empire

The ‘Good’ War Once Again – The Dead Can’t Give an Opinion

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The never ending war. The Orwellian twisting of words calling our ‘surge’ in Afghanistan “the good war” by the neocon/neolib/neo-killers is a sick attempt to perpetuate the myth that cave dwellers did 9/11 and that al-Qaeda will strike again on our soil if we don’t get them and the Taliban over there.

There will be no expose of the American/Mossad 9/11 false flag. We’ll just continue to kill civilians and spend our way to oblivion. The Obama administration is a war criminal regime the same as the Bush one was. War profiteers laugh all the way to the bank and the goal of World War III to solidify the banker/globalist/zionist empire and a one world government/ currency looms ever closer.

An Afghan boy pushed a handcart among new graves of people killed after air strikes in Ganj Abad of Bala Buluk district in Farah Province on Monday. The United States is investigating the deaths and Pakistan is targeting a valley held by militants. A8
An Afghan boy pushed a handcart among new graves of people killed after air strikes in Ganj Abad of Bala Buluk district in Farah Province on Monday. At least 113 civilians were killed in bombing attacks.

Ron Paul questions professional liar Richard Holbrooke in Congress.

Chris Floyd – Rolling Out the Product: A New Full-Court Press for Pakistan War

We are now in the midst of a full-blown campaign to “roll out the product” for a new war: this time, in Pakistan. Anyone who lived through the run-up to the invasion of Iraq should be able to read the signs — anyone, that is, who is not blinded by partisan labels, or by the laid-back cool of a media-savvy leader far more presentable than his predecessor.

We noted some of these signs in a long post yesterday and won’t belabor them here. But today brings yet another bumper crop of panic buttons and alarm bells from the powers-that-be, with ever-increasing emphasis on the “Taliban kooks with Muslim nukes” theme: one more variation on the old “mushroom clouds rising in American cities” ploy that has worked like a charm for our militarists lo these 60 years or more.

Some of the war-pushing powers-that-be are public figures in the Obama Administration (including Obama himself, who has dutifully taken on the Bushian mantle of Fearmonger-in-Chief), and some of them are shadowy, unnamed eminences in the military-security apparat, clearly aiming to act for Obama as those daggers of the mind did for Macbeth: “Thou marshall’st me the way that I was going.” {more}

Our Secretary of State/War Whore Hillary Clinton has ‘regrets’ and is ‘impressed.’

In Washington, where Afghan President Hamid Karzai met Wednesday with top officials, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the U.S. deeply regretted the loss of life.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says she is optimistic that Afghanistan and Pakistan will take steps to fight extremists and that she’s “quite impressed” with recent Pakistani military action against the Taliban.

Smiling faces belie intentions of death.

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama must press visiting Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to accept more help in securing US aid to secure his country’s nuclear arsenal, a top senator said Wednesday.

‘He must convince President Zardari to accept more assistance and embrace cooperation,’ said Republican Senator Richard Lugar, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Lugar, a leading US foreign policy voice, cited global concerns that unrest in Pakistan could lead to its nuclear weapons, or the raw materials for chemical or biological weapons, ‘falling into the wrong hands.’ {more}

The dead can’t give an opinion – Christopher King

There’s a good question: “What does the USA contribute to the world?” Let’s leave aside the US delusion that it brings democracy and freedom to a benighted world.

Americans like doing one thing and they do it a lot: they like creating dead foreigners and travel all over the world to do it.

To make killing foreigners easier, Americans are very good at devising ingenious means of doing it, such as smart bombs, beam weapons and drones with which operators in Nevada can safely bomb wedding parties in Iraq or Afghanistan. One can only think that if all this money, energy and Yankee ingenuity were put into renewable energy and infrastructure improvement at home with genuine grass-roots economic aid abroad, the world would be a much better place and Americans would be much better loved. America is certainly the most powerful country in the world but what does that mean? It means only that America has the ability to kill more foreigners than anyone else. It’s by no means evident that this makes it the world’s legitimate policeman, implanter of democracy and freedom or any other of its myths. Nor is America the world economic leader, having ignored sound economics and squandered its wealth on an extravagant life-style and its military-industrial complex. Its debts and fraud are now being paid for largely by the rest of the world.

Politicians rely on the fact that dead people can’t express an opinion. I’ll do it for them. Not one of the dead American or European soldiers would have gone to Iraq or Afghanistan if he had known he would die there. They really believed that they would live and they believed the lies.
{more}

Drum Machine: Spinning for War with Iran

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https://i2.wp.com/beinart.org/artists/donald-pass/gallery/donald-pass-4.jpg
The Reaper – art by Donald Pass


Written by Chris Floyd

Chris Hedges, Truthdig, Feb. 23:
There is a lot riding on whom President Obama names as his special envoy to Iran. If, as expected, it is Dennis Ross…we will be in deep trouble….


The New York Times, Feb. 24:
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday appointed Dennis B. Ross, a seasoned Middle East negotiator under Republican and Democratic presidents, as her special adviser for the [Persian Gulf] and Southwest Asia, a portfolio that will include Iran….Mr. Ross had advocated a tough approach toward Iran that included persuading Europe to increase economic pressure on the government in Tehran. He is a co-founder of United Against Nuclear Iran, a group dedicated to stopping the country from acquiring nuclear weapons.


The drumbeat for an attack on Iran — pounded by American and Israeli militarists, and their multitude of sycophants — never ceases. At times it blends into the background noise of other events that surface to dominate the howling cacaphony of the corporate media bubble, but it never goes away. Very weighty factions in the American power structure, and their Israeli allies, are strongly committed to making such an attack happen, and they continue to press their agenda — patiently, relentlessly — no matter who is temporarily managing the empire.

In recent days, they have upped the volume, bringing the issue back to the fore. As many others have pointed out (most notably Arthur Silber, in this powerful piece), the warmongers have seized on an unremarkable report by the International Atomic Energy Agency noting that it had underestimated the amount of enriched uranium at Iran’s nuclear facilities. The IAEA said this kind of undercounting was not uncommon in dealing with nascent nuclear programs. And in any case, the undercounted uranium was not missing or “hidden;” it was there, in plain sight, open to international inspectors — who, in the due course of a thorough inspection, found it and added it to the total.

The IAEA also reported the fact that Iran has deliberately slowed the pace of its nuclear enrichment program, leaving it even further away from developing a nuclear weapon — if, in fact, it were developing a nuclear weapon, which both the IAEA and the U.S. intelligence appartus says it is not. In short, the IAEA report was good news that could have provided a clear and fruitful opening to any administration seeking a “new approach” to Iran.

But none of this mattered to the warmongers, who immediately seized upon the drums that are always at their command in the higher reaches of the national media. As Kaveh L Afrasiabi reports in the Asia Times:

From the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and London’s Mirror, the Guardian and the Financial Times, among other leading international newspapers, the reaction has been a steady stream of alarmist commentaries. Many reports regard this an Iranian “milestone” in reaching “nuclear break-out capability”.

….A Los Angeles Times report was headlined “Iran has enriched enough to make a bomb, report says” while the New York Times went out of its way to convey the impression that Iran had deliberately “understated” the magnitude of its enriched uranium. The New York Times added serious fuel to this raw information by citing an “anonymous” IAEA official who claimed that “theoretically” Iran is capable of making a nuclear bomb…

The US government spokesperson, Gordon Duguid, was quick to denounce Iran and parrot the line that Iran must suspend all its “uranium-enrichment related reprocessing”. This despite the fact that all the IAEA reports – including this most recent one – state categorically that “there are no indications of ongoing reprocessing activities” at Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the US officials first bothered to read – or read carefully – the reports that they rely on to sledgehammer Iran?


Oh, they read them, all right. They read them very carefully — then cherry-pick phrases and factoids to twist as they see fit. Silber nails it thusly:

If our rulers are determined to go to war, they will go to war. It may take them years or even a decade, but if the war is important enough to them, they’ll get to the war eventually. As needed to prevent significant protest from a docile, easily manipulated public, they will lie about every significant aspect of the alleged threat we face and about what we “must” do. And what we “must” do is always to kill lots and lots of people, most of whom have never even thought of harming us.


And let’s be clear about one thing: the United States is already at war with Iraq. Washington is already sponsoring terrorist attacks inside Iranian territory by extremist groups, including Jundullah, America’s own little al Qaeda. As Hedges notes:

Iran has endured our covert support for armed militant groups from the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK or MKO) to the Free Life Party of Kurdistan to the repugnant Jundullah, also known as the Army of God, a Sunni fundamentalist group that operates with U.S. support out of Pakistan. Jundullah has carried out a series of bombings and ambushes inside Iran. The militant group has a habit of beheading Iranians it captures, including a recent group of 16 Iranian police officials, and filming and distributing the executions.


As you can see, bombings and beheadings and deathporn videos are not inherently evil; they can also be a force for good — as long as they put to the service of America’s ever-noble, ever-lofty foreign policy ideals.

With the appointment of Dennis Ross, the Obama Administration has given its response to Iran’s gesture of slowing down the enrichment of uranium for its nuclear energy program. As Hedges wrote:

“For the US to shape a peaceful relationship with Iran will be difficult under any circumstances,” Stephen Kinzer, author of “All the Shah’s Men,” wrote recently. “If the American negotiating team is led by Ross or another conventional thinker tied to dogmas of the past, it will be impossible.”

