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Welcome to the Sixteenth Century, Eureka

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I had to reprint this article from Firedoglake:


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Welcome to the Sixteenth Century

By: masaccio Sunday November 30, 2014 10:57 am

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113014_Damned-to-Hell-Demons Please don’t murder us in the streets. We work hard so we should be paid a living wage. Bankers should be treated as equal before the law. Please stop spying on us. We’ve lived here all our lives, don’t deport us to a foreign country. Please stop killing people everywhere in the world. We are entitled to be treated like other people. Please stop poisoning the dirt that grows our food and the water we drink and the air we breathe. The minimal nature of the demands of millions of protesters measures the decrepit state of our nation. It also tells us that the rich people who run this country loathe and despise us.

We killed your kids with impunity. Take that tiny paycheck, and supplement it with government benefits, and punch out before you clean up your work station. Bankers are the engines of prosperity and if they get a bit greedy, it can’t be prevented without destroying capitalism. We spy on you to protect you from immigrants with Ebola and sharp swords. Get back into that closet. You’ll eat and breathe oil and you’ll love it. OK, you noisy group can get married. Now aren’t you happy? Remember, we have the guns, the tanks, the tear gas, the pepper spray, the kettles, the rifles, the humvees, the assault rifles, the MRAPs, and the drones, and we have your data and your phones and your computers and your emails and your facebook pages and your tweets, and we know who you are. And just ignore those thugs on the roofs, those plain-clothes men with AR-15s, they’re either our regular troops or our irregulars, our vigilantes, just out to protect our private property.

As bad as this is, the worst part is that there are millions of people who aren’t elites, who aren’t rich enough to financially survive a lost job or a divorce or a sick kid, but who think this is just fine. Those people vote for the system not just in elections, but by their hatred for their neighbors. Who could have predicted so many citizens would enjoy watching their neighbors thrown out of their houses rather than figure out some way to help? Who would have thought so many citizens would be thrilled to see families broken up and deported? Who would have thought so many citizens would be happy to drink oil instead of water for any reason? Who would have thought that so many citizens would prefer not just to let corporations pay so little to their neighbors, but also to support cutting off all government benefits to those workers? Who would have thought so many citizens would be happy to have some government agent collecting their phones and email and internet search histories?

The optimists among us point to a bunch of liberal issues on which a plurality of citizens agree according to pollsters. That’s great, and it may even be true. But the fact is that our Constitution is set up to prevent government action against the will of a small minority. It gives tiny Red States plenty of 19th Century Senators who under Senate rules can block any action they don’t like. The House is thoroughly gerrymandered, so that the will of the majority isn’t even represented. Presidential candidates must win the money primary, insuring that they will support the interests of the richest and most retrograde among the top .01% who own 11% of the total wealth of the nation. The Supreme Court has always protected property at the expense of every other interest or value, so even if a decent piece of legislation passed, the five conservative hacks on the Court will strike it down.

It seems to me that this nation is infected by a nameless, faceless dread, a fear of something awful just beyond our ability to grasp. The media, right-wing politicians and demagogues, acting on behalf of their filthy rich patrons, actively exploit that fear to get what they want: a divided nation at war with itself. You don’t have to watch Fox News or listen to Rush Limbaugh or worse to get this; you can feel it in the air, and get all the examples you need from The Daily Show or Colbert or Oliver. Where does this come from? This is a country rich in resources, armed to the teeth, with a powerful technological infrastructure that should allow a lot of material progress and solutions to any real problems. And yet there’s this:

As of 2014, it’s estimated that nearly half of Americans — 49 percent — say natural disasters are a sign of “the end times,” as described in the Bible. That’s up from an estimated 44 percent in 2011.

How do you explain technological marvels sitting alongside this kind of pre-Enlightenment fright? One explanation comes from @Billmon1, a great Twitter follow. He says that a large part of the US missed the Enlightenment altogether. That part, largely the Red states, but all over the country, is embedded in the 16th/17th centuries:

To be more specific: rooted in 16th/17th century British isles — Scotland, English border lands & Ireland, to be precise. “Celtic fringe.”

