Tracking the Growth of American Authoritarianism

Imagine a third bar for just the Koch Brothers
Imagine a third bar for just the Koch Brothers
After WW II, we had a powerful middle class, then Reaganomics started their demise.

 

Peoples Climate March, Flood Wall $reet, Embedded Neocons Force War, Students Challenge Conservative Authority, Journalists Manipulated to Support War, Wall $teet Manipulates NYC Fed , Freedom for Us and the Citizens of Gaza

Suggested Reading for Week Ending 9/28

  • The People’s Climate
    The People’s Climate March on September 21 was a watershed for the emerging global climate movement, with more than 400,000 people taking to the streets of New York City. But New York was only the tip of an iceberg. People in 166 countries, from Argentina to Australia, participated in more than 2,800 events and rallies. Two million activists demanded through an online petition that governments shift to 100% clean energy.
  • People’s Climate March Floods Wall Street
    Thousands of environmentalist and Occupy Wall Street activists gathered in Battery Park early Monday morning in the wake of Sunday’s mass demonstration. The group gathered to prepare for a civil disobedience action known as Flood Wall Street at Battery Park. Flood Wall Street organizers planned civil disobedience in their strategy to highlight a need to go against the financiers of climate change by changing business as usual on Wall Street.
  • Neocons Left Over from Reagan and Bush II Using ISIS Crisis to Expand Right-wing Authoritarian Regime Change Policy
    Whether it’s the Middle East or Eastern Europe, the United States foreign policy is back under control of neoconservatives with the goal of regime change for our enemies or the enemies of Israel.
  • Hundreds of Colorado Students Walk Out in Protest Over Class on “Patriotism,” Respect for Authority
    A student demonstrator, Tyrone G Parks, a senior at Arvada High School, said Tuesday that the nation’s foundation was built on civil protests, “and everything that we’ve done is what allowed us to be at this point today. And if you take that from us, you take away everything that America was built off of.”
  • The Real Reason We Are Bombing Syria
    There were alternatives. The U.S. and the international community could have contained and shrunk ISIS by cutting off its funds and its revenue from sale of oil on the black market. We could have looked to strike a deal with Syria and Iran.
  • HOW FORMER TREASURY OFFICIALS AND THE UAE ARE MANIPULATING AMERICAN JOURNALISTS
    This [Middle East] animosity has resulted in a new campaign in the west to demonize the Qataris as the key supporter of terrorism. The Israelis have chosen the direct approach of publicly accusing their new enemy in Doha of being terrorist supporters, while the UAE has opted for a more covert strategy: paying millions of dollars to a U.S. lobbying firm – composed of former high-ranking Treasury officials from both parties – to plant anti-Qatar stories with American journalists. That more subtle tactic has been remarkably successful, and shines important light on how easily political narratives in U.S. media discourse can be literally purchased.
  • NY Federal Reserve, Too Cosy With Wall $treet to Effectively Regulate
    Ira introduces Carmen Segarra, a bank examiner for the Federal Reserve in New York who, in 2012, started secretly recording as she and her colleagues went about regulating one of the most powerful financial institutions in the country. This was during a time when the New York Fed was trying to become a stronger regulator, so that it wouldn’t fail to miss another financial crisis like it did with the meltdown in 2008.
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    We seem to have forgotten about the Syrians we’re supposedly helping.
    We seem to have forgotten about the Syrians we're supposedly helping


    “… perhaps once we have freed ourselves, we can reach out to free the people of Gaza.”

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    Neocons Left Over from Reagan and Bush II Using ISIS Crisis to Expand Right-wing Authoritarian Regime Change Policy

    Back at the start of the seventh year of the Bush II administration, January of 2007, I wrote a post about all the leading neoconservatives, and their think tanks, that were supporting or were a part of that administration and its war promoting efforts.

    This posting is about the neocons that President Bush has in his inner circle of friends and staff. It also exposes the spread of neocons within the current administration through quotes from Bush II and his former Secretary of Defense, Don Rumsfeld (Now an “non-paid consultant” for the department.)

    Here, from that post, are what Bush II and Rumsfeld said about their integration of neocons and their ideology in to our government:

    (AEI) met last December with Bush II to present their solution to the conflict in Iraq. Their plan is very similar to The Deciders plan. At an AEI dinner in 2003, Bush II had this to say about Irving Kristol, “You do such good work that my administration has borrowed 20 such minds.” (And I’m only mentioning a few of those 20.) Also, President Ronald Reagan’s administration attracted so many AEI associates, that the AEI offices were relatively empty.

    The Center for Security Policy was founded in 1988 by Frank Gaffney. Their slogan is, “to promote world peace through American strength.” Their “Keeper of the Flame Award” recipients include Newt Gingrich and Don Rumsfeld. In November 2001, Don Rumsfeld said to Frank Gaffney, “If there was any doubt about the power of your ideas, one only has to look at the number of Center associates who people this administration—and particularly the Department of Defense—to dispel them.” Rumsfeld has been a CSP financial backer and Cheney was formerly a board member of CSP.

