Save the US, Take Down the Top One Percent, Take Back Our Country

Save the US, Take Down the Top One Percent, Take Back Our Country


Economic oppression has stolen US democracy and is killing Americans. Time to take down the top one percent and restore economic freedom.


by Joel S. Hirschhorn
(libertarian)
Sunday, April 10, 2011

Massive economic inequality is killing America and we the people. It has already killed American democracy. The rich have captured the political system so they could manipulate the economy and benefit unfairly. Economic freedom and opportunity are gone. Greed among the top one percent has succeeded so well that a true uprising and revolt by Americans, like that seen in Egypt, may be needed to restore America.

US society is riddled through and through with constant lies and political propaganda to keep Americans stupid and distracted. The truth is here, hidden from easy view for most citizens by an epidemic of dishonesty and irresponsibility among elected officials, corporate leaders, cowardly, corporate controlled mass media, and especially right-wing pundits, many of whom are in the top one percent. The truth, of course, is often revealed, but only in venues that relatively few people with sufficient intelligence and critical thinking skills access. Two recent articles should be required reading in every classroom and home.

First, some key numbers tell the true story about the decline of America in recent decades as revealed by acclaimed economist Joseph E. Stiglitz in Vanity Fair. Upper one percent Americans are now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation’s annual income and own 40 percent of the nation’s wealth. Twenty-five years ago, the corresponding figures were 12 percent and 33 percent. The top one percent’s incomes rose 18 percent over the past decade as those in the middle have actually seen their incomes fall. As the recession still hurts most Americans, especially the unemployed, hungry and foreclosed, the top one percent, many of whom created the economic meltdown, keeps their tax cuts and riches.

Most citizens are doing worse year after year,” observes Stiglitz.

Also, in our delusional democracy run by a bipartisan corporate dictatorship: “Virtually all U.S. senators, and most of the representatives in the House, are members of the top 1 percent when they arrive, are kept in office by money from the top 1 percent, and know that if they serve the top 1 percent well they will be rewarded by the top 1 percent when they leave office. By and large, the key executive-branch policymakers on trade and economic policy also come from the top 1 percent.” No surprise that those who poisoned the economy have not been prosecuted.

You cannot vote away this insanity by electing Republicans or Democrats, even those claiming Tea Party status, who mostly want to protect rich and corporate elites as evidenced by their disinterest in removing corporate subsidies and welfare, nor raising taxes on the rich. This behavior is brainless for non-wealthy Americans.

Stiglitz says: “The top 1 percent may complain about the kind of government we have in America, but in truth they like it just fine: too gridlocked to re-distribute, too divided to do anything but lower taxes.” In truth, they own our government.

The second article in The Nation by Robert Scheer smartly noted “The delusion of a classless America in which opportunity is equally distributed is the most effective deception perpetrated by the moneyed elite that controls all the key levers of power in what passes for our democracy.” Mostly ignored, “the corporate rich reward themselves in direct proportion to the amount of suffering they have caused.”

Scheer referenced this: During Clinton’s presidency the income of the top one percent increased by 10.1 percent per year, while that of the other 99 percent of Americans increased by only 2.4 percent a year. From 2002 to 2006, a period in which the top one percent increased its income 11 percent annually the rest of Americans had a truly paltry gain of 1 percent per year.

What kind of population would endure all this? Submissive, stupid and sidetracked Americans refusing to see the economic oppression strangling the nation.

To be in the top one percent you need an adjusted gross income of about $400,000, most not coming from salaries or wages. And those households with less than 5 million people total have a net worth of at least $8 million each. Do you make the cut? If not, then wake up to reality. You are a victim!

The top one percent people are the enemy. THEY have stolen your financial security and opportunity. THEY have sold us out to China and other nations. YOU have been sacrificed to satisfy their greed. You have a better chance of winning a huge lottery than becoming one of them.

