According to Assange, the explosive 'Wikileak' would be of the type similar to the Echelon system. For those that aren't aware of that system. It is a secret, or was a secret, program that was engaged in mass spying on the citizens of the US, Australia, New Zealand, Canadia, and Britain. Echelon involved the gathering of mass amounts of electronic information and putting in a database for analysis.
....Intelligence monitoring of people in the area covered by the AUSCANZUKUS security agreement has caused concern. Some critics claim the system is being used not only to search for terrorist plots, drug dealers' plans, and political and diplomatic intelligence but also for large-scale commercial theft, international economic espionage and invasion of privacy. British journalist Duncan Campbell and New Zealand journalist Nicky Hager asserted in the 1990s that the United States was exploiting ECHELON traffic for industrial espionage, rather than military and diplomatic purposes.....(source: wikipedia)
The excuse for the intrusive electronic spying on citizens by the government is that it is needed to keep us free. But it would seem that an intrusive spying system without a warrant or judicial review doesn't contribute to freedom but is merely an expression of fascism.
If Assange has information on the vast monitoring of people all over the world. It wouldn't be surprising. But perhaps just what the military industrial complex is monitoring might be the troubling part.
Many people who aren’t comfortable with the U.S. invading other countries reassure themselves with the belief that at least war creates jobs for Americans. But is military conflict really good for the economy of the country that engages in it? Basic economics answers a resounding “no.”
Today, the vast majority of us are richer than even the most affluent people back then. But despite this prosperity, one thing has not changed: war is bad for our economy. The $150 billion that the government spends annually on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and, increasingly, Pakistan) could instead be used to cut taxes or cut the deficit. By ending its ongoing wars in Asia, not only would the U.S. government be adopting a more realistic foreign policy, but also it would be developing a more prosperous economy.
And war has another burdensome long-run cost that is rarely taken account of in the decision to get into a conflict: the cost of a permanently expanded government. As economist Robert Higgs notes in Crisis and Leviathan, war hurts economies by giving governments the opportunity and the excuse to take on new powers. These powers diminish after the war ends—but do not fall back to their earlier levels. During World War II, for example, the income tax, which previously had applied only to high-income people, was imposed even on those with low incomes. The federal government also introduced withholding to make it easier to collect tax money. After the war, income taxes remained a “normal” part of everyone’s life, and so did withholding. Flush with revenue, the government found other things to spend the people’s money on, including nuclear weapons, NATO, and welfare. This reduced economic well-being because a dollar spent by government typically produces much less value than a dollar spent by the person who earned it—Washington spends our money much less carefully than we do.
Whatever other reasons there may be for war, strengthening the economy is never one of them.
When Kagan was dean of Harvard Law School, she presented a guest speaker who is known as the most activist judge in the world: Judge Aharon Barak, formerly president of the Israeli Supreme Court. The polar opposite of the U.S. Constitution, which states that "all legislative powers" are vested in the elected legislative body, Barak has written that a judge should "make" and "create" law, assume "a role in the legislative process," and give statutes "new meaning that suits new social needs."
Barak wrote that a judge "is subject to no authority" except himself, and he "must sometimes depart the confines of his legal system and channel into it fundamental values not yet found in it." Channel? Does he mean he channels in a trance, as Hillary Clinton supposedly channeled discourse with the long deceased Eleanor Roosevelt?
Despite Barak's weirdo writings, or maybe because of them, Kagan called him her "judicial hero." Judge Robert Bork, a man careful with his words, says that Kagan's praise of Barak is "disqualifying in and of itself."
Bork said that Barak "establishes a world record for judicial hubris." Bork wrote that Barak embraces a judicial philosophy that "there is no area of Israeli life that the court may not govern."
While Congress caters to the banks, the states have been left to fend for themselves. Where is the money to come from to pull off the impossible feat of balancing their budgets? Bleeding a VAT tax out of an already-anemic working class is more likely to kill the patient than to alleviate the disease. A more viable and equitable solution would be to tap into the only major market left on the planet that is not now subject to a sales tax - the "financial products" that are the stock in trade of the robust financial sector itself.
A financial transaction tax on speculative trading is sometimes called a "Tobin tax," after the man who first proposed it, Nobel laureate economist James Tobin. The revenue potential of a Tobin tax is huge. The Bank for International Settlements reported in 2008 that total annual derivatives trades were $1.14 quadrillion (a quadrillion is a thousand trillion). That figure was probably low, since over-the-counter trades are unreported and their magnitude is unknown. A mere 1% tax on $1 quadrillion in trades would generate $10 trillion annually in public funds. That is only for derivatives. There are also stocks, bonds and other financial trades to throw in the mix; and more than half of this trading occurs in the United States.
A Tobin tax would not generate these huge sums year after year, because it would largely kill the computerized high-frequency program trades that now compose 70% of stock market purchases. But that is a worthy end in itself. The sudden, thousand-point drop in the Dow Industrial Average on May 6 showed the world how vulnerable the stock market is to manipulation by these sophisticated market gamblers. The whole high-frequency trading business needs to be stopped, in order to protect legitimate investors using the stock market for the purposes for which it was designed: to raise capital for businesses. As Mark Cubanobserved in a May 9 article titled "What Business Is Wall Street In?":
Creating capital for business has to be less than 1pct of the volume on Wall Street in any given period. . . . My 2 cents is that it is important for this country to push Wall Street back to the business of creating capital for business. Whether it's through a use of taxes on trades, or changing the capital gains tax structure so that there is no capital gains tax on any shares of stock (private or public company) held for 5 years or more, and no tax on dividends paid to shareholders who have held stock in the company for more than 5 years. However we need to do it, we need to get the smart money on Wall Street back to thinking about ways to use their capital to help start and grow companies. That is what will create jobs. That is where we will find the next big thing that will accelerate the world economy. It won't come from traders trying to hack the financial system for a few pennies per trade.
Besides protecting legitimate savers and investors by exempting stock held five years or more, they could be exempted from a Tobin tax on total stock purchases of under $1 million per year. That would make the tax literally a millionaire's tax -- and a small one at that, at only 1% per trade.
It bears repeating: If we hope to halt, reverse and permanently alter America’s descent into the gutter of debauchery and that political tyranny that is forever its companion — “education is the key.”
And if so, it must be, it can only be that that education is initiated, financed, and controlled by parents, not by Karl Marx and the Almighty State; no, nor by anyone far removed from our home, our values, our input, and our right to say, “You’re fired!”
Of course, Marx, and every godless statist there ever was and is, knew the road to their Godless tyranny was lined with schools, colleges, and universities created, funded, and controlled by the state … and the more centralized that control the better.
He also recognized the absolute necessity of an ongoing propaganda and legal campaign against parent controlled models like home schools, church schools, private schools, and small locally funded-locally controlled public schools; and this too: against any and all curricula that defends or promotes God, eternal truth, moral responsibility, the traditional family, limited government, the United States Constitution, the Free Enterprise System, and of course, private property. In short, an ongoing war against the very foundation, tools, weapons, and inspiration of free men.
The fact is, the Internet is the last bastion of free and unfiltered news and information. And, yes, I understand that there is much misinformation on the Internet. But that is the price of freedom. The individual must be given the liberty to discern right from wrong for himself. As a Christian, I believe this is why God provided the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Spirit. And I for one do not need the federal government to try and replace either. And as far as objectionable material being available to children is concerned, this is what parents are for! Good grief! It is bad enough that the federal government has turned into Big Brother; are we going to allow it to become Big Momma and Big Daddy as well?
Ladies and gentlemen, it is essential that the free flow of information be allowed to continue over the Internet. The major news media is a finely filtered, tightly controlled medium that works harder at blocking news and information than it does at delivering it. Virtually every major television and radio network, along with the nation's major newspapers, is an equal opportunity news-suppressor.
Just ask yourself, what would you have known regarding the MIAC report in Missouri had it not been for the Internet? What would you have known about the fiasco in Hardin, Montana, had it not been for the Internet? What would you know about the NAFTA superhighway without the Internet? If not for the Internet, would you ever have learned about the CFR's plans for a North American Community? Where would the Tea Parties be today without the Internet? Where would Ron Paul's campaign in 2008 have been without the Internet? Virtually everything you've learned regarding the State sovereignty momentum that continues to build across this country you've learned from the Internet. Except for a few courageous independent radio talk show hosts, and newspaper and magazine publishers, the vast majority of extremely relevant and critical information relative to freedom is gleaned from the Internet--not to mention the speed with which news and information is able to travel, thanks to the Internet.
It is no hyperbole to suggest that the Internet is the modern patriots' version of the colonists' Committees of Correspondence that sounded the clarion call for liberty and independence at the time of America's founding. And now, power-mad elitists in Washington, D.C., are attempting to provide the federal government with the power and authority to shut it down at will.
Entitled "Deflation: Making Sure It Doesn’t Happen Here", it is a warfare manual for defeating economic slumps by use of extreme monetary stimulus once interest rates have dropped to zero, and implicitly once governments have spent themselves to near bankruptcy.
