In II Samuel 19 there is the story about an often-overlooked man by the name of Barzillai. He was a Gileadite who helped save King David’s life. The Scripture says of him: “He was a very great man.” Today, I’m going to tell you about a very great man. In fact, I’m going to talk about several great men.
I am reminded of these men, because tomorrow I have the distinct honor of speaking at a giant freedom rally on Lexington Green, Massachusetts, on the occasion of the 238th anniversary of the famous Battle of Lexington and Concord. If you live within driving distance, please come and join us. Oath Keepers founder, Stewart Rhodes, will also be speaking at this event. I believe the rally begins at 2pm local time.
In truth, April 19, 1775, should be regarded as important a date to Americans as July 4, 1776. It’s a shame that we don’t celebrate it as enthusiastically as we do Independence Day. It’s even more shameful that many Americans don’t even remember what happened on this day back in 1775. For the record, historians call this day, “Patriot’s Day.” More specifically, it was the day that the shot heard ’round the world was fired. It was the day America’s War for Independence began.
Being warned of approaching British troops by Dr. Joseph Warren and Paul Revere, Pastor Jonas Clark and his male congregants of the Church of Lexington (numbering 60-70) were the ones that stood with their muskets in front of the Crown’s troops (numbering over 800), who were on orders to seize a cache of arms which were stored at Concord and arrest Sam Adams and John Hancock (who were known to be in the area, and who had actually taken refuge in Pastor Clark’s home).
According to eyewitnesses, the king’s troops opened fire on the militiamen without warning, immediately killing eight of Pastor Clark’s parishioners. In self defense, the Minutemen returned fire. These were the first shots of the Revolutionary War. This took place on Lexington Green, which was located directly beside the church-house where those men worshipped each Sunday. Adams and Hancock were not apprehended. A few of Pastor Clark’s men led them to safety as their Christian brothers were preparing to stand in front of the British troops. Sam Adams and John Hancock owed their lives to Pastor Clark and his brave Minutemen.
According to Pastor Clark, these are the names of the eight men who died on Lexington Green as the sun rose on April 19, 1775: Robert Munroe, Jonas Parker, Samuel Hadley, Jonathan Harrington, Jr., Isaac Muzzy, Caleb Harrington, and John Brown, all of Lexington, and one Mr. Porter of Woburn.
However, by the time the British troops arrived at the Concord Bridge, hundreds of colonists had amassed a defense of the bridge. A horrific battle took place, and the British troops were routed and soon retreated back to Boston. America’s War for Independence had begun!
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, these two elements of American history are lost to the vast majority of historians today: 1) it was the attempted gun confiscation and seizure of two patriot leaders by British troops that ignited America’s War for Independence; and, 2) it was a local church pastor and his male congregants that mostly comprised the Minutemen who fired the shots that started our great Revolution.
With that thought in mind, I want to devote today’s column to honoring the brave preachers of Colonial America–these “children of the Pilgrims,” as one colonial pastor’s descendent put it.
It really wasn’t that long ago. However, with the way America’s clergymen act today, one would think that preachers such as James Caldwell, John Peter Muhlenberg, Joab Houghton, and Jonas Clark never existed. But they did exist; and without them, this country we call the United States of America would not exist.
Caldwell was a Presbyterian; Muhlenberg was a Lutheran; Houghton was a Baptist; and no one really seems to know what denomination (if any) Jonas Clark claimed, although one historian referred to Clark as a Trinitarian and Calvinist. But these men had one thing in common (besides their faith in Jesus Christ): they were all ardent patriots who participated in America’s War for Independence, and in the case of Jonas Clark, actually ignited it.
James Caldwell was called “The Rebel High Priest” or “The Fighting Chaplain.” Caldwell is most famous for the “Give ’em Watts!” story.
During the Springfield (New Jersey) engagement, the Colonial militia ran out of wadding for their muskets. Quickly, Caldwell mounted his horse and galloped to the Presbyterian church, and returning with an armload of hymnals, threw them to the ground, and hollered, “Now, boys, give ’em Watts!” He was referring to the famous hymn writer, Isaac Watts, of course.
The British hated Caldwell so much, they murdered his wife, Hannah, in her own home, as she sat with her children on her bed. Later, a fellow American was bribed by the British to assassinate Pastor Caldwell–which is exactly what he did. Americans loyal to the Crown burned both his house and church. No less than three cities and two public schools in the State of New Jersey bear his name.
John Peter Muhlenberg
John Peter Muhlenberg was pastor of a Lutheran church in Woodstock, Virginia, when hostilities erupted between Great Britain and the American colonies. When news of Bunker Hill reached Virginia, Muhlenberg preached a sermon from Ecclesiastes 3 to his congregation. He reminded his parishioners that there was a time to preach and a time to fight. He said that, for him, the time to preach was past and it was time to fight. He then threw off his vestments and stood before his congregants in the uniform of a Virginia colonel.
Muhlenberg was later promoted to brigadier-general in the Continental Army, and then to major general. He participated in the battles of Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, and Yorktown. He went on to serve in both the US House of Representatives and US Senate.
Joab Houghton was in the Hopewell (New Jersey) Baptist Meeting House at worship when he received the first information regarding the battles at Lexington and Concord. His great-grandson gives the following eloquent description of the way he treated the tidings:
“[M]ounting the great stone block in front of the meeting-house, he beckoned the people to stop. Men and women paused to hear, curious to know what so unusual a sequel to the service of the day could mean. At the first, words a silence, stern as death, fell over all. The Sabbath quiet of the hour and of the place was deepened into a terrible solemnity. He told them all the story of the cowardly murder at Lexington by the royal troops; the heroic vengeance following hard upon it; the retreat of Percy; the gathering of the children of the Pilgrims round the beleaguered hills of Boston; then pausing, and looking over the silent throng, he said slowly, ‘Men of New Jersey, the red coats are murdering our brethren of New England! Who follows me to Boston?’ And every man in that audience stepped out of line, and answered, ‘I!’ There was not a coward or a traitor in old Hopewell Baptist Meeting-House that day.” (Cathcart, William. Baptists and the American Revolution. Philadelphia: S.A. George, 1876, rev. 1976. Print.)
As I said at the beginning of this column, Jonas Clark was pastor of the Church of Lexington, Massachusetts, on April 19, 1775, the day that British troops marched on Concord with orders to arrest Sam Adams and John Hancock, and to seize a cache of firearms. It was Pastor Clark’s male congregants who were the first ones to face-off against the British troops as they marched through Lexington. When you hear the story of the Minutemen at the Battle of Lexington, remember those Minutemen were mostly Pastor Jonas Clark and the men of his congregation.
On the One Year Anniversary of the Battle of Lexington, Clark preached a sermon based upon his eyewitness testimony of the event. He called his sermon, “The Fate of Blood-Thirsty Oppressors and God’s Tender Care of His Distressed People.” His sermon has been republished by Nordskog Publishing under the title, “The Battle of Lexington, A Sermon and Eyewitness Narrative, Jonas Clark, Pastor, Church of Lexington.”
Order the book containing Clark’s sermon at:
Of course, these four brave preachers were not the only ones to participate in America’s fight for independence. There were Episcopalian ministers such as Dr. Samuel Provost of New York, Dr. John Croes of New Jersey, and Robert Smith of South Carolina. Presbyterian ministers such as Adam Boyd of North Carolina and James Armstrong of Maryland, along with many others, also took part.
Numerous Baptist preachers participated in America’s War for Independence, so many that at the conclusion of the war, President George Washington wrote a personal letter to the Baptist people saying, “I recollect with satisfaction that the religious societies of which you are a member have been, throughout America, uniformly and almost unanimously, the firm friends to civil liberty, and the preserving promoters of our glorious Revolution.” It also explains how Thomas Jefferson could write to a Baptist congregation and say, “We have acted together from the origin to the end of a memorable Revolution.” (McDaniel, George White. The People Called Baptists. The Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, 1918. Print.)
And although not every pastor was able to actively participate in our fight for independence, because so many pastors throughout colonial America preached the principles of liberty and independence from their pulpits, the Crown created a moniker for them: The Black Regiment (referring to the long, black robes that so many colonial clergymen wore in the pulpit). Without question, the courageous preaching and example of colonial America’s patriot-pastors provided the colonists with the inspiration and resolve to resist the tyranny of the Crown and win America’s freedom and independence.
I invite readers to visit my Black Regiment web page to learn more about my attempt to resurrect America’s Black-Robed Regiment. Go to:
Readers should know, too, that a brand new book co-authored by me and my constitutional attorney son, Tim, entitled, “To Keep Or Not To Keep: Why Christians Should Not Give Up Their Guns,” will be released in just a few days. This book examines the entire Bible, both Old and New Testaments, and proves conclusively that nowhere does God expect His people to surrender their arms in the face of any would-be tyrant. With hundreds of references, we show from both Natural and Revealed Law that the right of self-defense, the right to keep and bear arms, is a God-ordained right and responsibility. This book is sure to be a blockbuster. To order the book, go to:
This is the fighting heritage of America’s pastors and preachers. So, what has happened? What has happened to that fighting spirit that once existed, almost universally, throughout America’s Christian denominations? How have preachers become so timid, so shy, and so cowardly that they will stand apathetic and mute as America faces the destruction of its liberties? Where are the preachers to explain, expound, and extrapolate the principles of liberty from Holy Writ?
I am absolutely convinced that one of the biggest reasons America is in the sad condition that it is in today is because the sermons Americans frequently hear from modern pulpits deal mostly with prosperity theology, entertainment evangelism, feelgoodism, emotionalism, and Aren’t-I-Wonderful ear tickling! One man recently wrote and told me that his ears had been tickled so much in church that he had calluses on them.
This milquetoast preaching, along with a totally false “obey-the-government-no-
Tim and I also wrote a book entitled, “Romans 13: The True Meaning of Submission.” This book examines Romans 13, and the rest of Scripture, and shows that nowhere does God demand that His people yield to wicked and unjust government. To order this book, to go:
As we celebrate Patriot’s Day tomorrow, please remember Jonas Clark (along with James Caldwell, John Peter Muhlenberg, Joab Houghton, and the other brave pastors of colonial America). “He was a very great man.”
