Monday, October 1, 2007

Floating Utopias

"...A parable from seasteading’s past goes some way in explaining. In 1971, millionaire property developer Michael Oliver attempted to establish the Republic of Minerva on a small South Pacific sand atoll. It was soon off-handedly annexed by Tonga, and, in a traumatic actualized metaphor, allowed to dissolve back into the sea. To defeat the predatory outreach of nations and tides, it is clearly not enough to be offshore: True freedom floats..."
 

A recent article on mind control as hypnotism

"...Hypnotism is where one person wilfully imposes part of his consciousness directly into the brain of his subject in order to disconnect conscious awareness from the body. It is a psychic attack. Entry is usually through the eyes but can also be pushed down the ear canals into the centre of the brain displacing the aetheric spark in the pituitary/pineal.

Even if the subject is willing to be put to sleep for some perceived gain such as the desire to stop smoking, on a spiritual level the disruption of the connection between the soul and body is a violation of spiritual principle.

Self hypnosis is where the hypnotist and the subject are the same person and that person wilfully disconnects from source. This opens the physical mind and body to astral psychic parasitic entities and whatever other influences are prevailing at the time.

All drugs that disconnect the body from the soul and chemically induce the same state as hypnosis violate the spiritual connection. Many of these drugs are called hypnotics.

Electro-magnetic frequencies that alter or block wakefulness or induce "suggestibility" are violating the sanctity of self guided thought. These frequencies are most often associated with television and cell-phones. It has long been recognized that television lulls people into a semi-comatose state within minutes.

Implants such as RFID tags and nanotechnology work at frequencies that block the lifestream flowing from the spiritual source. Weakening the body and clouding the mind these silicon motes induce a stupor and the body becomes a bio-machine. This too is a hypnotic state.

The use of hypnotism to cause people to become trance channellers promotes the idea that answers come from outside self or disconnected from the divine source. All too often the channelled entity is an astral parasite as the channeller is drained of energy.

Edgar Cayce shortened his life by channelling. That is one of his predictions that did come true.

Connecting to source energizes the mind, body and spirit .

The promotion of trance channelling is part of the age old agenda of debilitating humanity. It pushes the belief that all answers are gained through disconnecting one's own conscious awareness. Mediumship is the message of breaking the life-line to the higher self.

The solution to the problem of the widespread use of hypnosis is to reconnect to source. Many are achieving higher energy levels through prayer. Many are finding answers in nature walks. Many are finding source through grounding the consciousness during meditation. Many have found source and are infused with energy..."
 

El Boom: class curriculum in 'the magical, marvelous real'

Abracadabra.
This word of medieval magic is traced to a mythical Persian sun god, summoned to the magician's aid. But also, in numerology its letters add to 365, so that it encompasses the entire year, and the powers of the 365 attendant spirits of the Lord. It is not a corruption of the Cabalistic Hebrew habraha dabar, bless the object.
***

This course will, essentially, attempt an understanding of the literature termed "magical realism," or lo real maravilloso, translated literally from the Spanish as "the marvelous real."

Further, the course will be a half-reading, half-writing , half-discussion class. Since this is a course for writers, examination will consist of testing both the literature and ourselves by responding with creative and interesting writing. We will do this to better understand and show how the literature provokes. We will not set out to imitate the literature, but to widen the road--to find something in this literature of and for ourselves, and to move in that direction.

I will ask as prerequisites a substantial literature background and, at very least, two creative writing courses, including an advanced creative writing class--fiction, poetry, or drama.

Each member of the class will be responsible for the reading list, one book not on the list, and the extra book's author--or a topic related to that book.  I'll ask that you prepare a short report on both the extra book and its author for the class. I will provide a separate list of these books from which to choose.  All readings will be in English, though some of you may choose to explore the original languages. The course will cover some North American and Eastern European works, but Latin/South American writers will constitute the majority. We will also look to some early influences on this literature, particularly Surrealism and Dada.

In a word, this will be a class in "el boom." (This is not to be confused with John Lee Hooker, who just recently passed away, and his fine song "Boom Boom," memorable in its own right for its uncompromising lyric: "Boom boom boom boom, boom boom boom boom....")  This is the recent Literature of, and a Welcome to, the New World.

Try this as a starting point: Monday, Sunday, Saturday, Friday, Thursday, Wednesday, Tuesday, Monday.

You know the words, and you know the pattern. But listening to these words backward: If that shakes us up, if that surprises us, imagine what else might be possible--all in the middle of what is absolutely familiar.

If we assign only names and not numbers to the days of the week, if we do not get older, or younger, but simply see Monday again, we have some new sense of time--still ordered, but moveable in more than one direction. Looked at this way, in this particular order above, what is routine or mundane starts to look odd, almost misspelled, and not so easy to say. Time is for those who have watches, and look there. Or Time is for those who notice things, and look there.  Time as quantity or quality--this is a new way to think about time.  It's things like this that we'll be discussing.

So begins the adventure of the New, made of what is Old. Magic, maybe, out of the regular. The magical, the marvelous, real. Or, the more or less real: approximate reality, heavy on the leeway. Reality driving down the leeway freeway. It is all in where we look, and even more so in the value we assign to that glance.

Don't worry, or think that you are lost. It's too late. In these worlds, you are never lost, because to be lost you need to know where you have been, which may not be where you thought. You will not--cannot--get lost; you will, simply, always be somewhere. Perhaps this requires a new kind of patience; but, its reward, too, is a new kind of seeing. This is the equation of writers. This is the best poem, the best part of the story, the strongest moment in a play: being somewhere.

Our job, out of all of this, will be simple. Our plan will be to find movement in standing still. This will be a wonderful class.
 
[ Link ]

Operation AJAX, and the Begining of the National Security State

The CIA in Iran from Policy to Coup

 
"... Operation AJAX, represents more than a single foreign policy decision, but rather a paradigm shift away from democracy, congressional oversight, and transparency of government, toward secret policy and covert actions carried out by the executive branch and the national security apparatus.
The plot to overthrow the Mossedegh government in Iran originated within the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), and in the fall of 1952, SIS meet with CIA’s Near East and Africa Division (NEA) representatives in Washington. Iran was not on the agenda, but after British intelligence brought up the possibility of a “joint political action to remove Prime Minister Mossedegh,” the NEA committed to studying the proposals
 
[ ... ]

Another good example of the limited knowledge about Operation AJAX within the U.S. government is a State Department memo entitled “Proposed Course of Action with Respects to Iran” detail diplomatic strategies to end the oil crisis in Iran. The memo that is dated August 10th 1953, was issued just 9 days before Mossedegh was overthrown, and indicates that many within the State Department were in the dark on what was going on in Iran.
Operation AJAX, though a CIA operation, had Ambassador Loy Henderson, and General H. Norman Schwartzkopf, playing critical roles.

The U.S. embassy in Tehran was utilized for a number of purposes as AJAX unfolded. The current Iranian administration has published a total of 77 volumes of “Documents from the Den of Spies” since the student take over the U.S. Embassy in 1979, offered up a huge cache of classified documents showing clandestine operations were centered in and around the Embassy.
Schwartzkopf was brought in to pressure the Shah, with whom he had an excellent relationship during WWII, into signing the firmans, royal decrees, one to dismiss Mossedegh and one to appoint Gen. Zahedi (Roosevelt 147-149). The military played other supporting roles from transportation of agents, to making clandestine approaches to number of ‘operational assets.’
The CIA’s own history of the affair mentions that the possibility that ‘blowback’ is likely to result from the overthrow of Mossedegh. The rise of the Shah and his brutal regime, secured by SAVAK, the secret police, which was created and supported by Israel and CIA (Roosevelt 9), surely contributed to the social tension that exploded in the 1979 Iranian Revolution. In the long run the CIA’s first overthrow was a mistake, but Operation AJAX became in many ways the blueprint for future covert operation carried out by the Agency in the Cold War and beyond. After Roosevelt debriefed the British government, including Winston, an SIS aid approached Roosevelt with a folder covered in ribbons and sealing wax, and told Roosevelt “that [the folder] represented approval of a project on which they had previously been turned down by the Foreign Office and that this reversal of the Foreign Office was due to the success in Iran

[ ... ]

Dr Donald Wilber, the author of the Clandestine Service History: Overthrow of Premier Mossedegh of Iran, and a key planner and strategist of Operation AJAX, as quoted by the New York Times, had this to say about Operation AJAX and its effect on subsequent CIA covert operations: “If this history had been read by the planners of the Bay of Pigs, there would have been no such operation,” and “in hindsight, one might wonder why no one from the Cuban desk ever…read the history ..."

