Home » power
You are browsing entries tagged with “power”
What do we do when the Federal Government steps outside of it’s constitutional boundaries? Do we ask federal bureaucrats in black robes to enforce the limits of it’s own power? Thomas Jefferson and James Madison didn’t think so, and neither do we. The rightful remedy to federal tyranny rests in the hands of the people [...]
By Chris Hedges
Posted on May 17, 2010
||U.S. Navy / MC2 Justin Stumberg
Cultures that do not recognize that human life and the natural world have a sacred dimension, an intrinsic value beyond monetary value, cannibalize themselves until they die. They ruthlessly exploit the natural world and the members of their society in the name of progress until exhaustion or collapse, blind to the fury of their own self-destruction. The oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico, estimated to be perhaps as much as 100,000 barrels a day, is part of our foolish death march. It is one more blow delivered by the corporate state, the trade of life for gold. But this time collapse, when it comes, will not be confined to the geography of a decayed civilization. It will be global.
Those who carry out this global genocide—men like BP’s Chief Executive Tony Hayward, who assures us that “The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume’’—are, to steal a line from Ward Churchill, “little Eichmanns.” They serve Thanatos, the forces of death, the dark instinct Sigmund Freud identified within human beings that propels us to annihilate all living things, including ourselves. These deformed individuals lack the capacity for empathy. They are at once banal and dangerous. They possess the peculiar ability to organize vast, destructive bureaucracies and yet remain blind to the ramifications. The death they dispense, whether in the pollutants and carcinogens that have made cancer an epidemic, the dead zone rapidly being created in the Gulf of Mexico, the melting polar ice caps or the deaths last year of 45,000 Americans who could not afford proper medical care, is part of the cold and rational exchange of life for money.
The corporations, and those who run them, consume, pollute, oppress and kill. The little Eichmanns who manage them reside in a parallel universe of staggering wealth, luxury and splendid isolation that rivals that of the closed court of Versailles. The elite, sheltered and enriched, continue to prosper even as the rest of us and the natural world start to die. They are numb. They will drain the last drop of profit from us until there is nothing left. And our business schools and elite universities churn out tens of thousands of these deaf, dumb and blind systems managers who are endowed with sophisticated skills of management and the incapacity for common sense, compassion or remorse. These technocrats mistake the art of manipulation with knowledge.
AP / Emilio Morenatti
By David Sirota
Imagine, if you can, an alternate universe.
Imagine that in this alternate universe, a foreign military power begins flying remote-controlled warplanes over your town, using onboard missiles to kill hundreds of your innocent neighbors.
Now imagine that when you read the newspaper about this ongoing bloodbath, you learn that the foreign nation’s top general is nonchalantly telling reporters that his troops are also killing “an amazing number” of your cultural brethren in an adjacent country. Imagine further learning that this foreign power is expanding the drone attacks on your community despite the attacks’ well-known record of killing innocents. And finally, imagine that when you turn on your television, you see the perpetrator nation’s tuxedo-clad leader cracking stand-up comedy jokes about drone strikes—jokes that prompt guffaws from an audience of that nation’s elite.
Ask yourself: How would you and your fellow citizens respond? Would you call homegrown militias mounting a defense “patriots” or would you call them “terrorists”? Would you agree with your leaders when they angrily tell reporters that violent defiance should be expected?
Fortunately, most Americans don’t have to worry about these queries in their own lives. But how we answer them in a hypothetical thought experiment provides us insight into how Pakistanis are likely to be feeling right now. Why? Because thanks to our continued drone assaults on their country, Pakistanis now confront these issues every day. And if they answer these questions as many of us undoubtedly would in a similar situation—well, that should trouble every American in this age of asymmetrical warfare.
