Written by Paul Craig Roberts
Yes, I know, as many readers will be quick to inform me, the West never had any morality. Nevertheless things have gotten worse.
In hopes that I will be permitted to make a point, permit me to acknowledge that the U.S. dropped nuclear bombs on two Japanese cities, fire-bombed Tokyo; that Great Britain and the U.S. fire-bombed Dresden and a number of other German cities, expending more destructive force, according to some historians, against the civilian German population than against the German armies; that President Grant and his Civil War war criminals, Generals Sherman and Sheridan, committed genocide against the Plains Indians; that the U.S. today enables Israel’s genocidal policies against the Palestinians, policies that one Israeli official has compared to 19th century U.S. genocidal policies against the American Indians; that the U.S. in the new 21st century invaded Iraq and Afghanistan on contrived pretenses, murdering countless numbers of civilians; and that British prime minister Tony Blair lent the British army to his American masters, as did other NATO countries, all of whom find themselves committing war crimes under the Nuremberg standard in lands in which they have no national interests, but for which they receive an American pay check.
I don’t mean these few examples to be exhaustive. I know the list goes on and on. Still, despite the long list of horrors, moral degradation is reaching new lows. The U.S. now routinely tortures prisoners, despite its strict illegality under U.S. and international law, and a recent poll shows that the percentage of Americans who approve of torture is rising. Indeed, it is quite high, though still just below a majority.
And we have what appears to be a new thrill: American soldiers using the cover of war to murder civilians. Recently American troops were arrested for murdering Afghan civilians for fun and collecting trophies such as fingers and skulls.
This revelation came on the heels of Pfc. Bradley Manning’s alleged leak of a U.S. Army video of U.S. soldiers in helicopters and their controllers thousands of miles away having fun with joy sticks murdering members of the press and Afghan civilians. Manning is cursed with a moral conscience that has been discarded by his government and his military, and Manning has been arrested for obeying the law and reporting a war crime to the American people.
U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, a Republican, of course, from Michigan, who is on the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, has called for Manning’s execution. According to U.S. Rep. Rogers it is an act of treason to report an American war crime.
In other words, to obey the law constitutes “treason to America.”
U.S. Rep. Rogers said that America’s wars are being undermined by “a culture of disclosure” and that this “serious and growing problem” could only be stopped by the execution of Manning.
If Rep. Rogers is representative of Michigan, then Michigan is a state that we don’t need.
The U.S. government, a font of imperial hubris, does not believe that any act it commits, no matter how vile, can possibly be a war crime. One million dead Iraqis, a ruined country, and four million displaced Iraqis are all justified, because the “threatened” U.S. Superpower had to protect itself from nonexistent weapons of mass destruction that the U.S. government knew for a fact were not in Iraq and could not have been a threat to the U.S. if they were in Iraq.
When other countries attempt to enforce the international laws that the Americans established in order to execute Germans defeated in World War II, the U.S. government goes to work and blocks the attempt. A year ago on October 8, the Spanish Senate, obeying its American master, limited Spain’s laws of universal jurisdiction in order to sink a legitimate war crimes case brought against George W. Bush, Barack H. Obama, Tony Blair,and Gordon Brown.
The West includes Israel, and there the horror stories are 60 years long. Moreover, if you mention any of them you are declared to be an anti-semite. I only mention them in order to prove that I am not anti-American, anti-British, and anti-NATO, but am simply against war crimes.
It was the distinguished Zionist Jewish Judge, Goldstone, who produced the U.N. report indicating that Israel committed war crimes when it attacked the civilian population and civilian infrastructure of Gaza. For his efforts, Israel declared the Zionist Goldstone to be “a self-hating Jew,” and the U.S. Congress, on instruction from the Israel Lobby, voted to disregard the Goldstone Report to the U.N.
As the Israeli official said, we are only doing to the Palestinians what the Americans did to the American Indians.
The Israeli army uses female soldiers to sit before video screens and to fire by remote control machine guns from towers to murder Palestinians who come to tend their fields within 1500 meters of the inclosed perimeter of Ghetto Gaza. There is no indication that these Israeli women are bothered by gunning down young children and old people who come to tend to their fields.
If the crimes were limited to war and the theft of lands, perhaps we could say it is a case of jingoism sidetracking traditional morality, otherwise still in effect.
Alas, the collapse of morality is too widespread. Some sports teams now have a win-at-all-cost attitude that involves plans to injure the star players of the opposing teams. To avoid all these controversies, let’s go to Formula One racing where 200 mph speeds are routine.
Prior to 1988, 22 years ago, track deaths were due to driver error, car failure, and poorly designed tracks compromised with safety hazards. World Champion Jackie Stewart did much to improve the safety of tracks, both for drivers and spectators.
But in 1988 everything changed. Top driver Ayrton Senna nudged another top driver Alain Prost toward a pit wall at 190 mph. According to AutoWeek (August 30, 2010), nothing like this had been seen before. “Officials did not punish Senna’s move that day in Portugal, and so a significant shift in racing began.” What the great racing driver Stirling Moss called “dirty driving” became the norm.
