Archive for September, 2014
September 30th, 2014 by olddog
Paul Craig Roberts
One might think that by now even Americans would have caught on to the constant stream of false alarms that Washington sounds in order to deceive the people into supporting its hidden agendas.
The public fell for the lie that the Taliban in Afghanistan are terrorists allied with al Qaeda. Americans fought a war for 13 years that enriched Dick Cheney’s firm, Halliburton, and other private interests only to end in another Washington failure.
The public fell for the lie that Saddam Hussein in Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction” that were a threat to America and that if the US did not invade Iraq Americans risked a “mushroom cloud going up over an American city.” With the rise of ISIS, this long war apparently is far from over. Billions of dollars more in profits will pour into the coffers of the US military security complex as Washington fights those who are redrawing the false Middle East boundaries created by the British and French after WW I when the British and French seized territories of the former Ottoman Empire.
The American public fell for the lies told about Gaddafi in Libya. The formerly stable and prosperous country is now in chaos.
The American public fell for the lie that Iran has, or is building, nuclear weapons. Sanctioned and reviled by the West, Iran has shifted toward an Eastern orientation, thereby removing a principal oil producer from Western influence.
The public fell for the lie that Assad of Syria used “chemical weapons against his own people.” The jihadists that Washington sent to overthrow Assad have turned out to be, according to Washington’s propaganda, a threat to America.
The greatest threat to the world is Washington’s insistence on its hegemony. The ideology of a handful of neoconservatives is the basis for this insistence. We face the situation in which a handful of American neoconservative psychopaths claim to determine the fate of countries.
Many still believe Washington’s lies, but increasingly the world sees Washington as the greatest threat to peace and life on earth. The claim that America is “exceptional and indispensable” is used to justify Washington’s right to dictate to other countries.
The casualties of Washington’s bombings are invariably civilians, and the deaths will produce more recruits for ISIS. Already there are calls for Washington to reintroduce “boots on the ground” in Iraq. Otherwise, Western civilization is doomed, and our heads will be cut off. The newly created propaganda of a “Russian threat” requires more NATO spending and more military bases on Russia’s borders. A “quick reaction force” is being created to respond to a nonexistent threat of a Russian invasion of the Baltics, Poland, and Europe.
Usually it takes the American public a year, or two, three, or four to realize that it has been deceived by lies and propaganda, but by that time the public has swallowed a new set of lies and propaganda and is all concerned about the latest “threat.” The American public seems incapable of understanding that just as the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth, threat was a hoax, so is the sixth threat, and so will be the seventh, eighth, and ninth.
Moreover, none of these American military attacks on other countries has resulted in a better situation, as Vladimir Putin honestly states. Yet, the public and its representatives in Congress support each new military adventure despite the record of deception and failure.
Perhaps if Americans were taught their true history in place of idealistic fairy tales, they would be less gullible and less susceptible to government propaganda. I have recommended Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick’s The Untold History of the US, Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the US, and now I recommend Stephen Kinzer’s The Brothers, the story of the long rule of John Foster and Allen Dulles over the State Department and CIA and their demonization of reformist governments that they often succeeded in overthrowing. Kinzer’s history of the Dulles brothers’ plots to overthrow six governments provides insight into how Washington operates today.
In 1953 the Dulles brothers overthrew Iran’s elected leader, Mossadegh and imposed the Shah, thus poisoning American-Iranian relations through the present day. Americans might yet be led into a costly and pointless war with Iran, because of the Dulles brothers poisoning of relations in 1953.
The Dulles brothers overthrew Guatemala’s popular president Arbenz, because his land reform threatened the interest of the Dulles brothers’ Sullivan & Cromwell law firm’s United Fruit Company client. The brothers launched an amazing disinformation campaign depicting Arbenz as a dangerous communist who was a threat to Western civilization. The brothers enlisted dictators such as Somoza in Nicaragua and Batista in Cuba against Arbenz. The CIA organized air strikes and an invasion force. But nothing could happen until Arbenz’s strong support among the people in Guatemala could be shattered. The brothers arranged this through Cardinal Spellman, who enlisted Archbishop Rossell y Arellano. “A pastoral letter was read on April 9, 1954 in all Guatemalan churches.”
A masterpiece of propaganda, the pastoral letter misrepresented Arbenz as a dangerous communist who was the enemy of all Guatemalans. False radio broadcasts produced a fake reality of freedom fighter victories and army defections. Arbenz asked the UN to send fact finders, but Washington prevented that from happening. American journalists, with the exception of James Reston, supported the lies. Washington threatened and bought off Guatemala’s senior military commanders, who forced Arbenz to resign. The CIA’s chosen and well paid “liberator,” Col. Castillo Armas, was installed as Arbenz’s successor.
We recently witnessed a similar operation in Ukraine.
President Eisenhower thanked the CIA for averting “a Communist beachhead in our hemisphere,” and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles gave a national TV and radio address in which he declared that the events in Guatemala “expose the evil purpose of the Kremlin.” This despite the uncontested fact that the only outside power operating in Guatemala was the Dulles brothers.
What had really happened is that a democratic and reformist government was overthrown because it compensated United Fruit Company for the nationalization of the company’s fallow land at a value listed by the company on its tax returns. America’s leading law firm or perhaps more accurately, America’s foreign policy-maker, Sullivan & Cromwell, had no intention of permitting a democratic government to prevail over the interests of the law firm’s client, especially when senior partners of the firm controlled both overt and covert US foreign policy. The two brothers, whose family members were invested in the United Fruit Company, simply applied the resources of the CIA, State Department, and US media to the protection of their private interests. The extraordinary gullibility of the American people, the corrupt American media, and the indoctrinated and impotent Congress allowed the Dulles brothers to succeed in overthrowing a democracy.
Keep in mind that this use of the US government in behalf of private interests occurred 60 years ago long before the corrupt Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama regimes. And no doubt in earlier times as well.
The Dulles brothers next intended victim was Ho Chi Minh. Ho, a nationalist leader, asked for America’s help in freeing Vietnam from French colonial rule. But John Foster Dulles, a self-righteous anti-communist, miscast Ho as a Communist Threat who was springing the domino theory on the Western innocents. Nationalism and anti-colonialism, Foster declared, were merely a cloak for communist subversion.
Paul Kattenburg, the State Department desk officer for Vietnam suggested that instead of war, the US should give Ho $500 million in reconstruction aid to rebuild the country from war and French misrule, which would free Ho from dependence on Russian and Chinese support, and, thereby, influence. Ho appealed to Washington several times, but the demonic inflexibility of the Dulles brothers prevented any sensible response. Instead, the hysteria whipped-up over the “communist threat” by the Dulles brothers landed the United States in the long, costly, fiasco known as the Vietnam War. Kattenburg later wrote that it was suicidal for the US “to cut out its eyes and ears, to castrate its analytic capacity, to shut itself off from the truth because of blind prejudice.” Unfortunately for Americans and the world, castrated analytic capacity is Washington’s strongest suit.
The Dulles brothers’ next targets were President Sukarno of Indonesia, Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba of Congo, and Fidel Castro. The plot against Castro was such a disastrous failure that it cost Allen Dulles his job. President Kennedy lost confidence in the agency and told his brother Bobby that after his reelection he was going to break the CIA into a thousand pieces. When President Kennedy removed Allen Dulles, the CIA understood the threat and struck first.
Warren Nutter, my Ph.D. dissertation chairman, later Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, taught his students that for the US government to maintain the people’s trust, which democracy requires, the government’s policies must be affirmations of our principles and be openly communicated to the people. Hidden agendas, such as those of the Dulles brothers and the Clinton, Bush and Obama regimes, must rely on secrecy and manipulation and, thereby, arouse the distrust of the people. If Americans are too brainwashed to notice, many foreign nationals are not.
The US government’s secret agendas have cost Americans and many peoples in the world tremendously. Essentially, the Foster brothers created the Cold War with their secret agendas and anti-communist hysteria. Secret agendas committed Americans to long, costly, and unnecessary wars in Vietnam and the Middle East. Secret CIA and military agendas intending regime change in Cuba were blocked by President John F. Kennedy and resulted in the assassination of a president, who, for all his faults, was likely to have ended the Cold War twenty years before Ronald Reagan seized the opportunity.
Secret agendas have prevailed for so long that the American people themselves are now corrupted. As the saying goes, “a fish rots from the head.” The rot in Washington now permeates the country.
Since most American’s simply cannot accept the truth, or are too busy enjoying what’s left of the good life, I will present you with an analogy to show how ridiculous your apathy is.
I once knew a man named Fred who had three beautiful daughters, and an even more beautiful wife who were childhood sweethearts. He never knew any other lovers besides her, and the man was completely in love with her even after thirty-five years of what he considered heaven on earth. He worked his whole life as a iron worker which was grueling labor, and he often came home too exhausted to eat dinner.
One day his life long best friend finally told him the truth about his supposed heaven on earth and the four angels he shared his life with.
It seems his loving wife had been prostituting not only herself but the three daughters as well for over twenty years. All this, just because they could not live the life they wanted on Pops salary, and they were all four nymphomaniacs to boot. None of them could be satisfied either sexually, or monetarily.
On hearing the truth about his family, Fred shot his friend dead.
That ladies and gentlemen is a perfect likeness of the average American. They would rather kill than face the truth!
September 29th, 2014 by olddog
By Prof. James Petras
Despite vast amounts of imperial data to the contrary, the great majority of writers on imperialism continue to describe and analyze US imperialism strictly in economic terms, as an expansion of “capital accumulation”, “accumulation on a world scale”.
In fact the major and minor US imperial wars have more to do with “capital dis-accumulation”, in the sense that trillion dollar flows have gone out from the US, hundreds of billions of dollars in profits from resource sites have been undermined, markets for exports have been severely weakened and exploitable productive labor has been uprooted. At the same time US imperialist state ‘dis-accumulates capital’, multi-national corporations, especially in the extractive sector are expanding, “accumulating capital” throughout Latin America.
This new configuration of power, the conflicting and complementary nature of 21st century US imperialism, requires that we anchor our analysis in the real, existing behavior of imperial state and extractive capitalist policymakers. The basic premise informing this essay is that there are two increasingly divergent forms of imperialism: military driven intervention, occupation and domination; and economic expansion and exploitation of resources, markets and labor by invitation of the ‘host country’.
We will proceed by examining the choices of imperial strategy, in a historical – comparative framework and the alternatives which were selected or rejected. Through an analysis of the practical decisions taken regarding ‘imperial expansion’ we can obtain insights into the real nature of US imperialism. The study of imperial strategic choices, past and present, state and corporate, requires three levels of analysis: global, national and sectoral.
Global Strategies: US Imperial State and the MNC
US imperial state invested trillions of dollars in military expenditures, hundreds of thousands of military personnel into wars in theMiddle East (Iraq, Yemen, and Syria), North and East Africa (Libya, Somalia), South Asia (Afghanistan) and imposed sanctions on Iran costing the US hundreds of billions in “capital dis-accumulation”.
The US corporate elite, driven out of Iraq, Syria, Libya and elsewhere where US military imperialism was engaged, chose to invest in manufacturing in China and extractive sectors throughout Latin America.
In other words the US imperial state strategists either chose to expand in relatively backward areas (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen) or imposed under-development by destroying or sanctioning lucrative extractive economies (Iraq, Libya, Iran).
In contrast the MNC chose the most dynamic expanding zones where militarist imperialism was least engaged – China and Latin America. In other words “capital did not follow the flag” – it avoided it.
Moreover, the zones where extractive capital was most successful in terms of access, profits and stability were those where their penetration was based on negotiated contracts between sovereign nations and CEO’s – economic imperialism by invitation.
In contrast in the priority areas of expansion chosen by imperial state strategists, entry and domination was by force, leading to the destruction of the means of production and the loss of access to the principle sites of extractive exploitation. US military driven imperialism undermined energy companies’ agreements in Iraq and Libya. Imperial state sanctions in Iran designed to weaken its nuclear and defense capabilities undercut US corporate extractive, public-private contracts with the Iranian state oil corporations. The drop in production and supply in oil in Iraq, Iran and Libya raised energy prices and had a negative impact on the “accumulation of capital on a world scale”.
If imperial state decision-makers had followed the direction of economic rather than military driven policymakers they would have pivoted to Asia and Latin America rather than the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa. They would have channeled funds into economic imperialist strategies, including joint ventures, high and medium tech trade agreements, and expanded exports by the high-end manufacturing sector, instead of financing 700 military bases, destabilization campaigns and costly military exercises.
Twentieth century military imperialism stands in stark contrast to late twentieth century economic imperialism. In the mid 1960’s the US announced a vast new economic program in Latin America – the Alliance for Progress which was designed to finance economic opportunities in Latin America via joint ventures, agrarian reform and investments in the extractive sector. The imperial state’s military policies and interventionist policies were designed to secure US business control over mines, banks, factories and agro-business. US backing for the coups in Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay and Peru led to the privatization of key resource sectors and the imposition of the neo-liberal economic model.
US policy in Asia under Nixon was directed first and foremost to opening economic relations with China, expanding trade agreements with Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. The ‘pivot from war’ to free trade led to a boom in US exports as well as imports, in private investments and lucrative profits. Military expenditures declined even as the US engaged in covert operations in Afghanistan, Angola, Nicaragua and El Salvador.
Imperial intervention combined military and economic expansion with the latter dictating policy priorities and the allocation of resources.
The reversal set in with the US military backing of the jihadist extremists in Afghanistan and the demise of the USSR. The former set the stage for the rise of the Taliban to power and the emergence of the Al Qaeda terrorist organization. The latter led US imperial strategists to pursue wars of conquest with impunity – Yugoslavia and Iraq during the 1990’s.
Easy military conquests and visions of a ‘unipolar’ world dominated by US military supremacy, encouraged and fostered the emergence of a new breed of imperial strategists – the neo-conservative militarists with closer ties to Israel and its military priorities than to the US extractive petrol capitalists in the Middle East.
Military versus Economic Imperialist at the ‘National Level’
In the post-Cold War period, the competition between the two variants of imperialism was played out in all the nation subject to US intervention.
During the first Iraq war the balance between militarists and economic imperialists was in play. The US defeated Iraq but did not shred the state, nor bomb the oil fields. Sanctions were imposed but did not paralyze oil deals. The US did not occupy Iraq; it partioned the north –so-called“Kurdish” Iraq but left the secular state intact. Extractive capital was actively in competition with the militarist neo-conservatives over the future direction of imperial policy.
The launch of the second Iraq war and the invasion of Afghanistan marked a decisive shift toward military imperialism: the US ignored all economic considerations. Iraq’s secular state was destroyed; civil society was pulverized; ethno-religious, tribal and clan warfare was encouraged. US colonial officials ruled by military fiat; top policymakers with links to Israel replaced oil-connected officials. The militarist “war on terror” ideology replaced free market, free trade imperialism. Afghanistan killing fields replaced the China market as the center of US imperial policy. Billions were spent, chasing evasive guerrillas in the mountains of a backward economy while US lost competitive advantages in the most dynamic Asian markets.
Imperial policymakers chose to align with sectarian warlords in Iraq over extractive technocrats. In Afghanistan they chose loyal ex-pat puppets over influential Taliban leaders capable of pacifying the country.
Extractive versus Military Imperialism in Latin America
Latin American neo-liberalism went from boom to bust in the 1990’s. By the early 2000’s crisis enveloped the region. By the turn of the century US backed rulers were being replaced by popular nationalist leaders. US policymakers stuck by their neoliberal clients in decline and failed to adapt to the new rulers who pursued modified socially inclusive extractivism. The US military imperialists longed for a return of the neo-liberal backers of the “war on terrorism”. In contrast, international multinational extractive corporations were realists – and adapted to the new regimes.
On a global scale, at the beginning of the new millennium, two divergent tendencies emerged. US military imperialism expandedthroughout the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and the Caucuses, while Latin American regimes turned in the opposite direction – toward moderate nationalism, and populism with a strong emphasis on poverty reduction via economic development in association with imperial extractive capital
In the face of these divergent and conflicting trends, the major US extractive multi-national corporations chose to adapt to the new political realities in Latin America. While Washington, the imperial state, expressed hostility and dismay toward the new regimes refusal to back the “war on terror” (military imperialism) the major MNCs, robust embrace of economic imperialism, took advantage of the investment opportunities opened by the new regimes’ adoption of a new extractivist model, to pour billions into the mining, energy and agricultural sectors.
The Specificities of Extractive Imperialism in the Era of “Post Neo-Liberalism”
Extractive imperialism in Latin America has several specific characteristics that sharply demark it from earlier forms agro-mineral imperialism.
(1) Extractive capital is not dominated by a single imperial country-like the Spanish in the 18t century, the British in the 19thcentury or the US in the 20th century. Imperial extractive capital is very diverse: Canadian, US, Chinese, Brazilian, Australian, Spanish, Indian and other MNCs are deeply involved.
(2) The imperial states of the diverse MNC do not engage in “gun boat diplomacy” (with the exception of the US). The imperial states provide economic financing and diplomatic support but are not actively involved in subverting Latin American regimes.
(3) The relative weight of US MNCs, in the new imperial extractivism is much less than it was a half century earlier. The rise of diverse extractive MNC and dynamism of China’s commodity market and deep financial pockets have displaced the US, the IMF and WB and established new terms of trade with Latin America.
(4) Probably the most significant aspect of the new imperial extractivism is that its entry and expansion is by invitation. The Latin American regimes and the extractive MNCs negotiate contracts – MNC entry is not unilaterally imposed by an imperial state. Yet the ‘contracts’ may result in unequal returns; they provide substantial revenues and profits to the MNC; they grant large multi –million acre tracts of land for mining or agriculture exploitation; they obligate the national state to dispossess local communities and police/repress the displaced. But they also have allowed the post-neo-liberal state to expand their social spending, to increase their foreign reserves, to eschew relations with the IMF, and to diversify their markets and trading partners.
In regional terms extractive imperialism in Latin America has “accumulated capital” by diverging from the military imperialism practiced by the US in other regions of the world political- economy. Over the past decade and a half, extractive capital has been alliedwith and relyies both on post-neoliberal and neoliberal regimes against petty commodity producers, indigenous communities and other anti-extractive resistance movements. Extractive imperialists do not rely on ‘their’ imperial state to quell resistance- they turn to theirnational political partners.
Extractive imperialism by invitation also diverges from the military imperial state in its view toward regional organizations. US military imperialism placed all its bets on US centered economic integration which Washington could leverage to political, military and economic advantage. Extractive capital, in the great diversity of its ‘national identity’, welcomed Latin American centered integration which did not privilege US markets and investors.
The predominance of economic imperialism, in particular the extractive version, however, needs to be qualified by several caveats.
US military imperialism has been present in several forms. The US backed the military coup in Honduras overthrowing the post neo-liberal Zelaya government; likewise it supported an “institutional coup” in Paraguay.
Secondly, even as MNC corporations poured capital into Bolivian mining and energy sectors, the US imperial state fomented destabilization activity to undermine the MAS government. And was defeated and the agencies and operatives were expelled. The crucial issue in this, as well as other, instances is the unwillingness of the MNC’s to join forces with the military imperialists, via boycotts, trade embargoes or disinvestment. Clearly the stability, profitability and long-term contracts between the Bolivian regime and the extractive MNC counted for more than their ties to the US imperial state.
US military imperialism has expanded its military bases and increased joint military exercises with most Latin American armed forces. Indoctrinated military officials can still become formidable potential allies in any future ‘coup’, if and when the US “pivots” from the Middle East to Latin America.
US military imperialism in its manifest multiple forms, from bankrolling NGO’s engaged in destabilization and street riots in Venezuela, to its political support of financial speculators in Argentina and rightwing parties and personalities in Brazil, has a continuous presence alongside extractive imperialism. The success of the latter and the eclipse of the former are based in part on two contingentcircumstances. The US serial wars in the Middle East divert attention away from Latin America; and the commodity boom fuels the growth of extractive capital. The economic slowdown in China and the decline of commodity prices may weaken the regimes in opposition to US military imperialism.
Paradoxically the weakening of the ties between the post-neo-liberal regimes and extractive imperialism resulting from the decline of commodity prices is strengthening the neo-liberal socio-political forces allied with US military imperialism.
Latin America’s Right Turn: The Co-Habitation of Extractive and Military imperialism?
Throughout Latin America the post-neoliberal regimes which ruled for the better part of a decade and a half face serious challenges – from consequential social opposition at the micro-level and from aggressive political-economic elites at the macro-level. It is worthwhile to survey the prospects for a return to power of neo-liberal regimes allied with military imperialism in several key countries.
Several factors are working in favor of a return to power of political parties and leaders who seek to reverse the independent and inclusive policies of the post neoliberal power bloc.
First the post-neo-liberal regimes development strategy of depending on foreign extractive capital, perpetuated and strengthened the economic basis of imperialism: the ‘colonial style’ trade relation, exporting primary commodities and importing finished goods, allowed the agro-mineral elites to occupy key positions in the politico-social structure. With the decline in commodity prices, some post-neoliberal regimes are experiencing fiscal and balance of payments shortfalls. Inflation and cuts in social expenditures adversely affect the capacity of the post-neo-liberal regimes to retain popular and middle class electoral support.
The divergences between post-neoliberals and economic imperialism are accentuating with return of the neoliberal right. The agro-mineral sectors perceive an opportunity to rid themselves of their power and revenue sharing agreements with the state and to secure even more lucrative arrangements with the advance of the neo-liberal right which promises tax and royalty reductions, deregulation and lower wage and pension payments.
Secondly, the post-neo-liberal regimes’ alliances with the building , construction, and other bourgeois sectors, was accompanied by corruption involving pay-offs, bribes and other illicit financial transactions designed to finance their mass media based electoral campaigns and patronage system which ensured electoral majorities. The neo-liberal right is exploiting these corruption scandals to erode the middle class electoral base of the post -neo-liberal regimes.
Thirdly, the post-neo-liberal regimes increased the quantity of social services, but ignored their quality – provoking widespread discontent with the inadequate public educational, transport, and health services.