Big Brother’s got that ju-ju, Gaia’s got the blues — hologram, carry me home
By Joe Bageant
May 13, 2010
“Information Clearing House“
I’ve spent most of this week watching American television and movies. I leave the TV on all night long. I toss and turn with my bad back, and bad lungs, catch a rerun episode of Two and a Half Men, or CSI, and conk out again. Then I awaken to the U.S. morning talk shows. It’s a grueling regimen, only for the strong. Or the lonely. For periodic relief, I switch to Mexican television (be patient, I really am going somewhere with this). Mexican TV is not one iota better than US television, but is veeerrry heavy on the booty. More than heavy. Astronomical. Think all-but-bare tits and ass close-ups every fifteen seconds, straight through commercials, dramas, comedy shows, history shows, and even the news where possible. Every show but the bullfights and that old nun who comes on at ten PM, who invariably drives me back to the U.S. channels.
Ahhhh … Safely in the American national illusion, where all the world’s a shopping expedition. Or a terrorist threat. No matter, as long as it is colorful and wiggles on the theater state’s 400 million screens. Plug in and be lit up by the American Hologram.
This great loom of media images, and images of images, is so many layers deep that it has replaced reality. No one can remember the original imprint. If there was one. The hologram is a hermetic snow globe, a self-referential circuitry of images, and a Möbius loop from which there is no logical escape. Logic has zilch to do with what is going on. The smallest part holographically recapitulates the whole, and vice versa. No thinking required, we just cycle and recycle through an aural dimension. Not all that bad, I guess, if it were not generated by forces out to fuck every last pair of eyeballs and mind plugged into it.
The investing class has put thousands of billions into movies, TV and other media to keep the hologram lit up over the past six decades. Which is to say, keep the public in an entertained stupor, awed, mislead, and most importantly, distracted. But the payoff probably runs in the trillions.
by James R. Hanson
If you’re not overwhelmed by the temporary construction jobs they will provide, and believe in a respectable future for the state, you will picture those four gambling derricks with their money-sucking pumps working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to pull income out of Ohioans’ purses to permanently shrink Ohio’s economic and moral stature. Even Atlantic City casinos are having a hard time. Ohio casinos will suck Ohio money. Money that won’t be there for something else.
We’ve already been taken for a ride and our constitution perverted. Not a single Central Ohio county voted to have a money-sucker but we got one anyway, done by outsiders who spent a huge amount of money to get it done, with the idea they would make it the central attraction of the Arena District–a place for families and sports fans with an atmosphere that has been conscientiously built upon for several years now. It would be like putting a python in the pen with your golden retriever just to watch the fun.
Issue 2 should be voted down because it is not the issue that should be on the ballot next Tuesday. It should have been one to give Central Ohio a chance to reject a casino by changing last fall’s constitutional amendment to eliminate the Columbus location, period.
John Kasich, GOP candidate for governor, favors Issue 2, he says, because “It does not expand gambling in any way. I support Issue 2 because it permits local control of economic development in the community.”
by Geoffery S. Shough
hat tip: GeofferyShough.wordpress.com
“There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” —Thoreau
For the past century, a general trend has taken shape in America where Americans are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet. There was a time in this country when only one member of the average household needed to work in order to support a family, and now it is not uncommon to have both adults in the household working to support their families. To make matters worse, many of the products we buy are declining in quality, and in many cases these same products are becoming more expensive. America has gone from a nation of savers and producers to a nation of debtors and consumers.
There are many explanations behind why this trend is occurring in America, but the most cogent among them is that the Central Bank, called the Federal Reserve (Fed), through its ineptitude in managing monetary policy, produces a hidden tax and causes serious imbalances in the economy with long term and far reaching effects.
This weekend, Ohioans have been reminded of the brevity of life with the passing of Chief Justice Thomas Moyer. We mourn his passing but celebrate his service.
While we are reminded of life’s shortness on earth, those of us of the Christian faith are reminded every Sunday, but especially this Sunday, of the resurrection power of God.
Personally, this is my favorite time of the year. The pressures of life can be staggering but watching the world come to life after the long winter energizes me. But most importantly, being reminded of the most precious Gift we’ve been given and the power the Truth and the Life has over death is a thought that can encourage us all.
