Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Down the Road to...’Je ne sais quoi’.

First things first. It doesn't matter what the party/president/congressmen say, believe, intend to do or want to do; what we're talking about here is what actually gets done. I'm going to point out the things that stay the same no matter what the combination of parties comprise the gov't. And yes, there are real differences between Dims and Pugs. Those differences are there to give us the illusion that we live in a democracy - to give us the illusion that we have a choice. I'll limit my discussion to to the Clinton, Bush Jr. and Obama administrations.

The US has over 1000 military bases worldwide (1) and an embassy in virtually every country(2). Hardly a skirmish occurs without the US being involved. Before a move is made, the local US embassy is consulted to get permission. And yet, very little world news hits the airwaves.

There always has to be a war and an enemy. After WWII the enemy was the 'Internatational Communist Conspiracy', then with with the break-up of the Soviet Union it was the War on Drugs and on 'Rogue Nations'. Now of course, it's the 'War on Terror'. Today the US gov’t spends over $1 trillion on military expenditures. (3)

Military Interventions

The Clinton Administration:

1993 Somalia - US helicopters fired missiles at warlord Mohamed Aidid. Many innocent people were killed. Later an attempt to kidnap two of Aidid’s leaders went sour:

The final tally was five US helicopters shot down, 18 Americans dead, 73 wounded, 500 to 1000 Somalians killed, many more injured. (William Blum, Rogue State)

Iraq - Continued to enforce a US-Great Britain imposed no-fly zone:
In the first eight months of 1999, the two countries flew some 10,000 sorties over Iraq, unleashing more than 1,000 bombs and missiles on more than 400 targets, killing or wounding many hundreds of people. (William Blum, Rogue State)

It can be said that the United States has inflicted more vindictive punishment and ostracism upon Iraq than upon Germany or Japan after World War II. (William Blum, Rogue State)


Third largest recipient of US military aid of US military aid, with hundreds of American military personnel posted there in a growing number of military and radar bases to aid in counter-insurgency actions against leftist guerrillas. (William Blum, Rogue State)

1995 Yugoslavia

“The United States, under the cover of NATO, intervened in a civil war less violent than the American civil war, indeed, a lot less violent, and of shorter duration, than several other civil conflicts going on in the world at the same time...” (Blum) The US had no economic interest there but used Yugoslavia to showcase NATO’s power and relevance in the post-USSR era as well as eradicating the world of another socialist state. The US bombed Yugoslavia back to the stone age for 78 days and nights killing hundreds of innocent people including women and children. After the bombing started the ethnic cleaning and forced deportations began. Of course, the general American public have been led to believe it was the other way around - after all it was a humanitarian mission. Depleted uranium (DU) “dirty” bombs as well as cluster bombs were used. DU bombs are radioactive and chemically toxic. It contaminates the air, water, soil, ground water and food chain. A great way to dispose of hazardous waste anyway. Cluster bombs are bombs that break into soda can sized “bomblets” causing unimaginable death and destruction. If a limb gets hit the only cure is amputation. Undetonated bomblets become unmarked land mines. Both DU and cluster bombs if not all indiscriminate bombs are weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and constitute war crimes in international law. *source needed*

1999 US bombing of Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia.  The US apologized and claimed it was accidental from use of an outdated map. Or was it a warning to China?

Other areas of interventions were Peru, Mexico, Haiti, Afghanistan and Sudan. Influenced elections in Russia (1996), Mongolia (1996) and Basnia (1998).

“You’re exercising your precious freedom to vote and the only candidates presented to you with more than a snowball-in-hell’s chance of winning are those whose ideologies enable them to raise about a half million dollars to contest a seat in the House, about five million for the Senate, and about a hundred million for the White House. Or, increasingly, the candidates themselves are multi-millionaires.” -- William Blum in Rogue State, 2000. (See latest figures under Obama)

The George W. Bush Administration

2001 United States: 9/11. The Bombshell Memo written by Coleen Rowley to FBI Director Robert Mueller in which she asks why every time her Minneapolis Division tried to warn its superiors about an impending terrorist attack involving crashing commercial airplanes, it went nowhere.

