Sunday, October 30, 2011

Stories getting very little attention in the main stream media

1. Occupy Wall Streets' demands

What you hear in the news is, "What do they want?  Why won't they make their demands clear?"  Actually, they have. The Declaration of the Occupation of New York City can be found here. Building on the declaration is, "The American People's New Economic Charter".

Keith Olbermann reads the first collective statement of Occupy Wall Street:

2. Social justice

One of the great conservative myths is their mantra, "Equal opportunity, not equal outcome". I've written about that here and here. The sad truth is that the best predictor of a child's social/economic mobility is family income. A lot of that has to do with the education that the parent(s) can provide.

Then along comes a study that has everything in it: Social Justice Report (pdf). A report of that study can be read here: Why inequality in America is even worse than you thought.

Here's a quick summary:

31 OECD member countries were compared for various social justice properties: poverty prevention, access to education, labor market inclusion, social cohesion and non-discrimination, health and intergenerational justice.

Here's how the US did:

Overall rank: 27th/31
Poverty prevention: 29th/31
Child poverty: 28th/31
Access to education: 20th/31
   Public expenditure on early childhood education: 22nd/31
Labor market inclusion: 16/31
   Unemployment and long-term unemployment: 22nd/31
Social cohesion and non-discrimination: 16th/31
   Gini coefficient: 28th/31
Health: 23rd/31
   Perceived health in relation to income level: tied 11th-13th/31
Intergenerational justice: 20th/31
   Debt levels: 25th/31

It is interesting to note that the social democracies of Scandinavia ranked by far the highest.  It flies in the face of everything I've been taught about free market economies. Ironically, social democracy seems to me what OWS is demanding. The first key finding of the report:
The north European states comprise a league of their own. Leading by far on the Justice Index,
Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland achieve particularly good results in the dimensions of “access to education,” “social cohesion” and “intergenerational justice.”
 3. More on income inequality

First, please read, 'Has America Become an Oligarchy?' In defense of free-enterprise, this is why it happened. If the playing field were fair, big companies would get eclipsed by smaller more adaptable companies which in turn would lead to the natural death of the biggest companies and income would revert to the mean.  But big perpetual US corporations have used their monopoly power to unfairly take out their competition and have used their political power to rig the game in their favor. So the question becomes, "How do you level the playing field?" without swinging the pendulum too far the other way?

4. Global warming

From, 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' Wed. Oct. 26:

5. Frivalous lawsuits and Tort reform

From, 'The Colbert Report' Tues. Oct. 25:

6. Fox News making up the news:

7. Corporations reclaiming pension funds

Ellen Schultz, author of Retirement Heist: How Companies Plunder and Profit from the Nest Eggs of American Workers, was on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Monday, October 18, 2001:

From the New York Times: When Retirees Are Shortchanged.

An excerpt of her book can be read here: How Companies Plunder and Profit from the Nest Eggs of American Workers.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Occupy Oakland: This is what a police state looks like

Fromm Occupy Wall Street:

Late last night, Scott Olsen, a former Marine, two-time Iraq war veteran, and member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, sustained a skull fracture after being shot in the head with a police projectile while peacefully participating in an Occupy Oakland march. He remains unconscious in critical condition at Oakland's Highland Hospital.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Glenn Greenwald Day!

Glenn Greenwald has a new book out today, "With Liberty and Justice for Some". And it comes just at the right time to defend my charge of, 'criminal capitalism'.  The premise is simple:
Today, it is glaringly obvious to a wide range of Americans that the wealth of the top 1% is the byproduct not of risk-taking entrepreneurship, but of corrupted control of our legal and political systems.  (Source:  Tomgram: Glenn Greenwald, How the Rich Subverted the Legal System)
The charge of 'criminal capitalism' applies to both the Democrat and Republican parties which became entirely obvious under the Obama administration.  (No disrespect to President Obama who is a really nice guy!) One of the chants down on, 'Occupy Wall Street' is, "Banks got bailed out! We got sold out!". They understand.

Read Glenn Greenwald in his own words:
(For those that don't like to read search for words such as fraud, criminal, legitimate, etc.)

And if you haven't read, "Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail?" by Matt Taibbi, read it.  The subtitle says it all:
Financial crooks brought down the world's economy — but the feds are doing more to protect them than to prosecute them.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Blame the Fed!

Guest contributor Mindsweeper writes:

Free market idiots (including Ron Paul, the Austrian school and libertarians) finally have a right idea, but for all the wrong reasons!

Ron Paul: "Blame The Fed For The Financial Crisis"

What's absolutely astounding is that, according to these morons, it's "government" that is perpetrating these 'disastrous anti-free market' policies. The Fed is not the government; it is a bunch of greedy private bankers who have usurped the rightful government's constitutional power to issue and regulate currency in order to become increasingly wealthy at taxpayer expense, with zero risk.

Congress is not the rightful government. It has largely become a bunch of bought-and-paid-for (through campaign contributions) corporate stooges who have usurped control of the legal system, creating and maintaining corporate 'personhood' as the means to implement laws and policy which benefit corporate royalty (who decide campaign contribution amounts and recipients). This is done at the expense of ordinary citizens to bolster Congress' re-election chances (incumbents are re-elected with over 90% frequency).

