Home » January 27th, 2010
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An excerpt of George Washington in his “Farewell Address”
I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.
This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.
The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.
Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischief’s of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.
There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.
By Dr. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed MA DPhil (Sussex)
Former assistant director of FBI’s counter-terrorism division Dale Watson; former Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf; current Pakistani President Asif Zardari; Afghan President Hamid Karzai; late Benazir Bhutto; Israeli intelligence sources; Pakistani and Afghan sources, including Taliban leaders all have reported Osama bin Laden to be “probably dead” since December 2001.
Several independent experts – including former US foreign intelligence officer Angelo M. Codevilla and renowned bin Laden specialist Professor Bruce Lawrence – agree with this assessment, as reported by the Daily Mail last year. In the words of Codevilla, a professor of international relations at Boston University: “All the evidence suggests Elvis Presley is more alive today than Osama Bin Laden.”
From the Mail:
“Prof Codevilla pointed to inconsistencies in the videos and claimed there have been no reputable sightings of Bin Laden for years (for instance, all interceptions by the West of communications made by the Al Qaeda leader suddenly ceased in late 2001).
Prof Codevilla asserted: ‘The video and audio tapes alleged to be Osama’s never convince the impartial observer,’ he asserted. ‘The guy just does not look like Osama. Some videos show him with a Semitic, aquiline nose, while others show him with a shorter, broader one. Next to that, differences between the colours and styles of his beard are small stuff.’”
January 26, 2010
hat tip: Washington’s Blog
I noted in August 2008:
According to the FBI, Bruce Ivins made the killer anthrax in his lab at Fort Detrick all by himself in something like 12 hours (pages 8-9).
Is that plausible?
Well, one of the handful of people who actually can produce the kind of high-tech weaponized anthrax used in the attacks said:
“In my opinion, there are maybe four or five people in the whole country who might be able to make this stuff, and I’m one of them,” said Richard O. Spertzel, chief biological inspector for the U.N. Special Commission from 1994 to 1998. “And even with a good lab and staff to help run it, it might take me a year to come up with a product as good.”
In addition, scientists at Ft. Detrick say that no one there had the equipment or knowledge to make weaponized anthrax of the type used in the letters (more on this in a later essay).
If it would take one of the handful of people who have the know-how and a good lab with staff a year, and if no one at Ivins’ lab knew how to do it, how could Ivins have made it all by himself in 12 hours without the proper equipment?
By Hans Bennett
Hat tip: Toward Freedom
(A review of the new book entitled This Country Must Change: Essays on the Necessity of Revolution in the USA, edited by Craig Rosebraugh, Arissa Media Group, 2009)
From 1997 to 2001, Craig Rosebraugh acted as a public spokesperson for the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), a self-described “international, underground movement consisting of autonomous groups of people who carry out direct action in defense of the planet.” On February 12, 2002, Rosebraugh was made to testify against his will before the US Congress’ House Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health. The FBI had recently declared the ELF the #1 domestic terrorist threat, and Congress had subpoenaed Rosebraugh demanding he help them investigate “eco-terrorism.” Rosebraugh had already received seven grand jury subpoenas from various federal investigations, but had always refused to cooperate. After he rejected this particular Subcommittee’s offer to voluntarily testify, they seemed to think that intimidation might help. They were wrong.
Rosebraugh invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination 54 times that day, instead issuing his now-famous 11-page statement declaring that “the US government by far has been the most extreme terrorist organization in planetary history,” He cited a long list of crimes, beginning with the history of Black chattel slavery and the genocide of indigenous peoples, and concluding with a long list of US military interventions since WWII. He argued that it was hypocritical to label the ELF “terrorist,” since all ELF actions had been directed towards corporate property, and had never injured anyone: “This noble pursuit does not constitute terrorism, but rather seeks to abolish it.”
Rosebraugh has since continued his public advocacy of direct action and has edited a new book entitled This Country Must Change: Essays on the Necessity of Revolution in the USA. This collection of twelve essays, most written by current and former political prisoners, discusses the many problems with today’s corporate state and why the contributors believe a fundamental revolution is the only practical solution. Furthermore, Rosebraugh writes that “it is literally impossible to create fundamental political and social change by strictly adhering to only those methods approved by the government.”
By Paul Craig Roberts
The election of Republican Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate by Democratic voters in Massachusetts sends President Obama a message. Voters perceive that Obama’s administration has morphed into a Bush-Cheney government. Obama has reneged on every promise he made, from ending wars, to closing Gitmo, to providing health care for Americans, to curtailing the domestic police state, to putting the interests of dispossessed Americans ahead of the interests of the rich banksters who robbed Americans of their homes and pensions.
