And in Washington, DC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have put together a zombie apocalypse preparation kit “that details everything you would need to have on hand in the event the living dead showed up at your front door.”
The zombie narrative, popularized by the hit television series The Walking Dead, in which a small group of Americans attempt to survive in a zombie-ridden, post-apocalyptic world where they’re not only fighting off flesh-eating ghouls but cannibalistic humans, plays to our fears and paranoia.
Yet as journalist Syreeta McFadden points out, while dystopian stories used to reflect our anxieties, now they reflect our reality, mirroring how we as a nation view the world around us, how we as citizens view each other, and most of all how our government views us.
Fear the Walking Dead—AMC’s new spinoff of its popular Walking Dead series—drives this point home by dialing back the clock to when the zombie outbreak first appears and setting viewers down in the midst of societal unrest not unlike our own experiences of the past year (“a bunch of weird incidents, police protests, riots, and … rapid social entropy”). Then, as Forbes reports, “the military showed up and we fast-forwarded into an ad hoc police state with no glimpse at what was happening in the world around our main cast of hapless survivors.”
Forbes found Fear’s quick shift into a police state to be far-fetched, but anyone who has been paying attention in recent years knows that the groundwork has already been laid for the government—i.e., the military—to intervene and lock down the nation in the event of a national disaster.
Recognizing this, the Atlantic notes: “The villains of [Fear the Walking Dead] aren’t the zombies, who rarely appear, but the U.S. military, who sweep into an L.A. suburb to quarantine the survivors. Zombies are, after all, a recognizable threat—but Fear plumbs drama and horror from the betrayal by institutions designed to keep people safe.”
Here’s the curious thing, however: while zombies may be the personification of our darkest fears, they embody the government’s paranoia about the citizenry as potential threats that need to be monitored, tracked, surveilled, sequestered, deterred, vanquished and rendered impotent.
Why else would the government feel the need to monitor our communications, track our movements, criminalize our every action, treat us like suspects, and strip us of any means of defense while equipping its own personnel with an amazing arsenal of weapons?
Coinciding with Halloween 2012, a five-day national conference was put on by the HALO Corp. in San Diego for more than 1,000 first responders, military personnel and law enforcement types. It included workshops produced by a Hollywood-affiliated firm in…overcoming a zombie invasion. Actors were made up to look like flesh-chomping monsters. The Department of Homeland Security even paid the $1,000 entry fees for an unknown number of participants…
“Zombie disaster” drills were held in October 2012 and ’13 at California’s Sutter Roseville Medical Center. The exercises allowed medical center staff “to test response to a deadly infectious disease, a mass-casualty event, terrorism event and security procedures”…
[In October 2014], REI outdoor-gear stores in Soho and around the country are to hold free classes in zombie preparedness, which the stores have been providing for about three years.
The zombie exercises appear to be kitschy and fun—government agents running around trying to put down a zombie rebellion—but what if the zombies in the exercises are us, the citizenry, viewed by those in power as mindless, voracious, zombie hordes?
Consider this: the government started playing around with the idea of using zombies as stand-ins for enemy combatants in its training drills right around the time the Army War College issued its 2008 report, warning that an economic crisis in the U.S. could lead to massive civil unrest that would require the military to intervene and restore order.
That same year, it was revealed that the government had amassed more than 8 million names of Americans considered a threat to national security, to be used “by the military in the event of a national catastrophe, a suspension of the Constitution or the imposition of martial law.” The program’s name, Main Core, refers to the fact that it contains “copies of the ‘main core’ or essence of each item of intelligence information on Americans produced by the FBI and the other agencies of the U.S. intelligence community.”
In 2009, the Dept. of Homeland Security issued its reports on Rightwing and Leftwing Extremism, in which the terms “extremist” and “terrorist” were used interchangeably to describe citizens who were disgruntled or anti-government.
Most recently, the Obama administration hired a domestic terrorism czar whose job is to focus on anti-government American “extremists” who have been designated a greater threat to America than ISIS or al Qaeda. As part of the government’s so-called war on right-wing extremism, the Obama administration has agreed to partner with the United Nations to take part in its Strong Cities Network program, which will train local police agencies across America in how to identify, fight and prevent extremism.
In other words, those who believe in and exercise their rights under the Constitution (namely, the right to speak freely, worship freely, associate with like-minded individuals who share their political views, criticize the government, own a weapon, demand a warrant before being questioned or searched, or any other activity viewed as potentially anti-government, racist, bigoted, anarchic or sovereign), have just been promoted to the top of the government’s terrorism watch list.
Noticing a pattern yet?
“We the people” or, more appropriately, “we the zombies” are the enemy in the eyes of the government.
So when presented with the Defense Department’s battle plan for defeating an army of the walking dead, you might find yourself tempted to giggle over the fact that a taxpayer-funded government bureaucrat actually took the time to research and write about vegetarian zombies, evil magic zombies, chicken zombies, space zombies, bio-engineered weaponized zombies, radiation zombies, symbiant-induced zombies, and pathogenic zombies.
However, in an age of extreme government paranoia, this is no laughing matter.
The DOD’s strategy for dealing with a zombie uprising, outlined in “CONOP 8888,” is for all intents and purposes a training manual for the government in how to put down a citizen uprising or at least an uprising of individuals “infected” with dangerous ideas about freedom.
Rest assured that the tactics and difficulties outlined in the “fictional training scenario” are all too real, beginning with martial law.
As the DOD training manual states: “zombies [read: “activists”] are horribly dangerous to all human life and zombie infections have the potential to seriously undermine national security and economic activities that sustain our way of life. Therefore having a population that is not composed of zombies or at risk from their malign influence is vital to U.S. and Allied national interests.”
So how does the military plan to put down a zombie (a.k.a. disgruntled citizen) uprising?
The strategy manual outlines five phases necessary for a counter-offensive: shape, deter, seize initiative, dominate, stabilize and restore civil authority. Here are a few details:
(i.e., surveillance). Carry out military drills. Synchronize contingency plans between federal and state agencies. Anticipate and prepare for a breakdown in law and order.
Phase 1 (Deter): Recognize that zombies cannot be deterred or reasoned with. Carry out training drills to discourage other countries from developing or deploying attack zombies and publicly reinforce the government’s ability to combat a zombie threat. Initiate intelligence sharing between federal and state agencies. Assist the Dept. of Homeland Security in identifying or discouraging immigrants from areas where zombie-related diseases originate.
Phase 2 (Seize initiative): Recall all military personal to their duty stations. Fortify all military outposts. Deploy air and ground forces for at least 35 days. Carry out confidence-building measures with nuclear-armed peers such as Russia and China to ensure they do not misinterpret the government’s zombie countermeasures as preparations for war. Establish quarantine zones. Distribute explosion-resistant protective equipment. Place the military on red alert. Begin limited scale military operations to combat zombie threats. Carry out combat operations against zombie populations within the United States that were “previously” U.S. citizens.
Phase 3 (Dominate): Lock down all military bases for 30 days. Shelter all essential government personnel for at least 40 days. Equip all government agents with military protective gear. Issue orders for military to kill all non-human life on sight. Initiate bomber and missile strikes against targeted sources of zombie infection, including the infrastructure. Burn all zombie corpses. Deploy military to lock down the beaches and waterways.
Phase 4 (Stabilize): Send out recon teams to check for remaining threats and survey the status of basic services (water, power, sewage infrastructure, air, and lines of communication). Execute a counter-zombie ISR plan to ID holdout pockets of zombie resistance. Use all military resources to target any remaining regions of zombie holdouts and influence. Continue all actions from the Dominate phase.
Phase 5 (Restore civil authority): Deploy military personnel to assist any surviving civil authorities in disaster zones. Reconstitute combat capabilities at various military bases. Prepare to redeploy military forces to attack surviving zombie holdouts. Restore basic services in disaster areas.
Notice the similarities?
Surveillance. Military drills. Awareness training. Militarized police forces. Martial law.
As I point out in my book, Battlefield America: The War on the American People, if there is any lesson to be learned, it is simply this: whether the threat to national security comes in the form of actual terrorists, imaginary zombies or disgruntled American citizens infected with dangerous ideas about freedom, the government’s response to such threats remains the same: detect, deter and annihilate.
To return to AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead: it’s the police state “tasked with protecting the vulnerable” that poses some of the gravest threats to the citizenry.
When the military arrives, mowing down hostile “walkers” with ease, setting up camp to screen out any further infection, the moment is presented with an ironic note of triumph. The main character, Travis Manawa (Cliff Curtis), tells his group they can rest easy—help has finally arrived… As the soldiers begin hauling anyone spiking a fever away to quarantine zones, Travis insists their intentions are noble while the rest of his family begins to realize the military doesn’t really have a plan except to crush any potential threat. Are you a zombie? They’ll shoot you in the head. Do you look sick? You’re probably about to be a zombie. Do you have a problem with their approach? Then they have a problem with you, too.
One of the show’s most brilliant touches has been the characterization of the soldiers themselves, not as impassive robots hell-bent on enforcing martial law, but as worryingly recognizable guys around town. Whenever Travis pleads with his local commander to address community fears and complaints, he might as well be talking to an ornery bowling buddy. The soldiers are tetchy and irritable rather than monstrous, clearly overwhelmed by the impossible situation they face, and granted authority through the guns in their hands and little else. In a pivotal scene, one of them tries to cajole Travis into firing a killshot at a distant zombie through a sniper scope, even though he knows Travis believes there might be a cure. The soldiers insist the zombies are dead beyond salvation—an unfortunate truth on the show, but also a sad reflection of just how dehumanized the enemy can become in the midst of war.
The latest episode, “Cobalt,” revealed the military’s endgame: With the zombie situation deteriorating, they plan to flee and wipe out everyone they leave behind, at this point motivated only by the need to survive, rather than to protect. Countering that is the family unit that has forged new bonds in the crisis. These organically loyal communities, the writers Robert Kirkman and David Erickson argue, are the only kind that can survive in such a world… More than anything, Fear the Walking Dead is a drama about occupation, the breakdown of society, and the ease with which seemingly decent people can decide that might makes right. Like any dystopian fiction, it’s easy to dismiss as fantasy, but remove the zombies and Fear could be taking place in dozens of real-world locations… This is happening here, Kirkman and Erickson are saying, but it could happen anywhere.
OBAMA: ‘AMERICANS’ SUSPICION OF GOVERNMENT IS PARALYZING’
President also suggests Christians holding back America from doing “big things”
by STEVE WATSON | INFOWARS.COM | OCTOBER 13, 2015
In what is billed as a ‘conversation’ with with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marilynne Robinson, for the November issue of The New York Review of Books, Obama bemoaned the notion that Americans’ “conceptions of government can get us in trouble.”
