Thursday, July 23, 2015

See you soon...

Church Cemetery Banned from Selling Headstones...

They are all the same...

The GOP Has Blood on Its Hands
Laurence M. Vance

Infant blood. Now that a second video has emerged relating to Planned Parenthood (the nation’s largest abortion provider) selling the body parts of the babies it kills, Republican presidential candidates and conservative talk show hosts are talking about cutting off federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Where have they been? Did the Bush years never happen? The Republicans had complete control of the White House and the Congress for over four years when Bush was the president. Why did the Republicans fund Planned Parenthood during this time? And why did conservatives not criticize them then for doing so? The GOP has blood on its hands. And some people say that they are proud to be a Republican?


Yet, again, another WTF moment...

The Pentagon is Investigating
Thomas DiLorenzo

An article in today’s Auburn/Opelika [Alabama] News about the latest from the Chattanooga murder of five Marines reports that a Pentagon investigation is underway. What is being investigated is how two Marines at the scene were apparently carrying handguns in violation of Pentagon policy. Two guns not belonging to the murderer were found at the scene, and the Pentagon promises to get to the bottom of this gross violation of its Gun-Free-Zone rules on military installations.


"Unfortunately, gun control is just one of many issues on which the political left shows no real interest in testing their assumptions or beliefs. The left glorifies the 1960s as a turning point in American life. But they show no interest in testing whether things turned for the better or for the worse."

The Fact-Free Left

By Thomas Sowell

The outrage over another multiple murder of American military personnel on American soil by another Islamic extremist has been exacerbated by the fact that these military people had been ordered to be unarmed — and therefore sitting ducks.

Millions of American civilians have also been forbidden to have guns, and are also sitting ducks — for criminals, terrorists or psychos.

You might think that, before having laws or policies forcing fellow human beings to be defenseless targets, those who support such laws and policies would have some factual basis for believing that these gun restrictions save more lives, on net balance, than allowing more legal access to firearms. But you would be wrong.

Most gun control zealots show not the slightest interest in testing empirically their beliefs or assumptions. There have been careful factual studies by various scholars of what happens after gun control laws have been instituted, strengthened or reduced.

But those studies are seldom even mentioned by gun control activists. Somehow they just know that gun restrictions reduce gun crime, no matter how many studies show the opposite. How do they know? Because other like-minded people say so — and say so repeatedly and loudly.

A few gun control advocates may cherry-pick examples of countries with stronger gun control laws than ours that have lower murder rates (such as England) — and omit other countries with stronger gun control laws than ours that have far higher murder rates (such as Mexico, Russia and Brazil).

You don’t test an assumption or belief by cherry-picking examples. Not if you are serious. And if you are not going to be serious about life and death, when are you going to be serious?

Unfortunately, gun control is just one of many issues on which the political left shows no real interest in testing their assumptions or beliefs. The left glorifies the 1960s as a turning point in American life. But they show no interest in testing whether things turned for the better or for the worse.

Homicide rates had been going down substantially, for decades on end — among both blacks and whites — until the 1960s.

Plotted on a graph, there is a big U-shaped curve, showing the turnaround after the bright ideas of the left were applied to criminals in American courts of law in the 1960s.

This was not the only U-shaped curve, with its low, turnaround point in the 1960s. The same was true of the venereal disease gonorrhea, whose rate of infection went down in every year of the 1950s — and then skyrocketed, beginning in the 1960s.

Teenage pregnancies had also been going down for years, until the late 1960s, when “sex education” was introduced in schools across the country. Then pregnancy rates rose nearly 50 percent over the next decade, among girls 15 to 19 years old — exactly the opposite of what had been predicted by the left.

Another program that had the opposite effect from its advocates’ claims was the “war on poverty” program created by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

Contrary to what was said during the celebrations of its 50th anniversary last year, the loudly proclaimed purpose of the “war on poverty” was not simply to transfer money or other benefits to the poor. Both Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, and their supporters in Congress and in the media, all clearly stated that the central purpose of the “war on poverty” was to reduce dependency on government.

Both poverty and dependency on government had already been declining for years before this massive program began. The proportion of people whose earnings put them below the poverty level — without counting government benefits — declined by about one third from 1950 to 1965.

This was yet another beneficial trend that reversed itself after another bright idea of the left was put into practice in the 1960s. After half a century and trillions of dollars, the only response of the left has been to change the criteria, so that now the “war on poverty” could be portrayed as a success because it proved that, if you transferred more resources from X to Y, then Y would now have more resources. Who could have doubted that?

Changing the goal after the fact is just one of the ways the left has portrayed its failures as successes.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

How I Came to Austrian Economics | Thomas J. DiLorenzo...

Another poster of the day...

Poster of the day...


Family Threatened With Government Fine For Parking Cars in Their Own Driveway

Agenda 21-style ordinance restricts homeowners to two cars in the name of “conservation”

Paul Joseph Watson

Government officials in Cobb County, Georgia are threatening a family with a fine for parking too many cars in their own driveway. The Oviedo family were hit with the violation notice after local bureaucrats acted on an anonymous complaint that there were four cars parked on the property. Local ordinance rules which were recently changed mandate that a maximum of two cars be parked at any one time. The family has relatives visiting and their two kids are home from college, but this explanation wasn’t enough to prevent them getting a visit from code enforcement officials last week. “I am angry. I am beyond angry. I don’t see how the government can tell me whose cars I can park in my own driveway,” Kim Oviedo told WSB-TV 2. After the story was covered by local news media, county officials decided to allow the infraction to slide for now, but they have warned the family that fines will be imposed next summer unless the family obtains an expensive permit to park four cars on the driveway. “The fact that my kid’s home from college and now I’m a law breaker I guess,” said neighbor Mark Talley, who also has three cars parked on his driveway. Officials stress that the rules are based on “conservation,” a nod to draconian Agenda 21-style mandates which local governments are imposing in line with United Nations recommendations based on environmental sustainability, rules which in many cases threaten to violate property rights. Earlier this year, lawmakers in Texas introduced legislation in an effort to prevent local legislatures from participating in the scheme, with GOP State Senator Bob Hall speaking of the necessity to target “city organizations and cities that are adapting the UN programs.” The enforcement of petty and unreasonable ordinance codes by local authorities is often a sore point for Americans who simply wish to be left alone. Back in April, we reported on a Utah family that was ordered to dismantle a temporary cardboard castle that a father had built for his kids in his own front yard. Link:

"In total, this program could easily grow to include many more millions of Americans who have any connection to the Federal government through the various agencies named in the memorandum."

Obama's Social Security Administration to Strip Millions of Americans of their Right to Keep and Bear Arms


As the L.A. Times reported on July 18, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is currently developing a program to strip the Second Amendment Rights of over four million Americans currently receiving SSA benefits through a “representative payee.” Not only would this amount to the largest gun grab in American history, but according to the published report, would take place without any due process protections for recipients, amounting to a nullification of Second Amendment rights for millions of Americans who don’t pose a threat to themselves or anyone else.

This new program appears to have been instigated by the SSA in response to a memorandum issued by Obama in January of 2013 which directed all federal agency executives to “improve the availability of records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).” This memorandum required all agency heads to submit to the Department of Justice (DOJ) a plan for “sharing all relevant Federal records” for submission to the NICS.

Evidently, Obama’s SSA bureaucrats read “all relevant Federal records” to mean all Social Security recipients who have a “representative payee” assigned to their accounts to help them manage their payments and receipts. Obviously, many individuals swept up in this egregious case of bureaucratic over-reach would not otherwise be prohibited from owning, possessing, or acquiring firearms under federal law.

The federal prohibitions against acquiring or possessing firearms apply to those “adjudicated as a mental defective,” among others. The term “adjudication,” however, refers to a determination made after a judicial-type process that includes various due process protections. In no case does the federal law describe or contemplate the type of prohibition by bureaucratic fiat exercised by the SSA in developing its guidelines for those with “representative payees” assigned to their accounts.

But SSA is not alone in this directive. The memorandum names several agencies, including the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Transportation, and “such other agencies or offices as the Chair may designate.” Potentially, bureaucrats in all these agencies could be working hard to identify and forward “all relevant Federal records,” to the NICS pursuant to the Obama mandate.

In total, this program could easily grow to include many more millions of Americans who have any connection to the Federal government through the various agencies named in the memorandum.

