Posts Tagged ‘ America ’

Weinergate and the American Public

This whole ‘Weinergate’ scandal needs to go away and Americans need to start getting back to real news.  OK, we all know that Anthony Weiner is guilty of being a schmuck! We need to recognize it and move on. There are wars being fought, a global worldwide depression going on and our constitution is under attack.

Scandals such as this are being hyped by the mainstream news media and are distracting us from the real issues that effect our daily lives.  If this scumbag refuses to resign his position in congress then we need not let it affect us. We need to wait until he’s up for re-election and vote him out of office and in the meantime start holding our politicians feet to the fire on more substantive issues such as exposing our corrupt politicians for trying to destroy our first, second and fourth amendment rights.

It’s already set in stone in the public consciousness that Anthony Weiner no longer holds any credibility. He self-destructed and is no longer relevant. His credibility has been severely diminished and Americans know it. So let’s recognize that this idiot is who he is and turn our focus and attention to politicians who matter.  While we are focused on this guys extra marital affairs and his weiner, America is fighting an unconstitutional war in Iraq and Libya. Unemployment continues to rise, the TSA continues to molest us as the airports, the government is fighting and information war in attempt to destroy our second amendment and corrupt law enforcement are trying to break our will by violating our first amendment rights.

10 Tipping Points Which Could Potentially Plunge The World Into A Horrific Economic Nightmare

The Economic Collapse
June 7, 2011

The global economy has become so incredibly unstable at this point that it is not going to take much to plunge the world into a horrific economic nightmare.  The foundations of the world economic system are so decayed and so corrupted that even a stiff breeze could potentially topple the entire structure over.  Over the past couple of months a constant parade of bad economic news has come streaming in from Europe, Asia and the United States.  Signs of an impending economic slowdown are everywhere.  So what “tipping point” will trigger the next global economic downturn?  Nobody knows for sure, but potential tipping points are all around us.

Today, the global economic system is even more vulnerable than it was back in 2008.  Virtually none of the systemic problems that contributed to the 2008 collapse have been fixed.

Mark Mobius, the head of the emerging markets desk at Templeton Asset Management, was recently was quoted in Forbes as saying the following….

“There is definitely going to be another financial crisis around the corner because we haven’t solved any of the things that caused the previous crisis.”

The “financial reform” law that Barack Obama and the Congress passed a while back was a complete and total joke.  They might as well have written the law on toilet paper for all the good that it is doing.

We did not learn from our mistakes and our future economic lessons are going to be even more painful.

The world is drowning in a mountain of debt, the global financial system is packed to the gills with toxic derivatives, everyone is leveraged to the hilt and the dominoes could start falling at any time.

I am not the only one that is warning that another financial collapse is coming.  In fact, a whole lot of people have been warning about the next financial collapse lately.

So what will the tipping point for the next collapse be?

The following are some potential nominees….

Tipping Point #1: Syria

Syria is a situation to watch very, very closely.  The Syrian government is in a lot of trouble right now.  Sadly, the instability inside Syria probably makes war with Israel even more likely.

Make no mistake – a war between Israel and Syria has been brewing for a long, long time and at some point it will happen.  When it happens, the entire Middle East may erupt in warfare.

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Just the other day, a very troubling incident happened in the area around the Golan Heights.  The following is an excerpt from a report by The Daily Mailabout the incident….

“About 20 pro-Palestinian demonstrators were killed and 325 injured yesterday when Israeli forces opened fire on them as they crossed the border from Syria into occupied territories, according to reports.”

At this point, the Syrian government is probably glad that the attention has been taken off of them at least for a while.  The Syrian government has been getting a lot of bad press lately.  The following is an excerpt from a recent report by Human Rights Watch about the treatment of protesters inside Syria….

“The methods of torture included prolonged beatings with sticks, twisted wires, and other devices; electric shocks administered with Tasers and electric batons; use of improvised metal and wooden ‘racks’; and, in at least one case documented by Human Rights Watch, the rape of a male detainee with a baton.

“Interrogators and guards also subjected detainees to various forms of humiliating treatment, such as urinating on the detainees, stepping on their faces, and making them kiss the officers’ shoes. Several detainees said they were repeatedly threatened with imminent execution.”

 

So in light of the “precedent” that we recently set in Libya, does this mean that we will be “forced” to conduct a “humanitarian mission” inside Syria as well?

Syria is one tipping point that we all need to keep a close eye on.

Tipping Point #2: Iran

The Iranian nuclear program is in the news again. A new report by RAND Corporation researcher Gregory S. Jones claims that Iran could have a nuclear weapon within 2 months.  His report is based on recent findings by the International Atomic Energy Agency.  According to Jones, airstrikes alone would be incapable of stopping Iran’s nuclear weapons program at this point.  Instead, Jones says that a “military occupation” would be required.

It is a minor miracle that a war with Iran has not erupted yet.  It seems almost inevitable that at some point either the United States or Israel will use military force to try to stop Iran’s nuclear program.

When that happens, it is going to cause a major shock to the global economy.

Tipping Point #3: Libya

NATO has made it abundantly clear that Moammar Gadhafi will no longer be tolerated.  In fact, NATO apparently plans to reduce Tripoli to a heap of smoking ruins if that is what it takes to bring about the fall of Gadhafi.

What a “humanitarian mission” we have going in Libya, eh?  It turns out that NATO believes that the United Nations gave it permission to bomb television stations and to make attack runs with helicopters.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov recently said that by using attack helicopters, NATO has moved dangerously close to turning the Libya operation into a ground invasion….

“Using attack helicopters, in my view, is the last but one step before the land operation.”

So why is Libya a potential tipping point?

It isn’t because Gadhafi is a threat.  He is toast.

It is because the rest of the world is watching what is happening in Libya, and that is raising global tensions.

Even if Gadhafi falls, the Libyan operation will still be a failure because it has brought us all significantly closer to World War III.