Speaking about his idea of ‘progress’, Obama noted:
“Whenever I hear people saying that our problems would be solved without government, I always want to tell them you need to go to some other countries where there really is no government.”
“Where the roads are never repaired, where nobody has facilitated electricity going everywhere even where it’s not economical.” Obama added.
“If, in fact, you think that government is the enemy. And that, too, is a running strain in our democracy. That’s sort of in our DNA. We’re suspicious of government as a tool of oppression. And that skepticism is healthy, but it can also be paralyzing when we’re trying to do big things together.” Obama stated.
So essentially, the president is saying that anyone who questions or opposes the government is holding back America from doing “big things”.
Perhaps those big things consist of arming known terrorists in Iraq and Syria, and opening the borders to them? Is it “paralyzing” when Americans take umbrage with those “big things”?
In further comments during the discussion, Obama seemed to take a huge swipe at Christianity, suggesting that Christians who take their religion the most seriously are prone to developing a mentality of “us versus them”.
“…sometimes I think you also get frustrated with kind of the wishy-washy, more liberal versions where anything goes,” Obama added.
“How do you reconcile the idea of faith being really important to you and you caring a lot about taking faith seriously with the fact that, at least in our democracy and our civic discourse, it seems as if folks who take religion the most seriously sometimes are also those who are suspicious of those not like them?”
Robinson chimed in, managing to strong arm in a swipe at Christians AND gun owners:
“I mean, when people are turning in on themselves — and God knows, arming themselves and so on — against the imagined other, they’re not taking their Christianity seriously.” she told the president.
So take note, Americans exercising your First and Second Amendment rights, as well as following the Founders’ advice to be skeptical of government, you are “paralyzing” Obama’s agenda.
First he comes for the banks and health care, uses the IRS to go after critics, politicizes the Justice Department, spies on journalists, tries to curb religious freedom, slashes the military, throws open the borders, doubles the debt and nationalizes the Internet.
He lies to the public, ignores the Constitution, inflames race relations and urges Latinos to punish Republican “enemies.” He abandons our allies, appeases tyrants, coddles adversaries and uses the Crusades as an excuse for inaction as Islamist terrorists slaughter their way across the Mideast.
Now he’s coming for Israel.
Barack Obama’s promise to transform America was too modest. He is transforming the whole world before our eyes. Do you see it yet?
Against the backdrop of the tsunami of trouble he has unleashed, Obama’s pledge to “reassess” America’s relationship with Israel cannot be taken lightly. Already paving the way for an Iranian nuke, he is hinting he’ll also let the other anti-Semites at Turtle Bay have their way. That could mean American support for punitive Security Council resolutions or for Palestinian statehood initiatives. It could mean both, or something worse.
Brian Williams’ “chopper whoppers” about his exploits as a correspondent flying into Iraq are making him look foolish. It’s not clear whether he can survive in the anchor chair. But don’t think the Williams case means that the media are now on guard for misrepresentations and false claims. The controversy over vaccines has been another media low point. We are being told they are completely safe with no side effects. That’s a blatant lie.
Anybody who watches Williams’ newscasts can see who pays the bills: pharmaceutical companies. Commercials for various pills, and even vaccines, are regular fare and dominate the several minutes of time that pay for the newscast itself. You would have to be a fool to think these companies don’t try to exercise influence over what appears on the broadcasts.
Attkisson, an Emmy Award winner who received the Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award in 2012, left the network when it became clear that her investigative stories, especially of Obama administration misdeeds, were not welcome. One of the stories she had been covering on a regular basis for many years was the vaccine-autism link. She continues to do so on her own website.
This is an area where the truth affects many people, not just Brian Williams’ career. The developmental disorder known as autism is estimated to affect two million people. It involves difficulties in social interaction and verbal and nonverbal communication. Hiring doctors and the rapists to treat the disorder can cost a family $50,000 or more a year. However, there is no cure.
The number of cases have risen from an estimated one in 5,000 in 1975 to one in 64 today, a more than 600 percent increase. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) claims it can’t identify the cause, but has consistently claimed that the disorder is not linked to the growing number of vaccines required for children.
The pro-vaccination side has increasingly resorted to vicious name calling and smears against those favoring informed consent and parental choice on vaccines. The Washington Post published a piece by Arthur L. Caplan, an alleged expert on medical ethics, comparing the opponents of vaccines to Holocaust deniers. He said that doctors favoring choice on vaccines should have their licenses lifted.
There is one name these proponents of mandatory vaccines in the media desperately want to avoid: vaccine victim Hannah Poling. You can search in vain for her name in the recent coverage of alleged vaccine safety.
Attkisson notes in her book that in 2008, the federal government agreed to pay damages to the family of Hannah Poling, “a child who developed autism after multiple vaccinations.” Attkisson explained that the “landmark case” amounted to $1.5 million for the girl the first year and $500,000 each year after. In total, the compensation could amount to $20 million over the child’s lifetime.
The Poling case was just one of thousands of cases filed in the National Vaccine Injury Program. But it was selected as a “test case” to evaluate the arguments underlying most of the other vaccine-autism claims.
If you want a winning role, act like a scientist. Talk like a scientist. Imagine that everything you say is backed by a study published in a peer-reviewed journal.” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)
Objectivity. What more could you want? What could be more objective than science? What could be less open to dispute? Who could be more authoritative than a scientist? What could influence public opinion more thoroughly than a whole group of scientists, an establishment of scientists, backed by the government?
Notice that when a news anchor takes an unimpeachable statement from a scientist, they both sound like scientists. The double whammy.
It impresses the rubes and yokels and even the well-educated viewers.
This is no accident.
It’s a system of persuasion.
I published this quote yesterday. Here it is again:
“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.” —Marcia Angell, MD (“Drug Companies and Doctors: A story of Corruption.” NY Review of Books, Jan. 15, 2009.)
The veneer and the tone and pose of objectivity are a front, a con.
Take the breaking story of NBC’s Brian Williams, “the most trusted name in news.” He lied about being in a helicopter taking fire in Iraq in 2003. He admitted the lie yesterday, and in his confession he apparently lied again, giving the false impression that the helicopter right in front of his took the fire, when at least one soldier on the scene states that Williams’ helicopter wasn’t even in the same formation, but landed some time later.
The impact of Williams lying is magnified by his persona of objectivity, which is on display every night on NBC. The objective man was lying. He was making it up. He was faking it.
Here’s something that many Americans — including some of the smartest and most educated among us — don’t know: The official unemployment rate, as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, is extremely misleading.
Right now, we’re hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is “down” to 5.6%. The cheerleading for this number is deafening. The media loves a comeback story, the White House wants to score political points and Wall Street would like you to stay in the market.
None of them will tell you this: If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job — if you are so hopelessly out of work that you’ve stopped looking over the past four weeks — the Department of Labor doesn’t count you as unemployed. That’s right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news — currently 5.6%. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren’t throwing parties to toast “falling” unemployment.
There’s another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you’re an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 — maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn — you’re not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.
Yet another figure of importance that doesn’t get much press: those working part time but wanting full-time work. If you have a degree in chemistry or math and are working 10 hours part time because it is all you can find — in other words, you are severely underemployed — the government doesn’t count you in the 5.6%. Few Americans know this.
There’s no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.
And it’s a lie that has consequences, because the great American dream is to have a good job, and in recent years, America has failed to deliver that dream more than it has at any time in recent memory. A good job is an individual’s primary identity, their very self-worth, their dignity — it establishes the relationship they have with their friends, community and country. When we fail to deliver a good job that fits a citizen’s talents, training and experience, we are failing the great American dream.
Gallup defines a good job as 30+ hours per week for an organization that provides a regular paycheck. Right now, the U.S. is delivering at a staggeringly low rate of 44%, which is the number of full-time jobs as a percent of the adult population, 18 years and older. We need that to be 50% and a bare minimum of 10 million new, good jobs to replenish America’s middle class.
I hear all the time that “unemployment is greatly reduced, but the people aren’t feeling it.” When the media, talking heads, the White House and Wall Street start reporting the truth — the percent of Americans in good jobs; jobs that are full time and real — then we will quit wondering why Americans aren’t “feeling” something that doesn’t remotely reflect the reality in their lives. And we will also quit wondering what hollowed out the middle class.
THE GREAT DECEIVERS: OBAMA, MARY LANDRIEU AND THE DEMOCRATS
By Lloyd Marcus
November 22, 2014
Stop urinating on us and telling us it is raining. Please forgive me for using a crude saying. However, it perfectly and succinctly describes what Obama, Mary Landrieu and the Democrats have been doing to Americans, particularly blacks, for a very long time; until we stop them.
In their remarkable arrogance and assumption that most voters are clueless idiots, Obama and his minions look reporters and the American people in the eye via TV and tell us flat out lies, huge whoopers without even blinking. They act as if there is no such thing as video archives and fact checkers.
Clearly, Obama and his posse know that they can count on the liberal MSM to cover/protect their derrieres; complicit in their efforts to deceive the American people.
Here is Obama’s most recent in your face lie/deception. Obama plans to push forward with the feds taking control of the internet against the will of a vast majority of the American people. In Democrat fool-ya fashion, he claims he wants to “save the internet”. Obama is lying. His intention is to add another notch on his gun of government overreaching power grabs.
One thing you can count on. Whatever Obama and his minions say they seek to achieve, their hidden agenda is the polar opposite.
Sen. Mary “voted with Obama 97% of the time” Landrieu has been deceiving her constituents for 18 years; promoting herself as a champion for blacks and women.
She is neither. Finally, Louisiana blacks have begun to realize the truth and are pushing back. Praise God!
Dr Wayne Dyer says that when you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out because that’s what’s inside. Squeezed by low polling numbers, Mary Landrieu’s superiority, arrogance, condescension and true contempt for her constituents came out during an interview. Landrieu blamed Louisianan voter’s rejection of her and Obama’s agenda on southern state racism and sexism. In essence, calling Louisiana voters a bunch of ignorant redneck racists and sexists.
But folks, Landrieu was simply following the Democratic Party’s disrespect for the intellect of voters standard fool-ya play book. When all else fails, lie/deceive, demonize and create hate.
When Republican Congressman Paul Ryan proposed a plan to save Medicare, Democrat minions produced a deplorable ad to deceive voters and demonize Ryan; depicting him pushing a helpless terrified gray-haired grandmother in a wheelchair over a cliff plunging to her death. Meanwhile, Obama cut Medicare by $718 billion dollars.
The Democrats deceived many into believing that Republicans had a war on women. Meanwhile, guess who has a history of keeping women in chains? Answer: The Democrats.
