Friday, December 30, 2005
How Bush, Senior helped Rove become a better thief using environmentalism.
You can buy the tee-shirt on line at: www.cafepress.com/stopneoconning
When we think of Karl Rove and his cadre of cronies and clowns
we forget the Karl Rove who started as the chubby little nerd on
the play ground, scared of the bullies but determined to win by
Now, when it looks as if George W. might be going down it is
doubly important not to take for granted that they'll depart
Consider what they are willing to do to hold on to power.
Losing may not be just leaving office;
but also facing prison time.
Someone like Rove, who sees contingency in terms of layers
upon layers, secrets within secrets, has had years to plan his game.
You will witness the introduction of those contingencies, seeing
how they float, the abandoning those that don't, and a keen focus
on those that play well in Peioria.
Slight-of-hand Rove will pull out every trick he has ever learned,
while relying heavily on the network of political cronies who he
can trust because he owns them. Old J. Edgar's files of nasty facts
look like a child's trivia compared to what Rove has assembled.
Get ready to really find out who these people are.
Consider every facet of government and the corporate world that
is aligned with Rove and Company, and consider how it can be
controverted to other purposes. Team Turd Blossom will apply
the lessons of life in ways that would turn any decent American's
stomach. Remember, these are the experts, true professionals
at playing dirty.
Who and what the NeoCons are is a continuation of grade
school on steroids. They did not grow up, they simply lost
their hair and plumped out. So it is time to consider again
in more detail the Rules for NeoCons.
Rove was an eager learner, observing the schemes and
ploys of those he got to know who were successful. Rove
was first hired on, still spouting a full fledged case of teen
aged acne, by George H. W. Bush in the early days of
Watergate. What were Rove's skills that attracted the
Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Mr.
Bush? It was because of young Rove's promise as a
political trickster. Rove had successfully stolen a
Young Republican election and boasted about trashing
a locallegislative race to favor the Republican.
Papa Bush recognized rookie talent.
Rove therefore had a front row seat in studying the
clever machinations ofPapa Bush at first hand. That
was the early 70s and Papa Bush was then putting the
finishing touches on his take over of the Environmental
Movement, a move he, Maurice Strong and OR Anderson
had planned to stave off the ominous threat of alternative
energy thus ensuring thatthe bottom line of oil profits
stayed burnished for many happy years to come.
Bear in mind that it was Bush W.'s father the good Senator
who first introduced America to Richard Nixon of Watergate
fame back in theearly 1950's.
Just picture in your mind, Rove, his eyes alight with excitement,
making note of how to hijack a movement by quickly building an
alternative in its place to deflect credit, interest and income.
Adding this sneak attack to his growing book of dirty tricks
must have sent shivers of delight down his soft spine.
And they probably conned you, too - remember Earth Day?
If you celebrate Earth Day in April you were conned by the
people who did so much to teach Rove his trade. The real
Earth Day takes place at the United Nations on the Spring
Equinox with the ringing of the Peace Bell. The commercialized
Earth Day takes place on April 22nd the anniversary of the
McCarthy/Nixon televised hearings on the infamous 'Red Scare'.
The original Environmental Movement, focused on educating
people to the on viable alternative energy options they could
use to replace oil fizzled out like a wet fire cracker. Most of the
Left accepted the ploy and sent checks to support Earth Day
April 22. You can't give them any credit for discernment.
They had been raped and haven't even noticed.
Rove finished his schooling under the masters and went on to apply them elsewhere.
Unfortunately, Rove not being too creative himself always endlessly recycles the tricks he has learned.
That is what happened. If you are, like me, a Republican dedicated to the ideas of freedom and justice you will start to see how our movement was also subverted. You heard it here.
Our next lesson will be on Rove's use of political operatives, Yammering for Fund and Profit: 102.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Now that the Patriot Act is just barely behind us, the ink still drying on the pages of the Congressional Record, an early Christmas present all Americans should appreciate, it is time to consider how the NeoCons, managed to suborn the system for their fun and profit. It was well planned and executed though they have now hit some rocky spots on their carefully planned road to a real American Serfdom for us and the establishment of an American Baronage for them; an amazing accomplishment.
No one can deny that they are ever so clever and we should not fail to give credit where it is due. Karl Rove's finger prints are all over the globe.
One of those answers lies in the perusal of used book stores. I noticed some time ago but had not put the parts together until recently.
To feed my addiction to the printed word I spend a lot of time in used book stores. The piles of nearly new books by such NeoCon Blogscreechers as Ann Coulter gave me pause. The time between purchase and deposit in the used bin hardly seemed long enough to allow the books to be read. And most of the ones I thumbed through did not appear to have been 'used,' for that matter.
It gave me pause for thought. Thought lead me to the ever ready websites that touted these books along with their authors. Not surprisingly, most come out of the same publishing houses. Three Rivers Press, Crown Forum, Regnany. A brief perusal of their authors reveals other interesting insights. The NeoCons live in a very small world.
The authors of these books, along with acting as spokespeople for the range of points necessitated by the policies on which rest the NeoCon POV also provide other valuable services. Along with the white males there are tokens of otherly ethnic and gendered persons. If you put together the right graph you can see how they all fit in, promulgating opinion in those areas that were essential to their larger strategy. Examined, it is actually rather simple minded. But it worked.
With the right message you have to have the right messenger and so we fill in those little places on the graph. There are links from those sites to a mass of sites that are NeoCon clubs, for instance the Heritage Foundation. Having attended some of the functions at similar organizations associated with the folks from NeoConland I now know that these organizations push books and often will give them away to loyal supporters who are attending expensive conferences that allow them to hear first hand what they are supposed to think; opinion pronounced by those same authors.
The degree to which each opinion maker knows how their opinion is being used would vary, of course. For some it would be a little like being discovered in the coffee shop in Hollywood and advancing immediately to the big leagues with a contract for three movies. Some books by their regular cadre of political operatives, for instance John Fund, would have been planned and assigned in advance.
What if to accomplish your political ends you knew, say 20 years ago, you would need to produce the appearance of public support? One relatively cheap way to accomplish that would be to identify and fund a cadre of writers representing the 'points' of your political agenda and ensure that the books they produced, flowing from their eager fingers like guano from a gull, would register big time in sales.
Wow, the media would say, these people have their fingers on the pulse of America. Interviews and respect would automatically ensue. Media people respect anyone who can manage to be paid for talking or writing.
This simulated public presence also translates into a real presence because so many people interested in politics want to go with the 'winner' in this case the one whose books are selling and who are on the screen talking to America about their shiny new ideas. It is also a clever way to pay off the writers, who are in effect political operatives paid through royalties.
The publishing house makes money selling the books; the authors make money; and the public, curious about what is being said, also buy many more books than would otherwise have been the case. Book tours result in more media and allow the authors a far more active dating life than would otherwise have been possible.
Additionally, your opposition goes out and buys the books to respond. Those might be the most satisfactory sales of all to Karl Rove.
This is supposition on my part, of course. I went in less than 20 books stores in three states checking out the stacks. But it is very possible for us to find out if this is true. All we need is a website, free on yahoo, that lets folks list how many books they found on what day in which stores. Outing them on this would be delicious. I am really hoping that some interested Internet savant does just that.
The cleverness of the whole has Karl Rove stamped all over it.
Now, how to respond to this strategy.
These books sell cheap, needless to say; many book store owners repined that they are impossible to sell so removing them from inventory saves space, usefully recycling them to a higher purpose is therefore both a public service and a necessity. So in the spirit of charity and the season such books could be made available to low income people living in areas that are experiencing the sharp rise in heating bills and used to generate some real heat in their fireplaces.
I can just see St. Nick coming down on a pile of crackling Coulters. That will warm his old heart.
The thing about the Rove strategy, and this was a component of their ongoing war on America and Americans, is that it may not make sense at the time but in retrospect you see what was really happening.
Visit your local used book store and clean out your fireplace for use this Christmas Season. You will be glad you did.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion." Thomas Jefferson; Sept. 28, 1820
How the NeoCons – and the Dems – sunk the Ship of State
As bad as things seem now, it can get worse. This is the conclusion one comes to after reading E.J. Dionne’s commentary in last Monday's edition of the Washington Post.
Dionne urged Democrats to find a vision. Perhaps Dionne simply should paint Senator Kerry as the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz and sing ‘If Kerry only had a brain.’ The fact is, the visionary and moral leadership offered by such stalwarts of the DNC remain the best hopes of people like Karl Rove. There isn’t a vacant deck chair on the “D.N.C. Titanic” during this Democrat cruise.
Whatever happened to the refrain, “Bush stole the election”? Several days ago John Kerry made a hasty retreat from what he had once openly stated to Mark Crispin Miller, (author of “Fooled Again”) that Bush had in fact stolen the 04 elections. The silence is deafening. No one has uttered a peep about vacancy in John Kerry’s trousers these days. This is the man who wanted to be President? The NeoCons who occupy the White House must rejoice daily that Providence has provided them with the current Democratic leadership.