As we take some time as a family to reflect and rejoice together, I wish each of you a joyous time together as well.
by Melchior Palyi
hat tip: Mises Daily
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
[Excerpted from chapter 2 of Compulsory Medical Care and the Welfare State (1950)]
Obligatory health insurance started moderately enough — in Prussia. Compulsion under a law of 1845 was left in the hands of municipal administrations, with no government subsidy involved and no contributions from employers. The antisocialist law of 1878 suppressed many of labor’s voluntary associations for sickness benefits. The next step was the governmentalization of the associations’ functions.
It was no mere accident that the ideological forefathers of Nazism, Adolf Wagner and Eugen Dühring, happened to be the “brain trusters” behind Bismarck’s “nationalistic socialism to end international socialism,” using his own terms. When, on January 1, 1884, his compulsory sickness scheme went into operation it literally started a new era — a new age in the history of welfarism.
Bismarck’s role in modern history is rarely spoken of nowadays. Undoubtedly, his political and administrative “genius” has shaped history down to our times. His revolutionary innovation in welfare policy was preceded five years before, in 1879, by the imposition of a protective tariff that started Europe’s internecine commercial warfare which endures to this day. And it was followed by the introduction in 1889 of universal military service covering even the middle-aged manhood. This started a rearmament race leading into total wars with the objective of annihilating entire nations.
The shrewd Iron Chancellor — the dictator in constitutional disguise, quoting M.J. Bonn’s epigram — meant to kill several birds with one stone when he embarked on his program of appeasing labor. The reason, announced in the November 17, 1881, message of Kaiser Wilhelm I, to offer something positive to labor, not merely the repression of socialists by police force, may have been born of genuine worry over the unrest of the working classes due to the long depression that had engulfed Europe since 1875. But the true motive has been pointed out in the penetrating Bismarck biography (Vol. III, pp. 370–71) of Erich Eyck:
To his mind the State, by aiding the workers, should not only fulfill the duty ordered by religion, but it should obtain in particular a claim on their thankfulness, a gratitude that was to be shown by loyalty to the government and by loyal progovernment votes in elections.
In other words, it was the old-fashioned attempt of the monarchy to ally itself with the plebs against the “aristocracy” in between the two. However, the social-insurance legislation did not stop the Marxists from returning in increasing parliamentary strength. The attempt to subdue the socialist movement by appeasement ended in a political fiasco.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
by Daily Bell Staff Report
Dr. Ron Paul
On Monday, Senator Chris Dodd rammed his “financial reform” legislation through his Senate Banking Committee on a strictly party-line vote. It’s no surprise that Chris Dodd’s answer to the economic crisis is the same as his answer to seemingly everything else: give the government more power … Dodd’s bill, which should be called the “Fed Empowerment Act,” will add more layers of bureaucracy to government. One of its provisions includes creating a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to be housed at the Fed and funded by it. Apparently, the Connecticut senator expects us to believe that an agency inside the Fed and financed by it will be “independent.” The legislation also includes a new Financial Stability Oversight Council to “monitor” companies that supposedly could become “too big to fail.” The Council will have the ability to require nonbank financial companies to be under the Federal Reserve’s supervision if the government deems they pose a “risk” to financial stability. Certain large companies will be expected to submit plans to the government “for their rapid and orderly shutdown” if the company goes under … Who knows how many businesses could be targeted and broken up, under the guise of “reform,” solely for standing up to the federal government! In yet another expected move, Dodd’s bill strips out a complete Fed audit and allows the Fed to decline to disclose specific information. – Ron Paul, Campaign for Liberty
Dominant Social Theme: More regulation is necessary …
Free Market Analysis: We were lucky enough recently to snag an exclusive, short interview (below) with libertarian congressman Ron Paul (R-Tex). And when we received the above missive via email from his Liberty organization, we found to some extent it paralleled the interview. In both this exclusive interview, and the call to action above, Ron Paul bemoans the power of the Federal Reserve and Congress’ lack of ability to create meaningful oversight over what can in many ways be considered a rogue monetary entity. Hopefully, the Fed does not end up with even more power after its latest series of economic disasters. See for yourself:
Daily Bell: Will the Fed be audited in your lifetime?
