ED NOTE:This is from September 13 – we just found it. Papa Paul would only hint at CIA “Blowback” pertaining to 911. That was weak as it was… We once did a 911 Truth Event with citizen Rand, He was either pandering then, or pandering now. It seems Sen. Rand is gearing up for Neo Con Super-stardom (or so he thinks) – Obviously sharing our views on the 911 attacks (false flag) would be political suicide…(just as not pretending to be Christian)… And that is pretty sad. NOW…. Will Rand get the same treatment as TX Gubernatorial Candidate Debra Medina received from the KING 911 Truther from TX? (Don’t count on it)
shifting loyalties wont get our vote!
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) distanced himself from his father Ron Paul’s controversial views on 9/11 yesterday, saying that some terrorists “are…motivated whether we’re there [in the Middle East] or not.”
The elder Paul triggered outrage on Wednesday, the anniversary of the Septemper 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, when he said that such terror had been “blowback” from American policies in the region.
Politico’s James Arkin reports that Sen. Paul’s comments came during a radio interview with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. The interview gave Paul an opportunity to distinguish his views from those of his father more explicitly and directly than he has done on previous occasions. Sen. Paul echoed his father’s reticence about American military intervention abroad but not his father’s radical foreign policy outlook.
In the past, Sen. Paul has departed from Ron Paul’s views on the Guantánamo Bay prison, saying it should be kept open. He also declined to support Ron Paul’s new Institute for Peace and Prosperity. And while Ron Paul continues to provoke criticism with actions such as a lecture to groups accused of antisemitism, Sen. Paul visited Israel earlier this year to learn firsthand about that country and its security concerns.
On Tuesday evening, Sen. Paul offered a rebuttal to President Barack Obama’s speech to the nan on Syria. Sen. Paul reiterated many of the arguments against intervention in the civil war there, including the persecution of Christians by the Syrian rebels, and added his view that only Congress had the constitutional power to “initiate war.” Obama’s address was widely panned, including by many otherwise sympathetic critics.
* The Dam is cracking, and people are building homes in the valley below… You may think this is insignificant, until you read this article! (we added for emphasis) ~ JB
by Stephen Lendman
Andrew Huszar is a former Fed official. In 2009 and 2010, he managed its $1.25 trillion mortgaged-backed security purchase program.
He’s a former Morgan Stanley managing director. He’s currently a Rutgers Business School senior fellow. He’s a QE confessor.
He witnessed Bernanke’s scam up close and personal. It benefits Wall Street. It ignores Main Street. Bernanke planned it that way.
Investopedia calls QE “monetary policy used to increase the money supply by buying government securities or other securities from the market.”
It’s supposed to “increase the money supply by flooding financial institutions with capital, in an effort to promote increased lending and liquidity.”
According to Ellen Brown, QE contracted the money supply. It did so “by sucking up the collateral needed by the shadow banking system to create credit.”
It’s just an “asset swap.” Assets for cash reserves “never leave bank balance sheets.”
QE is counterproductive. It’s self-defeating. It constrains economic growth. It doesn’t create jobs. It benefits Wall Street at the expense of Main Street.
It works when used constructively. Money injected responsibly into the economy creates growth. It creates jobs. When people have money they spend it.
A virtuous cycle of prosperity is possible. America once was sustainably prosperous. Today it’s heading for a slow-motion train wreck.
Former Reagan administration Office of Management and Budget Director David Stockman calls QE “high grade monetary heroin.”
One day, it’ll “kill the patient,” he says. It’s the closest thing to “legalized bank robbery.” It robs poor Peter to benefit rich Paul. It’s recklessly out-of-control.
Dallas Fed president Richard Fisher agrees with Stockman. “QE can’t go on forever because (it’ll) kill the patient,” he said.
Bernanke, Yellen and other Fed governors apparently disagree. Pedal to the metal QE defines Fed policy.
What can’t go on forever, won’t. The longer bad policy continues, the worse the stiff result when it ends.
Reckless Fed policy was initiated. It continues out-of-control. Huszar apologized. On November 11, he headlined his Wall Street Journal op-ed “Confessions of a Quantitative Easier.” He began saying:
“I can only say: I’m sorry, America.”
“As a former Federal Reserve official, I was responsible for executing the centerpiece program of the Fed’s first plunge into the bond-buying experiment known as quantitative easing.”
“The central bank continues to spin QE as a tool for helping Main Street.”
Baloney! Bernanke and other Fed governors lied. The Fed isn’t federal. It’s privately owned. Major banks run it. They control policy.
Wall Street’s infested with criminals. Grand theft is official policy. Corporate crooks aren’t prosecuted. Money power runs America. Major Wall Street banks do most of all.
They play by their own rules. They control Fed policy. Money printing madness enriches them. It does so at the expense of Main Street.
On Wall Street, past is prologue. New scams follow old ones. Washington acts as facilitator. Regulators look the other way. Business as usual continues.