Forty years of Democratic neglect allowed the NeoCons to rise to power through the subversion of the Grand Old Party. So void of ideas has the DNC become, that if they offered voters an equivalent to the Contract with America it would be titled “We’ll Steal Less!”
This would at least hold the virtue of honestly. When Joe Conason penned “Big Lies” he hit the nail square on the head; they stole less than the snorting hoard of NeoCons who marched into Washington on hobnailed boots following the 1994 elections.
While such as John Kerry peer into the abyss of their souls the image of GW Bush peering under his desk for his phantom WMD’s in the Oval Office gives Americans whiplash.
For the Democrats to find leadership means they first must have a vision, and that requires eyes wide open, confronting reality. Vision is not propaganda, but a reality that empowers. Americans are fed up. A recent CNN online poll found that 88% of the country’s voters would gladly leave their political party if only someone offered them a vision – along with the reality to achieve it.
Americans are ready, ready to take power from the leadership of political parties and the their corporate sponsors and put it back into the hands of the people themselves. This is how our Founders intended it to be; that is the vision of America.
Stealing less, might slow the nightmare but it is not a vision.
The sole purpose of government is to do that which the people cannot do individually for themselves. Nothing more.
Americans must take back control of their lives. The worn out rhetoric, propaganda and marketing of fear of the past half century has been used to the death of all we hold sacred as a people. It must stop. We stand poised on the threshold of a change more substantial than the fall of the Berlin Wall. That is the wall between the freedom God meant us to have and a perpetual serfdom to government.
The truth is that Americans are only an idea away from real freedom. Now that they see the reality behind the curtain of Oz they need only take the future into their own hands.
We face cannot trust our elections. Therefore we need to return control to our neighborhoods, both for voting and for registration, there we know who we can trust.
Petty bureaucrats who presume to dictate to us in all parts of our lives ooze with the assumption of authority. These same petty officials also categorically reject all personal accountability for their failures. Therefore we need walk away from the bankrupt services government produces.
Americans have been brainwashed into thinking that there is nothing they can do to change things. But we can.
We can take back control by returning to a government that does only what the people cannot do for themselves.
We must get off all grids created for us by government. These grids; social, economic, utility and otherwise were created by government to serve big government and not us.
Some grids are created by government, others by large corporations such as petroleum and credit card companies. These stakeholders in the game are bedmates. Their sole purpose is to insure our compliance in making them wealthy and powerful.
Grids, the means for centralizing ownership of Americans, send the wrong message about how we organize our lives. Grids teach us to look to 'authorities' rather than looking to each other to solve our problems as people and as communities. Grids teach us to wait for someone else (corporations or government) to come to our rescue. Instead we should be rescuing each other.
There are other grids as well. As individuals we can detach from all of them if we choose. Woody Guthrie wrote a song once, and it went something like this; “… one man’s hands can’t tear a prison down. But if one and one make a hundred, we’ll see that day come round.” The day has come.
Doing it ourselves as individuals and with our neighbors is the vision the Founders knew. A vision; Something neither political party seems to understand. As long as we keep playing their game the music will not change.
Perhaps you do not hear leadership from those who rule over us for the simple reason that it might destroy their power to sell us into economic slavery in the land our fathers and mothers died to create.
E.J. Dionne closed by citing FDR’s memorable speech before the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco in which he asserted, that the task of government was to intervene, but not hamper individualism, to protect it from the abuses of the powerful.
Now we know, as Roosevelt did not, that the ability of government to protect rights vanished in the potential for profits to be made in selling us out. Dionne then goes on without a bobble to say that rights are not enough, that we need to consider 'service'. He should remember that service is slavery if it is not undertaken freely. Each of us know when we are serving and when we are slaves.
Start organizing locally so that elections are controlled by those we know. Get off the grid of dependencies. Look into the eyes of your neighbor and find hope, because hope is the vision we need today.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
The ERA – NOW pending
by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster, ERA Campaign Network California Coordinator
Wording of the Equal Rights Amendment:
Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the
United States or by any state on account of sex.
You may think that the Equal Rights Amendment is dead; however, you would be wrong. It has never been more alive and ready to become law.
On October 19^th Representative Arthenia Joyner of Florida filed a bill in
the state legislature there calling for ratification. The bill, (HCR 8005) will be considered in the 2006 Legislative Session.
For some years now a small but determined group of women have been
pursuing ratification of the long overdue ERA through a strategy they call the Three State Strategy. The ERA was passed by Congress in 1972, and sent for the required ratification by at least 38 (three-fourths) of the 50 states. Although the 1972 Congress had stipulated a 7-year ratification time limit, the 1978 Congress extended the time limit 3 more years, to 1982 -- by which time 35, not 38, states had ratified. In spite of common assumptions that the ERA was therefore "dead," more recent legal analyses conclude that the time limit could be extended again, or even eliminated, so that ratification by just three more states would complete the process and add the ERA to the Constitution.
This time we need to make sure it happens – we can and must. The comment
by then-candidate for Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on the standards applied to gender issues as opposed to other issues of equality sent chills down many spines in the last months.
The newly passed ERA was sent to the states from Congress in 1972 and
everyone believed that it would be ratified by the required 38 states quickly but instead it became a political football linked to issues that have nothing to do with simple equality. Many institutions and powerful people who benefit from keeping women second class citizens, including Phyllis Schlafly, have made careers of opposing an equality that is essential to women – and to our culture as a whole.
What happened instead was a series of laws that assert 'fairness', many passed on the state level. On these women hang their trust that their rights are protected. Without the clear and specific backing of the federal Constitution, even the best laws improving women'srights and opportunities can (and often are) weakened, poorly (or never) enforced, or even overturned. Without the ERA, women cannot count on the Supreme Court to prohibit that from happening.
The ERA Campaign network and those involved in the active campaigns now underway in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Georgia, and Arizona need help to ensure that three more state ratifications are achieved. The other states that have not ratified are:/Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana,
Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.
There are organizations in nearly all of these states that are working and need help.
You can help make it happen. You probably noticed that most of the unratified states are southern, Many of us now living in other parts of the country have connections to those states. We may leave our state but we keep our friends, school chums and family. With help from the Internet former southerners are creating a network to build understanding and support for the ongoing effort.
Many of us have connections of other kinds to the unratified states; our families might have come from there, we might have gone to school there, we might have friends who have moved there. Or our favorite novel might have been set there. The threads of connection are weaving new patterns for women across the nation, connections that will ensure that girls growing up now will have
their rights secured to them as individuals. Many of us have had the experience of 'adopting' a child in absentia and sending money or presents to a family in need in another country. You can 'adopt' a state as a member of that state's ERA Caucus and help by letting your friends and family know about the ongoing efforts and by donating yourself to your adopted state and by getting your friends and
family and associates to do the same.
In this way we can forge new connections between women and all fair minded people throughout the country, connections that can last even after we have finished the work of ratification.
The women who have poured their lives into this work come from every kind of background; what they have in common is a sense of humor (you have to have one of those to keep on trucking) and the raw determination to see equality a reality in their lifetimes.
There are friends waiting to get to know you!
Help make the ERA a reality in our life times. Adopt one of these states as your own and donate, organize support and keep updated. Your daughter and granddaughters will be glad you did!
Coordinators for unratified states
Alabama: Elizabeth Crandall, email@example.com
Arizona: Kathie Kelly, ERACampaignAZ@aol.com, 602-690-1038, or Joan Meacham, SusieQ3@cox.net, 480-471-7792
Arkansas: Berta Seitz, BSeitz@fayar.net
Florida: Sandy Oestreich, RatifyERA@cs.com, 727-393-0932, www.RatifyERAflorida.net
Georgia: Coordinator declines to be named.
Illinois: Gayle Guthrie, ERAillinois@cs.com, 773-477-0164
Louisiana: Sandra Hufstetler, era.Louisiana@LA-4-equity.us
Mississippi: Terri Elliott Mason, firstname.lastname@example.org
Missouri: Shirley Breeze, SBreeze@mindspring.com
Oklahoma: Leona Evans, ERACampaignOK@msn.com
Virginia: Donna King, email@example.com
See Florida's bill's text below, which is identical to SCR 204 we
referred to in our previous message, and with brand new Whereas-es.
Senate bill is referenced now only to two committees, but one is Senate
Judiciary. Current FL Sen. Rod Smith, gubernatorial candidate,
co-introduced SCR 204.
ERA bills' wording 2006:
House Concurrent Resolution
2 A concurrent resolution ratifying the proposed amendment
3 to the Constitution of the United States relating to equal
4 rights for men and women.
