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Memorial Day; Bury the Dead, Heal The Wounded, Stop The Wars!

MEMORIAL DAY 2012

I will spend this Memorial Day, along with hockey and guitar pickin’ pals, A.J. Guarino and Mark Topping, at the Viet Nam Memorial in Pueblo, Colorado.  We will join our comrades from the Howard Zinn Chapter of Veteran’s For Peace in observance of the day and render a program of  music appropriate to the occasion.  Keynote speakers will be Kelly Daugherty, founder of Iraq Veterans Against the War and prominent peace activist. Bill Sulzman.

In seeking an appropriate comment in this blog, it didn’t take long for me to settle on Amy Goodman’s excellent essay that appeared in Nation of Change, published by King Features Syndicate.  It says it all, requiring no further comment from me.

Thursday 24 May 2012

Leading thousands of protesters in a peaceful march against NATO’s wars, each veteran climbed to the makeshift stage outside the fenced summit, made a brief statement and threw his or her medals at the gate.

Memorial Day:  Honor the Dead, Heal the Wounded,

Stop the Wars.

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Gen. John Allen, commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan, spoke Wednesday at the Pentagon, four stars on each shoulder, his chest bedecked with medals. Allen said the NATO summit in Chicago, which left him feeling “heartened,” “was a powerful signal of international support for the Afghan-led process of reconciliation.” Unlike Allen, many decorated U.S. military  veterans left the streets of Chicago after the NATO summit without their medals. They marched on the paramilitarized convention center where the generals and heads of state had gathered and threw their medals at the high fence surrounding the summit. They were joined by women from Afghans for Peace, and an American mother whose son killed himself after his second deployment to Iraq.

Leading thousands of protesters in a peaceful march against NATO’s wars, each veteran climbed to the makeshift stage outside the fenced summit, made a brief statement and threw his or her medals at the gate.

As taps was played, veterans folded an American flag that had flown over NATO military operations in Bosnia, Kosovo, Serbia, Afghanistan and Libya and handed it to Mary Kirkland. Her son, Derrick, joined the Army in January 2007, since he was not earning enough to support his wife and child as a cook at an IHOP restaurant. During his second deployment, Mary told me, “he ended up putting a shotgun in his mouth over there in Iraq, and one of his buddies stopped him.” He was transferred to Germany then back to his home base of Fort Lewis, Wash.

“He came back on a Monday after two failed suicide attempts in a three-week period. They kept him overnight at Madigan Army Medical Center at Fort Lewis. He met with a psychiatrist the next day who deemed him to be low to moderate risk for suicide.” Five days later, on Friday, March 19, 2010, he hanged himself. Said his mother, “Derrick was not killed in action; he was killed because of failed mental health care at Fort Lewis.”

On stage, Lance Cpl. Scott Olsen declared: “Today I have with me my Global War on Terror Medal, Operation Iraqi Freedom Medal, National Defense Medal and Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal. These medals, once upon a time, made me feel good about what I was doing. … I came back to reality, and I don’t want these anymore.” Like the riot police flanking the stage, many on horseback, Olsen also wore a helmet. He is recovering from a fractured skull after being shot in the head at close range by a beanbag projectile. He wasn’t shot in Iraq, but by Oakland, Calif., police at Occupy Oakland last fall, where he was protesting. On stage with the veterans were three Afghan women, holding the flag of Afghanistan. Just before they marched, I asked one of them, Suraia Sahar, why she was there: “I’m representing Afghans for Peace. And we’re here to protest NATO and call on all NATO representatives to end this inhumane, illegal, barbaric war against our home country and our people. … It’s the first time an Afghan-led peace movement is now working side by side with a veteran-led peace movement. And so, this is the beginning of something new, something better: reconciliation and peace.”

The night before the protest and the summit, Allen threw out the first pitch at the “Crosstown Classic” baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs. Members of the teams joked that Allen could join them in the dugout, if he would only quit his day job. I dare say, the members of the Iraq Veterans Against the War wish he would.

After the march and the return of the medals, I caught up with Kirkland’s mourning mother as she embraced her new family: those who were protesting the wars that had taken the life of her son. I asked if she had any message for President Obama and the NATO generals. This quiet, soft-spoken woman from Indiana didn’t hesitate: “Honor the dead, heal the wounded, stop the wars.