Fourthly, inflation is eroding the decade long advance of wage, pension and family allowances. The post-neo-liberal regimes are caught between the pressures to “adjust” –to devalueand impose fiscal ‘austerity’ as proposed by the international bankers and lose mass support, or to engage in deeper structural changes which require among other things, changes in the extractive dependence model and greater public ownership. The crises of the post-neo-liberal regimes is leading to irresolution and opening political space for the neo-liberal right which is allied to military and economic imperialism.
Military imperialism, which was weakened by the popular uprisings at the turn of 20th century is never absent. US military imperialism is first and foremost powerfully entrenched in two major countries: Mexico and Colombia. In both countries neo-liberal regimes bought into the militarization of their societies, including the comprehensive and deep presence of US military-police officials in the structures of the state.
In both states, US military and economic imperialism operates in alliance with paramilitary death squads, even as they proclaimed “a war on drugs”. The ideology of free market imperialism was put into practice with the elimination of trade barriers, widespread privatization of resources and multi-million acre land grants to MNC.
Through its regional clients, US imperialism has a springboard to extend its influence. Mexican style ‘militarized imperialism’ has spread to Central America; Colombia serves as a launch-pad to subvert Venezuela and Ecuador.
Where dissident regimes emerged in regions claimed by militarized imperialism, Honduras and Paraguay, military and civilian coups were engineered. However because of the regional concentration of US military imperialism in the Middle East it relies heavily on local collaborators, political, military and economic elites as vehicles for “regime change”.
Extractive imperialism is under siege from popular movements in many countries in Latin America. In some cases, the political elites have increasingly militarized the contested terrain. Where this is the case, the regimes invite and accept an increased imperial military presence, as advisers, and embrace their militarist ideology, thus fostering a “marriage” between extractive and military imperialism. This is the case in Peru under President Humala and Santos in Colombia.
In Argentina and Brazil, the moderate reformist policies of the Kirchner and Lula/Rousseff regimes are under siege. Faltering export earnings, rising deficits, inflationary pressures have fueled a neo-liberal offensive, which takes a new form: populism at the service of neo-liberal collaboration with military imperialism. Extractive capital has divided -some sectors retain ties with the regime, others, the majority are allied with rising power of the right.
In Brazil, the Right has promoted a former environmentalist (Silva) to front for the hardline neo-liberal financial sector – which has received full support from local and imperial mass media. In Argentina, the imperial state and mass media have backed hedge fund speculators and have launched a full scale economic war, claiming default, in order to damage Buenos Aires’ access to capital markets in order to increase its investments in the extractive sector.
In contrast Bolivia, the extractive model par excellence, has moved successfully to oust and weaken the military arm of imperialism, ending the presence of US military advisers and DEA officials, while deepening and strengthening its ties with diverse extractive MNCs on the one hand, and on the other consolidating support among the trade unions and peasant-Indian movements.
In Ecuador the extractive regime of Correa has diversified the sources of imperial capital from the US to China, and consolidated his power via effective patronage machinery and socio-economic reforms.
The US-Colombian military threat to Venezuela and Ecuador has diminished, peace negotiations with the FARC are advancing and the regime now faces trade union and Indian-peasant opposition with regard to its extractive strategy and corporatist labor reforms.
In both Ecuador and Bolivia, imperial militarism appears to lack the vital strategic military-civilian allies capable of engineering a regime change.
The case of Venezuela highlights the continuing importance of imperial militarism in shaping US policy in Latin America. The pivot to a military policy, was taken by Washington prior to any basic social reforms or economic nationalist measures. The coup of 2001 and lockout of 2002 were backed by the US in response to President Chavez forceful rejection of the “War on Terrorism”. Washington jeopardized its important economic stake, petrol investments, in order to put in place a regime in conforming to its global military strategy.
And for the next decade and a half, the US imperial strategy totally ignored investment, trade and resource opportunities in this wealthy petrol state; it chose to spend hundreds of millions in financing opposition NGO, terrorists, electoral parties, mass media and military officials to effect a regime change. The extractive sector in the US simply became a transmission belt for the agencies of the militarized imperial state. In its place, Russia and China, interested especially extractive sector signed multi-billion dollar contracts with the Venezuelan state: a case of extractive imperialism by invitation – for economic and security reasons.
Apart from the ideological conflict over US militarist expansion, Venezuela’s promotion of Latin American centered regional integration, weakened US leverage and control in the region. In its struggle against Latin American centered regional organizations and to regain its dominance, US imperialism has upgraded its economic profile via the Trans-Pacific Alliance, which includes its most loyal neo-liberal allies – Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico. The global eclipse of economic – driven imperial expansion in favor of the military has not totally displaced several key economic advances in strategic countries and sectors in Mexico, Colombia and Peru.
The privatization and denationalization of the biggest and most lucrative public petrol company in Latin America, PEMEX, the Mexican giant, opens up enormous profitable opportunities for US MNC. The rapid appropriation of oil fields by US MNC will enhance and compliment the militarization of Mexico undertaken by the US military-security apparatus.
The Mexican example highlights several features of US imperialism in Latin America.
Imperial militarization does not necessarily preclude economic imperialism if it takes place within an existing stable state structure. Unlike the imperial wars in Iraq and Libya, the military imperialist policies in Mexico advanced via powerful local political clients willing and able to engage in bloody civil wars costing over 100,000 civilian deaths in over a decade. Under the aegus and guidance of US imperial rulers, the US and Mexican military devastated civil society, but safeguarded and expanded the huge mining and manufacturing enclaves open to economic imperialist exploitation. Militarization contributed to weakening the bargaining rights of labor – wages have declined in real terms over the decades and the minimum wage is the lowest in the hemisphere.
Mexico highlights the crucial role that collaborator elites play in imperial capital accumulation. Mexico is an excellent example of ‘imperialism by invitation’ – the political agreements at the top impose ‘acquiescence’ below. The extraordinary levels of corruptionwhich permeates the entire political class, solidifies the longstanding links between Mexican political-business elite, the MNC and the security apparatus of the imperial state. Extractive imperialism is the principal beneficiary of this “triple alliance”.
In the case of Mexico, militarized imperialism laid the groundwork for the expansion of economic imperialism.
A similar process, involving ‘triple alliances’ is operative in Colombia. For the past decade and a half, militarized-imperialism poured over $6 billion in military aid(Plan Colombia) to finance the dispossession, assassination, arrest and torture and of over 4 million Colombians, including the killing of thousands of trade union and social movement leaders.
The scorched earth policy, backed by a substantial US military mission operated through the existing state apparatus and with the active support of the agro-mineral and banking elite ,aided by nearly 40,000 member paramilitary death squads and drug traffickers laid the groundwork for the large scale entry of extractive capital – particularly mining capital.
Military imperialism preceded the long-term, large scale ‘invasion’ by economic imperialism in the form of a free trade agreement and multi-million acre land grants to mining MNC.
This general pattern was repeated in Peru. The ‘war on terror” under Fujimori and the subsequent liberalization of the economy, under three subsequent Presidents, culminated in the massive primarization of the economy under President Humala – who deepened and extended the expansion of imperial extractive capital.
The economic downturn in some of the post-neo-liberal economies, namely Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela, and the rightward moving political spectrum, has opened a window of opportunity for US economic imperialism to work in tandem with the rising neo-liberal political opposition. The military option, a military coup or US military intervention is not on the horizon for the present time. The central focus of imperial state decision makers regarding regime change is a combination of overt electoral and covert ‘street intervention’: adopting ‘populist’, moralist and technocratic rhetoric to highlight corruption in high offices, inefficiency in the delivery of social services with claims of bureaucratic interference in the operations of the market. Business disinvestment, financial speculation on the currency and negative mass media propaganda has coincided strikes and protests against shortages and lag between wage and price increases.
Despite costly and failed imperial wars in the Middle East, despite a decade of military retreat in Latin America, economic imperialism is advancing via the electoral route; it already has established a formidable array of allies among the political regimes in Mexico, Colombia and Peru and is posed to re-establish neo-liberal allies in Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela.
Imperialism as it has evolved over the past quarter of a century cannot be understood as a ‘unified whole’ in which the two basic components, military and economic are always complimentary. Divergences have been graphically illustrated by the imperial wars in the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa. Convergences are more obvious in Latin America, especially in Mexico, Colombia and Peru, where ‘militarization’ facilitated the expansion of extractive capital.
The theoretical point is that the nature of the political leadership of the imperial state has a high degree of autonomy in shaping the predominance of one or another strand of the imperial expansion. The capacity for imperial capital to expand is highly contingent on the strength and structure of the collaborator state: militarized imperialism that invades and destroys states and the fabric of civil society has led to disinvestment; in contrast economic imperialism by invitation in neo-liberal collaborator states has been at the center of successful imperial expansion.
The ambiguities and contradictions intrinsic to the post-neo-liberal extractivist based development model have both constrainedthe military component of imperialism while expanding opportunities for economic imperial accumulation. Accumulation by invitation, and accumulation by dispossession are simply ‘moments’ in a complex process in which political regime changes intervene and establish the locations and timing for refluxes and influxes of capital.
The rise of new economic imperialist powers like China competing with established imperial powers like the US, has led to alternative markets and sources of financing, which erodes the effectiveness political, military and diplomatic instruments of imperial coercion.
Regional variations in political configurations, imperial priorities and choice of instruments of power, have deeply influenced the nature and structure of imperialism. And as the world historic record seems to argue, military driven empire building in the Middle East has been a disaster while economic driven imperialism shows signs of rapid recovery and successes in Latin America.
Copyright © 2014 Global Research
September 28th, 2014 by olddog
by Brother Gregory Williams
September 21, 2014
“Strange times are these in which we live when old and young are taught falsehoods in school. And the one man that dares to tell the truth is called at once a lunatic and fool.” —Plato
We need to awaken and peel back the deception of “world” which has been pulled over our eyes. We need to realize that we have become human resources in a more complete and devastating bondage than Moses redeemed us from in Egypt, more insidious than that which Jesus redeemed us from in the days of Rome.
“Augustus was sensible that mankind is governed by names; nor was he deceived in his expectation, that the senate and people would submit to slavery, provided they were respectfully assured that they still enjoyed their ancient freedom.”
The reason education is so important in the rearing of children is because, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be”.
“Throughout history, rulers and court intellectuals have aspired to use the educational system to shape their nations. The model was set out by Plato in The Republic and was constructed most faithfully in Soviet Russia, Fascist Italy, and Nazi Germany…”
“One can see how irresistible a vehicle the schools would be to any social engineer. They represent a unique opportunity to mold future citizens early in life, to instill in them the proper reverence for the ruling culture, and to prepare them to be obedient and obeisant taxpayers and soldiers.”
“The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother’s care, shall be in state institutions at state expense.” —Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto.
“By the early twentieth century, the school in fact had expanded its functions into areas not dreamed of in the early part of the previous century… The school [became] a central social agency in urban America. The one theme that ran through all these new school programs was the desire to maintain discipline and order in urban life. Within this framework, the school became a major agency for social control.”
“Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” —Vladimir Lenin
“A small number of very passionate American ideological leaders visited Prussia in the first half of the 19th century; fell in love with the order, obedience, and efficiency of its education system; and campaigned relentlessly there after to bring the Prussian vision to these shores.”
These American public school advocates “imported three major ideas … the purpose of state schooling was not intellectual training but the conditioning of children ‘to obedience, subordination, and collective life.’… Second, whole ideas were broken into fragmented ‘subjects’ and school days were divided into fixed periods ‘so that self-motivation to learn would be muted by ceaseless interruptions.’ Third, the state was posited as the true parents of the children”
“The state will take youth and will give to youth its own education and its own upbringing. Your child already belongs to us… What are you?” —Adolf Hitler
“Social control” was the stated objective of the General Education Board (GEB), an institution created by John D. Rockefeller in 1902 that developed and promoted various radical schemes to reconfigure American society through the public school system.
“Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.” —Joseph Stalin
Fred Gates defined the GEB’s intent when he said: “In our dreams, we have limitless resources, and the people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hand. The present educational conventions fade from our minds; and, unhampered by tradition, we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive rural folk.”
“Parents give up their rights when they drop the children off at public school.” —Melinda Harmon, Federal Judge, 1996
“We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth… For my part, I am willing to know the worst truth; to know the worst; and to provide for it.”
What is truth and what is the lie? What has been removed and what has been supplanted? How does one find the truth of our History and where can we learn what has been hidden? We cannot fix a problem unless we admit there is one.
“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary Act.”
“For 140 years this nation has tried to impose objectives downward from a lofty command center made up of ‘experts,’ a central elite of social engineers, It hasn’t worked. It won’t work…. It doesn’t work because its fundamental premises are mechanical, antihuman, and hostile to family life. Lives can be controlled by machine education but they will always fight back with weapons of social pathology: drugs, violence, self-destruction, indifference, and the symptoms I see in the children I teach… It destroys communities by relegating the training of children to the hands of certified experts – and by doing so it ensures our children cannot grow up fully human” becoming instead mindless automatons programmed by the state’s change agents.
Rather than instilling in youngsters an appreciation for individual liberty, the system has brought to life “the ancient pharaonic dream of Egypt: compulsory subordination for all… Schools teach exactly what they are intended to teach and they do it well: how to be a good Egyptian and remain in your place in the pyramid.” “It is a great triumph of compulsory government monopoly mass-schooling that among even the best of my fellow teachers, and among even the best of my students’ parents, only a small number can imagine a different way to do things,” laments John Taylor Gatto. To restore sanity to American education, to rescue the embattled family, and to preserve and perpetuate individual freedom, “a different way to do things” must be found.
Like Aladdin and the magician who gave new lamps for old we have exchange the truth of history for the fables of liars and we have become ignorant of our own heritage, awakening to find our blessing swept away in the night as we slumbered.
With this new learning came new ideas, “As long as the child breathes the poisoned air of nationalism, education in world-mindedness can produce only precarious results. As we have pointed out, it is frequently the family that infects the child with extreme nationalism. The school should therefore use the means described earlier to combat family attitudes that favor jingoism.”
“Regardless of motives, the people who foisted state education on us have committed a grave offense…. Using a variety of strategies, we must reclaim the right to raise our children and to help them educate themselves. In a fundamental sense, that is the American way,” contends Sheldon Richman. “The future of education, and of America as a free society, depends on the liberation of the American family from the grip of the public school,” There is no more important task, Richman concludes, than to build “a wall of separation between school and state” and restore a system of “family-based learning” in which children can develop their God- given abilities as free individuals.
The idea of mass institutionalized education is a modern phenomena. It has been a social experiment the result of which will be judged in the century to come. We live today in a time of decision. We must consider the viability, practicality and wisdom of education in institutions.
God created the family and education was the right and responsibility of the family as a unit. Today, the system of institutional education is often blamed for all the social ills of society. But is this fair? Is it the responsibility of schools to accomplish a job that was once the exclusive realm of the parents and the family?
Some of the top professional educators and psychologists believe the problem is not simply with the efforts of teachers and administrations. The problem is that institutional education is fundamentally flawed. In order to educate children en mass one must set aside the natural parameters of child development. Institutional education abandons by its macrocosm the natural environment of child development and there is no way to restore what is lost with even the best efforts of professional educators, more money or advanced study programs.
Parents have neglected their God given rights and responsibilities by turning their children over to institutions. “[T]he moral strength of a nation is only as strong as the moral strength of its individuals.”Individuals are a product of the family.
“If we want better people to make a better world, then we will have to begin where people are made — in the family.”
The modern family unit struggles as it has for centuries to grow and develop. Parents raise their children according to the standards they themselves have been taught or have come to believe is best for their family. In the last century families have undergone an ever increasing degeneration and disintegration. Divorced, broken and single parent homes have been linked with an increase in under achievement, antisocial behavior, suicide and violence.
“Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.” Ez 16:49
The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was in part that they did not strengthen the poor. “The poor” were not merely poor financially but also poor in virtue and strength. Virtues like faith, hope and charity, patience, love and understanding are the strength of the character of mankind. Public education is welfare and it weakens the poor.
“Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;” De 4:9
Solutions can be found if you find others who are looking for the whole truth and are willing to provide for it.
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© 2013 Brother Gregory Williams – All Rights Reserved
- Decline and fall of the Roman Empire Chapter 3.
2. Thomas Jefferson.
3. Sheldon Richman in his book Separating School and State.
4. Educational historian Joel Spring.
5. Award-winning teacher and educational commentator John T. Gatto.
6. Sheldon Richman in his book Separating School and State.
7. GEB Chairman Frederick Gates.
8. Patrick Henry
9. George Orwell
10. John Taylor Gatto New York State Teacher of the Year and Homeschooling advocate, lecturer and filmmaker.
11. John T. Gatto, Teacher of the Year, to the N. Y. State Senate, 1991.
12. William Benton, Ass. U.S. Sec. of State, at a UNESCO meeting, 1946:
13. Eric Sloane
14. Braud’s 2nd Enc. by J.M Braud.
Nothing infuriates me more than Government Controlled Education, because I compare it to child rape, which is surreptitiously performed on their minds, and the perpetrators are in most cases adult victims joyfully repeating the atrocity that violated their young minds. They self-righteously believe the lie that they are privileged molders of children’s minds, when in fact they are spreading the disease of ignorance, lack of interest, apathy, complacency, and most destructive of all, self-centeredness. It is a crime to send your children to public schools just as surely as it is to mutilate their bodies. How in the hell do you think America got into this mess, other than through teaching us lies to the point of believing them? Nothing is more despicable than a traitor who believes he’s a patriot.
September 27th, 2014 by olddog
By Charlotte Iserbyt
September 26, 2014
“What is absolutely essential is that the full facts be given to all our people, for mind warfare is total war.” Edward Hunter, Brainwashing: The Men Who Defied It, 1953
“MIND WARFARE” includes the Skinnerian brainwashing called for by leading Neo-Conservative organizations, including the Heartland Institute.
This is a war to destroy our constitutional rights, including our right to vote, and the destruction of our children’s minds, souls and consciences. After 12 years of Neo-Conservative supported Skinnerian animal training computer instruction, your children will no longer have a conscience, nor will they be able to take an unpopular stand, for fear of being punished. They will act only to get a reward or praise.
Did hundreds of thousands of American servicemen and women give their lives in foreign wars to end up with our free constitutional republic being turned over to the globalist communists (the communist/ socialist/ corporate/ fascist/ libertarian Neo-Conservative wolves in sheep’s clothing) ? Without firing a shot? On a silver platter?
It is time to stop the 100% Neo-Conservative boycott of the truth regarding their communist agenda! Don’t forget that Wall Street funded the Bolshevik Revolution. Don’t forget the NeoConservative Heritage Foundation drafted the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which has robbed Americans of hundreds of thousands of good jobs. Don’t forget Karl Marx, who drafted the Communist Manifesto, was a strong supporter of Free Trade! And, lastly, don’t forget that Mind Warfare, referred to by Edward Hunter (above) is what the neoconservative Heartland Institute recently recommended for use on our children in America’s “new” schools/training laboratories!
The National Alliance of Business, in its newsletter Work/America… The Business Force on Workforce Development, Vol. 15 Issue 5, May 1998 carried the following article entitled “Knowledge Supply Chain: Managing K-Age 80 Learning.” Repeat Kindergarten through Age 80?! Workforce Training. Yes, Grandpa… that means YOU! And YOU, too, Grandma! This is what is called “Limited Learning for Lifelong Labor.” Using the Skinnerian Operant Conditioning method called for by Heartland Institute.
The following quotations from Edward Hunter, the man who coined the term “brainwashing” and author of Brainwashing: The Men Who Defied It, speak to what we as Americans can still do to reverse the process. When Hunter speaks of brainwashing he is referring primarily to the Skinnerian/Pavloviananimal training method supported by the neoconservative movement:
“Surely there can no longer be a trace of doubt that brainwashing is sheer evil. The fight against it is the culminating issue of all time, in which every human being is protagonist. There can be neither escape nor neutrality where such responsibilities lie. There can be neither front nor rear, for the great lesson that came from the brainwashing chambers was that while every man has a cracking point, every man’s cracking point can be immensely strengthened. That is the job of home, school, and church. The mother, teacher, and pastor are in the front lines in this ideological conflict, and every word they say to their sons and daughters is important to the struggle, for character more than anything else will determine the outcome.
“Truth is the most important serum and integrity the most devastating weapon that can be used against the totalitarian concept…. Nothing should be allowed to interfere with the task of getting those facts across to the people who need and can use them.”(Read the entire Hunter quotation on page 450 of my book)
Read on below for a perfect example of what Hunter is talking about, how the brainwashing is being carried out in the United States. In this case, it is a “choice” advertising campaign. This is a huge media blitz calling for tax-funded school choice (federally-controlled private education run by unelected boards). Hunter refers to this as “mind warfare is total war.” The “controlled” media is in a special position to conduct “mind warfare.” For example, see the following Philly School Choice media campaign to promote “choice” to the public.
“It was announced today that Choice Media has launched PhillySchoolChoice.com, a major media campaign involving a website, Facebook page, television commercials, YouTube videos, Twitter & Facebook ads, traditional newspaper ads and earned media coverage. The campaign will include eight separate 30-second television commercials that will air on the early and late evening news programs of all four broadcast local news stations (ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC affiliates), for five days/week, four weeks in a row. Two new television ads will be released each week during the four-week run. The commercials feature only Philadelphia parents talking about their experiences — no politicians or union officials will appear.
“Below you will find the first two spots produced by Choice Media. They feature Philadelphia area parents sharing stories about the positive impact that school choice has had on their lives and the lives of their children. These personal accounts are illuminating and heart warming. They manage to capture in thirty seconds exactly what is at stake in the great debate over expanding choice; ensuring every child in America has access to a top-notch education.” (Source)
See the following webpages for more information about this “choice” campaign and the “Philly School Choice” media campaign:
1- There is a Growing List of PARENTS, STUDENTS & Other Concerned Philadelphians Who Support School Choice
2- Fabulous New School Choice Ads to Air in Philadelphia
3- A new front against sexual violence – Civics education gets a push – Student poets hit the Library of Congress – Dissent in union ranks
4- Philly School Choice
5- Fabulous New School Choice Ads to Air in Philadelphia
Recently the Skinnerian/Pavlovian Cat jumped out of the 34-year denial bag. As was mentioned earlier on the blog, the book Rewards has just been published. Subtitled “How to use [SKINNERIAN/PAVLOVIAN, ed.] rewards to help children learn – and why teachers don’t use them well.” Paperback – October 1, 2014. The President of the Heartland Institute, Joseph Bast, who has written a book Rewards, with long-time educator Herbert Walberg, calling for the Skinnerian/Pavlovian method to train our children, like pigeons, dogs, etc., for the workforce rather than to teach them academics. See the blog post article one and article two.
