The Militant Libertarian

I'm pissed off and I'm a libertarian. What else you wanna know?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Sneak Peek at the New

The following is a sneak peek at the layout planned for the new The titles, words, etc. will change and the colors are not there at all, but the new layout, as you can see, has some significant bonuses that fit the new direction for this site well.

Imagine seeing your article in one of those blips? It could happen! All I need is your help to get the site up and running. Please ChipIn today!

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Friday, November 20, 2009

The Rebuilding of Militant Libertarian

OK, folks. I've alluded to this before, but am now getting read to actually go through with it. The new and improved will be much more useful and definitely more engaging. We need to build a network, not just dump information, so my plan is to make you, the reader, much more inclusive.

Facebook and Twitter were the first baby steps, now it's time for a lot more. As I mentioned, this will be a much bigger enterprise than just me, and will involve a lot of people, including you. The Militant Liberian Facebook profile now has about 200 friends and grows by 2-5 daily. It's been up less than a week. That amazes me. My own FB profile only has about a hundred. Militant Libertarian surpassed that in less than 48 hours.

So here's the plan: all of us are now Militant Libertarians. Our motto is "Give me liberty, or eat lead!"

Collectively, in whatever sense that applies to libertarians, we can make real change where many others have failed. Why? Because we have one solid thing backing us that those other groups didn't: we aren't tied to any scheme or paradigm. We aren't about getting "good Republicans" elected or writing letters to Congresscritters who don't care about us, or taking to the streets with signs (in designated Free Speech Zones, of course).

Nope, we're about being free and having liberty RIGHT THE FUCK RIGHT NOW. Excuse the language. But that's it. We want it RIGHT NOW. Today. This minute. We're not afraid to get it either. Most of us already have it. So we're keeping it.

To that end, the new will require a lot of work to be set in place. Hosting (I already have one ready), design, programming, etc., etc. The good news is, I can do most of that myself. The bad news? I don't have a lot of time or money to spend on it.

That's where you come in. I need two things in the next week: someone to do some graphics work with some template headers and such and about $50 to finance the next year's hosting (it's cheaper by the year) and to secure a backup (mirror) location so the site is secure.

So for that $50, I'm turning to you folks. Got $5? $2? The whole $50? Great! Here's the ChipIn to make it happen:

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“Why Don’t Students Like School?” Well, Duhhhh…

by Peter Gray

Someone recently referred me to a book that they thought I'd like. It's a 2009 book, aimed toward teachers of grades K through 12, titled Why Don't Students Like School? It's by a cognitive scientist named Daniel T. Willingham, and it has received rave reviews by countless people involved in the school system. Google the title and author and you'll find pages and pages of doting reviews and nobody pointing out that the book totally and utterly fails to answer the question posed by its title.

Willingham's thesis is that students don't like school because their teachers don't have a full understanding of certain cognitive principles and therefore don't teach as well as they could. They don't present material in ways that appeal best to students' minds. Presumably, if teachers followed Willingham's advice and used the latest information cognitive science has to offer about how the mind works, students would love school.

Talk about avoiding the elephant in the room!

Ask any schoolchild why they don't like school and they'll tell you. "School is prison." They may not use those words, because they're too polite, or maybe they've already been brainwashed to believe that school is for their own good and therefore it can't be prison. But decipher their words and the translation generally is, "School is prison."

Let me say that a few more times: School is prison. School is prison. School is prison. School is prison. School is prison.

Willingham surely knows that school is prison. He can't help but know it; everyone knows it. But here he writes a whole book entitled "Why Don't Students Like School," and not once does he suggest that just possibly they don't like school because they like freedom, and in school they are not free.

I shouldn't be too harsh on Willingham. He's not the only one avoiding this particular elephant in the room. Everyone who has ever been to school knows that school is prison, but almost nobody says it. It's not polite to say it. We all tiptoe around this truth, that school is prison, because telling the truth makes us all seem so mean. How could all these nice people be sending their children to prison for a good share of the first 18 years of their lives? How could our democratic government, which is founded on principles of freedom and self-determination, make laws requiring children and adolescents to spend a good portion of their days in prison? It's unthinkable, and so we try hard to avoid thinking it. Or, if we think it, we at least don't say it. When we talk about what's wrong with schools we pretend not to see the elephant, and we talk instead about some of the dander that's gathered around the elephant's periphery.

But I think it is time that we say it out loud. School is prison.

If you think school is not prison, please explain the difference.

The only difference I can think of is that to get into prison you have to commit a crime, but they put you in school just because of your age. In other respects school and prison are the same. In both places you are stripped of your freedom and dignity. You are told exactly what you must do, and you are punished for failing to comply. Actually, in school you must spend more time doing exactly what you are told to do than is true in adult prisons, so in that sense school is worse than prison.

At some level of their consciousness, everyone who has ever been to school knows that it is prison. How could they not know? But people rationalize it by saying (not usually in these words) that children need this particular kind of prison and may even like it if the prison is run well. If children don't like school, according to this rationalization, it's not because school is prison, but is because the wardens are not kind enough, or amusing enough, or smart enough to keep the children's minds occupied appropriately.

But anyone who knows anything about children and who allows himself or herself to think honestly should be able to see through this rationalization. Children, like all human beings, crave freedom. They hate to have their freedom restricted. To a large extent they use their freedom precisely to educate themselves. They are biologically prepared to do that. That's what many of my previous posts have been about (for an overview, see my July 16, 2008, post). Children explore and play, freely, in ways designed to learn about the physical and social world in which they are developing. In school they are told they must stop following their interests and, instead, do just what the teacher is telling them they must do. That is why they don't like school.

As a society we could, perhaps, rationalize forcing children to go to school if we could prove that they need this particular kind of prison in order to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to become good citizens, to be happy in adulthood, and to get good jobs. Many people, perhaps most people, think this has been proven, because the educational establishment talks about it as if it has. But, in truth, it has not been proven at all.

In fact, for decades, families who have chosen to "unschool" their children, or to send them to the Sudbury Valley School (which is, essentially, an "unschool" school) have been proving the opposite (see, for example, my August 13, 2008, post). Children who are provided the tools for learning, including access to a wide range of other people from whom to learn, learn what they need to know--and much more--through their own self-directed play and exploration. There is no evidence at all that children who are sent to prison come out better than those who are provided the tools and allowed to use them freely. How, then, can we continue to rationalize sending children to prison?

I think the educational establishment deliberately avoids looking honestly at the experiences of unschoolers and Sudbury Valley because they are afraid of what they will find. If school as prison isn't necessary, then what becomes of this whole huge enterprise, which employs so many and is so fully embedded in the culture (see my posts on Why Schools Are What they Are)?

Willingham's book is in a long tradition of attempts to bring the "latest findings" of psychology to bear on issues of education. All of those efforts have avoided the elephant and focused instead on trying to clean up the dander. But as long as the elephant is there, the dander just keeps piling up.

In a future post I'll talk about some of the history of psychology's failed attempts to improve education. Every new generation of parents, and every new batch of fresh and eager teachers, hears or reads about some "new theory" or "new findings" from psychology that, at long last, will make schools more fun and improve learning. But none of it has worked. And none of it will until people face the truth: Children hate school because in school they are not free. Joyful learning requires freedom.

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State Secession: Trying To Beat the World’s Worst Record

by Russel D. Longcore

If you can’t think of reasons that state secession is a better solution for liberty than working within "the system," consider the record of the Federal Government of the United States.

Sure, you can ultimately lay the blame on all of us, since we are the ones who allow the atrocities of Washington to continue. But for now, let’s look at Washington’s record of achievement over the last 150 years.

War of Northern Aggression – 1860s: The North wages war on a confederation of seceding states who left lawfully. Over 600,000 men died on both sides.

Reconstruction: 1860s–1870s. The North plunders the South.

Fractional reserve banking: counterfeiting by another name. Born in the 1800s, perfected by the Federal Reserve and central banking system of the USA.

