Category : elite

I went downtown to St. Paul in order to get some pictures and observe the situation (I already protested on Monday), but John Ireland Bridge was blocked by the police with dump trucks when I got there. The cops said there was a bomb threat to the Minnesota Historical Society, but that was quite clearly a lie since they were standing so close to it and they’d already closed the other bridges as I found out later.

cops in front of historical

So I went over to the capitol on foot using the Marion Street Bridge instead. I saw more cops than protesters.

protester at John Ireland Blvd bridge

The cops had the city in a headlock. All the other bridges were closed by the police; cops, BCA agents and national guardsman were everywhere. St. Paul was on fucking lockdown.

A shitload of cops

By the time I found out how totally heavy-handed the police presence was I was getting tired and decided to split. I was trying to get back to my car on the other side of the Marion street bridge when I saw a group about 200 protesters approaching the bridge. That’s why I’m walking against the flow at the beginning of the video. Unfortunately I was too busy trying to get good footage and didn’t notice the cops had surrounded us on all sides.

Soon the police started firing flash grenades, smoke bombs and generally scaring the shit out of me and all these peaceful protesters. We were corraled onto the bridge where they told us we were all under arrest, but not before all of us were shellshocked by the overwhelming police response. Watch the video, but beware that it’s intense, chaotic and there’s swearing and explosions.

Notice how none of the protesters resisted or attacked the cops in any way. This is ironic because we were charged with “resisting a lawful order” along with the 1st amendment-killing crime of “presence at an unlawful assembly.” Whatever happened to the right of people to peaceably assemble?

We are not free; The Bill of Rights is no longer operative.

If you aren’t reading this from jail that simply means the cops haven’t bothered to arrest you on trumped up charges yet. They can clearly do exactly that whenever they want, with no repercussions. I wasn’t even part of the protest and I was charged with being part of an “unlawful assembly.”

The whole arrest process took hours. We were told to sit and put our hands on our heads, which many people had to do for several hours (your arms get sore). I was cuffed after an hour or so and stood around for another hour waiting to get my mug shot (on the bridge; this was all very ad hoc). Since we were on the bridge for so long they eventually hauled at least 3 porta-potties onto the bridge itself, for both police and protester usage (under heavy guard, of course).

Eventually I was led onto a city bus with 40 other arrestees and brought to the Ramsey County jail for booking. They searched me about 5 times, confiscated all my stuff, and gave me a paper bag with a peanutbutter and jelly sandwitch and two apples. See, even oppressive police tactics have a Minnesota Nice aspect. Of course we didn’t get knives so we had to spread the jelly and PB with our fingers.

Hours dragged by as we waded our way through the bureaucracy and were eventually cited and loaded onto a paddywagon and driven out of the jail. They let us out just outside the fences and we were free and on our own far from where we were arrested, but at least the incredibly awesome Coldsnap Legal Collective were there to offer us hugs and access to free legal advice.

outside the jailhouse

People without rides or places to go were able to sleep on the grass outside the jailhouse thanks to sleeping bags the Coldsnap folks brought. Somebody sent the angels last night; they’re doing great work and need your support!

The problem with good things is that the police like to infiltrate and ruin them from the inside. That might’ve been the case with the protest last night. I heard several people talking about police plants agent provocateurs pretending to be protesters, inciting violence and keeping their superiors informed about where they are headed.

Unfortunately, this is standard practice for police departments these days, including Denver during the DNC. How many acts of vandalism and violence that you read about in the mainstream media were actually committed by undercover cops in order to incite and defame activists?

Imagine the embarrassment of the police and governments if they held a convention with massive protests and no one was arrested! They’d have spent millions upon millions of dollars for nothing! They’ve got to earn their outrageous security budgets, which is why they were so keen to arrest anybody who happened to be near Marion St. Bridge last night, including media folks and medics (at least 5 were arrested, along with a dozen credentialed photographers).

Of course they also wanted to show who’s boss. Clearly they are, and clearly they are not going to allow us to change the system peacefully or otherwise. We are not free. We are only permitted to do what they let us; truly free expression is verboten. Believe it or not, America used to be a pretty anything-goes society as long as it wasn’t overtly violent (think of the Old West). Nowadays we cling to our police state as if that makes us safer. But what have we lost in the process?

Er… wait, was it “modest” or “obviously brilliant”?

Regardless, I have an idea, everyone! Stand back, place safety goggles over your eyes, make sure the lead-lined X-ray bib is securely fastened to your chest and that your boots tied up tight.

Some Background
Now, I may be an old-fashioned (young) guy, but I believe that fair is fair. And our tax code, ladies and gentlemen, is not fair.

For instance, did you know that:

Two-thirds of U.S. corporations paid no federal income taxes between 1998 and 2005, according to a new report from Congress.The study by the Government Accountability Office, expected to be released Tuesday, said about 68 percent of foreign companies doing business in the U.S. avoided corporate taxes over the same period.

Collectively, the companies reported trillions of dollars in sales, according to GAO’s estimate.

What a sweet deal for them! They get to operate without having a huge tax burden weighing down on them, freeing them to make more investments and take more risks.