2003 Iraq: U.S. invades Iraq again on the pretense that Iraq is aiding Al Qaeda and that Saddam has weapons of mass destruction. When Joseph C. Wilson IV wrote an op-ed in the New York Times declaring that the Bush Administration grossly misinterpreted used his report for invading Iraq. The Bush Administration diverted attention from the deceit by revealing to the press his wife's identity: Valerie Plame - a covert CIA operative. The diversion worked and Scooter Libby, Vice-President Cheney's chief-of-staff, takes the fall for revealing Agent Plame. Also, the secret Downing Street Memo attests to "the intelligence and facts were being fix around the policy" [to invade Iraq].

The Barack Obama Administration

Continued wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. A new war in Libya.

CIA Coups

To follow are wikipedia’s list of coups and unsuccessful coups. We won’t know the extent of CIA involvement until the information is leaked out or after the 30 year wait until the documents are made public. Safe to say that US/CIA involvement were in most if not all:

The William Clinton Adminstration

from List of coups d'état and coup attempts:
Russian President Boris Yeltsin successfully launches a self-coup, illegally dissolving the Russian parliament.
Guatemalan President Jorge Serrano Elias unsuccessfully launches a self-coup (1993 Guatemalan constitutional crisis), illegally dissolving the Guatemalan Parliament and Supreme Court, but the Guatemalan Constitutional Court in an official statement immediately removes Elias from office for violating the Guatemalan constitutional order.
Owerthrow of president Abülfaz Elçibay of Azerbaijan.
Military coup in The Gambia.
Failed coup attempt in Azerbaijan.
Military coup in Burundi; Pierre Buyoya deposes Sylvestre Ntibantunganya.
Military-backed indirect coup in Turkey. It was named a "postmodern coup" by one of the top-ranking generals. Although the parliament was not dissolved, the military pressure resulted in the Prime Minister's resignation.
In Albania, the funeral of Azem Hajdari turns violent as the Prime Minister's Office is attacked, obliging Fatos Nano to hastily flee and step down shortly after. His party remains in power.
Military coup in Pakistan. Army refuses to obey Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's government. General Pervez Musharraf becomes president (with the title "Chief Executive") and exiles Sharif to Saudi Arabia allegedly on a self-exile ten-year contract of not participating in politics, after he was convicted of hijacking and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Military coup in Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), the first coup since the independence of Côte d'Ivoire.

2000 Ecuadorean coup d'état. On January 21, indigenous Ecuadorians protested the economic policies of President Jamil Mahuad. Colonel Lucio Gutiérrez allowed the protesters to take over the National Congress. A junta brieftly took power, but within hours Vice President Gustavo Noboa regained control, with support of the protestors. Gutiérrez was elected president in 2002 as a member of the January 21 Patriotic Society Party.
George Speight attempted a coup against the prime minister of Fiji, Mahendra Chaudhry.
 The George W. Bush Administration

