What is it that makes young men, reasonably well educated, in good health and nice looking, with long lives ahead of them, use powerful explosives to murder complete strangers because of political beliefs?
I’m speaking about American military personnel of course, on the ground, in the air, or directing drones from an office in Nevada.
Do not the survivors of US attacks in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya and elsewhere, and their loved ones, ask such a question?
The survivors and loved ones in Boston have their answer – America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
That’s what Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston bomber has said in custody, and there’s no reason to doubt that he means it, nor the dozens of others in the past two decades who have carried out terrorist attacks against American targets and expressed anger toward US foreign policy. 1 Both Tsarnaev brothers had expressed such opinions before the attack as well. 2 The Marathon bombing took place just days after a deadly US attack in Afghanistan killed 17 civilians, including 12 children, as but one example of countless similar horrors from recent years. “Oh”, an American says, “but those are accidents. What terrorists do is on purpose. It’s cold-blooded murder.”
But if the American military sends out a bombing mission on Monday which kills multiple innocent civilians, and then the military announces: “Sorry, that was an accident.” And then on Tuesday the American military sends out a bombing mission which kills multiple innocent civilians, and then the military announces: “Sorry, that was an accident.” And then on Wednesday the American military sends out a bombing mission which kills multiple innocent civilians, and the military then announces: “Sorry, that was an accident.” … Thursday … Friday … How long before the American military loses the right to say it was an accident?
Terrorism is essentially an act of propaganda, to draw attention to a cause. The 9-11 perpetrators attacked famous symbols of American military and economic power. Traditionally, perpetrators would phone in their message to a local media outlet beforehand, but today, in this highly-surveilled society, with cameras and electronic monitoring at a science-fiction level, that’s much more difficult to do without being detected; even finding a public payphone can be near impossible.
From what has been reported, the older brother, Tamerlan, regarded US foreign policy also as being anti-Islam, as do many other Muslims. I think this misreads Washington’s intentions. The American Empire is not anti-Islam. It’s anti-only those who present serious barriers to the Empire’s plan for world domination.
The United States has had close relations with Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Qatar, amongst other Islamic states. And in recent years the US has gone to great lengths to overthrow the leading secular states of the Mideast – Iraq, Libya and Syria.
Moreover, it’s questionable that Washington is even against terrorism per se, but rather only those terrorists who are not allies of the empire. There has been, for example, a lengthy and infamous history of tolerance, and often outright support, for numerous anti-Castro terrorists, even when their terrorist acts were committed in the United States. Hundreds of anti-Castro and other Latin American terrorists have been given haven in the US over the years. The United States has also provided support to terrorists in Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Kosovo, Bosnia, Iran, Libya, and Syria, including those with known connections to al Qaeda, to further foreign policy goals more important than fighting terrorism.
Under one or more of the harsh anti-terrorist laws enacted in the United States in recent years, President Obama could be charged with serious crimes for allowing the United States to fight on the same side as al Qaeda-linked terrorists in Libya and Syria and for funding and supplying these groups. Others in the United States have been imprisoned for a lot less.
As a striking example of how Washington has put its imperialist agenda before anything else, we can consider the case of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an Afghan warlord whose followers first gained attention in the 1980s by throwing acid in the faces of women who refused to wear the veil. This is how these horrible men spent their time when they were not screaming “Death to America”. CIA and State Department officials called Hekmatyar “scary,” “vicious,” “a fascist,” “definite dictatorship material”. 3 This did not prevent the United States government from showering the man with large amounts of aid to fight against the Soviet-supported government of Afghanistan. 4 Hekmatyar is still a prominent warlord in Afghanistan.
A similar example is that of Luis Posada who masterminded the bombing of a Cuban airline in 1976, killing 73 civilians. He has lived a free man in Florida for many years.
USA Today reported a few months ago about a rebel fighter in Syria who told the newspaper in an interview: “The afterlife is the only thing that matters to me, and I can only reach it by waging jihad.” 5 Tamerlan Tsarnaev may have chosen to have a shootout with the Boston police as an act of suicide; to die waging jihad, although questions remain about exactly how he died. In any event, I think it’s safe to say that the authorities wanted to capture the brothers alive to be able to question them.
It would be most interesting to be present the moment after a jihadist dies and discovers, with great shock, that there’s no afterlife. Of course, by definition, there would have to be an afterlife for him to discover that there’s no afterlife. On the other hand, a non-believer would likely be thrilled to find out that he was wrong.
Let us hope that the distinguished statesmen, military officers, and corporate leaders who own and rule America find out in this life that to put an end to anti-American terrorism they’re going to have to learn to live without unending war against the world. There’s no other defense against a couple of fanatic young men with backpacks. Just calling them insane or evil doesn’t tell you enough; it may tell you nothing.
But this change in consciousness in the elite is going to be extremely difficult, as difficult as it appears to be for the parents of the two boys to accept their sons’ guilt. Richard Falk, UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, stated after the Boston attack: “The American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance in the post-colonial world. In some respects, the United States has been fortunate not to experience worse blowbacks … We should be asking ourselves at this moment, ‘How many canaries will have to die before we awaken from our geopolitical fantasy of global domination?’” 6
Officials in Canada and Britain as well as US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice have called for Falk to be fired. 7
President Kennedy’s speech, half a century ago
I don’t know how many times in the 50 years since President John F. Kennedy made his much celebrated 1963 speech at American University in Washington, DC. 8 I’ve heard or read that if only he had lived he would have put a quick end to the war in Vietnam instead of it continuing for ten more terrible years, and that the Cold War might have ended 25 years sooner than it did. With the 50th anniversary coming up June 13 we can expect to hear a lot more of the same, so I’d like to jump the gun and offer a counter-view.
Let us re-examine our attitude toward the Soviet Union. It is discouraging to think that their leaders may actually believe what their propagandists write. It is discouraging to read a recent authoritative Soviet text on Military Strategy and find, on page after page, wholly baseless and incredible claims such as the allegation that “American imperialist circles are preparing to unleash different types of war … that there is a very real threat of a preventative war being unleashed by American imperialists against the Soviet Union” … [and that] the political aims – and I quote – “of the American imperialists are to enslave economically and politically the European and other capitalist countries … [and] to achieve world domination … by means of aggressive war.”
It is indeed refreshing that an American president would utter a thought such as: “It is discouraging to think that their leaders may actually believe what their propagandists write.” This is what radicals in every country wonder about their leaders, not least in the United States. For example, “incredible claims such as the allegation that ‘American imperialist circles are preparing to unleash different types of war’.”
In Kennedy’s short time in office the United States had unleashed many different types of war, from attempts to overthrow governments and suppress political movements to assassination attempts against leaders and actual military combat – one or more of these in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, British Guiana, Iraq, Congo, Haiti, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Cuba and Brazil. This is all in addition to the normal and routine CIA subversion of countries all over the world map. Did Kennedy really believe that the Soviet claims were “incredible”?
And did he really doubt that that the driving force behind US foreign policy was “world domination”? How else did he explain all the above interventions (which have continued non-stop into the 21st century)? If the president thought that the Russians were talking nonsense when they accused the US of seeking world domination, why didn’t he then disavow the incessant US government and media warnings about the “International Communist Conspiracy”? Or at least provide a rigorous definition of the term and present good evidence of its veracity.
Quoting further: “Our military forces are committed to peace and disciplined in self-restraint.” No comment.
“We are unwilling to impose our system on any unwilling people.” Unless of course the people foolishly insist on some form of socialist alternative. Ask the people of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, British Guiana and Cuba, just to name some of those in Kennedy’s time.
“At the same time we seek to keep peace inside the non-Communist world, where many nations, all of them our friends …” American presidents have been speaking of “our friends” for many years. What they all mean, but never say, is that “our friends” are government and corporate leaders whom we keep in power through any means necessary – the dictators, the kings, the oligarchs, the torturers – not the masses of the population, particularly those with a measure of education.
“Our efforts in West New Guinea, in the Congo, in the Middle East, and the Indian subcontinent, have been persistent and patient despite criticism from both sides.”
Persistent, yes. Patient, often. But moral, fostering human rights, democracy, civil liberties, self-determination, not fawning over Israel … ? As but one glaring example, the assassination of Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, perhaps the last chance for a decent life for the people of that painfully downtrodden land; planned by the CIA under Eisenhower, but executed under Kennedy.
“The Communist drive to impose their political and economic system on others is the primary cause of world tension today. For there can be no doubt that, if all nations could refrain from interfering in the self-determination of others, the peace would be much more assured.”
See all of the above for this piece of hypocrisy. And so, if no nation interfered in the affairs of any other nation, there would be no wars. Brilliant. If everybody became rich there would be no poverty. If everybody learned to read there would be no illiteracy.
“The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war.”
So … Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Cuba, and literally dozens of other countries then, later, and now, all the way up to Libya in 2012 … they all invaded the United States first? Remarkable.
And this was the man who was going to end the war in Vietnam very soon after being re-elected the following year? Lord help us.
This is not to put George W. Bush down. That’s too easy, and I’ve done it many times. No, this is to counter the current trend to rehabilitate the man and his Iraqi horror show, which partly coincides with the opening of his presidential library in Texas. At the dedication ceremony, President Obama spoke of Bush’s “compassion and generosity” and declared that: “He is a good man.” The word “Iraq” did not pass his lips. The closest he came at all was saying “So even as we Americans may at times disagree on matters of foreign policy, we share a profound respect and reverence for the men and women of our military and their families.” 9 Should morality be that flexible? Even for a politician? Obama could have just called in sick.
At the January 31 congressional hearing on the nomination of Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense, Senator John McCain ripped into him for his critique of the Iraq war:
“The question is, were you right or were you wrong?” McCain demanded, pressing Hagel on why he opposed Bush’s decision to send 20,000 additional troops to Iraq in the so-called ‘surge’.
“I’m not going to give you a yes-or-no answer. I think it’s far more complicated than that,” Hagel responded. He said he would await the “judgment of history.”
Glaring at Hagel, McCain ended the exchange with a bitter rejoinder: “I think history has already made a judgment about the surge, sir, and you are on the wrong side of it.” 10
Before the revisionist history of the surge gets chiseled into marble, let me repeat part of what I wrote in this report at the time, December 2007:
The American progress is measured by a decrease in violence, the White House has decided – a daily holocaust has been cut back to a daily multiple catastrophe. And who’s keeping the count? Why, the same good people who have been regularly feeding us a lie for the past five years about the number of Iraqi deaths, completely ignoring the epidemiological studies. A recent analysis by the Washington Post left the administration’s claim pretty much in tatters. The article opened with: “The U.S. military’s claim that violence has decreased sharply in Iraq in recent months has come under scrutiny from many experts within and outside the government, who contend that some of the underlying statistics are questionable and selectively ignore negative trends.”
To the extent that there may have been a reduction in violence, we must also keep in mind that, thanks to this lovely little war, there are several million Iraqis either dead, wounded, in exile abroad, or in bursting American and Iraqi prisons. So the number of potential victims and killers has been greatly reduced. Moreover, extensive ethnic cleansing has taken place in Iraq (another good indication of progress, n’est-ce pas? nicht wahr?) – Sunnis and Shiites are now living more in their own special enclaves than before, none of those stinking mixed communities with their unholy mixed marriages, so violence of the sectarian type has also gone down. On top of all this, US soldiers have been venturing out a lot less (for fear of things like … well, dying), so the violence against our noble lads is also down.
One of the signs of the reduction in violence in Iraq, the administration would like us to believe, is that many Iraqi families are returning from Syria, where they had fled because of the violence. The New York Times, however, reported that “Under intense pressure to show results after months of political stalemate, the [Iraqi] government has continued to publicize figures that exaggerate the movement back to Iraq”; as well as exaggerating “Iraqis’ confidence that the current lull in violence can be sustained.” The count, it turns out, included all Iraqis crossing the border, for whatever reason. A United Nations survey found that 46 percent were leaving Syria because they could not afford to stay; 25 percent said they fell victim to a stricter Syrian visa policy; and only 14 percent said they were returning because they had heard about improved security.
How long can it be before vacation trips to “Exotic Iraq” are flashed across our TVs? “Baghdad’s Beautiful Beaches Beckon”. Just step over the bodies. Indeed, the State Department has recently advertised for a “business development/tourism” expert to work in Baghdad, “with a particular focus on tourism and related services.” 11
Another argument raised again recently to preserve George W.’s legacy is that “He kept us safe”. Hmm … I could swear that he was in the White House around the time of September 11 … What his supporters mean is that Bush’s War on Terrorism was a success because there wasn’t another terrorist attack in the United States after September 11, 2001 while he was in office; as if terrorists killing Americans is acceptable if it’s done abroad. Following the American/Bush strike on Afghanistan in October 2001 there were literally scores of terrorist attacks – including some major ones – against American institutions in the Middle East, South Asia and the Pacific: military, civilian, Christian, and other targets associated with the United States.
Even the claim that the War on Terrorism kept Americans safe at home is questionable. There was no terrorist attack in the United States during the 6 1/2 years prior to the one in September 2001; not since the April 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City. It would thus appear that the absence of terrorist attacks in the United States is the norm.
William Blum speaking in Wisconsin, near Minnesota
Saturday, July 13th, the 11th Annual Peacestock: A Gathering for Peace will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. Peacestock is a mixture of music, speakers, and community for peace in an idyllic location near the Mississippi, just one hour’s drive from the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Peacestock is sponsored by Veterans for Peace, Chapter 115, and has a peace-themed agenda. Kathy Kelly, peace activist extraordinaire, will also speak.
You can camp there and be fed well, meat or vegetarian. Full information at:http://www.peacestockvfp.org 11
- William Blum, Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, chapters 1 and 2, for cases up to about 2003; later similar cases are numerous; e.g., Glenn Greenwald, “They Hate US for our Occupations”, Salon, October 12, 2010 ↩
- Huffington Post, April 20, 2013; Washington Post, April 21 ↩
- Tim Weiner, Blank Check: The Pentagon’s Black Budget (1990), p.149-50. ↩
- William Blum, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II ↩
- USA Today, December 3, 2012 ↩
- ForeignPolicyJournal.com, April 21, 2013 ↩
- The Telegraph (London), April 25, 2013; Politico.com, April 24 ↩
- Full text of speech ↩
- Remarks by President Obama at Dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library ↩
- Los Angeles Times, February 1, 2013 ↩
- Anti-Empire Report, #52, December 11, 2007 ↩
All over the United States we are witnessing unprecedented shortages of ammunition, physical gold and physical silver. Recent events have helped fuel a “buying frenzy” that threatens to spiral out of control. Gun shops all over the nation are reporting that they have never seen it this bad, and in many cases any ammo that they are able to get is being sold even before it hits the shelves. The ammo shortage has already become so severe that police departments all over America are saying that they are being told that it is going to take six months to a year to get their orders. In fact, many police departments have begun to trade and barter with one another to get the ammo that they need. Meanwhile, the takedown of paper gold and paper silver has unleashed an avalanche of “panic buying” of physical gold and physical silver all over the planet. In the United States, some dealers are charging premiums of more than 25 percent over the spot price for gold and silver and they are getting it. People are paying these prices even though they are being told that delivery will not happen for a month or two in many cases. Some dealers are feverishly taking as many orders as they can, and they are just hoping that they will be able to get the physical gold and silver to eventually fill those orders. Personally, I have never seen anything like this. If things are this tight now, what is going to happen when the next major financial crisis strikes and people really begin to panic?
The shortages and rationing of ammunition at gun shops all over America just seem to keep getting worse. The following is from an article by a gun owner down in Texas named Brad Meyer…
If you’d like to see a normally sullen sales clerk chortle with derisive pleasure, just walk into just about any gun range, sporting goods store or mass merchandiser and try and buy a couple boxes of .22 ammunition.
Gun enthusiasts are up in arms about a nationwide shortage of ammunition. Handgun ammo in general is particularly difficult to find – and when you do find it, there are restrictions on the amount you can buy and how much you’re going to be paying for it.
While the list of hard to find ammo is long, .22 long rifle and 9mm handgun ammunition are particularly difficult to find in quantity. And the few places that have it are charging a premium rate and usually limiting purchases to one box, per person, per day.
Many gun owners try to find ammunition by going on the Internet, but things have gotten so tight that now any ammo that becomes available online is often gone within seconds…
There are websites where people across the country post links to where ammunition is available – and it sells out within seconds. Not minutes or hours – seconds.
Unfortunately, all of this demand is also driving up prices. Just check out what Meyer says is happening to the price of standard .22 ammo…
The demand is driving up the cost of ammunition. Six months ago, standard .22 ammo – the most common type of bullet produced in the world – could be had in bulk for around five cents apiece. It is now going for 50 cents or more on some websites – and people are paying it.
But this shortage is not just affecting private citizens. According toNewmax, police departments all over the nation are dealing with ammo shortages unlike anything that they have ever seen before…
Sheriff Anthony DeMeo of Nye County, Nev., was told his department’s regular order of 50,000 rounds could take up to a year to arrive.
“This is the first time ever I’ve heard that there’s a problem with a law-enforcement agency getting ammo for their agency,” DeMeo told The Las Vegas Sun.
These departments are not alone. Law enforcement agencies in Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Georgia are among many that are having to limit how much they give their officers due to the shortage.
