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Obama to Congress Let me reorganize the government for you

January 14th, 2012 by

 

http://times247.com/articles/power-grab-obama-wants-authority-to-merge-agencies-at-will

News
AP
by: Ben Feller
Friday, January 13, 2012
 

DICTATER 
The president's first action under a push for more executive power would be to combine the trade and commerce departments, according to the Associated Press. Photo Credit:AP

 

President Barack Obama on Friday took aim at his government's own messy bureaucracy, prodding Congress to give him greater power to merge agencies and promising he would start by collapsing six major economic departments into one. Pressing Republicans on one of their own political issues, Obama said it was time for an "effective, lean government."

Obama wants the type of reorganizational authority last held by a president when Ronald Reagan was in office. Obama's version would be a so-called consolidation authority allowing him to propose only mergers that promise to save money and shrink government. The deal would help Obama considerably by entitling him to an up-or-down vote from Congress in 90 days.

Still, final say would remain with lawmakers, both on whether to grant Obama this fast-track authority and then in deciding whether to approve any of his specific ideas.

"We can do this better," Obama declared in an event with business owners at the White House, even presenting slides to help make his case.

"So much of the argument out there all the time is up at 40,000 feet, these abstract arguments about who's conservative or who's liberal," Obama said. "Most Americans – and certainly most small business owners – you guys are just trying to figure out how do we make things work, how do we apply common sense. And that's what this is about."

In an election year and a political atmosphere of tighter spending, Obama's move is about more than improving a giant bureaucracy. He is attempting to directly counter Republican arguments that he has presided over the kind of government regulation, spending and debt that can undermine the economy – a dominant theme of the emerging presidential campaign.

Republicans have often aligned themselves with smaller government. So politically, Obama is trying to put the onus on Republicans in the House and Senate to show why they would be against the pursuit of leaner government.

From Capitol Hill, a spokesman for Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the top Republican in the Senate, pledged Obama's plan would get a careful review.

But the spokesman, Don Stewart, also said: "After presiding over one of the largest expansions of government in history, and a year after raising the issue in his last State of the Union, it's interesting to see the president finally acknowledge that Washington is out of control."

Obama has an imperative to deliver. He made the promise to come up with a smart reorganization of the government in his last State of the Union speech last January.

At the time, Obama grabbed attention by pointing out the absurdity of government inefficiency. In what he called his favorite example, Obama said: "The Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they're in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them when they're in saltwater. And I hear it gets even more complicated once they're smoked."

The White House said the problem is serious for consumers who turn to their government for help and often do not know where to begin.

Not in decades has the government undergone a sustained reorganization of itself. Presidents have tried from time to time, but each part of the bureaucracy has its own defenders inside and outside the government, which can make merger ideas politically impossible. That's particularly true because "efficiency" is often another way of saying people will lose their jobs.

Obama hopes to enhance his chances by getting Congress to give him the assurance of a clean, relatively speedy vote on any of his proposals.

There is no clear sign that Obama would get that cooperation. He spent much of 2011 in utter gridlock with Republicans in Congress.

In the meantime, Obama announced Friday that Karen Mills, the administrator of the Small Business Administration, would be elevated to Cabinet-level rank. But her job would essentially disappear if Obama has his way.

If he gets the new fast-track power to propose legislation, Obama's first project would be to combine six major operations of the government that focus on business and trade.

They are: the Commerce Department's core business and trade functions; the Small Business Administration; the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; the Export-Import Bank; the Overseas Private Investment Corporation; and the Trade and Development Agency. The goal would be one agency designed to help businesses thrive.

The White House says 1,000 to 2,000 jobs would be cut, but the administration would do so through attrition; that is, as people routinely leave their jobs over time.

The administration said the merger would save $3 billion over 10 years by getting rid of duplicative overhead costs, human resources divisions and programs.

The name and potential secretary of the new agency have not been determined.

The point, the White House says, is not just making the government smaller but better by saving people time and eliminating bureaucratic nightmares. The idea for the consolidated business agency grew out of discussions with hundreds of business leaders and agency heads over the last several months.

Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said streamlining government was always a potentially good idea but expressed wariness about whether Obama's plan would really help business.

"American small businesses are more concerned about this administration's policies than from which building in Washington they originate," Buck said. "We hope the president isn't simply proposing new packaging for the same burdensome approach."

According to the White House, presidents held such a reorganizational authority for about 50 years until it ran out during Reagan's presidency in 1984.

Obama has a series of other ideas about consolidating departments across the government, to be rolled out later.  Read the original article at AP

 

DICTATER

 

Tiger turns into dragon: Chinese round up North American assets

January 14th, 2012 by

 

http://www.petroleumnews.com/pntruncate/810812178.shtml

 

I hope that reading this article will open the eyes of those who think America is going to be able to cut the OIL ties to the Mid East.  All that is being done is trading the Mid East for COMMIE CHINA  –   right on our own soil.   Devon Energy is BIG in Texas and in other states.  Those Chop-Sticks and fortune cookies are about to eat us live.

"In Canada, one Chinese national oil company has moved beyond a step-by-step strategy over recent years to take over an oil sands project, while another has struck a US$2.5 billion deal to acquire 33 percent of five new U.S. shale plays by Devon Energy."

Jackie Juntti
WGEN   idzrus@earthlink.net

"Instead of being taught independence, energy, and enterprise, our youth today is taught to look for security."  B. Carroll Reece

http://www.petroleumnews.com/pntruncate/810812178.shtml

SEARCH our ARCHIVES of over 14,000 articles


Vol. 17, No. 3 Week of January 15, 2012

Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry


 

Tiger turns into dragon; Chinese round up North American assets

China has made an early start on the Year of the Dragon, which officially gets under way Jan. 23.

In full fire-breathing mode, the economic giant has sent its state-owned oil enterprises on raiding missions to North America, devouring whole operations in the process.

In Canada, one Chinese national oil company has moved beyond a step-by-step strategy over recent years to take over an oil sands project, while another has struck a US$2.5 billion deal to acquire 33 percent of five new U.S. shale plays by Devon Energy.

The message from Beijing seems to be loud and clear.

“The dragon returns and there is the potential for more interest,” said Wenran Jiang, a University of Alberta political science professor and senior fellow at the Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada. “This is not done yet.”

China’s confidence in Canadian assets is fueled by its own desire for energy security, bolstered by the Canadian government’s decision to abandon the Kyoto Protocol and the diminished resistance in the U.S. to Chinese investment in natural resource assets.

Other moves
These moves come on the heels of two others initiated by the Chinese in the past month.

China National Offshore Oil Corp., or CNOOC, led the pack by negotiating a deal with Canadian independent Nexen to earn working interests in six deepwater exploration wells in the Gulf of Mexico, although no financial terms were disclosed, and acquiring OPTI Canada, a 35 percent partner in Nexen’s Long Lake oil sands project, for C$2.2 billion.

Just before Christmas Sinopec, China’s petrochemical and refining giant, finalized a C$2.2 billion buyout of Daylight Energy in the first outright Chinese takeover of a conventional western Canadian oil and gas producer.

The oil sands deal will see Cretaceous Oilsands Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of PetroChina, pay Athabasca Oil Sands Corp., or AOSC, C$680 million for the 40 percent of the MacKay River in-situ project it doesn’t already own.

It could exercise a similar option for AOSC’s remaining 40 percent of the Dover project late this year. That would cost an estimated C$1.32 billion.

The two ventures, which PetroChina joined in 2009 for C$1.9 billion, are designed to produce 150,000 barrels per day from the MacKay lease, which is due on stream in 2014 at 35,000 bpd, and 250,000 bpd from Dover.

Almost simultaneously Sinopec reached an agreement with Devon ­ which also has thermal oil sands operations in Alberta ­ to access leading shale prospects in Michigan, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Colorado and Wyoming.

The deal has been valued at $5,000 per acre, compared with $15,000 per acre for the 25 percent interest Chesapeake Energy sold to France’s Total on Jan. 3 for $2 billion in upfront cash and future drilling costs in Ohio’s Utica acreage,

It follows a similar deal two years ago, when Chesapeake and Total announced a $2.25 billion joint venture for the Barnett Shale in Texas.

Analyst: deal ‘impressive’
Jefferies analyst Biju Perincheril rated the Devon-Sinopec deal as “impressive,” given the lack of market interest and drilling results in the various shales, indicating “sufficient interest in emerging plays that are less ‘hot’ than the Utica.”

Cretaceous President Zhiming Li said that although his company has the ability to develop MacKay on its own it is also open to taking on a partner.

He said that after two years of working on the project, it is certain the lease contains high-quality bitumen.

The MacKay development, which carries an estimated capital cost of C$6.5 billion or C$43,000 per flowing barrel, was approved before Christmas by Alberta regulators, setting in motion a put/call option for AOSC’s 40 percent stake.

AOSC President Sveinung Svarte said the final arrangement is “a perfect divorce because PetroChina has ambitious growth plans for Canada. MacKay and Dover contained estimated best-case contingent resources of 5 billion barrels.

PetroChina now holds 11 oil sands leases in northern Alberta as part of its drive to round up worldwide opportunities.

Li said the oil sands are a major target of his company’s goal to develop prospects that are “much bigger” than the initial 35,000 bpd planned for MacKay.

Competition Bureau must endorse
The AOSC transaction does not require clearance from the Canadian government’s foreign investment agency, having already received that approval when PetroChina committed to spending more than C$250 million to develop MacKay and Dover over three years, while increasing employment in Canada and ensuring Canadians held a majority of senior management positions if it became operator.

However, it does require endorsement from the federal Competition Bureau, which will examine the risk of PetroChina cornering the oil sands market.

And there is no question that the latest round of deal-making builds dramatically on a step-by-step process that saw Chinese firms take minority stakes in start-up firms six years ago, that secure part-ownership of larger ventures and now move assume control of whole operations.

Goldy Hyder, general manager of Hill & Knowlton, a lobbyist for Canadian and Chinese clients on big energy deals, said the question is whether the Canadian government will want to be part of the Chinese strategy to transfer its technological know-how to Beijing and afford China protection against disruptions in supply from conflict or politics.

The expansion of Canada’s horizon is also expected to stir interest in Washington, which has viewed the oil sands as a captive source of supply that can be turned on and off at will in the absence of any other exports for Canadian crude.

­Gary Park 

 

 

WITH A DEAD CONSTITUTION IT DOEST MATTER WHO WINS THE PRESIDENCY IN 2012

January 14th, 2012 by

 

 http://www.thepostemail.com/2012/01/12/obamas-ineligibility-elective-despotism-and-the-vote-of-slaves/

Obama’s Ineligibility, Elective Despotism and the Vote of Slaves

WITH A DEAD CONSTITUTION IT DOEST MATTER WHO WINS THE PRESIDENCY IN 2012

by Lawrence Sellin, ©2012
Is this document dead?

(Jan. 12, 2012) ­ If re-elected, Barack Obama will kill the United States quickly.  Any one of the leading Republican candidates will simply do it more slowly.

The erosion of the Constitution and our Constitutional rights has been happening quietly for a long time. With the election of Obama in 2008, corrupt politicians, their operatives and the mainstream media just decided not to bother hiding that fact anymore.

Corrupt American politicians, the operational arm of the multinational, wealthy and networked elite, preserve the illusion of democracy for the now disenfranchised voters, while journalists, falsely proclaiming themselves as tireless defenders of liberty, then distort the news in an attempt to manipulate public opinion.

The arrogance of Washington, D.C. has not abated, but has only gotten more brazen since 1993, when Lewis H. Lapham (“A Wish for Kings”) wrote:

“The politicians dress up the deals in the language of law or policy, but they’re in the business of brokering the tax revenue, and what keeps them in office is not their talent for oratory but their skill at redistributing the national income in a way that rewards their clients, patrons, friends and campaign contributors.”

Our politicians see every election as a license to steal from ordinary, hard-working Americans, permission to flout the law and avoid all accountability for destroying the country for the benefit of a few.

We no longer have representatives of the people, but elected despots who consider elections as mere formalities and citizens as their slaves.

By all measures, both the Republican and Democratic Parties are asking voters again to endorse the corrupt status quo.

In 2008, both parties permitted the election of Obama, a Constitutionally illegal President, who has forged his birth documents and his Selective Service registration. He has committed identity theft by using a Social Security Number not issued to him, AND HIS Father is not a natural born citizen.

Questions about Obama ineligibility and his crimes have been intentionally suppressed by the political establishment and the media because the truth about Obama would so outrage the American people that the entire corrupt political system and its servants in the mainstream media would collapse.

Perhaps it is time to let it do so, by declaring Obama unconstitutional and boycotting Republican candidates, until such time when they openly address the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on the American people and the greatest Constitutional crisis since the Civil War.

It is those corrupt politicians and a compliant media who have eroded our Constitution, stripped us of our Constitutional rights and destroyed the Founders model of a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

When will Congress launch an investigation into the criminal and usurper in the Oval Office? When will senior members of the military or the federal law enforcement agencies stand by their oaths to support and defend the Constitution?

The answer is “never.” There has been a colossal failure of leadership. We have a government littered with careerists, sycophants, cowards, liars and the greedy.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin stated:

“We are the heirs of those who froze with Washington at Valley Forge and who held the line at Gettysburg, who freed the slaves to close a shameful chapter, and who carved a nation out of the wilderness. We are the sons and daughters of those who stormed the beaches of Normandy and raised the flag at Iwo Jima and made America the strongest, the most prosperous, the greatest nation on earth forever in mankind’s history – the greatest, most exceptional nation.”

We owe it to those American heroes and to our posterity to fight the evil now permeating our government and society. We must not fail. Our country’s survival is in the balance.

Obama is not a natural born citizen, that is, a US citizen at birth, born of two US citizen parents at the time of his birth. He has never been eligible for the office of President.

The 2012 election will be a turning point in American history because our Constitution is in the balance. Let the politicians again ignore the Constitution and it is the end of our republic.

Patriots must speak out, oppose the corrupt political establishment and remove Obama from the state ballots.

There will be no second chance to take our country back.

Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired colonel with 29 years of service in the US Army Reserve and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. He receives email at lawrence.sellin@gmail.com

 

Government corruption

 

Emerging Totalitarianism

January 12th, 2012 by

 

http://www.thedailybell.com/3480/Adrian-Krieg-Emerging-Totalitarianism

By Dr. Adrian Krieg

Being over 70 years old and having lived through WWII in Europe and lived in Mexico, I have an excellent understanding of what dictatorships are and how they function. The fact that America is rapidly heading into a despotic state is obvious to anyone of my age. Furthermore, every branch of our government is involved. The Supreme Court recently ruled that the charge of 'assistance to terrorism' does not necessitate an overt act; all that is required is providing assistance and/or encouragement to the act. That in effect means anything, for instance, calling the executive a fool, writing a pro-Palestinian article, objecting to Israeli Middle East policies, holocaust denial – anything the bureaucracy disapproves of becomes a violation of this law.

Under the newly enacted – sponsored by McCain (R-AZ) with approval of 93 (STUPID) Senators – National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the president was granted the right to arrest and detain any American citizens any place in the world without a charge, indefinitely, without right to council, without a warrant, and to torture any such American, merely on his say-so or by indictment of a secret court whose members are anonymous. This totally obliterates the habeas corpus provisions of the Constitution. Furthermore, this law eradicates the Posse Comitatus Act [18 U.S.C. 1385] of June 18, 1887 that prevented the government from employing American military against American civilians.

The president already took upon himself the right to assassinate any American citizen any place in the world without charge, trial, judge, jury and evidence of a crime, simply on his say-so, and has already used that authority to murder.