But what can Obama do other then spout more rhetoric?
The Democrats were destroyed as an independent party by jobs offshoring and so-called free trade agreements such as NAFTA. The effect of “globalism” has been to destroy the industrial and manufacturing unions, thus leaving the Democrats without a power base and source of funding.
Obama and the Democrats cannot be an opposition party, because Democrats are as dependent as Republicans on corporate interest groups for campaign funding.
The Democrats have to support war and the police state if they want funding from the military/security complex. They have to make the health care bill into a subsidy for private insurance if they want funding from the insurance companies. They have to abandon the American people for the rich banksters if they want funding from the financial lobby.
By Chuck Baldwin
January 26, 2010
People of goodwill everywhere are rightly sympathetic to the plight of hundreds of thousands of innocent Haitians in the aftermath of the terrible earthquake that rocked the island country. Private donations and volunteer efforts are pouring into Haiti from all over the globe—especially from the United States. This is a good thing, right? So, why am I troubled?
Simply put, I cannot remember such an all-out “relief effort” by our nation’s military and government forces following a natural disaster anywhere—ever! Not even New Orleans, Louisiana, and surrounding Gulf Coast communities here in the homeland received the kind of attention from Washington, D.C., that Haiti is receiving.
According to Agence France-Press (AFP), “The US military is ramping up its mission in quake-hit Haiti, with 20,000 US troops expected to operate on ground and offshore by Sunday [January 24], the US commander overseeing the region said.”
No doubt, this would include ships and personnel from the USS Carl Vinson carrier group. Cost to US taxpayers to send an entire carrier group—along with more than 20,000 (so far) military personnel—to Haiti already numbers in the multiplied millions of dollars. It is also almost certain that there will be no quick exit from the island nation. There never is. In other words, our military presence (dare I say occupation?) in Haiti will doubtless last for years. At least, that’s the way Latin American and European countries see it. And they are probably right.
Suffice it to say that the United States military is now completely in charge in Haiti.
by Ellen Brown
Author, “Web of Debt“
The story goes that Churchill offered a woman 5 million pounds to sleep with him. She hedged and said they would have to discuss terms. Then he offered her 5 pounds. “Sir!” she said. “What sort of woman do you think I am?” “Madam,” he replied, “We’ve already established that. Now we’re just haggling over the price.”
The same might be said of President Obama’s health care bill, which was sold out to corporate interests early on. The insurance lobby had its way with the bill; after that they were just haggling over the price. The “public option” was so watered down in congressional deal-making that it finally disappeared altogether.
However, the bill passed both Houses by razor-thin margins, and the stunning loss on January 19 of the late Ted Kennedy’s Democratic seat to a Republican may force Obama to start over with his agenda. The good news is that this means there is still a chance of getting legislation that includes what Obama’s supporters thought they were getting when they elected him – a universal health care plan on the model of Medicare.
That still leaves the question of price, but all industrialized countries except the United States have managed to foot the bill for universal health care. How is it that they can afford it when we can’t? Do they have some secret funding source that we don’t have?
In the case of our nearest neighbor Canada, the answer is actually that they do. At least, they did for the first two decades of their national health service — long enough to get it up and running. Now the Canadian government, too, is struggling with a mounting debt to private banks at compound interest; and its national health service is suffering along with other public programs. But when Canada first launched its national health service, the funding came from money created by its own central bank. Canada’s innovative funding model is one that could still be followed by a President committed to deliver on his promises.
When it comes to sex, we are all libertarians. Why aren’t we on all issues of personal freedom?
Hat tip: Fairfield County Weekly
Thursday, January 21, 2010
By Phil Maymin (Used by permission.)
There’s no government crackdown on sex
On any other matter, people largely divide into left and right camps, each trying to legislate their own morality, but if you look at the two major government parties, you would think that nobody believes speech should be as free as sex.
The left wants to censor anti-environmentalists and the right wants to censor anti-imperialists. Speech is okay so long as it is pre-approved by those in power. We can’t allow racist speech or hate speech or unpatriotic speech. Commerce and trade is even more regulated.
But not sex. Even the most heavy-handed politicians on either side of the aisle wouldn’t dare directly regulate sex. It may be our last free act.
You can have sex with whoever you want. Of course, it’s not the lawlessness of anarchy, but the justice of libertarianism: Do what you like as long as you don’t harm others. You can’t have sex with people who don’t want to have sex with you, or who don’t have the capacity to agree to it. And you can’t have unprotected sex with people if you knowingly carry a deadly disease. That would be murder. But otherwise, rock on.
Go ahead, read more.