If you listen to the alarm coming out of the imperium empire media, you would think that missiles would be flying at any moment. That medieval torture regime noted for starving their population is boasting that a bellicose attack is imminent. Of course, their propagandists are pointing the finger at the Yankee bully that is the perennial bogyman posed to snuff out the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Such an earthly paradise is billed as a “genuine workers’ state in which all the people are completely liberated from exploitation and oppression. The workers, peasants, soldiers and intellectuals are the true masters of their destiny and are in a unique position to defend their interests.”
Indeed such a freedom loving society takes pride in professing their government is the rightful leadership for the entire Korean peninsula. Such bold determination to dominate the imposter that has set up shop in the south must mean that the Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-Il dynasty will prevail. Both adopted the Songun, or “military-first” policy in order to strengthen the country and its government. North Korea is the world’s most militarized country, with a total of 9,495,000 active, reserve, and paramilitary personnel. Now the grand Kim Jong-un general in chief is ready to hit the nuke button as a sign of his manhood.
Does it really matter that North Korea Defies World Body with Third Nuke Test, or is this just another opportunity for the world community to play the role of the white knight as it slays an infantile dragon that causes trepidation among his commie mentors?
“Still, three Security Council resolutions – in 2006, 2009 and 2013 – critical of North Korea’s nuclear program and tightening sanctions on Pyongyang – had the blessings of China, a permanent member with veto powers.
But the harshest of possible sanctions – a naval blockade, an oil embargo or a cutoff of economic aid from China – have escaped Security Council resolutions, at least so far.
The 15-member Council met in an emergency session Tuesday and issued a predictable statement condemning the test as “a grave violation” of its three resolutions and describing North Korea as a country which is “a clear threat to international peace and security”.”
When the Guardian newspaper writes, Now North Korea defies even China, should we really believe that the true Asian tiger is powerless to reign in the unhinged stepchild.
“In this tense game of diplomatic-military poker, South Korea is not even the North’s principal adversary. Kim Jong-il is now blithely defying all the major regional actors – the US, China, Russia and Japan – while actively exploiting differences between them. It makes little difference whether his aim is recognition and security guarantees; economic and financial assistance; or the succession of his son. Kim is playing off the great powers against each other, to see what he can get out of them. The result is virtual diplomatic meltdown.
Just look at what has happened since last month’s bombardment of Yeonpyeong island. China, the North’s only influential ally, has come under strong US pressure to pull its supposed client into line. China’s perceived failure to do so is straining relations with Washington. James Steinberg, the US deputy secretary of state, visited Beijing today carrying the message: China must do more, fast.”
China saved the original North Korean dictatorship from defeat with their intervention of troops back in November 1950. Mao and Stalin fired up the cold war into a blood stained conflict that never ended. The uneasy armistice at the cease of arms, supposedly now terminated, allows for active deployment of the most sophisticated weapons. Is this a fragile standoff or should the prudent student of the global gulag conclude, that the Chinese and even the Russians, are eager to confront the Western allies through a standalone surrogate?
The New York Times hints at the answer in the article, China Looms Over Response to Nuclear Test by North Korea.
“The Chinese military, and to a lesser extent the International Liaison Department of the Chinese Communist Party, assert strong influence on China’s Korea policy, and both powerful entities prefer to keep North Korea close at hand, Chinese and American analysts say.
While the People’s Liberation Army is not even able to conduct military exercises with the North Koreans – the government in the North forbids such contact with outsiders – Chinese military strategists adhere to the doctrine that they cannot afford to abandon their ally, no matter how bad its behavior, analysts here say.
At the same time, the Chinese Communist Party looks upon the North Korean Communist Party – led by Kim Jong-un, the grandson of the nation’s founder – as a fraternal brotherhood. Indeed, relations between the two countries are conducted largely between the two parties rather than between the two foreign ministries, the more normal diplomatic channel.
In an early sign that Mr. Xi is unlikely to veer from past policy, the state-run news agency, Xinhua, criticized the United States and its allies for essentially forcing the North’s aggression by causing the country to feel insecure.”
Blame the U.S. for causing insecurity, when the sordid record of capitulation to the repeated game of North Korean chicken, resembles a farmers feed the world that largely benefits corporate agriculture. Putting and keeping Kim Jong-un on a short choke chain leash is certainly within the power of the Chinese.
Since China is the preferred economic model of the globalists and North Korea is the chosen police state version for social repression, what possible reason would China have to intervene by stopping the challenge to the American military?
The Storm Clouds Gathering video, The North Korean Nuclear Crisis What You Aren’t being Told, provides a perceptive analysis of the current confrontation.
The proper method to interpret Sino-American foreign policy is through a lens of transnational monopoly control. The real masters of Asian industrialization and American decline operate above and beyond national sovereignty. The best explanation of perceived unstable skirmishes that lead to deployed conflicts, must accept that it is good business for the globalists to keep tensions high with frequent warfare.
The bondage cult that adores the North Korean regime is an expendable ritual killer machine that excels in making threats, but comes up short, when faced with superior force defense. The mission assigned for North Korea is to stir the pot for state of war stress, while backing down without losing face domestically.
Defense News offers a familiar establishment appeasement attitude viewpoint in the report, Has China Had Enough of N. Korean Antics? Maybe Not.
“North Korea’s continuous provocations defying China’s demands, warnings and brazen neglect of China’s key strategic and security interests certainly drive many in China, both in the public and among elites, to ‘soul-searching’ on its North Korea policy,” said Wang Dong, director, School of International Studies, Center for Northeast Asian Strategic Studies, Peking University, Beijing.
China will join the international community in tightening sanctions against the regime, “but it will also carefully ensure the sanctions do not ‘threaten’ another key goal of China, which is peace and stability on the Korean peninsula,” Wang said.”
Get real folks! The notion that North Korea is defying Chinese interests is ridiculous. The actual international community consensus that controls worldwide politics, seeks to dismantle the global influence of America and deepen damage on the U.S. political system.
Fear of a nuclear exchange with Kim Jong-un military is rooted in the false premise that North Korea can and would operate separately from Chinese or Russian direction. Ratcheting up the threats makes high drama, but produces a low probability for an actual attack.
The prospects for direct negotiations with the AmeriKan “Beloved Leader”, Barack Hussein Obama might well take place at a Tehran Conference II. What a great diplomatic coup for a peacemaker of banksters’ interests to immerge as the capitulator in chief. Averting WWIII by compliance and singing an international ecumenical anthem is the ultimate game plan from this latest trumped up crisis.
Do not rule out a false flag incident. The dogs of war like to play in the killing fields of properly planned out maneuvers. However, that threatened surge of a 10 million horde, breaching the 38th parallel, has a greater likelihood that the rush would be to seize Samsung electronics, than to mop up the debris from depleted uranium.
An inevitable World War III will be fought under the direction of unworldly principalities. Kim Jong-un is a cartoon caricature and a paper tiger, more suited for his 15 minutes of fame, than a reincarnated Napoleon.
Watch for the real fallout from this episode of “true grit”. Keep your eye on the monetary radioactive dust cloud. The threat of war is the best cover for a heist of global propositions. When in trouble, the great powers mobilize for pillage. The North Korea gulag is a nightmare that readies replication for the rest of the world. The cabal of globalists is the actual warmongers.
The International Monetary Fund is an extortion financier’s outfit for a gang of exploiter banksters. The colonists of global mercantilism operate on extending credit with strings attached and assets targeted for attachment. Poor and underdeveloped economies beg for roll over extensions of old debt in an endless circle of currency debasement and resource transfer. So why anyone would get excited over a competing banking house, seems to escape implications within the news publications.
The Global Post describes in the article, BRICS countries to form new development bank.
“The bank is intended to fund development and infrastructure projects in BRICS nations and elsewhere. First discussed a year ago, it has been described as an alternative to the IMF and World Bank for developing countries.
Although the plan is the biggest announcement to come out of a summit of BRICS leaders in Durban, South Africa, where they signed an accord today, details such as how much capital the bank will have, its structure and its location have yet to be worked out.”
Would this development bank become simply a Chinese dynasty investment structure based upon the weight of their financial leverage within the system? Or would the union of eager modernizing countries really be the future formula for economic growth and wealth? On the surface the positive foreign reserves and lower indebtedness seem to answer a resounding yes, but look a little deeper.
Without specific details, the viability of such a scheme is unknown. The article, BRICS Seek to Cement Position in Global Economic Landscape, does not exactly envision a smooth maturation.
“The planned development bank “is feasible and viable,” leaders confirmed in a statement on Wednesday. Such a bank would “supplement the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development.”
However, officials speaking earlier during the summit admitted that various key details remain to be worked out before the proposed bank can become fully operational – a process that is expected to take years. For instance, disagreements have already surfaced among the BRICS on the specifics of the bank’s mandate, and how exactly the institution would be financed.”
The question, missing from the depths and significance of news analysis is whether a competing fund for international lending from a group of rival countries will improve on the sorry record of Western banking.
Venky Vembu from First Post in BRICS Bank is just a castle in the air, points out the infighting among participating partners.
“Analysts who attend the BRICS deliberations point out: ”By day they talk grandly of multilateral action to tip the playing field in favour of poorer nations, while by night they scheme shamelessly against each other, often in conjunction with their supposed economic oppressors in the West.” There is, he adds, virtually nothing that unites them other than resentment and suspicion of Western monopoly – not all of which is justified.”
Another viewpoint that brings the discussion down to earth is written by Ruchir Sharma in The Economic Times article, Brics summits are so last decade: All members are slowing down.
“All the Brics are slowing sharply. China’s economy has slowed from an average annual growth rate of 11% in the last decade to less than 8% in 2012. That has taken the wind out of economies that set sailBSE 0.56 % by selling raw materials to China, particularly Brazil and Russia, where GDP growth slipped to 1% and 3.5%, respectively, last year. Investors are heading for other destinations, and in dollar terms the Brics stock markets are trading 30-40 % below the peaks of the last decade. But, once again, the politicians are a step behind.
The Brics no longer look like a rising economic axis. On average, the growth rate of Brazil, Russia and South Africa is likely to be around 2.5% over the next few years, about the same pace as the US. That would be a terrible disappointment for these developing nations eager to catch up to the West, as their per capita income is much lower than that of the US. Owing in good part to the Brics slowdown, the US economy is now growing at the same pace as the global average for the first time since 2003, leading to stabilisation in its share in the world economy at around the long-term average of 23%.”
These foreign press items reflect a much different understanding from the news report on the BRICS announcement video, ‘Hegemonic corporations scared as BRICS plan bank to rival IMF‘.An optimistic projection that the global economy will generate sensible growth and prosperity because of BRICS leadership, is a stretch at best. This concern is certainly no endorsement of the existing Western debt created money-banking model. However, the power of the IMF and World Bank is based upon the military enforcement arm of the NATO machine.
The concept of central banking is immutably defined by the dominance of empire. The peaceful relinquishment of international finance to the BRICS is about as probable as a soft landing from the world debt bubble.
Evolving is a testing of world markets for a transfer to a different banking centercolossus. In order for that hypothesis to be even remotely possible, the world reserved currency status of the U.S. Dollar must be replaced with a basket of other currencies.
The BRICS countries have their own set of internal economic shortcomings. Much of their cash flow is export trade related. The collapse of global trade is the biggest risk that looms over a brighter future for especially undeveloped economies. Another quasi-IMF stratagem that presents a top down banking compliance is not an alternative to the existing fraud.
Looking for altruistic benefactors that are willing to finance capital requirements, from usury lenders is a fools dream. Setting off a turf war, results in collateral damage, for everyone. Financial conflict is predictable when business is based upon a destructive banking version for an imbalance in commerce obligations. A butting of heads between the BRICS, the EU and the USA is just as inevitable.
One variant of a well-known law of bureaucracy says that the amount of time spent discussing a budgetary decision is inversely proportional to the magnitude of the budget in question. Judging by what I witnessed on March 20 at the European Parliament—at the Committee on Budgets’ hearing on the “Financing of the Eastern Partnership”—the Brussels machine functions entirely in accordance with this adage.
The money involved is substantial: 2.8 billion euros ($3.6 billion) over 5 years. The project’s stated purpose is to promote “shared values”—democracy, human rights and the rule of law—in six former Soviet states deemed to be of “strategic importance” to the European Union: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, andUkraine. Promoting the principles of market economy, sustainable development, civic society and “good governance” is also among the objectives.
In their opening remarks, the officials involved in running the Eastern Partnership Program were self-congratulatory about its alleged achievements. That much was to be expected: lots of sinecures, cushy jobs and expense-padded missions can be extracted from a few billion. Nevertheless, the entire construct’s numerous problems and shortcomings could not be concealed:
- Conceptually, there is no clear consensus within the EU on what exactly it is trying to promote in its eastern neighborhood under the bombastic slogans of “shared values, collective norms and joint ownership.” What does it all mean, if anything, in the real world?
- Empirically, the program has followed, and still follows, a “top-down” approach of deciding in Brussels what are the goals, then telling the eastern “partners” what they need to do, and finally rewarding them accordingly—rather than developing genuine partnerships based on those countries’ real needs and attainable objectives.
- Managerially, in order for the funds allocated to the “Partnership” to be optimally utilized, they would require elaborate apparatuses of deployment, supervision and evaluation. On the basis of the presentations last Wednesday, it is clear that the EU has neither the institutional mechanisms nor the supervisory bodies capable of insuring that this is the case.
- Substantially, the elephant in the room was the issue of EU enlargement—or, rather, the extreme unlikelihood of further enlargement after Croatia’s accession next July. Without the realistic prospect of an eventual path to full membership, the EU lacks meaningful leverage over the political elites in the six eastern countries to make them change their ways.
