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.
The government’s defense of its constant surveillance of the American public reached a new level of absurdity when Obama compared Paul Revere to the NSA. Now it’s time for the corporate billionaires to defend what their puppet Obama can’t.
Obama Justifies NSA Spying: Paul Revere Did It First
by Steve Watson
In a speech that was billed as an announcement of “reforms” to the NSA’s mass spying practices, the president argued that the US has a long history of defending liberty by conducting surveillance. Obama even cited Paul Revere, in remarks clearly designed to justify government spying on its own citizens.
#Obama‘s justification for #NSA spying: “but Paul Revere did it first!”
— Paul Weiskel (@PWeiskel08) January 17, 2014
To virtually no one’s surprise, the president’s “reforms” will not stop NSA’s mass spying, and this was immediately evident in the opening remarks of Obama’s speech when he attempted to argue that in times of war, the US has always used surveillance to secure freedom.
“At the dawn of our Republic, a small, secret surveillance committee borne out of the “The Sons of Liberty” was established in Boston.” Obama stated. “The group’s members included Paul Revere, and at night they would patrol the streets, reporting back any signs that the British were preparing raids against America’s early Patriots.”
Note how in the first sentence, using incredibly Orwellian tactics, Obama has twisted the facts to link spying to patriotism, and to suggest that the earliest American icons were engaged in the same sort of activity as today’s NSA.
Obama then went on to cite the Civil War, World War II, and the Cold War, arguing that “Throughout American history, intelligence has helped secure our country and our freedoms.”
Anyone with any shred of intelligence knows that comparing the actions of Paul Revere, who famously alerted the Colonial militia to the approach of British forces before the battles of Lexington and Concord, is in no way comparable to NSA mass spying.
Was Paul Revere covertly spying on his own people? Was he collecting records of all their communications, even if they were completely innocent and not suspected of doing any wrong? Of course not, to argue so is completely asinine.
America Adopts Soviet-Style Mass Surveillance, Propaganda, Censorship, Communist Torture Techniques, and Socialist Economics
Bill Binney is the high-level NSA executive who created the agency’s mass surveillance program for digital information. A 32-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency, Binney was the senior technical director within the agency and managed thousands of NSA employees.
Binney spent decades studying – and trying to counter – the repressive Soviet program of mass surveillance. In other words, Binney is an expert on spying in general, and Soviet spying in particular.
Binney said that – after 9/11 – America implemented the same type of system used by the Soviets.
Indeed, former KGB agent – and now Russian president – Putin is just about the only leader who admires the NSA spy program. And a former lieutenant colonel for the East German Stasi said the NSA’s spy capabilities would have been “a dream come true” for the Stasi.
Vincent Bugliosi: The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder:
Humanity is under attack from so many directions, it is difficult to count the ways.
We are under attack from the skies and through the poisoning of our air through massive chemical spraying complete with Alzheimer’s and dementia causing aluminum sulfate and cancer causing barium. Fukushima radiation, Corexit spraying and the resulting toxic rain from the Gulf oil spill is running rampant over our country and not one ounce of mainstream media coverage is afforded to these dangers. Prevention and remediation from these dangers are not put into place by our present government.
Our water is being systematically removed from the country by Nestle, and our water tables are being systematically compromised by environmental toxins and of course many Americans are consuming water permeated with IQ-lowering rocket fuel (i.e.,fluoride).
Our food is being poisoned through the rampant use of cancer-causing MSG products, and the unlabeled, unregulated and cancer-causing Monsanto GMO’s.
Under the guise of fighting terrorism, Americans are now facing illegal detention, torture and murder under the Military Commissions Act and the John Warner Defense Authorization Act. The average citizen is now labeled as a terrorist by Homeland Security as their inspired documents, such as the MIAC Report, define domestic terrorism as the mere act of criticizing our governmental leaders, supporting Ron Paul, being a Bible believing Christian, being a Libertarian, being a member of the Constitution Party, being a Second Amendment supporter and demanding that our leaders follow the Constitution. By virtue of the fact that you have visited this web site, you could now be considered to be a domestic terrorist.