About as backwoods, parochial, & religiously bigoted part of W. Europe as you could have found in that era — an era of religious bigotry.

We have a great recent example of this culture in Northern Ireland. After a century of war with itself and its Catholic neighbors, Northern Ireland has turned from religious bigotry to racial bigotry. There are plenty of problems in Ireland, many of which are the result of unbridled capitalism like the short-sighted decisions of the leaders to pay off all depositor loses caused by Irish banks and the outrageous tax schemes that enable the likes of Apple to screw the US out of needed tax revenues. But really, a few immigrants are the problem?

It’s a mirror image of the US. The “Other” is the problem. It isn’t the unjust distribution of wealth, it isn’t the exploitation of the worker by the filthy rich, it isn’t unequal schools, it isn’t poverty or any other structural condition. It’s witches. It’s demons. It’s unholiness. It’s impurity. It’s smoke.

It isn’t fixable. The most you can hope for is bottling up that rage and fear in fewer and fewer people. Instead the media stokes those fires. Self-ordained ministers tell people that it’s sin that cause fires and floods and earthquakes and eclipses. Rage freaks like O’Reilly and Limbaugh and the incomparably stupid Hannity tell their listeners that the end times are coming. Politicians like Lindsey Graham shriek that terrorists are coming to kill them while they sleep. These pre-moderns are now in control of both the House and Senate, and the Supreme Court.

I’m thinking about being a bit fearful myself.

Photo by Georges Jansoone under Creative Commons license


–Joe

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The NEW Meaning for “Second-Class Citizen”

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[UPDATE Below]

America redefines the meaning of being a Second Class Citizen.

US Kills Anwar al-Awlaki, a US Citizen

The “Rule of Law” ?


[UPDATE :: Tuesday, October 18, 2011]

Joe Blow and the Unpeople

Noam Chomsky connects the dots and identifies the root cause of war. Here is an excerpt posted on Democracy Now:

MIT Professor Emeritus Noam Chomsky, the world renewed linguist and political dissident, spoke Monday night at Barnard College in New York City about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, just hours before Israel and Hamas completed a historic prisoner exchange. “I think [Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit] should have been released a long time ago, but there’s something missing from this whole story. There are no pictures of Palestinian women, no discussion, in fact, in the story of, what about the Palestinian prisoners being released? Where do they come from?” Chomsky says. “There is a lot to say about that. For example, we do not know — at least I do not read it in The Times — whether the release includes the elected officials who were kidnapped and imprisoned by Israel in 2007 when the United States, the European Union, and Israel decided to dissolve the only freely elected legislature in the Arab world.” Chomsky also discussed the recent U.S. assassination of U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen. “Almost all of the critics, of whom there were not many, criticized the action or qualified it because of the fact that al-Awlaki was an American citizen,” Chomksy says. “That is, he was a person, unlike suspects who are intentionally murdered or collateral damage, meaning we treat them kind of like the ants we step on when we walk down the street — they’re not American citizens. They are unpeople, therefore, they can be freely murdered.”

Then there’s this: U.S. Accused of Killing 16-Year-Old American Citizen in Yemen Drone Strike – More Unpeople.

In news from Yemen, the U.S. government is being accused of killing a 16-year-old U.S. citizen in a drone strike last week. The teenager — Abdulrahman al-Awlaki — become the third American killed in Yemen in a U.S. drone strike in the past three weeks. He was the son of Anwar al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born cleric assassinated in a separate drone strike last month. Initial news accounts reported Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was 21 years-old, but his family says he was only 16. They said he was born in Denver in 1995. Nasser al-Awlaki, the boy’s grandfather said, “To kill a teenager is just unbelievable, really, and they claim that he is an al-Qaeda militant. It’s nonsense. They want to justify his killing, that’s all.”


–Joe

Warmongers and the MRE

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(Morally Repugnant Elite)

Why the ideologically motivated Republicans and their fellow conspirator believers are warmongers and incapable of being at peace with anyone. Classic attitude demonstrated by David Brooks in his Op-Ed Column: The Depravity Factor.