The enacted in 2001 and re-approved in 2011 USA Patriot Act is the most sinister of all, in that it violates the first, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth amendments of the Bill of Rights. In expansion, it grants the government the right to rifle your mail, tap your telephone and inquire into what you are reading. In a stunning overturn of well-accepted fourth amendment rights a federal court has granted government the right to track your movement with GPS technology, including via cell phones and GPS equipment.

Meanwhile, your local police force is buying everything from spy drones to night vision equipment and are being militarized hand over fist. These weapons and systems that local police are purchasing are not for law enforcement; they are decidedly for issues like crowd control, nighttime secret incursions, combined actions with the National Guard and regular Army, which is now possible due to NDAA. Worse is the fact that numerous airports and facilities around America have had their security services subcontracted to Israeli security firms. While the government contracts training to SPLC for federal agencies and smaller local state agencies follow their lead, SPLC is the most bias-twisted, anti-Christian organization in the land. The federal government has established links with the JDL, Mossad assets, the American Jewish Congress, the ADL and other Israeli operatives; while we cannot prove this we know it to be the case. The story put forth by the Mossad that everyone in government now accepts as gospel is that Israeli and American security issues are one and the same. This, upon examination of issues, is utterly ridiculous.

Lest we forget, police are supposed to serve and protect while military kill and destroy. The two functions are wholly incompatible in a republic. I saw this firsthand in Germany from 1938 onward and in Italy, and in Bulgaria and then in the entire Soviet bloc empire.

In view of the Pollard, Franklin, Rosenberg and scores of Israeli spying operations against us and considering theUSS Liberty affair, we would be wise to rely on our own security apparatus and not become entangled with the agencies of a nation which has for decades been most actively spying against us.

We are already underwater with Israeli telephone monitoring and billing operations that have been off-shored by domestic suppliers to Magal Security Systems, an Israeli contractor. Let's be cognizant of the fact that, according to information released last December, there is now operative monitoring of all electronic communications as well as GPS systems. We do not think it rational to allow such information to be subcontracted offshore.

What we are pointing out here is that all the required means for the operation of a top-down police state are either already in place or are being put in place as you read. Even the agencies to administer all this from the federal level, Homeland Security – with over 220,000 employees – is a functioning agency run by one of Obama's dubious associates.

Beginning with 9/11 – a false-flag operation if ever there was one – the nation has lost one liberty after another, and now we have even lost our most basic right to face our accuser, habeas corpus, that has been part of English speaking law since the 12th century. The president, meanwhile, has taken to himself the right to use our own military against its citizens by voiding Posse Comitatus – enacted in 1887 after the war of northern aggression to alleviate the excesses of the Yankees as they had looted, raped and burned their way from Richmond to Atlanta – and the elimination of almost the entire Bill of Rights through the enactment of the USA Patriot Act, which had essentially been written and ready for enactment for over 15 years before 9/11.

What would it take to instill in a mentally challenged population the willingness to have stripped away what little of our freedoms still exist? A little pre-arranged action to be blamed on Iran would make the neocons very happy, the president could be re-elected, the population induced to war against yet another Middle East nation, then the expansion of more freedom crushing laws, the enactment of national hate laws with the government providing the definition of hate, and there you have it – Soviet America Empire of the 21st century.

 

OLDDOGS COMMENTS

 

There is one remaining way to stop this usurpation by our government and it is easy to do. Just support the CSPOA at  http://www.cspoa.org/ and get our county Sheriff’s re-educated. Not even the President of the United State’s can rebuke him.

Your County Sheriff is elected by the people and we can demand they participate.

Cognitive Dissonance

 

 

Marco Rubio: The Anti constitutionalism, and Intellectual Moral Bankruptcy of Our Time.

January 12th, 2012 by

 

http://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/marco-rubio-and

-the-anti-constitutionalism-and-intellectual-moral-bankruptcy-of-our-time-3/

 
By Publius Huldah.

In a previous paper, I explained the shift from the philosophy of our
Framers, which was based on Logic, Fixed Principles & Judeo/Christian
Morality, to the pragmatist/existentialist mindset of today.  With our
mindset of today, we are “freed” from the notion that some things are
True, other things are False; some things are Right, other things are
Wrong; and that there exist fixed Standards and Principles ­ such as the
U.S. Constitution and the moral laws ­ to which we must conform.

Today, we have nothing to guide us but our own feelings: “I like it”, “I
don’t like it”, “I agree”, “I don’t agree”, I “believe” or “I don’t
believe”. That is the essence of the existentialist mindset: we make
“choices” on the basis of no standard except for what we “like”. Or don’t
like. When people disagree, those with The Power decide ­ on the basis of
what they like.

Our politicians ignore Our Constitution. They do whatever they want. Every
day, the President violates the Constitution he swore to protect; and
Congress does nothing about it.  How could Congress do anything about it?
Since they too abandoned the Constitution, they have no Objective Standard
by which to judge the President.  All they can say is, “I don’t agree”.

And WE THE PEOPLE don’t hold our politicians accountable for their
violations of Our Constitution.  We keep re-electing them! Why?  Because
we too have abandoned the Standard by which to judge their acts: Have you
read Our Declaration of Independence and Our Constitution?  Do you
understand the concepts of “enumerated powers”, “federalism” and “rule of
law”?

Our Existentialist U.S. Senator, Marco Rubio

All our politicians fall short of the mark. None of them seem to
understand that they are obligated to obey Our Constitution; and that they
have no right to elevate into law their own personal views. They all
illustrate the intellectual and moral collapse of our time ­ even the
charismatic Tea Party star, Sen. Marco Rubio (R, Fl).  Consider his speech
of August 2, 2011 before the Senate. 1 You can read it here, and watch it
here.

A few paragraphs into his speech, Rubio says:

    I would remind many like myself that were elected in the last election
cycle, tightly embracing the principles of our Constitution… [boldface
added]

Oh!  A tea party candidate who will “tightly embrac[e] the principles of
our Constitution”! We in the Tea Party are all for that, aren’t we?

But then, Rubio goes on to speak of the dispute “between two very
different visions of America’s future”.

One group, Rubio tells us, “believe that the job of government is [to]
deliver us economic justice, which basically means: an economy where
everyone does well or as well as possibly can be done.”

The other group believes “it’s not the government’s job to guarantee an
outcome but to guarantee the opportunity to fulfill your dreams and
hopes.”

He’s doing OK so far.  But then, he goes on to say, respecting the two
views: “By the way, one [is] not more or less patriotic than the other.”
And, “One is not more moral than the other.” 2

No Moral Distinctions?

WHAT?  He sees no moral distinction between, on the one hand, a government
which takes ­ by force ­ property from one group of people and gives it to
other people to whom it does not belong; and, on the other hand, the free
country with a federal government of limited and enumerated powers created
by Our Constitution?  No moral distinction between legalized plunder and a
federal government which respects the private property of The People? 3

When one abandons the moral Principle, “Thou shalt not steal”; then there
is no impediment to stealing ­ assuming you have the power to do it.  So,
stealing is just fine when the federal government does it ­ because they
have the power to do it.

Making a Choice ­ By What Criteria?

Rubio goes on to say:

    …America is divided on this point … we must decide …what kind of
government do we want to have and what role do we want it to have in
America’s future.

Folks! WE THE PEOPLE have already decided this issue: Our decision is
enshrined in Our Constitution ­ the Constitution whose Principles Rubio
promised to “tightly embrace”. Our Constitution does not permit the
federal government to rob Peter to pay Paul.

Besides, on what basis would we decide?  Rubio has already told us that
there are no moral distinctions between a government which robs Peter to
pay Paul, and a government which respects the private property of Peter.
Rubio has already told us that those who advocate legalized plunder are
“patriots” to the same extent as those who oppose such plunder.

So!  If there are no moral distinctions between the two “very different
visions”, and we all go along with Rubio’s abandonment of his promise to
“tightly embrace” the Principles of the Constitution, then on what basis
do we decide?  We have no basis for making a decision other than our own
“likes” and “dislikes”.

And THAT is the existentialist mindset.  A mind “freed” from all standards
other than, “I want” or “I don’t want”.  “I like” or “I don’t like”.

So!  Now that Rubio has come to the point where the only standard is what
we “like” and “don’t like”, he tells us what he likes:

    I believe and we believe in a safety net program, programs that exist
to help those who cannot help themselves and to help those who have
tried but failed to stand up and try again, but not safety net
programs that function as a way of life…

WHERE does the Constitution permit the federal government to redistribute
peoples’ private property?  WHO can lay his finger on that Provision of
the Constitution which authorizes the safety net programs Rubio “believes
in”? 4

Rubio told us near the beginning of his speech that he was elected on the
basis that he would “tightly embrace” the principles of the Constitution.
The Moral Law requires him to live up to his promise! The People in
Florida must push him to do just that.

And who decides whether we continue these “safety net programs” Rubio
“believes in”?  People in Congress like Rubio and Rep. Pete Stark (D. Ca.)
voting for what they “believe in” ­ the Constitution be damned? 5

And as to THE PEOPLE who don’t want to be robbed to pay for other peoples’
handouts, and who object to being enslaved so that Rubio can continue
safety nets he “believes in”: Rubio has stripped them of any moral or
legal basis for objecting.

How to Fix This

I do not accuse Rubio of being a bad person. But he has absorbed the
prevailing dogma of our time ­ existentialism ­ and may not even be aware
of it. The first task of man is this: Ask yourself, “What do I believe,
and why do I believe it?”  You may find that you believe it for no other
reason than that you have always believed it. 6

And as a People, we have lost the ability to think and to analyze.
Rubio’s speech [like the speeches of all politicians] reflects this
inability to think and to analyze, as well as an existentialist mindset.
If he had argued from Principle ­ if he had applied the Constitution he
promised to embrace ­ he would have said that Our Constitution prohibits
Congress from spending money on anything other than its enumerated powers.
If he understood “federalism”, he would have understood that the power to
create “safety nets” is reserved to The States or to THE PEOPLE. If he
understood “the rule of law”, he would have understood that the obligation
of people in Congress is to obey the Constitution.

And WE THE PEOPLE must return to our Founding Principles.  We must start
choosing our candidates on the basis of their conformity to our Founding
Principles ­ not good looks and charm.  We in the Tea Party are every bit
as silly as the foolish Democrats & Independents who voted for Obama for
the reason that he too was good-looking and charismatic. PH

Endnotes.

1 I focus on Marco Rubio because he ­ like all other politicians ­
illustrates the philosophical problems of which I write; but Rubio is also
a Tea Party “star”.

2 Rush Limbaugh understands the significance of Rubio’s moral blindness. I
first heard of Rubio’s speech on Rush’s show.

3 Frederic Bastiat’s essay, “The Law”, explains the evil of legalized
plunder and the moral superiority of limited civil government.  It is one
of the masterworks of Western civilization, and the best thing to ever
come out of France.  It is clear, and easy to understand. Someone! Give
Rubio a copy!

4 Our beloved James Madison, Father of the U.S. Constitution, couldn’t
find the provisions either. He said:

    The government of the United States is a definite government, confined
to specified objects. It is not like state governments, whose powers
are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the
government. ­ James Madison, speech in the House of Representatives,
January 10, 1794 [boldface added].

The Economics Department at George Mason University provides this quote
(among many wonderful others) on its page, Constitutional Limitations on
Government.

5 Watch this magnificent woman point out to Congressman Pete Stark that
obamacare makes SLAVES ­ in violation of the 13th Amendment ­ of those who
are forced to provide medical care to others.  And watch Stark ignore her
moral and constitutional argument against slavery and tell his
constituents that “the federal government can do most anything”.

6A bit of personal history illustrates this point: I was raised a secular
humanist by parents who were secular humanists. When not much older than
Rubio, I asked a Christian pastor, “How can you believe all that stuff?”
He answered, “I have preconceptions; you have preconceptions.  Examine
yours.”  I did. And discovered that I was a secular humanist simply
because I had always been a secular humanist.  I had never examined it.
When I examined it, I found there was no evidence to support my world
view.  So!  I abandoned it and learned a new world view based on Fixed
Principles ­ those laws which are woven into the Fabric of Reality.

Let us pray that Sen. Rubio will do the same, and consign his
existentialist worldview to the trashcan (where it belongs). The Laws of
Morality and the Laws of Logic are among those Laws woven into the Fabric
of Reality. And he promised to “tightly embrac[e] the principles of our
Constitution”! PH
January 10, 2012

Comment by Joyce Romano | January 11, 2012 | Reply

Very clear, yet so hard for people to grasp! We constantly hear the
candidate proclaim allegiance to the Constitution. You would think it
is the last thing they read at night and the first thing they pick up
in the morning. They make pledges to those whose vote they want, to be
different than all who have gone before them. They will be the true
follower of the Constitution. They will be a light on The Hill. They
win the confidence of the Right and get sent to D.C. where they take
the pledge to defend the Constitution. Then, it seems as if they never
consider the Constitution for the rest of their political term.
    But, it is not as it seems. It is not that they pledge and sware to do
one thing and then ignore that very promise, at least in some cases.
It is that they do not know the Constitution any better than the
average person on the street. For some reason, we think that we know
the Constitution just because we are Americans. We had a class in 8th
grade about such things and we have not read it again since then. We
have the mindset that this document has been grafted into our brains
just because we talk about our “Constitutional Rights” whenever
someone attempts to shut us up or take away our guns.
    Folks, we are personally reasponsible for knowing the Constitution! We
cannot afford to just claim to have an understanding, we need to KNOW
it! How can we properly eliminate the candidate from being elected,
who does not know the Consititution, if we do not know enough about it
to question him or her and be able to tell whether or not they
correctly answer?
    Cleaning up this mess starts with each one of us. Get busy learning
because time is of essence.

 

Lack of Critical Thinking is Key to the Corrupt Status Quo Maintaining Their Power

January 12th, 2012 by

 

http://www.theundergroundinvestor.com/2012/01/think-and-thinking-shall-set-you-free/

By  JS Kim

“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”– Henry David Thoreau

Have you ever noticed how vehemently people react when you question something they believe in instead of ever being able to have an intelligent discussion with him or her? In the below video, Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer Prize winning American journalist, author, and war correspondent, nails the reason that explains why it is so difficult to change a person’s mind when they are committed to believing something even when they are confronted with a mountain of evidence that points to the contrary. Chris states that universities have stripped away humanities and other courses that develop critical thinking skills and instead, due to the historical influences of men like Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, focus on teaching young men and women “what to think” instead of “how to think.”

Like the proverb that states we have two ears and only one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we talk, when we are confronted with actually having our views challenged, many among us fail to listen, fail to analyze, fail to think, and we instead immediately open our mouths in defense without ever seriously considering the contrary information, often in factual form, that has been presented to us. All of us, including yours truly, have been guilty of responding insensitively and unintelligently in this manner, and I believe that there is a reason for this type of response. The powers that be have used education against us by employing teaching methods within institutional academia that condition us to automatically dismiss any notion that might conflict with our internal belief systems that THEY have programmed into us. If you believe that this notion is far-fetched, consider that from 1900 to 1920, at a time when the direction of American education was very much still being molded, Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller incredibly spent more money than the entire US government in funding and building the education system to meet their specifications and wishes.

Have you ever thought about why repetition, an integral construct in the effectiveness of brainwashing, is also an integral construct in most institutions of academia in every country of the world? Could education institutions possibly be serving as re-education camps? Should not true learning involve students questioning professors, students questioning students, and professors questioning students not just to repeat and regurgitate pre-packaged responses as is so often the case, but also to critically analyze and to defend one’s positions and arguments? The Powers That Be (TPTB) that attend the Bilderberg conference must secretly smile and laugh behind closed doors at the “unthinking” nature that they have been able to instill within us. Refuse to accept something as fact just because an authority figure, whether a professor, the Vatican, or politician, told you to believe it, and automatically many amongst the sheep will accuse one of pandering to conspiracy theories, even when one can present many facts that support one’s opposition view much more strongly than the widely accepted view.