Tipping Point #4: More Revolutions In The Middle East

The revolutions throughout the Middle East earlier this year sent oil prices absolutely skyrocketing and they have remained at elevated levels.

And in case you haven’t noticed, revolutions continue to sweep the Middle East.

Have you seen what has been happening in Yemen lately?

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has burns over 40% of his body and he has suffered a collapsed lung as a result of a recent attack.

If violence and protests throughout the Middle East become even more intense as the weather warms up this summer that could have a very significant impact on world financial markets.

Tipping Point #5: Fukushima

The mainstream news has gotten a bit tired of covering it, but the situation at Fukushima is still a complete and total disaster.

Japan’s Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters admitted on Monday that three reactors experienced “full meltdowns” in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in March.

Did it really take them nearly three months to figure this out, or were they lying to the rest of the world all of this time?

The truth is that the nuclear disaster at Fukushima is far worse than the mainstream media has been telling us.  If you doubt this, just check out this excellent article or this article by Natural News: “Land around Fukushima now radioactive dead zone; resembles target struck by atomic bomb“.

The economic impact of the Fukushima disaster is going to continue to unfold over an extended period of time.  It turns out that Japan is now officially in a recession.  Their economy contracted at a 3.7 percent annualized rate during the first quarter.

Look for more bad economic numbers to come out of Japan for the rest of the year.  Considering the fact that the Japanese economy is the third largest economy in the world, the fact that they are struggling so badly right now is not a good sign for the rest of us.

Tipping Point #6: Oil Prices

The price of oil is going to continue to be one of the biggest economic stories for the rest of this year and for 2012 as well.

The last time U.S. energy expenditures were over 9 percent of GDP was in 2008 and we quickly plunged into the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Well, we have reached the significant 9 percent figure once again in 2011, and many fear that once again high oil prices will cause another major economic decline.

Tipping Point #7: Government Austerity

In the United States, it is not just the federal government that is drowning in debt.

All over America, there are state and local governments that are financial basket cases.

I don’t always agree with the time frames that Meredith Whitney puts out there, but she is absolutely correct that we are going to see a massive municipal bond crisis. The following is an excerpt from a recent report about Whitney’s predictions on CNN….

“Meredith Whitney is issuing a fresh warning to mutual funds, banks, and politicians: The state of state finances is far worse than what you think, or at least than what you’ve been willing to tell the investors and taxpayers who will eventually carry the burden.”

Many state and local governments are attempting to get their budgets balanced by making huge budget cuts.  But most of the time these austerity programs also include the elimination of a lot of government jobs.

UBS Investment Research is projecting that state and local governments will combine to slash a whopping 450,000 jobs by the end of next year.

So where will the half a million good jobs come from to replace all of those lost jobs?

Tipping Point #8: The European Sovereign Debt Crisis

Greece is just the tip of the iceberg in Europe.

Moody’s downgraded Greek debt again last Wednesday.  This time Moody’s downgraded Greek debt by three levels all the way down to Caa1.  At this point, the yield on 10-year Greek bonds is over 15 percent.

The EU has been going crazy trying to deal with the Greek debt crisis.  The truth is that a default by the Greek government would be absolutely catastrophic. If you do not understand the kind of chaos a Greek default would set off on world financial markets, just read this editorial.

But Greece is not the only major European nation with a massive debt problem.

The government of Ireland is already indicating that they may need another bailout.

Portugal, Spain and Italy are also on the verge of collapse.

So will the EU bail all of these nations out for years and years to come?

At some point will the whole house of cards come crashing down?

Everyone needs to keep watching what is going on in Europe.  The status quo is not sustainable and it cannot go on forever.

Tipping Point #9: The Dying U.S. Dollar

The euro is not the only major currency that is in trouble.

The U.S. dollar is also slowly dying.

On April 18th, Standard & Poor’s altered its outlook on U.S. government debt from “stable” to “negative” and warned that the U.S. could soon lose its prized AAA rating.

The sad truth is that faith in the U.S. dollar and in U.S. Treasuries is rapidly declining.  The mainstream news is not reporting on it much, but right now the Chinese are rapidly dumpingU.S. government debt.

As the dollar declines, so will the purchasing power of average Americans.  We are already seeing a tremendous amount of inflation in 2011.

But this is just the beginning.

A lot worse is going to be coming down the road.

Tipping Point #10: Drought

A lot of people that read my articles doubt that we will ever see a major global food crisis.

But one is coming.

It is just a matter of time.

Even now, many areas of the world are experiencing very serious droughts.  The following is from a recent  Bloomberg article….

Parts of China, the biggest grower, had the least rain in a century, some European regions are the driest in 50 years and almost half the winter-wheat crop in the U.S., the largest exporter, is rated poor or worse. Inventory is dropping 8.8 percent, the most in five years, Rabobank International says. Prices will advance 20 percent to as high as $9.25 a bushel by Dec. 31, a Bloomberg survey of 14 analysts and traders shows.

Are you concerned yet?

You should be.

But if you prefer some mindless pablum that will make you feel better, we have some of that for you too.

Larry Summers, the former director of the National Economic Council under Barack Obama, recently told CNBC the following….

“We definitely hit a slower patch, but I think the basic fact that the terrible financial strains we had are abating, remains in place, and I expect this recovery to continue for a substantial period of time.”

Does that make you feel better?

Larry Summers says that everything is going to be okay.

It would be great if Summers was actually right, but sadly he is not.

In fact, the worst economic times that America has ever seen are ahead.

The following is a brief excerpt from a recent interview with Dmitry Orlov about the coming economic collapse that was posted on shtfplan.com….