Of course, they have a shitload of capital, credit and resources to begin with. But this is America, goddammit! We don’t make corporations pay taxes no matter how much they fuck up the environment or make insane profits on the backs of their low-income workers.

But — and I’m getting to my ridiculously cool proposal — I can’t help but think that it’s not especially fair that multi-billion dollar companies don’t have to pay any taxes (ZERO fucking taxes) whereas, I, as a Regular Joe, have to pay about 30% of my income in taxes every year.

Perhaps I am just a whiner, not fit to lick the boots of a mighty multinational like Wal*mart. I know, I know. This is America. Corporations have more rights and resources than regular citizens. Yeah, “The Constitution guarantees…” blah blah blah… Obviously the Constitution don’t mean shit. Money talks and the Constitution was written on hemp paper by a bunch of proto-hippy revolutionaries who wore funny clothes and probably squealed like girls when tickled.

This is America, goddammit! We drive hummers and invade countries full of smelly brown people who are all determined to kill us (our Media assures us this; it must be true!) or even just because they looked at us funny. We don’t have time for “rules” or “equality” or what’s it called.. uh…. libraries? .. no… uh, — “Liberty!” Yeah, that’s it.

But what I want is not to return our country to the whole Constitution thing. I’m not that naive. However, I do think it would be freakin’ neat if we lived in a country where lawful citizens were counted as 3/5ths of a corporation. Currently, we’re about a zillionth of a corporation, so 3/5ths would be a vast improvement.

My Blindingly-Awesome Proposal
U.S. citizens, when paying their taxes, should be able to write off “overhead“. Only our “profits” should be taxed.

That means, no taxes should be administered until after the essentials of running a healthy body/mind have been accounted for.

What are the essentials? Food, water, shelter and clothing are a good start (no, a big screen TV is not an “essential”). That means I should be able to deduct all of the money I spend on food, rent/mortgage and clothes (within reason) before any other deductions. A healthy mind is important, too, so education costs, books and maybe even an internet connection should also be deductable.

Also, I have to have certain things in order to do my job — or even get to it — like a functioning car, gas, a bunch of hygienic equipment to look/smell nice, a cell phone and a computer. That’s all overhead; my paycheck is not “profit.” It’s revenue. I have to spend a big chunk of it just to stay alive and another chunk to fit into the corporate world. These are expenses and they are subtracted from revenue before you end up with profits — if you have any.

As you probably know, only corporate profits are taxable. Most overhead costs (the costs of running a business) are exempt. Wikipedia lists examples of overhead expenses as follows:

Overhead expenses include accounting fees, advertising, depreciation, indirect labor, insurance, interest, legal fees, rent, repairs, supplies, taxes, telephone bills, travel and utilities costs.

So I should be able to deduct my high-paid accountants as well. Then I can make sure, like most corporations, that I pay no income tax. Alternately, we could just leave gaping loopholes in the tax code so normal people don’t have to hire expensive accountants (and then deduct the costs of their services). Something like, “if you don’t feel like paying any income tax this year, check this box.”

So you see, my super-cool proposal just brings Joe Sixpack into the same league as the corporations, who already have incredible advantages in the economy because of their size and reach.

Corporate Welfare is Only for Wealthy Corporations
Small businesses generally take it up the rear as well since they can’t afford all those slippery accountants. Or maybe those small businesses just need to take a page from the criminals on Wall Street and learn how to privatize profits while socializing losses.

It doesn’t seem fair to me that the average guy/gal has to assume the vast majority of the tax burden when most of are making jack diddly squat compared to a major multinational. Fair is fair. Progressive income taxation is based on the idea that the rich should pay a greater portion of their income because they can afford it and because they owe it to society; especially since the rich people/corporations take advantage of the situation and pay their workers a pitance while making them work long hours in often-dangerous conditions. Meanwhile, the CEO gets his taxes paid for by the corporation via what is known as a “gross-up”.

Think it’s unfair of me to use the corporate tax code instead of the individual one? Well, like I said, fair is fair. Corporations are increasingly using the individual tax code:

An outside tax expert, Chris Edwards of the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington, said increasing numbers of limited liability corporations and so-called “S” corporations pay taxes under individua
l tax codes.

“Half of all business income in the United States now ends up going through the individual tax code,” Edwards said.

Turnabout is fair play.

Even though my brilliant tax proposal seems like a total giveaway I could make it a reality. If I had high-powered corporate lobbyists at my disposal I could enact all sorts of people-friendly laws. I’d use my army of ninja-lobbyists to get a 28-hour work week and every Friday off, along with guaranteed overtime for salaried workers and an Economic Bill of Rights for all.

Instead, the already-rich corporations have the lobbyists and they use them to get ever-greater amounts corporate welfare. Then they rewrite the laws so that the managers pay a lesser percentage of tax than their secretaries do, as Warren Buffett pointed out:

Speaking at a $4,600-a-seat fundraiser in New York for Senator Hillary Clinton, Mr Buffett, who is worth an estimated $52 billion (£26 billion), said: “The 400 of us [here] pay a lower part of our income in taxes than our receptionists do, or our cleaning ladies, for that matter. If you’re in the luckiest 1 per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent.”

