Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Killing Continues In Gaza

Despite international calls for a cease-fire peace agreement, Israel continues to occupy Gaza in a military action that began one week ago. According to AP reports, the Israeli military is destroying tunnels used by Hamas and plans to continue its planned objective. However reportedly 390 Palestinians have died since the attacks started, included another 1,600 that have been injured. 60 of those killed were civilians, many small children and elderly adults. Only some humanitarian aid is being allowed in by Israeli security forces.

While the governments of France and Great Britain have called on Israel to end the assault, the United States refused to recognize the indiscriminate nature of certain attacks and continues to pledge support for Israeli military actions. Protests continued around the world yesterday, with many gathering in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and New York City.

The news media establishment in America has largely overlooked the killing in Gaza, and instead of investigating the events, they have merely painted superficial narratives of the threat of international terrorism. But, they have failed to ask where the real terror originates.

Latest information on the those killed by CNN notes that four Israelis and over 390 Palestinians have lost their lives in the conflict.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Massacre in Gaza

Black explosions in the sky
burying us in blood-lit cries
that hold the phantom of death and fierce pain
and murder love and then use its name.


When Israeli forces invaded Gaza last week in retaliation for Hamas mortar attacks into Israel, as many as 345 have died in the bombing of Palestinian settlements. According to RawStory, 57 of the dead are civilians with 21 of those being children. And in the face of worldwide protests in London, Cairo and Tehran, and pressure from the British and many middle eastern governments, the United States has vetoed a UN resolution on Israeli military atrocities in Gaza. Largely funded by the United States government through military aid, the Israeli government has threatened to further enclose Palestinians in walled ghettos. In addition, Israeli has threatened on multiple occasions to bomb Iran, and seemingly reserves that right with the backing of the United States. Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D) has publicly called for an independent UN investigation on the situation of Gaza. Yet, it remains no surprise that worldwide calls for peace are being flicked off by the forefinger of military might.


Undeclared war is all the rage,
till through infinity
drag down our fate.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Protests Continue in Greece

According to reports from Reuters, the marching demonstrations are continuing in Athens as 500 students marched through the center of the city chanting "Cops, Pigs, Murderers". Riots began nearly three weeks ago when 15 year old Alexandros Grigoropoulos was shot dead by police. However, the protests have widened in their agenda and include opposition to the adoption of the Euro, general poverty, corruption and high unemployment.

In central eastern Athens, a gunman shot from a park within the grounds of the Athens University campus at a police riot squad bus. A tire was burst, but no one on the bus was hurt by the incident.

It remains unclear whether the protests will have any quick political impact on Greece. While the nation is certainly in tumult, protests have been with objective but without specific demands. Despite the vast amount of people marching in the street, law and order remains present. But, the intensity of protests and high civilian discontent could force early elections next year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Russia Looks to Belarus

According to AFP news sources, Russia is negotiating with nearby Belarus to place nuclear TOPOL missiles in Belarus to contend with the United States' plan for a Missile Defense Shield system in the Czech Republic and Poland. It is a move that surprises no one after Russia has rigorously protested U.S. plans to station troops in slavic Central Europe. The United States still keeps almost 200,000 soldiers in Germany. And over 70% of populations in each Czech Republic and Poland oppose government plans for a U.S. operated missile defense system.

President Alexander Lukashenko met with Russian President Dimitri Medvedev in Moscow. Russia and Belarus remain closely linked after the fall of the Soviet Union. Lukashenko has been a dictatorial president for nearly 20 years and rules with full support of the Kremlin. Russia sees Belarus as a fast ally in a region whose governments now clamor for safety under the U.S. military and economic umbrella.

A new imperial arms race is raging right in the heart of Central Europe. And the hard feelings between all sides seem unlikely to dissipate any time soon.

Monday, December 22, 2008

U.S. Pushes NATO for Georgia, Ukraine, Croatia

The United States has opened one of its most strategic but quiet and almost secret "surge" in acquiring former Soviet-bloc republics as military satellites to defend NATO military prowess. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was founded in the late 1940s as a western alliance against the communist USSR.

According to CTK, the Czech News Service, Georgia and the United States have agreed on a "strategic partnership" which includes a military and economic umbrella alliance under U.S. leadership. The deal also stipulates on promoting "democratic development" in Georgia.

The United States installed Georgian President Mikhail Sakaashvili as a "democratic" dictatorial pawn in a 2005 CIA coup. His iron fisted oppression of freedom of speech and human rights has drawn harsh criticism from the international community. In addition, the "ethnic cleansing" the Georgian army engaged in during the August South Ossetian War in numerous villages were responsible for thousands of civilian deaths. The United States took a neutral stance while at the same time admonishing Russia for their contention of a western-built oil pipeline which runs through Georgia. The United States has long had interest in close ties with Georgia for the oil pipeline, as it sees the pathway as a chance to increase oil consumption while bypassing the OPEC and Russian oil cartels. Georgia also joined the "Coalition of the Willing" in Iraq in 2006 under the U.S.-led occupation forces.

The United States government claims that the agreement is fair reason to expand NATO due to "Russian agression" and bring struggling Slavic nations as Ukraine and Croatia under the U.S.-led western defense and economic umbrella. NATO membership seems likely to be extended to Kiev and Zagreb, but such extensions will require billions of dollars of U.S. aid at a time of very weak economic growth.

