Friday, December 31, 2010

The Best Thing in 2010...

The best thing, that is, relative to peacefully fighting the Corporatocracy, or the Military-Industrial Complex, or the Oligarchy, or the Plutocracy... or whatever one wishes to call it. That "best thing" was the action by Wikileaks.

Many have disagreed already, and I suppose many more will. They think it was a "bad" thing. Their main argument seems to be: the leaks put lives at risk. The only specific life at risk that I've heard about so far is that of an Iranian person; but, there probably are others as well. There are a few possible retorts to that argument, as follows.

1. It is not the job of Wikileaks to secure the safety of a spy. That job falls to the spy and the Government. Apparently they didn't do a good job.

2. To use the Government's own argument, sometimes in accomplishing a greater good, there is "collateral damage". Was it a greater good? Yes. We the People have a right to know what the Corporatocracy is up to, and what its adherents think of other governments. We have a right to know if they are up to no good, and too often they are. Cases proving that number in the hundreds or perhaps thousands. A few examples: the instances of damage to "downwinders", relative to above-ground atomic testing years ago; the instances of damage to soldiers and others who were given LSD without their knowledge; the instances of damage resulting from Agent Orange during the Vietnam War; the instances of damage known as the Gulf War syndrome, almost certainly due to exposure to "depleted uranium" (that's govt-speak for nuclear waste) and untested vaccines; and, the Tonkin Gulf incident, which did not happen the way the Government reported it.

3. How is this significantly different from when the CIA's Valerie Plame was "outed", probably by Dick Cheney via Scooter Libby? I don't recall too many folks (especially "Conservatives") crying foul over that action.

4. If we accept the commonly held belief that our Government must be able to keep secrets from the People in order to operate effectively, then where do we draw the line...and how do we know that the agreed upon line is being properly observed by the govt? Seriously.

5. Similar to #2 above: our central government, as well as mega corporations, have shown over and over that they are not to be trusted. We need to know as much as we can get our hands on in order to keep our health and freedom.

Have a happy New Year.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Opium of the Masses

This may be viewed as heresy by some: voting is the opium of the masses in this beloved country. It makes us feel as if we're making a difference in a system that in essence has but one major political party, the hidden Transnational Mega Corporation Party (the TMCP).

Admittedly, there are still a few minor differences between the Democrats and the Republicans; but regarding really significant issues, the two factions of the TMCP basically are identical. Following are some (not all) of those issues---
Both Dems and Repubs support (or do not oppose):
1. continued deficit-spending;
2. a fiat money system;
3. the practice of Legislative Absolutism (see previous posts);
4. an ever-expanding Federal Government;
5. ignoring the Constitution whenever it suits political purposes;
6. unconstitutional wars;
7. extraordinary rendition (kidnapping suspects, then sending them off to countries which countenance torture);
8. infringing on natural rights under the guise of "protection and safety";
9. highly restrictive ballot-access laws, created by the Dems and Repubs to limit political competition from third parties;
10. continued raising of the Federal Debt Limit;
11. the export of jobs out of the USA, which benefits the Corporatocracy and devastates American workers;
12. continued trading with China, a country that imprisons and/or murders Tibetan monks and nuns (as well as ordinary Chinese dissenters) for their beliefs in freedom;
13. the IMF, WTO, and World Bank, all tools of Globalization and the destruction of our Republic;
14. the financial bailing out of private, mega corporations;
15. wasteful, pork barrel spending on projects that should be financed by individual States (assuming that the State voters approve);
16. accepting huge, filtered (through PACs) campaign donations from mega corporations, and then voting accordingly;
17. making back room deals with mega industries (e.g., the deal Obama made with the health insurance industry relative to the passage of ObamaCare--- see the PBS Frontline piece titled, Obama's Deal); and,
18. interventionism regarding other sovereign countries, which involves pre-emptive invasion, or assassinations, or overthrowing democratically elected governments, or attacking with predator drone aircraft without the permission of the leaders of that country.

Our national, elected leaders appear to have only two major concerns: the promotion of mega corporate Globalization, and the expansion of the American Empire. Domestic issues seem to be of little or no concern to the politicos. It is my belief that the Democrats and Republicans have more than had their chances to benefit average Americans. They have failed...and they have failed miserably. They aren't going to change their ways, if history is any indication. I think it's time to begin the long process of dethroning the two factions of the TMCP. Forget the "wasted vote" argument. That's unabashed propaganda from those currently in power. "In power" is not really accurate; they essentially are free-loading puppets of unelected rulers. The point is: they are tainted and corrupt to the core. I'm fairly sure that there are a few exceptions to that rule...but very few.

Mark these words: even if the Republicans make significant gains in this election, not much will change. The Corporatocracy will continue to rule. One could argue, I suppose, that any new political party eventually would become just as corrupt as the Dems and Repubs, but that's not a certainty. One thing that we do know for certain: the current "representative" parties definitely are corrupt, and definitely are puppets. We have nothing to lose by dethroning them and trying a new approach.

Monday, October 18, 2010

No Representation in DC

This post will be short, but not sweet.

We no longer have a representative government at the national level. Some folks say, "But...we elected them; therefore, they represent us." Sorry, but after getting elected, here's what our "representatives" do:
1. pass legislative bills without reading them [Representative Conyers told one interviewer, "Sit down my son; we don't read any of the bills we pass." This, after the interviewer had asked why the Patriot Act had not been read before passage.];
2. attach unpopular bills as amendments to wildly popular bills;
3. vote themselves a pay raise...during a recession;
4. accept hidden/filtered campaign contributions from certain entities, and then vote in favor of bills that benefit those same entities;
5. give/loan billions of dollars to private mega corporations, while essentially raising taxes on the rest of us;
6. for all intents and purposes, nationalize certain portions of particular industries (AIG Insurance, General Motors, some banks, etc.), while allowing Wall Street insiders to continue trading complex derivatives---about $600 trillion** so far (compare that to the world GDP); and,
7. too often, ignore the limitations placed upon them by the Constitution or abdicate their duties under that document. [Example: it is the duty of Congress to regulate the value of our money.]

Now, I ask you: how is all or any of that being a representative government? I would venture to guess that there is not even one voter in this country who wants any part of the above list.

Yes, we elected them. But their actions after election do not represent us. Instead, their actions represent their own self-interests and those of mega corporations. The rest of us are left out in the cold, chewing on empty promises and sly propaganda.

The worst of it is this: we keep re-electing these liars to office...over and over. Come on, now...let's do things differently. Eh?

**Note: my source was two months old. The new figure for the derivatives total is $1.2 quadrillion; that is about twenty times the total of the world's GDP. It has the capability of collapsing our entire financial system; the crisis is far from over. Keep in mind, too, that the Republicans are just as bad (or a little worse) than are the Democrats when it comes to protecting the Wall Street investment banksters.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Class War, Propaganda, and Debt

Not long ago Warren Buffett stated, "We're in a class war in this country, and unfortunately, my class is winning." He couldn't be more correct.

We don't like to think in terms of socio-economic "classes" in the US. We prefer to believe that, even though we use terms such as "lower class" and "upper class", somehow those do not apply to us as individuals. We like to believe that our family is in the "middle class", and that so, too, are about 98% of all Americans. We've heard that the so-called middle class is disappearing, but we don't believe it. We really are deluded.

When representatives of the Fed Government tell us (via the Mega Corporate Media) that the recent Great Recession officially ended last year, what they mean is that it ended for the upper class. The disappearing middle class and the lower class are still in a recession, and will be for quite awhile. There is no such thing as a nearly jobless economic recovery, regardless of the propaganda from the Government. When the stock market is doing well, the rich are doing well. The primary way in which the rest of us do well is via decent-paying, somewhat secure jobs.

There is a myth in this country that the overwhelming majority of Americans are involved in the stock market. Undoubtedly many are, especially through pension fund investments; but overall, the involvement for most of us is not to any significant degree. I've seen a number of sources that state: only about 25% of working adults are involved significantly with stocks; but for only the upper class, the number virtually is 100%. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, the Mega Corporate Media place undue importance on the stock market when it comes to our economy. Two-thirds of our economy is driven by consumer spending, not by the stock market.

More and more, it's becoming blatantly apparent to the average person that the stock market basically is a racket. For example, high frequency traders who use high powered computers to buy and sell in less than a minute have a huge advantage over regular traders, and may be privy to inside information. They were the cause of the market dropping about 600 points in a flash not long ago. Furthermore, the SEC does not have the capability to keep up with these types of operations. Then, too, there is the whole business of trading derivatives that makes the entire system shaky. [There are about $600 trillion of derivatives out there currently.] Derivatives essentially are worthless, they have no intrinsic value, unless you are an insider.

The mega banks are making debt slaves of us all, and the Fed Government is helping them. Recent claims by national politicians that the latest financial regulatory laws are good for consumers but not for banks or Wall Street are pure, unadulterated propaganda. The recent financial reform, including credit card reform, is nothing but window dressing. [If someone misses a payment, banks still can charge as much as 70% interest from then on; there was a time when that was called usury, and it was illegal.] The mega banks loved the reform, mostly because it failed to address any significant issues. For the most part, it's business as usual for the banks and Wall Street.

