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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Obama Heads for War in Ukraine


 
Guest post by Stephen Lendman 

Permanent war is official US policy. At issue is unchallenged global dominance.

All independent governments are targeted. Eliminating them is prioritized. So is replacing them with pro-Western puppet states.

Ukraine is Exhibit A. Obama bears full responsibility for ousting its democratically elected government. Elevating illegitimate fascist putschists to power followed.

Sham May elections will be farcical when held. Here's an example showing why.
Oleg Tsarev is a presidential aspirant. He's a former Yanukovych-led Party of Regions people's deputy.
On April 7, he was lawlessly expelled. During months of US-manipulated violent Maidan protests, he forthrightly opposed them.

He participated in a Svoboda Slova talk show. After finishing, neo-Nazi Right Sector thugs attacked him. They brutally beat him. He's hospitalized in critical condition.
His candidacy stands. He won't withdraw, he said. Washington ignored what happened. So did other Western countries. Media scoundrels buried the story. Russia bashing takes precedence.
Russian Foreign Ministry human rights commissioner Konstantin Dologov noted a "shy (Western) silence."
Presidential candidate Mikahil Dobkin participated on the same program. En route, Right Sector thugs confronted him.

They blocked his car. They damaged it. They attacked his aides. Dobkin explained on air.
He and Tsarvev are independent candidates. Ruling putschists intend having one of their own become president.
Rigged voting assures it. Opposition elements aren't tolerated. Tsarvev's treatment reveals their dark side. Police states operate this way.

Last weekend, CIA director John Brennan held secret talks in Kiev. Russian media said he arrived under an assumed name.

He held "a series of secret meetings." He did so with Obama's new friends. They're fascist thugs. They're societal misfits.

They represent mob rule. They have no legitimacy whatever. It doesn't matter. They enjoy full US support.
Washington belatedly confirmed Brennan's visit. White House press secretary Jay Carney lied claiming his arrival was "part of a trip to Europe."

"Senior level visits of intelligence officials are a standard means of fostering mutually beneficial security cooperation," he added.

CIA elements operate disruptively. They're not good will ambassadors. Their history reflects dozens of lawless operations.

Brennan came to plot war strategy. He wants Eastern Ukrainian freedom fighters attacked. He wants them eliminated. He wants them slaughtered in cold blood.

He wants challengers to Washington's imperium crushed. He risks civil war in Ukraine. He risks potential East/West confrontation. Putin is obligated to protect Russian nationals.
Weeks earlier, he issued a statement, saying:

"Due to the emergency situation in Ukraine and a threat being posed to the lives of Russian nationals, our compatriots, and the Russian military contingent stationed in Ukraine (the Autonomous Republic of Crimea) in compliance with international agreements, I ask the Federation Council for permit to use Russian armed forces on the territory of Ukraine until social and political situation in the country stabilizes."

Under Article 102 of Russia's Constitution, upper house Federation Council members are responsible for deciding whether to deploy government troops externally.

On March 1, they voted unanimously to do so. They won't let their nationals go unprotected. Nor will Putin.
On April 14, Sergei Lavrov was clear and unequivocal saying:

"If the authorities in Kiev use force, our entire cooperation on the Ukrainian issue will be undermined. We have let this known to our Western partners."

"Here is what is in line with Russian interests - an integral, united, brotherly Ukraine friendly to us, in which citizens live calmly," he added.

"This can be achieved solely by carrying out a deep constitutional reform, in which all political forces without an exception and all Ukrainian regions should participate on an equal basis."

"We support the stance of the southeast…Western hypocrisy over Ukraine is blown out of proportion."
Kiev's "decision to apply military force is an extremely dangerous development."

"Those, who encourage such actions in Kiev should be held responsible to the full extent."
He means Washington and rogue Western partners without naming them.

Ukraine is Russia's red line. Putin stressed it earlier. He forthrightly supports right over wrong. He's viciously bashed for doing so.

Russia's permanent NATO representative Alexander Grushko said Moscow will act responsibly to protects its interests.

Russia "exited the Cold War and has no intention to return there," he said. "At the same time, we will take into account in our military planning any possible changes in NATO forces and configurations and, if necessary, will take necessary measures in the interests of ensuring our security."

US-led NATO countries alone threaten world peace. Challenging Russia recklessly is official policy. Escalating conflict in Ukraine risks letting things spin out-of-control.

Obama risks doing it. He appears headed for war. Institutionalized recklessness threatens everyone. Confronting him resolutely matters.

Stopping him matters most. Putin most of all needs to do so. If not him, who? Humanity's fate hangs in the balance.

On April 15, illegitimate putschist president Aleksander Turchynov announced an "anti-terrorism operation" launched in northern Donetsk region.

Overnight Monday it began, he said. He lied claiming it's "to protect the citizens of Ukraine." It's being conducted "stage-by-stage," he said.

A video clip showed Rodinskoye residents stopping a tank en route to engage peaceful protesters.
Putschist National Security and Defense Council head Andrey Parubiy said first battalion National Guard forces "comprised of volunteers from Maidan self-defense troops" were deployed to southeast Ukraine.
Earlier Turchynov proposed having so-called UN peacekeepers involved. Ones he has in mind are regime-supporting paramilitary thugs. The kind Washington endorses.

Lavrov categorically condemned using them. He called doing so "totally unacceptable." Security Council authorization is needed to send them. Russia's veto threat assures blocking deploying them.
Brennan plotted with Turchynov and other regime thugs to wage war. Apparently it started. Neo-Nazi Right Sector thugs are involved. Widespread bloodshed is likely.

On Monday, Putin urged Obama to prevent it. Doing so fell on deaf ears. A Kremlin statement following their conversation said:

"In response to the president of the United States' expressed concern about Russia's supposed meddling in southeastern Ukraine, the president of Russia noted that such speculations are based on inaccurate information."

Kiev putschists bear full responsibility for Eastern Ukrainian resistance. They're unwilling and unable "to take into account the interests of the Russian and Russian-speaking population," it added.

Obama criticized Putin. He wants Ukrainian freedom fighters crushed. He lied about Russian troops mobilized on Ukraine's border. He told Putin to withdraw what doesn't exist.

Putin stressed involving "all political forces in the country, creating a federalized state and guaranteeing Ukraine's nonaligned status."

His press secretary Dmitry Peskov said Kremlin authorities got repeated pleas from Eastern Ukrainians for protection.

"He is getting a lot of appeals addressed personally to him, asking him to intervene in one way or another. He is monitoring the situation in Ukraine with great concern."

On April 15, Itar Tass cited witnesses claiming a downed Ukrainian warplane. Government "armored vehicles…entered the city of Slavyansk in the eastern Ukrainian Donetsk Oblast," it said.

Local media reported "500 servicemen, 20 armored personnel carriers (APCs), buses and other vehicles."
According to acting mayor Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, Slavyansk is reportedly surrounded.

Kiev-appointed illegitimate mayor Nelli Shtepa lied claiming looters terrorized city residents.

Ponomaryov said she willfully spreads disinformation. She's part of the problem. She's not the solution.
"(S)he betrays her own city," said Itar Tass. She "fled Slavyansk the day before." The city appears calm.
"No cases of riots or looting (were) registered since" federalization protests began.

"Most shops, clinics and a hospital work in line with (their) ordinary schedule."

"Classes in schools and kindergartens (were) suspended. Slavyansk residents move around the city easily."
Public transport keeps running. Restrictions limit private cars from entering city center areas.

Anti-putschist protesters said Kiev forces seized Kramatorsk's airfield.

"They started negotiating with the people's militia, which is in control of the airfield. The shooting started unexpectedly."

"There are injured among the people's militia, and there may be deaths," they said.

Other militia members blocked Kramatorsk's entrance. They're ready to defend their city. They control it.
"We were forced out of the airfield," they said. They won't let Kiev troops inside their city. A bloody confrontation may follow.

General Vasily Krutov is Ukrainian Security Bureau (SBU) first deputy head. Putschists put him in charge of Anti-Terrorist Center operations. He's leading them against protesters.

He warned them to lay down arms. Otherwise they'll be attacked. They'll be "destroyed," he said.
He lied claiming hundreds of Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) elements involved.
Putin's press secretary Dmitry Pushkov responded, saying:

"These are absurd statements. There are no Russian troops there. The president and the foreign minister have spoken about it."

"We can only be startled by the fact that all these statements made by the Russian side are deliberately chosen not to be heard."

