It Is Time That Americans Occupy Everything And Shatter The Political System That Exists In This Land.
It is a given that our political leaders believe that we the people are ignorant, stupid, easily manipulated malleable puppets who have been vaccinated with a heavy dose of fear and apathy, successfully indoctrinated to accept that: revolution cannot never happen in America, corporate supremacy is inevitable and that our political theater, bitching, whining and complaining is easily ignored as self-indulgent expressions of displeasure, displeasure that will give way to our dutifully marching to the polls to re-elect or elect our most popular Congressional Criminals…and if you take a real close look at the dynamics of this nation; it is easy to conclude that they are right, that we have not the will or the courage to seize and take back this nation and hold accountable those who squandered any hope of the land evolving into “The American Dream”, those who savaged our economy to the extent that a new one must be built for us to emerge from this “Great Managed Depression”, a new economy that the corporate world sees as putting us back in our proper places in revisiting of a pre-1930s world.
"If you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will of course frantically try to clamber out. But if you place it gently in a pot of tepid water and turn the heat on low, it will float there quite placidly. As the water gradually heats up, the frog will sink into a tranquil stupor, exactly like one of us in a hot bath, and before long, with a smile on its face, it will unresistingly allow itself to be boiled to death."
The story is often used as a metaphor for the inability of people to react to significant changes, so they are introduced gradually. This same technique of gradual change is what has occurred to the American people, and we are too busy and ignorant to realize it. Fascism, through their techniques of change, has slowly been overtaking us, and most of the population doesn't recognize it - or don't want to know.
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Through policies of social indoctrination, by propaganda in education and the media, and regulation of the production of educational and media materials, we have been led to believe that our country is superior in every way. Little did we know that our home school and public education system has been designed to glorify our country by informing students of its superior historical and political importance in the world. It has attempted to purge ideas that were not consistent with the beliefs of the Fascist movement, and has taught students to not question the decisions of the government. Fascism tends to be anti-intellectual, which is why we can't tell the water in the pot is getting hot.
By Rachel Roubein | McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — Two legal rights groups on Thursday asked the United Nations to investigate allegations that Spanish and U.S. officials collaborated to quash criminal probes into whether the Bush administration authorized illegal killings and torture of terrorism suspects.
The request, made to the U.N.'s special rapporteur for judicial independence, accused the United States of interfering with Spain's justice system in three different criminal cases. The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights and the Berlin-based European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights asked that the U.N. demand that both governments refrain from meddling in court cases.
"When arguably the leading human rights country in the world is engaged in torture and then gives impunity to those torturers, it sends a pretty bad message," said Michael Ratner, the Center for Constitutional Rights' president emeritus.
Ratner said the groups were turning to the U.N. because "it's very hard to hold the U.S. accountable in any forum in the world."
A spokesman for the U.S. State Department declined to comment, referring questions to the Justice Department, which did not respond to requests for comment.
The complaint calls for the U.N. to investigate how three cases were handled: the first involved the alleged torture of detainees at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; the second, the Bush's administration's authorization of harsh interrogation techniques; and the third, the 2003 death of Spanish cameraman Jose Couso Permuy in Baghdad.
The two groups based their complaint on diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks in 2010 that recount high-ranking U.S. diplomats pressuring Spanish officials to stop the investigations.
In one, U.S. Ambassador Eduardo Aguirre recounts his efforts to prevent criminal charges in the death of Couso, who was killed during the U.S. capture of Baghdad on April 8, 2003, when a U.S. tank opened fire on the Palestine Hotel, where journalists were staying.
"While we are careful to show our respect for the tragic death of Couso and for the independence of the Spanish judicial system, behind the scenes we have fought tooth and nail to make the charges disappear," Aguirre wrote.
On Friday, a Spanish judge reopened the case of the four former Guantanamo captives who allege they were tortured and subjected to humiliation at the detention camp. The judge ruled that he had jurisdiction in the case because the United States was not conducting an independent probe of the allegations.
"We're very excited about these cases in Spain," Ratner said. "It's only happening because neither the Bush administration nor the Obama administration is willing to do anything to investigate the torture at Guantanamo."