The executive and judiciary are no longer branches of the rightful government'. They do not provide the 'checks and balances' intended by the 'separation of powers' mandated by the Constitution, only the 'checks and balances' to ensure that nothing can challenge Fed-banker' or 'Congress-corporation' power and influence. To have even a remote chance of being nominated for and winning the Presidency, a candidate must receive the stamp of corporate approval in the form of tremendous campaign contributions. Upon election, the President typically appoints members of the banking elite to positions at the Fed and the US Treasury. Other appointees (including to the Supreme Court) must be approved by the corporate campaign-donation-controlled Congress. Members of the Supreme Court are appointed for life by the corporate/wealthy-financed President; a recent noteworthy Court decision was Citizens United, confirming the corporate right of 'personhood under the XIV amendment' and allowing unlimited, anonymous corporate campaign contributions. What applies to the national political scene is equally true of state and local campaigns.

Lowering taxes on the wealthy, banks and corporations has directly facilitated this corruption of 'rightful government' by systematically giving top income bracket earners ever-increasingly more $$ at the expense of the remaining 90-99% of the US population. This 'free money welfare to the rich' has then been 're-invested' through campaign contributions, think tanks, religious organizations, influence-peddlers, lobbyists, media lackeys and revolving-door jobs/bribes/kickbacks to ensure that the wealthy-banking-corporate control of all 3 branches of government continues to grow unchecked. Existing undesirable laws are systematically changed so that there are few or zero consequences for immoral, unethical and illegal behavior. American crony capitalism is the horrific result.

At every juncture, right-wingers, libertarians, conservatives and tea partiers scream in unison: "Too much government! Socialism! Fewer burdensome regulations, lower tax rates for the wealthy 'job creators' and drastic cuts in government jobs and spending and will allow the 'free market' to solve all our problems!" But that is of course exactly what has led us to the current abyss: 'Too much (wealthy-banker-corporate) government! (wealthy-banker-corporate welfare and) Socialism! Fewer burdensome regulations (on wealthy-banker-corporations), lower tax rates for the wealthy (non-) 'job creators' and drastic cuts in government jobs and spending (except to the oil and agricultural conglomerates, defense contractors, homeland security complex and the surveillance industry) have allowed the 'free (wealthy-banker-corporations only) market' to create all our problems!

So, by all means, let's get rid of the Fed! But let's stop the bullshit and recognize it's only one aspect of the many-faceted 'too much (of the wrong kind of) government!'

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Occupy Wall Street: Naomi Wolf calls attention to the disturbing involvement of Homeland Security in her arrest

First proposed statement of OWS

This is not an official statement from the #OWS 99% Movement. As a decentralized leaderless movement, in our opinion, there is no one group, organization, website or individual who can speak for the movement as a whole.
We, a working group of people currently occupying Liberty Park and many other locations throughout the US, are growing increasingly concerned about divide and conquer attempts being made to co-opt the movement. In the following message, we are issuing our first proposed statement. If you agree with the statement, please post it to your website and/or spread it throughout your social networks, both online and offline at occupations throughout the country. If you would like to read this statement at your local GA meetings and vote or edit it, feel free. If you disagree with the statement, please air your disagreements – this is what democracy looks like.
We appreciate, respect and encourage endorsements from individuals and organizations. We invite them. However, just because an individual or organization endorses our movement, does not mean that they in any way have a leadership role in deciding the future direction of this movement. We will not be co-opted by hierarchical organizations. No matter how wonderful their cause may be.
There are many people, organizations and media outlets within both the Democratic and Republican parties who are trying to label us as the Democrat’s version of the Tea Party. In this working groups opinion, not only is this incorrect, but in labeling us this way, you are, whether you realize it or not, undermining the very essence of this movement with your obsolete divide and conquer groupthink propaganda. Just as the mainstream media and both political parties aided and abetted the co-option of the Tea Party by the Republican Party, there is an attempt being made to do the same to us within the Democratic Party.
We the People, We the 99%, are not the pawns of either wing of the two-party oligarchy.
We emphatically reject the attempted leadership of any political party, organization or individual. If there are elected officials or organizations who endorse our movement, we welcome them.
However, they must do so knowing this: Your voice will be just as loud as any other voice. We are led by no one. You cannot co-opt We The People.
Respect Us.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Why I'm neither a Republican nor a Democrat

At some point I always feel I have to defend myself as not a pinko commie radical fascist. After my last post, now is such a time.

Mike Krieger says it perfectly:
I stand for a free and fair market system for the economy, for a fierce defense of Constitutional rights in all circumstances NO MATTER WHAT threat we supposedly face, and a cessation of the brutal violence and war we perpetrate abroad. (Source: Mike Krieger On The "Useful Idiots")
 Amen!  Where is that option is the Democrat-Republican duopoly?