    What I didn’t state in that article was that those neocons appointed by Bush and Rumsfeld hired many more into the State Department and Pentagon who are still there. Here’s an example from a Consortium News article:

    What followed in Ukraine had all the earmarks of a U.S. destabilization campaign against Putin’s ally, the elected President Viktor Yanukovych. Behind the scenes was U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, a neocon holdover who had been an adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney and who is married to prominent neocon Robert Kagan. Nuland was caught in an intercepted phone conversation with U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt handpicking the leaders of the new regime, which took power after Yanukovych was overthrown in a Feb. 22 coup.

    For another example of neocon influence on the Obama Administration, read the short biography of one of the administrations advisors, John Nagl. Here is a quote from that article, which references Robert Kagan, the husband of former Dick Cheney advisor, Victoria Nuland, mentioned above.

    Although he [John Nagl] eschews grand ideology in favor of technocratic approaches to conflicts, Nagl’s promotion of counterintelligence doctrine in current U.S. military interventions made him a favorite of neoconservatives, who featured him at the kick-off of the think tank, the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI).”[12] FPI is an advocacy group founded by William Kristol and Robert Kagan that is viewed by some observers as a successor to the Project for the New American Century [Formerly chaired by William Kristol], a now-defunct group that played a key role in shopping neoconservatives foreign policies during the Bush administration.

    ———————————————————-
    Here is a quote about neocons from Dr. Shadia Drury on their preference for military action:

    With the neoconservatives in power in the US, it will be difficult to conceal the real nature of neoconservative policies. The “stealth campaigns” are not likely to be as effective. The policies are by now very clear: no gay rights, no liberated women, no uppity blacks, lots of prayer in the schools, a strong commitment to the death penalty, and the re-criminalisation of abortion. The latter is particularly important. Of course it will keep the women at home and out of the way so that the world can be ruled by men in the proper manly fashion; but that’s not all. More importantly, it will keep women busy having babies – lots of babies. In this way, women will become useful once again; they will return to their vocation as factories for soldiers – and we need lots of soldiers, for we will have plenty of wars to fight, if the neoconservatives have their way. And it seems they have.

    And here is the end of the Consortium News article by investigative reporter Robert Parry, which I referenced earlier, that includes numerous references to neocons and their preference to war over negotiations in Ukraine:

    That intervention, however, infuriated Syrian rebels who had planned to time a military offensive with the U.S. bombing campaign, hoping to topple Assad’s government and take power in Damascus. America’s influential neoconservatives and their “liberal interventionist” allies – along with Israeli officials – were also livid, all eager for another U.S.-backed “regime change” in the Middle East.

    Putin thus made himself an inviting neocon target. By the end of last September, American neocons were taking aim at Ukraine as a key vulnerability for Putin. A leading neocon, Carl Gershman, president of the U.S.-government-funded National Endowment for Democracy, took to the op-ed pages of the neocon Washington Post to identify Ukraine as “the biggest prize” and explain how its targeting could undermine Putin’s political standing inside Russia.

    “Ukraine’s choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents,” Gershman wrote. “Russians, too, face a choice, and Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.” At the time, Gershman’s NED was funding scores of political and media projects inside Ukraine.

    What followed in Ukraine had all the earmarks of a U.S. destabilization campaign against Putin’s ally, the elected President Viktor Yanukovych. Behind the scenes was U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, a neocon holdover who had been an adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney and who is married to prominent neocon Robert Kagan. Nuland was caught in an intercepted phone conversation with U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt handpicking the leaders of the new regime, which took power after Yanukovych was overthrown in a Feb. 22 coup.

    Then, with U.S. officialdom and the mainstream U.S. press engaging in an orgy of Cold War-style propaganda, Putin was demonized as a new Hitler expanding territory by force. Anyone who knew the facts recognized that Putin had actually been trying to maintain the status quo, i.e., sustain the Yanukovych government until the next election, and it was the West that had thrown the first punch. But Washington’s new “group think” was that Putin instigated the Ukraine crisis so he could reclaim lost territory of the Russian empire.

    President Obama seemed caught off-guard by the Ukraine crisis, but was soon swept up in the West’s Putin/Russia bashing. He joined in the hysteria despite the damage that the Ukraine confrontation was inflicting on Obama’s own hopes of working with Putin to resolve other Middle East problems.

    Thus, the initial victory went to the neocons who had astutely recognized that the emerging Putin-Obama collaboration represented a serious threat to their continued plans for “regime change” across the Middle East. Not only had Putin helped Obama head off the military strike on Syria, but Putin assisted in getting Iran to agree to limits on its nuclear program.

    That meant the neocon desire for more “shock and awe” bombing in Syria and Iran had to be further postponed. The Putin-Obama cooperation might have presented an even greater threat to neocon plans if the two leaders could have teamed up to pressure Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to finally reach a reasonable agreement with the Palestinians.

    At the center of the neocons’ strategy at least since the mid-1990s has been the idea that “regime change” in Middle East governments hostile to Israel would eventually starve Israel’s close-in enemies, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Palestine’s Hamas, of support and free Israel’s hand to do what it wanted with the Palestinians. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Mysterious Why of the Iraq War.”]