Because universities are so focused on teaching us “what to think” instead of “how to think”, this dumbing down process has produced many media figures and talk show hosts that respond to any questioning of their beliefs with censorship, an attempt to talk over opposition views, or with infantile ad hominem attacks, no matter how cogent and eloquently expressed the opposition view may be. When I lived in Japan, I learned of a Japanese proverb that states, “The nail that sticks out gets hammered down”, as if uniqueness and individuality were undesirable traits. Perhaps this may be the case as the status quo views us, their subjects, but certainly humanity should strive to achieve creativity and foster critical thought in order to establish a more moral society and to root out corruption.

Furthermore, the deliberate destruction of curricula in institutional academia that fosters critical thinking skills has given way to “hero” worship and learned helplessness instead of self-determination and self-reliance. Again, the status quo delights in the hero culture we have built today. Hero worship leaves one longing for salvation to come on the back of some mythical status without any commitment or accountability from the masses. The status quo delights in the hero culture we have built today. Hero worship leaves one longing for salvation to come on the back of some mythical hero without any commitment or accountability from the masses. The status quo delight in the hero culture that they have built in the minds of the masses as they know that longing for salvation to come from someone else will leave people in a state of learned helplessness-induced inertia and thus create an effective barrier from the manifestation of a “peasant” revolt.

Have you ever noticed how often someone will defend every fault of their country’s President, a huge pop star, or a star athlete as passionately as they would defend their own family if you should dare criticize their “hero” figure? From a logical standpoint, such defenses are the definition of irrational, as no one can truly know anything substantial or substantive about the character or true nature of a public figure with whom they have not spent a single hour. But yet people very frequently subscribe to the absolutely absurd belief that they know the character of their “hero” intimately and will defend this person’s honor (or dishonor as it may be in many cases) to the end of time. In closing, in addition to Chris Hedge’s video, I will leave you with a video I posted nearly a year-and-a-half ago in which I discuss ex-KGB Yuri Bezmenov’s discourse on ideological subversion and how such tactics can produce sheeple that will invariably obey and believe what they are told. Hopefully this will help us identify the ideological subversive tactics that are being deployed against us today all over the world and help all of us to transform into more open-minded people willing to consider alternate viewpoints other than the ones that “the powers that be” commanded us to embrace.

About the author: JS Kim is the Founder and Chief Investment Strategist forSmartKnowledgeU, a fiercely independent investment research and consulting firm with a mission of helping to stomp out Wall Street fraud and to reinstitute sound monetary principles and sound money worldwide. We sincerely appreciate all of you that continue to “like” our Facebook fan page and “follow us” on Twitter. Through these mediums, we will keep all of you aware of some major campaigns we will be launching in early 2012 to raise global awareness of monetary truth and our proposed solutions to institute sound money.

Republishing Rights: The above may be reprinted on other sites as long as all text and links remain intact, INCLUDING the “about the author” text. Sites that republish our articles and do not abide by these rules will be asked to remove the article for copyright infringement violation.

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Exposing Monsanto’s Financial Interest in Government

January 10th, 2012 by

 

By Mike Barrett
Activist Post

Monsanto is not simply a company who sells genetically modified products to those seeking them.

This massive corporation is actually very much involved with the passing and proposals of regulations concerning the very GM ingredients they are responsible for.

You may think those helping to pass the GMO bills truly believe that genetically engineering the food supply is beneficial to public health, but the scary truth is that many of said individuals couldn’t care less about humankind or the future of the planet. As far as many government regulators are concerned, Monsanto can spread its wings far and wide – so as long as those in power are living large.

Exposing Monsanto’s Financial Interest in Government

During the 3rd quarter of 2011, biotech giant Monsanto spent a whopping $2 million lobbying the federal government. The lobbying focused on issues like regulations for genetically modified crops and patent reforms, a previous report says. The recent lobbying was aimed at the US congress as well as the USDA to weaken regulatory requirements for the production of GM sugarbeets and alfalfa. This kind of lobbying from Monsanto has been going on for years, with over $8 million spent annually over the last few years.

It is this kind of government lobbying that ignites so much backing from government agencies like the USDA. In 2011 the USDA was going to let Monsanto conduct its own environmental studies as part of a two-year USDA experiment. But there is no good that can possibly come of an experiment where the company behind nearly every genetically modified crop in our daily diets is allowed to decide whether its products are causing any environmental harm. Allowing a company with such incredible negative influence to police itself will only result in individual and environmental harm.

More recently, the United States Department of Agriculture has decided to deregulate two of Monsanto’s genetically modified seed varieties, giving the company a further grasp on the already dominated food supply of the nation.

Amazingly, it gets even worse.

What may be most shocking is the latest  leaked information regarding Monsanto and its future expansion. The United States is threatening nations who oppose Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) crops with military-style trade wars, according to information obtained and released by the organization WikiLeaks.

The WikiLeaks cable reveals that in late 2007, the United States ambassador to France and business partner to George W. Bush, Craig Stapleton, requested that the European Union along with particular nations that did not support GMO crops be penalized. Perhaps the most shocking piece of information exposed by the cables is the fact that these U.S. diplomats are actually working directly for biotech corporations like Monsanto.

Amazingly, this is not the only case of corruption revealed. In similar newly released cables, United States diplomats are found to have pushed GMO crops as a strategic government and commercial imperative. Furthermore, advisers to the pope were specifically targeted by the United States. This may very well have to do with the fact that many Catholic bishops and figureheads have openly denounced GMO crops.

Given the evidence revealing Monsanto’s ability to ‘legally’ persuade government officials, it seems the company is obviously pulling every move they can possible make in order to push their health-endangering agenda.

Explore More:

1.     USDA Steps Back and Gives Monsanto More Power Over GMO Seeds

2.     GMO Giant Monsanto Will Soon Be Allowed To Police Itself

3.     Monsanto GMO Seeds Use to Further Expand Within US

4.     Monsanto GMO Sugarbeets to be Destroyed | Court Concludes USDA Illegally Approved Biotech Crop

5.     Monsanto’s GMO Crops Ravage US, USDA Ignores Dangers

6.     How Your Taxes are Being Used by the Government to Produce Junk Food

 

MONOPOLY

 

 

(27 Congressmen to Court) If Individual Mandates Unconstitutional Strike Down All Obamacare

January 10th, 2012 by

 

By Fred Lucas
January 9, 2012
Subscribe to Fred Lucas's posts
   
(CNSNews.com) – Twenty-seven members of Congress, including House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), have signed an amicus brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the entire Obamacare law if it finds that the individual mandate provision is unconstitutional.

The Family Research Council filed the amicus curiae in the case challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

The individual mandate is one provision in a larger law that also requires certain employers to provide government-approved insurance or face a penalty, establishes exchanges for government-approved insurance plans and requires insurers to cover pre-existing conditions.

Key to the high court’s decision will be whether striking down this provision would nullify the entire law. The legislation did not contain a severability clause. Severability would allow some parts of the law to be struck down while maintaining others.

Opponents argue that that the provisiom requiring individuals to buy health insurance is not constitutional, while the Obama administration contends that the Commerce Clause of the Constitution allows it.

Several lawsuits have been brought against the law, with some lower federal courts striking down the law and others affirming it.

Other members of Congress to join the brief are House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution Chairman Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Republican Study Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), a candidate for governor of Indiana and senior House Judiciary members Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-Texas) and Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).

Ken Klukowski, legal counsel for the Family Research Council, and Nelson Lund, a professor at George Mason University School of Law, co-authored the brief. The FRC’s earlier brief was cited in Florida U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson’s decision to strike down the entire Obamacare law as unconstitutional.

“After almost two years of impassioned debate, Obamacare will finally have its day before the Supreme Court,” Klukowski said in a statement. “The 'individual mandate' in Obamacare that requires all Americans to have health insurance is unconstitutional. And for the reasons we explain in this brief, 135 years of Supreme Court precedent show that this is one of those rare instances where striking down the individual-mandate provision requires the Court to strike down this entire 2,700-page law.

“We have high hopes that the Supreme Court will recognize that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, and will act to safeguard the freedoms of all Americans by holding the individual mandate 'nonseverable,' and strike down every part of Obamacare,” Klukowski continued.

Totalitarianism

WHAT IS A CONSERVATIVE?

January 9th, 2012 by

 

A Tribute to Joe who just turned 80 
Date: Mon, 9 Jan 2012 14:29:20 -0600

A tribute to a Celtic Warrior written by another of the dying breed of Celtic Warriors, Sgt. Major Mike Gaddy (Ret) & Constitutionalist Extraordinaire.

These are indeed times that try men’s souls and if not for the Bravehearts we would all be in literal chains long ago­but a few cannot stem the tsunami of collectivist tyranny sweeping the world.

Treasure the Liberty Warriors & Defenders of Western Civilization while we have them for it is quite possible they will not come again.  Pity the young who may never know true liberty. 

(This missive is being sent without the consent or knowledge of the tribute subject)

 WHAT IS A CONSERVATIVE?

 For most of my adult life, I have heard people refer to themselves as “conservative.” I’ve had a real hard time reconciling in my mind what that actually means. Some folks I’ve known who considered themselves
conservatives were nothing but political whores; hiding behind some professed idealism in order to feather their own nest using whatever political connections they could establish to exploit their fellow man. Others who preach right wing fanaticism are nothing less than born again Fascists; all they are lacking is the funny little moustache. War is the answer; forget the question. Then there were the liberals who saw a swing of political  power to the right during the Reagan years and used it to bring tenets of the welfare/warfare state to the political right, masquerading as compassionate conservatism.
 
Standing in front of the Trading Post in Palominas Arizona several years ago, I met a true conservative; a man who practices real conservatism every day of his life. Joe is an American from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. He cares deeply about America, freedom and liberty.
 
Joe sees being a conservative as a way of life, not a political persuasion. He stands firm in defense of freedom and sees that to preserve freedom government must always be minimized. He understands the natural laws mentioned by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence and that those laws existed long before the very idea of government. He also understands these rights do not depend on government for their moral authority. He understands that a true conservative takes responsibility for his own life and that means some folks will succeed while others fail and the great majority just muddle by. He knows that cosmic justice or social justice does not exist on the human plane and that any effort by government to implement either is simply government attempting to become a deity, taking from those who produce to give to those who believe they are entitled to that which belongs to others.
 
He knows that men are essentially selfish creatures and given half a chance will threaten the freedom of others. He understands the only valid function of government is to protect the rights of all, not take from some to idealistically level the playing field. To do otherwise is to violate the reason for the very existence of government.
 
He understands a true conservative sees no legitimate reason to take the freedom of anyone who operates within the concept of the rule of law, especially under some delusional belief that security can be guaranteed by doing so .He understands that man does not control the laws of the universe and that security is nothing but an illusion and cannot be purchased with money or freedom.
 
Joe understands the base instincts of those who actively seek dominion and control over the lives and property of others. He knows they very seldom, if ever, have the morals and integrity to avoid the temptation to enrich themselves at the expense of others. They are just not wired that way. He knows when you place a weasel in a hen house; the weasel will do what weasels do: it will eat chickens. Joe also knows the lesser of two weasels will only eat fewer chickens until it perfects its skills or learns from bigger weasels how  to eat all the chickens it can. Joe knows the person who would best serve the interests of others is the person who would be most reluctant to involve themselves in the process because they only desire to be left alone to succeed or fail on their own.
 
Joe wears the scars of criticism from the socialist left as a badge of honor. His efforts towards individual freedom and a government that operates within its intended purpose draws the slings, arrows, lies and slurs of Marxist Socialists everywhere in our society. The lesson Joe provides for all who are engaged in the battle for liberty is: if you are not the victim of verbal assaults, character assassinations and outright lies, you aren’t fighting hard enough.
 
Was Joe born to fight these battles? There is considerable evidence which indicates he was. A true “Son of the South,” Joe inherited the unbridled love of liberty of Jefferson; the personal character of Lee; the boldness of Jackson and the tenacity of Forrest.
 
Possibly Joe’s greatest attribute is: he is so focused on his goals for this country, he does not see in himself the characteristics mentioned above.  Joe loves this country and his native South with a passion most will never understand. He sees them both as deserving of loyalty and dedication, not instruments to use for his own enrichment and glory.
 
General George S. Patton is said to have commented that with a company of Citadel grads he could win a battle and with a division of VMI grads he could win a war. If we had a hundred men like Joe, we could turn this country around.
 
In Liberty
mike
 
“Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.”~Patrick Henry

 

Galatians 4:16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

 

 

Wyoming sheriffs put feds in their place

January 9th, 2012 by

 

http://www.dailypaul.com/45007/wyoming-sheriffs-put-feds-in-their-place
 

The court confirms and asserts that "the duly elected sheriff of a
county is the highest law enforcement official within a county and has
law enforcement powers EXCEEDING that of any other state OR federal
official."
http://newworldorderreport.com/News/tabid/266/ID/1613/County-Sheriff-Can-Bust-Big-Brother-Wyoming-Sheriffs-Put-Feds-in-Their-Place.aspx
County sheriffs in Wyoming have scored a big one for the 10th Amendment and states rights.
The sheriffs slapped a federal intrusion upside the head and are insisting that all federal law enforcement officers and personnel from federal regulatory agencies must clear all their activity in a Wyoming County with the Sheriff's Office. Deja vu for those who remember big Richard Mack in Arizona.

Bighorn County Sheriff Dave Mattis spoke at a press conference following a recent U.S. District Court decision (Case No. 2:96-cv-099-J (2006)) and announced that all federal officials are forbidden to enter his county without his prior approval ……

"If a sheriff doesn't want the Feds in his county he has the constitutional right and power to keep them out, or ask them to leave, or retain them in custody."

The court decision was the result of a suit against both the BATF and the IRS by Mattis and other members of the Wyoming Sheriff's Association. The suit in the Wyoming federal court district sought restoration of the protections enshrined in the United States Constitution and the Wyoming Constitution.

 

 

Constitution

 

Dominant monied interests

January 8th, 2012 by

 

http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Article/102591-2012-01-04-money-power-runs-america.htm
 

 

Written by Stephen Lendman
Date: January 5, 2012

 

 Corruption
 

Money Power Runs America – by Stephen Lendman

Wall Street does it by controlling money, credit and debt, as well as manipulating markets for private enrichment. House and Senate millionaires do it their way for greater wealth, privilege, power and status.

New Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) figures show it. More on them below. New York Times writer Eric Lichtblau commented in his article headlined, "Economic Downturn Took a Detour at Capitol Hill," saying:

In 1991, Representative Ed Pastor (D. AR) entered Congress with around $100,000 in savings and as much debt owed to banks. Now he's a millionaire, one of 250 in Congress.

"And the wealth gap between lawmakers and their constituents appears to be growing quickly" as austerity cuts harm most Americans needing help during harder than ever hard times.

Since 2008, they've lost jobs, homes, personal savings, and futures. At the same time, congressional members are richer than ever. Perhaps never "has the divide (been) so wide, or the public contrast so stark, between lawmakers and those they represent."

No wonder Gallop's year end poll showed Congress getting its lowest ever 11% approval rating. At the same time, growing numbers of Americans reject both parties for independent or unaffiliated status.