© 2011 Amy Goodman Distributed by King Features Syndicate

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ABOUT Amy Goodman

Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 900 stations in North America. She is the author of “Breaking the Sound Barrier,” recently released in paperback and now a New York Times best-seller.

BARRERA: Libertarianism Is Not The Answer!

Our last blog post was titled “Capitalism vs Corporatism” and the premise was that our current form of democratic capitalism has been corrupted by a “corporatism” that has historically evolved into fascism.

Joe Barrera is a Viet Nam Veteran and a member of Veterans For Peace who teaches at Colorado College here in Springs.  He was one of the prime movers of the Veterans Remember Community/Military conference on the CC campus last Veteran’s Day.  Joe takes issue with the authors, Edmund S. Phillips and Saifedean Ammous, maintaining the arguments are too fully based on Libertarian concepts.

I am gratified that this post has elicited such a strong response.  I encourage all our readers to carefully consider the arguments and to offer your own responses.  As well as the outcome of the 2012 elections, this intellectual debate will determine the future of the United States in the Twenty-First Century.

Libertarianism is not the Answer!

John,

Well, the article on the link sounds too much like a Libertarian rant. I don’t believe it represents what the 99% are all about. Libertarianism is just another right-wing ideology, but disguised as extreme individualism and freedom from government regulation. This may appeal to ordinary folks, but it is not in their best interests. Some government regulation is always necessary, as are gov’t programs to help the marginalized and powerless in society. Libertarianism is an invention of privileged classes who already have their share of the economic and social pie and don’t want to share with the have-nots.  And we will always have the have-nots.

Most Libertarians see the powerful 1% elite who run the country as their enemies. But not for the same reasons that the rest of us do. That’s where the anti-corporate argument comes in. Corporatism is indeed the problem, in the sense that powerful elites have subverted capitalism and the government which should rightly regulate capitalism for the maximum good. What these rich people have done is to create a system in which their interests are “more equal” than the interests of the ordinary citizens and the gov’t has become their tool to preserve inequality.

It’s the same old story. Governments, no matter what form they take, are always on the side of the rich and powerful. If they don’t start out that way, over time they become that way. Occupy Wall Street is about stopping this trend.  Libertarian solutions are not the OWS solutions. Libertarians believe that a level playing field exists and that everyone would benefit if the gov’t would just “get out of the way.” But this ignores reality. The reality is that it’s a jungle out there, and government’s rightful role is to protect the weak before they get eaten up by the lions and tigers.

Government exists to keep the law of the jungle from becoming the law of the land. But right-wing propaganda has convinced many people that government is the problem. We have forgotten that we are the government. And that when it serves us we serve ourselves.  Unfortunately, because of misguided  right-wing ideology, we have more poor people now, more jobless people, more homeless, more desperately struggling families than we’ve ever  had before. OWS is about trying to get the government to take care of these people.

Sincerely,

Joe Barrera

Captitalism vs Corporatism ! ?

Okay, so you are out there protesting with your fellow 99 Percenters and this three-piece-buttoned down chap comes up to you and calmly screams, a la Breitbart, “You people are just a bunch of Socialists; all you want is a free handout; you’re just out to destroy  Capitalism!”  What do you say?  How can you answer this, lamely espousing, “Well sir, I am really a democratic capitalist and really favor sort of a free market that does nevertheless consider some limits on the concentration of wealth here in the good ol’ US of A.”

Forewarned is forearmed; memorize this retort: “Sir I certainly do believe in capitalism but the free market system envisioned by the our founders has been thoroughly corrupted by corporatism that threatens the existance of our democratic republic!”

Then thoroughly study this excellent treatise to prepare yourself to back up this powerful argument.  It should be relatively easy to see how corporatism is used to further the aims of the Military/Industrial complex.

Johnnie “U”

Blaming Capitalism for Corporatism   by Edmund S. Phillips and Saifedean Ammous                                                                                  published February 1, 2012 in   Project Syndicate

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The fu­ture of cap­i­tal­ism is again a ques­tion. Will it sur­vive the on­go­ing cri­sis in its cur­rent form? If not, will it trans­form it­self or will gov­ern­ment take the lead?