6 WHEREAS, the Equal Rights Amendment was first introduced in
7 Congress in 1923 and was filed every session thereafter from
8 1923 to 1972, and
9 WHEREAS, the Equal Rights Amendment was finally approved by
10 Congress in 1972 and sent to the states for ratification with a
11 7-year deadline, and
12 WHEREAS, in 1978 Congress extended the original
13 ratification deadline for 3 more years, and
14 WHEREAS, Congress placed a deadline of June 30, 1982, on
15 the ratification process for the Equal Rights Amendment for men
16 and women and 35 states ratified the proposed amendment before
17 the deadline, and
18 WHEREAS, Congress submitted the Madison Amendment to the
19 states as part of the proposed Bill of Rights on September 25,
20 1789, which relates to the timing of Congressional pay raises,
21 but it was not ratified until 203 years later in 1992, making it
22 the Twenty-seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution
23 and establishing a precedent such that the Equal Rights
24 Amendment is sufficiently contemporaneous and therefore remains
25 viable, and
26 WHEREAS, in 1998 Florida voters, by a margin of 65 percent
27 to 35 percent, approved a similar amendment to the Florida
28 Constitution when they approved Revision 9, which added and
29 clarified that "all natural persons, female and male alike, are
30 equal before the law," therefore clearly indicating that
31 ratification of the federal Equal Rights Amendment would be
32 fully consistent with the will of the majority of voters in this
33 state, and
34 WHEREAS, Article V of the United States Constitution allows
35 the Legislature of the State of Florida to ratify this proposed
36 amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and
37 WHEREAS, the Legislature of the State of Florida finds that
38 the Equal Rights Amendment for men and women is reasonable and
39 sufficiently contemporaneous and needed in the United States
40 Constitution because while women enjoy more rights today than
41 they did when the Equal Rights Amendment was first introduced in
42 1923 or when it passed out of Congress in 1972, hard-won laws
43 against gender discrimination do not rest on any unequivocal
44 constitutional foundation and the laws can be inconsistently
45 enforced or even repealed, and
46 WHEREAS, elements of gender discrimination remain in
47 statutory and case law, and courts have had difficulty applying
48 a consistent standard to gender classifications which are not
49 inherently suspect or comparable to racial or ethnic
50 classifications under equal-protection analysis, and
51 WHEREAS, the Equal Rights Amendment for men and women is
52 necessary in order to have a clear constitutional guarantee that
53 gender is considered a suspect classification and entitled to
54 the same strict scrutiny that courts reserve for race, religion,
55 and national origin, NOW, THEREFORE,
57 Be It Resolved by the House of Representatives of the State of
58 Florida, the Senate Concurring:
60 That the proposed amendment to the Constitution of the
61 United States set forth below is ratified by the Legislature of
62 the State of Florida.
64 "SECTION 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be
65 denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on
66 account of sex.
67 "SECTION 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce,
68 by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
69 "SECTION 3. This amendment shall take effect two years
70 after the date of ratification."
71 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that certified copies of the
72 foregoing preamble and resolution be immediately forwarded by
73 the Secretary of State of the State of Florida, under the great
74 seal, to the President of the United States, the Secretary of
75 State of the United States, the President of the Senate of the
76 United States, the Speaker of the House of Representatives of
77 the United States, and the Administrator of General Services of
78 the United States.
Saturday, September 17, 2005
America is off course - Time for a change.
Protect the rights of Americans - Elect another kind of animal for President
At the close of the First World War the Elks wrote a check for $1,000.000.00 so that America's Veterans could have a hospital for the first time. That is how it happened. Hardly anyone knows that today.
Beware of government, it takes credit for what it did not do - and it blames us when it fails.
Elections were on all of our minds when I went to Elks that Tuesday, but the questions that became the central focus of our discussion. lead us in unusual directions.
My friend Robert Crouch, a professor of economics who teaches at the University of California at Santa Barbara, asked me what I had been doing with myself over the summer. A long conversation ensued that included the happy announcement that I had finished writing my second book of the year, titled GREED: The NeoConning of America.
No discussion with an economist can begin without some defining of terms so amidst the discussions of football, Lodge politics, and the greetings and meetings of those assembling, we did a little of that.
Robert is not your normal academic. He likes playing poker and has in fact written a book on the subject. He is a former surfer, sidelined by his knees, who spends every summer scrolling through his memories in the first person while touring through the lush and lovely landscape of England, his native soil, in a sedan.
I like Robert. He is always jolly and very complimentary, filled with insights and interesting stories about his past. I would like him even if he were not a dedicated economist of the free market variety. But he is.
I asserted that there were serious problems with issues impinging on the 1st Amendment in that a relatively small cadre of powerful individuals in America today, namely the NeoCons, can make it impossible to publish for some people, in this case me. Robert asserted this was not true. Hence, this opinion piece that will take up three distinct issues melding them together to formulate a short study of why NeoConism worked and how they have impacted our essential institutions.
I begin at the beginning. How do the assumptions of the 2nd Amendment apply to the present understanding of secrecy, privacy and confidentiality, a right ‘discovered’ only in 1890?
That ‘right of privacy’ was derived from a corollary of the 4th Amendment in 1890. This ‘right’ was originally asserted as a protection from libelous coverage of the press in a case occurring in Boston that year. A family was suffering under the publishing of what we are assured were libelous assertions. While we can sympathize with the family in question they had at their disposal the means for protecting themselves, namely the existing laws on slander and libel. If the statements were untrue they could sue. Libel and slander remained specific to falsehoods. What was inadvertently created with this precedent was a right of privacy that was later used to protect falsehoods.
By creating this formulation of ‘privacy’ a tool was created that became a weapon wielded against freedom as envisioned by the Bill of Rights.
The ‘right of privacy,’ as the tool for deception it became, takes its present form when applied during the Twenties to the right of criminals to ‘privacy’ to continue their felonious careers. These related to the imposition of Prohibition on Americans, a limitation on freedom.
Clearly, this is not what the Founders had in mind. But neither could they have imagined the need that drove its application.
Each of the significant cases in which the principle is applied asserts the ‘right of privacy’ as a tool to protect freedom, not from other individuals, but from the government.
Along with ending the production, trade and consumption of alcohol statutes were being used by government to force sterilization of the genetically unfit, to prevent individuals from engaging in homosexual behavior, to keep people from killing themselves, and to limit their right to make reproductive choices for themselves. Instead of challenging the government’s use of statute to limit freedom civil libertarians retreated to this convenient but specious concept of privacy.
The government had ignored their most elemental right, namely freedom. The response of civil libertarians was to create a specious ‘right.’ The correct solution would have been to ensure that government not interfere in the personal or commercial lives of Americans by rescinding statutes.
To tie the issue of freedom to privacy is to use a hammer to file your nails. Why this happened is obvious. At that point in time civil libertarians were faced with the growing specter of the various forms of collectivism that were to blight the forward progress of the twentieth century, powered by the growing unrest caused, ironically, by having ignored the injustices flowing from the government’s original failure to make freedom available to all. The poor, women, blacks and minorities were inferior in constitutionally guaranteed rights.
Women were the muscle of the movement for social justice in the early years of the past century, moved by the failure of the Founders and subsequent generations to recognize their rights to self determination. Their cause was just. The tools they chose were unfortunately collectivist. Those who spoke the verities of individual rights had ignored their plight and the use of statute was adopted as a justifiable means for doing what freedom adherents had failed to do.
Failing to do the right thing has down stream consequences. Now, we should learn the lesson.
Therefore the present understanding of privacy should be rethought as follows. Confidentiality is a contractual relationship, mutually agreed to, such as exists between physician and patient, attorney and client. Within that covenant behavior and unpalatable truths are protected. The asserted ‘right to privacy,’ as a means of avoiding the truth regarding undeserved reputation does not exist. Facts are private when they are not known to others. No ‘right’ to privacy exists through the Bill of Rights. Privacy, as a means of evading the disclosure of unpalatable truths does not exist outside the contractual agreements limiting the actions of consenting parties.
We will now relate this line of argumentation to the 1st and 2nd Amendments.
The 2nd Amendment would appear to be about ‘the right to keep and bear arms.’ But in actual fact it has a broader application, that being the right to self defense, the expression of that being at the time it was written entirely bound up in the possession of weapons which were technologically adequate to the needs of the people to revolt against oppression in the year 1776.
This is incomplete. All tools for the protection of the individual should properly be included within our understanding of the 2nd Amendment. Truth is a tool, a weapon of appropriate defense in the hands of the innocent, and cannot and should not be limited by the use of ‘privacy.’ Further, its use should not be limited by the abuse of power by other individuals, the court system or by government.
We are not used to thinking of truth as a weapon, but it is.
The Founders thought they had taken care of the issue of free speech as a tool for self defense. The example of Zenger, the printer who ran afoul of the Royal Governor of New York in 1735, and so established the concept of the right of jurors to rule on the law as well as the facts, was clearly within the purview of their experience. This is the principle of jury nullification.
