Posts Tagged ‘Oppression’
Ron Paul is the only Presidential candidate in recent memory to speak up for freedom and the Constitution. Below Turley lists the incredible and increasing powers of the Executive to ignore the Bill of Rights, due process and the rule of law. These Stasi-like and draconian powers will not go unused.
Meanwhile we have two political parties united in their support of Corporate domination and citizen submission. Clearly only those who bow to these powers are (usually) allowed to run.
Jonathan Turley January 15, 2012
Below is today’s column in the Sunday Washington Post. The column addresses how the continued rollbacks on civil liberties in the United States conflicts with the view of the country as the land of the free. If we are going to adopt Chinese legal principles, we should at least have the integrity to adopt one Chinese proverb: “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.” We seem as a country to be in denial as to the implications of these laws and policies. Whether we are viewed as a free country with authoritarian inclinations or an authoritarian nation with free aspirations (or some other hybrid definition), we are clearly not what we once were.
Every year, the State Department issues reports on individual rights in other countries, monitoring the passage of restrictive laws and regulations around the world. Iran, for example, has been criticized for denying fair public trials and limiting privacy, while Russia has been taken to task for undermining due process. Other countries have been condemned for the use of secret evidence and torture.
Even as we pass judgment on countries we consider unfree, Americans remain confident that any definition of a free nation must include their own — the land of free. Yet, the laws and practices of the land should shake that confidence. In the decade since Sept. 11, 2001, this country has comprehensively reduced civil liberties in the name of an expanded security state. The most recent example of this was the National Defense Authorization Act, signed Dec. 31, which allows for the indefinite detention of citizens. At what point does the reduction of individual rights in our country change how we define ourselves?
While each new national security power Washington has embraced was controversial when enacted, they are often discussed in isolation. But they don’t operate in isolation. They form a mosaic of powers under which our country could be considered, at least in part, authoritarian. Americans often proclaim our nation as a symbol of freedom to the world while dismissing nations such as Cuba and China as categorically unfree. Yet, objectively, we may be only half right. Those countries do lack basic individual rights such as due process, placing them outside any reasonable definition of “free,” but the United States now has much more in common with such regimes than anyone may like to admit.
These countries also have constitutions that purport to guarantee freedoms and rights. But their governments have broad discretion in denying those rights and few real avenues for challenges by citizens — precisely the problem with the new laws in this country.
The list of powers acquired by the U.S. government since 9/11 puts us in rather troubling company……..read entire article
Quote of the Week We Ain’t Got Time to Bleed
We Ain’t Got Time To Bleed. It’s Time for the Revolution.
“You control our world. You’ve poisoned the air we breathe, contaminated the water we drink, and copyrighted the food we eat. We fight in your wars, die for your causes, and sacrifice our freedoms to protect you. You’ve liquidated our savings, destroyed our middle class, and used our tax dollars to bailout your unending greed. We are slaves to your corporations, zombies to your airwaves, servants to your decadence. You’ve stolen our elections, assassinated our leaders, and abolished our basic rights as human beings. You own our property, shipped away our jobs, and shredded our unions. You’ve profited off of disaster, destabilized our currencies, and raised our cost of living. You’ve monopolized our freedom, stripped away our education, and have almost extinguished our flame. We are hit…we are bleeding…but we ain’t got time to bleed. We will bring the giants to their knees and you will witness our revolution! “
-Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, April 12, 2011
The government is doing what it does best – it’s lying.
“There is no problem.”
The media is doing what it does best – it’s presenting the story in a fragmentary, dismissive way.
NO ONE is putting all the pieces together.
This is a much bigger story than just Nazi-like behavior at the airports.
Subscribe to BrasscheckTV.com to get updates.
Even this video just scratches the surface – and please share this page with your friends.
If we don’t protest, it will only get worse.
Also see this video:
Michael Chertoff ordered the full body x-ray scanners *before* the so-called “underwear bomber” scare. Now he personally profits from selling them to the Department of Homeland Security
Reflections on Race, Class, Empire, and the First Black President (and a Comment by Allan Nairn*)
……As the brilliant Left author, filmmaker, and columnist John Pilger noted last July 4th in San Francisco:
“The clever young man who recently made it to the White House is a very fine hypnotist, partly because it is indeed exciting to see an African American at the pinnacle of power in the land of slavery. However, this is the 21st century, and race together with gender and even class can be very seductive tools of propaganda. For what is so often overlooked and what matters, I believe, above all, is the class one serves. George W. Bush’s inner circle from the State Department to the Supreme Court was perhaps the most multiracial in presidential history. It was PC par excellence. Think Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell. It was also the most reactionary”. 
Pilger anticipated this important insight with a powerful and all-too accurate prediction at the end of May 2008: ”What is Obama’s attraction to big business? Precisely the same as Robert Kennedy’s [in 1968]. By offering a ‘new,’ young and apparently progressive face of the Democratic Party – with the bonus of being a member of the black elite – he can blunt and divert real opposition. That was Colin Powell’s role as Bush’s secretary of state. An Obama victory will bring intense pressure on the US antiwar and social justice movements to accept a Democratic administration for all its faults. If that happens, domestic resistance to rapacious America will fall silent.” 
Nearly two years later and more than fourteen months into the not-so antiwar Obama presidency, the “peace movement” inside Superpower’s “homeland” is a feeble joke. Some of its leading organizations (most notably the laughable co-opted group MoveOn.org) have subordinated themselves almost beyond belief to the first black president  and through him to the U.S. foreign policy establishment. There is little if any meaningful opposition to Obama’s corporatist record and agenda. The often pathetic so-called radical Left feels compelled to accept the supposedly “progressive” administration (“for all its faults”) and to defend it against vicious and preposterous attacks from the significantly racist, “socialism”-charging Right. MoveOn even enlisted in the cause of Obama and the corporate Democrats’ health “reform” by picketing the occasionally progressive Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s office to pressure him to go against his initial promise to reject a bill that did not contain a public insurance option. 