Unfortunately, this fits a pattern of abuse within the Obama Administration which is clearly hell-bent on destroying the Second Amendment in any way possible. As we reported previously (here and here), the Veterans Administration (VA) has already implemented a similar program to designate veterans as “prohibited persons” when they have a fiduciary assigned to administer their VA benefits. Like the SSA program described above, the VA procedures are also devoid of significant due process protections or any requirement that the beneficiary be found a danger to self or others. According to the L.A Times article, 177,000 vets have been swept into NICS with the bureaucratic short-cut.

The implications of this policy are too far reaching to fathom at present. Social Security is one of the more prolific and relied upon Federal programs in American history. That Obama’s directive could so easily be implemented within the SSA suggests that bureaucrats could effectively cloak such a program in any agency within the growing leviathan that is the federal government.


" Without courts willing to uphold the Constitution’s provisions when government officials disregard them, and a citizenry knowledgeable enough to be outraged when those provisions are undermined, the Constitution provides little protection against the police state."

The American Nightmare: The Tyranny of the Criminal Justice System

By John W. Whitehead

How can the life of such a man

Be in the palm of some fool’s hand?

To see him obviously framed

Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land

Where justice is a game.—Bob Dylan, “Hurricane”

Justice in America is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Just ask Jeffrey Deskovic, who spent 16 years in prison for a rape and murder he did not commit. Despite the fact that Deskovic’s DNA did not match what was found at the murder scene, he was singled out by police as a suspect because he wept at the victim’s funeral (he was 16 years old at the time), then badgered over the course of two months into confessing his guilt. He was eventually paid $6.5 million in reparation.

James Bain spent 35 years in prison for the kidnapping and rape of a 9-year-old boy, but he too was innocent of the crime. Despite the fact that the prosecutor’s case was flimsy—it hinged on the similarity of Bain’s first name to the rapist’s, Bain’s ownership of a red motorcycle, and a misidentification of Bain in a lineup by a hysterical 9-year-old boy—Bain was sentenced to life in prison. He was finally freed after DNA testing proved his innocence, and was paid $1.7 million.

Mark Weiner got off relatively easy when you compare his experience to the thousands of individuals who are spending lifetimes behind bars for crimes they did not commit.

Weiner was wrongfully arrested, convicted, and jailed for more than two years for a crime he too did not commit. In his case, a young woman claimed Weiner had abducted her, knocked her out and then sent taunting text messages to her boyfriend about his plans to rape her. Despite the fact that cell phone signals, eyewitness accounts and expert testimony indicated the young woman had fabricated the entire incident, the prosecutor and judge repeatedly rejected any evidence contradicting the woman’s far-fetched account, sentencing Weiner to eight more years in jail. Weiner was only released after his accuser was caught selling cocaine to undercover cops.

In the meantime, Weiner lost his job, his home, and his savings, and time with his wife and young son. As Slate reporter journalist Dahlia Lithwick warned, “If anyone suggests that the fact that Mark Weiner was released this week means ‘the system works,’ I fear that I will have to punch him in the neck. Because at every single turn, the system that should have worked to consider proof of Weiner’s innocence failed him.”

The system that should have worked didn’t, because the system is broken, almost beyond repair.

In courtroom thrillers like 12 Angry Men and To Kill a Mockingbird, justice is served in the end because someone—whether it’s Juror #8 or Atticus Finch—chooses to stand on principle and challenge wrongdoing, and truth wins.

Unfortunately, in the real world, justice is harder to come by, fairness is almost unheard of, and truth rarely wins.

On paper, you may be innocent until proven guilty, but in actuality, you’ve already been tried, found guilty and convicted by police officers, prosecutors and judges long before you ever appear in a courtroom.

Chronic injustice has turned the American dream into a nightmare.

At every step along the way, whether it’s encounters with the police, dealings with prosecutors, hearings in court before judges and juries, or jail terms in one of the nation’s many prisons, the system is riddled with corruption, abuse and an appalling disregard for the rights of the citizenry.

Due process rights afforded to a person accused of a crime—the right to remain silent, the right to be informed of the charges against you, the right to representation by counsel, the right to a fair trial, the right to a speedy trial, the right to prove your innocence with witnesses and evidence, the right to a reasonable bail, the right to not languish in jail before being tried, the right to confront your accusers, etc.—mean nothing when the government is allowed to sidestep those safeguards against abuse whenever convenient.

It’s telling that while President Obama said all the right things about the broken state of our criminal justice system—that we jail too many Americans for nonviolent crimes (we make up 5 percent of the world’s population, but our prison population constitutes nearly 25% of the world’s prisoners), that we spend more money on incarceration than any other nation ($80 billion a year), that we sentence people for longer jail terms than their crimes merit, that our criminal justice system is far from color-blind, that the nation’s school-to-prison pipeline is contributing to overcrowded jails, and that we need to focus on rehabilitation of criminals rather than retribution—he failed to own up to the government’s major role in contributing to this injustice in America.

Indeed, while Obama placed the responsibility for reform squarely in the hands of prosecutors, judges and police, he failed to acknowledge that they bear the burden of our failed justice system, along with the legislatures and corporations who have worked with them to create an environment that is hostile to the rights of the accused.

In such a climate, we are all the accused, the guilty and the suspect.

As I document in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we’re operating in a new paradigm where the citizenry are presumed guilty and treated as suspects, our movements tracked, our communications monitored, our property seized and searched, our bodily integrity disregarded, and our inalienable rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” rendered insignificant when measured against the government’s priorities.

Every American is now in jeopardy of being targeted and punished for a crime he did not commit thanks to an overabundance of arcane laws. Making matters worse, by allowing government agents to operate above the law, immune from wrongdoing, we have created a situation in which the law is one-sided and top-down, used as a hammer to oppress the populace, while useless in protecting us against government abuse.

Add to the mix a profit-driven system of incarceration in which state and federal governments agree to keep the jails full in exchange for having private corporations run the prisons, and you will find the only word to describe such a state of abject corruption is “evil.”

How else do you explain a system that allows police officers to shoot first and ask questions later, without any real consequences for their misdeeds? Despite the initial outcry over the shootings of unarmed individuals in Ferguson and Baltimore, the pace of police shootings has yet to slow. In fact, close to 400 people were shot and killed by police nationwide in the first half of 2015, almost two shootings a day. Those are just the shootings that were tracked. Of those killed, almost 1 in 6 were either unarmed or carried a toy gun.

For those who survive an encounter with the police only to end up on the inside of a jail cell, waiting for a “fair and speedy trial,” it’s often a long wait. Consider that 60 percent of the people in the nation’s jails have yet to be convicted of a crime. There are 2.3 million people in jails or prisons in America. Those who can’t afford bail, “some of them innocent, most of them nonviolent and a vast majority of them impoverished,” will spend about four months in jail before they even get a trial.

Not even that promised “day in court” is a guarantee that justice will be served.

As Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals points out, there are an endless number of factors that can render an innocent man or woman a criminal and caged for life: unreliable eyewitnesses, fallible forensic evidence, flawed memories, coerced confessions, harsh interrogation tactics, uninformed jurors, prosecutorial misconduct, falsified evidence, and overly harsh sentences, to name just a few.

In early 2015, the Justice Department and FBI “formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period…. The admissions mark a watershed in one of the country’s largest forensic scandals, highlighting the failure of the nation’s courts for decades to keep bogus scientific information from juries, legal analysts said.”

“How do rogue forensic scientists and other bad cops thrive in our criminal justice system?” asks Judge Kozinski. “The simple answer is that some prosecutors turn a blind eye to such misconduct because they’re more interested in gaining a conviction than achieving a just result.”

The power of prosecutors is not to be underestimated.

Increasingly, when we talk about innocent people being jailed for crimes they did not commit, the prosecutor plays a critical role in bringing about that injustice. As The Washington Post reports, “Prosecutors win 95 percent of their cases, 90 percent of them without ever having to go to trial…. Are American prosecutors that much better? No… it is because of the plea bargain, a system of bullying and intimidation by government lawyers for which they ‘would be disbarred in most other serious countries….’”

This phenomenon of innocent people pleading guilty makes a mockery of everything the criminal justice system is supposed to stand for: fairness, equality and justice. As Judge Jed S. Rakoff concludes, “our criminal justice system is almost exclusively a system of plea bargaining, negotiated behind closed doors and with no judicial oversight. The outcome is very largely determined by the prosecutor alone.”

It’s estimated that between 2 and 8 percent of convicted felons who have agreed to a prosecutor’s plea bargain (remember, there are 2.3 million prisoners in America) are in prison for crimes they did not commit.

Clearly, the Coalition for Public Safety was right when it concluded, “You don’t need to be a criminal to have your life destroyed by the U.S. criminal justice system.”