Nigel Roebuck in AutoWeek reports that in 1996 World Champion Damon Hill said that Senna’s win-at-all-cost tactic “was responsible for fundamental change in the ethics of the sport.” Drivers began using “terrorist tactics on the track.” Damon Hill said that “the views that I’d gleaned from being around my dad [twice world champion Graham Hill] and people like him, I soon had to abandon,” because you realized that no penalty was forthcoming against the guy who tried to kill you in order that he could win.
When asked about the ethics of modern Formula One racing, American World Champion Phil Hill said: “Doing that sort of stuff in my day was just unthinkable. For one thing, we believed certain tactics were unacceptable.”
In today’s Western moral climate, driving another talented driver into the wall at 200 mph is just part of winning.
Michael Schumacher, born in January 1969, is a seven times World Champion, an unequaled record. On August 1 at the Hungarian Grand Prix, AutoWeek reports that Schumacher tried to drive his former Ferrari teammate, Rubens Barrichello, into the wall at 200 mph speeds.
Confronted with his attempted act of murder, Schumacher said: “This is Formula One. Everyone knows I don’t give presents.”
Neither does the U.S. government, nor state and local governments, nor the U.K. government, nor the E.U.
The deformation of the police, which many Americans, in their untutored existence as naive believers in “law and order,” still think are “on their side,” has taken on new dimensions with the police militarized to fight “terrorists” and “domestic extremists.”
The police have been off the leash since the civilian police boards were nixed by the conservatives. Kids as young as 6 years old have been handcuffed and carted off to jail for school infractions that may or may not have occurred. So have moms with a car full of children. (See, for example, this video.)
Anyone who Googles videos of U.S. police gratuitous brutality will call up tens of thousands of examples, and this is after laws that make filming police brutality a felony. A year or two ago such a search would call up hundreds of thousands of videos.
In one of the most recent of the numerous daily acts of gratuitous police abuse of citizens, an 84-year-old man had his neck broken because he objected to a night time towing of his car. The goon cop body-slammed the 84-year old and broke his neck. The Orlando, Florida, police department says that the old man was a “threat” to the well-armed, much younger police goon, because the old man clenched his fist.
Americans will be the first people sent straight to Hell while thinking that they are the salt of the earth.
The Americans have even devised a title for themselves to rival that of the Israelis’ self-designation as “God’s Chosen People.” The Americans call themselves “the indispensable people.”
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term.
Voicing his discontent with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling in United States v. Pineda-Moreno, which declared the warrantless use of a GPS tracking device to be constitutional, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski warned, “We are taking a giant leap into the unknown, and the consequences for ourselves and our children may be dire and irreversible. Some day, soon, we may wake up and find we’re living in Oceania.”
Indeed, we are already living in George Orwell’s totalitarian state known as Oceania, where the all-seeing government sees and tracks everything we do. By asserting that the police can constitutionally sneak onto a private driveway without a warrant and stick a GPS tag on your car so that they can remotely track you, the Ninth Circuit didn’t necessarily break any new ground. Rather, they merely confirmed what we have suspected all along: that the concept of private property is dead and along with it, the right against unreasonable searches and seizures once protected by the Fourth Amendment.
Having outstripped our ability as humans to control it, technology has become our Frankenstein’s monster. Delighted with technology’s conveniences, its ability to make our lives easier by doing an endless array of tasks faster and more efficiently, we have given it free rein in our lives, with little thought to the legal or moral ramifications of doing so. Thus, we have no one but ourselves to blame for the fact that technology now operates virtually autonomously according to its own invasive code, respecting no one’s intimate moments or privacy and impervious to the foibles of human beings and human relationships.
Global Positioning System (GPS)For example, consider how enthusiastically we welcomed Global Positioning System (GPS)
devices into our lives. We’ve installed this satellite-based technology in everything from our phones to our cars to our pets. Yet by ensuring that we never get lost, never lose our loved ones and never lose our wireless signals, we are also making it possible for the government to never lose sight of us, as well.
GPS, originally known as Navstar, is funded and operated by none other than the U.S. Department of Defense. The U.S. military controls the satellites used by GPS devices and transmits signals to ground GPS receivers. The U.S Air Force, by means of ground stations, sustains 24 operational GPS satellites at all times. These synchronized satellites emit signals at the same time. A GPS receiver located on earth collects the signals that travel at the speed of light. The receiver calculates the distance to the satellites by determining the time it takes for the emitted signal to reach the GPS receiver. Once a time is determined for at least four of the GPS satellites, the receiver can pinpoint your location in three dimensions, including latitude, longitude, and altitude.