The deliberate dumbing down has now become the excuse for complete social change, including the privatization of education (the handing over to the unelected multinational corporations the responsibility for educationactually trainingof future citizens). Such a transfer of responsibility will be facilitated by the creation of charter/magnet schools and passage of legislation providing tuition tax credits/vouchers. The workforce development system will, of course, be international, as is indicated by many quotes in this book. Parents who may be enthusiastic about the various choice proposals may change their minds regarding “choice” when their child becomes part of the corporate fascist quota system, being tracked into a career chosen for him/her by unelected corporate managers who set labor force requirements. Such quotas will be a part of the global planned economy. Parents will have no say regarding their child’s placement since there will no longer be an elected body, such as a school board, to whom they can complain.
Only a dumbed-down, brainwashed, conditioned citizenry could willingly accept what is being offered Americans under the guise of “remaining competitive in an increasingly global economy,” and relinquishing our sovereignty in the name of “global understanding and peace.” (excerpted from page 450-51 of my book)
Good Americans are being lied to. What is going in now, supported by the highly-funded Neo-Conservative Trotskyites, and its controlled media, is described in my book the deliberatedumbing down of america, a free download, or available at amazon.com. Get informed! It isn’t too late!
For the original version of this article, complete with graphic images, see my blog and read the blogpost.
© 2014 Charlotte T. Iserbyt – All Rights Reserved
Charlotte Iserbyt is the consummate whistleblower! Iserbyt served as Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), U.S. Department of Education, during the first Reagan Administration, where she first blew the whistle on a major technology initiative which would control curriculum in America’s classrooms. Iserbyt is a former school board director in Camden, Maine and was co-founder and research analyst of Guardians of Education for Maine (GEM) from 1978 to 2000. She has also served in the American Red Cross on Guam and Japan during the Korean War, and in the United States Foreign Service in Belgium and in the Republic of South Africa.
Iserbyt is a speaker and writer, best known for her 1985 booklet Back to Basics Reform or OBE: Skinnerian International Curriculum and her 1989 pamphlet Soviets in the Classroom: America’s Latest Education Fad which covered the details of the U.S.-Soviet and Carnegie-Soviet Education Agreements which remain in effect to this day. She is a freelance writer and has had articles published in Human Events, The Washington Times, The Bangor Daily News, and included in the record of Congressional hearings.
September 26th, 2014 by olddog
The Veterans Affairs scandal of falsified waiting lists is the latest of a never-ending stream of government ineptitude. Every season brings a new headline of failures: the botched roll-out of Obamacare involved 55 uncoordinated IT vendors; a White House report in February found that barely 3 percent of the $800 billion stimulus plan went to rebuild transportation infrastructure; and a March Washington Post report describes how federal pensions are processed by hand in a deep cave in Pennsylvania.
The reflexive reaction is to demand detailed laws and rules to make sure things don’t go wrong again. But shackling public choices with ironclad rules, ironically, is a main cause of the problems. Dictating correctness in advance supplants the one factor that is indispensable to all successful endeavors—human responsibility. “Nothing that’s good works by itself,” as Thomas Edison put it. “You’ve got to make the damn thing work.”
Responsibility is nowhere in modern government. Who’s responsible for the budget deficits? Nobody: Program budgets are set in legal concrete. Who’s responsible for failing to fix America’s decrepit infrastructure? Nobody. Who’s responsible for not managing civil servants sensibly? You get the idea.
Modern government is organized on “clear law,” the false premise that by making laws detailed enough to take in all possible circumstances, we can avoid human error. And so over the last few decades, law has gotten ever more granular. But all that regulatory detail, like sediment in a harbor, makes it hard to get anywhere. The 1956 Interstate Highway Act was 29 pages and succeeded in getting 41,000 miles of roads built by 1970. The 2012 transportation bill was 584 pages, and years will pass before workers can start fixing many of those same roads. Health-care regulators have devised 140,000 reimbursement categories for Medicare—including 12 categories for bee stings and 21 categories for “spacecraft accidents.” This is the tip of a bureaucratic iceberg—administration consumes 30 percent of health-care costs.
Legal detail skews behavior in ways that are usually counterproductive. Why did VA officials regularly falsify waiting times? Bureaucratic metrics required them to meet waiting time deadlines—or else they would forfeit a portion of their pay. Why didn’t they just do a better job? Compliance was basically impossible: Congress had mandated more VA services but only modestly expanded resources. Undoubtedly, better efficiency could have been squeezed out of available resources, but that would require liberating VA officials from civil-service straitjackets so they could manage other civil servants. Rigid bureaucracy, not the inexcusable dishonesty of VA officials, was the underlying cause of the VA scandal.
“Clear law” turns out to be a myth. Modern law is too dense to be knowable. “It will be of little avail to the people,” James Madison observed, “if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.” The quest for “clear law” is futile also because most regulatory language is inherently ambiguous. Dense rulebooks do not avoid disputes—they just divert the dispute to the parsing of legal words instead of arguing over what’s right. Indeed, legal detail often undermines the regulatory goal. “The more exact and detailed a rule, the more likely it is to open up loopholes, to permit by implication conduct that the rule was intended to avoid,” Judge Richard Posner observed.
What’s the alternative? Put humans back in charge. Law should generally be an open framework, mainly principles and goals, leaving room for responsible people to make decisions and be held accountable for results. Law based on principles leaves room for the decision-maker always to act on this question: What’s the right thing to do here?
“The more exact and detailed a rule, the more likely it is to open up loopholes, to permit by implication conduct that the rule was intended to avoid.”
Until recent decades, law based on principles was the structure of most public law. The Constitution is 10 pages long and provides basic precepts—say, the Fourth Amendment prohibition on “unreasonable searches and seizures”—without trying to define every situation. The recent Volcker Rule regulating proprietary trading, by contrast, is 950 pages, and, in the words of one banker, is “incoherent any way you look at it.”
Legal principles have the supreme virtue of activating individual responsibility. Law is still supreme. The goals of law are centralized, but implementation is decentralized. Every successful regulatory program works this way. New airplanes, for example, must be certified as “airworthy” by the FAA. There are no detailed regulations that set forth how many rivets per square foot are required. It’s up to the judgment of FAA officials. This system works pretty well. Which would you trust more, a plane approved by experts at the FAA or a plane that was allowed to fly merely because it satisfied a bunch of rules, many outdated?
Simplifying regulation—replacing thick volumes of rules with guiding principles —has two more virtues as well. First, democracy is effective only when there’s someone to hold accountable. Second, principles are coherent. People generally know what’s expected of them. Doctrines such as “unreasonable risk” or a “nutritious meal” or “industry standards” have practical meaning and can be enforced by reference to social norms. “Standards that capture lay intuitions about right behavior,” Posner notes, “may produce greater legal certainty than a network of precise … non-intuitive rules.”
Potentially, simplifying regulation can appeal to both sides: to liberals because it offers regulators more leeway, and to conservatives because it simplifies government and avoids mindless compliance costs.
Here are three examples of how regulation could be simplified:
Oversight of social services: Today, nursing homes, day-care centers, and similar social-service providers are regulated with a maze of input-oriented regulations. “Food shall be stored not less than 15 cm above the floor”; “there shall be .09 recreational workers per resident”—about a thousand rules in most states for nursing homes.
Australia had a similar regulatory structure. But in the wake of scandalous revelations of poor nursing homes in the late 1980s, it abandoned the thick rule book and replaced it with 31 general principles, for example to provide “a homelike environment” and to honor residents’ “privacy and dignity.” The result was an almost immediate transformation for the better. Nursing-home employees started acting on their instincts of right and wrong, instead of trudging through dreary bureaucratic checklists. Regulators and family members engaged in regular dialogues with nursing homes on how to improve things. Nursing homes became nice.
They abandoned the thick rule book and replaced it with 31 general principles. Nursing home became nice.
Environmental review: Environmental review and other infrastructure approvals can last a decade or longer in America. Even projects with virtually no environmental impact can last years, as project sponsors jump through scores of bureaucratic hoops.
The benefits of streamlining approvals would be enormous: several million new jobs, a greener environmental footprint, and enhanced global competitiveness. Replacing America’s antiquated power grid, for example, would save at least 7 percent of electricity—equivalent to the output of 200 coal-burning power plants.
Today the process is interminable, because any naysayer can complain that some pebble was left unturned—and who knows what will happen in court? Far better to give an environmental official responsibility to decide when important facts have been set forth instead of letting the process spin its wheels for a decade and then end up in court. For other permits—for instance, for land-use regulations, navigable-waters approval, landmarks review, and the like—there should also be a “one-stop shop”—a lead agency with the job of coordinating all regulatory concerns. That’s how other greener countries such as Germany are able to approve new infrastructure projects in a fraction of the time it takes in the United States.
Civil Service: More than 20 million people work for federal, state, and local government. Most of them perform needed services. But the accretion of antiquated and unjustifiable work rules has rendered them practically unmanageable.
Hiring and promotion is largely based on written tests, not demonstrated competence. Promoting an exemplary employee is often impossible. Work rules can prevent supervisors from asking workers to pitch in. In New York City, how to use a new copying machine and who can use it is subject to collective bargaining. Firing an incompetent employee under civil-service bureaucracy is almost impossible.
Any critique of this regulatory jungle is met with sanctimonious remonstrations about workers’ rights and the return of the spoils system. But the only relevant criterion for any regulatory structure should be whether it is in the public interest. By that standard, the current civil-service system is indefensible.
The solution is straightforward. Scrap the system and replace it with principles designed to achieve the original goal of a merit system. Avoiding spoils is not hard: Funnel hiring through an independent agency. Work rules should be replaced by general principles, overseen by a neutral review board. Eliminate the presumption of lifetime service, as recommended by the Partnership for Public Service. Terminating a public employee should trigger a safety net, not years of litigation.
Principles, ironically, are less susceptible to abuse of state power and gamesmanship than precise rules. One of the many paradoxes of “clear law” is that no one can comply with thousands of rules. With principles, a citizen can stand his ground to an unreasonable demand and have a good chance of being supported up the chain of authority.
In the civil service, promoting an exemplary employee is often impossible.
There is still a place for precise rules. Rules are effective in situations where the protocol is more important than context and balance—say, with age limits or effluent discharges. Management expert Brenda Zimmerman makes the distinction between the legal framework for “complicated” activities—such as engineering or rocket launches, where a small error might have disastrous results—and “complex” activities, such as running a health-care system or regulating nursing homes. For “complicated” activities, rules and checklists can impose the discipline to avoid disastrous error. For “complex” activities, general principles are far superior, because they allow people to adapt to many moving parts. The more complex the area of oversight the simpler and more flexible the regulatory framework must be.
But what about human error and venality? Does law based on principles mean we must trust people? Of course not. That’s why accountability is still important. Moreover, for important decisions, a structure can require approval of several people. Nothing can get done sensibly or fairly, however, until we reconstruct government with a legal framework which liberates people to roll up their sleeves and make things happen
September 25th, 2014 by olddog
Justin King (TheAntiMedia)
A 17-year-old kid was tased into a coma and suffered brain damage after Officer Tim Runnels arrested him for a traffic ticket that was associated with the car he had borrowed. It was not his ticket. The window was broken and the minor could not roll the window down completely when ordered. Therefore the officer used force to enforce an unlawful order. The department has stated that Runnels acted within policy and placed the officer on paid vacation. The minor is the son of another police officer. Since it deals with one of their own, the FBI has launched a probe. Image credit: OregonDOT
If putting a child in a coma for someone else’s traffic ticket is within policy, where does it end?
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable.”
–President John F. Kennedy
Weeks of peaceful protests and outright riots in Missouri have accomplished nothing. The government has chosen to protect its enforcement class rather than its citizens. If peaceful requests for a redress of grievances, as guaranteed in the US Constitution, fail to work, do people have the right to engage in violence to protect their life and the lives of their loved ones?
Police officer deaths are at an all time low, yet cases of police brutality are at an all time high. More importantly, officers are not held accountable for their actions and are allowed to walk free even when a video is available that shows them murdering someone who is begging for their life. What are the American people to do when the protests, politicians, and courts have failed them?
Americans have been told that their freedom rests on four boxes: the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.
People have exercised their right to stand on soap boxes and speak against the corruption and brutality that is plaguing the American justice system for decades and nothing has been done.
The ballot box has been proven pointless as special interests, police unions, and corrupt elected officials protect law enforcement in exchange for preferential treatment.
The jury box is also pointless as prosecutors and law enforcement work hand in glove to cover up the misdeeds of their fellow law enforcers.
The first three boxes have been used and proved to be useless against the machine of general mayhem that is known as the “thin blue line.” The only box left available to the American people is the cartridge box. Objections to shooting a cop are so ingrained in the American psyche that I can visualize many readers wincing as the subject is openly discussed. The discussion of uncomfortable ideas is the only path to reform; but to avoid sending the gentle reader into a shock-induced coma faster than Runnels’ taser, allow me to phrase the question differently:
If an organization displayed a patter of assault, rape, murder, theft, home invasion, and racketeering would a person coming in contact with members of that organization have a reasonable expectation that they would be harmed if they did not act to preserve their own life?
All of a sudden the question seems almost ridiculously easy to answer. Of course, a person would have the right to defend their life and property when confronted with such an organization. So why are those that wear blue uniforms instead of blue bandanas immune from this judgment of guilt?
The answer is simple: propaganda. Much like those that turned a blind eye to totalitarian police forces throughout history, the average American sees these people as heroes out defending democracy against the threat of lawlessness. The problem, of course, is that the United States is not a democracy; it is an oligarchy.
Some readers probably retracted in horror from the screen at the idea that the United States is not what was told to them in their high school civics class. The term oligarchy gets thrown around and sometimes people aren’t clear on exactly what it means. Provided below is the definition.
Full Definition of OLIGARCHY
: government by the few
: a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes; also : a group exercising such control
: an organization under oligarchic control
Does that seem more like the government we have today, or does the government represent the will of the people, as it would in a republic or a democracy?
Knowing those in government are out to pursue corrupt and selfish interests, makes it a lot easier to view the cop who is beating homeless people to death as the Sheriff of Nottingham and the government as Prince John. So where are Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men?
Where are those that are willing to stand up to injustice and fight those that would kill your child or maim them with a grenade to please the ruling class? Is it time to meet force with force in cases of police brutality? Is it time to stop demonizing the term “cop killer?”
The police watchdog group Cop Block put out video pondering this very question before the topic became the subject of national debate.
Is it time to start using violence against law enforcement?
While I make it a point to never advocate violence, I will say that I can’t wait to go to Sherwood Forest and cover the story.
I openly posed this question on my personal Facebook account; these are some of the responses I received. It should be noted that at the time of writing not a single person indicated they believed it was wrong to use violence against law enforcement officers that were overstepping their bounds.
I pose the question to the reader: Is it time to start resisting police with violence? The Anti-Media is not identifying the child by name in accordance with its policy of not naming minor children who are the victims of crimes.
September 24th, 2014 by olddog
By The Skeptical Libertarian
It’s not just libertarians who believe that police have become militarized. It’s police themselves. Last week, Indianapolis Police Chief Rick Hite told his city council that he sees himself as a “soldier in an army” and his police force as “paramilitary organization” that is preparing for “battle.”
With the issue of police militarization still hot after the heavily-militarized response by the Ferguson, Missouri police, Hite’s comments come across as remarkably insensitive to the political climate. When asked by a city councilmember whether the police department needed a $29 million tax increase to fund its expansion, the police chief was terrifyingly blunt:
“I’m going to say something very candid to you my good friend, Councilman Robinson. As a 36-year veteran of law enforcement, never in my career have I seen public safety been politicized the way it has been in this country. Why I say that is because we have historically been a paramilitary organization…. I don’t know what we would do if we had to go to battle, and we had to make a determination, based on past practices, whether or not we wanted to go into battle. … I am a soldier in an army. We serve you in that way.” (2:39:00)
Let’s catalog these comments away for the next time there’s a large scale public disturbance in Indianapolis and see how the police force responds. The Rise of the Warrior Cop, to use the title of Radley Balko’s book, has not gone unnoticed within law enforcement. Rather, it has been encouraged and indeed used to justify an ever-expanding amount of resources being devoted to fighting various “wars” on citizens, whether in the name of eliminating “guns,” drugs, or terrorism.
Hite’s comments were also out-of-touch given the local news events as well. Two Indianapolis police officers were arrested just this month for beating a man unconscious outside a bar. Hite was reported to have said at a news conference that “days like this make us wonder how we’ve lost our way.” Given the stated ethos of his department, I, for one, am no longer wondering.
William Norman Grigg at the Pro-Liberate blog wrote about the incident this week, breaking down the relationship between the police department and the rampant abuse of civil asset forfeiture in Indianapolis. Hite’s predecessor wasforced to resign after his department destroyed a blood sample of a drunk officer who killed a motorcyclist and injured to others. Hite formerly reigned over the notoriously deadly City of Baltimore, which earned him a job in Indianapolis.
Many of my readers still cannot accept the truth about the militarization of our local police, but sooner or later they will encounter the killer mentality and suffer the consequences.
LIVE FREE THINK CRITICALLY
PROTECTORS OR KILLERS YOU DECIDE
These men are not protectors of the law; they are fanatics consumed with the desire to murder with legal impunity and remain unharmed. They would prove useless on the battle field due to lack of courage and commitment to freedom. You could not force a real warrior to do what they do.
Why Is the USDA Buying Submachine Guns?
By Charles McFarlane on September 19, 2014
“Submachine guns, .40 Cal. S&W, ambidextrous safety, semi-automatic or 2 shot bur[s]t trigger group, Tritium night sights for front and rear, rails for attachment of flashlight (front under fore grip) and scope (top rear), stock-collapsib[l]e or folding, magazine – 30 rd. capacity.”
In May, the USDA’s Office of Inspector General filed a requestfor these weapons. But why exactly do they need them?
According to a USDA press rep, the guns are necessary for self-protection.
“OIG Special Agents regularly conduct undercover operations and surveillance. The types of investigations conducted by OIG Special Agents include criminal activities such as fraud in farm programs; significant thefts of Government property or funds; bribery and extortion; smuggling; and assaults and threats of violence against USDA employees engaged in their official duties,” wrote a USDA spokesperson.
Those seem like legitimate enforcement activities, but still: submachine guns? Not everyone believes the USDA being armed to the teeth is justifiable. On Aug. 2, the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund launched a petition to support a bill that would curb the ability of agencies like the USDA to arm themselves. They see it as overkill and scare tactics, especially for smaller producers.
‘What we have seen happen, with the FDA especially, is they have come onto small farms, raw milk producers, and raided the heck out of them with armed agents present.’
“What we have seen happen, with the FDA especially, is they have come onto small farms, raw milk producers, and raided the heck out of them with armed agents present,” says Liz Reitzig, co-founder of the Farm Food Freedom Coalition. “Do we really want to have our federal regulatory agencies bring submachine guns onto these family farms with children?”
The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund petition focuses on two now infamous blows to the raw milk community – the 2010 and 2011 raids on Rawsome Food Club in Venice, California. These raids were carried out by armed federal agents, from the FDA and other agencies.
The OIG’s Investigation Development bulletins show there have been three incidents in the last year that involved firearms and two in which USDA agents were verbally threatened. Still, most of their enforcement operations surround white-collar fraud of government programs, often involving SNAP programs. “If there is fraud in the SNAP program, look at how it is implemented and make changes in the entire program,” says Reitzig. “Don’t bring machine guns onto farms.”
The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund are not the only ones interested in taking guns out of the hands of USDA agents. Utah Congressman Chris Stewart is the sponsor of the bill on the FTCLDF petition. “At its heart it comes down to this: To myself, and for a lot of Americans, there is great concern over regulator agencies with heavy handed capabilities,” Rep. Stewart told Modern Farmer.
His bill, H.R. 4934, hopes “to prohibit certain federal agencies from using or purchasing certain firearms, and for other purposes.” When asked about the USDA’s plan for submachine guns, he said, “I can’t envision a scenario where what they are doing would require that.”
Another concern is simply accountability. The request for submachine guns from the USDA doesn’t say how many guns — asking them seems like a non-starter. “They have been very unhelpful in trying to find out any information about this,” said Rep. Stewart. “We couldn’t get answers — it doesn’t seem right to me.”
However, he also cautioned: “We have never argued that federal regulators don’t need to protect themselves.” But if USDA investigations were perceived to be potentially violent he suggested, “They should do what the rest of us do, call the local sheriff.”
House of Cards Florida We Have to Consider Abolishing the Government”
By The Skeptical Libertarian
Frank would be proud.
The story of Hampton, Florida, could be the plot for a classic rise to power story–like House of Cards, for rednecks–or, under some interpretations, just the origin story of all government–a bunch of people with guns decide to hold up travelers on the highway.
But as hilarious and impossible as it sounds, this one is true. “I have said it before: It’s something out of a Southern Gothic novel. You can’t make this stuff up,” said State Senator Rob Bradley, whose district includes the city.*
One-square mile “city,” home to marshes, trailer parks, a short stretch of highway, and 477 souls.
In the mid-1990s, the city annexed a tiny slice of federal highway 301; the “government” of three full-time employees hires 17 “volunteer” police to issue approximately 18,000+ tickets in the last three years, collecting over half a million dollars in traffic fines; police chief assumes title of “minister” and begins holding church services at the ramshackle City Hall; the Hall family seizes “power” (Jane Hall, city clerk; Adam Hall, maintenance operators; Charles Hall, councilman).
Despite the huge cash flow, the city runs a deficit; residents begin complaining about personal use of city funds; government threatens to cut water to troublemakers; a state audit reveals 46% of the city’s water is unaccounted for, funds are missing, and there are essentially no records; city employees say the records were “lost in the swamp”; the county sheriff cuts the Hampton police force off from access to computer databases, radio communications, and use of the jail.