Zenger broke the law according to the statutes. He was found innocent because the law was unjust. His right to speak the truth was superior to all statutes. The truth was not to be abridged. Clearly, the Founders understood the potential for statutes to void the rights they protected within the Bill of Rights. Statute is always inferior to rights secured by the Bill of Rights and the natural rights of humankind.
This previous example refutes the creation of a ‘right of privacy’ from the 4th Amendment.
The truth was seen by the Founders as a weapon of social correction and self defense.
The NeoCon Cabal today continues the bad precedent created by civil libertarians who feared government, using the tool of ‘privacy’ and ‘executive privilege’ to protect deceit. Government has been lying to us for a good long time but the NeoCons have taken this to a new level. The use of lies is foundational to the philosophy of NeoConservativism as emoted by Irving Kristol and by Leo Strauss, the philosophical mentors to this administration.
First, make sure your ugly behavior does not become known. Then find the means to have your own deceits accepted as truth.
The NeoCons saw the potential to use the media for their own purposes. They had learned from watching others do the same on a smaller scale and brought with them the Trotskyite methods of their origin in the left.
The fourth estate, the media, with traditional newspapers, writers of subjects relating to politics and policy, and now radio and television, are no longer a reliable means for ascertaining the truth. Instead they have morphed into a form of entertainment at best and at their worst the public relations arm of political parties and the primary owners of political parties and corporations. Depending on who owns them they line up to produce and so be paid.
Corporations are the third part of the story.
The Founders lived in a world where wealth was held by individuals. The first such corporation was East India Company. Founded by Royal Charter in 1600 the first limited liability corporation, gradually assumed the form of a government, enabling and justifying the take over of India by the British Crown.
This early limited liability corporation was enormously profitable to its investors and the British Crown. But this wealth was not created but transferred from producers. Governmental heads of the various sultanates in India traded access to the markets and merchants residing therein in exchange for advantages accruing only to themselves. The East India Corporation was therefore a middle man, taking from the producers but supplying no value in exchange. In 1670, through five acts of Parliament, the East India Company was granted rights that made it, effectively, a nation in itself, exercising rights of dominion over millions of Indians who had no recourse or choice in the matter.
So the tendency for corporations to become quasi-governmental entities, reaching for and asserting rights reserved to governments and individuals is of long standing. Corporations are now invested with an artificial personhood that makes them potentially immortal. They are not vulnerable to the impact of strict liability or social ostracism as are individuals. While the majority of businesses engaging in commerce are owned by the individuals who run them there remains a class of corporation that has worked to enjoy the benefits of citizenship while evading the balancing accountability. That class of corporations ignores the issues of informed consent, benevolent outcome, and individual autonomy.
Discriminating between the uses of the form of incorporation is an essential element for ensuring humanity moves in positive directions. Incorporation is a tool of human devising; it is not natural. Corporations should not be protected under the Constitution.
In the world of the Founders, the corporation, as we understand it today, did not exist. Wealth brought power but the power of wealth was limited; individuals holding great wealth died. Their heirs usually dissipated the accumulation of wealth over a few generations. It was a small world and reputations were not subject to the spinning all too familiar to us today. The truth was not as much at risk because the tools of truth and the right to enforce those tools remained very much within the control of the people as a whole. It was a small world and reputation mattered.
The Founders did not imagine that entities like corporations as we know them today would ever exist and could not therefore defend against them.
It was only in the 1960s that corporations succeeded in assuming personhood. Since then the irresponsible and grasping subset of corporations have been working at supplanting government. They are succeeding. The dynamic thereby produced is both complex and simple. The means used to control and steal are many, the formula remains the same. Lie. Distract. Take. Do it again.
Having formulated a powerful set of tools, the ‘right to privacy,’ the means for broadcasting disinformation, and then the means for displacing the original vision of American government through a collation of corporate entities, the pieces were in place for turning the representative republic originally visioned by the founders into a federal empire.
Thomas Jefferson said that we should have another revolution every twenty years, that being the maximum time that a government could remain free of corruption.
“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Americans should listen to the words of their founders and consider carefully what actions seem best.
Corporations have come to exercise rights superior to those of individuals. Each of these is a conversion of an existing institution of American life; paid for by the people, but used by those who are building the federal empire we now see taking shape. It could not have happened without generations who ignored the essential issues of freedom.
Using the military, Social Security, the department of Social Services, education, disasters, the court system and the wistful hopes of a Nation those in change continue to steal. For most of them it is the only job they have ever held. While this is going on the series of mistakes made by wishful civil libertarians, hoping that band-aids will fix the problems, continue to accumulate.
It is time for real answers and we can only hope it is not too late.
Elect an elk as president. They are quick of eye, keen of perception, swift of foot - and tasty when roasted over a slow fire; a much better deal than the bunch in office today.
Sunday, September 04, 2005
How the NeoCons murdered New Orleans:
Another in the continuing series.
Mr. Bush said on "Good Morning America" that the United States could fend for itself. "I do expect a lot of sympathy and perhaps some will send cash dollars," the president was quoted as saying of foreign governments. "But this country's going to rise up and take care of it."
As indeed we should. Americans are courageous and they will do what must be done. But that is a different set of actions than envisioned by George W. Bush and his cohort.
Fourteen billion dollars sounded like a lot of money in 1998, too much money for the Feds to commit to Coast 2050, the plan agreed on by the governor's office, the state's Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service and all 20 of the state's coastal parishes for restoring coastal Louisiana.
Relief for New Orleans is costing you and me a half billion each day now; that does not count the costs of rebuilding.
New Orleans had a wake up call in the form of Hurricane Georges in September of 1998. Faced with a wall of water 17 feet in height that threatened to surge into Lake Pontchartrain and flood their city they came together.
New Orleans saw what was inevitable. So did most of literate America. In an article published in Scientific American in October of 2001 titled, Drowning New Orleans by Mark Fischetti,
the dangers were spelled out. In less than six pages it laid out what was going to happen, why it was inevitable, how New Orleans found itself a storm away from death and destruction, and what was proposed to stop it.
In October of 2001 all Americans understood well that disasters can happen here. You would have thought that the present administration would have listened. The NeoCon Administration did have a response. It cut funding to FEMA for the maintenance of the system of levees. Perhaps most Americans do not read Scientific American. But more of them read National Geographic, which last year again laid out the same grim prognosis.
People often lie when they talk. What they do is always true.
If you dig into the article in Scientific American and understand the human choices that left New Orleans vulnerable you see that those responsible, for the most part, were not in the line of fire. They did not lose homes, property, lives. They are not now living in fear of lawlessness and curling up hungry and parched with thirst, smelling death all around them. We have all seen the pictures.
Those who set up the Big Easy to die actually put money in their pockets and will continue to benefit. Those two parties are this NeoCon Administration and their core constituency, certain purveyors of products of the petroleum kind.
The NeoCons lied, the Big Easy died.
New Orleans had been buffered from disaster by the deposit of silt and sand built up from the deposits made by the Mississippi River. These were the source of the bayous, a fertile extension of delta land extending into the ocean, creating a wetlands where life teemed and many ordinary people make their livings. That started to change when the levee system began at the behest of Congress in 1879. Quick fixes that ignore the nature driven dynamics of systems too complex to be entirely understood have long term consequences. The people who originally made those choices didn't know better. They are now all dead of old age. At least that generation of Congress had less costly public funded perks.
When this happens due to ignorance we are forgiving. When it is due to deceit and greed action must be taken to ensure that the behavior is extinguished absolutely. This missing component in America's societal tool chest, retribution for those who abuse the most potent trusts, must be rebooted. Since we are human all such rules exist exclusively in human custom. We can change it if we decide to do so.
New Orleans was buffered by wetlands. Wetlands can absorb enough water to knock down the height of water surges as high as 20 feet – at a rate of one foot of water for every four miles of wetlands. You can do the math yourself. If you can't do the math and you went to a public school you know who is responsible for that, too.
New Orleans was left vulnerable by the congruent action of government and oil companies.
In his article in Scientific American Fischetti comments that the wetlands just outside of New Orleans is still lush. But the landscape changes as he journeys down to Port Fourchon, closer to the tides and turmoil of the ocean. There, the intrusions of saltwater are killing the grasses that maintain the wetlands, aided by the miles of corridors cut into that buffer by petroleum companies. Fischetti reports seeing abandoned trailers and buildings, lost to the encroaching ocean. Port Fourchon loses 40 to 50 feet of beach a year, the highest rate in the country and perhaps the world.
One third of the buffer that protected New Orleans was stolen by the same companies that immediately raised the cost of gasoline at the pump to over $5.00 a gallon although the gas then being pumped had cost them nothing more. If a store owner raised the price of water to double we would recognize it as price gouging enforced by the desperation of the consumers.
The cheapest means for putting in drilling is to float a barge out to the location, digging a canal that is then abandoned; this is what such companies and Exxon-Mobile have done and continue to do despite knowing the potential costs.
