Categories » ‘DYSFUNCTIONAL EDUCATION’
December 19th, 2014 by olddog
WASHINGTON, D.C —The Rutherford Institute has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a lower court ruling that declared it unsafe for California public school students to wear American flag t-shirts to school. In asking the Supreme Court to hear the case of Dariano v. Morgan Hill, in which several students were ordered by school officials to cover up their American flag t-shirts on May 5, 2010, allegedly because officials feared that other students celebrating the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo would be offended, Rutherford Institute attorneys note that the school should have focused on controlling unruly students and not on stifling patriotic speech protected by the First Amendment.
The Rutherford Institute’s petition for certiorari in Dariano v. Morgan Hill is available at www.rutherford.org.
“There are all kinds of labels being put on so-called ‘unacceptable’ speech today, from calling it politically incorrect and hate speech to offensive and dangerous speech, but the real message being conveyed is that Americans don’t have a right to express themselves if what they are saying is unpopular or in any way controversial,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State. “Whether it’s through the use of so-called ‘free speech zones,’ the requirement of speech permits, or the policing of online forums, what we’re seeing is the caging of free speech and the asphyxiation of the First Amendment.”
On May 5, 2010, three Live Oak High School students wore patriotic t-shirts, shorts and shoes to school bearing various images of the U.S. flag. During a mid-morning “brunch break,” the students were approached by Assistant Principal Miguel Rodriguez, who told the students they could not wear their pro-U.S.A. shirts and gave them the option of either removing their shirts or turning them inside out. The students refused, believing the options to be disrespectful to the flag. Rodriguez allegedly lectured the group about Cinco de Mayo, indicating that he had received complaints from some Hispanic students about the stars and stripes apparel, and again ordered that the clothing be covered up to prevent offending the Hispanic students on “their” day. Principal Nick Boden also met with the parents and students and affirmed Rodriguez’s order, allegedly because he did not want to offend students who were celebrating Cinco de Mayo.
Arguing that the decision by school officials constituted viewpoint discrimination against pro-U.S.A. expression, Rutherford Institute attorneys filed suit on behalf of the students and their parents seeking a declaration that the action violated the First Amendment and injunctive relief against a vague school district policy allowing prior restraints on speech to be imposed upon students. The lawsuit asserted that school officials violated the students’ rights to Free Speech under the First Amendment, and their Due Process and Equal Protection rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. In November 2011, the district court ruled in favor of school officials, citing a concern for school safety. That ruling was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in February 2014. Although the appeals court acknowledged that other students were permitted to wear Mexican flag colors and symbols, it ruled that school officials could forbid the American flag apparel out of concerns that it would cause disruption, even though no disruption had occurred. Three of the nine judges on the Ninth Circuit agreed with The Rutherford Institute that school officials violated long-standing Supreme Court precedent forbidding suppression of protected expression on the basis of a “heckler’s veto,” which occurs when the government restricts an individual’s right to free speech in order to maintain order.
Affiliate attorney William J. Becker is assisting The Rutherford Institute in its defense of the students.
SO, it’s alright for the wet backs to offend American students, but it’s not alright for the American Students to offend the wet backs. And they call this LAW? The Judges should be required to eat the T-Shirts!
Supreme Court, you can K.M.A!
December 18th, 2014 by olddog
by Martin Armstrong https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlY9C6pzxKc
If you are like me and cannot stand RAP
turn the volume down and watch!
There is a new music video that is going viral entitled This is What Happens When You Call The Cops. It is a shocking video putting together numerous clips of Police Brutality that is very disturbing to say the least. It has captured the stark transformation of the police into a militaristic force far removed from the old days.
The days of Norman Rockwell are gone and this is what I fear is unfolding as the Domestic War Cycle turns up. We are more likely than not going to see widespread violence targeted against the police after 2015.75. Once the economy turns down, the frustration against government will rise up like the 1960s. This time, it will not just be a black issue. The militarization of the police has no boundary of race, creed, or gender.
This video captures the resentment that is bubbling beneath the surface, Anyone who thinks this is just a race issue better open their eyes. The abuse has no limits. The civil asset forfeiture laws are unleashing criminal activity sanctioned by the courts against the people no different from Rome when its armies sacked their own cities to get paid. Indeed, perhaps the greatest lesson of history is that we never learn anything from it. Amazing.
Yes, I’m old enough to remember when I thought all cops were heroes. Today I answer the door with a 45ACP cocked and UN locked in my hand. How-ever I have noticed many older officers are taking early retirement because of the younger cop’s attitudes. When the people you depend on for your safety turn out to be wannabe killers, it’s time to stand up and fight back in any way you can. Don’t believe this? Try and start a conversation with a young cop in a restaurant next time you see one taking a lunch break. But never! Assume they are all bad, as human nature is such that they will go to extremes before turning on their own. In every group there are always differences in opinion and loyalty. As for me, it has been hard to accept their infiltration by neo conservative extremist political philosophy, and it shows how far back this tragedy was planned. Never forget that some of the most intelligent minds on earth have been designing this scenario for years, and the cops are the first victims. Below is an article especially damaging to the police image in these trying times, and no restitution seems possible when you are broke and cannot defend yourself from the complicit Courts.
Bathing Man Grabbed By Testicles and Beaten SWAT Lied to Get Raid
Chad Chadwick, a Texas man with a clean record, is still trying to live down the multiple nightmares unleashed upon him by a SWAT team three years ago. Because none of those nightmares ended with the lurid and violent raid.
What would precipitate a raid for someone who had never broken the law? A tip, of course. Apparently, a friend reported him to the Missouri City police concerning his emotional well-being. When someone’s down and out – who you gonna call? None other than SWAT – who eagerly went down to business.
They decided they needed some semblance of justification to SWAT this guy. So they unequivocally fabricated a complete lie to a judge in order to get approval.
They said he had taken some hostages…
They knew this was untrue – they came up with it. My Fox Houston also claims that SWAT was aware of his owning a single shotgun, with which he had never threatened anyone.
So on the night of September 27th, 2011 they arrived while Chadwick was napping in the bathtub.
(How do they always know when you’re in the shower?)
This is the series of events:
- SWAT kicks in door, launches stun grenade into bathroom
- Storms into bathroom
- Naked Chad’s hands are up so they shoot him with a 40 millimeter non-lethal round
- Launch second stun grenade
- Lights are out, four or five guys behind a shield pin Chad against the wall and “beat the crap out of” him
- Officers shoot him in the back of the head with a Taser, point blank range
- Grabbed him by one hand and grabbed him by testicles and slammed his face to the floor
- Beat him some more
They claimed he had “drew down with a shampoo bottle and a body wash bottle.”
Series of events that followed:
- Taken to Ft. Bend County Jail with fractured nose, bruised ribs and permanent hearing loss
- Held in isolation for two entire days
- Apparently not taken to hospital
Oh, this is still not over….
- District Attorney John Healy began a series of concocted criminal charges – that stem from the raid!
- Two felony counts of assaulting a police officer (!)
Misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest (this is the everyman’s charge) – they called over a dozen officers to testify that he resisted arrest.
A grand jury didn’t go for first counts and the misdemeanor charges were finally dropped.
And finally – just one month ago a jury found him not guilty of interfering with police…they proceeded to hug the poor guy!
Chadwick attributes the loss of his kids, his hearing as well as being financially bankrupted as a result of the raid and ensuing litigation where he was repeatedly forced to defend himself from charges of a raid that was based on a lie.
When asked if taxpayers had been bankrupted for these events, Healy said he “wasn’t keeping tally.” Healy stands by all of his prosecutions.
Any repercussions to the force assembled from multiple cities? Any consequences for lying to a judge? Any retribution for almost killing an unarmed, naked man in his bathtub and then locking him up in isolation? For destroying his whole life?
No, because they aggressively litigate in return and the victim must then put all energy into defense. All focus goes to what happened to the victim after the fact, not on why these people are all still on the force and receiving paychecks.
These cops are out of control. They are ruining good people’s lives. I am a good man. I have done everything I can to show that, as a father, as a citizen, as a worker.
Readers: we wish this was a satire but it’s entirely too real and too common. Please share this with friends, especially the kind who hero-ize SWAT thinking they only go after criminals. In all honesty it could be them sharing a story like this someday.
Watch the short video at this link:
December 17th, 2014 by olddog
By Ellen Brown
Buried on page 83 of the 89-page Report on Financial Regulatory Reform issued by the U.S. Administration on June 17 is a recommendation that the new Financial Stability Board strengthen and institutionalize its mandate to promote global financial stability. Financial stability is a worthy goal, but the devil is in the details. The new global Big Brother is based in the Bank for International Settlements, a controversial institution that raises red flags among the wary . . . .
“Big Brother” is the term used by George Orwell in his classic novel 1984 for the totalitarian state that would lock into place in the year of his title. Why he chose that particular year is unclear, but one theory is that he was echoing Jack London’s The Iron Heel, which chronicled the rise of an oligarchic tyranny in the United States. In London’s book, the oligarchy’s fictional wonder-city, fueled by oppressed workers, was to be completed by 1984. Orwell also echoed London’s imagery when he described the future under Big Brother as “a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” In Secret Records Revealed: The Men, the Money, and the Methods Behind the New World Order (1999), Dr. Dennis Cuddy asked:
“Could the ‘boot’ be the new eighteen-story Bank for International Settlements (BIS) which was completed in Basel, Switzerland, in 1977 in the shape of a boot, and became known as the‘Tower of Basel’?”
The boot-like shape of the building is strange enough to be thought-provoking (see photo), but more disturbing is the description by Dr. Carroll Quigley of the pivotal role assigned to the BIS in consolidating financial power into a few private hands. Professor Quigley, who was Bill Clinton’s mentor at Georgetown University, claimed to be an insider and evidently knew his subject. He wrote in Tragedy and Hope (1966):
“[T]he powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations.”
That helps explain the alarm bells that went off among BIS-watchers when the Bank was linked to the new Financial Stability Board (FSB) President Obama signed onto in April. When the G20 leaders met in London on April 2, 2009, they agreed to expand the powers of the old Financial Stability Forum (FSF) into this new Board. The FSF was set up in 1999 to serve in a merely advisory capacity by the G7 (a group of finance ministers formed from the seven major industrialized nations). The chair of the FSF was the General Manager of the BIS. The new FSB has been expanded to include all G20 members (19 nations plus the EU). The G20, formally called the “Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors,” was, like the G7, originally set up as a forum merely for cooperation and consultation on matters pertaining to the international financial system. But its new Financial Stability Board has real teeth, imposing “obligations” and “commitments” on its members.
The Shadowy Financial Stability Board
The Report on Financial Regulatory Reform issued by the Obama Administration on June 17 includes a recommendation that the FSB “strengthen” and “institutionalize” its mandate. What is the FSB’s mandate, what are its expanded powers, and who is in charge? An article in The London Guardian addresses those issues in question and answer format:
“Who runs the regulator? The Financial Stability Forum is chaired by Mario Draghi, governor of the Bank of Italy. The secretariat is based at the Bank for International Settlements’ headquarters in Basel, Switzerland.”
Draghi was director general of the Italian treasury from 1991 to 2001, where he was responsible for widespread privatization (sell-off of government holdings to private investors). From January 2002 to January 2006, however, he was a partner at Goldman Sachs on Wall Street, another controversial player. As already noted, “basing” the FSB at the BIS is not a comforting sign, considering the dark and controversial history of the BIS. Dr. Cuddy, writing in 1999, quoted media sources describing the BIS and its behind-the-scenes leaders as “this economic cabal . . . this secretive group . . . the financial barons who control the world’s supply of money” (Washington Post, June 28, 1998); “some of the world’s most powerful and least visible men . . . officials able to shift billions of dollars and alter the course of economies at the stroke of a pen” (New York Times, August 5, 1995); men who can “move huge amounts of money into and out of markets in a nanosecond” and “topple politicians with the click of a mouse” (ABC’s “Nightline,” July 1, 1998).
“What will the new regulator do? The regulator will monitor potential risks to the economy . . . It will cooperate with the IMF, the Washington-based body that monitors countries’ financial health, lending funds if needed. . . .”
The IMF is an international banking organization that is also controversial. Joseph Stiglitz, former chief economist for the World Bank, charges it with ensnaring Third World countries in a debt trap from which they cannot escape. Debtors unable to pay are bound by “conditionality’s” that include a forced sell-off of national assets to private investors in order to service their loans.
“What will the regulator oversee? All ‘systemically important’ financial institutions, instruments and markets.”
The term “systemically important” is not defined. Will it include such systemically important institutions as national treasuries, and such systemically important markets as gold, oil and food?
“How will it work? The body will establish a supervisory college to monitor each of the largest international financial services firms. . . . It will act as a clearing house for information-sharing and contingency planning for the benefit of its members.”
In some contexts, information-sharing is called illegal collusion. Would the information-sharing here include such things as secret agreements among central banks to buy or sell particular currencies, with the concomitant power to support or collapse targeted local economies? Consider the short-selling of the Mexican peso by collusive action in 1995, the short-selling of Southeast Asian currencies in 1998, and the collusion among central banks to support the U.S. dollar in July of last year – good for the dollar and the big players with inside information perhaps, but not so good for the small investors who reasonably bet on “market forces,” bought gold or foreign currencies, and lost their shirts.
“What will the new regulator do about debt and loans? To prevent another debt bubble, the new body will recommend financial companies maintain provisions against credit losses and may impose constraints on borrowing.”
What sort of constraints? The Basel Accords imposed by the BIS have not generally worked out well. The first Basel Accord, issued in 1998, was blamed for inducing a depression in Japan from which that country has yet to recover; and the Second Basel Accord and its associated mark-to-market rule have been blamed for bringing on the current credit crisis, from which the U.S. and the world have yet to recover. These charges have been explored at length elsewhere. The suspicious might see these failures as intentional. The warnings come to mind of Congressman Louis MacFadden, head of the House Banking and Currency Committee during the Great Depression: “It was a carefully contrived occurrence. International bankers sought to bring about a condition of despair, so that they might emerge the rulers of us all.” David Rockefeller, a key player in international finance, echoed this thinking in 1994, when he said at a UN dinner, “We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order.”
The Amorphous 12 International Standards and Codes
Most troubling, perhaps, is this vague parenthetical reference in a press release issued by the BIS, titled “Financial Stability Forum Re-established as the Financial Stability Board”:
“As obligations of membership, member countries and territories commit to . . . implement international financial standards (including the 12 key International Standards and Codes) . . . .”
This is not just friendly advice from an advisory board. It is a commitment to comply, so you would expect some detailed discussion concerning what those standards entail. However, a search of the major media reveals virtually nothing. The 12 key International Standards and Codes are left undefined and un-discussed. The FSB website lists them, but it is vague. The Standards and Codes cover broad areas that are apparently subject to modification as the overseeing committees see fit. They include:
- Money and financial policy transparency
- Fiscal policy transparency
- Data dissemination
- Corporate governance
- Payment and settlement
- Market integrity
- Banking supervision
- Securities regulation
- Insurance supervision
Take “fiscal policy transparency” as an example. The “Code of Good Practices on Fiscal Transparency” was adopted by the IMF Interim Committee in 1998. The “synoptic description” says:
“The code contains transparency requirements to provide assurances to the public and to capital markets that a sufficiently complete picture of the structure and finances of government is available so as to allow the soundness of fiscal policy to be reliably assessed.”
We learn that members are required to provide a “picture of the structure and finances of government” that is complete enough for an assessment of its “soundness” — but an assessment by whom, and what if a government fails the test? Is an unelected private committee based in the BIS allowed to evaluate the “structure and function” of particular national governments and, if they are determined to have fiscal policies that are not “sound,” to impose “conditionality’s” and “austerity measures” of the sort that the IMF is notorious for imposing on Third World countries? The wary might wonder if that is how the mighty United States is to be brought under the heel of Big Brother at last.
For three centuries, private international banking interests have brought governments in line by blocking them from issuing their own currencies and requiring them to borrow banker-issued “banknotes” instead. “Allow me to issue and control a nation’s currency,” Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild famously said in 1791, “and I care not who makes its laws.” The real rebellion of the American colonists in 1776, according to Benjamin Franklin, was against a foreign master who forbade the colonists from issuing their own money and required that taxes be paid in gold. The colonists, not having gold, had to borrow gold-backed banknotes from the British bankers. The catch was that the notes were created on the “fractional reserve” system, allowing the bankers to issue up to ten times as many notes as they actually had gold, essentially creating them out of thin air just as the colonists were doing. The result was not only to lock the colonists into debt to foreign bankers but to propel the nation into a crippling depression. The colonists finally rebelled and reverted to issuing their own currency. Funding a revolution against a major world power with money they printed themselves, they succeeded in defeating their oppressors and winning their independence.
Political colonialism is now a thing of the past, but under the new FSB guidelines, nations can still be held in feudalistic subservience to foreign masters. Consider this scenario: XYZ country, which has been getting along very well financially, discloses that its national currency is being printed by the government directly. The FSB determines that this practice represents an impermissible “merging of the public and private sectors” and is an unsound banking practice forbidden under the “12 Key International Standards and Codes.” Banker-created national currency is declared to be the standard “good practice” all governments must follow. XYZ is compelled to abandon the “anachronistic” notion that creating its own national currency is a proper “function of government.” It must now borrow from the international bankers, trapping it in the bankers’ compound-interest debt web.