In 1965, as a college student, I felt the U.S. Government and Congress worked for and represented the best interests of the American people. As I learned more, and later as I understood more as a U.S. Army officer, I discovered presidents and Congress lie. When I became a math-science teacher in Denver, Colorado, I discovered that superintendents lie when it benefits them. I discovered people lie.
Lyndon Baines Johnson lied to plunge us into the Vietnam War. Bill Clinton lied from the day of his birth. George W. Bush lied us into Iraq War. Barack H. Obama continually lies to us as to immigration, Afghanistan War, Obamacare, his past history and more than we can count.
But the one lie that will go down in history as the beginning of the end of the United States of America goes to the late Senator Teddy Kennedy (D-MA) and his 1965 Immigration Reform Act. He exploded immigration from 175,000 annually to over 1.2 million year after year, decade after decade. He jumped our population from a reasonable 194 million to its current 316 million on our way to 625 million in this century.
In front of Congress he said, “First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same. Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset. Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and deprived nations of Africa and Asia.
“In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think. The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. The bill will not place a burden on the legal citizens by increasing taxes to pay the huge costs for care-and-feeding, medical care, education, etc of the “immigrants”… and additional social-services for their family members. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.” [Ted Kennedy at Judiciary Committee hearing on Feb. 10, 1965, commenting on the Hart-Celler Act]
Kennedy’s bill DID flood the country with another 100 million people. It created intractable poverty and entrenched illiteracy. It created cultural conflicts being played out across America in 2013, i.e. Mexicans battling African-Americans in Los Angeles, Muslims taking over entire cities like Detroit and running out everyone else; it imported many third world immigrants lost in the morass of this high speed society and unable to assimilate. We feature “Black flash mobs” terrorizing citizens in Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Chicago. We feature female genital mutilation, arranged marriages and honor killings in America in 2013. We see exploding illiteracy rates among citizens. We house 47 million people who cannot secure a job: thus, they exist on food stamps. Over 14 million Americans cannot secure a job at a living wage.
This new Comprehensive Immigration Bill expects to swamp our country with another 100 million immigrants within 37 years. From 2050, we face another 200 million beyond that.
In the meantime, Congress, led by a “Gang of Eight” senators expects to unload the gates of hell upon our country. Not only will Congress give total amnesty to 20 million, they in turn, can and will chain-migrate endless millions of their families into our country. This thing will become SO ugly on SO many levels, but we will become the victims and no one wins and everyone loses.
Amazingly enough, after the failure of the 1986 amnesty, our borders remain as porous as ever. Nothing in this bill shows any intention of enforcing past or current immigration employment, housing or transporting of illegal migrant laws. Thus, illegals will careen into our country in ever greater numbers.
Senator Chuck Schumer of New York said, “This is not amnesty — amnesty is the forgiveness of something. We’re going to create an alternative that says OK, you want to stay here, you’ll have to wait more than 10 years, you’ll have to pay this fine, you’ll have to pay your registration fee, you’ll have to be gainfully employed, you won’t qualify for any federal benefit, and then after all of that you don’t get to apply for anything until the enforcement mechanisms are in place.”
Schumer lies like a rug, like Al Capone, like a snake, like the 19 terrorists who flew airplanes into the Twin Towers and elsewhere.
- When the bill becomes law, every single illegal alien in America becomes legal.
- Legal status will never be revoked; it can and will only be expanded with every inevitable subsequent act of Congress.
- This amnesty will leader to more amnesties for millions of other aliens crossing our borders or overstaying their visas.
If you expect to save your own rear end and that of your children’s future, I implore you to join the following organizations for free and start sending pre-written faxes to your reps to defeat this bill.
When your article inspires a big-city mayor to refer your case to a “human-relations commission,” you know you’ve hit a nerve. And when that article is the recent “Being White in Philly” piece by liberal Robert Huber, you know it doesn’t take much truth to hit that nerve.
That’s the scary part. Huber’s article contains mostly tepid examples of whites’ negative experiences with blacks and primarily black neighborhoods, such as a Philadelphia resident whose grill was stolen from her backyard but “blames herself” for not fencing it in. Its tone is basically apologetic, absolving a drug dealer of responsibility because he was just “trying to get by” and describing the US’ racial history as “horrible and daunting.” Yet this wasn’t good enough for Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter and his comrades. They still want Huber silenced.
Oh, they won’t get what they want…at least not exactly and not yet. But, nonetheless, writes Philly.com, “In a scathing letter, Mayor Nutter last week requested that the Philadelphia Human Relations Commission consider whether the magazine and Huber deserved to be rebuked for the article.” Why is this significant? Well, when we hear about Englishmen, Canadians, Australians, Swedes, or other Westerners being imprisoned or fined for criticizing Islam or homosexuality — yes, this does happen — guess what the instruments of their oppression are.
Of course, they’re usually called “human-rights” commissions, and the entities that actually judge those charged with “hate speech” are called “tribunals.” And they have proliferated in the West. You can bet your state has one, and your county may, too. But, no, you won’t be silenced by them — at least not exactly and not yet. We have that pesky thing called the First Amendment (for now).
But Huber certainly was rebuked. In a Monday panel discussion moderated by the editor of his Philadelphia Magazine, Tom McGrath, he was criticized by what appear to be promising future human-rights-tribunal judges. Fellow journalist Solomon Jones scored the publication for having a “history of racial insensitivity,” while People’s Emergency Center president Farah Jimenez said that the “[m]agazine, which has an all-white editorial staff, was not the right ‘messenger’ for a story encouraging racial dialogue,” writes Philly.com. I wonder, does anyone ever say that the all-black NAACP or Congressional Black Caucus is the wrong agent of racial dialogue? Huber’s goal was to bring white people’s feelings and beliefs on race to light, and for this white people may be the ideal messengers.
Critics at the discussion even questioned whether the individuals cited only by first name (or pseudonym) in the article were real. I suppose they wanted full names, addresses, and telephone numbers, which surely would have encouraged honesty in racial dialogue. But when whites are portrayed in history as slave owners and oppressors, or when blacks charge discrimination today, do the powers-that-be question whether the stories are true? Why, there wasn’t even the necessary skepticism in the Duke Lacrosse rape frame-up case. Of course, though, why even ask? White privilege ensures that whites never, ever have bad experiences with black people.
Not surprisingly, the magazine and its “defenders” responded to the lynch mob with deference. McGrath opened the discussion with an apology, and journalist Christopher Norris said, writes Philly.com, “that he understood the outrage over the article, but simply viewed the piece as the work of an older white man writing about his experience.” Yes, and Nutter’s actions are simply the outrage of an older black man airing his complaints. Jimenez’ comments are simply a middle-aged Hispanic woman expressing her feelings. How did that sound? Should we try to discover truth or just dismiss messengers based on race?
Having said all this, Huber gets no sympathy from me. He says in his piece that white people are stuck being “dishonest by default” on race and that “[w]e need to bridge the conversational divide so that there are no longer two private dialogues in Philadelphia — white people talking to other whites, and black people to blacks — but a city in which it is okay to speak openly about race.” Yet his expressed desire for open conversation rings hollow. When John Derbyshire was fired from National Review for speaking openly about race, or Rush Limbaugh lost his position as an NFL commentator for saying far less, did Huber defend them? Did he even defend their comments as part of that initiation of racial dialogue? I suspect that he was happy to see a political opponent twist in the wind. But if Huber now wants to have that conversation on race, okay, let’s have it.
At the beginning of his piece, Huber speaks of a young woman he calls Susan and writes:
She lost her BlackBerry in a biology lab at Villanova and Facebooked all the class members she could find, “wondering if you happened to pick it up or know who did.” No one had it. There was one black student in the class, whom I’ll call Carol, who responded: “Why would I just happen to pick up a BlackBerry and if this is a personal message I’m offended!”
Huber explains that Carol assumed Susan targeted her because she was black and for a long time thereafter gave Susan the cold shoulder. Here is what Huber didn’t have the guts to say: such paranoia is the result anti-white bigotry. It’s just as when a person is irretrievably biased against someone in his personal life and then sees the individual through colored glasses. Every innocent misstep is then interpreted as a malicious act: “Why, that’s just the kind of thing he would do!” is the thinking. With whites, they’re always “racist” because that’s just the way they are.
And this has consequences. It’s easy to justify hatred of and discrimination against people whom you believe are inherently biased against you, and whites suffer as a result of this phenomenon all the time. Oh, Huber won’t talk about this, and it is why, if you want the truth, forget his article. Read the comments under it. For while the anonymity of the Internet enables some ugly talk, it also encourages expression of some ugly truths.
Just about a year ago I investigated a racially motivated fire attack on a 13-year-old Missouri boy named Allen Coon, who was one of fewer than 20 white children attending East High school in Kansas City. During the course of extensive interviews with parents and students, I learned that Coon and other white children had been subjected to severe racial harassment not just by classmates, but also teachers. One teacher called the tow-headed Allen “Casper” and encouraged other students to participate in the teasing; other times students would initiate the harassment and the teachers would chime in. I also spoke with two sisters, ex-Texans, who were verbally attacked in front of their class by a teacher who said, “Everybody from Texas is ignorant rednecks” and that all white people were responsible for a 1998 attack upon a black man in Jasper, TX (the James Byrd killing) because “[their] skin is white.”
And similar ugly truths are revealed in “Being White in Philly’s” comments section. There’s the white poster who said that in fifth grade in his primarily black school, the teacher would purposely ask him questions too difficult for his grade level and then, when he couldn’t answer, make him stand in front of the class wearing a sign reading “White Dunce.” And here are a few other examples (edited for punctuation and grammar), with respondents identified by screen name:
White kid in blackgradeschool
I was targeted daily throughout my childhood because of my race — that was made explicitly clear (verbally). Even teachers in my school were unsympathetic and would look the other way. And the manner in which race was spoken about in an all black school really inflamed students to the point where everything done to me was completely justified in their minds because, as a white person, I was finally getting mine, and some of the teachers I know felt that way too.
