Home

The Nightmare Years

2 Comments

new-logo25kohls By Gary G. Kohls, MD

____________________________________________________

 

Such pseudo-patriotism can be easily generated by the telling of heroic war stories, the playing of rousing patriotic anthems, the application of constant and cunning propaganda, the total control of the mainstream media’s message by the ruling elites, and the support of (or silence from) the nation’s religious leadership Good Christian Germans and good Christian Americans are not much different in their susceptibility to brain-washing techniques and pledges of allegiance to the flag, whether Swastika or Stars and Stripes.

______________________________________________________________

I have in my library dozens of books that were written about the history of fascism and its politics, economics, religious affiliations and psychology that makes it succeed so often.

1476159_634395409937481_1193924902_nThat includes the varieties of fascism that were studied in Italy, Germany, Spain, Japan, Britain and America, among others. To my recollection, none of the lessons I learned from my books had been even mentioned during my high school education or even my college careers. I don’t recall hearing any of my teachers talk about American-style fascism. And none of my teachers led me to doubt the validity of the anti-democratic, pro-fascist and very unethical Monroe Doctrine, Manifest Destiny, Laissez Faire capitalism, the Dred Scott decision or any of the wartime atrocities that were so commonly perpetrated by American troops in any of its wars (ex: inventing water-boarding on innocent Filipinos and then massacring them during the Spanish-American War).

The “Nightmare Years” (in Germany): 1930 – 1940

I started on my path of trying to de-mystify fascism, ultra-right-wing conservatism and authoritarian nation-states after reading “into” William Shirer’s “the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”. (I say “into” with no shame because I don’t know anybody who has actually read the entire 1500 pages of that seminal work.) Shirer was to later write a book titled “The Nightmare Years: 1930 – 1940” about his experiences as an American correspondent in Berlin during the run-up to WWII. (I was later to become interested in the dynamics of a nation’s authoritarian parenting styles, a reality that correlates nicely with a nation’s militarism, war-mongering, racism, fascism, and imperialism.)

At the beginning of the Nightmare Years (for Shirer) was the phenomenon of Horst Wessel and the song that he was said to have written (the “Horst Wessel Lied”). Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda and Public Enlightenment, cunningly took an unknown Brown Shirt street fighter (and alleged pimp) and turned him into a martyred hero for the far right-wing extremist political party: the Nazis. (Robert Welch, Jr, the founder of the John Birch Society was to do the same thing for his hero John Birch exactly 30 years later – read on.)

Wessel was a member of the SA and the son of a conservative Protestant chaplain. He had been killed in 1930 by anti-fascist, pro-communist street fighters and then was memorialized by Goebbels. With a beautiful German folk tune accompanying the lyrics (and with the obligatory Hitler salute during the singing), the Horst Wessel song was sung by uber-patriotic Germans at Nazi rallies. Wessel’s song was more popular than the official Nazi anthem, “Deutschland Uber Alles”.

The lyrics of the song were quite pathetic but, because of the melodious tune, the song, especially when sung by a male chorus, easily aroused the patriotic fervor of rallying Nazis to more eagerly follow the psychopathic Hitler anywhere he desired. The song’s lyrics went like this:

More

NSA makes medical intelligence operations a priority

2 Comments

logo_fskStrategic
Culture
Foundation

Original post:  Strategic Culture Foundation

Wayne MADSEN 05.06.2015 00:00
In yet another worrying sign that the U.S. National Security Agency has completely gone off the rails, a June 2010 PowerPoint slide, titled «Medical Pattern of Life: Targeting High Value Individual № 1, subtitled SIGINT [signals intelligence] Enabling HUMINT [human intelligence] / Targeting, describes how NSA is using medical intelligence (MEDINT) to target medical patients. The PowerPoint presentation is classified TOP SECRET/COMINT [Communications Intelligence]. By misusing medical information and data to target patients for either surveillance or assassination, NSA is on shaky ground with regard to abiding by the privacy and data protection acts of dozens of nations, as well as international law on human rights and warfare.

If «targeting» includes using medical intelligence to assassinate individuals, NSA and its military and civilian analysts are in violation of not only the Geneva Conventions, which prohibit attacks on medical personnel and hospitals, but also war crimes statutes. The abuse of MEDINT is also a clear violation of the conclusions of the Nuremberg Tribunal, which concluded that the use of hospitals and mental institutions to carry out murder are clearly war crimes.

As witnessed by the Central Intelligence Agency’s use of psychiatrists in its torture program, the NSA has used clinical psychologists in its MEDINT operations. The CIA doctors who were involved in torture have been accused of violating professional standards, in addition to the Hippocratic Oath, and the NSA clinical personnel are no different. One individual identified as part of the NSA MEDINT program has the title of «Clinical Psychologist to Operations (SSG13)».

NSA’s MEDINT operations, according to the slides revealed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, include «extracting pattern of life (PoL) from MEDINT; identification of all recurring, and therefore predictable, patterns of behavior that constitute the specific treatment regimen for a target’s medical illness; medications, medical tests, medical surgical treatments, hospital, and doctor visits».

Although the NSA slide show refers to Osama Bin Laden as a target because of his «middle stage renal disease; recurrent urinary tract infections, and kidney stones; and intestinal problems», it is clear that any world leader could be subjected to the same type of NSA medical intelligence surveillance. A 2010 State Department DNA collection operation indicates that many world leaders have been «targeted» by the NSA MEDINT program.

The NSA program has involved its British partner, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico, Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, the CIA, the Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the University of Maryland, and the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI-6). The MEDINT operation also involves NSA’s ultra-secret RX branch, which is involved in «special access research.