The term “cap­i­tal­ism” used to mean an eco­nomic sys­tem in which cap­i­tal was pri­vately owned and traded; own­ers of cap­i­tal got to judge how best to use it, and could draw on the fore­sight and cre­ative ideas of en­tre­pre­neurs and in­no­v­a­tive thinkers. This sys­tem of in­di­vid­ual free­dom and in­di­vid­ual re­spon­si­bil­ity gave lit­tle scope for gov­ern­ment to in­flu­ence eco­nomic de­ci­sion-mak­ing: suc­cess meant prof­its; fail­ure meant losses. Cor­po­ra­tions could exist only as long as free in­di­vid­u­als will­ingly pur­chased their goods – and would go out of busi­ness quickly oth­er­wise.

Cap­i­tal­ism be­came a world-beater in the 1800’s, when it de­vel­oped ca­pa­bil­i­ties for en­demic in­no­va­tion. So­ci­eties that adopted the cap­i­tal­ist sys­tem gained un­ri­valed pros­per­ity, en­joyed wide­spread job sat­is­fac­tion, ob­tained pro­duc­tiv­ity growth that was the mar­vel of the world and ended mass pri­va­tion.

Now the cap­i­tal­ist sys­tem has been cor­rupted. The man­age­r­ial state has as­sumed re­spon­si­bil­ity for look­ing after every­thing from the in­comes of the mid­dle class to the prof­itabil­ity of large cor­po­ra­tions to in­dus­trial ad­vance­ment. This sys­tem, how­ever, is not cap­i­tal­ism, but rather an eco­nomic order that harks back to Bis­marck in the late nine­teenth cen­tury and Mus­solini in the twen­ti­eth: cor­po­ratism.

In var­i­ous ways, cor­po­ratism chokes off the dy­namism that makes for en­gag­ing work, faster eco­nomic growth, and greater op­por­tu­nity and in­clu­sive­ness. It main­tains lethar­gic, waste­ful, un­pro­duc­tive, and well-con­nected firms at the ex­pense of dy­namic new­com­ers and out­siders, and fa­vors de­clared goals such as in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion, eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, and na­tional great­ness over in­di­vid­u­als’ eco­nomic free­dom and re­spon­si­bil­ity. Today, air­lines, auto man­u­fac­tur­ers, agri­cul­tural com­pa­nies, media, in­vest­ment banks, hedge funds, and much more has at some point been deemed too im­por­tant to weather the free mar­ket on its own, re­ceiv­ing a help­ing hand from gov­ern­ment in the name of the “pub­lic good.”

The costs of cor­po­ratism are vis­i­ble all around us: dys­func­tional cor­po­ra­tions that sur­vive de­spite their gross in­abil­ity to serve their cus­tomers; scle­rotic economies with slow out­put growth, a dearth of en­gag­ing work, scant op­por­tu­ni­ties for young peo­ple; gov­ern­ments bank­rupted by their ef­forts to pal­li­ate these prob­lems; and in­creas­ing con­cen­tra­tion of wealth in the hands of those con­nected enough to be on the right side of the cor­po­ratist deal.

This shift of power from own­ers and in­no­va­tors to state of­fi­cials is the an­tithe­sis of cap­i­tal­ism. Yet this sys­tem’s apol­o­gists and ben­e­fi­cia­ries have the temer­ity to blame all these fail­ures on “reck­less cap­i­tal­ism” and “lack of reg­u­la­tion,” which they argue ne­ces­si­tates more over­sight and reg­u­la­tion, which in re­al­ity means more cor­po­ratism and state fa­voritism.

It seems un­likely that so dis­as­trous a sys­tem is sus­tain­able. The cor­po­ratist model makes no sense to younger gen­er­a­tions who grew up using the In­ter­net, the world’s freest mar­ket for goods and ideas. The suc­cess and fail­ure of firms on the In­ter­net is the best ad­ver­tise­ment for the free mar­ket: so­cial net­work­ing Web sites, for ex­am­ple, rise and fall al­most in­stan­ta­neously, de­pend­ing on how well they serve their cus­tomers.

Sites such as Friend­ster and My­Space sought extra profit by com­pro­mis­ing the pri­vacy of their users, and were in­stantly pun­ished as users de­serted them to rel­a­tively safer com­peti­tors like Face­book and Twit­ter. There was no need for gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tion to bring about this tran­si­tion; in fact, had mod­ern cor­po­ratist states at­tempted to do so, today they would be prop­ping up My­Space with tax­payer dol­lars and cam­paign­ing on a promise to “re­form” its pri­vacy fea­tures.