On November 14, the Atlantic Wire headlined, "How Members of Congress Get Rich Through 'Honest Graft,'" saying:

"A 60 Minutes report examined the ways members of Congress trade on inside, privileged information" to get rich. "Congresspeople are exempt from insider trading rules" so profit in ways others can't legally.

They do it through stock trades and privileged business deals. Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert earmarked funding for a federal highway project on land he owned. He later sold it for $2 million.

Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi profited from eight IPOs, including some "that had business before her House." So have other congressional members, past and present.

Former Senator Bob Dole bought shares in Automatic Data Processing four days before GHW Bush signed legislation with new military data processing rules benefitting the company handsomely.

Former Speaker and Republican presidential aspirant Newt Gingrich bought Boeing stock just before he helped kill amendments to cut International Space Station funding. It helped Boeing secure a lucrative contract.

Numerous others in Congress profit the same way. Some hit the jackpot. In 2004, the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis published a report showing Senate portfolios outperformed the market by about 12% annually. It didn't happen by chance.

A 2011 study showed House member investments exceed market performance by 6%. Do it annually and it adds up. For example, $100 invested at 6% for 40 years grows tenfold. At 12%, it's 80-fold.

Washington runs on inside information. Congressional members use it to get rich. While their median net worth gained 15% from 2004 to 2010, America's 10% richest found theirs unchanged, and for Americans overall, it dropped based on inflation-adjusted dollars.

Of course, America's top 1% outdid them all. Why else would nationwide protests target them for social justice.

Notably, congressional wealth grew two and a half times (from $280,000 to $725,000) from 1984 to 2009 in inflation-adjusted dollars, while for average Americans it declined slightly. Moreover, for the past half century, income inequality mostly benefits congressional conservatives. Progressivism pays poorly.

In 1984, one in five House members had zero or negative net worth, excluding home equity and other non-income producing property. By 2009, it dropped to one in 12.

As a result, the gap between congressional members and their constituents perhaps never has been so wide. Moreover, it increases annually at a time Main Street's suffering harder than ever hard times, and few in Washington care.

Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) Report

It began saying:

"These days, being a millionaire (puts you in) the (top) one percent. But in Congress, it only makes you average."

Among 535 House and Senate members, 250 (or 47%) are millionaires, based on 2010 financial disclosure forms. Only America's top 1% enjoys that status. According to CRP's executive director Sheila Krumholz:

"The vast majority of members of Congress are quite comfortable financially, while many of their own constituents suffer from economic hardship."

It's largely from decades of destructive bipartisan policies. Since the 1980s, economic inequality grew enormously. Business and super-rich elites profited handsomely at the expense of working class people.

Wealth disparity is unprecedented at a time nearly 23% of Americans are unemployed. Half of US households are impoverished or bordering on it. Millions lost homes, and growing hunger and homelessness threaten millions more.

In contrast, congressional members never had it so good. "It's no surprise that so many people grumble about lawmakers being out-of-touch," said Krumholz. "Few Americans enjoy the same financial cushion maintained by most members of Congress – or the same access to market-altering information that could yield personal financial gains."

Moreover, congressional pay, benefits and perks alone are generous. In 2011, rank and file House and Senate members earned $174,000. According to US Census data, median 2010 household income is $48,753.

In February 2011, the Congressional Research Service reported the following legislative, executive and judicial salaries:

President: $400,000

Vice President: $230,700

House Speaker: $223,500

Senate President Pro Tempore: $193,400

House and Senate Majority and Minority leaders: $193,400

Senators and Representatives: $174,000

Supreme Court Chief Justice: $223,500

Associate Justices: $213,900

Federal Court of Appeals Judges: $184,500

Federal District Court Judges: $174,000

Moreover, generous benefits and allowances are provided, including lucrative pensions based on years of service, peak salary levels, an accrual rate, and whether members are covered under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and/or the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).

For example, a House or Senate member retiring in December 2010 with 32 years of service averaged $92,251 in annual pensions supplemented by cost of living increases. Most members have shorter tenures and get less. By law, pensions can't exceed 80% of final year of service pay.

In 2006, retired members covered by CSRS got average pensions of $60,972. Those retiring under FERS, or in combination with CSRS, averaged $35,952.

Historically, it was much different. From 1789 to 1815, congressional members got $6 per day while Congress was in session. From 1815 to 1817, they earned $1,500 annually. From 1818 – 1855, they got $8 a day.

Thereafter, they got $3,000 annual salaries. In 1907, it was raised to $7,500. In 2006, they earned $165,000. Leaders got more. Today, congressional members profit handsomely from pay, benefits, perks, and investment returns based on inside information.

For example, 2010 US household median net worth is $120,000. For congressional members, it's $912,000. In 2009, 7.8 million households had net worths of $1 million or more, around 2.5% of all households. In contrast, 47% of congressional members are millionaires.

The top 10 include:

Rep. Darrell Issa (R. CA): an estimated $451.1 million net worth

Rep. Jane Harman (D. CA): $435.4 million

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R. FL): $366.2 million

Senator John Kerry (D. MA): $249.9 million

Rep. Jared Polis (D. CO): $285.1 million

Senator Mark Warner (D. VA): $283.1 million

Senator Herb Kohl (D. WI): $231.2 million

Rep. Michael McCaul (R. TX): $201.5 million

Senator Jay Rockefeller (D. W VA): $136.2 million

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D. CA): $108.1 million

Combined net worth: $2.8 billion

All support lower corporate, capital gains, and top bracket personal tax rates. They also back austerity cuts for ordinary Americans, including lower Medicare and Medicaid benefits.

Median US senator net worth is $2.63 million – 16% higher than 2008. In 2010, 37 Senate Democrats and 30 Republican counterparts had average net worths exceeding $1 million. So did 110 House Republicans and 73 Democrats.

In 2010, median Republican House member net worth stood at $834,250. For Democrats it was $635,000 for an average $756,765 – 17% higher than 2008.

By law, all House and Senate members must report their own holdings and that of spouses and dependents annually. However, precise investment values can't be determined so estimates are made. They exclude non-income generating personal property (including homes, cars, artwork, etc.) and pension benefit values.

Moreover, the top spousal bracket is "more than $1 million," so true net worth amounts for many lawmakers "are likely undervalued." For example, some believe John Kerry's wife Teresa Heinz's net worth exceeds $1 billion. As the Heinz heiress, it's likely more.

A Final Comment

At a time class war in America rages, growing human need goes unaddressed, Washington is corporate occupied territory, and endless imperial wars ravage the world one country at a time with more planned, congressional members never had it so good.

No wonder fed up Americans want long denied social justice, and Occupy Wall Street calls "world revolution" the "only solution."

Change never comes top down, only bottom up. Society's privileged with power never yield it. Pressure's building to force them. Human need's too great and worsening. When pain levels cross a threshold of no return, all bets are off. Or as Gerald Celente says:

"When people lose everything and have nothing else to lose, they lose it."

That moment of truth draws closer, and not just in America.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

OLDDOGS COMMENTS

I hold no grudge towards people who out of great risk, or down right talent, make big bucks, but for a Congress critter to be able to use his job to get a pass on the laws everyone else is expected to adhere too is pushing it. I see no sense in sending people to DC so they can profit beyond what they could in previous employment, and especially when they have no consideration for their constituents. There is no other occupation where a person could claim to be a servant, and do it with their head held high. It is a very high honor to be elected as a servant of the people, because the people depend on them for their very life. So, I should think that being elected as a servant of the people should be worth much more than money earned at the people expense. That may very well be considered old fashion these days, or worse, but that’s how I see it. What do you think?

olddog@anationbeguiled.com 

 

GREED

 

 

SHERIFFS STANDING WITH THE PEOPLE AGAINST THE FEDS

January 7th, 2012 by

 

http://www.newswithviews.com/Pratt/larry124.htm

 By Larry Pratt 
January 7, 2012
NewsWithViews.com

I have reported earlier that sheriffs in New Mexico are

threatening to arrest federal agents if they attempt to enforce unconstitutional federal acts in contravention of state law.

The even better news is that sheriffs in other states are doing the same. Sheriff Brad Rogers of Elkhart County, Indiana has told Food and Drug Administration agents they will be arrested if they go on Amish farmer David Hochstetler’s land. Having falsely alleged that raw, unpasteurized milk sold by Hochstetler had caused several cases of food poisoning, the FDA filed a complaint in federal court to support their attack on the farmer.

I have consumed raw milk for years and can affirm that it is not only safe, but much healthier than pasteurized milk.

The threat of incarceration led the feds to withdraw their complaint against Hochstetler. This was even after US Department of Justice attorney Ross Goldstein emailed the Sheriff that he would be arrested if he protected Hochstetler. When Sheriff Rogers refused to back down, the FDA cried uncle.

Rogers’s communication to the feds seemed to have been quite convincing: “Any further attempts to inspect this farm without a warrant signed by a local judge, based on probable cause, will result in Federal inspectors’ removal or arrest for trespassing by my officers or I.” The feds have gotten used to acting without due process — in this case, that means not bothering to get a search warrant.

Rogers’ campaign website listed his number one objective as “Upholding the Constitution.” He is also concerned about the heart condition of his inmates and is determined to help “Provide Hope to Change a Heart.” Under that header he says, “The Elkhart County jail has 74 church services a month and allows unprecedented access to ministry volunteers. Not only can we impact inmates for the here and now, but for eternity.”

Sheriff Rogers requires his deputies to take three, two-day classes on the Constitution (at a tuition rate of $125 per person).

Rogers is not alone in his love for the Constitution. Ellis County, Texas Sheriff Johnny Brown has stated that he would resist any effort by the federal government to confiscate firearms in his county.

Sheriff Joe Baca in Sierra County, California told his county commission that he will not enforce road closures on Bureau of Land Management and Gila National Forest Lands.

Sheriff Gil Gilbertson of Josephine County, Oregon has told the Forest Service that he will protect those using the forest in his county. He has written a short treatise entitled, “Unraveling Federal Jurisdiction within a State.” It is actually a scholarly piece based on citations from the Constitution, court cases and statutes and concludes that the Forest Service has no authority in any county.

Siskiyou County, California Sheriff Jon Lopey has said: “I have told federal and state officials over and over that, yes, we want to preserve the environment, but you care more about the fish, frogs, trees and birds than you do about the human race. When will you start to balance your decisions to the needs of the people?…We are right now in a fight for our survival.” Lopey spearheaded a coalition of eight sheriffs calling themselves: “Defend Rural America.”

In the days after Hurricane Katrina, power was out for days. Food and medicine were about to be lost. So Sheriff Billy McGee of Forrest County, Mississippi — a Democrat — took action when he realized that a federal shipment of six trucks of ice bound for Hattiesburg turned out to be only four. McGee went in search of the other two and found them being guarded by some Army reservists who possessed bureaucratic mindsets.

McGee took steps to secure the ice, but was told he was not authorized to take the vehicles. When a reservist would not get off one of the trucks, McGee had him handcuffed. The ice was delivered where it was needed in Hattiesburg, explaining why McGee is also known as The Ice Man.

Not surprisingly, the feds have brought suit against the Sheriff in federal court. Perhaps McGee will arrest any marshals seeking to interfere with the duties of a peace officer.

It is encouraging that men of integrity, who understand that the sheriff is the top law enforcement officer in his county, have been elected in counties around the country. We should be looking for more who fit this description.

Please let me know if you are aware of any constitutional sheriffs, and email me their names and stories at ldpratt@gunowners.org.

© 2012 Larry Pratt – All Rights Reserved

Erich Pratt is the Director of Communications forGun Owners of America, a national gun lobby with over 300,000 members. GOA is located at 8001 Forbes Place, Springfield, VA 22151.

Either Pratt or another GOA spokesman is available for press interviews.

Larry Pratt has been Executive Director of Gun Owners of America for 27 years. GOA is a national membership organization of 300,000 Americans dedicated to promoting their second amendment freedom to keep and bear arms.

He published a book, Armed People Victorious, in 1990 and was editor of a book, Safeguarding Liberty: The Constitution & Militias, 1995. His latest book, On the Firing Line: Essays in the Defense of Liberty was published in 2001.

The GOA web site is:  gunowners.org. Pratt's weekly talk show Live Fire is archived there at:www.gunowners.org/radio.htm

E-Mail: ldpratt@gunowners.org

Contact Larry Pratt

constitution

 

The Elite’s Military Problem

January 6th, 2012 by

 

http://www.thedailybell.com/3438/The-Elites-Military-Problem

olddogs comments

 

Recently I have had a new friend display a truculent attitude toward libertarianism, and rightly so, however within libertarian philosophy there is a lot of great ideas, and all one has to do is eat the meat and make weapons out of the bones. I have been publishing articles from the Daily Bell, and intend to publish more of them so as to provide the broadest source of political ideology as possible, with the confidence that my readers will be able to recognize the meat and the bones, which will educate the reader on ideas that our education should have covered. Considering the present condition of our Nation, there will no doubt be an economic crash that will devastate the majority of our politically obtuse citizens and out of necessity they will reserve their leisure time to study and help rebuild America with a Constitution with teeth that clearly sets forth the peoples ability to hold their representatives responsible for the preservation of said Constitution. Americans are going to be forced to learn about different political philosophy, and how to take the best ideas from them to construct a totally new system of governance, and economic control. Only the power of words can save us from the power of our depraved nature.


by Staff Report

 

US 'turns the page on a decade of war' … The United States is "turning the page on a decade of war", President Barack Obama said, as he unveiled a major strategic review that will cut $489 billion in defence spending over the next ten years … As the wars of the September 11 era pass, Mr Obama said America should abandon its traditional capability of fighting two major wars at once and focus on becoming a "leaner and smarter" fighting force with an emphasis on counter terrorism, reconnaissance, cyber warfare and maintaining a nuclear deterrent. In a rare appearance in the Pentagon press briefing room, Mr Obama however insisted that the US military would comfortably maintain its military supremacy, with proposed spending still larger than that of the next 10 countries combined. – UK Telegraph

Dominant Social Theme: We've changed. We're gonna be more powerful but more gentle, too. We're going to emphasize the efficiency of killing rather than its scope.

Free-Market Analysis: The Obama administration has announced a new page in a decade of war. But is this really the case? We would argue that this downsizing is noteworthy because it acknowledges that the pretense of using "citizen armies" to realize the New World Order is actually drawing to a close.

What Obama is enunciating is nothing more than a dominant social theme, in our view. The idea is to indicate to the West and to America in particular that the country's war-fervor is abating. The US will continue to be triumphantly powerful but it won't be so brash or quite so destructive.

But really nothing much has changed in terms of power elite goals. What IS changing is the way force is going to be distributed and applied.

There is going to be a transition to a more secretive military methodology, in our view. It's already happening. The powers-that-be will seek to advance their agenda via mercenaries and intelligence agencies and to fund these activities via drug dealing and various other black ops.

Is there any other choice? The Anglosphere power elite that seeks to run the world cannot likely wean itself from its military methodologies. Its command-and-control agenda rests on the threat of violence and increasingly on its actuation.

Western economies are seemingly almost entirely in the thrall of this elite. Using the wealth of central banking, it has over time created a worldwide economy that is driven by war and directed by a few select, titanic corporations that are basically the handmaidens of Washington DC and the City of London.

It would seem to be the most successful, hidden dictatorship in the history of humankind. The secrecy – especially in the 20th century – allowed the entire world to be steered in a certain direction, toward world government. This strategy is still in effect even though it has been blown open by the Internet and the increasingly powerful "Reformation" that it is causing.

What we call the Internet Reformation is evidently and obviously shaking the power elite. This powerful entity has thus been increasingly forced to show its hand in numerous ways, both legislative and military. We have come to call it "directed history." The goal is global governance and events are "arranged" to facilitate it.