Because mid-term elections rapidly are approaching, national politicians now are claiming that they're concerned about deficits and the national debt. Those claims either are lies or propaganda, or both. History suggests that's so. As soon as the elections are over, it will be business as usual. To think otherwise is to be politically naive.

Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, and Bush Jr. all raided the SS Trust Fund in order to get enough money just to pay the interest on the national debt. I'm fairly certain that Obama, as well, will take his turn. [A small portion of the billions taken was returned to the Fund.] Most of those interest payments go to central banks worldwide. This is not a partisan issue. The Republicans and Democrats are factions of the Transnational Mega Corporation Party (the TMCP), the only major political party in the US. Mega banks are an important part of the TMCP. Obviously, I'm inventing/ coining the name, TMCP; nevertheless, the entity exists, by whatever name or no name. As FDR once said, "In this country, Presidents are selected, not elected." Woodrow Wilson, late in his final term, opined that he feared he had ruined the country by signing into law the Federal Reserve Act. He was right. The Fed Reserve has our government borrow its own money and pay interest to the Fed Reserve Bank, "...a privately owned corporation, and not a federal instrumentality...", according to a 1984 Fed Court decision.

The upper crust of mega banks and other mega corporations, not politicians, rule this land. The politicians are puppets. Those few who are not puppets quickly are marginalized and ostracized by the "mega corporate club", so to speak. This all is so blatantly obvious that it's embarrassing. I love this country, but our central government is a farce. Those who think not are, in my opinion, victims of incessant propaganda.

So, what's to be done? There are many options available to us, but frankly, I don't know which one would be effective. Then there's the question of practicality. My observations over the past fifty years suggest that Americans aren't willing to risk much to bring about political change that matters. That's why several options are not very practical. It would seem to me that at the very least, we should retire about 99% of the incumbents in next month's election...and that applies to both factions of the TMCP. Unfortunately, due to propaganda from the Establishment, I suspect even that won't happen.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

New World Order...from Newsweek

http://www.newsweek.com/2010/09/26/the-new-world-order-a-map.html

The propaganda is becoming bolder. The article is by Joel Kotkin, an adjunct Fellow with the Legatum Institute of London, and the jist of it is that the importance of national borders has become far less significant due to the rise of "tribal ties" based upon race, ethnicity, and religion. Kotkin/Newsweek provide a world map delineating the suggested new "groupings" of what are now nations. As an example, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden are combined into what Kotkin calls "New Hansa". Canada and the USA become the "North American Alliance". And so on.

The Legatum Institute is a London-based think tank and is part of the Legatum Group, a private global investment firm headquartered in Dubai. Legatum as a whole promotes globalization and so-called "free trade". [For poor countries, it's not free and it's not trade; rather, it is extortion. For wealthy countries, it is the transfer of wealth from the middle class to the upper crust.]

The Newsweek article goes into some detail as to why Kotkin's groupings make sense, but then ends somewhat abruptly. As far as I can tell, the purpose of the piece seems to be the instilling of the idea that the concept of nation-states is on the demise, and that we should consider the more logical proposition of regional groupings. One can hypothesize that, further down the road, other articles will appear in the mainstream Corporate Media reinforcing that idea. We further can hypothesize that sometime later the idea of a world governing body to coordinate "regions" will be proposed. It's all about the planting of intellectual seeds, making world governance appear to be reasonable.

Kotkin is the author of Tribes, and another book, The Next Hundred Million.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Last Bastion

In my opinion, the last bastion against an errant government (not counting armed revolt) is jury nullification. Very early in our country's history, the role of jury nullification as a defense against oppression by the State was unquestioned. It remained so until the 1850s, a time during which many juries began not convicting in prosecutions under the Fugitive Slave Act. Judges, seeing a mighty demonstration of the power of juries, began to change the rules of the Court. The primary and most devastating change was that juries would no longer be permitted (by judges) to judge the law; they would be confined to judging only the facts of the case.

The new rules were (and still are) a blatant infringement on the rights of juries. That's not just my view...

"The jury has a right to judge both the law and the facts in controversy."
~ John Jay, First Chief Justice, U.S. Supreme Court, 1789

"The jury has the right to determine both the law and the facts."
~ Samuel Chase, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1796

"The law itself is on trial quite as much as the cause which is to be decided."
~ Harlan F. Stone, 12th Chief Justice, U.S. Supreme Court, 1941

Juries routinely are told by judges that jury members cannot judge the law, only the facts of the case. Not true. Numerous case decisions have upheld the right of any juror to nullify a "bad" law and vote to acquit. Example: "The jury has an unreviewable and unreversible power...to acquit in disregard of the instructions on the law given by the trial judge." U.S. v. Dougherty, 473 F 2nd 1113, 1139 (1972). Example: "...it is presumed that juries are the best judges of facts; it is, on the other hand, presumed that courts are the best judges of law. But still both objects are within your power of decision. You have a right to take upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine law as well as the fact in controversy." [Emphasis added.] State of Georgia v. Brailsford, et.al. 3 U.S. 1 Dall. (1794).

So, why do jurors not know these things? The reason is simple: in Sparf v. United States (1895), the Court decided that courts need not inform jurors of their de facto right of jury nullification even though the jurors' inherent right to judge the law remains unchallenged. All judges are aware of this. Rather than inform juries of all their rights, judges tend to intimidate jurors by telling them that they cannot judge the law.

All of this is crucial to individual sovereignty and freedom because governments practice Legislative Absolutism (a term coined by Justice Harlan in 1901), passing laws without any regard for constitutions (Federal and State). Other than bringing suit in a court of law, the aggrieved citizen has no legal and peaceful recourse except to rely on jury nullification. Bringing suit usually is very expensive and time-consuming. Unfortunately, relying on jury nullification depends upon having a fully informed citizenry, and jurors with courage and integrity...therefore, spread the word! We need fully informed juries.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Globalization: Part III, Philosophical Foundations

In the Scientific Method of Inquiry, there is a very significant difference between a hypothesis and a theory. The hypothesis is an educated guess, a proposed solution to a problem, and is generated after gathering information and making observations relevant to the problem. Prior to that, the first step is to identify the problem. The theory is a tested hypothesis with positive, repeatable results. A theory must stand the test of time before it is accepted as "fact". The Media often misuse the word "theory", as in their use of "conspiracy theory". My best guess is that 99% of all so-called "conspiracy theories" are, in fact, conspiracy hypotheses. A hypothesis is not "proven", even though it may contain some suggestive or even substantiating evidence. Any hypothesis can be based upon very little actual evidence; a theory is an entirely different matter.

I mention all of the above because what follows below is my hypothesis regarding Globalization. The problem I'm attempting to solve is: what caused Globalization, what brought about the ongoing process, what motivates the people involved? There's more to it than simply more profit, more power, and/or a more streamlined business atmosphere. By the way, I do NOT believe that it's a conspiracy. It's more along the lines of individuals and groups with similar interests and mutual goals working sometimes independently, sometimes cooperatively, to attain their objectives.

The first condition responsible for Globalization is the ongoing Neo-Imperialism of both the USA and the UK. We Americans like to think that our nation is not imperialistic. Scholars are divided on the question. Our history is suggestive of a definite imperialistic tendency, and we love the phrase, "Manifest Destiny". Consider these acquisitions of territory: Louisiana Purchase (1803, from France); Florida (1819, from Spain); California and the Southwest (1848, from Mexico); Alaska (1867, from Russia); Hawaii (1898, from natives); Cuba (temporarily), Guam, the Philippines (1898, from Spain); and, if you agree with Chalmers Johnson (former CIA analyst), our 800 military bases currently around the world may be considered neo-imperialistic "colonies" of a sort. All this is not even considering the conquering of American Indians. [According to Russell Means (formerly of AIM, the American Indian Movement) and John Echohawk (of NARF, the Native American Rights Fund) there is nothing whatsoever wrong with the term, "American Indian".] Some of the above territories were acquired peacefully, others by war. Finally, in 1898 Mark Twain founded the Anti-Imperialist League, mostly because of our involvement in the Spanish-American War. That seems to suggest that at least some people considered the USA to be imperialistic.

Along with our Neo-Imperialism, there is the concept of American Exceptionalism---the belief that we are more special, of greater good, than other nations. So, the argument goes, if we are in any way imperialistic, it is a benign Imperialism and for the good of the world. That concept is so indoctrinated/ingrained into our consciousness that few Americans ever question it. It is probably found in most of us, especially those who are the public and private Powers-That-Be. Included lately is the belief that we have some sort of Divine Right and Duty to "spread Democracy" around the world...even if people do not want our help. [The majority of Afghan people now want us to leave their country; that same majority does not support the corrupt Karzai government.] This mindset partly is what gives rise to the "American Empire", a controversial term representing our 800 global military bases and our securing of access to foreign resources.

