What It Takes to Be President of the American Police State:

05/25/2016

Anti-Big Money, Anti-War, Pro Constitution, Freedom-Loving Candidates, Need Not Apply

http://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/what_it_takes_to_be_president_of_the_american_police_state_anti_big_mo

By John W. Whitehead
May 23, 2016

“The qualifications for president seem to be that one is willing to commit mass murder one minute and hand presidential medals of freedom to other war criminals in the next. One need only apply if one has very loose, flexible, or non-existent morality.”—Author and activist Cindy Sheehan

Long gone are the days when the path to the White House was open to anyone who met the Constitution’s bare minimum requirements of being a natural born citizen, a resident of the United States for 14 years, and 35 years of age or older.

Today’s presidential hopefuls must jump through a series of hoops aimed at selecting the candidates best suited to serve the interests of the American police state. Candidates who are anti-war, anti-militarization, anti-Big Money, pro-Constitution, pro-individual freedom and unabashed advocates for the citizenry need not apply.

The carefully crafted spectacle of the presidential election with its nail-biting primaries, mud-slinging debates, caucuses, super-delegates, popular votes and electoral colleges has become a fool-proof exercise in how to persuade a gullible citizenry into believing that their votes matter.

Yet no matter how many Americans go to the polls on November 8, “we the people” will not be selecting the nation’s next president.

While voters might care about where a candidate stands on healthcare, Social Security, abortion and immigration—hot-button issues that are guaranteed to stir up the masses, secure campaign contributions and turn any election into a circus free-for-all—those aren’t the issues that will decide the outcome of this presidential election.

What decides elections are money and power.

We’ve been hoodwinked into believing that our votes count, that we live in a democracy, that elections make a difference, that it matters whether we vote Republican or Democrat, and that our elected officials are looking out for our best interests. Truth be told, we live in an oligarchy, and politicians represent only the profit motives of the corporate state, whose leaders know all too well that there is no discernible difference between red and blue politics, because there is only one color that matters in politics—green.

As much as the Republicans and Democrats like to act as if there’s a huge difference between them and their policies, they are part of the same big, brawling, noisy, semi-incestuous clan. Watch them interact at social events—hugging and kissing and nudging and joking and hobnobbing with each other—and it quickly becomes clear that they are not sworn enemies but partners in crime, united in a common goal, which is to maintain the status quo.

The powers-that-be will not allow anyone to be elected to the White House who does not answer to them.

Who are the powers-that-be, you might ask?

As I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the powers-that-be are the individuals and corporations who profit from America’s endless wars abroad and make their fortunes many times over by turning America’s homeland into a war zone. They are the agents and employees of the military-industrial complex, the security-industrial complex, and the surveillance-industrial complex. They are the fat cats on Wall Street who view the American citizenry as economic units to be bought, sold and traded on a moment’s notice. They are the monied elite from the defense and technology sectors, Hollywood, and Corporate America who believe their money makes them better suited to decide the nation’s future. They are the foreign nationals to whom America is trillions of dollars in debt. The International Central Banking Cartel!

One thing is for certain: the powers-that-be are not you and me.

In this way, the presidential race is just an exaggerated farce of political theater intended to dazzle, distract and divide us, all the while the police state marches steadily forward.

It’s a straight-forward equation: the candidate who wins the White House will be the one who can do the best job of ensuring that the powers-that-be keep raking in the money and acquiring ever greater powers. In other words, for any viable presidential candidate to get elected today that person must be willing to kill, lie, cheat, steal, be bought and sold and made to dance to the tune of his or her corporate overlords.

The following are just some of the necessary qualifications for anyone hoping to be appointed president of the American police state. Candidates must:

Help grow the military-industrial complex: Fifty-five years after President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned about the growth of the “military-industrial complex” in his farewell address, the partnership between the government, the military and private corporations has resulted in the permanent militarization of America. From militarized police and the explosive growth of SWAT teams to endless wars abroad, the expansion of private sector contractors, and never-ending blowback from our foreign occupations, we have become a nation permanently at war. As the New York Times pointed out, “the military is the true ‘third rail’ of American politics.” The military-industrial complex understands the value of buying the presidency, and has profited from the incessant warmongering of Obama and his predecessors. If money is any indicator of who the defense industry expects to win this November, thus far, Hillary Clinton is winning the money race, having collected more campaign contributions from employees with the 50 largest military contractors.

Police the rest of the world using U.S. troops: The U.S. military empire’s determination to police the rest of the world has resulted in more than 1.3 million U.S. troops being stationed at roughly 1000 military bases in over 150 countries around the world, including 48,000 in Japan, 37,000 in Germany, 27,000 in South Korea and 9800 in Afghanistan. That doesn’t include the number of private contractors pulling in hefty salaries at taxpayer expense. In Afghanistan, for example, private contractors outnumber U.S. troops three to one. Now comes the news that the U.S. is preparing to send troops to Libya on a long-term mission to fight ISIS.

Sow seeds of discord and foment wars among other nations under the guise of democracy: It’s not enough for the commander-in-chief to lead the United States into endless wars abroad. Any successful presidential candidate also needs to be adept at stirring up strife within other nations under the guise of spreading democracy. The real motive, of course, is creating new markets for the nation’s #1 export: weapons. In this way, the U.S. is constantly arming so-called “allies” with deadly weapons, only to later wage war against these same nations for possessing weapons of mass destruction. It happened in Iraq when the U.S. sold Saddam Hussein weapons to build his war machine. It happened in Syria when the U.S. provided rebel fighters with military equipment and munitions, only to have them seized by ISIS and used against us. Now comes the news that President Obama has agreed to sell weapons to Vietnam, lifting a decades-long embargo against the nation whose civil war claimed the lives of more than 90,000 Americans.

Speak of peace while slaughtering innocent civilians: Barack Obama’s campaign and subsequent presidency illustrates this principle perfectly. The first black American to become president, Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize long before he had done anything to truly deserve it. He has rewarded the Nobel committee’s faith in him by becoming one of the most hawkish war presidents to lead the nation, overseeing a targeted-killing drone campaign that has resulted in thousands of civilian casualties and deaths. Ironically, while Obama has made no significant effort to de-escalate government-inflicted violence or de-weaponize militarized police, he has gone to great lengths to denounce and derail private gun ownership by American citizens.

Prioritize surveillance in the name of security over privacy: Since 9/11, the Surveillance State has undergone a dramatic boom, thanks largely to the passage of the USA Patriot Act and so-called “secret” interpretations of the mammoth law allowing the NSA and other government agencies to spy on Americans’ electronic communications. What began as a government-driven program under George W. Bush has grown under Obama into a mass surveillance private sector that makes its money by spying on American citizens. As Fortune reports, “In response to security concerns after 9/11, Americans witnessed the growth of a massive domestic security apparatus, fueled by federal largesse.” That profit-incentive has opened up a multi-billion dollar video surveillance industry that is blanketing the country with surveillance cameras—both governmental and private—which can be accessed by law enforcement at a moment’s notice.

Promote the interests of Corporate America and Big Money over the rights of the citizenry: Almost every major government program hailed as benefiting Americans—affordable healthcare, the war on terror, airport security, police-worn body cameras—has proven to be a Trojan Horse aimed at enriching Corporate America while leaving Americans poorer, less secure and less free. For instance, the so-called “affordable” health care mandated by Congress has become yet another costly line item in already strained household budgets for millions of Americans.