Truth is systematically silenced. Big Lies block them out. Moscow calls ordering attacks on anti-regime protesters "criminal."

Jay Carney lied. He accused Russia of "provocative actions."

"I can assure you that Russia's provocations - further transgressions and provocations - will come with a cost," he said.

"And I'm not here to specify what cost will come from which specific action, but there have already been costs imposed on Russia; there will be further costs imposed on Russia."

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Washington stands ready to impose sanctions on more individuals and entities.

She named financial services, energy, metals, mining, engineering and defense sectors. Doing so cuts both ways.

Russia and China plan mutual trade in their own currencies. Doing so will greatly impact dollar strength. Other countries may follow suit.

America is vulnerable. Chickens eventually come home to roost. Maybe sooner expected. Perhaps with major impact.

It's long past time America got its comeuppance. No nation in world history is more ruthless. None more lawless. None more reckless.

None more venal. None more run by criminals masquerading as politicians. None more controlled by monied interests.

None more contemptuous of democratic values. None more recklessly out-of-control.
None more responsible for human misery globally. None more threatening humanity's survival.
Stopping this monster's rampaging matters most. Replacing it with responsible governance. Holding its criminal elements responsible.

Survival depends on it. American tyranny is by far the world's most dangerous. Resisting it is a moral imperative. If not now, when? If not us, who? If that's not reason enough to act, what is?
A Final Comment

Days earlier, Putin addressed 18 EU leaders. He did so by letter. He did responsibly. He called for urgent cooperation. He discussed Ukraine's gas debt.

It's been unpaid for three months. He wants addressing it prioritized. Failure to do so risks cutting off supplies.
Poland's Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said European officials planned a joint Monday response.
European Commission chairman Jose Manuel Barroso requested it. He'll deliver it in person in Moscow.
It'll address issues Putin raised. EU members stress "preserving unity in relations with the Russians," Sikorski said.

On Monday, Itar Tass discussed what Moscow wants EU officials to say. Russia's permanent EU representative Vladimir Chizhov said four-power April 17 Geneva talks depend on it.

He's unimpressed with what EU officials sent. Their document

contains many issues, he said. "(B)ut I would like to pay attention to what it lacks."

"Unfortunately, it does say a word, gives no assessment to actions of Kiev authorities which are prepared to throw not only eastern Ukraine, but also the whole country in turmoil of the civil war."

"(T)he EU Council conclusions condemned only some armed elements in eastern Ukrainian cities who allegedly try to destabilise that country."

"The fact that those who seized power in Kiev in an armed coup consistently destabilise Ukraine by their actions is not mentioned in the document."

"It also contains the scope of wordings biased and unjust for Russia's policy towards Ukrainian crisis up to a demand that is already absolutely unacceptable and is not just interference in domestic affairs, but also domestic lawmaking."

It wants Putin's authorization to use troops to protect Russian nationals cancelled. It wants Western-backed Ukrainian forces given free reign to attack their own people.

"As for practical consequences, this document is purely political which we will certainly take into account, but mostly important is that what will be happening…in Ukraine in next few days and even hours."
"Appeals and vigorous statements over a four-party meeting in Geneva this Thursday sound certainly optimistic, but it is clear that if the situation in Ukraine grows in(to) a massive bloodshed, there will be nothing to discuss with the so-called acting Ukrainian foreign minister."

Incendiary conditions exist. Mass slaughter may follow. It bears repeating. Washington bears full responsibility. Brennan authorized full-scale conflict. It's early stages appear underway.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.
http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Jesus Lived in a Police State




Guest Post by 

Those living through this present age of SWAT team raids, police shootings of unarmed citizens, roadside strip searches, and invasive surveillance might feel as if these events are unprecedented. Yet while America may be experiencing a steady slide into a police state, it is neither the first nor the last nation to do so.
Although technology, politics and superpowers have changed over time, the characteristics of a police state and its reasons for being have remained the same: control, power and money. Indeed, as I point out in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, a police state “is characterized by bureaucracy, secrecy, perpetual wars, a nation of suspects, militarization, surveillance, widespread police presence, and a citizenry with little recourse against police actions.”

Just as police states have arisen throughout history, there have also been individuals or groups of individuals who have risen up to challenge the injustices of their age. Nazi Germany had its Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The gulags of the Soviet Union were challenged by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Martin Luther King Jr. went head-to-head with America over racial segregation.

And then there was Jesus Christ, an itinerant preacher and revolutionary activist, who not only died challenging the police state of his day—namely, the Roman Empire—but provided a blueprint for civil disobedience that would be followed by those who came after him. Yet for all the accolades poured out upon Jesus, little is said about the harsh realities of the police state in which he lived and its similarities to modern-day America, and yet they are striking.

Secrecy, surveillance and rule by the elite. Much like America today, with its lack of government transparency, overt domestic surveillance, and rule by the rich, the inner workings of the Roman Empire were shrouded in secrecy, while its leaders were constantly on the watch for any potential threats to its power. And as the ruling class and the wealthy class merged, the lower classes grew easily distracted by “bread and circuses.”

Widespread police presence. The Roman Empire used its military forces to maintain the “peace,” thereby establishing a police state that reached into all aspects of a citizen’s life. In this way, these military officers, used to address a broad range of routine problems and conflicts, enforced the will of the state. Today SWAT teams, comprised of local police and federal agents, are employed to carry out routine search warrants for minor crimes such as marijuana possession and credit card fraud.

Citizenry with little recourse against the police state. As the Roman Empire expanded, personal freedom and independence nearly vanished, as did any real sense of local governance and national consciousness. Similarly, in America today, citizens largely feel powerless, voiceless and unrepresented in the face of a power-hungry federal government.

Perpetual wars and a military empire. Much like America today with its practice of policing the world, war and an over-arching militarist ethos provided the framework for the Roman Empire, which extended from the Italian peninsula to all over Southern, Western, and Eastern Europe, extending into North Africa and Western Asia as well.

Martial law. The Romans relied increasingly on the military to intervene in all matters of conflict, from small-scale scuffles to large-scale revolts. Not unlike police forces today, with their militarized weapons and “shoot first, ask questions later” mindset, the Roman soldier had “the exercise of lethal force at his fingertips” with the potential of wreaking havoc on normal citizens’ lives.

A nation of suspects. Just as the American Empire looks upon its citizens as suspects to be tracked, surveilled and controlled, the Roman Empire looked upon all potential insubordinates, from the common thief to a full-fledged insurrectionist, as threats to its power.  Revolutionists were always considered guilty and deserving of the most savage penalties, including capital punishment, as a means of deterring others from challenging the power of the state. Jesus’ execution was one such public punishment.

Acts of civil disobedience by insurrectionists. Starting with his act of civil disobedience at the Jewish temple, Jesus branded himself a political revolutionary. Jesus’ attack on the money chargers and traders can be seen as an attack on Rome itself, an unmistakable declaration of political and social independence from Roman oppression.

Military-style arrests in the dead of night. Eerily similar to today’s SWAT team raids, Jesus was arrested in the middle of the night, in secret, by a large, heavily armed fleet of soldiers.
Torture and capital punishment. Any one of the charges leveled against Jesus—that he was a threat to the stability of the nation, opposed paying Roman taxes and claimed to be the rightful King—was enough to merit death by crucifixion, which was usually reserved for the most extreme political crimes. As Professor Mark Lewis Taylor observed, “The cross…served as kind of a public service announcement that said, ‘Act like this person did, and this is how you will end up.’”

Jesus—the revolutionary, the political dissident, and the nonviolent activist—lived and died in a police state.Any reflection on Jesus’ life and death within a police state must take into account several factors: Jesus spoke out strongly against such things as empires, state violence and power politics. Jesus challenged the political and religious belief systems of his day. And worldly powers feared Jesus because he dared to speak truth to power in a time when doing so often cost a person his life.

Unfortunately, the radical Jesus, the political dissident who took aim at injustice and oppression and was nailed to a cross as a warning to others, has been largely forgotten today, replaced by a congenial, smiling Jesus trotted out for religious holidays but otherwise rendered mute when it comes to matters of war, power and politics. Yet the resounding theme of Jesus’ life and teachings is one of outright resistance to war, materialism and empire. Ultimately, this is the contradiction that must be resolved if the radical Jesus is to be an example for our modern age.