Bernanke is Wall Street’s hired hand. So is Janet Yellen. She’ll replace him when he steps down in January.
On November 14, she testified before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. She lied saying “the economy is significantly stronger and continues to improve.”
She ignored a protracted Main Street Depression. She lied again saying “the Federal Reserve is using its monetary policy tools to promote a more robust recovery.”
Huszar exposed her saying he came “to recognize (QE) for what it really is: the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time.”
“We went on a bond-buying spree,” he said. It was sold as a way to help Main Street. “Instead it was a feast for Wall Street.”
It’s part of the greatest ever wealth transfer from ordinary people to banks, other corporate favorites and rich elites.
Since 2009, the world’s billionaires doubled their wealth. Their numbers grew from 1,360 in 2009 to 2,170 in 2013.
Their collective $6.5 trillion wealth nearly matches China’s GDP. It’s the world’s second largest economy.
Banks, super-rich elites, and other high net worth investors feasted on easy money. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. They borrow nearly interest free.
They invest for exponential returns. They do what mere mortals can’t. Some, perhaps many, get inside information. Market manipulation adds greater wealth.
Yellen knows. She explained nothing. She lied on Capitol Hill. As Fed chairman next year, she promised to continue the scam.
Money printing madness substitutes for stimulative growth polices. Bernanke helped engineer the greatest wealth transfer in history.
America’s 1% never had it better. Banks, major corporations, big investors, and high net worth individuals alone benefitted. They did so at the expense of ordinary Americans.
Unemployment, poverty, homelessness, hunger and overall human needs are at Depression era levels.
Manipulative, destructive Fed policy is largely to blame. Obama and Capitol Hill share it.
When finance capital prospers at the expense of ordinary people, economies are hollowed out and wrecked. Neofeudalism follows.
Ordinary Americans were swindled. They lost their well-being and futures. Monied interests keep benefiting at their expense. Yellen promised more of the same. Wall Street chose her for that reason.
Huszar worked at the Fed for seven years. He left in early 2008. He did so “out of frustration. (He) witnessed the institution deferring more and more to Wall Street.”
In early 2009, he was asked to come back. He was offered a job “to quarterback the largest economic stimulus in US history.”
“This was a dream job, but I hesitated,” he said. It wasn’t over “nervousness about taking on such responsibility.” Senior Fed officials assuaged him.
They lied. They claimed a new commitment to “revamp(ing)” Wall Street. Huszar “took a leap of faith.”
In its entire history, “the Fed had never bought a mortgage bond.”
“Now my program was buying so many each day through active, unscripted trading that we constantly risked driving bond prices too high and crashing global confidence in key financial markets.”
“We were working feverishly to preserve the impression that the Fed knew what it was doing.”
“It wasn’t long before my old doubts resurfaced. Despite the Fed’s rhetoric, my program wasn’t helping to make credit any more accessible for the average American.”
“The banks were only issuing fewer and fewer loans. More insidiously, whatever credit they were extending wasn’t getting much cheaper.”
“QE may have been driving down the wholesale cost for banks to make loans, but Wall Street was pocketing most of the extra cash.”
Other Fed managers voiced concerns. “Our warnings fell on deaf ears,” said Huszar. QE was “an absolute coup for Wall Street.”
It provided “only trivial relief for Main Street.” Multiple QE rounds continue the scam. Huszar “realized the Fed had lost any remaining ability to think independently from Wall Street.”
“Demoralized, (he) returned to the private sector. Where are we today,” he asked?
QE continues. “(M)inor” tapering is delayed. For over five years, Fed “bond purchases (exceeded) $4 trillion.” Another $85 billion more is bought each month.
“QE (is) the largest financial-markets intervention by any government in world history.” It’s done pathetically little to stimulate growth. It wasn’t designed for that purpose.
It sacrificed Main Street for Wall Street. Bernanke and other Fed governors lied claiming otherwise. They still lie.
Banks tripled their stock prices since March 2009. Major ones “control more than 70% of the US bank assets. As for the rest of America, good luck,” said Huszar.
Danger signs abound. Financial markets are hugely overvalued.
With $4.1 trillion in assets, BlackRock is the world’s largest money manager. On October 29, Bloomberg reported its CEO, Larry Fink, saying Fed policy contributed to “bubble-like markets.”
“It’s imperative that the Fed begins to taper,” he stressed. “We’ve seen real bubble-like markets again. We’ve had a huge increase in the equity market. We’ve seen corporate-debt spreads narrow dramatically.”
John Hussman heads Hussman Investment Trust. On November 11, he called markets “overvalued, overbought, and over-bullish.” He equated them with conditions prior to six prior major turning points:
- August 1929 ahead of the October crash;
- November 1972 preceding a 50% market plummet;
- August 1987 before a 30% drop;
- March 2000 ahead of a 50% plunge; and
- January 2011 contained to a 20% decline because of Fed intervention.
Believing this time is different doesn’t hold, he said. QE “has no mechanistic relationship to stock prices except to make low-risk assets psychologically uncomfortable to hold.”