Spanish-American War – 1898: "Remember the Maine?" A complete lie told by newspaperman WR Hearst, bought by the public and Washington to go to war.

Federal Reserve: established in 1913. For 96 years, it has mismanaged the economy and counterfeited currency.

IRS and the Income Tax (16th Amendment): 1913. What starts out as a small tax becomes a leviathan. What starts out as a small division of the Treasury becomes the most feared weapon of Washington.

World War 1: 1914–1918. 117,000 dead Americans, 205,000 wounded. The US had no business in a European family war but President Wilson had other ideas.

Depression I: 1929–1940s. The Federal Reserve caused it.

New Deal: 1933–1936. FDR’s massive government jobs program, plundering the wealth of the USA. Fascism by another name.

World War II: 1941–1945. Another European war, we had no dog in this fight. FDR baited the Japs into attacking Pearl Harbor, giving him political cover.

Cold War: The US and the USSR escalate preparations for war to new heights, spending hundreds of billions of dollars on weapons.

Korean War: 1950–1953. 36,000 Americans dead, 96,000 wounded.

Viet Nam: 1950–1975. 58,000 dead Americans, 303,000 wounded.

Creation of three letter agencies: HEW, HHS, CIA, FDA, FCC, DOA, DOD, EPA, and the list goes on...

New Cabinet bureaucracies: Energy, Education, Homeland Security, etc.

Grenada invasion: 1983. 19 Americans dead, 116 wounded.

Panamanian invasion 1989: 23 Americans dead, maybe 3,000 civilians killed.

Bosnian War: 1992–1995: US sends troops under UN flag, millions of civilians made refugees.

Gulf War: 1999. President George HW Bush commits a massive force to Kuwait. 379 Americans die, 776 wounded in a 100-hour war.

Iraq: 2003–present. About 5,000 Americans dead, over 35,000 wounded (that they’ll admit to). That doesn’t count casualties of our mercenaries...I mean contractors.

Afghanistan/Pakistan: 2001–present. About 1,000 Americans dead, over 4,500 wounded. That doesn’t count casualties of our mercenaries...I mean contractors.

TSA: 2001–present. Domestic airline travel done "the government way."

Let’s not forget...

Counterfeiting, bailouts, nationalization and massive inflation: Just another way that Washington says "you belong to me."
Regulation of every facet of human life: Try to think of a second of your life that is not regulated in some way by Washington. Quick answer: that second does not exist.
Two-party political system: two sides of the same coin, both Washington cheerleaders and sycophants. Both want to spend unconstitutional money.
Out of control military, bases in 130 nations.
Here is the point to this litany of tyranny. The government of the United States of America has screwed up the entire planet through their actions over the last 150 years. The events of currency collapse and inflation in our not-too-distant future will reverberate throughout every nation on earth.

States of the United States that choose to secede will certainly be affected by the implosion of the Washington government. But, could any new nation ever match the "Hall of Shame" listed above?

New American nations, formed from the seceding United States, would be little pinpoints of light and liberty. If their only guiding principle was to not make the same mistakes that the US government made over the last 150 years, they would be destined for success.

How could they fail?

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The ADL’s Three “Extremist Conspiracy Theories” In Context And With Evidence

by Steve Watson

The Anti-Defamation League has published a fresh report directly targeting Alex Jones as an “extremist” and “The King of conspiracy”, lumping in the information contained on this website with the actions of racists and white supremacists.

There is, as usual, one major problem with the ADL’s report – it is devoid of any empirical fact and based entirely on the group’s desire to create the impression that huge swathes of politically disgruntled Americans are violent conspiratorial-minded bigots that they must expose and counter.

“With conspiracy talk-show host Alex Jones leading the way, one of the most disturbing trends in 2009 has been the resurrection and proliferation of some of the same anti-government conspiracy theories that so riled up domestic extremists in the 1990s.” the ADL writes.

The organisation defines three major issues as “conspiracy theories” that exist only in the mind of paranoid delusional extremists. They are:

• Imposition of Martial Law. The federal government is plotting to declare martial law in the near future as a way to strip Americans of their freedoms and institute the New World Order. The government may utilize or even manufacture a crisis, such as the swine flu epidemic, in order to have an excuse for imposing martial law.
• Gun Confiscation. The government is plotting to embark upon a massive program of gun confiscation, going door to door to take firearms away from American citizens so that they will be unable to resist the New World Order. Police, the military and even foreign troops may be used in the gun confiscation efforts.
• FEMA Concentration Camps. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has constructed hundreds of concentration camps in the United States, designed to hold “dissidents” and other American citizens following some imminent crackdown such as a declaration of martial law.

Let’s take each one of these topics and provide some much needed context that is sorely missing from the ADL’s slapped together hit piece.

With regards to martial law and the idea that a crisis could be used to impose it, the ADL should consider speaking with Democratic Congressman Brad Sherman of California’s 27th congressional district and Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma.

Sherman has been a member of the House of Representatives since 1997 and also serves on the Committee on Financial Services along with Texas Congressman Ron Paul, whom the ADL ludicrously refer to in their report as “a far right icon”.

In early October 2008, Sherman told the House that he personally knew of several Congressional representatives who have said they were threatened with the prospect of all out martial law should they vote in opposition to the $700 billion bailout that was eventually passed just over one year ago.

“The only way they can pass this bill is by creating and sustaining a panic atmosphere. That atmosphere is not justified.” Sherman stated.

“Many of us were told in private conversations that if we voted against this bill on Monday that the sky would fall, the market would drop two or three thousand points the first day, another couple of thousand the second day, and a few members were even told that there would be martial law in America if we voted no.” The Congressman continued.

A few weeks later, Senator James Inhofe named Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson as the source of the threat of martial law. Inhofe revealed that Paulson made the threat during a conference call on September 19th, around two weeks before the legislation was eventually approved by both the Senate and Congress.

Congressman Brad Sherman and Senator James Inhofe, two extremist conspiracy theorists according to the ADL’s definition.

For years, Congress has operated under “martial law” provisions which force members to vote on legislation without having time to adequately read and review it.

In addition, the U.S. has been in a declared state of national emergency for over 8 years. During that time it has emerged in several officially released reports, FOIA acquired documents and leaked government memos that preparation and planning is in the works for martial law style scenarios.

Most recently Barack Obama declared a second national state of emergency with regards to the swine flu epidemic. A national emergency allows normal legal procedures regarding a certain issue to be sidelined, should the federal government deem it necessary. Yet to even suggest that might be a fact means you could be a mass murderer in the ADL’s eyes.

Perhaps the most well known threat of martial law came in 2003 from General Tommy Franks, the former commander of the military’s Central Command.

Franks outlined the scenario by which martial law would be put in place, saying, “It means the potential of a weapon of mass destruction and a terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event somewhere in the Western world – it may be in the United States of America – that causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass, casualty-producing event. Which in fact, then begins to unravel the fabric of our Constitution. Two steps, very, very important.”

The threat of martial law is real, even if the imposition of martial law is yet to become a reality, yet to the ADL it is “extremist” to point out these straight forward facts.

The second paranoid delusional theory according to the ADL is gun confiscation.

The ADL says it is an extremist’s fantasy that police and military could be used to confiscate guns in the wake of a national emergency. However, this is exactly what happened in New Orleans in the wake of hurricane Katrina in 2005, as the following video comprised of news footage, eyewitness statements and police press conferences outlines:

Read more at this link.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

A modest proposal

by Al Horne

With Congress tied up over health reform -- legislation whose initial, much-discussed goal was to extend health insurance to as many as 47 million uninsured Americans -- this may be as good a time as any to propose another, less divisive reform.

The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms estimated in 2008 that more than 250 million guns were owned by U.S. citizens. Since President Obama's election last November, newspapers and electronic media have reported a sharp increase in U.S. gun sales, spurred by rumors that the new administration had secret plans to block gun sales to law-abiding Americans. Normally, about 4.5 million guns are sold in the United States each year, so this surge in sales means that Americans own roughly 260 million guns, in a population of nearly 309 million.