Our national sovereignty and manufacturing base has been destroyed through NAFTA and CAFTA which has resulted in totally open borders culminating in the overwhelming of our infrastructure, hospital emergency rooms and our educational institutions by the human onslaught which will be soon be at unprecedented levels which promise to bring 150 million additional immigrants to our country by 2040.
Obama’s administration has openly engaged in human smuggling as well as drug and gun trafficking to criminal cartels, in programs such as “Fast and Furious” through the implementation of the North American Union.
Our property rights and water rights as well as our right to farm in traditional ways are being destroyed through the implementation of the pseudo-environmentalist, Agenda 21 programs at the local level. As a result, massive food shortages and outright famines are right around the corner.
America is being de-industrialized through the global warming scam and the accompanying illegal cap and trade schemes. Meanwhile, as the New York Times reports, Ugandan villages were burned down and replaced with trees in the name of saving the planet through carbon offset programs. This insane application of carbon trading is now being enforced by American military boots on the ground in Uganda. Next year, you will see roving blackouts and the doubling of utility rates as Obama makes good on his campaign promise of “necessarily skyrocketing utility rates.”
Americans are now in the midst of being subjected to the death panels of Obama care in which citizens over the age of 70 are officially referred to as “units” and are targeted for comfort care but not given life saving measures. This is an undeniable, unmitigated and naked version of Eugenics cast in the same flavor as that practiced by Margaret Sanger and Adolph Hitler.
America is now witnessing the final stages of the installation of a police state surveillance grid through the creation and installation of video cameras and microphones in the Homeland Security funded Intellistreet light poles. The National Security Administration listens to our every call, their computers read every email and fax, courtesy of Prism and Echelon. Americans are being encouraged, by the former Big Sis, to spy on another as we purchase the Chinese slave labor products at Walmart.
Very soon, we will live in an America in which the government can declare peaceful dissent, public criticism, and the failure to comply to globalists’ trickle down tyranny as an act of terror in which YOU are subject to secret arrest, torture and even murder.
Our homes are being stolen through the use of fraudulent robo signers and illegal repossessions without the mortgage note in order that the six mega banks can double and triple their illegitimate profits off each home they are able to steal and resell again and again.
Americans have previously discovered that the Federal Reserve (i.e., Goldman Sachs) is giving our money away to their private banking interests, (aka) their subsidiary holdings, in Europe. Additionally, more of our money has been stolen with the complicit participation of ex-Goldman Sachs federal government overseers like Gary Gensler who has failed to deliver even one indictment of his ex-Goldman Sachs partner, John Corzine, and his MF Global theft ring resulting for the “loss” of $3 billion dollars in private accounts. John Corzine and his governmental partner in crime, Gary Gensler, have established the legal precedent of stealing from private American accounts. The net effect is that YOU have no retirement. YOU have no social security. YOU have no bank account. Soon, everything YOU own will all belong to the banksters!
Our “public servants” in Congress (e.g., Nancy Pelosi) self-admittedly, on 60 Minutes, routinely engage in stock market insider trading. They have made legal for themselves, but would send you to prison for doing the same.
Every day, the TSA conducts heinous acts against the American people, such as strip searching and injuring 85 year old ladies, grabbing the genitals of our children and wives and largely engaging in acts which, if performed by you, would land you in jail for five years. Your body and your self-respect belong to the globalists and their minions.
The Number Of Working Age Americans Without A Job Has Risen By Almost 10 Million Under Obama
by Michael Snyder
That headline is not a misprint. The number of working age Americans that do not have a job has increased by nearly 10 million since Barack Obama first entered the White House.