QE is “novel. (It) feeds imagination. Most of what investors believe about QE is imaginative.”
Market signals historically considered most accurate have been “blaring red since late 2011.”
The Shiller PE (S&P 500 divided by the 10 year average of inflation adjusted earnings) exceeds 25.
Prior to the 2000 dot com bubble peak, it was previously only reached three weeks before the 1929 top.
The S&P price/revenue ratio is double its pre-bubble norm. So is the stock market capitalization to GDP.
Ray Dalio heads Bridgewater Associates. He’s a major money manager. “The dilemma the Fed faces now is that the tools currently at its disposal are pretty much used up,” he said.
“We think the question around the effectiveness of QE (and not the tapering, which gets all the headlines) is the big deal.”
“In other words, we’re not worried about whether the Fed is going to hit or release the gas pedal. We’re worried about whether there’s much gas left in the tank and what will happen if there isn’t.”
Keynes was one of the 20th century’s most noted economists. In 1919, he began his career as a speculator.
He traded on high leverage. He learned the hard way. The 1929 market crash wiped him out. He later famously said “market(s) can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.”
Is this time different? Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Faith based investing isn’t likely to work better than earlier. People often believe anything until reality hits home hard.
No one can call market tops or bottoms. No one rings a bell to announce them.
Hindsight is the best insight. Caution is the best way to stay solvent. Forewarned is forearmed.
According to Huszar, Fed policy “is at the center of dysfuntion(al)” conditions. It let QE “become Wall Street’s new ” ‘too big to fail’ policy.”
It created an illusion likely to fare no better than earlier ones. Reality won’t announce itself before arriving. It bears repeating. Eventually it’ll hit home hard.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
Editor Note: Taxing doesn’t work! As Mr Brand points out, is it too easily escaped by those in powerful places, and… What he doesn’t point out; These “taxes on the Rich” are simply passed along to the rest of us in the form or Regressive Tax and high prices on necessities. Maybe a Luxury tax on multi million dollar homes and cars is the answer, but it too would likely be another brunt to bare for the rest of us…
Brand’s BEST suggestion is to use bailout money for good. While we cannot really afford it, and it still stinks of robbing Peter to pay Paul…. At least some of that money we are all on the line for could work for us, instead of AGAINST us!
Read the entire rant – and keep an open mind. Frankly its better he says this than doesn’t say anything at all. Its obviously a risk on his part.
Russell Brand: We Deserve More From Our Democratic System
Following his appearance on Newsnight, the comedian explains why he believes there are alternatives to our current regime
By Russell Brand
November 08, 2013 “Information Clearing House – “The Guardian” — I’ve had an incredible week since I spoke from the heart, some would say via my arse, on Paxman. I’ve had slaps on the back, fist bumps, cheers and hugs while out and about, cock-eyed offers of political power from well intentioned chancers and some good ol’ fashioned character assassinations in the papers.
The people who liked the interview said it was because I’d articulated what they were thinking. I recognise this. God knows I’d love to think the attention was about me but I said nothing new or original, it was the expression of the knowledge that democracy is irrelevant that resonated. As long as the priorities of those in government remain the interests of big business, rather than the people they were elected to serve, the impact of voting is negligible and it is our responsibility to be more active if we want real change.
Turns out that among the disenchanted is Paxman himself who spends most of his time at the meek heart of the political establishment and can’t summons up the self-delusion to drag his nib across the ballot box. He, more than any of us is aware that politicians are frauds. I’ve not spent too much time around them, only on the telly, it’s not pleasant; once you’ve been on Question Time and seen Boris simpering under a make-up brush it’s difficult to be enthusiastic about politics.
The only reason to vote is if the vote represents power or change. I don’t think it does. I fervently believe that we deserve more from our democratic system than the few derisory tit-bits tossed from the carousel of the mighty, when they hop a few inches left or right. The lazily duplicitous servants of The City expect us to gratefully participate in what amounts to little more than a political hokey cokey where every four years we get to choose what colour tie the liar who leads us wears.
I remember the election and Cameron didn’t even get properly voted in, he became prime minister by default when he teamed up with Clegg. Clegg who immediately reneged (Renegy-Cleggy?) on his flagship pledge to end tuition fees at the first whiff of power.
When students, perhaps students who had voted for him, rioted they were condemned. People riot when dialogue fails, when they feel unrepresented and bored by the illusion, bilious with the piped in toxic belch wafted into their homes by the media.
The reason these coalitions are so easily achieved is that the distinctions between the parties are insignificant. My friend went to a posh “do” in the country where David Cameron, a man whose face resembles a little painted egg, was in attendance. Also present were members of the opposition and former prime minister Tony Blair. Whatever party they claim to represent in the day, at night they show their true colours and all go to the same party.
