The coming fury of an angry America

The coming fury of an angry America

By Aetius Romulous
Online Journal Guest Writer

Jan 7, 2010, 00:13


A tiny part of a tiny part of the population of the earth will set the terms for the future of all humans. A tiny part that is broken, spent out, and increasingly disillusioned. That sliver of humanity is the broken, spent out, and increasingly disillusioned American middle class, burdened with the task of spending all America out of catastrophe. When they break under the weight of desperate impossibility, how will the heartlands good citizens react, and what will they do?

According to the World Bank, there are 6,692,030,277 human beings on the earth. 308,108,741 of them live in the United States, about 4.6 percent of the total. Of these fortunate Americans, about 231,000,000 are of voting age. In general elections in history’s greatest democracy, about half those eligible to vote actually do . . . 115 million people. History’s greatest democracy has only two options every election, a choice between two almost similar positions, and the winning option typically enjoys the support of only half of those who choose, approximately 60 million individuals.

For a scant 90 years, America has been the wealthiest, most powerful group of humans in all 20,000 years of recorded civilization. Decisions made by Americans can and do affect the lives of every other human on the planet, often for both present and future, good and bad. By brute force of American economics alone, a single, small 0.9 percent of the 6.6 billion people who call earth home set the agenda for each and every one of all the rest of us. Not even by force of arms has there ever been a time in glorious history when so few people dominated so many in so complete a way.

Centuries from now, historians will want to know who these few people were, if only to understand how they lived and thought, and better know the cause of global events that shaped the world they live in. As we in our time grapple to understand who the powers were that made a Roman, a Roman, future thinkers will want to dissect the condition of the less than one per cent of all humanity who call themselves American, and who alone make America, America . . . and the earth, American as well.

It cost 1 billion dollars and four years to have .9 percent of the earth elect the president of the United States in 2008. It took a similar amount of time and money to be the guy that lost. Hundreds of millions more are expended to elect the 535 people who make up the United States Congress. No statistical analysis is required to understand that these are among the wealthiest and most privileged humans in all of history. A tiny fraction of a tiny fraction of a tiny fraction of the population of the planet. This, we are led to believe is democracy, and so this small sliver is at least nominally responsible to those few who elected them, and nobody else.

Like all great empires, America has a well-defined class structure. As a fedora on a table, at one brim is the thin cruel line of poverty and disenfranchisement, at the other brim another thin line of luxury and excess, and a middle where the head goes which has historically been the big, fat, American middle class. The middle class sets the agenda by dearth of weight, the luxury class promoting the agenda where and when it suits them. The lower class doesn’t matter at all.

The great American middle class, then, at least nominally, controls the fate of the planet. They do so by electing wealthy folks who pander to their interests, those wealthy folks whose interpretations of the middle class becomes policy. Future folks will want to understand how representative those interpretations were, and will want to see if changes in the middle class over time were responsible for changes in American policy towards the world.

If anything defines the great American middle class, it is the concept of the American Dream. The basic building block of the American Dream is the family — mom, dad, 2.4 kids and a dog. The “dream” part is the very American right to economic freedom, freedom to accumulate stuff. A box on a postage stamp in a sea of urban sprawl called home, a couple of cars, a good education for the kids, and unrestricted ability to consume as much surplus crap as possible. Americans define success completely in economic terms and then attach the flag, religion, and everything else to it. Without this absolute right to consume hordes of junk, there is no American Dream, and no middle class. There is left only a lower class, (whatever that is), and a powerful capitalist class existing as it always has throughout time, changing flags and philosophy depending on how the winds blow. Caesar, Czar, King, or CEO of Goldman Sachs.

The rise of the middle class at the end of the 19th century tracks the rise of wealth and power for most Western, industrialized nations. Production, trade, and consumption of machine made goods became a near universal indicator of the rise of modern civilization. However, 40 years of crushing war amongst European powers stalled the growth for most, but emerging America remained unscathed, benefiting from the misdemeanours of a now dead age. History will fix the date of the birth of absolute America to the year 1914, the dawn of the American age to 1945, and no doubt, the golden era to the short period that began to erode in 1971. Of the time since, we the generation here and now and in the teeth of it, can only speculate.

In the summer of 1914, America was an outlier in a world of teetering monarchies, festering colonial empires, and rancid landed aristocracies. While the rest of the world fed its gold and its young to the insatiable maw of industrial war, Americans were building a dream from limitless resources and the economic opportunities of a conflict that left America unspoiled and prosperous. By the close of hostilities in 1945, with the capital of the planet spent and exhausted, America burst from the ruins to begin the greatest run of prosperity and innovation of all time. The American middle class exploded, living the dream so thoughtfully given to them over a generation of global war.