Unpleasant thought it may be to acknowledge, Obama’s race is part of the story behind this sorry surrender. As Aurora Levins Morales noted in Z Magazine in April of 2008:
“This election is about finding
a CEO capable of holding domestic constituencies in check as they are further disenfranchised
and [to] make them feel that they have a stake in the military aggressiveness that the ruling class believes is necessary. Having a black man and a white woman run helps to obscure the fact that …decline of empire is driving the political elite to the right. Both [Obama and Hillary Clinton] represent very reactionary politics…Part of the cleverness of having such candidates is the fact that they will be attacked in ways that make oppressed people feel compelled to protect them.”……
David Brin writes in: Space Exploration, Methane Blurps and Podcast Rants
… See a thought provoking snippet from the Globalist: “In the 1980s and 1990s, workers from China, India and the former Soviet bloc contributed 1.47 billion new workers to the global labor pool — effectively doubling the size of the world’s now-connected workforce, bringing little capital with them. Even Marx knew that the capital/labor ratio is critical. The more capital each worker has, the higher their productivity and pay. A decline in the global capital/labor ratio shifts the balance of power as more workers compete for working with scarce capital.”
This ratio of scarcity explains some of the strong position of capital today and even (perhaps) the present hard push toward revived oligarchy, restoring the normal human governance model, recently displaced by the Enlightenment. That push may be all the more intense because new capital is forming at a furious rate, especially in Asia. Hence the ratio should correct itself within a couple of decades, especially as population levels off. The would-be restorers of that ancient pattern may feel they only have a little time….
Thomas Paine was a herald of another era, whose writings emboldened Americans to stand up for freedom and fight in a War of Independence. He wrote the quote used in the title of this post, as well as the following:
“I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.”
Do not cling to complacency or duck your head in the face of creeping corporatism and tyranny. Our times have their own herald in Chris Hedges. We must find within ourselves the courage to resist and comfort each other as we face the days ahead.
Hedges has written a cogent clear-headed view of our position on the precipice:
TruthDig ………Mar 8, 2010 By Chris Hedges
There are no constraints left to halt America’s slide into a totalitarian capitalism. Electoral politics are a sham. The media have been debased and defanged by corporate owners. The working class has been impoverished and is now being plunged into profound despair. The legal system has been corrupted to serve corporate interests. Popular institutions, from labor unions to political parties, have been destroyed or emasculated by corporate power. And any form of protest, no matter how tepid, is blocked by an internal security apparatus that is starting to rival that of the East German secret police. The mounting anger and hatred, coursing through the bloodstream of the body politic, make violence and counter-violence inevitable. Brace yourself. The American empire is over. And the descent is going to be horrifying.
…the longer the liberal class dithers and speaks in the bloodless language of policies and programs, the more hated and irrelevant it becomes. No one has discredited American liberalism more than liberals themselves. And I do not hold out any hope for their reform. We have entered an age in which, as William Butler Yeats wrote, “the best lack all conviction and the worst are full of passionate intensity.”
“If we end up with violence in the streets on a large scale, not random riots, but insurrection and things break down, there will be a coup d’état from the right,” David Cay Johnston said. “We have already had an economic coup d’état. It will not take much to go further.”
….“A living man can be enslaved and reduced to the historic condition of an object,” Camus warned. “But if he dies in refusing to be enslaved, he reaffirms the existence of another kind of human nature which refuses to be classified as an object.”
The rebel, for Camus, stands with the oppressed—the unemployed workers being thrust into impoverishment and misery by the corporate state, the Palestinians in Gaza, the civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, the disappeared who are held in our global black sites, the poor in our inner cities and depressed rural communities, immigrants and those locked away in our prison system. And to stand with them does not mean to collaborate with parties, such as the Democrats, who can mouth the words of justice while carrying out acts of oppression. It means open and direct defiance.
On the same theme, see:
WAR FOR A PIPELINE:
I recommend the following articles by Scott Creighton:
Dancing With Snakes 01/02/10
by Scott Creighton
“Ruling Yemen is difficult,” he said wearily. “I always say, it is like dancing with snakes.” New York Times 2008
No kidding. Over the past week I have been investigating our new terror target, the people of the nation of Yemen. Let’s not fool ourselves anymore, we aren’t going there to stop “al Qaeda” from lighting up more panty sparklers; we are going there to prop-up a failing corrupt regime who just happens to be “pro-Western”, “pro-business”, and deeply indebted to the World Bank and the IMF. The Yemeni government is in deep trouble from all sides and they need to be bailed-out. With all the money and resources at stake, the debauched Yemeni government is just “too big to fail”. At least, that’s how Washington sees it.
Our leaders in congress and the White House are in the process of trying to convince us that we have to go to the rescue of one of the most unethical and immoral dictators in the modern world, without ever mentioning his name; a man who was probably responsible for at least two violent coups in his country, who has been “president” of Yemen (North Yemen since 1978 and then the unified Yemen (north and south) since 1990) for over 30 years, and who has richly rewarded himself and his family at the cost of the dirt poor people of Yemen. That is who President Obama is determined to support in Yemen; a man who makes Saddam Hussein look like the Dalai Lama.
We are going to Yemen to protect snakes: a dictator and a massive new, eight billion dollar Liquid Natural Gas pipeline that is partially owned by Bush family friend, Ray L. Hunt.
No, this is not a bad joke. They want to be exempted from the standards of decency, written after the ghastly persecutions of WWII. Now that Israel claims status as a Colonial Power, what’s a little genocide flavored with white phosphorus? (nothing is really bad when they do it….)