Obviously there has been some criticism of my outburst, I’ve not been universally applauded as a cross between Jack Sparrow and Spartacus (which is what I’m going for) but they’ve been oddly personal and I think irrelevant to the argument. I try not to read about myself as the mean stuff is hurtful and the good stuff hard to believe, but my mates always give me the gist of what’s going on, the bastards. Some people say I’m a hypocrite because I’ve got money now. When I was poor and I complained about inequality people said I was bitter, now I’m rich and I complain about inequality they say I’m a hypocrite. I’m beginning to think they just don’t want inequality on the agenda because it is a real problem that needs to be addressed.
It’s easy to attack me, I’m a right twerp, I’m a junkie and a cheeky monkey, I accept it, but that doesn’t detract from the incontrovertible fact that we are living in a time of huge economic disparity and confronting ecological disaster. This disparity has always been, in cultures since expired, a warning sign of end of days. In Rome, Egypt and Easter Island the incubated ruling elites, who had forgotten that we are one interconnected people, destroyed their societies by not sharing. That is what’s happening now, regardless of what you think of my hair or me using long words, the facts are the facts and the problem is the problem. Don’t be distracted. I think these columnist fellas who give me aggro for not devising a solution or for using long words are just being territorial. When they say “long words” they mean “their words” like I’m a monkey who got in their Mum’s dressing up box or a hooligan in policeman’s helmet.
As I said to Paxman at the time “I can’t conjure up a global Utopia right now in this hotel room”. Obviously that’s not my job and it doesn’t need to be, we have brilliant thinkers and organisations and no one needs to cook up an egalitarian Shangri-La on their todd; we can all do it together.
I like Jeremy Paxman, incidentally. I think he’s a decent bloke but like a lot of people who work deep within the system it’s hard for him to countenance ideas from outside the narrowly prescribed trench of contemporary democracy. Most of the people who criticized me have a vested interest in the maintenance of the system. They say the system works. What they mean is “the system works for me”.
The less privileged among us are already living in the apocalypse, the thousands of street sleepers in our country, the refugees and the exploited underclass across our planet daily confront what we would regard as the end of the world. No money, no home, no friends, no support, no hand of friendship reaching out, just acculturated and inculcated condemnation.
When I first got a few quid it was like an anaesthetic that made me forget what was important but now I’ve woken up. I can’t deny that I’ve done a lot of daft things while I was under the capitalist fugue, some silly telly, soppy scandals, movies better left unmade. I’ve also become rich. I don’t hate rich people; Che Guevara was a rich person. I don’t hate anyone, I judge no one, that’s not my job, I’m a comedian and my job is to say whatever I like to whoever I want if I’m prepared to take the consequences. Well I am.
My favourite experiences since Paxman-nacht are both examples of the dialogue it sparked. Firstly my friend’s 15-year-old son wrote an essay for his politics class after he read my New Statesman piece. He didn’t agree with everything I said, he prefers the idea of spoiling ballots to not voting “to show we do care” maybe he’s right, I don’t know. The reason not voting could be effective is that if we starve them of our consent we could force them to acknowledge that they operate on behalf of The City and Wall Street; that the financing of political parties and lobbying is where the true influence lies; not in the ballot box. However, this 15-year-old is quite smart and it’s quite possible that my opinions are a result of decades of drug abuse.
I’m on tour so I’ve been with thousands of people every night (not like in the old days, I’m a changed man) this is why I’m aware of how much impact the Newsnight interview had. Not everyone I chat to agrees with me but their beliefs are a lot closer to mine than the broadsheets, and it’s their job to be serious. One thing I’ve learned and was surprised by is that I may suffer from the ol’ sexism. I can only assume I have an unaddressed cultural hangover, like my adorable Nan who had a heart that shone like a pearl but was, let’s face it, a bit racist. I don’t want to be a sexist so I’m trying my best to check meself before I wreck meself. The problem may resolve itself as I’m in a loving relationship with a benevolent dictator and have entirely relinquished personal autonomy.
Whilst travelling between gigs I had my second notable encounter. One night late at the Watford Gap I got chatting to a couple of squaddies, one Para, one Marine, we talked a bit about family and politics, I invited them to a show. Then we were joined by three Muslim women, all hijabbed up. For a few perfect minutes in the strip lit inertia of this place, that was nowhere in particular but uniquely Britain, I felt how plausible and beautiful The Revolution could be. We just chatted.
Between three sets of different people; first generation Muslims, servicemen and the privileged elite that they serve (that would be me) effortless cooperation occurred. Here we were free from the divisive rule that tears us apart. That sends brave men and women to foreign lands to fight their capitalist wars, that intimidates and unsettles people whose faith and culture superficially distinguishes them, that tells the comfortable “hush now” you have your trinkets. It seemed ridiculous that refracted through the power prism that blinds us; the soldiers could be invading the homeland of these women’s forefathers in order to augment my luxurious stupour. Here in the gap we were together. Our differences irrelevant. With no one to impose separation we are united.
