I remember as a young child that the key to winning a lot of the neighborhood games in football and basketball was all about who got picked first. If you were lucky enough to get Michael on your team, then you knew you were going to win. If you were in a foreign park playing against kids you did not know, Michael was the great equalizer. I also knew that getting the right kids on my side helped in spelling bees and walking home from the movies so I didn’t get beat up. Learning how to organize my team with the right people, served me well when I became a men’s college head basketball coach in terms of winning the recruiting wars. I always felt the April recruiting wars was the deciding factor in many games in the following December.
America is in the choosing sides phase of the coming civil war. To use a college recruiting phrase, it is accurate to state that the letters of intent to join one side or another side, have mostly been signed and the commitments offered. However, there is one big uncommitted piece, but very soon the sides will be drawn.
The Chess Pieces of Civil War
What is going on today in America is all about choosing sides. There are clear lines being formed in the United States. The recruiting pool consists of the Department of Homeland Security, the American military, local law enforcement, the Russian troops pouring into the United States, the trickle of Chinese troops coming into the country through Hawaii and, of course, the poor, the middle class and elite. This is the recruiting pool which will form the chess pieces of the coming American Civil War.
The Contextual Background for Civil War
Even if all parties in this country wanted the country to continue, even in its present mortally wounded state, it would be foolish to believe that it could continue for much longer.
There are three paramount numbers that every American should be paying attention to and they are (1) national deficit ($17 trillion dollars), (2) the unfunded liabilities debt ($238 trillion dollars), and (3) the derivatives/futures debt (one quadrillion dollars which is 16 times the entire wealth of the planet. The net result of these staggering numbers can only end one way, and that is with a financial collapse, followed by a bank holiday, rioting in the streets and the full roll out of martial law. These financial numbers guarantee that the party cannot continue much longer.
Since America, in her present form, cannot continue much longer without experiencing a cataclysmic shift, we would be wise to realize what resources are going to be the impetus for civil war. When you play the board game, Monopoly, the properties on Boardwalk are among the most coveted. It is no different in real life. The biggest prize of the coming conflict is real estate. Homes, office buildings and shopping malls are the most coveted prize. The MERS mortgage fraud continues unabated as millions of homes have been confiscated through mortgage fraud. When the dollar is worthless and is awaiting its replacement (e.g. the Amero or the Worldo), real estate will be more valuable than gold.
Other big game that is being hunted by both sides in the coming civil war will be bank accounts, which must be looted before the dormant computer digits we call money, can be converted into hard assets. That is why my advice is, and has been, convert your cash into tangible assets which can enhance your survivability in the upcoming crash.
Also, your pensions, your 401K’s and your various entitlement programs are also at risk as evidenced by Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew’s “borrowing” from various Federal retirement accounts in order to increase the debt ceiling fight that will resurface in Congress, again, early next year.
Again, my advice is to convert your assets in tangible items which will aid in getting you through some very dark days coming up in the near future. Before the cognitive dissonance crowd rears their ugly heads and accuses me of fear mongering, ask yourself what the elite did prior to the crash of the economy in 1929. For example, Joseph Kennedy took his money out of the stock market the day BEFORE it crashed. Rockefeller, Westinghouse, et al., all took their money out just prior to the crash, leaving the ignorant masses unaware of what was coming. Don’t make the same mistake.
Barring a false flag event, US martial law will have a trigger event, which will lead to martial law, that will be a financial collapse and it will naturally occur as we are already on a collision course with destiny. I am not ruling out other events, but the economic crash scenario is easily the most likely event.
Building Fences Around the Ignorant
Please allow me to ask you an ignorant question. If you knew that a virus was coming to your neighborhood which would infect much of the local canine population, wouldn’t it be prudent to build a fence around all of the dogs in the neighborhood in order to isolate any potentially infected dogs? Well, this is how the elite view you.
Many of us, devoid of financial resources, will soon become like a pack of rabid dogs and we must be contained. As I have written about recently, it is becoming very difficult to get your money out of the country. Banks, such as JP Morgan Chase and HSBC have already imposed withdrawal limits. If you withdraw more than $10,000 cash, you run a good chance of being investigated by the IRS. One layer of fencing has already been placed around you and your assets.
The NDAA constitutes another big fence being built around the people in which all due process will soon be gone. The NDAA will allow the administration the “legal” right to secretly remove any burgeoning leadership of citizen opposition forces. The second provision which will allow this country to quickly transition to martial law is Executive Order (EO) 13603 which allows the President to take control over any resource, property and even human labor within the United States. This EO gives the President unlimited authority including the ability to initiate a civilian draft as well as a military draft. In short, this spells the potential enslavement of the American people. For those of you who still have your blinders on, research the NDAA and EO 13603 and then when you realize that I am correct in my interpretation, ask yourself one question; If the powers that be were not going to seize every important asset, then why would the government give itself the power to do just that? And while you are at it, remember the Clean Water Act gives the EPA to control all private property as well as the precious resources of all water. And then of course, the FDA and the conflicts with local farmers is escalating. And if this is not enough to convince the sheep of this country that the storm clouds are overhead, then take a look at HR 347 which outlaws protesting and takes away the First Amendment. This unconstitutional legislation makes it illegal to criticize the President and the government, as a whole, in the presence of Federal officials. I have news for you, there are Federal officials in every town, city and county in America. If one violates HR 347, they will be immediately arrested and charged with a felony.
I just saw the Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire, and this is eerily similar to what I saw in a lot of movies in that the people are being provoked to revolution. In fact, in the TV show, Revolution, the most evil entity in the series is the re-emergence of the United States government and the heroes of the show are rebelling against the abuse. It seems like everywhere we turn in the media, the people are being encouraged to rise up now and challenge authority. I am sure the establishment would rather confront a small group of dissidents and squelch the rebellion now, before the numbers can become significant and overwhelming to the establishment and this theme is being carried out in the media on a large scale.
Along these same lines, Obama has done nothing but agitate the middle class. I like to ask Obama supporters, can you name one thing Obama has done, on behalf of the establishment elite, to improve the plight of the American middle class? I can’t think of even one thing.
The fences have been built around the soon-to-be rabid dog population, so when the infected dogs go crazy, the pieces will have been put in place to deal with the uprisings that will surely follow the loss of everything. Containment is nearly complete. The final action will consist of gun confiscation and one side of the coming conflict is attempting to position themselves to do that in the near future and that would be the DHS, the Russians and the Chinese. I cannot think of another legitimate reason which would describe why these foreign troops are here.
Cognitive dissonance only relieves some of psychological distress for so long.
I have told you what is at risk before the inevitable economic crash. Now it is time to take stock of the sides of this coming civil war and a very clear picture is emerging.
The poor have no resources other than their food stamps which are already under attack. The middle class and their resources are the target for the coming conflict. And most of the middle class has no idea that they have been targeted. Soon the divide and conquer strategies will lose their effectiveness and the poor and the middle class will be on the same team because they will both have lost everything.
As most of you know, I have been screaming from the roof tops that the “Russians are coming, the Russians are coming”, in reference to a bilateral agreement signed between the Russian military and FEMA. Well, the Russians are not coming, they are here and so are the Chinese. As most of you also know the Russians are Chinese have threatened to nuke the United States over Iran and Syria in the past several months. Yet, this administration thinks it is a good idea to include the Russians and Chinese in participating in highly secure operations with profound national security implications in such drills as Grid EX II and the upcoming RIMPAC war games which we used to use to fight against the imaginary Chinese and Russian forces. This is insanity, however, in athletic parlance, one side conducted a trade and is now receiving the services of their once arch-rival.
The sides of the coming civil war looks like this. On one side, we find the evil empire consisting of the elite, their government puppets, the DHS the Chinese, the Russians and perhaps the military. The other side, for the moment consists of the middle class and now the poor as they move towards having their entitlements incrementally taken away. Unless the military and the police can be swayed to the side of the people, the people are going to lose badly.
There is one big prize and its allegiance has not yet been determined and that is the American military and it is a game changer.
Carving Up the Military Like a Thanksgiving Turkey
Obama is purging the military like no president has ever done. Bush fired two Generals. Obama has fired hundreds of command level officers. Why? Because the military leadership is the key to the coming civil war. Who will the military support? Will the military support an out of control administration who would use foreign military assets against the people? Or, will they support the people that they are sworn to defend?
Obama has the Russians and the Chinese military coming into the country because our military cannot be trusted to do what needs to be done when the economic crash occurs. They are needed to confiscate the guns. Obama knows that the military is conditioned to protect the people. He is hoping that he can change the entire structure of the military and thus, change its mission through changing its leadership.
I personally do not think Obama can change the rank and file of the military. I think he can only have a minimal effect on the leadership of the military. If Obama’s purge of the military is anything but for the purpose of commandeering its services for the upcoming civil war, I would really like to hear another explanation, because, for the life of me, I cannot see another purpose to Obama’s house cleaning of the military. .
Obama needs to be impeached and convicted for treason.
Commanding Military Officers Terminated By Obama
-General John R. Allen-U.S. Marines Commander International Security Assistance Force [ISAF] (Nov 2012)
-Major General Ralph Baker (2 Star)-U.S. Army Commander of the Combined Joint Task Force Horn in Africa (April 2013)
-Major General Michael Carey (2 Star)-U.S. Air Force Commander of the 20th US Air Force in charge of 9,600 people and 450 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (Oct 2013)
-Colonel James Christmas-U.S. Marines Commander 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit & Commander Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response Unit (July 2013)
-Major General Peter Fuller-U.S. Army Commander in Afghanistan (May 2011)
-Major General Charles M.M. Gurganus-U.S. Marine Corps Regional Commander of SW and I Marine Expeditionary Force in Afghanistan (Oct 2013)
-General Carter F. Ham-U.S. Army African Command (Oct 2013)
-Lieutenant General David H. Huntoon (3 Star), Jr.-U.S. Army 58th Superintendent of the US Military Academy at West Point, NY (2013)
-Command Sergeant Major Don B Jordan-U.S. Army 143rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command (suspended Oct 2013)
-General James Mattis-U.S. Marines Chief of CentCom (May 2013)
-Colonel Daren Margolin-U.S. Marine in charge of Quantico’s Security Battalion (Oct 2013)
-General Stanley McChrystal-U.S. Army Commander Afghanistan (June 2010)
-General David D. McKiernan-U.S. Army Commander Afghanistan (2009)
-General David Petraeus-Director of CIA from September 2011 to November 2012 & U.S. Army Commander International Security Assistance Force [ISAF] and Commander U.S. Forces Afghanistan [USFOR-A] (Nov 2012)
-Brigadier General Bryan Roberts-U.S. Army Commander 2nd Brigade (May 2013)
-Major General Gregg A. Sturdevant-U.S. Marine Corps Director of Strategic Planning and Policy for the U.S. Pacific Command & Commander of Aviation Wing at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan (Sept 2013)
-Colonel Eric Tilley-U.S. Army Commander of Garrison Japan (Nov 2013)
-Brigadier General Bryan Wampler-U.S. Army Commanding General of 143rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command of the 1st Theater Sustainment Command [TSC] (suspended Oct 2013)
Nearly 160 Majors through the rank of Colonel have been let go by Obama.
Commanding Naval Officers Terminated by Obama
-Rear Admiral Charles Gaouette-U.S. Navy Commander John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group Three (Oct 2012)-Tried to rescue Ambassador Chris Stevens but was arrested during the attempt.
-Vice Admiral Tim Giardina(3 Star, demoted to 2 Star)-U.S. Navy Deputy Commander of the US Strategic Command, Commander of the Submarine Group Trident, Submarine Group 9 and Submarine Group 10 (Oct 2013)
-Lieutenant Commander Kurt Boenisch-Executive Officer amphibious transport dock Ponce (Apr 2011)
-Rear Admiral Ron Horton-U.S. Navy Commander Logistics Group, Western Pacific (Mar 2011)
-Lieutenant Commander Martin Holguin-U.S. Navy Commander mine countermeasures Fearless (Oct 2011)
-Captain David Geisler-U.S. Navy Commander Task Force 53 in Bahrain (Oct 2011)
-Commander Laredo Bell-U.S. Navy Commander Naval Support Activity Saratoga Springs, NY (Aug 2011)
-Commander Nathan Borchers-U.S. Navy Commander destroyer Stout (Mar 2011)
-Commander Robert Brown-U.S. Navy Commander Beachmaster Unit 2 Fort Story, VA (Aug 2011)
-Commander Andrew Crowe-Executive Officer Navy Region Center Singapore (Apr 2011)
-Captain Robert Gamberg-Executive Officer carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower (Jun 2011)
-Captain Rex Guinn-U.S. Navy Commander Navy Legal Service office Japan (Feb 2011)
-Commander Kevin Harms- U.S. Navy Commander Strike Fighter Squadron 137 aboard the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln (Mar 2011)
-Commander Etta Jones-U.S. Navy Commander amphibious transport dock Ponce (Apr 2011)
-Captain Owen Honors-U.S. Navy Commander aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (Jan 2011)
-Captain Donald Hornbeck-U.S. Navy Commander Destroyer Squadron 1 San Diego (Apr 2011)
-Commander Ralph Jones-Executive Officer amphibious transport dock Green Bay (Jul 2011)
-Commander Jonathan Jackson-U.S. Navy Commander Electronic Attack Squadron 134, deployed aboard carrier Carl Vinson (Dec 2011)
-Captain Eric Merrill-U.S. Navy Commander submarine Emory S. Land (Jul 2011)
-Captain William Mosk-U.S. Navy Commander Naval Station Rota, U.S. Navy Commander Naval Activities Spain (Apr 2011)
-Commander Timothy Murphy-U.S. Navy Commander Electronic Attack Squadron 129 at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, WA (Apr 2011)
-Commander Joseph Nosse-U.S. Navy Commander ballistic-missile submarine Kentucky (Oct 2011)
-Commander Mark Olson-U.S. Navy Commander destroyer The Sullivans FL (Sep 2011)
-Commander John Pethel-Executive Officer amphibious transport dock New York (Dec 2011)
-Commander Karl Pugh-U.S. Navy Commander Electronic Attack Squadron 141 Whidbey Island, WA (Jul 2011)
-Commander Jason Strength-U.S. Navy Commander of Navy Recruiting District Nashville, TN (Jul 2011)
-Captain Greg Thomas-U.S. Navy Commander Norfolk Naval Shipyard (May 2011)
-Commander Mike Varney-U.S. Navy Commander attack submarine Connecticut (Jun 2011)
-Commander Jay Wylie-U.S. Navy Commander destroyer Momsen (Apr 2011)
Forty one more were fired in 2012. One hundred and fifty seven were fired in 2013.
