Sunday, August 24, 2014

The U.S. Gov't and the Middle East

Again, below is an email I sent to a "Conservative" (nowadays that means Neoconservative, a horse of a different color) friend of mine.

HERE IS THE CRUX OF THE PROBLEM RE: the U.S. Gov't and the Middle East---

From the article you sent, toward the end of it:
"But only a fool would believe weapons of mass destruction were the only reason for the war. The U.S.-led invasion, or liberation, was in fact part of a vision to remake the Middle East..."

Show me ANY portion of the Constitution (the Supreme Law of the Land) which delegates authority from We the People to the Fed Gov't to undertake any such task anywhere in the world.  Seriously.
That quote has the footprint of an unelected Oligarchy all over it.  Who appointed the U.S. Gov't to "remake the Middle East"?  No country has the legitimate right to remake any region.

Think about that; I don't see how any person could disagree, especially one who considers himself a Conservative.

The very concept of remaking a region such as the Middle East fits right in with Bush's apparent belief in some sort of Divine Right to "spread democracy" by force.  I'm sorry, but that's totally un-American.  It's blatant hegemony.  We have no such Right.  No government does.  Our motto should be Zero Aggression; self-defense only.

Be Well

Saturday, August 23, 2014

What Happened to the Republic of the USA? Is It a Feudal Society?

Below is a recent email I sent to a "Conservative" friend of mine.  It directly relates to the title of this piece.

Hate to say it, but I fear that it may be too late, Bob... for education, the economy, sound money, politics, the whole ball of wax.  Free Market Capitalism has been almost totally replaced by Crony Capitalism (aka, what FDR & Mussolini said equals Fascism).  The State has now inserted itself into every phase of human affairs.  Whether you see it or not, Mega Business, along with their puppets/cronies of both political parties, are well on their way to transforming this country into a feudal society.

Voting is the opium of the masses in this land.  The Oligarchs don't much care who wins any election.  Most politicians are not beyond their control; the very few who are, easily can be marginalized & made impotent.  [Examples:  Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich]

The "Republic" portion of the USA already is gone, or 90% gone.  Individual Rights matter little anymore.  Voters keep voting in the same type of people (in both parties) who erode our individual sovereignty.  The reasons given for such erosion are swallowed whole by a completely propagandized public who apparently no longer have the ability to think critically.

This whole scenario is nothing new to History.  Persia, Athens, Rome, etc. all went the same way... oligarchical, imperial decay... caused by the super-rich, and allowed by bamboozled commoners.  The USA is doing pretty much the same thing those empires did--- taking away individual rights in the name of "security/defense", and over-reaching in terms of imperial control...thus bankrupting their economies and their reputations.  But while Middle Class incomes essentially stagnate, the super-rich increase their incomes by 700% in 10 years.  Welcome to 2014.

But the world will continue after the collapse.  The only question is, after the Fall of the Republic of the USA (sooner or later), will We the People finally have learned that politicians & the super-rich as a whole are not to be trusted?  Or will we again be propagandized into supporting another political arrangement that results in a feudal society and an empire-building, aggressive, and hegemonic government?

For the sake of your kids & my grandkids, my hope is that Americans will wake up to a few facts:
1.  the super-rich usually do not care who wins most elections... they control the winners, whoever they are;
2.  thus, "voting" will not solve our problems;
3.  public & private Institutions, for the most part, are not on our side... they mostly favor Oligarchs.
4.  both Republicans and Democrats (at the highest levels) almost constantly spew out propaganda favoring the super-rich;
5.  we are almost at the point of being a feudal society;
6.  American politics is a complete farce;
7.  for the most part, the Constitution has been abandoned;
8.  we are living in a soft Fascist State;
9.  the new political paradigm is the Oligarchy v. the rest of us;
10.  radical but peaceful action is required to regain our freedom and sovereignty;
11.  what the Oligarchy dreads is people organizing around just causes... and such organization is our best hope...not politics, not voting, not Republicans v. Democrats or Conservatives v. Liberals (those labels are completely outdated);
12.  the Corporate Media (Fox, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, etc.) all are propaganda tools of the Oligarchs.  Ignore them.  The differences you think you see amongst them are phony.  It's all part of rigging the Game.  The super-rich long ago learned how important it is for them to control the "Press".  They've been doing it for decades and decades... and it's not a "conspiracy"; it's mostly in plain sight.  To them, it's just good business practice.