from List of coups d'état and coup attempts:
Venezuelan coup attempt of 2002 was a failed coup d'état that lasted 47 hours. President Hugo Chávez was detained, the National Assembly and the Supreme Court dissolved, and the country's Constitution declared void. Pedro Carmona was installed as interim president.
Military coup in Central African Republic against Ange-Félix Patassé.
Attempted coup in Mauritania.
Military coup in São Tomé and Príncipe against Fradique de Menezes.
Military coup in Guinea-Bissau against Kumba Ialá.
Failed mutiny and coup attempt in the Philippines led by right-wing junior officers known as the Magdalo (mutineers).
Attempted coup in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The 2004 Haiti rebellion was a coup d'état that happened after conflicts that occurred for several weeks in Haiti during February 2004. It resulted in the premature end of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's second term, in which he left Haiti on a American plane accompanied by U.S. military/security personnel. Controversy remains regarding the involvement of the U.S. in his departure and whether or not the departure was voluntary. Aristide described his departure as a kidnapping. An interim government led by Prime Minister Gérard Latortue and President Boniface Alexandre was installed.
Failed coup d'état in Chad against President Idriss Déby.
Second attempted coup in the Democratic Republic of Congo (June).
Attempted coup in Equatorial Guinea.
Ecuadorian coup of 2005. It resulted in the premature end of President Lucio Edwin Gutiérrez Borbúa
Coup in Togo legalized by parliamentary vote but unrecognized by international community.
King Gyanendra of Nepal overthrows the government in a self-coup, making him the head of government. The government is reestablished April 24, 2006 after a massive democracy movement.
A military coup in Mauritania overthrows President Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya. A new government is set up by a group of military officers headed by Ely Ould Mohamed Vall. The group formed the Military Council for Justice and Democracy to act as the governing council of the country.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines allegedly attempted a military coup in the Philippines targeting President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, which led to a state of emergency in the country.
The United Front for Democratic Change allegedly attempts to instigate a military coup in Chad to overthrow President Idriss Déby.
The Royal Thai Army orchestrates a coup in Thailand that overthrows Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra while he is out of the country.
The Malagasy Popular Armed Forces allegedly attempt a military coup in Madagascar against President Marc Ravalomanana.
The military of Fiji overthrows President Josefa Iloilo and Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase in a bloodless coup.
The military of Côte d'Ivoire claims to foil a coup attempt targeting President Laurent Gbagbo.
An alleged coup attempt by General Vang Pao and others in the United States to overthrow the Laotian government is foiled.
Philippines rebel forces led by opposition politician Sen. Antonio Trillanes, storm the Peninsula hotel in an attempted coup.
Attempted military coup in Turkey, called an "e-coup" (April 27), reminiscent of the "postmodern coup" of 1997. The office of the Chief of General Staff posts an ultimatum to the AKP government on its website to block the election of Abdullah Gül as President. Gül is elected anyway, and the threats do not materialize.
East Timorese president José Ramos-Horta is shot and injured in what prime minister Xanana Gusmao describes as an attempted coup.
A military coup in Mauritania involving the seizure of the President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, Prime Minister Yahya Ould Ahmed El Waghef, and Interior Minister after the sacking of several military officials and a political crisis in which 48 MPs walked off the job and a vote of no confidence in cabinet.
A military coup occurs in Guinea after the death of President Lansana Conté.
 The Barack Obama Administration

from: List of coups d'état and coup attempts:
2009In an attempted coup in Madagascar the army seized one of the presidential palaces on March 16, 2009, at which president Marc Ravalomanana was not present. The proposal offered by the president for a referendum to solve the crisis was rejected. On March 17, 2009, Marc Ravalomanana resigned under pressure from the military.In Honduras, the army seized one of the presidential palaces on June 28, 2009, and kidnapped president Manuel Zelaya Rosales. The 23-nation Rio Group & the United Nations General Assembly condemned the "coup d'etat".[19][20]On 4 February 2009 Malaysia's Perak State Government of the People's Alliance led by Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin was toppled in a coup d'etat organized by the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) who later established a Rebel State Government of their own. Political unrest continues when UMNO militias stormed and sealed the state legislative assembly building and expelled the legislative speaker from office. The current leader of the Rebel State Government is Dr. Zambry Abdul Kadir.
The Erosion of Civil Liberties

The Dims and Pugs accuse each other of being authoritarian, totalitarian, tyrannical, fascist, etc. depending on who’s in power at the present time. Both parties are guilty and the erosion is usually slow and subtle. George Orwell understood this “function creep” well which he illustrated in his famous novel, ‘Animal Farm’.

After the shock of 9/11, a bonanza of new ‘National Security’ legislation was quickly rammed through congress (Shock Doctrine!). Extra security was added to airports, army personnel with large guns were on the corners of intersections. Not to make us feel safe but to make us feel afraid. Afraid enough for us to acquiesce our civil liberties to the ever expanding police state.

To follow is a summary of your constitutional rights:
The United States Bill of Rights. The Ten Original Amendments to the Constitution of the United States
I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
II A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
III No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
IV The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
V No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
VI In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
VII In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
VIII Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
IX The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
X The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Here are the rights you don’t have:

The United Nations's
THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS (http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml)

Article 1.

  • All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2.

  • Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3.

  • Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4.

  • No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5.

  • No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6.

  • Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7.