It wasn’t always this way. As Judge Rakoff recounts, the Founding Fathers envisioned a criminal justice system in which the critical element “was the jury trial, which served not only as a truth-seeking mechanism and a means of achieving fairness, but also as a shield against tyranny.”

That shield against tyranny has long since been shattered, leaving Americans vulnerable to the cruelties, vanities, errors, ambitions and greed of the government and its partners in crime.

There is not enough money in the world to make reparation to those whose lives have been disrupted by wrongful convictions.

Over the past quarter century, more than 1500 Americans have been released from prison after being cleared of crimes they did not commit. These are the fortunate ones. For every exonerated convict who is able to prove his innocence after 10, 20 or 30 years behind bars, Judge Kozinski estimates there may be dozens who are innocent but cannot prove it, lacking access to lawyers, evidence, money and avenues of appeal.

For those who have yet to fully experience the injustice of the American system of justice, it’s only a matter of time.

America no longer operates under a system of justice characterized by due process, an assumption of innocence, probable cause, and clear prohibitions on government overreach and police abuse. Instead, our courts of justice have been transformed into courts of order, advocating for the government’s interests, rather than championing the rights of the citizenry, as enshrined in the Constitution.

Without courts willing to uphold the Constitution’s provisions when government officials disregard them, and a citizenry knowledgeable enough to be outraged when those provisions are undermined, the Constitution provides little protection against the police state.

In other words, in this age of hollow justice, courts of order, and government-sanctioned tyranny, the Constitution is no safeguard against government wrongdoing such as SWAT team raids, domestic surveillance, police shootings of unarmed citizens, indefinite detentions, asset forfeitures, prosecutorial misconduct and the like.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Sign of the day...

Cartoon of the day...

But, we all knew this already...

Retired US General Admits Military’s Role in Creating ISIS

Carey Wedler

In a forthcoming interview with Al Jazeera English set to air on July 31st, a former United States general—who helped craft some of the most controversial tactics in America’s foreign wars—warned that drone strikes create terrorists. Retired Army General Mike Flynn also criticized American torture tactics and condemned the United States for the integral role its foreign policy has played in spurring the creation of the notorious Islamic State.

Flynn was a top intelligence official following 9/11. He worked for the Pentagon’s internal intelligence agency—the Defense Intelligence Agency—before conflict with Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper forced him to resign a year ahead of schedule. Following his resignation, Flynn became an outspoken opponent of Obama’s foreign policy because, in spite of the president’s expansion of military operations, the general believed Obama had not been sufficiently aggressive in battling the Islamic State.

Now, however, the hawkish general is open about his concerns about the American military’s role in the world. In his interview with Mehdi Hasan of Al Jazeera, he addresses the drone war, which grew considerably under President Obama:

“When you drop a bomb from a drone … you are going to cause more damage than you are going to cause good,” he said.

When Hasan suggests drone strikes create more terrorists than they kill, he responds, “I don’t disagree with that,” calling the drone program a “failed strategy.”

He also indicts America’s infamous—and widespread use—of torture. “You know I hope that as more and more information comes out that people are held accountable,” he says. “History is not going to look kind on those actions … and we will be held, we should be held accountable for many, many years to come.”

His statements parallel sentiments he expressed previously. Earlier this year, he condemned the findings of the highly publicized CIA torture report, which revealed the use of inhumane and grotesque “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Flynn said history “will look back on it, and it won’t be a pretty picture.”

As the director of Intelligence for the Joint Special Operations Command—asecretive unit that reports directly to the White House—Flynn oversaw the transformation of JSOC into an intelligence-based unit. As detailed by journalist Jeremy Scahill’s documentary, “Dirty Wars,” JSOC was responsible for thousands of raids—many deadly—on Afghani civilians, many of whom had no ties to terrorism.

When he was asked (on a separate occasion from the Al Jazeera interview) how many people JSOC killed in Iraq, Flynn reportedly responded, “Thousands, I don’t even know how many.”

Now, however, Flynn acknowledges the aggressive military approach that encompassed his actions may not have been wise—an analysis not to be taken lightly considering his extensive role in military operations in the Iraq. In fact, he admitted U.S. military policy played a significant part in the rise of the Islamic State. As The Intercept reported of his interview with Al Jazeera,

“Flynn says that the invasion of Iraq was a strategic mistake that directly contributed to the rise of the extremist group the Islamic State. ‘We definitely put fuel on a fire,’ he told Hasan. ‘Absolutely … there’s no doubt, I mean … history will not be kind to the decisions that were made certainly in 2003.’”

His statements are further evidence that the military’s misadventures are not the brave, noble missions they are so often made out to be. A recent declassified report suggested the military knowingly contributed to the rise of ISIS. As far back as 2006, intelligence agencies warned that waging war in the Middle East would result in increased terrorist activity.

Whether increased terror activity is precipitated by drone strikes, full-on invasions, or both of Flynn’s admissions, what is clear is that the United States now reaps what it sows in the Middle East. It is becoming astoundingly clear that the U.S.’ wars in the Middle East—many times justified by lies for the sake of securing resources—cause more harm than good.


See, she really cares about you and I...

Hillary Clinton hires Monsanto lobbyist to run her campaign
by: J. D. Heyes

Former first lady, U.S. senator and Obama Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has set upon a campaign manager for her recently announced second attempt to win the White House -- a man who has also served as chief lobbyist for Monsanto, the "most evil corporation in the world."

Clinton picked long-time Monsanto promoter Jerry Crawford to head up her "Ready for Hillary" Super PAC. As reported by, Crawford has worked mostly with Democratic politicians in the past, but he has also lent his support to Republicans as well -- anyone, really, "who was willing to support Monsanto's goals would receive support from Crawford," the site continued.

In particular, Crawford has worked with Hillary's husband, former President Bill Clinton, former Vice President and global warming alarmist Al Gore, former U.S. senator and current Secretary of State John Kerry and Bill Northey. Through the years, Crawford has taken a lead in fighting against small-time, family-owned farming operations in court to protect Monsanto's monopoly on seeds.

Interestingly, Clinton is attempting to rebrand herself as 1) a champion of women's rights; and 2) a champion of ordinary Americans. To the latter point, in recent days she pledged to topple the 1 percent -- a reference to the country's super-rich, while obviously remaining a member of the same ruling class she purports to be fighting against (and for no good purpose, other than to imply that anyone with wealth is not living the American dream but using it to repress the masses, when in reality, the repression is enforced largely by the government she served).

The myriad of questions surrounding Clinton's cash donations is growing

To that point, Clinton is already receiving massive donations from a number of corrupt aristocratic organizations in the U.S. and around the world, noted

For example, in June 2014 she was paid to speak to the Biotechnology Industry Organization, expressing openly her support for GM crops:

I stand in favor of using seeds and products that have a proven track record.... And to continue to try to make the case for those who are skeptical that they may not know what they're eating already. The question of genetically modified food or hybrids has gone on for many, many years. And there is again a big gap between what the facts are and what perceptions are.

You can see the full video here.

As for Crawford, a long piece by The Washington Post claimed that he wanted to win Iowa for Clinton, one of the first primary states -- a victory that could give her campaign some momentum. The paper notes that Crawford "has shepherded every Democratic presidential nominee in the most important caucus state going back to 1980 -- every nominee except for one, that is. Crawford, 65, still blames himself for Clinton's 2008 third-place finish in the Hawkeye State, from which her campaign never really recovered."

This time, he says, he's "trying to make amends" in attempting, once more, to deliver Iowa.

Other "intertwined" special interests

Crawford -- as well as other Hillary Clinton faithfuls -- already has problems, however, and none of Monsanto's money or influence may be able to help fix them.

As reported by The Atlantic, Hillary Clinton -- like husband Bill -- has a money problem, as in, money that has been donated to the Clinton family foundation, some of it from foreign governments while Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state.

"It's been clear for some time that the Clinton Foundation presented tricky and novel conflict-of-interest challenges for the candidate, and now the specific stories of those challenges are emerging. In fact, it can be tough to keep them straight," the magazine said in its online edition April 23.

To wit:

-- The Russian government, the State Department and U.S.-owned uranium;

-- Clinton Foundation tax returns with missing foreign donations;

-- How Bill benefited from his wife's cabinet-level job; and

-- Intertwined personal and charitable interests.

Learn more:

A Nazi by any other name...

General Clark Calls for WWII-type Internment Camps for U.S. Citizens
Written by Steve Byas

“If these people are radicalized and they don’t support the United States and they are disloyal to the United States as a matter of principle, fine. It’s their right, and it’s our right and obligation to segregate them from the normal community for the duration of the conflict.”