Could you imagine waiting for “up to a year” to get more ammunition?
A recent article posted on CNSNews.com had some more examples of police departments that are reporting that there is a massive wait to get more ammo…
Chief Pryor of Rollingwood, Texas says of the shortage:
“We started making phone calls and realized there is a waiting list up to a year. We have to limit the amount of times we go and train because we want to keep an adequate stock.”
“Nobody can get us ammunition at this point,” saysSgt. Jason LaCross of the Bozeman, Montana police department.
LaCross says that manufacturers are so far behind that they won’t even give him a quote for an order.
“We have no estimated time on when it will even be available,” LaCross says.
This is insane.
What in the world could be causing such an ammo crunch?
Well, certainly the demand for guns and ammo has been trending up in recent years – especially since Barack Obama was elected.
But that doesn’t fully account for the shortages that we are witnessing at the moment.
So what is going on?
Well, some people believe that the federal government is responsible. It has been reported that they have signed contracts to purchase “up to” 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition. According to Forbes, this amount of ammunition would be enough to fight a “hot war” in America for 20 years…
The Denver Post, on February 15th, ran an Associated Press article entitled Homeland Security aims to buy 1.6b rounds of ammo, so far to little notice. It confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security has issued an open purchase order for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition. As reported elsewhere, some of this purchase order is for hollow-point rounds, forbidden by international law for use in war, along with a frightening amount specialized for snipers. Also reported elsewhere, at the height of the Iraq War the Army was expending less than 6 million rounds a month. Therefore 1.6 billion rounds would be enough to sustain a hot war for 20+ years. In America.
Could this be a way that the Obama administration is trying to restrict the amount of ammo that gets into the hands of private citizens?
That is what some people are suggesting.
According to talk radio show host Michael Savage, the ammo contracts that the federal government has signed give them priority over all other purchasers…
What Homeland Security is doing here is they’re issuing a contract to buy up to that amount of ammo if they want it…
It’s a way to control the amount of market that’s available on the commercial market at any time.
If they go to the ammo manufacturers and say give me 50 million rounds, give me another 30 million rounds… if they periodically do this in increments, they’re going to control how much ammo is available on the commercial market.
As part of their contract it stipulates in there that when the government calls and says give us another quantity, that everything they make has to go to the government priority one before any of it goes to the commercial market.
So, if they get nervous, all they have to do is use that contract that they have in place… and they just say ‘give us some more.’
So whenever the government wants to tighten the supply of ammunition, all they have to do is invoke their contracts and order more for themselves.
Meanwhile, Obama appears to be doing other things to restrict the amount of ammo that gets into the hands of private gun owners.
For example, there are reports that the Obama administration plans to use executive orders to greatly restrict the importation of ammo from overseas.
So if anything, the shortage of ammunition is only going to get worse, not better.
Meanwhile, the “panic buying” of physical gold and physical silver that we have seen lately has really run down inventories.
According to Reuters, demand has become so intense that the U.S. Mint has suspended sales of gold coins for the first time since 2009…
The U.S. Mint said it has suspended sales of its one-tenth ounce American Eagle gold bullion coins as surging demand after bullion’s plunge to two-year lows depleted the government’s inventory. This marks the first time it has stopped selling gold product since November 2009, dealers said.
At the same time, precious metals dealers all over the country are scrambling to meet the voracious demand that they have been seeing this month. The following is an excerpt from a letter that the CEO of Texas Precious Metals recently sent out to his customers…
The physical silver market is, in a word, ugly. There is no telling at this point when mint inventories will return to normal, but you can be sure it will not happen within the next 8 weeks. Most dealers, at this point, are selling their current customer demand forward, meaning they are selling product they do not presently have, expecting to pull from future mint allocations. Consequently, future allocations will face pressure from today’s demand. It is not my intent here to comment on the business practices of other companies, but I will say that no one can possibly predict future allocations at the time. The US mint, for example, releases its allocations weekly, and until then, dealers have no insight into allocation levels. Last week, we turned away business in excess of 100,000 ozs of silver because of stock depletion. However, we stand by the notion that it is better to lose a sale than lose a customer by delaying delivery two months (or more).
A similar thing is happening over in Asia. According to the Financial Times, soaring demand has caused a shortage of gold at the Hong Kong Gold & Silver Exchange Society…
Haywood Cheung, president of the Hong Kong Gold & Silver Exchange Society, said the exchange had effectively run out of most of its holdings as members looked to meet a shortfall in supply amid rampant retail demand for gold products.
“In terms of volume, I haven’t seen this gold rush for over 20 years,” he told the Financial Times on Monday, adding that the exchange only had around twenty 1kg bars, and 100 five-tael bars left in its inventory. “Older members who have been in the business for 50 years haven’t seen such a thing.”
But most disturbing of all is what Jim Sinclair told King World Newsrecently. Apparently his friend went to get his gold out of a Swiss bank the other day and they refused to give it to him…
A person that I know with significant deposits in one of the primary Swiss banks, in allocated gold, wanted to take out his gold and was just refused on the basis of directives from the central bank….
They told him the amount was in excess of 200,000 Swiss francs and the central bank had instructed them not to do it because it has to do with anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering precautions.
I really wonder whether those are precautions or whether the gold simply isn’t there. Now you tell me that a London delivery has basically failed. It has to raise our suspicions that the lack of physical gold behind the paper gold is literally so severe that we are coming to understand that it is in fact not there.
The gold that people think is stored is not stored, and the inventory of the warehouses for exchanges may not be holding deliverable gold. There has always been speculation about whether or not the physical gold the US claims to store is in fact in those vaults.
The greatest train robbery in history might be all of the gold, and it would only be something like we have described above that would happen right before gold makes historic highs.
There simply is no gold behind the paper. One example is AMRO, a second is your example with Maguire, and a third is my dear friend who was refused his gold on the basis that its value was too high. Remember this friend of mine had his gold in an allocated account in storage at a major Swiss bank. I repeat, there is no gold.
So are we going to see more of this?
Will it soon become evident that there is simply not enough physical gold to cover all of the promises that the banks have made?
Jim Sinclair sure seems to think so.
In another interview, John Embry expressed similar sentiments to King World News…
This gets back to the tip of the iceberg when the Dutch Bank ABN AMRO came out and literally said that if you have allocated gold with us, you can’t have it.
That, to me, is a default, and it gets back to what Jim Sinclair related when one of his friends went to a Swiss bank and couldn’t get his allocated gold. I mean that’s preposterous. If it’s allocated it should be there, but it’s clearly not there. I think this is the beginning of the end of the massive Ponzi scheme in paper gold. I have been talking about this for some time, and it will have an enormous impact on future gold and silver prices.
When it becomes widely known that all of the people who think they own gold in fact don’t own gold, that it’s been hypothecated and re-hypothecated so many times that there are 100 claims for every single ounce of physical gold, that is when the prices of gold and silver will really go berserk to the upside, and at that point the shorts will have serious problems.”
If those that helped engineer the recent takedown of paper gold and silver were hoping to scare people away from physical gold and silver, then they failed miserably. For even more on this, please see my recent article entitled “10 Signs The Takedown Of Paper Gold Has Unleashed An Unprecedented Global Run On Physical Gold And Silver“.
All of this is just another example why I encourage people to get prepared while times are still relatively good.
Once disaster strikes, it may be too late to get the things that you need.
Right now there are a whole lot of people out there wishing that they had stocked up on ammo when it was much cheaper and much more readily available.
We are moving into a time when everything that can be shaken will be shaken. Use the stability provided by the false bubble of economic hope that we are experiencing right now as an opportunity to get prepared. The next major wave of the economic collapse is rapidly approaching and time is running out.
Source: The Economic Collapse
I know some of you folks don’t shoot, but to the many of you who do, I would like to pose a question.
Have you tried to purchase any ammunition lately?
All calibers are disappearing from store shelves, but .22 long rifles, in bulk, can’t be found at all anywhere, even the most dependable internet super dealers are out of stock and are making no promises about when they’ll be available again, and it’s my opinion that soon the same thing will be true about the other calibers.
I readily admit that one of the reasons is that Barack Obama’s outright war on guns, the “feel good” juvenile antics of Governor Cuomo of New York and the childish Democrats in the Missouri and Wisconsin state legislatures have scared legal gun owners into stockpiling ammunition, justly fearing that it will get hard, if not impossible to get.
But, can somebody please tell me why Homeland Security and many other, supposedly benign government agencies have bought over two billion rounds and are ordering millions more of all calibers, even the smaller ones?
Why does a shoot-to-kill outfit like Homeland Security need tiny caliber bullets like .22′s that are made for hunting small game? Is Homeland Security going to start exterminating squirrels or rabbits, and why does an agency like Social Security need any kind of ammunition?
Is this a back door attempt at gun control, a way around a Congress that is scared to death of gun legislation? Another presidential backstreet move to have his way by hook or crook and blame it on free market demand? Just dry up the ammo and the guns will be useless?
My information is that the manufacturers are straining every nerve trying to keep up with the demand, but with Homeland Security commandeering so much of their production, the task is impossible.
Is this the beginning of the weaning of America?
It’s a scary scenario, but let me relate an even scarier one.
If the government can make bullets disappear from store shelves, why couldn’t it make food disappear, or fuel or medicine, or anything else for that matter?
The point being that big government can do just about anything they want to and there’s little the minority of us who fear it can do about it as long as the majority who don’t fear it keeps tripping down the primrose path with their heads in the clouds and their hands out.
There is a little known piece of legislation that passed Congress a while back called The Food Safety Modernization Act and the provisions are shadowy at best, having to do with agriculture and the production of food in America.
I checked into it when I found out about it only to find the bill had just cleared the Senate and was on President Obama’s desk. What struck me as strange was the fact that our two Tennessee Senators were split on the vote; Bob Corker voted against it and Lamar Alexander voted for it.
I was assured by Senator Alexander’s office that “Senator Alexander would never do anything to hurt the farmers.” Well, does that mean that Senator Corker would do something to hurt the farmers by voting against it? Which means that one of the Senators voted against the farmers of Tennessee. Which one?
The provisions of the bill are said to protect the food supply, but what does that mean when it’s taken out of government speak and translated into plain English?
Personally, I believe the government has taken upon itself the power to interrupt agriculture at any time it chooses under the guise of keeping tainted or otherwise unsafe food out of the market – up to, and including, the planting and harvesting of private home gardens.
The flow of medicine could easily be interrupted by claiming it contained impurities and harmful substances.
We’ve already seen how fuel can be rationed – just slow down the availability and delivery.
Big government can bring this nation to its knees in a matter of days. And, with a passive Senate and an ever more acquiescent Supreme Court, the power to do so is falling into the hands of one man.
Shaky ground for a free nation.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops and the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America
While our government still happily continues to peel big bucks off its wad and shower it down on Wall Street, big business and the “war” machine like it was Christmas for banksters and war-mongers all year long whether they need it or not, all too many hard-working tax-paying victims of Hurricane Sandy out in Staten Island and Rockaway are still getting no help at all. Zero. Ziltch. Nada.
Nothing is currently being peeled off our government’s endless roll of big bucks for them.
Last week I was riding in a Muni bus over in San Francisco (on my way back from an audition to play a bored office worker in a student film) and on the bus was a very delightful older couple who seemed to have absolutely no cares.
“Where are you from?” I asked them.
“Rockaway,” they replied hesitantly. Rockaway? OMG! Not THAT Rockaway? “Yeah, that’s the one. And, yes, we did live through Hurricane Sandy and, yes, our home was badly damaged and almost destroyed.” http://www.phillipvan.com/
“So what the freak are you doing out here?”
“Having fun! After having survived a personal visit from Sandy, we realized that life is just too short not to enjoy it. So we came out here to have fun.”
“But did you at least get any help from FEMA?” I asked, figuring that after our government has spent trillions on bailing out Wall Street (where no one hardly ever pays taxes and pretty much lives on Welfare for the Wealthy), then the least that our government could do is send a measly few billion bucks off to bail out afflicted taxpayers in Rockaway. http://www.phillipvan.com/
“Have we received any help from FEMA? In a word? No.”
“Not even anything?” No.
“It’s been a whole month after Sandy and parts of Rockaway still don’t even have electricity now. Or places for people to go.”
“But did FEMA give you any money to help you out?” No.
“We got nothing but an avalanche of paperwork.” They didn’t even get bottled water. “A relative in Wisconsin finally ended up bringing us some.” And they can’t go back to their home because the wife has asthma and their house is a hell-hole of black mold right now. Ah, black mold, the bane of asthma sufferers’ existence.
“We just took out a 60-day insurance policy from Lloyd’s of London on our stuff and left.”
I tried to grill the happy couple for more information on what is happening in Rockaway right now — and right in the middle of the Christmas season too — but they weren’t interested in being reminded. All they wanted to do was forget their worst nightmare and celebrate that they, unlike some of their neighbors, were still alive and had survived one of the fiercest mega-storms ever.
And as our bus drove on past Chinatown, the happy couple soon had all us passengers singing “Merry Christmas” — in Chinese. Brave souls. I almost cried.
Why, then, are government policies internationally still pursuing extremist measures? In the U.S., a third round of excess money printing —called Quantitative Easing — began recently in which banks are directly profiting by unloading their toxic mortgages on the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet (another backdoor bailout paid by taxpayers).
After the U.S. presidential election, both Democrats and Republicans are committed to different versions of historic cuts to social services, education, Medicare, unemployment benefits, and very likely Social Security. This bi-partisan plan is often referred to as a “grand bargain,” the details of which both parties are still haggling over.
In Europe things are no better. After the Euro Zone central bank promised investors its full backing to bailout all Euro Zone members — by printing money — the world economy sighed a heavy relief. But still the Euro Zone — along with the U.S. — is pursuing a two-pronged solution for an extreme economic crisis: austerity measures and the less-discussed “structural reforms.”
What are these policies? Austerity is simple enough: government cuts to social spending, health care, education, pensions, etc. — to balance heavily indebted public budgets (at the expense of working people, rather than taxing the rich and corporations). Austerity can also be achieved through privatization, where once publicly run programs/facilities are sold cheaply to private firms to make a profit, thus taking the cost off the government’s budget.
Structural reforms on the other hand are meant to boost economic (corporate) growth, by government intervention in commodity markets — most commonly the labor market. It’s called structural reform because markets are usually relatively stable. For example, the labor market is deep-rooted in powerful social forces — wages, benefits, and working conditions are heavily influenced by unions, who use their organization and strike threat to pressure corporations and governments to pay living wages. Non-union workers benefit directly by the unions’ ability to alter the national labor market, since non-union companies have to compete with union companies for workers, who naturally go where wages are higher. Professional, higher-paid workers benefit too, since society expects them to get higher wages than, say a carpenter.
In Europe, structural reforms targeting the labor market — alongside austerity measures — are rousing the unions and broader community into the streets with massive demonstrations: Spain, Portugal, Greece, and other countries are fighting reforms that politicians are euphemistically calling “labor market flexibility.” This simply means that unions will be undermined by their inability to protect workers’ jobs, making firing easier (“flexibility”), which results in compelling workers into accepting lower wages and benefits.
The pro-corporate Economist magazine reports about Portugal:
“With his decision to finance a reduction in company [corporate] costs through a sharp cut in workers’ take-home pay, Pedro Passos Coelho, Portugal’s prime minister, appears to have taken reform past the limit of what is deemed acceptable by large sections of the electorate.”
“… [President] Hollande has given union leaders and bosses until December to negotiate [anti-union] labor-market changes. On the table are various options, including making it possible for firms [corporations] to reduce hours and salaries in a downturn against a guarantee of job security, along the lines introduced by [Germany's prime minister]… in 2003.”
“… the new [labor] law makes it easier and cheaper to lay off workers. For most firms, maximum lay-off payments [unemployment benefits] will be reduced from 42 months’ pay to 12 months… it will hugely boost business confidence.”
Reducing unemployment benefits is a very popular labor market structural reform for the 1%, since it makes workers more desperate for work, and thus more accepting of low-wage jobs — consequently lowering workers’ power in the labor market overall, as wages are lowered nationally.
And while Europe’s austerity and structural reforms are on the front page of international media — due to the giant protests and general strikes against them — the exact same policies have been pursued by the U.S. with barely a murmur. Were it not for the labor upsurges in Wisconsin and more recently Chicago, these policies would be completely off the public’s radar.
The Wisconsin uprising was in response to a labor-market structural reform pursued by Republicans, denying unions bargaining rights — effectively destroying the union. Democrats, however, are pursuing anti-labor structural reforms — weakening unions — as national policy also, though less directly, by demanding that unions across the country take massive concessions in wages and benefits — a slower, yet more effective form of labor market restructuring.
The teachers in Chicago went on strike against another form of anti-labor structural reform pursued by both Democrats and Republicans. The media-hype around “firing bad teachers” is really a labor-market reform in disguise; the real intention is to bust unions, who are only able to stay strong by their ability to protect the jobs of their members (of course there already exists ways to fire bad teachers).
Teacher merit pay is yet another labor reform measure aimed to weaken unions, since it effectively lowers wages by preventing raises (there is zero evidence that merit pay raises education standards, or that charter schools outperform public schools). It means that every teacher’s salary is negotiated individually, and it allows management to punish its critics by denying them merit pay raises.