Krieger rightly calls out Soros and Buffet as self-serving Democrats:
Michael Moore and Other Carpetbaggers    Let me be clear about one thing.  There are plenty of disconcerting things that have emerged in the Occupy Wall Street Protests.  The main threat is the clear attempt of disingenuous elites to co-opt the movement and steer the “useful idiots” right into the concentration camps.  You think George Soros is an idiot?  You don’t think he knows exactly what he is doing when he voices his support?  He is trying to co-opt it and own it.  He didn’t start anything.  He is a carpetbagger of the highest order. (Source: Mike Krieger On The "Useful Idiots")
Michael Moore, George Soros, Warren Buffett and all the others have their castles and they don’t give a crap about you. Furthermore, did you see what Tiny Timmy Geithner just said?  From Bloomberg: *GEITHNER: `YOU SHOULD BE DEMANDING BETTER RESULTS' FROM GOV'T.  Don’t make me laugh.  Here is the biggest insider crook on earth trying to tell us what we should want.  Truly a disgusting character. (Source: Mike Krieger On The "Useful Idiots")
I think he wrongly calls out Michael Moore:
One of the more disturbing things I have seen is this video of Michael Moore at the protests. The key point I am trying to make here is whenever someone worth tens of millions of dollars pushes a agenda based on “end capitalism” turn and run the other way.  Run as far and as fast as you can. (Source: Mike Krieger On The "Useful Idiots")
Yes, Michael Michael said down on Occupy Wall Street that we have to end capitalism.  Capitalism has become a dirty word for me too.  If what we have now is called capitalism then I'm for ending it too. However, Michael Moore has always said we need to replace capitalism with democracy. If he had said that we need to replace capitalism with socialism, I would understand and sympathize but I do not share that position myself.

I'm not against the 1%. If you work hard and make $380,000 a year, good for you and keep up the good work.  I hope you make more next year. (Source: How Much Money Do The Top Income Earners Make?)

I'm against the 0.1% who use their wealth to buy politicians, set up phony self-serving think tanks and political lobbying organization.  Not to mention collusion by having secret meetings. I'm against CEO's who hijack large corporations and pay themselves hundreds of millions of dollars due to government access or voting shareholders' shares who didn't exercise their vote in the annual shareholder meeting.  I'm against CEO's who exhibit sociopathic behavior by maximizing short term profits for bonus purposes while putting the long term viability of the company in jeopardy. I'm against criminal CEO's that commit outright fraud.

With that said, some things should be run by the government: healthcare, education, the military, the postal system and some natural monopolies.  We call this a mixed economy.  The United States is currently a mixed economy.  Nothing new there - move along.

The Republicans and Democrats has severely limited the debate of what is left and what is right.  Nowhere is there a party that is free-enterprise, pro civil liberties and anti-war.

More from ZeroHedge's article Mike Krieger On The "Useful Idiots"
From Mike KriegerFirst they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.- Mahatma Gandhi

The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street are Two Sides of the Same Coin I am extremely disappointed by the way most people are belittling the Occupy Wall Street protests, which I firmly believe is an extraordinarily important moment in American history that will be seen as the moment when rebellion arrived on the streets of America.
One thing that I think people are really missing is how similar Occupy Wall Street is to the early stages of Tea Party protests.  Do you remember how the fake liberals dismissed that as a bunch of uneducated, racists wearing George Washington costumes?  Many claimed it was “astro turf” and would die out.  I recall the very day that I saw Rick Santellii on CNBC call for a new “tea party” in America.  The moment that event got posted on youtube I sent it out to the entire trading floor at Bernstein saying it was the beginning of something big.  People looked at me as if I was insane (as usual) and said that it was an irrelevant comment and nothing meaningful could come out of it.  Fast forward a few years, here we are and not only did the Tea Party not peter out but it has become one of the most vibrant and influential political movements in America today.  Those that dismissed the Tea Party most forcefully in the early days were from what I would call the “fake liberal” camp and the mainstream media (MSM).  This is unsurprising because they simply did not understand it (the MSM aren’t paid to understand anything their job to help maintain the status quo and minimize and trivialize revolt).  What the Tea Party represented was a rebellion within the Republican Party which had long ago sold itself out to the 0.1% financial elite class, the military industrial complex and large multi-national corporations that pay no taxes.