Thus spoke retired General Wesley Clark, a former Democratic Party presidential candidate, in an interview on MSNBC this past Friday.

Back in 2004, Clark, the former supreme allied commander of NATO, was harshly critical of what he considered the Bush administration's excessive response to the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon.
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But since then, he has drastically altered his position, now strongly supporting the use of domestic internment camps, specifically citing those where Americans of Japanese ancestry were sent during World War II. (There were also camps for Germans and Italians, but in much smaller numbers.)

While many would have agreed with Clark's earlier assessment that Bush went too far in his reaction to the 9/11 attacks, citing actions such as the PATRIOT Act’s reduction of civil liberties, Bush never suggested anything nearly as sweeping as that now proposed by Clark.

One can certainly understand arresting, trying, and incarcerating any person conspiring to commit acts of violence inside the United States; however, Clark’s proposal is chilling to constitutionalists. He is advocating going after those who are not only not involved in a conspiracy to commit terrorist acts, but who have not even yet been radicalized. “We have got to identify the people who are most likely to be radicalized," he asserted. "We’ve got to cut this off at the beginning."

“I do think on a national policy level we need to look at what self-radicalization means because we are at war with this group of terrorists,” Clark added.

Americans are understandably concerned about Islamic terrorism. Those who either commit or conspire to commit acts of violence should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But the idea of sending to internment camps those who might become radicalized, and might conspire to commit violence is absolutely chilling.

Once such a precedent has been set, who might the next target of the federal government be? The Obama administration considers members of patriotic organizations such as The John Birch Society, Eagle Forum, and the Tea Party to be extremists. Some even regard pro-lifers or evangelical Christians as “radicals.”

Who would decide which individuals would be sent to these internment camps? During World War II — Clark’s model — it was one man: President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, commanding that Japanese Americans be relocated away from the West Coast and into internment camps — without any due process, proof of disloyalty, or regard to American citizenship. This draconian policy led to the eventual incarceration of over 100,000 people, 62 percent of whom were U.S. citizens.

After Japan's “Meiji Restoration” in 1868, in which Emperor Meiji wrested power back from the warlords and began the modernization and industrialization of his country, many Japanese had taken advantage of the opportunity to emigrate to the United States.

In 1936, as relations between the United States and Japan were souring, Roosevelt directed the Office of Naval Intelligence to create a list of “those who would be the first to be placed in concentration camps in the event of trouble” between Japan and the United States.

However, as the two nations moved closer to war, Charles Munson of Naval Intelligence delivered a report on November 7, 1941, that “certified a remarkable, even extraordinary degree of loyalty among this generally suspect ethnic group.” FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover supported Munson’s findings, contending to Roosevelt that the Japanese posed no espionage threat.

Despite this, FDR issued his order and appointed Lt. General John DeWitt, head of Western Command, the administrator of the internment program. “A Jap’s a Jap,” DeWitt explained, when reporters queried him about “loyal” Americans who just happened to have Japanese ancestry. DeWitt told Congress, “I don’t want any of them here. They are a dangerous element.... It makes no difference whether he is an American citizen; he is still a Japanese.... But we must worry about the Japanese all the time until he is wiped off the map.”

The attorney general of California — Earl Warren, later the chief justice of the Supreme Court — argued for the federal government to remove all Japanese from the West Coast. On February 2, 1942, the Los Angeles Times even editorialized of those Americans of Japanese ancestry, “A viper is nonetheless a viper, wherever the egg is hatched.”

Some of the interned Japanese chose to join the U.S. armed forces, ironically to “fight for liberty,” and were sent to the European theater. The bulk of them fought in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which emerged from the war as the most highly decorated U.S. military unit of its size, earning the nickname “the Purple Heart division.” Historian John Toland tells the story of an American prisoner of war who witnessed a battle between Germans and the 442nd. When a German soldier expressed to him surprise that they were having to fight Japanese, the American soldier advised the German that he'd been taken in by Hitler’s propaganda. The Japanese, he informed the German, are really on “our side.”

While the 442nd fought for America, most Americans of Japanese blood languished in the camps, which were cramped, with little room for privacy. One camp in Wyoming even had unpartitioned toilets. As the war progressed, conditions did improve in the camps, and life went on, with schools, such as they were, activities, including baseball games, and the like.

Eventually it became obvious that the incarceration had no good purpose; however, FDR opted to delay the release of the interned prisoners until January of 1945, so as not to endanger his reelection chances in 1944. In this decision he ignored the advice of both FBI Director Hoover and War Relocation Authority (WRA) director Dillon Myer that the internment should end in 1944.

The WWII internment camps are just what General Clark has in mind as a model for today. And he is not alone. Prominent neoconservative Daniel Pipes has called internment “a good idea” which offers “lessons for today.” And Michelle Malkin, in her book In Defense of Internment: The Case for Racial Profiling in World War II and the War on Terror, was blunt, declaring: “Civil liberties are not sacrosanct.”

Despite the clear protections of civil liberties in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, in 1944 the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in the case of Korematsu v. the United States that the internment camps did not violate the Constitution.

Former Supreme Court Justice Tom Clark, who assisted the U.S. Department of Justice in effecting the “relocation” of the Japanese, addressed this issue in the epilogue of his 1992 book, Executive Order 9066: The Internment of 110,000 Japanese-Americans:

The truth is — as this deplorable experience proves — that constitutions and laws are not sufficient of themselves.... Despite the unequivocal language of the Constitution of the United States that the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, and despite the Fifth Amendment’s command that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, both of the constitutional safeguards were denied by military action under Executive Order 9066.

The actual “lesson for us today” is not that we need to reimplement internment camps, but rather that all American citizens must develop a renewed respect for the protection of their civil liberties enshrined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.


" The US Secretary of State can revoke my passport without meeting any burden of proof that I am actually a terrorist or even that I have ever supported terrorism. He can keep his evidence against me totally secret and will never be required to justify his actions against me."

Today Congress Votes to Take Your Passport
Daniel McAdams

Revolutions most often become horrific parodies as they inevitably turn inward on their own people. The former subjects of Louis XVI soon understood liberté, égalité, fraternité to in fact mean the guillotine. In the name of fighting one’s enemies, the regime takes to cannibalizing its own citizens, as the motion of the action requires the “enemies” list to orient ever more inwardly.

Which brings us to the matter of HR 237, a bill to “[t]o authorize the revocation or denial of passports and passport cards to individuals affiliated with foreign terrorist organizations, and for other purposes,” coming to the Floor of the US House today on, of all things, the “suspension calendar.” This “suspension calendar” accommodates bills that are traditionally considered uncontroversial in nature and thus not requiring the full daylight of a thorough Congressional debate.

Think: renaming post offices.

Under the “suspension of the rules,” bills can be brought to the Floor without going through the rules process and thus not be eligible for any amendment or substantive debate. Forty minutes of mostly praise and usually a voice-vote of approval and the “suspension” is on its way to becoming the law of the land.

As my old colleague Norman Singleton brings to light, HR 237 is hardly uncontroversial. It gives the US Secretary of State the power to revoke the passport of any American he determines has “aided, assisted, abetted, or otherwise helped an organization the Secretary has designated as a foreign terrorist organization.”

This means the Secretary of State can, unilaterally, with no due process and no oversight, deprive an American citizen the privileges of citizenship, thus relegating him to internal exile inside the United States — a practice most recently perfected in the Soviet Union.

What does the word “aided” mean? No one knows. Is there any wiggle room for inadvertency? No one knows. And what about the very political nature of the US “terror” list in the first place? What if I seemed to have winked approvingly at an MeK demonstration on September 27, 2012, the day before the US Secretary of State unilaterally decided that this Marxist-jihadist terror cult, which has murdered American citizens, should no longer be on the US terror list? Would that one day’s lapse cost me my ability to leave the US?

Will the Secretary of State at least consult with other government agencies to determine whether my wink at the MeK might have been simply a speck in my eye and in fact I have absolutely no terrorist sympathies whatsoever? Nothing in the bill requires him to do so.

If the Secretary of State does take away my passport and condemns me to internal exile, will I at least find some way to pursue due process and appeal for the reinstatement of my privileges as a citizen — after all I have not been convicted or even accused of terrorist activity? Again, HR 237 does not provide for that possibility.

Can I at least see the report that the Secretary of State is required to provide Congress to prove that I should be consigned to internal exile? Again, no. As the bill states, “[t]he report submitted under paragraph (1) may be submitted in classified or unclassified form.’’