ON THE WEB
MORE FROM MCCLATCHY17 Jan 2012 A French judge is seeking U.S. permission to visit the prison camps at Guantánamo Bay to investigate claims by former French inmates that they were tortured, the Associated Press reported from Paris on Tuesday. The AP reported that it saw a formal international request from investigating judge Sophie Clement to U.S. authorities to see the prison. Clement also seeks copies of all documents relating to the arrest and transfer of three Frenchmen who were held at Guantánamo. The men told the judge during questioning in France that they were subject to violence including torture and rape during their detention.
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Contrary to everything we have been taught, there is no actual United States of America.
The U.S. is an occupied territory that could more accurately be described as the Corporate States of America.
If the geopolitical states are united, the people are not. We are a nation divided by ideology and by social and economic class.
The U.S. is not a democracy, and it never was.
The systems of power do not allow the voice of working people to be heard or their collective will to be acted upon.
Despite the subterfuge of freedom and democracy, the rights of corporations have consistently superseded the sovereign rights of the individual and those of the community. Labor history and a litany of environmental catastrophes bear this out. For instance, everywhere one looks government agencies “ostensibly created to protect the public welfare” are allowing hydraulic fracturing of Marcellus shale, even when it poisons municipal drinking water and causes incalculable harm to the environment.
Our diverse forests are commodified, measured in board feet to be clear-cut and off-shored at prodigious bargain rates, like a liquidation sale. World class biodiversity is yielding to desertification and monoculture. Money changes hands. The few are getting rich at the expense of the many. The world and the people who live in it are treated like products to be exploited.
We are told that nothing is sacred, save for the dollar and markets.
Nevertheless, it is an inescapable fact that no human being, including corporate CEOs and members of Congress, can live without potable water or breathable air. We are literally sacrificing the Earth’s life support systems and mortgaging the future, while attempting to satiate the greed of a few grotesquely wealthy individuals. Through lifelong indoctrination, Americans are persuaded that self-interested greed is in their best interest.
The rich and powerful have decreed that corporate profits “the Holy Grail of American capitalism” are more precious than life itself. The remorseless people in power are without conscience. History confirms that sociopaths do not hesitate to take what they want from their unsuspecting victims by any and all means.
But surely, even among Friedmanites, it must be allowed that some things cannot be commodified or bought and sold. For instance, clean air and potable water are the birthright of every living organism. These are necessities that belong to the commons; they cannot ethically be privately owned. In contrast to this assertion, two edicts of modern capitalism are private ownership and the commodification of workers and nature.
Capitalism, and the market fundamentalism that is associated with it, has stripped bare the Earth’s biodiversity and substituted a world of commodities in its stead. What we see and think we know is not real. It is the product of marketing and perception managers — a hologram.
There is growing conflict between capitalism and the planet’s ecology, its essential life support systems. A fierce struggle between capital and democracy is in progress. The booted foot of capitalism is pressing upon the throat of democracy. We inhabit a dying world and are inheriting dying freedoms. Corporate greed and over-population is the culprit. Conflict is everywhere.
Virtually all of the social upheaval, inequality, and environmental problems of today in some way ensue from capitalism, including overpopulation and armed aggression. Capitalism requires continuous economic expansion and a burgeoning market for consumers. This is simply not possible on a finite planet.
These tensions are manifested no more clearly than throughout the coal belt and mountains of West Virginia, where I make my home. Here, mountains are cleared of forests before being blown to smithereens in order to cheaply extract coal to enrich Massey Energy Corporation. The process, known as mountaintop removal, has poisoned streams, altered their courses, and changed the contours of the land and its hydrology. It has devastated both human and biological communities while filling the coffers of the timber and coal industries.
Conventional underground mining has claimed the lives of thousands of coal miners trying to scratch out a modest living from the Earth. At times, it has led to armed conflict between miners and the Pinkertons hired by the mining companies in places like Matewan and Blair Mountain.
In West Virginia, King Coal and the gas and oil industry run the state’s legislature. The government is effectively owned by corporate lobbyists. As a result, it is futile to make legal and moral appeals to government for redress of our grievances. If we limit ourselves to the tools that our oppressors provide us, the entire region will become a sacrifice zone. Working people and the poor make the sacrifices; billionaires and industry carry off the profit. We are left to deal with the aftermath.
