Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Why do we continue to believe proven liars?

Are You a True Believer?


There seem to be a lot of true believers out there, those nationalists who believe in “American Exceptionalism” and that America is or should be “superior” to other places or countries.
But because of the claim of being “exceptional,” or in fact divinely chosen as some people have suggested of America, the bottom line for the American Exceptionalism ideology has become its promotion of the authoritarianism and collectivism of the centralized State while actually opposing the very philosophies and principles upon which America was founded: individualism, independence, free markets and private property.
But I really believe there are now many disillusioned believers in American Exceptionalism who may very well be starting to question such an Exceptionalism ideology. And they are the people who would benefit the most from Lew Rockwell’s new bookAgainst the State: An Anarcho-Capitalist Manifesto.
In truth, the American Exceptionalism ideology is a rejection of equality under the law, and a rejection of the Golden Rule. After all, what has made America “exceptional” has been more than anything the promotion of the U.S. government having the power to invade and occupy other countries while never allowing other countries’ governments to occupy America’s territory with military bases and other foreign governmental apparatus.
It is as though the Exceptionalism believers think that Americans have some supreme right as a collective population and a single political unit to claim possession of or authority over foreign territories in the absence of voluntary contracts and peaceful agreements.
Millions of people seem to believe these myths and old wives tales, a result of cultural and government school brainwashing, in my view.
As libertarians, private property advocates and non-interventionists have argued, one reason it is almost impossible to get so many people to question such an ideology of moral relativism is that the Exceptionalists have accumulated much emotional investment in feeling they are superior to foreigners.
And I’m sure that many emotional people will shed tears when viewing Dinesh D’Souza’s new movie, America: Imagine the World Without Her.
But do the true believers ever notice any fallacies in their belief in “Exceptionalism”? For instance, some people claim that the United States of America is “supreme” over other nations, and America is “#1″ and so on. Yet, economic prosperity in America has plummeted thanks to the wars overseas and the unwinnable and Orwellian “war on terror,” the fascist regulations and bureaucratic intrusions into private labor and employment contracts, and now the monstrous Dodd-Frank and ObamaCare laws. The U.S. has dropped to #17 in the 2013 Economic Freedom of the World annual report.
The U.S. used to be #1 in the education category, but America’s educational ranking has also declined since the imposition of the federal Department of Education, now at 27 out of 34 countries in the 2012 OECD International Student Assessment. Common Core can only make things worse, no?
America’s global Press Freedom ranking has also severely declined to #46, according to Reporters Without Borders. Thanks to not just Bush and Obama but all the little sheeple in Congress cheering on the Patriot Act and all their other fascist restrictions in the “land of the free.”
So, what happened to “#1″? It seems that America is not so “supreme” or “exceptional,” is it?
Nevertheless, the true believers still have faith. Faith in the government, that is, regardless how incompetent, dangerous and criminal the agents and bureaucrats of the State have been.
Could these true believers be a part of what Eric Hoffer had in mind when he wrote his book, The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements? Who knows?
And there are those true believers in war, those who believe in the concept of war in the rationalized collective sense that people have been indoctrinated with since their earliest days. But war as we have known it in modern times really has not been what the Rulers say it is. “War” really is an excuse for government bureaucrats and their politically connected cronies to order the commission of criminal acts of physical aggression, murder, assault, destruction of property and theft of wealth against people in other territories. The term “war” is used to emotionally manipulate the masses to support such criminality and destruction, and their own enslavement in funding and laboring on behalf of the criminals.
Sadly, the true believers in the myth of “war” continue to show their blind faith in the pretense, and their obedience to the criminals who rule over them. The post-9/11 hysteria is a good example.
In reality, the 9/11 terrorists didn’t commit an “act of war,” as suggested by the U.S. government, they committed criminal acts. But so did those who ordered the aggressions against and destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan in response to those criminal acts — those also were criminal aggressions, rationalized as “wars.”
But to this day, many Americans are still true believers in the collectivists and statists’ official story of war and they blindly “support the troops,” especially with the emotionalism that has surrounded 9/11 since that day.
At the time of 9/11, many Americans did not consider the possibility that their Rulers were merely exploiting a crisis for the sake of expanded political power, expanded police power, and expanded confiscation of private wealth of the working and productive class. And no wonder America’s news media have such a low ranking, given that so many of the “journalists” merely repeated everything that government bureaucrats told them. No challenging of the bureaucrats’ assertions, hardly any actual objective investigating seemed to occur.
