Sep 21 2012

Employers Allowed to Pocket your State Income Tax

Most people assume that states use their state income taxes to fund school systems, pave roads, fund state parks, pay for prisons or even provide low income housing. After all, when you pay taxes you expect the state to you expect them to provide a public service. However the truth is a little more insidious.

Per The Christian Science Monitor, “an ever increasing amount of those tax dollars aren’t funding services; they aren’t even getting to the state capital. Sixteen states now allow corporations to withhold state income taxes from employees and keep the money as an incentive to locate to or remain in a state. That means that, in effect, employees pay personal income tax to their company rather than their state government. (The 16 states are: Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, and Utah.)

Pile of Money “A recent report from Good Jobs First entitled, “Paying Taxes to the Boss,” sheds light on how widespread this practice has grown. An estimated 2,700 companies now take advantage of this welfare system, fueling an economic war between states that costs employees an estimated $700 million a year in diverted tax income, the report concludes. Those who profit include corporate giants like Sears, Goldman Sachs, and General Electric.

“Illinois offers a special tax incentive that can divert up to 100 percent of withheld taxes into subsidies to encourage companies to locate or expand operations in Illinois when the companies are actively considering a competing location in another state.

“New Jersey’s Business Employment Incentive Program (BEIP) is among the most costly of these programs, with new grants totaling more than $73 million. Ohio and Kentucky top the list of states for the number of companies they subsidize through employee personal income tax withholding.

“The practice has been around for more than a decade, and it’s continuing steadily – with six of the 22 programs identified nationwide enacted since 2009 – according to Good Jobs First, a policy resource center that focuses on economic development and “smart growth.”

“Most corporate tax incentives are simply bad policy, representing an attempt at social engineering our already patchwork tax code. For one thing, businesses don’t make investment decisions based solely on state tax burdens. For another, tax loopholes enable the savviest companies to live tax-free.

“Since money is fungible, some claim it doesn’t matter whether this corporate welfare comes from corporate taxes or personal income taxes. The states are out $700 million in either case. But it does and should matter.

“The personal income tax is a covenant between the citizen and the state. For the executives and shareholders to retain those tax dollars violates that covenant. Employee-funded corporate tax incentives reduce the amount of tax dollars available for vital social services like schools and law enforcement.”

This type of action amounts to fraud, and unfair highly destructive business practices, employees assume that they are paying for a state service, but instead watch as state budgets get smaller and they get less service, then TV tell them it’s because of Welfare, however they fail to mention that they companies they buy their goods at everyday are the ones on Welfare robbing the state blind.

Secondly it gives these large companies who already have huge advantage an unbeatable one. They can use the money given to them by the state to drop their prices below any local small business and drive them out of business. Then once the competition is gone they can raise their prices and reap in huge profits, which go right into the hands of the CEO and stock holders.

These states are damaging their own economies and will bring about their own ruin if this practice is not ceased.

 




May 24 2012

Hillary Clinton Admits the U.S. Government Created al-Qaeda

The Mujahideen were the “database” of Al-Qaeda assets. Al-Qaeda are a controlled opposition force of the Central Intelligence Agency to promote their middle east destabilization process. To give empirical U.S. Military Industrial Complex a reason to invade wherever they want in the ever widening “war on terror” fraud.



Dec 6 2011

“Die Banker Die” by J Glenn Lowe

J Glenn Lowe “Die Banker Die”

J Glenn Lowe on why he wrote his song “Die Banker Die”. —Silenced No More Exclusive

“I wrote “Die Banker Die” after watching the Psychopathic ‘Gangster Bankster’ CEO of Bank of America, Brian Moynihan, on the national news. He was lying his ass off while rambling in political monkey speak about how his “too big to succeed” bank was “legally foreclosing” on American Home owners that were delinquent on their mortgage payments.

“What he said that day pissed me off so much that I sat down the next day and wrote
‘Die Banker Die.’

“It is now public knowledge that the Banksters committed fraud, raising, and then crashing the housing market to increase their quarterly stock profits and their golden parachutes.

“I could go on about economic treason. I could try to explain how the Banksters orchestrated this whole game for their own gain, but most people already know all that. I believe that we are at war with Psychopathic Gangster Banksters, and the words to the song say it quite well. Get a rope.”

J Glenn Lowe “Die Banker Die” Music Video

J Glenn Lowe “Die Banker Die” Lyrics

Saw the news today
CEO from B of A
Lyin’ his ass away
The American Dream is bleeding in his hands today
Taking houses “the legal way” he say
Fixin’ everything his way
Millions of people they’ll just have to move away
Trillion dollar games he play
I think it’s time that he pay pay pay
For the children in the streets today
This is what I say

Die Banker Die “>Die
Die Banker Die
Die Banker Die
Die Die Die

And the polichickens too
Can’t find a law to stop you
Shame shame shame on all of you
Guess there’s nothin’ left to do

Die Banker Die
Die Banker Die
Die Banker Die
Die Die Die

Something we gotta do
You know they deserve it to
Better run run away
This is what I say

Die Banker Die
Die Banker Die
Die Banker Die
Die Die Die

This song is dedicated to the Psychopathic CEO of Bank of America, Brian Moynihan. Written and performed by J Glenn Lowe



Nov 15 2011

UBS whistleblower, on the biggest tax-evasion scheme in U.S. history, Bradley Birkenfeld, goes to Jail while those that committed the crime pay fines

ubs clients jail get out of jailBarack Obama, who came into the presidency offering all this “change”, really should be hailing Bradley Birkenfeld as a modern-day hero.

Bradley Birkenfeld, former banker for Swiss giant UBS, blew the whistle on the largest tax-evasion scheme in American’s long U.S. history of people think others should pay for their government programs.

Rather than praising Birkenfeld, the Justice Department gave him a 40-month prison sentence.

However his former colleagues at UBS and thousands of rich American clients that hid away billions of dollars for decades in the Swiss Bank UBS seem to have gotten the opposite treatment.

In fact, the Justice Department let them buy their way out of jail.

UBS pled guilty and paid a $780 million fine, while thousands of U.S. citizens with undisclosed offshore accounts where permitted to belatedly disclose them and pay civil fees and penalties.

Only Birkenfeld, the 44-year-old whistleblower, landed in jail, this is another examples of injustice and hypocrisy in the Obama administration, and if Obama having upwards of 30 former employees of Goldman Sachs and its subsidiaries in his cabinet did not prove our government is controlled by bankers this does.

obama_golf_UBS_president

Wolf Enjoying a Game of Golf with HIs Get Out of Jail Free Card

Additionally, how can one forget about that priceless photograph with the President golfing on Aug. 24 during his Martha’s Vineyard summer holiday with Robert Wolf, president of UBS Americas?

Of all the people in America why would Obama choose Wolf for a golf partner?

Wolf along with his employees contributed $540,000 towards Obama’s presidential campaign. Which made UBS the twelfth greatest campaign financing source.

The golf game was just 3 days following Birkenfeld’s severe sentencing and less than 7 days following UBS consenting to turn over the names of 4,450 of its American clients to the Justice Department. Which is a fraction of the 19,000 U.S. accounts the bank has confessed keeping secret from U.S. tax officials.

Why is Birkenfeld, who provided hundreds of these names to prosecutors, going to prison?

“Without Mr. Birkenfeld … I doubt … this massive fraud scheme would have been discovered,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Downing conceded at the Aug. 21 sentencing hearing.

Additionally prosecutors claimed in that hearing and in a “60 Minutes” interview that Birkenfeld withheld information on how he had helped his biggest U.S. client, California billionaire Igor Olenicoff, hide hundreds of millions in assets. So when Birkenfeld flew here from Switzerland in early 2008, they arrested and charged him.

Birkenfeld’s lawyer Stephen Kohn denies those allegations. He says the Justice Department is sending a terrible message to future whistleblowers.

Kohn filed a formal complaint yesterday with the U.S. attorney general’s office of professional responsibility, claiming the “main allegations used to secure [Birkenfeld's] indictment and imprisonment were not based on accurate or truthful information.”

Birkenfeld offered to provide every name he knew of secret account holders at UBS, Kohn said, but he first wanted a formal subpoena because he was then a resident of Switzerland. Under Swiss law it is illegal to disclose client information.