First you have financial collapse, which is basically the volume of debt that has to be taken on in order for the economy to continue functioning, cannot continue. We’re seeing that right now in Greece, we’re probably going to see that in Japan, we’re definitely at a point now in the United States where even if you raised the income tax to 100 percent, there’s absolutely no way of covering the liabilities of the U.S. federal government. So, we’re at that point now but the workout of the financial collapse is not all quite there. We don’t quite have a worthless currency but that’s in the works.

That, of course, is followed by commercial collapseespecially in a country like the United States that imports two thirds of its oil. A lot of that is on credit and if a little bit of that oil goes missing then the economy starts to fall apart because nothing moves unless you burn oil in the United States and, of course, a lot of goods that are sold everywhere are imported again, on credit.

When the U.S. dollar dies and our financial system collapses we are not going to be able to get all of the things that we need from the rest of the world so cheaply any longer.

That is going to cause fundamental changes inside the United States.

Right now, the economic news just seems to get worse and worse, but this is just the beginning.

What is eventually going to happen in this country is going to be so nightmarish that most Americans could not even imagine it right now.

So are our leaders doing anything to prepare for the coming economic crisis?

No, they are too busy with other things.

The big political news of the day was U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner finally admitting that he sent out lewd photos of himself over Twitter to women that he was not married to.

We have become the laughingstock of the world and the economic collapse has not even happened yet.

32 Signs That The Entire World Is Being Transformed Into A Futuristic Big Brother Prison Grid

Taken from this link

Do you want your children and grandchildren to live in a futuristic “big brother” control grid where everything they do is watched, recorded, tracked and tightly controlled?  Well, that is exactly where things are headed.  We witnessed some really bad totalitarian regimes during the 20th century, but what is coming is going to be far more restrictive than any of the despots of the past ever dreamed was possible.  Today, nearly every government on earth is tightening their grip on their citizens.  Paranoia has become standard operating procedure all over the planet and nobody is to be trusted.  Global politicians will give speeches about liberty and freedom even as they undermine them at every turn.  There are very, very few nations on the planet where liberty and freedom are increasing.  Instead, almost everywhere you turn the “control grid” is getting tighter.  Governments don’t want us gathering together and interacting with one another.  Instead, they want us to work our tails off to support the system, they want us enslaved financially and constantly drowning in debt, and they want us addicted to television and other forms of entertainment.  They want us as numb and docile as possible.  Meanwhile, all over the globe they continue to construct a futuristic “big brother” control grid that will ensure that they will always be able to control us.

Sadly, this is not the plot to some post-apocalyptic science fiction movie.

This is really happening.

When you read the list below, each of the 32 signs may not seem to be all that significant individually.  However, when they are all taken together, they paint a truly frightening picture….

#1 The days of the free and open Internet are slowly coming to an end.  Many nations around the world have implemented strict Internet censorship and many other nations are moving in that direction.  With each passing year the level of freedom on the Internet diminishes.

Regulation of the Internet has even become a primary topic of discussion at G-8 meetings.  According to The New York Times, French President Nicolas Sarkozy is leading the charge for a more “civilized Internet”….

Leaders of the Group of 8 industrialized countries are set to issue a provocative call for stronger Internet regulation, a cause championed by the host of the meeting, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, but fiercely opposed by some Internet companies and free-speech groups.

Why are free speech groups strongly opposing what Sarkozy is trying to do?

It is because western governments want to kill liberty and freedom on the Internet just like China is doing.  The Internet has been a great tool for waking people up and distributing information, and the control freaks that want to run all of our lives do not like that one bit.

#2 Internet censorship in China, the largest nation on earth, is absolutely brutal. The Chinese government blocks any websites that talk about such topics as the Dalai Lama, the 1989 crackdown on Tiananmen Square protesters and Falun Gong.

Even web searches for the English word “freedom” are blocked.

#3 Starting next year, all new cellphones will be required to contain a chip that will allow the president to broadcast “emergency alerts” to the cellphones whenever the president wants.  Cellphone users will not be allowed to opt out of the presidential messages.

The following is how a CBS news report describes the new system….

A new national alert system is set to begin in New York City that will alert the public to emergencies via cell phones.

It’s called the Personal Localized Alert Network or PLAN. Presidential and local emergency messages as well as Amber Alerts would appear on cell phones equipped with special chips and software.

#4 The U.K. has more surveillance cameras per citizen than anywhere else in the world. In fact, according to one estimate, there are 4.8 million video cameras constantly watching every move citizens make.

#5 A “certified TSA official” was brought in to oversee student searches at the Santa Fe High School prom last weekend.

Will this kind of thing soon be happening at every high school in America?

#6 The U.S. Department of Agriculture is spending huge amounts of money to install surveillance cameras in the cafeterias of public schools so that government control freaks can closely monitor what our children are eating.

The following is how a recent article posted on Infowars.com describes this new program….

Billed as part of an effort to reduce obesity and improve eating habits, small cameras are programmed to take snapshots of lunch trays before and after each student eats. Each child is uniquely identifiable via a barcode attached to the tray. The amount of calories and nutrients that each child has consumed is then calculated via a database containing 7,500 different varieties of food.

#7 The EU is spending hundreds of millions of euros on propaganda campaigns in an attempt to convince the citizens of Europe that the EU is good for them.

#8 Today, FBI surveillance teams regularly employ warrantless GPS tracking to monitor the movements of peaceful activists – even if they are not suspected of ever committing a crime.  The Obama administration is fighting in court to keep this practice legal.

#9 According to FBI Director Robert Mueller, “homegrown terrorists” represent as big a threat to American national security as al-Qaeda does.

#10 Federal VIPR teams are establishing a series of “internal checkpoints” all across the United States.  The following is how a recent article by Paul Joseph Watson described these VIPR team activities….

The TSA has announced its intention to expand the VIPR program to include roadside inspections of commercial vehicles, setting up a network of internal checkpoints and rolling out security procedures already active in airports, bus terminals and subway stations to roads and highways across the United States.