Under the bus
I couldn’t open my mouth in class without half of the kids shouting “Shut-up, white boy,” or many similar things. … [T]he majority of my teachers just looked the other way, and many, though not all, black teachers seemed to support it.
The demographics at my daughter’s school suddenly changed one year with black children becoming the majority, and she became a target.
I attended a small elementary school in Georgia. …I was bullied daily by black kids. Several loudly expressed that they hated white kids, yet could not articulate WHY.
[T]here was the black librarian who joined in with the [black students'] bullying. I had never experienced a teacher who was openly hostile to the white students. …I had to sit there surrounded by the librarian’s favorite black bullies, while she bullied as well.
Of course, we’ll now be told that these testimonials are invalid because, well, you know, these might not even be real people. It’s always nice to have full names so that those who dare speak truth can be scorned, ostracized, condemned, and fired from employment. As SaraEdward45 put it, “No one wants to [air these problems] out loud because you are automatically labeled as a racist and your experience is invalidated, leaving you to feel bullied once more.”
But, hey, it’s great that we’re having this conversation.
“The 20th century (was) characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.”- Alex Carey
Recently, while at an event marking the 1,000th day of imprisonment for Bradley Manning, I began to ponder the long and storied role of propaganda that led up to his demonization and incarceration.
“A scientific method of managing behavior”
Given the unspeakable lessons learned from Joseph Goebbels and Nazi Germany, propaganda has long been a dirty word. But when public relations pioneer Edward Bernays got his start in the early 20th century, it was a word less charged but equally as potent. In fact, Bernays unabashedly named one of his books Propaganda.
“Edward Bernays was surely one of the most amazing and influential characters of the twentieth century,” explains PR watchdog, John Stauber. “He was a nephew of Sigmund Freud and helped to popularize Freudianism in the United States. Later, he used his relation to Freud to promote himself. And from his uncle’s psychoanalysis techniques, Bernays developed a scientific method of managing behavior, to which he gave the name ‘public relations.’”
The Vienna-born Bernays was heavily influenced, of course, by his uncle’s work, but it was in the service of war that he helped shape what we call “PR” today.
In what Stauber calls “perhaps the most effective job of large-scale war propaganda which the world has ever witnessed,” the Committee on Public Information, run by veteran newspaperman George Creel with the help of others like Bernays, used all available forms of media to promote the noble purpose behind World War I: To keep the world safe for democracy.
The average American was notoriously wary of any hint of their country entering the bloody conflict. As a result, men like Creel and Bernays were called upon to change some minds with some good old-fashioned propaganda and persuasion.
The Creel Committee (as it came to be known) was the first government agency for outright propaganda in U.S. history; it published 75 million books and pamphlets, had 250 paid employees, and mobilized 75,000 volunteer speakers known as “four minute men,” who delivered their pro-war messages in churches, theaters, and other places of civic gatherings.
The idea, of course, was to give the war effort a positive spin. To do so, the nation had to be convinced that doing their part to support global military conflict on a scale never before seen was indeed a good idea.
“It is not merely an army that we must train and shape for war,” President Woodrow Wilson declared at the time, “it is an entire nation.” The age of manipulated public opinion had begun in earnest.
Although Wilson won reelection in 1916 on a promise of peace, it wasn’t long before he severed diplomatic relations with Germany and proposed arming U.S. merchant ships — even without congressional authority. Upon declaring war on Germany in December 1917, the president proclaimed, “conformity will be the only virtue and any man who refuses to conform will have to pay the penalty.”
In time, the masses got the message as demonstrated by these (and other) results:
Fourteen states passed laws forbidding the teaching of the German language.
Iowa and South Dakota outlawed the use of German in public or on the telephone.
From coast to coast, German-language books were ceremonially burned.
The Philadelphia Symphony and the New York Metropolitan Opera Company excluded Beethoven, Wagner, and other German composers from their programs.
Irish-American newspapers were banned from the mails because Ireland opposed England — one of America’s allies — as a matter of principle.
German shepherds were renamed Alsatians.
Sauerkraut became known as “liberty cabbage.”
Buoyed by the indisputable success of the Creel Committee and armed with the powerful psychoanalytical techniques of his Uncle Sigmund, Bernays set about shaping American consciousness in a major way.
“Torches of Freedom”
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society,” Bernays wrote in Propaganda. “Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.”
Bernays’ vision had a dominant economic component. As described by Tim Adams of the London Observer, Bernays “thought that the safest way of maintaining democracy was to distract people from dangerous political thought by letting them think that their real choices were as consumers.”
A fine illustration of Bernays’ approach involves his efforts — for the American Tobacco Company — to persuade woman to take up cigarette smoking. His slogan, “Reach for a Lucky Instead of a Sweet,” exploited women’s fear about gaining weight (arguably a fear manufactured through previous advertising and/or public relations work).
While Lucky Strike sales increased by 300 percent in the first year of Bernays’ campaign, there was still one more barrier he needed to break down: smoking remained mostly taboo for “respectable” women.
This is where some watered-down Freud came in handy. As Bernays biographer Larry Tye said, he basically wanted to take his uncle’s works and “popularize them into little ditties that housewives and others could relate to.” With input from psychoanalyst A.A. Brill, Bernays conjured up the now legendary scheme to re-frame cigarettes as a symbol of freedom.
“During the 1929 Easter Parade,” explains New York Times reporter Ron Chernow, “he had a troupe of fashionable ladies flounce down Fifth Avenue, conspicuously puffing their ‘Torches of Freedom,’ as he had called cigarettes.”
As Chernow reports, Bernays augmented this successful stunt by lining up “neutral experts” to “applaud the benefits of smoking, all the while concealing the tobacco company’s sponsorship of his activity.”
Bernays was also concealing his knowledge of tobacco’s deleterious effects. “As he hypocritically seduced American women into smoking, he was trying to wean his own wife from the nasty habit,” Chernow continues.
His daughter Anne Bernays, the novelist, recalls that whenever he discovered a pack of his wife’s Parliaments, ‘he’d pull them all out and just snap them like bones, just snap them in half and throw them in the toilet. He hated her smoking.’”
“Insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny”
With the legislative ground made fertile by men like Bernays and Creel, the Espionage Act was passed in June 1917. It read in part:
“Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully cause or attempt to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty in the military or naval forces of the United States, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment of not more than 20 years, or both.”
This act cast a wide net and, predictably, civil liberties were trampled. In Vermont, for example, a minister was sentenced to 15 years in prison for writing a pamphlet, distributed to five persons, in which he claimed that supporting the war was wrong for a Christian.
Perhaps the best-known target of the act was noted socialist Eugene V. Debs who, after visiting three fellow socialists in a prison in June 1918, spoke out across the street from the jail for two hours. He was arrested and found guilty, but, before sentencing, Debs famously told the judge:
“Your honor, years ago, I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”
Eugene Debs remained in prison until 1921 and roughly 900 others also did time thanks to the Espionage Act.
While some of more controversial sections were repealed in 1921, the Espionage Act remains on the books today and has been used against, for example, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, Daniel Ellsberg, and yes, Bradley Manning.
Never forget, comrades: This is what we’re up against.
NYC Event Note: To continue conversations like this, come see Mickey Z. in person on Mar. 19 in NYC for Occupy for All Species: Social Justice in the Age of Climate Change.
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.
When I’ve written about our listing mis-education system, my focus has mainly been on rampant political correctness, on how students learn few of the right things partially because of emphasis on teaching the wrong things. Yet there’s another problem: in some cases the teachers couldn’t teach the right things even if they wanted to — they don’t know them.
Professor Walter Williams treated this in his latest syndicated column, “Dishonest Educators.” He introduces the topic by talking about the fairly recent cheating scandals in places such as Atlanta, Philadelphia, Houston, New York, Detroit, and other large cities (in areas that, not coincidentally, also have high rates of vote fraud and other criminality). These are shocking instances in which teachers would commit transgressions such as reading answers aloud in class during the National Assessment of Educational Progress test. How did they justify this? Well, Williams quotes one teacher who told a fellow “educator,” “I had to give your kids, or your students, the answers because they’re dumb as hell.”
But it seems the kids aren’t the only ones. Now we learn that some teachers in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi paid surrogates between $1,500 and $3,000 to take the Praxis exam for them, the passing of which is necessary for teacher certification in 40 states. And how challenging is this test that some would fork over a few grand to a ringer sit-in? Williams describes a couple of representative questions, writing:
Here’s a practice Praxis I math question: Which of the following is equal to a quarter-million — 40,000, 250,000, 2,500,000, 1/4,000,000 or 4/1,000,000? The test taker is asked to click on the correct answer. A practice writing skills question is to identify the error in the following sentence: “The club members agreed that each would contribute ten days of voluntary work annually each year at the local hospital.” The test taker is supposed to point out that “annually each year” is redundant.
Forget about the fact that adults would find such questions challenging; it’s a sad statement about our society that we’d set the bar for teacher certification so low in the first place. I had to think: how young was I when I didn’t know the answers to the above two questions? Ten? Nine? Maybe even eight? Idiocracy has arrived.
Professor Williams also touches on a third rail of American social commentary, mentioning that most of the teachers hiring the surrogates are likely black — and that most of the surrogates may very well be white. Now, before anyone thinks of “Summerizing” Williams (not as I have. Rather, this refers to application of the kind of politically correct social pressure that drove Larry Summers from Harvard), know that he is black himself. And his point in addressing race is that our leftist mis-educators’ tolerance of low-information black teachers puts the lie to their claim that they care about blacks. After all, as he writes in his closing line, “If they [the teachers] manage to get through the mockery of teacher certification, at what schools do you think they will teach?”
But never fear, Dr. Williams. I’m sure these molders of young minds are well versed in afro-centrism, critical-race theory, and the principles of white privilege.