Abusive inequality is no accident of history. It has occurred by design. Forget morality and fairness. The wealthiest of the wealthy have ingeniously engineered the political and economic systems to get exactly what they want and screw the rest of society. They do not fear outright revolution, peaceful or violent class war.

Pause for a moment. Think in terms of an invisible corporate dictatorship run in a bipartisan way by people who know how to use their money to retain a thoroughly corrupt political system. That is the tool used to protect themselves from the wrath of a few hundred million victims of their villainy. The economic oppression by the richest one percent is far greater than that of the British which spurred the American Revolution. We desperately need a second revolution against domestic tyranny.

In addition to the two excellent recent articles, you would benefit from examining the Who Rules America? website. If you appreciate data also peruse this excellent Mother Jones article, which points out most Americans perceive wealth distribution more fairly distributed than it really is, delusional thinking.

To sum up, those not brainwashed by political propaganda should support taking down the top one percent to take back their country. Without action more and more Americans will suffer as the middle class merges into one huge lower class.

We outnumber them. Have you had enough economic oppression? Remember, every ruling class can be brought down.

Headley’s Alleged Partner In Mumbai Operation

Tahawwur Hussain Rana, 48, a Canadian arrested on terror charges near Chicago. - Tahawwur Hussain Rana, 48, a Canadian arrested on terror charges near Chicago.

Accused in India massacre claims ties to Pakistani secret service

COLIN FREEZE

Globe and Mail

 

On May 16 in Chicago, Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Hussain Rana is to go on trial for allegedly providing terrorist scouts with the false credentials they used to pick targets in India’s largest city. Months after the surveillance operation was executed, Pakistani gunmen stormed luxury hotels, train stations and a Jewish centre, killing more than 160 civilians.

The rampage threatened to set two nuclear-armed neighbours on the path to war, until Pakistan – backed by U.S. intelligence officials – rushed to assure India that the attacks were not state-sponsored. A year later, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents in Illinois arrested Mr. Rana and his long-time friend David Coleman Headley – and accused the two Pakistani expatriates in their 50s of doing surveillance on behalf of a terrorist group.

Lashkar-e-Taiba, or LeT, is blamed for the Mumbai massacre, though Indian officials suspect the jihadists did not operate alone. Pakistan’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, or ISI, is notorious for rogue elements and double games – and it has long cultivated ties with militant Islamist groups such as LeT to create buffers.

Mr. Rana’s trial threatens to lend an aura of credence to the suspicions of ISI complicity. According to court documents, the jury will hear the two Chicago conspirators say they believed themselves to be working for both LeT and the ISI.

Previously secret testimony heard only by a grand jury is referred to in a decision published earlier this month.

“I also told him [Mr. Rana] … how I had been asked to perform espionage work for ISI,” Mr. Headley, a Pakistani-American, testified to the grand jury.

Though cryptic, the statement is highly significant.

Having turned FBI informer in a bid to escape the death penalty, Mr. Headley will reveal the blow-by-blow of the Mumbai massacre surveillance scheme when he gives evidence against Mr. Rana.

That testimony should include the specifics on how Mr. Headley anglicized his Pakistani name, cultivated ties with LeT, videotaped sites in Mumbai, and briefed his handlers in Pakistan in the run-up to the carnage.

Speaking about how he entered India under a “false flag” to scout out targets, Mr. Headley told the grand jury that “I told [Mr. Rana] about my assignment to conduct surveillance in Mumbai. … I explained to him that the immigration office would provide a cover story for why I was in Mumbai.”

Though Mr. Rana is a Canadian citizen, for years he has been the proprietor of First World Immigration Services, a consultancy based in a South Asian enclave of Chicago.

Mr. Rana has been struggling to explain away allegations that he gave Mr. Headley the papers that allowed him to pose as an immigration consultant. According to recent filings, Mr. Rana argues he is a Pakistani patriot who was led to believe the ISI wanted his help – and therefore he should get the equivalent of diplomatic immunity.