By the way, who in the world decided that it would be a good idea to call them “VIPR teams”?

What is next?  Are we going to find out that the TSA has hired Cobra Commander and Destro as consultants?

#11 Thousands of “dysfunctional” families in the U.K. are being subjected to intensive 24-hour surveillance to make sure that their children attend school, go to bed on time and eat proper meals.

#12 U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer says that Amtrak should have a “no ride list” similar to the “no fly list” used at U.S. airports.

Before you can get on an airplane today, your name is checked to make sure that it is not on any international watch lists.

So what do you have to do to get on an international watch list?

Nobody really knows.

What is next?

A “no breathe list”?

#13 U.K. authorities are now admitting that every phone call, text message, email and website visit made by private citizens will be stored for one year and will be available for monitoring by government agencies.

#14 The amount of cell phone surveillance that goes on is absolutely staggering.  For example, one German politician named Malte Spitz recently went to court to force Deutsche Telekom to reveal how often his cell phone was being tracked.  What he found out was absolutely amazing.  It turns out that in just one 6 month period, Deutsche Telekom recorded the longitude and latitude coordinates of his cell phone 35,000 times.

#15 DARPA has now developed new video surveillance technology that many are warning will bring about the end of public anonymity.  The following is how the ExtremeTech blog is describing this new technology….

To be in public is to be on camera, but most video footage is discarded, as only so much can be sorted and analyzed — until now. DARPA has created a technology that can index and analyze video in real-time, marking the end of anonymity in public places.

#16 In the U.K., it is now illegal to photograph the police for any reason whatsoever.

#17 Police in the U.K. have purchased software that will enable them to easily follow the “digital footprints” of virtually anyone.  The following is how one recent news report in the U.K. described this new software….

The Metropolitan Police has bought Geotime, a security programme used by the U.S. military which tracks suspects’ movements and communications and displays them on a three-dimensional graphic.

The software aggregates information gathered from social networking sites, GPS devices like the iPhone, mobile phones, financial transactions and IP network logs to build a detailed picture of an individual’s movements.

#18 In Tacoma, Washington a seventh grade student was recently questioned by the Secret Service about a message that he posted on his Facebook page.

Be very careful about what you put up on Facebook or Twitter.  The entire world can see it.

#19 According to the ACLU, state police in Michigan are using “extraction devices” to download data from the cellphones of motorists that they pull over.  This is taking place even if those pulled over are not accused of doing anything wrong.

The following is how an article on CNET News describes the capabilities of these “extraction devices”….

The devices, sold by a company called Cellebrite, can download text messages, photos, video, and even GPS data from most brands of cell phones. The handheld machines have various interfaces to work with different models and can even bypass security passwords and access some information.

#20 Last year, one shocking poll found that 51 percent of Americans agree with this statement: “It is necessary to give up some civil liberties in order to make the country safe from terrorism.”

#21 The MPAA and RIAA have submitted their master plan for enforcing copyright rights to the new Office of Intellectual Property Enforcement and it includes installing spyware on everyone’s computers that would detect and delete any infringing materials.

#22 The U.K.’s new Internet law includes a “three strikes” rule that allows your entire family to be cut off from the Internet if anyone who lives in your house is accused of copyright infringement – without proof or evidence or trial.

#23 Would you like to have your face scanned and your ID recorded every time you attend a public event?  Don’t laugh.  The San Francisco Entertainment Commission is actually proposing a new rule which “would require all venues with an occupancy of over 100 people to record the faces of all patrons and employees and scan their ID’s for storage in a database which they must hand over to law enforcement on request.”

#24 Today, the U.S. government and governments all over the industrialized world have become so obsessed with reducing carbon emissions that now they even tell us what kinds of light bulbs we are allowed to buy.

#25 The Obama administration is developing a universal “Internet ID” program that would watch, track, monitor and potentially control your activity on the Internet. These “trusted identities” are being touted as a way to increase safety and security on the Internet and as a way to eliminate the need for dozens of different usernames and passwords.

#26 As I have written about previously, the “Internet kill switch” is rapidly becoming one of the favorite new tools of tyrannical governments all over the globe….

Once upon a time, the Internet was a bastion of liberty and freedom, but now nation after nation is cracking down on it. In fact, legislation has been introduced once again in Congress that would give the president of the United States an “Internet kill switch” that he would be able to use in the event of war or emergency. Of course there would be a whole lot of wiggle room in determining what actually constitutes a true “emergency”. The members of Congress that are pushing this “Internet kill switch” bill want the U.S. to become more like China in this regard.

#27 A shocking document released by Wikileaks proves that high level U.S. government officials have been pushing for North American integration.  According to the document, some of the goals of this integration would be to turn North America into an economic zone similar to the EU, to have one common currency for the entire continent and to have one common “security perimeter” for the entire continent.

Let us hope that a plan like this never comes to pass.

#28 One of the most liberty-killing pieces of legislation in recent years was the Patriot Act.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of Republicans and the vast majority of Democrats will never vote against the renewal of the Patriot Act because they don’t want to look “soft” on terrorism.

About the only U.S. Senator to stand up against the Patriot Act is Rand Paul.  He is doing all he can to fight a one man battle against the Patriot Act but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is doing his best to extend the Patriot Act without any debate taking place.

Top Democrats are attempting to claim that even debating the renewal of Patriot Act provisions would “endanger” national security.

Of course most Republicans are not going to stand in the way because they absolutely love the Patriot Act.

If you still believe that the Patriot Act is a good idea, you should watch this video, and you should read this recent article.

#29 If you display the wrong political message on your car, you may find law enforcement officials cracking down on you.

A 73-year-old Virginia resident was recently kicked out of a national park for displaying a sticker promoting “Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty” on his car.

The following is an excerpt from a recent Rutherford Institute report about this incident….