    The Putin-Obama collaboration – if allowed to mature – could have derailed that core neocon strategy and denied Israel the unilateral power to decide the Palestinians’ fate. But the Ukraine crisis – and now the plan to pour a half-billion dollars into the Syrian rebels fighting Assad – have put the neocon strategy back on track.

    The next question is whether Obama and whatever “realists” remain in Official Washington have the will and the determination to reclaim control of the Middle East policy train and take it in a different direction.

    ———————————————————-

    Whether it’s the Middle East or Eastern Europe, the United States foreign policy is back under control of neoconservatives with the goal of regime change for our enemies or the enemies of Israel.

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    War with ISIS?, Kock Brothers Teaching our Kids, MSM is a Failure, NeoCons Growing al-Qaeda, 1800 Revolution Repeating Now

    Suggested Reading for Week Ending 9/21

  • The Questions Congress Should Ask About Obama’s War on ISIS
    “The public is told there’s no imminent threat to the US, so why are we rushing to war? Could weapons given to Syrian rebels eventually be used against the US?” reads an ad placed by MoveOn and Win Without War in Politico. “How could military force undermine nonmilitary strategies? How will we know when our objectives have been met? What is our clearly defined exit strategy? Under what legal authority are we intervening in Iraq and Syria?”
  • The Koch Brothers’ 3-Step Plan to Conquer the Next Generation
    It’s been well-documented by now how the Koch Brothers are sponsoring economic programs at colleges and universities around the country. By itself, this could be interpreted as philanthropy. There’s nothing inherently wrong with a billionaire donating some of his wealth to education. But the greater strategy in the Kochs’ chess game isn’t just to make themselves wealthier, but a far more sinister one. That strategy can be broken down into three steps:
  • How The Main Stream Media Lost All Credibility & Why It’s Too Late To Save It
    In the end, what matters is that mainstream media, despite everything it’s done, the corporate sponsors, the spin zones, the outright awkward political commentaries. From everything to pundits and attractive looking people on the news media, the breaking news graphics to the outright lies told and the misdirection thrown left and right.
  • Blocking a ‘Realist’ Strategy on the Mideast
    In other words, the just-approved congressional action opening the floodgates to hundreds of millions of dollars more in military aid to Syrian “moderates” could actually contribute to al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate gaining control of Syria, which could create a far greater threat to U.S. national security than the consolidation of the Islamic State inside territory of Syria and Iraq.
  • Does Someone Really Have to Do Something to Stop Islamic State?
    Which bothers you more? General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, publicly warning that Obama might have to send in ground troops to defeat Islamic State? Or former president Jimmy Carter supporting Obama’s new war?
  • The American Revolution of 1800
    Remarkably relevant today: Sisson shows why Jefferson’s ideas about ensuring the primacy of the people’s interest over factional politics are as needed today as they were in 1800.
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    No new war on Iraq
    Give peace a chance.

     


    Despotism, Authoritarianism, Single Party State, Don’t Question Authority,
    Excessive Wealth and Income Inequality, Censorship

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    Lawrence Lessig’s “The USA is Lesterland” – But It Take More Than Spreading the Funding Influence

    Lawrence Lessig: We the People, and the Republic we must reclaim

    Please watch the video first.

     

    Lessig ends by saying, “We have lost that Republic. All of us have to act to get it back.”

    I agree with that statement, but I think more is necessary than spreading the funding influence and that we must first remove certain obstacles.

    The Lester Election is always a midterm election and it’s controlled by those who always vote, and currently that’s the right-wing authoritarians. In 2010 in Texas, only 3% of the African-Americans and Hispanics in the 11 largest Texas metropolitan areas voted. That compares to only 34% in 2008. We have Rick Perry, who caters to the “funders,” or insiders, because Texas ranks 51st in voter participation, not because insiders paid for his campaign.

    Texas is not a red state, it's a non-voting state

    If the 99% vote, the “corruption” is irrelevant. If 99% vote, a win by a poorly funded third-party is possible. As Lessig said in the TED talk, “It’s solvable by being citizens.” However, decades of free market fundamentalism, neoliberalism, have replaced critical thinking citizens with lovers of shopping and reality TV and put our “love of this republic” on a shelf in the closet.

    If the 99% votes ...

    Another issue with Mr. Lessig’s proposal is with spreading the “funder influence” across more citizens – “citizen-funded campaigns.” Today’s citizens are just now beginning to seriously strike for a living wage. They can barely pay for their necessities much less contribute to a national campaign fund.

    Vote to refute the ONE%

    Controlling the money flowing into our politics is necessary, but more important is citizens showing up in significant numbers to elect the best candidate in every election. To enable this, we need a living wage, easier access to the polls, and removal of all recently implemented voter restrictions authored by ALEC.