Source: The Common Sense Show
In 1899 the great libertarian scholar William Graham Scholar of Yale University delivered a speech in which he warned that the Spanish-American War was a crossing-the-Rubicon event in the nation’s history that had finally transformed the nation from a constitutional republic to an empire. Empire was what the Pilgrims escaped from, and the American Revolution was fought against, for in an empire the average citizen is viewed by his rulers as nothing more than a tax slave and cannon fodder. Americans would soon become, he warned, exactly what their country was founded to oppose.
The speech was entitled “The Conquest of the United States by Spain” to denote the fact that the Spanish-American war, an imperialistic war of conquest, was no different from the types of aggressive wars that the old empires of Europe had been waging for centuries. Having devoted his adult life to scholarly pursuits in the field of political economy (among others), William Graham Sumner was prescient in his predictions about what America would become once it embarked on the road to empire. Among his observations were the following:
The Spanish-American War, like future American wars of imperialism, was “justified” by a string of “sensational assertions” that are easily proven to be untrue. Spain never threatened any American “interests,” and would have been the last to have an incentive to sabotage the Battleship Maine, the calamity that stoked war fever and got the masses (“Boobus Americanus” in H.L. Mencken’s words) behind the short “war.” Scholars like Sumner may have easily seen through the government’s lies, but not the rationally-ignorant masses.
“Where is the statesmanship” in lying and manipulating the public into an aggressive war, Sumner asked rhetorically. This of course had become the new definition of “statesmanship” ever since Lincoln manipulated the Northern-state-public into acquiescing in his waging of total war on their fellow American citizens in the Southern states so that the “duties and imposts” could be collected there, as he promised in his first inaugural address. To this day, Republican Party propaganda mills like the Claremont Institute and Hillsdale College pretend to offer courses of study in “statesmanship” of the sort that was mocked and ridiculed by Sumner.
If “self-government” for people of the Spanish empire was the ostensible purpose of the war, why was the American public not involved in any way in instigating the war?, asked Sumner. There was not even an opinion poll taken, he pointed out. This point echoes the words of Randolph Bourne in his famous essay, “War is the Health of the State,” in which he pointed out that the public never has anything to do with the preparations for war. It is always a dozen or so connivers and schemers in the executive branch of government, hidden even from elected members of congresses and parliaments, who plot and plan forwars.
Was the war merely a public school civics class writ large? Sumner also mocked the idea promoted by the war party that Americans are merely interested in teaching Filipinos about democracy and self-government, and then we will leave. Sumner did not believe that “we” would ever leave the Philippines. We are still there today.
The struggle for world domination (imperialism) is destructive of democracy. Although American military interventionism was being sold to Boobus Americanus as a means of spreading democracy, Sumner pointed out that such tactics had led Spain into monarchy and bankruptcy, but such facts were simply ignored by the American war party.
Why do Americans believe they have a “civilizing mission,” Sumner asked. The answer to this rhetorical question lies in the deification of Abe Lincoln by the Republican Party, which in effect was the entire federal government, in the previous thirty-five years. Lincoln’s deification led to the deification of the presidency in general, and to the federal government as well. As Robert Penn Warren wrote in his outstanding book, The Legacy of the Civil War, the Republican Party in the post-war years claimed to possess a “treasury of virtue” that supposedly justified anything and everything the government did anywhere on earth by virtue of the fact that it was the American government that was doing it. This is what “justified” American entry into World War I, for instance, wrote Robert Penn Warren. It was given the obnoxious name “American exceptionalism.” Sumner noted the absurdity of employing Lincoln’s “all men are created equal” rhetoric from the Gettysburg Address to argue that it is somehow “liberating” for people of other countries to be governed by us.
William Graham Sumner warned that “a matter of mind” that views other peoples as “less human” than you would lead to “cruelty and tyranny” by the American government, as was the case with all other governments in history that ruled over empires. This of course was always the way of empires. Southerners were demonized to “justify” the mass murder of tens of thousands of civilian women, children, and old men, and the bombing and burning of entire cities like Atlanta and Richmond during the “Civil War.” The Plains Indians were dehumanized as “savages” while the brave men of the U.S. Army murdered tens of thousands of Indian women and children from 1865 to 1890. Now it was the Filipinos’ turn. At least 200,000 Filipinos were eventually murdered by the U.S. government for resisting becoming a part of the American empire. According to historian Joseph Stromberg, only about 15,000 of them were actual combatants.
“We must devise a government” for other peoples is another piece of war propaganda that Sumner found to be intolerably arrogant and hypocritical. This argument has been used over and over again by generations of American warmongering and imperialistic politicians. A recent example would be Obama’s September 25, 2012 speech before the United Nations in which he praised the dead CIA operative Chris Stevens, who was killed in the attack on the American “embassy” in Benghazi, Libya, after being sent there as Obama’s “representative.” He was sent there, said Obama, to “craft a vision for a future” for Libya and Libyans.
The next time you witness a large American flag covering the entire football field before an NFL game; or the flyover of fighter jets before a sporting event; or people wearing American flag shirts and pants while watching the “President’s Cup” golf tournament (which this year featured a naked female streaker carrying a large American flag); or listen to drunks at a bar cheering and shouting “USA! USA!” while watching American bombs dropped on someone in a foreign country on the bar’s boob tube; or attend a church service decorated with flags and listen to a sermon that thanks “our heroes” for murdering people in foreign countries, think of this comment by William Graham Sumner: “The thirst for glory is an epidemic which robs people of their judgment, seduces their vanity, cheats them of their interests, and corrupts their consciences.”
The “essence of militarism,” Sumner observed, is to despise constitutions, to sneer at parliaments, and to look with contempt at civilians. All the neocon talking heads, from Limbaugh to Hannity and Levin and others, adopted the slogan, “9/11 changed everything” every time someone like Judge Andrew Napolitano would argue that the government was acting in contempt of the Constitution with its warrantless wiretaps, internet and cellphone spying, the PATRIOT Act, etc. All American presidents have simply ignored Congress, for the most part, in instigating wars; and of course all politicians at all times (with one or two exceptions) look with absolute contempt at the average citizen.
Sumner wrote of how the war party of his day was making the “the times have changed” argument for war. This was reminiscent of Lincoln’s similar argument that “we must think anew and act anew,” by which he also meant “to hell with the Constitution.”
Militarism destroys capitalist prosperity, Sumner also warned. He observed that all during the late nineteenth century most Europeans were busy working, investing, starting businesses, and improving their standards of living peacefully under a growing capitalist system with little attention being paid to militarism. Such behavior is absolute poison to the state, however, which considers it to be a mortal enemy. So when European war parties began to militarize, Sumner wrote of how government military spending was crowding out private sector growth so much that European capitalism was being “arrested, diverted, and crippled.” This is always the effect of the growth of militarism in particular and of government in general, and in Sumner’s time America was about to embark on the very same economically-destructive path as the Europeans had so foolishly done.
How will we know when we have become like the Old European empires?, Sumner asked. His answer was that America would become awash in “war, debt, taxation, diplomacy, a grand-government system, pomp, glory, a big army and navy, lavish expenditures, and political jobbery – in a word, imperialism.” This has been a textbook definition of American society for quite a long time now, and becoming more and more so by the day.
“The great foe of democracy is plutocracy,” Sumner declared, and militarism always fuels plutocracy. It does so trough “jobbery” (i.e., crony capitalism), diverting the public’s attention from their real economic problems, large government expenditures that benefit a few well-connected defense contracting corporations, and large government expenditures and debt that make the strong stronger and the weak weaker.” This of course is a precise definition of how the American warfare/welfare state, funded by the Fed, has so greatly enriched the “one percenters” at the expense of almost everyone else, as documented in great detail by David Stockman in his book, The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America, and by Hunter Lewis’s Crony Capitalism in America. This is also a major theme of my books, The Real Lincoln; Lincoln Unmasked; Hamilton’s Curse; and How Capitalism Saved America.
In light of all this, it is understandable why an acquaintance of mine who is a Yale graduate recently remarked that of all the paintings and photographs of famous Yale professors and alumni that adorn the Yale libraries and other buildings on campus, the image of William Graham Sumner cannot be found.
Thomas J. DiLorenzo is professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland and the author of The Real Lincoln, Lincoln Unmasked, How Capitalism Saved America,Hamilton’s Curse: How Jefferson’s Archenemy Betrayed the American Revolution – And What It Means for America Today. His latest book is Organized Crime: The Unvarnished Truth About Government.
Source: Thomas DiLorenzo | LewRockwell.com
Contrary investing used to be a profitable endeavor. Things have changed. The doom business is in full swing as many financial prognosticators seek to hedge their normally ecstatic outlooks in order to sell their advice. When tragedy becomes a consensus sentiment, it used to be the time to buy. Now that formula has to factor in a different set of risks. Namely the incoherent political intrusions and stimulus-austerity gyrations has to head the list. Has forecasting become a lost art or did it evolve into an algorithm supercomputer project? In either case, the doom factor is sure to continue to be a stable from the Cassandra circle as long as an economic recovery allures the former members of the middle class.
Nevertheless, the bulls want you to believe that economic indicators are guardedly improving. The Global Economic Intersection boldly portends.
“Our September 2013 Economic Forecast shows a change of trend. Many portions of our economic model started to expand over the previous month’s baseline.
We continue to warn that consumer spending increases are expanding at a much faster pace than income – and that eventually either a jump in income or a fall in consumption must occur to close this gap. This remains an economic headwind for 3Q2013.”
Surely, equities are back in vogue as spending flows. Yet, Tom Stevenson writing in The Telegraph recommends Take forecasts with a pinch of salt…or move to Omaha, for those who have the courage to bet their money on picking particular stocks.
“The problem for investors is that very often, at the individual stock level, good news is not built into valuations for some time after it has become publicly available.
This means that contrary to markets as a whole, where it can be better to travel than to arrive, good company news can trigger sustained outperformance as investors slowly accept the improved outlook.
This might sound like a counsel of despair for investors, but it shouldn’t. Awareness of the limitations of knowledge is actually strangely liberating when it comes to managing your investments.”
Woe is me, what opportunities are missed by sitting on the sidelines? Almost moves one to subscribe to some of those pricy newsletters. But before you brush off the dust on your wallet, heed the lesson that Ian R. Campbell references when he asksEconomic forecasting – how credible?
“Frequently in this Newsletter I have said I believe that many economists wrongly advance a theoretical forecast framework based on irrelevant history when reaching conclusions on what is prospectively going to happen in any particular economy at any given point in time – and hence many economists inherently are doomed to get things wrong before they put pen to paper.”
The prediction record of most experts is dismal at best. Therefore, when Charles Colgan, former chair of Maine’s Consensus Economic Forecasting Commission is cited in On economic forecasting as a ‘forlorn hope’. He “humbly admitting he’s botched the past several annual forecasts, Colgan compared himself to Charlie Brown, ever the optimist, who repeatedly tries to kick the football being held by his friend Lucy.”
Yes, the small investor is just as dimwitted as Charlie Brown. The fate of most plays in the M A R K E T S, are sealed before they get started. In a corporatist economy, the balance sheets of companies swell, but the return on equity to stockowners often falls short.
One needs to admit, before placing funds in the hands of Wall Street money managers, that the game is speculation, not investing. Fortunes are made by knowing the insider decisions before the public is even aware of the news that a stock is in play. Even bigger sums are extracted from shorting a vulnerable public company as the vultures sense a ripe carcass.
Any thinking citizen with even a modest understanding of economics and commerce must conclude that the consumer patience is still gravely ill. Sophistication in interpreting trend forecasts is not necessary when CNNMoney provides the evidence. “The average age of vehicles on America’s roads has reached an all-time high of 11.4 years, according to the market research firm Polk. And that average age is sure to keep climbing, the firm said.”
If the financial sages deem the consumer superfluous and define a healthy economy by a growing public sector, the prospects for a doomed system are inevitable.
For those who reject this analysis and want to be informed about the latest perspective from The Economist, signup for the Global Forecasting Service. Get unrestricted access to full, updated and interactive coverage of our world economic outlook, including projections of key indicators and analysis of developed and emerging markets.
Reading such international financial establishment pronouncements usually provide a reassuring crutch even when countries are going bankrupt. Telling as it is for the spin you are meant to accept, the forecast for personal success in the investment jungle is wrath with predators of all species.
Now all this caution is moot if the global economy enters into a new golden age. Duplicating the prosperity of the industrial revolution with a cyber collection matrix that digitally spies on propitiatory business secrets is not exactly the formula that generates wealth, which is shared by the masses.
The incomparable Paul Craig Roberts is the best political and economic forecaster. In his 2011 article, How the Economy was Lost, Doomed by the Myths of Free Trade, he explains the basic reason for the doomed forthcoming financial meltdown end game.
“As the issuers of swaps were not required to reserve against them, and as there is no limit to the number of swaps, the payouts could easily exceed the net worth of the issuer.
This was the most shameful and most mindless form of speculation. Gamblers were betting hands that they could not cover. The US regulators fled their posts. The American financial institutions abandoned all integrity. As a consequence, American financial institutions and rating agencies are trusted nowhere on earth.”
This is the forecast that you can bank on.
American presidents, starting with Kennedy-Johnson in Vietnam to Bush-Obama, pushed America into deadly, costly, disastrous and pointless wars in the last 50 years. Millions of people died while the American “Silent majority” sat quietly watching the slaughter on the evening news. As Walter Cronkite said, “And that’s the way it is.”
At this moment, Barack Obama races toward a bombing campaign on the Syrian people. He mandates death, destruction and mayhem on a country and people struggling in their own civil war. He uses an excuse like Assad “gassing” his own people.
Harry Truman used the “Domino Effect” to stop communism from conquering Korea. We lost 33,000 young men and killed thousands more of their troops. Countless civilians died. Korea solved nothing because it proved to be a civil war. It has cost over $1 trillion for troop deployment and logistics for the past 60 years.
Lyndon Baines Johnson used the “Gulf of Tonkin Incident” to justify sending 58,319 young American kids to their deaths and killing over 2.1 million Vietnamese soldiers, men, women and children. He poisoned their land with Agent Orange that still kills and disfigures into 2013.
Then came 9/11 to give George W. Bush justification to bomb the hell out of a goat-herder third world country like Afghanistan into little pieces. Never mind that nearly all 19 terrorists came from Saudi Arabia. Ten years later, after killing bin Laden, we still haven’t “conquered” Afghanistan, but we lost 1,400 American kids to ugly deaths and another 1,500 who committed suicide from the insanity of that war.