The illusion of democracy “including voting in the absence of meaningful choice” is a poor substitute for direct action and anarchy. Democracy cannot flourish in the sterile soil that capitalism leaves in its wake. Either we have democracy or we have capitalism, or we create something entirely different. Radically opposing ideas cannot be reconciled.
Modern humans inhabit a human-engineered world of absurdities and contradictions. Regardless of the Supreme Court’s assertions, corporations are not people, and money is not speech. Every sentient human being knows this. However, the law says otherwise. We must deny the corporate state that victory by refusing to capitulate.
The struggle for community rights, egalitarianism, and social, economic, and environmental justice must occur outside of the system that creates inequality and fosters wanton destruction of the commons. Countless species of plants and animals that provide essential ecological services are being eliminated to create space for strip malls, gated communities, gambling casinos and golf courses. As a result, ecological and economic catastrophe loom. We are facing global famine in an anthropocentric over-heated world.
Globally, wealthy multinational corporations are gorging themselves on the biological and mineral wealth of the commons. What could be more absurd or unethical?
The brainchild of Adam Smith, capitalism, which replaced feudalism during the French Revolution, is founded upon demonstrably false premises, many of which were unknown in Smith’s time. Nevertheless, classically trained economists assert that capitalism is a primal force of nature rather than the defective human construct that it is. Modern capitalism has produced pathological symptoms and endorsed an ethos that is antithetical to life and to liberty. It is killing the world and foreclosing evolutionary possibilities.
Indeed, ethical considerations aside, and speaking purely from a biological perspective, one may emphatically state that modern capitalism is an aggressive cancer that is devouring its host. But most of us are in denial.
People like me are asked not to utter the “C” word in public spaces. It might offend the well-intentioned believers. Whenever this occurs I am reminded of Thoreau, who uttered, “Any truth is better than make believe.” . One has an ethical obligation to state what one knows succinctly and clearly.
It is not in dispute that the ideology of constant expansion on a finite planet is contradicted by inviolable ecological dictums — among them, carrying capacity, ecological overshoot, and die-off. But classical economists act as if these laws do not apply, or they are mysteriously overridden by the irrational exuberance of capitalism.
In reality, every political economy is underlain by ecology and by living, evolving, biological systems. Ecology is the only economy that really matters.
By possessing even a modest degree of ecological literacy, one can make some revealing predictions with mathematical certainty. For example, the continuation of capitalism as the primary political economy can have one of two possible outcomes: the virtual destruction of the biosphere, meaning the death of the host organism, or the abolition of the capitalist system.
What would a post-capitalism world look like and how might it work?
Global capitalism, with its dependence on the availability of cheap fossil fuels and petrochemicals for food production, must give way to small-scale local economies and organic agriculture. Food must be locally grown and, as far as possible, other necessities locally produced. The age of cheap fossil fuels is ending. Industrialized man must bravely confront his addictions and embrace sobriety or he will self-destruct.
It is said that nature bats last. Humans do best when they emulate natural systems that have evolved over eons of time.
A moneyless economy based upon need must supplant the current profit-driven system of exploitation. Accordingly, goods and services may then be exchanged without the conduit of markets. These exchanges would be of equal value and thus inherently fair.
The classic business models will be replaced by worker-owned and worker-operated cooperatives. In this arrangement, workers – not a board of directors – make all of the business decisions. They share the risks and benefits and distribute the surpluses of production, while significantly reducing the work day and the work week. A portion of the surpluses of production is allocated to the betterment of the community and to the protection of the commons.
New economic models must be predicated upon ecological principles or they will fail. Existing alternatives to capitalism, such as Spain’s Mondragon Worker Cooperative, must be critically analyzed and evaluated as a model that could, with modifications, be implemented elsewhere.
There is no better teacher than evolution and natural selection. History confirms that the most revolutionary ideas are occasionally the oldest. For instance, anthropological studies indicate that early Homo sapiens evolved by implementing egalitarian principles into their tribal clans. People and the cultures they create must either evolve or perish.
The egalitarian societies of the future will look radically different from the capitalism of today. Political campaigns and elections will recede into history and quickly forgotten. Evolved societies do not need leaders or elected officials.