In 1964, Democrat president Lyndon Johnson implemented government welfare programs promoted as his “war on poverty”. Twenty-two trillion dollars later, government playing Robin Hood by taking from the rich and redistributing to the poor, progress against poverty has been minimal. Democrat government dependency programs mixed with the lowering of moral and cultural standards have left the black family and community in shambles. The mission was never about ending poverty, but rather addicting blacks to government handouts to secure their votes forever.
My 86 year old black dad told me a great story about black Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. A few years ago, dad volunteered at a mostly black Baltimore elementary school. Dad said they took a bus load of students to Washington DC on a field trip to meet Justice Thomas. Justice Thomas asked security to put them in a side room. After his court case, Justice Thomas met with the students. Justice Thomas said he was a knucklehead as a kid, but turned his life around. The kids were very excited and Justice Thomas took a lot of pictures with the kids.
I reminded dad that Justice Thomas is despised by the NAACP and the Democrats, despite probably being the most powerful black man in the world second to Obama. I told my dad Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown were thugs. And yet, the NAACP, Democrats and the MSM have tried to elevate them to hero status. Meanwhile, they despise extraordinarily successful superb black role models such as Dr Ben Carson, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, businessman extraordinaire and presidential candidate Herman Cain and Justice Thomas.
If black empowerment is truly their goal, why would the NAACP, the Democrats and MSM celebrate thugs while, not just hating, but seeking to destroy real black achievers? The answer is simple. The Democrats and their minions are great deceivers whose sole mission is to secure loyal black voters at any and all cost. Thugs Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown help to promote the Democrats’ narrative that white cops shoot blacks at will; vote for us to keep them from murdering you.
Evil deceivers produced an outrageous ad claiming that if blacks do not vote, they need to send their kids to school wearing bulletproof vests to protect them from police. Beyond the pale. A bottomless gutter shameful tactic.
The Democrats’ modus operandi is to deceive, deceive, deceive. Democrat Charlie Rangel tried to portray the decent hard working patriotic members of the Tea Party as white racist segregationists. Totally absurd, divisive, evil and deceptive.
I feel like if MLK came back today he would be heartbroken, thinking, “What in the world happened!” He gave his life for blacks to have equal opportunity and be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. He never intended for race exploitation and racial division to become an industry.
BP’s Deepwater Horizons spill left giant ‘bathtub ring’ made up of ten MILLION gallons of oil on Gulf of Mexico seafloor
Area the size of Rhode Island affected
10 million gallons of oil coagulated on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico around the damaged Deepwater Horizons oil rig
The BP oil spill left an oily ‘bathub ring’ on the sea floor that’s about the size of Rhode Island, new research shows.
The study by David Valentine, the chief scientist on the federal damage assessment research ships, estimates that about 10 million gallons of oil coagulated on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico around the damaged Deepwater Horizons oil rig.
Valentine, a geochemistry professor at the University of California Santa Barbara, said the spill from the Macondo well left other splotches containing even more oil.
He said it is obvious where the oil is from, even though there were no chemical signature tests because over time the oil has degraded.
‘There’s this sort of ring where you see around the Macondo well where the concentrations are elevated,’ Valentine said.
The study, published in Monday’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, calls it a ‘bathtub ring.’
Oil levels inside the ring were as much as 10,000 times higher than outside the 1,200-square-mile ring, Valentine said.
A chemical component of the oil was found on the sea floor, anywhere from two-thirds of a mile to a mile below the surface.
The modern institution of the presidency is the primary political evil Americans face, and the cause of nearly all our woes. It squanders the national wealth and starts unjust wars against foreign peoples that have never done us any harm. It wrecks our families, tramples on our rights, invades our communities, and spies on our bank accounts. It skews the culture toward decadence and trash. It tells lie after lie. Teachers used to tell school kids that anyone can be president. This is like saying anyone can go to Hell. It’s not an inspiration; it’s a threat.
The presidency – by which I mean the executive State – is the sum total of American tyranny. The other branches of government, including the presidentially appointed Supreme Court, are mere adjuncts. The presidency insists on complete devotion and humble submission to its dictates, even while it steals the products of our labor and drives us into economic ruin. It centralizes all power unto itself, and crowds out all competing centers of power in society, including the church, the family, business, charity, and the community. I’ll go further. The US presidency is the world’s leading evil. It is the chief mischief-maker in every part of the globe, the leading wrecker of nations, the usurer behind Third-World debt, the bailer-out of corrupt governments, the hand in many dictatorial gloves, the sponsor and sustainer of the New World Order, of wars, interstate and civil, of famine and disease. To see the evils caused by the presidency, look no further than Iraq or Serbia, where the lives of innocents were snuffed out in pointless wars, where bombing was designed to destroy civilian infrastructure and cause disease, and where women, children, and the aged have been denied essential food and medicine because of a cruel embargo. Look at the human toll taken by the presidency, from Dresden and Hiroshima to Waco and Ruby Ridge, and you see a prime practitioner of murder by government.
Today, the president is called the leader of the world’s only superpower, the “world’s indispensable nation,” which is reason enough to have him deposed. A world with any superpower at all is a world where no freedoms are safe. But by invoking this title, the presidency attempts to keep our attention focused on foreign affairs. It is a diversionary tactic designed to keep us from noticing the oppressive rule it imposes right here in the United States.
As the presidency assumes ever more power unto itself, it becomes less and less accountable and more and more tyrannical. These days, when we say the federal government, what we really mean is the presidency. When we say, national priorities, we really mean what the presidency wants. When we say national culture, we mean what the presidency funds and imposes.
The presidency is presumed to be the embodiment of Rousseau’s general will, with far more power than any monarch or head of state in pre-modern societies. The US presidency is the apex of the world’s biggest and most powerful government and of the most expansive empire in world history. As such, the presidency represents the opposite of freedom. It is what stands between us and our goal of restoring our ancient rights.
And let me be clear: I’m not talking about any particular inhabitant of the White House. I’m talking about the institution itself, and the millions of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats who are its acolytes. Look through the US government manual, which breaks down the federal establishment into its three branches. What you actually see is the presidential trunk, its Supreme Court stick, and its Congressional twig. Practically everything we think of as federal – save the Library of Congress – operates under the aegis of the executive.
This is why the governing elites – and especially the foreign policy elites – are so intent on maintaining public respect for the office, and why they seek to give it the aura of holiness. For example, after Watergate, they briefly panicked and worried that they had gone too far. They might have discredited the democratic autocracy. And to some extent they did. But the elites were not stupid; they were careful to insist that the Watergate controversy was not about the presidency as such, but only about Nixon the man. That’s why it became necessary to separate the two. How? By keeping the focus on Nixon, making a devil out of him, and reveling in the details of his personal life, his difficulties with his mother, his supposed pathologies, etc.
Of course, this didn’t entirely work. Americans took from Watergate the lesson that presidents will lie to you. This should be the first lesson of any civics course, of course, and the first rule of thumb in understanding the affairs of government. But notice that after Nixon died, he too was elevated to godlike status. None other than Bill Clinton served as high priest of the cult of president-worship on that occasion. He did everything but sacrifice a white bull at the temple of the White House.
The presidency recovered most of its sacramental character during the Reagan years. How wonderful, for the sake of our liberties, that Clinton has revived the great American tradition of scorning tyrants. In some ways, he is the best president a freedom lover can hope for. Of course, someday, Clinton too will ascend to the clouds, and enter the pantheon of the great leaders of the free world.
The libraries are filled with shelf after shelf of treatises on the American presidency. Save yourself some time, and don’t bother with them. Virtually all tell the same hagiographic story. Whether written by liberals or conservatives, they serve up the identical Whiggish pap: the history of the presidency is the story of a great and glorious institution. It was opposed early on, and viciously so, by the anti-federalists, and later, even more viciously, by Southern Confederates. But it has been heroically championed by every respectable person since the beginning of the republic.
The office of the presidency, the conventional wisdom continues, has changed not at all in substance, but has grown in stature, responsibility, and importance, to fulfill its unique mission on earth. As the duties of the office have grown, so has the greatness of the men who inhabit it. Each stands on the shoulders of his forerunners, and, inspired by their vision and decisiveness, goes on to make his own contribution to the ever-expanding magisterium of presidential laws, executive orders, and national security findings.
When there is a low ebb in the accumulation of power, it is seen as the fault of the individual and not the office. Thus the so-called postage-stamp presidents between Lincoln and Wilson are to be faulted for not following the glorious example set by Abe. They had a vast reservoir of power, but were mysteriously reluctant to use it. Fortunately that situation was resolved, by Wilson especially, and we moved onward and upward into the light of the present day. And every one of these books ends with the same conclusion: the US presidency has served us well.
The hagiographers do admit one failing of the American presidency. It is almost too big an office for one man, and too much a burden to bear. The American people have come to expect too much from the president. We are unrealistic to think that one man can do it all. But that’s all the more reason to respect and worship the man who agrees to take it on, and why all enlightened people must cut him some slack.
The analogy that comes to mind is the official history of the popes. In its infancy, the papacy was less formal, but its power and position were never in question. As the years went on and doctrine developed, so too did the burdens of office. Each pope inherited the wisdom of his forbears, and led the Church into fulfilling its mission more effectively.
But let’s be clear about this. The church has never claimed that the papacy was the product of human effort; its spiritual character is a consequence of a divine, not human, act. And even the official history admits the struggles with anti-popes and Borgia popes. Catholics believe the institution was founded by Christ, and is guided by the Holy Spirit, but the pope can only invoke that guidance in the most narrow and rare circumstances. Otherwise, he is all too fallible. And that is why, although allegedly an absolute monarch, he is actually bound by the rule of law.
The presidency is seemingly bound by law, but in practice it can do just about anything it pleases. It can order up troops anywhere in the world, just as Clinton bragged in his acceptance speech at the Democratic convention. It can plow up a religious community in Texas and bury its members because they got on somebody’s nerves at the Justice Department. It can tap our phones, read our mail, watch our bank accounts, and tell us what we can and cannot eat, drink, and smoke.
The presidency can break up businesses, shut down airlines, void drilling leases, bribe foreign heads of state or arrest them and try them in kangaroo courts, nationalize land, engage in germ warfare, firebomb crops in Colombia, overthrow any government anywhere, erect tariffs, round up and discredit any public or private assembly it chooses, grab our guns, tax our incomes and our inheritances, steal our land, centrally plan the national and world economy, and impose embargoes on anything anytime. No prince or pope ever had this ability.