Surveys indicate that gun ownership is not spread evenly across U.S. households. In fact, chances are that a substantial proportion of U.S. gun owners have more than one weapon, so it's quite possible that fewer than 200 million Americans own those 260 million guns. That means there may be more than 100 million citizens left unprotected against their gun-owning fellow citizens.

Surely everyone can agree that this is an outrage. Moreover, it is an outrage that Congress can easily fix, without months of committee meetings, town halls or tea parties. All that is required is a bipartisan, pro-constitutional bill to extend the Second Amendment's protection of gun ownership to all Americans, whether they like it or not.

Under such legislation -- let's call it the Gun Insurance Act of 2009 -- every American would be required to buy some kind of gun. Those who cannot afford even the simplest weapon -- say, those whose 2009 annual income is less than twice the federal poverty level -- could be issued $500 vouchers that would be valid only at gun shops or gun shows, and would have to be used before the 2010 Census. (Just think: What a stimulus to private enterprise all these gun sales would provide, and how many new gun-selling jobs would be created!)

How would the law be enforced? Census takers could verify that everyone they count has a weapon in working condition, and those census takers who survive could report all non-complying Americans to the FBI so it could notify local police departments, which would issue citations for whatever fines Congress chooses to impose. (Note that this proposed legislation would not require creating any new bureaucracy, public option or death panels.) Of course, illegal immigrants would not receive vouchers, would not be required to buy guns and would not be counted in the Census.

So there it is: a modest proposal even Max Baucus and Chuck Grassley can agree on. If we're willing to require people to buy health insurance, why not require them to buy guns? Sure, maybe the Congressional Budget Office could overestimate its cost, and some wimpy liberals could file a court challenge, but the Supreme Court would slap it down on a clear 5-to-4 vote. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, here's one issue where you can count on at least a couple of Republican votes.

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Crooked Cops Shooting Fish in a Barrel

by Karen De Coster

Here’s an article in the Detroit News (Part 1) that investigates how police departments in the metro Detroit area use property seizures to cover their costs and line their pockets. Generally, the victims are poor people with few resources and no power to fight the system. And the thieves aren’t shy about bragging that the courts have long supported their endeavors. From the article:

“Local law enforcement agencies are raising millions of dollars by seizing private property suspected in crimes, but often without charges being filed — and sometimes even when authorities admit no offense was committed.

The money raised by confiscating goods in Metro Detroit soared more than 50 percent to at least $20.62 million from 2003 to 2007, according to a Detroit News analysis of records from 58 law enforcement agencies. In some communities, amounts raised went from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands — and, in one case, into the millions.

Here’s a few worthwhile quotes from the story, straight from the lips of the plunderers:

- “Police departments right now are looking for ways to generate revenue, and forfeiture is a way to offset the costs of doing business,” said Sgt. Dave Schreiner, who runs Canton Township’s forfeiture unit, which raised $343,699 in 2008. “You’ll find that departments are doing more forfeitures than they used to because they’ve got to — they’re running out of money and they’ve got to find it somewhere.”

- “Forfeitures are a way to help supplement your budgetary issues.” – Trenton Chief William Lilienthal

- “Revenue was not a primary concern, he said, “but it is nice when we’re able to purchase things we need from arrests.” – Romulus Police Chief Michael St. Andre

Here is Part 2 of the Detroit News story.

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U.S. Military Employs “Counterinsurgency” Strategy In Californian City

by Paul Joseph Watson

The U.S. military is aiding police in a California conduct “counterinsurgency” operations as part of a crack down on gang related violence in the city of Salinas, a relationship officials admit pushes the boundaries of the constitutional bar on the military operating within U.S. borders but one that should be expanded nationwide.

“Since February, combat veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have been advising Salinas police on counterinsurgency strategy, bringing lessons from the battlefield to the meanest streets in an American city,” reports the Washington Post.

“This is our surge,” said (Mayor) Donohue, who solicited the assistance from the elite Naval Postgraduate School, 20 miles and a world away in Monterey. “When the public heard about this, they thought we were going to send the Navy SEALs into Salinas.”

The head of the program, former Special Forces career officer Col. Hy Rothstein, who oversaw counterinsurgency operations in Colombia and Central America, describes the program as a “laboratory”. The Washington Post article implies that the members of his team are retired veterans, yet later admits that the men are “mostly naval officers taking time between deployments,” meaning that they are active duty, not retired.

Another slick form of spin on behalf of the Post is the claim that the program doesn’t violate constitutional blocks on the military engaging in domestic law enforcement because Rothstein’s team are helping on a “voluntary” basis. This is completely contradicted in the second paragraph of the article when it is admitted that Mayor Dennis Donohue “affirmed his decision to seek help from an unlikely source: the U.S. military,” meaning that the program isn’t voluntary at all, the Mayor of the city instigated the military’s involvement. At the end of the article, a nationwide version of the program is also advocated.

Rothstein explains how his team employ methods used against insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan to get the job done in Salinas, using military software that “tracks crimes and links suspects and their associates by social, geographic and family connections”.

Rothstein also admitted how part of the program utilizes military psyops tactics to thwart the public from hearing “negative messages,” suggesting control of the local media.

The Post article goes into great depth to depict the town as being under siege from dangerous Hispanic gang members in an attempt to push the justification of military involvement. At no point is it mentioned that if the police were tough enough to deal with real criminals in the first place, rather than feeding on the fat hog of the law-abiding American taxpayer, the need for army involvement would have never arisen.

How many stories do you read every week about women, people in wheelchairs, people with mental problems and other easy pray being tased by cops in comparison to gang members and drug dealers? Perhaps if the cops concentrated on going after the thugs rather than sinking their teeth into the fat, dumb and happy middle class American, then cities like Salinas wouldn’t be full of gang-banger scum.

The crucial part of the Post article is right at the end, when the trial balloon goes up for the U.S. military’s involvement in domestic law enforcement to be implemented nationwide in this context.

“The $1 trillion invested so far in Iraq and Afghanistan could pay a dividend in American streets,” states the article, before quoting Leonard A. Ferrari, provost of the Naval Postgraduate School, who states, “The idea was, not just Salinas, but is there a national model for this?”

Why is one of the biggest newspapers in America, a Bilderberg-owned publication, pushing for the nationwide use of active duty U.S. military units in domestic law enforcement, specifically to combat a “counterinsurgency” amongst U.S. citizens? Is this another progression in the preparation for martial law in response to mass civil unrest, race riots, and even a future civil war?

Or is this merely another gradual blurring of the lines between the police and the military as an ailing banana republic begins to decline into a failed state bossed by a militarized dictatorship?

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Shining Light on Roots of Terrorism

by Ray McGovern

Media commentary on the upcoming 9/11 trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has raised concern that state secrets may be divulged, including details about how the Bush administration used torture to extract evidence about al-Qaeda.

"I think that we're going to shine a light on something that a lot of people don't want to look at" is how American Civil Liberties Union attorney Denney LeBoeuf put it, according to The New York Times on Saturday.

No problem, says Attorney General Eric Holder, who claims to have "great confidence" that other evidence - apart from what may have been gleaned from the 183 times Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, for example - will suffice to convict him.

Maybe so, But what the Fawning Corporate Media (or FCM) have so far neglected is the likelihood that the testimony will be so public that they will have to break their studied silence about why Sheikh Mohammed and his associates say they orchestrated the attacks of 9/11.

For reasons that are painfully obvious, the FCM have done their best to ignore or bury the role that Israel's repression of the Palestinians has played in motivating the 9/11 attacks and other anti-Western terrorism.

It is not like there is no evidence on this key issue. Rather, it appears that the Israel-Palestine connection is pretty much kept off limits for discussion.

Yet, as Sheikh Mohammed and the other alleged 9/11 conspirators go to trial, the FCM's tacit but tight embargo will be under great strain. Eyes will have to be averted from the sensitive Israeli-Palestinian motive even more than from torture, which most Americans know about (and, God help us, are willing to explain away).