Consider another scenario: Like in the American colonies, the new FSB rules precipitate a global depression the likes of which have never before been seen. XYZ country wakes up to the fact that all of this is unnecessary – that it could be creating its own money, freeing itself from the debt trap, rather than borrowing from bankers who create money on computer screens and charge interest for the privilege of borrowing it. But this realization comes too late: the boot descends and XYZ is crushed into line. National sovereignty has been abdicated to a private committee, with no say by the voters.
Was Orwell Just 25 Years Too Early?
Suspicious observers might say that this is how you pull off a private global dictatorship: (1) create a global crisis; (2) appoint an “advisory body” to retain and maintain “stability”; and then (3) “formalize” the advisory body as global regulator. By the time the people wake up to what has happened, it’s too late. Marilyn Barnewall, who was dubbed by Forbes Magazine the “dean of American private banking,” writes in an April 2009 article titled “What Happened to American Sovereignty at G-20?”:
“It seems the world’s bankers have executed a bloodless coup and now represent all of the people in the world. . . . President Obama agreed at the G20 meeting in London to create an international board with authority to intervene in U.S. corporations by dictating executive compensation and approving or disapproving business management decisions. Under the new Financial Stability Board, the United States has only one vote. In other words, the group will be largely controlled by European central bankers. My guess is, they will represent themselves, not you and not me and certainly not America.”
A bloodless coup . . . Again one is reminded of the admissions of David Rockefeller, who wrote in his Memoirs(Random House 2002):
“Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure – one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”
The Commitments Mandated by the Financial Stability Board
Constitute a Commercial Treaty Requiring a 2/3 Vote of the Senate.
Adoption of the FSB was never voted on by the public, either individually or through their legislators. The G20 Summit has been called “a New Bretton Woods,” referring to agreements entered into in 1944 establishing new rules for international trade. But Bretton Woods was put in place by Congressional Executive Agreement, requiring a majority vote of the legislature; and it more properly should have been done by treaty, requiring a two-thirds vote of the Senate, since it was an international agreement binding on the nation. The same should be mandated before imposing the will of the BIS-based Financial Stability Board on the U.S., its banks and its businesses. Here is a quick review of the law:
Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution grants power to the President to make treaties only with the “advice and consent” of two-thirds of the Senate. The Constitution does not expressly provide for any alternative to the Article II treaty procedure. However, historically the President has also made international “agreements” through congressional-executive agreements that are ratified with only a majority from both houses of Congress, or sole-executive agreements made by the President alone. A congressional-executive agreement can cover only those matters which the Constitution explicitly places within the powers of Congress and the President; while a sole-executive agreement can cover only those matters within the President’s authority or matters in which Congress has delegated authority to the President. A sole-executive agreement can be negotiated and entered into only through the President’s authority (1) in foreign policy, (2) as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, (3) from a prior act of Congress, or (4) from a prior treaty. Agreements beyond these competencies must have the approval of Congress (for congressional-executive agreements) or the Senate (for treaties). If an international commercial accord contains binding “treaty” commitments, then a two-thirds vote of the Senate may be required.
Even with a two-thirds Senate vote, before Congress gives its approval it should draft legislation ensuring that the checks and balances imposed by our Constitution are built into the agreement. This could be done by implementing a legislative counterpart to the FSB with full oversight and corrective powers. The legislatures of the member nations could be required to elect a representative body to provide oversight and take corrective measures as needed, with that body’s representatives answerable to their national electorates.
Orwell’s 1984 made the news again in April 2009, when Queen Elizabeth chose the book as her ceremonial gift for visiting President Felipe Calderon of Mexico. Calderon, who crushed riots with boot-like severity after he was accused of vote-rigging to steal the election from his populist opponent, was said to be an admirer of Orwell’s work. The event provoked suspicions that 1984 had been covertly chosen by a modern-day financial oligarchy as the inspirational model for implementing Big Brother globally. The book ends with the protagonist Winston tortured and brainwashed into accepting the party line. We need to act quickly and decisively to ensure that its historical counterpart has a happier ending.
Posted on GlobalResearch.Ca June 23, 2009.
December 16th, 2014 by olddog
READ JUST HALF OF THESE ARTICLES AND THEN TELL ME THE COPS ARE DOING A FINE JOB
Cops Arrest Man who Exposed them Beating Man on Video While Promoting Cop
Acting on a Bogus Tip, Cops Raid Innocent Family, Execute Grandfather as He Lay Face Down
WATCH: Ohio cop threatens sobbing girlfriend with jail after police gun down man in Walmart
SWAT Team Admits On Website That It Was Formed To Fight Civil Rights Protesters
Buffalo Cop Suspended Without Pay for Beating Caught on Camera
Photo Evidence, Police Lies Point to Police Cover-up in Death of Miami Artist Killed by Cop Car
Rumain Brisbon Is Just the Latest to Be Shot Dead by a Cop Over a Phantom Gun
California Deputy Tases and Beats Man with Flashlight While Holding his Head Down with Foot
Undercover Cops Attempt to Incite Looting, Pull Gun On #ICan’tBreathe Protesters
Charges against detective show justice’ slow track for law-enforcement defendants
Cop Gets Schooled After Harassing Man for Playing Song, “Fuck tha Police”
NYC Cops Are Blithely Firing A Potentially Deafening Sound Cannon At Peaceful Protesters
Michigan Cop Kills Dog in Wrong Address Warrantless Home Entry
Media Ignores Tens of Thousands of People Marching Against Police Brutality
VIDEO: Man Speeds To Hospital For Asthma Attack, Police Stop Him And Won’t Let Him Go — He Dies
Texas to Set Precedent for Another Shakedown by Cops?
The rape culture that everyone ignores
Victimless Crime Constitutes 86% of The Federal Prison Population
The United States is trying to prevent citizens from leaving the country
End of America A movie you must see to believe
Ignorance Is No Excuse for Wrongdoing,
Unless You’re a Cop
By John W. Whitehead
“[I]f the individual is no longer to be sovereign, if the police can pick him up whenever they do not like the cut of his jib, if they can ‘seize’ and ‘search’ him in their discretion, we enter a new regime.”—U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, dissenting in Terry v. Ohio (1968)
With Orwellian irony, the U.S. Supreme Court chose December 15, National Bill of Rights Day to deliver its crushing blow to the Fourth Amendment. Although the courts have historically held that ignorance of the law is not an excuse for breaking the law, in its 8-1 ruling in Heien v. State of North Carolina, the Supreme Court gave police in America one more ready excuse to routinely violate the laws of the land, this time under the guise of ignorance.
The Heien case, which started with an improper traffic stop based on a police officer’s ignorance of the law and ended with an unlawful search, seizure and arrest, was supposed to ensure that ignorance of the law did not become a ready excuse for government officials to routinely violate the law.
It failed to do so.
In failing to enforce the Constitution, the Court gave police the go-ahead to justify a laundry list of misconduct, from police shootings of unarmed citizens to SWAT team raids, roadside strip searches, and the tasering of vulnerable individuals with paltry excuses such as “they looked suspicious” and “she wouldn’t obey our orders.”
When police handcuffed, strip-searched and arrested a disabled man for no reason other than he sounded incoherent, it was chalked up as a mistake. Gordon Goines, a 37-year-old disabled man suffering from a Lou Gehrigs-type disease, was “diagnosed” by police and an unlicensed mental health screener as having “mental health issues,” apparently because of his slurred speech and unsteady gait, and subsequently handcuffed, strip searched, and locked up for five days in a mental health facility against his will and with no access to family and friends. This was done despite the fact that police had no probable cause to believe that Goines had committed any crime, was a danger to himself or others, nor did they have any other legitimate lawful reason to seize, arrest or detain him. When Goines was finally released, police made no attempt to rectify their “mistake.”
“I didn’t know it was against the law” was the excuse police used to justify their repeated tasering of Malaika Brooks. Eight-months pregnant and on her way to drop her son off at school, Brooks was repeatedly tasered by Seattle police during a routine traffic stop simply because she refused to sign a speeding ticket. The cops who tasered the pregnant woman insisted they weren’t aware that repeated electro-shocks qualified as constitutionally excessive and unreasonable force. The Supreme Court gave the cops a “get out of jail” card.
“I thought he was reaching for a gun.” That was the excuse given when a police officer repeatedly shot 70-year-old Bobby Canipe during a traffic stop. The cop saw the man reaching for his cane and, believing the cane to be a rifle and fearing for his life, opened fire. Police excused the shooting as “unfortunate” but “appropriate.”
“He was resisting arrest.” That was the rationale behind Eric Garner’s death. Garner, placed in a chokehold by police for allegedly resisting their attempts to arrest him for selling loose cigarettes, screamed “I can’t breathe” repeatedly, until he breathed his last breath. A grand jury ruled there was no “reasonable cause” to charge the arresting officer with Garner’s death.
And then you have the Heien case, which, while far less traumatic than Eric Garner’s chokehold death, was no less egregious in its defiance of the rule of law.
In April 2009, a police officer stopped Nicholas Heien’s car, allegedly over a faulty brake light, and during the course of the stop and subsequent search, found a sandwich bag’s worth of cocaine. In North Carolina, where the traffic stop took place, it’s not actually illegal to have only one working brake light. However, Heien—the owner of the vehicle—didn’t know that and allowed the search, which turned up drugs, and resulted in Heien’s arrest. When the legitimacy of the traffic stop was challenged in court, the arresting officer claimed ignorance and the courts deemed it a “reasonable mistake.”
I’m not sure which is worse: law enforcement officials who know nothing about the laws they have sworn to uphold, support and defend, or a constitutionally illiterate citizenry so clueless about their rights that they don’t even know when those rights are being violated.
This much I do know, however: going forward, it will be that much easier for police officers to write off misconduct as a “reasonable” mistake.
Understanding this, Justice Sotomayor, the Court’s lone dissenter, warned that the court’s ruling “means further eroding the Fourth Amendment’s protection of civil liberties in a context where that protection has already been worn down.” Sotomayor continues:
Giving officers license to effect seizures so long as they can attach to their reasonable view of the facts some reasonable legal interpretation (or misinterpretation) that suggests a law has been violated significantly expands this authority. One wonders how a citizen seeking to be law-abiding and to structure his or her behavior to avoid these invasive, frightening, and humiliating encounters could do so.
There’s no need to wonder, because there is no way to avoid these invasive, frightening, and humiliating encounters, not as long as the courts continue to excuse ignorance and sanction abuses on the part of the police.
Whether it’s police officers breaking through people’s front doors and shooting them dead in their homes or strip searching innocent motorists on the side of the road, these instances of abuse are continually validated by a judicial system that kowtows to virtually every police demand, no matter how unjust, no matter how in opposition to the Constitution.
Indeed, as I point out in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, the police and other government agents have, with the general blessing of the courts, already been given the authority to probe, poke, pinch, taser, search, seize, strip and generally manhandle anyone they see fit in almost any circumstance.
Just consider the Court’s pro-police state rulings in recent years:
In Plumhoff v. Rickard, the Court declared that police officers can use lethal force in car chases without fear of lawsuits. In Navarette v. California, the Court declared that police officers can stop cars based only on “anonymous” tips. This ruling came on the heels of a ruling by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in U.S. v. Westhoven that driving too carefully, with a rigid posture, taking a scenic route, and having acne are sufficient reasons for a police officer to suspect you of doing something illegal, detain you, search your car, and arrest you—even if you’ve done nothing illegal to warrant the stop in the first place.
In Maryland v. King, a divided Court determined police can forcibly take your DNA, whether or not you’ve been convicted of a crime. The Supreme Court’s ruling in Arizona v. United States allows police to stop, search, question and profile citizens and non-citizens alike. And in an effort to make life easier for “overworked” jail officials, the Court ruled in Florence v. Burlington that police can subject Americans to virtual strip searches, no matter the “offense.”
In an 8-1 ruling in Kentucky v. King, the Supreme Court placed their trust in the discretion of police officers, rather than in the dictates of the Constitution, when they gave police greater leeway to break into homes without a warrant, even if it’s the wrong home. In Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada, a majority of the high court agreed that it’s a crime to not identify yourself when a policeman asks your name.
And now we’ve got Heien v. North Carolina, which gives the police a green light to keep doing more of the same without fear of recrimination. Clearly, the present justices of the Supreme Court have forgotten that the Constitution, as Justice Douglas long ago recognized, “is not neutral. It was designed to take the government off the backs of people.”
Given the turbulence of our age—with its police overreach, military training drills on American soil, domestic surveillance, profit-driven prisons, asset forfeiture schemes, wrongful convictions, and corporate corruption—it’s not difficult to predict that this latest Supreme Court ruling will open the door to even greater police abuses.
We’ve got two choices: we can give up now and resign ourselves to a world in which police shootings, chokeholds, taserings, raids, thefts, and strip searches are written off as justifiable, reasonable or appropriate OR we can push back—nonviolently—against the police state and against all of the agencies, entities and individuals who march in lockstep with the police state.
As for those still deluded enough to believe they’re living the American dream—where the government represents the people, where the people are equal in the eyes of the law, where the courts are arbiters of justice, where the police are keepers of the peace, and where the law is applied equally as a means of protecting the rights of the people—it’s time to wake up.
We no longer have a representative government, a rule of law, or justice. Liberty has fallen to legalism. Freedom has fallen to fascism. Justice has become jaded, jaundiced and just plain unjust.
The dream has turned into a nightmare.
WAKE THE HELL UP AMERICA!
December 15th, 2014 by olddog
PART 1 of 2
By Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., Ph.D., J.D.
Mr. J.B. Williams recently wrote a commentary for NewsWithViews entitled “House Republicans Place Obama on Official Notice”, in which he focused on the continuing constitutional crisis caused by the residency of Mr. Barack Obama in the White House. (Observe: I did not say “the Presidency” of Mr. Obama, which is a different matter altogether.) Normally, I do not respond to columns by fellow writers for NewsWithViews. But in this instance Mr. Williams has rashly taken it upon himself to include me (and my long-time friend, Devvy Kidd) among those who he asserts—with his usual self-assured verbal vehemence—must be “held accountable for this constitutional crisis”:
Then there are internet experts like Dr. Edwin Vieira and Devvy Kidd who claim that “Obama cannot be impeached because he isn’t really the President;” which I’m sure comes as news to the U.S. Supreme Court and every member of Congress, not to mention millions of Americans. This effort to mislead citizens away from the constitutional remedy prescribe[d] in Article II—Section 4, Impeachment, and towards criminal charges, arrest and hanging for treason, is an overt attempt to confuse and paralyze “the people” allowing Obama to continue his assault on the Constitution.
Although I cannot speak for Devvy Kidd, I personally deplore such an outburst as counterproductive, in that Mr. Williams ought not to alienate those among his natural allies who may not always see precisely eye-to-eye with him.
Not surprisingly, Mr. Williams’ diatribe takes no notice of how, for nearly a decade now in my commentaries for NewsWithViews and in other writings and personal appearances, I have recommended again and again that Americans should finally pay heed to what the Constitution itself—not I, nor Mr. Williams, nor some other “internet expert”—declares to be “necessary to the security of a free State”. So if I am to be “held accountable” for anything, perhaps I should be upbraided for having overestimated the intelligence or patriotism of the people on whom my admonitions have had no measurable effect.
Mr. Williams’ denunciation of me also rather cavalierly asserts facts not in evidence. For example, precisely what “comes as news to the U.S. Supreme Court and every member of Congress, not to mention millions of Americans”—that Mr. Obama “isn’t really the President”; or that, if he is not “really the President”, he “cannot be impeached” but must be dealt with in some other manner? And how in either case does Mr. Williams intuit what the Supreme Court, Congress, and “millions of Americans” supposedly know (or perhaps do not know) with regard to these questions? Then, on what grounds does Mr. William claim that “Impeachment” actually is the exclusive (or even any) remedy for the very specific crime of impersonating the President of the United States, as to which misbehavior (in general terms) a statute of the United States—18 U.S.C. § 912—exists, along with several other laws relevant to that sort of misconduct—such as 18 U.S.C. §§ 1001, 1003, 1017, and 1028? (Recall, too, that I have never advocated, in Mr. Williams’ words, “arrest and hanging for treason” as a remedy in this case, because by itself impersonation of the President does not amount constitutionally to “Treason”.) In all of his voluminous writings on this issue, Mr. Williams has never explained how an individual who does not actually hold a public office, because he is ineligible for it in the first instance and at every instant thereafter, can be removed from that office through the process of “Impeachment”—any more than Mr. Williams ever could have explained how water which was never poured into a pitcher could possibly be poured out of it. Finally, is it (as Mr. Williams charges) “an overt attempt to confuse and paralyze ‘the people’ allowing Obama to continue his assault on the Constitution” for me to insist that the constitutionally logical course of action be followed to remedy this situation, rather than some half-baked, self-contradictory approach which will inevitably mislead this country into a veritable rat’s nest of further, perhaps intractable if not insoluble, legal and political problems? Is not this country in a constitutional crisis today precisely because too many people—including not a few who style themselves “constitutionalists” and “patriots”—have been playing too fast and loose with the Constitution for too long already?