If someone were to ask you for an example of a “totalitarian society”, how would you respond? Most Americans would probably think of horribly repressive regimes such as the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Communist China, East Germany or North Korea, but the truth is that there is one society that has far more rules and regulations than any of those societies ever dreamed of having. In the United States today, our lives are governed by literally millions of laws, rules and regulations that govern even the smallest details of our lives, and more laws, rules and regulations are constantly being added. On January 1st, thousands of restrictive new laws went into effect all over America, but most Americans have become so accustomed to the matrix of control that has been constructed all around them that it does not even bother them when even more rules and regulations are put into place. In fact, a growing number of Americans have become totally convinced that “freedom” and “liberty” must be tightly restricted for the good of society and that “the free market” is inherently dangerous. On the national, state and local levels, Americans continue to elect elitist control freaks that are very eager to tell all the rest of us how to run virtually every aspect of our lives.
According to Merriam-Webster, the following is one of the ways that the word “totalitarian” is defined: “of or relating to a political regime based on subordination of the individual to the state and strict control of all aspects of the life and productive capacity of the nation especially by coercive measures”. And that is exactly what we are witnessing in America today – nearly all aspects of our lives and of the economy are very tightly controlled by a bunch of control freaks that just keep tightening that control with each passing year. We still like to call ourselves “the land of the free”, but the truth is that we are being transformed into a totalitarian society unlike anything the world has ever seen before. Where will we end up eventually if we keep going down this road?
If you still believe that America is “free”, just consider some of the things that are illegal in America today…
-Starting on January 1st, it is now illegal to make or import 75 watt incandescent light bulbs anywhere in the United States.
-In Oregon, it is illegal to collect rainwater that falls on your own property.
-In New Jersey, it is illegal to have an “unrestrained” cat or dog in your vehicle while you are driving.
-If you milk your cow and sell some of the milk to your neighbor, you could end up having your home raided by federal agents.
-In Miami Beach, Florida you must recycle your trash properly or face huge fines.
-All over the United States, cops are shutting down lemonade stands run by children because they don’t have the proper “permits”.
-Down in Tulsa, Oklahoma one unemployed woman had her survival garden brutally ripped out and carted away by government thugs because it did not conform to regulations.
-Over in Massachusetts, all children in daycare centers are mandated by state law to brush their teeth after lunch. In fact, the state even provides the fluoride toothpaste for the children.
-At one public school down in Texas, a 12-year-old girl named Sarah Bustamantes was arrested for spraying herself with perfume.
-A 13-year-old student at a school in Albuquerque, New Mexico was arrested by police for burping in class.
-All over the United States cities have passed laws that actually make it illegal to feed the homeless.
With each passing year, the number of decisions that we are allowed to make for ourselves gets smaller and smaller.
This includes some really fundamental things such as basic health decisions.
For example, the CDC will soon be recommending that nearly every single American be vaccinated for the flu every single year. The following is from a recent Natural News article…
An advisory panel to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that every person be vaccinated for the seasonal flu yearly, except in a few cases where the vaccine is known to be unsafe.
“Now no one should say ‘Should I or shouldn’t I?’” said CDC flu specialist Anthony Fiore.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted 11-0 with one abstention to recommend yearly flu vaccination for everyone except for children under the age of six months, whose immune systems have not yet developed enough for vaccination to be safe, and people with egg allergies or other health conditions that are known to make flu vaccines hazardous.
These “recommendations” are often made into mandatory requirements by school districts and employers all over the country. Will employers all over the nation soon require all of their employees to take these vaccines each year based on these CDC “recommendations”? This is already happening in the healthcare field. Hundreds of healthcare professionals all over the nation are being firedfor refusing to take certain vaccines. It doesn’t matter that there is atremendous amount of evidence that many of these vaccines are dangerous. Many health professionals today are being faced with the choice of either submitting to the “recommendations” of the “experts” or losing their jobs.
We see this kind of “creeping totalitarianism” in the business world as well. As I have written about previously, small businesses all over the country are being absolutely suffocated by mountains of laws, rules and regulations.
One of the biggest changes that small businesses will be dealing with in the next couple of years is Obamacare. Many small businesses have been cutting back hours in an attempt to get around the new requirements contained in Obamacare. The following is one example from a news story that was published earlier this week…
Around 100 local Wendy’s workers have learned their hours are being cut. A spokesperson says a new health care law is to blame.
“Thirty-six to 37 hours a week.” That’s how many hours T.J. Growbeck works at the 84th and Giles Wendy’s restaurant. The money he earns helps him pay for the basics, but that’s not the case for all his co-workers. “There are some people doing it trying to get by.”
The company has announced that all non-management positions will have their hours reduced to 28 a week. Gary Burdette, Vice President of Operations for the local franchise, says the cuts are coming because the new Affordable Health Care Act requires employers to offer health insurance to employees working 32-38 hours a week. Under the current law they are not considered full time and that as a small business owner, he can’t afford to stay in operation and pay for everyone’s health insurance.
But the IRS has announced that it is going to make it very hard for employers to avoid these new Obamacare regulations. According to new IRS rules, all firms that “have at least 50 full-time employees or an equivalent combination of full-time and part-time employees” will be required to provide healthcare for their employees and their dependents. The following is from a recent New York Times article…
Under the rules, employers must offer coverage to employees in 2014 and must offer coverage to dependents as well, starting in 2015.
The new rules apply to employers that have at least 50 full-time employees or an equivalent combination of full-time and part-time employees. A full-time employee is a person employed on average at least 30 hours a week. And 100 half-time employees are considered equivalent to 50 full-time employees.
Thus, the government said, an employer will be subject to the new requirement if it has 40 full-time employees working 30 hours a week and 20 half-time employees working 15 hours a week.
So conceivably an employer could have only part-time employees and still be required to provide healthcare coverage under Obamacare.
Of course many small businesses will not be able to afford to do this, so expect to see a significant number of them shut down or to try to survive with skeleton crews in 2014 and 2015.
As the number of laws, rules and regulations that govern our lives continues to multiply, the control freaks that run things will continue to try to use technology to watch us all and make sure that we are obeying their rules.
One way that they are doing this is with automated traffic cameras. Of course much of the time the performance of these cameras is terribly flawed. Just consider the following example which recently appeared in the Baltimore Sun…
The Baltimore City speed camera ticket alleged that the four-door Mazda wagon was going 38 miles per hour in a 25-mph zone — and that owner Daniel Doty owed $40 for the infraction.
But the Mazda wasn’t speeding.
It wasn’t even moving.
The two photos printed on the citation as evidence of speeding show the car was idling at a red light with its brake lights illuminated. A three-second video clip also offered as evidence shows the car motionless, as traffic flows by on a cross street.
But even though technology sometimes fails, the control freaks that run things seem absolutely obsessed with using it to monitor us. After all, there are so many of us and watching all of us is a very big job.
For example, did you know that listening devices are being installed on public buses all over the United States? The following is from a recent Wired article…
Transit authorities in cities across the country are quietly installing microphone-enabled surveillance systems on public buses that would give them the ability to record and store private conversations, according to documents obtained by a news outlet.
The systems are being installed in San Francisco, Baltimore, and other cities with funding from the Department of Homeland Security in some cases, according to the Daily, which obtained copies of contracts, procurement requests, specs and other documents.
According to the article, some of these systems are incredibly advanced and pair the audio that is being recorded with video that is being taken at the same time…
In Eugene, Oregon, the Daily found, transit officials requested microphones that would be capable of “distilling clear conversations from the background noise of other voices, wind, traffic, windshields wipers and engines” and also wanted at least five audio channels spread across each bus that would be “paired with one or more camera images and recorded synchronously with the video for simultaneous playback.”
But that is just one example of how the surveillance of the American people is rapidly growing. For many more examples, please see my previous article entitled “29 Signs That The Elite Are Transforming Society Into A Total Domination Control Grid“.
If America continues down the path that it is on right now, the United States will eventually be transformed into a “Big Brother society” that is far more restrictive than anything George Orwell ever dreamed of.
We need a fundamental cultural revolution in this nation. We need a revival of the principals of liberty and freedom that were so important during the founding days of this country. We need to teach people that even though liberty and freedom may be unpredictable at times, such an environment is greatly preferable to a society where all of our decisions are made for us by a tiny elite.
Please share this article with as many people as you can. Time is running out, and we need to wake up as many as we can while there is still time.
Source: The American Dream
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?
Perhaps we’ve discovered the real cherished “99 percent.” Writing that “[s]ome Philadelphia neighborhoods outdid themselves in Tuesday’s presidential election,” Philly.com reports that 13 of the city’s wards recorded a victory margin for Barack Obama of 99 percent or more. In other words, in some precincts, Mitt Romney was perhaps worth only three fifths of a percent.
This places Obama in rare company, with a result hardly seen since Adolf Hitler “won” a 1936 referendum with 99 percent of the vote. Remarking on the anomalous outcome,St. Joseph’s University history professor Randall Miller noted, writes Philly.com, “[P]oliticians almost never get 99 percent of the votes anywhere except, perhaps, the towns where they were born.” Well, scratch that. Kenyans can’t vote in American elections (at least those actually in Kenya)…yet.
Of course, such electoral unanimity could raise suspicions of vote fraud, especially since the number of wards in which Obama achieved his purity is remarkably close to the number of polling places (14) that illegally expelled court-appointed Republican vote monitors on Election Day. In reality, though, Obama’s 99-percenter status isn’t surprising given that he enjoys more than 95 percent support from black Americans nationwide. And while I believe the vote fraud this election was massive, in the Philly mental wards it would be apparent not in percentage of votes won, but in percentage of turnout. Philly.com reports that this was 60 percent citywide but provides no data for the wards in question.
Whatever the case, most people put a happy face on such monolithic support. For example, Professor Miller said, “Ninety-nine percent is extraordinary, and it shows discipline as much as anything else.” Discipline? So that’s what they call it now. I have a different word.