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    Resisting Urban Shield, Billionnaire God-like Desires, Public Gas Station, Violating Law Ok If It Saves Money?,

    Suggested Reading for Week Ending 9/14

  • Militarization, Surveillance, and Profit: How Grassroots Groups are Fighting Urban Shield
    “The line between police and military is blurring as parallel military tactics are being deployed globally to repress dissent and increase state control over people who are calling for freedom and justice.”
  • How the Koch Brothers and Other Family Capitalists Are Ruining America
    Our imperial tycoons are a mixed lot. They range from hip technologists like Zuckerberg to heroic nerds like Bill Gates, and include yesteryear traditionalists like Sam Walton and the Koch brothers. What they share with each other and their robber baron ancestors is a god-like desire to create the world in their image.
  • Koch Foundation Proposal to College: Teach Our Inequality Curriculum, Get Millions
    The Koch’s philanthropic operation is preaching to academics a free market gospel. But with it comes loads of cash. is this just another billionaire takeover?
  • Kentucky Town Beats High Gas Prices – By Opening a Public Gas Station
    A municipally owned and operated fuel center has opened up in a town in Kentucky in an effort to drive down gas prices for local residents. Is this new model a positive step in the right direct for climate change?
  • There is No Future in War: Youth Rise Up, a Manifesto
    How many times do we have to be lied to, how many times do we have to be tricked, how many times do we have to be exploited until we say enough is enough? We are tired of war! War accomplishes nothing. War only fattens the wallets of economic and political elites, leaving millions dead in its wake. War only leads to more war, destroying the planet and emptying the national treasury in the process.
  • Vermont City Acts Unlawfully & Unconstitutionally, Judge Finds
    At its nasty little heart, this is a story that reflects the power of big banks to get their way, starting with their well paid legislative lobbyist, John Hollar, who also happens to be mayor of Montpelier, where there’s no hue and cry about such blatant conflict of interest. The vested interests in the city have not objected even when the bank-drenched mayor set about in early 2013 to pressure the city manager to muzzle his planning director when she failed to follow his personal party line. Her “insubordination” amounted to exercising her free speech right to support public banking.
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    Vote to refute the ONE%

    STOP the ONE% from buying our government – VOTE

     


    Koch Industries, the company owned by Charles and David Koch,
    is the major stumbling block to a coherent U.S. energy policy

    Posted in Authoritarianism, Corporate Governance   |   Leave a comment   |   Email This Post Email This Post

    Functioning Democracies Require Citizen Participation and That …

    • Government is crucial for building a public infrastructure that equally protects and empowers every citizen
    • Citizenship dues are necessary to fund this public infrastructure and that these dues are in proportion to the use of said infrastructure so as to maintain it for future generations.
    • Voting is a right and requirement of all citizens regardless of wealth, family, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, etc.
    • Quality public education for all citizens is necessary for maximizing the opportunities for success and for becoming a responsible and participating citizen in the political process that assures the government operates as desired by the people
    • Freedom from abuse by those with EXCESSIVE power requires limitations on those powers enforced by a properly funded government
    • Citizen freedoms, even those listed in the constitution, require limits to avoid harm by those who might abuse them
    • Equality of opportunity for all citizens and progressive citizenship dues on ALL income are absolutely necessary to prevent both EXCESSIVE inequality of wealth and income and a government that no longer represents its citizens.
    • Acceptance of citizen diversity is necessary for long-term surival
    • Growth has limitations and unlimited growth, like cancer or nuclear bombs, will lead to chaos and death
    • Cooperation maximizes the possibility of success for more citizens than I-win-you-lose competition
    • We all do better when we care about our own wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of others
    Posted in Protect & Empower   |   Leave a comment   |   Email This Post Email This Post

    TTIP-Concerns About Food Safety, Suppressing Civil Disobedience, Tax Reform, KochKash, Lies & Why’s of Ukraine, Stopping Privateering

    Suggested Reading for Week Ending 9/7

  • EU-US Trade Deal Lets Corporate Interests Steamroll Food Safety, Groups Warn
    We are writing to respond to claims by the European Commission (EC) that there is “no contradiction” in the US – EU trade talks with the “enforcement of high safety standards” in food. We disagree. Fair, sustainable and safe food could permanently be damaged by the transatlantic trade deal on the table.
  • Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown
    … in their unswerving mission to defend an increasingly unpopular global system serving the interests of a tiny minority, security agencies have no qualms about painting the rest of us as potential terrorists.
  • Bill Moyers Encore with Joseph Stiglitz: How Tax Reform Can Save the Middle Class
    In America right now inequality is too great, unemployment too high, public investments too meager, corporations too greedy and the tax code too biased toward the very rich.
  • Reforming Taxation to Promote Growth and Equity
    This white paper outlines concrete policy measures that can restore equitable and sustainable economic growth in the United States, in the context of the country’s recurring budgetary crises. Effective policies are within our grasp, because these budgetary crises are the result of political and not economic failings.
  • Politicians Line Up at Big Money Trough
    Money remains the nourishing milk of politics and both parties are lining up to get their fill by hobnobbing with the plutocrats who have the most to share. Whether the Koch Brothers or Vernon Jordan, the process of political corruption shows no sign of ending, Bill Moyers and Michael Winship lament.
  • Who’s Telling the ‘Big Lie’ on Ukraine?
    Official Washington draws the Ukraine crisis in black-and-white colors with Russian President Putin the bad guy and the U.S.-backed leaders in Kiev the good guys. But the reality is much more nuanced, with the American people consistently misled on key facts, writes Robert Parry.
  • The Whys Behind the Ukraine Crisis
    Given the very high stakes of a nuclear confrontation with Russia, some analysts wonder what’s the real motive for taking this extraordinary risk over Ukraine. Is it about natural gas, protection of the U.S. dollar’s dominance, or an outgrowth of neocon extremism, asks Robert Parry.
  • Reclaim The Commons, Stop Privatization
    This week started with Labor Day and witnessed the biggest act of worker civil disobedience seen in a very long time. Yesterday, nearly 500 fast food workers were arrested and many more joined in civil disobedience, marches and rallies in 100 cities across the country to demand higher wages. In addition, the Fight for 15 movement has been joined by new sectors of workers.
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    Owners need to be licensed and carry accident insurance