  • All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8.

  • Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9.

  • No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10.

  • Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11.

  • (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
  • (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12.

  • No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
  • (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
  • (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
  • (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16.

  • (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
  • (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
  • (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
  • (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18.

  • Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
 Article 19.
  • Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
  • (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
  • (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
  • (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22.

  • Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
  • (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
  • (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
  • (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24.

  • Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
  • (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
  • (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
  • (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27.

  • (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
  • (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28.

  • Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29.

  • (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
  • (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
  • (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30.

  • Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.
To follow is a summary of your civil rights disappearing:

The Clinton Administration (1993-2001)

Ever expanding NSA bases like in Menwith Hill, North Yorkshire, England and Bad Aibling, Germany where they are involved in industrial espionage for US companies.

Bill Clinton, who-in the words of civil-liberties columnist Nat Hentoff-"in this century...has inflicted the most harm on our constitutional rights and liberties." I’m pretty sure you thought the erosion of your civil liberties started after 9/11.

Claimed unitary executive theory where congressional regulation of the executive branch is non-binding unless from a constitutional amendment. Clinton signed statements restricting enforcement of 140 statutes.

Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick to the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee on July 14th, 1994:
"The Department of Justice believes, and the case law supports, that the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes, and that the President may, as has been done, delegate this authority to the Attorney General." (http://civilliberty.about.com/od/waronterror/a/clinton_legacy.htm)

the Clinton administration is -- as the ACLU's Laura Murphy recently told the National Law Journal -- "the most wire-tap-friendly administration in history." From:Nat Hentoff, Washington Post (November 16, 1996)

Clinton approved a congressional expansion of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to cover his administration's illegal searches. (http://civilliberty.about.com/od/waronterror/a/clinton_legacy.htm)

1996 Line-Item Veto Act. Allowed the president to strike out articles of bills line by line although it was struck down by the Supreme Court in 1998.

1996 Anti-Terrorism Act Creates instances of warrantless surveillance for foreigners among other restrictions on foreign rights.

1997 In the sexual harassment lawsuit filed against President Clinton, he argued that executive privilege should exempt him from all civil lawsuits.

1999 Backdoor key inserted into Microsoft Windows for the NSA.
Roving wiretaps, police harassment without cause, arrest and release, targets political dissidents, preventive detention, FBi and INS using illegal evidence, selling confidential information to corporations, rampant excessive police force, brutal treatment of prisoners, excessively long prison terms for political prisoners (think left wing), profiling, harrassment of citizens on ‘undesirable’ list, CIA, FBI, etc. refuse to respond to subpeonas. The list goes on and on. The CIA continue to operate outside the rule of law usually with full executive office support but not necessary. The US is already a Police State.

The George W. Bush Administration

More of the same as above.

  • Created Patriot Act
  • created Department of Homeland Security
  • increased surveillance powers of the gov't
  • increased prosecutory powers over American people including warrantless searches
  • permanent residents no longer covered under the US Bill of Rights
  • created Guantanamo Bay detention camp where prisoners were held with being charged, tortured, not given access to legal counsel.
  • targeted dissenters and whistlebloweres under the espionage act, “unlawful combatants”, enemy combatants”. Detained indefinitely without being charged, without access to legal counsel. Torture including sensorary depravation, total isolation, hallucinogenic drugs, electric shock therapy and water boarding.
  • read Naomi Wolf’s Fascism in America: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/apr/24/usa.comment

The Obama Administration

  • Promised to close Guantanamo Bay and didn’t. Actually, it’s expanding.
  • Promised to end the war in Iraq by December 20111. He won’t. He can’t. The US is occupying Iraq.
  • Promised to give Guantanamo Bay detainees due process, fair trials and justice but didn’t.
  • Has allowed US Private Bradley Manning to be kept in a small cell 23 hours a day. Has been stripped of clothes repeatedly. It’s meant to break the will of the prisoner, it’s torture.
  • Protected previous administration/CIA/etc. from prosecution.
  • Continues to allow the melding of military and contract workers, the melding of the CIA and private contractors, etc. The checks and balances, accountability and paper trail simply disappears with private contractors.
  • TSA full body scanner/full body patdowns: Desensitizing Our Children to Tyranny (http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml) Well, it’s not actually tyranny, it’s authoritarianism (submission to authority) but you get the idea.
  • 16 million documents each year are classified top secret each year.  (Digging Deeper: Jesse Ventura's Alternative Take on American History).
  • 77 million documents a year are classified. (source: NYTimes)
  • The appalling ‘Citizens United’ ruling by the Supreme Court in 2010 allowing Corporations unlimited spending on elections with very little disclosure.

