will become uninhabitable.
This is the new America. It is an America where economic and environmental catastrophes converge to trigger systems breakdown and collapse. It is an America divided between corporate predators and their prey. It is an America that, as things unravel, increasingly sacrifices its own.
Rene Merida, 27, is standing on a street corner. His house, on Emmons Avenue, does not have electricity, running water or heat. He and his pregnant wife and two children, ages 7 and 4, huddle in the darkness inside the ruined home or at times flee to live for a few days with relatives. Merida, who recently lost his job as an ironworker, managed to reach his landlord once on the phone. That was three weeks ago. It was the only time the landlord, despite Merida’s persistent calls, answered.
“He told me it [the repair] will get done when it gets done,” he says. “The temperature inside my house is 15 degrees. I got a thermometer to check.”
Lauren Ferebee, originally from Dallas and now living in Greenpoint in Brooklyn, sits behind a table in the chilly basement of the 123-year-old St. Jacobi Evangelical Lutheran Church, founded by German immigrants. On large pieces of cardboard hanging from the ceiling are the words “Occupy Sandy Relief.” The basement is filled with donated supplies including pet food, diapers, infant formula, canned goods, cereal and pasta. The church was converted two days after the storm into a food bank and distribution center for the victims of the hurricane. Hundreds of people converge daily on the church to work. Volunteers with cars or vans deliver supplies to distribution points in other parts of New York and in New Jersey.
Ferebee, a playwright, and hundreds of other volunteers instantly resurrected the Occupy movement when the tragedy hit. They built structures of support and community to endure not only the effects of the storm but prepare for the breakdown that appears to lie ahead. As we descend into a world where we can depend less and less on those who hold power, movements like this one will become vital. These movements might not be called Occupy. They might not look like Occupy. But whatever the names and forms of the self-help we create, we will have to find ways to fend for ourselves.
“We have a kitchen about 50 blocks from here where we cook and deliver hot food,” Ferebee says. “We take food along with supplies out to distribution hubs. There is a distribution hub about every 30 or 40 blocks. When I first went out I was giving water to people who had not had water for six days.”
She sits in front of a pile of paper sheets headed “Occupy Sandy Dispatch.” Various sites are listed on the sheets, including Canarsie, Coney Island, Red Hook, the Rockaways, Sheepshead Bay, Staten Island and New Jersey. She is interrupted by Roman Torres, 45, who sings on weekends in a band that plays Mexican folk music. He has pulled his van up in front of the church. He comes two days a week to transport supplies.
“Can you go anywhere?” she asks Torres.
“Yes,” he answers.
“Can you do a couple of drop-offs at the Rockaways?” she asks.
“Yes,” he says. “If someone comes with me.”
As he fixes himself a cup of coffee in the church kitchen, volunteers carry boxes from the basement to his van parked in the rain outside.
“We can’t ever get enough electric heaters, cleaning supplies, tools and baby supplies,” Ferebee says.
In a small apartment above the church Juan Carlos Ruiz, a former Roman Catholic priest who was born in Mexico, sits at a small wooden table. He is the church’s community organizer. It was his decision once the storm hit to open the doors of the church as a relief center. He did not know what to expect.
“It was Tuesday night,” he says. “We got three bags of groceries and two jars of water. It was the next morning that volunteers began to appear. By the first weekend we had over 1,300. It was organized chaos. There was all this creative energy and youth. There was an instant infrastructure and solidarity. It is mutual aid that is the most important response to the disasters we are living through. This is how we will retain our humanity. Some members of the church asked me why these [volunteers] did not come to the church service. I told them the work they were doing was church. The commitment I saw was like a conversion experience. It was transformative. It restores your faith in humanity.”
The emotional cost of the storm is often as devastating as the physical cost.
Tzenis, who was born in Cyprus and immigrated to the United States with her husband in 1956, lists the mounting bills at her Sheepshead Bay home. Since the storm the septuagenarian has paid a plumber $2,000, and that does not cover all the plumbing work that must be done. A contractor gave her an estimate of $40,000 to $50,000 for repairs, which include ripping out the walls and floors. Tzenis has received a $5,000 check from an insurance company, Allstate, and a $1,000 check from FEMA. But $6,000 won’t begin to cover the cost.
“The insurance company told me I didn’t have the water insurance,” she says. “The contractor said he has to break all the walls and floors to get the mold out. I don’t know how I am going to pay for this.”
As she speaks, Josh Ehrenberg, 21, an aspiring filmmaker, and Dave Woolner, 31, an electrician with Local 52, both volunteers with Occupy Sandy, haul ruined items out of her garage and put them in green plastic garbage bags.
“My husband had dementia,” she says. “I took care of him for six years with these two hands. For a few months the insurance gave me help. Certain medications they pay after six years. They told me once he couldn’t swallow no more there was nothing we could do. … He died at home last year.”
She begins to sob softly.
She mutters, “Oye, oye, oye.”
“I was going to hang myself in the closet,” she says, gesturing to the hall closet behind me. “I can’t take life anymore. My husband. Now this. I don’t sleep good. I jump up every hour watching the clock. I’ve been through a lot in my life. Every little thing scares me. I’m on different pills. I’ve come to the age where I ask why doesn’t God take me. I pray a lot. I don’t want to give my soul to the devil because they would not put me in a church to bury me. But you get to an age where you are only able to take so much.”
She falls silent. She begins to reminisce about the bombing of Cyprus during World War II. She says that as a girl she watched a British military airport go up in flames after it was hit by German and Italian bombs. She talks about the 1950s struggle for Cypriot independence that took place between the British and the underground National Organization of Cypriot Fighters, Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston, known as EOKA. She says she misses strong populist leaders such as the Cypriot Archbishop Makarios III, who openly defied British authorities in the campaign for independence.
“People were hung by the British soldiers,” she says. “Women were raped. People had their fingernails pulled out. They were tortured and beaten. My cousin was beaten so badly in jail he was bleeding from his bottom.”
The horrors of the past merge with the horrors of the present.
“They say [hurricanes like] this will happen again because the snow is melting off all the mountains,” she says. “It never flooded here before. No matter how hard it rained not a drop came through the door. But now it has changed. If it happens again I don’t want to be around.”
Chris Hedges, whose column is published Mondays on Truthdig, spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.
The present aftermath from Hurricane Sandy should not surprise any of us since we have seen the effects of hurricanes on population centers before. Even today, New Orleans has not been entirely rebuild, leaving over 30,000 people who formerly had homes are still waiting.
The tragedies now enveloping Americans in the communities hit by Frankenstorm, on October 29th, could have been avoided. This disaster is a direct result of our failure to make sure the infrastructure on which we depend politically, economically, and to keep us safe in the face of disaster, does the job we pay to have done for us by government. The source of the problem is not ‘natural disaster’ but one of design and priorities.
The tens of thousands now homeless, having lost everything, remain mired in the evidence our system has failed. We need to see this and take action.
Instead of providing relief government talks and gives news conferences. Relief efforts remain, largely from volunteers, including Baptists coming in from Louisiana, veterans of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and residents from surrounding areas who are digging into their own resources to ensure people in need are helped.
Instead of sending out suggestions on supplies to have on hand, the enormously expensive government agencies which were assigned to provide for disaster relief should have:
Stockpiled immediate resources to be made been available to put people back into their neighborhoods with temporary housing complete power, generated on site, sanitary and cooking facilities. Plans for such units, which could have been moved in either by road or helicopter, as needed, were ignored in favor of FEMA trailers and shelters, where available.
The specter of small children and elderly, starving and freezing in America, or anyplace else, is not to be tolerated.
Now, we should be working on fast-tracked plans for rebuilding. Since we know it will be necessary to replace homes, schools and other buildings quickly, the correct approach would be to do it now by spending money to provide better stability and security in impacted areas proven to be vulnerable to disaster. We need pay for no studies to know where this one is.
Rebuilding should be carried out Deep Green, entirely off the grids. The needed materials and technologies exist. Let’s use them, at the same time demonstrating their thrift and superiority. Homes, schools, and businesses could even now be going up. Construction and rehabitation could take place in as little as a month for the first structures.
This is the plan we should have had in place.
Both major political parties today focus only on continuing their sinecure for job security and profits.
It is time to move forward and it is past time for Americans to join together to make this happen. Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Reformers, Greens, or Justice, we are all one in needing the security we are now paying for so dearly.
The election is over. It is time to begin examining what we have accepted and believed and instead become more discerning.
President Obama will continue in office for the next four years. A simple swearing in would be appropriate and a powerful statement which needs to be heard. We must conserve our resources and use them wisely.