The US Secretary of State can revoke my passport without meeting any burden of proof that I am actually a terrorist or even that I have ever supported terrorism. He can keep his evidence against me totally secret and will never be required to justify his actions against me.

And this is considered “uncontroversial” in the United States? Even in revolutionary France you had the Vendée which resisted the madness of the totalitarian state. Here we have the “suspension calendar,” a modern guillotine of our rights.


The Deadly Fallacy of Good Intentions...

Where's the outrage???

Where Is the Outrage?

By Laurence M. Vance

Conservative, evangelical, and fundamentalist Christians are outraged at the Supreme Court decision in favor of the government recognizing same-sex marriage in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges.

They are outraged that the Supreme Court redefined marriage. They are outraged that there will now be pressure put on ministers to marry same-sex couples. They are outraged that the homosexual lobby has won another victory. They are outraged that two Supreme Court justices didn’t recuse themselves since they performed same-sex weddings before hearing the case. They are outraged that the legalization of marriages between three or more people will certainly be the next constitutional right discovered by the High Court. They are outraged more and more same-sex couples will be raising children. They are outraged at the new LGBT anti-discrimination laws that will be forthcoming. They are outraged that the more homosexuals gain their rights, the more they lose theirs.

I share their outrage.

But I have heard some ridiculous things from some of these Christians about God judging America—as if America wasn’t already the abortion, pornography, drug, sodomy, out-of-wedlock births, and incarceration capital of the world—and about not obeying an unjust law—as if the Supreme Court case had anything to do with any law that all Americans now have to obey.

If Christians want to resist the Court’s decision, they can choose to:

Not marry someone of the same sex
Not officiate a same-sex wedding
Not encourage same-sex couples to marry
Not congratulate a same-sex couple on their engagement
Not attend a same-sex wedding
Not send a gift to a same-sex couple who just got married
Not recognize a same-sex wedding
Not associate with a same-sex couple

And at the same time, they can try to:

Persuade others to not do any of the above
Persuade same-sex couples to break up
Persuade homosexuals not to marry
Persuade homosexuals to be heterosexuals
Persuade heterosexuals not to become homosexuals
Persuade homosexuals not to have or adopt children
Persuade lawmakers not to pass LGBT anti-discrimination laws
Persuade homosexuals to go back into the closet

Persuasion, not legislation. Persuasion, not legal action. Persuasion, not threats. Persuasion, not coercion. Persuasion, not compulsion. Persuasion, not violence.

But before the outraged conservative, evangelical, and fundamentalist Christians pray for God’s judgment on the five Supreme Court justices who legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, perhaps they ought to look in the mirror.

Where is the outrage over the unjust war in Iraq?

Where is the outrage over the unjust war in Afghanistan?

Where is the outrage over the trillions of taxpayer dollars wasted on these wars?

Where is the outrage over the reckless, belligerent, and meddling U.S. foreign policy?

Where is the outrage over the thousands of U.S. troops who died for a lie in Iraq?

Where is the outrage over the thousands of U.S. troops who died in vain in Afghanistan?

Where is the outrage over the hundreds of U.S. foreign military bases?

Where is the outrage over the hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops stationed overseas?

Where is the outrage over the network of brothels that exists around U.S. foreign military bases?

Where is the outrage over the warmongers in the Republican Party?

Where is the outrage over the warmongers in the conservative movement?

Where is the outrage over U.S. drone attacks that kill civilians?

Where is the outrage over the bloated defense budget?

Where is the outrage over the U.S. military being used for offense instead of defense?

Where is the outrage over CIA secret prisons?

Where is the outrage over the national security state?

Where is the outrage over the senseless maiming of U.S. troops fighting in unnecessary wars?

Where is the outrage over the United States fighting foreign wars?

Where is the outrage over the billions of taxpayers dollars given to corrupt foreign regimes?

Where is the outrage over the U.S. military being a global force for evil?

Where is the outrage over veterans being made into gods?

Where is the outrage over the millions of victims of U.S. aggression in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan?

Where is the outrage over all U.S. soldiers being called heroes?

Where is the outrage over the U.S. military invading other countries?

Where is the outrage over the U.S. military occupying other countries?

Where is the outrage over the glorification of the American Sniper Chris Kyle?

Where is the outrage over soldiers bombing, maiming, and killing under the flag of the United States?

Where is the outrage over filthy military cadences?

Where is the outrage over all of the sexual assaults that occur in the U.S. military?

Where is the outrage over the pregnancies that occur on U.S. Navy ships?

Where is the outrage over the thousands of homosexuals in the U.S. military?

Where is the outrage over the thousands of transgenders in the U.S. military?

Where is the outrage over U.S. troops functioning as the president’s personal attack force?

Where is the outrage over just war theory being used to justify war?

Where is the outrage over the lies of the U.S. government?

Where is the outrage over the torture committed by agents of the United States?

I’ll tell you where the outrage is. It doesn’t exist. Conservative, evangelical, and fundamentalist Christians have plenty of things that they should be outraged about. Yet, they are limiting their outrage to the government recognizing same-sex marriage while ignoring other actions of their government. It is their support for the government’s military, empire, and wars that is more outrageous than an evil government recognizing same-sex marriage.


Some hero...

McCain and the POW Cover-Up

By Sydney Schanberg

[Earlier today, CNN carried the national headline:

“John McCain: Donald Trump owes POW families an apology”

As a consequence, I’m republishing Pulitzer Prize winner Sydney Schanberg’s stunning expose on that topic, which I had originally run as a cover story at The American Conservative a few years ago. I also encourage readers to consider my own introduction to that long article, which appeared at the same time.

Individual Americans should decide for themselves which of our public figures owes an apology to the POW families.—Ron Unz, 7/20/15]

* * * * * * * * * * *

Eighteen months ago, TAC publisher Ron Unz discovered an astonishing account of the role the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, John McCain, had played in suppressing information about what happened to American soldiers missing in action in Vietnam. Below, we present in full Sydney Schanberg’s explosive story.

John McCain, who has risen to political prominence on his image as a Vietnam POW war hero, has, inexplicably, worked very hard to hide from the public stunning information about American prisoners in Vietnam who, unlike him, didn’t return home. Throughout his Senate career, McCain has quietly sponsored and pushed into federal law a set of prohibitions that keep the most revealing information about these men buried as classified documents. Thus the war hero who people would logically imagine as a determined crusader for the interests of POWs and their families became instead the strange champion of hiding the evidence and closing the books.

Almost as striking is the manner in which the mainstream press has shied from reporting the POW story and McCain’s role in it, even as the Republican Party has made McCain’s military service the focus of his presidential campaign. Reporters who had covered the Vietnam War turned their heads and walked in other directions. McCain doesn’t talk about the missing men, and the press never asks him about them.

The sum of the secrets McCain has sought to hide is not small. There exists a telling mass of official documents, radio intercepts, witness depositions, satellite photos of rescue symbols that pilots were trained to use, electronic messages from the ground containing the individual code numbers given to airmen, a rescue mission by a special forces unit that was aborted twice by Washington—and even sworn testimony by two Defense secretaries that “men were left behind.” This imposing body of evidence suggests that a large number—the documents indicate probably hundreds—of the U.S. prisoners held by Vietnam were not returned when the peace treaty was signed in January 1973 and Hanoi released 591 men, among them Navy combat pilot John S. McCain.

Mass of Evidence

The Pentagon had been withholding significant information from POW families for years. What’s more, the Pentagon’s POW/MIA operation had been publicly shamed by internal whistleblowers and POW families for holding back documents as part of a policy of “debunking” POW intelligence even when the information was obviously credible.

The pressure from the families and Vietnam veterans finally forced the creation, in late 1991, of a Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs. The chairman was John Kerry. McCain, as a former POW, was its most pivotal member. In the end, the committee became part of the debunking machine.

One of the sharpest critics of the Pentagon’s performance was an insider, Air Force Lt. Gen. Eugene Tighe, who headed the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) during the 1970s. He openly challenged the Pentagon’s position that no live prisoners existed, saying that the evidence proved otherwise. McCain was a bitter opponent of Tighe, who was eventually pushed into retirement.

Included in the evidence that McCain and his government allies suppressed or sought to discredit is a transcript of a senior North Vietnamese general’s briefing of the Hanoi politburo, discovered in Soviet archives by an American scholar in 1993. The briefing took place only four months before the 1973 peace accords. The general, Tran Van Quang, told the politburo members that Hanoi was holding 1,205 American prisoners but would keep many of them at war’s end as leverage to ensure getting war reparations from Washington.