Mr. Williams further notes that: “Of course, neither Dr. Vieira nor Kidd have followed their own expert advice and filed a criminal complaint against Obama in order to prove their legal theory.” Well, neither has Mr. Williams “filed a criminal complaint against Obama in order to prove [any] legal theory”. So it seems that we are met here with the pot calling the kettles black. Of more consequence, I myself have not “filed a criminal complaint” for three rather obvious reasons: (i) I am neither a prosecutor nor any other type of “law-enforcement officer”. But, even as he attacks me, Mr. Williams refrains from calumniating a certain Sheriff who for a long time has been conducting, with great public fanfare, an investigation ostensibly aimed at the possibility of bringing criminal charges in this affair—yet who has to date, as far as I know, neither filed any such charges himself nor referred his findings (whatever they may be) to any prosecutor or grand jury. (ii) In the absence of both full disclosure of the actual relevant documents (which Mr. Obama has to date secreted from public view), and the credible and corroborated testimony of some “whistleblowers”, I cannot say with moral, let alone legal, certainty that Mr. Obama is or is not an imposter. I may entertain my own grave suspicions on that score; but unverified speculations alone are insufficient for the purpose of “fil[ing] a criminal complaint” in good faith. True it is that certain experts have voiced their opinions that various documents relevant to Mr. Obama’s supposed eligibility for the office of President are forged, fraudulent, or in some other way falsified. But, not being fully versed in the area of forensic document analysis myself, I should be loathe to accept such claims without some independent verification—especially when not one of these experts or their associates, to my knowledge, has directly or indirectly “filed a[ny] criminal complaint[s]”. And (iii) what point would there be for anyone to “file a criminal complaint” concerning Mr. Obama with some official (real or faux) in the present Department of Justice? If that were a realistic option, one or more real officials in that Department would or should already have taken such action.
What Mr. Williams stubbornly refuses to recognize is that, even if there were some plausible ground to assert that “Impeachment” is a possible remedy in this case, “Impeachment” never was, and would not now be, the preferred remedy. Consider—
(1) As I have explained in other commentaries, when Congress convened to count the electoral votes in the Presidential elections of 2008 and 2012, simply one Representative and one Senator could have asserted a statutory right (and duty, for that matter) to challenge each and every electoral vote supposedly cast for Mr. Obama, and to require Congress to inquire into Mr. Obama’s eligibility—for if Mr. Obama had not been eligible for election to the office of President, no electoral vote cast for him could have been valid. Such an inquiry would have solved the problem then and there and once and for all, without any concern for “Impeachment”. Unfortunately, not a single Member of Congress raised such an objection on either occasion.
(2) That, of course, was then; and this is now—and Americans’ dissatisfaction with Mr. Obama has deepened to the point at which, one would hope, even the most politically cowardly Members of Congress can no longer afford to sweep the scandal under the rug. For that reason, after the new Congress convenes in 2015, either the House or the Senate (or both) might conduct investigations into (say) “illegality and corruption in the Executive Branch” which would aim at amassing such evidence as might be available to expose Mr. Obama’s alleged ineligibility for the office of President as well as other misbehavior on the part of himself, his appointees, and the gaggle of partisans and hangers-on in both public office and private station who have assisted them. With all of that evidence on record, Mr. Obama and his adherents would find themselves in an impossible position. On the one hand, the Republicans and sensible Democrats in Congress might combine in sufficient numbers to enact veto-proof legislation providing for some species of “special prosecutor” or “independent counsel” to take that evidence to grand juries and then to trials. On the other hand, if enough Democrats and turncoat Republicans refused to coöperate, so that such legislation could not be enacted before the Presidential elections of 2016, their intransigeance would simply guarantee that a proper Republican would then be elected President, along with a properly and solidly Republican Congress. Thereafter, in 2017 a new Republican Attorney General could prosecute the cases à outrance. If between 2015 and 2017 Mr. Obama and his cronies tried to brazen it out by continuing in their presumably faux offices, they would simply be adding new counts to their indictments. If they chose instead to “resign” the offices they never rightly held, they would not thereby evade punishment, because the statutes of limitations on many of the crimes with which they would be charged would not run out between 2015 and 2017 (or even for many years thereafter). And during the remainder of his faux term, having been unmasked as a merely faux President Mr. Obama could not grant anyone a reprieve or pardon for such offences which would stand up to later scrutiny. In any event, no recourse to “Impeachment” would be necessary. So, contrary to Mr. Williams’ claim, Mr. Obama is not “forcing Congressional Republicans to either Impeach him or stand down as he finishes off the destruction of the U.S. Republic”. Republicans—and patriotic Democrats, too—do have options far less problematic, and far more punishing to Mr. Obama and his minions in their outcomes, than “Impeachment”. Whether they will exercise these options remains the question.
The decisive practical reason for avoiding “Impeachment” is that invocation of “Impeachment” concedes that, in some way or other, Mr. Obama is actually ensconced in the office of President to the degree sufficient to be subject to “Impeachment”. Perhaps not as a truly de jure President, but at least as ade facto one. This concession would support the inference that, because Mr. Obama has postured as some sort of “acting” (albeit faux) President, the ostensibly “official actions” he has taken under color of that masquerade will retain legal validity even after his usurpation is set aside through “Impeachment”. So, although he himself might be ignominiously booted out of the White House, the supposed statutes he has signed, the putative executive orders he has promulgated, the judicial and other appointments he has foisted on the Senate, and so on would nonetheless continue in effect. He personally would be degraded and disgraced; but his “political legacy”—the harm his misbegotten actions have inflicted and will continue to inflict on this country—would fester on. To correct this mess, all of these usurpations would then have to be undone—not, however, on the uncompromising constitutional basis that every one of them was void ab initio, but instead on an item-by-item political determination as to which should be thrown out and which retained. That would enable Mr. Obama’s partisans in Congress, the courts, the big media, and the influential lobbies to fight endless rear-guard battles to salvage as much of the destructive handiwork of his faux Administration as they could. And, worst of all, the perverse principle would be established that the Constitution must yield to any successful usurpation of that ilk which might arise hereafter.
GO TO PART 2 HERE
December 13th, 2014 by olddog
By Anthony L. Fisher
David Hooks, the Georgia man killed in a SWAT raid on his East Dublin home in September, was shot in the head and back while face down on the ground, according to his family’s attorney, Mitchell Shook, who cited EMS and hospital records as evidence.
As reported by WMEZ-TV:
“One was to the side of the head, the other, was in his back, the back of his left shoulder, based on the evidence we see, we believe that David Hooks was face down on the ground when he received those last two shots,” says Shook.
Shook says they have not received the autopsy yet from the GBI.
As noted by Reason‘s Ed Krayewski, the raid was based on a tip from Rodney Garrett, a local meth addict who had just stolen a car from Hooks’ property. According to the warrant, Garrett told police he removed a bag from the stolen vehicle believing it held cash, but instead discovered it was filled with meth. Apparently fearful he just robbed a local drug kingpin, he turned himself in because he “became scared for his safety.”
The theft of one of their vehicles naturally made the Hooks household edgy that night, and David kept a shotgun in the house. Though the warrant did not contain a “no knock” provision, Hooks’ wife, Teresa, says that the Laurens Country sheriff’s deputies and their SWAT compatriots simply busted down their back door and charged in, guns blazing.
In an interview with WMEZ-TV, Hooks recalls the night her husband was killed:
“Between 10:30 and 11, I turned the light off upstairs. I heard a car coming up the driveway really fast, and I looked out the upstairs window. I saw a black vehicle with no lights. I saw 6 to 8 men, coming around the side of my house, and I panicked. I came running downstairs, yelling for David to wake up. He was in the bedroom asleep, and had been for about an hour and a half. When I got downstairs to the bottom of the stairs, he opened the door and he had a gun in his hand, and he said, ‘Who is it?,’ and I said I didn’t know. He stepped back into the bedroom like he was going to grab his pants, but before he could do that, the door was busted down. He came around me, in the hall, into the den, and I was going to come behind him, but before I could step into the den the shots were fired, and it was over.”
According to Shook, the Hooks’ home was searched for more than 44 hours with no drugs or contraband found.
But as the Drug War Chronicle reported:
Investigators also claimed they were familiar with the address from a 2009 investigation in which a suspect claimed he had supplied some meth to Hooks, who resold it. Nothing apparently ever came of that investigation, but the five-year-old un-collaborated tip made it into the search warrant application.
The toxic combination of a “five year-old un-collaborated tip,” a vague accusation from a confessed car thief and meth addict, and a recently robbed man reacting to a violent intrusion on his home created the conditions that led to the 17 shots fired by law enforcement that night.
In a statement that is becoming all too familiar, Shook said he hopes the Laurens County District Attorney will take the case to a grand jury and not solely rely on law enforcement’s take of the deadly raid.
As this report is written, it implies that there were fifteen complete misses. And this is the kind of professional officers of the law we support!
December 12th, 2014 by olddog
By John W. Whitehead
November 10, 2014
Whether the mask is labeled fascism, democracy, or dictatorship of the proletariat, our great adversary remains the apparatus—the bureaucracy, the police, the military. Not the one facing us across the frontier of the battle lines, which is not so much our enemy as our brothers’ enemy, but the one that calls itself our protector and makes us its slaves. No matter what the circumstances, the worst betrayal will always be to subordinate ourselves to this apparatus and to trample underfoot, in its service, all human values in ourselves and in others.—Simone Weil, French philosopher and political activist
It’s no coincidence that during the same week in which the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Yates v. United States, a case in which a Florida fisherman is being threatened with 20 years’ jail time for throwing fish that were too small back into the water, Florida police arrested a 90-year-old man twice for violating an ordinance that prohibits feeding the homeless in public.
Both cases fall under the umbrella of over-criminalization, that phenomenon in which everything is rendered illegal and everyone becomes a lawbreaker. As I make clear in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, this is what happens when bureaucrats run the show, and the rule of law becomes little more than a cattle prod for forcing the citizenry to march in lockstep with the government.
John Yates, a commercial fisherman, was written up in 2007 by a state fish and wildlife officer who noticed that among Yates’ haul of red grouper, 72 were apparently under the 20-inch minimum legal minimum. Yates, ordered to bring the fish to shore as evidence of his violation of the federal statute on undersized catches, returned to shore with only 69 grouper in the crate designated for evidence. A crew member later confessed that, on orders from Yates, the crew had thrown the undersized grouper overboard and replaced them with larger fish. Unfortunately, they were three fish short. Sensing a bait-and-switch, prosecutors refused to let Yates off the hook quite so easily. Unfortunately, in prosecuting him for the undersized fish under a law aimed at financial crimes, government officials opened up a can of worms.
Arnold Abbott, 90 years old and the founder of a nonprofit that feeds the homeless, is facing a fine of $1000 and up to four months in jail for violating a city ordinance that makes it a crime to feed the homeless in public. Under the city’s ordinance, clearly aimed at discouraging the feeding of the homeless in public, organizations seeking to do so must provide portable toilets, be 500 feet away from each other, 500 feet from residential properties, and are limited to having only one group carry out such a function per city block. Abbott has been feeding the homeless on a public beach in Ft. Lauderdale every Wednesday evening for the past 23 years. On November 2, 2014, moments after handing out his third meal of the day, police reportedly approached the nonagenarian and ordered him to “‘drop that plate right now,’ as if I were carrying a weapon,” recalls Abbott. Abbott was arrested and fined. Three days later, Abbott was at it again, and arrested again.
That both of these incidents occurred in Florida is no coincidence. Remember, this is the state that arrested Nicole Gainey for letting her 7-year-old son walk to the park alone, even though it was just a few blocks from their house. If convicted, Gainey could have been made to serve up to five years in jail.
This is also the state that a few years back authorized police raids on barber shops in minority communities, resulting in barbers being handcuffed in front of customers, and their shops searched without warrants. All of this was purportedly done in an effort to make sure that the barbers’ licensing paperwork was up to snuff.
As if criminalizing fishing, charity, parenting decisions, and haircuts wasn’t bad enough, you could also find yourself passing time in a Florida slammer for such inane activities as singing in a public place while wearing a swimsuit, breaking more than three dishes per day, farting in a public place after 6 pm on a Thursday, and skateboarding without a license.
Despite its pristine beaches and balmy temperatures, Florida is no less immune to the problems plaguing the rest of the nation in terms of over-criminalization, incarceration rates, bureaucracy, corruption, and police misconduct. In fact, the Sunshine State has become a poster child for how a seemingly idyllic place can be transformed into a police state with very little effort. As such, it is representative of what is happening in every state across the nation, where a steady diet of bread and circuses has given rise to an oblivious, inactive citizenry content to be ruled over by an inflexible and highly bureaucratic regime.
This transformation of the United States from being a beacon of freedom to a locked down nation illustrates perfectly what songwriter Joni Mitchell was referring to when she wrote:
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.
Only in our case, sold on the idea that safety, security and material comforts are preferable to freedom, we’ve allowed the government to pave over the Constitution in order to erect a concentration camp. The problem with these devil’s bargains, however, is that there is always a catch, always a price to pay for whatever it is we valued so highly as to barter away our most precious possessions.
We’ve bartered away our right to self-governance, self-defense, privacy, autonomy and that most important right of all—the right to tell the government to “leave me the hell alone.” In exchange for the promise of safe streets, safe schools, blight-free neighborhoods, lower taxes, lower crime rates, and readily accessible technology, health care, water, food and power, we’ve opened the door to militarized police, government surveillance, asset forfeiture, school zero tolerance policies, license plate readers, red light cameras, SWAT team raids, health care mandates, over-criminalization and government corruption.
In the end, such bargains always turn sour.
We asked our lawmakers to be tough on crime, and we’ve been saddled with an abundance of laws that criminalize almost every aspect of our lives. So far, we’re up to 4500 criminal laws and 300,000 criminal regulations that result in average Americans unknowingly engaging in criminal acts at least three times a day. For instance, the family of an 11-year-old girl was issued a $535 fine for violating the Federal Migratory Bird Act after the young girl rescued a baby woodpecker from predatory cats.
We wanted criminals taken off the streets, and we didn’t want to have to pay for their incarceration. What we’ve gotten is a nation that boasts the highest incarceration rate in the world, with more than 2.3 million people locked up, many of them doing time for relatively minor, nonviolent crimes, and a private prison industry fueling the drive for more inmates, who are forced to provide corporations with cheap labor. A special report by CNBC breaks down the national numbers:
One out of 100 American adults is behind bars — while a stunning one out of 32 is on probation, parole or in prison. This reliance on mass incarceration has created a thriving prison economy. The states and the federal government spend about $74 billion a year on corrections, and nearly 800,000 people work in the industry.
We wanted law enforcement agencies to have the necessary resources to fight the nation’s wars on terror, crime and drugs. What we got instead were militarized police decked out with M-16 rifles, grenade launchers, silencers, battle tanks and hollow point bullets—gear designed for the battlefield, more than 80,000 SWAT team raids carried out every year (many for routine police tasks, resulting in losses of life and property), and profit-driven schemes that add to the government’s largesse such as asset forfeiture, where police seize property from “suspected criminals.”
Justice Department figures indicate that as much as $4.3 billion was seized in asset forfeiture cases in 2012, with the profits split between federal agencies and local police. According to the Washington Post, these funds have been used to buy guns, armored cars, electronic surveillance gear, “luxury vehicles, travel and a clown named Sparkles.” Police seminars advise officers to use their “department wish list when deciding which assets to seize” and, in particular, go after flat screen TVs, cash and nice cars. In Florida, where police are no strangers to asset forfeiture, Florida police have been carrying out “reverse” sting operations, where they pose as drug dealers to lure buyers with promises of cheap cocaine, then bust them, and seize their cash and cars. Over the course of a year, police in one small Florida town seized close to $6 million using these entrapment schemes.
We fell for the government’s promise of safer roads, only to find ourselves caught in a tangle of profit-driven red light cameras, which ticket unsuspecting drivers in the so-called name of road safety while ostensibly fattening the coffers of local and state governments. Despite widespread public opposition, corruption and systemic malfunctions, these cameras—used in 24 states and Washington, DC—are particularly popular with municipalities, which look to them as an easy means of extra cash. One small Florida town, population 8,000, generates a million dollars a year in fines from these cameras. Building on the profit-incentive schemes, the cameras’ manufacturers are also pushing speed cameras and school bus cameras, both of which result in heft fines for violators who speed or try to go around school buses.
This is just a small sampling of the many ways in which the American people continue to get duped, deceived, double-crossed, cheated, lied to, swindled and conned into believing that the government and its army of bureaucrats—the people we appointed to safeguard our freedoms—actually have our best interests at heart.
Yet when all is said and done, who is really to blame when the wool gets pulled over your eyes: you, for believing the con man, or the con man for being true to his nature?