While many Americans are literally lost without their GPS devices, it has also become a ubiquitous convenience for law enforcement agencies. For example, in 2009, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) introduced a prototype “smart” police car. This smart cruiser is the most advanced of its kind, equipped with license plate cameras, computers, a GPS projectile launcher, and even a heat detector in the front grill to differentiate between people and animals. The license plate reader can scan and download five to eight thousand license plates per shift. It saves the information it collects and can access the information instantaneously through the computer system installed in the car. If a stolen or wanted vehicle comes up in the scan, the license plate reader will automatically label the vehicle as a threat and a camera will take a colored picture of the vehicle and send the GPS coordinates of the vehicle to the police station.
In addition to the high tech license plate readers and cameras, the smart car is equipped with GPS-enabled projectiles. The device is similar to a dart launcher and is near the front bumper of the vehicle. The projectile is three inches in diameter. When engaged, the device shoots the GPS projectile at the target vehicle. The law enforcement agent inside the car arms and fires the projectile. With the aid of a military grade laser, the law enforcement agent can aim with tremendous precision. Once attached to the target, the projectiles have the capability of tracking the target in real time for days. The LAPD is currently shopping for a manufacturer willing to mass produce these cars in order to make them available to law enforcement agencies across the country.
Frankly, given how attached Americans have become to their cell phones–and how easily trackable, as a result, it’s a wonder the government even bothers with any other technologies. Currently, cell phone service providers have the ability to pinpoint a phone’s location to an area as small as a city block. (It should come as no surprise that government agents have wasted little time in adding this technology to their bag of tricks, employing GPS on multiple occasions to track individuals without establishing probable cause or obtaining a search warrant.) Most corporate cell phone providers can also store vast amounts of data containing the location of the cell phone and its specific uses (such as the contents of text messages and websites visited), sometimes even in real time.
In an effort to handle the massive amount of requests from federal agents for access to the GPS data, several cell phone providers now offer automated services for obtaining internal cell phone data. Sprint Nextel, for example, has an entire website devoted to cell phone records that law enforcement officers can access. Called the Mobile Locator, the system allows law enforcement to access information, such as call history, without a search warrant, thus completely bypassing the protections afforded us by the Fourth Amendment. It also enables government agents to monitor an individual in real-time on a zoomable, online map.
A recent study by Indiana University reveals the extent to which government agents are making use of this resource. According to the study, over a period of 13 months, Sprint responded to eight million requests from law enforcement for GPS data. In addition to GPS data, Sprint also stores IP data and URL web history for a two-year period, which it also makes available to law enforcement upon request.
Intelligence and law enforcement agencies insist that a search warrant is not required to access the information because cell phone users, having disclosed their information to a third party, have no reasonable expectation of privacy anyhow. All the while, the American people remain clueless about the existence of these databases, the ease with which law enforcement agents can access them, and their overall loss of privacy.
The bottom line: there really is no place to hide in the American Oceania. As Judge Kozinski concludes:
You can preserve your anonymity from prying eyes, even in public, by traveling at night, through heavy traffic, in crowds, by using a circuitous route, disguising your appearance, passing in and out of buildings and being careful not to be followed. But there’s no hiding from the all-seeing network of GPS satellites that hover overhead, which never sleep, never blink, never get confused and never lose attention. Nor is there respite from the dense network of cell towers that honeycomb the inhabited United States. Acting together these two technologies alone can provide law enforcement with a swift, efficient, silent, invisible andcheap way of tracking the movements of virtually anyone and everyone they choose. Most targets won’t know they need to disguise their movements or turn off their cell phones because they’ll have no reason to suspect that Big Brother is watching them.
-John W. Whitehead
Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information about the Institute is available at www.rutherford.org.
From Mike Adams at Natural News:
Obama health care reform imposes 3.8% tax on all income from home sales and home rental income (update 2)
(NaturalNews) The news about Obama's health care reform just keeps getting worse -- and we only find these things long after the bill has passed, of course. The newest revelation concerns a 3.8% tax on income from home sales and home rentals which will go into effect in 2013. (Note: This story has been updated to clarify who the 3.8% tax impacts, see below.)
Depending on your income level, this could end up costing you thousands of dollars from the sale of a home (even if you're a middle-class income earner). It would also place a tax burden on all rental income from any home you might rent out to others.
How could this be? Because the new health care bill imposes a 3.8% tax on "unearned income" above a certain threshold (see below), which includes income from any source that you aren't directly working for. This includes interest you receive on a savings account, dividends from stocks, rental income from a property you own, social security income, unemployment checks, child support and of course income from home sales.
While this tax is supposed to be targeted to "the rich" with a threshold of $250,000 in unearned income, it can very easily hit middle-class income families who sell a house with a gain, forcing them to pay the 3.8% on a portion of their gain.
There is a lot of debate on the 'net about who this affects and exactly how this is calculated. That's actually part of the problem: Sorting out what the law actually says is a bit of an accounting nightmare. As Nancy Pelosi said, "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it..."
As an article on Spokesman.com explains: "Middle-income people must pay the full tax even if they are 'rich' for only one day -- the day they sell their house and buy a new one."