Far from being addressed, these problems are bypassed by the tendency of the EU bureaucracy to close its eyes to the reality on the ground in the countries concerned—or, worse, still, to misrepresent that reality for reasons of institutional self-preservations. The result, to put it succinctly, is that billions of European taxpayers’ cash are poured into a bottomless pit of post-Soviet corruption, graft, and pork-barrel politics. “We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us,” went the old Soviet joke. Its modern-day “Eastern” equivalent should be “We pretend to reform, and they pretend that we are doing a good job.” Instead of being properly perceived as part of the problem, terminally corrupt political “elites” are treated as partners in finding solutions.
Moldova is the prime example. On per-capita basis, this backwater squeezed between Romania and Ukraine—the poorest country in Europe—has received far more money than the other five “partners,” and the EU pretends that its objectives are being met. While I was at the European Parliament, the European Commission presented its own regional report on the implementation of the Eastern Partnership. It asserted that “significant progress was made in the implementation of the Eastern Partnership” and singled out Moldova for “showing significant progress,” “stepping up efforts to implement judicial and law enforcement reform,” and “continuing to implement reforms in the areas of social assistance, health and education, energy, competition, state aid and regulatory approximation to the EU acquis.” Moldova’s government was asked to “continue to vigorously advance reforms in the justice and law enforcement systems” as well as intensify the fight against corruption.
This is surreal, on par with the Soviet Communist Party congresses exalting the great and glorious achievements of socialism in the years of terminal decline under Brezhnev. In reality, Moldova is one of the most corrupt countries in Europe, according to independent analysts, who also claim that the majority of EU assistance is being misused by local officials. The Warsaw-based EaP Institute warns that the EU is devoting considerable sums to Moldova for very little return in terms of progress in the country’s reform process: “It begs the question: Why is the EU throwing money like this at a black hole of corruption, when there is so much to do in the EU’s own member states?”
It does, indeed. Moldova has already received some €482m from the EU Eastern Partnership, which is about 110 euros ($145) for every man, woman and child in the dirt-poor country—the equivalent of an average two-weekly wage. Nobody knows for certain where it went, but we have a fair idea. Recent opinion polls say that the majority of citizens of Moldova consider their current coalition government as “totally corrupt.” According to the Transparency International 2012 report, Moldova is among the most corrupt places in Europe, with Kosovo, Albania and Bosnia topping the list. But the EU says it is doing well, because an unhealthy symbiotic relationship has been developed between the unelected and mostly unaccountable bureaucrats managing enormous funds earmarked for nebulous purposes and their foreign “clients” who gloat at the mouth-watering prospect of placing a major portion of those funds into their own pockets.
After last Wednesday’s introductory presentations, several experts and members of European Parliament (MEPs) expressed misgivings about the Eastern Partnership policy. Olaf Osica, director of the centre for eastern studies in Warsaw, declared that “in four years the policy had failed to produce any tangible political or social results.” A prominent Polish MEP and former senior government minister, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, said the entire edifice should be “completely revised”:
There are a whole multitude of projects which, as we have heard at the hearing, no one seems able to follow or understand… What we are doing is creating the illusion that the EU is helping to transform these eastern European countries when, in fact, the naked truth is that the EU is losing its eastern neighbors. What is actually needed is for the EU—and that means both the Commission and Parliament—to totally revise and revisit its Eastern Partnership policy.
All this was in stark contrast to the earlier assurances by senior officials that the current picture was “confused,” but the EU was nevertheless “doing quite well” in addressing concerns about the transparency and accountability of its funding for the six countries (Marcus Cornaro); or that the EU was determined to push ahead with closer cooperation with those countries that have “demonstrated a commitment to the reform process” (Richard Tibbels).
The lenient attitude of EU officials regarding the patchy record of their “Eastern partners” on corruption, democratisation, and the rule of law is in stark contrast with the ever-moving goal posts for a half-dozen aspiring EU members in the Western Balkans. None of them will join the EU for a decade at least, of course, and a realistic reassessment of their political and economic policies is long overdue. The EU is in a state of chronic institutional and financial crisis, and trying to get on board at this point is equal to betting on Romney last November 5. Alternatives do exist, but they call for the cold-blooded diversification of long-term strategies. Belgrade and Kiev in particular should take note.
Contrary to popular belief, Brussels is not the only major European capital which is away from the seacoast as well as devoid of a river. The Senne is a far cry from the similar-sounding Seine further south, however: it is a nasty, brutish, mercifully short waterway. By the mid-1800’s it had become so putrid and unstable that the city elders decided to cover it—the massive project was known as the voûtement de la Senne—and to build boulevards and public edifices on top. The city did not gain much in charm, but its denizens’ life expectancy was instantly improved. (Whether living a long life in Belgium’s capital is a blessing or a curse is a separate issue.)
There is an equally nasty but infinitely more brutish monstrosity in today’s Brussels that cannot be dealt with so neatly. The European Union today is like the “Socialist Community” under Leonid Brezhnev in his dotage: totalitarian yet inefficient, glorified by its self-serving nomenklatura yet unloved by its subjects, devoid of any unifying ideology beyond the worn-out phrases and platitudes parroted by the absurd men and repulsive women in dull suits.
For the reality of this “United Europe,” as it is today, let us be dryly empirical for a moment and look at a few EU-related news items reported on one day—Thursday, March 14, 2013:
- EU leaders gathered in Brussels for a two-day summit in an attempt to negotiate the dilemma between austerity and growth. Thousands of protestors from all over the 27 member nations converged outside the EU HQ.
- Eurozone employment dropped by 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with the third, despite the Christmas shopping season. Experts say the unemployment rate will remain above 11% until early 2018.
- European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi says that “generally unsatisfactory economic developments in Europe” will improve in the course of 2013, but only if governments implement austerity measures and structural reforms. His fellow-Eurocrat, EU-appointed Italian prime minister Mario Monti, nevertheless says he will have to ask his EU partners to grant Italy more “flexibility” in its budget deficit reduction targets.
- The troika of international lenders—the EU, the ECB, and the IMF—left Greece without resolving a dispute with the government in Athens over further budgetary cuts. In the meantime, Greek shipyard workers protested outside the development ministry and hundreds of Greek students blocked up the education ministry to protest cuts resulting from EU-imposed austerity measures.Unemployment in Greece is 26%, up from 24.8% in the third quarter of 2012. Among under-24’s it is 57.8%. The percentage of unemployed Greeks who have been looking for a job for more than one year is 65.3%.
- In Spain, eviction proceedings against defaulters have soared since 2007 to 450,000. The number of repossessions ending in evictions increased by 135% in 2012 from the year before, indicating worsening trends. Spanish retail sales dropped 10.2% in the year to January, continuing the decline of the past 31 months.
- Cyprus bailout talks are crucial to next stage of crisis, but deep divisions remain over how to manage a bailout. Without a cut in the €17bn cost, Cypriot sovereign debt will reach 145% of GDP, by far the highest in the eurozone except for Greece.
- President François Hollande has said that France won’t be able to cut the public deficit to the EU limit of 3% of GDP this year; it was more likely to reach 3.7%. Amazingly, German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble subsequently corrected Hollande, saying not that he “hoped,” or “expected,” but that he was “sure that France would, like us, respect the rules” on the public deficit. (Perhaps Herr Schäuble knows a thing or two about France’s future finance policy that Monsieur le Président de la République does not!)
- Germany, meanwhile, smugly claims that its finances are the model for all humanity. Its 2014 budget plans, revealed on March 13, show the structural deficit dropping to zero. “With all modesty [sic!], this is a result of historic proportions,” economy minister Philipp Rösler declared on that occasion. “Germany is in the vanguard in Europe. Our success with a policy of growth-oriented consolidation is the envy of the world.” Ach, modesty—the quintessential German weakness…
This is but a quick selection on a randomly selected day—the day of this writing. The tenor and substance have not changed much in recent months and years; and things will likely change for worse—OK, with that oneenviable exception, perhaps—in the months and years ahead.
Unsurprisingly, anti-EU feeling is escalating all over the continent. On March 1, British Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party was beaten into third place in the Eastleigh by-election, in southern England, by a party that wants Britain to leave the EU. The UK Independence Party (UKIP) supporters were once described by Cameron as “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists”—but they accounted for 28 percent of the vote in the traditionally Tory constituency. UKIP leader Nigel Farage declared the vote “a protest against an entire political class.” Under pressure from UKIP, Cameron had earlier promised to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU by the end of 2017 if he wins the next election, but many British Euro-skeptics see this as a mere ploy to deflect the threat from UKIP.
Marine Le Pen, who finished third in the French presidential election, also demands a referendum on France’s membership. On Mach 3 she declared that the FN wants France to leave the EU unless four reforms are agreed: the return to the franc; the abolition of the Schengen single-borderarea; the primacy of France’s economic interests over “Europe’s”; and the primacy of national law over EU law. Otherwise, Le Pen has promised to transform the European elections a year from now into a referendum for or against Europe. Having polled 18% of the vote in the presidential election last year, Mlle Le Pen has a solid base to build upon.
In Italy, two anti-austerity, anti-euro parties—led by Silvio Berlusconi and Beppe Grillo—captured over half the vote and paralyzed the political system. Berlusconi returned from the dead to take just over 29% of the vote, less than one half of one percentage point behind the first-placed Center-Left. Newcomer Grillo’s Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S, Five Star Movement), entirely created via the web outside the traditional party system, took just over 25% of the vote for the Chamber of Deputies—and demolished Italy’s balance of political forces. Pro-EU Monti’s coalition came fourth with a paltry ten percent.
Even in Germany, the apparent hegemon, there is little popular enthusiasm for the Euro-project. The recently-founded Alternative for Germany (AfD) is not even a political party yet, but expects to be a serious player come federal elections on September 22. It demands dissolution of the “coercive euro association,” an orderly end of the monetary union, and a referendum to decide if “the Basic Law, the best constitution that Germany ever had,” was violated to allow the transfer of sovereignty to the EU. Dr. Bernd Lucke—the AfD co-founder, economics professor and a life-long CDU supporter until he turned against Merkel in 2011 over her bailout policies—is adamant that Germany “has a government that has failed to comply with the law… and has blatantly broken the word that it had given to the German people.” With 14,000 paid members thus far, the AfD is respectable and distinctly upper-middle-class, with a higher concentration of PhDs than any party. Among its early supporters is Hans-Olaf Henkel, ex-president of the Federation of German Industry representing 100,000 businesses. Let it be added that as of now 26% of Germans say they would consider voting for a party committed to leaving the monetary union.
It will be a tough fight. Political, media and cultural elites in the leading countries of the Union are overwhelmingly pro-EU, pro-euro, pro-immigration, and vehemently opposed to any sign of national or ethno-linguistic coherence. If those elites have their way, there will be many more “Europeans” by the end of this century than today—some atheist, but mostly Muslim; some black, but mostly brown—but there will be precious few great-grandchildren of Europeans. The native populations are aborting and birth-controlling themselves into minorities. If Euro-elites have their way, disused churches will be converted into teeming mosques. Just over a decade ago, they refused to acknowledge Christian heritage as an element of European identity—but today they insist Islam is essential to that identity. Brussels rejects the notion that Europeans are defined by blood ties, collective memories, emotional bonds, culture, and kinship. Instead, “Europe” marches along the path of “civilization, progress and prosperity, for the good of all its inhabitants, including the weakest and most deprived… to deepen the democratic and transparent nature of its public life, and to strive for peace, justice and solidarity throughout the world…”
This is the mindset of 1792 and 1917 all over again. Its derivative expressions are foreseeable. The EU relentlessly encourages abortion, sexual deviancy, and population replacement as “basic human rights.” Its political process means the manufacture of ideologically correct outcomes as defined by the unelected Brussels machine, before the quasi-democratic machine of the European Parliament and the member countries’ institutions are set in motion. The preamble of the EU Charter on Human Rights claims to be “based on the principles of democracy and the rule of law” (implying the two were not in conflict), and concludes that “Enjoyment of these rights entails responsibilities and duties with regard to other persons, to the human community and to future generations.” Those rights are naturally demarcated by those who reserve the right to decide what exactly one’s obligations to “the human community” and “future generation” happen to be.
The true meaning of “the rule of law” is defined by the European Arrest Warrant, a hideous device created by the Lisbon Treaty, under which any citizen of a member country—or even a visitor from outside the Union—is liable to arrest and extradition at the behest of a judge in any other EU member country, under one of 32 categories of “crime.” Those offenses include murder, terrorism, as well as “racism and xenophobia.” The EU thus came to equate beliefs, opinions and sentiments with the worst of actual crimes, in the best tradition of Soviet and Nazi jurisprudence.
The workings of the machine are mainly in the hands of the European Commission (EC), whose members are appointed by the 27 prime ministers who make up the Council. The EC has the authority to create and impose policies, but it cannot be removed or held accountable by any electorate. Its duty is to uphold the interests of the Union as such: its members swear that they will discard any vestige of loyalty to any nation. The only EU institution that has any claim to democratic credentials is the European Parliament, the least powerful of the three key bodies.
How and why did the monstrosity get this way? Gradually at first, with a great deal of patience and cunning exercised by its visionary creators. In 1945 Western Europe was in ruins, a shadow of what it had been only four decades previously. The old, pre-1914 balance-of-power system had collapsed, and the interwar mechanisms of collective security were neither collective nor secure. The beginnings were seemingly pragmatic: the 1951 European Coal and Steel Community—as engineered by Robert Schuman—seemed like a sound idea, a plus-sum-game if there ever was one. But the upholders of Euro-federalism had a bigger fish to fry. From the outset they held that a sense of common history had to be developed, as well as a sense of an existing and growing common identity, to complement those early economic integration mechanisms. As Jean Monnet, the father of the project (and, significantly, a man never elected to a public office), admitted six decades ago, “Europe has never existed; one has genuinely to create Europe.”