    Imagine – Autos w/out licensed users or manditory accident insurance …
    … accidental killing 4 all drivers ????

     


    Georgia Cop Caught On Camera Manhandling Woman for Videotaping Public Event

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    World View of Ferguson, McConnell Kisses Up to ONE%, FBI & Charter Schools, ONE% Con Job, Poor 9%, Kochs In Charge

    Suggested Reading for Week Ending 8/31

  • Everyone From Tibetan Monks To Iran’s Supreme Leader Is watching Ferguson. Here’s How They’re Reacting
    Why would someone in Gaza care about protesters in Ferguson? One argument is that the resurgence of popular uprisings around the world — the Occupy movement and the Arab Spring, for example — has created a kind of global protest culture, one that unites people against oppression across nations. As Goldhammer puts it, there’s now a “certain transnational homogeneity to scenes of riot police clashing with demonstrators.”
  • Caught on Tape: What Mitch McConnell Complained About to a Roomful of Billionaires (Exclusive)
    At a secret meeting of elite donors convened by the Koch brothers, McConnell laid out his plan for shrinking the federal government and whined about having to vote on minimum wage bills.
  • FBI Tracks Charter Schools
    In 2010, Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corp. has been an ALEC member, declared K-12 public education “a $500 billion sector in the U.S. alone that is waiting desperately to be transformed.”
  • The 1 percent’s long con: Jim Cramer, the Tea Party’s roots, and Wall Street’s demented, decades-long scheme
    And there were incredible prizes to be won as long as the bubble continued to swell, as long as the fiction of Wall Street as an alternative to democratic government became more and more plausible. Maybe the Glass-Steagall act could finally be repealed; maybe the SEC could finally be grounded; maybe antitrust could finally be halted. And, most enticingly of all, maybe Social Security could finally be “privatized” in accordance with the right-wing fantasy of long standing.
  • The very rich are angry at the extremely rich
    The guy with the Long Island summer residence says that income inequality is hurting his quality of life. Because of the helicopter noise of the guy he probably reports to. I’m quite sure he is indifferent to his own noise produced by his late model BMW whizzing its fumes in the face his maid waiting at the bus stop. Because you know … that’s just freedom.
  • Kochs to Republicans: All your voters belong to us
    The GOP Data Trust, the company the RNC has been working with on its Beacon effort, is now going to be accessing the voter data from the Kochs’ company, but apparently all of the data will be dumped into the Kochs’ system. Which arguably means the Koch brothers essentially own the Republican party, not just its Senate candidates.
  • Charles Koch Personally Founded Group Protecting Oil Industry Hand-Outs, Documents Reveal
    Documents obtained by Republic Report reveal for the first time that the group was actually founded by none other than Charles Koch, the petrochemical, manufacturing, and oil refining tycoon worth an estimated $52 billion.
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    The Kochs’ Anti-Civil Rights Roots:
    New Docs Expose Charles Koch’s Ties to John Birch Society
    Posted in Authoritarianism, Corporate Governance   |   Leave a comment   |   Email This Post Email This Post

    I guess the only thing left to do IS VOTE.

    - First they came for the unions, but I didn’t vote.
    – Then they diverted pay raises for my increased productivity to corp profit and my spouse went to work to help pay the mortgage, but we still didn’t vote.
    – Then our combined income couldn’t keep pace with inflation so we went into more debt with credit cards and refinancing our home equity, but I still didn’t vote.
    – Then they changed the law and made it harder to declare bankruptcy and get out from under excessive debt, but I still didn’t vote
    – Then they replaced my guaranteed-income, professionally-run pension with a hapless 401K plan with limited choices and low returns, but I still didn’t vote.
    – Then they cut my sick leave and vacation benefits and stopped the company match on my 401K, but I still didn’t vote.
    – Then they passed state laws for Voter ID, eliminating early voting, stand your ground assassinations, vaginal probes, and closing women’s health clinics, but I still didn’t vote
    – Then they reduced my work hours so they didn’t have to help pay my medical costs, but I still didn’t vote
    – Then they changed an old law and let banks gamble with what was left of my savings, but I still didn’t vote.
    – Then they sold my mortgage to Wall $treet, but I still didn’t vote.
    – Then they crashed the economy and the value of my home, and I lost my job, but I thought about voting – next time.
    – Then they bailed out the banks and one of those banks is foreclosing on my home, but I’m too depressed to vote.
    – Then they didn’t extend unemployment and Congress is on perpetual vacation to raise money from the ONE% instead of helping us recovery from the Great Recession.
    —– I guess the only thing left to do IS VOTE.