But leave all that aside and consider this nightmare. The presidency has the power to bring about a nuclear holocaust with the push of a button. On his own initiative, the president can destroy the human race. One man can wipe out life on earth. Talk about playing God. This is a grotesque evil. And the White House claims it is not a tyranny? If the power to destroy the entire world isn’t tyrannical, I don’t know what is. Why do we put up with this? Why do we allow it? Why isn’t this power immediately stripped from him?
What prevents fundamental challenge to this monstrous power is precisely the quasi-religious trappings of the presidency, which we again had to suffer through last January. One man who saw the religious significance of the presidency, and denounced it in 1973, was – surprisingly enough – Michael Novak. His study, Choosing Our King: Powerful Symbols in Presidential Politics, is one of the few dissenting books on the subject. It was reissued last year as – not surprisingly – Choosing Our Presidents: Symbols of Political Leadership, with a new introduction repudiating the best parts of the book.
Of course, none of the conventional bilge accords with reality. The US president is the worst outgrowth of a badly flawed Constitution, imposed in a sort of coup against the Articles of Confederation. Even from the beginning, the presidency was accorded too much power. Indeed, an honest history would have to admit that the presidency has always been an instrument of oppression, from the Whisky Rebellion to the War on Tobacco.
The presidency has systematically stolen the liberty won through the secession from Britain. From Jackson and Lincoln to McKinley and Roosevelt Junior, from Wilson and FDR to Truman and Kennedy, from Nixon and Reagan to Bush and Clinton, it has been the means by which our rights to liberty, property, and self-government have been suppressed.
I can count on one hand the actions of presidents that actually favored the true American cause, meaning liberty. The overwhelming history of the presidency is a tale of overthrown rights and liberties, and the erection of despotism in their stead.
Each president has tended to be worse than the last, especially in this century. Lately, in terms of the powers they assumed and the dictates they imposed, Kennedy was worse than Eisenhower, Johnson was worse than Kennedy, Nixon was worse than Johnson, Carter was worse than Nixon, and Reagan – who doubled the national budget and permanently entrenched the warfare State – was worse than Carter. The same is true of Bush and Clinton. Every budget is bigger and the powers exercised more egregious. Each new brutal action breaks another taboo and establishes a new precedent that gives the next occupant of the White House more leeway.
Looking back through American history, we can see the few exceptions to this rule. Washington wrote an eloquent farewell address, laying out the proper American trade and foreign policy. Jefferson’s revolution of 1800 was a great thing. But was it really a freer country after his term than before? That’s a tough case to make. Andrew Jackson abolished the central bank, but his real legacy was democratic centralism and weakened states’ rights.
Andrew Johnson loosened the military dictatorship fastened on the South after it was conquered. But it is not hard to make the country freer when it had become totalitarian under the previous president’s rule. Of course, Lincoln’s bloody autocracy survives as the model of presidential leadership.
James Buchanan made a great statement on behalf of the right of revolution. Grant restored the gold standard. Harding denounced US imperialism in Haiti. But overall, my favorite president is William Henry Harrison. He keeled over shortly after his inauguration.
There have been four huge surveys taken of historians’ views on the presidents: in 1948, in 1962, in 1970, and in 1983. Historians were asked to rank presidents as Great, Near Great, Average, Below Average, and Failure. In every case, number one is Lincoln, the mass murderer and military dictator who is the real father of the present nation. His term was a model of every despot’s dream: spending money without Congressional approval, declaring martial law, arbitrarily arresting thousands and holding them without trial, suppressing free speech and the free press, handing out lucrative war contracts to his cronies, raising taxes, inflating the currency, and killing hundreds of thousands for the crime of desiring self-government. These are just the sort of actions historians love.
The number-two winner in these competitions is FDR. Moreover, Wilson and Jackson are always in the top five. The bottom two in every case are Grant and Harding. None bothered to rate William Henry Harrison.
What does greatness in the presidency mean? It means waging war, crushing liberties, imposing socialism, issuing dictates, browbeating and ignoring Congress, appointing despotic judges, expanding the domestic and global empire, and generally trying his best to be an all-round enemy of freedom. It means saying with Lincoln, “I have a right to take any measure which may best subdue the enemy.”
The key to winning the respect of historians is to do these things. All aspirants to this vile office know this. It’s what they seek. They long for crisis and power, to be bullies in the pulpit, to be the dictators they are in their hearts. They want, at all costs, to avoid the fate of being another “postage-stamp president.” Madison said no man with power deserves to be trusted. Neither should we trust any man who seeks the power that the presidency offers.
Accordingly, it is all well and good that conservatives have worked to discredit the current occupant of the White House. Call him a cheat and a double-dealer if you want. Call him a tyrant too. But we must go further. The answer to restoring republican freedom has nothing to do with replacing Clinton with Lott or Kemp or Forbes or Buchanan. The structure of the presidency, and the religious aura that surrounds it, must be destroyed. The man is merely a passing occupant of the Holy Chair of St. Abraham. It is the chair itself that must be reduced to kindling.
It was never the intention of the majority of framers to create the mess we have, of course. After the war for independence, the Articles of Confederation had no chief executive. Its decisions were made by a five-member Confederation. The Confederation had no power to tax. All its decisions required the agreement of 9 of the 13 states. That is the way it should be.
Most of the delegates to the unfortunate Philadelphia convention hated executive power. They had severely restricted the governors of their states after their bitter experience with the colonial governors. The new governors had no veto, and no power over the legislatures. Forrest McDonald reports that one-quarter of the delegates to the convention wanted a plural executive, based loosely on the Articles model. But those who planned the convention – including Morris, Washington, and Hamilton – wanted a single, strong executive, and they out-maneuvered the various strains of anti-federalists.
But listen to how they did it. The people of the several states and their representatives were suspicious that Hamilton wanted to create a monarchy. Now, there’s much mythology surrounding this point. It’s not that the anti-federalists and the popular will opposed some guy strutting around in a crown. It was not monarchy as such they opposed, but the power the king exercised.
The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself…Almost inevitably, he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable.” —H.L. Mencken, American journalist
It’s vogue, trendy and appropriate to look to dystopian literature as a harbinger of what we’re experiencing at the hands of the government. Certainly, George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm have much to say about government tyranny, corruption, and control, as does Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report. Yet there are also older, simpler, more timeless stories—folk tales and fairy tales—that speak just as powerfully to the follies and foibles in our nature as citizens and rulers alike that give rise to tyrants and dictatorships.
One such tale, Hans Christian Andersen’s fable of the Emperor’s New Clothes, is a perfect paradigm of life today in the fiefdom that is the American police state, only instead of an imperial president spending money wantonly on lavish vacations, entertainment, and questionable government programs aimed at amassing greater power, Andersen presents us with a vain and thoughtless emperor, concerned only with satisfying his own needs at the expense of his people, even when it means taxing them unmercifully, bankrupting his kingdom, and harshly punishing his people for daring to challenge his edicts.
For those unfamiliar with the tale, the Emperor, a vain peacock of a man, is conned into buying a prohibitively expensive suit of clothes that is supposedly visible only to those who are smart, competent and well-suited to their positions. Surrounded by yes men, professional flatterers and career politicians who fawn, simper and genuflect, the Emperor—arrogant, pompous and oblivious to his nudity—prances through the town in his new suit of clothes until a child dares to voice what everyone else has been thinking but too afraid to say lest they be thought stupid or incompetent: “He isn’t wearing anything at all!”
Much like the people of the Emperor’s kingdom, we, too, have been conned into believing that if we say what we fear, if we dare to suggest that something is indeed “rotten in the state of Denmark,” we will be branded idiots and fools by the bureaucrats, corporate heads, governmental elites and media hotshots who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo—or who at least are determined to maintain the façade that is the status quo. Yet the truth is staring us in the face just as surely as the fact that the Emperor was wearing no clothes.
Truth #1: The U.S. is on the brink of bankruptcy, as many economists have been warning for some time now, with more than $16 trillion in debts owned by foreign nationals and corporations. As one financial news site reports: “Internationally, the world is fed up with The Fed and the U.S. government’s unabashed debt growth. China, Russia, Iran, India and a host of other countries are establishing trade relationships that are bypassing the U.S. dollar altogether, a move that will soon see the world’s reserve currency lose purchasing power and status. In anticipation of this imminent collapse gold is being hoarded by private and public entities from Berlin to Beijing in an effort to preserve wealth before the Tsunami hits.”
Truth #2: We no longer have a government that is “of the people, for the people and by the people.” What we have now is a feudal monarchy, run by wealthy overlords and financed with the blood, sweat and labor of the underclasses who are kept in check by the increasingly militarized police. This sorry state of affairs is reinforced by a study which found that average citizens have “little or no independent influence” on the policy-making process. A similar study published by the Political Research Quarterly revealed that members of the U.S. Senate represent their wealthiest constituents while ignoring those on the bottom rung of the economic ladder.
Truth #3: Far from being a benevolent entity concerned with the well-being of its citizens, whether in matters of health, safety or security, the government is concerned with three things only: power, control and money. As an often quoted adage says, “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” Unfortunately, the master-servant relationship that once had the government answering to “we the people” has been reversed. Government agents now act as if they are the masters and we are the servants. Nowhere is this more evident than in the transformation of police officers from benevolent keepers of the peace to inflexible extensions of the military hyped up on the power of their badge.
Truth #4: Our primary use to the government is as consumers, worker bees and bits of data to be collected, catalogued, controlled, mined for information, and sold to the highest bidder. Working in cahoots with corporations, the government has given itself carte blanche access to our phone calls, emails, bank transactions, physical movements, even our travels on foot or in our cars. Cybersecurity expert Richard Clarke envisions a future where data about every aspect of our lives will be collected and analyzed. Thus, no matter what the U.S. Supreme Court might have said to the contrary, the government no longer needs a warrant to spy on your cell phone activity or anything else for that matter. As the Washington Post recently revealed, 9 out of 10 people caught up in the NSA’s surveillance net had done nothing wrong to justify such intrusions on their privacy. Clearly, the government now operates relatively autonomously, answering only to itself and unbridled by the courts, Congress, the will of the people or the Constitution.
Truth #5: Whatever problems we are grappling with in regards to illegal immigrants flooding over the borders has little to do with the fact that the borders are porous and everything to do with the government’s own questionable agenda. How is it that a government capable of locking down roads, open seas, and air routes is unable to prevent tens of thousands of women and children from crossing into the U.S. illegally? Conveniently, the Obama administration is asking Congress for $3.8 billion in emergency funding to send more immigration judges to the southern border, build additional detention facilities and add border patrol agents. The funds would be managed by the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, State and Health and Human Services, the very same agencies responsible for bringing about a rapid shift into a police state.