The Rutherford Institute has come to the defense of a 73-year-old Virginia resident who was allegedly ordered by a park ranger to remove his car from a national military park in South Carolina because of political messages attached to his vehicle. Jack Faw, whose ancestors fought in the historic battle memorialized at Kings Mountain National Military Park, contacted The Rutherford Institute after being told by a park ranger that the decal promoting a political organization associated with Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), which was displayed on the back window of Faw’s car, was not allowed in the park.

#30 Brutal crowd control techniques are not just for major events anymore. Recently, riot police in Illinois used tear gas, LRAD sound weapons and crowd suppression tactics against a bunch of college students that were just blowing off some steam at a year-end block party at Western Illinois University.

#31 The U.S. government is gathering more information on all of us than ever before.  According to a recent article in the Baltimore Sun, every six hours the volume of information that the NSA gathers is equivalent to the entire Library of Congress.

Nobody is anonymous anymore.  The truth is that the U.S. government, governments across the globe and major international corporations have more information about you than you probably ever dared to imagine.

#32 If you think things are bad now, just wait until you see what global authorities have planned for the future.

Are you ready to live in a “Planned-opolis”?  Are you ready to use a “calorie card” and to have what you eat determined by a “global food council”?

The following video was originally produced by the Forum for the Future, a major NGO funded by big corporations such as Time Warner and Royal Dutch Shell.  In this video, the Forum for the Future presents their chilling version of the future….

If you don’t want to live in a “Planned-opolis” where everything you do is constantly watched, tracked and controlled by a horde of bureaucrats then you better say something now.

The entire globe is moving in the direction of totalitarianism.  Our world is literally becoming a prison grid.  Of course those in power say that we need more regulation and more control “for the good of humanity”, but that has never worked out too well in the past, now has it?

If you don’t like the direction this world is headed then now is the time to stand up and let your voice be heard.  If you wait until they are ripping the last shreds of liberty and freedom away from you it will be too late.

We’ve Gone from a Nation of Laws to a Nation of Powerful Men Making Laws in Secret

Washington’s Blog
May 28, 2011

Preface: Some defendants are no longer allowed to see the “secret evidence” which the government is using against them. See this and this.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that judges can throw out cases because they don’t like or believe the plaintiff … even before anyone has had the chance to conduct discovery to prove their case. In other words, judges’ secret biases can be the basis for denying people their day in court, without even having to examine the facts. Judges are also becoming directly involved in politics with the other branches of government.

Claims of national security are being used to keep the shenanigans of the biggest banks and corporations secret, and to crush dissent.

But this essay focuses on something else: the fact that the laws themselves are now being kept secret.

America is supposed to be a nation of laws which apply to everyone equally, regardless of wealth or power.

Founded on the Constitution and based upon the separation of powers, we escaped from the British monarchy – a “nation of men” where the law is whatever the king says it is.

However, many laws are now “secret” – known only to a handful of people, and oftentimes hidden even from the part of our government which is supposed to make laws in the first place: Congress.

The Patriot Act

Congress just re-authorized the Patriot Act for another 4 years.

However, Senator Wyden notes that the government is using a secret interpretation of the Patriot Act different from what Congress and the public believe. Senator Wyden’s press release yesterday states:

Speaking on the floor of the U.S Senate during the truncated debate on the reauthorization of the PATRIOT ACT for another four years, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) – a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence — warned his colleagues that a vote to extend the bill without amendments that would ban any Administration’s ability to keep internal interpretations of the Patriot Act classified will eventually cause public outrage.

Known as Secret Law, the official interpretation of the Patriot Act could dramatically differ from what the public believes the law allows. This could create severe violations of the Constitutional and Civil Rights of American Citizens.

***

I have served on the Senate Intelligence Committee for ten years, and I don’t take a backseat to anybody when it comes to the importance of protecting genuinely sensitive sources and collection methods. But the law itself should never be secret – voters have a need and a right to know what the law says, and what their government thinks the text of the law means, so that they can decide whether the law is appropriately written and ratify or reject decisions that their elected officials make on their behalf.

As TechDirt points out:

It’s not just the public that’s having the wool pulled over their eyes. Wyden and [Senator] Udall are pointing out that the very members of Congress, who are voting to extend these provisions, do not know how the feds are interpreting them:

As members of the Senate Intelligence Committee we have been provided with the executive branch’s classified interpretation of those provisions and can tell you that we believe there is a significant discrepancy between what most people – including many Members of Congress – think the Patriot Act allows the government to do and what government officials secretly believe the Patriot Act allows them to do.

***

By far the most important interpretation of what the law means is the official interpretation used by the U.S. government and this interpretation is – stunningly -classified.

What does this mean? It means that Congress and the public are prevented from having an informed, open debate on the Patriot Act because the official meaning of the law itself is secret. Most members of Congress have not even seen the secret legal interpretations that the executive branch is currently relying on and do not have any staff who are cleared to read them. Even if these members come down to the Intelligence Committee and read these interpretations themselves, they cannot openly debate them on the floor without violating classification rules.

Here’s Wyden’s speech on the Senate floor.

The Surveillance State and Unauthorized Wars

Former constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald noted last week:

The government’s increased ability to learn more and more about the private activities of its citizens is accompanied — as always — by an ever-increasing wall of secrecy it erects around its own actions. Thus, on the very same day that we have an extension of the Patriot Act and a proposal to increase the government’s Internet snooping powers, we have this:

The Justice Department should publicly release its legal opinion that allows the FBI to obtain telephone records of international calls made from the U.S. without any formal legal process, a watchdog group asserts.

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The decision not to release the memo is noteworthy… By turning down the foundation’s request for a copy, the department is ensuring that its legal arguments in support of the FBI’s controversial and discredited efforts to obtain telephone records will be kept secret.