Morally Repugnant Elitist Warmongers all demand from their enemies or anyone they think threatens them abject subservient recognition and acceptance of their totally self-asserting legitimate right to exist. While at the same time, NEVER acknowledging, let alone recognizing the others equality. That is unless they are subservient and mindful of their place in the dictatorial regime. This is the ultimate of moral deprivation – force them to compromise away all human value, self-worth, individuality and personal humanity.

Brooks says, and I quote. However, is he really talking about himself? Is he totally oblivious of the historical and current state of being of this country and its corresponding, but massively overwhelming actions that he is so self-defining?

For 30 years, the Middle East peace process has been predicated on moral obtuseness, an unwillingness to face the true nature of certain governments.  ***

Perhaps some of them were simply morally blind. They were such pedantic technocrats, so consumed by the legalisms of the peace process, that they no longer possessed the capacity to recognize the moral nature of the regime they were dealing with, or to understand the implications of its nature.

In any case, their efforts were doomed. In fact, the current peace process is doomed because of the inability to make a categorical distinction. There are some countries in the region that are not nice, but they are normal — Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia. But there are other governments that are fundamentally depraved. Either as a matter of thuggishness (Syria) or ideology (Hamas), they reject the full humanity of other human beings. They believe it is proper and right to kill innocents. They can never be part of a successful negotiation because they undermine the universal principles of morality.

Here is another good example of what these MREs have done to justify and promote their actions and existence. Johann Hari’s historical account defines these MRE’s longterm objectives and goals, all to the detriment of humanity.

This is an extremely revealing article in the newspaper, The Independent by Johann Hari: It’s not just Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The IMF itself should be on trial. – How to rape with impunity.

The best example I know of how the MLE’s have raped with impunity is Haiti. Democracy Now has an interesting interview: WikiLeaks Cables Reveal “Secret History” of U.S. Bullying in Haiti at Oil Companies’ Behest. – The price people pay for believing that they have the right to be free individuals and control their own destiny. About the interview:

The Nation magazine, in partnership with the Haitian weekly newspaper, Haïti Liberté, has launched a series of reports based on more than 19,000 classified U.S. diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks. Called “The PetroCaribe Files,” the series begins with an exposé of how the United States—with pressure from Exxon and Chevron—tried to interfere with an oil agreement between Haiti and Venezuela that would save Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, $100 million per year. “It is really amazing to see an ambassador pushing around a president, and all his officials telling them what to do, trying to tell them what Haiti’s interests are. It is the epitome of arrogance,” says the report’s co-author, Kim Ives. We are also joined by veteran Haiti correspondent, Dan Coughlin.

Links:

Morally Repugnant Elite  some history – The 1% in the world that controls ALL the money. These parasites have nearly sucked all the wind out of life on this Earth.
–Joe

The Character of Real Americans

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Versus the Character of Real Arabs

This says it all. It lays the truth right at the feet of those responsible for the death of this country. If I could say it any better I would. So, I copied it here for everyone to read that doesn’t follow Juan Cole and his Informed Comment blog.

Hundreds of Thousands of Arabs Protest their Governments

Posted on 04/09/2011 by Juan

On Friday, the US Congress endeavored to decide whether American democracy has irretrievably broken down because the representatives of the Billionaires refused to compromise with the representatives of the People (“cutting spending” while “cutting taxes” means “shifting the cost of running society to the middle class from the filthy rich”). The answer was that it had not, as long as the representatives of the People showed sufficient deference to the Billionaires, shuffling, keeping their eyes down, and obediently emptying their pockets. The middle class, successfully distracted by racial and religious hatreds and by attempts to impose patriarchal fundamentalism, was wreathed in vapid smiles as the billionaires sent movers to their homes to pick up the belongings they had just fleeced from them via their enforcers, the tea baggers.

As Americans rushed to surrender their constitutional rights, the peoples of the Middle East rose up from Libya to Iraq to demand those very rights for themselves– freedom of speech, religion, the press, and assembly, as well as safeguards against a secret police state that engages in routine unreasonable search and seizure and imposes cruel and unusual punishments while keeping prisoners hidden, denied habeas corpus, and often denied a speedy civil trial or even a trial at all.