US land claims in Bundy case based on lie-started, treaty-violating, unlawful war on Mexico


Guest Post by Carl Herman
“The only thing new in the world is the history you don’t know.”  - President Harry Truman, Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman (1974), Merle Miller, pg. 26.
The Bundy land case raises questions of US federal authority on the ~80% of Nevada they claim to “own.” It’s also a spark for Americans to act on a local issue within a context of US government “leaders” engaging in OBVIOUS crimes centering in war, money, and media (also in ~100 other crucial areas).

US land claims (and here) in Nevada and throughout the US Southwest originate in similar crimes to current US lie-started, treaty-violating, unlawful Wars of Aggression. These claims are from violating treaties with Native Americans, and a lie-started, treaty-violating, unlawful invasive war on Mexico.
If the land in question was stolen by the US federal government, and used US military to do so only with unlawful orders and lies to our trusting soldiers and families, then we have strong arguments that all ensuing claims of the federal government are void because anything passed as so-called “law” in obvious violation to the US Constitution is void with zero legal force.

US land claims on this stolen land are closer to the argument, “All land is the King’s land” than comprehensively truthful public consideration of what is and is not in the public’s best interests under a representative democratic republic of limited government under the US Constitution. US key policies are also far closer to fascism than a republic limited under law.

And that said, again, the big picture action is to arrest US “leadership” from more obvious crimes and lies in the present in war, money, and media (plus ~100 other crucial areas)

The Mexican-American War is vitally important to understand because it sets the precedent of a US president lying, violating clear treaty, and the US stealing resources at the expense of thousands of deaths of US soldiers, and many multiples of those deaths of the people we attacked. Then, as today, the majority of Americans believed their “leaders” in ignorance of the facts, and without media’s coverage of clear voices like Abraham Lincoln’s to explain the facts.

The US invaded Mexico in 1846 despite it being a clear treaty violation and upon clear lies of US President Polk: “American blood shed upon the American soil.” The result of the war was the US taking 40% of Mexico’s land. Although historians note that freshman member of Congress Abraham Lincoln was/is correct that the president lied and violated a treaty with criminal complicity of Congress, both parties’ and media propaganda allowed the war to move forward without criminal prosecution. The House of Representatives had enough votes to censure the president for, “a war unnecessarily and unconstitutionally begun by the President of the United States,” but not to impeach. Importantly, I’m unaware of any historian’s rational challenge to this history, despite the lies of omission you’ll read in corporate media textbooks today.
But don’t believe any expert or me; use your critical thinking skills. This is as easy as our baseball rule analogy that when a person knows the rule when a runner is safe or out at first base, there’s no need to ask anyone. If you know that:
  • a treaty is defined in Article Six of the US Constitution as the “Supreme Law of the Land,”
  • the US had the Adams-Onís Treaty with Mexico (originally with Spain and formally transferred to Mexico in 1831) in crystal-clear language regarding the areas of the now Southwest US (including Texas with all the “border dispute” lands because the Sabine River between Louisiana and today’s Texas was the agreed border):  “The two high contracting parties agree to cede and renounce all their rights, claims, and pretensions to the territories described by the said line, that is to say: The United States hereby cede to His Catholic Majesty, and renounce forever, all their rights, claims, and pretensions, to the territories lying west and south of the above-described line; and, in like manner, His Catholic Majesty cedes to the said United States all his rights, claims, and pretensions to any territories east and north of the said line, and for himself, his heirs, and successors, renounces all claim to the said territories forever.”
  • Therefore, the US Supreme Law was to forever recognize Texas and the now Southwest as Mexico’s land.
In baseball, you can (and do) say, “I know where first base is. I know when a runner is clearly safe or out at first base.” In this “current event” of life and death from our past, you can and should say, “I know what a treaty means. I know what a border means. I know when the US is 400 miles over the border that was defined in a treaty that they’re obviously into Mexico and not on American soil.” You may even artistically add, “Duh.”
Abraham Lincoln recognized claimed “reasons” for a “defensive war” against Mexico were obvious lies when inspected. Lincoln’s speech as a Member in the House of Representatives:
“I carefully examined the President’s messages, to ascertain what he himself had said and proved upon the point. The result of this examination was to make the impression, that taking for true, all the President states as facts, he falls far short of proving his justification; and that the President would have gone farther with his proof, if it had not been for the small matter, that the truth would not permit him… Now I propose to try to show, that the whole of this, — issue and evidence — is, from beginning to end, the sheerest deception.”
And Lincoln in a letter to his law partner:
“Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose, and you allow him to make war at pleasure. Study to see if you can fix any limit to his power in this respect, after having given him so much as you propose. If to-day he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, — “I see no probability of the British invading us”; but he will say to you, “Be silent: I see it, if you don’t.””
I invite you to read Lincoln’s “Spot Resolutions” for yourself to explain, document, and prove the US president of his day lying and leading an unlawful war for resources as an example of why Lincoln is considered to be one of the most brilliant writers in American history. If passed, Congress would have demanded President Polk to come before them and respond to Lincoln’s questions.
Henry David Thoreau refused to pay his taxes to support the unlawful war, and was jailed. Despite Lincoln having all the facts on his side, because the president, majority of Congress, and majority of the press wanted this war as an expression of the racistManifest Destiny,” Lincoln didn’t have the votes to pass the Spot Resolutions. In fact, Lincoln was called “unpatriotic” and “Spotty” in derision by both parties’ “leadership” and the press.
Lincoln became so unpopular from these intentional lies and propaganda that he had no chance for re-election.
The war killed over 50,000 Mexicans and over 5,000 Americans, and is a clear historical precedent for US “leadership” to choose lies, dictatorship, and War of Aggression rather than truth, limited government under the law, and peace. In addition, the concluding Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo under Article VIII stated property ownership remained under those current owners. The long history from then to US “ownership” claims today I’m sure has abundant hypocrisy and crimes.
Although this history of the Mexican-American War is uncontroversially factual and as far as I’m aware undisputed among professional historians, corporate media-published high school textbooks will only state that the causes of war were a “border dispute” and repeat President Polk’s claims that Mexico invaded the US with “American blood shed on American soil.”
This is a massive lie of omission and commission to not communicate at least the preceding few paragraphs.
If history texts explained that a US President was the war-mongering liar that Lincoln explained in his speech and documented in the Spot Resolutions, and that Congress voted in criminal complicity to shred a US treaty, lie to the American public about who invaded whom, and be guilty of war-murdering tens of thousands of human beings, would you look at current US wars from the benefit of that accurate history?
“At first blush, a man is not capable of reporting truth; he must be drenched and saturated with it first.”      - Henry David Thoreau, I to myself: an annotated selection from the journal of Henry D. Thoreau, 1837. Thoreau, like Abraham Lincoln, recognized claimed “reasons” for a “defensive war” against Mexico were obvious lies when inspected.
Perhaps this famous quote makes better sense now:
“Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
  - George Santayana, The Life of Reason, Vol. 1.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Real Americans Are Ready To Snap

Guest Post By Brandon Smith

Despite popular belief, every culture of every nation draws a line in the sand against government tyranny. The problem is, many draw this line so close to total defeat that it rarely matters. For the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto, for instance, it wasn't until the Germans had already herded millions onto railroad cars destined for death camps and cornered the rest into dilapidated central housing that the ZOB resistance was formed, only to be wiped out a month later. Perhaps hindsight is 20/20, but clearly too many freedom movements throughout history waited too long to respond to the trespasses of oligarchs.

The Founding Fathers frequently struggled with the proper measure of resistance. Many colonials wanted vengeance on the British after the Boston Massacre in March of 1770, but patriots knew that the timing was not right. The battle to rally citizens to the cause and to educate the masses as much as possible on the facts took precedence over the desire to enter conflict. The Founders endured five more years of British government criminality until nearly 80 farmers and militiamen stood outnumbered on Lexington Green on April 19th, 1775 to confront an army of 700 British regulars on a mission to capture rebel leaders and destroy weapons caches. No one knew at the time that the war would be sparked that day, but everyone knew that a fight was inevitable and near.

I believe the same feeling hangs in the air of modern America for REAL Americans, and by “real”, I mean those who actually support and defend the constitutional values and principles that lay at the foundation of our society. We sense that something is coming; a great change, or an unstoppable reckoning.
The question of when to strike back is pivotal to any resistance movement. Turn to violence too soon or without proper cause in the eyes of the public, and the rebellion may lose the moral high ground and the support of the populace. Wait too long, and the totalitarian hordes may be too far entrenched, forcing the rebellion to fight from a position of strategic weakness.