All of those who profited knew the risks.
At this moment you can rest assured the Karl Rove and Brain Central in the White House are working feverishly on how to turn their own profit by spinning these events to their benefit.
Their concern is more than just money. It is how to continue to control Congress in the '06 election if, as may well happen, Americans manage to retake control of the electoral system and ensure the first honest election in ten years. I can almost see the light bulb glow over Rove's head. “That's it! We will bring the troops home from Iraq because we have to make New Orleans relief a priority. We will also have to institute the draft to continue that work. Then after the '06 election we can invade Iran. That gives us two more years before we need to think about finding a stand in for BushBoy. '06 will be a breeze. We will actually be popular again!”
Rove is such a clever guy.
But I have a different proposal.
What is missing in this morass is that essential American value of accountability. You may know that while they were dredging those oil companies were also busy buying Congressmen to ensure that their potential liability was nil. So we need to inject some good old fashioned cause and effect. Who was bought, how much did the Petro Elite pay for them? Indict them all.
Here is the plan for enforcing accountability on those who are used to evading it.
Those petroleum companies who cut into the buffer will be held accountable for the damage done, both for restoring the impacted wetlands and to the thousands and thousands of individuals their calloused acts impacted. The National Association of Trial Attorneys can offer pro bono services to bring them to justice on behalf of those who lost property, life, and hope in New Orleans. It is in the interests of the law profession to prove to Americans that at least some of they can be trusted. And the payments will not be configured just in cash but in the transfer of property as well.
Those petroleum companies own facilities now dedicated to the production of oil based products. They will pay for these to convert to hydrogen and the stations they own now selling hydrocarbon based fuel will be converted to hydrogen. Ownership will be transferred to a trust that will see that restitution is made. I would nominate the Yosemite Fund and other like nonprofits who have struggled to maintain America's environment in the face of government's rapacious takings to oversee this trust.
In the interim the US government will encourage the production of gasohol and other alternative fuels that can be utilized by simply adjusting the timing on those automobiles now in use. No American will be forced to change; regular fuel will continue to be available – as long as it lasts.
Those impacted, now destitute, without jobs or hope, will have the money to restart their lives – some of them may end up owning their own pumping station for clean fuel.
Congress will lose its perks. If they want a dining room let them buy a MacDonald's franchise. Liability against those who made these choices, cutting funding for the levees, will be exacted personally. Those who act under color of authority can and should be denied the protections of authority. The law allows us to take this action. Those responsible should lose their private islands, their lavish life style and be destitute. But I am sure they will be able to get a job at WalMart or McDonald's.
For the NeoCons the charges for malfeasance for New Orleans will be added to those pending in Chicago against those indicted from the administration already. Perhaps instead of preparing to celebrate Mardi Gras by profiting from death those now occupying those dishonored positions of trust can be fitted for very different kinds of costumes.
America will also get something it desperately needs, clean fuel and a cleaner environment. The bayous were once places of fragile beauty; most Americans have only glimpsed this world from a boat in the Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland.
We need a tangible, visceral message the greedy cannot ignore. Americans can take care of the problem once they correctly identify what the problem really is.
Those harmed will have been made whole; the wetlands will no longer be endangered. That is what justice should be about.
America needs to take stock, reflect, and act to save our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor. We had to do it once before. We can do it again.
Melinda Pillsbury-Foster is presently working on a book titled, Revoking the License to Steal: How Americans can govern themselves. The book calls for accountability in every facet of life and the true establishment of individual rights for all Americans through the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. She uses the original philosophical tools of America's Founders, the market, justice, and individualism. She is a registered Republican, a member of the National Federation of Republican Women, a committed Libertarian, and a life-long environmentalist.
She runs an organization to preserve the legacy of her grandfather, Arthur C. Pillsbury. The website is at: acpillsburyfoundation.com
Friday, August 26, 2005
The NeoCons: Weapons of Mass Destruction - Another in the series
There has been a lot of talk over the last four years about Weapons of Mass Destruction. George W. Bush has ascertained that under his desk is a WMD clear zone.
While it is nice that George W. was able to handle that hazardous assignment on his own, evidently without the immediate and hands on guidance of Karl Rove, the issue of WMD still haunts America. And as with all such issues we need to examine the facts, as opposed to the burblings of rhetoric that we are normally fed by this administration.
Weapons of Mass Destruction exist; they are poised and pointed at us in America, endangering our families, homes, and lives. Those weapons are wielded by fanatics who represent the gravest danger that America has ever faced.
The confusion has been in who those fanatics really are. You can not disarm them if you are looking at the wrong people.
By this time it is clear even to the most credulous that Saddam Hussein, a very bad person who did horrific things, not only did not have the means to deliver WMD to America he had no wish to do so. Remember, he politely asked permission from George W.'s father before invading Kuwait. Saddam had enjoyed a cooperative relationship with various segments of America's government over the last twenty years and was not just about to mess up a good thing that delivered gold toilet bowls and other benefits to him and his cadre of followers. Saddam is no religious fanatic – though fanaticism is part of the story here.
This is a story with a long history and to really understand it we need to take a walk back in time. The story does not start in the Middle East anyway. It starts in Pennsylvania with money owed to a professor eking out his inadequate salary by doing a little outside consulting in 1854. The project was determining if Rock Oil could be used to illuminate homes and businesses; the growing population having created a demand that was raising the cost of whale oil.
Eventually Professor Benjamin Silliman, Jr. was paid his $526.08 for the report he had contracted to write for America's first oilmen. When the money was in hand he delivered the report. He knew otherwise he would not be paid; no matter how valuable the information those he had dealt with had not instilled in him a sense of trust. He was all too right; honor and the petroleum industry have proven to be like water - and oil.
The report was to create what we today know as the petroleum industry.
What had been viewed as a nuisance, tainting water and soil where it seeped to the surface, became black gold.
Over the next fifty years the quest for oil would send men to every corner of the world and spawn business practices that relied on deceit, manipulation and outright violence. The principles of those involved owed more to war than to commerce.
Many of us know parts of this story, and that the first anti-monopoly law in the United States was created as a direct response to the practices of John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil. You may think that is old history, but as with many events in history, the waves of causality continue today.
The impact of fouled ethics on business practices in America owes much to the example set by the petroleum industry.
Oil was attractive because of the money it brought and because of the money it would bring. The practices of the Oil barons became accepted as business as usual, perpetuated by business and government in other arenas.
Coming to full maturity in the age of Progressivism government and the new kinds of business created by the advances in technology integrated the structural assumptions of collectivism, seeing every problem as one best solved by centralized information and supply paid for by individual users in small incremental amounts over time. Government started to refer to these as natural monopolies, regulating possible competition out of existence to the benefit of a few.
Think about filing up your gas tank; think about paying your electric bill; think about paying your phone bill. Think about the services you receive from government, presumably paid for through the taxes you really would rather not pay at all.
An income stream has been created; one that shoved a tube in your arm and just kept sucking.
Odd, when you consider for how long we have had the technological means to do it so that you kept that money in your own pocket. Or not odd. When a train of events are studied and tell a consistent and logical story that explains all of the facts no matter how unlikely it seems at the outset that is the truth. Occam's Razor cuts through the bullshit every time.
The light you read by, the fuel in your car, the water in your toilet, and other specific needs you have come to think of as necessities available only through these means, all of these put you in a food chain for wealth accumulation and you are the source of the wealth, not the beneficiary.
I probably sound like a radical liberal. Far from the case. I am a market individualist who studied what happened and gulped. I am a registered REpublican, have been active in the Republican Party for many years and was previously a Libertarian. Libertarianism, the Movement of which I am still a part, contributed to the problem.
I have been telling others in the Movement for a good long while now that it is time to confront what has happened and start the process of cleaning up the mess. But most of them are too invested, meaning that they either make their living from one of the institutions who benefit from the status quo or that they cannot emotionally afford to believe it. You know, the deer in the headlights phenomenon.
I am not so invested. My only meaningful investment is genetic; I have four living children I want to inherit a world where freedom is still possible.
At the turn of the last century a battle went on between the collective approach to supplying our needs for the power, water, food, and all of those other necessities and self reliance. That battle took place in a world that accepted Progressivism, a utilitarian philosophy that accepted and asserted the need for centralized government control as necessary to all of the decisions each of us make.
The Democratic Party is still playing the music for that song though most of the leadership knows the score. That is why it, too, is morally bankrupt.
The other view, the one that was used by America's Founders that assumed that individuals and communities could do nearly everything on their own, lost its holding action. By then Classical Liberalism, the term used to identify that set of values, was morally bankrupt having spent itself into that condition over the previous century. It had by inaction and inconsistency destroyed the vision that people could do it for themselves.
From a revolution that affirmed the inherent rights of each individual it compromised itself into ignoring the rights of blacks and women. In doing so it made itself irrelevant. Eventually, no matter how lovely the rhetoric, people understand the underlying reality and look around them for tools that will work.