The speech is best known for its irreverent one-liner: "The US government has a technology, called a printing press, that allows it to produce as many US dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost."
Bernanke began putting the script into action after the credit system seized up in 2008, purchasing $1.75 trillion of Treasuries, mortgage securities, and agency bonds to shore up the US credit system. He stopped far short of the $5 trillion balance sheet quietly pencilled in by the Fed Board as the upper limit for quantitative easing (QE).
Investors basking in Wall Street's V-shaped rally had assumed that this bizarre episode was over. So did the Fed, which has been shutting liquidity spigots one by one. But the latest batch of data is disturbing.
The move to shut down and regulate the Internet under a new government-controlled system has accelerated into high gear with the announcement that the government’s cybersecurity strategy revolves around issuing Internet users with ID “tokens” without which they will not be able to visit websites, the latest salvo against web freedom which, in combination with Senator Joe Lieberman’s ‘kill switch’ bill, will serve to eviscerate the free Internet as we know it.
Under the guise of “cybersecurity,” the government is moving to discredit and shut down the existing Internet infrastructure in the pursuit of a new, centralized, regulated world wide web.
It is important to stress that “cybersecurity” has nothing to do with protecting the infrastructure of the United States and everything to do with taking over the Internet. Cybersecurity is about attacking non-compliant Internet users, not defending against hackers. Non-compliance equates as using the Internet as a political tool to dissent against the policies of the U.S. government. Having already tried and failed in flooding the web with paid disinformation agents, the government is now turning to its only recourse, exploiting hyped or outright staged cyberattacks as an excuse through which to implement an Internet 2 system controlled and regulated solely by the authorities.
We are constantly told that the Internet needs to be subject to government control because cyberterrorists could hack in and bring down the national power grid. However, the vast majority of the U.S. power infrastructure is not connected to the Internet. It will only be connected to the Internet if the government accelerates the implementation of “smart grid” technology, so in this sense, the government itself is leaving the power grid more vulnerable to hackers by its own programs.
Threats against computer networks in the United States are grossly exaggerated. Dire reports issued by the Defense Science Board and the Center for Strategic and International Studies “are usually richer in vivid metaphor — with fears of ‘digital Pearl Harbors’ and ‘cyber-Katrinas’ — than in factual foundation,” writes Evgeny Morozov, a Belarus-born researcher and blogger who writes on the political effects of the internet.
An eyebrow-raising photograph of one of the anarchists who set fire to a Toronto police car during anti-G20 protests this past weekend shows him wearing Nike clothing, a potential indication that provocateurs dressed up as black-bloc "anarchists" were again employed by authorities to cause mayhem in order to justify a brutal police crackdown and crush free speech, as peaceful protesters were attacked and arrested while the anarchists who torched the cars were left alone.
The picture shows the two culprits who set fire to the police car congratulating each other and looking remarkably relaxed about potentially being caught by police considering what they had just done. One of the men is wearing Nike pants - the distinctive logo of the company can be seen above his left pocket.
Why would a hardcore anarchists so dedicated to his cause that he is willing to torch a police car be wearing clothing made by a company that anarchists universally abhor, and one that has routinely been targeted by anarchists for well over a decade?
The authorities certainly wasted no time in responding to the mayhem the anarchists helpfully generated for them with brute force. After anarchists torched four police cars, reporters and other peaceful protesters were targeted with rubber bullets, with another Guardian journalist being repeatedly punched and elbowed by cops.
“A newspaper photographer was shot with a plastic bullet in the backside, while another had an officer point a gun in his face despite identifying himself as a member of the media,” reported the Canadian Press news agency.
Petraeus is not simply another McChrystal. While McChrystal implemented COIN doctrine, mixing in his obsession with "kinetic operations" by US Special Forces, Petraeus literally wrote the book - namely, The US Army/Marine Corps Counter-insurgency Field Manual.
If the COIN cult has a guru (whom all obey unquestioningly), it's Petraeus. The aura that surrounds him, especially among the chattering classes of the Washington punditocracy, is palpable, and he has a vast well of support among Republicans and assorted right-wingers on Capitol Hill, including the Holy Trinity: John McCain, Lindsay Graham and Joe Lieberman.
Not surprisingly, there have been frequent mentions of Petraeus as a candidate for the GOP nomination for president in 2012, although Obama's deft selection of Petraeus seems, once and for all, to have ruled out that option, since the general will be very busy on the other side of the globe for quite a while.
Even before the announcement that Petraeus had the job, the right's mighty Wurlitzer had begun to blast out its critique of the supposedly pernicious effects of the July deadline. The Heritage Foundation, in an official statement, proclaimed: "The artificial Afghanistan withdrawal deadline has obviously caused some of our military leaders to question our strategy in Afghanistan ... We don't need an artificial timeline for withdrawal. We need a strategy for victory."
“Robert Byrd dies at 92,” by Martin Kady II: “The Senate has lost one of its legends with the death of Robert C. Byrd, an orphan child who married a coal miner’s daughter and rose from the hollows of West Virginia coal country to become the longest serving senator in U.S. history. He died around 3 a.m. Monday after being admitted to the hospital last week for dehydration, yet his condition worsened over the weekend and he became critically ill. Byrd was 92. ‘I am saddened that the family of U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., tearfully announces the passing of the longest serving member of Congress in U.S. history,’ Byrd’s office said in a statement sent to the media around 5:15 a.m. Monday. Byrd was a living representation of the U.S. Senate and all of its traditions, quirks and rules, a guardian of a realm that so few understood. Byrd spent 50 years in the Senate, outlasting nine U.S. presidents as his Democratic Party slipped in and out of the majority over the past five decades.
“It’s not a stretch to say Byrd wrote the book on the U.S. Senate — he authored a four-volume history of the upper chamber — which is why so many of his younger, more energetic colleagues continued to defer to him when it came to Senate rules and procedures. Byrd had been hospitalized on and off over the past two years, including an extended hospitalization back in March. He was rarely seen in the Senate in recent months, yet he made it to several key floor votes over the past year. Byrd’s death, nearly a year after the passing of Sen. Ted Kennedy, represents the end of an era for the Senate. If Kennedy was the lion of the Senate and an icon in American politics, Byrd was more of the ultimate Senate insider, leveraging his knowledge of the chamber and his seniority to push legislation that benefited his home state.
“Byrd held virtually every major leadership post in the Senate, but he is perhaps best known for running the Appropriations Committee, which helped him build a reputation for funneling federal money to projects in his economically depressed home state of West Virginia. Anyone who has driven the scenic byways of West Virginia, visited the state’s national parks or stopped by the federal courthouse in Charleston, W.Va., has borne witness to his power — Byrd’s name is everywhere. Last January, Senate Democratic leaders gently nudged Byrd out of the Appropriations chairmanship, realizing he did not have the stamina to run the high energy, powerful committee. Byrd’s 50 years in the Senate broke the record previously held by another legend, Strom Thurmond of South Carolina.
“Byrd had grown frail in recent years, but when he was able to muster the energy and keep his shaking hand at bay, he could still deliver the type of stemwinder speech that made him a hero of the impoverished coal country folk who first delivered him to office in 1952 as a House member from Southern West Virginia. While younger senators — meaning those in their 60s — relied on staff-written speeches and colorful pie charts on the Senate floor, Byrd could quote Thoreau, Madison and Corinthians virtually by memory. … Byrd always carried a pocket version of the U.S. Constitution in his suit pocket and liberally quoted the Bible — a trait that seemed downright quaint in the cynical political culture that drives modern Washington.” http://bit.ly/9ae3BJ
Everyone is shocked – shocked! – that the indiscretions of Gen. Stanley McChrystal failed to provoke a general reevaluation of our course in Afghanistan, rather than merely a review of who’s in charge of it. I find this shocking.
After all, as I recall, Obama ran on ramping up the war on the Afghan front, and even threatened to invade Pakistan, two campaign promises he has kept. Furthermore, he is committed to prosecuting the war in Afghanistan and now Pakistan on a scale that even the nuttiest neocons never dared suggest, a “nation-building” project that is nothing less than the construction of a US colony, or satrapy, from scratch. McChrystal went into Afghanistan declaring he was ready to roll out a “government in a box,” i.e., a puppet regime such as the Japanese set up in Manchuko in 1931. This is the CNAS-Obama-ite “national security” doctrine in action: pretending to be the Viet Cong while reenacting every mistake the US ever made in Vietnam, starting with getting involved to begin with.
This idea that the Obama-ites are really peaceniks in disguise, who have to hide their “true” beliefs in order to pass electoral muster, is a myth woven by Fox News and the neocon Right: he and his Pentagon are no such thing. Indeed, they are even more serious – albeit not as visibly enthusiastic – about projecting American military power globally than their predecessors in the White House. If the Bushians left behind the doctrine of preemption as their geopolitical and military legacy, then the contribution of the current crew appears to be the “new” COIN (or counterinsurgency) doctrine developed by the Obama White House in tandem with the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) – the semi-official Obama-ite national security think-tank, whose cadre oversee the Pentagon policy shop.