All full-time city employees are ousted; newly elected Mayor Barry Moore (seriously) is arrested for possession of Oxycodone with intent to distribute; the City Council is almost never is able hold elections because no one will run.
State Senator Rob Bradley again: “This situation went on for so long and the mismanagement was so deep, we have to seriously consider abolishing the government.”
I feel like that statement is truer and more generally applicable than he intended. But for this particular band of highway robbers, at least, the end may be nigh.
Credit for this story, details, and quotes belongs to Lizette Alvarez and The New York Times. Credit for the next hit Netflix series belongs to me and the residents and officials of the city of Hampton, FL.
Estimate based on the total revenue collected from fines. It seems that nobody knows exactly how many tickets were issued in 2010, because of mysteriously missing records.
Stories like this are coming from all over America as small time tyrants take control of their community government.
September 23rd, 2014 by olddog
BY I M POWER / WEDNESDAY, 17 SEPTEMBER 2014 / PUBLISHED IN ABSOLUTE DATA
The Economist: Mainstream globalist propaganda reveals East/West conflict is a farce
published on redifinggod blog, on September 15, 2014
For anyone who might still believe that the US/NATO versus Russia/BRICS geopolitical confrontation is real…
…here is a little blast from the past…
…It is the cover from the January 9, 1988 issue of The Economist magazine. Note the phoenix rising from the ashes of burning national currencies, including the dollar.
The cover relates to an article on pages 9-10 titled Get ready for the phoenix, which foretold the financial drama we are now watching unfold in real time. Upon stumbling across them, I found the cover art and the article so striking that I thought they might be an online forgery, so I verified their authenticity with a research librarian at the Newspaper and Current Periodical Room of the Library of Congress. Both the cover and the article are quite real. Here are some excerpts (not necessarily in the order in which they appear in the article)…
>>> THIRTY years from now, Americans, Japanese, Europeans, and people in many other rich countries, and some relatively poor ones will probably be paying for their shopping with the same currency. Prices will be quoted not in dollars, yen or D-marks but in, let’s say, the phoenix. The phoenix will be favoured by companies and shoppers because it will be more convenient than today’s national currencies, which by then will seem a quaint cause of much disruption to economic life in the last twentieth century…
…The phoenix would probably start as a cocktail of national currencies, just as the Special Drawing Right is today. In time, though, its value against national currencies would cease to matter, because people would choose it for its convenience and the stability of its purchasing power…
…The phoenix zone would impose tight constraints on national governments. There would be no such thing, for instance, as a national monetary policy. The world phoenix supply would be fixed by a new central bank, descended perhaps from the IMF…
…Governments are far from ready to subordinate their domestic objectives to the goal of international stability. Several bigger exchange-rate upsets, a few more stock-market crashes and probably a slump or two will be needed before politicians are willing to face squarely up to that choice…
…Pencil in the phoenix for around 2018, and welcome it when it comes. <<<
It’s all there: the SDR “cocktail” (basket) of currencies, the IMF’s central role, and the need to create “exchange rate upsets, stock-market crashes, and economic slumps” to make the public accept it. Seeing such an accurate forecast/blueprint, one wonders who was behind its publishing. So if we look into The Economist magazine, we find it is headquartered just a few blocks from the City of London and is owned by The Economist Group, which itself is owned by some rather interesting characters…
“The Economist Group is 50% owned by Pearson PLC via The Financial Times Limited. The bulk of the remaining shares are held by individual shareholders including the Cadbury, Rothschild, Schroder, Agnelli and other family interests as well as a number of staff and former staff shareholders.”
Beyond the Rothschild and Agnelli families, who are widely rumored to be part of the Illuminati, the Schroder family is particularly worth noting. The Schroders (also spelled Schroeder) are an old German ruling class family from Hamburg. One of the Schroder brood, Johann Heinrich Schroder, settled in London and founded J. Henry Schroder & Co. (now known simply as “Schroders,” one of the UKs largest investment banks) back in 1818. Later, in 1923, the firm expanded into New York by establishing J. Henry Schroder Banking Corporation. It is here that they joined with the Rockefeller family through Avery Rockefeller.
According to Avery’s bio…
“In 1928, Rockefeller joined the storied J. Henry Schroder Banking Corporation and became Assistant Treasurer in 1931. On 8 July 1936, Rockefeller co-founded Schroder, Rockefeller & Co., Inc. Its purpose was to take over the underwriting and general securities business formerly carried out by the J. Henry Schroder Banking Corporation.”
Schroder, Rockefeller & Co. is widely viewed as having been an integral part of the globalist bankers’ financial support infrastructure for the Nazis. And another of the Schroders, Johann Heinrich’s great-grandson, Baron Kurt von Schroeder
(shown here in his Nuremberg picture)…
…played a pivotal role..
“Schroeder was an important member of the Freundeskreis der Wirtschaft, which provided Adolf Hitler and his party with enough financial support to survive through the early 1930s. He also hosted a critical meeting on 4 January 1933 between Papen and Hitler that eventually led to Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor of Germany.”
The Nazis had (and continue to have) deep ties to the Anglo-American banking establishment, and also to The Economist. So this article came from a publication connected to the supposed “Nazi/Zionist Cabal.” Keep this in mind as we take a look at what that Cabal’s supposed enemies, the Chinese, are saying about the currently-unfolding global financial drama.
The Blueprint Revealed
I recently ran across a China Daily article titled Bracing for next big financial crisis, written by Giles Chance (a former World Bank staffer who is a professor at the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University). I strongly recommend following the link and reading the entire article, because it succinctly lays out the globalist plans and talking points for the next economic crisis. Once you correct for the article’s spin, it tells you everything. Here are some select passages, with my commentary added in brackets…
>>> Above the central banks, including the PBOC [People’s Bank of China], stands the Bank of International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, which oversees the activities of national banking and monetary systems. The integration of markets and economies in a globalized world has given the BIS an increasingly important role in providing global financial stability… <<<
[So here we have a Chinese propaganda organ telling us that the BIS is in charge of all the central banks, including China’s. This is in spite of the fact that the BIS was a joint creation of the London bankers and the Nazis (who are supposedly the bad guys the BRICS are fighting). I will share more about the BIS later in the article.]
>>> In 2007, the year before the financial crash, the BIS warned that the global financial system was becoming overstretched and that the banking systems in the developed world were coming under pressure. But although the BIS has great influence, it does not have the power to compel any central bank. It can advise and warn, but it cannot give orders, and it does not issue its own money. As we know, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the European Central Bank in Brussels did not act on the well-timed warning from the BIS. <<<
[This passage establishes the BIS’s wisdom and foresight, as opposed to the foolishness of the national central banks. It also carries the implication that the BIS should be given the power to compel the national central banks to follow its wise guidance. Not mentioned is the fact that the financial crash was deliberately triggered by the very bankers he’s writing about, and that the foolishness of the national central banks’ responses was quite calculated. It allowed the banksters to harvest enormous wealth from the public and set up the pretext for the global institutions to step in and “provide stability.”]
>>> Against that background, you would expect today that if the BIS issued another warning, the world would pay attention. At the end of June, BIS General Manager Jaime Caruana gave a speech at its headquarters that contained a strong note of caution: “A new policy compass is needed to help the global economy step out of the shadow of the global financial crisis…” <<<
[By “a new policy compass,” he means a transition from the current dollar-based global financial system to the new, more centralized SDR-based multipolar/multilateral financial system]
>>> In his speech, Caruana blamed the continued dependence by the advanced economies, led by the United States, on ultra-loose monetary policy in place of the necessary deep-seated structural changes. <<<
[Here, he’s setting up the Federal Reserve (and the EU and Japan) to take the blame.]
>>> Caruana’s warning was reinforced by William White, head of the Economic Review and Development Committee at the headquarters of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris. As one of the very few experts who accurately forecast the 2008 crash, while head of research at the BIS, White is listened to with respect around the world.
In a recent interview, he said: “Riskfree bond rates are at enormously low levels, spreads are very low … it all looks and feels like 2007. And frankly, I think it’s worse than 2007…” <<<
[Here, another “wise” person from the BIS is warning that we’re approaching another financial crisis (that he and his buddies are engineering). It’s pretty easy to be a forecaster when you’re in on the plan. So if this year looks and feels like 2007, will next year be the next 2008?]
>>> But the US Federal Reserve Bank, the controller of the dollar-based global economy, does not agree with the BIS or William White. Several days after Caruana’s speech, Fed Governor Janet Yellen made it clear that she does not think that extremely low interest rates were the main culprit in the 2008 financial crisis, nor constitute the main problem now. <<<
[This is a very instructive passage. Note how the author specifically mentions the “dollar-based global economy.” Also note how he again paints the Federal Reserve as the morons who won’t listen to the sage globalists at the BIS. In this, he is setting up Janet Yellen for her upcoming scapegoat role, and he is tying interest rates to what will bring her down. The author says all this while failing to disclose that Janet Yellen is a member of the Board of Directors of the BIS, as is PBOC governor Zhou Xiaochuan]
>>> The disagreement between these two powerful financial institutions, the BIS and the New York Federal Reserve, has increased the risk that markets will crash as interest rates rise. Can China’s stability withstand another financial crash? Or would China emerge stronger? <<<
[Bingo! Here we are shown the trigger for the next financial crisis: Yellen will raise interest rates either “too soon” or by “too much” and crash the markets. “If only the wise BIS had had the power to rein in the Fed’s foolishness sooner, we could have avoided this,” they’ll say. Now let’s read on and see if China will emerge stronger.]
>>> China certainly has economic problems… But the forward-looking, courageous determination of its government to grasp some important nettles in its economic reform program will make it a key part of any solution to another Western financial crisis. <<<
[Here, the author does the requisite ass-kissing to his Chinese hosts, then boldly states that China will be “a key part of any solution to another Western financial crisis.” Solution, as in problem – reaction – solution. And the article has already shown us who caused the problem part of the equation: the unruly Western central banks, especially the Fed.]
>>> With the BIS and the US Federal Reserve Bank on opposite sides of the fence about global financial stability, the likelihood of another global financial crisis grows. But next time would indeed be different, because Western taxpayers would refuse to pay for another huge bank bailout, as they did in 2008-09. <<<
[So again, in case you missed it: BIS = good = wise = solution and US Federal Reserve Bank = bad = problem = another global financial crisis.]
>>> The emerging world, led by China, is economically in a much stronger position relative to the advanced countries than six years ago. Although in 2009 China may not have expected its sudden promotion to world power status, the country’s emergence since the crash as a global pillar of growth has significantly increased its global influence. <<<
[China didn’t expect its promotion to world power status? Au contraire, they knew it was coming because the globalists promised it to them, just like they promised what comes next…]
>>> Another crash on Wall Street would reinforce the attraction of the renminbi as a store of value and anchor of stability for other regional currencies…
It would underpin China’s global appeal as a peaceful force for stability in a volatile and troubled world, and hasten the re-engineering of shareholding in the major organizations of global governance, particularly at the World Bank and the IMF. Prepared or not, in the event of another crash China would find itself in a position of even greater global leadership and responsibility than today. <<<
[So here we are told that the next crash will be China’s gateway to top dog status, and it will “hasten the re-engineering of shareholding in the major organizations of global governance, particularly at the World Bank and the IMF.” This is exactly what I’ve been warning about. When the next crash comes, watch them break out their gold and other commodities to underwrite the global financial system in exchange for the governance changes.]
Now that we are done de-spinning the article, there are two things it brings up that deserve to be examined: the BIS and the Fed’s raising of interest rates…
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS)
This is the cover art for the BIS Archive Guide…
…It proudly features Montagu Norman (the Bank of England Governor from 1920-1944, circled in pink) and Hjalmar Schacht (the President of the Reichsbank from 1923-31 and 1933-39, and Hitler’s Economics Minister from 1934 – 1937, circled in red). You’ll hear more about these two a little later in the article. But first, let’s have a look at a little piece of BIS history…
>>> Between 1933 and 1945 the BIS board of directors included Walther Funk, a prominent Nazi official, and Emil Puhl, who were both convicted of war crimes at the Nuremberg trials after World War II, as well as Hermann Schmitz, the director of IG Farben, and Baron [Kurt] von Schroeder, the owner of the J.H.Stein Bank, which held the deposits of the Gestapo. There were allegations that the BIS had helped the Germans loot assets from occupied countries during World War II.
As a result of these allegations, at the Bretton Woods Conference held in July 1944, Norway proposed the “liquidation of the Bank for International Settlements at the earliest possible moment”. This resulted in the BIS being the subject of a disagreement between the American and British delegations. The liquidation of the bank was supported by other European delegates, as well as the United States (including Harry Dexter White, Secretary of the Treasury, and Henry Morgenthau), but opposed by John Maynard Keynes, head of the British delegation.
Fearing that the BIS would be dissolved by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Keynes went to Morgenthau hoping to prevent the dissolution, or have it postponed, but the next day the dissolution of the BIS was approved. However, the liquidation of the bank was never actually undertaken. In April 1945, the new U.S. president Harry S. Truman and the British government suspended the dissolution, and the decision to liquidate the BIS was officially reversed in 1948. <<<
So why were the British bankers so opposed to shutting down a bank with strong Nazi ties, you ask? Well, have a look at this UK Telegraph article (use this Internet Archive link if the direct link isn’t working)…
I recommend reading the whole article, as it contains more juicy information than I can include in this post. Here are the most relevant excerpts for the topic at hand (with my comments in brackets)…
>>> The BIS was founded in 1930, in effect by Montagu Norman and his close friend Hjalmar Schacht, the former president of the Reichsbank, known as the father of the Nazi economic miracle. Schacht even referred to the BIS as “my” bank. The BIS is a unique hybrid: a commercial bank protected by international treaty. Its assets can never be seized, even in times of war. It pays no taxes on profits…
A key sentence in the Bank of England documents is found on page 1,295. It reads: “The general attitude of the Bank of England directors of the BIS during the war was governed by their anxiety to keep the BIS to play its part in the solution of post-war problems”… [the bankers created the problem (World War 2), and they used the BIS to institute their solution (more centralized control of the world’s financial systems)]
…And here the secret history of the BIS and its strong relationship with the Bank of England becomes ever more murky.
During the war the BIS proclaimed that it was neutral, a view supported by the Bank of England. In fact the BIS was so entwined with the Nazi economy that it helped keep the Third Reich in business. It carried out foreign exchange deals for the Reichsbank; it accepted looted Nazi gold; it recognized the puppet regimes installed in occupied countries, which, together with the Third Reich, soon controlled the majority of the bank’s shares.
Indeed, the BIS was so useful for the Nazis that Emil Puhl, the vice-president of the Reichsbank and BIS director, referred to the BIS as the Reichsbank’s only “foreign branch”…
Every other month it hosts the Global Economy Meetings, where 60 of the most powerful central bankers, including Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, meet. No details of meetings are released, even though the attendees are public servants, charged with managing national economies.
The BIS also hosts the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, which regulates commercial banks, and the new Financial Stability Board, which coordinates national regulatory authorities. The BIS has made itself the central pillar of the global financial system. <<<
Speaking of these Global Economy Meetings, guess who attends them? According to the BIS website…
“The GEM comprises the Governors of 30 BIS member central banks in major advanced and emerging market economies that account for about four fifths of global GDP. The members of the GEM are the central bank Governors from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States and also the President of the European Central Bank and the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Governors from several other central banks attend the GEM as observers.”
So as you can see, beyond the public theater offered in Ukraine and the Middle East, and beyond all the East versus West propaganda offered in the mainstream and alternative media, China and the BRICS are dancing to the tune of the BIS puppet-masters just like everyone else. There is NO CONFLICT between “Nazi/Zionist” transatlantic bankers and BRICS bankers. In fact, Chinese and Russian banks (along with everyone else) are in the process of implementing the Basel 3 bank reforms put out by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, which is hosted by the BIS.
According to this China Daily article…
“Under China’s implementation of Basel III guidelines, systemically important banks need a minimum Tier 1 capital ratio of 9.5 percent, with total buffers of 11.5 percent, before the end of 2018.”
…and according to this Russia Today article…
“Basel III – a new set of global banking standards scheduled to come into force in Russia this year – should become another stimulus for the country’s lenders to rely on its own funds rather than State support. One of the key Basel III requirements is tighter rules for a banks’ own capital.”
The whole East versus West propaganda campaign is aimed at giving the hypnotized public a fairytale storyline for all the changes they’re going through. It also offers them scapegoats on whom they can pin all their problems. The international bankers are going to crash the current system and blame it on the Federal Reserve, then they’re going to introduce the BRICS as the heroes who save the day.
In fact, part of the purpose for the recent creation of the BRICS Bank is to give the BRICS a lifeboat while the West founders from the crash. The BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement…
“is a framework for the provision of support through liquidity and precautionary instruments in response to actual or potential short-term balance of payments pressures.
The objective of this reserve is to provide protection against global liquidity pressures. This includes currency issues where members’ national currencies are being adversely affected by global financial pressures.
The Bank would also provide assistance to other countries suffering from the economic volatility in the wake of the United States’ exit from its expansionary monetary policy.“
All this being said, when will the crash begin, and how long will it last? Given that the last crash lasted from 2007-2009 and contained a shocking “Lehman Moment,” it stands to reason that the next crash would also be a slow-motion train wreck with an even more shocking Lehman Moment. If the propaganda setup for the collapse is any indicator, the train wreck and New Lehman Moment will involve the raising of the Fed interest rate by Janet Yellen and perhaps a black swan event like a false-flag cyberattack or terrorist attack.
Looking at the interest rate component, the Fed will be meeting this Tuesday and Wednesday (September 16-17), and that could give us an indication of when things might kick off. The general consensus of the Fed watchers seems to be that interest rates will go up starting in the summer of 2015, with some estimates saying as early as March 2015. Will this start the train wreck? And since the BRICS bank isn’t scheduled to start lending until 2016, the New Lehman might not happen till then. But then again, they can always surprise us.
September 22nd, 2014 by olddog
From: “Andrew C. Wallace”
Subject: Fw: A German’s View on Islam
This is MY view: We need to ask WHY Congress, state Governors and legislatures PANDER to Muslims, all of whom practice Islam. Islam itself is a fanatic political ideology; it is not a religion. There is no such thing as a “peaceful” Muslim IF they practice Islam; they are merely awaiting jihad orders. If Muslims are so offended by our religion(s) and culture, WHY ARE THEY HERE? Muslims comprise a tiny percentage of our population, but we are approaching the “point of no return” for sustaining our culture. Islam announced early on that they intend to RULE THE WORLD. Europe and Africa are already “goners.” They are everywhere, and they breed like rabbits. We know that the Usurper is a Muslim promoting a World Islamic Caliphate; his lies about being a Christian (he is a pathologic liar) should anger everyone. Why are many Christian pastors now preaching Chrislam, and why would any Christian in his right mind attend such a church? Why are many of our cities now sporting more mosques than churches? Why have mindless, brainwashed, politically-correct, dumbed-down Americans turned against God? Why are our food establishments now promoting dirty, often DOA halal meats? Why are menus in food establishments and in our schools now eliminating pork? Is everybody crazy?
A German’s View on Islam – worth reading. This is one of the best explanations of the Muslim terrorist situation I have ever read. His references to past history are accurate and clear. Not long, easy to understand, and well worth the read. The author of this email is Dr. Emanuel Tanya, a well-known and well-respected psychiatrist. A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism.
‘Very few people were true Nazis,’ he said, ‘but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come.’
‘My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.’
‘We are told again and again by ‘experts’ and ‘talking heads’ that Islam is a religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.’
‘The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor-kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.’
‘The hard, quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the ‘silent majority,’ is cowed and extraneous. Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant. China ‘s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.’ ‘The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet. And who can forget Rwanda , which collapsed into butchery? Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were ‘peace loving’?
‘History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points: peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because like my friend from Germany , they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun.’
‘Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.’
‘Now Islamic prayers have been introduced in Toronto and other public schools in Ontario , and, yes, in Ottawa , too, while the Lord’s Prayer was removed (due to being so offensive?). The Islamic way may be peaceful for the time being in our country until the fanatics move in.’
‘In Australia , and indeed in many countries around the world, many of the most commonly consumed food items have the halal emblem on them. Just look at the back of some of the most popular chocolate bars, and at other food items in your local supermarket. Food on aircraft have the halal emblem just to appease the privileged minority who are now rapidly expanding within the nation’s shores.’
‘In the U.K, the Muslim communities refuse to integrate and there are now dozens of “no-go” zones within major cities across the country that the police force dare not intrude upon. Sharia law prevails there, because the Muslim community in those areas refuse to acknowledge British law.’
‘As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to the only group that counts – the fanatics who threaten our way of life.’
Lastly, anyone who doubts that the issue is serious and just deletes this email without sending it on, is contributing to the passiveness that allows the problems to expand.
Extend yourself a bit and send this on. Let us hope that thousands world-wide read this, think about it, and send it on before it’s too late, and we are silenced because we were silent!!!
September 20th, 2014 by olddog
By Shirley Edwards
September 20, 2014
[These are my views as a woman living in England, on how the culture and spirit of my country has changed over 50 years. Why the country does not feel protected or strong any more, how it has lost, and is losing it values and decency, and how we are daily losing our free speech.]
The scales of justice haven’t been balanced for a very long time on the British Isles. Lady Justice only wears a blindfold these days. The sword of truth has grown rusty. A sense of true justice and righteousness is being destroyed in multi-cultural Britain, as it seems we are all daily exposed to a plethora of news stories which shock people to their core. Sometimes the plain injustice and pride often displayed by those in authority, who are meant to serve and protect us, and somehow cleverly scapegoat their responsibility, shows a very common thread.
Reports of how the innocent are relentlessly hounded, and the guilty are lightly excused, is creating a culture of fear, frustration, and division. How do we expose the plot without losing our minds?
Two news stories which have swept waves of darkness and alarm across the country this week show similarities to us all, despite their differences.
The sexual abuse and exploitation of up to 1400 children in the south Yorkshire town of Rotherham has now travelled the world.