All of us hope and pray for real change. We need it and should demand it from those elected to serve.
Plans are now going forward for an Inaugural. Instead of spending money on what is, essentially, a party for corporate donors, money which was earmarked for this event should be spent on the plan for rebuilding above and for immediate relief for those still homeless and without power and food.
Corporate donors should dig into their pockets and help make it happen. Arrange another time for a party at the People’s White House, when those now in need are cared for.
Sign the Petition HERE
When the Corporate Elite tells us we need to be afraid of something, they almost always expect to make some money off our fear.
From the same people who brought us the “Ground Zero Victory Mosque,” FEMA concentration camps, and every single George Soros conspiracy theory, comes a brand new hyper-paranoid threat-to-America’s-sovereignty that, they say, should scare the hell out of all of us.
It goes by the name of Agenda 21, which just so happens to be the title of Glenn Beck’s new dystopic novel.
Billed as, “more frightening than anything Orwell could have envisioned,” Beck’s Agenda 21 paints a disturbing picture of America following the implementation of the United Nation’s Agenda 21, which is actually a real life UN initiative, though not nearly as nefarious as Beck would have us all believe.
The book’s tagline reads: “This used to be called America. Now it is just ‘the Republic.’ There is no president. No congress. No freedom.”
Over at GlennBeck.com you can watch a movie trailer made specifically for the book featuring grizzled Americans lined up on the streets in a post-Soviet winter landscape reeking of desperation, waiting for tiny morsels of food to be parceled out by “the authorities.” Reminiscent of both Nazi concentration camps and the Book of Revelation, everyone’s foreheads are tattooed with identification numbers – and in homage to Sarah Palin’s “death panels,” one scene in the trailer depicts an emaciated, scraggly-haired old man loaded on to a conveyor belt and sent into a burning furnace.
Of course, this is all fiction. Whether you like him or not, Beck has made a fortune off sensationalism – and more recently televangelism – and this book will tap into a wellspring of paranoia on the fringe Right that will undoubtedly make a lot more money for multimillionaire Mr. Beck himself.
But whether Beck really believes in his depicted Agenda 21 future for America isn’t all that important. What’s important is that a lot of other powerful people do believe in it. To them, there’s nothing fictional at all when it comes to Agenda 21.
On October 11th this year, the Georgia state Capitol building hosted a four-hour briefing for Republican state senators on the issue of…Agenda 21. It was emceed by a man named Field Searcy who, according to MotherJones, is a local Conservative activist, whose Tea Party leadership was revoked after endorsing birther and truther conspiracy theories. But on that day, Searcy had the attention of his state’s most powerful lawmakers – including the Republican Party’s Senate Majority Leader, Chip Rogers – to warn them of President Obama’s wicked plot to use Agenda 21 to hand the United States off to the United Nations.
Searcy told the Georgia Republicans, and later spoke of it on the Thom Hartmann Radio Program, that President Obama is using a mind control procedure known as the “Delphi Technique” to slowly condition Americans to submit to the control of the United Nations’ Agenda 21, which will, according to Searcy, force mass migrations of Americans out of the countryside and into the cities, while handing over control of our rural lands to an international, one-world government.
The goal of the presentation was to influence Georgia lawmakers to follow in the footsteps of Tennessee and Kentucky Republican lawmakers who’ve already passed legislation to block Agenda 21 from being implemented in their states. In fact, earlier this year Republican Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers introduced legislation in Georgia to do just that.
Also on the “Fear Agenda 21″ bandwagon is newly-elected Tea Party Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz. He devoted an entire section of his website, TedCruz.org, to Agenda 21 fearmongering. Under the title, “Stop Agenda 21: The Constitution should be our only ‘Agenda,” Cruz writes:
“The originator of this grand scheme is George Soros, who candidly supports socialism and believes that global development must progress through eliminating national sovereignty and private property… Agenda 21 attempts to abolish ‘unsustainable’ environments, including golf courses, grazing pastures, and paved roads. It hopes to leave mother earth’s surface unscratched by mankind. Everyone wants clean water and clean air, but Agenda 21 dehumanizes individuals by removing the very thing that has defined Americans since the beginning—our freedom.”
Oh no! Not the golf courses! Luckily for the golfing community, Ted Cruz is headed to the United States Senate to stop George Soros and the UN from confiscating Augusta National.
Though, hopefully, someone will notify Cruz, perhaps by removing his tinfoil hat, that the United Nations has no interest whatsoever in turning Augusta National into a sustainable bio-dome. Likewise, hopefully someone will tell Mr. Field Searcy that the UN has no interest in forcibly removing Americans from the country-side, either.
Concerns coming from the Right about American sovereignty in the face of the United Nations aren’t anything new.
It’s true that FDR pushed the idea after World War Two, and Democratic President Harry Truman signed us up for the UN in 1945, and it’s also true that in signing up for the United Nations, the United States surrendered a small amount of our sovereignty, inasmuch as we can no longer unilaterally declare war on another nation – unless they attack us first – without getting the approval of the UN. Of course, this is true of every other nation in the UN as well. The UN was created to promote world peace, an idea that doesn’t sit well with the neocons and chickenhawks.
But, here’s what Agenda 21 really is. Standing for “Agenda 21st Century,” it’s a completely non-binding UN agreement that aims to address climate change and inequality by calling on local and federal governments, NGOs, and businesses, to develop plans to create more sustainable environments in their respective nations. The UN believes that by working together, and giving financial assistance to developing nations to promote sustainable living, wealth disparities can be reduced, indigenous populations can be protected, and the deterioration of ecosystems around the globe can be reversed.
If you ask the environmentalists who are growing more and more concerned with a warming, crowded planet what they think of Agenda 21, they’ll say it doesn’t go nearly far enough. Especially after new reports by the UN about record levels of greenhouse gases and the atmosphere, and a report by the World Bank on the global economic impacts of a planet that’s 7-degrees warming by 2100 as a result of climate change.
But, as you’d expect from a plan to reduce poverty worldwide and use resources and land in more eco-friendly ways, wealthy oil barons and banksters are opposed to it. When people, governments, or organizations talk about things like sustainable energy, corporate responsibility, and educating the world’s children, billionaires like the Koch brothers get a little uneasy.
So, right-wingers have employed their best charlatans in America, people like Glenn Beck, to reinvent Agenda 21 as something completely different: a nefarious plot by communist globalists to force redistribution of wealth and confiscation of private property, and ultimate devour American sovereignty. Or, according to Glenn Beck, an Orwellian takeover to purge the nation of its sick and elderly.
And it just so happens that legislation passed in Tennessee and Kentucky to block Agenda 21 comes straight from model legislation produced by the notoriously loony, yet well-funded, John Birch Society. The Koch Brothers dad, Fred Koch, who had no problem with state-controlled economies when he made his fortune working with Joe Stalin in the Soviet Union, was one of the founding members of the Jon Birch Society back in 1958.
The UN has provided right-wing fear mongers a lot of grandstanding opportunities over the years, but the UN has never lived up to their warnings that it’s coming to destroy America. Most people think of it as a toothless international body that’s been hijacked by the United States to protect its own interests and the interests of its allies.
And while the Bircher billionaire class continues to fret over the UN, they stay silent over the actual threat to our nation’s sovereignty in the form of the World Trade Organization, which has enforced free trade agreements through international courts that have overturned laws passed by our elected Congress and signed by our elected President. For example, laws banning the importation into the United States of poisonous additives to gasoline, products made by child labor, and tuna caught at the expense of dolphins have all been overturned by the “one-world government” that is the WTO.
Yet, not a peep from the same wealthy elite who are warning us about Agenda 21. That’s because there’s a lot of money to be made in so-called Free Trade, and not so much to be made in promoting sustainable living.
The same is true of why Glenn Beck isn’t writing a book about the $67 trillion global shadow banking system, which is extremely dangerous to our sovereign economy – yet making billions of dollars for banksters.
The point is, this latest scheme by the Corporate Elite to scare the hell out of all of us with Agenda 21 is just like every other scare tactic by the Corporate Elite – it’s meant to distract us. It’s a sleight-of-hand technique to keep us focused on bogeymen, while their ranks of Texas oilmen, outsourcing CEOs, and Wall Street banksters carry out the true destruction of the United States of America: the pillaging of the Middle Class at home and the construction of a WTO-style one-world corporate government to promote unfettered capitalism and free trade everywhere on the planet.
And in the process, useful quacks like Glenn Beck and Field Searcy can make a lot of money feeding the paranoid, Fox News-watching masses their latest conspiracy theories.