Throughout the 20th century, the "globalization" trends expanded. The state was to be celebrated in all ways. What was independent and inchoate was to be made dependent and ritualized. What was art was depersonalized in order to celebrate the efficacy of the state, as was architecture. Psychology was introduced to increase the efficiency of manipulations of the middle class. Money was drained of value and increasingly controlled behind the scenes by forces bent on inflation and currency debasement.

The continuance of this mad system is brought forth despite an increasingly generalized understanding of its manifestations. Over the past 300 years, with increasing energy and efficacy, a deliberate and calculated reign has been put into place that seemingly purposefully embraces everything that is most dysfunctional and destructive about human society.

Human beings are surely complex animals, in our view, with an incredibly broad spectrum of traits. When these traits are exercised privately, no overall harm is done. But when a tiny group of elites manage to gain control of the world's money supply (as has apparently occurred) and then begin to use the power of government force to deliberately implement their agenda, large-scale disasters are surely in the offing.

In the 20th century, perhaps 150 million people died directly as the result of elite war and its directed history. The 21st century was to see the further perfection of this system of war, corporatism, looting and bloodshed. Here's some more from the article:

The cuts would represent less than 10 per cent of the current annual defence budget of $650 billion. In one of the most significant strategy shifts since the end of the Second World War, the review US will turn its focus away from Europe towards the Asian Pacific region to counter the rising influence of China.

"Our military will be leaner but the world must know the United States is going to maintain our military superiority with armed forces that are agile, flexible and ready for the full range of contingencies and threats," [Obama] said at a news conference at the Pentagon flanked by Leon Panetta, the US defence secretary, and senior generals.

"Even as our troops continue to fight in Afghanistan, the tide of war is receding," he said. "Even as our forces prevail in today's missions, we have the opportunity – and the responsibility – to look ahead to the force we need for the future. Our nation is at a moment of transition."

The defence budget since the September 11 attacks on the US had grown at an "extraordinary pace" which had to slow down, he said, given the soaring budget deficits the world's superpower is facing thanks to the recession and the cost of its ageing population. "We have to renew our economic strength here at home, which is the foundation of our strength in the world. That includes putting our fiscal house in order," the president said.

We don't believe any of this. We have learned in a decade of covering such reports that government officials usually say exactly the opposite of what they mean. The Anglosphere elite cannot afford to give up its corporate/military mechanism of control.

In fact, one could make an argument that what we consider to be a deliberately introduced financial crisis has resulted in the purposeful expansion of NATO to make it into a true fighting force worldwide. Couple NATO with the mercenary expansions of outfits such as those run by the infamous Erik Prince and the steady emergence of shadowy black ops run out the City of London, Washington DC and Tel Aviv and you begin to see an entirely new militaristic paradigm.

What is interesting, we would argue, is that this configuration increasingly resembles that of ancient Rome. When the empire was weakening due to financial mismanagement and corruption, the use of mercenaries and professional soldiers greatly expanded. It didn't work, however, in the long run because people need to be motivated by a belief structure in order to be willing to fight and lay down their lives.

Absent this belief structure, defeats mount up and victories are increasingly hard to come by. This explains the failures of the West in Afghanistan and Pakistan and probably in Yemen and Somalia as well.

Conclusion: Here is the puzzle: The closer the elites draw to the New World Older, the less effective their mechanisms of control may prove.

 

WAR

 

 

The Ancient Doctrine of Signatures Suppressed By The Establishment

January 5th, 2012 by

 

 

http://www.ashtarcommandcrew.net/forum/topics/the-ancient

-doctrine-of-signatures-suppressed-by-the#ixzz1ibWAuxkf

 

Posted by Drome on January 3, 2012 at 6:38pm in Food, Health and Nutrition

 

The Doctrine of Signatures is profound ancient wisdom that is purposely being suppressed. It states that every fruit and vegetable has a certain pattern that resembles a body organ, and that this pattern acts as a signal or sign as to that fruit or vegetable’s benefit to us.

 

Modern science confirms that the ancient “Doctrine of Signatures” is astoundingly accurate. Why does this vital knowledge remain hidden?

The healing and nourishing properties of any fruit or vegetable reflected in, and ultimately revealed by, that fruit or vegetables’ outer physical shape, form, or “signature” in relation to the human body.

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function—and they look exactly like human kidneys.

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop brain function.

The cross section of a Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye. And science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to the eyes and aid in the general function of the eyes.

Celery looks just like bones. Celery specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23 percent sodium and these foods are 23 percent sodium. If you don’t have enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak. Foods like celery replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Avocadoes target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female—they look just like these organs. Avocadoes help women balance hormones, shed unwanted birth weight, and deter cervical cancers. It takes exactly nine months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit.

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm as well to overcome male sterility.

Slice a Mushroom in half and it resembles a human ear. Mushrooms have been found to improve hearing, as mushrooms are one of the few foods that contain vitamin D. This particular vitamin is important for healthy bones, even the tiny ones in the ear that transmit sound to the brain.

Our lungs are made up of branches of ever-smaller airways that finish up with tiny bunches of tissue called alveoli. These structures, which resemble bunches of Grapes, allow oxygen to pass from the lungs to the blood stream. A diet high in fresh fruit, such as grapes, has been shown to reduce the risk of lung cancer and emphysema. Grape seeds also contain a chemical called proanthocyanidin, which appears to reduce the severity of asthma triggered by allergy.

Ginger, commonly sold in supermarkets, often looks just like the stomach. So its interesting that one of its biggest benefits is aiding digestion. The Chinese have been using it for over 2,000 years to calm the stomach and cure nausea, while it is also a popular remedy for motion sickness.

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics. Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries.

The Doctrine of Signatures may sound strange to us, but its wisdom is ancient, rediscovered in modern times. Of course, in modern America we’ve been taught by the big corporations to buy “processed foods,” rather than to buy local fresh vegetables and cook them ourselves.

Americans have no time for cooking; most are busy working and consuming en masse, according to the messages drilled in by television, radio, newspaper, the news, culture, society. The resultant omnipresence of cheap, high-calorie, nutrient-poor processed foods (or “food like substances”) in homes, schools, government institutions and food programs, and on every street corner creates default food choices that drive obesity.

These subsidized, cheap, low-quality foods are heavily marketed and consumed by our ever-widening population with an obesity rate approaching three out of four Americans. The more Americans eat, the fatter they become. And the fatter they become the more they develop heart disease, diabetes, cancer and a myriad of other chronic ailments. This is a big score for big pharma. The sicker our population becomes, the more medications are sold for high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, and many other lifestyle driven diseases. In essence, big food and big pharma profits by creating a nation of sick and fat citizens.

This structure is built into the very fabric of our economy and culture. It could be called the medical, agricultural, food industrial complex. It is nothing short of sheer violence against us—the social, political, economic and environmental conditions that foster and promote the development of disease. However, by using this wisdom of the Doctrine of Signatures we can take more of a proactive role regarding our health. We are our best own doctor and dietician, we just need to believe it.

The Doctrine of Signatures was made popular in modern times by a Swiss physician, alchemist and philosopher named Paracelsus (1493-1541) who scholars consider to be the father of modern chemistry. Paracelsus noted how the qualities of plants are often reflected in their appearance. He thus theorized that the inner nature of plants may be discovered by their outer forms or “signatures.” He applied this principle to food as well as medicine, remarking that “it is not in the quantity of food but in its quality that resides the Spirit of Life”—a belief familiar to those who choose to eat organic food while also being justifiably concerned over Genetically Modified substitutes that lack the “life force,” or spirit.

The “Doctrine of Signatures” enjoyed a revival in the 1600s after Jakob Böhme (1575-1624), a master shoemaker in the small town of Görlitz, Germany, began writing on the subject. At 25 years old, he experienced a sublime mystical vision where he saw the true relationship between man and his Creator—that man is both the Creator and the Created.

 

Doctrine of Signatures

 

Tyranny in the Forecast: The Outlook for the New Year

January 3rd, 2012 by

 

URL of this article: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28475

 

paulcraigroberts.org

Global Research announces Dr. Paul Craig Robert's New Website at http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/ 

 

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

 

 

In March 2010 when I resigned from my column with Creator’s Syndicate and put down my pen, I received so many protests from readers that two months later I began writing again.  This renewed activity has resulted in this new year in a website of my own.  

My columns will first appear on my site. Sites on which readers are accustomed to find my columns are permitted to continue to post my columns as long as they link to my site and indicate my copyright.

The site will stay up if reader support justifies it.  Otherwise, I will conclude that the cost of the site exceeds the value of what I have to say.  

This past year has not been a good one for the 99%, and the new year is likely to be even worse. This column deals with the outlook for liberty.  The next will deal with the economic outlook.

The outlook for liberty is dismal. Those writers who are critical of Washington’s illegal wars and overthrow of the US Constitution could find themselves in indefinite detainment, because criticism of Washington’s policies can be alleged to be aiding Washington’s enemies, which might include charities that provide aid to bombed  Palestinian children and flotillas that attempt to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/24/us-israel-usa-flotilla-idUSTRE75N4A620110624

The Bush/Obama regimes have put the foundation in place for imprisoning critics of the government without due process of law. The First Amendment is being all but restricted to rah-rah Americans who chant USA! USA! USA!  Washington has set itself up as world prosecutor, forever berating other countries for human rights violations, while Washington alone bombs half a dozen countries into the stone age and threatens several more with the same treatment, all the while violating US statutory law and the Geneva Conventions by torturing detainees.  http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2008/06/18/41514/general-who-probed-abu-ghraib.html   

Washington rounds up assorted foreign politicians, whose countries were afflicted with civil wars, and sends them off to be tried as war criminals, while its own war crimes continue to mount. However, if a person exposes Washington’s war crimes, that person is held without charges in conditions that approximate torture.

Bradley Manning is the case in point.  Manning, a US soldier, is alleged to be the person who released to WikiLeaks the “Collateral Murder” video, which, in the words of Marjorie Cohn, “depicts U.S. forces in an Apache helicopter killing 12 unarmed civilians, including two Reuters journalists. People trying to rescue the wounded were also fired upon and killed.” 

One of the Good Samaritans was a father with two small children. The video reveals the delight that US military personnel experienced in blowing them away from the distant skies. When it became clear that the Warriors Bringing The People Democracy had blown away two small children, instead of remorse we hear an executioner’s voice saying:  “that’s what he gets for bringing children into a war zone.”

The quote is from memory, but it is accurate enough.  When I first saw this video, I was astonished at the brazen war crime. It is completely obvious that the dozen or so murdered people were simply people walking along a street, threatening no one, unarmed, doing nothing out of the ordinary.  It was not a war zone. The horror is that the US soldiers were playing video games with live people.  You can tell from their commentary that they were having fun by killing these unsuspecting people walking along the street.  They enjoyed killing the father who stopped to help and shooting up his vehicle with the two small children inside.

This was not an accident of a drone, fed with bad information, blowing up a school full of children, or a hospital, or a farmer’s family.  This was American soldiers having fun with high tech toys killing anyone that they could pretend might be an enemy. 

When I saw this, I realized that America was lost. Evil had prevailed.

I was about to write that nothing has been done about the crime.  But something was done about it.  An American soldier who recognized the horrific war crime knew that the US military knew about it and had done nothing about it.  He also knew that as a US soldier he was required to report war crimes.  But to whom?  War crimes dismissed as “collateral damage” are the greatest part of Washington’s 21st century wars.  

A soldier with a moral conscience gave the video to WikiLeaks.  We don’t know who the soldier is.  Washington alleges that the soldier is Bradley Manning, but Washington lies every time it opens its mouth.  So we will never know. 

All we know is that retribution did not fall on the perpetrators of the war crime.  It fell upon the two accused of revealing it–Bradley Manning and Julian Assange. 

Manning was held almost two years without charges being presented to a court.

In December’s pre-trial hearings all Washington could come up with was concocted  accusations.  No evidence whatsoever.  The prosecutor, a Captain Fein, told the court, if that is what it is, that Manning had been “trained and trusted to use multiple intelligence systems, and he used that training to defy that trust. He abused our trust.”

In other words, Manning gave the world the truth of a war crime that was being covered up, and Washington and the Pentagon regard a truth teller doing his duty under the US military code as an “abuser of trust.”

In the 1970 My Lai Courts-Martial of Captain Ernest L. Medina, the Prosecution Brief states:

“ A combat commander has a duty, both as an individual and as a commander, to insure that humane treatment is accorded to noncombatants and surrendering combatants. Article 3 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War specifically prohibits violence to life and person, particularly murder, mutilation, cruel treatment, and torture. Also prohibited are the taking of hostages, outrages against personal dignity and summary judgment and sentence. It demands that the wounded and sick be cared for. These same provisions are found in the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. While these requirements for humanitarian treatment are placed upon each individual involved with the protected persons, it is especially incumbent upon the commanding officer to insure that proper treatment is given.

Additionally, all military personnel, regardless of rank or position, have the responsibility of reporting any incident or act thought to be a war crime to his commanding officer as soon as practicable after gaining such knowledge. Commanders receiving such reports must also make such facts known to the Staff Judge Advocate. It is quite clear that war crimes are not condoned and that every individual has the responsibility to refrain from, prevent and report such unwarranted conduct. While this individual responsibility is likewise placed upon the commander, he has the additional duty to insure that war crimes committed by his troops are promptly and adequately punished.  http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/mylai/Myl_law3.htm

At the National Press Club on February 17, 2006, General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that “It is the absolute responsibility of everybody in uniform to disobey an order that is either illegal or immoral.” General Pace said that the military is prohibited from committing crimes against humanity and that such orders and events must be made known.

However, when Manning followed the military code, his  compliance with law was turned into a crime. Captain Fein goes on to tell the “court” [a real court would throw out the bogus charges, but Amerika no longer has real courts] that “ultimately, he aided the enemies of the United States by indirectly giving them intelligence through WikiLeaks.” 

In other words, the “crime” is an unintended consequence of doing one’s duty–like the “collateral damage” of civilian casualties when drones, bombs, helicopter gunships, and trigger-happy troops kill women, children, aid workers, and village elders.  Why is Washington only punishing Manning for the collateral damage attributed to him?

Captain Fein could not have put it any clearer.  If you tell the truth and reveal Washington’s war crimes, you have aided the enemy.  Captain Fein’s simple sentence has at one stroke abolished all whistleblower protections written into US statutory law and the First Amendment, and confined anyone with a moral conscience and sense of decency to indefinite detention and torture. 

The illegal detention and treatment of Manning had a purpose, according to a number of informed people. Naomi Spencer, for example, writes that Manning’s long detention and delayed prosecution is designed to coerce Manning into implicating WikiLeaks in order that the US can extradite Julian Assange and either prosecute him as a terrorist or lock him away indefinitely in a military prison without any recourse to the courts, due process or the law.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30075.htm

Assange’s case is mysterious.  Assange sought refuge in Sweden, where he was seduced by two women.  Both admit that they had sexual intercourse with him voluntarily, but afterwards they have come forth with claims that as they were sleeping with him in the bed, he again had sexual intercourse with them, and that they had not approved this second helping and that he was asked to use a condom but did not. 

The Swedish prosecutorial office, after investigating the charges, dismissed them. But, strangely, another Swedish prosecutor, a woman suspected of connections to Washington, resurrected the charges and is seeking to extradite Assange to Sweden from the UK for questioning.  

The legal question is whether a prosecutor can seek extradition for investigative purposes. The UK Supreme Court thinks that this is a valid question, and has agreed to hear the case. Normally, extradition requests come from courts and are issued for persons formally charged with a crime. Sweden has not charged Assange with a crime.