Truth #6: The U.S. government is preparing for massive domestic unrest, arising most likely from an economic meltdown. The government has repeatedly made clear its intentions, through its U.S. Army War College report alerting the military to prepare for a “violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States,” through its ongoing military drills in cities across the country, through its profiling of potential homegrown “dissidents” or extremists, and through the proliferation of detention centers being built across the country.
Truth #7: As Gerald Ford warned, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.” Too often, Americans have fallen prey to the temptation to let the government take care of whatever ails them, whether it be financial concerns, health needs, childcare. As a result, we now find ourselves caught in a Catch-22 situation wherein the government’s so-called solutions to our problems have led to even graver problems. In this way, zero tolerance policies intended to outlaw drugs and weapons in schools result in young children being arrested and kicked out of school for childish behavior such as drawing pictures of soldiers and crying too much; truancy laws intended to keep students in school have resulted in parents being arrested and fined excessively; and zoning laws intended to protect homeowners have been used to prosecute residents who attempt to live off the grid.
Truth #8: The U.S. is following the Nazi blueprint to a “t,” whether through its storm trooper-like police in the form of heavily armed government agents, to its erection of an electronic concentration camp that not only threatens to engulf America but the rest of the world as well via NSA surveillance programs such as Five Eyes. Most damning of all is the Department of Homeland Security’s self-appointed role as a national police force, a.k.a. standing army, the fundamental and final building block for every totalitarian regime that has ever wreaked havoc on humanity. Indeed, just about every nefarious deed, tactic or thuggish policy advanced by the government today can be traced back to the DHS, its police state mindset, and the billions of dollars it distributes to police agencies in the form of grants.
Truth #9: Not only does the U.S. government perpetrate organized, systematic violence on its own citizens, especially those who challenge its authority nonviolently, in the form of SWAT team raids, militarized police, and roaming VIPR checkpoints, but it gets away with these clear violations of the Fourth Amendment because the courts grant them immunity from wrongdoing. Expanding its reach, the U.S. also exports its violence wholesale to other countries through armaments sales and the use of its military as a global police force. Yet no matter how well trained, well equipped and well financed, America cannot police the world. As history shows, military empires, once over extended, inevitably collapse into chaos.
Truth #10: As I make clear in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, the United States of America has become the new battlefield. In fact, the only real war being fought by the U.S. government today is the war on the American people, and it is being waged with deadly weapons, militarized police, surveillance technology, laws that criminalize otherwise lawful behavior, private prisons that operate on quota systems, and government officials who are no longer accountable to the rule of law.
So there you have it: facts rather than fiction, so naked that a child could call it for what it is, and yet so politically inconvenient, incorrect and uncomfortable that few dare to speak of them.
Even so, despite the fact that no one wants to be labeled dimwitted, or conspiratorial, or a right wing nut job, most Americans, if they were truly paying attention to what’s been going on in this country over the past few decades and willing to be truthful, at least to themselves, would have to admit that the outlook is decidedly grim. Indeed, unless something changes drastically for the good in the near future, it looks like this fairytale will not have a happy ending.
Pope Francis On Frantic Quest To Unite All Religions Under Rome
The Pope is working to combine all religions into one
“And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.” Revelation 17:6
Pope Francis is a man on a mission to fulfill bible prophecy, and he is getting more done than any other Pope in the last 100 years. Pope Francis is here to make some serious and drastic changes not only in the Catholic Vatican system, in the professing Christianity as well. He is creating the One World Religion.
If you think of the United States of America as a store, its recent decisions and scandals resemble a sale, perhaps a fire sale. Or maybe even a “Going Out of Business” sale.
The list of dramatic markdowns is breathtaking. They include trading away five murderous terrorists for a likely Army deserter, an open invitation to tens of thousands of illegal immigrants to cross the Mexican border, and a decision to recognize the terrorist group Hamas as part of the Palestinian government.
On the home front, environmental regulations will cost thousands of coal miners their jobs and drive up the cost of electricity for millions. The ObamaCare mess is hardly resolved, and the Veterans Affairs scandal keeps getting worse. The acting agency head reported the deaths of 18 more vets who were kept off the official waiting list in Phoenix.
Ticking quietly in the background is the mother of all threats — an Iranian nuclear bomb. That ticking grew louder last week as the ayatollah mocked our nation by standing in front of a banner that proclaimed, “America cannot do a damn thing.”
Technically, he’s wrong. It’s not that we cannot stop the mad mullahs’ march. It’s that President Obama has taken the military option off the table, and without it, Iran has nothing to fear. Our impotence was a choice.
Add to the combustible mix the expansionist moods in Russia and China, and the series of events recalls an observation by the late economist Herb Stein. Speaking in another context, he said that, “If something can’t go on forever, it won’t.” That sums up the current sense of the nation as a whole.
What seemed for years a steady and slow decline increasingly feels like a headlong race to the bottom. America is careening downhill, and a crack-up appears inevitable.
It is no coincidence that the deal with the Taliban to release five terrorist leaders from Guantanamo brought the first threat of presidential impeachment from a respected member of Congress. GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said that if Obama tried to release others without lawmakers’ approval, it would lead to “people on our side calling for his impeachment.”
That is the nuclear option, and there is good reason why it has been so rarely invoked throughout history. And yet the intense fever gripping Washington, largely created by Obama’s go-it-alone approach, needs to be broken. The country simply cannot continue to remain the beacon of the free world if we are consumed by our own dysfunction and distrust.
Progressive hero Noam Chomsky is terrified of the surveillance state that has developed during the tenure of President Barack Obama, calling it a grave threat to our fundamental civil liberties.
In a column published Monday, Chomsky writes that the documents revealed to the public by Edward Snowden show a system that is flagrantly violating the principles of the Constitution.
“It is of no slight import that the project is being executed in one of the freest countries in the world, and in radical violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights, which protects citizens from ‘unreasonable searches and seizures,’ and guarantees the privacy of their persons, houses, papers and effects,” Chomsky said.
“Much as government lawyers may try, there is no way to reconcile these principles with the assault on the population revealed in the Snowden documents.”
The scope and depth of the National Security Agency’s surveillance program is what particularly troubles the retired MIT professor and leads him to conclude that our current president is set on undermining the foundations of our society.
“The documents unveil a remarkable project to expose to state scrutiny vital information about every person who falls within the grasp of the colossus — in principle, every person linked to the modern electronic society,” Chomsky wrote. “As the colossus fulfills its visions, in principle every keystroke might be sent to President Obama’s huge and expanding databases in Utah.”
Weather Channel Founder says Global Warming is Junk Science
’600 page litany of doom’: Weather Channel Co-Founder John Coleman slams Federal climate report: A ‘total distortion of the data and agenda driven, destructive episode of bad science gone berserk’
Coleman: ‘When the temperature data could no longer be bent to support global warming, they switched to climate change and now blame every weather and climate event on CO2 despite the hard, cold fact that the “radiative forcing” theory they built their claims on has totally failed to verify.’
‘The current bad science is all based on a theory that the increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from the exhaust of the burning of fossil fuels leads to a dramatic increase in “the greenhouse effect” causing temperatures to skyrocket uncontrollably. This theory has failed to verify and is obviously dead wrong. But the politically funded and agenda driven scientists who have built their careers on this theory and live well on the 2.6 billion dollars of year of Federal grants for global warming/climate change research cling to this theory and bend the data spread to support the glorified claims in their reports and papers.’
So concludes a recent study by Princeton University Prof Martin Gilens and Northwestern University Prof Benjamin I Page.
This is not news, you say.
Perhaps, but the two professors have conducted exhaustive research to try to present data-driven support for this conclusion. Here’s how they explain it:
Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organised groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.
In English: the wealthy few move policy, while the average American has little power.
The two professors came to this conclusion after reviewing answers to 1,779 survey questions asked between 1981 and 2002 on public policy issues. They broke the responses down by income level, and then determined how often certain income levels and organised interest groups saw their policy preferences enacted.
“A proposed policy change with low support among economically elite Americans (one-out-of-five in favour) is adopted only about 18% of the time,” they write, “while a proposed change with high support (four-out-of-five in favour) is adopted about 45% of the time.”
On the other hand:
When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organised interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favour policy change, they generally do not get it.
Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But we believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organisations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened.
Eric Zuess, writing in Counterpunch, isn’t surprised by the survey’s results.
“American democracy is a sham, no matter how much it’s pumped by the oligarchs who run the country (and who control the nation’s “news” media),” he writes. “The US, in other words, is basically similar to Russia or most other dubious ‘electoral’ ‘democratic’ countries. We weren’t formerly, but we clearly are now.”
This is the “Duh Report”, says Death and Taxes magazine’s Robyn Pennacchia. Maybe, she writes, Americans should just accept their fate.
The study also found: “When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose.”
“Perhaps we ought to suck it up, admit we have a classist society and do like England where we have a House of Lords and a House of Commoners,” she writes, “instead of pretending as though we all have some kind of equal opportunity here.”
What would make Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu want to hand over Mount Zion and the Tomb of David to the Vatican?
One member of the Knesset has publicly stated that Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef has informed him that Netanyahu has formally asked for halakhic permission to give the Tomb of David to the Roman Catholic Church. And there have been persistent rumors of secret negotiations between the Israeli government and the Vatican regarding Mount Zion and the Tomb of David.
So why would Netanyahu want to do such a thing? In any peace deal with the Palestinians, the Tomb of David and the Mount Zion complex should remain under Israeli control. So what is Netanyahu thinking?
Of course the Israeli government is formally denying that there is a secret deal in the works, but that has not stopped the media in Israel from reporting on these persistent rumors for months. For example, here is a brief excerpt from a recent Arutz Sheva article…
Is there a secret deal between the Vatican and Israel to transfer control over King David’s Tomb to the Catholic church? An investigative report in Makor Rishon cites La Stampa Vatican Insider journalist Andrea Tornielli as saying that the deal has been nearly completed, and that Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin is in charge of the negotiations with the Vatican, but Israel denies any such deal.
And as I mentioned above, a member of the Knesset claims that Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef told him that Netanyahu has requested formal permission to give the Tomb of David to the Vatican…
A Knesset Member said Thursday that Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef told him that the Prime Minister’s bureau contacted him and asked to grant halakhic permission for Israel to hand over the Tomb of David to the Vatican.
In fact, that same article states that the entire Mount Zion complex could end up being transferred into the hands of the Vatican…
The MKs were unanimous in declaring that they intend to do everything within their power to forestall any attempt to hand over the Tomb to the Vatican. There are also reports that not just the Tomb, but the entire Mount Zion compound is up for transfer. The MKs made clear that the zone is under Israeli sovereignty and will remain so.
There have been reports, recently, of a secret negotiation channel between the Vatican and the Israeli government, regarding the Tomb – and especially its second floor, which the Vatican calls the “Room of the Last Supper” – and the Mount Zion compound.