Expand the powers of the imperial president while repeatedly undermining the rule of law: George W. Bush assumed near-absolute power soon after the September 11, 2001, attacks. Unfettered by Congress or the Constitution, Bush led the “war on terror” abroad and championed both the USA Patriot Act and Homeland Security Department domestically. This, of course, led to the Bush Administration’s demand that presidential wartime powers permit the President to assume complete control over any and all aspects of an international war on terrorism. Such control included establishing military tribunals and eliminating basic rights long recognized under American law.

When Barack Obama ascended to the presidency in 2008, there was a sense, at least among those who voted for him, that the country might change for the better. Those who watched in awe as President Bush chipped away at our civil liberties over the course of his two terms as president thought that perhaps the young, charismatic Senator from Illinois would reverse course and put an end to some of the Bush administration’s worst transgressions—the indefinite detention of suspected terrorists, the torture, the black site prisons, and the never-ending wars that have drained our resources, to name just a few. As we near the end of Obama’s two terms in office, that fantasy has proven to be just that: a fantasy. Indeed, President Obama has not only carried on the Bush legacy, but has taken it to its logical conclusion. Obama has gone beyond Guantanamo Bay, gone beyond spying on Americans’ emails and phone calls, and gone beyond bombing countries without Congressional authorization. As journalist Amy Goodman warned, “the recent excesses of U.S. presidential power are not transient aberrations, but the creation of a frightening new normal, where drone strikes, warrantless surveillance, assassination and indefinite detention are conducted with arrogance and impunity, shielded by secrecy and beyond the reach of law.”

Act as if the work of the presidency is a hardship while enjoying all the perks: The race for the White House is an expensive, grueling horse race: candidates must have at a minimum $200 or $300 million or more just to get to the starting line. The total cost for this year’s election is estimated to exceed $5 billion and could go as high as $10 billion. However, for the winner, life in the White House is an endless series of star-studded dinner parties, lavish vacations and perks the likes of which the average American will never enjoy. The grand prize winner will rake in a $400,000 annual salary (not including $100,000 a year for travel expenses, $19,000 for entertaining, $50,000 for “general” expenses and last but not least, $1,000,000 for “unanticipated” expenses), live rent-free in a deluxe, 6-storey, 55,000 square foot mansion that comes complete with its own movie theater and bowling alley, round-the-clock staff, florists, valets and butlers. Upon leaving the White House, presidents are gifted with hefty pensions, paid staff and office space, travel allowances and lifetime medical care. Ex-presidents can also expand upon their largesse by writing books and giving speeches (Bill Clinton was given a $15 million advance for his memoir and routinely makes upwards of $100,000 per speech).

Clearly, it doesn’t matter where a candidate claims to stand on an issue as long as he or she is prepared to obey the dictates of the architects, movers and shakers, and shareholders of the police state once in office.

So here we are once again, preparing to embark upon yet another delusional, reassurance ritual of voting in order to sustain the illusion that we have a democratic republic when, in fact, what we have is a dictatorship without tears. Once again, we are left feeling helpless in the face of a well-funded, heavily armed propaganda machine that is busily spinning political webs with which the candidates can lure voters. And once again we are being urged to vote for the lesser of two evils.

Railing against a political choice that offers no real choice, gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson snarled, “How many more of these stinking, double-downer sideshows will we have to go through before we can get ourselves straight enough to put together some kind of national election that will give me and the at least 20 million people I tend to agree with a chance to vote for something, instead of always being faced with that old familiar choice between the lesser of two evils?”

Remember, the lesser of two evils is still evil.

5-10-2016 8-55-33 AM


TRUMP TRIUMPH OR TRAGEDY? Part Two

05/24/2016

 TRUMP TRIUMPH OR TRAGEDY? PART 2

http://www.newswithviews.com/Vieira/edwin286.htm

By Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., Ph.D., J.D.
May 24, 2016

NewsWithViews.com

Under these circumstances, no common ground can be found, no dialogue conducted, no compromise reached between “the good People” and their candidate for “the Office of President”, on the one side, and the Establishment and its candidate, on the other—any more than common ground, dialogue, and compromise are possible between justice and injustice, “the general Welfare” and the avarice of special interests, or what the Second Amendment calls “the security of a free State” as opposed to the oppression of a police state. One side or the other must prevail. In this struggle, as General MacArthur said: “There is no substitute for victory.”

  1. Mr. Trump (or any authentic political “outsider”) can depend only on “the good People”; and “the good People” can depend only on him. But to gain their confidence, Mr. Trump must take “the good People” into his confidence, with confidence that, knowing what he intends to do and why and how he intends to do it, they will rally to him through every vicissitude which awaits them.
  2. He must convince “the good People” that he is committed to fighting the battle, both before and especially after his election, on their, not their enemies’, terms. At the minimum, that requires bringing into his campaign, and eventually into his Administration, a set of advisors not drawn from the ranks of the professional political courtiers who have carried water for prior Administrations. The sorry records of those Administrations provide conclusive evidence that these individuals’ misguided conceptions of “public service” have been the primary causes of, and therefore will never provide the solutions for, America’s woes.
  3. Mr. Trump must emphasize that no one can “make America great again” unless and until “the good People” steel themselves to yank this country by its bootstraps out of the very deep hole into which past generations of incompetent and disloyal politicians have cast it. In line with the old adage that “a pessimist is an optimist who knows the facts”, he must warn “the good People” that a great deal of economic pain and social unrest will be unavoidable in the short term—and that stern measures must be implemented, prodigious efforts expended and costs incurred, and agonizing sacrifices endured in the near term—if the necessary reforms are to be achieved in the long run. That he is the one Presidential candidate ready and willing to take charge and shoulder responsibility is not enough. For he can succeed only if “the good People” are prepared to do their part to the utmost of their abilities. He can be no more than the obstetrician for America’s renaissance; “the good People” must give birth to it.
  4. Glittering generalities, “sound bites”, and slogans will not suffice. Rather, Mr. Trump must set out with specificity the nonnegotiable reforms his Administration will implement. Here, I can touch on only a few of these, and only in a limited fashion:

(a) In furtherance of the President’s oath of office—that he “will to the best of [his] Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”—Mr. Trump must promise to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed”. Without that as the guiding principle and constant practice of his Administration, nothing of permanent value will be achieved.

(b) In fulfillment of the Declaration of Independence, he must assure “the good People” that he will bend his every effort to preserve this country’s national sovereignty, integrity, and identity—not only by securing its borders against invasions of illegal aliens, but also by rooting out those internal subversives who are employing “multiculturalism” as a battering-ram to break down America’s political and social cohesion, preliminary to the submergence of “the good People” in a supra-national “new world order” which will eradicate “the separate and equal station” “among the powers of the earth * * * to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them”.

That “the political class” and its mouthpieces in “the mainstream media” have attacked Mr. Trump with the ferocity of mad dogs because of his rather mild pronouncements to date on the issue of illegal immigration demonstrates how critical the elimination of America’s national independence and integrity is to the Establishment’s achievement of its long-range goals—and therefore how vital the preservation of that independence and integrity is to “the good People’s” permanent interests. I characterize Mr. Trump’s pronouncements as “rather mild”, because he has yet to point out that, perforce of both general constitutional principles and specific statutes, a patriotic President is entitled to, and can, stop alien invasions in their tracks. See my NewsWithViews commentaries “How the President Can Secure the Borders” (18 August 2015) and “A Trumped-Up Controversy” (20 February 2016).