A special note: I followed an M.D.’s book about Vietnam whereby 175,000 to 200,000 American combat troops that left Vietnam in one piece—later committed suicide. Countless tens of thousands suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and drank or drugged themselves into their own private hells after the torture of Vietnam. Predications for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as to American suicides: estimated at over 200,000 suicides will ultimately manifest by our returning troops. Hundreds and thousands will suffer a lifetime of PTSD.
Out of nowhere, George W. Bush dreamed up “Weapons of Mass Destruction” and his “shock and awe” bombing rampage into Iraq. He killed over a quarter of a million innocent men, women and children. He used bunker-busting bombs with depleted uranium that poisons the soils of Iraq for centuries. He killed 4,400 of our finest young men and women and left 35,000 hideously wounded.
Today, Barack Obama, a man who never served in the U.S. armed forces, who instead, smoked a lot of dope and snorted drugs, and who knows nothing of the horrors of war—stands ready to send bombers into Syria because he thinks he’s going to stop Assad from gassing his people.
“Nothing is so important as that America shall separate herself from the systems of Europe, and establish one of her own. Our circumstances, our pursuits, our interests, are distinct. The principles of our policy should be so also. All entanglements with that quarter of the globe should be avoided if we mean that peace and justice shall be the polar stars of the American societies.” –Thomas Jefferson to J. Correa de Serra, 1820.
Obama, enjoys the unearned and unwarranted Nobel Peace Prize of 2009, yet threatens to expand his ever widening “War on Everything” from Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Nigeria, Mali, Al-Awlaki and his son and nephew, Snowden, Manning, Assange, Rosen and now Syria.
I must ask you Mr. Obama, is killing everything but the 2013 Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens football team the answer?
Finally, what about our feckless U.S. Congress? The Constitution mandates that all war choices must be agreed by the House and Senate. Instead, we let LBJ, Bush II and now, Obama, wage wars they cannot justify and, in the end, will kill a lot of people, but do nothing good in the world nor will they accomplish anything good. Additionally, the president has no legal authority to attack Syria absent congressional and United Nations Security Council approval.
What about each American citizen who cannot be bothered to participate, but watches by the sidelines as the 21st century “Silent Majority”? How many more innocent, brain-washed kids must die, not in service to America, but in service to the U.S. Military Industrial Complex and the bankers—who provoke, guide and determine wars? Plus, make a lot of money on our mechanized military violence!
John Lennon sang, “Give peace a chance.” If we citizens take action by stopping our government from waging useless, insane and meaningless wars—a lot of our children will be able to live their lives instead of being sacrificed like sheep to the slaughter.
Hey FANS, are you ready for more football? How much do you know about the business end of your favorite entertainment addiction, the NFL? The revenue stream from media contracts, ticket sales, official NFL products and products, government stadium subsidies and syndication rights has reached enormous levels. The pie has grown from a sandlot clubhouse hobby to a billionaire jet set club. Now that fantasy football is in full swing, the beleaguered but rabid buff, sticks with their voyeurism as they act out their heroism celebration. Devotees of the noble sport seek the thrill of victory, but experience the agony of defeat in their pocketbook.
The NFL (not for long) article, Fantasy is the Current Test of Reality, shows that escapism is preferable for most athletic enthusiasts.
“NFL Football is the national sport. It more closely resembles the evolving social trends than any other indicator. Our society is a mirror of a game that once encompassed the essence of the human struggle against the elements of nature and competing warriors. The symbol of this era was the spent sacrifice of an average quarterback who achieved miracles. The famous photo of an exhausted Y.A Tittle captures the meaning of the game that each fan treasured in their heart and desired to know for themselves. The America of this period was not that long ago, but now seems to be from a different century.”
Now that the purity of a game is but a mere memory, the business is all about theBenjamins. Forbes notes in The Most Valuable NFL Teams, that the “NFL’s 32 teams are worth, on average, $1.17 billion, 5% more than last year. The Cleveland Browns, a lousy team for years in a midsize market, sold for almost $1 billion last year.”The last agreement with the players association produced a new contract that “included a provision that gives players between 46 percent and 48 percent of league revenues. That’s down from the previous agreement’s 50-50 split.” Even the causal bystander must admit that the owners are wielding the hammer in free agency. If the marketing machine is geared to extract more revenue out of a hooked public, just what does the future hold?The vision from NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell in another Forbes article, reports:
This year revenues for the National Football League will be somewhere just north of $9 billion, which means the league remains the most lucrative in the world.
He has stated that he wants to reach $25 billion in annual revenues for the league by the year 2027. Here’s how the NFL can get there:
1) The first—and most significant step—will be the renegotiation of the league’s television rights deals.
2) A new labor deal. The 2011 collective bargaining agreement ends in 2020.
3) The NFL has mastered the art of dividing up its rights. In other words when, say, CBS gets the TV rights deal, it does not get the live-streaming Internet rights.
4) The NFL is in initial discussions about forming its own mobile network.
5) The NFL’s fantasy game, at 3 million players, is still well behind ESPN and Yahoo, which have an estimated 14 million and 12 million players, respectively.
This ambitious plan is looking to up the ante. Merchandising will not boost an additional 16 billion out of cash strapped fanatics. Maybe selling NFL uniforms to the military or running a bookmaking network with an anti-trust exemption might get permanent seating in skyboxes for elitist politicians, but it does nothing to bring relief to the lowly stadium season ticketholder. Soon with enhanced and intrusive security measures, many fans will just be content to be tailgaters.
Relying upon the referees to umpire a fair playing field might bring back the perception of an honesty game, but doubts linger that the point spread is often more important than the final score. The Drunk Never Knows When To Leave The Bar, might offer a better option than havingJimmy Haslam or Eddie John DeBartolo Jr. in change of public relations.
“Now you say, what is wrong with the fox guarding the hen house? Surely, you are not saying that this compares to the NFL Players Association passing judgment on all new referees, writing the rule book and picking only from their own ranks every new candidate for the job?”
Looking to the players for that wholesome image has its own pitfalls. Review the NFL Arrests Database.
“These are arrests and citations involving NFL players since 2000 that were more serious than speeding tickets. U-T San Diego reviewed hundreds of news reports and public records in compiling it. The list cannot be considered comprehensive in part because some incidents may not have been reported and some public records proved to be elusive. Increased media coverage of incidents also probably accounts for more incidents listed in recent years.”
It seems that the poster boys are running a campaign to rename the NFL to the Aaron Hernandez league. Ownership flack, when Tim Tebow Says Football Comes After Faith and Family, illustrates that selling the NFL vision of Jerry Jones is the way to the $25 billion super bowl.At some point, the public will become played out. Their satisfaction with the NFL experience will never approach the dignity of Y.A Tittle. An aficionado of the sport likeHoward Cosell would tell it like it is. “Don’t you remember the $28 million dollar judgment against the NFLPA and its affiliated marketing company (of which $21 million was punitive) for breaching their fiduciary duty to retired players?”
Players, players almost sounds like playoffs, playoffs . . . playoffs !
Soon the virtual reality of a smart phone app will provide the excitement of a two-minute drill without the cost of admission. The NFL marketing machine owes more toNFL films than to the collective wisdom of the players or the owners. The business of the end zone dance rests upon the good will of the fans.
Something is wrong in this country, terribly wrong. Many children are going missing from Child Protective Custody supervision, all across this country, with no record of what has happened to the thousands of missing children.
Oklahoma Is the Latest State to Tolerate Child Sex Slavery Rings
In Oklahoma, Seventy-eight children have gone completely missing with no explanation. The most frightening aspect of this development is that these children went missing while in custody of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS).
Even the Oklahoma media is asking questions. Millie Carpenter, who holds the position of DHS’s permanency and well-being program administrator, and her cohort, Melissa Jones, a DHS program supervisor, insist that there is nothing wrong and their publicly funded agency has made absolutely no mistakes. No mistakes? There are 78 children, under their care who are missing! Nothing wrong?
Carpenter and Jones insist there is DHS accountability and that all 78 missing children should be considered to be runaways and that they have not been abducted. How would they know since the children are missing?
Please allow me to emphasize that these 78 children were under the custody and care of DHS at the time of their disappearance. If these children had disappeared while in the custody of their parents, wouldn’t there be hell to pay regarding parental accountability? Both the authorities and the media should be asking questions about supervision and agency accountability. When these children were not in their tax-supported bed at night, why was nothing done?
Presumably, many of these children were removed from their parents by Child Protective Services and placed in DHS custody because their parents were accused of neglect and/or abuse. Isn’t DHS responsible for room and board? Each child is required to accounted for with regard to state allocations for food and housing! Therefore, can some responsible person of authority, connected to DHS, please explain to me why 78 missing person reports have not been filed? Why weren’t the police notified? If these children were removed from the parents home, then a court would have to be involved. As such, the courts should have been immediately notified when the children went missing because a court order was not being complied with.
If the missing 78 children in Oklahoma was just a case of gross dereliction of duty by officials such DHS administrators Carpenter and Jones, then we could fire the incompetent personnel and hire better people who would protect the children. But the fact that these children were not even reported as missing is inexcusable.
How do I know that something is terribly wrong? Simple, I used to be a mental health counselor and these types of administrative procedures were part of my training. The facts connected to the handling of these missing children does not add up. If the three stooges are not running Oklahoma’s DHS, then there is something very criminal going on. And the fact that the authorities are not up in arms and conducting a criminal investigation is highly suspicious and suggests further complicity at some official level. There is very good reason to expect a much deeper level of criminal activity related to these children because it has happened before.
The Penn State Case
The Oklahoma DHS scandal is nothing new. Agency or corporate controlled sex rings are hidden in plain sight. They often receive legitimacy from various government agencies and top corporate entities. Here is an example of how the child sex rings are hidden in the plain light of day.
Jerry Sandusky’s “The Second Mile Foundation” was recognized as one of President Bush’s top “1000Points of Light.” Interestingly, Marvin P. Bush was on the National Collegiate Athletic Association Board of Directors which helped make the selection. Former president, George H. W. “Pappy” Bush is no stranger to accusations of pedophilia as evidenced by the accompany headline below this paragraph.
Court records show that former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky molested dozens, if not hundreds of children from at 1977 to 2011 when this animal was finally caught, convicted and sentenced.
Most Americans think that when Sandusky, received a 30 to 60 prison term after being found guilty on 45 counts of the sexual exploitation of minors, that the case was closed. And that is what the child sex trafficking industry and their allies in the corporate controlled media would have the public believe.
In actuality, the Sandusky case was quickly concluded in order to prevent any investigation from going forth which would reveal the extent to which pedophilia, for fun and profit, have ensnared the rich and famous powerful elite, both in this country and abroad.
Records show that Sandusky should have been convicted of child molestation in 1999 when allegations against him were first made. This particular incident was investigated by local police, referred to Centre County’s District Attorney, Ray Gricar, who refused to press charges despite the fact that the mother of the alleged victim had voicemail tapes and tape recordings of Sandusky and her son and their sexually explicit conversations. Friends of Gricar have said that he was frightened and was intimidated in not pursing charges despite overwhelming evidence. However, at a later time, Gricar developed some intestinal fortitude and reopened his investigation into Sandusky’s illicit conduct. Shortly thereafter, on his day off, Gricar went missing and has body has never been found. His laptop was found in a nearby creek, but none of the data could be retrieved according to the FBI investigative report. Gricar was declared legally dead in 2011, after the Sandusky scandal surfaced. The investigation of the apparent kidnapping and murder of Ray Gricar could politely be described as incomplete. Gricar’s fate is an all too common fate experienced by whistle blowers and investigators into the world-wide pedophile ring.
We now know that Sandusky obtained many of his victims from his precious Second Mile Foundation. How could the board members of The Second Mile Foundation expect a naive public that from 1977 to 2011, that absolutely no Second Mile official, nobody at all, except for the abused children and Sandusky, had any knowledge of the abuse? Keep in mind that these young victims were pimped out in broad daylight as revealed in the court testimony. The Second Mile Foundation board members have associations which reach into the highest pinnacles of power in this country including Richard Struthers of Bank of America, Michael O’Donnell, Jake Corman Pennsylvania State Senator. Vice President of Morgan Stanley and Matt Millen an ESPN football analyst. In Additionally, many of the Penn State donors have intimate connections to both Second Mile and some of the top politicians in this country. And for 34 years, nobody at Second Mile knew? Well, District Attorney Ray Gricar knew and he’s dead.
Where Is Nancy Schaefer When We Need Her?
Former Georgia State Senator, Nancy Schaefer was an outspoken opponent of Child Protective Services (CPS). Schaefer authored an investigation in which, among other findings, revealed the following:
“…the separation of families is growing as a business because local governments have grown accustomed to having taxpayer dollars to balance their ever-expanding budgets.
The Adoption and the Safe Families Act, set in motion by President Bill Clinton, offered cash “bonuses” to the states for every child they adopted out of foster care. In order to receive the “adoption incentive bonuses” local child protective services need more children. They must have merchandise (children) that sell and you must have plenty of them so the buyer can choose. Some counties are known to give a $4,000 bonus for each child adopted and an additional $2,000 for a “special needs” child. Employees work to keep the federal dollars flowing.
The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect in 1998 reported that six times as many children died in foster care than in the general public and that once removed to official “safety”, these children are far more likely to suffer abuse, including sexual molestation than in the general population.
That according to the California Little Hoover Commission Report in 2003, 30% to 70% of the children in California group homes do not belong there and should not have been removed from their homes.
…poor parents often times are targeted to lose their children because they do not have the where-with-all to hire lawyers and fight the system. Being poor does not mean you are not a good parent or that you do not love your child, or that your child should be removed and placed with strangers.”
In this document, Schaefer makes it clear that organizations, such as The Second Mile, procure their underage victims by making children wards of the State. CPS has unchecked legal authority to remove children, with or without cause. Subsequently, CPS and their partners, the corrupt juvenile court judges can place these children wherever they see fit (e.g. The Franklin House, Boys Town, Elm House, The Second Mile Foundation) where unimaginable horrors take place.
As most of us know, Nancy Schaefer and her husband Bruce were “suicided” in 2010, on the same day she was attempting to reach out to talk show host, Alex Jones, because she knew she was in deep trouble.
Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney
And of course, there is the omnipresent DynCorp child sex trafficking scandal. On March 11th 2005, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney grilled Secretary Rumsfeld and General Myers on the DynCorp child sex trafficking case. “Mr. Secretary, I watched President Bush deliver a moving speech at the United Nations in September 2003, in which he mentioned the crisis of the sex trade. The President called for the punishment of those involved in this horrible business. But at the very moment of that speech, DynCorp was exposed for having been involved in the buying and selling of young women and children. While all of this was going on, DynCorp kept the Pentagon contract to administer the smallpox and anthrax vaccines, and is now working on a plague vaccine through the Joint Vaccine Acquisition Program. Mr. Secretary, is it the policy of the U.S. Government to reward companies that traffic in women and little girls?” Rumsfeld fumbled around and blamed a single employee of DynCorp for these transgressions and DynCorp, at that time, continued to receive government contracts.
McKinney was subsequently driven from office. Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is one of very few government officials in high office aside from Cynthia McKinney to demand answers on this issue. And what may you ask happened to Blagojevich? He was framed for trying to sell Obama’s senatorial seat in a story that made no sense. Does this tell us how high up the corruption goes?
The missing 78 Oklahoma children provides the American people with an opportunity to blow the lid off of this conspiracy once and for all. How many of these children are dead? How many were forced into child sex-slavery rings? Or, as Oklahoma’s DHS claims, are these children simply “run away” children?
America, we have an important decision to make. Are we going to press for answers. Will we demand that heads roll in Oklahoma and launch an all out search for the missing 78 children?
If we will not rise up as a nation to protect our children, our most precious asset, then we do not deserve to survive as a nation.
Source: The Common Sense Show
Speaking at the end of the meeting of the EU-Ukraine Cooperation Council in Luxembourg on June 24, European Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle warned Ukraine that “time is running preciously short” for the government in Kiev to meet all European Union conditions in time to sign a free trade and association agreement in November. “Ukraine has made good progress in some areas,” Füle said, but added that “more needs to be done for Ukraine to achieve tangible progress on all the benchmarks,” including “increased determination and reinforced action”—an obvious reference to the case of Yulia Tymoshenko.
While stressing that closer links with the EU remain its priority, in recent weeks the Ukrainian government has also probed the possibilities of strengthening its ties with the Customs Union formed in 2010 by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Moscow would like to see Ukraine in the “Common Economic Space,” but it is reluctant to grant it a half-way status that would fall short of full membership. Kiev would prefer that option in order not to sever its EU connection.
The dilemma has received scant attention in the Western media. Considering its size and strategic importance, it is curious how underreported Ukraine remains 22 years after independence. The second largest country in Europe—the true link (and a key energy corridor) between Russia and the Old Continent’s heartland west of the Carpathian Mountains—has just under fifty million people, a rich agricultural base, and a long Black Sea shoreline which includes the all-important naval bases in the Crimea. Its geopolitical significance cannot be overstated.
Kiev’s current quandary is real, but it should not overshadow Ukraine’s promise as a pivotal player in the development of regional cooperation with its EU neighbors to the West, former CIS countries to the north and east, and emerging regional powers further afield. On my recent visits to Ukraine—most recently as an election observer last October – I was struck by the tendency of some local analysts to focus on the role of their country as an object of geopolitical rivalry of others, and to neglect its potential as a significant actor in its own right.
That potential is real. The importance of food as a key strategic commodity will continue to grow in the decades ahead, and Ukraine has an enormous, still untapped capability to become a global-scale producer. In 2012 Ukrainian agricultural sector raised $2bn in capital investments, which is 11 percent higher than in 2011 but still short of what is needed to unleash its potential. If and when Ukraine’s farmers gain reliable and affordable access to finance, they will be able to compete with, and perhaps out-produce, their peers in the American Midwest or Canada. Cooperation with key EU agricultural producers, such as France, is proceeding apace and should continue regardless of what happens in Vilnius next November. The same applies to Kiev’s cooperation with the EU in the energy sector in 2013—an important step in making Ukraine’s role as a key energy conduit more stable, predictable and transparent.
Bilateral cooperation can flourish even in the absence of speedy integrations, as recent experience suggests. Ukraine’s merchandise trade deficit narrowed to $608.5 million in April, which is markedly less than a year ago. Exports increased 4.7% year-on-year, while imports declined 8.1%. Most of its minerals, steel, coal, petroleum products and grains go to other former Soviet republics, but Germany and Poland have been gaining importance in recent years. Trade with Hungary, Sweden, and other smaller EU members has also recorded significant increases. Outside the EU and the former Soviet Union, Ukraine’s key partners are Turkey (second-largest overall, after Russia) and China. Ukraine will sign an agreement on a free tradearea (FTA) with Turkey in October, and its trade with China is expected to double to $20bn in the next few years.
Regardless of its hoped-for integrations, Ukraine can and should project more resolutely its “soft power” in the region. Its rich cultural heritage and still underdeveloped tourist industry are by no means the only assets. The 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as Euro 2012—jointly hosted by Poland and Ukraine—was an expensive but useful step in the right direction. There are still too few foreign students, researchers and guest-lecturers in Kiev, Kharkov, Lvov or Odessa, considering the quality of their institutions of higher learning.
The perennial issue of Ukraine’s geopolitical strategy—should it lean to the East or to the West—is on the whole somewhat artificial. Experts note that recent trends in the country’s foreign trade have created preconditions for growth even if it joins neither the European Union nor the Moscow-led customs union. It is noteworthy that even some EU leaders take the view that Ukraine should follow a two-track approach.
Stability in Europe and the continent’s long-term integration devoid of the Cold War, zero-sum-game mentality, requires a new paradigm in Kiev. It should be based on further diversification of political and economic options, which is not incompatible with Ukraine’s quest for optimal forms of association with its eastern and western neighbors.
A good example is the recent statements tennis star Serena Williams made about the Steubenvillerape case. Commenting on the matter in a Rolling Stone interview, the Wimbledon champion opined:
Do you think it was fair, what they [the assailants] got? They did something stupid, but I don’t know. I’m not blaming the girl, but if you’re a 16-year-old and you’re drunk like that, your parents should teach you — don’t take drinks from other people. She’s 16, why was she that drunk where she doesn’t remember? It could have been much worse. She’s lucky. Obviously I don’t know, maybe she wasn’t a virgin, but she shouldn’t have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that’s different.
Now, where Williams went wrong was in questioning the fairness of the sentence. The two assailants, high-school football players Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, received, respectively, two years and one year in juvenile detention for the extreme sexual abuse of a 16-year-old girl, abuse punctuated by disgusting, evil attitudes and commentary. In my view, they got off easy. But isn’t Williams correct in saying that the girl also made it easy?
Before anyone thinks such opinions are the result of some kind of tennis-induced dementia (I have quite a history in the game myself), let me place this in perspective. If I’m falling-down drunk and walk through a dangerous neighborhood at 2 AM, wearing gold jewelry and flashing cash, and I get knocked over the head and robbed, will anyone shrink from stating that I imperiled myself via poor decisions?
This isn’t synonymous with saying I asked for it any more than a person with a poor lifestyle asks for a heart attack. But just like the eating of too much saturated fat, my drunkenness would be a risk factor.
So correct me if I’m wrong, but there’s still something called “acting stupidly.” And unless there has been a late addendum to the Bible, God has not yet granted man a special dispensation from the consequences of it.
The point is that warnings and wise counsel parents used to routinely give young girls— “Dress modestly,” “Don’t go to a man’s home alone,” etc. — are now frowned upon in the name of political correctness. Instead, we instill them with the notion that the sexes are the same and, by golly, if something isn’t dangerous for a guy, there’s no reason why you should have to “modify your behavior” in that department. Equality! Interestingly, though, we don’t apply this thinking to less politically incorrect crimes.
For instance, just consider this passage from WiseGeek on how to avoid being mugged:
Because muggings tend to follow certain patterns, people can avoid victimhood by traveling smart. Try to avoid being alone on the street or on public transit between 8:00 PM and 2:00 AM. Travel with a group after dark, and stick to well lighted areas where there are other people around. Make sure that your valuables are hidden and secured, as well. Keep things like cell phones, cameras, and personal music players out of sight and out of temptation.
Wow, a lot of behavior modifications recommended there. And could you imagine if you told women that to decrease the chances of rape they should make sure their “valuables are hidden” and “out of sight and out of temptation”? I mean, it’s almost as if they’re saying it’s your fault if you get mugged.
This brings us to the real War on Women: the ones waging it here are actually those who, in the name of a twisted leftist agenda, seek to suppress information that would help women more safely negotiate life. So, young people, I’ll tell you what you need to hear:
- Good things don’t happen when you get falling-down drunk. And if you have to drink to have fun, you have a problem.
- Girls, don’t think you can keep up with the guys in the drinking department. Heavier people can metabolize more of any substance; consequently, an amount of alcohol that a man 50 pounds heavier than you can “hold” may be enough to cause you serious impairment.
- Girls, also know that if you get inebriated, your chances of being raped will be greater. And the increase in probability is directly proportional to your degree of drunkenness. This is simply an inescapable truth.
In fact, in those dark ages decades ago, when people entertained notions of right and wrong, getting drunk was known as an “occasion of sin.” And you were obligated to avoid such things because they are situations in which you’re more likely to do wrong — or have wrong done against you. But we’ve evolved beyond such talk now, and I’m sure leftists certainly don’t want to hear it. After all, they’re heavily invested (at least emotionally) in the rape-center business.
Protests in Brazil indicate what goes way, way beyond a cheap bus fare.
When, in late 2010, Dilma Rousseff was elected President after eight years of the impossibly popular Lula, a national narrative was already ingrained, stressing that Brazil was not the “country of the future” anymore; the future had arrived, and this was a global power in the making.
This was a country on overdrive – from securing the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics to a more imposing role as part of the BRICS group of emerging powers.
Not unlike China, Brazil was breathlessly exploiting natural resources – from its hinterland to parts of Africa – while betting heavily on large agribusiness mostly supplying, you guess it, China.
But above all Brazil fascinated the world by incarnating this political UFO; a benign, inclusive giant, on top of it benefitting from a lavish accumulation of soft power (music, football, beautiful beaches, beautiful women, endless partying).
The country was finally enjoying the benefits of a quarter of a century of participative democracy – and self-satisfied that for the past ten years Lula’s extensive social inclusion policies had lifted arguably 40 million Brazilians to middle class status. Racial discrimination at least had been tackled, with instances of the Brazilian version of affirmative action.
Yet this breakneck capitalist dream masked serious cracks. Locally there may be euphoria for becoming the sixth or seventh world economy, but still social exclusion was far from gone. Brazil remained one the most (deadly) unequal nations in the world, peppered with retrograde landowning oligarchies and some of the most rapacious, arrogant and ignorant elites on the planet – inevitable by-products of ghastly Portuguese colonialism.
Students take part in a demonstration at Praca da Se, in Sao Paulo, Brazil on June 18, 2013 (AFP Photo / Miguel Schincariol)
And then, once again, corruption raised its Hydra-like head. Here’s a first parallel with Turkey. In Brazil as in Turkey, participative democracy was co-opted, ignored or forcefully diluted among an orgy of “mega-projects” generating dubious profits for a select few. In Turkey it revolves around the ruling party AKP’s collusion with business interests in the “redevelopment” of Istanbul; in Brazil around public funds for the hosting of the World Cup and the Olympics.
The new capitalist dream could not mask that the quality of life in Brazil’s big cities seemed to be on a downward spiral; and that racism – especially in the police – never went away while the demonization of peasant and Native Brazilian leaders was rampant; after all they were obstructing the way of powerful agribusiness interests and the “mega-projects” craze.
What can a poor boy do
There’s no Turkey Spring – as there’s no Brazilian Spring. This isn’t Tunisia and Egypt. Both Turkey and Brazil are democracies – although Prime Minister Erdogan has clearly embarked on a polarizing strategy and an authoritarian drive. What links Turkey and Brazil is that irreversible pent-up resentment against institutional politics (and corruption) may be catalyzed by a relatively minor event.
In Turkey it was the destruction of Gezi park; in Brazil the ten-cent hike in public bus fares was the proverbial straw that broke the (white) elephant’s back. In both cases the institutional response was tear gas and rubber bullets. In Turkey the popular backlash spread to a few cities. In Brazil it went nationwide.
This goes way, way beyond a cheap bus ride – although the public transport scene in Brazil’s big cities would star in Dante’s ninth circle of hell. A manual worker, a student, a maid usually spend up to four hours a day back-and-forth in appalling conditions. And these are private transport rackets controlled by a small group of businessmen embedded with local politicians, who they obviously own.
Students protest in Sao Paulo, Brazil on June 18, 2013 (AFP Photo / Daniel Guimaraes)
Arguably the nationwide, mostly peaceful protests have scored a victory – as nine cities have decided to cancel the bus fare hike. But that’s just the beginning.
The mantra is true; Brazilians pay developed world taxes and in return get sub-Saharan Africa quality of service (no offense to Africa). The notion of “value for money” is non-existent. It gets even worse as the economic miracle is over. That magical “growth” was less than 1% in 2012, and only 0.6% in the first quarter of 2013. The immensely bloated state bureaucracy, the immensely appalling public infrastructure, virtually no investment in education as teachers barely get paid $300 a month, non-stop political corruption scandals, not to mention as many homicides a year as narco-purgatory Mexico – none of this is going away by magic.
Football passion apart – and this is a nation where everyone is either an expert footballer or an experienced coach – the vast majority of the population is very much aware the current Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup are monster FIFA rackets. As a columnist for the Brazilian arm of ESPN has coined it, “the Cup is theirs, but we pay the bills.”
Public opinion is very much aware the Feds played hardball to get the “mega-events” to Brazil and then promised rivers of “social” benefits in terms of services and urban development. None of that happened. Thus the collective feeling that “we’ve been robbed” – all over again, as anyone with a digital made in China calculator can compare this multi-billion dollar orgy of public funds for FIFA with pathetically little investment in health, education, transportation and social welfare. A banner in the Sao Paulo protests said it all;“Your son is ill? Take him to the arena.”
A demonstrator holds a Brazilian national flag during a protest turned violent, in downtown Rio de Janeiro on June 17, 2013 (AFP Photo / Christophe Simon)
Remember “Standing Man”
The neo-liberal gospel preached by the Washington consensus only values economic “growth” measured in GDP numbers. This is immensely misleading; it does not take into account everything from rising expectations for more participative democracy to abysmal inequality levels, as well as the despair of those trying to just survive (as in the orgy of expanded credit in Brazil leaving people to pay annual interest rates of over 200% on their credit cards).
So it takes a few uprooted trees in Istanbul and a more expensive shitty bus ride in Sao Paulo to hurl citizens of the “emerging markets” into the streets. No wonder the Brazilian protests left politicians – and “analysts” - perplexed and speechless. After all, once again this was people power – fueled by social media – against the 1%, not that dissimilar from protests in Spain, Portugal and Greece.