Powerhouse America imposed its vision of a liberal, free market democracy on the “free world” through the Bretton Woods agreement of 1944. The United States became the world’s greatest manufacturer of goods, trader of goods, and consumer of goods. Rebuilding the planet became a God given mission, the profits manna from heaven. The American dollar became the world’s dollar. Freedom and cash registers rang.

But with the US greenback backed by gold, American economic expansion was limited to the bullion it horded. Wars in Korea and Vietnam, and the massive expansion of “entitlements” began to strain the American Dream. By the early 1970s the US had ceased to be an exporter of stuff, and the middle class began to buy increasingly cheaper stuff from abroad =- at the expense of their own manufacturing and jobs. Given that the dream of freewheeling consumption was the bedrock of the burgeoning, voting middle class, politics insisted on a populist solution to the increasingly broke US economy. In 1971, Richard Nixon elected to abandon Bretton Woods, leave the gold standard, and America was free to print its way out of deficit and keep the dream alive.

At the same time as the US set the world awash in USDs, untold wealth and prosperity inflated its way through the massive baby boomer cohort. Women were entering the workforce in exponential numbers, soaking up inflated dollars with double incomes — and less expensive kids. American politics became a contest of pandering to the hedonistic desires of the American household, boom times embraced and fuelled by lax regulation and credit, busts fought off with the simple printing of even more money. Good times.

The American household saved 11 percent of its income in 1970, and had only 1.4 percent of its cash going to newfangled credit cards and auto loans. Everything else exchanged for clothes, appliances, food, houses, and shiny happy stuff, increasingly from overseas. Unknown to all, it was to be the high water mark for the middle class of America.

In 1971, American imports exceeded exports for the first time in modern history, by 2.6 billion dollars. At a time when a billion was a lot, America began paying to simply exist. Gross Public Debt had grown from $43 billion in 1940, to $381 billion by 1970. Within a single generation — the age of narcissism, the computer age, the age of globalization — the baby boomers of the American middle class had tilted the entire planet’s resources towards an unsustainable consumer culture. No longer living the dream, those alive just moments before Lehman Brothers listed over, rolled under, and disappeared below the waves of history, were fighting simply to keep the stuff they had.

The future had evaporated right before their shuttered eyes, and for over 40 years.

The current version of the American middle class bears no resemblance at all to that of the end of the golden era in 1970. Forty years ago, Americans saved 11 percent of their earnings — which had evaporated by 2005, reaching the oxymoron of negative savings. Credit card debt shot from 1.4 percent to 15 percent. In the space of a generation, a single income family flush with cash, savings, and dreams had become a double income nightmare staggered with debt.

In 2008, there were more household bankruptcies than divorces.

The cost of crap fell and Wal-Mart rose. Debt enslaved suburbanites now spend 32 percent less on clothing than they did a generation ago; 18 percent less on food; 52 percent less on appliances, and 24 percent less on cars. The middle class is consuming as voraciously as it ever has, however they have replaced sturdy $400 American Lawn Boy lawn mowers with $99 tin cans from China, and buy them now on credit. Some call that progress, others, value. In reality, it’s inflation. The simple fact of the matter is Americans no longer have the disposable income to consume their way out of trouble, and that trouble lies in why it is the American middle class that is broke, struggling, and increasingly angry.

At the same time that consumables were falling in price, the fixed portions of the American Dream began an exponential increase. Two incomes meant two cars — or three, or four — and despite the fact that cars were cheaper, the cost of cars to the two-income family rose by 52 percent. Houses got bigger, and mortgages increased 76 percent — with 10 million of them in various states of distress and foreclosure. Health insurance rose 76 percent, taxes 25 percent. Childcare was an expense nobody had a generation ago, but one that became essential with two adults working. The cost of education had increased — as did the length of time necessary to obtain that education. A ticket to the middle class that cost 12 years of school — grade one through high school — now includes daycare, preschool, grade school, high school, and then college. Americans must now pay for the additional time.

In 2005, that .09 percent of the earth that set the agenda for the planet was spending over 66 percent of its income on the fixed costs of the American dream alone, where it once spent less than a third. Or, to frame it in a way that defines the great problem, the American system that depends on rabid consumerism has left its heartland with exponentially decreasing amounts of disposable income, falling from 66 percent to 33 percent in a single lifetime. When George W Bush implored the middle class to spend its way out of the 9/11 chaos, in stunned and terrified whispers the American middle class muttered, “With what?”