Throughout the Paris negotiations, the North Vietnamese tied the prisoner issue tightly to the issue of reparations. They were adamant in refusing to deal with them separately. Finally, in a Feb. 2, 1973 formal letter to Hanoi’s premier, Pham Van Dong, Nixon pledged $3.25 billion in “postwar reconstruction” aid “without any political conditions.” But he also attached to the letter a codicil that said the aid would be implemented by each party “in accordance with its own constitutional provisions.” That meant Congress would have to approve the appropriation, and Nixon and Kissinger knew well that Congress was in no mood to do so. The North Vietnamese, whether or not they immediately understood the double-talk in the letter, remained skeptical about the reparations promise being honored—and it never was. Hanoi thus appears to have held back prisoners—just as it had done when the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 and withdrew their forces from Vietnam. In that case, France paid ransoms for prisoners and brought them home.

In a private briefing in 1992, high-level CIA officials told me that as the years passed and the ransom never came, it became more and more difficult for either government to admit that it knew from the start about the unacknowledged prisoners. Those prisoners had not only become useless as bargaining chips but also posed a risk to Hanoi’s desire to be accepted into the international community. The CIA officials said their intelligence indicated strongly that the remaining men—those who had not died from illness or hard labor or torture—were eventually executed.

My own research, detailed below, has convinced me that it is not likely that more than a few—if any—are alive in captivity today. (That CIA briefing at the Agency’s Langley, Virginia, headquarters was conducted “off the record,” but because the evidence from my own reporting since then has brought me to the same conclusion, I felt there was no longer any point in not writing about the meeting.)

For many reasons, including the absence of a political constituency for the missing men other than their families and some veterans’ groups, very few Americans are aware of the POW story and of McCain’s role in keeping it out of public view and denying the existence of abandoned POWs. That is because McCain has hardly been alone in his campaign to hide the scandal.

The Arizona senator, now the Republican candidate for president, has actually been following the lead of every White House since Richard Nixon’s, and thus of every CIA director, Pentagon chief, and national security adviser, not to mention Dick Cheney, who was George H.W. Bush’s Defense secretary. Their biggest accomplice has been an indolent press, particularly in Washington.

McCain’s Role

An early and critical McCain secrecy move involved 1990 legislation that started in the House of Representatives. A brief and simple document, it was called “the Truth Bill” and would have compelled complete transparency about prisoners and missing men. Its core sentence reads: “[The] head of each department or agency which holds or receives any records and information, including live-sighting reports, which have been correlated or possibly correlated to United States personnel listed as prisoner of war or missing in action from World War II, the Korean conflict and the Vietnam conflict, shall make available to the public all such records held or received by that department or agency.”

Bitterly opposed by the Pentagon (and thus McCain), the bill went nowhere. Reintroduced the following year, it again disappeared. But a few months later, a new measure, known as “the McCain Bill,” suddenly appeared. By creating a bureaucratic maze from which only a fraction of the documents could emerge—only records that revealed no POW secrets—it turned the Truth Bill on its head. The McCain bill became law in 1991 and remains so today. So crushing to transparency are its provisions that it actually spells out for the Pentagon and other agencies several rationales, scenarios, and justifications for not releasing any information at all—even about prisoners discovered alive in captivity. Later that year, the Senate Select Committee was created, where Kerry and McCain ultimately worked together to bury evidence.

McCain was also instrumental in amending the Missing Service Personnel Act, which had been strengthened in 1995 by POW advocates to include criminal penalties, saying, “Any government official who knowingly and willfully withholds from the file of a missing person any information relating to the disappearance or whereabouts and status of a missing person shall be fined as provided in Title 18 or imprisoned not more than one year or both.” A year later, in a closed House-Senate conference on an unrelated military bill, McCain, at the behest of the Pentagon, attached a crippling amendment to the act, stripping out its only enforcement teeth, the criminal penalties, and reducing the obligations of commanders in the field to speedily search for missing men and to report the incidents to the Pentagon.

About the relaxation of POW/MIA obligations on commanders in the field, a public McCain memo said, “This transfers the bureaucracy involved out of the [battle] field to Washington.” He wrote that the original legislation, if left intact, “would accomplish nothing but create new jobs for lawyers and turn military commanders into clerks.”

McCain argued that keeping the criminal penalties would have made it impossible for the Pentagon to find staffers willing to work on POW/MIA matters. That’s an odd argument to make. Were staffers only “willing to work” if they were allowed to conceal POW records? By eviscerating the law, McCain gave his stamp of approval to the government policy of debunking the existence of live POWs.

McCain has insisted again and again that all the evidence—documents, witnesses, satellite photos, two Pentagon chiefs’ sworn testimony, aborted rescue missions, ransom offers apparently scorned—has been woven together by unscrupulous deceivers to create an insidious and unpatriotic myth. He calls it the “bizarre rantings of the MIA hobbyists.” He has regularly vilified those who keep trying to pry out classified documents as “hoaxers,” “charlatans,” “conspiracy theorists,” and “dime-store Rambos.”

Some of McCain’s fellow captives at Hoa Lo prison in Hanoi didn’t share his views about prisoners left behind. Before he died of leukemia in 1999, retired Col. Ted Guy, a highly admired POW and one of the most dogged resisters in the camps, wrote an angry open letter to the senator in an MIA newsletter—a response to McCain’s stream of insults hurled at MIA activists. Guy wrote, “John, does this [the insults] include Senator Bob Smith [a New Hampshire Republican and activist on POW issues] and other concerned elected officials? Does this include the families of the missing where there is overwhelming evidence that their loved ones were ‘last known alive’? Does this include some of your fellow POWs?”

It’s not clear whether the taped confession McCain gave to his captors to avoid further torture has played a role in his postwar behavior in the Senate. That confession was played endlessly over the prison loudspeaker system at Hoa Lo—to try to break down other prisoners—and was broadcast over Hanoi’s state radio. Reportedly, he confessed to being a war criminal who had bombed civilian targets. The Pentagon has a copy of the confession but will not release it. Also, no outsider I know of has ever seen a non-redacted copy of the debriefing of McCain when he returned from captivity, which is classified but could be made public by McCain.

All humans have breaking points. Many men undergoing torture give confessions, often telling huge lies so their fakery will be understood by their comrades and their country. Few will fault them. But it was McCain who apparently felt he had disgraced himself and his military family. His father, John S. McCain II, was a highly regarded rear admiral then serving as commander of all U.S. forces in the Pacific. His grandfather was also a rear admiral.

In his bestselling 1999 autobiography, Faith of My Fathers, McCain says he felt bad throughout his captivity because he knew he was being treated more leniently than his fellow POWs, owing to his high-ranking father and thus his propaganda value. Other prisoners at Hoa Lo say his captors considered him a prize catch and called him the “Crown Prince,” something McCain acknowledges in the book.

Also in this memoir, McCain expresses guilt at having broken under torture and given the confession. “I felt faithless and couldn’t control my despair,” he writes, revealing that he made two “feeble” attempts at suicide. (In later years, he said he tried to hang himself with his shirt and guards intervened.) Tellingly, he says he lived in “dread” that his father would find out about the confession. “I still wince,” he writes, “when I recall wondering if my father had heard of my disgrace.”

He says that when he returned home, he told his father about the confession, but “never discussed it at length”—and the admiral, who died in 1981, didn’t indicate he had heard anything about it before. But he had. In the 1999 memoir, the senator writes, “I only recently learned that the tape … had been broadcast outside the prison and had come to the attention of my father.”

Is McCain haunted by these memories? Does he suppress POW information because its surfacing would rekindle his feelings of shame? On this subject, all I have are questions.

Many stories have been written about McCain’s explosive temper, so volcanic that colleagues are loath to speak openly about it. One veteran congressman who has observed him over the years asked for confidentiality and made this brief comment: “This is a man not at peace with himself.”

He was certainly far from calm on the Senate POW committee. He browbeat expert witnesses who came with information about unreturned POWs. Family members who have personally faced McCain and pressed him to end the secrecy also have been treated to his legendary temper. He has screamed at them, insulted them, brought women to tears. Mostly his responses to them have been versions of: How dare you question my patriotism? In 1996, he roughly pushed aside a group of POW family members who had waited outside a hearing room to appeal to him, including a mother in a wheelchair.

But even without answers to what may be hidden in the recesses of McCain’s mind, one thing about the POW story is clear: if American prisoners were dishonored by being written off and left to die, that’s something the American public ought to know about....

Read the rest here:

Hey, war-mongers, get a grip...