The real question is whether the Swedish prosecutor is acting on behalf of Washington.  Many who follow the case believe that Washington is behind the prosecutor’s re-opening of the case, and if Sweden gets hold of Assange Sweden will send him to Washington to be put in indefinite detention and tortured until he says what Washington wants him to say–that he is an Al Qaeda operative.  

This is the way that Washington intends to absolve itself of its war crimes revealed, allegedly, by Manning and Assange.

Meanwhile, Washington in a brazen display of hypocrisy accuses other countries of human rights abuses, while Congress has passed and President Obama has signed an indefinite detention and torture bill that US Representative Ron Paul says will accelerate America’s “slip into tyranny” and “descent into totalitarianism.” 

In signing the Bill of Tyranny, President Obama indicated that he thought that the tyranny established by the bill did not go far enough. He announced that he was signing the bill with signing statements that reserved his right, regardless of any law, to send American citizens, deprived of due process and constitutional protection, abroad to be tortured.

This is the US government that claims to be a government of “freedom and democracy” and to be bringing “freedom and democracy” to others with bombs and invasions.

The past year gave us other ominous tyrannical developments.  President Obama announced that he had a list of Americans whom he intended to assassinate without due process of law, and Homeland Security, itself an Orwellian name, announced that it had shifted its attention from terrorists to “domestic extremists.”  The latter are undefined and consist of whomever Homeland Security so designates.  

None of this was done behind closed doors.  The murder of the US Constitution was a public crime witnessed by all.  But like Kitty Genovese, who was stabbed to death in New York in 1964 in front of onlookers who failed to come to her aid, the media, Congress, bar associations, law schools, and the American public failed to come to the defense of the Constitution.  

In my lifetime the collapse in respect for, and authority of, the Constitution has been an horrific event.  Compare the ho-hum response to the Obama regime’s police state announcements with the public anger at President Richard Nixon over his enemies list.

Try to imagine President Ronald Reagan announcing that he had a list of Americans marked for assassination without impeachment proceedings beginning forthwith. 

Local and state police forces have been militarized not only in their equipment and armament but also in their attitude toward the public. Despite the absence of domestic terror attacks, Homeland Security conducts warrantless searches of cars and trucks on highways and of passengers using public transportation.  A uniformed federal service is being trained to systematically violate the constitutional rights of citizens, and citizens are being trained to accept these violations as normal. The young have no memory of being able to board public transportation or use public roadways without intrusive searches or to gather in protest without being brutalized by the police. Liberty is being moved into the realm of myth and legend.  

In such a system as is being constructed in public in front of our eyes, there is no freedom, no democracy, and no liberty.  What stands before us is naked tyranny.

While America degenerates into a total police state, politicians constantly invoke “our values.”  What are these values?  Indefinite imprisonment without conviction in a court. Torture. Warrantless searches and home invasions. An epidemic of police brutality. Curtailment of free speech and peaceful assembly rights. Unprovoked aggression called “preemptive war.” Interference in the elections and internal affairs of other countries. Economic sanctions imposed on foreign populations whose leaders are not in Washington’s pocket.  

If the American police state were merely an unintended consequence of a real war against terror, it could be dismantled when the war was over.  However, the evidence is that the police state is an intended consequence. The PATRIOT Act is a voluminous and clever attack on the Constitution. It is not possible that it could have been written in the short time between 9/11 and its introduction in Congress. It was waiting on the shelf.

The dismantling of constitutionally protected civil liberties is purposeful, as is the accumulation of arbitrary and unaccountable powers in the executive branch of government. As there have been no terrorist events within the US in over a decade except for those known to have been organized by the FBI, there is no terrorist threat that justifies the establishment of a political regime of unaccountable power.  It is being done on purpose under false pretenses, which means that there is an undeclared agenda.  The threat that Americans face resides in Washington, D.C.

Of the presidential candidates, only Ron Paul addresses the Constitution’s demise.Yet, the electorate is concerned with matters unimportant by comparison. Propagandized 24/7 by the Ministry of Truth, Americans are not sufficiently aware of their plight to elect Ron Paul president.  

It might be too late for even a President Ron Paul to turn things around. A president has no power unless his government supports him.  What prospect would President Ron Paul have of getting his appointees confirmed by the Senate?  The military/security complex is not going to vacate power. Powerful monied interests would block his appointments. If he persisted in being a problem for the Establishment, he would be victimized by a scandal and fail to be reelected if not forced to resign.

Remember what the Washington Establishment did to President Carter.  His budget director and chief of staff were framed, thus depriving Carter of the powers of his office. Even Ronald Reagan had to give away more than half of his government, including the White House chief-of-staff and vice presidency, to the Establishment.  President Reagan told me that he wanted to end stagflation in order that he could end the cold war, but that he could not sign a tax bill if I could not get one out of his administration that he could send to Congress.  

I do not know, but I suspect that turning things around internally through the political system is not in the cards.  Our chance to resurrect liberty might come from Washington’s hubris.  Imperial ambitions and drive for power can produce unmanageable upheavals and a loss of allies. Overreach abroad with a demoralized, unemployed and downtrodden population at home are not the ingredients of success. 

How much longer will the Russian government permit NGOs funded by the US Endowment for Democracy to interfere in its elections and to organize political protests? How much longer will China confuse its strategic interests with the American consumer market?  How much longer will Japan, Canada, Australia, Britain, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, and the Middle East oil states remain US puppets?  How much longer can the dollar retain the reserve currency role when the Federal Reserve is monetizing vast quantities of debt? 

How much longer can a “superpower” survive when it is incapable of producing political leadership?

America’s salvation will come when Washington suffers defeat of its hegemonic ambitions.

Many readers, especially those who watch Fox “News” and CNN and read the New York Times,  might see hyperbole in my outlook for 2012.  Surely, many believe, the draconian measures put in place will only be applied to terrorists.  But how would we know?  Indefinite detention and torture require no evidence to be presented. The American public has no way of knowing whether tortured detainees are terrorists or political opponents. The decision to detain and torture is an unaccountable decision. It relies on nothing but the subjective arbitrary decision of someone in the executive branch. Why are Americans prepared to take the word of a government that told them intentionally the lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was a threat to America?  

Like cancer, tyranny metastasizes. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the Soviet Union’s most famous writer, was a twice-decorated World War II Red Army commander. He made mild critical comments about Stalin’s conduct of the war in a private letter to a friend, and for this he was sentenced, not by a court, but in absentia by the NKVD, the secret police, to eight years in the Gulag Archipelago for “anti-Soviet propaganda.”  Not even Stalin had indefinite detention. The closest the Soviets came to this medieval practice resurrected by the Bush and Obama regimes was internal exile in distant parts of the Soviet Union.

During much of the Soviet era, even art, literature and music were scrutinized for signs of “anit-Soviet propaganda.”  America’s Dixie Chicks suffered a similar, but more frightening, fate. Bush did not need the NKVD.  The American public did the job for the secret police. Wikipedia reports:

“During a London concert ten days before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, lead vocalist Maines said ‘we don't want this war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the President of the United States (George W. Bush) is from Texas.’ The statement offended many Americans, who thought it rude and unpatriotic, and the ensuing controversy cost the band half of their concert audience attendance in the United States. The incident negatively affected their career and led to accusations of the three women being "un-American", as well as hate mail, death threats, and the public destruction of their albums in protest.”

In Nazi Germany, the mildest criticism could bring a midnight knock at the door.

People with power use it.  And power attracts the worst kind of persons. As Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo prove, democracies are not immune to the evil use of power. Indeed, identical inhumane treatment of prisoners goes on inside the US prison system for ordinary criminals.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article8451.htm 

A December 30, 2011, search on Yahoo for police brutality produced 20 million results.

Over-fed goon cop thugs taser little children and people in wheel chairs.  They body slam elderly grandmothers. The police are a horror. They represent a greater threat to citizens than do criminals.

Preventative war, indefinite imprisonment, rendition, torture of people alleged to be “suspects” (an undefined category), and assassination are all draconian punishments that require no evidence. Preventative war is an Orwellian concept.

How do you prevent a war by initiating a war?

How do we know that a country that did not attack us was going to attack us in the future? 

Preventative war is like Jeremy Bentham’s concept of preventing crime by locking up those thought by the upper crust to be predisposed to criminal activity before they commit a crime. Punishment without crime is now the American Way.

The concepts that the Bush/Obama regimes have institutionalized are totally foreign to the Anglo-American concepts of law and liberty.  In one decade the US has been transformed from a free society into a police state.  The American population, to the extent it is aware of what has occurred, has simply accepted the revolution from the top.  

Ron Paul is the only American seeking the presidency who opposes the tyranny that has been institutionalized, and he is not leading in the polls. 

This tells us all we need to know about the value Americans place on liberty. 

Americans seem to welcome the era of tyranny into which they are now entering. 

OLDDOGS COMMENTS

Having diligently pursued the truth about the workings of our government for the last seven years, and at great cost to my health, and disruption of my family life, I can find nothing in Dr. Robert’s article above to disagree with, and I am ashamed to call America my own if the majority of American’s disagree with him. I am more than aware that many, so called American’s, are infected with the tyranny described above, and to them I say, you do not deserve to live here. You are animal’s like your dictator’s, and deserving of a traitors death. Real American’s do not kill and maim for sport or monetary gain, nor do they support a government that does. This despotic government is going down, and by the real American’s that will not retreat. Ask yourself which you support, and take action accordingly. I know we have all been overwhelmed by shock and awe so relentlessly for a decade now, and many are terrified to attend large public gathering’s, or speak up against this tyranny for fear of our government, and being an outcast by those who support what is going on, but that is the big difference between a patriot and a coward. The emotion you should be overwhelmed by is rage, not fear, for everyone of you who are afraid to speak out are assisting the very people who are designing and implementing this mess. Do not fear for your life or possessions, because we are not even close to how bad it’s going to get if we don’t unite and fight back. Do you want to see brothers killing brothers again? I promise you, that is where we’re headed if we do not stand up together. Nothing can defeat a pissed off United America, even when the enemy is already entrenched in our government. STAND UP!

 

TYRANNY

 

Economic Downturn Took a Detour at Capitol Hill

December 28th, 2011 by

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/27/us/politics/economic-slide-took-a-detour-at-capitol-hill.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

 

WASHINGTON — When Representative Ed Pastor was first elected to Congress two decades ago, he was comfortably ensconced in the middle class. Mr. Pastor, a Democrat from Arizona, held $100,000 or so in savings accounts in the mid-1990s and had a retirement pension, but like many Americans, he also owed the banks nearly as much in loans.

Today, Mr. Pastor, a miner’s son and a former high school teacher, is a member of a not-so-exclusive club: Capitol Hill millionaires. That group has grown in recent years to include nearly half of all members of Congress — 250 in all — and the wealth gap between lawmakers and their constituents appears to be growing quickly, even as Congress debates unemployment benefits, possible cuts in food stamps and a “millionaire’s tax.”

Mr. Pastor buys a Powerball lottery ticket every weekend and says he does not consider himself rich. Indeed, within the halls of Congress, where the median net worth is $913,000 and climbing, he is not. He is a rank-and-file millionaire. But compared with the country at large, where the median net worth is $100,000 and has dropped significantly since 2004, he and most of his fellow lawmakers are true aristocrats.

Largely insulated from the country’s economic downturn since 2008, members of Congress — many of them among the “1 percenters” denounced by Occupy Wall Street protesters — have gotten much richer even as most of the country has become much poorer in the last six years, according to an analysis by The New York Times based on data from the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit research group.

Congress has never been a place for paupers. From plantation owners in the pre-Civil War era to industrialists in the early 1900s to ex-Wall Street financiers and Internet executives today, it has long been populated with the rich, including scions of families like the Guggenheims, Hearsts, Kennedys and Rockefellers.

But rarely has the divide appeared so wide, or the public contrast so stark, between lawmakers and those they represent.

The wealth gap may go largely unnoticed in good times. “But with the American public feeling all this economic pain, people just resent it more,” said Alan J. Ziobrowski, a professor at Georgia State who studied lawmakers’ stock investments.

There is broad debate about just why the wealth gap appears to be growing. For starters, the prohibitive costs of political campaigning may discourage the less affluent from even considering a candidacy. Beyond that, loose ethics controls, shrewd stock picks, profitable land deals, favorable tax laws, inheritances and even marriages to wealthy spouses are all cited as possible explanations for the rising fortunes on Capitol Hill.

What is clear is that members of Congress are getting richer compared not only with the average American worker, but also with other very rich Americans.

While the median net worth of members of Congress jumped 15 percent from 2004 to 2010, the net worth of the richest 10 percent of Americans remained essentially flat. For all Americans, median net worth dropped 8 percent, based on inflation-adjusted data from Moody’s Analytics.

Going back further, the median wealth of House members grew some two and a half times between 1984 and 2009 in inflation-adjusted dollars, while the wealth of the average American family has actually declined slightly in that same time period, according to data cited by The Washington Post in an article published Monday on its Web site.

With millionaire status now the norm, the rarefied air in the Capitol these days is $100 million. That lofty level appears to have been surpassed by at least 10 members, led by Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican and former auto alarm magnate who is worth somewhere between $195 million and $700 million. (Because federal law requires lawmakers to disclose their assets only in broad dollar ranges, more precise estimates are impossible.)

Their wealth has created occasional political problems for Congress’s richest.

Mr. Issa, for instance, has faced outside scrutiny because of the overlap of his Congressional work and outside interests, including extensive investments with Wall Street firms like Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs, as well as land holdings in his San Diego district. In one case, he obtained some $800,000 in federal earmarks for a road-widening project running along his commercial property.

Senator John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat who is married to Teresa Heinz Kerry, set off an uproar last year when it was disclosed that he had docked his $7 million, 76-foot yacht not in his home state but in neighboring Rhode Island, which has no sales or use tax on pleasure boats. (Mr. Kerry, worth at least $181 million, voluntarily paid $400,000 in Massachusetts taxes after criticism.)

 

Representative Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, was challenged about her wealth, as much as $196 million, by a member of her own party a few weeks ago. Representative Laura Richardson, a California Democrat who is among the poorest members of Congress with as much as $464,000 in debt, attacked Ms. Pelosi at a closed-door Democratic caucus meeting for endorsing a Congressional pay freeze, according to a report in Politico that was confirmed by other members.

 

Ms. Richardson angrily told Ms. Pelosi that, unlike her, some members needed the raise. Members now make a base pay of $174,000 and would automatically get a cost-of-living adjustment unless they were to decide, for a third straight year, to pass it up. Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, said the rising Congressional wealth fuels public doubts about whether members are more focused on their constituents’ interests or their own investment portfolios.

“There’s always a concern that they can’t truly understand or relate to the hardships that their constituents feel — that rich people just don’t get it,” she said.

In an effort to gauge how directly the country’s economic problems affected lawmakers, The New York Times contacted the offices of the 534 current members (one seat is vacant) for an informal survey. It asked if they had close friends or family members who had lost jobs or homes since the 2008 downturn.

Only 18 members responded.

Half the respondents said they had close friends or relatives who lost homes, while the other half said their personal contact was limited to constituents who came for help.

Two-thirds said they had close friends or relatives who had been laid off or had shut down a business during the downturn. The rest knew no one in that category personally.

Representative Anna G. Eshoo, a California Democrat who took part in the survey, said several cousins in their 40s and 50s whom she considers brothers and sisters lost their jobs recently. Without college degrees, none have found work, and they have emphasized to her the importance of unemployment benefits.