The indiscretions of Big Mouth McChrystal are only the latest and the least of the “COIN-dinistas” problems. Their neo-Maoist “live and fight among the people” doctrine is failing big time in the field, and they are falling back on the “revolution betrayed” explanation for the inability of their new-fangled counterinsurgency strategy to turn the tide against the Taliban. Like their neoconservative predecessors in the Bush administration, this crew is retreating behind the alleged lack of support coming from Congress and the civilians in charge of the war effort. Just in time for the debate in Congress over re-funding the war.
Solicitor General Elena Kagan is too political, too leftist, too inexperienced and too disrespectful towards existing law to be confirmed for the U.S. Supreme Court. As Ms. Kagan's nomination hearings begin on Monday, what we now know about her should disturb fair-minded Americans, and should embolden moderate senators of both parties to avoid rubber-stamping her for a lifetime appointment. The pressure should be most intense not on Republicans, but on Democrats who claim moderation and yet try to explain away Ms. Kagan's history of leftist proselytizing.
No amount of personal charm on Ms. Kagan's part should obscure her actual record. Here's what we know about this former dean of Harvard Law School:
We know she is remarkably lacking in courtroom experience.
We know she deliberately ignored the law while at Harvard, and unfairly besmirched our military in time of war.
We know she cut corners in order to preserve partial-birth abortions.
We know she is willing to undercut First Amendment free speech for political purposes.
We know Ms. Kagan is hostile to gun rights.
We know she believes foreign law is highly relevant to U.S. law.
We know she believes judges should automatically favor certain classes of people and impose their own values to reach desired outcomes.
Buried in an article on Gulf of Mexico scenarios and predictions, Joel Achenbach of the Washington Post quotes Matthew Simmons, founder and chairman emeritus of Simmons & Company International.
In response to a tropical storm brewing in the Caribbean, Simmons says: “We’re going to have to evacuate the gulf states. Can you imagine evacuating 20 million people?… This story is 80 times worse than I thought.”
The National Hurricane Center said today that a stormy region in the Caribbean will get organized and strengthen into a tropical storm. It has a 40 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone — in other words, a hurricane — in the next two days, an estimate that was at zero a few days ago. “Upper-level winds are expected to become more conducive for development of this system as it moves westward or west-northwestward around 10 mph over the next couple of days,” the NHC told the Baltimore Sun. “There is a medium chance (40 percent) of this system becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours.”
AccuWeather.com forecaster Joe Bastardi said steering winds could bring the storm into the Gulf of Mexico by early next week. Gulf waters are very warm, so that would not be good news, according to Bastardi. An AccuWeather.com illustration (above) depicts the storm pushing oil onshore
GREAT NEWS: the Senate committee that is currently working on a compromise Wall Street reform bill to reconcile with the House version has agreed to expand an audit of the privately owned and controlled Federal Reserve.
While still not a total probe of the Federal Reserve System, the measure is being sold as a first step toward complete transparency of the U.S. central bank. Both the Senate and the House have already passed legislation that is intended to rein in the casino-like behavior on Wall Street. However, these two bills are noticeably different and have to be worked out in committee.
The House’s version would mandate multiple audits of the Fed’s discount windows and open market dealings, which would shed light on the Federal Reserve’s lending activity with U.S. and foreign banks. On the other hand, the Senate’s bill calls for only one audit.
Legislators are now hard at work on a compromise bill that addresses the disparities.
According to published reports, senators in committee have agreed to allow repeated audits of the Fed’s key functions. This will finally give the American public a window into how the central bank works to benefit the “banksters” themselves.
When The Washington Post's Dana Priest first revealed (in passing) back in January that the Obama administration had compiled a hit list of American citizens targeted for assassination, she wrote that "as of several months ago, the CIA list included three U.S. citizens." In April, both the Post and the NYT confirmed that the administration had specifically authorized the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki. Today, The Washington Times' Eli Lake has an interview with Obama's top Terrorism adviser John Brennan in which Brennan strongly suggests that the number of U.S. citizens targeted for assassination could actually be "dozens":
Dozens of Americans have joined terrorist groups and are posing a threat to the United States and its interests abroad, the president's most senior adviser on counterterrorism and homeland security said Thursday. . . . "There are, in my mind, dozens of U.S. persons who are in different parts of the world, and they are very concerning to us," said John O. Brennan, deputy White House national security adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism. . . .
"If a person is a U.S. citizen, and he is on the battlefield in Afghanistan or Iraq trying to attack our troops, he will face the full brunt of the U.S. military response," Mr. Brennan said. "If an American person or citizen is in a Yemen or in a Pakistan or in Somalia or another place, and they are trying to carry out attacks against U.S. interests, they also will face the full brunt of a U.S. response. And it can take many forms."
Anyone who doubts that the Obama administration has adopted the core Terrorism policies of Bush/Cheney should listen to the concession -- or boast -- which Brennan himself made in his interview with Lake:
The bill also includes a provision, authored by Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D., Ark), which would limit the ability of federally insured banks to trade derivatives. This provision almost derailed the bill following vehement objections from New York Democrats. Ms. Lincoln worked out a deal in the early hours of Friday morning that would allow banks to trade interest-rate swaps, certain credit derivatives and others—in other words the kind of standard safeguards a bank would take to hedge its own risk.
Banks, however, would have to set up separately capitalized affiliates to trade derivatives in areas lawmakers perceived as riskier, including metals, energy swaps, and agriculture commodities, among other things.
Government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac remain a multibillion dollar drain on the U.S. Treasury, and largely untouched by this proposal. And the banking sector in parts of Europe remains fragile.
The legislation would redraw how money flows through the U.S. economy, from the way people borrow money to the way banks structure complicated products like derivatives. It could touch every person who has a bank account or uses a credit card.
It would erect a new consumer-protection regulator within the Federal Reserve, give the government new powers to break up failing companies and assign a council of regulators to monitor risks to the financial system. It would also set up strict new rules on big banks, limiting their risk and increasing the costs.
In confiding to Rolling Stone their unflattering opinions of the military acumen of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones, Dick Holbrooke and Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, Gen. Stanley McChrystal and his staff were guilty of colossal stupidity. And President Obama had cause to cashier them. Yet his decision to fire McChrystal may prove both unwise and costly.
For McChrystal, unlike Gen. MacArthur, never challenged the war policy—he is carrying it out—and Barack Obama is no Harry Truman.
Moreover, the war strategy Obama is pursuing is the McChrystal Plan, devised by the general and being implemented by the general in Marja and Kandahar, perhaps the decisive campaign of the war.
Should that plan now fail, full responsibility falls on Obama.
He has made the Afghan war his war in a way it never was before.
If the McChrystal strategy fails, critics will charge Obama with causing the defeat by firing the best fighting general in the Army out of pique over some officers-club remarks that bruised the egos of West Wing warriors.
Our petulant president’s ego can’t handle a general letting off steam. Neither can any of the spoiled children who comprise “our” government in DC, the capital of the “superpower.”
Generals have to fight wars that civilians start, either from the incompetence of their diplomacy or the arrogance of their hubris. Generals have to get young troops killed because of the stupidity or ambition or corruption of civilian government officials.
All McChrystal did was to let off steam. A real president would have realized that and let it go.
Don’t get me wrong. McChrystal is a militarist, and I am pleased to see him gone.
However, McChrystal didn’t restart America’s aggression against Afghanistan. Obama did.
People elected Obama, because they were tired of Bush’s wars based on lies. So Obama gave us a new war in Pakistan and reignited the Afghan war. No one knows what these wars are about or why the bankrupt US government is wasting vast sums of money, which it has to borrow from foreigners, in order to murder the citizenry in two countries that have never done anything to us.
On the right, the Republican party was recovering from its marginalization during the New Deal era, mobilizing its forces – and the nascent conservative movement – around the banner of militant anti-communism. Having been on the losing side of the foreign policy debate since Pearl Harbor, when the party’s “isolationist” wing was soundly defeated, the GOP wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to get their own back, and get it back they did. Except for an anti-interventionist old guard, led by the remnants of the Taft wing, the Republicans went on the warpath, literally, and launched a campaign designed to smear the Democrats as “soft on communism.” In very short order, the arguments they had made against the emergence of the US as a global power in the pre-war era were swept under the rug, to be replaced by a militant interventionism. McCarthyism – the movement personified by Senator Josepth “Tail Gunner Joe” McCarthy, the alcoholic loose cannon of the Republican right – was the bridge that allowed the GOP to cross that Rubicon, and there has been no going back ever since.
The Republicans went on the offensive, after the war, and, eager to recoup their losses – after having been almost completely marginalized during the war years – launched a campaign that accused the Democrats of “twenty years of treason.” As Russian armies moved into Eastern Europe and set up “people’s democracies,” and China fell into the Soviet orbit, this charge had a certain ring of truth to it. Indeed, the Roosevelt administration had collaborated with the American Communist party, especially in New York, where the Communist-dominated American Labor Party wielded a pivotal influence. The Communists had jumped on the New Deal bandwagon, and, in many instances, ridden it all the way to Washington, D.C., where their agents penetrated government agencies and set up an extensive espionage network, as documents culled from old Soviet archives have recently revealed. Alger Hiss was far from alone.