The In­ter­net, as a largely free mar­ket­place for ideas, has not been kind to cor­po­ratism. Peo­ple who grew up with its de­cen­tral­iza­tion and free com­pe­ti­tion of ideas must find alien the idea of state sup­port for large firms and in­dus­tries. Many in the tra­di­tional media re­peat the old line “What’s good for Firm X is good for Amer­ica,” but it is not likely to be seen trend­ing on Twit­ter.

The le­git­i­macy of cor­po­ratism is erod­ing along with the fis­cal health of gov­ern­ments that have re­lied on it. If politi­cians can­not re­peal cor­po­ratism, it will bury it­self in debt and de­fault, and a cap­i­tal­ist sys­tem could re-emerge from the dis­cred­ited cor­po­ratist rub­ble. Then “cap­i­tal­ism” would again carry its true mean­ing, rather than the one at­trib­uted to it by cor­po­ratists seek­ing to hide be­hind it and so­cial­ists want­ing to vil­ify it.

IVAW Comes to Springs!

This is the announcement for a meeting with the Operation Recovery campaign that will take place tomorrow in Colorado
Springs.  Graham Clumpner states his case far better than I could, so I will post it in its entirety.
JU

Feb. 23:  Thursday    5 p.m. in the Colorado College Worner Center, Room 17, 902 N. Cascade Ave ( Two vets talk about Operation Recovery (campaign to stop the deployment of traumatized troops) and goals for the Springs.

This Thursday at 5pm we have two Veteran Organizers who have been down at Fort Hood in the last year and done on the ground organizing with service members. They will be speaking about soldiers’ right to heal and what this means for our community. Please come and bring your questions about whats really going on in the military community and how you help change the course of things. This is not a political event. Until we connect the members of the civilian community with the half percent of the population that serves in the military we will not be able to heal these bitter divisions.

It has been over ten years since 9/11 and we as a country have been at war every moment since then. Afghanistan is the longest war in American History. The suicide rates of our soldiers increased 150% since then. 1 in 3 women in the military are sexually assaulted and the defense department says that over 400,000 soldiers have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. War is trauma. The natural result of being exposed to this kind of an environment is trauma. The 3.2 million veterans that have served in the military since 9/11 have faced many challenges that every day life rarely offers. They have done things in three years that a lifetime couldn’t fill back home. If they do make it home alive, the world they return to may resemble the one they left but they have changed forever.

Because of the overwhelming numbers of returning soldiers our veterans hospitals and military centers are unable to help everyone. Because we are entering the eleventh year of war our soldiers are asked to do multiple deployments to combat zones. In some ways this repeated trauma has not been seen in generations. We do not have enough soldiers to continue fighting these wars unless we use traumatized troops. Our communities are affected by these traumas in various ways. We know soldiers. We know husbands and wives. We see the way this trauma reenters American society and we don’t know what to do. What do you say to someone who has seen death as a normality? How do you reach out and approach them? Operation Recovery is a campaign to stop the deployment of traumatized troops. It was started by Veterans and Civilian allies in 2009 to raise awareness in the military and the surrounding community. The campaign has highlighted the problems endemic in military service at the largest base in the military, Ft. Hood,Texas. They deploy more soldiers than any other base. They have more suicides and sexual assaults. When it comes to the problems in the military, Fort Hood is ground zero. But Fort Hood is not the only place that has these problems. They are anywhere a soldier is treated dishonorably. Every soldier has the right to access health care for the trauma they have sustained and to remove themselves from the source of that trauma. –

Graham Clumpner

A Major Gold Buying Signal

First, the disclaimer.  None of the information in this blog should be construed as investment advice.  Any reader who considers it to be so is guaranteed to lose all his or her money.   Porter Stansberry has at least two investment advisory blogs that deal not only with commodities such as gold and silver, but more often with debt and equity securities; stocks and bonds.  One of his blogs is free to the public and another is by subscription.  A determined investor will be able to find his blogs easy enough.

I shortened the title of this blog because Mr. Stansberry wrote it yesterday and little more than twenty-four hours later, the internet is jammed with advice to buy gold and/or silver to hedge against the impending runaway inflation.  Why? The first reason is that the Federal Reserve, with the blessing of President Obama, will hold interest levels at 0% through 2014 in order to prop up the US and European economies.  This amounts to printing pure scrip or fiat currency.  If the printing presses of the US Treasury Department are allowed to run unchecked, the inevitable result will be staggering inflation matched only by the Weimar Republic of Germany from 1919 to 1933.