The teachers are especially targeted in the U.S. because they are the strongest union in the country, due to their numbers, organization, and connections to the community. If they are forced to give “structural” concessions, other unions will be heavily pressured to do so, and thus the labor market will be altered to the benefit of the corporations.
The labor reform attacks — combined with austerity budget cuts — are happening in different forms on a city, state, and federal level with the full backing of the Democrats and Republicans (there is no “debate” in the presidential election about education policy). Thus, if not for the Wisconsin and Chicago struggles, there would be little social consciousness around these issues.
The reasons that austerity and structural adjustment have not produced a Europe-like movement yet is because most labor unions have increasingly accepted these concessions without putting up a real fight. Many labor leaders would simply rather accept these policies, since fighting them would put them in conflict with their “friends,” the Democratic politicians pursuing these anti-labor policies.
Hopefully, the post-Occupy movement can show the labor movement the way forward. On November 3rd there will be protest demonstrations against austerity in a number of cities across the country. These protests are targeting the ongoing state by state cuts — and federal post-election cuts — to education, transportation, health care, social programs, and public-sector workers. The protests are challenging the very concept of austerity, as working people refuse to pay for the crisis created by the rich and corporations. There is a potential for these protest demonstrations to teach the American public the word “austerity,” assuming they are large enough and connect with the broader community that directly experiences these policies.
Regardless of the results of November 3, demonstrations about the austerity issue in the U.S. will inevitably continue, since even mainstream economists mostly agree that there will be no return to the pre-recession economy. The policies of austerity and structural reform — along with war — are long-term survival strategies of capitalism, which is evolving to survive a global-wide crisis of corporate growth rates by creating a “new normal” of social expectations: lower wages and fewer social programs.
The first step in fighting these measures is mobilizing working people and the broader community in massive Europe-like demonstrations. This tactic educates the whole nation about the issues, which would otherwise remain in the dark. Once the 99% is in the streets together screaming collective demands with a united voice, the movement will decide how best to act, whether it be the general strikes or new political parties that have emerged in Europe.
The U.S. post-election austerity surprises will give new opportunities for millions of people to get into the streets. They will no longer be able or willing to remain ignorant about the nation’s new normal.
It’s impossible to exaggerate the national importance of the teachers’ struggle in Chicago. If the Chicago teachers’ union — 26,000 members strong — goes on strike, many critical yet ignored political issues will go into the national spotlight, exposing nastiness that many politicians and labor leaders would like ignored until after the presidential elections.
Such a strike would also have the potential to rejuvenate U.S. labor unions by showing them a way out of the never ending wage and benefit concessions demanded by private and public employers. In fact, the Chicago teachers have the potential to become the most important labor struggle in decades, based on the timing, political context, and national relevance of their fight.
U.S. labor unions are in the fight of their lives, especially in the public sector, where their existence literally hangs in the balance. Constant city, state, and federal budget deficits — largely the result of multiple tax breaks for corporations and the rich — have been used as excuses to attack the wages and benefits of public employees, drastically weakening their unions to the point where “ending collective bargaining” is fast becoming a likely outcome.
Teachers are the strongest sector of public employees, based on their numbers, cohesiveness, and ties to the community. Thus, teachers have been directly targeted via budget cuts and Obama’s “Race to the Top” Education policy, which blames “bad teachers” (and the unions that protect them) for poorly performing students, while conveniently ignoring the more obvious predictors of poverty and the constant defunding of public education.
The education policies of President Obama and the Democrats will be put on trial if a strike takes place, since the Chicago teachers are fighting against the Democratic Mayor — Obama’s former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel — who is most urgently implementing the Democrat’s so-called “Race to the Top” education reforms — an education program that aims to privatize public education while decapitating teachers’ unions.
Race to the Top forces money-hungry states to compete for a measly $4 billion of federal money. The winners are those states that inflict the most self-harm by firing “bad” teachers and closing “failing” schools. Obama is accomplishing more in one campaign than the anti-public education right wing has accomplished in decades.
Race to the Top encourages the closing of neighborhood public schools and opening up across town private charter schools, where the rich will have access to all the amenities offered at public schools while the poor will be warehoused in a drab environment lacking resources — without sports and other extracurricular activities, no art or music, no counseling or psychological services, etc. Obama’s Race to the Top envisions education “reform” to mirror free market ideology, where services once deemed essential are now to be sold as commodities to those who can afford them.
The Chicago Teachers Union website discussed the possibility of a strike and explained its national implications. Aside from the many demands on their wages and benefits, “teachers are concerned about the Board’s plan to close over 100 neighborhood schools and create a half public-half charter school district.”
Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis explains:
“Whenever our students perform well on tests, [Chicago Public School] moves the bar higher, tells them they are failures and blames their teachers. Now they want to privatize public education and further disrupt our neighborhoods. We’ve seen public housing shut down, public health clinics, public libraries and now public schools. There is an attack on public institutions, many of which serve low-income and working-class families.”
Lewis has correctly made the link behind the attack on the teachers and the national attack on working people in general a key aspect of the Chicago teachers’ campaign.
Behind the Democrat and Republican war on “bad teachers” is a war on labor unions. It seems that the only solution being offered to the so-called “bad teacher” problem is the complete undermining of unions: the Democrats want to make firing teachers easier and make them work for “merit pay,” two poisons for working people.
Unions are strong because members are united. This is done, in part, by making pay raises equitable, to prevent both discrimination and the employer from dividing the union. Unions believe that all members who are capable of doing the work should get pay raises based on their work experience. Merit pay is a right-wing device aimed at this bedrock principle of unionism, to prevent most teachers from getting any pay raises while dividing the workplace against itself by giving wage hikes to those who are least active in the union and denying them to teachers who are strong union supporters and critical of management.
Behind the Democrat’s urge to “fire bad teachers” is a deeper assault on unions. Labor unions cannot exist as a fighting force to defend the membership without seniority rights, which protect older workers with higher salaries and minorities from being targeted and fired, and similarly protect union activists. If an employer can easily fire a worker, it will always be an older worker or “trouble making” union activist.
Teachers’ unions are aware of these union-specific threats; they’ve been fighting against Republicans for years who have been trying to implement them. But now the Democrats have adopted the Republicans’ anti-union policies, and many teachers’ unions have been paralyzed as a result.
Although the national teacher unions have voiced their support for the Chicago teachers, they are also actively campaigning for President Obama, the architect behind the anti-union crusade that aims to crush the Chicago teachers. This blatant hypocrisy is just one reason why the Chicago teachers will have to shake up the labor movement.
National union leaders have failed to put forth a vision to inspire the labor movement. The decades-long friendship with the Democrats has soured as the Democrats have adopted long-standing Republican attitudes to unions: Democratic governors across the country have attacked public employee unions in tandem with Obama’s anti-union Race to the Top education policy. Because unions are strongest in the public sector, these policies amount to a planned decapitation of the labor movement.
Instead of waging a relentless battle against these Democrat-inspired attacks, most unions have made giant concessions in the form of wages and benefits, thus undermining the confidence their members have in their union. Most union leaders have chosen not even to discuss this deadly assault on unions because it is coming from the Democrats. The Chicago teachers are saying “no more,” and exposing the Democrats in the process.
If the strike occurs and becomes a powerful, city-stopping movement like Wisconsin before it, the November presidential elections will have a new significance. Democrats and Republicans alike will be forced to pick sides: both will choose against the teachers.
It will be made clear to millions of people that the Democrats and Republicans share identical views on public education and labor unions — they both want them destroyed.
Most importantly, the very labor unions who are wasting their members’ dues money by giving it to the Obama campaign will have to choose sides too; hopefully many of them will take a break from phone banking and door knocking for Obama to hold Chicago solidarity rallies in their own cities to give extra energy to the struggle.
Ultimately, the Chicago teachers’ struggle will set a nationally powerful precedent. If the teachers win through militant struggle, unions everywhere will be inspired to copy their tactics and organize their communities and members alike towards common social goals, fighting hand in hand. However, if the union loses, the opposing side will be galvanized at labor’s expense, and the downhill slide for labor will continue, dragging down the wages and benefits of non-union members in the process.
One key lesson from this experience is that labor unions can be transformed relatively quickly. A small group of union activists within the Chicago teachers’ union — the Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE) — were organized in order to make their union stronger, and were elected by the membership to lead the union. In a few years time CORE has transformed the union into a strong, fighting organization, capable of defending its members’ wages and the community’s schools. The union has reached out to the community and explained the perils of charter schools in order to draw the community into the struggle. This has laid the foundation for encouraging the community to participate in the picket lines and large support rallies so that the teachers are not isolated but have the obvious support of the public. Many in organized labor have watched the transformation take place and are learning from it. The Chicago teachers are educating the whole labor movement on the real meaning of unionism.
We are only days away from the showdown.
And other tales of an empire gone mad…
Afghanistan in the 1980s and 90s … Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s … Libya 2011 … Syria 2012 … In military conflicts in each of these countries the United States and al Qaeda (or one of its associates) have been on the same side. 1
What does this tell us about the United States’ “War On Terrorism”?
Regime change has been the American goal on each occasion: overthrowing communists (or “communists”), Serbians, Slobodan Milosevic, Moammar Gaddafi, Bashar al-Assad … all heretics or infidels, all non-believers in the empire, all inconvenient to the empire.
Why, if the enemy is Islamic terrorism, has the United States invested so much blood and treasure against the PLO, Iraq, and Libya, and now Syria, all mideast secular governments?
Why are Washington’s closest Arab allies in the Middle East the Islamic governments of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, and Bahrain? Bahrain being the home of an American naval base; Saudi Arabia and Qatar being conduits to transfer arms to the Syrian rebels.
Why, if democracy means anything to the United States are these same close allies in the Middle East all monarchies?
Why, if the enemy is Islamic terrorism, did the United States shepherd Kosovo — 90% Islamist and perhaps the most gangsterish government in the world — to unilaterally declare independence from Serbia in 2008, an independence so illegitimate and artificial that the majority of the world’s nations still have not recognized it?
Why — since Kosovo’s ruling Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) have been known for their trafficking in women, heroin, and human body parts (sic) — has the United States been pushing for Kosovo’s membership in NATO and the European Union? (Just what the EU needs: another economic basket case.) Between 1998 and 2002, the KLA appeared on the State Department terrorist list, remaining there until the United States decided to make them an ally, due in no small part to the existence of a major American military base in Kosovo, Camp Bondsteel, well situated in relation to planned international oil and gas pipelines coming from the vast landlocked Caspian Sea area to Europe. In November 2005, following a visit to Bondsteel, Alvaro Gil-Robles, the human rights envoy of the Council of Europe, described the camp as a “smaller version of Guantánamo”. 2
Why, if the enemy is Islamic terrorism, did the United States pave the way to power for the Libyan Islamic rebels, who at this very moment are killing other Libyans in order to institute a more fundamentalist Islamic state?
Why do American officials speak endlessly about human rights, yet fully support the Libyan Islamic rebels despite the fact that Doctors Without Borders suspended its work in prisons in the Islamic-rebel city of Misurata because torture was so rampant that some detainees were brought for care only to make them fit for further interrogation? 3
Why is the United States supporting Islamic Terrorists in Libya and Syria who are persecuting Christians?
And why, if the enemy is Islamic terrorism, did US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice — who daily attacks the Syrian government on moral grounds — not condemn the assassination of four Syrian high officials on July 18, in all likelihood carried out by al Qaeda types? RT, the Russian television channel broadcast in various parts of the United States, noted her silence in this matter. Does anyone know of any American media that did the same?
So, if you want to understand this thing called United States foreign policy … forget about the War on Terrorism, forget about September 11, forget about democracy, forget about freedom, forget about human rights, forget about religion, forget about the people of Libya and Syria … keep your eyes on the prize … Whatever advances American global domination. Whatever suits their goals at the moment. There is no moral factor built into the DNA of US foreign policy.
Bring back the guillotine
In July, the Canadian corporation Enbridge, Inc. announced that one of its pipelines had leaked and spilled an estimated 1,200 barrels of crude oil in a field in Wisconsin. Two years ago, an Enbridge pipeline spilled more than 19,000 barrels in Michigan. The Michigan spill affected more than 50 kilometers of waterways and wetlands and about 320 people reported medical symptoms from crude oil exposure. The US National Transportation Safety Board said that at $800 million it was the costliest onshore spill cleanup in the nation’s history. The NTSB found that Enbridge knew of a defect in the pipeline five years before it burst. According to Enbridge’s own reports, the company had 800 spills between 1999 and 2010, releasing close to 7 million gallons of crude oil. 4
No executive or other employee of Enbridge has been charged with any kind of crime. How many environmental murderers of modern times have been punished?
During a period of a few years beginning around 2007, several thousand employees of stock brokers, banks, mortgage companies, insurance companies, credit-rating agencies, and other financial institutions, mainly in New York, had great fun getting obscenely rich while creating and playing with pieces of paper known by names like derivatives, collateralized debt obligations, index funds, credit default swaps, structured investment vehicles, subprime mortgages, and other exotic terms, for which, it must be kept in mind, there had been no public need or demand. The result has been a severe depression, seriously hurting hundreds of millions of lives in the United States and abroad.
No employee of any of these companies has seen the inside of a prison cell for playing such games with our happiness.
For more than half a century members of the United States foreign policy and military establishments have compiled a record of war crimes and crimes against humanity that the infamous beasts and butchers of history could only envy.
Not a single one of these American officials has come any closer to a proper judgment than going to see the movie “Judgment at Nuremberg”.
Yet, we live in the United States of Punishment for countless other criminal types; more than two million presently rotting their lives away. No other society comes even close to this, no matter how the statistics are calculated. And many of those in American prisons are there for victimless crimes.
On the other hand, we see the Chinese sentencing their citizens to lengthy prison terms, even execution, for environmental crimes.
We have an Iranian court recently trying 39 people for a $2.6 billion bank loan embezzlement carried out by individuals close to the political elite or with their assent. Of the 39 people tried, four were sentenced to hang, two to life in prison, and others received terms of up to 25 years; in addition to prison time, some were sentenced to flogging, ordered to pay fines, and banned from government jobs. 5
And in Argentina in early July, in the latest of a long series of trials of former Argentine officials, former dictator Jorge Rafael Videla was convicted and sentenced to 50 years for a systematic plan to steal babies from women prisoners who were kidnapped, tortured and killed during the military junta’s war on leftist dissenters — the “dirty war” of 1976-83 that claimed 13,000 victims. Many of the women had “disappeared” shortly after giving birth. Argentina’s last dictator, Reynaldo Bignone, was also convicted and got 15 years. Outside the courthouse a jubilant crowd watched on a big screen and cheered each sentence. 6
As an American, how I envy the Argentines. Get the big screen ready for The Mall in Washington. We’ll have showings of the trials of the Bushes and Cheney and Rumsfeld and Obama. And Henry Kissinger, a strong supporter of the Argentine junta among his many contributions to making the world a better place. And let’s not forget the executives of Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Bank of America, and Enbridge, Inc. Fining them just money is pointless. We have to fine them years, lots of them.
Without imprisoning these people, nothing will change. That’s become a cliché, but we very well see what continues to happen without imprisonment. And it’s steadily getting worse, financially and imperially.
Items of interest from a journal I’ve kept for 40 years, part VII
- Bantustanning the aboriginals all over the world: The Indians in America, the aboriginals in Australia, the blacks in South Africa, and the Palestinians in Palestine.
- From 1966 tape of President Lyndon Johnson: “I know we oughtn’t to be there [in Vietnam], but I can’t get out.” And he never did. And thousands more troops would die before Johnson left office. (Washington Post, March 12, 2006)
- The Germans had Lebensraum. Americans had Manifest Destiny.
- chinks, gooks, wogs, towelheads, ragheads — some of the charming terms used by American soldiers to describe their foes in Asia and the Middle East
- In June, 2005, Cong. Duncan Hunter (Rep.-CA) held a news conference concerning Guantánamo. Displaying some tasty traditional meals, he said the government spends $12 a day for food for each prisoner. “So the point is that the inmates in Guantánamo have never eaten better, they’ve never been treated better, and they’ve never been more comfortable in their lives than in this situation.” (Scripps Howard News Service, June 28, 2005, Reg Henry column)
- Vice President Dick Cheney: Guantánamo prisoners are well treated. “They’re living in the tropics. They’re well fed. They’ve got everything they could possibly want.” (CNN.com, June 23, 2005)
- “[Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld said Guantánamo’s operations have been more open to scrutiny than any military detention facility in history.” (Associated Press, June 14, 2005)
- “Their ‘coalition of the willing’ [in Iraq] meant the US, Britain, and the equivalent of a child’s imaginary friends.” Paul Loeb, Truthout, June 16, 2005
- Nobody has ever suggested that Serbia attacked or was preparing to attack a member of NATO, and that is the only event which justifies a military reaction under the NATO treaty, such as the 1999 78-day bombing of Serbia.
- Rumsfeld re Chinese military buildup: “Since no nation threatens China, one wonders: Why this growing investment?” (New York Times, June 6, 2005
- Rumsfeld re Venezuelan major weapons buildup: “I don’t know of anyone threatening Venezuela, anyone in this hemisphere.” (Washington Post, October 3, 2006) [Is it possible that the response to both points raised is the same? A country in North America bordering on Mexico?]