The siren song of “collective security,” and all the shibboleths of interventionism, had failed to work their charms on these stalwarts all though the war years, when the pressure to conform was really intense, and they weren’t about to abandon their hard-won principles now. The results of the war had validated them, and such writers as Garet Garrett, an editor of the Saturday Evening Post and a popular financial writer, warned us what was coming when he pointed to Truman’s “usurpation” of what had formerly been the sole prerogative of Congress: the power to declare war.
When Truman followed up his victory over the rule of law and the intent of the Founders with an order sending US troops to Europe, a few Republicans objected, and Truman commanded his lawyers and shills to come up with a rationalization for ditching the Constitution. They promptly complied with "Powers of the President to Send Troops Outside of the United States,” which was submitted to the Senate Foreign Relations committee. “This document,” averred Garrett,
Beck is certainly more unsettled in his opinions than Hannity, Limbaugh & Co, which means that he’s more willing to put on his show people with an “alternative” right-wing perspective, whether it be strict Constitutionalists or Austrian-inflected economists.
Beck’s “curiosity” aside, whenever he has been faced with a serious moment of decision, he has invariably come down on the side of the conservative-GOP establishment, and the Washington Power Elite more generally. Beck supported the Wall Street bailouts as not only “necessary” but “not nearly enough”; he was a terror warrior indistinguishable from Hannity throughout the Bush years; and after being invited to the Whitehouse, he discussed how Dubya felt the pain of dead soldiers. Beck found “libertarian” and “antiwar conservative” religion conveniently after the inauguration of a Democratic president.
It’s hard not to have a soft spot for a guy who’s hated so passionately by the Huffington Post and David Frum alike, and perhaps some good might come from this man’s show. A uniformed FOX conservative might, for instance, watch Beck and become more skeptical of Woodrow Wilson and the Federal Reserve System…
In terms of American populism, Beck is, again, deeply harmful. The Tea Party movement began as a spontaneous outburst from average Americans against taxation and government expansion. Once Beck got his hands on it, he labeled it “The 9/12 Project,” evoking the “war on terror” good old days when average Americans were more happily conjoined with the federal government.
I think Glenn Beck is entirely sincere in his efforts to teach Americans (and himself) about their country, and he isn’t some kind of stooge or agent of the Power Elite, as the above paragraph might imply. Nevertheless, if Glenn Beck didn’t exist, the Establishment might have had to invent him. A controlled, circumscribed, and confused opposition is much better than no opposition at all. For if there were none, something sincere and dangerous might fill the void... Glenn Beck seems to have been put on this earth to ensure that the restless Middle American natives become excited about the most ridiculous and useless political issues possible.
In February, Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, indicated his boss would rule by executive dictate and bypass Congress.
“We are reviewing a list of presidential executive orders and directives to get the job done across a front of issues,” said Emanuel. “The challenges we had to address in 2009 ensured that the center of action would be in Congress. In 2010, executive actions will also play a key role in advancing the agenda,” added Dan Pfeiffer, White House communications director.
The founders devised a carefully balanced separation of powers explicitly to prevent any of the three branches of government from acting unilaterally. Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution grants to the president “executive power,” but this is kept in check by Section 3 of Article II that instructs the president to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” Laws originate and are passed by the House and Senate.
In other words, the U.S. Constitution declares that the legislative branch writes the laws of the land and the law of the land supersedes any executive action. No executive order or regulatory policy can override a statutory mandate.
Obama is now a dictator and Democrats fully support his assumed dictatorial power. Nancy Pelosi and other leading Democrats have stated they believe Obama is acting within the Constitution.
Obama, of course, is not merely acting on his own. He is following orders issued by his globalist handlers.
The war system’s response to Gen. McChrystal’s Rolling Stone interview is instructive. It is a reminder that every Memorial Day should begin by honoring the first victim of every war: truth. But as all wars are grounded in lies – the bloodier the war the more enormous the falsity of its foundation – truth becomes not only a casualty, but the enemy itself.
Whether McChrystal’s assessment was correct is not the point: it is the threat to the war racket of having insiders purporting to address the reality of war that so disturbs the state. Men of the general’s stature are expected to have greater access to evidence supporting their opinions, thus enhancing their credibility. The public acceptance of war is the default position that perpetuates its insanity. "Truth" is the input that "does not compute" within the logic of the war system, and the state undertakes every precaution – such as censorship, labeling documents and other discomforting facts as "top secret" – to silence any doubts that might be raised as to the validity of the propagandized campaign on behalf of death and destruction.
The annual ritual of gathering at the "Tomb of the Unknown Soldier" – is there even a body within it? – is a convenient way of reinvesting popular commitments to hazy purposes. The uncertainties and contradictions that attend the "fog of war" are more easily overlooked – or ignored – when the fallen soldiers, themselves, can be enshrouded in the cloak of being "unknown." If the soldiers who die are unfamiliar to us – fungible nonbeings who, like ourselves, have been conditioned to serve the state – how can the rest of us be expected to cut our ways through the cloudiness? As long as we are prepared to insist upon the protection of our ignorance; to wave our flags when the cheerleaders so direct us; and to regard war as but the expression of some imagined sense of "human nature," this evil, institutionally-profitable racket will continue unabated. The entire mess can then be synthesized into such an incoherent hodgepodge of confusing complexity that no one can be expected to make any sense of it. As in trying to unravel the causation of recessions, depressions, and other dislocations – an effort that requires a basic understanding of economic principles that most of us have learned to dismiss as the "dismal science," whose intricacies and subtleties are best left to institutional wizards and czars – Boobus can take comfort in his ignorance of the critical events in his life.
Gen. McChrystal has discovered what so many others before him learned – from Socrates to Thomas More to Gen. Smedley Butler to Sophie Scholl to Daniel Ellsberg to Seymour Hersh to untold governmental "whistleblowers" – even, more recently to Helen Thomas – that it is dangerous to speak truth not to power, but to ordinary people. The owners of the political establishment know the truth; they are fully aware of the lies they have fabricated; the deceptions they – along with their obliging media and academic supporters – have carefully manipulated into a perception of "truth." The owners don’t want you to know what they know. Those who would dare to so inform you get labeled as "paranoid conspiracy theorists," "disgruntled former employees," "racists," or "anti-Semitic." When I am asked if I believe in "conspiracy theories" of history, I respond – in the words of the late Chris Tame – "I am not interested in conspiracy theories, but in the facts of conspiracies."
Petraeus's political skills and ability to sell a strategy involving a negotiated settlement offers Obama more flexibility than he has had with McChrystal in command.
Contrary to the generally accepted view that Petraeus mounted a successful counterinsurgency campaign in Iraq, his main accomplishment was to make the first formal accommodation with Sunni insurgents.
Petraeus demonstrated in his command in Iraq a willingness to adjust strategic objectives in light of realities he could not control. He had it made it clear to his staff at the outset that they would make one last effort to show progress, but that he would tell Congress that it was time to withdraw if he found that it was not working.
As commander in Iraq, Petraeus chose staff officers who were sceptics and realists rather than true believers, according to accounts from members of his staff in Iraq. When one aide proposed in a memorandum in the first weeks of his command coming to terms with the Shia insurgents led by Moqtada al Sadr, for example, Petraeus did not dismiss the idea.
That willingness to listen to viewpoints that may not support the existing strategy stands in sharp contrast to McChrystal's command style in Afghanistan. McChrystal has relied heavily on a small circle of friends, mainly from his years as Special Operations Forces (SOF) commander, who have been deeply suspicious of the views of anyone from outside that SOF circle, according to sources who are familiar with the way his inner circle has operated.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday that Democratic congressional leaders have opted not to propose a budget this year. "It isn't possible to debate and pass a realistic, long-term budget until we've considered the bipartisan commission's deficit-reduction plan, which is expected in December," he said. This means Congress won't pass an annual budget plan for the first time since enactment of the Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974. But make no mistake, congressional Democrats already have a budget plan, it's called "spend and tax, then spend more and tax more." It's the budget plan that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid brought to town with them after their party regained Senate and House majorities in the 2006 election. President Obama enthusiastically signed on with Pelosi and Reid when he took office last year.
The Democratic spend and tax budget plan is why federal outlays have skyrocketed $1.8 trillion since Obama entered the Oval Office and taxes have increased $658 billion. It's also why the annual federal deficit has exploded to $1.5 trillion and the national debt now exceeds $13 trillion. These figures underline Texas Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling's contention that "Democrats refuse to bring a budget to the floor because they want no limit on what they can spend, not even a speed bump on the way to national bankruptcy."