The Justice Department refused to issue the subpoena, so Birkenfeld then went to the IRS, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Senate during the summer of 2007 offering the information to them.

The Senate’s permanent investigations subcommittee agreed to subpoena him. He gave the committee a detailed deposition on Oct. 11, 2007 about UBS fraud scheme with lots of names, including that of Olenicoff. E-mails Kohn provided back up that claim.

Birkenfeld gave the same information to the IRS and the SEC.

Several weeks later, Olenicoff was indicted. He pleaded guilty and paid a $53 million fine.

Kohn has asked Attorney General Eric Holder for a formal investigation of the actions of Justice Department prosecutors.

Holder has his own UBS headache. Last year, the attorney general recused himself from the case because he once served as a lawyer for the Swiss bank.

The Birkenfeld case has exposed a lot more than hidden bank accounts.



Nov 6 2011

Homeland Security Defines you as a Terrorist

Homeland Security Terrorism A Homeland Security document published in 2009 received little attention during at the time due to the media’s ongoing propaganda about the swine flu, shockingly lists the “alternative media”, leaderless resistance (such as Occupy Wall Street), the Militia Movement, the Patriot Movement, People who Disagree with Paying Income Tax, with NEO Nazis and other such extreme hate groups. The document implies that people who disagree with the mass media’s version of events are potential domestic terrorists and says, “A term used to describe various information sources that provide a forum for interpretations of events and issues that differ radically from those presented in mass media products and outlets.”

The groups covered in this document could describe any organized group in the U.S. One can take from this that any organized group is considered a terrorist group and that you just have to add extreme to the name of the group and magically it is now a terrorist group.

The DHS document was almost immediately rescinded, but the groups listed alongside Neo-Nazis, Aryan prison gangs and black power extremists again prove that the federal government is targeting American citizens who are merely knowledgeable about their rights and up on current issues as potential domestic terrorists to be treated as a “threat” to law enforcement. This document says it is an unclassified document, so that means that it is still an official Homeland Security Document and it is only a matter of time before it is issued again to the nations law enforcement agencies.

Here is the whole document from homeland security (this is a link to the document on their site).

(U//FOUO) Domestic Extremism Lexicon

(U) Prepared by the Strategic Analysis Group and the Extremism and Radicalization Branch, Homeland Environment Threat Analysis Division.

(U//FOUO) Homeland Security Reference Aids—prepared by the DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A)—provide baseline information on a variety of homeland security issues. This product is one in a series of reference aids designed to provide operational and intelligence advice and assistance to other elements of DHS, as well as state, local, and regional fusions centers. DHS/I&A intends this background information to assist federal, state, local, and tribal homeland security and law enforcement officials in conducting analytic activities. This product provides definitions for key terms and phrases that often appear in DHS analysis that addresses the nature and scope of the threat that domestic, non-Islamic extremism poses to the United States. Definitions were derived from a variety of open source materials and unclassified information, then further developed during facilitated workshops with DHS intelligence analysts knowledgeable about domestic, non-Islamic extremism in the United States. 

UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

(U) Definitions    

(U) aboveground (U//FOUO) A term used to describe extremist groups or individuals who operate overtly and portray themselves as law-abiding.
(U) alternative media (U//FOUO) A term used to describe various information sources that provide a forum for interpretations of events and issues that differ radically from those presented in mass media products and outlets.
(U) anarchist extremism

(U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals who advocate a society devoid of government structure or ownership of individual property. Many embrace some of the radical philosophical components of anticapitalist, antiglobalization, communist, socialist, and other movements. Anarchist extremists advocate changing government and society through revolutionary violence.

(also: revolutionary anarchists)

(U) animal rights extremism

(U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals who ascribe equal value to all living organisms and seek to end the perceived abuse and suffering of animals. They believe animals are sentient creatures that experience emotional, physical, and mental awareness and deserve many of the same rights as human beings; for example, the right to life and freedom to engage in normal, instinctive animal behavior. These groups have been known to advocate or engage in criminal activity and plot acts of violence and terrorism in an attempt to advance their extremist goals. They have targeted industries, businesses, and government entities that they perceive abuse or exploit animals, including those that use animals for testing, human services, food production, or consumption.

(also: animal liberation)

(U) antiabortion extremism (U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals who are virulently antiabortion and advocate violence against providers of abortion-related services, their employees, and their facilities. Some cite various racist and anti-Semitic beliefs to justify their criminal activities.
(U) anti-immigration extremism (U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals who are vehemently opposed to illegal immigration, particularly along the U.S. southwest border with Mexico, and who have been known to advocate or engage in criminal activity and plot acts of violence and terrorism to advance their extremist goals. They are highly critical of the U.S. Government’s response to illegal immigration and oppose government programs that are designed to extend “rights” to illegal aliens, such as issuing driver’s licenses or national identification cards and providing in-state tuition, medical benefits, or public education.
(U) antitechnology extremism

(U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals opposed to technology. These groups have been known to advocate or engage in criminal activity and plot acts of violence and terrorism in an attempt to advance their extremist goals. They have targeted college and university laboratories, scholars, biotechnology industries, U.S. corporations involved in the computer or airline industry, and others.

(also: Neo-Luddites)

(U) Aryan prison gangs (U//FOUO) Individuals who form organized groups while in prison and advocate white supremacist views.Group members may continue to operate under the auspices of the prison gang upon their release from correctional facilities.
(U) black bloc (U//FOUO) An organized collection of violent anarchists and anarchist affinity groups that band together for illegal acts of civil disturbance and use tactics that destroy property or strain law enforcement resources. Black blocs operate in autonomous cells that infiltrate nonviolent protests, often without the knowledge of the organizers of the event.
(U) black nationalism (U//FOUO) A term used by black separatists to promote the unification and separate identity of persons of black or African American descent and who advocate the establishment of a separate nation within the United States.
(U) black power (U//FOUO) A term used by black separatists to describe their pride in and the perceived superiority of the black race.
(U) black separatism (U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals of black or African American descent who advocate the separation of the races or the separation of specific geographic regions from the rest of the United States; some advocate forming their own political system within a separate nation. Such groups or individuals also may embrace radical religious beliefs. Members have been known to advocate or engage in criminal activity and plot acts of violence directed toward local law enforcement in an attempt to advance their extremist goals.
(U) Christian Identity

(U//FOUO) A racist religious philosophy that maintains non-Jewish whites are “God’s Chosen People” and the true descendants of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
Groups or individuals can be followers of either the Covenant or Dual Seedline doctrine; all believe that Jews are conspiring with Satan to control world affairs and that the world is on the verge of the Biblical apocalypse. Dual Seedline adherents believe Jews are the literal offspring of Satan and that non- whites, who are often referred to as “mud people,” are not human beings.

(also: Identity, CI, Anglo-Israel)

(U) Cuban independence extremism (U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals who do not recognize the legitimacy of the Communist Cuban Government and who attempt to subvert it through acts of violence, mainly within the United States.
(U) decentralized terrorist movement (U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals who pursue shared ideological goals through tactics of leaderless resistance independent of any larger terrorist organization.
(U) denial-of-service attack

(U//FOUO) An attack that attempts to prevent or impair the intended functionality of computer networks, systems, or applications. Depending on the type of system targeted, the attack can employ a variety of mechanisms and means.

(also: DoS attack)

(U) direct action (U//FOUO) Lawful or unlawful acts of civil disobedience ranging from protests to property destruction or acts of violence. This term is most often used by single-issue or anarchist extremists to describe their activities.
(U) environmental extremism

(U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals who use violence to end what they perceive as the degradation of the natural environment by humans. Members have advocated or engaged in criminal activity and plot acts of violence and terrorism in an attempt to advance their extremist goals. They target industries, businesses, and government entities that they allege are engaged in habitat destruction, citing urban sprawl and development, logging, construction sites and related equipment, and man-made sources of air, water, and land pollution.

