Renewable Revolution

Freedom & Democracy => Who CAN you trust? => Topic started by: AGelbert on May 13, 2014, 09:37:45 pm

Title: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on May 13, 2014, 09:37:45 pm
Senior EPA Official Steals Millions from Taxpayers

May 13, 2014

EPA Hoodwinked by Its Highest Paid Climate Specialist

Senior policy advisor John C. Beale of the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Air and Radiation pulled off a million dollar con in which he found a fix for his career doldrums by convincing his bosses that he was a top-secret CIA operative.

This required him to be out of the office for extended periods of time—claiming to be traveling the globe on clandestine missions in the interest of homeland security.

Yes, this EPA official was vicariously acting out some sort of James Bond fantasy instead of going to work—and getting paid for it.1 He occupied his time taking lavish vacations on the government's dime.

Beale took 33 airplane trips between 2003 and 2011, costing the government $266,190. On 70 percent of those, he traveled first class and stayed in five-star hotels, traveled by limo, and charged more than twice the government's allowed per diem limit.

Between vacations, he would just putter around his Northern Virginia home doing pretty much nothing at all—and certainly not working. Beale told one shameless lie after another.

For example, in order to be granted a handicap parking space, he claimed to have contracted malaria in Vietnam. However, not only did he never have malaria, he never served in Vietnam!2 How long would you guess he got away with this fraudulent scheme—a month? A year? Try two decades!   :o ???  >:(

Justice, After a 20 Year Long Con...

Full story at link with excellent health advice too!

Agelbert NOTE: Just imagine what the GW deniers are going to say when they find out the EPA was Hoodwinked by Its Highest Paid Climate Specialist... :(  Unsaid in the article is that this B A S T A R D got away with this mainly because of the systemic FEAR inside our government of questioning anything and everything that has to do with the "company" (in house nickname for the main defender of predatory capitalism all over the world -> the CIA).   >:(
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on May 20, 2014, 06:55:02 pm
Published on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 by Common Dreams       

'Justice for Sale'? (  Critics Slam Fed Deal With Tax Dodger-Abetting Bank Behemoth "As usual, no current senior officials were targeted.( ( 
Pray tell, what is the deterrent value?" (  (

- Andrea Germanos, staff writer
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on July 18, 2014, 03:36:00 pm
  I fooled around with writing an autobiography mainly for my children who both live about 400 miles away, and are 36, and 38 years old. I included this essay by Joe Bageant, because it says what i would say if i was as talented at writing as he was.

Joe Bageant: Americans Are "Hope Fiends" Because Honestly Looking at the Present Situation Would Destroy Just About Everything We Hold As Reality
An awareness of class makes clear who is screwing whom. That's why American capitalism's official line is that we are a "classless society."
March 1, 2010  |   

Near midnight and I am making tortillas on an iron skillet over a gas flame. Some three thousand miles to the north, my wife and dog nestle in sleep in the wake of a 34-inch snowstorm, while the dogs of Ajijic are barking at the witching hour and roosters crow all too early for the dawn. While my good Mexican neighbors along Zaragoza Street sleep.
Yet here I am awake and patting out tortillas, haunted by the empire that I have called home most of my life.
I like to think that, for the most part, I no longer live up there in the U.S., but southward of its ticking social, political and economic bombs. Because the US debt bomb has not yet gone off, Social Security still exists, and the occasional royalty check or book advance still comes in, allowing me to remain here. And so long as America's perverse commodities economy keeps stumbling along and making lifelike noises, so long as the American people accept permanent debt subjugation -- I can drink, think and burn tortillas. Believe me, I take no smugness in this irony.
There is a terrible science fiction-like awe in the autonomous American economic monolith, in the way that it provides for us, feeds on us and keeps us as its both its lavish pets and slaves. The commodity economy long ago enslaved Americans and other "developed" capitalist societies. But Americans in particular. The most profound slavery must be that in which the slaves can conceive of no other possible or better world than their bondage. Inescapable, global, all permeating, the commodities economy rules so thoroughly most cannot imagine any other possible kind of economy.
It comes down to owning stuff, and that the stuff we own also owns us (as anyone paying rent for a storage locker can attest). Transmogrified by industrial materialism, we have become what we own. More specifically, what we are observed by the rest of our society as owning. In the commodified society of industrial materialism, owning is being. So much so, that politicians bandy the term "ownership society" about, not only without causing the public to gag, but to cheers. Even liberals who claim to dislike the term don't want to be in a "We don't own **** society."
Early modern capitalism was more or less understandable, if not always pleasant. One can see why a pre-industrial world that had owned less would embrace owning a bit more. Who gave a damn if it came from Adam Smith's "unseen hand," the hand that was taking care of the already rich, who in turn managed the order of the world as seen through the lens of aristocratic and bourgeoisie English commerce. "If we work our guts out Nellie, we can buy a pork knuckle every Sunday. And a featherbed, if you get my drift. Woo Hoo!"
Enter the reign of the bourgeoisie, self-appointed and self-interested middlemen to anything and everything. The sheer complexity of the industrial revolution and associated finance was a dog that could fatten many fleas.
When the bourgeoisie did not get what it felt was a good cut of the action from the monarchies, it raised hell, sometimes enough to cause revolutions. If they won, as they did in America, they took credit for establishing democracy. If they lost, they fobbed it off as a "people's revolution," leaving the working slobs, the actual producers of wealth, to face the king's hangmen.
Even when "the people" occasionally win one of those "people's revolutions", we never really win. Not in the end. For instance, here in Mexico, contrary to what we've seen in Zapata movies, there has never been a successful people's revolution in terms of lasting and real egalitarian reform. Just armed struggle, and many promises of reform, always to be abandoned after the revolution. They were subsequently wiped out by the politically potent urban middle class, in league with traditional elites, such as the haciendados and corporatists. The bourgeoisie never gives up its profitable connections to the elites. Same as in America. The bourgeoisie lives at the pleasure of the elites.
However, in the people's revolutions it was mainly "the people" who got killed. So they get naming rights. The people own their revolution only in death. Just as in the U.S., the elites here and the business classes get everything else and rent it back to us as mortgages or whatever.
You can argue that people have always screwed other people for a buck, or a drachma or a shekel. You will win with that argument every time. However, the real issue is about how many people got screwed and how hard by how few. Under 250 years of capitalism, the rising take from the ongoing screw job has grown astronomical. Enough to buy every political tub-thumper in Washington and a Supreme Court. Enough that if the elite cartels on Wall Street rip 300 million Americans for trillions, leaving them squinting at the fine print on their eviction notices, they cannot do jack about it. Except pay the next ransom demand for their credit . On their credit cards. Then sign their children into future debt slavery.
We are all Mexicans now
Thanks to the autonomous commodities economy, Mexico literally cannot keep itself in tortillas. No longer food self-sufficient, Mexico, where corn was first bred and developed into a staple, buys corn on the world market. The price of tortillas in the tiendas along my street is up 40 percent and climbing at ten times the rate of Mexico's minimum wage.
Mexico was food self-sufficient in 1982. Minimum daily wage then was the equivalent of 8.2 kilos of eggs, or 23 liters of milk, or 33 kilos of tortillas. Eighty-five percent of the people had access to government medical care and the country was fifth worldwide in GNP growth. Now, thanks to international financial pirates, Mexico cannot even keep itself in tortillas.
This has happened repeatedly to Mexico, each time due to a different pirate gang, the French, the English, the Germans. But most often, it is the Americans and their institutions and policies, the IMF, GATT and NAFTA. Mexico is continually robbed from within and without. Within lives the tapeworm of government-business corruption feeding on money passing through the nation's economic bowel. From without come the assaults of American and global corporate financialism.
Loathe as Americans are to believe it, the Mexican people and the American people are in the same situation of being mugged. However, they are robbed at a different rate and from different positions in the global pecking order. We rob the Mexicans and global capitalism robs us. Fortunately we can still afford to buy our national food staple from Dominoes. Which makes us a superior people.
Humping the Big Lie
Meanwhile, somebody has to hump The Big Lie, maintain the appearance to the rest of the world that American cowboy capitalism is stable. Also keep Americans sold on The Big Lie's flip side, the number two tune: "We are the richest and most blessed people on earth because of capitalism (but currently going through a rough patch). Proof is offered: "Step right up and see for yourselves! Just look at the spectacular services and goods that bury us in wonderment! Now go buy a PT Cruiser."
Decades ago, the spectacle of commodity capitalism, the sheer variety of possible stuff to own, ways to be, possible appearances of being, came to constitute a commodity in itself -- enchantment as a product, product as enchantment. Materialistic enchantment as commodity was so powerful in scale and scope, and so thorough in mind saturation that it came to colonize our consciousness in what Guy Debord aptly deemed "the society of the spectacle."
No ordinary person could ever have withstood such a colonization of human consciousness as the American people have seen. Consciousness being simply awareness, there was no surviving the onslaught. The tsunami of false possibilities and pseudo choices constituted entire constellations in the psyche, of goods, and images of goods large and small: hair dryers, iPods, anti-bacterial wipes, cable television, ammunition, plastic siding, gourmet foods, this HP notebook computer in my lap, the Prius and the Porsche, even words such as Google, Microsoft, China Mobile, Vodafone, Marlboro… They all have psychological and social meaning in our commoditized consciousness, that battlefield where each commodity vies for preeminence with every other commodity in the shifting exposition of stuff we are permitted to labor to pay for.
It can now be honestly stated that mere goods and services express the citizenry and the American culture in its entirety. Citizenship in a consumer society is consumership. Consumer culture consumes all rival cultures, replacing them with "pop culture," which is simply deeming the marketplace as culture. Hip Hop is a good example. So is the modern cinema, and all of the music and book publishing industry. Corporate industry and its products are not culture, despite all the new definitions of culture bourgeois academia and the marketplace come up with on behalf of the corporations that fund both of them.
Your iPod shall set you free!
Freedom and personal identity exists as freedom to choose identity from among the commodities, and particularly the entertainments, offered. The Mac person as opposed to the Windows person. The Mariah Carey or Rihanna Fenty fan as opposed to the Eric Clapton fan. Each is convinced he or she is different because of their chosen commodity. Yet at the root of this, they all purchased a computer or a CD from a faceless corporation grounded in the toxic wastelands and sweatshops of Asia and elsewhere. Those who, in a fit of defiance, choose Indy music choose a product originating in and listened to through digital equipment produced in the bowels of monolithic corporate commodities generators.
We may gaze at the hologram and dream of living larger, or conversely, living the uncorrupted "simple life" on that little organic farm in Vermont. In the end though, the lucky ones among us, all those people out there in anonymous Terra Condominia, out there in the sprawling suburban nether land, must be content with a flat screen television. Watching those commercials for the Super Bowl commercials, delivered to us breathlessly as "news," The News is the liturgy of the commodity economy -- whose scope and omniscience no man can grasp, but only consume as manna. We are feasters at the table of goods and services, most of which are not only unnecessary, distractive and mind killing, but earth destroying in both their manufacture and their use. This matters not a bit in an illusionary world of appearances. The commodity economy in its bounty, also offers us a chance to "buy green." To text a link to the Earth First website.
It ain't fascism, it's practicality
If our national and individual minds have been colonized, occupied, then we necessarily live in an occupied nation. We have arrived at the destination where the trajectory of material consumer capitalism was always headed, toward an occupied (and preoccupied) totalitarian society. Rational, practical, productive and autonomous.
Cliché as the word is, you would have to call it overshoot. In judging the arc and trajectory of that technical rationality Western society so prides itself upon, we reduced the Enlightenment, the original launching pad of ration, to the merely practical, material and economic. The practical is scripture now. Without it material production and profit, the only concerns of capitalism, do not exist. All power rests in the practical.
What is most practical is hierarchy and specialization. Technical specialization -- within engineering specialization -- within scientific specialization. All contained within the economic specializations of the state sanctioned economy and ideology governing the conditions of our daily existence. By definition, this is totalitarian.
Totalitarianism calls ideology philosophy. It salutes itself in every medium and every product, material, legal, political. And we salute it in return through meaningless work and consumption.
In all likelihood, you the reader are younger than I. Possibly less cynical and surely less tired. You may believe yet that violent overthrow of such a monstrous system is still possible.
A year or so ago, I still believed that. Events in the world and at home have since convinced me otherwise. Maybe the system could have even been changed from within forty years ago. If it could have been and was not, then that most certainly is the greatest failure of my generation. The Sixties were a critical point at which important choices were offered us as a people. At the time, a minority realized revolution was still possible and warranted. Violent revolution, if necessary. But as a generation, we were no better at acting in unselfish concert than yours.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on July 18, 2014, 03:36:59 pm
As Chris Hedges recently pointed out, violence today only assures the survival of the most violent, criminals of one sort or another, petty or international. Beyond that, the state now has the technological capability to inflict the most violence in every case, and therefore win. Realistic thinkers say aloud that what is so far advanced can no longer be stopped or turned around by revolution, violent or otherwise. Most other thinkers on the subject secretly suspect the same.
Mr. Popularity and the marmot
The rest of the country is oblivious, lost in the anxious clamor for an economic "recovery." The voice of the state defines recovery for them as a return to former levels of the unsustainable superheated capitalism, and increased indebtedness of the populace. "Oh when, oh when will the bankers loosen the credit markets so we can again buy things?" As if their debt slavery were a great gift! The banksters simply do not issue more credit to people they know are dead broke -- because they broke 'em, they will continue to make more money by letting the people wail, and taking the people's money directly from the state as bailouts. Stretched out over the coming years, we will see more of them. It should give us chills.
President Obama at some point asked himself if bailouts for those who caused the collapse will truly result in an end to the "current crisis" (a term calculated to make our slow inevitable collapse look temporary). How does getting the masses to accept more debt add up to anything but worse crisis later? Obama is a smart fellow, smarter than George Bush, which is what got him elected, right? (Of course after Bush a marmot could have run on the "smarter than Bush" ticket and looked good). So he must have asked that. And like any highly educated (indoctrinated) American politician who has interiorized the capitalist system -- you do not become a presidential candidate without interiorizing capitalism lock stock and barrel -- his first reflex was: "The system must be saved at all costs!" Members of Congress, whose butts arrived in the Washington through the same processes as Obama's, agreed. That cost us all plenty.
Obama is himself a commodity, the most telegenic political commodity since Kennedy. One that suits American style capitalism best this particular historical political moment. He is a useful illusion, the same as George W. Bush was a useful illusion. What is the difference between George Bush managing the country through media performances and Obama doing the same? Both are telegenic, which is everything today, but in different ways. One was stupid but radiated virility and manly appearance; the other is attractive for his intelligence and so smart he's stupid. Both lives are absorbed in "appearing to be" in the Great American Hologram of appearances. We are a nation following the appearance of national leadership.
It is cold comfort that we are not alone in this ultimate folly. Globally, it is estimated that the economic crisis has seen at least $50 trillion in financial assets -- approximately equal to the value of the entire global GDP -- wiped out. Given the bullshit "science" that is economics, and that economists serve the purposes of the money masters of their particular age, and that money is always in motion, it is very doubtful that anyone really knows the global GDP. But the illusion that someone does is necessary in preserving and controlling perceptions of the present system. Otherwise the concept of money itself would have to be reexamined and changed to fit the world reality. Better to proclaim a "crisis" and scare the **** out of the peasantry, than give them an opportunity to question the new feudalism of credit cards, mortgages, car loans, educational loans and general debt slavery. The word crisis scares people, flogs them into anxious submission, lest some **** socialist come along and ask, Why don't you take charge of your own lives and destiny? Do you really need these people?
The "crisis" was set in motion by institutions lending each other non-existent money none of them can pay back. Consequently, the masses are once again expected to produce enough material value in the world to make the funny money real, and shore up the system one more time. To "raise the money" to do this will require generations of future productivity shoveled into the furnace of corporate capitalism's banking machinery. There was nothing left to steal, so extorting the future was the only option left. Assuming the skimmers and the scammers manage to extract enough public monies to pump up corporations one more time, there will be another and bigger disaster not far down the road. We don't need the Oracle of Delphi to predict this. Capitalism is unstable as hell, like an unbalanced dreidel that keeps tilting ever more wildly off center until it falls over or eventually hits the wall. We can now see the wall from here: Massive ecological collapse and species extinction. "Economic downturn," even "crisis," does not quite describe that approaching wall. All of America hopes we will miss that wall at least one more time.
Americans are hope fiends. We always see hope somewhere down every road, chiefly because honestly looking at the present situation would destroy just about everything we hold as reality. Personally, as I often state and catch readership hell for, I do not like hope. When Obama ran it up the flagpole for us to salute, and so many saluted, my blood chilled. Made me feel that we were all in deeper **** than I had supposed (Nevertheless, I reluctantly voted for Obama. At the time it seemed It was either Obama, or continuing war, debt, and diminishing civil liberties. Ha!) Hope is magic thinking, believing that somehow, some larger unknown force is in motion to set things right.
The world is what it is, and its injustices are set right by peoples and nations morally intact enough to challenge its malevolent forces.
Hope is political pabulum for an infantilized nation.
A shot at economic justice (gets you shot at)
On those rare occasions when I do see nations take concrete steps toward liberation, the heart is cheered at having at least some reason for reality based optimism. After more than a century of taking it up the shorts from autonomous capitalism, Latin America is moving toward alternatives to the free trade cowboy capitalism that has so long raped them.
One step is ALBA (Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América). ALBA is aimed solely at meeting human need instead of profit. Bartering and mutual economic and material aid outside of so-called free trade agreements. Out of the reach of global banking. For example, Venezuela gives Cuba over 100,000 barrels of oil daily at production cost. In exchange Cuba has sent 20,000 state-employed doctors and medical staffers. And if Venezuelans' medical problems require higher medical specialism, they may travel to Cuba for specialized care free of charge. No profits allowed. Take it or leave it.
The takers are lining up. Venezuela, Ecuador, Cuba, Saint Vincent , the Grenadines , Dominica, Honduras, Antigua and Barbuda, Nicaragua and Bolivia. ALBA nations are in the process of introducing a new regional currency, the SUCRE. (Sistema Único de Compensación Regional, or Single Regional Payment Compensation System) to replace the U.S. dollar. Now a common virtual currency, it is scheduled to become a hard currency.
Countries such as Argentina are experimenting with an economy based on worker self-management and balanced job complexes. Venezuela is developing community owned and directed banks. A common goal is to develop an economy not dependent, as is capitalism, on limitless exponential growth, but on consuming fewer resources, operating without debt, and using less or none of the global banking system's money. When the IMF and the world's banksters dubbed these nations "developing countries" (a fine example of Newspeak, that both renamed miserable poverty, and suggested that the international bankers' robbery was benefiting those countries), this is not the kind of development they had in mind. This is pure wide-open socialism based on the universal socialist and democratic socialist vision. The stuff of capitalist nightmares.
The traditional answer to such challengers to autonomous capitalism has been simple. Kill 'em. And we do our best. The U.S. has always had its provocative agents and hit squads working in those counties. Castro has survived or foiled some 638 assassination attempts, one every few weeks of his long presidency. Attempts on Chavez are so common the Venezuelan press no longer bothers to report them. After all, besides being old hat, they don't seem to be working anyway. Which means we will be forced to bomb the **** out of Venezuela and Cuba at some point. But they will have to get in line behind Iran.
By the way, a Latin American country does not have to be socialistic to get hammered by capitalist interests. Even Mexico, governed by corrupt capitalist and business overlords of the first order, men who have consistently sold their country out to foreign capitalist interests both before and since its revolution, is a target for covert action and sabotage -- from Israel of all places. In October 2001, a month after 9/11, two Israelis, MOSSAD agent Salvador Guersson Smecke and another Israeli who slipped into the country covertly, were arrested inside the halls of the Mexican congress, while posing as two rather lumpy looking photographers. The lumps turned out to be nine hand grenades, a dozen sticks of dynamite, detonators and detonator wiring and two Glock 9mm automatics. Immediately following the arrest, Ariel Sharon sent a top envoy, who sprang them, following strong pressure from Israeli government. They were whisked off, leaving Mexicans to wonder, What in the hell was THAT all about?" One neighbor here in Mexico says wryly, "That must have cost the Israelis millions in bribes." (*see footnote)
Born with the disease?
It would be nice if we could neatly lay all the blame on the nasty monolith of autonomous capitalism as an outside malignant force of its own. A systemic pathogen that somehow infected a decent and unsuspecting America. Looks like I just did, in fact.
Nevertheless, America and its national character were founded on the purest greed. From the beginning the people who came here wanted more of the material world. Sure, there were some religious dissenters (of which too much has been made for propaganda purposes). But the English and Dutch stock companies that established the first colonies came looking for profits. And the common people who came here were looking for "a better life," which to them was, above all else, becoming as wealthy as possible. America was its own self-selecting process.
Read Tocqueville's description of earlier Americans' relentless buying and selling fever. Everything and everyone was always up for sale from the start. Read about the greed and stinginess of the "refugees from religious persecution," such as slave owning Quakers, Presbyterians and Methodists. Read about how the founding fathers ripped off the Revolutionary War veterans for the IOU script they so patiently held for many years in payment for fighting, buying it up for pennies on the dollar, then passing legislation to pay up on the script. Or how not only the business class, but also the supposedly bucolic and wise heartland American farmers cheered as the government troops shot down hungry striking miners, burned out their families, lest they disturb the order of the Republic of commerce.
There were the exploited working masses then, just as there are now. And there was always the petty bourgeoisie, more than happy to do the dirty work of the most elite owning class, in hopes of currying its favor. Always happy to sanction the "wet jobs" on the Italian, Polish, Chinese and Irish immigrant laborer. You could then, and you can now, depend on the true middle class, that 15% or so, capitalism's commissars, to crush the working class. They will do anything to remain in a more privileged zone of consumption, the boundaries of which are maintained by agreement of state authorities. From their petty perches, they have deemed themselves "the middle class." In reality they are the mitigating class, the petty anointed whose job it is to obscure class awareness in America.
Shut up and let the green stuff talk
An awareness of class makes clear who is **** whom. That's why American capitalism's official line is that we area "classless society." Denying the existence of class, deeming all Americans (excepting a few too-obvious-to-be denied cases, such as inner city blacks and the poorest of immigrants), "middle class" was one of American capitalism's great strokes of genius. It blurred the line between workers and capitalism's middle class commissariat -- the petty business, mid-management, teaching and owning class managing the rest of us for the elites.
And just in case that line was not blurred enough, the bourgeoisie, particularly the academic institutions, successfully wrote the labor and the working masses out of American political history as taught in the public schools. We workers now have no continuous organic chain of memory and experience from which to draw.
The owning/business class has always been institutionalized as the state and the custodians of the entire American social and political process. History as we learn it in school is the owning class' version. Despite what we were taught, America's Constitution is mainly a property rights document, and those with the most property are naturally ascendant at all times in this country. Generation after generation of this ascent was bound to lead to what we see now. The ultimate triumph of property and money. A Supreme Court that, without the slightest hesitation, declares that money is speech and as such, will do most of the talking from here on out. The autonomous economy now has a tongue.
We can well imagine its future admonishments, its smug edicts, proclamations of terror afoot, more need for surveillance camera eyes, oil pipelines for its circulatory system. The autonomous economy not only has the bullhorn of the national media. It has a voice capable of drowning out what little of the people's voice remained, replacing our small national dialogue with soulless monologue. The bourgeoisie will listen closely though, for opportunity, a buck to be made in Kevlar, or perhaps the next new antidepressant for a demoralized, passive and discouraged republic.
In all honesty, I am sick of thinking about it, tired of burning up unrecoverable hours at the end of my 63-year old candle writing about it. So are many of my colleagues in cybernetic left-space.
Distance and solitude seem the only refuge. Which is why I am "aging Mexican," and almost monastically absorbed in the small daily rituals of sustenance these days. I do not kid myself that it is permanent or a real solution to the unbearable ugliness of the American condition.
But at the moment, four AM, a cricket chirps in the orange tree by my window, and my tortillas are perfectly lovely.   
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on July 18, 2014, 03:40:46 pm
This is the FRUIT of BAD GOVERNMENT by
1) predatory,
2) conscience free ('liberated' from guilt feelings by the almighty Freud in order to avoid 'neurosis'),
3) social Darwinist,  (
4) game theory (cooperation is a guise to fool and destroy the competition) **** up world view,
5) situational ethics (an oxymoron!),
6) if it feels good-DO IT
corporate consent manufacturing propagandists in the service of S H I T CANNED ETHICS for SHORT TERM PROFITS!

The SOLUTION lies in GOOD GOVERNMENT; the PROBLEM is that CORPORATIONS ARE the present BAD GOVERNMENT! They support imprisoning people that speak truth to power and giving the people the mushroom treatment for the same reason they ignore global warming and pollution: S H I T CANNED ETHICS FOR SHORT TERM PROFITS!
As part of being responsible, caring human beings, we have to pressure our government to take major action to stop the degradation of the biosphere from climate change. This is causing death and disease to both domestic animals and wildlife, all of which have done nothing to deserve such a horrible fate at our hands. It's time to eliminate the excuse our fossil fuel loving oligarchy uses for "resources" wars for oil that bring nothing but misery to us and profits for them.

I started a petition on Care2: Demand Liberty From Fossil Fuels Through 100% Renewable Energy WWII Style Effort. I'm hoping that if enough people sign my petition, we can make a difference. I have 302 signatures. Will you help me collect more by adding your name?
Here's a link to the petition:

Thank you and please pass it on. The biosphere you save may be your own. ( (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government: How a Corporatocracy "Works".
Post by: AGelbert on July 19, 2014, 03:43:19 pm
How a Corporatocracy "Works".   >:(

Corruptisima re publica plurimae leges.

The laws, LOTS OF LAWS, are on the books. However, they are enforced on the little guy, Joe and Jane public, not the corporations that fill the campaign coffers of the politicians (that end up working for said corporations after - and before- "public" office). This is a fascist dictatorship with the trappings of "democracy". And the very ones claiming to be against "big and intrusive" government are the ones who actually support the fascist criminal government agenda!

How many times have you heard this clever doubletalk? "We need small, less intrusive government because it helps those poor overtaxed and overregulated corporations benefit society through a free market" (Oh but it DO SOUND PURTY, DON'T IT?).

The irony of the doubletalk from these feudalist tyrants who despise and work 24/7 to make sure there is NO FREE MARKET while claiming they believe in LIBERTY is that they LOVE GIANT, OBTRUSIVE, WAR LOVING, FASCIST GOVERNMENT! They want as strong, big and mean a government as possible JUST AS LONG AS CORPORATIONS RUN IT!

That way, they can get we-the-people to PAY for our own fascist policing and lack of freedom while the corporations and those who run them are never prosecuted for any crimes of ANY TYPE from pollution, to slave wages to money laundering to sex rings to child p o r n ography, etc. (i.e. whatever is "profitable" while being grossly immoral, unethical and criminal = LIBERTY! ).

Libertarians are ORWELLIAN in EVERYTHING they do and say. Prison is too good for them! They want less freedom for the little guy and gal while corporations run ragged over the people and the planet.

For those readers that think critically (ignore all pro-corporate fascist agenda talk disguised as ""anti-strong intrusive government"), here's our situation:

The SOLUTION lies in GOOD GOVERNMENT; the PROBLEM is that CORPORATIONS ARE the present BAD GOVERNMENT! Clever Libertarians and other right wing apologists for rampant and consciense free GREED present "too much" government as "hampering" the "free market" in true Orwellian mindfork.

The method in the madness of these greedballs is to OBTAIN EVEN MORE DESTRUCTIVE POWER FOR THE CORPORATE ELITE AND LESS FOR THE PEOPLE, thereby making a mockery of the terms "democracy" and "free market".

These predators KNOW what they are doing. S h i t canned ethics for short term profits is what these people are all about. They are always looking for someone to kick. Don't let them get away with their clever lies and distortions of the truth.

"It is argued that mega corporations are vital economic engines of growth and contributors to society, whether as a result of jobs created or from products or services provided. It is undeniable that the Japanese zaibatsus and Korean chaebols have played a vital role in the material ascendancy of those countries.

But when the genie escapes the bottle, when he no longer serves his master (customers or the public), when he takes control and makes rules to suit himself to the detriment of others - that is when we should worry. We should worry about the unbridled insatiable greed and lack of accountability increasingly characterising the behaviour of these people." 264

Icecubes in Rockets © RLL/G.Chia 2004

Help stop them now before it is too late!

  Demand Liberty From Fossil Fuel Polliution (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on August 01, 2014, 09:10:18 pm
The Neocon Israel Firsters Planned and Executed 911 with the help of the Mossad!  >:(
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on August 13, 2014, 02:24:06 pm
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on August 13, 2014, 10:37:05 pm
Do You Trust the Government? 87% of Americans Don’t (

by Kevin Mathews
August 11, 2014

Americans are seriously lacking faith in the system – in fact, trust in the U.S. government is at an all-time low. According to the latest CNN poll, just 13% of Americans agree that the U.S. government “can be trusted to do what is right always or most of the time.”

Instead, nearly everyone (75%) says that the government works properly just “some of the time,” a troubling figure. Certainly, a healthy, functioning democracy would not brew so much distrust amongst its population.

“The number who trust the government all or most of the time has sunk so low that it is hard to remember that there was ever a time when Americans routinely trusted the government,” said Keating Holland, the head of CNN Polling.

This is a notable departure from the legitimate trust that existed decades ago. Through the 1960s, Americans held favorable opinions toward the government. The majority of respondents in the ‘60s said they trusted the government “always or most of the time.”

That all changed when the Watergate scandal struck. By 1974, only 36% of Americans expressed good faith in the government. That number has never rebounded above 50% since then, with one prominent exception: the period immediately following the September 11 attacks in 2001. While the outpouring of collective patriotism resulted in an upswing in the figures temporarily, the numbers have dropped steadily since, presumably impacted in part by the U.S.’s hasty decision to declare war with Iraq, a country uninvolved in 9/11.

Speaking of Watergate, in conjunction with the scandal’s 40th anniversary, CNN also polled Americans about their feelings on Watergate. The age gap on this issue is quite telling. Americans over the age of 40 declared Watergate a major problem, while those under 40 labeled the incident politics as usual. Of course, the fact that younger American citizens are collectively shrugging at Watergate isn’t a sign that they view that sort of behavior as acceptable. More accurately, it reflects the growing distrust toward the government and the belief that underhandedness like Watergate is standard practice in modern politics.

In addition to government-related questions, the poll asked Americans whether they had faith in the private sector. The amount of Americans who trust corporations is similarly abysmal: just 17%. That said, the correlation between these low fingers isn’t altogether surprising considering that the unholy alliance between corporations and U.S. politicians prompts many Americans to look at them as essentially the same entity. (

Read more:
Americans are finally GETTING DA PICTURE...   (

Corporato-PIGocracy 'R' US (  ( (

Title: Ron Paul is, and always was, a racist fascist. IOW, he is a Libertarian.
Post by: AGelbert on August 24, 2014, 05:18:13 pm
Ron Paul is 100% pro international corporations while fronting for small government. What he and his oligarchic friends want is a what multi-national corporations want.


The neutering of all national governments (creation of many small, weak and beholden to corporate money "rump" states) in the entire planet so they are only the police state front behind which corporations rule and flaunt all laws that make people running corporations responsible to the law. Ron Paul is, and always was, a racist fascist. IOW, he is a Libertarian.

Title: What's really happening to the people of Benton Harbor:
Post by: AGelbert on August 24, 2014, 06:21:26 pm
What's really happening to the people of Benton Harbor:

The thrust [of the Berrien county courthouse] is to physically remove and destroy families through the use of the criminal justice system. Every person they can put in jail; every person whose voting rights they can  revoke with a felony conviction; every person they can cause to lose their job by putting them on probation;  every person they can cause to lose the ability to pay for basic necessities through imposing ruinous court costs and probation is all part of the process.

In the 1960s, it was called Negro removal. In Bosnia, it was  called ethnic cleansing. It could be called genocide, the removal of the minority population for the purpose of redevelopment of the land. That’s what’s happening in Benton Harbor and the foremost leader of the resistance is Rev. Edward Pinkney. --Civil rights attorney, Hugh "Buck" Davis

More details on this ATTACK on Civil Rights, African Americans, the Poor of ALL colors and Democracy at link below:


Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on August 24, 2014, 08:46:50 pm

Libertarians of the world unite: you have nothing to lose but your credibility   ;D

There is something superficially appealing about libertarianism. Its obvious derivation from ‘liberty’ makes people comfortable being described as a libertarian. Indeed, libertarians’ advocacy of free speech, freedom of association and permissive attitudes towards sexuality resonate both with long-established rights and a more tolerant Britain in which institutionalized bigotry has little traction. Investigate a little further, however, and the libertarian position looks less comforting and more like a fig leaf for closet racists.  :o (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on August 24, 2014, 08:48:08 pm
If libertarianism is so great, why do neo-nazi flock to it like flies? ( (

I was horrified to see a lot of libertarians claim that "blacks are inferior" and that we are "polluting the white genes" with "black trash".

I don't know about direct, overt racism but it's a great cover for plutocrats. I would agree that the ideas of Rand "No Blacks in My Bar" Paul's thoughts on what a bar owner should be able to do would have a Jim Crow effect across the South. (

ME too!  (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on August 24, 2014, 08:49:42 pm
Exposing the Racist History Of Libertarianism And Murray Rothbard

Gary Anderson

Murray Rothbard was the student of Ludwig Von Mises and a friend of Ayn Rand. Rothbard was a racist, and believed in the "voluntary" separation of the races. I have argued that his teacher, Mises, was an elitist with fascist tendencies. This part of libertarian history is a part that the libertarians would like to cover up. It slips out at times and has done so with Ron Paul, Rand Paul and others. But we need to take a look at what these guys believed, circa 1990 because that was not so long ago.

We know that Rothbard spoke kindly of David Duke, the KKK office seeker. One disaffected libertarian was dismayed that Rothbard would seek to align himself with a pure racist just because he believed in limited government. The only reason that Rothbard did not back a separate state for blacks was because he was afraid it would cost too much in "foreign aid".  (

It should be noted that Ron Paul distanced himself from Rothbard's racism, in stating that racism is a collectivist view.  ;)  Still, there is a strong racial tension in libertarian thought. Ron Paul's newletters had racist thoughts in them, although Dr Paul stated they were put in his publications without his knowledge.  ;) I have no reason to doubt that. But these were mistakes that are significant.  :(

But even Rand Paul made a racial gaff right after he won the senate seat, that he regretted, when he said he was for the repeal of the 1964 civil rights act. It would seem that this racial/libertarian theme continues.

So then, we need to look at more history to see if this is a constant pattern or if it is just an aberration. After all, many buy into the financial views of the libertarians. They are used to justify Wall Street excess. But are they more insidious and dangerous than that? Racism is actually quite compatible with libertarian economics.

Libertarian economics stresses individualism, even though these guys know that their moms changed their diapers and they had to get help all along the way growing up.  ;D Individualism is great, but I remember going to class reunions and seeing that once you got to the 20th reunion, there was a lot less individualism and a lot more humility. We all need people. We are not islands.

Yet there is a theme historically that comes from Mises. For Mises, as I quoted in Ludwig Von Mises Implies Being a Savage Animal Is Ok!, the newborn child is born a savage. This is why libertarians only accept the legitimacy of voluntary relationships. This plays into the desire to repeal the civil rights act, so that you can kick out ethnic minorities from your restaurant without serving them.

This plays into the desire of Rothbard to voluntarily separate from blacks in a nation and in public activity. You can see how this insidious morality breaks down society and good will.

One can deduce that if the foundation of libertarianism is rotten, so is the elitist financial decay that seeks limited government to the extreme. It is a decay because it is based upon the desire to ignore the needs of the greater society. But that society has been stronger because capitalism is tempered with compassion. Where capitalism becomes anarcho-capitalism, a term coined by Rothbard, it becomes a capitalism of unwholesome greed. ( The capitalist still has to take the subway, or drive his car into the city. If he gets shot at in a destabilized society how does that benefit him? If there is no money to fix the roads, how can he do his job?

The danger, of course, is that people will become less socialized if there are tech gadgets to allow people to stay at home and work from home. One can hope that these young people who have this wealth and independence will come to see the importance of the common good anyway.

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on September 02, 2014, 08:55:01 pm
Movement to Declassify 9/11 Information Gathers Momentum ( (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on September 03, 2014, 05:49:46 pm
Environmental Control Drones: A True Tale from South Carolina

Posted on August 30, 2014  by  Wendy McCarty

A white truck with a decal on the side pulls into the driveway. The decal itself is unreadable from afar. A man wearing tan pants and a white shirt with a circular decal on the shoulder comes to the front door. As the man approaches, the decal on his shirt is easily readable “Environmental Department.”

The door is answered.

“Hello?” Says the homeowner.

“What’s going on in your backyard?” the agent asks.

“Just a little bit of permaculture” the homeowner responds.

“Put on some shoes and lets go back there and take a look”

“Bamboo???” The agent asks once they are both in the backyard.

“Yeah…it is planted all around the yard.”

“You know… it (the bamboo) is really devaluing your property. I could show you pictures of some overgrown bamboo that has taken over properties. It is bad to have. It gets out of control. Go back in the house. I’m going to take a few pictures and then I’m going to leave. It is not illegal to have a garden, but you have to keep your weeds trimmed to below 16 inches. They have to be cut. This property is considered overgrown.” (  (

Full article with pictures and video at link below:
Title: The Bamboo "monster"
Post by: AGelbert on September 03, 2014, 06:03:35 pm
The Bamboo "Monster"


Did you know that from 1898 to 1975 the US Department of Agriculture introduced hundreds of my varieties to the states. The plan was to plant me widely as a commercially viable plant. Around 1960, the New Crops Branch of the USDA studied Phyllostachys bambusoides and loblolly pine to compare yields for pulp production. Then on July 1, 1965 the Department of Agriculture just stopped researching me. I was very confused by that because I’m much more virile than pine. Latter I found out that the government turned their back on me because loblolly pine business interests wanted them to.  >:(The same thing happened to hemp.  >:(

Contrary to what idiots may think, I am native to North America. I’m not an invasive weed, or a pest. For some reason Americans seem to think that I can defy the laws of nature. They think I will “take over” if you plant me. Well, yeah, I will take over if you don’t keep me in check. Let me tell you a little secret. I’ll throw this little nugget out there as a peace offering; I have an Achilles Heel. If you want to control me, all you have to do is dig a trench around me and fill it with sand. Then, twice a year, you take a spade and plunge it into the sand. When you find one of my rhizomes you cut it. It’s called root pruning (or rhizome pruning in my case), and it really is that easy. If you do that I won’t escape containment. Well, I may still find my way out by plunging down beneath your trench, but eventually, if I do that, I’ll send up a shoot and then you’ll know where I escaped. Then you just eat the shoot, or don’t, and pull the rhizome up and put me back into containment.

My growth habits are not a state secret, and I’m easy to contain if you just understand how I grow. Sure, once I get established as a healthy grove I’m just about impossible to get rid of, but then what’s wrong with being strong and powerful? I am stronger than steel and I’m capable of weathering hurricanes. Indigenous cultures know that when mother nature strikes via natural disasters I’m the safest place to seek refuge. I’ve been told that I have somewhere around 1400 uses for mankind. Why, kind reader, do Americans hate the most useful plant to them on the planet?!!!     (     (

Full article with graphics at link below:,3320.msg55274.html#msg55274
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on September 03, 2014, 09:33:30 pm
I've been thinking about the "problem" of Bamboo as mistakenly being branded UN -"American".

Hollywood is the culprit! Bamboo is associated with Banana Republics and/or Asian tropical jungles.  :( Merikans have seen too many movies of the "japs" o the "gooks" hiding in the bamboo OR preparing bamboo SPIKE booby traps for unwary Merikans. Bamboo just ain't Anglo-Saxon as far as our propaganda pushers are concerned!

Sure, it's INSANE that Merikans just LOVE BANANAS and don't seem to make the same connection (United Fruit Fascists and Chiquita Bananas had great PR for over a century!) THERE but that just proves how "successfully" we-the-people have been brainwashed and DUMBED DOWN. (

By the way, there is a guy in Vermont that is growing a type of bamboo that IS invasive here.   ;D  Good for him! This whole "invasive" thing is kind of stupid anyway. This is ONE PLANET! If it grows, it's because it LIKES IT THERE! Invasive, MY ARSE!  (

The World of Bamboo

     by Gib Cooper

Bamboo's natural range includes every continent except Europe and Antarctica.

We once had 5 million acres of an American native bamboo known as Canebrake or Arundinaria gigantea growing in our Southeastern quarter. This bamboo and its ecosystem were soon greatly diminished in area by the migration of settlers in the early 19th century.   :emthdown: The bamboo grew in good soil and was cleared for farmland. Unbelievably, a new species was described for the USA in 2006. Its name is Hill cane, or Arundinaria appalachiana.

Stone Age Asians may have relied heavily on tools they made of materials other than stone. The lack of stone tools of the quality found in Europe in much of Southeast Asia roughly corresponds to the natural distribution of bamboo in the region. It appears that Southeast Asia has been heavily forested for many millions of years. This is still one of the areas of dense bamboo forests remaining in the world. Man may have relied more on bamboo than we know. Based on this theory, bamboo was probably one of the most important materials used by early Asian people. Even today, the use of bamboo has more significance to Asian cultures than any other.

Evidence of bamboo use is found in South America. Some excavations of early dwellings have imprints of bamboo canes and split, woven material preserved in the mud or adobe used in the construction or as protective living stockades around villages.

Bamboo is an incredible grass that has long been in use by people around the globe. In our modern world it is finding a new place in the spectrum of plants, fibers and foods used to enhance the quality of our lives.  :emthup: We are not simply talking about one plant. Bamboo is a large group of giant grasses with over 1,200 species found from the tropics to temperate regions. (

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on September 06, 2014, 06:48:17 pm
As the Romans Did - the American empire's parallels with the ancient republic and how we can learn from the caesars' mistakes (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on September 06, 2014, 06:49:24 pm
A science fiction short story published in 1909 predicts future technology and tells a tale of societal decay and collapse. (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on September 08, 2014, 02:42:40 pm
Rand Paul   ( Says Hillary Clinton’s ( Focus on Climate Change   ( Shows She Lacks ‘Wisdom’ to Be President (

(  Students of Goebbels Propaganda Techniques PLEASE NOTE: Rand Paul is being used as a TOOL to make Hillary Clinton (another FASCIST TOOL) look like she will address climate change. The ORWELLIAN GOALS of TPTB are:

1) Make you believe that these two TOOLS of Oligarchy are elucidating the main "controversy" so that you will LABEL one of them as RIGHT and one of them as WRONG. Consequently you will be swayed by the "reasonable logic" BALONEY of "vote for the lesser evil".  (  This is manufacturing consent on STEROIDS!

2) Make you believe that politicians give a rat's ass what you think. They DON'T. They are NOT concerned with "winning" the election, GET IT?(  That is NOT what this is about. The election is GAMED by the media as a HORSE RACE so a third party candidate with a REAL POPULIST PLATFORM will be shut out REGARDLESS of their ACTUAL vote count! Once you BELIEVE those two TOOLS are "fighting on your behalf", most of you will be SUCKERED into voting one way or the other AGAINST your best interests, evidence and experience. Goebbels Game Theory ****S know their stuff!

3) For those who DO see through this charade, the 24/7 media coverage of the professional wrestling match between Dems and Repubs ( keep believing the Tea Party and the Libertarians are not Repub theater for the more reactionary and "purist" repubs if you want - it's part of this sucker play - LOL!) will convince them that their real populist candidate in the Tax Wall Street Party and/or the Green Party has no chance of winning. This is False. Even a high protest vote scares the **** out of TPTB. They NEED the manipulated consent of the governed. Never forget that! It doesn't matter how many guns they have. If they lose the manipulated consent of the governed, the cops and enforcers in their ranks start to throw wrenches in the oligarchic fascist machinery and the government cannot control the masses. VOTE YOUR CONSCIENSE, not the media manufactured "reality"!

4) Avoid an "embarrassing" overwhelming vote in favor of REAL POPULISTS that has to be BLATANTLY manipulated. WHY? Because that is what starts national uprisings against fascist governments.   ( Our Orwellian masters do not want that (it's expensive...  (

Agebert COMMENT on the above article's web site: Rand Paul AND Hillary Clinton "disagreements" are an EXCELLENT example of a professional wrestling match FOOD FIGHT.

This is THEATER. This is a DISTRACTION from the painful reality of our corrupt. climate denying Fossil Fuel OWNED GOVERNMENT!

The Only REAL choices we have are in the Green Party and the Tax Wall Street Party.

I vote for the Tax Wall Street Party! The Green Party would probably caucus with them! Dems and Repubs are oligarchic TOOLS, PERIOD!

The honest REAL populists to vote for in California, Nebraska and New York if you are tired of Wall Street FASCISM in the USA are:

James Hinton in California (

Dan Buhrdorf in Nebraska and Randy Credico in New York (

Pass it on. The country you help emerge from fascism may be IS our own!
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on October 10, 2014, 07:44:07 pm
Hitler's Courts: Betrayal of the Rule of Law in Nazi Germany


Sol Wachtler, former Chief Judge of the State of New York, and my guest today, first roused my own interest in this subject – and my profound concern for its implications for Americans today – in 2002 when the Touro Law Center in cooperation with the Free University of Berlin Law School convened in Berlin, Germany the Simon Bond International Wannsee Seminar on “Tyranny, Justice & The Law: The Nazis and Beyond”.

As the Seminar’s Chair, Judge Wachtler wrote then that it was there in the “Wannsee Villa 60 years before that the political, legal, and judicial functionaries of the Third Reich met to devise an efficient method to resolve ‘the Jewish question’ [what became "The Final Solution" -- extermination of the Jews].

“Participants of that conference where the logistics of mass murder were agreed upon – were lawyers…[Judge Wachtler wrote, and] … Wannsee…serves as a powerful reminder of how fragile ‘the Rule of Law’ can be when threatened by the political power of the state”.

The mission of the Wannsee Seminar, my guest noted, was to impart to members of the legal establishment worldwide “…the relevant warning that when the law and the courts are motivated and dominated by state and political interests above the interests of justice, civilization is doomed”.


WACHTLER: I … actually … when we first thought about the idea of the Conference … and this goes way back to 1968 that I’ve been thinking about this … when I lectured over in Germany on the Constitution of the United States before the prosecutors and judges of Germany … it occurred to me that these prosecutors and judges … back in ’68 … were the same men who were Hitler’s judges and … they were still doing business … and it occurred to me “Where were they? Where were they when Hitler’s ascension brought about chaos internationally? Why didn’t they provide the bulwark that lawyers and judges should provide in order to stem the tide of un-civilization?”

Instead they became handmaidens to tyranny.  ( They ( assisted Adolf Hitler in his demonic dictatorship.

Agelbert NOTE: Did you GET THAT? Did you NOTICE they DID NOT get disbarred, go to prison or get a death sentence? Did you notice the ones in 1968 were THERE and helped Hitler's rise to power by PLAYING THE GAME of hairsplitting, "if it's legal, it's lawful" BULLSHIT that's getting so much ACCEPTANCE in the USA today?   >:(

You didn't? What part of this quote do you NOT UNDERSTAND?
it occurred to me that these prosecutors and judges … back in ’68 … were the same men who were Hitler’s judges and … they were still doing business ( (

Snippet 3: The STRONG Rule of LAW in Germany and the PRINCIPLED stand of the Courts and LAWYERS.  ;D


At first the judges protested, they said, “This is wrong.”   (

But the head of the judicial conference went to meet with Adolf Hitler and came back and said to his fellow jurists, “This is only temporary, I’ve been assured by the Fuhrer that this will go away soon. But these laws become necessary because we’re living in a time of terror.”  (  (

Snippet 4: The STRONG Rule of LAW in Germany was LEGALLY made UNLAWFUL.  ;D

BAZYLER: When the Nazis first came to power they ended up promulgating a number of laws that incrementally deprived Jews and other persecuted minorities, of civil rights. These incremental steps that we’re talking about … that results in the Final Solution … were all legal steps.  ;D I mean you can trace this, you can trace the Holocaust as a legal event.   (

Read more at link below:

No pattern here... Nothing to see... Move along... wave that flag and, well, you get the idea.  ;) Everything is going to be just fine. Sleep well, our courts will always be there to give you your DAY in court (and a job and three meals a day in a "gated" community  ;D). Gott mit uns!
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on October 10, 2014, 09:24:38 pm

Here's the deal, boys and girls. The erudite German Lawyers KNEW the LAW. BUT, they feared Hitler more than they feared God. They preferred to let others DIE so they might LIVE. Many of these judges and lawyers were church going, professing Christians.

WTF happened? They were afraid of being disbarred, going to prison, being shot or all the above. It's happening here RIGHT NOW in the USA. The people that KNOW our "laws" are UNLAWFUL in regard to the "latitude" given the police, are aiding and abetting the march of fascism in this country.

As in Germany in the NAZI era, they are mostly taking care of number one, not preserving justice. Not that they will ever admit it. They like to hear themselves talk, talk, talk but are loathe to put their asses on the line to prevent we-the-people from being shafted.  (

And for the materialist who only gives principled behavior and morality lip service (i.e. they don't DO dying for someone else or for principles, period.), who can blame them?  (

NAZI Germany, the most horrific example of human butchery and moral cowardice amongst the professionals in particular and the people in general in the history of this planet was ALLOWED, by the Allied powers after WWII, to leave all those cowardly forks free to practice LAW and man the Court System.

So they have EVERYTHING to lose if they buck the encroaching fascism here and NOTHING to gain by going to bat for we-the-people. They plant to survive. They will turn themselves into logical pretzels in order to SAVE THEIR HIDE by arguing vociferously (and disingenuously  ;))  that our LAWS are LAWFUL and LEGAL. For them to say they don't "agree" to the laws while continuing to assert those LAWS are LAWFUL just means they won't lift a finger to save your ass from tyranny. Remember that. 

In brief, the court system will not save this country from a government and police that defines LAW and LAWFUL as whatever the  fork they want to do, period.

The solution can ONLY be an Ex Curia "solution".   ( Lawyers now are no better than those fine legal minds in Germany (this is not sarcasm - they were considered the BEST in civilization at that time!)  in the 1930s that managed to 'play the game' which resulted in AIDING and ABETTING the butchery of millions of decent people and lived to collect their pensions after remaining in the Court System after WWII and all the way to 1968 and beyond. Clever fellows, weren't they?   (

May God have mercy on us all. We are truly forked.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on October 10, 2014, 09:48:13 pm
Hitler's Courts Video series Parts 2 and 3 (Past can be prologue, readers!)
Fascism is sneaking in to the USA. Many of the EXACT SAME METHODS are being used. Be alert. Get your Town council to fire AND imprison any police officer that is brutal or racist. That's how it began in Germany (with the LAWS backing the police up!).

Hitler's Courts Part 3: Germany after WWII and the USA after 911. Our democracy is in peril from fascism.
Despite that high sounding and righteous phrase from Nuremberg above, most of the people in the law system were NOT even tried. In the video, you will see what NO LAWYER wants to talk about TODAY in regard to the ILLEGALITY of LAWS that VIOLATE basic human MORALITY. Forget the concentration camp guard just following legal ad lawful orders. That's when things were REALLY far gone. Go back to the German cops in the streets doing a number on the Jews in particular and anybody they wanted to beat up in general. Hello? USA today, anyone? You aren't black so no problem. Dream on, pal!

No amount of hair splitting legalese can justify a LAW that asserts that an assault by a police officer is LAWFUL while self defense against that illegal assault is not. THAT's the LAW in Pennsylvania. IT actually SAYS that, even if the assault by the police officer is ILLEGAL, you have NO RIGHT to defend yourself. BULLSHIT!

Under Pennsylvania law, you may not use force to resist a legal or illegal   :o  >:(  arrest. Remember you have the right to contest the validity of your arrest later on in court.  ::)

Fascism isn't coming; It's HERE, people. It just hasn't rung your bell yet. But it will. If you live in Pennsylvania or any other state with an UNLAWFUL LAW like that above, work to get it changed or watch our country go down the fascist drain.

THAT is what happened in Germany before it got really bad over there. By the early 1940s The SS was allowed to REINTERPRET or DISGARD a LAW or a Court sentence if they considered it TOO LENIENT. What an amazing pile of steaming bullshit.

And it was all done with all the proper legal stamps, motions and sentencing paperwork! The video makes it CRYSTAL CLEAR that it CAN happen here.

IT ALSO, and unfortunately for we-the-people, puts the main responsibility for stopping fascist tyranny that will change our Court System to a murderous travesty of justice on, GET THIS, our Judges and lawyers.  ::)

I don't think so. But then, the narrators are representatives of the LAW NOW, so it is PAR FOR THE COURSE for them to do a little Noblesse Oblige Dance.  ;)

It was a great video series but, aside from the BRIEF mention of a few travesties of justice perpetrated in the past by the USA and a warning about the danger of too many anti-terrorism laws after 911, they don't say BEANS about how bad it is already.

I know better. They don't want to ADMIT that they are as fearful of losing their JOBS as those German Jurists and lawyers were in the 1930s. If you don't see that, you have a leak in your attic. Don't count on our court system for anything but lip service to democracy at best and, at worst, acting as the willing double talking, rhetoric laced motor mouth handmaiden of fascism, prejudice, brutality and corporate enslavement for profit over planet.

George Orwell was not whistling Dixie. Pass it on. The democracy you save may be your own.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on October 11, 2014, 10:56:31 pm
Table of Contents

1. Tort Terrorism
2. Deadly Culture in Government Aviation Safety Offices
3. Continuing Cover-Ups: National Tradition] Agelbert NOTE:See 1930s Germany

4. Imposters Seeking to Halt Exposure Activities
5. Reporting Federal Crimes to Federal Judges
6. Fighting Aviation Safety Corruption as Private Citizen
7. Scheme by CIA-Front Law Firm to Block Reports
8. Extension of Scheme to Federal Courts
9. Report Criminal Activities: Go to Prison] Agelbert NOTE:See 1930s Germany
10. Seeking Civil Rights Relief in Chapter 11 Courts
11. Suing Federal Judges and Accomplices
12. Complicity of Supreme Court Justices Agelbert NOTE: See 1930s Germany
13. Complicity of Media People
14. Lawsuits to Record Crimes of Congress, Judges and Media
15. Corrupt Culture of DOJ Lawyers ] Agelbert NOTE: See 1930s Germany
16. Classic Example of Legal-Judicial Sabotage
17. Blowback Consequences on 9/11 and Continuing Cover-Ups
18. Continuing Attacks from Legal Fraternity After 9/11 Agelbert NOTE: See 1930s Germany
19. Bright Future for Continuing Corruption! ] Agelbert NOTE: See 1930s Germany

Details the culture and corruption among lawyers, law firms, and judges, and some of the tragic consequences from such conduct by people in the United States. Some of the issues include:

•Blackmail threats against small businesses by lawyers.

•Class action lawsuits in which the plaintiffs get virtually nothing and the lawyers get millions in fee.

•Widespread corruption in probate case.

•Widespread defrauding of widows and orphans.

•Widespread corruption in bankruptcy courts.

•Lawyers demanding sex from their clients.

•Judges accepting bribes from lawyers appearing before them.

•Involvement of a CIA front law firm in San Francisco acting to halt the author's attempts to publicize the corruption in government offices that he and a group of other former government agents had discovered.

•The repeated acts by federal judges, acting in unison with the CIA-front law firm, to strip the author of $10 million in assets that funded his exposure activities.

•The nationwide corruption in bankruptcy courts that corruptly seizes the assets of people who exercise the statutory protection of Chapter 11.The corruption throughout the legal fraternity, including federal and state judges.

• The harm they inflict upon the people of the United States and upon major national interests.

• How lawyers in the government's aviation safety offices covered up for corrupt activities of government officials that had already been implicated in several prior airline disasters, which then continued as before.

• The attacks upon a former federal safety agent to silence him, by over 50 lawyers over a period of 20 years, and the ripple effects on 9/11 and in other airline disasters.

• Role of federal judges in repeatedly blocking former government agents from reporting corruption in government offices, some of it deadly.

• The involvement of Supreme Court justices in the cover-ups of criminal activities.

• Lawsuit against federal judges and CIA-front law firm on the basis of schemes to obstruct justice.

• Various legal scams against the public

For those who do not see the looming fascist threat to our democracy and the FACT that the Court System will be handmaidens of this corporate fascism just believe I'm just bitter from isolated incidents with the legal system in my own narrow pro se experience. Believe I don't know nuttin' about law, peace, war, good, bad, history or whatever in regard to creeping fascism. Believe I'm just a paranoid scaredy cat makin' a mountain out of a molehill. I hope you are right...  8) It's just my overactive imagination and so on....  (

Gott mit uns!     (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on October 14, 2014, 09:05:13 pm
This is an EXCELLENT example of a Corrupt Court System.  >:(

As you will see, whenever a "brilliant jurist" finally gets his head out of his "logical" ass  and sees that the LAW he supported and argued for was USED to disenfranchise voters in diametric  (as in Orwellian) opposition to the stated intent of said law, YEARS of fascist inertia and democracy destroying elections have taken place. Then the jurist gives a dissenting opinion on a related case.

BUT, it DOES NO GOOD for we-the-people beyond lip service. The Court System has made Voter Disenfranchisement LEGAL. This is one of the MANY steps taken by state governments in the USA towards fascism.

WHERE was the American Bar Association when this Voter ID CRAP was first pushed? ???  Well, uh, there was NO EVIDENCE of intent to disenfranchise voters.  ;D  The LAW, as written, APPEARED to be for the purpose of AVOIDING voter fraud. Hey, we are lawyers, not mind readers!  ( It was, uhm, a good law but it was used, ah, improperly... RIGHT. ( Don't tell me the legal minds in this country could not see RIGHT THROUGH this transparent and fascist backed effort to thwart the Democratic representation of a segment of the voting public!   (

The following post is from the Daily Kos. they are celebrating a dissenting opinion. I say the elite controlling the Courts AND the state government voter ID LAWFUL UNLAWFUL AND FRAUDULENT laws deliberately designed to disenfranchise voters will do NOTHING to change this travesty of democracy before the elections. AFTER the elections they will yammer about this and that and perhaps get some reform with much fanfare!  ;D However, before the next election, a legal team from A.L.E.C. will meticulously pull every single democratic tooth out of it (quietly, of course! ;)).

IOW, the SYSTEM has fascist inertia. The Court System is PART of that inertia and is ONLY used to display the appearance of objectivity and even handedness.  (  (

A dissenting opinion, even from a Reagan appointee, will do NOTHING but put a "the Court System works"  bright and shiny, BUT FALSE, paint job on our fascist enabling system of juris-imprudence.  ;D Enjoy! 

Mon Oct 13, 2014 at 04:42 PM PDT.

Highly Respected Conservative Judge Rips "Voter ID" Laws--and the GOP--in Blistering Opinion

SNIPPET 1 (the "brilliant jurist" cred   ;D):

Possibly the most well-known jurist in the country, the Reagan-appointed, conservative Posner is not only an accomplished Circuit Court Judge, he is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School and the author of nearly 40 books.  He is 75 years old and were it not for a penchant for raising hackles of the legal community with his acute opinions, he would likely be on the Supreme Court right now.

 The Los Angeles Times' Michael Hiltzik accurately describes the regard the legal and judicial community holds towards Posner:

Posner, 75, is no wooly-headed liberal, but a card-carrying conservative who was appointed to the circuit bench by Ronald Reagan in 1981. He's widely regarded as the smartest jurist in the federal judiciary, and was identified in 2000 by Fred Shapiro of Yale Law School as the most-cited legal scholar of all time.


Posner authored the Opinion in the decision of Crawford v Marion County, the 7th Circuit decision in 2008 that upheld Indiana's "Voter ID" law, and which was, in turn, affirmed by the Supreme Court. The case involved the Constitutionality of the first such law in the country, the seminal Voter Suppression statute ( that spawned so many imitations in other states.  :P  :(

Agelbert NOTE: Because of that voter suppression, the WRONG people got elected, wars have been fought, money stolen by the MIC, MORE people have been killed outside this country and in it, fossil fuel subsidies prolonged and Renewable energy subsidies kept tiny or non-existent. Many Americans have died from lack of proper health care.

In MY BOOK, those are BOTH CIVIL and CRIMINAL LAW violations. Don't hold your breath waiting for a lawyer to agree. The "variables" in the voting for this, that and the other are all separate issues that LAWYERS REFUSE to connect the CRIME/FRAUD dots on. Why? Because they are PART of the fascist corruption for profit over planet, period. Of course, they'll deny that too!  ;D

This is the story of this country since the (Orwellian) Patriot Act ENABLING LAW began a chain of fascism fostering laws. The Law profession has MADE A LOT OF MONEY from those laws and is NOT interested in reversing them because the MONEY people BACKED those laws BEFORE they became laws and will be highly pissed at any lawyer with the temerity to "**** upstream", so to speak.

SNIPPET 3 (an IMPOTENT JUDICIARY when they don't want to change a LAW):

Posner, joined by four Judges on the Seventh Circuit, authored the opinion requesting a rehearing en banc by the entire Seventh Circuit Court of appeals in Frank v Scott Walker et al, the recent case assessing the validity of the Wisconsin "Voter ID" statute.  A three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit had already cleared the way for the Wisconsin law to go into effect prior to next month's elections.  :evil4: Posner's request for rehearing split the Judges of that Circuit 5-5, and thus no rehearing was granted. Posner's opinion, which eviscerates every rationale promoted in support of these suppression laws, was relegated to a "dissent."  But unlike most other "dissents," this opinion is likely to reverberate throughout the Judiciary and will be closely scrutinized by the Supreme Court, which stepped in and suspended the law's validity just last week.  ::)

Agelbert NOTE: It's a fantastic opinion BUT it is a "DISSENT"  :evil4:, LOL! IOW, it don't mean **** as to changing the law, no matter what the hopeful and optimistic fellow at the Daily KOS is wishing for. I'm NOT being pessimistic; I'm being REALISTIC.  8)

If they DO annul this Voter SUPRESSION LAW, it will be a step towards Democracy. I'm telling you right here and now that NOTHING will be done except a lot of foot dragging UNTIL AFTER the election. I wish it weren't so.  :(

Now read parts of Posner's great dissent (with article author's commentary) in the tradition of Oliver Wendell Holmes (the Great Dissenter). It's quite good, logical, realistic and honest. ( Too bad it's not the law.  ;D

Posner distills the essence of these noxious statutes as motivated solely by the intent by the Republican Party to suppress Americans' right to vote. As Hiltzik summarizes the opinion:

"There is only one motivation for imposing burdens on voting that are ostensibly designed to discourage voter-impersonation fraud," [Posner] writes, "and that is to discourage voting by persons likely to vote against the party responsible for imposing the burdens." More specifically, he observes, photo ID laws are "highly correlated with a state's having a Republican governor and Republican control of the legislature and appear to be aimed at limiting voting by minorities, particularly blacks."

Posner distinguishes the Indiana law from the Wisconsin one (a necessary exercise, albeit an effective one) in terms of their relative stringency.  But his opinion suggests a more substantial re-thinking of the entire issue, and he takes pains to carefully demolish the flimsy arguments and excuses of "voter fraud" proffered by the laws' proponents:

"There is compelling evidence that voter-impersonation fraud is essentially nonexistent in Wisconsin." Assertions about voter fraud are "a mere fig leaf for efforts to disenfranchise voters." He adds that "some of the 'evidence' of voter-impersonation fraud is downright goofy, if not paranoid, such as the nonexistent buses that according to the 'True the Vote' movement [a voter suppression organization originating in the tea party movement] transport foreigners and reservation Indians to polling places."

Indeed, Posner writes, lists of the states that impose the strictest requirements "imply that a number of conservative states try to make it difficult for people who are outside the mainstream, whether because of poverty or race or problems with the English vote."

The "list of states" is actually a Table (Table 2, page 17) contained within the opinion itself. Posner shows that all of the states that have implemented these voter suppression statutes did so under Republican governance, either at the Executive or Legislative level:

Arkansas: Democratic governor, but both the  House and Senate were under Republican control.

Georgia: Republican governor, Republican control of both the House and Senate.

Indiana: Republican governor, Republican control of both the House and Senate.

Kansas: Republican governor, Republican control of both the House and Senate.

Mississippi: Adopted by the voters through a ballot initiative. Republicans, who already controlled the governorship and the state Senate, won a majority of seats in the House in that same election.

Tennessee: Republican  governor,  Republican  control of both the House and Senate.

Texas: Republican  governor,  Republican  control  of both the House and Senate.

Virginia: Republican governor, Republican control of both the House and Senate.

Wisconsin:  Republican  governor,  Republican  control of both the House and Senate.

The Opinion notes that the same pattern holds true for the three "strict, non-photo ID" states, Arizona, North Dakota and Ohio.

Posner also sarcastically eviscerates the argument that "Voter ID's" are easy to obtain, are inexpensive, or are somehow akin to "showing an ID" when one boards an airplane. In a final flourish of judicial contempt, Posner characterizes the arguments of the Wisconsin law's proponents as inhabiting a "fact-free cocoon".  (

A strong antipathy runs through Posner's opinion here, one that should be taken seriously. Posner appears to appreciate   ;Dthe deeply un-American purpose of these laws and he spares no effort to take their essential fiendishness to task, even as he lays their invention at the feet of his own Republican Party.   ;D This is damning stuff,  ::)  the likes of which has never been fully articulated in Judicial opinion. The fact that Posner is the one articulating it will have a profound effect on the "debate" about these laws from this point forward.   (

Judge Posner's dissenting opinion in the Frank v Scott Walker case is here.  (  (  (

[url=] (

The voter ID LAWS were crafted with malice and aforethought for the purpose of fostering a murdering, profit over planet fascist police state in a series of small INCREMENTAL STEPS. 
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on October 15, 2014, 12:19:43 am


As Christopher Simpson reminds us in the opening chapter, “The most prominent feature of the Nazi political philosophy [was] extreme anticommunism and particularly fanatic hatred of the USSR.” That hatred set the world ablaze, and, yet, after the war, the Nazi administrators, chief intelligence officers, generals, police chiefs, and intellectuals of that regime of hatred and war were recruited to continue their work in the bosom of our secret National Security State, advising, influencing, and promoting our foreign policy in the Cold War .   (

Did that policy change with the fall of the Berlin Wall?

No, it intensified—still absolutist, still aggressive, still dedicated to political warfare.  (

America’s Recruitment of Nazis -– Then and Now

By LUCIANA BOHNE / CounterPunch
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on October 16, 2014, 10:56:53 pm
an·tith·e·sis anˈtiTHəsəs/ noun noun: antithesis; plural noun: antitheses a person or thing that is the direct opposite of someone or something else. "love is the antithesis of selfishness"
synonyms:   (complete) opposite, converse, contrary, reverse, inverse, obverse, other side of the coin; informal flip side "friends of the actress say she is quite the antithesis of her giddy and frivolous character"   

“Legal” is the antithesis of equitable,  ;D and the equivalent of constructive. 2 Abbott’s Law Dic. 24

eq·ui·ta·ble ˈekwədəb(ə)l/ adjective adjective: equitable
1. fair and impartial. "an equitable balance of power"
synonyms:   fair, just, impartial, even-handed, unbiased, unprejudiced, egalitarian; More disinterested, objective, neutral, nonpartisan, open-minded; informal fair and square "a plan to distribute the burden of taxes in an equitable way"   
antonyms:   unfair  ;D   

2. Law   ( valid in equity as distinct from law. "the beneficiaries have an equitable interest in the property"  (

Agelbert note: Isn't it just AMAZING  ;) how the LAWYERS managed to ADJUST  ;) the definition "1" of equitable so as to split a few hairs in order to LEGALLY (definition "2") take someone's LAWFUL  EQUITY away? Yes, of course I sense a bit of table pounding on the way which will be heralded with several colorful adjectives disdaining as surreal, ridiculous, hypocritical (and so on) the data I am providing you here with links. Well, as they say in da show biz, any publicity is good publicity.  ;D

You know, the Scribes and Pharisees lawyers are really 'good' at what the DO, aren't they?  ;D It makes you wonder about the REASON the word "Code" was morphed by the etymology challenged  (or fiendishly Orwellian!) Legal establishment to mean laws , don't it?  Mens Rea? Nahh. (

But that would be a silly "conspiracy theory", now wouldn't it? After all, lawyers don't have a secret handshake, do they?  ;D  Well then, they are just trying to make things CLEAR for us, not trying to set up their own private language so they are the only ones that can A) make money from da law business and B) screw someone with all the proper color of law.   ;) There is NO history of chicanery among lawyers. Oh no! ;D

Lawful matters are ethically enjoined in the law of the land—the law of the people—and are actual in nature, not implied. This is why whatever true law was upheld by the organic Constitution has no bearing or authority in the present day legal courts. It is impossible for anyone in “authority” today to access, or even take cognizance of, true law since “authority” is the “law of necessity,” 12 USC 95.  ;D

Therefore, it would appear that the meaning of the word “legal” is “color of law,” a term which Black’s Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, defines as:

Color of law. The appearance or semblance, without the substance, of legal right. Misuse of power, possessed by virtue of state law and made possible only because wrongdoer is clothed with authority of state, is action taken under “color of law.”  ;D  Black’s Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, page 241.

Tell me, dear readers, does the above statue of Lady Justice speak of Legality or of EQUITABILITY (the antithesis of legality)? See Color of Law.  >:(

Now, if truth in advertising was applied to the above OBVIOUS historical attempt by TPTB to convince the masses of the intrinsic Equitablilty (as well as being the 'ultimate' and ONLY authority for coercive power and so on) of the Court System when engaged in the settling of disputes, then we would see something like the following in order to CORRECTLY describe our Court System so as to prepare those seeking a LAWFUL remedy in said system for the "real world":

Gott mit uns!   (

Title: Golden Rule Government: Lawful System Based on Caring instead of Conquest
Post by: AGelbert on October 16, 2014, 11:46:53 pm
PART 1 of the Ex Curia Solution   (

Golden Rule Government - A Legal Lawful System Based on Caring instead of Conquest
by Jailhouse Judge Agelbert


Golden Rule Government, not to be confused with fiscal policy in government (today mostly given lip service) where borrowing is only authorised except for investment, is a total ex curia replacement ot our hopelessly elitist, fascist, dysfunctional, profit over planet, biosphere destroying and human misery producing (and so on) social governing structure.

This new approach is not a reform of the old; it requires the scrapping of the old because the status quo is based on conquest. This new system mat be labeled "feminine" because it is based on caring.

However, overall, it is utilitarian in its application , not "sentimental", as anything labeled "femine" by our society disingenuously, pejoratively and patronizingly might claim.
In philosophy the male-centered versus the feminine approach are considered areas of moral

... area of moral psychology focuses on whether there is a distinctly female approach to ethics that is grounded in the psychological differences between men and women.
Discussions of this issue focus on two claims:
(1) traditional morality is male-centered, and
(2) there is a unique female perspective of the world which can be shaped into a value theory.
According to many feminist philosophers, traditional morality is male-centered since it is modeled after practices that have been traditionally male-dominated, such as acquiring property, engaging in business contracts, and governing societies. The rigid systems of rules required for trade and government were then taken as models for the creation of equally rigid systems of moral rules, such as lists of rights and duties.

Women, by contrast, have traditionally had a nurturing role by raising children and overseeing domestic life. These tasks require less rule following, and more spontaneous and creative action. Using the woman's experience as a model for moral theory, then, the basis of morality would be spontaneously caring for others as would be appropriate in each unique circumstance. On this model, the agent becomes part of the situation and acts caringly within that context. This stands in contrast with male-modeled morality where the agent is a mechanical actor who performs his required duty, but can remain distanced from and unaffected by the situation. A care-based approach to morality, as it is sometimes called, is offered by feminist ethicists as either a replacement for or a supplement to traditional male-modeled moral systems. (

Of course, all ethical conduct is based on some basic concept of what is right and what is wrong (i.e. morality). While there ARE people, a lot of them, out there that argue that ethics has no place in social structure UNLESS it is "situational" (see Orwell) in nature, what they are really advocating, adopting, espousing and defending is  a Machiavellian view of government of the people, by the elite and for the elite.

The issue, nevertheless, is further "muddled" by the claim that "morality" is a human invention that doesn't "do the Darwinian math" of "reality".  They claim that what is "moral/ethical" for one tribe may be "immoral" for another so the best (i.e. "real world")  course of action is to shake hands and come out fighting (i.e. Conquest is the ultimate "morality").

Actus reus
Action or conduct that is a constituent element of a crime, as opposed to the mental state of the accused.

An excellent example of the LACK of "do the math" logic in our closed system biosphere by the Court System of Homo SAPs is poaching. Ask a lawyer to define poaching. While said professional may give lip service to the deleterious effects on the biosphere in general and the poached species of wildlife in particular due to this "illicit" activity, the APPROACH to this life destroying actus reus is ridiculously limited to the typical legalese tunnel vision of  'seeing the stolen healthy trees' PROPERTY, hair splitting illogic, that ignores the forest fire'. That is, the health and perpetuation of the 'impacted species' is measured only with regard to computing damages to the Homo SAP tribe or nation who 'owns' the animals being poached.