Unlike Erdogan in Turkey – who branded Twitter “a menace” and wants to criminalize social networking – to her credit Rousseff seems to have listened to the digital (and street) noise, saying on Tuesday that Brazil “woke up stronger” because of the protests.
The Brazilian protests are horizontal. Non-partisan; beyond party politics. No clear leaders. It’s a sort of Occupy Brazil – with a cross-section of high-school and college students, poor workers who struggle to pay their bus fare, vast swathes of the tax-swamped middle class who cannot afford private health insurance, even homeless people, who after all already live in the streets. Essentially, they want more democracy, less corruption, and to be respected as citizens, getting at least some value for their money in terms of public services.
The die is cast. Once again, it’s people power vs. institutional politics. Remember “Standing Man” in Taksim Square. The time to take a stand is now.
Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT and TomDispatch, and a frequent contributor to websites and radio shows ranging from the US to East Asia.
Arbitrated disagreement is being used in the courts to determine guilt or innocence The United States political system evolved into two parties that compete for the power to govern. Americans are avid fans of sporting events that pit skilled individuals and team players against each other. Businesses compete for market share and employees for promotions. Children compete for their parent’s affection. Nations compete for power and prestige and in our time there are even false flag competitions created by tyrannical governments to accomplish nefarious goals.
Libertarians have made a demi-god of competition by deifying the market while tyrants have learned they can accumulate power by murdering the competition. In 1950, UCLA Bruins football coach Henry (Red) Sanders said this, “Men, I’ll be honest. Winning isn’t everything” pause “Men, it’s the only thing!” Sports writers attributed the same statement to Vince Lombardi at his opening meeting with the Green Bay Packers. Many of our Christian leaders enjoy “broadening their phylacteries” by occupying a seat of honor at dinner, appearing on television, having the largest congregation or being seen as an authority. Competition is keen in Christian circles. Though little is accomplished for Christ’s Kingdom winners accumulate power and prestige while losers get the spoils.
Political parties quickly followed the drafting of the United States Constitution. George Washington, our first President, had no party affiliation but the division between the Federalists and anti-Federalists set the stage for political factions and parties resulted. Thomas Jefferson formed the first formal political party called the Democratic-Republicans. The name was intended to describe the will of the people restrained by the rule of law.
In 1828 President Andrew Jackson formed the Democratic Party which was intended to be a party of the people as opposed to the Democratic-Republicans which was the party of the elite. In the interests of the people as opposed to the elite, Jackson was noted for a successful battle against the money interests and their quest for a Central Bank.
Two political parties have controlled politics throughout United States history. Until recently both have maintained some regard for their oath to abide by the Constitution but as Executive Orders have given the President kingly powers congress has forsaken the Constitution and the good of the nation in favor of party affiliation and personal gain.
Political parties distort the intent of government by overlaying each consideration with a regard for the party. Religious affiliations are similar. Catholics in particular often refer to their religion as Catholic when Christian should be the proper term. We refer to our representatives as Democratic representative so and so or Republican representative so and so. Political parties and religious denominations create obstructions.
Political competition has deteriorated the concept of right and wrong by replacing the absolute with compromise. Compromise always produces something less than the best and over time results in national deterioration.
With the vigorous effort of Evangelical Christian polemics to find evidence of Christianity in the roots of our nation it is curious that if Christianity was uppermost in the minds of the Founders they did not encode it in the Constitution.
History records scant periods of freedom for the majority of the human race. Without an emphasis on individual responsibility governments become cancerous and freedom is lost.
For the most part the world lives under Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Individuals compete with each other within nations and nations compete with each other on the world stage. The winner accumulates more power resulting in progressive centralization.
At its founding the United States of America understood this principle and devised a governmental document that supported a diffusion of power to each individual state. When the secretive Philadelphia Convention was convened in 1787 its stated purpose was to amend the Articles of Confederation but powerful forces had already devised a Constitution that would be substituted as the centerpiece of the convention.
The duplicity involved at the Philadelphia meeting is obscured by substituting the word “Constitutional” for “Philadelphia”. This distortion tends to hide the manipulation. It is similar to the word Democracy, a misnomer almost universally used to describe our form of government. We live in a Republic, not a Democracy and it was the Philadelphia Convention not the Constitutional Convention.
When the Philadelphia Convention was convened the nation was over ninety-five percent Christian. Yet, the Constitution defied the Biblical pattern of dispersion by creating a document that centralized power.
The evil forces that control the United States of America have been working to destroy our country for at least a hundred years and since the Constitution forbids a religious affiliation it has allowed them free reign.
Family government can be seen in the structure of God’s creation; it is basic to the Biblical pattern. Keeping the family paramount defuses power and helps the federal government maintain its role as servant to society.
Not long ago someone sent me some interesting pictures of women factory workers producing munitions during WWII. The wide spread practice of women working outside the home struck a devastating blow to the family. When women are loosed into industry and the military they require the additional protection of laws against harassment that were not required when they were in charge of their own families. Women are often smarter than men but they are seldom stronger. A proper social order involves men being protectors of their wives and families; attempts to change this order are a foolish defiance of reality.
The problems that afflict our society cannot be fixed with Band Aids; additional framing will not stabilize a house built on sand. Education of children is a family responsibility and efforts to fix it at the public level will not succeed. Neighborhood schools controlled by the families that use them provide the bestpattern. A high quality private higher educational system is necessary but the government should not be involved in education.
If the Biblical pattern had been used to form the legal basis of our new nation it would have had a much better chance of survival. A Christian oath would have helped prevent the slide into humanism. Obedience to the oath might have tended to deteriorate but the immutable requirements of the Creator would provide a stark comparison.
Think of what change the Biblical law requiring honest weights and measures would make in our merchandising and political systems. Ignoring that Biblical standard has resulted in a nation that is afloat in lies, deception, and propaganda.
The family was formed and is still substantially used to procreate and nurture. Homosexuality has always existed but for much of history it has been restrained. It is illegal in Biblical law because it works against God’s basic family pattern. Feminism distorts the role of males and females in the creation and results in increased divorces and single parent homes.
Human ingenuity has produced an agricultural age, a mechanical age, and now an electronic age. The family structure was supported by a close association with the land. Mechanical inventions of the Industrial Revolution injured the family structure by making children a liability rather than an asset. God designed us for physical labor to be used in populating and subduing the creation. Today in the Western world, we waste our energies on treadmills, murder our children for convenience and limit our families with contraceptives. Separating families from the land has resulted in a loss of the strategic relationship between land and population. While third world nations multiply quickly Western civilization is failing to replace itself.
We are creating a disaster by distorting the proper use of what God has given us through abortion, war, birth control, and homosexuality. Instead of supporting the proper family structure and relating it to the earth, our only source of sustenance, we are working toward consolidating and centralizing. Centralizing power and tyrannizing the world population cannot result in the peace and justice God seeks for His creation.
Centralization results in wars and wars result in weapons. Weapons of mass destruction are a result of centralized power. Families do not develop atomic weapons, chemical weapons, foreign wars, genocide, drones, torture, invasions, murders, and mass propaganda. Neither will governments that serve the people instead of seeking the siren of power.
If we had made the One True God our King instead of a pagan government we would not be facing incipient tyranny.
“History’s verdict is that by defining marriage as monogamy and making extramarital sex immoral, the Biblical tradition laid down a foundation for stable families, strong women, children, economy, and society. By keeping his vows to a woman, made before God and community, a man learns to keep his word in other situations. When keeping one’s word becomes a strong cultural value, then trust becomes the foundation for social life.” Indian Christian, Vishal Mangalwadi. The Book That Made Your World” Pg. 294
And The Genre of American Society…
“We are no more free citizens in modern nations; for there are no nations and no free citizens. We are just grey and febrile pawns, volatile and nervous ants and cyber-cockroaches – name it as you want – lodging in a big technological concentration camp named the American matrix. An individual will be by no mean himself, for the old Christian subject is dead. For our ruling elites, who always lament the Russian resilience and threaten strangulated Iran, there are no nations, no races, no spirituality and no soul: there is just a cyber-personality in search of an ergonomic perfection and a global network of electronic prisons and ecological surveillance. As foresaw Job, the current man is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walks upon a snare” Nicolas Bonnal, Pravda.
Many Americans are adamant about obedience to the United States Constitution. Our beloved country which is feeling the encumbrance of the elite power structure clamors for Constitutionalism and seeks redress in the courts. When Christians support a document that forbids allegiance to The One True God and ignores His writing they invite His wrath. The Constitution opens wide the door for pagan government by forbidding a Christian oath and making it legal for infidels to rule over the nation.
When I expressed doubts about the efficacy of the United States Constitution I was shunned by some of my readers. Many thought I had become a disciple of Reverend Ted Weiland (He has done excellent work in analyzing the pernicious nature of the United States Constitution.) or had forsaken R. J. Rushdoony. Neither is true. I began to question the Constitution when I learned who supported it, who wrote it, the secrecy and duplicity that was involved in the Philadelphia Convention and the tragic results of some of its content.
The wickedness of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is at least to some extent a result of the failure of the United States Constitution to set forth proper moral restraints. Diane Spignola writes: “The CIA’s activities, per the official government directive, included the following: propaganda; economic warfare; preventive direct action, including industrial sabotage, demolition and evacuation measures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance movements, guerrilla and refugee liberation groups, and support of indigenous anti-Communist or now anti-nationalist elements in countries around the world. Such operations should not include armed conflict by recognized military forces, espionage, counter-espionage, and cover and deception for military operations.” She claims that, ”At least six million people had perished by 1987 as a result of the CIA’s covert operations. Not only is the CIA not an intelligence agency, it distorts information and perpetuates misinformation and disinformation to justify its own goals. This wide-range deception has resulted in organized terrorism throughout the world. Using the CIA, our government routinely dismisses or ignores national and international laws under the guise of ‘national security.’”
Wall Street and the money interests had their hand in the formation of the CIA. According to Kai Bird’s biography “The Chairman”, in1941 John J. McCloy asked Attorney General Robert Jackson for authorization to use wire taps to ferret out potential saboteurs. Jackson was against unauthorized snooping on private citizens and turned him down. McCloy actually envisioned an even more extensive organization that would operate secretly dispensing propaganda, collecting intelligence, and manipulating people and governments. He said, “I am somewhat obsessed with the necessity of establishing a propaganda or information bureau for our defense….It is more essential than artillery”.
McCloy’s request for wire tap authorization was backed by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. An attempt to get congressional approval was defeated by a vote of 154 to 146. At about the same time William J. Donovan who had first-hand experience with the British intelligence system and the ear of President Franklin D. Roosevelt was appointed Coordinator of Information (A name Bird attributes to McCloy.) a new function described as a means of bringing together the variety of intelligence gathering functions of the FBI, Army, Navy, and U. S. Department of State. The coordination effort met with considerable resistance but the organization provided a platform for another intelligence organization called the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).
Both John J. McCloy and William Donovan were bright, industrious men from poor families; McCloy from Philadelphia and Donovan from Buffalo. Both were Wall Street lawyers. Both were studious and both were amoral.
Donovan played football in high school and was a star at Columbia University where he was known as “Wild Bill Donovan”. His undergraduate and law degree were both from Columbia. He was a war hero and a revered leader who rose to the rank of Lieutenant General. President Roosevelt, a sports fan, admired Donovan’s athletic ability and his war record. He gave Donovan wide authority in forming a new intelligence organization. In 1914 Donovan married Ruth, a member of the wealthy Rumsey family. He was seldom home and his dalliances became so common that his hosts often provided him with women.
President Bush, the younger, was not the first high ranking politician to refer to the Constitution as “just a piece of paper”, McCloy did it first. When McCloy and Robert Lovett worked for War Secretary Henry Stimpson he referred to them as the “Imps of Satan”. McCloy visited Adolph Hitler and for a time was an advisor to Benito Mussolini. He graduated from Harvard Law School and launched his career from the powerful law firm of Cravath, Henderson & de Gersdorff. Cravath’s partners included Otto H. Kuhn; Jacob Schiff’s son, Mortimer; Jerome J. Hanauer; Paul M. Warburg, married to Solomon Loeb’sdaughter, Nina; and Felix M. Warburg, married to Jacob Schiff’s daughter, Frieda. Paul Cravath, the firm’s founder, was an Anglophile internationalist who became a director and vice-president of the newly formed Council on Foreign Relations. Ultimately McCloy left the Cravath law firm and became a partner in Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. The Milbank firm was associated with the Rockefellers who were friends since his days at Harvard Law. Throughout his life McCloy maintained a close relationship with powerful Jewish bankers.
Allen Dulles was a third key figure in the CIA. Dulles headed the organization from 1953 to 1961 and under his direction it began to conform to the image Donovan and McCloy envisioned. Dulles began MK Ultra, a secret organization that makes Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein look like child’s play. With extensive CIA financing it did experiments in torture and mind control that truly boggle the mind. He also financed Operation Mockingbird that successfully influenced the content of 25 or more strategic news sources.
Dulles was a libertine who was famous for his extramarital affairs. Under his leadership the governments of sovereign nations were disrupted with propaganda and economic sabotage. Democratic elections were disrupted, leaders were assassinated, military coups were launched, governments were undermined, genocide, scorched earth, and torture were all part of a frenzy of illegal activity.
In 1975 the Church Committee succeeded In reigning in some of the CIA excesses but the power to gain control over country after country was too good to be relinquished and other secret organizations were formed that took them up.
The brutal, Satanic policies carried out by the CIA mark the tenor of the elite money powers who are slowly bringing the world under their control. McCloy and Donovan were agents of those powers as is our President, our media, and many of our politicians. The United States of America and the War on Terror is being used as a tool to bring the remaining independent nations under the reigning world financial straight jacket. Our nation is being purposely destroyed in the process.
When comparing the conduct of our society with God’s legal requirements it is difficult to know where to start. Dishonesty is the main ingredient of our everyday life. Our personal conversations are inhibited by deception; our media distorts and edits the news; businesses regularly deceive customers with phony sales, exorbitant prices, and inferior merchandise; our political leaders lie to us, deceive us, and betray us. Our preachers describe a god that doesn’t exist and fail to mention the One that does. Our schools teach a debilitating humanism while we live, breathe, and have our being in a sea of mendacity with little effort to correct it.