In Iraq, masses began converging from the south and from Diyala province in the east on Baghdad, heeding the call of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr for a million-person demonstration to mark what the Sadrists and many Sunnis see as 8 years of American military occupation. April 9 is commemorated by the pro-American politicians as the day Saddam fell, but the Sadrists and Sunni oppositionists see it as a black day on which Iraq lost its independence to Washington.

Continue to read examples of real courage and self-worth at Informed Comment or here:

Read the rest of this entry »

Shoe On Other Foot

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When I first looked to see what Dave Stancliff had written in his Sunday As It Stands opinion column I thought,
“here he goes again – preaching more lawless, mob rule.” After reading the article I decided not to make any observations – the whole thing was way too trite.

So, what changed my mind? You don’t suppose I could pass up another golden opportunity to excoriate Dave Stancliff, do you?

Actually, no. What griped me is the constant drum-beat for more laws to deprive everyone of what freedom, justice and accountability remains in our corrupt society. “Frivolous lawsuits” are just that, FRIVOLOUS.

When every deck there is, is totally stacked against the average working and retired man and woman in this country, using one Mickey Mouse lawsuit to fill newspaper space railing against “frivolous lawsuits” does everyone a disservice. Rather than denigrate the injured, he would have better served everyone had he spent the time and word dealing with the real cause of the problems: greedy, self-serving and amoral lawyers.

Let’s set the matter right – right up front, I don’t have any use for lawyers. First, its been my experience, that they all believe they are better than everyone else. If for no other reason than they are in a position to victimize the people that are forced to use them. The judges in this country think they are too good to speak to or recognize the “common” man. So they breed this special class of royalty that judges will accept past their Bar. Second, if you don’t have the money to pay their exorbitant fees, despite the fact that they are employed by you, the “fee” payer, they exercise their right to betray you, to the detriment and harm to you, your business and your family’s best interest. Even if you have the money, where “money” is no issue, they still treat you like some sub-human, low-class pile of dog crap.

Since that’s pretty much the bottom line when it comes to lawyers, for me personally today, whenever I have a problem, rather than look to a lawyer to purportedly speak in my behalf, I deal directly and personally. Since the gutless, effeminate paranoid have passed so many laws today restricting speech, the safe possibility to personally resolve ANY matter by simple speech (communicating by letter, email, telephone or personally) – actually talking to one another, I realize this is a rather precarious solution. That’s the way people used to settle their problems. So, what’s happened?

Well, in Mr. Stancliff’s case, the “shoe’s on the other foot.”

It wasn’t too long ago that Dave Stancliff was threatening to take me to court for writing an observation or two about his newspaper column. Despite the fact that he was making all kinds of outlandish accusation, from where I stand, that was about as “frivolous” as it could get. His “threats” were not “frivolous,” but the basis he set forth certainly was.

What have we recently learned about how we are justified in dealing with people that makes threats? What was the justification President Obama gave for going to war with Muammar Gaddafi and Libya? His, Gaddafi’s “threat.”

There’s another lesson learned here and that is when you don’t communicate, and I am not talking about arbitrary ultimatums either, the only other way to resolve issues is WAR. The choice: either talk peacefully or act violently. When people refuse to recognize your legitimate rights to exist same as them and then act on that belief refusing to talk to you, they are at de facto war with you.

The best solution is to work out the problems personally – peacefully – one on one. Whenever you bring in a surrogate to speak for you or act in your behalf, you are ostensibly at war. No one ever wins at war. Yet, it seems, that is a lesson few if any wannabe elitist Americans have learned.

April Fool’s Day today, right?

–Joe

Capital Crimes

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What makes this man guilty for doing exactly what President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have men doing all over the world — Killing innocent people? People they consider to be “‘Untermensch‘ (sub-human) or in opposition” to the governments of America and Israel such as, “those persons of any other cultural, racial, political or religious affiliation deemed” as a “terrorist.”

The AP says: “Former Nazi hit man (Heinrich Boere) convicted over WWII murders

ACHEN, Germany – A German court on Tuesday convicted an 88-year-old of murdering three Dutch civilians as part of a Nazi hit squad during World War II, capping six decades of efforts to bring the former Waffen SS man to justice.Heinrich Boere, number six on the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s list of most-wanted Nazis, was given the maximum sentence of life in prison for the 1944 killings.