In addition, the Czech Senate has passed a SOFA (Strategic Operating Forces Agreement) with the United States to place an American radar with U.S. troops in their country. The radar is a central part of the plan for a Missile Defense Shield to defend Europe and the West from "rogue states like Iran". The radar will also be interfaced with ten nuclear anti-missile rockets based in Poland. The American base in Poland would be less than 100 miles from the Russian border. It is still unclear whether the lower houses of the Parliaments in Czech Republic and Poland will ratify the agreements. Russia has furiously protested the Missile Defense Shield effort and has called on the United States for cooperation, understanding and possible co-ownership of a world-wide radar system. Recent polls show that over 70% of people in each Czech Republic and Poland oppose the plans for a Missile Defense Shield in Central Europe.

Many Ukranians, Croatians and Georgians harbor similar feelings toward what they see as big nation aggressiveness and American imperialism. But with the Obama team also proposing the extension of NATO membership to these nations and fully supporting Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' almost obsessive Missile Defense Shield in Central Europe, little progress seems like it will be made in U.S.-European relations.

French President Nikolas Sarkozy in a meeting in November with Russian President Dimitri Medvedev downplayed the viability and importance of the radar system and urged for caution on the U.S. side.

According to CTK reports, Russian is now engaging in talks with Iran to develop their own missile defense shield for that region. Moscow has been working with Tehran since they announced a deal one year ago giving Russian aid, manpower and instruction for the construction of an Iranian nuclear reactor. In addition, the Russians have discussed setting up their own missile shield to counter the American radar in Czech Republic. A likely location would be on a small island off the coast of Finland that Russia acquired in 1940 when it invaded Finland during World War II.

The United States' imperialist game and fig-leaf agenda has put itself in a harrowing situation. Perhaps, an exit strategy would be more fitting.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

White House: "We're Guests" In Iraq

White House Press Secretary Dana Perino touches on Al-Zeidi's earth shattering shoe throw and her view of America's role as "guests" in Iraq.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Sorrows of Empire: How Militarism Destroyed America

Most Americans won't fail to notice the decadence and disrepair the nation has plummeted to in a short eight years. But, for those who look further into our history, they will find that the same dysfunction has existed atop our political hierarchy for decades. Abuse of power is obviously nothing new, but Chalmers Johnson's revealing autopsy of the U.S. government-military complex in The Sorrows of Empire resoundly answers the great questions of our time.

An accurately factual survey of American imperial history, Johnson takes readers through the 1898 Spanish-American War, the occupation of Korea, Japan and Europe after World War II up to today's invasions of countries like Grenada and Iraq. Johnson's aptly placed commentary parallels our nation's militaristic rise with the deep forewarnings of other Empires as well as our own past. Because of secret military organizations and now departments of government that have no accountability to Congress, nor respect for the principles on which the nation was founded, Americans now face a greater chasm from democracy and a closer highroad to authoritarian rule.

Johnson introduces the concept of Empire by stressing that "there is a trend toward autocratic takeovers of imperial republics," especially when they grow large. His narrative is quick to point out that perhaps an emperor is what America already has. For the very people in the power elite who had witnessed the collapse of a once great empire, the Soviet Union, should have surely striven to discover why empires never work and most likely limit freedom and provincial autonomy. But instead of investigating the biggest failure of the Soviet Empire, America instead claimed moral victory and embarked on a quixotic Wilsonian-inspired quest to "bring democracy" around the world.

Johnson explains that,

"The United States began like a traditional empire. We occupied and colonized the North American continent and established military outposts, called forts - Fort Apache, Fort Leavenworth, Sutter's Fort, Fort Sam Houston, Fort Laramie, Fort Osage - from coast to coast. But in more modern times, unlike many other empires, we did not annex territories at all. Instead we took (or sometimes merely leased) exclusive military zones within territories, creating not an empire of colonies but an empire of bases. These bases, linked through a chain of command and supervised by the Pentagon without any significant civilian oversight, were tied into our developing military-industrial complex and deeply affected the surrounding indigenous cultures, almost invariably for the worse. They have helped turn us into a new kind of military empire - a consumerist Sparta, a warrior culture that flaunts the air-conditioned housing, movie theaters, supermarkets, golf courses, and swimming pools of its legionnaires. Another crucial characteristic that distinguishes the American empire from empires of the past is that the bases are not needed to fight wars but are instead pure manifestations of militarism and imperialism" (23).

Little is lost on his prose. Marking the difference between military and "militarism", Johnson goes on to decry the unaccountable war making agencies of the covert CIA and the Pentagon. Washington once remarked, "Overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty.” While some know well Eisenhower's Farewell Address warning of the military-industrial complex, few know of the 725 military bases in over 145 nations. The list is long and includes such prominent places as Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Argentina, Italy and Spain. Of course, others include more notably Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Turkey as well as several other nations throughout the globe. Johnson in his novel unvoers this nearly undetectable truth, kept hidden out of the news from teh American public. He comments that, "Following the attacks of September 11 [...] our newspapers began to read like official gazettes, television news simply gave up and followed the orders of its corporate owners, and the two political parties competed with each other in being obsequious to the White House" (13). Surely, some major idea has been missed here by the American people and their unapologetic political elite.