What’s extraordinary about the Obama DOJ’s refusal to release this document is that it does not reveal the eavesdropping activities of the Government but only its legal rationale for why it is ostensibly permitted to engage in those activities. The Bush DOJ’s refusal to release its legal memos authorizing its surveillance and torture policies was unquestionably one of the acts that provoked the greatest outrage among Democratic lawyers and transparency advocates (see, for instance, Dawn Johnsen’s scathing condemnation of the Bush administration for its refusal to release OLC legal reasoning: “reliance on ‘secret law’ threatens the effective functioning of American democracy” and “the withholding from Congress and the public of legal interpretations by the Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) upsets the system of checks and balances between the executive and legislative branches of government.”

The way a republic is supposed to function is that there is transparency for those who wield public power and privacy for private citizens. The National Security State has reversed that dynamic completely, so that the Government (comprised of the consortium of public agencies and their private-sector “partners”) knows virtually everything about what citizens do, but citizens know virtually nothing about what they do (which is why WikiLeaks specifically and whistleblowers generally, as one of the very few remaining instruments for subverting that wall of secrecy, are so threatening to them). Fortified by always-growing secrecy weapons, everything they do is secret — including even the “laws” they secretly invent to authorize their actions — while everything you do is open to inspection, surveillance and monitoring.

This dynamic threatens to entrench irreversible, absolute power for reasons that aren’t difficult to understand. Knowledge is power, as the cliché teaches. When powerful factions can gather unlimited information about citizens, they can threaten, punish, and ultimately deter any meaningful form of dissent …

Conversely, allowing government officials to shield their own conduct from transparency and (with the radical Bush/Obama version of the “State Secrets privilege”) even judicial review ensures that National Security State officials (public and private) can do whatever they want without any detection and (therefore) without limit or accountability. That is what the Surveillance State, at its core, is designed to achieve: the destruction of privacy for individual citizens and an impenetrable wall of secrecy for those with unlimited surveillance power. And as these three events just from the last 24 hours demonstrate, this system — with fully bipartisan support — is expanding more rapidly than ever.

 

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So patently illegal is Obama’s war in Libya as of today that media reports are now coming quite close to saying so directly; see, for instance, this unusually clear CNN article today from Dana Bash. As a result, reporters today bombarded the White House with questions about the war’s legality, and here is what happened, as reported by ABC News‘ Jake Tapper:

Talk about “secret law.” You’re not even allowed to know the White House’s rationale (if it exists) for why this war is legal. It simply decrees that it is, and you’ll have to comfort yourself with that. That’s how confident they are in their power to operate behind their wall of secrecy: they don’t even bother any longer with a pretense of the most minimal transparency.

Secret Memos

Secret laws are not a brand new problem.

As I’ve previously noted:

Scott Horton – a professor at Columbia Law School and writer for Harper’s – says of the Bush administration memos authorizing torture, spying, indefinite detention without charge, the use of the military within the U.S. and the suspension of free speech and press rights:

We may not have realized it at the time, but in the period from late 2001-January 19, 2009, this country was a dictatorship. The constitutional rights we learned about in high school civics were suspended. That was thanks to secret memos crafted deep inside the Justice Department that effectively trashed the Constitution. What we know now is likely the least of it.

Yale law professor Jack Balkin agrees, writing that the memos promoted “reasoning which sought, in secret, to justify a theory of Presidential dictatorship.” Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley says that the memos are the “very definition of tyranny”. And former White House counsel John Dean says “Reading these memos, you’ve gotta almost conclude we had an unconstitutional dictator.”

State of Emergency Cuts the Constitutional Government Out of the Picture

As I wrote in February:

The United States has been in a declared state of emergency from September 2001, to the present. Specifically, on September 11, 2001, the government declared a state of emergency. That declared state of emergency was formally put in writing on 9/14/2001:

A national emergency exists by reason of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, New York, New York, and the Pentagon, and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on the United States.

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NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, I hereby declare that the national emergency has existed since September 11, 2001 . . . .

That declared state of emergency has continued in full force and effect from 9/11 to the present. President Bush kept it in place, and President Obama has also.

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On September 10, 2010, President Obama declared:

Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1622(d), provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. Consistent with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register the enclosed notice, stating that the emergency declared with respect to the terrorist attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001, is to continue in effect for an additional year.

The terrorist threat that led to the declaration on September 14, 2001, of a national emergency continues. For this reason, I have determined that it is necessary to continue in effect after September 14, 2010, the national emergency with respect to the terrorist threat.

The Washington Times wrote on September 18, 2001:

Simply by proclaiming a national emergency on Friday, President Bush activated some 500 dormant legal provisions, including those allowing him to impose censorship and martial law.

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Continuity of Government (“COG”) measures were implemented on 9/11. For example, according to the 9/11 Commission Report, at page 38:

At 9:59, an Air Force lieutenant colonel working in the White House Military Office joined the conference and stated he had just talked to Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley. The White House requested (1) the implementation of continuity of government measures, (2) fighter escorts for Air Force One, and (3) a fighter combat air patrol over Washington, D.C.

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The Washington Post reported in March 2002 that “the shadow government has evolved into an indefinite precaution.” The same article goes on to state:

Assessment of terrorist risks persuaded the White House to remake the program as a permanent feature of ‘the new reality, based on what the threat looks like,’ a senior decisionmaker said.

As CBS pointed out, virtually none of the Congressional leadership knew that the COG had been implemented or was still in existence as of March 2002:

Key congressional leaders say they didn’t know President Bush had established a “shadow government,” moving dozens of senior civilian managers to secret underground locations outside Washington to ensure that the federal government could survive a devastating terrorist attack on the nation’s capital, The Washington Post says in its Saturday editions.

Senate Majority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) told the Post he had not been informed by the White House about the role, location or even the existence of the shadow government that the administration began to deploy the morning of the Sept. 11 hijackings.

An aide to House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.) said he was also unaware of the administration’s move.