Again we find justice tied to a person’s supposed “intent.” Boere testified:

He said he had no choice but to follow orders to carry out the killings.

“As a simple soldier, I learned to carry out orders,” Boere testified in December.

“And I knew that if I didn’t carry out my orders I would be breaking my oath and would be shot myself.”

But the prosecution said:

Judge Nohl noted that there was no evidence Boere ever even tried to question his orders.

He characterized the murders as hit-style slayings, with Boere and his accomplices dressed in civilian clothes and surprising their victims at their homes or places of work late at night or early in the morning.

“The victims had no real chance,” Nohl said.

What “real chance” has any of the hundreds of innocent civilians had killed by rockets and bombs from helicopters and planes? More importantly from unmanned drones, manned by coldblooded killers someplace in Nevada, etc.? Drones are nothing more than a sophisticated gun used just like Boere used, “silent” and lethal.

Is there any evidence that any member of these hit squads questions their orders? Or does the evidence show that they are all enthusiastic and willing participants in the murders they commit? This is a representative comment  regarding lawyers representing GITMO prisoners published here:

“Many of the lawyers who freely took on the task of defending al Qaeda’s killers or advocating on their behalf not only undermined the legal underpinnings for detaining their clients, but also endangered our troops in combat against them abroad. Some call that indefensible; I call it treason.”

Here’s another dealing with military lawyers quoted from “The New McCarthyism”:

But rather than portray the dispute as a conflict over what is and isn’t within constitutional bounds, conservatives argue that anyone who opposed the Bush administration’s policies is a traitor set to undermine America’s safety from within the Justice Department.

“Terrorist sympathizers,” wrote National Review’s Andrew McCarthy in September, “have assumed positions throughout the Obama administration.”

Here are a couple of links: The Gitmo Nine and Liz Cheney’s ‘Al Qaeda Seven’ that should give a fair idea of the hypocrisy.

This is the misleading statement you read in the newspaper where I live. The Report has written extensively on this matter in the Joe Blow Report

Man shot by Eureka Police dies

John Driscoll/The Times-Standard
Posted: 03/19/2010 01:32:42 AM PDT

A Eureka Police officer shot a reportedly armed man in an alley off Summer Street at around 11 a.m. Thursday after a resident wrestled the man to the ground.

First, this statement by John Driscoll is extremely misleading and absolutely not substantiated in anything reported by the “resident” to him or Chief of Police, Garr Nielsen, in the Times-Standard or TV news to what actually happened at the time of the killing. The had absolutely no idea who the “resident” was or who or what the victim was. All they knew is that TWO men were on the ground struggling over a gun. So, what about that man told them who the “aggressor” was?

The officer’s that shot this man did not know before confronting him that he was armed, or that he was the actual owner of the gun. All they knew was two men were fighting on the ground. When he refused to release the gun as reportedly ordered, they, the two officers, summarily executed him, “‘The officer took his gun, put it at the base of Sequoia’s head, and fired a round into Sequoia’s head,’ he said, adding that the second shot ended the struggle and likely killed Sequoia instantly.”

Notice the attitude as reported in the paper on Tuesday, March 23, 2010, that had absolutely NO relevance at the time of the shooting demonstrating a negative bias toward them dead man: 

Nielsen said Friday that the shots-fired call was made after Sequoia fired two shots at an acquaintance from whom Sequoia had allegedly stolen more than $1,500.

On Saturday, Nielsen reiterated his belief that his officers acted appropriately in the face of a grave threat.

At a press conference Thursday, Nielsen said that an armed man, later identified as Sequoia, pointed a gun at the officers and refused to drop the weapon.

This same reasoning and biased insinuations are backed up over on the popular blog Humboldt Herald: “Slain suspect acquitted of murder in 2008”. Read the comments on that posting and it will make the hair stand up on your head when you realize the attitudes that similarly allowed for Nazi hit-squads to operate in the open daylight.

If this guy was guilty of the crimes as charged in 1944 then so is everyone else that commits the same crimes today.

–Joe

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