“Personal stories are very powerful because it’s not a theory,” Ms. Eshoo said. “It’s not talking points of a party. These are people experiencing the harshness of what is an economic depression for them.”

Multimillionaires in Congress “view life through a different lens,” she said.

Ms. Eshoo herself has escaped the worries weighing on her cousins. While she reported being in debt in 2004, she is now worth an estimated $1.8 million, her financial reports show. She said the rise came mostly from the sale of a family home where she lived for 40 years.

“I was fortunate,” she said. “I’ve lived from paycheck to paycheck most of my life, and I’m a single mother.”

One likely cause of the rising wealth, political analysts say, is the growing cost of a political campaign. A successful Senate run cost on average nearly $10 million last year, and a successful House race was $1.4 million, significantly above past elections.

The prohibitive cost has inevitably drawn richer candidates who can help bankroll their own campaigns and attract donations from rich friends — while deterring less well-off candidates, political analysts say.

The data analyzed by The Times corroborated the idea that incoming members are in fact richer than those in the past. The freshman class of 106 members elected last year, including many Tea Party-backed Republicans, had a median net worth of $864,000 — an inflation-adjusted increase of 26 percent from the 2004 freshmen.

Once in Congress, members benefit from many financial perks unavailable to most Americans. Beyond a base salary of $174,000 — an increase of about 10 percent since 2004, somewhat less than inflation — members get extra pay for senior posts and generous medical and pension benefits, as well as accouterments of power often financed by taxpayers or their campaigns.

 

While the housing collapse nationwide has hurt many Americans, lawmakers still find the real estate sector the most popular place to park their money, statistics from the Center of Responsive Politics show, and members of Congress continue to profit from their investments there. Perhaps the most tantalizing but hotly debated factor in the rising wealth of Congress is lawmakers’ performance in the stock markets — and the question of whether they are using their access to confidential information to enrich themselves.

 

In a study completed this year, Mr. Ziobrowski at Georgia State and his colleagues found that House members saw the stocks they owned outperform the market by 6 percent a year. Their research from several years ago found that senators did even better, at 12 percent above average. The researchers attributed the performance to a “significant information advantage” that lawmakers hold by virtue of their positions and the fact they are not bound by insider-trading law.

However, a separate study last year by researchers at Yale and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that the portfolios of lawmakers actually performed somewhat worse than average investors. It found that members did do better when investing in companies in their home districts or associated with campaign donors — suggesting that they benefited from their political connections — but still not as well as the average investor.

While concerns go back decades about lawmakers trading on confidential information, the issue drew renewed attention with a new book on the topic, “Throw Them All Out” by Peter Schweizer, and a “60 Minutes” report in November. Both linked high-level briefings that Congressional leaders received on the 2008 financial crisis and on health care to their purchase and sale of certain stocks.

Members insisted that they never traded on information that was not public, and some Congressional leaders pointed out that their investments were in blind trusts managed by professional advisers. Nonetheless, the publicity led some 90 members of Congress to call anew for a ban on insider trading.

Mr. Pastor, the Arizona congressman, said he never relied on fancy stock investments to make money. He said the key to his good fortune was watching what he spends, paying off debts and, at age 68, collecting Social Security and a pension from his days as a county supervisor.

“I don’t see myself as a man of great wealth,” he said. “To say that I’m enjoying a millionaire’s lifestyle — well, I can tell you, I guess a millionaire’s income doesn’t go very far these days.”

Corrupted Congress

 

This is how to get a scumbags attention

December 27th, 2011 by

Congressman Steve Womack
Washington, D.C.

Congressman Womack,                                                                December 27, 2011

Your response to my grave concerns regarding the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2012 was indeed frivolous, e.g. “keep us safe and protect our way of life”…and “provisions in the NDAA regarding the detention of terrorists”.

Congressman, the Act is designed to illegally & unconstitutionally incarcerate American citizens.

You go on to say “as a 30 year veteran of our Armed Forces, I certainly realize the magnitude of the NDAA.”  If that is the case Congressman, how in heaven’s name could you have voted for the NDAA as it allows for the indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial?  It allows the U.S. military to act as domestic police without any vestiges of the rule of law.  The NDAA negates the 4th, 5th, 6th & 10th Amendments and as you may or may not understand, without the Bill of Rights there cannot be a republic of the United States.  As for you being a 30 year armed chair member of NG, I am not at all impressed, but that alone demonstrates you are a neo-con and owe your allegiance to Big Government.

A topical examination up to this point of your congressional experience:
1.    By the time the votes had been counted in the 3rd congressional district, you and 80 other congressional freshmen were on your way to a lavishly appointed meeting in Israel with Prime Minister Netanyahu and members of the Mossad…all compliments of AIPAC­which simply means you are owned lock, stock & barrel by Zionists…putting their perceived needs and ambitions before American citizens.
2.    You voted with glee for continuing the unconstitutional, immoral Patriot Acts, i.e. assassinations, torture (by the way Congressman, have you ever been tortured?), preemptive wars without congressional declarations of war, dissolving of Posse Comitatus & Habeas Corpus…as does the NDAA.
3.    You signed a pledge of No New Taxes and right out the box you have voted for a non-balanced budget and supported taxes on the internet.  You said that military cuts would devastate the countries defense posture. Congressman, with 9,000 military installations around the globe and substantial military presence in 130 countries, please tell me and your constituents what the hell you are talking about. And no mention of our unprotected national borders allowing our republic to continue to disintegrate into a 3rd world gulag while U.S. military forces are molesting nations around the globe and protecting their borders.
4.    And the treasonous freedom-taking National Defense Authorization Act.

Congressman Womack, you and the remaining Arkansas 5 and a large number of your colleagues, as previously mentioned, voted to put American citizens in harm’s way by allowing this president and future presidents through Executive Orders to ensnare Americans on a whim, without due process, and dispose in any manner.

Congressman Womack, when you finish dispensing favors to the Walton’s, the Tyson’s and other Bigs, is there anything left for 3rd congressional constituents?

You and your colleagues who voted for the NDAA ARE TRAITORS TO THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION, THE BILL OF RIGHTS, AND AMERICAN CITIZENS.

Joe McCutchen
Fort Smith
3rd Congressional Constituent

Cc: Arkansas/American Citizens

www.arkansasfreedom.com

   NOW THIS, IS AN OLDDOG

GIVE IT A TRY

CONGRESS

TIS THE SEASON TO GET REAL

December 24th, 2011 by

http://www.newswithviews.com/JBWilliams/williams169.htm

By J.B. Williams
December 23, 2011
NewsWithViews.com

America on the Brink of Anarchy

When government leaders demonstrate a blatant disregard for the rule of law, the citizens soon follow that example. When justice becomes nothing more than a tool for socialist experiments known as social justice, no longer a system of equal protections guided by existing laws, the people will seek their own form of justice and anarchy will reign, until justice is restored.

Our federal government has refused to keep its Constitutional promise to the states and the people, to among other things, control and enforce our immigration laws, demonstrating a blatant disregard for the rule of law, the state and legal American citizens, not to mention their constitutional obligation.

Border States were left to enforce the law within their own states. But federal courts, which have no jurisdiction over the states, stepped in and blocked the states from enforcing the law and today, dozens of Sheriff Deputies turn in their federal credentials, refusing to abide by federal mandates to break existing immigration laws.

Meanwhile, the Democrat Mayor of D.C. announces his executive order to stand down on federal immigration laws in his city, and Democrat Connecticut Mayor of New Haven, already known as a sanctuary city for illegal activity, announces his intentions to allow illegal aliens to vote in the upcoming 2012 election cycle. The Obama Administration supports both illegal acts.

Democrat Mayors, Governors, law-makers, judges and the White House are living in blatant violation of the law, their oaths of office, the will of legal American citizens and their constitutional authority.

How much longer will the people sit quiet, before taking justice into their own hands, in what has clearly become a lawless society?

Clearly, government officials from the White House all the way down to your local town and all points in-between, have a total disregard for the rule of law and the Constitution of these once United States. Every day, we see government officials act beyond their authority, in direct violation of the law and their oaths of office – still, the American people sit silent, waiting… but for what?

The people allowed their Constitutional Representative Republic to be quietly replaced with a Marxist form of democracy (aka Democratic Socialism) and we are now witnessing simple democracy at its worst. Washington D.C. is the belly of the beast, in terms of political and judicial corruption and lawlessness. But that corruption and lawlessness has been systematically spread across the country, throughout the federal courts, all the way down to your local traffic court.

Judges are no longer restrained by the law. They operate as political tools for change – henchmen for a corrupt administration, federal, state and local. Our nation has been systematically pushed to the brink of anarchy, a lawless society wherein the people will have to exact justice themselves, or live under the boot of government tyranny.

The people have already been silent too long. What are they waiting for?

Fifty years ago, the people could have resolved this matter peacefully, via constitutional processes put in place to protect the people and the states from government corruption and tyranny. But today, themechanisms of justice have been stolen from the people, just like the rest of their government.

The people have no place to turn, to restore the rule of law and constitutional government. The people now stand alone, undermanned and out-gunned – divided, distracted and impotent.

Three-hundred million Americans live in fear of a small handful of evil tyrants operating their government well outside of constitutional authority, ready and willing to use the full power of the federal government, our military, intelligence and law enforcement agencies, to put down any resistance from the people.

The Department of Homeland Security has carefully identified every potential patriotic resister as a “potential domestic terrorist.” The White House has cross-trained federal, state and local law enforcement with military units, staging for civil unrest once the anarchy they created grips the entire nation.

The Clinton Administration launched UN Agenda 21across America in 1996, under a federal program titled Global Governance 2025. The timeline for completing this agenda has since been bumped up to 2013, officially. But economic circumstances here and abroad have caused the Obama Administration to accelerate, attempting a 2012 completion, amid political chaos and partisan stalemates.

Everything we see unfolding today is in support of this agenda to end American sovereignty, security and supremacy in the world. They are even running Intel snitch ops on American citizens from the college campuses. The enemy is a hundred-years ahead of American patriots, who seem stuck in a rut, baffled by a constant diet of propaganda that keeps them only able to chase their own tails.

Only three potential lines of defense remain now – your state line, your county line and your front door.

If the states don’t quickly position themselves to fight back against a corrupt and tyrannical federal dictatorship, this thing is already over. The County Sheriff has an important role to play, but they cannot defend the people alone. They will have to deputize every citizen in their county, as they will face federal, state and local law enforcement, plus the U.S. military and even foreign military units from NATO and the UN. Are you aware of the fact that the U.S. Military enjoys world-wide air superiority?

The states must face the reality that “federal supremacy” is based solely upon “federal funding.” The federal government has very limited authoritywithin a state. It is the federal funding that allows the federal government to dictate to the states and the states must cut themselves off from all federal funding.

If the people fail to stand up a real resistance at their state lines, closely working with their governors and state legislators in order to put their state on what can only be called a war footing, then the people will not be able to defend at their county line, much less their front door.

This thing has been a long time coming and it is coming fast and hard now.

Obama cannot be re-elected without massive voter fraud, including the votes of illegal aliens. The 2012 election cycle will be anything but legitimate, unless the people pile into the election centers and enforce laws that law enforcement agencies will not enforce.Study the Battle of Athens Tennessee 1946. This is what the 2012 election could look like in every district across the nation, especially the inner-city districts. Remember that the Obama Justice Department refused to prosecute Black Panthers who were openly intimidating voters in the 2008 election!

Those who truly understand the desperate condition of our country are not too focused on the 2012 election. They are instead, focused upon getting their states positioned to defend freedom and liberty at the state line.

I am NOT calling for anarchy, I am predicting it.

When our elected representatives operate with a total disregard for the rule of constitutional authority and law, it is only a matter of time before the people disregard the law as well.

The rule of constitutional law applies to everyone, including elected representatives – or it applies to no one at all.

Our federal government has created a lawless government operating against the will of the people, beyond constitutional authority. It is only a matter of time before the people act with total disregard for the law as well.

The people must act to position a last defense at their state line, or this thing, Global Governance 2025, is already over. Only a majority of the states have the power to stop it! If they won’t stop it at the state lines, the people will never know freedom, liberty, national sovereignty, security and supremacy in the world, again.

The time is here… it is now. Or it is never!

Unite to fight!

© 2011 JB Williams – All Rights Reserved

 

JB Williams is a business man, a husband, a father, and a writer. A no nonsense commentator on American politics, American history, and American philosophy. He is published nationwide and in many countries around the world. He is also a Founder of Freedom Force USA and a staunch conservative actively engaged in returning the power to the right people in America.

Web site 1: www.PatriotsUnion.org

Web site 2: www.VeteranDefenders.org

OLDDOGS COMMENTS

J.B.I have been following your articles on NWV for some time now, and I cannot remember anything I disagree with. With all my mind and soul, I thank you for your writing skill all these years, and now that the end is so close, I wish to see a gathering of the many writers I have supported with my own small efforts. If would be a great privilege to shake your hand before I lay dead on my front porch, because I see no possibility of the local people defending our county from those traitors in DC. They are all addicted to the two party system, with absolute faith that it will work, and some hero will do all the work so they can continue sitting on their ass in safety.

 

The more I tell them the system is corrupt, the more they defend it, and I have concluded that my neighbors will obediently climb aboard the busses on their way to the death camps with tears of gratitude, and praise for the deluded soldiers.

 

We can realistically look for only a small contingent of real patriots willing to die for their freedom. I am grateful you are one of them. I am well armed with plenty of ammo for a sustained fight, and can think of no better way to die.

 

Until they take the net away from us, you will see my contribution at http://anationbeguiled.com  and  http://anationbeguiled.wordpress.com

 

After that in the obituaries!

 

James P. Harvey (aka OldDog)

wethepeople@anationbeguiled.com

olddog@anationbeguiled.com

The end of America

Is Ron Paul a Traitor?

December 24th, 2011 by

Democracy

http://www.thedailybell.com/3403/Is-Ron-Paul-a-Traitor

 by Staff Report

 Ron Paul

What Ron Paul Thinks of America … It seemed improbable that the best-known American propagandist for our enemies could be near the top of the pack in the Iowa contest, but there it is. Ron Paul’s supporters are sure of one thing: Their candidate has always been consistent—a point Dr. Paul himself has been making with increasing frequency. It’s a thought that comes up with a certain inevitability now in those roundtables on the Republican field. One cable commentator genially instructed us last Friday, “You have to give Paul credit for sticking to his beliefs.” He was speaking, it’s hardly necessary to say, of a man who holds some noteworthy views in a candidate for the presidency of the United States. One who is the best-known of our homegrown propagandists for our chief enemies in the world. One who has made himself a leading spokesman for, and recycler of, the long and familiar litany of charges that point to the United States as a leading agent of evil and injustice, the militarist victimizer of millions who want only to live in peace. – WSJournal

Dominant Social Theme: Ron Paul’s rhetoric is increasingly verging on the treasonous.

Free-Market Analysis: To us, this is a very disturbing article (see excerpt above). We have long admired Ms. Rabinowitz for her unrelenting reporting of phony child-abuse incarcerations throughout the United States back in the 1980s. For a while, rogue prosecutors were putting innocent people in jail based on the testimony of three-year-olds and Rabinowitz’s high-profile reporting put a stop to some of the worst abuses.

She emerged from those reportorial episodes covered in glory and deservedly so. But what has she done now, especially with this article, to confuse her myriad supporters who once admired her bravery and clarity? Why does she come close – closer than any other major journalist in our view – to calling this gentle man, Ron Paul (left), a traitor?

As usual, it seems Dr. Paul’s anti military-empire rhetoric draws the most ire. A prominent public person can almost guarantee attacks if he or she begins to criticize America’s military-industrial complex. Especially if that person is perhaps a heartbeat away from winning the Republican nomination for the upcoming presidential election.