(also: ecoterrorism)

(U) ethnic-based extremism (U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals who are drawn together and form extremist beliefs based on their ethnic or cultural background. Members have advocated or engaged in criminal activity and have plotted acts of violence and terrorism in an attempt to advance their extremist goals.
(U) extremist group (U//FOUO) An ideologically driven organization that advocates or attempts to bring about political, religious, economic, or social change through the use of force, violence, or ideologically motivated criminal activity.
(U) green anarchism (U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals who combine anarchist ideology with an environmental focus. They advocate a return to a pre- industrial, agrarian society, often through acts of violence and terrorism.
(U) hacktivism (U//FOUO) (A portmanteau of “hacking” and “activism.”) The use of cyber technologies to achieve a political end, or technology-enabled political or social activism. Hacktivism might include website defacements, denial-of-service attacks, hacking into the target’s network to introduce malicious software (malware), or information theft.
(U) hate groups (U//FOUO) A term most often used to describe white supremacist groups. It is occasionally used to describe other racist extremist groups.
(U) Jewish extremism (U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals of the Jewish faith who are willing to use violence or commit other criminal acts to protect themselves against perceived affronts to their religious or ethnic identity.
(U) leaderless resistance (U//FOUO) A strategy that stresses the importance of individuals and small cells acting independently and anonymously outside formalized organizational structures to enhance operational security and avoid detection. It is used by many types of domestic extremists.
(U) leftwing extremism

(U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals that embraces anticapitalist, Communist, or Socialist doctrines and seeks to bring about change through violent revolution rather than through established political processes. The term also refers to leftwing, single-issue extremist movements that are dedicated to causes such as environmentalism, opposition to war, and the rights of animals.

(also: far left, extreme left)

(U) lone terrorist

(U//FOUO) An individual motivated by extremist ideology to commit acts of criminal violence independent of any larger terrorist organization.

(also: lone wolf)

(U) Mexican separatism (U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals of Mexican descent who advocate the secession of southwestern U.S. states (all or part of Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas) to join with Mexico through armed struggle. Members do not recognize the legitimacy of these U.S. states, including the U.S. Government’s original acquisition of these territories.
(U) militia movement (U//FOUO) A rightwing extremist movement composed of groups or individuals who adhere to an antigovernment ideology often incorporating various conspiracy theories. Members oppose most federal and state laws, regulations, and authority (particularly firearms laws and regulations) and often conduct paramilitary training designed to resist perceived government interference in their activities or to overthrow the U.S. Government through the use of violence. (also: citizens militia, unorganized militia)
(U) neo-Nazis

(U//FOUO) Groups or individuals who adhere to and promote Adolph Hitler’s beliefs and use Nazi symbols and ideology. Subjects subscribe to virulently racist as well as anti-Semitic beliefs, many based on national socialist ideals derived from Nazi Germany. Neo-Nazis may attempt to downplay or deny the Jewish Holocaust.

(also: national socialists, Nazis)

(U) patriot movement

(U//FOUO) A term used by rightwing extremists to link their beliefs to those commonly associated with the American Revolution. The patriot movement primarily comprises violent antigovernment groups such as militias and sovereign citizens.

(also: Christian patriots, patriot group, Constitutionalists, Constitutionist)

(U) Phineas Priesthood (U//FOUO) A Christian Identity doctrine derived from the Biblical story of Phinehas, which adherents interpret as justifying inter-racial killing. Followers of this belief system also have advocated martyrdom and violence against homosexuals, mixed-race couples, and abortion providers.
(U) primary targeting (U//FOUO) Plans or attacks directed by extremists against parties that are the focus of an organized campaign.
(U) Puerto Rican independence extremists (U//FOUO) Groups or individuals who engage in criminal activity and advocate the use of violence to achievePuerto Rican independence from the United States.
(U) racial Nordic mysticism

(U//FOUO) An ideology adopted by many white supremacist prison gangs who embrace a Norse mythological religion, such as Odinism or Asatru.

(also: Odinism, Asatru)

(U) racialist

(U//FOUO) A term used by white supremacists intended to

minimize their extreme views on racial issues.

(U) racist skinheads

(U//FOUO) Groups or individuals who combine white supremacist ideology with a skinhead ethos in which “white power” music plays a central role. Dress may include a shaved head or very short hair, jeans, thin suspenders, combat boots or Doc Martens, a bomber jacket (sometimes with racist symbols), and tattoos of Nazi-like emblems. Some are abandoning these stereotypical identifiers.

(also: skins)

(U) radicalization (U//FOUO) The process by which an individual adopts an extremist belief system leading to his or her willingness to advocate or bring about political, religious, economic, or social change through the use of force, violence, or ideologically motivated criminal activity.
(U) rightwing extremism

(U//FOUO) A movement of rightwing groups or individuals who can be broadly divided into those who are primarily hate-oriented, and those who are mainly antigovernment and reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority. This term also may refer to rightwing extremist movements that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.

(also known as far right, extreme right)

(U) secondary targeting (U//FOUO) Plans or attacks directed against parties (secondary targets) that provide direct financial, logistic, or physical support to the primary target of an organized campaign, with the goal of coercing those parties to end their engagement with a primary target. Secondary targets can include customers of or suppliers to a primary target or employees of a primary target organization.
(U) single-issue extremist groups

(U//FOUO) Groups or individuals who focus on a single issue or cause—such as animal rights, environmental or anti-abortion extremism—and often employ criminal acts. Group members may be associated with more than one issue.

(also: special interest extremists)

(U) skinheads

(U//FOUO) A subculture composed primarily of working-class, white youth who embrace shaved heads for males, substance abuse, and violence. Skinheads can be categorized as racist, anti-racist or “traditional,” which emphasizes group unity based on fashion, music, and lifestyle rather than political ideology. Dress often includes a shaved head or very short hair, jeans, thin suspenders, combat boots or Doc Martens, and a bomber jacket.

(also: skins)

(U) sovereign citizen movement

(U//FOUO) A rightwing extremist movement composed of groups or individuals who reject the notion of U.S. citizenship. They claim to follow only what they believe to be God’s law or common law and the original 10 amendments (Bill of Rights) to the U.S. Constitution. They believe they are emancipated from all other responsibilities associated with being a U.S. citizen, such as paying taxes, possessing a driver’s license and motor vehicle registration, or holding a social security number. They generally do not recognize federal or state government authority or laws. Several sovereign citizen groups in the United States produce fraudulent documents for their members in lieu of legitimate government-issued forms of identification. Members have been known to advocate or engage in criminal activity and plot acts of violence and terrorism in an attempt to advance their extremist goals. They often target government officials and law enforcement.

(also: state citizens, freemen, preamble citizens, common law citizens)

(U) tax resistance movement

(U//FOUO) Groups or individuals who vehemently believe taxes violate their constitutional rights. Among their beliefs are that wages are not income, that paying income taxes is voluntary, and that the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which allowed Congress to levy taxes on income, was not properly ratified. Members have been known to advocate or engage in criminal activity and plot acts of violence and terrorism in an attempt to advance their extremist goals. They often target government entities such as the Internal Revenue Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

(also: tax protest movement, tax freedom movement, antitax movement)

(U) tertiary targeting (U//FOUO) Plans or attacks against parties with indirect links to the primary target of an organized campaign. Tertiary targets can include employees, customers, investors, and other participants in a company (the secondary target) that does business with or provides support services to the primary target; or parties who provide direct financial, logistic, or physical support to the secondary target.
(U) underground (U//FOUO) A term used to describe clandestine extremist groups, individuals, or their activities.
(U) violent antiwar extremism (U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals who advocate or engage in criminal activity and plot acts of violence and terrorism in an attempt to voice their opposition to U.S. involvement in war-related activities. They often target the military, seats of government power, and defense industry personnel, facilities, and activities.
(U) violent religious sects (U//FOUO) Religious extremist groups predisposed toward violence. These groups often stockpile weapons, conduct paramilitary training, and share a paranoid interpretation of current world events, which they often associate with the end of the world. They perceive outsiders as enemies or evil influences; display intense xenophobia and strong distrust of the government; and exercise extreme physical or psychological control over group members, sometimes isolating them from society or subjecting them to physical or sexual abuse and harsh initiation practices.
(U) white nationalism (U//FOUO) A term used by white supremacists to emphasize what they perceive as the uniquely white (European) heritage of the United States.
(U) white power (U//FOUO) A term used by white supremacists to describe their pride in and the perceived superiority of the white race.
(U) white separatism (U//FOUO) A movement of groups or individuals who believe in the separation of races and reject interracial marriages. Some advocate the secession of specific geographic regions from the rest of the United States. Members have been known to advocate or engage in criminal activity and plot acts of violence and terrorism in an attempt to advance their extremist goals.
(U) white supremacist movement

(U//FOUO) Groups or individuals who believe that whites— Caucasians—are intellectually and morally superior to other races and use their racist ideology to justify committing crimes, acts of violence, and terrorism to advance their cause. Some advocate racial separation/segregation. White supremacists generally fall into six categories: Neo-Nazi, Ku Klux KlanUSPER, Christian Identity, racist skinhead, Nordic mysticism, or Aryan prison gangs.
White supremacists have been known to embrace more than one of these categories.