It's also why nobody is fooled when Democratic leaders promise, as Hoyer did yesterday, that Congress will now pass a "budget enforcement resolution" to affirm those frequently cited PAYGO rules and "enforce fiscal discipline in the near term." (The PAYGO rules mean, as Obama has said, that Congress "can't spend a dollar here without cutting a dollar somewhere else.") Yet the PAYGO rules have been violated at least 14 times during the 111th Congress, even as $230 billion in new "emergency spending" was approved. As ABC's Jonathan Karl recently reported, that emergency spending included such gems as $20 billion for new highway construction, $54 million in tax breaks for TV and movie producers, and $15 million in aid to the Congo.
These budget decisions have dire consequences for all Americans, including undermining "economic growth and job creation, fueling our dependence on foreign creditors and accelerating our fiscal day of reckoning here at home," says House Budget Committee ranking minority member Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. There is a way out of this fiscal nightmare, however, which Ryan and Hensarling are describing this week in a three-part series appearing in The Examiner entitled "Slaying the deficit monster." The first installment appeared on page 24 of Tuesday's edition, the second appears on page 26 of today's paper. The final installment will be in Thursday's Examiner. The entire series can also be read at washingtonexaminer.com.
During the September drilling operations, the Deepwater Horizon drill penetrated a massive undersea oil deposit but BP's priorities changed when the Macondo site in the Mississippi Canyon off the coast of Louisiana was found to contain some 3-4 billion barrels of oil in an underground cavern estimated to be about the size of Mount Everest. It was as a result of another 35,000 feet well bore sank by the Deepwater Horizon at the Macondo site that the catastrophic explosion occurred on April 20.
According to the Wayne Madsen Report (WMR) sources within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Pentagon and Interior and Energy Departments told the Obama Administration that the newly-discovered estimated 3-4 billion barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico would cover America's oil needs for up to eight months if there was a military attack on Iran that resulted in the bottling up of the Strait of Hormuz to oil tanker traffic, resulting in a cut-off of oil to the United States from the Persian Gulf.
Obama, Salazar, Chu, and Gates green-lighted the risky Macondo drilling operation from the outset, according to WMR's government sources.
WMR learned that BP was able to have several safety checks waved because of the high-level interest by the White House and Pentagon in tapping the Gulf of Mexico bonanza find in order to plan a military attack on Iran without having to be concerned about an oil and natural gas shortage from the Persian Gulf after an outbreak of hostilities with Iran.
BP still has an ongoing operation to drill down to 40,000 feet below sea level at the Liberty field off the north coast of Alaska.
We stand at a crossroads, where the people can rise up in mass against the financial oligarchs who are puppeteering this downfall and get rid of the political puppets of both the left and the right who fall into lockstep with the vultures of Wall Street no matter who sits in the White House...or, not understanding what is happening or who is really behind it, the people can be led into senseless acts of violence against black-suited policemen in battles that will not address the root of the problem but will lead to pain and suffering.
The first step is to nurture the understanding that the "austerity" offered by the banksters is not the solution to our problems, but the beginning of them. Then we will know what it means when the IMF tells us "this will only hurt a bit."
Many people read articles against Zionism and inaccurately consider it against Jewish people. Zionists are an elite group, aligned with one world government agendas, who even treat other Jewish people who are not elite as inferior.
If your only understanding of Zionism (which is not Judaism) comes from the mainstream media this sounds off, but that’s because they are a propaganda machine. I invite you, as always, to do your own research and come to your own conclusions
American / Isreali Dual Citizens Running the American Government
Attorney General – Michael Mukasey Head of Homeland Security – Michael Chertoff Chairman Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board – Richard Perle Deputy Defense Secretary (Former) – Paul Wolfowitz Under Secretary of Defense – Douglas Feith National Security Council Advisor – Elliott Abrams Vice President Dick Cheney’s Chief of Staff (Former) – “Scooter” Libby White House Deputy Chief of Staff – Joshua Bolten Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs – Marc Grossman Director of Policy Planning at the State Department – Richard Haass U.S. Trade Representative (Cabinet-level Position) – Robert Zoellick Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board – James Schlesinger UN Representative (Former) – John Bolton Under Secretary for Arms Control – David Wurmser Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board – Eliot Cohen Senior Advisor to the President – Steve Goldsmith Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Christopher Gersten Assistant Secretary of State – Lincoln Bloomfield Deputy Assistant to the President – Jay Lefkowitz White House Political Director – Ken Melman National Security Study Group – Edward Luttwak Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board – Kenneth Adelman Defense Intelligence Agency Analyst (Former) – Lawrence (Larry) Franklin National Security Council Advisor – Robert Satloff President Export-Import Bank U.S. – Mel Sembler Deputy Assistant Secretary, Administration for Children and Families – Christopher Gersten Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for Public Affairs – Mark Weinberger White House Speechwriter – David Frum White House Spokesman (Former) – Ari Fleischer Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board – Henry Kissinger Deputy Secretary of Commerce – Samuel Bodman Under Secretary of State for Management – Bonnie Cohen Director of Foreign Service Institute – Ruth Davis
Do you ever wonder why we are still in Iraq after defeating Saddam Hussein’s forces in March, 2003? Are we peacekeeping until the Iraqis can establish “stability” and “democracy?” Will that ever come? Why are we in Afghanistan? Proving we can outlast the English and the Russians in an endless battle with Afghani tribesmen?
Why are we still guarding the 38th parallel in Korea, almost 57 years after a truce was declared? More than 28,000 U.S. troops currently are stationed in South Korea. Why? Supposedly, we are there to protect our ally South Korea against attack from North Korea. But South Korea is an economic and technological dynamo compared to its communist neighbor to the north, a centrally planned dictatorship that is such a pathetic economic basket case it can’t even feed itself. In fact, the North Korean regime has had to rely on foreign assistance for the past several years to prevent mass starvation of its population. Consider the following statistical comparisons of the North and South Koreas from the CIA’s World Fact Book.
With its population base, economic base, industrial base, energy, technology, infrastructure, transportation, education, agriculture — virtually every relevant measure — South Korea dwarfs North Korea, and has done so for many years. So, perhaps we should be asking, particularly in light of the recent rattling of sabers, firing of missiles, and flaring of tensions between Seoul and Pyongyang: Why are the lives of tens of thousands of Americans still being put at risk on the Korean Peninsula? Isn’t it time for South Korea and the “economic tigers” of Asia to defend themselves?
And with our nation trillions of dollars in debt and running annual deficits of over a trillion dollars, we have to ask ourselves, from a purely economic standpoint, why do we still have more than 35,000 troops stationed in Japan and 78,000 troops stationed in Europe?
June 21, 2010, Washington and New York – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 to criminalize speech in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, the first case to challenge the Patriot Act before the highest court in the land, and the first post-9/11 case to pit free speech guarantees against national security claims. Attorneys say that under the Court’s ruling, many groups and individuals providing peaceful advocacy could be prosecuted, including President Carter for training all parties in fair election practices in Lebanon. President Carter submitted an amicus brief in the case.
Chief Justice Roberts wrote for the majority, affirming in part, reversing in part, and remanding the case back to the lower court for review; Justice Breyer dissented, joined by Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor. The Court held that the statute's prohibitions on "expert advice," "training," "service," and "personnel" were not vague, and did not violate speech or associational rights as applied to plaintiffs' intended activities. Plaintiffs sought to provide assistance and education on human rights advocacy and peacemaking to the Kurdistan Workers' Party in Turkey, a designated terrorist organization. Multiple lower court rulings had found the statute unconstitutionally vague.
Said CCR Cooperating Attorney David Cole, “We are deeply disappointed. The Supreme Court has ruled that human rights advocates, providing training and assistance in the nonviolent resolution of disputes, can be prosecuted as terrorists. In the name of fighting terrorism, the Court has said that the First Amendment permits Congress to make human rights advocacy and peacemaking a crime. That is wrong.”
Originally brought in 1998, the case challenges the constitutionality of laws that make it a crime to provide “material support” to groups the administration has designated as “terrorist.” CCR’s clients sought to engage in speech advocating only nonviolent, lawful ends, but the government took the position that any such speech, including even filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, would be a crime if done in support of a designated “terrorist group.”
Longtime Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne gives readers a blast of conventional wisdom in his latest piece, on “The Right’s Disturbing New Anti-Statists.” The headline is a little misleading, since Dionne argues that the Tea Party mentality is not new at all, but a familiar blend of anti-elitism (or anti-intellectualism) and libertarianism spiced with some conspiratorial thinking. In the short term, he thinks the “energy” of this “disturbing style” is a threat to Obama, but in the long-term Dionne believes “its extremism may be his salvation.”
Anyone familiar with the evidence Dionne cites should immediately see the problem with his analysis: we have indeed witnessed various manifestations of an anti-government, populist Right over the past 60 years. But what has happened every time? The Goldwaterites turn into Nixonians. A Reagan disappoints the populist hard right. Anti-Washington sentiment puts in power a Republican Congress which then embarks upon a K Street Project. Every time the GOP has lost power in the past half-century, it has reverted to anti-statist rhetoric. And every time the party resumes power, that rhetoric proves empty. Is there any reason to think this latest iteration will be any different?