All the buzz in the aftermath of the last election is that secession is in the air. Despite the improbable prospects that the globalists, that control the federal government, would allow the upstart masses to leave the dominion of Disunion States, it is promising that the country builds critical mass for dissolution. Secession in this day is not your call to arms in the defense of home. “Honest Abe’s” version of despotism caused many politicians to “Wave the bloody shirt”, but today’s crop of brave leaders just asks you to sign a petition to beg for a cordial severance. Just imagine the response from the unprincipled governmental career class. The re-education FEMA facilities are ready to become today’s “Camp Douglas” detention centers.
The League of the South list Ten Reasons For Secession and offers this assessment. “What is behind this increasing support for secession and independence? Perhaps the answer is this: hard reality has finally trumped the myth of a sacred, indivisible union. In other words, many citizens are beginning to see the hand writing on the wall, and the message is alarming.”
Notwithstanding, the sentiments of the Old South, the contemporary motivation to reject the arrogant and oppressive dictates of the central government is taking hold for a myriad of reasons. One of the stronger reasons appears in the article, Pluralism Leaves No Other Option – LIBERTY Demands Secession.
“It is absolutely crucial to view the concept of America not as a country, and certainly not as a government. The uniqueness in the notion of the 1776 revolution lies within the shot heard round the world. Equity – adjudication of the inadequate common law, supplant natural law with chancery courts. “Equity follows the law” is the claim, but the practice is that the law becomes arbitrary, that which men desire.
Secession is the moral course. Yes, you will reply that the government will never allow such a wild proposal. Surely, you would be correct, the nature of the federal system is to control people, and would not give up the power to dominate citizens. But, that evaluation does not dispel the validity of the ethical case. So much for the prospect of Liberty in a free society.”
Set aside the fear of federal retribution and coercive retaliation. Is it justified to seek dissolution of the failed empire that has long ago buried the essence of a constitutional republic? The great departed Joseph Sobran in Secession, Anyone?, urges you to search your conscience and be true to your immortal soul.
“A few readers think I’m writing with tongue in cheek when I propose secession. Well, though I see the humor of it, I’m not exactly joking. I know it’s unlikely to happen, for the time being, but the idea has value as a thought-experiment. It can help free our minds of the illusion that the present political status quo was, and is, “inevitable.”
How would such a movement proceed? The essay, Representation, Secession and Taxation, illustrates unbearable circumstances and practical steps to ratchet up populace pressure. ”As discontent rises and practical solutions evaporate, that dirty historic sentiment begins to bubble to the surface, SECESSION. Russell D. Longcore provides a standard, when secession is a vital and justified option that many would accept.
“Secession should be solemnly deliberated by the elected representatives and the state citizens. Secession should be initiated at the moment that any state reaches the point at which it will no longer accept the despotic tyranny and laws coming from the US Federal Government in Washington, DC. Or, secession should be initiated upon a collapse of the Dollar, or the imposition by Washington DC of martial law in the event of social upheaval.”
The initiative, Petitions to secede are filed for 23 states since election, as previously reported by the Washington Times explains the procedure.
“The White House may have to take the requests seriously. According to the website, any petition receiving 25,000 online “signatures” on the “We the People” page within 30 days of posting will receive a review by the appropriate executive department and a response from a White House staffer.As of Monday, the Texas petition had already exceeded the 25,000-signature threshold, and the Louisiana petition was fast approaching the cutoff with more than 18,000 signatures. Most of the petitions were posted online Nov. 10, which means they have until Dec. 10 to qualify for a response.”
A further update appears on U.S. Citizens In Over 40 States File Petitions For Secession, which also lists the states and the proposed response. “The Obama administration explains on thewebsite, “If a petition meets the signature goal within the designated period, the White House will respond to that petition in a timely fashion.”
Finally, the Daily Caller raises attention from the state of Texas.
“The Texas petition leads all others by a wide margin. Shortly before 9:00 a.m. EST Wednesday, it had attracted 94,700 signatures. But a spokesperson for Gov. Rick Perry said Tuesday afternoon that he does not support the idea of his state striking out on its own.
“Gov. Perry believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it. But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government,” according to a statement from the governor’s office.
A backlash Monday night saw requests filed with the White House to strip citizenship rights from Americans who signed petitions to help states secede.”
This last implication, suggesting that any citizen that petitions for secession to the federal government should be stripped of citizenship, essentially supports the case why beleaguered and osterized proponents of a nation of laws, as opposed to a banana republic of the rule of men, deserves a peaceful severing of ties.
Read closer the real intentions of the global fascists: Anti-secession forces fight back with White House deportation petitions.
“Mr. President,” reads one, “please sign an executive order such that each American citizen who signed a petition from any state to secede from the USA shall have their citizenship stripped and be peacefully deported.”
This “so called” peaceful deportment is basically the separation sought, when the destination for exile is the very state that seeks secession. Each individual state retains their sovereignty and every citizen is endowed with intrinsic natural rights.
The fault with petitions to the federal government for the privilege of exercising your own inherent rights is absurd. State governors need to demonstrate the leadership to rally their legislatures to employ their legitimate dominion in the face of federal government tyranny.
Force, bribery and unlawful court decisions are the tools used by the central government to intimidate, cajole and dictate their formula of oppression. Mr. Sobran’s questioning the inevitability for acceptance of federal authoritarianism, rests on your fortitude and character of exercising your basic human rights.
Secession from tyrannical government is a moral imperative.
Any illusion that the Obama administration would willingly bend to the will of the people from a sovereign state escapes normal thought, however, in the face of stark repression, only consistency with valuing the sanctity of life and human rights, allows for principled stands on high moral ground.
Governments fall, while a consensual nation state can still survive. With the destruction of an accepted traditionalistic national identity, time-honored heritage becomes the target of dictatorial “do gooders” who facilitate subjugation of independent self-governing states.
The disease of false patriotism in a corrupt and imperial empire is destroying the lives and moral character of the multitude. Decent citizens need to proceed with advocacy on secession with more action than signing a petition. They must confront the domination out of Washington directly. They must lobby their state legislatures to reject federal intrusion. Also, they must pressure their governors to resist and fight back the coercion from central governance.
When the oppressed masses realize that the welfare state is actually a Chicago style detention camp intended with their demise, the prospects for a ground swell for secession would explode.
The context of justifiable rebellion starts in Texas as stated in Politico account, Secession petition leader: Obama’s baked.
“I am completely aware that Election Day was a catalyzing moment, but I do not believe that the underpinnings of this are solely about Barack Obama,” Texas Nationalist Movement President Daniel Miller told POLITICO. “This cake has been baking for a long time — it’s the Obama administration that put the candles on the cake and lit it for us.”
Blowing out the candles of federal absolutism is the imperative of our age. Secession is not a dirty word, but is an indispensable solution. Dissolving the union of the suppressed, under the auspices of the subverted elite, is the path to social freedom and human liberty.
Non-violent civil disobedience needs to be the personal task of every citizen that believes in the origin of the country. A majority is not necessary to endorse and adopt this strategy in order to achieve a peaceable social revolution. A core element of activists and dedicated compatriots can change the world. Fear of internment is miniscule to everlasting captivity.
The rapid approach of the Thelma & Louise bipartisan plunge into the financial abyss is upon us. It is simply unbelievable, that the prospects of rational tax salvation by the end of the year, measured by every statement coming out of the Washington political cabal, will materialize. Extending the current tax rates from automatic rescission on January 1, 2013, as a stopgap method for an enactment of a lasting political rapprochement, is the best that might occur. The net effect will be a perspicacious downturn in economic activity, a new round of layoffs, rising permanent unemployment and a plunge in consumer confidence. Wall Street will make hay by shorting the market while placing blame on the uncompromising hacks that refuse to cut a deal.
As for the message from the latest election, let no one forget. With all haste during four more years, the implementation of expansive socialism from an Obama administration is inevitable.
The backbone from the establishment loyal opposition is well known for their spineless tendencies. The righteous outrage from the Tea Party representatives, silenced during much of the last campaign, is slated for confinement to a corner room in the basement. The careerist political class, in all their sordid glory, readies their next heist and tax increases.
Curtailing entitlements is unthinkable to the Obama collectivists. Cutting back on government baseline budgets only pass through the distorted image of a fun house mirror. The discipline of automatic sequestration reductions is too much for big government, so look for the final bargain to cost the taxpayer dearly.
Remember the current administration is quite content to operate their criminal syndicate without passage of a budget. By what stretch of the imagination would anyone accept that there will be changes to this equation? Obama wins by default and the business community gets to pay the tab.