On April 1, Judge Harry Leinenweber ruled that that defence to be “objectively unreasonable.”

“Defendant’s proposed defence is that his alleged illegal acts of providing material support to terrorists – at least those related to the Mumbai attacks – were done at the behest of the Pakistani government and the ISI, not the Lashkar terrorist organization,” reads the decision. “He argues that he is entitled to a public-authority defence because he acted under the authority – whether actual or apparent – of the Pakistani government and the ISI.”

Prosecutors also say they caught Mr. Rana and Mr. Headley on tape after the Mumbai attacks, discussing a plot to kill a Danish cartoonist who had lampooned the Prophet Mohammed.

Survey Documents Successful American Brainwashing Operations Over Libyan Invasion

[All that this survey proves is that Americans will answer opinion polls in the manner expected of them.  They don't believe the answers they give, but they are willing to play along for the sake of "democracy."  They think that getting to vote on anything is "democracy."]

Survey: Most Americans Support Uprisings in Arab World

VOA

A new public opinion poll finds that most Americans support the protests in the Arab world and favor greater democracy there, even if it leads to governments that are less friendly to the United States.

The poll was conducted earlier this month by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland.  Respondents were asked about the changes that have swept across the Arab world since the beginning of the year.

By a factor of three to one, more said they believe the uprisings are about ordinary people seeking freedom and democracy than those who said they are about Islamist groups seeking political power.

Sixty-five percent of those surveyed said it would be positive for the United States if the countries in the Middle East become more democratic.

Political scientist Shibley Telhami, who oversaw the poll, says it was striking that 57 percent of respondents supported the democracy movements, even when told they might result in governments that oppose U.S. foreign policies.

“That’s quite extraordinary actually because normally our fear of a less friendly government trumps our wish to advocate democracy and this happened as a tradeoff in American foreign policy over the years,” said Telhami.

Telhami says American views of Arabs have become more positive as a result of the uprisings.

“Particularly [regarding] the people of Egypt, where you have 70 percent of Americans having a favorable view of Egyptian people, which is roughly on a par with the American attitudes toward the Israeli people,” he said.

The survey found little change in who Americans favor in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  On that question, 65 percent said the United States should be neutral, while 27 percent of Americans think the United States should favor Israel, compared to five percent who want it to support the Palestinians.

Despite the sympathy for the democracy movements, the poll found diminishing support for the coalition airstrikes in Libya and a majority of respondents were against arming the rebels there.

Steven Kull is Director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes:

“The survey basically says:  ‘Don’t push for democratization,” said Kull. “Don’t come down firmly on the side of the demonstrators.  But if things do end up in a democratic direction, let’s cheer it.’”

The survey was released on the eve of a conference on relations between the United States and the Muslim world here in Washington with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton scheduled to give the keynote address.

Our Perfect Predators Have Killed 2 US Servicemen In Afghanistan

Apr 12, 2011 13:35 Moscow Time

Photo: EPA

A US drone has killed two US servicemen in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.

The US Command in Kabul admitted the fact earlier today. The Pentagon has been using Predator drones to deliver missile strikes on Taliban units.

But this time the video-homing system obviously mixed up signals, so the drone fired on Americans.

Who is behind Middle East revolutions?

Who is behind Middle East revolutions?

VOICE OF RUSSIA Interview with Vyacheslav Matuzov,

Apr 12, 2011 12:27 Moscow Time

Photo: EPA

Interview with Vyacheslav Matuzov, one of the leading Russian experts in Middle East affairs, and former councilor, head of group for bilateral Arab-Israeli negotiations, Soviet Embassy in Washington, DC.

First of all, Mr. Matuzov, thank you very much for joining us, I am very happy to have you as our guest speaker. Just for the start of our interview let me quote a book by two conservatives, I remember you were telling me about it, and I just feel that this piece is a good start for an interview. So David Frum and Richard Perle said that people all over the world want the benefits of American democracy but they do not always possess the skills to launch a representative government by only their strength, and they said we can help as we helped in Western Europe and Japan. I have been following your interviews lately, so do I get you right that perhaps what we are witnessing now in the Middle East, starting from January 2011, or just to be more precise perhaps from the end of 2010, that it might be regarded as a continuation of this effort?