There are those who might argue that America crossed the “red line” long ago and now our society is simply rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic while arguing over futile semantics. In certain respects, I can see their point. The U.S. political system is utterly lost. Anyone who still has faith in the Left/Right paradigm after two terms of George W. Bush and nearly two terms of Barack Obama is either insane, or mentally challenged. It should be obvious to Republicans and Democrats alike that our government does NOT represent the average man, and our election process is a sham. Democrats in particular should be equally furious and ashamed as the candidate they blindly worshiped to the point of cultism has now forsaken every value they thought he represented.

The legal apparatus of the U.S. is also beyond repair. Those in the mainstream who argue that grievances with government should be addressed by the courts instead of independent action obviously have not considered that the courts continuously uphold and defend legislation like that contained within the NDAA, which allows for rendition, torture, and even assassination of American citizens without trial or due process. And where are the prosecutions of Constitutional violations by the NSA? Why aren't men like James Clapper in prison for lying directly to Congress. Why hasn't Eric Holder been slapped in irons for his involvement with “Fast and Furious”? And what about the international financiers who back these politicians? How many of them have been prosecuted for their involvement in the toxic derivatives scandals that are destroying our economy to this day?

No, we lost the courts a long time ago. They will do nothing to save this country. But is the fight already over? I think not.

Nihilism is tempting for those people who are lazy and frightened and looking for a philosophical excuse to run away from making a stand. Claiming the fight is lost before it has truly begun is a longstanding tradition amongst millions upon millions of cowards through history. Every freedom fighter in every great revolution for liberty has heard the same arguments that we hear today – “It's too late to change things. The enemy is too powerful and you will be crushed. The nail that sticks up will eventually be hammered down. Your movement is a minority on the fringe and no one will support you. None of you have the guts to really follow through...”
While there is certainly much to despair in the state of our nation, I find the notion that Americans will do nothing in response misplaced and ignorant. From what I have observed, it is not a question of “if” citizens snap, but when.

With objective eyes one could easily see it during the last attempts by the federal government to pass anti-gun legislation that would have led to confiscation. Pro-2nd Amendment protests erupted all over the country (though the MSM mostly ignored them) with participants far outnumbering the miniscule groups in support of gun control. The sentiment amongst millions of gun owners and millions of Liberty Movement proponents was that we were not going to allow government enforcement of new gun laws. Period. If that meant we had to start using those same guns to put an end to government, then that was exactly what we would do. The feds, of course, buckled.

Rather than take the more dangerous and unifying direct route of federal legislation, gun grabbers have shifted strategies, isolating and targeting specific states they believe will be more pliable and easier to conquer. Connecticut and parts of New York, however, have shown that even people in the most socialist of states have no intention of complying with gun registration or confiscation. In Connecticut, only 38,000 high capacity magazines were registered according to the new gun laws, while approximately 2.4 million purchased through retail remain unaccounted for. Only 50,000 “assault weapons” were registered, while at least 300,000 remain unaccounted for. A sizable number of police are also refusing to enforce registration measures (some out of constitutional loyalty, and some out of a desire for self preservation), causing the state of Connecticut to back off of its hard line rhetoric.

I can say with full confidence that the conditions within Connecticut alone would lead to an open shooting war if officials actually attempt to enforce registration and confiscation. If Safe Act-style legislation or executive orders are ever enforced at a national level, I have no doubt revolution would follow.
The latest hotbed I have witnessed is the Bureau of Land Management attack on a cattle farm in Clark County, Nevada owned by Cliven Bundy. The BLM has so far stolen over 500 cattle from Bundy on the grounds that the federal government owns the land his family has been using for grazing pasture for generations. The confiscation was implemented under the auspices of “protection for endangered species”. The species in this instance being a desert tortoise.
The methods used by the BLM resemble a militant raid, with hundreds of agents, helicopters, and even snipers at their disposal. Adding insult to injury and making the issue a national concern, the feds have also staged “First Amendment Zones” miles away from their activities to keep protestors out.



This may seem like a minor event, a tiff over cattle grazing or possibly property rights, but there is much more going on here.

Tyranny leaves lasting scars, and each tyrannical act results in an accumulation of wounds on the public psyche that do not heal. In the end, a single event can become a trigger to unleash a torrent of rage pent up in a population for years or decades. The fight for Cliven Bundy's farm has the potential to become such a trigger.

So far, federal abuses have been primarily toward Bundy's cattle, with confiscation ongoing and suspicions that a number of the cows are being killed. Here, protestors try to stop a truck from leaving the area which they believed might be carrying dead animals. Agents respond with dogs and tasers.



However, I believe that if this situation escalates into a Waco or Ruby Ridge brand of event, not only Liberty Movement residents of Nevada, but Liberty Movement champions across the nation will indeed finally throw down the gauntlet. What does that mean? It means they are going to start shooting. Opposing groups can debate whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, but the reality is that one way or another, it is going to happen.

Discussions within the movement are far from apathetic. Hundreds of thousands if not millions of eyes are watching every move of the BLM right now, and they should be taking this fact very seriously.

The naysayers will claim that we don't have the will to take action. They are welcome to think whatever they like. But mark my words, Constitutionally minded Americans are not going to stand by and watch another massacre, nor a loss of gun rights, nor will we be entertaining violations of our freedoms for much longer. This society is on the edge of something. It's kinetic, or electric. It is not yet quite visible but it is there, reverberating in the atmosphere. My suggestion to our federal bureaucracy would be to do what they did during the gun debate, and quickly back away.

Of course, we all know they won't.

Do the elites want to stir up insurgency in order to give pretense for a larger crackdown? They very well might. But it is transparent in the way they try to mitigate dissent and offer placation that they do not want a rebellion larger than they can manage. I think it is far too late for that. I think they've pissed off too many people, instead of just enough people. I think that though most pretend-Americans will do nothing but watch in horror or hide in their hovels, the size of resistance to the tides of despotism is growing far beyond common realizations. And, when this resistance erupts, it will shock even those who fully expect it.


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Bundy Ranch Standoff - US Government Criminality and What You're Not Being Told



 Guest Post StormCloudsGathering
There are some very powerful people who have done their best to cover up what really happened at the Bundy ranch in Clark County Nevada. Fortunately they failed.

In this we're going to present you with evidence of blatant corruption and criminal activities that anyone, including law enforcement, can easily verify.



 To download the full HD version of this video right click on this link and select "Save Link As".

But before we go into the details, it's important to acknowledge here, that the political left and the political right are watching this crisis through very different eyes. You on the left saw this old rancher defying the Federal government over cattle grazing fees, with right wing pundits pleading his case, and armed militia moving in to intervene... it probably gave you the impression of Tea Party temper tantrum... with guns. Given some of the personalities who were involved in the media circus surrounding this, that impression is perfectly understandable, but underneath the appearances there is something here that all Americans need to see, whether they consider themselves conservative, liberal or none of the above.

All I ask is that you suspend your preconceived notions of what this crisis was about, for five minutes.
First let's eliminate some of the disinformation, speculation and conspiracy theories.

Here's a story that a lot of people were spreading around without fact checking. It got 47,000 shares on Facebook alone. The author claims that the siege of the Bundy ranch was about was really about fracking leases. That's a provocative narrative, one that I actually found very interesting. But just because something is plausible doesn't mean it's true. For evidence, the article links out to this page on the shalereporter.com, which does indeed talk about Bureau of Land Management (aka BLM) leasing out land in Nevada for Fracking. Trouble is, the author and 47,000 other people overlooked the blatantly obvious fact that the land in question is in north eastern Nevada. Clark county isn't in North Eastern Nevada. That's not a minor detail. Please, pretty please with a cherry on top, fact check before you spread information people. Always fact check.

Then there was this other line that kept getting spread around (and this is a direct quote):
"There are developers working for military contractors that want that land and water for mining weapons grade minerals for industry... they want to sell the land by the highway for real estate development because it's close to I-15". This claim wasn't backed up by even so much as a link. It was pure hearsay. Furthermore it doesn't even make sense. Military contractors (like Blackwater) want land for mining? And weapons grade minerals? To be perfectly honest I get the impression that this story was fabricated by some stoned college kid who thought it would be hilarious to send it to an alternative media outlet as a prank. You got to admit as prank that's pretty epic, especially since it worked. A media figure with a fairly decent sized audience, and I'm not going to name names, blasted it out to the public as is without asking for evidence or even critically examining the claim. A lot of people took that report and started spreading it around, and pretty soon there were people just repeating the narrative not even knowing where it came from. That's bad. Providing an echo chamber unfounded rumors and wild speculation is not journalism. The alternative media really needs to tighten their standards of evidence.