Mr Buffett said that he was taxed at 17.7 per cent on the $46 million he made last year, without trying to avoid paying higher taxes, while his secretary, who earned $60,000, was taxed at 30 per cent.

Notice how he implies he could’ve made his effective tax rate much lower if he had bothered. But he didn’t. Badass. But most CEOs are not as cool as Warren… of course, he could probably stand to pay his secretary more than 60K a year if he’s making 46 million, don’t you think?

Anyway, the point is: The system is unfair. Let’s try to level the playing field a little bit.

My proposal is not to make humans equal to corporations. That’s crazy. I just want to make a person worth 3/5ths of a corporation. Is that too much to ask?

Eat The Rich

Europe is not immune from stupidity, greed, fascism and ignorance. It’s good to remember that sometimes.

Italy is experiencing a fascist resurgence not seen since the times of Mussolini. It’s a wonder that there’s so little memory of those hard times, but I guess the war has been over for 60 years and to remember it well you’d have to be 70 or older, but it’s still distressing that the authoritarian streak has not run its course. Instead the Italians are rounding up and fingerprinting Gypsies and soon-to-be-Chancellor Berlusconi signed a new law outlawing gatherings of 3 or more people. I don’t know how you can go out for a walk with more than one friend without running afoul of this law, but that, we should remember, is the point of fascist laws.

However opposition councillors [sic] said it was “reminiscent of Benito Mussolini’s edict of the 1920′s which banned groups of five or more people”.

The ban will not affect courting couples who flock to parks and gardens in the northern Italian city of Novara, where Mr Giordano holds power, but if anyone is caught in a group of three or more they face a fine of 500 euro (£350).

That’s a fuckload of money, to me at least. Then again, the point of such laws is to make it impossible for poor ruffians to gather. There will be no such problems if the rich decide to gather. Assuming they even get fined (unlikely) they will be able to pay the fine without a second thought. Wealth, or lack thereof, is the new apartheid.

Speaking of the rich, they have a different outlook on things. Whereas I look as this law and see cheerful fascism, they look at it and see a good, strong, hard-line against lazy trouble-making youths and other undesirables. Put those Gypsies on a train to Dachau for all they care. Having clean streets and no thieving Gypsies around is all that matters.

Fascism is the codification of the rights of the rich and comfortable. These rich-rights are a little more encompassing than normal rights since the rich already have those rights; they want to be secure from beggars (read: “undesirables”), assured of good pay (for themselves), protected from economic turbulence (privatizing profits but socializing losses) and ensconed in communities of like-minded peers (gated communities and absurdly posh condos).

Why? Because they deserve it. Or at least they sure think they do:

One banker said: “It’s a fact of modern life that there is disparity and ‘Is it fair or unfair?’ is not a valid question. It’s just the way it is, and you have to get on with it. People say it’s unfair when they don’t do anything to change their circumstances.” In other words, they see themselves as makers of their own fortune. Or, as another banker said, “Quite a lot of people have done well who want to achieve, and quite a lot of people haven’t done well because they don’t want to achieve.”

So you see, the real problem is that the rest of us are lazy, no-talent, whiners who didn’t work hard enough or aim high enough.

That might be true of some people, but most of us would be overjoyed to have the opportunity to me $250,000 a year. Shit, if all we had to do was work harder why didn’t somebody tell us that?

Oh wait, it doesn’t matter how hard you work as a teacher, nurse, construction worker or shopkeeper: You will never make $250,000.

They had chosen a life that would make them rich while others, making different and morally equivalent choices, had abdicated their right to complain. “Some of these are vocational, things like nurses . . . It’s accepted – they go into it knowing that that’s part of the deal.” Another said: “Many people, like teachers, don’t do things for the pay. But you won’t find a teacher that works as hard as we do.” This was categorical, evidence unnecessary. They spoke of heroic all-nighters drawing up contracts for clients in time zones on the other side of the globe, a Herculean effort that justified fat pay. But did they work 10 times as hard as a teacher on £30,000 a year or, in the case of some lawyers and bankers, 100 times as hard? Such disproportionality did not enter their scheme of things.

So I guess the real solution is for all of us to be become bankers and lawyers. Can you imagine a world in which everybody was a banker? It’d be great except that nothing would get done!

For all their talk about making the world work most bankers never lift anything heavier than their laptop computer. They are useless parasites on the neck of humanity. But fire them all and a new crop of greedy junior bankers will arise. The problem is systemic. Why do the bankers get paid so much? Because they can.

All of this talk about the free market and other such justifications is a tired excuse. The free market is not a benevolent hand making everything okay. It’s a ruthless mosh-pit of greedy, back-stabbing, amoral snakes all out to achieve dominance at any cost. The bankers are simply superior at being sleazy.

Look at what the rest of the population makes in comparison to those $250,000 (minimum) salaries:

The rich think that they are the uppercrust of humanity because their skills, talents and brains were allowed to rise to the top of the heap. I think it’s very much the opposite: Those on the top already have an easy time bringing their offspring to the same level while simultaneously rigging the system to keep the rest of us down.

Money, after all, is a zero-sum game and when you have a lot of it you can use it to create advantages for your kind (swanky private schools with huge tuitions) and disadvantages for those you want to keep down (regressive taxation, pointless wars, decrepit public education systems, etc.). It’s almost too easy. They don’t even have to think up plausible explanations for why they’re so rich and we’re not.