Why is this important to Veterans For Peace?  We hate to join the doomsayers but after all, this is what we have said all along.  Thirty years of unrestrained growth of the American Military Industrial Empire, including the last decade of capital  hemorrhaging wars have brought us to this point.  Not to mention the felonious shenanigans of the Banksters and Wall Street Banksters who continue to line their pockets at the expense of American taxpayers and  the greedy corporate barons who created millions of jobs overseas on the backs of the American Middle Class.

It won’t happen all at once.  This is an election year and this latest infusion of play money will keep the casino running long enough to raise unfounded optimism.  But just wait until President Obama’s second inauguration.  I presume he will serve another term, judging from the competition.  The President spelled out mostly sensible solutions in his State of the Union Address but I fear it is too little-too late.

In the years to come, only gold and to a lesser extent silver, will be the only protection against the hard times to come.  JU

A Major Gold Buying Signal No One Is Talking About

By Porter Stansberry

January 25, 2012

On December 21, 2011, investors received a major “buy signal” for gold. It was on that day that the European Central Bank (ECB) “loaned” roughly 500 billion euro to Europe’s major banks at 1% interest. This capital will allow all the big banks to report adequate capital ratios when they file their annual reports… which is code for “getting a huge bailout.” Whatever you want to call it, simply know this: There will not be a deflationary collapse in Europe. The euro will not collapse in the near term.Instead, Europe will see a gigantic increase in its money supply.

When asked by the Financial Times if there was any substantive difference between what the ECB was doing (printing money and “loaning” it at 1%) and what the Federal Reserve has been doing since 2009 (printing money and buying mortgages and Treasury bonds), ECB President Mario Draghi replied, “Each jurisdiction has not only its own rules, but also its own vocabulary. We call them ‘non-standard measures.’ They are certainly unprecedented. But the reliance on the banking channel falls squarely in our mandate.” Let me translate Mario’s political blather: “There is little difference. We are printing money to bail out deadbeat borrowers and big banks.” I have been writing, consistently, for almost four years, that the world’s gigantic debt bubble will end in a massive inflation. I have long believed sovereign borrowers from around the world would choose to inflate their debts away, rather than suffer the consequences of actual defaults and restructurings. The reluctance of some members of the European Union (Germany, in particular) to do so caused a delay in the realization of my thesis… But it will not change the inevitable result. Soon, you will see a massive financial-led economic rebound as the credit market re-opens, thanks to government-manipulated, ultra-low interest rates. In the short term, millions of people will cheer these moves, as the risk of any economic pain will have apparently been removed. But this resolution is a mirage… Instead of wiping out the bankers, brokers, and politicians who approved these bad debts (and were enriched by them), these bad debts will now be paid for by the millions and millions of people who rely on the two major global currencies – the euro and the dollar. The trillions of dollars in bad loans will be paid for through inflation. It’s an invisible, secret tax that not one in a hundred regular people even understand. Over time, the result of these actions will be a vastly lower standard of living, thanks to declines in purchasing power and increasing commodity prices. Real wages will be much lower, as employers will not readily increase wages to keep up with inflation. Volatile paper currencies will make it harder for entrepreneurs to invest and source products and services across borders. The so-called “wealth gap” will increase dramatically, as inflation will increase the purchasing power of the rich (whose assets will increase in value), while the poor – who have no ready means to protect themselves from inflation – are further impoverished. And… in a surprise to the politicians who think easy money and bigger annual deficits are the path to greater centralized power… the coming inflation will cause massive social unrest. Occupy Wall Street is merely a sign of what is to come. Soon, the protesters won’t merely march past the homes of the wealthy and the powerful… they will firebomb them. The stability of our currency – of any nation’s currency – is ultimately a reflection of the stability and reliability of our culture. It was the “Corruption of America” that led to the paper money system we use today. Many people forget that until 1971, gold-backed money – sound money – was a privilege every American enjoyed. Not anymore… Today, under a purely paper system, the entire monetary system is controlled by the political class, which has the power to allocate capital or to deny it. Thus, the world’s capital markets, rather than acting as capital allocators, have become merely speculative marionettes, whose strings are controlled by the well-connected and the influential. Consider the recent case of Philipp Hildebrand, president of Switzerland’s central bank, the Swiss National Bank (SNB). The Swiss central bank has long been famed as the world’s best strong-currency advocate. It has a long tradition of backing its paper money with gold. In August, the bank made an extraordinary and uncharacteristic decision. Hildebrand decided to cap the value of the Swiss franc by deliberately devaluing the currency against the euro and announcing that the value of the Swiss franc would never be allowed to rise above a certain point. This immediately eliminated the Swiss franc as one of the world’s few remaining “lifeboat” currencies. Its value plummeted against the dollar. Just two days before that stunning change in Swiss policy, Hildebrand placed a $512,000 trade into U.S. dollars from Swiss francs. Hildebrand resigned his post this month after the outcry over his transaction. This kind of petty graft seems remarkably stupid for such a sophisticated political figure. But perhaps it simply speaks to the arrogance of his class. (He claims his wife placed the trade without his knowledge.) What was not as widely reported about the scandal was, to me, far more interesting. Hildebrand and his wife met at Moore Capital, one of the world’s largest hedge funds. Its specialty is foreign exchange trading. How much would you like to bet that Moore Capital was also long dollars – billions of them – prior to the change in Swiss policy? This is how the game will be played. While the weak currency policies of the major nation states will impoverish their citizens, they will never be allowed to impoverish the elite… who will only grow richer and far more powerful. The only question is, how long will the game continue before the side effects (higher prices, lower wages, more social unrest) turn over the entire apple cart? We cannot know. God does not whisper in our ear. But… I can tell you how to avoid becoming the patsy of Western governments and their paper scheme: Instead of storing your wealth in soon-to-be-debased paper currencies like the dollar and the euro, store your wealth in gold and silver. Although these “anti-paper money” metals have climbed substantially in the past decade, schemes like the one I’ve just described ensure they will rise much higher in the coming years.