So now the Occupy Wall Street protests have begun and the EXACT same thing is happening.  Yet this time most of the ridicule and contempt is spewing from what I would call “fake conservatives.”  The MSM of course is playing their traditional role as is to be expected.  Fortunately for me, I hold no attachment to any fake political party in America and I never have.  I stand for a free and fair market system for the economy, for a fierce defense of Constitutional rights in all circumstances NO MATTER WHAT threat we supposedly face, and a cessation of the brutal violence and war we perpetrate abroad.  As a result of this non-partisan stance I have an excellent group of friends and contacts across the entire ideological spectrum.  From this standpoint, I think I can see things for what they really are and what I am here to say is that Occupy Wall Street represents in part a rebellion within the Democratic Party (ie, the other side of the tea party coin).  This is why most of the attacks are coming from the “right” side of the fake political divide.  Just like the fake liberals couldn’t understand the tea party, the fake right can’t understand Occupy Wall Street.  This is alright.  It is all part of the process.  Next they will fight us.  Just like Gandhi said.
From:  If the “Occupy” Movement and Tea Party Join Together, We Can End the Malignant Partnership Between Big Government and Big Corporations Which Is Destroying America
If the “Occupy” Movement and Tea Party Join Together, We Can End the Malignant Partnership Between Big Government and Big Corporations Which Is Destroying America
Posted on October 20, 2011 by WashingtonsBlog 
If the “Occupy” Movement and Real Tea Party Join Together, We Can Save America
Mike Krieger writes today: 
The reason the liberal mainstream corporate media demonized the Tea Party is because it threatens the status quo. 
The reason the conservative corporate mainstream media demonizes Occupy Wall Street is because it threatens the status quo. 
These are textbook divide and conquer strategies being used on the American people. Do not fall for it.  Yesterday I read a really interesting gallup poll that stated: “Not surprisingly, Americans who consider themselves supporters of the Occupy Wall Street movement (26% of all Americans) are more likely to blame Wall Street than the federal government for the nation’s economic problems. Supporters of the Tea Party movement (22% of Americans) are overwhelmingly likely to blame the government.” What is most compelling to me is that 26%+22% = 48% so basically almost a majority. 
All we need to do is teach people that Washington D.C. and Wall Street are now the same corrupt entity. They are one gigantic rogue trader sucking the lifeblood out of America. If we can unite these forces, which I can say with certainty agree on the important issues, we can put an end to the status quo and free ourselves of this bondage.
I'm all for getting everyone (100%) onside for a democratic government with accountability and transparency.  I see the two sides of the coin as follows:  the OWS movement representing the 99.9% on one side of the coin and the Tea Party representing the 0.1% on the other.  Tea Partiers - it isn't too late to come on board.  Your Tea Party tenants have already been co-opted by the self-serving elite.


1. Illegal Aliens Are Here Illegally.
2. Pro-Domestic Employment Is Indispensable.
3. Stronger Military Is Essential.
4. Special Interests Eliminated.
5. Gun Ownership Is Sacred.
6. Government Must Be Downsized.
7. National Budget Must Be Balanced.
8. Deficit Spending Will End.
9. Bail-Out And Stimulus Plans Are Illegal.
10. Reduce Personal Income Taxes A Must.
11. Reduce Business Income Taxes Are Mandatory.
12. Political Offices Available To Average Citizens.
13. Intrusive Government Stopped.
14. English As Core Language Is Required.
15. Traditional Family Values Are Encouraged.
So Tea Partiers - join OWS and let's return democracy to the people of the United States. Then the left and right can go their separate ways and whatever will be, will be.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Good day for the American empire

It was two for one day.  First the US killed Anwar al-Awlaki's 16-year old son.  He was a US citizen.  The government's official response:  no comment.  Glenn Greenwald, today, writes:
It is unknown whether the U.S. targeted the teenager or whether he was merely “collateral damage.” The reason that’s unknown is because the Obama administration refuses to tell us. Said the Post: “The officials would not discuss the attack in any detail, including who the target was.” So here we have yet again one of the most consequential acts a government can take — killing one of its own citizens, in this case a teenage boy — and the government refuses even to talk about what it did, why it did it, what its justification is, what evidence it possesses, or what principles it has embraced in general for such actions. Indeed, it refuses even to admit it did this, since it refuses even to admit that it has a drone program at all and that it is engaged in military action in Yemen. It’s just all shrouded in total secrecy.  (Source:  The killing of Awlaki’s 16-year-old son.)
President Obama, on the other hand, had no problem bragging about the death of Gaddafi:
So this is a momentous day in the history of Libya. The dark shadow of tyranny has been lifted and with this enormous promise, the Libyan people now have a great responsibility. To build an inclusive and tolerant and democratic Libya that stands as the ultimate rebuke to Gaddafi's dictatorship. We look forward to the announcement of the country's liberation, the quick formation of an intern government and a stable transition to Libya's first free and fair elections.  (Source: Obama: Gaddafi death is warning to iron-fist rulers.)
Lucky Libya.  Now they have a chance to get a democracy like the United States.  Goodbye universal health care.  Goodbye free college education.  Goodbye, high living standard.  Gaddafi, in his own words:
Now, I am under attack by the biggest force in military history, my little African son, Obama wants to kill me, to take away the freedom of our country, to take away our free housing, our free medicine, our free education, our free food, and replace it with American style thievery, called "capitalism," but all of us in the Third World know what that means, it means corporations run the countries, run the world, and the people suffer, so, there is no alternative for me, I must make my stand, and if Allah wishes, I shall die by following his path, the path that has made our country rich with farmland, with food and health, and even allowed us to help our African and Arab brothers and sisters to work here with us ... I do not wish to die, but if it comes to that, to save this land, my people, all the thousands who are all my children, then so be it. ... In the West, some have called me "mad", "crazy". They know the truth but continue to lie, they know that our land is independent and free, not in the colonial grip. (Source: Anti-Empire Report 97.)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dispelling the conservative tax myth

When I was in high school and university, I believed that the markets should be free and then at the end of the day make the transfer payments to the less fortunate. Because I felt that we should make transfer payments at the end to take care of our poor, I considered myself a social conservative. I now see this as analogous to bombing a country back to the stone age and then air-dropping food aid to take care of the now disposed and homeless. (Which we literally do.)