Furthermore, if the poacher is doing the bidding of a foreign government to undermine the GDP of the 'enemy' or some other 'justified' activity (according to social Darwinian situational 'ethics' Homo SAP juris-imprudent Court Systems) he is, acting 'lawfully'. It just depends (see SOPHISTRY and the practice of law) which group of Homo SAPS you base your 'fealty' too.

So what's the problem with loyalty to your tribe? Does not the life and welfare of 'your tribe' outweigh all other 'sentimental' notions of questionable ethical behavior? Well, at this point a lawyer will have a field day answering with a fascinating but thoroughly contorted and convoluted amount of 'logic' that basically says, YES (with several escape clause conditional "no" gray areas - be sure to consult a lawyer for each gray area.). The Homo SAP Court System has a sliding scale of ethics where "legal" is "lawful"(i.e. ethical/moral) sometimes but NOT ALWAYS. That's just the way it is among apex predators in a social Darwinian "real world' pecking order. Any other 'sentimental' and 'idealistic' and/or 'ridiculously utopian' notions of ethical conduct are just magical/wishful thinking for reality challenged ignoramuses. The current Court System used by Homo SAP governments  is the ONLY 'workable' system, Sniff! 

IF our concern (see trees versus forest) was exclusively occupying the king of the hill position among competing Homo SAPS, I would agree. But that fails to do the overall biosphere Darwinian (see natural selection and species extinction) MATH. Hence it is not just ridiculous to design and operate a Government/Court System predicated on Conquest, it is not ethical in any sense when the FOREST that Homo SAPS REQUIRE for the health, welfare and perpetuation of their species is COMPUTED into the MATH.

Idealist? Utopian? Try NOT OPTIONAL. In our biosphere, the ethical BOTTOM LINE is NOT some man made philosophical concept that defines "ethical" or "unethical" behavior in terms of what we do to each other and ignores other life forms. The ethical BOTTOM LINE is whether what we DO produces our DEATH or our LIFE, PERIOD.

Therefore, we must (see NOT OPTIONAL) strive, in order to save our own arses, for a Governmental/Court System that does NOT operate on a sliding scale of sophistic fun and games based on loyalty to one Homo SAP tribe/government/corporation/Bar association (you knew I would throw that in, didn't you? - I know - it's dirty pool - but like it!) over another.   

Well then, let's talk a bit about ethics that DON'T operate on a sliding scale of "morality". Let's try to get a bird's eye view of the BIG picture in regard to ethics.
Philosophy says this about that:

...The term "meta" means after or beyond, and, consequently, the notion of metaethics involves a removed, or bird's eye view of the entire project of ethics. We may define metaethics as the study of the origin and meaning of ethical concepts. When compared to normative ethics and applied ethics, the field of metaethics is the least precisely defined area of moral philosophy. It covers issues from moral semantics to moral epistemology. ]

That doesn't seem to get us anywhere. But this is a good start.

Two issues, though, are prominent:
(1) metaphysical issues concerning whether morality exists independently of humans, and
(2)psychological issues concerning the underlying mental basis of our moral judgments and conduct.

Since the  metaphysical issue is a gigantic can of worms in regard to ethics and morality, I have not referenced that contentious area in formulating the utilitarian "math" of Golden Rule Government.

... area of meta-ethics involves the psychological basis of our moral judgments and conduct, particularly understanding what motivates us to be moral.
We might explore this subject by asking the simple question, "Why be moral?" Even if I am aware of basic moral standards, such as don't kill and don't steal, this does not necessarily mean that I will be psychologically compelled to act on them.

Some answers to the question "Why be moral?" are to avoid punishment, to gain praise, to attain happiness, to be dignified, or to fit in with society.
Many will claim THEIR "mental basis of moral judgements and conduct is the only VALID mental basis for moral judgements and conduct.

Without evidence to back this claim, they are just smoking that crack pipe of "do as I say, not as I do". The "best of all possible worlds" argument is also fallacious simply because all the alternatives out there are willfully disdained, discarded or simply ignored. See Procrustean bed.
The mental basis of our moral judgements and conduct can only be justified if the following takes place as a result of the said moral judgements and conduct:
1. A steadily improving and diverse fauna and flora in the biosphere.
2. A steady Bioremediation of all toxins in the biosphere.
3. A steady and consistent policy of emulating nature in bringing about a zero waste economy for the benefit of all earthlings.
4. Equal protection among humans from other humans.
5. Equal representation among humans (vote, petition, proposed legislation and law enforcement).
6. Equal access to services.
7. Equal punishment for wrong conduct.
8. Guaranteed Minimum standard of health, education and income to insure the dignity of even the most poverty stricken, disabled, handicapped or just plain dysfunctional from mental disease or laziness. "A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones." Gandhi
9. No statute of limitations on any crime for any reason and no limited liability for any human in any form of business, corporate charter, club, police, military governmental, bath club, etc. You do the crime, you do the time and you pay your share of the fine.   
10. Legal tender laws are carbon footprint/energy based (yeah, it's complicated but is VERY specific about SUBTRACTING the value of any product the EXACT amount of planetary piggery used to manufacture it, PERIOD.

Utopic? Nope. In fact, anything else, as in what we are doing NOW, is criminally negligent suicide. The status quo is not a measured, prudent, logical, or even social Darwinian approach to survival of the species. And forget about thriving when you are arrogantly eliminating diversity of life in a closed system such as our biosphere without even understanding scientifically WTF all these many and varied life forms out there do to contribute to our welfare.

Get this, people. What we are doing IS NOT WORKING. What part of that do you not understand?  ???

As reasonable, logical, intelligent (and so on) humans, it's time to give this strange idea born of the apparent benefits YOU have gotten from the dysfunctional human structure that you are not shooting yourself in the foot. Incremental measures and working within the "system" are doomed to failure because the "system" is based on unscientific principles of conquest.

We live in a closed system. A bubble of life, if you will. The only morality of life is, hello?, A LIFE GIVING social structure. Al the rest is baloney. We aren't talking about singing cumbaya and dancing with permaculture flowers in our head, people! we are talking about DOING THE MATH for a closed SYSTEM called the biosphere! YES, there are scads of life forms here that we can trample willy nilly and they don't fight back because they aren't self aware. SO WHAT!!? Are you going to sit there and tell me that we are going to promote LIFE by continuing to increase the rate of DEATH of non-self aware species as well as the MISERY of ours? GET OUTTA HERE with that Orwellian mindfork!

So you don't believe in God or right or wrong. And? Do you believe in breathing? Yep. Same with eating (and so on). See defecating where you eat. We are there. What part of that can't you wrap your head around? The MORALITY/ETHICS of a LIFE GIVING modus operandi and modus vivendi are not optional if you want to ensure the survival of your species. That is the math.

What's all that got to do with Golden Government Rule?


Let us now move to WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD, so to speak.

Normative Ethics

Normative ethics involves arriving at moral standards that regulate right and wrong conduct. In a sense, it is a search for an ideal litmus test of proper behavior. The Golden Rule is a classic example of a normative principle: We should do to others what we would want others to do to us. Since I do not want my neighbor to steal my car, then it is wrong for me to steal her car. Since I would want people to feed me if I was starving, then I should help feed starving people. Using this same reasoning, I can theoretically determine whether any possible action is right or wrong. So, based on the Golden Rule, it would also be wrong for me to lie to, harass, victimize, assault, or kill others. The Golden Rule is an example of a normative theory that establishes a single principle against which we judge all actions. Other normative theories focus on a set of foundational principles, or a set of good character traits.

The key assumption in normative ethics is that there is only one ultimate criterion of moral conduct, whether it is a single rule or a set of principles.

The Golden Rule Government social structure uses computers (a LOT!) to DO THE MATH. This "math" is a biosphere life giving math MORALITY that is sine qua none for the perpetuation of the human species. You may say it is the formula for transitioning from Homo SAP to Homo sapiens as a society. There are many among us that are there already. But the Homo SAPS defending the biosphere ignoring LAW of CONQUEST "morality" are in the way.

I will discuss how to, through friendly persuasion, logic, prudent, measured, consistent, confident (and so on) PEACEFUL activity (or the lack of it - lack of activity, RE, not lack of peace - watch it!  ;D), we can save our arses along with thousands of other earthling species.

But not now. I want to see how the worthies here respond. If I see genuine interest born of a realization of seriousness of our plight and respect for the value of a REAL "do the math" Golden Rule Government proposal, rather than accusations of ignorance, puffery, hypocrisy or flatulence accompanied with disdain, sarcasm or branding of my post as flower child whining utopian blather, then I will get the message, loud and clear that, no matter what the risk of our current suicidal trajectory, you are not interested in a working solution and prefer the delusion that incremental reforms (see lipstick on a four footed truffle forager) will save Thelma and Louise from the laws of physics.

It is true, that once implemented, the Golden Rule Government will be the new "curia", among other things, but since the status quo will fight to the death to prevent said system change, the Golden Rule Government is an EX CURIA solution to our dysfunctional and brutal system. And, of course, if you want to implement Golden Rule Government, you are going to have believe in it to the point of willing to lose everything you have, including your life, simply for adopting the peaceful activities (and lack of them) required to get the Homo SAPs to wake up and smell the Grand Canyon of species extinction.

Sure, it might not work. But what we are doing now has a 100% probability of not working. Stupid is as stupid does. Have a nice day.


Title: Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes on what the LAW was ALL ABOUT.
Post by: AGelbert on October 17, 2014, 08:47:07 pm
Now for some serious Law stuff here!  ( Ahem! My vast and thorough perusal of jurisprudence (and juris-imprudence too!  ;D) has uncovered these gems from a former Supreme Court Justice with a love of Sherlock Holmes novels and an encyclopedic knowledge of the law, why there is law, what it is supposed to do, what it isn't supposed to do and, more importantly, what it REALLY IS ALL ABOUT.   8)

“Every society rests on the death of men,” he liked to say. If a nation needs soldiers, it seizes young men and marches them off to war at the point of a bayonet. If an epidemic breaks out, it forces the public to get vaccinated.

He said THIS, which sounds quite good as a defense of the Court system.  ;)

The language of judicial decision is mainly the language of logic. And the logical method and form flatter that longing for certainty and for repose which is in every human mind. But certainty generally is illusion, and repose is not the destiny of man.

As a  ( lawyer, I can CLEARLY see he used that word "language" twice. Notice he DID NOT say that ALL judicial decisions are BASED on LOGIC, although one COULD interpret that quote in said legalese fashion.

But other famous quotes from him show that he knew the score and wanted us to know it as well.  8)

Law is not being based on logic, but on experience.

Most of the things we do, we do for no better reason than that our fathers have done them or our neighbors do them, and the same is true of a larger part than what we suspect of what we think.

A man is usually more careful of his money than of his principles.

Young man, the secret of my success is that an early age I discovered that I was not God.

Certitude is not the test of certainty. We have been c ocksure of many things that were not so.

Any two philosophers can tell each other all they know in two hours.

Don't be 'consistent,' but be simply true.

Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble, at the touch, nay, you may kick it about all day like a football, and it will be round and full at evening.

Every event that a man would master must be mounted on the run, and no man ever caught the reins of a thought except as it galloped past him.

Man's mind, stretched by a new idea, never goes back to its original dimensions.

Beware how you take away hope from any human being.

The only prize much cared for by the powerful is power.

He knew government is a compromise where the citizenry gets certain benefits but the lion's share of those "benefits" will always be controlled by an elite establishment. I think he just didn't want the elite establishment to become a dictatorship. But, considering the goons that populated the high court then, he was a breath of fresh air; a very BRIEF breath of fresh air in our descent into empire and fascism.  :(

Please excuse this blatant and coarse attempt by yours truly to use the old  appeal to authority fallacious debating trick to sound erudite, polished, knowledgeable of law (and so on,  etc.  ;D). I protest any accusation of low class buffoonery! ( I never met Oliver Wendell Holmes and never argued a case before him! So there! If he happens to be on the same page as I am on issues of LAW and juris-imprudence, good for him! ( and me  ;D - Any port in the storm and all that. ) ;D

The defense rests.  ;D
Title: Fascism came to the USA in the second decade of the Twentieth Century
Post by: AGelbert on October 17, 2014, 10:18:46 pm
police state definition. A nation whose rulers maintain order and obedience by the threat of police  ;D or military force; one with a brutal, arbitrary government. The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Dear Attorney General AG, Would you consider a nation that publicly orders billions of hollow point bullets for it's use on a nation of around three hundred million citizens, including woman, children and the elderly, indicative of a nation that would come under this heading.??

Thanks in advance for your reply.  :icon_scratch: :exp-laugh:  :icon_mrgreen: :icon_mrgreen:

We are in the throws of Inverted totalitarianism. Chris Hedges explains that in detail. I think you are familiar with that but if you want to refresh your mind, just Google it and Chris Hedges.

And YEP, it IS a police state but it is CLOAKED with the Color of LAW (see definition of Color of Law) with all the trappings (pure theater) of a representative republic.

Around the year 1800, the power of a (white, land owner) American citizen's vote was reasonable (if all the adult citizens had been allowed to vote). At that time a NEW Rep could be added to a state if the Congressional district exceeded 60,000 population. In 1918-19 the COUNT of reps was UNCONSTITUTIONALLY frozen. You'll never get a lawyer to fight that, either. The historical record is quite accurate as to the unconstitutionality of that legislation. You probably know all about how the unconstitutional income tax was pushed on us. But the BIG BETRAYAL was the frozen rep count. This assured a fascist takeover because corporations would get MORE influence while the individual voter would get less. At present your vote is worth one SIXTEENTH of what it was in the year 1800! Representative Republic, my ARSE! 

And if some learned counsel would pound the table about the "progressive reform" of electing senators during the same period (early 20th century) so state legislators couldn't be bought by big wig money bags types, then tell them that it was a FICTION.

Why? because it was ACCOMPANIED by freezing the rep count! What's that got to do with it? Tell said learned council to look up the word "senate". The senate is NOT, and never was, a democratic, representative or otherwise, of the PEOPLE; it is a representative of TPTB.

It is BALANCED (at least in theory) by the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Remember it has the SAME power as the House (except it isn't supposed to be able to INITIATE legislation - like it unconstitutionally DID in 2008 with the bailout!) with one third less members when this country got started.

As the number of reps got greater and greater from a population increase, the elite influence increased on a senate with less and less members in relation to the exploding population of the states. I.e. LESS DEMOCRACY in an already undemocraric senate - concentration of POWER in fewer hands!

In order for the proper balance to have been preserved with the, admittedly more democratic process of electing senators instead of having state legislators "elect" them, they HAD TO keep the same ratio of senators to representatives! They did not do that! They pulled a fascist one-two punch (one-two-three if you count the Federal Reserve ripping the power to print money away from the gooberment).

Keeping the, already pro-elite senate at two per state made it EASIER to BUY THEM. Freezing the house count did the same thing.  :evil4:

I wrote an article explaining all that several years ago. Here it is.

I'm talking about the sound bite of all sound bites, "No taxation without representation". We can all agree that representation is essential in a representative form of government, right? Yes, we are a republic and the founding f'rs abhorred pure democracy. But they did write into the Constitution that for every 30,000 citizens, NO MORE THAN ONE representative would be elected to the House (but AT LEAST ONE per state). You can see this is dated stuff. The constitution needs to be CLARIFIED to reflect modern technology.

The constitutional clarification/amendment would be:
1) AT LEAST ONE representative for every 31,000 citizens.
2) The 'AT LEAST ONE representative per state' can be dropped because it is ridiculous and outdated to even consider a state with less than 30,000 citizens.

The corporatocracy would fight this tooth and nail because this amendment would make our House of Representatives a democratic organization for the first time EVER (in 1787 Native Americans, women and African Americans were excluded - In 1911 when they UNconstitutionally froze the rep count at 436, Native Americans, women and most African Americans could not vote).

Since 1911 we have been in a time warp where corporate power grew as our population grew. The fix was IN. (

Now do the math. Assuming 2/3 of the population can vote, that means 200,000,000 votes. If you get one rep for every 31,000 voters, the House gets 6451 representatives.

Consider, for a moment, how your vote has been watered down through the years. The 65 reps back in 1787 represented about 2 million white men. In 1911 the 337 or so that voted to freeze the upper bound of the number at 436 represented 90 million mostly white men - NO WOMEN.

Now DAMNIT, PEOPLE! That was one of the most corrupt congresses we have ever had! That was THE Rockefeller congress! That was the Railroad baron congress! That was the congress that, in 1913, brought the federal reserve crooks into being!

We went from one rep for every 30,000 white men in 1787 to one rep for every 500,000 voters in 2010. Think about that. YOU and 15 other voters have the same power that ONE WHITE MAN had in 1787! And with the Citizens United Supreme treason, you are ACTUALLY getting one rep for every (assuming 10,000 public and private large corporation pacs) 22 rich corporations. THIS IS THE REALITY.

There is no valid argument for limiting the number of reps. NONE.
 We want a representative republic. We don't have one. This is not a 'progressive' issue. This is about DEMOCRACY! 
agelbert November 3rd, 2010 10:12 pm

I wish to add that every single issue of importance to the people in the USA which has been ignored, disdained, ridiculed or trashed by the media and/or the government owes its' continued repression to our lack of representation in congress.

The single argument against it is very old. I cede the floor to Patrick Henry:
"But we are told that we need not fear; because those in power, being our representatives, will not abuse the powers we put in their hands. I am not well versed in history, but I will submit to your recollection, whether liberty has been destroyed most often by the licentiousness of the people, or by the tyranny of rulers.

I imagine, sir, you will find the balance on the side of tyranny. Happy will you be if you miss the fate of those nations, who, omitting to resist their oppressors, or negligently suffering their liberty to be wrested from them, have groaned under intolerable despotism!

Most of the human race are now in this deplorable condition; and those nations who have gone in search of grandeur, power, and splendor, have also fallen a sacrifice, and been the victims of their own folly. While they acquired those visionary blessings, they lost their freedom."

I imagine that Patrick Henry, who is famously quoted as saying he smelled a rat in Philadelphia (the constitutional convention), would have preferred one elected representative for much fewer voters than 30,000. He wanted to keep a sharp eye on the reps way back when. He would probably be outraged and leading a revolution today.

Today we have the technology for an electronic congress. This congress would not be the pampered tools for corporations we have now. Their numbers would make OUR voices stronger than corporate voices. They would be more approachable and more willing to listen to us with the 31,000 voters per district. We would HAVE A VOICE!

Our reps would rule for us.
Patrick Henry's rat was eaten by a Rockefeller T-Rex. We need to kill this dinosaur. The damned thing will kill us all and then start on it's own tail.

Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end... but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature ... And to found that edifice on its unavenged tears: would you consent to be the architect on those conditions? Tell me, and tell me the truth!"

 Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

"People talk sometimes of a bestial cruelty, but that's a great injustice and insult to the beasts; a beast can never be so cruel as a man, so artistically cruel. The tiger only tears and gnaws, that's all he can do. He would never think of nailing people by the ears, even if he were able to do it."
 Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

"I think the devil doesn't exist, but man has created him, he has created him in his own image and likeness."  :evil4:
 Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

"If you were to destroy in mankind the belief in immortality, not only love but every living force maintaining the life of the world would at once be dried up. Moreover, nothing then would be immoral; everything would be lawful, even cannibalism."
 Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

"if God doesn't exist, then everything is permitted"
 Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

“We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values… when machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”
-- Martin Luther King, Jr. April 4, 1967

The wheels of "fascist progress" were turning fast and furious in those first 20 years of the 20th century. But we had Bernays to put lipstick on that fascist BOOT in our face. The lipstick is coming off.
Title: Wasta: How it "Works" in Abu Dhabi - New owners of Essex Junction Chip Factory
Post by: AGelbert on October 20, 2014, 06:25:44 pm
Wasta: How it "Works" in Abu Dhabi - New owners of Essex Junction Chip Factory  :P
Written Friday, March 11, 2011 but Wasta is an ANCIENT "tradition" so it is every bit as RHIP "applicable" now as it was then.  ;D


If you don't think GlobalFoundries, the new owner of the IBM chip making plant at Essex Junction, isn't going to engage in "Wasta" here, you are in for a rude awakening...  (

Finding Abu Dhabi an american couple on life in the middle east

A case for corruption?

When American politicians or foreign policy pundits analyze the activities of Muslim-majority countries, one point mentioned repeatedly is the pervasive corruption among the ruling elite. One oft cited example: Afghan president Hamid Karzai’s penchant for awarding top government positions to his friends and extended family. For many, this behavior in a Third World country is most likely not a surprise, yet it is not restricted to impoverished and quasi failed states. Here in the UAE, with a per capita GDP among the highest in the world, Shannon and I have encountered "corruption" in a few interesting ways.

 During our first weeks in Abu Dhabi back in 2009, we had the great pleasure of navigating the corridors of bureaucracy in order to get our residence visas and work permits, driver’s licenses, and liquor license (yes you’re supposed to have one in order to purchase alcohol). On more than one occasion, our visa officer, assigned by Shannon’s company to act as our liaison in these transactions, walked us to the front of a long line in whatever government office we happened to be in and spoke animatedly in Arabic with the official behind the counter. Suddenly, our paperwork would be stamped as approved, and we would be on our way.

 Seeing our bemusement and slight embarrassment for cutting in line, our liaison explained with a smile that he had “wasta.” It’s an Arabic term, and one of Shannon’s colleagues explained it as a sort of social bank account where deposits are made in the form of family status and influence, and withdrawals in the form of favors and deference  ;). Those who don’t have the right family  :o  :P name can earn wasta by showing loyalty or doing favors for those who do. So, for example, a person with AED 50,000 worth of speeding tickets that has suddenly been reduced to AED 500, or whose job application gets moved to the top of the stack, has wasta.

 As you might imagine, wasta plays a prominent role in the selection of personnel in the government ministries as well. After having some conversations with some expat friends who had lived here for a while, I learned that many positions in the various state ministries here are often assigned according to an individual’s standing in the tribal hierarchy (in Abu Dhabi’s case, the Bani Yas tribe). Hearing this offended my American sensibilities, which consider the use of public office for personal ends, or preferential treatment based upon one’s name, to be anathema when compared with a system of rules and merit. It seemed like, well, corruption.

 At least that was how I felt until I read an article by Lawrence Rosen, in the Spring 2010 issue of The American Interest, that helped to shed a different light on the issue for me. Entitled, “Understanding Corruption” the article explores the differing cultural definitions of corruption held in some parts of the Muslim-majority world, as opposed to those typically held in America (and the West in general). Interestingly, though perhaps not surprisingly, people in this part of the world have a different conception of corruption than the one more commonly held in the West.

 Rosen writes:

Corruption is the failure to share any largess you have received with those with whom you have formed ties of dependence. Theirs is a world in which the defining feature of a man is that he has formed a web of indebtedness, a network of obligations that prove his capacity to maneuver in a world of relentless uncertainty. It is a world in which the separation of impersonal institutions from personal attachments is very scarce. Failure to service such attachments is thus regarded as not only stupid but corrupt.

 So, whereas Americans might conceive corruption as a lack of deference to individual qualifications, societies similar to the UAE would conceive of corruption as a lack of deference to communal relationships. This is not to say that Americans don’t appreciate family or that Emiratis don’t laud personal productivity, because they both do. However, their hierarchies of value differ. To illustrate, think about the standard greeting among Americans: "How are you?" Or better, "What's up?" In this exchange, the initiator often doesn't expect, or even care, to receive a real answer. Contrast this with the standard greeting among Arabs: "Salaam Alaykum" (translated "peace be upon you"). By invoking peace upon the other person, the initiator expects peace to be invoked on his behalf (in the form of "Wa Alaykum Asalaam", or "And upon you be peace"). If the person doesn't respond in kind, it is a direct affront.

 I now find it easier to understand this mindset, but I still have reservations  ;). Rosen points out that while this reciprocal back-scratching model ( seems to function in smaller communities, where everyone knows each other and all exist in relations of mutual indebtedness, it is not as easily applied in large, urban, and now globalized environments, where familiar life long relationships are replaced with impersonal ones more transactional in nature  ( . What’s the use of bribing a clerk if he doesn’t know you and thus will likely never need help from you? (

AGelbert NOTE: The "use" is that "wasta" always was about RHIP, regardless of the Arab "interpretation" of what is supposedly corrupt and what isn't. It's all about autocratic POWER with some self serving baloney about reciprocity.

Of course the author of the blog is a true blue capitalist that doesn't see much of an issue except a possible "danger" in the "future".  (

 The danger, then, is for this to evolve  ;D into a system that does not serve to promote social bonds, where favors are expected for those with wasta but are no longer mutually beneficial for giver as well as receiver. The extreme logical conclusion is that the marginalized members of society, those who have become powerless to operate effectively within the structured order, might decide collectively that they want to change the now-corrupt system. And of course, this has been one of the primary motivations for the protests in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, and Libya.

The Bani Yas tribe (Wasta fer Vermonters!) is coming to Essex Junction, Vermont!  :P 
Title: Fascist Police Try to use the Fascist Court System to keep Doing what they DO...
Post by: AGelbert on October 23, 2014, 03:15:23 pm
Wed Oct 22, 2014 at 04:08 PM EDT.

125 Seattle Cops Say They Have "Constitutional Right" to

SuperpoleFollow ..

use excessive force-- ( and they sued to make this happen.

Wow... who could've foresaw this happening in our Nation?  ;D

But some 125 Seattle police officers responded by filing a lawsuit challenging the new laws. In their view, the new policies infringe on their rights to use as much force as they deem necessary in self-protection. They represent about ten percent of the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild membership. The police union itself declined to endorse the lawsuit.
This week, a federal judge summarily rejected all of their claims, finding that they were without constitutional merit, and that she would have been surprised if such allegations of excessive force by officers did not lead to stricter standards.

The officers claimed the policies infringed on their rights under their Second Amendment and under the Fourth  (, claiming a self-defense right to use force. Chief U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman pointed out that the Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms — not the right to use them — and that the officers “grossly misconstrued” the Fourth Amendment when they claimed that it protects them, and not individuals who would be the subjects of police force or seizures. (

Again, folks... it's all about the police constantly, bogusly claiming "their lives are threatened"; whether it's by someone carrying a sandwich, a stick, or NO weapon at all as with the Michael Brown case.

Thankfully the presiding federal judge threw this nonsense out--but the cops could appeal the ruling.

It's wayyy past time for some firm definitions of when a police officer can and cannot use excessive, deadly force.

Agelbert NOTE:
The Court System  ( is IRREPARABLE.  These fascist cops will get a judge that overrules the judge with CFS (Pechman) on behalf of fascist "interpretations" of the Constitution to mean anything the cops want it to mean even if they "adjust" it on the fly.

It's ALL ABOUT that "LATITUDE" that the Court System corruptly, unconstitutionally (and totally APPROVED by the lawyers   ( ( pretending FALSELY to defend we-the-people  >:() INSISTS on giving the cops whenever the commit a FELONY in the course of their "I am the boss" daily brutality against we-the-people in general and minorities in particular.

Golden Rule Government is the only answer

Golden Rule Government: A Lawful System Based on Caring instead of Conquest (

Fascist Big Ag uses Food Disparagement Law and
the Patriot Act to threaten Truth tellers!

Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes on what the LAW was ALL ABOUT (

The Lady Justice Legal Scales mean the OPPOSITE of what you think they mean (

Don't count on our Court System to defend Americans from Fascism - Here's why the solution to Corporate Profit over Planet is  EX CURIA (

How Lawyers  took the power from the King (for themselves) pretending it was FOR THE PEOPLE (

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on October 29, 2014, 02:47:51 pm
Title: Does a Wild Bear Defecate in the Woods?
Post by: AGelbert on October 29, 2014, 03:23:48 pm
To be filed under: Does a Wild Bear Defecate in the Woods?   ::)

Is Voter Suppression an American Tradition?

Posted on Oct 28, 2014

As midterm elections loom, voter suppression schemes are sweeping the land, with new requirements on voter identification leading the way and getting the lion’s share of attention. Anyone interested in fair elections should be concerned and alarmed.

But are the new ID requirements really all that novel?   ( Or are they better understood as the revival of a longstanding tradition evident from the nation’s earliest days, designed to restrict the franchise and manipulate outcomes?  (

Before answering those questions, let’s take a closer look at the current voter ID landscape. The National Conference of State Legislatures, which keeps statistical track of such matters, has reported that 34 states have enacted laws mandating that voters produce identification documents at the polls. To date, only three such laws have been blocked—those enacted in Pennsylvania and Arkansas  by state courts and the Wisconsin scheme by the U.S. Supreme Court. A fourth voter ID law—in North Carolina—isn’t slated to go into effect until 2016.

The remaining 30 ID laws will be in place for the midterms, including those in seven states (Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia) that strictly require current government-issued photo IDs. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, prior to the 2006 elections no state had compelled its voters to produce such credentials in order to cast ballots, although some, like Hawaii, authorized poll workers to request but not order voters to display some form of identification. 

What’s behind the new voter ID surge is no secret. As Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has written of the Texas scheme that she unsuccessfully tried to enjoin and as Judge Richard Posner of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has observed of the Wisconsin plan, voter ID laws are the contemporary equivalent of the poll taxes of the Jim Crow era, which were outlawed by the 24th Amendment in 1964.   >:(

Like the old poll taxes, Ginsburg and Posner explain, the new ID laws target minority voters, who are typically among the most liberal, and who are also often the least able to pay for IDs or meet the costs involved in traveling to the DMV or other government offices to obtain them. And like the old poll taxes, the new ID laws do nothing to ensure the integrity of elections. As numerous studies have shown, in-person voter fraud is virtually nonexistent. The new ID movement thus offers a false solution to a trumped-up problem.

While Ginsburg has long been skeptical of voter ID requirements and sided with the minority in the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision that validated Indiana’s voter ID law (Crawford v Marion County), Posner is a recent convert to the anti-ID judicial community. Indeed, he was the author of the original 7th Circuit opinion that the Supreme Court upheld in the Crawford case. Now, he is one of the most eloquent critics of both the Crawford ruling and the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which gutted the Voting Rights Act. But as forceful as Ginsburg and the repentant Posner are in their recent opinions on the Texas and Wisconsin voter ID laws, neither lays out the full historical context or political dimensions of voter suppression.

Notwithstanding the landmark advances achieved in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, the adoption in 1920 of the 19th Amendment according women the right to vote in federal elections, and the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, voter suppression has been the norm for much of our history. From the original disenfranchisement of black slaves and women to the early exclusions of white men without property, voter inclusion has always been an elusive goal.

Current voter ID laws and other suppression techniques aimed at limiting early voting and same-day registration may be less obvious than the poll taxes, whites-only primaries and literacy tests of yesteryear, but they are driven by the same purpose of undermining genuine majority rule and deflecting potential threats to the established order. If anything, today’s techniques are all the more insidious precisely because they are less obvious.

Today’s suppression schemes are also more dangerous
because they have been accompanied by a series of Supreme Court decisions that have unleashed the power of corporations and the wealthy to spend unlimited money on elections (the Citizens United opinion and its progeny) while restricting the right of public-sector unions—the last bastion of organized labor in America—to collect the membership dues and fair-share fees they need to exist. All of these developments—voter suppression, the removal of limits on campaign spending, and union busting—are joined synergistically in what I have previously called in this column a “trifecta of institutionalized class domination.”

Whether the trifecta is anything truly new or simply the latest version of a longstanding tradition I will leave for you to decide as the midterms approach and you contemplate how to vote or even whether you will head to the polls at all, given the lack of real political alternatives on the ballot.

Agelbert NOTE; Posner NOW agrees with Ginsburg! :o BUT, evidencing the irreparable corruption of the system set up to GUARANTEE rigged election outcomes, Posner's reversal has been OVERRULED by an Appellate Court as a "dissenting" opinion.  ( ( How Forking Convenient...   (


Fascist Big Ag uses Food Disparagement Law and
the Patriot Act to threaten Truth tellers!

Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes on what the LAW was ALL ABOUT (

The Lady Justice Legal Scales mean the OPPOSITE of what you think they mean (

Don't count on our Court System to defend Americans from Fascism - Here's why the solution to Corporate Profit over Planet is EX CURIA (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on October 31, 2014, 12:38:39 am
Christie the Fascist blows his top. This is an interview with an honorable citizen that told Christie he was out of line. Well done!  (

If you want to watch the corrupt governor Christie Doing what he DOES (, go to the link. Bring your barf bag.

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 03, 2014, 07:50:52 pm
25 Arrested Shutting Down FERC Office  ( in DC

Full story at link: (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 06, 2014, 11:56:45 pm
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 07, 2014, 06:44:52 pm

100+ Arrested at Beyond Extreme Energy’s Week-Long Protests at FERC

Anastasia Pantsios | November 7, 2014 3:40 pm
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 07, 2014, 07:28:18 pm

People want democracy. We do not have democracy n the USA.


The Fossil Fuelers   DID THE Climate Trashing CRIME,   but since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars   ( and conscience free crooks ,    they are trying to AVOID   DOING THE TIME or     PAYING THE FINE!     Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on! (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 09, 2014, 03:51:54 pm
 sure (1+ / 0-)

it is possible, if you change the Senate rules.

It is not possible if you allow all the foot-dragging
Seeking to be as wise as Fioral

by GideonAB on Fri Nov 07, 2014 at 11:07:41 AM EST

[ Reply to This ]

* [new]  Senate "rules" (2+ / 0-)

But they won't do that. Ever since Cheney got bent out of shape because Jeffords foiled his attempt at getting Republican control of the Senate by going independent, they have INVENTED out of WHOLE UNCONSTITUTIONAL CLOTH, the BULL**** that a super majority is needed and other TRIPE like being able to "filibuster" by sitting on your ass.

Anybody that thinks all the press hype before this S- election was not deliberately aimed at pushing the LIE that Republicans were "favored" so the voting "results" would match the propaganda is naive.

Get this, people: There WAS NO HORSE RACE HERE, PERIOD. The people want democracy and they are not going to get it as long the Fossil Fuel Fascist Oligarchs continue in power in this inverted totalitarian dictatorship.

And the oligarchs NOTICED our VAST dismay at these elections and are going to do the old tactic they have ALWAYS done. It's called TWO STEPS FORWARD and ONE STEP BACK. Yeah, they attributed that to the Communists during the cold war. But the FASCISTS in the USA are the EXPERTS at it.

So NOW you will see the senate make a lot of noise about progress, renewable energy, democracy, blah, blah ,blah, blah and pass some token legislation like extending wind power subsidies (that are a PITTANCE) compared with fossil fuel subsides. All this will be TRUMPETED by the fascist press as "defeats" for "conservatives".

In fact, it is this "one step back" that will be followed by world class crushing of what is left of progressive laws in next year's session. But  for NOW, the job of the press is to PUT ALL OF US TO SLEEP, GET IT? You DON'T? Don't Worry, YOU WILL!

So ALL those nice articles (that have already started) about "not despairing" are not worth a TINKER'S DAMN!

The ONLY tool we have to fight this is to STOP consuming (all the way to the bare subsistence level for a decade or so) and STOP participating in the economy (NO STOCKS!) and ACCEPT being poverty stricken until it brings the ****ing corporations to their knees. NOTHING ELSE WILL WORK because we DO NOT HAVE DEMOCRACY in the USA.

And you know what? I doing think even 20% of Americans have the intestinal fortitude and integrity to go poor to take down the rich fascists in charge.

There are solutions and I have, in the links below, identified the problems and outlined the solution. But Americans are too materialistic to get it. We have become those donkey kids in the Pinocchio movie.

 So, YEAH, it's OVER. Have a Fine Fascist Day.

The Lady Justice Legal Scales mean the OPPOSITE of what you think they mean

Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. on what the LAW was ALL ABOUT

Fascist Big Ag uses Food Disparagement Law and
 the Patriot Act to threaten Truth tellers!

Golden Rule Government: A Lawful System Based on Caring instead of Conquest

by Agelbert on Sat Nov 08, 2014 at 06:08:47 PM EST

[ Parent | Reply to This ]

* [new]  Amen, Agelbert! (3+ / 0-)

I've been on to the corporate takeover of democracy in America for about 15 years now.  The one thing that continues to elude me is the end game.  Big Ag had a definite end game; Earl Butz had a real vision for the transformation he wrought in American agriculture, but he wasn't out to destroy the country.  'Get Big or Get Out', his motto, was intended to eliminate small farmers and the inefficiencies that so much localized production brought to the table, but he wanted the displaced farmers to head into the factories.  It made sense in the post war world, and though he created a lot of ghost towns on the Plains and destroyed a way life for poor Southern farmers who'd managed to deliver their produce to a local cannery where they also picked up work for a few weeks at the end of the season, he met his primary objective - cheap food for American consumers.  Yes, food prices have been going up the past few years, but that's partly the toll of normal inflation, increased demand from Asians who have finally climbed out of desperate poverty, and (probably mostly) market speculation by WS firms freed from the constraint of having to have some kind of tangential relationship to the commodities they are dabbling in by the Commodities Futures Modernization Act of 2000.  Repeal that Republican piece of **** legislation and food prices will plummet.

But the folks who make non necessities, which covers most things sold in every store in the first world, have set out to destroy their own customers.  Those billions of Asians who can now afford to eat on a regular basis are going to want safe, potable water before they want iPhones and they'll need plumbing and electricity before they can buy dishwashers.  Is it possible that the captains of industry are too ill informed to know that?  And if they destroy the first world by reducing us all to the level of those Asian factory workers, they really will be stuck with all the bills; they use roads and bridges, too.  Poor countries are not nice places to live, even for the very rich (they're quite dangerous, making most of them no go areas), so they'll make their own lives unpleasant while they make ours hell.  I just don't get why they can't seem to see that, to say nothing of the fact that there's a limit to how much you can do to an infinitely powerful entity like the US military, staffed entirely by members of the middle and working classes, before it turns and kills you.  An angry, beleaguered middle class started the French Revolution; we're getting close to part deux.     

by CatKinNY on Sat Nov 08, 2014 at 11:32:24 PM EST

[ Parent | Reply to This |  Recommend  ]

* [new]  I Have Said For Years (1+ / 0-)

That I will probably live to see the end of The United States as we know it.  Because you can only squeeze so much before those being squeezed finally push back.

The question is...just how far into the corner will people allow themselves to be backed....before they finally explode?

And that is what it will come to.  We will have another Civil War, but it won't be a nice, neat North versus South will be a hundred different factions all fighting each other for the rancid bits of what was once a great nation.

It will be hell on Earth.  I hope like hell it doesn't happen while I am still alive.  But I am betting it will.  Because things are getting worse and worse and worse for the middle and lower classes...and there is only so much deprivation that they will tolerate.

It would be ONE thing if the wealthy, too, were suffering.  They might be willing to endure more suffering if the wealthy were also suffering.  But they aren't.

The wealthy, in fact, are profiting - and doing so on the backs of everyone else.

The wealthy are self-aggrandizing and by doing so CREATING the misery for all below them.  And the people know it.

The pitchforks are coming.

Remember that song from Megadeth "Peace Sells?"

I find myself thinking about that song all the time now.  For those who don't know it, the lyrics follow:  (I am going to bold things that mirror my own feelings at the moment...

Peace Sells - by Megadeth

What do you mean, "I don't believe in God"?
 I talk to him every day.
 What do you mean, "I don't support your system"?
 I go to court when I have to.
 What do you mean, "I can't get to work on time"?
 I got nothing better to do
And, what do you mean, "I don't pay my bills"?
 Why do you think I'm broke? Huh?

If there's a new way,
 I'll be the first in line.
 But, it better work this time.

What do you mean, "I hurt your feelings"?
 I didn't know you had any feelings.
 What do you mean, "I ain't kind"?
 I'm just not your kind.
 What do you mean, "I couldn't be the president
 Of the United States of America"?
 Tell me something, it's still "We the people", right?

 [Chorus: (repeat)]
If there's a new way
 I'll be the first in line,
 But, it better work this time.

Can you put a price on peace?
 Peace sells...,
 Peace sells...,
 Peace sells...,but who's buying?
 Peace sells...,but who's buying?
 Peace sells...,but who's buying?
 Peace sells...,but who's buying?

"Sometimes, you just have to be offensive to offensive people"  ( - Max Nofziger, former Austin City Council Member (This still qualifies as one of the best life-lessons I ever got)

by Kalisiin on Sun Nov 09, 2014 at 09:21:46 AM EST

[ Parent | Reply to This |  Recommend  ]

 * [new]  Great lyrics! (0+ / 0-)

Thank you for the song. It's a keeper!

by Agelbert on Sun Nov 09, 2014 at 02:22:01 PM EST

[ Parent | Reply to this ]
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 10, 2014, 04:23:46 pm
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 19, 2014, 06:18:49 pm
Excellent Post by a Pediatric Dentist about Government Corruption through increased bureaucratic hurdles and expenses:   (

I'm sure some of you read John Michael Greer's  Archdruid Report, and you might have caught last week's post talking about the inevitable creep of more and more intermediaries  stepping into the space between producers and consumers, taking some small piece of the action --- which, as he rightfully pointed out, drives up the cost of goods and services and acts a very effective barrier to anyone wanting to create a new business --- in a civilization on the decline.

I've been an unhappy witness to this process for my whole career, but this week I was gob-smacked by a fine new example: A brand new scam known as Online Hospital Credentialing.

Now, a few of you who know me, know that I'm a dentist, and some of you know that I carry a board certification in pediatrics ( another intermediary, but never mind that one right now).

The thing is that pediatric dentists usually have hospital privileges, because we have to treat lots of patients in the two year-old category, and some as young as nine months. This is  because young parents don't always get the message that a baby over six months old who goes to sleep with a bottle (or a breast) in his/her mouth is at great risk for nursing bottle caries.

 And unfortunately, in our present day culture, some infants are the victims of serious neglect, and get bottles put in their mouth with soda pop, sweetened milk, and the like, and can get what is known as "rampant decay". Last week I had to remove 18 of the normal 20 primary teeth on a three year old special needs child who was such a victim.  Needless to say, these procedures are best accomplished with the patient asleep under general anesthesia. Hence the need for me to have a relationship with one or more hospitals.

In modern times, there has always been a credentialing process for doctors and nurses, but over my 25 year career, the process has gotten increasingly complicated and rigorous, which might seem to be a reasonable and necessary thing, but lately, since Big Insurance has corporatized medicine completely, it's started to get really out of hand.

Not only do I have to resubmit all my credentials annually ( and there are many small credentials I have to prove), now we have to go through a similar process for our assistants. With me and the three assistants I keep credentialed, it seems like we are caught in a never-ending loop of paperwork. These are employees of mine, not the hospital. In the operating room the hospital typically  provides me and the anesthesiologist with only one nurse, known as the circulator, whose job it is to bring patients from the admissions area to the OR, accompany the patient to recovery after the procedure, and to write what has to be documented in the medical chart.

To actually help me do my job, I typically bring two of my employees, who do the same sorts of things they do in the office to assist me. Set up the room, take x-rays and digital photos, hand me things, and provide four of the hands involved in what we refer to in our business as six-handed dentistry.

When I started twenty-five years ago, there was NO credentialing required for these folks. Either by the hospital or the dental board. Now they (or their employers) get to pay a nice tribute annually to the dental board. And, as of this week, they (me) also get to pay an additional $225 a head online credentialing service, that saves the hospital (aka giant insurance conglomerate) the pesky trouble of making sure they're qualified to do their job.

Even though they don't ACTUALLY work for the hospital. They work for me, and not only that, I am legally responsible for their every action. If they do something wrong that causes a problem for the patient, it is my malpractice insurance that has to cover them.

So, bottom line, I now have to pay an extra $775-$1000 in fees to practice at the hospital.

Tough noogies, you say! That's why they pay you the big bucks.

Well, get this. That ain't all. No that ain't all. Not a by a long shot.

They now want proof that I, and each staff member, had all our childhood immunizations. Don't have proof? Fine. Just get them redone. Also we HAVE to get a flu shot, something I'm opposed to on principle. And a TB test. And Hep B vaccine. Proof of immunity to MMR, which for me requires a blood test, since I'm old enough to have actually had measles.

All in the public interest, you say? Well then, let the hospital pay for it. After all, they are a hospital and it would cost them next to nothing, right? But no, I have to pay for all that. Work out the logistics of sending me and my staff to some doctor's office during work hours, with significant lost income AND multiple doctor bills.

And WAIT, there's MORE! My employees must now submit to a CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK and a DRUG TEST. I can sign something certifying that I have done this as a normal part of the hiring process...but guess what?  By participating in this whole dog and pony show, I also have to sign that this "online credentialing service" can audit my personnel records, to prove I'm not lying.

This whole ball of wax is being sold to me as a way of "simplifying" the credentialing process. I'd  die laughing at that if I weren't so absolutely and totally angry that I could spit.

By the way, the "online" part of online credentialing means that MY office manager has to input all the data into this "service package". I'm not exactly sure what the company that  I'm paying to look up my and my employees collective skirts is actually doing to earn their $225 a head. Looks to me like they bought some software, and now they are set for life.

Because they are getting this not only from all the doctors and their employees, but also from each and every hospital employee as well. Ka-ching! And probably most of the employees will have to pay for it, not the employers. I pay for my employees, but I have no requirement to do so.

if you have no compassion for my plight, how do you think this impacts a low level doctors office employee who is a single mother making maybe $15 bucks an hour?

Agelbert NOTE:I agree with Doctor Eddie.  (   If the gooberment wants you to jump through some bureaucratic hoop in order to enrich some corporate welfare queen that runs a hospital, then the gooberment should make we-the-people ALL pay equally. But that would negate the whole point of corrupt practices disguised as "fer yer own good" requirements.  ;)  (  So it goes.    (
Title: The two million dollar TRUTH about Trayvon Martin in 3 minutes:
Post by: AGelbert on December 06, 2014, 10:48:09 pm
The two million dollar TRUTH about Trayvon Martin in 3 minutes:

Or just watch the following video starting at the one hour mark:  8)
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 09, 2014, 12:55:27 am

“So… now what?” he asked. “We can move forward with this notion that police officers wearing body cameras will make them more judicious in their use of force, but it seems pretty clear that they just don’t give a f uck, and the court system is content to allow them to keep on not giving a f uck.” Police “are not regarded as citizens also beholden to the law. They are an armed force charged with maintenance of a status quo steeped in white supremacy and anti-blackness.”

Full EXCELLENT Mychal Denzel Smith  ( article:

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 09, 2014, 06:19:51 pm
Outstanding comment by Spencer at Truthdig.(
It's a keeper for anyone interested in the sad truth in our Fascist Country.

NOTE: Many of the non-video links below are BAD. I chased them down and the proper links are on the next post after this one.  8)

Spencer  ( answers Tom Raquer (  December 7, 2014
For a moment, I'm going to pretend you're not a privileged, ignorant troll...One or more cases? Most professional police force? You think these are isolated incidents? You think a misdemeanor doesn't turn into a felony when a corrupt cop needs to cover his/her as* for brutally assaulting/murdering someone "in the line of duty"?

Try doing some of your own research instead of being spoonfed data from the very entities (NYPD) that perpetuate the injustice that their biased research helps conceal.

You are wrong in so many ways, your logic is severely flawed, and your arguments are fallacious as hell...below is the tip of the iceberg of what cops are getting away with all across the country and the justice system is either impotent when it comes to holding them ACCOUNTABLE or downright facilitates criminal cop's impunity to being held RESPONSIBLE for their actions (there's your evidence...go educate yourself and in the meantime, politely f**k off...or perhaps you'll be educated by the next cop you run into...I sincerely hope not, but if you continue to pretend that this isn't a problem, eventually that problem is more likely to come knocking down your door):

Cops murder Kelly Thomas, a gentle homeless man with schizophrenia, because they didn't want him sitting in that area and threatened to “f--- him up” before killing him:

Cops threw flashbang into baby's crib (with children's toys all around the yard of the house and with no police work to justify the warrant).

Cops shoot and kill a 7 year old girl who was asleep during a midnight home raid (while film crews were filming for TV):

Cop kills unarmed man holding baby:

Cops shoot to kill without even identifying the target:

Cop shoots and kills homeless Albuquerque man for no reason:

Cop kills innocent, unarmed father in a stairwell because he claimed the stairwell was dark:

Cop’s record cleared for accidentally shooting boy in head:

Cop shoots boy in chest when he answered the door, mistaking a Wii controller for a gun:

Cops beat delusional man to death as citizens watch:

Cops unleash attack dog on innocent college kid already being restrained on ground by numerous officers, no punishment to officers:

Cops shoot and kill elderly man in his own garage at night while checking out the wrong address:

Cops shoot at man in streets in NY, hit bystanders:

Cops lied to obtain a no-knock warrant and shot and killed a grandma in her own home, then planted drugs to cover up the crime:

Cops shoots and kills honors student at college campus:

Cops shoot and wound man getting cigarettes from his own car at his own house for no reason at all:

Cops kill man by compressing him while arresting him while he was distraught:

Police shoot diabetic man after his wife called for medical help, they claim he picked up a knife:

Cops shoot man holding a toy gun in walmart with no warning and lied in their report.

Covert officers assault girls for buying bottled water, cops thought it was alcohol:

Cop shoot elderly man reaching for cane:

Cops kill man with garden hose using a shotgun and no warning:

Florida man survives 13 shots by officers while sitting in his car:

Cops almost shoot and kill a hospital-worker in her own home with a warrant for an entire apartment complex and screaming at her door:

Cops raiding small friendly poker games with militarized tactics, accidentally killing people-- dying man says “Why did you shoot me, I was reading a book.”:

Cop beats handcuffed teen and is acquitted because video ‘should only be used to protect cops, not prosecute them.’

Cop purposely holds onto door handle so he would have the right to shoot and kill a Sunday school teacher who was driving away from the cops.

Cops shoot girl who was backing up, lied to claim self-defense:

Cops converse with then shoot man with sword in the back several times, witness accounts claim the man was not threatening, cop never turned on camera:

Cops use dubious excuses to justify lethal force:

Cop shoots homeless man who was deaf and doing woodcarving:

Cop shoots man in back several times, then stands over him and shoots again to kill him—questionable whether the man actually was armed or not—conflicting evidence given.

Cop attacks random people in crowd and punches NY judge, judge shocked that cop not charged:

Drunk NY cops shoot at people:

Cop with dismal record shoots 12 year old boy with toy gun:

Cop shoots and kills handcuffed man:

  (  (

Article this comment was posted on:
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 09, 2014, 07:32:03 pm
( to u/biopterin:    (

Links for anyone interested… I have about 50 more pages of links to these stories of cops killing innocent unarmed people, and cops never get in trouble (at worst let go from the job)…. Cops murder Kelly Thomas, a gentle homeless man with schizophrenia, because they didn't want him sitting in that area and threatened to “f--- him up” before killing him:

Cops threw flashbang into baby's crib (with children's toys all around the yard of the house and with no police work to justify the warrant).

Cops shoot and kill a 7 year old girl who was asleep during a midnight home raid (while film crews were filming for TV):

Cop kills unarmed man holding baby:

Cop shoot elderly man reaching for cane:

Cops shoot to kill without even identifying the target:

Cop shoots and kills homeless Albuquerque man for no reason:

Cop kills innocent, unarmed father in a stairwell because he claimed the stairwell was dark:

Cop’s record cleared for accidentally shooting boy in head:

Cop shoots boy in chest when he answered the door, mistaking a Wii controller for a gun:

Cops beat delusional man to death as citizens watch:

Cops unleash attack dog on innocent college kid already being restrained on ground by numerous officers, no punishment to officers at all:

Cops shoot and kill elderly man in his own garage at night while checking out the wrong address:

Cops shoot at man in streets in NY, hit bystanders:

Cops lied to obtain a no-knock warrant and shot and killed a grandma in her own home, then planted drugs to cover up the crime:

Cops shoots and kills honors student at college campus:

Cops shoot and wound man getting cigarettes from his own car at his own house for no reason at all:

Cops kill man by compressing him while arresting him while he was distraught:

Police shoot diabetic man after his wife called for medical help, they claim he picked up a knife:

Cops shoot man holding a toy gun in walmart with no warning and lied in their report.

Covert officers assault girls for buying bottled water, cops thought it was alcohol:

Cops kill man with garden hose using a shotgun and no warning:

Florida man survives 13 shots by officers while sitting in his car:

Cops almost shoot and kill a hospital-worker in her own home with a warrant for an entire apartment complex and screaming at her door:

Cops raiding small friendly poker games with militarized tactics, accidentally killing people-- “Why did you shoot me, I was reading a book.”:

Cop beats handcuffed teen and is acquitted because video ‘should only be used to protect cops, not prosecute them.’

Cop purposely holds onto door handle so he would have the right to shoot and kill a Sunday school teacher who was driving away from the cops.

Cop shoots man in back several times, then stands over him and shoots again to kill him—questionable whether the man actually was armed or not—conflicting evidence given.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 10, 2014, 08:55:21 pm
Posted by me at Thom Hartmann's web site December 12, 2014.

Thom, HOW do you expect ANYTHING to change in this Fascist Police State when you NEVER discuss the FACT that we DO NOT have a Representative Republic? If we had the representation granted voting citizens by our Contitution, we would have over SIX THOUSAND representatives in the House! And YEAH, we can do that with modern technology EASILY!

Fascism isn't coming to the USA; it is HERE! There is no way in hell that we are going to get our government to do what we-the-people want UNLESS we can have and elected Representative for every 30,000 to 60,000 citizens, PERIOD!

You are always quoting the founding fathers and our Constituion, yet you NEVER mention that our vote is worth ONE SIXTEENTH what it was worth in 1800. WHY NOT!!!?

THAT is the KEY reason the corporations OWN OUR GOVERNMENT! Don't tell me it is "impractical" to have an electronic congress where we-the-people tell our 7,000 Reps what we DEMAND in no uncertain terms.

The Pentagon has secure connections all over the world. A congress can do the same thing and meet ELECTRONICALLY while they STAY in their districts where we-the-people can keep them from getting bought and paid for. You KNOW that! Yet you pooh pooh the idea of having 7,000 or so Representatives in the House of Representatives and one third as many senators.

You IGNORE the CRUCIAL (for the preservation of democracy against oligarchic elite corruption) fact that it would be really hard for corporations to buy that many elected politicians.

As long as we DO NOT have appropriate representation in our government, there is not a snowball's chance in hell that torture, war profiteering, dirty energy welfare queen give aways called subsides and police state privacy violations, brutality and racist murders will stop.

Things are the way they ARE because the people in our government REPRESENT the WILL of the oligarchic predators that WANT IT that way, PERIOD!

If you are still reading (grin), here are the details:

The issue is FASCISM. Our "Jews" just happen to be African Americans and the poor of all colors. But the Evil in Fascism is ALWAYS a growth industry and those pretending they will not be eaten alive by this predatory profit over people and planet fascism are just plain Wishful Thinking COWARDS.

We are in the throws of Inverted totalitarianism. Chris Hedges explains that in detail. I think you are familiar with that but if you want to refresh your mind, just Google it and Chris Hedges.

And YEP, it IS a police state but it is CLOAKED with the Color of LAW (see definition of Color of Law) with all the trappings (pure theater) of a representative republic.

Around the year 1800, the power of a (white, land owner) American citizen's vote was reasonable (if all the adult citizens had been allowed to vote). At that time a NEW Rep could be added to a state if the Congressional district exceeded 60,000 population.

 In 1918-19 the COUNT of reps was UNCONSTITUTIONALLY frozen. You'll never get a lawyer to fight that, either. The historical record is quite accurate as to the unconstitutionality of that legislation. You probably know all about how the unconstitutional income tax was pushed on us. But the BIG BETRAYAL was the frozen rep count. This assured a fascist takeover because corporations would get MORE influence while the individual voter would get less.

At present your vote is worth one SIXTEENTH of what it was in the year 1800! Representative Republic, my ARSE!

And if some learned counsel would pound the table about the "progressive reform" of electing senators during the same period (early 20th century) so state legislators couldn't be bought by big wig money bags types, then tell them that it was a FICTION.

Why? because it was ACCOMPANIED by freezing the rep count! What's that got to do with it? Tell said learned counsel to look up the word "senate". The senate is NOT, and never was, a democratic, representative or otherwise, of the PEOPLE; it is a representative of the wealthy ELITE Powers That BE.

It is BALANCED (at least in theory) by the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. Remember it has the SAME power as the House (except it isn't supposed to be able to INITIATE legislation - like it unconstitutionally DID in 2008 with the bailout!) with one third less members when this country got started.

As the number of reps got greater and greater from a population increase, the elite influence increased on a senate with less and less members in relation to the exploding population of the states. I.e. LESS DEMOCRACY in an already undemocratic senate - concentration of POWER in fewer hands!

In order for the proper balance to have been preserved with the, admittedly more democratic process of electing senators instead of having state legislators "elect" them, they HAD TO keep the same ratio of senators to representatives!

They did not do that! They pulled a fascist one-two punch (one-two-three if you count the Federal Reserve ripping the power to print money away from the gooberment).

Keeping the, already pro-elite senate at two per state made it EASIER to BUY THEM. Freezing the house count did the same thing.

I wrote an article explaining all that several years ago. Here it is.

I'm talking about the sound bite of all sound bites, "No taxation without representation". We can all agree that representation is essential in a representative form of government, right? Yes, we are a republic and the founding fathers abhorred pure democracy.

But they did write into the Constitution that for every 30,000 citizens, NO MORE THAN ONE representative would be elected to the House (but AT LEAST ONE per state).

You can see this is dated stuff. The constitution needs to be CLARIFIED to reflect modern technology. The constitutional clarification/amendment would be:

1) AT LEAST ONE representative for every 31,000 citizens.

2) The 'AT LEAST ONE representative per state' can be dropped because it is ridiculous and outdated to even consider a state with less than 30,000 citizens.

The corporatocracy would fight this tooth and nail because this amendment would make our House of Representatives a democratic organization for the first time EVER (in 1787 Native Americans, women and African Americans were excluded - In 1911 when they UNconstitutionally froze the rep count at 436, Native Americans, women and most African Americans could not vote).

Since 1911 we have been in a time warp where corporate power grew as our population grew. The fix was IN. Now do the math. Assuming 2/3 of the population can vote, that means 200,000,000 votes. If you get one rep for every 31,000 voters, the House gets 6451 representatives.

Consider, for a moment, how your vote has been watered down through the years. The 65 reps back in 1787 represented about 2 million white men. In 1911 the 337 or so that voted to freeze the upper bound of the number at 436 represented 90 million mostly white men - NO WOMEN.

Now DAMNIT, PEOPLE! That was one of the most corrupt congresses we have ever had! That was THE Rockefeller congress! That was the Railroad baron congress! That was the congress that, in 1913, brought the federal reserve crooks into being! We went from one rep for every 30,000 to 60,000 white men in 1787 to one rep for every 500,000 voters in 2010.

Think about that. YOU and 15 other voters have the same power that ONE WHITE MAN had in 1787!

And with the Citizens United Supreme treason, you are ACTUALLY getting one rep for every (assuming 10,000 public and private large corporation pacs) 22 rich corporations. THIS IS THE REALITY.

There is no valid argument for limiting the number of reps. NONE.

We want a representative republic. We don't have one. This is not a 'progressive' issue. This is about DEMOCRACY!

I wish to add that every single issue of importance to the people in the USA which has been ignored, disdained, ridiculed or trashed by the media and/or the government owes its' continued repression to our lack of representation in congress.

 The single argument against it is very old. I cede the floor to Patrick Henry:

"But we are told that we need not fear; because those in power, being our representatives, will not abuse the powers we put in their hands. I am not well versed in history, but I will submit to your recollection, whether liberty has been destroyed most often by the licentiousness of the people, or by the tyranny of rulers.

I imagine, sir, you will find the balance on the side of tyranny. Happy will you be if you miss the fate of those nations, who, omitting to resist their oppressors, or negligently suffering their liberty to be wrested from them, have groaned under intolerable despotism!

Most of the human race are now in this deplorable condition; and those nations who have gone in search of grandeur, power, and splendor, have also fallen a sacrifice, and been the victims of their own folly. While they acquired those visionary blessings, they lost their freedom."

I imagine that Patrick Henry, who is famously quoted as saying he smelled a rat in Philadelphia (the constitutional convention), would have preferred one elected representative for much fewer voters than 30,000.

He wanted to keep a sharp eye on the reps way back when. He would probably be outraged and leading a revolution today. Today we have the technology for an electronic congress. This congress would not be the pampered tools for corporations we have now. Their numbers would make OUR voices stronger than corporate voices.

They would be more approachable and more willing to listen to us with the 31,000 voters per district. We would HAVE A VOICE! Our reps would rule for us.

Patrick Henry's rat was eaten by a Rockefeller T-Rex. We need to kill this dinosaur. The damned thing will kill us all and then start on it's own tail.

 "People talk sometimes of a bestial cruelty, but that's a great injustice and insult to the beasts; a beast can never be so cruel as a man, so artistically cruel. The tiger only tears and gnaws, that's all he can do. He would never think of nailing people by the ears, even if he were able to do it." Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

"I think the devil doesn't exist, but man has created him, he has created him in his own image and likeness." Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

"If you were to destroy in mankind the belief in immortality, not only love but every living force maintaining the life of the world would at once be dried up. Moreover, nothing then would be immoral; everything would be lawful, even cannibalism." Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

"We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values… when machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered." -- Martin Luther King, Jr. April 4, 1967

The wheels of "fascist progress" were turning fast and furious in those first 20 years of the 20th century. But we had Bernays to put lipstick on that fascist BOOT in our face. The media was instrumental in keeping the lipstick in place throughout the 20th century and this century (see 911 lock step dumb playing). The lipstick is coming off.


Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 18, 2014, 08:38:46 pm
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 19, 2014, 04:04:46 pm
If you haven't read how hard some fascists that work for BIG OIL are trying to SHAFT Russia, you will find much food for thought in this article.

Please remember these are the very same politicians that cannot allow us to get a proper cost of living increase, correct inflation computation, infrastructure repair and adequate unemployment insurance, workmen's compensation, welfare payments, poverty level computations and social security pensions because THERE AIN'T NO MONEY...  (


4. Provisions for privatization of Ukrainian infrastructure, electricity, oil, gas and renewables, with the help of the World Bank and USAID.

5. Fifty million dollars to assist in a corporate takeover of Ukraine’s oil and gas sectors.

6. Three hundred and fifty million dollars for military assistance to Ukraine, including anti-tank, anti-armor, optical, and guidance and control equipment, as well as drones.

7. Thirty million dollars for an intensive radio, television and Internet propaganda campaign throughout the countries of the former Soviet Union.

8. Twenty million dollars for “democratic organizing” in Ukraine.

9. Sixty million dollars, spent through groups like the National Endowment for Democracy, “to improve democratic governance, and transparency, accountability [and] rule of law” in Russia. What brilliant hyperbole to pass such a provision the same week the Senate’s CIA torture report was released.

Three Members of Congress Just Reignited the Cold War While No One Was Looking (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 20, 2014, 06:53:33 pm
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 Citigroup Democracy By Mark Fiore
Now that the secret back room dealings are done and the latest budget bill passed Congress (of course, at the 11th hour), we can see the thumbprints of Wall Street once again. Actually, more than thumbprints, Citigroup actually wrote part of it. They managed to gut “Section 716” of Dodd-Frank. Sounds obscure and weird so who cares, right?

Wednesday, 10 December 2014 Cheney’s Torture Anthem By Mark Fiore
Even though Dick Cheney isn’t the only one responsible for the stain of torture on the United States, he’s the most, shall we say, colorful? If you think the awfulness of Bush-era torture is behind us, think again. Thanks to the just-released Senate torture report, we now know of all kinds of new and awful ways the CIA and Bush Administration screwed up the hunt for Al Qaeda and disgraced this nation
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 20, 2014, 08:47:33 pm
Fascist Fun  >:(
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 26, 2014, 07:35:54 pm
Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State by RALPH NADER

By  Stephen E.  on April 15, 2014

Format: Hardcover
Polling data shows that Americans are disgusted with their government. Some of us blame the Right. Others blame the Left. Obviously, as one of American History's great progressives, Nader is not neutral in the battle between Right and Left. Far from it. I am not neutral either. I am a conservative, but I cheer this new book by Ralph Nader!

His still-supple mind and pure heart give him the ability to see what would be more obvious to the rest of us if it were not for the partisan hate machines and self interests that maintain our corrupted political system.

Whether on the Left or Right, we know that our government has been captured by the self interested. Super-majorities of Americans - comprised of citizens on the Right and Left - want an end to the legalized bribery and extortion now a the heart of our political system, the restoration of citizen government, fair elections, fair trade, a reasonable and constitutional foreign policy, and a break-up of the big banks. If we would only compartmentalize the areas where our disagreements are intractable, we could then turn and work together to solve many of the nation's critical and massively debilitating problems. We would be, as the title of Nader's book suggests, "Unstoppable."

Comment SNIPPET:
By  Alan F. Sewell  on April 29, 2014

The existing situation stifles all patriotic love of country, and substitutes in its place selfish greed and grasping avarice.

Government, instead of being the embodiment of equality, is but an instrumentality through which especial and individual advantages are to be gained.

By  Robert Krebsbach 
on May 17, 2014

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase 
A short way into this book, it became clear: Corporatism is the enemy that lovers of democracy, freedom, and justice must unite against. The right/left, conservative/liberal labels are petty distractions that keep us from uniting to stop corporate tyranny.

I thought I was progressive until reading this book, but I resonated so completely with the thoughts of the Greats of conservatism that Nader quotes, that I could just as easily regard myself as conservative. That's how little it matters in the face of corporate economic globalization.

Pat Choate   on May 25, 2014

First, this is a very good book. It is also, I suspect, a disturbing book for those who label themselves as either a "Conservative" or as a "Liberal." As Ralph Nader effectively demonstrates, repeatedly, these epigrams are tools that others use to shape, if not control. the actions of large numbers of such self-identified people. And a major way these actions are shaped by such labels is to keep people from working together on policies and actions where there is agreement.

And the quickest way to ensure discipline and prevent joint action is to brand someone's actions as violating Liberal or Conservative principles.

As Nader documents with numerous examples, Corporations exert a powerful influence in shaping our national policies so that they and their owners are exempt from laws and regulations that hold them accountable. In recent years as these corporations have extended their influence into other nations, they have devised means and ways to use the U.S. Government to exert their influence into those other countries as well. The International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization are examples that immediately spring to mind.

Nader also subtly points out how defunct ideas and ideologies are parsed by Think Tanks and indentured intellectuals to protect Corporate interests and convey to voters a sense of powerlessness by the electorate. Nader provides examples of why that need not be so.

Ralph Nader has been a powerful influence in American public life for more than a half century. Whether you believe that his efforts are a force for a more democratic nation, or not, (I do), what is obvious is that he understands the reality of why and how the processes work, or increasingly do not work. (

The question, rather, is WHO are the Madame Defarge's of TODAY  KNITTING?...
(                              (

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on January 09, 2015, 02:25:21 am
Interview of Chris Hedges: "America is a Tinderbox"
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on January 15, 2015, 07:20:43 pm
The Thom Hartmann Program Thu 15 January 2015
Time To Lock Up The Lobbyists

There was a time when corporations didn't have anything close to the power they do over politics in America.

From the time of the Progressive Revolution at the beginning of the 20th century up until the mid-1950's, most states had laws that explicitly barred corporations from buying off politicians and spending millions to influence legislation. In fact, there were laws on the books in virtually every state, often from the mid-1800's to the mid-1900's, that made it a crime for corporations to give money to lawmakers, political parties, or political committees. Until 1953, Wisconsin had one of those laws.

Wisconsin's law against political contributions by corporations read in part, "No corporation doing business in this state shall pay or contribute, or offer consent or agree to pay or contribute, directly or indirectly, any money, property, free service of its officers or employees or thing of value to any political party, organization, committee or individual for any political purpose whatsoever, or for the purpose of influencing legislation of any kind, or to promote or defeat the candidacy of any person for nomination, appointment or election to any political office."

So, what were the punishments for a corporation or corporate executive caught violating that law? If it was an in-state corporation that violated the law, that corporation could be dissolved - it would get the corporate death penalty. If it was an out-of-state corporation, it could be barred from doing business in the state. Meanwhile, people acting on behalf of a corporation who were caught faced stiff fines, up to five years of prison time, or both.  (

On top of that, Teddy Roosevelt got the Tillman Act passed in 1907 that made it a federal crime for a corporation to give money to any candidate for federal office. The Tillman Act, by the way, was blown up by five right-wing justices on the Supreme Court with the Citizens United decision.  >:( Unfortunately, over time, laws like the one in Wisconsin were wiped from the books, and slowly but surely, corporate corruption and bribery have found their way into our political landscape.

The fallout from Nixon's crimes - including him accepting personal bribes while Vice President and President - brought some new reforms in the mid-1970's, but most of those have been rolled back by the Supreme Court as well. That brings us to today, where corporations have unprecedented power, influence, and control over our political landscape.  (  (

Read more  here. (

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on January 15, 2015, 08:09:25 pm

The above Criminal Mens Rea Modus Operandi of our NON-Democratic Fascist Government was laid out CLEARLY by George Carlin years ago. We DO NOT have freedom of choice!
We-the-people are NOT in the CLUB.

WTF is it going to take for everybody out there to stop with the BALONEY that we "elect" the president and Congress? WTF is it going to take for everybody out there to understand that we-the-people DO NOT decide when this country goes to war or why it goes to war?

This massive corruption and disdain for we-the-people IS NOT a new development!

The following quote from a peer reviewed book is of extreme importance to all Americans:

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (pp. 399-400). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

"As suggested earlier, war, for example, which represents a cost for society, is a source of profit to capitalists. In this way we can partly understand e.g. the American military expenditures in the Persian Gulf area. Already before the first Gulf War, i.e. in 1985, the United States spent $47 billion projecting power into the region. If seen as being spent to obtain Gulf oil, It AMOUNTED TO $468 PER BARREL, or 18 TIMES the $27 or so that at that time was paid for the oil itself.

In fact, if Americans had spent as much to make buildings heat-tight as they spent in ONE YEAR at the end of the 1980s on the military forces meant to protect the Middle Eastern oil fields, THEY COULD HAVE ELIMINATED THE NEED TO IMPORT OIL from the Middle East.

So why have they not done so? Because, while the $468 per barrel may be seen as being a cost the American taxpayers had to bear, and a negative social effect those living in the Gulf area had to bear, it meant only profits for American capitalists. "

Note: I added the bold caps emphasis on the barrel of oil price, money spent in one year and the need to import oil from the Middle East.

This totally unjustified profit, never mind the needless lose of lives, then increases the power of the fossil fuel corporations to perpetuate a biosphere harming dirty fuel status quo. How? By "funding" politicians with rather large "donations" to keep renewable energy from competing with dirty energy.

If all this was just about power politics, I might not be that concerned. Humans, particularly the overly ambitious and aggressive ones, have always fought and schemed to control and fleece the population at large.

But now we know the future of our biosphere is at stake. Now we know the entire edifice of dirty energy is a knife in the back of the biosphere that will destroy our species and many others.

TPTB are dooming mankind to extinction. STOP supporting them. STOP believing their lies. STOP investing in dirty energy. STOP using dirty energy as much as is possible.

IGNORE the lying fossil fueler propagandists that say if you do not totally stop using fossil fuels right this minute, you have no legitimate claim to criticizing wars for oil, fracking and so on. BALONEY! Dilworth makes it crystal clear in the quote above from his PEER REVIEWED book that it is BALONEY!

You HURT big oil by every gallon you do not buy. You HURT TPTB that won't stop supporting dirty energy by reducing your carbon footprint. You HURT fascism by removing credibility from the mendacious government propaganda.

And you HELP future generations by doing all the above.  (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on January 16, 2015, 07:42:42 pm
Take a gander at this bit of CLEVER doubletalk from the media:

The consumer-price index dropped 0.4 percent, the biggest decline since December 2008, after falling 0.3 percent in November, a Labor Department report showed Friday in Washington. The median forecast of 89 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.4 percent decline. Excluding volatile food and fuel, the so-called   ( core measure was unchanged  (, failing to rise for only the second time since 2010.( 

 Consumer Prices in U.S. Drop Most in Six Years as Fuel Falls (

Remember when we were being raked over the coals with MASSIVE INFLATION while the Fed ALWAYS IGNORED food and energy and FOCUSED, along with all the media cheerleading reprobates, on the CORE inflation as "PROOF" that inflation was "under control"!!!? As anybody with a lick of sense knew then, it wasn't! As the more stupid Homo SAPS among us know now, housing bubbles and cheap money for Wall Street were/ARE eating main street alive. 

And now these lying presstitutes have the brass to use the "so-called" (i.e. silly, unimportant, not credible, etc.  ( ) handle on CORE inflation.

The hell of it is that now they are right! Core inflation is only important for people that don't eat and use energy! It was a PRETENSE  that the BLS (Bureau of Lying Statistics  ( gave to Greenspan et al to claim there was NO INFLATION.