We are truly a disgraced and dirty island.
The gruesome and disturbing details of how young, and mainly white children, some as young as 11, were groomed over a period spanning more than a decade, is not for the faint hearted. Reports of children being gang raped, beaten, threatened, and farmed out to men in other British cities for sexual pleasure, are now seeing the light of day.
The perpetrators, all reported as being men who were largely of Pakistani heritage, mirror recent identical stories of undercover paedophile and sex trafficking rings throughout other major cities.
It is reported that allegations were largely ignored by the police during that time and in so many cases, police action was taken out against the victims rather than the perpetrators.
It is reported:
- A 13-year-old girl was found drunk at 3am in a derelict house with a ‘large group of adult males’ who had plied her with vodka. She was arrested for a public order offence while the men walked away.
• A vulnerable white girl, known to have been abused from the age of 12, was offered Urdu and Punjabi lessons by Rotherham Council to ‘educate her’ [Link]
In the independent enquiry report which was carried out by Alexis Jay, and commissioned by the council’s chief executive Martin Kimber, there is reference to “staff describing their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist; others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so”.
You can read the full report here.
The case is widely being described as a ‘politically correct’ cover up, where silence for fear of creating cultural division and un-rest set the precedent. All at the expense of 1400 children.
Whilst the ‘lessons learned’ rhetoric will implement more safeguarding procedures, until it all happens again, you cannot help but think of those children who during their ordeals had to then go to public schools and be further subjected to a compulsory diet of even more sex education.
Although it is being highlighted that sex abuse is not inclusively carried out by one definitive culture, and that Britain is currently undergoing its fair share of paedophile/sex trafficking scandals, as in the case of celebrity Jimmy Saville, and the most recent allegations of a Whitehall paedophile ring, from within the British establishment; it still does signify that there is a certain historical time line to these events that are all carried out over many years, and where certain protections must have been afforded to those who committed such heinous crimes.
In most cases, it has been the bravery of an investigative journalist or researcher, who has delved deeper into those pits of hell, crossing the boundaries of compromise, to truly expose what racism is. [Link]
Father and Son
In the same week, it has been father Brett King from Southampton, who has stepped forward via social media and you tube, to make an impassioned plea, which has touched and moved the hearts of the British public.
After it was revealed that Hampshire Constabulary had obtained a European Arrest Warrant on the grounds of neglect, Mr King assured all those listening that his family only had the very best interests of their son in mind when they removed him from Southampton General Hospital. They were in a race to obtain a second opinion overseas for the proton beam therapy they wanted for their child.
Ashya King, who is aged 5, is seriously ill with a brain tumour.
It is reported that there had been disagreements between the family and the hospital in relation to the treatment, with the hospital insisting proton beam therapy would not help. From a news report, dated 12th September, it is claimed Mr King said that if he questioned anything as a father, he was told authorities would take away his son, not just for treatment, but until he was 16. Southampton Hospital denies this.
Because of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) both parents were subsequently arrested, within days,handcuffed, and kept in a high security prison away from their seriously ill son in a foreign country. It was only because of social media that their plight became well known and obvious allegations of cruelty towards both parents and child rushed through their release.
Truth and common sense have now prevailed in the case of Mr King and his family. Ashya is now receiving the care and treatment his family want for him in Prague, and they are re-united.
Mr King appears to be a true father, who acted intuitively and quickly in what he thought was in his son’s best interests.
Both stories convey an abuse of powers which the British public are now growingly becoming accustomed to in many areas. In their frustration, the demise of the ordinary person’s power, in relation to the ‘higher ups’ is rapidly diminishing. Trust in justice is dying as the divide grows bigger. Good people now stay in the shadows, many are in denial. Some people will now only whisper behind closed doors on what they see wrong in our country.
From fear of appearing racist, to the over-whelming suppression of facts, political correctness and a designed common arrogance by some of those who are in positions of power, to lie, is being used in a clever ruse by evil, to give permission to itself to reign superior.
There is a psychological abuse being carried out, as well as the sexual abuse of our children. The very sly face of evil knows how to destroy. Dealing with injustice, without knowing there is ultimately a supreme justice, a goodness, which always triumphs, will destroy so many people.
With the fall away from common sense, and the increase in fear, this is the shame which is happening in the UK today.
1- Rotherham child abuse: Calls for police commissioner to quit
2- The alleged paedophile ring at the heart of the British Establishment
3- Police turned a blind eye to sex grooming gangs for more than a decade, confidential files reveal
© 2014 Shirley Edwards – All Rights Reserve
Shirley Edwards was born and lives in Great Britain. She has always worked in administration, but have also taught and studied complimentary health. In administrative roles, she has worked within The Church of England. She also worked for some years as a volunteer within the hospice movement.
Shirley has an interest in all health issues, loves the British countryside, and enjoys writing. She is thankful for talk radio and loves listening.
Shirley has always been concerned about the loss of freedoms in her country, also the demise of America, a country she loves for the original reasons on which it was founded. She believe in the Pursuit of Genuine Happiness.
I CONFESS MY TOTAL LACK OF RESPECT FOR ANY HUMAN BEING THAT REMAINS AN OPTOMIST. A HEALTHY RESPECT FOR CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURE SHOULD DETURE ANYONE FROM OVER CONFIDENCE IN HUMAN NATURE. It seems very few have a sense of right and wrong, good and evil, and personal responsibility. The above author above is among the few who know the difference.
September 19th, 2014 by olddog
Anthony Freda Art
Nick Giambruno, Senior Editor InternationalMan.com
Do you really own something that you are forced to perpetually make payments on and which can be seized from you if you don’t pay?
I would say that you don’t.
You would possess such an item, but you wouldn’t ownit—an important distinction.
A ridiculous perversion of the concept of ownership and property rights has infected most of the world like a virus: something that most people unquestioningly accept as a normal part of life—like it’s a part of the eternal fabric of the cosmos.
I am talking about property taxes, of course.
You know, the annual tax you pay that is based not on whether any income was generated, but rather on the underlying value of real estate you supposedly “own.” There is no way to pay off this obligation in one fell swoop; it stays with you for as long as you “own” the property.
In actuality, you don’t own anything which you must pay property taxes on—you are merely renting it from the government.
Suppose you bought a sofa set and coffee table for your living room for $5,000 cash, and then had the obligation to pay $100—or a percentage of the furniture’s value—in tax each year for as long as you “owned” it. Then suppose that for whatever reason you’re unable or unwilling to pay your furniture’s property tax. It won’t take long for the government to swoop in and confiscate it to pay off your delinquent taxes. You get to “own” it as long as you pay the never-ending annual fee—stop paying and you’ll find out who really owns it.
While many people would correctly find a furniture property tax absurd, they also illogically find it acceptable for the government to levy an insatiable tax on different assets—namely their homes, offices, and raw land.
But to me at least, the type of asset being taxed is not what makes it absurd, it’s the concept of property taxes that is absurd.
Respect for property rights and property taxes are mutually exclusive concepts. What’s yours is yours, and you shouldn’t need to pay the government for permission to keep it.
It’s not uncommon for people in North America and Europe to pay tens of thousands of dollars per year in property taxes … just to live in their own homes. And this burden will almost certainly continue to rise. Property taxes are constantly being raised in most places, especially in places with poor fiscal health.
It’s very possible that over a lifetime, the total amount of property taxes extracted will exceed what was paid for the underlying property in the first place.
And, just like the furniture example above, if you don’t pay your property tax (AKA government rent) on the home you thought you owned, it will be confiscated. This is not as uncommon as some would believe. It was estimated that 10,000 people in Pennsylvania alone lose their homes annually because they aren’t able to keep up with the property taxes.
Using the word “own” and “ownership” in these contexts is the sloppy use of the word—which always leads to sloppy thinking.
Speaking of sloppy thinking, expect Boobus Americanus to say things like “how would we pay for local services like public schools if it weren’t for property taxes?” Of course, these services could be funded in many different ways—or better, they could be provided for in the free market. But don’t expect that to happen. In fact, given the social, political, and economic dynamics in the US and most of the rest of the West, expect the opposite—property taxes have nowhere to go but north.
It doesn’t have to be this way. You can own real estate in certain countries and can skip the annual property-tax harvest.
I have previously written that I view real estate in foreign countries—along with physical gold held abroad—as superior vehicles for long-term savings.
However, foreign real estate has its drawbacks. It’s illiquid and has carrying costs like maintenance expenses and, of course, property taxes. To diminish these costs that eat away at your real estate investment, it is essential to minimize or eliminate them.
Here’s a list of countries that do not levy any property taxes:
That’s it. If you want to escape the rapacious and ridiculous property tax, these are your options. Ireland would have been on this list, but it recently adopted a property tax. This does not bode well for other EU countries that conceivably could face fiscal troubles and turn to property taxes as a solution—like Malta and Croatia.
Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Nicaragua have property taxes, but the obligations are generally negligible.
The risk, of course, is that since a property tax is already in place in these countries it can easily be increased whenever the government decides it needs more revenue.
Case in point: the bankrupt government of Greece.
Consider the excerpt below from an article in The Guardian.
The joke now doing the rounds is: if you want to punish your child, you threaten to pass on property to them … Greeks traditionally have always regarded property as a secure investment. But now it has become a huge millstone, given that the tax burden has increased sevenfold in the past two years alone.
The country on the list above that most interests me is the Cayman Islands, but to each his own. This is because most Caymanians are vehemently opposed to all forms of direct taxation and have never had it in their history. That attitude and history is a good guarantor that it will be very unlikely for a property tax to be imposed sometime in the future.
In any case, buying foreign real estate is a very individualized and often complex decision—but one that provides huge diversification benefits. Property taxes are but one consideration.
You should look at foreign real estate less as a vehicle for a quick return and more as a diversified long-term store of wealth. Wherever you decide to buy, it should also be in a place that you would actually want to spend some significant time in. That way, the property has value to you, regardless of whether it proves to be a good investment.
One expert on foreign real estate whom I’d highly recommend is none other than Doug Casey, the original International Man and my mentor. Doug’s been to over 175 countries and invested in real estate in a number them. He wrote a thick and detailed chapter on foreign real estate, including his favorite markets, for our Going Global publication, which is a must-read for those interested in this extremely important topic.
September 18th, 2014 by olddog
By Anita Hoge
September 18, 2014
While everyone is out there debating Common Core, there is a system of standardization being put in place. And, if you are unaware of this system, what you don’t know about Common Core, Choice, and Charter Schools CAN hurt you.
This story tells a different Common Core tale with a much different ending than those who support choice might want. What most people are NOT thinking about is why education is one of the most important functions of our Republic. The answer to this question is important for all of us. Not only are we educating our future citizens, but through the local elections of our school board members they have the ultimate authority over our taxing system through property taxes. How do these “education reforms” impact our representative government?
When you consider that there is a movement to destroy our representative government, “common core, choice and charter school initiatives” become the perfect impetus to change our American system by (1) moving away from teaching content to a “conditioning” process, and (2) changing how elected local school board members will no longer be minding our local treasury, property taxes. This overview tells a different story about where we are in this process than what you will find in most other debates about Common Core and Choice. Lets focus on the facts and think about how Charter Schools will impact the future of America.
Think about this. If we no longer have public schools with locally elected school board members, what will happen to your taxes? What happens to your vote and your voice in government? If our public school system is changed to a privatized “choice” system that uses our hard earned taxes with no elected boards, who controls what is taught? The parents? The citizen voters? Charter Schools are the ultimate goal for the takeover of public education. Charter schools are privately owned, usually for profit, with no elected local school board members, and they use public tax money. Plus, parents have no say in how they are run or what is taught.
Think about this. There were three major actions under the Obama administration, without legislative approval, to change two hundred years of traditional public education in the United States. (1) The Common Core copyright, which created a national curriculum and national testing mandating that individual students meet individual standards (similar to the Obamacare individual mandate). (2) Unlocking data ‘to flow’ through the Family Education Rights in Privacy Act, FERPA, which allows personally identifiable information on our children to flow to outside 3rd party contractors for research and curriculum development to match Common Core. And, (3) No Child Left Behind Flexibility Waiver, (ESEA, Elementary and Secondary Education Act), that is re-training teachers to teach to Common Core. This also allowed ALL children in public school to be funded under Title I by changing the definition of who is poor or educationally deprived to anyone not meeting Common Core. (Free and reduced lunch guidelines of 40% school-wide were dropped to 0%.) These three important points control standards and testing, curriculum, and teachers with all public school children being funded under Title I.
So the question that must be asked is what else must be changed to move toward this direction – this plan to destroy public education and collapse our old system of representative government? A key element is federal “choice” which is vehemently supported by Republicans. The stage has already been set with charter schools. Caps have been removed on establishing charter schools in many states because of promises made to Obama when accepting Race to the Top grants. Secretary of Education Duncan dealt out illegal No Child Left Behind Flexibility Waivers (ESEA) that changed Title I funding to blanket an entire public school. Every child becomes Title I where money ‘follows the child’ and this targets EVERY child in public school to change toward Common Core without a law being passed. .
Now consider this! How can Republicans and Democrats, with the help of President Obama and Secretary Duncan, be sure that ALL children in the United States—ALL CHILDREN, even in every private and religious school—come under the federal thumb of Common Core? They are going to GIVE those Title I funds to EVERY child in private and religious schools with FEDERAL CHOICE. With federal choice ALL schools become government schools and all schools must teach Common Core. This is what federal choice is all about—getting control of all Catholic, Christian, and private schools.
Add to this federal over-reach, the system for compliance, Total Quality Management [TQM], a business model for accountability, is the system for control. Data collection is the key to TQM by monitoring and assessing individuals continuously. By linking and cross-referencing all data in the following components, this will allow each area to be an easy target for government intervention for equity in education. This is a system where individuals are monitored for government compliance and where charter schools become the model for a government takeover. Nationalizing education in the United States and removing locally elected officials ARE the primary targets of the Obama administration.
This model is sometimes very difficult for Americans to understand because there are so many moving parts and name changes, especially under Democratic and Republican administrations who both want the same thing. The following explanation of our present condition in education, and how it relates to diminishing our representative government, tells what is needed to collapse our system of local government. This will give you an idea of how close we are to losing America as we know it.
The following list is what is needed to accomplish the goals of ‘Obama’s Equity in Education Plan’ for our entire country:
• charter schools replace public schools:
• everyone has federal Title I choice funds to go to any school (charter, private or religious schools):
• every child is taught the same standards:
• every teacher must teach the same standards:
• every test must be aligned to these standards:
• curriculum and software is aligned to standards:
• everything listed here is aligned to government data collection compliance.
Here are the details of this plan and its implementation:
The Goal: Align huge amounts of federal money toward standards, testing, teacher evaluations, data collection, and interventions to control what students know and what they can do.
The Answer: Race to the Top ($4.35 billion), No Child Left Behind (ESEA Flexibility Waivers and Title I), the proposed ESEA Re-Authorization (No Child Left Behind, Elementary and Secondary Education Act), America Competes Act, and all children will be screened using Special Education funding, IDEA, Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act.
The Goal: Make sure all students are taught the same by flattening the bell curve (every student meets the same standards) and destroying competition (no ABCDF’s). Change the educational system away from academic content to control over what is taught through an individual career pathway. Expand standards to the affective domain (conditioning) which means teaching and testing to remediate a child’s values, attitudes and beliefs to a government desired outcome.
The Answer: Common Core creates a national curriculum and a national test nationalizing education in the US standardizing and controlling the standards in each state through a copyright which removed local control of the curriculum. The College Career Citizenship Standards adds “readiness” to the standards expanding to dispositions, attitudes, values, social and emotional learning or grit for easy conditioning (brainwashing, mental health cleansing, and social engineering). Since control has been removed from the local level, now the federal government controls what the standards are and what will be taught in every school.
The Goal: Make sure all curriculum and software is validated and matched to exact same Common Core standards.
The Answer: Allow personally identifiable information to be released on students without parental knowledge or consent for research to validate curriculum matched to standards. Obama issues an Executive Order that “unlocks” FERPA, Family Educational Rights in Privacy Act, that allows third-party vendors access to a child’s personal data, including DNA sequences. Massive research is being done in the non-cognitive and affective domain. Mental health and mastery learning (functional literacy) for workforce training replaces content based on academics. Personality change and behavioral soft skills are deceptively named grit, deeper learning, school climate, safe environments, code of conduct, social and emotional learning, emotional intelligence, and interpersonal skills. Research and data trafficking of personally identifiable information on your child is rampant.
The Goal: Use illegal tactics to change federal law by using ESEA Flexibility Waivers to change the criteria so that ALL STUDENTS in public schools are identified under Title I.
The Answer: President Obama and Secretary of Education Duncan removed poverty guideline levels, thus making ALL children Title I, so ALL children in the public schools can be funded to meet the same Common Core government standards bypassing Congressional authority.
The Goal: Make sure EVERY student is achieving Common Core standards.
The Answer: Make sure the national test measures Common Core (functional literacy and behavioral outcomes) for accountability. Test, then remediate. Every child will have a ‘career pathway’ similar to an IEP in Special Ed. (Every child has a disability if they are not meeting Common Core standards.) Create interventions forcing compliance to Common Core (including mental health standards) for each student through IDEA, Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act. ALL children must be screened and remediated to meet government Common Core standards with interventions in the regular classroom, paid for through Special Ed funding—called Response to Interventions or Multi-tiered System of Support. Both academics and personality change are the targets for each child under a career pathway. Brainwashing commences to government controlled behavioral standards.
The Goal: Make sure all teachers are teaching the same standards and make sure all testing measures teacher performance for accountability.
The Answer: Teach to the test by creating teacher value added models (VAM). All teachers must be forced to teach Common Core. This is done by evaluating teachers on how their students score on tests, thus forcing them into compliance. ALL teachers must comply to teach government Common Core Standards and teach to the test. Training for teachers is a MUST, because if teachers are not teaching Common Core exactly per the government criteria, children will not meet the standards. Teachers are penalized for variables out of their control. (Extensive teacher training in the ESEA Flexibility Waiver: training includes: Charlotte Danielson Teacher Evaluations, Robert Marzano, Pelligrino’s 21st Century Skills, and Webb’s Deeper Learning.)
The Goal: Make ALL students in the United States funded as Title I via ‘follow the child’ vouchers in Obama’s Equity in Education Plan:
The Answer: Federal “choice” is not yet achieved, but, this is how it will be done. The Obama Equity Agenda is in the Re-Authorization of No Child Left Behind, ESEA, (out of committee and ready to be legislated into law) for funding that will “follow the child” under Title I, where ALL individual children must be identified and funded for meeting government Common Core Standards. The waivers have already changed Title I in public schools. So, the Republicans have attached amendments onto ESEA allowing a “CHOICE” voucher that equalizes the funding for EVERY child. This voucher will have a student’s name on it and is in every backpack of EVERY child. These amendments to ESEA call for federal “choice” vouchers to go to any child to go to any school they choose, including private and religious schools. Think about the impact.
There will be an exodus out of the public school system into charter and private schools. This wipes out zip codes being destinations for a “better” education—no more wealthy school districts. Public schools will collapse. This wipes out locally elected school boards. Any private or religious school accepting a “choice” child must teach Common Core. Obama calls this “fiscal smoothing” when every child is funded the same way. All schools—private, charter and religious schools—become government schools that must teach Common Core. Also keep in mind the states filing lawsuits against the legislatures for the unconstitutionality of funding schools, where judges are ruling inequities in rich and poor school districts.
The Goal: Make sure elected school boards are destroyed.
The Answer: Create no caps on charter schools on the state level to replace public schools. Removal of locally elected school boards is a must for the private/public privatization scheme to work. Charter school investors, like Reed Hastings of Netflix, want to get rid of locally elected school boards (He has openly stated this, watch him HERE). Obama wants bold federal action to distribute funds based on student need, not zip code, and establish a process for replacing chronically ineffective locally elected school boards. This is the set-up to destroy our representative form of government at the local level.
The Goal: Make it very profitable for private enterprises and business to invest in Charter Schools.
The Answer: The U.S. Secretary of Education can award grants for the “Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities” program which subsidizes and awards private entities with federal funding. Charter schools are privately run but receive public money and, as already noted, an increasing proportion of them are being run on a for-profit basis. Charter schools can access private sector and other non-Federal capital in order to acquire, construct, and renovate facilities at a reasonable cost. The tax code makes charter schools very lucrative.
Statistics have proven that where charter schools have proliferated, it is more likely that the public schools will experience financial stress. This is especially difficult for local school boards with the transfer of public assets and institutions into the hands of private corporations. The “New Markets Tax Credit” program that became law toward the end of the Clinton presidency, allows firms to invest in charters and other projects located in “underserved” areas. They can collect a generous tax credit up to 39% to offset their costs. No wonder private investors are flocking to charter schools! There is a huge risk factor for any local school district in a state that passed laws promoting “choice” along with an easy approval process for new charters, especially with no caps on expansion. Race to the Top grants accentuated this process with states promising to drop their caps on charter schools when they took the money. This is the plan for confiscating our tax money. Your hard-earned money will come out of your pocket and go into the pockets of corporations.
The Goal: Eliminate public schools that aren’t meeting Common Core.
The Answer: Government takeover of schools not meeting Common Core government standards is called academic bankruptcy, priority or focus schools, and turn-around schools under ESEA Flexibility Waivers. These failing schools are a target for takeover if they do not improve their scores on Common Core national tests which ultimately points the finger at teachers. These schools will be turned into charter schools. Parent Trigger Laws also create a charter school. This continues the elimination of locally elected school board members and continues expanding charter schools that have no elected boards accountable to parents, citizens and taxpayers.
The Goal: Collapse the taxing structure in your neighborhood.
The Answer: When public schools collapse because of charter school expansion and federal “choice,” this will eliminate taxes based on property. This will seem to equalize rich and poor school districts by funding all children the same. Obama doesn’t think it is “fair” that there are rich school districts and poor school districts. Regionalizing where your tax money goes, and pulling the taxing authority away from the local level toward regional industry clusters, is the plan. Obama’s Equity in Education Plan or “fiscal smoothing” and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act align the skill needs of industries in each state economy or regional economy and places decision-making authority in the hands of unelected workforce development boards.
