Tuesday, November 30, 2010

As with the entire corrupt Republicrat elite, the policy differences between Bush and Obama are merely cosmetic

From:
Bush and Obama: Standards & Similarities

(The New American) -- by Charles Scaliger --

According to Alex Barker writing in a November 9 blog entry for Britain’s Financial Times, President George W. Bush once confided to several British officials, including then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown, “I’d have endorsed Obama if they’d asked me.”

Although former President Bush’s spokespeople have vehemently denied that the President ever said any such thing, Bush’s statement seems in line with what too few partisan Democrats and Republicans are willing to acknowledge: that differences between former President Bush and President Obama are mostly cosmetic.

It may be clichéd to observe that there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Republicans and Democrats, but most of us still nurture the fond hope that there is some difference between an allegedly conservative Republican President like George W. Bush and a liberal Democrat like Barack Obama. Certainly the two men differ strikingly in style. Where Bush was verbally awkward, Obama is the soul of eloquence (at least when his teleprompter is working). Where Bush cultivated a good ol’ boy persona, Obama exudes effete elitism. Where Bush typically played the hardliner against his political enemies, Obama has often appeared conciliatory. These, in addition to obvious contrasts in race and upbringing, are the sorts of differences that the media love to dwell on, as though the most crucial attributes of the President are a nimble intellect and a winning personality.

But whatever their various distinguishing traits in their private lives, our political leaders must be judged foremost by their actions in office. And in these, there has been, for several generations, little variation from one President to the next. Our most recent two Presidents are no exception; in matters of bread and butter policy, their similarities far outweigh their differences, while in matters of fundamental political principle, they differ not a whit.

As to the sort of policy decisions that adorn electoral platforms, consider how striking the similarities between Bush and Obama have proven to be, both during Bush’s presidency (when Obama was in the Senate and regularly voted in favor of Bush initiatives) and during the Obama presidency, when the President has mostly carried on the policies of his predecessor.

Make War, Not Love
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, likely to be remembered as President Bush’s most important undertakings, have been carried on under President Obama almost precisely as President Bush would have done, had he been elected to a third term in office. It was President Bush, after all, who envisaged winding down the war in Iraq sometime after 2010, rejecting out of hand any notion of an earlier withdrawal. Candidate Barack Obama conspicuously distanced himself from this policy, promising to end the war in Iraq soon after taking office — only to change his position once elected. We’re now more or less following the timeline for Iraq recommended by President Bush, which was cemented by a “Status of Forces Agreement,” and signed with the Iraqi government shortly before Bush left office. That agreement committed the United States to withdraw military forces by the end of 2011. Many thousands of American troops are still in the country, the gigantic new fortress-like U.S. embassy in Baghdad — the most expensive in the world — opened for business in January 2009, and the bombings and violence continue unabated in that tragic land. It should now be plain to all observers that, despite the much-ballyhooed withdrawal of combat troops, the U.S. occupation of Iraq, as emblemized by its Residency-esque new embassy, is to be as permanent as the British Raj in India.

In Afghanistan, meanwhile, President Obama’s surge is an obvious imitation of President Bush’s attempts to put down insurrectionists in occupied Iraq. And, as with Iraq, the infusion of tens of thousands more American troops in Afghanistan has led only to more violence and to higher American casualty rates...

Internationalist Notions
In an arena not so often noticed in these post-Cold War times, Obama has more or less stayed the course set by Bush in his relationship with Russia, continuing to press for the expansion of NATO into Russia’s sphere of influence even though — as Moscow often points out — NATO’s entire raison d’être, containment of the Soviet Union, is completely out of date.

Which raises an interesting question: Why, two decades after the implosion of the Soviet Union and the lifting of the Iron Curtain, does NATO still exist at all? The now-misnamed North Atlantic Treaty Organization has now become a sort of catch-all military alliance entrusted with projects — like the war in Afghanistan — seemingly far removed from its original mission. It has swallowed up nearly all of the former Eastern Bloc countries and not a few former Soviet republics, giving every appearance, as the Russians charge, of trying to perpetuate the Cold War encirclement and containment of Russia...

Finagling the Finances
Our bloated global military and unending wars aren’t the only thing sapping our national resources. Another more universally recognized peril is the towering national debt, which is now reckoned in the tens of trillions of dollars. The economic collapse of 2008-2009 led to trillions of dollars of new government spending under the guise of economic stimulus — spending that began, lest we forget, under President Bush, who pushed through a $700 billion stimulus (the bank bailout) that only made things worse. No sooner was Obama in office than he began pushing for a second, even more gargantuan stimulus package.

In tandem with these faux stimuli, both Presidents committed billions more to bailouts of select corporations, from financials to automotives, which were arbitrarily deemed “too big to fail.” The American public gnashed their teeth at such blatant favoritism, but the elites in Washington and Wall Street got exactly what they wanted, with Presidents Bush and Obama equally willing to extract the tributary payments from the taxpayers’ hides. Two years on, the economic and financial crisis shows no sign of abating, and the national debt continues to spiral further and further out of control. Not surprisingly, but rather ironically considering how Republicans and Democrats on the whole vilify each other, federal spending has increased about 10 percent per year under President Obama, and it increased at a nearly 10-percent rate under George W. Bush, as well.

As with foreign policy, the monetary and fiscal policy of the United States government has not varied for several generations. We are now beginning to reap the fruits of decades of improvident government spending propped up by the greatest effusion of funny money the world has ever seen...MORE...LINK
-------------------------

Wikileaks saves lives by ripping sheer incompetence and totalitarian agenda of U.S. Empire and its political hacks wide open

From:
The Big Dump

The secret history of US diplomacy revealed by WikiLeaks
(AntiWar.com) -- by Justin Raimondo --

It will take weeks to trawl through the 250,000-plus diplomatic cables released to the world by WikiLeaks, but one thing we know now: America’s relations with the rest of the world will never be the same.

They won’t be the same because the release speaks volumes about the vulnerability and sheer incompetence of a government that cannot even keep its own internal communications secure. That such an enormous cache has been made public – basically the secret history of American diplomacy for the past decade or so – mocks our inflated view of ourselves as the last superpower, or, as the French put it, the “hyper-power.” The hapless hyper-power is more like it.

There are endless fascinating details to be savored, such as the behavior of a member of the British royal family deemed “inappropriate” by American diplomats, and US-Israeli discussions of dual citizenship and its relation to technology theft, but – so far – the smokiest gun to come out of all this material appears to be held by Hillary Clinton.

The US Secretary of State’s intelligence-gathering diktat to our embassies worldwide, uncovered by WikiLeaks, has shocked the international community with its weird insistence on collecting biometric data – including DNA samples, iris scans and fingerprints – on foreign officials. In a missive sent to US embassies worldwide, Hillary ordered staff to obtain credit card information, computer passwords, personal encryption keys, and details of network upgrades. A part of this was a massive spying operation aimed at UN diplomats, including those of our Western allies, but there was also an order to gather similar dossiers on British MPs.

One has to ask – what is Washington intending to do with the biometrics of, say, UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon? Or some British MP? Why do we need the frequent flier number of Ghana’s UN ambassador?

That Hillary would risk embarrassment to the US of this magnitude – after all, the chances of being caught (as we were) are pretty high – in order to collect this degree of information, is little short of appalling. Yet it is hardly surprising – after all, we’re talking about Hillary Clinton here, the control freak par excellence.

The dossiers were to be collected by US embassy personnel and passed on to the CIA, the FBI, and other intelligence agencies, presumably to be entered into Siprnet, the “secret” US government database to which even newly-recruited low-level intelligence officers such as Bradley Manning – generally believed to be the source of the original leak – have ready access. So when Ban ki Moon’s credit card number and password is lifted by some low-level functionary, and used to pay for a wild weekend in Reno, we’ll know who to blame.

The Italian foreign minister called this “the 9/11 of diplomacy,” and it is indeed a massive strike at the credibility and gravitas of the US government, which is, today, an international laughingstock. Yet it has nothing of 9/11′s deadliness: contrary to the crybaby protests of US government officials, which absurdly claims that “countless” lives have been put in danger by WikiLeaks, the release of this information poses a threat to nothing but the dignity of US officials, who say one thing in public and quite another in private, and whose foibles are now exposed for all the world to see. As in the case of the Iraq war logs and the Afghan communiqués, not a single human being will perish on account of the latest leak...MORE...LINK

TSA controversy unmasks both Nation magazine and Democrat Party as "civil liberty" frauds and statist authoritarian thugs

From:
The Nation Posts a Narrow Apology. And Publishes Another Error.

(Reason) -- by Radley Balko --

Over the weekend, The Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel posted something that sort of resembled an apology for the whiff at investigative journalism Mark Ames and Yasha Levine attempted at the magazine's website last week. Ames and Levine, remember, wrote a meandering, conspiracy-mongering, wholly unsubstantiated article trying to link the anti-TSA backlash to the Koch family.* All the piece was missing was Glenn Beck's blackboard.

True contrition would have included apologizing to the The Nation's readers for the article's inexcusably shoddy journalism, to the many legitimately outraged activists and TSA victims that the article maligned as hired guns, and to the general public for providing a forum to an "everyone should spit on libertarians", "lets murder the people we disagree with" nut like Ames. Instead, vanden Heuvel delivered a heavily conditioned apology only to John Tyner, aka The Don't Touch My Junk Guy, while standing by the broader theme of the Ames/Levine smear. That theme, basically, is mindless D.C. tribalism.