For further clarification, see http://www.spokesman.com/stories/20... which states,"ObamaCare imposes a 3.8 percent annual tax on investment income of individuals making $200,000 or more and on families making $250,000 or more. The new tax is not indexed to inflation, so more people will fall under it each year. Seniors on fixed incomes and people with IRAs and 401(k) plans will be hit particularly hard."
And where is this money going? To pay for more sick care surgeries, pharmaceuticals, chemotherapy treatments, diabetes drugs, cholesterol drugs, mammograms and other virtually useless disease "treatments" that only enrich the medical industry while doing nothing to help real people.
There's never enough money to pay for diseaseThis 3.8% tax on unearned income from home sales and other sources is just the beginning, of course. You see, in a nation that has chosen to bet its future on a drugs-and-surgery approach to health care, there's never enough money to pay for disease.
Treating disease is wildly more expensive than preventing disease in the first place. But treatment is also wildly profitable, thrusting billions of dollars worth of profits into the hands of drug companies, cancer clinics and radiation machine manufacturers. The entire health care reform bill, it turns out, was designed to keep these dark, dangerous industries rolling in the dough while confiscating the money to pay for it all from U.S. homeowners, investors and social security recipients.
But if people will swallow 3.8%, why not raise it to 9%? Or 18%?
That's where this is headed because -- once again -- there's never enough money to pay for disease in a nation that refuses to legalize free speech about the scientifically proven benefits of nutrition and natural health products.
Mark my words: Unless America radically alters its approach to health care and starts focusing on HEALTH instead of disease "treatment," Big Government will only find new ways toconfiscate more money from the people.
Remember, too, that this money is going into the hands of the super wealthy drug companies, cancer clinics and surgery centers of our nation. In effect, Big Government is confiscating money from the working poor and handing it over to the super rich while calling it "health care."
Meanwhile, those who actually decide to take care of their health and avoid diseases by making healthy choices in their lives are penalized the most! The more you work, save and invest, the more you're punished by the government. The only way to get a "free ride" is to stop working, stop taking care of yourself and just let everybody else pick up the bill for your sickness and poverty.
Destroying America's economy one tax at a timeThe worst part about this 3.8% Medicare tax is that it punishes savings and investment. At a time when the national savings rate is less than zero and when people desperately need jobs, this is a devastating blow.
New jobs, you see, come from new businesses. And new businesses can only be funded from savings and investment. But if no one is saving money (or investing it), then there are no new companies. Hence, no new jobs, either.
To place the burden of a "sick care tax" on savings and investment in America is to suppress job creation at precisely the time when we need it most.
Confiscation to pay for sick care doesn't work in the long runThat Big Government now resorts to confiscating money from home sales and savings account income is a sign of its sheer desperation.
Trapped in a downward spiral of sick-care spending and bankruptcy, America's politicians haven't yet grasped the simplicity of a plan that would save lives, save money and save America's future: The natural health plan.
Read my free report "Nutrition Can Save America" for a primer on this concept:http://www.naturalnews.com/report_N...
To really save America from sick care bankruptcy, somebody in Washington needs to:
• Repeal the ill-conceived health care reform bill
• Establish health freedom protections for herbs, vitamins, supplements and superfoods
• Dismantle or radically reform the FDA to end its tyranny over the natural products industry
• Outlaw dangerous food ingredients that promote disease (such as sodium nitrite, HFCS, partially-hydrogenated oils, etc.)
... and much more. Essentially, America needs to abandon the conventional medical system that isn't working and embrace holistic medicine which is cheaper (by far!), safer, more effective and even better for the environment.
That's the mission of NaturalNews, by the way: To see America regain her health through holistic nutrition, public education, natural disease prevention and a pursuit of lifelong health and happiness. You can help by spreading the word about this 3.8% tax on home sales and rental income. Let people know how bad things are becoming now in our "sick-care nation" that will inevitably find itself bankrupt if it doesn't change course.
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Wiretapped phones, now Internet?To better track criminals, U.S. wants to be able to wiretap online communications.
By CHARLIE SAVAGE, New York Times
WASHINGTON - Federal law enforcement and national security officials are preparing to seek sweeping new regulations of the Internet, arguing that their ability to wiretap criminal and terrorism suspects is "going dark" as people increasingly communicate online instead of by telephone.
Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications -- including encrypted e-mail transmitters such as BlackBerry, social networking websites such as Facebook and software that allows direct "peer-to-peer" messaging such as Skype -- to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.
The legislation, which the Obama administration plans to submit to Congress next year, raises fresh questions about how to balance security needs with protecting privacy and fostering technological innovation. And because security services around the world face the same problem, it could set an example that is copied globally.
James Dempsey, vice president of the Center for Democracy and Technology, an Internet policy group, said the proposal had "huge implications" and challenged "fundamental elements of the Internet revolution" -- including its decentralized design.