Well, all that has changed you see. (  Now we must all be scared to death of deflation because the CORE inflation don't mean nuttin' no more! Ah the smell of world class PERFIDY in the air. (

The OWNERS want YOU to SPEND. DON'T DO IT! Don't get sucked in. Be frugal. Be extremely frugal. It's the only non-violent tool we have to bring down fascism in general and dirty energy in particular. (

HOMO SAPS do not have a future if TPTB continue to do their thing. YOUR lack of consumption will severely inhibit TPTB from doing their civilizational suicide, get it?  (

Use what you've GOT or enjoy your suicide!  (
Title: Firefighters for 911 Truth KNOW the Score
Post by: AGelbert on January 16, 2015, 08:28:32 pm
Firefighters for 911 Truth KNOW the Score
"NIST conducted a CRIMINAL investigation to cover up a crime"
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on January 31, 2015, 04:19:29 pm
Eighty four percent of $5.3 trillion (ONE DAY  :o in currency markets) = $4.45 trillion. If you can rig that market, HOW MUCH do you think you can skim off the top EVERY DAY? HUH?

Let's be conservative and say 12 banks can collude their way to just one MILLIONTH of $4.45 trillion a day (I'm CERTAIN they do a LOT better than that!). One millionth of $4.45 trillion = $44.5 million (A DAY!).  :o  And the twelve banks caught with their mens rea hands in the Currency cookie jar say: See ya in court, CHUMPS!    (
JPMorgan ( pay $99.5 million to resolve currency rigging lawsuit
By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co, the largest U.S. bank, agreed to pay $99.5 million to settle its portion of an antitrust lawsuit in which investors accuse 12 major banks of rigging prices in the $5.3 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market.

Made public on Friday night, the settlement is the first in the nationwide litigation and resolved claims over JPMorgan's role in alleged collusion among banks since January 2003 to manipulate the WM/Reuters Closing Spot Rates, known as the Fix.

It followed the New York-based bank's agreements last November to pay roughly $1 billion in civil penalties to resolve related claims by U.S. and European regulators.

Investors including hedge funds, pension funds and the city of Philadelphia accused the 12 banks, which controlled 84 percent of the global currency trading market, of having impeded competition by conspiring to manipulate the Fix in chat rooms, instant messages and emails.

The JPMorgan settlement could form a basis for other settlements. It followed mediation with Kenneth Feinberg, a lawyer who also oversees General Motors Co's program to compensate drivers over faulty vehicle ignition switches.

In an affidavit, Feinberg called the JPMorgan settlement fair, reasonable and adequate.  ;)
"Although such analysis is preliminary, it does appear to be consistent with Class Lead Counsel's evaluation of JPMorgan's role in the FX market and JPMorgan's market share over the class period (6%)," he said.

JPMorgan did not admit wrongdoing, and the settlement requires  ;) court approval. The bank did not immediately respond on Saturday to a request for comment.

The other bank defendants include Bank of America Corp, Barclays Plc, BNP Paribas SA, Citigroup Inc, Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, HSBC Holdings Plc, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and UBS AG.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield in Manhattan refused to dismiss currency-rigging claims against them. Five of those banks have also settled with regulators.

The $99.5 million payment includes $500,000 for notices and administration. Lawyers for the plaintiffs, led by Hausfeld LLP and Scott & Scott, plan to seek legal fees of up to 30 percent of the settlement funds, court papers show.

The case is In re: Foreign Exchange Benchmark Rates Antitrust Litigation, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 13-07789.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Stephen Powell) (

Agelbert NOTE: $99.5 million NOT called an AWARD or a FINE because,  SAINTLY J.P. Morgan DID NOT agree to having engaged in "WRONG DOING". No mens rea here, folks! LOL!. Let's call it an EX CURIA "settlement" or NO CURIA "settlement" or J.P. Morgan IS the BIG DOG in the CURIA "settlement"!

Let's see how 99.5 million dollar "justice" was "done" here:

0.5025% = Notices an Administration (I.E. Paper pushers 'R' us) = $500,000  ::)

= Lawyers for the Plaintiffs = $28,850.000  ;D

= Plaintiffs (NOT we-the people who got shafted a LOT MORE than some Investors including hedge funds, pension funds and the city of Philadelphia) = $70, 150,000


A FASCIST government is one that operates under the COLOR OF LAW.  The actions of facsist governments are LEGAL but NOT LAWFULWE ARE THERE.

That which is contrary to law. “Unlawful” and “illegal” are frequently used as synonymous terms, but, in the proper sense of the word, “unlawful,” as applied to promises, agreements, considerations, and the like, denotes that they are ineffectual in law because they involve acts which, although not illegal, i. e., positively forbidden, are disapproved of by the law, and are therefore not recognized as the ground of legal rights, either because they are immoral or because they are against public policy. It is on this ground that contracts in restraint of marriage or of trade are generally void. Sweet. And see Hagerman v. Buchanan, 45 N. J. Eq. 292, 17 Atl. 946, 14 Am. St Rep. 732; Tatum v. State, 66 Ala. 467; Johnson v. State, 66 Ohio St. 59. 63 N. E. 607. 61 L. R. A. 277, 90 Am. St. Rep. 564; Pinder v. State, 27 Fla. 370, 8 South. 837, 26 Am. St. Rep. 75; MacDaniel v. U. S


So, when your read that J.P. Morgan believes Russia is DOOMED (see link at Knarf's channel) you KNOW that J.P. Morgan and friends in fascist forkdom will do everything in their power to make it so and then blame Russia for it.
  Have a nice day.  (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on February 02, 2015, 06:57:06 pm
( (  (

Every year, the NFL rakes in around $9.5 billion in revenue. Its commissioner, Roger Goodell, meanwhile, has an annual salary of $44 million. And while those numbers might make sense for any big business, the NFL isn’t a business - not technically, at least. According to the Public Law 89-800, it’s a 501(c)6 tax-exempt non-profit.

That’s right, a non-profit.  (
In other words, the NFL, one of the most lucrative organizations in all of sports, is subsidized by you and me the taxpayers  >:(.

If that sounds ridiculous and absurd, that’s because it is ridiculous and absurd.
There’s absolutely no reason why the NFL needs taxpayer subsidies to stay in business.

Other sports leagues, like Major League Baseball, stopped taking handouts from the government years ago, and are doing just fine as far as making money is concerned. But juicing the public is what the NFL is all about. And even though individual franchises are taxable for-profit businesses, they all find ways to bleed taxpayers dry. - See more at:
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on March 23, 2015, 07:27:13 pm
Protesters Removed After Disrupting Monthly FERC Meeting
Ted Glick | March 23, 2015 2:29 pm

The statement below explains why we took this action.

As has been true for every one since their November, 2014 meeting, we will be at their April meeting and then, in very large numbers, at the one on May 21, the first day of our nine days of action and getting organized in DC.

Beyond Extreme Energy statement at March 19, 2015 FERC Commissioners Meeting
FERC Commissioners:

Here we are again—Beyond Extreme Energy at your monthly meeting. We are here about the permit you granted on Sept. 29 last year to Dominion to build facilities for the liquefaction and export of natural gas at Cove Point in Lusby, Maryland  >:(.

On Oct. 15 FERC’s granting of this permit was appealed administratively, as it was necessary to do. By then Dominion had begun construction of their planned LNG export terminal, with FERC’s approval and blessing, and they have been doing so ever since.

By law, you were required to answer the administrative appeal within a month. You did so by giving yourself an extension of time to give an answer to this appeal, as you have done many, many times with other gas infrastructure expansion projects. And as has been true for those projects, it is now going on half a year of your coming to a decision on this appeal, and Dominion just keeps building and building.

As you know, the Cove Point residents cannot go to court to challenge the granting of this permit until you rule on the appeal.  ( You also know that, to the best of our knowledge, you have rarely, if ever, in recent years certainly, decided to overturn your initial granting of a FERC gas infrastructure expansion permit.  >:(

And by the way, this issue was raised almost two years ago in a meeting Ted Glick took part in with then-Chair Jon Wellinghoff, and it was raised in meetings with Chair LaFleur last June and just two weeks ago, and nothing has changed. (

Efforts have been made by the use of peaceful, nonviolent direct action at the construction sites to address this situation; 27 people who took action in this way last November and December were convicted and sentenced last month, and just last week they received a nasty letter from Dominion telling them that if they step onto Dominion property anywhere in the USA, they could face criminal prosecution.

You are continuing to allow Dominion to proceed with construction while simultaneously asking for a lot of new information from them—why didn’t you ask for this before you granted the permit in the first place? You are taking months to rule on local residents’ request for a rehearing. You are refusing to rule on a request from their legal team to stay all construction while FERC considers their request for a rehearing.

The combined result of this is that Dominion gets to construct for many months before the case gets heard before the Court of Appeals. As has been true with other projects, that could make for a prejudicial situation when it finally gets into court.


We are here to demand that you do what is right by the people of Lusby, Md.
and order Dominion to stop construction.

We demand that you amend your agenda for this meeting to include that item. FERC, stop construction at Cove Point!  (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on March 30, 2015, 07:10:02 pm
You won't hear this on Fox So-Called News, but right now the American people are as progressive as they ever have been.

Don't believe me? Just check the polls.

The Progressive Change Institute recently asked likely 2016 voters about their views on a bunch of big issues, and it turns out that everyday Americans overwhelmingly support some of the most liberal policies around.
71 percent of all Americans support giving all students access to a debt-free college education.

70 percent support expanding Social Security.

71 percent a massive infrastructure spending program aimed at rebuilding out broken roads and bridges and putting people back to work.

59 percent support raising taxes on the wealthy ;D so that millionaires pay the same amount in taxes as they did during the Reagan administration.  (

77 percent of Americans, support giving every American child free pre-K education.

And the list goes on.

58 percent of Americans support breaking up the big banks.

59 percent, meanwhile, support a basic guaranteed minimum income while a still higher percentage - 70 percent - support the creation of a "Green New Deal" that would see the government invest hundreds of millions of dollars in renewable energy.  (

Oh, and if that wasn't enough, support on Capitol Hill for the Congressional Progressive Caucus' annual budget, which would put into place many of these very same liberal policies, is growing.

Read more at link. (

 Why the House of Representatives Doesn’t Represent Americans (

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on April 01, 2015, 10:40:34 pm
TPP so bad even the US congress is shocked

Agelbert NOTE: I'm not shocked. This is EXACTLY how our brand of fascism has "worked" since Ronald Reagan. It's just more IN YOUR FACE now because corporate tyranny has (temporarily (
) won.  (

Do you know who was the KEY person in the Clinton clusterfork that FORCED NAFTA through? None other than neocon fascist former mossad agent Rahm Emmanuel. The party DOES NOT MATTER. (  What matters is the fascists seeded in ALL administrations to "get things done" for the corporate police state.


“This is really troubling,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, the Senate’s No. 3 Democrat. “It seems to indicate that savvy, deep-pocketed foreign conglomerates could challenge a broad range of laws we pass at every level of government, such as made-in-America laws or anti-tobacco laws.

I think people on both sides of the aisle will have trouble with this”…  ::)

“U.S.T.R. [United States Trade Representative] will say the U.S. has never lost a case, but you’re going to see a lot more challenges in the future,” said Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio. “There’s a huge pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for these companies”… (  (

Senator Brown contended that the overall accord, not just the investment provisions, was troubling. “This continues the great American tradition of corporations writing trade agreements, sharing them with almost nobody, so often at the expense of consumers, public health and workers,”  ( said…
[...] (
We the corporations thank you suckers for giving us personhood.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on April 14, 2015, 06:57:30 pm
The House Republican Budget Plan Destroys Medicare and Makes Health Care Unaffordable for Beneficiaries

The House Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2015, H. Con. Res. 96, introduced by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), was passed by the House of Representatives on April 10, 2014. (   (  (

It would end traditional Medicare, make it harder for seniors to choose their own doctors, and increase health care costs for both current and future retirees.  The House Republican budget ends traditional Medicare and achieves savings for the federal government by shifting costs to Medicare beneficiaries.

Privatizing Medicare with Vouchers/Premium Support Payments

Beginning in 2024, when people become eligible for Medicare they would not enroll in the current traditional Medicare program which provides guaranteed benefits.  Rather they would receive a voucher, also referred to as a premium support payment, to be used to purchase private health insurance or traditional Medicare through a Medicare Exchange.  The amount of the voucher would be determined each year when private health insurance plans and traditional Medicare participate in a competitive bidding process.  Seniors choosing a plan costing more than the average amount determined through competitive bidding would be required to pay the difference between the voucher and the plan's premium.  In some geographic areas, traditional Medicare could be more expensive.  This would make it harder for seniors, particularly lower-income beneficiaries, to choose their own doctors if their only affordable options are private plans that have limited provider networks.

The Ryan budget proposal calls for private plans to provide benefits that are at least actuarially equivalent to the benefit package provided by fee-for-service Medicare.  This gives private companies the ability to tailor their plans to attract the youngest and healthiest seniors, even if payments are "risk adjusted" to take health status into account, which would leave traditional Medicare with older and sicker beneficiaries.  Their higher health costs would lead to higher premiums that people would be unable or unwilling to pay, resulting in a death spiral for traditional Medicare.  This would adversely impact people age 55 and older, including people currently enrolled in traditional Medicare, despite Chairman Ryan's assertion that nothing will change for them. 

The Ryan proposal establishes accounts for low-income Medicare beneficiaries, such as those people dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, to use to pay premiums, co-pays and other out-of-pocket costs.  However, it is unclear what the amount of assistance would be or if it would adequately cover out-of-pocket expenses.

Raising Medicare's Eligibility Age/Increasing Out-of-Pocket Costs

In addition to privatizing Medicare, the Ryan budget would increase the age of eligibility for Medicare from 65 to 67 by increasing it two months per year from 2024 to 2035.  Raising the Medicare eligibility age is a benefit cut.  Although this proposal would save money for the federal government, it would increase system-wide health spending by increasing costs for everyone else – 65 and 66 years olds who would have to buy private insurance, which can be age rated; younger people buying health insurance coverage in an older risk pool; Medicare beneficiaries left in an older and less-healthy risk pool; employers providing health insurance to workers and retirees and State Medicaid programs.

The Ryan budget plan would also redesign the Medicare benefit beginning in 2024 by combining the Part A and Part B deductibles and making changes to supplemental insurance (Medigap) policies, changes that would likely increase costs for people with Medigap policies.  Medicare could be improved for beneficiaries by simplifying its cost-sharing and adding a catastrophic cap.  However, the National Committee is opposed to proposals to restructure Medicare’s benefits that would reduce federal spending by requiring beneficiaries to pay more.

We also oppose a proposal in the Ryan budget plan to expand income-related premiums under Medicare Parts B and D until 25 percent of beneficiaries are subject to these premiums.  A Kaiser Family Foundation study found that this proposal would affect individuals with incomes equivalent to $45,600 for an individual and $91,300 for a couple today. 

Repealing the Affordable Care Act

The Ryan budget also calls for repealing provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which would make insurance available and more affordable for 65 and 66 year olds if they lost Medicare coverage.  Without the guarantees in the ACA, such as requiring insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing medical conditions and to limit age rating, it would be very difficult and expensive for older people to purchase private insurance.

Repealing the ACA would also take away improvements already in place for Medicare beneficiaries – closing the Medicare Part D coverage gap, known as the "donut hole;" providing preventive screenings and services without out-of-pocket costs; and providing annual wellness exams.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently reported that since the passage of the ACA, over 7.9 million Medicare beneficiaries in the Medicare Part D donut hole have saved $9.9 billion on their prescription drugs, an average of $1,265 per person.  Also, 37.2 million people with Medicare took advantage of at least one preventive service with no cost sharing, including an estimated 26.5 million people with traditional Medicare, and more than 4 million who took advantage of the Annual Wellness Visit.


The National Committee opposes the Ryan Budget Resolution, H. Con. Res. 96, and, in particular, the following:

◾Ending traditional Medicare by converting it from a defined benefit to a defined contribution program;

◾Raising the Medicare eligibility age;

◾Increasing costs for Medicare beneficiaries by further increasing income-related premiums and by restructuring the program and Medigap in ways intended to reduce federal spending;

◾Repealing the Affordable Care Act, which is helping Medicare beneficiaries with their prescription drug costs and providing preventive screening and wellness visits with no out-of-pocket costs.

Government Relations and Policy, April 2014 (

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on April 17, 2015, 05:13:57 pm

Will New FERC Chair Protect People or the Fossil Fuel Lobby?

Ted Glick | April 17, 2015 2:31 pm

From the time I walked yesterday into the FERC building—that’s the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the most powerful and dangerous federal agency most people have never heard of—things felt and looked different.    ;D

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on April 21, 2015, 06:23:50 pm
FDA  ( Doubles Down on Censoring Food Labels
April 21, 2015


As usual, it gets the science wrong, and we think we detect a hidden, commercial motive as well. Action Alert!

The FDA recently sent a warning letter to KIND, the company known for making several varieties of fruit-and-nut bars. The letter contends that four of KIND’s products bear the claim on their labels that they are “healthy and tasty, convenient and wholesome” without meeting the federal definition of “healthy.”

As part of this definition, a food cannot exceed one gram of saturated fat per “reference amount customarily consumed”—basically, one gram of saturated fat per serving. According to KIND’s website, the four bars mentioned by the FDA contain anywhere between one and five grams of saturated fat. Even if saturated fat were actually bad for your heart, which scientists have now refuted, this wouldn’t exactly be an artery-clogging amount.

Other absurdities abound. The FDA’s letter was also thor ny about KIND’s use of the words “plus,” “antioxidant-rich,” and “good source of fiber” on their labels.

But let’s focus on saturated fat for the present. As we’ve said, the idea that we should avoid fat is just a myth with no current scientific support. ( There is a great deal of evidence now suggesting that saturated fat—in particular, saturated fat from the right sources—is not the main culprit in heart disease or obesity, misinformation from the American Heart Association notwithstanding! In fact, saturated fat from foods like butter from grass-fed cows, avocados, coconut oil, and eggs has numerous health benefits.(

The real source of obesity and related ills such as diabetes and heart disease is sugar, and the starchy foods that break down into sugars in the body, plus of course a lack of exercise.(  We’ve covered the negative health effects of different types of sugar and sweeteners elsewhere. Dr. Joseph Mercola has also been a staunch critic of sweet drinks—whether sweetened by sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners—because of the link to obesity and other diseases.

The sweetener used in KIND’s bars is usually honey. We don’t eat much of it ourselves, because it is a form of sugar, but it is at least a more natural form, assuming the honey in question is raw and organic. And, from what we can tell, most of the saturated fat in the bars comes from nuts like almonds, cashews, and peanuts. Basically, apart from the sugar content, the bars seem mostly healthy! (


The main takeaway is that the FDA is using pathetically outdated science in its action against KIND and its overall determination of what is “healthy”—not unlike the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s recommendations about reducing red meat in our diet, which totally ignored the vast nutritional differences between grain-fed, hormone- and antibiotic-infused beef and grass-fed organic beef.  >:(

Unfortunately, we don’t think this is just a case of the FDA simply being woefully ignorant of the latest science. There may be another, perhaps even more insidious, game being played. If the FDA is going to start hitting companies for inappropriately claiming their products are “healthy” on the labels, this could be just the opening salvo in a renewed attack on food and supplement producers claiming any health benefits from their products, no matter how much supporting science there is.  >:(

Bear with us for a moment as we sort through some FDA law:

•At present, the law does not allow the seller of a food or supplement to say that the product will help prevent or treat a health condition or disease. Only a drug company selling an FDA-approved drug may make such a claim.

•Any violation of this rule can result in massive fines and a long jail sentence. For example, the producer of a vitamin D supplement cannot legally cite the science showing that vitamin D prevents and treats the flu. Influenza is a disease, so this is forbidden, no matter what the science says.

•The supplement producer can, however, make a legal structure/function claim—for example, by saying that vitamin D “supports immune system function.”

•Alternatively, the vitamin D producer might ask the FDA for permission to make a qualified health claim, saying that vitamin D may prevent or treat the flu (note the qualifying term “may”). But the FDA never agrees to allow this unless the agency is dragged into court at vast expense. An FDA employee once told a lawyer involved in this kind of litigation that he would have to keep suing and suing, because the agency had unlimited legal funds and he didn’t.

As we’ve seen before, this wouldn’t be the first time the FDA has tried to attack structure/function claims or qualified health claims. The agency has been trying for years to lump food, supplements, and drugs all into one category, to be subjected to the same regulations.  ( The problem, of course, is what we call the “Catch-22” of drug economics: it costs billions of dollars to go through the FDA’s drug approval process, which is an entirely prohibitive cost to natural supplement and food companies because they cannot patent protect their products, whereas Big Pharma companies are able to patent their new-to-nature molecules—and charge exorbitant sums to consumers.

FDA success in this regard would be a great boon for the pharmaceutical industry, because competition would be eliminated. This, in turn, is good for the FDA, because Big Pharma pays the agency’s bills, in addition to offering lucrative employment for those who leave government. (

For consumers who want information so they can make informed choices about food, however, it would be a devastating loss. Consumers are already willfully kept in the dark about the value of nutritional superfoods such as walnuts and cherries. If there were no structure/function claims, the supplement industry would be crippled.  (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on April 25, 2015, 03:37:12 pm
Petraeus gets a slap on the wrist and Manning gets the shaft  :(



The retired four-star general pleaded guilty to leaking classified material to his then-mistress Paula Bradwell, and has been ordered to pay a $100,000 fine on top of his probation term. Prosecutors had originally recommended a $40,000 fine

Ex-CIA Director Petraeus Gets Two Years Probation for Leaking State Secrets (  (

But don't fret, dear readers  ;D. Our CRIMiNAL "Justice" SYSTEM knows EXACTLY how to preserve the NATIONAL (i.e. the M.I.C. profit over planet MO) SECURITY (see below). Yes, it looks Orwellian. Yes, it looks like cognitive dissonant mindfu ck. But, it is really quite a consistent with the M.I.C. world view.   (

Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years in WikiLeaks case ( (

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on April 25, 2015, 03:50:50 pm
It's Not the 1 Percent Controlling Politics. It's the 0.01 Percent.    (
—By Dave Gilson

Thu Apr. 23, 2015 6:15 AM EDT


Even before presidential candidates started lining up billionaires to kick-start their campaigns, it was clear that the 2016 election could be the biggest big-money election yet. This chart from the political data shop Crowdpac illustrates where we may be headed: Between 1980 and 2012, the share of federal campaign contributions coming from the very, very biggest political spenders—the top 0.01 percent of donors—nearly tripled: (

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on April 27, 2015, 06:25:38 pm
Hey, AG, I totally get why you don't vote, and unlike Surly1, I'm fine with that.  Just don't try to tell me that me I'm doing something wrong by showing up at my polling place on election day and writing in "MICKEY MOUSE",  "DONALD DUCK", and "DAFFY DUCK", which is literally what I did last time because all my choices were either Democrats or Republicans.  You have your way of saying "screw you" to TPTB, I have mine.

I applaud your methods. (  (

As do Charles and David Koch, who say, "congrats" and thanks.

Sorry Surly,
I disagree. Whereas TPTB might get a thrill out of seeing JD at the voting line (giving "voting" legitimacy), something you failed to mention  ;), they will not be amused by millions of people "voting" for Gyro Gearloose.    (

Your methods are quixotic and masochistic. I have gone into detail over the last few years explaining exactly how good, decent, serious people like you are gamed into thinking they can make a difference at the voting booth (see Bulger Brothers in Boston - corrupt ballot candidate tactics that CLOSE THE DOOR to most people that represent a populist choice - WHEN THAT DOESN'T WORK they go to plan B -  last minute third party candidates entered BY OTHER corrupt ballot candidate tactics to divide the vote so the bad guy "wins".  :evil4:  ). Ralph Nader's experience on the national level was an object lesson on who this skullduggery is done. God Damnit, Surly, WHERE THE **** do you get the idea that the MOST IMPORTANT CONTROL MECHANSIM in deciding who gets elected was not going to be TARGETED for TOTAL FAILSAFE MANIPULATION by TPTB since this **** country was founded, HUH!!!? Wake the **** up, pal!

If you want to get snarky about the Koch brothers appreciating my "lack of participation in the democratic process" (what next, will you say I'm being "unpatriotic" too?), go for it. I'm used to it, sir.

The fact is, that you are aiding the corrupt status quo by playing by the rules of TPTB that DEFINE "voting" in a rather Orwellian fashion. It is you, my friend, that the Koch brothers applaud. So it goes.  (

Surly said,
If the next federal election results are already decided, why don't the Steyers, the Kochs, Shelley Adelson, George Soros, Michael Bloomberg et al keep their money or invest in something that will still yield a return, like South American ****, or Ukrainian hookers?  instead of passing it down a rat hole where the conclusions are already foregone?

And you tell me to wake the **** up?

Uh, Surly, the PERCENTAGE of the money the above bastards make that is invested in
(s)elections is PEANUTS compared with the other investments in war profiteering for the fossil fuel government, money laundering and drug cartels disguised as central banks and commercial banks. THEY are DOING THAT, not to prevent we-the-people from having a choice, but to determine which of the elite oligarchs will rule the oligarch roost! They FIGHT among themselves to see WHO IS THE HEAD APEX PREDATOR, get it? Try again.

Surly said,
Oh, and read for comprehension. There's no doubt but the candidates for president are both carefully vetted and utterly controlled,  And one changes little and casting a vote out of, say, 70 million...

The primary point of voting, as I have made clear, and as you have clearly failed either to read or understand, is to keep the barbarians from the gates. Net it out, AG: if you sit on your hands, you permit the elevation of The Worst People on the Planet. And indeed, you are doing Charles and David Koch's work for them, by subtraction rather than addition. And trust me, they do indeed thank you.

WHEN WE HAVE ELECTIONS IN THIS COUNTRY, what you just said would apply and I would heartily agree with your view. But we do not have elections in this country; we have

The BARBARIANS ALREADY RUN THIS COUNTRY, pal! Accuse me of making Koch's day all you wish. That really is a straw man because it is predicated on your naïve view that we have elections in this country.   ( What next, will you tell me to go back where I came from? I CAN'T! THE **** BARBARIANS took over that place over 100 years ago. THE **** BARBARIANS used the people as cannon fodder, degraded and dehumanized them and USED THEM for "medical" experiments for birth control pills and other clever research to benefit the BARBARIANS. They created a pharmaceutical industry mecca where ANYTHING could be dumped in the rivers and the air and the ground safely away for where the BARBARIANS live, most of whom have made GIANT profits form those pharmaceutical corporations over the last 70 years. The BARBARIANS have visited my birthplace with one of the HIGHEST CANCER RATES in the WORLD.

And YOU are "Worried" about "keeping the barbarians from the gates"? WTF!!!!?

Surly said,
"if elections are meaningless, why is it that TPTB work so hard to steal them, to manipulate them, and to prevent opponents from voting through fair means or foul?"

WHEN did I say, "elections are meaningless"? Talk about STRAW MEN!   ::)


I SAID, TPTB RECOGNIZE (s)elections as a TOOL to propagandize good people into the BULLSHIT that if they don't participate, they deserve what they get!

That is not "sputtering", that is they way they game the DEFINITION of our (s)elections.

You don't want accept the FACT that the 1, 2, 3 punch by TPTB guarantee that WE DO NOT HAVE ELECTIONS IN THIS DICTATORHIP!

1) Limit those who get on the ballot.

2) IF a true populist DOES manage to jump through the myriad hoops placed there to stop them by TPTB and DOES get on the ballot, slip a fake populist into the ballot to divide the vote so the SELECTED (by TPTB) candidate "wins".

3) When "1)" and "2)" don't work, game the vote count with "voting" machine software.

YOU DO NOT want to go there.   (  End of discussion until you do.  8)
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on May 21, 2015, 03:29:36 pm
SNIPPET from Thom Hartmann article plus many EXCELLENT comments:

In other words, if you commit a crime that HELPS corporations, nothing will happen to you. But if you commit a crime that HURTS a corporation, there'll be hell to pay. Just look at what happened to tech activist Aaron Swartz before he so sadly took his own life.

All Swartz did was download a few articles off a private internet database - an action that could have hurt a corporation - and the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts slapped him with charges that could have resulted in 35 years in prison!

This is a culture-wide problem. It’s why Lindsey Lohan, for example, goes to jail for stealing a necklace while Jamie Dimon gets to stay in charge of the biggest bank in the country even though he oversaw a multi-billion dollar theft from millions of average Americans.

Americans are starting to figure out that we now have separate and different rules for criminal behavior that helps versus crimes that hurt corporations, and that’s just wrong. For our democracy to function, our criminal justice system must punish all people who break the law in serious ways, instead of imprisoning shoplifters and pot smokers, while letting criminals in banks get off scott free.

patrick H.T. paine •

But the value system HASN'T changed, it was slightly hindered by the "depression" and the WAR, but began reasserting itself immediately after......using the available loopholes.
Reagan simply represented a demarcation point where "corporations" could become international having used up the advantages of being the only intact manufacturing economy in the world after the they could exploit the entire world in the same manner with which they played off various states for tax breaks and concessions within the U.S. ( as they are still doing.)
You can and will continue repeating yourself because you "love your job", but that won't solve the problem.
Now the concept of the "corporate death penalty" expanded to include its enablers? -

Cheerful Clips • May 20

There are so many "crimes" that human being people can accomplish that harm and injure Corporations that the Cops and DAs will go after. CHICKEN & PIG photography. It is unlawful to take a photograph of a factory farm. A woman recorded video clips of Horses being abused at a Corporation in Weld County, Colorado.

 She was tried / convicted / jailed cuz the WELD DA said she failed to immediately file a complaint of Animal Abuse against the Corporation and turn over the video clips as evidence. Her delay was deemed to be Animal Abuse.

The Corporation activity of abusing Hoses had no legal consequences. In the view of the law, you need not "shoplift" to harm and injure a Corporation. There are 1000s of activities a human being may achieve with respect to a Corporation that are unlawful.

The truth of the matter is that all our long efforts to improve can be undone in an afternoon. The Auto Works Union improved stuff for over 80 years. The State of Michagan reversed all those improvements in one afternoon.

The guys that run stuff get their way. They have an A-Team / Republicans and a B-Team / Demcrates. The guys that run stuff have got all the voters in America covered. Sure the human being people can improve stuff, but the improvements will be reversed in an afternoon at the whim of the guys that run stuff.

ddanl •

Get Out Of Jail Cards;

1-Wealth, OR, how MUCH are you worth

2-Fame, not always guaranteed (OJ Simpson)

3-Job Title, Mayor Blah is NOT going to Jail...COPs or,

4-Related to a COP, self explanatory

5-Politics, and those associated with Politics, Ambassadors, Lobbyists, any1 with influence

6-if you're a White Man with a Gun


Reading Thom’s introductory post, I’m reminded yet again, the regulatory policies on corporations were more enlightened and more robust in the 1870s than they are today. And that’s pretty damn depressing.

Now in the 2010’s, corporations are “people” while we are chopped liver. Apparently Warren Harding’s incarnates still occupy the seats of Congress, hellbent on further reducing the USA to a banana republic shithole. Empty suits, all of them.

Kill a bunch of people via negligence… Hey, no big deal, just pay the fine! In the same country where jaywalkers and shopliofters can ger executed on the spot, and smoking a joint can still land you in prison for life. Amazing.

One thing that has to change if we’ve got a prayer of a chance: we all need to wake up to the consequences of congressional seats filled by psychopaths. Too bad psychopathy can’t be recognized as a birth defect so easily as missing limbs or the “wrong” gender. People with no soul and no conscience are incredibly dangerous, especially when they occupy seats of power and influence, as this Amtrak scenario clearly illustrates.

But it is only one example of many. If we don’t learn to weed out these subhuman imposters, we will be forever screwed, all the way to extinction.


We have problems that go way beyond the mens rea criminal negligence of the criminal justice system.

"in many ways the West already observes truly 'free markets,' or economic anarchy where giant corporations are free to do anything they wish, including wage massive, global wars in pursuit of their interests. The constrictive laws and regulations many well-intentioned free-market advocates abhor, have been imposed by these unhindered, anarchical corporations, not by a 'socialist government.' What these advocates perceive as a 'socialist government' is in fact an interface created and controlled by unhindered, unregulated, unaccountable corporate-financier interests." -- Charles Hugh Smith

"The rich executed a coup d’état that transformed the three branches of the U.S. government and nearly all institutions, including the mass media, into wholly owned subsidiaries of the corporate state." -- Chris Hedges

"The core responsibility assigned to governments in democracies is the public welfare, protecting the human birthright to basic needs: clean air, water, land, and a place to live, under equitable rules of access to all common property resources. It is astonishing to discover that major political efforts in democracies can be turned to undermining the core purpose of government, destroying the factual basis for fair and effective protection of essential common property resources of all to feed the financial interests of a few. These efforts, limiting scientific research on environment, denying the validity of settled facts and natural laws, are a shameful dance, far below acceptable or reputable political behavior. It can be treated not as a reasoned alternative, but scorned for what it is – simple thievery." —George M. Woodwell, Woods Hole Research Center founder  

"We do not need a 'new' business model for energy because we never had one. What we need, if we wish to avoid extinction, is to plug the environmental and equity costs of energy production and use into our planning and thinking. " -- A.G. Gelbert

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -- Aldous Huxley "We can’t have a healthy business on a sick planet."-- Ashley Orgain, manager of mission advocacy and outreach for Seventh Generation, Burlington, Vermont

And spare me the the idea that voting will help. The FIRST THING the psychopaths in charge did when they executed the coup is ENSURE WHO COUNTED the votes. The 1% are suicidal psychopaths who would rather reign in profit over polluted planet hell than biosphere math heaven. IF they do not extract their insane, ignorant, arrogant and stupid heads from their collective pampered descending colons and submit to doing the biosphere math 24/7, we will go extinct, PERIOD.

The 1%'s Responsibility to Shoulder 80% of the COST of a 100% Renewable Energy World
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on May 30, 2015, 12:41:45 am
A mailman with a conscience tells the truth about our failed democracy and why he flew his gyrocopter onto the Capitol grounds with a bunch of letters.   (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on June 14, 2015, 05:01:00 pm
Populist movements rise when people come to realize that the game is rigged against them – and that politics as usual offers no way out.

Populist movements challenge that stacked deck, offering as FDR famously called it, a new deal. They expose the bipartisan elite consensus, the consensus that governs beneath the melodrama of partisan disputes. Populist movements question conventional wisdom and contradict received opinion. Thus people’s movements often start with minority support, not majority approval. Their purpose is to mold popular opinion, not reflect it..

The first priority of any populist movement is to make government an instrument of the people, not the privileged.

The Popularity of the New Populism

April 17, 2015

Agelbert NOTE: Nice article but it leaves a few historical realities out.  ( Those are the tricks used by TPTB when a truly populist candidate makes it through the obstacles placed in his or her path to get on the ballot.

Of course the media will demonize the populist.

Of course the hired guns may resort to sending a "message" with a bullet that deliberately misses if they feel they can scare the candidate into betraying populist ideals after elected OR just kills the candidate if they are considered "unelectable" by TPTB.

Of course the poll station skullduggery and the vote counting by bought vote counters or rigged voting machines will be attempted.

But there is another technique from the Empathy Deficit Disorder goons that is used QUITE SUCCESSFULLY.  :P That is the false populist entered to water down the ACTUAL votes of the real populist. This requires media cooperation.

This "technique" really is the epitome of mens rea Machiavellian skullduggery BECAUSE it deliberately touts the truths of populist policies (by the fake populist  ;)) while it questions the honesty of the real populist in regard to implanting said policies when elected.

It is sinister, low class and evil because it uses the best values of populism to defeat populism.

I have studied the history of U.S. Elections. TPTB ALWAYS adjust to the most effective media of the times and use it to dissemble, lie and confuse the public. The elite have no ethics whatsoever. Idiots who have been brainwashed since they were knee high to a grasshopper by out sick culture think this is "normal" hardball politics and part of human nature.  (

What American culture defines as "hardball" is really Empathy Deficit Disorder in action. It's STUPIDball and DESTRUCTIVEball. But that is expected from arrogant narcissists  (  ( that run our country.

All that said, when the zeitgeist for populism is unstoppable (as it may be now  ;D), the elites will allow a candidate that is truly populist to be elected in order to avoid a revolution that would hurt corporate profits.

TPTB, in that situation (e.g. FDR elected) will retreat to their conspiracy planning and come up with several strategies to undo any "damage" the new populist does to the corporate profit over people and planet gravy train.  (

It is hoped that smart people that read this will, if lucky enough to enjoy a Bernie Sanders Presidency, understand that the skullduggery to undermine each and every effort he makes to right the wrongs in this country has already been planned and will be successfully carried out if the people do not continue to make life very, very hard for the empathy Deficit Disorder ass holes and their representatives in government and the media. 
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on June 15, 2015, 09:34:19 pm
Fri Jun 12, 2015 at 09:48 AM EDT

So...this is why we don't get to hear about good cops.

byxxdr zombiexx Local No 420

Because they get punished for doing things right.   (

A Missouri highway patrol officer who criticized the department after a handcuffed man fell into water and drowned has been more harshly punished than the officer who failed to secure a life vest on the deceased man.
A 20 year-old guy named Brandon Ellignton was arrested for suspicion of boating while drunk, handcuffed and another officer did a half-assed job of securing a life vest on him. He managed to fall into the water and drown.  :(

That officer was an experience road cop but had been on the water police unit about 2 days.
Of course, the half-assed officer gets a slap on the wrist : the death is ruled 'accidental".

The good cop ....

Veteran state trooper Randy Henry was demoted from sergeant to corporal and transferred from his post of nearly three decades at the Lake of Ozarks, the Springfield News-Leader reports. In March, Henry told public officials during a committee hearing that lack of training, but also recklessness and poor judgment contributed to the death of 20-year-old Brandon Ellingson last year.

Heretic!  (

They even went full Soviet Union on him:

Henry’s attorney, Chet Pleban, told the Star the department has been looking to retaliate against the officer for being a whistle blower, sending him for mental health evaluations that turned up “no cause for concern,” then launching a “professional standards” investigation.

So.... cops are A-OK when they are blasting innocent people into the next life, but if one of them says "I think there's a problem here related to safety" send him to the psych ward for evaluation.

So there's not just a huge problem with bad cops - the whole cop system is corrupt, compromised, and often criminal.

The entire police system is built on and invested in getting away with lameness, incompetence and outright murder.   (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on June 17, 2015, 04:07:47 pm
Political theater works because many in America have been systematically indoctrinated and severed from reality. Our corporate masters have built a mass culture centered on the cult of the self, unchecked hedonism and spectacle.    >:(

Neoliberal ideology infects every institution and belief system.

Those who suffer deserve to suffer    (
Victims are responsible for their victimhood    (
We can all achieve wealth and prosperity with hard work.

This mantra permits us to be cruel and heartless to the weak and the vulnerable, especially the poor as well as women and children, whom we discard as human refuse. Our warped neoliberal vision is defined as progress.

Mahatma Gandhi castigated the West for its fictitious histories and false moral crusades to justify slavery, oppression, colonial occupation, massacres, despotism, and the destruction of indigenous traditions, religions and languages.

The relentless assault by imperial powers against the wretched of the earth was not, he noted, part of the price of progress or the advance of civilization.
It was part of the raw exploitation of the weak by unfettered capitalism and imperialism.

The mythical narratives used to defend this exploitation, Gandhi pointed out, created a cult of history much like the cult of religion or the cult of science. It permitted immorality in the name of noble and virtuous ideals.

These visions of an emergent world of light and universal civilization are always employed by those in power. And these visions can, as Albert Camus wrote, “be used for anything, even for transforming murderers into judges.”

America’s Electoral Farce

Posted on Jun 16, 2015

By Chris Hedges (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on June 20, 2015, 08:51:43 pm
Reflecting his Sacramento experience, Kennedy wrote in Citizens United that “we now conclude that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.” (

IOW, Slavery is Freedom, **** flows uphill, Greed is Good, Bribes don't exist, Dollars don't buy votes and, OF COURSE, our language is not Orwellian...


Citizens United: Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s Gift to Moneyed Interests

Posted on Jun 19, 2015

By Bill Boyarsky


To understand the reasoning behind Citizens United, the Supreme Court decision that has assured the corruption of American politics, it’s useful to go back half a century to California’s capital, Sacramento, birthplace of the author of that fateful ruling, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

His father, Anthony J. Kennedy, a lawyer, was one of the biggest lobbyists in a legislature that was pretty much under the control of lobbyists and the industries and businesses they represented. They gloried in the title of the “Third House,” and they usually had as much or more clout than the other two, the Senate and the Assembly.   (  (  (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on July 01, 2015, 07:55:48 pm
Global Debt Time Bomb Ticks – Puerto Rico Is Next
Yep. The Oppenheimer Hedge fund/mutual fund (owner of 90% of those bonds) wants 100 cents on the dollar. The Governor has said that ain't gonna happen. The bond holders will be lucky to get 20 cents on the dollar.

The thing is that, according to the New York Times, MOST of that debt is IN mutual funds held by investors IN THE CONTINENTAL USA, NOT PUERTO RICO.

And here's the kicker. MOST OF THOSE mutual funds are packaged with other funds inside of 401ks or IRAs or whatever inside a hedge fund manager's bag of tricks. So a whole bunch of Americans that don't know anyhting about Puerto Rican bonds (and could care less about them) ACTUALLY ARE HOLDING THE BAG on this debt, thanks to the dude running their investments that has been chasing yield (using a risk IGNORING  algorithm). 

But never mind the ignoring of risk, the method to this risk management technique is to asset strip the target by MORE than the haircut you will be forced to eat. And, of course, only a few greed balls will actually profit (both setting up the bond scam and then grabbing lucrative properties when the scam goes belly up) while the rest of the suckers, most of them middle class and/or moderately wealthy NON-Puerto Rican investors, will get the shaft.

All the while, the poor and middle class of Puerto Rico, who didn't have anything to do with this and bought none of these bonds, are already getting the austerity polka with a 17% sales tax and a DOUBLING in property taxes in the last two years.   (

As usual (see Greece), the "greedy, lazy, shiftless, irresponsible, fiscally brain dead, etc." Puerto Ricans will be blamed. But, just like the Greece deal, the bond thing was a scam for the moneyed elite FROM THE START.

The end game here (see Obama requesting Congress pass a law to allow Puerto Rico to declare Bankruptcy Chapter 9 - i. e. Detroit on a state level  :evil4:) is for the SAME hedge fund hyenas screaming for 100 cents on the dollar to end up picking up lucrative beach properties, tropical rain forest, coffee growing land owned by the government (and buildings, toll roads, ETC.)  for a song.

IOW, it's the GREECE asset stripping on behalf of the banker elite outside AND inside the government mens rea modus operandi ALL OVER AGAIN.    (

A person made a comment in regard to the elite created Greek situation AND our bank bailout in 2008, which applies equally to Puerto Rico,  that pretty well summed up this Empathy Deficit Disorder based type of "economics".

Courtenay Smith ·  Top Commenter · Renton, Washington

The question here is where did the money go? Was this essentially the same Ponzi scheme the American financial institutions perpetrated at the end of the Bush Administration? Then banks used loans with no hope of repayment to generate bonds sold to investors assured of their value by a corrupt insurance group, except in this case it was the Greek treasury that was unsound?

It seems to me that some in the European community was colluding to create this disaster with no hope or thought of a positive result except for a small group that made off with the loot. It looks like someone was selling seats at a dinner table and when the dish was served the meal was found to be no more than well stirred mud.

 The similarity of what is happening in Greece and what is beginning to reoccur in America is unmistakable. The set may be a bit different but strangely the actors are the same. Financial Three Card Monte dealers.

You will notice that exactly the same solutions have been demanded by right wing politicians as were unsuccessfully demanded by the Republican'ts during our own Great Recession and that our right wing fiscal idiots are still pushing the same agenda with one new twist, crippling trade agreement that benefit no one but the corporate sector

From the article:

It is hard to avoid the sense that at work here is a plantation mentality. The overseers are dismayed that the serfs are not producing enough to repay their investments. Beatings are ordered; rations are cut. But the beatings and shortages lead only to less productivity, and less return on investment. So the overseers order more of the same. The beatings have failed. The beatings will continue. Greece’s agonies are Europe’s shame.

With a few word substitutions, it's just rinse and reDUMP on the poor of Puerto Rico for the benefit of the rich who are running this asset stripping scam both outside and inside Puerto Rico.

Of course, in Puerto Rico's case, the racist bigots will populate the comments in financial news with "reasonable, prudent, measured, etc." explanations for why this is happening in Puerto Rico...  ::)

If you don't believe me, just go to Yahoo or Zero Hedge.  :P (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on July 02, 2015, 07:33:30 pm
But the New Deal was bigger than just a collection of acts and agencies. What made it so important in the long run was that it created the preconditions for an American middle-class.

You, middle-classes are not "natural" in a deregulated capitalist economy. They have to be created, created with regulations, unions, and smart trade policy.

In its natural state, capitalism is a lot like feudalism. There is a small sliver of superrich who rule over everyone else, followed by a slightly larger class of middle-managers and professionals. The vast majority of people, though, fall into the category of working poor, and they're basically serfs who have no power whatsoever.

This is what American society looked like before FDR became president. But after FDR's time in office, American society was totally different.

Read more at link.

Bernie Sanders Could be the Next FDR
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on July 04, 2015, 08:00:09 pm
agelbert • 1 day 22 hours ago #4
This isn’t some radical socialist idea, either. It’s what guided American society from the 1930s until the 1980s. It’s what works. And as President, Bernie Sanders would make it our number one priority once again.

 Agreed. In fact, the Supreme Court FDR was saddled with was just like the one President Sanders would have to deal with. I would CERTAINLY be in favor of President Sanders PACKING THE PRESENT WORTHLESS, OLIGARCHY SUPPORTING, CORRUPT Supreme Court. With our vast increase in population in the last century, it would be a reasonable argument to claim we needed, for example, 31 Supreme Court justices, not nine.

Of course the crooks running our fossil fuel fascist government would scream bloody murder. SO WHAT? The argument is sound. And we should use it before THEY do.  ;D

- See more at:
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on July 14, 2015, 08:23:47 pm
To swell its profits, corporate capitalism plunders, represses and drives into bankruptcy individuals, cities, states and governments. It ultimately demolishes the structures and markets that make capitalism possible.

But this is of little consolation for those who endure its evil. By the time it slays itself it will have left untold human misery in its wake.

The corporate dismantling of civil society is nearly complete in Greece. It is far advanced in the United States. We, like the Greeks, are undergoing a political war waged by the world’s oligarchs. No one elected them. They ignore public opinion. And, as in Greece, if a government defies the international banking community it is targeted for execution. The banks do not play by the rules of democracy. 
Our politicians are corporate employees. And if you get dewy-eyed about the possibility of the U.S. having its first woman president, remember that it was Hillary Clinton’s husband who decimated manufacturing jobs with the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement and then went on to destroy welfare with the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, which halted federal cash aid programs and imposed time-limited, restrictive state block grants. Under President Bill Clinton, most welfare recipients—and 70 percent of those recipients were children—were dropped from the rolls.

The prison-industrial complex exploded in size as its private corporations swallowed up surplus, unemployed labor, making $40,000 or more a year from each person held in a cage. The population of federal and state prisons combined rose by 673,000 under Clinton. He, along with Ronald Reagan, set the foundations for the Greecification of the United States.

The economic and political ideology that convinced us that organized human behavior should be determined by the dictates of the global marketplace was a con game.

Corrupt governments, ignoring the common good and the consent of the governed, abetted this pillage. The fossil fuel industry was licensed to ravage the ecosystem, threatening the viability of the human species, while being handed lavish government subsidies. None of this makes sense.

We Are All Greeks Now

Posted on Jul 12, 2015 By Chris Hedges
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on July 20, 2015, 07:37:46 pm
Evidence of police dishonesty leads to overturned convictions nationwide

VTD Editor Jul. 19 2015, 6:53 pm



jason wells
July 20, 2015 at 8:37 am

And the beat goes on. Just a few days ago I was fighting a bogus traffic ticket in the St. Johnsbury court after the Officer realized he was on the loosing end out came the lies and excuses. Thankfully I had brought photographic evidence that proved he was lying. So damming were the photos that there were a few gasps and chuckles in the courtroom about his bogus testimony. But guess what? I was found guilty anyways by the “judge” whom I found out after was not really a judge but just a local attorney paid to act as a judge in traffic court.

Traffic tickets or murder cases it is all the same they almost always lie and no one holds them accountable.

robert bristow-johnson 
July 20, 2015 at 11:20 am

it may be considered less serious than lying cops, but lying DCF social workers also cause miscarriages of justice in Vermont courts. families are destroyed.

and they are not held accountable.

Rama Schneider 
July 20, 2015 at 2:59 pm

I’m still waiting for all the good police to start helping protect us from all the bad police.

Lengthy, accurate and revealing article at link.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on August 03, 2015, 06:24:28 pm
“Yes, We’re Corrupt”: A List of Politicians Admitting That Money Controls Politics

One of the most embarrassing aspects of U.S. politics is politicians who deny that money has any impact on what they do. For instance, Tom Corbett, Pennsylvania’s notoriously fracking-friendly former governor, got $1.7 million from oil and gas companies but assured voters that “The contributions don’t affect my decisions.”    ( If you’re trying to get people to vote for you, you can’t tell them that what they want doesn’t matter.

This pose is also popular with a certain prominent breed of pundits, who love to tell us “Don’t Follow the Money”  ( (New York Times columnist David Brooks), or “Money does not buy elections”  ( (Freakonomics co-author Stephen Dubner on public radio’s Marketplace), or “Money won’t buy you votes”  (Yale Law School professor Peter H. Schuck in the Los Angeles Times). (

Meanwhile, 85 percent of Americans say we need to either “completely rebuild” or make “fundamental changes” to the campaign finance system. Just 13 percent think “only minor changes are necessary,” less than the 18 percent of Americans who believe they’ve been in the presence of a ghost.

So we’ve decided that it would be useful to collect examples of actual politicians acknowledging the glaringly obvious reality. Here’s a start; I’m sure there must be many others, so if you have suggestions, please leave them in the comments or email me. I’d also love to speak directly to current or former politicians who have an opinion about it.

• “Now [the United States is] just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president. And the same thing applies to governors and U.S. senators and congressmembers. … So now we’ve just seen a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors …” — Jimmy Carter, former president, in 2015. (Thanks to Sam Sacks.)

• “You have to go where the money is. Now where the money is, there’s almost always implicitly some string attached. … It’s awful hard to take a whole lot of money from a group you know has a particular position then you conclude they’re wrong [and] vote no.” — Vice President Joe Biden in 2015.

LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 25: Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks during the Republican Jewish Coalition spring leadership meeting at The Venetian Las Vegas on April 25, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Republican Jewish Coalition's annual meeting featured potential Republican presidential candidates in attendance, along with Republican super donor Sheldon Adelson.

• “Lobbyists and career politicians today make up what I call the Washington Cartel. … [They] on a daily basis are conspiring against the American people. … [C]areer politicians’ ears and wallets are open to the highest bidder.” — Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in 2015.

• “When you start to connect the actual access to money, and the access involves law enforcement officials, you have clearly crossed a line. What is going on is shocking, terrible.” – James E. Tierney, former attorney general of Maine, in 2014.

• “Allowing people and corporate interest groups and others to spend an unlimited amount of unidentified money has enabled certain individuals to swing any and all elections, whether they are congressional, federal, local, state … Unfortunately and rarely are these people having goals which are in line with those of the general public. History well shows that there is a very selfish game that’s going on and that our government has largely been put up for sale.” – John Dingell, 29-term Democratic congressman from Michigan, in 2014 just before he retired.

• “When some think tank comes up with the legislation and tells you not to fool with it, why are you even a legislator anymore? You just sit there and take votes and you’re kind of a feudal serf for folks with a lot of money.” — Dale Schultz, 32-year Republican state legislator in Wisconsin and former state Senate Majority Leader, in 2013 before retiring rather than face a primary challenger backed by Americans for Prosperity.

• “The alliance of money and the interests that it represents, the access that it affords to those who have it at the expense of those who don’t, the agenda that it changes or sets by virtue of its power is steadily silencing the voice of the vast majority of Americans … The truth requires that we call the corrosion of money in politics what it is – it is a form of corruption and it muzzles more Americans than it empowers, and it is an imbalance that the world has taught us can only sow the seeds of unrest.” – Secretary of State John Kerry, in 2013 farewell speech to the Senate.

• “I think it is because of the corrupt paradigm that has become Washington, D.C., whereby votes continually are bought rather than representatives voting the will of their constituents. … That’s the voice that’s been missing at the table in Washington, D.C. — the people’s voice has been missing.” — Michele Bachmann, four-term Republican congresswoman from Minnesota and founder of the House Tea Party Caucus, in 2011.

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 14: Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) speaks to the media during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol April 14, 2015 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Both Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans spoke to the media after attending their weekly policy luncheons. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
 Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)

• “The banks — hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created — are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place.” – Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., in 2009.

• “There is no question in the world that money has control.” — Barry Goldwater, 1964 GOP Presidential nominee, just before retiring from the Senate in 1986.

• ”When these political action committees give money, they expect something in return other than good government. … Poor people don’t make political contributions. You might get a different result if there were a poor-PAC up here.” — Bob Dole, former Republican Senate Majority Leader and 1996 GOP Presidential nominee, in 1983.

• “Money is the mother’s milk of politics.” — Jesse Unruh, Speaker of the California Assembly in the 1960s and California State Treasurer in the 1970s and 80s.

• “There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money and I can’t remember what the second one is.” — Mark Hanna, William McKinley’s 1896 presidential campaign manager and later senator from Ohio, in 1895.

Again, please leave other good examples in the comments or email them to me at any time — I’ll keep updating this indefinitely. I’m looking specifically for working politicians (rather than pundits or activists) who describe a tight linkage between money and political outcomes (as opposed to something vaguer).

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on August 12, 2015, 04:03:27 pm
At least one concerned citizen thought so, and said so, in writing, before it happened. (

Make no mistake. This spill is a disaster, no matter what. But if EPA malfeasance is involved, this will hurt the environmentalism movement, and the credibility of the government bureaucracy dedicated to preventing and  managing environmental problems will be completely undermined.

Talk about a turd sandwich.

I totally disagree. The EPA already has a track record, going back to Reagan, when he named an ENEMY of environmental protection to head that agency, of looking the other way on behalf of big money polluters like mining, fracking and fossil fuels.

The EPA needs to be cleaned up. They are full of pro-dirty energy foxes in the environmental protection hen house. Don't tell me you didn't watch Gasland. It was all laid out BY a former EPA scientist.

But even that wasn't enough for the dirty energy bastards; they had to castrate the little oversight power that the EPA had:

For this we can thank the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the law that holds the Halliburton Loophole. Named after Dick Cheney and the notorious corporation he led before becoming vice president, the law (championed by Cheney and disgraced Enron founder Kenneth Lay, among others) explicitly exempted fracking operations from key provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act.   These exemptions from one of America’s most fundamental environmental protection laws provided the oil and gas industry the immunity it required to develop a highly polluting process on a grand national scale. 

One of the most troubling repercussions is how fracking companies hide the contents of their toxic water and chemical solutions pumped into the ground. Contamination of underground drinking water sources from fracking fluids is a glaring threat to public health and safety. Yet even doctors responding to fracking-related health complaints can’t access data on what particular chemicals their patients may have been exposed to.

But the Halliburton Loophole wasn’t the only fracking enabler in the Energy Policy Act. The act granted the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) sweeping new authority to supersede state and local decision-making with regard to the citing of fracked gas pipelines and infrastructure. It also shifted to FERC industry oversight and compliance responsibility for the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, another key law. This was akin to putting the fox in charge of the hen house.

As it stands, FERC is entirely unaccountable to public will. It is unaccountable to Congress and even the White House. Commissioners are appointed to five-year terms and can do as they please. Until a law reigning in FERC is passed, the commission will continue to act as a rubber-stamp for the fossil fuel industry.

Additionally, the Energy Policy Act repealed an important anti-monopoly law, the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 (PUHCA). PUHCA safeguarded consumers from the overreach of the oil and gas industry and banks that did business with those companies. It prevented the formation of giant state and regional energy cartels that could manipulate energy costs, engage in profiteering and exert undue influence over political debate. The Energy Policy Act transferred most of this oversight to FERC. Since then, the largest American energy companies have grown significantly more powerful and spent almost a billion dollars on federal lobbying, according to

EPA CASTRATION, as well as malfeasance, is PAR FOR THE fossil fuel fascist COURSE, Eddie! It's been like that since Reagan! It was given STEROIDS with Cheney! Wake up!

The Fossil Fuel Industry has given us Degraded Democracy and Profit over Planet Pollution
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on August 15, 2015, 03:58:12 pm
A bit of Profit over People and Planet History to clue you in on how we got to the polluting crooks here ( from polluter defending crooks there  (

In July of 1983, we were fully two years into the Reagan era, and had yet to begin the o rgy of privatization and demonization of government that has become the norm 30 years hence.

One of the articles featured a look at what really happened at the EPA. It recounts how fully 2 years into the Reagan Administration, the foxes were hired to guard the chicken coop. A supporter of the so-called ”Sagebrush Rebellion,” in which ranchers were pitted against the federal Bureau of Land Management, who wished to restrict or limit their God-given right to use public lands to graze their cattle. Reagan would place industry types in charge of the agencies charged with regulating the environment.

Vile names from the past pop up as villains in the set piece: Joseph Coors, a rabid anti-environmentalist, supported the goals of the Sagebrush rebellion and brought many of his followers and acolytes along for the ride. James Watt was named interior secretary. Robert Burford, a leader of the Sagebrush rebellion, was appointed director of the Bureau of land management, the agency that the rebellion was engaged with in many pitched battles. The notorious Anne Gorsuch, whose legacy of abuse was such that she became the first agency head to be cited for contempt of Congress, was made head of EPA. These Reaganauts eviscerated the regulatory oversight that their respective agencies were to have provided, with predictable results. As we look back over the span of 30 years, and wonder how did we become so cynical, if it is easy to trace how the popular vision of government as a champion for the aims and desires of ordinary people was transformed into that of an oppressor of those aims, and a waste of money besides.

What is remarkable about this article is, from a remove of 30 years, how naïve it seems. The author traces how budgets were cut, how regulations were upended, and the very mission of regulatory agencies themselves tainted. In Reagan’s wanton destruction, we see the beginnings of the “oppressive government regulations” meme so prevalent today.

Reader’s Digest Time Machine By Surly (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on August 18, 2015, 02:22:32 pm
Mon Aug 17, 2015 at 12:52 PM EDT.

Bernie Calls out the Press, Crowd Loves It


After his rally which 2000 ppl attended in Dubuque, Iowa he took questions from reporters.

The first questions was a typical question asking him to in some way attack Hillary, Bernie's response was priceless and he kept right on calling out the media's willful twisting of perceptions the whole time.

VIDEO:   (  (  (

 I will transcribe/paraphrase some of it below.

Question: Um in your speech tonight you said you will not criticize or attack Hillary, but you did draw some implicit contrasts when you said you don't take money from Superpacs or didn't vote for the Iraq war..

Bernie interrupts: "What I said was that the corporate media talks about all kinds of issues except the most important issues. Time after time I am asked to criticize Hillary Clinton. That's the sport that you guys like. The reason this campaign is doing well is that we are talking about the issues that impact the American people..." He talked about his platform for a bit from here, stating that he and her have differences of opinions and that he respects her. Here is the part where people started cheering

"The issue that I want to be talking about is the collapse of the middle class. Are you guys going to write about that?" (People cheered!) The need to create millions of jobs, the obscenity of wealth inequality (snip) So I am not going to get into the game of sitting around attacking Hillary Clinton..."

At the end of the interview he discuss the debates again,
"They (us the American people) are tired of the media which wants to have gotcha questions and create conflict between the candidates, rather than talking about the real issues impacting the American people. The American people are saying enough is enough!....(snip)The American people want us to address those issues, they do not want us to be attacking each other, they want us to focus and have a real debate and I intend to give it to them!" Cheers, clapping, "We Love you Bern" shouted out. (

There's a lot more in the interview but those were the points that I wanted to address. Bernie is doing well because he calls it like it is, he calls out the Koch brothers, the billionaires and he does it by name. There is no give in his stance and most of us Bernie supporters love the fact that he is just as pis sed off about the corruption in this country as we are.  ( So the more of this we see and share it on our social media, the more and more people will be attracted to him because he is tapping into that sense of revulsion at the government that we have all felt for years.

This is why his numbers are rising, this is why he pulls huge crowds. He speaks what we have been dying to hear from someone in Washington for years, just like Warren does. Truth, simple, unvarnished truth.  (  (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on August 23, 2015, 04:43:41 pm
( In the interest of logic and common sense, I humbly submit this bit of graphical education for those who aren't sure of what Mr. Trump and friends are all about:

Brought to you by Libertarians for Trump

Reality difficulties for Trump supporters   (

Gradual Public Realization of Trump and friends' business model for American prosperity.    (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on September 27, 2015, 02:59:28 am

Mission impossible.  (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on September 29, 2015, 02:48:55 pm
Impoverished Vermonters struggle in face of stagnant wages, opportunities

September 28, 2015 by Brattleboro Reformer
Editor’s note: This article is by Chris Mays, of the Brattleboro Reformer, in which it was first published Sept. 23, 2015.

BRATTLEBORO — Local survey data paired with new census reports say many Windham and Windsor county residents, like many Americans, are falling behind economically.

“We are identifying the needs as well as the existing services and the service gaps,” said Steve Geller, executive director of Southeastern Vermont Community Action. “We look at demographics, poverty and other kinds of information that give us a snapshot of what kinds of issues and hardships people may be facing. And census data is a big part of that.”

Data from the Current Population Survey was released Sept. 16, showing indicators of income, poverty, health insurance and more. A day later, the American Community Survey’s data was released. Featuring a larger sample size, the latter is used for state-by-state comparisons.

According to David Cooper, senior economic analyst at the Economic Policy Institute, the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual income and poverty data shows essentially no change in the economic state of low and middle income households from 2013 to 2014. While the economy is improving, the same proportion of Americans are reportedly struggling to make ends meet. A family of four earning roughly $24,000 or less a year is considered to be living below the poverty line.

Cooper said this marks the second year in a row that the Census Bureau’s statistics have shown one in seven American families, approximately 47 million people, have incomes too low to meet the government’s official threshold for basic subsistence.

For the last 10 years, Southeastern Vermont Community Action, or SEVCA, a group aimed at helping families in poverty create self-sustainability and eliminating poverty, used 5-year plans for its strategic planning process. The organization recently decided to switch to 3-year plans. As part of those efforts, they conduct a community assessment of its service areas in Windham and Windsor counties.

The group gave out surveys to participants in its services and asked other community organizations to complete and distribute them to their clients.

Over 350 lower-income residents responded. While the survey is “not necessarily representative of the low-income population as a whole,” SEVCA stated, the input does offer insights.

The organization is used to seeing troubling trends when it comes to lack of affordable housing and housing stability.

“Our participant survey reinforces that very strongly with the 86 percent responding saying it’s very hard to find affordable safe housing. Sixty-eight percent have trouble paying rent or mortgages,” said Geller, noting 40 percent reported being behind in paying their mortgages.

Forty-six percent strongly agreed they had to work more than 40 hours per week just to pay bills, with 40 percent feeling strongly that most of the jobs they can get do not pay well. Geller said over 75 percent of the participants said there were not enough jobs available given their circumstances.

“We’re seeing other kinds of needs that crop up very regularly,” he said. “The lack of transportation for employment purposes and other reasons such as medical appointments.”

Geller also noted local residents’ lack of ability to develop personal assets and build savings. Sixty-five to 70 percent of participants said their income is not enough to meet their needs. Many cannot get credit or have ruined their credit.

Now that the Affordable Care Act has provided some relief around primary health care, said Geller, access to and costs of dental care remain a big issue.

The poverty line was estimated to be at 12.2 percent for all people in Vermont during 2014, according to the American Community Survey, while the United States average was believed to be at 15.4 percent.

“It appeared to be going down slightly over the last couple of years,” said Geller, noting both percentages were high and have remained somewhat stagnant. “But certainly the fact of the recession of 2008 and on tended to push that rate back up again, where it had been going back down previously.”

While county-level data, coming out in another month or so, is expected to give a better sense of the local situation, Geller said SEVCA thinks the area has seen changes for the worst since the recession. And Tropical Storm Irene did not make matters any better.

“Although some people have improved their circumstances since the worst part of the recession, others are still suffering from it and haven’t really turned their lives around,” Geller said.

“This area was one of the worst hit in the state (from Irene). There were pockets that were very badly hit and very badly impacted. Our two counties probably suffered the worst of any counties during Irene.”

SEVCA has seen a large percentage of local workers’ incomes go down or remain the same over many years. Cooper reported that from 1979 until 2013, U.S. per capita gross domestic product grew 73 percent while labor productivity rose 62 percent. But the bottom 90 percent of wage earners saw their total annual pay rise by only 15 percent. Those gains, Cooper said, were largely the result of households putting in more hours at work. They were not being paid more per hour.

The “working poor” are keeping two to three jobs but cannot keep pace with the cost of living.
This is a fundamental problem for the entire economy and society, said Geller, who, like Cooper, advocates for increasing the minimum wage to create livable wages.

“That’s a problem we really have to address head-on as a society,” Geller said.
“The old cliche of ‘only if people were willing to work, the problem of poverty can be solved,’ we see that is not the case.
There is a large percentage of people working a fairly large number of hours and a good part of the year who are not getting ahead or getting themselves out of poverty.”

Cooper said the lowest paid 20 percent of workers in America were paid less per hour in 2013 than they were in 1979. The numbers were adjusted for inflation. He concludes that the labor market no longer adequately rewards work and says the U.S. needs to prioritize broad-based wage growth.

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the average wage a renter in Vermont earns is only $11.78 while the average cost to rent a two-bedroom apartment in the state would require them to earn $20.60. The standard applied nationally in Section 8 housing guidelines says someone should pay no more than 30 percent of their income for their housing.

“That just shows how basic needs are out of reach,”
SEVCA’s Director of Planning and Development Becky Himlin said.

Vermont has the third-largest gap between two-bedroom housing and renter wages in the nation.  ( Only Hawaii and Maryland see bigger gaps. Behind Vermont is New Jersey, seeing an $8.24 gap.

“I think it’s just the shortage of affordable housing and the income gap of people who aren’t making essentially a livable wage,” Geller said.
“People are locked out of certain parts of southeastern Vermont because they can’t afford to live there and sometimes that’s where the higher paying jobs are. It’s a real Catch-22.”
SEVCA provides assistance to residents experiencing difficulties paying rent or purchasing heating oil. Through various programs, the organization tries to promote long-term stability for those it serves. Services also include assistance with starting a new businesses or developing business plans.

Last year, SEVCA assisted 13,157 individuals in 5,713 households. The data comes from the fiscal year, Oct. 1, 2014 to Sept. 30, 2014.

At this point, Geller does not anticipate that number decreasing.

“In the past, we have seen ups and downs. But it’s been going up in the past few years,” he said.

Besides the economy, Geller points to the state’s rules on eligibility     ( and how much a person can receive through various programs. While the number of eligible  ;) individuals drops, his group sees many people’s “depth of poverty” increasing and more households reaching out for help.

“We look forward to working with the state of Vermont and local communities to get the resources to do more,” said Geller. “The challenge is this is all happening at a time when states are struggling to meet their budgets.”

SEVCA will soon be sending out concerns regarding budgeting for its programs, Geller said. A lot of its programming has not seen cuts in recent years.

“But they were level-funded for as many as nine years,” said Geller. “When you level-fund programs and costs continue to go up, the same amount of dollars year after year ends up being a cut because the state is not cutting the requirements for the programs. They’re just cutting the amount of dollars to carry it out.”

Geller’s group also worries about the “very strong possibility” that the sequestration process could restart again as many of the cuts have come at the federal level. ( ( Current spending laws are set to expire Oct. 1. Cuts could come to programs SEVCA operates, which address fuel, weatherization and Head Start, food stamps.   ( (

Agelbert NOTE: Some Vermonters add clarity to the SITUATION we find ourselves in.


Peter Burmeister 

September 28, 2015 at 6:59 pm

What this article fails to understand is that the essence of the Vermont economy is agriculture, not white collar jobs. While numerous Vermonters lament the lack of lucrative employment, young people from other states and even other countries are flocking to Vermont to grow wholesome food that bolsters the locavore movement that is a powerful force in this state. So we need to re-examine the expectations of Vermonters. You can live like a Vermonter, by participating in the agricultural economy as so many former out-of-staters are doing, with enthusiasm, or you can complain about the so-called “lack of opportunity.” If that is going to be your m.o., then it’s certainly time to consider moving elsewhere.

Janice Prindle 

September 29, 2015 at 8:49 am

Sounds like you are talking about another century. The essence of Vermont’s economy, if by essence we mean real income and not public image, is tourism. More low paying jobs for the most part. While growing our localvore and niche farming sector is something I applaud, the reality is that Vermont needs a more diversified economy. We need more “green” jobs in research and information technology.

BUT that said, what you seem to “fail to understand” is that our economy is part of what’s happened to our national economy. People who have been living here all along, regardless of what work they are doing, are not seeing growth in wages, or are losing their jobs as corporations like GMC-Keurig chase the tax loopholes by moving operations overseas. Moving will not help: there are fewer jobs with living wages everywhere in this country. And telling a longtime or native Vermonter, or anyone who is struggling, that the problem is their “expectations” and they should either become a farm worker (not enough jobs there anyway, and unless you are young, not enough money) or move (which costs money, of course) seems to me to lack compassion or practical thinking.

Jan van Eck 

September 28, 2015 at 8:04 pm

Mr. Geller’s efforts to alleviate poverty in Windham County will fail, unfortunately, and the $10 million that Entergy Corp. donated   ( to bootstrap prosperity  ;) will all get frittered away. The failure will come from internal incompetence of certain “managers” that are, ironically, paid a salary to run these development programs.

The other reason that the “development programs” will fail is more subtle; there are entrenched interests in that County that are perfectly happy to see things continue as they are, as a depressed economy means that those with means and money can live handsomely. A well-paid Executive or Director or banker can do nicely with a large supply of cheap, and docile, labor. He can have himself a personal valet, a full-time cook, a maid or maids, a groundskeeper – labor is cheap when workers have no alternatives. And that labor pool is docile and subservient, never asking for a raise – they consider themselves so fortunate to have any miserable job, no matter how lousy, no matter how poorly paid. Mr. Rich gets to live like the Baron of the Chateau, on the backs of the poor. Life is extra grand for him.  (

These powerful people in Windham County, who profit from classical depression economics, make sure that the “directors” of their “development corporations” are incompetent; the last thing they want is actual development showing up, with competition for their servant staff. The result is that the County will remain exactly as it is: poor. Not a very pleasant prospect for the poor people, of course, but hey, with that crowd, they don’t much count.  (

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on September 29, 2015, 07:34:22 pm
Hat Tip to Surly. 8)

You'll recall the story that moved earlier this year about the woman in Florida who was obliged to hook up to the grid. Another example of corporations using the state as enforcement for protecting its cartel.

Regulated out of Existence: Off-Gridders Forced back on the Grid, Camping on own land Illegal

Filed under Off the Grid, Police State, Sustainable Living Blog   

Posted by: Robert Richardson,5649.msg86596.html#msg86596

Great post! If mankind survives, it will because of people like that responsible, good man in the above video above.

The story underscores the importance of confronting the Libertarian BALONEY that it's the "big government regulations" that is hurting the poor widdle businesses out there trying to "compete".

STAYING ALIVE is the BUSINESS of every member of the biosphere. Corporate ass holes have corrupted good government to unfairly force people to accept the monopolistic and parasitical ANTI-competitive crap hurting the BUSINESS of everyday living.

After people are undemocratically herded to be fleeced with gamed regulations, the corporations then claim their "product" is profitable because, uh, they competed with everybody on a "level playing field". (

But you can expect the prevaricators that have corrupted our language, economics and tax structure to claim that it's A-fu c king okay for some ass hole that used to own a cable channel to buy a bunch of land to raise buffalo on and deduct all the expenses from his taxes because he "runs a business", but the guy out in the boonies going off grid, raising his own animals and planting his own crops trying to make ends meet cannot do the same because he isn't, uh "running a business".

A rich fu ck (see Bush's ranch) can put a geothermal set up on his land so his power bill is so low as to be irrelevant but an off gridder is "violating regulations" by generating all his own power. The duplicity just never ends.  (

Ah, the pliability of the English language.  :P

I think we should give the BUSINESS to anyone who wants to make artificial divisions between the BUSINESS of living and running a profit over people and planet BUSINESS.

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on October 03, 2015, 01:42:18 am


Published on Sep 12, 2015

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges joins us for an evening in Toronto to speak about "The Great Unraveling."

Revolutions come in waves and cycles. We are again riding the crest of a revolutionary epic, much like 1848 or 1917, from the Arab Spring to movements against austerity in Greece to the Occupy Movement.

In his newest book, Wages of Rebellion, Chris Hedges investigates what social and psychological factors cause revolution, rebellion, and resistance. Drawing on an ambitious overview of prominent philosophers, historians and literary figures, he shows not only the harbingers of a coming crisis but also the nascent seeds of rebellion.

Hedges’ message is clear: popular uprisings in the United States and around the world are inevitable in the face of mounting environmental destruction and grotesque wealth polarization.

Recorded in Toronto, 3 September 2015.