The Bromides

To refresh our memories, let's recall the bromides we were fed by the likes of President George W. Bush about why the terrorists attacked on 9/11.

Rather than mentioning long-held grievances expressed by many Arabs - such as Western intrusion into their region, Washington's propping up of autocrats who enrich themselves in deals with multinational oil companies, and Israel's military occupation of Palestinian territory - Bush told the American people that "the terrorists hate our freedoms."

Former Vice President Dick Cheney reprised that feel-good theme in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute on May 21. Cheney said the terrorists hate "all the things that make us a force for good in the world - for liberty, for human rights, for the rational, peaceful resolution of differences."

Some observers might have found those qualities strange for Cheney to cite given his role in violating constitutional rights, torturing captives and spreading falsehoods to justify an aggressive war against Iraq.

But Cheney also slipped up in the speech, presumably because he had lost his best speechwriters upon leaving office. He inadvertently acknowledged the Israeli albatross hanging around the neck of U.S. policy in the Middle East.

"They [terrorists] have never lacked for grievances against the United States. Our belief in freedom of speech and religion ... our belief in equal rights for women ... our support for Israel... - these are the true sources of resentment," Cheney said.

Yet "our support for Israel" is hardly ever included in these formulations, but Cheney at least got that part right.

Rarely in the FCM - and not even often on the Web - does one find Sheikh Mohammed's explanation for what motivated him to "mastermind" 9/11. Apparently, few pundits have made it as far as page 147 of the 9/11 Commission Report.

The drafters were at work on the report when they learned that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had been captured. They knew that he earned a degree in mechanical engineering from North Carolina A&T in Greensboro in 1986, before going to Afghanistan to fight the Russian occupier.

And it seems their first assumption was that he suffered some major indignity at the hands of Americans in Greensboro. Thus the strange wording of one major finding on page 147 of the 9/11 Commission Report:

"By his own account, KSM's animus toward the United States stemmed not from his experience there as a student, but rather from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel."

Moreover, the footnote section reveals that KSM was not the only "mastermind" terrorist motivated by "U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel," although in the footnote the Commission dances around a specific reference to Israel, leaving it to the reader to infer that point from the context. Note the missing words in the footnote on page 488:

"On KSM's rationale for attacking the United States, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Sept. 5, 2003 (in this regard, KSM's statements echo those of Yousef, who delivered an extensive polemic against U.S. foreign policy at his January 1998 sentencing)," the footnote said.

Was Yousef, who happens to be Mohammed's nephew, perhaps upset about U.S. foreign policy favoring NATO expansion, or maybe toward Guam? Obviously, the unstated inference in the footnote was about Israel.

The First Attack

The family connection between Yousef and Mohammed was not incidental, either. "Yousef's instant notoriety as the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing inspired KSM to become involved in planning attacks against the United States," the 9/11 Commission Report noted on page 147.

The 1993 World Trade Center bombing occurred on Feb. 26, 1993, when a car bomb was detonated below Tower One. The 1,500-pound urea nitrate-hydrogen gas-enhanced device was intended to knock the North Tower (Tower One) into the South Tower, bringing both towers down and killing thousands of people.

It failed to accomplish that, but the bombing did kill six people and injured 1,042.

Motive? Ramzi Yousef spelled out his motive in a letter to The New York Times after the bombing:

"We declare our responsibility for the explosion on the mentioned building. This action was done in response for the American political, economical, and military support to Israel, the state of terrorism, and to the rest of the dictator countries in the region."

Yousef was captured in Pakistan in 1995, imprisoned in New York City, and held there until his trial. On Nov. 12, 1997, he was convicted of "seditious conspiracy" and was sentenced the following January to life without parole. He is held at the high-security Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.

Regarding the touchy Israel connection, the 9/11 Commission stepped up to the plate in the "Recommendations" section of its final report, which was issued on July 22, 2004, but then bunted:

"America's policy choices have consequences. Right or wrong, it is simply a fact that American policy regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and American actions in Iraq are dominant staples of popular commentary across the Arab and Muslim world. ... Neither Israel nor the new Iraq will be safer if worldwide Islamist terrorism grows stronger." (pp 376-377)

A more convincing swing at this issue was taken in an unclassified study published by the Pentagon-appointed U.S. Defense Science Board on Sept. 23, 2004, just two months later. The board stated:

"Muslims do not ‘hate our freedom,' but rather, they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority voice their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights, and the longstanding, even increasing support for what Muslims collectively see as tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan, and the Gulf States.

"Thus, when American public diplomacy talks about bringing democracy to Islamic societies, this is seen as no more than self-serving hypocrisy."

The report directly contradicted what Bush had been saying about "why they hate us," letting the elephant out of the bag and into the room, so to speak.

But, you say, you didn't hear much about that report either, despite 24-hour cable "news" networks and the "change-everything" importance of 9/11 in justifying U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq?

Creative Editing

If you've read down this far, you will not be surprised that the FCM ignored the Defense Science Board findings for two months. On Nov. 24, 2004, The New York Times, erstwhile "newspaper of record," finally published a story on the report - but only after some highly instructive surgery.

Read the rest at this link.

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Why Are We Unable to Resist?

by Christopher Bollyn

I often wonder why young Americans do nothing to protest the outrageous criminal regime that has taken control of the United States. Where is the resistance? Two illegal wars, a growing police state, and several trillion dollars stolen by criminal bankers from the American people in the past year alone -- why aren't they protesting, resisting - burning tires in the streets?

Why are Americans unable to protest against the criminal regime that has taken over their nation? Here French farmers protest low grain prices in Paris on October 16, 2009. Why don't we see such protests against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, or against the trillion dollar rip-off for the big bankers? Why is the resistance in the U.S. completely unorganized?

Having grown up during the Vietnam War, I was immersed in the protest movement and vibrant anti-war music and culture of the 1960s. "Lucky Man" by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer is a good example of the anti-war music of the time. I find it odd that there is no similar anti-war movement or music today. Faced with never-ending wars in the Middle East, today's youth seem completely apathetic and apolitical.

During the years that I attended public school, the United States was engaged in an undeclared war of aggression in Southeast Asia that nobody really understood. Every week, the American people saw actual photos from the war in LIFE magazine and could easily see through the deception that we were fighting "communism". After 8 years of war in Afghanistan and 18 years in Iraq, however, there is no similar photo-journalism of comparable quality coming from the "embedded" journalists covering these wars. Likewise, there is virtually no anti-war music or protest movement against the criminal wars being fought in our name. Why?

We have to look at the media to understand the lack of a similar anti-war movement in the United States. Today, there is no mass resistance because the U.S. media is now completely owned and controlled by Zionist Jews who actually support the fraudulent "War on Terror" and the illegal wars being fought by the United States and its allies. These wars are being waged to benefit Israel and strengthen the Zionist hegemony in the Middle East and Central Asia. The Zionist-controlled mass media in the United States now works full time to promote the war agenda - first Afghanistan, then Iraq, and now Iran. In the Zionist-controlled media there is no room for any real criticism of the Zionist war agenda.

Paul Wolfowitz, one of the senior U.S. officials who conspired and planned the wars of aggression against both Afghanistan and Iraq, is now pushing for war against Iran in the pages of the Financial Times (U.K.), for example. It needs to be understood that Wolfowitz is guilty of the most serious war crime, "a crime against peace" as defined by the Nuremberg Principles. That his opinion is published in a leading financial paper illustrates my point that the mass media actively promotes the Zionist war agenda. Wolfowitz has strong connections to the state of Israel. He lived in Israel as a teenager when his Polish-born father, Jacob, worked at the Technion, and his sister, Laura, married an Israeli and lives in Jerusalem.

The controlled media today censors and sanitizes the images and information about the wars and the human suffering the aggression has caused to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. The public is kept in the dark about the true costs of the illegal wars, both human and financial. Most importantly, the U.S. media keeps powerful images like these from the Vietnam and Iraq wars off the pages of our newspapers.