I later came to realize that the government has a responsibility to intervene in the "free" markets to make them actually free by stopping mergers, breaking up monopolies, preventing collusion, protecting the public good and the public environment. If this were actually the case, small business would easily out compete the big corporations. But the corporations have an ace up their sleeve - access to and control of the government. This is what justifies huge CEO salaries in the US.

But it's worse than you ever thought.  There's no money to be made in the US anymore.  The consumer class is broke, the government is burdened with debt, there's no more room to lower interest rates and there is little room for printing more money.  The only way left to make money is to compete for government payouts.  Of course the wealthy are winning this war too.


Also, two of Dean Baker's books are free here and here.

From the King James Bible:

The LORD will enter into judgment with the elders of his people, and with their princes: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses. - Isaiah 3:14
Thus according to the bible, one's wealth is considered stolen from the poor. This is perfectly clear now in the US and its global neoliberal empire. Income disparity (inequality) has never been higher in the US.  See this.  There needs to be some serious redistribution of wealth in this country to deal with the increasing poverty (see this) and the quickly disappearing middle class by increasing taxes on the wealthy: 50% tax rates on income over $200,000. 70% tax rates on income over $1 million and 90% tax rates on income over $5 million.  The economy would soar.

Also, Mindsweeper and I wrote an 8 part series on the, 'Bush Tax Cuts' in November and December of 2010 which you can easily find by searching this blog.

Liberty for the People.
Tyranny for the Oppressors.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


This is a very moving article about our banks from the, 'Occupied Wall Street Journal'.  Hey - I've seen that sign somewhere!

The 'Occupied Wall Street Journal, Issue 2'.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Naomi Klein at Occupy Wall St.

Ten years later, it seems as if there aren't any more rich countries. Just a whole lot of rich people. People who got rich looting the public wealth and exhausting natural resources around the world.
     -Naomi Klein from Occupy Wall Street: The Most Important Thing in the World Now
If you haven't read her book, "The Shock Doctrine", read it now! There's also a documentary based on the book. It can be purchased here.

Naomi Klein answering questions at Occupy Wall Street:

Corporate greed is no match for, 'We the People'.  We are not afraid.  In the immortal words of Jim Morrison (Five to One):
Gonna make it if we try.  They got the guns but we got the numbers.  Gonna win, yeah, we're taking over.  Come on!

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I've been down to OccupyWallStreet a couple of times.  I snapped a few photos:

The movement is spreading around the country and around the world:  Occupy Together.  Even Sesame Street is occupied:

Chris Hedges wrote:
There are no excuses left. Either you join the revolt taking place on Wall Street and in the financial districts of other cities across the country or you stand on the wrong side of history.
Read the entire article on truthdig:  The Best Among Us

Hedges: No way in US system to vote against banks

More Chris Hedges from down on OccupyWallStreet:

Chris Hedges: The Criminal Class Has Seized Power, #OccupyWallStreet Represents The Hope of America:

Live feed:

The website where it all started:  We are the 99 Percent  with some help from:
Anti-Wall Street protests take off thanks to a Canadian idea

Read the:  Occupied Wall Street Journal

Demands (any they are right on):  (I've cut and pasted the top 10 demands as of Sunday night below)

Select Below and Vote to Include in the Official Demands for #Occupy Wall Street

#TitleStart VotingEnd VotingStatusVotes
1ELIMINATE "PERSONHOOD" LEGAL STATUS FOR CORPORATIONS20 Sep 2011 - 09:0420 Oct 2011 - 11:048179
2Repeal of the Patriot Act20 Sep 2011 - 09:0320 Oct 2011 - 11:036811
3End the War On Drugs21 Sep 2011 - 15:1721 Oct 2011 - 17:175317
4Re Investigate the Attacks of 9-11-200121 Sep 2011 - 06:5221 Oct 2011 - 08:525276
6Forced Acquisition of the Federal Reserve for $1Billion20 Sep 2011 - 09:0420 Oct 2011 - 11:043867
7CONGRESS PASS HR 1489 ("RETURN TO PRUDENT BANKING ACT22 Sep 2011 - 12:4822 Oct 2011 - 14:483867
9Free education Kindergarten through college22 Sep 2011 - 12:4722 Oct 2011 - 14:473362
10Nationalize Health Care22 Sep 2011 - 12:4722 Oct 2011 - 14:473074

My demands are simple:  Restore democracy and representation to 'We the People'.  The first step would be to reform campaign election financing - get moneyed interests out of politics.  The easiest way to do this is have the government equalizing campaign contributions between candidates.  The next thing would be to tackle accountability, transparency and secrecy in government (that included you Supreme Court judges!).  All powers must end with and be balanced by the three branches of government as our founding fathers intended.  Secret above-the-law quasi-governmental organizations like the CIA and the Fed need to be brought under governmental control.  If government were accountable to the people, I have full faith that the people of the United States of America would reinvigorate this country and make it great again.