The priorities on display here tell all. Both vanden Heuvel and Ames/Levine concede that the TSA's new policies are worrisome. But civil liberties violations and the encroaching security state take a backseat to a more important task: Smearing the people they're programmed to hate. It's very D.C. You stake out your position not by applying a consistent set of principles, but by making sure your position puts you in opposition to all the right people. (Kevin Drum of Mother Jones did the same thing, describing the TSA backlash as "catnip" for the right wing.)

Thing is, even if Ames/Levine had more convincingly (or at all convincingly) connected all the Koch conspiracy dots . . . so what? You'd think that the Kochs suddenly deciding to spend a bunch of money on the civil liberties side of libertarianism would be the sort of thing the The Nation would welcome. But that's assuming the The Nation is as concerned about protecting civil liberties as it is with protecting Barack Obama from criticism...MORE...LINK
-------------------------

Party organ Nation magazine's decline parallels fall of Democrat Party into corruption and betrayal

From:
Mutiny Is in Order at The Nation

(AntiWar.com) -- by John V. Walsh --

...the editorial policy of The Nation for a long time now has been slowly strangling the magazine. The underlying problem is that this once great journal has become a house organ for the Democratic Party. Nowhere is this more evident than in the editorial stance of The Nation on the wars in Iraq and Af-Pak, especially at the all-important moment to our politicians, election time. While the editorial problems at The Nation affect virtually every issue of importance to its readers, let’s simply focus on the question of war and empire to see the nature of the fault.

In 2004, The Nation endorsed John Kerry on its cover despite the fact that he ran as a pro-war candidate. Ralph Nader was also turned into a non-person in the pages of The Nation for daring to run again as an independent. The unappealing and egotistical Kerry may have lost the election because of his pro-war position, as the polls shifted against the war in October 2004 to a near majority, too late for Kerry to make the switch. Had he taken on the war and opposed it, that shift might have turned into a majority against the war and Kerry might have been the victor.

Then came 2006, when the Dems promised impeachment hearings against Bush for his wars should they win control of the House. The Nation urged us to vote Democratic, but when the hearings did not materialize, silence fell over the magazine. John Conyers was the Democrats’ poster boy for the promise of impeachment, but after the election he folded at once. The much ballyhooed impeachment hearings never materialized, and Conyers slunk away.

In 2008, The Nation backed Obama, the candidate of the most “progressive” wing of the Democratic Party and of “Progressive” Democrats of America. The endorsement was proffered despite the fact that Obama was promising to step up the war in Afghanistan. When Obama won and the wars continued and military spending increased above Bush levels, The Nation went limp in its criticism of empire. Yes, there were exhortations to Obama to do the right thing, implying that he wants to do so, a proposition so lame at this point as to be comic, but never attacks like the well-deserved salvos fired at Bush for the very same policies on war and civil liberties.

Principled voices on both Left and Right are necessary in this country if war and empire are to be defeated. The Democrats are a party of war, and the The Nation claims to be a journal of peace. The two cannot be reconciled. Regrettably, under the current editorial leadership at The Nation, party has been chosen over principle. When will the subscribers to The Nation and those of its writers who remain true to principle revolt and install new editorial leadership? On its present course The Nation is doomed to sink into irrelevance, eliminating it as a platform for the worthwhile voices that manage to survive on its pages. A mutiny is long overdue...MORE...LINK

Monday, November 29, 2010

Incontrovertible evidence WTC 7 was a controlled demolition...and yes, you can believe your own eyes

From:
WTC7 -- This is an Orange

(YouTube.com) -- by alawson911 --

Obama administration's Homeland Security team eyes invasive, TSA-style screenings for your daily commute

From:
Janet Napolitano Considers Advanced Screenings for Mass Transit

(The New American) -- by Raven Clabough --

Despite the public outcry against the virtual police state at airports, Department of Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano indicates that she would like to see similar procedures utilized on trains, ships, and other varieties of mass transportation. Ironically, Napolitano made these statements after admitting that terrorists will eventually find a way past the naked-body scanners and enhanced pat-down procedures.

Appearing on the Charlie Rose show on November 22, Napolitano said, “Terrorists are going to continue to probe the system and try to find a way through.”

She added, “I think the tighter we get on aviation, we have to also be thinking now about going on to mass transit or to trains or maritime. So what do we need to be doing to strengthen our protections there?”

Later, an official at the Department of Homeland Security clarified that the use of the naked-body scanners at other mass transit facilities was not under consideration, as such procedures “would not be feasible in a system with hundreds or thousands of access points.” But what if it were "feasible" in such a system? Indeed, it may not be "feasible" for the TSA to virtually strip search every person using mass transit at every access point — but why wouldn't the abusive agency, which unapologetically uses full-body scanners to view the naked bodies of travelers at airports, use the mobile version of the technology to see through the clothes of unsuspecting passersby at mass transit facilities and elsewhere. In fact, it would be hard to imagine the TSA not doing this, considering that the full-body scan technology has already gone mobile!

Napolitano’s announcements come at the height of criticism against the screening procedures used by the Transportation Security Administration at American airports, particularly the use of the naked-body scanners that penetrate an individual’s clothing and the enhanced pat-downs that under any other circumstance would be considered molestation under our laws.

The images taken by naked-body scanners are so graphic that they cannot be shown on television without being censored. In addition to the explicit pictures taken by the machines, the scanners also release radiation that many contend (contrary to TSA denials) presents a health risk, particularly for those who fly repeatedly.

The TSA and Department of Homeland Security claim that the screening procedures are necessary to prevent future terror attacks, but critics assert that terrorists will continue to find ways past security as innocent Americans are subjected to privacy violations prohibited by the Fourth Amendment.

Defending the screening procedures, Napolitano remarked, “I really want to say, look, let’s be realistic and use our common sense. This is not about the government itself. We all have a role to play in security.”

“And so I really regret some groups saying, ‘Well, we don’t want to be a part of that.’ I regret it because it’s not what we’re all about. What we’re all about is shared responsibility,” she added.

But why would Americans "want to be a part of that"? Why would they want to accept the notion that every person should be viewed as a terror suspect — and therefore subjected to naked-body machines and groping — by their own government? And why wouldn't a government that fears its own citizens be feared by its citizens? Indeed, if the purpose is to provide legitimate security without sacrificing liberty in the process, why not try freedom? Why not end the TSA and its regulations so that the airlines and airports and others in the transportation sector can decide the best ways to protect their own passengers, employees, and property?..MORE...LINK
-------------------------

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Zionism has emerged as an entire ideological world view with massive international AND domestic repercussions; Are you America first, or Israel first?

From:
Obama Mash-up: Don't Touch My Junk

(The Washington Note) -- by Steve Clemons --

...On a more serious front, read Dana Milbank's logic knock on the heads of a few leading allegedly fiscally conservative Republicans who have been pining for the level of security that Israel applies at its airports. Milbank stings them with the hard dollar reality that what they want would cost more than $40 billion a year:
"What the Israelis do - and I've flown on El Al about a dozen times to Israel - what they do is the way it ought to be done," says likely Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

"I traveled to Israel, and I tell you what," says Tea Party darling Allen West, congressman-elect from Florida. "They have very good procedures and you don't have to go through all of these very draconian practices."

Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), making the rounds of cable TV, says the federal government "flubbed the dub" because "they didn't take the Israeli model." Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Tea Party godfather, praised the "Israeli model" during a Senate hearing, and Fox News's Sean Hannity proclaimed: "We have a paradigm, a model that is enormously successful, and that's Israel."

The Israeli model for airport screening has, without a doubt, been successful. But do these guys have any idea what they are proposing? Replicating the Israeli model in the United States would easily cost $40 billion a year - and possibly many times that. That would wind up being more expensive than supposed big-government boondoggles such as the Troubled Assets Relief Program and the auto bailout, and it would wipe out Republican promises to cut spending.
Milbank also cites Foreign Policy's Annie Lowrey who calculated that "if each passenger flying through a U.S. airport were subjected to 10 minutes of questioning by a guard, we would need 3 million full-time guards, at a cost of more than $150 billion a year."

And as Harvard scholar and Foreign Policy blogger Stephen Walt wrote to me this morning:

Am I the only person who sees the irony in the recommendation that the US adopt the Israeli approach to airline security? The proper question to ask is: why do we suddenly need greater airport security?

Could it be because we've gradually adopted Israel's approach to the Middle East too?
...LINK

Chris Moore comments:

There's really no debating or reasoning with ideologues, and Zionist ideologues are running America right now from both the Left and Right, Jew and Gentile alike. Israel is the lodestar for the Zionist ideology, and not only can it do no wrong, but it also makes no mistakes and does everything right. Questioning Zionist conventional wisdom for the current corrupt U.S. Establishment would be akin to a Comintern going against Moscow in the 30’s.

Zionism is the ideological battle of our times, and Americans need to come to terms with Israel first Zionism as an entire ideological construct revolving around an agenda of forced adherence to the concept of Jewish Zionist choseness or exceptionalism, blind support for a statist-corporatist US-Israel leviathan and its works, and utilizing perpetual war and a coercive national security state as the cement that "unites" the country.