"They are really asking for the authority to redesign services that take advantage of the unique, and now pervasive, architecture of the Internet," he said. "They basically want to turn back the clock and make Internet services function the way that the telephone system used to function."
But law enforcement officials contend that imposing such a mandate is reasonable and necessary to prevent the erosion of their investigative powers.
"We're talking about lawfully authorized intercepts," said Valerie Caproni, general counsel for the FBI. "We're not talking expanding authority. We're talking about preserving our ability to execute our existing authority in order to protect the public safety and national security."
Keeping up with technology
Investigators have been concerned for years that changing communications technology could damage their ability to conduct surveillance. In recent months, officials from the FBI, the Justice Department, the National Security Agency, the White House and other agencies have been meeting to develop a proposed solution.
There is not yet agreement on important elements, such as how to word statutory language defining who counts as a communications service provider, according to several officials familiar with the deliberations.
But they want it to apply broadly, including to companies that operate from servers abroad, such as Research In Motion, the Canadian maker of BlackBerry devices. In recent months, that company has come into conflict with the governments of Dubai and India over their inability to conduct surveillance of messages sent via its encrypted service.
In the United States, phone and broadband networks are already required to have interception capabilities, under a 1994 law called the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act. It aimed to ensure that government surveillance abilities would remain intact during the evolution from a copper-wire phone system to digital networks and cell phones.
Often, investigators can intercept communications at a switch operated by the network company. But sometimes -- like when the target uses a service that encrypts messages between his computer and its servers -- they must instead serve the order on a service provider to get unscrambled versions.
Like phone companies, communication service providers are subject to wiretap orders. But the 1994 law does not apply to them. While some maintain interception capacities, others wait until they are served with orders to try to develop them. That can cause big delays, which the new regulations would seek to forestall.
Written by Mitch Santell
Executive Producer, The Vinny Eastwood Show with Will!
Americans are spoiled. How do I know? I am an American, a third generation native Californian and when I lived in California man oh man did I have internet! The speed that I could down load radio shows I was producing in the states would blog my mind. After three years in New Zealand, while I love the country and the people, I've decided that the country from a technical standpoint is like living in colonial America during the "civil war."
So remember, since our show is the lighter side of genocide you have to keep your sense of humor in all of this!
With a very thick accent say the following when you call Telecom or maybe Telecom will say this to you when you call:
"Welcome to Telecom's New 3G Network! It works perfectly as long as you don't use it!"
"Welcome to Telecom, we created a new division called Chorus, a world class technical broadband service organized by Telecom to piss off as many Orcon Customer's as possible. (Only go with Orcon, they are great)!!
"Welcome to Telecom, where we allow your neighbors to steal your bandwidth and then make you pay for it!"
Don't believe me? Read this:
The political arena leaves one no alternatives, one must be either a dunce or a rogue.
If you believe everything you read, see, and hear, you’d think we’re in the freest, most democratic world that has ever been. In some senses, this is true: compared to the cultures of the past, people today are freer than their forebears.
However, this has been the result not of the wisdom of rulers and governments, but from the tireless work of everyday people like you and me who fought to establish previously unrecognized rights. Civil society (which today is eroding worldwide in the face of capitalist corporate wealth and power) is the end product of the efforts of people who’ve come before, sacrificing time and in many cases, lives, to make the world a more livable place.
It is in this respect that anarchists again stand out as the only group of people who honestly believe in democracy. Again, we hear a lot about democracy, freedom, liberty, and justice out of the mouths of political leaders, but they have no understanding of what these things mean–they are merely appropriating the positive associations you have with these images for their own personal gain.
Anarchy is Democracy because Anarchists favor direct action. That is, everyday people getting involved in directly improving their situation in their respective communities. We don’t favor people pinning their hopes on representatives to manage things for them.
That’s bourgeois “democracy” in action, in fact. Sedate, apathetic masses blindly ratifying decisions already made FOR them by all-knowing leaders. Only fools would consider this democracy, and accept it as a justifiable and desirable system.
Anarchists believe in direct democracy, in people not waiting for leaders to decide for them what to support or not support, but in people doing things themselves.
The reasoning behind this belief is thus: WE know what’s best for us, in our given communities; and WE don’t need someone else telling us what to do–moreover, we don’t want that!!
That’s democracy, REAL democracy: popular self-rule based on the active and informed consent of the governed. Only in anarchy is this even possible. See, anarchists alone believe that no one should be trusted with power, and that positions of power shoud consequently not be institutionalized, but made situational, and rotated about, so a ruling elite doesn’t spring up.
We alone favor active, responsible people taking care of themselves instead of relying on government or business to bail us out, and thereby forfeit our independence and autonomy. Wherever capitalism and statism appear, liberty, equality, freedom, and democracy go right out the window.
Today in the bourgeois “democracies” we see this in action. The people are “free” to do whatever is permitted them by the government. In other words, you can do whatever THEY say you can do, which is no freedom at all, nor democracy, either.