The next piece of the puzzle is Neoliberalism; unfortunately, scholars can't seem to agree on the definition of it. The history either, for that matter. My best estimation is that Neoliberalism is an economic (and, some would say, social policy) theory driven by privatization, deregulation, and trade liberalization on a global scale. Most of the world has been familiar with the term for at least twenty years, except for Americans. Supposedly, the first test of it as a hypothesis was in Pinochet's Chile in 1973, after the CIA overthrow of Allende; also supposedly, it was a resounding success...depending on how one defines success. It also is the basis for the Washington Consensus, which was brought about largely by Reagan and Thatcher. One might think Neoliberalism merely is some sort of re-packaging of Conservatism, but because it involves mega corporations working closely with national governments and international agencies, it is more akin to Fascism than anything else. Organizations (such as the WTO, IMF, etc.) made up of corporatists and international bankers are telling countries how to operate, rather than the reverse.

That brings us to Supranational Corporatism, involving the Crony Capitalists of transnational mega corporations and their government cohorts. Crony Capitalism is not genuine Capitalism. Instead, it is a collusion of CEOs and their cronies in the government to bring about less and less competition in the global business arena. Together they create a Fascist framework to support activities that virtually erase national borders, eliminate smaller competitors, and marginalize national governments. Because of the supranational corporatists, we are moving gradually toward a feudal-like society with only two classes---the super rich and the poor. International bankers aid and abet the culprits by manipulating money and economies via central banks, creating economic bubbles and crashes that facilitate the looting of commoners. During the last crisis in America, the "Too-Big-To-Fail" companies became even larger, as in the cases of the recent bank mergers and buy-outs.

The corporatists have been influenced in a most significant way by the philosophies of Neo-Imperialism, American Exceptionalism, and Neoliberalism. Globalization is a logical extension of "Manifest Destiny" to the mind of a corporatist, and who better to run the world than American elites, they ask themselves. It's also reassuring (probably on a subconscious/unconscious level) that whatever Americans do must be good for the world.

In the process, the corporatists have become haughty, deceitful, and disrespectful of We the People. Some of them refer to us as "the small people"; their arrogance is palpable. It's important to understand that the transnational corporatists live in an entirely separate, artificial universe. They feel, in general, that they are way above the rest of us, that they can make their own rules and do pretty much whatever they please, legally or illegally. Cutting corners to save money is a given, even when the safety of people is involved. The current BP fiasco is evidence of that---certain cheap materials were used in the well, and warning signs of disaster were ignored...not only by BP, but by Transocean and Halliburton as well. [By the way, British Petroleum was once a public/government operation; Margaret Thatcher privatized it, and it became the private corporation, BP. This is the same BP whose Head referred to the Gulf Coast residents as "the small people".]

The last piece of the puzzle is the Theory of Propaganda and Indoctrination, based on the work of Edward Bernays, the Father of Public Relations, and his most important book, Propaganda (1928). Bernays believed that propaganda (the manipulation of public opinion toward a desired end) was "an important element in democratic society". He went on, "Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country." An important journal article of his was, "The Engineering of Consent", in which he equated propaganda with the article title. In the political arena, Bernays worked with the old United Fruit Company (Chiquita Brands International today) and the U.S. Government to bring about the overthrow of the democratically elected President of Guatemala in the 1950s. United Fruit then dominated a series of corrupt governments in that country. [A key element of the propaganda demonstrated that the President was a Communist, but he wasn't .]

We Americans seem to believe that other governments propagandize their citizens, but our government does not. I suggest that we are propagandized almost constantly by our government, especially regarding Globalization, the political party not in power at the time, and going to war. I recall a debate of sorts between Al Gore and Ross Perot in 1992 (maybe) on the Larry King Show. Gore was extolling the virtues and benefits of NAFTA...pure propaganda. Perot retorted with his famous (paraphrased), "I guarantee you, all you're going to hear is a giant sucking sound...the sound of jobs going to Mexico!". He was right; and we still have not disengaged our country from NAFTA, which was approved in 1994. The poor people of Mexico are still poor. The only ones benefitting from NAFTA are the corporatists. Then, too, Congress approved CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement) in July of 2005.

For several years, the Iraq War has been a boon to a number of transnational corporations: Kellogg, Brown & Root; Blackwater; SAIC; CACI; the Carlyle Group; and others. Prior to our invasion of that country, conferences were held, showing companies how to belly up to the government trough. Propaganda was used to sell the American public on the war: WMDs; Saddam is a really bad man (that was true, but wasn't relevant to constitutional use of the military); the Iraqis want democracy (perhaps, but again, not relevant to constitutional use of the military); and, we have to go there to fight Al Qaida, so we won't have to fight them here (I won't even comment on that one). Some Americans continue to believe that our leaders were sincere, but had bad intelligence reports. Perhaps, but I very seriously doubt it. As mentioned previously, Saddam was about to accept Euros for his oil; that's why he had to go. Plus, there's Brzezinski's Grand Chessboard and Its Geostrategic Imperatives for American Primacy [Emphasis added]. Our almost one billion dollar embassy in Iraq, the largest in the world, signifies that we intend to be in that country for a very long time. All of our troops supposedly will be pulled out next year; we'll see. I sincerely doubt it.

Globalization is taking place largely because of unelected corporatists and the use of propaganda. The world appears to be grinding slowly toward a world governance (or perhaps government) by the Heads of mega corporations and other elites. Nevertheless, there does appear to be some hope for reversing the process. Not long ago in Bolivia, the municipal water system was privatized in a major city...due to a Structural Adjustment Program. The private contractor was Bechtel, a major transnational corporation. Within less than two months of taking over operation of the water system, Bechtel raised the consumer fees by fifty percent. The company also claimed rights to rain water and all the river water. The Bolivian people protested, to no avail. Finally, the People took to the streets en masse and eventually forced Bechtel out. [Under privatization in India, entire rivers have been sold to companies; the government then designates those living along a river and using the water as "water thieves".]

Many South American countries now are reevaluating their entire relationship with the WTO, the IMF, and the World Bank. All of the countries there that had bases, except for Columbia, have ousted the U.S. military. We have seven military bases in Columbia, ostensibly for the "War on Drugs"; however, it's more likely the bases are there to combat the country's 40-year-old insurgency, and to intimidate Chavez in Venezuela. There was a successful coup against Chavez in 2002, but almost immediately, Venezuelans restored him to power. [I don't agree with the Chavez philosophy of ruling, but then, it's not my country...and it's none of my business.]

When Kissinger was told that Allende was going his own way, Nixon's Secretary of State responded with, "Chile is a virus that might spread contagion...", meaning, Allende must be stopped before other Latin American countries get the idea that they, too, could be independent of the U.S. Consequently, the coup was carried out. Then began the testing of the neoliberal hypothesis.

One of my great concerns is that most of the American public are largely unaware of the implications of Globalization; and further, that they have almost no interest in discovering anything about it. Without identifying the problem and seeing how it came about, nothing effective can be done to solve it. Globalization (of the sort described here) is exporting manufacturing jobs and making "colonies" out of Third World countries. Furthermore, it is transferring wealth from our Middle Class to the Upper, Upper Class at an astonishing rate. Finally, it is creating a global economic and financial superstructure that is morphing into an unelected world government. It can be stopped if We the People wake up, get organized, and oppose the elites responsible. It appears to me that the first step in opposition is to oust the politicians who have approved the various "Free Trade Agreements" (such agreements are hardly free if they're forced upon Third World countries). We need to disengage from those agreements. Next, we should question loudly who it was that put the unelected World Trade Organization essentially in charge of all global trade, and expose their extortion of poor countries relative to privatization of public services. Voting with your wallet may very well have an impact on the transnational mega corporations, but it would help if it were a coordinated effort. Other boycott type activities surely are possible. Everything we can think of should be done to preserve our sovereignty...oppose all efforts to infringe upon your individual, natural rights, even when the government claims that giving up this or that right is "for your own safety"---that's propaganda.

At the risk of beating a dead horse, it's time to realize (or at least consider) that we are in a massive political paradigm shift. The battle is no longer between Dems and Repubs, Liberals and Conservatives; that's a distraction. The political paradigm now is fast becoming the Globalists v. the rest of us, or Globalism v. Sovereignty. You can see the propaganda in the Global Corporate Media...it's visible every single day. Because of that propaganda, we are focused on the faux battle between two factions (Dems and Repubs) of the Transnational Mega Corporate Party; thus we miss crucial machinations resulting in steady progress toward an unelected world government. The culprits aren't hiding anything...they act brazenly and arrogantly, right out in the open. If we don't start to see it, then we deserve exactly what we get. God help us if that happens.