Democrats, of course, do much the same thing — they talk an antiwar, pro-civil liberties game when they’re out of office. But once a Clinton takes the White House, critics’ FBI files start getting pulled. An Obama campaigns on closing Guantanamo; once he starts governing, he keeps it open. All of this is dismaying, but there is a bright side — the American public, Republicans and Democrats alike, do put some value on anti-government rhetoric, and they recognize that Leviathan is potentially dangerous. The problem is, partisans only recognize the dangers that come from the other side. The Tea Parties would not be anywhere near as tough on a President Romney or President Jeb Bush as they are on President Obama.
At least, that’s true in the main. The variations matter, though — the 1990’s Right, for all its problems, was at least anti-nation-building and concerned about government eavesdropping, even after the GOP took control of Congress. Executive power is what turns civil libertarians into torturers. When either party holds the legislature but not the White House, there can be some real (though usually quite muted) differences of principle among its members — which provides an opportunity for pressure groups and voters to nudge politicians in a more or less statist direction. Some of the Tea Partiers are more than just anti-Obama or anti-Democrat. The question is, will they be well enough organized to have any effect on policy after November? And will they recognize that the presidency itself, regardless of whether a Clinton, Bush, or Obama occupies the Oval Office, has become the gravest threat to Americans’ liberties? I’m not optimistic, but one has to start with whatever resources are at hand.
Death by debt isn’t only a Greek tragedy, it’s downright common. Powerful nations all the way from Rome to Russia have killed their economies by spending more than they had. And, if the American people don’t stage an intervention soon, the United States may do the same.
The federal government will soon be paying more in interest on the national debt than we spend on national defense. The national debt represents 93% of our total gross domestic product (GDP) with foreign governments like China and private entities owning nearly half that debt.
Surely, one of the world’s greatest debtors cannot remain the world’s greatest superpower for long. As the world’s champion of freedom, we cannot afford to be enslaved by those who control our line of credit.
Many have feared our nation slipping toward a European Socialist-style economy, yet today the U.S. wouldn’t even qualify for entry into the European Union which requires a debt-to-GDP ratio of below 60%.
Fed policy is much less relevant to US growth and price stability than in the days of Fed chairman Paul Volcker (1979-1987), because China's yuan policy has substantially limited the importance of Fed interest rate decisions by severing the historic link between short interest rates - like the federal funds rate it targets - and long rates on mortgages, corporate bonds, and the securities banks use to finance lending on cars and credit cards.
Through the boom years of the last decade, Beijing printed yuan to purchase hundreds of billions of dollars in foreign exchange markets. That made the yuan and Chinese products on US store shelves artificially cheap, and imports from China, coupled with higher prices for imported oil, pushed the US trade deficit to more than 5% of gross domestic product from 2004 to 2008.
When Americans spend that much more abroad than foreigners purchase in the United States, American goods pile up in warehouses and a steep recession will result, unless Americans spend much more than they earn or produce.
During the boom, China facilitated such folly by using its dollars to purchase US Treasury securities, and that kept US long interest rates artificially low, even in the face of Federal Reserve efforts to rein in spending.
By injecting over a million gallons of their deadly, neuro-toxic Corexit into our Gulf waters, British Petroleum (BP) executives and US government regulators bushwhacked marine, plant, animal, and human life. (Ref: The official website of the Deepwater Horizon Unified Command)
Instead of vacuuming up the floating Gulf oil with the super tankers at BP's disposal, then using safe oil dispersants, with bacteria to bio-degrade the remaining oil, BP executives, with US government approval, dumped over a million gallons of the neuro-toxic pesticide Corexit at the damaged well head (256,000 gallons) and on the surface waters above (765,000 gallons).
Immediately, this release of so much Corexit resulted in two irreversible catastrophes: It caused all floating oil to submerge and disperse into gigantic plumes, each about ten times more poisonous than crude oil without the Corexit neuro-toxin.
According to Pulitzer-prize winning science writer Professor Deborah Blum, Corexit, itself is about four times more toxic than crude oil, but when Corexit is mixed with crude oil the mixture's toxicity grows exponentially to about ten times the toxicity of crude oil alone.
As these monstrously large and lethal plumes can now never be cleaned up, we are left to contend with the Corexit/crude oil mixture as it comes ashore and its poisons carry across our lands.
Behind Glenn Beck loomed the faces of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, the German philosopher Martin Heidegger, and the American progressive John Dewey. The host gestured to the photos as he revealed the common link to Fox viewers: all favored state intervention in the economy and apparently did not believe in the concept of natural rights as found in the Declaration of Independence. Thus all of them flirted with fascism.
The final and most fundamental reason for the establishment Right’s antifascist pretensions is a deeply rooted leftist mindset in which fascism remains the world’s greatest evil. In the 1980s, neoconservatives came to control the American conservative movement in what was mostly a friendly takeover. Conservative foundations and journals began sliding toward the Left, and in the new pantheon of conservative heroes one found such previously unlikely figures as Harry Truman, Woodrow Wilson, Abraham Lincoln, and eventually Martin Luther King.
In the neoconservative version of anti-Communism, the enemy remained on the Right. The Soviet dictatorship became what Truman described after World War II as “Red Fascism.” This was also the way the German socialist Kurt Schumacher defined the new enemy after 1945, when he denounced the “red lacquered Nazis.” Unlike the old anti-Communist diatribes in National Review, Human Events, and Modern Age, later neoconservative anti-Communism, as Sam Francis once observed, gives evidence of a “leftist gestalt.” The present “conservative” struggle shows the same gestalt, as it battles the recycled menace of interwar fascism.
Antifascist neocons are in fact far to the left of characters like Mussolini. The ghosts haunting American politics are not the specters of Heidegger or Hitler lurking behind Obama and Mrs. Clinton. They are the spirits of old anti-Stalinists like Trotsky that now possess the establishment Right.
The news that the Obama Administration has decided to challenge Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration SB1070 is one of those moments when you see that, inside the Beltway and for our entire bipartisan political class, it’s an upside-down, through-the-looking-glass, funny old world.
Quite regardless of the very debatable legal merits of the Administration’s attack on federalism (which admittedly will not matter once there are enough Commissar Kagans legislating from the bench), why would the Obama Administration want to challenge a law that all polls show is overwhelmingly popular with Americans in general—and Arizonans in particular—right before November’s elections? Couldn’t it at least have waited until after the elections?
It’s possible, of course, that the Democrats are as innumerate and stupid as the GOP leadership and actually believe there’s a vast slumbering Hispanic vote out there. But it’s precisely because our Joe Guzzardi doesn’t think the Democrats are that stupid that he has been predicting since Obama’s election that they will not, in the end, try to push through an amnesty. And so far he’s been right.
Still, I’ve always felt uneasy about Joe’s confidence about amnesty. Maybe this attack on Arizona is a straw in the wind. Maybe Obama really is going to try to amnesty all those illegals a.k.a. undocumented Democrats, perhaps in the lame duck session.
Maybe he really believes Treason Lobby propaganda. After all, the GOP leadership does.
Barack Obama's campaign promise of change did not include a pledge to transform American conservatism. But one of his presidency's major legacies may be a revolution on the American right in which older, more secular forms of politics displace religious activism.
The reaction to Obama has also radicalized parts of the conservative movement, giving life to conspiracy theories long buried and strains of thinking similar to those espoused by the John Birch Society and other right-wing groups in the 1950s and '60s.
Conservatism's critics often see it as an undifferentiated mass animated by hostility to "big government," support for social traditionalism and a deep animosity toward liberalism.
The rise of the Tea Party movement is a throwback to an old form of libertarianism that sees most of the domestic policies that government has undertaken since the New Deal as unconstitutional. It typically perceives the most dangerous threats to freedom as the design of well-educated elitists out of touch with "American values."
There is one question that I would really like an answer to. Who died and made BP king of the Gulf of Mexico? In recent weeks, BP has almost seemed more interested in keeping the American people away from the oil spill than in actually cleaning it up.
Journalists are being pushed around and denied access, disaster workers are being intimidated and abused and now BP has even go so far as to hire an army of private mercenaries to enforce their will along the Gulf coast. Are we suddenly living in occupied Iraq?
How in the world did a foreign oil company get the right to start pointing guns at the American people? The last time I checked, BP did not own the Gulf of Mexico and did not have the right to tell the American people where they can and cannot go. The truth is that BP could have avoided all of this by running an open, honest and transparent operation from the start.
They could have welcomed help from all sources, they could have tried to be open with the media, and they could have tried to be fair with the volunteers and rescue workers. But instead BP has been conducting this whole thing as if we are living in a totalitarian dictatorship and they are the dictators.
Over the last several weeks, members of the mainstream media attempting to cover the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have been yelled at, harassed, kicked off public beaches and threatened with arrest. The Obama administration keeps promising "to improve media access", but so far their promises haven't seemed to make much difference. In fact, a recent AP report detailed several recent highly disturbing incidents of journalist intimidation....