Every member of an egalitarian community is a leader. Power flows in a circular form rather than a linear, top-down hierarchy. It is derived directly from the people. There will be no social or economic stratification. No one shall have privileges or rights that are denied to others. Every member of the community must be equally empowered and equally valued. All people will have equal access to opportunity.
Health care and higher education, like pure water and clean air, will be regarded as a right of birth and provided without cost.
Direct action will replace voting in political elections. Rather than consent to be governed, sovereign people can create the world they want to live in. In communities where people are empowered and where they have an equal stake, they will want to participate. Everyone brings something to the table. Everyone contributes and all of society benefits.
Communities will become as interconnected and interdependent as ecological systems. But each will remain autonomous within the larger matrix of nature. States and nations as we know them may eventually recede into history and disappear.
Rather than the callous competition and exploitation nurtured by capitalism, communities can be organized around the principle of cooperation and social need. As in healthy ecosystems, the welfare of the individual is dependent upon the well-being of the community — and vice versa. No one will be left behind. All of us shall rise together.
All living organisms share a common origin and a common destiny. Ecology and economy must merge into an integrated natural system suited to long-term survival in a world already ravaged by industrialized man. Ecological and social healing must be part of the process of building sustainable communities.
The transition from capitalism to cooperation will be neither smooth nor easy. There will be many false starts. At first, there will be fierce resistance to revolutionary change. People cling to the familiar and the comfortable, to what they know, even when the dominant paradigm and popular culture does them harm.
The first tentative steps of a journey are often the most difficult. There are no clear blueprints to follow. There will be trepidation and uncertainty. But we must commit to beginning. The alternative is oblivion. But if we embark on the voyage the survival of the species, and a new age of enlightenment will be possible.
One man who apparently thinks the answer is “Yes” is Andrew Adler, the owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times. (By the time this article of mine is posted will he be the former owner and publisher?)
In his weekly newspaper Adler listed three options for Israel “to counter Iran’s nuclear weapons”. (Never mind that, unlike Israel, Iran does not possess nuclear weapons and that the latest assessment of Israel’s intelligence community – an usually honest assessment – is that Iran has not yet taken a decision to go nuclear for weapons).
Option 1 according to what Adler wrote “is to launch a pre-emptive strike against Hamas and Hezbollah.”
Option 2 “is to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.”
Option 3 “is to give the go-ahead for US-based Mossad agents to take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel in order for the current vice president to take his place and forcefully dictate that the United States’ policy includes its helping the Jewish state obliterate its enemies.”
To make sure his readers got the message, Adler added this:
“Yes, you read ‘three correctly’. Order a hit on a president in order to preserve Israel’s existence. Think about it. If you have thought of this Tom-Clancy-type scenario, don’t you think that this almost unfathomable idea has been discussed in Israel’s most inner circles?”
Adler has since apologized for what he wrote. “I very much regret it,” he told the Jewish Telegraph Agency.
That was not enough to prevent an avalanche of American Jewish condemnation of him and his article.
The American Jewish Committee in Atlanta declared that his proposals were “shocking beyond belief.” Dov Wilker, director of AJC Atlanta said: “While we acknowledge Mr. Adler’s apology, we are flabbergasted that he could ever say such a thing in the first place. How could he even conceive of such a twisted idea? He surely owes immediate apologies to President Obama, as well as to the State of Israel and his readership, the Atlanta Jewish community.”
But the biggest blast of condemnation came from Abe Foxman who, as National Director of the so-called Anti-Defamation League, leads the Zionist campaign to smear all who criticise Israel as anti-Semites. He said:
There is absolutely no excuse, no justification, no rationalization for this kind of rhetoric. It doesn’t even belong in fiction. These are irresponsible and extremist words. It is outrageous and beyond the pale. An apology cannot possibly repair the damage. Irresponsible rhetoric metastasizes into more dangerous rhetoric. The ideas expressed in Mr. Adler’s column reflect some of the extremist rhetoric that unfortunately exists – even in some segments of our community – that maliciously labels President Obama as an ‘enemy of the Jewish people.’ Mr. Adler’s lack of judgment as a publisher, editor and columnist raises serious questions as to whether he’s fit to run a newspaper.
I have two thoughts to offer Mr. Foxman.
The first is that what is happening in America on the Republican side of the fence has about it the smell of what happened in Israel in the countdown to the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin by a Zionist fanatic. What do I mean?