“Providing for children” was flourished as a trump card, as if spending on offspring were automatically moral and good, regardless of how other people’s children fare.

“I work hard, I’ve got two boys and I want to provide for them.” Providing for children meant buying them access to high-earning jobs, taking trusted routes through school and university.

The worst part about all of this is that most of the rest of us may feel a twinge of jealousy over their wealth but if given the chance to become rich like them or change the system most of us would choose wealth.

There’s nothing quite like money for proving to the world that you’re better than everyone else, and the only people who believe that more fervently than the rich are the poor.

COINTELPRO is back

Dave Zirin at The Huffington Post was labelled a terrorist and a potential threat for going to anti-death penalty meetings.

I am “Dave Z.” This nickname was given by an undercover agent known to us as “Lucy.” She sat in our meetings of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, smiling and engaged, taking copious notes about actions deemed threatening by the Governor of Maryland, Robert Ehrlich. Our seditious crimes, as Lucy reported, involved such acts as planning to set up a table at the local farmer’s market and writing up a petition.

Our totalitarian government is not as keen on dissent as they would like you to believe. Sure, you can protest all you want… but you will be monitored.

COINTELPRO was the codename for activities related to spying on peaceful protesters during the 60s. Now there’s probably a new codename, but the plan remains the same. There are totalitarian elements in our government. These fascists seem to operate with near-total impunity; they are protected from On High; nobody can bring them to justice. Democracy is a myth used to control the masses. We live in Oligarchy.

Kucinich has introduced the Articles of Impeachment against Bush

…and the Media hasn’t said shit.

“Liberal Media” my ass! The Media is fucking fascist, end of story. They are utterly controlled by the same corporate interests that control both major political parties. That’s why Dennis Kucinich is a pariah in his own party — he actually looks out for the Constitution and the rights of We The People. Such dedication to Liberty is considered treason in the bowels of both the Democratic and Republican parties.

A few mainstream outlets picked up the story and managed to spend an approximate average of less than 200 words describing the measure. They couldn’t even be bothered to list more than a few of the 35 articles of impeachment.

I’ve seen better reporting in a fucking high school newspaper.

I don’t blame the beat reporters; if their editors said “give me 2,000 words” they would have. As is, they probably had to fight to get 200.

But it’s disgusting. I mean, jeeze, it’s only the impeachment of the goddamn President of the United States of America. They all managed to mention that it’s not politically feasible. Well I wonder why that is, you jackasses! It’s because you won’t cover it! If you did, everything would change, no matter how shitty and biased your coverage. Mr. 25% Approval Rating would not find many advocates in the populace, even if he would in the dominant press. And then you’d look pretty stupid, wouldn’t you, defending the murdering megalomaniac who launched an illegal war. Those of us who still remember the impeachment of Bill Clinton know that it takes very little to whip the Media into a frothing frenzy of obsessive, inane coverage. Surely you could do the same for Bush. But you won’t.

Because you’re traitors.

Yeah, that’s right. I said it. And it’s true. This president is the most evil, diabolical man ever elected and you, the supposed Fourth Estate, won’t criticize him in a voice above a whisper. It’s fucking pathetic.

Look at Kucinich’s 35 articles of impeachment. There’s a lot of red meat here:

#1: Creating a secret propaganda campaign to manufacture a false case for war against Iraq

#2 Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of Aggression

#3 Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, to Manufacture a False Case for War

#4 Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Posed an Imminent Threat to the United States

#14: Misprision of a felony, misuse and exposure of classified information and cover up (Plame outing)

#15: Providing immunity from prosecution for criminal conduct for contractors in Iraq

#17: Illegal detention – detaining indefinitely, and without charge, American citizens and foreign captives (suspension of habeus)

#18: Torture – secretly authorizing and encouraging use of torture, as matter of official policy

#19 Rendition

#24 Spying on citizens violating 4th Amendment

#26 Announcing intent to violate laws w/signing statements, and then violating those laws.

#27 Failing to comply with congressional subpoenas, and instructing others to do so.

#29: Conspiracy to violate voting rights act of 1965, Ohio Sec of State 2004-06

#34: Obstruction into the investigation of 9/11

That’s just a few of them. And this isn’t wing-nut stuff, this is all stuff that has been discussed at one time or another in the mainstream press. Much of it was hushed up (the NSA spying scandal, election fraud, 9/11 obstruction) but some of it was loud and clear (torture, Plame, illegal Iraq War). Far from being left-wing lunacy, this is the last 7.5 years, distilled into 35 bullet points.

And yet the Media won’t cover a congressman trying to hold Bush/Cheney accountable for their crimes.

I already told you why. But let it sink in. The Mainstream Media are the ones who made the Bush/Cheney disaster possible. They’re the ones who greased the wheels, regurgitated the lies, jumped on the bandwagon and hushed up the really bad shit. Bush, without a fawning press corps, is just another partisan nutcase with a rich daddy. He wouldn’t've been re-elected, let alone “elected” in the first place (another coverup there).