After nearly 19 years of fighting and bombing Iraqis, very few images of the human cost of the war have been published. The ones that have been seen are horrible beyond belief and reveal the criminal nature of the war of aggression.

The Vietnam war was being fought, we were told, to keep Southeast Asia from falling to the communists. Thousands of young men, including several of my relatives, went to Vietnam to fight "communism". Many thousands of young Americans died in Viet Nam. An untold number of Vietnamese died.

Vietnam eventually did fall to the communists and the last U.S. personnel had to flee from the roof of the embassy in Saigon with desperate people being pushed off the over-crowded helicopters. Despite the fact that the U.S. lost the war in Vietnam, the world did not come to an end. As a matter of fact, nobody even seemed to notice. Most people were simply glad the 12-year old war was over.

I have often wondered why today's youth seem utterly unable to resist the blatant lies of the criminal government and controlled media, which are clearly extremely harmful to them and their nation. I can't understand why the young people in America and Europe abuse themselves with tattoos and body piercings. Don't they care about themselves? I have seen people with screws coming through their eyebrows that look like construction accidents that should be sent to the nearest emergency room.

Christopher J. Petherick, the former chief editor of the Spotlight and American Free Press, a weekly newspaper I wrote for in Washington, D.C., had an ugly metal stud sticking through his tongue that looked absolutely awful. I had never seen such a thing. He told me that he was a Satanist. I thought he was just an East Coast trendie. I sometimes told him that we were doing the Lord's work by spreading the Truth.

Christopher J. Petherick, a self-avowed Satanist, was the editor of American Free Press and the former Spotlight, publications of the Liberty Lobby of Washington, D.C. It makes no sense that a Satanist would be the chief editor of a newspaper that is purportedly written for patriotic Christian Americans, unless one understands that the Liberty Lobby is actually owned and controlled by a Zionist Jew named Mark Lane. The paper is a controlled opposition outlet that acts like flypaper to create a list of active patriots -- for the Jewish intelligence organization Lane works for.

Petherick fired me after a three-man team of heavily-armed undercover police broke my arm and TASERed me in front of my family, but only after collecting many thousands of dollars from readers for the Bollyn "legal defense fund," which were kept by the so-called employee owned newspaper. I later discovered that the newspaper and the organization behind it, the Liberty Lobby, are actually owned by the Jewish leftist lawyer, Mark Lane, and have been since the early 1990s when he bought the assets of Liberty Lobby with some of the $5 million he had been paid by Willis A. Carto in legal fees.

I learned this from L.T. Patterson, publisher of Criminal Politics of Cincinnati. Patterson's newsletter is similar to the publications of the Mark Lane's Liberty Lobby, which is what led Lane to sue Patterson in the mid-1990s for some $10 million. Lane, a Zionist Jew, wanted to have a monopoly in the patriotic newspaper business. During the legal process Patterson learned that Lane had acquired the assets of the nearly bankrupt Liberty Lobby in the early 1990s. Manfred Roeder, a German patriot who has been imprisoned often in occupied Germany, told me that such controlled opposition newspapers like National Zeitung are designed to skim the cream off of the nationalist movement. They also serve as outlets of disinformation and have even more sinister purposes.

As the U.S. prepared for war in Kuwait and Iraq in the summer of 1990, I began organizing pro-Palestinian students at the University of California at Santa Cruz who were opposed to the war effort. I learned a great deal through my anti-war efforts. I saw how the anti-war movement was taken over by Jewish students from the Hillel organization (B'nai B'rith). The issue of occupied Palestine was pushed to the side. This is what controlled opposition means: controlling both sides of the debate to control the message.

James B. Phillips, a devout Catholic and dear friend from Chicago who served in Vietnam, recently sent me a video from the mid-1980s that explains how Americans have been demoralized and why.

The information comes from a former agent of the Soviet K.G.B. who defected to the United States.

The former K.G.B. agents says: "Exposure to true information does not matter anymore. A person who was demoralized is unable to assess true information. The facts tell nothing to him."

This is exactly the problem we face in 2009. Although Americans have the information that proves that their government has not been elected and is lying to them about 9-11 and everything else, the people do nothing to resist. They have become enslaved to lies. This video explains how this was done.

Read the rest at this link.

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Communing with the Great Purple Father

by Fred

I can’t stand it. I’m going to have a nurse set me up an IV Padre Kino machine. You’ve heard of a morphine drip? Cheap Mexican wine is a better deal. The supply is more dependable. DEA is trying to eradicate poppies, but hasn’t gotten to grapes. Yet.

I’ll stay sozzled for the rest of my life, dulled to the ongoing hallucination to the north. It’s getting bad up there. Worse than blotter-acid gollywoggles in a shopping mall full of cops.

See, everything is coming unglued al norte, and everything is for sale, like a garage bazaar when somebody dies. You’ve heard that Mexico is corrupt? Nah. Little leaguers, small frijoles. It’s not that its heart is in the right place. Nobody’s seems to be. Thing is, Mexico couldn’t organize a backyard barbecue, but the US…ah, zat ees anozzer sing. In the US corruption is systematized, orderly, massive. Gringos go about national putrefaction with Teutonic efficiency. But only the big boys get the boodle.

It’s like Violeta says: In the US, corruption is only for the rich. Mexico is democratic about it.

Washington, I tell you, is nothing but a cloud of looters swirling around the country’s fly-encrusted cadaver. Aint it so? I ask you. Everybody wants to drain money from the federal udder, from the sour dugs of the great hydra-titted monster that dwelleth all bloated within the beltway. All you have to do is think up some crackpot scam, sell it to an affirmative-action bureaucrat with glazed eyes, or pay a commoditized Congress to buy it, and the lucre flows.

Do you know about the Pentagon’s spy-bot bugborgs? A swell rip. The colonels are going to grow insects—you know, wasps, beetles, crawly things—with circuitry inside them, so you can control them, maybe with something like a TV remote, to spy on terrorists. Or us. Do you think the little chitin-packaged horror buzzing around your window is just looking for whatever it eats? No. Some psychopath with a joy stick at Langley is watching you through its glittery eyes.

You think I’m kidding, don’t you? Check here.

Come on, ‘fess up. You were just thinking that’s where you wanted your money to go…weren’t you? Can’t fool me.

Something is wrong with my office. Things don’t seem as vertical as they were a moment ago. I’ll have to talk to the contractor.

These days in the great squirrel cage north of the Rio Bravo, everybody hates everybody else. How is that? Not along ago America was sane and agreeable, given the dismally low base line for the human race. It was my favorite country. You had slingshots and BB guns and monster-block Detroit iron punched out to more cubes than Rubik’s wettest dreams, and sock-hops and happy simple-minded rock-and-roll. And Wild Irish Rose. It was a pretty good America.

But somebody has pulled its cork. Now blacks hate whites hate browns hate women hate men hate Christians hate Musselmens. High-school girls either starve themselves or vomit right and left, and the boys come to school with semi-autos to design adolescent hecatombs. It will probably be an event in the X Games before long. The country has gone wigged out. I figure somebody must have put something in the drugs.

The world is swirling strangely about. Maybe I’m at the focal point of some galaxy-wide gravitc anomaly. I can’t be held responsible for what I write. Everything is somebody else’s fault. A verse come to mind from a song somebody wrote. Me, actually.

“I’m a metrosexual, meek, mild, and ineffectual/My girlfriend takes karate, stands up to use the potty/
We’re gender-confused to the tips of our shoes/The all-new American couple.”

Hey, I think it’s great. Copyright applied for.

Maybe it’s a good thing John Wayne is dead. He’d have to wax his chest and talk in a squeak.

I was in Nepal a month ago hoofing it in the Himalayas. Them’s gret big mountains. A guide pointed to a herd of monkeys and asked did we have them in the US. Yes, I said, chiefly in the White House but many in Congress. Oh, he said, here too.

This is good booze, is Padre Kino, cost-benefit wise. Only the extremely poor here drink shaving lotion. I wonder whether anyone shaves with padre Kino.