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country” –Edward Bernays, 1928

“Our enormously productive economy . . . demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption. . . . We need things consumed, burned up, replaced and discarded at an ever-accelerating rate” —Victor Lebeau, 1947

“Too much consumption and too little investment, too many imports and too few exports. We have not been on a sustainable economic track and that has to be changed. But those changes don’t come overnight, they don’t come in a quarter, they don’t come in a year. You can begin them but that is a process that takes time. If we don’t make that adjustment and if we again pump up consumption, we will just walk into another crisis.” —Paul Volker, 2009

“If you look around, you see how many people is out of work, number one, and you see how many people is in foreclosure or lost their homes or in default because they’ve lost their jobs, that tells you right there what the economy is doing.” —Middle Class American, 2009

A tiny part of a tiny part of the population of the earth had constructed a global economic architecture that sustained it in wealth and excess, security and predictability. In a scant 40 years that wealth, excess, security, and predictability have proved to be entirely unsustainable. The approaching political climate of the American middle class will reflect the shock and desperation that may now be starting to manifest itself. How Americans react to their fast changing circumstance and what they will do about it will deeply affect the 95 percent of the earth’s humans who are really only along for the ride.

In 2008, America gambled on hope, as hope is all it had. A new administration faced the growing catastrophe in the only way it could understand, frantically pumping in dollars to resuscitate a prostrate consumerism. An insane amount of debt piled up, the annual deficit soaring through $1,000,000,000. One trilliondollars. Absolutely none of it was used to purchase plasma TVs, hot tubs, or bling. The richest of Americans — as they always have — prospered along Wall Street and summered in the Hamptons while the drought stricken middle class waited for a rain that will never fall.

The American middle class will not spend its way out of disaster, if only because it can’t. There are no savings. The house is worthless. The credit cards are gone. Jobs are disappearing. Today is bad and tomorrow looks worse. People are nervous, frightened, worried. They are behind in the mortgage, and struggle to make health insurance payments. All the while, they watch the stock market explode, the bonuses arrogantly roll on, and their government lie to their faces that the “recovery” is underway. China is booming, so is India and Brazil. Beneath the hope, patriotism, and the flag, the American middle class can feel it all slipping away.

In a nation consumed by politics, where pandering and lobbying are two sides of the same platitude, what will the increasingly angry gentle folks of Ohio, Iowa, and Florida demand of their philandering representatives in Washington? What form of instant remedy will some baseless political hack come to offer them as the snake oil for what ails them? How will those decisions come to dominate the lives of those in Canada, Ecuador, and Ghana?

In the distant future, historians will consider the rise, fall, and collapse of the great American Dream and conclude that was the cause of all that followed. None will be surprised at the all too human response of anger, frustration, and action in the teeth of injustice and inequality. After all, history is full of angry people who just weren’t going to take it anymore. They will wonder only how it was we could not see it coming — how we could be so stupid to have blown it.

The coming fury of angry America is as palpable as it is silent. What will that tiny part of a tiny part of the earth’s population do when the utter hopelessness of the situation washes over them and the tides of history curl around and bear them, inexorably, into the past?

What will they do?

Aetius Romulous, historian, economist, accountant, writer, and blood sucking CEO, born at the wrong end of the Baby Boom Generation — too late to enjoy the ride, too early to have missed it, and stuck in the middle with the mess. Aetius writes and blogs from his frozen perch atop the earth in Canada, spending the useful capital of a life not finished making sandwiches and fomenting revolution. It’s a living. http://screambucket.com/. Email him at aetiusromulous@rogers.com.

Copyright © 1998-2007 Online Journal

What’s new in the British Police State?

What’s new in the British Police State?

By Josh Fulton
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Jan 6, 2010, 00:38

We all know that Britain has the highest ratio of CCTV cameras to people in the world, but I want to take a closer look at some stories from within the past two months to see at what is going on right now.

British bus passengers could soon be forced to use electronic tags to get onto buses. This fits in with the British government’s move away from paper checks and toward an electronic system to be implemented by 2018. The best part of an electronic bus pass is that it will surely help prevent bus-based terrorism.

Britain is also making sure its schools are safe. Four-year-olds are being monitored for “radicalization” and 5-year-olds are being taught sexual education. After all, there is nothing worse than a sexually naive 5-year-old who is also a terrorist.

British school teachers have also been given the authority to frisk school children and search their school bags for drugs without consent, because we know how seriously Britain takes drug enforcement.

British schools have not only been protecting students against drugs, but they’ve also been protecting them against obesity. Students in Greater Manchester have been forced to walk to school rather than getting dropped off by their parents to help keep the students in shape. . . . Better hustle up, fatties, or we’ll take you away from your mothers! Just kidding, of course.

Britain isn’t only making sure its schools are safe. It’s making sure everywhere else is safe as well.

A few months ago, Britain started to put CCTV cameras into the homes of 20,000 “problem families” to make sure that the families raise their children correctly. This is good for keeping people safe indoors, but what about outdoors?

Well, luckily, the government has been going into the homes of willing citizens and placing CCTVs inside to be trained on the street to keep a watch for “anti-social behaviour.”