But, upon revealing the size of operations and the absolute pompous audacity of their presence anyone would see their previous view of the world sent into clear uncertainty. Pointing out statistics that the military releases over 1,000,000 troops are now serving abroad, with nearly half a million working in or in support for the efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Of the 474,312 other service personnel around the world there are 70,000 at sea, 185,000 in Germany alone, 89,000 in Japan, nearly 50,000 in South Korea, 30,000 each in Britain and Italy, 5,000 in each Saudi Arabia and Turkey, 4,000 in tiny Iceland, 5,000 in Belgium, 3,000 in each Portugal and the Netherlands, and of course 1,000 overseeing torture operations at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In additon, "the United States has withdrawn or been expelled in places like the Phillipines, Taiwan, Greece, and Spain" (152).The sheer numbers of the bases and troops are astonishing.

Not only in Johnson's description of the bases astounding by its complexity in detail, but also by billions of dollars spent on resorts to create "American" luxury amenities for service personnel. Often in complete disregard to community opinion, the United States sets up bases in historically sensitive places in Mesopotamia and in centers of city heritage in Europe. One instance of a shopping mall limited for American soldiers only gave great offense to South Koreans when it was set up in the center of Seoul. In additon, Johnson explains that violence toward residents have marred the military's reputation in Korea and Japan. Moreover, the book explores the private military contractor companies like DynCorp and KBR, whose giant military contracts employ an entire industry, and whose influences urges Washington to go to war without the consent of the People.

Johnson elaborates that, "numerous bases are 'secret' or else disguised in ways designed to keep them off the official books, but we certainly know with certainty that they exists, where many of them are, and more or less what they do. They are either DoD-operated listening posts of the National Security Agency (NSA) and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), both among the most secretive of our intelligence organizations, or covert outposts of the military-petroleum complex. Officials never discuss either of these subjects with any degree of candor, but that does not alter the point that spying and oil are obsessive interests of theirs" (155).

Chalmers Johnson continues on as he gives the example of Unocal's push in Afghanistan in the 1990s to control a major pipeline from Asia to markets in Europe and later the Americas. This ploy for "energy independence" from the OPEC and Russian cartels included "its purpose [...] to establish an American presence in Central Asia" (180). Despite well known greviances about human rights abuses in the region under the Taliban, interests held "a crucial meeting in Geneva in May 2001 between U.S. State Department, Iranian, German, and Italian officials, where the main topic was a strategy to topple the Taliban and replace the theocracy with a 'broad-based government'" (181). It is Chalmers who argues that regardless of September 11th, America most likely would have found a reason to intervene in Afghanistan and Iraq. During this diabolical scheme's execution, "Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld became something of a stand-up comic in his daily press conferences" (181) as women and children were targeted and murdered merely as "collateral damage". Thus, out of the chaotic occupation of Afghanistan the West may fiund a foothold for a new pipeline. But, perhaps bankruptcy will make it a non-issue.

Furthermore, Johnson explores the implementation of major changes in America's judicial system and most pertinently discusses the repeal of the 1876 Posse Comitatus Act. The Act forbids the use of federal troops in quelling civil unrest, a safeguard against the looting and vandalism by federal soldiers in the occupied South during Reconstruction. However, with the creation of the Northern Command, directives were given in 2008 that will by 2011 deploy over 20,000 federal troops into U.S. cities for just this purpose. Head of Northern Command, General Ralph E. Eberhart noted upon his appointment that, "'We should always be reviewing things like Posse Comitatus and other laws if we thinjk it ties our hands in protecting the American people'" (122). Such statements from a military general held unaccountable now by Posse Comitatus and given the power to quell unrest is a frightening thought for us all.

But do not be fooled by Johnson's pessimism. It lies in simply the truth of facts which have emerged since September 11. His historical analysis is fair and takes in many ideas and reasons for justifying his arguments.

He predicts that,

"First, there will be a state of perpetual war, leading to more terrorism against Americans wherever they may be and a growing reliance on weapons of mass destruction among smaller nations as they try to ward off the imperial juggernaut. Second, there will be a loss of democracy and constitutional rights as the presidency fully eclipses Congress and is itself transformed into an 'executive branch' of government into something more like a Pentagonized presidency. Third, an already well-shredded principle of truthfulness will increasingly be replaced by a system of propaganda, disinformation, and glorification of war, power, and the military legions. Lastly, there will be bankruptcy, as we pour our economic resources into ever more grandiose military projects and shortchange the education, health, and safety of our fellow citizens" (285).

While Johnson admits that there is time yet to end such destructive ways, he sees the domination of the Presidency and secret military operations as the CIA as a death knoll for the American republic.

After all, our current commander-in-chief argued in front of federal judges that "'the military has the authority to capture and detain individuals whom it has determined are enemy combatants...including enemy combatants claiming American citizenship'" (293). So, perhaps it is about high time that we start discussing the real problems with our fledgling democracy and end the military government that long ago superceded the one provided for us in the Constitution. Instead of debating trivialities and "strategic" options for troop placement, America needs a new foreign policy. Maybe we should consider taking Jefferson's advice of "Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none." It would certainly be a big first step in restoring America.

Monday, December 15, 2008

"This Is From Those Who Were Killed in Iraq"

In an ironic twist of fate, an Iraqi journalist greeted President Bush during his farewell tour of the 51st state Iraq by pelting his shoes at the imperial leader. Shouting, “This is the farewell kiss you dog. This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq,” Muntadar al-Zeidi, a journalist from Cairo made the bold move of throwing his shoes at the President, a great insult in Arab culture.