Good investing, Porter Stansberry

ZOMBIES !

   This excellent essay was sent to me by Captain Kelly, Air Acad Grad and  my old comrade from the Airfreight Dawg days.  It was posted on Larry Levin’s Trading Advantage financial advisory  website, www.tradingadvantage.com/ and I’ll let Larry introduce this fine piece and its author.

“The market is indeed a ZOMBIE; however, the title of today’s missive refers to a piece written by Bill Bonner here http://dailyreckoning.com/worlds-biggest-zombies/#ixzz1jD65LOdl Please enjoy this while the Zombie ES keeps stumbling across your screen looking for brains to munch on.”

01/09/12 Baltimore,  Maryland – Not much action at the end of last week… Gold closed the  week over $1,600. Oil remained over $100.   The show goes on!   We  are watching the destruction of an empire. All empires must go away  sometime. They are natural things. And nature puts a time bomb in  everything she creates.   The  US empire is doomed. Just like all the others that went before it. It  is doomed by nature herself — condemned by the gods to blow up and die.   None  of this should be surprising to you, dear reader. We’ve seen this movie  before. Hundreds of empires have come and gone. We know how this movie  ends. More or less.   What  we know for sure is that the US is going broke. There is hardly any  other plausible outcome. We’ve gone over the numbers so often we don’t  need to repeat them.   Yes,  it is true that the feds could still save themselves….if they had the  will. They could cut taxes to a flat 10%…and spend only what they raised  in tax revenue… That would do the trick from an economic point of view.   But  it’s too late for that — politically. Empires have lives of their own.  They go forward…expanding…spending…stretching…until, boom, they go too  far. Empires do not back up. Some merely go bankrupt. Others are defeated in war. All end disastrously.

Only  one candidate favors rescuing the nation’s finances and pulling the  empire back from disaster. Ron Paul. He is considered such an  unelectable kook that the newspapers barely mention him. And the papers  are right. He is unelectable. Because he is opposed by the zombies.   We  have explained how government really works.