…Obama has an opportunity to radically alter the course we have charted in the Middle East. The key will be his administration’s relationship with Iran. If he gives in to the Israel lobby, if he empowers Ross, if he defines Iran as the enemy before he begins to attempt a negotiated peace, he could ignite a fuse that will see our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan evolve into a regional conflagration. This may be the most important decision of his presidency. Let’s pray he does not blow it.


Well, he has “blown it” — although the use of that phrase assumes that Obama ever intended to “radically alter the course we have charted in the Middle East.” He gave zero evidence of such an intention throughout the campaign — rather the opposite — and so his appointment of Ross, and his reaction to the non-story about the IAEA inspection, do not constitute a “mistake” on his part, at least not on his own terms.
For example, the Obama administration has now fully embraced the subtle shift made by the Bush Administration regarding Iran’s atomic ambition, from declaring that Iran will not be allowed to build a nuclear weapon to declaring that it will not be allowed to develop any nuclear program at all. This allowed the Bushists, and now the Obamaniks, to elide the uncomfortable fact that there is no evidence of any nuclear weapons program in Iran. As we noted here back in December 2007:

Anyone hoping that the “no nukes in Iran” NIE report might hobble the Administration’s armed march toward Persia should take note of how George W. Bush moved the goal posts in his warmongering game during a press conference on Tuesday.

As the New York Times reports, Bush declared that Iran will not be “allowed” to acquire even the “scientific knowledge” required to build a nuclear weapon. Previous “red lines” which could trigger an attack had been based on Iran actually building a weapon; now even nibbling at the forbidden fruit of nuclear knowledge could serve as “justification” for a “pre-emptive strike” to quell the “danger.” After all, as Bush rather illiterately told reporters, “What’s to say they couldn’t start another covert nuclear weapons program?” Better safe than sorry, right?

And at the very least, moving the goalposts in this manner will allow the Bush Regime to portray Iran as a dangerous, defiant menace for merely carrying on with its fully legal nuclear power program, as authorized by international treaty and monitored by the IAEA. Thus no matter what Iran actually does – or doesn’t do – the Bushists will continue to use the “Persian menace” as fodder for the imperial war machine.


Now here is Obama’s envoy to the UN, Susan Rice, speaking in February 2009:

The US envoy to the United Nations, Susan Rice, meanwhile said in a radio interview that the IAEA report “confirms what we all have feared and anticipated, which is that Iran … remains in pursuit of its nuclear program.”

“There’s no ambiguity about that, and our aim is to combine enhanced pressures, and indeed the potential for direct engagement to try to prevent Iran from taking its program to fruition,” Rice said in remarks to be aired later Friday on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered program.


Note what is being said here. The United States is declaring its intent to prevent Iran from taking its “nuclear program” to fruition. Rice, following Bush, is careful not to say “nuclear weapons program,” because Washington’s own intelligence agencies affirm there is no evidence for such a thing. But, as Arthur Silber noted, this doesn’t matter. The very notion of Iran having a nuclear program of any kind is now the issue — an issue justifying “enhanced pressures.” And considering that the United States is already maintaining a near-complete economic and diplomatic blockade of Iran — and killing Iranians with terrorist attacks — what could those “enhanced pressures” be, other than overt military action? As the saying goes, there is not a sliver of daylight between the Bush and Obama position on this point.

The Bush Administration said it was willing to contemplate and if need be countenance war if Iran continued to pursue its treaty-sanctioned, internationally inspected nuclear energy program. The Obama Administration has just said the same thing — even after Iran had slowed its nuclear energy program as a gesture toward the “new approach” that Obama mentioned in the campaign. Obama has appointed a secretary of state who publicly vowed to “obliterate” Iran — and its 70 million human beings — if Tehran launched an attack on Israel. He has now given this secretary of state a special envoy who is one of the fiercest anti-Iran hawks in Washington.

As Stephen Kinzer notes, Obama has just made the task of shaping a peaceful relationship with Iran well-nigh impossible. A cynic might suspect that this was his intention all along.

But let us not be cynical in the still-blazing dawn of our new era. Let us give the new president every benefit of the doubt, and say that he is indeed committed to a peaceful relationship with Iran — as long as Iran capitulates to all of America’s demands, gratefully accepts American hegemony and cheerfully countenances America’s blowing up and beheading of its citizens.

Still hard to see that sliver though, ain’t it?

Source: Chris Floyd

Ron Paul says it’s time to end the empire

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vn3dkAp7Xws

From: TheRealNews

Added:
Paul Jay interviews Ron Paul from the “Rally for the Republic”

**********************************************

The Lifeblood of the Empire

by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

These remarks were delivered at the Rally for the Republic, Target Center, Minneapolis, on September 2.

About fifteen years ago a conservative columnist wrote that Americans are faced with a choice between the Stupid Party and the Evil Party. And that once in a while the two parties get together and do something that’s both stupid and evil, and that’s called bipartisanship.

If anything, that view was too optimistic. On so many issues that matter, we may as well have a one-party system.

Some people on the Left are finally discovering to their chagrin that the so-called change Barack Obama would make to American foreign policy is just cosmetic. What did they expect? His foreign-policy panel, a who’s-who of the establishment, includes Madeleine Albright, the former Secretary of State who said “the price has been worth it” when asked on 60 Minutes what she thought of the fact that the Bush/Clinton sanctions on Iraq had led to half a million dead children.

So that’s the “change” candidate. Well, how very refreshing.

On taxes, the Democrat favors a top income tax rate of 39.5 percent, and the Republican favors a top rate of 35 percent. Well, ain’t democracy grand! We get to debate a whole four and a half percentage points.

Forget about spending. The Democrat spends his time devising new ways to throw away money we don’t have. Who knows what additional billions the Republican nominee’s foreign-policy bellicosity will saddle us with. But he pledges to balance the budget without a tax increase by 2013, while also strengthening the dollar and closing the $70 trillion entitlement shortfall. And we’re expected to believe this.

Been there, done that.

And by the way, if I may be forgiven for stating the obvious, you are not a fiscal conservative – or any other kind of conservative, for that matter – if you think it’s a-okay to stay in Iraq for one hundred years.

The subject I’ve been asked to address here, though, is yet another one that finds the two major candidates – let’s call them McBama – in agreement: namely, money and the Federal Reserve System.

Since the Fed was established in 1913 the dollar has lost 95 percent of its value. The Fed has given us more financial bubbles than we can count. When it inflates the money supply it lowers the value of the dollars in Americans’ pockets and hurts society’s most vulnerable. It redistributes wealth from the middle class and the poor to the politically well connected, by means of what economists call distribution or Cantillon effects.

What’s more, F.A. Hayek won the Nobel Prize in economics for showing how central banks like the Fed create the boom-bust business cycle in our economy. When the central bank manipulates interest rates, it causes massive discoordination. The interest rate is supposed to coordinate production across time, but it can do so only when it reflects an aggregate of voluntary choices, not the whim of the Fed chairman. Entrepreneurs are misled into making investments that make no sense in light of current resource availability. The Fed’s intervention starts the economy on an artificial boom that ends in an inevitable bust.

More and more financial analysts are coming to accept Hayek’s view, known as the Austrian theory of the business cycle, because it corresponds so closely to what’s happening all around us. In the 1920s, when so-called mainstream economists were foolishly assuring us that permanent prosperity had arrived, economists of what’s known as the Austrian School of economic thought, to which Ron Paul also belongs, stood alone in predicting the Great Depression.

Yet in spite of all this, we’ve had no serious discussion of the Federal Reserve System for nearly 100 years. It has been fantastically successful in depoliticizing itself. No politician even mentions it. And although he is too genuinely humble to acknowledge it, one man is responsible for finally blasting open this forbidden question: Ron Paul.

Look at how members of Congress treat the Fed chairman when he appears before them. He gets asked only the most inane, sycophantic questions. Members of the Banking Committee, decked out in their “I Heart Bernanke” T-shirts, wave incense before him.

Ron Paul, on the other hand, looks him in the eye and says, “You are stealing from the poor!”

The economic and historical arguments against sound money (that is, money that government can’t just print up at will) are surprisingly weak – really just a string of fallacies. For now I refer you all to the education page at CampaignForLiberty.com for plenty of resources in defense of sound money.

But Joseph Schumpeter, one of the great economists of the twentieth century, said that even if you accepted all the bogus economic arguments against gold, it still made perfect sense to favor it. Why? Because it is the only system compatible with freedom.

If “fiscal responsibility” is your issue, you’ll never get anywhere as long as the government can create out of thin air all the money it wants. If the federal government is an addict, then the Federal Reserve System is its enabler.

Or suppose you’re concerned about war and what Ron Paul calls our government’s “bull-in-a-china-shop foreign policy.” (By the way, that’s a concern shared by the genuine Left – people like Kirkpatrick Sale and Gore Vidal – and the genuine Right, by which I mean traditional conservatives like Russell Kirk and Robert Taft, not today’s neoconservative death cult.) Well, you, too, should care about the Fed, since the central bank is the lifeblood of the empire. If you want to stop the war machine, you’ll have to go after the money machine.