But here’s the real problem. America has ceased being exactly a country. Instead it is like a professional-wrestling grudge-match with no rules and everybody throwing everybody else into the audicence. Think about it. The place is going broke enough to live under a bridge, but the military spends like a drunken corporal on yet more clownish wars against pissed-off peasants. The military contractors grow fat. Corporations, supposedly American, bolt for China. Wall Street pillages what is left like Timurlane on a roll. Universities, no longer much more than enablers for loan companies, rape the young. This is going to last?

We’re gonna pay for this. Like Milton Friedman said, there’s no suchthing as a frijol. If he didn’t,he should have.

But corruption. Take the drug racket. In Mexico it’s messy and splashes a lot, with narcos gunning each other down and spraying hemoglobin everywhere because they don’t have the brains to cooperate. In the States, druggery organized and peaceful and everybody gets his cut.

The train ain’t got no driver and no tracks. Congress is a subcommittee of the Knesset and crooked as kite string in a ceiling fan, the Supreme Court an unlicensed morgue, and the president a shiny ball with pretty teeth bouncing around in a corporate pin-ball machine.

What’s really slick is how the criminal element in DC has fogged the alleged mind of that vast, sprawling, larval critter, the public. Tell those salt-of-the-earh suckers out there that some hideous danger crawls ever closer, tell them you are going to protect them, and you can pick their pockets till there’s not an ounce of meat left on their bones. Think buzzards circling a dying horse. I don’t think there’s enough Padre Kino in the world.

I mean, I keep reading that half the population believes that Iraq dropped those tower things in New York. So much for an informed public. (I’ve never understood why conservatives are so upset about the towers, since they would happily nuke New York if they could. So would I.)

There’s no hope. A staff-weenie McSoldier named McChrystal is running the War on Islam, and Hillary, who speaks nothing but English and has never lived outside the country, is Secretary of State. Alligator mouth and hummingbird ass, both of them, as we used to say down South.

I’m going to send out for another liter of the Padre. Or maybe switch to chloral hydrate.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The U.S. House of Presumptuous Meddlers

by John Stossel

As an American, I am embarrassed that the U.S. House of Representatives has 220 members who actually believe the government can successfully centrally plan the medical and insurance industries.

I'm embarrassed that my representatives think that government can subsidize the consumption of medical care without increasing the budget deficit or interfering with free choice.

It's a triumph of mindless wishful thinking over logic and experience.

The 1,990-page bill is breathtaking in its bone-headed audacity. The notion that a small group of politicians can know enough to design something so complex and so personal is astounding. That they were advised by "experts" means nothing since no one is expert enough to do that. There are too many tradeoffs faced by unique individuals with infinitely varying needs.

Government cannot do simple things efficiently. The bureaucrats struggle to count votes correctly. They give subsidized loans to "homeowners" who turn out to be 4-year-olds. Yet congressmen want government to manage our medicine and insurance.

Competition is a "discovery procedure," Nobel-prize-winning economist F. A. Hayek taught. Through the competitive market process, we producers and consumers constantly learn things that force us to adjust our behavior if we are to succeed. Central planners fail for two reasons:

First, knowledge about supply, demand, individual preferences and resource availability is scattered -- much of it never articulated -- throughout society. It is not concentrated in a database where a group of planners can access it.

Second, this "data" is dynamic: It changes without notice.

No matter how honorable the central planners' intentions, they will fail because they cannot know the needs and wishes of 300 million different people. And if they somehow did know their needs, they wouldn't know them tomorrow.

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The Triumph of Socialism

by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Do you think ideas don't matter, that what people believe about themselves and their world has no real consequence? If so, the following will not bug you in the slightest.

A new BBC poll finds that only 11 percent of people questioned around the world – and 29,000 people were asked their opinions – think that free-market capitalism is a good thing. The rest believe in more government regulation. Only a small percentage of the world's population believes that capitalism works well and that more regulation will reduce efficiency.

One-quarter of those asked said that capitalism is "fatally flawed." In France, 43 percent believe this. In Mexico, it is 38 percent. A majority believes that government should rob the rich to give money to poor countries. In only one country, Turkey, did a majority say that less government is better.

It gets even worse. While most Europeans and Americans think it was a good thing for the Soviet Union to disintegrate, people in India, Indonesia, Ukraine, Pakistan, Russia, and Egypt mostly think it was a bad thing. Yes, you read that right: millions freed from socialist slavery: bad thing.

That news must lift the heart of every would-be despot the world over. And it comes as something of a shock twenty years after the collapse of socialism in Russia and Eastern Europe revealed what this system had created: backward societies with citizens who lived short and miserable lives. Then there is the China case, a country rescued from bloody barbarism under communism and transformed into a modern and prosperous country by capitalism.

What can we learn? Far from not having learned anything, people have largely forgotten the experience and have developed a love for the ancient fairytale that all things can be fixed through collectivism and central planning.

As to those who would despair at this poll, consider that it might have been much worse were it not for the efforts of a relative handful of intellectuals who have fought against socialist theory for more than a century. It might have been 99% in support of socialist tyranny. So there is no sense in saying that these intellectual efforts are wasted.

Ideas also have a life of their own. They can lie in waiting for decades or centuries and then one day, the whole of history turns on a dime. Especially these days, no effort goes to waste. Publications and essays, or any form of education, is immortalized, ready for the taking by a desperate world.

As for the opinion poll, we have no idea just how intensely these views are held or even what they mean. What, for example, is capitalism? Do people even know? Michael Moore doesn't know, else he wouldn't be calling bailouts for elite, Fed-connected financial firms a form of capitalism. Many other people reduce the term capitalism to: "the system of economics in the U.S." It is no more complicated than that. This is despite the reality that the U.S. has a comprehensive planning apparatus in place that is directly responsible for all our current economic troubles.

Now, let's take this further. Among the people around the world who do not like the U.S. empire, many believe they don't like capitalism either. If the U.S. economy drags the world down into recession, that is a prime example of capitalism's failure. Even more preposterous, if you didn't like George W. Bush, his ways and his cronies, and Obama is something of a relief, then you don't like capitalism and you do like socialism.

Another point of view misunderstands the idea of capitalism itself. It is not about creating economic structures that benefit capital at the expense of labor or culture or religion. It is about a system that protects the rights of everyone and serves the common good. Capitalism is just the name that happened to be identified with this system. If you want to call freedom a banana, fine. What matters is not words but ideas.

I do know that none of these messed-up definitions of capitalism follow. You know this too. But for the world at large, serious ideological analytics are not the animating force of daily life. Many people attach themselves to vague slogans.

Further, as Rothbard has forcefully argued, free-market capitalism serves no more than a symbolic purpose for the Republican Party and for conservatives. Economic liberty is the utopia that they keep promising to bring us, pending the higher priority of blowing up foreign peoples, jailing political dissidents, crushing the left wing on campus, and routing the Democrats.

Once all of this is done, they say, then they will get to the instituting of a free-market economic system. Of course, that day never arrives, and it is not supposed to. Capitalism serves the Republicans the way Communism served Stalin: a symbolic distraction to keep you hoping, voting, and coughing up money.

All of which leaves true capitalism – a product of the voluntary society and the sum total of all the exchanges and cooperative acts of people all over the world – with few actual intellectual defenders. They are growing, but the educational work we need to do is daunting, and we are facing the most powerful forces in the world.

There is nothing new in this. In the history of the world, freedom is the exception, not the rule. It must be fought for anew in every generation. Its enemies are everywhere, but the leading enemy is ignorance. For this reason, the main weapon we have at our disposal is education.

Education includes explaining that socialism is an unworkable idea. There is nothing better than Ludwig von Mises's 1922 book Socialism, a comprehensive presentation of the fallacy of the socialist idea. Another essential work is the Black Book of Communism. Here we have a wake-up call that shows that the dream of socialism is actually a bloody nightmare.

Then there is the issue of the positive case for capitalism. One can do no better than Mises's own Human Action, which is not likely to ever be surpassed as a treatise on the free economy. True, it is not for everyone. And that's fine. There are many primers out there too.