The MEDINT program even involves placing Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags on prescription packages and the use of pharmaceutical honey pots» to deliver possibly poisoned medication and sabotaged equipment, including intravenous (IV) bags and epoetin injection bottles, to targets. Honey pots in espionage are females or males who lure operatives of the opposite or same gender by providing sexual favors. The sexpionage targets are then prompted to carry out specific tasks through the pressure of blackmail.

More

The Green Party: A Third Political Party for Disillusioned Altruists – and it Refuses to Accept Corporate Money!

1 Comment

new logoDuty to Warn:
kohlsBy Gary G. Kohls, MD

 

 

News release: The Green Party of Minnesota will be holding its annual meeting in Duluth this Saturday, June 13, 2015, 11 am – 3 pm. Location: Coppertop church , 230 East Skyline Parkway.
Most Americans have their own simplistic methods of evaluating candidates for political office during America’s seemingly perpetual campaign seasons, but truly progressive proponents of true democracy have come to realize that the so-called “Two Party System” (often logically parodied as America’s “One Party System” when it comes to the corrupting influences of Wall Street and War Street [Big Finance, Big Military, Big Media, Big Food, Big Pharma, etc]) has been increasingly co-opted by the wealthy ruling elites who have been “purchasing” the blind allegiance (and later voting patterns) of both Republicans and Democrats. But the stench from this system is getting over-powering and sooner or later real patriots will have to stand up and start choosing candidates that are the least influenced by money and power and the most committed to a sustainable future for our increasingly poisoned nation, planet and children, not to mention all the other victims of global American imperialism, militarism, racism and economic destabilization.

However the candidates and their billionaire paymasters win their seats, they are the ones that will shamelessly be making life or death decisions for the lowly 99 Percenters wherever they are in the nation or the world.

These essentially amoral elites (the wealthy campaign contributors/bribers who are in the game for the money and power) are the ones who will be deciding the fate of the earth (and the fate of our innocent progeny) as they repeatedly fail to do the right thing for humanity. A dogmatic principle for conservatives is to “never change the status quo if the status quo is making a lot of money for the investor classes and is creating a lot of power that could be lost if reforms in favor of the common good are made”.

American NeoConservatives in the Republican Party (and the NeoLiberals in the Democratic Party) refuse to acknowledge that unbridled, unregulated capitalism is poisoning the planet’s climate, water, air, soil and food supplies (and therefore dooming the public health) and, in order to continue duping the sickened public, are investing billions of dollars in the raft of well-paid, well-tutored, lapdog politicians and spokespersons that will allow the corporate gravy train to continue unimpeded, with little or no concern for the 99%.

Telephone Surveys as a Propaganda Tool

Every week or so during campaign season, corporate-controlled media groups do telephone surveys that ask skewed questions of a small number of allegedly “statistically significant” landline phone owners that happen to answer the phone calls (cell phone owners seem to be excluded, a serious flaw that makes the results suspect). Select results of the surveys are dutifully reported on the corporate-controlled media, often stating that “most Americans view the country as moving in the wrong direction” – with the implication that the political party currently in power (rather than the corporate elites that control the agendas of both parties) is responsible for the lack of public confidence and therefore deserving of being thrown out of office.

The pollsters never do surveys asking people to evaluate the job performance of the leadership of America’s corrupted capitalist system and its exploitive and extractive economy that is systematically devastating the environment. If such a survey were ever taken, I suspect that the Wall Street and War Street profiteers and the other captains of industry (those that are so obscenely rich that they can afford armed bodyguards, private chauffeurs and live in mansions in more than one gated community) would have trouble getting much more than a single-digit job approval rating.

Ratings for their corporations, despite the billions of dollars spent “green-washing” their images on TV, would be similar to the 9 % approval rating of the US Congress (and nowhere near the supposedly disastrous 46 % job approval rating for President Obama. Most of us 99 Percenters would testify, if we were ever asked, that it is the unelected 1 Percenter misleaders and their corporations that are leading America in the wrong direction, laughing all the way to their off-shore tax-evasion banks.

I would like to see an unbiased poll of mental healthcare folks and others who have witnessed up close and personal the tortured bodies, psyches and souls of America’s suicidal and homicidal combat veterans (not to mention their traumatized battlefield “enemy” victims, most of whom were innocent non-combatant civilians, especially women and children) who were wasted in the illegal and stupid Cheney/Rumsfeld/Bush wars for oil in Afghanistan and Iraq. I suspect that such folks would denounce, if asked to be entirely truthful, the corporate war profiteers and their Congressional lobbyists that have been keeping the military/industrial/congressional/media complex’s gravy train going full steam ahead. Isn’t it obvious that it is those unelected 1 Percenters behind such immoral activities that need to be resisted, shunned and thrown out of power?

More

URGENT: A Shot at Saving American Manufacturing Jobs

1 Comment

aam_email-logo
You wouldn’t wait until you needed life support to go to the doctor, right?

Well, that’s what it’s like for U.S. manufacturers and workers facing trade cheating from countries like China. They have to wait until factories close and thousands of people lose their jobs before they can even begin to fight back.

It makes no sense. But there’s something you can do right now to help.

A new, bipartisan bill would level the playing field for U.S. workers by strengthening our enforcement laws against unfair trade practices. Please tell your Member of Congress to cosponsor this legislation.

You and I have worked together in recent months to fight for U.S. jobs and against unfair trade. The introduction of the American Trade Enforcement Effectiveness Act shows we’re making progress.