 

[ full article ]

 

"There are no experts"

"... Perhaps the best oracles we can consult are systems analysts like Erwin Laszlo. Laszlo studies chaos theory and believes global civilization is a few years away from what he calls “the chaos point.” According to Laszlo, we are at a “crucial decision-window” of instability. “When we reach the point of chaos,” Laszlo tells us, “the stable ‘point’ and ‘periodic’ attractors of our systems will be joined by ‘chaotic’ or ‘strange’ attractors.” These “strange attractors” will propel us, like booster rockets, to evolutionary development or entropic debauch. In other words, we should prepare ourselves for the unknown and inexplicable.
[ ... ]
 
In Third World countries, currency crises — often brought about by predatory speculation — frequently lead to frozen bank accounts and long breadlines, followed by a change of currency that creates immense profit for the banks and the government. Of course, many believe that such a thing could never happen here. Recently, there have been rumors of a plan to form an American version of the European Federation, uniting Mexico, the U.S. and Canada under a new currency, the “Amero,” and a new constitution, devised by the bankers. ..."
 

'On The Road': 50 years later

"... there are more than a few places where the author and his friends set down their knapsacks for more than a day and now is a good time to trace Kerouac's road. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of his masterpiece "On the Road," and chances are your local bookstore is stocking the just-published "scroll" version of "On the Road" from Viking Press, which is the book in its raw manuscript form.

Anyone looking to travel in Kerouac's footsteps should start in the Northeast, in his hometown of Lowell, Mass., where he was a football star at Lowell High School. The town frequently appears in his work. His character Doctor Sax lurked around Lowell's old textile mills — now part of the National Park system — and the city served as the backdrop for Kerouac's books "Vanity of Duluoz" and "Visions of Gerard."

[ ... ]

It took Lowell awhile to embrace Kerouac, but the town now readily promotes their most famous son. Don't miss the 20th anniversary of "Lowell Celebrates Kerouac," Oct. 4-7. Or take your own walking tour of Kerouac's Lowell. ..."

[ full article ]

 

Jack Kerouac slept where?

Road trip is a contrast between then and now of Beat writer’s novel

[ full article ]

Shiny side out

Inside the Mind Control Conspiracy
 
For many years, national security experts, prominent scientists, and probably Dennis Kucinich, have received hundreds of e-mails that begin something like this: “I am surveilled, harassed and gangstalked everywhere I go 24/7/365.”
 
I’ve certainly received them, and Defense Tech has gotten its fair share, too.

The letters typically state that the person is a victim of an organized mind control plot that involves weapons that beam voices into their head; shoot powerful pain rays at them; and often includes around-the-clock harassment and monitoring. One of the common claims is that the people are targeted by microwave weapons.

What do most people do with these letters? Defense writer William Arkin says he hits the “delete” button when he gets those e-mails. Jon Ronson, author of the wonderfully wacky Men Who Stare at Goats has stated that mind control is an area that he doesn’t “want to get into.” (This from a gifted writer who interviewed a man who believes the world’s leaders are extraterrestrial lizards in disguise.)

What do I do with these letters? I read them, and this Sunday’s Washington Post Magazine has a cover story based on my nearly year-long investigation into their claims.

I try to raise what I think are some fascinating questions about the Pentagon’s involvement in microwave weapons and the auditory effect (which could be used to send sounds or voices into people’s heads).

As for whether there's any evidence that hundreds, if not thousands of people, are being targeted by microwave weapons, well, read for yourself.

-- Sharon Weinberger

P.S. You might also want to reread David Hambling’s fascinating take of recent bio-electromagnetic weapon work here.

[ Link ]

From the mind control mart to an airport near you?

"... The future of U.S. anti-terrorism technology could lie near the end of a Moscow subway line in a circular dungeon-like room with a single door and no windows. Here, at the Psychotechnology Research Institute, human subjects submit to experiments aimed at manipulating their subconscious minds.

Elena Rusalkina, the silver-haired woman who runs the institute, gestured to the center of the claustrophobic room, where what looked like a dentist's chair sits in front of a glowing computer monitor. "We've had volunteers, a lot of them," she said, the thick concrete walls muffling the noise from the college campus outside. "We worked out a program with (a psychiatric facility) to study criminals. There's no way to falsify the results. There's no subjectivism."

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has gone to many strange places in its search for ways to identify terrorists before they attack, but perhaps none stranger than this lab on the outskirts of Russia's capital. The institute has for years served as the center of an obscure field of human behavior study -- dubbed psychoecology -- that traces it roots back to Soviet-era mind control research.

What's gotten DHS' attention is the institute's work on a system called Semantic Stimuli Response Measurements Technology, or SSRM Tek, a software-based mind reader that supposedly tests a subject's involuntary response to subliminal messages. ..."

[ full article ]

Report from Iron Mountain

 

Top Censored Stories of 2006-2007

#1 No Habeas Corpus for “Any Person”

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA) ushered in military commission law for US citizens and non-citizens alike. Text in the MCA allows for the institution of a military alternative to the constitutional justice system for “any person” arbitrarily deemed to be an enemy of the state, regardless of American citizenship.

“Who Is 'Any Person' in Tribunal Law?” Robert Parry, Consortium, 10/19/2006
http://consortiumnews.com/2006/101906.html

“Still No Habeas Rights for You” Robert Parry, Consortium, 2/3/2007
http://consortiumnews.com/2007/020307.html

“Repeal the Military Commissions Act and Restore the Most American Human Right” Thom Hartmann, Commondreams, 2/12/2007
http://www.commondreams.org/views07/0212-24.htm

#2 Bush Moves Toward Martial Law

The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 allows the president to deploy military troops anywhere in the United States and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities in order to "suppress public disorder.”

“Bush Moves Toward Martial Law” Frank Morales, Uruknet, 10/26/2006
http://www.uruknet.info/?p=27769

#3 AFRICOM: US Military Control of Africa’s Resources

In February 2007 the White House announced the formation of the US African Command (AFRICOM), a unified Pentagon command center in Africa. Presented as a humanitarian guard in the Global War on Terror, the real objective is procurement and control of Africa’s oil and its global delivery systems.

“Understanding AFRICOM” Parts 1-3, b real, MoonofAlabama.org 2/21/2007
http://www.moonofalabama.org/2007/02/understanding_a_1.html

#4 Frenzy of Increasingly Destructive Trade Agreements

The US and European Union (EU) are vigorously pursuing increasingly destructive trade and investment agreements outside the auspices of the WTO, resulting in unprecedented exploitation, loss of livelihood, displacement, and degradation of human rights and environments.

“Signing Away The Future” Emily Jones, Oxfam, 3/2007
http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/briefingpapers/bp101_regional...

“Free Trade Enslaving Poor Countries” Sanjay Suri, IPS coverage of Oxfam Report, 3/20/2007
http://ipsnews.org/news.asp?idnews=37008

#5 Human Traffic Builds US Embassy in Iraq

The enduring monument to US liberation and democracy in Iraq is being built by forced labor. Contractors subcontracting to the US State Department are using bait-and-switch recruiting practices to smuggle Asian workers into brutal and inhumane labor camps—in the middle of the US-controlled Green Zone.

“A U.S. Fortress Rises in Baghdad: Asian Workers Trafficked to Build World's Largest Embassy” David Phinney, CorpWatch, 10/17/2006
http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=14173

#6 Operation FALCON Raids

Under Operation FALCON—Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally—more than 30,000 “fugitives” were arrested in the largest dragnets in the nation's history. Over 960 state, local and federal agencies were directly involved. Only promotional coverage supplied by the DOJ was ever aired. We have yet to be told who these fugitives were and what became of them.

“Operation Falcon and the Looming Police State” Mike Whitney, Uruknet, 2/26/2007
http://uruknet.info/?p=m30971&s1=h1

“Operation Falcon” SourceWatch, Updated 11/18/2006
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Operation_FALCON

#7 Behind Blackwater Inc.

Blackwater, the most powerful mercenary firm in the world, is the company that most embodies the privatization of the military industrial complex. Bush’s contracts with Blackwater have allowed the creation of a private army of more than 20,000 soldiers, operating with almost no oversight or effective legal constraints, to deploy in nine countries and aggressively expand its presence inside US borders.

“Our Mercenaries in Iraq: Blackwater Inc and Bush's Undeclared Surge” Jeremy Scahill, Democracy Now! 1/26/07
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/01/26/1559232

#8 KIA: The US Neoliberal Invasion of India

The Knowledge Initiative in Agriculture, quietly signed by Bush and India’s Prime Minister Singh, trades India’s agricultural sector for US nuclear technology. The KIA allows for the grab of India’s seed sector by Monsanto, its trade sector by giant agribusiness ADM and Cargill, and its retail sector by Wal-Mart.

“Vandana Shiva on Farmer Suicides, the U.S.-India Nuclear Deal, Wal-Mart in India” Democracy Now! 12/13/2006
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/12/13/1451229

“Genetically Modified Seeds: Women in India take on Monsanto” Arun Shrivastava, Global Research, 10/9/06
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&c...