Justice has vanished. It is a fearful experience to come before our courts. Receiving justice is like playing the lottery. Without the immutable anchor of God’s Law, justice is absent. Human law is always a product of diverse opinion and is enforced by power. Our legal system is as badly deteriorated as our honesty. God cannot be honored when crimes are against the State instead of against His Divine Majesty and justice is never served when restitution is forsaken. An adversarial system that ignores God’s Law cannot produce a just result. Adversity must be between behavior and His Law.
R. J. Rushdoony wrote: “All law is based upon morality, and morality is itself based upon religion. Therefore, when the religion of a people is weakened, so also is its morality undermined. The result is a progressive collapse of law and order, and the breakdown of society. Men, though, see law as a limitation on their liberty, and Christianity is held to be the most restrictive with its emphasis upon Biblical law as the foundation for morality and liberty. Humanistic man wants total liberty, but he does not realize that total liberty leads only to total anarchy, and that leads to the death of law and liberty. Unless every man’s liberty is limited by law, no liberty is possible for anyone.”
This is where we are going. We are slowly being brought under the control of the elite money powers and in the process our liberty is being lost in increments.
We need to take a personal inventory. Following is a shocking excerpt from a book by Nick Turse about atrocities our soldiers too often committed during the Vietnam War:
“The company stumbled upon an unarmed young boy. ’Someone caught him up on a hill, and they brought him down and the lieutenant asked who wanted to kill him…’ medic Jamie Henry later told army investigators. A radioman and another medic volunteered for the job. The radioman… ’kicked the boy in the stomach and the medic took him around behind a rock and I heard one magazine go off complete on automatic…’
“A few days after this incident, members of that same unit brutalized an elderly man to the point of collapse and then threw him off a cliff without even knowing whether he was dead or alive…
“A couple of days after that, they used an unarmed man for target practice…
“And less than two weeks later, members of Company B reportedly killed five unarmed women…
“Unit members rattled off a litany of other brutal acts committed by the company… [including] a living woman who had an ear cut off while her baby was thrown to the ground and stomped on…”
This is a weeping wound of sin in our nation, the sin of our soldiers, and the sin of our people. We support the savagery and murder that is fostered by unnecessary war. Soldiers are taught to be callus and cruel and the uncertainties of combat require they kill or be killed. As long as we don’t see it and our finger is not on the trigger we are happy to support murder’s macho image. Our women slither into abortion clinics and with impunity murder their helpless, unborn babies. We sanction murder in the name of selfishness. Our young men are urged to join the army and assist in the torture and mass murder that is part of modern warfare.
The United States Constitution allows men and women of disobedient character to be elected to leadership and not surprisingly these disobedient men and women disobey the law they have sworn to uphold. We protest disobedience to our Constitution but make no protest against disobedience to God’s Commandments. We go to church on Sunday; pray for our soldiers, profess the greatness of our nation, and wonder why we are losing our freedoms and why our leaders lie to us.
We have been deceived. Mendacity has invaded every nook and cranny of our nation. We live a lie in a sea of lies.
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, lest you die.’” And the serpent said to the woman, “You surely shall not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” From the Word of God.
Apparently, it’s a no-brainer. Mali holds 15.8 million people – with a per capita gross domestic product of only around US$1,000 a year and average life expectancy of only 51 years – in a territory twice the size of France (per capital GDP $35,000 and upwards). Now almost two-thirds of this territory is occupied by heavily weaponized Islamist outfits. What next? Bomb, baby, bomb.
So welcome to the latest African war; Chad-based French Mirages and Gazelle helicopters, plus a smatter of France-based
Rafales bombing evil Islamist jihadis in northern Mali. Business is good; French president Francois Hollande spent this past Tuesday in Abu Dhabi clinching the sale of up to 60 Rafales to that Gulf paragon of democracy, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The formerly wimpy Hollande – now enjoying his “resolute”, “determined”, tough guy image reconversion – has cleverly sold all this as incinerating Islamists in the savannah before they take a one-way Bamako-Paris flight to bomb the Eiffel Tower.
French Special Forces have been on the ground in Mali since early 2012.
The Tuareg-led NMLA (National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad), via one of its leaders, now says it’s “ready to help” the former colonial power, billing itself as more knowledgeable about the culture and the terrain than future intervening forces from the CEDEAO (the acronym in French for the Economic Community of Western African States).
Salafi-jihadis in Mali have got a huge problem: they chose the wrong battlefield. If this was Syria, they would have been showered by now with weapons, logistical bases, a London-based “observatory”, hours of YouTube videos and all-out diplomatic support by the usual suspects of US, Britain, Turkey, the Gulf petromonarchies and – oui, monsieur – France itself.
Instead, they were slammed by the UN Security Council – faster than a collection of Marvel heroes – duly authorizing a war against them. Their West African neighbors – part of the ECOWAS regional bloc – were given a deadline (late November) to come up with a war plan. This being Africa, nothing happened – and the Islamists kept advancing until a week ago Paris decided to apply some Hollandaise sauce.
Not even a football stadium filled with the best West African shamans can conjure a bunch of disparate – and impoverished – countries to organize an intervening army in short notice, even if the adventure will be fully paid by the West just like the Uganda-led army fighting al-Shabaab in Somalia.
To top it all, this is no cakewalk. The Salafi-jihadis are flush, courtesy of booming cocaine smuggling from South America to Europe via Mali, plus human trafficking. According to the UN Office of Drugs Control, 60% of Europe’s cocaine transits Mali. At Paris street prices, that is worth over $11 billion.
General Carter Ham, the commander of the Pentagon’s AFRICOM, has been warning about a major crisis for months. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy. But what’s really going on in what the New York Times quaintly describes as those “vast and turbulent stretches of the Sahara”?
It all started with a military coup in March 2012, only one month before Mali would hold a presidential election, ousting then president Amadou Toumani Toure. The coup plotters justified it as a response to the government’s incompetence in fighting the Tuareg.
The coup leader was one Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo, who happened to have been very cozy with the Pentagon; that included his four-month infantry officer basic training course in Fort Benning, Georgia, in 2010. Essentially, Sanogo was also groomed by AFRICOM, under a regional scheme mixing the State Department’s Trans Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership program and the Pentagon’s Operation Enduring Freedom. It goes without saying that in all this “freedom” business Mali has been the proverbial “steady ally” – as in counterterrorism partner – fighting (at least in thesis) al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
Over the last few years, Washington’s game has elevated flip-flopping to high art. During the second George W Bush administration, Special Forces were very active side by side with the Tuaregs and the Algerians. During the first Obama administration, they started backing the Mali government against the Tuareg.
An unsuspecting public may pore over Rupert Murdoch’s papers – for instance, The Times of London – and its so-called defense correspondent will be pontificating at will on Mali without ever talking about blowback from the Libya war.
Muammar Gaddafi always supported the Tuaregs’ independence drive; since the 1960s the NMLA agenda has been to liberate Azawad (North Mali) from the central government in Bamako.
After the March 2012 coup, the NMLA seemed to be on top. They planted their own flag on quite a few government buildings, and on April 5 announced the creation of a new, independent Tuareg country. The “international community” spurned them, only for a few months later to have the NMLA for all practical purposes marginalized, even in their own region, by three other – Islamist – groups; Ansar ed-Dine (“Defenders of the Faith”); the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO); and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
Meet the players
The NMLA is a secular Tuareg movement, created in October 2011. It claims that the liberation of Azawad will allow better integration – and development – for all the peoples in the region. Its hardcore fighters are Tuaregs who were former members of Gaddafi’s army. But there are also rebels who had not laid down their arms after the 2007-2008 Tuareg rebellion, and some that defected from the Malian army. Those who came back to Mali after Gaddafi was executed by the NATO rebels in Libya carried plenty of weapons. Yet most heavy weapons actually ended up with the NATO rebels themselves, the Islamists supported by the West.
AQIM is the Northern African branch of al-Qaeda, pledging allegiance to “The Doctor”, Ayman al-Zawahiri. Its two crucial characters are Abu Zaid and Mokhtar Belmokhtar, former members of the ultra-hardcore Algerian Islamist outfit Salafist Group for Predication and Combat (SGPC). Belmokhtar was already a jihadi in 1980s Afghanistan.
Abu Zaid poses as a sort of North African “Geronimo”, aka Osama bin Laden, with the requisite black flag and a strategically positioned Kalashnikov featuring prominently in his videos. The historical leader, though, is Belmokhtar. The problem is that Belmokhtar, known by French intelligence as “The Uncatchable”, has recently joined MUJAO.
MUJAO fighters are all former AQIM. In June 2012, MUJAO expelled the NMLA and took over the city of Gao, when it immediately applied the worst aspects of Sharia law. It’s the MUJAO base that has been bombed by the French Rafales this week. One of its spokesmen has duly threatened, “in the name of Allah”, to respond by attacking “the heart of France”.
Finally, Ansar ed-Dine is an Islamist Tuareg outfit, set up last year and directed by Iyad ag Ghali, a former leader of the NMLA who exiled himself in Libya. He turned to Salafism because of – inevitably – Pakistani proselytizers let loose in Northern Africa, then engaged in valuable face time with plenty of AQIM emirs. It’s interesting to note in 2007 Mali President Toure appointed Ghali as consul in Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia. He was then duly expelled in 2010 because he got too close to radical Islamists.
Gimme ‘a little more terrorism’
No one in the West is asking why the Pentagon-friendly Sanogo’s military coup in the capital ended up with almost two-thirds of Mali in the hands of Islamists who imposed hardcore Sharia law in Azawad – especially in Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal, a gruesome catalogue of summary executions, amputations, stonings and the destruction of holy shrines in Timbuktu. How come the latest Tuareg rebellion ended up hijacked by a few hundred hardcore Islamists? It’s useless to ask the question to US drones.
The official “leading from behind” Obama 2.0 administration rhetoric is, in a sense, futuristic; the French bombing “could rally jihadis” around the world and lead to – what else – attacks on the West. Once again the good ol’ Global War on Terror (GWOT) remains the serpent biting its own tail.
There’s no way to understand Mali without examining what Algeria has been up to. The Algerian newspaper El Khabar only scratched the surface, noting that “from categorically refusing an intervention – saying to the people in the region it would be dangerous”, Algiers went to “open Algerian skies to the French Mirages”.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Algeria last October, trying to organize some semblance of an intervening West African army. Hollande was there in December. Oh yes, this gets juicier by the month.
So let’s turn to Professor Jeremy Keenan, from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at London University, and author of The Dark Sahara (Pluto Press, 2009) and the upcomingThe Dying Sahara (Pluto Press, 2013).
Writing in the January edition of New African, Keenan stresses, “Libya was the catalyst of the Azawad rebellion, not its underlying cause. Rather, the catastrophe now being played out in Mali is the inevitable outcome of the way in which the ‘Global War on Terror’ has been inserted into the Sahara-Sahel by the US, in concert with Algerian intelligence operatives, since 2002.”
In a nutshell, Bush and the regime in Algiers both needed, as Keenan points out, “a little more terrorism” in the region. Algiers wanted it as the means to get more high-tech weapons. And Bush – or the neo-cons behind him – wanted it to launch the Saharan front of the GWOT, as in the militarization of Africa as the top strategy to control more energy resources, especially oil, thus wining the competition against massive Chinese investment. This is the underlying logic that led to the creation of AFRICOM in 2008.
Algerian intelligence, Washington and the Europeans duly used AQIM, infiltrating its leadership to extract that “little more terrorism”. Meanwhile, Algerian intelligence effectively configured the Tuaregs as “terrorists”; the perfect pretext for Bush’s Trans-Saharan Counter-Terrorism Initiative, as well as the Pentagon’s Operation Flintlock – a trans-Sahara military exercise.
The Tuaregs always scared the hell out of Algerians, who could not even imagine the success of a Tuareg nationalist movement in northern Mali. After all, Algeria always viewed the whole region as its own backyard.
The Tuaregs – the indigenous population of the central Sahara and the Sahel – number up to 3 million. Over 800,000 live in Mali, followed by Niger, with smaller concentrations in Algeria, Burkina Faso and Libya. There have been no less than five Tuareg rebellions in Mali since independence in 1960, plus three others in Niger, and a lot of turbulence in Algeria.
Keenan’s analysis is absolutely correct in identifying what happened all along 2012 as the Algerians meticulously destroying the credibility and the political drive of the NMLA. Follow the money: both Ansar ed-Dine’s Iyad ag Ghaly and MUJAO’s Sultan Ould Badi are very cozy with the DRS, the Algerian intelligence agency. Both groups in the beginning had only a few members.
Then came a tsunami of AQIM fighters. That’s the only explanation for why the NMLA was, after only a few months, neutralized both politically and militarily in their own backyard.
Round up the usual freedom fighters
Washington’s “leading from behind” position is illustrated by this State Department press conference. Essentially, the government in Bamako asked for the French to get down and dirty.
And that’s it.
Not really. Anyone who thinks “bomb al-Qaeda” is all there is to Mali must be living in Oz. To start with, using hardcore Islamists to suffocate an indigenous independence movement comes straight from the historic CIA/Pentagon playbook.
Moreover, Mali is crucial to AFRICOM and to the Pentagon’s overall MENA (Middle East-Northern Africa) outlook. Months before 9/11 I had the privilege to crisscross Mali on the road – and by the (Niger) river – and hang out, especially in Mopti and Timbuktu, with the awesome Tuaregs, who gave me a crash course in Northwest Africa. I saw Wahhabi and Pakistani preachers all over the place. I saw the Tuaregs progressively squeezed out. I saw an Afghanistan in the making. And it was not very hard to follow the money sipping tea in the Sahara. Mali borders Algeria, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Senegal, the Ivory Coast and Guinea. The spectacular Inner Niger delta is in central Mali – just south of the Sahara. Mali overflows with gold, uranium, bauxite, iron, manganese, tin and copper. And – Pipelineistan beckons! – there’s plenty of unexplored oil in northern Mali.
As early as February 2008, Vice Admiral Robert T Moeller wassaying that AFRICOM’s mission was to protect “the free flow of natural resources from Africa to the global market”; yes, he did make the crucial connection to China, pronounced guilty of ” challenging US interests”.
AFRICOM’s spy planes have been “observing” Mali, Mauritania and the Sahara for months, in thesis looking for AQIM fighters; the whole thing is overseen by US Special Forces, part of the classified, code-named Creek Sand operation, based in next-door Burkina Faso. Forget about spotting any Americans; these are – what else – contractors who do not wear military uniforms.
Last month, at Brown University, General Carter Ham, AFRICOM’s commander, once more gave a big push to the “mission to advance US security interests across Africa”. Now it’s all about the – updated – US National Security Strategy in Africa, signed by Obama in June 2012. The (conveniently vague) objectives of this strategy are to “strengthen democratic institutions”; encourage “economic growth, trade and investment”; “advance peace and security”; and “promote opportunity and development.”