“Today, the cost of a congressional campaign often exceeds $1 million per candidate, and Senate campaigns average $4.3 million, often costing $10 million or even $15 million. Once in office, a senator needs to raise more than $10,000 every week to fund his or her re-election campaign, and much of that money ends up coming from political action committees (PACs) and other special interests.” http://www.scu.edu/ethics/publications/iie/v3n2/money.html
Obama spent $730 million in his presidential election campaign in 2008.

Miscellaneous Points


  • certain people are candidates for key gov't positions no matter which party is in power e. g. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates & US Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geitner who was one of three front runners no matter who became president.
  • bailouts: Dims and Pugs both agreed on bailouts for the banks.
  • Obama has fallen right in line with lower taxes and spending cuts. He’s proposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare for the 2012 budget. Not even Republicans have managed that one.
  • Regulations are negotiated with the multinational corporations. Of course, they favor big corporations to small business and all business to individuals.
  • Patriot Act expires in May 2011. Expect it to be extended.

Melding of Multi-national Corporations and Government
from http://blog.buzzflash.com/node/12533

Sanders compiled a list of some of some of the 10 worst corporate income tax avoiders:
1) Exxon Mobil made $19 billion in profits in 2009. Exxon not only paid no federal income taxes, it actually received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, according to its SEC filings.
2) Bank of America received a $1.9 billion tax refund from the IRS last year, although it made $4.4 billion in profits and received a bailout from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department of nearly $1 trillion.
3) Over the past five years, while General Electric made $26 billion in profits in the United States, it received a $4.1 billion refund from the IRS.
4) Chevron received a $19 million refund from the IRS last year after it made $10 billion in profits in 2009.
5) Boeing, which received a $30 billion contract from the Pentagon to build 179 airborne tankers, got a $124 million refund from the IRS last year.
6) Valero Energy, the 25th largest company in America with $68 billion in sales last year received a $157 million tax refund check from the IRS and, over the past three years, it received a $134 million tax break from the oil and gas manufacturing tax deduction.
7) Goldman Sachs in 2008 only paid 1.1 percent of its income in taxes even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion and received an almost $800 billion from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department.
8) Citigroup last year made more than $4 billion in profits but paid no federal income taxes. It received a $2.5 trillion bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury.
9) ConocoPhillips, the fifth largest oil company in the United States, made $16 billion in profits from 2007 through 2009, but received $451 million in tax breaks through the oil and gas manufacturing deduction.
10) Over the past five years, Carnival Cruise Lines made more than $11 billion in profits, but its federal income tax rate during those years was just 1.1 percent.

I leave you with William Blum in Rogue State:

And also from 'Rogue State':
This syndrome is properly called a police state, not the worst police state in the world to be sure, but a police state nonetheless; the War on Drugs had made it such even before September 11.

We have seen multinational Corporations (mostly US) gain the upper hand in the US and worldwide at the expense of the middle class, the poor, the environment and everyone's civil liberties.  It's been mostly slow "function creep" but at times fast and furious "Shock Doctrine".  Yes, the juggernaut has made mistakes but like a learning robot they vow never to make the same mistake twice.  FDR cost the pure capitalist movement nearly a century but there never has been another.  40 years ago was another scare where the general population saw what their government was doing in Vietnam and at home and they protested in mass.  The corporate oligarchy retreated.

We have seen democracies overthrown and dictators installed.  Millions have died directly and indirectly by US gov't actions.  And really, what hope is there for democracy and peace in the rest of the world unless we there is democracy and peace at home?  Unfortunately, neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are in a position to do that.  It's time for a new civilian populist party.  A vote for a Democrat or a Republican is a vote for the status quo above.  Don't do it.  United Citizens for Peace and Prosperity anyone?