Alright, moving along, here we have this story that the showdown in Nevada was really about an underhanded business deal involving Senator Harry Reid, his son, the BLM and a 5 billion dollar solar energy plant. You probably saw a few people sharing links making these claims. Let's fact check.
Claim number one: Senator Harry Reid's son, Rory Reid (try saying that name ten times as fast as you can), is the primary representative for ENN energy group, a Chinese energy company involved in a $5 billion solar project planned for Clark County Nevada, on the on land where the Bundy ranch is located. First source: Reuters: Aug 31, 2012. Well this is interesting. It turns out that the conflicts of interest in this project were well documented, but Harry pushed it through anyway. He pushed it through in spite of the controversy that was stirred up when the land was sold to ENN for $4.5 million dollars even though separate appraisals valued the land at between $29.6 million and $38.6 million.

Claim number two: Reid put one of his former employees in charge of the Bureau of land management and thereby used his leverage in the agency to clear the Bundy's off the land. What do they claim as their source: CBS Las Vegas. Hmmm... That's interesting. Neil Kornze, the current BLM Chief is a former adviser for Harry Reid, and Harry Reid is the Senate Majority leader, and therefore was directly involved in his confirmation. That's another serious conflict of interest there considering that the BLM is claiming jurisdiction over the land where Rory Reid's company wants to build.

But do we have any evidence that Reid actually exercised that influence in the agency to get what he wanted? Well that brings us to claim number three: Supposedly the BLM had posted on their website that they needed to get the Bundy family off of the land to make room for the energy project, but the BLM has since removed the page. The website that made this claim posted a screen shot split into two files and a link to a text version of the page that someone had copied. This is pretty weak. Though it does seem to match the overall narrative here, this would never be admissible in court. But let's dig a little deeper shall we. What if there is a version of the site cached somewhere on the web? Let's try the way back machine on archive.org. Nope, no dice, the page was never cached on way back machine. Let's try google's cache... BINGO! Here it is folks. This is google's record of what used to be on the site.

To download the full screenshot, right click on the image below and select "Save Image As".

Bundy Ranch - Page That they took down from the BLM website - Solar Project

"Non-Governmental Organizations have expressed concern that the regional mitigation strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone utilizes Gold Butte as the location for offsite mitigation for impacts from solar development, and that those restoration activities are not durable with the presence of trespass cattle"
They specifically referred to the solar project as a justification to seize Cliven Bundy's cattle.
Funny thing, we found the mitigation strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy zone, and guess who wrote it? That would be the BLM. Pretty convenient, for Harry Reid isn't it?

Now I took a screen shot of the Google cache right away. As I'm compiling this information I go back and I look at it again an hour later and what do you know, somebody came and took the cached version down. Somebody is trying to cover this thing up and fast. But you know what, they missed one. I found this cached version of the page on archive.is. If you follow the link in the description to our website SCG News.com you'll find a direct link to this page. I highly recommend that each and every one of you go and verify its contents for yourself before someone has it taken down.

Click here to view the cached version of the page that the BLM was desperately trying to hide.
Or click here to get to that link from another path.

But even if they take this last link down they left trail. Google's server logs will still have a record of the exact date their cached snap shot was taken, chances are they still have that snap shot, and you know what? Even if someone tried to erase it completely, with modern technology It is very easy for forensic technicians to recover data like this even if it seems to be deleted from the system. The digital trace is still there. The BLM's servers and every computer involved also have a trail, and trying to remove that trail would leave an even bigger trail.

All we need is somebody in law enforcement with a spine, but that's another story isn't it.
This isn't about turtles folks. It's not even about cattle. This is about money and power.

Turns out our little friend Harry Reid has a nice little empire rigged for himself in Nevada. Let's take a look at this article from the LA Times. This is from 2003. Apparently it's no secret that Harry's way of profiting off his position is by using his influence to push through deals that help his family members. He's got family representing virtually every major industry and they are doing quite well thank you very much. Thing is, this is technically not illegal. In fact it has become the standard way to bribe politicians in the United States. You can't line their pockets directly, but you can line their son's pockets, and their cousin's pockets and their uncle's pockets all you want.

However using a federal agency to seize cattle, and physically intimidate and brutalize a family to facilitate that dirty deal. That's all kinds of illegal. Then they to attempt to cover up the evidence... and that's also a crime.

Again, all we need is a law enforcement officer with a spine.
I'll be perfectly honest. When I saw some of the media personalities that were capitalizing on this this drama, I was very skeptical, but once I saw what was really going on I understood right away why people's blood is boiling.

Take another look at what happened on that ranch, the military style crack down, the violence. Imagine Clive Bundy was your father or grandfather. Imagine if his wife was your mother or grandmother. Imagine it was your family who's livelihood was being destroyed by some filthy rich politician who just can't get enough.
What happened in Clark County Nevada struck a nerve with the American people, but the response we saw had very little to do with this particular crisis. There is something much deeper brewing under the surface in the United States. This showdown was just a catalyst.

It wasn't the greatest atrocity of the decade or even of the year. I wish people had felt this moved by the NSA's domestic spying program, or the secret kill list, or the drone program, or the Libyan war, or the Iraq war or the Afghan war. I wish people had been activated by something bigger than the plight of a cattle rancher. But you know what? We don't get to pick the breaking point.
Rosa Parks sparked a civil rights movement with her refusal to sit in the back of the bus. Clive Bundy almost started the 2nd American revolution by refusing to let the feds run him over.

What we saw in Nevada clearly demonstrated just how easily that breaking point can be reached.
Now even knowing the real story, hearing about militia mobilizing all over the country to come physically defend the Bundy family is probably still very disconcerting for many progressives, this was a very dangerous situation. A lot of people could have ended up dead. But consider this: remember back in 2011 when riot police swooped in to brutally crush the occupy movement? Remember how you felt? No one stood up for them. No one fought back. And what was the result? The thugs won.The media quickly switched to a new distraction, and the public forgot.

Imagine if it had been different. Imagine if people swarmed in from all over the country; not to wave signs in the air, but to stand up for your rights; even if they disagreed with you politically. That didn't happen, but it should have.

It's been said that the enemy of your enemy is your friend. Trouble is, the people of the United States have been a bit confused about who the enemy really is. You've been allowing a thuggish, out of control, corporate owned government to persecute your ideological rivals, not realizing that the same boot will someday be grinding your face into the dirt. And all the while your common enemy, your real enemy gets stronger, and more aggressive, more lawless, and more blatantly corrupt as we dance the left right left right two step to tyranny. They've been playing you like a fiddle.

But the sleeping giant is starting to wake up.
And they are scared to death of you.
Now as for Harry Reid. He may just be one rotten apple in a barrel full of rotten apples, but he needs to be brought to justice.

To all of you out there who call yourself law enforcement, the American people are putting down a line the sand. If you don't stand up for justice, if you do not hold these scum bags accountable for their crimes, if you do not at least raise your voice and take a public stand then you are an accomplice. You are discrediting the entire framework of law and order, and you are giving the people a clear mandate to remove you from your office.

If you agree, then send this video to every person that you know especially to police, military, and veterans. Send it to your congressman, send it to your local news station, to your local news paper, to your local radio station. You have permission to download this video and distribute and present it in any venue commercial or non-commercial under the condition that the content is not altered in any way.
To download the full HD version of this video right click on this link and select "Save Link As".
 