(U) Reporting Notice:
(U) DHS encourages recipients of this document to report information concerning suspicious or criminal activity to DHS and the FBI. The DHS National Operations Center (NOC) can be reached by telephone at 202-282-9685 or by e-mail at [email protected] For information affecting the private sector and critical infrastructure, contact the National Infrastructure Coordinating Center (NICC), a sub-element of the NOC. The NICC can be reached by telephone at 202-282-9201 or by e-mail at [email protected] The FBI regional phone numbers can be found online at http://www.fbi.gov/contact/fo/fo.htm. When available, each report submitted should include the date, time, location, type of activity, number of people and type of equipment used for the activity, the name of the submitting company or organization, and a designated point of contact.
(U) For comments or questions related to the content or dissemination of this document, please contact the DHS/I&A Production Branch at [email protected], [email protected], or [email protected]
(U) Tracked by: TERR-020100-01-05, TERR-020600-01-05, TERR-060100-01-05

 


Oct 24 2011

Mortgage CEO Gets 40-Month Sentence for $3 Billion Fraud, Homeless Man Gets 15 Years for Taking $100

This image illustrates how our country treats the rich-and-corrupt compared to the poor-and-honest — the 1% compared to the 99%. We live in a country where white collar criminals convicted of multi-billion-dollar fraud schemes get less than Three and a half years in prison, while a homeless men who takes a hundred bucks (and feels bad about it) is imprisoned for 15 years. The stories aren’t new (the first is from June and the second from 2009), but it hardly matters; you could sub in any of the numerous stories of white collar criminals getting away with enormous crimes, and of poor people being targeted because of their class, and you’d get a similar result. It’s as if there is one low for them and another for us.

For those who think saying you have a gun and robbing someone is worse than secretly stealing 3 billion, here are the results of the CEOs actions:

Allen was chief executive at Ocala, Fla.-based Taylor Bean & Whitaker, which collapsed in 2009 after the criminal investigation became public, resulting in its 2,000 employees losing their jobs. The fraud also contributed to the collapse of Alabama-based Colonial Bank – the sixth largest bank failure in U.S. history – after Colonial bought hundreds of millions of dollars in Taylor Bean mortgages that had already been sold to other investors.

Two other banks – Deutsche Bank and BNP Paribas – lost nearly $2 billion after buying corporate paper from Taylor Bean that was not properly backed with collateral, authorities said.

Taylor Bean and Colonial also tried to obtain more than $500 million from the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program but ultimately never received any funding from the program also known as TARP.

 Now I think the number of jobs lost, and subsequent houses lost, broken marriages and other banks and businesses destroyed is far worse than any bank robbery.

If anyone you know still doesn’t understand what the Occupy Wall Street protesters are angry about, please point him to this

Corprate Crime

.


Sep 9 2011

Farewell to All That: Reflections of a Republican Operative Who Left the Club

By: MIKE LOFGREN

Barbara Stanwyck: “We’re both rotten!”

Fred MacMurray: “Yeah – only you’re a little more rotten.” -”Double Indemnity” (1944)

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins

Buy the Related Book "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" by John Perkins

Those lines of dialogue from a classic film noir sum up the condition of both political parties in modern America. Both parties are rotten – how could they not be, considering the complete infestation of the political system by corporate money on a scale that now requires a presidential candidate to raise well over a billion dollars to be competitive in the general election? Both parties are captives to corporate funds. The main reason the Democrats’ health care bill will be a budget buster once it fully phases in is the Democrats’ rank capitulation to corporate interests – no single-payer system, in order to mollify the insurers; and no negotiation of drug prices, a craven surrender to Big Pharma.

But both parties are not rotten in quite the same way. The Democrats have their share of machine politicians, careerists, corporate bagmen, egomaniacs and kooks. Nothing, however, quite matches the modern Gop.

To the millions of Americans who have finally begun paying attention to politics and watched with exasperation the tragicomedy of the debt ceiling expansion, it might have come as a shock that the Republican Party is so full of lunatics. To be sure, the party, like any political party on earth, has always had its share of crackpots, like Robert K. Dornan or William E. Dannemeyer. But the crackpot outliers of two decades ago have become the vital center today: Steve King, Michele Bachman (now a leading presidential candidate as well), Paul Broun, Patrick McHenry, Virginia Foxx, Louie Gohmert, Allen West. The Congressional directory now reads like a casebook of lunacy.

Republican moneyIt was this cast of characters and the pernicious ideas they represent that impelled me to end a nearly 30-year career as a professional staff member on Capitol Hill. A couple of months ago, I retired; but I could see as early as last November that the Republican Party would use the debt limit vote, an otherwise routine legislative procedure that has been used 87 times since the end of World War II, in order to concoct an entirely artificial fiscal crisis. Then, they would use that fiscal crisis to get what they wanted, by literally holding the US and global economies as hostages.

The debt ceiling extension is not the only example of this sort of political terrorism. Republicans were willing to lay off 4,000 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees, 70,000 private construction workers and let FAA safety inspectors work without pay, in fact, forcing them to pay for their own work-related travel – how prudent is that? – in order to strong arm some union-busting provisions into the FAA reauthorization.

Everyone knows that in a hostage situation, the reckless and amoral actor has the negotiating upper hand over the cautious and responsible actor because the latter is actually concerned about the life of the hostage, while the former does not care. This fact, which ought to be obvious, has nevertheless caused confusion among the professional pundit class, which is mostly still stuck in the Bob Dole era in terms of its orientation. For instance, Ezra Klein wrote of his puzzlement over the fact that while House Republicans essentially won the debt ceiling fight, enough of them were sufficiently dissatisfied that they might still scuttle the deal. Of course they might – the attitude of many freshman Republicans to national default was “bring it on!”

It should have been evident to clear-eyed observers that the Republican Party is becoming less and less like a traditional political party in a representative democracy and becoming more like an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe. This trend has several implications, none of them pleasant.

In his “Manual of Parliamentary Practice,” Thomas Jefferson wrote that it is less important that every rule and custom of a legislature be absolutely justifiable in a theoretical sense, than that they should be generally acknowledged and honored by all parties. These include unwritten rules, customs and courtesies that lubricate the legislative machinery and keep governance a relatively civilized procedure. The US Senate has more complex procedural rules than any other legislative body in the world; many of these rules are contradictory, and on any given day, the Senate parliamentarian may issue a ruling that contradicts earlier rulings on analogous cases.

The only thing that can keep the Senate functioning is collegiality and good faith. During periods of political consensus, for instance, the World War II and early post-war eras, the Senate was a “high functioning” institution: filibusters were rare and the body was legislatively productive. Now, one can no more picture the current Senate producing the original Medicare Act than the old Supreme Soviet having legislated the Bill of Rights.

Far from being a rarity, virtually every bill, every nominee for Senate confirmation and every routine procedural motion is now subject to a Republican filibuster. Under the circumstances, it is no wonder that Washington is gridlocked: legislating has now become war minus the shooting, something one could have observed 80 years ago in the Reichstag of the Weimar Republic. As Hannah Arendt observed, a disciplined minority of totalitarians can use the instruments of democratic government to undermine democracy itself.

John P. Judis sums up the modern GOP this way:


“Over the last four decades, the Republican Party has transformed from a loyal opposition into an insurrectionary party that flouts the law when it is in the majority and threatens disorder when it is the minority. It is the party of Watergate and Iran-Contra, but also of the government shutdown in 1995 and the impeachment trial of 1999. If there is an earlier American precedent for today’s Republican Party, it is the antebellum Southern Democrats of John Calhoun who threatened to nullify, or disregard, federal legislation they objected to and who later led the fight to secede from the union over slavery.”