Be Well

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Protests, Ferguson, the Hypocrisy of Brand Obama, & Oligarchies

A few years ago at some sort of Socialist Convention, John Pilger (a well-known Australian documentarian) gave a speech in which he characterized Obama as "Brand Obama...and it's all fake".  There are so many examples of Obama's hypocrisy and deceit that I couldn't possibly relate even half of them to you.  Despite that, two very recent examples have prompted me to comment.

1.  A day or two ago, our President stated publicly that he was very concerned over the use of militarized police in Ferguson, Missouri...relative to Mike Brown's death and the ensuing public protests.  Incredible.  For years and years, the Fed Gov't (including the Obama Administration) has been instrumental in purposely militarizing local police...with gear, vehicles, weapons, and training.  The excuse given, of course, is the Boogie-Man who replaced the Communist--- the Terrorist.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm all for being protected against terrorism, but here's the problem.  When police basically are turned into soldiers and use military-style vehicles in dealing with everyday citizens, a new dynamic becomes part of police-community relations.  Common, law-abiding people are made to feel as though they ALL are some kind of "enemy".  Peaceful protesters, exercising their Right to free speech suddenly are treated as if they are some sort of enemy.  This violates long-held principles in this country, such as dissidents being able to voice their protests without fear, and the principle that the military should be used against citizens only in cases of EXTREME violence or insurrection.

2.  Obama also stated just recently that journalists should not be harassed or jailed by the police just for trying to do their jobs.  That statement is in direct contradiction to Brand Obama's actions via his Administration's relentless harassment of the New York Times reporter, James Risen.  Never mind the Fed Gov't treatment of many other journalists whose "crime" appears to be that they're getting news stories from Fed whistleblowers.

All of the above illustrates some worrisome tactics of various Oligarchies.  Too often, everyday people no longer are allowed to peacefully protest in this country.  A day or two ago, a 90-year-old woman was arrested (with several other people) in a public space in front of the building that contains the Governor's Office in Missouri.  They were protesting the situation in Ferguson.  I'm wondering, did the police think this 90-year-old protester was a "terrorist", or some other threat to Missouri?  I doubt it.  The name of the Game in the USA today is to clamp down hard on lawful dissidence.  The Oligarchs simply don't want to hear it.  The abrogation of the First Amendment is nearly complete.  Politicians still tell us that we have the Rights of free speech & assembly, and the Right to petition our Government...but in reality, we rarely are allowed to exercise those Natural Rights.  Those at the highest levels in our Gov't, like Obama, say one thing and then do another...and they don't even try to hide it anymore.  Instead, they simply spew out Gov't-Speak and Edward Bernays style propaganda.

Another long-standing tactic of Oligarchs and their Cronies in Government, a tactic being exacerbated in recent years, is instituting the idea of the "crime" of PRE-CRIME into our supposedly free society.  So, for example, lawful and peaceful protests are confined to designated areas---usually distant from the event being protested---because someone MIGHT break the law.  Or worse, public protesters are immediately arrested and hauled off because they MIGHT commit a crime.  The protester is guilty of Pre-Crime.  Another example--- pre-emptive invasions of certain foreign countries are deemed by the Oligarchs as Constitutional and ethical because the "enemy" country MIGHT attack us or our allies in the future.  The "enemy" is guilty of Pre-Crime.  This was Dubya Bush's primary public reason for invading Iraq in 2003.  The private reason, I'm guessing, is a completely different story.  Another example---  it is against the law to possess certain plant substances and imbibe them behind the closed doors of your home.  The reason:  you MIGHT commit a crime once you become "high".  This concept, of course, does not apply to America's Drug of Choice, booze.  You can possess all the alcohol that you so desire.  That's because we discovered a long time ago that prohibition of substances does not work...never has, never will.  I guess that lesson has been lost.  Here's a clue, Oligarchs:  in any sane Universe, possession of a plant substance is not a crime; it's not even the crime of Pre-Crime, which is a totally egregious and unconstitutional concept.