Yes, of course, I consider that all events that we are watching today in the Middle East are closely connected with the strategic line, strategic policy of the United States of America and of the NATO organization. Why do I consider so? Because it is a plan for re-changing, re-branding the Middle East at the origin of the world, it is known long time ago, days of George W Bush, when neoconservative forces in the United States articulated very clearly the goals of the whole globe, the policy that was very strongly criticized by Francis Fukuyama in his very well known article in Russia, it is “The neoconservative moment”. So I think that these events that we are watching today in the Middle East, all this revolutionary process in the Middle East is closely connected with the strategic goals of the United States’ policy.

What are these goals?

Goals are its dominating, dominating under the flag, under the slogan of fighting for democracy, fighting for people’s rights, then change it not as origin of the will of the people of this population of this region, but it is based as a company, as a political technology company, as some advertising of American foreign policy goals. It was changed in 2005 absolutely clearly and they established a special organization with very good financing, with very good political and informational color that it is called “Business for diplomatic action”. The main goal of this public organization, far from the White House, far from all official political organizations of the United States, they articulated very clearly all these goals: changing all Arab regimes.

Why? The Arab regimes are different, perhaps if we look at Egypt, that would seem to have been an American friendly regime, why do they need to change that?

The reason is absolutely clear, that this regime, even Hosni Mubarak’s regime, even King Abdullah II in Jordan – they are very close allies of the United States, but that doesn’t mean that they didn’t have their own stance towards American goals of domination in the Middle East, it is a geopolitical strategy, it is not a local, regional strategy, and the regional strategy is under the geopolitical goals of the American policy, because somebody considers how many dollars the Americans lost in this war, how many dollars Russia won while giving up prices for oil in the Middle East, it is not an economic approach, it is a geopolitical approach, and geopolitical goals of the United States are counted for tens of years, of decades, not today. I think this corresponds to the real situation that is developing in the Middle East, I can confess that this goal of changing corrupt and non-efficient regimes corresponds with the desire of these people, that is the main problem because people are very enthusiastic about these changes, and the United States policy is clearly on the streets of Amman, Damascus, Bahrain, Libya, maybe, and many other Arab countries, and Egypt of course. But I think these people on the streets do not understand that the real policy of the United States is not to satisfy their needs, their desires, their aspirations; the goal of the United States is to dominate, ruin the old regimes to construct a new big Middle East, and these new frontiers of the Middle East states will be on the ruins of the states existing today in the Middle East, this is the real danger, real danger.

Mr. Matuzov, but who are the so to say sherpas of the US policy in the region? I think that the image of the United States in the Arab streets has been rather unfavorable during the past years, so who are those who conduct the US policy in those countries, inside those countries?

That is the question, because the US understood very clearly in previous decades that its image in the world – not only in the Arab world, in the Islamic world, but also in Europe, in all other regions of the world – was going down dramatically and that is why they changed these goals of the American foreign policy against fighting terrorism, Islamic terrorism, proclamation that Islam is the main enemy of the United States in the world after ruining the world communism. All the slogans went on, and now they have a real new approach on foreign policy. They understand that when they put as a background of their foreign steps on the foreign arena that struggle not against but for democracy and people’s rights, they will win; now I think they are trying to change their image in the Islamic world, in the Arab streets, when they are positioning themselves in their roles of fighters against corruption for democracy, for political rights, but who are those who are supporting? In Egypt it is the Muslim Brotherhood, in Syria – the same, in Jordan – the same, so there is a question: who is the Muslim Brotherhood? In Russia they are registered as a terrorist organization, they were killing innocent people, in many cases, and it is listed as a terrorist organization, but in the United States they are trying to cover their activity in Jordan, in Egypt, in Syria, in other countries as right people, as people fighting for their political rights, but not as a terrorist organization. I think it reveals the real goals to undermine all these regimes and to bring into power in these countries those who are very reliable from the American point of view; I think it is a dangerous trend, I think it didn’t give any positive results even for the American society because ruining old regimes does not mean they are capable of creating new more progressive, more politically motivated regimes that can be accepted by the people, by the streets in Arab cities; I think one of the goals is to put the Arab Islamic world into a chaotic situation, but a chaotic situation controlled from the distance, by the United States, American military centers.