(c) Because “representative government” cannot function if Americans do not know what their ostensible “representatives” are actually doing, and why they are doing it, Mr. Trump must promise “the good People” that he will STOP the present-day fetish of governmental secrecy and lies (which depend upon secrecy for their efficacy). His Administration must open the public records to public inspection to the fullest extent consistent with the constitutional definition of “national security”—that is, the security of the nation, not the security of “the political class” and its string-pullers in the Establishment.

For a prime example, Americans must be afforded access to all of the public (and, to the extent possible, private) records concerning the 9/11 event; and those records must be subjected to the most wide-ranging critical analyses, letting the chips fall where they may. In addition to that, novel methods for elucidation of the truth must be employed. Being something of a scientist myself, I favor actual experiments. Every theory which can be disproved through experiment must be discarded. So, as a scientific first step in testing prior Administrations’ theories of what happened on 9/11, Mr. Trump should promise that his Administration will build an exact replica of World Trade Center Building 7 as it existed on that fateful day—set it on fire—and see whether or not it collapses into its own footprint at near free-fall speed, as did the original. If it does not, certain conclusions can be drawn, on the basis of which further actions can be taken. In light of the serious consequences which this country has already suffered, and will continue to endure, because of the Establishment’s theories of 9/11, whatever such an experiment may cost will hardly be excessive.

(d) Mr. Trump should explain to “the good People” that, by setting aside all constitutionally unwarranted governmental secrecy, his Administration will be able to enforce the Bill of Rights and other constitutional and statutory guarantees of Americans’ freedoms in a rigorous fashion against rogue public officials and their co-conspirators in the private sector. The Constitution’s goal to “establish Justice” can never be fulfilled except perforce of the principle that no one is “too big to jail”. For far too long “the political class” has been able to sweep its serial malfeasances under the rug, either through the wrongdoers’ suppression of the evidence of their wrongdoing, or by grants of “immunity” to one set of wrongdoers by another set of wrongdoers when wrongdoing slips into the light of day. The time has come to employ a firmer broom in more trustworthy hands. For, as the old saying has it, “a new broom sweeps clean”—and an iron broom sweeps cleaner yet. Such a thoroughgoing housecleaning is especially needed with respect to those rogue officials whose “long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object” has “evince[d] a design to reduce [Americans] under absolute Despotism”. As the apt slogan of the Navy’s “Silent Service” had it in World War II, “find them, chase them, sink them”.

(e) Of all possible wrongdoing by rogue public officials, nothing could be worse than fomenting international warfare. Not only because modern warfare is hideously homicidal and egregiously expensive, but especially because the prosecution of wars abroad inevitably encourages the imposition of despotism at home. “[T]he common defence” is the constitutional standard. Therefore, Mr. Trump must assure Americans that he will end America’s involvement in aggressive military adventures overseas. Moreover, he must guarantee that he will see all of those rogue public officials who and the private special interests which have fomented or otherwise been responsible for or otherwise complicitous in such adventures brought to justice, through execution of those “Laws of the Union” which enforce the principles of the Nuremberg tribunal. See Office of the United States Chief of Counsel for Prosecution of Axis Criminality, Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1946), Volume I, arts. 6(a), 7, 8, and 9, at 5-6. See also my NewsWithViews commentary “A New Nuremberg Moment” (6 September 2013). After all, these crimes—steeped in conspiracy and aggression—have resulted in hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of needless deaths and injuries; destruction of the political integrity, social stability, and economic viability of whole countries; and huge wastage of resources by “military-industrial complexes” in both the United States and the other nations which have foolishly participated in these operations. And they continue even today, unabated in their savagery. See, e.g., Felicity Arbuthnot, “US Apocalypse in Mosul in the Guise of Bombing ISIS”. For such wrongdoing there can be neither excuse, nor exoneration, nor expunction from the pages of history.

Mr. Trump recently announced his “foreign policy” with a rousing speech. Yet it lacked the clarity and wisdom of George Washington’s Farewell Address with respect to foreign affairs, alliances, and the like. (Indeed, Mr. Trump could not go wrong by adopting as his guiding principles all of the tenets of that document.) Much of his speech was, as the wag once said, “déjà vue all over again”. To be sure, Mr. Trump’s reliance on the principle of, shall we say, “strength at home, businesslike diplomacy abroad” is a workmanlike approach, along the lines of Theodore Roosevelt’s precept, “speak softly and carry a big stick”. Nonetheless, I wonder how anyone can imagine, on the one hand, that this country cannot control its own borders to the extent of repelling an invasion of illegal aliens from a nation as militarily impotent as Mexico, but, on the other hand, that it can deploy to the very frontiers of Russia and China sufficient forces to awe those powerful nations into sheepish compliance with policies dictated from the District of Columbia at odds with their own compelling national interests. Indeed, one need look only to the débâcles in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya to understand the limits the real world imposes on the hubris and fantasies of American military interventionists. (The only saving grace here is that Mr. Trump evidently desires to avoid a major war, whereas Hillary Clinton would likely prove a worse warmonger, and more feckless a war-fighter, than even George W. Bush.)

Finally, Mr. Trump’s promise to crush ISIS militarily rests on the naïve premiss that ISIS is some truly “foreign” force. He would do better first to investigate whether ISIS is in large measure the product of the devious intentions or simple-minded incompetence of the CIA and the Pentagon—and that therefore the initial step in the process of eradicating ISIS must be a thoroughgoing housecleaning of those agencies. (A parallel investigation should be conducted to determine the extent to which certain of America’s ostensible “allies” are at fault in this matter, too.) Mr. Trump might also want to inquire, for example, why the NSA, the DIA, the CIA, the FBI, FINCEN, the IRS-CID, and other intelligence and law-enforcement agencies at home and abroad have not been able (or willing) to employ their extensive networks of surveillance to ferret out the sources of and routes for ISIS’s funding. After all, although logistics is not everything, everything depends on logistics. How does ISIS raise its revenue and pay its bills? Who are ISIS’s bankers, money-launderers, and so on? And why have they not been exposed, and steps taken to eradicate their operations? Inquiring minds surely want to know.

(f) As far as “domestic policy” is concerned , it will be essential for a Trump Administration to restore the two great powers of government—the Power of the Sword and the Power of the Purse—to “the good People’s” own hands. For no one else is sufficiently trustworthy to exercise them.

(i) Restoration of the Power of the Sword will require revitalization of the Militia, about which I have written extensively elsewhere. Only by “call[ing] forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union” will “the good People” finally be able to deal with those combinations too powerful to be suppressed by ordinary means, the continued toleration of which threatens to destroy this country within the lifetimes of most of the readers of this commentary. In particular, see my NewsWithViews commentary “Donald Trump and the Militia” (20 February 2016).

Revitalization of the Militia will also be necessary to enable “the good People” to deal in a constitutional fashion with the social unrest which will arise out of the economic dislocations and hard times this country will have to endure as part of the price of rebuilding the national economy. See, e.g., my book By Tyranny Out of Necessity: The Bastardy of “Martial Law”.

(ii) Restoration of the Power of the Purse will require bridling the banks—first and foremost, by compelling them to provide Americans with a constitutional and economically sound monetary unit to compete with, and eventually supplant, the Federal Reserve Note as this nation’s primary currency. See, e.g., my NewsWithViews commentaries “A Cross of Gold” (10 May 2011) and “Presidential Questions” (9 May 2015). It will also necessitate coming to grips with the problem of the unpayable national debt—not by imposing “austerity” on “the good People”, but by recognizing that much of this debt has been incurred unconstitutionally (in terms of international law, is so-called “odious debt”), and is therefore unenforceable. See, e.g., my NewsWithViews commentary “A Cross of Debt” (10 February 2012). As a successful entrepreneur, Mr. Trump surely understands that long-term business-relations, whether of a corporation or an entire country, cannot be conducted on the basis of the uncertain value of an unstable “rubber” currency, and that sometimes a declaration of bankruptcy and concomitant cancellation of some and restructuring of other debts is unavoidable.