“Sowing Trouble: India's ‘Second Green Revolution’” Suman Sahai, SciDev.Net, 5/9/06
http://www.scidev.net/content/opinions/eng/sowing-trouble-in...

#9 Privatization of America’s Infrastructure

More than 20 states have enacted legislation allowing public-private partnerships to build and run highways. We will soon be paying Wall Street investors, Australian bankers, and Spanish contractors for the privilege of driving on American roads.

“The Highwaymen” Daniel Schulman with James Ridgeway. Mother Jones, 2/2007
http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2007/01/highwaymen.h...

“Bush Administration Quietly Plans NAFTA Super Highway” Jerome R. Corsi, Human Events, 6/12/2006
http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=15497

#10 Vulture Funds Threaten Debt Relief for Poor Nations

Vulture funds, as defined by the IMF, are companies that buy up the debt of poor nations cheaply, when it is about to be written off, and then sue for the full value of the debt plus interest—which might be ten times what they paid for it. Otherwise known as “distressed-debt investors,” these companies profit off plunging impoverished nations into crippling debt.

“Vulture Fund Threat to Third World” Greg Palast with Meirion Jones for BBC Newsnight, 02/14/2007
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article17070.htm

#11 The Scam of “Reconstruction” in Afghanistan

Much of the US tax money earmarked to rebuild Afghanistan actually ends up going no further than the pockets of wealthy US corporations. Paychecks for overpriced, and often incompetent, American “experts” under contract to USAID go directly from the Agency to American bank accounts. Seventy percent of the aid that does make it to a recipient country is carefully “tied” to the donor nation for further fraud and exploitation.

“Why It's Not Working in Afghanistan” Ann Jones, Tomdispatch.com, 8/27/06
http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=116512

“Afghanistan Inc: a CorpWatch Investigative Report” Fariba Nawa, CorpWatch, 10/6/06
http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=13518

#12 Another Massacre in Haiti by UN Troops

On December 22, 2006 more than 30 unarmed Haitian civilians, including women and children, were killed by extensive and indiscriminate gunfire from UN “peacekeeping” forces, reportedly as collective punishment for a massive demonstration days earlier calling for the return of President Aristide.

“UN in Haiti: Accused of Second Massacre” Haiti Information Project, Haiti Action, 1/21/2007
http://www.haitiaction.net/News/HIP/1_21_7/1_21_7.html

“Haiti: Poor Residents of Capital Describe a State of Siege” Wadner Pierre and Jeb Sprague, IPS, 2/28/07
http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=36772

#13 Immigrant Roundups to Gain Cheap Labor for US Corporate Giants

In the wake of 9/11, Immigration Customs Enforcement has conducted raids and roundups of “illegal” immigrants under the rubric of preventing terrorism and keeping our homeland safe. The real goal, however, is to replace the immigrant work force in the US with a tightly regulated, exploitive guest-worker program.

“Migrants: Globalization’s Junk Mail?” Laura Carlsen, Foreign Policy in Focus, 2/23/07
http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/4022

“Which Side are You on?” David Bacon, Truthout, 1/29/07
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/012907L.shtml

“Workers, Not Guests” David Bacon, The Nation, 2/6/07
http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/020607LB.shtml

#14 Impunity for US War Criminals

A last minute adjustment to the Military Commission Act of 2006 redefined torture, removed the harshest definition of war crimes, and exempts the perpetrators from prosecution for such offences dating back to November 1997. The source of this provision is, however, a mystery. The White House denies any involvement or knowledge regarding the insertion of such language into the MCA.

“A Senate mystery keeps torture alive, and its practitioners free” Jeff Stein, Congressional Quarterly, 11/22/06
http://public.cq.com/public/20061122_homeland.html

#15 Toxic Exposure Can Be Genetically Transmitted to Future Generations

Research suggests that our behavior and our environmental conditions may program sections of our children’s DNA. New evidence about how genes interact with the environment suggests that many industrial chemicals may be more ominously dangerous than previously thought. One researcher points to a revolution in medicine: “You aren't eating and exercising just for yourself, but for your lineage.”

“Some Chemicals are More Harmful Than Anyone Ever Suspected” Peter Montague, Rachel's Democracy & Health News #876, 10/12/06
http://www.precaution.org/lib/06/ht061012.htm

#16 No Hard Evidence Connecting Bin Laden to 9/11

Osama bin Ladin’s role in the events of September 11, 2001 is not mentioned on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” notice. Six years later the FBI spokesperson explains, “The reason 9/11 is not mentioned on Osama bin Laden's Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11…”

“FBI says, ‘No hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11’” Ed Haas, Muckraker Report, 6/6/06
http://www.teamliberty.net/id267.html

#17 Drinking Water Contaminated by Military and Corporations

Corporations, municipalities, and the US military are using America’s waters as their dumping ground —often with little or no accountability. The average major facility discharges pollutants in excess of its permitted limit by over 275 percent, nearly four times the legal limit, while more than 40 percent of US waterways are already unsafe for swimming and fishing.

“Factories, Cities Across USA Exceed Water Pollution Limits” Sunny Lewis, Environment News Service 3/24/2006
http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/mar2006/2006-03-24-05.asp

“Military Waste In Our Drinking Water” Sunaura Taylor and Astra Taylor, AlterNet, 8/4/2006
http://www.alternet.org/envirohealth/39723/

#18 Mexico’s Stolen Election

US interests were significantly invested in the outcome of Mexico’s 2006 presidential election in which overwhelming evidence reveals massive fraud.

“Evidence of Election Fraud Grows in México,” Chuck Collins and Joshua Holland, AlterNet, 8/2/2006
http://www.alternet.org/story/39763

“Mexico: The Political Volcano Rumbles” Revolution, 9/10/06
http://revcom.us/a/060/mexico-volcano-en.html

#19 People’s Movement Challenges Neo-Liberal Agenda

In Latin America, massive opposition to US economic domination has demanded that populist leaders and parties take control of national governments, building powerful alternatives to neo-liberal exploitation.

“Is the US Free Trade Model Losing Steam?” American Friends Service Committee, Trade Matters, 5/3/06
http://www.afsc.org/trade-matters/trade-agreements/LosingSte...

“Economic Policy Changes With New Latin American Leaders” Mark Weisbrot, International Herold Tribune, 12/28/06
http://www.cepr.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&i...

“Is Hugo Chaves a Threat to Stability? No.” Mark Weisbrot, International Affairs Forum, 3/31/07
http://www.cepr.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&i...

#20 Terror Act Against Animal Activists

The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act of 2006 expanded the definition of “terrorism” to include acts that interfere, or promote interference, with the operation of an animal enterprise. Over 160 groups opposed this Act on grounds that its terminology is dangerously vague and poses major conflict to the US Constitution.

“The AETA is Invidiously Detrimental to the Animal Rights Movement (and Unconstitutional as Well)” David Hoch and Odette Wilkens, Vermont Journal of Environmental Law, 3/9/07
http://www.vjel.org/editorials/2007S/Hoch.Wilkens.Editorial....

“US House Passes Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act With Little Discussion or Dissent” Will Potter, Green is the New Red, 11/14/06
http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/2006/11/13/aeta-passes-...

“22 Years for Free-Speech Advocates: Six Animal Rights Activists Given Lengthy Prison Sentences for Running Website” Budgerigar, Earth First! Journal, 11/06
http://www.earthfirstjournal.org/article.php?id=6

#21 US Seeks WTO Immunity for Illegal Farm Payments

The July 2006 Doha round of WTO negotiations broke down over the contentious issue of farm trade and the unrestricted opening of markets to agricultural products. In a last-minute proposal, one not included on the original agenda, the US insisted that all trade agreements include a special “Peace Clause” that would make its use of illegal farm subsidies immune from prosecution by the countries affected.

“Canada launches WTO case on US subsidies” Eoin Callan, Financial Times, 1/9/2007
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/5debac74-9f9b-11db-9e2e-0000779e2340...

“US seeks “get-out clause” for illegal farm payments” Oxfam, 6/29/2006
http://www.oxfam.org/en/news/pressreleases2006/pr060629_wto_...

#22 North Invades Mexico

The number of North Americans living in Mexico has soared from 200,000 to 1 million (one-quarter of all US expatriates) in the past decade. With more than 70 million American baby-boomers expected to retire in the next two decades, experts predict “a tidal wave” of migration. The land rush is sending up property values to the detriment of locals whose children are consequently driven into slums or forced to emigrate north.

“Border Invaders: The Perfect Swarm Heads South” Mike Davis, TomDispatch.com, 9/19/2006
http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=122537

#23 Feinstein’s Conflict of Interest in Iraq

Dianne Feinstein is involved in monumental conflicts of interest as she promotes and exploits the Global War on Terror. As a member of the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee, Senator Feinstein voted for appropriations worth billions of dollars to her husband's military construction firms, while consistently voting to fund US military proliferation.