I realised then that our treasured concepts of tribe and nation are not valued by those who govern except when it is to divide us from each other. They don’t believe in Britain or America they believe in the dollar and the pound. These are deep and entrenched systemic wrongs that are unaddressed by party politics.
The symptoms of these wrongs are obvious, global and painful. Drone strikes on the innocent, a festering investment for future conflict.
How many combatants are created each time an innocent person in a faraway land is silently ironed out from an Arizona call centre? The reality is we have more in common with the people we’re bombing than the people we’re bombing them for.
NSA spying, how far-reaching is the issue of surveillance? Do you think we don’t have our own cute, quaint British version? Does it matter if the dominant paradigm of Western Capitalism is indifferent to our Bud Flanagan belief in nation? Can we really believe these problems can be altered within the system that created them? That depends on them? The system that we are invited to vote for? Of course not, that’s why I won’t vote. That’s why I support the growing revolution.
We can all contribute ideas as to how to change our world; schoolboys, squaddies, hippies, Muslims, Jews and if what I’m describing is naive then you can keep your education and your indoctrination because loving our planet and each other is a duty, a beautiful obligation. While chatting to people this week I heard some interesting ideas, here are a couple.
We could use the money accumulated by those who have too much, not normal people with a couple of cars, giant corporations, to fund a fairer society.
The US government gave a trillion dollars to bail out the big five banks over the past year. Banks that have grown by 30% since the crisis and are experiencing record profits and giving their execs record bonuses. How about, hang on to your hats because here comes a naïve suggestion, don’t give them that money, use it to create one million jobs at fifty grand a year for people who teach, nurse or protect.
These bailouts for elites over services for the many are institutionalised within the system, no party proposes changing it. American people that voted, voted for it. I’m not voting for that.
That’s one suggestion for the Americans; we started their country so we owe them a favour now things are getting heavy.
Here’s one for blighty; Philip Green, the bloke who owns Top Shop didn’t pay any income tax on a £1.2bn dividend in 2005. None. Unless he paid himself a salary that year, in addition to the £1.2bn dividend, the largest in corporate history, then the people who clean Top Shop paid more income tax than he did. That’s for two reasons – firstly because he said that all of his £1.2bn earnings belong to his missus, who was registered in Monaco and secondly because he’s an arsehole. The money he’s nicked through legal loopholes would pay the annual salary for 20,000 NHS nurses. It’s not illegal; it’s systemic, British people who voted, voted for it. I’m not voting for that.
Why don’t you try not paying taxes and see how quickly a lump of bird gets thrown in your face. It’s socialism for corporate elites and feudalism for the rest of us. Those suggestions did not come from me; no the mind that gave the planet Booky Wook and Ponderland didn’t just add an economically viable wealth distribution system to the laudable list of accolades, to place next to my Shagger Of The Year awards.
The first came from Dave DeGraw, the second Johann Hari got from UK Uncut. Luckily with organisations like them, Occupy, Anonymous and The People’s Assembly I don’t need to come with ideas, we can all participate. I’m happy to be a part of the conversation, if more young people are talking about fracking instead of twerking we’re heading in the right direction. The people that govern us don’t want an active population who are politically engaged, they want passive consumers distracted by the spectacle of which I accept I am a part.
If we all collude and collaborate together we can design a new system that makes the current one obsolete. The reality is there are alternatives. That is the terrifying truth that the media, government and big business work so hard to conceal. Even the outlet that printed this will tomorrow print a couple of columns saying what a naïve wanker I am, or try to find ways that I’ve fucked up. Well I am naïve and I have fucked up but I tell you something else. I believe in change. I don’t mind getting my hands dirty because my hands are dirty already. I don’t mind giving my life to this because I’m only alive because of the compassion and love of others. Men and women strong enough to defy this system and live according to higher laws. This is a journey we can all go on together, all of us. We can include everyone and fear no one. A system that serves the planet and the people. I’d vote for that.
Lawrence Wilkerson Pt2: I learned that war was about power, politics and commercial advantage
Also See: Wilkerson’s Shame. And Colin Powell’s
Not to be disrespectful or ungrateful…. Just to set the record straight.
by Stephen Lendman
Some people confuse Veterans Day with Memorial Day. They’re both federal holidays. The latter remembers combat related dead service personnel.
The former honors war and peacetime veterans. It largely thanks living ones. It does so disingenuously.
Veterans Day was formerly Armistice Day. It commemorates the war to end all wars. In 1918, guns on both sides largely fell silent. They did so on the 11th hour of the 11th day of 11th month.
In 1919, remembrance began. Woodrow Wilson proclaimed it, saying:
“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”
In 1938, Congress declared Armistice Day a legal holiday. It called it “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day’.”
In 1954, Congress changed its name. Dwight Eisenhower endorsed it. He signed legislation designating November 11 henceforth as Veterans Day.
He issued a presidential order. It called on VA officials to form a Veterans Day National Committee. It mandated them to organize and oversee a national remembrance day.
Parades and public ceremonies commemorate it. They ignore what’s most important. They glorify wars. America doesn’t wage them for peace. Washington considers it abhorrent.