(g) In even the short run, little will be accomplished unless and until a Trump Administration breaks the electoral stranglehold of the “two” major political parties and the string-pullers behind them. This will require radically diminishing, if not eliminating altogether, the ability of organized wealth to maintain the oligopoly of those parties, to suppress or capture legitimate political movements, and thereby perpetually to misdirect the course of elections. That a handful of multi-billionaires, primarily through the mega-corporations they own and the myriad special-interest groups they spawn and finance, are suffered to dominate political affairs in this country, setting “the good People” at defiance in election after election, directly contradicts any rational conception of “representative government” and “the general Welfare”. Not only is that state of affairs unsound in principle, but also it has turned out disastrously in practice. For all too long, these individuals and institutions have controlled the composition of Congress, the Presidency, and the Judiciary, as well as much of State and Local government—the consequence being the mess in which this country now finds itself at every level of the federal system. The simplistic theory that “corporate money” can be equated with “free speech” in the political realm has been tested by experiment, and found woefully wanting. (To be sure, it might be argued that the corruption and degeneration of American politics have been the products, not of the injection of wealth per se into politics, but only of the faulty ideas that such injection has promoted, and that if the wealthy were to marshal their resources on behalf of good ideas this country would benefit. Yet there is no denying that, only as a consequence of the massive amounts of irresponsible wealth behind them could the bad ideas prevalent today have become dominant in the political arena. And in politics one must be extremely risk-averse, because the risks of error are too great to be accepted.)

The exclusion of “corporate money” from politics may appear to be a problematic goal, because of the false notion promulgated by the Supreme Court that corporations are “persons” with constitutional rights equivalent to those of real flesh-and-blood individuals. The “personhood” of corporations, however, is merely a sorry legal fiction. Actually, it is a piece of pseudo-legalistic balderdash, coming as it does from a Court with the effrontery to claim that actual human beings who happen to be unborn are not constitutional “persons”. In any event, no need exists for a constitutional amendment to recognize the self-evident truth that corporations have no inherent rights, but rather are merely the creatures of statutes, with only such legal relations (rights, powers, privileges, immunities, and so on) as those statutes grant, and which other statutes can deny, to them. Whatever it may have opined on this subject in the past, the Supreme Court has a long history of changing its mind on constitutional questions. See, e.g., Payne v. Tennessee, 501 U.S. 808, 828-830 & note 1 (1991). So it is not too much to expect that the Court can be persuaded to reverse itself on this issue, too. And if the Justices refuse to come to their constitutional senses, they can be shown the door; for their tenure is solely “during good Behaviour”, which subversion of the political process in favor of faux “persons” can never be.

Admittedly, the foregoing may constitute no more than a “wish list” for a true Presidential “outsider” who has yet to appear. For only the future will tell whether Mr. Trump is such a man. Yet one must always live in hope. If an obscure commentator such as this author, living in the remote “Canoe Capital of Virginia”, can figure out some of what needs to be done, then so can an eminent real-estate shark from the Big Apple.

 

Ultimately, though, the critical question is not “Can Trump do it?” or even “Will Trump do it?”, but instead “If Trump tries to do it, will ‘the good People’ do their part?” Will they demand his nomination, secure his election, and then stand behind his Administration?

As it always does, time will tell. Some Americans may yet imagine that this country can still play for time. But, as the old saying has it, time brings all things, bad as well as good. And anyone who can tell time knows that “the good People” are running out of time. It really may be “now or never”. If “the good People” do not triumph by electing a true “outsider” to “the Office of President” this November, America’s fate may be sealed, once and for all, in the worst tragedy of modern times.

© 2016 Edwin Vieira, Jr. – All Rights Reserved

Edwin Vieira, Jr., holds four degrees from Harvard: A.B. (Harvard College), A.M. and Ph.D. (Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences), and J.D. (Harvard Law School).

For more than thirty years he has practiced law, with emphasis on constitutional issues. In the Supreme Court of the United States he successfully argued or briefed the cases leading to the landmark decisions Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson, and Communications Workers of America v. Beck, which established constitutional and statutory limitations on the uses to which labor unions, in both the private and the public sectors, may apply fees extracted from nonunion workers as a condition of their employment.

He has written numerous monographs and articles in scholarly journals, and lectured throughout the county. His most recent work on money and banking is the two-volume Pieces of Eight: The Monetary Powers and Disabilities of the United States Constitution (2002), the most comprehensive study in existence of American monetary law and history viewed from a constitutional perspective. www.piecesofeight.us

He is also the co-author (under a nom de plume) of the political novel CRA$HMAKER: A Federal Affaire (2000), a not-so-fictional story of an engineered crash of the Federal Reserve System, and the political upheaval it causes. www.crashmaker.com

His latest book is: “How To Dethrone the Imperial Judiciary” … and Constitutional “Homeland Security,” Volume One, The Nation in Arms…

He can be reached at his new address:
52 Stonegate Court
Front Royal, VA 22630.

E-Mail: Not available

5-10-2016 8-55-33 AM

 

 

 


LESSONS FROM THE BEGINNING III

05/23/2016

                                      http://www.rebelmadman.com/?p=404

Thoughts and Comments of a Rebel nature maddening to the status quo.

The Rebel Madman

(Authors note: Several readers have asked about the importance of covering the fact Madison, Hamilton, and others were pushing a nationalist form of government. This information is critical because the nationalist/monarchical form of government that was introduced and supported by Madison, Hamilton and others was repeatedly defeated, both in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and the subsequent state ratifying conventions. Unfortunately, what our founders intended, a Republic, has long since been abandoned for the nationalist form of government the majority opposed. In fact, our government has morphed into a National Socialist form of government not ideologically different than the National Socialist government of Germany in the 30’s and 40’s.)

Regardless of how many times you read it, or how many revisionist court historians write it, there is absolutely no evidence available which indicates there was a groundswell of support among the people for abandoning the Articles of Confederation.

Where might one go to discover the truth of my allegation? Why not to the words of the man who most wanted to change the limitations of the Articles to a form of government much more to his liking; a monarchy, and failing that, a strong centralized national government: Alexander Hamilton. Here it is in his words.

Men of intelligence, discovered the feebleness of the structure, [Articles of Confederation] but the great body of the people, too much engrossed with their distresses to contemplate any but the immediate causes of them, were ignorant of the defects of their Constitution.”

Patrick Henry of Virginia saw through the deception; he did not believe the Articles were weak. Speaking to the subject he said:

“The Confederation; this same despised Government, merits, in my opinion, the highest encomium: it carried us through a long and dangerous war. It rendered us victorious in that bloody conflict with a powerful nation: it has secured us a territory greater than any Monarch possesses. And a government which has been thus strong and vigorous be accused of imbecility and abandoned for a want of energy…Why then tell us dangers to terrify us into an adoption of this new Government? And yet who knows the dangers this new system may produce; they are out of sight of the common people. It is for them I fear the adoption of this new system. Sir, it is the fortune of a free people, not to be intimidated by imaginary dangers. Fear is the passion of slaves.”

We know that the framers of the Articles of Confederation had included the following in Article II of our first Constitution.

“Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.”

This was one of the conditions present in the Articles that the nationalists/monarchists knew they had to eliminate. They simply did not want to contend with the ideas, questions and objections from 13 different colonies but instead wanted to have the people in aggregate (a nation) controlled by a central, all-powerful form of government, which they would, of course, lead. Just check how many so-called Federalists would serve in their newly created government. This would leave the states having very little to no voice in how they would be governed. Is any of this beginning to sound familiar?

The states, “retaining their sovereignty, freedom and independence” from the control of “men of intelligence” as Hamilton had described himself and his cronies would have as their government a confederated republic, the complete antithesis of a nationalist form of government. In addition, none of the “men of intelligence” wanted a government that would be limited to those powers which would be “expressly delegated” through the “consent of the governed.”

Again, understanding the difference between “expressly delegated” powers and “granted” powers is to understand the crucial difference in tyranny and limited, representative government. Expressly delegated means there is no room for “interpretation” by government employees and bureaucrats and clearly defines the intent of our founders.

It is of the highest importance that one understands that the federal government in the Articles of Confederation could operate only on the states; it had no control or power over individuals.

If an egregious or tyrannical law was passed by the federal government, the states had the ability to simply ignore it; known today as nullification or state interposition. The federal government could not arrest or imprison a state. Therefore, the “intelligent men,” in Hamilton’s view, realized they must have a national form of government that could and would act on the individual.

I believe this to be the very first confrontation between nationalists and advocates of State’s Rights, a battle that would surface again in the 1830’s with Justice Joseph Story and Senator Daniel Webster on the side of nationalism and Senator John C. Calhoun on the side of State’s Rights. (This battle of words and ideas will be covered later in our studies) This battle of ideas would eventually lead to an open, bloody war in 1861; a war that would take the lives of over 800,000 individuals and permanently install a nationalist form of government in our country.

Every malady and malaise that faces us in our country today can be traced to the implementation of nationalism instead of a strict adherence to the rights of the people of a state to nullify acts of government. Ah, but ignorance reigns supreme, for on any given day you can find a group of people somewhere who mistakenly believe they are being “patriotic,” robotically pledging allegiance to “One nation…indivisible,” a phrase which was written by a national socialist.

It is also of importance that when the Constitutional Convention of 1787 opened in May of that year, a time when representatives of only 6 states were in attendance, the first resolution adopted, stated, “a national government ought to be established.” Again, to illustrate that the idea of a national form of government was repeatedly voted down in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 once representatives from other states had arrived, the record of the proceedings as recorded by Robert Yates, delegate from New York, commonly known as “Yates Minutes,” stated the following:

“Ellsworth. [Oliver Ellsworth, delegate from Connecticut] I propose, and therefore move, to expunge the word ‘national’ in the first resolve, and to place in the room of it, government of the United States,’ which was agreed to nem con.”

Hopefully, this session has clearly illustrated that our current form of government which is totally nationalist in nature, though it was proposed and supported by several of our founders who declared themselves to be “intelligent men,” is not the form of government favored by the majority of our founders and ratified by the several states.

Almost entirely omitted from most writings on our founding era is one of the true motives of the nationalists was to take the power of governing from those in the state legislatures whom they deemed to be inferior to themselves and placing that governing power into the hands of the elite. For evidence of this I offer the following:

From Patrick Henry, “The Constitution reflects in the most degrading and mortifying manner on the virtue, integrity, and wisdom of the state legislatures; it presupposes that the chosen few who go to Congress will have more upright hearts, and more enlightened minds, than those who are members of the individual legislatures.”

James Madison, [the Constitution will lead to] “extracting from the mass of the society the purest and noblest characters which it contains.” (Is this the type of character we have in government today?)

John Quincy Adams saw the Constitution as “calculated to increase the influence, power and wealth of those who have it already.”

As stated by one of the Anti-federalists, the plan of the Constitution was “dangerously adapted to the purposes of an immediate aristocratic tyranny.”

If you maintain any thought that our present government is not an “aristocratic tyranny” just go to http://www.opensecrets.org and research the wealth and position of our current members of Congress and the “dark money” that drives our government.

(Part IV coming soon to an email near you.)

5-10-2016 8-55-33 AM


Secret G-20 Meeting In Ireland this Summer to Manage the Collapse of America

05/21/2016

http://www.thecommonsenseshow.com/2016/05/17/secret-g-20-meeting-in-ireland-this-summer-to-manage-the-collapse-of-america/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=secret-g-20-meeting-in-ireland-this-summer-to-manage-the-collapse-of-america

OLDDOGS COMMENTS:

I present this article for those of you who thrive on drama, but you may want to ask yourself why a man with his so-called connections would spill the beans on a secret meeting of people who think nothing of having people murdered. Suicide Wish???

5-21-2016 7-27-50 AM

Dr. Walker Todd, former 20 year consultant to the Federal Reserve.

By Dave Hodges

Dr. Walker Todd is heading to Ireland this summer. Ireland is lovely this time of year. Playing golf in one’s sweater could be an enjoyable vacation event. However, Todd is not going to Ireland to play golf. How do we know that Dr. Todd is headed to Ireland? He told Ed Petrowski and this was passed to me by his good friend Paul Martin. More importantly, Todd stated that there is going to be a secret G-20 meeting this summer in Ireland.

Who Is Walker Todd and Why Is This Important?

Dr. Todd stated on the radio on March 12, 2015 that America will be taken down according to the following scenario: (1) A false flag, more than likely a scenario resulting in economic collapse and the destruction of the dollar (2) The implementation of martial law, perhaps involving the use of foreign troops; and (3) All out conflict.

Dr. Todd is not to be taken lightly as he was an economic consultant with 20 years of experience at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. He is also a member of the Cato Institute‘s new Center for Monetary Financial Alternatives as one of its Adjunct Scholars.  Given his background, his expressed opinions should be given very serious consideration.

If Dr. Todd’s prediction is accurate, this fits in with what other sources are saying is coming in the very near future and it will result in the fall of America. It has always been my position that a false flag even would be used as a pretext to invoke martial law. Martial law would then be used as the excuse to begin gun confiscation. Gun confiscation will be used to disarm American citizens prior to subjugating the country by using foreign mercenaries.

As viewers of this sight will readily recognize, I have extensively written on the topic of foreign mercenaries and I did so as recently as this past weekend.

The Importance of Ireland

After the Muslim “refugee” invasion of Europe, Ireland is one of the few places left in Europe that is safe. Further, Ireland is home to one of the most notorious criminal globalists, Peter Sutherland.

5-21-2016 7-29-34 AM

Meet your soon-to-be new United Nations Governor. He orchestrated the Gulf crisis and now he will be “managing” the border crisis.

Many have asked if there was a central figure who coordinated this conspiracy. If I were an unencumbered investigator and not operating under the umbrella of an agenda, I would want to look closely at a globalist named Peter Sutherland as the possible mastermind. But you see, Sutherland is not just the architect of the Gulf Oil Spill, as you will soon note, he will be behind what is coming with the United Nations take down of the United States.

Peter Sutherland

Peter Sutherland is an insider’s, insider.  He is on the steering committee of the Bilderberg Group, he is an Honorary Chairman of the Trilateral Commission (2010-present), he was Chairman of the Trilateral Commission (Europe) (2001–2010) and Sutherland was Vice Chairman of the European Round Table of Industrialists (2006–2009). Sutherland was also the former head of the World Trade Organization and the related GATT. Sutherland is the ultimate insider. More to the point of this article, Peter Sutherland is the head of the UN Migration Council. This means that this elite insider will ultimately determine who will live where and under what conditions. And the G-20 is secretly meeting is his backyard is no coincidence.