Within hours or even minutes after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, immediately the politicians in charge, the pundits and MSM stenographers knew that the responsible culprits were Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. And the Bush Administration and their spokespeople in the media repeatedly and ad nauseam declared, “Muslims” and “Iraq,” but not “Saudi  Arabia” or other factors which were later whitewashed by the 9/11 Commission. And they certainly didn’t provide any historical review of the previous 10 years, the 1991 U.S. government war on Iraq and subsequent bombings, sanctions and no-fly zones that caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians by the year 2000. Warnings throughout the 1990s of possible future terrorist attacks in America were declared by sensible people who understand cause and effect. And post-9/11 the subsequent wars and domestic police state were also easily predicted. Those who brought up the facts of history were called un-American, unpatriotic, heretics.
And typical of government bureaucrats, instead of ending terrible policies which caused the blowback of 9/11, they doubled down. And they got their support from the true believers thanks to relentless propaganda from the low-ranking mainstream media.
But I wonder if the true believers could ever consider the possibility that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were already being planned before 9/11, went forward despite unreliable intelligence, that there was no evidence  linking Osama bin Laden to those terrorist attacks (but there was evidence linking Osama bin Laden to the CIA), that bin Laden denied involvement in 9/11, and in fact prior to 9/11 the FBI were told by the Bush Administration to lay off the bin Laden family and Saudi connections to terrorism. And also we later learned that the Bush-Feith neocons weren’t really interested in al-Qaeda but in “regime change” throughout the Middle East and Asia. And it’s even possible that the “underwear bomber” was helped by the FBI to board flight 253 to Detroit with a visa the U.S. government had ordered not to be revoked despite his known ties to terrorism.
If you’re a true believer in the government and media stenographers’ official narratives of these various stories, then you probably also believed the government’s tales about Osama bin Laden being killed in 2011 despite witnesses claiming otherwise, and even though he probably had already died in 2001 or 2002. By 2001 he had already been suffering from kidney disease among other ailments. This LRC article notes how Osama bin Laden looked younger and younger in videos subsequent to 9/11 and how with all those ailments he couldn’t possibly have survived much after 2001. This 2002 CBS News report describes Osama bin Laden receiving kidney dialysis treatment in Pakistan the day before the 9/11 attacks, and this Guardian article states that he received treatment at a Dubai hospital two months earlier. And this article explains the U.S. government’s history of presenting fake Osama bin Laden tapes.
Well, we would rather not believe that our own government would lie to us and make things up. While it wasn’t revealed until 1997, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1962 had proposed Operation Northwoods, in which the Joint Chiefs wanted terrorist attacks to be committed by U.S. government agents disguised as Cubans. That proposal was obviously rejected by President John F. Kennedy.
While that proposal did not go forward, the U.S. government nevertheless has a notorious track record of deceit and wars for political gain.
President Lyndon Johnson and his Defense Secretary Robert McNamara used the Gulf of Tonkin incident to lie the American people into supporting sending American soldiers to die in the Vietnam War, and the Pentagon Papers showed that later on the U.S. government continued with the war anyway even though its officials believed the war to be unwinnable.
After the Vietnam War there was Watergate, and only a few years later President Ronald Reagan was secretly negotiating with terrorists and selling arms to Iran.
After the 1970s and ’80s, how could the American people have believed anything their “leaders” told them? After the Iran-Contra wheeling-and-dealing scandal, President George H.W. Bush started another war for no good reason, in Iraq in 1991,saying, “This will not be ‘another Vietnam’.”
Despite all that, the American Exceptionalism true believers would still rather not believe that our ruling bureaucrats would intentionally commit acts of aggression in other countries to provoke foreigners to rationalize further expanding the bureaucrats’ reach across our borders, and to rationalize their parasitic expansion of the State at the expense of the productive class.
Now, either the true believers in American Exceptionalism believe that America is “exceptional” the more centralized government power is projected from Washington — and look where that’s gotten us! — or they believe that America is exceptional by promoting life and liberty and setting an example of moral principles for others to follow. Now is the time to choose.
So as Lew Rockwell has shown in his book, Against the State: An Anarcho-Capitalist Manifesto, the State — or at least the central planning regime in Washington — can’t be reformed and instead must be dismantled. And the sooner the better.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Seems like it may be time for another declaration

Declaration of Independence In the 21st Century
Nomi Prins

While much of America marks July 4th with fireworks, barbeques and family gatherings, people should also take a moment to pause and consider the state of the very freedoms, liberties and rights that the Declaration of Independence was produced to acquire for the population.