Let me lay it down for ya, real simple: If Bush hangs, Brian Williams should hang, too. If Cheney hangs, Tim Russert needs to swing from the same pole. If Rumsfeld goes down to the gallows, Charles Krauthammer and David Brooks need to die too. The blood of OVER ONE MILLION IRAQI INNOCENTS is on their hands.

Maybe that’s why the Media is so protective of the Bush regime: They know if Bush goes down, they all go down. They’ve all bloodied their hands and sullied their souls together. Might as well stick together until the bitter end.

But if we don’t stop them, they’ll turn this nation into a fascist state and make you and I into criminals for believing in justice, peace and freedom. Somehow we’ve got to stop them, but I just don’t know how. I’m just some random guy with a blog. What can I do? There’s no one representing my interests in Washington except Dennis Kucinich.

One man, standing up against the Forces of Evil, spitting in the wind and calling for change. This doesn’t look good for the underdogs.

Meanwhile, the supposed hope of mankind is cozying up to Israel, possibly attending the secret Bilderberg meeting (another media coverup) and generally doing whatever it takes to get elected. Fair enough. But Barack Obama had better watch out that he doesn’t sell his soul in the process.

Maybe the whole Obama campaign is just a mirage, a hallucination by those of us who have dreamed of someone who could bring our government back from the brink of tyranny and outright fascism.

I hope I’m wrong, but it’s hard to believe in anything or anybody anymore. We’ve been utterly betrayed by the government, the media and the elite. It just hurts too much to care anymore. The audacity of hope, indeed.

I’d feel a lot more hopeful if I knew somebody out there was fighting the good fight. I sleep a little sounder knowing Kucinich has the balls of a man twice his size, but he’s only one man. We need a few hundred more like him in Congress.

Dennis Kucinich: I salute you. You are a true American patriot.

Ah, the wisdom of Twitter. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s amazing what you can fit in 140 characters… such as a complete evisceration of the mainstream media (MSM) because of their utter, obsequious hypocrisy and the biased, treasonous way they frame and focus on issues. Here it is, from Chuck Olsen:

“If the corporate media had been as diligent about watchdogging the president as… Rev. Wright, it’s likely we wouldn’t have invaded Iraq.”

Boom. Pretty much says it all doesn’t it?

Here’s where he originally found that quote.

The corporate media chooses — seemingly as one — what to make a big deal out of. And what to blackout.

The Corporate Media (especially the TV news stations who were caught red-handed) have been feeding us Pentagon-approved talking points through the supposedly-independent retired generals who show up for interviews about the war. Strange that they never invite peaceniks on the air, isn’t it? Well, war is big business. You can’t expect truth and fairness when the bottom line is at stake.

Quite simply, the Media act as a megaphone for the positions they support and a censor for those they do not. Peace, wisdom, tranquility, free thought…. these concepts are all offensive to the corporate media. They would rather focus on strife, stupidity, distraction and obedience.

All three major cable news networks are wasting valuable air time on Senator Obama’s former pastor. Why? Is the story newsworthy? Sure. Is wall-to-wall Wright coverage more important than Iraq or gas prices or the climate crisis? No way. But Reverend Wright is a scary, shouting black man and scary shouting black men equal ratings-sweet-ratings.

We expect to see this sort of race-baiting behavior from Fox News Channel, but CNN and MSNBC have, once again, similarly crossed the tabloid threshold into the very same nefarious Roger Ailes realm by beating this nothing story to death.

They’re all the same. Fox News is simply the worst offender. But instead of being an embarrassment to decent journalists everywhere Fox News is seen a pioneer, a bold leader in the (fascist) future of news. Thus, the other news channels simply follow Fox’s lead.

Face it folks: Our mainstream media is controlled. Totally controlled. By just five mega-corporations, all of whom have interests vastly different from the average American.

Is it too hard to imagine that these corporations embrace war, hypocrisy and distraction? Five corporations means five CEOs. These reptilian CEOs have a different agenda than the common man. They’re often Republican, always rich, usually ruthless and seldom charitable. These five scumfucks control 90% of what we see, hear or read in the press and they’ve all profited from the war. The only thing that gives us a chance at regaining our freedom is the internet and I assure you this blog and others like it don’t have ratings anywhere near that of Fox or CNN.

So when you see the Media trumpeting something, be it Paris Hilton, Rev. Wright or American Idol, just remember that they’re showing you what they want you to know and they’re hiding the rest. For everything they tell you they’re obscuring another ten useful facts with their incessant bullshit.

The media doesn’t investigate, they serve the rich; they afflict the afflicted and comfort the comfortable. They are traitors, liars, demons and filth. I consider Big Media’s tacit embrace of the Iraq War before and after the fact to be nothing less than treason.

One former participant, NBC military analyst Kenneth Allard, has called the effort “psyops on steroids.” As Barstow reports, “Internal Pentagon documents repeatedly refer to the military analysts as ‘message force multipliers’ or ‘surrogates’ who could be counted on to deliver administration ‘themes and messages’ to millions of Americans ‘in the form of their own opinions.’ … Don Meyer, an aide to Ms. Clarke, said a strategic decision was made in 2002 to make the analysts the main focus of the public relations push to construct a case for war.”