In January 2009, the number of “officially unemployed” workers plus the number of Americans “not in the labor force” was sitting at a grand total of 92.6 million. Today, that number has risen to 102.2 million. That means that the number of working age Americans that are not working has grown by close to 10 million since Barack Obama first took office. So why does the “official unemployment rate” keep going down? Well, it is because the federal government has been pretending that millions upon millions of unemployed workers have “left the labor force” over the past few years and do not want to work anymore. The government says that another 347,000 workers “left the labor force” in December. That is nearly five times larger than the 74,000 jobs that were “created” by the U.S. economy last month. And it is important to note that more than half of those jobs were temporary jobs, and it takes well over 100,000 new jobs just to keep up with population growth each month. So the unemployment rate should not have gone down. If anything, it should have gone up.
In fact, if the federal government was using an honest labor force participation rate, the official unemployment rate would be far higher than it is right now. Instead of 6.7 percent, it would be 11.5 percent, and it has stayed at about that level since the end of the last recession.
But “6.7 percent” makes Obama look so much better than “11.5 percent”, don’t you think?
The labor force participation rate is now at a 35 year low, and the only way that the federal government has been able to get the “unemployment rate” to go down is by removing hundreds of thousands of Americans out of the labor force every month.
Why don’t they just get it over with and announce that they have decided that all workers immediately leave the labor force the moment that they lose their jobs? That way we could have an unemployment rate of “0.0 percent” and Obama could be hailed as a great economic savior.
500 Years of History Shows that Mass Spying Is Always Aimed at Crushing Dissent
It’s Never to Protect Us From Bad Guys
– Washington’s Blog
No matter which government conducts mass surveillance, they also do it to crush dissent, and then give a false rationale for why they’re doing it.
For example, the U.S. Supreme Court noted in its 1965 Stanford v. Texas opinion (footnotes omitted):
While the Fourth Amendment [of the U.S. Constitution] was most immediately the product of contemporary revulsion against a regime of writs of assistance, its roots go far deeper. Its adoption in the Constitution of this new Nation reflected the culmination in England a few years earlier of a struggle against oppression which had endured for centuries. The story of that struggle has been fully chronicled in the pages of this Court’s reports, and it would be a needless exercise in pedantry to review again the detailed history of the use of general warrants as instruments of oppression from the time of the Tudors, through the Star Chamber, the Long Parliament, the Restoration, and beyond.
What is significant to note is that this history is largely a history of conflict between the Crown and the press. It was in enforcing the laws licensing the publication of literature and, later, in prosecutions for seditious libel, that general warrants were systematically used in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. In Tudor England, officers of the Crown were given roving commissions to search where they pleased in order to suppress and destroy the literature of dissent, both Catholic and Puritan. In later years, warrants were sometimes more specific in content, but they typically authorized of all persons connected of the premises of all persons connected with the publication of a particular libel, or the arrest and seizure of all the papers of a named person thought to be connected with a libel.
By “libel”, the court is referring to a critique of the British government which the King or his ministers didn’t like … they would label such criticism “libel” and then seize all of the author’s papers.
Plutocracy (from Greek πλοῦτος, ploutos, meaning “wealth”, and κράτος, kratos, meaning “power, dominion, rule”), also known as plutonomy or plutarchy, defines a society or a system ruled and dominated by the small minority of the wealthiest citizens. – Wikipedia Definition
Congress Is Now Mostly A Millionaires’ Club
For the first time, more than half of congressional lawmakers are worth at least $1 million
By Andrew Katz
Congress is loaded, if you weren’t already aware.
The Center for Responsive Politics analyzed the personal financial disclosure data from 2012 of the 534 current members of Congress and found that, for the first time, more than half had an average net worth of $1 million or more: 268 to be exact, up from 257 the year earlier. The median for congressional Democrats was $1.04 million and, for Republicans, $1 million even.
To calculate the net worth of lawmakers, the Center added together members’ significant assets, such as corporate bonds and stocks, then subtracted major liabilities such as loans, credit card debt and property mortgages.