Sources and additional information:

(1) http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=12785
According to the Pentagon's own list PDF, the answer is around 865, but if you include the new bases in Iraq and Afghanistan it is over a thousand. These thousand bases constitute 95 percent of all the military bases any country in the world maintains on any other country's territory.

(2) http://www.usembassy.gov/

(3) Chalmers Johnson - Speaking Freely http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPr_T7btVgA&feature=player_embedded

(4) Depleted Uranium - The Real Dirty Bombs: (http://www.rense.com/general56/dep.htm)
from Depleted Uranium - The Real Dirty Bombs:

Lost in the media circus about the Iraq war, supposedly being fought to prevent a tyrant from obtaining weapons of mass destruction, is the salient fact that the United States and Britain are actively waging chemical and nuclear warfare in Iraq - using depleted uranium munitions.

The corporate-controlled press has failed to inform the public that, in spite of years of UN inspections and numerous international treaties, tons of banned weapons of mass destruction (WMD) - used and unused - remain in Iraq. Indeed, both chemical and radioactive WMD have been - and continue to be used against U.S. and coalition soldiers.

Reading List:


Friday, April 1, 2011

NPR Radio

It's freestyle Friday here at NPR.  We're going to kick it up a notch, put the iPod on 'random' and maybe catch a Barry Manilow song...
In the House of Commons, the Republicans proposed to defund NPR (National Public Radio).


I mean...Really!?!?!?

NPR just may be one of there own.  William Blum in, 'Rogue State' writes :

FAIR (Fairness and Accurateness in Reporting) did a study on NPR.  Here are some quotes:
Republicans outnumbered Democrats by more than 3 to 2 (61 percent to 38 percent). A majority of Republican sources when the GOP controls the White House and Congress may not be surprising, but Republicans held a similar though slightly smaller edge (57 percent to 42 percent) in 1993, when Clinton was president and Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. And a lively race for the Democratic presidential nomination was beginning to heat up at the time of the 2003 study.
Elite sources dominated NPR’s guest-list. These sources—including government officials, professional experts and corporate representatives—accounted for 64 percent of all sources.
 Women were dramatically underrepresented on NPR in 1993 (19 percent of all sources), and they remain so today (21 percent). And they were even less likely to appear on NPR in stories as experts—just 15 percent of all professionals were women—or in stories discussing political issues, where only 18 percent of sources were women.
Six regular commentators were African-American (13 percent), two were Asian (4 percent) and one was Latino (2 percent). The remaining 80 percent (37 of 46) of commentators were non-Latino whites. All but one of 27 regular commentators in the 1993 study were white (96 percent); the one exception, cartoonist Lynda Barry, is of European and Filipino descent.
 Of course, most people think NPR is has a liberal bias:
News of the April launch of Air America, a new liberal talk radio network, revived the old complaint, with several conservative pundits declaring that such a thing already existed. “I have three letters for you, NPR . . . . I mean, there is liberal radio,” remarked conservative pundit Andrew Sullivan on NBC’s Chris Matthews Show (4/4/04). A few days earlier (4/1/04), conservative columnist Cal Thomas told Nightline, “The liberals have many outlets,” naming NPR prominently among them.
Nor is this belief confined to the right: CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer (3/31/04) seemed to repeat it as a given while questioning a liberal guest: “What about this notion that the conservatives make a fair point that there already is a liberal radio network out there, namely National Public Radio?”

So here we have a liberal publicly funded radio network, infiltrated by conservatives.  What great propaganda!  Of course, it is well known that the CIA likes to infiltrate unions and other left-wing organizations.  No wonder when exiting NPR-exec Ron Schiller made some disparaging comments in a secret video tape regarding conservatives, not only did he resign immediately but the NPR board asked for the resignation of the CEO/President Vivian Schiller (no relation).  To be fair, NPR did fire Juan Williams for making disparaging Muslim remarks on Fox News last year.

You decide: Liberal, Conservative, Liberal with secret Conservative slant or Conservative with secret Liberal slant.