This post is the end of the series.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Globalization: Part II, Players and Methods

The Players---

I'm sure you gathered from reading Part I that the IMF and World Bank are key players in the process of Globalization. [I consider them quasi-governmental bodies, rather than non-governmental.] Add to that the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve, as well as the central banks of most of the other industrialized countries. It is believed by many serious writers that the IMF/World Bank are merely extensions of the policies of the U.S. Treasury, the Fed Reserve, U.K.'s Treasury, and the U.K.'s Bank of England.

While the above institutions are important, they are no more important than the non-governmental bodies: the transnational mega corporations, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR, founded in 1922) and its U.K. counterpart, the Royal Institute of International Affairs (aka, Chatham House), and the Trilateral Commission (founded in 1973 by David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski). The CFR and Chatham House are the anglophile Round Table Groups, described in the late Professor Carroll Quigley's 1966 book, Tragedy and Hope. The best quote from the book: "The tragedy is that we no longer have a representative government in this country, or any country; the hope is that the little people will come to accept that, because there is nothing they can do about it." Again...it was published in 1966. Quigley also claimed that the CFR was a front for the J.P. Morgan Company; keep in mind that the good professor (Bill Clinton's mentor at Georgetown University) was a very well respected historian and scholar.

In 1991, David Rockefeller stated publicly, "Surely it is preferable to have the world run by unelected, supranational, [business] elites rather than the nations of the past with their corrupt politicians." That is the goal of Globalization. The function of groups such as the CFR, Chatham House, and the Trilateral Commission is to provide the philosophical underpinnings, the unquestionable academic justifications, for the governmental policies that result in the implementation of Globalization. Consequently, the CFR publishes academic-level papers such as Building a North American Community (meaning, the North American Union), The End of National Currency, Bretton Woods II: Does the World Need a New Monetary System? (authored by Larry Summers, Obama's chief economic advisor), and Global Economic Governance. The Trilateral Commission pens scholarly papers such as Global Governance, Global Redistribution of Power, and Sovereignty and Intervention. The tremendous influence of these groups on governmental policy cannot be overstated; for all intents and purposes, essentially they formulate most of our nation's foreign policy and perhaps a good deal of our monetary policy.

The Methods---

There seems to be no particular chronological order to these methods; at times one must precede another, but mostly they are all taking place more or less simultaneously. I'll list them here, then expand on each one later: selection of Globalist candidates for national office, and then the marketing of them; introduction and justification of Globalist policies to the intellectual elite of the country; use of IMF/World Bank "Structural Adjustment Programs", thus facilitating U.S. corporate expansion to poor countries; Trade Agreements and the WTO (World Trade Organization); the use of "Economic Hit Men"; facilitating coups in uncooperative countries; the maintenance of approximately 800 U.S. military bases on foreign soil; and finally, invasion of uncooperative countries (which is a last resort).

Here's what a national election amounts to in the U.S.: the heads of transnational corporations and other members of the Oligarchy/ Corporatocracy, having identified and groomed pre-selected candidates from the two major parties, make massive campaign contributions (indirectly, through PACs) to both. One candidate or the other may be favored from time to time, but generally either one will do. [There is arguably only one major political party in the U.S.: the Transnational Mega Business Party, with a Republican faction and a Democrat faction.] As FDR once wrote to a friend, "In this country, candidates are selected, not elected." The campaign contributions are necessary because the candidates must be marketed to the voting public, and that requires expensive PR firms and multi-media advertising. PR firms run campaigns, not the DNC, DLC, or RNC. The public usually is not bothered with any details regarding Globalization.

Globalist policies must be "sold" to the intellectual elites because those elites are extremely influential in the Corporate Media, educational institutions, various community groups, the entertainment industry, and government at all levels. A relatively small percentage of the American public actually pays attention to important public matters, and it's useful to have them supportive of Globalist tools, e.g., NAFTA. As mentioned above, the intellectual think tanks (CFR, etc.) "justify" policies and tools to the intelligentsia via scholarly papers and even books. Often the mainstream, Corporate Media present summaries of think tank ideas to the general public.

A key method in terms of the Third World is to convince poor countries to take on massive IMF/World Bank loans...for "development". Attached to each loan or interest reduction on a previous loan are conditions, Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs), which require actions such as: cutting gov't expenditures, devaluing the currency, privatization of State-owned enterprises, lifting of trade restrictions, enhancing the rights of foreign investors, gearing the economy to exports, and removing price controls and/or State subsidies. Critics have referred to this as virtual extortion. As a consequence, Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) have replaced SAPs; however, their contents more often than not turn out to be essentially the same as the old SAPs. The money loaned doesn't go to job development or farm aid, rather it ends up in the wallets of companies such as Bechtel, Hochtief, or Halliburton. They are hired to build ports (for those exports), roads (to get the goods to the ports), water systems, and other infrastructure.

The use of Trade Agreements such as NAFTA to implement Globalization requires no discussion, except to say that there is some controversy regarding the status of NAFTA. Canada and Mexico claim that it's a Treaty; however, it received only 61 votes in the Senate. A treaty requires the approval of 67 Senators. Whether or not it's a Treaty is important because Treaties override U.S. laws.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) plays a major role in the implementation of Globalization. The WTO, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, began in 1995 (replacing GATT) and is the only international body dealing with trade between and among nations. It makes the rules for 97% of all world trade, and publishes research papers such as, The WTO and Direct Taxation. No country can override the WTO's rules. Some critics have called the WTO an embryo world government, and claim that it favors rich countries over poor ones. In any case, it has impacted the sovereignty of member countries. A "treaty" of the WTO, the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), extended the world trading system to include the service sector; all WTO members are signatories to GATS. The GATS Treaty is the primary tool of the WTO for the implementation of privatization of services such as municipal water delivery and delivery of electricity.

Economic hit men (a la John Perkins, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man) are used to essentially extort/blackmail uncooperative countries, primarily poor countries. The "hit man" will point out to the leader of the country that his country has a World Bank/IMF loan that cannot possibly be repaid, thus the leader needs to do one or more of a number of things, such as voting a certain way in the U.N. on some issue, or favoring some private contractor regarding a large in-country project bidding process. "Oh, by the way, here's $100,000 for your trouble." Mr. Perkins was never 100% certain who his employer was, but eventually assumed that it was the CIA. His book was a NYT bestseller.

Coups as a tool of Globalization should be self-explanatory. The example of Indonesia was given previously. Sukarno would not cooperate with the IMF, so he was booted out. [Same thing with Allende in Chile.] The dictator Suharto in Indonesia allowed U.S. companies to move in and utilize virtual sweatshops for the manufacture of goods for stores such as the GAP and Old Navy. The U.S. and U.K. have participated in coups in fifty countries since 1953, when the CIA engineered the ousting of the democratically elected leader of Iran and installed the Shah. The Shah purchased millions of dollars of armaments from the U.S. and, of course, supplied us with a portion of our oil requirement.

The maintenance of about 800 U.S. military bases around the world is tied in to the final method: invasion of uncooperative countries as a last resort. A prime example is Operation Just Cause, the invasion of Panama in 1989. The dictator Noriega had become uncooperative, especially relative to Nicaragua, thus his drug informant days for the CIA were used as an excuse to invade...without admitting that he was a CIA operative. It all came out a few years later in a few books and the documentary film, Deception in Panama. At the time of the invasion, George Bush the elder was President here, Dick Cheney was the Secretary of Defense, and Colin Powell was the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Other examples include our invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. While 9-11 provided a fortuitous reason for the invasion of Afghanistan, Taliban representatives were told months before that date, "If you don't accept our carpet of gold [for a pipeline easement across Afghanistan], we'll give you a carpet of bombs." (According to a whistleblower) Plus, according to Brzezinski in 1998, control of Afghanistan, Iraq, Uzbekistan (where we now have a military base) and a number of other -stans in Central Asia was a "geostrategic imperative for American primacy". Read into that what you will. In the case of Iraq (which, even according to Bush, had nothing to do with 9-11), Saddam, our former ally, had become uncooperative relative to the petro-dollar. Prior to the invasion, he was on the verge of accepting Euros for oil. If allowed to proceed, that would have ended the petro-dollar and the dollar as the world's reserve currency. That, in turn, most likely would have resulted in a series of events ending with the collapse of our dollar. Plans to invade Iraq were formulated months before 9-11. Saddam, our big buddy in the '80s, had to go. [In the '80s, we supplied him with weapons in order to punish Iran for the overthrow of the Shah and the holding of American hostages. The result was the eight-year Iraq-Iran war.]

In Part III of this series, key understandings will be presented in order to tie everything together. In addition, there will be more on Latin America.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Globalization: Part I, Beginning Seeds

Some people think not, but history is important when attempting to understand current events. Globalization arguably and presently is the most significant event relative to the future of our Republic and our individual sovereignty. Here, in Part I, I'll present the beginning seeds of the phenomenon known as Globalization or Globalism.

In 1944-45, as a result of the Bretton Woods Agreement, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and what finally came to be known as the World Bank were created to help rebuild Europe after WW II. The Agreement, drawn up by the UK and the USA, established the rules/regulations for an international monetary system. Some years later, the IMF and the World Bank began making loans to poor countries, the Third World...and those loans had strings attached. More on that in Part II.