When the Classical Liberals of the 1800s said, “All Americans are equal,” and yet refused to demand that women and blacks have those rights secured through the Constitution they said to all who lived and saw that their ideas did not work.
Women lost confidence in the ideas that had sold America on the desirability of Revolution.
As America approached the end of the 1800s those who saw the problems created by ignoring universal human rights looked for new tools and adopted Progressivism.
Individualism had failed. Now collectivism would have a turn at bat.
This search for different tools took place in a world that was on the brink of enormous changes. The choice of structure for government would dictate the form business would take.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s electric power was being generated. A debate went on between those interests who wanted AC, alternating current, and DC, direct current. Direct current cannot be transported over long distances. AC can. AC won. The capital investment in power lines and generation equipment was far larger. So was the potential for profit over the long term.
It makes perfect sense from the point of view of those investing. Make the entry cost low for a return over a long period of time. When you see that alternate means for creating energy are becoming available act to ensure they do not become viable.
Solar energy systems for heating water and power generation have existed since the same time. Their development has not remained static; but the advances in technology, patents and applications, have in large part been bought up and suppressed by, surprise, petroleum companies. What they do is true, no matter how unlikely it seems.
Environics and other studies of how people can 'get off the grid' of power and other collective costs have been in existence for generations. The environmental movement and the women's movement were both co-opted because their essential individualist message was dangerous to the Petro Elite.
The Environmental Movement went first. The original movement had looked to a future of 'off the grid' alternatives that left individuals paying less, using less, and living more organically. The take over came in 1970 on the occasion of the first Earth Day. The enormous energy poised to flow into better solutions was redirected from the Earth Day set on the Spring Equinox and celebrated at the United Nations to one that was highly commercialized. The commercialized version was funded by large corporations.
Women lost their battle when the ERA failed to be ratified. It was actively resisted by political operatives like Phyllis Schlfley, funded again by corporate interests.
For the major corporations who did the funding this was just a necessary move to ensure that the incomes stream previously mentioned would not fail.
When you have enormous economic interests at risk you take all steps necessary to ensure those interests are protected because if you have nothing to sell you have no income stream. As a correllary, controlling the lives of people who then, in the view of the 'suppliers', were viewed as the headwaters of the stream that fed their reservoir became of immediate importance.
The same mind set can be seen reflected in government. Bigger and more intrusive, adding laws and more laws that increased their control over the lives of individuals. To name just one, the effect of the War on Drugs has been to destroy uncounted lives, turn America's inner cities into toxic wastes where it is not safe to live, and criminalize hundreds of thousands of Americans. Who won? Government. The infrastructure thus built and justified is an enormous cost that also generates government jobs and revenue. Asset forfeiture for those accused of having drugs transfers wealth in the tens of millions every year. Who profits? Those within government.
Collectivism fails because it does not allow the power to stay with the people; all people are individuals first.
George W. Bush was born into a family business. All of his life he has used oil and government to achieve his ends. When he says that his core constituency is the Petro Elite you should believe him, it might be the only time he is telling the truth.
You cannot invade another country without some kind of justification. If it is not going to happen you see that it does anyway.
The Petro Elite, sitting on patents that could have shifted us over to alternative energy knew their supply of crude was running short a long time ago. They cast their eyes on what was available.
The largest reservoir of oil still remaining in the world sat under Iraq. America is paying for a war intended to keep that oil out of the hands of the French, who had just signed a contract with Saddam to pump, and put it instead into the hands of the Petro Elite , George W.'s core constituency. We can be sure they are not happy with the fact this is not working as smoothly as they hoped. But that has not stopped them from planning more wars against the other top oil reservoirs, er, countries.
Another George, our first president, left office warning us to avoid entangling alliances. He meant with other governments, never imagining that corporations would grow to be larger than most foreign powers.
The next part of the story is happening to you right now.
After having gotten control of the supply of various necessities in their hands, government and the Petro Elite noticed something annoying. It cost a lot of money to fulfill those commitments. That cut down on the profit. What if, they imagined, we could slide out from under the costs and still get the income? That is the NeoCon wet dream, or nightmare, we are living today. That is where Libertarianism enters the equation.
Nearly every American is now familiar with the terms, privatization, outsourcing, deregulation and the spin-offs in policy tools that shift the accountability for the supply and quality of services paid for, especially those paid for under the forced mandate of government. Remember the deregulation of the power companies in California? Billions of dollars were whisked out from under the noses of people. The money did not evaporate, it found its way into the pockets of those who had orchestrated the move. No one has made restitution and probably never will.
The aforementioned tools began their lives within think tanks generated by the Libertarian Party as ways to transfer control back to individuals. None of us in the Movement imagined that accountability would be uncoupled or that individuals would be left paying twice. That is, however, what happened.
And the game continues. The Movement for individual rights and responsibility eventually embraced utility theory which justifies limiting liability.
Today, another cadre of Petro Elite has persuaded Congress to limit their potential liability if and when Liquid Natural Gas causes any one of the many toxic meltdowns its present form of transport makes likely. Ask yourself, if those companies did not think it possible or even likely would they bother to buy enough Congressmen to make sure they had bought this curious form of insurance? Even today congressmen do not come cheap.
Imagine, being able to incinerate New Orleans or Housston or Boston or Santa Barbara and not having to pay a penny in reparations if the LNG you are moving creates a series of explosions taking out the whole city. Now that is some deal. Instead, the event would be treated as a 'natural disaster' and surviving residents would be accepting starvation gruel from FEMA and Homeland Security would make sure they liked it.
We are on the grid, all of us, and getting off will not be easy.
So what does this have to do with the Weapons of Mass Destruction I mentioned at the beginning?
A WMD is one that destroys all in its path leaving in its wake death and famine that could go on for generations. There is only force on earth that truly meets that definition. It is not nuclear weapons, those are being used now in the form of depleted uranium in Iraq and causing hideous suffering but they are small potatoes because they are just one weapon. The WMD are those who buy the depleted uranium from the owners of nuclear power plants so that the owners need not worry about disposing of it safely; instead they sell it to the US government to use in weapons. Who but a NeoCon could come up with such efficient death? Any weapon, including nuclear weapons is less destructive that the NeoCons.
The NeoCons are weapons. They are making war on America. They are destroying our institutions, our ability to trust our elections, our courts, our elected officials and our rights as individuals to assert any reasonable control over our own lives. The Earth, the only place we have to live, is being subjected to stresses that are changing the environment we will leave our children.
In Crawford Texas George W. Bush built a 'ranch' house that is off the grid using just those technologies so carefully kept from general usage by those same Petro Elite companies from his core constituency. The Ranch depends on no outside source for water, power, gas, or communications. George knows what is coming. He is, after all, the ultimate insider.
The question is, will Americans see soon enough and do what is necessary to change course. Because it is still possible. The solutions are there.
The real fanatics are the NeoCons; they are fanatics for power, which isttheir only real religion. Organized religion in the form of the Religious Right they massage for votes and the fanatic Muslims are used to build the straw man needed to keep us in line. Both are just tools.
We need to distrust everyone who chooses to be in politics. If the perks attracted them then they cannot be trusted. Look to the local and adopt the means to get off all of the grids. It can be done. We need to relearn the community values of helping your neighbor and accepting help when needed. Think about what your children are learning and make sure they grow up knowing about their rights as enumerated in our founding documents. Make sure that government secures those rights but that they are inherent and predate all government.
At the same time return to paper ballots counted and accounted for only in the neighborhood by those you know and trust. Take responsibility for making it happen; the process of rebuilding the community is part of the cure.
It can be done. And, as with all revolutions, it can be lost. The future is up to us, win or lose, and those who curse or bless us will be our own children and grandchildren.
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Why George W. Bush is scared to talk to Cindy Sheehan
Cindy Sheehan is waiting for her opportunity to ask 'President Bush' why he started a war knowing full well that none of the justifications for that war presented to the American people with such heat and urgency were true. Of course there are no answers available that will mend the heart of a mother who has lost her only child. Mothers will do anything for their children. Now Cindy is doing the only thing she can do to bring meaning to Casey's death at 24. She is asking the question that the NeoCons cannot answer.
The NeoCons have no answers for anyone, only empty rhetoric that is beginning to curdle as soon as it is exposed to light.
Cindy will continue to wait.
As supporters continue to arrive to stand by Cindy the Crawford Vigil is becoming an embarrassment to Bush and his NeoCon administration. They will ignore it for now; that is what they do. They operate on their own rules. They have not yet decided which rules apply and need to refer to their operating rule book to find out. Rove wrote it; and it is followed slavishly.
Before Rove takes public action several things will have to be determined and tried.