It is barbarism in action.  Powerful insiders use force — police and military force — to transfer  wealth and status to themselves. In the process, they turn their  clients…and themselves…into parasitic zombies. The zombies support the  insiders. The insiders throw the zombies a bone or two. Together they  corrupt and destroy the empire.   Here is just one example from last week’s news. Bloomberg: Despite  the sluggish economy, the nation’s major health insurers have prospered  in large part by expanding their role in government programs such as  Medicare and Medicaid, according toa study released Thursday.   The  share of large insurers’ revenues contributed by their Medicare and  Medicaid business has jumped from 36 to 42 percent over the past three  years. And the report by Bloomberg Government, a research division of  Bloomberg LP, suggests that insurers will further increase their  reliance on federal dollars with full implementation of the health-care  law in 2014— when Medicaid will expand to cover an eventual 16 million  additional low-income Americans and the federal government will begin  subsidizing private-insurance policies for an estimated 19 million more.

The  insurers have become zombified. They no longer do honest work for  honest reward. Instead, they lobby for more federal spending on health.  They tweak the nation’s laws and its public health programs to make sure  they get the grease. They are insiders now…   But  no sector has more zombies in it than the ‘national security’ industry.  Dwight Eisenhower warned the nation in 1961 to watch out for the  ‘military, industrial complex.’ He might have saved his breath. The  zombies had already taken over. The US was already spending more on ‘defense’ than the net income of all American corporations put together.   “In  the years since,” writes Todd Purdum in Vanity Fair, “the trend has  warped virtually every aspect of national life, with consequences that  are quite radical in their cumulative effect on the economy, on the vast  machinery of official secrecy, on the country’s sense of itself, and on  the very nature of national government in Washington. And yet the  degree to which America has changed is noticed by almost no one — not in  any visceral way. The transformation has ten hold too gradually and  over too long a period.

Almost no one alive today has a mature, firsthand memory of a country that used to be very different…”   Benito  Mussolini was a socialist poet. But when he got into power he, like  Barack Obama years later, discovered that it was not a good idea to  oppose the military. Instead, he put on a silly uniform himself…and  attacked Abyssinia!   Dear Readers may have noticed too. Between Obama’s military policies and  those of George W. Bush, there is not a dime’s worth of real difference.  Why? Because a zombie military is almost impossible to cut down to  size. It has already corrupted the political process. Now, the zombies  cannot be stopped…or controlled.   A  bankrupt government can cut almost anything else. But not its military.  National security industry insiders glide easily into the seats left by  politicians who try to stop them. Ex-generals counsel wimpy  Congressmen. Flies and flakes buzz around the trillion-dollar ‘defense’  honey pot.   Military  spending rose about 70% during the George W. Bush years. Today, the US  spends 43 cents of every dollar of military spending anywhere in the  world.

And now, with the hysteria of “terrorism” and a “nuclear Iran,”  who will oppose it?   Many  of the nation’s biggest manufacturers are weapons producers — Lockheed  Martin, Raytheon, Northup-Grumman, L3 and KBR. The jump in employment  numbers were largely the result of government hiring. We have seen a  figure over 40% for the portion of domestic manufacturing devoted to the  zombie defense industry. Among the most profitable businesses in the  country are surely the 2,000 corporations getting money for  counter-terrorism, homeland security, military intelligence and other  boondoggles.

In  Washington itself, 33 new building complexes have been put up since  2001 whose occupants are somehow involved in top-secret activities.   Yes,  dear reader, the armed zombies pretend to protect the ‘land of the  free.’ But they are its biggest enemies. In 2011, they put through a new  defense spending bill…which removed Americans’ ancient habeas corpus  rights. The Commander-in-Chief also asserted, and exercised, the right  to kill anyone, anywhere…on his own say-so. And both the president and  Congress continued to spend money they didn’t have on cockamamie  boondoggles even though it is obvious that the nation is going broke. It is only a matter of time now. The empire will be stabbed in the back by its own protectors.

Trade well and follow the trend, not the so-called “experts.”

Behold  the age of infinite moral hazard! On April 2nd, 2009 CONgress forced  FASB to suspend rule 157 in favor of deceitful accounting for the TBTF  banksters.

Enjoy,  JU

A Movement Takes Form

The “scoffers” said the Occupy Wall Street protesters would disappear with the first frost.  They didn’t, just recently they celebrated their first ninety days in action, a full one-quarter of a year.  Then they jeered, “They don’t have a platform or an agenda; all they want to do is to whine about what they don’t like!”  And displaying a certain naivete’, some of the OWS people insisted their quest remain untainted by “politics.”  Most of course, understand that “politics” are how things get done in a free society and that the negative connotations are the result of the corruption and misbehavior of current elected officials and their big money sponsors.