Do you remember there has been a map published by one of the American military analyst by the name of Peters?

Ah yes, of course, Ralph Peters, it is a cartographic experiment, source of a big scandal, from the Turkish government even, because he brought these materials as study materials for NATO military college in Rome, where the Turkish officers were trained, and there was a big scandal between the United States and the Turkish government, and I think that’s why they had problems, I watched Peter’s interview one month ago on Pops TV after the Egyptian revolution, and he said that he was considering the Egyptian events spreading to all over the world, and he was very proud of all these revolutions in the Arab world and considered it would spread to Central Asia and to Russia too. So I cannot say that neoconservative forces in the United States, and Pops news is one of the TV channels that reflect neoconservative views, and Ralph Peters is one of the hot heads of the neocons in the United States. I think that their goals all have the global substance, not regional only, a regional goal is permanent, it is only for today, for tomorrow there are other countries, the whole world, dominating on the global scene – that is the main target of the United States’ foreign policy according to the neoconservative thinking.

But if we look at Mr. Obama’s steps in regards to the Islamic world they would seem a bit inconsistent, because if you remember he started with his famous speech in Egypt in Cairo University, and then all of a sudden his administration is now engaged in a series of wars against Islam.

You are absolutely right, Ekaterina, because I can say that I see a collision between this policy that has produced all these revolutions in the Arab world and stand of the US government and Mr. Obama as  President of the United States. I respect greatly the position of Mr. Obama as President of the United States when he was in Cairo University proclaiming the American position toward the world, toward the Islamic world. I am Russian, I was satisfied with the American approach to solve its relations with the Islamic world. You know, Russia has its own problems in the Caucasus, and it solves its own problems with the Islamic movements in some areas, but I think that Barack Obama chose the right way out of solving all these issues, and now I can conclude that his declarations contradicts with the real position of those forces who are dominating in the inside American apparatus, in American Pentagon, security organizations, intelligence organizations, and informational field. I think that Business for diplomatic actions revealed to the world how these contradictions between American administration and big American business that is dominating in the neoconservative forces are acting in the world and affecting the world policy.

Getting back to Business for democracy, there is a whole list of international corporations, not even American corporations, which means that business forces there are rather global than American, so but what can be their interest? Do I get it right that it is a global war on Islam that we are witnessing now?

I do not think that it is a war against Islam, on the contrary, some Islamic forces, especially terrorist forces are closely connected with the undercover activity of some forces in the United States, we know very well the origin of Bin Laden, how he appeared on the political scene, what money was paid to sustain him, we know very well how the Muslim Brotherhood is operating in the Arab world today, so the Islamic idea is exploited by the United States for many decades and I think they are not afraid of reaching power of those people in Egypt, in Jordan, in Syria and in many other countries, I think it is a chaotic situation in the Arab world, and it corresponds to the other main issue – the Middle East settlement. I will remind you maybe that the Quartet activity for solving Palestinian-Israeli problem, for pushing ahead the negotiations between Mahmud Abbas and Netanyahu was stopped by the American side, because the meeting of the quartet was appointed for March 25, it was prolonged for April, and nobody knows when it will be concluded, once again. The reason for that is obvious: Israel is benefiting from all these revolutions in one thing: the Arab side will be out of these revolutions very weak, and non-supportive for any efforts for the Middle East settlement, and Israel has the historic chance to take the whole western bank of Jordan for itself, and establish a Palestinian state instead of Jordan Hashemite kingdom, because this idea is floating in the air, and they are trying to materialize it, that is why the answer why the Muslim Brotherhood is fighting Jordanian King on Jordanian soil, and the main goal behind all this revolt against the kingdom is not political rights of the population, but political goals of some hot heads to establish in this country a new Palestinian state instead of the Jordanian Hashemite kingdom.