Update 1:  More by Chris Hedges:  Why the Elites Are in Trouble

Update 2:  Chris Hedges interview on cbc (Canadian Broadcasting Corporarion)

Update 3:  EXPOSED: David DeGraw Works For A Soros-CIA-Obama-Socialist Front Group That Is Secretly Controlling the #OWS 99% Movement

Friday, October 7, 2011

America is the greatest country in the world - Part IV: The Institutions

The Institution:  The Federal Reserve

The Fed is a secret, bank-owned institution that has complete control of the US money supply.  If the US Government wants to increase its bank account, it has to exchange government securities (treasury bills, notes and bonds) for money supplied by the Fed.  Of course, if the Fed wants to increase its bank account, it just creates it out of thin air.  In 2006, the Fed. ceased publishing M3, large-denomination time deposits, repurchase agreements and Eurodollars.  The Fed refuses Freedom of Information Act requests and is (and always has been) exempt from audit.  The Fed makes stealth payments and secret bailouts to domestic as well as foreign banks.  The creation of the Fed in 1913 may very well be the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on the American people.

In 2010, the Fed paid a statutory 6% dividend to its member banks of around $3 billion.  The member capital of the Fed must be approximately $50 billion so that 6% of 50b equals $3b.  (Sources:  NY Times and Wikipedia).  It is possible that there is a backout clause that would allow the US government to buy back the Federal Reserve for $1 billion or $500 million.   (backout clause and fed inflates itself)

If the government can truly nationalize (take-over) the Fed for any amount of money, we can end the siphoning off of the US Treasury - the people's money.  Imagine the corruption to keep congress or the president from actually doing during the last 98 years.  Oddly enough, when the Fed "creates" money, it doesn't consider that money "profit" - only the interest.

Affiliates:  Working Group on Financial Markets (The Plunge Protection Team), Counterparty Risk Management Group (CRMPG), Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), The USD of the Treasury.

Constitution watch:
The Congress shall have Power...To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin...(Article I, Section 8)
The Trend:  More secrecy, more stealth payments, more secret bailouts and more QE (quantitative easing).

The Institution:  Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)

Although "only" a think tank on foreign relations, it is made up of many people in currently and formerly high places.  It has significance influence over the IMF, World Bank and WTO (see below).  Created in 1922.

Affiliates:  Chatham House, the British sister organization.

The Institutions:  International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, World Trade Organization (WTO)

These are the US's main weapons of world domination: enslavement by debt.   Through these basically US organizations, the object is to corrupt the ruling government and indebt the country beyond its
ability to sustain payments.  Then the IMF/World Bank move in to dismantle social programs, open up the country to free trade, install a floating-rate currency, deregulate the country and lower taxes to almost nothing.  Good for US multinational corporations, not so good for the people of that country.

The USD of the Treasury

The US Treasury has a legit and open set of books, but there is a hidden side of the US Treasury.  From 'The Secret History of the American Empire', by John Perkins:
Details behind the strategy I helped engineer--the Saudi Arabian Money-laundering Affair (SAMA)--are provided in Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.  In summary, as far as the media was concerned, the House of Saud agreed to three important conditions; it would: 1) invest a large portion of its petrodollars in U.S. government securities; 2) allow the U.S. Treasury Department to use the trillions of dollars in interest from these securities to hire U.S. corporations to westernize Saudi Arabia and 3) maintain the price of oil within limits acceptable to the corporatocracy.  For its part, the U.S. government promised to keep the Saud family in power.
There was an additional agreement, one that made few headlines but was crucial to the corporatocracy's need to maintain the dollar as the standard global currency.  Saudi Arabia committed to trading oil exclusively in U.S. dollars.  With the scratch of a pen, the dollar's sovereignty was reestablished.  Oil replaced gold as the measure of a currency's value.
It's clear that the banking cabal, the oil conglomerates and the US military are all closely intertwined in a powerful financial-petroleum-national-security complex.

The Institution:  National Security Council (NSC)

The NSC (along with the CIA) was created by the Truman administration with the National Security Act in 1947, establishing the framework for a national security state.

Oversees no less than the following organizations:  ODNI - CIA (independent!), USD of Defense (AFISRA, INSCOM, DIA, MCIA, NGA, AFOSI, NCIS, NRO, NSA, ONI), Department of Energy (DOE - OICI), USD of Homeland Security (I&S, CGI), USD of Justice (FBI, DEA), USD of State (INR), USD of the Treasury (TFI).

The Institution:  The CIA

The only intelligent intelligence agency that is independent of executive branch and presidential control.  JFK once said, "I want to splinter the CIA in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds".  It didn't happen.  The CIA is a shadowy government with its own agenda, air force, navy, fundraising mechanism and it's free of oversight and the rule of law.  It has been involved in drug trafficking and flipping military weapons for profit.  Source: 14:18 minute mark of the following video:

The Trend:  It will continue to overthrow legitimate and democratically-elected governments by any means necessary and install pliable dictators. The CIA will continue to operate in secrecy, it will continue to torture or oversee torture, it will continue to operate outside of and with no regard for the rule of law.

Affiliates:  MI5 (The British Secret Service).