    Paul Weyrich founded ALEC and ALEC wrote draft of Voter Suppression laws for states

     

    Posted in Politics   |   Leave a comment   |   Email This Post Email This Post

    Amerian Wariors Proliferate War Mentality Across America, Atlantic Ocean Warms, Fracking Protest

    Suggested Reading for Week Ending 8/24

  • A Former Marine Explains All the Weapons of War Being Used by Police in Ferguson
    One small way to measure the police violence against black people in Ferguson is to attend to its details. It is in that spirit that I present this simple catalog.
  • New UT Chief’s Military Background is Cause for Reflection
    The University of Texas System’s incoming chancellor may seem like the perfect fit, but his involvement in a long-running criminal enterprise, is sure not acceptable.
  • Innocent Civilian Deaths Caused by Police Militarization
    By sidestepping the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, the government has blurred the divisions between the military and the police. The executions of “no knock” search warrants too closely resemble the night raids conducted in Afghanistan and Iraq. When the police become the military, the enemy becomes everyone.
  • The Uncivil War Escalating Across America
    We must not minimize or dismiss what is happening; Ferguson represents an ominous sign of the great chasm that has developed between the police and the people of this country. This, unquestionably, is a war of sorts with the vast majority of firepower possessed by this new-type quasi-military police force. If something is not done to address and solve this problem, and soon, then this country is in danger of becoming a full-blown police state.
  • Ferguson And Global Struggle For Justice
    The same city where Dred Scott challenged slavery has become the place of awakening for current racial oppression. Ferguson exposed the reality of militarized and racist policing and created a teachable moment for the nation.
  • Global warming slowdown answer lies in depths of Atlantic
    This February, the national science academies of the US and UK said the global warming slowdown did not “invalidate” the long-term trend of rising temperatures caused by man-made climate change.
  • Native Americans Launch ‘Love Water Not Oil’ Ride to Protest Fracking Pipeline
    The campaign aims to show the destruction the pipeline would cause the surrounding Native communities and local landowners and stop it dead in its tracks.
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    50 Years of progress - in technology
    From Birmingham to Ferguson, the only progress in 50 years is technology

     


    CLASSIC DAVE CHAPPELLE CLIP NAILS POLICE BRUTALITY PERFECTLY
    Posted in Authoritarianism, Avid Militarism, Environment   |   Tagged   |   Leave a comment   |   Email This Post Email This Post

    Warren or the Golden Calf, Information Warfare, Another Secret TA, NPR Fooled, AUMF=Endless WAR, Perry/Prison

    Suggested Reading for Week Ending 8/17

  • Elizabeth Warren’s 11 Commandments
    For progressives just recently let out of the bondage of the long Clinton-Bush interregnum, it would thus be a shame for them to put their faith in a golden calf like Hillary Clinton — no matter how electable she may seem today — when Warren and the Promised Land beckon from just around the corner.
  • Why Is the U.S. Really Helping the Kurds, Now?
    Obama’s defense of Erbil is effectively the defense of an undeclared Kurdish oil state whose sources of geopolitical appeal—as a long-term, non-Russian supplier of oil and gas to Europe, for example—are best not spoken of in polite or naïve company, as Al Swearengen would well understand. Life, Swearengen once pointed out, is often made up of “one vile task after another.” So is American policy in Iraq.
  • The Berlin Wall and Missed Opportunities
    The U.S. State Department’s obsession with “information warfare” as a strategic weapon has made U.S. credibility one more casualty of the Ukraine crisis, along with any remaining trust in the mainstream U.S. media. It was not always thus, laments ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
  • There’s Another Mammoth Global Trade Agreement You’ve Never Heard Of
    Here’s what we know: Fifty countries, including the United States, the EU nations, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Switzerland, Taiwan and Turkey, have been in TISA talks since 2012. The resulting agreement will set the terms for almost 70 percent of global trade in “services”: everything from banking and construction to telecom and tourism.
  • NPR Presents CIA-Backed Group as Independent Expert on Snowden’s ‘Harm’
    Yes, by blatant cherry-picking you can produce “a compelling story”–as in, good enough to fool NPR.
  • INSIDE THE GRAND JURY: WHY TEXAS GOVERNOR RICK PERRY WAS CHARGED WITH TWO ALLEGED FELONIES
    If convicted of the first felony count of abusing his office, Perry would face a penalty of between five and 99 years in prison. Perry also faces two to ten years in prison if he is convicted of the second charge of the indictment.
  • 60 Words And A War Without End: The Untold Story Of The Most Dangerous Sentence In U.S. History
    The White House said that the operations in both Libya and Somalia drew their authority from the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, a 12-year-old piece of legislation that was drafted in the hours after the Sept. 11 attacks. At the heart of the AUMF is a single 60-word sentence, which has formed the legal foundation for nearly every counterterrorism operation the U.S. has conducted since Sept. 11, from Guantanamo Bay and drone strikes to secret renditions and SEAL raids. Everything rests on those 60 words.
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    60 Words Make War Perpetual
    AUMF