Bill Randall, a North Carolina Republican candidate for Congress, is calling for a "thorough investigation" into whether President Barack Obama's administration colluded with BP to allow the Gulf oil spill.
"There were procedures that were violated by BP that the federal government signed off on, safeguards that decades of engineering wherewithal and knowledge told them that this way the way to do it," Randall told reporters earlier this week. "They intentionally bypassed that and the safety was compromised."
Randall continued: "I’m not necessarily a conspiracy person, but I don’t think enough investigation has been done on this. Someone needs to be digging into that situation. Personally, and this is purely speculative on my part and not based on any fact, but personally I feel there is a possibility that there was some sort of collusion."
Though Randall has insisted he doesn't know why the Obama administration would want to do this, his claim came in response to a question about whether he supported President Obama's six-month moratorium on deep-water drilling. That would suggest Randall may be reflecting the views of some conservatives who suspect the oil spill may have been caused on purpose by environmentalists or other people who want to turn public opinion against oil drilling and pass climate-change and green energy legislation.
At a follow-up press conference Thursday, Randall defended his call for an investigation into possible collusion between BP and the federal government but denied that his earlier comments suggested the spill was made to happen or allowed to happen.
Progressive William Rivers Pitt has lost patience with the Obama regime and with British Petroleum (“Enough of This Crap,” June 15, Truthout). To break through the news blackout that BP maintains over the ongoing Gulf of Mexico oil spill, he wants a hundred thousand Americans to “just show the hell up down there and demand access.”
Pitt is correct that this “is the kind of direct action that has been missing from our national narrative, not just in the Gulf but all over.” Obama, he says correctly, is a “narcotic” for progressives. Apparently, for many progressives having a black man, or a 50 per cent black man, in the White House is what is important, not the fact that he is a continuation of Bush/Cheney.
If a hundred thousand people marched on the Gulf Coast, “big things would happen.” Pitt writes that “either the people would break through those unconscionable corporate barriers and show the world what is really going on in the Gulf, or the forces BP has arrayed against the truth would react with violence, which would tell us everything we need to know about what is happening, and would be enough to break that God damned criminal corporation finally and forever.”
It was, of course, the Bush-Cheney-Obama administration that permitted the drilling. BP didn’t go about it on its own. This aside, and also putting aside my sympathy with Pitt’s outrage, here we have a progressive advocating direct action that likely would end in violence, not merely from BP mercenaries but from local, state, and federal government forces. The anomaly in the picture is that it is progressives who have been most determined to disarm the American people. What would the one hundred thousand do when withering fire is directed at them? Amerika’s forces of “law and order” and conquest enjoy killing people. It doesn’t matter if they are women and children. In fact, killing women and children is the way to win 30-year wars like the one we are one-third through in Afghanistan.
And don’t think the government wouldn’t kill Americans. Remember the 100 murdered Branch Davidians that Bill Clinton and Janet Reno dispatched? The US government has never regretted the million dead Iraqi civilians and the unknown multitude of dead Afghan civilians. Have you forgotten Kent State where college kids were gunned down by the US National Guard? Youtube has tens of thousands of videos of cops getting their jollies by body slamming 90-year old grandmothers and tasering 10-year old kids. Just the other day Obama official Dennis Blair announced that he had a list of Americans to assassinate. In every society the worst people always get into unaccountable positions of power. It is these people who are the threat to Americans’ lives and liberty, not the Taliban and Iranians.
The British Guardian reports: "The whistleblowing website WikiLeaks says it plans to release a secret military video of one of the deadliest U.S. air strikes in Afghanistan in which scores of children are believed to have been killed."
In April, Wikileaks released the "Collateral Murder" video showing U.S. soldiers in Iraq killing civilians including a Reuters photographer and then shooting at people, including children, in a van attempting to rescue the wounded.
The following statement was released today by Coleen Rowley, an FBI whistleblower who was one of Time Magazine's people of the year in 2002; Ray McGovern, CIA analyst for 27 years; and Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers (top-secret government documents that showed a pattern of governmental deceit about the Vietnam War):
"Today, Washington is trying to shut down what it clearly regards as the most effective and dangerous purveyor of embarrassing information -- Wikileaks, a self-styled global resource for whistleblowers. It is a safe bet that NSA, CIA, FBI and other agencies have been instructed to do all possible to make an example of Wikileaks leader, Australian-born Julian Assange, and his colleagues. Much is at stake -- for both Pentagon and freedom of the press.
"Those who own and operate the corporate media face a distasteful dilemma, both in terms of business decision and of conscience. They must choose between the easier but soulless task of transcribing government press releases, on the one hand; or, on the other, following Wikileaks into the 21st century by adapting high-tech methods to protect sources while acquiring authentic stories unadulterated by government pressure, real or perceived.
From 1955 until 1975, Jim Tucker held a number of newspaper positions, including Sports Editor of the Northern Virginia Sun, Managing Editor of the Daily Tifton Gazette in Georgia, Managing Editor of the Radford (Va.) Daily News, Copy Editor of the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch; Night Editor of the Washington Daily News in Washington, D.C., Managing Editor of the Martinsville (Va.) Bulletin and News Editor of the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal.
In May 1975, Jim came to Liberty Lobby in Washington, D.C. There, the mission was to create a weekly newspaper, the Spotlight, which was killed by corrupt courts in 2000. Since then, Jim has been with American Free Press, which was created by generous Spotlight readers who wanted the gag lifted. AFP is one of the leading maverick, independent grass-roots media voices that has declared all-out war on the elite-controlled Big Media Monopoly in America and around the globe, and for the last decade, Jim has been an integral part of that effort.
It was in 1975 at Liberty Lobby that Jim first learned about the Bilderbergs. In addition to his ongoing contributions to AFP, Jim has traveled the globe and tenaciously pursued this dangerous cabal ever since he learned about their existence and their sinister agendas against the world. Some of these exploits have more recently been documented in the Independent Film Channel 2009 release of the documentary film NEW WORLD ORDER and TruTV’s CONSPIRACY THEORY with Jesse Ventura. For more information on American Free Press, visit www.americanfreepress.net.
The problem is much greater than the mainstream media is portraying. I do not believe that the American people are getting the unvarnished truth about this disaster. I believe BP and the government are hiding the true consequences of this, hoping against hope that a miracle will save the day and seal this huge fracture. But hope won’t get it. At least the American people can be informed, truthfully informed.
Be advised that the original wellhead piping is about two inches thick. It’s likely to be less than one inch thick now, and thinning, from this “sandblasting” effect. The oil has now reached the Gulf Stream and is entering the oceanic currents, which are four times stronger than the gulf current. What does this mean?
The science is clear: the strong oceanic currents will carry it throughout the world within 18 months. Scientists warn that the oil with the gases, including benzene and other toxins, are now depleting the oxygen in the water and will begin to kill all life in the ocean. The wellhead must be capped. Slant-drilled pressure relief “valves” will take two months to complete. If the sandblasting effect is not abated, the drilled hole in the Earth will enlarge itself beneath the wellhead and weaken the area the wellhead rests upon. The great pressure will blow the wellhead off the drilled hole, allowing unrestricted flow of oil.
Eventually, after several billion barrels of oil have been released, the massive cavity beneath the ocean floor will begin to normalize, allowing water to be forced naturally into the huge cavity where the oil was. The temperature in that cavity is 400 degrees, at minimum. The incoming water will be vaporized and turned into steam, creating an enormous force, which will actually lift the gulf floor.
Also amusing were the now knee-jerk efforts by the Right intelligensia to pin all that is bad about America on the Progressive movement, that infestation upon the pristine perfection of the Constitutional order. What went unmentioned in that regard was that at least as many Republicans advanced Progressivism as Democrats. What’s more, Progressives were as prone to praise the Founding Fathers as were members of the panel, and shared a similar set of sympathies, seen in particular in Progressive-era praise concentrated particularly on Alexander Hamilton and his vision of an “American system” (Progressives were also quite often hawks on American imperialism, another interesting family resemblance with members of the panel). As I’ve argued elsewhere, it’s far from clear that the Progressives are antithetical to the Constitutional vision of (some) Founders, and that there’s far more continuity between the Founders’ and Progressivism’s vision of a centralized, powerful state. on the one hand, and Anti-federalist and Populist criticism of public and private power, on the other.
It’s clear that these participants hope that the anger of the Tea Partiers will be the vehicle by which Republicans return to power (in Washington, of course), and by which they can continue to denounce “Gummint” even as they remain cozily ensconced with the corporate interests that it’s clear they were seeking to protect. Before my eyes I was witnessing the Washington establishment’s remarkable facility to absorb all potentially radical movements that could potentially take aim at the heart of centralized power, to defang their threat to the Power Brokers by redirecting the energy of that movement toward an object (Big Government) that will not truly be restrained without corresponding restraint upon the centralization of all power – public and private.