How did Lyndon Johnson get away with his war spending in Vietnam? By a deliberate policy of concealing the cost through inflation – a cost the American people bore only later, in the stagflation of the 1970s. Just the cost overruns on two Pentagon projects added up to more than the combined GDPs of North and South Vietnam. By silently looting the American population, the government was able to get away with much more spending than would otherwise have been possible.

Then there’s the disastrous war in Iraq, the propaganda for which was fed to us by America’s Pravda, the New York Times. How has that war been funded? By borrowing from foreigners, and creating new money out of thin air.

As for our current economic mess, McBama agree with the president, who summed up his own business cycle theory in these words: “Wall Street got drunk.” Their solution? For starters, hundreds of billions of dollars in bailouts to the alleged drunkards. Bailouts and scapegoating – anything other than pointing the finger where it belongs – are all McBama can think to do. To hear them speak, you’d never know the Fed’s mad money creation spree and its resulting economic distortions had even occurred.

And no, the free market doesn’t cause housing bubbles and mortgage crises. The federal government has been pushing unsound loans on banks for years, both through legislation and by a Federal Reserve policy of flooding the economy with cheap credit. This new money went overwhelmingly into the housing market, the result being the housing bubble that is now bursting. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are Government Supported Enterprises (GSEs) that get special tax and regulatory breaks, and that everyone knows will be bailed out if it should come to that. So there’s nothing to stop them from buying up risky mortgages from banks. And banks in turn are more likely to make risky loans in the first place if they know Fannie and Freddie will be happy to buy them up.

This crazy system is a layer cake of moral hazard, not the free market. But as usual, the free market is being blamed for the stupidity and recklessness of the blockheads who rule us.

Every four years we’re subjected to a pair of empty suits whose only real argument is over exactly how and through what channels they plan to squander Americans’ wealth. It’s enough to make the non-comatose segment of the population despair. What can we do?

For starters, you can do what Ron Paul does, which is to start your day by reading LewRockwell.com. You can go to amconmag.com and read and subscribe to The American Conservative magazine.

But above all, today we have a special suggestion. If you’re tired of having to choose between two wings of the same bird of prey, then help us change America: go to CampaignForLiberty.com and join Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty!

H.L. Mencken put it this way: “The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it.”

Publishers Weekly says Dr. Paul “gives new life to old debates.” But you know what? Without him, we wouldn’t be having these debates in the first place.

Ron Paul reminds us that our future is not cast in stone, and that if we as a people so choose, we do not have to live in the kind of America the two major parties have in store for us.

Thanks to all of you for the sacrifices you’ve made on behalf of this great American cause – and above all, thank you, Ron Paul.

Source: http://www.lewrockwell.com/woods/woods96.html

American Capitalism: The Murder Culture vs The Gift Culture

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Thomas Paine’s Corner

cannibal

By Justin Frambes

7/11/08

“What’s healthiest for the Earth is healthiest for humanity.” –Unknown

“The relationship of capitalism to a market economy is that of a cancer to a healthy body. Much as the cancer kills its host — and itself — by expropriating and consuming the host’senergy, the institutions of capitalism are expropriating and consuming the living energies of people, communities, and the planet. And like a cancer, the institutions of capitalism lack the foresight to anticipate and avoid the inevitable deathly outcome.” –David C. Korten, inThe Post-Corporate

“Money is a new form of slavery, and distinguishable from the old simply by the fact that it is impersonal — that there is no human relationship between master and slave.” – Leo Tolstoy

Centuries ago they came to the “New World”, the masses of European settlers escaping political and religious oppression, war, corrupt landlordism, etc. for freer, much greener pastures, but unknowing pawns as they were and slaves to a system so omnipresent they never saw it, let alone questioned it, they brought with them the monetary control system and systematically conquered the entire North American continent, ultimately resulting in the deaths of anywhere from 8 to 145 million American Indians through disease, dispossession of their land (most often illegal), and outright genocide, all in the name of [American] “progress” and profit. Along with the American Indians, the Gift Culture” passed into the pages of history.

As the United States established itself, so did capitalism and the modern corporate world under the monetary control system. Viewing the continent as a vast source of future wealth and American Indians and their way of life (Gift Culture, sustainability) as “savage,” “antiquated,” and standing directly in its way atop “waste and unappropriated lands” 1, it set upon its mission of removing them and plundering the land for every resource it had. Blinded by greed for the money and power to be obtained through acquisition of all the natural resources and growth of a taxpaying population, it never questioned its predatory way of service to self (where one serves self) at the expense of others — e.g. their disrespect, disregard, and brutality toward other peoples, other customs, animals, and nature itself (indeed, it lived completely out of touch with nature, where its only relationship to it was to prey upon it). Today, 232 years after its inception, the American empire having influenced almost every corner of the world (and led almost all other nations by example), its pursuit of material and financial wealth through capitalism has left the Earth’s air, land, rivers and sea polluted beyond human repair and humanity in a state of misery and disarray.

American Indians were (and had always been) free from the monetary control system, living under their humble Gift Culture, but efforts during the 18th and 19th centuries to force them into accepting “civilization”, being American citizens, and ultimately taxpayers subject to the jurisdiction (control) of the United States were relentless and unyielding, and eventually succeeded. What the world largely has today, as a result of the historically costly success of America and capitalism and abandonment of the Gift Culture (excluding the digital world where it still lives), is that of a convenient but ultimately regressive, debt-based, fast-paced, stressful, egocentric, self-important, individualistic, isolationist, unsustainable, anti-communal / anti-tribal, fear-based (fear of losing money, power, importance, normalcy, services, materialism, of death, and so on) way of life disconnected from nature and almost completely devoid of meaning and realism.

It is very revealing that most people cannot imagine what life would be like without money. The problem however is not necessarily money itself, it is humanity’s belief in and use of it (via the ego). Unfortunately it demands that life is a perpetual state of debt to someone or something other than oneself, something to be continuously earned until the end (”the cost of living”), and places an arbitrary numerical value on life itself, when in actuality all life is equal and sacred. Furthermore it gives only the illusion of balance; its very existence creates imbalance and poverty, the opposite of its purpose, which is to obtain security. And when accompanied by greed, hatred, or self-centeredness it becomes the tool of corruption, control (through ownership), and leads to destruction and disregard for others and loss of quality and integrity in its pursuit, namely that of profits.

Such things are incapable of existing under a Gift Culture, a free system that is not derived from the ego and based on pure self-interest, but one of codependence, coexistence, and care for others — where wealth is not in how much one acquires, as it is under capitalism, but how much one can give away freely. With no universal currency to acquire, there is no controllable economy or outlet for greed and hatred through ownership to be had. The American Indians, for instance, had not even a definition of private property:

“The Indians had no concept of “private property,” as applied to the land. Only among the Delawares was it customary for families, during certain times of the year, to be assigned specific hunting territories. Apparently this was an unusual practice, not found among other Indians. Certainly, the idea of an individual having exclusive use of a particular piece of land was completely strange to Native Americans.

The Indians practiced communal land ownership. That is, the entire community owned the land upon which it lived.” 2

Ownership of land is now at an all-time high and how much global corporations own is staggering. The capitalist system, having operated at full speed for over 200 years, has exhausted the world extensively, and is at this point showing blatant signs of impending failure, all due to its unsustainability and careless disregard for everything except itself. People are now, more than ever, finding themselves with less and less money and are becoming disillusioned with the monetary control system as a whole as the trillions of dollars of unpaid debt come full circle, causing prices to skyrocket due to the plummeting purchasing power of the dollar and the stock market to threaten a disastrous collapse.

With nothing being manufactured in the country anymore thanks to rampant outsourcing by corporations for higher profits and the Federal Reserve Corporation as usual looking out for its own interests and those of the banks, there is no solution in sight to the problem except to brace oneself for the impending great wave of changes.

In order to survive what seems to be coming, compassion (with discernment) for others, the slow formation of localized, self-sustaining communities, and free exchange of goods will become inevitable necessities, and perhaps with those, as the money itself and the belief in it collapses, will arrive a gradual return to the Gift Culture, where such selflessness, while at first provided out of necessity, will eventually be done so voluntarily as humanity realizes a better way of living.

[Footnotes]
1 Christopher Colles, Proposals for the Speedy Settlement of the Waste and
Unappropriated Lands on the Western Frontiers of the State of New York, and for the Improvement of the Inland Navigation Between Albany and Oswego
(New York: Samuel London, 1785), 6.
2 John Alexander Williams, West Virginia: A History for Beginners
(Charleston, WV: Appalachian Editions, 1993), 64. via Native American Clashes with European
Settlers

[Resources]
For an example look into how one can exit the materialist mania of America and develop a life full of meaning, see: Luhrs, Janet. The Simple Living Guide. New York, N.Y.: Broadway Books, 1997.

Bill Blum’s anti-empire report

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Cyrano’s Journal – Thomas Paine’s Corner

The Greanville Journal

Africa says NO • Repealing the law of Supply & Demand—marvels of crony capitalism • American Democracy—you got a problem with dat?

by William Blum [ www.killinghope.org ]
Read this or George W. Bush will be president the rest of your life
Dateline: June 6, 2008

The Empire — A Status Report
There are a number of expressions and slogans associated with the Nazi regime in Germany which have become commonly known in English.
“Sieg Heil!” — Victory Hail!
“Arbeit macht frei” — Work will make you free.
“Denn heute gehört uns Deutschland und morgen die ganze Welt” — Today Germany, tomorrow the world
But none perhaps is better known than “Deutschland über alles” — Germany above all.Thus I was taken aback when I happened to come across the website of the United States Air Force — http://www.airforce.com/ — and saw on its first page a heading “Above all”. Lest you think that this refers simply and innocently to planes high up in the air, this page links to another — http://www.airforce.com/achangingworld/ — where “Above all” is repeated even more prominently, with links to sites for “Air Dominance”, “Space Dominance”, and “Cyber Dominance”, each of which in turn repeats “Above all”. These guys don’t kid around. They’re not your father’s imperialist warmongers. If they’re planning on a new “thousand-year Reich”, let’s hope that their fate is no better than the original, which lasted 12 years.