What about inside private establishments? Can we make them as safe as our homes? Well, luckily, now a pub can be closed down if it doesn’t have “sufficient” CCTV coverage. . . . And I was afraid I might actually be alone!

Also, if you are ever lonely, don’t worry, because new CCTV cameras have been outfitted with speakers so they can talk to you. . . . I want them to tell me how pretty I am!

The best thing about these CCTV cameras is that they’re cost-effective. In fact, the top-earning CCTV speeding camera takes in over £420 thousand in fines a year. No wonder people love them so much.

Of course, CCTV isn’t Britain’s only tool against crime, pre-crime, and legal drinking. Britain is also still capable of that “personal touch.” That is why they’ve given 20,000 town hall bureaucrats the power to enter homes without a warrant.

Reasons these bureaucrats can enter include: checking to make sure a house has an “eco-friendly” refrigerator, making sure a hedge is not too high, and making sure no ‘unregulated hypnotism’ is taking place. . . . Regulated hypnotism, of course, is fine.

Cyberspace also got safer when Britain enlisted telecoms to help them spy on every phone call, email and web search British citizens make. This makes people safer because naturally now the government knows what they’re doing.

The information gathered will be available to such important agencies as local councils, the Financial Services Authority, the ambulance service, fire authorities and even prison governors. . . . Finally, ambulance drivers will know what our Google searches have been even if we’re unconscious!

The best news for the police state, however, has been that the criminal code has expanded. Since 1997, 3,000 criminal offenses have been created, 1,472 of which are imprisonableThe number of people over 50 entering the criminal justice system has also risen by almost 50 percent in eight years.

Not only has the criminal code expanded, but the people who have arrest powers has also expanded. In Norwich, mall cops can now arrest people. . . . Sorry, Grandpa, but now it looks like you really are going to have to get out of the massage chair.

Despite all these victories, the police state did suffered one setback during the last two months. Britain was collecting the names, dates of birth and passport details of every passenger entering into and exiting from the country well before they got to the airport, just like any good police state would. But then the EU, which after the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon has authority to overrule member nations’ criminal laws, disallowed it.

This truly is a monumental loss. Britain’s tyrannical authority has been overridden by another tyrannical authority. Why is it always thus to tyrants?

Don’t worry, Britain. As long as you exist as an independent country, however long that may be, we here in America will always have our eyes on you.

After all, we want to keep you safe.

Copyright © 1998-2007 Online Journal

Congolese Women and Girls Suffering the Insufferable

Heavily armed militias are trying to increase the very same kinds of turmoil that charitable groups are striving to remedy. They are doing so in order to gain control of four main minerals: tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold that garner an estimated $180 million in revenues each year.