If there’s any justice in this world they will all burn in the hell they’ve created. I say we give them all a one-way ticket to Baghdad. Sleep in the bed you’ve made, Fuckers!

The mainstream media is covering the global elite: The Superclass.

What is the world coming to? Are we actually going to have an honest discussion on the nature of the Super-rich and their incredibly disproportionate influence upon the world?

I doubt it, but it’s still nice to see Newsweek talking about it… of course, the author positively lusts after the power in front of him:

Recalling an earlier crisis in global securities markets that he helped to manage, Geithner said the Fed brought together the leaders of the world’s 14 major financial firms, from five countries, representing 95 percent of all the activity in global markets. The Swiss were there, the Germans were there, the British were there. Interestingly, no Asians were there, not even the Japanese. Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein “jokingly called them ‘the 14 families,’ like in ‘The Godfather’,” says Geithner. “And we said to them, “You guys have got to fix this problem. Tell us how you are going to fix it and we will work out some basic regime to make sure there are no free riders to give you comfort; you know that if you move individually everybody else will move with you.”

There was nothing in writing, no rules, no formal process, and while no one asked the Fed to act, the Fed let everyone in the markets know it was acting. The beauty of the process was its absolute efficiency, seeing what a tight circle of large firms with “some global reach” could get done, fast—with an executive committee of only four running the weekly conference call until the crisis was past.

There was nothing in writing because it’s not a democratic process. It’s an oligarchical one. These super-rich folks have a common interest — maintaining their power — and they’ll do whatever it takes to accomplish that goal.

The people on the recent calls like those described by Geithner, plus a few thousand more like them, not only in business and finance, but also politics, the arts, the nonprofit world and other realms, are part of a new global elite that has emerged over the past several decades. I call it the “superclass.” They have vastly more power than any other group on the planet. Each of the members is set apart by his ability to regularly influence the lives of millions of people in multiple countries worldwide. Each actively exercises this power, and often amplifies it through the development of relationships with other superclass members.

It’s just like high school. The super-rich have formed their own clique and none of the rest of us are invited “in”. Nope, we’re outsiders…. which seems odd because there’s approximately 6,000 of them and 6,000,000,000 of us.

So how does one become a member? As ever, being rich certainly helps. Many superclass members are wealthy, wealthier in relative terms than any elite ever has been. The top 10 percent of all people, for example, now control 85 percent of all wealth on the planet.

It’s very stable. It’s orderly, and it works.

But it’s not democracy.

In fact, when I said “it works” I meant that the system works. I didn’t mention anything about whether or not it works for everybody. Clearly, with most of the world’s population in either mild or abject poverty, the system does not work fairly or equitably.

So here’s a question: Why do we need these guys?

What benefit do they bring me? Or you? Right now they only bring the status quo, but with the economy faltering (and these guys being in a position to see it coming) it seems to me that they’re bringing us a world of pain. The superclass will have time to jump ship. They’ve probably already moved much of their wealth to Euros or gold. The rest of us? We’re just trying to get by.

If they fuck us over, I say it’s on. You ruin my standard of living, I might just ruin yours.

The iconic symbol of superclass unity is the Gulfstream private jet. In fact, one way to measure the clout of an event is to count the private jets at the nearest airport. According to Gulfstream, Davos traditionally attracts more of its planes than any other gathering, drawing up to 10 percent of the 1,500 planes in service to Zurich airport. But this year’s Olympics in Beijing will give it a run for its money, as typically do events as diverse as the Monaco Grand Prix, China’s Boao Forum, the Geneva Auto Show or Allen & Co.’s annual getaway for media magnates in Sun Valley, Idaho.

Globalization looks different when you can tell the pilot when to leave and where to go, and when there are no security lines to wait in when you are heading off for distant destinations. Those who are free to move about the planet this way come to have more in common with themselves than with their own countrymen. “What happened to us, that we walk through the Davos party and know more people than when we were walking across the village green in the town we live in?” wonders Mark Malloch-Brown, former Deputy Secretary General at the United Nations and now a senior official in the British Foreign Ministry.

The Gulfstream jet is a perfect metaphor for these people. They are in the fast lane while the rest of us take the bus. There’s only one word for it: Class.

I thought America was supposed to be a classless (or at least upwardly mobile) society, but it seems like we’ve copied the British class system almost to the letter. Throw some more racism and capitalism in the mix and you’ve got Britain 2.0. Is that what our founding fathers wanted?

People tell me that I shouldn’t wage class warfare, to which I say: “What the fuck are you talking about? The war is over. The rich won a long time ago.”

Well, they finally decided to pipe up, and it was on this dude’s TV set during American Idol (go figure).

But before I could turn off the sound, the ad was interrupted by the image of a sixty-something businessmen sitting behind a giant desk in a plush corporate office.

A message ran across the bottom of the screen. It said: “A Message from the American Corporate Plutocracy.”

Go read the whole thing.

Nefarious people within our government suppress any evidence of malicious intent and instead encourage the perception of incompetence, which often results in the blame being diffused throughout the bureaucracy rather than focused on the individual bad actors in power, who are ultimately responsible, but able to escape justice through a hidden network of friendships and alliances known as the establishment.