Part 2:
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 04, 2015, 06:46:26 pm
VIDEO: Chris Hedges and Ralph Nader on Corporate Control, Faux Liberals and Hillary Clinton

Posted on Nov 3, 2015

In the first half of a two-part interview with Ralph Nader on TeleSUR, “Days of Revolt” host Chris Hedges and the iconic consumer advocate discuss the advancement of corporate control in the U.S. political system, the rise of faux liberals and what to expect from Hillary Clinton.

Nader, whose latest books include “Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State” and “Return to Sender: Unanswered Letters to the President, 2001-2015,” explains that once Democrats realized they could raise money through the corporate world just like Republicans, they carved out tax loopholes for big business in exchange for cash contributions.

“And that’s when the Democratic party started going off the cliff,” Nader says, adding that since the early 1970s—with few exceptions—there hasn’t been a single major piece of legislation that advances the health, safety and economic rights of the American people.

“That’s the effect of money in politics,” he explains. “That’s the effect of a totally subservient strategy by the liberals.”

And what effect did that money have on citizens’ groups? Hedges asks.

“They began working harder and harder for less and less every day,” Nader explains, saying that liberal groups lowered their horizons, became defensively tactical and ceased to put forth an aggressive agenda.

“And once you are on the defensive in politics, you are on the defensive,” Nader says. “It’s almost impossible to recover. It’s like you’re on your heels, heels, heels.”

Nader also tackles the idea of faux liberals like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, who smile while undermining the fundamental rights of Americans.

“All you gotta do in politics is say the right thing, even though your whole record is contrary, and you’re on your way,” Nader says, including Hillary Clinton.

She uses “the same approach,” Nader says. “It’s saying what you didn’t do. And this should come out in the next year.”

To find out what Nader thinks will happen next in American politics, watch the full video below:  (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 06, 2015, 12:46:35 pm
Come one, come all, and watch the nuclear CROOKS and LIARS do their larcenous, irresponsible, welfare queen THING  ( now that their SUBSIDIZED radioactive white elephants are being shut down.

Entergy juggling shutdowns at multiple nuclear plants

Nov. 5, 2015, 5:41 pm by Mike Faher

VERNON – The recent news of yet another pending nuclear-plant closure means that, within the next several years, Entergy will be juggling three complicated, expensive decommissioning projects in New England and New York.

Company administrators and federal officials say the coming shutdowns of FitzPatrick Nuclear in New York and Pilgrim Nuclear in Massachusetts won’t delay or otherwise negatively affect decommissioning work at Vermont Yankee, as each plant has separate and substantial decommissioning trust funds.

In fact, federal records show that the trust funds at FitzPatrick and Pilgrim are considerably larger than Vermont Yankee’s.

But those assurances haven’t prevented some in Vermont from wondering about Entergy’s nuclear commitments and the adequacy of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s oversight of decommissioning spending.

Closures  (
Vermont Yankee
 Location: Vernon
 Year opened: 1972
 Entergy purchased: 2002
 Shutdown: 2014
 Power output: 605 megawatts
 Employment: About 300; about 550 prior to shutdown
 Decommissioning trust fund: $664.56 million

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station

 Location: Plymouth, Mass.
 Year opened: 1972
 Entergy purchased: 1999
 Shutdown: No later than 2019
 Power output: 688 megawatts
 Employment: 650
 Decommissioning trust fund: $896.42 million

James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant
 Location: Scriba, N.Y.
 Year opened: 1975
 Entergy purchased: 2000
 Shutdown: Late 2016 or early 2017
 Power output: 838 megawatts
 Employment: 615
 Decommissioning trust fund: $738.34 million

Note: Decommissioning trust fund amounts come from the latest NRC reports filed in March.

“I worry that Entergy and the NRC are operating under assumptions that perhaps make the decommissioning trust numbers work in favor of a desirable answer. I hope I’m wrong,” said Chris Campany, executive director of the Windham Regional Commission.

In 2013, Entergy announced plans to shut Vermont Yankee, and the Vernon plant ceased producing power at the end of 2014. Over the past several weeks, Entergy has followed with two more regional closure announcements: Pilgrim, located in Plymouth, Massachusetts, will shut down by 2019; and FitzPatrick, in Scriba, New York, is going offline in late 2016 or early 2017.

Common to each closure were Entergy’s concerns about high operational costs and the inability to effectively compete with low natural gas prices. There also were governmental issues: In Vermont, the company had engaged in a years-long regulatory battle with state officials who pushed for Yankee’s closure (; and in Massachusetts, Entergy administrators complained that Pilgrim’s “economic performance is also undermined by unfavorable state energy proposals that subsidize renewable energy resources at the expense of Pilgrim and other plants.”

Decommissioning fund

Taken together, the three plants represent more than 2,100 megawatts of power output; more than 1,500 employees; and 125 combined years of operation. But there is another important number: The facilities’ combined decommissioning trust funds surpass $2.3 billion.

The latest trust fund reports submitted to the NRC in March show that Pilgrim ($896.42 million) and FitzPatrick ($738.34 million) have substantially more decommissioning money banked than Yankee. The VY trust fund is listed at $664.56 million in the NRC report, but that number is inflated as Entergy has been withdrawing cash throughout 2015 and recently submitted a request for another $6.6 million withdrawal to cover October’s decommissioning expenses.

Vermont officials have been battling some of Entergy’s proposed uses for Yankee’s decommissioning trust fund, including property tax payments and long-term spent fuel management. But the company’s chief critic, state Public Service Department Commissioner Chris Recchia, said he is not concerned that Entergy’s Pilgrim and FitzPatrick commitments impacting VY decommissioning.

Recchia also has pointed to funding and decommissioning assurances in a 2013 shutdown settlement agreement between Vermont and Entergy. “One thing that I’m sure about is that the agreement that we reached with Entergy will be honored regardless of what’s happening (elsewhere),” he said in a recent interview.

The NRC is offering its own assurances. In late September, Bill Dean, director of the agency’s Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, issued a brief report saying that the latest reports from around the country show that “101 of the 104 operating power reactors have demonstrated decommissioning funding assurance.” The owner of three Illinois reactors self-reported trust-fund shortfalls and is expected to correct those “in a timely manner,” Dean wrote.

NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan pointed out that there is no commingling of Vermont Yankee’s trust fund with trust funds at other plants or with other Entergy holdings.

“Each plant has its own decommissioning trust fund, and that money is walled off from use at any other facility,” Sheehan said. “What’s more, permanently shutdown plants must submit updates on the status of the decommissioning funds to the NRC each year.”

What’s not covered by the funds

But there’s a wrinkle in the NRC’s evaluation system for decommissioning funding: The agency doesn’t take into account all of the money a plant owner will need to clean up a site. A recent NRC report authored by Dean notes that the NRC defines decommissioning as safely taking a plant out of service and reducing residual radioactivity to allow for NRC license termination and some form of site reuse.

“The costs of spent fuel management, site restoration and other costs not related to decommissioning are not included in the financial assurance for decommissioning for nuclear reactors,” Dean wrote.

The discrepancy between the NRC’s “minimum financial assurance” standard and the actual costs of decommissioning is clear at Vermont Yankee: The agency’s minimum financial assurance for VY is $817.22 million, while Entergy has said it will cost more than $1.2 billion to decommission the site.

From Windham Regional’s Brattleboro office, Campany has expressed concerns about the adequacy of Entergy’s decommissioning and spent-fuel plans for Vermont Yankee. He pointed out that the U.S. Government Accountability Office in 2012 found that “the NRC’s formula may not reliably estimate adequate decommissioning costs.”

“Given the number of plants that have closed recently and likely will be closing, it would seem that now would be a good time for the (Government Accountability Office) to revisit their study and the basis for the NRC’s determination of decommissioning trust adequacy,” Campany wrote in an email response to questions from

“The GAO might also look at the Post Shutdown Decommissioning Activity Reports filed by the closing plants,” Campany added. "Do they provide an adequate and accurate picture of the decommissioning and associated costs?"  (

In response, Sheehan ( reached back to the NRC’s rebuttal to that 2012 GAO report: The agency said its decommissioning funding formula is just one facet of a trust-fund regulatory system that includes “annual adjustments and accounting for site-specific costs.”  (

“Licensees must perform several steps which, when considered as a whole, provide reasonable assurance that funds will be available when needed,” the agency’s statement said. “Based on experience, the regulatory system has been adequate to ensure that power reactor licensees obtain funds when needed for decommissioning.”


Sheehan also noted that the commission is working to revamp its nuclear-decommissioning rules, which have come under heavy criticism after Vermont Yankee’s shutdown.  (

“The NRC has begun the process of developing new regulations in the area of decommissioning,” Sheehan said.

 “However, those new rules are not expected to be finished for several years.”  ;)  ::)

NRC regulations aside, Recchia had one other takeaway from Entergy’s recent decisions to shutter three nuclear plants in the region.

“The closure announcements are interesting taken collectively,” Recchia said. “If nuclear is not economically competitive in New England, where electricity prices are high and where gas is constrained, where can it be profitable?”  ;D

When announcing FitzPatrick’s pending shutdown, Entergy administrators said they remain “committed overall to nuclear power” because it is “carbon-free (, reliable power  that is cost-effective over the long term.  ( (

In addition to Pilgrim and FitzPatrick, Entergy still operates six other nuclear plants: Indian Point in Buchanan, New York; Palisades in Covert, Michigan; Arkansas Nuclear One in Russellville, Arkansas; Grand Gulf in Port Gibson, Mississippi; River Bend in St. Francisville, Louisiana.; and Waterford 3 in Taft, Louisiana.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 12, 2015, 01:02:06 am

VIDEO: Chris Hedges and Ralph Nader on the Complicity of Bernie Sanders

Posted on Nov 10, 2015
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 26, 2015, 05:20:40 pm

Puerto Rican flag

   ( TRANSCRIPT on what REALLY is going on in Puerto Rico, a corporate goldmine, not a welfare case, WHY, and WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT.   (

Video of the following is at link:

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Could Puerto Rico become America’s Greece? That’s a question many are asking as the island is facing a devastating financial crisis and a rapidly crumbling healthcare system. Puerto Rico owes $72 billion in debt. $355 million in debt payments are due on December 1st, but it increasingly looks like the U.S. territory could default on at least some of that debt. Congress has so far failed to act on an Obama administration proposal that includes extending bankruptcy protection to Puerto Rico and more equitable Medicaid and Medicare funding for the island. Meanwhile, Puerto Rican leaders in the United States are planning a massive lobbying day in Washington in early December to spur congressional action.

Well, we turn now to a major address by Democracy Now!'s co-host Juan González. Juan is also a longtime columnist for the New York Daily News and the 2015 Andrés Bello chair in Latin American cultures and civilizations at New York University. He was just inducted this month into New York's Journalism Hall of Fame along with, among others, PBS’s Charlie Rose, Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes and Max Frankel of The New York Times. Juan is the author of several books, including Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America. Juan González spoke at New York University, his address titled "Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis: Economic Collapse in America’s Biggest Colony and What Can Be Done About It." He gave the speech the day before the Obama administration finally unveiled its first proposal to Congress to aid the island.


JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Tonight I will explore a subject that has been much in the news of late: the economic collapse and debt crisis that are currently convulsing the commonwealth of Puerto Rico. What do these twin catastrophes mean for the 3.5 million U.S. citizens who live on the island of Puerto Rico and for the general population right here in the United States? What should and can be done about it by political leaders in San Juan and Washington, given the toxic political divisions and gridlock in the government branches of both capitals? Needless to say, this is a complex topic, one that requires hard work to fully understand.

I’ve been studying closely for more than 40 years the relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States as a journalist, as a researcher and chronicler of Latino history, as a longtime activist in the Puerto Rican communities of the United States and as someone who was born on that incredibly beautiful Caribbean island, who still has family ties there and who cares deeply about what happens to my homeland. And while I’ve written several columns this year in the Daily News and co-hosted some segments on Democracy Now! on the situation, a few hundred words in a newspaper article or a few minutes of a broadcast interview is woefully insufficient to express the magnitude of what is happening.

Don’t be misled by the one-dimensional reporting in the commercial media or even the business press. The fact is, as pointed out by several radical commentators, like Linda Backiel in Monthly Review, Ed Morales in The Nation and [Rafael] Bernabe, the former gubernatorial candidate of the small left-wing Puerto Rico workers’ party, Puerto Rico is now beset by two distinct, but closely intertwined, crises. One is fundamental stagnation of its economy, that has persisted for decades and is a direct result of its being a colony of the United States. The other is an immediate budgetary debt crisis that has been gathering steam for the past 10 years.

These two calamities have now combined to create a humanitarian catastrophe, one that is unraveling far more rapidly than most of us realize. Governor Alejandro García Padilla warned recently that his government will run out of cash by the end of November. At that point, there will be no money left in the Puerto Rican treasury to meet $354 million in debt payments that are due on December 1. This fiscal year alone, the government of Puerto Rico is staring at a $3.2 billion deficit—about 16 percent of its entire expenditures. After paying all of its operating costs, the central government projects it will have just $900 million available for $4.1 billion in debt service that comes due this year. In other words, only weeks remain to stave off a default that could reverberate throughout all of the U.S. municipal bond market.

How did this happen? The average American only became aware of this crisis in June, though Wall Street financial experts have known for years that the day of reckoning was coming. Still, corporate America was stunned when Governor García Padilla announced in a New York Times interview on June 29th and in a televised address to the people of Puerto Rico that same evening that the annual debt service on more than $72 billion in bonds that Puerto Rico and its various authorities and cities had issued over the past few decades is, quote, "no longer payable." He thus publicly acknowledged his government was on the verge of the biggest debt default and bankruptcy in the history of American municipal bonds, far bigger than what happened in Orange County decades ago or in Detroit more recently.

In the four months since Governor Padilla’s announcement, Puerto Rico has received more attention in the U.S. media and among Washington politicians than at any time in the island’s modern history. The almost daily coverage has surpassed even the last media juggernaut some 15 years ago, when massive civil disobedience protests forced the end of the U.S. Navy’s bombing practice on the island of Vieques. It should be noted, though, that Donald Trump’s verbal insults to Mexico and Mexican immigrants garnered far more attention from the press this summer than tiny Puerto Rico’s economic death spiral. So much for sound bites. It is tragic but almost routine these days, but it takes a crisis to get the American people to focus their gaze on the plight of 3.5 million of their fellow citizens, to stop viewing Puerto Rico simply through the same tired, stereotypical lens of either sun-drenched tourist destination or economic dependency and welfare basket case.

But even in the face of such a dire situation, our political leaders in Washington have done nothing about it. The Obama administration keeps talking about technical assistance to Puerto Rico, has rejected any talk of a financial bailout, and has basically done nothing to this point. Congress has even been even more cavalier, with the Republican leadership refusing to amend federal bankruptcy laws to allow Puerto Rico similar protections to restructure its debts as other states have.

We must not lose sight of a single fact, however. This crisis offers the best opportunity in decades to finally get Congress and the American people to address the question of what to do about Puerto Rico, not just in the next few months, but to resolve once and for all the issue of the island’s status. Puerto Rico is, after all, the largest overseas territory still under the sovereign control of the United States. It is the most important colonial possession in this nation’s history. I want to repeat that: Puerto Rico is the most important colony in the history of the United States.

Humane and just solutions to the current crisis will not come easily. Last week, for example, Puerto Rican leaders in the U.S. held an emergency summit in Florida to ramp up pressure on Congress and the president to provide some sort of help. Representatives Nydia Velázquez of New York and Luis Gutiérrez of Chicago spearheaded the unprecedented meeting which took place in Orlando just this past Wednesday. But the organizers of that event made an unnecessary mistake by failing to fully include supporters of Puerto Rican statehood in their event and by insisting that only the immediate problems of the island’s debt be addressed, not the long-term issue of Puerto Rico’s political status.

Well, you simply cannot devise satisfactory solutions to a major economic or social problem without having a firm understanding of how that problem came to be. Of course, concrete and immediate action is what Puerto Rico needs, and no one in his or her right mind believes that the status issue will be resolved anytime soon—certainly not in the next few months, nor in the next few years, possibly not for decades more. But to ignore how colonialism has shaped the current crisis is a gross distortion of reality and damages efforts to devise any fundamental solutions.

For those of us searching for ways to assist the vast majority of those affected by this crisis—the 99 percent of Puerto Ricans as opposed to the 1 percent of the island’s elite, who are tied to the interests of American banks and multinationals—it isn’t sufficient to simply cry colonialism or to insist that nothing can be done until the status issue is resolved. Both extremes need to be discarded. We need to dig deep, to analyze how U.S. domination of Puerto Rico has evolved over the past 20 to 30 years, how changes in the world capitalist economy have been manifested in our own homeland. It is time we acknowledge that globalization has rendered historic concepts of national independence almost meaningless. You no longer need foreign armies to control the population, when you can read everyone’s mail, tap everyone’s phone, empty a country’s coffers and paralyze its economy from afar, through satellites, instant wire transfers and simple cancellations of bank credit lines. What is needed is more creative and flexible approaches to defend small nations from foreign domination, to assert national sovereignty in an increasingly interdependent world.

So tonight I hope to provide some thoughts on how the current Puerto Rican crisis reached this point and what solutions will best serve the survival and progress of the Puerto Rican masses. To do so, I will touch briefly on the following themes: the unprecedented nature of the current debt crisis; could Puerto Rico become America’s Greece; how is the crisis directly affecting the Puerto Rican people; why 117 years of colonialism is central to understanding the crisis; why Puerto Rico is a corporate gold mine, not a welfare case; how did the island’s debt mushroom out of control; who were the creditors, and who are the debtors; how should any proposed solutions be evaluated; why sustainable energy is key to Puerto Rico’s future; and the role of Puerto Ricans in the United States.

Most attention so far has centered on the total debt the central government, its various public corporations and municipal governments owe to Wall Street and bondholders. That debt has nearly doubled in the past 10 years, from about $40 billion to $72 or $73 billion. In a letter that Standard & Poor’s issued to Puerto Rico on September 10th, the rating agency lowered the island’s credit rating to CC, one of the worst ratings possible, even lower than that of Greek bonds. Standard & Poor’s noted in its letter that the Puerto Rican government now owes bondholders $13,474 for every man, woman and child on the island—equivalent to nearly 50 percent of annual gross domestic product.

But that doesn’t begin to explain the dimensions of the problem. On top of the bond debt, Puerto Rico owes another $30 billion to its main government employees’ pension fund and unfunded liabilities. As Bloomberg News reported on September 25th, the commonwealth’s Employees Retirement System, which covers 119,000 employees as of June 2014, had just 0.7 percent of the assets needed to pay all the benefits that had been promised, a level unheard of among the U.S. states.

In 2008, a previous governor, Sila Calderón, the Sila Calderón administration, issued $2.9 billion in debt just to meet its current pension payments. They were called pension bonds. The sale was underwritten by the Swiss bank UBS, produced big conflict-laden fees for UBS, whose representatives have since been found guilty of fraud and are immersed in scores of lawsuits from bondholders who were cheated. Calderón’s successor, Governor Luis Fortuño, ended up subsequently ending all defined benefit pensions for new employees of Puerto Rico. But the cash infusion the pension funds realized from that borrowing will run out in five years, at which point the government will have to come up with another $2 billion annually to pay for pensions and for the additional debt that it took out to tide it over for these current five years, and will likely have to slash benefits to retirees even more. The pension bonds—that $2.9 billion in pension bonds—are so worthless, they are now selling for about 30 cents on the dollar, for anybody who dares to buy them. Right?

Meanwhile, the Teachers Retirement System—that’s a separate retirement system—the public school teachers’ retirement system, is only about 15 percent funded. The court’s employee system is only about 14 percent funded. That represents about another $10 billion that the government owes in unfunded liabilities to those.

AMY GOODMAN: We’ll come back to Juan González’s speech on Puerto Rico’s debt crisis in a minute.


AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, as we return to Democracy Now! co-host Juan González, his major address at New York University last month, his speech called "Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis: Economic Collapse in America’s Biggest Colony and What Can Be Done About It." In this section, Juan begins by talking about healthcare funding in Puerto Rico.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: In June, the federal agency in charge of Medicare and Medicaid announced that on January 1, it will slash by 11 percent its payments to 250,000 enrollees in the island’s Medicare Advantage program. Despite plans by the federal government to increase Medicare reimbursements to the 50 states by 3 percent, it’s cutting its allotment to Puerto Rico by 11 percent. The cuts will mean a loss of $300 million a year to Puerto Rico’s local government and healthcare system, a system that is already suffering because it’s been capped for decades now at only 70 percent of whatever the federal government gives per capita to other states.

The combined impact of the enormous bondholder debt, the massive unfunded pension liabilities, declining federal reimbursements for healthcare represent a perfect storm that Puerto Rico, with its shrinking economy and depression-level unemployment, cannot possibly withstand without some kind of radical restructuring of its debts in the short term and of its economy in the long term. That is why some of us have described Puerto Rico as America’s Greece. Could the island’s economic collapse and debt crisis threaten the larger economy of which it is an integral part? Most financial experts you read about dismiss the notion. But then, most discounted the possibility that the subprime mortgage crisis would spark a worldwide recession. The skeptics this time includes some prominent liberals, such as Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, who raised the outlandish idea a few months ago that Puerto Rico was simply a victim of geography. Writing in The New York Times, Krugman said, quote, "Puerto Rico may to an important extent just suffer from being a slightly hard to reach island in a time when corporations place a high premium on easy, just-in-time shipments."

In many ways, Puerto Rico is worse off than Greece, because it has even less ability to act independently than that depression-wracked nation. The normal refrain you hear in most media accounts is that Puerto Rico cannot resort to the normal protections of federal Chapter 9 bankruptcy because federal law only permits cities or public corporations within states to use Chapter 9, and since the island is not an independent country, it can’t go to the International Monetary Fund to seek some kind of a financial bailout the IMF is infamous for concocting. The island is in this atypical netherworld, they say. But very few go one step further and ask, "Why is that?" If it is neither a state nor an independent nation, what exactly is Puerto Rico? And why has such an important issue, like what happens when a government can’t pay its debts, fallen through the cracks when it comes to Puerto Rico? The answer is colonialism. The answer is Congress can make any laws it wants when it comes to Puerto Rico. And in the case of bankruptcy, it did just that.

First you have to understand, though, how this whole issue of municipal bankruptcy came about. During the Great Depression, cities in America started being unable to pay their debts. So in 1938, Congress passed legislation that created Chapter 9 bankruptcy. What that basically says, if you have a whole bunch that you owe money to and you can’t pay them, and they all come demanding, "Well, I have the collateral of this building or that revenue stream," and they all want their money, you have to have an orderly restructuring. And you need a nonpartisan person, a judge, to decide how much each of the [creditors] will get and what will be the reorganization plan. And so, this was passed by Congress in 1938 to assist cities that were beset by the impact of the Great Depression.

But from 1938, when the law was passed, until 1978, Congress had included all the territories and possessions of the United States under that law, which means Puerto Rico had bankruptcy protection from 1938 to 1978.

But then, between '78 and the early ’80s, there were other changes to the bankruptcy law. In 1984, there was an amendment inserted into the bankruptcy law by Senator Strom Thurmond, the infamous Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, and Bob Dole, who were both in the Senate at the time.

They put in—they stuck in a little-noticed provision that specifically said Chapter 9 did not apply to Puerto Rico. No reason was given. No federal policy or interest in the change was spelled out in the amendment process. By a few simple phrases in an amendment that few people noticed, Congress laid the basis for the unique situation Puerto Rico now faces: It is not only broke, there is no established legal recourse for it to get a court to decide how the many debtors will get paid or how much.

So, absent any kind of such protection, there is going to be years of litigation by different bondholders, and the government is going to have to spend millions of dollars in legal fees trying to figure it all out. And there's no—there’s no roadmap for how that will happen.

Much of this came to light when Puerto Rico tried in 2013 to create its own bankruptcy law, recognizing that it had this problem. A group of hedge funds and mutual fund managers, specifically BlueMountain Capital, Franklin Templeton and Oppenheimer, sued in U.S. district court, claiming that the federal law preempted Puerto Rico from doing that. The federal government overturned the Puerto—the federal court, the district court, overturned the Puerto Rico law earlier this year. And in July, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston, which is the court of appeals for Puerto Rico, upheld the nullification of the Puerto Rico law.

But even one of the judges on the appeals panel, who said, "Yes, that’s the law, Puerto Rico is prohibited from doing this," wrote a stinging opinion outlining how unfair and unjust the federal law is that prohibits Puerto Rico from using Chapter 9. That judge was Juan Torruella, who is one of the most knowledgeable jurists in the nation on the history of Puerto Rico’s status. More than 20 years ago, Torruella published one of the definitive works on the question. It’s titled The Supreme Court and Puerto Rico: The Doctrine of Separate and Unequal. I recommend it highly, if you haven’t read it.

Well, this is what Judge Torruella said in July about the case before him: "The majority’s disregard for the arbitrary and unreasonable nature of the legislation enacted in the 1984 Amendments showcases again this court’s approval of a relationship under which Puerto Rico lacks any national ... representation in both Houses of Congress and is wanting of electoral rights for the offices of President and Vice-President. ... This is clearly a colonial relationship, one which violates [the] Constitution." So you have a federal appeals court judge, who’s the most knowledgeable person, saying, "Hey, this whole bankruptcy issue is another example of colonialism at work."

Now, Senator Chuck Schumer, Representative Velázquez and other friends of Puerto Rico are trying to get Congress to allow Puerto Rico to do what it had been able to do from 1938 to 1978—have the same right as any state to use the bankruptcy laws for its municipalities. But Congress doesn’t give a damn about Puerto Rico. So Schumer is trying to do the same thing Strom Thurmond and Bob Dole did back in 1984: He’s trying to stick the provision inside some bigger bill that has to be passed, hoping that it will get through.  (

But the reason we’re going through this ridiculous exercise in the first place is that Congress has always decided the major decisions that affect Puerto Rico without the voice or the vote of the Puerto Rican people. And that is the essence of colonial domination. This time, though, it’s not just Washington that is facing scrutiny about its Puerto Rico policies. Wall Street is feeling the heat even more. And while the big financial experts keep assuring us that there’s no systemic threat of a messy Puerto Rico bankruptcy, we should not be so quick to believe it.

You have to understand why Puerto Rico bonds have been so popular on Wall Street. They are what is called "triple tax-exempt bonds."  (   ( "Triple tax-exempt" means that if you have the bonds, you don’t pay—your income, you don’t pay federal taxes. You also don’t pay state and local taxes. Now, most triple tax-exempt bonds are only available to the people of a particular state. So if you buy—if you live in New York and you buy New York bonds, you have triple tax exemption. If you live in California and you buy New York bonds, you don’t have triple tax exemption. You’re exempt from federal taxes, but not from state and local taxes. So, triple tax-exempt bonds produce far more return to those who buy them than other kinds of bonds. Puerto Rico’s bonds are triple tax-exempt to anyone in the United States. So anyone, whether you’re in California or Idaho, whatever, you can buy Puerto Rico bonds, and you have triple tax-exemption. It’s another example of Puerto Rico being in this netherworld of neither a state nor an independent nation.

So the very colonial relationship allows Wall Street to take advantage and reap even bigger profits, and then Puerto Rico bonds usually pay a higher interest rate, nominal interest rate. So, for instance, the last bonds that Puerto Rico floated in March of 2014 for about $2.9 billion paid an interest rate of 8 percent. That’s a nominal interest rate. Now, you get that 8 percent interest, and now you don’t have to pay any taxes to the federal government, to the state or to the city. That’s worth like 12 percent to you. Of course everybody wanted to give Puerto Rico money to borrow, because they were making a killing off of the triple tax-exempt interest. That’s why there was so much willingness on the part of Wall Street to issue these bonds.

But I would offer a warning to those who poopah any possibility of economic contagion. The weak link of the entire U.S. municipal bond market is a group of obscure companies known in the business as "monoline insurers." They are companies that promise bondholders that if a municipality or public corporation defaults on a bond, they will pay the bondholder. Such bond insurance is what provides not only triple tax exemption, but what’s called AAA ratings. Right? Those are the safest bonds, because even if a government defaults—and they rarely do—this company has promised you you’ll get all your money anyway, because they’ve insured the bonds. There’s only a few companies, about five or six companies, that offer this insurance—MBIA, Ambac. There’s several of them—Assured Guaranty.

Well, a funny thing happened the week that Governor Alejandro García Padilla made his announcement. The stock of all of these monoline insurers plummeted. The drop actually started about a week before Alejandro García made his announcement. My surmise of that is that Wall Street had the inside information already that the announcement was about to be made, and so they immediately started selling stock in all of the monoline insurers to—because they knew these monoline insurers, if Puerto Rico suddenly defaults on all this money, they don’t have the money to pay the insurance that all the bondholders will demand on them. And at that point, then the entire municipal bond market of the United States will be threatened, because there’s only a few of these companies, and all triple tax—all AAA-rated bonds will suddenly be suspect. So that’s the Achilles’ heel of the municipal bond market that’s at stake, that they don’t want to talk about too much, but you should keep your eye on as the weeks and months move ahead.

Now, what does all of this mean for the people of Puerto Rico? The island has now been in economic decline for the past 10 years, with its gross national product declining by 13 percent. And as the economy has declined, government debt to pay for basic services has increased. Puerto Ricans now pay the highest electricity rates in the United States, the highest sales tax rate in the United States. It was raised from 7 percent to 11 percent just on July 1, the sales tax. They have the highest unemployment rate in the United States.

They’re saddled with a higher cost for many consumer goods as a result of the Jones Act shipping restrictions that require all ships that bring any produce—any goods into and out of Puerto Rico must be on U.S.-constructed ships, U.S.-flagged ships and U.S.-manned ships. That alone—because the rest of the world is using Liberian and Panamanian freighters and is using Greek and Cypriot crews and has much lower labor costs, that alone costs Puerto Rico $567 million a year in extra costs for all of its goods. Now, again, this is a decision of Congress, because only a few miles away, another U.S. territory, the Virgin Islands, was exempted, waived from the Jones Act. So Congress decided to waive the Jones Act for the Virgin Islands, but not waive it for Puerto Rico. These are arbitrary decisions made by a body that does not have any responsiveness to the people that it affects.

Workforce participation rates—we heard a lot about that—are hovering at around 45 percent, as if the Puerto Rican people don’t want to work. Well, if you’ve been subjected to depression-level unemployment rates for 20, 30 years, you don’t think that’s going to have an impact on the workforce participation rate? Crime rates in Puerto Rico are among the highest in the country.

All this has predictably created massive flight from the island and population decline. Population decline. Now, Puerto Ricans are still having babies, so obviously people are fleeing. The estimates now are 50,000 a year. That’s a thousand people a week are leaving Puerto Rico. And this is going to increase as the crisis continues. The flight has led to an unparalleled housing crisis—quite the opposite of New York. The Puerto Rico Planning Board estimates that there are 1.4 million housing units on the island, of which only 861,000 have occupants. That means that one-third of all the housing in Puerto Rico is empty—is empty—because there’s been an overbuilding of housing, and then the housing economy never recovered. And the average prices, of course, of housing are plummeting, which means that the asset values of Puerto Ricans who have these houses have also been declining.

Even before this latest crisis, Governor Luis Fortuño instituted a massive austerity program. In 2009, he laid off 30,000 government workers despite a massive general strike. In 2013, he privatized Luis Muñoz Marín Airport and the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge and the toll highways. He gutted the pension system and raised the retirement age to 67. And the benefits that people now get will depend on their contributions, not on investment returns. They took—they reduced Christmas bonuses from $600 to $200. You know, they increased employee contributions to 10 percent. These are all the austerity measures that have already been taken, before this current crisis.

Ask yourself, could all of this austerity be implemented—how could all this austerity be implemented in a territory that is already the poorest in the union? Why would Congress and the American people continue to ignore a situation in Puerto Rico where depression-level unemployment has been the norm for decades?

You can’t understand why unless you grasp how colonialism had developed in Puerto Rico. Ever since the U.S. occupied and grabbed the island in 1898 during the Spanish-American War, Washington and our corporations have dictated the rules of the game for the island’s inhabitants and used Puerto Rico as a source of wealth. This was made possible by a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions back in the 1900s that gave legal cover to the U.S. holding of a colonial empire. In one of—they’re called the "Insular" decisions. And that’s what Judge Torruella writes a lot about. One of those decisions, Downes v. Bidwell, for instance, Justice Edward White ruled that only those parts of the Constitution apply in U.S. territorial possessions that Congress chooses to apply. Puerto Rico, White concluded, belonged to but was not part of the United States. That was, in essence, the legal defense of a colonial empire, that you could have territories that belonged to you, but were not a part of your nation. Ever since the Insular Cases, all major decisions involving the island have been dependent on acts of Congress.

But don’t take my word for it. Listen to Harry Truman. I’m going to play a couple of minutes from the Harvest of Empire tape about this, the first early period—because I’ve divided the colonial development of Puerto Rico into three phases. This is my analysis; other people may do it a little differently. But there were three phases of U.S. colonial domination of the island. The first phase I will call the classic phase, where the United States sought only to extract resources, and largely sugar.

MARTÍN ESPADA: The strange case of Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico was taken as a prize of war, Spanish-American War of 1898, along with Cuba and the Philippines. Cuba and the Philippines were gradually released by the United States. Puerto Rico was not. When the United States took over Puerto Rico, so did four North American sugar companies. That’s what it was all about: sugar.

PRESIDENT HARRY TRUMAN: Puerto Rico almost blew apart because of the selfish sugar landowners. They owned tremendous tracts of land in Puerto Rico, which they devoted entirely to sugar, then worked these poor people for a dollar a day or 50 cents, if they could get them for that. And they’d rather see those people starve. I don’t mean to imply that we were in any way cruel to the Puerto Ricans, but there is another kind of cruelty. That’s indifference—indifference and neglect.

JUAN GONZALEZ: That was President Truman, in his own words, talking about this first classic phase of colonialism.

But then, as a result of popular uprisings, the National Party, all the labor strikes as a result of the end of World War II and the anticolonial movements in the world, the United States came up with a new policy, helped by the popular party of Puerto Rico—the industrial phase of exploitation. That depended largely on cheap labor, offshore manufacturing centers through the New Deal’s Operation Bootstrap, and corporate tax havens, known as the Section 936 benefit; deliberate mass migration of unskilled workers to the United States; a limited form of self-government and cultural autonomy by creating the Estado Libre Asociado, returning the Spanish language to the public schools, allowing Puerto Ricans to elect their own governors, but still all under the control of Congress; and a social democratic labor policy—Pan, Tierra, y Libertad—that was meant to defuse the revolutionary movements in Latin America and establish the showcase of the Caribbean. It was also marked by the building of a string of military bases as a bulwark of the Cold War.

In its early years, the dual policies of industrialization and mass immigration did improve conditions in Puerto Rico. Combined with the carrot-and-stick approach of granting limited self-government, returning the use of Spanish and overtly pro-labor policies, the commonwealth’s first social democratic governor, Luis Muñoz Marín, did co-opt and deflect much of the nationalist, independence and radical labor movements that had spread in the 1930s. And combined with the infamous Ley de La Mordaza that criminalized any independence activities, this new form of disguised colonialism ushered in limited prosperity.

But the miracle evaporated quickly. Annual growth rates dropped from an average of 6 percent during the 1950s to 4 percent in the 1970s, and they were stagnant throughout the 1980s. By then, Puerto Rico had become the most profitable entity in the world for U.S. corporations. The cheap labor model, though, started finding greener pastures in China, in Bangladesh, in Mexico, in Vietnam, as they offered even cheaper labor. And so, then, in 2006, Congress began to phase out the last federal tax loophole for island manufacturers. It actually started in 1996—and this is a fascinating story.

In 1996, Bill Clinton was trying to run for re-election. He wanted to raise the federal minimum wage. He needed the support of the Republicans in Congress, who were then led by Newt Gingrich, and they controlled the House. So, he had to cut a deal with Newt Gingrich to be able to raise the minimum wage. The deal that they cut was that Gingrich would demand $7 billion in tax credits for small businesses to make up for the fact that they would now have to increase the minimum wage. Clinton agreed. Where did the $7 billion come from? It came from the tax credits that had previously been granted to corporations in Puerto Rico under the Section 936. But they didn’t do it all at once. They phased it out over 10 years. So they started in ’96, and by 2006 the credits were phased out. And as soon as they were all phased out, the companies split. Right? All of the big—the manufacturing jobs, the pharmaceutical jobs left the island. And that has been the beginning of this new phase of colonialism in Puerto Rico, which I call the "uber colonialism phase."

The uber colonialism phase is one marked not by resource extraction, not by cheap-labored industrialization, but by finance capital. The financial system decided, "OK, you don’t have—you structurally don’t have the money, the way this thing is set up to keep running, so we’re just going to keep lending you money." That’s why you had the explosion of debt, and that’s why you have now the peddling of massive bonds. But, of course, when the bills come due, then the bankers say, "Well, you’re just going to have to tighten your belts, you’re just going to have to reduce spending, because you still have to pay us first. So you have to keep reducing spending." And so, that is the phase that Puerto Rico is now in, this new phase of finance domination of its economy.

And now, we keep hearing that Puerto Rico is in bad shape, that it’s requiring all this federal money. Well, the next slide is the most important one for you to remember. It’s what’s called the gap   ( GNP and GDP. Right?


What does that mean? You know, OK, gross domestic product is the value of all the goods produced in your country, in a particular area. That’s the gross domestic product. GNP is the value of all the goods produced in your country that stay in your country—that stay in your country. So the gap between GDP and GNP is a perfect chart of all the money that is leaving Puerto Rico in the form of profits, largely, overwhelmingly, for American corporations.

AMY GOODMAN: Juan González on Puerto Rico’s debt crisis. We’ll come back to the conclusion of his speech, as Juan talks about uber colonialism, in a minute.


AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report, as we return to Democracy Now! co-host Juan González in this major address at New York University about "Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis," what he calls "Economic Collapse in America’s Biggest Colony and What Can Be Done About It."

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: In 2010, $33 billion of wealth produced by the Puerto Rican people left the island in just one year—in just one year. The total debt of the island is $72 billion, but $33 billion is being siphoned every year from Puerto Rico in the profits of the multinational corporations that comes back to the United States. So that is—that is the key to understand.

Puerto Rico has always been a gold mine; this is not—this is not something new.
Between 1960 and 1976, tiny Puerto Rico catapulted from sixth to first in Latin America for total U.S. direct investment, with island workers registering some of the highest productivity levels in the world.

The results were levels unheard of—of profits unheard of at home. By 1976, Puerto Rico accounted for 40 percent of all U.S. profits in Latin America, more than the combined earnings of all the U.S. subsidiaries in Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela combined. That was in 1976.

By then, several multinationals were reporting a quarter of all their worldwide profits were coming from tiny Puerto Rico. From its 4,000 workers in Puerto Rico alone, Johnson & Johnson saved $1 billion in federal taxes between 1980 and 1990; SmithKlein, $987 million; Merck & Company, $749 million; Bristol-Myers Squibb, $627 million. One federal study concluded that each pharmaceutical worker in Puerto Rico produced $1.5 million in value for his or her employer in 2002. Now, they were getting paid maybe $15,000, $20,000, $30,000 back in 2002. They were producing $1.5 million in value for their employers, and all that money was going to the United States. What has actually been happening in Puerto Rico for decades is that corporate America has been raping its most valuable product—human labor.

So how did the island’s debt mushroom out of control?  ???  As I said, Wall Street was eager, with the triple tax-exempt, AAA-rated, high-interest, big returns to press for—oh, one last slide I meant to—this is a comparison of GNP and—of the gap between GDP and GNP as a percentage of your economy. Notice Puerto Rico almost—oh, here, in this one, 52 percent of all the wealth created by Puerto Rico is leaving—right, is leaving—compared to all the other countries you see. Obviously, the United States is in negative.


There’s more wealth—it’s producing more GNP. But look at all the others, and look at Puerto Rico, in terms of the gap between GNP and GDP.

So, what is this $72 billion in debt? How did it come about? Well, this is a summary of some of the biggest, because there are many kinds of bonds, it’s a complicated situation, all kinds of interests. But the commonwealth owes about $13 billion in general obligation bonds. They created all kinds of other corporations that have separate revenue that then pay separate bonds. So, the other big one is PREPA. That’s the gold—that’s the Crown Jewels of Puerto Rico, is the electric company, PREPA. And it has about $8.3 billion in bonds. Then, the Government Development Bank, the Puerto Rico Highway and Transportation Authority, which has obviously toll revenue, and its toll revenue is pledged to pay off those bonds. The Aqueducts and Sewer Authority has—that’s the water, so that water is pledged, the water revenue. Everything in Puerto Rico is already pledged on certain bonds to pay those back before anything else happens. And there are the pension obligation bonds that I mentioned to you before, the $2.9 billion in pension obligation bonds. These are only some. Then there’s a bunch of municipalities have their own bonds. And there’s other—the convention center has its bonds. Everything in Puerto Rico is bonded and is owed to someone—to someone outside the country.

What do the hedge funds have to do with it? Well, the bond—the mutual bond companies, like Oppenheimer and Franklin Templeton, they’re in your 401(k), they’re in government pensions, funds all across the country of huge companies. They’ve been buying a lot of Puerto Rico bonds for the returns. But they bought the bonds when they were at $100—in other words, at par, what they call par. So they were issued $100, and they bought them then. You saw how the pension bonds went from $100 to 32 cents on the—you know, 32 cents on the dollar. Well, as the financial situation in Puerto Rico declined, the value of the bonds dropped dramatically on Wall Street, and that’s when the hedge funds swoop in. The hedge funds swoop in, and they buy the bonds from Oppenheimer or Franklin Templeton or an individual bondholder who has them and says, "OK, these bonds are worthless. They’re selling now for 32 cents on the dollar. I’ll give you 60 cents on the dollar. You make—you know, you get some of your loss back. But then I’ll own the bonds." And that’s what the hedge funds do. They swoop in in times of distress, grab the bonds at discounted rates, but then they want to get paid the full 100 percent. Right? So, because if they do that, or even now with PREPA, the bondholders have offered Puerto Rico a deal. They said, "OK, we won’t insist on 100 percent. We’ll take 85 percent. We’ll take 85 cents on the dollar." So if one big hedge fund holds out and says, "No, that’s not enough money," they can paralyze the entire situation. That’s why you need bankruptcy protection, to prevent the vulture funds from holding the entire process of settlements up.

And so, how do progressives and all people of goodwill who are concerned about Puerto Rico’s future maneuver during the next few weeks and months? How do we figure out what needs to be done? And more importantly, what could be done, given the political gridlock in Washington and the deep party divisions in Puerto Rico?

First, there is a need to disseminate a clear narrative on the roots of the crisis in colonialism, not in Puerto Ricans being inept, lazy or seeking a handout.

Second, we should unite with all those who say that if Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, they must be treated in equal fashion when it comes to federal grants, Medicaid, Medicare, bankruptcy laws. And that includes ending the discriminatory requirements of the Jones Act shipping laws. And if Congress refuses to change the bankruptcy laws, we should urge the Puerto Rican government to stop paying the debt. The refusal to pay debt service is the greatest leverage Puerto Rico has. And like President Obama with his military options, it should not be discarded.

Third, we should oppose debt restructuring that seeks greater austerity, lower wages or working conditions on the island, while preserving debt payments for bondholders.

And fourth,
we should support economic efforts that promote and defend Puerto Rican sovereignty. While we should never stop insisting that only a final resolution to the status question can bring a healthy economy—can make a healthy economy possible, we also should not get stuck on that this has to be resolved now, because we all know it’s not going to be resolved now.

Last thing I want to address is why sustainable energy is so important to the solution of Puerto Rico’s problems. I mentioned to you PREPA, right, the Puerto Rico electric company. The reason that Puerto Rico has such high electric bills is that almost all of its electrical capacity is funded through oil. Its generating plants are all run by oil, and all of its oil is imported.  (  So you have the additional costs of importing oil, and you have the enormous extra costs that Puerto Ricans have to pay for that electricity.  (

The hedge funds, who are now trying to negotiate  ( their separate voluntary deal with the Puerto Rican government, have a plan.  (  If they gain control, they want to switch Puerto Rico from oil to natural gas.   ( They want to create liquefied natural gas ports. ( They’re already building one in the south of Puerto Rico. And they want to then import natural gas, which still requires the importation on an annual basis of the fuel that provides your electricity, and it’s also a fossil fuel.   So it does nothing to help the situation with the environment.

The leading environmentalists in Puerto Rico say that this crisis should be used as an opportunity to totally restructure the way that Puerto Ricans get electricity, through sustainable energy. There are two—there are actually two sources of sustainable energy that Puerto Rico has immense quantities of: sun and wind. The trade winds are always blowing in Puerto Rico, and the sun is almost always shining.

And once you build the structure to capture solar energy and wind energy, you no longer have to pay an annual fee to bring in the product to run your electrical plant.  ( It’s a sustainable energy. In addition—in addition to that, there is energy efficiency, which has never been done in Puerto Rico, which also produces enormous energy audits of homes, educating the population, can dramatically lower the electrical bills. So, of all the potentials, that is so obvious, the biggest potential is not to let the hedge funds and the bondholders implement their natural gas plan, and get the Puerto Rican government and the people of Puerto Rico behind sustainable energy. And not only will it help the planet, it will reduce the costs of the economy of Puerto Rico dramatically.  (

So, what’s the role of Puerto Ricans in the United States? And I’m going to end with this. As I said earlier, more than 50,000 are fleeing the island’s collapsing economy every year and heading to the U.S. mainland, with the bulk of them settling in Florida. But unlike migrants from other countries, they’re already U.S. citizens and eligible to vote as soon as they arrive. "We’re planning to register 200,000 more Florida Puerto Ricans in the next six months," one labor leader who attended Wednesday’s summit told me. "Then we’ll see if they ignore us." This is why it’s so important to mobilize the Puerto Rican diaspora, because the majority of Puerto Ricans now live in the United States, and don’t live in Puerto Rico. You know? And that’s going to continue to be the case, so that the issue is one that—I believe it’s possible to unite all Puerto Ricans to demand fair and equal treatment, because after 117 years of colonialism and after 98 years of being official U.S. citizens, most Puerto Ricans are fed up with being ignored, dismissed and forgotten by the politicians in Washington.    ( don’t want handouts. They want respect. They want dignity. And they want to be appreciated for the enormous contributions they’ve made to American prosperity. And this time, if they don’t get it, the entire American economy could feel the effects. And I think that one of the key issues has to be that the Puerto Rican community in this country has to start dogging the political candidates wherever they go, of both parties, to insist that they take clear stands on what they’re going to do about a crisis that’s not going away. It’s only going to get worse. And the more that action is postponed, the worse the crisis is going to become. So that’s why the Puerto Ricans in the United States have an important role to play in achieving some kind of a measured, humane and farsighted response from the elected representatives in Congress.

AMY GOODMAN: Juan González, speaking in October at New York University about Puerto Rico’s debt crisis. Juan is Democracy Now! co-host, longtime columnist at the New York Daily News.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 09, 2015, 04:09:39 pm
War & Climate Change: Jeremy Corbyn on the Brutal Quest for Oil & the Need for a Sustainable Planet: VIDEO (

I enjoyed that, even if it wasn't much more than a sound bite.

 I listened to some Indian woman on NPR call the US out for overconsumption. We consume on average (as Americans) something like 35X  a day more electricity here than an Indian does.

I suggest you look at the consumption of the 158 families that ensure the rest of us use more than 35X a day what a native American uses. Follow the money and the apparent "contradictions" about our "irrational" energy waste are cleared up, Eddie. The other day you said a teacher taught you that the USA is an oligarchy. You said it's not the "ism" that ails us, but the oligarchs. I agree.

VIDEO: Look Who’s Buying American Democracy

Posted on Dec 8, 2015 By Robert Reich

This post originally ran on Robert Reich’s website.

According to an investigation by the New York Times, half of all the money contributed so far to Democratic and Republican presidential candidates—$176 million—has come from just 158 families, along with the companies they own or control.

Who are these people?  They’re almost entirely white, rich, older and male—even though America is becoming increasingly black and brown, young, female, and with declining household incomes.

According to the report, most of these big contributors live in exclusive neighborhoods where they have private security guards instead of public police officers, private health facilities rather than public parks and pools.

Most send their kids and grand kids to elite private schools rather than public schools. They fly in private jets and get driven in private limousines rather than rely on public transportation.

They don’t have to worry about whether Social Security or Medicare will be there for them in their retirement because they’ve put away huge fortunes. They don’t have to worry about climate change because they don’t live in flimsy homes that might collapse in a hurricane, or where water is scarce, or food supplies endangered.

It’s doubtful that most of these 158 are contributing to these campaigns out of the goodness of their hearts or a sense of public responsibility. They&rrsquo;re largely making investments, just the way they make other investments.

And the success of these investments depends on whether their candidates get elected, and will lower their taxes even further, expand tax loopholes, shred health and safety and environmental regulations so their companies can make even more money, and cut Social Security and Medicare and programs for the poor—and thereby allow these 158 and others like them to secede even more from the rest of our society.

These people are, after all, are living in their own separate society,
and they want to elect people who will represent them, not the rest of us.

How much more evidence do we need that our system is in crisis? How long before we make it work for all of us instead of a handful at the top? We must not let them buy our democracy. We must get big money out of politics. Publicly-finance political campaigns, disclose all sources of campaign funds, and reverse “Citizens United.”
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 09, 2015, 08:29:44 pm
Watched it. Great video, and good on Robert Reich.

However, I can't get too enthused, because people in general seem completely oblivious to what's going on. Some of us have been making this same essential complaint for thirty years or more, and it's gotten worse instead of better. Much worse in fact. But maybe there's a critical mass that will be reached at some point, and substantive change will occur. It can't happen soon enough.

This kind of erosion of the political process over my lifetime is part of the reason I'm a doomer.

Well, your reasoning is sound. But that doesn't mean the truth isn't out there. I believe more and more people recognize it. And now the biosphere is at stake, not simply human greed based power structures that DO what they DO.

Senator Sanders has come up with a detailed proposal. It's not as good as the Hansen plan but, if it can be pushed through, it will be VERY BAD NEWS for the oligarchs, even if it may be too late for the biosphere.

Here's the deal, Eddie: We have a system that REdistributes income out of the poor and middle class up to the elite profit over planet oligarchs. This IS income redistribution. It IS what that Thatcher bit ch that you quoted flipped on its head when she criticized socialism because you "eventually run out of other people's money". That was BS when she said it and it's bullsh it now.  THEY are the parasites, not the "masses" so often demonized by those very parasites that own the media outlets.

That means that we HAVE TOO REDISTRIBUTE their THEFT BACK to the people. You don't seem to think that is 
1) A good idea (based on Thatcher's quote).
2) Doable
3) Practical.

I will tell you that, if it is not done, then yeah, it's game over. Right now, for example, we use TWICE the energy to do EXACTLY THE SAME SH IT in our daily living that Europeans do. Their quality of life is as good or better than ours.

 The ONLY reason that is so is because the oligarchs want it that way for their profits. All the BULLSH IT I have read HERE from several doomers about how "difficult" it is to do this or that in order to lower energy use ALWAYS ignores that. This is NOT now, or ever was, about THERMODYNAMICS! It's about elite PIGGERY through FORCED REDISTRIBUTION of income from the poor and middle class to the elite oligarchs, PERIOD.

But most people here FLAT REFUSE to frame the argument properly or accept reality because it clashes with their ideology or their egocentrism, depending on what mood they are in that day.  ::)

Hansen's plan PAYS people like you and me for NOT using energy, like the farmers that are paid to not grow crops. Hansen's plan PUNISHES ANYONE that exceeds a certain carbon footprint with fees and fines. The best part is that Hansen's plan DOES NOT allow the gooberment to keep 40% of those fees, like the Sanders plan does. Hansen's plan has the money go STRAIGHT TO YOUR BANK ACCOUNT each month, and NOT as TAXABLE income!

So, we know the oligarchs and other pigs that like to fly in jets and have giant carbon footprints DO NOT WANT Hansen's plan. They will claim it is "socialist". NO WAY! It is JUSTICE!

Sanders' plan is not as good, but it just MIGHT save our asses. So, I will support it. If you don't, because you insist on clinging to Thatcher's quote, then I believe you are being unreasonable and illogical.

If you state that Sanders' plan will "never fly" because of the power of the oligarchy, then I will agree that you are being reasonably pessimistic.

Yes, we may very well be doomed. But as Kevin Anderson says, doing nothing guarantees our doom.

"... the reason we haven’t solved climate change isn’t because we aren’t doing our part, ..." (


Right now, we have an energy policy that is rigged to boost the profits of big oil companies like Exxon, BP, and Shell at the expense of average Americans. CEO’s are raking in record profits while climate change ravages our planet and our people — all because the wealthiest industry in the history of our planet has bribed politicians into complacency in the face of climate change. Enough is enough. It’s time for a political revolution that takes on the fossil fuel billionaires, accelerates our transition to clean energy, and finally puts people before the profits of polluters.

                                                                         Senator Bernie Sanders

The Problem

Climate change is the single greatest threat facing our planet. The debate is over, and the scientific jury is in: global climate change is real, it is caused mainly by emissions released from burning fossil fuels and it poses a catastrophic threat to the long-term longevity of our planet. If we do nothing, the planet will heat up five to ten degrees Fahrenheit by the end of this century. That would cause enough sea level rise from melting glaciers to put cities like New York and Miami underwater – along with more frequent asthma attacks, higher food prices, insufficient drinking water and more infectious diseases.

But this isn’t just a problem for the future – the impacts of climate change are apparent here and now. Whether it’s more intense forest fires on the West Coast, or more frequent hurricanes in the Gulf Coast, or damaging flash floods in California, climate change is here and it’s already causing devastating human suffering. The worst part is this: people who live in low-income and minority communities will bear the most severe consequences of society’s addiction to fossil fuels.

This is every kind of issue all at once: the financial cost of climate change makes it an economic issue, its effect on clean air and water quality make it a public health problem, its role in exacerbating global conflict and terrorism makes it a national security challenge and its disproportionate impacts on vulnerable communities and on our children and grandchildren make acting on climate change a moral obligation. We have got to solve this problem before it’s too late.

Why Haven’t We Solved it Yet?

Solving this should be straightforward. After all, the majority of Americans understand the seriousness of climate change, and they demand action. 97 percent of scientists agree about the urgent need to act and the vocal minority who don’t are bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry. More and more countries around the world are beginning to do their part, by stepping up to significantly curb their use of fossil fuels to become part of the solution. If our democracy worked the way it’s supposed to, that would be enough – the debate would be over, the facts would be heard and lawmakers would obey the will of the people.

But that’s where the billionaire class comes in. Instead of engaging on this issue in good faith and allowing democracy to play out, executives and lobbyists for coal, oil, and gas companies have blocked every attempt to make progress on climate change, and thrown unprecedented amounts of money at elected officials to buy their loyalty. Recent reporting even shows that executives at Exxon pioneered the research on climate change before anyone else did, but may have deliberately lied about it to spread disinformation and confusion to protect their bottom line. It’s eerily reminiscent of the fight over tobacco regulation, when executives from the tobacco companies repeatedly testified before Congress that cigarettes don’t cause cancer. Recently leaked internal documents show that even they knew they were lying.

Let’s be clear: the reason we haven’t solved climate change isn’t because we aren’t doing our part, it’s because a small subsection of the one percent are hell-bent on doing everything in their power to block action. Sadly, they have deliberately chosen to put their profits ahead of the health of our people and planet.


Senator Sanders: Combating Climate Change to Save the Biosphere (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 10, 2015, 04:11:07 pm
Doubtful we'd ever get the chance to vote for a Sanders, given the way our system works. The only two candidates that offer anything that seems the least bit sensible are Sanders on the liberal side, and Paul on the conservative side. There are things about each of them that would make me have to hold my nose while I pulled the lever to vote for either one, but I would consider it.

All the other candidates fill me with fear and loathing. Every one of them is a tool of the elites. So one of them is the only choice i expect to be given at the polls.

Well, maybe Trump is not a tool of the elites...but he is an elite, as much as he pretends to be a man of the people. He's in a special class of heightened fear and in, if he's elected, it's time to call Doug Casey and ask about condos in Uruguay.

You mean, how THEIR system works, right? If you still labor under the view that it is "our" system, you are woefully optimistic. OUR system, Eddie, does NOT work because it is dysfunctional by design.

Pondering the mere possibility that Trump is not a tool of the elite is 180 degrees out of phase. Trump is their representative and member in good standing.

And at the rate things are deteriorating, you soon will not have to hold your nose to "vote" (LOL!) for tweedledee or tweedledum.

Meanwhile, those fine credentialed University folks you and MKing so admire are doing what they do to preserve the fossil fuel government/Wall Street empathy deficit disordered SYSTEM that Trump represents.

Trump is an "independent" who is so "rational" that he gets offended at oceanic wind turbines because they  "ruin" the view for golfers at his Scottish golf course. Shame on him for pretending he is anything but an empathy deficit disordered demagogue.

All the noise he is making now is part of the campaign to KEEP COP21 OFF THE NEWS with hysteria about 'airab terrists' until next week. They started it in November. After COP21 is over, ALL OF A SUDDEN, Trump will start sounding quite conciliatory and the whole Muslim thing will not be mentioned again in the media until after Christmas shopping consumption has been boosted and some profits from stupid people buying stuff they don't need to feed a machine that kills other people and animals on the planet have been pocketed - sometime in early January 2016. It's all a murderous facade, Eddie.

Uruguay is nearly at 100% renewable energy so it is probably a good choice (until the fascist fossil fuel government decides to "make an example" of them by engaging in sabotage, bombing or some other excuse to terrorize them by branding them as "terrorist").    :P

Greenpeace Sting Exposes Academics Hired as Climate-Change Deniers

Posted on Dec 9, 2015

By Deirdre Fulton / Common Dreams

As climate change deniers face growing scrutiny and skepticism, a new undercover investigation by the environmental group Greenpeace shines new light on academics-for-hire, who are willing to accept secret payments from fossil fuel companies to sow doubt about global warming.

The sting operation publicized Tuesday involved two Greenpeace UK employees posing as representatives of oil and coal companies, and asking U.S. academics to write papers touting the benefits of rising carbon dioxide levels and the benefits of coal use in developing countries.

Professors from Penn State and Princeton University “agreed to write the reports and said they did not need to disclose the source of the funding,” according to reporting by Greenpeace Energydesk, a journalistic arm of the international environmental organization.

Energydesk reporters Lawrence Carter and Maeve McClenaghan continue:

Citing industry-funded documents—including testimony to state hearings and newspaper articles—Professor Frank Clemente of Penn State said: “In none of these cases is the sponsor identified. All my work is published as an independent scholar.”

Leading climate-sceptic academic, Professor William Happer, agreed to write a report for a Middle Eastern oil company on the benefits of CO2 and to allow the firm to keep the source of the funding secret.

Among the exposé‘s other findings:

- US coal giant Peabody Energy also paid tens of thousands of dollars to an academic who produced coal-friendly research and provided testimony at state and federal climate hearings, the amount of which was never revealed.

- The Donors Trust, an organization that has been described as the “dark money ATM” of the US conservative movement, confirmed in a taped conversation with an undercover reporter that it could anonymously channel money from a fictional Middle Eastern oil and gas company to U.S. climate septic organizations.

- Princeton professor William Happer laid out details of an unofficial peer review process run by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a UK climate skeptic think tank, and said he could ask to put an oil-funded report through a similar review process, after admitting that it would struggle to be published in an academic journal.

- A recent report by the GWPF that had been through the same unofficial peer review process, was promoted as “thoroughly peer-reviewed” by influential columnist Matt Ridley—a senior figure in the organization.

Happer, the Princeton professor, was invited to speak on Tuesday before the U.S. Senate at a ‘Data or Dogma’   ;) panel organized by GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz. Greenpeace investigator Jesse Coleman cornered him there to ask about the revelations.

Watch the video below: (at link)

Late last month, Happer—who has said “more CO2 would benefit the world”—appeared at a climate skeptic summit in Texas, Energydesk reports. There, he defended CO2 production saying: “Our breath is not that different from a power plant.” He went on to say, “If plants could vote, they would vote for coal.”

As Carter and McClenaghan point out, the Greenpeace investigation follows recent reports showing fossil fuel companies burying the truth about climate change, while funding spurious research to cast doubt on the scientific consensus and make it “difficult for ordinary Americans to even know who to trust.” (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 30, 2015, 10:44:44 pm

USDA Whistleblower Accuses Agency of Censorship of Pesticide Research

Maryam Henein, HoneyColony | December 29, 2015 12:22 pm
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on January 31, 2016, 08:24:43 pm
Hillary’s Corporate Democrats Taking Down Bernie Sanders (

Posted on Jan 30, 2016 By Ralph Nader
This piece originally ran on Ralph Nader’s blog.

Before announcing for President in the Democratic Primaries, Bernie Sanders told the people he would not run as an Independent and be like Nader- invoking the politically-bigoted words “being a spoiler.” Well, the spoiled corporate Democrats in Congress and their consultants are mounting a “stop Bernie campaign.” They believe he’ll “spoil” their election prospects.

Sorry Bernie, because anybody who challenges the positions of the corporatist, militaristic, Wall Street-funded Democrats, led by Hillary Clinton, in the House and Senate—is by their twisted definition, a “spoiler.” It doesn’t matter how many of Bernie’s positions are representative of what a majority of the American people want for their country.

What comes around goes around. Despite running a clean campaign, funded by small donors averaging $27, with no scandals in his past and with consistency throughout his decades of standing up for the working and unemployed people of this country, Sanders is about to be Hillaried. Her Capitol Hill cronies have dispatched Congressional teams to Iowa.
The shunning of Bernie Sanders is underway. Did you see him standing alone during the crowded State of the Union gathering?

Many of the large unions, that Bernie has championed for decades, have endorsed Hillary, known for her job-destroying support for NAFTA and the World Trade Organization and her very late involvement in working toward a minimum wage increase.

National Nurses United, one of the few unions endorsing Bernie, is not fooled by Hillary’s sudden anti-Wall Street rhetoric in Iowa. They view Hillary Clinton, the Wall Street servant (and speechifier at $5000 a minute) with disgust.

Candidate Clinton’s latest preposterous pledge is to “crack down” on the “greed” of corporations and declare that Wall Street bosses are opposing her because they realize she will “come right after them.”

Because Sanders is not prone to self-congratulation, few people know that he receives the highest Senatorial approval rating and the lowest disapproval rating from his Vermonters than any Senator receives from his or her constituents. This peak support for a self-avowed “democratic socialist,” comes from a state once known for its rock-ribbed conservative Republican traditions.

Minority House Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi  (
has unleashed her supine followers to start wounding and depreciating Sanders. Pelosi acolyte Adam Schiff (D. California)( tells the media he doubts Sanders’s electability and he could have “very significant downstream consequences in House and Senate races.”

Mr. Schiff somehow ignores that the House and Senate Democratic leadership repeatedly could not defend the country from the worst Republican Party in history, whose dozens of anti-human, pro-big business votes should have toppled many GOP candidates. Instead, Nancy Pelosi has led the House Democrats to three straight calamitous losses (2010, 2012, 2014) to the Republicans, for whom public cruelties toward the powerless is a matter of principle.

Pelosi threw her own poisoned darts at Sanders, debunking his far more life-saving, efficient, and comprehensive, full Medicare-for-all plan with free choice of doctor and hospital with the knowingly misleading comment “We’re not running on any platform of raising taxes.” Presumably that includes continuing the Democratic Party’s practice of letting Wall Street, the global companies and the super-wealthy continue to get away with their profitable tax escapes.

Pelosi doesn’t expect the Democrats to make gains in the House of Representatives in 2016. But she has managed to hold on to her post long enough to help elect Hillary Clinton—no matter what Clinton’s record as a committed corporatist toady and a disastrous militarist (e.g., Iraq and the War on Libya) has been over the years.

For Pelosi it’s bring on the ‘old girls club,’ it’s our turn. The plutocracy and the oligarchy running this country into the ground have no worries. The genders of the actors are different, but the monied interests maintain their corporate state and hand out their campaign cash—business as usual.

Bernie Sanders, however, does present a moral risk for the corrupt Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee, which are already turning on one of their own leading candidates. His years in politics so cleanly contrasts with the sordid, scandalized, cashing-in behavior of the Clintons.

Pick up a copy of Peter Schweizer’s Clinton Cash, previewed early in 2015 by the New York Times. Again and again Schweizer documents the conflicted interest maneuvering of donors to the Clinton Foundation, shady deals involving global corporations and dictators, and huge speaking fees, with the Clinton Foundation and the State department as inventories to benefit the Clintons. The Clintons embody what is sleazy and harmful about corporate political intrigues.

If and when Bernie Sanders is brought down by the very party he is championing, the millions of Bernie supporters, especially young voters, will have to consider breaking off into a new political party that will make American history. That means dissolving the dictatorial two-party duopoly and its ruinous, unpatriotic, democracy-destroying corporate paymasters.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on February 12, 2016, 08:27:30 pm
VIDEO: ‘Days of Revolt’: Chris Hedges and Salinas Leaders Decry the Decline of Another Company Town 

Posted on Feb 11, 2016

In this episode of teleSUR’s “Days of Revolt,” Truthdig columnist and series host Chris Hedges talks with two figures from the American agribusiness center of Salinas, Calif., about the corporate takeover of the city’s political system, its impact on local workers and the similarities between Salinas and Detroit.

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on February 16, 2016, 11:28:14 pm
Agelbert NOTE: Scalia was a cherry picking double talker. He always tried to twist the law to suit his ideology, not uphold it or defend it. His alleged "strict constitutionalist" views were a deliberately cultivated fiction he used as a fig leaf to foist his fascist ideology on the USA.
The Incoherence   (   (  of Antonin Scalia
By Richard A. Posner
August 24, 2012


Judges like to say that all they do when they interpret a constitutional or statutory provision is apply, to the facts of the particular case, law that has been given to them. They do not make law: that is the job of legislators, and for the authors and ratifiers of constitutions. They are not Apollo; they are his oracle. They are passive interpreters. Their role is semantic.

The passive view of the judicial role is aggressively defended in a new book by Justice Antonin Scalia and the legal lexicographer Bryan Garner (Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts, 2012). They advocate what is best described as textual originalism, because they want judges to “look for meaning in the governing text, ascribe to that text the meaning that it has borne from its inception, and reject judicial speculation about both the drafters’ extra-textually derived purposes and the desirability of the fair reading’s anticipated consequences.” This austere interpretive method leads to a heavy emphasis on dictionary meanings, in disregard of a wise warning issued by Judge Frank Easterbrook, who though himself a self-declared textualist advises that “the choice among meanings [of words in statutes] must have a footing more solid than a dictionary—which is a museum of words, an historical catalog rather than a means to decode the work of legislatures.”

Scalia and Garner reject (before they later accept) Easterbrook’s warning. Does an ordinance that says that “no person may bring a vehicle into the park” apply to an ambulance that enters the park to save a person’s life? For Scalia and Garner, the answer is yes. After all, an ambulance is a vehicle—any dictionary will tell you that. If the authors of the ordinance wanted to make an exception for ambulances, they should have said so. And perverse results are a small price to pay for the objectivity that textual originalism offers (new dictionaries for new texts, old dictionaries for old ones). But Scalia and Garner later retreat in the ambulance case, and their retreat is consistent with a pattern of equivocation exhibited throughout their book.

One senses a certain defensiveness in Justice Scalia’s advocacy of a textualism so rigid as to make the ambulance driver a lawbreaker. He is one of the most politically conservative Supreme Court justices of the modern era and the intellectual leader of the conservative justices on the Supreme Court. Yet the book claims that his judicial votes are generated by an “objective” interpretive methodology, and that, since it is objective, ideology plays no role. It is true, as Scalia and Garner say, that statutory text is not inherently liberal or inherently conservative; it can be either, depending on who wrote it. Their premise is correct, but their conclusion does not follow: text as such may be politically neutral, but textualism is conservative.
A legislature is thwarted when a judge refuses to apply its handiwork to an unforeseen situation that is encompassed by the statute’s aim but is not a good fit with its text.

OMITTING CONTRARY evidence turns out to be Scalia and Garner’s favorite rhetorical device.

Scalia and Garner applaud a decision (State by Cooper v. French) holding that a refusal to rent a house to an unmarried heterosexual couple did not violate a statute forbidding discrimination in rentals on grounds of “marital status,” a term not defined in the statute. The court relied for this conclusion on another statute, one forbidding fornication. One may doubt whether that statute was the actual motivator of the decision, given the statement in the majority opinion—remarkable for 1990—that “it is simply astonishing to me that the argument is made that the legislature intended to protect fornication and promote a lifestyle which corrodes the institutions which have sustained our civilization, namely, marriage and family life.” This statement is not quoted by Scalia and Garner. (And two sentences later the judge referred, contrary to a Scalia-Garner Diktat, to the statute’s legislative history.)

After the refusal to rent, but before the court’s decision, the anti-discrimination law had been amended to define “marital status” as “whether a person is single, married, remarried, divorced, separated, or a surviving spouse”; and the man and woman who had wanted to rent were both single, a protected marital status under the amended statute. On the page following their discussion of the case, Scalia and Garner, having moved on to another case, remark that “the meaning of an ambiguous provision may change in light of a subsequent enactment … unless the ambiguous provision had already been given an authoritative judicial interpretation.” The original provision— “marital status”—had been undefined and therefore ambiguous, and had not been given an authoritative judicial interpretation. So the amendment, which broadened statutory protection to unmarried persons, provided some basis (though far from conclusive), consistent with textual originalism as understood by Scalia and Garner, for the court’s decision that they denounce. They do not mention this possibility.

Scalia and Garner are capable of reveling in absurdity. A provision of federal immigration law allowed the wife of a naturalized American citizen to be admitted to the United States for treatment in a hospital without being detained as an alien. The non-citizen wife of a native-born (as distinct from naturalized) American citizen was denied entry for treatment, and the Supreme Court upheld the denial in Chung Fook v. White. Scalia and Garner applaud the result, which gave more rights to the wife of a naturalized citizen than to the wife of a native-born citizen, while calling it “admittedly absurd.” They recognize a doctrine of “absurdity” that permits interpretive deviations from literal readings that produce ludicrous results, but they declare the doctrine inapplicable in this case because a provision relating to native-born Americans would be out of place in an immigration statute, which is about aliens—yet the citizen’s wife whose right of entry was in question was an alien.

They fail to mention that the Supreme Court appears to have agreed with the sensible alternative interpretation of the statute that the court of appeals had adopted.

THERE IS A COMMON THREAD to the cases that Scalia and Garner discuss.

Judges discuss the meanings of words and sometimes look for those meanings in dictionaries. But judges who consult dictionaries also consider the range of commonsensical but non-textual clues to meaning that come naturally to readers trying to solve an interpretive puzzle. How many readers of Scalia and Garner’s massive tome will do what I have done—read the opinions cited in their footnotes and discover that in discussing the opinions they give distorted impressions of how judges actually interpret legal texts?

Another problem with their defense of textual originalism is their disingenuous characterization of other interpretive theories, typified by their statement that textual originalism is the only “objective standard of interpretation even competing for acceptance. Nonoriginalism is not an interpretive theory—it is nothing more than a repudiation of originalism, leaving open the question: How does a judge determine when and how the meaning of a text has changed? To this question the nonoriginalists have no answer—or rather no answer that comes even close to being an objective test.” But “non-originalism” is not the name of an alternative method of interpretation. It is just a bogeyman, like what they call “so-called consequentialism”—“is this decision good for the little guy?”

A problem that undermines their entire approach is the authors’ lack of a consistent commitment to textual originalism. They endorse fifty-seven “canons of construction,” or interpretive principles, and in their variety and frequent ambiguity these “canons” provide them with all the room needed to generate the outcome that favors Justice Scalia’s strongly felt views on such matters as abortion, homosexuality, illegal immigration, states’ rights, the death penalty, and guns.

ANOTHER interpretive principle  ;) that Scalia and Garner approve is the presumption against the implied repeal of state statutes by federal statutes. They base this “on an assumption of what Congress, in our federal system, would or should normally desire.” What Congress would desire? What Congress should desire? Is this textualism, too?

The remarkable elasticity of Scalia and Garner’s methodology
is further illustrated by their discussion of a case in which the Supreme Court held, over a dissent by Scalia, that a federal statute providing that no state could require a statement relating to smoking and health to be placed on a cigarette package, other than the statement required by the statute, did not preempt state tort suits charging cigarette advertisers with misrepresentation concerning the health hazards of smoking.

The ruling was consistent with the canon approved by Scalia that I mentioned earlier—that a federal statute is presumed to supplement rather than displace state law. The majority held that suits based on the state’s view of the health hazards of smoking were preempted (and this part of the decision Scalia concurred in), just not suits based on the duty to avoid misrepresentation. Scalia and Garner ignore the distinction, saying instead that “when Congress has explicitly set forth its desire, there is no justification for not taking Congress at its word.” But the statute was not explicit about overriding all state tort suits that might relate to cigarette advertising—it did not mention such suits; and so the approved canon should have carried the day for Scalia.

Justice Scalia has called himself in print a “faint-hearted originalist.” It seems he means the adjective at least as sincerely as he means the noun. (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on February 19, 2016, 08:41:25 pm

Despite the fact that Hillary suffered the second biggest defeat in New Hampshire's history, both candidates walked away from New Hampshire with 15 delegates.