While Bush hailed the journalist's actions as "evidence of democracy", the near miss is a sure sign of the world's indignation at an unaccountable purveyor of massacre in the Middle East.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Rise of Subjugation and Rebirth of Thought: Ape and Essence

Living in our "safe" and "secure" modern world, the prejudices and abuses that strongly defined life before Enlightenment seem today as if they could never return. On the contrary, famed visionary Aldous Huxley presents a horribly repressive and lawless order which controls all of humanity. In his brilliant 1948 novel Ape and Essence, Huxley explores the future of a dictatorial America after a devastating nuclear war. The only idea or force to fill the void is freedom's ultimate nemesis, Belial. In this dystopia, life is valued only as a commodity to serve the all-powerful Belial. Spawned by the brave New World's crass ideology, hierarchical order and desperate standard of living, Huxley warns us of the danger of ruling false truths and unchecked authoritarian power.

In the year of 2108, Los Angeles is a remnant of its once great self. Huxley paints a dark and smoggy portrait of fear that strikes at will throughout the novel. Through the narrator, Huxley asesses that

"Love casts out fear; but conversely fear casts out love. And not only love. Fear also casts out intelligence, casts out goodness, casts out all thought of beauty and truth" (51).

Thus, we meet Huxley in the twilight of an all-powerful state of fear. In it, the only consistency one finds is that of unbridled coercion. Huxley directs the story through Australian emigre Dr. Poole who left his prosperously libertine country to come to the former United States to explore life in America after the bomb. It is in this disfigured society that Huxley meets the statist rhetoric, which proclaims oppression as freedom, and hate as love. Mocking idealists who believe in molding society and truths into FORM, Huxley attacks their disturbing suppositions. He writes of Belial's rule that states,

"This is a Democracy. We're all equal before the Law. And the Law says that everything belongs to the Proletariat - in other words, it all goes to the State" (66).

Enlightenment thinkers never equated the idea of "democracy" or "republic" or even "social welfare" with absolutism of the State. Huxley's rich prose rather, advocates natural developments of outcomes in the stead of the absolute. His enlightened approach exposes the hypocrisy of such gross misrepresentations.

In addressing the stark differences between God's will [Nature's will] against that of man's, Huxley shows the danger of exchanging liberty for security. Or in 2108 America's case, forced participation in a diabolical social experiment.

In the land of Belial, people live as forced laborers, dependent on the high leader's instruction and graces. Choice as a concept is non-existent and the once great Americans live as petty and dispensable slaves, trapped in Belial's game. Furthermore, the environmental damage caused by nuclear destruction has left many born with extra feet, hands, nipples and eyes, all of which are a grievance that can be punishable by death. Women are treated most abhorrently, and viewed as "Unholy Vessels of the Spirit," it is implied that their ultimate dispossession by the State. Unable to think clearly, all their ideas and actions are controlled by above and they are made mere zombies of a wicked master.

Huxley continues his inner monologue,

"Cruelty and compassion come with the chromosomes;
All men are merciful and all are murderers
Doting on dogs, they build their Dachaus;
Fire whole cities and fondle the orphans;
Are loud against lynching, but all for Oakridge;
Full of future philanthropy, but today the NKVD.
Whom shall we persecute, for whom feel pity?
It is all a matter of the moment's mores,
Of words on wood pulp, of radios roaring,
Of Communist kindergartens or first communions,
Only in the knowledge of his own Essence
Has any man ceased to be many monkeys" (75).

But, it is through Dr. Poole that Huxley discovers a path around the blight mess of Los Angeles. Like a riddler, letting his sparse but captivated audience in on some minute yet grandiose secret, Huxley reveals to others the grips of power and oppression, manipulation and control.

Once Poole meets Loola, a young and bright but naive character, he is drawn to her beauty, inner and out. Unable to express her reciprocal love for the stranger, Poole with his penetrating thought begins to open new possibilites in Loola's mind. In a land where all sexual contact is strictly prohibited albeit an annual Belial controlled "Mating Day," Loola emerges into a new light once she acts on her intimate love for Dr. Poole and his humanity. In a heated passion accumulating beyond all Belial prescripts, they touch and kiss. Loola remarks, "I feel I've only just discovered what life's all about" (162). Thus, the rapt and mentally sapped Loola breaks into the natural process of life.

Despite Loola's later doubts of exercising her free thoughts and translating them into action, she decides to risk death and pursues a new free life at the finale. Dr. Poole and Loola venture north to a haven colony in San Francisco where they hope to escape Belial's omnipresent wrath.

While Ape and Essence revisits the same ideas Huxley introduces in his 1932 classic Brave New World, the material is new, insightful, and ultimately a fierce warning to present society and future generations. With the visual imagery of a slick top-notch production film, it is great wonder that Ape and Essence was never adapted to the screen.

In rejecting the idea of intervention and form as solutions to social maladies, Huxley asserts a strong defense of natural destiny, with all its fruits and toxins. Like a crusader of the spirit, Huxley illuminates the page and leaves jaw dropping descriptions of the abstract in real hard-fast emotion.