The good news is that like skittering blobs of mercury, the factions of OWS and like minded groups are reaching consensus on action items and melding into ever growing pools of potential political power.  A prime example is of Veterans For Peace, our own organization stood in solidarity with OWS from the time of the initial demonstrations in New York and that just this week, VFP has  made a national declaration that we will support OWS activities in cities and communities where police and other government brutality threatens the Constitutional rights of protesters to gather and present their petitions.  Here is that statement.

 

Veterans Peace Teams to stand with Occupy Movement

People of color, including Native Americans, African-Americans, Latinos, and working class communities in America have long been on the receiving end of police brutality.

Now with the recent police violence directed toward the Occupy movement, the country at large is waking up to the unpleasant reality that the violence of the system can and will target anyone who stands up for justice and opposes the exploitation of the 99 percent by the 1 percent.

The Veterans For Peace mission statement states that we pledge to work for peaceful conflict resolution and the elimination of war—the ultimate violence. As veterans of conscience, we are compelled to take a stand against police violence toward the national Occupy movement.

Veterans For Peace will establish Veterans Peace Teams to be made available as we can, to those Occupy sites where the local general assemblies feel our participation would be helpful.  We propose that these nonviolent Veterans Peace Teams act as a buffer between Occupy protesters and police violence and ask any and all military/law enforcement veterans to join us in this endeavor.

As veterans, we stand with the Occupy movement as members of the 99 percent and oppose any and all use of force by police against peaceful protesters exercising their right to peaceably assemble to seek redress of grievances as guaranteed by the First Amendment.

We also stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Tahrir Square and worldwide, standing up courageously, leading and often dying in the struggle for equality and justice as they are exposed to massive state-run police and military violence. We recognize that our common enemy is the wealthy power elite, those who control, ravage and exploit.

Excessive use of force by police toward those in the Occupy movement has led to arbitrary arrests, a fractured skull for one veteran and a ruptured spleen for another, near-asphyxiation and trampling of peaceful protesters and pepper-spraying of students sitting peacefully on a sidewalk obstructing nothing at all, among many abuses and injuries. Pepper spray, tear gas, bean bag projectiles, rubber bullets, tasers and other weapons—all of which can cause grave injury and death—have all been deployed against peaceful U.S. citizens.

This abuse of unarmed civilians exercising their constitutional First Amendment rights must cease.

As veterans and as citizens, we implore individual officers, police agencies, elected officials and government agencies to use restraint, negotiation and common sense when dealing with peaceful protesters. We will continue our efforts to convince law enforcement to avoid excessive force, brutality and injury to all involved. We also oppose the increased militarization of police agencies.

We seek to prevent deaths and additional injuries in domestic protests of governmental policies. We realize that those employed in law enforcement are part of the 99 percent, and we call upon all police personnel not to be a domestic front line force for the 1 percent—but to honor and perform their duty to serve and protect the people.

Veterans For Peace

Powerful stuff, I’d say.  We have shed our blood in the past and continue to do so as VFP and Iraq Vets Against the War have been seriously injured in the ongoing events.  Of equal note especially to me is that a political movement is taking form.  One of these to clearly enunciate their grievances and to post a declaration of intent is “WE ARE THE NINETY-NINE PERCENT.”  Their website first puts a human face on the suffering that afflicts so many of our American people.  These are not the lazy sub-humans  portrayed by Senator Orin Hatch or Mayor Blumberg, but flesh and blood hard working people whose main desire is to make a decent living for themselves and their families.

View them at  http://wearethe99percent.tumblr.com/

Their action website is at  https://sites.google.com/site/the99percentdeclaration/

This describes “THE NINETY-NINE PERCENT DECLARATION” which has the goal of convening a NATIONAL ASSEMBLY  in Philadelphia the week of July 4th  2012 with the purpose of developing a list of grievances for presentation on behalf of THE NINETY-NINE PERCENT of American citizens.

Their goals are to end corporate domination of our government and the manipulation  of our economy by  Wall Street, big banks and moneyed lobbyists.  The American Military Empire will end  and the federal government will serve its citizens, as originally intended.  Further, if the movement is unable to stimulate action by the current political establishment, we will form a new political party based on these principles in time for the elections of 2014 and CLEAN OUR POLITICAL HOUSE!

There is, after all, hope as long as the structure for our democratic republic exists. It can work if we make it work!

JU