If 95-plus percent of whites had voted for Romney, would anyone characterize it as a matter of “discipline”? Why, even though whites favored the Republican by only 60 percent, their failure to split an even 50/50 is still thought cause to place the spotlight on them. For instance, this National Journal piece on the racial divide contrasts the actual Nov. 6 electoral map with how it would look had only whites voted and shows that Romney would have captured eight more states and hence the election. What isn’t shown is that if only blacks voted, Obama would have won every state.
The reason for this is as simple as it is rarely spoken. As black Tea Party star Lloyd Marcus put it, blacks’ monolithic support for Obama is attributable to “racism and loyalty to The Black Code (never side with a white against a fellow black).”
Here many will point out that blacks typically vote Democrat approximately 95 percent of the time and that they support black Republicans little more than white ones. Yet this argument fails. First, it’s clear that most blacks have a prejudice against the Republican Party itself (as some whites do) and refuse to even give its platform a fair hearing. Second, they have this bias primarily because they see the Republicans as the “white party” and dismiss, out of hand, the blacks within it as Uncle Toms.
If this isn’t enough to convince skeptics that racial prejudice is the issue, I submit as Exhibit A the 2008 Democrat primaries. During their early stages, blacks joined most other Democrats in supporting Hillary Clinton. Yet when Obama’s star began to rise, they flocked to him, often offering support by a 9-to-1 margin. This, despite the fact that the two candidates’ positions were virtually identical.
This is why I just shake my head when people say that Republicans are losing minorities because they’re not “reaching out.” This is a nebulous term that purports to explain something while explaining nothing, much as if you tell someone who is depressed that he needs “self-actualization.” It’s hard for the GOP to reach out and reach people when, owing to prejudice, they assume that the “R” after a candidate’s name stands for “Racist.”
If black people such as Lloyd Marcus, Alan Keyes, Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, and Jesse Lee Peterson can’t make any headway with blacks, what kind of chance do you think white Republicans will stand?
Instead of implying that we should “reach out” — a euphemism for “pander” — we’d be better off treating blacks the same as we do whites.
Call them out when they’re bigoted.
Even if it didn’t win any more converts, it at least might win respect. After all, people don’t respect someone who is too stupid, too afraid, or too dishonest to tell them the truth.
Perot was the last man to make a serious independent run for President. That was back in 1992. He withdrew from the race after he and his family had received serious threats against their lives. By the time he had gathered himself enough to reenter the race, all of his momentum was lost and Republican hacks like Rush Limbaugh had a heyday making sport of him. But the things Perot tried to warn us about back then have all come to pass. The economic malaise that currently envelopes this country could have been averted had Presidents and Congresses from both major parties over the past two decades had the sagacity and courage to heed Ross Perot and Ron Paul’s warnings. In fact, looking back, Bill Clinton looks like a fiscal saint compared to fiscal sinners G.W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Yahoo! News covers the story: “Former presidential contender and billionaire Ross Perot is worried that America is a sitting duck for an unnamed foreign invader. In an interview for his new autobiography, Perot said the nation’s weak economy has left us open for a hostile takeover–and neither presidential candidate is the man to save the country.
“Citing an impending fiscal cliff, Perot warned of disaster. ‘If we are that weak, just think of who wants to come here first and take us over,’ the former CEO of info-tech company Perot Systems told USA Today on Monday.
“‘The last thing I ever want to see is our country taken over because we’re so financially weak, we can’t do anything,’ Perot says.
“When asked for his take on the presidential race, Perot added, ‘Nobody that’s running really talks about it, about what we have to do and why we have to do it. They would prefer not to have it discussed.’”
See the report here.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of the American people do not truly understand the danger they are in. The national news media is mostly about NOT reporting what’s going on. The conspiracy of silence by the three major network news shows and the cable news shows is so overwhelmingly successful, the average American citizen truly doesn’t realize how dangerously close our country is to utter destruction–either by an economic collapse or by a nuclear war, or both. And all the two major parties can do is cast all the blame on each other, while the truth of the matter is BOTH major parties in Washington, D.C., are equally culpable for the jeopardous condition in which America now finds herself.
And Ross Perot is right: neither Obama nor Romney have the guts to even discuss (much less work to fix) the real causes of America’s fiscal woes.
Perot is also correct in his observation that America could be “taken over” by a foreign power. While the Bush and Obama administrations were beating the war drums for aggression against Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, and God only knows who else in the Middle East, they have turned a blind eye and deaf ear to the clear and present danger posed by China and Russia. The fact that China and Russia are salivating over nuclear war with the United States seems totally lost to the State Department, CIA, NSA, DHS, the mainstream media, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, and 95% of the American people.
Allow me to say at this point that if you live within a couple hundred miles to the east of a major nuclear target area, I would be making plans to relocate NOW. But you do what you want. That’s just what I would do. And in case you do not know where the major nuclear target sites are located in the United States, I highly encourage you to order Joel Skousen’ masterpiece: Strategic Relocation. Learn about it here.
Joel believes that China and Russia will not launch their nuclear attack against us for another ten years or so, but when it happens, it will be the catalyst for both a financial collapse and the rise of a totalitarian government. This leads to my question. Are we going to be taken over (as Mr. Perot is worried about), or are we already being taken over? Is our threat Beijing and Moscow or Washington, D.C.?
Without a doubt, the threat posed by Russia and China is very, very real (unlike the pseudo-threat posed by Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, etc.). In fact, Russian and China have been preparing their countries’ civil defense and fallout shelters for years. The only such shelters that are being constructed in the United States, however, are those the federal government is building for the power-elite. And that is being done virtually invisibly.
But even short of a nuclear attack from Russia and China, is not the America that we knew, the America that was governed by a constitution, the America that believed in the principles of federalism and limited government, the America that regarded the principles enshrined in the Bill of Rights as sacrosanct, the America that believed in paying its bills, the America that had an intrinsic fear of God within it, ALREADY being taken over?
Virtually every principle upon which America was founded and that guided this nation for over 200 years is being thoroughly expunged. Every one of them! My fear is that by the time a foreign power decides to push the button, the America that will be destroyed will only be a museum of what this country once was. The real America is being destroyed NOW–not by a foreign power, but from within!
As an example, try to wrap your brain around this report: “Close to half of Americans say they are in favour of police departments deploying surveillance drones domestically.
“According to a survey conducted by The Associated Press and The National Constitution Center, 44 percent support the idea of police using unmanned aerial vehicles to track suspects and carry out investigations.
“Only 36 percent said that they ‘strongly oppose’ or ‘somewhat oppose’ police use of drones, according to the survey.
“The poll also found that only one third of Americans say they are significantly concerned about their privacy being eroded by the adoption of drones by police forces throughout the country.
“Thirty-five percent of respondents said they were ‘extremely concerned’ or ‘very concerned’ when asked if they believed that police departments’ use of drones for surveillance would impact their privacy.
“Almost exactly the same number, 36 percent, noted that they were ‘not too concerned’ or ‘not concerned at all’, while twenty-four percent were neutral on the issue, saying they were only ‘somewhat concerned’ about a potential loss of privacy.
“David Eisner, president and CEO of the constitution center in Philadelphia, told the AP that he was somewhat baffled by the response to the poll:
“‘I had assumed that the idea that American police would be using the same technology that our military is using in Afghanistan would garner an almost hysterical response,’ Eisner said. Support for drone use ‘shows that people are feeling less physically secure than they’d like to because they are willing to accept fairly extreme police action to improve that security.’”
See the report here.
So, how could half of the American people be utterly unconcerned or even enthusiastic about this country being turned into a giant surveillance society? Are they so ignorant of history as to not realize that the most glaring observation of every totalitarian regime in modern–or even not so modern–memory was always the implementation of a massive surveillance network within the country? It seems that there is virtually no intrusion into our personal lives and liberties so egregious that the American people will not support it, if it is presented as a way of making them more “secure.”
Today, the vast majority of the American people don’t think twice about the government tracking them and listening to them through their cell phones, spying on their financial transactions, recording their phone conversations, reading their emails, scanning the data on their computers, setting up ubiquitous checkpoints on highways, and now sending drones over their homes and neighborhoods–drones that are currently being used to kill mostly innocent men, women, and children in the Middle East. Yes, you read it right: mostly innocent men, women, and children.
It’s often overlooked and taken for granted, but it’s the most essential of all human resources.
We’re paying 75% more for it today than we were in the year 2000.
According to a recent study by USA Today, which looked at 100 large municipalities across the country, the price increases over the last decade are so significant that many Americans are having to cut other expenses just to keep up:
…the cost of this necessity of life has outpaced the percentage increases of some of these other utilities, carving a larger slice of household budgets in the process.
“I don’t know how they expect people to keep paying more for water with the cost of gas and day care and everything else going up,” complains Jacquelyn Moncrief, 60, a Philadelphia homeowner who says the price hikes would force her to make food-or-water decisions. She gathered signatures on a petition opposing a proposed water rate increase in her city this year.
USA Today’s study of residential water rates over the past 12 years for large and small water agencies nationwide found that monthly costs doubled for more in 29 localities. The unique look at costs for a diverse mix of water suppliers representing every state and Washington, D.C. found that a resource long taken for granted will continue to become more costly for millions of Americans. Indeed, rates haven’t crested yet because huge costs to upgrade or repair pipes, reservoirs and treatment plants loom nationwide.
In three municipalities — Atlanta, San Francisco and Wilmington, Del. —water costs tripled or more.
Source: USA Today
According to the report, we can expect rates to continue to rise at a whopping 5% to 15% per year going forward, and for a variety of reasons.
The trend toward higher bills is being driven by:
- The cost of paying off the debt on bonds municipalities issue to fund expensive repairs or upgrades on aging water systems.
- Increases in the cost of electricity, chemicals and fuel used to supply and treat water.
- Compliance with federal government clean-water mandates.
- Rising pension and health care costs for water agency workers.
- Increased security safeguards for water systems since the 9/11 terror attacks
One critical aspect USA Today failed to mention as a reason for higher prices and the adverse effects on our purchasing power is, of course, monetary expansion over this same time period. While water prices are up in the high double digits over the last decade, the same cannot be said for Americans’ wages.
Taking that into consideration, we may well see rates go even higher than estimated.