The events of recent years indicate that the world is wising up to and becoming less intimidated by Washington’s overarching ambition for world dominance. Latin America is increasingly attempting to escape the empire’s clutches. Leaders keenly aware of how US imperialism works and determined to keep it out of their own country are in power in Venezuela, Uruguay, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, and perhaps the latest addition, Paraguay.


Africa says NO.

And now Africa has turned down Washington’s offer to be part of the imperial family. African governments have refused to host Africom, the US Africa Command. The Washington Post reported that “worry swept the continent that the United States planned major new military installations in Africa”, and despite the promise of new development and security partnerships, many Africans concluded that Africom was primarily an extension of US counterterrorism policy, intended to keep an eye on Africa’s large Muslim population. The United States “equates terrorism with Islam,” said a senior Kenyan diplomat, and few African governments wanted to be seen as inviting US surveillance on their own people. [note from your editor: It would be more instructive to equate anti-American terrorism with American foreign policy, including building military bases in other people’s countries.]

When Bush visited Africa in February, he was told by the Ghanian president: “You’re not going to build any bases in Ghana.” US-funded aid groups protested plans to expand the American military’s role in economic development in Africa, sharply objecting to working alongside US troops. Said an Africom officer: “[Africom] was seen as a massive infusion of military might onto a continent that was quite proud of having removed foreign powers from its soil.”[1]

There’s also the oil factor. The US imports more oil from African nations than from Saudi Arabia, and the continent has huge unexplored areas. This undoubtedly is a major motivation behind Washington’s desire for an expanded military presence in the region. The United States is not about to take Africa’s rejection of Africom as the last word; indeed, some of the tough rhetoric by African officials may be for public consumption, for the US already has somewhat of a military presence on the continent. It will be interesting to observe the ongoing tug of war between Washington and African nationalists/anti-imperialists over expansion of the American presence.

Democracy American Style. You gotta problem wit dat?
Here’s White House spokeswoman Dana Perino at a recent press briefing:
Reporter: The American people are being asked to die and pay for this, and you’re saying that they have no say in this war?
Perino: I didn’t say that … this President was elected —
Reporter: Well, what it amounts to is you saying we have no input at all.
Perino: You had input. The American people have input every four years, and that’s the way our system is set up.[2]

In 1941, Edward Dowling, editor and priest, commented: “The two greatest obstacles to democracy in the United States are, first, the widespread delusion among the poor that we have a democracy, and second, the chronic terror among the rich, lest we get it.”

Can we look forward to Perino’s memoir after she leaves the White House in which, like her predecessor Scott McClellan recently, she confesses that she was part of a “permanent campaign” mode to deceive the American public? I’m prepared to welcome her into the fold as I have McClellan. I have a soft spot in my heart for political late bloomers. I used to work for the State Department when I was a good, loyal anti-communist.

Washington’s grand and noble new ally in the Free World

Kosovo “liberation army” members meet marines during the NATO intervention.
Scott McClellan has been criticized for not expressing his reservations about Bush administration policies while still at the White House. This would have indeed taken a measure of courage few people have, and likely meant his job and career committing suicide. I’m reminded of Carla Del Ponte, the Swiss diplomat who in 1999 became Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, located in The Hague, Netherlands. In accordance with her official duties, she looked into possible war crimes of all the participants in the conflicts of the 1990s surrounding the breakup of Yugoslavia and the NATO (read the United States) 78-day bombing of Serbia and its province of Kosovo, where ethnic Albanians were trying to secede. In late December 1999, in an interview with The Observer of London, Del Ponte was asked if she was prepared to press criminal charges against NATO personnel (and not just against the former Yugoslav republics). She replied: “If I am not willing to do that, I am not in the right place. I must give up my mission.”

The Tribunal then announced that it had completed a study of possible NATO crimes, declaring: “It is very important for this tribunal to assert its authority over any and all authorities to the armed conflict within the former Yugoslavia.”

Was this a sign from heaven that the new millennium (2000 was but a week away) was going to be one of more equal international justice? Could this really be?

No, it couldn’t. From official quarters, military and civilian, of the United States and Canada, came disbelief, shock, anger, denials … “appalling” … “unjustified”. Del Ponte got the message. Her office quickly issued a statement: “NATO is not under investigation by the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. There is no formal inquiry into the actions of NATO during the conflict in Kosovo.”[3]

Del Ponte remained in her position until the end of 2007, leaving to become the Swiss ambassador to Argentina; at the same time writing a book about her time with the Tribunal – “The Hunt: Me and War Criminals”, published two months ago but available at the moment only in Italian. It hasn’t been much reported yet what del Ponte has said about NATO, but the book has already created a scandal in Europe, for in it she reveals how the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) abducted hundreds of Serbs in 1999, and took them to Kosovo’s fellow Muslims in Albania where they were killed, their kidneys and other body parts then removed and sold for transplant in other countries.

The KLA for years has been engaging in other equally charming activities, such as heavy trafficking in drugs, trafficking in women, various acts of terrorism, and carrying out ethnic cleansing of Serbs who have had the bad fortune to be in Kosovo because it’s long been their home. Between 1998 and 2002, the KLA appeared at times on the State Department terrorism list; at first because of its tactic of targeting innocent Serb civilians in order to provoke retaliation from Serbian troops; later because Mujahadeen mercenaries from various Islamic countries, including some tied to al Qaeda, were fighting alongside the KLA, as they were in Bosnia with the Bosnian Muslims during the 1990s Yugoslav civil wars.[4] The KLA remained on the terrorist list until the US decided to make them an ally, in some measure due to the existence of a major American military base in Kosovo, Camp Bondsteel. (It’s remarkable, is it not, how these bases pop up all around the world?) In November 2005, following a visit there, Alvaro Gil-Robles, the human rights envoy of the Council of Europe, described the camp as a “smaller version of Guantanamo”, referring to the detainees there at the time from Washington’s various wars, including the so-called War on Terror.[5]

On February 17 of this year, in a move of highly questionable international legality, the KLA declared the independence of Kosovo from Serbia. The next day the United States recognized this new “nation”, thus affirming the unilateral declaration of independence of a part of another country’s territory. The new country has as its prime minister a gentleman named Hashim Thaci, described in Del Ponte’s book as the brain behind the abductions of Serbs and the sale of their organs. The new gangster state of Kosovo is supported by Washington and other Western powers who can’t forgive Serbia-Yugoslavia-Milosevic — “the last communists of Europe” — for not wanting to wholeheartedly embrace the NATO/US/European Union triumvirate, which recognizes no higher power, United Nations or other. The independent state of Kosovo is regarded as reliably pro-west, a state that will serve as a militarized outpost for the triumvirate, which is intent on further encircling Russia and pushing it out of Europe.

In her book, Del Ponte asserts that there was sufficient evidence for prosecution of Kosovo Albanians involved in war crimes, but the investigation “was nipped in the bud”, focusing instead on “the crimes committed by Serbia.” She claims that she could do nothing because it was next to impossible to collect evidence in Kosovo, which was swarming with criminals, in and out of the government. Witnesses were intimidated, and even judges in The Hague were afraid of the Kosovo Albanians.

In April, the Swiss Foreign Department issued a statement that Del Ponte’s book “contains statements which are impermissible for a representative of the government of Switzerland”, ordered her to return to her ambassadorial post in Argentina, and prohibited any further appearances promoting her book. The Swiss have officially recognized the independence of Kosovo and established an embassy in the country. Kosovo appears likely to remain a highly controversial issue in Europe and Washington for some time to come.[6]


Wall Street bull. Literally so.
Reason number 3,468 to yearn for the lifting of the capitalist weight from our souls
My phone company, Verizon, recently raised the monthly charge for my international call plan by 30 percent. I phoned them to find out the reason for this and was told that their competitors had raised their charge for the international plan and so Verizon was doing the same. “To stay competitive”, the earnest young man told me. I thought I must be misunderstanding him. We’ve all been raised to believe that one of the beauties of capitalism is that it provides a competitive environment which induces businesses to lower their rates so as to lure away customers from their competitors. In the end, the consumer benefits from lower prices. And this makes sense, at least within the capitalist framework. (Although there have of course been numerous cases of large companies lowering prices to force a small company — which initiated the price cuts — out of business, after which the large companies raise their prices back up.) But now? Now we’re told that competition leads to price increases. What, pray tell, is there left of the system for us to believe in?

Supply and demand? Like in Burma, following the recent devastating cyclone? Prices for food and other essentials have risen significantly since the disaster. As they should, according to the revered and beloved law of supply and demand, inasmuch as things are obviously in short supply in Burma and people’s needs are plainly much greater than usual. What could make more sense under circumstances of human desperation than to raise prices?