Precipitating Incident(s)

Further, we have two important pieces which would factor into a planned collapse of the United States/Western Europe, namely, banking and population redistribution. Additional danger and trigger points would consist of computer vulnerability of the grid and the banks. Also, the looming global food crisis could be brought into play. Why not all three? I think that is a safe bet, but in terms of lighting the fuse, I would lean towards the food crisis

Venezuela Is the Beta Test

5-21-2016 7-30-28 AM

Venezuelans are in search of anything they can eat. Despite having on the world’s richest oil reserves, dogs, cats, and pigeons are in danger. Soon, there will be only thing left to eat, each other!

Michael Snyder wrote a fantastic piece of how the United States is paralleling what is happening in Venezuela and we will soon be living the same fate here in America. One week ago, I wrote about America’s food vulnerability. Snyder’s piece is worthy of review.

Speaking of Ed Petrowski, I had Ed and Cliff Harris, who has been making accurate predictions about farming and food trends for over 40 years.. Ed Petrowski has been farming the fields of Pratt, Kansas for decades. While on my show, both men presented to the world a farmer’s perspective on what is happening with our food supply.

5-21-2016 7-31-24 AM

One of the more stunning trends that both men pointed out was the fact that over 15% of American farmers will leave the business this year because of extreme government intrusion. They both said that there will be an extreme food shortage as a result. In fact, they both said there would be a food crisis in the United States anyway. And as Cliff Harris, a climatologist pointed out, there would be a food shortage anyway due to extreme weather changes.

This was an one hour interview, where I probably did not say 100 words. I wanted the listening public to listen to two prominent men in field of farming about what is really happening to the American food supply instead of reading the lies contained in various government reports.

Listen to this stunning interview by clicking here.

Conclusion

I would be remiss if I did not reiterate Paul Martin’s source and what he said was coming, which I published in a previous article. The retired alphabet soup agency man said martial law is locked and cocked. When the crisis hits, the phone will immediately go down, where you are is where you will stay because the highways will be shut down. He advised if you are further from your home that you walk back to it, you need to carry food, water, and guns. Time frame? He says it will happen this summer.

A week ago, I speculated that Trump’s opposition quit prematurely and all at once. I speculated they were retreating to their Plan B which would be designed to deny Trump the Presidency. I think we have found the Plan B.

Here comes the broken record: Obtain food, water, guns and if you want to survive long term, you will need precious metals.

5-10-2016 8-55-33 AM

 


Banks Sued by Investor Over Agency Bond Rigging Claims

05/20/2016

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-18/banks-sued-over-manipulation-on-9-trillion-agency-bond-market

Tom Schoenberg  

David McLaughlin  

Chris Dolmetsch  

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Deutsche Bank May Punish Staff for Personal Trade With Firm

The Irresistible Force That Dominates Currency Markets Is Back

Bank of America Corp. and Deutsche Bank AG were among five banks sued over claims that traders conspired to manipulate trading agency bonds issued by government entities and institutions like the World Bank, harming investors who bought and sold the securities.

The suit by Boston Retirement System, a pension fund representing city workers, follows inquiries by U.S. and U.K. authorities into the market for the debt, known as supranational, sub-sovereign and agency bonds, or SSAs. The probes target alleged illegal collusion in international trading and follow billions of dollars in settlements over claims that banks rigged interest-rate benchmarks and currency markets.

“Defendants’ scheme was driven by greed and opportunity,” the fund said in the complaint filed Wednesday in Manhattan federal court.

The lawsuit, which also names Credit Agricole SA, Credit Suisse Group AG and Nomura Holdings Inc. or their units as defendants, resembles claims made against banks over misconduct in currency markets. It accuses traders of colluding with one another to fix prices at which they bought and sold SSA bonds in the secondary market. It adds the threat of possible triple damages available under U.S. antitrust law for investors harmed by any illegal price-fixing.

Traders Probed

The SSA market is generally defined to include international development organizations, government-sponsored entities and some sovereign debt. Depending on the securities that are included, the market could range from $9 trillion to $15 trillion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The bonds generally have high credit ratings because of explicit or implicit guarantees they carry.

Among those being probed by U.S. and U.K. authorities are London traders Hiren Gudka, formerly at Bank of America and Deutsche Bank, Amandeep Singh Manku, formerly of Credit Agricole, Bhardeep Singh Heer of Nomura and Shailen Pau, formerly of Credit Suisse, people familiar with the matter have said. All four are named as defendants in the complaint. They couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on the lawsuit and didn’t respond to earlier requests for comment on the U.S. and U.K. investigations.

Spokespersons for Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Bank of America and Nomura declined to comment on the suit. Credit Agricole didn’t immediately respond to a message left after normal business hours.

Coordinate Prices

The traders allegedly communicated with one another about their customers’ SSA bond purchase and sell orders, which allowed them to coordinate the bid and ask prices they offered clients, according to the complaint. The traders’ influence in the secondary market for SSA bonds gave their customers “little choice but to accept the artificially widened bid-ask spreads” on the transactions, according to the complaint.

The lawyers who filed the suit — Labaton Sucharow LLP and Hausfeld LLP — said in the complaint that the experts they hired to review market data found the bid-ask spreads for SSA bonds were significantly higher than those of similarly rated sovereign bonds — seven basis points higher on some securities. The experts found “anomalous” intraday movement in the spreads that lawyers said “support the inference of conspiracy” among the banks, according to the complaint. Under competitive conditions, SSA bond traders wouldn’t be able to sustain bid-ask spreads over 1.5 basis points, according to the filing.

The case is Boston Retirement System v. Bank of America NA, 1:16-cv-03711, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).


OLDDOGS COMMENTS

Few Americans realize that the big banks have complete protection by the UNITED STATES CORPORATION that misrepresents it’s self as a democratic Government, and they believe that the Federal Reserve is an arm of the non-existent Democratic Government. What do you believe? Are you just another ignorant loyal slave, or are you a mad as hell free human being that learned the truth? The International Banking Cartel has gained complete control of America from the beginning, and most American’s refuse to believe it. They would rather let the Bankers drain them of their wealth than confront the truth. BUT! NOT THIS OLDDOG!

5-10-2016 8-55-33 AM


Watch Venezuela Because Food Shortages Looting And Economic Collapse Are Coming To America Too

05/19/2016

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/watch-venezuela-because-food-shortages-looting-and-economic-collapse-are-coming-to-america-too

5-19-2016 7-41-27 AM

By Michael Snyder

The full-blown economic collapse that is happening in Venezuela right now is a preview of what Americans will be experiencing in the not too distant future.  Just a few years ago, most Venezuelans could never have imagined that food shortages would become so severe that people would literally hunt dogs and cats for food.  But as you will see below, this is now taking place.  Sadly, this is what the endgame of socialism looks like.  When an all-powerful government is elevated far above all other institutions in society and radical leftists are given the keys to the kingdom, this is the result.  Food shortages, looting and rampant violent crime have all become part of daily life in Venezuela, and we all need to watch as this unfolds very carefully, because similar scenarios will soon be playing out all over the planet.

The funny thing is that Venezuela actually has more “wealth” than most countries in the world.  According to the CIA, Venezuela actually has more proven oil reserves than anyone else on the globe – including Saudi Arabia.

So how did such a wealthy nation find itself plunged into full-blown economic collapse so rapidly, and could a similar thing happen to us?