So yeah, I know this isn’t a big shocker to anybody with a functioning brain stem, but the Bush administration systematically lied its way into the Iraq War. A new study by the Center For Public Integrity has analyzed the public statements of administration officials in the run-up to the war and come up with 935 lies in a two-year span.

The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both.

Everybody makes mistakes. Accidents happen and people do stupid things… but 935 mistakes? No fucking way.

So Many Lies, So Little Time
This was an organized campaign of deception. It was a fraud perpetrated on the American people and, most especially, on the people of Iraq.

935 LIES! That’s 1.28 lies per day for 24 months straight by my calculations.

Take a look at the chart below (click for a larger version). You can see that the lies are concentrated around the pre-war and immediate post-invasion period. The peak lying period was the February before the invasion (which began on March 19, 2003). This was no accident.

This is not just a bunch of anonymous interns leaking statements to the press. The study concentrated on just 8 top officials:

President Bush, for example, made 232 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and another 28 false statements about Iraq’s links to Al Qaeda. Secretary of State Powell had the second-highest total in the two-year period, with 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 10 about Iraq’s links to Al Qaeda. Rumsfeld and Fleischer each made 109 false statements, followed by Wolfowitz (with 85), Rice (with 56), Cheney (with 48), and McClellan (with 14).

The study can only look at public statements, so we have no way of counting the many lies whispered into the ears of journalists. It’s interesting that Karl Rove was not included in this study, but he’s more of a behind-the-scenes operator. Also missing are gobs of military men, mid-level staffers, the whole pundit class on TV and many more folks who are not directly connected to the administration. These 935 lies are just a drop in the bucket, but they all originate from very high-ranking officials.

The Impeachment Fantasy
So now that we’ve got a study in the mainstream press clearly delineating the fact that George W. Bush made at least 260 false statements in just 24 months, that means the impeachment hearings are just around the corner, right?

Wrong.

The Democrats will wag their fingers and cluck their tongues and do…. nothing. The Republicans have long since sold their souls, but it’s the Democrats’ betrayal that really hurts America. We need a true opposition party more than ever, but we don’t have one.

If you’ve been reading this blog you probably know by now how Washington really works. Democracy, hearings, investigations, intelligence estimates, blah, blah, blah. It’s all just for show. The real power resides behind the scenes. The oligarchy, the establishment, the powers that be — whatever you want to call them — have decided that there will be no impeachment hearings. So there won’t be.

I don’t know what else to tell you. “Write your congressperson”? Fat lotta good that will do, but it doesn’t hurt to keep the pressure on.

The Oligarchs’ Dilemma
Just try not get too depressed. Yes, American “democracy” makes Pakistan look like an oasis of liberty, but it’s not all bad. I’ve got a feeling that there are some people in the establishment who want to change things. No doubt they’re biding their time, waiting for things to fall into place. But we don’t have much time. I don’t think the Bush team plans to leave office, ’cause if they do they’ll have to leave the country, too. Even the oligarchy can’t stop a limited investigation into the Bush regime by any successive Democratic administration. They have to continue the illusion of democracy, even if it hurts them in the short term. And that could mean a war crimes tribunal for Bush and crew.

Cheney knows this so it’s more likely that there will be another terrorist attack before or shortly after the elections (before inaugeration). Bush will declare martial law, lock down the nation, suspend the constitution and retain power “temporarily” until the emergency has passed. Of course, just like in Musharraf’s Pakistan, the emergency will never pass.

If there are any oligarchs still loyal to the constitution, they will have to move quickly. There’s a very small window (less than a year now) to execute their counter-coup. Bush will move to arrest the constitutional loyalists on trumped-up charges. Impeachment is the only remedy. We’ll need to take to the streets and camp out in every single senator’s office and demand justice.

If and when it does happen we’ll have to be ready. We need to stand up for democracy, no matter what the cost. The future of America hangs in the balance.

You might’ve heard that a huge, mile-long UFO was spotted in Texas last week.

Several dozen people — including a pilot, county constable and business owners — insist they have seen a large silent object with bright lights flying low and fast. Some reported seeing fighter jets chasing it.

Well, that sounds like a weather balloon. Federal officials are sure it was in fact a weather balloon.

While federal officials insist there’s a logical explanation, locals swear that it was larger, quieter, faster and lower to the ground than an airplane.

I’m sure there’s a logical explanation too. Clearly weather balloons have learned how to accelerate and maintain high speeds. It’s the only logical explanation.

Officials at the region’s two Air Force bases — Dyess in Abilene and Sheppard in Wichita Falls — also said none of their aircraft were in the area last week. The Air Force no longer investigates UFOs.

Uhh…. The Air Force hasn’t actually “investigated” anything, and yet they’re sure that it was an earth-based phenomenon. How can this be?

Well you see, the Air Force has a very detailed and complex methodology that they use to figure out what some yokel saw in the skies. I managed to sneak this out of an unnamed AFB undetected. This is very top secret. Click for a larger version.

Trust your government, folks. They would never lie to you.

UPDATE 1.24.08: The Air Force Reserve has completely changed their story.

I love giving free advice, so here’s some for their spokesman, Maj. Karl Lewis…

A hint: If you want people to believe you’re being straight with them, you can’t just change your story two weeks after the event. Dumbass.