Because in the Democratic Party, unpledged delegates, also known as "superdelegates", don't have to support the same candidate as the majority of voters.

In fact, the whole point of superdelegates is to give the party elite more control over the primary process.

That's not a conspiracy theory, that's what the chair of the Democratic National Committee recently told Jake Tapper.

That's right, the chair of the DNC said that unpledged "superdelegates" are meant to be a bulwark against grassroots movements in the Democratic Party.


Have the Democratic Superdelegates Been Compromised? (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on February 25, 2016, 07:45:50 pm
The Washington Post

National Security

Justice Scalia spent his last hours with members of this secretive society of elite hunters

What is St. Hubertus?  (    

Play Video1:48 (at story link)

High-ranking members of the elite hunting society, St. Hubertus   (, were staying at Cibolo Creek Ranch at the same time as Justice Scalia in the days leading up to his death. Here's what you need to know about the group. (Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post)

By Amy Brittain and Sari Horwitz February 24 at 7:37 PM  

When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died 12 days ago at a West Texas ranch, he was among high-ranking members of an exclusive fraternity for hunters called the International Order of St. Hubertus ( , an Austrian society that dates back to the 1600s.

After Scalia’s death Feb. 13, the names of the 35 other guests at the remote resort, along with details about Scalia’s connection to the hunters, have remained largely unknown. A review of public records shows that some of the men who were with Scalia at the ranch are connected through the International Order of St. Hubertus, whose members gathered at least once before at the same ranch for a celebratory weekend.

Members of the worldwide, male-only society wear dark-green robes emblazoned with a large cross and the motto “Deum Diligite Animalia Diligentes,” which means “Honoring God by honoring His creatures,”   ( according to the group’s website. Some hold titles, such as Grand Master, Prior and Knight Grand Officer. The Order’s name is in honor of Hubert, the patron saint of hunters and fishermen.

[Texas sheriff’s report reveals more details on Supreme Court Justice Scalia’s death]

Cibolo Creek Ranch owner John Poindexter and C. Allen Foster, a prominent Washington lawyer who traveled to the ranch with Scalia by private plane, hold leadership positions within the Order. It is unclear what, if any, official association Scalia had with the group.  ;)

Inside the ranch where Justice Scalia died

View Photos

The Texas resort ranch spanned 30,000 acres.
“There is nothing I can add to your observation that among my many guests at Cibolo Creek Ranch over the years some members of the International Order of St. Hubertus have been numbered,” (  Poindexter ( said in an email. “I am aware of no connection between that organization and Justice Scalia.”     (

An attorney for the Scalia family did not respond to requests for comment for this article. (

Two other private planes that landed at the ranch for the weekend are linked to two men who have held leadership positions with the Texas chapter of the Order(, according to a review of state business filings and flight records from the airport.

After Scalia’s death, Poindexter told reporters that he met Scalia at a “sports group” gathering in Washington. The U.S. chapter of the International Order of St. Hubertus lists a suite on M Street NW in the District as its headquarters, although the address is only a mailbox in a United Parcel Service store.  (

[How St. Hubert’s encounter with a deer inspired the society]  ::)

The International Order of St. Hubertus, according to its website, is a “true knightly order in the historical tradition.”

In 1695, Count Franz Anton von Sporck founded the society in Bohemia, which is in modern-day Czech Republic.  (

The group’s Grand Master is “His Imperial Highness Istvan von Habsburg-Lothringen, Archduke of Austria,” ( according to the Order’s website. The next gathering for “Ordensbrothers” and guests is an “investiture” March 10 in Charleston, S.C.

The society’s U.S. chapter launched in 1966 at the famous Bohemian Club in San Francisco, which is associated with the all-male Bohemian Grove  ( — one of the most well-known secret societies in the country.

In 2010, Poindexter hosted a group of 53 members of the Houston chapter of the International Order of St. Hubertus at the Cibolo Creek Ranch, according to a Houston society publication. A number of members from Mexico were also part of the ranch festivities that included “three days of organized shoots and ‘gala’ lunches and dinners.”  (

Poindexter told CultureMap Houston that some of the guests dressed in “traditional European shooting attire for the boxed bird shoot competition” and for the shooting of pheasants and chukar, a type of partridge.

For the hunting weekend earlier this month, Poindexter told The Washington Post that Scalia traveled to Houston with his friend and U.S. marshals, who provide security for Supreme Court justices. The Post obtained a Presidio County Sheriff’s Office report that named Foster as Scalia’s close friend on the trip.

Sheriff Danny Dominguez confirmed that a photograph of Washington lawyer C. Allen Foster is the same man he interviewed at the ranch the day of Scalia’s death.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on February 25, 2016, 07:56:29 pm
VIDEO: ‘Days of Revolt’: Chris Hedges and Jill Stein Confront the ‘Corporate Leviathan’

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on March 03, 2016, 12:45:16 am
"we must change to a LIFE Economy" - John Perkins  (


Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: trianglejohn on March 07, 2016, 08:14:09 am
Not only corruption can be held responsible for this, peoples' state of mind and resistance to change can also be considered even if the change is good. The economy is already doomed specifically us economic collapse ( is bound to happen this year and analyst say this will be bigger than 2008. So basically the common people are doomed and wealthy people will again be safe by looting the commons which aids the government bribery by rich classs.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on March 07, 2016, 02:40:02 pm
Not only corruption can be held responsible for this, peoples' state of mind and resistance to change can also be considered even if the change is good. The economy is already doomed specifically us economic collapse ( is bound to happen this year and analyst say this will be bigger than 2008. So basically the common people are doomed and wealthy people will again be safe by looting the commons which aids the government bribery by rich classs.

Yes, the propagandists use the natural resistance to change in humans as a tool to preserve the unsustainable and corrupt status quo. Yes, the wealthy have more staying power. But their unsustainable polluting modus operandi will be their undoing too.  The fact that it has taken over 150 years for the deleterious effects on the biosphere to start to eat into polluter bottom lines, thereby endangering  the chances of their offspring to inherit a viable biosphere, does not auger well for the Predators 'R' US worshippers of "greed is good".

I guess the rest of us can take cold comfort from that.  8)
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on March 07, 2016, 10:04:57 pm
Agelbert Explanatory NOTE: As of January of 2015, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) amended the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) to require, as a condition for loading a packed container onto a ship for export, that the container has a verified weight.

US Exporters Exempt From SOLAS, says USCG

March 4, 2016 by The Loadstar

USCG Shipping Container Inspection
(picture at link)
Petty Officer 1st Class Kenneth Hoppe, a marine science technician assigned to the container inspection team at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound in Seattle. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Katelyn Shearer.
By Alex Lennane, TheLoadStar – The US Coast Guard (USCG), which this week added further confusion to the soon-to-be enforced SOLAS rules on container weight verification, has written a blog post clarifying  ( its position. As Rear-Admiral Paul Thomas noted at the JOC’s TPM event in Long Beach for US exports, the USCG will not require (  ( exporter to provide the weight, either actual or TARE, of the carrier’s container to the carrier.

This position appears to be a result of competitive concerns – and pressure from exporters. The exporters’ group, the Agriculture Transportation Coalition, helpfully  ;) issued a statement clarifying the USCG position on its behalf, implying a cosy relationship between the two.


“Not only is [t]his conclusion logical, but it is consistent with the position being taken by other countries, including Brazil (a major competitor to US agriculture).” (

US exporters are resisting    ( the cost and disruption of additional safety at sea measures, which are being implemented globally. USCG argues that a carrier can add the TARE weight to the shipper’s gross weight of cargo, if it wants to comply with SOLAS.

It added: “It recognises the many existing statutory and regulatory requirements for accurate cargo weight reporting for both domestic and export shipments, and is consistent with safe export maritime commerce.”  (

Of course an observer might ask, if that was truly the case, why would the IMO introduce the new measures?    (   (   

The Loadstar is fast becoming known at the highest levels of logistics and supply chain management as one of the best sources of influential analysis and commentary.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on March 15, 2016, 09:50:28 pm

Thom's blog

A Key Component of American Fascism is Already in Place

Thanks to Donald Trump's increasingly hostile and race-baiting rhetoric, the topic of fascism -- what it is and what causes it -- is once again on the minds of many Americans.

And while Trump's rise to the top of the Republican field should scare anyone who's read about how Hitler and Mussolini rose to power, what's even scarier is that one of the key components of American fascism is already in place, and has been ever since the Reagan Revolution.

That component is monopoly, something former Vice President Henry Wallace   ( as the key to fascism in a 1944 piece for The New York Times.

American fascists, Wallace wrote,
"...claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective... is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection."

At the time Wallace was writing, the threat of fascism was very, very real.

The U.S. was fighting a two front war against Axis powers, and was just three years removed from a Japanese fascist attack on its home soil.

It was also just eleven years removed from the tense days of 1933, when Marine Corps General Smedley Butler exposed a plot by big business to overthrow President Franklin Roosevelt in a military coup.

That plot, the so-called Business Plot, was concocted by the very same rich men and corporations who Wallace said would support American fascism.

But luckily, thanks to the New Deal and Roosevelt's trust-busting efforts, those forces had been kept in check, and would remain in check until the 1980s when President Ronald Reagan stopped enforcing the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.

That act, which was signed into law in 1890, is our government's most powerful tool against monopoly, and ever since Reagan threw it out the proverbial window, the monopolists -- Wallace's American fascists -- have been on the march.

Almost every major industry in the United States is now controlled by a of handful giant multinational corporations.

Read more here. (

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on March 22, 2016, 03:01:11 am
A recent study out of Princeton, for example, pointed out that the likelihood of legislation passing that represents the interest of that bottom 90% was equivalent, statistically, to white noise.  (

So why is that?

Well, it's complicated...

But on the Democratic side of things it has a lot to do with changes in party structure and demographics that began in the 1970s.

Thomas Frank's new book Listen, Liberal: Or, Whatever Happened to the Party of the People? argues that starting with the McGovern Commission of 1972 - which largely excommunicated Labor from having a large role in Democratic Party decision-making - the Democratic Party largely abandoned the American working and middle class - the bottom 90%. (

It instead began to embrace -- and now fully embraces -- the "professional class" - i.e. the top 10% economically.   (

They consciously moved away from labor and the working class and towards an elitist embrace of the banksters, the emerging "geniuses" of Silicon Valley, and the college-educated at all levels.

What Happens When Neither Political Party Answers to the Bottom 90%? (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on March 26, 2016, 03:31:52 pm
Mark Ruffalo and Annie Leonard: We Must Rebuild Our Democracy

Annie Leonard and Mark Ruffalo | March 25, 2016 8:23 am


2016 will be the first American presidential election since 1965 with major new voting restrictions—photo identification requirements, cuts to early voting and the elimination of same day voting registration are just a few of the roadblocks thrown up by special interests in 15 states.

Not only that, but once voters overcome these obstacles to actually vote, the candidates they have to choose from will be largely self-selected from the economic elites  (, looking out for banks like Goldman Sachs instead of everyday people.

Rather than a government of the people, by the people and for the people, we have a government of super-PACs and dark money, by the 1% and for corporate interests.  (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on March 27, 2016, 05:59:32 pm

Protesters against a Vermont Gas natural gas pipeline hold a banner in front of the building that houses the Department of Public Service and Public Service Board on Montpelier’s State Street. Photo by C.B. Hall/VTDigger

Public  (  Service  ( Board ( considers barring public from Vermont Gas ( eminent domain hearings

Mar. 26, 2016, 5:24 am by Mike Polhamus

The Vermont Public Service Board is considering whether to bar the public from attending eminent domain hearings for a controversial gas pipeline.

The board has asked participants in the Vermont Gas Systems hearings for comment by March 31.

Protesters have interrupted eminent domain proceedings, the March 17 court order says, “by shouting, singing loudly, and leaving their seats to crowd the physical space around many of the parties and the court reporter.”

Law enforcement officials have expressed doubt over whether they can prevent protesters from disrupting future hearings.  ;D

The board’s request for comment was issued in part out of concern for the safety of participants and others who may be in attendance at the hearings.

Jim Dumont, an attorney for several of the private landowners, wrote in a response to the board’s order that it is wrong for the board to treat peaceful protesters as a threat to public safety.

“One may disagree with the protesters’ views on the efficacy or style of their protests, but I think it ill serves reasonable public debate about this terribly important subject to suggest that their actions have been tainted by threats of violence,” Dumont wrote.

Dumont told the board to do whatever they consider necessary to maintain order during the proceedings, but said it would be inappropriate to exclude the public. That would go against the First Amendment, the Vermont Constitution, and Vermont’s open meetings laws, he said.

“Any member of the public who disrupts the proceedings can be removed by law enforcement,” he said. “There is no legitimate reason to exclude members of the public who do not disrupt the proceedings.”

One of the protesters said he plans to continue agitating against the pipeline as long as he is able.
“If there are more eminent domain hearings, there will be protests,” said Alex Porlman, an organizer with the anti-pipeline group Rising Tide Vermont.

“The eminent domain process is structured so that the company is always going to win ( at the end of the day,” he said.
“It’s just the most egregious example of the state working with the company to pave the way for the pipeline. It’s worth fighting against, and we’ll definitely keep doing so.”(

Vermont Gas
spokeswoman Beth Parent said she couldn’t comment on the company’s response to the board’s order because it has not yet been submitted.

Protesters have forestalled several attempts by the Public Service Board to conduct hearings on eminent domain proceedings against landowners across whose property Vermont Gas would bury the pipeline. Protesters have also prevented multiple attempts by appraisers to valuate the land.  ;D

Vermont Gas has built an 11 mile a loop between Colchester to Williston, which is part of the 41-mile project. When complete it will extend to Middlebury.

The company has negotiated agreements from 98 percent of landowners to build a pipeline through Addison County.


Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on March 28, 2016, 02:29:52 am
Bernie Sanders Giving The Establishment A Headache  ( (


Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on March 29, 2016, 03:58:55 pm
Is the US putting unfair pressure on the EU to accept genetically modified crops?  ???

William Engdahl, economic researcher, journalist and historian author of Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of GMO, offers his extensively researched wisdom on the subject.

"The US government has made GMO seeds, patented from Dupont and Monsanto, a national security priority, tantamount to the export of defense weapons for the Pentagon and for the US budget. It's a national security export sector agribusiness, and especially GMO seeds."

He further explains that the US government co-holds the patent with Monsanto on terminator seed technology!

This brief interview illuminates the fact that the political agenda of food control is more than a little chilling. We need to educate ourselves not only about what we buy, but the worldwide implications of GMO crops.


"..the US government has made GMO seeds, patented from Dupont and Monsanto, a national security priority, tantamount to the export of defense weapons for the Pentagon and for the US budget. It's a national security export sector -- agribusiness, and especially GMO seeds."

P.S. Please share emails and videos with your friends and colleagues.

That's how we grow. Thanks.
Next World TV
PO Box 145
Tivoli NY 12583

Agelbert NOTE: After reading and viewing the above, the following news cannot be interpreted any other way than as evidence of FASCIST (Monsanto + (i.e. equals) Government) profit over people and planet.

USDA Deregulates Two Lines of Genetically Engineered Corn From Monsanto, Syngenta

Shannon Van Hoesen, Environmental Working Group | March 29, 2016 12:59 pm

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said last week it will allow farmers to plant two new strains of genetically modified (GMO) corn, one created by Monsanto and the other by Syngenta, without government oversight. The new strains are tolerant ( of the weed killers dicamba ( and glufosinate .(

The decision is likely to lead to ever-greater use of these and other pesticides ( to grow genetically engineered crops, giving consumers yet another reason to want food products containing GMO ingredients to be labeled accordingly.

Like earlier GMO crops that were modified to be herbicide-tolerant, the new GMO corn is designed to survive being blanketed with toxic chemicals that kill weeds and other plant life on the field. (

Reuters reported that Monsanto created the new corn strain in response to growing competition facing its signature Roundup herbicide from generic alternatives to glyphosate, Roundup’s key ingredient. But perhaps more notably, Monsanto wants to diversify its herbicide portfolio because more and more weeds have evolved into so-called superweeds that can withstand glyphosate.

This news is the latest illustration of the chemical treadmill created by genetically modified crops. Once one herbicide stops working, manufacturers come up with a new set of chemicals.  (

We don’t always know the health effects of the increased use of these herbicides, especially in combination with other environmental contaminants, but we do know that the massive expansion of GMO crops has led to an explosion in herbicide use, specifically glyphosate, by U.S. farms.  (

American consumers, however, have no way to know whether the food they’re eating was produced with GMOs and thus likely to have been doused with chemicals that have been linked to cancer and other diseases.

Now that USDA has abdicated responsibility for regulating where and how much of this new GMO corn will be planted, it is more critical than ever that Congress pass a mandatory GMO-labeling law to give consumers the information that 9 out of every 10 Americans want.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on March 29, 2016, 10:20:56 pm

After Obama's seventh or eighth appointment of a Monsanto employee to a high government position I stopped counting.  Excuse the puns but our globistanian candidate planted seeds of GMO domination years ago and now those seeds have sprouted, have grown, and are now ready for harvest as a bumper crop of opposition of all who would oppose the economic dictums of empire.

Yep. And even before that, the "Patriot" Act was used to prosecute anybody that got in the way of Big Ag.  :(

Fascist Big Ag uses Food Disparagement Law and the Patriot Act to threaten Truth tellers! (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on April 01, 2016, 04:10:23 pm
I liked the article's closing line.

"Clinton has embraced the corruption."

That she has, over and over again.  A vote for Clinton is not a vote against Trump.  A vote for Clnton is a vote for ignorance.  The popularity of Trump is an expression of America's disgust with the plutocratic policies of the majority of politicians from both of our major political parties and their total lack of foresight regarding the future health and prosperity of the nation.  This does not make supporters of Trump bad people.  They are instead tragically misinformed and horribly misdirected. 

A vote for Clinton in contrast is madness.  Madness as in 'what me worry' Alfred E Newman mad.  A 'what me worry' vote for Clinton is ignorance because it ignores the real and justified popularity of Trump.  A vote for Clinton is a vote in denial that the nation has any problems that need to be fixed at all.  To this I have a suggestion.  If you think the nation does not have problems that need to be fixed then please do not vote.  If the nation doesn't have problems that need to be fixed then voting at all is a waste of time.

If you think the nation does have problems then voting for Clinton is a wasted vote.  Wasted because Hillary Clinton is a woman without an original thought in her head.  Everything she says is begged borrowed or stolen from someone else.  If you do not agree please do follow my comment with examples of her originality.  We do not need a leader like her because a leader like that does not lead.  All Hillary is capable of doing is exaserbating the problems we already have.

The idea that Bernie doesn't have a chance is bunk.  It is an idea pushed by the plutocratic propaganda machine which is going out of its way to make the point.  But if Bernie does not have a chance then why waste our time talking about it?

Oliver makes a valid comparison to the Spanish revolution.  Pedestrian ignorance spoiled the day then and it can happen now.  In the spirit of the Spanish Revolution I'd take a bullet through the neck if I knew I'd survive like George Orwell did if it could get Bernie in the Oval Office and keep Clinton out.

Trump I'm not so worried about.  Trump would be so up to his ass in alligators the first day he would forget that his original goal was to F U C K UP the swamp.  Hillary in contrast will facilitate the ongoing train wreck which has derailed the nation because she is an insider.

Marvelous posting K-Dog.

Ditto!    (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on April 08, 2016, 03:37:25 pm
The Marshall Islands TOO?!!!  ???

( Panama Papers reveal London as centre of 'spider's web'   (

Updated 07 Apr 2016 07:40

LONDON: ( While shining a spotlight on the secret financial arrangements of the rich and powerful, the so-called Panama Papers have laid bare London's role as a vital organ of the world's tax-haven network.     (  (

The files leaked from Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca exposed Britain's link to thousands of firms based in tax havens and how secret money is invested in British assets, particularly London property.

Critics accuse British authorities of turning a blind eye to the inflow of suspect money and of being too close to the financial sector to clamp down on the use of its overseas territories as havens, with the British Virgin Islands alone hosting 110,000 of the Mossack Fonseca's clients.

The Tax Justice Network's Financial Secrecy Index. (AFP/Jean Michel Cornu, Alain Bommenel)

"London is the epicentre of so much of the sleaze that happens in the world," Nicholas Shaxson, author of the book "Treasure Islands", which examines the role of offshore banks and tax havens, told AFP.

The political analyst said that Britain itself was relatively transparent and clean, but that companies used the country's territories abroad - relics of the days of empire - to "farm out the seedier stuff", often under the guise of shell companies with anonymous owners.

"Tax evasion and stuff like that will be done in the external parts of the network. Usually there will be links to the City of London, UK law firms, UK accountancy firms and to UK banks," he said, calling London the centre of a "spider's web".

"They're all agents of the City of London - that is where the whole exercise is controlled from," Richard Murphy, professor at London's City University, said of the offshore havens.


The files showed that Britain had the third highest number of Mossack Fonseca's middlemen operating within its borders, with 32,682 advisers.

Although not illegal  ;) in themselves  ;), shell companies can be used for illegal activities such as laundering the proceeds of criminal activities or to conceal misappropriated or politically-inconvenient wealth.

Around 310,000 tax haven companies (
own an estimated £170 billion (US$240 billion) of British real estate, 10 per cent of which were linked to Mossack Fonseca.

The files appeared to show that the United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan owned London properties worth more than £1.2 billion (US$1.7 billion) and that Mariam Safdar, daughter of Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif, was the beneficial owner of two offshore companies that owned flats on the exclusive Park Lane.

The revelations undermined promises by British Prime Minister David Cameron to clear up the murky world of offshore finance and its proceeds.

"Every few years London pretends  ( to 'clean up its act'," wrote columnist Simon Jenkins in the capital's Evening Standard newspaper. "Most world cities are ruthless against foreigners who arrive with suitcases of cash to buy property or other businesses. Not London," he added. "It is awash in 'offshore' towers overlooking the Thames."


Conspicuous displays of foreign wealth  ( are common around the British capital from the lavish statues outside the mansions of Russian oligarchs to the fleet of Lamborghinis raced by Middle Eastern princelings around the streets of plush Knightsbridge.

London's reputation as the "capital of funny money" - so-called by Jenkins - is closely related to its legitimate attraction as a financial centre, with its  light-touch regulation, laissez-faire attitude towards wealth, vibrant culture and history of global trading  (, said Shaxson.




"London has been a crossroads for the world's money for centuries," he explained. "When the British empire collapsed, London swapped being the governor of the imperial engine to being an offshore island and allowing money to come with no questions asked," he added.

With public pressure mounting, Murphy said Britain had the power to legislate directly on its overseas territories, but the lobbying power of the financial sector and worries about upsetting the jewel in Britain's economic crown were holding back efforts.

"The City of London seems to believe that without these conduits, then it would not have the competitive edge that it needs," he said. "The financial institutions have become like wild animals," added Shaxson.

"It's the government's responsibility to stop this nonsense. The government has been captured by the banking establishment and some way has to be found for that to be broken. British politicians feel they can't do anything."   (

- AFP/de

Agelbert NOTE:
NOW you KNOW why there is NEVER "any money" for we-the-sheeple...



Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on April 12, 2016, 12:30:07 am
Agelbert NOTE: And now some news about THE Texas Attorney General by the name of Paxton. He is a Tea Party Republican ( who, no doubt, blames gooberment intrusion on the liberty of Patriotic=Predatory Capitalist Americans for all the woes of this country. He has sued the federal gooberment several times. I guess the gooberment decided to give him some Texas pay back. (  (   (

Technology | Mon Apr 11, 2016 4:42pm EDT

Related: Tech, Regulatory News, Breakingviews

SEC charges Texas attorney general for stock scam

By Suzanne Barlyn

U.S. regulators charged Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Monday for his alleged role in a stock scam that defrauded investors in a Texas-based technology company called Servergy Inc.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accused the company and former Chief Executive Officer William Mapp of selling private stock while misleading investors about the energy efficiency of its sole product, and accused Paxton of working to raise investor funds for the company without disclosing his commissions.

The SEC's civil case followed a related criminal case against Paxton for securities fraud. Last year, a Texas state grand jury indicted Paxton on two fraud charges related to stock sales and compensation from Servergy.

Paxton, a Tea Party Republican, is also facing charges he illegally acted as a securities agent for another firm run by a political ally. A spokesman for Paxton has said the case was politically motivated.

"Like the criminal matter, Mr. Paxton vehemently denies the allegations in the civil lawsuit and looks forward to not only all of the facts coming out, but also to establishing his innocence in both the civil and criminal matters," said William Mateja, Paxton's lawyer.

Servergy, which cut ties with Mapp, agreed to a $200,000 penalty to settle the SEC case. Servergy neither admitted nor denied the agency's charges.

The case relates to investor communications made while Mapp led Servergy, the company said. Servergy cooperated with the SEC investigation under new leadership and considered Monday’s announcement the end of the matter, it said.

“Mr. Mapp vehemently denies the SEC’s allegations and intends to vigorously defend himself,” said Jason Lewis, Mapp's lawyer in Dallas.

The Texas attorney general's office declined to comment.

When in the state legislature, Paxton was hired to seek clients by investment firm Mowery Capital Management in McKinney, Texas. On March 16, Texas securities regulators ordered Mowery and its founder to pay a total of $90,000 in civil penalties for defrauding investors, according to a filing.

In 2014, Texas securities regulators also fined Paxton $1,000 for not properly registering as an investment adviser.

Paxton  ( has sued President Barack Obama at least eight times
since becoming Texas attorney general last year.

Issues have included taxes under Obama's signature healthcare law and blocking resettlement of Syrian refugees in Texas.

The Texas Democratic Party has called for Paxton's resignation. A poll last year by the Texas Bipartisan Justice Committee showed 62 percent of Republicans also think he should resign.     ( (

(Reporting by Suzanne Barlyn in New York and Jon Herskovitz in Austin; Additional reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Alistair Bell)
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on April 21, 2016, 03:04:29 pm

A Dictionary of Euphemisms for Imperial Decline

Posted on Apr 18, 2016

By William J. Astore / TomDispatch


Cloaking violent, even murderous actions in anodyne language might help a few doubting functionaries sleep easier at night, but it should make the rest of us profoundly uneasy.

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on April 23, 2016, 05:35:12 pm
"I don't think any Democrat's ever won saying, 'We can't think that big,'" the vice president said.

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders during Sanders' swearing-in ceremony at the U.S. Senate in 2013.

Although Vice President Joe Biden has promised to stay neutral on the Democratic presidential candidates this campaign season, he offered high praise for Bernie Sanders' message in an interview with the New York Times published Thursday: Biden will "take Mr. Sanders' aspirational approach over Mrs. Clinton's caution any day," the newspaper reports.

"I like the idea of saying, 'We can do much more,' because we can," Biden told the Times.

The vice president had harsh words for Clinton's call for slow, incremental change over political revolution. Biden said, "I don't think any Democrat's ever won saying, 'We can't think that big—we ought to really downsize here because it's not realistic," he said in a mocking tone, according to the newspaper. "C'mon man, this is the Democratic Party! I'm not part of the party that says, 'Well, we can't do it.'"

Biden has praised Sanders' campaign message before. Sanders "is speaking to a yearning that is deep and real," Biden told CNN in January. "And that is the absolute enormous concentration of wealth in a small group of people, with the middle class [...] being left out."

In contrast, Biden said at the time, "It's relatively new for Hillary to talk about that. Hillary's focus has been on other things up to now, and that's been Bernie's—nobody questions Bernie's authenticity on those issues."

Biden's own career, however, has coincided "with the stagnation in middle-class incomes, especially for Americans without college degrees, which both parties have failed to durably remedy," the New York Times observes.

"That is a failure," Biden acknowledged to the newspaper.

On Thursday, Biden emphasized his support for Sanders' call for radical change, telling the New York Times that U.S. presidents "have always been told by really smart people: 'Don't push something that you can't succeed in—it diminishes your power.' I completely disagree with that proposition."

"Everything I've ever cared about," Biden continued, "with the exception of the president's brilliant passage of the Affordable Care Act, takes time. The only way to get these big things done is talk about them."

Sanders repeated Biden's praise at his campaign stops in Pennsylvania on Thursday, remarking to an exuberant, overflowing crowd in Scranton, "I think the vice president—born and raised in Scranton—I think the vice president is exactly right." (

WHO is Hillary Clinton? ???

by Pam Key 22 Feb 2016
Monday on CNN’s “New Day,” professor and activist Cornel West likened Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to Milli Vanilli, the 1990’s pop duo that was disgraced over lip-synching their Grammy award-wining album.

West said, “Sister Hillary Clinton is the Milli Vanilli of American politics. She lip-syncs, she gives lip service,  but when it comes to policy, who supported the crime bill? Who supported, not just the deregulating of banks, but also pulled the rug from under welfare? She talks about her work with the Children’s Defense Fund way back in the ’70s —doesn’t say a word about being a Goldwater girl, doesn’t say a word about supporting the candidate who Martin Luther King called… there is no moral case for Goldwater, the most dangerous politician. She vigorously campaigning.  She shows up and gives wonderful speeches sounding like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Bernie Sanders on the ground getting arrested.  The problem is black voters don’t know his history, they know the symbolic language of Hillary Clinton. But on the ground she is calling black youth super predators in the 1990’s. That is the most meaning degrading language to our precious young folk who sometimes do the wrong thing.

We know they have gangsters on Wall Street. How many Wall Street executives  ( go to jail? She is the hero. She  ( is too tied to Wall Street ( with all that big Wall Street money flowing her way brother.” (

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on April 23, 2016, 05:49:44 pm
Proof that Hillary Clinton is a Republican.

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on April 23, 2016, 05:59:03 pm
Message to Hillary Clinton From Anonymous:
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on April 23, 2016, 06:07:13 pm
Empire Files: Abby Martin Exposes What Hillary Clinton Really Represents

Published on Apr 17, 2016

Digging deep into Hillary's connections to Wall Street, Abby Martin reveals how the Clinton's multi-million-dollar political machine operates.

This episode chronicles the Clinton's rise to power in the 90s on a right-wing agenda, the Clinton Foundation's revolving door with Gulf state monarchies, corporations and the world's biggest financial institutions, and the establishment of the hyper-aggressive "Hillary Doctrine" while Secretary of State. Learn the essential facts about the great danger she poses, and why she's the US Empire's choice for its next CEO.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on April 23, 2016, 06:23:36 pm
The Empire Files: Abby Martin with Dr. Jill Stein - Symptoms of a Sick Society

"The Democratic Party 'lesser evil' paves the way for the Greater Evil."
"The politics of frear (voting AGAINST the enemy you fear instead voting FOR  a candidate with your principles) is what has DELIVERED MORE corporate control and LESS democracy" - Dr. Jill Stein

Published on Apr 4, 2016

Part of the way the U.S. Empire's elections are rigged is the corporate media's censorship of third-party candidates, despite their nationwide campaign efforts.

The Green Party, running Dr. Jill Stein for President—on a platform more progressive than Bernie Sanders—has been totally ignored by the establishment.

Abby Martin sits down with Dr. Stein to look at how her career in medicine helped her diagnose America's "multi-organ failure," and why her ideas pose such a threat to Empire.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on April 23, 2016, 06:52:56 pm
Amy Goodman exposes CNN conscience free Propaganda efforts trying to manufacture negative views towards Sanders and positive views towards Clinton AND Trump.

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on April 23, 2016, 07:46:56 pm

Bill Roberts   
These electronic voting machines and tabulators MUST BE BANNED if we are ever going to have any hope of a fair and honest election in this country again.  The money and power at stake is simply too great to leave it up to the integrity of the candidates and their campaigns.  With the exception of Bernie Sanders, no presidential candidate or campaign has any integrity at this point.

Published on Mar 23, 2016

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on April 23, 2016, 08:50:27 pm
How the good people were chased out of the media.  (


"The Democratic Party 'lesser evil' paves the way for the Greater Evil."
"The politics of frear (voting AGAINST the enemy you fear instead voting FOR  a candidate with your principles) is what has DELIVERED MORE corporate control and LESS democracy" - Dr. Jill Stein
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on April 25, 2016, 07:15:05 pm
Reaganomics (  is Literally Making Americans Kill Themselves  (

Apr. 25, 2016 1:08 pm By Thom Hartmann

According to a new study from the National Center for Health Statistics, the suicide rate in the United States has risen dramatically over the past decade-and-a-half.

Adjusting for age, it jumped 24 percent between 1999 and 2014, with the biggest increases coming after 2006. Thirteen out of every 100,000 people now kill themselves, making suicide one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the entire country.

This is a serious public health crisis that needs to be fixed, and while we can't bring back from the dead the people we've already lost, there is something we can do as a country to make sure even more people don't take their own lives.

And that something is to stop voting Republican because Republican policies are driving people to kill themselves.

Seriously, I'm not kidding. This isn't some crazy conspiracy.

It's a well-documented sociological fact.

Numerous studies have found a strong connection between right-wing economic policies and suicide.

Recent research from sociologists David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu, for example, found that suicide rates in both the U.S. and U.K. increase when working class wages and wealth decline. Things were particularly bad during the recession period here in the U.S. when, according to the study's authors, there were 4,750 "excess" suicides.

Another study, this time out of Australia, discovered a similar pattern in that country. It found that almost 35,000 extra suicides occurred when the "Tories" (Australian slang for right-wingers) controlled the government.

This isn't just something that happens in the English-speaking world, either.

When right-wing austerity policies began to ravage Greece in 2010, the suicide rate jumped almost 18 percent. In Athens alone, it soared to 25 percent.

The same thing happened in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. In a rush to switch the former communist country over to the free market, economists forced it go through shock doctrine-style privatization.

The result was a sharp rise in suicides, heart attacks, and alcohol deaths.

Obviously, right-wing economic policies don’t cause every suicide. Some people kill themselves because they have already-existing mental health problems.

Others kill themselves because of drugs. Still others kill themselves because of the shock of sudden personal tragedy.

But even so, there’s no question that right-wing economic policies, otherwise known as Reaganomics, make things a whole lot worse.

When people are unemployed, underemployed, or working dead-end jobs for starvation wages, they’re more likely to suffer from depression. They’re also more likely to resort to hard drugs to help them cope with the pain of economic deprivation.

Meanwhile, the compounding effect of austerity cuts to public health services just makes the whole situation worse.

There’s a dark irony here, because Reaganomics is itself form of slow-burning national suicide.
Think about it: Reaganomics has crushed the unions that created middle-class it’s bankrupted the federal government with massive tax cuts for the rich, and it’s sent our trade deficit sky-high with so-called “free trade deal” after so-called “free trade deal.”

Oh yeah, and thanks to deregulation, Reaganomics has also left us much more vulnerable to financial crises, like the one that almost completely took down the world economy 8 years.

So whatever way you look at it, right-wing economic policies are a raw deal. Not only are they killing our country, and they’re literally making every day Americans kill themselves because they just can’t take it anymore.

Even if you don’t care about things like, you know, good wages and fair taxation rates, that fact alone should make you angry.

Conservative economic policies kill -- it’s as simple as that.
It’s time repudiate Reaganomics once and for all so we can save our country as well as the lives of the people who live in it.

By the way, if you’re having dark or suicidal thoughts, you’re not alone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 to speak to someone who can help. It’s open 24/7.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on April 29, 2016, 04:04:57 pm
Perhaps I've been too harse on The Apricot One. According to Tom Engelhardt, he could be the first doomer presidential candidate.

Tom Engelhardt: The Real Meaning of Donald Trump (

He’s a Sign of American Decline (Just Not in the Way You Think).

"Low-energy Jeb." "Little Marco." "Lyin’ Ted." "Crooked Hillary." Give Donald Trump credit. He has a memorable way with insults. His have a way of etching themselves on the brain. And they’ve garnered media coverage, analysis, and commentary almost beyond imagining. Memorable as they might be, however, they won’t be what last of Trump’s 2016 election run. That’s surely reserved for a single slogan that will sum up his candidacy when it’s all over (no matter how it ends). He arrived with it on that Trump Tower escalator in the first moments of his campaign and it now headlines his website, where it's also emblazoned on an array of products from hats to t-shirts.

You already know which line I mean: “Make America Great Again!” With that exclamation point ensuring that you won’t miss the hyperbolic, Trumpian nature of its promise to return the country to its former glory days. In it lies the essence of his campaign, of what he’s promising his followers and Americans generally -- and yet, strangely enough, of all his lines, it’s the one most taken for granted, the one that’s been given the least thought and analysis. And that’s a shame, because it represents something new in our American age. The problem, I suspect, is that what first catches the eye is the phrase “Make America Great” and then, of course, the exclamation point, while the single most important word in the slogan, historically speaking, is barely noted: “again.”

With that “again,” Donald Trump crossed a line in American politics that, until his escalator moment, represented a kind of psychological taboo for politicians of any stripe, of either party, including presidents and potential candidates for that position. He is the first American leader or potential leader of recent times not to feel the need or obligation to insist that the United States, the “sole” superpower of Planet Earth, is an “exceptional” nation, an “indispensable” country, or even in an unqualified sense a “great” one. His claim is the opposite. That, at present, America is anything but exceptional, indispensable, or great, though he alone could make it “great again.” In that claim lies a curiosity that, in a court of law, might be considered an admission of guilt. Yes, it says, if one man is allowed to enter the White House in January 2017, this could be a different country, but -- and in this lies the originality of the slogan -- it is not great now, and in that admission-that-hasn’t-been-seen-as-an-admission lies something new on the American landscape.

Donald Trump, in other words, is the first person to run openly and without apology on a platform of American decline. Think about that for a moment. “Make America Great Again!” is indeed an admission in the form of a boast. As he tells his audiences repeatedly, America, the formerly great, is today a punching bag for China, Mexico... well, you know the pitch. You don’t have to agree with him on the specifics. What’s interesting is the overall vision of a country lacking in its former greatness.

Perhaps a little history of American greatness and presidents (as well as presidential candidates) is in order here.

“City Upon a Hill”

Once upon a time, in a distant America, the words “greatest,” “exceptional,” and “indispensable” weren’t even part of the political vocabulary. American presidents didn’t bother to claim any of them for this country, largely because American wealth and global preeminence were so indisputable. We’re talking about the 1950s and early 1960s, the post-World War II and pre-Vietnam “golden” years of American power. Despite a certain hysteria about the supposed dangers of domestic communists, few Americans then doubted the singularly unchallengeable power and greatness of the country. It was such a given, in fact, that it was simply too self-evident for presidents to cite, hail, or praise.

So if you look, for instance, at the speeches of John F. Kennedy, you won’t find them littered with exceptionals, indispensables, or their equivalents. In a pre-inaugural speech he gave in January 1961 on the kind of government he planned to bring to Washington, for instance, he did cite the birth of a “great republic,” the United States, and quoted Puritan John Winthrop on the desirability of creating a country that would be “a city upon a hill” to the rest of the world, with all of humanity’s eyes upon us. In his inaugural address (“Ask not what your country can do for you...”), he invoked a kind of unspoken greatness, saying, “We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” It was then common to speak of the U.S. with pride as a “free nation” (as opposed to the “enslaved” ones of the communist bloc) rather than an exceptional one. His only use of “great” was to invoke the U.S.-led and Soviet Union-led blocs as “two great and powerful groups of nations.”

Kennedy could even fall back on a certain modesty in describing the U.S. role in the world (that, in those years, from Guatemala to Iran to Cuba, all too often did not carry over into actual policy), saying in one speech, “we must face the fact that the United States is neither omnipotent or omniscient -- that we are only six percent of the world's population -- that we cannot impose our will upon the other 94 percent of mankind -- that we cannot right every wrong or reverse each adversity -- and that therefore there cannot be an American solution to every world problem.” In that same speech, he typically spoke of America as “a great power” -- but not “the greatest power.”

If you didn’t grow up in that era, you may not grasp that none of this in any way implied a lack of national self-esteem. Quite the opposite, it implied a deep and abiding confidence in the overwhelming power and presence of this country, a confidence so unshakeable that there was no need to speak of it.

If you want a pop cultural equivalent for this, consider America’s movie heroes of that time, actors like John Wayne and Gary Cooper, whose Westerns and in the case of Wayne, war movies, were iconic. What’s striking when you look back at them from the present moment is this: while neither of those actors was anything but an imposing figure, they were also remarkably ordinary looking. They were in no way over-muscled nor in their films were they over-armed in the modern fashion. It was only in the years after the Vietnam War, when the country had absorbed what felt like a grim defeat, been wracked by oppositional movements, riots, and assassinations, when a general sense of loss had swept over the polity, that the over-muscled hero, the exceptional killing machine, made the scene. (Think: Rambo.)

Consider this, then, if you want a definition of decline: when you have to state openly (and repeatedly) what previously had been too obvious to say, you’re heading, as the opinion polls always like to phrase it, in the wrong direction; in other words, once you have to say it, especially in an overemphatic way, you no longer have it.

The Reagan Reboot

That note of defensiveness first crept into the American political lexicon with the unlikeliest of politicians: Ronald Reagan, the man who seemed like the least defensive, most genial guy on the planet. On this subject at least, think of him as Trumpian before the advent of The Donald, or at least as the man who (thanks to his ad writers) invented the political use of the word “again.” It was, after all, employed in 1984 in the seminal ad of his political run for a second term in office. While that bucolic-looking TV commercial was entitled “Prouder, Stronger, Better,” its first line ever so memorably went, “It’s morning again in America.” (“Why would we ever want to return to where we were less than four short years ago?”)

Think of this as part of a post-Vietnam Reagan reboot, a time when the U.S. in Rambo-esque fashion was quite literally muscling up and over-arming in a major way. Reagan presided over “the biggest peacetime defense build-up in history” against what, referencing Star Wars, he called an “evil empire” -- the Soviet Union. In those years, he also worked to rid the country of what was then termed “the Vietnam Syndrome” in part by rebranding that war a “noble cause.” In a time when loss and decline were much on the American brain, he dismissed them both, even as he set the country on a path toward the present moment of 1% dysfunction in a country that no longer invests fully in its own infrastructure, whose wages are stagnant, whose poor are a growth industry, whose wealth now flows eternally upward in a political environment awash in the money of the ultra-wealthy, and whose over-armed military continues to pursue a path of endless failure in the Greater Middle East.

Reagan, who spoke directly about American declinist thinking in his time -- “Let's reject the nonsense that America is doomed to decline” -- was hardly shy about his superlatives when it came to this country. He didn’t hesitate to re-channel classic American rhetoric ranging from Winthop’s “shining city upon a hill” (perhaps cribbed from Kennedy) in his farewell address to Lincoln-esque (“the last best hope of man on Earth”) invocations like “here in the heartland of America lives the hope of the world” or “in a world wracked by hatred, economic crisis, and political tension, America remains mankind's best hope.”

And yet, in the 1980s, there were still limits to what needed to be said about America. Surveying the planet, you didn’t yet have to refer to us as the “greatest” country of all or as the planet’s sole truly “exceptional” country. Think of such repeated superlatives of our own moment as defensive markers on the declinist slope. The now commonplace adjective “indispensable” as a stand-in for American greatness globally, for instance, didn’t even arrive until Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State Madeleine Albright began using it in 1996. It only became an indispensable part of the rhetorical arsenal of American politicians, from President Obama on down, a decade-plus into the twenty-first century when the country’s eerie dispensability (unless you were a junkie for failed states and regional chaos) became ever more apparent.

As for the U.S. being the planet’s “exceptional” nation, a phrase that now seems indelibly in the American grain and that no president or presidential candidate has avoided, it’s surprising how late that entered the presidential lexicon. As John Gans Jr. wrote in the Atlantic in 2011, “Obama has talked more about American exceptionalism than Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush combined: a search on UC Santa Barbara's exhaustive presidential records library finds that no president from 1981 to today uttered the phrase ‘American exceptionalism’ except Obama. As U.S. News' Robert Schlesinger wrote, ‘American exceptionalism’ is not a traditional part of presidential vocabulary. According to Schlesinger's search of public records, Obama is the only president in 82 years to use the term.”

And yet in recent years it has become a commonplace of Republicans and Democrats alike. In other words, as the country has become politically shakier, the rhetoric about its greatness has only escalated in an American version of “the lady doth protest too much.” Such descriptors have become the political equivalent of litmus tests: you couldn’t be president or much of anything else without eternally testifying to your unwavering belief in American greatness.

This, of course, is the line that Trump crossed in a curiously unnoticed fashion in this election campaign. He did so by initially upping the rhetorical ante, adding that exclamation point (which even Reagan avoided). Yet in the process of being more patriotically correct than thou, he somehow also waded straight into American decline so bluntly that his own audience could hardly miss it (even if his critics did).

Think of it as an irony, if you wish, but the ultimate American narcissist, in promoting his own rise, has also openly promoted a version of decline and fall to striking numbers of Americans. For his followers, a major political figure has quit with the defensive BS and started saying it the way it is.

Of course, don’t furl the flag or shut down those offshore accounts or start writing the complete history of American decline quite yet. After all, the United States still looms “lone” on an ever more chaotic planet. Its wealth remains stunning, its economic clout something to behold, its tycoons the envy of the Earth, and its military beyond compare when it comes to how much and how destructively, even if not how successfully. Still, make no mistake about it, Donald Trump is a harbinger, however bizarre, of a new American century in which this country will indeed no longer be (with a bow to Muhammad Ali) "the Greatest" or, for all but a shrinking crew, exceptional.

So mark your calendars: 2016 is the official year the U.S. first went public as a declinist power and for that you can thank Donald -- or rather Donald! -- Trump.

The decline began shortly before "Morning in America" with the sabotage of Carter's Presidency on behalf the profit over planet fossil fuel industry "subsidy" welfare queen crooks. liars and murderers.

The massive corruption of the U.S. Government by the infiltration into the EPA and all the energy regulation and policy arms of the U. S. government gave us the tanker double hull requirement DECADE long delay that gave us the Exxon Valdez fun and games, the LACK of required oil platform or land rig site inspections for safety by OSHA (which "exempted" the oil and gas industry from those pesky government "intrusions" that mining corporations were bound to - the oil and gas industries "self regulate" LOL!) that eventually gave us the Deep Horizon fun and games and SO MUCH MORE "externalized" pollution and death effects DIRECTLY CAUSED by fossil fuel industry corruption of government.

Every step of the way through war profiteering and oil shock fun and games, we-the-people and the environment grew steadily weaker while the oil pigs and their Wall Street Fascist friends grew steadily stronger.

The religion of "Greed is Good" permeates every facet of an empire in decline. But it's all just a "conspiracy" for people with a stake in the massive dirty energy profits that are helping to further corrupt our government and degrade our biosphere.

Whatever.  ::)


Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on May 01, 2016, 03:52:21 pm
Vehicle inspections should go, says state senator     (  (

By Mark Lisheron  /   March 28, 2016

The state of Texas has no idea if its $275 million vehicle inspection program is doing what it is supposed to do, or ever has as far as anyone can tell.

Last year Texas inspectors checked 19 million passenger cars. That’s more than 50,000 safety and emissions inspection trips seven days a week, and more than nine million hours spent by vehicle owners complying, according to Department of Public Safety figures.

The program returns just $125 million of the $275 million generated in fees back to the state.

But there has not been a single audit or study by the DPS chief auditor’s office or the state auditor to determine if vehicle inspections have made Texans safer or allowed them to breathe easier.

As one of the few national studies — by the Government Accountability Office in August 2015 — points out, if you want to know if these programs work in Texas and elsewhere, you’ll have to take the word of the people who run them.

Their word is based on evidence, however scant, that completely contradicts their optimism.

“According to officials GAO interviewed from 15 state vehicle safety inspection programs, these programs enhance vehicle safety,” the report says. “However, the benefits and costs of such programs are difficult to quantify.”

State Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, wants to do what 34 other states have already done and get rid of the vehicle inspection program. The vice-chairman of the Transportation Committee told Watchdog he will make it a priority to introduce a bill to abolish the program in 2017, similar to one that never made it out of his own committee in the 2015 legislative session.

“I am confident with a little pressure we can get rid of this worthless program,” Huffines said in a phone interview. “This is nothing but a tax predicated on a false promise.”

Huffines said his 2015 bill was introduced in March, too late to give it the push it needed. Since then, he said he and his staff have pressed the DPS for data to measure what the vehicle inspection program is doing for the state.

“From what we can tell so far, there isn’t any,” Huffines said.

Support from other states is hardly encouraging. In 2001 Oklahoma ended its program at an annual savings of $12 million after a state Senate study could find no evidence the program decreased accidents or injury, according to the GAO report.

When Washington, D.C., officials could find that no one had bothered to learn if vehicle inspections had any benefit, they killed the program in 2009. New Jersey concluded the same thing a year later, according to the GAO report.

Last year the Mississippi Legislature abandoned its questionable program when the state DPS admitted it was losing money on it and inspection station operators said their take on the fee wasn’t enough to make a thorough inspection worthwhile.

Troubling, however, is North Carolina. In 2008 the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee recommended the state jettison a program that cost vehicle owners $141 million and the state $40.8 million a year to administer.

The blunt Program Evaluation Division report  “found no evidence exists showing the safety inspection program is effective, it is not possible to determine how much vehicle emissions inspections contribute to the improvement of overall air quality, and  program oversight by DMV is inadequate.”

Its conclusiveness was not enough to persuade the Legislature. Nor, apparently, was a series of stories by the Charlotte News and Observer that established that not only was the program pointless, it was shot through with fraud and mismanagement.

Vehicle inspections in North Carolina live on, although last April the Legislature allowed for the owners of vehicles in the three most recent model years with fewer than 70,000 miles on them to get an exemption.

‘Most states have already done it’

The GAO concluded that measuring vehicle inspection effectiveness was made most difficult because states failed to track the operating costs and because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that only 2 to 7 percent of highway crashes were the result of a mechanical failure that an inspection might catch.

An economics professor who has been studying vehicle inspection results for nearly 20 years  repeated many of the same complaints before Huffines’ Transportation Committee in January.

Daniel Sutter, the Charles G. Koch Professor of Economics at Troy University in Alabama, told the committee that even as states were getting out of the vehicle inspection business, highway traffic deaths have dropped below 35,000, from more than 50,000 a year in the 1970s.

But in spite of all the specious evidence and the public burden, Huffines is aware he will need to work his bill hard in the next session.

“The state ( makes a lot of money on it (, so there’s a disincentive ( to get rid of it,”  ( Huffines said.
Huffines hopes he can persuade lawmakers and their constituents with a better than two-for-one tax break. Vehicle owners get to keep $275 million in their pockets, while the state loses out on $125 million for a program the state doesn’t need.

He’d like those vehicle owners to tell their representatives a deal like that sounds pretty good.

“Most states have already done it,” he said. “It just seems like common sense.”  (

Agelbert NOTE: Vermont also needs to eliminate this avenue of fraud and needless repairs by the mechanics. These costs are forced on people least able to afford them.   (

Vehicle inspections have gotten so ridiculous in Vermont that they can fail you for a bad tire pressure sensor, never mind the tire tread thickness! You get failed for an ABS light even though the brake disks and/or linings are well within tolerances.   (

And, of course, the police have a great excuse to pull people over if your sticker is "expired".    (

And the alleged concern for emissions in Vermont is a JOKE. ( That check engine light means $80 JUST for the mechanic job security machine test BEFORE they hit you with the unavoidable sensor replacement cost.  >:(  Oh, but that's good for the environment, you say?  (

The REALITY is something else.  "Care for environment" has absolutely nothing to do with it. >:(

Guess what? Among the mechanics and their friends, they "miss" the check engine light when they do the inspection (while marking that the light was OFF  ;)), never mind the tricks out there done to make sure it ain't on when the "inspection" is done.  (

Vehicle inspections, if they occur at all, should be MILEAGE based, And the police should be on the highways to do POLICE work (i.e. chase CRIMINALS), not provide job security for greedy mechanics!  >:(
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on May 02, 2016, 04:11:03 pm

Puerto Rico is going to default.

In a television address made Sunday, Puerto Rico's governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla said the island's Government Development Bank (GDB) will not make a $422 million payment due to its creditors by the end of business on Monday, according to Bloomberg.

A Reuters report ahead of Padilla's address released on Sunday evening said the GDB was, "expected to skip at least the principal portion of its payment to hedge funds, credit unions and other bondholders."

Like many financially distressed governments around the globe — think Greece, for example — Puerto Rico has been faced with demands from creditors and their consultants that the island undertake drastic spending cuts in order to create surpluses large enough to meet debt obligations.

The Padilla government has resisted these proposals.

And so Padilla's announcement on Sunday, while not entirely unexpected, does reinforce the position from which the island will continue negotiations with its creditors over this specific debt. ZeroHedge reported Sunday that the price of the bonds on which Padilla said Puerto Rico will default had plummeted to 20 cents on the dollar.

In the financial world, Puerto Rico's distress does not come as a great shock, and many hedge funds have made considerable bets that the island will eventually reach agreements to payback its creditors.

And in January 2015, Business Insider's Linette Lopez went so far as to argue that Puerto Rico, in effect belonged to Wall Street. John Oliver did the same, more or less, last week.

Sunday's announcement is also certainly not the end of Puerto Rico's fiscal dilemma. Here's more from Reuters' overview of the situation facing Puerto Rico in the coming months:

GDB has held talks with groups holding some of its $4 billion in bonds to try to restructure the debt consensually.

Some creditors who are frustrated with Garcia Padilla's administration — which has not issued audited financial statements since fiscal year 2013 — say government reforms could allow the island to pay its debts without hurting its people. Garcia Padilla insists the U.S. territory needs relief from debt payments.   

A default would ratchet up pressure on the U.S. Congress to find a legislative solution for Puerto Rico, which enters a key stretch in its fiscal saga, owing another $1.9 billion of debt on July 1, including about $777 million in general obligation debt backed by its constitution. 

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan initially called for a plan by March 31. However, draft legislation from the House Natural Resources Committee, which would put Puerto Rico's finances under federal oversight and allow it to restructure debt through a bankruptcy-like process, has faced opposition from liberal and conservative wings of both parties. (

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan initially called for a plan by March 31. However, draft legislation from the House Natural Resources Committee, which would put Puerto Rico's finances under federal oversight and allow it to restructure debt through a bankruptcy-like process, has faced opposition from liberal and conservative wings of both parties.

The "Plan" will be taken from the Greek Playbook, which is to kick the can as long as you can.



And the reason for that is that the main players in this game are NOT in Puerto Rico; they are at Wall Street, who set up this triple tax exempt bond swag to asset strip the Puerto Rican economy about 40 to 50 YEARS ago. Strom Thurmond's "inexplicable" write in to a bill in 1992 that pulled Puerto Rico's legal claim to Chapter 9 Bankruptcy is the mere tip of this giant turdburg.

Everybody HERE that has a 401K probably OWNS some exposure to Puerto Rico bonds that they have not been told about.   (

EVERY state pension fund in the USA has SOME exposure to Puerto Rican bonds. THAT is why the U.S. Congress is paying attention to this. The poor and middle class people of Puerto Rico, saddled with their totally undemocratic fascist banking dictatorship (created by Wall Street and babied by the U.S. Empire), are not the issue here.

The U.S. Congress does not give a tinker's damn about the people of Puerto Rico (or most of the rest of their constituents, for that matter  :evil4:). This is not about the people of Puerto Rico. The government down there has used crocodile tears about how the average Puerto Rican is being shafted with 11% sales taxes as a fig leaf to get the Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection back. Hello? WHO was it that sold bonds to privatize every bridge, energy providing service, etc, on the island? WHO jacked up the sales taxes? WHO allowed the banks to foreclose on properties instead of forcing the banks to negotiate a lower mortgage payment due to lower property value? THE BANKSTERS THAT RUN THE GOVERNMENT! THAT'S WHO!

The fascist banking government of Puerto Rico does not give a tinker's Damn about the average Puerto Rican, PERIOD.

Anybody that claims any move by Congress to "aid" Puerto Rico is "wrong" because the "lazy Puerto Ricans should take their medicine" does not have the remotest **** idea of what they are talking about.

YES, Puerto Rico SHOULD DEFAULT! YES, they should NOT be given Chapter 9 Bankruptcy access.  (


Because it will be used to PROTECT the Wall Street banksters that run Puerto Rico! If the banksters get relief from bond default consequences, MORE asset stripping will continue in Puerto Rico, not less!

If no "relief" is granted, the banksters, both in Wall Street and Puerto Rico, lose their ass  :emthup: and lose their fascist power  :emthup: over the judiciary down there that has turned the place into a paradise of Banana republic corruption.

And that is why the Predators R' US crowd will, unfortunately, bail the banksters out.  :emthdown:

But, as usual, the ignorant right wing morons out there will claim (see: BLAME THE VICTIM) its "welfare socialism for those lazy, irresponsible salt water niggers".   (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on May 03, 2016, 03:49:35 pm
Should be interesting to see how this mess is papered over.  ::)

RE (

Puerto Rico Won't Make $370 Million in Debt Payments Monday

    By The Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — May 2, 2016, 12:03 AM ET

Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla announced that Puerto Rico's government will not make nearly $370 million in bond payments due Monday after a failure to restructure or find a political solution to the U.S. territory's spiraling public debt crisis.

Garcia said Sunday that he had issued an executive order suspending payments on debt owed by the island's Government Development Bank, a default that will likely prompt lawsuits from creditors and could be a prelude to a deadline to a much larger payment due July 1.

The governor said Puerto Rico can't pay the bonds without cutting essential services.

Island officials spent the weekend trying to negotiate a settlement that would have avoided the default but apparently came up short. The development comes as Congress has so far been unable to pass a debt restructuring bill for Puerto Rico.

"Let me be very clear, this was a painful decision," Garcia said in a speech. "We would have preferred to have had a legal framework to restructure our debts in an orderly manner."

The Government Development Bank had $422 million in payments due Monday. Puerto Rico will pay $22 million interest and it reached a deal Friday to restructure about $30 million, leaving it short $370 million.

The administration also will be paying about $50 million in other debt payments due Monday owed by various other territorial agencies.

Nearly all the bonds are held by a variety of U.S. hedge funds and mutual funds.

Garcia said Puerto Rico's government could not make the payment without sacrificing basic necessities for the island's 3.5 million residents, including keeping schools and public hospitals open.

"We will continue working to try to reach a consensual solution with our creditors," he said. "That is one of our commitments. But what we will never do is put the lives and safety of our people in danger."

The governor had been warning since last year that the island's overall public debt of more than $70 billion is unpayable.

Puerto Rico has been suffering through more than a decade of economic decline since Congress phased out tax cuts that had made the island a center for pharmaceutical and medical equipment manufacturing. Garcia's predecessors and the island legislature borrowed heavily to cover over budget deficits, causing a debt spiral that has already prompted several smaller defaults.

Creditors have accused the government of exaggerating the crisis to avoid upcoming payments of more than $1 billion due July 1 that includes general obligation bonds, which are guaranteed by the constitution.

Economists have warned that a default of this magnitude could cause Puerto Rico to lose access to capital markets and make the situation worse as the government faces the much larger payment due July 1.

Garcia lashed out at Congress for failing to pass a bill that would create a control board to help manage the island's $70 billion debt and to oversee some debt restructuring. He said it has been held up by "internal partisan and ideological divisions" in the House of Representatives.

"We can't wait longer," he said. "We need this restructuring mechanism now."

Actually, the banksters running the gooberment down there have been doing quite a bit of selective defaulting and selective non-defaulting for over two years. (

The little people (middle class gringos and Puerto Ricans holding bonds that can't afford expensive lawyers) have been DENIED bond premiums while the bonds themselves plummeted in value, leaving them stuck because they can't even sell the bonds.

HOWEVAH, the hedge fund hyenas at Wall Street have been "negotiating" all along with the banksters in Puerto Rico. IOW, the hedge funds, who CAN afford expensive lawyers, have been getting paid their swag at the expense of all the other bond holders.  (

So, YEAH, the papering over has been going on for about two years.

The move now is to bail out the hedge funds at Wall Street while pretending it is a "restructuring" of Puerto Rican debt. (  That's because the debt is getting to the point that the hedge funds will feel the pain, regardless of their threats to sue.

Let's be clear. The hedge fund hyenas have the ear of the U.S. Congress. The MONEY to do this will come from WE-THE-PEOPLE. (

By the way, "asopao" is a form of gumbo made with rice. It's a sort of a thick soup that veggies, chicken, rice and spices are mixed up in for a tasty combination.

The "asopao" metaphor is a bit of disingenuous bullshit to make people believe a mixture of this and that from the gooberment will "solve the problem". This is not  "asopao"; this is a S H I T sandwich for the average American citizen both here and in Puerto Rico.

Have a nice day.

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on May 10, 2016, 07:41:23 pm

EPA's Tie to Monsanto Could Be Disastrous For Us

May. 10, 2016 1:12 pm By Thom Hartmann

Conservative politicians love to talk about how the Environmental Protection Agency only issues "job-killing regulations", especially if they're taking campaign contributions from fossil fuel billionaires like the Koch Brothers or from agrichemical giants like Monsanto.

Republican Chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Lamar Smith  (, for example, has spent years trying to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from conducting any real research about climate change or passing any real regulations in general.

But apparently it's true that every once in a while, even a blind mouse finds cheese.  ;D

Because for once, it seems like Lamar Smith might actually have a legitimate complaint about an EPA report.

Last week, Smith wrote a letter to the EPA demanding to know why a risk report marked "Final Report" about glyphosate was retracted just three days after it was published.

The EPA's Cancer Assessment Review Committee issued the "Final Report" on glyphosate on April 29 , and 13 members of the Review Committee had signed their name to the report's findings that glyphosate is "not likely to be carcinogenic to humans."

The findings should raise eyebrows to begin with, because they directly contradict a report from the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer, which found last year that glyphosate is a "probable carcinogen."

But what's really caused a stir from environmentalists and conservatives alike, and why Lamar Smith has started overseeing the matter, is that the EPA pulled the report after just three days, and claimed that the report was published "inadvertently."  ;)

Smith wrote to Gina McCarthy on May 4 that "the subsequent backtracking on [this report's] finality raises questions about the agency's motivation in providing a fair assessment   ( of glyphosate."

But Lamar Smith was a few days late to the party condemning the EPA's research, because the Center for Biological Diversity had already issued a press release condemning the EPA finding as "disappointing, but not terribly surprising [because] industry has been manipulating this research for years."

This shouldn't come as any surprise though, because using industry research is part of the EPA's scheme of "cooperative regulation," something that's been in place ever since Reagan appointed Anne Gorsuch  ( to head the EPA in the early 1980s.

During her tenure as head of the EPA, Gorsuch cut the EPA's budget by 22%, she handed many of the duties of the EPA down to states and contractors, and she made a cascade of appointments at lower levels in the agency that led to a fundamental shift in how the EPA regulated industry.

You see, in the world of Reaganism, regulators shouldn't challenge industry.   (  (

Instead, under "cooperative regulation," regulators are supposed to work together with industry to establish regulations that protect public safety without hurting corporate profits.

"Cooperative regulation" is why regulators in the United States need to prove that a product is unsafe before a corporation will pull that product from store shelves, because corporate profits are at least as valuable as public safety.

It's why over 750 products containing glyphosate are still for sale in the United States nearly a year after the World Health Organization found that glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic."  (

"Cooperative regulation" is also why our regulatory agencies take research from privately funded think-tanks and from industry lobbying groups.

And that's exactly what seems to be at the core of what's going on with this retracted glyphosate report.

Dozens of papers cited in the retracted EPA report on glyphosate are "unpublished regulatory studies", meaning that they weren't peer reviewed and it's unclear how the data was collected or tested.

As Nathan Donley with the Center for Biological Diversity wrote in a press release, "The EPA's analysis relied heavily on industry-funded studies that have not undergone public scrutiny, while the WHO used publicly available research for its analysis.".

And this is a huge problem, because the EPA was established by the Nixon administration "because arresting environmental deterioration is of great importance to the quality of life in our country and the world.".

When Nixon authorized the creation of the EPA, there was bi-partisan consensus that this country needs a single, streamlined regulatory agency dedicated to protecting our air and water.

Now, we're approaching a bi-partisan consensus that the EPA is broken.

And the fact is, it's been broken for over 30 years, ever since the Reagan Administration turned it into a partner of industry, rather than a regulator.

It's time to get federal regulators out of bed from the industries that they're supposed to be overseeing.

It's time for the EPA and other regulatory agencies to adopt the precautionary principle that says that techniques like fracking and products like glyphosate have to be proven safe BEFORE consumers are exposed to them.

We need to strengthen the EPA and other regulatory agencies so that they can conduct independent research about environmental threats and public health concerns, and so that they don't need to solicit biased, industry-funded research from multinational corporations.

And it's time to end the revolving door between the private sector and government agencies like the EPA, the FCC, the FDA, and the SEC, because the American People deserve government regulators that put public safety ahead of corporate profits.

 What really Happened at the EPA (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on May 11, 2016, 04:13:28 pm
The Diner endorses Bernie so support the Diner and get your JOHN HANDCOCK on the list now.  As you can see one does not have to be from Seattle.  K-Dogs human name is right there next to:

Your name here!

Now put your name there too.  Just follow this link. (


I signed.

But let me make something clear. I know Senator Sanders. I have been following absolutely every public step (and many of his not so public steps too) he has taken since I moved to Vermont in 1996.

Bernie is a very shrewd politician. Although I do not like what he will probably do to make lemonade out of Clintonian lemons, I expect that is exactly what he will do. But perhaps I am underestimating him.   (

What am I saying here?

Let us go back over 100 years in U.S. History. There was a man who had great promise for this country and was defeated by Wall Street, who greatly feared what William Jennings Bryan would DO to make this country a decent place to work in as well as prevent the creation of the Federal Reserve currency counterfeiting monster.

William Jennings Bryan was not destroyed directly; he was made Secretary of State. They silenced his voice on domestic reforms by putting him in a post where he had no say on domestic affairs  :evil4:. I don't think he actually believed they bought him, but as far as TPTB were concerned, they bought him.   (

Wall Street will probably try to game Bernie in a similar fashion, since, like William Jennings Bryan, he is too popular and says too many hard truths to be destroyed outright.

Bernie is well aware of all that. Bernie is a true patriot. He will do whatever he has to do to position himself in a way that can ensure the wellbeing of future generations.

He MIGHT accept a cabinet position IF he is given iron clad promises to allow him a free hand to strip the fossil fuel industry of all subsidies, visible and invisible, and channel that money into the an infrastructure jobs plan coupled with the implantation of the Clean Energy Plan.

The problem with that is that Hitlery will promise the moon to Sanders and then double cross him after she is (s)elected.

I think Senator Sanders gets all that, much better than I do. We will see what he does. As I said before, he is a very shrewd politician but, unlike most U.S. politicians, is a patriot.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on May 13, 2016, 09:06:56 pm
Amid Dilma Rousseff’s Impeachment, Brazil Prepares to Roll Back Environmental Laws  (

Posted on May 12, 2016

By Jan Rocha / Climate News Network

Damaging new roads and other projects are likely to be nodded through in Brazil. (Lucas Kenzo 436 via Wikimedia Commons)

This piece first appeared at Climate News Network.

SÃO PAULO—Taking advantage of Brazil’s present political turbulence, as the battle to impeach President Dilma Rousseff reaches its climax, reactionary politicians are quietly rolling back environmental and indigenous protection laws in defiance of the country’s commitments under the Paris Agreement.

Environmentalists say that if the bill known as PEC 65/2012, now at the Senate committee stage, is approved, it means that major infrastructure projects will be able to go ahead regardless of their impacts on biodiversity, indigenous areas, traditional communities and conservation areas.

Instead of a careful if somewhat slow licensing process which involves scientific assessments including biological, botanical, anthropological and archaeological studies, developers will merely have to present a proposed study of environmental impact to be allowed to begin—without actually having to carry out the study. And once a project is under way it cannot be cancelled or suspended by the environmental protection agencies.

Environment organisations, both governmental and non-governmental, have protested strongly at the bill’s implications. For Marilene Ramos, the president of the official agency for the environment and renewable resources, IBAMA, (in Portuguese only) it means Brazil is going in the opposite direction to developed countries and will no longer be able to control infrastructure  projects.


“It is completely absurd; it is as though the act of applying for a driving license entitled you to drive a lorry.”

Indigenous leader Nara Baré, of COIAB—the Coordination of Indian organisations in the Brazilian Amazon—said: “Brazil presented targets in Paris but doesn’t do its homework, protecting the forest and us who live in it.”

Carlos Bocuhy, the president of PROAM, an environmental NGO, says the effect of the bill will be to end environmental licensing: “It is completely absurd; it is as though the act of applying for a driving licence entitled you to  drive a lorry.”

The Climate Observatory (in Portuguese only) sees the bill as “a bad joke”,  even more so in a country that has just suffered the worst environmental disaster in its history, the bursting of a dam of toxic mud in Minas Gerais state on 5 November last year. The calamity destroyed all animal and plant life and a major river nearby, and could be the world’s worst disaster after Chernobyl.   

Greenpeace director Marcio Astrini said of the bill that “if it becomes law, it will act as a factory of tragedies”

Personal stake (

Its author, Senator Acir Gurgacz, has a personal interest: his family owns a transport company which would benefit hugely from the paving of the 900 km BR319 highway, linking two Amazon capitals, Porto Velho and Manaus. At present the project cannot go ahead because IBAMA has embargoed the work, alleging environmental damage. The road runs through conservation areas, indigenous lands and areas of largely unspoiled rainforest.

The bill´s rapporteur is Senator Blairo Maggi, a soya magnate, who has cleared thousands of hectares of rainforest in his home state of Mato Grosso, and is tipped to be the minister of agriculture in the new government that will take over once President Rousseff is suspended from office this week.

Environmentalists are already expressing deep concern about the government planned by vice-president Michel Temer, who will become Brazil’s president on 12  May if the impeachment goes through.They note that his policy paper, A bridge to the future, which laid out his plans for government, made no mention of the environment, climate change or the Amazon rainforest.

Instead the big farmers’ and ranchers’ lobby, FPA, or Parliamentary Farming Front, presented the president-to-be with a “positive agenda”—a list of demands which included the abolition of the ministry of land reform, the halting and revision of the demarcations of indigenous reserves and quilombos (territories inhabited by the descendants of runaway slaves), and more funds for agribusiness, which already enjoys substantial subsidies.

Besides the bill to end environmental licensing, other damaging bills are in the pipeline.  :(

Ignoring local wishes

One, known as PEC 215, has been doing the rounds in Congress for over 15 years, but with the imminent arrival of the new, pro-farmer government it is expected soon to be voted into law. If it is, it will mean that the power to decide further demarcations of indigenous areas—nearly 400 are under consideration—will pass from the executive to the Congress.

With both houses dominated by members of the rural lobby, this is regarded as tantamount to ending demarcations.  Another 1,611 quilombo areas will also be affected. The importance of the indigenous and quilombo territories is that they tend to conserve forested areas, instead of clearing them for mechanised agriculture or cattle grazing.

By law the areas contained within each rural property (which, especially in the Amazon, are often vast) must be left wild. But another measure on the table (bill 4508/16) will allow them to be used for cattle grazing.

Others will permit mining and hydroelectric dams in indigenous areas without any need for permission from their inhabitants. Reducing controls on pesticides – Brazil is the world’s biggest consumer—is yet another target.

The government of Dilma Rousseff has in no way been a model of protection for the environment and indigenous areas, but it seems that the government of Michel Temer could be much worse.

Jan Rocha is a freelance journalist living in Brazil and is a former correspondent there for the BBC World Service and The Guardian.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on May 15, 2016, 05:52:59 pm

Ending Corporate Hit-and-Runs

By Amanda Goodin  | Thursday, April 07, 2016


Under the Superfund law, the EPA was required to take the first step in this important rulemaking process in 1983. Instead, it did absolutely nothing—for decades.

In the meantime, the law’s dedicated tax on oil and chemical companies expired (  (, and the Superfund fund went bankrupt.   ( Though Congress appropriated some money for cleanup of Superfund sites from general tax revenues, the level of funding was drastically cut, meaning cleanups were delayed even further.   (

But the EPA continued to stall. An initial Earthjustice victory in 2008 forced the EPA to issue findings on the industries most likely to create these toxic sites. The EPA found that hard rock mines, coal plants, oil refineries and chemical manufacturing facilities were the worst of the worst—the most likely to create the biggest messes.

The EPA even found that in some cases, these companies intentionally set up parent and subsidiary corporations so that the profits from industrial facilities could be funneled to the parent company, but when time came to clean up the mess, the subsidiary could declare bankruptcy and walk away, leaving the public with the bill. 😈 (

And yet, even after these findings, the EPA continued to delay.
So Earthjustice went back to court. After years of litigation, fiercely resisted by both the EPA and industry groups, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has finally broken the logjam. The court agreed to enforce a schedule for the EPA to finish the long-delayed rules.

What really Happened at the EPA (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on May 19, 2016, 07:30:22 pm

How Does the Democratic Nominee Earn Our Vote?

Don’t listen to the talking heads on cable news: Bernie Sanders supporters have every right to be angry. They have a right to be angry about what happened at the Nevada State Democratic Convention, they have a right to be angry that the Democratic Party has tried to stage-manage a coronation for Hillary Clinton, and they have a right to be angry about the corruption that has taken over our democracy.

First, let’s talk about Nevada. Despite all the hand-wringing from our so-called liberal media about rioting and chaos, there is still no real proof that things got all that out of hand and there’s no proof of any chair-throwing or other violence of any sort.Were a lot of Bernie Sanders supporters upset that the Nevada Democratic Party stripped their candidate of some delegates? Absolutely.