 

A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this obstruction and disruption. Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress’s generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner.

A deeply cynical tactic, to be sure, but a psychologically insightful one that plays on the weaknesses both of the voting public and the news media. There are tens of millions of low-information voters who hardly know which party controls which branch of government, let alone which party is pursuing a particular legislative tactic. These voters’ confusion over who did what allows them to form the conclusion that “they are all crooks,” and that “government is no good,” further leading them to think, “a plague on both your houses” and “the parties are like two kids in a school yard.” This ill-informed public cynicism, in its turn, further intensifies the long-term decline in public trust in government that has been taking place since the early 1960s – a distrust that has been stoked by Republican rhetoric at every turn (“Government is the problem,” declared Ronald Reagan in 1980).

The media are also complicit in this phenomenon. Ever since the bifurcation of electronic media into a more or less respectable “hard news” segment and a rabidly ideological talk radio and cable TV political propaganda arm, the “respectable” media have been terrified of any criticism for perceived bias. Hence, they hew to the practice of false evenhandedness. Paul Krugman has skewered this tactic as being the “centrist cop-out.” “I joked long ago,” he says, “that if one party declared that the earth was flat, the headlines would read ‘Views Differ on Shape of Planet.’”

Inside-the-Beltway wise guy Chris Cillizza merely proves Krugman right in his Washington Post analysis of “winners and losers” in the debt ceiling impasse. He wrote that the institution of Congress was a big loser in the fracas, which is, of course, correct, but then he opined: “Lawmakers – bless their hearts – seem entirely unaware of just how bad they looked during this fight and will almost certainly spend the next few weeks (or months) congratulating themselves on their tremendous magnanimity.” Note how the pundit’s ironic deprecation falls like the rain on the just and unjust alike, on those who precipitated the needless crisis and those who despaired of it. He seems oblivious that one side – or a sizable faction of one side – has deliberately attempted to damage the reputation of Congress to achieve its political objectives.

This constant drizzle of “there the two parties go again!” stories out of the news bureaus, combined with the hazy confusion of low-information voters, means that the long-term Republican strategy of undermining confidence in our democratic institutions has reaped electoral dividends. The United States has nearly the lowest voter participation among Western democracies; this, again, is a consequence of the decline of trust in government institutions – if government is a racket and both parties are the same, why vote? And if the uninvolved middle declines to vote, it increases the electoral clout of a minority that is constantly being whipped into a lather by three hours daily of Rush Limbaugh or Fox News. There were only 44 million Republican voters in the 2010 mid-term elections, but they effectively canceled the political results of the election of President Obama by 69 million voters.

This tactic of inducing public distrust of government is not only cynical, it is schizophrenic. For people who profess to revere the Constitution, it is strange that they so caustically denigrate the very federal government that is the material expression of the principles embodied in that document. This is not to say that there is not some theoretical limit to the size or intrusiveness of government; I would be the first to say there are such limits, both fiscal and Constitutional. But most Republican officeholders seem strangely uninterested in the effective repeal of Fourth Amendment protections by the Patriot Act, the weakening of habeas corpus and self-incrimination protections in the public hysteria following 9/11 or the unpalatable fact that the United States has the largest incarcerated population of any country on earth. If anything, they would probably opt for more incarcerated persons, as imprisonment is a profit center for the prison privatization industry, which is itself a growth center for political contributions to these same politicians.[1] Instead, they prefer to rail against those government programs that actually help people. And when a program is too popular to attack directly, like Medicare or Social Security, they prefer to undermine it by feigning an agonized concern about the deficit. That concern, as we shall see, is largely fictitious.

Undermining Americans’ belief in their own institutions of self-government remains a prime GOP electoral strategy. But if this technique falls short of producing Karl Rove’s dream of 30 years of unchallengeable one-party rule (as all such techniques always fall short of achieving the angry and embittered true believer’s New Jerusalem), there are other even less savory techniques upon which to fall back. Ever since Republicans captured the majority in a number of state legislatures last November, they have systematically attempted to make it more difficult to vote: by onerous voter ID requirements (in Wisconsin, Republicans have legislated photo IDs while simultaneously shutting Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices in Democratic constituencies while at the same time lengthening the hours of operation of DMV offices in GOP constituencies); by narrowing registration periods; and by residency requirements that may disenfranchise university students.

This legislative assault is moving in a diametrically opposed direction to 200 years of American history, when the arrow of progress pointed toward more political participation by more citizens. Republicans are among the most shrill in self-righteously lecturing other countries about the wonders of democracy; exporting democracy (albeit at the barrel of a gun) to the Middle East was a signature policy of the Bush administration. But domestically, they don’t want those people voting.

You can probably guess who those people are. Above all, anyone not likely to vote Republican. As Sarah Palin would imply, the people who are not Real Americans. Racial minorities. Immigrants. Muslims. Gays. Intellectuals. Basically, anyone who doesn’t look, think, or talk like the GOP base. This must account, at least to some degree, for their extraordinarily vitriolic hatred of President Obama. I have joked in the past that the main administration policy that Republicans object to is Obama’s policy of being black.[2] Among the GOP base, there is constant harping about somebody else, some “other,” who is deliberately, assiduously and with malice aforethought subverting the Good, the True and the Beautiful: Subversives. Commies. Socialists. Ragheads. Secular humanists. Blacks. Fags. Feminazis. The list may change with the political needs of the moment, but they always seem to need a scapegoat to hate and fear.

It is not clear to me how many GOP officeholders believe this reactionary and paranoid claptrap. I would bet that most do not. But they cynically feed the worst instincts of their fearful and angry low-information political base with a nod and a wink. During the disgraceful circus of the “birther” issue, Republican politicians subtly stoked the fires of paranoia by being suggestively equivocal – “I take the president at his word” – while never unambiguously slapping down the myth. John Huntsman was the first major GOP figure forthrightly to refute the birther calumny – albeit after release of the birth certificate.

I do not mean to place too much emphasis on racial animus in the GOP. While it surely exists, it is also a fact that Republicans think that no Democratic president could conceivably be legitimate. Republicans also regarded Bill Clinton as somehow, in some manner, twice fraudulently elected (well do I remember the elaborate conspiracy theories that Republicans traded among themselves). Had it been Hillary Clinton, rather than Barack Obama, who had been elected in 2008, I am certain we would now be hearing, in lieu of the birther myths, conspiracy theories about Vince Foster’s alleged murder.

The reader may think that I am attributing Svengali-like powers to GOP operatives able to manipulate a zombie base to do their bidding. It is more complicated than that. Historical circumstances produced the raw material: the deindustrialization and financialization of America since about 1970 has spawned an increasingly downscale white middle class – without job security (or even without jobs), with pensions and health benefits evaporating and with their principal asset deflating in the collapse of the housing bubble. Their fears are not imaginary; their standard of living is shrinking.

What do the Democrats offer these people? Essentially nothing. Democratic Leadership Council-style “centrist” Democrats were among the biggest promoters of disastrous trade deals in the 1990s that outsourced jobs abroad: NAFTA, World Trade Organization, permanent most-favored-nation status for China. At the same time, the identity politics/lifestyle wing of the Democratic Party was seen as a too illegal immigrant-friendly by downscaled and outsourced whites.[3]

While Democrats temporized, or even dismissed the fears of the white working class as racist or nativist, Republicans went to work. To be sure, the business wing of the Republican Party consists of the most energetic outsourcers, wage cutters and hirers of sub-minimum wage immigrant labor to be found anywhere on the globe. But the faux-populist wing of the party, knowing the mental compartmentalization that occurs in most low-information voters, played on the fears of that same white working class to focus their anger on scapegoats that do no damage to corporations’ bottom lines: instead of raising the minimum wage, let’s build a wall on the Southern border (then hire a defense contractor to incompetently manage it). Instead of predatory bankers, it’s evil Muslims. Or evil gays. Or evil abortionists.