While he was on campaign for the presidency in 2007, President Barack Obama took to the MTV airwaves to answer questions that concerned the youth of America. According to an Internet poll the channel had going at the time, the biggest question on people’s minds was a question on a topic that remains relevant now more than ever: net neutrality.
“Would you make it a priority in your first year in office to reinstate net neutrality as the law of the land?” Joe Niedenberger, a small business owner from New Jersey, asked Senator Obama. “And would you pledge to only appoint FCC commissioners that support open internet principles like net neutrality?“
“The answer is yes. I am a strong supporter of net neutrality,” candidate Obama responded. “As President, I am going to make sure that my FCC commissioners are applying [those principles] as we move forward.”
The above video was posted this morning by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a political action committee (PAC) that is calling for current FCC chairman Tom Wheeler to step down “so that the president can appoint someone who will stand up for Internet freedom.”
A leak to the Washington Post last week showed that the FCC under Wheeler’s leadership is considering proposing rules that would allow Internet service providers to give preferential treatment to traffic from certain content providers– a proposal that critics say flies in the face of net neutrality principles.
China poised to pass US as world’s leading economic power this year
By Chris Giles, Economics Editor
(FINANCIAL TIMES) The US is on the brink of losing its status as the world’s largest economy, and is likely to slip behind China this year, sooner than widely anticipated, according to the world’s leading statistical agencies.
The US has been the global leader since overtaking the UK in 1872. Most economists previously thought China would pull ahead in 2019.
The figures, compiled by the International Comparison Program hosted by the World Bank, are the most authoritative estimates of what money can buy in different countries and are used by most public and private sector organisations, such as the International Monetary Fund. This is the first time they have been updated since 2005.
After extensive research on the prices of goods and services, the ICP concluded that money goes further in poorer countries than it previously thought, prompting it to increase the relative size of emerging market economies.
In 2005, the ICP thought China’s economy was less than half the size of the US, accounting for only 43 per cent of America’s total…
The estimates of the real cost of living, known as purchasing power parity or PPPs, are recognised as the best way to compare the size of economies rather than using volatile exchange rates, which rarely reflect the true cost of goods and services: on this measure the IMF put US GDP in 2012 at $16.2tn, and China’s at $8.2tn.
In 2005, the ICP thought China’s economy was less than half the size of the US, accounting for only 43 per cent of America’s total. Because of the new methodology – and the fact that China’s economy has grown much more quickly – the research placed China’s GDP at 87 per cent of the US in 2011
High doses of antidepressants appear to increase risk of self-harm in children young adult
MEDICAL PRESS: Children and young adults who start antidepressant therapy at high doses, rather than the “modal” [average or typical] prescribed doses, appear to be at greater risk for suicidal behavior during the first 90 days of treatment.
A previous meta-analysis by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of antidepressant trials suggested that children who received antidepressants had twice the rate of suicidal ideation and behavior than children who were given a placebo. The authors of the current study sought to examine suicidal behavior and antidepressant dose, and whether risk depended on a patient’s age.
The study used data from 162,625 people (between the ages of 10 to 64 years) with depression who started antidepressant treatment with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor at modal (the most prescribed doses on average) or at higher than modal doses from 1998 through 2010.
The rate of suicidal behavior (deliberate self-harm or DSH) among children and adults (24 years or younger) who started antidepressant therapy at high doses was about twice as high compared with a matched group of patients who received generally prescribed doses. The authors suggest this corresponds to about one additional event of DSH for every 150 patients treated with high-dose therapy. For adults 25 to 64 years old, the difference in risk for suicidal behavior was null. The study does not address why higher doses might lead to higher suicide risk.
Many argue that the statute of limitations on Bush and Cheney’s crimes of lying us into the Iraq war and torture have all run … so it is too late to prosecute them.
However, the United States War Crimes Act of 1996, a federal statute set forth at 18 U.S.C. § 2441, makes it a federal crime for any U.S. national, whether military or civilian, to violate the Geneva Convention by engaging in murder, torture, or inhuman treatment.
18 U.S.C. § 2441 has no statute of limitations, which means that a war crimes complaint can be filed at any time.
The penalty may be life imprisonment or — if a single prisoner dies due to torture — death. Given that there are numerous, documented cases of prisoners being tortured to death by U.S. soldiers in both Iraq and Afghanistan, that means that the death penalty would be appropriate for anyone found guilty of carrying out, ordering, or sanctioning such conduct.
The Military Commissions Act of 2006 limited the applicability of the War Crimes Act, but still made the following unlawful: torture, cruel or inhumane treatment, murder, mutilation or maiming, intentionally causing serious bodily harm, rape, sexual assault or abuse.
War Crimes By the Bush Administration
Here’s an overview of war crimes by the Bush administration:
The American Civil Liberties Union today made public an analysis of new and previously released autopsy and death reports of detainees held in U.S. facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, many of whom died while being interrogated. The documents show that detainees were hooded, gagged, strangled, beaten with blunt objects, subjected to sleep deprivation and to hot and cold environmental conditions.
“There is no question that U.S. interrogations have resulted in deaths,”” said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. “”High-ranking officials who knew about the torture and sat on their hands and those who created and endorsed these policies must be held accountable.
The documents released today include 44 autopsies and death reports as well as a summary of autopsy reports of individuals apprehended in Iraq and Afghanistan. The documents show that detainees died during or after interrogations by Navy Seals, Military Intelligence and “”OGA”” (Other Governmental Agency) — a term, according to the ACLU, that is commonly used to refer to the CIA.
According to the documents, 21 of the 44 deaths were homicides. Eight of the homicides appear to have resulted from abusive techniques used on detainees, in some instances, by the CIA, Navy Seals and Military Intelligence personnel. The autopsy reports list deaths by “”strangulation,”” “”asphyxiation”” and “”blunt force injuries.”” An overwhelming majority of the so-called “”natural deaths”” were attributed to “”Arteriosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease.””
While newspapers have recently reported deaths of detainees in CIA custody, today’s documents show that the problem is pervasive, involving Navy Seals and Military Intelligence too.
At least two men died during imprisonment. One of them, a 22-year-old taxi driver named Dilawar, was suspended by his hands from the ceiling for four days, during which US military personnel repeatedly beat his legs. Dilawar died on Dec. 10, 2002. In the autopsy report, a military doctor wrote that the tissue on his legs had basically been “pulpified.” As it happens, his interrogators had already known — and later testified — that there was no evidence against Dilawar …
I am generally a nice person. As long as someone or something does not infringe upon my rights as a parent or individual I try to stay out of it. And that’s exactly how I feel about vaccinations. I encourage you to educate yourself but ultimately, you have the the final say. That’s how it is here in the United States of America, we have the freedom to choose, freedom to parent our kids the way we see fit, and freedom from government interference into the most intimate aspects of our lives whether we are religious or not.
Or so I thought…
There was a piece published by the New York Times recently written by Dr. Kristen Feemster (a pediatric infectious disease physician who profits from “professionally advising” pharmaceutical companies and feels that a parent’s decision not to vaccinate may warrant a call to Child Protective Services) that urged the scientific and public health communities to curtail vaccine exemptions. In case you’re wondering, a vaccine exemption allows an individual to forgo the vaccination for medical, religious, and sometimes philosophical reasons. The reason for trumping these rights? The public good.
I had many problems with this article, and you should too, because it infringes on your constitutional rights as a parent, blatantly suggests that “vaccines are safe and effective,” insinuates that those of us who choose not to vaccinate our children have no educated reason for doing so, and obviously assumes that the healthcare, scientific community, and parents (the most important player in this dilemma if you will) agree on what constitutes the public good.
Here is my response to this article.
Dear Dr. Feemster, the New York Times, and anyone else who thinks I don’t have a right to (un)vaccinate my child:
I am sorry to hear that you deem a parent’s choice of whether or not to vaccinate with so little regard. Need I refer you to the United States Constitution where it has been decided and upheld by the United States Supreme Court on numerous occassions that parents’ have the right to the care, custody, and control of their children, freedom to rear their children without government interference, the freedom of expression and religion, freedom of privacy, and protection under the first, ninth, and 14th amendments. The right to raise my child as I see fit and the right to decide what I do and do not put into my body or my child’s is a fundamental right granted to me as a citizen of the United States of America. (See Prince v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Wisconsin v. Yoder, Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur, Pierce v. Society of Sisters, Meyer v. Nebraska, City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health Inc., Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Stanley v Illinois, Quilloin v. Walcott, Parham v. J. R, etc.)
You claim that personal and philosophical exemptions should be curtailed because of those who cannot medically receive vaccines. What about those of us who are subjected to virus shedding on a daily basis by those individuals who have chosen to vaccinate? What about those of us vaccinated or not, who have gotten sick as a result of a vaccine induced virus outbreak (like whooping cough, measles, and meningitis). What about the billions of dollars we sink into healthcare every year to cover the rising costs associated with the surge of childhood diseases, all of which are listed as side-effects on the vaccine inserts and have increased as the number of vaccines on the child immunization schedule have increased? What about the vaccine-injured children? Should we not be worried about protecting our children from the serious and sometimes debilitating vaccine-induced conditions? Are my religious freedoms not protected when it comes to vaccinations? Is my educated opinion that vaccines are harmful to the human body of less value than yours? What about the millions of Americans and medical professionals who think the same?
You state that vaccines are safe and effective but as a member of the scientific and healthcare community I’m not sure how you came to that conclusion. You see, vaccines are not research effective because they are not subjected to double-blind placebo controlled studies using a saline solution that is the standard for evidence-based medicine. Vaccinations are tested against other vaccinations, adjuvants, and complex vaccinations – this not only yields inaccurate results but altered and inaccurate safety data. How can you know if something is truly safe if it is not tested against a placebo?
“Vaccines are safe and effective. The significant reduction in illness and death from vaccine-preventable diseases is testimony to how well they work.”
You claim vaccines are safe. Have you read the package inserts, studies, or checked out the VAERS database lately? If you had, you would see side-effects like these:
Shocker: Comparing deaths from medical drugs, vitamins, all US wars
by Jon Rappoport
People want to believe medical science gives us, at any given moment, the best of all possible worlds.
And of course, the best of all possible worlds must have its enemies: the quacks who sell unproven snake oil.
So let’s look at some facts.
As I’ve been documenting for years, the medical cartel has been engaged in massive criminal fraud, presenting their drugs as safe and effective across the board—when, in fact, these drugs have been killing and maiming huge numbers of people, like clockwork.