The president of Venezuela has declared a 60 day state of emergency in a desperate attempt to restore order, but most people don’t anticipate that it will do much good.  Social order continues to unravel as the economy systematically implodes.  The Venezuelan economy shrunk by 5.7 percent last year, and it is being projected that it will contract by another 8 percent in 2016.  Meanwhile, inflation is raging wildly out of control.  According to the IMF, the official inflation rate in Venezuela will be somewhere around 720 percent this year and 2,200 percent next year.

If people are able to get their hands on some money, they immediately rush out to the stores to use it before the prices go up again.  This has created devastating shortages of food, basic supplies and medicine.

Electricity is also in short supply, and a two day workweek has been imposed on many government employees in a desperate attempt to save power.  Violent crime is seemingly everywhere, and most law-abiding Venezuelans lock themselves in their homes at night as a result.

Much of the crime is being perpetrated by the mafia and the gangs, but sometimes it is just normal people looking for food.  Desperate people do desperate things, and according to the Guardian there have been “107 episodes of looting or attempted looting in the first quarter of 2016″…

Crowds of people in Venezuela have stolen flour, chicken and even underwear this week as looting increases across the country in the wake of shortages of many basic products. Many people have adopted the habit of getting up in the dead of night to spend hours in long lines in front of supermarkets. But as more end up empty-handed and black market prices soar, plundering is rising in Venezuela, an Opec nation that was already one of the world’s most violent countries.

There is no official data, but the Venezuelan Observatory for Social Conflict, a rights group, have reported 107 episodes of looting or attempted looting in the first quarter of 2016. Videos of crowds breaking into shops, swarming on to trucks or fighting over products frequently make the rounds on social media, though footage is often hard to confirm.

One example of this looting took place on May 11th.  Thousands of hungry people stormed Maracay Wholesale Market in central Venezuela, and the police seemed powerless to stop them

“They took milk, pasta, flour, oil, and milk powder. There were 5,000 people,”one witness told Venezuela outlet El Estímulo.

People from across the entire state came to the supermarket because there were rumors that some products not found anywhere else would be sold there.

“There were 250 people for each National Guard officer… lots of people and few soldiers. At least one officer was beat up because he tried to stop the crowd,” another source told El Estímulo.

You can see some rough footage of this incident right here

It is important to remember that this was not an isolated incident.  As people have become hungrier and hungrier, there have been reports of looting at “pharmacies, shopping malls, supermarkets, and food delivery trucks“.  During some of these episodes there have actually been people chanting “we are hungry”.

Other Venezuelans have resorted to digging in dumpsters and trash cans for food.  This many seem detestable to many Americans, but when you are desperately hungry you may be surprised at what you are willing to do.

And as I mentioned above, some Venezuelans and now actually hunting dogs and cats for food

Ramón Muchacho, Mayor of Chacao in Caracas, said the streets of the capital of Venezuela are filled with people killing animals for food.

Through Twitter, Muchacho reported that in Venezuela, it is a “painful reality” that people “hunt cats, dogs and pigeons” to ease their hunger.

You may be tempted to dismiss these people as “barbarians”, but someday Americans will be doing the exact same thing.

There has been a breakdown of basic social services in Venezuela as well.  Acute shortages of drugs and medical supplies are having absolutely tragic results.  When I read the following from the New York Times, this crisis in Venezuela become much more real to me…

By morning, three newborns were already dead.

The day had begun with the usual hazards: chronic shortages of antibiotics, intravenous solutions, even food. Then a blackout swept over the city, shutting down the respirators in the maternity ward.

Doctors kept ailing infants alive by pumping air into their lungs by hand for hours. By nightfall, four more newborns had died.

So once again I ask – how did such a thing happen to such a wealthy nation?

Here is Business Insider’s explanation…

The real culprit is chavismo, the ruling philosophy named for Chavez and carried forward by Maduro, and its truly breathtaking propensity for mismanagement (the government plowed state money arbitrarily into foolish investments); institutional destruction (as Chavez and then Maduro became more authoritarian and crippled the country’s democratic institutions); nonsense policy-making (like price and currency controls); and plain thievery (as corruption has proliferated among unaccountable officials and their friends and families).

Are not the same things happening here?

The U.S. government is mismanaging our money too.  During Barack Obama’s eight years in the White House, the U.S. national debt has risen by more than eight trillion dollars.  We waste money in some of the most bizarre ways imaginable, and at this point our national debt is nearly the double the size it was just prior to the last major financial crisis.

Institutional destruction is also a legacy of the Obama regime.  With each passing day, our society resembles the Republic that our founders originally intended less and less, and it resembles socialist dictatorships more and more.  We may as well not even have a Constitution anymore, because at this point nobody really follows it.

The third thing that Business Insider mentioned, “nonsense policy-making”, is a perfect description of what has been going on in Washington D.C. these days.  Perhaps that is why Congress only has a 12.8 percent approval rating right now.

Lastly, thievery and corruption are also out of control in our nation too.  The elite and special interest groups spend massive amounts of money to get their favorites into office, and in turn those politicians shower their good friends with money and favors.  It is a very sick relationship, but that is how our system now works.

We are sitting on the largest mountain of debt in the history of the planet, and our debt-fueled prosperity is completely dependent on the rest of the world lending us gigantic amounts of money at ridiculously low interest rates and continuing to use our increasingly shaky currency which we are debasing at a staggering pace.

We consume far more than we produce, and unlike Venezuela we aren’t sitting on hundreds of billions of barrels of oil.  The amount of “real wealth” that we actually have does not justify our current standard of living.  The only way that we are able to live the way that we do is by stealing consumption from the future.  One study has found that our debt level is the highest that it has been since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and yet we continue to race down this road to economic oblivion without even thinking twice about it.

What you sow is what you will reap.

And just like Venezuela, America will ultimately reap a very bitter harvest.

5-10-2016 8-55-33 AM


Shame on the U.S. Supreme Court for Making a Mockery of the First Amendment

05/18/2016

This commentary is also
available at www.rutherford.org.

By John W. Whitehead
May 16, 2016

“The vitality of civil and political institutions in our society depends on free discussion… [I]t is only through free debate and free exchange of ideas that government remains responsive to the will of the people and peaceful change is effected. The right to speak freely and to promote diversity of ideas and programs is therefore one of the chief distinctions that sets us apart from totalitarian regimes.”—Justice William O. Douglas, Terminiello v. City of Chicago (1949)

Shame on the U.S. Supreme Court for making a mockery of the First Amendment.

All the justices had to do was right a 60-year wrong that made it illegal to exercise one’s First Amendment rights on the Supreme Court plaza.

It shouldn’t have been a big deal.

After all, this is the Court that has historically championed a robust First Amendment, no matter how controversial or politically incorrect.

Over the course of its 227-year history, the Supreme Court has defended the free speech rights of Ku Klux Klan cross-burners, Communist Party organizers, military imposters, Westboro Baptist Church members shouting gay slurs at military funerals, a teenager who burned a cross on the lawn of an African-American family, swastika-wearing Nazis marching through the predominantly Jewish town of Skokie, abortion protesters and sidewalk counselors in front of abortion clinics, flag burners, an anti-war activist arrested for wearing a jacket bearing the words “F#@k the Draft,” high-school students wearing black armbands to school in protest of the Vietnam War, a film producer who created and sold videotapes of dogfights, a movie theater that showed a sexually explicit film, and the Boy Scouts of America to exclude gay members, among others.