- The failure of the United Nations — as an institution and its individual members — to unequivocally oppose and prevent the United States invasion of Iraq in 2003 can well be called “appeasement”.
- The Iraqi Kurds generally sided with Iran during the 1981-88 Iraq-Iran war; helped the United States before and during its bombing of Iraq in 2003 and during its occupation; and most Kurds don’t identify with being Iraqi according to polls.
- One of the military judges at Guantánamo said: “I don’t care about international law. I don’t want to hear the words ‘international law’ again. We are not concerned with international law.” (Democracy Now, April 12, 2005)
- George W. Bush, re al Qaeda types: “Iraqis are sick of foreign people coming in their country and trying to destabilize their country. And we will help them rid Iraq of these killers.” (Baltimore Sun, May 6, 2004)
- “I think all foreigners should stop interfering in the internal affairs of Iraq. Those who want to come and help are welcome. Those who come to interfere and destroy are not.” Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense and unindicted war criminal (Chicago Tribune, July 22, 2003)
- Timothy McVeigh, Gulf War veteran who bombed a government building in Oklahoma City in 1995, killing 168 people: “What occurred in Oklahoma City was no different than what Americans rain on the heads of others all the time … The bombing of the Murrah building was not personal, no more than when Air Force, Army, Navy or Marine personnel bomb or launch cruise missiles against government installations and their personnel. … Many foreign nations and peoples hate Americans for the very reasons most Americans loathe me. Think about that.” (McVeigh’s letter to and interview with Rita Cosby, Fox News Correspondent, April 27 2001)
- Douglas Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and unindicted war criminal: “Defense Department officials don’t lie to the public. … The Defense Department doesn’t do covert action, period.” (Washington Post, February 21, 2002)
- The United States will “deal promptly and properly with the terrible abuses” of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers. “No country in the world upholds the Geneva Conventions on the laws of armed conflict more steadfastly than does the United States.” Douglas Feith, Boston Globe, May 5, 2004
- “The State Department plans to delay the release of a human rights report that was due out today, partly because of sensitivities over the prison abuse scandal in Iraq, U.S. officials said. One official who asked not to be identified said the release of the report, which describes actions taken by the U.S. government to encourage respect for human rights by other nations, could ‘make us look hypocritical’.” (Los Angeles Times, May 5, 2004)
- In the decades after 1945, as colonial possessions became independent states, it was widely believed that imperialism as a historical phenomenon was coming to an end. However, a new form of imperialism was in fact taking shape, an imperialism not defined by colonial rule but by the global capitalist market. From the outset, the dominant power in this imperialism without colonies was the United States.
- Francis Boyle re the capture and public display of Saddam Hussein: “This is the 21st century equivalent of the Roman Emperor parading the defeated barbarian king before the assembled masses so that they might all shout in unison: Hail Caesar!”
- The US-provided textbooks in Nicaragua after the US-instigated defeat of the Sandinistas in 1990 carefully excluded all mention of Augustino Sandino as a national hero. (Z magazine, November, 1991)
- “Col. David Hogg, commander of the 2nd Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division, said tougher methods are being used to gather the intelligence. On Wednesday night, he said, his troops picked up the wife and daughter of an Iraqi lieutenant general. They left a note: ‘If you want your family released, turn yourself in.’ Such tactics are justified, he said, because, ‘It’s an intelligence operation with detainees, and these people have info.’ They would have been released in due course, he added later. The tactic worked. On Friday, Hogg said, the lieutenant general appeared at the front gate of the U.S. base and surrendered.” (Washington Post, July 28, 2003) [This is illegal under international law; in ordinary parlance we'd call it a kidnapping with ransom; in war, it's the collective punishment of civilians and is forbidden under the Geneva Convention]
- “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “Americans, who up until now had been so valued for their pragmatism, have become ideologues, ‘Bolsheviks’ of the Right, as Daniel Cohn-Bendit once described them.” (Jean-Marcel Bouguereau, concerning Iraq, Le Nouvel Observateur, September 8, 2003)
- Six months after its invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration defended its policy on the basis of schools and hospitals opening and strides made in providing water and electricity. (Washington Post, September 25, 2003) — These are all things 12 years of US bombing and sanctions had destroyed.
- For a summary of much of this, see: Peter Dale Scott, “Bosnia, Kosovo, and Now Libya: The Human Costs of Washington’s Ongoing Collusion With Terrorists“, The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, August 7, 2011 ↩
- Camp Bondsteel entry on Wikipedia ↩
- Washington Post, January 27, 2012 ↩
- Enbridge entry on Wikipedia; Washington Post, July 29, 2012↩
- Reuters, July 31, 2012 ↩
- Associated Press, July 6, 2012 ↩
If you follow mainstream election coverage, you might think Mitt Romney has coasted to an honest, easy, well-deserved Republican nomination. Unfortunately for Republican voters, nothing could be further from the truth. The primary process has been an all-out slugfest and many of the delegates Romney has won may be the result of dirty tricks and even election fraud. The following narrative includes links to reports, first-hand testimonials, and video evidence highlighting actions taken by the GOP to ensure a Romney victory, at the expense of fracturing the party just prior to the general election. Party leaders at the county and state level have changed or violated party rules, cancelled caucuses, changed vote counts, thrown out entire counties of votes, counted public votes privately, called-in the SWAT team, and inexplicably replaced Paul delegates with Romney delegates to block Ron Paul from winning the nomination.
Iowa: Days before the caucuses, Paul held a commanding lead in the polls and all the momentum, with every other candidate having peaked from favorable media coverage and then collapsed under the ensuing scrutiny. Establishment Republicans, like Iowa’s Representative Steve King (R), attempted to sabotage Paul’s campaign by spreading rumors he would lose to Obama if nominated. Even though the Iowa GOP platform reads like a Ron Paul speech, shortly before the caucuses, Iowa Governor Terry Barnstad told Politico , “[If Paul wins] people are going to look at who comes in second and who comes in third. If Romney comes in a strong second, it definitely helps him going into New Hampshire”. The message from the Governor to voters of his state was: a vote for Ron Paul was a wasted vote.
Huffington Post reported that Paul was ahead by one point over Romney and Rick Santorum inentrance polls conducted by Edison Media Research for the AP before the caucuses. For the first time ever, the Iowa GOP changed the final vote count to a secret location . After the caucus, resultsfrom 8 precincts (including those with colleges, in a state where Paul won 48% of the youth vote) went missing. Interestingly, these were all precincts Romney lost in 2008. In addition, GOP officials discovered inaccuracies in 131 precincts. Though polling in a comfortable first place, Paul finished third in this non-binding straw poll, behind Romney and Santorum.
Iowa originally reported Romney in first, Santorum in a close second, and Paul third. After the recount, Santorum was named the winner with Romney in second. No mention was given to how the recount affected Paul’s vote count. Iowa GOP chairman, Matt Strawn, later resigned and wasreplaced by Paul supporter, A.J. Spiker and Paul went on to win the majority of delegates.
Florida: The Florida GOP broke party rules by switching to a winner-take-all state before the date allowed, which favors the candidate with the most money for advertising and attack ads. Senior Advisor to the Ron Paul campaign, Doug Wead, claims this was done specifically to favor Romney.
Nevada: There is bad blood between Paul’s supporters and establishment Republicans in Nevada. This dates back to 2008, when Convention Chair, Sue Lowden and her enlisted delegates got up andwalked out of the convention when it became apparent Paul’s supporters would claim a majority of the delegates. She claimed she would reconvene at a later time, but instead approved the McCain slate of delegates. This year, Paul supporters expected shenanigans; so his State Chairman, Carl Bunce, planned to win by outworking Romney. Just before the caucuses, he claimed to have “more IDs than Romney had votes in ’08″. This means through canvassing door-to-door and phoning voters, he had identified about 25,000 voters committed to show up and vote for Paul.
On caucus day, the media was denied access to most caucus sites and the few that were permitted were not allowed to take photos. Others were even ejected from sites. This CNN clip shows GOP staff preventing a Paul supporter from entering the premises to vote at a special caucus that was set up at the last minute for Newt Gingrich backer, Sheldon Adelson. Here, participants were asked to sign an affidavit (under penalty of perjury) stating they were Jewish and couldn’t vote earlier in the day due to “religious reasons”. CNN showed live coverage of votes being counted at this event, with Paul amassing nearly 60% of the votes. In some precincts in Clark County, the largest in Nevada, the number of ballots did not match the number of voters signed in at the caucus. Though votes were to be counted publicly, they were largely counted in private. The vote count was also inexplicably dragged out for several days, leading to a victory for Romney. Nevada State GOP Chairwoman, Amy Tarkanian resigned the day after the caucuses.
Another interesting note is that Paul’s 2012 votes had doubled, tripled, and more than quadrupled his2008 votes in every state leading up to the Nevada caucuses, yet Paul received only 88 more votes there. Of all the places for this to occur, Nevada, the country’s most libertarian state; is the last in which anyone would expect this.
In spite of these irregularities , Paul won 22 of 25 state delegates and replaced state party officials with Paul supporters. Romney supporters then formed their own state party, called “Team Nevada”. The RNC then bypassed the official state party in order to organize for Romney and send all funds to Team Nevada.
Colorado: Romney supporters were caught passing out fake Ron Paul slates at the state convention. The RNC has not investigated or even commented on the matter.
Minnesota: Doug Wead, claims the state party instructed members not to vote for any delegates under age fifty because most young delegates support Paul.
Missouri: WXIX Cincinnati’s Ben Swann covered the fiasco in St. Charles County. Temporary Chairman, Eugene Dokes, started the meeting by banning video recording devices, a first for this event. Robert’s Rules of Order require the temporary chairman to accept nominations and elect a convention chairman to run the event. Instead, he appointed a chair of his choice. The crowd immediately erupted with booing. Shortly after, Dokes adjourned the meeting without the required two-thirds majority, called the police on attendees, and left. In adherence to state rules, Paul supporter, Brent Stafford, along with one of the top parliamentarians in the state, reconvened in the parking lot and attempted to resume the event. Shortly after, the SWAT team arrived and arrested Stafford, who was following state party rules. Dokes later admitted on talk radio that he and otherstate party officials deliberately broke the rules to prevent Paul from winning.
Maine: Ben Swann reported on shenanigans in Maine . Even though only 84% of votes had been counted; State GOP Chairman, Charlie Webster, declared Romney the winner over Paul by less than 200 votes. Hancock and Washington Counties hadn’t voted yet because Webster cancelled the caucuses due to an impending snowstorm, promising they could vote later and their votes would be counted. The snowstorm never occurred and he later reneged on his promise, telling voters in those counties their votes would not be counted after all. Washington County was Paul’s strongest in the state in 2008. Though other states with close outcomes held recounts, this was never a consideration for Maine.
At least one of the counties that did vote claims the state party recorded its tallies incorrectly. Matt McDonald, pastor of a small community church in Belfast, was nominated as the chairman of his caucus. He says the state instructed the caucus chairmen not to read any of the vote totals aloud, but rather to send the results straight to Augusta without a public reading. McDonald made a motion to change this rule, and it was approved unanimously. McDonald says 22 voters showed up, resulting in 8 votes for Paul, 7 for Santorum, 5 for Romney, and 2 undecided. When he called the votes into Augusta, he was told they already had the results and the totals read 9 for Romney, 5 or Santorum, and 2 for Paul. When McDonald told her the tally had been counted publicly, he says “her voice changed and she said…we’ll record this”. Doug Wead claims, “On every occasion, the votes that were lost were Ron Paul votes and the person responsible for reporting them were Mitt Romney supporters…in one case the votes were actually transferred from paper to…a computer and the lady doing the transfer was a Mitt Romney person”. To date, these tallies have not been corrected and Romney is still credited with the straw vote win while the media continues to report that Paul never won a state contest.
Arizona: The Examiner’s Kevin Kervick reports “ballot stuffing, rule violations, and improper vote counting that occurred behind closed doors” at the convention. In addition, Paul supporters allege threats of physical violence from Romney supporters.
Michigan: Doug Wead reports, ” Michigan, unlike any other state…had a special party rule forbidding any precinct delegate vacancies from being filled at county conventions until after the state delegates and alternates were chosen. In other words, countless Ron Paul supporters attending county convention were forcibly blocked…because they weren’t elected precinct delegates in 2010-long before the Ron Paul 2012 campaign began”. Wead also claims “documented instances in multiple counties where county party officials “edited” the state delegation lists after the county conventions adjourned”.
Washington: At the state convention , a Ron Paul delegate claimed bubble ballot sheets were withheld in King County’s district 36. He also claims the 37 th district caucus was forced to conduct the meeting outside because Chairwoman, Lori Sotelo, was irritated when a Ron Paul supporter was elected to run the caucus, instead of her choice.
Ben Swann interviewed a voter in Pierce County, Washington; who claims the local Republican leadership passed out what they called a “unity slate” to voters and said it represented an equal distribution of delegates committed to Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich. The plan was to organize to block Ron Paul supporters, who outnumbered the other candidates’ supporters, from receiving the lion’s share of the delegates. The Republican leadership prevailed.
Alaska: In spite of last-minute rule changes and violations of party rules, Paul supporters oustedlongtime state chairman, Randy Ruedrich, and voted-in Paul supporter, Russ Millette. Ruedrich then tried to sabotage the state convention and transferred all of the state party’s $100,000 to the local Capital City Republicans in Juneau, effectively bankrupting the party now controlled by Paul supporters.
Georgia: This video shows GOP Chairwoman, Sue Everhart, at the Athens Clarke County GOP meeting admitting “shoddy treatment of the Ron Paul people at that  convention” and publicly apologizing. She presents the rule book that she helped to write and claims it won’t happen again. The video then shows the actual convention and party leaders breaking those rules to force their pre-selected slate of delegates and prevent Paul’s supporters from electing their own. Party leaders then adjourned the meeting illegally and ran out of the meeting.
Massachusetts: Paul won 16 of the 27 delegates selected so far in Romney’s home state. In addition, he swept all 6 from Romney’s home county. As a result (for the first time ever in the state), delegates were asked to sign an affidavit stating ” I certify under the pain and penalty of perjury, that on the first ballot at the 2012 Republican National Convention, I will affirmatively Vote for Mitt Romney, the winner of the 2012 Massachusetts Presidential Primary.” The state GOP then covered up Romney’s embarrassing loss by invalidating ballots and ousting the Paul delegates.
North Dakota: Ben Swann reports the selection of delegates was unfair: the GOP handed out pre-printed ballots with a slate of delegates with 60% of them being Mitt Romney supporters in a state where he won only 26% of the vote.
Oklahoma: Kevin Kervick of The Examiner reports that the Oklahoma convention had to be moved to the parking lot because Robert’s Rules were ignored, delegate credentials were not verified, a convention chair was never appointed, motions made from the floor were ignored, the Chairman illegally elected a slate of Romney delegates, and the convention was closed without a two-thirds majority vote. Consistent with Robert’s Rules, Paul supporters reconvened in the parking lot to elect delegates. Paul supporters have now filed a law suit to ensure their delegates will be seated.
Virginia: Doug Wead claims “at a district convention, they coaxed the Ron Paul delegation outside and then locked the door. The pastor of the church that was hosting the event was, himself, locked out”.
U.S. Virgin Islands: Ron Paul won his first caucus, only to have the GOP take down the straw vote results from their website showing Paul the victor with 29% over Romney’s 26% and replaced with a note from the party claiming Romney won because he won more delegates. Paul’s Official Campaign Blogger, Jack Hunter, explains how every other contest determined the victor by the straw vote, except the one straw vote Paul won.
Alabama: An inexplicable gap exists between Paul’s popular vote count and his delegate vote count. This is odd because voters choose both on the same day and on the same ballot. Alabama Republican Party rules state that voters can only vote for one candidate and then must choose between his delegates. Statewide, Paul received only about one-third as many votes as his delegates. This means voters chose another candidate, but selected Paul’s delegates. No other candidate’s totals showed a similar pattern.
Louisiana: Ben Swann reports a clash between the old Louisiana State GOP leadership and newly-elected leaders who support Paul. Old Chairman, Roger Villere, angered attendees with last-minute rule changes the night before the convention. At the start of the convention, Villere attempted to recognize the former Chair of the Rules Committee, who had been voted out the night before. When new Chair, Alex Helwig, rose to address the delegation; Villere instructed security (comprised of off-duty Shreveport Police) to remove him . They arrested him for trespassing and broke several of his fingers. Next, an overwhelming majority elected a new Convention Chair, Paul supporter Alex Helwig. Members then turned their chairs to face Helwig, with their backs to Villere. In desperation, Villere instructed the police officers to remove the duly-elected Herford. They did so and dislocated his hipin the process, sending him to the emergency room. The reconvened group followed state party rules and went on to elect a majority of Paul delegates, which the state party later replaced with its own slate of Romney delegates. The Paul campaign has appealed to the RNC, but it is unlikely that the RNC will reinstate the Paul delegates.
Oregon: This YouTube video shows establishment Republicans in Congressional District 4 attempting to steal the ballot box and leave the premises when it became apparent the Ron Paul supporters were in the majority. A Paul supporter is chased away from the ballots and claims he was accosted by an establishment party member.