Here’s the breakdown: the median net worth for all House members was $896,000 (Democrats averaged $929,000 to Republicans’ $884,000) and, for Senators, $2.5 million. The median net worth for Senate Democrats was $1.7 million, down from $2.4 million in 2011; for Republicans: $2.9 million, up from $2.5 million in 2011.
With Bernanke’s term due to expire in January, Jim Rogers warns Mineweb that the Fed-head will be remembered as “the guy who set the stage for the demise of the Central Bank in America. We’ve had three central banks in America. The first two disappeared. This one’s going to disappear too in the next decade.” With precious metals, bonds, and stock markets obsessing over Fed actions, Rogers says, in the next 10 years or so, “People will realise that these guys have led us down a terrible path,” and collapse is “not a possibility,” he adds, “it’s a probability.”
“100 years ago you could not have named the head of most central banks in the world,” Rogers told Mineweb. “Now they’re all rockstars.” Gold and equity markets have increasingly been locked in Fed-watch mode in 2013, obsessing over when or whether chairman Ben Bernanke would taper the bank’s vast bond buying scheme.
Rogers however, an ardent free-marketeer, says the market’s narrow focus on the Fed reflects the bank’s rising and now extreme interference in global markets, propelling the likes of Bernanke in the US and Mario Draghi in Europe to near household name status.
“Everybody knows them,” he says, “but that’s only a phenomenon of the last 20 years, when central banks have been pumping money into the markets and everybody’s singing hallelujah.”
With Bernanke’s term due to expire in January, Rogers says he will be remembered as “the guy who set the stage for the demise of the Central Bank in America. We’ve had three central banks in America. The first two disappeared. This one’s going to disappear too in the next decade.”
During a heated exchange on CNN’s The Lead, Guardian columnist and Edward Snowden ally Glenn Greenwald claimed that should Snowden return to the United States, the Obama administration would make him “disappear in prison” and “not allow him to speak”.
Saying that the U.S. government does not allow whistleblowers as in previous years, Greenwald claimed, “If Snowden came back to Washington before he was convicted of anything, he would disappear in prison and not be allowed to speak.”
Greenwald, who spent most of the interview berating fellow guest and Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus, saying her argument exemplified “everything that’s horrible about the D.C. media,” and that “people in Washington […] do not believe the law applies to them.” Greenwald also repeatedly and loudly demanded Marcus to answer whether National Intelligence Director James Clapper should be prosecuted for his testimony before Congress.
The sheep of this country are attempting to get along by going along. However, despite our national capitulation to the New World Order, we are not adapting well as a people. Americans have miserably failed to adjust to our changing status and are paying a steep emotional price for our slide into tyranny while on our way to becoming a third world country. A good day for most Americans is a day where we avoid a catastrophe instead of celebrating our accomplishments. Americans are increasingly a miserable people. We are most certainly the most stressed out people on the planet. Perhaps the biggest slap in the face comes from the fact that the media controllers of today’s society are teaching us to love our servitude instead of inspiring us to reach for the stars. However, this acceptance is not sitting well with America and it is showing up in our collective health. Did you know that despite paying the most for healthcare, our lifespan is only 51st in the world? Even some third world countries live longer than we do, according to the CIA fact book of 2012. The biggest reason for the decline in our national health, relative to other countries, is the high amount of stress that we are experiencing as a people. Much of the stress we are experiencing comes from trying to find a level of homeostasis in the midst of experiencing personal, emotional and spiritual subjugation. The rubber band can only be stretched so far till it breaks.
Man Was Born to Be Free
There is an emotional and mental health price to pay when a person forsakes individual control over their life, for it is in our DNA to be free. When people are not free, they suffer emotionally, psychologically, spirituality and physically. In America, we have lost our freedom. As a result, psychosomatic illnesses are at an all-time high. The research of health psychologists has revealed that it is psychological factors which constitutes the number one contributor to nearly all forms of illness from cancer to heart disease. Just the nature of the word, disease, or dis ease, speaks to this undeniable fact. In a ground breaking study in the 1970′s, Steven Bramwell demonstrated that this principle even applied to college football players as he demonstrated that the members with Stanford football team who experienced the most stress, sustained the most injuries related to their sport. That same year, Japanese cardiologists demonstrated the same relationship with heart disease and stress and hence, the term psychosomatic illness came into vogue in the field of health psychology.