Iran Agreement Boosts Peace, Defeats Neocons

By Ron Paul

Last week’s successfully concluded Iran agreement is one of the two most important achievements of an otherwise pretty dismal Obama presidency. Along with the ongoing process of normalizing relations with Cuba, this move shows that diplomacy can produce peaceful, positive changes. It also shows that sometimes taking a principled position means facing down overwhelming opposition from all sides and not backing down. The president should be commended for both of these achievements.

The agreement has reduced the chance of a US attack on Iran, which is a great development. But the interventionists will not give up so easily. Already they are organizing media and lobbying efforts to defeat the agreement in Congress. Will they have enough votes to over-ride a presidential veto of their rejection of the deal? It is unlikely, but at this point if the neocons can force the US out of the deal it may not make much difference. Which of our allies, who are now facing the prospect of mutually-beneficial trade with Iran, will be enthusiastic about going back to the days of a trade embargo? Which will support an attack on an Iran that has proven to be an important trading partner and has also proven reasonable in allowing intrusive inspections of its nuclear energy program?

However, what is most important about this agreement is not that US government officials have conducted talks with Iranian government officials. It is that the elimination of sanctions, which are an act of war, will open up opportunities for trade with Iran. Government-to-government relations are one thing, but real diplomacy is people-to-people: business ventures, tourism, and student exchanges.

I was so impressed when travel personality Rick Steves traveled to Iran in 2009 to show that the US media and government demonization of Iranians was a lie, and that travel and human contact can help defeat the warmongers because it humanizes those who are supposed to be dehumanized.

As I write in my new book, Swords into Plowshares:

Our unwise policy with Iran is a perfect example of what the interventionists have given us—60 years of needless conflict and fear for no justifiable reason. This obsession with Iran is bewildering. If the people knew the truth, they would strongly favor a different way to interact with Iran.

Let’s not forget that the Iran crisis started not 31 years ago when the Iran Sanctions Act was signed into law, not 35 years ago when Iranians overthrew the US-installed Shah, but rather 52 years ago when the US CIA overthrew the democratically-elected Iranian leader Mossadegh and put a brutal dictator into power. Our relations with the Iranians are marked by nearly six decades of blowback.

When the Cold War was winding down and the military-industrial complex needed a new enemy to justify enormous military spending, it was decided that Iran should be the latest “threat” to the US. That’s when sanctions really picked up steam. But as we know from our own CIA National Intelligence Estimate of 2007, the stories about Iran building a nuclear weapon were all lies. Though those lies continue to be repeated to this day.

It is unfortunate that Iran was forced to give up some of its sovereignty to allow restrictions on a nuclear energy program that was never found to be in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. But if the net result is the end of sanctions and at least a temporary reprieve from the constant neocon demands for attack, there is much to cheer in the agreement. Peace and prosperity arise from friendly relations and trade – and especially when governments get out of the way.


Some history...

Historical Truth

By Walter E. Williams

We call the war of 1861 the Civil War. But is that right? A civil war is a struggle between two or more entities trying to take over the central government. Confederate President Jefferson Davis no more sought to take over Washington, D.C., than George Washington sought to take over London in 1776. Both wars, those of 1776 and 1861, were wars of independence. Such a recognition does not require one to sanction the horrors of slavery. We might ask, How much of the war was about slavery?

Was President Abraham Lincoln really for outlawing slavery? Let’s look at his words. In an 1858 letter, Lincoln said, “I have declared a thousand times, and now repeat that, in my opinion neither the General Government, nor any other power outside of the slave states, can constitutionally or rightfully interfere with slaves or slavery where it already exists.” In a Springfield, Illinois, speech, he explained: “My declarations upon this subject of Negro slavery may be misrepresented but cannot be misunderstood. I have said that I do not understand the Declaration (of Independence) to mean that all men were created equal in all respects.” Debating Sen. Stephen Douglas, Lincoln said, “I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes nor of qualifying them to hold office nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races, which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality.”

What about Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation? Here are his words: “I view the matter (of slaves’ emancipation) as a practical war measure, to be decided upon according to the advantages or disadvantages it may offer to the suppression of the rebellion.” He also wrote: “I will also concede that emancipation would help us in Europe, and convince them that we are incited by something more than ambition.” When Lincoln first drafted the proclamation, war was going badly for the Union.

London and Paris were considering recognizing the Confederacy and assisting it in its war against the Union.

The Emancipation Proclamation was not a universal declaration. It specifically detailed where slaves were to be freed: only in those states “in rebellion against the United States.” Slaves remained slaves in states not in rebellion — such as Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware and Missouri. The hypocrisy of the Emancipation Proclamation came in for heavy criticism. Lincoln’s own secretary of state, William Seward, sarcastically said, “We show our sympathy with slavery by emancipating slaves where we cannot reach them and holding them in bondage where we can set them free.”

Lincoln did articulate a view of secession that would have been heartily endorsed by the Confederacy: “Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government and form a new one that suits them better. … Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people that can may revolutionize and make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit.” Lincoln expressed that view in an 1848 speech in the U.S. House of Representatives, supporting the war with Mexico and the secession of Texas.

Why didn’t Lincoln share the same feelings about Southern secession? Following the money might help with an answer. Throughout most of our nation’s history, the only sources of federal revenue were excise taxes and tariffs. During the 1850s, tariffs amounted to 90 percent of federal revenue. Southern ports paid 75 percent of tariffs in 1859. What “responsible” politician would let that much revenue go?


Monday, July 20, 2015

Are you surprised???


By Ann Blake-Tracy

Thanks to our Washington state director Jay Baadsgaard for this information from the Wall Street Journal and thanks to everyone else for sending all the other clues. As if anyone should be surprised to find these drugs at this point…..

5th paragraph reads:
“Mr. Abdulazeez, who was killed Thursday by police after they said he had opened fire at two military facilities, suffered from depression for years, his family said in a statement. He had been on and off various medications, including antidepressants and sleeping pills, a family representative said. At the time of the shooting he was taking muscle relaxants for back pain resulting from his martial-arts training, the friend said.”


"I believe it is important to understand that what is going on for the most part is not identity theft but theft of government assigned identity documents or government assigned tracking numbers."

There is No Such Thing as 'Identity Theft'
By Robert Wenzel

There is a lot of media attention lately on hackers and identity theft. Partly because of the recent hack at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. That was information on government employees that was hacked and I am really not concerned about them. But, I want to address the idea of "identity theft" and its true nature.

I believe it is important to understand that what is going on for the most part is not identity theft but theft of government assigned identity documents or government assigned tracking numbers.

Almost everything we do today requires us to show government ID, even to board a plane. It is even worse when we open any type of financial account. We are then required to show government ID and provide our social security number.

Way back in the old days, it was possible to walk into a bank and tell the clerk that you were Harry the Hat and bingo an account was opened for you without any identification demands from the bank. If you had money, a bank was more than willing to take a deposit. That's really what banks are supposed to do. Without ID, you would get an account number and, possibly a passbook, and be on your way.

But these days, we are required to show government ID, and provide our social security number, when opening of a bank account, opening a stock brokerage account, when going for medical care, when starting a new job.

All these demands to show our ID, and often provide our social security number, are done so that the government can track us. If we didn't have to provide these government issued tracking documents and numbers, it would be much more difficult for the government or anyone else to track us.

But here's the kicker, becasue the government assigns each of us a unique tracking number (chiefly our social security number). if someone else gets a hold of that number, they can wreak all kinds of havoc that would not be possible in a world free of government assigned numbers.

If a hacker gets control of your social security number that's pretty much a passkey to your entire life, especially your financial life.

I want to emphasize this is all becasue of government demands, not only was it possible to open a bank account in the old days without providing government ID, but you could travel on a plane ticket in anyone's name.

Before 9-11, Village Voice, the New York City weekly, had a thriving classified ad section, where you could buy airline tickets from individuals who could not, at the last minute, make their planned trips. You could buy these tickets and pass them to the gate flight attendant, and she would let you on the plane, even though you were not the person named on the ticket.

It is important to understand all this show your ID stuff is government mandated. Even the ID you have to show going into clubs. It's all about tracking or control or both.

This is not to say that hacking couldn't occur without government tracking numbers, but the damage would be much more limited. I happened to have used my credit card at Target last year during the time period when they were hacked. My bank just sent me a new card via FedEx, with a new number, and cancelled the old card. It had no ramifications with any of my other accounts. But if on the other hand, an account of mine was hacked and the hacker got my social security number, and started using it, that would have been a nightmare, How does one fix that?