Here’s how these villains get away with it: they adopt Rousseau’s idea of the “Social Contract”, a spurious and self-serving piece of political mythology if ever there was one. This selfsame “contract” says that we all agree to give up some of our liberty and freedom for the “security” provided by the state. And the fine print is this: our silence in this matter is taken as our consent!!
Now think for a minute: government exists to protect property; that’s its sole purpose. Those with much property have much freedom in propertarian society; those with less have less freedom, and those with none have no freedom at all. We’re expected to believe that the poor AGREED to be poor??! But leaders pretend that the silence of the poor is in fact their consent to this state of affairs, which is plainly ludicrous. The Social Contract is an act of usurpation, a way for leaders to claim unearned legitimacy.
Now, they even go further in pretending that the electoral system as it stands is your voice. In other words, the very people who usurped your freedom now decide how you can respond to this! Again, no freedom at all, here, and even less democracy.
Anarchy is Democracy as Anarchists propose a vital alternative: the bad guys choose to believe that your silence gives them a blank slate to do as they wish–so the most important thing for you to do is to be as vocal as you can, on the issues that interest you, and to NOT rely on leaders to deliver you, but to deliver yourself!
Anarchists are the only unequivocable supporters of direct democracy out there, folks. That’s one of our greatest strengths, which is why we’ve locked horns with government for over a century.
Government wants you passive and obedient–that’s a necessary mindset to get along in governmental society. Society can function that way, but forget liberty, freedom, justice, and equality. Forget solidarity and cooperation–they die in such a stagnant environment.
Anarchy is the only way to achieve lasting, true democracy. It’s up to you what you get. Our society has the veneer of democracy without the vital substance–people are “free” to do what they’re told!! Everyone pretends it’s democracy, but in fact it isn’t. It’s a sham.
Anarchists alone call attention to this and seek to bring democracy into daily practice for each of us, so we can each live our lives as we see fit, so long as we respect one another’s liberty. That’s a just world, and one we hope to build from the ashes of this one.
What happens to a society that cannot distinguish between reality and illusion?
The United States, locked in the kind of twilight disconnect that grips dying empires, is a country entranced by illusions. It spends its emotional and intellectual energy on the trivial and the absurd. It is captivated by the hollow stagecraft of celebrity culture as the walls crumble. This celebrity culture giddily licenses a dark voyeurism into other people’s humiliation, pain, weakness and betrayal. Day after day, one lurid saga after another, whether it is Michael Jackson, Britney Spears or John Edwards, enthralls the country … despite bank collapses, wars, mounting poverty or the criminality of its financial class.
The virtues that sustain a nation-state and build community, from honesty to self-sacrifice to transparency to sharing, are ridiculed each night on television as rubes stupid enough to cling to this antiquated behavior are voted off reality shows. Fellow competitors for prize money and a chance for fleeting fame, cheered on by millions of viewers, elect to “disappear” the unwanted. In the final credits of the reality show America’s Next Top Model, a picture of the woman expelled during the episode vanishes from the group portrait on the screen. Those cast aside become, at least to the television audience, nonpersons. Celebrities that can no longer generate publicity, good or bad, vanish. Life, these shows persistently teach, is a brutal world of unadulterated competition and a constant quest for notoriety and attention.
Our culture of flagrant self-exaltation, hardwired in the American character, permits the humiliation of all those who oppose us. We believe, after all, that because we have the capacity to wage war we have a right to wage war. Those who lose deserve to be erased. Those who fail, those who are deemed ugly, ignorant or poor, should be belittled and mocked. Human beings are used and discarded like Styrofoam boxes that held junk food. And the numbers of superfluous human beings are swelling the unemployment offices, the prisons and the soup kitchens.
It is the cult of self that is killing the United States. This cult has within it the classic traits of psychopaths: superficial charm, grandiosity and self-importance; a need for constant stimulation; a penchant for lying, deception and manipulation; and the incapacity for remorse or guilt. Michael Jackson, from his phony marriages to the portraits of himself dressed as royalty to his insatiable hunger for new toys to his questionable relationships with young boys, had all these qualities. And this is also the ethic promoted by corporations. It is the ethic of unfettered capitalism. It is the misguided belief that personal style and personal advancement, mistaken for individualism, are the same as democratic equality. It is the nationwide celebration of image over substance, of illusion over truth. And it is why investment bankers blink in confusion when questioned about the morality of the billions in profits they made by selling worthless toxic assets to investors.
We have a right, in the cult of the self, to get whatever we desire. We can do anything, even belittle and destroy those around us, including our friends, to make money, to be happy and to become famous. Once fame and wealth are achieved, they become their own justification, their own morality. How one gets there is irrelevant. It is this perverted ethic that gave us investment houses like Goldman Sachs … that willfully trashed the global economy and stole money from tens of millions of small shareholders who had bought stock in these corporations for retirement or college. The heads of these corporations, like the winners on a reality television program who lied and manipulated others to succeed, walked away with hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses and compensation. The ethic of Wall Street is the ethic of celebrity. It is fused into one bizarre, perverted belief system and it has banished the possibility of the country returning to a reality-based world or avoiding internal collapse. A society that cannot distinguish reality from illusion dies.