Yet, though questioning the law of supply and demand is normally regarded in the same light as being skeptical of the law of gravity, I have to do so, and refer to things I’ve expressed before: The price of gasoline in the United States has been increasing on a regular basis for a rather long time now, but there’s no shortage of supply. There are no lines of cars waiting hours at gas stations trying to fill up before the pumps run dry. And there’s been a considerable fall in demand as less-than-rich drivers cut back on car use. It does not require total cynicism to wonder whether the law of supply and demand has been repealed. Or can it be that what is known as “supply and demand” is not really any kind of immutable “law”, but rather (choke, gasp) “corporate policies”?

The oil companies are currently spending big bucks to convince the American public that the super-high gasoline prices are not the companies’ fault. “The industry,” reported the Washington Post, “is trying to convince voters — who, in turn, will make the case to their members of Congress — that rising energy prices are not the producers’ fault and that government efforts to punish the industry, especially with higher taxes, would only make pricing problems worse.”[7]

Do the oil companies think they’re being misunderstood? The next time you run into a friendly oil company executive ask him this: “If you lowered prices to what they were two years ago, would consumers stage protests outside your headquarters? Would the FBI raid your offices? Would your breathtakingly obscenely high profits drop into the red? Could you still maintain your decadent millionaire lifestyle? The oil companies are perfectly free to very significantly lower prices without anything that you or I would call financial suffering. But they don’t do it. So what’s being misunderstood by the public which obliges the companies to spend millions on advertisements? Money which could go toward price reductions.

Oil company executives at least produce a useful product compared to people in the hedge funds business. What are hedge funds, you ask? They’re private, largely unregulated pools of capital whose managers can buy or sell any kind of assets. The income of the fund’s executives — often in the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, sometimes even a billion — is taxed as capital gains, a much lower tax rate than if it were taxed as regular earnings. One can say that hedge funds are simply pure speculation carried to absurdity; typical of the new American Dream: getting rich through speculation and inheritance instead of through skill, enterprise, and filling a human social need.

Here is Daniel Strachman, a former hedge fund consultant and author of “The Fundamentals of Hedge Fund Management.” He’s skeptical of raising taxes on hedge fund managers, saying they should be rewarded for taking huge risks. [So do firefighters, police officers, and bank robbers of course.] Most managers have their own money in their funds, he declares, and suffer massive losses when their investments go bad. “It’s clear somebody has to win and somebody has to lose”, says Strachman. “It’s not pretty at all because people say, ‘Oh my God. Look how much money these guys are making while people are losing their homes and are complaining about the cost of eggs and sugar.’ But so what? We don’t live in a society that is pretty all the time. That’s why it’s capitalism.”[8]


NOTES
[1] Washington Post, June 1, 2008, p.18

[2] White House press briefing, March 20, 2008

[3] The Observer (London), December 26, 1999; Washington Times, December 30 and 31, 1999; New York Times, December 30, 1999

[4] There are numerous articles in the world press of the past 20 years about the KLA’s inordinate thuggery; Google “KLA” and one or more of the key words, such as drugs, prostitution, ethnic cleansing, transplants, etc.

[5] http://wikipedia.org/, under “Camp Bondsteel”

[6] Del Ponte’s book and the turmoil it’s produced have been largely ignored in the US media, but if one does a Google on her name and the book, one will find many reports from Europe.

[7] Washington Post, May 9, 2008, p.D1

[8] Washington Post, April 17, 2008, p.D1

William Blum, Cyrano’s Journal’s resident expert on foreign policy, is the author of:
Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2
Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower
West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir
Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire
Portions of the books can be read, and signed copies purchased, at <www.killinghope.org >
Previous Anti-Empire Reports can be read at this website at “essays”.
To add yourself to the mailing list for the Anti-Empire Report simply send an email to <bblum6@aol.com> with “add” in the subject line. I’d like your name and city in the message, but that’s optional. I ask for your city only in case I’ll be speaking in your area.
Or put “remove” in the subject line to do the opposite.
Any part of this report may be disseminated without permission.

http://www.bestcyrano.org/THOMASPAINE/?p=744#more-744

Connecting the dots of a crash: A cyclone, a quake, insanity plague, and a bloody handshake

Posted on

SOTT Editors
Sott.net
Sat, 31 May 2008

Image

The events of the year are unfolding rapidly, and May indicates a huge building up of pressure in the inner and outer worlds of humanity. Once again natural disasters moved to the forefront of the news reports, with Burma suffering a huge cyclone followed shortly afterward by the devastating earthquake in China.

Not only were there hundreds of thousands of lives lost in these tragedies, but all signs point to hurried moves being made by the Powers That Be to ensure a war with Iran that could spiral out of control into a global conflict that would make World War II look like a tea-party at the beach. Then we also have a crop of other interesting patterns appearing as the US economy further subsides, including a huge spike in oil prices, plus more incidents of Taser abuse and other signs of growing public hysteria. Behind the hysteria we see the shadow of the psychopath, with which the name of Josef Fritzl became synonymous for the whole world. While predators like Fritzl give a good example for the rest of us of the damage that a single psychopath can do on their own, less obvious is the extreme potential for destruction represented by the well-adapted types – many of whom currently occupy the halls of power and have well-formed, insidious networks with which to protect themselves from exposure.

Mother Nature’s Fury

First reports of the death toll wrought by cyclone Nargis in Burma appeared to be similar to the 9-11 attacks. Revised reports quickly confirmed far more casualties than initially thought. While the ruling military regime has seriously downplayed the death toll, the International Red Cross estimated that up to 128,000 people may have died in Myanmar, with later British estimates going as high as 200,000. As well as the death toll, other reports indicate that millions of Burmese will be severely affected by the cyclone.

The political dimensions to this disaster became apparent all too quickly, with the Burmese junta strictly limiting the flow of international aid into the region, banning resident journalists from reporting and denying visas for reporters wishing to visit. International aid agencies, including the UN, expressed severe frustration with the regime. The United States even went so far as to declare its ‘outrage’ with Myanmar’s response to the tragedy. As is usually the case with the US however, such hypocritical ‘outrage’ is carefully calculated for political benefit. Washington appears to have had Burma in its sights for some time now. In the excellent article ‘Myanmar cyclone: U.S. hostility hampers relief‘, we read:

The day before Cyclone Nargis actually hit Myanmar, but when the approach of the monster storm had already been announced and tracked for a week, President George W. Bush signed a harsh new level of economic sanctions on Myanmar.

As the author incisively points out:

Many countries even in the midst of a disaster fear U.S. and Western assistance because it so often comes with strings attached, including onerous debt conditions and demands to reorganize their economy and privatize nationally owned resources.

Naomi Klein’s book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, describes in great detail how U.S. aid, the IMF and World Bank are used to take advantage of a country in shock, even when it is faced with a devastated infrastructure from a natural calamity of a hurricane, tsunami, drought or flood. Such crises are seen as an opportunity to push through unpopular economic “shock therapy” such as selling state assets and privatizing resources. It’s therapy, all right – for the international bankers, not the affected countries.

It is yet another case in which we can observe that natural disasters are made worse by the elite under the guise of providing ‘help’, while the poorest and most helpless victims of the tragedy suffer the most. The Burmese government even continued to export rice after the disaster, no doubt taking advantage of record food prices:

Burma is still exporting rice even as it tries to curb the influx of international donations of food bound for the starving survivors of the cyclone that killed up to 116,000 people.

Sacks of rice destined for Bangladesh were being loaded on to a ship at the Thilawa container port at the mouth of the Yangon River at the end of last week, even though Burma’s ‘rice bowl’ region was devastated by the deadly storm a week ago.

The Burmese regime, which has a monopoly on the country’s rice exports, said it planned to meet all its contractual commitments.

Considering the engineered world food ‘shortage’ (a result of anthropogenic global warming, or so we’re supposed to believe) the impact of the cyclone on Burma’s ability to export rice in the medium to long term may play right into the Global Pathocracy’s agenda. You know – the one where 94% of us are targeted for extermination?

But more on the world food situation shortly. The other May natural disaster was the huge earthquake in China’s Sichuan province, which one report called “the most destructive in modern history“. Reports point to over 70,000 dead or missing and up to 5 million left homeless.

Interestingly enough, previous to the earthquake China was also “in the sights” of the West over its crackdown in Tibet. The Olympic torch relay became the focus of pro-Tibet activists, with violent scuffles breaking out in various places around the world, most notably in London. There were also other stories about a migration of frogs, which many Chinese citizens took very seriously when it happened a second time. Even more curiously, strange colored clouds were filmed just minutes before the earthquake, several days after regular, line-shaped cloud formations were documented by a separate source. An article in New Scientist discussed a link between cloud formations and major earthquakes a month earlier, too. Coincidence?

But more importantly, this earthquake business has apparently turned things around for the Olympics. Got to keep the circus component of that ‘bread ‘n circuses’ double act going…

From peak oil prices to peak hunger

In our last exercise of connecting the dots of the bigger picture of our world, we observed that the food crisis has been manufactured from above. While Mother Nature is not helping, the situation is becoming worse now that the price of oil has risen to record levels, and the other commodities along with it. Remember, we live in a world in which nothing moves without oil – and that includes food.