The Institutions:  The FBI and the NSA

Codename:  ECHELON.  The FBI and the NSA are busy spying on the world including here at home.  From 'Rogue State', by William Blum:
In 1999, the House Intelligence Committee of the US Congress sought internal NSA documents about its compliance with the law that prohibits it from deliberately eavesdropping on Americans, either the United States or overseas, unless the Agency can establish probable cause to believe that they are agents of a foreign government  committing espionage or other crimes.  NSA just stonewalled the committee.
The FBI greatly enhanced its surveillance and wiretapping powers during the Clinton Administration.  I've written about that here.  More:  Revisiting Echelon: The NSA’s Clandestine Data Mining Program and 
Big Brother in the Wires: Wiretapping in the Digital Age.   Congressmen Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, in a letter to the Justice Department state:
In our judgment, when the legal interpretations of public statutes that are kept secret from the American public, the government is effectively relying on secret law.  (Public Said to Be Misled on Use of the Patriot Act).
The Justice Department retorts:
While the national security court’s opinions interpreting the Patriot Act are classified, the law itself is public.  (Public Said to Be Misled on Use of the Patriot Act).
Constitution watch:
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.  (Bill of Rights, Article IV)
Now the FBI is busy thwarting its own Terrorist plots.

The Institution:  The US Military

Aggressive invasion of foreign territories.  They call it 'preemptive war' but it's really been 'perpetual war' since the creation of the National Security Act in 1947.

The day before 9/11, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced that the Pentagon cannot account for $2.3 trillion (TRILLION!) in transactions.  'Undocumentable adjustments', they are called.  It goes up every year.  This year, the US lost $6.6 billion in cold hard cash. It may or may not have been stolen they say.  (Report: $6B missing in Iraq may have been stolen).  To get an idea of what $6.6 billion looks like
in cash, see  They lost it?  I don't think so.

Drone attacks

Congressman Dennis Kucinich writes:
Think of the use of drone air strikes as summary executions, extra-judicial killings justified by faceless bureaucrats using who-knows-what "intelligence," with no oversight whatsoever  Full Article:  Drones Direct Hit Upon Rule Of Law.
On September 30, Anwar al-Awlaki was killed by a US drone attack.  He was a US citizen and a Muslim cleric who spoke out against America and preached to Muslims to fight back.  Glenn Greenwald called it a due-process-free assassination:  The due-process-free assassination of U.S. citizens is now reality.  See also:  Execution by secret WH committee.

Special ops

American secret commandos are carrying out raids in 70 countries--just today. By the end of the year, the number will probably be close to 120.  Our Commando War in 120 Countries: Uncovering the Military's
Secret Operations In the Obama Era

Collateral murder video

Wikileaks released the video of innocent people (including women, children and foreign reporters) being fired upon by US soldiers.  Later, it came out from Ethan McCord (who was in the video) that the ground troops had orders from their Battalion Commander:
Listen up, new battalion SOP (standard operating procedure) from now on: Anytime your convoy gets hit by an IED (improvised explosive device), I want 360 degree rotational fire. You kill every motherf****r in the street! (360 Degrees of Rotational Fire By Ethan McCord)
Bradley Manning has been accused of providing Wikileaks with the 'collateral murder video', the Afghan War Diary, the Iraq War Logs and the embarrassing US diplomatic cables.  If true, he is a heroic whistle-blower to some and a traitor to others.  Of course, the government position has been the latter.  Manning has been subject to torturous treatment while in custody and to-date has not been provided with a fair and expedient trial due to endless government delays.  Reuters has reported that Bradley Manning has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
Blowing the whistle on war crimes is not a crime!
Guantanamo Bay detention camp is not the United States' only secret outside the rule-of-law detention camp where inmates are tortured and/or held indefinitely without so much as access to a lawyer.  Not just for foreigners anymore!  No Habeas Corpus.

Endless war without Congressional approval (most recently Libya) and without a 'declaration of war' (every war since WWII).

Constitution watch:
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 offense 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. (Bill of Rights, Article V)
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. (Bill of Rights, Article VI)
The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it. (Article I, Section 9)
The Congress shall have Power...To declare War...(Article I, Seciton 8)  
No standing Army or Body of Forces shall be kept up by any Colony or Colonies in Times of Peace, except such a Number only as may be requisite to garrison the Forts necessary for the Defence of such Colonies...(Articles of confederation, ART. IX) 
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.  No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. (Article III, Section 3) 
The Institution:  NATO

Another de facto US institution (1947).  Contrary to public opinion, NATO was created before the Warsaw Pact (1955).  Since the fall of the USSR, the US has refused to disband it.

The Institution:  The Trilateral Commission

A think thank created by David Rockefeller in 1973 to foster closer cooperation between the US, Europe and Japan.  David Rockefeller also sat as chairman of Council of Foreign Relations, set up the Bilderberg group and was instrumental in founding the IMF and the World Bank.  Good guy!

The Institution:  The Bilderberg Group

Don't laugh.  When the world's most influential people get together in secret, it's collusion and it is a big deal.  And yes, the biggest players are mostly American so it's effectively an American organization.