It’s time for a bracing dose of reality, America. Wake up and take a good, hard look around you, and ask yourself if the gussied-up version of America being sold to you—crime free, worry free and devoid of responsibility—is really worth the ticket price: nothing less than your freedoms.
December 10th, 2014 by olddog
By Ron Ewart
December 10, 2014
“Obama is a tyrant the same way FDR was a tyrant. He has a view of presidential power that states: the government is in control of the country, and the president is in charge of the government. He’s taken an imperial view of the presidency.” David Mamet, American playwright, screenwriter and film director
Every president puts his own mark on the presidency, as a reflection of his beliefs, political ideology and philosophy that are shaped by early childhood, parental and peer influences and education, along with personal, business and academic associations. But the mark each man puts on the presidency is further shaped by their perception of what America stands for in the grand scheme of history, what America means to Americans and what America means to the rest of the world.
America has had its share of weak presidents and strong presidents. History has recorded how each president has performed in reacting to changing events in a largely dynamic world, dogged by relentless, unforeseeable events. Many presidents stand out because of specific events to which they must react, or not react as the case may be. Some presidents stand out for positive reasons where positive relates to the perpetuation of American ideals and principles. Others stand out for negative reasons for being in opposition to those ideals, or a radical distortion of those ideals.
We covered some of the influences on presidents, as well as the average citizen, in our article entitled “The Little Black Box Theory and Obama“, written and published on October 28, 2012. The article can be viewed at this link.
Quoting from the article we wrote:
“Obama’s early life was shaped by his somewhat promiscuous white biological mother; a black biological father that abandoned Obama within two years of his birth; a Muslim stepfather from Indonesia where Obama lived for several years and attended Islam schools; his white grandparents that Obama lived with for quite some time because apparently, his mother didn’t want him any more, or perhaps because she couldn’t handle that he was black; a family friend of his grandparents, one Frank Marshall Davis, a known and active communist; several Muslim and mostly black friends while in college and those Muslims he met when he visited Pakistan in 1981; a radical, Chicago pastor, the very reverend and Black Liberation Theologist, Jeremiah Wright; a slum landlord, one Tony Rezko now in jail; and a domestic terrorist by the name of Bill Ayers who used bombs to punctuate a radical political agenda. Who knows how many other radical influences shaped Obama’s early years and young adult life, due to its fractured and convoluted nature?”
How any person could be construed to be normal, black or white, after enduring such a tragic and wretched past, is beyond comprehension. Obama is obsessed with his own self-righteous indignation, as a direct result of that past.
Obama is a special case when it comes to his performance as president, shaped by his early, tortured, mix-raced childhood, parental and peer influences, education and personal and academic associations. His business associations or leadership positions were and are sorely lacking to assume the difficult office of President of the United States. Anyone with any intellect, including the media, knew about his background and inexperience but went ahead and promoted this anomaly that came from out of nowhere to a position of prominence on the national political scene. It remains to be seen whether he was a product of his own making and just plain lucky, or the fascination because he was black, or whether he was groomed by shadowy, powerful, radical forces that kept appearing and re-appearing out of his ghostly past?
The issue of being black in a largely white world obviously had a direct influence on his belief system and political ideology. (Evidence of that pathology is being played out ad nauseam nationally, over the police shooting or strangling off two very large black people, one in Ferguson, MO and one in Staten Island, NY, acting outside of the law.) Obama’s broken family, a socialist mother and radical religious and communist influences, further shaped his beliefs. All of those influences and lack of experience were directly transferred to his governing style, or lack thereof. He was suddenly thrust into a dynamic world for which he was ill prepared. America has witnessed the results of that inexperience and racial bias play out over the last six years.
History will record that Obama truly was the proverbial fish out of water, to the detriment of America, America’s standing on the world stage and America’s hallowed ideals of individual freedom and liberty. Obama is a prime example of a man that rose to the level of his incompetence.
It certainly wasn’t Obama’s fault. He was who he was, warts and all, for all to see and those who chose not to see. It was those who promoted him for political reasons and those that voted for him because he was black, or for whatever other reason, that can take credit for what they and Obama have wrought.
Since he was elected president in 2008, we have written article after article about Obama, probably at the expense of boring some of our readers. However, with each of those articles we created an image to go along with the article to give a pictorial representation of what the article was about, sometimes effectively and sometimes not. We’ll let the reader decide on that score. Nevertheless, it is hard to find an author who creates an image for each of his or her articles. It takes a considerable amount of time to create those images.
As an experiment, we took over 40 of those images that were put together for our articles and created a video with the title shown below, that represents a kaleidoscope of the Obama presidency. We wanted to demonstrate that he was and is both a liar and a traitor. We then added some unique background music from silent movies and overlaid the background music with Obama sound bites, mostly of him lying. The video should be both informative and entertaining. Share it at your discretion.
“Obama, An Anatomy of a Liar and Traitor!”
After Obama has served out his second term and steps aside, never-ending examinations of his presidency will go on, well into the future. Sadly, with Obama being the first black president in which he divided the country even more than it was, set back race relations for decades and made decisions that irreparably damaged America and its reputation abroad, it could be generations before America ever sees its second black president.
Americans will rue the day, well into future generations, that they allowed a racially disturbed man, bearing an irrational political ideology, to ever become the most powerful man in the world. As all presidents leave their individual mark on the presidency, America will wear the “mark” of Obama for a very long time and America and Americans may never fully recover from that mark. Hopefully, Obama will retain the reputation as being America’s worst president, forever more. It is unlikely that America could survive a president worse than Obama.
If you have the courage, don’t forget to sign our petition “Declaring Open Resistance” against Obama and government tyranny.
Who are the “Exclosers”?
[NOTE: The following article represents the opinion of the author and is not necessarily shared by the owners, employees, representatives, or agents of the publisher.]
© 2014 Ron Ewart — All Rights Reserved
Ron Ewart, a nationally known author and speaker on freedom and property issues and author of his weekly column, “In Defense of Rural America”, is the President of the National Association of Rural Landowners, (NARLO) (http://www.narlo.org) a non-profit corporation headquartered in Washington State, an advocate and consultant for urban and rural landowners. He can be reached for comment firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 9th, 2014 by olddog
by Tyler Durden
Much has been said about Goldman’s control over the most important Federal Reserve of all, that of New York, where the all important Markets Group is located, which does as the name implies, “influences” markets (those who may have missed it are encouraged to read “Goldman “Whistleblower” Sues NY Fed For Wrongful Termination“, “How Goldman Controls The New York Fed: 47.5 Hours Of “The Secret Goldman Sachs Tapes” Explain“, “A Quick Look At Goldman’s Takeover Of The US Judicial System: NY Fed Edition“, and of course “I Am Putting Everything In Goldman Sachs Because These Guys Can Do Whatever The Hell They Want.”
And while it is very clear by now that nothing will change under the current corrupt and compromised executive, legislative and judicial system, because at the end of the day, Goldman has indirect control over all three branches of government , here is the one anecdote which, in a non banana republic, would be the straw that finally broke the camel’s back.
From the FT:
As the financial crisis raged in September 2008, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley sought sanctuary from the Federal Reserve.
The last two big independent broker-dealers were allowed to become bank holding companies, giving them access to government liquidity that could keep them afloat.
Goldman drafted its own statement, quoting Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive, as saying: “We believe that Goldman Sachs, under Federal Reserve supervision, will be regarded as an even more secure institution.”
According to people familiar with the matter, Goldman then drafted another release and sent it to the New York Fed. This one was to be used as the central bank’s own statement.
And while the FT is kind enough to digest that piece of shocking information for the rest of the “stupid voters“, the bottom line is simple: the Federal Reserve of Goldman Sachs (in New York and everywhere else), is the bank that not only calls all the shots and makes the rules, but it also writes the words on the Fed’s teleprompter (as for Obama’s, not even Goldman would bother with that).
Trading Pattern in Gold and Silver Has Changed Drastically. What Happens Next?
By Bill Holter
Gold and silver have now had three “outside reversal” days to the upside within the last three weeks. Those who follow the precious metals were absolutely shocked (after being shell shocked) to see this type of action the first time in many a moon…not to mention a “three’fer”!
For those of you who don’t know what an “outside reversal day” is, let me briefly explain. It is the “outside” part which is important and without it, the “reversal” part is much less meaningful. For this to occur, trading for the day must be both lower and higher than any trades performed the previous day. In other words, the “bar” on the chart must totally engulf the action of the previous day and then close in the opposite direction of the previous momentum. Outside reversal days are very rare in any market. One of these may only occur once in a year’s time or even longer. The important thing to understand is when you do see a reversal day and accompanied by big volume, the “trend” is probably changing!
That said, “charts” in today’s marketplace are not what they once were. There was a time when charts were very reliable, this changed many years ago. I say “changed” because if you go back to 1988, President Reagan by executive order created the “working group on financial markets” as a result of the ’87 crash…otherwise known as the “plunge protection team” to prevent stock market crashes. Initially, this may have been a good idea with “good intentions”. The problem is this, the “PPT” has morphed into something out of the old USSR which tries to “manage” everything, everywhere, ALWAYS! This obviously changes the value of charts, if they can be “painted” (they are), then they don’t show a true picture, rather, they show a picture those doing the painting want you to see.
Yes, I am sure some will call me a conspiratorial nut job for saying that all markets are manipulated all the time, they are! I don’t even have anything to prove, the banks and brokers have already done this for you by paying fines for “rigging” in nearly every market. Why would they pay these fines if they were innocent? Please don’t tell me because of the “nuisance factor”, $30 billion+ in fines is a little more than a “nuisance”! In my opinion, these fines have been paid for two reasons, one more important than the other. First, these firms do not want to admit guilt. If they actually did admit guilt they could be shut out of various markets as admission of guilt in many cases by law requires them to cease and desist on various exchanges.
This a very important factor …but not THE important factor. THE important factor is the process called “discovery” where the firm (or firms) in question must open their books or pull their pants down so to speak and allow outside attorneys to see nearly everything. “Discovery” allows outside lawyers to see the books, ALL the books, of the firm that a judge allows. In other words, much, if not ALL of the dirt becomes visible! You do see the problems this may raise? The process of “discovery” means you can see what firm A was doing …AND “who” they were doing it with! Confidence in our “free and fair” markets would evaporate and the game we call everyday life would end. Can you imagine what would have happened were Enron’s records not destroyed one day in 2001? In any case, if you do not believe markets are manipulated every day by now, then please stop reading because there is nothing I can say to enlighten you.
Now, back to the precious metals. We have now had three outside reversal days within three weeks and on VERY HIGH VOLUME! Normally just one outside day would suffice but we have had three. Normally the outside day would be a very good signal that the trend has changed, I do not doubt this is the case now. What I do doubt is the reasoning behind what has happened. I believe the outside days have occurred because of “front running”. Gold and silver “prices” have been forced to levels where it is not profitable to mine in many cases. These low prices have also created far more demand than normally would be for the other side of the equation. Gold and silver have been in a supply demand deficit for years which has been exacerbated by the price suppression. In other words, “price” was not allowed to rise to ration demand and entice new supply. There is a giant problem though, it’s called “mathematics”. If there has been a supply/demand deficit then where has the deficit been funded from? Yes, you got it, Western central bank vaults.
I believe we have seen these outside day reversals because someone, somewhere, “knows something” or at least think they do. Someone (the Chinese and others) have done the math and can “smell” the bottom of the barrel. Maybe this bottom of the barrel is being exposed by the hugely negative GOFO rates or backwardation? Maybe someone has tried to make a big purchase and can’t do it …or cannot do it without a big premium?
As I wrote a couple of days ago, “price” will affect both supply and demand. I believe what this current change in trading activity points to is “price” has now affected supply and demand TOO MUCH! I believe we will look back at these three reversal days as a very big inflection point. The future action I now anticipate is an outright explosion upward in price as the physical market takes the pricing ability away from the paper markets. Gold and silver are very different “animals” compared to stocks, bonds, other commodities and even other currencies. Gold and silver are “money” and carry with them more “emotion” than any other asset class. Hard money advocates are more passionate regarding the metals than anything else. The naysayers are more dispassionate (hateful of) gold and silver than anything else. Governments and central banks are obviously more disdainful of gold and silver than anything else because the metals are a direct (and real) competitor (understand THREAT) to their “product”.
I mention this “emotion” factor because this is at the heart of the argument. Gold and silver cannot be allowed out of control …otherwise “confidence” in the status quo will be shaken to destruction. One other “emotion” factor is that “man” always wants something he cannot have. In fact, I would say that man will sometimes want something he cannot have even more than something he needs but this is arguable. The game over these past years has been to depress gold and silver prices in order to display them as poor choices and plentiful in supply. This has allowed interest rates to trade far lower than they otherwise would be. Artificially low interest rates have aided the central banks in their numerous “reflation” exercises. The problem now is supply in the physical market has become very tight and pressing prices lower are no longer scaring any more apples to fall from the tree. In other words, those who would be scared out of their positions have mostly sold. Now, lower prices are only acting to bring more and more value investors into the market and increasing demand. The “fulcrum” (price) must be moved to create a balance as it has been incorrectly placed for many years. I believe the old saying “there is no fever like gold fever” is about to surface. So I now wait patiently for the upside explosion as something has changed very drastically in the trading patterns. Though Mother Nature can be mocked via leverage for a spell, her laws can be ignored for only so long because there is such a thing as the real world with a real supply and demand equation!
December 6th, 2014 by olddog
By Valerie Richardson
In three weeks, Utah intends to seize control of 31.2 million acres of its own land now under the control of the federal government. At least, that’s the plan.
In an unprecedented challenge to federal dominance of Western state lands, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert in 2012 signed the “Transfer of Public Lands Act,” which demands that Washington relinquish its hold on the land, which represents more than half of the state’s 54.3 million acres, by Dec. 31.
So far, however, the federal government hasn’t given any indication that it plans to cooperate. Still, state Rep. Ken Ivory, who sponsored the legislation, isn’t deterred.
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“That’s what you do any time you’re negotiating with a partner. You set a date,” said Mr. Ivory. “Unfortunately, our federal partner has decided they don’t want to negotiate in good faith. So we’ll move forward with the four-step plan that the governor laid out.”
In other words, there won’t be any escorting of federal officials by state troopers to the eastern border. Instead, he said, state officials will proceed with a program of education, negotiation, legislation and litigation.
“We’re going to move forward and use all the resources at our disposal,” said Mr. Ivory, who also heads the American Lands Council, which advocates the relinquishing of federal lands to the control of the states.
SEE ALSO: Greater sage-grouse buffer zones may ruffle feathers in Western states
With the 2012 law, Utah placed itself on the cutting edge of the heated debate over public lands in the West. The federal government controls more than 50 percent of the land west of Kansas — in Utah’s case, it’s 64.5 percent, a situation that has increasingly resulted in tensions across the Rocky Mountain West.
Those in favor of the state taking control of federal lands were buoyed by a report Monday that concluded the idea was financially feasible. Entitled “An Analysis of a Transfer of Federal Lands to the State of Utah,” the 784-page analysis found that Utah was capable of managing that property, now under the control of the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service.
“I expect that public discussion will be well served by this report. It shows the complexities and connections between Utah’s robust economy and the great quality of life Utahans enjoy,” Mr. Herbert said in a statement.
The report, conducted over 18 months by analysts at three state universities, found that Utah would incur an additional $280 million in costs to manage the lands, but would bring in some $331.7 million in royalties from mineral resources development, mainly oil and gas. Currently Utah receives only half the royalties from drilling that is allowed on federal lands inside its borders.
The study also found that while small amounts of federal ownership could stimulate economic growth in counties, such management becomes a “drag” on most counties after they reach 40 percent to 45 percent ownership, adding that, “twenty of Utah’s 29 counties exceed this threshold.”
“The findings of this report confirm that the state is more than capable of taking on the management of these lands,” said Rep. Rob Bishop, Utah Republican, in a statement. “This data will be a helpful resource as we continue to work toward resolving some of the biggest challenges facing public lands policy in the state.”
On the other side of the debate is the environmental movement, led by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, which argues that transferring federal lands to state control “makes it harder to protect Utah’s wild lands for all Americans.” Washington, environmentalists argue, is a better steward of Utah’s natural riches than Salt Lake City.
Staff attorney David Garbett argues that the report shows Utah would be unable to afford managing the federal lands without selling them or subjecting them to heavy development.
“When will the legislature realize that the public does not want to see the Wasatch Mountains barricaded with ‘No Trespassing’ signs, the Book Cliffs lost to tar sand strip mines or Arches National Park ringed with oil and gas development?” he said in a statement.
The group launched a radio and television campaign this week aimed at drumming up opposition to the plan, describing it as a “land grab.” The ads allege that managing the lands would be so costly that Utah would be forced to sell or lease them to private developers.
“But that means Utahans would lose access to the lands that formed our heritage,” says the television ad, which shows people fishing and horseback riding. “Seizing public lands: A bad idea we can’t afford.”
Mr. Ivory dismissed the attacks as “fear tactics,” pointing out that the law includes only lands designated for multiple use — in other words, economic development — and not national parks or national monuments.