Were a lot of Bernie Sanders supporters angry that the rules were changed in an undemocratic way that helped Hillary Clinton? You bet.Did those Bernie Sanders supporters express their anger by protesting, shouting and booing? Yes, yes, they did.

And so what?This is an election and things like that happen, especially, you know, in a democracy, where our disagreements sometimes get a little raucous.

Obviously, no one deserves to get death threats or even harassment, as Nevada’s Democratic Party chair did, but that doesn’t mean the anger Bernie Sanders supporters feel is any less real or any less legitimate.

And here’s what the corporate media won’t tell you: Bernie supporters aren’t angry at the Democratic Party because they’re obsessed with Bernie or want some old Jewish guy from Brooklyn to be president. They’re angry because they want real change and are being thwarted at every step of the way by a Democratic establishment that just wants to preserve the status quo.

What’s animating Bernie supporters -- and it’s arguably what animated some early Trump supporters as well -- is the idea that Washington doesn’t have be run as usual, that the Treasury Department doesn’t have to run by former executives from Goldman Sachs, that the FDA doesn’t have to be run by former executives from Merck or Pfizer, and that the Interior Department doesn’t have to be subservient to BP or Shell.

What’s animating Bernie supporters is the very simple and very American idea that the government should be the government, not a revolving door for corporate lackeys and special interests groups.

This is what Bernie is promising to do and what Trump has hinted at, even though in his case it’s just part of a scam he’s running on the suckers who vote Republican.

In Bernie’s case, though, it’s for real, and it’s the source of most of his supporters’ passion. Just like Bernie, they want the government to work for We the People again, and just like Bernie, they understand that the Democratic establishment is as big a part of the problem as the Republican establishment.

The Reagan administration may have changed the game by doing the unthinkable and appointing industry types to cabinet positions, but both parties have followed its lead ever since.

The Obama administration is no exception. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew used to work for Citigroup. Former Attorney General Eric Holder worked at a corporate DC law firm before taking office, and he’s now returned to working at that corporate DC law firm. Robert Califf, the head of the FDA, has deep ties to Big Pharma, and is one of the most corporate FDA chiefs in history.

It’s not just the Obama administration that’s flush with corporate cronies, though. This is a Democratic Party-wide problem.

For example, Barney Frank, who now is on the board of a bank that’s being sued for running a Ponzi scheme, is going to help write the banking part of the party platform at this summer’s Democratic Convention. Allyson Schwartz, a former Democratic congresswoman who now spends her days pushing for privatized Medicare, is on the convention’s host committee. So is former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell (, who now spends his days lobbying for the fracking industry.

If Hillary Clinton is the nominee for president and wins, and she fails to do something about this, Bernie Sanders supporters will stay disenchanted, as they will have every right to be.

So if Democratic elites want Bernie Sanders supporters to “unify” with and rally behind their party, they better clean out their own closets first. They're going to have to, as Senator Nina Turner told me today on my radio show, "earn our votes."

And ending the corrupt revolving door in Washington DC is a vital starting place.

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on May 21, 2016, 04:26:28 pm
Five Things People Should Stop Saying About Bernie Sanders

Posted on May 20, 2016

Criticism of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, especially by Democrats, is “misguided and hypocritical,” writes Trevor Timm at The Guardian. And “he is doing the right thing by largely ignoring it.”

On the idea ( that Sanders should stop criticizing his rival Hillary Clinton:

The idea that Sanders, and to a certain extent others on the left, should stop criticizing Clinton because it gives [Donald] Trump a better chance to win is ridiculous. Do people think that Clinton should get a free pass for the next six months – and potentially incentive to move to the right – on issues like Wall Street, trade, war, foreign policy and others? Just because Trump would be a disaster does not mean Clinton should be immune from criticism, nor does it mean holding her accountable will prevent her from ultimately defeating Trump.

On his supposed failure ( to criticize Trump: 

… Sanders criticizes Trump all the time. In fact, he has continually used as strong or stronger language in doing so than Clinton has. He was one of the first prominent figures to dispense with the pleasantries about Trump and accused him of making racist comments months ago.

“It’s one thing to say that Sanders should lay off Clinton and focus on Trump,” Timm writes. “But saying ‘don’t criticize your party’ sounds like something out of Soviet Russia. If anything, progressives should be criticizing it more”:

Gee, I can’t believe Sanders isn’t enthused about the Democratic ( party!  ;) Let’s see: the DNC chair  ( is a vocal Clinton supporter who tried to hide Democratic debates on the worst nights possible for exposure, the committee cut Sanders off from its important voter database, various state party representatives have unfairly given Clinton an advantage in delegate selection processes, the party has a sweetheart fundraising deal with Clinton and they recently changed their rules to accept more money from corporate lobbyists  ( – a practice that Sanders deplores. …

You can believe in a lot of the issues that the Democratic party stands for, believe that Clinton is the best candidate to beat Trump, while also still believing that the Democratic party is corrupt institution that caters to corporate interests over the people and needs to be overhauled.

On the idea  ( that Sanders should drop out:

It’s not politicians who should be dictating when Sanders drops out, that’s the voters’ job. And Sanders, despite finding his mathematical chance increasingly dwindling, continues to win primaries. Last night he won Oregon, for example. So it seems that voters don’t want him to drop out, only the politicians who are tied to the system he is constantly criticizing do.

And finally, on the notion that Sanders’ supporters are somehow out of line: (

What’s worse is Clinton surrogates outrage over a very small minority of Sanders supporters claiming they don’t want to support Clinton in the general election. As many commentators have pointed out in response to the countless “Bernie bro” think pieces that are churned out on a regular basis, every candidate has awful supporters.

The Clinton camp also seems to have conveniently forgotten that the phenomenon known as Pumas, hard core Clinton supporters who were so intent on not supporting Obama after the 2008 Democratic primaries that they literally named their contingent “Party Unity My Ass.” And surprise, surprise, after a few months that controversy was largely ancient history and Clinton supporters overwhelmingly voted for Obama, because the other general election candidate was much worse.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly. (

Agelbert NOTE: Back when Clinton was fighting Obama's nomination, it was reasonable to claim Clinton supporters were "out of line" and were a "small group" classified as "awful supporters" by the above writer.

As we have learned, Obama and Clinton were (and still ARE) BOTH corporate toadies.  (  (

NOW things are different. Sanders is definitely NOT a corporate toady.


Choosing the "lesser" evil NOW is neither logical, reasonable or an exercise in critical thinking.

Those that call politics the "art of the possible" are handmaidens of corruption business as usual.

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on May 21, 2016, 08:17:12 pm
Quote from: AG
Choosing the "lesser" evil NOW is neither logical, reasonable or an exercise in critical thinking.

Those that call politics the "art of the possible" are handmaidens of corruption business as usual.

Absolutely right. NOW is the moment.

If you dig deep into what happened in Nevada, you'll find out the duplicity and outright theft of the DLC machine is the equal of anything seen from the other side in what is now 40 years of ratfucking.

You'll get a kick out of this:
Clinton to Californians: Your Votes Will Not Affect the Democratic Primary Whatsoever (

The arrogance is Trumpworthy.

Agreed.  :(

The fact that Clinton said the above means the DLC is sweating the California primary results. When they get THAT arrogant, the fascist teeth are VERY close to the pseudo-democratic pig lipstick surface. They will pull out all the stops to make it look like Hitlery "won" in California, regardless of any bullshit claims that "votes won't affect the Democratic Party primary".   

A Clinton supporter (suji724) came up with some typical relativistic horseshit.

I returned the "favor" with both barrels.   (


suji724  • 8 hours ago 

Robert Reich - as always not only a voice of reason, but a brilliant voice of reason! Many can learn from him!  (

Elesis > suji724  • 8 hours ago   

There are no degrees of reason; someone is either reasonable or not;)

suji724 > Elesis  • 7 hours ago   

Of course there are. Some are simply more logical than others. It's the critical thinking ability to reason that renders its degree.  (
agelbert > suji724 • 2 hours ago 
No it isn't. Critical thinking, where deciding who to vote for is concerned, is the dispassionate and objective weighing of all the probable consequences of a decision to vote for a given candidate.

The only real choice for a candidate that can ameliorate, if not prevent, a climate catastrophe is Sanders. Stein has a better program. If they ran together, there would be hope for the future.

As it is, if you think Hillary will stop the climate horrors coming our way, you are totally devoid of critical thinking skills.

EVERY OTHER ISSUE in this campaign is of real, but lesser, importance.

Relativistic morality is, by definition, a concept that may give you comfort, but is lacking in the most elementary principles of logic.

What part of the fact that business as usual in American politics has continually thwarted the will of we-the-people do you wish to claim is "flawed logic" or "not factual"?

Reich is an intellectual and a Rhodes Scholar. SO WHAT?

Are you now going to take up the fallacious debating technique of appeal to authority?

Here's some truly Critical Thinking quoted from an essay for you to ponder:

What it Means to be Responsible
Reflections on Our Responsibility for the Future

Theresa Morris, State University of New York at New Paltz

"To accept the burden of responsibility for what is up to us, difficult as it is where our technological reach is so extended and agency is so fragmented, is to strive to fulfill the capacity we have to respond to the good and protect and preserve it.

This task, however, is difficult, not only because of the extent of effects in time and space, fragmentation of agency, and the difficulty of predicting harms, but also because in many cases we may benefit now from actions that result in harms to future generations."

Hillary Clinton, unlike Bernie Sanders and Dr. Jill Stein, firmly believes, like you, that benefiting NOW, even if a careful analysis shows that future generations will be harmed from that activity, is justified according to your flawed definition of "critical thinking".

It is NOT. It is cheap rationalization dressed up as "the art of the possible".

QUOTE from the notes on the Theresa Morris essay:

1. "When men act for the sake of a future they will not live to see, it is for the most part out of love for persons, places and forms of activity, a cherishing of them, nothing more grandiose. It is indeed self-contradictory to say: 'I love him or her or that place or that institution or that activity, but I don't care what happens to it after my death.' To love is, amongst other things, to care about the future of what we love" (Passmore, 1980, p. 53)

agelbert > suji724  • 4 hours ago   

Choosing the "lesser" evil is neither logical, reasonable or an exercise in critical thinking.

Those that call politics the "art of the possible" are handmaidens of corruption business as usual.

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on May 23, 2016, 03:19:25 pm
The Pension Crisis Begins——407k Workers To Get 60% Cut, But Still Not Enough

I posted on this topic with a new thread on Pensions a little over a week ago.  I have merged the threads.

The issue here is there absolutely is no good solution.

If they in fact go ahead and eviscerate these pensions, you will immediately put a lot of people WAY underwater on their bills, starting off a cascade of foreclosures and still more homeless people.

It's not just the Pensioners who get affected either, many of them are the sole source of support for their Children and Grandchildren.  Once they got no money rolling into the mailbox each month, that makes them less able to help support their extended families.  Overall, it takes more money out of the economy, and lowers sales tax & property tax revenues as all these folks are no longer buying stuff or paying the mortgage, much less the property tax.

Now, when the TBTF Banks go belly up, they get Instant Bailout money.  When Pension Funds go belly up, the Pensioners are supposed to eat it, in good Capitalist fashion.

These folks all bargained in good faith and those were legal contracts and obligations made by the Capitalista Pigmen who ran those trucking companies.  Before the Drivers get their pensions cut, the money scarfed up by those executives and owners needs to be clawed back, they are the ones who made deals they knew they could not keep.


George Carlin saw it as clearly as it needed to be seen, and earlier than most of us.

George Carlin - The Real Owners Of America
"The real owners are the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians, they're an irrelevancy. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They've long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the statehouses, the city halls. They've got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media companies, so that they control just about all of the news and information you hear. They've got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying ­ lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else."
"But I'll tell you what they don't want.  They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that. That doesn't help them. That's against their interests. They don't want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they're getting fuc ked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fu cking years ago.
"You know what they want? Obedient workers ­ people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. And, now, they're coming for your Social Security. They want your fu cking retirement money. They want it back, so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all, sooner or later, because they own this fu cking place. It's a big club, and you ain't in it. You and I are not in the big club."
"This country is finished."


I always believed the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) was a Corporate sponsored scam to convince workers that it was "okay" for a corporation to renege on contracted promises, as long as said corporation had filed bankruptcy (or deliberately closed down, only to restart with a name change   ( ).

Bankruptcy laws are the biggest farce there is in this country. They are designed to screw the individual while simultaneously protecting corporate oligarchic management crooks and liars. These bastards will sanctimoniously talk about the "sanctity of contracts" when referring to their golden parachutes but ignore the hair cuts the workers get, thanks to the corporate theft and the PBGC fun and games "debt balancing".

Here's the boilerplate happy talk from the gooberment about the PBGC.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) protects the retirement incomes of more than 41 million American workers in more than 24000 private-sector ...  (

Don't believe a word of it.

For those who think this is limited to future obligations for future retirees, you are wrong. This affects retired people RIGHT NOW, even though they contracted labor concessions to management in return for contracted promises for certain pension benefits they began to receive years ago. They were SUCKERED by management with the excuse that labor concessions at the time would help the business model, not just the management. The mens rea BASIS of that sucker play was (and still is) the alleged "Sanctity if Contracts".

RIGHT NOW, previously retired workers will get their pensions axed up to 60%, while the ass holes that DELIBERATELY ran those corporations into the ground, while they FLEECED THEM, will not be touched.   (  (   (

There is NO "Sancitity of Contracts" in the USA, which evidences the FACT that we have an oligarchic fascist government, not a Capitalist one.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on May 23, 2016, 03:59:16 pm
Agelbert NOTE: It is difficult to believe this relatively good news, at least in regard to public lands, will become law. But if it does, it will prevent a Greece style land grab in Puerto Rico.    (

Dear Mr. Gelbert:

Thank you for contacting me to share your concerns about the proposed transfer of protected land from the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge in Puerto Rico.  I appreciate hearing from you on this important conservation issue.

The Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), a bill drafted by House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop, originally contained a provision that sought to authorize the transfer of protected federal lands to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.  Chairman Bishop's bill would have authorized the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to transfer some or all of the 17,000-acre federally protected areas in the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge to Puerto Rico's government.  I was very concerned that such a transfer would allow these lands to fall into the hands of private developers and would not help the Puerto Rican people, who currently benefit from the tourism and conservation partnerships at the refuge.  That is why I was pleased to see that House Speaker Paul Ryan reached a deal with the administration, which would allow Puerto Rico to restructure its $72 billion debt and does not include the ill-conceived land transfer provision.

I strongly believe that the federal government has an important role to play in protecting our public lands and important natural spaces.  At the same time, it is also critical that we address Puerto Rico's financial crisis.  That is why I am a proud cosponsor of S.1774, Chapter 9 Uniformity Act of 2015, which was introduced by Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut on July 15, 2015.  This legislation would amend the federal bankruptcy code to give Puerto Rico the same rights enjoyed by the states under Chapter 9 and allow Puerto Rico to authorize its public corporations to restructure their debts. Granting Chapter 9 authority to Puerto Rico is a sensible and important step that Congress could take immediately to address the ongoing situation.  It is also a solution that will not cost the federal treasury any money. Rather, it provides an organized and fair way for Puerto Rico and its creditors to find a path forward.

With a current poverty rate of 45 percent and a 12 percent unemployment rate, I fear that the current situation in Puerto Rico could quickly move from a fiscal crisis to a humanitarian one.  While it is clear that we must take decisive action and provide Puerto Rico with the tools it needs to address its debt before the crisis worsens and people are forced to go without the most basic of government services, we must also protect our nation's important wild and beautiful places and ensure that they remain off limits to development and commercial activities.

Please know that I will continue to fight for the protection and proper management of our country's treasured natural resources.  Should the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, or any other legislation related to the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge, come before the full Senate for debate, I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind.

Thank you again for contacting me.  Please keep in touch.


United States Senator
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on May 27, 2016, 08:34:43 pm
Why Do We Fine Corporate #Murders But Lock Up Humans For Petty Crimes?

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on May 30, 2016, 06:54:28 pm
Chris Hedges on the Legacy of Rosa Luxemburg (Video)

Posted on May 28, 2016

Chris Hedges does not pull any punches when discussing modern capitalism, as many Truthdig readers know. “The capitalist system is gamed from the start,” he said, speaking at the “Rosa Luxemburg: Reform or Revolution?” panel at Left Forum 2016 in New York City this month. “This makes Luxemburg extremely relevant, as corporate capital, now freed from all constraints, reconfigures our global economy, including the United States’, into a ruthless form of neofeudalism.”

Hedges dived into the story of Rosa Luxemburg—a revolutionary socialist who was killed during Germany’s Spartacist uprising of 1919—to illustrate the brutal effects of capitalist structures.

“Liberalism, which Luxemburg called by its more appropriate name—opportunism—is an integral component of capitalism,” he said. “When the citizens grow restive, it will soften and decry capitalism’s excesses. But capitalism, Luxemburg argued, is an enemy that can never be appeased.”

Hedges also said: “Luxemburg’s murder illustrated the ultimate loyalties of liberal elites in a capitalist society: When threatened from the left, when the face of socialism showed itself in the streets, they would—and will—make alliances with the most retrograde elements of the society, including fascists, to crush the aspirations of the working class.”

Watch the entire video below or read a transcript of his speech here. (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on May 30, 2016, 07:22:16 pm

Emails Confirm Hillary Clinton Used Her State Department Role to Press Countries to Embrace Fracking

Posted on May 28, 2016

A campaign commercial that aired in upstate New York in April touted Hillary Clinton’s work as secretary of state forcing “some of the world’s worst polluters” to make “real change.” Then she promised to “stand firm with New Yorkers opposing fracking, giving communities the right to say ‘no.’ ”   (

Lee Fang and Steve Horn reported at The Intercept on Monday:

The television spot, which was not announced and does not appear on the official campaign YouTube page with most of Clinton’s other ads, implied a history of opposition to fracking, here and abroad. But emails obtained by The Intercept from the Department of State reveal new details of behind-the-scenes efforts by Clinton and her close aides to export American-style hydraulic fracturing — the horizontal drilling technique best known as fracking — to countries all over the world.

Far from challenging fossil fuel companies, the emails obtained by The Intercept show that State Department officials worked closely with private sector oil and gas companies (, pressed other agencies within the Obama administration to commit federal government resources including technical assistance for locating shale reserves, and distributed agreements with partner nations pledging to help secure investments for new fracking projects. (

Brought to you by the patriotic profit over planet efforts of the fossil fuel government   ( and their loyal servant, Hillary Clinton.

The documents also reveal the department’s role in bringing foreign dignitaries to a fracking site in Pennsylvania, and its plans to make Poland a “laboratory for testing whether US success in developing shale gas can be repeated in a different country,” particularly in Europe, where local governments had expressed opposition and in some cases even banned fracking.

The campaign included plans to spread the drilling technique to China, South Africa, Romania, Morocco, Bulgaria, Chile, India, Pakistan, Argentina, Indonesia, and Ukraine.

In 2014, Mother Jones reporter Mariah Blake used diplomatic cables disclosed by WikiLeaks and other records to uncover how Clinton “sold fracking to the world.” The emails obtained by The Intercept through a separate Freedom of Information Act request provide a new layer of detail.

Continue reading. (

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on June 06, 2016, 09:18:31 pm

Shut Down the Democratic National Convention

Posted on Jun 5, 2016

By Chris Hedges


On July 25, opening day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Cheri Honkala, leader of the   Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (, who was denied a permit to march by city authorities, will rally with thousands of protesters outside City Hall. Defying the police, they will march up Broad Street to the convention.

We will recapture our democracy in the streets of cities such as Philadelphia, not in convention halls such as the aptly named Wells Fargo Center, where the Democratic Party elites intend to celebrate the results of the rigged primary elections and the continuity of corporate power.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, other activists and I will march with Honkala. It is not as if we have a choice. No one invited us into the center or to the lavish corporate-sponsored receptions. No one anointed us to be Clinton superdelegates—a privilege that went to corporate lobbyists, rich people and party hacks. No one in the Democratic establishment gives a damn what we think.
The convention is not our party. It is their party. It costs a lot of money to attend. Donate $ 100,000 and you become an “empire” donor, with perks such as “VIP credentials for all convention proceedings,” along with tickets to lavish corporate and Party receptions, photo ops with politicians at the convention podium, four rooms at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel and a suite at a Yankees game, where a “special guest” will be present. Short of $100,000? You can become a “gold” donor for $50,000, a “silver” donor for $25,000 or a “bronze” donor for $10,000.

The loss of faith in the political system and neoliberal ideology is widespread. The corporate elites are pouring $5 billion into the carnival of presidential electoral politics in a desperate bid to keep us mesmerized and controlled. Democracy is endlessly invoked on the airwaves to legitimize the corporate and political forces that have destroyed it. Congress has an approval rating of 11 percent. Half of qualified voters are not registered to vote, and half of registered voters do not go to the polls. A little more than half of 25 percent—no more than 15 percent—of the electorate determines who becomes president. And this is the way the elites want it.

In our system of  inverted totalitarianism (, the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin ( pointed out, the object is to demobilize the citizenry, to render it apathetic, to convince the citizen that all political activity that does not take place within the narrow boundaries defined by the corporate state is futile.

This is a message hammered into public consciousness by the corporate media, which serve as highly paid courtiers to the corporate elites. It is championed by the two parties that offer up fear of the other as their primary political platform.



Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on June 06, 2016, 10:03:21 pm
June 7, 2016 will be the day that we will all remember, for better or for worse.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on June 07, 2016, 06:29:59 pm
Thom talks about the decision to call the Democratic primary race for Hillary the day before big elections in California, New Jersey, and other states.

Agelbert NOTE: Thom quotes the Washington Post: "Hillary may have won the nomination but Bernie won the debate". Thom agrees and claims that Bernie has "affected American politics for next two generations."

NEWS FLASH: The next two generations do not have a snowball's chance in hell of inheriting a viable biosphere under a Hillary Clinton Administration. This RIDICULOUS jabberwocky about "winning the debate" is just more typical double talk by the fascist power structure, PERIOD.

And Thom's talk of the media being exclusively motivated by horse race perception profits COMPLETELY ignores the Operation Mockingbird ENTRENCHED CIA assets in the U.S. media.

Thom, do you seriously think the Church Committee of over 30 years ago got rid of that oligarchic stranglehold on our news media?

We aren't talking about selling Ads, Thom. We are talking about PROPAGANDA designed to preserve the oligarchic and undemocratic power structure. THAT is NOT a "conspiracy theory", that is a CONSPIRACY FACT that the Church Committee exposed!

It GREW after that. It did NOT "go away".

Thom, it is YOU that needs to GET A GRIP!
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on June 08, 2016, 03:11:53 pm (
Perfect End to Democratic Primary: Anonymous Superdelegates Declare Winner Through Media
Glenn Greenwald
June 7 2016

That the Democratic Party nominating process is declared to be over in such an uninspiring, secretive, and elite-driven manner is perfectly symbolic of what the party, and its likely nominee, actually is. The one positive aspect, though significant, is symbolic, while the actual substance — rallying behind a Wall Street-funded, status quo-perpetuating, multimillionaire militarist — is grim in the extreme. The Democratic Party got exactly the ending it deserved.

In a speech last night, El Caudillo made a call to "Bernie Sanders voters disenfranchised by a corrupt, rigged system," and said he would welcome them with open arms. Sanders has said that it is HRC's job to appeal to his voters.

I expect her to utter more high-flown inclusionist, aspirational rhetoric while turning hard right to pick up disaffected Rs, as you would expect from a corporately-owned property. Sanders will go to the convention to try to forestall that as much as possible.

It's 1968, but not exactly "all over again".  Fasten your seat belt. WHY? Because there is NO "consent of the governed" left in the U.S.A. 

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on June 09, 2016, 03:31:02 pm
Jill Stein to Bernie Sanders: Run on the Green Party Ticket

Democracy Now! | June 9, 2016 1:31 pm

As Bernie Sanders prepares to meet with President Obama, we speak to Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, who has also been reaching out to the Vermont senator.

With Hillary Clinton claiming victory in the Democratic race, Stein is attempting to start a dialogue with the Sanders campaign.

In an open letter in April, Stein wrote, “In this hour of unprecedented crisis—with human rights, civilization and life on the planet teetering on the brink—can we explore an historic collaboration to keep building the revolution beyond the reach of corporate party clutches, where the movement can take root and flourish, in the 2016 election and beyond?”

Stein joins us from Albany ahead of this weekend’s New York Green Party convention. Watch here:

Here’s the transcript of the interview:

Juan Gonzalez:
We turn now to the race for the White House. Hillary Clinton has dominated this week’s news after claiming victory in the Democratic contest, setting her on a path to become the first woman to win a major party’s presidential nomination. With only one primary to go in the District of Columbia, Clinton has an insurmountable lead in pledged delegates over her challenger, Bernie Sanders. But Clinton’s pledged delegate count falls short of the 2,383 needed, meaning she will need to rely on the support of unelected superdelegates to officially secure the nomination at next month’s convention in Philadelphia.

But Hillary Clinton isn’t the only woman aiming to be on the ballot in November. Jill Stein is moving closer to securing the Green Party nomination. On Tuesday, Stein won the Green Party’s primary in California. She has so far won 20 of the 21 contests ahead of the party’s national convention in August in Houston.

Amy Goodman:
Jill Stein first announced her candidacy on Democracy Now! last June. She also ran for president on the Green Party ticket in 2012. In April, she wrote an open letter to Bernie Sanders urging him to consider joining forces to, quote, “ensure the revolution for people, planet and peace will prevail,” unquote. Jill Stein joins us now from Albany, New York, ahead of Saturday’s nominating convention of the New York Green Party.

Jill Stein, welcome back to Democracy Now! Can you respond to what happened this week, Hillary Clinton clearly saying in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, before thousands of people, that she has secured the Democratic Party’s nomination, she is the presumptive nominee?

Dr. Jill Stein:
Yes and good morning, Amy and Juan. It’s great to be with you. You know, this is kind of what many people have foreseen all along. It was kind of in the cards. The Democratic machine has very steeply tilted the playing field, from the beginning, by limiting the debates, limiting the exposure of Bernie Sanders, some very questionable election practices, 100,000 voters disappearing from the rolls in Brooklyn, some very questionable things that happened in the Democratic primary in California where independent voters thought they could just show up at the polls and cast a vote for Bernie Sanders but were unable to, by large numbers and huge discrepancies between the polls in advance and the actual outcome of the elections. So, you know and needless to say, the superdelegates have massively tipped the playing field. And the announcement the night before by major news organizations that Hillary Clinton had already clinched it, you know, hard to call that just a coincidence, seems tailor-made for discouraging people from actually turning out and exercising their right to vote.

So, this is what the Democratic Party has done for decades—many decades, in fact. And after the election of George McGovern in 1972 as a peace candidate—I should say his election to the nomination of the Democratic Party, the party changed the rules to steeply tilt that playing field, creating superdelegates and Super Tuesdays that make it very hard for a grassroots campaign to prevail. And over the years, the party has allowed principled candidates to be seen and heard, but has, at the end of the day, sabotaged them in one way or the other, often through fear campaigns and smear campaigns, in the same way that Bernie is being called a spoiler now and has been for some weeks. Dennis Kucinich was redistricted and basically, you know, taken off the political map. We saw Jesse Jackson the victim of a smear campaign. People remember the Dean scream that was used against Howard Dean as a peace candidate who was doing well. So, in many ways, the Democratic Party creates campaigns that fake left while it moves right and becomes more corporatist, more militarist, more imperialist. This is why we say it’s hard to have a revolutionary campaign inside of a counterrevolutionary party. That’s why we’re here as the Green Party to build a place where a revolutionary movement can truly grow with a political voice.

Juan Gonzalez: Well, Jill Stein, you’ve been trying for months to reach out to Bernie Sanders, because you acknowledge that there are many similarities in your program and his, to join forces. What’s been the response from the Sanders campaign and what are you hopeful for now?

Dr. Jill Stein:
Well, the response over the last several weeks has been the same as the response over the last several years. And in fact, the Green Party reached out to Bernie Sanders before the last election to see if he might be interested in running on the Green Party ballot line. And that was in 2011. And basically, we haven’t heard back yet, so I’m not holding my breath that we are going to. And in fact, I think it was just yesterday that Senator Sanders announced that he would be meeting with President Obama to basically stay the course and to essentially move his campaign inside of the Democratic Party, which I think is a mistake and would be essentially an abandonment of the movement that has been built. We’ve seen many very principled and powerful efforts to reform the Democratic Party from within over the course of many years and Democratic Party keeps marching to the right. So, you know, my hope, as Senator Sanders himself said, is that this is a movement, it’s not a man. And my hope is that the movement will continue. And we’ve offered—I’ve offered, basically, to put everything on the table and to see how we can work together and explore the—what it would take in order for that to happen—

Amy Goodman:
Well, let’s go to Bernie Sanders—

Dr. Jill Stein:
—to run a joint ticket, for example.

Amy Goodman: So, let’s talk about that for a minute. Let’s go to Bernie Sanders last July speaking at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, when he was asked if he would run on a third-party ticket if he failed to win the Democratic nomination.

Sen. Bernie Sanders:
If it happens that I do not win that process, would I run outside of the system? No, I made the promise that I would not and I’ll keep that promise. And let me add to that: And the reason for that is I do not want to be responsible for electing some right-wing Republican to be president of the United States of America.

Amy Goodman:
So that is Bernie Sanders last July. You talked about the possibility of a joint ticket. Are you saying that you would—I mean, you are not the presidential nominee of the Green Party yet. You’re running in different state primaries and conventions. But are you suggesting that the Green Party would consider him being the presidential candidate, whether or not he would consider this?

Dr. Jill Stein: It would obviously take a major change of rules for that to happen. But what I’m saying is that if Senator Sanders made the case that now he understood, after the very, you know, disturbing experiences of the last many months and the way that he’s been mistreated and beaten up by the party, perhaps he has a different view of the potential to create revolution inside of a counterrevolutionary party. Maybe he has come to see the necessity for independent third parties to actually move this movement forward. That would be—you know, that would be a game changer if he made the case that he has come to understand the critical need to build the Green Party as the political voice of that revolution. If that were the case, I think many things would become possible at that point for making the rules changes. I can’t change those rules, but I can have those discussions with him and lay the groundwork for it. It would probably have to be taken to the Green Party convention. But in terms of my own view, you know, I’m a physician, not a politician. I don’t have a vested interest in a particular political career or a particular political office. My job is to do everything that I can to create an America and a world that we can live in and that we can survive in. And I would be very interested in having this discussion. I am not holding my breath that it’s going to happen. And I think it’s important that our campaign be plan B, if not for Senator Sanders, then for his supporters. (

Agelbert COMMENT: I have hitherto supported Senator Sanders. I am now for Dr. Jill Stein. I no longer support Senator Sanders.

To my shame, I voted for Ronald Reagan in 1980. I have never lived that down. I stopped voting after his first term. I post it here to show readers that American people can, and do, learn from their mistakes.

I was set to vote for Sanders. Now, my vote is for Dr. Jill Stein, whether she runs on a Sanders, Stein ticket or not.

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on June 11, 2016, 08:52:28 pm
Whistleblower Says EPA Officials Covered Up Toxic Fracking Methane Emissions for Years

Nika Knight, Common Dreams | June 10, 2016 10:31

Why has the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) failed to take adequate action against disastrous, climate-warming methane emissions from the fracking industry?

Fracked gas flaring at a fracking well near the Pawnee National Grassland in northeastern Colorado. Photo credit: WildEarth Guardians / Flickr

An environmental watchdog alleges that the answer may be a years-long, systematic cover-up of the true data surrounding these toxic emissions. That cover-up, the group says, was at the hands of at least one EPA researcher who accepted payments from the oil and gas industry.

In an incendiary federal complaint filed on Wednesday with the EPA’s Inspector General, the 28-year-old North Carolina-based group NC WARN wrote that “there has been a persistent and deliberate cover-up that has prevented the agency from requiring the natural gas industry to make widespread, urgently needed and achievable reductions in methane venting and leakage across the nation’s expanding natural gas infrastructure.”

“Studies relied upon by EPA to develop policy and regulations were scientifically invalid,” the organization charged.

Specifically, wrote NC WARN in a press statement, “Dr. David Allen (, then-head of EPA’s Science Advisory Board, has led an ongoing, three-year effort to cover up underreporting of the primary device, the Bacharach Hi-Flow Sampler and a second device used to measure gas releases from equipment across the natural gas industry. Allen is also on the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin, where he has been funded by the oil and gas industries for years.”

“The EPA’s failure to order feasible reductions of methane leaks and venting has robbed humanity of crucial years to slow the climate crisis,” said Jim Warren, director of NC WARN. “The cover-up by Allen’s team has allowed the industry to dig in for years of delay in cutting emissions—at the worst possible time.”

The cover-up was discovered by NC WARN, the group wrote in its complaint, when it became aware that the very inventor of the Bacharach Hi-Flow Sampler, an engineer named Touché Howard, had been attempting to blow the whistle for years on the crucial instrument’s malfunctioning. The critical failure causes the instrument to under-report methane emissions “up to 100-fold,” the organization wrote.

Studies have shown the EPA underestimating methane leaks from fracked gas production for years and Howard’s own research found that the agency has been “hugely underestimating” methane emissions specifically as a result of the faulty instrument, as Common Dreams reported.

“In the extreme, that kind of failure could lead to catastrophic explosions,” Howard told the Los Angeles Times.

The complaint describes Howard’s repeated attempts to warn the EPA and Allen about the instrument and the silence he received in response.

“It appears that the goal of the [University of Texas] team was not to critically examine the problems but to convince [Environmental Defense Fund, who co-authored the study] and its production committee members that no problems existed, (” NC WARN added.

“We believe Mr. Howard was specifically prevented from providing input because the [University of Texas] team knew that he would be able to show that their counterarguments were faulty and the resulting studies scientifically invalid,” the group concluded.

Howard’s concerns and the specific mechanical problems of the measurement instrument he has repeatedly pointed out have to this date never been addressed, “resulting in the failure of the EPA to accurately report methane emissions for more than two years, much less require reductions,” the complaint noted. “Meanwhile, the faulty data and measuring equipment are still being used extensively throughout the natural gas industry worldwide.”

Indeed, a graphic included in the complaint demonstrates that the malfunctioning Bacharach Hi-Flow Sampler is relied upon to measure methane emissions at nearly every point in the fracked gas production process:

Natural gas production sectors in which the Bacharach Hi-Flow Sampler (BHFS) is used. Diagram source: EPA, via NC WARN

It’s no mystery why Allen may have been so determined to fudge the data on toxic fracked gas emissions, NC WARN argued: “His disclosure statements […] show his research and consulting have long been funded by the oil and gas industry.”

NC WARN requested that the EPA Inspector General, the agency’s internal watchdog, investigate its allegations of fraud and abuse by Allen and other EPA officials; retract Allen’s studies and examine all EPA standards and policies that relied on those studies; conduct a new, scientifically valid study to “accurately quantify methane” emissions from the fracked gas extraction and production process; as well as investigate the EPA’s reliance on researchers with industry bias and conflicts of interest.

Moreover, the group recommended that the EPA “redress the damage that has been done” by doing the following:

1. EPA should institute a zero emission goal for methane;

2. EPA should initiate a full regimen for oversight, testing and remediation of methane emissions in the natural gas industry; and

3. EPA should take into account the global warming potential of methane emissions over a 20-year (not 100-year) timeframe.

Warren added that the only permanent solution to the problem of methane leaks is a total ban on fracking: “Fracking for gas and oil must also be stopped for a host of reasons. We’re reaching out to communities, workers, advocates and elected officials to join the call for an investigation into EPA’s scientific fraud.”

“The people of this nation,” Warren went on, “must demand that regulators and politicians reject the pervasive pressure of corporate money, stop coddling the polluters—and do their jobs on behalf of the public.”

The Fossil Fuelers   DID THE Climate Trashing, human health depleteing CRIME,   but since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks, they are trying to AVOID   DOING THE TIME or     PAYING THE FINE!     Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on! (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on June 20, 2016, 02:52:40 pm
The polluters ALWAYS claim YOU VOTED for their subsidy SWAG. NOT SO!
The USA is an OLIGARCHY. And it BECAME an oligarchy LONG BEFORE 2008.


Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on June 20, 2016, 06:38:06 pm
Agelbert NOTE:Another "deluded conspiracy theory" (if you believe the gooberment propaganda)  ;).

The Pentagon’s Real Strategy: Keeping the Money Flowing   ( (

Posted on Jun 16, 2016

By Andrew Cockburn / TomDispatch

This piece first appeared at TomDispatch. Read Tom Engelhardt’s introduction here. (

These days, lamenting the apparently aimless character of Washington’s military operations in the Greater Middle East has become conventional wisdom among administration critics of every sort. Senator John McCain thunders that “this president has no strategy to successfully reverse the tide of slaughter and mayhem” in that region. Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies bemoans the “lack of a viable and public strategy.” Andrew Bacevich suggests that “there is no strategy. None. Zilch.”

After 15 years of grinding war with no obvious end in sight, U.S. military operations certainly deserve such obloquy. But the pundit outrage may be misplaced. Focusing on Washington rather than on distant war zones, it becomes clear that the military establishment does indeed have a strategy, a highly successful one, which is to protect and enhance its own prosperity.

Given this focus, creating and maintaining an effective fighting force becomes a secondary consideration, reflecting a relative disinterest—remarkable to outsiders—in the actual business of war, as opposed to the business of raking in dollars for the Pentagon and its industrial and political partners. A key element of the strategy involves seeding the military budget with “development” projects that require little initial outlay but which, down the line, grow irreversibly into massive, immensely profitable production contracts for our weapons-making cartels.
If this seems like a startling proposition, consider, for instance, the Air Force’s determined and unyielding efforts to jettison the A-10 Thunderbolt, widely viewed as the most effective means for supporting troops on the ground, while ardently championing the sluggish, vastly overpriced F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that, among myriad other deficiencies, cannot fly within 25 miles of a thunderstorm. No less telling is the Navy’s ongoing affection for budget-busting programs such as aircraft carriers, while maintaining its traditional disdain for the unglamorous and money-poor mission of minesweeping, though the mere threat of enemy mines in the 1991 Gulf War (as in the Korean War decades earlier) stymied plans for major amphibious operations. Examples abound across all the services. 

Meanwhile, ongoing and dramatic programs to invest vast sums in meaningless, useless, or superfluous weapons systems are the norm. There is no more striking example of this than current plans to rebuild the entire American arsenal of nuclear weapons in the coming decades, Obama’s staggering bequest to the budgets of his successors.

Taking Nuclear Weapons to the Bank  (


These nuclear initiatives have received far less attention than they deserve, perhaps because observers are generally loath to acknowledge that the Cold War and its attendant nuclear terrors, supposedly consigned to the ashcan of history a quarter-century ago, are being revived on a significant scale. The U.S. is currently in the process of planning for the construction of a new fleet of nuclear submarines loaded with new intercontinental nuclear missiles, while simultaneously creating a new land-based intercontinental missile, a new strategic nuclear bomber, a new land-and-sea-based tactical nuclear fighter plane, a new long-range nuclear cruise missile (which, as recently as 2010, the Obama administration explicitly promised not to develop), at least three nuclear warheads that are essentially new designs, and new fuses for existing warheads. In addition, new nuclear command-and-control systems are under development for a fleet of satellites (costing up to $1 billion each) designed to make the business of fighting a nuclear war more practical and manageable. 

This massive nuclear buildup, routinely promoted under the comforting rubric of “modernization,” stands in contrast to the president’s lofty public ruminations on the topic of nuclear weapons. The most recent of these was delivered during his visit—the first by an American president—to Hiroshima last month. There, he urged “nations like my own that hold nuclear stockpiles” to “have the courage to escape the logic of fear, and pursue a world without them.”

In reality, that “logic of fear” suggests that there is no way to “fight” a nuclear war, given the unforeseeable but horrific effects of these immensely destructive weapons.  They serve no useful purpose beyond deterring putative opponents from using them, for which an extremely limited number would suffice. During the Berlin crisis of 1961, for example, when the Soviets possessed precisely four intercontinental nuclear missiles, White House planners seriously contemplated launching an overwhelming nuclear strike on the USSR.  It was, they claimed, guaranteed to achieve “victory.” As Fred Kaplan recounts in his book Wizards of Armageddon, the plan’s advocates conceded that the Soviets might, in fact, be capable of managing a limited form of retaliation with their few missiles and bombers in which as many as three million Americans could be killed, whereupon the plan was summarily rejected.

In other words, in the Cold War as today, the idea of “nuclear war-fighting” could not survive scrutiny in a real-world context. Despite this self-evident truth, the U.S. military has long been the pioneer in devising rationales for fighting such a war via ever more “modernized” weapons systems. Thus, when first introduced in the early 1960s, the Navy’s invulnerable Polaris-submarine-launched intercontinental missiles—entirely sufficient in themselves as a deterrent force against any potential nuclear enemy—were seen within the military as an attack on Air Force operations and budgets. The Air Force responded by conceiving and successfully selling the need for a full-scale, land-based missile force as well, one that could more precisely target enemy missiles in what was termed a “counterforce” strategy.

The drive to develop and build such systems on the irrational pretense that nuclear war fighting is a practical proposition persists today.  One component of the current “modernization” plan is the proposed development of a new “dial-a-yield” version of the venerable B-61 nuclear bomb. Supposedly capable of delivering explosions of varying strength according to demand, this device will, at least theoretically, be guidable to its target with high degrees of accuracy and will also be able to burrow deep into the earth to destroy buried bunkers. The estimated bill—$11 billion—is a welcome boost for the fortunes of the Sandia and Los Alamos weapons laboratories that are developing it.  (  (

Full article (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on June 22, 2016, 04:17:21 pm
Con vs. Con

Posted on Jun 19, 2016

By Chris Hedges

During the presidential election cycle, liberals display their gutlessness. Liberal organizations, such as, become cloyingly subservient to the Democratic Party. Liberal media, epitomized by MSNBC, ruthlessly purge those who challenge the Democratic Party establishment. Liberal pundits, such as Paul Krugman, lambaste critics of the political theater, charging them with enabling the Republican nominee. Liberals chant, in a disregard for the facts, not to be like Ralph Nader, the “spoiler” who gave us George W. Bush.

The liberal class refuses to fight for the values it purports to care about. It is paralyzed and trapped by the induced panic manufactured by the systems of corporate propaganda. The only pressure within the political system comes from corporate power. With no counterweight, with no will on the part of the liberal class to defy the status quo, we slide deeper and deeper into corporate despotism. The repeated argument of the necessity of supporting the “least worse” makes things worse.

Change will not come quickly. It may take a decade or more. And it will never come by capitulating to the Democratic Party establishment. We will accept our place in the political wilderness and build alternative movements and parties to bring down corporate power or continue to watch our democracy atrophy into a police state and our ecosystem unravel.

The rise of a demagogue like Donald Trump is a direct result of the Democratic Party’s decision to embrace neoliberalism, become a handmaiden of American imperialism and sell us out for corporate money. There would be no Trump if Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party had not betrayed working men and women with the North American Free Trade Agreement, destroyed the welfare system, nearly doubled the prison population, slashed social service programs, turned the airwaves over to a handful of corporations by deregulating the Federal Communications Commission, ripped down the firewalls between commercial and investment banks that led to a global financial crash and prolonged recession, and begun a war on our civil liberties that has left us the most monitored, eavesdropped, photographed and profiled population in human history. There would be no Trump if the Clintons and the Democratic Party, including Barack Obama, had not decided to prostitute themselves for corporate pimps.
Con artists come in many varieties. On Wall Street, they can have Princeton University and Harvard Law School degrees, polished social skills and Italian designer suits that are priced in the tens of thousands of dollars. In Trump tower, they can have cheap comb-overs, fake tans, casinos and links with the Mafia. In the Clinton Foundation, they can wallow in hundreds of millions of dollars from corporate and foreign donors, including the most repressive governments in the world, exchanged for political favors. But they are all crooks.

The character traits of the Clintons are as despicable as those that define Trump.
The Clintons have amply illustrated that they are as misogynistic and as financially corrupt as Trump. Trump is a less polished version of the Clintons. But Trump and the Clintons share the same bottomless guile, megalomania and pathological dishonesty. Racism is hardly limited to Trump. The Clintons rose to power in the Democratic Party by race-baiting, sending nonviolent drug offenders of color to prison for life, making war on “welfare queens” and being “law-and-order” Democrats. The Clintons do a better job of masking their snakelike venom, but they, like Trump, will sell anyone out.

The Clintons and the Democratic Party establishment are banking that the liberal class will surrender once again to corporate power and genuflect before neoliberal ideology. Bernie Sanders will be trotted out, like a chastened sheepdog, to coax his followers back into the holding pen. The moral outrage of his supporters over Wall Street crimes, wholesale state surveillance, the evisceration of civil liberties, the failure to halt the devastation of the ecosystem, endless war, cuts to Social Security and austerity, will, the Democratic Party elites expect, airily evaporate. They may not be wrong. Given the history of the liberal class, they are probably right.

Sanders supporters, however, were given a stark lesson in how the political process is rigged. Some are disgusted and politically astute enough to defect to the Green Party. But once they no longer play by the rules, once they become “spoilers,” they will be ignored or ridiculed by a corporate press, excoriated by liberal elites and chastised by their former candidate.

Liberals, as part of the quid pro quo with the establishment, serve as attack dogs to keep us within the deadly embrace of corporate capitalism. Liberals are tolerated by the capitalist elites because they do not question the virtues of corporate capitalism, only its excesses, and call for tepid and ineffectual reforms. Liberals denounce those who speak in the language of class warfare. They are the preferred group—because they claim liberal values—used by capitalist elites to demonize the left as irresponsible heretics.

Liberals are employed by corporate elites in universities, the media, systems of entertainment and advertising agencies to perpetuate corporate power. Many are highly paid. They have a financial stake in corporate dominance. The educated elites in the liberal class are capitalism’s useful idiots. They are tolerated because they contribute, by discrediting the left, to the maintenance of corporate power. They do not think or function independently. And they are given platforms in academia and on the airwaves to marginalize and denounce those who do think and function independently.

The battle between a bankrupt liberal class and the left will color the remainder of the presidential race. What is predictable, and sad, is that so many self-identified progressives and their organizations will once again serve as the pawns of neoliberalism. They will practice censorship. Progressive sites in the primaries refused to reprint columns by critics such as Paul Street, who did not see Sanders as the new political messiah. And as we move closer and closer to the election, these sites will become ever more hostile to the left and ever more craven in their defense of Clinton.

The system of corporate power, which Clinton and Trump will not alter, will continue to be ignored. The poison of imperialism and corporate capitalism, steadily hollowing out the country and pushing it toward collapse, will be sidelined. The campaign will be a political reality show, this season with a genuine reality star as a presidential candidate. Campaigning will ignore ideas to elicit emotions—fear, anger and hope. Insults will fly back and forth over social media. The race will be devoid of content. Clinton and Trump, in this world of political make-believe, will say whatever their listeners want to hear. They will furiously compete for “undecided” voters, essentially the apolitical segment of the population. And once the election is over, one of them will go to Washington, where corporations, rich donors and lobbyists—who they represent—will continue with the business of governing.

After November, our role will be over. We will no longer be asked to answer polling questions designed to elicit certain responses. We will no longer be asked to play a walk-on part in the tawdry drama called democracy. The political carnival on television will be replaced by other carnivals. The corporate state will claim democratic legitimacy. (  We will remain in bondage.   (

The real face of the corporate state, and the evidence that our democracy has been extinguished, will be on display during the party conventions in the streets of Cleveland and Philadelphia. The blocks around the convention halls will be militarized and flooded with police. There will be restricted movement. Pedestrians will be stopped at random and searched. Helicopters will hover overhead. Permits to hold rallies will only be issued to those, such as Sanders supporters, who stay within the parameters imposed by the political charade. Groups suspected of planning protests to defy corporate politics have already been infiltrated. They will be heavily monitored. Those who attempt to organize protests without permits will be arrested or detained before the conventions begin. The cities will be on lockdown.

If you want to see what America will look like soon, across the country, shift your focus from the convention halls to the streets in Cleveland and Philadelphia. It is in the streets that our corporate masters will win or lose. And they(  know it. (

Agelbert NOTE: Expect some liar with a big vocabulary (usually, but not always, a lawyer) who benefits from the fascist gooberment and legal system corruption that is destroying this country to claim that all the above is 'sky is falling' baloney, followed by mockery, derision and dripping empathy deficit disordered sarcasm AND OF COURSE, the claim that the writer or anyone that believes him has "mental" problems.

These "fine fellows" always read "reputable" news sources that provide a balanced, objective and "real world"  ;) perspective on the nature and workings of our God given democratic government, that we should all respect and trust (see below).
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on June 25, 2016, 02:10:35 pm
Agelbert NOTE: So much for the USA National Sovereignty based  Keystone XL Rejection.  >:(  The lawyer lackeys for the corporate crooks are using NAFTA to bypass national sovereignty as if it was not there.   (

TransCanada Files NAFTA ( Suit Demanding More Than $15 Billion for Keystone XL Rejection

Michael Brune | June 25, 2016 10:16 am

On June 24, foreign oil company TransCanada filed a lawsuit against the U.S. under NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, arguing that the U.S. rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline violated NAFTA’s broad rights for foreign investors by thwarting the company’s “expectations.” As compensation, TransCanada is demanding more than $15 billion from U.S. taxpayers.

TransCanada’s case will be heard in a private tribunal of three lawyers who are not accountable to any domestic legal system, thanks to NAFTA’s “investor-state” system, which is also included in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The controversial TPP would empower thousands of additional corporations, including major polluters, to follow TransCanada’s example and use this private tribunal system to challenge U.S. climate and environmental policies.

TransCanada’s Request for Arbitration follows the Notice of Intent to submit a claim to arbitration that it filed on Jan. 6.

TransCanada’s attempt to make American taxpayers hand over more than $15 billion because the company’s dirty Keystone XL pipeline was rejected shows exactly why NAFTA was wrong and why the even more dangerous and far-reaching Trans-Pacific Partnership must be stopped in its tracks.

The TPP would empower thousands of new firms operating in the U.S, including major polluters, to follow in TransCanada’s footsteps and undermine our critical climate safeguards in private trade tribunals.

Today, we have a prime example of how polluter-friendly trade deals threaten our efforts to tackle the climate crisis, spotlighting the need for a new model of trade model that supports rather than undermines climate action. We urge our members of Congress to learn from this historic moment and commit to reject the TPP.

Here’s more information on the TPP:

Environmental opposition to the TPP is mounting. Earlier in June, more than 450 environmental, landowner, Indigenous rights, and allied organizations sent a letter to Congress warning that pending trade deals like the TPP threaten efforts to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

Read the Sierra Club’s report on how the TPP would roughly double the number of corporations that could follow TransCanada’s example and challenge U.S. safeguards in private, unaccountable tribunals.


The corporations that would gain this ability include hundreds of foreign-owned fossil fuel firms, such as the U.S. subsidiaries of BHP Billiton, one of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters and one of the U.S.’s largest foreign investors in fracking and offshore drilling.

The TPP would nearly double the number of foreign fracking firms that could challenge new U.S. fracking restrictions in private tribunals.

The deal also would enable oil and gas corporations with nearly 1 million acres’ worth of U.S. offshore drilling leases to use this private tribunal system to try to undermine new restrictions on offshore drilling. (

No prior U.S. trade deal has granted such broad rights to corporations with such broad interests in maintaining U.S. fossil fuel dependency.

We do not have to let these crooks get away with this THEFT under the color of law.


Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on July 06, 2016, 06:16:50 pm
Senate Advances GMO Labeling Bill in Attempt to Nullify Vermont’s Historic Law

Wenonah Hauter | July 6, 2016 5:25 pm

Today, in a cloture vote, the Senate voted today to do away with our right to know what’s in our food, revoking a popular and clear state labeling law in effect in Vermont and nullifying all future state labeling initiatives.

This is a slap in the face for all of the advocates that have worked hard to pass state-level measures because they believe strongly that labels should be transparent, and people should have the choice to decide whether or not they purchase and consume foods with genetically engineered ingredients. The majority of Americans support labeling for GMOs and will hold their elected officials accountable for stripping away this transparency.


If this bill becomes law, the industry wins what are essentially voluntary requirements under this GMO labeling “compromise,” which does not mandate recalls, penalties or fines for noncompliance with the incredibly weak requirements of the bill that will likely leave many GMO ingredients exempt from any labeling requirements. And the bill gives companies the option to use discriminatory QR codes that require a smartphone to access basic information about the food on store shelves.

Now, we call on the House not to pass the bill. We also call on President Obama to veto the bill if it comes to his desk. On the campaign trail many years ago, he promised reform on many food issues—from giving family farmers a fair shot in the marketplace to food labeling, saying we had the right to know whether or not food is genetically engineered. Before he leaves office, he has one more chance to get it right when it comes to food policy that protects people over corporations. He must veto this bill.

Watch as Senators John Tester (D-MT) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) speak out today against the Senate GMO food labeling bill, with Senator Tester arguing that including the label as a QR code protects corporate food producers over consumers: (video at article link)

Agelbert COMMENT: The Senate represents the 1%. The USA is an oligarchy. So, this dial-a-law ethics free maneuver to defend the empathy deficit disordered modus operandi of the oligarchs is par for the course in our modern "civilization".

"The rich executed a coup d’état that transformed the three branches of the U.S. government and nearly all institutions, including the mass media, into wholly owned subsidiaries of the corporate state." -- Chris Hedges


"The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have a nice day.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on July 16, 2016, 04:50:49 pm
'Pence is going to help Trump with voters who can't decide if they're more worried that gay people will get a wedding cake or healthcare'.

Presumptive Republican nominee for president Donald Trump announced Friday that he has chosen Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate.

Gov. Pence is famously—or infamously—right-wing, and a particular darling of far-right Evangelical voters.

Pundits surmised that Trump is attempting to sway the conservative Christian portion of the Republican party, which had previously rallied behind Ted Cruz.

Progressives decried the decision. Leftists pointed out Pence's plethora of policy stances and decisions that have threatened civil rights, women's health, the environment, and the welfare of the most vulnerable since he was elected to Congress in 2000 and then as Indiana's governor in 2012.

Science Denier

"Look, I don't know that [climate change] is a resolved issue in science today."—Gov. Mike Pence, 2014

Regarding Pence's climate stance, Greenpeace listed the many times in which Pence ( against the climate and for the oil and gas industry:

    As a Congressman, Pence consistently voted true to his climate denial, voting to prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, to reverse President Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act, and against enforcing limits on global carbon dioxide emissions. He was also a vocal critic of the Clean Power Plan, insisting in a letter to President Obama that Indiana would not comply.
    Pence joined his fellow House Republicans in opportunistically using the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill to call for energy independence built on access to all of our domestic resources, including more offshore drilling. (Never mind that Deepwater Horizon was an offshore drilling rig in U.S. waters.)
    During his tenure as governor, he has overseen the expansion of the Whiting Refinery to process increasingly risky forms of fossil fuels, particularly petcoke and tar sands coming in from Canada. It is the 3rd largest tar sands refinery in the country, and its processing of petcoke, a byproduct of tar sands extraction that is cheaper and way dirtier than coal, has tripled in recent years.

Pence has also expressed doubt regarding evolution. "Do I believe in evolution? I embrace the view that God created the heavens and the earth, the seas and all that's in them," he said on MSNBC in 2008.

In the late 1990s, long after scientists had conclusively shown that cigarette smoking was linked to lung cancer, Pence dismissed such claims as "hysteria."

Attacked Women's Rights

In March, Pence signed into law what reproductive rights activists characterized as "one of the worst anti-abortion bills in the country." As Common Dreams reported:

    The law, which Pence said he signed "with a prayer," makes Indiana the second state in the nation, after North Dakota, to ban abortion in cases where a fetal anomaly is detected.

    It also mandates the burial and cremation of miscarried or aborted remains; restricts fetal tissue donation; and requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital or to have an agreement with a doctor who does.

Civil rights groups subsequently sued the state over what they described as a "cynical, deceptive attempt to ban abortions."

Pence also joined many right-wingers in attacking Planned Parenthood in response to a fake video purporting to show the group selling bodily tissues. (The filmmakers were eventually indicted for tampering with government records.)

Legalized Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination

Last year, Pence signed into law the so-called "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" that gave "legal cover, under the guise of 'religious liberties,' to any businesses or individuals who wish to violate anti-discrimination laws," as Common Dreams reported.

As Rolling Stone's Jeb Lund wrote:

    Pence and Indiana Republicans capitalized on a decades-long manipulation of "religious freedom" as an excuse to exclude and punish groups they see as immoral or repugnant, leveraging religion's perquisites to create a bubble of legitimated pre-Civil Rights Era prejudice (and tax avoidance). Only Pence and company went too far: Indiana's RFRA didn't just protect religious intolerance from government interference but actually empowered business to discriminate against immoral other folk without risk of civil rights lawsuits. Only, when pressed even to answer yes or no as to whether Pence had just signed a bill that legalized religious discrimination of gays, he sputtered and retreated. Typically, the Onion did the best job of anyone when it came to nailing him to a wall.

Tried to Privatize Social Security

"Governor Pence has a long history of fighting to cut and privatize Social Security," writes Nancy Altman, co-director of the progressive group Social Security Works. Altman released the following statement in reaction to Trump's choice of Pence for VP:

    In 2005, [Pence] was the leader of a group of House Republicans who criticized George W. Bush’s Social Security privatization plan for not being extreme enough! He supports raising the retirement age and other cuts to Social Security benefits. This despite the fact that the nation is facing a looming retirement income crisis, which is likely to be harshest for younger Americans.

    Pence has shown his desire to dismantle Social Security brick by brick, or even faster. He insultingly calls our Social Security system an “entitlement” rather than the earned benefit that it is. This attitude towards Social Security, the people’s pension, fits in perfectly with Donald Trump’s outrageous claim that Social Security is an illegal Ponzi Scheme. This name calling is an insult to every worker and Social Security beneficiary. It is an insult to all of us.

Iraq War Propagandist

Igor Volposky, deputy director of the Campaign for America's Future Action Fund, dug into congressional records and discovered that during his tenure in the House of Representatives, Pence had served as "Bush's chief war propagandist" when it came to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

"Before he became governor of Indiana and a candidate to be Donald Trump's vice-presidential nominee, Mike Pence was a congressman, and he voted for every free-trade agreement that came before him," the Washington Post wrote.

Pence's stance has apparently already hurt his state's workers: "This year, Pence urged an Indiana manufacturer, Carrier Corp., to reconsider a decision to move 1,400 jobs from Indiana to Mexico. The company is continuing with the plans but agreed to repay some state and local tax incentives," the Post reported. "After meeting with the company, Pence said he did not want to give Indiana workers 'false hope' that the jobs would stay in their state."


Service Employees International Union (SEIU) executive vice president Rocio Saenz condemned Pence's record on immigration in a statement released Friday:

    [Pence's] positions on immigration are anti-immigrant and anti-family. If Donald Trump wasn’t enough to alienate Latino voters, a Trump/Pence ticket will be the ultimate deal breaker for one of the fastest-growing demographics.

    His latest attack against immigrants and their American children came when he joined 25 other Republican governors in a lawsuit that blocked Obama’s executive initiatives on immigration, DAPA and DACA that would have shielded approximately five million undocumented immigrants from deportation.

    Governor Pence is not a friend of the immigrant community.

And in response to Trump's decision, Twitter erupted on Friday with comments both decrying and quipping about Trump's choice. (

Definitely a marriage of convenience designed to deliver the powerful religious know-nothing vote.

It's a big **** (typical Trump behavior?), and bound to have lots of fall-out.

Begs, the question, "Whose idea was this?"

Maybe Newt Gingrich told him to do it. I don't think it was The Donald's idea.

Pence is, ABOVE ALL, a Koch Brothers TOOL. He has his head so far up the fossil fuel industry descending colon that he peddles the BULLSHIT that global warming is a "myth".

Pence  ( enjoying a day at the beach.  ( 


Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on July 21, 2016, 06:27:18 pm
July 21, 2016

Denier Roundup

Those who derived their power from profits found science-based health and environmental regulations an affront to their business models. Exploiting the postmodern concept that there is no objectivity enabled authoritarians to push their public policy agendas with PR instead of relying on scientific evidence to justify their positions.

Harold Hamm (
Harold Hamm:  Sergeant in the War on Science

Last night, oil tycoon Harold Hamm addressed the Republican National Convention. Since this post was written before his speech, we won’t address what was said. Instead, we’ll provide just a bit of history on Hamm and the wider sociopolitical history that has led us to a campaign season where facts have fallen by the wayside and emotional rhetoric have risen in importance.
Hamm is the billionaire CEO of the oil company Continental Resources. Before being identified as a potential candidate for a cabinet position and “Trump’s energy whisperer,” Hamm was in the news a year ago for his attempt to silence scientists who were linking Oklahoma’s massive uptick in earthquakes (from one-ish a year in 2009 to over 500 in 2014) to the massive uptick in fracking operations. Hamm apparently  ;) tried to get a University of Oklahoma scientist fired ( for doing their job in pursuing the science that might interfere with his profits. 
This brings us to the larger point of science as a counterbalance to power.
It’s the major theme in Shawn Otto’s newest book, The War on Science: Who’s waging it, Why it matters, What we can do about it. (

Otto traces the history of science and politics, starting with the “self-evident” nature of our rights within the Declaration of Independence. Science’s search for the underlying truth of nature, Otto writes, has always been a political force. Not in the partisan sense, but in the power sense. “Science is the great equalizer,” Otto told us via email. “It underpins the whole argument for democracy. But it’s also political, because it either confirms or disrupts somebody’s vested interests, and those people tend to fight back when science suggests certain laws or regulations they don’t like."
Fast-forward to the 20th century, when science ended World War II with the power of the atomic bomb. In the ensuing years, science enjoyed the financial support of the military and retreated from the public sphere, as it no longer needed public engagement for funding.
At the same time, the public was growing increasingly wary of science, the cause of their children’s pointless “duck and cover” drills in case of nuclear attack.

Meanwhile, in the humanitarian departments of academia, the postmodernist movement was questioning the fundamental nature of science as a way to discover objective truth, portraying it as just another “metanarrative” -- a story told by the ruling class in order to retain power.


This thinking worked its way into journalism schools, where reporters  ( learned ( that there is no such thing( as objectivity , and creating the conditions where false balance thrives and industry   ( spokespeople  ( given equal time and consideration as real scientists
This postmodernism, mostly a leftist concept, provided the intellectual underpinning for the larger war on science by the axis of industry and religious forces who coopted that language to insist we “teach the controversy.” Those who derived their power from religion found evolution and stem cells to be affronts to the sacred notion of a creator.

Those who derived their power from profits found science-based health and environmental regulations an affront to their business models. Exploiting the postmodern concept that there is no objectivity enabled authoritarians to push their public policy agendas with PR instead of relying on scientific evidence to justify their positions.

Which brings us back to this election cycle and the celebration of a man who has attempted to use his power to silence the science that threatens his profits. Instead of being run out of democratic society for this blatant display of authoritarianism, Hamm’s been given direct access to a candidate, a prime time speaking slot at the convention, and possibly a cabinet position.  (  ( 

Unlike most books of its type, The War on Science offers up a robust battle plan to restore science to its rightful place as an objective arbiter of the reality we all share, and upon which policy decisions must be made.
It won’t be an easy fight, but it’s one we can’t afford to lose. As the government scales of checks and balances are increasingly tilted in favor of the rich and powerful, science offers the strongest anti-authoritarian weapon available to restore power to the people.

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on July 21, 2016, 07:56:00 pm
How about fraternity, like the banksters giving our kids student loans, and the politicians being paid off to exempt the kids from declaring bankruptcy on the loans. That's the equality and fraternity that exist today in our beloved democracy.

The benevolent making sure everyone gets an education that has a pulse and can sign the dotted line. They are my brother's keeper.  :'(

That's a nice illustration of how in fact we don't have fraternity (solidarity) in our pseudo-democracy.  The list of such examples could be read all through tonight and into the morning ... only to be taken up the next day and the next and the next. These illustrate my point: Which is that we failed to establish a society based on the honest valuation of liberty, equality and fraternity.  That's not interesting news (it's rather pedestrian). But what WOULD be news is if people who are neither defeatists nor misanthropists or nihilists would have a deep, soulful, non-pedestrian conversation on what we might do about our failure, so far.

I will not accept "It's impossible" as an answer. That's the pedestrian answer -- and the one you can get from most all of the so-called "educated" people, including many who have been my friends and mentors, people I love (including all of the regulars here).

But what WOULD be news is if people who are neither defeatists nor misanthropists or nihilists would have a deep, soulful, non-pedestrian conversation on what we might do about our failure, so far.

I already answered this question:

1-Dissolve Nation-States to smaller units

2- Establish communities of people with shared Culture and Values

3- Confiscate all wealth and redistribute evenly across the population

4- Terminate Banksters with Extreme Prejudice


   ( You are speaking the truth, even if most people cannot handle the truth.


In the meantime support Dr. Jill Stein. She knows EXACTLY ;D  ;) how to address our failure to curb rampant greed and oligarchic suicidal profit over people and planet criminal stupidity:
( (  (  (

( (

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on July 21, 2016, 08:45:25 pm
The problem with "winners" in our massively failed "civilization", is that they cannot wrap their self worshipping heads around the FACT that they do not want to accept part of the responsibility for the corrupt status quo.

So, all the "I am credentialed and worked harder than you" statements by these "winners" are deliberate attempts to get readers to IGNORE the fact that a dog eat dog "civilization" is inherently unjust, wrong and insulting to many that have worked MUCH HARDER and/or studied MUCH LONGER but are still being shafted by the system.

Meritocracy is a myth. Ask any offspring (be sure to use truth serum  ;D) of the oligarchs if they "worked hard and persevered" to GET their swag.

AS JRM said in so many words, they just do not want to talk about the issue objectively.
Way back in the olden days, when I first showed up here, I DEMONSTRATED (for it was not just a wild guess) that our mainstream American story about wealth is utterly and completely OBSOLETE.  It was a partial demonstration then, as it can always be improved upon and elaborated, but the story goes that the word wealth comes from a very old word which means well-being. And I take well-being as a complex whole, not as something any one person can have. This ties in with my fundamental critique of mainstream economics, which defines wealth as something a person, a family, a nation, etc., can "have," as if it were a form of property.  All of that, now, to me, is nonsense. Utter garbage. Totally obsolete at best.

If you're living in a forest and the forest burns down ... and your principal bit of wealth is your forest house, you're **** out of luck. If you're living in a flood zone and the river rises and your house floats down stream, same story.

Now we're all living in a society in which pretty much everything is incredibly fragile and vulnerable ... because -- mostly -- we've not learned the lessons of history, or much of anything else, either.  We have sciences of resiliency (the opposite of fragility) in economics, ecology, biology, medicine, pscyhology, sociology, politics, etc., but we treat them as so much fluff-and-stuff: basically irrelevant.  Rarely does anyone wonder if there is a common principal uniting them all.  But I do, and did. There are plenty of common principals holding them together as health -- a word deeply (etymologically) related to wealth. I take this not as a mere irrelevant coincidence.  Neither do my philosophical allies, such as Charles Eisenstein (who  knows a great deal more about wealth than most Ph.D. economists do.

I've struggled with the concept of commensurability ... between "disciplines" and stories ... only to learn that measurement has its limitations. There is no monetary way to measure wealth. This is an insight worthy of some "hard work," but such work is not paid work. One labors on....

Meanwhile, the world gets worse and worse in lots of ways, with capitol doing what it naturally does every day: serving as fuel for the bonfire burning whatever remains of true wealth -- which, in large part, is the health of our communities, including the natural communities in which we are all embedded.

If we have any chance of pulling out of this, I think, we're going to have to have a revolution ... not only in economics, but in the basic "story" of who we are, what we are, what wealth is..., what well-being amounts to.

Curiously enough, I think the French Revolutionaries, centuries ago, had the simple motto we need today.


And interestingly enough, a volcanic eruption in Iceland was the catalyst that finally triggered the French Revolution (massive crop failures). IOW, despite all the tyranny, it wasn't until the people were REALLY hungry, while the "winners" in their "society" calmly kept their stomachs full, while telling the wretched of France that they were "not deserving" of anything better, that the powder keg exploded.

Climate Change will do exactly the same thing on a worldwide scale.

The "winners" CANNOT hide that FACT that their empathy deficit disordered RELIGION of Capitalism is KILLING the many for the benefit of the few.


Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on July 27, 2016, 08:35:27 pm
Monsanto Benefits Hand Over Fist From Tax Dollar Subsidies   (

July 26, 2016 | 166,966 views

Agelbert NOTE: Don't miss the video by Funny or Die.   (


By Dr. Mercola (

In the video above (at article link) , Funny or Die pokes fun at Monsanto's "feeding the world" message by highlighting some of the most obvious features of genetically engineered (GE) foods, such as the unnatural crossing of genetic material between plant and animal kingdoms, the use of toxic chemicals and Monsanto's ever-expanding monopoly.

"I own everything!" Mama Monsanto exclaims, and that's pretty close to the truth. Monsanto has gobbled up seed companies, chemical competitors and even research institutions investigating the impact of pesticides on bee die-offs.

Not to mention the influence the company wields over the U.S. government. It sure seems to "own" that too.

Why the US Government Refuses to Turn on Monsanto

Many have pondered how Monsanto managed to rise to such a powerful position with respect to its influence over the U.S. government, and I think journalist Abby Martin may have pin-pointed the source of this obnoxious loyalty in her recent video report, "America's Monster" (below).

In it, she details Monsanto's history as an American "war horse," which began with its involvement in the Manhattan Project and the creation of the atomic bomb. Monsanto's contributions to the U.S. war machine continued during the Vietnam War, when the company became a leading producer of Agent Orange.

These war contributions appear to have cemented a long-lasting and loyal relationship between the U.S. government and Monsanto that continues to this day, to the detriment of the American people.

Sixty-four other nations have been labeling genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for years. Here in the U.S., Monsanto's influence runs so deep, we just became the first country in the world to UNLABEL GMOs, as President Obama will soon sign a bill that nullifies Vermont's GMO labeling law, which just went into effect July 1.

Throughout its entire history, which began with the foundation of Monsanto Chemical Works in 1901, Monsanto has specialized in the production of toxic chemicals. Despite attempts to shed its destructive image, Monsanto has utterly failed to do so, for the simple fact that it never actually changed its basic modus operandi.

Nor did it actually change its direction from purveyor of toxins to a life-giving agricultural company. Its focus remains producing and selling toxins. It simply discovered it could sell more chemicals, and ensure ever-increasing profits, by producing GE seeds with herbicide-resistant properties.

Full information and advice packed article:  (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on July 27, 2016, 08:58:43 pm
Straight Talk by Abby Martin
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on July 27, 2016, 10:02:43 pm
The 1 Percent’s Useful Idiots

Posted on Jul 26, 2016

By Chris Hedges


The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will be pushed through whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton is president.

The fracking industry, fossil fuel industry and animal agriculture industry will ravage the ecosystem whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton is president.

The predatory financial institutions on Wall Street will trash the economy and loot the U.S. Treasury on the way to another economic collapse whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton is president.

Poor, unarmed people of color will be gunned down in the streets of our cities whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton is president.

The system of neoslavery in our prisons, where we keep poor men and poor women of color in cages because we have taken from them the possibility of employment, education and dignity, will be maintained whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton is president.

Millions of undocumented people will be deported whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton is president.

Austerity programs will cut or abolish public services, further decay the infrastructure and curtail social programs whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton is president.

Money will replace the vote whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton is president. And half the country, which now lives in poverty, will remain in misery whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton becomes president.

This is not speculation. We know this because there has been total continuity on every issue, from trade agreements to war to mass deportations, between the Bush administration and the administration of Barack Obama. The problem is not Donald Trump.

The problem is capitalism. And this is the beast we are called to fight and slay.

Until that is done, nothing of substance will change.

Full article:


Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on August 13, 2016, 10:27:55 pm
Agelbert NOTE: The Vermonters commenting give info you will not find on any national news source.  ( ;D

Of course the Trump supporting, global warming denier idiots weigh in too, but that cannot be helped.  ::) There are a LOT of deniers hanging around the Vtdigger, by the up votes deniers receive.  :P

And there is a certain doomer here that, NO DOUBT, will not 'blame Bernie for buying a retreat to relax in', but some people  ( just cannot bring themselves to criticize immoral, greed based displays of WEALTH.  :(

It seems that Sanders, despite his claims to the contrary  (, has ALWAYS had the SAME 'money isn't everything, but it's way ahead of whatever is in second place' ( mindset as that wealth worshipping doomer I just mentioned.

Moving right along, "Camp" is the affectionate euphemism that Vermonters use to describe their summer second homes in the boonies. Most of the time they are modest dwellings, but still highly valued properties because they are lakefront or/and the land area is over an acre (often more than 10 acres).