In 1965, General Suharto launched a successful coup against Sukarno in Indonesia, a country rich in resources, potential markets, and potential labor. The coup was known about beforehand by both the UK and the USA, but not revealed to Sukarno. [Sukarno, a strong nationalist, had kicked the IMF/World Bank out of his country...refused their "aid".] After the coup and over time, between 500,000 and one million Indonesians were murdered by the Suharto regime. Our CIA supplied a list, which facilitated the beginning of the massacre, of about 5,000 Indonesian communists to the Suharto regime. During that time, loans were made to Indonesia by the IMF and World Bank...with strings attached.

In 1967, Time-Life Corporation sponsored a meeting in Switzerland, the purpose of which was to plan the corporate takeover of Indonesia...that is to say, the economic (not political) takeover. David Rockefeller, a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) member, representing Chase Manhattan Bank attended, along with dozens of other business luminaries--- representatives of Lehman Brothers, various oil companies, food companies, ALCOA, U.S. Steel, Siemens, various other banks, etc. General Suharto had his representatives there as well. [This is a classic example of Fascism in action--- mega corporations colluding with government cronies in order to control both the People and the economy.]

The large group in Switzerland divided up according to various sectors: banking and finance, food, consumer goods, oil and energy, etc. Each smaller group then hammered out the rules for doing corporate business in Indonesia. As part of the deal, the government of that country obtained another series of loans from the IMF/World Bank.

In 1973, the USA's CIA helped overthrow the democratically elected President of Chile, Salvador Allende...because he was a Socialist, and probably had plans to nationalize U.S. businesses in Chile. A brutal dictator, General Pinochet, was installed; some time later, Pinochet's government obtained loans from the IMF/World Bank. Pinochet ruled for seventeen years. Henry Kissinger, a CFR member, chaired the meetings in the Nixon Adminstration that dealt with covert operations in Chile prior to the coup. Also prior to the coup, a Pepsi Cola franchise owner in Chile who also owned a newspaper (which was thought to be a CIA front) was called to DC to update Dr. Kissinger on the political situation.

In the 1980s, Thatcher of the UK built up her country's arms business and made a lot of armament sales to General Suharto of Indonesia. Also during that time, Thatcher and the USA's President Reagan laid the groundwork for what became known in 1989 as the "Washington Consensus"---a series of policies that supposedly would lead to global prosperity and unfettered economic growth by means of deregulation, privatization and trade liberalization (so-called "Free Trade") around the world. In the Third World, such a lofty goal would be attained through use of the IMF and the World Bank. The "Structural Adjustment Programs" of those two institutions supposedly would be the key to success. Details in Part II of this essay.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Government-Speak and Iraq

Remember "Doublespeak" from Orwell's book, 1984? That's "Government-Speak" in my title above. An example would be one of today's headlines: "Final U.S. Combat Troops Leaving Iraq". Really? The qualifier is: 50,000 "support" troops remain in Iraq. 50,000. Support troops apparently are trainers and/or advisors to the Iraqis.

It has been quite awhile since I served in the Army, but I'm fairly certain of one thing regarding Iraq. There are not 50,000 trainers/advisors left there. At most, my best guess is that there are about 5,000 such troops left in Iraq. The remaining 45,000 or so are combat troops waiting for orders to resume combat, if necessary. They are similar to the troops we still have in Korea, Germany, etc.

At the same time that "combat troops are leaving Iraq", that country's infrastructure is barely functioning. Electricity runs for only about two to five hours per day, and then only in bursts of approximately fifteen minutes at any one time. Safe drinking water is not always available. On top of that, Iraq does not now have a functioning government. Another election was held not long ago, but there was no clear majority, and the various factions have not yet formed a central government. Meanwhile, insurgents have ramped up attacks via suicide car bombs, IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and murder by gunshot. It's not exactly a stable situation.

Don't misunderstand, I'm very happy that about 10,000 more troops have left Iraq. I wish they all had left. My fear is that our Fed Government will be sending those 10,000 (plus a lot more) back before too long. I also suspect that many of my fellow citizens now will think that the Iraq quagmire is "wrapped up", over. I don't think that's the case. My guess is that it's a temporary withdrawal due to politics: Americans currently are fed up with both wars.

Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and several other -stans in Central Asia make up a big part of Zbigniew Brzezinski's, The Grand Chessboard, American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives (a 1998 book). Brzezinski, a true Globalist, along with David Rockefeller co-founded the Trilateral Commission (TC) in 1973. The TC is a Globalist, intellectual think tank which shares ideas and leadership regarding the problems and implementation of Globalism. In my opinion, The Grand Chessboard is the driving force behind our Government's foreign policy, and has been since about 1999.

I firmly believe that the Globalists in DC are drowning us in Government-Speak, especially regarding Iraq, Afghanistan, and the other -stans. We are not there primarily because of our desire to "spread democracy", or because of terrorist threats to America, or because certain foreign leaders are brutal. [We were very happy to be dealing with Saddam, the Taliban, and the Shah of Iran, all brutal dictators, when they were cooperating with us relative to oil, pipeline routes, and the continuance of the petro-dollar.] We are there to secure natural resources, transportation routes for those resources, and to preserve the almighty petro-dollar. Most importantly, it doesn't matter relative to this situation whether Republicans or Democrats are in power in DC. Both parties have been co-opted by the Globalists. [And no...it's not a conspiracy; it's right out in the open. Do a search for the membership of the TC, and one for the membership of the CFR. Conservatives may be surprised to learn that Dick Cheney once was the Director of the Council on Foreign Relations, the CFR.]

Saddam, our former ally, was preparing to accept Euros for oil just prior to our last invasion of Iraq. That's why he had to go. Had he been allowed to proceed, that would have been the end of the petro-dollar, and the end of the dollar as the world's reserve currency. That, in turn, would have meant total bankruptcy for the U.S. Our fiat dollar has virtually no value, except for the fact that it is the world's reserve currency. If and when that ends, the dollar most likely will collapse.

A few months before 9-11, representatives of the Taliban were invited here to negotiate a pipeline route across Afghanistan, needed by Big Oil. We knew how brutal they were, but no one in the Government squawked over that then. According to one whistleblower and intelligence agent, the Taliban were told, "If you don't accept our carpet of gold [for a pipeline easement], we'll give you a carpet of bombs."

As a serious observer of American politics for over half a century, I've noticed that with each passing decade national politicians have become more and more Orwellian. The Government-Speak now is nothing short of astounding, and the frequency of it is overwhelming. With unmitigated hubris, the Republican and Democrat Globalists lie to us...and with a completely straight face. Most of them have no shame whatsoever. It is my sincere hope that, come November, 99% (there are a few honest ones, but very few) of the incumbents are voted out of office. Please, I beg of you.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Leave Afghanistan

It is past time to get out of Afghanistan. Here's why---

1. The Intelligence Service (ISI) of Pakistan (supposedly our ally) aids the Pashtun Taliban. This is the same ISI that reportedly sent $100,000 to M. Atta, one of the 9-11 hijackers. This reason alone is enough to bring our battle-weary, frustrated troops home. These are the same troops who are given highly restrictive Rules Of Engagement, rules that are more suited to police officers than to combat troops.

2. The central government of Hamid Karzai and his brother is corrupt to the core. The Afghanis know this, and they know that we support the same corrupt, central government.

3. We are trying to establish a central government in a country that has almost no history of such a thing.

4. The Pashtun Taliban are at war with Karzai's government. Once again, we are in the middle of a civil war.

5. The new U.S. target date for withdrawal is 2014. The chances are good that by 2014 things won't be much "better" than they are right now. For certain, they'll be worse for us---more dead and disabled troops, more billions of dollars spent fruitlessly.

6. The Soviets committed 500,000 troops to their war with Afghanistan years ago...and they lost. Afghanistan is known as the "Graveyard of Empires" for very good reasons.

7. Polls indicate that over half the population in Afghanistan do not want us in their country any longer.

8. There are many, many more Al Qaida insurgents in Pakistan and Yemen than in Afghanistan. Intelligence estimates put the number of Al Qaida in Afghanistan at about 25-50, out of a total of approximately 25,000 insurgents.

9. Logic suggests that there's a high probability that Osama bin Laden is no longer alive. For one thing, why would he stop releasing video tapes that spurred on his fanatics?

I'll say it again: although there are obvious differences, the war in Afghanistan reminds me greatly of our involvement in Vietnam---corrupt governments in both cases, civil wars, restrictive Rules of Engagement, "winning hearts and minds", horrible losses of life (including "collateral damage"), billions of dollars, and Secretaries of Defense from the corporate world.

Here's who is benefitting from us being in Afghanistan: SAIC (Robert Gates was once on their Board of Directors); Halliburton/KBR; private security companies; and numerous other corporations in the defense industry. We probably also should include the Powers-That-Be in our own Fed Government, as the war allows more expansion of government and more intrusions into our personal lives (because it's part of the so-called "War on Terror").