Huxley concludes,

"Joy? But joy was murdered long ago. All that survives is the laughter of demons about the whipping posts, the howling of the possessed as they couple in the darkness. Joy is only for those whose life accords with the given Order of the world. For you there, the clever ones who think you can improve upon that Order, for you, the angry ones, the rebellious, the disobedient, joy is fast becoming a stranger. Those who are doomed to reap the consequences of your fantastic tricks will never so much as suspect its existence. Love, Joy and Peace - these are the fruits of the spirit that is your essence and the essence of the world. But the fruits of the ape-mind, the fruits of the monkey's presumption and revolt are hate and unceasing restlessness and a chronic misery tempered only by frenzies morAnde horrible than itself" (189).

And in this misery which all around bombarded Huxley's world, truth brings joy and revelation forth unto all.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Jesse Ventura Tells the Truth About War on Terror

Former Governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura talks with FOX News in late 2006 about the real truth on the War on Terror.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Unrest in Greece, Citizens Clash with Police

As riots in Greece now extend into their fifth day, unrest is growing, especially among the youth population in prominent locations in Athens and Patras. Protests began when a 15 year old youth was mistakenly shot last week by local Athens police. The policemen responsible are now being held on murder charges. However, the protests have now widened to a general standoff between the Government and the People.

Protesters are composed of trade union groups, citizen activists, and a small but vocal minority of young "anarchists" extremely unhappy with Greece's financial situation in lieu of the world crisis. Gathering in the center of Athens outside Greek Parliament, the group was eventually chased off the square by state police, armed with riot gear. Below, Al-Jazeera reports on the events.

The feeling of revolution is in the air worldwide, and these large protests in Greece presents the growing discontent that especially the youth has against the corrupt decaying democracies of Old Europe. It remains unclear what possible outcomes could occur due to the street demonstrations.

Dinkytown Citizens Denied Right to Vote

In another shocking and unanticipated turn in the 2008 U.S. Senate race for Minnesota, the City of Minneapolis announced yesterday that it would abandon the search for 133 missing ballots of citizens in the Dinkytown neighborhood. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie commented in the Minnesota Daily that, "In 3 million ballots, we're just happy there was such a very, very, very high and smooth rate of sorting everything out. We wish we could find this one packet in the 3 million but Minnesota also has really excellent election laws."

Obviously, Mr. Ritchie is shrinking from his responsibility to make sure that every vote is counted, regardless of the total amount of votes cast in the state. Out of over 2,000 votes casted in Dinkytown, the missing ballots would make up nearly 7% of the precinct's total. Moreover, in a Democratic stronghold, these unconstitutionally slashed votes could uphold Republican Norm Coleman's slim 192 vote lead and maintain his seat in the Senate.

There is no excuse for public officials to simply "misplace" or "lose" ballots. Instead of taking fault for this disastrous end to Dinkytown's precinct vote count, Ritchie has passed it off as a slight coincidence, with little effect on the outcome and that it is not so bad that only 133 votes were lost and the voters denied their rights as United States citizens. Secretary of State Ritchie claims that, "It doesn't seem like a big problem, it just seems too bad." Well, it is clear that he is wrong, and it is a big problem. Ritchie's nonchalant attitude about losing votes, adding and replacing them here and there is highly dubious. The citizenry of Dinkytown and Minneapolis should be in an outroar; in any normal circumstances, it would be proper to ask Ritchie to resign.

It is up to the People to ensure fair elections, not our bought and paid for elected officials. If this time it is "ok" to take away citizen rights from 133, mostly college students, then won't it be "ok" to take away rights from 1,000 next time, or even 10,000? Ritchie's logic is completely inexcusable. It is simply unacceptable to believe his position and marginialize, even demonize voters who merely want their voice heard. After all, isn't this a republic?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

New Year, New President

As 2008 putters out its final fleeting days, and the excitement of the media-election euphoria subsides, while the new year may bring a new President, there is little new to celebrate. The American economy is coming to hard grips with itself after losing 600,000 jobs alone in November. Even President-Elect Obama has said "it is going to get worse". Inheriting a shambled structure and a deficient brain force, the outlook is a fast and hardened reality, far from the unclear description of change and accountability hinted at by the fervor of his campaign.

But, amazingly, many Americans still seem as clueless about what their government is doing after a two-year election spree that did little to educate. The sickening cronyism which fueled Sarah Palin's dimwitted artificial media-created personality-based rise has now put Hillary Clinton atop the government as Secretary of State. Obama and Clinton are sidestepping the Constitution by granting her the post. During her last tenure in Congress, she voted for a pay-raise for Secretary of State. The Constitution prohibits members of Congress from gaining government posts on which they had a vested interest in increasing the wage. Her statements on her will to "obliterate Iran" are all the more disturbing. Instead of sticking to campaign promises, Obama has already cut back on his so-called "liberal" tendencies. He accepted the media personality-game and has made some of the biggest appointments on name recognition alone.

What people fail to realize, uncover and discuss, are the facts, staring us in the face. Corporate America prevailed in 2008. With all the guise and genius of the marketing agent or salesman, the media pitched the corporate creed and cloaked it in all the forms of the independent, open-minded, anti-establishment sentiment that has extensively grown in intensity in the American public. Believing the big media lies that we only have two choices, or One choice really, they have snatched our Republic from our trusting outstretched hands. And not only that, but they have largely succeeded in stealing the minds of young and old alike.