The fashion for socialism and the opposition to capitalism should alarm every lover of freedom the world over. We have our jobs cut out for us, but with numbers this bad, it is not difficult to make a difference. Every blow you can land for free markets helps protect freedom from its enemies.

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Received via Email, linking to

To President Obama and all 535 voting members of the Legislature,

It is now official you are ALL CORRUPT MORONS:
The U.S. Post Service was established in 1775 You have had 234 years to get it right and it is broke.

Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it right and it is broke.

Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it right and it is broke.

War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to “the poor” and they only want more.

Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. You have had 44 years to get it right and they are broke.

Freddie Mac was established in 1970. You have had 39 years to get it right and it is broke.

The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before. You had 32 years to get it right and it is an abysmal failure.

You have FAILED in every “government service” you have shoved down our throats while overspending our tax dollars AND YOU WANT AMERICANS TO BELIEVE YOU CAN BE TRUSTED WITH A GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM??

Folks, keep this circulating. It is very well stated. Maybe it will end up in the e-mails of some of our “duly elected officials” in Washington !! IN GOD WE TRUST

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Monday, November 16, 2009

How To Demilitarize Your Church

by Laurence M. Vance

Veterans Day is one of those holidays, along with Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, when it isn’t safe for non-imperial Christians who think the state should be separated from the church to attend church on the Sunday before one of these holidays. Especially troublesome is when one of these holidays, or Flag Day, actually falls on a Sunday.

In many churches, Sunday services on or before these holidays are unbearable because they feature, or are wholly devoted to, the glorification of the U.S. military. Because the Christian’s golden calf is the military, it is necessary to demilitarize American churches.

Although the extent to which you can demilitarize your church depends on whether you are a pastor or church leader, some other person of influence, or just a typical layman, here are some suggestions.

First, recognize the need to demilitarize your church. Although I assume that most of you reading this article are opposed to the glorification of the military in church (or anywhere else), it is still crucial that you educate yourself as to the problems with the military – its unnecessary size, its bloated budget, its inefficiency, its merchants-of-death contractors, its murderous mercenaries, its weapons of mass destruction, its unconstitutional mission, its inability to protect its own headquarters, its foreign interventions, its foreign occupations, its overseas bases and troop deployments – and just how much the military has pervaded all of society. I recommend, first of all, two chapters in my book Christianity and War and Other Essays Against the Warfare State: "The Military" and "Christianity and the Military." All of the essays are available in my article archive on this website. Since the publication the second edition of my book in January of last year, I have written many additional articles on the military and Christianity and the military. Again, see my article archive on this website. Second, see the excellent collection of articles on this website by Tom Engelhardt. Third, read Nick Turse’s The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives (Henry Holt, 2009). And last, but not least, see the Chalmers Johnson trilogy: Blowback, The Sorrows of Empire, and Nemesis. You must be ready for opposition, and not just from veterans. Your whole church may in fact be against you.

Second, there are some practices that you need to stop, or try to get others to stop, in order to demilitarize your church. No more turning holidays into military appreciation days. No more special military appreciation days. No more recognizing current members of the military or veterans. No more encouraging current members of the military or veterans to wear their uniforms on the above-mentioned holidays. No more treating military personnel differently from other occupations. No more references to military personnel "serving" in the military. No more unspecific and unspecified prayers for "the troops in harms way." No more military guest speakers. No more justifying service in the military because the Bible mentions soldiers. No more "God Bless Our Troops" or "Pray for Our Troops" or "Thank a Veteran" slogans on church signs, bulletins, and websites. No more equating patriotism with admiration for the military. No more calling soldiers returning from overseas heroes. No more blasphemous nonsense about the troops dying for our freedoms like Christ died for our sins.

Third, there are some things that you can do to immunize your church from something that causes more deaths than swine flu – the U.S. military. Warn young people about the evils of "serving" in the military. And that includes being a chaplain, a medic, or a National Guardsman. I would feel like a failure as a parent, a pastor, or a youth director if one of my "kids" joined today’s military. Here is a letter I wrote to a Christian young man about joining the military. Instruct people about the true nature of the military. In many cases, they are simply just ignorant of the fact that the military is doing everything else but defending the United States, securing U.S. borders, guarding U.S. shores, patrolling U.S. coasts, and enforcing no-fly zones over U.S. skies. Emphasize the need for missionaries to be sent to the Middle East instead of U.S. troops. If Christians in the United States are so concerned about the threat of Islam, then they should do everything they can to convert Muslims to Christianity instead of wanting American Christian soldiers to kill them heartily in the name of the Lord. Never cease to point out that although God in the Old Testament commanded the nation of Israel to fight against heathen nations, the president of the United States is not God, America is not the nation of Israel, the U.S. military is not the Lord’s army, the Christian’s sword is the word of God, and the only warfare the New Testament encourages the Christian to wage is against the world, the flesh, and the devil. Pay no attention to military advertising slogans like the new one that says the Navy is "A Global Force for Good."

Now, none of this means that churches should not reach out to those in the military and their families. Nothing I have said precludes a church from having a military ministry. Remember, demilitarizing your church means treating soldiers just like plumbers, barbers, or truckers.

Because of rampant nationalism, imperialism, and red-state fascism, demilitarizing your church won’t be easy. But "whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear" (Ezekiel 2:7), it is a necessary endeavor.

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Army Sends Infant to Protective Services, Mom to Afghanistan

by Dahr Jamail

VENTURA, California - U.S. Army Specialist Alexis Hutchinson, a single mother, is being threatened with a military court-martial if she does not agree to deploy to Afghanistan, despite having been told she would be granted extra time to find someone to care for her 11-month-old son while she is overseas.

Hutchinson, of Oakland, California, is currently being confined at Hunter Army Airfield near Savannah, Georgia, after being arrested. Her son was placed into a county foster care system.

Hutchinson has been threatened with a court martial if she does not agree to deploy to Afghanistan on Sunday, Nov. 15. She has been attempting to find someone to take care of her child, Kamani, while she is deployed overseas, but to no avail.

According to the family care plan of the U.S. Army, Hutchinson was allowed to fly to California and leave her son with her mother, Angelique Hughes of Oakland.

However, after a week of caring for the child, Hughes realised she was unable to care for Kamani along with her other duties of caring for a daughter with special needs, her ailing mother, and an ailing sister.

In late October, Angelique Hughes told Hutchinson and her commander that she would be unable to care for Kamani after all. The Army then gave Hutchinson an extension of time to allow her to find someone else to care for Kamani. Meanwhile, Hughes brought Kamani back to Georgia to be with his mother.

However, only a few days before Hutchinson's original deployment date, she was told by the Army she would not get the time extension after all, and would have to deploy, despite not having found anyone to care for her child.

Faced with this choice, Hutchinson chose not to show up for her plane to Afghanistan. The military arrested her and placed her child in the county foster care system.

Currently, Hutchinson is scheduled to fly to Afghanistan on Sunday for a special court martial, where she then faces up to one year in jail.

Hutchinson's civilian lawyer, Rai Sue Sussman, told IPS, "The core issue is that they are asking her to make an inhumane choice. She did not have a complete family care plan, meaning she did not find someone to provide long-term care for her child. She's required to have a complete family care plan, and was told she'd have an extension, but then they changed it on her."

Asked why she believes the military revoked Hutchinson's extension, Sussman responded, "I think they didn't believe her that she was unable to find someone to care for her infant. They think she's just trying to get out of her deployment. But she's just trying to find someone she can trust to take care of her baby."

Hutchinson's mother has flown to Georgia to retrieve the baby, but is overwhelmed and does not feel able to provide long-term care for the child.

According to Sussman, the soldier needs more time to find someone to care for her infant, but does not as yet have friends or family able to do so.

Sussman says Hutchinson told her, "It is outrageous that they would deploy a single mother without a complete and current family care plan. I would like to find someone I trust who can take care of my son, but I cannot force my family to do this. They are dealing with their own health issues."