The Goal: Create a longitudinal database to monitor EVERY individual in the system funded from the America Competes Act.
The Answer: The state longitudinal data system, SLDS, with cross-referencing capabilities to monitor students, teachers, testing, curriculum, principals, superintendents, schools, school districts, and states, with an overall fiscal responsibility, will pinpoint each aspect and every person in the system above for accountability and compliance. Updating technology in every school a must. This is the onerous enforcement mechanism.
The Goal: Eliminate states’ rights control of funding.
The Answer: Federal “choice” will eliminate state-level authority because of flow-through Title I funds when funding directly ‘follows the child’ from the federal level, thus eliminating states’ rights. Vouchers are now directed to the individual child. Thus the removal of states rights’ when federal Title I funds pass-through directly to the child.
No voice. No vote. Government controls everything in education.
An equitable government controlled system, with only privatized contract schools, that teaches only a government controlled curriculum, and forces everyone to comply to government controlled standards through accountability. I think this is called communism.
If American parents really thought about this, there would be another American Revolution. Shouldn’t we all be thinking about this? The implications of this true story are real. From my vantage point, I would say we are mostly toward the end of the true American story. This isn’t just about the children. It affects us all.
© 2014 Anita Hoge – All Rights Reserved
September 17th, 2014 by olddog
Apparently the people responsible for arming our local police forces like small militaries have no idea what’s going on under their noses, and invent magical fairytales about how the vehicles and surveillance equipment their grant funds buy for police are actually used.
Yesterday the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held hearings about police militarization, a largely federally-funded problem. The fact that much of the equipment—weapons, trucks, and surveillance toys—landing in the hands of our local police comes from grants or gifts bestowed by the feds wasn’t lost on the senators in attendance. In the wake of Ferguson, most of the country knows about this problem.
But there were a couple of shocking revelations at the hearing, among them that officials within theDepartment of Homeland Security, one of the agencies responsible for the paramilitarization of our police forces in the post-9/11 era, have a very tenuous grasp on basic facts central to their jobs.
Brian E. Kamoie, a senior official at DHS responsible for overseeing grant programs to state and local police, bragged to senators that absent help from his agency, police in Massachusetts might not have foundBoston marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The New York Times reports:
Mr. Kamoie, from Homeland Security, noted that his agency’s grants did not pay for weapons. He said infrared, helicopter-mounted surveillance gear bought with federal grants was instrumental in locating Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a suspect in the Boston bombing.
There’s just one problem: that’s totally false! As most people in the country—and possibly even the world—know, the young Tsarnaev was finally found after police called off martial law, and a citizen went outside to smoke a cigarette. Thankfully, Senator Coburn didn’t hesitate to state this obvious fact for the record. Again, the Times:
Mr. Coburn corrected him. Mr. Tsarnaev was discovered not by the police but by a Watertown, Mass., resident named Dave Henneberry who — once the police allowed people to leave their homes — walked outside and noticed a pool of blood in his boat parked in his backyard. Mr. Coburn presented an article from The Boston Globe recounting the events.
What did Mr. Kamoie, the DHS official responsible for providing surveillance equipment and bear cat armored trucks to state and local police, have to say for himself after this horrifically embarrassing blunder?
Mr. Kamoie seemed surprised. He said his colleagues had credited the helicopter camera.“I look forward to reading that article,” he said.
“His colleagues had credited the helicopter camera.” Isn’t that nice. A convenient mythology within DHS says that surveillance equipment purchased with their grant money was instrumental in finding an accused terrorist, when nothing could be further from the truth.
But that’s not all. DHS’ Kamoie also told his senate overseers that “Grant funds provided to Massachusetts and to Boston saved lives and restored and ensured public safety in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing.” The first part of that sentence is likely true; emergency management training funds DHS provided to the Metro Boston region enabled hospitals and first responders to prepare for a mass casualty event, and doing so likely saved lives. But the second part of that sentence is really hard to swallow.
Police “ensured public safety in the aftermath of the bombing”? By wildly firing hundreds of rounds into a boat in a civilian neighborhood? By shooting bullets into homes during a fire-fight on a quiet residential street, injuring multiple police officers in the process, and killing one? By flooding east Watertown with militarized cops, so that the scent that could have led them to Tsarnaev, who was hiding under their noses for nearly 24 hours, would be completely trampled? By riding around in military trucks and so-called ‘bear cats’, and hauling totally innocent people out of their homes for questioning?
The police did not find Tsarnaev, full stop. None of their militarized force or surveillance prowess helped one iota. Once he was located, by a regular citizen, police officers nearly killed the remaining known witness to one of the state’s most serious crimes in history, by riddling the boat he was hiding in with hundreds of bullets. If anything, the declaration of what amounted to martial law and the extreme show of force in Watertown illustrated that might isn’t right in the domestic policing context. Sometimes less is more.
But perhaps we shouldn’t expect DHS officials to understand that, given their propensity to invent out of whole cloth heroic stories justifying their massive expansion of the surveillance state.
If anything, Boston should serve as a lesson that gumshoe detective work and community policing—not mass surveillance and overwhelming firepower—are what we need to keep our communities safe. It’s not terribly surprising that DHS officials responsible for the trickle down of the national security state to the local level refuse to accept that. But it’s shocking that they are so disconnected from reality that they invent entire mythologies about extremely significant national events to justify our descent into what increasingly resembles an authoritarian police state.
Those of you who are watching this scenario on police militarization must know by now we don’t have control of our public servants, and they are showing the worst side of humanity which is a low or non existent sense of morality. There is too much of our money circulating among these servants who could care less about morality.
September 16th, 2014 by olddog
By John W. Whitehead
September 15, 2014
“I tell you, freedom and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will lead the American people in — and the West in general — into an unbearable hell and a choking life.”—Osama bin Laden (October 2001), as reported by CNN
What a strange and harrowing road we’ve walked since September 11, 2001, littered with the debris of our once-vaunted liberties. We have gone from a nation that took great pride in being a model of a representative democracy to being a model of how to persuade a freedom-loving people to march in lockstep with a police state.
What began with the passage of the USA Patriot Act in October 2001 has snowballed into the eradication of every vital safeguard against government overreach, corruption and abuse. Since then, we have been terrorized, traumatized, and tricked into a semi-permanent state of compliance. The bogeyman’s names and faces change over time—Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and now ISIS—but the end result remains the same: our unquestioning acquiescence to anything the government wants to do in exchange for the phantom promise of safety and security.
Ironically, just a short week after the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we find ourselves commemorating the 227th anniversary of the ratification of our Constitution. Yet while there is much to mourn about the loss of our freedoms in the years since 9/11, there has been little to celebrate.
The Constitution has been steadily chipped away at, undermined, eroded, whittled down, and generally discarded to such an extent that what we are left with today is but a shadow of the robust document adopted more than two centuries ago. Most of the damage has been inflicted upon the Bill of Rights—the first ten amendments to the Constitution—which historically served as the bulwark from government abuse.
Set against a backdrop of government surveillance, militarized police, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture, eminent domain, over criminalization, armed surveillance drones, whole body scanners, stop and frisk searches, roving VIPR raids and the like—all sanctioned by Congress, the White House and the courts—a recitation of the Bill of Rights would understandably sound more like a eulogy to freedoms lost than an affirmation of rights we truly possess.
As I make clear in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, the Constitution has been on life support for some time now. We can pretend that the Constitution, which was written to hold the government accountable, is still our governing document. However, the reality we must come to terms with is that in the America we live in today, the government does whatever it wants, freedom be damned.
Consider the state of our freedoms, and judge for yourself whether this Constitution Day should be a day of mourning, celebration or a robust call to action:
The First Amendment is supposed to protect the freedom to speak your mind and protest in peace without being bridled by the government. It also protects the freedom of the media, as well as the right to worship and pray without interference. In other words, Americans should not be silenced by the government. Yet despite the clear protections found in the First Amendment, the freedoms described therein are under constant assault. Increasingly, Americans are being arrested and charged with bogus charges such as “disrupting the peace” or “resisting arrest” for daring to film police officers engaged in harassment or abusive practices. Journalists are being prosecuted for reporting on whistleblowers. States are passing legislation to muzzle reporting on cruel and abusive corporate practices. Religious ministries are being fined for attempting to feed and house the homeless. And protesters are being tear-gassed, beaten, arrested and forced into “free speech zones.” But to the founders, all of America was a free speech zone.
The Second Amendment was intended to guarantee “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.” Yet while gun ownership has been recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court as an individual citizen right, Americans remain powerless to defend themselves against government agents armed to the teeth with military weapons. Police shootings of unarmed citizens continue to outrage communities, while little is being done to demilitarize law enforcement agencies better suited to the battlefield.
The Third Amendment reinforces the principle that civilian-elected officials are superior to the military by prohibiting the military from entering any citizen’s home without “the consent of the owner.” With the police increasingly posing as military forces—complete with military weapons, assault vehicles, etc.—it is clear that we now have what the founders feared most—a violent standing army on American soil. Moreover, as a result of SWAT team raids where police invade homes, often without warrants, and injure and even kill unarmed citizens, the barrier between public and private property has done away with this critical safeguard.
The Fourth Amendment prohibits the government from conducting surveillance on you or touching you or invading you, unless they have some evidence that you’re up to something criminal. In other words, the Fourth Amendment ensures privacy and bodily integrity. Unfortunately, the Fourth Amendment has suffered the greatest damage in recent years and been all but eviscerated by an unwarranted expansion of police powers that include strip searches and even anal and vaginal searches of citizens, surveillance and intrusions justified in the name of fighting terrorism, as well as the outsourcing of otherwise illegal activities to private contractors.
The use of civil asset forfeiture schemes to swell the coffers of police forces has continued to grow in popularity among cash-strapped states. The federal government continues to strong-arm corporations into providing it with access to Americans’ private affairs, from emails and online transactions to banking and web surfing. Coming in the wake of massive leaks about the inner workings of the NSA and the massive secretive surveillance state, it was recently revealed that the government threatened to fine Yahoo $250,000 every day for failing to comply with the NSA’s mass data collection program known as PRISM.
The technological future appears to pose even greater threats to what’s left of our Fourth Amendment rights, with advances in biometric identification and microchip implants on the horizon making it that much easier for the government to track not only our movements and cyber activities but our very cellular beings. Barclays has already begun using a finger-scanner as a form of two-step authentication to give select customers access to their accounts. Similarly, Motorola has been developing thin “digital tattoos” that will ensure that a phone’s owner is the only person who may unlock it. All of this information, of course, will be available to the spying surveillance agencies.
The Fifth Amendment and the Sixth Amendment work in tandem. These amendments supposedly ensure that you are innocent until proven guilty, and government authorities cannot deprive you of your life, your liberty or your property without the right to an attorney and a fair trial before a civilian judge. However, in the new suspect society in which we live, where surveillance is the norm, these fundamental principles have been upended. And now the National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law by President Obama, allows the military to arrive at your door if the president thinks you’re a terrorist (a.k.a. extremist), place you in military detention, jail you indefinitely and restrict access to your family and your lawyer.
The Seventh Amendment guarantees citizens the right to a jury trial. However, when the populace has no idea of what’s in the Constitution—civic education has virtually disappeared from most school curriculums—that inevitably translates to an ignorant jury incapable of distinguishing justice and the law from their own preconceived notions and fears.
The Eighth Amendment is similar to the Sixth in that it is supposed to protect the rights of the accused and forbid the use of cruel and unusual punishment. However, the Supreme Court’s determination that what constitutes “cruel and unusual” should be dependent on the “evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society” leaves us with little protection in the face of a society lacking in morals altogether. For example, if you are thrown into a military detention camp, then what constitutes cruel and unusual punishment is up to your jailers.
The Ninth Amendment provides that other rights not enumerated in the Constitution are nonetheless retained by the people. Popular sovereignty—the belief that the power to govern flows upward from the people rather than downward from the rulers—is clearly evident in this amendment. However, it has since been turned on its head by a centralized federal government that sees itself as supreme and which continues to pass more and more laws that restrict our freedoms under the pretext that it has an “important government interest” in doing so. Thus, once the government began violating the non-enumerated rights granted in the Ninth Amendment, it was only a matter of time before it began to trample the enumerated rights of the people, as explicitly spelled out in the rest of the Bill of Rights.
As for the Tenth Amendment’s reminder that the people and the states retain every authority that is not otherwise mentioned in the Constitution, that assurance of a system of government in which power is divided among local, state and national entities has long since been rendered moot by the centralized Washington, DC power elite—the president, Congress and the courts. Indeed, the federal governmental bureaucracy has grown so large that it has made local and state legislatures relatively irrelevant. Through its many agencies and regulations, the federal government has stripped states of the right to regulate countless issues that were originally governed at the local level. This distinction is further blurred by programs such as the Pentagon’s 1033 program, which distributes excess military hardware to local police stations, effectively turning them into extensions of the military.
If there is any sense to be made from this recitation of freedoms lost, it is simply this: our individual freedoms have been eviscerated so that the government’s powers could be expanded. In this regard, ironically, Osama Bin Laden was right when he warned that freedom and human rights in America are doomed, and that the U.S. government would be responsible for leading us into an “unbearable hell and a choking life.”
The choices before us are simple: We can live in the past, dwelling on what freedoms we used to enjoy and shrugging helplessly at the destruction of our liberties. We can immerse ourselves in the present, allowing ourselves to be utterly distracted by the glut of entertainment news and ever-changing headlines so that we fail to pay attention to or do anything about the government’s ongoing power-grabs. We can hang our hopes on the future, believing against all odds that someone or something—whether it be a politician, a movement, or a religious savior—will save us from inevitable ruin.
Or we can start right away by instituting changes at the local level, holding our government officials accountable to the rule of law, and resurrecting the Constitution, recognizing that if we follow our current trajectory, the picture of the future will be closer to what George Orwell likened to “a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”
OLDDOG DOES NOT AGREE WITH Mr. Whitehead’s final comment! The Bankers have won the day, and the only thing we can do is die fighting, because so many millions of traitors will support them. The only possibility would be for our military to instigate a Global strike on every International Banker on earth, and they are in the bankers pocket too. WE WAITED TOO LONG! Our honor is all we have left. Will you die on your feet, or your knees???
September 15th, 2014 by olddog
By Paul Craig Roberts
The new sanctions against Russia announced by Washington and Europe do not make sense as merely economic measures. I would be surprised if Russian oil and military industries were dependent on European capital markets in a meaningful way. Such a dependence would indicate a failure in Russian strategic thinking. The Russian companies should be able to secure adequate financing from Russian Banks or from the Russian government. If foreign loans are needed, Russia can borrow from China.
If critical Russian industries are dependent on European capital markets, the sanctions will help Russia by forcing an end to this debilitating dependence. Russia should not be dependent on the West in any way.
The real question is the purpose of the sanctions. My conclusion is that the purpose of the sanctions is to break up and undermine Europe’s economic and political relations with Russia. When international relations are intentionally undermined, war can be the result. Washington will continue to push sanctions against Russia until Russia shows Europe that there is a heavy cost of serving as Washington’s tool.
Russia needs to break up this process of ever more sanctions in order to derail the drive toward war. In my opinion this is easy for Russia to do. Russia can tell Europe that since you do not like our oil companies, you must not like our gas company, so we are turning off the gas. Or Russia can tell Europe, we don’t sell natural gas to NATO members, or Russia can say we will continue to sell you gas, but you must pay in rubles, not in dollars. This would have the additional benefit of increasing the demand for rubles in exchange markets, thus making it harder for speculators and the US government to drive down the ruble.
The real danger to Russia is a continuation of its low-key, moderate response to the sanctions. This is a response that encourages more sanctions. To stop the sanctions, Russia needs to show Europe that the sanctions have serious costs for Europe.
A Russian response to Washington would be to stop selling to the US the Russian rocket engines on which the US satellite program is dependent. This could leave the US without rockets for its satellites for six years between the period 2016 and 2022.
Possibly the Russian government is worried about losing the earnings from gas and rocket engine sales. However, Europe cannot do without the gas and would quickly abandon its participation in the sanctions, so no gas revenues would be lost. The Americans are going to develop their own rocket engine anyhow, so the Russian sales of rocket engines to the US have at most about 6 more years. But the US with an impaired satellite program for six years would mean a great relief to the entire world from the American spy program. It would also make difficult US military aggression against Russia during the period.
Russian President Putin and his government have been very low-key and unprovocative in responding to the sanctions and to the trouble that Washington continues to cause for Russia in Ukraine. The low-key Russian behavior can be understood as a strategy for undermining Washington’s use of Europe against Russia by presenting a non-threatening face to Europe. However, another explanation is the presence inside Russia of a fifth column that represents Washington’s interest and constrains the power of the Russian government.
Strelkov describes the American fifth column here: http://slavyangrad.org/2014/09/
Saker describes the two power groups inside Russia as the Eurasian Sovereignists who stand behind Putin and an independent Russia and the Atlantic Integrationists, the fifth column that works to incorporate Russia in Europe under US hegemony or, failing that, to help Washington break up the Russian Federation into several weaker countries that are too weak to constrain Washington’s use of power. http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com
Russia’s Atlantic Integrationists share the Brzezinski and Wolfowitz doctrines with Washington. These doctrines are the basis for US foreign policy. The doctrines define the goal of US foreign policy in terms of preventing the rise of other countries, such as Russia and China, that could limit Washington’s hegemony.
Washington is in a position to exploit the tensions between these two Russian power groups. Washington’s fifth column is not best positioned to prevail. However, Washington can at least count on the struggle causing dissent within the Eurasian Sovereignists over Putin’s low-key response to Western provocations. Some of this dissent can be seen in Strelkov’s defense of Russia and more can be seen here:
Russia, thinking the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union, opened herself to the West. Russian governments trusted the West, and as a result of Russia’s gullibility, the West was able to purchase numerous allies among the Russian elites. Depending on the alignment of the media, these compromised elites are capable of assassinating Putin and attempting a coup.
One would think that by now Putin’s government would recognize the danger and arrest the main elements of the fifth column, followed by trial and execution for treason, in order that Russia can stand united against the Western Threat. If Putin does not take this step, it means either than Putin does not recognize the extent of the threat or that his government lacks the power to protect Russia from the internal threat.
It is clear that Putin has not achieved any respite for his government from the West’s propaganda and economic assault by refusing to defend the Donbass area from Ukrainian attack and by pressuring the Donetsk Republic into a ceasefire when its military forces were on the verge of a major defeat of the disintegrating Ukrainian army. All Putin has achieved is to open himself to criticism among his supporters for betraying the Russians in eastern and southern Ukraine.
The European politicians and elites are so deeply in Washington’s pocket that Putin has little chance of courting Europe with a Russian show of good will. I have never believed that this strategy could work, although I would be pleased if it did. Only a direct threat todeprive Europe of energy has a chance of producing within Europe a foreign policy independent of Washington. I do not think Europe can survive a cutoff of the Russian natural gas. Europe would abandon sanctions in order to guarantee the flow of gas. If Washington’s hold on Europe is so powerful that Europe is willing to endure a major disruption of its energy supply as the price of its vassalage, Russia will know to cease its futile attempts at diplomacy and to prepare for war.
If China sits on the sidelines, China will be the next isolated target and will receive the same treatment.
Washington intends to defeat both countries, either through internal dissent or through war.
Nothing said by Obama or any member of his government or any influential voice in Congress has signaled any pullback in Washington’s drive for hegemony over the world.
The US economy is now dependent on looting and plunder, and Washington’s hegemony is essential to this corrupted form of capitalism.
September 13th, 2014 by olddog
CAFR1 NATIONAL POST
In Reply to Doc Blake’s post copied below the WJB reply:
By Walter Burien
Just so you don’t get played as was intended by the government boys, the illusion spoon fed us that you parroted below: “We have a rubber stamp government, run by large corporations” Well, it was that way in the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and going into the 60’s. But a big transition took place going into the beginning of the 50’s to the end of the 60’s that culminated by the mid 90’s and was absolute come 2000.
The corporations, banks, insurance, and brokerage companies from the 30’s to 60’s were constantly seeking government funds and investment capital. They thought they could influence the same. They got it each year at an ever increasing rate. That old saying of: “Walk into my pallor said the spider to the fly” doomed those companies to takeover by the eager hand of government.
Come the 70’s “collective” local and federal government was well on its way to taking over controlling interest in those companies by direct investment and cash funding to the same. Little by little bit collective government would invest each year on average 3% to 5% of their gross income. On a good year 7% to 8%. One of my favorite expressions when it comes down to government’s investments for takeover is: “there are only so many nickels to a dollar”.
Come the 90’s “collective” local and federal government owned the majority of those companies by investment, and was calling the shots as the “primary investor”. They called the shots and those holdings were being networked via “private’ associations covertly established by the government players themselves. Private associations like GFOA.org, GASB.org, council of Mayors – State Managers – Governors – etc. And let’s not forget two of the largest private associations: The Democratic and Republican parties.
The comprehension or even a cognitive thought generated in the public per the reality of the obvious nature of what was taking place in their face and right under their noses was diligently held back from them through massive efforts applied in all relevant communication mediums that were covertly taken over DUE TO THE MONEY and wealth ever growing involved. The public never comprehended the scope and size of the government takeover.
The distractions, misdirection’s, and irrelevant promotions the public was constantly spoon fed to maintain and create a void as to the obvious was masterfully played out each and every day. For the last 10-years I have wanted to write a book entitled; “The decades of masterful entertainment applied – The road to Government takeover and ruin”
In the 80’s and 90’s collective US Government doing so well on the domestic front turned their focus on international takeover starting with Mexico in the 80’s, moving on to India and the Soviet block countries in the 90’s, and as of 2000 the big cherry to pick, China.