“Senator Feinstein’s Iraq Conflict” Peter Byrne, Bohemian, 1/24/2007
http://www.bohemian.com/metro/01.24.07/dianne-feinstein-0704...

#24 Media Misquotes Threat From Iran’s President

A mistranslated quotation attributed to Iran’s President Ahmadinejad, which threatened that, “Israel must be wiped off the map,” has been spread around the world. Ahmadinejad’s actual statements, however, were significantly less threatening.

“‘Wiped Off The Map’ - The Rumor of the Century” Arash Norouzi, MohammadMossadegh.com, Global Research, 1/20/2007
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&c...

“Full Text: The President of Iran's Letter To President Bush” Translated by Le Monde, Information Clearing House, 05/09/06
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article12984.htm

#25 Who Will Profit From Native Energy?

The US government and energy industry intend to market a shift away from dependence on foreign energy by deregulating and stepping up their exploitation (“development”) of wind and solar resources located on Native American reservations.

“Native Energy Futures” Brian Awehali, Lip Magazine, 6/5/06
http://www.lipmagazine.org/articles/featawehali_nativefuture...

[ Link ]

Melancholy Reunion

Excerpts from: 'Melancholy Reunion: A Report from the Future on the Collapse of Civil-Military Relations in the United States'

"... "Melancholy Reunion" picks up where "The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012" left off. The year is now 2017, and two years have elapsed since the countercoup that returned the U.S. government to civilian control. The speaker, addressing the twentieth reunion of the Air University classes of 1997, reflects on the civil-military environment in the late 1990s and the lessons learned from the Coup of 2012.

[ ... ]

The year is 2017. The United States has suffered not only defeats in the High-Tech War of 2007 and the Second Gulf War of 2010, but also a military coup in 2012. That coup, engineered by a highly politicized officer corps that blamed these bloody losses on "incompetent" civilian leaders, was initially welcomed by a public exasperated with elected government. Only a few years of repressive military rule had passed, however, before the countercoup in 2015. The chastened electorate placed the thoroughly disgraced armed forces under draconian civilian control.

The speaker in this essay addresses the twentieth reunion of the Air University classes of 1997, a rather melancholy event under the circumstances. He examines civil-military relations issues emerging in the 1996-1997 time frame that, with the benefit of twenty-first century hindsight, foretold the coming catastrophes.

The speaker argues that too many analysts in the 1990s wrongly concluded that the military's acceptance of shrinking defense budgets and the imposition of social policies on the armed forces "proved" civilian control was secure. Actually, America's still-sizable military, freed from its preoccupation with the Soviet threat, was politicizing rapidly. Still haunted by Vietnam despite the 1991 Gulf War victory, many in uniform believed that military officers needed to be much more active in the political process if "another Vietnam" was to be avoided. Eventually, skill at political infighting, not warfighting, became the mark of up-and-coming officers.

Politicization was hastened by a variety of factors, including the military's institutional drift from warfighting to a complex array of military operations other than war. Overlooked was the fact that officers who concentrate on activities other than war eventually become something other than warriors. Such officers also displace their dedication to the warrior ethic with a cultish devotion to commerce-oriented fads like total quality management.

[ ... ]

Just as the military's politicization was increasing, the nation came under the spell of "postmodern militarism." This phenomenon was not marked by overt military domination or even a societal embrace of martial virtues. Rather, it was characterized by the growing willingness of a militarily naive society to charge those in uniform with responsibilities that a democracy ought to leave to civilians.

The popular military assumed a wide variety of trendy noncombat activities ranging from drug interdiction at home to nation-building abroad, thereby leading to further politicization as the military insinuated itself into areas that were previously the exclusive province of civilian policymakers. All of this occurred as the formal institutions of civilian control--Congress and the executive branch--were losing the public's confidence. These institutions were further weakened by partisan squabbling, and this allowed a politically savvy military to accumulate enormous political clout.

Despite its growing popularity and political power, the professional military increasingly viewed civilian society as irresponsibly chaotic, crime-ridden, and morally corrupt. The alienated military also began to view itself as a higher caste than the society it was supposed to serve.

An increasingly self-righteous military began to see reforming America as its responsibility. This philosophy, termed "neopraetorianism" by the speaker, was abetted by officers infatuated with the idea that they were national ombudsmen with unlimited portfolios as opposed to military leaders with finite responsibilities. Moreover, the armed forces failed to appreciate that it was civil society's largess that insulated the military from the problems that burdened so many civilian communities.

Chaos and crime are the unfortunate by-products of individualism and freedom. However, it is those same qualities that fuel America's enormously successful economy which, in turn, sustains the military. The lesson of the Coup Trials of 2016, therefore, was that officers should not be commanders in the nation's culture wars. It is not the military's role to remake America in its own image.

[ ... ]

The youthful civilian elites who assumed power in the 1990s were wholly innocent of any genuine understanding of the powerful imperatives intrinsic to the armed forces. Moreover, these elites were not antimilitary, despite what many in uniform believed at the time. Of course, few of them considered military people their social or intellectual equals; rather, they viewed the armed forces with the kind of pretentious cordiality usually reserved for faithful servants. What they did appreciate was that the military was extraordinarily competent, and they reveled in the notion that it could do their bidding.

In actuality, both the elites and the public were in the embrace of "postmodern militarism." One writer back in 1994 described this phenomenon as follows:

Postmodern militarism is not marked by overt military dominance or even a societal embrace of martial values. Rather, it is characterized by a growing willingness of an increasingly militarily-naive society to charge those in uniform with responsibilities that a democracy ought to leave to civilians. It is a product of America's deep frustration and disgust with elected government's inability to work effectively, or to even labor honestly. The reason the military's approval rating far exceeds that of every other institution in American society--including, significantly, the ones expected to exercise civilian control--is quite simple: it gets good things done.

Embattled politicians are ever more frequently turning to the military for quick-fixes: Can't stop drugs? Call in the Navy. FEMA overwhelmed? Deploy the Airborne. Crime out of control? Put Guardsmen on the streets. Troubled youths? Marine role models and military boot camps. Need health care? Military medics to the rescue. Diplomats stumble again? Another Air Force mercy mission on the way. The unapologetically authoritarian military can "make the trains run on time," but at what price?

That question was never answered; the national discussion we needed in the 1990s never took place. This was especially unfortunate because the civilian institutions that were supposed to control the military were weakening. Congress' partisanship made it vulnerable to manipulation by politically astute military operatives who became expert at playing congressional factions against each other. The executive branch didn't fare much better. At the beginning of the Clinton administration, for example, there were numerous reports of open contempt by military personnel for their commander in chief. Although many observers believed the initial hostility later dissipated, President Clinton's continued vulnerability was illustrated by the uproar that followed an attempt by his lawyers to characterize him as a member of the armed forces to delay a lawsuit. Moreover, analysts were still asserting in 1996 that Clinton had not yet been able to "command" the Pentagon.

Instead, the military had become, as one commentator put it, "the most powerful individual actor in Washington politics." Part of the reason lay with the fact that the executive and legislative branches both labored under the shadow of Vietnam. Writing in May 1996, A.J. Bacevich of Johns Hopkins University observed the following:

Thirty years later, now elected to positions of prominence, those who evaded service now truckle and fawn to demonstrate the depth of their regard for men in uni-

form. . . . The military itself is only too happy to play along. The moral leverage embedded in "the troops" . . . provides the Pentagon with enormous political clout. Senior military leaders do not hesitate to exploit that clout for their own purposes.

Among military leaders, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is most senior. By the mid-1990s it was clear, as Defense News contended, that the chairman's "rising clout threaten[ed] civilian leaders."

[ ... ]

The youthful civilian elites who assumed power in the 1990s were wholly innocent of any genuine understanding of the powerful imperatives intrinsic to the armed forces. Moreover, these elites were not antimilitary, despite what many in uniform believed at the time. Of course, few of them considered military people their social or intellectual equals; rather, they viewed the armed forces with the kind of pretentious cordiality usually reserved for faithful servants. What they did appreciate was that the military was extraordinarily competent, and they reveled in the notion that it could do their bidding.

In actuality, both the elites and the public were in the embrace of "postmodern militarism." One writer back in 1994 described this phenomenon as follows:

Postmodern militarism is not marked by overt military dominance or even a societal embrace of martial values. Rather, it is characterized by a growing willingness of an increasingly militarily-naive society to charge those in uniform with responsibilities that a democracy ought to leave to civilians. It is a product of America's deep frustration and disgust with elected government's inability to work effectively, or to even labor honestly. The reason the military's approval rating far exceeds that of every other institution in American society--including, significantly, the ones expected to exercise civilian control--is quite simple: it gets good things done.