First, Rove will have to decide how best to spin this inconvenient brush with the raw feelings of ordinary Americans if and when the vigil does not sputter out. Polling will take place; newspapers will be watched; and most importantly the ongoing campaign to defame Cindy, now commenced, will be given time to work. Internet operatives are now spreading ugly lies and spin designed by Rove, the Master of Mud. At this point they know everything about Cindy back to her grades in preschool. They know and are creating lies inserted in a soft murmur of concern and sharing.
The NeoCons are very thorough with research. It was using such research that allowed them to silence the myriad of ugly stories about Bush before his first Presidential campaign. They researched their own candidate and killed every possible source for gossip using threats and payments for silence. The same process works in reverse.
With the campaign to destroy her reputation will come the treatment of the seven veils of threats. As the veils re removed the threats become more visible.
If the threats of arrest and mayhem have not worked against Cindy then her supporters can expect to experience the same campaign of lies. Cindy and her supporters should beware of volunteers who will come equipped with drugs and guns to be planted and found. It will happen if Cindy persists.
The NeoCons are fighting a war on several fronts, not counting Iraq. Cindy is not the only issue. Before they respond Rove will have carefully factored in, with seven layers of probability, the potential impact of other events. One of these will be the indictment now proceeding in Chicago originated by the CIA over the high crimes and misdemeanors of Bush and his cohort, including Rove. As they grow more desperate Rove and his cohort will not become less bold; they have too much to lose.
Rove will ponder, could we plant guns and drugs at the vigil in Crawford and bring in law enforcement while at the same time planning an accident and or terrorist attack in Chicago? Rove is an efficient guy who does not like to miss a trick though given the response to the Subway Attack in London the NeoCons might be cautious – for a while.
After the approach is decided on then timing will be considered and the general spin will be determined by Rove. Bush is one of the factors. Rove will ascertain if it is possible for Bush to withstand the trauma of a meeting with Cindy. This is becoming increasingly problematical; Bush has come to believe he was actually elected president and, ignoring the increasing tide of evidence, thinks most Americans respect and approve of him. He is carefully protected from the truth; his tantrums are legendary; frightening and increasingly hard to control.
This will be an unpleasant interview for Rove if they decide the meeting must take place to still the media storm now beginning.
Then, if Cindy is still determined and it has proven possible to rehearse Bush so that he does not yet again address the grieving mother as 'Mom' because he can't be bothered to remember her name or the name of her dead child and if he can be persuaded to not treat the event as a cocktail party then Cindy might get her meeting if the other contingency plans look too problematical.
Bush's inability to make real contact with the victims of this war should actually be taken as a sign that he can still feel some small degree of shame – and that he doesn't like to confront the inconvenient truth about what he is going. It is unfortunate that nearly everyone cooperates with the illusion that this administration was actually elected and that Bush is President. He isn't. Not only did the NeoCons steal this last election they stole the one in 2000. The numbers from Florida, available only this month for the 2000 election, proved that to be the case.
The presidency of the United States is a valuable prize and the biggest thieves won. They had big plans and as is now becoming clear, the war in Iraq was just a warm up exercise.
That war started because Bush's oil friends were anxious to access the reservoir of oil sitting under Iraq just as Iraq was signing contracts with the French. Instead of invading themselves – a costly venture frowned on by the world community, they got Bush to do it. So the price has been paid by America's military, acting as effective mercenaries to Bush's 'core constituency.” Bush will profit largely from the blood Americans spilled in Iraq as will his big oil buddies. Americans will lose their children and pay the costs. Clever deal for those in power.
When you pump petroleum consider what it is costing in American blood.
Cindy is doing what must be done; the only thing she can do for her son and for the grandchildren she will never have. There is a war going on today, but it is not the petroleum snatch violently taking human life in Iraq; it is the war against the future of our children and all children.
America was stolen from us; we cannot have an honest election; The voting machines make that impossible both for Congress and for the presidency. And honestly, the leaders we had were just less efficient thieves.
Our courts have been stacked with judges picked and tutored by the same NeoCons. All of the means for peaceful change normal to the process of American political discourse have been ripped out.
When there is no hope you find it where you did not think to look.
Cindy can ask the President why her son died and why this war is a noble cause. She and others can demand answers. The human story of Cindy and her son touches each of us; it penetrates into the soul of America. Each of us loves and lives in the web of human relationships; each of us understands what Cindy felt and what she is facing.
All revolutions start someplace. This one is starting with one mother, but Bush should remember that each of our military now serving comes equipped with one of their own.
Thank God for mothers.
Saturday, August 06, 2005
An Honorable Rhetoric; an Ugly Reality - The Bush Inaugural Address
When my oldest son was small I always knew it was time to examine his activities when he felt moved to tell me multiple times that something was true. So when he told me that it was not he who blew up his sister’s Cabbage Patch Doll in a glorious display of the power of gun powder collected from caps I knew perfectly well who had reduced the cherished plaything to a shredded pile of lettuce leaves. Parents know this. Frequent repetitions of such denials drive the point home.
This familial insight becomes politically relevant when considering the content of the recent inaugural address delivered by President Bush. If you use the vision of “freedom” and “liberty” that many times you are not talking about either. But your actions will outline the bald truth.
Do not mistake rhetoric flights, no matter how filled with blandishments of surpassing beauty for anything but public relations. Their emoted words do not match reality but such effusions do provide us with valuable insights.
George Bush used the words ‘liberty” and “freedom” over forty times in that recent speech. He gave that speech surrounded by more security than has ever stood between a monarch and his subjects at any time in history. So turn down the volume control on your mind and watch what he is doing. It is what they do that is true.
We have invaded a foreign country and plan more of the same.
We are selling the natural resources of that country to pay our costs and to make a profit.
We are ignoring the continued presence of terrorist’s threats.
We must now tolerate the presence of an internal military police force miscalled “Homeland Security” that is mandated to spy on us, imprison us, and take our property with impunity.
Our right to free speech is under fire.
Women must again worry that they might not be the ones who ultimately control the right to choose whether or not to give birth.
Marriage, and the definition of the same, has become a matter of state policy. Military serving in Iraq are sent in harms way without body armor.
Our returning veterans are ignored to death.
The message conveyed through the clear lens of reality bears no relationship to “freedom” or “liberty,” two words denoting the emancipation of the human spirit to choose for itself the course most resonate with our sense of the sacred. It is not freedom when we cannot speak out; it is not freedom when we dishonor our obligation to veterans. It is not liberty when the government usurps our right to choose for ourselves. It is not freedom we protect when we use lies to justify an invasion. We are not thus made more secure. Freedom is nowhere in that equation.
A true liberty is founded only in the empowerment of individuals. Our government was originated as a tool to let a free people govern themselves, providing for a common defense and for such services as they were unable to supply for themselves. That has not changed. The vision of America is still valid. If there is a difference it is that now we have many more ways to provide those services without recourse to government.
In each of these matters the rhetoric used by President Bush fails the test to match reality. Each day that slips by finds us less free.
As our Founder Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” He was right. He would have been confounded by the world today, shocked by the use of rhetoric as a means of deceit.
Who among us has not experienced those who lie to get their way? We must not let the trappings of power overcome our discernment. We must not become afraid to speak out. It is bad, but it can get worse.
This administration has institutionalized the use of political operatives in the media, paying these agents for presenting their assertions as objective fact. In the case of Health and Human Services head Tommy Thompson, syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher was paid a reported $21,500 from the Department of Health and Human Services to help promote administrative proposals. This is a species of lie new to politics; a conversion of the formerly independent media into an arm of the administration.
It is impossible for ordinary Americans to know what is happening under the cover of authority – but we can watch what they do and compare it to the rhetoric. And as the two diverge we can judge them. Turn down the volume on the rhetoric. Actions speak louder than words.
The Confidence Game: The Reality of Rove: NeoSpeaking in America
"Karl's got my complete confidence," Bush said.
Sometimes without meaning to a person in public office will tell you the truth. It happens. As Plumegate has continued to shock and appall most Americans with IQs over 60 have cringed as Bush again played the Rove Card. In case you missed it this is how that play works.
Spin reality until the lines of fact are moving too fast to see the truth.
Drag your feet getting the evidence.
Attack, attack, attack
Opine and obfuscate.
All politicians know that you must give people time to be distracted by something, for instance the convenient terrorist attack in London, before they will move on.
It has become a formula followed like a regimen of oral hygiene.
The NeoCons finish off by moving on in a panoply of inspiring rhetoric to bury the truth.
We have seen it before. This is NeoSpeak at its best – or worst; a form of communication that says everything about the NeoCons.
Americans really need a way to translate what NeoCons mean. The NeoSpeak Lexicon is very easily translated when you know what to look for. It might be helpful to understand where NeoSpeak came from. Here is what happened.
NeoCons adopted the rhetoric of Libertarians, those very confused and geeky political wannabes who started their own party in 1971 and wore the gold dollar signs slung around their necks like the ankhs worn by hippies in the sixties. Libertarians prated on about liberty, individual rights, the sovereign integrity of the people, the majesty of markets, taxation being theft, and other wonderful ideas that resonated with a public that is totally fed up and ready for a change, having tried on Nixon and found he was a bad idea.