Coupled with an ever expanding global population, the notion that countries will soon be fighting water wars over this critical resource is not out of the question.
The days of endless clean and cheap water are behind us.
Ripping Off Retirees to Provide Banks With Cheap Capital…
You don’t need to comb the pages of the Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times to know what’s going on with the economy. Just take a look at Bloomberg Bonds and skip-down to the price/yield section on 10-year US Treasuries. That will tell you everything you need to know.
As of Monday, yields are at 1.66%, a little higher than they have been lately, but still ridiculously low in what many people are calling the 4th year of the recovery.
Recovery? You’ve got to be kidding. 1.66% is below the rate of inflation, which means that if you plunk your money into a 10-year bond, you’ll get back less than you put in. (inflation adjusted) Great investment, eh?
So, why are rates so low?
First of all, because people are still scared because the government and the Fed haven’t fixed anything and keep implementing strategies that people don’t understand.
Second, because there’s no competition for money, no demand for new loans, because homeowners and consumers are still licking their wounds from the meltdown and need to get their balance sheets together.
Third, because big business has nothing to invest in except the goofy structured finance products that went toes-up when the sh** hit the fan in 2008. (CDO’s anyone?)
Forth, Europe. The big money is still exiting the sinking continent to safe haven Treasuries. (USTs are still the cleanest shirt in the hamper.)
And, fifth, rates are low because we’re ruled by idiots. How else would you explain the fact that the Fed has initiated 3 rounds of bond buying (QE) to the tune of many trillions of dollars and unemployment is still above 8 percent, underemployment is above 15%, 13 million people still can’t find jobs, consumer confidence is down, retail sales are flagging, the housing market is in the dumps, domestic manufacturing is contracting, business investment is anemic, and credit expansion is zilch excluding rip-off student loans and junk subprime auto loans?
How is it that Mr Bernanke–who never saw the housing bubble, who sang the praises of knucklehead mortgage products that blew up the financial system, and who assured us that the housing implosion was “contained”– can keep his job as chief regulator and monetary policymaker with this abyssmal record of failure?
The economy cannot possibly improve as long as the man in the wheelhouse is a dunce. That much is certain. Rates are low mainly because of the criminal mismagement of the economy.
Did you know that people are stuffing boatloads of money into their mattresses to avoid investing in the transparently rigged stock market? It’s true. Here’s the scoop from TrimTabs:
“TrimTabs Investment Research said today that inflows into checking and savings accounts are far outpacing inflows into all other major investment vehicles….
In a research note, TrimTabs explained that checking and savings accounts attracted a combined $356 billion in the first half of 2012, nearly double the inflow of $188 billion into bond mutual funds and exchange-traded funds….
“Inflows into savings accounts were consistently heavy—the flows weren’t just happening in one or two months,” noted Biderman. “Savings account inflows ranged from $30 billion to $90 billion in each of the first six months of this year.”
Now if you or I, dear reader, were assigned the task of restoring faith in the capital markets, and yet, 4 years after the Lehman debacle, people were still squirreling their money away in regular zilch-interest ”vanilla” bank accounts, we’d get our “walking papers”, right? But not easy-money Bennie, the Pride of Princeton. Oh no. Bernanke gets a pat on the back and another 6 years to drive the world’s biggest economy deeper into the ditch. Go figure?
Of course, the state of the economy doesn’t matter to Bernanke as long as the “people who count” are still making money. Take a look at this:
“The only major metric I looked at wherein today’s recovery outperformed the average expansion of the previous 60 years was corporate profits. In the average postwar recovery, corporate profits rose 38 percent from trough to peak. So far into this recovery, they have risen 45 percent.”
So big business is raking in the gravy while everyone else has been scraping by trying to put food on the table or stay out of the poor house. Are you surprised?
In the same article, Rampell notes that government spending has actually seen “smaller growth in this recovery than in any previous ones …. In fact, the public sector has not grown at all in the last three years; it is smaller today than it was when the recovery began.”
How about that? So all that baloney about Obama being a ”big spender” is just more GOP propaganda. There’s not a word of truth to it. The administration should have boosted the size of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), as every competent economist in the country had warned. Instead, Obama went with the recommendations of Wall Street favorite, Larry Summers, who torpedoed Christina Romer’s appeal for a $1.8 trillion stimulus and set the stage for today’s protracted slump. Interestingly, there was an article in the Washington Post just last week that confirmed once again that –according to the data–the ARRA did just what it was supposed to do. The only problem was that it was too small. Here’s a clip from the article that drives home the point:
“At its peak, the Recovery Act directly employed more than 700,000 Americans on construction projects, research grants and other contracts. That number doesn’t include the jobs saved or created through its unemployment benefits, food stamps and other aid to struggling families likely to spend it; its fiscal relief for cash-strapped state governments; or its tax cuts for more than 95 percent of workers. Top economic forecasters estimate that the stimulus produced about 2.5 million jobs and added between 2.1 percent and 3.8 percent to our gross domestic product….
It’s true that a bigger stimulus would have provided a bigger economic jolt and accelerated the sluggish recovery. More public works projects would have produced more jobs; more state aid would have prevented more of the public-sector cutbacks that have slowed the recovery; more tax cuts would have directed more cash into your wallet.”
That settles it, stimulus works. Fiscal stimulus, that is. Monetary stimulus, on the other hand, is a total dud, unless, off course, the goal is too pump more helium into hyper-inflated equities to keep the investor class cheery. If there’s any doubt that that was Bernanke’s real intention, then take a look at this chart of QE’s performance over the last few years. Thechart shows how stocks rose on an ocean of Fed-generated liquidity while the economy stagnated and the jobless numbers barely budged.
Diminishing returns on bond buying make it less likely that Bernanke will initiate another round of QE, mainly because the Fed’s accommodative policy (The “Bernanke Put”) hasn’t increased the amount of money in circulation, which means that QE is having negligible effect on the real economy. The so-called transmission mechanism is on the fritz, leaving the Fed without the tools it needs to kick-start the economy. British economist John Maynard Keynes warned that monetary policy alone would not be sufficient to trigger economic recovery during a massive deleveraging cycle like today, but Bernanke doesn’t like Keynes, so we can probably expect more of the same. QE to infinity.
There are a number of ways to measure Bernanke’s dreadful effect on the economy, the most obvious of which is GDP. How much is the economy actually growing, that’s the question?
Not much, it appears. Take a look at this:
“According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Survey of Professional Forecasters, real gross domestic product is expected to grow at only a 1.6% annual rate this quarter and 2.2% in the fourth quarter, down from 2.5% and 2.6% forecast three months ago…
Lower economic activity forecasts are leading to reduced expectations for job growth. The forecasters now see payroll gains averaging 125,000 per month this quarter and 135,300 in the fourth. That hiring pace is down sharply from the gains of 170,000 and 172,600 expected in the second-quarter survey.
Slower hiring means the U.S. unemployment rate will remain above 8% until the second quarter of 2013. In the previous forecasts, the economists thought the rate would fall below 8% by the fourth quarter of this year.” (“Economists in Philly Fed Survey Lower Forecasts”, Wall Street Journal)
Be real. The truth is, the economy is probably already in recession, but the data won’t show it for another quarter or so. But consider what this information on GDP means in terms of what we have already gone over in this article. First, that monetary stimulus (quantitative easing) hasn’t worked for 4 years. Second, that fiscal stimulus did work. That said, which type of stimulus do you think the administration should pursue?
It’s a no-brainer, right?
One last thing about interest rates: Sure, Bernanke’s low rates make it easier for people to pay their bills, (because it reduces the real burden of debt) or for banks to finance their stinkpile of garbage loans. It also makes it cheaper to buy a house or car or whatever. This is the upside of cheap money. But there’s a downside, too. Many people are putting off retirement because they can’t make the money on their savings and investments that they figured they’d be able to. The Fed’s policy is forcing them to hang onto the jobs longer than they would have in a normal rate environment. That’s having a very damaging effect on younger people entering the workforce who can’t land a job because Gramps is still manning the key-puncher. Here’s how Dr. Housing Bubble sums it up:
“Net US household interest income is pushing record lows,” which means that the perennial low rates are “pushing costs in other areas of the economy.” Just check out this chart and you’ll see what’s going on.
Bernanke is essentially ripping off retirees and savers to provide the banks with cheap capital. At the same time, he’s putting the kibosh on young graduates and others from getting the job they need to start their careers or enter the middle class. This is the downside of the Fed’s misguided low rate regime.
Low rates mean that the economy is going to be in a funk for a very long time unless the policy changes.
That’s why Mr. Bernanke needs to get his pink slip pronto.
I’m sure most Americans are mighty proud of the fact that Julian Assange is so frightened of falling into the custody of the United States that he had to seek sanctuary in the embassy of Ecuador, a tiny and poor Third World country, without any way of knowing how it would turn out. He might be forced to be there for years. “That’ll teach him to mess with the most powerful country in the world! All you other terrorists and anti-Americans out there — Take Note! When you fuck around with God’s country you pay a price!”
How true. You do pay a price. Ask the people of Cuba, Vietnam, Chile, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Iran, Haiti, etc., etc., etc. And ask the people of Guantánamo, Diego Garcia, Bagram, and a dozen other torture centers to which God’s country offers free transportation.
You think with the whole world watching, the United States would not be so obvious as to torture Assange if they got hold of him? Ask Bradley Manning. At a bare minimum, prolonged solitary confinement is torture. Before too long the world may ban it. Not that that would keep God’s country and other police states from using it.
You think with the whole world watching, the United States would not be so obvious as to target Assange with a drone? They’ve done it with American citizens. Assange is a mere Aussie.
And Ecuador and its president, Rafael Correa, will pay a price. You think with the whole world watching, the United States would not intervene in Ecuador? In Latin America, it comes very naturally for Washington. During the Cold War it was said that the United States could cause the downfall of a government south of the border … with a frown. The dissolution of the Soviet Union didn’t bring any change in that because it was never the Soviet Union per se that the United States was fighting. It was the threat of a good example of an alternative to the capitalist model.