The tantalizing illusions offered by our consumer culture, however, are vanishing for most citizens as we head toward collapse. The ability of the corporate state to pacify the country by extending credit and providing cheap manufactured goods to the masses is gone. The jobs we are shedding are not coming back, as the White House economist Lawrence Summers tacitly acknowledges when he talks of a “jobless recovery.” The belief that democracy lies in the choice between competing brands and the accumulation of vast sums of personal wealth at the expense of others is exposed as a fraud. Freedom can no longer be conflated with the free market. The travails of the poor are rapidly becoming the travails of the middle class, especially as unemployment insurance runs out. And class warfare, once buried under the happy illusion that we were all going to enter an age of prosperity with unfettered capitalism, is returning with a vengeance.
America is sinking under trillions in debt it can never repay and stays afloat by frantically selling about $2 billion in Treasury bonds a day to the Chinese. It saw 2.8 million people lose their homes in 2009 to foreclosure or bank repossessions – nearly 8,000 people a day – and stands idle as they are joined by another 2.4 million people this year. It refuses to prosecute the Bush administration for obvious war crimes, including the use of torture, and sees no reason to dismantle Bush’s secrecy laws or restore habeas corpus. Its infrastructure is crumbling. Deficits are pushing individual states to bankruptcy and forcing the closure of everything from schools to parks. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have squandered trillions of dollars, appear endless. There are 50 million Americans in real poverty and tens of millions of Americans in a category called “near poverty.” One in eight Americans – and one in four children – depend on food stamps to eat. And yet, in the midst of it all, we continue to be a country consumed by happy talk and happy thoughts. We continue to embrace the illusion of inevitable progress, personal success and rising prosperity. Reality is not considered an impediment to desire.
When a culture lives within an illusion it perpetuates a state of permanent infantilism or childishness. As the gap widens between the illusion and reality, as we suddenly grasp that it is our home being foreclosed or our job that is not coming back, we react like children. We scream and yell for a savior, someone who promises us revenge, moral renewal and new glory. It is not a new story. A furious and sustained backlash by a betrayed and angry populace, one unprepared intellectually, emotionally and psychologically for collapse, will sweep aside the Democrats and most of the Republicans and will usher America into a new dark age. It was the economic collapse in Yugoslavia that gave us Slobodan Milosevic. It was the Weimar Republic that vomited up Adolf Hitler. And it was the breakdown in Tsarist Russia that opened the door for Lenin and the Bolsheviks. A cabal of proto-fascist misfits, from Christian demagogues to loudmouth talk show hosts, whom we naïvely dismiss as buffoons, will find a following with promises of revenge and moral renewal. And as in all totalitarian societies, those who do not pay fealty to the illusions imposed by the state become the outcasts, the persecuted.
The decline of American empire began long ago before the current economic meltdown or the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It began before the first Gulf War or Ronald Reagan. It began when we shifted, in the words of Harvard historian Charles Maier, from an “empire of production” to an “empire of consumption.” By the end of the Vietnam War, when the costs of the war ate away at Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and domestic oil production began its steady, inexorable decline, we saw our country transformed from one that primarily produced to one that primarily consumed. We started borrowing to maintain a level of consumption as well as an empire we could no longer afford. We began to use force, especially in the Middle East, to feed our insatiable thirst for cheap oil. We substituted the illusion of growth and prosperity for real growth and prosperity. The bill is now due. America’s most dangerous enemies are not Islamic radicals but those who sold us the perverted ideology of free-market capitalism and globalization. They have dynamited the very foundations of our society. In the 17th century these speculators would have been hung. Today they run the government and consume billions in taxpayer subsidies.
As the pressure mounts, as the despair and desperation reach into larger and larger segments of the populace, the mechanisms of corporate and government control are being bolstered to prevent civil unrest and instability. The emergence of the corporate state always means the emergence of the security state. This is why the Bush White House pushed through the Patriot Act (and its renewal), the suspension of habeas corpus, the practice of “extraordinary rendition,” warrantless wiretapping on American citizens and the refusal to ensure free and fair elections with verifiable ballot-counting. The motive behind these measures is not to fight terrorism or to bolster national security. It is to seize and maintain internal control. It is about controlling us.
And yet, even in the face of catastrophe, mass culture continues to assure us that if we close our eyes, if we visualize what we want, if we have faith in ourselves, if we tell God that we believe in miracles, if we tap into our inner strength, if we grasp that we are truly exceptional, if we focus on happiness, our lives will be harmonious and complete. This cultural retreat into illusion, whether peddled by positive psychologists, by Hollywood or by Christian preachers, is magical thinking. It turns worthless mortgages and debt into wealth. It turns the destruction of our manufacturing base into an opportunity for growth. It turns alienation and anxiety into a cheerful conformity. It turns a nation that wages illegal wars and administers offshore penal colonies where it openly practices torture into the greatest democracy on earth. And it keeps us from fighting back.