It was a revolution of rhetoric, thin on reality.
Libertarians went on to spawn think tanks that came up with economic tools like, privatization, deregulation, outsourcing, and seeing services as 'profit centers' even when provided through government.
In the beginning many of them meant it and some still do; for all too many it became just about selling rhetoric stripped of reality. Their rhetoric, which moved America, brought in the bucks so that their national office could stay open and the donations and the 401Ks would continue to be juiced with funds. The Real Right noticed and spawned its own versions, emulation being the sincerest form of flattery. It did not take long for the Left to follow; economics of the market replaced the debunked rhetoric still lingering from progressivism.
The rhetoric of freedom was glorious, resonating with all of the memes that Americans believe and feel when they look at the Statue of Liberty or hear the Declaration of Independence read aloud. America was ready for a new vision and it was the Libertarians who supplied that need. Or at least the rhetoric.
The NeoCons picked up on the rhetoric because it worked – they recruited Libertarians intentionally. This immature, larval form of NeoCon liked that people got teary eyes and wrote checks; they also liked the fact that ordinary people voted for, worked for, and most importantly, trusted those who emoted the words.
Trust, with that you can pick their pockets with impunity.
If it could work for Libertarians it could work for anyone. The stage was set.
The public has been slow on picking up on the disconnect between rhetoric and reality. They are too busy trying to survive economically and care for their families to give politics their full attention and, thanks to Hollywood, it is natural for them to confuse fiction for fact.
So the NeoCons use the words, “freedom in Iraq,” to mean, “Hey, there is a lot of oil there – let's go privatize it!” Bush talks about 'self-government' which clearly means when spoken by a NeoCon, “This is my country – let's change the name to Bushland.” After all, as Strauss said, the ruling elite, NeoCons, had a right to lie if they were destined to have power and since they have power they are therefore not lying. The logic is in the bottom line.
The truth is the NeoCons wouldn't be able to talk at all if they were not lying. They would just stand there like the Italian in the joke who is tortured but because he is tied up and cannot spill his guts.
Everyone knows the Emperor is naked but no one can do anything. The courts are the property of the NeoCons, thanks to the last twenty years of politicizing the Federal benches with nodding headed NeoCons and Congress – they were elected using the same voting machines that put Bush in office.
The NeoCons stole the last election, the forensic analysis made that clear – but is Congress doing anything? No. The separation of powers in government has gone the way of the Do-Do bird. Also, Rove scared them, too.
So Karl Rove has George W's complete confidence. Think about that. This means, given the evidence, that ol' Karl is doing exactly what the Bush Boy wanted him to do, namely win at all costs – or at a profit, as the case may be. That is why Daddy Bush hired Rove in the first place over 20 years ago. Rove's ability to convert everything in sight into a profit center for corrupt government and for the accumulation of raw power, is his best feature. He perfected this strategy in Texas. His ability to convert public assets to private ownership is staggering in scope and concept.
Bush can't FIRE him. Rove both knows too much and, really, it is hard to fire your brain. You could replace Bush Boy but not Rove.
And no matter what, the Left continues to act astonished. It is like one of those slapstick comedies from the 30s or like the Wiley Coyote cartoons. After a while everyone who is really watching knows what is about to happen. Except Liberals, evidently.
Both sides are suffering from different but related types of myopia. The NeoCons know that as long as they use the rhetoric of freedom destroying the reality of freedom does not matter. Since the Left has always done the same less efficiently they are finding it impossible to respond.
George W.likes to imagine himself looking like his official portrait; Cheesy smile gleaming, the flag burnishing his rosy cheeks and fluttering behind his imperial presence. Close your eyes and imagine it, if you can stand it. But above is how he really is, Bush, the War President. The flag is exactly t he same; our flag dishonored by lies the NeoCons hide behind.
Bush and his brain; together they are deadly to freedom; two grasping teenagers living out a fantasy that has become our nightmare.
That image in also available at: http://www.cafepress.com/stopneoconning
Now you understand the NeoCons and you can buy a mug with the mug of the War President on it.
How The NeoCons Stole Freedom: The Story of Earth Day - First in a Series
What do the environmental movement, the United Nations, and the Republican Party have in common? Each was successfully taken over by the elements we now are beginning to know as NeoCons either in this generation or earlier.
Forget the Bilderbergers and the Illuminati. It isn't a conspiracy, it was just 'good' business.
When America celebrated Earth Day this last April 22 it was celebrating the day the environmental movement was taken over by elements we now identify as Neoconservatives – although the people so identified are not new and are certainly not conservative. More on that later.
The original Earth Day is not forgotten, however. It has been celebrated since 1971 in the Peace Garden at the United Nations at the moment of the Spring Equinox with the ringing of the Peace Bell. Those who remember the original goals of the environmental movement included peace for the human family as a whole have preserved the original local and global focus.
Ringing bells sound across the globe at the moment of the Equinox which is shared by all living things. The founders of the Earth Society, among these John McConnell, Margaret Mead, and Helen Garland, had looked for and identified a day of renewal that spoke to their goals for the then nascent environmental movement. They saw a world of people who valued living lightly on Earth, who saw small, local solutions as the ones that best connected people to each other and to the Earth. It was a moment that resonated perfectly with the work of such native San Francisco institutions as the Sierra Club when it was small and personal, assuming individual accountability, responsibility, and simply doing the right thing. It was therefore entirely appropriate that in 1970 Equinox San Francisco became the first official entity to recognize Earth Day.
If all of this is true then why do so few know? How did the commercialized version with its emphasis on the banal and its website so void of meaningful content manage to displace the very different values of the original celebration? Money and spin can accomplish nearly anything if all you care about is the short term profits.
The birth cry of the environmental movement was silently but effectively stifled by an earlier generation of the same interests who now occupy the White House and run our courts and Congress. Using money and misdirection as tools they stole the moral high ground and stopped the movement in its tracks. With it they stole our institutions and the soul of America.
The techniques are simple.
1. Steal credit for the work of others.
2. Use brand new or recycled and stolen organizations to create a respectable front.
3. Place relatives and people you can always control into[positions of power and prominence to eliminate our networks and establish theirs.
4. Find a REAL organization to authorize some fraction of your agenda.
5. Pontificate as you obfuscate. (Lie)
Sound familiar yet? And with any luck the perpetrator can get away with it cold and still be cashing checks generations later. These are the techniques used by the present April Earth Day Cabal thirty years ago and it is still working for them today.
That is what they did. A quick visit to their site reveals that it is all oriented to dumbed down platitudes with not a viable alternative in sight. Educating without content or focus on independent thinking is perilously close to what is going on in our schools today. A review of their big donors is even more revealing.
What was being stolen was the moral leadership of a movement that 35 years ago could have made real alternatives available. That was one outcome, but it is the lesser issue. How this was done and the values it injected into our culture is at least as important.
While stealing a movement that enabled those responsible to focus the
public on irrelevancies and platitudes the perpetrators were also demonstrating that how you treat others does not matter as long as you end up with the credit and money. We see every day how much talking about morals and ethics works. In fact, talking about it while doing the exact opposite has become permanently installed in the tool boxes of so many of us that we no longer even notice. 35 years ago the devaluation of values had just begun. Then Americans still believed they could believe.
Today we celebrate men like Karl Rove because he is expert in lying and
cheating. A culture that rewards getting your way with lies, manipulation and plain violence has signed its death warrant. Ignoring what happened with organizations like the Earth Society can be best understood using economic terms.
It is an economic principle that bad money, meaning money with less ability to hold value, drives out good money, for instance gold, that has objective, lasting value. By occupying the same niche as good money, bad money displaces it because the good money is too valuable to be spent. In the same way good ethics, behavior that invests the individuals in long term relationships founded in trust, is driven out by bad ethics, forcing individuals in look for other means of guaranteeing they will not be ripped off. The increase in commercial packaging to prevent shop lifting is just one sign of this decay.
Cooperative commerce is good money; War commerce is bad money. With
cooperative commerce we build out into the future like a bank account filled with trust and good will. In the second we loot the bank account leaving everyone to starve.
What you do is what is true. Words too often lie.
We should have noticed 35 years ago. Dennis Hayes stole the name, Earth Day. He has consistently demeaned and sneered at those whose idea he stole. He has represented a very different set of values and acted those values out through his actions by delivering sappy mottoes in place of viable alternatives for both the environment and for the world.
How did the NeoCons achieve their place of prominence? Using the same tools employed by Dennis Hayes. And we let it happen. But we can still change it. The solutions are still local. The means for change is still personal accountability. All decent people, right and left, share a common vision that can unite us to act. Now it is time to turn that vision into our common reality.
And celebrate Earth Day on the Equinox.