Officials at the Joint Reserve Base Naval Air Station in Fort Worth initially said none of their planes had been in the area, but on Wednesday they said 10 F-16s were there that day. The officials said they were mistaken and wanted to set the record straight “in the interest of public awareness.”

They were fucking “mistaken”! Ha! They must’ve sent those ten F-16s up accidentally and not even noticed until they came back 2 weeks later. What a “brilliant” explanation!

I love to see the incompetence card played so poorly.

So now the Air Force looks completely retarded and deceitful. They first claimed that they didn’t have any planes in the area, but now they’re saying they did, but neglecting to mention what kind of plane could elicit this reaction from the natives:

Anne Frazor, who owns a fabric store in Stephenville, about 70 miles southwest of Fort Worth, said many in town have seen military aircraft zoom overhead from time to time as part of training operations. But she said that wasn’t what she saw Jan. 8.”I couldn’t begin to say what it was, but to me it wasn’t planes,” Frazor said.

–snip–

From well-respected business owners to a county constable, several dozen people say they saw a flying object that was larger, quieter, faster and lower to the ground than an airplane. They also said its lights changed configuration, unlike those of a plane.

“I guarantee that what we saw was not a civilian aircraft,” Steve Allen, a pilot and freight company owner, said Wednesday.

This guy would probably recognize an F-16 … or ten of them. And it’s not like the Air Force trains near where the sightings occurred.

The planes’ training area in the Brownwood Military Operating Area includes Stephenville‘s Erath County, but Allen said it does not include the airspace where he saw the object. Also, Jan. 8 was not the only day sightings were reported.

And I daresay the pilot could distinguish 10 F-16s from a half mile-wide object.

So now we can say that the AF is completely full of shit.

Great. Just great. I love being lied to… Oh wait! No I don’t; it fucking sucks, you dicks! Why you gotta be like that, Air Force Reserve?? huh?!! … .. [/frontin']

I suspect the answer is that they were leaned on by more powerful forces.

It’s pretty clear that there are those in power who don’t want this information to get out. I really don’t think people who call UFO coverup conspiracy theorists names like “kooks” are right, simply because it’s so obvious the government has been lying to us. There is plenty of reason to believe the worst if somebody lies to you. Boldly. Repeatedly.

“In the interest of public awareness,” the spokesman said. As if they’ve ever given two shits about “public awareness” before. Where’s the “public awareness” right here?

The U.S. Air Force says it has not investigated UFO sightings since 1969 when it ended Project Blue Book, which examined more than 12,600 reported UFO sightings — including 700 that were never explained.

The studious way they avoid investigating isn’t weird or anything. Riiiight. I totally believe you guys… [rolls eyes]

Don’t you think it’s odd that not investigating something is official government policy?

“It’s official government policy to ignore these weird, unexplained events. Carry about your business, consu- .. uh, .. er… I mean, ‘citizens.’”

Are we supposed to salute?

Fuck this. Give me the truth.

Jeb Bush on "Truth"

Jeb Bush, the president’s li’l brother, has a little warning for all of you who would doggedly pursue the truth, no matter what it may be:

The truth is useless. You have to understand this right now. You can’t deposit the truth in a bank. You can’t buy groceries with the truth. You can’t pay rent with the truth. The truth is a useless commodity that will hang around your neck like an albatross all the way to the homeless shelter. And if you think that the million or so people in this country that are really interested in the truth about their government can support people who would tell them the truth, you got another thing coming. Because the million or so people in this country that are truly interested in the truth don’t have any money.
– Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida

It might sound like he’s talking out of his ass, but I suspect he’s not. He’s part of an elite clique that holds power in this and many other countries, and you can bet they’ve studied their opposition very closely. Their opposition is a small contingent of kooks and nutcases who actually believe that the truth is important. I bet the elite looked in the NSA’s gigantic spying database, crunched some numbers and figured out that they only have to worry about a million or so people, out of the 300 million US citizens in this country.

That’s only 1 out of 300, but it’s still a lot of people. Of course, he’s right: We don’t have any money. But we do have a need for truth, and despite what the Jeb Bushes of the world may tell you, that’s the most important thing.

I wear the albatross of truth with pride, but I can understand why people would be reluctant to do so. The truth is dangerous, especially when powerful men like Jeb Bush are so adamantly opposed to the real truth. People learn to keep their mouths shut. Go along to get along. Join the herd.

But then I guess you can’t really complain when politicians lie to you if you’re not going stand up for truth. Churchill said democracy is the worst form of government, except for all of the others that have been tried. Perhaps we’ve gotten the government we deserve. Perhaps it was our laissez faire attitude towards truth that got us into this mess in the first place and allowed it to fester and burst in such a gooey explosion of lies and bullshit.

Maybe the million or so of us should move somewhere else. Maybe Americans would rather live in deception than stand up for the truth. I don’t know. But I believe that the truth matters somehow, more than Jeb could ever know. And if Americans don’t like the truth, I’m pretty sure they don’t like the feeling that they’ve been lied to either.

Let that be a warning for Jeb and his pals. Americans don’t like being played for fools… and the truth is that that is exactly what Jeb and the elite are doing.

No wonder they’re no friends of the truth.