Monnet and his disciples had a long way to go. The initial ideological basis for the project was de Gaulle’s distinctly non-federalist vision of l’Europe des patries. A concert of nation-states, brought together by a common interest, would seek the withering away of their old hostilities—with France and Germany leading the way—but all of them would retain their substance and identity regardless of the institutional arrangement. This was the “Europe” of the Six, a logical heir to the pragmatic Coal and Steel Community. Euro-integralists—notably Belgium’s prime minister Paul-Henri Spaak and Monnet himself—nevertheless kept their powder dry for a more opportune moment when the European Economic Community might be steered in the direction of a political union. De Gaulle and his immediate successor, Georges Pompidou, did not want that; and until the early 1970’s the institutional framework remained essentially the same.
Then came the notion of Europe’s unity in diversity, the reverse of the Europe of the Fatherlands. (In 2000 In varietate concordia was adopted as the official motto of the European Union.) The new concept coincided with the European Community’s expansion to the Nine, then to the Twelve. Its proponents claimed that Europe was not only a mosaic of cultures but an organic whole. The implication that this whole required a single source of decision-making authority gave rise to the method of European integration Monnet had advocated from the outset: a series of gradual yet regular transfers of small slices of national sovereignty—in ostensibly technical areas—from national capitals to Brussels. The Community apparat made a quantum leap toward this goal with the Single European Act (SEA, July 1987). It was a thorough revision of the 1957 Treaty of Rome, but in the direction of a super-authority rather than a superstate.
The distinction is essential. The standard Eurosceptic accusation that the Brussels machine is plotting the creation of a single federal state is incorrect. The people who run the Brussels machine have never wanted the end result to be a superstate modeled after the United States. In the context of pan-European federal statehood they would be held more accountable and would come under far greater public scrutiny than if they remained faceless and continued to operate from the corridors of the monstrous EU HQ at Barleymont. The strategy was for the states to be drained gradually of statehood and their power transferred to Brussels, but without the unwelcome trappings and limitations of statehood itself. Its guiding spirit was then-Commission PresidentJacques Delors, a French Socialist. From the SEA on, the EU became—in the words of British MEP Roger Helmer—“a slow-motion coup d’etat.” In addition to the creation of the eurozone 12 years ago, which has grown to 17 member-states since, the Schengen Agreement (1990), the Maastricht Treaty (1992), the Amsterdam Treaty (1998), the Treaty of Nice (2000), and the Treaty of Lisbon (2009) have transferred vast powers from national capitals to Brussels.
The era of Delors coincided with the rise of the Generation of 1968 to the positions of power. The activists had cut their hair, put on suits and ties, and discovered that it was more fruitful and comfortable to take the Gramscian long road through the institutions than to blow them up. The veterans of the hard-left era, like Catherine Ashton and Jose Manuel Barroso, still subscribe to the concept of permanent revolution, but it is wrapped into the open-ended evolution of the EU that they now control. The result is a European Union in a state of indeterminacy and permanent flux, a postmodern edifice within which the meaning of sovereignty is relativized and the separation of foreign and domestic policies blurred to the point of interchangeability. What all of these Euro-enthusiasts share—as John Laughland has noted—is a love of indeterminacy and permanent change, and a hostility to what they regard as inadequate, old-fashioned, and simplistic certainties of classical sovereign statehood.
Far from being the “capital of Europe,” Brussels is the regional HQ of the post-Christian anti-Europe, just as Washington DC has morphed into the global HQ of the same project. The goals of the project managers are the same because their degenerate minds are the same. They cannot be shamed into changing their ways through arguments or defeated through the ballot box any more than a malignant cancer can be arrested with aspirin. A stronger medicine is needed.
To paraphrase a bad man from a time much better than our own, écrasez l’infâme!
Barak Obama’s journey to the Holy Land hardly resembles the trek of Moses through the wilderness. Nonetheless, his flee from accountability does remind of that often professed transparency. In this case, he cannot hide from his misdeeds. An open question remains, will public outrages banish the POTUS under the weight of his transgressions. Alternatively, will the powers of Pharaoh succeed in suppressing his enemies?
“Who made you a ruler and judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “Surely the thing is known.” (NRSV Exodus 2:14)
This deed is the event that sends Moses on his long journey. The Old Testament is careful to say that Moses killed the Egyptian when no one was around. Yet the implication in the Bible is that you can run, but you cannot hide. Barry S. Roffman’s Ark Code offers an esoteric, if not bizarre theory that attempts to make a connection with the Hebrew Torah.
Barak OBAMA – REINCARNATION OF PHARAOH, KING OF EGYPT, may be a stretch by most mainstream standards. However, the political point that Obama seeks to dictate to others certainly has the stain of Pharaoh.
“This matrix was originally posted in conjunction with President Obama’s overt hostility toward Israel. When the crisis arose in Egypt where there was widespread opposition to President Mubarak, Obama declared, “What is clear — and what I indicated tonight to President Mubarak — is my belief that an orderly transition must be meaningful, and it must begin now.” The demands made by the U.S. President had a tone that made it sound like he was also elected as President of Egypt. There seemed to be no concept of Egyptian sovereignty, or of the need for Egypt to solve its own problems internally. On the matrix, BARACK OBAMA is the axis term. His name is shown at its 6th lowest ELS in wrapped Torah (which requires more than one computer pass through the 304,805 letters of Torah to find). It is directly crossed by one of the Torah’s 8 uses of the term PHARAOH KING OF EGYPT. Perhaps President Obama has a distant memory of being Pharaoh, King of Egypt in a past life. Indeed, there is a statue that backs this idea in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo that was attacked in the rebellion, and which was at the heart of the rebellion in Cairo’s Tahrir Square!
Who will play the role of Pharaoh? As shown above, a statute in the Cairo Museum offers a huge clue. It and the actions of Obama, when combined with the Torah Code matrix above, and the odds below appear to make the answer rather apparent.
The p value of the match of BARACK OBAMA and PHARAOH KING OF EGYPT is just ~0.015. It equates to about one chance in 66 that we could find such a match. By itself this is only of mild interest. However, when the matrix is expanded to just 170 letters, a second occurrence of PHARAOH KING OF EGYPT is seen. With just 7 remaining such terms to match, the p value of the larger matrix is now adjusted to 0.000104, which is about one chance in 9,607 – highly significant.”
Mr. Roffman’s conclusion: “It is not certain who was the Pharaoh of the Exodus, butone suspect is Akhenaten. His statue is found in the Cairo Museum, and it is a dead ringer for President Obama.”
For an op-ed viewpoint authored by ANDRÉ ACIMAN, in the New York Times, The Exodus Obama Forgot to Mention, illustrates the complexity of living together, much less in harmony.
“PRESIDENT OBAMA’S speech to the Islamic world was a groundbreaking event. Never before has a young, dynamic American president, beloved both by his countrymen and the nations of the world, extended so timely and eager a hand to a part of the globe that, recently, had seen fewer and fewer reasons to trust us or to wish us well.As important, Mr. Obama did not mince words. Never before has a president gone over to the Arab world and broadcast its flaws so loudly and clearly: extremism, nuclear weapons programs and a faltering record in human rights, education and economic development — the Arab world gets no passing grades in any of these domains. Mr. Obama even found a moment to mention the plight of Egypt’s harassed Coptic community and to criticize the new wave of Holocaust deniers. And to show he was not playing favorites, he put the Israelis on notice: no more settlements in the occupied territories. He spoke about the suffering of Palestinians. This was no wilting olive branch.
It is strange that our president, a man so versed in history and so committed to the truth, should have omitted mentioning the Jews of Egypt. He either forgot, or just didn’t know, or just thought it wasn’t expedient or appropriate for this venue. But for him to speak in Cairo of a shared effort “to find common ground … and to respect the dignity of all human beings” without mentioning people in my position would be like his speaking to the residents of Berlin about the future of Germany and forgetting to mention a small detail called World War II.”
Viewing the Ed Show video, from the progressive media, Netanyahu Sets US Conservatives Straight on ‘Anti-Israel’ Obama, attempts to give the impression that playing nice with Bibi Netanyahu implies progress. Just how realistic is this assessment, when examined in light of the record of the administration?
How far the daring darling of the peace process has fallen from grace among the Middle East Semites, should not be a surprise. Even the pro-Israel establishment Daily Beast questions Obama’s ability and commitment to engage the eternal feud in the article, How Obama Became Netanyahu.
“When it comes to the Palestinians, Obama is also governed by political fear. Obama’s own dovish instincts on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are clear.
Before he won the Democratic nomination in 2008, Obama spoke openly about Palestinian suffering, about the narrow confines of the Israel debate inside the United States, and about his dim view of Likud. But ever since his bruising, and ultimately futile, conflicts with Netanyahu over settlements in 2009 and the 1967 lines in 2011, Obama has gone to great lengths to avoid Israel-related fights. During the past 18 months, he’s barely uttered a public word about settlements or the 1967 lines. Last year’s Democratic platform excised previous language pledging a “personal” presidential “commitment” to the peace process. And now Obama is traveling to Israel without any specific plans for moving toward a Palestinian state.
Obama is essentially telling Palestinians to keep their heads down until an Israeli leader comes along who wants to create a viable Palestinian state. Or until ordinary Israelis stop worrying about the ultra-Orthodox and the price of cottage cheese and create another peace movement. Or until politics change in Washington. He’s telling Palestinians to relinquish every form of counterpressure they have and put themselves at Israel’s and America’s mercy, even though this trip itself is evidence that without Palestinian counterpressure, America and Israel will do little else except entrench the status quo.”
Woe is I, for the “so called” reincarnated Pharaoh; his pilgrimage to the Promise Land is not exactly a vacation in Eden. No “parting of the waves” on this visit for the Tempter look alike. Even on the home front, ‘The Bible’ viewers: Seeing Obama in Satan gains traction.
“The similarity was seen and commented upon by people hostile to the president by people who because of the their general political opinions, found it quite “obvious” that the Devil and the president should look so much alike.
Plenty of the president’s biggest fans also saw the similarity and went to social media to spread the word about it. Why? Because, according to them, it was all part of the producers’ plan to smear the president and appeal to the “Bible thumpers” who oppose him.
In other words, both groups saw the president in the Devil – one group because they see the Devil in the president, and the other because they see the Devil in those who strongly oppose the president.”
If not a Pharaoh or a Beelzebub, what precisely is Barak Obama? While he surely would like to be the sheikh of the last days, he certainly is no vessel of revealed scripture. The “born again” Netanyahu – Obama love fest, is no transcendental relationship. Only by answering, Who made you a ruler and judge over us?, can serious minded brothers of good will cross over into the promise land of honest accountability.
Obama is a creature of satanic control and implements global Talmudic law. With the abandonment of Mosaic Law and the New Testament gospel, the international community is executing a worldwide inferno of hatred and death. “Let my people go” applies to all of humanity. The exodus from perdition needs universal acceptance that only obedience to God is the path to paradise.
US and UK Drowned Iraq in Blood…
All forms of political media — in print, on line, on the air — have been awash in recent weeks with retrospectives on the tenth anniversary of the American-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Amidst the mountainous heap of drivel and falsehood such an occasion inevitably produces among the vast and vapid army of analysts who happily spend their days chewing the cud of whatever happens to be the conventional wisdom of the day, there have been a few outstanding pieces that put this continuing war crime in stark perspective.
One of the better short pieces I’ve seen on the subject comes from — of all people — an actual Iraqi. Sami Ramadani, a dissident forced into exile by Saddam, has been one of the most insightful observers — and vociferous opponents — of the atrocities inflicted on his country by Western elites and their local collaborators (including, of course, for many decades, Saddam Hussein). From the Guardian:
Ten years on from the shock and awe of the 2003 Bush and Blair war – which followed 13 years of murderous sanctions, and 35 years of Saddamist dictatorship – my tormented land, once a cradle of civilisation, is staring into the abyss.
Wanton imperialist intervention and dictatorial rule have together been responsible for the deaths of more than a million people since 1991. And yet, according to both Tony Blair and the former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright, the “price is worth it”. Blair, whom most Iraqis regard as a war criminal, is given VIP treatment by a culpable media. Iraqis listen in disbelief when he says: “I feel responsibility but no regret for removing Saddam Hussein.” (As if Saddam and his henchmen were simply whisked away, leaving the people to build a democratic state). It enrages us to see Blair build a business empire, capitalising on his role in piling up more Iraqi skulls than even Saddam managed.
As an exile, I was painfully aware of Saddam’s crimes, which for me started with the disappearance from Baghdad’s medical college of my dearest school friend, Hazim. The Iraqi people are fully aware, too, that Saddam committed all his major crimes while an ally of western powers. On the eve of the 2003 invasion I wrote this for the Guardian:
“In Iraq, the US record speaks for itself: it backed Saddam’s party, the Ba’ath, to capture power in 1963, murdering thousands of socialists, communists and democrats; it backed the Ba’ath party in 1968 when Saddam was installed as vice-president; it helped him and the Shah of Iran in 1975 to crush the Kurdish nationalist movement; it increased its support for Saddam in 1979…helping him launch his war of aggression against Iran in 1980; it backed him throughout the horrific eight years of war (1980 to 1988), in which a million Iranians and Iraqis were slaughtered, in the full knowledge that he was using chemical weapons and gassing Kurds and Marsh Arabs; it encouraged him in 1990 to invade Kuwait…; it backed him in 1991 when Bush [senior] suddenly stopped the war, exactly 24 hours after the start of the great March uprising that engulfed the south and Iraqi Kurdistan…”
But when it was no longer in their interests to back him, the US and UK drowned Iraq in blood.