In a society where we fight wars without reason, spend our days in front of cancerous screens, and peddle all sorts of distortions of truth without knowing our own history and values, it is shocking that the great minds of the American public are relegated to phony debates about traditionally "partisan" magnet issues of abortion, social-conservative-liberalism, and most of all, terrorism. The farce of the terrorism card is now well known to the American people after being blasted for eight years with warnings, color-coded alerts, and flat out threatening news reports. Even Barack Obama sounds more like Bush everyday talking about the need "to hit the ground running," with "the ability to move swiftly," to "finish the job" in regards to the "terrorists along the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan".

Hasn't America renounced such knucklehead remarks? Hasn't America ended its pigheaded way of destruction?

It remains to be seen, but for now, the outlook is not good. As we sit back this Christmas season and New Year's Eve we can think and be glad to have a drink. We can of course hail the new year with great joy. But, I am not mistaken. The New Year brings a new President, but not a new Nation.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Former Pakistani Intelligence Chief: 9/11 Planned in U.S.

In a revealing interview with CNN neocon host Fareed Zakaria, former Pakistani ISI Intelligence Chief Hamid Gul claims that the September 11th, 2001 Terrorist Attacks on America were planned inside the country. Laying out the real reason for why America was attacked that day, Gul reports that the neoconservative pushed desire to gain the Middle East's vast oil wealth sparked planning and the ultimate execution of the September 11th Terrorist Attacks.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Courageous Senator Robert Taft

Son of a President and great Chief Justice, Senator Robert Taft of Ohio exuded the value of humble justice in his life. Of self-made noble blood, living childhood partly in the Phillipines, Japan, and other Asian outposts, Taft was a level headed gentleman who lived the common life. His fight for Liberty in his congressional work as well as his 1948 and 1952 Presidential campaigns crystallized his place in history. As one of the old school, a left-over Patriot exalting the U.S. Constitution's guidelines for accountable government and public well-being.

Here are a series of quotations from Bob Taft, in an anticipatory 1950 biography by Caroline Thomas Harnsberger, A Man of Courage.

"Liberty is freedom of speech and of the press ... but it is much more. It is the freedom of the individual to choose his own work and his life occupation, to spend his earnings as he desires to spend them, to choose the place where he desires to live, to take the job that fits him whether some union official is willing that he gets it or not. It is the freedom of the local community to work out its own salvation when it has the power to do so." (134)

"In the tendency to rely on Government to cure every ill, we stand in danger of depriving People of initiative, of thinking power, and ultimately of happiness." (137)

"The whole trouble with the New Dealers is that they believe that whatever they desire the Court should hold to be constitutional. They do not care what happens to the fundamental principles on which this nation was founded. Most of them would be willing to abolish the States and turn over all local government to Federal control. All of them favor the delegation of legislative power to the President and seem to forget that this was the first step in the growth of autocracy in Germany and Italy." (135)

"I am not willing to vote for a measure which provides that the President may be a dictator. It offends not only the Constitution, but every basic principle for which the American Republic was established." (328)

-on President Truman's proposal to draft laborers into a nationalized steel industry

"The policy of meddling is one which is rapidly changing the whole nature of our Government. It is one which will destroy the independence of the States, the independence of the Courts, and the independence of Congress. It is one which will destroy local government adn the rights of individuals to live their own life." (148)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Fitzgerald: Flashes of Brilliance

The Egotist lives on in a self-emoting glance. Those who have considered the self, the rest of humanity, see its penetrating rays. Flashes of brilliance gleam in This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald's first novel. Exploring the self in form and in practice, Fitzgerald takes the reader on the odyssey of Amory Blaine: the talented, the privileged, the intellectual. Little is lost upon the impressions of youth, love, despair and hope. In capable fashion, Fitzgerald stares into the approaching depths of woe, and from it, extracts the fierce grace of life. In presenting a portrait of transformation of the formative years of growing maturity, the novel grapples with what existence and purpose mean in real terms. But, it is through the abstract scenarios and representativons that Fitzgerald elucidates the great crisis of humanity.

Amory Blaine is your above average prep-school student, properly primed in all ways, with connections to show for it. While his interests tickle intellectual topics, his affinities are far from the devout seeker of knowledge. At the start of the novel, He engages in adult behavior, yet still envisions the world with the air of a junvenile. He describes one of his early experiences at Princeton, that "every night for the last week they had rehearsed 'Ha Ha Hortense' in the Casino, from two in the afternoon until eight in the morning, sustained by dark and powerful coffee, and sleeping in lectures through the interim" (56).

But, picking up from a few thoughtful classmates, and frmo his legendary love affairs, Amory faces a transformation ever more. As the book progresses, the rigid social order of Princeton matters less to Amory as he seeks new meaningful knowledge. His close fatherly mentor from adolescence, the Monsignor, advises him on philosophy and spurs some of the first real intellectual discussions of Amory's life. Monsignor introduces to Amory the idea of personage. He confides that "a personality is what you thought you were, what this Kerry and Sloane you tell me of evidently are. Personality is a physical matter almost entirely; it lowers the people it acts on - I've seen it vanish in a long sickness. But while personality is active, it overrides 'the next thing'. Now a personage, on the other hand gathers" (104). Naturally, these clues are not lost on the bright and enduring Amory. Always in the background, the Monsignor communicates to Amory in an almost telepathic way.