Veterans Day dishonors living and dead veterans. It ignores longstanding US imperial lawlessness. It airbrushes from history decades of what matters most.
It includes militarism, raw aggression, permanent wars on humanity, mass killing and destruction, exploiting resources and people, seeking unchallenged global dominance, and creating unspeakable human misery.
Depravity defines America’s agenda. War is a national obsession. It’s a longstanding addiction.
It’s got nothing to do with national security. It’s not about making the world safe for democracy. Americans are systematically lied to. Young men and women are enlisted on false pretenses.
Propaganda glorifies wars in the name of peace. Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.
Nations are destroyed to liberate them. Plunder is called economic development. Imperial lawlessness is called humanitarian intervention.
Ruthless dominance is called democracy. Monied interests alone benefit. Making the world safe for banksters and other corporate crooks matters most.
Youths are cannon fodder. They’re used, abused and ignored. America’s imperial appetite is insatiable. One war follows others. Nations are ravaged and destroyed one at a time or in multiples.
Veterans Day should condemn wars. It should feature ways to end them. It should prioritize never again. It should expose America’s real agenda.
It should remember Lincoln at Gettysburg, saying:
“(W)e here resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”
War raged months longer. Ending one leads to others. A destructive cycle of violence continues.
Remembrance should be contrition. It should pledge peace. It should honor anti-war activism. It should turn swords into ploughshares.
It should back rhetoric with policy. It should combine Veterans and Memorial Days. It should change them to Peace Day. It should pledge never again and mean it.
On November 9, Obama’s weekly address ignored what’s matters most. He didn’t surprise. He lied like he always does. He’s a serial liar.
He began saying “(t)hank you to that greatest generation who fought island by island across the Pacific, and freed millions from fascism in Europe.”
“Thank you to the heroes who risked everything through the bitter cold of Korea and the stifling heat of Vietnam.”
“And thank you to all the heroes who have served since, most recently our 9/11 Generation of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.”
He failed to say Korea, Vietnam, and all other US post-WW II wars were lawless. They were premeditated aggression.
They’re responsible for crimes of war, against humanity, genocide, and unspeakable human suffering.
No one involved in them has reason to be proud. Past and present administration and Pentagon officials are war criminals. So are complicit congressional members and bureaucrats.
Obama claimed his “top priority” is assuring veterans “never have to fight for a job when (they) come home.”
He “made sure” it wouldn’t happen, he said. He lied. Unemployment is at Depression era levels.
Labor Department figures are manipulated. They’re fake. Most jobs created don’t pay enough to live on. Millions struggle to get by. So do vets.
The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans estimates around 63,000 homeless veterans on any given night.
Over the course of a year, it says, double that number experience homelessness. Numbers are increasing, it adds.
Uncaring government officials bear full responsibility. Services provided are meager at best. Nothing is done to address unemployment.
US resources go for war. Helping returning vets doesn’t matter. They’re replaced with new recruits sent off to fight. They’re lied to about reasons why. They’re largely ignored on returning home.
A previous article addressed record numbers of US military and veterans suicides. Most people don’t know. Little gets reported.
Obama ignores it. He’s preoccupied with waging wars. He’s got others in mind. He’s mindless about shocking numbers of active duty personnel and vets taking their own lives.
Unbearable emotional pain consumes them. Daily trauma builds. So does intolerable stress. Relief is desperately sought. Suicide is chosen. It’s a last option. Others were exhausted.
Daily stress is bad enough. Combat exacerbates it. It’s intolerable for many. America consumes its own.
Epidemic post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) levels affect hundreds of thousands of combat forces and vets.
Official numbers understate the problem. It’s huge. Independent reports say up to half of Afghan and Iraq vets have emotional and/or physical combat injuries.
They’ll never be the same again. They’re traumatized. Many can’t cope. Their suffering goes largely unnoticed. Many needing help don’t get it.
Left untreated, things worsen. Able-bodied youths become physically and emotionally crippled. War is hell and then some.
Horrifying flashbacks persist. PTSD prevents normal functioning. Artificial limbs aren’t like nature’s.
Damaged emotions aren’t made whole. Broken psyches aren’t easily repaired. Shattered lives stay that way. Shocking suicide numbers explain best.
So do Depression level numbers of poverty, unemployment, homelessness, hunger, and left on their own vets. Despair defines their condition.
They suffer out of sight and mind. They die the same way. America treats its own with disdain.
Countless numbers of vets are at risk. Suicide levels may increase. Advancing America’s imperium matters most.
All federal holidays reflect hypocrisy. Commemorations hide vital truths. America’s dark side stays out of sight and mind.
All politicians lie. Obama exceeds the worst of others. He prioritizes war on humanity and then some. He sanitizes his real agenda. Don’t expect him to explain.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
We are always told, “If you have nothing to hide, then why should care about the NSA (for ex.) monitoring everything you do?” We answer with the 4th and 5th amendments of the US Constitution! We have a right to our privacy, the US police, FBI et al do not. They work for YOU! But if they have nothing to hide… why are they working so hard to hide everything?