Wisconsin: MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell reports Romney violated state campaign laws by bribing voters with free subs.
In other states, Paul supporters claim vote-flipping occurred with electronic voting machines. Once about 40% of votes are reported, there is typically little variation in the final numbers. However on several occasions, at about 40% Romney’s trajectory “flipped” with the leader, which was often Paul. Austin Election Judge, Anne Beckett, has come forth publicly to claim she witnessed this firsthand.
Baseless allegations or a few isolated incidents may not be cause for concern, but there is enough video evidence in this report to disturb anyone who cares about fair elections. Rule changes, disregard for existing rules, cancelling elections, running off with ballots, secret vote counts, throwing out votes, threats, physical violence, and arbitrary replacement of delegates are activities unbecoming of a democratic society. Whether you’re a Ron Paul supporter, or even a Republican, is irrelevant. That the Republican Party will seemingly stop at nothing to ensure their selected candidate is the nominee should be deeply troubling for all Americans.
Source: Free Words
The political victory for President Obama in the Supreme Court has created an interesting shift in American politics. More important than the blow against his Republican opponent has been the re-energizing of Obama’s base, a loose coalition of liberals, labor, and leftists.
Many in these groups were lured into supporting Obamacare because of the political forces aligned against it, especially the loud extremists of the right wing. Obama’s campaign skillfully exploited this fact, and soon a win for Obamacare was a strike against evil. The massive disappointment the President had been to his once enthusiastic supporters was swept aside amid anti-Republican euphoria, just in time for election season.
But aligning with Obama will have dire consequences for his allies, who are leaving the wider working class behind in an attempt to boost a President who hasn’t earned the support. Without the active support of their base and broader population, the liberal and labor groups supporting Obama have less leverage to make the critical political demands needed to fight the recession, ensuring that their demands will fall on deaf ears.
The sad fact remains that most Americans do not support Obamacare, as poll after poll has shown. The pro-Democratic Party New York Times reports:
“…just 32 percent supported the Affordable Care Act when it was approved in March 2010, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll. As of a month ago, 34 percent supported it, virtually unchanged.”
Keep in mind that the anti-Obamacare majority includes many members of labor, senior, and liberal groups whose leadership endorsed the measure.
Indeed, Obamacare will negatively affect labor and senior groups in a direct way. The health care legislation levies new taxes on “Cadillac” health care plans – any health care policy that is above meager. Union members typically have these plans, and employers are already preparing for the new tax by slashing these plans with an aim to get them below the Obamacare tax threshold.
The fact that Obamacare gives employers this strong incentive to weaken their employees health care plan is not an accident, but a key provision in the plan that will fundamentally change health care in a negative way, for millions of people.
Worse still is that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicts that employers are expected to use Obamacare as an excuse to stop providing employer-based health care altogether, creating millions of newly-uninsured employees who will then be mandated to buy insurance for themselves.
The CBO predicts that 3-5 million people are likely to be victimized in this way, but the figure could rise to 20 million. Of course employers will take advantage of Obamacare to shift the cost of health care onto individuals, in the same way that employers shifted away from pensions and onto the 401(k) scheme.
Senior groups – most notably the AARP – supported Obamacare even though it is funded, in part, by cutting Medicare by $500 billion. Politifact explains:
“Nearly $220 billion [in Medicare cuts] comes from reducing annual increases in payments that health care providers [hospitals, etc.] would otherwise receive from Medicare…Then there’s another $136 billion in projected savings that would come from changes [cuts] to the Medicare Advantage program. About 25 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.”
Of course, cutting Medicare reimbursements to health care providers will result in reduced care for Medicare beneficiaries, who already suffer from a shortage of providers who will accept Medicare.
Most ominous are the millions of people who will be mandated to buy shoddy corporate health insurance that they would have bought already, if they felt they could afford it (only the very poorest people will get free health care from Obamacare).
It is expected that over 26 million people will remain uninsured after Obamacare is implemented, while the corporate-dominated health care industry has been empowered with millions of new customers, ensuring that further progress in the health care field will remain blocked.
There are undoubtedly progressive aspects to Obamacare. But the above facts will create tens of millions – potentially hundreds of millions of angry people – the same people who are being ignored by the labor and liberal groups who’ve promoted Obamacare. This is the key point.
Working people are a powerful social force when they are united and act collectively. Labor and liberal groups have caused unnecessary divisions by supporting a health care law that victimizes millions of working people. These groups misled their members into supporting Obamacare for obvious political reasons, since they have deep ties to the Democratic Party.
These ties are quickly evolving into chains for working people. Contrary to the opinion of some labor leaders, Obamacare is not a “step in the right direction”. Further steps towards a sane health care system have been frozen, since the Obama-attached left has misrepresented Obamacare as a savior; these groups will not be inspired to fight for universal health care because they are happy – thrilled! – with Obama’s plan.
Most importantly, labor and liberal leaders have made it profoundly more difficult to view Obama and the Democrats as they should be: a political adversary that must be challenged in the streets. The jobs recession is again deepening, which will create further city, state, and national deficits that will be used to further gouge social services and lead to more layoffs.
The last four years have been detrimental for millions of working people, and the political party overseeing this misery is going into the next election as a “champion of working people,” thanks to Obama’s stalwart supporters that lead working class organizations.
A mass movement is needed for real change, but left groups have chained the movement to a president who wants nothing to do with such as movement, as his attitude towards the Occupy and the Wisconsin movement more than proved.
Obama has again disarmed the left, which will sadly repeat history by scrambling, post-election, to find an independent voice to deal with the recession and continued assaults on working people. A mass movement is the only salvation for working people, requiring that uniting demands – a federal jobs program, Medicare for all, taxing the rich, etc. – be fought for in the streets against all those who oppose them, both Democrats and Republicans.
Watering down demands to promote Democrats is a strategy that weakens the workers’ movement at a crucial time. Hopefully, Obamacare is history’s last example.
There has been much talk recently about the impact of money on politics, especially in the wake of the Citizens United ruling that has ratcheted up the role of corporate money in political campaigns. Organized labor was quick to blame this ruling for its defeat in Wisconsin. And many have assumed that the relation of money to politics is like a law of nature: the more money one has, the more political power one can wield.
There is some truth to this claim. In a recent editorial (“Money Rules,” April 19, 2012) The New York Times noted that “big donors to Mr. Obama and the Democratic Party are far more likely to be welcomed at the White House than those who gave smaller gifts.”
The editorial continued: “And, despite decades of money abuses and scandal, neither presidential candidate [Obama nor Romney] has shown any interest in reforming the system.”
Of course, politicians always deny that there is any connection between campaign donations and their policy decisions, swearing that the strong statistical correlation between the two is entirely coincidental. However, given their fixation on “the bottom line,” it is inconceivable that corporations would continue to donate billions of dollars a year to politicians if they did not expect to get a “return” on their investment.
It should not be surprising that money and power tend to converge. Capitalism is not just an economic system that places profit above all other concerns; it breeds a culture in which money is the “bottom line” in every transaction. Money opens the doors to the best education available, to quality health care and spacious homes in crime-free neighborhoods, not to mention “attractive mates.” Money buys leisure time and can allow people to avoid work altogether. Money commands respect. When Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan appeared before a Congressional committee after having lost billions of dollars in risky investments, he was bombarded by obsequious questions by members of Congress, who probably would have preferred asking him for investing advice. And although not a sufficient condition, money is a necessary condition for winning political elections and is usually the determining factor. Finally, with individuals placed in perennial competition with one another under capitalism, social and community ties are weakened, leaving only money to fill the void.
Within the system of capitalism, the more money and power one has, the easier it is to acquire still more money and power. When the billionaire Warren Buffett recently invested $5 billion dollars with Goldman Sachs, he was guaranteed a 10 percent rate of return, meaning he will make $500 million a year without lifting a finger. Even worse, much of this money is acquired simply by the rich taking from everyone else. In their recent book, “Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer – and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class,” political scientists Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson argue that much of the new wealth enjoyed by the rich has resulted from their success at lobbying politicians to change the tax laws and business regulations to their advantage. Hence, when left to its own devices, capitalism tends to concentrate money and power in the hands of a few while allowing inequalities in wealth to grow ever greater.
Unions were created to combat these tendencies and to protect workers from their employers’ avid pursuit of money. While employers want to maximize profits, workers want enough to pay their bills and lead a comfortable life. Hence, there is a power struggle between workers and employers over how much of the company’s profits will go to wages and benefits and how much to the owners. Given that the owners have far more money at their disposal than the workers, one might assume that they hold the reins of power in their hands and can dictate the outcome.
But there is a limit to the role that money can play. Unions operate on their own unique principles that provide the potential for a far greater exercise of power than what their employers can command, even with far more money at their disposal. Rejecting competition, workers organized unions on the principle of solidarity. It was a logical course for workers to pursue: while an individual worker is powerless in the face of a domineering employer and while workers who are competing against one another are collectively powerless in relation to the employer, workers quickly learned that power shifts in their direction when they join together and engage in coordinated action. If one person tries to conduct a strike, that person is simply fired. When the entire workforce conducts a strike, they bring the business to a grinding halt and become a force to contend with.
Because of this need to stand together and work for a common goal, unions generate their own culture. When they have successfully struggled together, camaraderie develops among the union members. They take care of one another, cover for each other, and form lifetime friendships in much the same way as soldiers who have endured battles together.
For this reason, union struggles can change the entire political and cultural landscape. When workers decide to take a stand in order to break the cycle of growing inequalities in wealth, when they fight for a decent standard of living that includes a living wage, job security, health care, access to quality education, homeownership, and retirement with dignity, not just for themselves but for everyone, they inspire all working people and create the possibility of a massive social movement that has the potential to forge historic changes, as was done in the 1930s. People are inspired by movements that aim at creating a better world for everyone, where those who need help are given what they need, where people contribute according to their ability, and where no one advances at the expense of others. This more ennobled sense of humanity engenders inspiration in a way that money never can. And people are inspired when workers wage a real fight, as opposed to the current ever so prevalent practice of organizing fake fights that involve porous picket lines that no one takes seriously or demonstrations of several hundred workers when the workforce includes thousands.
When these social movements achieve momentum, money no longer plays the deciding role. People shed their disconnected isolation, become engaged and talk with one another, become knowledgeable of the issues, and derive strength in their numbers. And massive numbers of people demonstrating for a common goal has proved time and again to be the prevailing factor.
At this time in history, organized labor, however, seems content to rely on money for power. Unions spend hundreds of millions of dollars trying to elect Democrats to office, leaving the vast reservoir of power of their membership untapped. Of course, corporations have even more money at their disposal and give generously to both political parties to hedge their bets, easily outspending labor in the process. When it comes to money, simple arithmetic is all that counts: because corporations give far more than labor, they get far more than labor, and the inequalities in wealth continue to grow.
As a result of the unions’ current orientation toward the Democratic Party, one must look long and hard for compelling examples, aside from the 1930s, when unions put up a valiant struggle. But in 1958 the unions relied on themselves instead of the Democrats, mobilized their members to defeat a right to work law, and won a stunning victory. The local newspaper reported: “Ohio voters rejected the ‘right-to-work’ proposal by the biggest margin ever recorded on an issue on the ballot in the state’s history.”
More recently, United Electrical workers conducted a sit-down strike in a Chicago windows and doors factory, demanding their severance pay from the Bank of America. Because of the outpouring of public support from across the country, Bank of America, one of the most powerful corporations in the world, backed down, and the workers won their demands.
When it is a question of the efficacy of money in politics and workers fail to put up a fight, money prevails. The moral is: money counts – but only if we let it.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker not only defeated the recall, he did so easily taking 54 percent of the vote. This is a big defeat for the union leadership who threw as many resources as they could afford behind this effort. How is it possible that this could have happened after all that had gone on before?
The massive uprising last winter in Madison, Wisconsin, that was spurred by Walker’s plans to balance the state deficit by slashing public workers’ benefits and wages as well as stripping them of their collective bargaining rights, was a flood no one saw coming. Walker expected opposition, but nothing of the nature and magnitude that developed. The unions and community members who initiated the state capital occupation were likewise surprised. The powerful current of solidarity and desire to fight austerity policies that benefit the wealthy few at the expense of working people ran wide and deep, though previously it had not risen to the surface. Madison, Wisconsin charged workers’ political consciousness in a way that prepared for the Occupy Wall Street Movement as well as greater social movements on the horizon.
This struggle was measurably affecting public opinion. While the many polls taken during this period were not consistent, there was an overall pattern of growing sympathy for the public workers and their supporters as well as increasing anger towards Walker. During the protests a New York Times/CBS Poll found that 60 percent of Americans opposed restricting collective bargaining while 33 percent were for it, 56 percent of Americans opposed reducing pay for public employees and only 37 percent were for it. In a Wisconsin Public Radio poll released on April 22, 49 percent said they disapproved of Republican efforts compared to 39 percent who approved.
How could such momentum be lost? Perhaps even more telling to Labor’s failure to build from these developments is the fact that in exit polls 36 percent of union members voted against the recall. If the task of the day is to reverse the one-sided class war Wall Street has been waging on the 99 percent, it is necessary to draw the correct lessons from Wisconsin.
Last year’s protests, by themselves, were not able to defeat Walker’s plans. Some concluded, after losing both the June 14th decision of the state supreme court on the collective bargaining law and the state legislature’s vote on Walker’s budget, that they had little to show for all their exhausting sacrifices. Other tactics were necessary.
As the numbers of protesters declined from hundreds of thousands to a mere 1,000 by June 16th, many felt compelled to take an electoral campaign approach and attempt to recall Walker. There were three great difficulties with this, however. One was that Walker could not be recalled until he had been in office for a year. This prevented those advocating for a recall of Walker from striking while the iron was hot.
The second difficulty was that electoral campaigns are outrageously expensive, favoring the interests of a few with deep pockets, especially after the Supreme Court ruling of Citizens United. Walker had raised over $30 million from such gentlemen to combat the recall, leaving his opponents very far behind. Consequently, his backers were able to flood the TV and radio airwaves with so many misleading adds that it is likely that many voted for him just to make the noise stop.
Nevertheless, this lopsided relationship of financial resources, while playing a role, is not the main reason why the recall was defeated. This massive inequality of resources and its control over our political system existed at the time of the capital occupation in Madison. Nevertheless, the mass actions were educating and swaying public opinion towards progressive pro-working class views in contrast to what happened in the recall election where the pendulum swung in the other direction.
The main reason behind the recall’s defeat is political. It wasn’t enough to recall Walker. Someone from the Democratic Party had to be elected to replace him.
The Madison uprising had started as a movement that put forward its own demands, rather than whittle away at them in order to make them more palatable for the Democratic politicians. While some union officials talked about concessions in the spirit of “shared sacrifice,” this attitude was not reflected in the great numbers filling and surrounding Madison’s Capitol. Therefore, the shift from mass collective action to an electoral campaign accelerated the movement’s degeneration from an inspiring expression of independent working class fight-back to an example corporate co-optation by the Democratic Party.
The Democrats and Barrett
The Wall Street funded Democratic and Republican parties do not fundamentally differ in their aim to fix the deficit by making workers pay for it rather than the 1%, whose bailouts, federal loans, and tax breaks have increased as the deficit has grown. The Democrats are no more capable of countering austerity than the Republicans because that would require that they bite the hand that feeds them – the corporations, banks, and economic elite.
In fact, they are aggressively pursuing policies that will greatly exacerbate the historic divide between the rich and working people. For instance, the bi-partisan supported and Obama designed Simpson/Bowles measure, that will likely go into effect shortly after the presidential election, will slash hundreds of billions from Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security while providing the rich with even more tax breaks.
In addition, the recall election in Wisconsin demonstrated an even further distancing between the Democrats and the interests of Labor and working people in general. The Democratic National Committee was largely missing in action for most of the campaign. Not only did Obama fail to do anything to support the recall other than write a supportive tweet, he bypassed a trip to Wisconsin in order to speak at an event on June 3rd with Honeywell CEO Dave Cote in Minneapolis.
(1) Honeywell is currently attempting to bust unions in three different labor disputes. Obama and the Democratic Party could not have made their priorities more clear with this slight. They value standing shoulder to shoulder with an anti-Labor CEO than with the unions.
The Democratic candidate that ran against Walker, Tom Barrett, is a typical corporate party man. That is, he is no legitimate friend of the unions and workers. As mayor in Milwaukee he attempted to take over the city’s public school district, angering the cities African-American community.
(2) He is also a supporter of charter schools and has said this is an area where he can work together with Walker.
(3) During the uprising, he proposed an alternative budget to Walkers that extended its cuts to benefits and pensions to police and fire fighters as well, in opposition to the aspirations of those protesting at the Capitol.
(4) While dealing with Milwaukee’s government workers, represented by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Barrett refused to extend their contract after it expired. He used “Walkers’ tools” to enforce health cuts and went even farther in eliminating provisions that had been bargained for years, such as limits on overtime, mileage reimbursement, make-up pay for days lost to inclement weather, etc. In the end, rather than going after the 1%, his attack on AFSCME’s membership cost them almost $1 million.
(5) In regards to taxing the rich he stated on radio, “It is certainly my hope that by the end of my first term, at the end of my second term, and at the end of my third term that Wisconsin will take in less tax revenues from its citizens and businesses each year.”