…We haven’t even counted the dead yet, let alone the injured, displaced and traumatised. Countless thousands are still missing. Of the more than 4 million refugees, at least a million are yet to go back to their homeland, and there still about a million internal refugees. On an almost daily basis, explosions and shootings continue to kill the innocent. … Lack of electricity, clean water and other essential services continues to hit millions of impoverished and unemployed people, in one of the richest countries on the planet. Women and children pay the highest price. Women’s rights, and human rights in general, are daily suppressed.
And what of democracy, supposedly the point of it all? The US-led occupying authorities nurtured a “political process” and a constitution designed to sow sectarian and ethnic discord. Having failed to crush the resistance to direct occupation, they resorted to divide-and-rule to keep their foothold in Iraq. Using torture, sectarian death squads and billions of dollars, the occupation has succeeded in weakening the social fabric and elevating a corrupt ruling class that gets richer by the day, salivating at the prospect of acquiring a bigger share of Iraq’s natural resources, which are mostly mortgaged to foreign oil companies and construction firms.
Warring sectarian and ethnic forces, either allied to or fearing US influence, dominate the dysfunctional and corrupt Iraqi state institutions, but the US embassy in Baghdad – the biggest in the world – still calls the shots. Iraq is not really a sovereign state, languishing under the punitive Chapter VII of the UN charter.
Yes, it has certainly been, as Barack Obama memorably characterized it, a “remarkable achievement.” It is also, more and more, a forgotten “achievement.” America’s amnesia regarding the war crime in Iraq and its continuing ramifications — not only the repression and death still going on there, but also the catastrophic impact of this atrocity on America itself, including the tsunami of suicide, homelessness and PTSD among its soldiers, and the back-breaking costs of this orgy of corruption and war-profiteering — is indeed remarkable. It is no longer a reality — a living, anguished, ongoing human tragedy — but simply fodder for commentary, for partisan point-scoring, for barroom blather. This has always been the case with our misbegotten wars of imperial domination (for an especially acute and egregious example of our chronic amnesia, see this review of Nick Turse’s new book, Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam), going back to the 19th century. And the “paradigm-changing” iadvent of the internet has done nothing to change that; despite today’s easy access to unprecedented levels of information about the realities of the Iraq war (and other high crimes and atrocities), the amnesia and willful ignorance remains as profound as ever.
So here we are. Ten years on from the frenzied paroxysm (or was it an orgasm?) of mass violence — which was itself the culmination of years of the bipartisan war-by-sanctions that American officials have openly acknowledged killed more than half a million Iraqi children — what is the central “moral” issue of our national politics today? This once-unimaginable, horribly depraved and obscene question: Should the president be allowed to murder any American citizen he chooses, or should there perhaps be be some kind of secret Congressional oversight of the secret killing program? (The idea of restricting the president’s power to kill any filthy foreignerhe chooses is not in question anywhere in our national politics, of course; Rand Paul wasn’t filibustering against that idea. No, any debate on the “ethics” of state murder is restricted to its application to Americans, who, as we know, are the only fully human beings on the face of the earth.)
Given the current trajectory of our plunge into barbarism, I predict that in just a few years we’ll be “debating” whether the president has the right to stick the severed heads of “terrorists” on spikes outside the White House, or if the heads should be passed around discreetly to members of the relevant Senate committees before being dumped in the ocean.
Source: Empire Burlesque
Once involved with Palestinian Solidarity you have to accept that Jews are special and so is their suffering; Jews are like no other people, their Holocaust is like no other genocide and anti Semitism, is the most vile form of racism the world has ever known and so on and so forth.
But when it comes to the Palestinians, the exact opposite is the case. For some reason we are expected to believe that the Palestinians are not special at all - they are just like everyone else. Palestinians have not been subject to a unique, racist, nationalist and expansionist Jewish nationalist movement, instead, we must all agree that, just like the Indians and the Africans, the Palestinian ordeal results from run-of-the-mill 19th century colonialism – just more of the same old boring Apartheid.
So, Jews, Zionists and Israelis are exceptional, like no one else, while Palestinians are always somehow, ordinary, always part of some greater political narrative, always just like everyone else. Their suffering is never due to the particularity of Jewish nationalism, or Jewish racism, or even AIPAC dominating USA foreign policy no, the Palestinian is always a victim of a dull, banal dynamic – general, abstract and totally lacking in particularity.
This raises some serious questions.
Can you think of any other liberation or solidarity movement that prides itself in being boring, ordinary and dull? Can you think of any other solidarity movement that downgrades its subject into just one more meaningless exhibit in a museum of materialist historical happenings? I don’t think so! Did the black South Africans see themselves as being like everyone else? Did Martin Luther King believe his brothers and sisters to be inherently undistinguishable?
I don’t think so. So how come Palestinian solidarity has managed to sink so low that their spokespersons and supporters compete against each other to see who can best eliminate the uniqueness of the Palestinian struggle into just part of a general historical trend such as colonialism or Apartheid?
The answer is simple. Palestinian Solidarity is an occupied zone and, like all such occupied zones must dedicate itself to the fight against ‘anti Semitism’. Dutifully united against racism, fully engaged with LGBT issues in Palestine and in the movement itself, but for one reason or another, the movement is almost indifferent towards the fate of millions of Palestinians living in refugee camps and their Right of Return to their homeland.
But all this can change. Palestinians and their supporters could begin to see their cause for what it is, unique and distinctive. Nor need this be all that difficult. After all, if Jewish nationalism is inherently exceptional as Zionists proclaim, is it not only natural that the victims of such a distinctive racist endeavor are at least, themselves, just as distinctive.
So far, Palestine solidarity has failed to liberate Palestine, but it has succeeded beyond its wildest dreams in creating a Palestine Solidarity Industry, and one largely funded by liberal Zionists. We have been very productive in schlepping activists around the world promoting ‘boycotts’ and ‘sanctions’ meanwhile Israel trade with Britain is booming and Hummus Tzabar is clearly apparent in every British grocery store.
All those attempts to reduce Palestinian ordeal into a dated, dull, generalised materialist narrative should be exposed for what they are – an attempt to appease liberal Zionists. Palestinian suffering is actually unique in history at least as unique as the Zionist project.
Yesterday I came across this from South African minister Ronnie Kasrils. In a comment on Israeli Apartheid he said : “This is much worse than Apartheid..Israeli measures, the brutality, make apartheid look like a picnic. We never had Jets attacking our townships; we never had sieges that lasted months after months. We never had tanks destroying houses.”
Kasrils is dead right. It is much worse than Apartheid and far more sophisticated than colonialism. And why? Because what the Zionists did and are doing is neither Apartheid nor is it colonialism. Apartheid wanted to exploit the African, Israel wants the Palestinian gone. Colonialism is an exchange between a mother and a settler state. Israel never had a mother State, though it may well have had a few ‘surrogate mothers’.
Now is the time to look at the unique ordeal of the Palestinian people. Similarly, now is the time to look at the Zionist crime in the light of Jewish culture and identity politics.
Can the solidarity movement meet this challenge? Probably, but like Palestine, it must first, itself, be liberated.
The bleak statistics are well known. This country has 50 million functional illiterates. We don’t compete well on international tests. Students reach college not knowing what 7 x 8 is. The Pentagon complains constantly that more than half of our teenagers are not fit for military service. Major corporations spend billions on remedial classes, teaching adults basic information they should learn during their school years.
Why, why, why? It’s all very mystifying for most people. What is so difficult about teaching kids to read, write, do simple math, and find the US on a map?
Fact is, elite educators have perversely embraced one flimsy theory after another. All the while, traditional, proven methods are tossed on the trash. If you went back to a public school today, you might not recognize the place.
Probably the first thing you would notice is that children no longer sit in desks facing a teacher. Often, they are divided into little groups of five or six students who sit around a table. This approach is called Cooperative Learning. All work is group-work; praise is group-praise; blame is group-blame. M. J. McDermott in her famous YouTube video “An Inconvenient Truth” noted that when she went back to college as a 40-year-old, she was surprised that the kids coming directly from high school had such poor skills: “Common problems included, one, an inability to work alone, to solve problems without checking in with other people all the time…”
If you want to create independent thinkers and self-starters, Cooperative Learning may be the worst possible approach. If you are trying to create members of a herd, it’s a good choice.
Another disingenuous theory, operating in almost every classroom these days, is called Constructivism. It requires children to invent their own new knowledge. Meanwhile, teachers can no longer be sages on a stage; they must be guides at a student’s side. Even worse, teachers may be relegated to the back of the room, and renamed Facilitators. Their job is to flit quietly about, dispensing smiles of encouragement, while the students try to reinvent the insights and facts generated by 10,000 years of human history. Basically, education becomes Easter egg hunts where kids discover what they are nudged toward discovering. Everything else is terra incognita. Something simple like “Paris is the capital of France” is not easily “constructed.” However, it is quickly taught.
Most people of a certain age remember the horror story known as New Math, circa 1965. It was a flop and it was buried without regret. But the same ingredients were recycled into a witches’ brew called Reform Math (ca. 1985). As before, advanced concepts are mixed with simple concepts. The best methods for solving various types of problems are not taught. Children “spiral” about from topic to topic, but mastery is not a goal. Kids are not asked to know the multiplication tables. Reform Math sparked a massive amount of parental opposition. (Probably that’s why the educators had created 12 separate Reform Math curricula, with different names but the same dark heart.) Now all this failed math pedagogy is being recycled into Core Standards–Mathematics. You can go to corestandards.org and see for yourself.
The bottom line is that children are moved very quickly to dependence on calculators. They don’t know any techniques in an automatic way. Years later, when they have to add a column of numbers in a restaurant, they’re always starting over as if still in fifth grade.
Meanwhile, let us never forget that reading has been in shambles for 75 years. About 2000, the Education Establishment changed gears slightly, allowing more phonics back into the classroom, under the banner of Balanced Literacy. However, first- and second-graders are still forced to memorize printed words as shapes or designs (instead of learning to see the sounds represented by the words). This is the mistake that Rudolf Flesch wrote about in his famous 1955 book, “Why Johnny Can’t Read”. This is the flawed theory that created those already-mentioned 50,000,000 functional illiterates. Tragically, the Education Establishment keeps pushing it.
Next, consider the strategy called Self-Esteem. This requires that students be praised even if they do a bad job. Predictably, students become complacent and smug. But Self-Esteem is much more lethal than that. It is often used to destroy content on this basis: if a child doesn’t learn something, the child will feel bad. What is the answer? Teach the child better? No, never that. The answer is to eliminate everything difficult or challenging from the classroom.
Still another common tactic is called Multiculturalism. This requires that third-grade students learn the history and geography of Africa or China, but not the equivalent facts about their own country. Multiculturalism is used to curtail knowledge about a student’s own world. Recall that a few decades ago, the big fad was Relevance, which required that students learn ONLY those things that were in a child’s immediate world. This theory justified ignoring a lot of history, science, and geography. Point is, our Education Establishment seems always to find a clever excuse for not teaching facts once considered essential.
There’s another strategy almost as devastating as all these others but you don’t often hear it talked about. It is best called No Memorization. Children are never expected to actually know anything. The idea of telling the child that there are three oceans–Atlantic, Pacific and Indian; remember those names — is obsolete. The goal now seems to be a fact-free classroom. Children talk about things, but they don’t learn things. Meanwhile, the education professors don’t want testing that will reveal how little the kids actually know. The answer? Students prepare portfolios or projects. You cut pictures from magazines showing the subject you are studying. The teacher says, “You understand this topic; you get an A.” That’s called “authentic assessment.” It’s actually rather inauthentic, as the whole point seems to be to circumvent what used to be considered ordinary standards.
All of these dangerous fads have been thoroughly mixed in with yet another: Learning Styles. In this theory, every child is unique and should probably have an IEP–Individualized Education Program. Imagine the chaos and anarchy, not to mention huge amounts of extra work, as teachers try to devise a separate curriculum for each student. This is supposedly sensible because some students are visual learners, some are auditory learners, some are kinesthetic learners, some are one kind, some are some other kind. I recently talked to a fifth-grade teacher, a man, who told me that he used no text books. He said he prepared a special assignment for each student, each day. OMG, as the texters say. Even if you can find teachers willing to do all this extra work, there is still the matter of cultural divisions: every kid is learning something different. What can they discuss with each other? Where is our common inheritance?
Finally, all of these dubious theories–almost a dozen of them–are forced into schools against a background of routine violence, more cheating, greater tolerance for lateness and incompletions, and a general embrace of approximate answers or fuzziness. (The only thing that public schools are firm about is that students mustn’t carry anything that might be considered a weapon or a drug. Recently, in my part of the country, a sixth-grader was suspended for 10 days because he passed a little bag of oregano from one kid to another. This is insane, but indicative.)
Now you can see why we have millions of students who can’t read very well, can’t count very well, don’t know much history, science or anything else academic, but have been told for years that they are special, talented and wonderful. This is not a good way to prepare children for the real world, a world that may be hard and competitive.
Probably you’re asking about all of this, but why? Are our top educators incompetent? Do they have a foolish weakness for fads and novelty? Is it true that our top education professors have been far-left politically for almost 100 years? Is it simply that these educators are adrift in their own theories, no longer able to see that theory is not reality? I suspect ALL four reasons are synergistically in play, with the politics more important than normally imagined.
Finally, what difference does it make? In all other fields of human endeavor, when the bosses do poorly year after year, they are fired. We don’t have to know why they did a bad job. We just have to know they should be replaced.
President Barack Obama’s Middle Eastern tour, scheduled for the end of March, has triggered a wave of intense speculation about its objectives in recent days. It centers on reports from Israeli sources that Obama will tell Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that a “window of opportunity” for a military strike on Iran will open in June.