Among Congress’s GOP leadership, aides to House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (Ill.), second in line to succeed the president if he became incapacitated, and to Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott (Miss.) said they were not sure whether they knew.

Aides to Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W. Va.) said he had not been told. As Senate president pro tempore, he is in line to become president after the House speaker.

Similarly, the above-cited CNN article states:

Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, said Friday he can’t say much about the plan.

“We have not been informed at all about the role of the shadow government or its whereabouts or what particular responsibilities they have and when they would kick in, but we look forward to work with the administration to get additional information on that.”

Indeed, the White House has specifically refused to share information about Continuity of Government plans with the Homeland Security Committee of the U.S. Congress, even though that Committee has proper security clearance to hear the full details of all COG plans.

Specifically, in the summer 2007, Congressman Peter DeFazio, on the Homeland Security Committee (and so with proper security access to be briefed on COG issues), inquired about continuity of government plans, and was refused access. Indeed, DeFazio told Congress that the entire Homeland Security Committee of the U.S. Congress has been denied access to the plans by the White House (video; or here is the transcript). The Homeland Security Committee has full clearance to view all information about COG plans. DeFazio concluded: “Maybe the people who think there’s a conspiracy out there are right”.

As University of California Berkeley Professor Emeritus Peter Dale Scott warned:

 

If members of the Homeland Security Committee cannot enforce their right to read secret plans of the Executive Branch, then the systems of checks and balances established by the U.S. Constitution would seem to be failing.

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To put it another way, if the White House is successful in frustrating DeFazio, then Continuity of Government planning has arguably already superseded the Constitution as a higher authority.

Indeed, continuity of government plans are specifically defined to do the following:

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  • Those within the new government would know what was going on. But those in the “old government” – that is, the one created by the framers of the Constitution – would not necessarily know the details of what was happening
  • Normal laws and legal processes might largely be suspended, or superseded by secretive judicial forums
  • The media might be ordered by strict laws – punishable by treason – to only promote stories authorized by the new government

See this, this and this.

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In 2007, President Bush issued Presidential Directive NSPD-51, which purported to change Continuity of Government plans. NSPD51 is odd because:

Beyond cases of actual insurrection, the President may now use military troops as a domestic police force in response to a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, terrorist attack, or to any ‘other condition.’ Changes of this magnitude should be made only after a thorough public airing. But these new Presidential powers were slipped into the law without hearings or public debate.

So continuity of government laws were enacted without public or even Congressional knowledge, and neither the public or even Congress members on the Homeland Security Committee – let alone Congress as a whole – are being informed of whether they are still in effect and, if so, what laws govern.

Postscript: As I’ve repeatedly noted, economics, politics and law are inseparable and intertwined. As Aristotle pointed out thousands of years ago, “The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law.” Without the rule of law, the state crumbles, and the government bonds and other investments crumble with it.

As I wrote last year:

What’s the hole that is swallowing up the economy? The failure to follow the rule of law.

The rule of law is what provides trust in our economy, which is essential for a stable economy.

The rule of law is the basis for our social contract. Indeed, it is the basis for our submission to the power of the state.

We are supposed to be a nation of laws, not of men. That’s what humanity has fought for ever since we forced the king to sign the Magna Carta.

Indeed, lawlessness – the failure to enforce the rule of law – is dragging the world economy down into the abyss.

participation in our local government and the growing alternative media, and it results in the seizure of the unwarranted influence that has allowed a group of criminal international bankers to contrive their own international army, an international court, and the ability to wage war against entire nation-states with absolute impunity.

Gun Control: An Attack On Our 2nd Amendment Rights-The War Continues……

Gun Control laws are in of itself unconstitutional according to the second amendment (“…the right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED).  It is well known (And common sense) that people kill people not guns and that violent crimes decrease when civilians are armed.  The Government is secretly trying to disarm Americans. One of the most scary programs some communities offer is guns for cash programs. Trade in your guns (Your right to bear arms) for cash…it’s a way the government is trying to disarm Americans. Our constitution is under attack and we need to stand up to tyranny to protect these freedoms!

Our Second Amendment:

As passed by the Congress:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

As ratified by the States:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Obama: We’re Working on Gun Control ‘Under the Radar’

AP Graphics

On March 30, the 30th anniversary of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, Jim Brady, who sustained a debilitating head wound in the attack, and his wife, Sarah, came to Capitol Hill to push for a ban on the controversial “large magazines.” Brady, for whom the law requiring background checks on handgun purchasers is named, then met with White House press secretary Jay Carney. During the meeting, President Obama dropped in and, according to Sarah Brady, brought up the issue of gun control, “to fill us in that it was very much on his agenda,” she said.

“I just want you to know that we are working on it,” Brady recalled the president telling them. “We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.”

Read more: http://nation.foxnews.com/guns/2011/05/25/obama-were-working-gun-control-under-radar#ixzz1NT5VSXcJ

While You Were Sleeping, They Abolished the Fourth Amendment

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
May 17, 2011

Two recent Supreme Court cases have served to virtually abolish the Fourth Amendment in the United States of America, with citizens no longer being “secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”

In a precedent described by dissenting justices as “breathtaking” and “unnecessarily broad,” the Indiana Supreme Court ruled last week in a 3-2 vote that doing anything to resist police busting down your door and conducting an illegal search is now a criminal act.

“[We] hold that the right to reasonably resist an unlawful police entry into a home is no longer recognized under Indiana law,” the court ruled in the case of Richard L. Barnes v. Indiana.

Dissenting Justices Brent E. Dickson and Robert D. Rucker made it clear that the ruling represented a total rejection of rights enshrined in the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution.

“In my view, the wholesale abrogation of the historic right of a person to reasonably resist unlawful police entry into his dwelling is unwarranted and unnecessarily broad,” Dickson wrote.