Governments shouldn't be tracking us in the first place. But government assignment of numbers to us all is dangerous because in a world that requires us to show our "papers" and our "numbers," as part of our regular business, it means that our government created identity can be hacked and used with horrific ramifications to us.

And, so, "identity theft" is really theft of our government assigned tracking numbers, end the assignment and use of these tracking numbers and it goes a very, very long way to eliminating "identity theft."


Paul Krugman on the Minimum Wage: 1998 vs. 2015(clueless)...



Climate and vaccine data both systematically faked to produce false 'science'
by: L.J. Devon

Many emerging scientists today are taken advantage of and used, controlled by the funds (the puppet strings) of powerful industries and the revolving door that exists between industry and government regulatory agencies. With their careers on the line, emerging scientists are coerced into supporting "science" data that props up the elite industries or powerful world agendas that seek total control of minds and freedom. The science is passed off as truth and is used to motivate entire demographics of people to support new laws, new taxes and more centralized government.

World governments like the UN are hard at work trying to control the energy sector by imposing global carbon taxes.

Vaccine "science" is protected by a special court set up in the 1980s

Vaccine science works in this way. The CDC requires vaccine manufacturers to pay 75 cents for each dose of vaccine sold. By collecting billions in these excise taxes (funded by guaranteed government purchases of vaccines), the government can then use the funds to protect the interests of the pharmaceutical companies by paying off the families who have been determined to be vaccine-damaged. The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is a special court system that lets pharmaceutical companies off the hook for hurting people, as long as they pay their excise tax back to the government so the families can be paid off to keep silent.

This cycle restricts accountability, protects the vaccine industry and destroys true republic law, taking away a trial by jury. Under republic law, a jury would examine the evidence and decide unanimously that the vaccine manufacturer has caused harm to another person and should be held liable. Dangerous vaccines would then be removed from the marketplace until pharmaceutical companies made medicine that was effective and did no harm.

Researchers' fact check weather data and uncover global warming fraud

In similar fashion, world government is calling on a global carbon tax to "protect the planet." This too will give false security. The government will be perceived as keeping the planet safe from rising temperatures while controlling energy prices and access to electricity for people all around the world. In the end, just like the vaccine industry, true republic law will be replaced by a revolving door of centralized government colluding with elites and Big Industry.

A couple of researchers are fact-checking global warming propaganda with the weather source data used to support it. What they have found is exaggerated generalizations, amplified misconceptions and even omitted data from cooling periods over the past 60 years.

These researchers found out that the weather records are being systematically manipulated to produce false research data. Researcher Paul Homewood checked the published temperature graphs for three weather stations in Paraguay. He compared the actual data with the government-recorded data. He found out that the two sets of data did not match. In each instance, he noticed that the reported data had been manipulated so that a cooling trend appeared as a marked warming period.

Homewood checked several other South America weather stations nearby and noticed similar suspicious one-way "adjustments" in the data. The US government's Global Historical Climate Network reversed the results of temperature recordings to suggest that the temperature was rising through 60 years of research. These recordings were amplified by two official surface records. The Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the National Climate Data Center amplified surface records to estimate temperatures across entire regions of the Earth where temperatures aren't even recorded. By falsifying records and then amplifying the data, these large data centers misrepresented temperatures records across an entire region of the earth.

When Homewood moved on to another region that had been used to support global warming "science," he recognized that the government cherry-picked data using normal ocean warming cycles to their advantage. In between the Arctic, Canada and Siberia, he found more false generalizations. After fact checking weather stations, he found exaggerated temperature warming which suggested that the entire region of the earth had been warming by 1°C or more.

He discovered that the government records leave out important periods of data that show how the earth goes through periodic trends of cooling. At the Iceland meteorological office, Homewood got in touch with a man named Traust Jonsson. They found it strange that the interpretation of the weather data there left out data from Iceland's "sea ice years" around 1970. By leaving out the falling temperatures of this extreme cooling period in the '70s, the government propaganda was intentionally raising average temperature, misrepresenting the original data.

Homewood also investigated James Hansen, the man who ran the The Goddard Institute for Space Studies for many years. Homewood points out how Hansen tries to convince the world of global warming by showing "vanishing" polar ice and polar bears in the arctic. However, Homewood points out that Hansen chooses specific stretches of the Arctic that are affected by warmer water that cycles in through a major Atlantic current. This cyclical shift is normal and peaks a certain times throughout history. The last time the warming period of the cycle occurred was 75 years ago, a time when arctic ice retreated further than it does today.

Why is temperature data being manipulated to exaggerate warming across entire regions of the world?

Is global warming becoming one of the greatest scientific scandals of all time?

Why do global warming believers base their doctrine on pockets of manipulated temperature data that are then amplified and generalized for the entire planet?

Why are normal ocean current cycles and natural cooling-warming trends being used as weapons to promote global warming "science"?

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"Given their lack of benefit, I estimate we could stop almost all psychotropic drugs without causing harm."

Almost all psych drug use is unnecessary, claims doctor researching medical holocaust of over 5 million psych med victims
by: Jonathan Benson

More than half a million people age 65 years or older die every year in the West from psychiatric drug use, and the worst part is that these death pills aren't even effective at treating either mental illness or depression. Researchers from Denmark's Nordic Cochrane Centre found that the benefits of psych drugs are minimal at best, and that most people who currently use them would be better off just ditching them entirely.

Published in The BMJ (British Medical Journal), an eye-opening paper by Professor Peter Gotzsche reveals that most antidepressants and dementia drugs are generally useless when it comes to providing tangible relief. The drugs are also vastly overprescribed, he says, and they come with such a high risk of adverse effects that it isn't even worth it for the average person to try them.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people are dying every year from the normal and prescribed use of psych meds like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are linked to causing extreme depression and provoking users towards suicide or even homicide. Add to this the fact that most psych meds have never been shown effective, matching or not even reaching placebo in terms of their efficacy, and there's no legitimate reason for their continued use.

"Their benefits would need to be colossal to justify this, but they are minimal," Gotzsche warns about the more than half a million people age 65 and older in the West who die annually from psych med use. "Given their lack of benefit, I estimate we could stop almost all psychotropic drugs without causing harm."

Drug companies fund fake trials to make psych meds appear safe and effective

But what about all those drug trials that supposedly reinforce the science behind the safety and efficacy of psych meds? A bulk of them are funded by pharmaceutical companies that have become experts in the art of manipulation and pseudoscience, says Gotzsche.

By knowing how to conduct clinical trials in such a way as to arrive at preconceived conclusions in favor of drug safety and effectiveness, pharmaceutical companies are able to pull the wool over the eyes of regulators and the public to keep the racket going. For psych meds, this includes enrolling trial participants who were previously taking other drugs that left them with withdrawal symptoms temporarily mitigated by the new drugs being tested.

"Animal studies strongly suggest that these drugs can produce brain damage, which is probably the case for all psychotropic drugs," contends Gotzsche, who takes particular issue with antipsychotics, benzodiazepines and antidepressants, which he says collectively kill nearly 4,000 people every year in Denmark, and many more in the U.S.

"Given their lack of benefit, I estimate we could stop almost all psychotropic drugs without causing harm -- by dropping all antidepressants, ADHD drugs and dementia drugs... and using only a fraction of the antipsychotics and benzodiazepines we currently use. This would lead to healthier and more long-lived populations."

Big Pharma is an organized crime ring pushing deadly, ineffective drugs on the vulnerable
The only people who should ever be given psych meds, in Gotzsche's estimation, are those with extreme mental conditions that require acute and closely monitored treatment that is tapered off as quickly as possible -- and even then, patients are strongly advised to seek other, safer treatment methods if possible. By no means should any individual ever take psych meds long-term, in other words, as these drugs are highly addictive and can cause serious side effects when trying to quit them.

"The short-term relief seems to be replaced by long-term harms," says Gotzsche. "Animal studies strongly suggest that these drugs can produce brain damage, which is probably the case for all psychotropic drugs."

Gotzsche wrote a book published back in 2013 entitled Deadly Medicine and Organised Crime: How Big Pharma Has Corrupted Healthcare that exposes the drug industry for engaging in massive fraud and deception to push deadly drugs like psych meds on the public. The system has been so corrupted by this influence that millions of people are now taking drugs that don't work and are extremely deadly.

"The main reason we take so many drugs is that drug companies don't sell drugs, they sell lies about drugs," reads the book. "This is what makes drugs so different from anything else in life... Virtually everything we know about drugs is what the companies have chosen to tell us and our doctors... the reason patients trust their medicine is that they extrapolate the trust they have in their doctors into the medicines they prescribe."

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