The prescription of Speaker John Boehner relies upon a medicine that will kill you softly. The House of Representatives is so fearful of a federal government shutdown that capitulation to the hardball of the Obama’s central government regime will be the end result. Good faith negotiations under these circumstances are like begging for crumbs from a banquet feast of Henry VIII.
Going back to the government shut down, when Newt Gingrich was speaker, illustrates the dilemma. President Clinton skated from responsibility and blame for shutting down portions of the federal government. The unreliability of the House to keep the gravy train rolling was the condemnation heard by the mass media.
Gingrich offered a different assessment under the Government Shutdowns section of his Get the Facts site.
“While the shutdown produced some short-term pain, it set the stage for a budget deal in 1996 that led to the largest drop in federal discretionary spending since 1969. The discipline imposed by this 1996 budget let to a balanced-budget deal in 1997, the first of four consecutive balanced budgets – an achievement Congress and the White House had not achieved since the 1920s. Overall spending grew at an average of 2.9 percent a year while Newt was Speaker, the slowest rate in decades, and Americans created 11 million new jobs…”
The triangulation strategy of Bill Clinton allowed for absorbing budgetary reforms, while still keeping his appeal to his political base. Barack Obama has no such need for misapprehension. Taxmageddon is another opportunity to take advantage of another manufactured crisis. The facts constitute that a second Obama term is a recipe for total economic warfare against productive businesses.
Add the destructive increases of taxation from Obamacare and the consequences of a full-blown recession in 2013 are unmistakable. Surely, the RINO’s within Congress want cover to share the pain while pointing the finger at the newly elected second term administration and Democrats in Congress.
Holding hands while jumping off the cliff makes good politics for the entrenched‘pols’ of both parties that are destroying the economy.
Ron Paul sums up nicely, Election shows U.S. ‘far gone’.
Paul “said in the wake of this week’s elections that the country has already veered over the fiscal cliff and he sees no chance of righting ship in a country where too many people are dependent on government.
People do not want anything cut,” he said. “They want all the bailouts to come. They want the Fed to keep printing the money. And they don’t believe that we’ve gone off the cliff or are close to going off the cliff. They think we can patch it over, that we can somehow come up with some magic solution. But you can’t have a budgetary solution if you don’t change what the role of government should be. As long as you think we have to police the world and run this welfare state, all we are going to argue about is who will get the loot.”
Taxmageddon is just a mere illusion for the voters who re-elected Obama. The sugar daddy will get those bigoted fiscal conservatives to keep the checks in the mail. Somehow, the precarious financial status of the postal service escapes those 47%ers.
When the double-dip recession begins, the nonexistent mortgage loans will trash the “so called” housing market recovery even harder. Soon the economic destruction of many middle class neighborhoods will take on the appearance of the Rockaway backyard after a visit from Sandy, the hurricane.
Yet, the advantages of embracing taxmageddon as a grand occasion for soaking the rich will be the excuse to increase revenue enhancements on what is left of Middle America. Yes, the public voted for cooperative government. That often heard “fair shared” demand to pay higher taxes is exactly what is in store for an already broke country.
Big government wins and independent financial wealth loses. Remember according to Obama, you never earned your money to begin with. Driving off the cliff together will bond citizens to the same fate as those famous female desperadoes, T & L. Maybe this is fitting, since the feminine vote got Obama re-elected. All hail the pimp-in-chief, four more years in hell.
This may well be the last time I speak on the House Floor. At the end of the year I’ll leave Congress after 23 years in office over a 36-year period. My goals in 1976 were the same as they are today: promote peace and prosperity by a strict adherence to the principles of individual liberty.
It was my opinion, that the course the U.S. embarked on in the latter part of the 20th Century would bring us a major financial crisis and engulf us in a foreign policy that would overextend us and undermine our national security.
To achieve the goals I sought, government would have had to shrink in size and scope, reduce spending, change the monetary system, and reject the unsustainable costs of policing the world and expanding the American Empire.
The problems seemed to be overwhelming and impossible to solve, yet from my view point, just following the constraints placed on the federal government by the Constitution would have been a good place to start.
How Much Did I Accomplish?
In many ways, according to conventional wisdom, my off-and-on career in Congress, from 1976 to 2012, accomplished very little. No named legislation, no named federal buildings or highways – thank goodness. In spite of my efforts, the government has grown exponentially, taxes remain excessive, and the prolific increase of incomprehensible regulations continues. Wars are constant and pursued without Congressional declaration, deficits rise to the sky, poverty is rampant and dependency on the federal government is now worse than any time in our history.
All this with minimal concerns for the deficits and unfunded liabilities that common sense tells us cannot go on much longer. A grand, but never mentioned, bipartisan agreement allows for the well-kept secret that keeps the spending going. One side doesn’t give up one penny on military spending, the other side doesn’t give up one penny on welfare spending, while both sides support the bailouts and subsidies for the banking and corporate elite. And the spending continues as the economy weakens and the downward spiral continues. As the government continues fiddling around, our liberties and our wealth burn in the flames of a foreign policy that makes us less safe.
The major stumbling block to real change in Washington is the total resistance to admitting that the country is broke. This has made compromising, just to agree to increase spending, inevitable since neither side has any intention of cutting spending.
The country and the Congress will remain divisive since there’s no “loot left to divvy up.”
Without this recognition the spenders in Washington will continue the march toward a fiscal cliff much bigger than the one anticipated this coming January.
I have thought a lot about why those of us who believe in liberty, as a solution, have done so poorly in convincing others of its benefits. If liberty is what we claim it is- the principle that protects all personal, social and economic decisions necessary for maximum prosperity and the best chance for peace- it should be an easy sell. Yet, history has shown that the masses have been quite receptive to the promises of authoritarians which are rarely if ever fulfilled.
Authoritarianism vs. Liberty
If authoritarianism leads to poverty and war and less freedom for all individuals and is controlled by rich special interests, the people should be begging for liberty. There certainly was a strong enough sentiment for more freedom at the time of our founding that motivated those who were willing to fight in the revolution against the powerful British government.
During my time in Congress the appetite for liberty has been quite weak; the understanding of its significance negligible. Yet the good news is that compared to 1976 when I first came to Congress, the desire for more freedom and less government in 2012 is much greater and growing, especially in grassroots America. Tens of thousands of teenagers and college age students are, with great enthusiasm, welcoming the message of liberty.
I have a few thoughts as to why the people of a country like ours, once the freest and most prosperous, allowed the conditions to deteriorate to the degree that they have.
Freedom, private property, and enforceable voluntary contracts, generate wealth. In our early history we were very much aware of this. But in the early part of the 20th century our politicians promoted the notion that the tax and monetary systems had to change if we were to involve ourselves in excessive domestic and military spending. That is why Congress gave us the Federal Reserve and the income tax. The majority of Americans and many government officials agreed that sacrificing some liberty was necessary to carry out what some claimed to be “progressive” ideas. Pure democracy became acceptable.
They failed to recognized that what they were doing was exactly opposite of what the colonists were seeking when they broke away from the British.
Some complain that my arguments makes no sense, since great wealth and the standard of living improved for many Americans over the last 100 years, even with these new policies.
But the damage to the market economy, and the currency, has been insidious and steady. It took a long time to consume our wealth, destroy the currency and undermine productivity and get our financial obligations to a point of no return. Confidence sometimes lasts longer than deserved. Most of our wealth today depends on debt.
The wealth that we enjoyed and seemed to be endless, allowed concern for the principle of a free society to be neglected. As long as most people believed the material abundance would last forever, worrying about protecting a competitive productive economy and individual liberty seemed unnecessary.
The Age of Redistribution
This neglect ushered in an age of redistribution of wealth by government kowtowing to any and all special interests, except for those who just wanted to left alone. That is why today money in politics far surpasses money currently going into research and development and productive entrepreneurial efforts.
The material benefits became more important than the understanding and promoting the principles of liberty and a free market. It is good that material abundance is a result of liberty but if materialism is all that we care about, problems are guaranteed.
The crisis arrived because the illusion that wealth and prosperity would last forever has ended. Since it was based on debt and a pretense that debt can be papered over by an out-of-control fiat monetary system, it was doomed to fail. We have ended up with a system that doesn’t produce enough even to finance the debt and no fundamental understanding of why a free society is crucial to reversing these trends.
If this is not recognized, the recovery will linger for a long time. Bigger government, more spending, more debt, more poverty for the middle class, and a more intense scramble by the elite special interests will continue.