Congolese Women and Girls Suffering the Insufferable

By Emily Spence and Brian McAfee
While in the eastern Congo last summer, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated, “With respect to companies that are responsible for what are now being called conflict minerals, I think the international community must start looking at steps we can take to try to prevent the mineral wealth from the DRC ending up in the hands of those who fund the violence here.”
In relation, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s UN supported armed assault against rebels in the eastern Congo has promoted widespread death, rape and other forms of brutality. Indeed, the decade long war has claimed at least 5.4 million lives — the most in any conflict since WWII. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of women and girls, including babies, have suffered rapes and sexual mutilation, often with weapons and tools used in the process. Further, it is thought that, in eastern portions of the Congo, up to seventy percent of Congolese women, along with children of all ages, have been sexually attacked, according to the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, a research center at Harvard University.
Moreover, some relief workers have estimated that up to twenty percent of new rapes have been instigated by police and civilians in urban rather than rural areas in that a culture of violence has set into much of the nation due to the long, drawn out conflict. At the same time, the attacks are so extremely violent that they have been described as sexual terrorism by medical workers at the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu at which thousands of survivors have been treated each year.
Overall, it has emerged that all major groups involved in the warfare have committed these and other serious war crimes, including looting peasants, purposefully destroying homes and forcing the mass dislocations of more than a million terrorized people from their neighborhoods. On account, countless families and whole communities have been forced to live with constant fear, repeated migrations and insurmountable social turmoil.
In a country with an annual income of $110 per capita and a life expectancy rate of 54.4 years, life is difficult enough as it is. However, individuals on the run can’t even have the assurance of this modest sum to support existence. As a result, massive food, medical and displacement aid is needed in the country at the very time that it is most dangerous to be there as an aid worker. Simultaneously, a shortage of donations negatively impact the quality of care delivered by various assistance organizations, including U.N. sponsored relief programs.
Meanwhile, a rape-friendly culture encourages leniency towards rapists and ostracism towards victims regardless of their ages. Indeed, wounded sufferers are generally shunned by their spouses, other family members and former friends, particularly so if they have any children that resulted from periods of long term bondage accompanied by repeated rapes.
Simultaneously, assailants rarely receive proper trials. Therefore, the lack of punishment has increasingly emboldened Congolese men to find pleasure through physically violating women and children on a routine basis. Consequently, the number of assaults on women and children are increasing and spreading into new regions so as to include ever new groups, such as the Pigmies.
Even as the International Criminal Tribunal recognizes rape as a crime of genocide under international law, there is little by way of meaningful deterrence to the escalating aggression. In relation, this “pandemic of sexual violence,” indicates Stephen Lewis, the former United Nations special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, is “obscene,” “insanely savage,” and is nothing short of “femicide” [1].
Despite that social stigma is prevalent, the abandoned women and girls, of whom some are pictured at Congo/Women [2], do sometimes receive substantial help. For example, it comes from groups like SOS AIDS, an organization that works with other relief agencies to get in touch with rural survivors so as to take them to treatment centers for psychological counseling and medical support.
The assistance often includes the successful repair of fistulas, debilitating ruptures of the urinary-genital tract that leave females incontinent and prone to infections for life. The helpers, also, try to provide housing, including for those in need of anti-retroviral and other drug treatments due to the attackers having infected their victims with assorted serious diseases. (The HIV prevalence includes approximately 4.2 percent of the population.) Meanwhile, the high number of injured women and girls makes it impossible to treat them all, aside from the fact that the majority of the assaults, apparently, go unreported.
Thankfully, there are a number of dedicated groups like SOS AIDS taking a stand for justice and human welfare even when it is dangerous for their staff to do so. Tragically, others try to increase the very same kinds of turmoil SOS AIDS is striving to remedy. They are doing so in order to gain control of four main minerals: tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold that garner an estimated $180 million in revenues each year.
The main reason that these minerals are in such high demand is because they are critical in the fabrication of digital cameras, laptops, cell phones, portable musical devices and video games. Yet, some of these battlefield minerals are not widely found over much of the world. Therefore, there is great competition for them in the Congo and some individuals will stop at nothing to get them.
All considered, people interested in supporting the necessary reforms in this war torn land can phone or write letters to Congressional representatives to urge them to ratify the Congo Conflict Minerals Act (S. 891) and the Conflict Minerals Trade Act (H.R. 4128), which are currently undergoing legislative review. [3] They can, also, sign petitions directed to members of Congress.[4] Additionally, they can contact their respective mobile phone manufacturers to indicate that they want the companies to ensure that cell phones are only made from certified conflict-free materials.
As Brian indicated, “The women and girls of the Congo are our sisters and daughters in the larger sense of our all being part of one human family. Therefore, our love and concern for them, as it would be for any other cherished human being, must be present. In relation, I sort of decided to adopt the rest of the world as my family due to my having been orphaned at an early age. Besides, Congolese people deserve unreserved justice and compassion as much as any other people do, as our common welfare is inexorably linked. In fact, only a huge outpouring of care from around the world will help to bring about the kind of changes so desperately needed in this tragically destroyed nation.”
Due to a shortage of funds and critical care supplies, the crisis in the Congo is inadequately addressed. Yet many charitable groups are striving their best to provide relief.
Thankfully, several of these agencies have excellent track records. A few of them that come highly recommended are the Women and Girls of the World, Stephen Lewis Foundation, SOS Medical Centres and Women for Women International in the event that any support of their projects might like to be undertaken. [5] As Margaret Mead suggested, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Emily Spence and Brian McAfee are authors living respectively in Massachusetts and Michigan. They have spent many years involved in human rights, environmental and social services efforts. They can be contacted at brimac6@hotmail.com.
References
[1] Ensler E, Lewis S (2008) The never ending war. Huffington Post. Available: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eve-ensler​-and-stephen-lewis/the-never-ending-war_​b_150668.html . The Stephen Lewis Foundation(2007 September 13) Stephen Lewis calls for a new UN initiative to end sexual violence in the eastern region of the DRC. Available: http://www.stephenlewisfoundation.org/ne​ws_item.cfm?news=1988&year=2007 .
[2] Congo/Women, an exhibition featuring photographs by Lynsey Addario, Marcus Bleasdale, Ron Haviv and James Nachtwey. Available: http://congowomen.org/.
[3] GovTrack.us, 111th Congress, 2009-2010, S. 891: Congo Conflict Minerals Act of 2009. Available: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-891. GovTrack.us, 111th Congress, 2009-2010,HR 4128: Conflict Minerals Trade Act. Available: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-4128.
[4]  Urge Your Senators to Cosponsor the Congo Conflict Minerals Act of 2009 (Raise Hope for Congo). Available: http://www2.americanprogress.org/t/1659/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=6273.  Urge Your Representative to Cosponsor the Conflict Minerals Trade Act (Raise Hope for Congo). Available: http://www2.americanprogress.org/t/1659/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=6281.