The Trend:  As long as we permit it, the Bilderberg Group will continue to push the, 'New World Order' on the world.  The best explanation I've seen for 'New World Order' is 'One World Company Limited'.  Paraphrasing:  An aristocracy of purpose of Western elites through a global network of giant cartels to control the necessities of life for the rest of the world. (Bilderberg 2011 Discussions Leaked Via Moles Inside)

The Institutions:  Wall St. and the US Banks

They are largely responsible for the Financial meltdown of 2008 and the austerity measures that have followed.  To sum up, they conned (and approved) people into mortgages that they couldn't afford.  They then insured the mortgages with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, bundled them up as 'Mortgage backed securities and sold them as AAA securities.   When the house of cards collapsed, they insisted that they be bailed out by the government and later by the Fed.  As interest rates collapsed, they refused to refinance home owners' mortgages at a lower rate and often foreclosed on homeowners with fake documents.  "Everything's f***ed up and nobody goes to jail," said a former Senate investigator to Matt Taibbi.  One final note: inevitably the biggest US corporations get involved in banking.  GM and GE come to mind. (Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail?)

The Institution:  The Republican-Democrat Duopoly

Both parties are controlled by moneyed interests: different interests sometimes, but moneyed interests nevertheless.  When there's wind of a third party or independent candidate, it's largely ignored by the
mainstream media and vilified by the other two parties.

The Institution:  The Super Committee or Super Congress

A six Democrat - six Republican super committee (6 congressmen and 6 senators) is tasked with reducing the government's budget deficit.  This is another organization which is now more powerful than the 'regular' Congress.  Undemocratic and unconstitutional.

The Institution:  FEMA

FEMA is more and more becoming an intelligence agency.  FEMA apparently has powers outside constitution and has been dubbed the 'secret government'. (FEMA Executive Orders)

The Institution:  Supreme Court/US Judicial System

Citizens United may be the worst decision ever made by the Supreme Court, allowing organizations to amke unlimited campaign contributions with very little disclosure.  When it comes to corporations versus the people, the corporations always win.  Recent examples:  student loan debt not dismissed after bankruptcy, less whistle-blower protection and it's now more difficult to join a class action lawsuit.

The Institution:  United Nations

Although the US does not have the same influence on the UN today as when it was first created, the US routinely vetoes everything in the UN that pertain to individual rights or limiting the US empire.  See Chapter 20 The United States versus the World at the United Nations in 'Rogue State' by William Blum.


In order for democracy to work, we need to live in an open society with transparency, accountability, free speech and free elections. With powerful institutions outside of the rule of law and 14 million classified documents a year, we live in an increasingly closed society along the lines of a totalitarian, authoritarian, corporatist, corporate fascist, plutocracy. If there is to be peace and prosperity for the entire world, we have to restore democracy and end the US empire.  Then the rest of the world has a fighting chance.  Each country has to have its own sustainable economy first before fair trade can even be contemplated.  A country has the right to self-determination and to be free from extortion by international powers.  Bad debts need to be forgiven.  The UN needs to be more powerful and more democratic.  War can and must be eliminated worldwide.

The Trends:

In the meantime, we are going to see more secrecy, more austerity measures, less democracy, less representation, more cooperation between industry and government, more revolving doors, more conflict of interest, more welfare for the wealthy, more bailouts, fewer regulations, greater poverty, a disappearing middle-class, more corporate mergers, more authoritarianism, more surveillance, an ever increasing police state, more propaganda, more brainwashing, less consumer protection, less bankruptcy protection, less whistle-blower protection, fewer living wage jobs, fewer civil liberties - the Constitution be damned, less religious freedom, less individual freedom, less rule-of-law, less habeas corpus, more incarceration and more executions.

Additional trends:  The Day America DiedThe Big Picture: A 40-Year Scan of the Right-Wing Corporate Takeover of America

Catherine Austin Fitts, Former Asst. Secretary of Housing (1:02 of but the whole second half is good starting at 0:57) :
The decision was made. Let's get all the debt up.  Let's move the jobs abroad.  And instead of re-engineering your skills, we're going to dumb down America. And so the middle class will disappear. 

10 Things that you can do right now

1)  Stop buying stuff you don't need that will just end up being thrown away in a few years.  Ask yourself, 'Do I really need this?' Become a saver, not a consumer.

2)  Boycott companies who have a poor human rights record or a poor environmental record.

3)  Stop consuming manufactured food.  Whole foods, natural, organic, local.  Limit meat and milk products to 10% of your caloric intake. Exercise.

4)  Support your local economy.  Imagine a world without non-renewable energy sources.  Local is the key to sustainability.

5)  Move your money from big banks to local credit unions.  Many have free checking and online banking.

6)  Turn off the mainstream media and cancel your mainstream newspaper subscriptions.  Educate yourself.  Use the Internet to do your own research on the right, left and middle.  Think for yourself and make your own decisions.  Broaden your world view.  Try foreign media sources for international news as well as their view of us.  Read "1984" by George Orwell.

7)  Engage in civil disobedience.  Start a blog.  Join an organization in your community.  Fight oppression.  Stand up for what you believe in.

8)  Help someone in need.

9)  Stop voting Republican or Democrat.  It's not working.

10)  Refuse to be afraid.  Be happy.  Take time to enjoy life.

From John Singleton's movie, "Baby Boy":