In the Sanders case, it definitely is NOT a modest home (see Vermonter comments  ;)). What a sellout this man and his wife (who walked away from a Burlington college Presidency with a $250,000 'bonus for hard work' a year before that college went bankrupt this year) turned out to be.  (

Sanders, wife add third home with purchase of lake retreat (

Aug. 11, 2016, 3:57 pm by Mark Johnson 25 Comments

Bernie Sanders   ( ( ( home in North Hero. MLS photo

Sen. Bernie Sanders and his wife have purchased a lakefront home in North Hero for $575,000.

The log cabin-style seasonal home on Lake Champlain has four bedrooms and more than 500 feet of Lake Champlain frontage.

Seven Days was the first to report the story.

The senator’s wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders, told the Burlington newspaper the purchase was financed from the proceeds of the sale of a home in Maine that her family owned. According to SF Gate, the North Hero property was listed for $598,000 in early June and the couple closed on the sale a week ago. People Magazine listed the agent as Franz Rosenberger of the local Coldwell Banker office.

“My family had a lake home in Maine since 1900, but we hadn’t had the time to go there in recent years — especially since my parents passed away. We finally let go of it, and that enabled us to buy a place in the islands — something I’ve always hoped for,” Jane Sanders said in a written statement to Seven Days.

The couple plans to continue living in Burlington. They also own a home in Washington, D.C.
Mark Johnson is a senior editor and reporter for VTDigger. He covered crime and politics for the Burlington Free Press before a 25-year run as the host of the Mark Johnson Show radio program on WKDR and WDEV. Read more


Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkJohnsonVTD

Latest stories by Mark
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25 Comments on "Sanders, wife add third home with purchase of lake retreat"

  (  votes on left -   ( DOWN votes on right

robert bristow-johnson
non-story. nobody cares about this.
37  |  -49 

Steve Beck
I do! Input is too short? OK
21  |  -3 

Ann Meade
Front and center in every national pub yesterday, someone cares. Summer home, book deal, big figure speaking engagements can’t be far off. I guess he really is a dem.
49  |  -16   

Peter Yankowski
This is a story… was just covered on VPR’s Vermont This Week.

Paul Heinz of Seven Days commented that Bernie has been working hard running for president for about two years and now wants some time to relax at his new lake house.

This is unbelievable…….Bernie Sanders has basically taken more than a year off from his job as a US Senator, while its safe to assume that he continued to collect his tax payer funded pay check. He hasn’t showed up for work in more than year and now he needs time to relax.

Now, how many of you could get more than a year off from work, still get paid and then have the press think that you need time off to rest and relax?

Bernie’s right……This country is really unfair, unjust and favors the powerful, who are ripping the people off.

Guess what……US Senator Bernie Sanders is one of the powerful and yes he’s ripping us off.
13  |  -5  Reply

Tom Sullivan
Nice property, it could be a great location for Burlington college.  ;)
59  |  -10  Reply 

John Poratti
I can only assume Bernie will donate one or two of these properties to the low income folks who cannot afford to own a home.  ;)
66  |  -12  Reply   

Roger Sweatt (
That is how climate change people  ( think (, The rest of us are to have a small footprint while they have multiple houses and vacation places. Sanders three, Al the Gore 27 at last count, Sher at 12 houses and a 5,000 foot barn in a complex, for example. Yes save energy, only for them to use. Climate is is man made to scare the public into submission.  (
60  |  -15 
Glenn Thompson (
After reading this story, I had to revisit current Exxon/Mobil stock prices. With Bernie’s announcement of buying a place in North Hero of all places….he will burn up more gas (going back and forth to Burlington) and increase his carbon footprint with this purchase. I thought he was one of the politicians calling for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and controlling climate change? How is buying a place in North Hero going to address that?
34  |  -6

Kim Fried
Berne may decide that purchasing a speed boat will be faster. Captain Sanders.  ;)
21  |  -3

Kim Fried
1%ers???? Sure suprised many folks that Bernie is so wealthy. Kind of a contradiction in my view, but hey it’s just politics.
46  |  -8 

William Hays
Bernie and Jane have made it into the realm of the 4%ers. Democratic-Socialism at its best! I wonder if they still have a residence in Brooklyn, too.
18  |  -3

Agelbert NOTE: Roger Sweatt the Denier was not satisfied with one propaganda laced comment; he had to post it twice. He must be young, as well as biopshere math challenged (; he doesn't know how to spell "Cher".   (

Roger Sweatt  (
That is how climate change people think, The rest of us are to have a small footprint while they have multiple houses and vacation places. Sanders three, Al the Gore 27 at last count, Sher at 12 houses and a 5,000 foot barn in a complex, for example. Yes save energy, only for them to use. Climate is is man made to scare the public into submission.
26  |  -14 

Steve Trahan
Somebody cares because this story is all over social media. What happen to Bernie being the poorest senator in the senate, so he claimed.
50  |  -10 

Homer Sulham
I wonder where he falls in the wealth ranking?
13  |  -4  Reply   

Bob Hooper
last I saw it was like 48 or 49 mostly because Rubio is such a poor manager of money and was in deep debt… one other senator had some kids college debt and Bernie was next….

I would bet MOST of these seasonal camps are owned by fellow Vermonters….and a lot of them family farmers who retained the rights to the lake side of their fields for building/leasing/rental… This is a small issue flamed up by press who are tired of reporting the excesses of tRump… That 7Days decided to make it a national issue seems opportunistic…. Lake views are not that uncommon, even from downtown Burlington or the old North End….
16  |  -22

Rama Schneider
“log cabin style”???? Looks more like barn siding to me.
15  |  -6 

Karl Riemer
Board & batten, but the picture is not of the main house, which is genuine log construction.
3  |  0   

Martha Molpus  (
How wonderful that someone who has worked so hard for others can enjoy a this comfort with his family as he ages–and that he has invested in Vermont. (
37  |  -47 

Deborah Billado
Martha… you guys never give up or take off those tin hats.. This man has never worked a day in his life, she bankrupted the Burlington College, they just sold out their millions of
 voters, he chants the same story to the same voters for 30 years..and they fall for it over
 and over yet nothing ever changes. If this make you happy then what the heck… go for
53  |  -18

Deborah Billado   (
Wow.. bankrupt a college… sell out your voters to Hillarys machine… get a house on the lake.. life is good. Follow the money….
58  |  -22

Gary Murdock
The income claimed in the one tax return the Sanders begrudgingly released doesn’t support the 2 houses they own, never mind a $600k camp. As this story is reported, this purchase was made possible by the sale of a Maine property that was owned by Jane Sanders family; the key work being family. It would be nice to see some investigative reporting here, wont be difficult to track down the record of the sale to see how much it sold for and how many family members got a piece of it, this is all public record. Something tells me that the lions share of the cost for this $600k seasonal statement of opulence came from their campaign related booty. But hey, I understand this is Bernie were talking about, so he’s safe from the scrutiny that others must endure. And Phil Scott, if you are reading this, please keep this in mind when a reporter is assigned full time to track Dubois Construction contracts with the state while your serving as our new Governor.
27  |  -10   

ted cohen
“Seven Days was the first to report the story.”

Why would vtdigger want to bring attention – especially so high up in a story – that it got scooped?

If you want to credit the competition, fine, but do it later in the piece.

But placing it as a stand-alone, third sentence?

Come on guys, you are a self-respecting journal of record – and head and shoulders above the competition!
4  |  -19 

Karl Riemer
and thereby secure enough in its position not to worry about crap like that. 7D and VTDigger routinely reprint each other. They aren’t the same, they aren’t competitors, they are complementary.
10  |  -1

timothy price
“…the purchase was financed from the proceeds of the sale of a home in Maine..”
See, it had nothing to do with him selling his soul in Philadelphia.  ;)
29  |  -6

Craig Powers  (
A man who now owns three houses wants to limit my choice of deodorants. The irony is amazing.
55  |  -8 

I'd say Bernie made a decent deal on a modest vacation home. Good value for the money, which is his money, and nobody's business but his and his wife's. He's nearly 75 years old. Looks like  a nice place to retire. It certainly bears little resemblance to the kind of expensive places owned by the typical .1 percent moneybags Senator.

I saw the stories a few days back. Oh, the outrage!

Tempest in a tea-cup, if you ask me.


Well, I didn't ask you. But I knew you would try to downplay this, and mock it too, of course. You outdid yourself with comments on this story. The gentleman doth protest too much.  ;)

Sainthood is not the issue here. But you are given to hyperbole when trying to make a case for your world view mindset: MONEY ISN"T EVERYTHING, BUT IT'S WAY AHEAD OF WHATEVER IS IN SECOND PLACE.   (

So, I understand your multiple comments to this story quite well. The claim about the "Maine property" was in the story and the Vermonter commenters shredded it. But you just had to bring it back up, as if that had squat to do with the FACT that this man made millions with $7 to $27 contributions from people struggling to get by in the hopes that their concerns would be addressed. That, of course, is 'irrelevant' to you.

You also claim this and that about "people in their seventies". Look up home ownership US valuations, stats and Read the comments from the Vermonters before you engage in such ridiculous assumptions. Less than 10% of the US population can afford ONE property valued at 600K, never mind THREE plus millions in the bank.

The median house in the USA is valued at LESS than HALF what Sanders paid for his "camp".

Sorry to be such a pain in the ass, Eddie, but I think your main problem is that you are a kiss up kick down kind of guy. Consequently, you are incapable of empathizing (beyond some very selective lip service) with people that have been shafted by one who claims to be one of them.

The other day, when JD and RE where getting on your case for something or other, your response was, "fuk yers guys".

Same to you and more of it.  ;D

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on August 16, 2016, 04:02:27 pm
The irrelevancy of comparing the subject of Senator Sanders' betrayal of trust to what the average USA bought and paid for Banana Republic elite politician does with his ill gotten gains is typical straw grasping doubletalk, expected from those who celebrate selfishness as part of the "real world".  (

Knock yourself out. You are just parading your bankrupt 'greed is good' world view.  ;)

I don't care how many pictures of mansions or empty hyperbolic rhetoric anyone here comes up with to justify the behavior of Sanders on a political piggery pecking order scale. The relativists, that were trained to believe there is no truth, revel in this sort of water muddying arm waving for the express purpose of clouding the issue of ethical breaches.

There is no such thing as a sliding scale of ethical behavior. But relativists, that believe only in what they can see and touch, cling to these sophistic justifications of perfidy in order to avoid introspection.

I recognize that my views on these matters are not popular here, even if they are given lip service from time to time. I do not hold those views because most people, due to their total embrace of atomic materialism, reject them. I don't believe what I believe just to be a contrary SOB.  ;D I believe what I believe because it is the hard, unvarnished truth.

This 'greed is good' crowd brays about 'hard work' and 'responsibility', along with 'all their 'years of study' in order to avoid facing the central driving force in their belief system: To "eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die". They are modified (empathy deficit disordered) Epicureans.


Epicureanism is a system of philosophy based upon the teachings of the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus, founded around 307 BC. Epicurus was an atomic materialist, following in the steps of Democritus. His materialism led him to a general attack on superstition and divine intervention. (

Since most people, whether they have studied philosophy or not, believe that "pleasure is the greatest good", then espousing an Epicurean type world view should come naturally. But these modified Epicureans of today reject a very important part of the epicurean philosophy.

THAT IS, eschewing a modest life.

Epicurus believed that what he called "pleasure" was the greatest good, but that the way to attain such pleasure was to live modestly, to gain knowledge of the workings of the world and to limit one's desires. (

NOT ONLY do they eschew living modestly, they are firm believers in stepping on anyone that gets in the way of their quest to  accumulate as much money as they can. Greed, selfishness and a callous disregard for the social degradation and suffering they cause are integral aspects of the modified Epicurean. Their celebration of arrogance over empathy is a self delusionary device to finish the job of destroying any vestige of conscience that they ever had.   (

But that is truth. And truth is something that most people cannot handle.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on August 23, 2016, 09:48:17 pm
The Empire Files: Abby Martin with Dr. Jill Stein - Symptoms of a Sick Society

teleSUR English

Published on Apr 4, 2016

Part of the way the U.S. Empire's elections are rigged is the corporate media's censorship of third-party candidates, despite their nationwide campaign efforts.

The Green Party, running Dr. Jill Stein for President—on a platform more progressive than Bernie Sanders—has been totally ignored by the establishment.

Abby Martin sits down with Dr. Stein to look at how her career in medicine helped her diagnose America's "multi-organ failure," and why her ideas pose such a threat to Empire.



Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on August 24, 2016, 07:58:39 pm
( (
Democracy in America Is a Useful Fiction

Posted on Aug 23, 2016

By Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges is on vacation and will return to writing his weekly Truthdig column on Sept. 5. While he is on break, we will republish some of his Truthdig columns. This one originally appeared on Jan. 24, 2010.

Corporate forces, long before the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, carried out a coup d’état in slow motion. The coup is over. We lost. The ruling is one more judicial effort to streamline mechanisms for corporate control. It exposes the myth of a functioning democracy and the triumph of corporate power. But it does not significantly alter the political landscape. The corporate state is firmly cemented in place.

The fiction of democracy remains useful, not only for corporations, but for our bankrupt liberal class. If the fiction is seriously challenged, liberals will be forced to consider actual resistance, which will be neither pleasant nor easy. As long as a democratic facade exists, liberals can engage in an empty moral posturing that requires little sacrifice or commitment. They can be the self-appointed scolds of the Democratic Party, acting as if they are part of the debate and feel vindicated by their cries of protest.
Much of the outrage expressed about the court’s ruling is the outrage of those who prefer this choreographed charade. As long as the charade is played, they do not have to consider how to combat what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls our system of “inverted totalitarianism.”

Inverted totalitarianism represents “the political coming of age of corporate power and the political demobilization of the citizenry,” Wolin writes in “Democracy Incorporated.” Inverted totalitarianism differs from classical forms of totalitarianism, which revolve around a demagogue or charismatic leader, and finds its expression in the anonymity of the corporate state. The corporate forces behind inverted totalitarianism do not, as classical totalitarian movements do, boast of replacing decaying structures with a new, revolutionary structure. They purport to honor electoral politics, freedom and the Constitution. But they so corrupt and manipulate the levers of power as to make democracy impossible.

Inverted totalitarianism is not conceptualized as an ideology or objectified in public policy. It is furthered by “power-holders and citizens who often seem unaware of the deeper consequences of their actions or inactions,” Wolin writes. But it is as dangerous as classical forms of totalitarianism. In a system of inverted totalitarianism, as this court ruling illustrates, it is not necessary to rewrite the Constitution, as fascist and communist regimes do. It is enough to exploit legitimate power by means of judicial and legislative interpretation. This exploitation ensures that huge corporate campaign contributions are protected speech under the First Amendment.

It ensures that heavily financed and organized lobbying by large corporations is interpreted as an application of the people’s right to petition the government. The court again ratified the concept that corporations are persons, except in those cases where the “persons” agree to a “settlement.” Those within corporations who commit crimes can avoid going to prison by paying large sums of money to the government while, according to this twisted judicial reasoning, not “admitting any wrongdoing.” There is a word for this. It is called corruption.

Corporations have 35,000 lobbyists in Washington and thousands more in state capitals that dole out corporate money to shape and write legislation. They use their political action committees to solicit employees and shareholders for donations to fund pliable candidates. The financial sector, for example, spent more than $5 billion on political campaigns, influence peddling and lobbying during the past decade, which resulted in sweeping deregulation, the gouging of consumers, our global financial meltdown and the subsequent looting of the U.S. Treasury. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America spent $26 million last year and drug companies such as Pfizer, Amgen and Eli Lilly kicked in tens of millions more to buy off the two parties. These corporations have made sure our so-called health reform bill will force us to buy their predatory and defective products.

The oil and gas industry, the coal industry, defense contractors and telecommunications companies have thwarted the drive for sustainable energy and orchestrated the steady erosion of civil liberties. Politicians do corporate bidding and stage hollow acts of political theater to keep the fiction of the democratic state alive.

There is no national institution left that can accurately be described as democratic. Citizens, rather than participate in power, are allowed to have virtual opinions to preordained questions, a kind of participatory fascism as meaningless as voting on “American Idol.” Mass emotions are directed toward the raging culture wars. This allows us to take emotional stands on issues that are inconsequential to the power elite.

Our transformation into an empire, as happened in ancient Athens and Rome, has seen the tyranny we practice abroad become the tyranny we practice at home. We, like all empires, have been eviscerated by our own expansionism. We utilize weapons of horrific destructive power, subsidize their development with billions in taxpayer dollars, and are the world’s largest arms dealer. And the Constitution, as Wolin notes, is “conscripted to serve as power’s apprentice rather than its conscience.”

“Inverted totalitarianism reverses things,” Wolin writes. “It is politics all of the time but a politics largely untempered by the political. Party squabbles are occasionally on public display, and there is a frantic and continuous politics among factions of the party, interest groups, competing corporate powers, and rival media concerns. And there is, of course, the culminating moment of national elections when the attention of the nation is required to make a choice of personalities rather than a choice between alternatives.

What is absent is the political, the commitment to finding where the common good lies
amidst the welter of well-financed, highly organized, single-minded interests rabidly seeking governmental favors and overwhelming the practices of representative government and public administration by a sea of cash.”

Hollywood, the news industry and television, all corporate controlled, have become instruments of inverted totalitarianism. They censor or ridicule those who critique or challenge corporate structures and assumptions. They saturate the airwaves with manufactured controversy, whether it is Tiger Woods or the dispute between Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien. They manipulate images to make us confuse how we are made to feel with knowledge, which is how Barack Obama became president. And the draconian internal control employed by the Department of Homeland Security, the military and the police over any form of popular dissent, coupled with the corporate media’s censorship, does for inverted totalitarianism what thugs and bonfires of books do in classical totalitarian regimes.

“It seems a replay of historical experience that the bias displayed by today’s media should be aimed consistently at the shredded remains of liberalism,” Wolin writes. “Recall that an element common to most 20th century totalitarianism, whether Fascist or Stalinist, was hostility towards the left. In the United States, the left is assumed to consist solely of liberals, occasionally of ‘the left wing of the Democratic Party,’ never of democrats.”

Liberals, socialists, trade unionists, independent journalists and intellectuals, many of whom were once important voices in our society, have been silenced or targeted for elimination within corporate-controlled academia, the media and government. Wolin, who taught at Berkeley and later at Princeton, is arguably the country’s foremost political philosopher. And yet his book was virtually ignored. This is also why Ralph Nader, Dennis Kucinich and Cynthia McKinney, along with intellectuals like Noam Chomsky, are not given a part in our national discourse.

The uniformity of opinion is reinforced by the skillfully orchestrated mass emotions of nationalism and patriotism, which paints all dissidents as “soft” or “unpatriotic.” The “patriotic” citizen, plagued by fear of job losses and possible terrorist attacks, unfailingly supports widespread surveillance and the militarized state.

 This means no questioning of the $1 trillion in defense-related spending. It means that the military and intelligence agencies are held above government, as if somehow they are not part of government. The most powerful instruments of state power and control are effectively removed from public discussion. We, as imperial citizens, are taught to be contemptuous of government bureaucracy, yet we stand like sheep before Homeland Security agents in airports and are mute when Congress permits our private correspondence and conversations to be monitored and archived. We endure more state control than at any time in American history.

The civic, patriotic and political language we use to describe ourselves remains unchanged. We pay fealty to the same national symbols and iconography. We find our collective identity in the same national myths. We continue to deify the Founding Fathers. But the America we celebrate is an illusion. It does not exist. Our government and judiciary have no real sovereignty. Our press provides diversion, not information. Our organs of security and power keep us as domesticated and as fearful as most Iraqis.

Capitalism, as Karl Marx understood, when it emasculates government, becomes a revolutionary force. And this revolutionary force, best described as inverted totalitarianism, is plunging us into a state of neo-feudalism, perpetual war and severe repression. The Supreme Court decision is part of our transformation by the corporate state from citizens to prisoners.

Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent, writes a column published every Monday on Truthdig. His latest book is “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle.”
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on August 25, 2016, 03:20:47 pm
Water Is Life, Oil Is Death: The People vs. the Bakken Pipeline in Iowa and the Dakotas

Posted on Aug 22, 2016

By Paul Street
People opposing the Dakota Access pipeline project, also known as the Bakken pipeline, rally in Des Moines, Iowa. (Barbara Rodriguez / AP)

The American version of democracy focuses on elections and candidates. As the venerable left intellectual Noam Chomsky observed in June, “Citizenship means every four years you put a mark somewhere and you go home and let other guys run the world. It’s a very destructive ideology … a way of making people passive, submissive objects.” Chomsky added that we “ought to teach kids that elections take place, but that’s not [all of] politics.” There’s also the more urgent and serious politics of popular social movements and direct action beneath and beyond the election cycle.

We might refine Chomsky’s maxim to read “and let rich guys run the world into the ground” or “let rich guys ruin the world.” With anthropogenic (really “capitalogenic”) global warming, the nation and world’s corporate and financial oligarchs are bringing the planet to the brink of an epic ecosystem collapse.

We might also put some meat on the bones of Chomsky’s pedagogical advice by “teach[ing] kids” about the people’s politics being practiced in the upper Midwest and northern Great Plains by citizen activists fighting to help avert ecological calamity by blocking construction of what North Dakota Sioux leader David Archambault II calls “a black snake” of “greed.” The snake in question is the planet-baking Dakota Access/Bakken pipeline, what Iowa activists call “The Next Keystone XL.”

While Iowa Berned, Dakota Access Worked Behind the Scenes  (  (   (

As progressives flocked to presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ impressive rallies in Iowa over the past year, the Texas-based company Dakota Access LLC, a division of the ecocidal corporation Energy Transfer Partners LP, moved methodically ahead with its plan to build the Bakken pipeline. This $3.8 billion, 1,134-mile project would carry 540,000 barrels of primarily fracked crude oil from North Dakota’s “Bakken oil patch” daily on a diagonal course through sacred North Dakota Sioux tribal sites and burial grounds, South Dakota, Iowa, the Missouri and Mississippi rivers and many other major waterways, to Patoka, Ill. It would link with another pipeline that will transport the black gold to terminals and refineries along the Gulf of Mexico for export to the global market.

In March, five weeks after Sanders essentially tied Hillary Clinton in the Iowa caucus, the corporate-captive Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) approved the giant Iowa portion of the project, granting Dakota Access eminent domain across the entire route through 18 counties—the last major administrative hurdle for the project. The “regulatory” boards in the other three states had already signed off. There was still some slim hope that the Army Corps of Engineers could be persuaded to block the project. That hope was dashed July 25. 

Dakota Access construction crews have begun moving dirt and tearing up farmers’ crops along the pipeline’s projected path. Pipeline workers with out-of-state license plates are showing up in hotels, motels and camps—and on dating sites like “Plenty of Fish”—along the route. Construction began in South Dakota, North Dakota and Illinois in May. Pipe has been laid in Lee County in Iowa’s southeast corner and Lyon County in the northwest. Last week, a pipeline trench crossed the popular Chichaqua Valley Trail in central Iowa. A young woman from central Iowa reports that a local dating website is “swarming” with out-of-state pipeline workers staying in campsites and elsewhere.

Dakota Access first applied to the IUB for a pipeline permit in the fall of 2014, just before Sanders’ first visit to Iowa. Slowly but surely, as media-driven popular excitement over the largely Iowa-focused presidential contest built last year, the company quietly pressed ahead with a public relations offensive (with a strong emphasis on “jobs for Iowans”) against the opposition of environmentalists and concerned citizens. There was only one formal IUB public hearing, and it lasted just one day. The opponents of the pipeline represented a cross-section of Iowans. The proponents were almost entirely from construction unions, many from out of state. Opponents who attended multiple “informational meetings” staged by Dakota Access reported numerous blatant inconsistencies, contradictions and lies in the “facts” presented by the company. While the state dived further into the quadrennial caucus commotion, Dakota Access moved the pipeline through the required administrative and public relations hoops under the media-politics radar.

The stakes are high in the fight against the project. “If the Bakken Pipeline is built,” the progressive lobbying organization Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI) notes, “it would seriously harm Iowa’s already impaired water quality, threaten the integrity of the fertile farmland of thousands of everyday Iowans, and contribute to our dependence on fossil fuels. This steers us away from developing renewable energy infrastructure and curbing the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.” CCI is part of a broad statewide anti-Bakken group called the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition (BPRC) that includes more than 30 organizations. BPRC is engaged in the difficult work of grass-roots politics and direct action—both legal and extra-legal—beneath and beyond the major-party and candidate-centered presidential election extravaganzas that take early root in Iowa (thanks to its first-in-the-nation caucuses) every four years.

A Fake ‘Public Utility’

The IUB’s decision in March was rich with Orwellian irony. Iowa law forbids the condemning of agricultural land for private development. It is true, as Dakota Access argues, that the law excludes utilities under the jurisdiction of the IUB from the private development limitation. And that includes pipelines if they serve a “public purpose.” But this pipeline would simply transport oil through Iowa and therefore serve no discernible public good for the state and, in fact, promises to do considerable harm to the state’s environmental and financial health. Opponents rightly point out that like all pipelines, it will eventually spill, and Dakota Access LLC will leave Iowa holding the bag for the cleanup.

Like something out of Kafka, the IUB will have no power to enforce any kind of public regulations whatsoever on the operators of the private interstate pipeline they approved as a “public utility.” 

The IUB’s decision was another example among many that Iowa is up for sale to big business under the right-wing administration of Republican Gov. Terry Branstad.

The giant Canadian pipeline company Enbridge and Marathon Petroleum are impressed by Dakota Access’ success in gaining the approval of “regulators.” The two corporations recently put up $2 billion ($1.5 billion from Enbridge and $500,000 from Marathon) to purchase 49 percent of the Bakken pipeline. A likely consequence if the project is completed is that Canadian tar-sands oil will flow through the pipeline—and Iowa—toward the Gulf Coast. That oil is one of the most carbon-rich, planet-cooking fossil fuels on earth. Dire environmental concern about the mining of Canadian tar sands oil was the main reason climate activists like Bill McKibben engaged in high-profile protests of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline—a leading news story a few years ago.

Read the other two pages of this three page article at link below:

Agelbert NOTE: The concentration of Mens Rea Criminal Corporate Corruption of the Federal and many State Governments in the USA (and the world, for that matter) based in TEXAS is evidence that the Nietzsche style Empathy Deficit Disordered Territorial Imperative is an integral part of the MORALLY BANKRUPT Texan culture and world view. TEXANS, of all people on the planet, are the greatest threat to the biosphere that humanity has ever faced.

One way or the other, the TEXAN Oil & Gas worshipping culture will soon end.

TEXAN has his morning coffee


The Fossil Fuelers in general, and TEXANS IN PARTICULAR,    DID THE Climate Trashing, human health depleting CRIME,   but since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks, they are trying to AVOID  DOING THE TIME   or   PAYING THE FINE!     Don't let them get away with it!   Pass it on!  (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on August 26, 2016, 09:10:16 pm
Agelbert NOTE: The NEXT time some worshipper of Capitalism tries to claim buying a 600K property is 'normal' in the USA, please let them know they need a refresher course in basic mathematics. NOBODY, even in the bracket above middle income, can afford to buy a property like that without a mortgage (as Senator Sellout Sanders recently did).

Venturing Into ‘the Capitalist Labyrinth’  (Video)

Posted on Aug 23, 2016

In this week’s episode of “On Contact,” Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges sits down with Rob Urie, author of “Zen Economics,” to discuss “the capitalist labyrinth.”

The two dive into the concept of the “economic man” or “economic woman” that Urie introduces in his book. Urie explains that humans are conditioned to feel that capitalism is a “natural” state of being. It’s “the integration of psychology with corporate desire,” he explains.

Urie and Hedges then discuss the “radical alienation” produced by capitalism, particularly how the system is responsible for nuclear weapons, climate change and even imperialism. “Alienation is the bedrock of consumer culture,” Hedges notes.

Capitalism, they agree, has a “self-destructive” quality that “leads to the inability to rectify the excesses.” In addition, they explore the idea that science is not objective. “Science has been harnessed to capitalism in a very destructive way,” Hedges says.

They also address the history of capitalism, particularly the ways it used to “regulate itself,” with Hedges citing the New Deal of the 1930s as one example. Urie states that neoliberalism today is “the philosophy of the ruling elite,” but argues that neoliberalism existed prior to the Great Depression of the 1920s:
“It’s the philosophy of the world where you’ve got the ruling elite, and there’s this self-justification, which comes through societal rewards … so upper-class, ruling-class leaders can look at their classmates and say, through the logic of capitalism (  ( , that ‘we’ve earned this.’ ”


The episode ends with Hedges and Urie breaking down the harmful relationship between government and business. “Government isn’t intrinsically corrupt,” Urie argues.

Watch the entire video below. (


Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on September 11, 2016, 01:45:55 pm


stephen whitaker

Talking about FAIRNESS, as much as LAW:

The PSB, being a court, and the Rising Tide folks not being a party, the Board is required to hear from the ‘public’ only by written comment filed with the Clerk or at a duly warned public hearing.

The current ‘Modus Interruptus’ is not entirely a result of a few people not playing nice, but by a continuing grievous failure of those supposed to be representing the interest of the public, the Department of Public Service, simply not doing its job.

When the public feels that the system is rigged, the protections failed, the fix is in, and the captains of industry are going to have their way, with collusion from the Governor and his Commissioner of Public Service, protest and even revolt is a time tested tool of bringing broader attention to the injustice.

The DPS lost it years ago and corrective measures are needed. The statutes provide for the appointment of an Independent Public Advocate. The Board should exercise this option.

up votes  31  |  down votes -11 

Margolis: Drowning in a tide of arrogance

Sep. 4, 2016, 7:54 pm by Jon Margolis 25 Comments

Demonstrators from Rising Tide Vermont   ( the Vermont Workers’ Center gather at the Public Service Board building in Montpelier last year. File photo (at link) by Erin Mansfield/VTDigger

(Editor’s note: Jon Margolis is VTDigger’s political columnist.)

In early August, a federal judge ruled that the Public Service Board’s decision to ban the public from a hearing “cannot be sustained under the First Amendment.”

The board complied.

Sort of.  ;)

Told that it must allow “public attendance” at its Aug. 4 hearing about extension of a gas pipeline through a park in Hinesburg, the PSB decided to allow six members of the public into the hearing room.

“It turned out to be eight,” said Lisa Barrett, the retired lawyer who was the plaintiff in the lawsuit filed after the board first said it would permit no one (later amended to allow reporters) to enter the hearing room in Berlin, a “training room” of the Agency of Natural Resources that has space for about 70 spectators.

The PSB, Barrett said, “complied with the letter of the court order.”

Now, to be fair to the Public Service Board, it should be noted that some of its antagonists appear equally indifferent to the First Amendment. Members of a group called Rising Tide Vermont have attended earlier hearings neither to listen nor to speak but to shout, thereby depriving others of the right to listen or to speak.

As U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss noted in her ruling, “There is, of course, no First Amendment right to disrupt adjudicatory proceedings. … To the extent disruptive participants make it difficult to see or hear the board’s proceedings, they may impair the First Amendment rights of other members of the public.”

The First Amendment exists primarily to limit the power of the government. Rising Tide is not the government and so may not, strictly speaking, be bound by those limits.

Then again, perhaps private individuals should follow the spirit of the Constitution even if not bound by its letter. John Franco, the lawyer who argued the case in court on Barrett’s behalf, said, “People have a First Amendment right to go to hearings, to speak and to listen. Interfering with (that) right is a very, very bad thing to start doing.”

Rising Tide does not see it that way.

“This is frankly an unjust process,” said Will Bennington, the Rising Tide spokesman. Bennington denied that the protesters had shouted; they were singing. But he did not deny that the aim was to “prevent (the process) from going forward.” In the view of Rising Tide, Bennington said, pipeline owner Vermont Gas Systems is “stealing from 80-something-year-old widows. We have no intention of letting them make their argument.”

Hmm. Let’s parse this for a minute. A small, un-elected band of devoted — arguably zealous — people has arrogated to itself the power to interrupt if not to halt the legal proceedings of a state agency operating according to laws passed by the elected representatives of the people.

The difference between this zealotry and fascism is … just what?

Especially because there is no evidence that the zealots speak for a majority. No one has taken a poll, but state legislators tend to know what their constituents think (otherwise they don’t stay in office), and two who represent the area to be served by the pipeline, Sen. Chris Bray, D-Addison, and Rep. Harvey Smith, R-New Haven, report that most of their constituents seem to have accepted the PSB’s earlier decision that the pipeline is in the public good.

“It hasn’t been a hot topic,” Smith said.

Bray, citing cost overruns and apparent inconsistency with state’s renewable energy goals, has his own reservations about the wisdom of the project. But while he noted that a vocal minority in his district opposes the pipeline, “in general, most people accept it as reasonable.”

As long as fairness is in the air, let’s show a little toward the pipeline opponents, too. The Public Service Board, while it operates within the law and its proceedings are available online, is perhaps the most aggravating, imperious and haughty agency in all of state government.

This does not mean the three commissioners and their 24-person staff are imperious and haughty people. They may or may not be. It’s the law that makes the board — a quasi-judicial body — all but impervious to public sentiment. Its job is to determine whether a proposed project is in “the public good.” With precious few exceptions, it decides that it is.

Just the other day, for instance, it ruled that a proposed solar project in Morgan met that “public good” test. The residents of Morgan were almost to a person opposed to the project. That didn’t matter. Perhaps it shouldn’t. The PSB’s decision may have been the right one. But it’s easy to see why many rank-and-file folks don’t like it.

They dislike it even more because, as in the case of the gas line, utilities whose projects get PSB approval often resort to eminent domain, seizing (and paying for) property — or the limited use of property, through easements — whose owners do not want to sell it.

The board itself has no power of eminent domain. The utilities do. The law gives it to them. But it’s all part of the same process, and not everyone makes the distinction. Eminent domain is often necessary. The constitutions of both the United States (Fifth Amendment) and Vermont (Chapter 1, Article 2) specifically authorize it. But it is a sweeping exercise of government power, often maddening to the affected property owners and their friends and neighbors.

To some extent, then, the board and its staff are not responsible for their bad rep. But some of their actions exacerbate it. Just consider its original order to close that hearing:

“Access to the hearing site will be controlled by law enforcement officials, who will only permit the entry of the parties, their counsel, their witnesses, the board members, board staff, and the court reporter. All persons who attend … will be required to present a form of valid photo identification (e.g., a driver’s license, a passport, a government employee badge) in order to enter the hearing site.”

And no one on the PSB staff thought to say something like, “Uh, boss, won’t somebody point out that this sounds like the directive of an agency of a police state?”

Not if an agency doesn’t care what anybody thinks.

Furthermore, as Judge Reiss’ decision points out, the PSB did not bother to take other steps to deal with its (legitimate) concern about protesters disrupting the hearing. It didn’t even bother to ask the disrupters to stop disrupting, or, failing that, to leave the hearing room. It could have arranged with law enforcement to have the disrupters ejected.

It did not. Instead, it just ordered the meeting closed. Two of the three board members, including Chairman James Volz, are lawyers. So are at least six members of its staff. It boggles the mind to suppose that not one of them knew their order could not stand.

Asked whether that had been discussed, PSB chief counsel June Tierney, generally cooperative and accommodating in an interview, declined to answer.

Perhaps the Public Service Board and Rising Tide Vermont deserve each other.  (


Barbara Alsop

As you point out, Mr. Margolis, utilities get what they want before the PSB, even when they don’t do due diligence. This has been true from the time of rural electrification, when the naysayers were the current ratepayers who didn’t want to subsidize extension of electricity to rural towns. Then the “public good” was not in much doubt since electricity was obviously the path to the future.

The issue of utilities is not so clear any more. The regulators and the companies have reached an agreement that more is generally better, and they get along just fine without public input. But times are changing, as is the climate, and when the state won’t work to stop the changes, someone else has to assert the true public good. In 1992, the world first tried to slow the leviathan of climate change in Kyoto, and the US said no dice. In the years since, science has become a dirty word in this country, and the people have to protect themselves when their government doesn’t do it any more.

24  |  -12 (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on September 18, 2016, 01:50:38 pm

The Largest Prison Strike in U.S. History Enters Its Second Week

The largest prison strike in U.S. history has been going on for nearly a week, but there’s a good chance you haven’t heard about it. For months, inmates at dozens of prisons across the country have been organizing through a network of smuggled cellphones, social media pages, and the support of allies on the outside. The effort culminated in a mass refusal to report to prison jobs on September 9, the anniversary of the 1971 Attica prison uprising.

“This is a call to action against slavery in America,” organizers wrote in an announcement that for weeks circulated inside and outside prisons nationwide, and that sums up the strikers’ primary demand: an end to free prison labor. “Forty-five years after Attica, the waves of change are returning to America’s prisons. This September we hope to coordinate and generalize these protests, to build them into a single tidal shift that the American prison system cannot ignore or withstand.”

Since Friday, details on the strike’s success have trickled out of prisons with some difficulty, but organizers and supporters have no doubt the scale of the action is unprecedented, though their assessment is difficult to verify and some corrections departments denied reports of strike-related activities in their states.

Prisoners in 24 states and 40 to 50 prisons pledged to join the strike, and as of Tuesday, prisoners in at least 11 states and 20 prisons continued the protest, according to outside supporters in Alabama. Tactics and specific demands varied locally, with some prisoners reportedly staging hunger strikes, and detainees in Florida protesting and destroying prison property ahead of the planned strike date.

“There are probably 20,000 prisoners on strike right now, at least, which is the biggest prison strike in history, but the information is really sketchy and spotty,” said Ben Turk, who works on “in-reach” to prisons for the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, a chapter of the Industrial Workers of the World union helping to coordinate the inmate-led initiative from the outside.

Small rallies and demonstrations in support of the strikers were staged in dozens of U.S. cities and a couple of foreign countries, but so far the coordinated strike remains largely ignored on the outside.

“The strike has been pulled off, but we’re not quite breaking through to getting mainstream media,” Turk told The Intercept, noting that the strike was widely covered by independent media. “I talk to people who aren’t in that milieu and aren’t seeing it on their social media, and they’ll be like, ‘We didn’t hear about it, there’s nothing about it anywhere.’”

That’s bad news for the strikers, who rely on the support of outsiders to push for more radical reform but also depend on their outside visibility to mitigate retaliation by prison officials.

A week into the strike, a couple of groups were providing updates on the action, which organizers say will carry on indefinitely, as well as outside demonstrations of solidarity.

The information blackout is largely due to prison officials’ ample discretion in the details they choose to disclose. As the strikes began, reports emerged of several facilities being put on lockdown, some preemptively, but the only way for outsiders to get updates would be to call each facility and ask, usually getting no explanation about the reasons for a lockdown. Reports also emerged claiming that prison leaders in Virginia, Ohio, California, and South Carolina were put in solitary confinement as a result of the strike, according to the Alabama supporters.

The Alabama Department of Corrections did not respond to a request for comment, while corrections departments in Virginia, Ohio, and California — three of the states where strike-related disturbances were tracked by outsiders — denied that inmates in those states participated in the strike.

A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Corrections said that prisons there had resumed normal operations after several hundred inmates staged protests and work stoppages at four facilities. The spokesperson added that several inmates identified in the disturbances were transferred to other regional institutions and will be disciplined “in accordance with procedure.” At the Kinross Correctional Facility in Michigan, some 150 prisoners identified as “ringleaders” of the protests were also removed to other facilities after prisoners assigned to kitchen work declined to report to their jobs on September 9 and some 400 prisoners staged a peaceful protest. The situation there grew more tense a day later when prison guards went through the facility to remove suspected leaders, the Wall Street Journal reported, and the prison remains on lockdown.

Retaliation against strikers is also hard to track, but outside advocates said that several leaders were put in isolation and denied communication privileges, making it even harder for information to come out.

In one instance, at the Ohio State Penitentiary, Siddique Hasan, a well-known prison activist sentenced to death for his role in a 1993 prison uprising, was accused of plotting to “blow up buildings” on September 9. Hasan, an organizer with the Free Ohio Movement, was confined to isolation and denied access to the phone for nearly a month before the strike — a deliberate effort to prevent him from communicating with the outside about it, supporters said.

“What people have to realize is that these men and women inside prison — they expected to be retaliated against, but they sacrificed,” said Pastor Kenneth Glasgow, a former prisoner and a supporter of the Free Alabama Movement, the prisoner-led group that first called for the nationwide strike.

“People on the outside are not understanding they are being bamboozled,” he added, expressing disappointment that the strike hadn’t garnered more attention. “A lot of people are not realizing the value in what’s going on, they don’t realize that it’s slavery, that slavery still exists.”

While the most ambitious to date, the September 9 strike was hardly the first such effort by prisoners. Prison protests have been on the rise in recent years, following a 2010 strike during which thousands of prisoners in Georgia refused to work, an action that was followed by others in Illinois, Virginia, North Carolina, and Washington. In 2013, California prisoners coordinated a hunger strike against the use of solitary confinement that at its peak involved 30,000 prisoners. And this year, prisoners rioted at Holman prison in Alabama — one of the facilities most actively involved in the current strike — and went on strike in Texas.

Pelican Bay State Prison, where inmates in long-term solitary confinement organized a hunger strike in 2013 that grew to include 30,000 prisoners at its peak.

Across the country, inmates are protesting a wide range of issues: from harsh parole systems and three-strike laws to the lack of educational services, medical neglect, and overcrowding. But the issue that has unified protesters is that of prison labor — a $2 billion a year industry that employs nearly 900,000 prisoners while paying them a few cents an hour in some states, and nothing at all in others. In addition to work for private companies, prisoners also cook, clean, and work on maintenance and construction in the prisons themselves — forcing officials to pay staff to carry out those tasks in response to work stoppages. “They cannot run these facilities without us,” organizers wrote ahead of the strike. “We will not only demand the end to prison slavery, we will end it ourselves by ceasing to be slaves.”

Prisoners on strike are calling for the repeal of an exception listed in the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which bans “involuntary servitude” in addition to slavery, “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.”

That forced labor remains legal in prison is unknown to many Americans, and that’s something strikers hope to change with this action. But it’s also a sign of how little the general public knows about the country’s massive prison system. “A nation that imprisons 1 percent of its population has an obligation to know what’s happening to those 2.4 million people,” Ethan Zuckerman, director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT, wrote in a blog post about the tepid response to the strike. “And right now, we don’t know.”

But while information on prisons is notoriously hard to obtain, a potentially larger problem for the striking prisoners is the seemingly limited interest in their plight, which remains confined to a few activists, family members, and formerly incarcerated people, even at a time when criminal justice issues and prison reform are high on the agenda of social justice advocates and politicians alike.

Prisoners themselves have been largely excluded from the last few years’ debate on mass incarceration, but the very fact that they were able to coordinate a collective protest of this scale, with all its limitations, is testimony to their determination that the prison system needs radical change, strike organizers say.

“When you have people who are inside, locked up, who have overcome all these obstacles and barriers and have organized in 24 states, 40 to 50 prisons,” said Glasgow, “that means all of us out here need to start stepping up.”
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on September 26, 2016, 06:19:35 pm
Police Killings Won’t Stop   (

Posted on Sep 25, 2016

By Chris Hedges

PAGE 1 of 2

The corporate state, no matter how many protests take place in American cities over the murder of unarmed citizens, will put no restraints on the police or the organs of security and surveillance. It will not protect the victims of state violence. It will continue to grant broader powers and greater resources to militarized police departments and internal security forces such as Homeland Security. Force, along with the systems of indoctrination and propaganda, is the last prop that keeps the corporate elites in power. These elites will do nothing to diminish the mechanisms necessary for their control. 

The corporate state, by pillaging the nation, has destroyed capitalism’s traditional forms of social control. The population is integrated into a capitalist democracy by decent wages and employment opportunities, labor unions, mass-produced consumer products, a modest say in governance, mechanisms for marginal reform, pensions, affordable health care, a judiciary that is not utterly subservient to the elites and corporate power, the possibility for social, political and economic advancement, good public education, arts funding and a public broadcasting system that gives a platform to those who are not in service to the elites. These elements make possible the common good, or at least the perception of the common good.

Global capitalism, however, is not concerned with the cohesion of the nation-state. The relentless quest for profit trumps internal stability. Everything and everyone is pillaged and harvested for profit. Democracy is a mirage, a useful fiction to keep the population passive and compliant. Propaganda, including entertainment and spectacle, and coercion through state-administered surveillance and violence are the primary tools of governance. This is why, despite years of egregious police violence, there is no effective reform.
Propaganda is not solely about instilling an opinion. It is also about appropriating the aspirations of the citizenry into the vocabulary of the power elite. The Clintons and Barack Obama built their careers mastering this duplicity. They speak in words that reflect the concerns of the citizenry, while pushing through programs and legislation that mock those concerns. This has been especially true in the long campaign to curb excessive police force. The liberal elites preach “tolerance” and “professionalism” and promote “diversity.” But they do not challenge the structural racism and economic exploitation that are the causes of our crisis. They treat the abuses of corporate oppression as if they were minor administrative defects rather than essential components of corporate power.

Naomi Murakawa in her book “The First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison America” documents how the series of “reforms” enacted to professionalize police departments resulted in placing more money and resources into the hands of the police, giving them greater power to act with impunity and expanding legally sanctioned violence. All penal reform, from President Harry Truman’s 1947 Committee on Civil Rights report to the Safe Streets Act of 1968 to the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 to contemporary calls for more professionalization, have, she notes, only made things worse.

The fiction used to justify expanded police powers, a fiction perpetrated by Democratic politicians such as Bill Clinton and Obama, is that a modernized police will make possible a just and post-racial America. ( White supremacy, racism and corporate exploitation, however, are built into the economic model of neoliberalism and our system of “inverted totalitarianism.” A discussion about police violence has to include a discussion of corporate power. Police violence is one of the primary pillars that allow the corporate elites to retain power. That violence will end only when the rule of these elites ends. 

The calls for more training and professionalization, the hiring of minority police officers, the use of body and dash cameras, improving procedures for due process, creating citizen review boards, even the reading of Miranda rights, have done nothing to halt the indiscriminate use of lethal violence and abuse of constitutional rights by the police and courts. Reforms have served only to bureaucratize, professionalize and legalize state abuse and murder. Innocent men and women may no longer be lynched on a tree, but they are lynched on death row and in the streets of New York, Baltimore, Ferguson, Charlotte and dozens of other cities. They are lynched for the reasons poor black people have always been lynched—to create a reign of terror that serves as an effective form of social control.

The wreckage left behind by deindustrialization created a dilemma for the corporate state. The vast pools of “surplus” or “redundant” labor in our former manufacturing centers meant the old forms of social control had disappeared. The corporate state needed harsher mechanisms to subjugate a population it condemned as human refuse. Those on probation and parole or in jails or prisons grew from 780,000 in 1965 to 7 million in 2010. The kinds of federal crimes punishable by death leaped from one in 1974 to 66 in 1994, thanks to the Clinton administration. The lengths of prison sentences tripled and quadrupled. Laws were passed to turn inner-city communities into miniature police states. This had nothing to do with crime.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on October 25, 2016, 09:16:49 pm
List of good and bad politicians (Grades A to F  ;D) in the fight for Drug Laws sanity.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 04, 2016, 09:29:13 pm

Has the Party of Lincoln Turned Into the Party of Sedition?
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 06, 2016, 07:23:52 pm
Voter ID Laws are the New Jim Crow  >:(
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 09, 2016, 08:48:57 pm
November 9, 2016
The Urgency of Now - A Message from Paul Jay

Paul Jay concludes our election night coverage with a promise to our viewers to be a platform for movements trying to organize.

TRANSCRIPT of above Video: PAUL JAY, TRNN: As I said earlier, I don't think there's a party more responsible, assuming you're not happy about Trump's victory, if you are then I'm surprised you're watching us. But for other people who are not so happy and we've talked about the policies of the Clinton administration, of course Bush and the continuation of the economic policies of the Obama administration.

I think it’'s primarily the economic policies that are responsible for this. She asked Trump's language of noninterventionism in foreign affairs certainly appealed to people. But it was fundamentally the shifting of even more vast amounts of wealth into fewer and fewer hands that created this condition and the promises of Donald Trump I think by any objective measure will not alleviate those problems for people but as one of our guests said earlier, this is like, giving the finger, excuse me. This is just 'we don't believe any of you and we kind of don't believe Trump either but we're going to just give you the finger up because we don't know what else to do here'.

The xenophobia, the racism, all of this we've seen before in history. There's nothing new about blaming the other, blaming minorities. There's certainly nothing new in American history about this. We're going to be opening up a restaurant in the Real News building called Ida B.’s table and it's named after Ida B. Wells who was a very courageous journalist, investigative journalist, African American woman who exposed systemic lynching. One of the things in her investigation she exposed was that when unemployment went up amongst white workers, lynchings went up. And that it wasn’t just anger from white workers, that it was being deliberately organized by employers to let white workers vent by going out and lynching black workers. ( (

So there's nothing new in what we're seeing here. But as dismal as this all might look for progressive people and I personally do think this is not the best of scenarios that could have happened tonight. There is also something here which is that the economic situation is smoke and mirrors. The economic recovery is false as far as any serious economist I've talked to. The federal bank threw tons of money at banks to make them look solvent. But the real bottom line of the economy is that demand low wages have hardly moved at all. Real demand is extremely low and it's going to get lower. Trump's policies are far from what he promised, are not going to increase jobs.

Certainly, not going to increase worker’s' wages which means the recession is likely to deepen here. The geopolitical threat in spite of Trump's talk, I don't personally believe it. I said personally in the broadcast I think it's going to be more of a Cheney situation with very aggressive foreign policy by Pence. Pence's critique of Clinton is she was weak on Russia. Pence and Trump have talked about we're going to put an end to ISIS. They've talked about bombings at a great scale. But Pence is as provocative with Russia as Clinton is. We'll see.

The number one problem we're all facing here, the really deep crisis and perhaps the most dangerous thing about what happened tonight is that we are now going to have a congress and a president that don't believe human caused climate change is real. If there was ever a time for all of these movements, whether it's black lives matter, whether it's climate change and whether it's workers fighting for rights. If it was ever a time for all of these movements to converge, merge, and not just take to the streets but work on various kind of electoral strategies and mass organizing, clearly it's now.

At the Real News we hope to be a platform for discussing and debating what comes next and we've done some of that tonight. We're going to continue. And let me once again stress the importance of the climate change issue which got almost no discussion whatsoever in this presidential election. We have a new film out called the Koch Brothers war on climate science. Well, Koch Brothers are going to get their way for the next two years until 2018 and maybe beyond.

It’s a very dangerous time. Very dangerous moment. But we humans have seen very dangerous times before. Whether it'’s before leading into the first world war before leading into the second world war. I say that with some meaning because we discussed a little bit earlier that there's going to be an I think disillusionment here of Trump supporters where their lives just don't get better. It doesn't matter that we know what is really coming down the pike here. Given this Trump-Pence alliance and Pence's connection with Karl Rove and the global agenda of these people, and it's not just these people because certainly democrats do the same thing. But the answer they have in these situations is war. And we need to be very aware of this and on guard for this.

So, we hope on the Real News that we will obviously be following all of this and we hope you will join us. So, thanks for sticking with us tonight and we'’ll be back tomorrow to talk about the post-election fall out and as I said we will be a platform in terms of everyone discussing what needs to be done and what needs to be done next. Thanks for joining us on the Real News Network.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 10, 2016, 10:42:09 pm
Donald Trump Ran on Protecting Social Security But Transition Team Includes Privatizers     (

Zaid Jilani

November 10 2016, 6:17 p.m.

Donald Trump campaigned on protecting Social Security. At the Miami GOP presidential debate in March, he said he would “do everything within my power not to touch Social Security, to leave it the way it is; to make this country rich again.”
In August, his campaign told CNNMoney that “We will not cut Medicare or Social Security benefits, but protect them both.” (

But two of the people said to be helming the president-elect’s Social Security Administration (SSA) transition team have a record of hostility to the program.

In an email obtained by The Intercept, unions representing Social Security employees reported that they had been notified of the names of four SSA veterans who were picked to run the transition team.

They are Mike Korbey, former senior advisor to the principal deputy commissioner in George W. Bush’s SSA; former Reagan SSA commissioner Dorcas Hardy; former SSA Inspector General Patrick O’Carroll; and former SSA General Counsel David Black.

Korbey is a long-time right-wing activist who has argued incorrectly that Social Security is “broken and bankrupt.” He worked for an organization called United Seniors Association, a sort of conservative counterpart to the AARP, that pushed for George W. Bush’s Social Security privatization scheme — and was hired by Bush to help tout his failed push for changes.

Dorcas Hardy, a Reagan administration SSA veteran, has also called for privatizing the program — in 1995, she took part in a press conference at the libertarian Cato Institute to advocate for that idea.

The SSA cannot unilaterally privatize the program. That takes legislation that Congress has to pass and the president has to sign. But if these are indeed the people the Trump administration(   ( is picking to helm the SSA, it’s a signal that he may be far more open to cutting benefits or privatizing the program than he let on.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 10, 2016, 10:46:22 pm
Taken from a list of what are considered the worst 13 Supreme Court decisions in history, I don't think it's a coincidence that five  of them have occurred since 1992, and four of them since 2000.

Kelo v. City of New London (2005): Taking land from one private party to give it to another is a valid public use under the Takings Clause, the Supreme Court ruled in Kelo. The decision allowed New London to condemn Susette Kelo's land and transfer it to a private developer as part of a "comprehensive redevelopment plan."

 Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Commission (1992): A developer purchased vacant lots on South Carolina beaches. The state, seeking to prevent beach erosion, passed a management act which prevented Lucas from building homes on the land. That, according to the Supreme Court, was a total destruction of all "economically viable use" and a per se taking. Not only are the case's factual conclusions implausible, but as UCLA Law professor Jonathan Zasloff notes, the opinion is full of "expressly and needlessly anti-environmental" views.

 Bush v. Gore (2000): You don't have to be a Democrat to question the wisdom of this Supreme Court case. In a partisan split, the Supreme Court's five Republican appointees halted the recount of contested ballots in Florida, handing the election to George W. Bush. Even Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has come to regret the ruling.

 Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker (2008): Want to send a message to corporate wrongdoers? Don't expect the Roberts Court to make it easy. Following the Exxon Valdez oil spill, one of the greatest environmental disasters of the time, and after years and years of litigation, Exxon was finally held responsible for its negligent captain and hit with $5 billion in damages. Then the Supreme Court ruled that Exxon couldn't be subject to punitive damages in excess of compensatory ones, dropping total damages down to $500 million. Not only did Exxon evade billions in damages, the Supreme Court's ruling increased the value of its stock by $23 billion in two days. That was particularly a boon to Justice Alito, who chose to recuse himself from the case because he owned Exxon stock.

 Citizens United v. FEC (2010): Perhaps the most hated decision from the Roberts Court, Citizens United held that political donations are speech protected by the First Amendment, opening the floodgates to unlimited personal and corporate donations to "super PACs." Though widely unpopular, the ruling isn't going away anytime soon. It would take a constitutional amendment or a new Supreme Court makeup to reverse the decision.

- See more at: (

Then there is:

Diamond v. Chakrabarty (1980)

Made it legal to obtain a patent for GMO's, which led to the GMO seed monopoly and the glyophospate that poisons our food and is building up in our soil. Also legal to patent GMO animals, btw. (

 Kaley v. United States (2014)

The Supreme Court upheld the right for someone accused of a crime  to have all their assets seized, even money clearly not connected to criminal activity....even the money you need to pay for your attorney. (

The Supreme Court has failed to protect us in recent years from the slow erosion of our liberties as guaranteed in the upholding most of the Patriot Act, which is probably the worst law ever passed by Congress.

I could go on. Anyone who thinks we need more Scalias, Burgers, Thomases, and Alitos should really try to understand how they've caved to law enforcement interests, corporate interests, and the Deep State, and screwed the American citizens.

Three or four more of them, and the US Constitutions will be completely gutted in a few years. That's really what you want?

Excellent post, Eddie.      (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 10, 2016, 10:54:36 pm
Palloy said,

Despite everything that Trump has said about the corrupt establishment, we are going to see Trump working with the establishment, BEING the establishment, and failing in everything except tax cuts for the rich.

BINGO!      (
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 11, 2016, 02:39:35 pm
'I wonder who owns that beautiful Trump hotel?' ( (  (   (

His lawyer says 'everything will be done legally' to create a 'blind trust' for President Trump but ethics experts says having your kids manage your billions isn't 'blind'

President-elect Donald Trump has said his company is worth $10 billion and that he will put three of his children in charge while he is president


The Trump organization includes hotel properties, golf courses, naming rights, a winery, modeling, and other business ventures

Trump counselor Michael Cohen says the company will go into a 'blind trust' During Trump's presidency


Three of Trump's children will run the business along with a 'large executive team' that has been with Trump for decades

Watchdog group says it's 'ridiculous' to call it a blind trust

Could foreign governments book Trump hotel rooms to woo the new administration?   (


Read more:
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Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 11, 2016, 06:33:24 pm

Ralph Nader, "Democrats Have Lost Their Identity"
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 12, 2016, 02:23:16 pm
As you know, I was never a Hitlery supporter. Consequently, I am puzzled by your reference to Hitlery as if I preferred either of the  two corrupt candidates.  ( (

Also, my post mocking the racists with a hamster eating a burrito was something I thought you would agree with and even get some good laughs out of, since you told me you were NOT glad that Trump had won.  :coffee:

However, your recent post with a picture of Trump and the words, "Mr. President", along with your seeming association with racists by sarcastically saying you were a member in good sanding of the "deplorables", implies that you are a Trump supporter. I apologize for believing you were not a Trump supporter. I am saddened that you see no fascist threat from him and his deplorable, empathy deficit disordered, racist, xenophobic world view.   

I wrote a post recently that you never replied to. Feel free to do so at your leisure. I am not your enemy, GO. I am a loyal servant of Jesus Christ. As you know, Trump and all the pseudo-Christian deplorables in his administration are not. I am reposting my recent post so that you can review it and respond. Thank you.

If GO is happy about this (S)election, he will soon be very disappointed. 

Your analysis of my feelings and future outlook of our situation are as accurate as your totally wrong analysis of the election Agelbert, which was presented with your usual manner of factual pseudo scientific BS material.

One with half a brain would realize that a religious Gold Bug zealot and Lite Doomer are not the makeup of a happy camper.

My only satisfaction comes from the end of the **** Clintons.

Don't come **** on me again AG, my future responses will not be so kind nor generous in my understanding of your anger at being conned by the Leftist MSM and their total Bull **** Propaganda that you swallowed hook line and sinker.

Kindly vent your anger at them in the future, not me.


My, my, what vitriol. All I said as that I believe you will sorely be disappointed. Please feel free to describe exactly what part of what I posted was "BS". I was disagreeing with you, not attacking you. I am not angry at you.  If you are not happy about a Trump win, all you need to do is say so. There is no need for such overt hostility.

I urge you to calm down. You are a good man that wants the best for the USA. So do I. Peace, brother

Sorry Agelbert. This election has angered the geezer and made him very testy.

Never have I witnessed so many mediocre evil people in a horrible never ending cacophony of lies and skullduggery. Realizing they are actually the countries leaders has made it all the worse for me.  I feel as if I expired and am in Hell of late.

A thousand apologies for misreading your posting.

Will take your splendid advice and stop posting for a while until I recover my cool.                                     Regards, GO

Thank you, sir. Times are hard and we are all distressed by the increasing number of cracks in the road of our lives when we are increasingly in need of less misfortunes.  The picture below is a metaphor of this (S)election.

Personally, I am not so much angered by the (s)election results, as saddened by them. Besides the Trailer Trash Trump thing, we've got a Governor in Vermont now that is going to make life very difficult for wind and solar Renewable energy growth by vowing to VETO ANY RE subsidies while ADDING lots of Republican red tape baloney for RE project site approval and Organic agriculture while simultaneously working diligently to protect fossil fuel subsidies and other pollution product vested interests along with GMO crops and commercial pesticide use on Vermont farms. As if that wasn't enough grief, the white supremacists here are VERY happy with the new governor.

Here's a map from 2015 showing the racist demographic in the USA. Compare it with the map of Trailer Trash Trump's wins. I may be wrong, but I thing that corroboration and causation are linked.

The most racist areas in the United States (

This lady, although she does not reference any map, sees the link too:
White Supremacy wins—for now.  

By Denise Oliver Velez   

Wednesday Nov 09, 2016 ·  3:40 AM EST


KKK cross burning (graphic at article link)
attribution: Confederate till Death - English Wikipedia 

Time to wake up, you white people of good faith.

Look in the mirror.

See Amerikkka for what it is without the gloss.

See something black folks have been trying to tell you.

It’s not “populism” or “economic anxiety.”

Call it by name — White Supremacy.

I thought the black and brown firewall, with a little help from our white friends would hold back the tide.

I was wrong. My bad.

Thanksgiving is coming.  A time many of you gather with friends and family.

Killing racism starts at home.

Maybe it’s time for you to start speaking up and fighting back.

Lord knows we black folks have been doin’ it for centuries.

My people survived slavery and Jim Crow.

We’ll survive Donald Trump too — though I’m sure there will be deaths — there always are.

America has a white supremacy problem.

You are either part of the problem, or part of the solution.


P.S. I ain’t leaving. The bones of my enslaved ancestors are buried here. They helped build this place with blood, sweat, tears, and laughter.  I’ll fight on.  In their name. (

I'm not leaving either. The only way I leave Vermont and my keyboard is feet first. Thanks again for your cordial apology and reply.
God Bless you and yours. (  (

November 12, 2016 Agelbert NOTE: I too am glad that Hitlery is not President.

I wrote this in A Disqus comment before the election:
agelbert > Sekhmetnakt • 14 days ago

It's 6 evil stuff of one and half a dirty dozen for the other. The only sane choice is Jill Stein.
     

I also wrote, on more than one occasion, that Hitlery was just Trump in Drag.

All that said, there is an upside to this sorry situation. The upside I see to Trailer Trash Trump's Administration with a Republican House, Senate and Supine Corporate friendly Supreme Court is that now the Right Wing Fascists will have no cover for their skullduggery.

They, as is their rapacious and boundless greed based wont, will overreach and "deliver" a destroyed Medicare, Social Security, degraded environment, less environmental protection, more sickness, more war and more social decay. Scapegoating minorities will be, of course, tried. But I am pretty certain it ain't gonna work this time.

I will be personally negatively affected directly because with the voucher system on Medicare, I will probably NOT be able to afford a new pacemaker replacement operation when the one I have had since 2007 gives out in about two years (according to the last battery check). I'm sure you don't consider my misfortunate a good thing.

Trump is very, very bad for you, GO, not just me and many minorities. You will be sorely disappointed if you don't think so now. Watch and observe diligently and objectively. The Truth will be revealed.

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 14, 2016, 08:19:28 pm
Sanders worries about Trump denying climate change

 By Jessie Hellmann - 11/13/16 11:16 AM EST
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 17, 2016, 02:37:46 pm
11/16/2016 12:00 PM   

What Obama Did, What Trump Will Do ( News

For people like me who deeply care about wildlife, our environment and the specter of uncontrollable climate change, there's nothing but fear in the face of a Republican majority in the House, Senate and Presidency ... and soon, the Supreme Court.

 The US elected GW Bush on steroids. During those painful 8 years, all I remember is fight after fight after fight to get some crumbs that helped the environment. He even repealed a 1983 rule that required a measly 100-foot buffer between coal operators and rivers, allowing them to dump mountaintop mining debris right into Appalachia waterways.

 I shake my head in horror every time I realize this is not a nightmare I can wake up from. 

I didn't agree with all of President Obama's policies, such as the great expansion of fracking or signing the fake GMO labeling bill, but overall, I felt buoyed by his presidency.

Obama made the US a climate leader, bringing China and India into the fold, and was instrumental in obtaining an international climate agreement that had been elusive for decades. In October, thanks to his leadership, the world signed a binding agreement to phase out climate forcing HFCs.  He made the US a renewable energy leader, starting with breathtaking funding in the Recovery Act.

Over the years, he issued a raft of thoughtful executive orders. Right before the election, The Transportation Department announced it would create 48 electric vehicle charging corridors in 35 states to lift sales of electric cars. Drivers will be able to find charging stations along interstate highways every 50 miles!

Examples of his wide ranging executive orders:

•all national security policies must fully incorporate climate change considerations.

•solar is more accessible to low- and middle-income households and veterans through the Clean Energy Savings For All Initiative, with a goal of 1 gigawatt of solar by 2020.

•launched the National Community Solar Partnership

•training 75,000 low-income people and vets for solar careers

•mobilized $4 billion from investors to back breakthrough renewable energy technologies

•federal government required to cut emissions 41.8% by 2025 (from 2008 levels) and use 30% renewable energy by then for ALL energy, not just electricity.

•federal agencies must incorporate sea level rise projections into planning and construction along US coasts

•protected more land and water than any US president - about 2 million acres - while redefining ocean policy, addressing illegal fishing and seafood fraud, and developing a strategy to address pollinator collapse.

Now we face the most right-wing, extreme appointments to every federal government agency we have ever seen - people who are salivating to drill everywhere (and get new tax breaks for it), get rid of renewable energy, turn our public lands over to private interests, and who couldn't care less about ecosystems or wildlife.

Trump    ( (

"We're only thinking about one thing right now: stopping Donald Trump from destroying the planet ... the Environmental Protection Agency will be gutted, the Endangered Species Act will be repealed, old-growth forests will be clearcut, hard-fought global climate change agreements will be undermined, and polluters will be given free rein over our water and air," moans Kierán Suckling, Executive Director of the Center for Biological Diversity. "We've been here before. During the Bush administration we went to court time after time, forcing it to uphold our strongest environmental laws."

 But what happens when Trump and Congress stacks the courts and repeals the laws? Not only has the Republican Senate refused to allow Obama to choose a Supreme Court judge, dozens of federal judgeship appointments are still waiting after 8 years. Bills have been introduced during Obama's term that would repeal the Endangered Species Act, for example, blocked only by Obama's veto.

Other things on Trump's "To Do" List are equally frightening:  

•pass libel laws targeting journalists who dare to be critical of him and his policies

•nationwide "stop-and-frisk" laws

•mass deportation and profiling of certain ethnic groups

•get rid of unions

•nominate the most conservative Supreme Court justice(s)

•national right-to-carry gun laws

•privatizing Social Security and Medicare, long on Mike Pence and Paul Ryan's list.

By now, you have heard of people on Trump's short list for cabinet.

He's already picked a white nationalist as Chief Strategist - a man who wants to work with right-wing groups around the world. "There is talk of Breitbart "news" bureaus opening in Paris, Berlin, and Cairo, spots where the populist right is on the rise, and a bigger newsroom is coming in Washington," says the NY Times.  Oh, and climate change is a hoax and renewable energy is a scam.

The Koch Brothers love Mike Pence and Reince Priebus, Trump's Chief of Staff. Marc Short, a top Koch advisor, is also helping the transition team, reports Politico.

Then there are war hawks John Bolton or Rudy Giuliani as the two choices for Secretary of State.

How about the National Labor Board, which just ruled against Trump's refusal to negotiate with unions? It's easy! Trump can simply appoint people who will "treat his company right." 

While the working class that elected Trump may not realize it, Obama has been using executive orders to help workers. such as: requiring sick days for government contractors. Starting December 1, anyone that earns $47,475 or less must be paid overtime, thanks to the Labor Department. The threshold used to be $23,660. These will likely be scrapped as low-wage workers can forget about a raise in the minimal wage. (

For the EPA and Department of Energy, Trump is looking to fossil industry lobbyists that held high positions in the GW Bush administration (No lobbyists in my administration, says Trump!). Learn about Myron Ebel, who's leading the EPA transition. For Interior, it could be Lucas Oil founder, who has used his fortune to weaken environmental and wildlife protections. 

And the Agriculture Department? Trump promises to overturn gains there too and Monsanto is waiting.

For the Social Security Administration, antagonists from GW Bush and Reagan administrations are overseeing the transition. 

For Treasury, financial barons Trump railed against during the campaign are on the short list. "You would have to go back to the 1920s to see so much Wall Street influence coming to Washington," Charles Geisst, a Wall Street historian, told Politico. Look for Dodd-Frank to be repealed, coupled with massive tax cuts for the wealthy.

No need to wonder why bank, coal and oil stocks are soaring, while renewable energy stocks plunged  :( since Trump's election.

Read our article, Trump Isn't the Only Problem, It's His Choices for Cabinet, Supreme Court. (   

Meanwhile, donations and volunteers pour into groups like Planned Parenthood, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), CAIR (Muslim civil rights organization), women's rights, Sierra Club and many environmental groups.   

The Republican Party has become the most dangerous organization in world history, says Noam Chomsky.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 19, 2016, 02:00:42 pm
"The lights are blinking red."   

By Laurence Lewis   

Saturday Nov 19, 2016 ·  1:20 PM EST


Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 22, 2016, 05:37:15 pm

Trump's Trio of Deplorables

By Came In On Saturdays | November 20, 2016 at 03:02 PM EST | No Comments

Demagogue Donald’s Trio of “Deplorables”—Mike Flynn, Mike Pompeo, and Jeff Sessions   November 20, 2016

        Too often, the mainstream media (MSM) gets it very wrong. They wrongly went ballistic when Hillary properly called many of Demagogue Donald’s supporters a “basket of deplorables.” The MSM, instead, spent from 3/2015 to the end of Campaign 2016 screaming at high decibels about Hillary’s use of a private server while she was at the State Department. They ridiculously made this issue the equivalent of first degree murder. Never mind that W’s former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condolezza Rice, both GOPers used private servers and Powell encouraged Hillary to do that. Of course, no FBI agents looked at them. IOKIYAR, “It’s OK if you’re a Republican.”  The MSM ignored the real issue, Donald’s association with true “deplorables,” major white supremacists and wacky super- hawkish foreign policy “experts.”

        We are now fully acquainted with one of Donald’s first appointments, “Deplorable-in-Chief” anti-Semitic, anti-Asian, anti-immigrant, and alt-right Breitbart champ Steve Bannon. He will, despite a huge public outcry, occupy the powerful Senior White House Counselor’s position.

       The Bannon “deplorable” appointment was no outlier.  On 11/18/2016, “The Donald” named three more “deplorables,” two to his national security team, and one to the Cabinet. They are retired Army Lt General Michael Flynn for national security adviser, GOP Congressman Mike Pompeo for CIA Director, and GOP Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General (CNN Kopan, 11/16/16).

          General Flynn (57), as Trump’s national security adviser, would be a critical gatekeeper for Donald. Flynn would oversee a staff of about 400. With Trump knowing little to nothing about national security, Flynn would have even more influence over Donald’s policy positions on China, N. Korea, Europe, and the Middle East. Flynn was not a GOP “establishment” candidate. He is a wild card. He was fired by President Obama in 2014 from his position as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He alienated many former colleagues.  Flynn believes that the problems that the U.S. faces in the Middle East stem from the Islamic faith itself. He criticized the Islamic religion as being nothing more than a “political ideology.” He makes a point of using the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” as often as possible. He once posted a video on his Twitter account that included a phrase “Fear of Muslims is rational.” He sees Islam as a “metastasizing cancer.”  Flynn claimed that Shariah, or Islamic law, is spreading in the U.S., but gave no evidence as proof (NY Times, 11/17/16, Hirschfeld Davis & Haberman). He has a fiery temperament and often tweets conspiracy theories. Flynn advised Trump throughout the campaign. Flynn led chants of “lock her (Hillary) up” for her use of a private server during the GOP convention. No violations of Hilary passing classified information were found, although this issue probably cost Hillary the election. Flynn’s conspiracy and anti-Muslim views are a better match for Skid Row ranters, not a top White House adviser.

         While Flynn yelled about Hillary’s fake national security “problems,” his record is quite “interesting.” Flynn has, like Trump, been criticized for his closeness to Russia. Flynn appeared on a Russian TV network where he sat next to Russian President Vladimir Putin at a dinner celebrating the Russian RT network (CNN, Kopan, 11/18/16).  While Flynn was advising Trump on national security matters and receiving classified intelligence information during the campaign, he was also running a company, Flynn Intel Group. This group was lobbying on behalf of foreign clients, including a close ally of Turkey’s controversial president, Recep Erdogan.  On Election Day, Flynn himself penned an op-ed in “The Hill” newspaper which said the U.S. should extradite an exiled cleric Fetullah Gulen, allegedly involved in trying to overthrow Erdogan (CNN Browne, 11/18/16). Yes, Donald Trump, the “cleanser” of the D.C. lobbyist swamp.

       And which “deplorable” did Demagogue Donald pick to be his CIA Director? Why none other than 52 year- old Kansas GOP Congressman Mike Pompeo. Pompeo, who represents the Wichita area/ Kansas’ 4th Congressional District, is known as the Koch Brothers “bought and paid for” Congressman. Koch Industries is headquartered in Wichita. The right wing anti-regulatory brothers Charles and David Koch gave Pompeo $80,000 when he first ran in 2010, more than they gave any other congressman (NY Times, Mazetti & Hirschfeld Davis). Pompeo graduated first in his class from West Point, served in the military, and then obtained a degree from Harvard Law.  With three West Point friends, Pompeo founded Thayer Aerospace in Wichita and received help from Koch. In 2006, he sold his shares in Thayer and became president of a Wichita oil firm, Sentry International (Washington Post, Eggen, 3/20/11). Koch also had an interest in Sentry. Before running for Congress, Pompeo served as a trustee at Flint Hills Policy Institute, a conservative think tank.  Pompeo is a Tea Party favorite (Huffington Post, Wilkie, 11/18/16).