How do they manage to do this? Because Democrats ceded the field. Above all, they do not understand language. Their initiatives are posed in impenetrable policy-speak: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The what? – can anyone even remember it? No wonder the pejorative “Obamacare” won out. Contrast that with the Republicans’ Patriot Act. You’re a patriot, aren’t you? Does anyone at the GED level have a clue what a Stimulus Bill is supposed to be? Why didn’t the White House call it the Jobs Bill and keep pounding on that theme?

You know that Social Security and Medicare are in jeopardy when even Democrats refer to them as entitlements. “Entitlement” has a negative sound in colloquial English: somebody who is “entitled” selfishly claims something he doesn’t really deserve. Why not call them “earned benefits,” which is what they are because we all contribute payroll taxes to fund them? That would never occur to the Democrats. Republicans don’t make that mistake; they are relentlessly on message: it is never the “estate tax,” it is the “death tax.” Heaven forbid that the Walton family should give up one penny of its $86-billion fortune. All of that lucre is necessary to ensure that unions be kept out of Wal-Mart, that women employees not be promoted and that politicians be kept on a short leash.

It was not always thus. It would have been hard to find an uneducated farmer during the depression of the 1890s who did not have a very accurate idea about exactly which economic interests were shafting him. An unemployed worker in a breadline in 1932 would have felt little gratitude to the Rockefellers or the Mellons. But that is not the case in the present economic crisis. After a riot of unbridled greed such as the world has not seen since the conquistadors’ looting expeditions and after an unprecedented broad and rapid transfer of wealth upward by Wall Street and its corporate satellites, where is the popular anger directed, at least as depicted in the media? At “Washington spending” – which has increased primarily to provide unemployment compensation, food stamps and Medicaid to those economically damaged by the previous decade’s corporate saturnalia. Or the popular rage is harmlessly diverted against pseudo-issues: death panels, birtherism, gay marriage, abortion, and so on, none of which stands to dent the corporate bottom line in the slightest.

Thus far, I have concentrated on Republican tactics, rather than Republican beliefs, but the tactics themselves are important indicators of an absolutist, authoritarian mindset that is increasingly hostile to the democratic values of reason, compromise and conciliation. Rather, this mindset seeks polarizing division (Karl Rove has been very explicit that this is his principal campaign strategy), conflict and the crushing of opposition.

As for what they really believe, the Republican Party of 2011 believes in three principal tenets I have laid out below. The rest of their platform one may safely dismiss as window dressing:

1. The GOP cares solely and exclusively about its rich contributors. The party has built a whole catechism on the protection and further enrichment of America’s plutocracy. Their caterwauling about deficit and debt is so much eyewash to con the public. Whatever else President Obama has accomplished (and many of his purported accomplishments are highly suspect), his $4-trillion deficit reduction package did perform the useful service of smoking out Republican hypocrisy. The GOP refused, because it could not abide so much as a one-tenth of one percent increase on the tax rates of the Walton family or the Koch brothers, much less a repeal of the carried interest rule that permits billionaire hedge fund managers to pay income tax at a lower effective rate than cops or nurses. Republicans finally settled on a deal that had far less deficit reduction – and even less spending reduction! – than Obama’s offer, because of their iron resolution to protect at all costs our society’s overclass.

Republicans have attempted to camouflage their amorous solicitude for billionaires with a fog of misleading rhetoric. John Boehner is fond of saying, “we won’t raise anyone’s taxes,” as if the take-home pay of an Olive Garden waitress were inextricably bound up with whether Warren Buffett pays his capital gains as ordinary income or at a lower rate. Another chestnut is that millionaires and billionaires are “job creators.” US corporations have just had their most profitable quarters in history; Apple, for one, is sitting on $76 billion in cash, more than the GDP of most countries. So, where are the jobs?

Another smokescreen is the “small business” meme, since standing up for Mom’s and Pop’s corner store is politically more attractive than to be seen shilling for a megacorporation. Raising taxes on the wealthy will kill small business’ ability to hire; that is the GOP dirge every time Bernie Sanders or some Democrat offers an amendment to increase taxes on incomes above $1 million. But the number of small businesses that have a net annual income over a million dollars is de minimis, if not by definition impossible (as they would no longer be small businesses). And as data from the Center for Economic and Policy Research have shown, small businesses account for only 7.2 percent of total US employment, a significantly smaller share of total employment than in most Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

Likewise, Republicans have assiduously spread the myth that Americans are conspicuously overtaxed. But compared to other OECD countries, the effective rates of US taxation are among the lowest. In particular, they point to the top corporate income rate of 35 percent as being confiscatory Bolshevism. But again, the effective rate is much lower. Did GE pay 35 percent on 2010 profits of $14 billion? No, it paid zero.

When pressed, Republicans make up misleading statistics to “prove” that the America’s fiscal burden is being borne by the rich and the rest of us are just freeloaders who don’t appreciate that fact. “Half of Americans don’t pay taxes” is a perennial meme. But what they leave out is that that statement refers to federal income taxes. There are millions of people who don’t pay income taxes, but do contribute payroll taxes – among the most regressive forms of taxation. But according to GOP fiscal theology, payroll taxes don’t count. Somehow, they have convinced themselves that since payroll taxes go into trust funds, they’re not real taxes. Likewise, state and local sales taxes apparently don’t count, although their effect on a poor person buying necessities like foodstuffs is far more regressive than on a millionaire.

All of these half truths and outright lies have seeped into popular culture via the corporate-owned business press. Just listen to CNBC for a few hours and you will hear most of them in one form or another. More important politically, Republicans’ myths about taxation have been internalized by millions of economically downscale “values voters,” who may have been attracted to the GOP for other reasons (which I will explain later), but who now accept this misinformation as dogma.

And when misinformation isn’t enough to sustain popular support for the GOP’s agenda, concealment is needed. One fairly innocuous provision in the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill requires public companies to make a more transparent disclosure of CEO compensation, including bonuses. Note that it would not limit the compensation, only require full disclosure. Republicans are hell-bent on repealing this provision. Of course; it would not serve Wall Street interests if the public took an unhealthy interest in the disparity of their own incomes as against that of a bank CEO. As Spencer Bachus, the Republican chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, says, “In Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks.”

2. They worship at the altar of Mars. While the me-too Democrats have set a horrible example of keeping up with the Joneses with respect to waging wars, they can never match GOP stalwarts such as John McCain or Lindsey Graham in their sheer, libidinous enthusiasm for invading other countries. McCain wanted to mix it up with Russia – a nuclear-armed state – during the latter’s conflict with Georgia in 2008 (remember? – “we are all Georgians now,” a slogan that did not, fortunately, catch on), while Graham has been persistently agitating for attacks on Iran and intervention in Syria. And these are not fringe elements of the party; they are the leading “defense experts,” who always get tapped for the Sunday talk shows. About a month before Republicans began holding a gun to the head of the credit markets to get trillions of dollars of cuts, these same Republicans passed a defense appropriations bill that increased spending by $17 billion over the prior year’s defense appropriation. To borrow Chris Hedges’ formulation, war is the force that gives meaning to their lives.

A cynic might conclude that this militaristic enthusiasm is no more complicated than the fact that Pentagon contractors spread a lot of bribery money around Capitol Hill. That is true, but there is more to it than that. It is not necessarily even the fact that members of Congress feel they are protecting constituents’ jobs. The wildly uneven concentration of defense contracts and military bases nationally means that some areas, like Washington, DC, and San Diego, are heavily dependent on Department of Defense (DOD) spending. But there are many more areas of the country whose net balance is negative: the citizenry pays more in taxes to support the Pentagon than it receives back in local contracts.

And the economic justification for Pentagon spending is even more fallacious when one considers that the $700 billion annual DOD budget creates comparatively few jobs. The days of Rosie the Riveter are long gone; most weapons projects now require very little touch labor. Instead, a disproportionate share is siphoned off into high-cost research and development (from which the civilian economy benefits little); exorbitant management expenditures, overhead and out-and-out padding; and, of course, the money that flows back into the coffers of political campaigns. A million dollars appropriated for highway construction would create two to three times as many jobs as a million dollars appropriated for Pentagon weapons procurement, so the jobs argument is ultimately specious.

Take away the cash nexus and there still remains a psychological predisposition toward war and militarism on the part of the GOP. This undoubtedly arises from a neurotic need to demonstrate toughness and dovetails perfectly with the belligerent tough-guy pose one constantly hears on right-wing talk radio. Militarism springs from the same psychological deficit that requires an endless series of enemies, both foreign and domestic.