And thus it is. As Dr. Paul has experienced more success, he has come under withering fire. He has been attacked as a racist for material in some 25-year-old newsletters he neither wrote nor read and now, apparently, in Ms. Rabinowitz’s eyes, he is verging on the traitorous. Here’s some more from her article:

Hear Dr. Paul on the subject of the 9/11 terror attacks—an event, he assures his audiences, that took place only because of U.S. aggression and military actions. True, we’ve heard the assertions before. But rarely have we heard in any American political figure such exclusive concern for, and appreciation of, the motives of those who attacked us—and so resounding a silence about the suffering of those thousands that the perpetrators of 9/11 set out so deliberately to kill …

There can be no confusions about Dr. Paul’s own comments about the U.S. After 9/11, he said to students in Iowa, there was “glee in the administration because now we can invade Iraq.” It takes a profoundly envenomed mindset—one also deeply at odds with reality—to believe and to say publicly that the administration of this nation brought so low with grief and loss after the attack had reacted with glee.

There are, to be sure, a number of like-minded citizens around (see the 9/11 Truthers, whose opinions Dr. Paul has said he doesn’t share). But we don’t expect to find their views in people running for the nation’s highest office.

This is astonishing rhetoric. Unpack it a bit (including our initial excerpt). “[His] silence about the suffering of those thousands that the perpetrators of 9/11 set out so deliberately to kill” … “Profoundly envenomed mindset” … “It seemed improbable that the best-known of American propagandists for our enemies could be near the top of the pack in the Iowa contest.” …

It is in this last statement that Ms. Rabinowitz seems to come closest to accusing Ron Paul of outright treason. In a prime editorial slot at one of the world’s most prestigious newspapers, a member of the board (her) calls a top US presidential candidate one of the “best-known propagandists for our enemies.”

Is this a deliberate warning shot across the bow of Dr. Paul’s increasingly successful campaign? It comes at a time when the Congress has passed a new “National Defense Authorization Act” (NDAA) that further empowers the executive branch to lock up US citizens for life at Guantanamo Bay or other military prisons – without charge and without trial.

Here’s some language within the recently passed final NDAA text: “Section 1021: Authority of the Armed Forces to Detain Covered Persons… Congress affirms that the authority of the President … includes the authority for the Armed Forces … to detain covered persons,” which includes “a person who was a part of or substantially supportedal-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act …” and may detained “under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.”

Ms. Rabinowitz states that Ron Paul is one of the US’s “best known propagandists for our enemies.” Now read her statement above in context of the NDAA language, where it is stated that someone may be subject to indefinite military detention if they are deemed a “covered person,” solely at the president’s discretion.

Pretty broad, eh (“committed a belligerent act”)? As we pointed out in an article entitled “NDAA, Smell of Fear,” those passing this legislation know full well what the ramifications are. It is fear, in our view, that motivates such radical legislation – fear that there will be an uprising against what is now occurring. Does Ms. Rabinowitz’s vocabulary somehow reflect this fear?

Are the timing of the bill and Ms. Rabinowitz’s editorial merely coincidental? We would argue that the bill is so vague that Ms. Rabinowitz could be seen as making a case for accusations against Dr. Paul even if she didn’t mean to.

For the record, Ms. Rabinowitz may believe every word she says is patriotic and valid, but there are many even at the top levels of politics and the military who would disagree with her. They are on the record in myriad publications and posts.

There have been books written by people involved with the 9/11 Commission, for instance, that challenge many of its conclusions. And there are plenty of military members and international observers (and intelligence officers) who will maintain that by attacking so many countries in the Middle East and Africa the US has done more harm than good when it comes to self-defense.

The ongoing use of depleted uranium weapons is said to have poisoned hundreds of thousands, even millions – and regardless of Ms. Rabinowitz’s defense of NATO action, the suffering from so many wars lasting so long is bound to be developing more (not fewer) enemies for the West, and the US, in particular. Ron Paul is not the only one making these points, and one could argue he is doing so as a patriotic American.

One of our articles (an interview, actually) pointed out that the US’s military-industrial complex and CIA has illegally built a vast Gulag in Africa and the Middle East, using the existing facilities of various countries that then seemingly do Western Intel’s bidding.

The interview pointed out that there were basically no al Qaeda members in these jails, from what we could see, but that putting so many falsely accused young men in prison for questioning was only contributing to anger and violence, to the point where such young people would be willing to turn themselves into bomb-carrying suicides. We were not making these statements to be “unpatriotic,” but to point out how US military and intelligence policy has strayed from common sense in many ways.

The whole point of an independent media and political process is to ensure that all sides of an issue are debated and a consensus can be reached that citizens will support and contribute to. Societies are apt to fragment and degrade when such conversations are blocked.

Conclusion: Hopefully, Ms. Rabinowitz’s language was chosen within the context of emotionality and not with a precision that would somehow imply that candidate Ron Paul’s language was in some sense treasonous. Such a perspective would represent an alarming ratcheting up of a disturbing dialogue now taking place in the US – and Europe as well.

 

OLDDOGS COMMENTS

First of all, let me make it perfectly clear, that I have never voted in my life and I’m not going to register and vote for Ron Paul, and here is why. You don’t need to be smart to have good instincts, and if I have anything, it’s good instincts. I have known without studying politics’ that voting was a declaration of having faith in human nature, and life experiences taught me early on that human nature is totally depraved and self centered. It was also apparent that voting would, (even if it were fair and honest), make tyrants out of the winning voters, because they enabled government to force the losers to go against everything they believed in. Too me, 51 people forcing 49 people to accept their decisions is out and out tyranny. In fact, 99 people forcing one person to do as they say, and not what they do, is pure BS. I am quite content to live and die by the Ten Commandments, and no set of man made laws is needed or wanted to keep me out of jail and in good standing in my community. If there is any one thing that humanity has done that is worse than rejecting God’s laws, and instituting their own government’s, I don’t know what it could be, and I’m also convinced that the Lord God Almighty, who is in complete control of all governments is making it perfectly clear through them that he did not much care for it either. No where, can I find more common sense than in people of like mind isolating themselves from other communities, and that does not mean you cannot have some contact and business with other communities. To be governed by people who force other people to do what is abhorrent to them, is tyranny of the highest order. To allow stupid people to vote is insane. All humanity needs is an administration to process things, not a government to make insane laws. However, the vast majority of humanity does not have enough Faith in God to manage themselves, and stay outside the camp. A man that depends on controlling himself by voluntary subjection to a democracy is a coward. I know very well that this is too much for most people to accept, but only death is going to change me. Make sure the people sent to kill me are well armed!

 

Now, back to Ron Paul.

 

I despair from so much proof that the majority of people living in America actually believe that 19 ragheads with box cutters could take down two steel towers with airplanes. Everyone, who is so ignorant of physic’s and steel framed construction to believe the governments media industries lies, should never leave their house, because they are too stupid to care for their self. Any person who believes anything that the government relay’s to them through those pukes in the media industry is seriously retarded. Is that plain enough?

 

So why do so many people want our government to kill every raghead in the whole world, if they don’t believe the governments every utterance? It seems very clear that the majority believes all Middle Eastern people have no right to their nation’s natural resources, because a handful of them did the impossible. What I want to know is, what you would do if the government said; your neighbor of a sixty years shot and killed your children. Would you kill him and seize his property, or hold an investigation of your own? Wait! Let me make it a little easier, what if your old trusted neighbor had no legs, and the only weapon he ever had was a screwdriver?

 

Why is it even possible for so many people to believe that we are justified in killing other people, and confiscating their resources because our government said they did the impossible? I may have the answer!!! It’s not because so many are stupid, or evil, it’s because they suffer from cognitive dissonance, as in being unable to accept  something as truth, because one has to change their first false conclusion that appealed to their depraved nature, and conducting an independent unbiased investigation would make their friends abandon them. It is true that there is such a thing as the herd instinct, but there is also a herd mentality, and most so called Americans seem to have it. If this offends you, think of how you would feel if you lived in Afghanistan. It seems I have something in common with Ron Paul, and I’m NOT a libertarian.

 

When it comes to Paul’s monetary opinions, and the Federal Reserve, I don’t want to even discuss it being possible for any adult to be ignorant enough to support the Federal Reserves worthless debt currency, and the International Investment Bankers that own it. Yes Ron, we have something in common.

But I’m still not going to vote for you or anyone else.

Ladies and gentlemen, there is no one human being that can make a difference in the white house, because it is the property of the Bankers, and they alone determine what our government does. If you want to do something patriotic for your country, organize a hit squad and take out the bankers.

 

To Kill a Snake, Cut Off it’s Damn Head!

 

The Power is in those who control the counters, not in the voters!

But the sheep will not believe it!

 

Other than crucifying Jesus Christ, there is no other more putrid thing that humanity has ever done than convincing ignorant people their votes is how politicians were put into positions of power.

 

So, if you still must vote,

then vote every incumbent out for the next six elections and see for your self, your votes won’t accomplish squat.

Democracy

 

Net Censorship Bills On Top of the Agenda for After the Holidays

December 21st, 2011 by
Posted: 20 Dec 2011 06:22 PM PST

As grassroots opposition to the internet censorship bills known as SOPA and PIPA continues to build, the entertainment industry and their allies in Congress are scrambling to move them forward as quickly as possible. Here’s a quick update on where things stand at the moment.

Senate (PIPA)

PIPA is officially the top item on the agenda for when the Senate returns from the holiday recess. During their final day in session last week, Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV] submitted a cloture petition, signed by 18 Democratic senators, on the motion to proceed to the bill, setting up a vote to occur no earlier than one hour after the Senate adjourns on the second calendar day after the motion is filed. According to the Congressional Record, that will be January 24th at 2:15 p.m. ET.

The motion will take a supermajority of 60 votes to be approved. The bill already has 41 co-sponsors, so the supporters only need 19 more to pass the motion. So far, only 4 senators have come out solidly against the bill — Sen. Ron Wyden [D, OR], Sen. Rand Paul [R, KY], Sen. Jerry Moran [R, KS], and Sen. Maria Cantwell [D, WA].

Sen. Wyden is leading an attempt to stop the cloture vote from taking by planning to basically shut down the Senate floor with a reading of the names of more than 1 million individuals who have signed a petition against the bill. The plan is to eat up as much floor time as possible and see if they can stall things long enough that Reid will withdraw his motion and give up on holding the vote. The three other senators who have already come out against the bill may help Wyden execute the reading, but they’ll probably need even more help if they hope to keep things tied up for long enough to win. It’s basically going to come down to a physical question of how long they can hold the floor. If there are 4 of them, holding the floor around the clock is pretty difficult. But if there are 10 it will be a lot easier.

If Reid waits out the Wyden filibuster and the cloture motion ends up being approved, the bill will almost certainly win final passage from the Senate later that week. Final passage only requires a bare majority of 51 votes, and 60 senators will have already shown tacit support for the in voting to approve cloture on the motion to proceed. Reid has taken $1,383,541 from corporations and special interests supporting SOPA and PIPA this year — more than any other member of Congress — and he seems to be highly motivated to get the bill passed. Don’t expect him to give into the Wyden filibuster too easily.

House (SOPA)

Last week, the House Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by lead SOPA sponsor Rep. Lamar Smith [R, TX-21], held a marathon, 15+ hour mark-up session on the bill. Dozens of amendments were voted on, and every single amendment to improve the bill for its opponents was rejected by a wide margin, including one to take China-style DNS blocking out of the bill. But the bill itself never got a vote. During the morning of day two of the mark-up session, Smith suddenly announced that he was going to postpone the vote.

The mark-up and vote was originally scheduled to continue tomorrow morning, but now that too has been postponed by Smith, citing the schedule of the House (having voted down the Senate’s tax cut bill, the House is now adjourned). At this point, we won’t see action on the House side until late January or early February. It’s even possible that the mark-up vote will be delayed until the committee can hold hearing with security experts about how the bill could increase U.S. exposure cyberattacks.

The main reason the mark-up is postponed, however, is that the folks from all corners of the internet have risen up in a grassroots, cross partisan effort to fight this bill and the members of Congress who support it. As I wrote last week, the online uprising against the bill is itself a perfect example of what’s wrong with the bill, as many of the sites that have facilitated the uprising would be vulnerable to censorship under SOPA/PIPA. The bill’s supporters had been trying to ignore and suppress the very legitimate security and free speech concerns of the internet experts, legal scholars, human rights groups, and web companies that oppose the bill. But all the attention online, and the millions of calls and emails to Congress, simply made them impossible to ignore.

As of this moment, the mark-up has not been rescheduled. My guess, though, would be that Rep. Smith was put it back on the schedule for some time shortly after the House reconvenes on January 18th.

The January recess is going to be a crucial time for the bill’s future. If SOPA/PIPA opponents can flip some on-the-fence senators and reps. to solid “no” votes and get a few more to join the filibuster, there’s a good chance these bills can be killed. The momentum is certainly going against internet censorship at the moment, but a quick look at the 91 corporations and special interests behind the bills should be enough to show that if the public sleeps on this, there is a huge network of money and influence ready to push things back in the other direction.

 

House GOP Paints Itself Into a Corner on Payroll Taxes

Posted: 20 Dec 2011 02:51 AM PST

The Senate, having voted 89-10 to approve an extension of payroll tax cuts, unemployment benefits and dome other policies that are scheduled to expire on January 1st, has recessed for the year and gone home for the holiday recess. All that the House has to do to make the bill officially ready to be signed into law is hold a simple up-or-down vote on the Senate’s bipartisan bill. But during a 3 a.m. meeting of the House Rules Committee last night, the Republican majority devised a different plan — twist the voting procedure so that the Senate’s bill can be rejected while allowing the Republicans to save face by technically voting “aye.”

David Dayen at FDL News Desk reports:

The procedural wizards in the House Republican caucus stayed up late last night to concoct this scheme, a way to dispose of the Senate’s payroll tax deal by voting affirmatively. They think this helps insulate their members from charges of rejecting the deal, and causing a tax increase of on average $1,000 a year. Here’s how it’ll go down:

Instead of putting the deal up for a vote, they will vote to call a conference committee with Senate negotiators to reconcile their poison pill-laden bill with the Senate bill that received 89 votes. Then they will pass a “motion to instruct conferees” that will essentially tell them to pass their version of the bill. The minority will have the opportunity to enter their own motion to instruct conferees, but in all likelihood that will be voted down.

Remember, these are the same Republicans that cried holy hell during the “deem and pass” era, when Democrats tried to pass the health care bill without actually passing it. Now they’re trying the same thing, so that when their members are confronted over this vote, they can have this exchange:

Democrat: You voted to increase taxes on the middle class.
Republican: No I didn’t, I voted to send our bill to conference. It’s not my fault that the Senate didn’t show up! (flash toothy grin).

House Republicans say they oppose the bipartisan Senate bill because it only extends the payroll tax cuts for two months. But the Democrat-led Senate has been trying for months to get the Republicans to support a longer-term extension. The Republicans have repeatedly rejected the Senate’s offers, first demanding that the tax cut be offset (a huge flip-flop), then that nobody who makes over $1 million sees an increase in their taxes (thereby risking a large tax increase on the middle class), and then that a provision related to the Keystone XL oil pipeline be attached to the legislation. At this point, the Senate has agreed to give in to both of those demands, but only for long enough to keep the payroll tax cuts in effect while they negotiate a longer deal. That’s what the Republicans will be rejecting today, while trying to obscure the procedure and make it look like they’re the ones being pro-active.

Cencership

 


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