Embattled politicians are ever more frequently turning to the military for quick-fixes: Can't stop drugs? Call in the Navy. FEMA overwhelmed? Deploy the Airborne. Crime out of control? Put Guardsmen on the streets. Troubled youths? Marine role models and military boot camps. Need health care? Military medics to the rescue. Diplomats stumble again? Another Air Force mercy mission on the way. The unapologetically authoritarian military can "make the trains run on time," but at what price?

That question was never answered; the national discussion we needed in the 1990s never took place. This was especially unfortunate because the civilian institutions that were supposed to control the military were weakening. Congress' partisanship made it vulnerable to manipulation by politically astute military operatives who became expert at playing congressional factions against each other. The executive branch didn't fare much better. At the beginning of the Clinton administration, for example, there were numerous reports of open contempt by military personnel for their commander in chief. Although many observers believed the initial hostility later dissipated, President Clinton's continued vulnerability was illustrated by the uproar that followed an attempt by his lawyers to characterize him as a member of the armed forces to delay a lawsuit. Moreover, analysts were still asserting in 1996 that Clinton had not yet been able to "command" the Pentagon.

Instead, the military had become, as one commentator put it, "the most powerful individual actor in Washington politics." Part of the reason lay with the fact that the executive and legislative branches both labored under the shadow of Vietnam. Writing in May 1996, A.J. Bacevich of Johns Hopkins University observed the following:

Thirty years later, now elected to positions of prominence, those who evaded service now truckle and fawn to demonstrate the depth of their regard for men in uni-

form. . . . The military itself is only too happy to play along. The moral leverage embedded in "the troops" . . . provides the Pentagon with enormous political clout. Senior military leaders do not hesitate to exploit that clout for their own purposes.

Among military leaders, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is most senior. By the mid-1990s it was clear, as Defense News contended, that the chairman's "rising clout threaten[ed] civilian leaders." ..."

Mission creep: the militarizing of America

From the March 1996 issue of the Progressive Review
 
"...Perhaps all this isn't so surprising when one examines the real m'tier of a modern major general. It is not, after all, fighting wars -- for there doesn't exist an enemy capable of challenging us. The US defense budget is 120 times the combined strength of the nine next biggest military spenders, and 1,600 times that of six adversarial favorites: Cuba, Syria, Iran, Iraq, North Korea and Libya. In truth, the modern major general's trade consists of occupying, managing and manipulating weak and disorganized small countries, not infrequently primarily for domestic political reasons.

This is the trade for which Powell and McCaffrey were trained and helps explains why each feels comfortable in domestic politics. Where easier to practice the civil and psychological operations they mastered than right here at home?

[ ... ]
 
One of the ways the military conducts its domestic version of psychological and civil operations is to spy on American citizens. As far back the early 40s, for example, Army intelligence kept tabs on the likes of organizer Saul Alinsky. The practice blossomed with the civil rights and peace movements, possibly even, in the view of some investigators, including direct involvement of Army agents in the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

Today, the practice continues albeit in modern garb. According to the Computer Fraud and Security Bulletin, the National Security Agency is already spying on the Internet by "sniffing" data at key router and gateways hosts. NSA is also said to have made deals with Microsoft, Lotus and Netscape to prevent anonymous e-mail or encryption systems on the Net.

And last July, Charles Swett, who works for the Pentagon office handling "special operations and low intensity conflict" wrote an internal memo titled: Strategic Assessment: The Internet. The report, uncovered by the Federation of American Scientists, provides an overview of the Internet, particularly its usefulness for spying on both Americans and foreigners and for spreading disinformation during psychological operations.

[ ... ]

The military's extraordinary role in contemporary civilian life can be traced back at least to the Carter administration. In a July 1983 series in the San Francisco Examiner, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Knut Royce reported that a presidential directive had been drafted by a few Carter administration personnel in 1979 to allow the military to take control of the government for 90 days in the event of an emergency. A caveat on page one of the directive said, "Keeping the government functioning after a nuclear war is a secret, costly project that detractors claim jeopardizes US traditions and saves a privileged few." According to Royce there was a heated debate within the Carter administration as to just what constituted an "emergency."

The issue arose again during the Iran-Contra affair, but even in the wake of all the copy on that scandal, the public got little sense of how far some America's soldiers of fortune were willing to go to achieve their ends. When the Iran-Contra hearings came close to the matter, chair Senator Inouye backed swiftly away. Here is an excerpt from those hearings. Oliver North is at the witness table:

REP BROOKS: Colonel North, in your work at the NSC, were you not assigned, at one time, to work on plans for the continuity of government in the event of a major disaster?

BRENDAN SULLIVAN: Mr. Chairman?

SEN INOUYE: I believe that question touches upon a highly sensitive and classified area so may I request that you not touch on that.

REP BROOKS: I was particularly concerned, Mr. Chairman, because I read in Miami papers, and several others, that there had been a plan developed by that same agency, a contingency plan in the event of emergency, that would suspend the American constitution. And I was deeply concerned about it and wondered if that was the area in which he had worked. I believe that it was and I wanted to get his confirmation.

SEN INOUYE; May I most respectfully request that that matter not be touched upon at this stage. If we wish to get into this, I'm certain arrangements can be made for an executive session

With few exceptions, the media ignored what well could be the most startling revelation to have come out of the Iran/Contra affair, namely that high officials of the US government were planning a possible military/civilian coup. First among the exceptions was the Miami Herald, which on July 5, 1987, ran the story to which Jack Brooks referred. The article, by Alfonzo Chardy, revealed Oliver North's involvement in plans for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to take over federal, state and local functions during an ill-defined national emergency. ..."

[ full article ]

The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012

"It goes without saying (I hope) that the coup scenario above is purely a literary device intended to dramatize my concern over certain contemporary developments affecting the armed forces, and is emphatically not a prediction. -- The Author "

"... In 1992, General Colin Powell, chairman of the joint chiefs, awarded the prize for his strategy essay competition at the National Defence University to Lieutenant Colonel Charles Dunlap for The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012. His cautionary tale imagined an incapable civilian government creating a vacuum that drew a competent military into a coup disastrous for democracy. The military, of course, is bound to uphold the constitution. But Dunlap wrote: "The catastrophe that occurred on our watch took place because we failed to speak out against policies we knew were wrong. It's too late for me to do any more. But it's not for you."

The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012 is today circulating among top US military strategists. ..."

America's military coup
Sidney Blumenthal
The Guardian - Thursday May 13, 2004

 

The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012

CHARLES J. DUNLAP, JR.

From Parameters, Winter 1992-93, pp. 2-20.

The letter that follows takes us on a darkly imagined excursion into the future. A military coup has taken place in the United States--the year is 2012--and General Thomas E. T. Brutus, Commander-in-Chief of the Unified Armed Forces of the United States, now occupies the White House as permanent Military Plenipotentiary. His position has been ratified by a national referendum, though scattered disorders still prevail and arrests for acts of sedition are underway. A senior retired officer of the Unified Armed Forces, known here simply as Prisoner 222305759, is one of those arrested, having been convicted by court-martial for opposing the coup. Prior to his execution, he is able to smuggle out of prison a letter to an old War College classmate discussing the "Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012." In it, he argues that the coup was the outgrowth of trends visible as far back as 1992. These trends were the massive diversion of military forces to civilian uses, the monolithic unification of the armed forces, and the insularity of the military community. His letter survives and is here presented verbatim.

It goes without saying (I hope) that the coup scenario above is purely a literary device intended to dramatize my concern over certain contemporary developments affecting the armed forces, and is emphatically not a prediction. -- The Author

Dear Old Friend,

It's hard to believe that 20 years have passed since we graduated from the War College! Remember the great discussions, the trips, the parties, the people? Those were the days!!! I'm not having quite as much fun anymore. You've heard about the Sedition Trials? Yeah, I was one of those arrested--convicted of "disloyal statements," and "using contemptuous language towards officials." Disloyal? No. Contemptuous? You bet! With General Brutus in charge it's not hard to be contemptuous.

I've got to hand it to Brutus, he's ingenious. After the President died he somehow "persuaded" the Vice President not to take the oath of office. Did we then have a President or not? A real "Constitutional Conundrum" the papers called it.[1] Brutus created just enough ambiguity to convince everyone that as the senior military officer, he could--and should--declare himself Commander-in-Chief of the Unified Armed Forces. Remember what he said? "Had to fill the power vacuum." And Brutus showed he really knew how to use power: he declared martial law, "postponed" the elections, got the Vice President to "retire," and even moved into the White House! "More efficient to work from there," he said. Remember that?

When Congress convened that last time and managed to pass the Referendum Act, I really got my hopes up. But when the Referendum approved Brutus's takeover, I knew we were in serious trouble. I caused a ruckus, you know, trying to organize a protest. Then the Security Forces picked me up. My quickie "trial" was a joke. The sentence? Well, let's just say you won't have to save any beer for me at next year's reunion. Since it doesn't look like I'll be seeing you again, I thought I'd write everything down and try to get it to you.