This friends, is a COVERUP! ~ Jack Blood
New FBI Director, James B. Comey
Who What Why
For more than six months, WhoWhatWhy has been asking questions about the Boston Marathon bombing and aftermath, pursuing our constitutionally protected duty. By and large, reaction from official sources has been mute.
Is the FBI conducting an honest investigation or working diligently on a cover-up? It’s impossible to know.
But the Bureau’s silence should be a red flag, since the FBI and other secretive U.S. agencies have a well-known record of duplicity when left to operate in the shadows.
Secrecy has become the rule. In Boston, the prosecutor of accused bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has asked the judge to withhold filings from the media. The FBI won’t even identify the agent who shot and killed a key witness in the investigation in Orlando, Florida, let alone clear up the muddy circumstances around the shooting. And the Bureau has ordered the sealing of a county coroner’s completed autopsy report of that killing.
And it’s not only the media that is being stonewalled. Politicians are being shut out, as well.
U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, a reliably conservative Republican from Iowa, is now demanding answers from the FBI about its bombing investigation. In a letter to bureau Director James Comey, Grassley criticized the FBI’s lack of transparency and asked for answers to a series of questions about the bombing he first asked in June.
Three months ago, U.S. Rep. William Keating, a Massachusetts Democrat, asked his own questions in a scathing letter to Comey.
Favored Reporters Are Fed Leaks
The information blackout of the past six months stands in stark contrast to the FBI’s river of leaks to pet reporters during the week following the April 15 bombing.
This tactic of handing out selective “scoops” gave the FBI control of the narrative as it steered public opinion toward viewing the Boston Bombing as an open-and-shut case against the Tsarnaev brothers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar.
As part of the quid pro quo for these scoops, favored journalists are not likely to press the government for answers to discomfiting questions.
But don’t take our word for it.
CBS News correspondent John Miller enjoys most-favored-journalist status as a former flack for the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. He explained the scoops-for-softballs system in an interview with David Bauder of the Associated Press.
“I am reluctant to criticize authorities,” Miller said. “My interpretation of when they need to be (criticized) and somebody else’s might be different…If you’ve been there and you know how that works and what it’s like, and how easy it is to take potshots from the outside, your criticism is more measured, your analysis of what is worthy of criticism and what isn’t is slightly different.”
Our Pursuit of a Police Report
According to the official narrative, the Tsarnaev brothers were “self-radicalized” Muslims who hatched the bomb plot unassisted, constructed rather sophisticated bombs on their own, killed university police Officer Sean Collier for his gun (which they somehow did not take), and carjacked the still-anonymous “Danny” (who either escaped or was let go).
And in order to catch the Tsarnaevs, the Boston region was in essence locked down under martial law.
In scrutinizing the prevailing narrative, WhoWhatWhy has found it instructive to follow one of the many loose threads.
We sought a copy of a Cambridge, Massachusetts police report related to the “Danny” carjacking in Cambridge on the night the Tsarnaev brothers were revealed as suspects. We hoped to clear up some conflicting information.
We know the report exists. The Wall Street Journal published a story based on the document. The reporter, Pervaiz Shallwani, claims to have been given access to the official document.
Police incident reports are considered public information. Since the report had already been released to a Wall Street Journal reporter, we thought it would be a simple matter to get a copy for WhoWhatWhy.
Report Withheld; ‘Ongoing Investigation’
We called Daniel Riviello, a Cambridge police communications specialist, to ask for the report. He replied that he would have to find out whether it was available for release.
Later that day, he replied by email that the report was being withheld under an exemption of the Massachusetts Public Records Law because it was part of an ongoing investigation.
That’s a broad exemption. It is hard to conceive of a fresh police report that is not part of an ongoing investigation.
READ ALL OF THIS AT WHO WHAT WHY
“We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”
Nancy Pelosi on The Affordable Care Act.
There are many misconceptions about The Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. The first is that it is a law. The second is that it is a tax. It is really neither, but it is both. It is a strange hybrid between the two. In short, it is an odd creature that has never really been seen before. Perhaps the best explanations for what Obamacare is, or is not, can be found here. Read more
Who What Why (to read the full story)
In the six months since the Boston Marathon bombing, the FBI has by all appearances been relentlessly intimidating, punishing, deporting and, in one case, shooting to death, persons connected, sometimes only tangentially, with the alleged bombers.
All of these individuals have something in common: If afforded constitutional protections and treated as witnesses instead of perpetrators, they could potentially help clear up questions about the violence of April 15. And they might also be able to help clarify the methods and extent of the FBI’s recruitment of immigrants and others for undercover work, and how that could relate to the Bureau’s prior relationship with the bombing suspects—a relationship the Bureau has variously hidden or downplayed.