We Need an Intellectual Awakening
Without an intellectual awakening, the turning point will be driven by economic law. A dollar crisis will bring the current out-of-control system to its knees.
If it’s not accepted that big government, fiat money, ignoring liberty, central economic planning, welfarism, and warfarism caused our crisis we can expect a continuous and dangerous march toward corporatism and even fascism with even more loss of our liberties. Prosperity for a large middle class though will become an abstract dream.
This continuous move is no different than what we have seen in how our financial crisis of 2008 was handled. Congress first directed, with bipartisan support, bailouts for the wealthy. Then it was the Federal Reserve with its endless quantitative easing. If at first it doesn’t succeed try again; QE1, QE2, and QE3 and with no results we try QE indefinitely – that is until it too fails. There’s a cost to all of this and let me assure you delaying the payment is no longer an option. The rules of the market will extract its pound of flesh and it won’t be pretty.
The current crisis elicits a lot of pessimism. And the pessimism adds to less confidence in the future. The two feed on themselves, making our situation worse.
If the underlying cause of the crisis is not understood we cannot solve our problems. The issues of warfare, welfare, deficits, inflationism, corporatism, bailouts and authoritarianism cannot be ignored. By only expanding these policies we cannot expect good results.
Everyone claims support for freedom. But too often it’s for one’s own freedom and not for others. Too many believe that there must be limits on freedom. They argue that freedom must be directed and managed to achieve fairness and equality thus making it acceptable to curtail, through force, certain liberties.
Some decide what and whose freedoms are to be limited. These are the politicians whose goal in life is power. Their success depends on gaining support from special interests.
No More ‘isms’
The great news is the answer is not to be found in more “isms.” The answers are to be found in more liberty which cost so much less. Under these circumstances spending goes down, wealth production goes up, and the quality of life improves.
Just this recognition – especially if we move in this direction – increases optimism which in itself is beneficial. The follow through with sound policies are required which must be understood and supported by the people.
But there is good evidence that the generation coming of age at the present time is supportive of moving in the direction of more liberty and self-reliance. The more this change in direction and the solutions become known, the quicker will be the return of optimism.
Our job, for those of us who believe that a different system than the one that we have had for the last 100 years, has driven us to this unsustainable crisis, is to be more convincing that there is a wonderful, uncomplicated, and moral system that provides the answers. We had a taste of it in our early history. We need not give up on the notion of advancing this cause.
It worked, but we allowed our leaders to concentrate on the material abundance that freedom generates, while ignoring freedom itself. Now we have neither, but the door is open, out of necessity, for an answer. The answer available is based on the Constitution, individual liberty and prohibiting the use of government force to provide privileges and benefits to all special interests.
After over 100 years we face a society quite different from the one that was intended by the Founders. In many ways their efforts to protect future generations with the Constitution from this danger has failed. Skeptics, at the time the Constitution was written in 1787, warned us of today’s possible outcome. The insidious nature of the erosion of our liberties and the reassurance our great abundance gave us, allowed the process to evolve into the dangerous period in which we now live.
Dependency on Government Largesse
Today we face a dependency on government largesse for almost every need. Our liberties are restricted and government operates outside the rule of law, protecting and rewarding those who buy or coerce government into satisfying their demands. Here are a few examples:
Undeclared wars are commonplace.
Welfare for the rich and poor is considered an entitlement.
The economy is overregulated, overtaxed and grossly distorted by a deeply flawed monetary system.
Debt is growing exponentially.
The Patriot Act and FISA legislation passed without much debate have resulted in a steady erosion of our 4th Amendment rights.
Tragically our government engages in preemptive war, otherwise known as aggression, with no complaints from the American people.
The drone warfare we are pursuing worldwide is destined to end badly for us as the hatred builds for innocent lives lost and the international laws flaunted. Once we are financially weakened and militarily challenged, there will be a lot resentment thrown our way.
It’s now the law of the land that the military can arrest American citizens, hold them indefinitely, without charges or a trial.
Rampant hostility toward free trade is supported by a large number in Washington.
Supporters of sanctions, currency manipulation and WTO trade retaliation, call the true free traders “isolationists.”
Sanctions are used to punish countries that don’t follow our orders.
Bailouts and guarantees for all kinds of misbehavior are routine.
Central economic planning through monetary policy, regulations and legislative mandates has been an acceptable policy.
Excessive government has created such a mess it prompts many questions:
Why are sick people who use medical marijuana put in prison?
Why does the federal government restrict the drinking of raw milk?
Why can’t Americans manufacturer rope and other products from hemp?
Why are Americans not allowed to use gold and silver as legal tender as mandated by the Constitution?
Why is Germany concerned enough to consider repatriating their gold held by the FED for her in New York? Is it that the trust in the U.S. and dollar supremacy beginning to wane?
Why do our political leaders believe it’s unnecessary to thoroughly audit our own gold?
Why can’t Americans decide which type of light bulbs they can buy?
Why is the TSA permitted to abuse the rights of any American traveling by air?
Why should there be mandatory sentences – even up to life for crimes without victims – as our drug laws require?
Why have we allowed the federal government to regulate commodes in our homes?
Why is it political suicide for anyone to criticize AIPAC ?
Why haven’t we given up on the drug war since it’s an obvious failure and violates the people’s rights? Has nobody noticed that the authorities can’t even keep drugs out of the prisons? How can making our entire society a prison solve the problem?
Why do we sacrifice so much getting needlessly involved in border disputes and civil strife around the world and ignore the root cause of the most deadly border in the world-the one between Mexico and the US?
Why does Congress willingly give up its prerogatives to the Executive Branch?
Why does changing the party in power never change policy? Could it be that the views of both parties are essentially the same?
Why did the big banks, the large corporations, and foreign banks and foreign central banks get bailed out in 2008 and the middle class lost their jobs and their homes?
Why do so many in the government and the federal officials believe that creating money out of thin air creates wealth?
Why do so many accept the deeply flawed principle that government bureaucrats and politicians can protect us from ourselves without totally destroying the principle of liberty?
Why can’t people understand that war always destroys wealth and liberty?
Why is there so little concern for the Executive Order that gives the President authority to establish a “kill list,” including American citizens, of those targeted for assassination?
Why is patriotism thought to be blind loyalty to the government and the politicians who run it, rather than loyalty to the principles of liberty and support for the people? Real patriotism is a willingness to challenge the government when it’s wrong.
Why is it is claimed that if people won’t or can’t take care of their own needs, that people in government can do it for them?
Why did we ever give the government a safe haven for initiating violence against the people?
Why do some members defend free markets, but not civil liberties?
Why do some members defend civil liberties but not free markets? Aren’t they the same?
Why don’t more defend both economic liberty and personal liberty?
Why are there not more individuals who seek to intellectually influence others to bring about positive changes than those who seek power to force others to obey their commands?
Why does the use of religion to support a social gospel and preemptive wars, both of which requires authoritarians to use violence, or the threat of violence, go unchallenged? Aggression and forced redistribution of wealth has nothing to do with the teachings of the world great religions.
Why do we allow the government and the Federal Reserve to disseminate false information dealing with both economic and foreign policy?
Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority?
Why should anyone be surprised that Congress has no credibility, since there’s such a disconnect between what politicians say and what they do?
Is there any explanation for all the deception, the unhappiness, the fear of the future, the loss of confidence in our leaders, the distrust, the anger and frustration? Yes there is, and there’s a way to reverse these attitudes. The negative perceptions are logical and a consequence of bad policies bringing about our problems. Identification of the problems and recognizing the cause allow the proper changes to come easy.
Trust Yourself, Not the Government
Too many people have for too long placed too much confidence and trust in government and not enough in themselves. Fortunately, many are now becoming aware of the seriousness of the gross mistakes of the past several decades. The blame is shared by both political parties. Many Americans now are demanding to hear the plain truth of things and want the demagoguing to stop. Without this first step, solutions are impossible.
Seeking the truth and finding the answers in liberty and self-reliance promotes the optimism necessary for restoring prosperity. The task is not that difficult if politics doesn’t get in the way.
We have allowed ourselves to get into such a mess for various reasons.
Politicians deceive themselves as to how wealth is produced. Excessive confidence is placed in the judgment of politicians and bureaucrats. This replaces the confidence in a free society. Too many in high places of authority became convinced that only they, armed with arbitrary government power, can bring about fairness, while facilitating wealth production. This always proves to be a utopian dream and destroys wealth and liberty. It impoverishes the people and rewards the special interests who end up controlling both political parties.
It’s no surprise then that much of what goes on in Washington is driven by aggressive partisanship and power seeking, with philosophic differences being minor.