The President will allegedly bring the message that Israel should “sit tight” and let the U.S. take the stage—even if that means remaining on the sidelines during an American military operation. It seems improbable, however, that an American president needs to make a 12,000-mile round-trip to provide such reassurance to a difficult partner whom he dislikes, and whose sentiments are fully reciprocated. Last year Obama had no qualms about turning down Netanyahu’s request for a meeting following the latter’s public criticism of the Administration for its reluctance to act against Iran. It is also unlikely that Obama would let Netanyahu know of his strategy so far in advance, even if the ‘window of opportunity’ claim was true.
As for the perennial issue of the Arab-Israeli conflict, it is an even bet that Mr. Obama will not be able to kick-start the stalled ‘peace process.’ At most, notes The Economist, Israel may accept a partial freeze on settlement construction in exchange for a Palestinian pledge not to take Israel’s settlement activity to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. Both sides are primarily interested in making the opponent take the blame for the continuing deadlock. Amos Yadlin—former military intelligence chief who now heads the Institute for National Security Studies in Jerusalem—aptly summarized the Israeli position when he said, “We have to submit a proposal to the Palestinians, a decent proposal, a fair proposal. If the Palestinians will accept it, it’s a win of peace. If they refuse—as we think they will—then at least we win the blame game and we can continue to shape our borders by ourselves without the need to wait for the Palestinians to agree.”
It is obvious that the new Israeli government does not envisage a two-state solution as the foundation of a “decent and fair” proposal. Netanyahu’s plans for settlement construction in annexed east Jerusalem would effectively cut the West Bank in two and force a fait accompli on the status of the Holy City that no Palestinian leader would ever accept. Further settlement construction is “the biggest single threat to the two-state solution,” and Netanyahu knows it. His move reflects his strategic vision: a lasting peace with the Arabs is not obtainable; the conflict is structurally irresoluble; and Israel’s security therefore demands open-ended maintenance of military superiority and physical control over as much territory as possible. Meaningless concessions may be made for PR purposes—a few Palestinian prisoners can be released here, further expansion of a few settlements may be suspended there—but Israel needs to manage the conflict by maintain the status quo for many years to come.
An important element of this strategy is the assumption that the United States will continue to support it politically, militarily, and financially. Quite apart from various moral and legal issues involved, the U.S. Government appears increasingly reluctant to condone Netanyahu’s vision—which is just as well, primarily because doing so would not be in the American interest, but also because the strategy of permanent conflict management is not in the interest of Israel’s long-term survival. Israel may seem strong and secure at the moment, but its position vis-à-vis its hostile Arab neighbors is steadily deteriorating.
The wave of political changes in the Arab world over the past two years has changed the security architecture of the Middle East to Israel’s detriment. One of its consequences is that in relation to Israel the new leaders are more representative of the wishes of their people. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood’s manipulation of the political process has enabled it to concentrate all power in its hands. President Mohamed Morsi’s skill and cunning ensured the Brotherhood’s victory at the forthcoming sham parliamentary election. For the time being, Morsi is paying lip service to the maintenance of the peace treaty with Israel. He knows that this is the precondition for continuing American aid to his country’s depleted coffers, but his long-term intentions are better reflected in his speech made nearly three years ago, in which he urged Egyptians to “nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred” for Jews. In a television interview months later, he blasted “these bloodsuckers who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs.” Denying Israel’s right to exist is a key pillar of the Brotherhood’s ideology and its activists murdered President Anwar al-Sadat in 1981 for signing that same peace treaty two years earlier. Nothing has changed in its position. Israel’s southwestern frontier is no longer secure; and if Bashar al-Assad falls in Syria, the same will apply to the northeastern frontier in the Golan.
With the Muslim Brotherhood’s takeover of the geographic, demographic and cultural center of the Arab world well-nigh irreversible, the entire Middle East is in turmoil. Libya is a failed state in which rival tribal militias and terrorist groups run the show outside central Tripoli and use its territory to launch attacks in Algeria. In Syria, the rebel movement is dominated by the Islamic People’s Brigade, the Islamic Dawn Movement, the Battalions of Islam, and many similar groups which share an ideology that includes a relentless hatred of Israel. If victorious, these seasoned foreign and home-grown jihadists will cause Israel to nostalgically remember three decades of peace in the Golan Heights under Bashar al-Assad and his father before him.
If the momentum of the past two years provides pointers for the future, by the end of this decade the Greater Middle East will be more firmly Islamic than at any time since the heyday of the Ottoman Empire under Suleyman, and thus more implacably anti-Israeli than ever. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan heralded the shift four years ago, and Turkey has rapidly morphed from Israel’s key strategic partner in the region into a hostile Islamic power. To take but one example, speaking the the United Nations on February 27 Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called on the international community to “put an end to the Palestinians’ suffering in the occupied territories” and urged the world “to put pressure on Israel to respect human dignity.”
Closer to Israel’s borders, it is only a matter of time before Morsi’s protégé, Hamas, prevails over the more moderate Fatah in the Palestinian power struggle. The precarious stability of Jordan—which has long acted as if it had not merely a nonbelligerency agreement, but a fully-fledged peace treaty with Israel —will be tested by sectarian tensions between East Bank Jordanians and Jordanians of Palestinian origin. King Abdullah’s reluctant reforms may create a revolution of rising expectations, and lead to yet another regime change detrimental to Israel’s interests. There will be no “peace process,” of course. With the storm clouds gathering around them, many Israelis will have reason to regret the support that Netanyahu’s friends in Washington had given to the Arab Islamic Winter.
Diplomatically, Israel is more isolated than ever since 1967. The settlement enterprise is not only a security liability, rather than an asset, but also a diplomatic millstone which materially contributed to the overwhelming UN vote in favor of Palestinian de facto statehood last fall. Since then, settlement policies have elicited a chorus of condemnation, including a call for sanctions against Israel by the European union. The unelected elite running the EU is inherently hostile to a state based on the principle of blood and religion, but its antagonism to Israel is further exacerbated by rising influence of the Muslim diaspora in several key EU countries, notably France, Germany and Britain. More significantly still, Chuck Hagel’s swift confirmation has exposed the growing weakness of pro-Israeli lobbying groups in Washington. Two years ago, former Mossad chief Meir Dagan warned the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that “Israel is gradually turning from an asset to the United States to a burden.” Following the botched anti-Hagel campaign, increasing numbers of Washingtonian insiders are prone to agree with his assessment.
Demographic trends are another alarming aspect of Israel’s long-term geopolitical position, which has always been shaped by the implacable determinants of land and population. The Palestinians are adamantly insistent on the “right of return” of the descendants of some 700,000 refugees of 1948, and estimates indicate that there are more than four million of them in the PA and elsewhere in the Arab world. Over 90% of them reject the possibility of monetary compensation in lieu of that right. This is anathema to Israelis, as it would signal the end of the Jewish state, and the elusive two-state solution seems to offer the only viable defense from the demographic bomb. Between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, the Jews are already in a minority. Since birth rates in the West Bank and Gaza remain much higher than in Israel, the Arab population of the Palestinian Authority will exceed the number of Israeli Jews by 2040. On current form, Arabs will account for a quarter of Israel’s population by that time, up from just over a fifth today.
Jewish immigration does not make much difference to the trend. It has oscillated between 15 and 20,000 over the past decade, the massive influx from the former USSR having dried up. It is noteworthy that considerably higher numbers of Jews are leaving—many of them highly skilled professionals. In 2011, the government estimated the number of Israeli citizens living abroad at between 800,000 and one million, representing up to 13% of the population.Consistent with the latter figure is the estimated one million Israelis in the Diaspora reported at the first global conference of Israelis living abroad, held in January 2011. According to the Foundation for the Middle East Peace, about 45 percent of the adult Israeli expatriates have completed at least a university degree, in contrast to 22 percent of the Israeli population. The Israeli emigrants are generally younger than the immigrants to Israel. Significantly, up to 60 percent of Israelis had approached or were intending to approach a foreign embassy to ask for citizenship and a passport. Analysts warn that it will be a challenge for Jewish Israelis to maintain their current dominant majority of approximately 75 percent, primarily due to higher fertility among non-Jewish Israelis — nearly one child per woman greater — the depletion of the large pool of likely potential Jewish immigrants, and large-scale Jewish Israeli emigration: “Consequently, demographic projections expect the Jewish proportion of the country—which peaked at 89 percent in 1957—to continue declining over the coming decades, approaching a figure closer to two-thirds of the population by mid-century.” As a commentator noted in the London Independent noted two years ago (“Will Israel Still Exist in 2048?”), with the early pioneering spirit fading, and even the Holocaust—dare one hazard—less of a unifying force, Israel is not the same country it was 60, 30, even 10 years ago:
And demography means that it will continue to change, with the Arab, Orthodox Jewish and second-generation Russian populations increasing much faster than other groups. The Israel of the next 30 years is likely to be more divided, less productive, more inward-looking and more hawkish than it is today—but without the financial means and unquestioning sense of duty that inspired young people to defend their homeland by force of arms.
The Palestinians believe that time is on their side. The young—one-half of the population—are angry, disillusioned and more radical than their parents. As Professor Menachem Klein of Bar Ilan University wrote last November, they see the ailing Palestinian Authority pegged down at bare subsistence levels, without state authority or geographical contiguity, an undeveloped economy totally dependent on Israel and foreign donors, and a Palestinian elite accorded VIP status in reward for its collaboration in maintaining the status quo:
Today there is no longer a sole Palestinian representative—Hamas is in the game too. Moreover, the talks singularly failed to produce a permanent settlement or end the occupation. On the contrary, the reality on the ground has changed for the worse, to the extent that among the New Palestinians belief in the in the two-state solution is rapidly dwindling. The young generation sees Abbas and his people at a loose end, with no practical program or longer term vision… The young people also hear him talking about non-violent resistance to the occupation, while doing virtually nothing to promote it. But the New Palestinians are already on a different wavelength.
These “New Palestinians,” increasingly drawn to Hamas in preference to the corrupt old Fatah elite, will present a greater threat to Israel’s future than their stone-throwing predecessors. They will never accept Israel’s West Bank barrier as a permanent fact of life. They will also be even more inclined than their elders to view the conflict in ontological terms—as a struggle not only for Palestinian rights and viable statehood, but also for the divinely ordained claims of the Ummah against the usurping unbelievers. It is only a matter of time before the “New Palestinians” start perceiving Israel’s rejection of the two-state model and the expansion of settlements as a welcome lapse of judgment, a single-state trap from which the Jewish state will find it hard to extricate itself. They hope that the expansion of the fortress state will eventually morph into one-state solution by other means.
They are no longer deterred or intimidated by Israel’s military superiority. The IDF performed poorly in southern Lebanon in 2006, showing itself poorly prepared for the “fourth generation warfare” against an elusive non-state opponent like Hezbollah. According to a Brookings Institution 2011 report, “The IDF’s poor performance on multiple levels—leadership, coordination, logistics, and fighting capabilities—undermined Israel’s much-prized deterrent factor, and led to the perception of defeat.” The same problem occurred in Gaza in late 2008, where Hamas could be beaten but not defeated, and with the Gaza flotilla raid in 2009, the political costs of which far exceeded the utility of keeping the city under tight naval blockade. The fact that Israel possesses nuclear weapons changes but little in the equation. Of eight other countries possessing the bomb, not one has ever been able to change the status quo in its favor by threatening to use it, let alone by using it. Worryingly for Israel, South Africa had developed its own nuclear arsenal in the 1980s—it has been dismantled since—but this did not enhance its government’s ability to resist the winds of change in the early 1990’s.
Netanyahu’s vision of a Greater Israel and his open-ended strategy of military containment do not take into account the shifting environment and changes within Israel, which make his approach unsustainable in the long term. From its inception Israel has faced numerous threats, but its ability to cope with them in the past does not mean that it will be able to do so indefinitely. The issue is not whether Israel should survive, but whether it has the wherewithal to survive on the basis of the flawed grand strategy to which its ruling political elite subscribes.
One day back in high school, a very interesting English teacher asked our class a moral question: if you could press a button and get a million dollars, but a little old man — with no family, friends, or ties of any kind — in the backwoods of China would die, would you push that button?
Approximately a third of the class raised their hands in the affirmative.
This story always comes to mind when I ponder the abortion question. The old line of the pro-abortion lobby was that they wanted abortion to be “safe, legal, and rare,” implying it’s some sort of necessary evil. Their reasoning always was, “Well, we don’t know when human life begins, so whether or not to end a pregnancy should be the woman’s choice.” Of course, this position was never morally or philosophically sound. After all, if what lies within the womb is just an “unviable tissue mass,” why worry about abortion being “rare”? Oh, yes, the pro-aborts aren’t sure about the intrauterine being’s status. All right, then what they’re essentially saying is that they’ll err on the side of recklessness. It may be murder, you know — so we’ll just do it a little bit.
Yet the truth is different still.
The militant pro-aborts couldn’t have cared less about any of the above.
It was simply that pushing the button worked for them.
And now that we’ve descended further down the rabbit hole of atheism and barbarity, the mask is coming off. New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo just recently bloviated about keeping people safe from imaginary “assault weapons,” but then in a later speech advocated abortion almost without restriction. He repeated passionately, “It’s her body, her choice!” — three times. Interestingly, this political tactic for manipulating the masses was recommended by Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf: he said that the average person had a very short memory, so you must use pithy, catchy slogans and repeat them frequently. Hey, now we know why talk-show host Bob Grant dubbed Cuomo’s father, a former NY governor, “Il Duce.”