Thousands of American workers have faced layoffs this year because there’s been a surge in trade cheating and imports from countries like China. The new bill seeks to make it easier for companies and workers to seek remedy against trade cheating like this — before the layoffs and plant closures begin.

With Congress currently debating fast-track trade legislation and new free trade agreements, now is the time for action. Join me in telling Congress to stand up for American workers and manufacturers.

Thanks,

scottPaul

Scott Paul
President
Alliance for American Manufacturing

P.S. You can keep up with AAM on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Free Speech, Facebook and the NSA: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

6 Comments

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

By John W. Whitehead
June 2, 2015
“A person under surveillance is no longer free; a society under surveillance is no longer a democracy.”—Writers Against Mass Surveillance

THE GOOD NEWS: Americans have a right to freely express themselves on the Internet, including

ABOUT JOHN WHITEHEAD  Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People (SelectBooks, 2015) is available online at www.amazon.com. He can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org.

ABOUT JOHN WHITEHEAD
Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People (SelectBooks, 2015) is available online at http://www.amazon.com. He can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org.

making threatening—even violent—statements on Facebook, provided that they don’t intend to actually inflict harm.

The Supreme Court’s ruling in Elonis v. United States threw out the conviction of a Pennsylvania man who was charged with making unlawful threats (it was never proven that he intended to threaten anyone) and sentenced to 44 months in jail after he posted allusions to popular rap lyrics and comedy routines on his Facebook page. It’s a ruling that has First Amendment implications for where the government can draw the line when it comes to provocative and controversial speech that is protected and permissible versus speech that could be interpreted as connoting a criminal intent.

That same day, Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, the legal justification allowing the National Security Agency (NSA) to carry out warrantless surveillance on Americans, officially expired. Over the course of nearly a decade, if not more, the NSA had covertly spied on millions of Americans, many of whom were guilty of nothing more than using a telephone, and stored their records in government databases. For those who have been fighting the uphill battle against the NSA’s domestic spying program, it was a small but symbolic victory.

THE BAD NEWS: Congress’ legislative “fix,” intended to mollify critics of the NSA, will ensure that the agency is not in any way hindered in its ability to keep spying on Americans’ communications.

The USA FREEDOM Act could do more damage than good by creating a false impression that Congress has taken steps to prevent the government from spying on the telephone calls of citizens, while in fact ensuring the NSA’s ability to continue invading the privacy and security of Americans.

For instance, the USA FREEDOM Act not only reauthorizes Section 215 of the Patriot Act for a period of time, but it also delegates to telecommunications companies the responsibility of carrying out phone surveillance on American citizens.

More

Congressional Criminals Selling Off Apache Holy Land to a foreign corporation…

3 Comments

NYT OP-ED

Lydia Millet is the author, most recently, of the novel “Mermaids in Paradise,” and a contributing opinion writer.

Tucson

ABOUT an hour east of Phoenix, near a mining town called Superior, men, women and children of the San Carlos Apache tribe have been camped out at a place called Oak Flat for more than three months, protesting the latest assault on their culture.

Three hundred people, mostly Apache, marched 44 miles from tribal headquarters to begin this occupation on Feb. 9. The campground lies at the core of an ancient Apache holy place, where coming-of-age ceremonies, especially for girls, have been performed for many generations, along with traditional acorn gathering. It belongs to the public, under the multiple-use mandate of the Forest Service, and has had special protections since 1955, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower decreed the area closed to mining — which, like cattle grazing, is otherwise common in national forests — because of its cultural and natural value. President Richard M. Nixon’s Interior Department in 1971 renewed this ban.

Despite these protections, in December 2014, Congress promised to hand the title for Oak Flat over to a private, Australian-British mining concern. A fine-print rider trading away the Indian holy land was added at the last minute to the must-pass military spending bill, the National Defense Authorization Act. By doing this, Congress has handed over a sacred Native American site to a foreign-owned company for what may be the first time in our nation’s history.

The Apache are occupying Oak Flat to protest this action — to them, a sacrilegious and craven sell-off of a place “where Apaches go to pray,” in the words of the San Carlos Apache tribal chairman, Terry Rambler. The site will doubtless be destroyed for any purpose other than mining; Resolution Copper Mining will hollow out a vast chamber that, when it caves in, will leave a two-mile-wide, 1,000-foot-deep pit. The company itself has likened the result of its planned mining at Oak Flat to that of a nearby meteor crater.

The land grab was sneakily anti-democratic even by congressional standards. For more than a decade, the parcel containing Oak Flat has been coveted by Rio Tinto, Resolution’s parent company — which already mines on its own private land in the surrounding area — for the high-value ores beneath it.

The swap — which will trade 5,300 acres of private parcels owned by the company to the Forest Service and give 2,400 acres including Oak Flat to Resolution so that it can mine the land without oversight — had been attempted multiple times by Arizona members of Congress on behalf of the company. (Among those involved was Rick Renzi, a former Republican representative who was sent to federal prison in February for three years for corruption related to earlier versions of the land-transfer deal.) It always failed in Congress because of lack of support. But this time was different. This time, the giveaway language was slipped onto the defense bill by Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona at the 11th hour. The tactic was successful only because, like most last-minute riders, it bypassed public scrutiny.

More

Add your 2 cents against leasing public lands for as little as $2 an acre for oil & gas

2 Comments

Please submit a comment to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in your own words, asking that the minimum rate per acre for oil and gas leasing be MUCH higher than $2 an acre, and ask the BLM to remove caps established by current regulations on civil penalties that may be assessed under the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act.