To pull this off it was required to keep the population delusional and misdirected to virtually the opposite thinking over the reality of the situation taking place and they pulled it off due to the massive wealth involved. The population parrots almost exactly what they are directed to parrot contrary to the basic glaring them right in the face reality of:
1. Government’s increase in their gross income each and every year (almost a 3000% increase on average in 35 years)
2. Collective Governments increase in their domestic “and” International investment holdings (collectively now the primary owner of any relevant large corporation, mortgage, loans, debt instruments and totaling in value as a conservative estimate 110 trillion domestically plus another 45 trillion internationally)
3. Why do these large corporations seem to get a pass-card and policy set to do as they wish reaping in massive profits when in some case those profits generated are seriously in conflict with or in direct conflict with the public’s interest and well being? The answer there is realized with another question and answer:
How do you get the full cooperation of government? ANSWER: Give government the largest percentage of the take. (Bank policy; trade policy; market regulatory policy; Insurance / mortgage / loan policy over the last several decades was designed to benefit primarily the largest controlling investor – collective local and federal government)
TREASON: “Treason doth never prosper; what’s the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it treason.” Sir John Harrington, 1561-1612
When and if the pubic ever comprehends “the basics” it will all come into view very clearly. But then to cut through the masterful distractions and misdirection’s due to the money and wealth involve, the general public really has never had an ice-cube’s chance in hell of being able to do so.
I am working on having an impact in that arena and hope to make some real progress in that direction soon. The real cute point is I think I can do it with the full cooperation of government and the primary corporations after I have the chance to brief them on how to create a win-win for one and all that creates a thriving economy for all time to come. Done through the TRF program implemented through and by the TRFA. Hard trick to pull off but I think I can do it..
Please share and publish my comments for others to see.
Walter Burien – CAFR1.com
P. O. Box 2112
Saint Johns, AZ 85936
Tel. (928) 458-5854
DOC BLAKE’S ORIGINAL POST:
America Dumbed down? What Do You Think? Do The Crazies in WalMart Know That They Are Crazy?
From: Doc Blake – 09/24/14
WalMart Crazies! http://youtu.be/r1TWrPRCzbo
Could 287 Chemicals in the Blood of New Born USA Babies Make WalMart Worse?
Why Are Trace Chemicals Showing Up in Umbilical Cord Blood.
This is America dumb-ed down, and totally clueless in Wal-Mart! Brain surgeon and retired neurologist Dr. Russel Blaylock spells this out in the video below. Everyone in America needs to see this video because the implications are becoming such a deep and freighting nightmare as you can clearly see in Wal-Mart and other public areas?
Dr. Russel Blaylock, Video http://youtu.be/CKjvfc7Fcdk
Instead of looking toward a bright future for humanity expressing the highest ideals assisted by its government, the one our founding fathers foresaw. We have a rubber stamp government, run by large corporations introducing whatever they please in the way of chemicals, heavy metals, GMO’s and toxic waste into the food-chain. Bringing mental and physical diseases to a trusting, naive public who believe everything is just fine except they are sick. While on the other side the medical establishment reaps the dividends of these chemically sick Americans and treats them with poisonous, mentally deranging and addictive drugs. So we end up in a mad house country, with the mental patients running the show.
Solution to the Problem
A hell of a lot of government, scientific, medical and business leaders need to be convicted for this and spend a great deal of time in prisons and mental institutions. Because they have committed crimes against humanity and they are far too dangerous to the public to be allowed to cause more harm.
Happy Healthy Trails,
For the first time, I have an issue with Walter’s conclusions in that he did not mention the International Banking Cartels absolute control over the government. This is the way the Bankers killed two birds with one stone. They have had control of the government from the get go, and rather than drag out the fight with all of these Corporations they used their existing traitors in Government to seize control, and profit from the major Corporations. The longer the uninformed citizens participate in elections the stronger their control becomes. Get it through your heads folks, AMERICA IS NOT A DEMOCRACY, AND YOUR VOTE DOES NOT CHANGE ANYTHING, AND THE Banking Cartel intends on extending their control globally until they own and control everything.
September 11th, 2014 by olddog
Paul Craig Roberts
The tragedy of September 11, 2001, goes far beyond the deaths of those who died in the towers and the deaths of firefighters and first responders who succumbed to illnesses caused by inhalation of toxic dust. For thirteen years a new generation of Americans has been born into the 9/11 myth that has been used to create the American warfare/police state.
The corrupt Bush and Obama regimes used 9/11 to kill, maim, dispossess and displace millions of Muslims in seven countries, none of whom had anything whatsoever to do with 9/11.
A generation of Americans has been born into disdain and distrust of Muslims.
A generation of Americans has been born into a police state in which privacy and constitutional protections no longer exist.
A generation of Americans has been born into continuous warfare while needs of citizens go unmet.
A generation of Americans has been born into a society in which truth is replaced with the endless repetition of falsehoods.
According to the official story, on September 11, 2001, the vaunted National Security State of the World’s Only Superpower was defeated by a few young Saudi Arabians armed only with box cutters. The American National Security State proved to be totally helpless and was dealt the greatest humiliation ever inflicted on any country claiming to be a power.
That day no aspect of the National Security State worked. Everything failed.
The US Air Force for the first time in its history could not get interceptor jet fighters into the air.
The National Security Council failed.
All sixteen US intelligence agencies failed as did those of America’s NATO and Israeli allies.
Air Traffic Control failed.
Airport Security failed four times at the same moment on the same day. The probability of such a failure is zero.
If such a thing had actually happened, there would have been demands from the White House, from Congress, and from the media for an investigation. Officials would have been held accountable for their failures. Heads would have rolled.
Instead, the White House resisted for one year the 9/11 families’ demands for an investigation. Finally, a collection of politicians was assembled to listen to the government’s account and to write it down. The chairman, vice chairman, and legal counsel of the 9/11 Commission have said that information was withheld from the commission, lies were told to the commission, and that the commission “was set up to fail.” The worst security failure in history resulted in not a single firing. No one was held responsible.
Washington concluded that 9/11 was possible because America lacked a police state.
The PATRIOT Act, which was awaiting the event was quickly passed by the congressional idiots. The Act established executive branch independence of law and the Constitution. The Act and follow-up measures have institutionalized a police state in “the land of the free.”
Osama bin Laden, a CIA asset dying of renal failure, was blamed despite his explicit denial. For the next ten years Osama bin Laden was the bogyman that provided the excuse for Washington to kill countless numbers of Muslims. Then suddenly on May 2, 2011, Obama claimed that US Navy SEALs had killed bin Laden in Pakistan. Eyewitnesses on the scene contradicted the White House’s story. Osama bin Laden became the only human in history to survive renal failure for ten years. There was no dialysis machine in what was said to be bin Laden’s hideaway. The numerous obituaries of bin Laden’s death in December 2001 went down the memory hole. And the SEAL team died a few weeks later in a mysterious helicopter crash in Afghanistan. The thousands of sailors on the aircraft carrier from which bin Laden was said to have been dumped into the Indian Ocean wrote home that no such burial took place.
The fairy tale story of bin Laden’s murder by SEAL Team Six served to end the challenge by disappointed Democrats to Obama’s nomination for a second term. It also freed the “war on terror” from the bin Laden constraint. Washington wanted to attack Libya, Syria, and Iran, countries in which bin Laden was known not to have organizations, and the succession of faked bin Laden videos, in which bin Laden grew progressively younger as the fake bin Laden claimed credit for each successive attack, had lost credibility among experts.
Watching the twin towers and WTC 7 come down, it was obvious to me that the buildings were not falling down as a result of structural damage. When it became clear that the White House had blocked an independent investigation of the only three steel skyscrapers in world history to collapse as a result of low temperature office fires, it was apparent that there was a coverup.
After 13 years people at home and abroad find the government’s story less believable.
The case made by independent experts is now so compelling that mainstream media has opened to it. Here is Richard Gage of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth on C-SPAN:
After years of persistence a group in New York has secured the necessary number of valid signatures to put on the ballot a vote to investigate the cause of the collapse of the three WTC buildings. The official account, if correct, means that existing fire and building codes are insufficient to protect the public and that all other steel high rise structures are subject to the same failure. The group has been clever to frame the issue in terms of public safety and not in terms of 9/11 truth.
New York authorities, of course, continue to oppose the initiative. The question now rests on a judge’s ruling. It is difficult to imagine a judge going against the government in such a major way, but the group will have made the point that the government has no confidence in the truth of its own story.
Over these 13 years, physicists, chemists, architects, engineers, and first responders have provided massive evidence that completely disproves the official account of the failure of the three skyscrapers. The response to experts has been for non-experts to call experts “conspiracy theorists.” In other words, the defenders of the government’s story have no scientific or factual basis on which to stand. So they substitute name-calling.
9/11 was used to fundamentally alter the nature of the US government and its relationship to the American people. Unaccountable executive power has replaced due process and the checks and balances established by the US Constitution. In the name of National Security, executive power knows no restraints. Essentially, Americans today have no rights if the government targets them. Those Americans born after 9/11 were born into a different country from the rest of us. Having never experienced constitutional government, they will not know what they have lost.
The anthrax attacks of October 2001 have been forgotten, but Professor Graeme MacQueen in The 2001 Anthrax Deception (Clarity Press, 2014) shows that the anthrax attacks played an essential role in setting the stage for the government’s acquisition of unaccountable police state power. Two Democratic Senate committee chairmen, Thomas Daschle and Patrick Leahy, were disturbed by the Bush regime’s overreach for carte blanche power, and were in a position to block the coming police state legislation and the ability of the executive branch alone to take America to war.
Both senators received anthrax letters, as did major news organizations. The TV network news anchors, such as Dan Rather, who compared the collapse of WTC skyscrapers to buildings brought down by controlled demolition, had not yet been fired by Republicans on framed-up charges.
Initially, the anthrax letters, which caused the deaths of some USPS employees, were seen as the second stage of the 9/11 attack. Fear multiplied. The senators and media shut up. Then it was discovered that the anthrax was a unique kind produced only by a US government military facility.
The response to this monkey wrench thrown into the government’s propaganda, was the FBI’s frame-up of a dead man, Bruce Edwards Ivins, who had been employed in the military lab that produced the anthrax and was driven to suicide by the false charges. The dead man’s colleagues did not believe one word of the government’s false story, and nothing in the dead man’s past indicated any motive or instability that would have led him to such a deed.
Initially, the US government tried to frame up Steven Jay Hatfill, but despite the best efforts of the New York Times and Nicholas Kristof the attempt to frame Hatfill failed. Hatfill received $5 million from the US government for the false accusation that ruined his life. So the corrupt US government moved on to Ivins.
Ivins was dead and couldn’t defend himself, but his colleagues did.
The entire episode stinks to high heaven. Justice is something that exists outside the borders of the United States. Never expect to find justice within the United States.
Most Americans are unaware of the extent to which the federal government owns the experts who can contradict its fairy tales. For example, no competent physicist can possibly believe the official story of the destruction of the three WTC buildings. But physics departments in US universities are heavily dependent on federal money. Any physicist who speaks his mind jeopardizes not only his own career but also the career of all of his colleagues. Physicist Steven Jones, who first pointed to the use of thermite in the destruction of the two towers had to agree to having his university buy out his tenure or his university was faced with losing all federal financing.
The same constraints operate in the private sector. High rise architects and structural engineers who express doubts about the official explanation of the collapse of three skyscrapers are viewed by potential clients as Muslim apologists and conspiracy kooks. The clients, of course, have no expert knowledge with which to assess the issue, but they are indoctrinated with ceaseless, endless, repetition that 9/11 was Osama bin Laden’s attack on America. Their indoctrination makes them immune to facts.
The 9/11 lie has persisted for 13 years. Millions of Muslims have paid for this lie with their lives, the destruction of their families, and with their dislocation. Most Americans remain comfortable with the fact that their government has destroyed in whole or part seven countries based on a lie Washington told to cover up an inside job that launched the crazed neoconservatives’ drive for Washington’s World Empire.
This article first appeared at Paul Craig Roberts’ website
Institute For Political Economy
September 10th, 2014 by olddog
By Dave Hodges
When retired FBI agent, the now deceased Ted Gunderson,reportedly told a gathering of militia members that the federal government had set up 1,000 internment camps across the country, I had no trouble believing his statement because there is ample documentation to support his statement (e.g. REX 84, Operation Garden Plot and now the NDAA). However, when Gunderson reported that the federal government was storing over 500,000 caskets outside of Atlanta, I also knew he was accurate on this point because Sherrie Wilcox found the evidence in the adjacent photo. However, when I heard that Gunderson was accusing the government of storing 30,000 guillotines, I thought he had lost his mind.
Why Would the Government Want to Store Guillotines?
Gunderson told various patriot groups that the guillotines were being stored for the day that the government declares martial law and moves in to round up and execute American dissenters. Gunderson prophetically told patriot groups that the federal government was going to keep track of all of us. The last statement has indeed proven accurate given the recent Snowden/NSA scandal.
Can somebody please explain to me why the government would need to order 30,000 guillotines? For what legitimate purpose could these tools of execution be utilized?
The guillotine was invented by a Frenchmen named Dr. Guillotine. The guillotine reached the height of its popularity when it was mainly used in the French Revolution to eliminate any potential opposition from people with “dangerous ideas.”
The guillotine has never been used inside of the United States. The United States has executed people by firing squad, hanging, the electric chair and lethal injection. The US has never executed a convicted criminal through the use of the guillotine.
Given these facts, then why in God’s good name would this government import 30,000 guillotines as Gunderson claimed? Oh, I know that some of the sheep are now looking up from the ground and have just said “there aren’t are any guillotines in the United States.” Then please tell me, sheep of America, why did Representative Doug Teper, of the Georgia Legislative Assembly (Democrat) introduced a bill which will supplant the method of execution, the electric chair, with the guillotine?
Have you ever heard the allegations which accuse some doctors, primarily in China, of killing patients in order to sell their organs on the black market? After you read the following paragraphs, you may conclude that those rumors are true. When Representative Teper was asked about his motivation to exclusively use the guillotine to execute death row inmates, he said, it would allow for death-row inmates asorgan donors. The very spooky Teper further reasoned that the “Blade makes a clean cut and leaves vital organs intact.” I will be happy to let this statement speak for itself. Below is a draft of the legislation.
HB 1274 – Death penalty; guillotine provisions
1- 8 The General Assembly finds that while prisoners condemned to
1- 9 death may wish to donate one or more of their organs for
1-10 transplant, any such desire is thwarted by the fact that
1-11 electrocution makes all such organs unsuitable for
1-12 transplant. The intent of the General Assembly in enacting
1-13 this legislation is to provide for a method of execution
1-14 which is compatible with the donation of organs by a
1-15 condemned prisoner.
1-16 Article 2 of Chapter 10 of Title 17 of the Official Code of
1-17 Georgia Annotated, relating to the death penalty generally,
1-18 is amended by striking in its entirety Code Section
1-19 17-10-38, relating to death sentences generally, and
1-20 inserting in lieu thereof the following:
1-21 “17-10-38. (Index)
1-22 (a) All persons who have been convicted of a capital
1-23 offense and have had imposed upon them a sentence of death
1-24 shall, at the election of the condemned, suffer such
1-25 punishment either by electrocution or by guillotine. If
1-26 the condemned fails to make an election by the thirtieth
1-27 day preceding the date scheduled for execution, punishment
1-28 shall be by electrocution.
1-29 (b) In all cases in which the defendant is sentenced to be
1-30 electrocuted executed, it shall be the duty of the trial
1-31 judge in passing sentence to direct that the defendant be
LC 21 3643
2- 1 delivered to the Department of Corrections for
2- 2 electrocution execution at a state correctional
2- 3 institution designated by the department.”
2- 4 Said article is further amended by striking in its entirety
2- 5 Code Section 17-10-44, relating to death chamber apparatus
2- 6 and related matters, and inserting in lieu thereof the
2- 7 following:
2- 8 “17-10-44. (Index)
2- 9 The Department of Corrections shall provide a death
2-10 chamber and all necessary apparatus, machinery, and
2-11 appliances for inflicting the penalty of death by
2-12 electrocution or by guillotine.”
Where would the proposed Georgia Legislature guillotines have come from unless Gunderson was correct in that 15,000 are being stored in Montana and 15,000 are being stored in Georgia?
An Efficient Killing Machine
Has anyone bothered to do the math? A single guillotine reportedly can chop off the heads of about 100 people per hour. In one hour, the federal government has the capacity to execute as many as three million people. In one ten hour day, 30 million people could be executed by way of the guillotine.
Other Alphabet Soup Agents Speak Out
Ted Gunderson is not the only former alphabet soup agent to tell all about guillotines. The late Bill Pawelec, ex-CIA, was a close friend of mine and eventually became the significant other of the News Director for The Common Sense Show, Annie DeRiso. Pawelec told both Annie and I on several occasions that guillotines were being stored on several military bases. The late A.C. Griffith, ex-NSA, said the same on more than one occasion on my talk show. In light of these confirmations from known and from public sources, as well as the proposed legislation of Rep. Teper to introduce the use of guillotines on American soil, I believe that there is no question that the story is true.
We already know that the Department of Homeland Security has purchased 2.2 billion rounds of ammunition to go with their purchase of 2700 armored personnel carriers. Do you realize that this is enough ammo to fight a war for about seven years and that there are enough DHS personnel carriers to allocate over 50 per state? Can you imagine if they were concentrated in their distribution patterns? This would be the equivalent of an invading army as DHS goes from house to house and seizes dissidents by the millions and America will soon have their own version of the French Revolution
Since this story broke, I have asked the question why guillotines? I have talked to several of my off-the-record sources and the consensus is frightening. Everyone that I have spoken to agrees that the guillotine is highly efficient. Most everyone I have talked with stated that organ harvesting will indeed be even a bigger business and the guillotine is the most efficient killing machine to that end. Some of my sources stated that the next phase of the transhumanism experiments and developments requires a severed human head to facilitate the mixing of humans and animals into one sentient being. Further, futuristic DARPA robots will have human heads after the initial purge and subsequent executions (see photo below). This makes sense because after the head is severed, the eyes blink and signs of life continue for up to a minute. This would allow a team to “freeze”and to preserve the head for whatever purpose. And just as frightening, I was told that some of Satanic rituals require severed human heads and we know the global elite, in large part, are indeed Satanists.
Can you tell the real person from the DARPA produced robot? Will human looking robots replace interim human slaves?
I can understand people being skeptical about the guillotines because my first reaction was to reject the notion under my personal veil of cognitive dissonance. Yet, the emerging facts speak for themselves.
Although I did not know Gunderson personally, I did know Bill Pawelec as a close friend and I was well acquainted with Griffith. And even if Pawelec and Griffith were jointly mistaken on this issue, how would one explain away Teper’s efforts to introduce the guillotine into the Georgia justice system?
The end game implications are frightening. When we add the topic of guillotines to what we already know about 2.2 billion rounds of DHS ammo and 2700 armored DHS personnel carriers, why should this be so hard to believe? How can take the fact that DHS has armed to the teeth against Americans and are planning to murder us in horrific ways as anything but a declaration of war?
Be prepared to be shocked as you watch the following chilling report on the possession and intent of the military with regard to the use of guillotines.
The 64 million dollar question is who is the government planning to use these guillotines on? Perhaps the following scripture from Revelations speaks to this point.
And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”Revelation 20:4
September 9th, 2014 by olddog
By Richard Ebeling
Proud to be an American: What Should It Mean?
September 09, 2014
Editorial By Richard Ebeling
America! For more than two hundred years the word has represented hope, opportunity, a second chance and freedom. In America the accident of a man’s birth did not serve as an inescapable weight that dictated a person’s fate or that of his family. The individual owned his own life and was free to shape it as his own mind guided him.
Once a newcomer stepped on American soil he left the political tyrannies and economic barriers of the “old world” behind. A willingness to work hard and to bear the risks of one’s own decisions, the possession of a spirit of enterprise and a little bit of luck were the keys to the doors of success in their “new world” home.
American Spirit of Independence, Innovation and Benevolence
Visitors from Europe traveling to America in the 19th century, Frenchmen like Alexis de Tocqueville and Michel Chevalier, marveled at the energy and adaptability of the ordinary American. An American paid his own way, took responsibility for his actions and showed versatility in the face of change, often switching his occupation, profession, or trade several times during his life and frequently moving about from one part of the country to another.
What’s more, individual Americans demonstrated a generous spirit of benevolence and voluntary effort to assist those who had fallen upon hard times, as well as to deal with a wide variety of common community services in their cities, towns and villages.
Those foreign observers of American life noted that no man bowed to another because of the hereditary accident of birth. Each man viewed himself as good as any other, to be judged on the basis of his talents and abilities as well as his character and conduct as an individual human being.
Even the scar of slavery that blemished the American landscape through more than half of the 19th century stood out as something inherently inconsistent and untrue to the vision and conception of a society of free men laid down by the Founding Fathers. The logic of liberty meant that slavery would eventually have to end, in one way or another, if the claim of freedom for all was not to remain confronted with a cruel hypocrisy to the ideal.
A Land of Free, Self-Made Citizens
What a glorious country this America was. Here was a land of free men who were able to pursue their dreams and fulfill their peaceful desires. They were free men who could put their own labor to work, acquire property, accumulate wealth and fashion their own lives. They associated on the basis of freedom of exchange, and benefited each other by trading their talents through a network of division of labor that was kept in order through the competitive processes of market-guided supply and demand.
In this competitive marketplace, the creative entrepreneurial spirit was set free. Every American was at liberty to try his hand, if he chose, to start his own business and devise innovative ways to offer new and better products to others in the market, through which he hoped to earn his living. No man was bond to the soil upon which he was born or tied to an occupation or profession inherited from his ancestors. Every individual had an opportunity to be the master of his own fate, with the freedom to move where inclination led him and choose the work that seemed most profitable and attractive.
The Turn Toward Collectivism
Then something began to happen in America. The socialist and collectivist ideas that were growing in influence in Europe during the last decades of the 19th century began to spread over to the United States. Two generations of young American scholars went off to study in Europe, particularly in Imperial Germany, in the 1880s, 1890s and early 1900s. They became imbued with socialist and state paternalistic conceptions, especially the interventionist and welfare statist ideas that were being taught at the universities in Bismarck’s Germany.
These scholars came back to the United States enthusiastic about their newly learned ideas, convinced that the “negative” idea of freedom dominant in America – an idea of freedom that argued that government’s role was only to secure each person in his individual right to life, liberty and property – needed to be replaced by a more “positive” notion of freedom.