Likewise, Amory's brilliant minded but fading friend Burne, who "seemed to be climbing heights where others would be forever unable to get a foothold" (132), alludes to new artistic and eccentric literary figures that Amory never before considered to be worthy of exalted praise. In the chapter entitled "Narcissus Off Duty", Burne exults the works of Whitman and Tolstoi. Burne exudes that "He's [Whitman's] tremendous - like Tolstoi. They both look things in the face, and, somehow, different as they are, stand for somewhat the same things" (124). Singing praises to these literary giants, Burne stirs and renews Amory interest in the sublime. It is Burne's commentary that sparks the awaiting flame inside Blaine, which in turn, inspires him toward greater truth and realization.

Fitzgerald's ability to delve into the self exudes his excellence in writing. The reader recalls their own 'Burne' or 'Monsignor' to conjure up the same stimulating experiences. Not systematic prose, but rather landscapes of emotion dominate the page. As Amory widens his view, the narcissism that once gripped him disappears. Fitzgerald masterfully captures Amory's growth throughout the novel. Each chapter leaps in intensity as the kaleidoscope of feeling blots each relationship that consumes Amory's life.

However, much Fitzgerald leaves to the imagination of the reader. Amory's entire war life from late 1917 to early 1919 stand still under the label "Interlude". Only a letter from the Monsignor marks the time span. Yet, it is this writing which marks the turning point in Amory's life that would leave him forever changed. Monsignor writes that, "There are deep things in us and you know what they are as well as I do. We have great faith, though yours at present is uncrystallized; we have a terrible honesty that all our sophistry cannot destroy and, above all, a childlike simplicity that keeps us from ever being really malicious" (159). When the novel returns from "Interlude", Fitzgerald's tone is certainly deeper with gravity, heavier with sorrow and at times, nearing on frantic.

Blaine finds his life shattered upon arrival from Europe and after discovering his penchant for drink, much of his old ways he can never go back to. It is here that Amory delves into the affair of the heart. On finding an agreeable and ambitious young woman named Rosalind, Amory plunges headlong into the affair, wrapping it with all his efforts, dreams and hopes. Swallowed in love he dexcribes how, "Then they would smoke and he would tell her about his day at the office - and where they might live. Sometimes, when he was particularly loquacious, she went to sleep in his arms, but he loved that Rosalind all Rosalinds - as he had never in the world loved any one else. Intangibly fleeting, unrememberable hours" (189). However, as fast as the affair whipped up his feeling, it would come to unravel at frightening speed. Fitzgerald's display of varied emotion and phases of love through Amory's relationships present not only his depth of thought on human interaction, but also his intense cry; longing for pleasure and companionship, wringing from gripping passion.

Yet, Amory is almost bound from the start to slip into menacing depression. Losing Rosalind to the practicalities of society and mostly her conventional acceptance of 'the way things are', Amory is left alone without emotional support and eventually without even the gay smile of a passerby. After simply quitting his job during a fit of depression, Amory hits the bottom of his capacity. Fitzgerald writes,

"The rain gave Amory a feeling of detachment, and the numerous unpleasant aspects of city life without money occurred to him in threatening procession. There was the ghastly stinking crush of the subway - the car cards thrusting themselves at one, leering out like dull bores who grab your arm with another story; the querulous worry as to whether some one isn't leaning on you; a man decideding not to give his seat to a woman, hating her for it; the woman hating him for not doing it; at worst a squalid phantasmagoria or breath, and old cloth on human bodies and the smells of the food men ate - at best just people - too hot or too cold, tired, worried" (255).

Amory is at once disgusted and dejected from the once bright and dazzling life he lead as a freshman at Princeton. Moreover, word of the Monsignor's death symbolizes the end of the former partnerships which have lead Amory to exciting yet foreboding new conclusions. Unfortunately, his greatest guides would not accompany him into the new dimensions he seeks. These life shifting events mark a decidedly abrupt tear of Amory's life, and out of it, a new era bounds forward.

But, Amory's journey, while at a nadir, is not over. He discovers at the darkest of tiomes his own power for change and reconciliation. As the "Egotist Becomes a Personage", Amory at last realizes the severe consequence of human action. Shaking off his past "sentimentalism," Amory explores the ultimate questions of existence.

He concludes,

"Progress was a labyrinth ... peolple plunging blindly in and then rushing wildly back, shouting that they had found it ... the invisible king - the elan vital - the principle of evolution ... writing a book, starting a war, founding a school ..."

"Amory, even had he not been a selfish man, would have started all inquiries with himself. He was his own best example - sitting in the rain, a human creature of sex and pride, foiled by chance and his own temperament of the balm of love and children, preserved to help in building up the living consciousness of the race."

"In self-reproach and loneliness and disillusion he came to the entrance of the labyrinth" (265).

The journey had just begun.

Begging the existence of God, the difference between knowledge and truth, addressing the affairs of material, Amory's journey twists through the chords of love, through patches of despair and over life's hills and valleys. There is much angst, but an equal amount of joy in Fitzgerald's work. However, all the same, only one thing is proven true. Amory represents the emerging transformed man, set forever apart.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dakota Brave

Father Hennepin was a helpless prisoner. Running up the Mississippi into central Minnesota, he was dragged through swamps hardly standing, beaten by rogue Dakota ruffians and fed scraps of meat rarely on days, if any at all.