For example, on January 21, 2000 in Ecuador, where almost two-thirds live in poverty, a very large number of indigenous peasants rose up in desperation and marched to the capital city of Quito, where they were joined by labor unions and some junior military officers (most members of the army being of indigenous stock). This coalition presented a list of economic demands, seized the Congress and Supreme Court buildings, and forced the president to resign. He was replaced by a junta from the ranks of the new coalition. The Clinton administration was alarmed. Besides North American knee-reflex hostility to anything that look or smells like a leftist revolution, Washington had big plans for a large military base in Manta (later closed by Correa). And Colombia — already plagued by leftist movements — was next door.
The US quickly stepped in to educate the Ecuadorean coalition leaders as to the facts of Western Hemispheric imperial life. The American embassy in Quito … Peter Romero, Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America and Western Hemispheric Affairs … Sandy Berger, National Security Adviser to President Clinton … Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering … all made phone calls to Ecuadorian officials to threaten a cutoff in aid and other support, warning that “Ecuador will find itself isolated”, informing them that the United States would never recognize any new government the coalition might set up, there would be no peace in Ecuador unless the military backed the vice president as the new leader, and the vice president must continue to pursue neoliberal “reforms”, the kind of IMF structural adjustment policies which had played a major role in inciting the uprising in the first place.
Within hours the heads of the Ecuadorian army, navy and air force declared their support for the vice president. The leaders of the uprising fled into hiding. And that was the end of the Ecuadorian revolution of the year 2000.1
Rafael Correa was first elected in 2006 with a 58% majority, and reelected in 2009 with a 55% majority; his current term runs until August 2013. The American mainstream media has been increasingly critical of him. The following letter sent in January to the Washington Post by the Ecuadoran ambassador to the United States is an attempt to clarify one of the issues.
Letter to the Editor:
We were offended by the Jan. 12 editorial “Ecuador’s bully,” which focused on a lawsuit brought by our president, Rafael Correa, after a newspaper claimed that he was guilty of ordering troops to fire on innocent citizens during a failed coup in 2010. The president asked the publishers to release their evidence or a retraction. When they refused, he sued, as any citizen should do when recklessly wronged.
No journalist has gone to prison or paid a significant fine in the five years of the Correa presidency. Media criticism — fair and unfair, sometimes with malice — of the government appears every day. The case involving the newspaper is on appeal. When the judicial process ends, the president has said, he will waive some or all of the penalties provided he gets a retraction. That is a common solution to libel and slander cases in the United States, I believe.
Your writer uses obnoxious phrases such as “banana republic,” but here is the reality of today’s Ecuador: a highly popular, stable and progressive democracy for the first time in decades.
Nathalie Cely, Washington
No shelter from the drones of infinite justice or the bacteria of enduring freedom
Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai said recently that he had had an argument with Gen. John Allen, the top US commander in Afghanistan, about the issue of American drone attacks in Afghanistan, following yet another deadly airstrike that killed a number of civilians. Karzai asked Allen an eminently reasonable question: “Do you do this in the United States?” The Afghan president added: “There is police action every day in the United States in various localities. They don’t call an airplane to bomb the place.”2
Karzai’s question to Allen was rhetorical of course, for can it be imagined that American officials would bomb a house in an American city because they suspected that certain bad guys were present there? Well, the answer to that question is that it can be imagined because they’ve already done it.
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On May 13, 1985, a bomb dropped by a police helicopter burned down an entire block, some 60 homes destroyed, 11 dead, including several small children. The police, the mayor’s office, and the FBI were all involved in this effort to evict an organization called MOVE from the house they lived in.
The victims were all black of course. So let’s rephrase our question. Can it be imagined that American officials would bomb a house in Beverly Hills or the upper east side of Manhattan? Stay tuned.
And what else can we imagine about a society that’s been super militarized, that’s at war with much of the world, and is convinced that it’s on the side of the angels and history? Well, the Boston transit system, MBTA, recently announced that in conjunction with Homeland Security they plan to release dead bacteria at three stations during off-hours this summer in order to test sensors that detect biological agents, which terrorists could release into subway systems. The bacterium, bacillus subtilis, is not infectious even in its live form, according to the government.3
However, this too has a precedent. During five days in June, 1966 the Army conducted a test called “A Study of the Vulnerability of Subway Passengers in New York City to Covert Attack with Biological Agents”. Trillions ofbacillus subtilis variant niger were released into the subway system during rush hours, producing aerosol clouds. The report on the test noted that “When the cloud engulfed people, they brushed their clothing, looked up at the grate [at street level] and walked on.”4 The wind of passing trains spread the bacteria along the tracks; in the time it took for two trains to pass, the bacteria were spread from 15th Street to 58th Street.5 It is not known how many people later became ill from being unsuspecting guinea pigs because the United States Army, as far as is known, exhibited no interest in this question.
For the planned Boston test the public has not been informed of the exact days; nor is it known how long the bacteria might linger in the stations or what the possible danger might be to riders whose immune system has been weakened for any reason.
It should be noted that the New York subway experiment was only one of many such experiments. The Army has acknowledged that between 1949 and 1969, 239 populated areas from coast to coast as well as US overseas territories were blanketed with various organisms during tests designed to measure patterns of dissemination in the air, weather effects, dosages, optimum placement of the source, and other factors. Such testing was supposedly suspended after 1969.6
Government officials have consistently denied that the biological agents used could be harmful despite an abundance of expert and objective scientific evidence that exposure to heavy concentrations of even apparently innocuous organisms can cause illness, at a minimum to the most vulnerable segments of the population — the elderly, children, and those suffering from a variety of ailments. “There is no such thing as a microorganism that cannot cause trouble,” George Connell, assistant to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testified before the Senate in 1977. “If you get the right concentration at the right place, at the right time, and in the right person, something is going to happen.”7
The United States has used biological weapons abroad as well, repeatedly, not for testing purposes but for hostile purposes.8 So what will the land which has the highest (double) standards say when such weapons are used against it? Or when foreign drones hit American cities? Or when American hi-tech equipment is sabotaged by a cyber attack as the US has now admitted doing to Iran? A year ago the Pentagon declared that “computer sabotage coming from another country can constitute an act of war. … If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks,” said a US military official.9
“The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.” – André Gide, French Author, 1869-1951
Barack Obama, his mother, and the CIA
In his autobiography, Dreams From My Fathers, Barack Obama writes of taking a job at some point after graduating from Columbia University in 1983. He describes his employer as “a consulting house to multinational corporations” in New York City, and his functions as a “research assistant” and “financial writer”.
Oddly, Obama doesn’t mention the name of his employer. However, a New York Times story of October 30, 2007 identifies the company as Business International Corporation. Equally odd is that the Times did not remind its readers that the newspaper itself had disclosed in 1977 that Business International had provided cover for four CIA employees in various countries between 1955 and 1960.10
The British journal, Lobster — which, despite its incongruous name, is a venerable international publication on intelligence matters — has reported that Business International was active in the 1980s promoting the candidacy of Washington-favored candidates in Australia and Fiji.11 In 1987, the CIA overthrew the Fiji government after but one month in office because of its policy of maintaining the island as a nuclear-free zone, meaning that American nuclear-powered or nuclear-weapons-carrying ships could not make port calls.12 After the Fiji coup, the candidate supported by Business International, who was much more amenable to Washington’s nuclear desires, was reinstated to power — R.S.K. Mara was Prime Minister or President of Fiji from 1970 to 2000, except for the one-month break in 1987.
In his book, not only doesn’t Obama mention his employer’s name; he fails to say exactly when he worked there, or why he left the job. There may well be no significance to these omissions, but inasmuch as Business International has a long association with the world of intelligence, covert actions, and attempts to penetrate the radical left — including Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)13 — it’s reasonable to wonder if the inscrutable Mr. Obama is concealing something about his own association with this world.
Adding to the wonder is the fact that his mother, Ann Dunham, had been associated during the 1970s and 80s — as employee, consultant, grantee, or student — with at least five organizations with intimate CIA connections during the Cold War: The Ford Foundation, Agency for International Development (AID), the Asia Foundation, Development Alternatives, Inc., and the East-West Center of Hawaii.14 Much of this time she worked as an anthropologist in Indonesia and Hawaii, being in good position to gather intelligence about local communities.
As one example of the CIA connections of these organizations, consider the disclosure by John Gilligan, Director of AID during the Carter administration (1977-81). “At one time, many AID field offices were infiltrated from top to bottom with CIA people. The idea was to plant operatives in every kind of activity we had overseas, government, volunteer, religious, every kind.”15 And Development Alternatives, Inc. is the organization for whom Alan Gross was working when arrested in Cuba and charged with being part of the ongoing American operation to destabilize the Cuban government.
How the owners of a society play with their property
The Supreme Court of the United States has just upheld the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care law, the Affordable Care Act. Liberals as well as many progressives are very pleased, regarding this as a victory for the left.
Under the new law, people can benefit in one way or another depending on the following factors:
Their age; whether their income is at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level; whether their parents have a health plan; whether they use tobacco; what state they live in; whether they have a pre-existing medical condition; whether they qualify to buy health insurance through newly-created market places known as “exchanges”; and numerous other criteria … They can obtain medical insurance in a “competitive insurance market” (emphasis on the “competitive”); they can perhaps qualify for various other kinds of credits and tax relief if they meet certain criteria … The authors of the Act state that it will save thousands of dollars in drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries by closing a coverage gap called the “donut hole” … They tell us that “It keeps insurance companies honest by setting clear rules that rein in the worst insurance industry abuses.”
That’s a sample of how health care looks in the United States of America in the 21st century, with a complexity that will keep a small army of lawyers busy for years to come. Ninety miles away, in the Republic of Cuba, it looks a bit different. If you feel sick you go to a doctor. You’re automatically qualified to receive any medical care that’s available and thought to be suitable. The doctor treats you to the best of his or her ability. The insurance companies play no role. There are no insurance companies. You don’t pay anything. You go home.