Mr. Matuzov, but then there is another point which causes certain concern, certain alarm even, which is the role of NATO and some of its members, France for instance, because we have been discussing the situation in Arab countries but now there is another so to say leader-ousting operation which is going on in the Ivory Coast, and which involves the UN forces and French military.

That is right, they are not respecting the United Nations Security Council resolutions on the Ivory Coast, because they do not permit – these resolutions – the French government to intervene militarily in the Ivory Coast, and this is absolutely clear, and the same thing we have in Libya, but now the African Union’s intervention into the Libyan affair, I think, it is a very progressive step to stop NATO aggression in Libya, because NATO aggression in Libya is also all resolutions, both resolutions on Libya – 1970 and 1973 – against these resolutions they are supplying revolutionary forces or opposition with weapon or with military equipment and striking, and even their target is the life of Muammar Gaddafi. I am not a supporter of Muammar Gaddafi, but I am a supporter of the respect of the international law and resolutions of the Security Council of the United Nations.

But we have already seen the answer, the reaction coming from the so-called Libyan opposition based in London, and they are telling us they are going to look into the proposals of the African Union, but their ultimate goal is to oust Mr. Gaddafi and they are prepared to discuss the resolution and the road map rather of the African Union only if Mr. Gaddafi steps down. It seems that we are entering another deadlock.

Yes, I think that Muammar Gaddafi is ready to step down because he agreed with this, and one of his sons proclaimed very clearly that his father is ready to but he wants to negotiate, to discuss the issue to whom he will transfer his power in Libya, because transfer is a new Paul Bremer from the United States’ department who would be ready I think to head once again one of the Arab states, I do not think it is the right way. I think that for the United States and for the African Union it is to respect the internal process of Libya and give a chance for a political solution by Libyan political forces not imposing their will to Libyan people. I do not like these slogans when they proclaim: Get out, Hosni Mubarak!, Get out, Bashar Assad!, Get out, Muammar Gaddafi! Who is giving these words? It is the leadership of the United States. What kind of business they have in common with the peoples of these countries? Let these people solve their issue by themselves, not through foreign intervention, not through intervention in their internal affairs; I think that if people are given a chance to find a political solution it will be the right way. I see that the African Union is playing a very progressive role, a very positive role in this field; I think that they will be successful, and the whole world community should support not the NATO position but the African Union’s position.

So my final question: what is your forecast?

I think that the military operation will be ended, I think that after the intervention of the African Union it will be stopped, and as we do not know the details of the offers to Gaddafi, but if he agrees, I think he would step down and new democratic elections will be held in Libya. I think it will be achieved by political means but not military. I am more concerned about Syria. Syria is under a big threat from the Muslim Brotherhood, and it is arranged from outside, not inside revolt against the Syrian regime, I am not supportive of the Syrian regime, I am not advocating it, but I think it is up to the Syrians to decide what kind of rule will be in their country, so in this connection I am also very much bothered with the situation in the Gulf area, a very sensitive area even for the European economy, it is Saudi Arabia, because Bahrain and Yemen, revolts in these two Arab countries are closely connected with the situation on the Saudi soil. I think that Saudi Arabia is under the target of all this wave of Arab revolutions as they say arranged by informational polittechnology, by business for diplomatic action, a nongovernmental organization of the United States, supported by principle, main, big American business.

To find out more on the issue, read or listen to our Burning Point program from April 11, 2011 in Radio section.