Sussman told IPS that the Army's JAG attorney, Captain Ed Whitford, "told me they thought her chain of command thought she was trying to get out of her deployment by using her child as an excuse." '

Major Gallagher, of Hutchinson's unit, also told Sussman that he did not believe it was a real family crisis, and that Hutchinson's "mother should have been able to take care of the baby".

In addition, according to Sussman, a First Sergeant Gephart "told me he thought she [Hutchinson] was pulling her family care plan stuff to get out of her deployment".

"To me it sounds completely bogus," Sussman told IPS, "I think what they are actually going to do is have her spend her year deployment in Afghanistan, then court martial her back here upon her return. This would do irreparable harm to her child. I think they are doing this to punish her, because they think she is lying."

Sussman explained that she believes the best possible outcome is for the Army to either give Hutchinson the extension they had said she would receive so that she can find someone to care for her infant, or barring this, to simply discharge her so she can take care of her child.

Nevertheless, Hutchinson is simply asking for the time extension to complete her family care plan, and not to be discharged.

"I'm outraged by this," Sussman told IPS, "I've never gone to the media with a military client, but this situation is just completely over the top."

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Rabbit Hole

by Don Cooper

Will everyone please rise for the playing of the national anthem of the Unites States of America:

One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small, and the ones that mother gives you don’t do anything at all. Go ask Alice, when she’s 10 feet tall…

As Morpheus said to Neo: “we live in an imaginary state.” A state in which people have been indoctrinated to such a degree that they are no longer able to discern reality from make believe. A culture that is so socially numb and easily pliable that words like “misspoke” and “misstated” have replaced the word “lied”; a culture where a person can be asked a yes or no question and speak for 5 minutes and never answer the question and yet everyone believes that somehow he did; a culture where a black person can’t be referred to as black; a 5'0" 100-lb woman can’t be referred to as smaller and weaker than a 6'6" 250-lb man; a culture where the wife of a president is considered able to lead a nation for no reason other than she was the wife of a president and ignoring that her version of a story is given more credence than actual video footage; a culture where one can be sued if they don’t hire someone even if they are unqualified for the job; a culture where people can be arrested, booked and thrown in jail for driving a car and feel as though somehow they deserve it.

There is an entire generation or two of people that are so anesthetized that they condone the invasion and destruction of sovereign third-world countries that couldn’t possibly pose a threat to our national security whatsoever and the killing of innocent men, women, children in the process: Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan and yet practically bring the country to a standstill for the death of 13 U.S. soldiers in Texas. When did we go to war with Pakistan?

We are a society of people who have gone down the rabbit hole with the Mad Hatter and March Hare and believe that somehow contrary to basic mathematical laws like one plus one equals two the economy can be improved by taking money from one person and giving it to another or by dropping it from a helicopter. Given their drunken social state, it makes perfect sense to them.

We live in a society where one’s celebrity equates to ability; where a pretty face, gender or ethnic background means more than character, integrity, ability and courage; where a political man, morally, professionally and personally disgraced, can lecture at Harvard’s school of ethics and a political woman known for lying during campaign trips and elsewhere can be appointed to one of our countries highest posts: secretary of state.

A society in which a man wins an international peace award, not for his peace efforts, but rather for a PowerPoint presentation about a theoretical and controversial environmental condition or by a man who, not only didn’t exhibit any of the required characteristics of the award, but in fact exhibited exactly the opposite by sending American men and women into war zones to do his dirty work. It will be a glorious day when “leaders” have to fight their own battles. I wonder how quick they would be to go to war then.

We live in a society of political figures who are so insecure with who they are that they use fake Las Vegas–type names in an attempt to seem more potent than they really are. Names like: John McCain the maverick, Ted Kennedy the Lion, Sarah Palin the rogue. The rogue? Can anyone think of a word that describes Palin any less? Well considering the “rogue” quit her elected position in order to promote her own celebrity I’d like to describe her with the word quitter. Now that’s a woman we want leading a nation; a woman who exhibits such loyalty and perseverance. What’s going to happen if she breaks a nail as president? Will she invade Thailand? Of course like everyone who is stoned, some might get emotional about my description of the Alaskan mutant, but that’s to be expected from those whose mental state is altered.

We have people around the world including our biggest financier, China laughing at our government’s highest officials when they try to sell them the same bullshit the inebriated Americans buy and yet the drugged continue to believe.

Our leadership doesn’t even try to hide their contempt for the rule of law anymore because they know that a mentally impaired electorate won’t complain just as long as they keep bringing the high.

Every election cycle it’s the same people on the dance card and nobody says anything. They admittedly vote for the “lesser of two evils” every four years and yet they continue to vote for the “lesser of two evils” without it ever hitting them upside the head that the lesser of two evils is still an evil. Being in their euphoric state of social silliness, how could they ever notice?

So this is the society in which we sober folks live and we must continually keep an eye on the addicts, who are in fact the majority, in order to make sure they don’t affect us to the detriment of our lives. We must constantly try to convince them to seek help; to enroll in rehab because the problem starts with them. Delusion is real and the truth will set them free. It’s scary to know the truth because one can never go back to the ignorant bliss from which one came. Let’s hope the truth does it before depression, hyperinflation and bread lines or worse do it.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Barney Frank vows to “wall off” Fed from monetary scrutiny, warns Bernanke to brace for audit

by Aaron Dykes

The NY Times reports that House Financial Chairman Barney Frank has met in private with Ben Bernanke to plan strategies for bracing against the overwhelming popular demand to audit the private Federal Reserve, voiced– piercingly for Bernanke– in Rep. Ron Paul’s bill, now with some 300 co-sponsors.

Frank’s part in meeting was to urge Bernanke to face reality– “Mr. Frank warned that he might have to embrace a version of Mr. Paul’s bill,” wrote the Times– now it was time to consider compromises.

However, responding to Bernanke’s top concerns, Barney Frank “vowed” that:
“he would “wall off” deliberations on basic monetary policy, and delay the release of information about the Fed’s financial operations to prevent traders from capitalizing on its moves.”

Bernanke’s “apocalyptic” fear of H.R. 1207 and the accompanying rise in public interest in the Fed, as the NY Times describes it, underscores the drastic survival mechanism of an institution that has historically relied on the secrecy provided by its bland exterior.

Mr. Bernanke initially reacted to the bill in almost apocalyptic terms. The G.A.O. audits, he told a House hearing in late June, could lead to a Congressional “takeover” of monetary policy that would be “highly destructive to the stability of the financial system, the dollar and our national economic situation.”

Why this fear has lingered overhead for so long may be simply because he knows that his thin-air empire can’t withstand a Constitutional examination. Bernanke worries about a “takeover” by Congress because he knows that it alone has the Constitutional authority to oversee the issuance of currency.

As Alex Jones’ Fall of the Republic reveals, Ben Bernanke told Congress in no uncertain terms, that an examination of its monetary policy would amount to a ‘takeover’ and instilled the fear that it would trigger further economic devastation.
The Federal Reserve should not have “independent” autonomy to direct the financial commitments of a nation, print its money at will and risk its stability.

Of course Congress’ constitutional power over money is enumerated in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution:
The Congress shall have power… To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

If Bernanke is looking over its shoulder, it is because he knows the Fed’s days are numbered, and that any light (via even a soft audit) will only serve to further expose the improper occupation of the nation’s financial instruments by a private, self-interested global banking cartel.

“The Fed faces populist anger from left-wing Democrats and right-wing Republicans about its power and secrecy… It was alarming enough that… “End the Fed,” had just landed on the best-seller lists.”

Bernanke and his masters are obviously very unsettled by such a significant public outcry, and, as the NY Times notes, the fact that Ron Paul’s ‘End the Fed’ has reached the best-seller list.

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Ron Paul on Monetary Policy (C4L)

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The Obamacare Van

I received this via email from my friend Dale over at Free West Radio and had to pass it on. Not sure if it's Photoshopped or not, but who cares? It makes the point:

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