Upon reaching Lake Mille Lacs area, Hennepin was greeted by an old man and "weeping bitterly, hje rubbed my head and arms seeing me so tired" (107). Unable to help himself, Hennepin recalled that "I was so weak that I often lay down on the way, determined to remain there to die rather than follow these Indians who kept walking at a speed far beyond the strength of Europeans" (104). His experience in a sweat lodge to expel body fluids served as a cure. Losing his robes, Hennepin faced shame and humility until he learned the hot stone glare in a buffalo-hide covered tent.

But, Dakota affection was not to be lost. They smoked Hennepin's prized tobacco and admired his compass for its technologically mystical powers. Even more gratifying was the Dakota's realization of the symbolic intellect as an extension of man. As was ritual, Louis was often cordially greeted with the camulet, offered as a smoke. Solidarity and confidence stood in such an exchange. Far from the lifestyle trappings of France, Hennepin learned from the Dakota and grew to love and respect Chief Aquipaguetin and the members of the Dakota near the great waterfall, St. Anthony of Padua.

Hennepin's debout nature shines through his accounts. One of his most stirring descriptions involves the first Dakota child he baptized. However, while the Sioux acknowledged Father Hennepin's dedicated faith, they did not necessarily agree with it. The Dakota even at the point of execution, forbade it upon his arrival to the clan. One instance, while attempting to pray, Hennepin noticed that "when they saw my lips move, several of them said to me in an ugly tone, Ouackanche" (96). Hennepin would eventually disover that word symbolized a "bad spirit".

However out of control his destiny was among the Dakota, Hennepin (along with French scouters Michel Ako and Picard du Gay), were scooting their own trip in the spring down the Mississippi to the Wisconsin River to redezvous with other Frenchmen, notable representatives of the explorer LaSalle. Presenting the location as a hunting spot for Aquipaguetin's people, Hennepin believe his suggestion would form an agreeable solution. However, revealing Hennepin's naiiviety, the request was easily an affront to the Siouans who usually headed 200 miles west to hunt the ever-abundant Plains buffalo. Not only did Hennepin not think of the tribal practices, but also disregarded the spiritual importance of the early summer buffalo hunt. Nonetheless, Aquipaguetin sent 250 warriors with Hennepin down the river. Becoming more of a nuisance than a help, Hennepin spent the hunt in peril, he stayed by the river while the braves went to game. It was later discovered another Dakota group which went west "killed up to 120 buffaloes at various times" (122). Yet, no emissary of LaSalle was found and they returned up the Wisconsin River back to the Hiawakthpa.

Hennepin later left the Dakota in fall of 1681, ultimately returning a year later to France where he wrote the novel Description of Louisiana. While at not all times he understood the lessons taught, he remained capable of growth and reconciliation. His deeds, show a man of great care. In return, the Dakota presented the Frenchman with a spiritual piece of their own lives. For a moment, benefactors were both of the worlds, and the sun and snow alternated their contrasts of eternal woe.

Alex Jones Tells All

Alex Jones is featured on Russia Today, on December 3, 2008, speaking out on the U.S. government and the bankers' "engineered implosion" of the world financial system.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Expect Federal Army Troops on Your Neighborhood Block

Without any legislative action or consultation of Congress, The People's branch of the government, by executive order The Pentagon released plans over Thanksgiving weekend detailing the future fate of American streets. As 20,000 troops will be deployed to guard over streets in major cities and rural areas across the nation, the question begs whether there is any way to stop such a violation of the Constitution and the Posse Comitatus Act.

After protesters were shot with "non-lethal" rubber bullets and tased for merely standing on the street outside the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, earlier this year, it appears that now the federal government, with dictatorial powers, can do simply whatever it wants.

Radio talk-show host Alex Jones discussed the matter last night with George Noory on Coast to Coast AM.

Usually, Americans see newspaper shots of cameoflauged troops on streets of cities like Havana, Port-au-Prince, Islamabaad, Shanghai, and other nations where the federal authorities play an increasingly intervening role in the daily bustle of the streets. The fact that this third-world situation is coming true in America is highly disturbing. Plans for an expansion of this security force in the future appear likely, with 20,000 as the floor, the ceiling of how many it may encompasses, perhaps even 1,000,000 has been suggested by some.

But until a further expansion is made, get ready Americans to see troops patrolling your local block; they will be there to let us know, there is a price to pay for "domestic security" from terrorism. And that price, the loss of freedom, is a sensitively dear catastrophe for this great nation.

Monday, December 1, 2008

"Domestic Security" Force of 20,000 by 2012

In another shocking blow to American liberty and the United States Constitution, the Washington Post reported today that the U.S. military has established new plans to deploy an additional 20,000 troops on American soil by September 2011. In this militarization of America, these troops would be on 48 hours notice for "domestic security", ranging from domestic terrorism responsibilities to quelling unrest in the case of a terrorist attack or major economic failure.

As Northcom has already deployed a unit of the 3rd Infantry Division for this purpose, it raises questions as to the motives of having such a heavy domestic force for use against its own people. The first deployment which began on October 1st states is purpose simple and clear. At Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, it is the force's goal to deal with issues of “civil unrest and crowd control”.

According to the Insurrection Act of 1807, it is illegal to deploy U.S. military upon its own people, for it is the states' National Guards which legally is responsible for disaster relief missions.

The usurpation of the U.S. Constitution is heatedly underway, and for now, it appears little will be done under the new administration to quell its forward steaming train.