The results of the last decade of unbridled militarism and the Democrats’ cowardly refusal to reverse it[4], have been disastrous both strategically and fiscally. It has made the United States less prosperous, less secure and less free. Unfortunately, the militarism and the promiscuous intervention it gives rise to are only likely to abate when the Treasury is exhausted, just as it happened to the Dutch Republic and the British Empire.

3. Give me that old time religion. Pandering to fundamentalism is a full-time vocation in the GOP. Beginning in the 1970s, religious cranks ceased simply to be a minor public nuisance in this country and grew into the major element of the Republican rank and file. Pat Robertson’s strong showing in the 1988 Iowa Caucus signaled the gradual merger of politics and religion in the party. The results are all around us: if the American people poll more like Iranians or Nigerians than Europeans or Canadians on questions of evolution versus creationism, scriptural inerrancy, the existence of angels and demons, and so forth, that result is due to the rise of the religious right, its insertion into the public sphere by the Republican Party and the consequent normalizing of formerly reactionary or quaint beliefs. Also around us is a prevailing anti-intellectualism and hostility to science; it is this group that defines “low-information voter” – or, perhaps, “misinformation voter.”

The Constitution to the contrary notwithstanding, there is now a de facto religious test for the presidency: major candidates are encouraged (or coerced) to “share their feelings” about their “faith” in a revelatory speech; or, some televangelist like Rick Warren dragoons the candidates (as he did with Obama and McCain in 2008) to debate the finer points of Christology, with Warren himself, of course, as the arbiter. Politicized religion is also the sheet anchor of the culture wars. But how did the whole toxic stew of GOP beliefs – economic royalism, militarism and culture wars cum fundamentalism – come completely to displace an erstwhile civilized Eisenhower Republicanism?

It is my view that the rise of politicized religious fundamentalism (which is a subset of the decline of rational problem solving in America) may have been the key ingredient of the takeover of the Republican Party. For politicized religion provides a substrate of beliefs that rationalizes – at least in the minds of followers – all three of the GOP’s main tenets.

Televangelists have long espoused the health-and-wealth/name-it-and-claim it gospel. If you are wealthy, it is a sign of God’s favor. If not, too bad! But don’t forget to tithe in any case. This rationale may explain why some economically downscale whites defend the prerogatives of billionaires.

The GOP’s fascination with war is also connected with the fundamentalist mindset. The Old Testament abounds in tales of slaughter – God ordering the killing of the Midianite male infants and enslavement of the balance of the population, the divinely-inspired genocide of the Canaanites, the slaying of various miscreants with the jawbone of an ass – and since American religious fundamentalist seem to prefer the Old Testament to the New (particularly that portion of the New Testament known as the Sermon on the Mount), it is but a short step to approving war as a divinely inspired mission. This sort of thinking has led, inexorably, to such phenomena as Jerry Falwell once writing that God is Pro-War.

It is the apocalyptic frame of reference of fundamentalists, their belief in an imminent Armageddon, that psychologically conditions them to steer this country into conflict, not only on foreign fields (some evangelicals thought Saddam was the Antichrist and therefore a suitable target for cruise missiles), but also in the realm of domestic political controversy. It is hardly surprising that the most adamant proponent of the view that there was no debt ceiling problem was Michele Bachmann, the darling of the fundamentalist right. What does it matter, anyway, if the country defaults? – we shall presently abide in the bosom of the Lord.

Some liberal writers have opined that the different socio-economic perspectives separating the “business” wing of the GOP and the religious right make it an unstable coalition that could crack. I am not so sure. There is no fundamental disagreement on which direction the two factions want to take the country, merely how far in that direction they want to take it. The plutocrats would drag us back to the Gilded Age, the theocrats to the Salem witch trials. In any case, those consummate plutocrats, the Koch brothers, are pumping large sums of money into Michele Bachman’s presidential campaign, so one ought not make too much of a potential plutocrat-theocrat split.

Thus, the modern GOP; it hardly seems conceivable that a Republican could have written the following:

“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.” (That was President Eisenhower, writing to his brother Edgar in 1954.)

It is this broad and ever-widening gulf between the traditional Republicanism of an Eisenhower and the quasi-totalitarian cult of a Michele Bachmann that impelled my departure from Capitol Hill. It is not in my pragmatic nature to make a heroic gesture of self-immolation, or to make lurid revelations of personal martyrdom in the manner of David Brock. And I will leave a more detailed dissection of failed Republican economic policies to my fellow apostate Bruce Bartlett.

I left because I was appalled at the headlong rush of Republicans, like Gadarene swine, to embrace policies that are deeply damaging to this country’s future; and contemptuous of the feckless, craven incompetence of Democrats in their half-hearted attempts to stop them. And, in truth, I left as an act of rational self-interest. Having gutted private-sector pensions and health benefits as a result of their embrace of outsourcing, union busting and “shareholder value,” the GOP now thinks it is only fair that public-sector workers give up their pensions and benefits, too. Hence the intensification of the GOP’s decades-long campaign of scorn against government workers. Under the circumstances, it is simply safer to be a current retiree rather than a prospective one.

If you think Paul Ryan and his Ayn Rand-worshipping colleagues aren’t after your Social Security and Medicare, I am here to disabuse you of your naiveté.[5] They will move heaven and earth to force through tax cuts that will so starve the government of revenue that they will be “forced” to make “hard choices” – and that doesn’t mean repealing those very same tax cuts, it means cutting the benefits for which you worked.

During the week that this piece was written, the debt ceiling fiasco reached its conclusion. The economy was already weak, but the GOP’s disgraceful game of chicken roiled the markets even further. Foreigners could hardly believe it: Americans’ own crazy political actions were destabilizing the safe-haven status of the dollar. Accordingly, during that same week, over one trillion dollars worth of assets evaporated on financial markets. Russia and China have stepped up their advocating that the dollar be replaced as the global reserve currency – a move as consequential and disastrous for US interests as any that can be imagined.

If Republicans have perfected a new form of politics that is successful electorally at the same time that it unleashes major policy disasters, it means twilight both for the democratic process and America’s status as the world’s leading power.

Footnotes:

[1] I am not exaggerating for effect. A law passed in 2010 by the Arizona legislature mandating arrest and incarceration of suspected illegal aliens was actually drafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative business front group that drafts “model” legislation on behalf of its corporate sponsors. The draft legislation in question was written for the private prison lobby, which sensed a growth opportunity in imprisoning more people.

[2] I am not a supporter of Obama and object to a number of his foreign and domestic policies. But when he took office amid the greatest financial collapse in 80 years, I wanted him to succeed, so that the country I served did not fail. But already in 2009, Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, declared that his greatest legislative priority was – jobs for Americans? Rescuing the financial system? Solving the housing collapse? – no, none of those things. His top priority was to ensure that Obama should be a one-term president. Evidently Senator McConnell hates Obama more than he loves his country. Note that the mainstream media have lately been hailing McConnell as “the adult in the room,” presumably because he is less visibly unstable than the Tea Party freshmen

[3] This is not a venue for immigrant bashing. It remains a fact that outsourcing jobs overseas, while insourcing sub-minimum wage immigrant labor, will exert downward pressure on US wages. The consequence will be popular anger, and failure to address that anger will result in a downward wage spiral and a breech of the social compact, not to mention a rise in nativism and other reactionary impulses. It does no good to claim that these economic consequences are an inevitable result of globalization; Germany has somehow managed to maintain a high-wage economy and a vigorous industrial base.

[4] The cowardice is not merely political. During the past ten years, I have observed that Democrats are actually growing afraid of Republicans. In a quirky and flawed, but insightful, little book, “Democracy and Populism: Fear and Hatred,” John Lukacs concludes that the left fears, the right hates.

[5] The GOP cult of Ayn Rand is both revealing and mystifying. On the one hand, Rand’s tough guy, every-man-for-himself posturing is a natural fit because it puts a philosophical gloss on the latent sociopathy so prevalent among the hard right. On the other, Rand exclaimed at every opportunity that she was a militant atheist who felt nothing but contempt for Christianity. Apparently, the ignorance of most fundamentalist “values voters” means that GOP candidates who enthuse over Rand at the same time they thump their Bibles never have to explain this stark contradiction. And I imagine a Democratic officeholder would have a harder time explaining why he named his offspring “Marx” than a GOP incumbent would in rationalizing naming his kid “Rand.”