It is long past time to get out of Afghanistan and Iraq. There is much more terrorism in the world now, as compared to before we invaded those countries. Not only that, but our loss of life, limb, and treasure is obscene. And for what... to combat terrorism? I don't think so.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Pundits Don't Get It

The pundits/Media entertainers of the so-called Left and Right just don't get it. Or...perhaps they only appear to not get it. Here's what each camp does not seem to understand--

The "Left"---

Commentators/Media entertainers such as Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow appear to believe that the Tea Party Movement (or whatever you wish to call it) and the "Right" are "extreme", possibly "dangerous", and upset for no good reason. Matthews and Maddow fail to grasp that the dissatisfaction in many people is due to Legislative Absolutism (a term coined by Justice Harlan in 1901) and gross violations of the Constitution. Both Republicans and Democrats have been practicing Legislative Absolutism for decades, thus violating their constitutional oath of office. Google "legislative absolutism + Justice Harlan", but don't use quotes.

Our Fed Government is one of enumerated powers, meaning that We the People (who are sovereigns) have delegated to the central government only certain specific powers. The legislative powers are found in Article I, Section 8, clauses 1-18 of the Constitution. About 99% of the members of both Houses of Congress often get around that limitation and by-pass the Supreme Law of the Land simply by going ahead and passing laws illegally, in subject areas for which they have no delegated authority. That's why a lot of people are pissed.

The "Right"---

Media Entertainers (who some people think are political commentators) such as Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh appear to believe that Democrats and the "Leftists/Socialists" are the main problem relative to disappearing Liberty. Apparently Beck and Limbaugh do not understand that the Corporatocracy (or as some folks call it, the Oligarchy) utilizes Republicans as well as Democrats in its quest for world governance by unelected elites. Past leaders as politically different as FDR and Barry Goldwater warned us that just such a thing was happening. People like Beck and Limbaugh seem to have no clue.

The old political paradigm of Right v. Left or Repubs v. Dems is being used to manipulate We the People. Divide and conquer. The new political paradigm is: Globalists v. the common people, or Globalism v. Sovereignty, or the Corporatocracy v. Nations... or some phrasing along those lines. The Globalists/Mega Corporatists are not genuine Capitalists; instead, they are Crony Capitalists. With their cronies in the central government, they are bringing about the elimination of the Republic of the United States of America. Basically, they are Fascists. Fascism is the marriage of large corporations to the State; it is private ownership, but government control. Plus, as I've said over and over, it's not a conspiracy; it's right out in the open for all to see. The use of the word "conspiracy" is a red herring put out by the Globalist Media.

John D. Rockefeller, probably the King of the Mega Corporatists, once said, "Competition is sin." His old Standard Oil company was broken up by the government into many sub-companies. Most of those were bought up by the old British Petroleum company, known as BP today. One of John's grandsons, David Rockefeller, stated in 1991 (not an exact quote): surely it is preferable to have an unelected body of elites ruling the world rather than the nations of the past, with their corrupt politicians.

The use of the term "socialism" is another red herring. The Mega Corporatists certainly don't want the government to own the means of production; they want to own it. Governments are being used simply as puppets, to give the People the feeling that everything is "democratic".
...........................................................................................................

The misunderstanding that I have attributed to the Right also applies to the Left. Both sides seem to be ignoring the warnings of Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Barry Goldwater, Carroll Quigley, John Perkins, and in an ironic way, David Rockefeller. Wake up, America.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Good for McChrystal!

Was it rude?...yes. Did it violate military etiquette?...yes. Was it good for his career?...I doubt it, but the guy is already a four-star General. Was he being stupid?...I don't think so. Did he not know what the impact of those remarks would be?...I think he did know.

There is no question that the civilian government should have control over the military. Does that mean that Generals and their staffs should never publicly disagree with the President or other members of the Administration? No, in my opinion, it doesn't mean that at all. I know it's the politically correct thing to do, but I think We the People have a right to know what the Generals who are prosecuting the war think about the civilians who are in control.

According to the reporter who broke the story, McChrystal and his staff have been extremely frustrated with the Obama Administration for quite some time. In my view, it's too bad that Westmoreland didn't speak up back in the Vietnam days. I believe that this situation in Afghanistan is similar to the one in Vietnam back when. In both cases, I don't think the Oligarchy that rules this country wants (or wanted, in 'Nam) to win the war. What they want is perpetual war. [See my previous post immediately below this one.]

I don't support either war that we're engaged in currently...the troops, yes, but not the wars. Obviously, then, I didn't support the "surge" in Afghanistan requested by McChrystal. [Surge---that's government-speak for expanding the war.] Nevertheless, I see his point of view. As McNamara once pointed out, historically it has taken a ratio of ten conventional troops to one guerilla to win an insurgency-type war. By the time McNamara realized that he had to count North Vietnamese Regulars (as well as Viet Cong) in that ratio, it was too late. [That would have meant one million American combat troops in 'Nam.] If we accept that historical ratio, in McChrystal's case that means
250,000 American/Allied troops in Afghanistan. He won't ever get that. The main reason he won't is not because it would be politically unpopular; rather, it is because the Corporatocracy/Oligarchy doesn't want a resolution in Afghanistan for awhile. In my opinion, that's because the American public hasn't yet been conditioned enough to accept our invasion of the next country, whichever one that happens to be.

No-Drama Obama (the Media gave him that tag, not me) easily could prolong the Afghan War by firing McChrystal. Actually, though, it doesn't much matter whether he does or not, because according to the historical ratio mentioned above, whoever leads the troops does not have enough of them to bring about a favorable resolution anyway. [Thank God...more troops would mean more blood and treasure expended in vain.] The fact is, we need to get out of both Iraq and Afghanistan ASAP. Even if we "stabilize" both countries, what happens when we leave? Major combat (by Americans) supposedly is over in Iraq and the country still is not stable. We can't stay in these countries forever, but that seems to be the plan.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The State and Perpetual War

According to a couple different news stories, one in the New York Times, recent setbacks in Afghanistan have put a "cloud" over the Administration's timetable for withdrawal of troops in that country. Big surprise. :) I remember when they created that timetable; it seemed at the time that few people paid much attention to the phrase, "depending upon conditions on the ground". Most folks seemed to focus on the announcement that we would begin serious troop withdrawals in July of 2011. I also remember when then Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld stated that "major combat has ended in Afghanistan". That was in 2003. Will we ever stop trusting these politicians? Apparently they either are extremely short-sighted, incompetent, or out-right liars.

It seems to me the chances are good that we will not be leaving Afghanistan next year, or even in 2012. If by some chance we do leave, I suspect that we'll simply "invade" another country, perhaps Pakistan, or some other -stan in Central Asia, or maybe Iran. We don't, of course, technically "invade" any country (except Iraq); instead, we are invited in by some corrupt puppet government or "government-in-exile", thus it all seems above board. The reason for our 700+ overseas military bases once was the threat of worldwide communism; now it is worldwide terrorism. Or so the story goes.

I agree with those who believed that communism (from certain quarters, at least) was a threat, and I believe that terrorism (from certain quarters) is now a threat. But terrorists usually do not engage in conventional warfare, as did the communists in, say, Korea. Terrorism is best handled by intelligence agencies and law enforcement. If you disagree with that premise, consider this: if we are to combat terrorism with conventional military forces, then those forces will have to remain forever in countries where terrorism is found. If they don't, what happens when we leave? The terrorists simply will come out of the woodwork and pick up where they left off; we will never kill or capture all terrorists.

If one takes a serious look at human history, the conclusion reached regarding war almost certainly has to be that the State loves (or those that rule love) that activity. War provides certain advantages to rulers: common people are manipulated more easily if they have a common enemy; there is the opportunity to obtain and/or secure natural resources; if the rulers have a vested interest in defense industries, then there is the opportunity to make a lot of money; and there is the opportunity to obtain and/or secure transportation routes for resources such as natural gas and oil. [Our interest in Afghanistan seriously began years ago when Big Oil wanted right-of-way for a natural gas/oil pipeline across most of the country.]

A long time ago, Machiavelli refined the concept of "perpetual war" in order to control the masses and gain resources. I don't think much has changed regarding War and the State since that time.

At the risk of sounding like a "conspiracy theorist", I don't believe that the national politicians in DC "rule" this country. I also don't believe that the People "rule" this country. Instead, we are ruled by multi-national, mega corporations...Crony Capitalists (not genuine Capitalists). [Crony Capitalists are more like Fascists...they are married to the State.] Most importantly, it's NOT a conspiracy. It's right out in the open for all to see. If you haven't seen it, then apparently you're not looking very hard.