I’ve cited the review, “Is US Health Really the Best in the World?”, by Dr. Barbara Starfield (Journal of the American Medical Association, July 26, 2000), in which Starfield reveals the American medical system kills 225,000 people per year—106,000 as a direct result of pharmaceutical drugs.
I’ve now found another study, published in the same Journal, two years earlier: April 15, 1998; “Incidence of Adverse Drug Reactions in Hospitalized Patients.” It, too, is mind-boggling.
The authors, led by Jason Lazarou, culled 39 previous studies on patients in hospitals. These patients, who received drugs in hospitals, or were admitted to hospitals because they were suffering from the drugs doctors had given them, met the following fate:
Every year, in the US, between 76,000 and 137,000 hospitalized patients die as a direct result of the drugs.
Beyond that, every year 2.2 million hospitalized patients experience serious adverse reactions to the drugs.
The authors write: “…Our study on ADRs [Adverse Drug Reactions], which excludes medication errors, had a different objective: to show that there are a large number of ADRs even when the drugs are properly prescribed and and administered.”
So this study had nothing to do with doctor errors, nurse errors, or improper combining of drugs. And it only counted people killed who were admitted to hospitals. It didn’t begin to tally all the people taking pharmaceuticals who died as consequence of the drugs, without being admitted to hospitals.
I found the link to this study at the Dr. Rath Health Foundation, in the middle of a very interesting article by Dr. Aleksandra Niedzwiecki: “Commentary on the Safety of Vitamins.”
Here are two key quotes from her article:
“In 2010, not one single person [in the US] died as a result of taking vitamins (Bronstein, et al, (2011) Clinical Toxical, 49 (10), 910-941).”
“In 2004, the deaths of 3 people [in the US] were attributed to the intake of vitamins. Of these, 2 persons were said to have died as a result of megadoses of vitamins D and E, and one person as a result of an overdose of iron and fluoride. Data from: ‘Toxic Exposure Surveillance System 2004, Annual Report, Am. Assoc. of Poison Control Centers.’”
No deaths from vitamins (2010), and three deaths (2004) from vitamins/iron/fluoride.
106,000 deaths every year from pharmaceutical drugs (Starfield).
Between 76,000 and 137,000 deaths from pharmaceutical drugs every year in hospitalized patients (Lazerou).
The FDA and its “quack-buster” allies go after vitamins, demean “unproven remedies,” and generally take every possible opportunity to warn people about “alternatives,” on the basis that they aren’t scientifically supported.
Meanwhile, the very drugs these mobsters are promoting, and certifying as safe and effective, are killing and maiming people at a staggering rate.
The masses are treated to non-stop PR on the glories of the US medical system.
In the Wikipedia entry, “US military casualties of war,” the grand total of all military deaths in the history of this country, starting with the Revolutionary War, is 1,312,612.
In any given 10 years of modern medical treatment? 2,250,000 deaths (Starfield).
Consider how much suppression is necessary to keep the latter number under wraps.
Studies Prove Without Doubt That Unvaccinated Children Are Far Healthier
A study from the 1990s has come to light, proving that compared to unvaccinated children, vaccinated children were more likely to suffer from asthma, eczema, ear infections, hyperactivity and many other chronic conditions. Furthermore, the study identified that there was a ten-fold increase in the incidence of tonsillitis in the children who were vaccinated, and a total lack tonsillectomy operations among the children who were unvaccinated.
In 1992, the Immunization Awareness Society (IAS) conducted a survey to examine the health of New Zealand’s children. Unsurprisingly, the results of their study indicated that unvaccinated children were far healthier than vaccinated children.
Questionnaires were given out to IAS members, their friends and their associates asking various health questions. A total of 245 families returned their questionnaires, giving the researchers a total of 495 children surveyed. Of these children, 226 were vaccinated and 269 were unvaccinated.
Vaccinated Children 5 Times More Likely To Suffer From A Range Of Diseases
In September 2011, German researchers carrying out a longitudinal study surveyed a total of 8000 unvaccinated children from the ages of 0 –19. As with the New Zealand study, researchers collected their data by conducting a survey using questionnaires. 
Results showed that vaccinated children were up to five times more likely to suffer from a variety of diseases and disorders than unvaccinated children.
Their results were compared to another German study (KiGGS), which examined a larger sample group consisting of 17,461 participants between the ages of 0 –17.
We no longer have to ask foreign refugees what it is like living inside a police state. All we have to do is to read the daily accounts of innocent Americans being abused and murdered through the excessive use of force being used by local police who have been federalized by the Department of Homeland Security.
What used to be the beacon of hope, has rapidly become the spotlight of tyranny. I am speaking of America, both then and now.
When heinous acts of physical abuse were revealed in American prisons inside of Iraq, we should have considered that someday the same treatment would await American citizens. When we permitted our government the right to detain “terrorists” in Guantanamo without following the due process of law, shouldn’t we have realized that someday the same treatment would await you and me? And now that treatment is here. It is called the NDAA and the Executive Order 13603 which allows the government carte blanche to do what they will with American citizens without following the due process of law.
What follows in this article are both typical and daily examples of how a DHS federalized local police force will act like Stalin’s KGB and abuse its citizens. Acts of police brutality against American citizens is a daily event which takes place multiple times across our country. Not a day goes by that we do not see the unjustified use of deadly force used against innocent citizens and the perpetrators of this state-sponsored violence are rarely, if ever, brought to justice.
Finally, this article will compare the evolving genocide being perpetrated against Venezuelan protesters to what recently released military documents state are in store for future American protesters. The parallels are exceptionally disturbing.
RANCHO MIRAGE, California (Reuters) – President Barack Obama warned Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Sunday that enacting an anti-gay law would complicate U.S. relations with Uganda and would be a “step backward for all Ugandans.”
Obama, on a weekend golf holiday in Southern California, issued a statement denouncing Museveni’s plans to sign a law that would impose harsh sentences for those convicted of homosexual acts.
His national security adviser, Susan Rice, said via Twitter that she had spoken by phone to Museveni on Saturday night to protest after he told members of his party that he would sign the law.
“As we have conveyed to President Museveni, enacting this legislation will complicate our valued relationship with Uganda,” Obama said.
A senior Obama administration official said if the legislation is enacted, the United States would review U.S. relations with Uganda. The United States is one of the largest donors of foreign aid to Uganda, sending more than $400 million a year in recent years.
Obama in 2008: ‘I Intend to Reverse’ Executive Power Grabs, Go Through Congress
(Washington Free Beacon Staff) Then-presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008 bemoaned his predecessor’s supposed efforts to “bring more and more power into the executive branch” rather than working with the legislature.
Nearly six years later, President Obama has pledged to unilaterally enact key portions of his legislative agenda if Congress refuses to accede to his priorities.
“I taught constitutional law for ten years,” President Obama said in 2008. “I take the Constitution very seriously. The biggest problems that were facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all, and that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m President of the United States of America.”
Obama on Wednesday signed an executive order raising the minimum wage for federal workers, in a move that some experts say is illegal.
The order was the first in what Obama is calling his “year of action,” in which he will use his “pen and phone” to circumvent Congress and increase the executive’s power to make law.
Repeated changes to the controversial Obamacare law have also been criticized as potentially illegal end-runs around Congress, as the president unilaterally changes the law to reduce to the economic pain the law is causing.
Marianne Williamson’s campaign to save America’s soul, starting with California’s 33rd Congressional District
By ZACK MUNSON
In case you were wondering, things in California just got a little weird. Okay, maybe not “just.” Let me be more specific: The congressional election in California’s 33rd District, a coastal tract encompassing some of the wealthiest, most liberal quarters of Los Angeles County—Bel Air, Santa Monica, and Beverly Hills, to name a few—just got a little weird. On January 30, Henry Waxman, the district’s long-serving and notoriously cantankerous representative, surprised everyone by announcing he would retire at the end of this term. Since arriving in
Congress in 1975, Waxman has been a dogged champion of progressive causes and a frequent irritant to Republican administrations. During George W. Bush’s term alone, Waxman, from his perch on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, launched investigations into everything from the handling of Hurricane Katrina to government contractors in Iraq to Republican National Committee email ethics. Generally speaking, he has been a pain in the collective GOP hindquarters for nearly 40 years.
What the world does NOT need is more new-age “narishkeit” served up as philosophical profundity…
Yes, God help us, indeed!
The State of Our Nation:
The Greatest Threat to Our Freedoms Is the Government
By John W. Whitehead
“Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” —George Orwell, Animal Farm
What was striking about this year’s State of the Union address was not the sheer arrogance of the president’s remarks, the staged nature of the proceedings and interactions, or the predictable posturing of the rebuttals, but the extent to which the members of the various branches of government—President Obama, Congress, the Supreme Court, and the assorted government agencies—are just one big, brawling, noisy, semi-incestuous clan.
Watching these bureaucrats, both elected and appointed, interact in the unguarded moments before the event, with their hugging and kissing and nudging and joking and hobnobbing and general high spirits, I was reminded anew that these people—Republicans and Democrats alike—are united in a common goal, and it is not to protect and defend the Constitution. No, as Orwell recognized in Animal Farm, their common goal is to maintain the status quo, a goal that is helped along by an unquestioning, easily mollified, corporate media. In this way, the carefully crafted spectacle that is the State of the Union address is just that: an exaggerated farce of political theater intended to dazzle, distract and divide us, all the while the police state marches steadily forward.
No matter what the president and his cohorts say or how convincingly they say it, the reality Americans must contend with is that the world is no better the day after President Obama’s State of the Union address than it was the day before. Indeed, if the following rundown on the actual state of our freedoms is anything to go by, the world is a far more dangerous place.
Americans have no protection against police abuse. It is no longer unusual to hear about incidents in which police shoot unarmed individuals first and ask questions later, such as the 16-year-old teenager who skipped school only to be shot by police after they mistook him for a fleeing burglar. Then there was the unarmed black man in Texas “who was pursued and shot in the back of the neck by Austin Police… after failing to properly identify himself and leaving the scene of an unrelated incident.” And who could forget the 19-year-old Seattle woman who was accidentally shot in the leg by police after she refused to show her hands? What is increasingly common, however, is the news that the officers involved in these incidents get off with little more than a slap on the hands.
Americans are little more than pocketbooks to fund the police state. If there is any absolute maxim by which the federal government seems to operate, it is that the American taxpayer always gets ripped off. This is true, whether you’re talking about taxpayers being forced to fund high-priced weaponry that will be used against us, endless wars that do little for our safety or our freedoms, or bloated government agencies such as the National Security Agency with its secret budgets, covert agendas and clandestine activities. Rubbing salt in the wound, even monetary awards in lawsuits against government officials who are found guilty of wrongdoing are paid by the taxpayer.