This work by Truthout is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

Mike Lofgren retired on June 17 after 28 years as a Congressional staffer. He served 16 years as a professional staff member on the Republican side of both the House and Senate Budget Committees.

Aug 18 2011

Sage Francis — Conspiracy To Riot, Music Video & Lyrics

Sage Francis — Conspiracy To Riot

Born Paul Francis in Miami, Florida, Sage Francis is a rapper/writer/performer from Providence, Rhode Island. He is the founder and CEO of the independent hip-hop record label Strange Famous Records.

Conspiracy to Riot is produced by Reanimator. It was originally recorded as a way to raise money to help out protestors who were falsely arrested at 2008′s Republican National Convention. Jared Paul (lead vocalist of Prayers for Atheists) can be heard at the beginning and end of this song. He was one of the many people who were unjustly thrown in jail at this protest only to have all charges dropped at a later date.

Enjoy this video.

Sage Francis — Conspiracy To Riot Lyrics

They wanna corrupt me. They tried to corrupt me.
This ain’t no Swan Song. This is for the ugly ducklings of my country.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE HERE!
‘psst psst; conspiracy to riot.’

Peep the game, dummy. You can’t keep the reign from me.
It’s us who put in the over time, they who make the money.
Snickering at trickle down economy.
We got nickled and dimed? It’s more like highway robbery.
Drive in the fast lane. Eyes on the gas gauge.
Listen to neo-cons cry about black rage.
It doesn’t stop there.
They’re the blowhards. They puff out their chest. They’re full of hot air.
Providing entertainment for the status quo.
Then once every 4 years they pander to the black vote.
Oh, religion ain’t a tool of control?
Then why they pull the God card once they’re losing in the polls?
Foolish. I know. We’re victims of circumstance.
It ain’t coincidence we’re children of the worker ants.
While those in power ain’t never owned a pair of dirty pants
But they’re quick to kill your health insurance plans.
The rich cheat death with their cheap survival.
They found more than one way to beat the Bible.
Street disciple… my beats are trifle mega.
Don’t repeat the cycle, just live your life better.
I’m gonna defeat my rival. That’s why I’m writing this letter
to let em know we ain’t givin’ up the fight ever.

‘psst psst; conspiracy to riot’

They wanna corrupt me. They tried to corrupt me.
This ain’t no Swan Song. This is for the ugly ducklings of my country.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE HERE!
‘psst psst; conspiracy to riot.’

Oh yeah; I’ve got a weapon of mass destruction’;
Parked in the back and it’s a vessel of gas consumption.
Rebels of rap production never adapted to nothing.
Imagine my laugh whenever ask me for something.
Like I ain’t gave it my all.
You came fashionably late to the headbanger’s ball.
After the mob scene lost steam,
And after we spilled pig’s blood on the prom queen.
I’ve been told with old age comes wisdom,
But I’ve found with old age comes old age.
We’re stuck in our old ways like everything was done much better
in some forgotten era. Thumb sucking America.
I can’t begin to name the ways I’d pin the blame
on an administration acting inhumane.
If it’s killing season let’s start within.
When the hunter becomes the hunted they outlaw hunting (ain’t that something.)
Confiscate the ammunition!
Cuz there’s a wolf in sheep’s skin. A pit bull with lipstick.
A pig in a blanket. Some lame duck President
privatizing profit and socializing debt.
Collapsed credit. Journalists get arrested.
Watch the Blackwater operatives go domestic.
Oh, that’s a problem? Well don’t agonize.
Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em. A whole pack of lies.
Summer spring and autumn. Now bring the wintertime.
I don’t protest snow. I shovel it with picket signs.

‘psst psst; conspiracy to riot’

They wanna corrupt me. They tried to corrupt me.
This ain’t no Swan Song. This is for the ugly ducklings of my country.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE HERE!

We have the right to assembly and it’s the duty of the patriot
to protect his country from the government.
But when we try it; but when we try it;
But when we try it;
it’s CONSPIRACY TO RIOT!

Peace rally with my friends. Conspiracy to riot.
When we have no defense. Conspiracy to riot.
Rubber bullets to our heads. Conspiracy to riot.
Conspiracy to riot. Conspiracy to riot.

When we find voter fraud. Conspiracy to riot.
When we defy overlords. Conspiracy to riot.
When we finally pull the cord. Conspiracy to riot.
Conspiracy to riot. Conspiracy to riot.

‘Til the truth is revealed. Conspiracy to riot.
We ain’t choosing to kneel. Conspiracy to riot.
Let me be the human shield. Conspiracy to riot.
Conspiracy to riot. Conspiracy to riot.


Help support Sage Francis by going to his web site.


Jul 28 2011

Lowkey Ft. Shadia Mansour – Too Much Music Video & Lyrics

Lowkey Ft. Shadia Mansour – Too Much

Lowkey (born Kareem Dennis, 23 May 1986) is a musician, poet, playwright and political activist of English and Iraqi descent.

This video is about the fact that no matter how greedy you are, money does not buy any of the things important to life, it is set in Cuba and shows the insanity of the sanctions placed on that country by the U.S.

Enjoy this video.

Lowkey Ft. Shadia Mansour – Too Much Lyrics

[Intro: Lauryn Hill]
If you down with the rich man, and that can be rich in anything,
Don’t you take too much,
If you laugh at a poor man, and that can be poor in anything,
Don’t you laugh too much,
If you tryin to be rich man, and that can be rich in anything
Don’t you take too much,
And if you need to be needed, and you’re lookin’ for purpose,
Just remember, don’t you need too much…

[Hook: Shadia Mansour]
If you take something you, don’t need, and keep it
Then you started from somebody else who’s hungry
Everything that you do, is everything you are
Everything that I am, is everything you ever need.

[Verse 1: Lowkey]
Money can buy power, but it can’t buy respect
Money can’t buy sleep, but it can buy a bed
Money can’t buy you love, but it can buy sex
Do you posses money or by money are you possessed?
Money can buy a house, but it can’t buy a home
So even with money you still feel all alone
Money can buy you friends, but it can’t buy family
Money can’t make you happy, that’s just a fallacy
It can buy a bath, but it can’t buy purity
It can buy bodyguards, but it can’t buy security
While people around the world starve, I eat
Cause money can buy war, but it can’t buy peace
Some do everything and anything to get the p’s
The society we livin’ in, it’s a necessity
It’s got the power to turn your best friends to enemies
It’s funny cause money doesn’t follow us when we leave.

[Hook: Shadia Mansour]
If you take something you, don’t need, and keep it
Then you started from somebody else who’s hungry
Everything that you do, is everything you are
Everything that I am, is everything you ever need.

[Verse 2: Lowkey]
Does happiness live in a mansion with a swimming pool?
I know people with plenty of money that are miserable
We all need to earn in this world we live
Most work for it, some still, but many worship it
Some sell poison for it, some seek employment for it
We need it to survive, so some clean the toilets for it
I need papes to live but never will I live for papes
Abolish the Queen, I don’t wanna see that witches face
Many sell their soul for it, no not me
Some will try to tell you that it doesn’t grow on trees
I heard the sayin said, many a time, but they were wrong
Cause if it doesn’t tell me where do you get the paper from?
Most think they will be happy if they only had more of it
Some wasted, some feel more important because they’re born with it
Some have got the nerve to say you’re fraudulent for forging it
The truth is you don’t need a fortune to be fortunate.

[Hook: Shadia Mansour]
If you take something you, don’t need, and keep it
Then you started from somebody else who’s hungry
Everything that you do, is everything you are
Everything that I am, is everything you’ll ever need.


Help support Lowkey by following him on twitter, by clicking here.


May 31 2011

John Maynard Keynes, the Worthlessness of the Money Becomes Apparent

john maynard keynes

 

 

 
“Should government refrain from regulation (taxation), the worthlessness of the money becomes apparent and the fraud can no longer be concealed.”

— John Maynard Keynes,
“Consequences of Peace.”