Zionism is no longer simply a foreign policy question; it's an entire world view with repercussions from the international level right down to the gestating national security state at your local airport that will soon be right outside your front door.

Americans need to grow up and come to terms with this reality, and choose their side: Israel first or America first.

More interested in gay rights and open borders, and with plenty in common with neocons, smug and vain left-liberals make terrible anti-war partners

From:
Is a Left-Right Antiwar Coalition Possible?

(TakiMag.com) -- by Paul Gottfried --

In The American Conservative’s September issue, spirited libertarian journalist and antiwar.com editor Justin Raimondo offers his opinions about how Obama lost the left. Raimondo says much of Obama’s support among journalists and intellectuals came from opponents of the Bush Administration’s military adventures. In the 2008 Democratic primaries, Obama rode his unyielding opposition to the Iraq War to national visibility, distinguishing himself from rival Hillary Clinton as someone who had consistently voted against war appropriations.

But since becoming president, Obama has traded his antiwar hat for a military one, backing a heightened American military presence in Afghanistan. While this has brought Obama limited support from neoconservative journalists and hawkish Republicans, it has cost him dearly among his hardcore leftist backers. Democrats such as Russ Feingold and Howard Dean are now looking for ways to turn their antiwar stance into a national political issue.

Allegedly this stance coincides with what the old right and libertarians have been saying for years. Ron Paul’s presidential candidacy represented an antimilitarism similar to what is emerging on the anti-Obama left. Given these shared interests, Raimondo concludes it would be natural for the antimilitarists of right and left to ally against the Obamaites and neoconservative Republicans. Such an apparently unlikely union does have precedents. It can draw on the antiwar, isolationist alliances of right and left that took place in the 1930s and during the Vietnam War, although briefly and less effectively. Why couldn’t the two sides, asks Justin, unite again in an antiwar front?

Here’s why I think such a project is pie in the sky. There is no evidence that a sizable segment of Obama’s constituency is deserting him because of American military involvement in Afghanistan. In fact, most of the Democrats’ antiwar propaganda during the Bush Administration was partisan hot air that greatly diminished once the Democrats seized power. With few exceptions, the Democrats did not entirely condemn Bush’s military involvement—only the unnecessary war in Iraq as opposed to the supposedly necessary one in Afghanistan...

The antiwar right already tried forming a left-right coalition throughout the Bush years, with very meager results. Despite the strenuous efforts of TAC and other organs of the non-neocon right to encourage bridge-building with the antiwar left, this outreach never amounted to a hill of beans. This lack of results is all the more striking inasmuch as TACrepeatedly invited left-wing opponents of the Bush presidency to write for it. The magazine often published material that looked as if it were coming from the far left. But the left continued to keep its distance from TAC, and the media in general rarely mentioned anyone on the right (except Pat Buchanan) as a noteworthy opponent of the war.

There are two explanations for this. One, the non-neocon right’s firepower is so limited that its adherents cannot possibly win a place in the media-nurtured political conversation. You can only get into this gab session with megabucks and a communications system that Justin and his allies don’t have. Two, there is no real incentive for the antiwar left to cut a deal with a powerless right, particularly if that right is even farther removed from the left on social questions than the neocon journalists and Republicans. It is in the left’s interest to depict the right as fascist warmongers while confining the political dialogue to a relatively harmless opposition, even if that opposition is eager to pursue foreign wars. Note that much of the antiwar right is not anarcho-libertarian like Justin or painfully accommodationist toward possible leftist allies like TAC was during the Bush years.

There is a hard right that has also been antiwar for quintessentially right-wing reasons, namely that American military adventures and a transformed American military are identified with a leftist political culture. One needn’t look far to notice the presence of this true right among the anti-interventionists. If I were a Jewish liberal working for The New York Times, I’d want nothing to do with such obvious “extremists.” I would prefer debating immigration-friendly, pro-gay rights, and pro-Israeli “conservatives” David Frum and Jonah Goldberg rather than Pat Buchanan, Taki, or Peter Brimelow. The war is not as critical an issue for most of the Democratic left as, say, gay rights or amnesty for illegals...MORE...LINK
-------------------------
Vain lefties and metrosexual liberals can't be bothered with opposing war against anyone who doesn't subscribe to their narcissistic, "progressive" world view -- especially if the war is against "medieval" Muslims who don't even shave their chests

Disturbed Somali-American teenager picked for this year's holiday season, cardboard Islamic terrorist villain, as annually coordinated by the FBI

From:
Clueless Patsy Set-up by FBI in Christmas Tree Bombing Plot

(Infowars.com) -- by Kurt Nimmo --

They not only hate us for our freedom, but also for our Christmas trees – or at least that’s what the FBI and cops in Oregon would have you believe.

“The FBI thwarted an attempted terrorist bombing in Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square before the city’s annual tree-lighting Friday night, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon,” The Oregonian reports. “A Corvallis man, thinking he was going to ignite a bomb, drove a van to the corner of the square at Southwest Yamhill Street and Sixth Avenue and attempted to detonate it.”

Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, a Somali-born U.S. citizen, had a little help from the FBI. “The arrest was the culmination of a long-term undercover operation, during which Mohamud had been monitored for months as his alleged bomb plot developed.”

In a repeat of a now familiar pattern, the FBI told Mohamud they were building the bomb. They went so far as to travel to a remote spot in Lincoln County, Oregon, where a bomb concealed in a backpack was detonated as a trial run for the upcoming Christmas tree attack. The FBI eagerly assisted their clueless mark when he decided to shoot a video explaining his half-witted act.

Mohamud and the FBI operative agreed to meet in Portland where Mohamud allegedly told the FBI operative that he had written articles that were published in Jihad Recollections, an online magazine that advocated holy war against American infidels and assorted Christmas revelers.

Mr. Mohmud’s mentally disturbed fantasy fueled by the FBI is reminiscent of the Christmas Day non-bombing attributed to Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab who it is said planned to take down an airliner over Detroit in spectacular fashion by igniting his underwear...

Mohamud was clueless right up until the moment he pressed a button on his cell phone. He thought this would blow up the Portland Christmas tree and kill infidels, but instead it brought in the cops. “Yelling ‘Allahu Akbar!’ – Arabic for ‘God is great!’ — Mohamud tried to kick agents and police after he was taken into custody, according to prosecutors,” reports the Independent Online.

“Mohamud, a naturalized US citizen living in Corvallis, was charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. A court appearance was set for Monday. Few details were available about him late Friday.”

“The threat was very real,” said Arthur Balizan, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon. “Our investigation shows that Mohamud was absolutely committed to carrying out an attack on a very grand scale.”

There is no shortage of psycho nut cases absolutely committed to maiming and killing large numbers of people. Very few of them, however, are particularly useful for a government determined to keep the terrorist swindle going for as long as possible. The Global War On Terror mill needs a constant stream of patsies and dim wits to keep the charade in motion.

It takes a special kind of patsy. One capable of actually deluding himself into believing there are jihadists in Pakistan who believe blowing up a Christmas tree makes logistical sense in the war against the Great Satan. One stupid enough to believe FBI agents are Islamic terrorists and the chimera known as al-Qaeda is actually a global terror organization and not a ruse named after a Mujahideen database...MORE...LINK
-------------------------

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Corrupt elites scared to death that their Fed-centered, Keynesian scam is coming to an end

From:
The Fed: Defending the Indefensible

(The New American) -- by Bob Adelmann --

...Although the credibility of the Fed has been questioned for years in some quarters, the first major crack in the wall took place in May, 2009, when Elizabeth Coleman, inspector general of the Federal Reserve, was directly and repeatedly questioned about the Fed’s actions by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.). Coleman’s inability to articulate any kind of explanation to Grayson’s persistent probing has been viewed more than a million times on YouTube and ended with Grayson’s acid conclusion: “I am shocked to find out that nobody at the Federal Reserve is keeping track of anything!”

As reported by the Daily Bell at the time, “There is no substantive, regularized way for the Fed to recover from the battering [it took and] is taking in hearings, in blogs, and on YouTube every day … the confrontation between Grayson and Coleman will come to be seen (in our humble opinion) as a watershed moment.”

The Daily Bell rejoiced that “there comes a time when the power of the leaders begins to be questioned by the masses of the led.” And that time is now.

The gathering momentum of Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) bill to audit the Fed, which garnered more than 300 supporters in a Democratic-controlled House was temporarily sidetracked courtesy of Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), but is certain to be raised after the first of the year when Paul assumes chairmanship of the House’s Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology subcommittee. Paul said that that committee in the past just dithered and concerned itself primarily with collectible coins and such but never had the fortitude to push the Fed for more disclosure. Even that initial ripple in the waters of discontent resulted in the “Open Letter to Congress and the Executive Branch,” signed by a host of Keynesian economists and other supporters of the Fed, defending the Fed and declaring that “the independence of U.S. monetary policy is at risk,” and that the Fed was the “foundation of U.S. economic stability.” This letter was apparently published in good faith and with a straight face.

And just a year ago Time magazine named current Fed chairman Ben Bernanke as “Man of the Year” with a long-winded congratulatory piece about the chairman’s response to the challenges of the Great Recession. The article failed to mention, of course, that the prime cause of the Great Recession was the same cause of the Great Depression — expansion of the money supply by the Fed — and also failed to mention that Bernanke, for all of his touted knowledge about the failings of the Fed during the 1930s, failed to see the Great Recession coming. In summarizing that article, Charles Scaliger said, “The most that can be said of the Federal Reserve … is that it has presided … over the orderly debasement of the U.S. dollar and the gradual destruction of the U.S. economy.”

Mishkin’s surprise at the harshness of the Fed’s critics reflected a disconnect from reality. With the growth of the Internet and increased numbers of bloggers and websites (such as this one), knowledge and understanding of the Fed’s pervasive role in undermining the greatest economic system in world history is in full view, and there is little that the Fed itself or its defenders can do about it. The elites themselves are in a quandary. For instance, Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) referred to the Internet as a “fearsome, awesome problem,” while insider Zbigniew Brzezinski confirmed that “For the first time in all of human history, mankind is politically awakened. That’s a total new reality [for us].”...MORE...LINK

Where are all these mythical terrorists that the federal government keeps using as the excuse to turn American society upside down?

From:
TSA Gestapo Empire

(VDare.com) -- by Paul Craig Roberts --

It doesn’t take a bureaucrat long to create an empire. John Pistole, the FBI agent who took over the Transportation Security Administration on July 1 told USA Today 16 days later that protecting trains and subways from terrorist attacks will be as high a priority for him as air travel.

It is difficult to imagine New Yorkers being porno-screened and sexually groped on crowed subway platforms or showing up an hour or two in advance for clearance for a 15 minute subway ride, but once bureaucrats get the bit in their teeth they take absurdity to its logical conclusion. Buses will be next, although it is even more difficult to imagine open air bus stops turned into security zones with screeners and gropers inspecting passengers before they board.

Will taxi passengers be next? In those Muslim lands whose citizens the US government has been slaughtering for years, favorite weapons for retaliating against the Americans are car and truck bombs. How long before Pistole announces that the TSA Gestapo is setting up roadblocks on city streets, highways and interstates to check cars for bombs?

That 15 minute trip to the grocery store then becomes an all day affair.

Indeed, it has already begun. Last September agents from Homeland Security, TSA, and the US Department of Transportation, assisted by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, conducted a counter-terrorism operation on busy Interstate 20 just west of Atlanta, Georgia. Designated VIPER (Visible Inter-mobile Prevention and Response), the operation required all trucks to stop to be screened for bombs. Federal agents used dogs, screening devices, and a large drive-through bomb detection machine. Imagine what the delays did to delivery schedules and truckers’ bottom lines.

There are also news reports of federal trucks equipped with backscatter X-ray devices that secretly scan cars and pedestrians.

With such expensive counter-terrorism activities, both in terms of the hard-pressed taxpayers’ money and civil liberties, one would think that bombs were going off all over America. But, of course, they aren’t. There has not been a successful terrorist act since 9/11, and thousands of independent experts doubt the government’s explanation of that event.

Subsequent domestic terrorist events have turned out to be FBI sting operations in which FBI agents organize not-so-bright disaffected members of society and lead them into displaying interest in participating in a terrorist act. Once the FBI agent, pretending to be a terrorist, succeeds in prompting all the right words to be said and captured on his hidden recorder, the "terrorists" are arrested and the "plot" exposed.

The very fact that the FBI has to orchestrate fake terrorism proves the absence of real terrorists.

If Americans were more thoughtful and less gullible, they might wonder why all the emphasis on transportation when there are so many soft targets. Shopping centers, for example. If there were enough terrorists in America to justify the existence of Homeland Security, bombs would be going off round the clock in shopping malls in every state. The effect would be far more terrifying than blowing up an airliner.

Indeed, if terrorists want to attack air travelers, they never need to board an airplane.

All they need to do is to join the throngs of passengers waiting to go through the TSA scanners and set off their bombs. The TSA has conveniently assembled the targets.

The final proof that there are no terrorists is that not a single neoconservative or government official responsible for the Bush regime’s invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and the Obama regime’s slaughters of Pakistanis, Yemenis, and Somalians has been assassinated. None of these Americans who are responsible for lies, deceptions, and invasions that have destroyed the lives of countless numbers of Muslims have any security protection. If Muslims were capable of pulling off 9/11, they are certainly capable of assassinating Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Libby, Condi Rice, Kristol, Bolton, Goldberg, and scores of others during the same hour of the same day.

I am not advocating that terrorists assassinate anyone. I am just making the point that if the US was as overrun with terrorists as empire-building bureaucrats pretend, we would definitely be experiencing dramatic terrorist acts. The argument is not believable that a government that was incapable of preventing 9/11 is so all-knowing that it can prevent assassination of unprotected neocons and shopping malls from being bombed...MORE...LINK
-------------------------

Centralizing Democrats and their monopolistic, Big Media oligarch partners seek to censor the Internet for ideology and profit

From:
$335,906 Is The Price Of The Constitution

(Eurasia Review) -- by Daniel Greenfield --

When Senators give speeches, they will say that you can't put a price on freedom. But as it turns out you can. You can actually put an exact dollar amount on the Constitution. And that amount is $335,906.

That's the amount that Hollywood gave Senator Patrick Leahy. And in return, Leahy gave them COICA. That's not the same of some new disease, it's the abbreviation for Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, the biggest and more comprehensive internet censorship proposal in the history of this country. It would give Attorney General Eric Holder the power to create a blacklist of websites and force all companies that do business in the United States to comply with that blacklist.

Ever since the Clinton Administration's Communications Decency Act, Democrats have been obsessed with censoring the internet. And that drive has kicked into high gear again. COICA is the most ambitious plan to enact government control over freedom of expression on the internet since the days of the CDA.

While this bill was crafted on behalf of the entertainment industry, the applications go far beyond that. Websites that feature collections of articles, such as FreeRepublic or DemocraticUnderground could easily be targeted under the terms of COICA. And so could many blogs, which list entire articles or cite extensively from them. Any site or blog that embeds videos or images which are not authorized by the copyright holder could be similarly targeted. And with the Attorney General of a highly politicized administration wielding the power to preemptively shutter and blacklist entire websites, it would be all too easy for COICA to be used as a club for suppressing dissent...

COICA is a unconstitutional bailout of our freedoms and internet civil rights for a specific industry that has troubling implications for everyone. And it's a demonstration of just how dangerous the intersection of corporate lobbyists and politicians can be. Some conservatives believe that supporting capitalism means blindly endorsing any corporate action. It does not. When corporations subvert public representation and harness government force for their own benefit, then they act like a part of the government.

Leahy is a perfect example, a Senator from Vermont, not exactly a major hub of the entertainment industry, with deep ties on the other coast. Leahy's ties to big Hollywood studios like Time Warner go so ridiculously deep that he actually got a part in the last Batman movie and had the movie premiere at his own fundraising event back in Vermont. Carrying water for Hollywood has nothing to do with the needs of Vermont's citizens. But this is what happens when corporations can buy themselves their own senators.

Leahy picked up that infamous 335,906 from TV and movie industry donors and PAC's. He was the third largest recipient of entertainment industry money in the Senate. The top recipient, Senator Schumer is a COICA cosponsor. So is the 5th top recipient, Senator Gillibrand, Schumer's own trojan horse. And there's plenty of overlap between top donors and cosponsors on the rest of this list. This isn't unusual. This is how Washington D.C. does business all the time. And that's the scary part.

This isn't just about the entertainment industry. It's about how the intersection of money and power, routed through a centralized federal government can and does lead to tyranny. When politicians are given a legislative framework that allows them to exercise virtually unlimited powers, without regard to the United States Constitution or individual freedoms or the public will, and then allowed to put that power at the service of their biggest donors, the end result is not democracy, but oligarchy. And COICA is another product of that oligarchy...MORE...LINK
------------------------

Friday, November 26, 2010

Faux-conservative Fox News circles the wagons around neocon con artists trying to hijack American conservatism and libertarian populism

From:
Faux Conservatism

(The New American) -- by William F. Jasper --

Item: In the November 14 segment of its five-part series The Right All Along: The Rise, Fall and Future of Conservatism, hosted by Brit Hume, Fox News leveled a sustained blast at The John Birch Society, laying accolades on the late William F. Buckley for “expelling” the Birchers from the conservative movement.

Fox narrator Brit Hume informed viewers: “In the mid 1960s the loudest anti-communist voice in American belonged to Robert Welch, the candy mogul who invented the Sugar Daddy and who started the John Birch Society in 1958.” But, averred Hume, “the organization soon became labeled as kooks when Welch claimed that the U.S. was dominated by a communist conspiracy and that President Eisenhower was actually abetting it.”

The program then featured a video clip of William F. Buckley stating: “The John Birch Society was only, quote, conservative, in the sense that it was anti-communist, but it did the best that Mr. Welch could to discredit Conservatism.” Hume notes that in October of 1965, “Buckley dedicated an entire issue of his magazine [National Review] to savaging Welch and his followers.” Then, in succession, the program provided a series of bludgeons by Buckley’s fellow attack dogs. One of them, William Rusher, former publisher of National Review and sidekick of Buckley, states: “I think that Bill was right, that in the long run The John Birch Society was a foreign substance that simply had to be extruded from healthy conservatism.”

After more of the same from Rich Lowry, Norman Podhoretz, and others, narrator Hume opined: “By pruning the branches of conservatism, Buckley eventually helped the tree grow fuller.”

Correction: While Lowry, Rusher, Podhoretz, Hume, and company are positioning themselves as the new commanders of a seemingly ascendant conservative wave, the recent Republican landslide is anything but an affirmation of the philosophy and policies they have championed. In fact, the historic sea-change in this November’s congressional elections was a clear rejection not only of the Big Government policies of Obama and the Democrats, but also, in large measure, a continuing repudiation of the Big Government policies of George W. Bush and the neoconservatives roosting at Fox and National Review. Genuinely conservative Republicans, as well as Tea Partiers, Libertarians, and Independents of varied hues, have come to realize that George W. and his GOP enablers in Congress are but the latest in a long line of Republicans stretching back to Eisenhower and Nixon who talked the talk but never walked the walk when it came to fulfilling GOP campaign pledges and party platforms concerning rolling back the statist accretions that have been plaguing our Republic, eroding our freedoms, and destroying our prosperity since (at least) FDR’s New Deal. Through the past half century, Buckley and National Review have been the chief enablers of this “revolution within the form” inside the Republican Party and the establishment-approved “conservative movement.”

In one of his earliest public essays, “A Young Republican’s View,” Buckley proffered a very unconservative (even anti-conservative) argument. Since America and the West were faced with a dire existential threat from the Soviet Union and communism, said Buckley, “We have to accept Big Government for the duration — for neither an offensive nor a defensive war can be waged … except through the instrument of a totalitarian bureaucracy within our shores.”

In order to fight communist totalitarianism, according to Buckley, one must accept Big Government and adopt totalitarian ways. Which is precisely what Arthur Schlesinger and other members of FDR’s brain trust and the enlightened dons of Harvard and the New York Times had been arguing, albeit in a “liberal” idiom to liberal-Left audiences. This, of course, was anathema to the “Old Right” Conservatives as represented by Senators Robert Taft, Pat McCarran, and Joseph McCarthy, as well as intellectual pillars such as John T. Flynn, Garet Garret, Frank Chodorov, and Robert Welch.

Robert Welch was indeed an anti-communist, but contrary to Buckley’s statement above, that wasn’t the only attribute that qualified him as a conservative. Welch was more comfortable with the label “Americanist,” rather than “conservative,” since the conservative-liberal dichotomy was, and is, a nebulous and relative one that is constantly changing. Welch was passionately interested in conserving the United States Constitution, the American free enterprise system, morality, and, as he put it, “Christian-style civilization.”

He recognized that the external Soviet menace was not the only — or even the chief — existential threat to America; immorality, irresponsibility, and the steady promotion of Big Government — whether under the label of communism, socialism, fascism, New Dealism, etc. — presented perils as great as the Red Army or Soviet missiles.

Although Robert Welch has been the recipient of the most vicious and sustained attack from Buckley’s Politburo at National Review, other conservatives, including many of that magazine’s former top-drawer writers and editors — L. Brent Bozell, Ayn Rand, Medford Evans, M.E. Bradford, Sam Francis, Joseph Sobran, Paul Gottfried, Peter Brimelow, John O’Sullivan, Pat Buchanan, and Murray Rothbard — were similarly purged. They were replaced by neoconservatives (some of whom have migrated to the far liberal-Left) such as Irving Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, Midge Decter, Peter Rodman, Garry Wills, Michael Lind, Joan Didion, William Bennett, Karl Rove, Paul Gigot, Richard Lowry, Kate O’Beirne, Jonah Goldberg, and Ramesh Ponnuru.

For this service, as well as his support for key liberal positions and institutions (gay rights, “pro-choice” on abortion, gun control, the United Nations, the Federal Reserve, NAFTA, WTO, UN treaties, etc.), Buckley became the favorite “conservative” of the New York Times and the liberal-Left establishment in America. The Buckleyite neocons at Fox and National Review continue to serve in the same capacity...LINK

Insane, neoconned, post-Christian America: Government "anti-terrorism" workers jerking off in airports under auspices of "national security"

From:
TSA Jack Booted Thug Jerks Off In Front Of Kids

(Dailysquib.co.uk) --

DENVER -- A full body scanner operator was caught masturbating during a scanning session by airport staff late Tuesday.

Airport officials at Denver International airport were on high alert yesterday when a full body scanner operator was caught masturbating in his booth as a team of High School netball players went through the scanner.

"The young ladies were going through the scanner one by one, and every time one went through, this guys face was getting redder and redder. His hand was moving and then he started sweating. He was then seen doing his 'O' face. That's when the security dragged him out of his booth and cuffed him. He had his pants round his ankles and everybody was really disgusted," Jeb Rather, a passenger on a flight to New York told CBS news.

The controversial scanners display every minute detail of a person's body and have been called intrusive by privacy campaigners. Body scanners penetrate clothing to provide a highly detailed image so accurate that critics have likened it to a virtual porn shoot. Technologies vary, with millimeter wave systems capturing highly detailed pictures of genitals, and backscatter X-ray machines able to show precise anatomical detail. The U.S. government likes the idea because body scanners can detect concealed weapons better than traditional magnetometers.

"What do you want to do, get blown up by a goddamn Arab at 30,000 feet or we get to see your private parts? It's up to you, the ball's in your park," head of the TSA's scanning department, Rodney Schroeder, told CNN...MORE...LINK

Siding with government bullies, Statist-authoritarian lefties at The Nation resort to gutter innuendo to smear libertarians as corporatists

From:
Journalism Interrupted: The Nation Fail

(AntiWar.com) -- by Larisa Alexandrovna --

The Nation has been a true and trusted friend of mine for years. I know the editors and many of the writers and have nothing but respect for their work. Most importantly, I have great respect for their consistent adherence to the highest journalistic standards.

Yesterday, however, The Nation ran a piece that is nothing short of character assassination, serving no newsworthy purpose, and rightfully criticized by others as a barely disguised political hit-piece.

The article, entitled "TSAstroturf: The Washington Lobbyists and Koch-Funded Libertarians Behind the TSA Scandal" by Mark Ames and Yasha Levine essentially implies that the entire libertarian movement is nothing more than a front for the billionaire Koch brothers and their corporatist allies – and by extension that libertarian protesters and groping victims are all hired pawns representing these interests. But do Ames and Levine implicate the American Civil Liberties Union in this project as well? After all, the David and Charles Koch each donated $10 million to the ACLU, an organization which is also opposing the TSA’s nude scanners and full body frisks.

This article offers nothing in the way of proof for its allegations, but provides plenty of speculation and bizarre claims of guilt-by-association, beginning with the very first paragraph:
Does anyone else sense something strange is going on with the apparently spontaneous revolt against the TSA? This past week, the media turned an "ordinary guy," 31-year-old Californian John Tyner, who blogs under the pseudonym "Johnny Edge," into a national hero after he posted a cell phone video of himself defending his liberty against the evil government oppressors in charge of airport security.
The writers fail to grasp something basic about society it seems. When people are outraged, they tend to be galvanized very quickly. Many people who respects individual rights, regardless of political leanings, oppose the TSA’s new and extremely invasive security policies.

Consider for a moment what the issue is. The government of "we the people" demanded that the "we" that it is supposed to represent give up our rights to our most sacrosanct property – our bodies – in order to have free passage across this supposed free nation.

In essence, my ability to travel in the United States of America is contingent on me allowing a government agent to either see me naked or feel me up. This outrages me. This outrages everyone I know. The level of invasiveness is the galvanizing factor. So no, I don’t find it "strange" that there was a "spontaneous revolt against the TSA." I would find it strange if there was instead the sound of crickets in response to such clear and obscene acts of government overreach.

Ames and Levine are suspicious, but suspicions alone do not make for good journalism. Moreover, unfounded and unsupported suspicions – like those on display in this piece – do not even make for a good op-ed.

They continue:
While this issue is certainly important – and offensive – to Americans, we are nonetheless skeptical about how and why this story turned into a national movement. In fact, this whole campaign feels a bit like déjà-vu: As the first reporters to expose the Tea Party as an Astroturf PR campaign funded by FreedomWorks and Koch-related front groups back in February, 2009, we see many of the same elements driving the current "rebellion" against the TSA: Koch-related libertarians, Washington lobbyists and PR operatives posing as "ordinary citizens," and suspicious fake-grassroots outrage relentlessly promoted in the same old right-wing echo chamber.
Perhaps Ames and Levine took a dinner discussion they were having and simply assumed that it would make for good journalism. Not so. They ask and answer their own question and yet continue to express skepticism. They note that "the [TSA] issue" is "offensive to Americans" and then ask "how and why this story turned into a national movement" all in the same sentence...MORE...LINK
--------------------------
The sick liberal Nation magazine loves statist authoritarians like Joseph Stalin and TSA government thugs and molesters

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Methodically constructing the state as a firewall between Christianity and man, liberalism has rendered society fatally materialistic, schizophrenic

From:
An Epitome of Liberalism

(The American Conservative) -- by Daniel McCarthy --

I’ve lately been reading Pierre Manent’s Intellectual History of Liberalism, a brief but dazzling book that I highly recommend — it’s the clearest and most persuasive account of the “Straussian” interpretation of liberalism that I’ve come across, with Manent’s Thomistic Catholicism compensating for the more dubious elements of Strauss. A 125-page book that covers Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Constant, Guizot, and Tocqueville might seem like a cursory treatment, but Manent says a great deal in those pages.

He begins with the attempt, apparent in Machiavelli and carried through by Hobbes, to separate politics from the Church. With Locke, liberalism turns away from pessimism and creates a benign view of man’s nature; man now acts not out of fear of death, but desire for gain and convenience. As an antidote to the danger that Lockean majoritarianism poses to the very rights Locke wanted to protect, Montesquieu (borrowing from Bolingbroke) suggests that the representation of popular sovereignty be divided between two institutions, the legislature and the executive. At this point, civil society and the individual have been separated from politics; they are free to pursue whatever they wish. Rousseau finds that this, however, only reveals an unbearable new problem, a schism within the individual psyche. The individual thinks only of himself in his relations with others, but incessantly compares himself to others in reflecting on his own worth. Society, meanwhile, has become an unguided mass of resentments and jealousies and weighs heavily on the individual.

To overcome this misery, Rousseau proposes the integration of the individual, the state, and society through the General Will; this will bring about a total transformation, a revolution, in human nature and in every institution. Rousseau doesn’t specify much of the content of the General Will or show what this revolutionary transformation will look like, but two points I should underscore are that a.) it’s not necessarily left-wing communitarianism that best exemplifies what Rousseau was trying to achieve, and b.) Rousseau has in practice not emancipated the fictitious General Will but will in general: every alienated individual can now believe that the solution to his personal problems lies in political and cultural revolution along the lines of whatever ideology he believes in.

Rousseau was no liberal but he prepared the way for new kinds of liberalism that would adopt his emphasis on equality and his method of remaking human nature through socio-political revolution. Manent explains that liberalism after Rousseau has reversed Hobbes: the author of Leviathan began with a state of nature in which man could only be delivered from the bloody condition of equality — every man being equally liable to be killed by his fellows — through the creation of the state. But over time, advanced liberals came to dream of the state leading us to a blissful condition of equality, in which the state itself would whither away. For Hobbes, brutal human nature requires the construction of Leviathan; for the liberal after Rousseau, a gentle but all-pervasive state is necessary to refashion human nature. That’s what progress means.

Manent is very good at explaining how the liberal state that emerges after the French Revolution is simultaneously weaker than and stronger than society — weaker in that society is now the ultimate medium of human satisfaction and public opinion (and its manipulation) becomes increasingly influential over the state; stronger in that the state becomes more pervasive and interferes in areas of life never before subject to power. Having first divided religion from state and state from society, liberalism ends up reuniting them on new terms. Public opinion — in suitably interpreted form, of course — becomes the new religion and holds the sword of state...MORE...LINK

Establishment, open-borders globalism pimps try to suppress obvious, but it can no longer be denied: Mexican drug violence is bearing down on America

From:
Mexico Bleeds over the Border

(The National Interest) -- by Ted Galen Carpenter --

Although most journalists and pundits admit that the drug violence afflicting Mexico has become very bad indeed, many of them also argue that there is no evidence of a spillover into the United States. Gabriel Arana, writing in the Nation, typifies that view, contending that if dire reports “are to be believed, an Armageddon-like rash of drug-related violence” has “crossed from Mexico into the United States.” He responds that “the numbers tell a different story.” And until recently, Arana and other analysts had a point, since violent crime rates in El Paso and other southwestern U.S. cities remained relatively low, and the trend did not differ from cities in other parts of the country. Nevertheless, there are growing indications that the spillover effect is not a myth.

There have been ominous signs for some time. Mexican drug organizations had established close connections with domestic gangs in some two hundred fifty U.S. cities—and all fifty largest cities—by mid-2008. The increasing Mexican domination of all phases of the drug trade in the United States carries with it the obvious risk that the turf battles in Mexico between rival cartels could become proxy wars in U.S. communities. There is evidence that such struggles are already underway. In at least three cases, members of La Familia kidnapped competing drug dealers in Houston and held them for ransom. Similar events have occurred in Phoenix, Las Vegas and other U.S. cities.

Cartel hit men have not only killed victims–including Americans–in Mexico, but they have apparently struck at individuals inside the United States. During 2008 and 2009, seven individuals were killed execution style in Laredo, Texas, across the Rio Grande from Nuevo Laredo—a major arena in the turf wars between the drug gangs. Authorities arrested and convicted two Gulf cartel enforcers for the string of executions. In October 2008, a Las Vegas child was kidnapped because a relative owed money to one of Mexican drug gangs...

Perhaps the most jarring incident occurred in early August 2010, when reports surfaced that a Mexican cartel had put a $1 million bounty on the life of Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, the chief lawman in Maricopa County (which includes Phoenix and many of its suburbs). The threat originated in Mexico and was conveyed via a disposable cell phone–standard operating procedure for all of the drug gangs. There is no doubt that the Mexican drug cartels loathe the man, since his department is one of the most active in the southwestern states in intercepting drug shipments. Consequently, state and federal law enforcement agencies took the threat against Arpaio’s life quite seriously. They did so perhaps even more than usual in the summer of 2010, because just weeks earlier, the DEA had warned that the cartels were about to take their war from Mexico north of the border and attack U.S. law enforcement personnel.

Sometimes, the spillover of Mexico’s violence is graphic and direct. Officials and residents in El Paso were badly shaken in late June when seven bullets struck the upper floors of city hall. Fortunately, no one was killed or injured, but if the incident had occurred earlier in the day when more people were in the building conducting business, the outcome might have been different. Apparently, the shots came from an altercation across the border in Juárez, and the incident was a graphic reminder that Mexico’s violence was not necessarily confined to Mexican territory.

Fear and anger is spreading well beyond the southwestern states. A scathing editorial in the influential conservative newspaper Investor’s Business Daily scorned President Obama’s assurance that our southern border is more secure today than at any time in the past twenty years. If that’s true, IBD’s editors asked, “why is El Paso’s City Hall taking fire from Mexico?”...MORE...LINK
------------------------
Soon to be massing on the border for invasion? Mexican drug gangs, armed and dangerous

Monday, November 22, 2010

Is sick neolib-neocon ruling class now using "national security" card to pervert America's children?

From:
TSA Abducted Child From Mother For Secret Pat Down

(Prison Planet.com) -- by Paul Joseph Watson --

If anyone else abducted someone’s child and then sexually molested them they would be rightly called a pedophile and locked up for a long time, but when the government does it not only is it deemed acceptable, but it also trains a whole generation of children that being kidnapped by an adult and having their genitals groped is normal.

The TSA’s refusal to spare young children from invasive and degrading pat downs that have outraged Americans is fundamentally impacting parents’ efforts to protect their kids from sexual predators.

The shocking video last week of a 3-year-old girl screaming “don’t touch me” as a TSA agent aggressively pats her down was matched by equally disturbing footage which emerged yesterday of a young boy being frisked by TSA workers while half-naked.

These images not only remind us of the fact that, as the Drudge Report highlighted last week, the terrorists have won, but they also threaten to legitimize the sexual molestation of children, so long as it’s performed by someone in uniform.

Indeed, the TSA not only targets children for pat down procedures that amount to little less than perverted fondling, they also do so after removing the child completely from its parents in some cases.

In a chilling story that took place last year but was re-posted on the CNN iReport website today, a mother described how a male TSA agent abducted her son in order to carry out a secret pat down on him while she was forced to stay behind as she became hysterical and began to hyperventilate.

The incident took place at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson airport after a woman was told to wait in a holding area for setting off a metal detector because she was holding her young son who had a pacifier clip hanging from his t-shirt...MORE...LINK

Chertoff and his TSA body scanner scam become symbol of statist-profiteering, crony capitalist class--but complicit MSM will never tell

From:
Naked truth behind naked body scanners

(YouTube.com) -- by Russia Today --

Ex-AIPAC head says lobby illegally traffics in classified information as routine; Hush money payoffs made to sabotage government prosecution?

From:
Ex-AIPAC official got at least $670,000 from donors

(The Washington Post) -- by Jeff Stein --

The latest episode of the AIPAC spy scandal turned sordid last week, with the pro-Israeli lobby releasing its deposition of fired official Steven J. Rosen in which he confesses he engaged in extra-marital sex and watched pornography on his office computer.

But largely buried beneath such tawdry details was an admission arguably far more damaging to Rosen’s drive to prove the organization ruined his professional life: that major Jewish donors supported him with hundreds of thousands of dollars during the four years after his dismissal in May 2005...

The payments stopped in 2009, Rosen says, when the government dropped its case against him and another AIPAC official, saying it couldn’t make an espionage case against them...

Rosen portrays the pornography issue as a red herring, contending that government attorneys stampeded the organization into firing him by playing its officials a selectively edited portion of a wiretapped conversation that made him look like he knew he was illegally trafficking in classified Pentagon documents.

Within hours, the organization announced it was firing Rosen because such alleged behavior “did not comport with standards that AIPAC expects of its employees.”

Rosen says his actions were common practice at the organization. He said his next move is to show that AIPAC, Washington’s major pro-Israeli lobbying group by far, regularly traffics in sensitive U.S. government information, especially material related to the Middle East.

“I will introduce documentary evidence that AIPAC approved of the receipt of classified information,” he said by e-mail. “Most instances of actual receipt are hard to document, because orally received information rarely comes with classified stamps on it nor records alerts that the information is classified.”

But Rosen said he would produce “statements of AIPAC employees to the FBI, internal documents, deposition statements, public statements and other evidence showing that [the] receipt of classified information by employees other than [himself] ... was condoned … for months prior to being condemned in March 2005 after threats from the prosecutors.”

AIPAC, he said, “will make denials. The jury will have to decide who is telling the truth -- I am.”...MORE...LINK
-----
RELATED: FROM RICHARD SILVERSTEIN
Steve Rosen spent much, if not most of his work time, recruiting federal employees, mostly at the Department of Defense, to reveal classified information that would be of interest to Israel. When he recruited such an employee or secured such information he pretty much went directly to his “handlers” in the Israeli embassy to whom he passed the information or contact. The very first person with whom he met after being the FBI confronted him and warned that he might be arrested was NOT his own attorney or anyone from Aipac, but the deputy director of the Israeli embassy. Such warning, allowed Israel to roll up its espionage-intelligence operation and spirit Naor Gillon out of DC so he would not be arrested and thus embroil Israel directly in the controversy. As the Forward notes in its report, this fact may be a very important one since if Rosen was following the procedures and directives of Aipac in summoning the Israeli for the meeting and warning him about the investigation, then Aipac is in effect an accessory to Israeli intelligence operations in this country and not a fully independent American lobbying venture...MORE...LINK

Friday, November 19, 2010

A cynical, totalitarian-bent U.S. ruling class ratchets the machinery of state tighter and tighter

From:
Guilty Until Proven Guilty

(American Conservative blog) -- by Philip Giraldi --

Is it too much to suggest that the federal government is putting all the tools in place that could one day lead to a totalitarian regime? Patriot Acts, Military Commissions, NSA domestic spying, state secrets privilege, national security letters, and now a bill moving through the Senate that will permit censorship of the internet. The constitution backed up by the judiciary should be protecting us from the invasive policies of the legislature and executive but has manifestly failed to do so.

While one does not expect much from “analysis” coming from the mainstream media, the tone of some recent press coverage has been particularly disturbing. Driving into Washington yesterday I listened to a succession of NPR news broadcasts. All reported Wednesday’s acquittal of Tanzanian Ahmed Ghailani on 284 of 285 counts relating to the 1998 bombing of the US Embassy in Dar es Saalam. The coverage suggested that the trial was a failure from the point of view of the Obama Administration in that it did not obtain a complete conviction. The Washington Post went ever further, reporting that the outcome supported the validity of “concerns that it would be harder to win convictions in civilian court.” Proposed solutions aired by the Post include military tribunals where the rules of evidence are less stringent and also to avoid trials completely through the option “to hold others indefinitely and without trial under the laws of war.”...

Now for all we know Ghailani might be guilty, but the government was unable to make the case. The presumption by our political class that the threat of terrorism means that you need to create separate legal systems designed to convict rather than to protect constitutional rights is about as wrongheaded as can be and it is astonishing that many Americans are supporting such a disturbing concept. The right to defend oneself before a jury composed of peers is fundamental to maintain our remaining liberties. Ghailani has been held for six years at CIA prisons and at Guantanamo and will be spending 20 more years in jail, so he is hardly an imminent danger to society, but the argument that someone is a terrorist just because a CIA interrogator thinks that to be the case must be tested in our courts lest all of us someday wind up being judged as terrorists every time we oppose what the government is doing...MORE...LINK
-------------------------

Chris Moore comments:

This is exactly how totalitarian regimes are born. Laws, executive orders, legal rulings, an entire regiment of onerous precedents set, all ratcheting up more and more government power one after the other, and before too long a totalitarian ruling class and its police state stooges have us all in a legal, political, social, economic and governmental straight jacket.

Don’t think for a second that this isn’t entirely by design; indeed, the ruling class that cynically implements these sadistic and liberty-killing measures knows full well what it’s doing, and is engaged in a premeditated, self-serving, self-empowering and self-enriching strategy, counting on the gullibility and apathy of the masses to let it happen, and then again on the machinery of state to provide the rationale and physical mechanisms for human rights and civil rights abuses and, before too long, state kidnappings, torture, and mass murder.

The scary thing is that so many useful idiots out there actually believe in the ostensible ideological goals that are used as the Trojan horse to usher in the oppression of their own offspring -- or at least pretend to because of their own complicity.

We live in sad, sick times governed by sub-standard elders and counterfeit “elites” of low honor and even lower character.

"Public Service" racket holding government purse strings enriches itself grandly at expense of increasingly impoverished average Americans

From:
12 Facts That Will Blow Your Mind – Federal Employees And Members Of Congress Are Getting Rich While Those Of Us Who Pay Their Salaries Suffer

(The Economic Collapse.com) --

Do you remember the days when getting elected to Congress or choosing to work for the government was referred to as "public service"? The idea was that you would be making a sacrifice for the greater good of the country. Well, those days are long gone. Today, getting elected to Congress or working for the federal government is a good way to get rich. Median household income in the United States fell from $51,726 in 2008 to $50,221 in 2009, and yet the personal wealth of members of Congress and the salaries of federal workers (especially at the higher levels) continue to explode. A lot of corrupt politicians and federal fat cats are raking in stunning amounts of cash, and we are the ones paying the bill. There is certainly nothing wrong with making a lot of money, but does it seem right that so many of our "public servants" are getting filthy rich while so many of the rest of us are barely getting by?

Posted below are 12 facts that will blow your mind. Most Americans have no idea just how obscenely wealthy many members of Congress are, and most Americans are totally clueless about how cushy some of these U.S. government jobs are. If there is one place in America where the good times are still rolling (other than Wall Street), it would have to be Washington D.C.

Members of Congress and employees of the government are supposed to work for us. We are the ones who pay their salaries. But today, they are the ones "living the dream" while most of the rest of us scramble just to survive from month to month....

#1 According to an article in the Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's net worth soared from $13.7 million in 2008 to $21.7 million in 2009.

#2 In 2005, 7420 federal workers were making $150,000 or more per year. In 2010, a whopping 82,034 federal workers are making $150,000 or more per year. That is more than a tenfold increase in just five years.

#3 More than half of the members of the U.S. Congress are millionaires.

#4 The total compensation that the U.S. government workforce is going to take in this year is approximately 447 billion dollars.

#5 Today, all members of Congress earn at least $175,000. This is far, far more than the average American makes.

#6 60 percent of the federal government workforce is represented by labor unions.

#7 The median wealth of a U.S. Senator in 2009 was 2.38 million dollars.

#8 In 2005, the U.S. Department of Defense had just nine civilians earning $170,000 or more. When Barack Obama took office, the U.S. Department of Defense had 214 civilians earning $170,000 or more. In June 2010, the U.S. Department of Defense had 994 civilians earning $170,000 or more.

#9 Insider trading is perfectly legal for members of the U.S. Congress - and they refuse to pass a law that would change that.

#10 According to a recent study conducted by the Heritage Foundation, federal workers earn 30 to 40 percent more money on average than their counterparts in the private sector.

#11 When you factor in such things as retirement and health care benefits, the compensation gap between federal workers and private sector employees gets even larger. Just consider the following quote from the Heritage Foundation study mentioned above....

"Including non-cash benefits adds to this disparity. The average private-sector employer pays $9,882 per employee in annual benefits, while the federal government pays an average of $32,115 per employee."

#12 The personal wealth of members of the U.S. Congress collectively increased by more than 16 percent from 2008 to 2009.

So can the U.S. government continue to afford to shell out nearly half a trillion dollars to federal employees every single year?

Of course not.

The truth is that the U.S. government is flat broke and yet most of our politicians still seem extremely resistant to consider anything that would even slow down the wild spending that has been going on...MORE..LINK

With other politicians too corrupt, cowardly and complicit to protect travelers from TSA government thugs, Ron Paul steps up for America

Are U.S. travelers being subjected to dangerous levels of radiation so ex-Homeland Security czar Chertoff can make a buck on x-ray machines?

From:
Celente: The Government’s Assurance That Body Scanners Are Safe Is Enough To Convince Me They Are Dangerous

(Trends Research Institute) --

As opposition to full-body X-ray scanners mounts among aircraft crews and passengers, Gerald Celente, Trends Journal publisher proposes a realistic and rational solution.

With ample evidence indicating that repeated exposure to doses of radiation poses a health risk, and with naked-body scans clearly violating personal privacy, many are opting out for the personal pat-down alternative.

“I am one of those frequent flyers that will opt-out for health concerns,” said Celente. “The government’s assurance that the scanners are completely safe is alone enough to convince me that they are dangerous.

“Moreover, the fact that full-body scanners were promoted by former Homeland Security Czar Michael Chertoff as the ‘most effective means of detecting hidden explosive devices’ further raises my suspicions,” Celente said. Following last year’s Christmas Day “Underwear Bomber” episode, Chertoff – who had left Homeland Security to open his own consulting firm – spent the holiday season making the media rounds loudly championing the scanners … while keeping quiet about his firm’s contract with Rapiscan, their manufacturer. (Furthermore, it was established that the bomber could not have ignited the device with matches or the syringe of accelerant in his possession. Only an electronic detonator or “extreme heat” could have set it off.)