Partly just my opinion.  Be Well

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Third Iraq War for America, & the Constitution

Here we go again.  The first Iraq War was in the early '90s.  Just prior to that one, the Fed Gov't supplied weapons to Saddam for his war against Iran.  The second Iraq War started in 2003, I believe, and went on seemingly forever; however, it did eventually end (for the U.S.).  Now we're beginning the third Iraq War for America.  [For those who may not know, when one country drops bombs or shoots missiles from aircraft into another country, that's war.  Even if you're not bombing, say, the forces of Iraq, it's still war.]

My point here is this:  apparently I missed the preludes to those three wars---  the part where the U.S. Congress, as mandated by the U.S. Constitution, issues a Declaration of War.  Some time ago, John McCain in response to a question from Congressman  Jesse Jackson Jr. on this very subject, essentially stated that such a Declaration of War was not necessary because the War Powers Act gave the President (with the approval of Congress) the authority to go to war at his discretion.  In his defense, McCain is not the only DC Crony who uses that reasoning.  What they all appear to be ignoring is that no law supercedes the Constitution.  That means, despite what McCain and others tell us, Congress must declare war before troops (or war planes, or war ships) are sent into battle against some enemy.  I challenge any politician (or anyone) to disprove that.

For decades now, the Fed Gov't has been ignoring the restraints of the Constitution whenever it suits politicians or their Mega Business Cronies.  They use Laws to justify their war actions; there is nary a peep about the requirements and restraints imposed on the Fed Gov't by the Supreme Law of the Land regarding war and the proper use of the military.  I find it exceptionally strange that the U.S. public appears to accept this scenario.  Perhaps that is due to propaganda, or disinterest, or poverty, or being super-rich, or being too busy, or feeling helpless, or something else.  Maybe people don't believe that the Constitution does require a Declaration of War; or perhaps they believe that Laws actually can alter the requirements stated in the Constitution.  It especially puzzles me that "Conservatives" (nowadays that means Neoconservatives) accept this travesty against Constitutional Gov't.

Perhaps we as a People have forgotten the primary purpose of the Constitution:  it is to restrain the Fed Gov't.  For that to work, the requirements of the document cannot be ignored.  Simple logic.

Be Well

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Muslims, Governments, War, and the Oligarchy

Below is my response to a dear friend of mine who sent me an anonymous "broadcast" type email.  That email was about how Muslims seem to be happy only in non-Muslim countries, and totally unhappy in Muslim countries.  The author laced the piece with numerous bits of sarcastic humor as to why that was [supposedly] true in each case.  Even though it was ridiculous, my bizarre sense of humor did find it funny.  My response---

That is funny!  On the serious side, here's why they're "happy" in non-Muslim countries---
The U.S. Gov't (& often the U.K. Gov't as well) is not bombing them in non-Muslim countries.  Their beloved grandmothers are not being blown to bits by a drone strike in non-Muslim countries, like they are in a country that's not even at war with the USA (Pakistan).  I've seen numerous interviews on Democracy Now with Pakistani victims and/or bystanders whose relatives have been killed by drone strikes.  Your tax dollars have killed over 1400 innocent civilians in Pakistan alone.  

The so-called "War on Terror" (a term not even used anymore) could easily be over--- all the Fed Gov't would have to do is pull out of Muslim countries, stop bombing them, stop attacking SUSPECTS with drone strikes, stop supporting Muslim dictatorships (like Egypt & Saudi Arabia), and let the proper agencies handle any further terrorist incidents---law enforcement agencies.  Soldiers are not trained to be cops, & shouldn't be expected to do that job.