     


    Endless War Enabled by AUMF – Listen to Radio Lab’s Review of AUMF
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    Hoarding Cash, InvertersRDeserters, Putin a Target?, Yahoo PGP, PO Bank, Disaster Goes Unreported

    Suggested Reading for Week Ending 8/10

  • Cash Hoarding becomes an Addiction
    Several studies have been done since the Great Recession, and we’ve learned that many of the CEOs who devastated our economy weren’t only greedy, but nearly 40% of them bombed at their jobs—and that 10% were psychopaths. Some studies have also revealed that the wealthier they were, the more likely they were to be more narcissistic and more unethical. So unless they were lucky enough to be born into wealth, many of these “job creators” were using nefarious means to accumulate their vast wealth—contrary to the popular myths that they accomplished this with just hard work and/ or a great idea.
  • Minority Astroturf Group Gets Comcast-Affiliated News Site To Remove Article About Minority Astroturfing On Net Neutrality
    Last month, we wrote about the vastly different views on net neutrality from a variety of minority and latino organizations. The key to the story, not surprisingly, was that the minority groups that are heavily funded by the giant broadband troika of Verizon, AT&T and Comcast apparently think that true net neutrality would be a disaster for the minority community — while the groups not funded by those corporate giants believe that more open and free internet devoid of fast and slow lanes is a good thing for the minority community.
  • Why National Security Has Nothing to Do With Security
    Some reflections on these grim prospects were offered by General Lee Butler, former head of the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM), which controls nuclear weapons and strategy. Twenty years ago, he wrote that we had so far survived the nuclear weapons era “by some combination of skill, luck, and divine intervention, and I suspect the latter in greatest proportion.”
  • Victory! Walgreens Backs Down After Threat Of Boycott #InvertersRDeserters
    Insiders said Walgreens’ board had decided that the intense political pressure on companies examining inversions could have a significant impact on its reputation among American consumers.
  • Was Putin Targeted for Mid-Air Assassination?
    As the pieces of this puzzle fill in, the image that emerges is of a possible Ukrainian ambush of a jetliner heading into Russian airspace that had markings very similar to President Putin’s official plane. As shocking as that picture may be, there is a grim logic to it, given the demonization of Putin who has been likened to Hitler and Stalin by pundits and politicians from Ukraine to the United States.
  • Yahoo to begin offering PGP encryption support in Yahoo Mail service
    With PGP encryption implemented in a browser plug-in, though, messages are encrypted before they’re transmitted, and the private keys cannot be disclosed by Yahoo because the company doesn’t possess them.
  • Why Banking at the Post Office Could be a Better Option than Payday Loans—and Wall Street
    Physical and operational structures already exist that could help USPS offer basic financial services: prepaid debit cards, mobile transactions, new check cashing services, savings accounts, and even simple, small-dollar loans.
  • Do You Recognize The Culture Of War?
    Each week we see reports of police violence and increasing militarization of police departments. Sometimes police violence is blatant as was this attack on young protesters in Mexico that caused death and serious injuries. And sometimes it is more subtle and dispersed, as this murder of a young Latino in Denver. Sometimes it gets national attention, as is the case of Eric Garner. And sometimes it is part of a daily phenomenon as these youth in Chicago recount.
  • TAILINGS PONDS ARE THE BIGGEST ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF
    Last Monday, a dam holding waste from the Mount Polley gold and copper mine in the remote Cariboo region of British Columbia broke, spilling 2.6 billion gallons of potentially toxic liquid and 1.3 billion gallons of definitely toxic sludge out into pristine lakes and streams. That’s about 6,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water and waste containing things like arsenic, mercury, and sulphur. Those substances are now mixed into the water that 300 people rely on for tap, hundreds from First Nations tribes rely on for hunting and fishing, and many others rely on for the tourism business.
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    Monday: Mount Polley Dam broke causing 5 million cubic toxic chemicals
    to flow into creeks & waterways
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    Ayn Rand Fever Dream, ALEC Legislator Auction, Populism for Dems, Wealth Correlates to Denialism