Government should not merely protect citizens from violence and fraud. It should guarantee their health care and retirement pensions; it should regulate their industry and trade, including their wages and conditions of work. The government needed to secure the members of society from all the uncertainties of life, “from cradle to grave” – a phrase that was first popularized during this time.
These European-trained students and academics soon filled the teaching positions in the colleges and universities around the country; they occupied a growing number of jobs in the federal and state bureaucracies; they became the fashionable and “progressive” forward- looking authors of books and magazine articles; they came to dominate the culture of ideas in America.
The Rationale of Relativist Change
How did they sway an increasing number of Americans? They asked people to look around them and observe the radical changes in technologies and styles of life. They pointed to the rapid shift from the countryside to growing urban areas. And they asked, how could such a transformed and transforming society remain wedded to the ideas of men who had lived so long ago, in the 18th century? How could a great and growing country be tied down to a Constitution written for a bygone era?
The Constitution, these “progressives” argued, had to reflect the changing times – it had to be a “living” and “evolving” document. Progress, for these proselytizers of Prussian paternalism, required a new political elite who would guide and lead the nation into a more collectivist future.
The Fruits of Collectivism in America
The fruits of their work are, now, after well over a century, all around us. At the beginning of the 20th century all levels of government in the United States took in taxes around 8 percent of the people’s wealth and income. Now all levels of government extract in many cases over fifty percent of our earnings, in one way or another.
One hundred years ago, government hardly regulated and controlled any of the personal and commercial affairs of the American citizenry. Now, government’s hand intrudes into every corner of our private, business and social affairs. Indeed, it is hard to find one area of our daily lives that does not pass through the interventionist sieve of state management, oversight, restriction and command.
Perhaps worst of all, too many of our fellow Americans have become accustomed to and, indeed, demanding of government protection or subsidy of their personal and economic affairs. We are increasingly no longer free, self-supporting individuals who solely make our own ways through the peaceful transactions and exchanges of the marketplace.
We have become collective “interest groups” who lobby and pressure those in political office for favors and privileges at the expense of our neighbors. And the political officeholders are only too happy to grant these political gifts to those who supply campaign contributions and votes as the avenue to their own desires for power and control over those whom they claim to serve.
It is sometimes said: “But we are still the freest country in the world. Our wealth and standard of living are the envy of tens of millions all around the globe. We should be proud of what and who we are.”
The Standard for Judging America
Our present greatness in terms of these things, however, is only relative to how much farther other countries have gone down the path of government paternalism and regulation during these past one hundred years.
The benchmark of comparison should not be America in relation to other countries in the contemporary world. The standard by which we should judge our freedom should be how much freer the American people were from the stranglehold of government more than one hundred years ago, before those proselytizers of paternalism began to change the political and cultural character of the United States.
By this standard, today’s American people are extremely unfree in many aspects of their life. Of course, there have been important, valuable and even essential economic, social and cultural improvements for many individuals and groups in American society, who one hundred years ago still suffered from various degrees of racial, social or ethic bigotry and politically enforced discrimination. Many of these wrongs are now gone, or at least far less than in that earlier time.
But the fact remains that over many areas of our personal, social and especially economic activities we have all become increasingly wards of the state. And like the convict who has spent so many years in prison that he is afraid of being released and no longer having his jail keepers to tell him what to do and how to live, we are fearful of even the thought of a life without government caring for us, protecting us, subsidizing us, guiding us and educating us.
Loss of Understanding Liberty
Too many in the older generation in America have lost their understanding of what freedom means and why constitutionally limited government is both necessary and desirable. And the vast majority of the young have never been taught in our government-run schools the ideas, ideals and political institutional foundations upon which this country of ours was created. They have been taught to think that there are no absolute truths or any important insights from long human experience concerning why individual freedom is a valuable and precious thing.
What those earlier German-trained political and cultural relativists set out to do in America at the beginning of the 20th century has been to a great extent accomplished. We are threatened with becoming a people who have no sense of an invariant nature of man and who possess no idea of those values and attitudes in the human character so necessary for preserving freedom and prosperity.
Most especially, there has been lost among too many any understanding or appreciation of the concept of individual rights, without which a free society is not sustainable in the long run. The collectivist mindsets of our time have weakened the most fundamental concept underlying the idea of individual rights:
That the individual has a right to live for himself, guided by his own reasoning and judgment, and that he should not be considered and treated as a physical or financial beast of burden expected to sacrifice his life and its potentials for a tribe, whether it is called “the nation,” the “social class,” the “race,” the “democratic majority,” or “mankind.”
Individual Rights are Changeless in a Changing World
The Founding Fathers were not unaware that “times change.” But in the whirlwind of life they saw that reason and experience could and had demonstrated that there were unchanging qualities to the human condition, grounded in the fundamental political idea of individual rights.
They understood the various mantles that tyranny could take on – including the cloak of false benevolence in the form of compulsory redistribution of wealth. They established a constitutional order that was meant to guard us from the plunder of violent and greedy men, while leaving each of us that wide latitude of personal and economic freedom in which we could find our own meanings for life, and adapt to new circumstances consistent with our conscience and concerns.
This is what made America great. This is what made a country in which individuals could say without embarrassment or conceit that they were “proud to be Americans.”
The task for those of us who have not yet lost that true sense of the meaning of freedom is to dedicate ourselves to restoring and refining that noble American ideal of individual rights and liberty. Let us work together to be the stewards of liberty so that freedom may, once again, rekindle its consistent and bright torch in the America of the 21st century.
Back when men were real men
By Chuck Yeager
Shifty volunteered for the airborne in WWII and served with Easy
Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st
Airborne Infantry. If you’ve seen Band of Brothers on HBO or the
History Channel, you know Shifty. His character appears in all 10
episodes, and Shifty himself is interviewed in several of them.
I met Shifty in the Philadelphia airport several years ago. I didn’t
know who he was at the time. I just saw an elderly gentleman having
trouble reading his ticket. I offered to help, assured him that he was
at the right gate, and noticed the “Screaming Eagle,” the symbol of
the 101st Airborne, on his hat.
Making conversation, I asked him if he’d been in the 101st Airborne
or if his son was serving. He said quietly that he had been in the
101st. I thanked him for his service, then asked him when he served,
and how many jumps he made.
Quietly and humbly, he said “Well, I guess I signed up in 1941 or so,
and was in until sometime in 1945 . . .” at which point my heart
At that point, again, very humbly, he said “I made the 5 training
jumps at Toccoa, and then jumped into Normandy . . . do you know
where Normandy is?” At this point my heart stopped.
I told him “yes, I know exactly where Normandy is, and I know what
D-Day was.” At that point he said “I also made a second jump into
Holland, into Arnhem.” I was standing with a genuine war hero …
and then I realized that it was June, just after the anniversary of
I asked Shifty if he was on his way back from France, and he said
“Yes…And it’s real sad because, these days, so few of the guys are
left, and those that are, lots of them can’t make the trip.” My heart
was in my throat and I didn’t know what to say.
I helped Shifty get onto the plane and then realized he was back in
coach while I was in First Class. I sent the flight attendant back to
get him and said that I wanted to switch seats. When Shifty came
forward, I got up out of the seat and told him I wanted him to have
it, that I’d take his in coach.
He said “No, son, you enjoy that seat. Just knowing that there are
still some who remember what we did and who still care is enough to
make an old man very happy.” His eyes were filling up as he said it.
And mine are brimming up now as I write this.
Shifty died on January l7, 2012, after fighting cancer.
There was no parade.
No big event in Staples Center.
No wall-to-wall, back-to-back 24/7 news coverage.
No weeping fans on television.
And that’s not right!
Let’s give Shifty his own memorial service, on line, in our own quiet way.
Please forward this email to everyone you know. Especially to the veterans.
Rest in peace, Shifty.
Chuck Yeager, Maj. General [ret.]
P.S. I think that it is amazing how the “media” chooses our “heroes” these days…
Elvis, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston & the like.
“SHIFTY” – an incredible American hero.
Please do me a favor and pass this on so that untold thousands can read it.
We owe no less to our REAL heroes.
September 8th, 2014 by olddog
By Chuck Baldwin
Published: Thursday, September 4, 2014
When I was a youngster, my dad told me, “Son, a policeman is your friend.” Through his jail and prison ministry, Dad became a personal friend of our county sheriff (two of them, as a matter of fact)–as well as scores of deputies and city police officers. For all of my life, I have taken Dad’s maxim to heart. In fact, for all of my teen years, law enforcement was my chosen profession. I wanted to go into law enforcement real bad. It took a divine call to Gospel ministry to change my plans.
Throughout my adult life, I have enjoyed the friendship of many peace officers. The county sheriff where I lived in Florida made me an honorary deputy sheriff. I still have the credentials to prove it. I count scores (and maybe hundreds) of law enforcement officers around the country as friends. In fact, there are scores of peace officers across the country that financially support my work. I have had kinfolk serve in various positions of law enforcement. Anyone who knows anything about me knows I have been a law and order guy all of my life.
I am as much of a red-blooded American patriot as one will find in this country. I believe in God, the Bible, the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. I believe in liberty, justice, and independence. I am a Christian and a pastor. Through my radio talk show and syndicated column, I have helped to elect many liberty-minded candidates to municipal, county, State, and federal offices. And, like Mike Huckabee who is a former pastor, I, too, ran for the office of President of the United States.
With the above said, it is extremely important that this letter be written, because so many honorable American traditions and customs are being radically and rapidly changed–including the philosophies, standard operating procedures, and rules of engagement of law enforcement. And the change is not for the better.
Let me just be blunt: ever since Ronald Reagan left office, both Republican and Democrat presidential administrations–along with both Republican and Democrat congresses–in Washington, D.C., are turning the United States of America into a giant Police State. And that means that our local and State police agencies are being transformed before our very eyes into the enforcement arm of this burgeoning Police State. And one of the biggest reasons for this growing threat to our liberties is that it seems that you–our local and State police officers and sheriff’s deputies–do not understand that you are the ones that are being used to create this nefarious Police State.
I am talking about otherwise honest and honorable men and women. I am talking about the friendly policeman, sheriff’s deputy, or State highway patrolman who lives across the street from us. I’m talking about the fellow Christian police officer we go to church with. It seems that the vast majority of you men and women in blue do not comprehend the way you are being used to create a Police State in our country. And until you awaken to this reality, nothing is going to be done to stop it.
The totalitarian regimes of history could not have succeeded in implementing their enslavements over the people without the submission and cooperation of the citizen-policemen within their countries. Nor can a Police State be constructed in America without your submission and cooperation. My concern is, the Police State is already being constructed in this country and most of you don’t seem to even realize it–or don’t want to realize it. In fact, some of you become angry with people like me when we try to warn the American people about it. This shows that you have already become acclimated and accepting of it.
Here is the problem: in today’s America, virtually every police agency and sheriff’s office is being dictated to, intimidated by, and bribed by the federal government. Much of the policies you operate under–and training you receive–comes straight out of the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Justice Department. If you are a police officer in a State or city that does not recognize the right of the people to keep and bear arms, you are already the enforcement arm of draconian, dictatorial government. You routinely put people in jail or prison for merely exercising the fundamental, God-given right to keep and BEAR arms. How can you live with yourself?
The concern that you, our friends and neighbors in law enforcement, are being turned into agents of oppression is very justified. The warning signs are ubiquitous.
I was told by a Marine Corps officer, who was there, that last year Marines at Twentynine Palms, California, were asked in a survey if they were ordered to turn their weapons on the American citizenry for the purpose of gun confiscation, would they comply with the order. Sixty-six percent of them said yes, they would. Two-thirds! When this same question was asked of Marines at Twentynine Palms back in the 90s, 26% of the Marines said yes. This is a very disturbing trend.
How many of you men and women of law enforcement would respond similarly? Again, in states such as California, Massachusetts, and Connecticut–and in cities such as New York and Chicago–this is already standard operating procedure. People are routinely arrested for merely possessing a firearm, with no harm being inflicted or even threatened. Plus, all it takes is for some kind of riot or “national emergency,” and the rest of the Bill of Rights immediately go out the window.
Look at Boston after the marathon bombing. The city was turned instantly into a Nazi-style Police State. People’s homes were invaded without warrant; people were manhandled; police dogs were turned loose on people without cause; guns by the hundreds were pointed at the people of Boston by police. No occupying military force in the world was any more efficient at locking down a large city as were the police agencies of the city of Boston and the State of Massachusetts.
Look what happened in Ferguson, Missouri. Regardless of whether the shooting of the young man was justified or not (along with everyone else, I am waiting for a proper and thorough investigation to provide an honest answer), the way police reacted to, what was at first, lawful protests, was unconscionable. Policemen training their firearms on innocent American citizens, including journalists, and threatening to blow their brains out is NOT acceptable behavior in a free society. Police agencies using military vehicles and military attack aircraft against American citizens is NOT acceptable behavior in a free society. Police-state tactics only served to exacerbate and inflame the situation in Ferguson, not alleviate it.
I lived on the Gulf Coast when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. Police officers went door-to-door confiscating the firearms of law-abiding, innocent citizens in the aftermath of that storm. This was done while lawless gangs were allowed to freely roam the streets of the city inflicting merciless atrocities on vulnerable residents. And the State of Louisiana is one of our more gun-friendly states.
Look at what happens more and more frequently at routine traffic stops. My mother-in-law (who is in her eighties) was recently pulled over for a routine traffic stop here in Montana. (She must have been pulled over for driving too SLOW.) Two officers came out of the police car, and one of them was actually pointing his pistol at her head. Her vehicle was not suspected of having been part of a felony. They ran her plates. They knew who she was. To point a gun at a harmless, innocent senior citizen–who is suspected of no violent crime–is the mark of a burgeoning Police State.
Policemen training their weapons on the public have become almost routine nowadays. Even many minor incidents will often result in SWAT teams being deployed. In fact, Eastern Kentucky University professor Peter Kraska documents research showing, “There has been more than a 1,400% increase in the total number of police paramilitary deployments, or callouts, between 1980 and 2000. Today, an estimated 45,000 SWAT-team deployments are conducted yearly among those departments surveyed; in the early 1980s there was an average of about 3,000.”
Militarization And Policing–It’s Relevance To 21st Century
Has violent crime increased 1,400 percent during that time? Not at all. In fact, for the last several years, violent crime has been decreasing to the point that currently it is at record lows. So, how can the need for SWAT teams increase by 1,400 percent? It is the result of Washington, D.C., deliberately militarizing our police agencies. Give them military equipment, weapons, training, etc., and they will start acting like soldiers not policemen.
It all begins with philosophy. The philosophy being drilled into police officers today is that of an “us versus them” mentality. In the eyes of a Police State, we are not citizens to be protected; we are enemy targets who are guilty until proven innocent. Plus, the phrase that we hear constantly repeated today by law enforcement personnel and spokesmen is “the safety of the officer.”
Wait a minute! The sworn duty of a police officer is to obey the Constitution (including the Bill of Rights), which is designed to protect the rights, liberties, and safely of the American people. The role of the police officer is to protect the safety of the public. Any man or woman who volunteers to put on a badge should be consciously willing to put his or her life on the line to protect the public. That’s what their job is all about. And no one forces them to take this risk; they take it of their own volition. Of course you men and women of law enforcement want to go home at the end of your shift. But so do the people of your community.
Policemen are not the only ones who face hostility and threats of violence. I have had my life threatened too many times to count. I have been shot at. (I’ve talked with several retired police officers who have told me that they never had to pull their gun during their entire career, nor were they ever fired at.) I have had my family threatened. And none of us wear Kevlar vests and helmets and can call backup with the push of a button (calling 911 is not the same as a policeman calling for back up–not even close).
If the safety of the officer is the primary duty of policemen, they should just shoot suspects on sight and eliminate the threat before it exists. And that is pretty much what they do in totalitarian countries. But this is America where the rule of law and the rights of the individual reign supreme. In a free country, people are judged to be innocent until proven guilty. Plus, the only lawful reason a police officer has to fire his weapon at someone is for the same reason that the rest of us can do so: for self-defense against an imminent threat to their (our) lives.
Over 5,000 American citizens have been shot and killed by police since 09/11/01. Based on official statistical data, we are eight times more likely to be killed by a police officer than we are by a terrorist. Currently, somewhere between 500-1,000 Americans are killed each year by policemen. By comparison, during 2012, 120 officers were killed in the line of duty.
“Despite far fewer officers dying in the line of duty compared with American citizens, police departments are not only increasing their use of protective and highly volatile gear, but are increasingly setting aside a portion of their budget to invest in new technology such as drones, night vision goggles, remote robots, surveillance cameras, license plate readers and armored vehicles that amount to unarmed tanks.”
U.S. Police Have Killed Over 5,000 Civilians Since 9/11
Sadly, police agencies and county attorney’s offices have a dismal record of thoroughly investigating police shootings (or even police brutality charges). Mostly, the word of the officer is accepted almost without question. Plus, it is common knowledge that many officers carry “throw down” weapons to alleviate incrimination. Furthermore, police officers are seldom willing to testify against a fellow officer–even when they know the officer has committed a crime.
It is past time that independent, citizen review boards with full investigative capability and with authority to begin disciplinary measures are required for all police shootings. I further recommend that every citizen install surveillance cameras inside their vehicles. Any government that thinks it needs to closely monitor our every move should be closely monitored by us.
A recent example of excessive use of force and the police-state mentality was prominently displayed in Boynton Beach, Florida. After questioning why the officers were ordering them around and starting to video-record the officers during a traffic stop, the policemen became enraged, began physically assaulting the young men, and one officer pointed his pistol at them threatening to immediately shoot them. Granted, the young men acted rudely and disrespectfully. But since when in America is cockiness and rudeness a potential death sentence?
But the worst part of the story came afterward when the chief of police issued a statement defending the conduct of the officers. Chief Jeffrey Katz viewed the video tape (recorded by a passenger in the car) and said the following: “When I watch this video, I don’t see a car full of young men who are behaving in a manner consistent with FEAR OF THE POLICE.” (Emphasis added)
‘I’ll Put A Round In Your A** So Quick’: Florida Police Chief Defends Cop Who Threatened To Shoot Young Black Man Because He Filmed His Partner Throwing Him On The Ground
Ladies and gentlemen, that is not the statement of an American peace officer; that is the statement of a Nazi Brown Shirt. This is what happens when Washington, D.C., turns our local and State law enforcement officers into quasi-military units from a national police force. The police chief and his officers were angry that the young men didn’t FEAR the police enough.
So, that’s it. We are supposed to FEAR the police? Really? Then, pray tell, who are the police supposed to fear? My father didn’t teach me to fear the police. He taught me to respect the police. And he taught me that the police were my friends. He did not teach me that I had to fear for my rights and my very life every time I’m pulled over for a traffic stop. And that’s not the way that Sheriff Cliff Arnold’s deputies behaved while I was growing up.
The Department of Homeland Security and Defense Department are all but forcing local and State police agencies to accept military equipment, tanks, attack helicopters, machine guns, and more. Last year alone, the Pentagon gave half a billion dollars of military gear to local police agencies. They are supplying suggested training procedures, complete with lists of the people whom they (Washington, D.C.) considers “dangerous.”
Most of the intelligence that police agencies receive comes from the DHS-Fusion centers. Reading these memos is like reading the propaganda being spewed out by the radical, ultra-left wing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). And in truth, much of the information that the Fusion centers distribute are carbon copies of SPLC propaganda.
For example, when I first moved to Montana four years ago, a local police lieutenant sent a memo to the city’s police officers warning them about me. The memo accused me of things like being part of potentially dangerous militia groups, etc. He took words from off of my website and said they showed that I was an “extremist.” What words, you ask? Words like: Liberty Fellowship, Black Regiment Pastors, Patriot Businesses, etc. Where did the lieutenant get that idea? He didn’t know me from Job’s turkey. He got it through a DHS Fusion center memo.
I later had a lunch meeting with the police lieutenant in the presence of a retired police officer and tried to assure him as to my character and integrity. I even showed him my honorary sheriff’s deputy credentials. He admitted that he had not even read the content of my website and was merely going by the titles, which leads me to believe he may not have even logged onto the website at all but was merely taking the Fusion center report as “gospel.” And, no, as far as I know, he did not send out a retraction to his officers. Thankfully, I have had several policemen and sheriff’s deputies tell me personally how disgusted they were at the lieutenant’s unfounded character assassination against me and that they appreciate the work I am doing.
In fact, I have had countless police officers and sheriff’s deputies around the country write and tell me about similar memos they have received from DHS. I have even had deputies drive up to me and show me the memos they had received on the computers in their squad cars with the same kind of propaganda.
My friends in law enforcement, can you not see what is happening? Can you not see that you are being brainwashed into a police-state mentality where constitutional rights are seldom considered, especially in emergencies? All the feds must do is create some sort of national or local emergency and, presto, you become instruments of a Police State. Do you not see the trend?
By an overwhelming majority, your fellow citizens are NOT your enemies. We are your neighbors, fellow church members, etc. Are you going to let the machinations of would-be tyrants in Washington, D.C., and even in your own State and community, turn the honorable profession of peace officer into an “us versus them” Gestapo-like Police State?
True story: here in Montana, a small town police officer, who is assigned to the traffic division, was asked to speak to a church group. Mostly, he gives out traffic citations for minor violations. As he began his remarks, he said, “I am a cop; I work every day among the dregs of society.” Really? People who get parking tickets and speeding tickets are the “dregs” of society? That, my friends, is the mark of an unfolding police-state mentality. And, remember, this is from the heart and lips of a professing Christian.
As honest and honorable as most of you men and women of law enforcement are, it is time that you come to grips with the fact that the current system emanating from Washington, D.C., controlling the attitudes, training, and tactics of police agencies is practically a carbon copy of history’s most notorious totalitarian regimes. And if the Nuremberg trials proved anything, they proved that “I was just following orders” is never justification for ignoring the greater moral laws of God and Nature.
My dad told me that the policeman is my friend. I would still like to believe that; but it behooves my friends in law enforcement to prove it to me by personally making up your minds to vehemently resist the current trend of militarizing your profession and of turning our once-free republic into a Police State. After all, you want us to be your friends, too, right?