“In my view it is breathtaking that the majority deems it appropriate or even necessary to erode this constitutional protection based on a rationale addressing much different policy considerations,” added Rucker. “There is simply no reason to abrogate the common law right of a citizen to resist the unlawful police entry into his or her home.”

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The ruling was made under the justification that resisting a police officer had the potential to escalate and cause violence against the officer, meaning that the God-like status bestowed upon police officers now trumps both the 220-year-old Fourth Amendment and the 796-year-old Magna Carta on which it is based.

In a separate case, on Monday the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 8-1 that the police can now also bust down a door and enter your property without a warrant if they smell marijuana or hear sounds that are suggestive of destruction of evidence. The case revolved around the warrantless search of an apartment in Kentucky, Lexington.

“Where, as here, the police did not create the exigency by engaging or threatening to engage in conduct that violates the Fourth Amendment, warrantless entry to prevent the destruction of evidence is reasonable and thus allowed,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. wrote for the majority.

Of course, the fact that police officers have been known to habitually lie in order to justify illegally entering a property and violating the Fourth Amendment (which is apparently now null and void anyway), was not considered.

These two cases merely scratch the surface of America’s descent into an authoritarian tyranny, which has noticeably deepened over the last few weeks. Describing the United States as a “police state” is no longer a glib or alarmist use of rhetoric, because by every measurable tenet and in every context, the rights guaranteed in the Constitution are now being completely ignored by government or simply abolished altogether.

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The fact that Supreme Courts are now attacking the very Constitution they are supposed to uphold is proof that America has been hijacked by rogue criminal elements who are busy dismantling everything that once made the country a beacon of liberty for the world.

The debate is officially over. America has now entered the annuls of history as an authoritarian police state on a par with Soviet Russia, and as that virus spreads throughout all levels of society it will ultimately lead the United States to the same fate – the only question remaining is how messy the collapse will be, how many people will be incarcerated, and how many people the government will murder in the process.

Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show.

America and False Terror Fears Continued

Don’t you see now?  They (The globalists) are using the Bin Laden Death Hoax to stir fear in the heart of America.  They say that there are no credible threats but they are going to heighten vigilance….be prepared for the man with the rubber glove at your local shopping mall…coming soon to a venue near you.

Cities Nationwide Heighten Vigilance on Terror

By Jr.

MIAMI — In large and midsize cities across the country, police chiefs and domestic security officials say they have drastically increased counterterrorism operations under the assumption that a “lone wolf” or a small group of terrorists will try to strike on American soil to avenge the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Reed Saxon/Associated Press

A police officer and a sniffer dog on Thursday at Los Angeles International Airport after a demonstraton of the dogs.

Although there are no known specific or credible threats, many of the officials said they are convinced that operatives of Al Qaeda or sympathizers will be highly motivated in the weeks and months before the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, according to interviews with more than a dozen police chiefs and senior counterterrorism officials.

The officials said they were especially concerned that a terrorist plot would focus on a target perceived to be “soft,” like a train station or a shopping mall.

“In the short term, we are facing more danger from lone wolf actors who will see Bin Laden’s death as justification in their minds to mobilize and do something here,” said Deputy Chief Michael Downing, head of the Counter-Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau in the Los Angeles Police Department.

In the past dozen days, several senior police officials said they had not seen so much frenetic counterterrorism action since the weeks after Sept. 11, 2001. The activities have included numerous briefings with F.B.I. and Homeland Security officials in Washington, as well as conference calls with joint terrorism task force members and local officials, some as often as twice a day.

“I personally think the chances of an attack are highly likely,” said Boston’s police commissioner, Edward Davis. “The terrorists have utilized Bin Laden’s death to turn up the rhetoric on this extremism. I think simply due to the odds, something will happen somewhere in the United States. We have to be extremely vigilant.”

There is something of a consensus that trying to prevent an attack by one person or several people poses a more complicated challenge than trying to stop a more elaborate — and perhaps easier to detect — plot involving a dozen or more participants.

President Obama echoed the concerns in an interview on Friday with WLTV, the Miami Spanish-language Univision affiliate, saying, “There is no doubt that when it comes to the American people that after having killed Bin Laden there may be a desire on some Al Qaeda members to exact revenge, and that’s something that we have to be vigilant about, and we’re monitoring all these situations.”

As for the kind of terrorist plot they expect to see, most officials pointed to the arrests in New York City on Wednesday of two men who the authorities said had intended to carry out a grenade-and-guns attack against a synagogue in Manhattan.

Officials also mentioned their concern about the suicide bombing attack on Friday at a military training center in northwest Pakistan, which killed 82 people and wounded at least 150. Taliban leaders later said the attack was to avenge the killing of Bin Laden, though the Pakistani police said they doubted that claim.

Homeland Security and F.B.I. officials have told state and local police officials that the Bin Laden killing could lead to quicker timelines for gestating terrorist plots that had previously been intended to coincide with the Sept. 11 anniversary.

State and local police departments in most cities have increased the number and visibility of patrols, particularly at busy sites like airports, train stations, ports and ballparks. At N.B.A. playoff games in a handful of cities, including Los Angeles, Atlanta and Miami, the police have increased their presence at arenas.

“It is more likely something will happen here,” said the Los Angeles police chief, Charlie Beck. “Do I think over all the world is safer? Yes. But you don’t end the terrorism threat just by getting rid of Bin Laden.”

In the writings and computer files seized from Bin Laden’s hide-out in Abbottabad, Pakistan, American intelligence officials found evidence that the Qaeda chief was fixated on attacking the United States above all other global targets. He had urged Qaeda lieutenants to recruit non-Muslims “who are oppressed in the United States,” including African-Americans and Hispanics, to help organize a spectacular attack timed to the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, officials said.

Several local police and counterterrorism officials said they were struck by intelligence that indicated midsize American cities were considered for attacks. A thwarted attempt to bomb an airliner bound for Detroit on Dec. 25, 2009, was traced to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.