“They’re trying to get people to think that the sky is falling, and it’s just not,” Mr. Ivory said. “In fact, Utah passed the only state wilderness act so that, as the lands are transferred, we designate the unique heritage sites as state wilderness to be protected under the guidelines the state establishes.”
He pointed to the report, which he says shows “clearly Utah can afford to do this without selling off any land. None of that is contemplated.”
“These are tactics by those who just want to keep making money by suing the federal government,” Mr. Ivory said, referring to environmental groups.
He pointed out that transferring federal lands to state control has the support of the American Farm Bureau, the National Association of Counties and the Republican National Committee. A half-dozen Western states are expected to consider similar proposals in next year’s legislative session, while bills have been introduced in Congress to support the idea.
Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar slammed the Utah legislation in 2012, saying it “defied common sense,” and accused lawmakers of playing politics.
As far as Mr. Ivory is concerned, however, shifting management to the states would be far preferable than keeping the lands under the increasingly tight control of the federal government.
“Under increasing federal control, access is being restricted. The health of the land is diminishing horribly. And the productivity is depressed,” Mr. Ivory said. “This is the only way to get better access, better health and better productivity.”
December 4th, 2014 by olddog
This article will make you angry. The US Government is actively seeking those who criticize government, specifically Barack Obama, and arresting them without charging them. They are remanded to mental health institutions where they are given “training” on how to view the world.
Remind you of a little book that George Orwell wrote?
It gets worse.
Most of the victims of the government’s kidnapping scheme are veterans.
From The Rutherford Institute:
In the four years since the start of Operation Vigilant Eagle, the government has steadily ramped up its campaign to “silence” dissidents, especially those with military backgrounds. Coupled with the DHS’ dual reports on Rightwing and Leftwing “Extremism,” which broadly define extremists as individuals and groups “that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely,” these tactics have boded ill for anyone seen as opposing the government.
One particularly troubling mental health label being applied to veterans and others who challenge the status quo is “oppositional defiance disorder” (ODD). As journalist Anthony Martin explains, an ODD diagnosis
“denotes that the person exhibits ‘symptoms’ such as the questioning of authority, the refusal to follow directions, stubbornness, the unwillingness to go along with the crowd, and the practice of disobeying or ignoring orders. Persons may also receive such a label if they are considered free thinkers, nonconformists, or individuals who are suspicious of large, centralized government… At one time the accepted protocol among mental health professionals was to reserve the diagnosis of oppositional defiance disorder for children or adolescents who exhibited uncontrollable defiance toward their parents and teachers.”
The case of 26-year-old decorated Marine Brandon Raub—who was targeted because of his Facebook posts, interrogated by government agents about his views on government corruption, arrested with no warning, labeled mentally ill for subscribing to so-called “conspiratorial” views about the government, detained against his will in a psych ward for standing by his views, and isolated from his family, friends and attorneys—is a prime example of the government’s war on veterans.
Raub’s case exposes the seedy underbelly of a governmental system that is targeting Americans—especially military veterans—for expressing their discontent over America’s rapid transition to a police state.
Here is a news story by RT (Russian Times) about Brandon Raub. Apparently the corporate media in the United States won’t tell his story:
To underscore how big this story truly is, John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute is the lead attorney defending the innocent victims targeted by the Obama Thought Police. Whitehead is quite famous for his defense of the Bill of Rights for the past several decades.
This is big.
Obama wants everybody to think like a brain-dead zombie while he transforms America into Orwell’s 1984.
Outcry after military veteran detained for anti-government Facebook posts
A former Marine involuntarily detained for psychiatric evaluation for posting strident anti-government messages on Facebook has received an outpouring of support from people who say authorities are trampling on his First Amendment rights.
Brandon J. Raub, 26, has been in custody since FBI, Secret Service agents and police in Virginia’s Chesterfield County questioned him Thursday evening about what they said were ominous posts talking about a coming revolution. In one message earlier this month according to authorities, Raub wrote: “Sharpen my axe; I’m here to sever heads.”
Police — acting under a state law that allows emergency, temporary psychiatric commitments upon the recommendation of a mental health professional — took Raub to the John Randolph Medical Center in Hopewell. He was not charged with any crime.
A Virginia-based civil liberties group, The Rutherford Institute, dispatched one of its attorneys to the hospital to represent Raub at a hearing Monday. A judge ordered Raub detained for another month, Rutherford executive director John Whitehead said.
“For government officials to not only arrest Brandon Raub for doing nothing more than exercising his First Amendment rights but to actually force him to undergo psychological evaluations and detain him against his will goes against every constitutional principle this country was founded upon,” Whitehead said.
Raub’s mother, Cathleen Thomas, said by telephone that the government had overstepped its bounds.
“The bottom line is his freedom of speech has been violated,” she said.
Thomas said her son, who served tours as a combat engineer in Iraq and Afghanistan, is “concerned about all the wars we’ve experienced” and believes the U.S. government was complicit in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. One of his Facebook posts, she said, pictured the gaping hole in the Pentagon and asked “where’s the plane?”
Whitehead said he found nothing alarming in Raub’s social media commentaries. “The posts I read that supposedly were of concern were libertarian-type posts I see all the time,” he said.
The big concern, Whitehead said, is whether government officials are monitoring citizens’ private Facebook pages and detaining people with whom they disagree.
Dee Rybiski, an FBI spokeswoman in Richmond, said there was no Facebook snooping by her agency.
“We received quite a few complaints about what were perceived as threatening posts,” she said. “Given the circumstances with the things that have gone on in the country with some of these mass shootings, it would be horrible for law enforcement not to pay attention to complaints.”
Whitehead said some of the posts in question were made on a closed Facebook page that Raub had recently created so he questioned whether anyone from the public would have complained about them.
“Support Brandon Raub” Facebook pages have drawn significant interest, and other Internet sites had numerous comments from people outraged by the veteran’s detention.
Raub’s supporters characterized the detention as an arrest, complaining he was handcuffed and whisked away in a police cruiser without being served a warrant or read his rights. But authorities say it wasn’t an arrest because Raub doesn’t face criminal charges.
Col. Thierry Dupuis, the county police chief, said Raub was taken into custody upon the recommendation of mental health crisis intervention workers. He said the action was taken under the state’s emergency custody statute, which allows a magistrate to order the civil detention and psychiatric evaluation of a person who is considered potentially dangerous.
He said Raub was handcuffed because he resisted officers’ attempts to take him into custody.
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December 3rd, 2014 by olddog
Many of our nation’s sheriffs have been brainwashed that America is a “war zone” so all of our police departments (even for towns of less than 4,000 people) apparently need mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles — which basically look like tanks — straight off the battlefields of Afghanistan.
Though the vehicles cost nearly $750,000, many police departments across the nation have acquired their very own MRAP tanks for pennies on the dollar (and sometimes free) from the Pentagon’s controversial surplus program that seeks to dump military equipment into America’s neighborhoods.
Now the indoctrination inside our classrooms can compete with the indoctrination on the school’s front lawn that America is such a police state war zone, it’s totally normal for a school district to also require a tank.
School districts. Are getting. Tanks.
On sale special at a 99-percent-plus discount, the San Diego Unified School District recently got a good bargain, too; it only cost the district $5,000 to transport the $733,000 vehicle to campus.
But don’t worry. San Diego Unified School District Police Chief Ruben Littlejohn held a news conference back in September to assure his fellow citizens that A) MRAPs aren’t tanks, B) there will be medical supplies and teddy bears kept in the non-tank MRAP, and C) don’t worry, this really isn’t a sign of the militarization of our schools.
“There will be medical supplies in the vehicle. There will be teddy bears in the vehicle. There will be trauma kits in the vehicle in the event any student is injured, and our officers are trained to give first aid and CPR,” he said. (source)
Guess they are concerned they might have a lot of Iraq-style bombings involving high-grade explosives to respond to there on the good ‘ol campus?
The police chief assured everyone the MRAP is going to be used as a “rescue tool.” There are even plans to paint it up like an ambulance:
See? They are going to dress up their non-tank to look like an ambulance and fill it up with teddy bears, so it’s all okay.
One commenter on KPBS wrote:
They can call it a ‘love buggy,’ a ‘student patrol limo,’ or a ‘campus police fun bus’ and then paint it pretty colors,” a reader wrote, “but that doesn’t change the fact it’s a piece of military equipment that is unnecessary and sends the message that local officials are at war with students.
Hm. By that logic, maybe we should start painting all the militarized riot gear our modern American police officers wear up to look like giant teddy bears complete with giant bear head helmets, too. That way they can look all cutesy poo when they’re stomping your face down with their boot and firing tear gas at you for daring to exercise your First Amendment rights on U.S. streets or shooting your dog during a no-knock SWAT raid at the wrong house.
By the way, if this MRAP is such a “rescue tool,” what are the police doing with it? Isn’t search and rescue more of an EMS and fire department thing?
Oh, but apparently San Diego Unified needs an MRAP because Sandy Hook:
The district said the rescue vehicle is one of the ways it is responding to the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, and preparing itself for potential disasters in the future. (source)
So having an MRAP is going to magically stop school shootings now? Why not just post a few more “gun-free zone” signs around campus?
The sheer amount of common sense and sound logic flowing out of this sheriff and the school district in justifying their MRAP purchase really should make us all feel so much better that A) these people are in positions like “sheriff” and “superintendent” of a whole school district within our education system in the first place and B) that these people are also now in charge of a freaking teddy bear filled tank.
The MRAP should go really well with the whole police state apparatus being erected on that campus, according to another KPBS commenter:
San Diego Unified Police have been carrying military-grade semi-automatic weapons in their car trunks for a year and a half. Last year the entire Education Center at 4100 Normal Street was converted into a locked-down i.d.-card-swiping system, paid for with federal Homeland Security money that is subverting civilian institutions and American values. (source)
With crime down to 20+ year lows, why exactly is America becoming a war zone again?
Because it actually is one? Or is it because people like this justifying the fact that we’re arming it like one…
(That last bit was rhetorical.)
The Beginning Of The End (by Michael Snyder)
Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival
The Anatomy of a Breakdown
Melissa Melton is a writer, researcher, and analyst for The Daily Sheeple, where this first appeared, and a co-creator of Truthstream Media with Aaron Dykes, a site that offers teleprompter-free, unscripted analysis of The Matrix we find ourselves living in. Melissa also co-founded Nutritional Anarchy with Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper, a site focused on resistance through food self-sufficiency. Wake the flock up!
December 2nd, 2014 by olddog
from the I-wouldn’t-join-any-club-that-would-take-me-as-a-member dept
It’s not just our nation’s legislators that enjoy a “revolving door” — one that moves them from Congress to the private sector and back again, to the mutual benefit of legislators and certain industries… not so much the rest of America.
There’s another revolving door out there — one that keeps bad cops employed in the law enforcement sector. It’s incredibly difficult for police departments to shed their “bad apples,” what with police unions pushing back hard on the few occasions that the blue line fails to hold. But even if they do manage to cut one loose, there’s a good chance this former officer will just end up carrying a badge and gun for someone else.
As we covered earlier this year, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department made sure a plethora of bad cops weren’t hurting for money, either by bringing them on board directly or placing them in open positions at the jails under its control.
For nearly 100 hires, investigators discovered evidence of dishonesty, such as making untrue statements or falsifying police records. At least 15 were caught cheating on the department’s own polygraph exams.
Twenty-nine of those given jobs had previously had been fired or pressured to resign from other law enforcement agencies over concerns about misconduct or workplace performance problems. Nearly 200 had been rejected from other agencies because of past misdeeds, failed entrance exams or other issues.
Out in Lincoln, Nebraska, other law enforcement agencies are acting as halfway houses for police officers with a history of misconduct.
John McGahan, the Lincoln Police Department’s 2013 Officer of the Year who resigned this year after Internal Affairs accused him of using excessive force, is now working at the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.
A second police officer accused of using excessive force, Jeremy Wilhelm, is a trooper candidate with the Nebraska State Patrol.
Here’s some more uniform-switching, this time in Ohio.
Former New Albany Police officer Steve Mowery faced several accusations of misconduct while he worked for that force… Mowery allegedly used excessive force against a teenager and was sued. That case was settled, according to those who were involved.
Mowery resigned before the police department could make a final recommendation for discipline, according to sources at the New Albany Police Department.
Today, Mowery works as a deputy for the Lucas County Sheriff’s office in the Toledo area.
Thanks to WBNS-10TV, the Sheriff’s office is finally looking into Mowery’s law enforcement record. But Mowery isn’t an anomaly.
[F]ormer Nelsonville police officer Randy Secoy was hired despite a reprimand from the Athens County Sheriff’s office for his “inability to control his anger.” Secoy made the news last year after surveillance video showed him lunging toward a seated teenager and forcefully gripping the teen’s throat.
Franklin Township Police Chief Allan Wheeler has hired multiple officers who have had troubles elsewhere. One officer resigned his position as a police chief at Marietta College in eastern Ohio… Printed reports that are still available online say that the former Marietta College Police chief was accused of making unwanted sexual advances toward a woman and stalking her.
From Florida, here’s the story of a well-traveled officer who might just be “the most crooked cop in America.”
[Major Joseph] Floyd joined the Crestview Police Department in the Florida Panhandle in 2007 after a brief stint with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. Unbeknownst to his new colleagues at the time of his hiring, Floyd had a rap sheet that stretched back more than a decade. Over the course of eight years, Floyd was terminated, forced to resign, or quit three police departments while under investigation for insubordination, lying, and falsifying records. Before becoming a cop, Floyd had been arrested for battery, disorderly conduct, and assaulting a law enforcement officer.
The article at Reason details some of Floyd’s past misconduct, which includes having subordinates tase unresisting suspects, planting evidence, striking suspects with rifles and referring to female officers as “department whores.” Charming. And yet, apparently still employable. (Here’s the 11-page indictment.)
[Roy] Logan was fired in 2001 from his last job as a licensed peace officer before becoming a Precinct 5 deputy. His explanation on a Dallas County job application: “terminated by newly elected sheriff.”
Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes said Logan was fired after a Texas Department of Public Safety officer reported seeing him playing an eight-liner gambling machine while on duty – about eight months after Byrnes took office.
Deputy Constable Juston Coffman resigned from the Celina (TX) Police Department after having been disciplined “several times.” He found a new home as a school district police officer.
More from Texas. Nearly half of Jonestown’s seven-member police force had a history of misconduct. (Two were immediately fired by an interim police chief earlier this year.)
Yvonne Gunnlaugsson had been suspended several times from the Austin Police Department before retiring under a cloud in 2005, public records show. She’d come to work for Jonestown a short time later…
Gunnlaugsson had compiled a long list of infractions as an Austin police officer. She’d been suspended six times, including for wrecking a patrol car after falling asleep and for failing to interview a suspect who had been identified by a robbery victim. Her involvement in another case led to a federal lawsuit against the city that raised questions about her judgment while responding to a call.
Andre Anderson, was sacked from the Jonestown department May 7. An internal investigation accused him of omitting an important piece of history from his job application: He’d lost his job at the Travis County sheriff’s office in 2001, after acknowledging he’d had sex with two inmates while they were in custody.
The third officer, still employed at this point, was suspended and fired by the Georgetown Police Dept. for failing to investigate suspected crimes.
Another police officer from elsewhere in the state managed to parlay being fired for drunken driving (and being named in a wrongful death suit that resulted in a $750,000 settlement) into a new position as a sheriff’s deputy in another county.
The problem is so pervasive it has its own term: gypsy cops. Moving from agency to agency tends to obscure incriminating paper trails, especially if the switch involves moving from a city agency (police department) to a county agency (sheriff’s department) or state agency (state troopers, highway patrol). Changes in background check requirements and decertification stipulations can be abused to keep bad law enforcement officers employed by law enforcement agencies.
The background checks themselves are their own problem. Agencies have been known to hire officers who’ve failed checks or while background checks were still pending. For smaller agencies or those pressured to add officers, these background checks may not be as thorough — if they’re even performed at all.
Police union pressure has led to legislation that further insulates police officers from being held accountable for their actions. Called a “law enforcement bill of rights,” it’s actually a long list of extra rights that makes it nearly impossible to fire bad cops, much less have their misconduct harm their future employment prospects. Mike Riggs’ writeup of these special, police-only due process “rights” is eye-opening. And infuriating.
At this point, it pretty much takes a felony conviction to ensure a fired cop won’t just end up wearing a different badge somewhere else. Most police departments aren’t willing to battle police unions to ensure fired cops stay out of circulation. Neutral references are given instead of recommendations against hiring. Dishonorable discharges are upgraded to honorable or “general.”
Those doing the hiring are also falling down on the job. When pressed about hires of cops with negative histories, those responsible for their continued employment plead ignorance. Despite the fact that these incidents are usually part of public records, law enforcement agency heads act as though it’s everyone else’s job to perform their due diligence. To some extent, it is. Those integral to the hiring process should be more thorough. But ultimately, the buck stops at the top. There’s enough information out there that bad cops should only slip through the cracks of the vetting system on rare occasions, rather than finding open doors nearly everywhere they look. The problem with bad cops will never go away if they can simply become some other agency’s “bad apple” just by filling out a job application.