At a mere 1302 words subject to editorially consent by its creators, the Declaration of Independence from British monarchical rule listed clear intentions of the-then 13 colonies that wanted to become the United States of America.
The preamble is more widely known than the rest of the document, but worth restating for its potency:
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
The ideology behind the document reflected a sense of spirituality, respect and commonality with God and Nature, but more than that, it underscored essentials that a government should provide the governed, and that the governed were entitled to receive, if said government was to remain appropriately responsible and humane to its citizens. 
The rest of the document delineates grievances against the King of Great Britain that prevented these new Americans from attaining “unalienable Rights” including to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It also expressed the idea that “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
The notion here was that if a government was not properly supporting the people it represented or was moreover plaguing them through various forms plundering, ravaging, or otherwise destroying lives, then, it should be abolished. The signers condemned the King for “repeated injuries and usurpations” that promoted “the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.”
Most of the 27 listed pieces of the evidence to these injustices related to demands for fair representation regarding the setting of legislation for the “public good”, as well as for justice, commerce, privacy, war and peace. They also included condemnation of the King for ”transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny.”
They concluded that “A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people” and did “solemnly publish and declare” the “United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved.”
The Declaration of Independence aimed to dissolve monarchical tyranny and associated destructive and aggressive military and financial forces. It aimed to instigate the establishment of a government and legislation that would administer and create policies so as to achieve the reasonable requirements of “Free and Independent States” and the individuals that dwelled in them. But, today's political-financial elite have resurrected a new brand of tyranny.
Tyranny comes in many forms, in particular through actions and decisions that disproportionately elevate the concerns of the most powerful at the expense of the public good or its longer-term stability, liberty or safety.
Today’s most select politicians float seamlessly between elected or appointed public office to the private sector where their personal fortunes and influence are endowed with extravagant speaking or advisory engagements and commensurate fees. 
Former president Bill Clinton having ascended to the presidency through a cadre of wealthy benefactors and the firms they represented, amassed millions of dollars after leaving the White House bestowing his charisma and connections to scores of corporate gatherings at top dollar prices. Hillary Clinton has been doing the same thing since leaving her Secretary of State Post. Barack Obama is poised to reap even greater gains from private sphere elitists that dictate his policies if not his rhetoric.  Vice President Joe Biden recently keynoted Goldman Sachs’ North American Energy Summit conference.
The spirit of the Declaration of Independence, even if some of its signers were richer than others,  reflected one of government for the public good, and not to augment the King’s desires for power or additional riches. Our current system is a long way from that particular ideology. Control of the fate of the population is more than ever in the hands of a select group of families, individuals and the corporate legacies they represent.
Today, the bix six banks hold 85% of the bank assets in the country and 96% of its derivatives activity. The Federal Reserve subsidizes banks with zero interest rate and bond buying policies. Five companies run most of publishing. Six media giants control 90% of  American media, in the process forming editorial content, notions of pop-culture and the dispersion of information to the population. Five health insurance companies dominate half of our nation’s health insurance policies (covering over 100 million people) and thus our access to the most cost-effective care. The approximately half a trillion-dollar federal defense budget favors five prime defense contractors.
More than half of the people in Congress are millionaires (with Democrats and Republicans about equally wealthy), placing them in the top 1% of the nation’s citizens from a wealth perspective.
Today’s tyranny of power lies also in the myth that we citizens enjoy equal participation or even representation in the political system within which the elected and unelected powerful operate, and through which they impact the rest of  us. But one vote of one individual does not equal the influence of one conversation with one major CEO or one golf-game with a blue-blood patriarch. Millions of votes don’t compensate for decades of tight relationships between the political and financial elite that collaboratively shaped domestic and international economic, military, national security and social policies.
Our country is much bigger in terms of population and land domination today than it was on July 4, 1776, but the concentration of power and wealth is smaller. Back then, we sought freedom from a King, now we must seek freedom from a plutocracy that operates to constantly consolidate its riches and influence to the detriment of broader economic equality and political representation.
In this latest course of human events, we must pursue independence from oligarchical control over our lives, liberties and pursuits of happiness.