If you are reading this, you have access to the Internet and most likely also have something to eat, and you are lucky to not have been forced into making major sacrifices. The situation is grave for most people on this planet, however, as activist Pablo Ouziel eloquently puts it in its proper perspective:

People in Haiti are eating mud cakes because of the soaring food prices, the people in Gaza have no electricity, in Afghanistan, the only royal visit they receive, is of a British prince dressed in military gear going to kill on Afghan soil. In India, the farmers are committing suicide due to failed harvests of genetically modified Monsanto crops. Around the world, people are rioting because of lack of food or basic human necessities. Yet in the west, we can move around freely, we can cross borders and fly our budget airlines from capital to capital, observing the comforts of western existence. Organized streets, clean cars, wonderful shopping malls, great monuments, everything is civilized and could be admired, that is, if it was honest. But it isn’t, it is morally wrong and deep down we all know it. We know it, but we just don’t want to do anything about it, because we are comfortable.

So far, we are comfortable on the immoral ‘winning’ side of this unfair global equation. But everything has a limit and as pressure is put on humanity as a whole, it might be soon that a critical mass is reached and even the lucky ones will pay the consequences.

The prices of oil, food and basic commodities are rising as a result of intentional manipulation. But we are not supposed to believe in conspiracies, so the manufacturers of our conventional wisdom have offered a few explanations. Remember the Peak Oil propaganda? Is it not now ‘common sense’ to nod in agreement whenever suggests that fossil fuel reserves are scarce? But the truth is different. There is no shortage of gasoline or gas and many agree that it is speculation that has been inflating the price of oil. According to Michael Waldron, chief oil strategist of the Lehman Brothers investment bank, oil supply “is outpacing demand growth” and “inventories have been building since the beginning of the year”, while new fields are being opened in Saudi Arabia. So what is really going on then? Mike Whitney has provided one of the best explanations in a recent article, which we recommend you read in its entirety, and of which we reproduce a couple of paragraphs here:

The Commodity Futures and Trading Commission (CFTC) is investigating trading in oil futures to determine whether the surge in prices to record levels is the result of manipulation or fraud. They might want to take a look at wheat, rice and corn futures while they’re at it. The whole thing is a hoax cooked up by the investment banks and hedge funds who are trying to dig their way out of the trillion dollar mortgage-backed securities (MBS) mess that they created by turning garbage loans into securities. That scam blew up in their face last August and left them scrounging for handouts from the Federal Reserve. Now the billions of dollars they’re getting from the Fed is being diverted into commodities which is destabilizing the world economy; driving gas prices to the moon and triggering food riots across the planet.

For months we’ve been told that the soaring price of oil has been the result of Peak Oil, fighting in Iraq, attacks on oil facilities in Nigeria, labor problems in Norway, and (the all-time favorite) growth in China. It’s all baloney. Just like Goldman Sachs prediction of $200 per barrel oil is baloney. If oil is about to skyrocket then why has G-Sax kept a neutral rating on some of its oil holdings like Exxon Mobile? Could it be that they know that oil is just another mega-inflated equity bubble – like housing, corporate bonds and dot.com stocks – that is about to crash to earth as soon as the big players grab a parachute?

There are three things that are driving up the price of oil: the falling dollar, speculation and buying on margin.

Whitney proposes a disturbing hypothesis which underscores, again, the fact that the crisis that we all suffer has been created by the few at the top. He writes:

What if the investment banks are trading their worthless MBS and CDOs at the Fed’s auction facilities and using the money ($400 billion) to drive up the price of raw materials like rice, corn, wheat, and oil?

Could it be? Could the Fed really be looking the other way so it can bail out its banking buddies while they drive prices skyward?

It could, of course. Only people without a conscience would do such a thing knowing that the increase in prices would literally kill thousands, if not millions.

Whenever we discuss oil we are tempted to look at the situation in the Middle East. We have been following the signs of war, and as we contemplate the oil and food crisis we realize that another major conflict involving a rich oil country would inevitably be felt by everyone on this planet and not only by those unfortunate enough to live in the area.

A Handshake in Israel

Israel celebrated its birthday and had Bush and other world leaders and members of the elite as guests. On the 15th of May, Bush gave his best shot at blessing the Zionist cause. Don’t take our word for it; ask the members of the Knesset who commented that “Bush seems to be more Zionist than Olmert“, that “it is better to have Bush as a PM instead of Olmert“, and that “Bush appears to be the one person who will achieve the Zionist aspirations“. In a speech worthy of the legendary SOTT sick-bag, Bush went as far as perpetuating the myth of the “chosen people”:

“[When David Ben-Gurion proclaimed Israel’s independence it] was the redemption of an ancient promise given to Abraham and Moses and David: a homeland for the chosen people Eretz Yisrael.”

Isn’t that curious? That the president of the most powerful nation on the planet goes to a small country in the Middle East and bows at their idols in a display worthy of the most fanatic members of the local cult? And that at the same time he compares the phantom “terrorist threat” to Hitler, implicitly giving his host a carte blanche to destroy those whom it chooses to label as terrorists?:

“Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along,” Bush said at Israel’s 60th anniversary celebration in Jerusalem.

“We have heard this foolish delusion before,” Bush said in remarks to Israel’s parliament, the Knesset. “As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: ‘Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.’ We have an obligation to call this what it is – the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.”

Well, that a certain little country in the Middle East has a largely disproportionate amount of power and influence in the world, which is often used for the oppression of innocent people and for imperialistic purposes, is not a secret and nothing new, really. This is just a grotesque confirmation.

Perhaps more interesting is that we can safely infer that Bush also went to Israel to make some serious promises sealed by private handshakes, because shortly after his visit the Israelis began to leak his intentions towards Iran. The Israeli Army Radio and the Jerusalem Postrevealed that Bush intended to attack Iran within months, while Israeli officials said that Bush “means business” on Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program. A couple of weeks later it was reported that at least two “key U.S. senators” were briefed on Bush’s plans to attack before August.

It appears that Olmert felt emboldened by Bush’s commitment and asked the U.S. to impose naval blockade on Iran. A naval blockade, mind you, could rapidly escalate events into open hostility and war. We have already seen a couple of possible attempts to do this. Remember the U.S. military ships firing warning shots at Iranian boats?

The White House denied the leaked reports in Israel, but that should be no surprise as the U.S. does not want to appear, yet again, as the aggressor. After the fiasco of Saddam’s inexistent WMD, the Bush administration seems to be waiting for a better excuse to go ahead – and if it doesn’t get one, it might well create it. So there was no reason to stop the war rhetoric. Bush, Gates and Condi all had much to say, the latter blaming Iran for the crisis in Lebanon. No surprise there; we know that the neocons already have a new bogyman. Even Hillary made the headlines with the strongest statement yet by offering to “totally obliterate” Iran if it attacked Israel with nuclear weapons (a hypothetical scenario based purely in fantasy, considering that Israel has hundreds of nuclear weapons and Iran does not). She is one candidate determined to win the ‘More Zionist than Thou’ contest…

So much for the war rhetoric. How about signs on the ground? We find at least one of importance: Shell pulled out of a gas project in Iran after coming under pressure from U.S. lawmakers. Consider that multinationals do not make any moves without a good reason, as pulling out of such a deals impacts profits and profits are all that matter.

Other events related to Israel which are worthy of commenting in here:

– The members of the elite that were invited to the birthday party included co-founder of Google Sergey Brin, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and Yahoo president Susan Decker. They were invited by president Shimon Peres to form the technology panel in a convention in Jerusalem, where they were meant to discuss “issues facing technology in today’s age and the future, in particular in regard to how it will affect Israel and the Jewish world.” We wonder if the real purpose was not to obtain a commitment from the Internet giants to support Israel now that the next phase of Middle Eastern expansionism is at hand. After all, those three people on their own can turn the tide of news and information globally.

Other guests to the convention included former UK prime minister Tony Blair, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former prime minister of the Czech Republic Vaclev Havel, Nobel Prize Laureate Eli Wiesel, and Georgia President Michael Saakashvili. An interesting gathering indeed.

Speaking of Tony Blair, a few days ago he was in a jet en route to Israel from a World Economic Forum meeting at Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt, which he attended as the envoy for the Quartet comprised of the U.S., the United Nations, the European Union and Russia, when two Israeli warplanes intercepted the aircraft and adopted an attack position, prompting them to return to base. The official reason: the crew failed to identify themselves and Israel’s defense system just happens to be very strict.

But lets think about it: how likely is it that a jet carrying Tony Blair, who is on a mission as the representative of the world powers, fails to properly identify itself? Not very. So here is an alternative hypothesis: Israel is sending a not very polite message to the world powers that they better stick to the plan or ‘unfortunate accidents’ might happen. Can you guess where Blair was heading? To a conference in Bethlehem aimed to attract up to £1billion to boost the Palestinian economy, a conference which some welcomed as a first step towards creating a viable Palestinian state.

Another curious coincidence is that one day after the above incident a white young man entered a cafe in Exeter and had his face hurt by a small explosion in the toilet. According to British police, he was planning a suicide attack (with two explosive devices) because he had converted to Islam and had been “targeted for radicalization”, being a “vulnerable” person with a history of mental illness and a hobby to spend a great deal of time surfing the Internet. The official story sounds like an attempt to fabricate an explanation for an event of which we may never know the details. Someone attempted to plant a bomb in a cafe and something went wrong – but who was this someone and on behalf of whom was he working? Is there a connection with the ‘nasty message’ that Israel sent to Blair and the world powers?