(6) Wisconsin’s corporate tax rates are below the national average. While working people should not have their taxes increased, it is impossible to close the state’s deficit as well as provide the jobs and services workers need without increasing taxes on the rich and corporations. Otherwise, there are no alternatives to cuts aimed at workers who have already been decimated by the economic crisis. This is the inevitable result of the mantra of “shared sacrifice,” which is another way of saying that workers should pay for the economic crisis the economic elite has created.
In the recall campaign, the issues that drove hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites to brave the winter and take a stand in the streets, faded into the background. Given that there were no fundamental differences between Walker and Barrett on the issues of austerity, last Tuesday’s voters decided to stick with the devil they knew rather than the devil they didn’t.
Other tactics besides the state capital occupation were necessary to kill Walker’s bill in 2011. Attempting to transform it into another contest between a Republican and Democratic candidate, however, was suicide for the movement.
What else could have been done? On February 21, the Madison-based South Central Federation of Labor passed an unprecedented resolution calling on the unions to begin to educate their membership on what would be necessary to pull off a general strike. Though this normally conservative Labor body had no authority to call for such an action, the unanimous passing of the resolution clearly indicated what was on the membership’s minds. The opportunity to build greater unity and use Labor’s most powerful weapon on a large scale for the first time in decades was a tangible possibility. What was lacking was the organization of those who supported such measures to pressure the union leadership into making the call.
Normally, most union leaders are hesitant to take such bold action, even in times of great crisis. These types of tactics upset relations with those Democratic politicians that have been mistakenly identified as allies and, truth be told, there is no shortage of Labor laws that would have had to have been broken to pull off a general strike. However, the unions were not built by playing by the rules of a game rigged in favor of the employers. If a law is unjust, if it cripples workers’ collective ability to resist the injustices thrown at them by a system controlled by the 1%, then that law must be intelligently, creatively, and massively defied. In order to do this, it is necessary that the rank and file is sufficiently educated and organized to push the more conservative labor leadership into opening up the resources to conduct a general strike or step out of the way for others that will.
Mass action opens up the possibility of grass roots democracy whereas electoral campaigns in support of corporate politicians such as Barrett are largely designed and controlled by a small team of “experts.” This is because, in order to be successful, mass action campaigns rely on the active involvement of the maximum number of participants. Without their input from the trenches and control over all major decisions and the leadership, long-term mass actions cannot be effectively maintained. It is with this approach that real democracy is experienced by the participants. That is, not the right to elect the lesser of two evils and passively take what the victor dishes out, but the liberating experience of having a voice to determine and execute all major decisions on a constant basis.
This possibility is not automatic. It must be struggled for and built. Nevertheless, a sustained mass campaign runs best when it is run democratically, whereas campaigns such as the recall in Wisconsin, are opposed to this because they are all about maintaining the rule of the economic elite over the 99%.
While Walker’s supporters are gloating in the belief that the recall results confirm they have turned the tide against such developments as the Wisconsin uprising, they are celebrating too soon. The defeat of the recall was a rejection of relying on the Democratic Party. It was not a rejection of grass roots struggles against austerity, which are inevitable as the conditions of the Great Recession grind on for workers. We can only rely on our own collective power through mass action to resist this and further bi-partisan attacks lurking just around the corner. If Labor is to take the lead, the union leadership must start building the necessary unity to flood the streets for good jobs and social services – not cuts.
(1) “Microphone Grabbed Out of Hands of Reporter Questioning Honeywell CEO” by Milk Elk
(2) “The Barrett Election and Milwaukee Schools” by Terrence Falk
(3) “Barrett Weighs in on Vacant MPS Buildings” by Bobby Tanzilo
(4) “Barret Offers Alternative to Budget-Repair Bill” by Larry Sandler
(5) “AFSCME says Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett demanded union concessions beyond those in Gov. Scott Walker’s collective bargaining law” Politifact
(6) Why the Democrats are behind in Wisconsin
Democratic politics is a false premise experiment. The foundation of modern liberalism, based upon an erroneous worldview, is a dead end ideology. Compared to the mad NeoCon war-mongering alternative, the fatal attraction of progressives, allures weak minded and desperate people into thinking government can provide solutions. Step back from the false left-right political discussions and focus upon the principles that make up sound and balanced standards for a civil society.
Basic contrasts between Conservatives and Liberals defined by Christian Walker seem plausible.
“At the core of it, Conservatives base their ideology on what they see as reason and logic and it is individualistic by nature, whereas a liberal’s ideology is based on emotion and ideals and is collective by nature. A liberal is interested in curing society’s ills by social engineering. A conservative is interested in curing society’s ills by individuals exercising their own choices to better themselves. Because of this, conservatives view centralized power with deep suspicion. Liberals on the other hand see centralized power as an opportunity to affect great change for good.”
The central precept that separates and differentiates democratic politics from traditional conservative advocacy rests upon moral doctrine. However, scholars are determined to avoid this requirement with theories such as Realism V. Liberalism. Understanding International Relations Theory, “how the world works IR scholars usually subscribe to one of two dominant theories, realism or liberalism. One, classical/neo-realist thought, is more pessimistic about the prospects of peace, cooperation, and human progress whilst the other, liberalism/idealism, is more upbeat and sanguine about human nature and human possibilities.”Modern Liberalism is based upon the following set of assumptions:
1.Human nature is essentially “good”
2.The fundamental human concern for others’ welfare makes progress possible
3.Sinful or wicked human behavior such as violence is not the product of flawed people but of evil institutions
4.War and international anarchy are NOT inevitable
5.War is a global problem requiring collective rather than national efforts to control it
6.Reforms must be inspired by a compassionate ethical concern for the welfare and security of all people
7.International society must reorganize itself in order to eliminate the institutions that make war likely
The America First foreign policy viewpoint is anti-war and anti-empire. Foreign intervention to make the world safe for democracy is pure poppycock. The premises of democratic liberalism suffer from the illusion that humanity, as a whole, is able to build a global alignment of institutions, treaties and interconnections that can result in international harmony.
The notion, which discredits democratic bias and governmental programs that surround us, is all around. The utter catastrophe of the Obama administration is not simply a failure of a partisan regime. It is systemic of a system that has abandoned time-honored principles.
The inspiring and late Dr. Schaeffer preached the following message back in 1982.
“I want to say to you, those of you who are Christians or even if you are not a Christian and you are troubled about the direction that our society is going in, that we must not concentrate merely on the bits and pieces. But we must understand that all of these dilemmas come on the basis of moving from the Judeo-Christian world view — that the final reality is an infinite creator God — over into this other reality which is that the final reality is only energy or material in some mixture or form which has existed forever and which has taken its present shape by pure chance.”
Can any person argue with sincerity that fundamental improvement in the plight of humanity has improved in the last three decades?
Facing up to the decline in Western Civilization is hard for many people. Most prefer the comfort of illusionary denial. Justin Raimondo offers a cogent insight in TheDemocratic Delusion.
“Rooted in the old-fashioned idea that people are merely the playthings of all-powerful and highly abstract forces, Soviet socialism was a throwback to the reactionary mechanistic doctrines that had ruled the earth and its peoples since time immemorial. Human beings, in this view, are passive lumps of clay whose fate is determined by History, the gods, or, perhaps, the gods of history.”
This looming conflict for the democratic liberal is unsettling, since their beloved governmental authority structure, is their presupposed answer to resolve intrinsic power struggles. After stripping away all the political posturing and propaganda, the Obama cohorts are left with an empty intellectual defense of their pernicious and intrusive tyranny.
LIBERALISM IS A MENTAL ILLNESS – MAXINE WATERS
MICHAEL SAVAGE EXPLAINS THE MENTAL DISORDER LIBERALISM
Those who identify themselves as part of the Democratic Party or supporters of liberal policies really do suffer from a mental disease. The Maxine Waters’ video illustrates, while caring the bucket for the cause. Move over and watch Michael Savage, Herb Denenberg is giving you a run for top honors.
“You can look at almost any plan and policy of Obama, and more often than not find it runs contrary to common sense and logical thinking. He more often than not does the opposite of what common sense would dictate.”
Apply the following Obama traits to your favorite liberal. Do they also suffer from the same symptoms?
A. NARCISSISTIC PERSONALITY DISORDER. If that’s not enough, consider the Mayo Clinic’s definition of narcissistic personality disorder: “Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. They believe that they’re superior to others and have little regard for other people’s feelings. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism.”
B. PATHOLOGICAL LIAR. I think the most obvious disorder to add to all of the above is being a pathological liar. That condition is defined by the Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary as follows: “an individual who habitually tells lies so exaggerated or bizarre that they are suggestive of mental disorder.”
C. THE TALKING DISEASE. I’ve spoken of another mental disorder, which I don’t think psychiatry has yet named. It is the talking disease. He thinks his words are magical, and that all he has to do is talk to solve problems.
Liberals and progressives want to feel your pain, while inflicting misery from the consequences of their policies. The Manchurian Candidate president champions Marxist pillaging as a badge of pride. The crux of the rationale that drives such plunder is humanism. Dr. Schaeffer warns, “A conservative Humanism is no better than a liberal Humanism. It’s the Humanism that is wrong, not merely the coloration.” The point made is that the liberal sickness infects “so called” conservatives with the integrations of the progressive disease into all levels and stratums of a dependent society.Utopian delusions are the prevalent and dominate political mindset. This infection forbids a serious and substantial contraction of government deficit spending or useless programs. As long as Democrats swallow the social poison of multicultural nirvana, in a futile attempt to create a worldly paradise, the planet is doomed.
The few remaining conventional Democrats bear little similarity with the ultratotalitarian collectivists that currently hold the majority in the U.S. Senate. Abdicating the responsibility of passing a federal budget may seem trivial to the hordes of dependent addicts that vote the liberal/progressive slate. Nevertheless, the results from the next election, the prospect of instituting a sober and comprehensive reform of government is but a pipe dream for wishful escapists.
The final indisputable proof of neurotic perspective is that the electorate may likely vote Barry Soetoro to another term. The reason for such an irrational prospect is that the infected public is plagued by modern liberalism. Is it possible to dialogue with institutionalized progressives? Can cogent arguments penetrate the locked doors in their palatial asylum suites or are they so committed to their medicated state of denial that the destruction of the country is viewed as a mere academic speculation?
Radical Reactionaries understand that co-existence with essentially decadent bottom feeders is a suicidal prospect. America’s collapse is a certainty on much more than an economic level. Political dialogue or activist immersion is a most painful exercise for the average person. The depths of the “Politically Correct” culture disallow a serene separation from federal supremacy. Individual state sovereignty is the only practical response to central despotism. Democrats refused to run a primary challenge to a sitting President in their own party. That error renounced any assertion of the high ground or argument claiming the role of an honest opposition.
The legacy of FDR haunts the socialists that strive to empower the nanny state. H.L. Mencken had it correct, “The New Deal began, like the Salvation Army, by promising to save humanity. It ended, again like the Salvation Army, by running flop-houses and disturbing the peace.”
Still the demographics, especially in several swing states like Virginia and Wisconsin, may rally the government employed or the entitled reliant to rise up the dead and vote for Democrats in November. To these kind of voters, the democratic view of the world, transforms into digging graves for the dynamic producers, who create all the wealth.
The progressive malady that shapes public policy is the ultimate superstition. I am from the government and here to help you.
Our Survival Depends On Learning To Recognize Him…
Today we are witnessing the complete breakdown of our institutions. This is true in finance, banking, and government. The bald fact confronts us at the gas pump and in the supermarket. It is true in education, where we pay heavily to ensure our children learn only to find, instead, they are being propagandized and their presence in schools used to assert control over how they are raised.
War has become our continual condition. Young people are enticed and coerced into the military through promises, which will not be kept, and economic conditions which leave them no choices. They come home inflicted with PTSD,TBI, struggling to function. Many die of suicide, or on the streets, homeless.
Our courts have long since ceased being the dispassionate tribunal where the condition and wealth of those standing before it does not matter. Corruption, purchased verdicts, and greed, drive those who were entrusted with ensuring equal access to justice for all Americans.
Law enforcement, police, prisons, and its management and infrastructure, moved into fast forward over a decade ago. The police know nothing about the Constitution or our rights. Their training is militarized. Prisons have become corporate profit centers, expanding due to the proliferation of laws which bolster their bottom line, sucking money out of the pockets of Americans.
We have been told it is right and proper to bail out irresponsible and predatory corporations – but individuals who paid into Social Security must pull in their belts and live on less on less – even as the cost of food continues to climb monthly, edging them toward starvation.
Organic dairies and gardening are under attack, while GMO is fast tracked.
The middle class has all but disappeared, leaving only the wealthy – and the rest of us.
In every part we confront the growth of restrictions and controls, limitations of our right to choose for ourselves.
We look into each others eyes and ask, “What happened?”
You’ve heard many theories and watched as attempts to correct the corruption failed. Checks and balances have also been hijacked. These are all failing because the foundational problem was not recognized.
The electoral process has been hijacked. From the presentation of candidates, until the votes are counted, the whole is managed through a process which includes media owned by what I call Greedville, in the case of media seven large, global corporations which are all controlled by psychopaths. Information, now divorced from facts, is filtered through systems for nomination and voting managed outside of the public view.
The presence of psychopaths among us is the problem.
Normal people could never pull this off. Normal people have consciences. Our unseen problem has been those without conscience, the psychopathic, who concentrate where they have access to power, changing institutional practices and culture, looting the system.
Humanity needs to understand and take action. In this series we will lay out causes and what can be done to take back our world.
- Understand psychopathy through the case of Alexander, 13th Duke of Manchester, psychopath.
- The strategies used by psychopaths
- How our institutions fail to account for psychopathic behavior.
- How psychopaths manipulate the emotionally normal to work for them.
- Understand the impact of their presence among us.
Alexander, 13th Duke of Manchester
The Early Life of a Psychopath
Allow me to introduce you to the poster boy for Psychopathy, His Grace, Alexander, the 13th Duke of Manchester, or Alexander Montagu, though during his criminal career he has used other names in plenty. He is not a smart psychopath, but his life illustrates many truths about the condition.
Alexander Montagu is one of the hundreds of thousands of those without conscience walking among us. This assertion is supported by a wealth of evidence from multiple sources over a period spanning decades.
His condition was first identified by a psychiatrist named Dr. Barry Williamson, who attended him in 1984 when he was institutionalized for assault with a spear gun and attempted suicide. At the time he was on welfare, received because he was deemed ‘disabled.’
Montagu was treated at Pine Lodge Clinic, according to the transcript.
Dr. Williamson’s comment, made to Montagu’s solicitor Mr. Zoltan Varszeghy, who has now returned to Hungary, is included. The comment entered into the court record was, “Dr. Williamson attended him there. Dr. Williamson has in fact told me he has psychopathic tendencies.” The full transcript can be viewed. Bottom of page 9.
Montagu was then facing charges of assault against his wife and at least one police officer with a spear gun.
His behavior as a child was disruptive, both according to his mother, this supplied in emails, and according to his brother Kimble, information provided in a declaration given in 2011.
Alexander was expelled twenty times from the school he attended in Beverly Hills and from every other school where he was placed, according to his mother, Lady Mary Montagu. He failed to develop relationships with either of his siblings, both of whom grew up to live normal, stable, lives.
This is an identifying characteristic of a psychopath.
His relationship with his mother is one of demanding his needs be serviced while he provides nothing in return.
Another psychopathic characteristic; he is entitled.
He has borrowed money from his sister, Emma, and never repaid the funds and his brother, Kimble was also called upon for assistance, despite the fact Kimble is not close to him and so testified in his declaration given under penalty of perjury for the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, in July of 2011.
Borrowing money from others, or receiving services, activates a strategy which his former wife,Wendy Buford, reported seeing played out many times.
After receiving funds or services Montagu distances himself from the individual, who he vilifies. He then picks a fight, and refuses to carry through with his promise for payment or repayment. It is always their fault, never his.
This is the concept of ‘splitting,’ used by the disordered. The targeted victim is either all good, when they are being used; or all bad, when he is finished with them.
This is a standard strategy common to psychopaths.
The vilification strategy also includes assault by slander, a massive campaign to destroy the reputation of the individual who is no longer useful to him. Relatives, journalists, business partners, former wives, and friends have all experienced this parting gift from Montagu.
When discovered in a crime Montagu blames others. During Montagu’s recent arraignment for passing a bad check in Las Vegas he, or his wife, variously claimed it was a case of mistaken identity, use of the wrong checkbook, or a plot carried out to embarrass him.
This frequently works for him because he is titled, and because, as a psychopath, he shows no sense of guilt or shame. He lies smoothly and constantly, remaking reality as he believes it will work to persuade his victim to perform as he wants.
Having thoroughly victimized his target Montagu positions himself as the victim. This is a strategy known as, the ‘Turn Around.’
This also is characteristic of psychopaths.
All successful con men are psychopaths. Police in Australia identified Alexander Montagu as a “highly successful con-man,’ by the time he was 29 years of age, this remark memorialized in an article written about him in the Australian Post in May of 1991. This classification of psychopath is not necessarily violent, but is, nonetheless, psychopathic. Murderers such as Paul Bernardo, Clifford Olson, John Wayne Gacy may be serial killers, smiling as they murder, but most psychopaths, such as Montagu, are subclinical, meaning they avoid punishment because their crimes are financial or less egregious forms of abuse than murder – but still costly and damaging to their victims.