It's a myth that most Muslims are trying to take over the world...propaganda put out by Oligarchs.  The tiny radical element in Islam that might be trying that has been trying for about 1400 yrs.  Apparently they aren't very good at it.  The Oligarchy will never let them succeed.  They don't have a prayer (no pun intended:).

The Oligarchs in the USA and their wholly owned subsidiary, the Fed Gov't, use the Muslim thing simply to keep Perpetual War going.  It's good for BIG Business (less than 1% of Business), and it keeps the "bewildered herd", the "little people", and the "ignorant masses" (what Oligarchs refer to the rest of us as) under control.

You don't really believe that some average joe or jane sat around & composed that piece, do you?  I admit, it's certainly possible that happened, but it's more likely that is propaganda concocted by some subgroup working for some "Public Relations" firm that was hired by some "Nonprofit" outfit of Oligarchs, probably all of them in some particular industry.  Just my guess.  The point of it is to keep the "bewildered herd" continually mad at or fed up with (or both) some designated "boogie-man" group.  So, then, when a few fanatics from that overall group blow something up in the name of "The Almighty Whoever", it's easier to convince the "little people" or "ignorant masses" that the U.S. must spend military blood, and treasure we don't have, on bombing some country and killing hundreds of thousands of their sovereign citizens.  No wonder the Muslims are pissed off AND want to live in Western countries.

Our biggest Arab ally in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia (a dictatorship), sponsors the most radical, fundamentalist, fanatic sect of Islam in the world (Wahhabism, the Wahhabi Sect) as a State Religion.  The Wahhabis spread their extremism all around the globe.  Ask yourself why our Fed Gov't has the Saudis as an ally.  The answer is much more than oil...or business ties to the Bush family.

Once again, none of the above is any kind of "conspiracy".

Partly just my opinion.  Be Well

Saturday, August 9, 2014

How Bush and Obama Botched Iraq

This is one of the best and most revealing Frontline pieces ever constructed.  Key Generals, Diplomats, reporters, etc. give very frank accounts of the fiasco, and the accompanying film segments are outstanding.  The story shows not only the hubris of politicians, but also their utter ignorance.  If they aren't ignorant, then a very good case is made for the purposeful creation of perpetual war by both Republicans and Democrats. Given recent developments in Iraq and the U.S. response, this really is a MUST-SEE.

Goooood morning, Iraaaaaq.

The Arms manufacturers must be very pleased.  I just hope they haven't exported their factories to Mexico or Indonesia or somewhere else.  Unemployment here is higher than the Fed Gov't purports it to be.  :)

Be Well

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Three Liars: Obama, Netanyahu, and Susan Rice

Yes, it's a harsh title, I know.  Perhaps I'm wrong.  If they aren't lying, then they're extremely uninformed, ignorant, and/or naive.  You decide.  I'm taking a break from painting, so this piece will be somewhat short.  In my opinion, the three characters mentioned in the title above perfectly illustrate how Oligarchs (or their puppets) sometimes operate.  Consider the following points.

1.  The tunnels---  Hamas has built tunnels into Egypt as well as Israel.  After the current dictator of Egypt took part in a military coup that overthrew a democratically elected gov't, he had the Egyptian ends of the Hamas tunnels SEALED.  Israel could have done the same thing with the ends of the tunnels crossing their borders.  The Israelis claimed that one of the reasons they bombed and invaded Gaza (killing hundreds of civilians and destroying thousands of homes) was to destroy the tunnels.  They could have been permanently sealed from the Israeli side.  This was expressed by Norman Finkelstein on Democracy Now.  Rarely reported in the Corporate Media is why there were tunnels into Egypt.  It was because Gaza is under blockade... not just weapons are restricted, but all kinds of civilian goods as well.  Those tunnels allowed the Palestinians to obtain much needed civilian goods and supplies.  The Israelis allow only minimal amounts to be imported into Gaza.  Gazans are not permitted to be a free people; they basically are confined to an area that is six times more densely populated than Manhattan.