There is today general agreement, even in Israel I think, that Rabin’s assassin was driven at least in part by an atmosphere of hatred for Rabin that was created by his political enemies led by Netanyahu. With the exception of Ron Paul, the Republicans who want to be president are creating an atmosphere of contempt for, if not hatred of, Obama on the grounds that he is “too hard on Israel (what a joke!) and not tough enough with its enemies.” By obvious implication the Obama of Republican campaign rhetoric is, or could be, a threat to Israel’s existence.
The second thought I have to offer Mr. Foxman is this. The answer to Wilker’s question of how Adler “could conceive such a twisted idea” is simple. He is brainwashed by Zionist propaganda.
As for my headline question, the answer is another question.
The “occupy” movement took its campaign against corporate domination to the federal judiciary on Friday, storming the U.S. Supreme Court building and demonstrating at other federal courthouses nationwide to protest the high court’s 2010 “Citizens United” decision.
“Corporations are not persons, and money is not political speech!”
proclaimed “Occupy the Courts” leader David Cobb in front of several hundred people at a grassy area on U.S. Capitol grounds across the street from the Supreme Court.
Demonstrators, some of them from the Occupy Wall Street encampments in Washington, later moved across the street to the Court, where they pushed through a police barricade and ran up the Court’s steps almost to the columns that guard the bronze front doors. Court police allowed the demonstrators to advance, even though federal law prohibits demonstrations on Court grounds. Finally, an hour after the protesters entered onto Court property, police began making arrests and ordering remaining demonstrators down the steps. Late Friday afternoon, a Court spokeswoman said a dozen people had been arrested.
The protests marked the two-year anniversary Saturday of the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which struck down restrictions on independent expenditures by corporation and unions in election campaigns. Critics say the ruling has injected millions of dollars into campaigns, often in the form of attack advertising funded by independent “Super-PACs” that cannot be directly traced or imputed to candidates.
Several leaders of the protest Friday said coverage of the Super-PACs and their impact on the Republican presidential primaries has helped galvanize opposition. “We are seeing how this disgusting decision is corrupting our system,” said Medea Benjamin of Code Pink, a longtime D.C. activist who helped organize Friday’s protests. “And we ain’t seen nothing yet. Wait until the races get underway, and this will be influencing congressional races, everything.” Asked why she was demonstrating at the Court, she said, “This is the scene of the crime.”
Some of the protesters are hoping to build on Friday’s actions and push for a constitutional amendment that would overturn Citizens United by stating that money is not speech and corporations are not persons under the law. Asked if a constitutional amendment is a realistic goal, Joan Stallard, a demonstrator from D.C., said, “The constitution has been amended 27 times, and we can do it again.” She said more and more of the public is beginning to understand “the power of corporations in our political system” and will be receptive to a constitutional chance.
The demonstration at the high court began with some light theater – black-robed “justices” dancing and singing.
In Boston, protests included speeches and music by a fife and drum team dressed in Revolutionary-era clothing. An “auctioneer” dressed in top hat and tails sold rights such as free speech and freedom of the press to the highest bidders, who were corporations represented by people dressed in boxes with the names of companies. About 150 people braved 29-degree weather to participate in the Boston protest behind the John J. Moakley U.S. Courthouse. One woman pushed a toddler in a stroller and a sign attached that said, “no corporation ever gave me a hug.”
Roughly 100 people chanted slogans outside the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco. And in West Palm Beach, Fla., according to a Palm Beach Post report, approximately 40 people protested at the federal courthouse, with one stating, “I don’t want corporations to buy the presidency.” Demonstrators also gathered in Portland, Ore. and Detroit. In Chicago, 50 demonstrators came out in driving snow, with one holding a sign that said, “Citizens United against Citizens United.”
In New York City, where the “Occupy” protests began, demonstrators moved the location of their anti-court protest to Foley Square, after a federal judge on Thursday nixed their preferred location outside the Daniel Patrick Moynihan courthouse. Judge Lewis Kaplan said the General Services Administration had properly denied the group’s application for a permit, because the location the demonstrators sought was not a designated public forum.
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The Republican National Committee (RNC), at their winter meeting in New Orleans, unanimously adopted a resolution that appears to support a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
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