December 1st, 2014 by olddog
There has only been one other time in history when the price of oil has crashed by more than 40 dollars in less than 6 months. The last time this happened was during the second half of 2008, and the beginning of that oil price crash preceded the great financial collapse that happened later that year by several months. Well, now it is happening again, but this time the stakes are even higher.
When the price of oil falls dramatically, that is a sign that economic activity is slowing down. It can also have a tremendously destabilizing effect on financial markets. As you will read about below, energy companies now account for approximately 20 percent of the junk bond market. And a junk bond implosion is usually a signal that a major stock market crash is on the way. So if you are looking for a “canary in the coal mine”, keep your eye on the performance of energy junk bonds. If they begin to collapse, that is a sign that all hell is about to break loose on Wall Street.
It would be difficult to overstate the importance of the shale oil boom to the U.S. economy. Thanks to this boom, the United States has become the largest oil producer on the entire planet.
Yes, the U.S. now actually produces more oil than either Saudi Arabia or Russia. This “revolution” has resulted in the creation of millions of jobs since the last recession, and it has been one of the key factors that has kept the percentage of Americans that are employed fairly stable.
Unfortunately, the shale oil boom is coming to an abrupt end. As a recent Vox article discussed, OPEC has essentially declared a price war on U.S. shale oil producers…
For all intents and purposes, OPEC is now engaged in a “price war” with the United States. What that means is that it’s very cheap to pump oil out of places like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. But it’s more expensive to extract oil from shale formations in places like Texas and North Dakota. So as the price of oil keeps falling, some US producers may become unprofitable and go out of business. The result? Oil prices will stabilize and OPEC maintains its market share.
If the price of oil stays at this level or continues falling, we will see a significant number of U.S. shale oil companies go out of business and large numbers of jobs will be lost. The Saudis know how to play hardball, and they are absolutely ruthless. In fact, we have seen this kind of scenario happen before…
Robert McNally, a White House adviser to former President George W. Bush and president of the Rapidan Group energy consultancy, told Reuters that Saudi Arabia “will accept a price decline necessary to sweat whatever supply cuts are needed to balance the market out of the US shale oil sector.” Even legendary oil man T. Boone Pickens believes Saudi Arabia is in a stand-off with US drillers and frackers to “see how the shale boys are going to stand up to a cheaper price.” This has happened once before. By the mid-1980’s, as oil output from Alaska’s North Slope and the North Sea came on line (combined production of around 5-6 million barrels a day), OPEC set off a price war to compete for market share. As a result, the price of oil sank from around $40 to just under $10 a barrel by 1986.
But the energy sector has been one of the only bright spots for the U.S. economy in recent years. If this sector starts collapsing, it is going to have a dramatic negative impact on our economic outlook. For example, just consider the following numbers from a recent Business Insider article…
Specifically, if prices get too low, then energy companies won’t be able to cover the cost of production in the US. This spending by energy companies, also known as capital expenditures, is responsible for a lot of jobs.
“The Energy sector accounts for roughly one-third of S&P 500 capex and nearly 25% of combined capex and R&D spending,” Goldman Sachs’ Amanda Sneider writes.
Even more troubling is what this could mean for the financial markets.
As I mentioned above, energy companies now account for close to 20 percent of the entire junk bond market. As those companies start to fail and those bonds start to go bad, that is going to hit our major banks really hard…
Everyone could suffer if the collapse triggers a wave of defaults through the high-yield debt market, and in turn, hits stocks. The first to fall: the banks that were last hit by the housing crisis.
Why could that happen?
Well, energy companies make up anywhere from 15 to 20 percent of all U.S. junk debt, according to various sources.
It would be hard to overstate the seriousness of what the markets could potentially be facing.
One analyst summed it up to CNBC this way…
“This is the one thing I’ve seen over and over again,” said Larry McDonald, head of U.S strategy at Newedge USA’s macro group. “When high yield underperforms equity, a major credit event occurs. It’s the canary in the coal mine.“
The last time junk bonds collapsed, a major stock market crash followed fairly rapidly.
And those that were hardest hit were the big Wall Street banks…
During the last high-yield collapse, which centered around debt tied to the housing sector, Citigroup lost 63 percent of its value in the following 60 days, Kensho shows. Bank of America was cut in half.
I understand that some of this information is too technical for a lot of people, but the bottom line is this…
Watch junk bonds. When they start crashing it is a sign that a major stock market collapse is right at the door.
At this point, even the mainstream media is warning about this. Just consider the following excerpt from a recent CNN article…
That swing away from junk bonds often happens shortly before stock market downturns.
“High yield does provide useful sell signals to equity investors,” Barclays analysts concluded in a recent report.
Barclays combed through the past dozen years of data. The warning signal they found is a 30% or greater increase in the spread between Treasuries and junk bonds before a dip.
If you have been waiting for the next major financial collapse, what you have just read in this article indicates that it is now closer than it has ever been.
Over the coming weeks, keep your eye on the price of oil, keep your eye on the junk bond market and keep your eye on the big banks.
Trouble is brewing, and nobody is quite sure exactly what comes next.
This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.
November 29th, 2014 by olddog
Justice Scalia explains why the Ferguson grand jury was completely wrong
While this article may leave the impression that Sheriff Joe is a tyrant, further down the author makes it clear that the sheriff’s policy is really the support of the people and their right to defend them selves and their property. ATTA BOY JOE!
By Jack Perry
So, when Ferguson got the grand jury ruling they didn’t like, they showed how interested they were in justice by burning down the businesses of people that had nothing at all to do with it. Meanwhile, in the State of Arizona, people showed their solidarity with Ferguson by going to bed. While other major cities held protests, some of which ended up with minor looting, Arizona just did what Arizona does: Conducted business as usual. There was one small protest of about 60 people down in Tempe, close to Phoenix. They argued among themselves, broke into two groups, but then gave up and went home. The next day, businesses were fearlessly open as usual, people were buying early Christmas presents, people were getting ready for Thanksgiving and getting their turkeys. Hmmm…weren’t Phoenix and Tucson two of the major cities that all the Ferguson “direct action” groups listed as scenes of protest? Yet, both these cities pretty much ignored the call to action, as did the entire state. What happened? That question can be answered below.
First of all, the major metropolitan area and state capital, Phoenix, is controlled by a warlord known as Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He is known as “America’s Toughest Sheriff” and he rules with an iron fist. He has a rather growing collection of tanks and armored personnel carriers but unlike many other departments, these are not just for show. Sheriff Joe will actually use his armor assets if he goes to the trouble of hauling them out. Everyone knows Sheriff Joe is the Warlord of Phoenix and basically runs Maricopa County, including Phoenix. No one in the county and city government has more power than he, and he has proven this to them many times. There have been numerous attempts to topple Sheriff Joe and none have succeeded. Even the federal government and AG Eric Holder have failed to unseat the Warlord of Phoenix. Far from intimidated by the feds, Warlord Joe retaliated by launching his own investigation into a federal judge in the area, as well as investigations into President Obama himself. Warlord Joe runs a jail that is a collection of fenced in tents called his “Tent City Jail”. To be sure, this is Warlord Joe’s concentration camp and no one wants to be carted off to it. People know what will happen if a riot starts in Phoenix. There will be three destinations for the rioters: Tent City Jail, the hospital, and the morgue. The Warlord of Phoenix had people watching Phoenix for any sign of unrest when the Ferguson grand jury finding was released. However, this is not what discourages riots in Arizona.
Our state is run by a governor who is actually our shogun. Arizona state law says that the governor can raise his or her own private army of armed citizens to secure the state during an “emergency”. What is or is not an “emergency” is up to the shogun to decide. This goes well beyond the Arizona National Guard, because this militia would be composed of armed citizens called to volunteer by the Arizona Shogunate. It would not be a federal military masquerading as a “National Guard”. Therefore, such a force would be wholly outside the control of the federal government. Now, the governor also has access to a quasi-police force of armed, unpaid volunteers known as the Arizona Rangers. But the law says the shogun can raise the additional force of a citizen militia as mentioned above. What’s more, the militia would answer to the shogun (our governor) alone. Even if the federal government said “You can’t use your National Guard to quell that riot”, the governor as shogun could snap his or her fingers and raise an army of several thousand armed citizens. What’s the federal government going to do about that? However, this is not what discourages riots in Arizona.
While our police forces here are heavily-militarized, there is a flip side to this coin. The state and state politicians have made it possible for the citizenry themselves to be generously armed, carry those arms, and use them in self-defense. The Warlord of Phoenix and the shogun cannot be everywhere at once, but armed citizens can be and will be. What’s more, the weaponry available to citizens here would boggle the minds of the citizens of “progressive” states. Go into an Arizona gun shop that is a Class 3 weapons dealer. You will see M-60 machine guns. You will see M2 Browning .50 caliber heavy machine guns. Submachine guns of every flavor. Many of these gun shops will even help you fill out and submit the federal paperwork. Semi-automatic rifles are quite common. You can carry them loaded in your vehicle and many people do. No permit is required to carry a loaded firearm here for self-defense, either concealed or open. Self-defense laws here are very generous. Basically, they’re “Stand Your Ground” and “Castle Doctrine” laws on steroids. This means if a riot started and rioters were trying to drag motorists from cars and assault them, they’d probably wind up getting themselves shot. If they tried to break into businesses to loot or torch the businesses, they’d be met with gunfire.
This is the real reason we don’t have huge riots here with blocks of businesses reduced to smoking heaps of rubble. It isn’t Sheriff Joe, his tanks, or the governor. It’s the individual armed citizen. People here work hard to build businesses. They put their lives into them and they’re not going to step aside and let someone torch their dreams in an agitator-sponsored temper tantrum and looting-fest masquerading as “outrage”. People here defend themselves, have the weapons to do so, and laws that make it possible. Rioters might make it past the Warlord of Phoenix, if they’re lucky. They might defy the Shogun of Arizona. But they will not make it past the armed citizens defending their homes and businesses. Everyone here knows this. They know a huge riot would become a mass suicide mission for the rioters. Protests happen and everyone is fine with that. But everyone knows there is a line that cannot be crossed—or else. Because it will not be tolerated and people won’t cower and wait for the government to save them. They will save themselves.
Arizona is a different world. We’ve only been a state since 1912 and the Old West is still very much alive out here. Armed citizens are very common. No one pays any attention to it. People here don’t rely solely on the government to protect them because they know the government can’t. There are people here who live hours away from the nearest law enforcement authorities. A woman being stalked in this state isn’t just told “Well, maybe you should get a restraining order…” People also tell her, “Time to buy a gun and learn how to use it.”
It also isn’t that Arizona doesn’t care about Ferguson. It’s that, for the most part, we know the answer to those problems lies in one place: The free market. That’s why our businesses were open as usual. Protesting and rioting isn’t going to ever solve anything. All you’re doing is chasing out the businesses in your neighborhood and creating a “concrete desert” devoid of goods and services that you are now going to have to live in. Many of those businesses that burned will not be coming back. Even if they wanted to, they might not be able to obtain insurance to do so. Businesses that want to open there will not be able to obtain loans. The police might not be able to stop you from looting and burning businesses and you might think you got away with that. But the market can and will create consequences for your actions also. The answer isn’t burning down the businesses in your community, folks. The answer is opening your own. Destruction never solves anything but only causes yet more problems. Creating is what solves problems. That’s what the free market teaches and will be teaching.
So, police departments can buy all the tanks and military gear they want to. They aren’t what truly keeps the peace, as we see in Ferguson. What truly keeps the peace is the armed citizen.
The Best of Jack Perry
Jack Perry [send him mail] is an arrowmaker and writer who lives in the Four Corners area of the Southwestern United States. He has been a truck driver, a purchasing agent at a now-defunct renewable energy company (don’t even ask him about the “Green energy” scam), and served in the 101st Airborne Division. He spends his time practicing traditional archery, making arrows in the wilds of the Arizona high desert, and finding himself only mildly amused by the antics of the Great Father in Washington.
FBI Report Accidentally Exposes the
Severity of the Police State
A recently published FBI report accidentally proves that while the police claim cops face growing threats from rowdy populations–like in Ferguson–the opposite is true. The report presents law enforcement deaths in 2013.
The report found that across the entire country, only 76 LEOs were killed in “line-of-duty” incidents. 27 died as a result of “felonious” acts and 49 officers died in accidents–namely, automobile (ironically, of the 23 killed in car accidents, 14 were not wearing seat belts–a violation for which cops routinely ticket drivers). More officers die from accidents than actual murders on the job. The report also outright admits that intentional murders of cops were down from 2004 and 2009.
Further, 49,851 officers were assaulted–a statistic that seemingly proves police are at risk. 29.2%, or 14,556, were actually injured (an admittedly high number). Still, a suspect fact is that 79.8% of the time, “assailants used personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.).” This means that in a vast majority of cases, there was no physical evidence that assault occurred (outside of potential bruises and cuts,but this information is not public). Punches and kicks can be damaging, but nowhere near firearms and knives, which constituted a very small percentage of “assaults.” The report also does not specify what constitutes an “injury,” making designations of injury potentially arbitrary and subjective.
This means that the common police tactic of misrepresenting scuffles and charging people with assault could be at work (such as when a cop squeezed the breast of an Occupy protester so hard he left a bruise and in the chaos, she accidentally elbowed a cop. She went to jail for “assaulting” an officer). Of course, it’s a possibility that all 49,851 officers were simply “doing their jobs,” but at the very least it is important to be skeptical.
But besides direct contradictions to the logic behind institutional myths of heroic cops and dangerous bad guys, what are the implications of this FBI report?
First, that police are schizophrenic in their belief that they are in danger (this fear is proven in therecent Ferguson protests and presence of the National Guard). The overzealous militarization of local cops is enough to prove that they might as well be hiding under blankies from the American populace in spite of the fact thatviolent crime has been dropping for decades.
However, considering how well cops are armed and how efficiently the justice system protects them from prosecution for their crimes, they prove to be paranoid. 27 police officers in a country with over 300 million people died last year. Law enforcement deaths-by-murder are included in the 49,851 “assaults” against officers, which means that .05 (half a percent) died as a result of alleged attacks. Crime against cops has dropped to a 50 year low. It’s more dangerous to drive a car than be a cop (this is bolstered by the fact that the number of cops who died in car accidents almost equals the total number of cops murdered–23 to 27).
Second, militarization is working for the police. It is not working for the rest of us. Though there is little reliable, official data about the number of people police kill every year, tenuous reports claim it is around 400. This is already almost 15 times more than police who are intentionally killed. However, the 400 figure is a result of 17,000 local police agencies being allowed to self-report. The numbers could be far higher.
As Tech Dirt said of a 2008 FBI report that found cops had killed 391 people in 2007:
“That count only includes homicides that occurred during the commission of a felony. This total doesn’t include justifiable homicides committed by police officers against people not committing felonies and also doesn’t include homicides found to be not justifiable. But still, this severe undercount far outpaces the number of cops killed by civilians.”
The number of “justifiable” homocides was on the rise in 2008 (to be fair, it was rising among private citizens as well) in spite of the inconvenient fact that overall crime has been declining.
Unfortunately, the most important implication of the FBI report is the simple fact that the report exists. When the FBI takes the time to construct a meticulous report (you can read more detailshere) of all the ways that a tiny percentage of cops were killed–but cannot be bothered to officially count civilian deaths at the hands of cops, the reality is obvious:
The governemnt places a higher priority on their own than on the lives of those they claim to “serve,” “protect,” and “work for.” It cares more about exonerating the police of their crimes than providing justice to those they abuse. There is no justice when the criminal is the cop.
Carey Wedler writes for TheAntiMedia.org where this article first appeared. You can also find more of her work at her blog InRogue.co
November 28th, 2014 by olddog
Build, don’t burn. Collaborate, don’t complain. Don’t simply “resist” the system, replace it altogether.
When faced on the battlefield with a numerically superior enemy, one must attempt to divide his enemy into smaller, more easily dispatched opponents – or even more ideally, divide them against one another, and have them defeat each other without ever drawing your sword. For Wall Street’s 0.1%, divide and conquer is a way of life.
Divide and Conquer
Never in human history has there been a more effective way for tyrants to rule over large groups of people who, should they ever learn to cooperate, would easily throw off such tyranny.
At the conclusion of the Anglo-Zulu War, the British despoiled Zululand, divided it into 14 separate chiefdoms, each led by a proxy obedient to the British Empire. The British ensured that these 14 chiefdoms harbored animosities toward one another and fostered petty infighting between them to ensure British interests would never again be challenged by a unified Zulu threat. Before the British, the Romans would employ similar tactics across Germania and Gaul.
In this way, the British Empire and the Romans managed to not only decimate their enemies, but by keeping them perpetually infighting, divided, and at war with one another, managed to keep them subservient to imperial rule for generations.