We must pursue independence from corporate dominance over our individual economic destinies and collective opportunities to afford basic needs.
We must insist upon the separation of public office and private power crony alliances that increase rather than reduce inequality.
We must demand the reduction in defense budgets that foster international destruction and infringe upon individual liberties.
We must alter the fundamental trajectory of government-banking ties that dictate the flow of money backed by debt to the hands of those that speculate most dangerously with it.
In short, we must elevate the equality of humanity that pervaded the intent of the Declaration of Independence by moving away from the rapaciousness of old and modern tyranny that prevents it.
Nomi Prins is a renowned journalist, author and speaker. Her most recent book, All the Presidents' Bankers, a groundbreaking narrative about the relationships of presidents to key bankers over the past century will be out April 8, 2014. Her last book was a historical novel about the 1929 crash, Black Tuesday. Before that, she wrote the hard-hitting, acclaimed book, It Takes a Pillage: Behind the Bonuses, Bailouts, and Backroom Deals from Washington to Wall Street (Wiley, September, 2009/October 2010). She is also the author of Other People’s Money: The Corporate Mugging of America (The New Press, October 2004) which predicted the current financial crisis, and was chosen as a Best Book of 2004 by The Economist, Barron's and The Library Journal, and Jacked (Polipoint Press, Sept. 2006).
She has appeared on numerous TV programs: internationally for BBC, RtTV, and nationally for CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, CSPAN, Democracy Now, Fox and PBS. She has been featured on hundreds of radio shows globally including for CNNRadio, Marketplace, NPR, BBC, and Canadian Programming. She has featured in numerous documentaries shot by international production companies, alongside prominent thought-leaders, and Nobel Prize winners.
Her writing has been featured in The New York Times, Fortune, Newsday, Mother Jones, The Daily Beast, Newsweek, Truthdig, The Guardian UK, The Nation, Alternet, NY Daily News, LaVanguardia, and other publications.
Her engaging key-note speeches are thoughtfully tailored, and she has spoken at venues including the Purdue University/Sinai Forum, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Forum, Ohio State University Law School, Columbia University, Pepperdine Graudate School of Business, Environmental Grantmakers Association, NASS Spinal Surgeons Conference, and the Mexican Senate. 
She is a member of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) Federal Reserve Reform Advisory Council, and listed as one of America's TopWonks. 
Nomi received her BS in Mathematics from SUNY Purchase, and MS in Statistics from New York University, where she completed all of the required coursework for a PhD in Statistics. Before becoming a journalist, Nomi worked on Wall Street as a managing director at Goldman Sachs, ran the international analytics group as a senior managing director at Bear Stearns in London, and worked as a strategist at Lehman Brothers and an analyst at the Chase Manhattan Bank.
She is currenty a Senior Fellow at the non-partisan public policy think-tank,  Demos.

Perfect synopsis - 4th of July

My Fourth Of July Post
Posted on July 3, 2014 by Wirecutter

The Fourth has always been a special day for me. Anybody that knows me knows I’m not big on holidays. Christmas and Thanksgiving are a pain as far as preparations go and having to deal with family that doesn’t want anything to do with me the rest of the year, Easter – I’m surprised they still celebrate Easter seeing as it’s offensive to muslims and liberals, Veteran’s and Memorial day always rubbed me wrong because those are days for memories that should be thought of everyday, Labor Day is just an excuse for a barbecue, but the Fourth to me was always special because of the anniversary it represents.
Not anymore. The Fourth is nothing but a reminder of what a mess our Nation has become. Our Founding Fathers and the Citizens of that period sacrificed everything to ensure Freedom for their descendants and immigrants coming here to seek a better life for themselves and their families. There were provisions in the Constitution to prevent the new government from becoming what they were trying to get out from under. The Bill of Rights came later naming our basic human rights so that future generations wouldn’t pervert the Yellowed Paper in order to grant them powers that weren’t theirs to begin with.
Now I get up in the morning and read what the government wants me to read. If the press isn’t in lockstep with the president then they aren’t allowed in his press corp. If you file for something under the Freedom of Information Act, you see only what the government wants you to see, everything else is blacked out.
My weapons of self defense are government approved but they say if I don’t have a permit for them then they must stay at home, but at the same time the government says the police have no obligation or duty to protect me or mine.
My food has to be approved by the government. I can no longer drink raw milk or eat cheese that hasn’t been homogenized or pasteurized because evidently I don’t know what’s good for me. Even homeopathic medicines have to be government approved if I want to buy them instead of growing and harvesting them myself.
Our children are wards of the State. If they attend a public school, they learn what the government wants them to learn. The government has changed history to suit their views, not what really happened. You are not allowed to discipline your children with your own hand under threat of law. The government determines if your children are eating healthy lunches or not – not lunches from school but what Mom has packed for them.
We’re under constant surveillance. Every time I walk out of my house I have to assume I’m on somebody’s camera. Traffic cams, security cams, dash cams, you name it. My emails are being monitored by the government. My website is being monitored by the government. Every piece of mail – every piece – passing through the post office is photographed and recorded. Every phone call we make, every text we send is monitored by the NSA. Boxes on the side of the roads log in bluetooth information from passing cars to determine who’s in what car traveling down the road, where you got on the road and where you left it. Radar is monitoring our speed.
Our public lands are no longer public. The Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service determine what we can and cannot do on our own public lands and reserve the right to charge us fees for their use. If you resist you will be arrested, fined and possibly imprisoned.
Everything has to be registered. Our vehicles are registered, our animals are registered, our firearms are registered, our watercraft is registered. By the way, you can read that as taxed.
Our police have gone from being peace officers to law enforcement officers. They have the right by decree of government to search you simply by stating they believe you may have committed a crime. In some cities they can search you just because they want to. They burst into our homes, kill our dogs and search our personal belongings with only the simplest of causes. SWAT teams – a concept that was designed for hostage situations – conduct an average of 124 raids every day. Now they raid barber shops for unlicensed (read that untaxed) barbers, they’re raiding dairies suspected of selling raw milk and they’re raiding mom and pop marijuana growers.
With the NDAA and “Patriot” Act, we no longer have a right to an attorney or a Right to a speedy trial in front of a jury of our peers, in fact we no longer have a Right to a trial at all. Indefinite detention is the Plan of the Day at the pleasure of the government.
The tax man takes between 30 and 50% of our paychecks, most of it outright theft. We support, out of our paychecks and from the sweat of our brow, cash and food for those that won’t work, medical and child care for those same deadbeats, organizations through federal and state grants that we don’t morally support or agree with, wars that we may not agree with, and anything else that the government feels is necessary.
Any mention of God has been removed from our schools and government buildings even though this once-great Nation was founded on Christian principles. We can no longer pray before meetings nor can our children while at school. Our churches are regulated as far as mentioning politics. The entire “Separation of Church and State” has been twisted from not allowing the State to force a religion on us to not wanting to offend anybody by asserting our personal beliefs.
Our Nation is presently being overrun with illegal immigrants and our government who swore an oath to obey the Constitution and the Law of the Land is ignoring the law by not defending our borders. In fact, they’re encouraging these illegals to come by rewarding them with promises of a better life and citizenship. If you think this bothers you, think about the immigrants that came here legally and got pushed to the back of the line because of promises that our politicians have made.
Our politicians truly believe they are above us, forgetting that they serve us and not the other way around. We have politicians that carry firearms and surround themselves with bodyguards, yet they deny us the very basic human Right to defend ourselves by outlawing us commoners to own and carry firearms and other weapons. They break laws with impunity, yet imprison us for doing the same. They refuse to listen to the People’s desires and instead enact laws they want. We have a president that says we must conserve energy and cut down on pollutants, yet he and his family fly on Air Force One for their many vacations every year. Our fuel prices have been above $3 a gallon for a record breaking 1200 days because our president refuses to cut our dependency on foreign oil and use our own natural resources which would also provide much needed jobs for us. Our president bows to foreign Heads of State, showing them that he believes we are subservient to them. Our government has done everything it can to make sure that we, as a Nation, serves it instead of the other way around.
This is not the Nation our Founding Fathers wanted for us. I know that if they could see what we’ve turned into, they would be appalled. I know I am, and that’s the reason the Fourth holds no special place in my heart anymore.
-Kenny Lane (Wirecutter) Ceres, CA.
For the past week I’ve probably started a half dozen posts just for the one day we have to celebrate our Founding Father’s groundwork for a new, Free Nation under God. I trashed every one of them. Instead, I wrote this. I kept the language clean so that if anybody wanted to use it on their sites, they could without editing. As with anything you find here, it’s free for anybody to use. I only ask that it’s published in it’s entirety and that my name and link at the bottom be included. I WANT the government to know I wrote this.