Most importantly, be sure to demand that the BLM NOT approve any more land for oil & gas development/leasing on Wild Horse & Burro Herd Management Areas (HMAs) (since there supposedly isn’t enough water and forage for wild horses and burros on their federally protected HMAs).

wis.Par.69820.Image.200.135.1  (photo:  BLM)
BLM Extends Public Comment Period to June 19, 2015 on Oil and Gas Royalty Rulemaking

SOURCE: goldrushcam.com

May 29, 2015- WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today that it is extending the public comment period on its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) to seek public comment on potential updates to BLM rules governing oil and gas royalty rates, rental payments, lease sale minimum bids, civil penalty caps and financial assurances.

Notice of the two-week extension, which extends the comment period deadline to June 19, 2015, will be published in the Federal Register on June 3, 2015.

Modernizing the BLM’s royalty rate structures can provide greater flexibility, especially given the dramatic growth of oil development on public and tribal lands, where production has increased in each of the past six years, and combined production was up 81 percent in 2014 versus 2008. Potential changes to BLM’s regulations would also respond to concerns expressed by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Interior’s Office of Inspector General, and others that the BLM’s existing rules lack flexibility and could be causing the United States to forgo significant revenue to the detriment of taxpayers.

The GAO has repeatedly concluded that the BLM’s regulations do not provide a reasonable assurance that the public is getting appropriate fair share of the revenue from these resources. The BLM’s current rules lack the flexibility to offer new competitive leases at higher royalty rates.

The ANPR also addresses the value of these resources by inviting comment on how the BLM might update its rules regarding the minimum acceptable bid that must be paid by parties seeking a lease at auction, and the annual rental payments that are due after a lease is obtained. The current minimum acceptable auction bid is $2 per acre, which is well below the rate at which most parcels sell, suggesting that the rate could be higher. After obtaining a lease, a lessee is currently required to make annual rental payments until the lease starts producing oil or gas. These rental rates currently are $1.50 per acre for the first five years and $2 for years five through 10. The ANPR invites comment on how rental payments might be better structured to incentivize diligent development of leased areas.

The BLM encourages the public to be actively engaged in this process by submitting comments on the revised proposed rule before June 19 in one of the following ways:

Mail: U.S. Department of the Interior, Director (630), Bureau of Land Management, Mail Stop 2134 LM, 1849 C St. NW, Washington, DC, 20240, Attention: 1004-AE41.

Personal or messenger delivery: Bureau of Land Management, 20 M. St. SE, Room 2134 LM, Attention: Regulatory Affairs, Washington, DC 20003.

Online at the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments at this Website.

To read the original advance notice of public rulemaking go to: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-04-21/pdf/2015-09033.pdf

Surface and Depth: 911 Truth Grassroots Organization

Leave a comment

new logoby James Hufferd, Ph.D. Coordinator, 911 Truth Grassroots Organization

*

The great ocean of waters figuratively and with consistency represented by the global narrative reported in the American and western media since the watershed date of 9/11/01 displays a surface appearance fundamentally unchanged from that of the post-World War II era and long before: There are the western democracies with their patriotic combined citizen militaries defending and promoting alleged rationalism, democratic decision-making, and rule of law, belligerently aligned now against terrorist totalitarian and irrational, hateful and destructive potentates and hordes, just as they were formerly aligned against irrational and totalitarian world communism and before that wrongheaded vicious totalitarian fascism.

People who don’t delve beneath the surface headlines or seek multiple or additional sources via the Internet or critically assess the basically unchanging narrative and explanations as they are so fervently spread necessarily view the world in the same way their frontier ancestors arrayed against an “irrational” and irredeemable “savage” Indian enemy, ostensibly bent on destroying them and “civilization” all but unanimously did three hundred years ago. Just fill in the blanks with the name of the current irrational and savage foe-designate and support as a necessary defensive act his annihilation or pacification and appropriation of his resources. Then set up those you fail to kill physically in a puppet state, region, or reservation under your control to enjoy the choice of leaders you choose to permit and approved values you control and choose to promulgate.

And if some impertinent outsider – say, a Putin – comes along disputin’ your pacification or eradication process with target nations in mid-procedure – which is (as distinct from the subservient media’s bland reporting of it) literally like making sausage, then pox and blood-curdling threats on him! Because, and I quote: “If you’re not with us, you’re with the terrorists”.

So, basically, those of our fellow citizens who don’t or won’t delve beneath or beyond the visible, changeless, endlessly-presented surface or assess matters critically for themselves subscribe to that still-predominant view themselves. And, naturally enough, they tend to consider those of us who dispute with however powerful evidence that 9/11 and a bevy of other atrocities mainly (but not all) committed since 9/11 were put-ups committed or commissioned by the U.S. and its western allied governments or secretly-supported terror groups to provide a pretext and justification for continual marauding and pacification operations, off our rockers. Is that any wonder, from people who consume mainline (or who mainline) news exclusively and take it raw?

In the roiling subsurface extending to depth reported by a number of more-or-less reliable alternative primary investigators, on whom we alternative synthesizers rely, on the other hand, the relatively changeless basic image of the good settler and his upright community versus the dirty, rotten savage ever menacing force is revised through our facilitated seeing far more clearly and from various angles. Our more penetrating independent view reveals who, from facts and leaks, is the system-driven aggressor in case after case and which contender appears to be most consistently misrepresenting facts and at times fabricating the whole story. We can see it, and we report as we do not to be perverse, but because we look beneath the surface, or behind the curtain. If others see otherwise, so be it!