But Cuomo the Younger has plenty of company. When Barack Obama infected the Illinois Senate, he voted against the Born Alive Infants Protection Act (BAIPA) and inveighed against it on the Senate floor — on more than one occasion. And understand this law’s purpose. It would sometimes happen that a baby was born alive during a botched abortion, and, well, a good contract killer always finishes the job. So these poor children would be left to die of exposure, perhaps in lonely, soiled storerooms. And BAIPA would have prohibited this. But Push-button Obama?
He clearly had no problem with it.
Of course, he did say during the 2008 campaign that the question of when human life begins was above his “pay grade.” But how far above? Is it that the president believes human life begins when a person can vote Democrat?
A better explanation was provided by former Obama aide Neera Tanden, who said that her ex-boss “really doesn’t like people.” And, well, people are people, no matter how small (hat tip: Dr. Seuss).
In reality, however, my erstwhile high-school peers, Cuomo, Obama, and the rest of the Push-button Baal worshipers are simply moving closer to intellectual consistency as they move further from moral sanity. After all, think about where the “pro-choice” position takes us. It doesn’t really matter what month one says human life “may” begin because we’re always presented with the same correlative questions. What week of that month? What day of that week? What hour and minute of that day? And, then, what second of that minute?
This lends perspective. For what we then must accept is that one second the intrauterine entity isn’t a person, but the next second it — although I suppose at that moment we can say “he” — somehow magically becomes one. And this isn’t even the moment of conception, a seminal event without which there would be no development in the womb whatsoever. So how, pro-aborts, does this humanizing transformation take place?
And this logic also applies to the justification of abortion throughout pregnancy…and beyond. After all, if it’s okay to kill the intrauterine being in a certain month, what is the exact week, day, hour, and second of that month before which it isn’t morally licit? This is a case where when seconds count, the police will never come because the wrong second deems you push-button prey.
But here is the reality: that being inside the womb is a person. And forget the intellectual contortions — the truth will out. If it’s all right to murder an innocent person one second, there is no reason to think it isn’t okay the next, and then the next and the next and…well, finish the progression. So is Obama’s tolerance for killing the already born really surprising? “Already born” simply refers to a change in a person’s location — not status. And, note, the same is true of “born a long, long time ago.”
This brings us back to my question of how the post-conception, second-to-second humanizing transformation occurs. The only logical (which isn’t necessarily synonymous with correct) argument is that the moment in question is when the being is implanted with a soul; this is, after all, why Christians say that conception is when personhood begins. Yet theological discussions would be pointless here because the vanguard pro-aborts are secularists who, by and large, don’t subscribe to antiquated ideas about souls and “sky fairies.” They are materialists.
And this is why the atheistic world view ultimately makes respect for life incomprehensible. For if we don’t have souls, we’re just some pounds of chemicals and water — mere organic robots — as Stephen Hawking says he considers us. And what could be wrong with terminating the function of a robot? This “insight” frees you from the burden of performing more complex intellectual contortions. Big robot, small robot, temporarily residing inside a larger robot; what does it matter? Robots are robots, no matter how tall.
Taking the matter further, note that if there is no God, there can be no transcendent Moral Truth. Following from this is that what we call morality is just a reflection of man’s wants, which means there isn’t really any such thing as right and wrong; as the liberals are wont to say, it’s all just a matter of “perspective.” And with no Truth but only taste, no virtues but only “values,” the formula becomes, as occultist Aleister Crowley devilishly put it, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.”
This is why I’ve said that if the leftists’ moral relativism is taken to its logical conclusion, the result is sociopathy. After all, how does a conscience compute, fellow organic robots, if there is nothing to be conscientious about?
Now perhaps you better understand why leftists’ behavior is often so sociopathic. And be afraid, be very afraid. Once the godless left has the power and the mask drops completely, it may be you who they push the button on next.
There are many forms of government subsidies. Ambitious politicians ingeniously design schemes to expand their power and repay their donor patrons. Opportunist corporate enterprises beg for favor to fund projects or guaranteed loans. The role of government venture capitalism has produced a much-sordid record for the taxpayer. The sheer concept of picking winners and losers is a pure political play that defies pragmatic prudence. In spite of this, actuality, the rush to squander public money is one of the few growth industries. The pitiful results of the predictable bankruptcy are the common fate of this flawed business model.
The latest outrage has Buyers Circle Around Ailing Fisker Automotive. Yet, some critics of this assessment would have you believe that Fisker Automotive is in a sharp contrast to competitor Tesla Motors.
“But the fact that potential buyers are from China is already raising alarms about Fisker, which raised $1.2 billion in venture capital and spent about $192 million in federal loans to build a factory. “Technology developed with American taxpayer subsidies should not be sold off to China,” Republican senator Charles Grassley told Bloomberg. He compared it to the acquisition of A123 Systems by China-based auto parts company Wanxiang Group.
By contrast, Tesla Motors, which also received a DOE loan to build its factory, is crossing into higher volume production. Yesterday, Tesla announced that it expects to be profitable this quarter and is making its Model S at a rate of 400 a month, which will allow it to hit its annual target and meet demand for the electric sedan. (See, Tesla’s Explosive Revenue Suggests a Bright Future.)
One crucial difference between Tesla and Fisker, which is well known for its bold designs, has been Tesla’s manufacturing expertise. Fisker may well still go public and be a successful EV supplier. But for energy-related startups to go the route of Tesla rather than Fisker, they’ll need innovative technology, access to capital, supportive policies, and great business execution.”
The Obama environmental cult would argue that it is largely appropriate to spend public resources to fund private technological businesses. Some will be successful while others will fail. However, the partnership role with government in this new state/capitalist prototype is necessary to achieve the greater good of a fossil free ecosystem. Expensive cars, not designed for the commuter, are now joint venture public finance missions, in order to curtail gas fumes.
Henry Ford is rolling in his grave and Enzo Ferrari is searching for the electric switch.
The notorious “Green” sector has vivid examples of bribery, theft, incompetence and high-priced inefficient technology. The Foundry publishes a most informative list ofPresident Obama’s Taxpayer-Backed Green Energy Failures. “So far, 34 companies that were offered federal support from taxpayers are faltering — either having gone bankrupt or laying off workers or heading for bankruptcy.” Examine the specific site links for expanded details.
|1. Evergreen Solar ($25 million)*||12. Abound Solar ($400 million)*||23. Thompson River Power ($6.5 million)*|
|2. SpectraWatt ($500,000)*||13. A123 Systems ($279 million)*||24. Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*|
|3. Solyndra ($535 million)*||14. Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($700,981)*||25. Azure Dynamics ($5.4 million)*|
|4. Beacon Power ($43 million)*||15. Johnson Controls ($299 million)||26. GreenVolts ($500,000)|
|5. Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)||16. Brightsource ($1.6 billion)||27. Vestas ($50 million)|
|6. SunPower ($1.2 billion)||17. ECOtality ($126.2 million)||28. LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($151 million)|
|7. First Solar ($1.46 billion)||18. Raser Technologies ($33 million)*||29. Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*|
|8. Babcock and Brown ($178 million)||19. Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)||30. Navistar ($39 million)|
|9. EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*||20. Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*||31. Satcon ($3 million)*|
|10. Amonix ($5.9 million)||21. Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*||32. Konarka Technologies Inc. ($20 million)*|
|11. Fisker Automotive ($529 million)||22. Range Fuels ($80 million)*||33. Mascoma Corp. ($100 million)|
Now expand the creativity of the subsidy culture to the bankruptcy constituency. The report, Union That Bankrupted Hostess to Receive Generous Government Subsidies, will push you over the edge.
“Last year, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union refused to accept concessions that would have kept Hostess in business. The company had tried to cut costs as it faced high labor expenses, rising ingredient costs, and decreasing sales. The Teamsters union accepted the concessions, but the Bakery union would not, choosing to strike. Unable to continue operating, Hostess filed for bankruptcy.
Now those who helped bring down an American icon will receive generous, taxpayer-funded benefits from the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program. These generous benefits come in addition to existing unemployment insurance, job placement, and job training programs. TAA benefits include:
• Up to two years of job training in an approved training program,
• Up to 52 weeks of Trade Readjustment Allowances for workers in job training,
• Job search and relocation allowances,
• A refundable “health care tax credit” that covers 65 percent of a worker’s health insurance premiums in qualifying health plans, and
• A two-year wage insurance program that partly replaces workers’ earnings if they accept lower-paying jobs.”
The civic grant philosophy is not just for corporatists. Union goons prefer that their rank in file lose their livelihood, so that they can enjoy the welfare stipends of the state-run insolvent society. The prospects of a Mandarin logo on a Fisker vehicle are hardly on the same scale of transferring innovative technology to Cantonese creditors. However, the common practice of squandering national treasure for dubious purposes seems to be the primary product of the political careerists.
Leave it to the progressives over at The American Prospect, for an unintended analogy, in the essay The Twinkie Defense - the unions made us do it. “Hostess Brands is classic case of private equity engineers and executives looting a viable company, loading it up with debt, and then asking the employees to make up the difference.”
Regretfully, but with no remorse; the political class plays the role of private equity engineers, as the government plunders our economy, through crony spending and swelling of the debt, while saddling the taxpayer with the bill.
U.S. politicians have cried wolf over austerity long enough for the public to ignore them. A perfect time, then, for politicians to actually unleash the wolves. Barring an unlikely last minute deal, here’s a short list of some of the massive, national bi-partisan-created austerity cuts, according to the New York Times
600,000 food stamp recipients will be cut from the program
Massive education cuts. According to President Obama: Once these cuts take effect thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off and tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find child care for their kids. “
$12 billion in Medicare cuts (more to come after 2013)
Federal funds to state governments will be cut, creating even more deficits for states and municipalities, and thus more localized cuts (the states have already made austerity cuts of $337 billion!)
Also, 700,000 jobs are expected to be loss, while 70,000 kids are also expected to be kicked off of Head Start
And this is just for 2013. The current plan for the austerity “sequester” cuts is $100 billion of federal cuts every year for ten years, equaling massive cuts to jobs, Medicare, education, and completely destroying federally funded social programs.
Will it actually happen this time? The New York Times reports:
In private, Capitol Hill staff members and members of Congress have admitted that there are no viable plans on the horizon to delay or offset the cuts.
The finger pointing in Washington, D.C. has already reached a crescendo, with the perverted logic being that, if both parties are to blame, it’s really no one’s fault. In reality Democrats and Republicans created these “sequester” cuts, and they can just as easily undo them with a snap of the finger.
Both parties are choosing not to delete the cuts. They just don’t want political responsibility for the fallout, which many economists have predicted will push the U.S. economy over the edge into official recession.
Obama has predictably blamed the Republicans for this mess, even though he personally began this process by creating the “deficit reduction commission” that helped shape the cuts (keep in mind there is zero debt crisis that calls for such drastic measures).
Obama could also just as easily appeal to the American public — over the heads of congressmen — to demand that the cuts be shelved forever. Instead, he’s proposing a “grand bargain” deal that he knows the Republicans won’t go for.
What’s in Obama’s grand bargain deal? According to the White House website:
$130 billion in “savings” [cuts] to Social Security, by implementing a “superlative CPI”
$35 billion in “savings” [cuts] to the retirement of federal employees
$400 billion in health care “savings” [cuts], much of it Medicare cuts.
Obama cynically fails to mention the words Social Security or Medicare in the above plan, choosing instead to write in code (“superlative Consumer Price Index”). Obama’s plan to avoid the March 1st cuts still assumes that $500 billion in cuts will be implemented over the next ten years, as opposed to $1trillion.
But his plan is just a distraction. Obama knows his plan has no chance of being passed by March 1st. He’s falsely portraying his plan as the only alternative to the March 1st cuts, even though a far better idea — the one preferred by a vast majority of Americans — is to simply to shelve the sequester cuts forever. To not put forth this option makes Obama complicit in the cuts.
Many pundits have speculated that Congress will allow the cuts to go into effect for three weeks, since March 27th marks a fiscal deadline that will pressure Congress to maneuver anew. This might trigger a new round of haggling over a new “grand bargain” that again targets “entitlement programs” and re-packages the massive cuts into a prettier box. The party that does the most effective finger pointing after the March 1st cuts will be in the best position to dictate matters post-March 27th, so say the pundits.
Whatever the actual result, the Democrats and Republicans share similar enough visions that massive cuts to cherished social programs appear to be inevitable. Much of the made-for-TV bickering is pure political posturing, meant to fool the working people most affected by these cuts into believing it’s “the other party” that’s responsible.
Politicians have been able to get away with this disgusting behavior because there are very few independent voices telling the truth about what’s happening. Many labor and progressive groups are consciously lying about the dynamic, placing blame squarely on the Republicans, thus allowing the Democrats not to be held accountable for their pandering to the corporate elite’s demand to use austerity to attack the social safety net. In reality both parties are jointly attacking working and poor people via austerity, on a city, state, and national level.
If Labor and community groups united in a demand of ‘No Cuts, Tax the Rich’ and organized massive mobilizations, there would be a very different public debate happening right now. It’s not too late for these groups to tear themselves from the jaws of their attackers.
The fundamental distinction between a legitimate national defense and an aggressive global garrison imperium, escapes the political elites. The War Party’s entrenched power and control of their egocentric internationalist foreign policy, endangers the country. Military expenditures have increased substantially this century with little regard to The Real Threat to National Security. The “War on Terror” is a tired excuse that keeps precision smart weapon dominance deployed, which shells suspect bombers with impunity. The technologists that develop and refine methods for more efficient killing machinery hardly earn the honor – defenders of the nation.The mere suggestion that armed services cutbacks are unpatriotic or places the homeland in peril is an invented euphemism to disguise the true nature of the coercive global empire that has replaced our Constitutional Republic. The Economics of Sequestration points out that, “while many auditors would agree that the bloated expenditures within the military-industrial-complex has much to do with an adventurist foreign policy, the architects of sequestration refused to do a straight across the board reductions in all budgets.”