            Pompeo has no actual experience with intelligence issues. However, as far as Trump is concerned, Pompeo has the right ideology, enough to qualify for this sensitive post. Pompeo never had any problems with the sweeping domestic surveillance intelligence plans initially used by the NSA, National Security Agency. He felt them “lawful, constitutional, and consistent with defeating radical Islamic terrorism.” Like Flynn, he believes in using “enhanced interrogation techniques,” read torture, which the Obama administration ended.  He is strongly against, like Trump, the treaty we negotiated with Iran, to limit its nuclear programs. Pompeo shares Trump’s exaggerated fears and opposition to Muslims. In a speech on the House floor after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, Pompeo singled out Islamic faith leaders as potentially complicit in crimes committed by their congregants, even though many of them repeatedly condemn these terrorist acts (See Huffington Post, Wilkie,11/18/16).   

           In the House, Pompeo sat on the Select Benghazi Committee, the witch hunting outfit that unsuccessfully went after Hillary. During her marathon testimony before that body, he falsely accused her “team” of having met with Al Qaeda operatives shortly before the Benghazi attacks (MEDIAITE, Griswold, 10/22/15 ,”Vox,” Allen, 10/22/15). Although the Benghazi Committee found no  new evidence of wrongdoing, Pompeo filed a 48-page addendum that accused Hillary and her team of “playing politics to help her legacy.” Even GOP Benghazi Chair Trey Gowdy did not sign this addendum (See Mazzetti & Hirschfeld, 11/18/16).   

       “Last but far from least” in the Trump pantheon of “deplorables” is his pick to be Attorney General, or head the Justice Department, Alabama 4th-term Senator GOP Senator, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III (69). Sessions was the first sitting Senator to endorse Trump (Kos, teacherken, 11/18/16). Trump’s idea of hiring the “best” people, IMHO, means picking folks who have been 10,000% loyal to him.  Trump stated he was “unbelievably impressed” with Sessions (Huffington Post, Reilly, 11/17/16). Demagogue Donald’s apparently “impressed” with a fellow the Huffington Post aptly headlined a “Dark Age Attorney General (11/18/16).”

          Sessions grew up southwest of Montgomery, Alabama where there were many African Americans. However, he had little sympathy for them. As an Alabama U.S. Attorney, he was accused by critics of “gross insensitivity” on racial matters. According to sworn statements by Justice Department lawyers, he called the NAACP and the ACLU “communist inspired.” He said these groups tried to “force civil rights down the throats of people (CQ Politics 08 Almanac).” He called a white lawyer who represented civil rights workers “a disgrace to his race.” Sessions also stated he thought the Ku Klux Klan was “OK until I learned they smoked pot (H. Schwartz, “Right Wing Justice).” A black attorney was called “boy” by Sessions. Sessions once threw a file of civil rights cases on a table and said, “I wish I could decline all of them (Huffington Post, Reilly, 11/17/16).” Sessions was big on prosecuting “voter fraud” cases against blacks as a U.S. Attorney. Because of his hostility to civil rights, the GOP-dominated Senate voted down then Pres. Reagan’s nomination of Sessions to a Federal District Judgeship in 1986 (CQ Almanac).

         Sessions had the “last laugh.” He was elected to a U.S. Senate seat from  “Crimson Red” Alabama in 1996 and received a position on the Judiciary Committee. During Bill Clinton and Barack Obama’s presidencies, as an obstructionist “pit bull,” Sessions delayed in committee many progressive judges.  These included a Calif. nominee who had opposed that state’s 1994 anti-immigration Proposition 187 (Schwartz, “Right Wing Justice”).

           Sessions was one of just 9 GOPer’s to vote against Sen. McCain’s provision banning torture. He is in favor of using waterboarding against terrorist detainees, wrongly calling this technique “effective (Goldman, NY Times, 11/18/16, Open Congress).” Sessions has never changed his anti-civil rights views. He called the 1965 Voting Rights Act “a piece of intrusive legislation (NY Times, Editorial Bd., 11/18/16).” He voted against reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, efforts to remove the Confederate flag, and against repealing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law that barred openly gay and lesbian individuals from the military. He defended Trump’s lewd behavior and vulgar comments about “grabbing women (Huffington Post, Clawson, Kos, 11/18/16).”   

    Sessions has been against immigration reform from the get-go. He was a key leader in opposition to the bipartisan immigration bill that made its way through the Senate under Obama but died in the GOP House (CNN, Kopan, 11/18/16). In 2006, Sen. Sessions, argued against immigration reform by W. He then, called most immigrants coming from the Dominican Republic “lacking in skills that would benefit us (Huffington Post, Stein, 11/19/16).” On 12/10/2015, Sen. Sessions broke with his fellow GOPers to vote against an amendment stating that the Senate should not create policies that discriminate based on religion. He gave a half-hour speech arguing that the federal government should be allowed to use any criteria it wants to decide who gets in this country, including religion (“Daily Beast,” Woodruff, 11/19/16).

        As Attorney General, Sessions would have the authority to challenge immigration laws or Voting Rights Act violations. Based on his record, he will do little to stop civil rights violations. He will only go against “voter fraud” by African Americans, the bogus issue most GOPers now obsessively pursue. He wants to keep investigating Hillary over her email server. He will push for deporting more immigrants just as Donald wants (CNN de Vogue, 11/18/16).

      Sessions is subject to Senate confirmation, as is CIA nominee Pompeo. Many Democratic Senators, including Nev.’s newly elected Catherine CortezMasto and Mass.’ Elizabeth Warren intend to oppose Sessions’ nomination. Even if we lose this battle, we must “take our stand” against reactionary Sessions. He was not fit to be a District Judge in 1986, and certainly not Attorney General in 2017. We must also oppose Koch/ Benghazi CIA nominee Pompeo. Although Bannon and Flynn’s appointments do not require confirmation, we must keep condemning them too. Racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, and misogynistic appointees must not be viewed as the “new normal” in 21st Century America. Hillary has at least a 1.5 million popular vote margin that will increase as all the votes are counted (Wasserman, Kos, Einenkel, 11/18/16). According to Gallup, only 29% of those polled feel Donald has a mandate (Shoreblue, Paris, 11/18/16).  Just say “No” to “Deplorable-in-Chief” Donald and to his “yuuge”  basket of “deplorable” appointees.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 23, 2016, 08:27:14 pm

Electing the Tyrant: Parallels Among Ancient Rome, Mexico During the Conquest and the U.S. Today

Posted on Nov 22, 2016

By M. Antonio Jimenez / Silicon Valley De-Bug

After tiring myself of this election, the campaigns were attacks on both candidates, both up to their necks in corruption; I couldn’t think of a way to write about it. Now, after the election I have come to realize how horrible it all is, and by this I mean what democracy really means here, and what it has done in the past.

I can’t profess to know the answers, but as the years go by, as a Mexican thinker, I come to see parallels between the Romans, my country’s conquest and what we call political life in general; a society ridden with hypocrisy and brutality, veiled by a republic that is called that only by name, justified by the child of Rome: “Rhetoric.”

In the passage from the film “Gladiator,” you can hear the resonance of what Rome was, in Spanish we have a saying that comes from the Romans, al pueblo pan y circo—to the people bread and circus. This is the testament of what republics have returned to. Immigrants like the slaves of Rome are never heard, are never made part of the democracy that the republic proclaims. The rights of migrants, Latin American, Muslim, Asian, and the long list of people excluded can not be given; the rights of men and women are their own form their birth.

You want to know how this happened. Look at the crowd, look at it for what it is. You want to know how we came to this. It was always here, it has never gone away. The country you live in is not what you thought it was.

I want you to realize what democracy was in the past, that its claim to civilization is one that was marked by violent oppression, and that the true republic must be sustained by the virtues it proclaims.

In the film, his son, Commodus, smothers Caesar after he tells him that Rome would be a republic again. Commodus responds that he never had the virtues his father held: wisdom, courage, fortitude and temperance.

The world does not care for facts; it does not value truth. It shuns away from it when it involves men who evade taxes, molest women, and are involved in outsourcing labor. The history of rhetoric is a long one, by the time it reached the Romans it had been perfected. There are three ways to convince a crowd, a talent given to orators: Ethos, Logos, and Pathos. Ethics, logic, and passion have been used to move the masses. Its battle sometimes defined by prejudice, where unfounded claims of crimes are fed to a rather benign society. The society here blamed is the migrant one, the African American one, and the Islamic one.

People shift their alliance on frail arguments; it is only in the silence of reality that things become clear.

If I have learned anything from this election, it’s that one should not trust a candidate or public official. What you want cannot be given to you. This mob’s justice will always erase Black and Brown folks from its narrative of “A nation for all.”  That all lives matter, but middle class suburban lives matter a little bit more than others. That it is safe to be in a crowd that claims western culture as its own, that its false narrative exults them as leaders and not as pillagers of lands that were not theirs; that even to this day defy their own treaties to the natives who have been wronged.

Before when racism came up, the bigots would tell you who they were. Now, in the democratic nation that we live in, such things are explained quickly, even after evidence of cops killing the innocent. Why did they kill them? They cannot explain, prejudice sometimes being the last of all reasons.  ;)

In Michel Foucault’s writings he tells us that there are people who are written out of history, that the lower classes were never given a chance to write their own narratives, and the ones who rebelled against a prison state were persecuted. He tells us that it came to a point where any form of dissent was celebrated among the oppressed.

A slave rebellion can be stopped, not the memory of it, not the history of it.

If the Romans taught us anything it is that their democracy and their republic was built on excluding the many.

The fall of the Roman Empire is an example of all civilization. It is a lesson for those who grow arrogant in their power.

After denying his support in the invasion of Iraq, what the candidate exposes is his own self-righteous, back peddling on his own admission to invade. A true coward to the end, and that goes for many who approved of it, only to learn after that the weapons of mass destruction were never there, that it was all a lie, that who truly benefited was Halliburton, and company. A war fueled by prejudice, a prejudice used to perpetuate a continuing war that has no foreseeable end.

What it created among the people of Iraq was not democracy, not justice, but a self proclaimed justification of so called freedom. And in the void of any sort of justice rose what ironically is called an Islamic “State.”

People have always used religion to unify and at times deceive. It happened in Mexico during the conquest when Spaniards enslaved Natives for being unchristian savages, as chronicled by Bartolome de las Casas. He opposed the criminal law of Encomiendas where the king decreed that all Natives were slaves and any European man could take them as such. Let this be the allegory to our now current events, when men in politics destabilize countries that had nothing to do with terror, and now justify themselves in an irony of a rising tide of the Islamic State.

When I think of my country, I know why the conquest of it was so horrendous. The new world was not an uncivilized place, much like Iraq: Its civilization was vast in knowledge and science, but the victors do not share this with the conquered. A silence is left in the air. Bartolome de las Casas writes about one native named Hatuey, who rebelled and mobilized against the Spaniard’s aggression. After being exiled from what is now the Dominican Republic and entering Cuba, he went to the many tribes to warn them of what was to come.

Showing them a basket of gold, he told them, as Bartolome de las Casas writes:

This is the God of the Spaniards, this is why they fight and kill. This is why they persecute us, and this is why we must kill them. These tyrants tell us they worship a God of peace and equality, but they take our lands and make us their slaves. They speak of an eternal soul, and of its prize and punishment, but they steal our belongings, seduce our women, and r a p e our daughters. They are incapable of equaling us in valor, they cover themselves in iron, that our weapons can not penetrate.

For his inciting rebellion Hatuey was burned at the stake. Before his death he was asked if he would like to become a Christian so he would go to heaven.

In his last words he asked father Olmeo, “Do Spaniards go to heaven? I do not want to go there, I would rather go to hell, to not see such cruel people.”

What can one say to someone who lived invasion? What comfort is there for them?

This is the real mark of so-called civilized western men, who go into illegal wars against the poor with excuses of civilizing, of liberation, of searching for weapons and evangelizing. You can chose the one you like in this narrative because the reality is that most governments are less involved in governing, or freedom and more so in domination.

Can one blame Christianity like people blame Islam? (

Murder, genocide, and corruption are not precluded to one people. For centuries the Christian faith has been used to conquer and kill off cultures throughout the planet, but it is not the faith of the Christian that tells him to do so. It is his own avarice, because a faith cannot be blamed when it is what keeps the innocent from losing hope. It is easy to dismiss all sorts of people not just Latin American, Asian, Muslim and many more migrants, the war that is not spoken of is on those who seek shelter in unknown lands, those who are exiled, who embark on an exodus into the unknown, and mourn the loss of their countries to war and corruption.

The law does not make one decent. The history of a western law, a western narrative is one that will always be in question. In America even the notions of democracy are not to be trusted, not when a blind people are led to believe that a nation’s laws are liken to the laws of a Christian faith.

Through this election the mask of a democratic world will be removed, the notions that the tradition of “Might is Right” will finally show itself, and nothing civilized will come of it.

Let this allegory teach you of who you are, that the threat you so long wanted to prevent came; not by foreigners, not by the different people that live in your country accused of taking it apart, but by greed, by prejudice, and accepting corruption.

Were you not delivered from bondage? Was not Egypt plagued to liberate people like you? Did not the ocean part for them to cross? Was not the mana of heaven given to them? And, did not they disobey their lord and wander through the desert for 40 years?

If you can’t believe this tale, if you can’t give credit to what it shows us, leave it as a lesson for those that proclaim themselves the elected; that you are chosen out of mercy, and not merit. You are no different from your brother – a border, a wall or an ocean cannot make you any better than him. Your leaders, however rich, however powerful, are subject to the judgment that you yourself are called to. The tradition of lying and pillaging and prejudice can only be understood as the wickedness that it is, and no charlatan can ever change their names to great virtues.

Agelbert NOTE:
Trump is a charlatan, as are all fascists. (

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 23, 2016, 09:04:55 pm

Matt Dunne: Trump a winner — at all costs    (

Nov. 22, 2016, 7:00 pm by Commentary 4 Comments

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Matt Dunne, who was a candidate in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. He is a lifelong Vermonter and former state senator and former head of Community Affairs at Google. He lives with his family in Hartland.
Vermont has always played an important role in our nation, particularly when the core of democracy, freedom of speech, is under threat. We must be prepared to play that role again.

In the face of John Adams’ efforts to stifle free speech and prevent criticism of the administration, Vermont’s Matthew Lyons went to prison for speaking out … and was elected to Congress from his prison cell.

Vermont Sen. Ralph Flanders bucked the Republican Party at the heart of the Red Scare by denouncing Joe McCarthy’s fear-mongering on the Senate floor. He is credited for shifting the momentum against the witch hunt for communists, a shift that eventually brought McCarthy down.

We face a similar moment again.

We have never seen a president like Donald Trump. He doesn’t appear to have an ideology or political philosophy. He has held a variety of positions on a variety of issues including abortion, marriage equality and even his own Muslim immigration ban proposal.

Trump appears to be comfortable saying whatever is necessary to close the deal. He’s already backtracking on Obamacare and saying he wants to be a president for all Americans. It should disturb us that he feels comfortable scapegoating minorities and using violent language to win an election … and more disturbed that it worked. We will have to see if he really delivers on that promise and we will have to be ready to push back.

But what concerns me most is that his Machiavellian pragmatism could lead to something much more dangerous. Trump’s area of expertise is communication and he mastered it during his campaign. The lessons he learned in reality television served him well. His leadership team is also filled with experts in landing a narrative that produces emotion and action. The campaign was lead by Breitbart executive Stephen Bannon, who will now serve as the president’s senior adviser. Newt Gingrich was famously the architect of the Contract with America and has already suggested bringing back the Committee on Unamerican Activities, stating on Fox News back in June, “We originally created the House Un-American Activities Committee to go after Nazis. We passed several laws in 1938 and 1939 to go after Nazis and we made it illegal to help the Nazis. We’re going to presently have to go take the similar steps here.” Gingrich stated this knowing full well that the committee evolved into an enterprise targeting people with opposing political views and creating a deep chilling effect on expression.

The election also demonstrated how weak the media is today. A record number of newspapers, including traditionally Republican publications in battleground communities, endorsed Clinton. And yet it wasn’t enough to change the mind of voters in swing states. Surveys show declining trust in the media across the country reaching an all-time low of 32 percent this fall. Trump was not afraid to fuel that sentiment saying “70%, 75% of [reporters] are absolute dishonest, absolute scum.”

Trump’s campaign gave us a look into his approach to the First Amendment by calling for the removal from rallies of protesters and suggesting that some should be “roughed up.” He remarked that “in the old days [protesters] would have been carried out on stretchers.” We saw unprecedented interference of Russian leadership and WikiLeaks by engaging in political cyber dirty tricks as a foreign enterprise hacked and released the private emails of the chair of Hillary’s campaign. The FBI director’s October Surprise regarding Hillary’s emails found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop was also conveniently resolved the day before the election, when the damage had been done but it was seen as likely that Hillary would prevail.

From our perch in the Green Mountains we must watch carefully for the signs of threats to our freedom of speech and the ability to convey what is actually happening in the world.

In Trump, I see a political leader willing to do anything to be a “winner.” One who understands the power of direct communication and large-scale political rallies. He has seen how cyber attacks can expose a political competitor’s information in devastating ways and issued no condemnation of WikiLeaks when they hacked Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair’s email. He has seen the FBI’s ability to deliver a political punch.

From a technology perspective, we have seen the government, even under a progressive regime, go so far as to tap undersea cables between data centers to access private citizens’ emails. It is clear that the capitulation of just a few large companies could give our government unprecedented access to the political views and motivations of most of the people in our country.

We also know that the freedom of communication offered by the internet is fragile. The FCC, with commissioners appointed by the president, can make sweeping changes to net neutrality and change rules around whether a single company or individual can control all media in a particular region or market. ICANN, the independent organization that governs the internet is under threat as foreign governments (like Russia) that are uncomfortable with the freedom of information flow the internet provides, demand a role in overseeing the information highway. Some in Congress have advocated for the need to reduce the amount of user-generated content, a freedom which is key to allowing for the free flow of information without censorship.

All of these could allow a Trump administration to control the news Americans see. It has already developed its own communication channels through Twitter and Facebook and could easily expand to cable channels that could broadcast “official” news and cover rallies, leaving traditional journalists out of the process. Through existing structures, an administration could systematically stifle other communication by limiting access to internet content and threaten to withhold broadcasting licenses to the few remaining large media corporations unless they meet new, limited content standards or provide desirable regulation changes for those who comply. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting could easily be eliminated, and the resulting funding cuts would most likely reduce the distribution of public radio in rural communities and poorer states that have more trouble raising money from members. We are already heading into an era where we have difficulty settling on a shared view of the truth and an administration with experience in new media could accelerate the process of establishing a new consensus “truth” that simply reflects the message that meets the administration’s needs.

In Vermont we have found ways to harness the internet to advance national progressive causes, including Howard Dean and Bernie Sanders’ runs for president and the creation of the environmental organization We also understand the complementary power of in-person communication. The power of town meeting, protest and collaboration. We are the state that found the intersection between the two, allowing to coordinate days of action throughout the world, the Howard Dean campaign MeetUps that drove campaigns in all 50 states and Bernie to demonstrate a real campaing can be waged with small contributions from millions of people. We have a tradition of speaking out against repression loudly, knowing that Vermonters will have our backs.

We need to be prepared to play this role again. From our perch in the Green Mountains we must watch carefully for the signs of threats to our freedom of speech and the ability to convey what is actually happening in the world. Through great organizations like the Center for Media and Democracy, Democracy for America and Our Revolution we can keep a watchful eye on this fundamental part of our democracy. We may even have to build new institutions protected within our borders to communicate freely and try new models for media like VTDigger and Seven Days. But we must be organized, educated to recognize efforts to stifle free speech and we must be ready to push back with a clarion voice.

As Coolidge said, “If the spirit of liberty should vanish in other parts of the Union, and support of our institutions should languish, it could all be replenished from the generous store held by the people of this brave little state of Vermont.” It is now our generation’s turn to fulfill that expectation.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 24, 2016, 01:14:55 pm
Agelbert REMINDER to those who will be "offended" (because they are supporters of the President Elect) by the hard truths stated in the article below:


TOPICS: Democracy & Government

TAGS: 2016 election, donald trump, hillary clinton, media criticism
Democracy & Government

Farewell, America ( (

No matter how the rest of the world looked at us on Nov. 7, they will now look at us differently.

By Neal Gabler | November 10, 2016

The sun sets behind the Jefferson Memorial in Washington. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

America died on Nov. 8, 2016, not with a bang or a whimper, but at its own hand via electoral suicide. We the people chose a man who has shredded our values, our morals, our compassion, our tolerance, our decency, our sense of common purpose, our very identity — all the things that, however tenuously, made a nation out of a country.

Whatever place we now live in is not the same place it was on Nov. 7. No matter how the rest of the world looked at us on Nov. 7, they will now look at us differently. We are likely to be a pariah country. And we are lost for it. As I surveyed the ruin of that country this gray Wednesday morning, I found weary consolation in W.H. Auden’s poem, September 1, 1939, which concludes:

BY Neal Gabler | November 8, 2016

“Defenseless under the night
 Our world in stupor lies;
 Yet, dotted everywhere,
 Ironic points of light
 Flash out wherever the Just
 Exchange their messages:
 May I, composed like them
 Of Eros and of dust,
 Beleaguered by the same
 Negation and despair,
 Show an affirming flame.”

I hunt for that affirming flame.

This generally has been called the “hate election” because everyone professed to hate both candidates. It turned out to be the hate election because, and let’s not mince words, of the hatefulness of the electorate. In the years to come, we will brace for the violence, the anger, the racism, the misogyny, the xenophobia, the nativism, the white sense of grievance that will undoubtedly be unleashed now that we have destroyed the values that have bound us.

We all knew these hatreds lurked under the thinnest veneer of civility. That civility finally is gone.

We all knew these hatreds lurked under the thinnest veneer of civility. That civility finally is gone. In its absence, we may realize just how imperative that politesse was. It is the way we managed to coexist.

If there is a single sentence that characterizes the election, it is this: “He says the things I’m thinking.” That may be what is so terrifying. Who knew that so many tens of millions of white Americans were thinking unconscionable things about their fellow Americans? Who knew that tens of millions of white men felt so emasculated by women and challenged by minorities? Who knew that after years of seeming progress on race and gender, tens of millions of white Americans lived in seething resentment, waiting for a demagogue to arrive who would legitimize their worst selves and channel them into political power? Perhaps we had been living in a fool’s paradise. Now we aren’t.

This country has survived a civil war, two world wars, and a great depression. There are many who say we will survive this, too. Maybe we will, but we won’t survive unscathed. We know too much about each other to heal. No more can we pretend that we are exceptional or good or progressive or united. We are none of those things. Nor can we pretend that democracy works and that elections have more or less happy endings. Democracy only functions when its participants abide by certain conventions, certain codes of conduct and a respect for the process.

No more can we pretend that we are exceptional or good or progressive or united. We are none of those things.

The virus that kills democracy is extremism because extremism disables those codes. Republicans have disrespected the process for decades. They have regarded any Democratic president as illegitimate. They have proudly boasted of preventing popularly elected Democrats from effecting policy and have asserted that only Republicans have the right to determine the nation’s course. They have worked tirelessly to make sure that the government cannot govern and to redefine the purpose of government as prevention rather than effectuation. In short, they haven’t believed in democracy for a long time, and the media never called them out on it.

Democracy can’t cope with extremism. Only violence and time can defeat it. The first is unacceptable, the second takes too long. Though Trump is an extremist, I have a feeling that he will be a very popular president and one likely to be re-elected by a substantial margin, no matter what he does or fails to do. That’s because ever since the days of Ronald Reagan, rhetoric has obviated action, speechifying has superseded governing.

Trump (  was absolutely correct when he bragged that he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and his supporters wouldn’t care. It was a dictator’s ugly vaunt (, but one that recognized this election never was about policy or economics or the “right path/wrong path,” or even values. It was about venting. So long as Trump vented their grievances, his all-white supporters didn’t care about anything else. He is smart enough to know that won’t change in the presidency. In fact, it is only likely to intensify. White America, Trump’s America, just wants to hear its anger bellowed. This is one time when the Bully Pulpit will be literal.

The media can’t be let off the hook for enabling an authoritarian to get to the White House. Long before he considered a presidential run, he was a media creation — a regular in the gossip pages, a photo on magazine covers, the bankrupt (morally and otherwise) mogul who hired and fired on The Apprentice. When he ran, the media treated him not as a candidate, but as a celebrity, and so treated him differently from ordinary pols. The media gave him free publicity, trumpeted his shenanigans, blasted out his tweets, allowed him to phone in his interviews, fell into his traps and generally kowtowed until they suddenly discovered that this joke could actually become president.

Just as Trump has shredded our values, our nation and our democracy, he has shredded the media. In this, as in his politics, he is only the latest avatar of a process that began long before his candidacy. Just as the sainted Ronald Reagan created an unbridgeable chasm between rich and poor that the Republicans would later exploit against Democrats, conservatives delegitimized mainstream journalism so that they could fill the vacuum.

With Trump’s election, I think that the ideal of an objective, truthful journalism is dead, never to be revived.

Retiring conservative talk show host Charlie Sykes complained that after years of bashing from the right wing, the mainstream media no longer could perform their function as reporters, observers, fact dispensers, and even truth tellers, and he said we needed them. Like Goebbels before them, conservatives understood that they had to create their own facts, their own truths, their own reality. They have done so, and in so doing effectively destroyed the very idea of objectivity. Trump can lie constantly only because white America has accepted an Orwellian sense of truth — the truth pulled inside out.

With Trump’s election, I think that the ideal of an objective, truthful journalism is dead, never to be revived. Like Nixon and Sarah Palin before him, Trump ran against the media, boomeranging off the public’s contempt for the press. He ran against what he regarded as media elitism and bias, and he ran on the idea that the press disdained working-class white America. Among the many now-widening divides in the country, this is a big one, the divide between the media and working-class whites, because it creates a Wild West of information – a media ecology in which nothing can be believed except what you already believe.

With the mainstream media so delegitimized — a delegitimization for which they bear a good deal of blame, not having had the courage to take on lies and expose false equivalencies — they have very little role to play going forward in our politics. I suspect most of them will surrender to Trumpism — if they were able to normalize Trump as a candidate, they will no doubt normalize him as president.


Cable news may even welcome him as a continuous entertainment and ratings booster. And in any case, like Reagan, he is bulletproof. The media cannot touch him, even if they wanted to. Presumably, there will be some courageous guerillas in the mainstream press, a kind of Resistance, who will try to fact-check him. But there will be few of them, and they will be whistling in the wind. Trump, like all dictators, is his own truth.

What’s more, Trump already has promised to take his war on the press into courtrooms and the halls of Congress. He wants to loosen libel protections, and he has threatened Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos of Amazon with an antitrust suit. Individual journalists have reason to fear him as well. He has already singled out NBC’s Katy Tur, perhaps the best of the television reporters, so that she needed the Secret Service to escort her from one of his rallies. Jewish journalists who have criticized Trump have been subjected to vicious anti-Semitism and intimidation from the alt-right. For the press, this is likely to be the new normal in an America in which white supremacists, neo-Nazi militias, racists, sexists, homophobes and anti-Semites have been legitimized by a new president who “says what I’m thinking.” It will be open season.


This converts the media from reporters to targets, and they have little recourse. Still, if anyone points the way forward, it may be New York Times columnist David Brooks. Brooks is no paragon. He always had seemed to willfully neglect modern Republicanism’s incipient fascism (now no longer incipient), and he was an apologist for conservative self-enrichment and bigotry. But this campaign season, Brooks pretty much dispensed with politics. He seemed to have arrived at the conclusion that no good could possibly come of any of this and retreated into spirituality. What Brooks promoted were values of mutual respect, a bolder sense of civic engagement, an emphasis on community and neighborhood, and overall a belief in trickle-up decency rather than trickle-down economics. He is not hopeful, but he hasn’t lost all hope.

For those of us now languishing in despair, this may be a prescription for rejuvenation. We have lost the country, but by refocusing, we may have gained our own little patch of the world and, more granularly, our own family. For journalists, Brooks may show how political reporting, which, as I said, is likely to be irrelevant in the Trump age, might yield to a broader moral context in which one considers the effect that policy, strategy and governance have not only on our physical and economic well-being but also on our spiritual well-being. In a society that is likely to be fractious and odious, we need a national conversation on values. The media could help start it.

But the disempowered media may have one more role to fill: They must bear witness. Many years from now, future generations will need to know what happened to us and how it happened. They will need to know how disgruntled white Americans, full of self-righteous indignation, found a way to take back a country they felt they were entitled to and which they believed had been lost. They will need to know about the ugliness and evil that destroyed us as a nation after great men like Lincoln and Roosevelt guided us through  previous crises and kept our values intact. They will need to know, and they will need a vigorous, engaged, moral media to tell them. They will also need us.

We are not living for ourselves anymore in this country. Now we are living for history.

Neal Gabler is an author of five books and the recipient of two LA Times Book Prizes, Time magazine's non-fiction book of the year, USA Today's biography of the year and other awards. He is also a senior fellow at The Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California, and is currently writing a biography of Sen. Edward Kennedy.

Agelbert NOTE: Great article, but, unlike the author, many millions of Americans, like myself, KNEW about this suicidal trajectory, of which the ubiquitous racism is but one symptom of America's moral decay.

Neal Gabler is a good man of principle. He is clear on what is right and what is wrong. However, as the reality of the WAY things REALLY are in the USA struck him like a kick in the groin, Neal Gabler's surprise is evidence that he was a victim of white privileged liberal wishful thinking. None of the following was a surprise to me and millions of other Americans of mixed ancestry that know the score.

If there is a single sentence that characterizes the election, it is this: “He says the things I’m thinking.” That may be what is so terrifying. Who knew that so many tens of millions of white Americans were thinking unconscionable things about their fellow Americans? Who knew that tens of millions of white men felt so emasculated by women and challenged by minorities? Who knew that after years of seeming progress on race and gender, tens of millions of white Americans lived in seething resentment, waiting for a demagogue to arrive who would legitimize their worst selves and channel them into political power? Perhaps we had been living in a fool’s paradise. Now we aren’t.

I have been warning about it to deaf ears for over a decade.  ( (  (

Also, unlike Neal Gabler, I dated the final nail in the coffin of American Democracy much earlier than this election. (

I dated it to when THIS GUY had the nomination for VP stolen from him so the Truman party hack could do the bidding of the M.I.C. when Roosevelt died.
But, you know what? The abysmally stupid and morally corruptive embrace of greed, xenophobia and racism is the LEAST of our worries as a people in this perfect storm of Wall Street 'dial a reality' that so many fools and knaves wish to celebrate.

Below please find, America TODAY:
Like Goebbels before them, conservatives understood that they had to create their own facts, their own truths, their own reality. They have done so, and in so doing effectively destroyed the very idea of objectivity. Trump can lie constantly only because white America has accepted an Orwellian sense of truth — the truth pulled inside out.

BUT, THIS is America in the NEAR FUTURE:


Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 26, 2016, 04:00:04 pm
Here's Adolph Hitler saying he'll 'make Germany great again' in 1934   

By Walter Einenkel   

Wednesday Nov 23, 2016 · 11:04 AM EST


It's just a coincidence, isn't it?

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 27, 2016, 01:08:28 pm

How the Republican Party Rules a Nation That Hates It

Posted on Nov 25, 2016

By Paul Street

Agelbert NOTE:
A good person with the handle, "Readytotransform", commented. She is a psychologist. I responded to her in the hopes of steering her away from the "trees" in our situation so she could see the FOREST.


I am intrigued that Paul Street, and I respect this man, was expecting Clinton to win. I really am.

I didn't believe the polls. Why would they be authentic? I could see that Trump was going to get the Republican nomination. I saw that at least two months ahead of time. It was just obvious that he did stand out as a personality, like it or not. He was the most 'different' one of the group. He had nothing to say but little slogans and insults. But he did stand out as a kind of insult comic.

Hillary Clinton didn't even campaign. She had the msm, the Democratic party, most of the Hollywood insiders and free concerts instead. She was like a shadow and when she did speak, I couldn't even stand the sound of her voice and her entire presence was intolerable for me.

I know a kid who is 18 and voted for the first time. He and his pals voted for Gary Johnson. We talked about it a lot. He said "Somehow I feel personally disrespected by her when she speaks". And I thought that was quite astute of him. I felt the same way.

So. I did not think Clinton would win. I was expecting a tie, actually. But I was telling people for two months, that Trump would win. It just seems so karmic to me. He does represent the psyche of the trash mass media so called culture here. And obviously, not enough people were sufficiently scared to the point of bothering to vote against him.

I thought Stein was the only sane option. The DNC is who I put this on. We know it through the Podesta emails. And Billy Clinton told him to run this time. And we know that the Clinton

agelbert > readytotransform 

Stein was, and still is (i.e. the Green Party Platform), the only sane option.

As a psychologist and counselor of many, you surely know what happens when insane leaders run a business or/and a country. I do believe Freud said something or other about insanity and Germany back in the 1930's. That resulted in the destruction of a country. But the murder and brutality against Jews, the disabled, those with genetic disorders, etc. before the destruction gave evidence to the fact that a high degree of scientific knowledge, an advanced culture, a democratic government and a fairly homogenous, hard working, strong willed and intelligent population is NO GUARANTEE against the social decay of corruption by psychopaths (i.e. EVIL people).

Only a principled and unremitting defense of the Golden Rule would have prevented Germany from going insane. They learned their lesson. We didn't.

The issue of human behavior and conduct is an issue of morality, no matter how many people want to insanely claim that 'right' and 'wrong' are relative. The USA has been moving towards insanity practically since its founding. The natural borders, and then the bomb, are the only reasons we have not been destroyed by other nations yet.

But this time, an existential threat to our species from the sixth Great Extinction, now actively taking place due to pollution from industrial toxins and Green House Gases, makes the stakes a bit higher than just the destruction of a criminally insane country. The LACK of empathy that our country celebrates in business and in government that Trump exemplifies is the fundamental seed of our destruction.

The problem is EVIL, not the lack of knowledge of cause and effect.

"I was searching for the nature of evil - Evil is the absence of Empathy!"

And it was NOT Jesus Christ who first came up with the Golden Rule:

"What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn."

— Shabbath folio:31a, Babylonian Talmud

Rich Grisham said about the (S)election process:

The manufacturing of consent.

agelbert > Rich Grisham

American Dystopia has been traveling towards a Trailer Trash Trump Tyrant for about a century.


When a dystopia has all the gatekeeping criminals firmly controlling the gates to power, the inherent inefficiency of dystopic inertia destroys a nation.

The problem now is that Catastrophic Climate Change, goosed massively by the Trump Tyrant's energy policies, will destroy our economy and hopelessly degrade our biosphere, thereby endangering our existence as a species. Have a nice day.




It doesn't matter the D or is the O (Oligarchic factor) plus G (Greed) that produces C (Corruption). And the Corruption is supported and driven by any number of industries in exchange for predation favors. And the industries have become so large and powerful that we now have fascism (look at ND where corporate mercenaries are being combined with state militia). And given the state of global warming...our goose is now cooked. Literally.


> limerick4

Everything you say is true. But let those of us from the reality based community ensure that we don't make it easy for crazies to destroy the biosphere for the sake of profit over people and planet.




Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on November 29, 2016, 11:37:04 pm

Noam Chomsky: ‘Most Predictable Aspect of Trump Is Unpredictability’—It’s ‘Very Dangerous’ (Video)
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 02, 2016, 01:36:06 pm
Keith Olbermann comes up with a surprisingly easy, little-known, totally constitutional plan to fire President Trump


30 Nov 2016 at 08:03 ET
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 02, 2016, 07:27:25 pm
What to know about newly appointed UN Ambassador Nikki Haley's position  (  on climate change
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 03, 2016, 08:59:31 pm

What Might Jill Stein's Recount Expose About The Election?

Published on Dec 2, 2016

Big Picture Interview
: Greg Palast, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy . It's almost like they have something to hide.

With one Jill Stein-led recount effort already underway in Wisconsin and additional recounts pending in Michigan and Pennsylvania, supporters of Donald Trump are now taking legal action to stop what they say is a baseless attempt to smear their candidate.

In Pennsylvania, Trump himself has joined up with the local Republican Party to block Jill Stein's request for a recount.

In Wisconsin, Trump Super PACS are doing the dirty work and have asked a federal judge to stop what they say is a violation of due process rights.

Across the border in Michigan, meanwhile, Republican Attorney General Bill Scuette has asked the State Supreme Court to cancel an effort he and his office are calling a "frivolous request for a recount by an aggrieved party to silence all Michigan votes for president."

So - IS Jill Stein's push for a recount just a useless exercise in self-promotion? (

Or is there actually a chance it could expose something big?   (

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 05, 2016, 01:33:58 pm
Donald F. McGahn

Donald Trump’s White House Counsel Is Proud “Architect” of America’s Corrupt Big Money Politics

Jon Schwarz

December 4 2016, 9:34 a.m.


Don McGahn ( , soon to be Donald Trump’s White House counsel, bears as much responsibility as any single person for turning America’s campaign finance system into something akin to a gigantic, clogged septic tank.

From 2008 to 2013, McGahn was one of the six members of the Federal Election Commission, the government agency in charge of civil enforcement of campaign finance laws. While there, he led a GOP campaign that essentially ground enforcement of election laws to a halt.  (

“I’ve always thought of McGahn’s appointment as an FEC commissioner as analogous to appointing an anarchist to be chief of police,” said Paul S. Ryan, vice president at Common Cause. “He’s largely responsible for destroying the FEC as a functioning law enforcement agency, and seemingly takes great pride in this fact. McGahn has demonstrated a much stronger interest in expanding the money-in-politics swamp than draining it.”

Ellen Weintraub, a current FEC commissioner, overlapped with McGahn’s entire tenure. McGahn and his two fellow GOP appointees, she recalled, possessed a “very strong ideological opposition to campaign finance laws in general.”

This ideology — that essentially all limits on campaign contributions and spending are unconstitutional violations of the First Amendment — was developed by a loose affiliation of conservative lawyers including McGahn, beginning in the late 1990s. It started bearing fruit a decade later with a series of court decisions, including the Citizens United ruling in 2010. McGahn’s page on his law firm’s website describes him as one of the “architects of the campaign finance revolution.”

McGahn’s perspective manifested itself consistently at the FEC. Previously, when the agency received outside complaints alleging violations of the law, its general counsel’s office was responsible for conducting a preliminary examination of the issues and then making a recommendation to the commission members about the legal issues involved and whether to proceed with a full investigation.

McGahn was so extreme that he attempted to block the general counsel’s staff from reading news reports, using Google or looking at a campaign’s web site without prior authorization from a majority of the FEC commissioners. Had the measure passed, because the FEC has six members at full capacity and no more than three can be from one political party, Republicans would effectively have controlled what FEC lawyers were allowed to read.

McGahn also attempted to prevent the FEC’s staff from doing something it had done as a matter of course in the past: respond to requests for internal records from the Justice Department, which is responsible for criminal prosecution of campaign finance crimes, without formal approval from the commissioners. “He just did not want us to have a more cooperative relationship with the Justice Department,” Weintraub said.

McGahn’s losing battle nevertheless led the agency’s general counsel at the time to resign in frustration.

Now, as Trump’s White House lawyer, McGahn will provide crucial advice on the nomination of judges, including to the Supreme Court. While Trump has criticized Citizens United, and called the Super PACs that sprang up in its wake “horrible” and a “total phony deal,” McGahn is a vociferous defender of the ruling.

Trump praised McGahn as possessing “a deep understanding of constitutional law.”(


Full article:

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 05, 2016, 09:05:40 pm
The Mafia State

Posted on Dec 4, 2016

By Chris Hedges

The established elites dislike Trump because he is gauche, vulgar and boorish. He is not part of the refined group of mandarins trained to become plutocrats in Ivy League universities and business schools. He never mastered the cloying patina of refinement and carefully calibrated rhetoric of our courtier class.

Trump and his coterie of half-wits, criminals, racists and deviants play the role of the Snopes clan in William Faulkner’s novels “The Hamlet,” “The Town” and “The Mansion.” The Snopeses rose up out of the power vacuum of the decayed South and ruthlessly seized control from the degenerated aristocratic elites. Flem Snopes and his extended family—which includes a killer, a pedo phile, a bigamist, an arsonist, a mentally disabled man who copulates with a cow, and a relative who sells tickets to witness the bestiality—are fictional representations of the scum we have elevated to the highest level of the federal government. They embody the ethos of modern capitalism Faulkner warned us against.

“The usual reference to ‘amorality,’ while accurate, is not sufficiently distinctive and by itself does not allow us to place them, as they should be placed, in a historical moment,” the critic Irving Howe wrote of the Snopeses. “Perhaps the most important thing to be said is that they are what comes afterwards: the creatures that emerge from the devastation, with the slime still upon their lips.”

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 06, 2016, 01:54:32 pm
By News Corpse

Tuesday Dec 06, 2016 · 11:17 AM EST

Since Election Day four weeks ago Trump has refused to hold a press conference. That's longer than any president-elect in forty years. In fact, Trump hasn't held a press conference since July. And he has plenty of reasons for avoiding the media. Nevertheless, he continues to lash out in ever more ridiculous ways. Take for instance his tweet on Monday:
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 07, 2016, 04:59:57 pm
Democrats Drop A Bombshell Report That Exposes Trump’s Planned Devious War On Seniors  >:(

By westladem

Wednesday Dec 07, 2016 · 1:40 AM EST
205 Comments (205 New)

PoliticsUSA has a jaw-dropping report on just how badly the Orange Scrooge and Company ( plan on completely demolishing our seniors and disabled folks:

⦁   “Sneaking massive benefit cuts through the back door – The Price (incoming HHS destroyer decimator nominee) proposal includes a devious plan that would likely trigger deep cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other priorities, while avoiding the need for members of Congress to vote directly for the cuts [my note — & would deny Democrats the ability to stop them] … If Republicans were to pass President-Elect Trump’s tax plan, the resulting increase to the deficit, under this plan, could require cuts to Social Security and Medicare of 13.5 percent, meaning the average Social Security beneficiary would lose more than $2,000 a year.​

⦁   … subject all benefits to sequestration …​

⦁   Unraveling longstanding guarantees to those who rely on Medicare, Social Security, Unemployment Insurance and other Benefits – ... Americans would have to fight annually for these benefits in the uncertain appropriations process, with no assurance their hard-earned benefits will be there at the end. Given the Republican Congress’s long record of failure to even consider appropriations bills on time, this could threaten the security of millions who rely on promised benefits.
Seriously, read it. ( What the gop plans for seniors and disabled Americans will devastate millions.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 07, 2016, 06:10:21 pm

Why Trump Picked Ben Carson as HUD Secretary

Peter Dreier
 December 6, 2016
Donald Trump’s “edifice complex” explains his ill-advised choice of the completely inexperienced Ben Carson to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Agelbert NOTE: Don't miss this detailed and eye opening  :o history of Trump Daddy's Government Real Estate Rip-Offs and Repeated Racism in Housing (which Donald Trump has been found guilty of as well - like father - like son):
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 07, 2016, 06:38:05 pm

How Trump ( Is Repeating the 1920s

Big Picture Interview: Richard Eskow, The Zero Hour/Campaign for America's Future. Speaking of Trump cabinet picks - the next presidential administration is shaping up to be the richest in American history. The last time we saw this kind of plutocratic takeover of the government it led to the Great Depression. Are we about to witness a sequel to that disaster?

For more information on the stories we've covered visit our websites at - - and You can also watch tonight's show on Hulu - at BIG PICTURE and over at The Big Picture YouTube page. And - be sure to check us out on Facebook and Twitter!
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 08, 2016, 06:08:45 pm
Samantha Bee Asks: ‘Is It OK for the President to Lie His ... Face Off 24 Hours a Day?’ (Video)
Posted on Dec 7, 2016

“Full Frontal” host Samantha Bee argues that the president-elect’s comments about “illegal” voters didn’t just spring out of nowhere. So, she wonders, where are these lies coming from, and is it right for the future U.S. president to regurgitate them?
— Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 08, 2016, 06:28:57 pm

Big Picture Interview: Robert Kennedy Jr., Waterkeeper Alliance. So far, Donald Trump's choice of cabinet members has been - well - deplorable.

He’s picked someone who wants to privatize Medicare to oversee Medicare as his secretary of Health and Human Services.

He’s picked a bankster who foreclosed on a 90-year-old over a 27 cent underpayment to oversee banksters as his Treasury Secretary.

And he's picked guy who thinks the KKK were just fine as long as they don't smoke pot to oversee our Civil Rights and marijuana laws as his Attorney General.

But as bad as those picks were - they pale in comparison to Trump's latest choice for a cabinet member - especially if you care about the future of our existence as a species on this planet. Multiple sources now say that Trump has picked Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to regulate fossil fuels as head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Not surprisingly, Pruitt is a climate change denier - either totally stupid about science or just happy to take all that petro-billionaire money to keep him in power. So, here were are - Global temperatures are rising faster than ever before - Arctic sea ice is at record lows - all signs point to runaway climate change becoming a reality within the decade - and the man who's now set to head up environmental policy for the next few years thinks there's still a "debate" about whether or not climate change is even real.

Dec. 7, 2016 5:59 pm
By Thom Hartmann

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 09, 2016, 08:31:18 pm

Fear and Loathing at Koch-Funded Trump “Shadow Transition Team” Event

Science gives way to science fiction at an ominous meeting of fossil fuel elites  ( ( ( (

By Philip Newell
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 10, 2016, 02:19:19 pm

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 10, 2016, 09:15:41 pm

The Global Networks of the Resurging Far Right
It's no exaggeration to say that Trump has ties to neo-Nazi parties, says investigative journalist Nafeez Ahmed
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 11, 2016, 03:14:32 pm
The Fossil Fuelers   DID THE Climate Trashing, human health depleteing CRIME,   but since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks, they are trying to AVOID   DOING THE TIME or     PAYING THE FINE!     Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on!    (


Trump’s Picks for EPA and Interior Threaten the Future of Clean Water

Sharon Lerner

December 9 2016, 4:39 p.m.

Environmentalists have been rightly focused on the fact that climate deniers Scott Pruitt, Trump’s pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, whom he is expected to nominate for the Department of the Interior, could devastate the Clean Power Plan, the Paris Accord and, through them, national and even global progress on climate change. But Trump’s picks could permanently damage the country’s waters, too.  (

Both have a record of wide-ranging hostility toward the environment. As Attorney General of Oklahoma, Pruitt repeatedly (and often unsuccessfully) sued the EPA to stop the agency from doing its job. McMorris Rodgers, a conservative member of the House from Washington who has received almost a half-million dollars in campaign contributions from oil and gas companies, earned a zero rating from the League of Conservation Voters. Both have already made the dismantling of water protections a particular priority.

If appointed, these two foes of the earth will likely usher in dark days for our nation’s lakes, streams, and rivers. Our waterways are already in serious peril, according to an EPA evaluation of U.S. lakes released Friday. According to the report, 30 percent of lakes now contain the pesticide atrazine.

Water contamination will almost certainly increase if Pruitt declines to issue penalties to polluters and cuts the budgets of divisions responsible for enforcement, as his record and rhetoric has indicated he will.

“A lot of how much protection we get has to do with whether the agency chooses to buddy up to the industry or really hold them accountable for the violation of the laws,” said Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper. Van Rossum is currently involved in fighting fracking and more than a dozen pipeline projects and fears the threats to the river basin will only increase.

“Under a Pruitt EPA, we’re going to have a whole agency that’s about turning a blind eye, rather than holding industries accountable and protecting the people,” said van Rossum.

While it will take years to feel the full effects of some environmental disasters, the impact of not enforcing water laws will be felt more quickly. “The scary thing about water is there’s no wiggle room,” said Lisa Garcia, vice president of litigation for healthy communities at Earthjustice. “Once you discharge contamination into our drinking water, that’s an immediate impact. This could turn into real impacts to human health. It’s not something you want to play around with.”

Yet Pruitt and McMorris Rodgers already have. Both nominees have vocally opposed the Waters of the United States Rule, which would extend federal protection to thousands of lakes, rivers, and streams and allow the EPA to use the Clean Water Act to prosecute people who pollute them. Last year, Pruitt sued the EPA over the rule because it would harm the “property rights of the average American.”

Though a court is currently reviewing the rule, as EPA head Pruitt could decide not to defend it or even withdraw it. Other water protections in the works that he could snuff out include a tightening of the rules on lead and copper piping. If finalized, those rules could help prevent another Flint.

“We’re really concerned about lead and copper,” said David Goldston, director of government affairs for the Natural Resources Defense Council. “But really it’s everything.”

The fact that Trump has already surrounded himself with so many enemies of the environment makes the threat all the worse. “An entire constellation of anti-environmental people would clearly put in place policies that are counter to the public interest,” said Goldston.

Now environmental groups are turning their energies to fighting the appointments. Some have noted that only a few Republicans would need to break ranks to block Pruitt’s path in the Senate. And the opposition to McMorris Rodgers has already begun. Just hours after Trump’s choice was reported, Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, called on any senator “with a concern for future generations of Americans” to oppose her: “Rep. McMorris Rodgers poses a clear and present danger to our treasured public lands.”

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 12, 2016, 06:16:07 pm

December 12, 2016

Congress   ( Just Passed an Enormous Health ( Bill, And Few People Noticed

Last week, the Senate passed the 21st Century Cures Act, a controversial bill that provides funding for NIH in exchange for the rolling back of a slew of regulations for drugs and medical devices.

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 13, 2016, 06:24:47 pm

Will Trump Scrap NASA’s Climate Research Mission?

Posted on Dec 12, 2016

By Andrew Revkin / ProPublica

Agelbert NOTE:
In regard to the above question, see wild bears and their habits in the woods...

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 14, 2016, 02:24:35 pm
12/12/2016 02:05 PM      print story email story    ShareThis 

Election WAS Rigged, Irregularities Abound News


Update December 14: 40 Electors have signed the letter.


Donald Trump should NOT become President of the United States and it is up to Electors to do their job on December 19.

Their job is to select a candidate for president who, as our Founding Fathers envisioned, would be "endowed with the requisite qualifications," says an open letter from 11 Electors to National Intelligence Director James Clapper, asking for more information on Russia's hacking of the election.

How this wasn't a blowout issue during the campaign is beyond me. It was clear that Russians hacked the DNC and released tens of thousands of emails through Wikileaks - clearly to influence the election toward Trump.   

"Separate from Mr. Trump's own denials of Russian involvement in the election, the confirmed communication between Trump's aides and those associated with the Russian election interference activity raise serious concerns that must be addressed before we cast our votes,"
say Electors
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 14, 2016, 02:52:05 pm
Scientists Protest as ( Transition Team( Signals Possible Witch Hunt News

When climate scientists ( go out on the streets and protest (, you know something is up.

Today, they are rallying outside the annual American Geophysical Union annual conference in San Francisco, joined by allies from the climate movement. 26,000 people are attending the conference.

For many years, scientists have been subjected to disinformation from fossil fuel interests and paid-off politicians, and now there is a new challenge: the agencies in charge of protecting our environment will be led by the very people who wish to destroy it.

In a scary move, the Trump transition team asked the Department of Energy (DOE) to deliver a list of employees and contractors who have worked on climate policies under Obama.

DOE is refusing to list names. ;D (

The 5-page memo asks 74 questions about:

⦁   who attended United Nations climate summits

⦁   who was involved in developing ⦁   social cost of carbon metrics, which requires agencies to weigh the climate impacts of federal projects as part of the evaluation process.

⦁   information on research activities, the basis for DOE statistics, and its ⦁   loan programs.

It also asks for information on specific programs:

ARPA-E, the lead research agency on clean energy innovation, investing $1.2 billion since its 2009 launch in 482 projects

Mission Innovation: US agreement with 22 countries to double investment in basic clean energy research over the next five years

Clean Energy Ministerial: brings energy ministers from 23 countries together to advance clean energy.


"This looks like a scare tactic to intimidate federal employees who are simply doing their jobs and following the facts. I am sure there are a lot of career scientists and others who see this as a terrible message of fear and intimidation - ‘either ignore the science or we will come after you,('" Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told Washington Post.

Warning against "a return to political witch hunts of the 1950s, President-elect Trump must instruct his transition team to cease this profoundly anti-democratic behavior immediately," says David Cox, President of American Federation of Government Employees.

Scared of potential political interference, scientists are feverishly copying reams of government data onto independent servers to protect decades of crucial climate measurements, from sea level rise to statistics on wildfires, reports Washington Post. Database experts are helping to organize mountains of data and to house it on free servers. Offers have come in to fund these efforts and the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund is offering pro bono legal assistance.

A table at this week's conference is piled high with the Legal Defense Fund's booklet, "Handling Political Harassment and Legal Intimidation: A Pocket Guide for Scientists."

This weekend, a "guerilla archiving event" will be held at University of Toronto to catalogue key environmental data from the Environmental Protection Agency on climate change, water, air and toxics programs. (  ( (

Republicans have been de-funding and attacking environmental and climate programs throughout the Obama presidency - this is their chance!   (  (

Today's rally is being streamed live at 3:30pm EST here:
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 16, 2016, 08:07:59 pm
What Does It Mean When The GOP ( Says They're Undoing FDR's Legacy? (

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 20, 2016, 03:03:16 pm

December 20, 2016

Greg Palast on Why Clinton Didn't Push for Michigan Recount - Part 1 of 2

Greg Palast tells Paul Jay that in order to rig and steal elections today, Jim Crow has gone into cyberspace.

SNIPPET from transcript of the following video:

PAUL JAY: And welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Baltimore. In his film, released just a few months before the 2016 election, Greg Palast predicted that Donald Trump ( would steal that election and go on to win. I think he may have been more surprised than anybody when his film turned out to be making a correct prediction, but here he is, and he's going to join us to tell us why and how he thinks it was done. Thanks for joining us, Greg.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 20, 2016, 07:30:45 pm
To Hell With Godwin's Law... We're There!

Thom talks about Donald Trump's incoming administration and how it compares with the actions and statements with those of Adolf Hitler.


Godwin's law states : "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler approaches 1"

That is, the more discussion, the more likely that Adolph Hitler's name will appear and be compared to whoever the discussion is all about.

Does Donald Trump's incoming administration compare to the actions of Adolph Hitler?

Have we reached the point where the law is here? Do you see Hitler's name appearing in internet discussions, or is the law a myth?

Mike Godwin, creator of Godwin's Law originally applied it to Usenet groups. Remember them? Now it applies to any threaded online discussion and most online discussion forums.

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 21, 2016, 02:12:43 pm

Greg Palast on Why Clinton Didn't Push for Michigan Recount - Part 2 of 2

Greg Palast tells Paul Jay that there are 75,000 uncounted Clinton votes, but she won't push for a recount because the elite will defend the fake monstrosity called the US electoral system even when their personal interests are at stake.  >:(
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 22, 2016, 02:20:11 pm

America—Don't Be Fooled, Trump's Cabinet Picks Can Be Stopped

 Michael Brune

Info packed article an video:

Great comment!:

Pascal Molineaux (  · Professor at Universidad Javeriana Cali

Trump's strident anti-environmentalism and know-nothing approach to environmental issues as he vigorously pursues an agenda tailor made to please the Fossil Fuel Lobby and Big Business interests is, well, shamelessly corrupt and his con game will be revealed.

He has conned the American voter like no other, a fox out to ensure his 1% uberrich cronies get THEIR tax cuts, their watered down labor, environmental and fiscal policies so they can grab an even greater share of the national wealth.

He ain't gonna drain no swamp: as a beast if the swamp, he just loves to wallow in its murky waters with his alligator friends!
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 22, 2016, 05:15:10 pm
Trump on Drugs: Nightmare Scenarios Looking Ever More Probable  :P  :(

December 12, 2016 - By Jag Davies
What a strange time to be fighting to end the war on drugs and the mentality that gave rise to it.  In recent years we’ve won a wide range of once-unimaginable victories and super-majorities of public support – and yet we now face the prospect of the federal government undoing our painstaking progress and committing newfangled atrocities that were unimaginable just a month or so ago.

There’s little doubt our incoming commander-in-chief is primed to launch a new war on drugs that could be worse than anything we’ve seen before.  He has not just called for doubling down on draconian drug laws – he has also called for more private prisons, rejected restoring the right to vote for millions of Americans living with a felony conviction, and supported unconstitutional “stop and frisk” policing.  He’s even said he’ll deal with opioid addiction by building a magical wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

In perhaps the most chilling sign yet, the President-elect recently expressed support for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign of mass murder of poor people suspected of using or selling drugs. (And if you think what’s happening in the Philippines can’t in the U.S., it’s time for a wake-up call.)

Long before Trump unveiled his Cabinet of Horrors, his explicit appeals to the most racist, xenophobic elements of American society were foreboding given the drug war’s racist, xenophobic origins and the ongoing, disproportionate targeting, arrest, conviction and incarceration of people of color for drug law violations. Now that Trump’s Cabinet has taken shape, though, his administration has taken on even more sinister dimensions.

Many people initially hoped Trump might at least make good on his campaign promise to let marijuana legalization play out at the state level – but that appears unlikely given his choice for Attorney General is Jeff Sessions, a drug war extremist with a career-long history of racist comments and actions. In recent years, Sessions played a critical role in blocking efforts to reform sentencing policy, asset forfeiture, and marijuana laws. He’s likely to escalate the war on drugs by undermining civil rights, stifling state-level marijuana reforms that have drastically reduced arrests in communities of color, and rolling back any progress in policing and criminal justice made by the Obama administration. (The Drug Policy Alliance is fighting to put the brakes on Sessions’ nomination so please ask your Senator to oppose his nomination here.)

The rest of the Cabinet is looking almost as disturbing as Sessions (which is really saying something).  Last week, Trump selected General John Kelly to head the Department of Homeland Security. Kelly served as head of U.S. Southern Command, overseeing drug war efforts in Latin America.  This guy is a true believer in the drug war, and it’s an ominous sign that he’s been tapped to head up Homeland Security (a role, it’s worth noting, that has not previously been occupied by someone from the military – yikes).

Rep. Tom Price, Trump’s choice for director of health and human services, has consistently voted against key medical marijuana measures in Congress.  Price’s healthcare plan would no longer require insurers to cover addiction treatment, which would be a profoundly destructive step backwards.

Even Trump’s pick to head the EPA, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, is an anti-marijuana crusader who sued the state of Colorado in a futile attempt to overturn Colorado’s groundbreaking marijuana legalization law.

Trump hasn’t announced his “drug czar” yet but odds are it’ll be someone with an abhorrent track record.  Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, a staunch opponent of sensible drug policies, is currently a leading candidate to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy.  Bondi vigorously opposed Florida’s medical marijuana ballot measures in 2014 and 2016, and took a heavy-handed, counter-productive approach to her state’s problems with prescription opioids and new psychoactive substances.

This is the time when we find out what we’re really made of.  This new administration is not just an attack on sensible drug polices – it’s an attack on civil and human rights, bent on unleashing vast destruction in historically oppressed communities that have long borne the brunt of the drug war.

It’s more essential than ever that we venture past our growing edges, join together with other movements, and walk the walk when it comes to social integrity and racial justice. It’s going to be a long, challenging struggle – and it will define how history judges us.

Jag Davies is the director of communications strategy for the Drug Policy Alliance.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 22, 2016, 07:30:22 pm
Published on Dec 10, 2016

Dick Gregory Warns America About Donald Trump Victory: "It's Over"

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 22, 2016, 10:41:38 pm

December 22, 2016

Paul Jay and Abby Martin Say Goodbye to 2016

TRNN's Senior Editor and the Host of Empire Files discuss the critical events of the year, including Trump's victory, the Sanders breakthrough, and the worsening prospects for federal action on climate change.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 23, 2016, 07:22:14 pm
Blaming Russia Is Irresistible to the Democrats (  ;)

Posted on Dec 22, 2016

By Paul Street
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 26, 2016, 06:50:31 pm
Published on Dec 17, 2016

The Twilight of Democracy by Tariq Ali

Tariq Ali discussion on the ideas outlined on his book The Extreme Centre: A Warning, during this years Festival of Dangerous Ideas.

What is the point of elections if result is always the same ??? : a victory for the extreme centre?

Since the end of the Cold War, politics in affluent Western democracies has become a contest to see who can better serve the needs of the market.

Rather than left and right parties representing genuinely different policies, they have converged to create a global economic order where deregulation, free trade, privatisation and market-driven solutions hold sway.

Whether voters agree or not, these things are a given, creating a massive disenchantment with government and a huge challenge to democracy.

Is this political wisdom or suicide?

Stan Grant (Chair)
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 28, 2016, 06:18:23 pm
Agelbert NOTE: As Professor Henry Giroux makes clear, Trump's entire PURPOSE in naming these Swamp Creatures to Government is the total destruction of the social contract along with any remaining shreds of democracy.  (


December 25, 2016

Trump's Cabinet, the Church ( of Neoliberal Evangelicals  (

Professor Henry Giroux says Trump's appointments signal a future of more war, violent military interventions, and an embrace of Islamophobia.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 28, 2016, 08:17:37 pm
Agelbert NOTE: Fascism is on the march in Brazil too!  :(   (


December 27, 2016

An Interview with a Leader from Brazil's Landless Workers Movement

MST's Gilmar Mauro  ( on the struggle to build a mass organization as an alternative to fascism amidst Brazil's ongoing political crisis.
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on December 30, 2016, 05:03:35 pm
Agelbert NOTE: I await 2017 with trepidation.  I expect that, in 2017, the last remaining bit of Liberty we have in the USA will be TRUMPED. (





Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on January 01, 2017, 06:22:01 pm
The Fascist Personality and Rhetoric of Donald Trump
Trumpocalypse: Neofascist $$ before Democracy 

Published on Nov 13, 2016

[White House 2.0] Neofascism, political philosophy/ movement arose in Europe in the decades following WWII. Like earlier fascist movements, neofascism advocated extreme nationalism, opposed liberal individualism, attacked Marxist and other left-wing ideologies [Now its refugees, Mexicans, Immigrants, Muslims, et al]

Authoritarian Politics: Trump, Clinton, and Neo-Fascism

Donald Trump May Select an Architect of Bush’s Torture Program to Run CIA - use of “waterboarding,” the simulated drowning technique once used by the Khmer Rouge and Nazi agents

Cornel West: Trump is a “narcissistic neo-fascist in the making - Trump is a Frankenstein of corporate media and there is no way he would have the status that he did if they didn’t cover every word, every tweet,”

Fascism Is All the Rage in Europe, and It’s Coming to America

Neoliberalism: the deep story that lies beneath Donald Trump’s triumph

Carl Bernstein: Trump is Setting Himself Up to Head ‘Neo-Fascist’ Movement

There's a little 'Mein Kampf' in Trump's 'Art of The Deal'


Trump says U.S. should adopt Israel’s racial profiling model, after Huckabee applauds Israel’s anti-Muslim policies - Far-right Republican leaders hope to emulate Israel, where over 50 laws discriminate against Palestinian citizens

Donald Trump, the American Fascist

Father of Fascism Studies: Donald Trump Shows Alarming Willingness to Use Fascist Terms & Styles

Project for the New American Century http://www.informationclearinghouse.i...

Donald Trump Defends Torture at Republican Debate

Playback: Trump, Mussolini and the KKK

13 Examples Of Donald Trump Being Racist
He claims to have “a great relationship with blacks,” which is totally something a normal person would say.

Racism in US: More than 200 incidents of harassment reported since Trump won

9 times Donald Trump has already betrayed the US voters

Martin Luther King- Love your Enemies

Raison d'etre: Citizen Journalist-History Anarchist. TV image metaphor for the controlled fascist media. **** TV-**** Journalism if it's controlled by elite machinery - Fascism. Until
workers of world unite, world-strike as one - together - solidarity of all race: Then all we are is slaves to the fasci corporatism - the machine.

'True revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love'-
'Our every action is a battle cry against imperialism, and a battle hymn for the people’s unity against the great enemy of mankind:
The US' - Ernesto Che Guevara

Satyagraha, ( “holding onto truth”) concept introduced in early 20th century by Mahatma Gandhi to designate a determined but nonviolent resistance to evil.

The machine kills fascists by pencil, music, film and mind.
On doit des egards aux vivants; on ne doit aux morts que la verite.
#Satyagraha #FreePalestine #BDS #AntiWar #BanTheBomb #EndDebt #NoBorders
Everything for everyone and nothing for ourselves.
Sty yu Oginali - Have Strength in Your Journey, My Friend
Let Love Guide You Free. Peace

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on January 01, 2017, 07:15:24 pm

Donald Trump: Make America Hate Again | Part 1 (Documentary)

Donald Trump: Make America Hate Again | Part 2 (Documentary)
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on January 01, 2017, 07:33:03 pm
Peasants for Plutocracy: How the Billionaires Brainwashed America (Mini-Documentary)
Plutocracy I: Political Repression in the USA
Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on January 01, 2017, 07:58:24 pm

Agelbert NOTE: The true history of the well entrenched Plutocracy in the USA is simply NOT taught in the schools OR admitted in the media. How many Americans know that the only reason state and municipal police forces were legislated into existence was as effective anti-labor strike forces? Very few!

And WHY didn't corporations want to keep murdering and brutalizing workers with their private armies like the Pinkertons, as they had done before? Because passing the costs of enslaving the worker to we-the-people (i.e. socializing the costs while privatizing the profits) is what Plutocracy has always been all about. Trump is, as Marx predicted, the logical final stage of these psychopathic Plutocrats.
Plutocracy II: Political Repression in the USA

Defying Donald Trump’s Kleptocracy

Posted on Jan 1, 2017

By Chris Hedges


The final stages of capitalism, Karl Marx predicted, would be marked by global capital being unable to expand and generate profits at former levels. Capitalists would begin to consume the government along with the physical and social structures that sustained them.

Democracy, social welfare, electoral participation, the common good and investment in public transportation, roads, bridges, utilities, industry, education, ecosystem protection and health care would be sacrificed to feed the mania for short-term profit.

These assaults would destroy the host. This is the stage of late capitalism that Donald Trump represents.

Title: Re: Corruption in Government
Post by: AGelbert on January 05, 2017, 06:34:43 pm
Unfortunately, and ironically, the second part of the film "Plutocracy" has had the audio track muted due to a copyright issue.  I watched the first one though.  Very interesting history.  It seems that the plutocracy was forged in the beginning of this country.  Not surprising at all.  It seems a fundamental characteristic of man to organize into a pyramid.  The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.


I don't understand how they get away with it.  That is the mystery to me.  All of the power should be with the people as we have the numbers, but it's not, and seemingly it never has been, as the documentary "Plutocracy" attests to.   

The people give the power to the church by going to it and believing in it, and that's the level just below the 1%.  Below that is the military which is formed from the proletariat class, so the force that protects and ensures the whole system is kept safe by the sons and daughters of the people. 

The rentier class doesn't do **** but profit off of the backs of the people as this depiction shows.  It seems they could easily be overtaken by the people.  I guess that happens by striking, which I never really understood until watching Plutocracy.  I guess striking and boycotting are really the only meaningful actions the proletariat can take.  Protesting doesn't do ****, especially now.  TPTB could give two ****'s whether we protest or not as is obvious by OWS and Standing Rock.

Organizing a massive strike is a Herculean task to be sure.  The only security the people have are their wages, so it has to be bad enough for the fear of no wages to be less than the life that the wages provide.  Over the years the 1% have perfected the means by which they control the masses.  Control of the food via industrial agriculture with terminator seeds and GMO's is probably the most important step by which they control.  They made food easy.  They made it where the people did not have to concern themselves with getting enough food.  It's not good healthy food, but it's cheap and it taste good. 

Next is private property which is what makes money so necessary it seems.  You have to have a place to live...a place to lay your head and stay warm and sheltered.  If all of the land is private property where you have to have permission to be there, than there is nowhere for you to live your life without money.  That's ultimately where they get control of the whole thing, money!  This allows the rentier class to profit off of the peoples backs. 

With control of the food and the money what are the people to do?  Now the people have no idea about food.  To the majority it's something that comes wrapped in petroleum at the big box store.  Where do the big box stores get the food?  It comes from the trucks of course.  Where do the trucks get the food?  From the food factory of course.  Where does the food factory get the food?  What do you mean?  They get the food from the food gettin' place...and that's if the fools even think that far about it, which they mostly don't.  The food just comes from the grocery store and that is all the thinking that is done about it. 

What is it that keeps us enslaved to the system they have put into place?  Is it really the ignorance and gullibility of the masses?  If you can get past the ignorance and gullibility somehow, by educating, then I suppose the next edifice is fear itself.  Or maybe a lack of imagination combined with a sense of powerlessness.  The more stupid the people become the easier it is for them to control us, and nothing is more representative of this process than Trumpty Dumpty as POTUS.  This is straight out of the film Idiocracy.   

The truth is that the people have been dumbed down to the point where they think Trump has their back.  At least a sizeable portion of the people.  The people are satiated by food chemicals, corn syrup, alcohol, nicotine, netflix, iphones, and finally fukitol.   

In the end, and there is an end to this, the 1% have built a house of cards.  We have a global 1% now, and they can all keep the people in check via the system they have built.  The huge global Corporate system that is the true plutocracy has a weakness.  Fossil fuels are that weakness!  The Corporatocracy is dependent on fossil fuels to keep the house of cards propped up.  At some point on the back side of Hubbert's curve there will be enough austerity for the masses that a critical mass will be reached.  There will be a tipping point, and I think that's when we will know that the game is over. 

It will be OWS times 10, only it will not be peaceful.  When there is enough austerity in America there will be nothing that can stop the anger of the proletariat.  Unfortunately they do not understand that fossil fuels are the ultimate reason why their lives have changed.  What will the 1% do when the system begins breaking under the weight of low EROEI energy?  By all measures we are at that point now, but as I have mentioned they are keeping it's dead lifeless body propped up with endless digibit subsidies.  That trick has a shelf life. 

I'm certain the 1% has a plan for the breaking point.  I don't buy that they have no idea about the weakness that's built into their system.  I can buy that the politicians mostly might not know due to ignorance, but the upper echelons are informed.  Why they aren't trying to curtail the whole thing with renewables is a mystery to me, but I'm sure there is a reason for it.  It's likely because they know that there is noway that renewables can be anything more than a bandaid.  That's why I'm starting to believe that their plan is for a massive reduction in population.  Reduce the world population by 5 billion and there's enough fossil fuels to keep this whole shootin' match going until Nibiriu comes or the Sun burns out. 

I'm also not beyond the possibility that the Matrix is a very real thing that we are plugged into.  Some type of holographic trick they have been performing.  This possibility would allow for BAU to continue ad infinitum regardless of the physics we think actual run the whole show.  This whole thing could be the Matrix instead substitute the robots for aliens.  Possibly interdimensional aliens.
Plutocracy II: Political Repression in the USA
I am sorry that the Plutocracy II film had the sound muted. When I watched it, the sound was okay. I guess TPTB don't want too much truth to get out there.   :(

GREAT comments on and graphics from Plutocracy II!   (

Surly gets all this and is a veritable fountain of historical knowledge on the socialist movement, but for Lucid's benefit I will attempt to summarize Plutocracy II highlights. Surly, If I miss anything, please elaborate.

Plutocracy II begins with the fake Reconstruction. IOW, all efforts to build an egalitarian South failed simply because the North, aside from a lot of fancy rhetoric, had never been egalitarian either.

So the Plutocrats of the North raped the South under the guise of freeing the African Americans, who enjoyed a VERY brief respite (about a decade) from their woes. Things actually got WORSE form them when the convict lease program began.

When the convict lease program kicked in (slavery is legal to this day as long as you are a prisoner Thirteenth Amendment), more African Americans died brutally than during slavery. Carnegie (and other Robber Barrons) made much of their fortunes from the convict lease program. Of course this was a huge problem for white laborers because, whether they worked in mines or a steel mill, they could not compete with slave (convict lease) labor. OF NOTE is the FACT that when slaves were OWNED, slave owners DID NOT want their blacks working in dangerous work like mines or other dangerous work like dynamiting hills for railroad lines. The robber Barons contracted Scotts or Irish (not even considered WHITE at the time) because they were considered "expendable".  (

When white laborers in the north began to organize and demand fair wages and less dangerous working conditions, the Northern Plutocrats pulled the troops keeping the Southerners from re-establishing some form of slavery (i.e. Jim Crow). Capitalist Plutocrats have their priorities, you know.  (

The number ONE priority is preservation of CAPITAL. And keeping those laborers at work in the horrendous working conditions and less than subsistence wages in factories and mines and railroads, etc. required TROOPS.  (

The "enemy" of the Capitalists was (and still is) organized labor. Therefore, Carnegie and his ilk would do whatever they could to keep labor disorganized. Carnegie would import people from all over Europe to work in his Steel Mills AND MAKE SURE that people working next to each other DID NOT SPEAK THE SAME LANGUAGE in order to make it difficult for them to organize.  (

When that stopped working (an example of strike breaking Slavs joining with others on strike from another nationality that spoke a different language in the first part of the film) because everybody was learning English, the in your face killing and brutality of the Pinkerton "detectives" (ruffian murderers and cutthroats) were brought in. THAT eventually