Who Cares? We Do
The Boston tragedy may seem like a remote, distant memory, yet the bombing warrants continued scrutiny as a seminal event of our times. It was, after all, the only major terror attack in the United States since 9/11. With its grisly scenes of severed limbs and dead bodies, including that of a child, it shook Americans profoundly.
As importantly, in its aftermath we’ve seen public acquiescence in an ongoing erosion of civil liberties and privacy rights that began with 9/11—and to an unprecedented expansion of federal authority in the form of a unique military/law enforcement “lockdown” of a major metropolitan area.
Nonetheless, at the time, most news organizations simply accepted at face value the shifting and thin official accounts of the strange events. Today few give the still-unfolding saga even the most minimal attention. And it is most certainly still unfolding, as we shall see.
The Little-Noticed Post-Marathon Hunt
The FBI’s strange obsession with marginal figures loosely connected to the bombing story began last May, with the daily questioning of a Chechen immigrant, Ibragim Todashev, and of his girlfriend and fellow immigrant, Tatiana Gruzdeva. Todashev had been a friend of the alleged lead Boston Marathon bomber, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died in a hail of police gunfire four days after the bombing. Tsarnaev’s younger brother Dzhokhar barely survived a massive police strafing of a trailered boat in which he was hiding, trapped and unarmed.
During one interrogation in Orlando, Florida, where Todashev was living, something went awry and he ended up dead from gunshots. Although to date the FBI has provided only hazy and inconsistent accounts of that incident, the killing of a suspect and potential witness in custody was clearly a highly irregular and problematical occurrence, replete with apparent violations of Bureau and standard law-enforcement procedure.
On the heels of those two deaths and the one near-death has followed what appears to be a concerted effort directed against a larger circle of people connected, if not to the Tsarnaevs, then to Todashev.
The purpose of this campaign is not clear, but it has raised some eyebrows.
In an interview with WhoWhatWhy, Hassan Shibly, executive director of the Florida chapter of the Center for American Islamic Relations (CAIR), described aggressive behavior directed by FBI agents at vocal friends of the dead Todashev: using suspected informants to monitor their press conferences, following targeted individuals around, interrogating them for hours—often without an attorney, and jailing them on what he says are trumped-up charges.
Shibly further claims that government agents are threatening these immigrants with deportation unless they agree to “cooperate”—a tactic which he portrays as seeking to enroll these people as de facto spies for the federal government.
Two people have left the country to escape further harassment. Another has been deported, while a fourth is currently facing deportation; none of them has a criminal record. The bulk of this group were at most friends of a friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev—and apparently didn’t personally know either of the Tsarnaevs.
One of these targets was Tatiana Gruzdeva, Todashev’s 20-year-old girlfriend. She was deported to Russia on October 11.
Gruzdeva had been in the US on a student visa. According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) public affairs officer Carissa Cutrell, Gruzdeva had overstayed that visa—a common situation for foreign students studying in the US—but on August 9 she had been granted a “deferred action” status valid for one year, and therefore was for that period in the country legally.
Gruzdeva was nonetheless picked up by FBI and ICE agents on Oct. 1 while attending a scheduled meeting with an immigration officer to obtain a work visa. According to Gruzdeva, she was told she was being taken because she had “talked to Boston Magazine” and had described Todashev as “a good guy.”
READ THE REST HERE
We might as well rename Cousin Barry Obama, “The Precedent and Thief” —- thank you thank you…. THIS IS WHAT WE DO!
A friend sent me an image of King George III with the following text layered over the image. It reads:
“You mean to tell me that we can tax them for NOT buying tea?”
Can you imagine how much money could be raised by taxing people for not doing something? It’s genius.
When we think of taxes, we think of things and services being taxed: gasoline, land, automobiles, etc. You name it, and the State will tax it.
Ronald Reagan (he would know) had a great line describing how “liberals” think about taxes:
“If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
But neither King George nor Ronald Reagan ever considered that liberals would tax people for NOT doing something. In this case, for not buying insurance.
King George and every other tyrant would be kicking themselves that they had never thought of it.
It took a Supreme Justice to validate the proposition that a person can be taxed for not doing something that he does not want to do and the Constitution does not require him to do. If a person can be taxed for not buying insurance, will the day come when the State steps in and begins to tax people for not eating the right kind of foods, reading the right kind of books, and associating with the right kinds of people?
Read more HERE
My eldest daughter works as a billing specialist for a doctor here in Chicago. Her job more or less requires that she familiarize herself with the laws regulating doctors and the insurance industry. Unlike the layman who simply wants to see a doctor when illness strikes and be able to afford the treatments offered in order to get well again, she has to get into the guts of a system that requires 1500+ page tomes trying to determine the cost for treating every malady imaginable. As such, she has been studying a proposed new law, The State Health Care Innovation Plan, or SHCIP, that the Illinois legislature will soon be voting on. It is 200+ pages or so long, and what she has read concerned her so that she gave me the first 8 pages to read to ask me what I thought of it. Read more
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