But one would be mistaken to believe that imperialism is only waged abroad. Imperialism is as much about manipulating, controlling, and perpetuating subservience at home as it is projecting hegemony abroad. For the imperialist, all of humanity represents a sea of potential usurpers. The systematic division, weakening, and subjugation of various social groups along political, religious, class, or racial lines has proven an ageless solution for the elite.
One remembers the infamous use of Christians as a scapegoat for the corruption of Roman Emperor Nero, deflecting public anger away from the ruling elite and unto others among the plebeians.
This is a game that has continued throughout the centuries and continues on to this very day. While racial, religious, and political divisions are aspects of human nature, they are viciously exploited by the ruling elite to divide and destroy any capacity of the general public to organize, resist, or compete with established sociopolitical and economic monopolies.
Ferguson – Playing America Like a Fiddle
Before protests began breaking out in Ferguson, Missouri, and even after the first of the protests in August, many across America’s polarized “left/right” paradigm began to find a common ground, shocked at the level of militarization the police had undergone and the heavy-handed response they exercised amid protests. Even among the generally pro-police and military “right,” there was concern over what was finally recognized as a growing and quite menacing “police state” in America.
Politicians, the corporate media, and security agencies set off to work, dividing America’s public down very predictable lines. Convenient “revelations” that the police were connected with the ultra-racist Ku Klux Klan, coupled with growing choruses across the right to circle the wagons in support of the militarized police attempted to place those who converged on this common ground back into their assigned places on the “right” and “left” of America’s ultimately Wall Street-controlled political order.
Regardless of its success, attempts to intentionally provoke violence, confusion, and division on both sides is an attempt by the establishment to keep people divided and weak while maintaining their position of primacy over the country and the expansive “international order” it imposes globally. It was this establishment, in fact, that intentionally militarized the police, intentionally cultivates both institutional racism as well as sociopolitical and economic rot in America’s inner cities, creating breeding grounds of violence and crime. So busy is America managing the predictable conflict amongst themselves, they have neither the time nor the energy to recognize their true tormentors.
In reality, the police and protesters and those across America and around the world “picking sides” have more in common with one another than the government and corporate-financier interests that reign in Washington and on Wall Street.
Get Off the Hamster Wheel
One cannot accomplish anything by burning down one’s own community, killing one another, or complaining and protesting endlessly. Real revolution is not taking to the streets and destroying a political order, it is creating a new order that displaces the old.
The American Revolution, for instance, occurred after the colonies established their own economic system, as well as their own militias, political networks, and infrastructure. The violence broke out only after the British tried to reassert themselves amid the steady process of being displaced. By the time shots were being fired, the real revolution had already occurred – the subsequent war was to defend its success.
Today, the establishment constitutes unchecked, unwarranted power and influence held by the corporate-financier elite – an establishment we are in fact paying into daily every time we patronize their businesses, use their services, associate with their institutions, and pay in attention and time to their propaganda and political agenda we ourselves should be setting and executing. Ironically many of both the police and protesters clashing in Ferguson on opposite sides of the “conflict” have homes full of Wall Street’s goods, and subscriptions to many of their services.
Indeed, Walmart ends up filling our homes with most of the consumer products we depend on in America. A handful of agricultural giants feed us. A handful of pharmaceutical giants medicate us. A handful of energy monopolies light our homes and fuel our vehicles. You could fill a single sheet of paper with the names of corporate-financier interests that rule over nearly every aspect of our lives.
Such monopolies exist because they have extinguished competitors. Ensuring that competition remains extinguished means creating a society that is incapable of producing individuals or paradigms capable of challenging their established order. This includes sabotaging the education system, creating a socioeconomic system that encourages unsustainable dependence rather than self-sufficiency and independence, and rigging rules, regulations, and laws against any potential upstarts.
The notion of Ferguson protesters demanding justice from a system created of injustice, upon injustice, is as absurd as trying to squeeze apple juice from a lemon. It is the definition of fantastical futility.
Instead of demanding justice, jobs, education, healthcare, food, and other necessities and desires from a system with no intention of ever empowering the people – a system that in order to continue perpetuating itself must by necessity never truly empower the people – we must begin working together locally to empower ourselves.
Power stems from infrastructure and institutions – and locally this can be accomplished in innumerable ways. Already farmers’ markets, organic cooperatives, make spaces, churches, community centers, community gardens, and charities along with innovative small businesses leveraging technology to do locally what once required global spanning industry to accomplish, all constitute the seeds of this shifting paradigm. For communities unlucky enough not to have one of these above institutions, or a lack of them, instead of baying for blood in the streets, burning down buildings, or clashing with police, build them.
The alternative media itself is proof of what power people have when they stop depending on others, stop demanding others to do their jobs properly, and instead take up the responsibility themselves. Expanding this paradigm shift to other aspects of our daily lives, from agriculture to energy, to education, will be key to true and enduring change.
Ferguson teaches us that real change in the mind of many is still far off. America isn’t on the edge of revolution. A hamster wheel endlessly spinning has no “edge.” Those picking sides and bickering over the events in Ferguson are playing into an elementary strategy of divide and conquer. We are divided, Wall Street has conquered.
At the end of it all, Wall Street comes out even stronger. Because in the smoking remnants of our communities after all is said and done, we have even less with which to build an alternative to the system we live trapped within. Divided, we have half the people we should be joining together with, collaborating and building together with, to build the world we want to live in tomorrow.
Build, don’t burn. Collaborate, don’t complain. Don’t simply “resist” the system, replace it altogether.
Tony Cartalucci’s articles have appeared on many alternative media websites, including his own at Land Destroyer Report, Alternative Thai News Network and Local.Org.
November 26th, 2014 by olddog
The recent actions of mega behemoth Wells Fargo show us just why so many people are distrustful of large financial institutions. The bank, which claims it will help you achieve what’s important, has done exactly the opposite in the case of Rosemary Ronstein.
At the height of the 2009 financial crisis Ms. Ronstein was facing a home foreclosure. After her husband passed away that same year the widow was searching through personal records when she happened across a 30-year old CD purchased by her husband in 1984 for the sum of $18,000. The CD, which offered the bearer a 10.9% interest rate and renewed automatically until it was cashed in, was originally issued by First Interstate Bank, an entity that has since been acquired by Wells Fargo.
At the time, Ronstein faced the real possibility of having her house seized for failing to pay her mortgage. The CD was like a dream come true. All her problems would be solved, which is exactly the reason why her late husband originally purchased the CD and gave it to her for safekeeping.
But when Ronstein arrived at Wells Fargo to trade in her financial instrument, she says that not only did the bank refuse to make good on the Cash Deposit, they practically laughed in her face.
But when she tried to get the money that she believes is rightfully hers, she the bank “practically almost laughed at me.”
KPHO claims that Wells Fargo refused to comment on the story but claim in court documents that it had no records of the CD and believes it’s possible that it could have already been paid out at some point in the past, pointing out that First Interstate had a policy of allowing customers to retain paid-out certificates.
The widow insists that her late husband never cashed out the CD, while her lawyer notes that the CD states that it must be “presented and surrendered” in order to be redeemed. He claims that it’s not enough for Wells to cite a lack of documentation on its part as evidence that the CD had been paid.
“Given the passage of the time, the bank doesn’t have a record of it,” says the lawyer. “And so really what needs to be decided by the court is, what’s the import of the lack of a record in the face of the instrument?” (Source: Consumerist)
Video via KPHO:
CBS 5 – KPHO
According to Ronstein’s attorney, the accumulated interest and automatic renewals on the CD amount to over $400,000 today, a claim disputed by Wells Fargo which says it is worth only around $60,000.
In essence, Wells Fargo says that because it doesn’t have a record of the 30-year old legal financial instrument it doesn’t have to pay the sum owed. Moreover, they claim that even if the certificate was legitimate, First Interstate bank used to allow CD bearers to keep the CD after being paid out, so it may have already been paid. But Ronstein disputes this claim, noting that the CD clearly states the instrument must be surrendered to the bank at the time it is paid.
Wells Fargo, like many other large financial institutions, may claim they are looking out for the little guy. They may have vibrant advertisements telling you they’ll take care of you when you need help. But in reality, they are interested in one thing and one thing only – your money.
This isn’t the first time Wells Fargo has had some serious issues with paperwork and record keeping. Last year the very same bank actually showed up at someone’s home with the local police and claimed that the owner had failed to pay their mortgage. They seized everything in the home, boarded it up, and sold the delinquent homeowner’s possessions. Except there was one problem. They seized the wrong house. What’s worse, after they sold the owner’s possessions they refused to repay them the retail value of the goods! According to the homeowner the bank President told her, “We’re not paying you retail here, that’s just the way it is.”
I did not tell them to come in my house and make me an offer. They took my stuff and I want it back.
Now, I’m just angry… It wouldn’t be a big deal if they would step up and say ‘I’m sorry, we will replace your stuff.’ Instead, I’m getting attitude from them. They’re sarcastic when they talk to me. They make it sound like I’m trying to rip the bank off. All I want is my stuff back.
Ms. Ronstein’s case is just another example of how much you should trust your local banking institution to do what’s right.
The short answer? You can’t.
What you can expect is that they will take from you whenever they can and refuse to make good when they make a mistake.
Now, with the introduction of “bail-in” provisions which essentially turn your personal account deposits into bank assets (rather then your assets), should the bank make a mistake on the order of Lehman Brothers in the 2008 financial crisis you can fully expect to lose every single dime you’ve deposited. In fact, the Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve recently warned that this is exactly what would happen to your life savings should your bank ever need to recapitalize itself:
The United States is preparing a proposal to require systemically important banks to issue bail-inable long-term debt that will enable insolvent banks to recapitalize themselves in resolution without calling on government funding–this cushion is known as a “gone concern” buffer.
You’ve been warned.
Your personal deposits and live savings are nothing more than investment vehicles for your bank. And if they screw up, you are the one who will get screwed.
Ms. Ronstein is just the latest example of how America’s large financial institutions are taking everything they can from the little guy to further enrich themselves.
If you have your money at a bank then you should fully expect it to be disappeared at the very moment you need it most.
You can read more from Mac Slavo at his site SHTFplan.com, where this article first appeared.
GET EDUCATED AT
Those who are only focused on their daily routine will find their self homeless, broke, and unprepared to support themselves in the near future. Your knowledge of the real state of the union is the most necessary element of a future with personal independence.
LEARN AND LIVE!
November 25th, 2014 by olddog
by Damon Geller
Think your money is safe in the bank? Think again. A new bombshell from the New York Times exposes that the nation’s biggest banks have willingly turned bank accounts over to the government for total confiscation. It’s all done in secrecy, often initiated by the bankers. Tragically, bank account holders don’t even know they’re being targeted until after the money is seized from their accounts. The banks’ deplorable actions have resulted in millions of dollars stolen from U.S. citizens without a shred of due process. And in 80% of the cases, no criminal charges were ever filed. Even more alarming — in a matter of just a few years — these cases of unconstitutional bank account seizures have risen over 500%! Experts advise that you have only ONE choice if you want to protect your savings and retirement from corrupt banks.
Government on the Brink of Disaster
The U.S. government and the Fed pumped trillions of dollars of YOUR money into the banks and stock market over the last several years, catapulting the U.S. debt to $28 trillion by 2018. But now, the U.S. government and the Fed are completely out of ammo, with the Fed no longer able to buy U.S. treasuries. They desperately need money to maintain their own power, and taxes are not enough. So government officials are doing everything they can to keep the Ponzi scheme going, such as seizing the public’s money through inflation, deficits, and outright confiscation. And now they have enlisted their old pals — the bankers — to help them get unfettered access to YOUR money without due process.
The 4th Amendment under Siege
The 4th Amendment of the Constitution reads clearly: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.” But according to this shocking New York Times report, the 4th Amendment is under siege.
By law, banks are required to report cash deposits over $10,000 to the IRS. But now, banks are voluntarily — without any requirement from the government — reporting millions of cash deposits under $10,000. From there, the IRS is arbitrarily deeming these deposits suspicious and seizing all the money in these accounts — without any evidence of a crime, without filing criminal charges, and without allowing the account holder to fight the confiscation in court.
As the New York Times reported, the big banks are allowing over 100 multiagency task forces to comb through your bank reports on a daily basis, looking for accounts to seize. Under the Bank Secrecy Act, banks filed more than 700,000 suspicious activity reports last year alone! So do you really think you can trust your local bank?
The number of IRS seizures has increased over 500% in just a few years, and in 80% of the cases the IRS never files a criminal complaint against the individual being seized. The median amount seized by the IRS is $34,000, while legal costs can easily mount to $20,000 or more. Individuals who are the victims of seizure often cannot afford to fight.
How big are the accounts the bankers turn over to the government for seizure? The following are just a few of the horrifying cases exposed by the New York Times:
- The government confiscated $447,000 from a family business in New York
- The government confiscated $33,000 from a small restaurant owner in Iowa
- The government confiscated $66,000 from an army sergeant in Virginia who was saving the money for his daughter’s college education
This giant asset forfeiture program gives the government the authority to confiscate your money without due process, even if you’ve committed no crime! And the bankers are more than happy to aid the government in this outright THEFT. Bankers and the government have gone after run-of-the-mill business owners and wage earners without so much as an allegation that they have committed serious crimes. The government just takes the money without ever filing a criminal complaint, and the owners are left to prove they are innocent. Many give up and never get their money back.
The Banker-Gov’t Conspiracy Goes Much Further
The banker-government conspiracy to confiscate citizen wealth doesn’t stop with seizures by the IRS, Justice Department and local police. As was recently reported, the U.S. government has conspired with the banks to nationalize retirement accounts like IRAs, 401Ks, pensions, 403Bs, as well as savings accounts worldwide:
- FATCA requires foreign financial institutions such as banks, stock brokers, hedge funds, pension funds, insurance companies, and trusts to report all U.S. citizens’ accounts directly to the IRS. FATCA even requires reporting to the IRS by foreign private companies on any income made by a citizen of the U.S. whether they live here or not.
- Obama announced the creation of the MyRA – your retirement money will now be used to pay for U.S. debt. MyRA is nothing more than an investment scam being sold to the American people as a you-can’t-lose, zero-risk investment by the pitchman-in-chief himself.
- The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which oversees how investments are sold, proposed what it calls CARDS – Comprehensive Automated Risk Data System – which is an electronic system that will regularly collect data on balances and transactions in all 4100 brokerages nationwide.
So for the first time ever, the U.S. government is directing you where to invest your savings & retirement and has gained full access to the activity in every single citizen’s bank accounts, retirement accounts, brokerage accounts and trading accounts. The IRS will also have full visibility on any oversees accounts, income, equity or other earnings, effectively giving them access to all the wealth of every American citizen no matter where they reside on earth.
Protect Yourself from Gov’t Confiscation Now
With our desperate government leaning on their banker friends to gain unprecedented access to your money everywhere in the world, you need to take action NOW to protect your savings & retirement. But when can’t trust your local bank, and when the government has its hands in your bank accounts, retirement accounts, brokerage accounts, and even the cash in your pocket – is any place safe?
Absolutely. There’s ONE asset class this sits outside the financial system and is completely secure from banker corruption, government confiscation and global economic collapse: Gold & Silver. Gold & Silver have been the best wealth protectors for over 5,000 years and have survived every government & currency collapse in history. And when you own PHYSICAL gold & silver, the banks and the government CANNOT seize your savings with a click of a button.
So with the government spending way beyond its limits and seizing control of your financial accounts, the time is now. Protect your savings & retirement with physical gold & silver before you have nothing left to protect. (Call 800-226-8106 to receive your free copy of Damon Geller’s popular book, “Rescue Your Money from the National Debt Disaster,”
November 24th, 2014 by olddog
Introduction By Paul Craig Roberts
There is little doubt that hubris has made Washington insane. But it is difficult to account for Europe’s insanity. With winter at hand, how can Europe expect to be part of bringing such trouble to Russia and still receive deliveries of natural gas?
Perhaps Europeans are fooling themselves that Russia will stand aside.
If the situation is as dire as it seems, the Russian government must prevent it from unfolding by accepting the request of the eastern and southern provinces to unite with Russia. Then an attack on Donetsk becomes an attack on Russia herself. Such an attack would be suicidal for Washington’s puppet regime in Kiev and for Europeans that back such an attack.
The Russian government has done all it can to encourage Europe to maintain profitable and peaceful relations with Russia. However, it seems that Europeans are too firmly under Washington’s control to act in their own interest. Europe’s vassalage is permitting a scenario to unfold that could lead to World War III. The Russian government could preempt this risk by accepting the separatists’ request for unification with Russia.
All-Out War In Ukraine: NATO’s ‘Final Offensive’
By James Petras
There are clear signs that a major war is about to break out in Ukraine: A war actively promoted by the NATO regimes and supported by their allies and clients in Asia (Japan) and the Middle East (Saudi Arabia). The war over Ukraine will essentially run along the lines of a full-scale military offensive against the southeast Donbas region, targeting the breakaway ethnic Ukraine- Russian Peoples Republic of Donetsk and Lugansk, with the intention of deposing the democratically elected government, disarming the popular militias, killing the guerrilla resistance partisans and their mass base, dismantling the popular representative organizations and engaging in ethnic cleansing of millions of bilingual Ukraino-Russian citizens. NATO’s forthcoming military seizure of the Donbas region is a continuation and extension of its original violent putsch in Kiev, which overthrew an elected Ukrainian government in February 2014.