For a detailed report on sequestration, download the GovWin analysis.
• Defense hit hard, but small elements of major accounts have been shielded
• Agencies’ working capital funds are largely protected
• Fund accounts with economic implications are largely exempted
• Senate and House member compensation is exempt
• Contractors and government employees will take hits, but how hard?
• States, and other grant holders, will be impacted
John Barnett presents the political difficulty of actually cutting the military budget in the Brookings Institution video, How Will Military Spending Cuts Affect Us Down the Road? You can always depend upon establishment mouthpieces to exculpate and argue for the military money machine.
However, when pressed, an alternative approach comes from Lawrence J. Korb, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, served as an assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration, who proposes a small down payment onHow to cut $100B from the defense budget.
“Implementing the following four politically feasible reforms to the defense budget would save $100 billion over the next decade. First, reduce the size of the U.S. nuclear stockpile to 1,100 weapons. Second, cancel the Navy variant of the F-35 and instead purchase the more affordable and effective F/A-18 E/F. Third, reduce the size of the U.S. ground forces to their pre-9/11 levels as we wind down the war in Afghanistan. And finally, implement sensible provisions to reduce the over-utilization of services in the military’s Tricare for Life health care program.
A modest $100 billion reduction will not be sufficiently to reverse the explosive, irresponsible growth in defense spending that has occurred since 9/11. In fact, the bipartisan group of 22 and the president’s own deficit reduction committee (Simpson-Bowles) both suggest much larger draw-downs. But these reductions present a politically achievable down payment to avert the fiscal cliff and buy the Obama administration and Congress more time to deal with the larger fiscal challenges facing the Department of Defense.”
The typical response from the Top Pentagon Brass Lay Out Details of Sequestration Nightmare, begs even the appearance of balance or veracity. As federal budget deficits spiral, the DoD schemes to defend the only conflict that can win; namely, the budget battle.
“Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter called the “twin evils” of sequestration and a year-long continuing resolution “more dangerous than it’s ever been” as the Pentagon faces its “biggest cut in history.” He warned that cuts of $42 billion by the end of fiscal 2013 would mean a “drastic shortfall in the funding we need to do training, which inhibits our capacity to fight.” The Defense Department, he added, “would have to go back and redo our national defense strategy.”
The entire point of Secretary Carter’s appeal is that the national defense strategy is even more sacrosanct than the outlay on hardware budgets. The key mistake in the security equation is that this stratagem is a formula for unnecessary and excessive expenditures.
Now compare reality with the Pentagon hype. WAR PIGS – THE FALL OF A GLOBAL EMPIRE presents compelling condemnation that the Obama administration is no different from “so called” GOP hawks.
“Any doubt that the Military Industrial Complex is as strong as ever should be removed after examining Obama’s 2012 Budget which has $900 billion dedicated to our military machine. We spent $370 billion in 2001, $620 billion in 2006, and now this liberal anti-war Democrat from Illinois is spending 45% more than that war monger Bush who was burned in effigy by the anti-war Democrats during Iraq War protests. It seems both parties are war pigs.
You would think we must be trying to keep up with our enemies by spending $900 billion per year on past and present military adventures. But one look at the following chart reveals the United States is spending almost as much as the rest of the world combined. The two countries considered potential rivals, China and Russia, spent $200 billion combined in 2010. This is 22% of U.S. spending. From a foreign viewpoint, one must wonder why the U.S. is spending such vast sums on our military. They can only conclude that it is for offensive intentions rather than defensive. The United States soil has not been attacked by a foreign power since December 7, 1941. Prior to that surprise attack, a foreign power hadn’t attacked the U.S. since the War of 1812. With this stupendous level of wasteful spending, our leaders feel compelled to interfere in the business of sovereign states and dictate how they should govern their nations. When you have an enormous hammer, every country looks like a nail.”
Reasonable observers know intuitively that continued increases for defense spending does not enhance security any more than feeding funds into a government school system, produces better educated students. The argument that the world is a very dangerous place has merit if, the State Department would reflect upon the role the imperial American empire plays in the growing hatred for our once great country.
The article, Alternative to Establishment Foreign Policy Politics, states: “The reason why nothing changes to reverse the foreign policy of the imperial empire is that international globalists control the country.” As long as this takeover of authentic national security continues, the game of cooked up fear will persist and used as justification for bellicose military deployment.What is the point of trying to bomb the world into submission, when the collateral damage of corpses, become nourishment for even more national hatred?
The sarcasm of the War Pigs sums up the irrationality and places the Pentagon budget into a much-needed perspective.
“Laughably, the neo-con hawks and Fox News pundits declare that our military is a hollow shell and needs much greater funding to insure our safety from attack by our many enemies. Other countries, such as China and Russia, feel they have no choice but to increase their expenditures on the military. On a percentage basis, they have more than doubled their expenditures in the last ten years, and still are a drop in the ocean compared to American Empire spending.”
Whatever form sequestration takes or a brokered compromise adopts, limiting the growth in military spending, would be the best expected. The mere thought of trimming back the budget is viewed as a defeat for the defense contractor lobby. Notwithstanding, such a sacrifice for the military-industrial-complex, the country will continue to adjust. Keeping Americans safe starts with defending our borders and not expanding the legionnaire footprint across the globe.
The proper role for international relations is to adhere to an American First doctrine. The essay, NATO a Dinosaur Overdue for Extinction, makes the point: “The superpower status of military projection has not brought the promisedPax Americana . . . NATO doesn’t secure an advance for our country, but only provides the military command and enforcement that imposes the will of global masters.”
Consider the burden placed on the DoD budget to facilitate the inadequacies of allied countries that beg for assistance. The recent French military intervention into Mali comes to mind. Now just, imagine the lurid consequences of aiding Israel in a first strike against Iran. The effort to derail the Chuck Hagel conformation for Defense Secretary is a regretful attempt to wreck an orderly adjustment in the “too big to fail” military supplier culture.Intelligent military expenditures require comprehensive reform of a broken foreign policy mission. Enlistees are placed into harm’s way for wasteful operations. Abusing legitimate defense capacity, to wage foreign adventures is the norm. The budget pare down is an opportunity to force some hard love, that requires prioritization for the real national interest.
Abandon the failed objective of overseas nation building and start practicing the vital task of reconstructing our own declining society. An honorable country demands our foregoing the long history of fostering “A Splendid Little War“. A scale back of treasure and resources is prudent and needs to be administered in a manner that secures a cap on future extravagant spending.
When President Obama speaks, most Americans hear what he wants them to hear: lofty rhetoric and a “progressive” vision. But just below the surface the president has a subtly-delivered message for the 1%, whose ears prick up when their buzzwords are mentioned. Obama’s state of the union address was such a speech – a pro-corporate agenda packaged with chocolate covered rhetoric for the masses; easy to swallow, but deadly poisonous.
Much of Obama’s speech was pleasant to the ears, but there were key moments where he was speaking exclusively to the 1%. Exposing these hidden agenda points in the speech requires that we ignore the fluff and use English the way the 1% does. Every time Obama says the words “reform” or “savings,” insert the word “cuts.”
Here are some of the more nefarious moments of Obama’s state for the union speech:
“And those of us who care deeply about programs like Medicare must embrace the need for modest reforms [cuts]…”
“On Medicare, I’m prepared to enact reforms [cuts] that will achieve the same amount of health care savings [cuts] by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms [cuts] proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission.”
This ultra-vague sentence was meant exclusively for the 1%. What are some of the recommendations from the right-wing Simpson-Bowles commission? Obama doesn’t say. Talking Points Memo explains:
- Force more low-income individuals into Medicaid managed care.
- Increase Medicaid co-pays.
- Accelerate already-planned cuts to Medicare Advantage and home health care programs.
- Create a cap for Medicaid/Medicare growth that will force Congress and the president to increase premiums or co-pays or raise the Medicare eligibility age (among other options) if the system encounters cost overruns over the course of 5 years.
There were many other subtly-delivered attacks on Medicare in Obama’s speech, all ignored by most labor and progressive groups, who clung tightly to the “progressive” smoke Obama blew in their face.
Obama’s speech also included a frightening vision of a national privatization scheme to previously publicly owned resources. But it was phrased so inspirationally that only the 1% seemed to notice:
“I’m also proposing a Partnership to Rebuild America that attracts private capital [wealthy investors] to upgrade what our businesses need most: modern ports to move our goods; modern pipelines to withstand a storm; modern schools worthy of our children…we’ll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers [corporations]…”
Obama’s proposal plans to “rebuild America” in the image of the wealthy and corporations, who only put forth their “private capital” when it results in a profitable investment; resources that previously functioned for the public good will now be channeled into the pockets of the rich, to the detriment of everyone else.
Allowing the rich to privatize and profit from public education and publicly owned infrastructure (ports and pipelines, etc.) has been a right-wing dream for years. This will result in massive user fees for the rest of us, while further dismembering public education, which Obama’s ill-named Race to the Top education reform is already successfully accomplishing.
Obama’s speech also put forth two massive pro-corporate international free trade deals, which would further drive down wages in the United States:
“We intend to complete negotiations on a Trans-Pacific Partnership [a massive free trade deal focused mainly on Asian nations]. And tonight, I am announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership [free trade deal] with the European Union – because trade that is free and fair across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs.”
While praising free trade Obama disarmed labor and progressive groups by throwing in the meaningless word “fair.”
Lastly, Obama’s drone assassination policy was further enshrined in his speech. Drone assassinations are obvious war crimes — see the Geneva Convention — while also ignoring that pesky due process clause — innocent until proven guilty — of the constitution.
But Obama said that these programs will be “legal” and “transparent,” apparently good enough to keep most progressive groups quite on the issue.
There were plenty of other examples of sugar-coated poison in Obama’s speech. It outlined a thoroughly right-wing agenda with no plan to address the jobs crisis — sprinkled with pretty words and “inspiring” catchphrases.
Some labor leaders and “progressive” groups seem dazzled by the speech. President of the union federation, AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka, praised Obama’s anti-worker speech:
“Tonight President Obama sent a clear message to the world that he will stand and fight for working America’s values and priorities. And with the foundation he laid, working families will fight by his side to build an economy that works for all.”
And here is the real problem; as President Obama follows in the footsteps of President Bush, labor and progressive groups have found their independent voice stifled. The close ties between these groups and the Democratic Party have become heavy chains for working people, who find themselves under assault with no leadership willing to educate them about the truth, let alone organize a national fightback to win a massive jobs-creation program, prevent cuts to social programs, and fully fund public education. Obama’s second term will teach millions these lessons via experience.
The visual above is the short story. Barack Obama smooching Charles Koch, who with his brother, David, very much wants American taxpayers to pay for the XL Keystone pipeline, which will save them money and the trouble of redesigning their present refineries, deep in the heart of Texas. The Koch refinery is configured to take heavy crude, available only from Venezuela and Canada.
And along with the distasteful issue of going hat in hand to Hugo Chavez, and paying $100 (£64) a barrel, the oil the Kochs need is available far more thriftily from Canada, selling at around $67 (£42) a barrel. Even billionaires take thrift into consideration. Getting Americans, now struggling to feed their families, to pay doubtless stuck them as a much better idea.
You can’t say the Brothers Koch are not consistent. I coined the name, ‘Greedville,’ to ID them and their many co-conspirators. Together, they have been bilking America for years and have now formed a coalition with President Obama to Rebilk America using ideas which first say light of day in the unlikely environs of Libertarianism, for which I must apologize. I tried to stop them, but what do you do with a bunch of wild-eyed Randroids, including the ever avaricious Ed Crane?
Crane, and Cato Institute, eventually saw the full potential of privatization, borrowed from Reason Foundation.
Privatization, the lodestone of the Obama message, should strike horror into the hearts of an American. Privatization has grown our prisons into factories intended only to produce money through incarceration, many of these for crimes which are, arguably, not crimes at all, harming no one. The same “public – private” cooperation, also known as fascism, is steadily encroaching on every part of our lives and, sadly, can be credited directly to a Libertarian.
Dr. Robert Poole, who originated the idea of privatization in his 1975 book, “Cutting Back City Hall,” laid the tracks for the railroading Obama is ‘fast-tracking’ for the Kochs, who are large donors to Reason Foundation and actually founded Cato Institute. These supposedly Libertarian think-tanks have long since become the means of quieting objections from the ‘Right’ intelligent enough to understand what was actually going down.
Using the fiction of ‘privatization,’ actually corporatization, corporations intend to own America’s entire infrastructure, mining it, and us with the cost-plus contracts for ‘rebilking’ which helped make the Kochs billionaires in the first place. I’m sure Bob Poole did well on the deal.
Bob retired to Florida where he spends his time playing with, would you believe, his model trains.
Obama’s pitch for corporate welfare can usefully be considered as two parts. The cake, which are the direct largess to be handed out to the Kochtapus and friends, and the frosting of promises, including “quality day-care,” which was to sugar-coat the impending flow of funds to Greedville with promises for programs which, if precedent is to be believed, are in reality intended to put ordinary Americans under tighter control and provide earlier access to children for purposes of ensuring they emerge from ‘schooling’ properly propagandized.
What any reasonable person would have asked is, “why not policies which return prosperity to Americans so mothers and fathers can raise their own children, instilling their own values?
Since such ‘policy reforms,’ as changes in student loans actually should address the fraudulent nature of the loans in the first place, why is an investigation into this by the DOJ not included? Answer: These loans resulted in enormous corporate profits.
Every proposal has the same unchanging outcome, increasing corporate profits while making it look like they are doing ordinary Americans a favor.
The gloss of frosting also included the continued demand for gun control, intended to leave Americans unable to defend themselves against this assault of fascism.