So what can we do to correct the situation? Somehow we have to figure out a way to elect people to office who will not become unduly influenced or controlled by the Corporatocracy. How do we do that? Good question. Perhaps a start would be to demand term limits and genuine campaign finance reform. A Constitutional Amendment may be required. But how do we demand anything? I think different forms of boycotting may be the answer. For example, boycott incumbents of both political parties. Better yet, boycott the parties themselves. Why keep electing and re-electing the politicians who have brought us to this point? It makes no sense. We could boycott elections, but I doubt that will ever happen. Because we really do have taxation without true representation, we could stop paying taxes...but most likely that will never happen, at least, not within my lifetime. I'm open to other suggestions.

I don't claim to know the solution, but I believe that if we don't do something decisive, then this country...We the People as sovereigns...are doomed in terms of a free society. Alexis de Tocqueville warned us in the 1800s of what he termed "soft despotism". Google his name and that term, and see what you think.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Mr. Cool Reveals Himself

Barack Obama once stated to an interviewer that one of his jobs was to make the Presidency "cool" again. Until his latest press conference, he was having quite a go at that. But then, it all fell apart.

I'm about to state an opinion; you may or may not agree. I'm picking on Obama and the Democrats mostly because they often somewhat haughtily claim to be on the "High Road", and along with the Globalist Media, look down upon the Republicans as nothing more than naysayers. [It's too bad that more Congress people don't say "Nay" to the asinine levels of borrowing and spending by the Fed Government.] Don't misunderstand, though, I don't think much of the Republican Party either.

If you watch Obama's last press conference carefully, quite often you'll see right through the man's polished slickness directly into his true nature. At times his normally composed, clipped speech pattern becomes hesitant, a little confused, and disingenuous. That usually happens while he's trying to relate to the people being impacted by the catastrophic oil discharge in the Gulf. He can't quite get there; he comes off as being too academic, too distant, almost uncaring. At one point the normally eloquent Obama summed up the catastrophe to Gulf residents and the environment as "messed up". That seems to be his grasp of the depth of the disaster. Members of the Press Corps sometimes looked at each other in disbelief according to a few pundits. His performance was dismal and basically demonstrated that he really isn't much of an inspiring leader.

Toward the end of the conference, Obama finally admitted that the Fed Government has been in charge of the oil discharge response since day one. I knew that should be the case because I'm familiar with the 1990 Oil Pollution Act and the National Contingency Plan (dealing with responses to massive oil and hazardous substances spills). I'm convinced that the only reason he finally claimed ownership of the response is because so many critics were asking, "When will the government take over?". That ownership was not apparent prior to the press conference because, in my opinion, the Executive Branch didn't want people to know that the Feds were totally in charge...because the response was perceived as not going well. After finishing speaking, Obama almost ran out of the room...no smile, a somewhat blanched look on his face. He knew he had given a poor performance, that he had not related well to the situation.

That press conference demonstrated to me that Obama is not the person his devoted followers perceive him to be. He's just another slick, millionaire, well dressed, normally well spoken politician who really can't relate to people out of his sphere, or to their suffering in cases like this disaster. I saw the same exact thing in Bush (except for the well spoken part) relative to Katrina.

So much for "cool". Who cares about that in the Presidency anyway? Just once I'd like to see a President who dresses like Ralph Nader, cares like Jimmy Carter, communicates like Ronald Reagan (in his prime), and thinks as well as William F. Buckley, Jr. once did. Oh, and please, no more millionaires.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Is it Obvious Yet? [re: Offshore Drilling]

Is it obvious yet that offshore oil drilling is a tremendously bad idea? In arguing against that opinion, one could cite the relatively good overall safety record of the offshore drilling industry (as Obama did prior to this accident), but to my mind the current catastrophe eliminates that as a cogent argument. One could cite our need for domestic oil as a necessary evil (so to speak), but that doesn't change my mind either. We could be on a different energy path, or numerous different paths. As the late genius Buckminster Fuller once said (perhaps not an exact quote), "The Sun [solar energy] should be our 'checking account'; oil should be our 'savings account'." in terms of "energy banking".

The current problem well is about 5,000 feet below the water's surface, and look at the difficulties that causes. Now consider this: some of these offshore wells are deeper than that---up to 9,000 feet below the surface. Imagine the trials and tribulations if one of those began discharging oil at the wellhead.

All of this reminds me of a larger issue. In the early '70s (almost forty years ago), this country started to plan seriously for the day when oil would no longer be such an important source of energy. It was the first modern-day Green Movement. Ten years after that, it was all but forgotten. Blame Reagan if you must, but the fact is that most everyone abandoned Green. The corporatists claimed that it was too expensive to switch to solar power, wind power, biomass power, geothermal power, hydropower, hydrogen power, fuel cells, etc. The Media joined in the chorus. Many fragments of Green Energy survive to this day, but there is no longer any comprehensive, dedicated, focused energy policy moving in a completely Green direction.

It takes about twenty-five years for a society to switch from one primary energy source to another. The Executive Branch Department of Energy was created under President Carter for the express purpose of getting this country off foreign oil. [It's fair to say: that was a failure.] Imagine if the Fed Government had continued to offer huge tax credits to corporations who developed affordable Green energy, and if they additionally would have given lucrative government transportation contracts to companies who developed (just as an example) a safe, affordable hydrogen-powered vehicle. Imagine, too, that the Feds offered other incentives as well. The chances are good that we would now be divested of our oil addiction.

None of that happened. I think it's fair to say that the probability is high that Big Oil lobbying played a significant role in our continuing addiction to petroleum. The Republicans and Democrats in office in DC love Oil money... and Banking money, and Defense Industry money, and Big Pharma money, and Airline money, and Big Coal money, and on & on. After all, election campaigns are expensive. :)

We need an energy policy with the stated goal of getting us off oil, and we need to stick to that policy.

[I, having taught Biology, Ecology, and Environmental Science for many years, fully admit to a bias regarding this subject.]

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Primary Elections

DC "outsiders" appear to have done well in the recent primary elections. I was especially pleased to see Arlen Specter defeated and Rand Paul (son of Texas Representative Ron Paul) victorious. It would appear that the "anti-incumbent" mood is producing results. Good news.

But is the news really all that great? The Democrat and/or Republican Parties have been in charge of our government for many, many decades. During that time, unalienable Rights have been encroached upon by our Fed Government, many jobs and a good deal of manufacturing have moved beyond our borders, our borders are not really secure, blood and treasure are expended overseas for questionable reasons, brave troops (who volunteered) are "stop-lossed" via a back-door draft, our money has been devalued to an incredible point, and China (as well as other countries) is calling for an end to the dollar as the world's reserve currency.

Every so often in the last half century, I've seen "populist" movements of one sort or another arise on both the Republican and Democrat sides of the coin. In the long run, however, not much of significance ever came from them. Why? Many times I've heard, "If we can just get the right Democrats [or Republicans] in office, then things will get better."; but the situation rarely ever does get much better. Even when it does, it rarely lasts. Why?

It is long past time for us to recognize that both the Republicans and Democrats are either bought and paid for or controlled by non-elected, multi-national, mega corporations, including large banking interests. Why do I say that?...because well respected individuals throughout our history have said it: Andrew Jackson, Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Barry Goldwater, Carroll Quigley, John Perkins, David Rockefeller [on the dark side], and others too numerous to list. I believe them. We have failed to heed the warnings of Thomas Jefferson and Dwight Eisenhower.

While the current anti-incumbent mood is a good thing, it would be much more useful if it extended to the ruling political Duopoly---the Democrat Party and the Republican Party. People keep saying, "But a third party doesn't stand a chance."; I'm sure that's true if people keep believing it, and repeating it, and resigning themselves to it. The Republicans and Democrats have had their chances to do better, but they have failed...and they have failed miserably. They are the incumbent Parties. Kick them out. Send a message to the Corporatocracy. Take back our government. That will not happen via Republicans and/or Democrats.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Oil Spill Response

Obama has been posturing lately regarding BP's handling of the oil spill in the Gulf. Here's what he's not telling you.

Ever heard of the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan, or as it's better known, the National Contingency Plan (NCP)? Take a look at this overview---
http://www.epa.gov/oem/content/lawsregs/ncpover.htm
Be patient, it loads somewhat slowly.

Here are what some of the various Sections deal with: 300.110, the National Response Team; 300.115, Regional Response Teams; 300.135a, authorizes the predesignated On-Scene Coordinator to direct all federal, state, and private response activities at the site of a discharge. There are many other significant sections.

The current BP oil discharge meets the criteria for the NCP to kick in. So, a few questions arise, as follows.

1. Has the Executive Branch implemented the National Contingency Plan relative to the BP oil discharge in the Gulf?
2. If not, why not?
3. If so, who is the On-Scene Coordinator?
4. What agencies are being coordinated?
5. What is being accomplished by the Federal efforts?

The people along the Gulf Coast deserve answers. We all deserve answers. How about it, Mr. President?

[Thanks go to Alex for generating the idea for this piece.]

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Obama and Financial Reform

Obama and the Democrats are telling lies again. They claim that the current financial legislation will reform the practices of the Wall Street Banksters. The Republicans, unfortunately, contribute to that myth by implying with their opposition that the legislation has significant weight.