The Kiev junta and its newly ‘elected’ client rulers, and its NATO sponsors are intent on a major purge to consolidate the puppet Poroshenko’s dictatorial rule. The recent NATO-sponsored elections excluded several major political parties that had traditionally supported the country’s large ethnic minority populations, and was boycotted in the Donbas region. This sham election in Kiev set the tone for NATO’s next move toward converting Ukraine into one gigantic US multi-purpose military base aimed at the Russian heartland and into a neo-colony for German capital, supplying Berlin with grain and raw materials while serving as a captive market for German manufactured goods.
An intensifying war fever is sweeping the West; the consequences of this madness appear graver by the hour.
War Signs: The Propaganda and Sanctions Campaign,
the G20 Summit and the Military Build Up
The official drum- beat for a widening conflict in Ukraine, spearheaded by the Kiev junta and its fascist militias, echoes in every Western mass media outlet, every day. Major mass media propaganda mills and government ‘spokesmen and women’ publish or announce new trumped-up accounts of growing Russian military threats to its neighbors and cross-border invasions into Ukraine. New Russian incursions are ‘reported’ from the Nordic borders and Baltic states to the Caucuses. The Swedish regime creates a new level of hysteria over a mysterious “Russian” submarine off the coast of Stockholm, which it never identifies or locates – let alone confirms the ‘sighting’. Estonia and Latvia claim Russian warplanes violated their air space without confirmation. Poland expels Russian “spies” without proof or witnesses. Provocative full-scale joint NATO-client state military exercises are taking place along Russia’s frontiers in the Baltic States, Poland, Romania and Ukraine.
NATO is sending vast arms shipments to the Kiev junta, along with “Special Forces” advisers and counter-insurgency experts in anticipation of a full-scale attack against the rebels in the Donbas.
The Kiev regime has never abided by the Minsk cease fire. According to the UN Human Rights office 13 people on average –mostly civilians –have been killed each day since the September cease fire. In eight weeks, the UN reports that 957 people have killed –overwhelmingly by Kiev’s armed forces.
The Kiev regime, in turn, has cut all basic social and public services to the Peoples’ Republics’, including electricity, fuel, civil service salaries, pensions, medical supplies, salaries for teachers and medical workers, municipal workers wages; banking and transport have been blockaded.
The strategy is to further strangle the economy, destroy the infrastructure, force an even greater mass exodus of destitute refugees from the densely populated cities across the border into Russia and then to launch massive air, missile, artillery and ground assaults on urban centers as well as rebel bases.
The Kiev junta has launched an all-out military mobilization in the Western regions, accompanied by rabid anti-Russian, anti-Eastern Orthodox indoctrination campaigns designed to attract the most violent far right chauvinist thugs and to incorporate the Nazi-style military brigades into the frontline shock troops. The cynical use of irregular fascist militias will ‘free’ NATO and Germany from any responsibility for the inevitable terror and atrocities in their campaign. This system of ‘plausible deniability’ mirrors the tactics of the German Nazis whose hordes of fascist Ukrainians and Ustashi Croats were notorious in their epoch of ethnic cleansing.
G20-plus-NATO: Support of the Kiev Blitz
To isolate and weaken resistance in the Donbas and guarantee the victory of the impending Kiev blitz, the EU and the US are intensifying their economic, military and diplomatic pressure on Russia to abandon the nascent peoples’ democracy in the south-east region of Ukraine, their principle ally.
Each and every escalation of economic sanctions against Russia is designed to weaken the capacity of the Donbas resistance fighters to defend their homes, towns and cities. Each and every Russian shipment of essential medical supplies and food to the besieged population evokes a new and more hysterical outburst – because it counters Kiev-NATO strategy of starving the partisans and their mass base into submission or provoking their flight to safety across the Russian border.
After suffering a series of defeats, the Kiev regime and its NATO strategists decided to sign a ‘peace protocol’, the so-called Minsk agreement, to halt the advance of the Donbas resistance into the southern regions and to protect its Kiev’s soldiers and militias holed-up in isolated pockets in the East. The Minsk agreement was designed to allow the Kiev junta to build up its military, re-organize its command and incorporate the disparate Nazi militias into its overall military forces in preparation for a ‘final offensive’. Kiev’s military build-up on the inside and NATO’s escalation of sanctions against Russia on the outside would be two sides of the same strategy: the success of a frontal attack on the democratic resistance of the Donbas basin depends on minimizing Russian military support through international sanctions.
NATO’s virulent hostility to Russian President Putin was on full display at the G20 meeting in Australia: NATO-linked presidents and prime ministers, especially Merkel, Obama, Cameron, Abbott, and Harper’s political threats and overt personal insults paralleled Kiev’s growing starvation blockade of the besieged rebels and population centers in the south-east. Both the G20’s economic threats against Russia and the diplomatic isolation of Putin and Kiev’s economic blockade are preludes to NATO’s Final Solution – the physical annihilation of all vestiges of Donbas resistance, popular democracy and cultural-economic ties with Russia.
Kiev depends on its NATO mentors to impose a new round of severe sanctions against Russia, especially if its planned invasion encounters a well armed and robust mass resistance bolstered by Russian support. NATO is counting on Kiev’s restored and newly supplied military capacity to effectively destroy the southeast centers of resistance.
NATO has decided on an ‘all-or-nothing campaign’: to seize all of Ukraine or, failing that, destroy the restive southeast, obliterate its population and productive capacity and engage in an all-out economic (and possibly shooting) war with Russia. Chancellor Angela Merkel is on board with this plan despite the complaints of German industrialists over their huge loss of export sales to Russia. President Hollande of France has signed on dismissing the complaints of trade unionists over the loss of thousands French jobs in the shipyards. Prime Minister David Cameron is eager for an economic war against Moscow, suggesting the bankers of the City of London find new channels to launder the illicit earnings of Russian oligarchs.
The Russian Response
Russian diplomats are desperate to find a compromise, which allows Ukraine’s ethnic Ukraine- Russian population in the southeast to retain some autonomy under a federation plan and regain influence within the ‘new’ post-putsch Ukraine. Russian military strategists have provided logistical and military aid to the resistance in order to avoid a repeat of the Odessa massacre of ethnic Russians by Ukrainian fascists on a massive scale. Above all, Russia cannot afford to have NATO-Nazi-Kiev military bases along its southern ‘underbelly’, imposing a blockade of the Crimea and forcing a mass exodus of ethnic Russians from the Donbas. Under Putin, the Russian government has tried to propose compromises allowing Western economic supremacy over Ukraine but without NATO military expansion and absorption by Kiev.
That policy of conciliation has repeatedly failed.
The democratically elected ‘compromise regime’ in Kiev was overthrown in February 2014 in a violent putsch, which installed a pro-NATO junta.
Kiev violated the Minsk agreement with impunity and encouragement from the NATO powers and Germany.
The recent G20 meeting in Australia featured a rabble-rousing chorus against President Putin. The crucial four-hour private meeting between Putin and Merkel turned into a fiasco when Germany parroted the NATO chorus.
Putin finally responded by expanding Russia’s air and ground troop preparedness along its borders while accelerating Moscow’s economic pivot to Asia.
Most important, President Putin has announced that Russia cannot stand by and allow the massacre of a whole people in the Donbas region.
Is Poroshenko’s forthcoming blitz against the people of southeast Ukraine designed to provoke a Russian response – to the humanitarian crisis? Will Russia confront the NATO-directed Kiev offensive and risk a total break with the West?
James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York. Latest book: “The New Extractivism. A Post-Neoliberal Development Model or Imperialism of the Twenty-First Century?” Henry Veltmeyer and James Petras. Zed Books. http://petras.lahaine.org/
Arm Yourselves with Knowledge!
Global Research vs. The New York Times
By Global Research
“We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost 40 years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But the world is more sophisticated now and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.” - David Rockefeller, Bilderberg, 1991
If you wish to live in a world that is “sophisticated” enough to be a world government run by an intellectual elite and global bankers, then by all means, continue to read the Washington Post, New York Times, and Time Magazine to get all your information. If, however, the idea of a select coterie of a global intellectual-financial elite running the world does not sound like the ideal society for humanity’s future, we must continue to shine the lights of publicity on the actions of powerful individuals and institutions, bringing a critical eye to their ideologies and actions.
This is the aim and objective of Global Research and the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), which holds no “promises of discretion” and have not attended Bilderberg meetings. The aim is plainly stated: we are here to battle the tide of misinformation and expose the ‘New World Order.’We have been able to develop our activities thanks to contributions from our readers. To maintain our independence, we do not seek donor support from private or public foundations. Our commitment is to make Global Research articles available to the broadest possible readership, on a noncommercial basis, without the need for a login for paid subscribers.
I hold no animosity for those who are not intellectually capable of understanding America’s present danger, but for those who have crawled in bed with the pukes who want to destroy freedom in the entire world, I would sooner see you rot in Hell than assist you in escaping a burning building. This also includes all those who are just too damned self absorbed to learn and teach the truth concerning our present state of the Union. If you still insist on supporting a government that does not exist, you are a fool, a traitor, OR BOTH!
RESEARCH, RESIST, REBEL!
VIVA LA REVOLUTION!
November 22nd, 2014 by olddog
By David Jones
I have not voted in a national election since 1996 and will never vote again. It’s not that I don’t care or that I’m lazy. It’s just that I’ve come to the conclusion that voting doesn’t matter. More importantly, voting is antithetical to the values I hold dear. Voting is often held to be “a sacred duty” or “a right” or even a “moral responsibility”. Those in power love to promote elections and voters rights because they know that voting gives legitimacy to what they do once elected. Why else would billions of dollars be devoted to election politics? Politicians desperately plea with citizens to “get out and vote” because they know that elections provide cover for them. “Make your voice heard” is a constant refrain as if going to the polling booth once every two or four years and secretly casting a ballot will miraculously change the course of human history.
In the end the biggest reason I don’t vote, the only one that truly matters is that inevitably my vote is an act of aggression against others. The Declaration of Independence, one of the foundational documents that governs this country states correctly that “…all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. The key to that phrase is that our rights are unalienable which means non-transferable. I can vote to give away my freedoms but I cannot vote to take away yours. If our rights are unalienable (non transferable) then they cannot be usurped by a voter or group of voters and yet that is the crux of all voting. All voting is about taking something from someone and giving it to another or appointing someone lord and master over others against their will.
Voting is an act of violence because each voter assumes the right to appoint political and legal guardians over other human beings. No individual voter or even a majority of voters has such a right morally. If they claim to possess such a right, please have them clearly explain where that right comes from and how it squares with the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence “that all men are created equal” and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable “Rights” of “Life, Liberty,” and Property. When someone slips into a voting booth and pulls the lever they are no different than the highwayman who pulls a pistol out of his pocket and robs you in broad daylight.
Some people say that voting is a key to democracy and necessary to preserve our rights. This is hogwash. History has shown repeatedly that voting does not preserve rights and in fact is used as a tool to take them away. There are countless examples of so called democracy, even representative democracy such as that practiced in America, electing tyrants. It should be noted that Hitler rose to office in a thoroughly democratic process. Moreover, if voting is required to preserve our rights then they aren’t unalienable are they? Our rights become conditional, something bestowed by the state. This is a very dangerous proposition, to allow the state the ability to assign rights because what it can give it can surely take away. And it routinely does.
Voting is an act of consent. I do not choose to offer my consent. When you vote you agree to abide by the rules of the game and accept the outcome. By voting, the voter endorses the governmental system under which he or she lives and those in control of it. Each voter is saying: It is right and proper for some people, acting in the name of the State, to pass laws and to use violence to compel obedience to those laws if they are not obeyed regardless of the morality of those laws.
I’ve often heard people say – “Well, if you don’t vote you don’t have the right to complain.” Let me see if I understand the argument: If I don’t vote I forfeit my right to free speech. Free speech is not an unalienable right but contingent on me voting. This of course must mean that other rights are conditional and based on whether I vote or not. The logical extension of this argument would suggest that the other protections afforded me in the Bill of Rights are only valid if I vote. If I don’t vote I can’t own a gun. If I don’t vote I am subject to unreasonable search and seizure. If I don’t vote I cannot expect to be secure in my “persons, houses, papers, and effects.” If I don’t vote I cannot decline to testify against myself and due process is not available to me. That’s what these people are saying. It’s a terrifying prospect to suggest that voting is the fulcrum on which all human liberty is balanced.
Voters are never held accountable for their vote. They vote anonymously to elect leaders that reflect their values with no regard for the rights of their fellow citizens. When you think about it, voting is a cowardly act. It allows people to do by way of proxies to others what they cannot or will not do themselves such as stealing or killing or otherwise agressing. Furthermore, those elected are never held accountable for the debt they accrue on behalf of those they represent and the resulting economic harm. The worst thing that happens is the, they are voted out of office with a full lifetime pension when they should in fact be in jail for armed robbery.
Some people would say, “Vote for the person or issue that best reflects your values.” In other words, vote for the lesser of evils. There are a lot of problems with the argument. If we vote for a bad candidate, we are partly responsible for the harm done by that candidate. This is true even if our sole intent was to defeat a worse candidate. One evil does not justify another. It would have been better not to vote at all. Supporting the lesser of two evils tells politicians that it is acceptable for them to do likewise. The “vote for lesser of evils” strategy always results in a downward trend in the quality of candidates. Politicians won’t change if they know we’ll vote for them anyway. Good candidates seldom receive the support they need to become viable. The problem of bad choices is thereby perpetuated, and the nation continues to deteriorate until the day when our choices will be an Adolf Hitler and a Joseph Stalin. The lesser of two evils is still an evil.
“When a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental – men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand. So confronted, the candidate must either bark with the pack or be lost… All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” – Henry L. Mencken
In the end and after considerable thought I’ve decided to never vote again regardless of candidates or issues on the ballot. People will ask questions like – “how will we decide who leads us?” or “isn’t the democratic process a key to a civilized society?” Okay, in the interest of full disclosure I’m a voluntaryist or anarchist if you like. I am not a fan of government. The greatest con in recent human history is the “social contract” put forth by the likes of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. This theory posits that individuals either explicitly or implicitly surrender some of their freedoms to rulers in exchange for security. Here’s the problem – there really is no contract and there is no practical way of withdrawing consent. What social contract theory did was replace the “divine right of kings” with the “divine right of gangs”. The majority has absolute control over the minority using a faux legal entity called government. “Government is not reason. It is not eloquence,” George Washington reportedly said. “Government is force; like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”
The question of who will govern me is moot because I don’t care to be governed, at least by the present rules. More than anything, I don’t want any votes I cast to be used to exact violence against others. I don’t want to be responsible for the debt that politicians accrue which must be paid by future generations including my children and grandchildren. And I don’t want to enable politicians to wage endless wars which inevitably murder innocent non-combatants. As far as deciding who will lead us, that’s none of my business. If someone chooses to give up their sovereignty and be lead then fine. Just don’t ask me to participate in the charade.
“Although I admit that the outcome in a stateless society will be bad, because not only are people not angels, but many of them are irredeemably vicious in the extreme, I conjecture that the outcome in a society under a state will be worse, indeed much worse, because, first, the most vicious people in society will tend to gain control of the state and, second, by virtue of this control over the state’s powerful engines of death and destruction, they will wreak vastly more harm than they ever could have caused outside the state. It is unfortunate that some individuals commit crimes, but it is stunningly worse when such criminally inclined individuals wield state powers… Only states can pose truly massive threats, and sooner or later the horrors with which they menace mankind invariably come to pass…” – Robert Higgs
If a democracy, had a snowballs chance in hell of producing a stable political environment I still would not participate, because 51 % ruling the remaining 49% is nothing but an oligarchy of voters. And who in their right mind would support a system where they could not do anything but obey rules they don’t believe are just? Another reason is, there is so much proof that it does not work, and only a cognitive dissonant hard headed fool who is not intelligent enough to admit the evidence is overwhelming would continue to support it.
There is a better way to govern a society, and that is for the people to be smart enough to demand adherence to a given set of principles that respect the rights of the individuals who are intelligent enough to understand them, and accept the responsibility to teach them to the next generation. Doing so will eventually produce a society that really understands human nature is such that some people are evil natured and will do anything they can to subject other’s into giving them more and more power over their lives. The greed for power is a force to be reckoned with, or we will be subject to tyranny with no recourse, and the evidence is evident in our present system. The evidence that we are a brain washed society is also evident in every facet of our lives, and there is nothing more gruesome than when the oppressed supports the system that oppresses them.
The time for reeducating the next generation of children to accept the responsibility to study human nature and the history of governments before all of that history becomes missing is the most pressing obligation this generation has. If we don’t produce a society intelligent enough to carry the torch of freedom and accept the responsibility to keep it lit, then we would be better off dead.
Getting rid of elected leaders should be as simple as providing two witnesses that the leader violated a rule, which they vowed to obey.