This term, used by Robert Hare, the recognized world expert on psychopathy, includes individuals who, who, like Montagu are dangerous and unpredictable.
A difference in the brain
The source of psychopathy is in the brain itself. A study carried out at the University of Wisconsin-Madison by researchers found a variance while studying images of prisoners’ brains. These revealed that psychopaths have reduced connections between the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), the part of the brain responsible for sentiments such as empathy and guilt, and the amygdala, reconciling fear andanxiety.
Because psychopaths do not feel emotions,fear or empathy, they do not experience love or guilt. Normal humans reference emotional states and their actions and choices are dictated and limited by their feelings. These characteristics are shared by all normal humans and human institutions are designed, taking into account concern for others and a working conscience.
A normal individual cannot lie without experiencing anxiety. This is the basis of the Lie Detector. A psychopath feels no anxiety when he is lying, for him lying is normal behavior. This helps to explain how our institutions have been converted by the psychopathic for their own profit. As normal humans we sense when someone is anxious, this can lead us to believe they are lying – and to the assumption those without anxiety are telling the truth.
Psychopaths who are subclinical, formulate their strategies for getting what they want from experimenting with what works to accomplish their goals. Over the last centuries, and especially during the 20th Century, psychopaths have intentionally, and actively, worked to convert our institutions to a centralized model which allowed them to have control.
How this took place is the subject of a later article.
An examination of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal government, finance, our infrastructure for regulation, among others, shows how these can, in effect, become operational tools for the highly psychopathic, who are concentrated in these specific areas.
Estimates of the percentage of the psychopathic in finance is believed to be far larger than the general population. Theories of the impact of psychopaths on corporate culture have been, according to Robert Hare, PhD., and growing number of experts and observers, highly significant.
In a paper appearing in the Journal of Business Ethics, 2011, “The Corporate Psychopaths Theory for Global Financial Crisis,” written by Clive R. Boddy and copyrighted by Springer, cites the need for further study of the impact of psychopaths in the corporate environment, pointing out the ‘strengths’ of psychopaths, charisma, self-confidence, and presentation, allow them to claim credit for successes for which they are not responsible. Since they lack conscience this is most likely to happen. Psychopaths are not troubled when they walk away with huge remuneration, leaving the company to falter and die. In recent days, we have often watches this take place.
The theory is receiving serious consideration in business and studies are continuing.
Psychopaths operating on the level of banking, finance, and other institutions function on a higher level level than Montagu. They are more intelligent and are more able to emulate emotions. They are smoother and far more difficult to identify.
Montagu is an example of a lower level psychopath, he routinely threatens violence and has been violent, witness his several convictions for assault in Australia. He, however, learned to modify the amount of violence to ensure he would not again face incarceration.
All psychopaths tend to find successful strategies and repeat them. Psychopaths, regardless of intelligence, are limited in innovation. But they are skilled in manipulation and control. They have a radar sense of knowing what the normal person expects and use this to gain trust and access to whatever they are trying obtain from the victim. They wolves in sheep’s clothing, waiting for the moment to strike.
Manipulation and control are standard tools for psychopaths.
Montagu’s subsequent acts illustrate the desire for immediate gratification, ability to ignore potential hazards, and ability to rewrite reality to fit into the lies he was telling to engage possible victims.
This is typical of the psychopath, category - Egocentric and Grandiose
In 1988 Montagu had openly solicited marriage by purchase for the title of Duchess. In another article, titled, “My Barmy Marriage.” written the same year in The People, Marion Stoner reacts, offering her story, having read Montagu was attempting to profit by marriage.
She had been unable to find him to serve papers, she reported in the article. She goes on to outline what transpired to a small degree. Her Application for Separation , given under penalty of perjury, is more forthcoming and reads like a horror story. Other documents, found here, support her statements.
1991 found Montagu arrested for entering Canada. The title of the article, Diana’s Cousin Selling Titleappeared on September 21, 1991 in the Sun Journal. The reason for his arrest appears at the end, “He was arrested for allegedly entering Canada illegally from Hong Kong on June 17th. Immigration officials say he failed to disclose 29 criminal convictions for fraud and assault in Australia.”
Montagu knew he was not divorced from his first wife, Marion Stoner, who he had assaulted and lethally threatened with a spear gun, after less than three months of marriage. The spear missed Marion’s friend’s head, also present, by half an inch.
Today Montagu asserts, against all existing proof, several conflicting stories. He tells people Marion Stoner never existed. He tells people the wedding was a gag. He tells people his mother flubbed the annulment, and he tells people his mother had a long term plot to get the title of Duke for his younger brother. The story used depends on what he thinks will work.
Proof means nothing to a psychopath. Reality is what they say it is. This can sometimes work against them in several ways.
Viscount Mandeville solves the problem of being deported and homeless.
And, as a testament to how easily the psychopath, even a less intelligent psychopath, can manipulate normal people, let us consider how Montagu managed to stay in a relationship with Wendy Buford Montagu for 15 years, years fraught with trauma for her.
Montagu originally married Wendy because he was running out of money and was in danger of being deported. Married to an American woman with a job evidently became his goal. Wendy reported Alexander was supposedly living with his business partner but had his own car. She later learned he was borrowing the car owned by his business partner’s girl friend, claiming to own it.
The entire relationship can truthfully be characterized as one outrage after another.
Montagu married Buford in 1993, just before the birth of their son, Alexander, Jr., his first act was to demand she visit the immigration office to prove they were legally married (a lie) so he could evade deportation, which he said was about to take place due to the threats of his business partner. Within weeks of their first date he had insinuated himself into her apartment and was using her car as his own. His business partner’s girl friend had reclaimed her automobile.
Over the next 15 years the couple was evicted 11 times, each time because Alexander spent the money for rent or the mortgage elsewhere. Wendy was never permitted to know anything about their finances. Asking if the rent was paid was pointless. Alexander would always lie.
When evicted for non-payment of rent or mortgage, he focused anger on the landlord, routinely destroying the property. This has included pouring cement down the toilets. according to his present wife Laura. With Montagu the barrage of such behavior was constant and consistent, according to his wife of 15 years, Wendy Buford Montagu.
Since Montagu never had a job it was his wife’s income from her job which was garnisheed. Today, Wendy is still paying off these debts.
Although his mother, Lady Mary, carried the paperwork for the Stoner divorce in 1996, asking Alexander only to sign and return papers.
After the divorce Lady Mary ordered him to remarry Wendy, who had no idea he had been married to Marion Stoner at the time of their wedding. Alexander never mentioned the matter. He had lied on their marriage license, checking, ‘never married,’ instead of ‘married but annulled,’ which had been an option. He had not mentioned an annulment, but one of his alternative reality stories would be blaming his mother for not finishing an annulment which there is no record had ever been filed.
Yet if Alexander had not, himself, informed the Trustees, the matter would have died there. Alexander, whose life, like all psychopaths, is filled with chaos, decided to divorce Wendy after he succeeded to the title of Duke in 2002, while waiting for the sale of the Manchester Jewels to provide him with funds.
Wendy could not help but notice he started going to the tanning salon, had his teeth redone, and spending other money on himself from a household budget which was slim at best. Overweight, he also had a colon reduction so he could slim down. Naturally, he lied to Wendy, telling her the surgery was covered by insurance and was for his back. This deception worked for him until she came to pick him up at the hospital and asked the nurse how the back surgery had gone.
Their divorce from a non-existent marriage was orchestrated by Montagu with the intention of gaining custody of the children so Wendy would be required to pay him both alimony and child support.
Filing a false report of violence, he received a temporary order excluding her from the family home. Wendy, realizing what was happening, cooperated completely with the court and went through an intense, expensive, and humiliating process which proved she did not take drugs, was not an alcoholic, and was not violent. Wendy was awarded physical custody of both children, who were turned over to her without any of their possessions and dressed in only their pajamas.
Alexander made none of the court ordered payments for tests he had demanded, though the court had insisted he do so. Montagu had stolen all of Wendy’s property, evidently selling her family heirlooms and jewelry. Wendy has received none of her possessions. All Montagu offered to give her were some old clothes.
Making Wendy disappear must finally have occurred to him as a solution to his problem. Fortunately for her, the individual Montagu asked to carry out the act, who was not psychopathic, called her and warned her what had been offered him. Her call to local detectives made this course too risky for Montagu to pursue.
Montagu had attempted to hide his assets and bank accounts. These had been discovered through subpoena, including one account holding nearly one millions dollars. He was confronted with the records on the stand and still tried to lie his way out, claiming it could not be his account.
Montagu left the area, never paying the court ordered support for his children or alimony. The court proved entirely unable to cope with someone for whom deceit was natural and who never paid his bills.
Normal people follow the rules. Psychopaths ignore them.
Charges of Bigamy are proved.
Two years after their divorce was over, 2009, evidently hoping the monies paid to the children would be directed to him by the Trust if his children were known to be illegitimate, he so informed the Trustees.
The Trustees were forced to stop the payments to the children, made on their behalf as beneficiaries, which had made up for the support not received by their father. After short consideration the Trustees filed a law suit, intended to clarify and affirm their wish to continue payments, not allowed under existing law.
The law suit was filed in the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division and heard on July 19th 2011. The Trustees could restart payments to the straitened family. In the immediate aftermath a spate of articles hit papers across the world, naming Montagu as a bigamist, which examination of the existing documents and testimony had proven him to be.
Proof means nothing to a psychopath. Realizing the public relations disaster he had wrought, Montagu began to whine, asking for someone to prove someone else was responsible.
With the negative weight of the world opinion directed at him, not a shred of shame or contrition surfaced. Consideration for what his children had suffered, what he had done to his former wife, were ignored. The fact he was also proven to have committed massive fraud against his former wife, he also ignored, focusing only on himself.
His only interaction with his children is limited to calling them up to slander their mother and make demands. This reached a high, or low point, when he called his 12 year old daughter, Ashley, to describe pictures he had taken of her mother, clearly asleep in her bed unclothed. He told his daughter he had arranged to sell these to a porn site online. The taped message exists and will soon be back up online.
Whatever happens is always blamed on someone else. Bringing it full circle, this was true of his childhood and, as you read articles written about him over his life time, you see this has been consistent. He shows no sense of shame, no empathy, no compassion.
Judge Margaret McMurdo, before whom Montagu appeared in Australia for stealing and selling rental cars in 1991, advised him to continue his psychiatric care, “You need it,” she commented. It has been noted by others in the legal profession he lives in a fantasy world and does not relate to reality. The court was unable to cope with Montagu, releasing him to prey again, even though by 1991 there was a solid record of his crimes.
The Direction Forward – A Solution
During the 80′s and 90′s psychiatry believed psychopaths could be ‘cured.’ This hopeful assessment has now been largely abandoned, due to the insights gained through the work of Robert Hare, Ph.D., who has demonstrated the fact psychopaths receiving counseling benefit, but only by becoming more effective psychopaths.
It is time we focused on the source of the problem and, in cooperation with reform movements, began taking psychopaths into account.
Studying the history of Alexander, Duke of Manchester, provides evidentiary proof of the inability of courts on three continents to cope with the extreme likelihood he would, upon release, again look for unwitting victims. The number of Montagu’s victims doubtless number in the hundreds. As tragic as this is, it cannot be compared to the disastrous outcome from psychopaths who infest our institutions, converting for their own profit. Millions of Americans are, today, their victims. This is only the tip of the iceberg.
We must stop the psychopathic from participation, where a conscience and empathy are essential. Those areas are government, corporations with government contracts, our courts, our schools, and all entities funded by or in contractual relationships with government.
The Hare test for psychopathy, given by a qualified and trained professional is very reliable, remarkably so, when used by non-law enforcement. Hare expressed reservations at having it used more widely and, there are indications this might prove to be the case, according to an article, Can A Test Really Tell Who’s A Psychopath? by Alix Spiegel appearing on NPR. But the problem arises from tests given by individuals, who though trained, are being paid by parties with a vested interest in a specific outcome. If tests are given blind, with no information provided to the person administering the test, this would not be an issue.
Hare himself has suggested it be used for those in government, corporations, courts, including attorneys, and in law enforcement. This would be given upon application for employment or, now to continue employment.
We don’t need legislation to enact this measure. Before voting for candidates, we demand they be tested,in effect, certified non-psychopathic, a kind of Honesty Bond. Some corporations will willingly test their officers and upper level employees. We buy from them, boycotting all others.
Ordinary corruption, we can handle.
One week from today is Easter, the yearly celebration of the resurrection of Christ, a man who exemplifies Love. Eerily, the psychopathic exemplify the anti-Christ. Devoid of conscience and compassion, psychopaths share the characteristics of the devil, doing evil for evil’s sake. As I considered this I felt a chill run across my back.
Many have wondered when the Anti-Christ, long predicted, would be known. Many individuals and institutions have been suggested in this role. The threat represented by the anti-Christ seemed to come from all around us but be no place specific.
A threat spread among us would have that effect. Not knowing, we could not see, looking into faced that seem all too human.
Psychopaths, they do evil for evil’s sake.
Do you remember the second terms under President William Jefferson Clinton and George Walker Bush? Even the most rabid partisans cannot say with a straight face that memorable government came during their last four years. Now the nation suffers from the Obama malaise that rivals the Jimmy Carter debacle. The dependency culture, especially in the post 911 incarnations, adjusted to the heavy hand of government omnipotence to accept the next level of political excess. Recent polls suggest that the enlightened voters of the nanny state are prepared to cast their ballot to give Barry Soetoro another term. Their answer to the proverbial question, are you better off today than four years ago, indicates just how far the collective mentality of the electorate has fallen.
The essential dialogue, which the mainstream press refuses to report, avoids the depth of the tyranny that government has achieved. Examine the range and scope of federal agencies and compare those to the most invasive and desperate days of World War II. If one awoke from a long Rip Van Winkle sleep and declared your loyalty to the American Revolution you would be judged a terrorist. This ironic twist from rising from a resting slumber as a British subject, to a free and independent citizen, is all upside down today. The American empire replaced the Crown and the sovereign individual became a doped dependent to a dominating despotism.
With this context in mind, can you blame the brain dead voter from casting their X on the ballot form and pay homage to the foreign-born dictator? If you are one of the parasites that feed off the public trough, you will hail the emperor that wears no clothes as your hero. This simple relationship may well explain why the prospects for four more Obama years are in the cards.
A site called Obama’s Achievements Center provided a laundry list of Obama Administration’s Achievements. The categories include:
|Arts and Culture||Housing|
|Banking and Financial Reform||Humanitarianism|
|Commerce, Trade and technology||Infrastructure|
|Economy||Law and Justice|
|Education: College||Medicaid/Medicare/Social Security|
|Education: Health of Children||Military and National Security|
|Employment: Jobs||Military Veterans and Families|
|Energy: Green||National Disasters and Emergencies|
|Energy: Old||National Service|
|Energy: Oil||Scientific and Medical Research|
|Foreign Affairs and International Relations||Space Exploration and Space Station|
|Health and Wellness||Transparency and Accountability|
|Health Care Reform (See also Taxes)||Miscellaneous|
Take the time to browse some of the items on this site and separate the promises from the results. If this is progress, can you imagine the giveaway programs in a second Obama Term? By any reasonable standard, the presidential election should stand or fall on the prospect of the economy. However, Michael Tefft sheds perspective on how one defines the political significance of the economy in It’s Official: Most Americans Make Their Living Off The Government.
“A widely covered report from TrimTabs Investment Research, based on data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, has found that 35 percent of all earnings are now direct transfer payments from the government. According to CNBC, “social welfare benefits make up 35 percent of wages and salaries this year, up from 21 percent in 2000 and 10 percent in 1960.”
But the real story is much worse. Nearly 8% of Americans work directly for the government while an additional 9.6% of Americans work as contractors for the government. Taken together, more than half of all Americans make their living directly from the government. “We have reached a tipping point,” says Grassfire Nation’s Steve Elliott. “That’s why what is happening in Wisconsin could have huge ramifications. Unless citizens stand now for less government and fiscal restraint, the government-dependent class will demand more and more government and our nation will be destroyed from within.”
A little historic context adds to the analysis. Michael Filozof in Prepare Yourself for Obama’s Second Term reminds what happens when the opposition loses their nerve.
“Does anyone remember the disaster that was Bill Clinton’s first term? The first attempt to put gays in the military, the first attack on the World Trade Center by Muslim fanatics, and the “Assault Weapons” Ban? The proposal to raise taxes, increase spending, and downsize the military? Hillary arrogantly proclaiming that she was no little Tammy Wynette standing by her man and baking cookies? That she would revamp the entire health care system, by herself, in secret, without congressional input? Does anyone remember the Waco debacle, which led directly to the Oklahoma City bombing, and Clinton’s allegation that it was the fault of talk radio? Does anyone remember the landslide Republican victory in the House in 1994, breaking forty straight years of Democratic control — a massive rebuke of the Clinton administration?
And yet…Clinton got re-elected in 1996. He didn’t just squeak by, either — he won a crushing 379-159 victory in the Electoral College and beat the Republican ticket by eight and a half percent in the popular vote.