And the purpose and goal of some of us is never to maintain a particular line or narrative, but to urge the creation of a world truly observing in practice the very precepts that were expounded if not practiced by the most eloquent of our forefather ancestors: that “all [persons] are created equal”, “a government of, by, and for the people”, and to achieve in reality the practice of “a decent respect for the opinions of mankind” wherever they are held. To which we can properly add the blessings of “liberty and justice for all,” anti-theft and murder, and a robustly-restored, unabridged respect for full and open truth. Amen.

And so, I submit that this is how the particular point of view represented and urged on you by this web site can be explained, to the best of my ability.

JH: 5/25/15

John W. Whitehead to Appear in ‘The Root: Excessive Force’ Documentary

2 Comments

RutherfordHeader_2This press release is also available at www.rutherford.org.

John W. Whitehead to Appear in ‘The Root: Excessive Force’ Documentary on TheBlazeTV (5/21, 5 pm ET), to Discuss Loss of Civil Liberties in a Police State

NEW YORK, N.Y.—Constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead will appear in “The Root: Excessive whitehad bokForce,” a special documentary hosted by Glenn Beck about what happens to civil liberties when the government favors police state tactics such as lockdowns, SWAT team raids, and mass surveillance. “The Root: Excessive Force” will air at 5 pm EST on May 21, 2015, TheBlazeTV. The airing of the documentary coincides with the Obama administration’s release of a 120-page “Task Force on 21st Century Policing” report and the announcement that the president will limit some of the military weapons being passed along to local police departments.

“It remains to be seen whether this overture on Obama’s part, coming in the midst of heightened tensions between the nation’s police forces and the populace they’re supposed to protect, opens the door to actual reform or is merely a political gambit to appease the masses all the while further acclimating the populace to life in a police state,” stated Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of Battlefield America: The War on the American People. “Certainly, on its face, the ban does nothing to roll back the deadly menace of overzealous police agencies corrupted by money, power and institutional immunity. And it certainly fails to recognize the terrible toll that has been inflicted on our communities, our fragile ecosystem of a democracy, and our freedoms as a result of the government’s determination to bring the war home.”

Congress launched the 1033 Program in the 1980s to allow the Department of Defense to transfer surplus military goods to state and local police agencies. The 1033 program has grown dramatically, with some 13,000 police agencies in all 50 states and four US territories currently participating. In 2012, the federal government transferred $546 million worth of property to state and local police agencies. This 1033 program allows small towns like Rising Star, Texas, with a population of 835 and only one full-time police officer, to acquire $3.2 million worth of goods and military gear from the federal government over the course of fourteen months. Military equipment sent to small towns has included high-powered weapons, assault vehicles and tactical gear. However, after it was discovered that local police agencies were failing to keep inventories of their acquired firearms and in some cases, selling the equipment for a profit, the transfer of firearms was temporarily suspended until October 2013. Police agencies have also been given a variety of other toys and gizmos, including “aircraft, boats, Humvees, body armor, weapon scopes, infrared imaging systems and night-vision goggles,” not to mention more general items such as “bookcases, hedge trimmers, telescopes, brassieres, golf carts, coffee makers and television sets.”

In addition to equipping police with militarized weapons and equipment, the government has also instituted an incentive program of sorts, the Byrne Formula Grant Program, which awards federal grants based upon “the number of overall arrests, the number of warrants served or the number of drug seizures.” A sizable chunk of taxpayer money has kept the program in full swing over the years. The Clinton administration funded the program with about $500 million. By 2008, the Bush administration had reduced the budget to about $170 million, less out of concern for the militarization of police forces and more to reduce federal influence on law enforcement matters. However, Obama boosted the program, using the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to inject $2 billion into the program. As a result of local police forces receiving militarized equipment and grants, heavily armed SWAT teams have also been increasingly used to carry out routine police procedures such as routine search warrants. Consequently, SWAT team raids, which once numbered a few thousand per year in the 1980s, have grown to over 80,000 per year.

CONTACT INFORMATION
Nisha Whitehead
(434) 978-3888 ext. 604
(434) 466-6168 (cell)
nisha@rutherford.org

THE RUTHERFORD INSTITUTE
Post Office Box 7482
Charlottesville, VA 22906-7482
Phone: (434) 978-3888
http://www.rutherford.org

The Rutherford Institute. Founded in 1982 by constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead, The Rutherford Institute is a civil liberties organization that provides free legal services to people whose constitutional and human rights have been threatened or violated.

Under the regulations of the United States Internal Revenue Service, The Rutherford Institute is incorporated as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit organization. Donations to support The Rutherford Institute’s legal and educational work help to safeguard the constitutional rights and religious freedoms of all Americans. Donations are tax-deductible. In compliance with general industry standards of a nonprofit organization, the Institute is audited annually by an independent accounting firm.

Copyright © 2015 The Rutherford Institute, All rights reserved.

 

The Patriot Act, the law used to justify mass government surveillance, is going to expire if it’s not reauthorized this week.

6 Comments

 These 50 emergency vigils are the most effective step we can take right now to stop any senator from thinking that maybe it’s ok to renew the Patriot Act. Find a vigil near you. If you’ve never taken action on surveillance before: this is the one to take.

~Tiff Cheng

The Patriot Act, the law used to justify mass government surveillance, is going to expire if it’s not reauthorized this week.

If Congress fumbles for the next few days, the Patriot Act will not be renewed — and right now, the vote is close enough that a big push by people like you and me can tip the scales and ensure the Patriot Act expires, dealing a death blow to unconstitutional NSA programs.