In fact, along with Obama’s use of ‘not for profits,’ and a steady roll of propaganda, there was not a leaf left out of the book also used by Karl Rove. Perhaps Karl loaned it to him.
When Obama uses the phrase ‘rebuilding America, he actually means rebilking America. The only solution is taking the power back, directly to the people. Get the real thing. Rebuild America, starting in your own local community by returning to our founding principles.
Instead of more bilking start rebuilding America for real.
The Declaration of Independence affirms the rights of all people to life, liberty, and happiness.
The Preamble to the Constitution says, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
One of the first steps to securing the blessings of liberty and ensuring justice hinges on an electoral system which we can trust, the very thing Karl Rove has worked so hard to extinguish, with the help of the people named above, and many, many more like him.
Over the last decade a general agreement on several points has coalesced in the Election Integrity Movement.
First, we need to dump the voting machines.
Second, we need to return control of balloting to the most local level, voting on paper ballots, tallying transparently and openly at the precinct and then publishing the results.
To return power to the people we need to move the nexus of control closer to home.
We can also ensure states can bypass Congress by proposing Constitutional Amendments and ratifying among themselves, thus returning power to the states, closer to the people who are the government. The Madison Amendment.
We need to return representation of the people to the levels mandated by the Constitution, this being no more than 30,000 for a member of the House of Representatives and no more than 1,000 locally. Our present system violates the Constitution. This must be corrected. Doing so must take place through local organizing, original shoe-leather activism, which brings us together past the divisions politics has imposed.
Local organizing will also allow us to pass ordinances banning the use of drones, along with other essential measures for returning control to the people. Strong communities, concern for those around us, and individual initiative, made America a shining light on the horizon for people around the world once. We have it in our power to begin the world over again. The choice is each of ours make.
At Rebuild America, we supply information, tools, and a meeting point for sharing what works so local action can flower as the people do it themselves.
See you there, and then in your home town.
Throughout history, citizen disarmament generally leads to one of two inevitable outcomes: Government tyranny and genocide, or, revolution and civil war. Anti-gun statists would, of course, argue that countries like the UK and Australia have not suffered such a result. My response would be – just give them time. You may believe that gun control efforts are part and parcel of a totalitarian agenda (as they usually are), or, you may believe that gun registration and confiscation are a natural extension of the government’s concern for our “safety and well-being”. Either way, the temptation of power that comes after a populace is made defenseless is almost always too great for any political entity to dismiss. One way or another, for one reason or another, they WILL take advantage of the fact that the people have no leverage to determine their own cultural future beyond a twisted system of law and governance which is, in the end, easily corrupted.
The unawake and the unaware among us will also argue that revolution or extreme dissent against the establishment is not practical or necessary, because the government “is made of regular people like us, who can be elected or removed at any time”.
This is the way a Republic is supposed to function, yes. However, the system we have today has strayed far from the methods of a Free Republic and towards the machinations of a single party system. Our government does NOT represent the common American anymore. It has become a centralized and Sovietized monstrosity. A seething hydra with two poisonous heads; one Democrat in name, one Republican in name. Both heads feed the same bottomless stomach; the predatory and cannibalistic pit of socialized oligarchy.
On the Republican side, we are offered Neo-Con sharks like George W. Bush, John McCain, and Mitt Romney, who argue for “conservative” policies such as limited government interference and reduced spending, all while introducing legislation which does the exact opposite. The recent passage of the “Safe Act” in New York with extensive Republican support proves that Republicans cannot be counted on to defend true conservative values.
The Democrats get candidates like John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama, who claim to be anti-war and against government abuse of civil liberties, and yet, these same “progressive and compassionate” politicians now froth at the mouth like rabid dogs sinking their teeth into the flesh of the citizenry, expanding on every tyrannical initiative the Republicans began, and are bombing more civilian targets in more foreign countries than anyone with a conscience should be able to bear.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; the government is not our buddy. It is not our ally or friend. It is not a “part of us”. It is now a separate and dangerous entity. A parasite feeding off the masses. It has become a clear threat to the freedoms of average Americans. It is time for the public to grow up, snap out of its childish delusions, and accept that there is no solace or justice to be found anymore in Washington D.C.
Once we understand this fact, a question then arises – What do we do about it? If we cannot redress our grievances through the election process because both parties favor the same authoritarian direction, and if our street protests are utterly ignored by the mainstream media and the establishment, and if civil suits do nothing but drag on for years with little to no benefit, then what is left for us? Is the way of the gun the only answer left for the American people at this crossroads?
I cannot deny that we are very close to such a conclusion. Anyone who does deny it is living in a candy coated fantasy land. However, there are still certain options that have not been exhausted, and we should utilize them if for no other reason than to maintain the moral high ground while the power elite continue to expose their own despotic innards.
State And County Nullification
The assertion of local authority in opposition to federal tyranny is already being applied across the country. Multiple states, counties, and municipalities are issuing declarations of defiance and passing legislation which nullifies any future federal incursions against 2nd Amendment protections. For instance, the Gilberton Borough Council in PA in conjunction with Police Chief Mark Kessler has recently adopted a resolution defending all 2nd Amendment rights within their municipal borders up to and including the denial of operations by federal officers:
Approximately 283 county Sheriffs and multiple police officers have taken a hard stand, stating that they will either not aid federal enforcement officials with gun control related activities, or, that they will not allow such activities within their county, period:
This trend of dissent amongst law enforcement officials debunks the nihilistic view promoted by disinformation agents that “no one in law enforcement will have the guts to stand up to the government no matter how sour it turns”. It has also shaken the Obama Administration enough that the White House is struggling to counter it by wining and dining police unions and sheriffs departments in order to form their own “coalition of the willing”. Obama seems to believe that holding press conferences using children or police as background props will somehow earn him political capital in the battle for gun rights, but I have my doubts:
Multiple states have legislation on the table to nullify as well, and it would seem that the violent push by the establishment to extinguish the 2nd Amendment has actually sharply rekindled the public’s interest in States Rights and the 10th Amendment.
This does not mean, though, that we should rely on nullification alone. While the gun grabbers are stumbling into severe resistance at the national level, some representatives are attempting to supplant gun rights at the state level, including New York, California, Washington State, and Missouri. The goal here is obvious; counter states rights arguments by using anti-gun legislators to impose federal controls through the back door of state legislation.
They will claim that if we support states rights, then we have to abide by the decisions of regions like New York when they ban and confiscate firearms. It’s sad how gun grabbers lose track of reality. Neither federal authority, nor state authority, supplants the legal barriers of the Constitution itself, meaning, no federal or local authority has the right or power to remove our freedom of speech, our freedom of assembly, our freedom of privacy, OR our freedom to own firearms (including firearms of military utility). The Constitution and the Bill of Rights supersede all other legal and political entities (including treaties, as ruled by the Supreme Court). At least, that’s what the Founding Fathers intended when they established this nation. The point is, a state is well within its rights to defy the Federal Government if it is enacting unconstitutional abuses, and the people are well within their rights to defy a state when it does the same.
There is actually a fantastic economic opportunity to be had by states and counties that nullify gun control legislation. Many gun manufacturers and retail businesses are facing financial oblivion if the establishment has its way, and moving operations outside the U.S. is not necessarily practical for most of them (gun manufacturing is one of the last business models we still do better than the rest of the world). Municipalities could offer safe haven to these businesses, allowing them to continue producing firearms and high capacity magazines, fulfill expanding public demand, and create a surging cash flow into their area while at the same time giving the federal government the finger.
This strategy does not come without dangers, though. Many states and counties are addicted to federal funding, and some would go bankrupt without it. The obvious first response by the feds to protesting local governments will be to cut off the river of cash and starve them into subservience.
This brand of internal financial warfare can be countered by local governments by nullifying a few other unconstitutional regulations, including those issued by the EPA and the BLM. States and counties could easily disable federal land development restrictions and begin using resource development as a means to generate supplemental income. North Dakota is essentially doing this right now in the Bakken Oil Fields, becoming one of the few states in America that is actually creating legitimate high paying jobs (instead of part time wage slave jobs), and growing more prosperous every year.
This tactic is not limited to state governments either. Counties also have the ability, with the right officials involved, to regain control of their economic destinies anytime they want. All it takes is the courage to rock the establishment boat.
Refuse All Registration Schemes
National firearms registration and gun databases are almost always followed by full gun confiscation. The process is usually done in a standardized manner: First demand extensive registration and cataloging of gun owners. Second, ban more effective styles of weaponry, including semi-automatics and high capacity rifles (Let the sport hunters keep their bolt actions for a time, and lure them onto your side with the promise that they will get to keep their .270 or their 30-06). Then take all semi-auto handguns. Then, ban high powered magnum style bolt actions by labeling them “sniper rifles”. Then demand that the gun owners that still remain allow official “inspections” of their home by law enforcement to ensure that they are “storing their weapons properly”. Then, force them to move those weapons to a designated “warehouse or range”, locked away for any use other than recreational shooting. Then, when the public is thoroughly disconnected from their original right to bear arms, take everything that’s left.
Keep in mind that the federal government and certain state governments are acting as if they would like to skip ALL of the preliminary steps and go straight to full confiscation. I am not discounting that possibility. But, they may feign certain concessions in the near term in order to get the one thing they really want – full registration.
Registration must be the line in the sand for every single gun owner in this country, whether they own several semi-automatics, or one pump action shotgun. Once you give in to being registered, fingerprinted, photographed, and tracked wherever you decide to live like a convicted sexual predator, you have shown that you have no will or spirit. You have shown that you will submit to anything.
After a full registration has been enacted, every gun (and maybe every bullet) will be tracked. If confiscation is utilized, they know exactly what you have and what you should not have, and exactly where you are. Criminals will still acquire weapons illegally, as they always have. The only people who will suffer are law abiding citizens. It’s a recipe for dictatorship and nothing more.
Gun Barter Networks
The retail firearms and ammo markets are Sahara dry right now, and will probably remain that way in the foreseeable future. Anything that is available for purchase is usually twice the price it was last year. Extremely high demand is removing retail from the picture before any legislation is even passed. Enter barter…
Cash will remain a bargaining tool for as long as the dollar remains the world reserve currency and holds at least some semblance of value (this will end sooner than most people think). That said, as gun items become scarce, the allure of cash may be supplanted. The signs of this are already evident.
Gun owners are now looking more to trade firearms and accessories for OTHER firearms and accessories, because they know that once they sell an item, they may never see it again, and the usefulness of cash is fleeting. Gun Barter is not only a way for firearms enthusiasts to get what they need, it is also a way for them to move around any future gun sale restrictions that may arise. Private gun sales are legal in some states, but do not count on this to last. Barter leaves no paper trail, and thus, no traceable evidence of transaction. For those who fear this idea as “legally questionable”, all I can do is remind them that an unconstitutional law is no law at all. If it does not adhere to the guidelines of our founding principles, our founding documents, and our natural rights, then it is just a bunch of meaningless words on a meaningless piece of paper signed by a meaningless political puppet.
3D Printing And Home Manufacturing
3D Printing is now available to the public and for those with the money, I recommend they invest quickly. Unless the establishment wants to make the possession of these printers illegal, as well as shut down the internet, there will be no way to stop data streamers from supplying the software needed to make molds for every conceivable gun part, including high capacity mags. This technology has been effectively promoted by the Wiki Weapons Project:
According to current ATF law, the home manufacture of gun parts is not technically illegal, as long as they are not being produced for sale. But in a state or county where federal gun laws have been nullified, what the ATF says is irrelevant.
Home manufacturing of gun parts and ammo would be a highly lucrative business in such safe haven areas. And, the ability to build one’s own self defense platform is a vital skill in a sparse market environment. The ultimate freedom is being able to supply your own needs without having to ask for materials or permission from others. It should be the goal of every pro-gun activist to reach this independence.
Force The Establishment To Show Its True Colors
While some in the general public may be incensed by the trampling of our freedoms by government, many (including myself) would view direct action and aimless French Revolution-style violence as distasteful and disastrous. The moral high ground is all that any dissenting movement has. It will be hard enough to keep this ground with the constant demonization of liberty minded people that is being espoused by propaganda peddlers like the SPLC and numerous media outlets. We do not need to help them do their jobs.
Now, to be clear, I have NO illusions that the above strategies will defuse a confrontation between those who value freedom, and those who desire power. The hope is that enough people within our population will refuse to comply, and that this will make any future despotism impossible to construct. However, it is far more likely that these acts of defiance will elicit a brutal response from the government. And in a way, that is exactly what we want…
The Founding Fathers went through steps very similar to those I listed above and more to counter the tightening grip of the British Empire during the first American Revolution. The idea is simple:
Peacefully deny the corrupt system’s authority over your life by supplying your own needs and your own security, rather than lashing out blindly. Force them to show their true colors. Expose their dishonor and maliciousness. Make them come after you like the predators they are, and then, once they can no longer play the role of the “defending hero” in the eyes of the public, use your right to self defense to send them a message they won’t forget.
Skeptics will claim that physical defense is useless against a technologically advanced enemy. They will claim that we need a “majority” we do not have in order to prevail. These are usually people who have never fought for anything in their lives. They do not understand that the “odds” are unimportant. They mean nothing. No revolution for good ever begins with “majority support”. Each is fought by a minority of strong willed and aware individuals. When all other methods of protest have been dismantled, the system leaves us with only two options: stand and fight, or kneel and beg for mercy. All you need to know is what YOU would do when faced with that choice.
There is no other culture on earth that has the capacity, like Americans currently do, to defeat centralists, defend individual liberty, and end the pursuit of total global power in this lifetime. We are the first and last line. If freedom is undone here, it is undone everywhere for generations to come. This is our responsibility. This is our providence. There can be no complacency. There can be no compromise. There can be no fear. It ends on this ground. One way, or another.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market