– Ehud Olmert engaged in indirect “peace” talks with Syria. This item should not be on the headlines for its potential to bring peace to the Middle East, as it has none. No peace can come where the real will for peace is lacking. Rather, the event should be read as an attempt by Olmert to create a side show from the charges of corruption he happens to be facing – and which may land Netanyahu in power sooner than expected.

While Olmert is spending energy on this smokescreen, he appears to be trying to isolate Iran by putting pressure on Syria and asking it to distance itself from Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas. It doesn’t seem likely that Syria will comply.

Monsters Inc.

Having reviewed some of the actions of pathological characters on a grand scale, we now focus on certain cases on the micro scale that have attracted the attention of the media. These too have much to say about the state of humanity as a whole. As when light gets brighter the shadows become darker, so too in the following stories. Though the Monsters were brought to trial and will be convicted, the information of their lives and actions gives us a peak into the horrifying dark corners of the psychopath’s world.

The story of Monster Josef Fritzl from Austria has traveled across the globe and shocked every feeling person to the core who read/heard of it. One person alone, the Monster himself, for the duration of his lifetime managed to bring destruction and immerse suffering to the lives of at least 11 people of which we are aware: his daughter, the daughter’s seven children, his wife, two women who the Monster raped. And that’s without counting the woman in whose unsolved murder years ago the Monster might be involved, or anyone else who might have yet – if ever – to talk.

Unfortunately, Fritzl is not alone, and a woman from France who was held captive for 28 years by her adoptive father and had 6 children by him, spoke up after the Austrian story was uncovered, though that Monster is dead by now, having lived his psychopathic life without deprecations. In an equally shocking story, a Monster in Argentina is finally jailed for keeping his daughter as sexual prisoner for 11 years and who had two children with her.

Interesting that we see these stories of women being released from captivity, not long after the raid on the Mormon sect compound in Texas when all those women and children were “set free”. These stories speak to the oppression, social contempt and suffering of females in our pathocratic/sociopathic societies for millenia now.

There are unfortunately also women in the Monster’s league, as the story of the Argentinian captive’s mother reveals, but also the story of US native Sheila LaBarre, whose cold bloodedness and monstrous instincts led her to murder an unspecified yet number of her snake-charmed lovers.

Sadly – and alarmingly – every country, town and village hides a psychopath, as similarly monstrous stories from around the world pile up, but more frightening is the thought of the innumerable stories that remain untold. It is vitally important that we learn as much as possible about the psychopaths’ traits and behaviours, in order to be able to move upstairs when we spot one next door. Living in his world blind to the everyday undisguised predators among us, puts our lives and mental/emotional health in danger; akin to taking a walk in the jungle in our business suit, unequipped for the lurking dangers.

Mystery viruses and bugs

In the world where mass violent deaths dominate the everyday news, it is very easy not to pay attention to deaths from diseases or viruses, and to attribute it to the fragile nature of human body. And it seems that those who don’t have our best interests at heart deliberately downplay any possibility that beside the already covered tactics of diluting the population through wars and manufactured food shortage, there are a number of viruses and pathogens waiting for their turn in the extermination game – perhaps in the meantime even being used to cause controlled and calculated damage.

On the other hand, when an epidemic can serve the purpose of inducing hysteria and installing greater means of control, we must learn to pay attention and start posing some questions.

During the past month, there were many cases of disease or virus outbreaks all over the world.

Death Toll from Child Virus Hits 34 in China
Scotland hit by scarlet fever epidemic
Death toll in Chinese hand, foot and mouth outbreak reaches 39
Measles epidemic breaks out in Austria
Hepatitis Virus kills 29 in Kitgum, Uganda
Singapore fears its worst-ever dengue fever epidemic
Vietnam warning on EV71 virus after at least 10 children die
Thousands hit by Brazil outbreak of dengue

Some of those outbreaks may be seasonal, but many were labeled as ‘mysterious‘ and their causes ‘unknown‘ or ‘under investigation‘.

There is one particular case of EV71 virus outbreak in China that drew our attention due to the casual Chinese government reaction that tried to calm down the fears over the outbreak. This reaction stands as a striking contrast to the usual extreme reaction that is mandated by the WHO to instances of Bird Flu.

Bird Flu kills few people relative to Tuberculosis, road deaths or earthquakes, while the measures taken in slaughtering whole flocks of birds are extreme. And it is clear that the potential severity of an EV71 outbreak would merit much stronger measures than seem to be implemented. So what can be the meaning of these two different approaches? Why are specific pathogens allowed free rein, while others like Bird Flu are used as scare tactics?

The possible answer is no less horrid in its implications.

Might it be that Bird Flu and consequential slaughter of tens of thousands of birds, is another mean of depriving people of another food source, while playing on the imprinted scares associated with the livestock culls in the UK during the BSE and foot and mouth outbreaks in recent years?

It looks like a good possibility – one that goes hand in hand with the engineered food shortage already in full swing.

Wild card, or: Alice through the looking glass sees Kaboom! Splat!

A year ago we posted the following thread on SOTT forum about events involving planes or other means of transportation that usually preceded some significant event, or happened at a time and in such a way that they could be interpreted as something signaling the world to wake up. Last year’s symbolic patterns signaled the beginning of an economic “nose dive”, while this year it seems that “nose dive” doesn’t cut it anymore and we are seeing derailment/skidding off runway, resulting in crash or total collapse.

If the Universe is sending us a message then it isn’t a pretty one, considering the emerging picture of the patterns described above.

Starting from mid April, we’ve also noticed a significant increase in airplane and helicopter crashes due to technical glitches, human errors or unknown causes. Airplanes were skidding off runways or even splitting in two, and bridges, cranes and roofs were collapsing.

The following list is just an example.

Ryanair Plane Skids Off Runway In Poland
Plane crashes at German air show, kills one
Technical problems plague Polish low-cost airline
Plane’s nose gear collapse causes flight delays
5 Hurt When Plane Skids in Indonesia
Plane Crashes Into Virginia House; 2 Dead, 1 Hurt
Ukrainian helicopter crash kills 19 people
Authorities Investigating Compton, California Plane Crash
Transport plane crash in Moldova kills eight
Suriname Plane Crash Kills at Least 19
Vietnam: Military plane crash kills five
Plane crashes at German air show, kills one
India: 17 killed in Gurgaon building collapse
UK: Commuters face chaos after bridge scaffolding collapse
Several injured in Alabama factory roof collapse
Student pilot, instructor killed in Philly small plane crash
Police say railway bridge collapse in northern Sweden kills 2, injures 3
Australia: Runaway truck embedded in house
3 dead, 3 injured in Southern California chopper crash
Four dead after small plane crashes in Northern California
Russia: Two dead in light plane crash outside Moscow
Near-catastrophe as DR Congo plane makes emergency landing
Plane splits in Brussels airport crash
Restored Messerschmidt crash-lands at Berlin Air Show

And just to increase the “High Strangeness” factor, there were several cases of multiple events on the same day or in the same region. Consider the following:

End of April. Three crashes on the same weekend in Germany:

Plane crashes at German air show, kills one
At least 25 people injured after German train hits sheep
Train crashes into cow herd in Germany

1 of May, 2008. 3 accidents with high number of fatalities.

Five die in Sydney harbour crash
Seventeen dead in Hong Kong bus crash
Nine Tourists die in Egypt bus crash

8 of May, 2008. Two crashes with high number of fatalities.

At least 29 dead as bus plunges into river in Peru
Over 40 feared dead as Indian bus plunges into river

28 of May, 2008. Two cases of train derailment in US.

24 Injuries Reported In Chicago Train Derailment
BREAKING: Green Line Trains Crash in Newton, MA

Crane accidents: Three crane collapses in US within 10 days.

1 dead as crane topples onto railroad in Iowa
Kansas: Crane collapse kills 1 at power plant
Crane Collapses in Manhattan, 1 Dead, 3 Injured

Another two train accidents earlier this month in US.

Train derailment, acid leak forces Louisiana evacuation
Amtrak train, truck collide in Mississippi; 7 hurt

Additional examples of accidents with high number of fatalities, which add to May’s already long list of death.

Israeli and Japanese tourists killed in a traffic accident in Bolivia
Seven dead, 4 badly injured in bus crash near Moscow Death toll from train accident in Bangladesh rises to 10
Nigeria: 46 soldiers killed in road accident
Death toll in Nepal bus accident rises to 35
Bus accident in Mexico kills 28
Bus crashes into truck in Ukraine, 11 dead

And if the mentioned coincidences weren’t curious enough, there is another symbolic meaning worth noticing, which hints to the nature or the causes of the collapse: An unusual number of crashes or skidding off runways involving politicians or authority figures.

Florida governor’s plane makes emergency landing after three flight systems failures
Plane accompanying Putin to Italy skids off runway
Plane crashes off Equatorial Guinea with politicians aboard: airport
Sudan plane crashes, S.Sudan minister on board-SPLM
Zimbabwean tycoon escapes burning plane
Lightning strikes Irish PM’s plane

Wrapping it up: A matter of hope and personal responsibility

We have been dealt a tricky hand. The cards are on the table and all the trends have the potential to end up in a crash or collapse of one sort of another, whether an economic crash, a collapse of civilization as we know it, a crash of countries in a major war, or even a cometary bombardment – a possibility which is always in our mind. Nature reflects the experiences of humanity and the harder the psychopaths push, the harder is the response from the Universe.