I am calling my paper the "Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012." I think it's important to get the truth recorded before they rewrite history. If we're ever going to get our freedom back, we've got to understand how we got into this mess. People need to understand that the armed forces exist to support and defend government, not to be the government. Faced with intractable national problems on one hand, and an energetic and capable military on the other, it can be all too seductive to start viewing the military as a cost-effective solution. We made a terrible mistake when we allowed the armed forces to be diverted from their original purpose.

I found a box of my notes and clippings from our War College days--told my keepers I needed them to write the confession they want. It's amazing; looking through these old papers makes me realize that even back in 1992 we should have seen this coming. The seeds of this outrage were all there; we just didn't realize how they would grow. But isn't that always the way with things like this? Somebody once said that "the true watersheds in human affairs are seldom spotted amid the tumult of headlines broadcast on the hour."[2] And we had a lot of headlines back in the '90s to distract us: The economy was in the dumps, crime was rising, schools were deteriorating, drug use was rampant, the environment was in trouble, and political scandals were occurring almost daily. Still, there was some good news: the end of the Cold War as well as America's recent victory over Iraq.

All of this and more contributed to the situation in which we find ourselves today: a military that controls government and one that, ironically, can't fight. It wasn't any single cause that led us to this point. Instead, it was a combination of several different developments, the beginnings of which were evident in 1992. Here's what I think happened:

Americans became exasperated with democracy. We were disillusioned with the apparent inability of elected government to solve the nation's dilemmas. We were looking for someone or something that could produce workable answers. The one institution of government in which the people retained faith was the military. Buoyed by the military's obvious competence in the First Gulf War, the public increasingly turned to it for solutions to the country's problems. Americans called for an acceleration of trends begun in the 1980s: tasking the military with a variety of new, nontraditional missions, and vastly escalating its commitment to formerly ancillary duties.

Though not obvious at the time, the cumulative effect of these new responsibilities was to incorporate the military into the political process to an unprecedented degree. These additional assignments also had the perverse effect of diverting focus and resources from the military's central mission of combat training and warfighting. Finally, organizational, political, and societal changes served to alter the American military's culture. Today's military is not the one we knew when we graduated from the War College.

Let me explain how I came to these conclusions. In 1992 not very many people would've thought a military coup d'etat could ever happen here. Sure, there were eccentric conspiracy theorists who saw the Pentagon's hand in the assassination of President Kennedy,[3] President Nixon's downfall,[4] and similar events. But even the most avid believers had to admit that no outright military takeover had ever occurred before now. Heeding Washington's admonitions in his Farewell address about the dangers of overgrown military establishments,[5] Americans generally viewed their armed forces with a judicious mixture of respect and wariness.[6] For over two centuries that vigilance was rewarded, and most Americans came to consider the very notion of a military coup preposterous. Historian Andrew Janos captured the conventional view of the latter half of the 20th century in this clipping I saved:

A coup d'etat in the United States would be too fantastic to contemplate, not only because few would actually entertain the idea, but also because the bulk of the people are strongly attached to the prevailing political system and would rise in defense of a political leader even though they might not like him. The environment most hospitable to coups d'etat is one in which political apathy prevails as the dominant style.[7]

However, when Janos wrote that back in 1964, 61.9 percent of the electorate voted. Since then voter participation has steadily declined. By 1988 only 50.1 percent of the eligible voters cast a ballot.[8] Simple extrapolation of those numbers to last spring's Referendum would have predicted almost exactly the turnout. It was precisely reversed from that of 1964: 61.9 percent of the electorate did not vote.

America's societal malaise was readily apparent in 1992. Seventy-eight percent of Americans believed the country was on the "wrong track." One researcher declared that social indicators were at their lowest level in 20 years and insisted "something [was] coming loose in the social infrastructure." The nation was frustrated and angry about its problems.[9]

America wanted solutions and democratically elected government wasn't providing them.[10] The country suffered from a "deep pessimism about politicians and government after years of broken promises."[11] David Finkle observed in The Washington Post Magazine that for most Americans "the perception of government is that it has evolved from something that provides democracy's framework into something that provides obstacles, from something to celebrate into something to ignore." Likewise, politicians and their proposals seemed stale and repetitive. Millions of voters gave up hope of finding answers.[12] The "environment of apathy" Janos characterized as a precursor to a coup had arrived....

[ full paper ]

ABC: Holt disappearance theories resurrected online

"... It is close to the 40th anniversary of the unsolved disappearance of Australia's 17th prime minister, but the conspiracy theories will not go away.

The sensational disappearance of former prime minister Harold Holt, off a remote Victorian beach in December 1967, captured the world's attention.

But the lack of a body led to an avalanche of wild and persistent theories about Mr Holt's exit.

Many ascribed to Cold War scenarios - others had more earthy tones that he had faked his death.

Some theorists were so earnest they put pen to paper and alerted authorities, with the best letters now online after being released by the National Archives.

On December 17 of that year, Mr Holt went missing in rough seas whilst swimming at a favoured spot, Victoria's Cheviot Beach.

Police soon concluded it was an accidental drowning of an experienced swimmer in dreadful conditions, a theory that was confirmed in a belated Victorian coronial inquest in 2005.

But something did not quite add up for the conspiracy theorists.

A letter from an American lawyer, dated the day after Mr Holt's disappearance, reads: "My hunch from fragmentary press reports is there's a better-than 50 per cent chance that Mr Holt's death was not accidental, but resulted from expert sabotage, probably foreign."

It is a sample of the Cold War theories which can now be found on the National Archives website.

[ ... ]

"The most outrageous theory was the Chinese submarine," he said.

"It's long since been demonstrated that there was no way a submarine could have operated in those waters off Cheviot Beach.

"Anyway as [his wife] Zara Holt said, Harold Holt didn't even like Chinese cooking." ..."

[ full article ]

Ray McGovern: Bush, Oil -- and Moral Bankruptcy

On Sept. 23, former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski warned pointedly:

“If we escalate tensions, if we succumb to hysteria, if we start making threats, we are likely to stampede ourselves into a war [with Iran], which most reasonable people agree would be a disaster for us...I think the administration, the president and the vice president particularly, are trying to hype the atmosphere, and that is reminiscent of what preceded the war in Iraq.”

So why the pressure for a wider war in which any victory will be Pyrrhic—for Israel and for the U.S.? The short answer is arrogant stupidity; the longer answer—what the Chinese used to call “great power chauvinism”—and oil.

The truth can slip out when erstwhile functionaries write their memoirs (the dense pages of George Tenet’s tome being the exception). Kudos to the still functioning reportorial side of the Washington Post, which on Sept. 15, was the first to ferret out the gem in former Fed chairman, Alan Greenspan’s book that the Iraq war was “largely about oil.”

But that’s okay, said the Post’s editorial side (which has done yeoman service as the White House’s Pravda) the very next day. Dominating the op-ed page was a turgid piece by Henry Kissinger, serving chiefly as a reminder that there is an excellent case to be made for retiring when one reaches the age of statutory senility.

Dr. Kissinger described as a “truism” the notion that “the industrial nations cannot accept radical forces dominating a region on which their economies depend.” (Curious. That same truism was considered a bad thing, when an integral part of the “Brezhnev Doctrine” applied to Eastern Europe.)

What is important here is that Kissinger was speaking of Iran, which—in a classic example of pot calling kettle black—he accuses of “seeking regional hegemony.”

What’s going on here seems to be a concerted effort to get us accustomed to the prospect of a long, and possibly expanded war.

Don’t you remember? Those terrorists, or Iraqis, or Iranians, or jihadists...whoever...are trying to destroy our way of life.

The White House spin machine is determined to justify the war in ways they think will draw popular support from folks like the well-heeled man who asked me querulously before a large audience, “Don’t you agree that several GIs killed each week is a small price to pay for the oil we need?”

Consistency in U.S. Policy?

The Bush policy toward the Middle East is at the same time consistent with, and a marked departure from, the U.S. approach since the end of World War II.

Given ever-growing U.S. dependence on imported oil, priority has always been given to ensuring the uninterrupted supply of oil, as well as securing the state of Israel. The U.S. was, by and large, successful in achieving these goals through traditional diplomacy and commerce.

Granted, it would overthrow duly elected governments, when it felt it necessary—as in Iran in 1953, after its president nationalized the oil. But the George W. Bush administration is the first to start a major war to implement U.S. policy in the region.

Just before the March 2003 attack, Chas Freeman, U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia for President George H.W. Bush, explained that the new policy was to maintain a lock on the world’s energy lifeline and be able to deny access to global competitors.

Freeman said the new Bush administration “believes you have to control resources in order to have access to them” and that, with the end of the Cold War, the U.S. is uniquely able to shape global events—and would be remiss if it did not do so.