The Affordable Care Act will undoubtedly serve as a disincentive to the movement for single-payer national health insurance, setting the movement back for years. The Affordable Care Act was undoubtedly designed for that purpose.
- Washington Post, January 23, 2000, p.1; “The coup in Ecuador: a grim warning”, World Socialist Web Site, February 2, 2000; Z Magazine (Massachusetts), February 2001, pp.36-7 ↩
- Washington Post, June 12, 2012 ↩
- Beacon Hill Patch (Boston), “MBTA to Spread Dead Bacteria on Red Line in Bio-Terror Test”, May 18, 2012 ↩
- Leonard Cole, Clouds of Secrecy: The Army’s Germ Warfare Tests over Populated Areas (1990), pp.65-9↩
- New York Times, September 19, 1975, p.14 ↩
- “Biological Testing Involving Human Subjects by the Department of Defense”, 1977, Hearings before the Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research of the Committee on Human Resources, US Senate, March 8 and May 23, 1977; see also William Blum, Rogue State, chapter 15 ↩
- Senate Hearings, op. cit., p.270 ↩
- Rogue State, op. cit., chapter 14 ↩
- Wall Street Journal, May 30, 2011 ↩
- New York Times, December 27, 1977, p.40 ↩
- Lobster magazine, Hull, UK, #14, November 1987 ↩
- Rogue State, op. cit., pp.199-200 ↩
- Carl Oglesby, Ravens in the Storm: A Personal History of the 1960s Antiwar Movement (2008), passim↩
- Wikipedia entry for Ann Dunham ↩
- George Cotter, “Spies, strings and missionaries”, The Christian Century (Chicago), March 25, 1981, p.321
Gary Younge and Bernard Harcourt have good pieces in the Guardian about the “new normal” of America’s militarized society, as exemplified by armed occupation of Chicago by a staggering array of “security” forces.
Younge notes the bitter irony of the word “security” in a city where the poor are being subjected to ever-increasing levels of violence both from private predators and public “protectors”:
The dissonance between the global pretensions of the summit this weekend and the local realities of Chicago could not be more striking. Nato claims its purpose is to secure peace through security; in much of Chicago neither exists.
… The murder rate in Chicago in the first three months of this year increased by more than 50% compared with the same period last year, giving it almost twice the murder rate of New York. And the manner in which the city is policed gives many as great a reason to fear those charged with protecting them as the criminals. By the end of July last year police were shooting people at the rate of six a month and killing one person a fortnight.
This violence, be it at the hands of the state or gangs, is both compounded and underpinned by racial and economic disadvantage. The poorer the neighbourhood the more violent, the wealthier the safer. This is no coincidence. Much like the Nato summit – and the G8 summit that preceded it – the system is set up not to spread wealth but to preserve and protect it, not to relieve chaos but to contain and punish it.
Younge then gives us a few of the local fruits of this global system:
Chicago illustrates how the developing world is everywhere, not least in the heart of the developed. The mortality rate for black infants in the city is on a par with the West Bank; black life expectancy in Illinois is just below Egypt and just above Uzbekistan. More than a quarter of Chicagoans have no health insurance, one in five black male Chicagoans are unemployed and one in three live in poverty. Latinos do not fare much better.
Harcourt, meanwhile, focuses on the mechanics of the lockdown imposed on Chicago:
As one commentator suggests, Chicagoans are experiencing the “New Military Urbanism in Nato-Occupied Chicago”. The extensive nature of these security measures (as reported by the US secret service), road closures and pedestrian restrictions included dozens of road closures (at least 7.5 miles of closed roads, by my calculation) …
Eight-foot tall, anti-scale security fencing went up all over that perimeter and downtown, including Grant Park; and the Chicago police – as well as myriad other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI and the US secret service – were out in force on riot-geared horses, bikes, and patrols – batons at the ready. Philadelphia Police Department is sending over reinforcements to help out; Chicago has also asked for recruits from police departments in Milwaukee and Charlotte-Mecklenburg, NC. Meanwhile, F-16 warplanes “screamed through the skies as part of a pre-summit defense exercise” and helicopters hovered incessantly. ….
Plus, the Chicago Police Department will be deploying its two, new, expensive long-range acoustic device (LRAD) sound cannons – which it bought at $20,000 a pop. These are the type of devices that were used by the Pittsburgh police to deliver high-pitched alarm tones during the G20 summit meeting there in 2009.
Then, there is the “secret suburban Chicago” police control center where “officials from more than 40 different agencies sit side by side with a giant central screen before them,” as reported by the Chicago Sun Times. From the multi-agency command center, all different types of federal, state and local law enforcement can “view live video feeds from security cameras that are already up and running throughout the city”.
Harcourt makes the telling point that Mayor Rahm Emanuel denied numerous protest permits and imposed other restrictions on the grounds that the expression of free speech by demonstrators would cause “inconveniences to traffic and ordinary businesses” — this, after closing off more than seven square miles of the city’s commercial area himself. He makes the even more telling point that these hyper-draconian measures will, in many cases, stay in place once the power-players have finished their meaningless jaw-flapping and returned to their well-wadded entrenchments at home:
Third, and finally, all of this is, sadly, here to stay. Nato will come and go, but the new anti-protest laws, the new riot-gear, the two LRAD sound cannons, and all the normalization of this police state … that will be with us for a long time.
Source: Chris Floyd | Empire Burlesque
Planting Evidence To Sow Fear…
It seems pretty clear by now that the three young “domestic terrorists” arrested by Chicago police in a warrantless house invasion reminiscent of what US military forces are doing on a daily basis in Afghanistan, are the victims of planted evidence — part of the police-state-style crackdown on anti-NATO protesters in Chicago last week.
The Chicago Police clearly realized that it would be hard to convince a jury that the homemade beer-making equipment in the house was some dreaded bio-terror weapon, so for good measure they apparently dropped off some glass jars with gas in them and tried to make out that the kids were preparing molotov cocktails. That’s the word from National Lawyers Guild attorneys representing the men. They say their clients and others like them coming into Chicago from out of town to join in protests against the NATO summit were “befriended” by police informants and undercover Chicago Police, who then offered to obtain gasoline or explosive materials like toy rocket motors, and who proposed actions like firebombing police stations.
This kind of entrapment and official deceit by police should alarm every American. It’s bad enough when police plant evidence and lie about evidence in order to win convictions, since it means innocent people will be sent to prison or worse. But with the new post 9-11 terrorism laws, like the state terrorism statutes in Illinois being applied in these cases, it becomes far more difficult for a victim of such police and prosecutorial misconduct to challenge the case against her or him. In terror cases, the government can claim “national security” to hide the evidence and even the identity of the witnesses from the defendants and the courts, the jury and the public, and can avoid ever being questioned about it publicly. In a worst case, the federal government doesn’t even need to bring the case to trial. If the victim is accused of being a terrorist, under the latest National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and various executive orders, that person can be locked away indefinitely without trial — exactly the kind of abuse that led American colonists to rise up against their British colonial overlords 237 years ago.
Residents like me from Philadelphia know all about this stuff. Planting evidence on people you want to lock away has a venerable history in this once revolutionary town.
Who are the terrorists in Chicago? Peaceful demonstrators or thug cops who entrap and who plant bogus evidence?
In 1995, six Philly cops were convicted of presenting false testimony and of framing over a hundred people with planted evidence that sent the victims to jail with long prison terms. In the end, two of those cops ended up serving jail terms themselves as the result of a federal corruption probe. A bigger federal investigation of the Philadelphia Police Department’s Center City division in the 1980s led to the conviction of several dozen cops, including a captain, four lieutenants, and the deputy chief of police, on charges of extortion and evidence tampering, including the planting of false evidence. Dozens of convicted prisoners were released from jail when it became clear their convictions had been based upon faked evidence by these uniformed miscreants.
The practice of planting evidence and of police lying to win convictions has continued in Philadelphia, which has paid out over $27 million in damages to people victimized by police corruption and false evidence planting since the mid-’90s. In 2009 the Philadelphia Daily News broke a story that a narcotics division cop on the force had planted drugs (a tactic known as “flaking” among dirty cops) in order to lock up dozens of people and to rack up a seemingly stellar record of drug-busting.
And across the river in Camden, NJ, over 75 people jailed for drug offenses are having their cases reviewed and overturned now because of evidence that police in that city were planting evidence on the people they arrested.
So common was the knowledge that police in Philadelphia keep stolen unlicensed handguns and bags of drugs in their cars for the purpose of framing citizens, that after I published my book Killing Time on the case of Pennsylvania death-row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal, the Afro-American journalist convicted in 1982 of killing a white Philadelphia police officer in a trial fraught with police and prosecutor perjury and faked evidence, that I was loath to drive through the city. And when I did, was extremely careful to follow traffic rules to the letter. With white police officers publicly pressing, through their union and lobbying arm, the Fraternal Order of Police, for Abu-Jamal’s execution, it seemed all to easy for them to stop me, run a make, ID me as the author of a book exposing the wrongness of his conviction, and to then plant a gun or a stash of illicit drugs in my vehicle, and lock me away. At least back then, though, you’d just be facing ordinary criminal charges, and hopefully a good attorney would be able to prove the charges were bogus. Terrorism charges make it much harder to do that.
The faking of terrorism crimes is abetted by a lazy corporate media, where reporters and editors just run their stories based upon the wild claims made by police and prosecutors, without bothering to consider how ludicrous those claims may be. Often, they don’t even bother to go to the victims’ defense attorneys for rebuttal.
Plus, the general scare-mongering by government and media, and the media propaganda glorifying of “tough” cops and prosecutors who cut corners, makes it likely that most juries will continue to believe the false statements and evidence presented by the prosecution at trials.
It’s ironic that the same public that is so ready to believe all manner of wild conspiracies about the president’s being a secret Kenyan Muslim or about the government deliberately trying to turn control of the US military over to the United Nations, or about a government plan to kill off old people with “death panels,” will prove completely gullible and ready to suspend any disbelief when a police officer or a prosecutor makes some outlandish claim about three kids with beer fermenting equipment in their basement.
Source: This Can’t Be Happening