We do not know yet the specifics of the hows and whens, but we can certainly tell that the picture looks grim. While it is easy to feel panic or impotence, it is not our intention to promote fatalism. On the contrary: ultimately, the reason that we dare to see the gathering darkness and track it on a daily basis is that we care and we believe that something can and should be done. Even if what each one of us can do may be of a very limited nature, we still carry personal responsibility for the fate of our species and planet, and the first step is to see and understand as much as we can, and share that understanding in the hope that a number of us, pulling together, can figure out what can be done. in fact, sharing the Truth might be exactly what needs to be done. In a world of lies, a bit of truth can have the most unexpected non-linear results.

It is hope, after all, which moves us to carry on with SOTT. Those who prefer to live asleep, fully in the comfort of their lives while it lasts, are the ones who have really given in to despair and chosen to evade their responsibility. But not us.

What are YOU going to do?

Source: Sott.net

Jesus knows a camel when he sees one: We are NOT passing through the eye of that needle, America….

Posted on

christ

By Jason Miller

Dedicated to Bobbie L.

4/3/08

In the sermon just minutes before his death, Archbishop Oscar Romero (a man who truly practiced the teachings of Christ) reminded his congregation of the parable of the wheat. “Those who surrender to the service of the poor through love of Christ, will live like the grains of wheat that dies. It only apparently dies. If it were not to die, it would remain a solitary grain. The harvest comes because of the grain that dies We know that every effort to improve society, above all when society is so full of injustice and sin, is an effort that God blesses; that God wants; that God demands of us. I am bound, as a pastor, by divine command to give my life for those whom I love, and that is all Salvadoreans, even those who are going to kill me.”

—These words appeared in a newspaper just two weeks before Archbishop Romero was shot (by a filthy Right Wing Death Squad supported by the US) while celebrating Holy Communion in the hospital which had been his home since his enthronement in 1977.

“You could piss off Jesus Christ himself!”

—Russ Miller

In 1947 Harry Truman wrote to Pope Pius XII that the United States “is a Christian nation.” This proclamation came from the man responsible for the “Christian act” of annihilating over 200,000 Japanese civilians by unleashing nuclear hell.

George W. Bush, who has perpetrated war crimes for which he should be hanged and whose entire being is drenched with the blood of over a million Iraqis and 4,000 US soldiers, has often spoken openly about his “Christian faith.” Imagine that. Our “Christian nation” is led by a craven, mean-spirited, remorseless, conscienceless mass murderer.

Unfortunately for those who truly embrace Christ’s undeniably moral teachings and yearn to identify the United States as collectively Christian, as a nation we have much more in common with imperial Rome, an empire that persecuted its Christian populace to varying degrees for about 300 years (until Constantine I made it legal to practice Christianity in 313).

How could it be otherwise? The United States is the chief apologist and defender for the global cancer known as the “American Way,” which includes American capitalism, industrial civilization, imperialism, cultural genocide, consumerism, and the myriad ills plaguing our planet and its inhabitants thanks to these grotesqueries. In fact, as exploitative and brutal as they were, Pontius Pilate and the empire he served paled in comparison to the Unites States. Like the Romans, we dominate the world and siphon off its riches so we can wallow in hedonistic delights and creature comforts. Yet the American Empire has added a whole new dimension to lordship of the planet. With our technology run amok, we are simultaneously exploiting and destroying the planet.

The “American Way of Life,” which George H.W. Bush proclaimed to be “non-negotiable,” is a system based on greed, narcissism, selfishness, mean-spiritedness, economic subjugation, belligerence, and militarism. How could a person in their right mind truly believe that the Christian God, and Christ in particular, would embrace, condone, or bless a means of existence premised on such contemptible elements?

Romans 13:8 reads, “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.”

We US Americans loved our neighbors in Vietnam so much that we slaughtered 3 million of them. And surely the millions of Iraqis we have murdered through our slow motion genocide (beginning with the Gulf War, progressing by way of the draconian economic sanctions under Clinton that resulted in the deaths of over 500,000 Iraqi children, and continuing to this very day via the war crimes of the Bush Regime) recognized our deep adoration as they died. Throughout our history, we have committed a multitude of “loving acts” that have resulted in torment, suffering and death for millions upon millions of people. (For a detailed analysis of the history of our deeply malevolent foreign policy, visit http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Foreign_Policy/US_ForeignPolicy.html)

Matthew 6:24 reminds us that, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

Sorry, God. You can’t have our souls. We owe them to the company store. Under our glorious free market system, which is nominally constrained by a government infested with crony capitalists, wage and debt slavery are virtually inevitable for a majority of the population. A tiny percentage of the population in the US owns and controls nearly all the wealth and means of production, leaving the rest of us to fight over crumbs and to bend to their powerful economic will (though one can successfully argue that we can defy them by choosing to exercise our “God-given” right to sleep under a bridge). So devout is our faith in mammon and so strong is our desire for wealth that many of us actually continue to believe the idiotic myth (which our opulent masters love to perpetuate) that we live in a meritocracy where “anyone can get rich if they just work hard enough.”

Luke 14:33 delivers the message that, “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”

Forsaketh all that we hath? Are you kidding? We are the most avaricious creatures the world has ever known. Comprising only 5% of the world’s population, we greedily consume over a fourth of the world’s resources. Gluttony be thy name, America. And to ensure that our repulsive parasitism isn’t interrupted, we feed the military industrial complex (http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_1241.shtml/) around 700 billion of our tax dollars each year to maintain our imperial killing machine. We spend nearly as much on war as the rest of the world combined. Bearing in mind that only five out of a hundred human beings on the Earth are US Americans, think how absurd it is to argue that we need that much firepower to “defend ourselves.” The truth is that we hath far more than our share and we are not planning on forsaking that which we hath anytime soon.

Matthew 6:20 cautions people to, “….store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;”

Perhaps we need to worry more about the worms devouring our rotting souls than the moths and rust attacking the multitude of worldly treasures that have become our raison de’etre. Acquiring more, more and still more is the American obsession. When is enough enough, Donald Trump, Bill Gates, Pete Coors, Richard Mellon-Scaife, Michael Dell, Helen Walton and the rest of your despicable ilk?

And many of the rest of us pursue the American Dream of fame and fortune with the ferocity of a pack of starving wolves devouring a fresh kill. Television, which rivals mammon for dominance in the pantheon of the perverse gods many US Americans truly worship, is rife with programs (they don’t call it “programming” for nothing) which glorify our sick fascination with the status, power, and (at least temporary) satiation of greed that comes with material prosperity. Yes indeed, The Apprentice, Deal or No Deal, The Moment of Truth, and a veritable smorgasbord of similarly inane, shallow and narcissistic vulgarities are essential building blocks for those who are determined to achieve the spiritual perversion so characteristic of the quintessential “American.”

“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves.”

–Matthew 21:12

Few decent human beings (save those still suffering the mental disease of allegiance to capitalism–which is inculcated into us from birth and constantly perpetuated by the filthy whores of the corporate media) could imagine Jesus Christ walking onto the floor of the New York Stock Exchange without a whip in hand to drive out our rotten-to-the-core modern day money changers.

“Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?”

”I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me….”

”Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.”

—Matthew 25: 37-43

Given the above, as a rational and moral person, dear reader, what do you suppose Christ would think of a feculent, cynical system such as ours that values wealth and fame over people, pours buckets of money into wars that generate buckets of blood, maintains a “justice” system used to maintain the deep class divisions (in our allegedly “classless society”) by coddling and protecting privileged contemptible criminals (i.e. Bush and Cheney) while condemning many non-violent impoverished offenders to the hell of the prison industrial complex (http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/199812/prisons), and rains money upon the opulent when they are “needy” while offering tooth and nail resistance to nearly any attempt to aid the poor (witness the rapid-fire $30 billion bailout of Bear Stearns and the criminally slow and inadequate response to the Katrina crisis in New Orleans)?

The day we empty our prisons of non-violent petty criminals and fill them with the likes of Clinton, O’Reilly, Scalia, Koch, and Condi Rice (the power elite and their enablers), bring our imperial legions home, down-size our military to a modest defensive-sized force, cut all “aid” to the murderous state of Israel, utilize our nation’s wealth to eliminate homelessness and hunger AND to provide universal healthcare and higher education, eliminate corporate person-hood, nationalize industries vital to human survival (i.e. health care, oil, utilities, food), criminalize factory farming, permanently shut down Wall Street and Madison Avenue, and sweep away the last vestiges of the virulent planetary affliction known as consumerism….that will be the day that we will begin to even resemble a nation that wouldn’t leave Christ retching in disgust.

Meanwhile, as a nation premised on savage capitalism, we are the antithesis of a Christian nation. Collectively we are an abomination. May God and the rest of the world have mercy on us all as our precious empire crumbles.

Jason Miller is a recovering US American middle class suburbanite who strives to remain intellectually free. He is Cyrano’s Journal Online’s associate editor (http://www.bestcyrano.org/) and publishes Thomas Paine’s Corner within Cyrano’s at http://www.bestcyrano.org/THOMASPAINE/. You can reach him at JMiller@bestcyrano.com

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