2.  Obama and the Congress have given foreign aid to Egypt that amounts to over a billion dollars.  The sole reason for that appears to be because the Egyptian dictatorship does not support Hamas.  [Let's not forget that decades ago, the Israeli Irgun was a terrorist organization as well, operating in the very same land where Hamas dwells.]

3.  The rockets---  First of all, the Hamas "rockets" hardly can be called rockets at all.  That term implies a degree of sophistication; nevertheless, they are explosive projectiles of some sort.  The author, Norman Finkelstein, claims they amount to something a few degrees above fireworks.  In any case, they certainly are dangerous... so, that begs the question, why are they being fired into Israel?  The Corporate Media rarely go into that, and if so, just barely.  I have to be brief, too... Hamas is trying to get Israel to end the almost eight-year blockade of Gaza.  In addition, I suspect that Palestinians are still pissed off that for more than 65 years, the Israelis have been trying to drive them off their land.  Palestinians refused to accept the U.N. partition of their land (Palestine) in 1948 into two States (Israel and Palestine) because they had been living on that land in a majority for hundreds of years.  They considered all of it their land.  The Israelis, by means of terrorism starting in 1946, finally forced the British to go to the U.N. for some sort of solution to the "Palestinian problem".  The Israelis "reclaiming" land on which their ancestors lived a couple of thousand years ago is akin to me & my "clan" returning to Ireland and "reclaiming" some place where my ancestors lived a couple of thousand years ago.  Perhaps the American Indians/Native Americans here in the U.S. should reclaim their land.  [You see how the whole idea breaks down in modern times.]

4.  The Iron Dome---  Theodore Postol, an M.I.T. Professor, a physicist, and expert on missiles, rockets, and military defense systems, stated on Democracy Now that the Iron Dome is at most perhaps 5% effective.  He explained his claim quite well, but I don't have the time to detail it.  He also said that the lack of Israeli death and injury from Hamas attacks is not due to the Iron Dome, but rather to the advanced Israeli early warning system and the fact that Israeli homes, by law, must have an artillery-shell-proof shelter within.  In addition, of course, there are many public shelters throughout Israeli towns and cities.
Meanwhile, Obama and our Congress have authorized $225 million MORE to bolster the almighty Iron Dome...which, according to a top expert, is 5% effective.  Who benefits?  Raytheon Corporation, that's who.  Plus, National Security Advisor Susan Rice states publicly what a great defense system is the Iron Dome.

5.  The lobbyist-funded love affair between the U.S. Gov't and the Israeli Gov't---
Norman Finkelstein, on Democracy Now, also pointed out that Obama started out touting the righteousness of the Israeli invasion of Gaza.  Then after the Israelis essentially murdered so many civilian bystanders and even U.N. personnel in schools and hospitals by deliberate targeting of same, he had to change his tune.  According to Finkelstein, Netanyahu withdrew his troops because Obama said publicly that the Israeli actions were deplorable and indefensible.  The author said that this is the beginning of the end of the love affair between the two Gov'ts.

6.  Even IF Hamas was using civilians to shield military activities, a HUMANE Gov't does not go ahead anyway and target civilian homes, schools, and hospitals...thus killing hundreds of innocent men, women, and CHILDREN.  CHILDREN!  As to the Israeli military warning civilians that their homes were about to be bombed, the question arises, to where should they run?  U.N. shelters were also bombed... killing refugees, as well as U.N. workers.  That is insanity; there is no justification for it.  These are war crimes.

Enough of the lies from the Establishment... enough of only part of the history of Israel and Palestine.  Israel is not the Little Miss Goodie Two Shoes portrayed by Obama (until very recently), Netanyahu, Susan Rice, and the Corporate Media.  There are two sides to every story of conflict.

Partly just my opinion.

Be Well