This could not be attempted in a world of two superpowers, but has been a longstanding goal of the people closest to George W. Bush.

In 1975 in Harpers, then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger authored under a pseudonym an article, “Seizing Arab Oil.”

Blissfully unaware that the author was his boss, the highly respected career ambassador to Saudi Arabia, James Akins, committed the mother of all faux pas when he told a TV audience that whoever wrote that article had to be a “madman.”  Akins was right; he was also fired.

In those days, cooler heads prevailed, thanks largely to the deterrent effect of a then-powerful Soviet Union. Nevertheless, in proof of the axiom that bad ideas never die, 26 years later Kissinger rose Phoenix-like to urge a spanking new president to stoke and exploit the fears engendered by 9/11, associate Iraq with that catastrophe, and seize the moment to attack Iraq.

It was well known that Iraq’s armed forces were no match for ours, and the Soviet Union had imploded.

Some, I suppose, would call that Realpolitik. Akins saw it as folly; his handicap was that he was steeped in the history, politics, and culture of the Middle East after serving in Syria, Lebanon, Kuwait, Iraq, as well as Saudi Arabia—and knew better.

The renaissance of Kissinger’s influence in 2001 on an impressionable young president, together with faith-based analysis by untutored ideologues cherry picked by Cheney explain what happened next—an unnecessary, counterproductive war, in which over 3,800 U. S. troops have already been killed—leaving Iraq prostrate and exhausted.

A-plus in Chutzpah, F in Ethics

In an International Herald Tribune op-ed on Feb. 25, 2007, Kissinger focused on threats in the Middle East to “global oil supplies” and the need for a “diplomatic phase,” since the war had long since turned sour. Acknowledging that he had supported the use of force against Iraq, he proceeded to boost chutzpah to unprecedented heights.

Kissinger referred piously to the Thirty Years’ War (1618-48), which left the European continent “prostrate and exhausted.” What he failed to point out is that the significance of that prolonged carnage lies precisely in how it finally brought Europeans to their senses; that is, in how it ended.

The Treaty of Westphalia brought the mutual slaughter to an end, and for centuries prevented many a new attack by the strong on the weak—like the U.S. attack on Iraq in 2003.

It was, it is about oil—unabashedly and shamefully. Even to those lacking experience with U.S. policy in the Middle East, it should have been obvious early on, when every one of Bush’s senior national security officials spoke verbatim from the talking-point sheet, “It’s not about oil.”

Thanks to Greenspan and Kissinger, the truth is now “largely” available to those who do not seek refuge in denial.

The implications for the future are clear—for Iraq and Iran. As far as this administration is concerned (and as Kissinger himself has written), “Withdrawal [from Iraq] is not an option.” Westphalia? U.N. Charter? Geneva Conventions? Hey, we’re talking superpower!

Thus, Greenspan last Monday with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now:

“Getting him [Saddam Hussein] out of the control position...was essential. And whether that be done by one means or another was not as important. But it’s clear to me that, were there not the oil resources in Iraq, the whole picture...would have been different.”

Can we handle the truth?

“All truth passes through three stages.
“First, it is ridiculed.
“Second, it is violently opposed.
“Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
--Schopenhauer

When the truth about our country’s policy becomes clear, can we summon the courage to address it from a moral perspective? The Germans left it up to the churches; the churches collaborated.

“There is only us; there never has been any other.”
--Annie Dillard

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC.  He was an analyst with the CIA for 27 years and is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). His e-mail is RRMcGovern@aol.com.

[ Link ]

The end of the world as we know it: Get Ready

America is now poised for an event that has happened elsewhere in the world but never, for living Americans, here on US soil. That event is a hyperinflation that will destroy our savings, milking Americans dry. Those who planned this event have been in charge of the monetary system, and in charge of every branch of government. While occupying those positions of trust they have profited mightily. Now, many of those who believed they were 'insiders' will face a reality that confronts them with the fact that they, too, have been had. Their employers have used them to immunize themselves as they prepared to move off shore, convert their stolen assets into Swiss Francs, hard money, and commodities, hunkering down to ride it out as they slurp champagne.--Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

 

By Melinda Pillsbury-Foster
Online Journal Guest Writer
Sep 25, 2007,

The mortgage market is draining away one portion of American savings while the Securities and Exchange Commission finalizes the enabling of hedge funds and limited partnerships like Blackstone Group, to suck out the pensions and secured savings that elderly Americans thought would carry them through to the end of life, leaving a nest egg for their children and grandchildren. Those in power did not forget other kinds of savings, including those intended to educate our children. It was all up for grabs. To protect yourself and those you love you need to see the world, not as they present it to us, but as it appears to them.

We are the bees. They control our hive.

The Corporate Greedy and BigOil, think they have won; they did all within their power to convert our form of government from a representative republic made up of independent states to a serial monarchy/oligarchy. They busily changed the meaning of words, for instance converting the word “Conservative” to Big Government Federalist for a start.

You may also still believe that communism was a real threat to America instead of another boogeyman intended to keep us in line. You may still believe that a tiny insane cabal of Muslims, individuals who had been marginalized in their own countries, are a threat to us. It is time to lose your illusions.

Iraq is about the oil. The only surge those in power really care about is the one being carried out by the Security and Prosperity Partnership and the other forms of control for installing what they hope will be the militarized ground they intend to turn into one large plantation that they call the North American Union. Think of it, and us, as their long-term investment strategy.

The hyper inflation now beginning is intended to make us helpless, unable to resist, focused on stark survival, as they staple in place a new, overt form of government on the savaged bones of our Constitution.

Those plans, as reflected in the words, “Security and Prosperity Partnership” are about just that. For their own children they want not prosperity but the culmination of their own fantasies: a guaranteed, unending flow of money and security. The partnership is for the Corporate Greedy only.

You and I are not to be the beneficiaries of that flow. Our purpose in their eyes is to either produce the wealth, be consumed, or conveniently die.

The Corporate Greedy have been eating us alive for generations. By doing so they worked to provide for those future generations of trust fund brats with no character, morals or clue about the work ethic -- more George W. Bushes, more little Murdochs and Rockefellers. For that purpose they have driven America into bankruptcy, using all of the institutions we paid for and thought were intended to provide security for us, the real Americans, and our families.

Like the movie, “The Matrix,” it is very simple when you understand.

This hyperinflation cycle is the corporate beekeepers harvesting the hive. They are now harvesting America, making room for those of us who survive, to produce more. At the same time they are looking at which bees are likely to give them the best return. They intend that the 'useless eaters,' the elderly, the lowest income people, the inconveniently political, die.

After they finish harvesting, America will be a third world country. The North American Union will be in place to act as their conduit for rebuilding on very different lines, smugly expecting us to be grateful for the opportunity to simply survive and serve.

Hyperinflation is one of their tools that shows you what is about to happen. It has been used before. Stan Mikhalsky experienced the hyperinflation that took place in the Soviet Union. Here is his story.

By Stan Mikhalsky

It started in November 1985. The Soviet Union had been shaken by a tsunami of deaths as one after another, starting in 1982, Party leaders died in office. First Brezhnev, then Andropov followed by Chernenko. Never had the Soviet Union seen so many deaths just in three years.

Then, suddenly, a new guy, younger, eager, and unexpected . . . Gorbachev, came into office.

The 70s in Soviet Union had been marked as years of prosperity and peace. Ordinary people had prospered. Then, in 1979, we found ourselves at war in Afghanistan and the world changed.


When I stepped on American soil in 1996 I had the same feeling of those fat, happy years of the 70s in the Soviet Union. Yet in the back of my mind I wondered. I was worried because I knew how that time of peace and prosperity had ended. Putting that aside I figuratively rolled up my sleeves and got to work; good times mean profits and there was much I wanted for my family, much they needed after the trauma we had survived in the Ukraine.

Those fat years of the 70s in the Soviet Union had been followed by a long nightmare, one I see beginning here in America.

Gorbachev had been in office just a couple months when he ratified a new bills exchange. A bills exchange means exchanging the currency then in use for different money.


Well, you could ask, that is normal in many countries, right? Normal? Maybe. But the outcome was like they had pumped us dry of savings. Going through it was torture, seeing the savings of a lifetime drained in days, weeks, or months.

Current denominations of fifties and hundreds could be exchanged for new bills for only three days and only 500 Rubles could be exchanged at one time. So, what is a big deal?

Many honest people in the Soviet Union had escaped scrutiny, moving into the burgeoning middle class, by keeping their profits in cash. For example, at the time there were many 'underground milliners' whose enterprises were not in sync with ruling Communist Party. These were "illegal activities" though they harmed no one.

Gorbachev had decided, alone or based on advice, to kill these people as a class. And that action -- bills exchange -- killed a segment of the middle class in Soviet Union.