In practice, it’s Western militarization (with Washington “leading from behind”) versus the ongoing Chinese seduction/investment drive in Africa. In Mali, the ideal Washington scenario would be a Sudan remix; just like the recent partition of North and South Sudan, which created an extra logistical headache for Beijing, why not a partition of Mali to better exploit its natural wealth? By the way, Mali was known as Western Sudan until independence in 1960.
Already in early December a “multinational” war in Mali was on the Pentagon cards.
The beauty of it is that even with a Western-financed, Pentagon-supported, “multinational” proxy army about to get into the action, it’s the French who are pouring the lethal Hollandaise sauce (nothing like an ex-colony “in trouble” to whet the appetite of its former masters). The Pentagon can always keep using its discreet P-3 spy planes and Global Hawk drones based in Europe, and later on transport West African troops and give them aerial cover. But all secret, and very hush hush.
Mr Quagmire has already reared its ugly head in record time, even before the 1,400 (and counting) French boots on the ground went into offense.
A MUJAO commando team (and not AQIM, as it’s been reported), led by who else but the “uncatchable” Belmokhtar, hit a gas field in the middle of the Algerian Sahara desert, over 1,000 km south of Algiers but only 100 km from the Libyan border, where they captured a bunch of Western (and some Japanese) hostages; a rescue operation launched on Wednesday by Algerian Special Forces was, to put it mildly, a giant mess, with at least seven foreign hostages and 23 Algerians so far confirmed killed.
The gas field is being exploited by BP, Statoil and Sonatrach. MUJAO has denounced – what else – the new French “crusade” and the fact that French fighter jets now own Algerian airspace.
As blowback goes, this is just the hors d’oeuvres. And it won’t be confined to Mali. It will convulse Algeria and soon Niger, the source of over a third of the uranium in French nuclear power plants, and the whole Sahara-Sahel.
So this new, brewing mega-Afghanistan in Africa will be good for French neoloconial interests (even though Hollande insists this is all about “peace”); good for AFRICOM; a boost for those Jihadis Formerly Known as NATO Rebels; and certainly good for the never-ending Global War on Terror (GWOT), duly renamed “kinetic military operations”.
Django, unchained, would be totally at home. As for the Oscar for Best Song, it goes to the Bush-Obama continuum: There’s no business like terror business. With French subtitles, bien sur.
Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His most recent book is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009). He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Asia Times Online
The so-called conservative talking head at MSNBC, Joe Scarborough, railed that the Connecticut shootings “must change everything.” Scarborough’s inference is that America needs stricter gun control laws. He said, “They [politicians] must . . . be forced to defend our children,” by enacting more gun control laws. Scarborough went on to rant, “I say good luck to the gun lobbyists, good luck to the Hollywood lawyer who tries to hide behind twisted readings of our Bill of Rights.”
This is the same Joe Scarborough who was elected to Congress in 1994 from the First Congressional District of Florida. He ran as a staunch pro-Second Amendment conservative. He was elected to Congress by staunch Pro-Second Amendment conservatives. Now, Scarborough is joining the chorus of the anti-gun left by adding his voice for more gun control.
At one time, Joe and I were fairly close. I hosted a prominent radio talk show in Joe’s district at the time and did everything I could do to help him win that US House seat. At one time, Joe, and several members of his family, verbalized to me that had it not been for my support, he would not have won his congressional seat. At the time, I was proud to do it.
Joe was a different guy then. That was before he suddenly resigned his seat in Congress, before he landed a gig at MSNBC, and before he became a multimillionaire. Since then, I’ve watched Joe Scarborough morph into something different altogether. I no longer know Joe Scarborough.
I remember him telling me some 15 years or so ago that he had his sights set on the White House around the 2016 election. Is that what this is all about, Joe? Are you reading the tea leaves after the Connecticut shootings, and you think you’re going to ride an anti-gun wave to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? It ain’t gonna happen, Joe!
In the first place, the only anti-gun wave taking place in America is inside the Beltway and inside the establishment media, which is where it’s always been. In the second place, those of us who still believe in the Second Amendment are not the ones who have “twisted readings” of the Bill of Rights. Has anyone noticed the record gun sales that are taking place right now? Gun shops nationwide are literally wiped out of AR-15-style rifles, along with their accompanying magazines. Gun manufacturers are back-ordered into the indefinite future. Joe, do you now believe that all of these millions of honest, hard-working American citizens have a “twisted reading” of the Bill of Rights?
Joe, you used to quote the Second Amendment at your campaign rallies, remember? It reads, “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
Joe, you know as well as I do, that the right of people to keep and bear arms has nothing to do with hunting or target shooting. It has everything to do with “the security of a free state.” It has everything to do with the ability of free citizens within a free State to defend themselves against the potential oppression and tyranny of the federal government. That was the meaning and purpose of the Second Amendment. Minus and plus nothing! Humanly speaking, the only thing that separates free people from the tyrannical propensities of the federal government is a well-armed citizenry. One could even say that they only thing that separates the free people of the world from global tyranny is the well-armed citizenry of the people of the United States!
Beyond that, the number of innocent people whose lives are taken by some mentally-deranged wacko with a gun is miniscule compared to the number of innocent people whose lives are saved BECAUSE THEY HAD A GUN.
Nationally, some 8,000 people are killed by a gun annually, including a significant percentage of suicide deaths. Joe, 8,000 is the number of people whose lives are saved with a gun in TWO DAYS. That’s right, according to US Justice Department statistics, at least 4,000 people use a firearm to defend themselves and others against violent attacks EVERY DAY. Joe, why don’t you, and the rest of the national media, report that fact?
Something needs to change, alright, Joe! It’s time for the federal government and various State governments to stop denying people the right to defend themselves!
Have you ever noticed that these “crazy” killers always select a “gun-free” zone to do their killing? Gee! I wonder why? When is the last time you ever heard of a “crazy” guy opening fire on people at a shooting range? How about a gun shop? Or maybe a police station? Never happens! Why? Because the miscreant knows that people at those places are armed and will shoot back. Gun-free zones are actually free-to-kill zones!
If we really want to reduce the number of these mass killings, here is the way to do it:
1. Expunge the federal and State laws prohibiting teachers, principals, administrators, university students of age, etc., from being armed in the classroom and on school property. In other words, allow adults to do what adults should be allowed to do in a free society: defend themselves and those who are unable to do so.
Thomas Jefferson, and the rest of America’s founders, understood the need for honest men to be armed, which is why they included the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights. Jefferson said, “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms… disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. … Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants.” And at no time did the Founding Fathers attempt to clarify or restrict the type of firearm people could possess.
Gun control laws definitely “make it worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants.” Those federal and State lawmakers who passed laws restricting the right of people to arm themselves, along with those police agencies and private organizations that called for the disarmament of the citizens of Connecticut, certainly made it worse for those victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School and better for the murderer who took their lives. Had just one of those adults at the school been armed, the outcome of this tragedy could have been much different.
Larry Pratt is the Executive Director of Gun Owners of America (GOA). In a public statement, he said, “Gun control supporters have the blood of little children on their hands. Federal and state laws combined to insure that no teacher, no administrator, no adult had a gun at the Newtown school where the children were murdered. This tragedy underscores the urgency of getting rid of gun bans in school zones. The only thing accomplished by gun free zones is to insure that mass murderers can slay more before they are finally confronted by someone with a gun.”
Speaking of the GOA, it is very disconcerting that their sister organization, the largest pro-gun advocacy group in the country, the National Rifle Association (NRA), has been totally silent on the Connecticut shootings. An NRA spokesman recently said that the organization would issue a statement on Friday.
I have to tell you, I have a sinking feeling in my gut that the NRA is fixing to cave-in to political correctness and compromise with gun control advocates on some sort of gun control legislation already being written. I hope I’m wrong. We will find out tomorrow.
2. Stop making celebrities out of these killers.
The truth is, Joe Scarborough, and the rest of the national news media, are encouraging these mentally unstable people like this Lanza creep to “go out with a bang.” The national media is obsessed with inundating the American citizenry with every little detail about these cold-blooded killers. Pat Buchanan made an excellent observation on this point.
Buchanan said, “This was a premeditated and purposeful act of mass murder, and the devil that did it knew exactly what he was doing and why.
“When he put four bullets into his mother’s head while she lay in bed, Adam Lanza wanted her life ended along with his. When he headed for Sandy Hook Elementary, with the Glocks and Bushmaster rifle, he knew he would encounter no armed resistance.
“Before he went into that school to shoot 20, 30 or 40 children, barely more than babies, he knew his slaughter would be so stomach-turning and heart-wrenching that the TV crews would come running.
“And by day’s end, the world would know who Adam Lanza was.
“Lanza kept firing at the children until he heard the sirens. Then he pulled out one of the Glocks, put it to his head and ended it, knowing he was on his way to becoming world famous.
“Just as Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold of Columbine are famous. Just as James Holmes, the ‘Joker’ of the Aurora ‘Dark Knight Rising’ massacre, is famous. Just as Jared Lee Loughner, the Tucson mass murderer who shot Gabby Giffords, is famous.
“A desire to be famous coupled with a dead conscience is the common thread running through these recurring atrocities. These loners and losers want us to know who they are. And, to succeed now, each almost has to outdo in horror those who went before.”
See Pat’s column at:
Anybody remember when “streakers” would run on the gridiron during nationally-televised football games? At first, network cameras would show the fellow running like a maniac around the field until an official or player would put him on the ground. Then they wised up: they stopped showing the idiot on national television. So, when is the last time you remember a nationally-televised football game being interrupted by a “streaker”?
The national attention that the mainstream media gives to these sick individuals is unconscionable. If Scarborough really wants to do something about reducing mass killings, he should use his position in the national media to stop making celebrities out of cold-blooded killers. Or is it really about ratings, viewership, and bottom-line profits, after all?
3. Restore a God-consciousness in the heart of America.
When prayer and Bible reading were expelled from America’s schools in 1962 and 1963, something else went missing: a consciousness of God.
I’m not talking about teaching religion; I’m talking about recognizing the moral soul of man and its responsibility to behave morally. Virtually every belief-system in the world teaches that mankind is accountable, in one way or another, to his Creator. It is a Natural Law that is as old as man himself. In simple terms, it’s called “the fear of God.” But since the US Supreme Court ordered prayer and Bible reading out of America’s public schools, our educational institutions are more than “gun-free” zones, they are “God-free” zones!
Will Joe Scarborough use the national platform he has been given to talk about restoring the fear of God in America? The national news media is as guilty as public schools in ignoring, or even belittling, the fear of God. If we are not created as moral beings, if there really is no such thing as right and wrong, if we really are nothing but soulless animals, why should we be shocked when we act like it?
Plus, there is a plethora of other issues that should be discussed when assessing the kind of barbarity that took place in Newtown, Connecticut. What about the medications that are being used so pervasively today? America has become a drugged society! Drugs are deemed the answer for everything. From the earliest years, millions and millions of America’s children have been given drugs, including behavioral modification drugs.
What about dark government operations? How many national disasters have the fingerprints of dark government on them? How would we know if they did? Who are those two guys outside Sandy Hook school whom police apprehended, handcuffed, and took into custody? Why did eyewitnesses to the shootings say there were at least two shooters? Is it true that the fathers of the mass-killers in both Newtown, Connecticut, and Aurora, Colorado, were both slated to testify in the gigantic LIBOR banking scandal? And, if so, there is no way that this is a coincidence, so who is investigating and reporting on this part of the story?
In other words, who is conducting serious independent investigations today? Who in the national media takes old-fashioned investigative reporting seriously these days? Obviously, not Joe Scarborough.
Then, there is the issue of responsibility. We are taught from childhood that no one is responsible for anything. Everyone is a victim! It’s always someone else’s fault. From our eating and drinking habits, to our smoking or chewing habits, to the choices we make and don’t make, to the friends we hang out with, to the cars we drive, to the places we recreate, to the movies we watch, ad infinitum, we are all told that we are victims. It’s not our fault! So, now we’ve got to disarm the entire country, because one person behaved irresponsibly?
President Ronald Reagan nailed it when he said, “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” Amen!
I am also reminded of when I was in Israel, I saw ordinary citizens (including teachers) carrying Uzi submachine guns just about everywhere. And in Switzerland, just about every man in the country is expected to keep rifles (including fully automatic ones) in their homes and train with them often. Furthermore, in Switzerland, the gun crime rate is so low that statistics are not even kept. Plus, the Swiss army even sells used guns to the general public when new models are issued. Gee! I wonder why we don’t hear about crazy people shooting up schools and movie theaters in those two countries?
Also think about this: how is it that so many of these do-gooders, who rail for more gun control, hide behind guns every day? They live in gated mansions with armed bodyguards protecting the property. They travel with armed bodyguards when they travel in public. How many guns protect Barack Obama every day? How many guns protect Nancy Pelosi? How many armed guards protect the newscasters and staff at the NBC studios where Joe Scarborough goes to work every day? It’s okay for the rich and famous to be protected by people carrying guns–including fully-automatic assault weapons–but average citizens like you and I are not afforded the same right.
So, who determines whose life is more valuable than others? Are the lives of the members of Congress and the national news media more valuable than the boys and girls in America’s schools? Are they more valuable than the lives of ordinary people who shop, go to movies, go to church, eat in restaurants, and go about their daily lives? The rich and famous in Washington, D.C., and New York City (how many guns protect Mayor Michael Bloomberg?) hire other people to protect them, and then they turn around and tell us that we don’t have the right to protect ourselves! I think there are at least a couple of words that describe such people.
Yes, Joe, something needs to change alright!
I’m amazed that so few Americans — most notably, so few liberals — have protested his secretive remote-control assassination program. Drones have killed 3,000 people in Yemen and Pakistan, including collateral-damage civilians, but the actual numbers are secret. So is the process. We don’t know anything about the rules of engagement, how people wind up on Obama’s hit list, who reviews the evidence, and what criteria are applied to that evidence.
The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution states that “No person shall be . . . deprived of life . . . without due process of law.” Drones are inimical to due process. It would be nice to know how the administration’s lawyers have addressed that conundrum in legal memos. Those memos exist, but they remain classified. The Obama team is reportedly writing rules for itself, a set of standards and procedures, but we may never know whether these rules are scrupulously followed, or even what they are.
Back in May 2009, Obama vowed that his national security actions would be transparent, so that Americans could “make informed judgments and hold us accountable.” But nearly four years and hundreds of drone strikes later, his actions bring to mind the remark Michael Corleone utters near the end of The Godfather Part II: “If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it’s that you can kill anybody.”