Economic ignorance is commonplace. Keynesianism continues to thrive, although today it is facing healthy and enthusiastic rebuttals. Believers in military Keynesianism and domestic Keynesianism continue to desperately promote their failed policies, as the economy languishes in a deep slumber.
Supporters of all government edicts use humanitarian arguments to justify them.
Humanitarian arguments are always used to justify government mandates related to the economy, monetary policy, foreign policy, and personal liberty. This is on purpose to make it more difficult to challenge. But, initiating violence for humanitarian reasons is still violence. Good intentions are no excuse and are just as harmful as when people use force with bad intentions. The results are always negative.
The immoral use of force is the source of man’s political problems. Sadly, many religious groups, secular organizations, and psychopathic authoritarians endorse government initiated force to change the world. Even when the desired goals are well-intentioned – or especially when well-intentioned – the results are dismal. The good results sought never materialize. The new problems created require even more government force as a solution. The net result is institutionalizing government initiated violence and morally justifying it on humanitarian grounds.
This is the same fundamental reason our government uses force for invading other countries at will, central economic planning at home, and the regulation of personal liberty and habits of our citizens.
It is rather strange, that unless one has a criminal mind and no respect for other people and their property, no one claims it’s permissible to go into one’s neighbor’s house and tell them how to behave, what they can eat, smoke and drink or how to spend their money.
Yet, rarely is it asked why it is morally acceptable that a stranger with a badge and a gun can do the same thing in the name of law and order. Any resistance is met with brute force, fines, taxes, arrests, and even imprisonment. This is done more frequently every day without a proper search warrant.
No Government Monopoly over Initiating Violence
Restraining aggressive behavior is one thing, but legalizing a government monopoly for initiating aggression can only lead to exhausting liberty associated with chaos, anger and the breakdown of civil society. Permitting such authority and expecting saintly behavior from the bureaucrats and the politicians is a pipe dream. We now have a standing army of armed bureaucrats in the TSA, CIA, FBI, Fish and Wildlife, FEMA, IRS, Corp of Engineers, etc. numbering over 100,000. Citizens are guilty until proven innocent in the unconstitutional administrative courts.
Government in a free society should have no authority to meddle in social activities or the economic transactions of individuals. Nor should government meddle in the affairs of other nations. All things peaceful, even when controversial, should be permitted.
We must reject the notion of prior restraint in economic activity just we do in the area of free speech and religious liberty. But even in these areas government is starting to use a backdoor approach of political correctness to regulate speech-a dangerous trend. Since 9/11 monitoring speech on the internet is now a problem since warrants are no longer required.
The Proliferation of Federal Crimes
The Constitution established four federal crimes. Today the experts can’t even agree on how many federal crimes are now on the books – they number into the thousands. No one person can comprehend the enormity of the legal system – especially the tax code. Due to the ill-advised drug war and the endless federal expansion of the criminal code we have over 6 million people under correctional suspension, more than the Soviets ever had, and more than any other nation today, including China. I don’t understand the complacency of the Congress and the willingness to continue their obsession with passing more Federal laws. Mandatory sentencing laws associated with drug laws have compounded our prison problems.
The federal register is now 75,000 pages long and the tax code has 72,000 pages, and expands every year. When will the people start shouting, “enough is enough,” and demand Congress cease and desist.
Liberty can only be achieved when government is denied the aggressive use of force. If one seeks liberty, a precise type of government is needed. To achieve it, more than lip service is required.
Two choices are available.
A government designed to protect liberty – a natural right – as its sole objective. The people are expected to care for themselves and reject the use of any force for interfering with another person’s liberty. Government is given a strictly limited authority to enforce contracts, property ownership, settle disputes, and defend against foreign aggression.
A government that pretends to protect liberty but is granted power to arbitrarily use force over the people and foreign nations. Though the grant of power many times is meant to be small and limited, it inevitably metastasizes into an omnipotent political cancer. This is the problem for which the world has suffered throughout the ages. Though meant to be limited it nevertheless is a 100% sacrifice of a principle that would-be-tyrants find irresistible. It is used vigorously – though incrementally and insidiously. Granting power to government officials always proves the adage that: “power corrupts.”
Once government gets a limited concession for the use of force to mold people habits and plan the economy, it causes a steady move toward tyrannical government. Only a revolutionary spirit can reverse the process and deny to the government this arbitrary use of aggression. There’s no in-between. Sacrificing a little liberty for imaginary safety always ends badly.
Today’s mess is a result of Americans accepting option #2, even though the Founders attempted to give us Option #1.
The results are not good. As our liberties have been eroded our wealth has been consumed. The wealth we see today is based on debt and a foolish willingness on the part of foreigners to take our dollars for goods and services. They then loan them back to us to perpetuate our debt system. It’s amazing that it has worked for this long but the impasse in Washington, in solving our problems indicate that many are starting to understand the seriousness of the world -wide debt crisis and the dangers we face. The longer this process continues the harsher the outcome will be.
The Financial Crisis Is a Moral Crisis
Many are now acknowledging that a financial crisis looms but few understand it’s, in reality, a moral crisis. It’s the moral crisis that has allowed our liberties to be undermined and permits the exponential growth of illegal government power. Without a clear understanding of the nature of the crisis it will be difficult to prevent a steady march toward tyranny and the poverty that will accompany it.
Ultimately, the people have to decide which form of government they want; option #1 or option #2. There is no other choice. Claiming there is a choice of a “little” tyranny is like describing pregnancy as a “touch of pregnancy.” It is a myth to believe that a mixture of free markets and government central economic planning is a worthy compromise. What we see today is a result of that type of thinking. And the results speak for themselves.
A Culture of Violence
American now suffers from a culture of violence. It’s easy to reject the initiation of violence against one’s neighbor but it’s ironic that the people arbitrarily and freely anoint government officials with monopoly power to initiate violence against the American people – practically at will.
Because it’s the government that initiates force, most people accept it as being legitimate. Those who exert the force have no sense of guilt. It is believed by too many that governments are morally justified in initiating force supposedly to “do good.” They incorrectly believe that this authority has come from the “consent of the people.” The minority, or victims of government violence never consented to suffer the abuse of government mandates, even when dictated by the majority. Victims of TSA excesses never consented to this abuse.
This attitude has given us a policy of initiating war to “do good,” as well. It is claimed that war, to prevent war for noble purposes, is justified. This is similar to what we were once told that: “destroying a village to save a village” was justified. It was said by a US Secretary of State that the loss of 500,000 Iraqis, mostly children, in the 1990s, as a result of American bombs and sanctions, was “worth it” to achieve the “good” we brought to the Iraqi people. And look at the mess that Iraq is in today.
Government use of force to mold social and economic behavior at home and abroad has justified individuals using force on their own terms. The fact that violence by government is seen as morally justified, is the reason why violence will increase when the big financial crisis hits and becomes a political crisis as well.
First, we recognize that individuals shouldn’t initiate violence, then we give the authority to government. Eventually, the immoral use of government violence, when things goes badly, will be used to justify an individual’s “right” to do the same thing. Neither the government nor individuals have the moral right to initiate violence against another yet we are moving toward the day when both will claim this authority. If this cycle is not reversed society will break down.
When needs are pressing, conditions deteriorate and rights become relative to the demands and the whims of the majority. It’s then not a great leap for individuals to take it upon themselves to use violence to get what they claim is theirs. As the economy deteriorates and the wealth discrepancies increase – as are already occurring – violence increases as those in need take it in their own hands to get what they believe is theirs. They will not wait for a government rescue program.
When government officials wield power over others to bail out the special interests, even with disastrous results to the average citizen, they feel no guilt for the harm they do. Those who take us into undeclared wars with many casualties resulting, never lose sleep over the death and destruction their bad decisions caused. They are convinced that what they do is morally justified, and the fact that many suffer just can’t be helped.
When the street criminals do the same thing, they too have no remorse, believing they are only taking what is rightfully theirs. All moral standards become relative. Whether it’s bailouts, privileges, government subsidies or benefits for some from inflating a currency, it’s all part of a process justified by a philosophy of forced redistribution of wealth. Violence, or a threat of such, is the instrument required and unfortunately is of little concern of most members of Congress.
Some argue it’s only a matter of “fairness” that those in need are cared for. There are two problems with this. First, the principle is used to provide a greater amount of benefits to the rich than the poor. Second, no one seems to be concerned about whether or not it’s fair to those who end up paying for the benefits. The costs are usually placed on the backs of the middle class and are hidden from the public eye. Too many people believe government handouts are free, like printing money out of thin air, and there is no cost. That deception is coming to an end. The bills are coming due and that’s what the economic slowdown is all about.