The Secrets of Benghazi-Turkey, CIA, MI6 and Libyan Arms to Syria

 

Source: Washington's Blog

Pulitzer-prize winning investigative reporter Seymour Hersh – who broke the stories of the Mai Lai massacre in Vietnam and the Iraq prison torture scandals, which rightfully disgraced the Nixon and Bush administrations’ war-fighting tactics – reported last week:
In January, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report on the assault by a local militia in September 2012 on the American consulate and a nearby undercover CIA facility in Benghazi, which resulted in the death of the US ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and three others. The report’s criticism of the State Department for not providing adequate security at the consulate, and of the intelligence community for not alerting the US military to the presence of a CIA outpost in the area, received front-page coverage and revived animosities in Washington, with Republicans accusing Obama and Hillary Clinton of a cover-up.
That’s the part you’ve heard about: failure to protect the personnel at the embassy.
But then Hersh breaks the deeper story wide open:
A highly classified annex to the report, not made public, described a secret agreement reached in early 2012 between the Obama and Erdoğan administrations. It pertained to the rat line. By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi’s arsenals into Syria.
A number of front companies were set up in Libya, some under the cover of Australian entities. Retired American soldiers, who didn’t always know who was really employing them, were hired to manage procurement and shipping. The operation was run by David Petraeus, the CIA director who would soon resign when it became known he was having an affair with his biographer. (A spokesperson for Petraeus denied the operation ever took place.)
The operation had not been disclosed at the time it was set up to the congressional intelligence committees and the congressional leadership, as required by law since the 1970s. The involvement of MI6 enabled the CIA to evade the law by classifying the mission as a liaison operation. The former intelligence official explained that for years there has been a recognised exception in the law that permits the CIA not to report liaison activity to Congress, which would otherwise be owed a finding. (All proposed CIA covert operations must be described in a written document, known as a ‘finding’, submitted to the senior leadership of Congress for approval.) Distribution of the annex was limited to the staff aides who wrote the report and to the eight ranking members of Congress – the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate, and the Democratic and Republicans leaders on the House and Senate intelligence committees. This hardly constituted a genuine attempt at oversight: the eight leaders are not known to gather together to raise questions or discuss the secret information they receive.
The annex didn’t tell the whole story of what happened in Benghazi before the attack, nor did it explain why the American consulate was attacked. ‘The consulate’s only mission was to provide cover for the moving of arms,’ the former intelligence official, who has read the annex, said. ‘It had no real political role.’
Hersh isn’t the first to report on this major scandal.
We’ve extensively documented that the bigger story behind the murder of ambassador Chris Stevens at the Benghazi embassy in Libya is that the embassy was the center of U.S. efforts to arm jihadis in Syria who are trying to topple the Syrian government.
We’ve also noted that this is not a partisan issue … both parties greenlighted regime change in Syria years ago, and both parties have tried to cover up what was really going on in Benghazi.
Last August, CNN touched on the weapons smuggling aspect of Benghazi.
The Wall Street Journal, Telegraph and other sources confirm that the US consulate in Benghazi was mainly being used for a secret CIA operation.
They say that the State Department presence in Benghazi “provided diplomatic cover” for the previously hidden CIA mission. WND alleges that it was not a real consulate.  And former CIA officer Philip Giraldi confirms:
Benghazi has been described as a U.S. consulate, but it was not. It was an information office that had no diplomatic status. There was a small staff of actual State Department information officers plus local translators. The much larger CIA base was located in a separate building a mile away. It was protected by a not completely reliable local militia. Base management would have no say in the movement of the ambassador and would not be party to his plans, nor would it clear its own operations with the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli. In Benghazi, the CIA’s operating directive would have been focused on two objectives: monitoring the local al-Qaeda affiliate group, Ansar al-Sharia, and tracking down weapons liberated from Colonel Gaddafi’s arsenal. Staff consisted of CIA paramilitaries who were working in cooperation with the local militia. The ambassador would not be privy to operational details and would only know in general what the agency was up to. When the ambassador’s party was attacked, the paramilitaries at the CIA base came to the rescue before being driven back into their own compound, where two officers were subsequently killed in a mortar attack.
Reuters notes that the CIA mission involved finding and repurchasing heavy weaponry looted from Libyan government arsenals.
Retired Lt. General William Boykin said in January that Stevens was in Benghazi as part of an effort to arm the Syrian opposition:
More supposition was that he was now funneling guns to the rebel forces in Syria, using essentially the Turks to facilitate that. Was that occurring, (a), and if so, was it a legal covert action?
Boykin said Stevens was “given a directive to support the Syrian rebels” and the State Department’s Special Mission Compound in Benghazi “would be the hub of that activity.”
Business Insider reports that Stevens may have been linked with Syrian terrorists:
There’s growing evidence that U.S. agents—particularly murdered ambassador Chris Stevens—were at least aware of heavy weapons moving from Libya to jihadist Syrian rebels.
In March 2011 Stevens became the official U.S. liaison to the al-Qaeda-linked Libyan opposition, working directly with Abdelhakim Belhadj of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group—a group that has now disbanded, with some fighters reportedly participating in the attack that took Stevens’ life.
In November 2011 The Telegraph reported that Belhadj, acting as head of the Tripoli Military Council, “met with Free Syrian Army [FSA] leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey” in an effort by the new Libyan government to provide money and weapons to the growing insurgency in Syria.
Last month The Times of London reported that a Libyan ship “carrying the largest consignment of weapons for Syria … has docked in Turkey.” The shipment reportedly weighed 400 tons and included SA-7 surface-to-air anti-craft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades.
***
Reuters reports that Syrian rebels have been using those heavy weapons to shoot down Syrian helicopters and fighter jets.
The ship’s captain was “a Libyan from Benghazi and the head of an organization called the Libyan National Council for Relief and Support,” which was presumably established by the new government.
That means that Ambassador Stevens had only one person—Belhadj—between himself and the Benghazi man who brought heavy weapons to Syria.
Furthermore, we know that jihadists are the best fighters in the Syrian opposition, but where did they come from?
Last week The Telegraph reported that a FSA commander called them “Libyans” when he explained that the FSA doesn’t “want these extremist people here.”
And if the new Libyan government was sending seasoned Islamic fighters and 400 tons of heavy weapons to Syria through a port in southern Turkey—a deal brokered by Stevens’ primary Libyan contact during the Libyan revolution—then the governments of Turkey and the U.S. surely knew about it.
Furthermore there was a CIA post in Benghazi, located 1.2 miles from the U.S. consulate, used as “a base for, among other things, collecting information on the proliferation of weaponry looted from Libyan government arsenals, including surface-to-air missiles” … and that its security features “were more advanced than those at rented villa where Stevens died.”
And we know that the CIA has been funneling weapons to the rebels in southern Turkey. The question is whether the CIA has been involved in handing out the heavy weapons from Libya.
In other words, ambassador Stevens may have been a key player in deploying Libyan terrorists and arms to fight the Syrian government.
Other sources also discuss that the U.S. consulate in Benghazi as mainly being used as a CIA operation to ship fighters and arms to Syria.
Many have speculated that – if normal security measures weren’t taken to protect the Benghazi consulate or to rescue ambassador Stevens – it was because the CIA was trying to keep an extremely low profile to protect its cover of being a normal State Department operation.
That is what I think really happened at Benghazi.

Was CIA Chief David Petraeus’ Firing Due to Benghazi?

CIA boss David Petraeus suddenly resigned, admitting to an affair. But Petraeus was scheduled to testify under oath the next week before power House and Senate committees regarding the Benghazi consulate. Many speculate that it wasn’t an affair – but the desire to avoid testifying on Benghazi – which was the real reason for Petraeus’ sudden resignation.  And see this.

Monday, April 7, 2014

WELCOME TO TERMINUS




Guest Post by Jim Quinn

“Life improves slowly and goes wrong fast, and only catastrophe is clearly visible.” – Edward Teller

I was a late arrival to the Walking Dead television program. I don’t watch much of the mindless drivel passing for entertainment on the 600 worthless channels available 24/7 on cable TV. I assumed it was another superficial zombie horror show on par with the teenage vampire crap polluting the airwaves. Last year a friend told me I had to watch the show. I was hooked immediately and after some marathon watching of seasons one and two, I understood the various storylines and back stories. What the show doesn’t openly reveal is the deeper meanings, symbolism, and lessons we can learn from viewing human beings trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. In my opinion, the horror and gore is secondary to the human responses to horrific circumstances and the consequences of individual and group decisions to their survival.


As the end of season four approached, the disbursed characters were descending upon a place called Terminus. They were drawn by the intriguing and hopeful signs posted at various railroad junctions promising sanctuary, community and survival. Of course the name Terminus does not sound very inviting or hopeful. There are multiple possible meanings regarding Terminus. The Roman god Terminus protected boundary markers and sacrifices were performed to sanctify each boundary stone. The bones, ashes, and blood of a sacrificial victim, along with crops, honeycombs, and wine, were placed into a hole at a point where estates converged, and the stone was driven in on top. Maintaining boundaries and sacrifice are major themes throughout the series.