In the last crisis, government intervention resulted in several mergers which caused the mega investment banks and commercial banks to become even larger. The current proposed "reform" does nothing to correct that. The OTC derivatives market, which grew from $95 trillion to $600 trillion in a short span of time, is now 95% controlled by our country's five largest banks**. The current proposed "reform" does nothing to correct that either. Most importantly, the current proposed legislation does nothing to separate the regular commercial banks from the Wall Street Bankster investment banks, as did the Glass-Steagall Act. In short, the current proposed legislation does nothing significant; it is designed to appear to be financial reform and protection. It's a fraud.

[** A note on derivatives---
The use of various derivatives can result in accounting fraud by the Banksters, thus allowing them to claim assets that essentially are worthless. The failure of the sub-prime loan market recently was only the trigger for the financial crisis; the basic cause was accounting fraud enabled by the use of some types of derivatives. $600 trillion of derivatives are still out there, and according to Senator Ted Kaufman, the five largest banks hold 95% of those.]

The only sane voice I've noticed regarding this issue is that of Senator Ted Kaufman. For a look at real financial reform (and a blistering criticism of the current package), Google him plus the words "financial reform". This guy seems to understand clearly that Obama, Reid, et.al. are just playing at reform; basically, they are protecting the mega banks.

I smell another Obama backroom deal in the making.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

King Barack's Deal

The following is from a preview of PBS's Frontline show, Obama's Deal, which airs on April 13th. The preview can be viewed online by going to http://www.pbs.org/ and then accessing the Frontline page, and finally the page listing all 90 of Frontline's online shows. Or, simply Google "Obama's Deal" and sift through the results.

How did Obama get the support of the health insurance industry for the new health care law? He made a backroom deal: their support in exchange for the requirement that all Americans be forced to buy health insurance from private companies, with no public option allowed. In the Senate, the lobbyists for the health insurance companies actually wrote the bill. [By the way, that's a common practice in politics---having industry lobbyists write legislative bills.] That's why the Progressive Democrats in the House tried to bypass the Senate Bill completely. They were only partially successful.

Both Democrats and Republicans need to understand something about the above scenario. It is not an example of Socialism; instead, it is an example of Fascism. It is mega-corporations joining with government to force something on the People, most of whom don't want it. Fascism, according to Mussolini, is the perfect marriage of mega-corporatism and the State; it is private ownership but government control.

King Barack enlisted Max Baucus, the chair of the Senate Finance Committee, to hold hearings on the health care bill. Progressives were not allowed to testify because they were in favor of the public option. Lobbyists from the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries, as well as moderate Democrats, were allowed to testify; they favored private ownership, but government control.

So you see, my Republican and Conservative friends, the situation is not quite the way you portray it. This is Fascism, not Socialism. And to my Progressive Democrat friends: you have been outwitted and outmaneuvered by the Fascists again. Finally, to Americans in general: please stop squabbling about Conservatives and Liberals. The enemies are Fascists. Mega multinational corporations and their government cronies are destroying the REPUBLIC of the United States of America. Notice that I said, "Republic", not Democracy. The difference between the two is important.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Yes We Can

Can we further destroy the Constitution by claiming that Congress has the authority to pass a health care bill under the umbrella of Interstate Commerce? Yes we can. With the passage of Obamacare, the members of the central government think that they now can regulate not just health insurance, but health care as well. I don't know about you, but I get my health care locally from a doctor who does no business out-of-State. Furthermore, it is the individual States that license doctors, nurses, pharmacists, etc., not the Federal Government.

According to Judge Andrew Napolitano, the original intent of the Interstate Commerce clause was to insure that the individual States would allow commerce to take place between and among them. That, for example, Texas could not say to New Mexico, "Your businesses are not allowed to conduct commerce in this State."

Then, too, there is the issue (contained in the new health care law) of the central government being able to force individuals to buy a service from a private entity. The Constitution gives no such authority to the Fed Government. On that provision alone, the recently passed health care bill is completely unconstitutional.

Can we further destroy the Constitution by claiming that Congress and the Executive have the authority to regulate education under the General Welfare provision? Yes we can. Here's what James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, had to say (paraphrased) about General Welfare: to claim it covers most anything is to completely contradict the concept (to which we adhere) of a government of enumerated powers. The words "General Welfare" merely are an introduction to the powers listed in Article I, Section 8. Congress has only those seventeen powers.

[For those few who may not know, "Yes we can" was a familiar cry during the Obama campaign for the Presidency.]

Obama and many members of Congress are continuing and expanding the destruction of the U.S. Constitution by practicing Legislative Absolutism (a term coined by Justice Harlan in the very early 1900s), which is and has been done for decades by both Republicans and Democrats. Rather than amend the Constitution, which requires two-thirds of both Houses of Congress AND three-fourths of the States, they instead pass laws to get what they want...and apparently they don't care whether or not the law is constitutional. They are all violating their constitutional oath of office. For some odd reason, we keep electing them to office.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Indefinite Detention for Pre-Crime

This nightmare is right out of the movie, Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise. http://www.independent.org/blog/?p=5258 If the link doesn't work, go to www.independent.org/blog and do a search for: McCain-Lieberman Bill Flirts with Totalitarianism.

These pathetic, anti-Constitution, national politicians are proposing that the U.S. military be able to detain U.S. citizens without trial (and indefinitely) in the USA for suspected activity. This goes right along with King Obama's idea for "extended detention". No habeas corpus, no lawyer, no trial, no due process, and all based on suspicion...not proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

It's unclear to me exactly what it will take to wake up the American people. If this legislative bill doesn't do it, I fear nothing will. Many (perhaps most) of our elected representatives apparently feel that all they have to do is utter the word "terror", or "terrorist", or "terrorism" and they then have the right to ignore the U.S. Constitution. It's incredible.

Please help send a message this Fall: vote these Fascist types out of office (and that includes Obama in 2012). If bills like this are ever passed, almost anyone could be considered an "enemy of the State" and held indefinitely without trial. What if you say something "suspicious", or buy the "wrong" book, or a genuine terrorist misdials your phone number? What if your neighbor has a grudge, or simply doesn't like you, and then manufactures "suspicious activity" on your part?

I think "...Flirts with Totalitarianism" is a gross understatement. Each of us is a sovereign individual with unalienable rights (and responsibilities). Our Government is not going to protect that status, even though that is its function. It is up to us.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Beaches of Gold

Have you noticed? The world's most calamitous financial/monetary event may have started just recently. The Fed Reserve, in conjunction with the U.S. Treasury, has been flooding the market with our fiat dollars for some time now... and China has stopped "buying" U.S. debt. [That last bit is Government-speak for: China has stopped loaning us money.] Most likely the only thing that prevented a run on the dollar (for now) is the fact that Japan took up China's slack relative to the buck.

Price inflation in this country has been edging up slowly for the last two months, despite the Fed's Keynesian efforts to keep it down. Grocery prices are the most obvious indicators of that. The primary cause of price inflation is inflation of the money supply, which causes the value of each dollar to decrease. Here's a simple way to understand it: ask yourself, if beaches were made of grains of gold rather than grains of sand, how much would one ounce of gold be worth? Generally speaking, anytime the quantity of some item is increased in a trading system, the value of each unit of that item decreases. That's just as true for fiat dollars as it is for ounces of gold.

U.S. fiat dollars have been increasing (on a net basis) for decades. That's why it takes so many more of them to buy the same item as compared to ten or twenty years ago. I remember buying a pair of Levi blue jeans for $3.95 in 1962. Now they're about $35. The U.S. dollar today is worth about four cents as compared to its value in 1913, the year of the passing of the Fed Reserve Act.

Keynesian economists believe that Government "spending" of fiat money in ever larger amounts can go on virtually forever without any negative impacts on our money or economy. Common sense tells us that continual devaluing of the dollar by essentially printing it out of thin air is bound to have a negative impact sooner or later. The only reason the dollar now has any value at all is because it is the world's reserve currency. But, for how much longer?

As soon as China, Japan, the Saudis, European countries, and others figure out how to dump dollars without taking a horrendous loss, the ongoing Keynesian game will be over. Oil, for example, will be traded with some other form of money; then the inflation of prices here will begin in earnest. Some predict it will be hyperinflation, and the collapse of our economy. I don't think so...not the last part anyway.

We very well may have significant price inflation relatively soon, perhaps even hyperinflation; however, that doesn't necessarily mean our economy will collapse. If sand (the dollar) doesn't work as a medium of exchange, eventually we'll agree to use something else. In the meantime, perhaps different regions will have different forms of "money", and/or we'll barter to a large degree. [Even countries can barter if need be.] One thing is fairly certain: the fiat dollar is on its way out. Don't believe the likes of Ben Bernanke; he was totally wrong regarding his predictions about the housing bubble and, most recently, the overall financial crisis. The Keynesians have been playing their game for over sixty years, but it's about to end. When it does end, our economy is in for a rough transition; but I don't believe that it will collapse.