Sadly, we have become accustomed to living with the illegitimate use of force by government. It is the tool for telling the people how to live, what to eat and drink, what to read and how to spend their money.
To develop a truly free society, the issue of initiating force must be understood and rejected. Granting to government even a small amount of force is a dangerous concession.
Limiting Government Excesses vs. a Virtuous Moral People
Our Constitution, which was intended to limit government power and abuse, has failed. The Founders warned that a free society depends on a virtuous and moral people. The current crisis reflects that their concerns were justified.
Most politicians and pundits are aware of the problems we face but spend all their time in trying to reform government. The sad part is that the suggested reforms almost always lead to less freedom and the importance of a virtuous and moral people is either ignored, or not understood. The new reforms serve only to further undermine liberty. The compounding effect has given us this steady erosion of liberty and the massive expansion of debt. The real question is: if it is liberty we seek, should most of the emphasis be placed on government reform or trying to understand what “a virtuous and moral people” means and how to promote it. The Constitution has not prevented the people from demanding handouts for both rich and poor in their efforts to reform the government, while ignoring the principles of a free society. All branches of our government today are controlled by individuals who use their power to undermine liberty and enhance the welfare/warfare state-and frequently their own wealth and power.
If the people are unhappy with the government performance it must be recognized that government is merely a reflection of an immoral society that rejected a moral government of constitutional limitations of power and love of freedom.
If this is the problem all the tinkering with thousands of pages of new laws and regulations will do nothing to solve the problem.
It is self-evident that our freedoms have been severely limited and the apparent prosperity we still have, is nothing more than leftover wealth from a previous time. This fictitious wealth based on debt and benefits from a false trust in our currency and credit, will play havoc with our society when the bills come due. This means that the full consequence of our lost liberties is yet to be felt.
But that illusion is now ending. Reversing a downward spiral depends on accepting a new approach.
Expect the rapidly expanding homeschooling movement to play a significant role in the revolutionary reforms needed to build a free society with Constitutional protections. We cannot expect a Federal government controlled school system to provide the intellectual ammunition to combat the dangerous growth of government that threatens our liberties.
The internet will provide the alternative to the government/media complex that controls the news and most political propaganda. This is why it’s essential that the internet remains free of government regulation.
Many of our religious institutions and secular organizations support greater dependency on the state by supporting war, welfare and corporatism and ignore the need for a virtuous people.
I never believed that the world or our country could be made more free by politicians, if the people had no desire for freedom.
Under the current circumstances the most we can hope to achieve in the political process is to use it as a podium to reach the people to alert them of the nature of the crisis and the importance of their need to assume responsibility for themselves, if it is liberty that they truly seek. Without this, a constitutionally protected free society is impossible.
If this is true, our individual goal in life ought to be for us to seek virtue and excellence and recognize that self-esteem and happiness only comes from using one’s natural ability, in the most productive manner possible, according to one’s own talents.
Productivity and creativity are the true source of personal satisfaction. Freedom, and not dependency, provides the environment needed to achieve these goals. Government cannot do this for us; it only gets in the way. When the government gets involved, the goal becomes a bailout or a subsidy and these cannot provide a sense of personal achievement.
Achieving legislative power and political influence should not be our goal. Most of the change, if it is to come, will not come from the politicians, but rather from individuals, family, friends, intellectual leaders and our religious institutions. The solution can only come from rejecting the use of coercion, compulsion, government commands, and aggressive force, to mold social and economic behavior. Without accepting these restraints, inevitably the consensus will be to allow the government to mandate economic equality and obedience to the politicians who gain power and promote an environment that smothers the freedoms of everyone. It is then that the responsible individuals who seek excellence and self-esteem by being self-reliance and productive, become the true victims.
What are the greatest dangers that the American people face today and impede the goal of a free society? There are five.
1. The continuous attack on our civil liberties which threatens the rule of law and our ability to resist the onrush of tyranny.
2. Violent anti-Americanism that has engulfed the world. Because the phenomenon of “blow-back” is not understood or denied, our foreign policy is destined to keep us involved in many wars that we have no business being in. National bankruptcy and a greater threat to our national security will result.
3. The ease in which we go to war, without a declaration by Congress, but accepting international authority from the UN or NATO even for preemptive wars, otherwise known as aggression.
4. A financial political crisis as a consequence of excessive debt, unfunded liabilities, spending, bailouts, and gross discrepancy in wealth distribution going from the middle class to the rich. The danger of central economic planning, by the Federal Reserve must be understood.
5. World government taking over local and US sovereignty by getting involved in the issues of war, welfare, trade, banking, a world currency, taxes, property ownership, and private ownership of guns.
Happily, there is an answer for these very dangerous trends.
What a wonderful world it would be if everyone accepted the simple moral premise of rejecting all acts of aggression. The retort to such a suggestion is always: it’s too simplistic, too idealistic, impractical, naïve, utopian, dangerous, and unrealistic to strive for such an ideal.
One of the most ludicrous fantasies of the self-indulgent is that a property owner has an entitlement of subsidized government flood insurance. The inherent risk of building along the ocean shoreline is self-evident. The benefits that enhance the pleasure of proximity to the seaside seem unending. However, when the forces of nature thrust her fury and a wall of water inundates pristine dwellings, the first question asked after the storm usually involves rebuilding. The cost of repairs and renovated construction, once paid by private insurance, now normally requires a federal guaranty.
James Bovard made some salient points just after Katrina in Uncle Sam’s Flood Machine.
“The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s crown jewel. Unfortunately, the heavily subsidized insurance bribes people to scorn common sense, damages the environment, and creates staggering liabilities for taxpayers. Federal flood insurance illustrates how selling at a loss can be politically profitable.
The primary effect of federal flood insurance is that far more property is now damaged by floods than would have occurred if the insurance had not made it possible to build in flood-prone areas. The Long Island Regional Planning Board in 1989 complained that federal flood insurance “in effect encourages a cycle of repeated flood losses and policy claims.” And, especially in places like Long Island, the program underwrites the vacation homes of the wealthy.”
Now that Sandy made her presence known, many of those aforementioned Long Island properties were washed into the sea. Would anyone believe that federal guarantees have any premium correlation to the actual costs of such disasters? The current disconnect between subsidized costs for NFIP flood insurance and the enormous expense for reconstruction is beyond imagination.
The libertarian and media celeb, John Stossel relates his personal experience inTaxpayers Get Soaked by Government’s Flood Insurance. One factor in building his beachfront property on Long Island was that government insurance provided the guarantee necessary to qualify for a mortgage.
“Should a big storm wipe out half the coast, you’ll cover our losses — up to a quarter-million dollars. Thanks — we appreciate it — but what a dumb policy.
The insurance premiums were a bargain. The most I ever paid was a few hundred dollars. Federal actuaries say if the insurance were realistically priced, it would cost thousands of dollars. Why should the government guarantee water’s-edge insurance? Why should the government be in this business at all?”
Mr. Stossel has the knack for boiling down the complex into the common dominator. If private underwriting is not willing to cover the obligation of the risk, at a NFIP discount premium, maybe the insurance is too cheap. The Century Housing organization inShould Taxpayers Subsidize Property Owners in Flood Areas?, states: “Private insurance companies provide almost no flood insurance, because the insurance industry recognizes the huge risks.”Their conclusion is,
“The bottom line is that the taxpayers subsidize the development of property located in known floodplains. And that raises the question of whether that subsidy is good public policy, or whether the whole approach to flood emergencies should be changed. Would we all be better off if we ended the NFIP and instead provided short-term subsidies to floodplain property owners to move out of the danger zone, avoiding the inevitable loss of property and lives that occur so predictably along the nation’s waterways?At the very least, it seems that FEMA should end subsidizing the NFIP premiums for any insured property owners. And it may be a good idea for the states (which control land use) to prohibit construction within floodplains, or require any owner of property located in a floodplain to carry insurance to reimburse public agencies for emergency services when floods do occur.”
The political attraction to continue cheap government waterfront insurance has property owners flocking to buy up and build their dream house. This is probably the costliest boondoggle that benefits the upper middle class and the affluent. Human nature, being what it is, even the purest, as John Stossel, knows a good deal when it is dangled in his face by a seductive government.
So what is the alternative, only high-rise condominiums with expensive maintenance fees owned by offshore tax dodgers? Let us hope that the cherished tradition of individual property ownership is the standard that is protected by all government jurisdictions. However, perpetuating the incentive to willingly build in harm’s way, where personal financial risk is substituted by government guarantees that reward imprudent decisions, needs to change.