The artificial currency exchange ratio (at the beginning of the Gorbachev tenure) was 69 kopeek (lowest USSR currency) for 1 US Dollar. It wasn't real, of course. In reality there were people who dealt with foreigners, buying from them and then selling to the general population (jeans, for example). These entrepreneurs were called "farcovshiki." Farcovshiki were risking their lives to support their families. The penalty for these activities were up to 15 years in prison, the same sentence that was applied by criminal law to rapists and killers.

To live in the Soviet Union was to live with danger. To be in business we needed to have a real currency, real US Dollars and Deutsch Marks. The new exchange rate had risen to 3 Rubles per US Dollar.


In the wake of these events, people were literally hiding their money under pillows, afraid to put their funds in the bank. The biggest USSR Savings Bank loomed as a threat to all savings. Instead those funds were kept close at hand, buried in a backyard or hidden in the attic. Imagine what shock we felt when it was announced the new bills would be valid and old ones void in three days!

Just like in the United States, there are always people who worked hard to build businesses and support their families. In the Soviet Union we called those people, who were like my parents, "hard working communists." Like all law abiding citizens they kept their hard-earned money in the USSR Savings Bank. At that time they had enough money in the bank to support them in comfort in their retirement. So, in a sense, these money were US 401K plans equivalent."

1985, everything changed. They figured out how to reach into the places we had used to hide the money we hoped would give us security.


The 'free market' overwhelmed formerly Soviet Union citizens. Overnight the world had changed, some for the good and some not. Now we, ordinary people, could say what we wanted, not just in own kitchens but out loud in public. Our world grew larger. Freedom gave us the ability to see beyond the borders of the USSR. Now we saw the world as it had appeared to Party leaders, the Military Elite, and their friends. We could see R-rated movies and read different opinions.

However, with this new freedom brought with it hyperinflation, gangsters, and crooks. Inflation was no longer controlled as it had been before. Because Gorbachev said that the "Free Market" was subject to any forces that came, by 1989 the Ruble had fallen to a value only 1/6th that of the US Dollar.

By 1991 the Soviet Union had ceased to exist and Ukraine had become independent. That led to more instability and new rounds of inflation through currency manipulation.


As an independent nation, the Ukraine decided to have its own currency. That 'currency,' which we called, 'coupons,' was printed on low quality paper and was easily reproduced in basements using Xerox machines. Counterfeit currency became a reality, dooming the Coupons. Rubles were highly valuable in exchange because Russia had a strong infrastructure.

The Ukraine, on the other hand, had and has today, an economy based largely on agriculture.


There, Russia and Ukraine found a common ground. Ukrainians carried their bags of farm food to Moscow, where Muscovites bought with pleasure. Moscow, without a strong agricultural economy, was suffering from a reliable food supply. This was a win-win outcome for both with Moscow getting their food and Small-Russia, the name often given to the Eastern Ukraine, receiving Rubles for radishes.

However, trade and the possibility of profit stopped in August 19, 1991. The coup in Moscow severed these connections with the Ukraine.

Inflation was like an avalanche, a tsunami that destroyed businesses and savings. Before long the Ukraine announced a new currency and, on paper, everyone in Ukraine became a millionaire as the value of our Coupons plummeted to 200,000 to 1 against the US Dollar. Money in your pocket was worth less every moment. We lived in a state of perpetual uncertainty and shock.


Half-legal currency exchange became a very profitable business. You could go to special a market and exchange your life savings, packaged now in packs of coupons with rubber bands, for crispy "greens." Greens were US dollars. Most prized were crispy new greens; This bias tremendously helped counterfeit US currency to conquer our shaky post-Soviet market.

Some of you may wonder why we needed US dollars in a first place? Well, because borders were much more open than before; many entrepreneurs started trade with other countries and former Soviet Union Republics, making the dollar the only currency we could use to trade. All of us were having the same problems with currency.


Then, in the end of 1995, a new Ukrainian currency arrived. That was the Grivnya. It was a better quality banknote that exchanged elsewhere in ratio 1 Grivnya = 100,000 Coupons. It brought some stability for a short while. Far from perfect, the new currency was again counterfeited; these then flooded the markets. Inflation continued to escalate.

During the 1996-2001 period the Grivnya continued to lose its value until the US Dollar itself began to slip. What had been 1 US Dollar to 6 Grivnyas became 2 Grivnyas per Dollar.

Today, it is finally stable and the dollar is losing its luster. And there begins the warning I need to share with you.

There are parallels in those years I lived through in the Ukraine with what I see and sense with the current US market situation.

The law of "survival of the fittest" is still in power. You need to prepare yourself for what may come from uncontrollable US inflation and staggering political instability. Do as many of us, having survived through so many rounds of instability learned to do. Do not hold on to currency. Instead, buy and hold raw products and commodities.

In all countries that painted the map of the Europe after Soviet Union and later, Yugoslavia separation, the oligarchy raised their wealth on these natural products. Some of the oligarchs came from banking industry but in general – oil, gas, colored metals, and media. I am pretty sure that this pattern will apply to any future independent states with economics in turmoil.

Get ready. It will happen here.

The problem that we face in America at this minute is what Stan and other citizens of the Soviet Union faced, but for us that is only a part of the story. After the inflation we will be facing a new world, now being created to control us by the same people who are harvesting the hive of American wealth as I write.

To survive and provide the softest landing possible for Americans we need to take action as follows.

At the local level you need to get out of debt. If you can't pay off your credit cards to big corporations don't feel bad; their grid has been one of the conduits for stealing placed intentionally to put Americans into their control. The reason they changed the bankruptcy laws was because they knew where they were taking us. Pay off your mortgage if possible or find the means for at least lowering your exposure by moving to a fixed interest rate loan.

Get ready to look for the investment opportunities that will soon be available to ordinary people for lower cost alternatives in energy, transportation, and other off-grid technologies. They are coming. Every home that gets off their grids strikes a blow for freedom. Look at all the grids, energy, transportation, water, food, credit, insurance, medical. Understand how they bind you; there are solutions to each of these. You can break free.

Look at where you live. Can you grow your own food? Look into starting a co-op, bringing in locally grown farm food. Join with those around you; this will build a community of cooperation that will bring both security and provide the means for local control.

Growing and eating locally will reduce your exposure to reliance on food that is shipped in from off shore, perhaps bringing in with it diseases or toxic substances, and also mean more security for you and those around you in a steady, clean, supply of food.

Growing your own food has many other benefits; many generations of Americans did just that. Learn more about what you can do along with others in your community. Local food, vegetables and meat, taste better and do not carry the additives that we are slowly learning have had drastic physiological impacts on our health.

Make sure you know what your children are learning. Schools now routinely turn out students who are functionally illiterate, suited only for the kinds of jobs they envision for our posterity. Dumbing down was part of their agenda.

The planning began in California with the Reagan's election as governor there. Examine what you think you know. We were all conned, often and early.

The best indicator for future success in life is how early you have your first job, not how many degrees you accumulate; education has become about symbols over substance. Tesla had no degrees and never attended college. This generation of children will be finding out what it means to work the hard way. Nothing about the policies that have extended childhood far into the twenties have been about protecting children; those policies are about control

At the same time you need to come together with others in your community to take back control. Use persuasion; true community is about including and caring for everyone voluntarily.

Look at your local police. You pay their salaries. If they are focused on a militarized agenda, converting you and other citizens into criminalized targets, ignoring your constitutional rights under the coloration of 'gang control' you need to take action. The Constitution is for all of us.

The individuals hired as police need to understand that the militarized agenda for control will not be tolerated. Deliver the message.

We need to take back control of our courts. Understand the bait and switch that took place and study the common law that is America's real heritage for enacting justice and lowering the transaction costs of conflict and crime. A crime has not taken place if there is no victim.

The sheriff in your county is the highest constitutional law enforcement authority. If you can't trust him, remove him and elect someone who will be willing and able to tell the Feds to stay out. Expect them to move rapidly on their agenda to assert control over regional areas and state governments. Be ready to react accordingly.

Lastly, start thinking about the many ways that same Corporate Elite has conned us, manipulated us, continue their predatory behavior. Through the stock market, through the mortgage industry grab, through the continued rackets they run in every place they touch our lives.

Count up what they have cost you, when, where and who. Make a record. Gather together all of those accounts that show how they have stolen from you, done all within their power to suck you dry. .

There will be an accounting and you need to be ready.

Melinda Pillsbury-Foster is the granddaughter of Arthur C. Pillsbury. AC invented the first circuit panorama camera as his senior project at Stanford in 1896 while majoring in Mechanical Engineering. She has been studying the market and economics through the filter of politics and anthropology for twenty years. Her political blog is How the NeoCons Stole Freedom. She is presently working on a book titled, “Off the Grids to Freedom in One Easy Lesson.”

http://www.worldproutassembly.org/archives/2007/09/the_end_of_the_3.html

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