Obama and the Global Police: More Friendly Fascism?

Obama and the Global Police: More Friendly Fascism?

By John W. Whitehead

“The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.”– James Madison

Over the course of his first year in office, Barack Obama has shown himself to be a skillful and savvy politician, saying the things Americans want to hear while stealthily and inexorably moving forward the government’s agenda of centralized power. For example, in one breath, Obama pays lip service to the need for greater transparency in government, while in another, he issues an executive order that will result in even more government secrecy.

He is aided in this Machiavellian mindset by a trusting populace inclined to take him at his word and a mainstream media seemingly loath to criticize him or scrutinize his actions too closely. A perfect example of this is the media’s relative lack of scrutiny over Obama’s recent transformation of Executive Order (EO) 12425 from a document that constitutionally limits the International Criminal Police Organization’s (Interpol) activities domestically to one that establishes it as an autonomous police agency within the U.S.

Those who have voiced their concerns about this domestic empowerment of Interpol by President Obama–and that’s exactly what it is–have been soundly criticized for fomenting political hysteria. But there is legitimate cause for concern. This presidential directive could undermine civil liberties and render the Fourth Amendment null and void.

First, some background on EO 12425. Issued by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, EO 12425 recognized Interpol as an international organization with certain privileges and immunities afforded to foreign diplomats. However, Reagan structured his executive order to ensure that Interpol, like every other law enforcement agency in this country, was accountable to the rule of law.

Aided by some crafty legal editing, Obama has manipulated Reagan’s directive in such a way as to remove those restrictions so that Interpol now stands apart from domestic law enforcement agencies, its actions and records effectively immune from legal scrutiny. It was a shrewd move on Obama’s part, so shrouded in a legal parsing of semicolons and redactions that it is barely comprehensible to the average citizen (unless you happen to have a few attorneys on hand who can sift through the historical record to make sense of the changes). But when you compile all the changes, the amended text of the Executive Order reads:

Property and assets of international organizations, wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall be immune from search, unless such immunity be expressly waived, and from confiscation. The archives of international organizations shall be inviolable.

The key here is the word “inviolable,” which means that Interpol assets, records and other property are no longer subject to the search and seizure provisions of the Fourth Amendment, nor are they subject to public scrutiny under the Freedom of Information Act.

It should come as little surprise that when the White House issued the amended executive order on December 17, 2009, it issued no press releases and thus generated little in the way of media attention. It must be said, however, that had George W. Bush attempted to slip something like this through a week before Christmas, he would have and should have been soundly lambasted by the media.

Frankly, we should be hearing more about Obama’s EO 12425–from the White House, from Congress, from the media. In fact, Congress should be holding hearings on the ramifications of allowing Interpol to operate with complete autonomy outside the strictures of the Constitution and above the rule of law in this country.

Operating in 188 countries, Interpol supposedly deals with crimes that overlap various countries such as terrorism, organized crime, war crimes, piracy, drug trafficking, child pornography and genocide. The agency maintains a bureau in each member country and channels information and requests to the appropriate law enforcement agency in each country. It also works closely with international tribunals, such as the International Criminal Court, to locate and detain alleged fugitives.

In the U.S., Interpol is headquartered at the Justice Department in Washington, DC, one of the most powerful of the government agencies and the one responsible for overseeing all law enforcement within America. All law enforcement agencies that fall under the jurisdiction of the Justice Department, including the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Agency, are subject to the rigorous safeguards of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the laws passed by Congress.

These safeguards no longer apply to Interpol, whose records cannot be obtained through FOIA requests–which act as an important safeguard against governmental abuse–nor are they subject to investigation by other federal agencies or the courts (unless Interpol itself consents).

It’s hard to know exactly what the fallout from this executive order will be, but the ramifications for the American people could be ominous. For instance, if Interpol engages in illegal and/or unconstitutional activities against American citizens, it will be impossible for U.S. citizens to obtain information–via subpoena or other commonly used legal methods–regarding its records or activities.

Additionally, any information shared by the FBI or other American intelligence agencies with Interpol could also be exempt from FOIA and Fourth Amendment protections. At this point, the rule of law breaks down completely. American intelligence and police agencies, when and if they share information, would also be above the law.

This could also pave the way for a global police state–one in which information made available to Interpol by American agencies can and most likely will be shared with global police agencies around the world. In other words, foreign intelligence agencies could eventually spy on Americans.

Clearly, there are enough concerns about the impact of EO 12425 on our civil liberties to warrant further discussion. It must be remembered that James Madison, the “father” of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights and the fourth president of the United States, advised that we should “take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties.”