Granted, we’re waging a global shadow war against bad actors who don’t wear uniforms. Drones often kill known terrorists who might otherwise murder innocent Americans. No weapon is flawless. And in war, even the good guys inadvertently kill civilians; during the D-Day invasion, the Allies killed an estimated 12,000 French and Belgian civilians who lived close to Nazi-controlled railroads.
But if George W. Bush were whacking thousands of foreigners (plus a few American citizens) using a hit list shrouded in secrecy, in apparent violation of the Fifth Amendment and in blatant violation of transparency promises, rest assured that liberal Democrats would be holding hearings and denouncing him on MSNBC.
They don’t seem disturbed, however, that Obama has tripled down on Bush’s nascent drone program, and that this president is doing so on the fly and in secret. Their partisan instincts appear to be trumping adherence to principle. But all presidents, regardless of party, need to be held accountable.
Speaking of drones on The Daily Show in October, Obama said that “one of the things we’ve got to do is put a legal architecture in place . . . to make sure that not only am I reined in, but any president is reined in.” It was a scary remark: It suggested that Obama has been waging unchecked war without that legal basis — with nothing to rein him in.
We don’t know what we don’t know. Obama said in September that the drones target known terrorists who pose “an imminent threat to the United States” (allowing us to invoke the doctrine of self-defense), but “imminent” appears to be a slippery term. Obama has reportedly authorized the use of drones in what the CIA calls “signature strikes” — those conducted against unidentified people who brandish guns in regions where militants are strong. In other words, drones are sometimes used preemptively, to kill those who might be a threat in the future. Obama is judge, jury, and executioner.
But who cares, right? This is all happening far away, to Muslims we will never know. Many liberals are fine with it because Obama is one of them, and many conservatives are mute because they know there’s no percentage in attacking a president for being too tough on terrorism. That also explains why Congress hasn’t lifted a finger to conduct any oversight. And most Americans would probably rather watch football than weigh the implications of drone warfare.
At least a few million Americans have also been watching the hot cable show Homeland, which is all about the unintended domestic consequences of a drone attack. The Showtime series features a hawkish vice president, in cahoots with the CIA, who authorizes a drone strike that destroys a Muslim school and kills the son of a known terrorist. The terrorist retaliates by plotting acts of revenge on American soil. Yeah, it’s just a TV show, but Homeland prompts the viewer to consider whether drones might inspire blowback and perpetuate the cycle of violence.
So, at a minimum, let’s ask: Is Obama authorized to kill anybody? Under what criteria? What’s in the legal memos? How is the evidence weighed? What checks and balances have been established to ensure that drones are not abused by this president and those to follow?
We don’t really know whether drones are the answer in the war against terrorism. But more of us should at least ask the questions.
Source: The Miami Herald
In this column last week, I took sportscaster Bob Costas to task for his inane comments regarding the murder-suicide deaths committed by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher. Costas ignorantly and irrationally blamed the deaths of Jovan and his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, on “our current gun culture.” Costas naively said, “If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”
See my column on Bob Costas at:
Well, here is another tragic story of an NFL player’s untimely death. This time the team is the Dallas Cowboys. USA Today covers the story:
“For the second time in a week, from one Saturday to the next, another young professional football player is dead at the age of 25 and another NFL team is grieving after allegations of a terrible and tragic crime.
“Last weekend, it was Kansas City. This weekend, it’s Dallas. The circumstances are different, but the results are eerily similar. Two players are gone: One by his own hand in front of his coach and general manager in the parking lot of the team’s practice facility; the second in the morgue after a night out with a teammate, who is now sitting in an Irving, Tex., jail cell while his teammates fly to Cincinnati for Sunday’s game.
“One week after Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed the mother of his nearly 3-month-old daughter and then killed himself, the Cowboys are mourning the loss of a teammate while another has been arrested for intoxication manslaughter.
“Nose tackle Josh Brent, who was to have started this Sunday against the Bengals, was arrested early Saturday morning after the car he was driving flipped over, killing his lone passenger, Cowboys practice-squad player Jerry Brown, who was Brent’s teammate not only in Dallas but also at the University of Illinois from 2007-09.”
See the report at:
So, why didn’t Bob Costas get on national television and say, “If Josh Brent didn’t possess a car, Jerry Brown would be alive today”? Why? Because Bob Costas doesn’t think critically, that’s why! He simply regurgitates the same antiquated anti-gun rhetoric he hears from his pro-gun-control buddies.
But it’s true: if the gun is to blame for Belcher and Perkins’ deaths, the car is to blame for Brown’s death.
And speaking of cars and guns, the total number of deaths nationwide from the misuse of firearms pales in comparison to the total number of deaths from the misuse of automobiles. Yet, I don’t hear the Bob Costases of the world screaming for “automobile-control.” Come on, folks, get real! Plus, as Larry Pratt and others have already noted, firearms in the possession of American citizens are actually used to protect the lives of people some 4,000 to 6,000 times A DAY. When Costas said, “Handguns do not enhance our safety,” not only was he wrong, he was miserably wrong! Handguns DO enhance our safety–not to mention our liberty!
Look at the city of Chicago. More people have been murdered in the city of Chicago this year than soldiers killed in Afghanistan. One hundred and forty-four US troops have been killed in Afghanistan so far in 2012, while 228 people have been murdered so far in 2012 in The Windy City.
According to The Huffington Post, “The war zone-like statistics are not new. As WBEZ reports, while some 2,000 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001, more than 5,000 people have been killed by gun fire in Chicago during that time, based on Department of Defense and FBI data.”
See the report at:
Yet, Chicago, Illinois, has some of the strictest gun-control laws in America. Then again, maybe that’s one of the reasons why so many people are killed in Chicago. The laws of this city forbid honest citizens from being armed and, thus, they are unable to defend themselves. Let the good guys start shooting back and one will see a dramatic lapse of courage among miscreants. Don’t believe that? Check out the violent crime rates in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, or Vermont.
This modern infatuation with blaming inanimate objects for acts of immorality and impropriety is nothing short of epidemic! Of course, the reason for this madness is it facilitates the expansion of government into the minutest details of our lives. Big-Government zealots have an innate fear of power and responsibility resting in individuals. They see government as the only suitable source of power. To big-government toadies, individuals are merely the property of government. To them, government bureaucrats can do nothing wrong, while individual citizens can do nothing right. Hence, to big-government hacks, only government officials have the right to keep and bear arms.
The same reasoning applies to America’s so-called “War on Drugs.” Marijuana, especially, is blamed for all kinds of immoral and unsavory conduct, even though the overwhelming evidence simply does not support the accusation.
My youngest son, Timothy, is a former Florida Assistant State Attorney who is now in private practice. Regarding marijuana as being a source of criminal conduct, he wrote, “Drawing from my own personal experience, I see the absurdity of the ‘war on marijuana.’ During my time as a prosecutor at the Florida State Attorney’s Office from 2004 to 2006 where I handled literally thousands of criminal cases and tried nearly 60 jury trials, I was never impressed that marijuana was the cause of any criminal activity. Oh sure, possession of marijuana charges comprised a large number of my criminal cases; but the criminal act was merely the man-made law of possession of marijuana. In fact, most criminal activities were in large part caused by alcohol, where one who consumed too much alcohol became violent; beat his wife; neglected his children; drove drunk and hurt someone; caused a disturbance of the peace; or other similar evils.
“I saw those alcohol-related cases every day. Yet, I cannot say the same regarding marijuana. I would estimate that of the thousands of cases I handled, at least half (if not more) were a direct cause of alcohol consumption or addiction. Yet, alcohol is legal and marijuana is illegal.”
See Tim’s column at:
In fact, marijuana was not even considered harmful or illegal in the United States until 1937, as Tim pointed out in his column. Most people would probably be surprised to learn that four out of our first five presidents not only promoted the use of the hemp plant, but also grew it. Can one imagine putting George Washington or Thomas Jefferson in jail for growing what we now call marijuana? Egad!
The idea that the use of marijuana is harmful because “it leads to hard drugs” is tantamount to saying that beer is harmful because “it leads to hard liquor.” But it’s just not true! There are tens of millions of people who drink responsibly, or who use alcohol medicinally (as prescribed even by Holy Scripture), who never become alcoholics. Likewise, there are tens of millions of marijuana users who use it responsibly or medicinally, who never go on to use hard drugs or become drug addicts. And when it comes to addictions, Americans’ addiction to sugar and laziness kills far more people than those addicted to alcohol–or even tobacco for that matter.
But by making marijuana responsible for all kinds of untoward behavior, and by ignoring the personal accountability of people to behave responsibly, it has helped provide the justification for government to trample the Bill of Rights and create huge bureaucracies, which swell the size and scope of government–especially the federal government.
The same is true for firearms. By making guns responsible for all kinds of untoward behavior, and by ignoring the personal accountability of people to behave responsibly, it helps provide the justification for government to trample the Bill of Rights (in this case the Second Amendment) and create huge bureaucracies (the ATF among others), which swell the size and scope of government–especially the federal government.
Marijuana is a convenient scapegoat. Firearms are a convenient scapegoat. Automobiles, on the other hand, are not so convenient! Hence, we hear nothing from Bob Costas about the need for more “automobile-control.” Plus, amazingly enough, neither did Costas say a word about bringing back Prohibition! In Costas’ world, only guns are sufficiently evil enough to warrant his righteous indignation.
The tragedies in Kansas City and Dallas cause all people of good will to grieve. We grieve for the people involved; we grieve for the families of the victims; and we grieve for the NFL players, coaches, and management. But what we must not do is use these tragedies as an excuse to justify and condone the suppression of our God-given liberties! In addition, it’s past time for America, at every level, to start re-emphasizing the primacy of personal responsibility. That’s something that isn’t being taught much in our nation’s schools, churches, or even families.
But the promotion and expectation of personal responsibility is what made America great; and it’s also what provides our nation with its liberties. If men cannot be expected to be accountable for their conduct, they can hardly be expected to be accountable for their freedom. This is why inanimate objects are used as scapegoats by big-government toadies: it diminishes the virtue of individualism and extols the necessity of governmentism.
In Kansas City, the problem was not the gun; the problem was Belcher. And in Dallas, the problem was not the car–or even the booze–the problem was Brent. Straighten out the man and one will have no need to worry about the objects that are at his disposal.
While watching the halftime show for the Sunday night NFL game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys this past Sunday evening, I was stunned to hear NBC sportscaster Bob Costas drift from his sports commentary into using the tragedy of the murder-suicide committed by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher as a platform to promote yet another mindless assault against the Second Amendment.
Belcher had earlier shot and killed his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins and then himself. Costas used the tragic killings as an excuse to launch his assault against the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Costas quoted from a column written by sportscaster Jason Whitlock, saying, “Our current gun culture ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy, and that more convenience store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead. Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it…If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”
See the report at:
Let’s see. It seems to me that people have been murdering their fellow man ever since Cain murdered Abel. And would you know it: Cain had zero access to a .357 magnum revolver or .45 ACP pistol. And since when would a 240-pound linebacker need any help killing a woman half his size and strength? Does one really believe if someone is intent on murder, the lack of a firearm would deter him or her? How many people are killed with knives, clubs, axes, “blunt objects,” or even bare hands? Countless! And the fact is, firearms are used a minimum of 50 times more often in the protection of life against a violent attack than they are in the taking of a life.
My friend, Larry Pratt at Gun Owners of America, writes, “Perhaps Mr. Costas would have been disappointed if Ms. Perkins had had access to a gun and shot Belcher first? Would he then have thought there were too many guns? Actually, he might not have even heard about a self-defense shooting. Outside of the local press, self-defense shootings rarely make national news.
“To be sure, there are so many self-defense shootings each year that the national news would be carrying several accounts a day. Guns are used over 4,000 times a day (using conservative research findings) in self-defense. In fact, using those conservative figures given us by the Clinton Justice Department, guns are used 50 times more often in self-defense than to illegitimately take life.”
See Pratt’s column at:
Unlike Costas, who spouted out a sophomoric tirade of uneducated gibberish against the Second Amendment, a report in the New York Post more accurately describes the causes of this tragedy: “Kansas City Chiefs linebacker and former Long Island high-school star Jovan Belcher was allegedly battling football-related head injuries and booze, painkiller and domestic problems when he snapped and murdered his girlfriend before killing himself in front of two coaches Saturday.”
See the report at:
So, why didn’t Costas use the precious air-time he was given at NBC to call attention to the real causes of this tragedy? Why didn’t he talk about the on-going problem of chronic concussions being sustained by so many NFL players? It is well documented that too many head injuries are often speculated to be a cause of the rampant number of suicides among active and former NFL players–including the celebrated former superstar linebacker, Junior Seau? ABC News concluded its report about Seau’s suicide saying:
“Multiple former NFL players have committed suicide in recent years possibly as a result of brain injuries, including former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson, who also shot himself in the chest, ex-Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Terry Long, and Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Andre Waters.”
See the report at:
Why didn’t Costas talk about Jovan’s obvious alcohol and drug abuse? The only answer is because Costas has a personal anti-gun bias and used the air-time granted him by NBC to vent his paranoia. Well, now at least we know what Bob Costas is all about: he is just another mindless gun-control nut.
If Bob is reading this column, he might want to read this news report out of San Bernardino, California. According to the local CBS affiliate, “The city attorney of San Bernardino is under scrutiny for telling residents to ‘lock their doors and load their guns’ during a city council meeting.
“The official explained that because the city is bankrupt and slashing public safety budgets people will need to start protecting themselves.
“City Attorney Jim Penman said he doesn’t regret what he said.”
The CBS report continued saying, “The city attorney said it’s important for people to be smart about protecting themselves and their families.”
See the report at:
Instead of advocating the disarmament of honest, law-abiding citizens, Costas would have been better off advising people such as Kasandra Perkins who are mixed up with violence-prone individuals to arms themselves for their own protection. Obviously, the city attorney of San Bernardino is a much more reasoned and rational public figure than Bob Costas. That’s because, Mr. Penman probably has better real-world experience than Mr. Costas, who obviously has lived in the insulated, plastic world of the media elite for much too long.
As for me, I will continue to watch Sunday Night Football, but I will never again listen to another word that Bob Costas has to say about anything. The mute button on my remote control was made for nincompoops like Bob Costas. Beyond that, if Costas is really serious about his anti-gun position and not a hypocrite, like so many other gun-control nuts, I suggest he move out from behind his barricaded mansion and post a large sign outside his personal residence that reads, “This house proudly has no guns in it.” Anyone think that will happen?