The show is set in the metropolitan Atlanta area of Georgia and the surrounding countryside. It just so happens that during the 1830s Terminus was the name of a settlement at the end of the Western and Atlantic railroad line. That settlement is now Atlanta. Terminus is also the title of the final poem ever composed by Ralph Waldo Emerson. The poem focuses on a conversation between the author and the god Terminus, discussing the author’s forthcoming death. The message of the poem is to resist fear and prepare for death. The destination is worth the journey.


“As the bird trims her to the gale,
I trim myself to the storm of time,
I man the rudder, reef the sail,
Obey the voice at eve obeyed at prime:
“Lowly faithful, banish fear,
Right onward drive unharmed;
The port, well worth the cruise, is near,
And every wave is charmed.”

 
We are only given a short time on this earth and the end of the line will be the same for everyone. What matters is how we conduct ourselves during our own journey towards our personal Terminus. Have we served as a virtuous example for our children, sacrificed for others, and benefited humanity or have we displayed greed, avarice and selfishness during our trek through life? As we approach our own meeting with destiny, the actions and morality of individuals will matter. I don’t know the motivations of the writers creating the themes for the Walking Dead, but the show connects with me on a number of levels. I look around and see hordes of zombies everywhere.


Zombification of America

“The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does. They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted.” – Aldous Huxley – Brave New World Revisited
 




The vast majority of the population in the post-apocalyptic world of the Walking Dead is mindless zombies driven by only their need to feed upon human flesh. They are infected with a disease that disables the cognitive portion of their brains and leaves them as slobbering predatory zombies seeking to satisfy their vile needs. They are referred to as “walkers” or “biters” as they aimlessly roam the countryside seeking human flesh. Everyone bitten or killed by a zombie is infected and turned into a zombie. The only way to stop them is by destroying their brain. The relentless violence and gore is not for the squeamish, but is probably a realistic portrayal of the brutishness and harsh conditions that will overwhelm this country once the electrical grid goes down, fuel becomes scarce and the global supply chain fails. Our just in time society is about one week from chaos, lawlessness, starvation and death on a grand scale.


As I watch the hordes of hideous brain dead zombies shuffling across the apocalyptic landscape seeking to satiate their basest cravings I can’t help but see the parallels with the millions of mindless tattooed obese slobs waddling across mall parking lots past vacant store fronts staring zombielike at their iGadgets as they seek to satisfy their basest desires at Macy’s and Chipotle. A virus has overspread our country causing a vast swath of the population to gratuitously assuage their every want without thinking of the consequences. The sickness is caused by being imprisoned for twelve years in government run public schools, watching thousands of hours of propaganda emitted by the corporate media, viewing hundreds of brain cell destroying reality TV shows, reading and sending thousands of texts and tweets, and being overwhelmed by the delusional belief spending more than they make, saving nothing, and piling up mountains of debt is the path to success in our contaminated society.


In the show there is no clear explanation as to why the majority of the population have been infected and turned into zombies, while a tiny minority is unaffected and able to think critically and act rationally. It is revealed that all living people are infected with the zombie virus, but it remains dormant in a minority of the survivors. Death by any means triggers the virus and turns the corpse into a mindless flesh eating zombie. There are 318 million Americans and a majority of them fall into the category of zombies in my estimation. Every American has the zombie virus within them. It has been incubated by corrupt vote seeking politicians, control hungry government sociopaths, mind numbingly worthless public education, and the relentless dumbing down through corporate media propaganda and vacuous reality TV entertainment. Once cogent thinking aware citizens have been zombiefied into mindless impulsive consumers.


How can you not see the parallels between American society and the zombies in the Walking Dead? Walk down any city street in America and you see hordes shuffling along staring with blank faces and glazed over eyes at their iGadgets. Black Friday is identical to flinging a freshly slaughtered hog in front of the flesh eating zombies. Americans flock to malls across our apocalyptic suburban sprawl landscape and proceed to stampede, gouge, and punch their way to an fantastic bargain on a Chinese slave labor produced microwave they must have to cook their toxic frankenfood created by one of our corporate food conglomerates. The Black Friday crowds actually make the zombies from the Walking Dead seem well behaved. While the American zombies are shambling through superficial lives of pleasure seeking, mass consumption, and a delusional faith in debt based wealth, there is still a minority of rational thinking people who can control their impulses and resist the disease devouring our culture.







“Our economy is based on spending billions to persuade people that happiness is buying things, and then insisting that the only way to have a viable economy is to make things for people to buy so they’ll have jobs and get enough money to buy things.” ― Philip Slater
Collapse Will Be Sudden

“That’s the thing about the collapse of civilization. It never happens according to plan – there’s no slavering horde of zombies. No actinic flash of thermonuclear war. No Earth-shuddering asteroid. The end comes in unforeseen ways; the stock market collapses, and then the banks, and then there is no food in the supermarkets, or the communications system goes down completely and inevitably, and previously amiable co-workers find themselves wrestling over the last remaining cookie that someone brought in before all the madness began.” ― Mark A. Rayner – The Fridgularity





What you note after watching a few episodes of the Walking Dead is that collapse happened suddenly. Cities, towns, houses and highways remained relatively intact. The decay and deterioration caused by neglect and abandonment are the only visible signs that modern civilization has ceased. The show highlights the life-threatening difficulty of enduring on a day to day basis without the certainty of shelter, food, water, and fuel. The average asleep American isn’t prepared to last one week without the basics of modern life. They haven’t stocked any food, water or fuel in case of an emergency. Their normalcy bias keeps them from even considering the high likelihood of even a natural disaster caused by a hurricane, snowstorm, or earthquake. Recent examples of most people’s complete helplessness were the snow and ice storms that struck this past winter and hurricanes Sandy and Katrina. Without power and access to food and water, modern society breaks down quickly, with chaos, looting and anarchy only days away.


It is unlikely that collapse of civilization as we know it will happen due to some extreme event such as nuclear war, super volcano, or asteroid. When our central banker masters of the universe trigger the next financial system collapse, with no monetary bullets of debasement left in their pop gun, the resulting chaos when ATMs stop spitting out $20 bills and EBT cards for 47 million people stop functioning at Wally World will be epic. We got a glimpse into the future this past October when the EBT system went down in several states for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon. Zombies began to ransack Wal-Mart stores attempting to steal as much as they could get away with. Chaos, anger and criminal behavior was virtually instantaneous. A vast swath of EBT dependent zombies live in our numerous urban ghettos and when the EBT system goes down permanently violence will quickly erupt. Police will be vastly out-numbered, hungry mobs will become armed gangs of violent looters burning down their ghettos, ransacking and plundering businesses, stores and homes, and stealing everything that isn’t nailed down. Visualize the L.A. riots after the Rodney King verdict in every urban area in the country.





The fragility of our debt financed oil dependent just in time global supply chain system is beyond the comprehension of the average zombie American. They are too distracted by mass consuming the products dependent on that very same fragile scheme. They are clueless zombie-like dupes who believe $20 bills magically appear in ATMs, Funyuns and Cheetos miraculously materialize on Wal-Mart shelves, gasoline endlessly bubbles up from the ground into the hose they stick in their $40,000 monster SUVs “bought” with a 0% seven year loan from Ally Financial, and that enchanted plastic card with a magnetic strip empowers them to fulfill every craving like a zombie feeding on a dead carcass.


There is a worldwide currency and petroleum war being waged today as too much fiat currency is chasing a dwindling amount of cheap petroleum supplies. The developed world has experienced a century of relative illusory prosperity as cheap easy to access fuel and cheap easy to print fiat currency have led zombies to believe progress and prosperity are their god given right. The most highly educated zombies will be the most shocked when they realize the reality they believed was all an illusion. The Starbucks “Triple, Venti, Half Sweet, Non-Fat, Caramel Macchiato” crowd who isolate themselves in their 100% financed 5,000 square foot luxury cookie cutter brick McMansions amidst 200 other identical McMansions occupied by reclusive strangers in enclaves pretentiously named The Preserve at Meadow Lakes, and driving multiple leased BMWs, are about as prepared for a collapse of modern society as a helpless child. The suburban wasteland of strip malls, office parks, and fast food joints is completely dependent upon an endless supply of cheap oil and cheap credit.