Conspiracy of Silence
You don’t hear a lot about the mental/emotional aspects of disease because there is no money in it for Big Pharma and Big Pharma writes the medical school curriculums. Whether, or not, the pill companies want the tried and true principles of health and well-being taught to medical school students as a prelude to intervention, it is irrelevant. The fact remains that America is a sick nation and we are a sick nation because all forms of our personal growth are stunted because we allow our lives to become distracted from the purpose of why we are here. Henry David Thoreau was correct when he said that “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them“.
According to a presentation offered at the IFPE Congress in Vienna, Austria on April 18, 2009, on the results of World Health Organization’s World Mental Health Survey, 19% of studied Americans experienced a clinical anxiety disorder in the previous twelve-month period, which pushes the United States into a ranking of first place in this category.
What do Americans have to be so anxious about? At least part of the answer which explains why Americans have such a high degree of clinical anxiety, is contained in the following paragraphs as it is undeniably stressful living in America under the present set of conditions. We Americans are a miserable people who are dumbed down, drugged out, persecuted, fluoridated, chemtrailed, poisoned by consuming the GMO food supply, breathing radiated air thanks to Fukushima and are propagandized by a corporate controlled media who constantly reminds us about how happy we should be because we live in the land of freedom and opportunity and our imaginary enemies hate us because of our freedoms when the truth is actually the opposite. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index 2011, the United States is tied with Romania for forty-ninth in civil liberties. Several countries such as Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and Norway are tied for first. So much for our freedoms. When most people have a gun pointed at their head, they should know that they could soon die. And when the government passed the NDAA, they are telling you what they plan to do with you if you get out of line, which is to snatch you off the street without due process and “disappear” you forever. Yet, we do not fight back.
Living the American Lie
The truth of the American experience is really quite the opposite of what the mainstream media tells us. We live in a hellish 1984 nightmare where our every move is tracked by the NSA. Every word we speak is under scrutiny. We have no privacy and it has become very clear that the government is no longer of the people, by the people and for the people. The people are no longer the sovereign, the bankers who have hijacked our government are the sovereign and are in near total control of our government. As a result, we are a besieged people. In short, we are an occupied nation which is producing a high degree of misery. Even for the sheep, these undeniable facts are showing up in our collective stress levels.
Most Americans Are a Helpless Group
If a population is exposed to Ebola, 90% will die agonizing deaths. However, 10% will survive and this 10% figure is true for most pandemics. I think the 10% figure is true for resistance to tyranny as well. There are those of us who are seemingly immune to the societal brainwashing and are clearly able to rise up and oppose tyranny. However, I have concluded that most Americans are not able to mount any form of psychological resistance to what is going on, much less any physical resistance. Most Americans suffer from learned helplessness.
Multivitamin researchers say “case is closed” after studies find no health benefits
“Enough” with the multivitamins already.
That’s the message from doctors behind three new studies and an editorial that tackled an oft-debated question in medicine: Do daily multivitamins make you healthier?
After reviewing the available evidence and conducting new trials, the authors have come to a conclusion of “no.”
“We believe that the case is closed — supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful,” concluded the authors of the editorial summarizing the new research papers, published Dec. 16 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. “These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough.”
They went on to urge consumers to not “waste” their money on multivitamins.
“The ‘stop wasting your money’ means that perhaps you’re spending money on things that won’t protect you long term,” editorial co-author Dr. Edgar Miller, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, told CBS News’ chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook. “What will protect you is if you spend the money on fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, low fat dairy, things like that ..exercising would probably be a better use of the money.”