We’re joining with half a dozen other organizations including Demand Progress, Restore the Fourth, CREDO, MoveOn.org, and Free Press Action Fund to host 50 “EMERGENCY vigils to Sunset the Patriot Act” across the country tomorrow night, calling on senators to vote against reauthorization.

Click here to find a Sunset the Patriot Act vigil near you (as well as find out how your senator is leaning).

Here are the details:

WHAT: Emergency “Sunset the Patriot Act” vigils against mass surveillance – happening in 50 cities across the U.S. WHEN: 7 pm local time, Thursday, May 21st (roughly an hour before sunset) WHERE: Find your local event here. If you don’t see one and want to set one up outside another of your senators’ offices, reply to this email and let us know! BRING: A cell phone, laptop, tablet, and candles with the protestsign.org already pre-loaded. Feel free to bring any other signage you want — the main message is “Sunset the Patriot Act”.

Click here to find a Sunset the Patriot Act vigil near you (as well as find out how your senator is leaning).

News reports show that the Senate is all confused so they’re going with the plan of ramming through the bills. That’s because we have filibuster threats from at least two senators — Rand Paul and Ron Wyden — a looming expiration date, and confusion about the best course of business. And, if we have voices from all over the country calling on them to end the Patriot Act, we can make them falter and split and fall all over themselves. This is the time when doing nothing actually helps us.

That’s why action right now is critical — according to our whip count, dozens of senators are still on the fence, and protests across the country the day before the vote can prevent them from throwing their support behind the Patriot Act. If we can prevent these last senators from siding with the NSA, the Patriot Act will expire.

After all these years of fighting against how the Patriot Act has torn up our freedoms without making us any safer, it all comes down to the next couple of days. This is our week to end the Patriot Act.

Click here to join a Sunset the Patriot Act vigil near you.

If you haven’t done anything yet to push back against government mass surveillance, please take action now. There are just 2 days left at our best and final chance at reforming surveillance for years to come.

Thanks for all you do,

Fight for the Future

DONATE NOW

Want more awesome more often?
* Like us on Facebook * Follow us on Twitter
* Keep us fighting, chip in what you can.

Militarization Is More Than Tanks and Rifles: It’s a Cultural Disease, Acclimating the Citizenry to Life in a Police State

6 Comments

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

By John W. Whitehead
May 19, 2015

whitehad bokIf we’re training cops as soldiers, giving them equipment like soldiers, dressing them up as soldiers, when are they going to pick up the mentality of soldiers? If you look at the police department, their creed is to protect and to serve. A soldier’s mission is to engage his enemy in close combat and kill him. Do we want police officers to have that mentality? Of course not.”— Arthur Rizer, former civilian police officer and member of the military

Talk about poor timing. Then again, perhaps it’s brilliant timing.

Only now—after the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security (DHS) and Defense have passed off billions of dollars worth of military equipment to local police forces, after police agencies have been trained in the fine art of war, after SWAT team raids have swelled in number to more than 80,000 a year, after it has become second nature for local police to look and act like soldiers, after communities have become acclimated to the presence of militarized police patrolling their streets, after Americans have been taught compliance at the end of a police gun or taser, after lower income neighborhoods have been transformed into war zones, after hundreds if not thousands of unarmed Americans have lost their lives at the hands of police who shoot first and ask questions later, after a whole generation of young Americans has learned to march in lockstep with the government’s dictates—only now does President Obama lift a hand to limit the number of military weapons being passed along to local police departments.

Not all, mind you, just some.

Talk about too little, too late.

Months after the White House defended a federal program that distributed $18 billion worth of military equipment to local police, Obama has announced that he will ban the federal government from providing local police departments with tracked armored vehicles, weaponized aircraft and vehicles, bayonets, grenade launchers, camouflage uniforms and large-caliber firearms.

More

How the public (and government employees) are being played for useful idiots – The Gov Pension Fund / System Scam

Leave a comment

new logoby Walter Burien – CAFR1
05/16/15

ARTICLE ARCHIVED AT – http://CAFR1.com/gpfsc.html

The new GAP accounting implemented over the last 8 years established by GASB.org requires local government accounting to project all liability as if it is due today.

This means pension fund accounting (and other local government funds) are required to project out 35 years to satisfy ALL projected payments to participants with what they will be paid AT TIME OF RETIREMENT. They use max projections there. EXAMPLE: Employee making 50K today at retirement after pay increases, projected inflation, etc., will be making 185K. Additionally, THEY DO NOT account for the projected income for the fund out 35 years in full. They redact much.

So based on the new accounting, a pension fund that may have been 150% funded today, in the snap of the finger could now be adjusted to being 60% funded. (40% underfunded)

Motive? The larger the investment fund balance for that local government, the bigger the power base. Where those funds are invested domestic and international creates the biggest payola network globally times thousands of different local government funds/systems of the same.

Another point most employees and taxpayers are not aware of is: Most local government pension funds / systems are “Strictly Participatory”. What that means is the employee does not own 1c of the fund, they just have in so many words a “Ticket to Ride” under contract terms.

The local government owns 100% of the fund balance. Now if the employees owned 100% of the balance, the accounting local governments are doing would be 100% fraud and an indictable offense under SEC law and fiduciary ethics guidelines.

Most fund balances are so large they do not require contributions from the employee or tax payer, rates of return are primarily meeting requirements. Plus if the employees owned the fund balance it would be required to give each a pro-rated value of each employees ownership in $$ terms each year. If that was the case and done my would those participating employees get a big surprise. Long-term participants, they would see their ownership value at on the low side $650,000 to on the high side $3,500,000.