The cracks in this delusionary foundation are visible for all to see as Space Available signs outnumber actual businesses, pothole dotted highways deteriorate, sewer lines crack, and houses in disrepair outnumber those being kept up. It takes money to keep a home from deteriorating and it happens to be in short supply for 90% of the population. Despite the non-stop money printing operation at the Fed and the mainstream media fantasy stories of shale oil energy independence, the suburban dream is turning into a nightmare. When the inevitable financial implosion strikes in the next few years, the illusion of progress will come to an end. The inner cities will explode in violence and will burn. The police will be helpless and scared. There will be death on a large scale.


Suburbia will turn into a lawless landscape where neighbors turn on each other, as they have failed to create real communities. The isolation and seclusion which have marked suburban existence for the last thirty years will contribute to the creation of criminal gangs looting and pillaging stores, businesses and unprotected homes. After the collapse the only people likely to survive relatively unscathed are rural folk. Farmers, ranchers and those capable of living off the land have the abilities to endure a breakdown in our modern society. These people are prepared, know how to use firearms and create communities of self-sufficiency. No one will thrive in the world coming our way, but those not dependent upon or tied to our modern societal paradigm have a better chance to survive.





“If people feel lost and alone and helpless and broken and hopeless today, what will it be like if the world really begins to come apart at the hinges?” ― Brandon Andress – And Then the End Will Come!
Individualism vs Community

“The values to which people cling most stubbornly under inappropriate conditions are those values that were previously the source of their greatest triumphs.” ― Jared Diamond – Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed




Our society has always glorified rugged individualism. We celebrate individual accomplishments and make heroes of those who have gone it alone and triumphed either in business, politics, sports, or the arts. Overcoming tremendous obstacles and going it alone in the face of adversity has been the narrative Americans admire and seek to emulate. Even the reality TV shows about preppers focus on individuals who plan on going it alone when civilization enters collapse mode. These rugged lonerstake pride in individualism, build bunkers, amass small arsenals and stockpile food and supplies. They will likely survive the initial onslaught of collapse and first wave of violence. But how long can an individual expect to survive alone in a Walking Dead environment? The traits which were appropriate and rewarded in modern society will be inappropriate and fatal in a post-modern society. A lesson from the show is clearly that a community of like-minded individuals working together has a better chance at long-term survival than a loner. Just make sure you join the right community.


With hordes of flesh eating automatons roaming the countryside it was essential for the living to form communities in order to fend off the zombies, protect each other, provide shelter, and forage for food. An individual alone had no chance at survival as falling asleep would ultimately prove fatal if a zombie stumbled upon your camp. The group led by Sheriff Rick Grimes eventually creates a community within the gates of an abandoned prison. The irony of seeing mindless throngs of soulless killers attempting to breakdown the fences to get “into” the prison is not lost on the audience. At first, the occupants of the prison would leave on foraging/pillaging missions to nearby cities and towns attempting to find food, medical supplies, gasoline and any other essential necessities of life. Eventually Hershel, the wise old man of the community, convinced Rick that cultivating the soil, sowing seeds and growing their own food was the only chance for their community to thrive over the long haul. Working with your hands is refreshing to the soul. Jesus’ Parable of the Sower immediately comes to mind.


Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the birds of the air came and devoured it up. And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. And some fell among thorns, the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. And other fell on good ground, did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, some an hundred. He said unto them, He that has ears to hear, let him hear. Mark 4:3-9


Some communities are evil at their core and will commit malevolent atrocities. Some communities will appear ethical, but when hardship strikes they will fall back to their wicked ways. Communities of those addicted to riches and wealth will ignore the pleas of the downtrodden and wail and gnash their teeth when their worldly wealth evaporates. A fruitful community that chooses decent honorable leaders, adopts a moral code, treats all members with respect, encourages hard work and accountability, and plans for the future, will reap the benefits of sustainability and stability. Cultivating a good community is difficult, requiring sacrifice, compromise, hard work, difficult choices, and depends upon the goodwill of all members. Rick tried to become a farmer, but Carol saw the future clearly telling him, “you can be a farmer, you can’t just be a farmer”. A peaceful happy ending was not to be.


The community of Woodbury, led by a despicably evil man referred to as the governor, gave outward appearances of stability and health. But it was ruled through fear, intimidation, vindictiveness and evil. Leaders like the governor arise during desperate times when the weak seek someone who promises to save them and keep them safe. Leaders like the governor are far more savage, ruthless and dangerous than the flesh eating zombie hordes because they kill with malicious intent, fully knowledgeable of the consequences of their actions. Eventually good communities led by good people must stand up and fight bad communities led by evil men, no matter the consequences. Under dire circumstances and an uncertain future we will need to decide what kind of community we will be. What kind of people we will be. Will we fight for a better future for our children? Can we retain our humanity or will we become no better than the walking dead?



Brutal: Hershel awaits his fate at the hands of The Governor on last night's The Walking Dead


“What fascinates me is not so much humanity’s engulfment in darkness, but what kind of culture we will construct from the rubble of this one.” ― Carolyn Baker – Collapsing Consciously: Transformative Truths for Turbulent Times

Who Are the Real Walking Dead?

The central question permeating the Walking Dead is whether the living can maintain their humanity amidst so much horror, brutality, death, and desolation. Can the living continue to show compassion, kindness, mercy and love in a world torn apart by disarray, violence, viciousness and despair? Throughout the series those who haven’t “turned” still have the capacity to empathize, comfort one another, offer succor, and show mercy and kindness. But after enduring unending horrors, cruelty, death and sorrow, it appears some of the characters are “turning” into the very monsters pursuing them.


Every human being has their breaking point. The main characters must commit increasingly heinous acts in order to survive. The walkers have no choice. Their humanity was stripped from them by the virus. The living have a choice. The mental anguish pushes some (Lizzy) over the edge into insanity. Others (Michonne and Carl) are torn by guilt that they have become monsters. Carol justifies her ruthlessness as the only choice for survival – just like the walkers. The seismic shift occurs when Rick, seeing his son being sexually assaulted, goes full zombie and bites the jugular of his captor and relentlessly stabs his son’s attacker. Daryl kills one of the bad guys by crushing his skull with his boot. Many of the characters have made a choice to shed their humanity in order to protect their family and friends. As the series completes its fourth season we are left with a question. Are the zombies really the “walking dead” or are the living really the “walking dead”?


Life is complicated and those seeking simplicity and consistency will be terribly disappointed. The future is not going to be bright for our empire of debt and delusions. Times that will try men’s souls are on the horizon. The choices we make as individuals and communities will matter. Every human being has the capacity for good or evil. We will be alone in deciding whether we gravitate toward the dark side of our character or whether we make a stand for all that is noble and decent. Retaining our humanity during the trials and tribulations that await us will be crucial to creating a community that is sustainable and a future worth living and fighting for. It is clear that Terminus is not a true sanctuary for all. It permeates evil. As all of the “good” people are herded into a single boxcar I couldn’t help but see the parallels of the Nazis herding the Jews into boxcars for their final destination. Passive submission to an evil authority never ends well.


As the door is slammed shut and the protagonists are reunited, Rick declares “they’re gonna feel pretty stupid when they find out.” Abraham then asks “find out what?” Rick’s “they’re screwing with the wrong people” response confirms his transformation from an ambivalent reluctant leader into a powerful figure who will do anything necessary to protect his family, friends and community. ThisFourth Turning has yet to reach its bloody, violent, chaotic zenith. The popularity of shows like theWalking Dead is a sign of the darkening mood change in this country. With our fragile fraudulent finance driven eco-system teetering on the edge, the threat of collapse is ever present. Within one week of a financial system collapse we would enter a Walking Dead like scenario. Each American who hasn’t already been infected with the zombie virus needs to prepare now and decide what kind of person they will become as the collapse engulfs our society. We all exit this world as we entered it – alone. But we have the wherewithal to positively impact the rebuilding of our culture from the rubble of this one. Are you ready to meet the deadly trials ahead? The choices we make over the next decade will determine if this is the end of the line for our civilization or a new beginning..


“We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves. The martyrs go hand in hand into the arena; they are crucified alone. By its very nature every embodied spirit is doomed to suffer and enjoy in solitude. Sensations, feelings, insights, fancies—all these are private and, except through symbols and at second hand, incommunicable. We can pool information about experiences, but never the experiences themselves. From family to nation, every human group is a society of island universes.” ― Aldous Huxley – Doors of Perception