Whether or not you consider President Obama’s Interpol executive order to be cause for alarm, one must agree that this is far from thefirst experiment on our liberties. In fact, we’ve seen all this before. It’s Bush redux. Slowly, more Americans are waking up to the fact that civil liberties violations that began under the Bush presidency are continuing under the Obama presidency.

Even the ACLU, which embraced Obama a mere year ago, has recently condemned his record on civil liberties. “We’re increasingly disappointed and alarmed by the current administration’s stance on accountability for torture,” said Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project, during a conference call with reporters. “On every front, the [Obama] administration is actively obstructing accountability. This administration is shielding Bush administration officials from civil liability, criminal investigation and even public scrutiny for their role in authorizing torture.”

The bigger danger, however, is that a shift toward authoritarianism is underway and only small pockets of Americans realize it. Certainly, the mainstream media is not reporting on it, nor do they primarily function as watchdogs, guarding against encroachments of our rights. Yet it is unmistakable–we have been creeping towards fascism for some time now, as Bertram Gross foretold some thirty years ago. Writing in his insightful book Friendly Fascism, he predicted, “The new fascism will be colored by national and cultural heritage, ethnic and religious composition, formal structure, and geopolitical environment.” He continues:

Anyone looking for black shirts, mass parties or men on horseback will miss the telltale clues of creeping fascism. In America, it would be supermodern and multi-ethnic–as American as Madison Avenue, executive luncheons, credit cards, and apple pie. It would be fascism with a smile. As a warning against its cosmetic façade, subtle manipulation, and velvet gloves, I call it friendly fascism. What scares me most is its subtle appeal.

Society’s Hypocrisy Over Pedophila

Society’s Hypocrisy Over Pedophila

January 9, 2010

till.jpg(Eric Tillman, left, helped Saskatchewan win the Grey Cup in 2007.)

BY HENRY MAKOW PH.D

The
Illuminati
is a powerful satanic cult which practises pedophilia, incest and every sort of  sexual deviance. It tries to make society adopt its degrading behavior.  Illuminati-controlled media and entertainers saturate us with pornographic images and sexualize children. Schools are promoting sexto children beginning at age six. Homosexual techniques are taught in high school.

However, pedophiles are still severely condemned, as well they should be.

The question is, given the Illuminati agenda, how long can this taboo against pedophilia last? I am interested in instances where the satanic underworld surfaces and how these cases are treated.

MATURE MEN?

Increasingly, mature men, pillars of the community, are humiliating themselves, their families and business associates.

Last week, Eric Tillman, 52, the General Manager of the CFL Saskatchewan Roughriders, resigned after pleading guilty to a sexual assault charge involving a 16-year-old babysitter.

He grabbed her from behind and groped her while she was bent over spoon-feeding one of his children. He claimed to be doped up on pain medication and didn’t know what he was doing. The judge let him off without any penalty because he admitted guilt and was very repentant.

Tillman, who hails from Mississippi, had a distinguished career in Canadian football and was well respected.

Also last week, William Wanner, 67, a prominent Minneapolis consulting engineer and GOP donor, was charged with sexual assault after fondling a 10-year-old girl at a swimming pool on two occasions. He told her the “massage” would feel good.

The girl had been entrusted into his care by her mother. A witness reported the act and it was confirmed by video camera. The story made headlines in the Twin Cities and you can bet this man’s reputation is ruined.

Closer to home, here in Winnipeg, Dr. Ross Brown, 71, the deputy head of radiology at St. Boniface General Hospital was forced to retire after being charged with possession of 5,000 pornographic photos involving children as young as two engaged in explicit sex acts, including bondage and bestiality. Brown also had 30 videos and a PowerPoint presentation on child pornography on two home computers.

drrossbrown4.jpgBrown (left) was sentenced to only 45 days in jail and three years’ probation after police bungled the case. He was charged in 2006 but police failed to provide disclosure in a timely fashion.

Brown was another “pillar of the community,” president of the community-owned Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1988 when the team won the Grey Cup. Brown was also a member of the 1991 Grey Cup planning committee. He was inducted into the football club’s Hall of Fame in 2006.

One wonders if the (Masonic?) establishment went to bat for Brown. For example, we know the mental health profession is subverted. Dr. Jeffrey Waldman, a psychiatrist at Health Sciences Centre, said Brown suffers from “paraphilia.”

“Paraphilias are recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges or behaviours that can involve non-human objects that occur over a period of at least six months,” Waldman wrote in his report. “The behaviour causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.”

In this case, sexual images of children were the “non-human objects?”

Brown was charged in 2006 as a result of an FBI investigation into the sexual exploitation of a 12-year-old Georgia girl who was being used for pornography and prostituted by a “family friend,” Wilbur Caldwell, 52.  Six other men were charged with raping the girl. This follows the pattern in Illuminati circles.

The girl’s photos were on a website run by Ross Brown, who even listed his Winnipeg address. This shows the link between between the producer of child porn and the consumer.