The rush to federalize disaster aid and transfer funds back into state coffers is symbolic of the obscene distortion within national taxation. As long as individual states must balance their yearly budgets and the federal government persists with unfunded deficits, individual states will gladly take the bribes and handouts.
Disasters are part of life. There is no warranted absolution from calamites. Insurance that is fairly priced, and rigidly administrated is a system that has provided relief from great suffering and pain. Nevertheless, the business of insurance should be a private contract among willing participants.
If the cost to insure is too high, just maybe the economics of ownership is too steep to continue to support the lifestyle.
The collectivist proponents of big government continue to spread their confusion and prevarications. The Hill reports in Democratic leaders say FEMA has enough cash for Sandy recovery.
“FEMA’s coffers are nearly full because the storm struck at the beginning of the fiscal year, which started Oct. 1.
On top of more than $1 billion left over in the Disaster Relief Fund from last year, Congress has appropriated $7.1 billion for fiscal 2013. President Obama’s decision to make disaster declarations in New York and New Jersey — in addition to emergency declarations in eight other states and the District of Columbia — allows local officials to access those funds immediately.”
Disaster relief can be compassionate and supportive. Even so, the practice of subsidized federal flood insurance only encourages the extent and degree of future disasters. Lacking common sense is a national condition. Building on high ground is the prudent course for action.
The rule of law is an empty memory of the past. The powers that rule are globalists that control governments and use their media outlets to write the first version of history. They pull the strings of the intelligence agencies that function as over throwers of non-compliant regimes. Constitutional restrictions that limit impulsive or capricious dictates once protected citizens. With the utter eradication of separations of power and the “Federalist“, form of distinct roles and authority of independent States, the core legitimacy of the United States vanished.
As central ascendancy consolidates, the tyranny of the majority becomes obvious to even the most vocal statist proponent. The reason for this development is well defined. The most wicked and corrupt criminals have hijacked the system and dismantled the checks and balances, placed into the constitutional framework.
However, let us be crystal -clear. The original formation of a supreme central government doomed the infant republic to the same fate of all other countries. Most Americans are so deep in denial that they are unable to confront the truth of this conclusion. The legislative, legal and judicial systems are all complicit in the destruction of the independence of individual states. States’ Rights are essential, and are the original jurisdiction authority, that formed a purported limited role for the federal government.
The hedonistic hordes that extend their consent to the dictatorial governance keep voting for more oppression. A nation of free people endowed in Liberty has become a cesspool of cretins begging for more social welfare benefits and cradle to grave guarantees.
The reliance of executive orders to circumvent, “The People’s House“, has relegated Congress to a homeless child in a globalist orphanage. The internationalists, who unremittingly sought the dismantling of the principles and goals of the American Revolution, have commandeered the compromised institutions of power. Their handpicked candidates and administrators are mere tools for the banksters and corporatists in their long quest to subjugate the public under fiat edicts that only benefit the oligarchy elites. With the passage of the Patriot Act and the NDAA, you have two dreadful examples of the extent of the authoritarianism that rules this country.
Where is the national outrage? What happened to the spirit of the populace that once fought tyranny, but now accepts the boot of a despot on the genitals of a neutered stud? Macho-man, now relegated to video games, act as wimps and yes-men to threats from the federal government stooges.
The military-industrial-security complex wages uninterrupted warfare without any declaration of war or real national threat. The homeland is euphuism for the police state. The domestic drone deployment sheds the Bill of Rights that presupposes the criminalization of ordinary citizens. Who really cares, when the public continues to accept the dictates of the ruling class?
Preppers, labeled as internal terrorists, are slated for FEMA re-education camps. While bleeding heart collectivists point to the recent east coast storm as justification for more big government. Soon the call for more federal powers will be posted all over the sick social networks by the halfwits that solicit an upgrade to the newest Obamaphone.
The causes for the disintegration of commonly shared traditional culture are part of a master plan to destroy our country. Unless people overcome their fear of ostracization by establishment apologists and discover a backbone, the obligatory pattern of propaganda indoctrination, will remain.
As the country is coerced into greater compliance, resistance to illegitimate orders is the crucial element needed to foster a needed confrontation with federal thugs. The visual images and verbal sucking up by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to the dictator in chief, Barack Hussein Obama is symptomatic of the national malaise that worships at the throne of the “Dear Leader”.
Those confused that Christie disrespected the GOP campaign, fail to appreciate that loyalty to the political system requires homage to the dictatorship, before your next gratuitous photo op. A toady in find standing is a necessary requirement to get your own party’s nomination in the next presidential cycle.
Even at a time of national distress and regional emergency, Washington bureaucrats should not decide the tasks of rebuilding. Yet, the strings attached for federal aid, always requires a pound of flesh to be paid. Could compliance with Agenda 21 be in the fine print for FEMA claims?
Such edicts poison the good will from constructive relief. However, the largesse out of the deficit coffers of the federal treasury necessitates states succumb to political blackmail. This is not a new trend, only the acceleration, frequency and audaciousness as the intimidation increases. Conditions for assistance are dandy opportunities to keep the heel on the throat of the petitioning states.
The constitution is used as wrapping paper, when it comes to the prescription plan used by agencies like FEMA. Carving up the remnants of the prophetic wisdom from separations of power is now the new national anthem.
Allowing federal power grabs has left a legacy of tyranny that touches every level of government. Yet, the apathetic public refuses to fight this absolutism. The globalists have succeeded in their scheme to brainwash the servile populace into accepting that there is no way to alter the supremacy of the beast. Since most voters reflect that conclusion in their balloting practices, the technocrats keep skimming off local home rule with every regulation or decree.
Community ordinances best serve the populist interest. For this very reason, globalists are relentless in their hatred of individual independence. Arbitrary decisions are a way of life for the enablers of the potentates. The elites that write legislative policy also dominate the selection and composition of the administrative bureaus that control much of the political process.
However, accepting that the political process is relegated to feeble attempts to elect new representatives misses the practical reality. The imbalance in the Federalistmodel of government is a root cause that allows elites to destroy society.
What is lacking in the hearts and spirit of our fellow neighbors is the courage to accept Patrick Henry’s proclamation: “Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death!” This country was born by revolution, but is dying under the fright that the federal government may target you as a dissenter. A national revolt is imperative, fought not with weapons, but with the bravery of trusting in the salvation of your immortal soul.Your own self-respect demands action. Indifference is no longer an option. Without political involvement and vocal pressure, the forces of dictatorial edicts will intensify. The constitutional right to assemble and petition your government is now criminalized.
“The US House of Representatives voted 388-to-3 in favor of ‘The Federal Restricted Buildings And Grounds Improvement Act of 2011′. The bill will allow the government to bring charges against Americans exercising their rights as protesters, demonstrators and activists at political events and other outings across America. So not only can you be subjected to the indignity of being labeled a low-level terrorist for daring to petition your government for grievances, but protest itself, and other ‘disruptive activity’ in the presence or vicinity of government officials, buildings, & ‘official functions’ is being deemed illegal.”
Political officials fear the public because the enforcement arm of the evil empire is disposable. The goons that obey orders are beginning an awareness of their expendability. How long will they protect the mad emperor or another tyrannical successor, when the outpour of the masses, finally realizes that the police state is designed to prey on your own person?
Careerist political sycophants and big government lackeys enable the globalists. They are the adversary of the public. The deception of a beneficial federal government is manifestly absurd. Discretionary crony favoritism is a result of this corrupt political culture. The beltway disease infects even the sturdiest of public servants.
The depravity virus is more acute in the federal syndrome because the central government perfects deficit spending as a high art form. Wasting money is rewarded in its extreme. Issuing favors or buying votes qualifies for a vested pension. Pursuing foes with harsh regulations, stipulates your allegiance for advancement.
The bludgeon club used to impose federal dictates grows longer and weighs heavier with each year. Wishful thinking that elections will place honest representatives into seats of power is often pointless. However, for those so inclined to register disapproval in the upcoming presidential election, you might want to consider some alternative candidates.
Read their stand on the issues. The power elites will not quietly relinquish their stranglehold of their perverted and repressive government. The fundamental failure of citizens rests with their reluctance to confront evil. The federal government is despotism on steroids. Until the public accepts this assessment and commits themselves to replace the tyrannical monster with a limited constitutional republic, the fate of the nation will continue to deteriorate. A fiat presidency is pure treason. Woefully, how many folks are willing to manifest the moral fiber of Patrick Henry?