Basically, the Supreme Court has historically had no problem with radical and reactionary speech, false speech, hateful speech, racist speech on front lawns, offensive speech at funerals, anti-Semitic speech in parades, anti-abortion/pro-life speech in front of abortion clinics, inflammatory speech in a Chicago auditorium, political speech in a private California shopping mall, or offensive speech in a state courthouse.

So when activist Harold Hodge appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to defend his right to stand on their government plaza and silently protest the treatment of African-Americans and Hispanics by police, it should have been a no-brainer, unanimous ruling in favor of hearing his case.

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court is not quite as keen on the idea of a robust First Amendment as it used to be, especially when that right is being exercised on the Court’s own front porch.

Not only did the Court refuse to hear Hodge’s appeal, but in doing so, it also upheld the 60-year-old law banning expressive activity on the Supreme Court plaza. Mind you, this was the same ban that a federal district court judge described as “unreasonable, substantially overbroad…irreconcilable with the First Amendment,” “plainly unconstitutional on its face” and “repugnant” to the Constitution.

Incredibly, one day after District Court Judge Beryl L. Howell issued her strongly worded opinion striking down the federal statute, the marshal for the Supreme Court—with the approval of Chief Justice John Roberts—issued even more strident regulations outlawing expressive activity on the grounds of the high court, including the plaza.

Talk about a double standard—a double standard upheld by a federal appeals court.

And what was the appeals court’s rationale for enforcing this ban on expressive activity on the Supreme Court plaza? “Allowing demonstrations directed at the Court, on the Court’s own front terrace, would tend to yield the…impression…of a Court engaged with — and potentially vulnerable to — outside entreaties by the public.”

Translation: The appellate court that issued that particular ruling in Hodge v. Talkin actually wants us to believe that the Court is so impressionable that the justices could be swayed by the sight of a single man standing alone and silent in a 20,000 square-foot space wearing a small sign on a day when the court was not in session.

What a load of tripe.

Of course the Supreme Court is not going to be swayed by you or me or Harold Hodge.

This ban on free speech in the Supreme Court plaza, enacted by Congress in 1949, stems from a desire to insulate government officials from those exercising their First Amendment rights, an altogether elitist mindset that views the government “elite” as different, set apart somehow, from the people they have been appointed to serve and represent.

No wonder interactions with politicians have become increasingly manufactured and distant in recent decades. The powers-that-be want us kept at a distance. Press conferences and televised speeches now largely take the place of face-to-face interaction with constituents. Elected officials keep voters at arms-length through the use of electronic meetings and ticketed events. And there has been an increased use of so-called “free speech zones,” designated areas for expressive activity used to corral and block protestors at political events from interacting with public officials. Both the Democratic and Republican parties have used “free speech zones” at various conventions to mute any and all criticism of their policies and likely will do so again this year.

We’re nearing the end of the road for free speech and freedom in general, folks.

With every passing day, we’re being moved further down the road towards a totalitarian society characterized by government censorship, violence, corruption, hypocrisy and intolerance, all packaged for our supposed benefit in the Orwellian doublespeak of national security, tolerance and so-called “government speech.”

Long gone are the days when advocates of free speech could prevail in a case such as Tinker v. Des Moines. Indeed, it’s been more than 50 years since 13-year-old Mary Beth Tinker was suspended for wearing a black armband to school in protest of the Vietnam War. In taking up her case, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

Were Tinker to make its way through the courts today, it would have to overcome the many hurdles being placed in the path of those attempting to voice sentiments that may be construed as unpopular, offensive, conspiratorial, violent, threatening or anti-government.

Indeed, the Supreme Court now has the effrontery to suggest that the government can discriminate freely against First Amendment activity that takes place within a government forum, justifying such censorship as “government speech.”

If it were just the courts suppressing free speech, that would be one thing to worry about, but First Amendment activities are being pummeled, punched, kicked, choked, chained and generally gagged all across the country. The reasons for such censorship vary widely from political correctness, safety concerns and bullying to national security and hate crimes but the end result remains the same: the complete eradication of what Benjamin Franklin referred to as the “principal pillar of a free government.”

If Americans are not able to peacefully assemble outside of the halls of government for expressive activity, the First Amendment has lost all meaning.

If we cannot stand silently outside of the Supreme Court or the Capitol or the White House, our ability to hold the government accountable for its actions is threatened, and so are the rights and liberties which we cherish as Americans.

Living in a so-called representative republic means that each person has the right to stand outside the halls of government and express his or her opinion on matters of state without fear of arrest.

That’s what the First Amendment is all about.

It gives every American the right to “petition the government for a redress of grievances.” It ensures, as Adam Newton and Ronald K.L. Collins report for the Five Freedoms Project, “that our leaders hear, even if they don’t listen to, the electorate. Though public officials may be indifferent, contrary, or silent participants in democratic discourse, at least the First Amendment commands their audience.”

Unfortunately, through a series of carefully crafted legislative steps, government officials—both elected and appointed—have managed to disembowel this fundamental freedom, rendering it with little more meaning than the right to file a lawsuit against government officials.

In the process, government officials have succeeded in insulating themselves from their constituents, making it increasingly difficult for average Americans to make themselves seen or heard by those who most need to hear what “we the people” have to say.

Indeed, while lobbyists mill in and out of the homes and offices of Congressmen, the American people are kept at a distance through free speech zones, electronic town hall meetings, and security barriers. And those who dare to breach the gap—even through silent forms of protest—are arrested for making their voices heard.

Clearly, the government has no interest in hearing what “we the people” have to say.

We are now only as free to speak as a government official may allow.

Free speech zones, bubble zones, trespass zones, anti-bullying legislation, zero tolerance policies, hate crime laws and a host of other legalistic maladies dreamed up by politicians and prosecutors have conspired to corrode our core freedoms.

As a result, we are no longer a nation of constitutional purists for whom the Bill of Rights serves as the ultimate authority. As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we have litigated and legislated our way into a new governmental framework where the dictates of petty bureaucrats carry greater weight than the inalienable rights of the citizenry.

Without the First Amendment, we are utterly helpless.

It’s not just about the right to speak freely, or pray freely, or assemble freely, or petition the government for a redress of grievances, or have a free press. The unspoken freedom enshrined in the First Amendment is the right to think freely and openly debate issues without being muzzled or treated like a criminal.

Just as surveillance has been shown to “stifle and smother dissent, keeping a populace cowed by fear,” government censorship gives rise to self-censorship, breeds compliance and makes independent thought all but impossible.

In the end, censorship and political correctness not only produce people that cannot speak for themselves but also people who cannot think for themselves. And a citizenry that can’t think for itself is a citizenry that will neither rebel against the government’s dictates nor revolt against the government’s tyranny.

The architects, engineers and lever-pullers who run the American police state want us to remain deaf, dumb and silent. They want our children raised on a vapid diet of utter nonsense, where common sense is in short supply and the only viewpoint that matters is the government’s.

We are becoming a nation of idiots, encouraged to spout political drivel and little else.

If George Orwell envisioned the future as a boot stamping on a human face, a fair representation of our present day might well be a muzzle on that same human face.

OLDDOGS COMMENTS!

Dear John: Once again I must warn you that the Constitution you so bravely protect is not binding on a corporate group of Judges, regardless of what the constitution of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA INC. SAY’S. If you did the research you would know it is not the same constitution as the Constitution for the united States of America. The Constitution they use is a corporate charter, a list of do’s and don’ts for the corporation. THANKS ANYWAY! Olddog

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