CONCLUSION

britney.spears.catholic.school.outfit.jpgWe live in a society where pornography and obscenity flourish and where children are sexualized.

Yet when people succumb to these messages, they are ostracized and punished.

Obviously, the solution to this hypocrisy is not to legalize pedophilia. (Then, the Illuminati couldn’t blackmail politicians.)

The answer is to criminalize all pornography, except for tasteful nudity, and clean up the mass media. The media provides the psychological stimulus for sexual  exploitation and addiction to flourish.

They used to say, “Don’t force your morality on us.”

It’s time we say, “Don’t force your immorality on us.”
—-

Related- Pedophilia The Next Frontier?

“Times of London” Touts Sibling Incest

Taliban Learn Unabomber’s Craft–Wooden IEDs

Taliban make ‘undetectable’ bombs out of wood

By Andrew Johnson

January 9, 2010

Taliban fighters have developed a deadly new generation of their most lethal weapon, the improvised explosive device, or IED, which is almost undetectable because it has no metal or electronic parts, military experts said last week.

IEDs have proved the Taliban’s most deadly weapon: three out of five coalition troops killed last year in Afghanistan were victims of the bombs. At least 48 of the 108 British fatalities were caused by IEDs.

Chris Hunter, a former bomb disposal expert who served in Iraq and now runs his own consultancy said the new weapons were being manufactured from wood in Pakistan.

“The expertise for this new generation of bombs is likely to be coming from foreign fighters from places such as Chechnya,” he said. “But they are being mass produced in Pakistan and are being wheeled out on an industrial level. You see them everywhere.”

Earlier in the war, IEDs would be mostly triggered by two hack-saw blades separated using a spacer. When the blades were stepped on or driven over they would complete an electronic circuit which so detonated the explosive – often an artillery shell.

Mr Hunter added that the metal saw blades have now also been replaced with graphite blades and the artillery shells with ammonium nitrate. The damage is caused by the power of the blast rather than metal fragments, or shrapnel.

The number of IEDs used in Afghanistan has increased by 400 per cent since 2007 and the number of troops killed by them by 400 per cent, and those wounded by 700 per cent according to a report by a US group called Homeland Security Market Research.

One brigade commander posted to Afghanistan said that sniffer dogs were the most reliable way of detecting IEDs, but this method took a long time and required a lot of animals. Already convoys have to move at very slow speeds while roads ahead are checked for explosives.

He added his troops were becoming “IED-shy”, because of the stress levels created by this new generation of weapons.

:: Article nr. 62010 sent on 10-jan-2010 03:26 ECT
www.uruknet.info?p=62010

Link: www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/taliban-make-undetectable-bombs-out-of-woo
d-1863353.html

A political party behind Karachi violence: Qaim

A political party behind Karachi violence: Qaim

LAHORE: Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah has hinted at the involvement of a “political party” in the recent violence in Karachi and said the target killings of PPP workers is also continuing in the city.

Talking to media persons at the Lahore airport, the chief minister said target killings were a conspiracy against the provincial government.

He said the sacrifices of PPP workers wouldn’t go unrewarded, adding the Ashura carnage probe report would bring the reality to surface and the nation would be informed about the facts.

Answering a question, he said it wasn’t right to blame the government for the current situation in Karachi as it was fulfilling its responsibilities.

Later, addressing the launching ceremony of ‘Asif Ali Zardari, a sagacious politician’ a book written by PPP General Secretary Jehangir Badr, Qaim said it is a critical time when the country lost one of its greatest leaders Benazir Bhutto, but it was the far-sightedness and acumen of Asif Zardari, who chanted slogans of ‘Pakistan Khappay’ to save the country.

Qaim said after assuming office, President Zardari not only restored the lost image of Pakistan but also defeated the forces willing to declare “our country a failed state”.

He said it was Asif Zardari’s remarkable effort which resulted in the formation of the Friends of Pakistan and the world powers also aided Pakistan for the redressal of our economic grievances. He said the elements criticising Zardari had, in fact, nothing to do with democracy, rather they were aspirants of dictatorship in Pakistan.

The book-launching ceremony was also addressed by Senator Jehangir Badr, PPP Balochistan President Lashkari Raeesani, Punjab Senior Minister Raja Riaz, PPP Punjab President Rana Aftab, PPP Women Wing Lahore President MPA Sajida Mir.

Raeesani said the elements conspiring against a democratically-elected President like Asif Zardari would be defeated with public power. He said any conspiracy against the democratic government was in fact a conspiracy against the federation but they would be foiled.

Badr said the PPP believed democracy is the best revenge and the party would seek this revenge by changing the system. He said President Asif Zardari was the symbol of the federation and he was following the principle of the national reconciliation which was vital for democracy.