Ron Paul: To the extent that I want to see it audited, probably not. There may be some half-hearted attempts at auditing the now-ended liquidity programs, but the substantive things like open market operations, the discount window, and deals with foreign central banks will remain in the shadows. We’ve had great success with the language from HR 1207, managing to get the language through the House as part of HR 4173, but I fully expect the audit language to be watered down when the House and Senate bills go to conference.
Daily Bell: What’s in store for the dollar and fiat currency in general?
Ron Paul: Well, in the long run the value of all fiat currencies falls to zero. So, it’s just a matter of time before the fiat dollar disappears. The dollar has lost 96% of its value over the past century, and the Federal Reserve and federal government have been doing their best in the past two years to accelerate that.
Daily Bell: Where do you see gold and silver going from here?
Ron Paul: Long-term I think they will be much higher than they are right now. We live in a world of government-monopoly fiat currencies and they all inflate and destroy their value in unison. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see gold much higher in the next couple of years.
Daily Bell: Can the fiat dollar recover in your opinion?
Ron Paul: That’s hard to predict, but I don’t think it’s likely. The dollar has lost 96% of its value since 1913, and there’s just no way we can get back to that level under a fiat system. In order to recover, the same Federal Reserve that caused that 96% drop would have to suddenly get wise, stop the inflation and debt monetization, and get serious about sound money. That just won’t happen.
Daily Bell: Will we have a China-centric or Asia-centric world in the 21st century?
Ron Paul: This is a difficult forecast, but it’s certainly possible. When you have Russian leaders chiding American leaders for embracing socialism and Chinese students laughing at the Treasury Secretary’s assertion that US assets remain a safe investment, people begin to wonder when the world flipped upside down. For over a century, whether rightly or wrongly, the US has been seen as the epitome of free-market capitalism, where anyone could pull themselves up by their bootstraps and make it big. Over the past several decades that ability for entrepreneurial success has been suffocated by excessive regulation, taxation, and government intervention. Forcing American businesses and workers to get government permission for everything they want to do is not the recipe for economic success.
By Debbie Morgan
hat tip: TakeBackWashington.com
March 26, 2010
Watching the debate on healthcare was like having a nightmare while living in the circus. The clowns never hear those they “entertain,” yet they continue to throw nasty legislation at the public. In one of the better moments from the debate, a Representative said the bill was totally unconstitutional, as the Federal Government does not have the authority to force the public to purchase anything. In an online forum, one gentleman stated that the bill is tantamount to extortion. It is apparent that we are down to the only peaceful recourse available…Support local State Sovereignty bills; the only way to overturn the healthcare nightmare, as well as all other over-reaching federal legislation!
When the subject of the Tenth Amendment has been raised in past conversation, some have laughed and some have said, “Oh, that will never work.” Since its passage, many States have tried to invoke their Tenth Amendment rights on several occasions. The largest combined effort, before now, was during the Civil War, when eleven states sought to secede from the united States. Interestingly enough, the last time people got truly fired up about their States rights was during the Roosevelt Administration’s “New Deal.” Why do we have such a magnificent amendment to protect the states if we are not going to use it?
The February 2008 CRS Report for Congress, after quoting the Tenth Amendment, states, “While this language would appear to represent one of the most clear examples of a federalist principle in the Constitution, it has not had a significant impact in limiting federal powers. Initially, the Supreme Court interpreted the Tenth Amendment to have substantive content, so that certain ‘core’ state functions would be beyond the authority of the federal government to regulate.” Yet, in the past, as now, the Federal Government continues to take what it wants, expecting the states to bow down in servitude.