“In other words,” said Celente, “the entire flying public is being subjected to either radioactive contamination or gross privacy invasion so that Chertoff & Co. can make a profit out of these pernicious machines. The pat-down option, an already invasive procedure, has been dramatically upgraded by the TSA into a flagrant full-body grope. Making the pat-down so gross is designed to encourage people to go through the scanners rather than get felt up by strangers. It is my contention that this degrading and disgusting practice is about selling machines, not about ensuring security...MORE...LINK
-----------------------
Dapper Homeland Security Commissar, Michael "Quick Buck" Chertoff, went into "private enterprise" and started hawking airport x-ray machines to cronies at his former agency

Thursday, November 18, 2010

How William F. Buckley and the neocons neutered the Right and opened the door for the cultural Marxist takeover

From:
How the Left Won the Cold War

(Alternative Right) -- by Paul E. Gottfried --

...While the Left pushes Political Correctness without buts or ifs, the conservative movement expresses it in a less extreme form. But both groups reflect in varying degrees the same general cultural movement. Like our Left and like the dominant ideology in Western Europe, our 30- and 40-some conservative publicists are immersed in a leftist culture. And the result is something that all of them believe things that adults in the 1950s, including Communist sympathizers, would barely have understood.

It would be no exaggeration to say that Sarah Palin, who is an outspoken advocate of anti-discrimination laws for women, is more radical socially than were French and Italian Communist leaders sixty years ago. While old-fashioned CP members favored a centrally controlled economy and rooted for the Soviet side in the Cold War, unlike Sarah, they were not eager to punish sexists. And they didn’t give a hoot about gays, up until the time Communist parties were under siege from the post-Marxist Left. It is inconceivable that Communists of this era would have followed Jonah Goldberg, Charles Krauthammer, John Podhoretz, the neocon New York Post and the WSJ in affirming government-enforced “gay rights.” Two historians of the post-World War Two Communist movements in France and Italy, Annie Kriegel and Andrea Ragusa, depict a party leadership that belonged, even in spite of itself, to a bourgeois age. They stress the degree to which Communist parties embodied the social attitudes of the pre-Vatican Two Church.

Acceptable critics of the Islamic invasion of Europe like Steyn and Christopher Caldwell are targeting (and this must be noted) a specifically European experiment in multiculturalism. America’s willingness to take in and naturalize just about anybody does not bother these critics; presumably our big tent can hold lots more than we already have. By declaring ourselves to be a “propositional nation” held together by human rights and the belief in universal democratic equality, we are opening our doors to the world, or at least to those in the world who affirm our universalist creed.

I’ve also learned over the last two decades thanks to movement conservative celebrities: that Martin Luther King was acting specifically as a conservative Christian theologian when he spearheaded the civil rights revolution; that gay marriage, properly understood, may be a conservative “family value;” and that we are duty-bound to convert Muslims to our current notion of women’s rights and gay rights. It is precisely these ideas that make us “Western”; and if we truly value the glories of our civilization, which came into existence during some recent phase of late modernity, we should work to spread everywhere our high ideals. Equally relevant, those who have challenged our human rights beliefs, and most outrageously 19th-century counterrevolutionaries were actually “liberals.” Otherwise these mislabeled conservatives would have embraced the American creed of democratic equality!

A striking example of how deeply leftist thought patterns have affected the Right can be discerned in William F. Buckley responses to the attacks in the liberal/neocon press against the “anti-Semites” Joe Sobran and Pat Buchanan. In National Review in December 1991 and March 1992 and in his subsequent In Search of Anti-Semitism, Buckley distinguishes between those who are anti-Semites by conviction and those who are “contextually” anti-Jewish. His key distinction goes back to the Marxist notion of being an “objective reactionary,” meaning someone who challenges the preferences of the Communist Party. Buckley’s argument from context likewise recalls the charge in Europe against those who challenge multiculturalism, as greasing the skids for neo-Nazis.

From this standpoint, it does not matter whether or not one says something that is objectively correct. What counts is not upsetting certain VIPs. In Buckley’s brief, neither the malefactors nor the victims have anything to do with the European Holocaust. The catastrophe is being placed at the doorstep of anyone who allows himself to be intimidated into accepting it. Furthermore, the blame in this instance affects American Christians, who are required to show prescribed sensitivity toward particular American Jews. There are surrogate victims and surrogate victimizers, the first being Buckley’s dinner companions and those journalists who felt outraged, and the second being those who made offending remarks but who had nothing to do with Nazi crimes. Offenders had to be driven off the pages of National Review and out of polite society. They are or were the equivalent of what the Communists used to call “social fascists” and what the European guardians of PC consider “fascistoid.” Such antisocial types are contextually dangerous and therefore must be ostracized lest they do harm.

Note that our two contextual anti-Semites were not abetting violence against Jews, any more than European critics of Muslim immigration or German scholars who question the exclusive blame of their country for every major war are trying to unleash pogroms. They have simply run afoul of certain elite groups, by reopening an inconvenient debate. The conservative movement plays this game by declaring any question it doesn’t want raised forever closed. Such questions now include, among a myriad of other things, objecting in any way to the major congressional legislation of the 1960s...MORE...LINK
--------------------------
Done deal: Buckley helped close the door on traditional conservatism, which moved the conservative spectrum left, and helped usher in neocon Machiavellians and their stooges like Bush

Monday, November 15, 2010

Warmongering, self-serving bores squandering American resources around globe betray "isolationist" legacy of Founders

From:
Getting Beyond ‘Left’ and ‘Right,’ Part Two

Another tradition
(AntiWar.com) -- by Justin Raimondo --

...This election season we’ve heard an awful lot from the tea partiers about the Constitution, and specifically about the Founding Fathers, who are held up as exemplars to be emulated. Now, that’s a good idea as far as I’m concerned, because if we hark back to the legacy of the Founders, and take it seriously, and apply it to the 21st century, there would be no PATRIOT Act, no spying on Americans by their own government, – and certainly no TSA agents poking and prodding American citizens every time they want to get on a plane! And there would be no American Empire, either.

You know, I have often found myself in the position of being called an “isolationist.” Now, of course, there is no such thing as an isolationist: humans naturally gather together in communities, and the only isolationists are those holy hermits of times past, who went out into the desert to commune with God. Yes, but they always came back, didn’t they – not least because they wanted to communicate their sacred visions to the people.

The international division of labor, the social and cultural benefits of free trade and easy emigration, the global flow of information made possible by the internet – these are all to the good. However, there are some things that we want to be isolated from: war, tyranny, social and economic turmoil – isolation from these negative phenomena is much to be desired.

The isolationist label was first used by the enemies of peace as an epithet that made war opponents out to be unrealistic cranks, and since it was repeated endlessly by the pro-war media, the word became common parlance. But what is today reviled as “isolationism” – which is simply a policy of non-intervention in the affairs of other nations – is deeply rooted in American history.

As the anti-isolationist historian Selig Adler pointed out: “The American Revolution was in itself an act of isolation, for it cut the umbilical cord to the mother country.” Were the American revolutionists “isolationists” because they wanted to isolate themselves from the tyranny of the British king? And not only from him, but from all the crowned heads of Europe, who looked on the North America wilderness as fertile field for the growth of their empires. Not only England, but the Dutch, the Spaniards, and the French, whose revolutionary fervor devoured the revolutionaries, and finally turned its fury outward, as Napoleon rampaged across Europe and sought to export his revolution to the New World.

To no avail. The American Revolution, as the conservative writer Garet Garrett put it in 1956,

“was a pilot flame that leaped the Atlantic, and lighted holocaust in the Old World. But its character was misunderstood and could not have been reproduced by any other people. It was a revolution exemplary.”

This “revolution exemplary” gave birth to a New World bereft of the encrusted evils, the ancient hatreds, the convoluted obsessions of the old. This sense of the unique American character permeated the revolutionary propaganda of the rebellious patriots: freedom from European militarism was one of the great benefits of independence touted in Thomas Paine’s Common Sense. In 1783, at the end of the Revolutionary War, Congress passed a resolution rejecting American entry into the European “League of Armed Neutrality,” declaring that the thirteen states “should be as little as possible engaged in the politics and controversies of the European nations.”

The classic statement of the Founders’ foreign policy is, of course, George Washington’s Farewell Address. Caught in the crossfire of radical Jeffersonians and the pro-British Federalists led by Alexander Hamilton, Washington sought to steer a middle course, warning against “permanent inveterate antipathies against particular nations and passionate attachment for others.” But he went further than this:

“The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is, in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop.”

And we did stop. After the Treaty of Alliance with France that aided and speeded the victory of the American revolutionaries, the American government did not enter into another formal alliance with a foreign power until World War II – a course that ensured our independence, preserved our republican institutions, and avoided the growth of foreign influence in our internal politics. This was the policy of non-intervention, which all the Founders basically endorsed, most notably Thomas Jefferson who called for “entangling alliances with none” in his first inaugural address. This was in part because we were surrounded on all sides by the European powers, who were battling it out for world supremacy, with France on one side and the British on the other. So President Jefferson was determined to stay out of it, and not only because of the external danger the world conflict posed to us, but also because war would destroy the young American republic from within...MORE...LINK