Resistance movements will have to look now at the long night of slavery, the decades of oppression in the Soviet Union and the curse of fascism for models. The goal will no longer be the possibility of reforming the system but of protecting truth, civility and culture from mass contamination. It will require the kind of schizophrenic lifestyle that characterizes all totalitarian societies. Our private and public demeanors will often have to stand in stark contrast. Acts of defiance will often be subtle and nuanced. They will be carried out not for short term gain but the assertion of our integrity. Rebellion will have an ultimate if not easily definable purpose. The more we retreat from the culture at large the more room we will have to carve out lives of meaning, the more we will be able to wall off the flood of illusions disseminated by mass culture and the more we will retain sanity in an insane world. The goal will become the ability to endure.
Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times, is the author of several books including the best sellers War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning and Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle.
Link to where we go this article: https://www.adbusters.org/
People can you please wake up and spell the tyranny!
Global Consequences if Current Fails to Reorganize Oceanographic satellite data now shows that as of July 28, the Loop Current in the Gulf of Mexico has stalled as a consequence of the BP oil spill disaster. This according to Dr. Gianluigi Zangari, an Italian theoretical physicist, and major complex and chaotic systems analyst at the Frascati National Laboratories in Italy.
This could be the most significant man-caused Earth Changes news thus far in my lifetime. This morning I read a report by Your Own World USA that as of July 28, Oceanographic satellite data now shows that the Loop Current in the Gulf of Mexico has stalled as a consequence of the BP oil spill [volcano] disaster. This according to Dr. Gianluigi Zangari, an Italian theoretical physicist, and major complex and chaotic systems analyst at the Frascati National Laboratories in Italy.
He further notes that the effects of this stall have also begun to spread to the Gulf Stream. This is because the Loop Current is a crucial element of the Gulf Stream itself and why it is commonly referred to as the “main engine” of the Stream.
The concern now, is whether or not natural processes can re-establish the stalled Loop Current. If not, we could begin to see global crop failures as early as 2011.
Read the whole thing here: http://exm.nr/bcsAb4
“The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill .... The real enemy then is humanity itself. Democracy is no longer well suited for the tasks ahead .... It would seem that humans need a common motivation, namely a common adversary .... such a motivation must be found to bring the divided nations together to face an outside enemy, either a real one, or else one invented for the purpose...”
- Club of Rome, “The First Global Revolution” There's a new Agenda 21-supporting bill -- proposed by Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) -- called the Livable Communities Act (SB 1619), and it's just been approved by the US Senate Banking Committee, on the fast track to passage in the Senate. There are many things I believe we should all be fearful of about this legislation, the first of which is that it was proposed by Chris Dodd. Let's take a look at Mr. Dodd, shall we?:
"Senator Dodd [has been on the] "Ten Most Corrupt" list [for the past few years] for his corrupt relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and for accepting preferential treatment and loan terms from Countrywide Financial, a scandal which still dogs him. In 2009, the scandals kept coming for the Connecticut Democrat. [That year] Judicial Watch filed a Senate ethics complaint against Dodd for undervaluing a property he owns in Ireland on his Senate Financial Disclosure forms. Judicial Watch's complaint forced Dodd to amend the forms.
"However, press reports suggest the property to this day remains undervalued. Judicial Watch also alleges in the complaint that Dodd obtained a sweetheart deal for the property in exchange for his assistance in obtaining a presidential pardon (during the Clinton administration) and other favors for a long-time friend and business associate. The false financial disclosure forms were part of the cover-up. Dodd remains the head the Senate Banking Committee."
For more on Dodd's corrupt past, present and future, read Dick Morris's "Catastrophe." It's a book with serious Republican-leaning BS throughout, but the portion on Dodd is presented using facts, not BS... and the facts are clear: Dodd's a real scumbag.
Now, with all that in mind, does Dodd sound like a guy who has anything of value to offer our country? Does he sound like a guy who would create legislation that would help us, or help himself? After all, that's the nature of corporatism: politicians create legislation that helps only big corporations who then donate money to Dodd to keep him in his cushy little existence. Dodd and a slew of corrupt and/or ignorant propagandists then move to convince the public that the legislation is in their best interest.
And please, let us not forget that the recently passed "Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act" (H.R. 4173) was proposed and pushed by none other than...Chris Dodd! Oh, and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), another corrupt politician who makes the "Most Corrupt" list annually. What did this bill do? For more, see here, here, here and here. This is an excellent four-part commentary on the corruption and lies being peddled out of Washington, all for the benefit of unethical politicians (legislators), amoral corporations (special interests) and the bottom-feeders who survive solely off of their excesses.
Read the full article here: http://bit.ly/bx7T8X
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