    Suggested Reading for Week Ending 8/3

  • The people of the United States must work to end the interventionist violence of the U.S. Empire
    The historian who chronicles US Empire,William Blum, issued his 130th Anti-Empire Report this week. In it he notes that the US, by far, is seen by the people of the world as “the greatest threat to peace in the world today” with 24% taking that view. Only 2% see Russia as such a threat, and 6% see China.
  • Texas GOP’s Platform Is an Ayn Randian Fever Dream
    Imagine the official presentation of a worldview concocted by conspiracy theorists and an assortment of cranks and grumpy people. Conjure a document written by scribes possessed of poison pens soaked in the inkpots of Ayn Rand and the Brothers Grimm, caught in the grip of a dark dystopian fantasy of dragons and specters, in which everyone’s wrong but thee and me and we’re not sure of thee.
  • ALEC Agenda in Dallas:
    Also at this year’s meeting, ALEC’s task forces will consider bills to make it virtually impossible to enroll in Medicaid, expand charter schools to further bankrupt traditional public schools, expand exports of “natural gas” from fracking, and undermine the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Air and Clean Water Act regulations.
  • Protesters Lock Down Inside of Hilton in Protest of ALEC Convention
    Thursday morning, two community members from the organization Blackland Prairie Rising Tide locked themselves to stair banisters inside of the Hilton Anatole hotel at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) annual national convention in Dallas, Texas. Subsequently, two more protesters dropped a banner from a banister in the hotel lobby reading “We Suffer, ALEC Profits.”
  • Hillary Clinton vs. Elizabeth Warren: They Have Less in Common Than You Think
    Hillary Clinton’s political allies want Democratic primary voters to believe that the former secretary of state is just like populist Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and they’ve been claiming that there are no differences between the two possible presidential contenders. There’s just one problem: That’s not true.
  • Opportunities for Action
    What is striking are our common experiences – the neoliberal economic agenda being forced upon our communities, the lack of democracy and the need for resistance and creating alternatives.
  • Why People Are Organizing to End U.S. Empire
    Thirty-five years from now, America’s official century of being top dog (1945-2045) will have come to an end; its time may, in fact, be running out right now. We are likely to begin to look ever more like a giant version of England at the end of its imperial run, as we come face-to-face with, if not necessarily to terms with, our aging infrastructure, declining international clout, and sagging economy.
  • Study: Rich Republicans Are the Worst Climate Deniers
    The study finds that among Republicans, as levels of income increase, so does their likelihood of dismissing the dangers associated with climate change.
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    Jim Hightower Addresses Coalition of Hundreds in Dallas to Protest ALEC 41st Convention
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    AFP Ranks Legislators, Powell Memo, ALEC Funding, Tea Party Fear/Hate, Domestic Terrorists, US Empire

    Suggested Reading for Week Ending 7/27

  • See How Americans For Prosperity Ranks YOUR Congressmen on free market fundamentalism – Neoliberalism
    Top 10 DEMs get ratings between 20% and 39%, like Jim Matheson (D) of UT at 35%, or Mike McIntyre of NC with the hightest lifetime ranking at 38%. The lowest REP ranking is 42% and there are 60 REPs with a ratings higher than 89% – leaders on the “Conservative Road to Destruction.”
  • America’s Conservative Road to Destruction – A Brief History
    We have come to the point of time in our history where facts no longer have merit, where laws are selectively broken if they in some way show support for our president or the government he represents … and those tentacles run deep INTO our federal government – both bodies of Congress and the Supreme Court. And ALEC helped get us to this point.
  • A CMD Special Report on ALEC’s Funding and Spending
    But ALEC membership does provide other rewards for legislators. It allows them to rub elbows with rich, out-of-state potential donors to their election campaigns and also to build similar relationships with ALEC’s state corporate members.
  • Tea Party’s Self-Harming Hate
    We could also repeal the ban on immigrants collecting SNAP and Medicaid benefits during their first five years in the United States. Passed as part of the 1996 welfare reform, the ban reduces immigrants’ economic options, and thus their ability to refuse the worst jobs.
  • Right-Wing Militias Are Thriving – and the Media Won’t Talk About It
    Virtually all of the far right’s conspiracist beliefs are equally transparent lies, if you can trace them back far enough. But that assumes a truth-seeking function on somebody’s part—an assumption that’s clearly unwarranted. In our age of savagely decimated newsrooms, fact-free “he said/she said” journalism appears to be the only kind that most organizations can manage—a style that naturally gives the advantage to those like Bundy who just make things up, carefully tailored to bolster their arguments.
  • The people of the United States must work to end the interventionist violence of the U.S. Empire
    … the US, by far, is seen by the people of the world as “the greatest threat to peace in the world today” with 24% taking that view. Only 2% see Russia as such a threat, and 6% see China.
  • The Empire Economy Does Not Serve the Economy or People
    Thirty-five years from now, America’s official century of being top dog (1945-2045) will have come to an end; its time may, in fact, be running out right now. We are likely to begin to look ever more like a giant version of England at the end of its imperial run, as we come face-to-face with, if not necessarily to terms with, our aging infrastructure, declining international clout, and sagging economy.
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    We are the cavalry for which we are waiting.
    Posted in Authoritarianism   |   Tagged ,   |   Leave a comment   |   Email This Post Email This Post

    Tea Party Religion, Picthforks for the Wealthy, Women’s Economic Security, ALEC

    Suggested Reading Week Ending 7/20

    Posted in Authoritarianism   |   Leave a comment   |   Email This Post Email This Post