But being that these funds are Strictly Participatory (similar to the Social Security fund) SEC laws and fiduciary fund management guidelines only require that those “Tickets to Ride” under contract are in line to be satisfied based on the GUIDELINES that local government is operating under.(and they create their own guidelines)

TREASON: “Treason doth never prosper; what’s the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it treason.” Sir John Harrington, 1561-1612

Please share, publish, and post my comments with others (especially those government employees who are participating with these funds/systems)
Walter Burien – CAFR1.com
P. O. Box 2112
Saint Johns, AZ 85936

Tel. (928) 458-5854

PS: Federal groups like FBI agents have profit sharing pensions. They see each year the value of “their” share in the Pension they are enrolled as an “owner”. Back in the 90’s their eyes must have been bulging out of their head when they looked. They saw they would get 175% to 250% over what they were expecting to get at retirement based on fund performance.
__________________________________

CAFR1’s REPLY ABOVE TO THE ARTICLE THAT FOLLOWS:

How Illinois’ Pension Debt Blew Up Chicago’s Credit

After a court ruling, the state’s legacy of borrowing to cover public employee pensions landed a $2.2 billion problem in the city’s lap.

by Allan Sloan, The Washington Post, and Cezary Podkul, ProPublica, May 13, 2015, 3:39 p.m.

Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement: Trade agreements are NOT constitutional treaty’s

3 Comments

new logoMarti Oakley

______________________________________________________

The question continually asked is: Under what constitutional authority are the provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership being kept secret?

The answer: The TPP is NOT a constitutional treaty, but is instead a corporate government-to-government contractual agreement, and is being intentionally confused and mis-represented as a constitutional treaty. Its status as “secret” can only be defined as corporate contractual proprietary rights protection. 1

_________________________________________________________

1800193_730804716942054_2388486452391946819_nObama has asked congress for Fast Track approval for this corporate trade agreement. This is another tip-off that what is about to transpire has nothing to do with sovereignty, the constitution or the office of the president. Fast Track allows the president to step out of his position as “president of the Republic”, and assume his position as “chief executive” of the corporation and assorted corporate names constructed to facilitate the contracting for this trade agreement.

The TPP needs no ratification by the states as it has nothing to do with them. They are not privy to the contents, provisions, mandates or other instruments as the states are not party to the contract. The vote that will take place in congress will be an intentionally staged event. Every congress person out there knows that any vote they take regarding this trade agreement, violates the offices they were elected to hold.

With the public seemingly unaware that they are being duped, yet again, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will devastate the states. The recent efforts by several federal agencies to seize land, control food production, close public access roads to forests and national parks, along with the ongoing efforts to seize water from all sources whatsoever as owned and controlled by government, along with all other valued resources is most likely the composition of much of the content of the TPP.

The (TTP) is actually an international corporate agreement which voids sovereign jurisdiction in environmental protections, health, food, pharmaceuticals and virtually any other thing you can think of.
This agreement also allows for the sale of public lands here in the US so that foreign investors can access and profit from the resources. The coming all out sale of public lands to foreign investors will in effect, see major areas of the US, now held as scenic waterways, national forests and other high resource areas as owned and controlled by non-American corporations and possibly even governments. This agreement exposes the reasons for the federal government’s ongoing taking of lands from the states and claiming it as owned and controlled by them while also claiming they are taking the land to “protect” it……from us.

Trade agreements are constructed under international contract law and have no constitutional authority. In fact, these trade agreements generally tend to violate and void any constitutional protections, requirements or prohibitions. Even so, congress will continue to misrepresent this corporate agreement as a legally binding constitutional treaty, knowing full well that this is merely a ruse they participate in to cement in the public mind that they must adhere to this corporate contract.

Although you and I are not party to the contractual agreement, do not and are not allowed to know any of the provisions, much less all of the provisions, the federal corporation will contract with our state government corporations to put the provisions into force in our states. And every governor in every state will willingly throw the doors open to the in-state contracting that will facilitate the business plans of the trade agreement.

So I ask again…..How’s that global economy working for ya? Still think this is about free trade and capitalism? Your land is being stolen by the federal government, sold to foreign investors and other governments for exploitation as they pay for government protection and privilege. Do you still think that if corporations are regulated and limited it will somehow prevent you from getting rich?

These agreements are a constructed effort to put the rights of corporations above those of the individual and of any country included in the agreements. The group, Public Citizen, exposed and reported on the deleterious effects of what will become the investor-state and the accompanying enforcement system already at work under CAFTA, and other trade agreements, which will most likely be expanded and far more injurious under TPP.

From Public Citizen:

These firms have access under the deals to an “investor-state” enforcement system, which allows them to skirt national court systems and privately enforce their extraordinary new investor privileges by directly challenging national governments before extrajudicial tribunals.
These investor-state cases are litigated outside any domestic legal system in special international arbitration bodies of the World Bank and the United Nations. A panel composed of three private attorneys listens to arguments in the case, with the power to award an unlimited amount of taxpayer dollars to corporations for the “expected future profits” that the attorneys surmise the firms would have earned if not for the challenged measures. Because the mechanism elevates private firms to the same status as sovereign governments, it amounts to a privatization of the justice system. (emphasis, mine)

The TPP is nothing less than a corporate assault on national sovereignty and the rights of the people. Those courts will most likely be comprised of another group of private attorney’s who will decide how much of your money will be handed over to global corporations. Any rights you thought you might still have will be set aside in favor of global corporate privilege.

Our Constitution is being steadily eroded with the passing of each of these trade agreements. Agreements that exist for no other reason than to exploit and plunder nation after nation under the dubious banner of “free trade capitalism” and which will reduce every nation to third world status. There never has been free trade; only pay to play trade privatization for the few.