Americans are no longer innocent until proven guilty. We once operated under the assumption that you were innocent until proven guilty. Due in large part to rapid advances in technology and a heightened surveillance culture, the burden of proof has been shifted so that the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty has been usurped by a new norm in which all citizens are suspects. This is exemplified by police practices of stopping and frisking people who are merely walking down the street and where there is no evidence of wrongdoing. Likewise, by subjecting Americans to full-body scans and license-plate readers without their knowledge or compliance and then storing the scans for later use, the government—in cahoots with the corporate state—has erected the ultimate suspect society. In such an environment, we are all potentially guilty of some wrongdoing or other.
Americans no longer have a right to self-defense. In the wake of various shootings in recent years, “gun control” has become a resounding theme for government officials, with President Obama even going so far as to pledge to reduce gun violence “with or without Congress.” Those advocating gun reform see the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms as applying only to government officials. As a result, even Americans who legally own firearms are being treated with suspicion and, in some cases, undue violence. In one case, a Texas man had his home subjected to a no-knock raid and was shot in his bed after police, attempting to deliver a routine search warrant, learned that he was in legal possession of a firearm. In another incident, a Florida man who was licensed to carry a concealed firearm found himself detained for two hours during a routine traffic stop in Maryland while the arresting officer searched his vehicle in vain for the man’s gun, which he had left at home.
Americans no longer have a right to private property. If government agents can invade your home, break down your doors, kill your dog, damage your furnishings and terrorize your family, your property is no longer private and secure—it belongs to the government. Likewise, if government officials can fine and arrest you for growing vegetables in your front yard, praying with friends in your living room, installing solar panels on your roof, and raising chickens in your backyard, you’re no longer the owner of your property.
Americans no longer have a say about what their children are exposed to in school. Incredibly, the government continues to insist that parents essentially forfeit their rights when they send their children to a public school. This growing tension over whether young people, especially those in the public schools, are essentially wards of the state, to do with as government officials deem appropriate, in defiance of the children’s constitutional rights and those of their parents, is reflected in the debate over sex education programs that expose young people to all manner of sexual practices and terminology, zero tolerance policies that strip students of any due process rights, let alone parental involvement in school discipline, and Common Core programs that teach students to be test-takers rather than critical thinkers.
Americans are powerless in the face of militarized police. In early America, citizens were considered equals with law enforcement officials. Authorities were rarely permitted to enter one’s home without permission or in a deceitful manner. And it was not uncommon for police officers to be held personally liable for trespass when they wrongfully invaded a citizen’s home. Unlike today, early Americans could resist arrest when a police officer tried to restrain them without proper justification or a warrant—which the police had to allow citizens to read before arresting them. (Daring to dispute a warrant with a police official today who is armed with high-tech military weapons and tasers would be nothing short of suicidal.) As police forces across the country continue to be transformed into outposts of the military, with police agencies acquiring military-grade hardware in droves, Americans are finding their once-peaceful communities transformed into military outposts, complete with tanks, weaponry, and other equipment designed for the battlefield.
Americans no longer have a right to bodily integrity. Court rulings undermining the Fourth Amendment and justifying invasive strip searches have left us powerless against police empowered to forcefully draw our blood, strip search us, and probe us intimately. Accounts are on the rise of individuals—men and women—being subjected to what is essentially government-sanctioned rape by police in the course of “routine” traffic stops. Most recently, a New Mexico man was subjected to a 12-hour ordeal of anal probes, X-rays, enemas, and finally a colonoscopy because he allegedly rolled through a stop sign.
Americans no longer have a right to the expectation of privacy. Despite the staggering number of revelations about government spying on Americans’ phone calls, Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, Google searches, emails, bookstore and grocery purchases, bank statements, commuter toll records, etc., Congress, the president and the courts have done little to nothing to counteract these abuses. Instead, they seem determined to accustom us to life in this electronic concentration camp.
Americans no longer have a representative government. We have moved beyond the era of representative government and entered a new age, let’s call it the age of authoritarianism. History may show that from this point forward, we will have left behind any semblance of constitutional government and entered into a militaristic state where all citizens are suspects and security trumps freedom. Even with its constantly shifting terrain, this topsy-turvy travesty of law and government has become America’s new normal. It is not overstating matters to say that Congress, which has done its best to keep their unhappy constituents at a distance, may well be the most self-serving, semi-corrupt institution in America.
Americans can no longer rely on the courts to mete out justice. The U.S. Supreme Court was intended to be an institution established to intervene and protect the people against the government and its agents when they overstep their bounds. Yet through their deference to police power, preference for security over freedom, and evisceration of our most basic rights for the sake of order and expediency, the justices of the Supreme Court have become the architects of the American police state in which we now live, while the lower courts have appointed themselves courts of order, concerned primarily with advancing the government’s agenda, no matter how unjust or illegal.
Yes, the world is a far more dangerous place than it was a year ago. What the president failed to mention in his State of the Union address, however (and what I document in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State), is the fact that it’s the government that poses the gravest threat to our freedoms and way of life, and no amount of politicking, parsing or pandering will change that.
Apparently, the President had ingested some kind of weird drug, because when he stepped to the podium he didn’t look at the teleprompter. He just started talking.
“…like every other recent President, when I take to this platform I’m expected to tell a certain number of lies dressed up as the truth. And believe me, folks, I had a few whoppers ready to go.
“But now I feel like doing something else. I’m not going to delve into the many scandals of my administration, because examining them and taking them apart and exposing the lies would keep us here all night and into tomorrow.
“Instead, I just want to explain my overarching agenda. It’s the same agenda every modern President has fronted for. I’m not really doing anything new. That’s a myth.
“You see, in order to become President in the first place, I had to sign on to the scheme to debase, throttle, and weaken this country. I have my methods. Every President has his own.
“Weakening America is part and parcel of Globalism. Ultimately, America will not the lead the way into what has been called the New World Order. International heavy hitters, bankers, and corporations will carry that ball. America will go along, with its population of sleeping masses.
“So-called Pax Americanus, or imperial American empire, has been shelved, in favor of a much larger operation.
“My basic job is allowing all this to happen, so we end up with a global management system, in which the individual is enmeshed.
“With some degree of accuracy, you could say that everything I’ve been doing is a smokescreen to obscure the march of Globalism.
“We politicians view humans at large as dangerous and badly programmed biological machines. Until new programming can be inserted universally, we keep things in check. We hold the fort.
“For the next two years, I’ll continue clamping down on rights and freedoms. I’ll support the Surveillance State. I’ll take away guns. I’ll step up psychiatric intervention. I’ll increase debt. I’ll keep unemployment high. I’ll probably launch a few more military interventions. Expect more mass shootings, which are covert actions, with appointed patsies to take the fall.
“I’ll allow the expanded militarization of local police forces. I’ll intercede, wherever possible, to stop individuals from living off the grid. I’ll try to mangle the spirit of self-sufficiency in whatever form it occurs.
“I’ll assist mega-corporations. I’ll keep as many doors open for Monsanto as I can.
“You get my drift. It’s business as usual. In my case, I’ll try to up the ante and intensify the collapse of America.
“Did someone put something in my cigarette or coffee? I’m telling the truth. It feels strange, very strange.
“Anyway, here’s to One World under one authority. It’s the only solution to our problems. Trust me, I wouldn’t mislead you. Give up, give in, take the ride. It’s not so bad. Resistance is a fool’s errand. The people who are running things are out to destroy independence. Let them. By the time they’re finished, you’ll see that ‘equality’ isn’t so bad.
“One final random thought. Agents of the US government killed Martin Luther King. In case you didn’t know that. Good night and good luck.”
Conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza pleaded not guilty on Friday to federal charges that he used straw donors to exceed campaign contributions to a U.S. Senate candidate in 2012. Meanwhile, the charges against the co-producer of “2016: Obama’s America” are being seen by conservatives as evidence that the White House is targeting its critics.
“The Feds have chosen to pursue this alleged minor violation in the same way the IRS targeted conservative Tea Party groups for retribution,” Gerald R. (Jerry) Molen, who co-produced “2016” with D’Souza, said in a statement released Friday. “In light of the way the IRS has been used to stifle dissent, this arrest should send shivers down the spines of all freedom-loving Americans.”
D’Souza’s defense lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, suggested in New York federal court that the action described in D’Souza’s indictment does not rise to the level of a crime, according to Reuters. The contributions connected to D’Souza were for candidate Wendy Long, who was unsuccessful in her bid for the Senate seat of Democratic Kirsten Gillibrand in New York.
“It’s an unusual case,” Brafman told U.S. District Judge Richard Berman. “I don’t think there’s much dispute as to what happened, but why it happened and whether it violated federal election law.”
Brafman apparently tried to convince the government not to press charges but was ultimately rebuffed, Reuters reported.
D’Souza allegedly arranged for two individuals and their spouses to donate a total of $20,000 in August 2012 to Long’s campaign. Later, the campaign contributors were reimbursed by D’Souza, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie Cohen. There was a $5,000 limit for campaign donations for political candidate per race and $2,500 for general election campaigns at the time.
(NaturalNews) The USA Patriot Act, passed so fast in the wake of the 9/11 attacks that a conspiracy theorist might proffer that it was pre-written for just such an event, contained a trove of civil rights abuses that, to this day, continue to weaken our constitutional order.
Signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2001, the act did not authorize domestic spying per se, but it did give the president broad authority to conduct surveillance on persons in and outside the U.S. merely “suspected” of having ties to al-Qaeda.
Later, the program was expanded. As reported by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR):
The 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), without specifically mentioning wiretapping, grants the president broad authority to use all necessary force “against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the [9/11] terrorist attacks.” This includes, administration officials say, the powers to secretly gather domestic intelligence on al-Qaeda and associated groups.
The Bush administration maintained that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was an outdated law-enforcement mechanism that was too time-consuming given the highly fluid, modern threat environment. Administration officials portrayed the NSA program as an “early warning system” with “a military nature that requires speed and agility.” Moreover, the White House stressed that the program was one not of domestic surveillance but of monitoring terrorists abroad, and publicly referred to the operation as the “Terrorist Surveillance Program.” Opponents of the program referred to it as “domestic spying.”
Obama deemed much worse
The Bush administration vowed to disband the warrantless program but never did. In fact, Bush pressed for institutionalizing the program; in 2007, he signed the “Protect America Act,” which “gave the attorney general and the director of national intelligence temporary power to approve international surveillance, rather than the special intelligence court,” the CFR reported. “It also said warrants are unnecessary for surveillance of a person ‘reasonably believed’ to be located overseas. This six-month stopgap measure expired in early 2008, but the FISA Amendment Act passed just months later contained similar provisions.”
Enter President Obama and the latest revelations of domestic spying.