In the absence of a genuine populism, what we are offered instead are efforts directed by so-called conservatives from Washington D.C. to harness the populist anger for electoral ends ensuring their return to power in Washington D.C. What is being forestalled is that this anger be directed at the profane concentration of power today – public and private – and especially the obvious collusion that has come to exist between our Government and Corporate elite. We instead witness efforts to rewrite history, telling us that widespread populism will help to get the Republican party back to its roots (last I recall, William Jennings Bryan ran against William McKinley and Mark Hanna. Those roots have long shown a collusion between the Republican party and big business) and that its angry edge is born exclusively of an anti-government animus.
A genuine populism awaits a genuine populist leader, someone who does not seek to de-claw a more radical critique of the current arrangements, even to show it a path to a better radicalism of more local self-governance – political and economic. The tea party movement – born of righteous indignation about our system of Socialism for the Rich – deserves better than it is getting, though is showing signs of being easily co-opted by the usual DC gang. Let’s hope hotter minds prevail.
In the fall of 2008, the abyss opened under the U.S. economy, which the Bush administration had been blissfully ignoring, and millions of people fell into it. Giant institutions wobbled or crashed; extended unemployment wouldn’t go away; foreclosures happened on a mind-boggling scale; infrastructure began to buckle; state budgets were caught in a death grip; teachers’ jobs, another kind of infrastructure, went down the tubes in startling numbers; and the federal deficit soared.
Of course, a new president also entered the Oval Office, someone (many voters believed) intent on winding up (or at least down) Bush’s wars and the delusions of military omnipotence and technological omniscience that went with them. If George W. Bush had pushed this country to the edge of disaster, at least his military policies, as many of his critics saw it, were as extreme and anomalous as the cult of executive power his top officials fostered.
But here was the strange thing. In the midst of the Great Recession, under a new president with assumedly far fewer illusions about American omnipotence and power, war policy continued to expand in just about every way. The Pentagon budget rose by Bushian increments in fiscal year 2010; and while the Iraq War reached a kind of dismal stasis, the new president doubled down in Afghanistan on entering office -- and then doubled down again before the end of 2009. There, he “surged” in multiple ways. At best, the U.S. was only drawing down one war, in Iraq, to feed the flames of another.
As in the Soviet Union before its collapse, the exaltation and feeding of the military at the expense of the rest of society and the economy had by now become the new normal; so much so that hardly a serious word could be said -- lest you not “support our troops” -- when it came to ending the American way of war or downsizing the global mission or ponying up the funds demanded of Congress to pursue war preparations and war-making.
The National Tea Party Federation, a broad coalition of Tea Party groups, takes a stand and condemns the left-wing propaganda hit piece that aired on MSNBC June 16th.
The program, Rise of the New Right, was journalism at its worst, and its purpose was to demonize and misrepresent. Chris Matthews used his Hardball program to slander and mislead the American people by distorting facts about the Tea Party Movement. Hardball selectively portrayed groups and individuals in the program in a bad light.
David Webb, co-founder of New York City’s TeaParty365 said, “Chris Matthews is a far left commentator, not a journalist and therefore should not be held to or credited with the same standards.”
“I am an American who happens to be black, Republican, and that offends their warped vision. I would gladly face Matthews one-on-one anytime on policy and issues. This attack on Americans of all ethnicities, religious beliefs, age and political affiliations will ultimately fail because the truth wins. The desperation of a failing far left, and a dying network is apparent,” Webb concluded.
FreedomWorks Grassroots Director Brendan Steinhauser said, “The Tea Party movement I know looks nothing like the one portrayed on MSNBC. It is made up of good, hardworking, honest, smart people who love their country. It is a movement that reflects the best in America.”
If MSNBC was looking to officially become the cable channel of the far left, it may have finally succeeded Wednesday night with the airing of Chris Matthews' documentary "The Rise of The New Right."
MSNBC -- the network whose hosts routinely mock Tea Party activists as "Tea Baggers" -- aggressively promoted the documentary, with Matthews appearing on "Morning Joe" and "The Daily Rundown" Wednesday morning, as well as throughout the day.
Matthews clearly believes, as "Hardball's" website says, "the new right is an emerging fact of life in 21st century." As such, it was time to launch a thorough analysis into this nascent phenomenon and (as MSNBC's documentary website says) "investigate in-depth some of the most important stories of our time." Sadly, though, Matthews' hour-long documentary effort left us with more questions than answers.
To be sure, the program came equipped with the perfunctory ominous music (meant to let you know when to be scared) and interviews ranging from respected former Majority Leader (and now president of Freedomworks) Dick Armey to Orly Taitz, the "unofficial leader of the Birthers," who recently lost a GOP primary in California by a landslide.
The 2001 bombing and invasion of Afghanistan has been presented to World public opinion as a "Just War", a war directed against the Taliban and Al Qaeda, a war to eliminate "Islamic terrorism" and instate Western style democracy. The economic dimensions of the "Global War on Terrorism" are rarely mentioned.
The US media, in chorus, has upheld the "recent discovery" of Afghanistan's mineral wealth as "a solution" to the development of the country's war torn economy as well as a means to eliminating poverty. The 2001 US-NATO invasion and occupation has set the stage for their appropriation by Western mining and energy conglomerates.
Under US and allied occupation, this mineral wealth is slated to be plundered, once the country has been pacified, by a handful of multinational mining conglomerates. According to Olga Borisova, writing in the months following the October 2001 invasion, the US-led "war on terrorism [will be transformed] into a colonial policy of influencing a fabulously wealthy country." (Borisova, op cit).
Part of the US-NATO agenda is also to eventually take possession of Afghanistan's reserves of natural gas, as well as prevent the development of competing Russian, Iranian and Chinese energy interests in Afghanistan.
The propagandists for the Israel Lobby, who occupy the Wall Street Journal editorial page while pretending to be journalists, are determined to remove Helen Thomas from the annals of journalism.
The absence of independently-minded journalists on the Wall Street Journal editorial page is an extraordinary change from my days as Associate Editor of that page. The editorial page editor, Robert Bartley was ambitious and forced himself to tolerate talented colleagues. Mere opinion was not our task. Often we scooped the reporters on the news side of the paper. Our editorials reported new developments and provided factual analysis.
I was hired as Jude Wanniski’s replacement. Jude, Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal, was fired, allegedly because the journal’s brass caught him handing out election campaign literature on a train platform, but if you believe American journalism was ever that pure, I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale.
Jude was fired, because the neoconservatives got rid of him by telling Bartley that Wanniski was overshadowing him. That was too much for Bob’s ego. Jude, of course, being a real journalist, was objective toward the Palestinians and thus had earned the enmity of the Israel Lobby.
Drudge may be the most influential media figure today. He is read with devotion by political operatives, news editors, television producers, beat reporters and government leaders. Some in Congress even try to prevent their staff from reading Drudge. Fat chance!
The hand of Drudge heavily influences what is read in the papers, viewed on television and debated in national politics. Where is the liberal Drudge? With Democrats controlling so much of the information flow from the White House and Congress, why does a conservative have a monopoly on “the Drudge factor” while liberal Democrats are reduced to reading Drudge, reacting to Drudge and dishing dirt against their opponents to Drudge? Why does Fox News have a huge ratings advantage over MSNBC, even after sweeping tides for Democrats in 2006 and 2008?
Why is conservative radio light-years ahead of liberal radio in audience share, with the hapless Air America a perpetual bankrupt? Some liberal hosts have built significant audiences. There is discrimination by corporate radio in some markets. But I won’t push the liberal Fairness Doctrine issue, because it is a cop-out that will not affect the larger liberal media failure.
Beginning with Ronald Reagan in the 1970s, conservatives found large media investors with a movement commitment to issues and marketing savvy that turned masses of movement voters into mass audiences for television, radio and publishing.
Conservative media became a voice for a movement. The movement became a fungible audience swirling from radio to television to books. Drudge, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Andrew Breitbart and others are not a voice for Republicans. They are a megaphone for conservatives.
In what parallel universe would a guy who boasted that the high point of his career was that he’d been a community organizer be elected the leader of the free world? After stating that the trouble with the U.S. Constitution and the Civil Rights movement was that they didn’t deal with the redistribution of the nation’s wealth, I wonder how is it that he got a thousand votes, let alone 62 million. He was also the chowder-head who, after saying that America was the greatest nation on earth, insisted that it was his mission to radically transform it!
Frankly, I think it was a classic case of Pygmalionism. Americans, thanks in great part to the most rancid media this side of China, were mesmerized by the mantra of ''Hope'' and ''Change.'' Voters were encouraged to think of politics in terms of a fairy tale, as if Obama was Prince Charming and that empty slogan was code for ''And they all lived happily ever after.''
The more Obama talked, the more, it seemed, poor, ugly men were lulled into thinking they’d become rich and handsome, while homely women came away believing they’d become beautiful and be pursued by rich, handsome men.
Pygmalionism, as you probably guessed, is the state of being in love with an object of one’s own making. These days, it’s also known as Obamaism.
The confounding aspect of all this is how so many people who regard religion as a sham, and who have nothing but contempt for Christianity and Judaism, continue to believe that Obama is the messiah.