The Trans Pacific Partnership is just another brick in the New World Order wall.

More

What law says the text of the TPP must remain secret?

1 Comment

NoMoreFakeNews

              What law says the text of the TPP must remain secret?

By Jon Rappoport
May 15, 2015

To the US Congress: reveal the contents of the TPP now

It seems like a case of mass hypnosis. People claiming they can’t say what’s in the TPP trade agreement. And mainstream media accept this premise.

“That’s right. Congress must stay silent.”

Pop quiz: who says the text of the TPP must remain secret?

Under what authority?

Members of Congress are scuttling around like weasels, claiming they can’t disclose what’s in this far-reaching, 12-nation trade treaty.

They can go into a sealed room and read a draft, but they can’t copy pages, and they can’t tell the public what they just read.

Why not?

If there is a US law forbidding disclosure, name the law.

Can you recall anything in the Constitution that establishes secret treaties?

Is there a prior treaty that states the text of all treaties can be hidden from the people?

I see no authority anywhere that justifies withholding the text of the TPP.

Government legislators in the other 11 nations: why can’t you reveal what’s in the TPP?

Mass silence around the world. “Sorry, we can’t say what’s in the treaty. We’ll vote on it, but you the people have no input. You have to take what we do on faith.”

Who says so? By what authority?

If a US Senator held a press conference today and explained everything he read in that sealed room about the TPP, what exactly would happen to him? Would he be arrested?

Would he be charged with a federal crime?

What crime?

More

‘We the People’ Need to Circle the Wagons: The Government Is on the Warpath

7 Comments

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

By John W. Whitehead
May 12, 2015

__________________________________________________________________

“The government is merely a servant―merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn’t. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.” ― Mark Twain

____________________________________________________________

How many Americans have actually bothered to read the Constitution, let alone the first ten amendments to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights (a quick read at 462 words)?

Take a few minutes and read those words for yourself—rather than having some court or politician translate them for you—and you will be under no illusion about where to draw the line when it comes to speaking your mind, criticizing your government, defending what is yours, doing whatever you want on your own property, and keeping the government’s nose out of your private affairs.

In an age of overcriminalization, where the average citizen unknowingly commits three crimes a day, and even the most mundane activities such as fishing and gardening are regulated, government officials are constantly telling Americans what not to do. Yet it was not always this way. It used to be “we the people” telling the government what it could and could not do. Indeed, the three words used most frequently throughout the Bill of Rights in regards to the government are “no,” “not” and “nor.”

Compare the following list of “don’ts” the government is prohibited from doing with the growing list of abuses to which “we the people” are subjected on a daily basis, and you will find that we have reached a state of crisis wherein the government is routinely breaking the law and violating its contractual obligations.

For instance, the government is NOT allowed to restrict free speech, press, assembly or the citizenry’s ability to protest and correct government wrongdoing. Nevertheless, the government continues to prosecute whistleblowers, persecute journalists, cage protesters, criminalize expressive activities, crack down on large gatherings of citizens mobilizing to voice their discontent with government policies, and insulate itself and its agents from any charges of wrongdoing (or what the courts refer to as “qualified immunity”).

The government may NOT infringe on a citizen’s right to defend himself. Nevertheless, in many states, it’s against the law to carry a concealed weapon (gun, knife or even pepper spray), and the average citizen is permitted little self-defense against militarized police officers who shoot first and ask questions later.

The government may NOT enter or occupy a citizen’s house without his consent (the quartering of soldiers). Nevertheless, government soldiers (i.e., militarized police) carry out more than 80,000 no-knock raids on private homes every year, while maiming children, killing dogs and shooting citizens.

The government may NOT carry out unreasonable searches and seizures on the citizenry or their possessions. NOR can government officials issue warrants without some evidence of wrongdoing (probable cause). Unfortunately, what is unreasonable to the average American is completely reasonable to a government agent, for whom the ends justify the means. In such a climate, we have no protection against roadside strip searches, blood draws, DNA collection, SWAT team raids, surveillance or any other privacy-stripping indignity to which the government chooses to subject us.

The government is NOT to deprive anyone of life, liberty or property without due process. Nevertheless, the government continues to incarcerate tens of thousands of Americans whose greatest crime is being poor and brown-skinned. The same goes for those who are put to death, some erroneously, by a system weighted in favor of class and wealth.

The government may NOT take private property for public use without just compensation. Nevertheless, under the guise of the “greater public interest,” the government often hides behind eminent domain laws in order to allow megacorporations to tear down homes occupied by less prosperous citizens in order to build high-priced resorts and shopping malls.

Government agents may NOT force a citizen to testify against himself. Yet what is the government’s extensive surveillance network that spies on all of our communications but a thinly veiled attempt at using our own words against us?

The government is NOT allowed to impose excessive fines on the citizenry or inflict cruel and unusual punishments upon them. Nevertheless Americans are subjected to egregious fines and outrageous punishments for minor traffic violations, student tardiness and absence from school, and generally having the misfortune of being warm bodies capable of filling privatized, profit-driven jails.

The government is NOT permitted to claim any powers that are not expressly granted to them by the Constitution. This prohibition has become downright laughable as the government continues to claim for itself every authority that serves to swell its coffers, cement its dominion, and expand its reach.

Despite what some special interest groups have suggested to the contrary, the problems we’re experiencing today did not arise because the Constitution has outlived its usefulness or become irrelevant, nor will they be solved by a convention of states or a ratification of the Constitution.

More

Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,682 other followers

%d bloggers like this: