Archive for the ‘Liberty’ Category
When I read the following article by Michael Neumann posted on CounterPuch I thought about my recent conversation with Ernie Branscomb on his blog. So, I posted his “Nationalism and the Israel-Palestine Conflict” below because it goes right to the heart of the root issue dividing all peoples, or should I say “races”?
There was an ideology sufficient to drive all those atrocities (“…Nazi ethnic cleansing that antisemitism can’t possibly explain – the genocide against the gypsies and the planned extermination of thirty million Slavs, many of whom died as ‘subhumans’ in inhuman prison camps”). It fairly stares us in the face. It was not devised by Hitler, but by 19th Century Romantics – poets and pseudo-historians from Scandinavia across Central Europe and down into the Italian Peninsula and the Balkans. It was not the Nazis, but Woodrow Wilson who made it a fixture of contemporary politics. This was the ideology of ethnic nationalism.
From this it becomes easy to see why Woodrow Wilson setup the Third National Bank, the Federal Reserve Banking System, or at least went along with it and its “elastic currency.” Later Wilson stated
“A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is privately concentrated. The growth of the Nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men… We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated, governments in the civilized world—no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and the duress of small groups of dominant men.”
To that end and the want to prosecute war to enforce political ends, paper money was printed to pay the cost because there was nothing in reserve as a consequence of President Richard Nixon’s in 1971, causing inflation to grow, which according to John Maynard Keynes,
“By a continuous process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method, they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some”.
It is through this mechanism that the illegitimate opinion-driven ideologues and fanatical believers looted middle-class America and stole their moral standing within the World and left them a fractured melange of contentious races. All that’s necessary is scare everyone a little bit, put a little fear in their hearts then throw them some common “hope” and they all follow along like happy little puppydogs just like the Palestinian people.
What give the Jew the moral high ground? According to Michael Neumann it is the sovereign Jewish State — Israel in occupied Palestine. The Arab Palestinian, however, has no state, no sovereignty, no legal rights and, therefore no moral legitimacy because of their sub-standard status. No never you mind that the Jews with help and support from their American and European friends took and occupy that “state” land by force of arms. They took from another what did not belong to them and used it to justify their right to use it to establish their legitimate right to exist.
By MICHAEL NEUMANN
In April of this year I was invited by the Canada-Palestine Parliamentary Association to speak at one of their meetings. The meeting was to have taken place in the Parliament building in Ottawa, where I have spoken previously without incident. John Ivison, in the National Post newspaper, published a not particularly vicious or unbalanced attack on me, deploring the invitation. After this, without any contact with me and without seeing the content of my talk, the meeting was ‘postponed’. It is now clear that the postponement was permanent.
This might seem spineless, but it involved more than the National Post article.
Ivison reports that Alykhan Velshi, director of communications for Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney, had the following to say:
“In a free country like Canada, Mr. Neumann has the right to air his noxious views. The corollary, of course, is that we can and must criticize them. Neumann’s farrago of cant, conspiracy theory and hate are completely repugnant to our government, and we make no apology for saying so.”
Bob Rae (former Ontario premier, former head of the New Democratic Party, now a high-ranking Liberal Party leader) is reported to have been ‘”surprised and disappointed” that the parliamentary group thought Mr. Neumann had something positive to contribute’.
Here is the alleged farago of cant, conspiracy theory and hate – unaltered since before the attacks. Readers may judge for themselves whether the allegations have merit.
* * *
Nationalism and the Israel-Palestine Conflict
For a brief period in the 1970s I worked in the Vancouver used book trade. I got to know a legend among booksellers – Bill Hoffer. Bill was a skilled purveyor of Canadian first editions and a great bluffer. Once I found him in earnest and extended conversation with one of ‘his’ authors; later I asked Bill whether the guy’s stuff was any good. “I don’t read it,” said Bill, “I just sell it.”.
Bill told me that the secret of the used book business was ‘gaining moral ascendency’ over the customers (whom he called ‘civilians’). This meant making them feel like you were more knowledgeable about and more committed to whatever they were interested in. Intimidate the customer a bit, and your business flourishes.
The Israelis gained moral ascendancy long ago; some reputed people called ‘the Arabs’ never had it. This involved more than PR skills. It also involved terrible confusions about nationalism. They’re the secret weapon of the Zionists and the secret weakness of ‘the Arabs’.
Zionist ideology has always departed from a question: every people has its state; why not the Jews? A ‘no’ answer would tie you to that evil of evils, antisemitism. The rights of ‘the Jewish people’ meant Israel had a morally titanic ‘right to exist’. It meant that the relentless expansion of Jewish settlement was, far from a mortal threat to the non-Jewish inhabitants of the area, the mere completion of the long Jewish Odyssey. It was just part of the long journey home.
As for the Palestinians, they described themselves as Arabs. This sounded like they *had* a home; it was the whole Arab world. If their ‘Arab brothers’ would not take them in, well, that was no fault of the Zionists. So if the Palestinians were squeezed ever further into unlivable enclaves, it was the Arabs who were to blame. The Arabs would rather dispute a tiny strip of their vast possessions than grant the Jews their little homeland.
These claims – we’re just a people like any other, we just want to go home – are the last bastion of lsrael’s crumbling moral stature. It is hard to imagine a more inappropriate public relations ploy. Israel’s rhetoric of peoples and homelands constitute a rejection of everything we ought to have learned from the Nazi era. The confusions that sustain them not only raise racial crusading to a moral imperative; in other ways they bring unjust disrepute and demoralization on the entire so-called Arab world.
If we cannot see the harm in talk of peoples and homelands, it is because our obsession with antisemitism has blinded us to the true origins of Nazi ideology. Before the Nazis, antisemitism was prevalent all over Western Europe. There were ugly incidents, one or two outrageous miscarriages of justice, but no genocide and nothing remotely resembling the peasant pogroms of Russia and the Ukraine. As for Germany, my Jewish parents, born and raised there, staunchly maintained that it was the least antisemitic country in all of pre-Nazi Europe. Why then is the Nazi genocide attributed to antisemitism, which clearly was necessary but not sufficient to produce it? And what about the aspects of Nazi ethnic cleansing that antisemitism can’t possibly explain – the genocide against the gypsies and the planned extermination of thirty million Slavs, many of whom died as ‘subhumans’ in inhuman prison camps?
There was an ideology sufficient to drive all those atrocities. It fairly stares us in the face. It was not devised by Hitler, but by 19th Century Romantics – poets and pseudo-historians from Scandinavia across Central Europe and down into the Italian Peninsula and the Balkans. It was not the Nazis, but Woodrow Wilson who made it a fixture of contemporary politics. This was the ideology of ethnic nationalism.
Sometimes we are blessed with a glimmer of real hope by the presence of real human beings, sometimes young and sometimes old. Who talks about “A Commitment to Truth” today in this world of liars? In fact, who commits to truth even if they have the wherewithal to seek it?
“A Commitment to Truth Requires a Commitment to Social Justice”
John Legend: “From the war in Iraq to credit-default swaps to the internet bubble to the real estate bubble, too often we got caught up in the hype and fail to see the real truth…Too often, we become apathetic. We see the lies, we see the obfuscation, the deception. And we fail to point it out. We’re afraid to rain on the parade, afraid to rock the boat, afraid to pursue the truth.”
Here he is speaking to graduating university students:
[You Tube Link to hear him live]
JOHN LEGEND: When I walked onto this campus, I felt like I had traveled to another world, a world that was bigger, busier and, yes, more challenging than the one I was leaving behind.
Before coming to Penn, like they said, I grew up in Springfield, Ohio, and much of my education had come from my parents, my Christian elementary school and the Pentecostal Church we attended on a regular basis.
With my grandmother by my side, I learned to play gospel piano, and I absolutely loved singing in the church choir. So, as you might imagine, I heard a lot of sermons. A lot of sermons. Some of them were rousing and inspiring. Some were the perfect cure for insomnia. And almost all of them were very, very long. I’m going to try not to do that today. Sometimes I just wanted them to wake me up when it was time for me to sing.
But it gave me a sense—it gave me a strong sense of morality, a belief that there was a right and there was a wrong. It gave me a sense that there were two sides to this journey we call life. Good versus evil. Dark versus light. Heaven versus Hell. You’re either with us, or you’re with the terrorists. Clear choices. Perfect opposites.
Like many people, I found comfort in that clarity. There’s a certain confidence that comes with being sure about the way the world works. It’s all written in an infallible book, and there’s nothing left to discuss. Mission accomplished. Read the rest of this entry »
Greenwald’s concluding comments: “So that Barack Obama — the one trying to convince Democrats to make him their nominee and then their President — said that abducting people and imprisoning them without charges was (a) un-American; (b) tyrannical; (c) unnecessary to fight Terrorism; (d) a potent means for stoking anti-Americanism and fueling Terrorism; (e) a means of endangering captured American troops, Americans traveling abroad and Americans generally; and (f) a violent betrayal of core, centuries-old Western principles of justice. But today’s Barack Obama, safely ensconced in the White House, fights tooth and nail to preserve his power to do exactly that.”
“I’m not searching for ways to criticize Obama. I wish I could be writing paeans celebrating the restoration of the Constitution and the rule of law. But these actions — these contradictions between what he said and what he is doing, the embrace of the very powers that caused so much anger towards Bush/Cheney — are so blatant, so transparent, so extreme, that the only way to avoid noticing them is to purposely shut your eyes as tightly as possible and resolve that you don’t want to see it, or that you’re so convinced of his intrinsic Goodness that you’ll just believe that even when it seems like he’s doing bad things, he must really be doing them for the Good. If there was any unanimous progressive consensus over the last eight years, it was that the President does not have the power to kidnap people, ship them far away, and then imprison them indefinitely in a cage without due process. Has that progressive consensus changed as of January 20, 2009? I think we’re going to find out.”
Read the complete article on Salon. Or continue,
It was once the case under the Bush administration that the U.S. would abduct people from around the world, accuse them of being Terrorists, ship them to Guantanamo, and then keep them there for as long as we wanted without offering them any real due process to contest the accusations against them. That due-process-denying framework was legalized by the Military Commissions Act of 2006. Many Democrats — including Barack Obama — claimed they were vehemently opposed to this denial of due process for detainees, and on June 12, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court, in the case of Boumediene v. Bush, ruled that the denial of habeas corpus rights to Guantanamo detainees was unconstitutional and that all Guantanamo detainees have the right to a full hearing in which they can contest the accusations against them. Read the rest of this entry »
When you read this from Ron Paul ask yourself why would local businessmen and women in Humboldt County NOT want the marijuana laws repealed. Here’s a link to Ernie Branscomb’s blog for a good example. He also posted this tongue-in-cheek back Saturday, August 9, 2008: And you thought Marijuana was harmless…
We have recently heard many shocking stories of brutal killings and ruthless violence related to drug cartels warring with Mexican and US officials. It is approaching the fever pitch of a full blown crisis. Unfortunately, the administration is not likely to waste this opportunity to further expand government. Hopefully, we can take a deep breath and look at history for the optimal way to deal with this dangerous situation, which is not unprecedented.
Alcohol prohibition in the 1920’s brought similar violence, gangs, lawlessness, corruption and brutality. The reason for the violence was not that making and selling alcohol was inherently dangerous. The violence came about because of the creation of a brutal black market which also drove profits through the roof. These profits enabled criminals like Al Capone to become incredibly wealthy, and militantly defensive of that wealth. Al Capone saw the repeal of Prohibition as a great threat, and indeed smuggling operations and gangland violence fell apart after repeal. Today, picking up a bottle of wine for dinner is a relatively benign transaction, and beer trucks travel openly and peacefully along their distribution routes.
Similarly today, the best way to fight violent drug cartels would be to pull the rug out from under their profits by bringing these transactions out into the sunlight. People who, unwisely, buy drugs would hardly opt for the back alley criminal dealer as a source, if a coffeehouse-style dispensary was an option. Moreover, a law-abiding dispensary is likely to check ID’s and refuse sale to minors, as bars and ABC stores tend to do very diligently. Think of all the time and resources law enforcement could save if they could instead focus on violent crimes, instead of this impossible nanny-state mandate of saving people from themselves!
If these reasons don’t convince the drug warriors, I would urge them to go back to the Constitution and consider where there is any authority to prohibit private personal choices like this. All of our freedoms – the freedom of religion and assembly, the freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, the right to be free from unnecessary government searches and seizures – stem from the precept that you own yourself and are responsible for your own choices. Prohibition laws negate self-ownership and are an absolute affront to the principles of freedom. I disagree vehemently with the recreational use of drugs, but at the same time, if people are only free to make good decisions, they are not truly free. In any case, states should decide for themselves how to handle these issues and the federal government should respect their choices.
My great concern is that instead of dealing deliberatively with the actual problems, Congress will be pressed again to act quickly without much thought or debate. I can’t think of a single problem we haven’t made worse that way. The panic generated by the looming crisis in Mexico should not be redirected into curtailing more rights, especially our second amendment rights, as seems to be in the works. Certainly, more gun laws in response to this violence will only serve to disarm lawful citizens. This is something to watch out for and stand up against. We have escalated the drug war enough to see it only escalates the violence and profits associated with drugs. It is time to try freedom instead.
So what’s wrong with trying Ron Paul’s version of freedom?
Joe had to smile to himself when he read this:
Think of all the time and resources law enforcement could save if they could instead focus on violent crimes, instead of this impossible nanny-state mandate of saving people from themselves!
Sounds like something Joe stood for the last 50 years. Maybe it’s time to throw off the “mandate.” Be responsible and demand accountability while you still can.
But then, no one would make any money off your slavery, would they?
How many years have we watched this country proselytize Democracy’s so-called freedom either by peaceful conversion or at the point of the bayonet? That’s all ex-President George W. Bush and his gaggle of confederates talked about and enforced in every other way they could think of for eight solid years. In another time and place, it was called the Crusades to bring an obscene perversion of Christianity. Incidentally, much like the perversion of “liberty” for “freedom”.
All Hail our new purveyor of hope in blessed “hope,” America’s High Priest of Civil Religion, “Democracy”. Read what Terry Mattingly has to say in the Saturday Times-Standard, ‘Promoting the gospel of America’s ‘civil religion’.
First, American “civil religion” attempts to promote unity while accepting religious pluralism. Second, this faith must remain separate from both the state and any specific religion, he said. However, if it ever favors a particular creed, it does so in defense of fundamental human rights. Finally, this “civil religion” provides unity by appealing to shared values and beliefs, acted out in common rites that are acceptable to most believers.
In one passage, the new president managed to combine a number of “civil religion” themes, while also evoking deep emotions at the heart of the Civil Rights Movement and his own personal pilgrimage.
“This is the source of our confidence — the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny,” said Obama. “This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed, why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall. And why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.”
The key, said Hanson, is that Obama managed to hit a few hard topics — from global terror to an economic recession — while emphasizing words of hope.
“If you are trying to bring people together, you can’t be too specific when you talk about the things that drive people apart,” he said. “Inaugural addresses, and I’ve read them all, are supposed to be vague — but inspiring. …
“In the end, it’s easier to be a priestly and successful president than it is to be a prophetic and successful president. It’s hard to tell people, ‘We have really messed up and all of us are going to have to change.’ “
Welcome to the New World.