Conservatives were in shock. How could this happen? Answer: after the 1994 conservative revolution in the midterm elections, the Republican 1996 presidential campaign turned into the Revenge of the Flaming Moderates.”
Nonetheless, most rational voters ignore the phony illusion that Republicans are really a counterweight to the madness of the Marxists that pose as Democrats. The preposterous pipe dream that the loyal opposition will act different from the current criminal regime is a true test of the mental health of the idiots that believe there is a difference between Democrats and Republicans.
A favorite leftist site alternet lists Nine Things Obama Should Do In a Second Term.
|1. Free higher education at all public institutions of higher education||4. Manhattan Project for renewable energy||7. Fifty-percent income tax on all income over $5 million a year (with no loopholes)|
|2. Add a million teachers (and teachers’ aides) to the public school system||5. Financial transaction tax||8. Get behind a constitutional amendment to end the buying of elections|
|3. Medicare for all||6. Break up the big banks||9. Legalize pot/empty the prisons|
Now some of these objectives as, break up the big banks seem appropriate in the abstract. However, the devil is in the details, which are written or managed by the very institutional interests that are viewed as the cause of serious problems. Some will reach out for a small glimmer of hope for gridlock. However, few astute observers project that a genuine reversal of the nanny state is possible much less likely.
From Outside the Beltway, Doug Mataconis theorizes in Obama’s Second Term Would Be Neither Groundbreaking Nor A Calamity.
“As I noted, the tendency for second Presidential terms to be largely a disappointment is something neither Democrats nor Republicans would like to acknowledge publicly. Democrats would prefer their supporters to think that a second Obama Administration would mean further progress on the goals set in the campaign, many of which have been abandoned over the past three years. Republicans, on the other hand, want their supporters to believe that a second Obama Administration would be an absolute calamity and, indeed, I’ve run into more than a few conservatives who seem absolutely convinced of the silly idea that the re-election of Barack Obama would mean the end of America. Neither of them would get much political mileage out of telling their supporters the truth, which is that a second Obama Administration is unlikely to be anywhere near as successful in achieving its goals, especially if one or both Houses of Congress is controlled by the opposition (or as long as the filibuster exists in the Senate).”
Most serious conservatives see every administration as a calamity because disappointment is the actual legacy of the last presidency. Even the venerable Daily Paul site fears that the Liberty message will die once again at another Republican convention. Consider the horror of this prospect. ‘Al Cardenas, head of the American Conservative Union, has said that Republican turmoil might lead to a brokered convention in which Jeb Bush, former Florida governor, would emerge as a ‘possible alternative’ party nominee.’The tangible tragedy is why did not some “Blue Dog” Democrat challenge President Obama in a primary? The Loony Left can always draft Keith Olbermann as their standard-bearer if they were serious about their mindless ideology. Allowing the Obama clone another four years proves that big government proponents have lost their own self-respect.
The absurdity of staged elections should sicken every real American. Under a second Obama presidency, you will never be better off again. A vote for this pretender tool is the height of lunacy. What else can you expect from a society populated by comatose Rip Van Winkle snoozers? If you want your vote to have meaning, Ron Paul is the only choice.
Each week, the media reports racially motivated attacks on different races in America. Last summer, “flash mobs” leaped into the spotlight in Wisconsin where black youths ran around beating up white people. Also in New Jersey. Mayor Nutter told the flash mobs, “Don’t embarrass your race.” On the East Coast this week, the FBI arrested four police officers for beating up Hispanic citizens and illegal immigrants. In Los Angeles, Mexican immigrants form gangs that specifically chase African-Americans out of their neighborhoods according to the late radio talk show host Terry Anderson. Racial tension surfaces daily across America whether reported upon or lost in the conglomeration of news. The FBI arrested a Denver, Colorado Muslim immigrant Jamshid Muhtorov (Uzbekistan refugee) this week for supporting the terrorist Islamic Jihad Union in the USA.
Today in America, we suffer from “honor killings”, arranged marriages, female genital mutilation and a host of ongoing rituals such as cock fighting by recent immigrants into the United States.
Nonetheless, politicians like New York Mayor Bloomberg tell us that our diversity and multiculturalism are our strengths and create a more dynamic country. When in fact, multiculturalism is:
CREATING NATIONAL DISUNITY
The United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and all of Europe suffer from the tentacles of multiculturalism. In a recent report in Oslo, Norway, where my brother has lived for 30 years, 99 percent of the rapes of Norwegian women came at the hands of Muslim immigrants. Sweden features similar percentages. In reality, diversity fails on every level.
While our Congress forces multiculturalism down our throats, those members live in gated communities to escape the results. They send their children to private schools. While high powered movie stars prance and parade with celebration of multiculturalism, they return to their gated and guarded homes in Hollywood for a peaceful night’s rest away from the gunfire in the multicultural streets of Los Angeles.
Multiculturalism discounts and demeans the host country’s culture
In Boulder, Colorado, mothers, driving $40,000 SUVs sporting “Celebrate Multiculturalism” bumper stickers, drive their kids to all white schools or enroll them in private schools so their children escape the poverty, linguistic chaos and tensions in schools like Mapleton Elementary where the illegal aliens’ children dominate classrooms.
Australian writer Cameron McKenzie said, “Multiculturalism is an unsound political theory, advocated by liberals, academics, media personnel, social theorists, government officials and politicians. While it is supported by those people, it is actually opposed by the overall majority of Australians.
“It is a deliberate policy to actively maintain, support and build foreign cultures in Australia, to the direct detriment of the Australian identity, culture and way of life. Instead of allowing immigrants, and their native-born offspring to naturally assimilate into the Australian culture, governments are knowingly creating bases of foreign culture in this country. These deliberately divisive policies are carried out in two areas.”
The United Kingdom, France and Holland find themselves struggling to maintain their own language and cultures. They’re losing. The greater numbers of the immigrants the faster host countries lose their language, cultures and cohesiveness.
America and Canada continue on similarly self-destructive paths
First, most American businesses feature a phone recording of press “1” for Spanish and “2” for English. In Detroit, Michigan, you may press “3” for Arabic. By losing our U.S. language, at some point, we will not maintain our identity as a single people but a polyglot of cultures and languages—all fighting among ourselves.
Secondly, continued mass immigration overwhelms America’s culture and creates “pods” of immigrant cultures that remain alien and antagonistic to America’s equal rights for women, children’s rights, religious rights and free speech. These new enclaves can be called “mirco-nations” within our own nation.
As the immigrants remain alienated as to language and culture, they form gangs. In Denver, where I live, we house 12,000 gang members that spray paint, ransack, steal, vandalize and run drug rings. Those ethnic gangs prey on our citizens and their own.
As Australian Professor Blainey stated: “Recent governments emphasize the merits of a multicultural society and ignore the dangers. And yet the evidence is clear that many multicultural societies have failed and that the human cost of the failure has been high. Many of our refugees actually come from multicultural societies that are faltering or in disarray.” Also, Professor Loring Danforth has admitted that, “Ironically, Australia’s own commitment to multiculturalism may also encourage immigrants to involve themselves in the national conflicts of their homelands. This policy of multiculturalism … defines people in ethnic categories and makes it possible for them to maintain their identities as Italians, Greeks, or Macedonians. Multiculturalism, with its emphasis on community languages and ethnic media, promotes the development of these ethnic identities and impedes the development of a strong Australian national identity.”
“We do not need a crystal ball to see where multiculturalism will lead us,” said McKenzie. “The future will bring a vast amount of inter-ethnic rivalry and resultant clashes, even leading to race riots reminiscent of those clashes in the UK and USA. Australia faces the spectre of being another dis-unified “multicultural” society like Sri Lanka, South Africa, Northern Ireland, Lebanon, the former Yugoslavia, Fiji, etc.; not to mention the USA and the UK, with their continually strained communities, and occasional race riots. The prospects of such a dis-unified nation are appalling.”
What will you do fellow Americans to stop mass immigration and multiculturalism?
Thyroid cancer cases have more than doubled since 1997 in the U.S., while deadly industrial practices that contaminate groundwater with radiation and other carcinogens are also rising.
New information released by the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates that 56,460 people will develop thyroid cancer in 2012 and 1,780 will die from it.
That’s up from 16,000 thyroid cancer cases in 1997 – a whopping 253% increase in fifteen years, while the US population went up only 18%.
From 1980 to 1996, thyroid cancer increased nearly 300%, while the population increased by (again) 18%.
Most thyroid cancers don’t develop for 10-30 years after radiation exposure, but the monstrous spike in thyroid cancer from 1980-2012 is only partly the result of Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979 (TMI).
Pennsylvania, with its nine nuclear reactors, does have the highest incidence of thyroid cancer across nearly all demographics among 45* states, reports epidemiologist Joseph Mangano, MPH MBA, of the Radiation and Public Health Project. In 2009, he analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control’s national survey of thyroid cancer incidence for the years 2001-2005 and compared it with proximity to nuclear power stations, finding:
“[M]ost U.S. counties with the highest thyroid cancer incidence are in a contiguous area of eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and southern New York. Exposure to radioactive iodine emissions from 16 nuclear power reactors within a 90 mile radius in this area … are likely a cause of rising incidence rates.”
TMI also can’t explain why the thyroid cancer rate for the four counties flanking Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant in New York was 66% above the national rate in 2001-2005.
Other, more subtle sources may also be contributing to hiked thyroid cancer rates, like leaking nuclear power plants and hydraulic fracturing, both of which contaminate air, soil and groundwater with radiation and other nasty chemicals.
Indeed, remarking on this, Mangano (who recently co-authored a controversial study with toxicologist Janette Sherman suggesting a link between Fukushima fallout and US cancer deaths numbering from 14,000 to 20,000) said:
“From 1970-1993, Indian Point released 17.50 curies of airborne I-131 and particulates…. [That] amount exceeded the official total of 14.20 curies released from the 1979 Three Mile Island accident. In 2007, officials that operate the Indian Point plant reported levels of I-131 in the local air, water, and milk, each of which is a potential vector for ingestion.”
Iodine-131, or I-131, is a radioactive isotope produced by nuclear fission.
Fracking a ‘Dirty Bomb’
Radiation isn’t released into the environment only via nuclear plants and bombs. Geologist Tracy Bank found that fracking mobilizes rock-bound uranium, posing a further radiation risk to our groundwater. She presented her findings at the American Geological Society meeting in Denver last November.
Because of some 65 hazardous chemicals used in fracking operations, former industry insider, James Northrup, calls it a “dirty bomb.” With 30 years of experience as an independent oil and gas producer, he explains:
“The volume of fluid in a hydrofrack can exceed three million gallons, or almost 24 million pounds of fluid, about the same weight as 7,500 automobiles. The fracking fluid contains chemicals that would be illegal to use in warfare under the rules of the Geneva Convention. This all adds up to a massive explosion of a ‘dirty bomb’ underground.”
What’s underground seeps into our groundwater.
Thomas House and his wife have become ill since New Dominion, LLC began drilling for oil and gas behind their home in Wellston, Oklahoma. He’s tested the water for barium and strontium, and indoor air quality for BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes and styrenes).
Though none of the levels exceed EPA standards, he insists the drilling operations are causing their illness.
“We have been getting sick from headaches, nose bleeds, rashes, vomiting, burning eyes, and breathing problems for the last year,” he told me.
House is reliant on the Veterans Administration for health care, but it refuses to test him for BTEX poisoning.
Radioactive Drinking Water
Though scientists have associated thyroid cancer with water supplies contaminated by nitrates (another knock against industrial agriculture), it is usually indicative of radiation poisoning, as the thyroid sucks up iodine – radioactive or not. Those with not enough iodine in their diets are more susceptible to absorbing I-131.
NCI says that the main sources of radiation exposure are X-rays, nuclear fallout and radiated food and drinking water. The Centers for Disease Control reports that women are three times more susceptible to thyroid cancer than men, with white women being most susceptible. Rather than noticing any symptoms, most often, they discover a lump on their neck.
The good news is that 95 percent of thyroid cancer is successfully treated.
The bad news is that radiation exposure is also coming from our food and water supply.
For over a year, a Houston news station has been reporting on a governmental cover-up of radiation in drinking water. KHOU says that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality under-reported radioactive contaminants in drinking water for over 20 years.
But not just Texas authorities, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has also low-balled radiation stats by simply not looking for specific radioactive elements, which can be more common and more dangerous than, say, Strontium-90.
Eventually, Texas shut-down two of Houston’s water wells shown to be radioactive.
From an investigative series by the Associated Press last year, we learned that 75 percent of US nuclear power plants leak radioactive materials. Documents from 48 of 65 commercial nuclear power sites showed that radioactive tritium leaked – often into groundwater – in concentrations exceeding the federal drinking water standard, and sometimes at hundreds of times the limit.
Nukes, Fracking and Earthquakes
The global fallout from Fukushima’s nuclear meltdown means our food and water absorbed radioactive fallout. But, we also see an increasing number of earthquakes from fracking operations that further threaten nuclear plants, which are old, leaking and “brittle” (AP’s word).
Information compiled by Treehugger last year showed that of the 104 commercial nuclear power plants and 34 nuclear research stations, many sit in seismically active locations.
Though earthquake risk in Texas is considered very low, last October, Atascosa County saw a rare 4.8 magnitude quake centered 130 miles from the South Texas Project nuclear power plant. The temblor originated in Fashing Field, a highly productive oil and gas field. One company, Momentum Oil and Gas, is producing 3.8 million cubic feet of gas per day from the field.
Many states that normally had very low seismicity have seen an incredible upswing in earthquake frequency with the advent of hydraulic fracturing, which the feds have long known about. As far back as 1966, federal authorities suspected the fracking-earthquake link so strongly that they shut down Rocky Mountain Arsenal’s 12,000-foot injection well after several quakes rattled Denver.
In 1981, researchers suggested that mobile pressure dynamics could explain epicenters some ways distant from such wells.
Ohio recently shut down two fracking waste injection wells after a New Year’s Eve earthquake, and in 2010 New York imposed a statewide moratorium. Ohio has two nuclear power plants (both on Lake Erie) and New York has five, operating six reactors.
Ohio’s 5.0 earthquake on January 31, 1986 that rocked eleven states and Ontario, Canada was centered 11 miles south of the Perry Nuclear Plant. Researchers suggested the quake was induced by fracking, writing in 1988:
“Three deep waste disposal wells are currently operating within 15 km of the epicentral region and have been responsible for the injection of nearly 1.2 billion liters of fluid at pressures reaching 112 bars above ambient at a nominal depth of 1.8 km. Estimates of stress inferred from commercial hydrofracturing measurements suggest that the state of stress in northeastern Ohio is close to the theoretical threshold for failure along favorably oriented, preexisting fractures.”
Not only preexisting fractures, but new ones created by the massive surge in earthquake swarms also present a risk. As modern horizontal fracturing techniques are employed, earthquake frequency goes up.
From 1900-1970, Arkansas experienced 60 earthquakes. After fracking operations picked up in the mid-1970s, that number jumped exponentially. Per the Advanced National Seismic System, in 2010 alone, Arkansas felt over 700 earthquakes; in 2011, it endured over 800.
The number of quakes in 2010 and ’11 represents a 2,400% increase over the number of quakes in the first 70 years of the 20th century, before horizontal fracking began. With that spike in frequency, is it any wonder that a new faulthas opened up in Arkansas? Geologists say the new fault shows a history of 7+ magnitude earthquakes.
Though the 2001-2005 thyroid incidence data reveals that Arkansas has the lowest incidence of thyroid cancer of all 45 states surveyed, that may change should the new fault become seismically active and damage the state’s two 40-year-old nuclear reactors.
Of note, Arkansas’ nuclear reactors are run by Entergy, which operates eleven others including 40-year-old Vermont Yankee (strontium-90 found in nearby fish last August) and New York’s nearly 40-year-old Indian Point (failed inspection and sought over 100 safety exemptions last year).
Pennsylvania is another strong fracking state, vulnerable to earthquakes originating within or outside its borders. It also houses nine nuclear reactors at five locations. A swarm of small earthquakes occurred near Dillsburg from 2008 until early 2011, reports the state’s Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Dillsburg is 16 miles from Three Mile Island, which still operates one nuclear reactor.
Last August, most of the east coast felt a 5.8 magnitude quake whose epicenter is just 11 miles from two reactors at the North Anna nuclear power plant in Virginia. Both 30-year-old reactors had to be shut down. RT reports:
“The odds of a quake exceeding a magnitude of 5.5 occurring in central Virginia are so slim that Dominion Power determined only around six quakes of that size would occur in the area over the next 10,000 years.”
Protect Your Water Supply
Radioactive particles damage bones, DNA and tissue, including the thyroid. Water softeners, ion exchange, carbon filters or reverse osmosis water-treatment systems can be installed in the home to reduce concentration levels. The National Sanitation Foundation certifies various products for efficacy in reducing or eliminating particular contaminants.
To reduce or eliminate radiation from food and water, see this compilation of articles recommending various techniques, including washing your vegetables in bentonite clay.
A more proactive way to protect the water supply is to decommission nuclear power plants and ban hydraulic fracturing, lest your hometown ranks among the 10 Most Radioactive Places on Earth.
*When the CDC surveyed states for thyroid cancer in its landmark 2001-2005 study, it neglected to publish data for Maryland, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin.